Yesterday afternoon turned a little strange. Two days ago, as Bear and I were walking, a car approached us. I waved, the driver waved. The car went on and driver parked at a pull out. Bear and I kept going.

Today when Bear, Teddy and I were out, the car — a sedan — was still parked. I called the Refuge number and left a message. I felt a little lost about what to do. Anything could have happened. Worst case scenario, the driver killed herself. Best case scenario? A stolen car, a drug deal, someone picked her up, car abandoned. I knew one thing; I wasn’t going near the car.

Things like that happened a lot back when I lived in the hood in San Diego (City Heights) and before Mission Trails was a real park with rangers and people visiting. Back then, Mission Trails was a remote place frequented by Hells Angels, drug dealers, human coyotes bringing human contraband, prostitutes in mobile whorehouses. It was colorful, but a little sketchy…

Bear, Teddy and I walked our walk. On our return, I saw that someone was approaching the car, holding something shiny that caught the light. Weapon?

We got to Bella. I put the dogs inside, and I got in. From the drivers side rearview I could watch what happened. The person got into the car on the passenger side and was clearly examining it. Also, clearly, the car had been abandoned.

And don’t worry; we were not in any danger. We were far enough away. Visibility out there is at least 12 miles.

For a while on Monday, after I saw the sedan pull into the parking space, I watched to see who it might be. I’m always alert for dogs. I had to return that way. I saw a person there for a while, then I didn’t. I didn’t see the car drive away, but I thought I just missed it.

As Bear and I returned to Bella that day, I looked to see if anyone was in the parked sedan. It seemed the driver was taking a nap, with the seat reclined fully. It was strange but not THAT strange. I didn’t see a person, only the fully reclined seat.

I’ve been trying to figure it out. While Bear and I were there, the only other car to drive by was the family in the big SUV. I don’t think they picked up the driver of the sedan. If the person had taken off across country, I probably would have seen them.

This is the kind of thing that inspires mystery stories…

In other news (there really isn’t any) two things; I saw photos of the inside of an airport today and I realize that I don’t even know how to use the modern airport. Either I’d better get on a plane soon, or forget it. It’s not going to get any less futuristic. The last time I was in an airport was 2016. It made me think about how much my life has changed since 1) I moved here, 2) altered financial circumstances from when I was working, 3) Covid changed the world.

And, yesterday, Bear ran out of rawhide pencils. She figured (with her Bear Brain) that if she just went outside and came in ONE MORE TIME there would be an esculent rawhide pencil waiting for her. That’s dog cause and effect thinking.

The sky was great yesterday — in every direction there was something different going on. To the north, the sky was dark, dark, gray, flat clouds. To the east lenticular clouds in a blue sky built and fell apart. To the south — the featured photo. Small, snow laden clouds were pulled by the cold air about the San Juans where they dropped snow and moved on. That’s what’s going on in the photo. Above that cloud, a bright sun was shining.

15 thoughts on “Mystery

    • If there’s a crime, it might be in the paper next week. I was a little puzzled that no official person seems to drive that loop at least once a day. That might be excessively low key though, I’m happy to say, not much happens out there. But one of the residents usually walks her dogs twice a day — maybe she’s gone for the holidays.

  1. Abandoned cars, if that’s what it is, always seem a little unnerving. I remember driving the Alaska Highway one Dec. and the temps were -40c without wind chill, I was heading to the airport(6 hour drive) A colleague and I were driving in tandem for safety reasons. There was a car pulled over and in typical northern etiquette we both stopped. We were both nervous to approach the vehicle. Fortunately, whoever had been in the vehicle had most likely been picked up. Phew, never know what you’ll find.

    • That’s the standard etiquette down here, too. It was a very strange moment in my mind, kind of a collision of two of the cultures in which I’ve lived. I kept thinking, “I don’t want to be the person who doesn’t check” (San Luis Valley) and “I don’t want to get shot” (San Diego) BUT then I figured that I’d made the call and that was all I could do safely. Crazy.

  2. “esculent” You made my day. Once in a blue moon I’ll see a word I haven’t seen before and I’ll get a big dopamine hot and have to look it up. This is one of those days. 😀

    • My pleasure, Brian! Bear has already forgotten about the mystery. I don’t know about those dogs. They seem to have no comprehension of past and their understand of future is tied to the clock. Well, maybe they’re more “human” than I thought….

  3. It is disconcerting that the car has been there so long… I hope it isn’t anything instead of being something. To run out of rawhide pencils is earth shattering, at least for Bear! I hope you can pick some up on your next grocery run!!

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