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Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Aug 05 2002 10:44 am
by pixelfrog
Hi All,

I was on a beautiful hike this past saturday morning on the Bluffs Springs Trail in the Sups. The Temperature cooperated, the sun was behind clouds, there was a nice breeze and of course anyone who's been out there knows the scenery is increadible.

The only weird thing about the hike was on the way back to the trailhead at the end of my hike probably within a half mile of the peralta trailhead, I ran into these two guys that were all suited up for war games or something. Camo, Knives strapped to gear suspenders, a pistol at the older man's side who had so much facial hair, you could barely see his face.

As I passed them with my hiking poles out the older guy said to me all suprised, "Ski Poles?!!!" I quickly explained they helped the old knees on the way down after I noticed he had a gun at his side. I pretty much smiled and nodded then continued on my way.

Now I'm all for everyone's right to bear arms and all, but seeing this kind of freaked me out. I know it's legal to carry handguns in Arizona and that's fine, but I was thinking there isn't a very large reason to carry a gun out there, especially if you are with another full grown adult male.

I have no idea what their reason would be for bringing those types of weopons out there, and the whole incident was a bit disturbing. I was glad that I encountered these yahoo's close to the trailhead. Anyone else run into any of these gun toting militia type weirdo's?

Paul

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Feb 08 2008 5:45 am
by azbackpackr
YIkes! That sort of irresponsible behavior makes responsible gun owners nervous. We like to think we are prudent and responsible--not nuts. Legislators will pass laws at a whim, whether constitutional or not. View a recent New Mexico law, passed at a whim of their legislature, and not publicized, which caused a lot of people a lot of grief recently: Their state legisature passed a law against switch blades, automatic knives, etc. Then the cops hit all the gun shows before the law was publicized so they could go "confiscate" (read, "steal") tens of thousands of dollars of inventories of collectible switchblades on the vendors' tables.

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Feb 08 2008 8:06 am
by Jeffshadows
That's true, but then I guess there's always an "element" of any population that seems to drag the others down. I used to like to hike in to Spud Rock and elsewhere from the Italian Spring trail, for a time there it was nice and secluded. Now that area (Redington) has become what can charitably be described as a "Primer on low-income and irresponsible land use." Too bad, it used to be nice place to take a short four wheel run in and out in conjunction with a beautiful hike...

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Mar 02 2008 5:09 pm
by rpcayer
Was back into Bulldog Canyon in the Goldfields about 10 days ago and just where the trail enters a sandy wash there was a weird man camping-living in his truck. I said "good morning" but he didn't answer, he only stared at me and followed me with his eyes as I passed his campsite. I had left my 9mm at home thinking this was a fairly civilized area. After I passed him I kept waiting for a bullet in the back.
The 9mm comes with me from now on.

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Mar 18 2008 8:06 pm
by fotogirl53
I just joined and had to weigh in on this gun thing. As a middle-aged woman who regularly hikes alone, I always carry my handgun and police-strength pepper spray. It is becoming harder every year to hike and not run into other people. Think about the illegal marijuana farms found every year by hikers and the elaborate security systems in place--including gun-toting workers. I'm not sure that pepper spray would stop someone without stopping me, too. How would it work on a mt. lion or a rabid bobcat? Yes, I've taken the CCW classes and go to the range frequently. You just never know.....

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: May 18 2008 2:14 pm
by cerebellum
This subject could go on forever. Besides the lucky ones that never encounter danger, I will have to say that "I don't need no stinkin gun! Real men fight with their hands" slogan works to a point. I usually hike with wife and my two kids and I had couple of bad experiences on the trails. What can your hands or your dead cell phone do when you get around a pitbull ring? Or couple of drunk guys who pops nasty words and move toward you wife in presence of your kids? Or having your windshield blown away by rocks and several guys seeking treasures in your car?
I climbed the Kenyan mountains and I can tell you that you don't need a gun. I climbed the Alps, Carpathians, Tatras and I didn't feel I need a gun. I hiked the mountains in the National Parks and I never though about my gun. But here in Arizona my experience told me to carry a gun no matter what.
I was part of the army and I was not afraid for a second. I "had bee alls" because I did not had my kids my wife with me. But now with a wife and a daughter next to me I'm afraid even of my own shadow.
We live a wild world every day and the danger is close to you everywhere (coyotes, drug mules...)
I'm not scared or afraid of wildlife but I got really scared by the "animals".

