Suspicious Behavior (and in NPS land!)

Suspicious Behavior (and in NPS land!)

This is a discussion on Suspicious Behavior (and in NPS land!) within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My wife and I went for a hike this weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This particular hike was on National Park Service land. (As ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array swaggs's Avatar
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    Suspicious Behavior (and in NPS land!)

    My wife and I went for a hike this weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This particular hike was on National Park Service land. (As such, I'm eternally greatful for President Bush's passage of the NP carry). 11 mile, mountain side hike, ~2500' elevation change, 6 hour loop. In addition to my camelbak filled with water and snacks and an extra mag, I had my canon xti around my neck and my XDm .40 IWB on my hip.
    About 7 miles into the hike (4 to go) we saw our first fellow hiker of the day. Nice enough gentleman, we said hello and he asked "y'all doin the whole loop?" I replied "yeah." He responded "Tried that once, it's too long for me. I just go up now." I said "have a good hike." He said "likewise." And off we went.
    I'll add now that my wife really wanted to see a bear. Not necessarilly up close, but just to see one. So we would stop every few hundred yards and just stand still and listen, and look around. The fact that we didn't see one is largely attributable to the loudness of the leaves on the trail. We did however hear, at a range of about 3/4 of a mile, 3 wild turkey, and were able to get the binocs on them and snap a pic =)
    About 1 mile further down the trail we saw a connecting trail, to an alternate parking lot/trailhead. The lot was out of view (unfortunately). We had about three miles left at this point, and it was mostly on a relatively level fire road running along the creek, so we made good time back to the car. We were very happy that the vehicle had not been broken into, parked in such a remote location for 6 hours. We had, of course, moved everything except for a few magazines and books and wrappers into the trunk. (Those things left in the cabin were intentional to make it look like we hadn't moved everything into the trunk.)
    Not 60 seconds after we got back to the car a red and white bronco came through the woods, down the road and parked in the other unofficial parking spot at this trail head. Very remote area and this was the only thing this far down (wasn't a through road, no other houses, etc). The guy that hopped out was the same guy we had seen on the trail. He looked at us for a second, then stared walking up the trail, in the same direction he had been earlier. At this point my bells and whistles are going off like mad! So, if you had trouble following the rambling narrative, this is what was in my mind:
    - Passed the guy 1 mile from (I presume) where his car was.
    - I divulged TOO MUCH INFO by saying we were doing the loop.
    - He must have turned around somewhere out of earshot (at least 3/4 of a mile - leaves were LOUD)
    - He made it back to his car, then drove the 10 miles through the slowish mountain roads to get back to where we were parked

    My only thought is that he was looking to break into our vehicle and we ruined his plan by getting back down to quick. Though I could give a description of him and his vehicle, I didn't get the plate or a picture (after he had walked off) or anything. I was just happy to get out of there.

    So, anything aside from my bonehead mistakes that you all would have done differently? Would you have reported to local authorities? How would you have answered his question about "doing the full loop" without being rude? (Tough to be rude while out amongst good country folk, just wish they were all good)

    In the end, luckily, there was no immenent danger situation and I didn't have to draw or fire, but it was nice to know I had the option!
    "Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less."
    "Save in defense of my native State, with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed, I hope I may never be called on to draw my sword" - Gen. R. E. Lee


  2. #2
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    Sounds like you did ok. What would you report if you called it in? Suspicious man?
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmanluke View Post
    Sounds like you did ok. What would you report if you called it in? Suspicious man?
    If they had several burglaries of vehicles in the area it would give them a person of interest and may actually be the break they need,I would still give them a report of vehicle type,color and description of individual,peoples spidey senses don't usually go off fer nothing
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    Senior Member Array BradyM77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    If they had several burglaries of vehicles in the area it would give them a person of interest and may actually be the break they need,I would still give them a report of vehicle type,color and description of individual,peoples spidey senses don't usually go off fer nothing
    +1 Call the non emergency line and let them know what's up for the above reasons
    "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything!" Bart Simpson

  5. #5
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    Ok, I can understand that, I must have missed the part about "several buglaries in the area".
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
    Thomas Jefferson

