Many years ago I was traveling back down to San Diego with some friends, and we were ‘yucking’ it up in the vehicle. We were a convoy of three vehicles, on our way down Interstate 5, and cruising straight down the road and into Los Angeles. Humor turned into confusion as I looked out the window because I thought I spotted body parts on the side of the interstate. I turned to my buddies in the car, and asked them, “Did you see that? I thought I saw arms and legs on the road.” They agreed, but were still trying to absorb what they had witnessed.

We were traveling at night-time, with poor illumination, yet our headlights cast sufficient light upon the crime scene. This was in the days, long before cheap-portable cell phones  were available. The only communication device available to us was the pay phone. For 10 cents you could call the police but that was if the phone worked.

Our driver pulled along one of the other vehicles in our convoy and pointed back to the area we just passed, miles ago. The driver of the other vehicle nodded his head in agreement. Three vehicles hurtled up the road to the nearest gas station. Upon entering the station, dozens of people were assembled there, talking about what they witnessed. Highway Patrol was called. A lot of people had seen the same thing. We realized we were just minutes behind the person who disposed of the body. He had cut it up into pieces and dumped it out of his car like it was trash.

There are a lot of smart things you can do if you’re traveling, especially into remote areas, and areas that you are unfamiliar with. Vacations can turn into nightmares if you aren’t prudent.

  • Use well-traveled roads and stick with the tourist routes. Any detour you make should be avoided.
  • Don’t over night at rest stops: These places are areas that are usually remote, and generally used as pit stops for people in the day time.
  • Don’t pull in at rest stops that are empty or not lighted well: If you must pull into a rest stop, try to choose one that has families using the facility.
  • Don’t be the only person at a rest area.
  • Do park in a well-lit area
  • Avoid suspicious looking people. Wait until they depart or drive to another location if one is nearby. Most phones come equipped with GPS navigation and you are likely to find an alternative rest stop.
  • If you are alone, avoid talking with people. If someone approaches your car to talk, keep your window rolled up. Stay in your vehicle and crack the window to speak with them. DO not get out of your vehicle.
  • If you use the facility, keep your keys in your hand. That way, you can quickly enter your vehicle.

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