Leaving home in the snow Anyone who has ever been robbed will understand the sick, sinking feeling that hit me when I realized that something wasn’t right as we opened the door to the RV storage shed in Redding. 

Our trip south this morning began right on time, even though we had a good six inches of snow dumped on us last night.  We were packed and ready and on the road by 8, making our way down our unplowed roads to the highway.  Traveling south toward Mt Shasta and Weed on  Highway 97 was a bit challenging, with long rows of trucks lined up putting on chains.  We saw a few California Highway Patrol enforcing the chain up, but with four wheel drive, we were waved on through. Chains required on HWY 97 to Weed For quite some time, I noticed that there wasn’t a single line of tracks through the snow coming toward us and we were the only ones on the road.  As we approached Weed, however, the traffic got a bit crazier, with some folks flying through and others crawling along.  We actually saw a few unchained trucks going very slowly, and wondered how they got past the CHP. After we stopped for the mandatory agricultural check at Dorris, I hit the button to roll the window back up and nada, nothing.  The window was not going up.  I had Mo put Jeremy back in his cage, we donned hats and gloves against the wild snowstorm coming in the driver’s window and continued south.  I wondered just what this trip was going to be like if we couldn’t close the window to the car, but the wondering only lasted an hour or so, because with some extra coaxing and a prayer on my part, the window finally went all the way back up.  Silly. 

McDonald's at South Weed Mo and I don’t do fast food a lot, but it’s a bit of a tradition to pull into South Weed for a McDonalds McMuffin breakfast.  This morning the trip took so long that we almost missed out, and once there, we were amazed at the deep, wet snow.  Inside the store we found dozens of Japanese families, with kids running and playing everywhere and long lines for the food.  What?  Weed?  It is never busy!?!  With coffee in hand, we asked a young woman next to us if she knew where everyone was going.  Seems they were all on some kind of tour bus from Vancouver, BC,which didn’t have chains,and they had been sitting around for over three hours waiting to get back on the road.

The drive over the pass was a bit harrowing, but not too bad, and it was with a sigh of relief that we pulled into the high locked security From Home to Lodi (7)gates at Redding RV Storage.  Mo unlocked the big doors and when we slid them up, I noticed that I smelled gasoline.  “That’s weird,” I thought.  Then I looked toward the back of the shed, and again thought, “Why is the door open back there?” “Wait, there isn’t a door back there!?”  But the light was streaming in, the gas cap was off and drooping, and as I looked more closely, I realized that I was looking through a gaping hole in the solid metal wall at the back of our shed.  We looked around in disbelief, trying to see what might have been taken, assuming that someone wanted the gasoline.  Then we realized that the back storage area was open, the side storage areas were open, and when Mo looked inside the cab, we saw all the maps and papers strewn all about.  With trepidation, we walked back to the main door, left ajar, and stepped inside to find the entire contents of the MoHo dumped and thrown all around the interior. 

there is another hole in the wall several units down from us.  No fence along this back wall It took awhile to figure out what was gone, what was destroyed, what was left.  The sick feeling and shaky knees didn’t go away for some time, for me at least.  I called the Redding police, who were not available “because we need to deal with life threatening situations and don’t have enough personnel at the moment to take a report”  Someone will call you later.  I then called the owner of the storage facility, and got an answering machine.  Within a few minutes, though, he called me back and they came right over to asses the damage.  He kept saying,”This has never happened before!”, and then of course had to mention right away that our contract stipulated that we were the ones responsible for insuring the contents of the units. 

