Since northern California is an area where neither of us have spent time, and we ultimately wanted to start making our way north for the summer, we decided to spend a few weeks exploring northern California on our way to Oregon/Washington/Idaho. As always with our lifestyle, our timeline also gets dictated by work, so although we explored Mammoth, Tahoe, Sierra Buttes, Lassen National park and Sha...
In July we had our scariest moment yet on the road. Neither of us were injured, but we had a near miss with some irresponsible target shooters in Bear Valley, California, and drove away from this incident with a bullet hole in our door.
We were headed to Bear Valley to film with KC Hilites the next day. We drove into an OHV staging area at dusk to camp for a night, but turned around after we saw that the staging area was pretty full. We parked in a pulloff directly across from the meadow, probably a quarter mile away or less. We pull in, and Blake got out of the car to assess the leveling, and I stayed in the front seat. As he was getting back into the car, with the door open, we heard three shots in the not so far off distance. We are advocates of firearms when used safely, and are used to hearing shots when camping, but these shots immediately seemed too close. We looked at each other for barely an instant, both registering the same thing, when one of the shots hit the car door. Blake was standing a foot away in the door jam. He says he heard it wizzing toward him. He immediately jumped into the car, laid on the horn and flashed the lights. We didn’t hear any more shots but we also didn’t stick around to find out if there would be any more. We immediately reversed and drove out of there, and later looked at the door, and said a prayer that nothing worse had happened. We never would’ve thought that we’d have to worry about this kind of situation, and it was completely avoidable. The shooter had to have been shooting back towards the road that they drove in on, which is completely idiotic. And really shouldn’t be shooting at dusk either.
Then came the fun part of reporting it to the police, which we decided to do because we thought that the shooter deserved to learn a lesson even though we weren’t hurt. We kept driving towards Bear Valley to get service, and when finally got connected, they took about a half hour to determine whose jurisdiction it was, because apparently we had called from right where the county line ended. Then the officer told us, “well, lots of people shoot in the woods” and they would take it down as an informational note. Eventually we were told an officer would check it out, but they didn’t go until Monday, and as this occurred on a Sunday night, whoever was camping was probably gone the next day, and nobody learned their lesson.
This is why we are making a PSA that everyone needs to practice safe target shooting and always know their backdrop.