Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!!
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Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!!" on 04/28/2013 14:41:44 MDT Print View

That is pretty despicable. Did the thief somehow think that the person who cached the water would not be thirsty and depending on it? I agree that the least they could have done was replenished it forthwith.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: "Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!!" on 04/29/2013 20:49:48 MDT Print View

My idea. Some local BPL hiker find the next dry section where a cache is needed. Plant another cache and label "Balls" as the other. However this time piss in the cache and let's see if we can get the to steal again. Just saying.

Brad

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: "Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!!" on 04/29/2013 21:11:04 MDT Print View

Personally, I would never drink from a container labeled "Balls"

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Balls on 04/30/2013 07:05:29 MDT Print View

Unconscionable. If you found yourself in dire need, one would hope you'd think to replace the water immediately so as not to cause the owner to be in the same predicament you found yourself in. Sad, but indicative of the general mindset of our society, or at least a growing portion of it.

Edited by BER on 04/30/2013 07:08:06 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!! on 04/30/2013 08:52:07 MDT Print View

who among you who cast all these stones would not drink someone else's water if dieing of thirst ?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!! on 04/30/2013 09:08:20 MDT Print View

As I stated before, if I truly was in danger and needed the water, I'd drink it. But have it replaced forthwith.

In this particular case, it appears that water sources were no more than a half dozen miles away. It was irresponsible of whomever took the water to not be better prepared. In the event THEY were in a true emergency, then so be it, but I somehow doubt it.

I would like to know the timeline between when the water was taken and when Balls found the empty containers.

Andrew Zajac
(AZajac)

Locale: South West
Re: Re: Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!! on 04/30/2013 09:18:48 MDT Print View

I had that initial sentiment as well, but changed my mind after thinking about it a little more. If I were at risk of death and found a water cache that saved my life I would no doubt drink the water. However, if I also had the tools to write a note to the owner I would be much more appreciative and leave a better note than 'sorry, I needed water.' It just doesn't sound very grateful like someone at death's door would have been. The drinker obviously had a permanent marker. A note stating when and how they plan to replace the water would have been the right thing to do as well as to actually do it and maybe leave balls and sunshine something extra as a token of their appreciation. I am glad that the thief got water if he/she truly needed it, but they handled the situation very poorly and potentially endangered the lives of others. I still think that what the thief did was really irresponsible and despicable.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!! on 04/30/2013 09:30:31 MDT Print View

"who among you who cast all these stones would not drink someone else's water if dieing of thirst ?"

Not sure if you're just being a devil's advocate this morning, but did you read Balls' entry linked to in the first post? The people who stole the water had only been hiking for 7 miles that day, and only had 5 more miles to go before their next water source. And they didn't just steal a little, they stole a lot. They deserve all the derision they're getting, IMO. From Balls' journal:

"Some cowards with only 7 miles in for the day and 5 more to their next water, stole our marked cache and left us to carry empty jugs potentially 30 more miles to our next water on the Black Mountain Route. They even left a note, indicating they knew they wronged us. Most all CDT thru's hike the Ley route here to avoid the long waterless stretches. They were unwilling to brave the long waterless stretches, But had no problem sending us out there waterless. It was not one person, it was many. Because they stole a lot of water."

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: Re: Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!! on 04/30/2013 09:43:19 MDT Print View

Michael Popov (a great athlete) died on a 6 mile desert run.
it not about the miles, its about the condtions of the moment.

but yes, I am being a devil's advocate to create a little balance and restore some rationality to a lynch mob situation.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!! on 04/30/2013 09:58:54 MDT Print View

According to the trail journal, there was a lot of water and they took all of it, leaving them with empty jugs. They could have left a simple note mentioning their intent to replace it. The note they left might as well have said, "F U, I'm thirsty"

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Satan I rebuke thee! on 04/30/2013 10:03:31 MDT Print View

Tongue in cheek of course:)

I think a few responses on this thread were along the lines of what I would expect if it were me who left that cache there. I wouldn't want someone to die but I would expect for them to leave a note on when they expect to return with a resupply and I would expect for that to be their first priority. If they need to cut their hike/vacation short to make things right then so be it. Seems reasonable to me and hardly a lynch mob.

Back to the present case... these people behaved horribly and should be ashamed. I live in the desert (yes Washington has one) and fully appreciate that water is life. What these people essentially did was make a decision that their life and wellbeing was more important than that of a stranger; they placed the lives of Balls and Sunshine in danger with seeming indifference.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!! on 04/30/2013 10:48:02 MDT Print View

I'm been watching this thread for a while but I still can't get my mind around someone taking someones cached water, much less only 5 miles from another source. I can't get my head around a hiker with ANY kind of experience doing this, so I imagine it to be someone too inexperienced as well as selfish to know better. Still, from the details of the location it sounds like this might not have been the case. << Head explodes>> ...

Still, all cachers worry (or should) about this issue *all* the time. If a pre-placed water supply is life or death I'm not sure how it got found so casually. What ever happened to the long and noble tradition of hiding cashes - or at least placing them where no one passing by will be casually tempted? IMHO, you should always assume the worst case scenario in spite of logic as to location - that someone hiking by doesn't know any better. We have a very tight knit, but actually very small community here where we all know the rules, and are all outraged. But I don't think it should be obvious that any cache lying out in the open is not at extreme risk, especially if "marked" only means the word "BALLS" printed on the cache.