He opened the back gate of the facility to check out the long wall where one set of units backed up to a long hill above the highway.  Sure enough, a second unit had a similar hole where the burglars had used some kind of sawzall to get through the metal.  In that case, however, there were boxes right up against the wall and they weren’t able to get in.

got a mess to clean up here After the owner left, we began cleaning up the mess and listing what was missing.  The more we looked around, the more amazed we were at what was taken and what wasn’t.  They unscrewed the face plate of the DVD/stereo, but didn’t take the unit.  They completely emptied our drawers and cupboards, but only stole my Leatherman tool.  They didn’t touch the two bottles of whiskey or any of the food, they left the binoculars lying on the sofa, but stole a ring Mo had left in the dash that belonged to her grandmother.  They stole the battery charge meter plugged into a socket by the door, the portable inverter, and all of Mo’s electrical volt meters along with our solar panel from the back storage area.  For some stupid reason, they stole our fold up picnic table, the kind that has the slats on top that roll into a nice bundle, but then they left the two hundred dollar telescoping ladder right in place.

took off the face plate but didn't take the dvd player? Much later this evening, the Redding police finally called for a report, and the officer wasn’t the least bit surprised at the erratic, completely unpredictable list of stuff taken and not taken.  He said it was obviously a meth burglary, and that Redding was the “meth capital” of California.  I wonder how so many different places can claim to be the “meth capital”.  They said that about Sonora when I moved there, and they say that about the rural county in Missouri where my son lives, and they say it about Klamath Falls sometimes as well. 

Jeremy has already settled inThe officer said that people on meth are usually looking for money, jewelry, drugs, anything small and light that they can sell.  What they take sometimes makes no sense at all because they are all drugged up and completely weird. That surely was the case here.  Once we finally got the place  cleaned up, it hit me hard that we were incredibly lucky.  Nothing had actually been vandalized, no real damage to anything.  They didn’t break things, tear doors off, put rocks through the windows, or scratch the paint.  Everything seems to work just fine.  They didn’t touch our house batteries, or take any of the engine parts, or bother the nice flat screen TV.  They took down our little pillow that says “Home is Where You Park It” that we had pinned up on the wall and left it on the couch. ???

From Home to Lodi (36) I am sooo grateful, and after we traveled south for a couple of hours, the heavy pall began to lift and we kept saying how incredibly lucky we had been.  We slipped through the huge California storm without any major problems, even with torrential rains south of Sacramento. For the first time, Mo got to see the Yolo Bypass north of Sacramento in full flood stage, an amazing feat of flood control doing just what it supposed to do.  By 7pm, the Technicolor lights of Flag City RV Resort showed up on the gray horizon signaling an end to this long, slightly crazy day. Everything again seems normal, and yet I still feel that moment of incredulous disbelief when I looked back at the gaping hole in the wall at our storage unit.  I sure am glad we are taking the MoHo all the way home this time.


Author: kyotesue

Soil scientist/mapper working for 35 years in the wild lands of the West. I am now retired, enjoying my freedom to travel, to hike without a shovel and a pack, to knit and quilt and play, to play with photography and write stories about all of it.

23 thoughts on “Vandalized!”

  1. So sorry that had to happen to you. It's difficult to imagine why people do those things. Time passes, but the feeling of being violated always seems to linger in the back of your mind. So glad you're taking the MoHo back to Rocky Point this year.

    Wow, that's a lot of snow in Weed!! When we go out of here in April, I'm thinking we'll go over Willamette Pass, then down through Klamath, and on to Susanville, and Reno. Hope that will be a good decision.

    Enjoy your trip, and find the sun. Let us know where it is, cause we'll be looking for it, too.


  2. What a story, Sue! Your window didn't go up!! That would have really bummed me out!

    And then the burglary… 😦

    Well, it was a tough day, wasn't it? I'm so glad MoHo is driveable, with so little (no?) damage. Also glad you navigated the weather without mishap. Surely it will be smooth sailing now?

    Hugs, Laurie


  3. OH MY GOSH – what a terrible thing to happen. You would think having the moho stored inside, it would be perfectly safe. So glad it was not worse.

    Glad you made it through the snow okay. We were through that area just a couple of weeks ago and no snow at all…crazy weather. Hope you find LOTS of sunshine and warm weather. Travel safe.


  4. OMG … as someone who keeps the rig in storage (and around here there is none that is encloed), I'm always worried about vandalism and burglary. I can just imagine the sinking feeling you must have had when you first realized what had happened.

