Citico Trip Cut Short

9:17 p.m. on January 4, 2013 (EST)
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I went to Citico for a 6 day trip. But it got cut short by a break in at my vehicle. 


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I drove through a thick cloud fog at 10MPH to finally climb above and reach Beech Gap. It was a pretty cold start.


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An easy walk in to Cold Spring Gap and the fog begins. Later while cooking it would be so thick that a sideways wind was saturated with moisture. The cold was in the wind chill. This spot is great for wind loving campers.


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Getting a little water down the hill. I used the top lid from the MR pack to carry my filter and water bag - it worked better than I expected. 


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I hunted around in the birch trees and found a good supply of Chaga to make tea during my trip. 


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During the night the trees got a good ice coating.


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No sun in sight.


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My dog was limping from an injury he got this summer. I decide to carry his gear back to the car and re-organize the plan. I relocated to Long Branch Trail and put a nights worth of his food in my pack, left all but one nights worth of my food in my car and headed out again. Camp at Long Branch.


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Tangerines are good anytime, and especially on the trail.


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Primus Omnifuel stove for this trip. I love this stove.


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Temp is at 28 degrees with a slight wind. Its 10 degrees warmer in the tent with me and the dog. I woke this night at midnight and was laying there trying to go back to sleep when all of a sudden a large animal walked right up to the tent and then must have gotten spooked because it ran crashing through the woods. Scary. Possible suspects - bear, pig, or deer. 


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Day three was spent exploring some of Long Branch and heading back to the car to get more food. I can carry the next three days of dog food and my food so the plan is too head back up the high ridge and enjoy some winter camping. The dog got a reprieve from the cold and from the load and he is walking a lot better today.


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Beautiful views from this trail.


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And here is where it all goes bad. Someone broke out my window and stole all my food, the dogs pack, ect...All these items were hidden in the van and not visible. I have parked here for years as well as other places in the area and never had an issue. Oh well, what can you do?


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Dusting for prints. This guy was pleasant, professional and thorough. A really nice guy. I do not carry a cell phone while hiking and don't even bring one for the ride. I flagged down a TDOT road-crew supervisor and he radioed his office in Harriman who then called Madisonville PD and voila. The TDOT guy stayed and we talked for an hour while waiting for the po-po to arrive. 

I was sad about having to leave, but a car with a missing window would be just be asking for trouble. 

As a side note - I asked the deputy if he knew the story behind the burned-out car that was a Beech Gap (see TipiWalter Trip Report) and he told me that it was a murder that was done somewhere else and the car and body were driven to Beech Gap and lit on fire. How would you like to walk up on that scenario? Scary.

Highlights include massive gun fire and four wheelers in the Wilderness at 8pm on the second night. It sounded like a squad was laying down suppressive fire on some four wheel mounted calvary troops. Not sure what that was about. 

5:20 p.m. on January 6, 2013 (EST)
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Nice report hootyhoo. I liked your photo selection.

Man I hate to see that about your experience with destructive thievery. Unfortunately I have also experienced such (though not at a trailhead while backpacking) and it’s a special kind of crappy feeling of violation. It’s positively heinous that they took your food resupply.

The unattended vehicle is a risk that some of us can only hope to mitigate; it’s a good reminder to the many that have to leave a vehicle to public encounter while out enjoying the wilderness.

Thanks for sharing the trip and telling both good and bad.

 

6:03 p.m. on January 6, 2013 (EST)
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Patman, thanks. Are you heading to Big Frog soon?

My van clock was reset when they attempted to steal the battery, but someone cut themselves and bled all over the battery and the front bumper. They stripped the battery cable nuts and left them loose, but I guess the accident that caused the blood must have made them stop trying to remove the battery. The clock reset to 12(during the cable loosening) and it showed 12 when I started the car to leave, but it was actually 4 - so...the break-in must have occured at 4 am.

I'll park there again. I think it was isolated. The police officer told me that break-ins were infrequent on the Cherohala Skyway.

Mine was the only car parked out that night. Most likely an old beater like mine would not be a prime target.

Don't leave valuables in your car - that's for sure.

6:49 p.m. on January 6, 2013 (EST)
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hootyhoo, sorry to here about your ride being broken into. I feel your pain. Mine was hit years back on the way to the trail. Needless to say they wiped me out(pack, tent, bag, boots and other miscellaneous items.)

My vehicle was paid off and I only had liability so it was a substantial hit in the wallet.

Now I have my wife drop me off and pick me up.

Nice looking trip.

Your tent is a MH Trango?

7:34 p.m. on January 6, 2013 (EST)
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Sorry to hear about the gear loss Rick. That would really be a terrible thing to experience.

Yeah that is a Trango 2. 

8:07 p.m. on January 6, 2013 (EST)
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It happened to me too, just like rick they got my whole kit, plus laptop,cellphone and wallet. I was swimming with my kids, parked on the side of the road. nice report anyway, pretty low to steal food and a dogs pack. I bet that pack turns up in a pawn shop, what else are they gonna do with it?

8:36 p.m. on January 6, 2013 (EST)
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Whoa, too many of us are familiar with that. That’s no good.

Hootyhoo,

I had hoped to be meeting Tipi there but I have to work the next two weekends and can’t make it. I’ve never seen the Big Frog and am looking forward to exploring the area!

12:33 a.m. on January 7, 2013 (EST)
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Dog pack --They might put it on craigslist or sell it at a flea market.

Patman - I doubt that I will go out there. I used to frequent that area a long time ago, but its more of a drive for me. Cohutta is superb. I'm going to get my window replaced asap and load back up for the trip I missed. 

