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Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!!
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Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT on 04/30/2013 13:10:28 MDT Print View

"Cache placed by their friend Beacon: April 24
Cache discovered missing by Balls and Sunshine: April 26"

Wow that was quick! Are we sure they were thru hikers?

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!!" on 04/30/2013 13:40:12 MDT Print View

Forgive my ignorance on thru-hiking, but is the hiking scene on the CDT so familiar there that it will really be easy to figure out who did this and then shame them? I wouldn't think anyone would brag about raiding someone's water stash and it'd be kind of hard to prove unless you saw them do it or they confessed or bragged about it.

Note, I'm not defending them. I think what they did was low and unacceptable.

Kevin Buggie
(kbuggie) - M

Locale: NW New Mexico
sketchy locale for a unhidden cache on 04/30/2013 14:16:41 MDT Print View

The location mentioned in Balls trail journal is an area with med-high use by day hikers, bikers, tweekers, etc... in that community. Anyone could be thirsty... but other thru-hikers?!? I once found wire stretched chest high across a blind turn in the trail about 100 yards south of that intersection on the CDT (local conflict with MTB riders). Hide your stuff!

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT on 04/30/2013 14:17:24 MDT Print View

As I understand it, that's not an area of the New Mexico desert where anyone except thru or section hikers would be hiking through--it's not a scenic area where weekenders might be (it wasn't the weekend, either). Once they get into northern New Mexico and Colorado, there will be lots more people. The one area that will again be sparse of hiker traffic is the section through Wyoming's Red Desert/Great Divide Basin.

Only a small number of people hike the CDT--maybe 30-40 per year--and they all pretty much know each other (very few people do this trail as their first hike because it's the most difficult) and also get to hear of each other from other hikers and the relatively few trail angels along the way.

Maybe my attitude is colored by growing up in Wyoming, but caches were always considered sacred.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT on 04/30/2013 14:34:00 MDT Print View

"Maybe my attitude is colored by growing up in Wyoming, but caches were always considered sacred"

No, any property that is not yours should be left where it is unless one is going to attempt to locate and return it to the owner. If you take something for your own use, knowing someone needs it, you are stealing. Of course, trash excepted.

Thru-hiker(s) or not, the thief or thieves knew they did something wrong -- THEY LEFT A NOTE THAT SAID, "Sorry." They know they are scum bags because they did not replace what they stole. Sorry I have NO sympathy for these kinds of people.

In most places, it is not acceptable to be digging big holes and stashing water/food. The acceptable practice is to hide it with rocks or similar. On long trails, in deserts with no water, trail angels sometimes leave large amounts of water with a SIGN that it is for anyone who needs it. I do find these caches to be an eyesore.

Kevin Buggie
(kbuggie) - M

Locale: NW New Mexico
high use areas on 04/30/2013 14:37:14 MDT Print View

@Mary
Your right, caches are sacred, but many day users in that area just north of Silver City may not understand the rationale or needs of thru hiking. The area in a 2-mile radius around that location probably gets 30-40 trail/forest users a day. Its kinda scenic too, by our humble NM standards: PJ and ponderosa landscape;)

Andrew Zajac
(AZajac)

Locale: South West
CDT thoughts on 04/30/2013 14:42:05 MDT Print View

My girlfriend's mom is a trail crew foreman in charge of creating the portion of the CDT that goes through the Gila National Forest. She says quite a few ranchers, private land owners, and ATVers resent the trail and they occasionally steal her signs and sabotage new trail going in. Could this be the work of pissed off non-hikers trying to prevent the CDT from happening?

edited to include ATVers

Edited by AZajac on 04/30/2013 14:45:08 MDT.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: CDT thoughts on 05/03/2013 10:16:31 MDT Print View

How many CDT thru hikers carry Sharpies? Is this a common writing item that is used?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: CDT thoughts on 05/03/2013 13:11:12 MDT Print View

"How many CDT thru hikers carry Sharpies? Is this a common writing item that is used?"

Some thru hikers using them to make signs for hitchhiking. Of course we don't know if a thru hiker took the water.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: CDT thoughts on 05/03/2013 13:32:51 MDT Print View

Could be saboteurs but the Gila is more dry than I've ever seen it at this time, so it could be other hikers or long distance mountain bikers. I did a Gila post trip report several weeks ago reporting the mesas I used to camp on had running springs and creeks in April several years ago. They have now dried up into desert-like sand by March (still backpackable btw, just carry your water from Fork to Fork).

