Cougar Has Claws, Hiker Has Pistol


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Michael Zeleny
May 14, 2004, 01:50 PM
http://www.latimes.com/news/yahoo/la-me-lion14may14,1,6059148.story?coll=la-newsaol-headlines

ORANGE COUNTY
Cougar Has Claws, Hiker Has Pistol
A Santa Ana Mountains encounter ends safely, the gun carried because of January's killing by a big cat.
By David Haldane
Times Staff Writer

May 14, 2004

A jogger who says he pulled out a handgun to protect himself from a mountain lion near Modjeska Canyon said Thursday that he'd been carrying the weapon in his backpack since two cyclists were attacked in January — one fatally — by a cougar in the same area.

"It gives me a sense of security," said Dave Cody, 25, an Air Force Reserve pilot who says he has used the gun in training. He said he was carrying the gun legally, and authorities have not said otherwise.

"If the lion had started running toward me," he said, "I'd have had a much better chance of survival. Prior to [the attacks], I never carried it with me, and I don't carry it anywhere else."

Cody, a Trabuco Canyon resident, said he did not shoot at the cougar during Wednesday's encounter. He said he retreated up a hill before using his cellphone to call authorities for help.

In January, the two mountain bikers — Mark Reynolds, 35, who died, and Anne Hjelle, 30, who was seriously injured — were attacked in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, about half a mile from where Cody says he saw a mountain lion. The animal that attacked the bikers was later killed by sheriff's deputies.

Cody said he was out for an afternoon jog near Modjeska Grade Road and Santiago Truck Trail when the cougar leaped onto the trail about 20 feet in front of him.

The cat jumped down "a 5-foot embankment onto a pretty narrow trail," he told KCAL-TV Channel 9 news. The animal, he said, "stopped and stood there on the trail looking at me."

Cody said he pulled his handgun out of his backpack, retreated up a hill and called 911 on his cellphone. The only other way out, he said, "was right near the lion." Within 10 minutes, he said, the Orange County Sheriff's Department brought in a helicopter and flew him out.

Though Cody said he doesn't know of any other joggers or bikers carrying weapons since the January attacks, "I've heard from other [people] that there are other people who carry guns out there."

A spokesman for the Sheriff's Department said Thursday that he wasn't aware of any similar cases and hopes that none exist. "From a police officer's standpoint," Lt. Hayward Miller said, "I don't believe it's a good idea for them to carry weapons out there. I believe there are an adequate amount of resources to protect the public."

Cody said he agreed: "My advice isn't that people need to carry handguns but that they never go out alone, stay close to the people they're with and always be alert."

An official with the California Department of Fish and Game said Thursday that the animal seen by Cody is not a threat to the public.

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jamz
May 14, 2004, 01:54 PM
"From a police officer's standpoint," Lt. Hayward Miller said, "I don't believe it's a good idea for them to carry weapons out there. I believe there are an adequate amount of resources to protect the public."

Idiot. :banghead: So what he's saying is that becuase those hikers were killed, either he is lying, or failed to do his job. Everyone should call him personally when they want to go hiking on these trails, and he can protect them.

-James

sumpnz
May 14, 2004, 01:54 PM
A spokesman for the Sheriff's Department said Thursday that he wasn't aware of any similar cases and hopes that none exist. "From a police officer's standpoint," Lt. Hayward Miller said, "I don't believe it's a good idea for them to carry weapons out there. I believe there are an adequate amount of resources to protect the public." :rolleyes: ('nuff said)

thumbtack
May 14, 2004, 02:03 PM
"I don't believe it's a good idea for them to carry weapons out there. I believe there are an adequate amount of resources to protect the public."

Tell that to Mark Reynolds, oh wait a second you can't can you.

ysr_racer
May 14, 2004, 02:06 PM
Right down the street from my house. (by Cooks Corner)

Chuck Dye
May 14, 2004, 02:15 PM
I would be happier with this story if: 1) the hiker had at least put a round or two into the ground near the cat, imparting or reinforcing the idea that humans are not pleasant to be around if you are a cougar, and B) there had been some indication that the hiker will be billed for the $700+/hour the chopper ride cost taxpayers.


Edited to clear sloppy construction and punctuation.

