Friday, May 6, 2011

Driving the Un-Armored Truck

The trip home from my mother's house was a bit hair-raising.  I only had enough space to bring home boxes upon boxes of important papers, the jewelry that was specifically left to me in the Trust, some unused make-up, clothing and shoes, some family photos, my own luggage, and several safes filled with valuables.  The paperwork alone was worthy of its own armed bodyguard.  I knew I had to drive straight through without stopping and giving someone a chance to reach into the bed of my pick-up to help themselves.  This brought back memories of the astronaut who drove across country in diapers, only I was trying to pull off a caper of a different kind.

I was careful not to drink too much coffee in the morning to avoid the need for a pit stop.  However, by the time I got out of the city, I was hit with such high winds that the tarp covering the stuff in the bed of my truck was coming loose.  I pulled over in Red Rock Canyon, and jumped out to untie and re-tie the ropes.  I decided that if any tourists showed up and started talking to me, I'd be curt and move along as quickly as possible.  I didn't want to talk to anyone or let them near my truck.  People get nosy and ask questions like, "What are you haulin'?"  I'd have to tell them I'm hauling trash bags to the dump or something.

I did not park in the parking lot of the vista, but off the road in an out-of-the-way, strange location so that no one would have any reason to approach me.  However, you know how I attract people when I least want them around.  Sure enough, this black Hummer with black tinted windows pulled up next to me.  No one else was around and my hair instantly stood on end.  They had no business approaching me and I had no way to protect myself.  Perhaps they were just going to ask for directions, but you do have to go a ways off the main highway to reach the location where I parked.

I didn't even give them a chance to roll down their windows or get out.  I jumped in my truck and took off back towards the highway.  Usually, tourists who come to that area park their car, get out, stretch their legs, take pictures of the beautiful rock formations, and some even follow the trails and go for a hike.  The person or people in this Hummer followed me back to the highway without doing any of that.  Once on the highway, they chased me.  I didn't want to give them a chance to get next to me, so I kept driving faster and faster to get away from them.

I knew this area was monitored by a highway patrol officer, so I got going as fast as I could in hopes that he'd spot me and pull me over.  Of course, there was no cell phone reception there.  The Hummer chased me for a few miles, and then came to an abrupt stop and pulled a U-turn on the highway.  That was very suspicious.  I had to wonder if highway robbery is alive and well.

Unfortunately, I had to pull over several more times during the trip to tie down the tarp and fill up with gas, but I did make it home safely with every piece of paperwork.  Anything else I have to haul from this point forward should just be "things" and "stuff" that are replaceable, so I can relax on future trips.  In retrospect, I probably should have removed my magnetic photography business signs off the sides of my truck, because they basically alert people to the fact that I'm probably carrying expensive camera equipment. 

Anyway, I just wanted to tell one of my more surprising adventure stories.  It's like the wild west out there.  Stay safe.


fernvalley01 said...

Beutiful photos, and the Hummer sounds creepy

Linda said...

I wonder though, could the hummer have been an undercover operation of some sort--our police or military--or border patrol? Super weird!

Breathe said...

There is just something about people in Hummers. Makes me nervous.

Beautiful area. I wonder if you could have taken your horse trailer and used that to haul stuff.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Breathe - Negative on the horse trailer. The is a super tight neighborhood with no curb long enough to park a truck and horse trailer together, and they make you move your vehicles off the street for trash pick up and street sweepers twice a week. The driveway to my mother's house is too narrow and short. Plus the price of gas hauling that trailer would have been outrageous. It already was outrageous.

Rising Rainbow said...

I'm glad you got home safely. I think most anyone who drives a hummer is a little weird to start with. The whole idea of those things as a "pleasure" vehicle just seems odd to me.

I had trouble with a tarp over my load when I made my trip to nationals. Getting that thing tied right gave me fits and I wasn't covering up anything important just stuff I wanted to stay dry.

Mikey said...

Dang girl, that's very scary. Next time park where people are around for that.
Also, look directly at the person or vehicle, then put your hand in your purse, keeping eye contact. Raise an eyebrow and be assertive bordering on agressive. They think twice.
If you have to get into it with someone, have a weapon handy. Even a nail file is workable. I had a guy beat my face in during a snowstorm outside Pocatello. I got the better of him (but not before he did a nice number on the right side of my face, had me pinned down, just hammered me over and over) when he let up, I got the doors locked and I left his ass out in the snowstorm. I guess he got frostbite so bad on his feet all the skin peeled off. I hear he's still looking for me...he never was very bright.
Highway robbery is always alive and well. I love people, but if your hairs stand up, listen to it. You did right.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

How creepy and scary!
I'm glad you managed to make it home safely.

Beautiful photos, though. Reminds me of a formation one would see inside a cave :)


achieve1dream said...

Yikes! That's scary!

I had a scary encounter with another driver today too. We were driving about thirty yards behind two cars. One was tailgating very, very closely. We stayed way back because the guy was riding his brake the entire time to stay off the car he was following (who was doing the speed limit).

Then we turned on a two lane road and they went into the fast lane while we moved into the slow lane. The car being tailgated slowed down so we were slowly passing in the slow lane. Suddenly the stupid tailgater tried to cut us off, so my husband honked the horn to keep from getting hit.

Then the tailgater pulls in behind us and starts tailgating us!! And he turned his bright lights on. What a total loser. He followed us down two roads then we got into the left turn lane to get off the road. He followed us into the left turn lane almost hitting us when he braked, but he kept going when we got off the road. What a loser! I really hope he gets caught by the cops, but that's unlikely since they're too busy giving out undeserved speeding tickets . . . I hate this city.... I'm glad you were okay.