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    Member Array swaggs's Avatar
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    I think it's more of "just in case there had been several burglaries in the area." So, it's been reported for the aforementioned reasons. I'm kicking myself even more that I didn't get a tag. The person with the parkway authority expressed his displeasure at that as well, but agreed that he was likely looking to break into the car.
    stupid, stupid, stupid me! As a former comms watchstander/dispatcher type I of all people should have known better.
    "Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less."
    "Save in defense of my native State, with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed, I hope I may never be called on to draw my sword" - Gen. R. E. Lee

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array rottkeeper's Avatar
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    I would have said we are meeting people waiting back at our vehicle if I said anything at all. At least that would suggest your property is attended and not an easy mark.
    For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the son of man be. Mathew 24:27

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    Member Array Dustinmk4's Avatar
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    As far as telling him if you were doing the whole loop you could have just said you were unsure or were going to see how it goes. Thats nice enough and give him the what if they didnt and they come back before I can leave thought probably stopping him from trying in the first place.

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    Senior Member Array BamaSteve's Avatar
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    Well, coming from a small background of day and overnight hiking/backpacking myself, I completely understand your response to his question. It's just the natural and normal thing to say. I wouldn't beat yourself up over it, most of use don't go to alert level when we see someone hiking in the backwoods, typically anyone who is that far back is a nature person. But then again, there are always exceptions to the rule. Glad everything went fine though.
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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    I'd respond with: Dunno, 'pends on how we feel. You have a good-un, hear?

    It's the infantryman in me. If I suspect by visual or hearing that I'm about to have a trail side encounter with another person, I have this tendency to slip off into the woods to observe before I make my presence known, if at all. This goes along with the reason I rarely walk trails preferring to keep to the military crest of the ridge lines. Still, I haven't hiked for recreation in 25+ years. Dang little then, mostly hunting. When you make your living in the woods that is usually the last place you want to go on your day off. I think you did fine. Next time though, whatever you say be certain to do the polar opposite just to be sure. He could have been laying a nice little ambush for your return. Forget the vehicle. Worry about your missus and your own life.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    I've hiked that trail many times and it is a very isolated area. Just feel good that he didn't try to rob you on the trail. I did my hiking in the late 50s and early 60swith the Boy Scouts. It's a shame That Some of the BG have gravitated to this beautiful area.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    I understand your tendency to be friendly on the trails. I have hiked often around here, and usually people I meet are friendly.

    Sounds like he was trying to break into your car, or get there ahead of you with ill intentions toward you. It's too bad you can't trust anyone nowadays.

    I should be more vague in my conversations with people on the trails also, I suppose, for the same reason as your encounter. Thanks for the reminder of what could go wrong from a seemingly innocent conversation.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array BamaSteve's Avatar
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    I have to say though, this will make me think next time I'm hiking and meet someone...can never be too careful
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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Day hikes are one thing, overnighters another. Way back in the early 1970s I used to hike fairly large chunks of the Appalachian Trail with some friends from the Boy Scouts. It was a good time and very innocent fun. We used to stay in trail shelters in case there were bears about. Just a "lean to" affair with a chain link wall and gate. Many times we'd share such a shelter with other wayfaring travelers. No problems, ever. But in the 1980s and 90s that all changed as crime began inching it's way up along the trail Rape started becoming semi common and then robbery/murder. With hundreds of miles of trails to police, forget the rangers. Every once in awhile, depending on where you were located along the trail, you might come upon the army sort of ranger, training. When that happened I always felt supremely safe. These days, I think I'd take my chances with the bears and stay away from the shelters. What say y'all?
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array BamaSteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExSoldier View Post
    Day hikes are one thing, overnighters another. Way back in the early 1970s I used to hike fairly large chunks of the Appalachian Trail with some friends from the Boy Scouts. It was a good time and very innocent fun. We used to stay in trail shelters in case there were bears about. Just a "lean to" affair with a chain link wall and gate. Many times we'd share such a shelter with other wayfaring travelers. No problems, ever. But in the 1980s and 90s that all changed as crime began inching it's way up along the trail Rape started becoming semi common and then robbery/murder. With hundreds of miles of trails to police, forget the rangers. Every once in awhile, depending on where you were located along the trail, you might come upon the army sort of ranger, training. When that happened I always felt supremely safe. These days, I think I'd take my chances with the bears and stay away from the shelters. What say y'all?
    yeah...now I've only overnighted a couple times...don't have time right now...but I never stayed in a shelter. I have a sweet hammock that I can setup real quick and it keeps me out of the weather and such.
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