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Just Wondering??


Gary M
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I was just wondering, am I perhaps the dumbest hiker out there???

I've been an ultra-lite guy for a long time. So among other things, I leave behind my wallet and keys when hiking and just carry an ID and a single key to my SUV. OK, so far, so good.

So I always TRIPLE CHECK at the trailhead to insure I have my ID/car key combo in my daypack.

Today was a wonderful sunny and cool day, perfect for a early hike with my Newfoundland, Maximus at Smithville Lake. Got in a few photos, nothing unusual.

Got back to the trailhead , check for my key, and.......why yes, I am carrying my normal wallet and my ID/key is locked in my SUV. So here I am 50 miles from home with a muddy, 110 pound, hungry dog. So I was just wondering, who else could mess up a triple checked failproof plan?

So I have to break into my own SUV. I was either lucky and was successful or perhaps I'm just a born thief?

Gary M

Olathe, Kansas

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Kai Winters

Dog is thinking...probably stringy but with some bbq sauce it ought to be somewhat edible if he doesn't get the food carrying thingy open pdq...

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tmountainnut

I had a similar issue a month back. I was all set to go hiking, and after shutting the car door, i realized i had locked my keys inside. middle of nowhere off a dirt road, and only a handful of other cars there. I had some extremely dumb luck that one of the other people at the trailhead had a full wedge kit and a wire hook, and i was able to unlock the car within a few minutes.

Now i see why newer cars have little numerical pads to just enter a code and unlock the doors.

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To make things "worster" (if possible), getting the window open, I set off the car alarm.......

So there I am, at the Trailhead, alarm going off, and wearing my NEW TrailGroove T-shirt. Talk about feeling foolish! I guess just to top it all off, this little goof made me a bit late for Mothers Day back at my house. It sounds like something from "The Drive Home"! I guess I need to come up with a better procedure to insure I don't forget my key again.

Maximus did get a hamburger on the way home for being so patient.

Gary M

Olathe, Kansas

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I won't say anything because I don't want to jinx myself concerning car keys. But, I live in fear that my car won't start when I return to the trailhead after a multi-day trip, and even if it's just a couple of days. No matter what make, model, year, etc., I have bad luck with cars...

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HikerJen,

I understand your concerns, and have felt the same way myself.

Make sure your car insurance policy has coverage for a locked out situation or if your car won't start, and a handy 800 number to call for help. I don't know if you hike/backpack solo or part of a small group, but either way its much better to be prepared. Even if you have to pay a higher premium for the coverage, your safety is well worth it.

Gary M

Olathe, Kansas

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OK, I'll play....once many years ago I decided to go for a quick hike after work at a nearby state park. Of course it was after hrs and no one around. I had a habit of tying my key to my shoelace. Well I got back from my hike, untied the key and realized it was the key to the car and not the truck.....cell phone was in the truck :-) So I ended up breaking out the sliding glass window in the back and reaching in.....felt like a complete fool!

Just about a year ago I was doing a solo hike of Eagle Rock Loop in AR, and stopped to chat near the end with a nice man and his daughter heading the opposite direction. I helped them with directions and as we talked more they mentioned someone had left an interior light on in a car when they'd arrived the night before. The more they described the car I realized it was mine....although I couldn't fathom doing such a thing....What happened next was truly amazing trail magic. The father handed over the keys to their SUV and told me where they kept the jumper cables and where to leave the key.....I was completely shocked by their kindness....they were continuing on for two more days on the trail and they didn't know me from Adam. I still haven't had an opportunity to pay that one forward yet, but I hope to someday!

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  • 5 months later...

I have a tendency to forget to lock my car doors. Once, I even walked away for a four hour hike leaving a bag of club cash on the car seat and the windows rolled down! Came back and it was all still there.

Must be a better class of people on the trails. I was headed up the Galatea Lakes trail and I couldn't remember whether I'd locked the car. Just as I'd decided I probably hadn't, I ran into a young couple on their way down. Unlike the jeans-and-sneaker types on the trail these people had big boots and decent packs and they looked like they'd been out a few days. I gave them a description of the car and asked them if they'd check and make sure it was locked when they got down, and they told me they would and left. I started asking myself if I'd just made a terrible mistake. I'd just told them the car might be unlocked, and they would have known I wouldn't be back for a day or two, so they'd be free to loot it if they wanted to.

When I got back, I found the car safely locked, and a note with just a smiley face on it on the windshield. Still don't know whether it was locked when I left it, but it looks like my decision was okay anyway.

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I have a tendency to forget to lock my car doors. Once, I even walked away for a four hour hike leaving a bag of club cash on the car seat and the windows rolled down! Came back and it was all still there.

Must be a better class of people on the trails. I was headed up the Galatea Lakes trail and I couldn't remember whether I'd locked the car. Just as I'd decided I probably hadn't, I ran into a young couple on their way down. Unlike the jeans-and-sneaker types on the trail these people had big boots and decent packs and they looked like they'd been out a few days. I gave them a description of the car and asked them if they'd check and make sure it was locked when they got down, and they told me they would and left. I started asking myself if I'd just made a terrible mistake. I'd just told them the car might be unlocked, and they would have known I wouldn't be back for a day or two, so they'd be free to loot it if they wanted to.

When I got back, I found the car safely locked, and a note with just a smiley face on it on the windshield. Still don't know whether it was locked when I left it, but it looks like my decision was okay anyway.

You deffently had kind people help you out...

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