El Tejon
May 14, 2004, 02:43 PM
Finally someone understands what to do!!!:cool:

See animal, kill animal, spike head on stick, animals then leave humans alone.

Memo to rugged, hairy-chested individualists: Shoot the &^%$# critters.:D

Sawdust
May 14, 2004, 02:47 PM
Here is my email to the Orange County Sheriff's department (pio@ocsd.org):

As you know, David Cody had an unexpected meeting with a mountain lion in the Santa Ana mountains earlier this week.

Mr. Cody was carrying a pistol for protection, and drew it as he backed away from the lion. Fortunately, the lion did not charge...but what if it had?

Not too long ago, in separate incidents, Mark Reynolds and Anne Hjelle tangled with a lion in the same area. Mr. Reynolds is dead, and Ms. Helle severely injured. Would there have been different outcomes if the two had been armed? Most likely, yes.

Yet, here is the statement that appears in the L.A. Times from your Lt. Hayward Miller:

"I don't believe it's a good idea for them to carry weapons out there. I believe there are an adequate amount of resources to protect the public."

This is unbelievable to hear. Mr. Miller cannot possibly be sincere. I would like to know if you think that Ms. Helle would agree with that statement? Of course, we can't ask Mr. Reynolds.

Look, we know that the sheriff cannot be everywhere at once, and it is impossible to respond in time to all situations - especially in wilderness and rural areas.
You and I both know that if Mr. Cody was not armed, that cat could have eaten him for lunch before any officer could have intervened.

It is time that law enforcement realizes that law-abiding citizens, properly trained in the use of firearms, are an asset to the community.

We should not be vilified and castigated simply because we choose to rely upon and protect ourselves.

Sincerely,

XXXXXXXXXXXX


Sawdust

manwithoutahome
May 14, 2004, 03:17 PM
Great Letter Sawdust.

I disagree with what the hiker did. If he had a shot, he should have taken it. Because of his inaction to kill the lion, it now has a chance to go out and kill others, which now is going to be easier, since the copper has told future "meals" to not be armed and to call him so he can "protect" them.

M.

sturmruger
May 14, 2004, 03:21 PM
Good letter Sawdust.

It never ceases to amaze me how most of the urban LEO prefer that everyone be unarmed.

Andrew Rothman
May 14, 2004, 03:31 PM
I disagree with what the hiker did. If he had a shot, he should have taken it. Because of his inaction to kill the lion, it now has a chance to go out and kill others, which now is going to be easier, since the copper has told future "meals" to not be armed and to call him so he can "protect" them.

The hiker did right, legally and morally.

There is no particular reason to shoot wildlife on sight.

If kitty had attacked, of course, all bets would be off, but killing it just for existing would be wrong.




In a separate query, why the heck did they bring in a bloody helicopter? Why didn't the guy just leave the way he came -- away from the cougar?

Sheesh. What a place.



Still, I thing we owe mad props to the LA Times for even printing the story.

simon
May 14, 2004, 03:36 PM
Another vote of "good letter sawdust"

ysr_racer,I know that area well.Is cooks corner still there?Used to go in there for a beer..Is it still a "biker bar?"
Used to 4X in those hills and Holy Jim Canyon/o'niell park.
Ahh, memories....

Racing the road between cooks & the park,what fun...

Atticus
May 14, 2004, 03:37 PM
Cody said he agreed: "My advice isn't that people need to carry handguns


but that they never go out alone,stay close to the people they're with and always be alert."



Baaaaaaaaa Baaaaaaaaa Baaaaaaaa
:scrutiny:

Diggler
May 14, 2004, 04:06 PM
"From a police officer's standpoint," Lt. Hayward Miller said, "I don't believe it's a good idea for them to carry weapons out there. I believe there are an adequate amount of resources to protect the public."I think that Lt. Miller should put his money where his mouth is. He should disarm himself and go jogging on these very trails every evening, with nothing more than a cell phone. Let's see how well he can follow his own advice.

