Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Flasher in the camp, white bus issue

I have a new neighbor, a solo woman who is tent camping and arrived yesterday morning.  She quickly set up her camp and drove away for the day.  When Katie and I passed her on our walk in the evening, I said "hi" and kept walking.  I got my Kindle and sat down outside for some reading, and a little while later she came over with a beer in her hand, for a visit.  This is Ginny:

Ginny from Reno

Our Kindle reading set-up - that chair is so comfortable!

Ginny is an artist, on vacation from Reno, NV and we had a nice chat.  The moon was coming up when she went back to her camp - it will be full soon.

Almost a full moon

This morning, Katie wanted down earlier than usual, so I got her down and we went out for a short walk.  I saw Ginny, so we walked over to her, and she was really upset.  Two things were going on.

The first is that she went to the restrooms at 6:30 that morning, and was flashed by a young man.  She insulted him and walked away, but kept her eye on him. Afterward, he came toward her campsite and sat under a tree watching her.  While we were talking, around 9:30, the guy was coming out of the men's room again, and walking away from us, sat down at a table in an empty site, and just sat there.  I went and got my camera and phone for Ginny to call 911.   The man walked past us on his way to the men's room again, and I got some good photos in case he was gone when the sheriff got there.

The alleged flasher

I know what you are thinking, I shouldn't have done this, it might have set him off.  We weren't this close, I had my camera at the highest magnification.  But... I also had Katie and the dog deterrent spray with me, and would have used it if needed. Ginny was there, it was daylight, and other people were there in the park close by.  It felt completely safe.  We didn't know that a Park Ranger was also watching.

The Park Ranger came over to us.  He said he figured we were calling the police when he saw us with the phone watching the man. He had been watching him for a couple of days, and had some previous reports.  But this is the first time he has flashed someone, at least that he knew.  Since Ginny reported what he did, that was a reason to get him out of the park.

Beyond Ginny's tent are the restrooms with the Sheriff and flasher

A Sheriff's car came, and he drove around and then came back and parked by the restrooms.  Then another Sheriff's car came into the campground and parked.  They both went over to the restrooms and talked to the man for a long time, then brought him to their cars and put him in one of them.

The Sheriff came over where we were waiting and took a report from Ginny.  She was kind of nervous, wanting to make sure he wouldn't come back and be there tonight.  What the Sheriff said was interesting.  The man is apparently schizophrenic and seemed drunk.  He had an ID, but only a couple of dollars on him. He is homeless with no transportation.  There is nothing they can do except drive him somewhere else and drop him off on a street corner.

The fact that he exposed himself to someone is not enough to hold him.  He had to have said something to her, or made a gesture, something other than just standing there with his pants down.  He admitted to the Sheriffs that his pants came down.  They are held up with twine, and he said they just fell down.  So there is nothing that can be done.  The Sheriffs did tell him not to come back here, or he will be arrested for trespassing.

Hopefully they will drop him off far away, and he won't make his way back to this park.  Ginny is leaving tomorrow morning.  She's going to Florence today, and I told her to stop and get a whistle to keep with her. She doesn't have a phone or anything to use in case of an emergency, I told her to think about getting a deterrent spray of some kind and a whistle that will wake some people in the campground and hopefully scare away anyone near her tent.

The second issue Ginny had this morning after coming out of her tent before 6:30 am involved the old white bus that I pictured in a previous post.  They've been back for a couple of days in the same spot one site away from mine.  Ginny said they were up, too, getting ready to leave.  The dad brought out their porta potty and proceeded to dump it on the ground (I showed her the sewer and she said that's probably where he dumped it).  Then he proceeded to rinse it out with the hose and dump the rest on the grass.  She said she could smell it.  They are gone now, with rice and apple slices and other pieces of food on the grass around the sewer hole.

She mentioned that , also, to the Park Ranger who came to talk to Ginny about the flasher.  Ginny told him the kids were filthy and someone should call Social Services.  He said this family comes and goes and has for a while, and Social Services has been out three times.  I guess they aren't doing anything actionable, although I don't think dumping their waste from a porta potty into an unsealed waste receptacle and then pouring out the rest on the grass is legal.  Before Ginny left for Florence, she went over to the office and told the Camp Host about what she saw.

The old white bus is back

I, for one, would be happy if they don't come back to this State Park.  I feel very sorry for the two young girls, but looking at the big picture, they are getting food, dry shelter, and two parents living under one roof along with their dog (who just had puppies - I wonder what will happen to the puppies), so maybe they are more fortunate than many little kids in our country.

Quite an interesting morning.  Katie and I are staying in camp today, doing our usual thing.  I may take off again, though, and find a supermarket where I can get little things like milk, coffee creamer, and cereal - not a Costco, I need regular sizes.  I'll need to dump later today, probably, my tanks are getting full, and once I hook up the sewer hose, I'll probably keep it hooked up until we leave next week and dump both the tanks again.  So I'd better shop today.

I love their water here.  When I tested it with my little Water Purity Tester, it registered at the lowest end of the scale - so few impurities, it was in the range of "water filtered using reverse osmosis, deionization,  microfiltration, distillation."  Pretty clean water!

