Yup… we got stopped by the police today! We were riding along minding our own business coming into the town of La Junta. We had stopped at a Walmart to pick up some new bungee cords. Meanwhile, a local reporter stopped by to ask questions and take pictures. I had just gotten off the phone with Matt who rode his horse across the country 10 years ago- he called to give us a pep talk to hang in there through Kansas and Missouri because once we crossed the Mississippi we’d be passing state lines so frequently that we’d get excited about finishing- when a police officer pulled over and started walking towards us with a suspiciously serious look. Hmmmm…. wonder what this is about.
First he told us that there were two escaped convicts and they were wondering if we’d seen them. (There are tons of high security jails in this area of Colorado.) Then he informed us that there were shots fired last night, and because Richard carries a pistol, he would have to check his record and make sure that he wasn’t a felon or something. I was SOOO wishing our camera hadn’t just died so I could get a picture- because the cop had Richard turn and face the highway with his hands on his head and ‘for his safety’ the officer removed Richard’s gun from its holster. Now remember, we carry this not only for the unlikely need of protection, but for aggressive wild animals, and God forbid if we need to put a horse down in a remote area. And Richard always calls law enforcement in the next state to make sure no laws have changed and that we are still legal. We were a bit amused that here was Richard, obviously fundraising for a charity according to the bright orange sign displayed on Fiddle, standing with his hands on his head facing a busy highway. What an image. We thought it was a bit like profiling since we do, after all, have the second amendment. But in the officer’s defence, he was very polite, explained before removing the pistol that Richard was not under arrest and he was perfectly legal and within his rights to be carrying it, and the officer wanted to remove it while they checked Richard’s background. Before he was done, there were 3 police cars there! But Richard of course, passed just fine and was handed his unloaded gun back. They kindly wished us well on our journey and advised us to stay out of Illinois! That gave us plenty of excitement and something to talk about the rest of the day!