We were pretty preoccupied after leaving Denver, and while René is still trying to put the incidents behind her, It’s about time I share our encounter with the cops and a certain authoritative state park ranger.
First off, we headed out after setting up our home for the week and quickly got pulled over by a Colorado state trooper. Needless to say René was totally freaking out. But luckily, this brush with the law was just that. René was doing nothing wrong, we were only guilty of being Californicators.
The officer walked up and immediately explained how he read the expiration tag on our California license plate wrong. He proceeded to run Rene’s license anyway. Thankfully she has no warrants, and we were on our way. OK, so no big deal. That was the next day back at Cherry Creek State Park.
While in the big city, we had to have our brakes looked at so we took the truck to a local Dodge dealer. Unfortunately, they kept our truck longer than expected and we were required to move sites that day – one site over. Apparently, the park system believes it’s much easier to make campers move than switch site numbers in their system, or perhaps the rangers and volunteers are just incapable of doing so. But I digress …
Having dealt with an inept volunteer when we checked in, I decided to just work this out with whoever would arrive to take our site that day – an elderly confused looking man and a woman who seemed very understanding, at the time. They took the site next to ours and seemed to have no problem switching sites the next day. Or so it seemed.
Next thing we know a ranger pulls up to our site with an associate and a rather serious attitude problem. The woman had gone to the office “to complain” and we had to be issued a citation for occupying their space. “A citation?” I asked. We hadn’t informed them of the situation. Not that telling them would have made a difference. We would have gotten the ticket either way.
Never mind that we had no truck with which to move our trailer. And never mind how we were in Denver to see a vet with our dog in the final stages of cancer.
When the ranger told us we needed to be more accommodating, I merely questioned how they were accommodating us. “You need to step off,” I was told in a rather firm voice with a finger pointing and a step forward. “I’m issuing the citation to her,” she added pointing to René.
Now I have never met a park ranger I didn’t like. And here I was being told to “Step Off” by one. I don’t know if she was picked on in band class, or had repressed anger from not passing the police exam. But I thought it best to go ahead and step off since she clearly explained “I have the authority to arrest you and I’ll use it.”
Dumbfounded, I let it rest and René paid the ticket. While the Ranger had the authority to issue a citation, she clearly lacked the compassion to understand our situation, and she didn’t have the capability to issue a receipt. More than half an hour and three rangers later, we were left alone to ponder our $56 fine and contemplate greeting our neighbors. We decided to just drink heavily instead. Inside of course, since anything stronger than 2% beer is illegal in the state park.
The next day we traded sites with our neighbors who had no clue why we might be a bit peeved with their complaint. “Why you upset with me,” the woman protested while the man seemed in no shape to join the conversation, let alone be driving! But I digress once more.
The next day we had to move sites yet again, and they would no longer be our neighbors. I would sure be keeping an eye out for them on the road, however, and making sure I steer clear. We won’t be returning to Cherry Creek anytime soon, or ever for that matter.