The Bicycle Thief

[alert-announce]I have added a spot on the right sidebar of the Home Page for our Vagabonders to see current notes about our adventure. The past few days Jagger and I have been laying low, blog-wise anyway. We have had our hands full with maintenance on the Coach and I’ve been spending some great time with my Grandchildren at Lost Dutchman SP and Lake Pleasant Arizona. I look forward to that post![/alert-announce]

Our Camp at Jacob Lake Campground

Focused on packing up camp to head south on Highway 89. We will pass up several fascinating spots along the way that I would like to check out someday. We have to stay on schedule though to meet up with family and friends down the road and we’ve dilly dallied too much already. Jagger is quick to remind me, “Boys! I wanna see the boys! And my friends, it’s playtime!” He always looks forward to the time spent with my grandkids and their dogs, Phoebe and Jax.

I’m disappointed that Jacob’s Lake doesn’t have a waste dump. Some of the National Forest Campgrounds I have camped in don’t have one! I guess that’s fine if you’re only charging a few dollars, but over the last few years I’ve seen the price go up at these campgrounds, some doubled.

I think our government, like so many other things they dabble in, can’t seem to manage the budget. I have noticed they are now contracting out our campgrounds to private companies to manage. Hopefully as they become profitable, they will look into adding waste dumps to all of their (our) facilities.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy the National Forest campgrounds, I do. However, it’s a fact when you are carrying the extra weight of the wastewater, things can happen. Having to stop an extra 1/2 ton of weight, going downhill can be an issue and that’s what we are talking about in my rig, the Coach.

Traveling to Flagstaff

Our closest stop to dump our tanks is over a hundred miles away. Tuba City, Arizona is located on the western edge of the Navajo lands in the Painted Desert. It wasn’t the closest available waste station, but within ten miles of Highway 89 and not too far out of our way.

Sunset Wedding Point

Once on the road we had a few miles of downhill travel through some wonderful scenery, but no place to stop, so once again I didn’t get any photos to share. Down the hill it flattened out to the typical high desert scenery.

Arriving in Tuba City I drove straight to the gas station that had a waste station available. On our route there I passed a Subway restaurant with a large parking area, mostly empty. We’ll come back here for our lunch Jagger,” as we continued to the waste station.

After finishing our business there I headed back to Subway, parked the rig in a remote spot, then went inside and ordered my sandwich. I decided it would be better to enjoy my lunch in the Workhorse with Jagger. Being a little on the warm side I roll all of the windows down to welcome in the nice breeze. “You’re so spoiled Jagger. But not spoiled enough to share my sandwich, go settle.”

The Bicycle Thief

Just as I’m finishing up my meal, Jagger alerts to a young man crossing the highway towards our parking lot. He walks right up to a bike rack holding two bikes on the back of a VW bus with Colorado plates. He takes a second to scan the area, not seeing Jagger and I. It was a little concerning to me, seeing as how I watched the couple that drove up in the VW walk into Subway a few minutes earlier.

The man then bends down, fools with the latch, and straightens up looking around again. Nobody is in sight so he bends down once again. “This isn’t good Jagger, we are witnessing a bicycle theft. I can’t just sit here Jagger!” So I yelled out, “Hey! What are you doing there?”

While I knew perfectly well what he was doing, the young Native American man slowly straightens up, turns and starts to approach the Workhorse. “Umm Jagger, I’m not sure that was such a good idea.” But bottom line, I wasn’t going to sit there and watch a crime happen without saying something.

Natural Bridge

When he got within twenty five feet, Jagger goes into defense mode, barking, growling and showing his teeth. I warn the young man, “He may bite.” The man continues up to our window and then a crazy thing happens. He reaches towards Jagger, who is on my lap at that point and pets him. I’m thinking any minute Jagger will lash out and take a finger or two, but he calms and lets the guy pet him. I ask him, “What were you doing?” He stammers a little, looks around then confesses, “I was going to take that bike.”

I’m thinking to myself, “I’m crazy, this guy could have a gun or knife!” At that point I surprise even myself and start scolding him, “You know that’s wrong. Those bikes belong to someone.” He replies, “yeah I know. I just got out of jail and I’m having a rough time with my family life.” I won’t go into further detail here, but after giving what my children refer to as the “Disappointed lecture, due to it’s length, I give him a few bucks to grab a Subway sandwich. He thanked me and promised he wouldn’t steal the bike and he would straighten up his life. I sincerely hope he does.

As I am pulling away, I see him walking towards the Subway and the couple returning to their VW van, oblivious to what happened or might have happened to their possessions. As I’m pulling away I tell Jagger, “you never know who’s watching out for you.” I’m thankful for the way things turned out.

I point the Workhorse towards the exit. “Jagger, we’re out of here.” We continue our drive South to Flagstaff where several blogger buddies are camped waiting for us.

Safe travels…Gary


6 replies

  1. I love your stories. So glad all turned out well with the bike theft guy. That was great that you confronted him and then generous of you to help him to get a subway sandwich. Keep having fun and stay safe.


    • I’m glad too. It could have been a negative experience. I really thought Jagger was going to do some damage, but I guess he knew the guy was okay and maybe needed someone to talk to. Thanks again for being a Vagabonder 🙂


  2. Best blog yet. Glad you gave the guy the talk. I’ve not heard it, but it’s probably close to my “come to Jesus” talks. You’re right, you never know who is watching out for you.


  3. This was one of the best stories I’ve heard you share.. I was beginning to lose my patience waiting for you to blog about it! Good thing you had Jagger there to protect you, such a good bodyguard. 🙂


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