FYI This happened today, and in talking about it with my dear friend, Lori, we agreed it should be passed on so that if any of you are planning on riding/biking/hiking near Coon Bluff, you can make sure to be on the lookout.
Today I hauled Chase to Coon Bluff and rode for about 6 hours. Afterward, I was getting him ready to haul home, and we were the only ones in the parking lot/staging area.
In the process of putting everything away, I had seen a blue van drive past the parking lot toward the picnic area of Coon Bluff and thought nothing of it. I was just about to load Chase in the back, get in the truck and drive home.
As I finished locking the tack room door, I heard a vehicle pulling into the lot VERY SLOWLY. Instead of untying Chase, I walked to the back of the trailer to put the ramp down and see what or who was pulling in. A man in a blue van pulled up RIGHT BEHIND the trailer and stopped.
I looked up and he said hello and asked me how I was. I said hello, and before I could ask him to move his van, he said, 'you look like you're just finishing up riding.' I replied that yes, it had been a long day and I'm bout to load my horse to take him home. He asked me if his van was in the way! I looked at him and said, YES; to put this in perspective, Chase would not have had quite enough room to approach the ramp's end to walk up and into the trailer. ??
I told the man, 'I want you to back way up so that you don't spook my horse!' I wasn't exactly mean, but I was NOT pleasant. This guy was up to no good, and there's NO question in my mind about that!
Well, he just sat there for a few seconds! I put the ramp down, took my phone off my belt and texted David that I may need help. Next I walked to the truck and got the pistol. I know for sure the man saw me on my phone, but I am not 100% certain he saw the gun in my hand at my side.
He did, however, back up, but continued to sit there! I untied Chase and loaded him into the trailer. (And yes, the gun was inside the trailer with me.) At that point, the man backed up a little more and then VERY SLOWLY drove VERY CLOSELY to the right of my setup, and stopped. I secured Chase and exited the trailer ramp. I looked at the man, and without saying another word, he drove out of the parking lot VERY slowly. As I watched, he turned toward the picnic area of Coon Bluff, or so I thought.
I had secured Chase, but after the man left, I went back into the trailer to put Chase's fly mask on since I hadn't taken the time to do it while that man was sitting there. Well, as I walked down the ramp, Chase started fidgeting BIGTIME! That was a big red flag because the first thing Chase does is start eating his hay packed in the bag for the ride home.
I calmed him down, stepped down the ramp, put it up, and Chase again was fidgeting, stamping his feet, pulling up his head and trying to look backwards! I looked toward the area Chase was trying to look in and there was someone walking among the trees, and I THINK it was that man!! When I saw the person walking, I knew it was not a hiker. This person was stealthily walking, as if wanting to stay out of sight. This is not an overreaction or exaggeration. I'm not 100% positive, though, either because I wasn't going to stand there forever waiting to see what was up. I quickly got into the truck and left.
The man was bald on top and had a little hair above both ears, light in color. He had on wire-rimmed, old-fashioned, dark sunglasses and a blue short-sleeve shirt; he's probably mid 50's to mid 60's from what I could tell, and appeared to be heavy set (he didn't get out of the vehicle, but looking at him in the van, he definitely appeared to be heavy set).
PLEASE watch out for him when you're out there? I am listening to my gut, and I trust my horse's intuition. I know FOR SURE that man was looking for trouble!
Chase SELDOM gets excited! Before I untied him from the trailer to load him, he was pulling on the lead rope so hard I was afraid he was going to break the loop off the trailer! Chase just does NOT act that way unless something's not right.
You can tell if someone's being pleasant or if someone's acting in a way that's definitely not good, and my stomach was speaking volumes to me!
He did not ask for directions, he did not ask for water, he did not ask if I'd seen so-and-so, he did not get out to start hiking or to take pictures; in other words, he had NO REASON to be there, and he certainly had NO REASON to park directly behind my trailer and act the way he did! He had ill intentions in mind!!