@#$*ing hypocrite.

killermarmot
May 14, 2004, 04:22 PM
well atleast he has the option, You're not aloowed to pack on any of the trails I hike on. I mean acouple of em are in beserkely. I know, I know, I'm sure you all pray I don't get knocked out from the horid odors of hippies. It's so sad the berekely hills are such a nice hike with lots of critters to watch, it has to get spoiled by all the tofu worshippers. Strangely I don't see many of them on the hiking trails they're mostly down town begging for change. I'd rather carry there then on the trail sheesh

dinosaur
May 14, 2004, 05:21 PM
Kali Fish & Game said the kitty is no danger so what's your guy's problem? They probably interviewed the cat's lawyer who claimed his client is a vegeterian and was just upset because the jogger stepped in his tofu. You can't make this stuff up. Well, actually I did:o but.........hmm? :scrutiny:

I'm a little fuzzy since it was awhile ago but didn't Kali residents take up a collection for a cat that was killed/injured/terrorized by some dead person?:banghead:

gbran
May 14, 2004, 06:13 PM
My anti gun brother, who won't even go fishing because he doesn't like to kill animals, is going to spend a week in Alaska's wilds with myself and my father.

He di ask if we'd be taking our guns.

Chipperman
May 14, 2004, 06:33 PM
Problems:

1. Hiker was alone

2. Gun was in BACKPACK. Hello?!?! If the cat wanted him, he would have been down before he ever saw it. He would probably not been able to get the gun out of the backpack.

3. Although the cat did NOT want him, and he pulled the gun, he did not fire a warning shot. Warning shots for people are stupid, but I think it may have given the cat a little more respect for humans.

4. The cop's attitude. "I believe there are an adequate amount of resources to protect the public" The PUBLIC, not INDIVIDUALS. :rolleyes:

manwithoutahome
May 14, 2004, 07:24 PM
Oh, to clarify what I said earlier:

Large Cats are territorial. Since this was "the same area" that the other folks were attacked, and one killed, then odds are this was/is the same Cat.

Once a wild animal loses their fear of humans, and have tasted human blood, they seem to like it better then game and will continue to attack.

Just like the ranchers did in the old and present times, anytime you have a Cat that is killing livestock, they hunt it down and kill it, since they also know that big Cats are VERY territorial and will mark a very large area.

So, in my mind, this IS the same cat that killed the bicyclist.

This Cat is dangerous.

This hiker did not destroy it.

This Cat WILL kill again, and again, until it is stopped.

Hence the reason I stated that the hiker did wrong by not destroying the Cat.

Don't get me wrong, I love animals and am especially fond of the big Cats, but when one goes bad, they must be destroyed.

M.

angrywalkindude
May 14, 2004, 07:28 PM
That guy was dumb for even taking the gun. I would have at least fired off a couple rounds to scare the cat away. If the cat did not run off I would have a "brand spanking new" cougar rug in my living room. Some people.........

Browns Fan
May 14, 2004, 07:44 PM
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"From a police officer's standpoint," Lt. Hayward Miller said, "I don't believe it's a good idea for them to carry weapons out there. I believe there are an adequate amount of resources to protect the public."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think we are all in agreement in raising the BS flag on Lt Miller on this one!

:scrutiny:

Gordon Fink
May 14, 2004, 07:58 PM
While I’m glad this story turned out to be semi-positive, I have to wonder why it was a story at all.…

By the way, the cat suspected of attacking the cyclists has already been killed.

~G. Fink

Crimper-D
May 14, 2004, 08:06 PM
Calif Dpt of Fish & Game has a list of lion attacks on humans for the last hundred years... Most are in Southern California in Orange, and especially San Diego County. Had one in Stanislas county a couple years ago where a cat attacked a coyote hunter armed with a rifle = adios kitty :evil:

Hopefully the Sheriff of the county where Lt. Miller made his balderdash statement will have a few words in 'private' with the officer:cuss:

YodaVader
May 14, 2004, 08:24 PM
An official with the California Department of Fish and Game said Thursday that the animal seen by Cody is not a threat to the public.

Say again??:confused: An official said? An official what? An official dumbass maybe! How can one make a statement like that. Did this so called official perform a Vulcan Mind Meld with such animal and can vouch for its disposition against any and all humans? Notice how the "official" remains un-named. What a crock of horse manure!:cuss:

odysseus
May 14, 2004, 08:33 PM
What is the law in Cali regarding carrying firearms in parks during hikes? That is are there any resources that describe packing? Obviously concealed is one thing and open carry is also another? Sounds like the hiker was legally carrying, there was no arrest or citation. Was this a state park?