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: May 18 2008 3:22 pm
by Al_HikesAZ
Shane: "A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that."
Alan Ladd in the movie Shane.

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: May 18 2008 6:04 pm
by Jeffshadows
I was hoping this thread would die before I felt completely compelled to interject another hard, cold reality of weapon use...but it didn't. Having recently been in a very sandy place where the old west is replaying itself like a bad spaghetti western, please let me just just point out that even people who are trained day in and out to react to violence with violence freeze up, miss, or get outdrawn. With your nerves standing on edge and senses on full alert you can get beaten to the punch before you ever knew what happened. I saw it many-a-time; it even happened to me any my compadres...

Walking along on a trail, enamored by the beauty around you, probably weary and tired, then stumbling upon or being cast into a dangerous situation doesn't give the average Joe much chance of a choice reaction. Especially if drawing a gun isn't an instinct, which it isn't for 98% of us. If there are any law enforcement guys and gals on here I'm sure they could tell a story or two about fully trained officers upon whom someone got the drop. I know no one wants to face this reality but it is just that - reality.

One other thing to point out. Once you've pulled and leveled a gun at another person you have limited yourself to two choices:

1) Pull the trigger; or

2) Let him or her go back to doing what he or she was doing.

All other options have just evaporated.

That said, I want to be clear that I do fully support the responsible ownership, bearing, and use of a firearm. This is especially true of a woman hiking alone or a man trying to protect his family. Just remember the reality of the situation. ;)

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: May 18 2008 6:43 pm
by te_wa
what's in a word?
you pull a wagon not a trigger. you squeeze it

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: May 18 2008 8:51 pm
by Jeffshadows
I guess it depends on the situation...doesn't it?! :D

Re:

Posted: Jul 10 2008 3:41 pm
by wrangler0
ck_1 wrote:along these same lines....when I first moved here, a co-worker cautioned me about heading into the sups without protection...in his words...he claimed the areas along Apache Trail were frequently used as "hide-outs" for motorcycle gangs....

anybody else heard those rumors?


(and no, I have nothing against motorcyclists)
is there any truth to this?

Re: Re:

Posted: Jul 10 2008 4:06 pm
by Jeffshadows
wrangler0 wrote:
ck_1 wrote:along these same lines....when I first moved here, a co-worker cautioned me about heading into the sups without protection...in his words...he claimed the areas along Apache Trail were frequently used as "hide-outs" for motorcycle gangs....

anybody else heard those rumors?


(and no, I have nothing against motorcyclists)
is there any truth to this?
Unlikely. I've heard "horror stories" about people being shot at by drug cultivators on the back side of the Catalinas, too. The person who stated that they had heard such a story "first hand" from a "close friend" also said there were grandiose fields of marajuana growing back there as far as the eye could see. I guess I need to get my eyes checked :? .

I'm betting the same holds true for the Supes...

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 10 2008 7:18 pm
by nonot
No motorcycle gang but there used to be a guy who'd rob people at gunpoint on Fish Creek Hill about a hundred years ago. He never hurt anyone, but was never found either. The only motorcycle gangs you'll find hang out at Tortilla Flat :sl:

Be careful not to stumble on a pot farm out in remote places in the wilderness though further away from the valley, those are not science fiction.

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 10 2008 7:21 pm
by Jeffshadows
nonot wrote:No motorcycle gang but there used to be a guy who'd rob people at gunpoint on Fish Creek Hill about a hundred years ago. He never hurt anyone, but was never found either. The only motorcycle gangs you'll find hang out at Tortilla Flat :sl:

Be careful not to stumble on a pot farm out in remote places in the wilderness though further away from the valley, those are not science fiction.
Any idea where one actually is?

