It’s the end of the year, and we’re making our usual naughty and nice lists
So who’s been naughty this year? We came up with a few ideas of our own...and then asked some of our friends on the backpacking message boards for help. We hope you don't yourself in any of these!
We have to start with Casey Knocket, the creepy girl that was proudly vandalizing every National Park she visited. We can only hope that she spends a lot of time cleaning something in jail...or would it be more appropriate if some other "aspiring artist": vandalized her home, car, or private "artwork" under the guise of doing something more than just vandalism? sheeesh.
Also on the list are those knuckleheads who think they are either too smart or too experienced to follow the regulations in the National Forests, and then end up starting massive wildfires. Seriously, we can’t think of an appropriate punishment for someone who starts a fire like that. (This last year we saw someone cutting branches off a tree in the Emigrant Wilderness for his campfire. He knew this was wrong. We reminded him. He kept doing it. Grrrr.)
And then there are the nasty people who seem to think that their trash is somehow less offensive than everyone else’s. That’s the only reason we can imagine that we’ve found everything from toilet paper and tampons to tin cans and micro-trash throughout the Sierra. Please. You are welcome to be a complete slob in your own house, or in your car, but when you are visiting Mother Nature, please make sure that you clean up after yourself. We haven’t done a hike in ten years without finding some trash on the trails. Yeah, we pick it up in most cases. If you’ll give us your name and address, we’d be happy to mail it back to you.
Other nominations include:
>> A demerit badge to those Boy Scout leaders who toppled the rocks in Utah.
>> Establishing new campfire locations. Just to be clear: this is always illegal in National Parks and many other areas.
>> Leaving moose gut piles or fish remains near the trail in grizzly country.
>> Throwing rocks off a high point with no awareness or consideration of trails, hikers, climbers or fishers below.
>> People packing firearms who seem barely able to use a hiking stick.
>> The deer hunters who feel it is OK to leave their orange flags up and who leave their cans and other trash where they were sitting waiting for a deer to happen buy. Their scent packets also. Also the bird hunters who leave their shells behind. Note – not against hunting, just the few that are slobs.
>> Those people who backpack into a place with a large group of people just to get smashed and tell and vomit through the hole night. I am the guy who then wakes up at 6 and makes as much noise as possible to tear down my camp before starting for the day
>> Those people who arrive at an other-than-your-group empty back country camping area and choose to camp right next to you.
>> Intentional and unintentional arsonists, poachers, those who sneak their wheeled conveyances in where they don't belong, cattle, commercial packers.
>> The psuedo PCT wanabee hikers who bring shame on the program as well as embarrassing the true "long-distance" marvels. Hanging out/sponging, using/abusing trail-Angel generosity, leaving trash, no bear-cans...
>> Those entering any park via an auto who have to ask the kiosk Ranger questions better asked elsewhere, particularly when there is a long line of cars behind them...
And how can we leave out Mother Nature, with one of the toughest Sierra droughts on record. Come on, Mom. Have a heart.