I'm looking forward to a nice, easy day, and also to hearing about Florence from Ginny when she returns.  That's a place I plan to visit, myself.  I've heard good things about Florence, OR.

From Me and My Dog, have a great Wednesday, everyone!  : )


  1. It just takes all kinds to make the world go round...that is the main reason i don't do tent camping by myself...she should have a dog at the least. I would think they could get the guy if he had paid any camp least a day use charge.

  2. The sheriff picking up the young man and then just dropping him off in another area is just passing the problem off on someone else. Ginny really needs a cellphone, a dog and a can of bear spray....or a can of wasp spray. It's nasty and can reach farther than bear spray. Also not illegal anywhere.

  3. Sorry to hear about all the unpleasantness, and hope Ginny takes your advice and gets at least a whistle. I have this one - fits on a key ring. You can get them cheaper at Army/Navy stores. I gave one to my daughter, daughters-in-law, and grand daughters, too.

    I have a taser gun-it's legal in all states except 7.

    I had a can of bear spray with a range of 30-35 feet. I will buy another if I travel, again, in secluded areas out west. I gave it to someone who has a cabin in the Smokies.

    For the most part, I carried these defense weapons for walks on trails, but I wouldn't have hesitated to use them at any time if I felt threatened. The taser was always accessible in my pocket during the day and the bear spray in a holster, and by the door in the trailer at night along with a flashlight and the bear spray.

    Of course I also had my sweet four-footed alarm who is generally very quiet at campsite. He will warn me if someone steps onto the campsite.

    Glad you are safe, now. I'm sure the rangers are keeping a close eye.

  4. What what a day! In Illinois the man would have been arrested, whatever his reasons were for his pants falling down he would have gone to jail and explained it to the judge the next day. This way he is gone from the place he caused a problem and since we are paying 66% more in taxes this year we can afford to arrest everybody!

    All kidding aside I'm sad to see how those kids are living but you're right, they have a place and hopefully while being sloppy the parents might be good to the kids, so we can hope anyway.

    I hope things improve!

    Safe travels,

  5. Wow what a post. I'm glad you gave the suggestions for a whistle and spray. It amazed me that the man would not go to jail. I check my iPhone app that tells where sexual predators are located. For the first time, one showed up in the campground we are in. Scary. In another park we saw a 'family' of about 4-6 people living in a tiny, tiny trailer with a tarp over it to keep the rain out. The park had no showers and only two outhouses. I felt sorry for the kids, considered reporting the situation, but they were gone when we returned.

  6. Eugene has some of the best water in the country, and Eugene Water & Electric Board publishes a water purity report each year. We've never found any better water, that's for certain.

    Florence is a good place to go. We like to get over there as often as possible. Our favorite beach is north of Florence, just past the Sea Lion Caves. There's also a good campground right in Florence, that has great views of the ocean from high up on the bluffs. That would be Harbor Vista Park, a Lane County Park. We haven't camped there, but we've been through it often and used the day use area quite a few times.

  7. I agree with Russ on both counts! If you need any info on Florence (or thereabouts, give us a call. Also, for groceries, there is a Safeway on Coburg rod. Just keep going straight south on the road the campground is on. A little farther on there is Oakway Center and there is a Trader Joe's there. We do most of our shopping at Fred Meyer...go west on Beltline to the River Road can see it from there. Turn right on River Road and then right again at the next signal. Hope this helps.

    Too bad about the flasher. I know the police would like to do more but their hands are often tied. Good advice about the whistle and deterrent spray.

    I am surprised that a city as "green" minded as Eugene would tolerate raw sewage disposal such as the bus guy did. Perhaps if the Park Ranger had caught him in the act...

  8. That was a very interesting post! I found your blog from someone else's today. Worries for Ginny as she travels so openly...

    My question for you is where did you get strips to test your water? We have 5 one gallon jugs that we refill and use small bottles of purchased water just because we worry about the impurities in public drinking water. But I also feel bad about using so many plastic bottles. =/ If I could test the water and feel safe about it then we could drink more local waters!!!

    Please email your answer to me if you care to reply with the info!

    Travel safe!!!

  9. I am also interested in water testing. It would b a great blog subject, and I bet you'd get some additional input from some of the other full timers.

  10. wow, thats a little scary,,I don't think I would want to be in a tent with that guy around, I 'm glad you're safe

  11. quite the adventures today for you and Katie! can only hope that the man won't return..nice how the sherriff just passed the problem onto someone else!!

  12. I agree, the things that happened today are the things that scare me too. It makes me think about deterrents for when I am out there solo.
    Stay safe!

  13. Just have to say that you ARE in Eugene, the center of hippie-dom, Ken Keasey, the Country Faire, tie-dye USA. They are a tad bit looser there than in other places in Oregon :)
    NOT an excuse BUT 'just sayin'

  14. That's enough of those kinds of adventures. Hopefully he'll find a shelter that will take him in and help him somewhat. Not much they can do but if it keeps him away from the campground, that is a good thing.

  15. I am glad both of you are safe, but thinking that maybe some officer did not want to fill out the paperwork, appear in court etc.


Thank you for your comments - we LOVE them!