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Friday, August 12, 2016

Decked by a Booby Trap

The day started off wonderfully with breakfast on the deck with my Shyla. She seems to feel some responsibility to watch me but she dozes off with her head up when she's soaking up the rays at breakfast.

Then her head starts to nod. She fights it though, admirably!
I remember when Shyla first arrived and my disappointment that she didn't seem to love summer breakfasts on the deck. That has changed!

She was wide awake soon thereafter, romping through the fields that have only a few flowers left. Behind her, you can see the outline of the Continental Divide, where snow field still abound. I hope to be up that high very soon!

After my time with Shyla, my day went south, precipitously. The most notable part was that I was being a good citizen when I got decked by a booby trap in the camping area where the vagrants were until recently. I was riding that forest road, checking the fire rings in the vacant campsites, to make sure that there wasn't anything smoldering (there's a fire ban in place).

At one campsite, I glided toward the fire ring, and I was abruptly knocked to the ground. My elbow hit the ground hard and started bleeding again (the same elbow as I hurt in CB - and now I know that I have a bone chip from that fall so it hurts).

I had no idea what had happened. I stood up, totally dazed perhaps partly because I hit my head too when I fell. I couldn't see any reason for my fall. After my head cleared, I saw it. Fishing line was hung across the entrance to the campsite at neck level. Fortunately, I am short, and I was leaning downward so it hit me in the helmet. It could have been far worse.

I hung stuff from the vagrants' garbage pile on the fishing line to make it visible to the next person.

And then I went to call the cops. I left a note on a piece of paper found in the vagrants' garbage saying that I (the "reporting party or RP") had put the garbage on the line to make it visible.
To my utter dismay, the deputy concluded that a camper had made a line for hanging garbage, and it was not a booby trap. I think his conclusion was totally due to me hanging things on the line to make it visible.

In my opinion, things have gone waaaaay too far around here. I'm at the end of my patience for the police who seem to always give the benefit of the doubt to the "visitors" rather than to the locals who face great risks from the careless and even evil behavior of the "visitors".

There seems to be a growing population of transients who choose not to have homes. They are in their 20's and wander the country. They live in the forest, leaving almost daily to panhandle and trick people into giving them money. They trash their forest "home", and then move on. I am aghast at how many piles of human feces and toilet paper are near those vagrants' former encampment. I actually started to count yesterday, and I stopped at one hundred piles that I could see from the forest road.

It's a problem plaguing much of the west, with forests being trashed and being "taken over" by these transients who harass anyone who wants go through their encampments on legitimate trails. I'm done with being patient. Things need to change now.

Sorry for the rant but I am very upset. My whole body hurts after being decked by a booby trap in the very place I love the most - our forest.


  1. Wow! How horrible. I am glad you were not injured any more seriously than you were! I can't even imagine what was like to be wrenched from your bike unexpectedly. I have never thought about the possibility that these homeless (by choice?) camps were such a nationwide scourge. I do know even here in my metropolitan area, there are squatters like that that build camps in patches of unused woods.The police tend to clear them out though, as they are trespassing on private property. Such an odd world it is becoming, and odd in a bad way unfortunately.

  2. Ugh!!! That is disgusting and sad all at the same time. So very sorry you had to get hurt as a result of such stupidity. Take care and heal well:(

  3. OMG, that's insane. I had no idea. That's disgusting that they're trashing the forest. I'm so sorry that happened to you - it's sounds like a very scary and disheartening situation! Be careful!! God, I hope they don't hurt anyone - and that nothing bad happens with the local bears! Ugh. People suck.

  4. This is simply horrid. I hope you, and the people that live in your area can do something about this. What disrespect they have. I am simply amazed at the lack of concern from law enforcement too. I hope you can do something.

  5. OMG, they could have killed you. I'm glad you're as well as you are.

    Shame on them. SHAME.

  6. Dog oh Dog my momma is all kinds a mad about this. I am glad you are "OK" for the most part. Wish something could be done about these disrespectful people. wish I could help you find a solution. I just want to bite them in the butt.

  7. I would go to the Chief of Police or Sheriff (whichever is appropriate) directly. Take photographs and a give a full accounting of what you and your neighbors have witnessed and how you have been treated. Remind them that you are all law-abiding citizens interested in protecting your precious forests and that you have reported the problem before. (Perhaps a reminder of the recent fires might be appropriate) If you get no satisfaction or action from the sheriff or chief, then go to the person to whom they report.

    I would be very blunt and explain calmly that if anything further happens to you, if there are health hazards or fire hazards and something happens subsequent to the department's refusal to act to protect the citizens, then you will personally make certain the press hears about the issue. You might mention that on second thought perhaps an interested reporter might be tempted to go with you now (before anything happens) to document the situation for the local newspaper. And the lack of action on the part of the deputies. They just might do an interesting series of the vagrants trashing the mountains and harassing the residents who live there.