Outside of a campsite I have not seen anyone open carry... so are they concealing legally? I am a little confused by this article.

killermarmot
May 14, 2004, 08:45 PM
as far as ive seen there are very few state parks that allow fire arms

Mannlicher
May 14, 2004, 08:48 PM
That huge earthquake can NOT come quick enough. California and its folks are a boil on the fundiment of America. :D

hansolo
May 14, 2004, 08:59 PM
I suggest an overnight campout for Lt. Miller without any firearms in the big cat's domain; put his money where his mouth is.

Standing Wolf
May 14, 2004, 09:42 PM
I believe there are an adequate amount of resources to protect the public.

On his belt, sure.

odysseus
May 14, 2004, 10:04 PM
Mannlicher
That huge earthquake can NOT come quick enough. California and its folks are a boil on the fundiment of America.

Hate to tell you then, but there are a lot of good people there too. Also, abandoning a state where troubles in 2nd amendment issues are abound isn't going to help your cause if the strongest, most populated state that ranks a 7th world power ever falls to antigun agendas too far. Cali is where you take a stand, don't let that big bear fall by abandoning the cause of 2nd amendment liberty. You think that abandoning a member of our Union will not effect you might be being a little naive my neighbor?

Off my soapbox now. :p

The_Antibubba
May 14, 2004, 10:46 PM
That was basically what I was going to say.

Mannicher, some of us are fighting hard here to save the gun rights of Californians, and in the process, the rest of America.

If you don't like what's happening, I suggest you get off your "fundiment" and get to work.


:D

4v50 Gary
May 14, 2004, 10:50 PM
That police lt. should keep his mouth shut. :barf: A more aggressive cat that is hungry would have stalked and killed him before he got to his cell phone or his gun. I don't see LE snipers commanding the trail to protect hikers, joggers or bicyclists.

jAK-47
May 14, 2004, 10:57 PM
I think that Lt. Miller should put his money where his mouth is. He should disarm himself and go jogging on these very trails every evening, with nothing more than a cell phone. Let's see how well he can follow his own advice.

But let's smear sheep's blood on him first!:D :p Then we could film him being eaten from the safety of a helicopter.

jAK-47

gunsmith
May 14, 2004, 11:35 PM
If the guy isn't charged either he has connections or the cops were cool, I suspect the cops were cool about it and LA Times anti gun editors pumped up the anti gun angle. When you call be sure to thank the cops for not busting the guy so if I get caught defending myself out there the cops will remember how nice the gunnies are.
If they bust the guy then thats a different story.

shep854
May 14, 2004, 11:35 PM
Guns are illegal in Alabama state parks as well. Guess what? I carry, and am very well behaved. As the saying goes, "Better judged by twelve, than carried by six."

I am aware that if somehow I am caught, there will be consequences, but I accept that risk. It beats the heck out of the possible alternative.

kernal_panic
May 14, 2004, 11:58 PM
Matt Payne
(personal attack deleted by moderator -- pax)

Have you EVER come close to a dangerous animal in the wild? i seriously doubt it. Wild animals be they snake, lizard, cat, bear, canine, deer, or duck have one thing in common.

They fear man.

But on occasion an individual animal will loose its fear of man. Ususally this is the result of some idiot feeding it or being careless with food. The animal then will associate man with food. For deer or ducks it means they are easy prey for a hunter. But for animals like coyotes, wolves, mountain lines, BEARS, alligators and snakes it means someone gets attacked. Last year i had to "educate" some twit yankee woman about walking her white fluff ball of a dog along the lakes of our development. We have alligators!
the hikers best bet was to shoot and kill that cat as soon as he realized the cat didn't fear him. that cat IS going to attack someone. he has no fear of man. likely other hikers have been careless with their food and the cat now associates human smell with something tasty.

That bear that ate those 2 idiots in alaska last year? you can bet he had no fear. why should he? the guy spent his time petting him!

btw i have been up close and personal with Poisonous snakes and gators. pygmy rattlers are the worst they have little fear of humans. gators hiss and then retreat to the water.

