[Cdt-l] lost another water cache in Grants

Scott Williams baidarker at gmail.com
Mon Dec 15 23:09:01 CST 2014

Carol, I'm so sorry you had to go through this.  Wow, that is awful. But
thanks for all the years of helping hikers coming into and out of Grants.
Meeting you both and getting to know Grants a bit through your hospitality
was marvelous and made for such a lovely break after El Malpais.

I met a trail angel on the AT in the South this past summer, who had been
arrested and booked several years ago.  He had to be bailed out and was
eventually placed on probation.  His offense was giving away food while on
state property, which was the edge of the road.  Obviously a law designed
to discourage vagrants, it was being used to prosecute a trail angel for
helping "trail trash."  Although some could argue we're worse than vagrants
as we choose to look like bums.  But he was back cooking full breakfasts
this year after getting permission to set up his stove on a spur road next
to a cemetery just up the hill from where he had been arrested several
years back.  Some law enforcement officers simply go too far in their zeal,
and I'm sorry that zeal got you, and doubly sorry it was a hiker that
"ratted you out."  For all the good you do, you don't deserve it.

Merry Christmas to you both!


On Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 12:38 PM, Designer Aviaries <birdcage at 7cities.net>

> I have bad news.  I posted a month or so ago that a southbound hiker told
> the ranger at the Hwy 53 station that there was a water cache at the west
> side of the Acoma-Zuni trail and gave the ranger my name and phone number.
> He called to confirm the water cache and get directions and told me he
> would
> check it out and get back to me.  Got a call over the week-end and the
> ranger wanted to meet at the cache yesterday - we agreed.  When we drove
> into the parking area, we knew there was a problem.  The ranger was a law
> enforcement ranger and had backed into the last parking space and was
> standing at the front of his vehicle complete with his gun belt and bullet
> proof vest. When we got out to talk, he obviously had an agenda.  He was
> polite but seemed obsessed that we hadn't asked permission to have the
> water
> cache in the area.  Bottom line, he not only asked us to remove any
> evidence
> of the water cache, but also took my drivers license and gave me a Federal
> citation for "digging and disturbing the ground and  plants on Federal
> Land", with a fine of $125.00.  He said if I didn't pay the fine within 30
> days there would be a Federal Warrant issued for my arrest.  When I signed
> the citation he gave back my license and did say that we seemed like nice
> people so he gave me the lowest fine possible for our infraction.  We drove
> away feeling like criminals - a sad day! I feel this was completely
> unnecessary. All he had to do was say we couldn't have the cache there and
> to remove it.
> Now, we still have the water cache on the east side of the Acoma-Zuni trail
> on Hwy 117.  We are willing to continue to maintain that cache because we
> think it is the most critical place that you need water. Please do not tell
> anyone other than a hiker that it is there, we don't need any more trouble.
> Also, on the west side of the Acoma-Zuni trail there is a wind mill 2 miles
> north on Bonita Canyon road that the ranchers fixed earlier this year.  We
> will drive out the canyon next spring before the northbounders come through
> to see if it is still running.  If it is, we will post the info and that
> will have to be your water to get to Grants.  Sadly, Carole Mumm
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