When he saw me on my phone, I think he figured I was not going to be an easy mark, and I believe that's why he drove away.
Please be careful and keep your eyes open out there.
Carol Kolmer-Chase OMG, Susie, thank you for posting this!!! That's exactly what he was driving!! WTH?? I have NO idea who he is, but I DO know he is up to no good out there. I am going to notify the sheriff's department, although, I'm not sure they can really do anything unless the guy commits a crime. It's pissing me off, though, because I'm a little nervous now about going out there alone during the week. I should not have to be afraid!!! I will say this, though; I will now be wearing the pistol on my belt!
Susie Westervelt Wear it, but make sure you know how to use it. I never gave it another thought until I saw this post. So we know he was hanging out at your truck/trailer two days!
Carol Kolmer-Chase Yep, I know how to use it. I would not want to, but IF I had to, I would. The way he pulled alongside my truck/trailer, if I hadn't moved to the back, he easily could have grabbed me and thrown me in that van. No one would have seen because my truck/trailer would have blocked the view from the road and the rest of the parking lot! That's frightening!
Susie Westervelt Make sure you tell them it is not Marty's van with the Washington plates.
· Mari Lake This is so scary, he was definitely up to no good. Stay safe.
Carol Kolmer-Chase Definitely! And I know what Marty looks like; this guy was NOT Marty.
Susie Westervelt I know! Wow, I need to go take target practice and find a pistol.
Cherie Robinson I think I've seen him too, he wasn't doing anything except driving back and forth down the road, and he would pull into the back parking lot and drive through and then just leave again, but a little later he would do it again. I never saw him do anything else, but he sends off a very bad vibe!
Carol Kolmer-Chase Please be careful, Cherie; you go out there alone, too, sometimes I think. This sucks! I've had some stress I'm dealing with, and twice in the last week, I've decided at the last minute to go out there to ride. Now this guy makes me second-guess my decision to do so!!! However, I refuse to give him that power!
Catherine Peterson I am glad you had your pistol with you. Since you are out there frequently by yourself I would like to see you get a good belt and holster. WEAR your gun. I do frequently. I occasionally feel silly about it, but what you just described is one of the reasons I do.
Lori Walker He's definitely up to something and now to find out he's staking out your trailer. Creeper!
Christine Sterling A good thing to do is also always check your hitch. A fiend of mine rode back to her trailer in that area and noticed someone by her truck. He left when she rode up. She lost her trailer halfway home. They think she interrupted someone trying to steal her truck - easier to get away with and less noticeable than the whole rig.
Catherine Peterson It also would not be a bad idea to call the police and report the incident
Keith Kuttler Carol, report the incident to the police.
Keith Kuttler They will do a miscellaneous report and hopefully give the area extra patrols.
Debbie Ricketts Don't go alone anymore Carol. That's two incidences you've encountered. Not safe right now.
Lisa Marie Magoch Johnson Definitely make sure you go with someone from now on and send out a police report. There may be others on file. Very scary.
Susie Westervelt I bought a book in 1999 that you can still purchase on Amazon. "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin De Becker. This book taught me how to listen to my gut instinct and intuition instead of ignoring it. Your stomach was telling you to get out of there quickly and you listened. Thank heavens you did.
· Windi Derman Sheesh. Girls be careful
Carol Kolmer-Chase I hear you, Debbie, but that's just so wrong that we can't go enjoy the outdoors!!! I refuse to let some shady character keep me from what I love to do. Believe me, I'll be careful, and I'll be smart and aware. There are a couple other people I know who ride out there alone as well, and like me, they carry a weapon as well as their cell phone. Also, when I ride alone out there, I do not ride all over like I do when with someone else.
Gail Sand Omg, thank goodness you are ok!
Mary Noble do you think he is the naked guy that hangs out there?
Carol Kolmer-Chase That's actually a very good question, Mary! To be honest, I looked away from the naked guy so fast that I didn't get a real good look at his face, BUT, I did notice the naked guy is heavy set, and so is the guy in the van! WHY are people SO strange? Ugh!
