So one hot summer day, I was mowing the Trail at Rt 51 West of Makanda (I mow Makanda to Rt 51 and Alto Pass Waterworks road to the Woods)
I had Mowed from 51 to the Creek (about half way to Sheppard Road) and had just dragged my 2 wheel trimmer up the trail on the East side to the top and heard a loud “Freeze! Get your hands in the Air!” My first thought was the owner of the land had come up from Florida. I’ve never met him but the neighbor to the North had told me he lives in Florida. We have a handshake agreement with several landowners along the trail to pass across their land.
I couldn’t imagine that a Police officer would be way out in the woods here. He then yells, “I’m a Police Officer, come down here NOW or I’ll turn the dog loose! Keep your hands UP!” Now this is a really rough patch with a lot of large loose rocks. Not bad with a stick, but try it with your hands in the air. It was full leaf season still and I couldn’t even see him until I got half way down. He repeated “Get down here NOW or I’ll turn the dog loose.” I yelled back, “If you turn him loose there WILL be a lawsuit!” It took me a little bit to get down because loose rocks and rough ground on a hill aren’t the same as a sidewalk.
He asks what I’m doing, I tell him I’m mowing the River to River trail here as a volunteer. I’m soaking wet with sweat as I am every time, and he says they are looking for a man on the run in the area He asks to see my ID. I didn’t think I’d need it in the woods and left it in my car. He asks if that is my car over on the side of the road. Yes, it is. He says the guy was supposed to be wearing a green shirt, and here, I’m wearing a florescent green shirt. (Must be me, I always wear florescent colors when I’m on the run.)
He thanks me for doing what I’m doing and takes a photo of me and sends it with my phone to his HQ to tell them I’m ok. Weird.
So I finish mowing and leave my trimmer at Sheppard Road and walk back to get the car and another officer is stopped there on the overpass. I tell him I’m mowing the trail and heading over to Sheppard road to get the trimmer. I show him my ID and he’s satisfied.
Sometimes it is more exciting that other times. I never did see anything about it on the news.