SAG0282
May 15, 2004, 06:25 PM
*shakes head*

With two incidents from which to draw conclusions from, the morons STILL won't give guns credit? God I'm glad I don't live in CA......

I too jog, and at this point am up to at least three times a week, and I carry a gun without exception in an Uncle Mikes shoulder rig under my sweatshirt. Kind of a PITA, but worth it IMHO. I feel mildly vindicated with this article, though I didn't really need to be in the first place.

rickster
May 15, 2004, 07:40 PM
Sawdust,
Let us know what , if any, reply you get from the sheriff.

7.62FullMetalJacket
May 15, 2004, 10:41 PM
If he would have fired warning shots he would have likley drawn serious attention. He would have been arrested for sure. Sad to say, but he did OK in the circumstances.

The comments by the Sherrif's Deputy gives you the flavor of attitudes there. Rural Orange County used to be OK. Not anymore.

I am still wondering how the price of the helicopter retieval is going to be covered????? Dispatcher should have told him to kill the kitty already.

rbrowning
May 16, 2004, 12:43 AM
"Cody said he agreed: "My advice isn't that people need to carry handguns but that they never go out alone, stay close to the people they're with and always be alert."

Don't do as I did, do as I say. He can carry but no one else should. He can go out alone but no one else should.

What an over inflated ego!:barf:

Lone Star
May 16, 2004, 10:43 AM
First, the cop's statement is the usual balderdash one always hears from the police, even when a homeowner kills a burglar: We can't advise people to carry guns or to take the law into their own hands. Duh...But these cops don't go out in dangerous areas without THEIR guns!

Now: why did this idiot even admit he had a gun or call for a helicopter? If he was armed and had seen the cat, he could call in a warning, and go on his way...with the gun handier than in his backpack. He should tell others he meets on the trail. But why expose himself to arrest for carrying the gun if he didn't have to use it? Even if he had to leave a dead cougar, they might never figure out who shot it.

Good Lord, you kill a cougar out there, and Pam Anderson and her PETA pals may picket your home!

Lone Star

rickster
May 16, 2004, 11:21 AM
Good Lord, you kill a cougar out there, and Pam Anderson and her PETA pals may picket your home!

I can get Pam Anderson to come to my home!?! I'm going cougar huntin'!!!:D

Andrew Rothman
May 16, 2004, 11:52 AM
kernal_panic --

Whatever.

I'll stand by my statement: Legally, morally and environmentally, you can't shoot a mountain lion for the crime of being on the same trail as you.

He would have had to lie about the lion's actions or be charged, at best, with hunting a protected species.

The critter didn't attack. The guy done right. Period.

Diggler
May 16, 2004, 01:54 PM
I can get Pam Anderson to come to my home!?! I'm going cougar huntin'!!!Aren't those ad campaigns "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" just TERRIBLE? :evil:

natedog
May 16, 2004, 03:22 PM
What an elitist.

jAK-47
May 16, 2004, 03:37 PM
I'm an avid hiker AND gun enthusiast. So, I called the police dept out there and told them I wanted to hike on that trail but didn't want to break any laws. I asked them very nicely if they would supply a deputy to accompany me on the trail so I wouldn't need to carry a gun illegally or call for a helicopter.

They hung up on me - How Rude! (just kidding):neener:

I wouldn't want to shoot an animal like a cougar unless it attacked me but I also couldn't live with myself if I went on my merry way and the next hiker was eaten. I guess I MIGHT have shot it OR at least reported it right away - tell the authorities I threw a rock at it cause it was DEFINITELY threatening me. I'd never mention I had an illegal gun. The authorities would then be obligated to capture or kill said lion.

Not the best solution but...

jAK-47

Clean97GTI
May 16, 2004, 05:43 PM
Well, the sooner California falls into the Pacific, the sooner I get beach front property :D

FWIW, I go into the desert surrounding the Vegas valley quite often. I have seen and come into contact with several wild animals. Usually rattlesnakes, but I have seen and surprised a fox of some sort. She bristled up and was not happy about my presence. Backing away slowly solved things, but I was certainly glad I had my FN 1910 (.32acp) on my belt. If things would have gone bad, I would've at least stood a chance at avoiding injury. The snakes still bother me the most though, I have actually had to shoot a snake before.

jAK-47
May 16, 2004, 06:22 PM
The snakes still bother me the most though, I have actually had to shoot a snake before.