Jan Pugh Carol, wasn't it you that saw some guy lurking in some trees that your horse alerted you to? If so was it in this same area and could it be the same guy?
Carol Kolmer-Chase Yes, Jan, that was me. It's near the same area, but the guy behind the tree had dark hair and appeared larger than the guy in the van, although, that was a pretty quick glance I got of him. That means there's much more room for me to be mistaken about that. David and I did tell the police about that occurrence, and they told us there are a lot of transients in that area. **sigh** In my mind, that means they should be patrolling over there more often than they are! ??
Susie Westervelt Carol, I would stop at the substation at Goldfield and speak personally with the deputies there. I would also speak to a ranger when you see one.
Christine Sterling Carol - yes, her horses were fine. The trailer hit the back of her truck and she was able to stop it. It scared her to death though.
Carol Kolmer-Chase Oh, Christine, I can imagine it scared her to death! I'm sitting here in tears just thinking about it!!!! It's weird; I have trouble standing up for myself, always have had, BUT, if someone messes with someone I love, INCLUDING my animals, LOOK OUT! Seriously, I would have to hunt that person down 'til I found them! Thank God her horses were ok, that poor girl.
· Catherine Peterson Always check your hitch before you leave. It's possible the person was trying to steal the truck. It's also possible they just wanted to have your trailer come off the pickup. That sort of vandalism has happened around the country from anti horse people and general &$;)$. I had someone take part of my hitch apart at west world. Fortunately they didn't know what they doing and only took the chains off. And if course that evening I broke my own rule and didn't check my hitch because we were at a "horse" place. So now I check everywhere.
Carol Kolmer-Chase OMG, Catherine, at Westworld?? Thank God they didn't know what they were doing! People are so disappointing sometimes. I just don't understand WHY anyone would want to do such a thing.
Kathleen McDonald You really need to be careful. I think it is a good idea to carry a pistol on your hip at all times. Some of the things you talk about are scary and you are probably being watched. I don't like it.
Carol Kolmer-Chase Yeah, Kathleen, that's an especially good point ~ about being watched!? That's very unsettling! I will be careful, and my husband most definitely wants me to carry that gun on my hip now when I'm out there. He's not thrilled I go out alone, but he does admire my tenacity and my not giving up what I love because another person tries to take that control from me. This may sound silly, but I do watch those FBI files shows and 20/20, etc. etc., and have learned a lot! We all need to be fully aware of our surroundings at all times (sad but true). xo
Kathleen McDonald Hubby is right!! I fully understand not being able to do what you want!
Irene E Schmidt Thanks for the heads up better to be safe than sorry.
Carol Kolmer-Chase Susie, I am taking a printed copy documenting what happened yesterday to the Sheriff's station at Goldfield tomorrow. It includes the encounter you had seeing that man near my truck/trailer last Tues. I just want to make sure you're ok with me including that.
Susie Westervelt Yes, because I felt like he was scoping out your truck and trailer and was up to no good. A gut instinct and the reason I kept my eye on him.
Carol Kolmer-Chase Ok!! Thanks, Susie, and also THANK YOU for watching our truck that day! What a horrible "birthday gift" that would have been for me.
Debbie Ricketts What kind of gun do you carry and where is good to take lessons
Sent from my iPad
Sent from my iPad
Carol Kolmer-Chase Debbie, I am carrying right now a 357 Smith & Wesson, although I'd like to get a smaller pistol eventually. I've been shooting since I was a little kid actually; my dad taught me to shoot pistols and shotguns. David and I go target shooting sometimes at Bass Pro shooting range, and we've gone quite a few times out in the woods up in Prescott. I'm not a "lover" of guns, but they do serve a good purpose if used the right way.
Keith Kuttler Find an indoor range that will let you rent a firearm. Try before you buy. 9mm, 40 smith and Wesson, .45 cal.. Look at something that is simi-compact that has a comfortable grip.