GPS Joe

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TrackerAZ
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GPS Joe

Post by TrackerAZ » Jan 07 2011 12:51 pm

I am somewhat surprised at the lack of media coverage of the Gps Joe search .Why has there been so little ?

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Grasshopper
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Re: GPS Joe

Post by Grasshopper » Jan 07 2011 1:17 pm

Just my personal opinion only, but I believe that the category "missing" on Mon-11/8 without any clues found (other than his vehicle at the Peeley TH) is just not dramatic enough for our news media.. :(
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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TrackerAZ
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Re: GPS Joe

Post by TrackerAZ » Jan 07 2011 1:26 pm

It was just strange since he was assumed missing with some start point,that we have had more than 20 in Yavapai county .Most found some had no business out without there mom!

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Re: GPS Joe

Post by PaleoRob » Jan 07 2011 3:39 pm

I contacted news outlets - none covered it, none even attempted to contact back.
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
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Re: GPS Joe

Post by Jim_H » Jan 07 2011 4:08 pm

Does anyone even watch local news? I haven't in years, but I remember it being all junk. Stories about a 5 year in a pumpkin patch in Glendale and junk like that.
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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TrackerAZ
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Re: GPS Joe

Post by TrackerAZ » Jan 07 2011 4:43 pm

I will drop a line to a guy I know he is good for local stuff !

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JimmyLyding
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Re: GPS Joe

Post by JimmyLyding » Jan 07 2011 5:54 pm

PageRob wrote:I contacted news outlets - none covered it, none even attempted to contact back.
I did the same and experienced the same lack of results.

I have a theory about this. What presumably happened to Joe D. is SCARY. He was experienced, knew the area very well, was carrying proper equipment, etc. I doubt what happened to him up on Sheep Mountain didn't cause each and every one of us to look at ourselves and what we've done.
The fools who wander into the Superstitions, but not out, with a single pint of water, a candy bar, and footwear & clothing more suitable for a shopping mall than rugged desert mountains cause us to shake our heads. "Those idiots....what were they thinking? I would never do something so stupid."

It's hard for me to put into words this concept of why certain events are deemed to be more newsworthy than others. I guess the best way to put it is that the news media tries to predict which news items we'll consume. Perhaps they believe that we don't want to be scared, but are quite willing to be amazed by the stupidity of others.

We eagerly rubberneck crashed cars on the side of the road, but quickly turn away if there are human bodies covered by white sheets. Maybe it's the difference between wondering and knowing. We unfortunately know that something bad happened to Joe. We wonder what happened to the folks who disappeared into the Superstitions. "Did they dupe everyone and flee to Mexico to escape the IRS? Maybe they don't want to be found?"

Returning to the idea that what happened to gpsjoe is scary, and how I'm sure it has made all of us examine what we do and why we do it....I underestimated the depth of the effect upon myself. I've thought about all of the hikes I've done alone, and now probably wouldn't do alone again. Hiking the Sixshooter-Icehouse loop solo on a weekday, and not seeing another soul. A solo Cornucopia-Thicket Springs loop from the junction of FR25 and 201. Et cetera. If something really bad happened to me like falling down a steep slope into a boulder- and manzanita choked ravine....I might still be there.

Here in the Bay Area the trails are pretty tame with very little true wilderness, and what little wilderness there is comes in small slices rather than rambling expanses like the Mazatzals. There's not much to intimidate someone who's hiked all over Arizona. However, bad things do happen no matter how infrequently. People get lost in the Tule fog or caught in a downpour, and die of exposure. Hikers hit their heads on rocks after slipping during a stream crossing. Occasionally there is murder. As an old colleague was fond of saying: "caca occurs."

What do I hope people take away from this? It's not that I feel every hiker should be prepared for every possible contingency because that would be impossible. There are some things I think everyone should do:
*Carry a first aid kit, and know how to use it.
*Have a safety contact.
*Do at least a little bit of research on your route. Do a lot of research if it's going to be a rugged hike in an unfamiliar area.
*Pay attention to your surrounds.
*Hike within your ability.
*Always remember that getting home is mandatory. Getting to the top is not.

