On the Fourth of July we decided to go for a picnic. We had spent the last year and a half essentially house bound taking care of my mother who has Alzheimers. We packed up our hot dogs and my 82-year-old father and drove up to what we call the Big Rock at Capp’s Crossing. We parked 15 feet off the road on the gravel pad (which was not marked with a no vehicle sign or blocked by large boulders and had lots of tire marks) to make it easier for my father, who is due to have surgery soon for heart problems and gets out of breath easily.
As we were finishing our food a ranger drove up and parked behind us. My husband walked over to talk to him only to be told to give him his drivers license. He was told he could not park where we were. He offered to leave but was told he was getting a ticket first. My husband explained that we had my father with us and his condition, but it made no difference. He asked the officer if we had done any damage as the officer was also parked where we were, and he was told no. We had not harmed anything and that officer could drive wherever he wanted to as he was exempt from the rules. We were given a $275 fine. So, I just want to let the other seniors, handicapped people, or anyone who is not healthy enough to park by the side of the road and hike into their favorite picnic area know that those areas are now closed to them. Because as Officer Asuilay and the U.S. Forest Service will tell you, the rules are the rules and no compassionate exceptions will be made.
Happy Fourth of July and the celebration of our rapidly vanishing freedoms.