Harassed at a Free Campsite – Strange Experience full-time RVing
Visiting the Fremont Winnaman National Forest, we expected something very different, but sometimes you have to get through these regretful moments. RVing is what we all Love, but not everybody receives us with open arms!
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Today is a gorgeous day in the Fremont winnaman National Forest in south-central Oregon, so we thought we would take advantage of that by going on a walk with our dog sweetie, and don’t worry, we are walking in the middle of the National Forest but got our bear spray so should be safe, yes, but we are also going to take this opportunity to explain to you, something that kind of weird happen to us yeah, it’s something that we knew would happen eventually because we’ve, you know, heard stories from other our viewers of odd things happening to them, and we knew that it was just a matter of time until something like that happened a weird happen to us so let us tell you the story of what happened yesterday.
Fulltime RVing also includes bad experiences
So for those of you that have been following us, you know that our favorite way to RV is to camp out in free land whether that is National Forest BLM County Parks the boondocking experience is for us, and that is our favorite way to stay, we’ve been doing it for about the year now, so jenny has gotten very good at finding us spots that were allowed to stay in for a certain amount of time, be it a week or two weeks, and she can find all the rules and regulations that we need to follow and which is why I make campsite reviews because I find all this information on a place that took me quite a while to find, so why not share it with you guys
exactly so what happened to us yesterday are you know we’re just hanging out in the RV just living, and this person just drives down the road and they slow down start creeping by and they’re just staring at our RV just creeping by it like 1 mile an hour, just like giving a look like this, and then they come to a complete stop, and I’m looking at them out the window and I’m like ok what’s going on here now mind you they can’t see us our windows are tinted so we can peek on everybody that’s driving by so she hops outcomes to the door and this is about a 50 year old woman yeah yeah and she’s by herself and she says you know excuse me.
No Camping Here!
So we opened the door right yes what is it he seemed friendly you know we didn’t we didn’t really know what she was gonna say yeah and she basically just says you guys need to leave and is not the nicest way saying that if we don’t she’s going to make sure that authorities come out and they’re finest for camping here she said that she lives in the area and walks this National Forest Road that were camped off of all the time with her dogs horseback riding on it so she knows the the laws and the regulations she’s lived here for 15 years and she knows that you are not allowed to camp here she said that fire season just started and that is why you can’t camp here now because there’s a fire risk so there’s no camping now in any of the national fort forests in the area are you research extensively on stuff like this and there was nowhere on the National Forest website stating that you know all of these free camping areas you’re not allowed to camp in during fire season you would think that if you couldn’t camp at them during fire season that there would be this big thing to this state or during fire season or something whatever it struck this is very weird because we’ve been staying in the National Forest now for a year now and national forests are our favorite places to stay so that it just didn’t sound right with us so we pushed back and said that we are definitely allowed to be here we found this site on a map on the National Forest website that shows specific campsite locations on this National Forest Road that we’re allowed to camp in and she didn’t even hear us she just talked right over as I was trying to explain this to her she just talked right over me raising her voice and she was very clearly mad and upset that we were here camping in this area and that we weren’t just leaving when she told us to leave yeah she basically she said she lived in the area somewhere nearby I don’t know and said that during fire season campers like us are a risk to the forest and her home that we might start
a fire and it starts this huge forest fire and we’ll burn the whole forest down including her home and now I can sort of understand why someone would be afraid of that because you know jenny has family in the driest parts of California where they really do have massive forest fires that do pose risks to people’s homes all the time so I can understand why she may be you know afraid of something like that happening but that doesn’t give her the right to kick out campers that are very much allowed to be there and then threatens us and says that if we don’t leave she’s gonna call the local fire department on us and they will come make us leave and possibly find us yeah and now at this point in time I’m inside while David’s outside talking to her and by talking to her I mean he’s outside getting yelled at by her because he can’t get a word in edgewise and I’m inside because I have a heart condition it’s known as PA sees it’s not severe or anything so don’t worry about it but what it is is when my adrenaline gets up my heart goes crazy and I get dizzy and I don’t feel good and all this stuff so I’m inside trying not to have a heart attack and as soon as she says that she’s going to go and go and get the local fire department to come out to us.