The FS has rerouted trails to avoid any changes in public access via private land but I'm not certain of the situation in the northern GIla (my access point is the southern TH). After shutting the entire wilderness down last summer in response to the Whitewater fire, they reopened it for hunting season -- so not sure what any fuss is about from the ranchers or outfitters. "Sorry dude, your forest is turning into desert ... "

ed: wc/add

Edited by hknewman on 05/03/2013 13:35:20 MDT.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!! on 05/03/2013 13:55:00 MDT Print View


Wow. What a lame note for such a potentially serious act. It's like saying, "I casually condemn you to death."

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Water on 05/03/2013 17:25:10 MDT Print View

I agree that robbing someones cache is really bad form. Taking all of it is worse, even despicable. Do we know that they took it all? In a real emergency, I'd forgive someone taking some water, but not taking it all.

I do wonder about all of the "condemning to death" talk. It is only 5 miles to the next water for the thief so they didn't need it, but Balls an Sunshine are going to die without it? It seems like folks like being a little overly dramatic.

Note that I am not condoning the theft, just questioning the hyperbole.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Water on 05/03/2013 18:26:50 MDT Print View

What have I learned from this account?

Don't leave a vital resource (water in the drought stricken desert!) to the mercy of the elements or chance. Also, don't expect people to care about whatever journey you may be on. No matter how important your trip may be to you there are those who neither understand or give a rat's ass about your well being, especially in remote and severed areas like southern NM. Should they?

Thru hiker culture doesnt permeate the southern NM region like that found along the AT and PCT, so plan accordingly and have a Plan B.

Kevin Buggie
(kbuggie) - M

Locale: NW New Mexico
change course...? on 05/03/2013 19:46:39 MDT Print View

The conclusion to this thread will be enlightening.... but in the context of being forced to push a long water-poor route in the most drought affected state in the country, should or could (later resupply locations) they have diverted/rerouted to the closer water source?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: change course...? on 05/03/2013 20:54:15 MDT Print View

They are trying to hike the "official" CDT. They don't want to divert from it at all.

In 2011, when Sunshine was 10, they did the PCT. That year the Sierras had one of the highest snow packs in history. A lot of thru hikers skipped the Sierras and came back later to finish it. Balls and Sunshine hiked through it, they didn't want to "cheat" the trail. Don't worry, Balls protects her and doesn't take unnecessary risks.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Water on 05/03/2013 22:13:12 MDT Print View

"I do wonder about all of the "condemning to death" talk. It is only 5 miles to the next water for the thief so they didn't need it, but Balls an Sunshine are going to die without it? It seems like folks like being a little overly dramatic."

+1 on that brother! I been finding myself disturbed by some of the tone here as much as the act itself. As you rightly point out, there was never any actual threat to their lives in this case. They could have themselves gone in the (albeit unplanned) direction they said they knew the others had gone, where there was a known water supply, then come back. I'm sure it would be a maddening detour, but not life-threatening - a 1/2 day delay for them. Also, as a bonus, they might have found the perpetrators and given them a piece of their minds.

More to the point I don't think it is at all obvious the mind-set or intent of the perpetrators, in spite of how sure many here seem to be, and I'm disturbed by all the repetition of how despicable and lowest-of-the-low they are. They did a bad thing, but I'd prefer to look on it as a mixture of ignorance and selfish narrow-sightedness rather than a bald-faced strike at all that is holy, at least until we know more. Whoever it was definitely deserves an education on this issue, but I'm not sure it would make the world a better place, or even the CDT a safer place if anyone out there that found them went straight to the yelling, threatening and shunning phase, as it seems many here would be more than willing to do, rather than just talk to them first, find out what they thought there were doing, and if they really even knew how potentially disruptive and even dangerous what they did could have been.

Edited by millonas on 05/03/2013 22:19:28 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Water on 05/03/2013 22:32:25 MDT Print View

Balls pointed out later they where not actually in danger because they had other options. But whoever stole the water didn't know that. For all they knew Balls and Sunshine might have stumbled in too dehydrated to go farther. If they'd really been suffering they could have drank some left a note and got to the source 5 miles away. The fact they took it all indicates to me they weren't in an emergency they just didn't care.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
water on 05/05/2013 17:40:46 MDT Print View

His latest post indicates they know who did it:


A group of 5 hiker that left Silver City the same day as they did.

Edited by livingontheroad on 05/05/2013 17:41:35 MDT.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: water on 05/05/2013 23:43:52 MDT Print View

Sounds like Beacon left them water only an hour or so before they were to pass through.

http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=411962

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: water on 05/09/2013 00:10:38 MDT Print View

OK, if it was not idiot day hikers and in fact other thru-hikers then you officially have my permission to string'em up. LOL