Up on the Mountain

     I hear sirens going by my cabin all the time. My cabin sits right above the highway that connects the Big Bear valley to San Bernardino and the rest of Southern California. Accidents are common on snowy mountain roads. Kids sledding into the highway, well it happens more often than you would think in this area. The sirens are usually  fire trucks, ambulance or sheriffs.  Some times the whine of the siren comes from cops pulling over some one speeding. In the summer time when the thunder and lightning rolls over these hills it’s the high wail of mint green forest service sirens traveling fast on their way to smother another brush fire.
     This morning when I heard the sirens I ignored them.
     I didn’t even turn my head from watching horse racing on t.v
     I didn’t set down my free weights.
     I didn’t even look out the window.
    I just kept up with my early morning ab work out and I put the situation completely out of my mind.
     I had just returned from a five mile run in the forest about six miles West of the Big Bear Valley.
     I was sweaty and ready for a shower.
     I had an hour before leaving to go off the mountain to meet a friend. I was hungry and in a hurry to eat, shower, dress and hit the road.
     I regret now not turning on the news. An hour later when I hopped in my SUV and began my drive down the mountain I had no idea what was going on in my small town mountain community.
      As I drove the winding mountain roads out of town I passed two CHP at our local gas station and another one parked at the edge of town. Wow, they must be setting up major speed traps for the coming holiday weekend was my thought as I blared Gary Allen’s new CD. I was in my own world and not really that concerned at that point.
     As I drove under the bridge that marks the end of town I saw a sheriff parked in a really weird spot. That seemed a little odd to me. Not only were there CHP presence every where but sheriffs to? That is out of the ordinary.
   As I continued the twelve mile drive down to the valley I saw two more sheriffs sitting in turn outs on the side of the highway. I thought I had completely imagined it, but it looked like one of them had his gun drawn. I must have imagined that, right? I only saw it out of the corner of my eye. That couldnt be right.
   I was almost at the bottom of the mountain when my blue tooth rang.
   It was my friend R on the phone, who I was driving down to Riverside to meet up with. R is an ex LAPD officer.
    “Did you get my text? Have you seen the news?”
   He was asking me. Hearing the fear in his voice I quickly pulled off the highway into a turn out. I let the engine idle and put my foot on the brake as we spoke. I told him I had been driving and had no idea what was going on.
   “There is a crazed gunmen going around shooting cops all over the Inland Empire.
    I can’t go outside; it’s not safe. I used to be LAPD, remember?
    This guy,  he just killed a cop off Arlington. ( This is about two miles from R’s house) My whole neighborhood is on lock down. Don’t come down here, it’s not safe”
    I quickly got off the phone with R and began searching the local news sights on my phone and texting some friends of mine in the area who are cops. One of my friends who works in law enforcement and had been called into work, didn’t even know that Chris Dorner’s truck had been found in Big Bear.
   “Shouldn’t I know this before you?” He asked me.
    Online the top story was about how Chris Dorner had gone on a cop killing rampage and could be any where in Southern California at this point. I found a story on our local mountain news website about how according to police scanner reports Chris Donner’s burned out Nissan truck had just been found in Big Bear about six miles from where I had been running that morning.
    Don’t come to Riverside? It seemed like the safe thing to do would be to get out of the mountains!
     In the coming hours it was announced where Chris Dorner’s truck was found and that was only six miles from where I had gone running among the Jeffrey Pines by myself  just that very morning! I felt a chill go up my spine just thinking about how close I could have come to running into this guy in the forest, if he is out there.
    What I think happened is he panicked, realized he was going to get caught and tried to disappear into the forest. This might seem like not the worst plan in the world but there is a major snow storm moving in and temperatures are going to be in the twenties tonight! All the news agencies keep saying this guy is a ex Navy reservist and has that kind of survival training but what I read also said he was let go from the Navy because he exceeded the weight requirement.
    I know what the terrain is like where Chris Dorner ditched the burnt out pick up truck and if he was running from police he would have to go down the mountain behind Bear Mountain Resort and back towards Highway 38. There are no roads back there. He would have to go up and over mountain after mountain and believe me, I run these TRAILS every day. Running off trail, for some one even in my shape who is capable of running twelve miles a day is really hard.
    My theory is he will die of exposure in the wilderness.
   Every one I talk to thinks he had another getaway car at the location the truck was found.
   If that was true, and there was a extra car stashed there for days, some one local would have noticed it. These are the kind of back roads that only locals run on, mountain bike on and the local rangers notice when cars are parked back here for extended periods of time.
    I keep hearing all these notions that he rented a house up here weeks ago and has a place to hide out for years. Okay one thing about the mountains, there are not any black people up here and if a three hundred pound black guy started hanging around a neighborhood, they would stand out. (It seems kind of weird to me that he would go to the mountains, just for that reason)
    I think that he ended up in our community as a last resort. I think this is the end of his well thought out plan and he is just grasping at straws now.
    I have been texting with friends in the law enforcement community this morning and one thing is for sure,
    They know this guy is not going down without a fight.
     This scares me.
     I have friends who are sheriffs in Big Bear.
     I’m praying for the sheriffs and CHP and all law enforcement who are driving right now from all over California to one little mountain town, on the look out for a killer.
     I’m just praying for our community today.


  1. opinion8dhermit

    So there were sheriffs basically below my mom’s house? That is a weird place. I too have said he will be hard to miss because of his color which isn’t racist, just it’s predominantly white up here. I just wonder if he ditched his car beforehand and had some relative drive and burn his car. Who knows. Hope you don’t find some guy,s skeleton while out running! Oh my mother in law called a few mins ago In a panic over this. She had JUST heard about it. It’s all over the news, even national so I wondered where’s she been? She’s all paranoid for us now.

  2. Jared Karol

    Crazy shit indeed! Stay safe! I used to drive up to Big Bear every weekend from San Diego to go skiing when I was in high school. . . we’d shoot up 15 for a quick day trip. It’s been many years since I’ve been up in those parts. Hope they catch this guy soon. . .

  3. Larks

    That’s really scary! I’ve been following this story too. You and your community will definitely be in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. SouthMainMuse

    I saw something about this but didn’t click on the link. That is horrible and terrifying. I live in town on a busy road and hear all the emergency vehicles going out. I hate it. Especially when I hear a lot of sirens. I know something bad has happened. Hope this situation is resolved my now and everyone is safe.

  5. mutterschwester

    So frightening – I still get a pit in my stomach when I hear more than one set of sirens in a short amount of time. And we hear them all over the place here. I hope no more unrelated people get shot in the search for Dorner.

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