10:04 a.m. on January 7, 2013 (EST)
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The breakin is bad enough - that would sure ruin your day! It's happened on rare occasions where I hike (usually at THs close to the cities), but mostly the crack-heads don't seem to want to make the long drive out to the National Parks.

But this stuff... "

"...he told me that it was a murder that was done somewhere else and the car and body were driven to Beech Gap and lit on fire....

... massive gun fire and four wheelers in the Wilderness at 8pm on the second night..."

Wow! That sounds like a very scary place to go hiking! 

2:52 p.m. on January 7, 2013 (EST)
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peter1955 said:

The breakin is bad enough - that would sure ruin your day! It's happened on rare occasions where I hike (usually at THs close to the cities), but mostly the crack-heads don't seem to want to make the long drive out to the National Parks.

But this stuff... "

"...he told me that it was a murder that was done somewhere else and the car and body were driven to Beech Gap and lit on fire....

... massive gun fire and four wheelers in the Wilderness at 8pm on the second night..."

Wow! That sounds like a very scary place to go hiking! 

 Well, now that you mention it...I've been a hillbilly for so long that I forgot this type stuff was not the norm. I apologize.

I found out today that damage to my vehicle is on my comprehensive, one deductible, and items stolen from my vehicle are on my homeowners, another deductible. Looks like I lose. 

4:04 p.m. on January 8, 2013 (EST)
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In my limited experience with breakins, the culprits usually cost more in damage to get into the car or house than the value of the items they manage to carry away. And just the hassle of replacing all the ID and credit cards in a wallet is a lot more of a headache than the few dollars they might get out of the loose change slot in the car.

Sigh! No wonder the peace of the backcountry appeals to me so much. 

10:44 p.m. on January 9, 2013 (EST)
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The story the cop gave you about the burned out car at Beech Gap is crap. I meet the owner of the car when he hiked down from the bald while I was looking over what was left of the car. A hunter carried him to town.

8:23 a.m. on January 10, 2013 (EST)
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Frogman said:

The story the cop gave you about the burned out car at Beech Gap is crap. I meet the owner of the car when he hiked down from the bald while I was looking over what was left of the car. A hunter carried him to town.

 I'm not sure what to make of that. Was it the hiker that Tipi showed in his TR that had an external frame pack? Let me find that TR - it has  photo. 

Not sure why the officer told me that story. 

Here is the trip report.

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/trip-reports/topics/114982.html

8:39 a.m. on January 10, 2013 (EST)
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Ohhh, it was a different burned car and body. My bad. There's too many of these to keep up with.

Around here if you ask about a burned car or body you need to be specific.

A little google time and I found this...body was in the trunk - another good reason to drive a minivan.

http://monroebuzz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/07-19-10.pdf

7:50 p.m. on January 10, 2013 (EST)
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Yea, that's the guy in Tipi's photo. Nice tent. That is definitely bombproof. A big change from your YouTube vids with the tarps.

11:02 p.m. on January 10, 2013 (EST)
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Frogman said:

Yea, that's the guy in Tipi's photo. Nice tent. That is definitely bombproof. A big change from your YouTube vids with the tarps.

 I thought that was him, but never could confirm. That looks like a Super Tioga -can't go wrong with that pack. I tried carrying a tent on the top of my Super Tioga, like that guy, but it was too off balance and weighty. Tent on the bottom is a much better ride for me, plus its easier to access the pack that way. Bag inside for protection.

Thanks for tent compliment. It gets out every once in a while.

2:20 p.m. on January 14, 2013 (EST)
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Can I have everyone's attention?

Just felt I should add this information for those that frequent the Citico area. I was just on the phone with a Monroe County detective who wants to come out to my house and take blood samples from the vehicle that was broken into. I was told that there has been a rash of break-ins lately, especially on the Tellico River Road. They have suspect and "its just a matter of time". So beware and take pre-cautions. 

I am duly impressed with Monroe County. When I had a vehicle break-in in Knox County I called the cops and all they did was give me a police report number over the phone so I could turn it in to my insurance. 

That is all. You can return to your work stations.

3:16 p.m. on January 19, 2013 (EST)
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WOWIE ZOWIE everyone's been busy on the roads and in the backcountry and all else---with detective work and blood samples to add to the festivities.  So sorry to hear about your car Hootyhoo, Little Mitten told me on a cell phone call from the top of Big Frog Mt on my last trip (9 days straight of rain---you didn't miss anything).  180 hours of constant rain---a brand new record.


Thanks for the email and we'll link up soon enough, maybe Patman and Gonzan and others---and old Frogman---can join us.  I hope to plunge back into the Frog and scoot down into the Cohutta though when I was atop the Frog I could hear Jacks River Falls roaring 3,000 feet below and it terrified me---considering there are around 40 crossings on that trail.  Have a Plan B is all I can say.

Hootyhoo---were you parked at the Jeffrey Hell lot when the breakin occurred??

10:50 a.m. on January 20, 2013 (EST)
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This is a sad commentary.  I had my window broken and lost a bunch of stuff at Lake Shasta a few years ago.  I try not to go west of the Sierras much. 

It is best to leave nothing in the vehicles at trailheads now.  For our next canoe trip we will be launching and taking out at RV parks where we have to pay a fee, but someone will be there to watch the vehicles for the week that we are gone with out of state plates.

 

10:58 a.m. on January 20, 2013 (EST)
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Tipi, let me know here or via PM what dates you're looking at for the next trip or two. I've got multiple projects that will keep me pegged down for most of January and February, but I plan to get out at least once. 

July 30, 2014
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