Getting in touch with the Authorities
I’m just like I’ll just call him right now so I called a local fire department because we know we it just sounded so bogus to us Jenny was like well call him right now let’s get this figured out I just want her to leave by this point in time so I called the local fire department explain to them what’s going on tell them exactly where we are and
then the person that had answered the phone he just starts laughing and he goes why wouldn’t you be allowed to camp there yeah you’re you’re in the National Forest right you’re not on anyone’s private land you’re in the public land of the National Forest yeah and then and I said yes where you know this we’re on this national forest land were camped just off the road she’s yelling at us because she says we’re not allowed to camp here because it’s fire season he goes well it’s fire season but that just means you can’t have a campfire, yeah or just like he goes you’re not you know what up a campfire to you I said no there’s not going to fire ring here yeah we had lit no fires we we are yet to light a campfire on the road I don’t know it’s just not something we do it upsets Jenny’s allergies and I don’t like the smell of my clothes and stuff we just haven’t done it yet we don’t like campfires I mean I mean they smell good but still so he tells us that yes we have every right to be where he wants us to get her name I say her name is Cheryl oh yeah I then asked what her name is she says her name is Cheryl and we relay that to the firemen that she’s speaking with and then I say you know I think my head out the door and I say I’m actually on the phone with the fire department right now and they’re telling us we have every right to camp here so now that we’ve got proof from the fire department that we’re allowed to be here and we’ve just shown it to her straight up yeah she starts to back off a little bit but kind of like changes her angle yeah and she starts to say that you know she
horseback rides in this area all the time, and she they’re these people that shoot their guns and are like target practicing, and it’s very dangerous for her to be riding her horse all these people are doing target practice, and the hunters will leave trash all around, and other campers will trash campsites and leave trash around, and now I can understand why someone would be frustrated about those things, especially the trash like trashing campsites because you know that upsets Jenni and me – when we get to a campsite, and there’s even camp there’s litter all over the place, but that doesn’t that doesn’t give you the right to kick campers out and not only that but the people that are using firearms in the national forests I’ve looked this up they are totally allowed to do that the
rule is that you have to be 150 yards away from any campsite, and you can’t be shooting toward houses or campsites, so those people that are target practicing we’re probably in every right to be target practicing in the woods the hunters if it’s during season and they have permits totally allowed hunt there, and our viewers are totally allowed to be camping in the National Forest just like she’s allowed to be horseback riding in the National Forest, but she is just upset that all these people are using her forest for things that she doesn’t like so she sees to our VIIRS you know she sees an RV in her part of the National Forest and she wants us out and then she proved what I was just thinking in my head and what I just told you guys she referred to all the people target practicing in the
woods hunting in the woods and camping as wahoos ruining the forest and so at this point I’m just like okay I am done with this woman because she just insulted us she doesn’t know us but apparently were wahoos ruining the forest.
Taking a step back
so I closed the RV door on her and she got back in her SUV and drove off continuing down the forest road by the way yeah and then something Arius happened the fire chief of the local fire department that Jenny just called Jenny back on her phone and asked where we were staying at because he wanted to come out and just make sure that everything was good because from his perspective, he doesn’t know what’s going on he doesn’t know maybe we’re in the wrong and this person is actually trying to tell us something or maybe she’s in the wrong but he just wanted to come out to her site yeah and we were totally cool with this if he was going to come out and for sure tell us either yes or no we can’t be here then we were either going to stay or we were going to leave so I go ahead and tell him exactly we were located what National Forest Road were on how far we are off the highway all this good stuff that he’s asking us so that he can come out and check on us and you know make sure that we are for sure in the right and then he wants to know the description of her vehicle and what her name was and when I said that her name was Sheryl he says hmm I wonder if that’s nutty Sheryl and we lost it we did we started busting out laughing we were like no way there this lady is like known as being sort of a know little off in the area and maybe she’s been harassing people before yeah so that that made us feel a little bit better and he wasn’t even there yet and then about five minutes or so later he shows up and before he’s even finished getting out of his vehicle and we haven’t even come outside yet he says yeah you guys can camp here.