In addition to hiding - away from the trail and inside a bush somewhere, but especially paranoid folks have been known to bury cashes of water - it seems like a note such as the following should be placed (I always thought is was pro forma in such cases):

"This water was placed here by Balls and his daughter who will be passing this way on a thru hike some time near the end of April 2013. Please do not take any of it as they are *depending* on it to be here for their safety."

Yes, I know it is like talking to infants, and that it should not be necessary. But some idiot who saw water on the side of the trail with only the word "BALLS" on the bottle might need it spelled out. As I said, assume the worst case scenario. Wars have been started for misunderstood inter-tribal conventions. Assume complete novices as worst case scenario. By writing the note (who the hell carries a sharpie with them on the trail LOL) the thieves showed they were unsure, and these particular thieves might have wavered if it has been spelled out in full idiot-proof form. Also, though I would NEVER actually advocate such explicit instructions (better not to give then an easy excuse they could later renege on), the date and urgency written on the bottle might have further encouraged the violator to come back with a replacement and a nice gift.

In this case I don't know if the old-school "conventional" hiding part or message part was in fact followed in this case (it is not mentioned in the original blog post), but I'd be a lot more outraged if I knew it was. Only then would I get out my flaming brand and pitchfork.

Edited by millonas on 04/30/2013 11:05:29 MDT.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!! on 04/30/2013 11:01:18 MDT Print View

"....with only 7 miles in for the day and 5 more to their next water,....."


I won't debate how Balls knew how far the perpetrators had come that day, but I will say that they might not have had any idea that another source was only five miles ahead.

This is why I always bury my cache if possible, or at least put it out of sight of anyone on the trail, and marked to indicate it was placed there for (my name) and expected date of retrieval.

In the event I don't retrieve it by that date, I can not complain if someone takes it after that date.

Courtesy demands that if I place a cache that I do not retrieve as planned, I must return at the earliest possible date and remove it.

Edited by wandering_bob on 04/30/2013 11:12:27 MDT.

Paul Mason
(dextersp1) - F
Re: Re: Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!! Mike M. on 04/30/2013 11:07:26 MDT Print View

Mike M.
Nice post.

I never stashed water. But if I were to do so, I would bury it away from a trail and keep notes/photo(?) of where I buried it - keep it simple - north 30' of ?

Good idea of the note - even if buried.

No one seems to know if BALLS hid the water.

It appears he used gallon jugs which should be buried. In some parts of the country there are animals that like to chew on plastic. In some places animals chew on ignition wires. I don't know the situation where BALLS was hiking.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off - How did they stash it? on 04/30/2013 11:32:42 MDT Print View

But still. If it was free for the taking, I'm sure it would have had something along the line of "for use by whomever needs this."
Duane

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off - How did they stash it? on 04/30/2013 11:52:03 MDT Print View

Sure. That is the proper logic. Also why *we* would never take it. But don't assume other people will think that.

They might even have thought the lack of an explicit note means it is up for grabs. The situation can be even more complicated - trail angels on the PCT (don't know if this is true on the CDT yet) are known to put out water for people on the desert stretches. I'm sure they usually mark them with a message such as the one you mention, like "use it if you need it". Still, some of these hikers may have just heard about this practice filtered 2nd or 3rd hand, or even interpreted this to mean they could count on finding water placed in this way. The note they left might have meant to them only "sorry to take the public water, but we did indeed need it at the time, so it was OK". Maybe they thought "BALLS" was the trail angel. Maybe they thought the reason it was left out in the open was that BALLS had already passed through and took what he needed leaving the rest up for grabs. OK, I know totally stupid, but unfortunately not completely unbelievable.

Again, not saying it was not totally ignorant, just that you shouldn't assume other will not act that way, and take precautions.

I'm wondering how writing something like "NOT drinkable, POISON, this water is laced with an experimental neurotoxin that is being used in an experiment by researchers in the surrounding area" would effect the behavior of people if they were out of water in the desert. Sounds like the makings of a PhD thesis in Psychology. Explicit note here - "This idea for a PhD thesis up for grabs. Use it if you need it."

Edited by millonas on 04/30/2013 12:01:17 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!! on 04/30/2013 11:57:48 MDT Print View

Well someone should have left half at least.

Whoever placed the cache, if vehicle accessible, should have left extra, just in case.

Sucks for sure.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Poison on 04/30/2013 11:59:45 MDT Print View

There was a garden beyond the biology department where my dad used to teach. The sign on the tomatoes read something like "Radioactive Growing Experiment Not Safe to Eat."

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT!! on 04/30/2013 12:05:38 MDT Print View

"but yes, I am being a devil's advocate to create a little balance and restore some rationality to a lynch mob situation."

Meh, balance is overrated.....

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Balls and Sunshine Ripped-off on the CDT on 04/30/2013 12:50:55 MDT Print View

Timeline (per the online journals):
Cache placed by their friend Beacon: April 24
Cache discovered missing by Balls and Sunshine: April 26

The word is already out among CDT hikers (I've seen it in several other online journals), so it shouldn't take long to discover who was there during that 48 hour (or less) stretch. The thieves will find themselves shunned by other hikers and any trail angels for the rest of the trip. The fact that they are such poor planners that they were out of water after only 5 miles means they probably won't get much farther.

Water is a matter of life and death out in the desert, and taking someone else's cache is unconscionable. Balls and Sunshine were heading out (via a less well-used version of the trail) for a 30 mile dry stretch.