    Sorry for my own rant, but I feel the same way you do about our own forests. And I would get active to protect them in any way I could.

  8. Sigh. I hate people. But then I read your story and realize there are some normal decent people left so I shouldn't hate people. But DAMN! F**K! I have no words. Except I'm sorry and really pissed off for you and the forest, wildlife and earth. Oh and for humanity too. Hope you feel better soon.

  9. Thank doG you're weren't more seriously injured! What a shame that some peeps have no respect or scruples.

  10. This is just terrible! I sure do hope you are feeling better by the time you read this. Sending healing thoughts and energy to fight the fight to get then removed from the building!.

  11. Hari OM
    MontainWoman has the commonsense approach; escalate till someone pays attention. This sort of detritus is potential risk to the larger wildlife as well as human trail users. Your anger is justified - remove it from the 'body storage' and place it where it belongs - at the feet of the authorities. Body-stored anger is the worst booby trap of all... Blessings and Love, YAM xx

  12. I sure am glad you are okay, that's awful. Good thing we don't live nearby as they wouldn't be there long. Howdy pretty Shyla!

  13. Wow - that's terrible, had no idea. I wish there was something more you can do - I'm kind of surprised the police are so forgiving.

  14. We are very thankful that you are not more hurt than what you are. That could have been a very bad disaster.

    Deplorable that they are ruining America, the beautiful!

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  15. I'm so sorry to hear you were hurt by these careless jerks. I agree that you (and your neighbors) should report it to higher authorities and possibly get the local news involved. These people shouldn't be allowed to trash what isn't theirs. Are the authorities waiting for something more serious to happen?

    Thank goodness you have sweet Shyla to bring some joy to your life. I hope you heal and feel better soon.

  16. I am also glad you are ok...and can relate, the transient population in Humboldt County is also exploding and taking over nearby parks and forests....

  17. Like everyone, I'm so thankful and glad you are okay and safe! I do have to wonder what will have to happen before the officials take the much needed action --I shudder at that thought.

    I hope you feel better, and that you find peace in the rest of the weekend!

  18. I am sorry to hear that you got hurt from these people, I hope you heal up physically and mentally quickly. As for the Deputy he clearly has never done any washing before, since when is fishing line strong enough to hold wet washing??

  19. Ooops sorry that last post was from me Kiersten

  20. Wow! I had no idea that happened. Thanks for sharing this, and if I were living where you do, I know I'd feel the same way—and I feel as you do now! I have zero tolerence for humans who trash our environment. It's strange that nothing can be done about this. Is this private property or national or state park land? If it's the latter, isn't there a law prohibiting at least the littering (toilet paper)?

    Even if it wasn't a booby trap, can they put up one of those lines without hanging food or trash from it, therefore making it invisible and a hazard? As a recovering environmental law attorney, I'm thinking of ways you can sue! And the way you describe it, the actions of the vagrants seem to be in violation of some law...unless it is strictly private property. You might want to contact a local or national environmental group who likely have attorneys on board to see if there's a way these vagrants can be put off and kept off this land.

    Bocci's Parental Unit

  21. Oh, I just read the comments and agree with NC Mountain Woman, too! I got so riled up I forgot to wish you well in your recovery, and to say that I am so sorry for all of this!

    Again, I do think it's worth contacting an environmental group....

  22. That is terrible!
    Intentional booby trap or not, that line was very, very dangerous. I am glad your injuries weren't more severe.
    I hope the vagrants move on.

  23. We're glad you weren't hurt worse. Like you said, it could have been much worse, especially if your head wasn't down and it hit you on the neck. We think you need to push the complaint forward to other ears. You CAN fight city hall!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  24. So glad you and Shyla are okay!
    That is just awful!

  25. Hoping winter clears them out...of course then they come ot our canyon where it's warm...

  26. And, I'm really glad that that didn't catch you in the neck!

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  28. Good lord, KB - I'm very sorry you were injured, and I'm so glad it wasn't much worse. I'm a very private person 99% of the time, but I'd be roaring from the rooftops about this - if you hadn't "found" this dangerous boobytrap, someone could have been killed. I am outraged the police aren't taking it more seriously. "A camper had made a line for hanging garbage" doesn't even make sense, given your description of the area. Heck, it doesn't make sense, period.
    Take care out there, my friend.

  29. I am sad and speechless :(

  30. I've been off the blog to travel, but Mary Facetimed me today and mentioned your accident. I was horrified to hear that you were taken down by fishing line. We also have transients in the forest here in Breckenridge - a few camps are on a ridgeline trail near us. I walked there last summer to get into town and decided I better not go that way again. One of the transients was actually killed on that trail a few years ago. His camp has never been removed and others have taken up residence. It's fairly close to the ski area and town, so they can bike and walk into populated areas easily. Leaving fishing line hanging at a campsite is dangerous! I don't care what it is used for. If this is on forest service land, you should try calling your ranger station.


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