    Yes, you were lucky because it could have been much worse, and it's good to look on the positive side of things … things are things, and most can be replaced; enjoy your trip so that the good memories of this trip will outweigh the bad ones.


  5. I'm so sorry about your bad luck! You seem to have a remarkably good attitude about it. I'm sure there are lingering feelings about the invasion of your space though. Chin up and travel safely.


  6. This is a disgusting turn of events to have this happen, and the worst part is, no culprit(s) will be found because “it's just meth”, same ol' same ol'.

    Here's another thing to watch for: my brother parked his truck to go on a day-fish trip in San Diego. Returning, he found someone had taken a sawzall and removed his expensive catalytic converter. That was a big cost.
    Police called. They said it was a usual thing (c. Converter) in San Diego.

    Stay safe.


  7. Your attitude in adjusting to the break-in is to be commended. I'm afraid I have a very bad attitude towards the type of people who do that sort of thing to others. Hopefully you will be into dryer & warmer desert air by now & the worst is behind you. Just gotta get yourself over to the east side of the San Ysidro mountains:))


  8. Oh, so sorry that had to happen to you..What a way to start a trip. A hole in the wall? wonder how they figured where to cut?
    Things will surely go better now, Please have a wonderful trip!


  9. Oh, so sorry that had to happen to you..What a way to start a trip. A hole in the wall? wonder how they figured where to cut?Things will surely go better now, Please have a wonderful trip!


  10. Our hearts are saddened by your misfortune, it's when I read things like this I am so glad I can keep my rig on my property, sure it can be broken into, anything is possible, but not as likely with the dogs and lights and rural atmosphere. Hope you get dealt a better hand with the insurance company. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna…


  11. Our hearts are saddened by your misfortune, it's when I read things like this I am so glad I can keep my rig on my property, sure it can be broken into, anything is possible, but not as likely with the dogs and lights and rural atmosphere. Hope you get dealt a better hand with the insurance company. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna…


  12. What a bummer – but I'm glad you didn't catch them in the act, and that they didn't take anything of real value. I AM sorry they took that ring, though. It sounds like everything else can be replaced. Thank goodness they didn't ruin your beautiful motor home.

    I'm happy for you that you are finally on the road, and hope you will be able to put this in the past and look forward. Have a super wonderful trip! 🙂


  13. So glad you were able to get on the road in spite of so many things.

    Very sorry to hear about the break-in, especially in one of my favourite cities.

    Redding may not deserve the title but let's say it's home to my favourite USA church, Bethel. We stayed there for 2 weeks back in 2006 and again for 2 nights a couple of years ago. Love the area. I could live there no problem.


  14. something very wrong with this world we all live in..that people feel that they can damage someone else's property! sorry to hear that your trip has started on a bad note!..but things could have been worse that is for sure!
    drive safely!


  15. I am so sorry to hear of the vandalism. I'm just glad that they only stole a few things and didn't destroy everything in the process. I've heard of this before at storage facilities. Hang in there.


  16. WOW, What an experience,,,,,,It does give one a sick feeling…keep the chin up and the good attitude>sp. Like you say, in a way you were lucky,,,,,it always could have been worse. Lets pray it never is!!!


  17. Oh my gosh… I can just imagine that feeling in the pit of your stomach! Thank heavens the jerks were only after smalls and seemed to have been in a hurry.

    Now for the rest of your trip~make like the cats~rest in the healing power of the sun and enjoy every minute of it! purr purr purr


  18. Come on, Sue. Everyone knows that Angels Camp is the meth capital of the Motherlode! Or is it Moke Hill? I can never get that straight 🙂

    Sorry to hear about the burglary. Should be relatively smooth sailing from here on out! I commend you for looking on the bright side (MoHo still operational).


  19. I'm a little behind in reading my favorite blogs and just read about your break in. I'm so sorry that this happened.

    You certainly have taken it in stride and are now back on the road in MoHo. I'm sending you both a big hug!


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