Don’t waist time on crazy Sheryl
He just kind of starts cracking up and he was a really cool yeah he was really nice he he even gave me his card and said if if she comes back don’t even talk to her just get her license plate number and call him and then he will call the sheriff and have a sheriff come out and tell her to stop harassing campers and we were just like that is awesome thank you so much while we’re standing around talking to him and you know he’s verifying that yes we can stay here he does suggest that we still called the National Forest Service to make sure that we can but they were closed that day I did call them this morning and they said yes for sure we’re allowed to camp here I got all my information I have a map for crying out loud that the campsites are I mean I was I was 100% sure we were allowed to camp here and then he starts asking more questions about you know what does she look like you know what is her you know what’s her car look like I say she has short blonde hair she has a little dog in her car at the white SUV he goes yep that’s crazy Cheryl and that’s just it just it’s just crazy that there’s someone like that that the fire chief even is aware of as plug in my face as
just like I don’t know someone that’s just known for harassing, yeah, I wonder what else she’s done to earn that title, and then the fire chief actually came back today, which is the day after all this happened and just came back to check on us and make sure that everything was okay and that no one else had come around to harass us any further and that was really cool of him and we so very much appreciated that oh we
forgot to mention we forgot to say that she actually started before she left and found out. You know that the fire department said it was okay that we could stay here, and she didn’t really have a leg to stand on with that argument she tried to start convincing us to leave yeah, she started talking about all these other campgrounds in the area that was just beautiful so much more beautiful than this grounds mind you where there are other campers yeah she was trying to like just she was talking about specific campgrounds in the area that was just gorgeous that we should go and see at least drive to see and that was kind of weird because
we were like, well we like it here we’re alone in the National Forest. This is
what we like to do so I don’t see how those campgrounds could be worth packing up and leaving besides some of the ones that she was mentioning I had already looked up, and they paid they’re not free yeah $35 a night no thank you but and then once she found out that that angle
It wouldn’t work. She started to try and scare into leaving, and she said that there have been Cougars cited in the area, not just cited in the area but that she has seen the person she has seen them herself just on the other side of the road she might have I don’t know if I really believe that but that didn’t bother us either because there I mean there are black bears and cougars all over these parts like we know that they are in the
the area that’s why I am carrying bear spray so like we’re we are prepared for
something like that to happen because we know we are in their territory so and that’s what I said to her I was like we know that those are in the area we’ve got bear spray to protect us we don’t let the dog out alone we are always out there with her so that nothing bad can happen to her and then once she realized that there was just no hope left for her then she left.
