View Full Version : Close Encounters of the "Turd" Kind

Speck Lover
02-25-2010, 03:04 PM
The recent thread regarding carrying firearms legally in the GSMNP has piqued my curiosity as to how many of you folks have had a past close encounter with anyone that had the potential to turn bad, or did turn bad while fishing in the backcountry.

Mine occurred off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in N.C., near a trail at a small stream where a friend and I were fishing for specks around 1996. We had set up a little base camp to fish out of for a couple of days. After returning from fishing one morning, we found a group of drunken horseback riders in our camp sitting on their horses. They had thrown some empty beer cans out in our camp. A few unpleasantries were exchanged, and a real uneasy feeling came over me after one of the horseback riders decided that he needed to show us his concealed holstered sidearm. After a few tense minutes that seemed more like an hour, we could hear voices from some passing backpackers, which for some reason, made the horseback riders leave. I've often wondered what the outcome might have been had the backpackers not come along.

Jim Casada
02-25-2010, 03:28 PM
Dave--Although there is probably a sociological reason which escapes me, most of the problematic or troublesome situations I have experienced over the years have involved horseback riders. That's not to suggest all of them are bad news, because certainly such is not the case. However, there's no denying that they do immense damage to trails, leave campsites an odiferous mess, and somehow seem to have much less respect for the environment and others in the backcountry than do backpackers or hikers.
Over the years I've repeatedly asked Park superintendents to justify the damage done by horses; never once have I gotten anything approaching a rational answer.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

02-25-2010, 04:56 PM
This past November at lost cove # 90 a drunk guy was in a tent right next to me. He was walking around outside the tent at night mumbling very drunk and falling. Talking to himself a lot. He walked near my tent a few times and I thought he would fall on me but he didn't. # 90 and # 86 both seem to be the worst as far as drawing in the people that cause problems. Once you get up past those where you have to walk then most of the problem types are left behind.

Also last April I had a strange experience with some horse fellows at bone valley cs 83. Was walking through there and this guy runs out and stops and stares at me and my buddy as we walked past. Finally he ran up to me and asked what I was doing and I told him I was going fishing. He said something but I kept on going. Nothing bad happened I just didn't like the way they were staring at us. Thought I heard some dueling banjo music playing from the tent lol. Most of the horse fellows I have ran into are polite on the trail though.

02-25-2010, 05:19 PM
Over the years I've repeatedly asked Park superintendents to justify the damage done by horses; never once have I gotten anything approaching a rational answer.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Totally unrelated, but I've had a grudge for years over the fact that horses are allowed on trails in the Park but mountain bikes are not. Is it because Park officials don't want someone to come blazing down a trail and plow into a hiker?

Anyway, I've yet to have a seriously sketchy encounter in the woods. I hope I never do!

02-25-2010, 05:38 PM
Before we were married, my wife and I were backpacking near the Lost Cove Cliffs in Pisgah NF. We set up camp one night next to Lost Cove Creek and hadn't seen a person all day. About midnight I woke up to strange noises and our dogs were growling in a low tone. I zipped open the rain fly and both dogs were shivering for their lives as if they'd seen a ghost. I could hear strange noises that sounded like chanting and weird songs, but couldn't make them out because of the noise of the creek. I got out of the tent to look around. A thick fog had laid down in the valley and I could hardly see 10 feet in front of me. I looked down the valley into a large cove and could see lights everywhere, moving up and down almost in unison (or so it appeared). The chanting and strange noises seemed to grow louder, I could hear an odd laughter, and some of the lights were moving side to side now.

Great I thought, theres some strange cult that has come here in the middle of the night to do some sort of devil worshipping or the like. I didn't wake my wife because I knew she wouldn't sleep, but I pulled the dogs into the tent and eventually fell asleep (frankly, I was as scared as i'd ever been).

The next morning I woke to another thick fog in the valley, but no noises. We packed up and headed downstream. As we climbed the mountainside out of the creek drainage, I looked down into the cove.....and saw a boy scout camp of about 30 tents that had come in during the night. :biggrin:

02-25-2010, 06:24 PM
You know; I seem to always attract the jerks in life. Probably the main reason I never go to bars. It seems that someone always has to smart off to me or give me their opinion about what I am doing. I am not sure why this happens. I do not carry a firearm fishing; because I feel I can handle me self with what God has given me-a brain:)

Know sometimes; people really rub me the wrong way and I have to voice my thoughts back at them. A few times I have helped them take a quick nap. The ironic thing is; I would do anything to help someone or would be pleased to make a new friend. However, I believe some people get glossed by alcohol and the false security of being in a group. Unfortunately, I think there will be some gun owners that hide behind the security of carrying a gun and they will feel compelled to be true @34es!

I guess my point is; we as fly fisherman need to maintain and express an organizational behavior of being kind and considerate sportsmen. I hope I/we can remember to step back a moment during times of confrontation. I always try and smile first when meeting someone and offer a kind hello.

A good idea is to use your digital cameras and phones to report people if trouble comes up. Also, get the ranger and local police numbers before you go on a trip.


02-25-2010, 11:40 PM
i interned for the park one summer and while camping at bear/forney creek, some park equipment was vandalized and stolen by horseback riders. They rummaged through a couple packs and took some water filters and other nicknacks. They also took a datalogger but dropped it a few hundred yards away on the trail

Rog 1
02-26-2010, 10:33 AM
This summer will mark 50 years I have been fishing in the Park...granted not as often as I would like...only had one such "turd" incident...back when you could drive up LR trail to forks of the river my fishing buddy and I had hiked up Fish Camp Prong to fish around the island below the Goshen Fork....on the way out we decided to fish some of the larger pools for some of the big trout you used to be able to see from the trail...we would leave our jackets by the trail while down in the river...after about the second pool my buddy came back to find his jacket missing along with our car keys that were in one of the pockets....caught up with a group of "locals" hiking out from CS23 who denied seeing the jacket but offered up a set of car keys they had "found"...after crossing the river another local came out of the woods wearing my friends jacket...claimed it was his but forgot that since it was an army jacket it had my friends name on it....backed down and took it off...luckily the rest of the family hadn't made it that far....

No Hackle
02-26-2010, 11:45 AM
my wife and I were at Smokemont a few years ago and got to hear a bunch of drunk chinese students sing " more than words " in chinese, I dont care who you are or how tired you are that there is funny!
No Hackle