Being a Northeasterner, I don't come across snakes here. But I've spent a lot of time hunting in TN and hiking out your way. In TN, my hunting partner carried a .45 with shotshells for snakes just in case. He was 6'2", 220lbs and had a 3rd degree black belt but was HORRIFIED of snakes!:D

I enjoy the ocean and the woods but the desert is really neat! Just think, when ********** falls into the ocean, you'll have the best of both worlds -desert AND ocean-front property. You lucky guy:D

jAK-47

Lone Star
May 16, 2004, 06:24 PM
Clean-

Your mention of the fox intrigues me. I've had a similar experience with a male gray fox in Texas.

I put my hand on my S&W "four-inch" M66 and backed away, and we went our separate ways.

I've also encountered a couple of female foxes (vixens), one with kits. We were within about 20 feet when we became aware of each other. I just walked a little wide, and pretended I didn't see them. No problem. But that male fox was bristling and snarling. (This was all on the same property, but not the same week.)

I called the zoo and talked to the curator of mammals. We agreed that some sort of territory issue was probably present; it didn't seem rabid, nor was I close enough to be an immediate threat. I don't think it knew I'm a Republican, so it's not a relative of that "yellow dog" that Democrats would vote for, if it ran on their ticket...

Lone Star

M1911Owner
May 16, 2004, 08:47 PM
I believe there are an adequate amount of resources to protect the public.Within 10 minutes.. the Orange County Sheriff's Department brought in a helicopter and flew him outI'm glad to know that it takes a kitty longer than 10 minutes to kill you.

M1911Owner
May 16, 2004, 08:49 PM
That huge earthquake can NOT come quick enough.Oh, you mean the one where everything east of the San Andreas Fault falls into the Atlantic Ocean? :D

jAK-47
May 16, 2004, 10:13 PM
Oh, you mean the one where everything east of the San Andreas Fault falls into the Atlantic Ocean?

Gotta water proof my hi-cap mags, assault rifles and library in case that happens.

Better yet, how about quakes on BOTH sides. That way, **********,
Mao-tse-chusetts, Fairyland, etc. all go away! Maybe Teddy Kennedy could drive Diane Feinstein somewhere near the water! :neener:

jAK-47

Mastrogiacomo
May 16, 2004, 11:41 PM
Gee....and to think I was in special ed. Thanks, Sheriff but I'll be keeping my Beretta handy....

Dex Sinister
May 17, 2004, 12:54 AM
I would be happier with this story if: ...B) there had been some indication that the hiker will be billed for the $700+/hour the chopper ride cost taxpayers.

I'd have to take issue with this: Morally speaking, the public is not responsible for the irresponsible decisions that our government "servants" make with the toys they aquire the use of at our expense. I rather doubt that Cody instructed the sherrif's dept to send a helicopter, and if the sherrif's overreacted to the danger and spent taxpayer money irresponsibly, as the F&G official claims, that's an issue of misuse of public funds.

After all, it is the government that enforces the law against shooting mountain lions, leaving people only with the option of calling 911.

Dex http://home.pacbell.net/ajoule/firedevil_smiley.gif

artherd
May 17, 2004, 01:54 AM
"From a police officer's standpoint," Lt. Hayward Miller said, "I don't believe it's a good idea for them to carry weapons out there. I believe there are an adequate amount of resources to protect the public."

So, do I sue this guy the next time something goes down in that park?

Or is he going to follow me around with a KAC SR-25 in .308 and pop any threats to my safety that ever occur?

Sawdust
May 17, 2004, 01:43 PM
rickster said:
Sawdust, Let us know what , if any, reply you get from the sheriff.
This is all I have received so far; it came on Friday not long after I sent my email:

"Thank you for your comment. I will pass it on to the right people.
Donna"


Sawdust

org
May 17, 2004, 04:59 PM
IMHO, any time a carnivore stands and looks unafraid at a human, he's a threat or will be in the future. If he's not afraid, the next step is "that thing looks edible, I think I'll try a bite."

The acclimation by animals to the presence of humans and said humans having no adverse effect on them is the reason for the increase of bear/lion attacks here in CO, and a DOW rep has said so.

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