Re: Re:

Posted: Jul 10 2008 9:06 pm
by SuperstitionGuy
wrangler0 wrote:
ck_1 wrote:along these same lines....when I first moved here, a co-worker cautioned me about heading into the sups without protection...in his words...he claimed the areas along Apache Trail were frequently used as "hide-outs" for motorcycle gangs....anybody else heard those rumors?
(and no, I have nothing against motorcyclists)
is there any truth to this?
In all the years I have been driving Apache Trail and hiking/backpacking from it - no never. However motorcycles like to run the Trail in the early morning when there is little traffic. And when I say run, I mean as fast as they can go. I have witnessed four accidents, one where the biker lost all the skin off his back (and he was wearing leather), another where his bike got stuck between rocks and a paloverde tree, one head on collision on the worst blind U shaped curve and one that went onto rocks and into Canyon Lake (fatal). They cut the corners, hog the road two to three wide when passing each other and put themselves and others at great risk. Watch for them as they are usually going to fast to watch out for you!

Re: Re:

Posted: Jul 10 2008 9:45 pm
by big_load
SuperstitionGuy wrote:They cut the corners, hog the road two to three wide when passing each other and put themselves and others at great risk. Watch for them as they are usually going to fast to watch out for you!
Yeah, I've seen plenty of those guys. I worry that one will meet his end (and possibly mine) on my bumper or windshield without enough warning to even start reacting. Those riders don't stray farther from the road than the ice cream counter in Tortilla Flat.

Re: Re:

Posted: Jul 11 2008 6:53 am
by snakemarks
wrangler0 wrote:
ck_1 wrote:along these same lines....when I first moved here, a co-worker cautioned me about heading into the sups without protection...in his words...he claimed the areas along Apache Trail were frequently used as "hide-outs" for motorcycle gangs....

anybody else heard those rumors?


(and no, I have nothing against motorcyclists)
is there any truth to this?
:sl: What an amusing fairytale! Your co-worker has a wild imagination! The idiot cyclists we all see on the Trail are those deathwish morons on crotch rockets. They do tend to ride in packs of stupid, but that is not to be confused with a gang. Real motorcycle gangs are Harley riders (not all Harley riders are in gangs) and a Harley is NOT a dirt bike or a racing bike. Also, today's 'gangs' are referred to as 'clubs' and they have 'clubhouses', not hide-outs. This isn't the 60's. They like to be seen and wear their colors proudly. Hide? Hardly. Their clubhouse has all the creature comforts of a great dive bar and doesn't require any physical effort (hiking/walking) to get there, as one would imagine for anyplace along the Trail. If they can't pull right up to the door (or drive right inside!) and have a beer in their hand in 30 seconds, they won't be there long.

I actually know what I'm talking about here.

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 11 2008 8:43 am
by Grasshopper
snakemarks wrote:I actually know what I'm talking about here.
..and well said!!

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 11 2008 10:32 am
by te_wa
Jeff MacE wrote:Any idea where one actually is?
the pot farm you mean? I know where 3 of them could be or have been, and its not too hard for the growers to lose their set-up after harvesting (funny how the cops rarely get the crops, but their real proud when they find an irrigation system ;) ) but the growers can always move to the next canyon over, in areas where hiking isnt common. The Mazatzals are perfect. I imagine the ranges down by you would suffice as well. There is also pot activity along the bottom of the rim... See canyon, bottom of Promontory Butte.. and so on. But I would resist to call these "elaborate" since their "security system" is just a guy in a tent with a 9mm pop gun. Show up with a bunch of dudes in Digital Camo carrying AK-74's and the weed is yours :D

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 11 2008 11:47 am
by Jeffshadows
te-wa wrote:
Jeff MacE wrote:Any idea where one actually is?
the pot farm you mean? I know where 3 of them could be or have been, and its not too hard for the growers to lose their set-up after harvesting (funny how the cops rarely get the crops, but their real proud when they find an irrigation system ;) ) but the growers can always move to the next canyon over, in areas where hiking isnt common. The Mazatzals are perfect. I imagine the ranges down by you would suffice as well. There is also pot activity along the bottom of the rim... See canyon, bottom of Promontory Butte.. and so on. But I would resist to call these "elaborate" since their "security system" is just a guy in a tent with a 9mm pop gun. Show up with a bunch of dudes in Digital Camo carrying AK-74's and the weed is yours :D
Would you be down? I have a few rifles...JUST KIDDING :D

Re: Scary NRA Militia types?!!

Posted: Jul 11 2008 4:29 pm
by Hoffmaster
Jeff MacE wrote:
Any idea where one actually is?
te-wa wrote:the pot farm you mean?
I know where one was, literally a few hundred yards off the Beeline on the side of Mt. Ord.