The visit of the Fire Department
so after she left we were feeling very upset uncomfortable angry frustrated and just felt unwelcome and we were really anxious to we I don’t know this was like it’s our first time in Oregon we’re just travelers wanting to see the area and a local comes around tells us to get the heck out so like we’re feeling really bad right now very very unwelcome yeah but the actions of the fire department and the fire chief coming out and reassuring that we were allowed to stay here and call
the National Forest Service and them also confirming that we can stay here yeah really really reassured us and made us feel welcome and you know found or made us know that we’re allowed to stay here so her she was just some rogue person just trying to I don’t know it just caused trouble I understand to an extent where she’s coming from you know she doesn’t want you to know her nearby National Forest damaged and you
know we feel the same way we don’t want the National Forest ruined we want to be able to still camping them but telling people that are in there right to be there it was just no it just really rubs us the wrong way because we know we’re allowed to be here and knowing that we’re allowed to be here and having all this reassurance from the fire department and the National Forest Service has not made me decide not to do a campsite review here so there will still be a castle review coming out of where we are because it’s beautiful here yeah hopefully beautiful her actions alone aren’t going to stop us from staying here, and they are not gonna stop us from maybe coming back here in the future, and they certainly aren’t gonna stop us from recommending to everyone else this
awesome free place to stay in the National Forest now that we have gone
through this and experienced it firsthand, even though we’ve heard stories of other people, our advice to anyone out there that ever experiences this in the future is to contact the authorities no media no matter what yeah, luckily she said exactly who she was threatening with we were going to call the National Forest Service initially, but it was a Sunday, and they weren’t open yeah so if you’re staying on national forest land just immediately call the National Forest if you’re staying on BLM land called BLM land office you know whatever whoever is in control of whatever land you’re staying on if someone is telling you that you need to leave just immediately contact that office get the facts to get the information find out whether or not you are allowed to be there and if you are then you can just tell that person right off I’m on the phone with them right now and they say I can be there yeah, but if they continue and they persist then you may very well want to have authorities come out to take care of the situation for you you know how you know have a sheriff come out or someone from the BLM office or the National Forest office come out and say yes, they can be here please stop harassing them. You need to move on. You know this is public land; however, there is a but – that if someone is threatening you with violence or they are threatening in a way like just the way they’re standing they seem very intimidating to you we recommend leaving yeah if you feel unsafe by this person because people can be unpredictable, yeah and if you feel unsafe now ever in a site it is probably best to leave because holding your ground just out of being stubborn isn’t worth you know something bad happening thankfully this Cheryl character was not threatening us with the violence she didn’t seem like a physical force was anything that she was going to attempt so we weren’t afraid of her we’re not afraid still that she’s gonna do anything like that so we’re not leaving, and if that’s the case, I say standard ground yeah and push back if you know you’re allowed to be there push back if they continue to harass you get the police involved get them out here and have them tell that person to stop harassing you do that still especially if someone is threatening yes is threatening you still do that but after the fact it’s probably best to leave yeah now we haven’t had instances where we’ve simply felt uncomfortable because of the people around, and we have considered leaving you to know other places just because we
were uncomfortable, but we were never confronted this is the first time we’ve been contracted, so that is our advice on if you’re ever confronted, and that is exactly what we’re going to do if we’re ever confronted again in the future, yeah now that we’ve been through this we know how we’re going to handle it in the future, and the reason I say we know how we’re going to handle it in the future is because we boondock almost
exclusively and we’re out in the middle of nowhere often we’re pretty sure this is going to happen again we haven’t even been on the road traveling for a whole year yet, and this has happened, and there’s no end in sight for us yeah so we’re pretty sure it’s gonna happen again so we’ll end up taking your own advice yeah especially because we stay on public land so often and for whatever reason people just build like this false sense of ownership of these public areas they feel like for whatever reason their
rules need to be followed, or everyone else just needs to stay off of their
part of the public land because they live nearby.
Public Land is for Everybody to Enjoy
Yeah, it’s their public land, not everybody’s public land. It’s not public. It’s just theirs. Yeah, no one person owns national forests, no one person owns BLM land, but you know
people just feel like, oh, this is my site, this is my part of the forest. What are these what are these campers doing here, so we’re yeah since our RV adventures are gonna be going on for quite a bit longer, pretty sure we’re gonna run into this again now like we said earlier in the video, we’re sure some of you that are watching this have had this happen to you or at least something similar to a similar like this happened to you too and just like misery loves company we would love for you to Share your stories in the comments below and other people that are reading the comments may very well be like that happened to me too at that same spot, or you know something like that so any weird traveling weird camping or odd
RVing experience you guys have had, please share it so that we know that
we’re not the only ones I’m sure it’ll make us feel better, yeah so if you like
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we’ll catch you guys later.