Yesterday was a bit of a stressful day here in the mountains. Everything seemed normal and calm. I was cleaning up from baking for 2 weeks, holidays, and then recovering from an illness that decided to pay us a visit. Watching movies with the granddaughters and just relaxing.
Should add that we live off grid, 6.5 miles from blacktop, 10 miles from a gas station and 40 miles from a larger town.
Our son was fixing a neighbor’s 4 wheeler and was going to plow the driveway if he could get it fixed. He and the youngest granddaughter took it for a ride and there was a guy who was not dressed for the elements walking along our road. He said that he and a friend got stuck in the mountain and ran out of gas. Son gave him a ride down to our place and the only vehicle here was the one wood truck. He left with the granddaughter and the walker to go into town, 10 miles away that has a gas station, to get gas for our other truck and this guys truck. 20 min after they left I got a text from a friend that works in town that there had been a shooting by our house and asked who lived at an address. I called her right away and told her that they had left in the wood truck with a stranger and were headed into town. She told me that the sheriffs and Highway Patrol were all over town. We had no way to contact my son or to let him know that he had a criminal, possibly armed, in the truck with him and his daughter.
Called husband at work and told him to start home and keep and eye out for son because we didn’t know where he was going at this point. Called Sheriff department and gave them a description of the guy, son, granddaughter and truck. Then waited…
Husband got to town and found son in the fire station being questioned and called to let us know he was OK. Called the neighbors, 2 miles away, and let them know that there was still an armed guy who was wounded running around out here.
One neighbor is ½ mile from us and she was home alone with 2 kids and not very good cell service. Her husband was at the end of our road, 6 ½ miles away, with my husband and they couldn’t get a hold of her. She has no idea what is going on. I had no vehicles here that ran to get there. Tried to start the 4-wheeler and couldn’t start it. So I took 3 dogs, big dogs, my gun and cell phone and went for a walk. Thru waist deep snow drifts then down the road ½ mile to find her house empty. She had gotten a text from her husband to come to my house and decided to go to town instead. I called husband who was with the deputies and told him I was walking back and he gave the sheriffs my description so they wouldn’t shoot me. Got back home and brought in enough wood for the night so we didn’t have to go out after dark if it wasn’t resolved by then. Sat on the couch with the pistol on my lap and the rifle by my side watching movies with the girls.
They got the guy in another cabin about a mile from our house and finally let everyone come home.
Yesterday my cell phone was a very important tool to us. It allowed us to know that there was a danger we would have otherwise not known about. It allowed us to communicate to neighbors, family and the sheriffs. Vital information was exchanged. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be sitting here with no idea what happened to them when they left and didn’t come back. And I don’t want to think about what would have happened if the other guy would have come to our house with a story about an accident and we would have had no idea that he was armed and the circumstances.