Today I’m sharing a particular story about when it’s okay to not stop and wash your hands, and one reason that I carry more than a gun.
A disclaimer – Before you continue reading, this is a stray from the past few posts about inspiration and health — Yet it’s not. After you’ve finished the read, let me know what you think.
I travel often and most of the time I choose to drive, rather than fly. Occasionally I have a pile of gear and that’s the reason for taking to the road, but more often it’s easier to carry multiple means of protection when I’m driving than to deal with TSA at the airport.
Last fall I shared ‘Legal Boundaries By State,’ a book that is a travel guide for American gun owners. In addition to many other rules, this book tells me which states I’m legally allowed to drive through with my concealed carry firearm.
Now you know, I often carry a gun. What I carry in addition to a gun is my intuition, tactical pen, knife, and what I consider a brief amount of self-defense training. — That means I’d like to train more often, but it’s probably more than many women do.
Now for the particular story that I mentioned. I say particular because I’ve had a few strange encounters.
I’d trucked down to San Antonio, Texas for the NRA Women’s Leadership Summit then went home for a couple of days before loading up my archery equipment and traveling to teach in Normangee, Texas at the annual SheNeverQuit event.
On my second trip to Texas, I cruised along through New Mexico but desperately needed a rest stop. I figured since I’d be stopping, I’d fuel up my truck while I stopped at a gas-station/rest-stop/souvenir store. As I fueled up the truck I scanned the area from the pumps to the store and beyond.
The time was near 9:00 am and the sun shone brightly. The Clines Corners gas station looked busy as usual. I noted that there was a man and woman who seemed to either be upset with one another or agitated. They weren’t fighting or causing a scene. I simply noted the two, who were accompanied by another male. The first man quickly walked to the south and the woman scooted to a bench and sat near the other man.
I wished I was in the mountains because it’s much safer to pee in the woods. Pay attention to your intuition.
Around the gas pumps were several other vehicles and people walking in and out of the store. I locked my truck and headed toward the store. At the very moment, I noted that I’d have to walk between the one man and the woman and other man. I noted the distance and time and where I might go if they tried to pick-pocket me or otherwise.
I figured that “otherwise” wouldn’t be likely in broad daylight and proceeded to the doors of the station.
Scanning the store I beelined to the ladies’ room then scanned the row of stalls. The facility appeared empty. I desperately had to go, so I closed myself in a stall, relieved myself and prepared to book-it out of there.
As I stepped out of the stall, the woman from the parking lot appeared in the entrance and proceeded to make her way in.
Have you ever heard of the colors of awareness? I’m always on high alert when I travel and had been in stage yellow, then orange. Now my intuition hit RED.
I sidestepped and zipped past the woman before she could realize what I was up to. As I stepped out of the walkway and into the hall, the man was headed into the restroom directly behind her. I continued to move quickly away and out, still on high alert, prepared for the worst but not knowing what that would be. I looked as I left and they remained in the restroom, but where was the other guy?
I scanned around the truck, clicked the remote start, unlocked one door, hopped in, locked my doors and scooted out of there.
Before I stopped at the station I’d been on the phone with my husband. I’d told him I’d call him afterward and did just that. I recounted the odd experience and as I watched Clines Corners disappear in my rearview mirror wondered if I’d been a bit nervy on that stop, or I’d really just had a brush with evil.
The remainder of that trip and the trip home went as usual, uneventful, and I made it safely to and from my destination — never being required to display self-defense tactics.
That was two and a half months ago. While I traveled with my daughter over Christmas break, she read this Facebook post to me.
My daughter has been to that station with me before but didn’t know about the experience I’d had, which I’d since forgotten about. Apparently my intuition was right — again.
I don’t know why we don’t hear more about these types of incidents, but if you search the internet for an article about this incident (the one to which the Facebook posts refers) you won’t find it. After my experience at that station, I assure you, there’s something bad that goes on there. I won’t use that as a rest-stop in the future, and I’ll still continue to train. I’ll still continue to carry means of self-defense, and I’ll still trust my intuition. — And maybe I’ll travel in a caravan with other friends more often than I did this past fall.
I hope you’re always on high alert when you make your stops, whether it’s during trips to strange places, where you’re required to stop in areas that put you at risk or if it’s the everyday trek in the area where you live. Pay attention. Be safe. Have a plan. Act deliberately. Listen to your intuition.
If you haven’t read the book already, read The Gift of Fear by Gavin Mize. If you have read it tell me in the comments, how many people have you gifted the book to?
Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, keynote speaker, and a range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast.
Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to outdoors, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.
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