Doing all of those and more isn't a guarantee of safety, and that should be remembered as well. Thanks to all who were bored enough to read my diatribe.

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Re: GPS Joe

Post by maxpower » Jan 07 2011 6:31 pm

Jim Lyding wrote: I have a theory about this. What presumably happened to Joe D. is SCARY. He was experienced, knew the area very well, was carrying proper equipment, etc. I doubt what happened to him up on Sheep Mountain didn't cause each and every one of us to look at ourselves and what we've done.
Absolutely. And hiking solo often crosses my mind because I do so much of it. I'm a couple of years younger than Joe and it definitely is a factor, especially when you venture off into areas where you might not see anyone for the rest of your hike. Having a medical emergency, a heart attack, or seizure of some sort is something where a GPS or cell phone might not even be very helpful. In the end, it's a balance of sorts...hike alone because it's something you enjoy doing, or try and have a companion as a backup plan.
Last edited by maxpower on Jan 07 2011 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: GPS Joe

Post by CannondaleKid » Jan 07 2011 7:26 pm

I have another outlook on this...

First, yes Jim, those are some good things to do and if everyone managed to do so there likely would be fewer people not making it back safe and without injury. If everyone took care of themselves like we should and ate right, exercised, got plenty of rest, didn't smoke, etc. we probably would live longer and healthier lives. But there is this thing called human nature, and the most important point about human nature is we are not perfect, thus the vast majority do not take care of themselves. So what are we to do? Wring our hands over all the people who make bad choices every day? I personally don't feel that's the best use of our time and efforts. I'm speaking for myself here as well, but I'm sure all of us have made at least some bad choices and likely as not, we all have done some things we'd like to take back, or didn't do things we wished we had done but did not.

That said, I would surmise Joe pretty much followed the basic safety tenets, he was experienced enough to know a GPS route drawn out on a map doesn't mean the route is hikeable, he had made several trips in the same vicinity so had an idea of the terrain and conditions, he carried extra batteries for his GPS, and I'm sure someone else could go on about a number of other things Joe did to hike safe. But we are not in control of our own environment, we are not in control of outside influences, and there are times we are not in control of our own mind and body (sometimes my mind goes WAY out of control!) so we must accept the fact that nothing is guaranteed in life. Not our safety, nor our health, nor our mental capacity... we simply don't know the future so cannot plan for every contingency. I know if I even tried to I would never get out hiking!

I know I don't follow all the rules of hiking and probably never will. Hiking solo is supposedly a no-no, but for years 95% of my hikes would never have been hiked if I followed that rule. I'm sure there are other rules that will always have exceptions depending on the circumstance.

Before making this next point I will say I hope to tread lightly...
From my standpoint, Joe was doing something he loved, something he had a true passion for, and what better thing to be doing when the end comes. Yes, the survivors always seek closure of one kind or another, but just like nothing is guaranteed in life, sometimes we never find out the answers. I have already spoken very candidly with my two sons, letting them know that when I am out hiking or mountain biking, I'm doing what I love, so if something were to happen that brought my time on this earth to an end, there is no reason to be sad for me. Sad for you, yes, but please not for me.

I've seen too many people waste away in a hospital or nursing home where they are comparatively safe, but what about their quality of life. Just a year ago my father saw his older brother waste away, gradually losing all his faculties before death. So this August when my father was hospitalized with multiple fractures of the spine due to advanced osteoarthritis, when there really was nothing to be done but manage the pain with morphine, he said, "I've lived 91 years, I've had a full life, it's time to go." Although he wasn't on life support per se and there were no plugs to pull, he simply stopped eating and drinking, only taking one ice chip every four hours the last 5 days of his life. The only thing done medically was provide morphine for the pain. Being one with an extremely high tolerance for pain he didn't require much morphine. We (six children) took him home from the hospital on a Monday evening to care for him the last days. One sibling or another was holding his hand 24/7 all the way through to the end at 10:30 pm that Thursday evening. His last words on Tuesday evening were God bless you! to his six children. Although unable to speak from then on, he was able to hear everything we said, if nothing more than moving an eyelid in response. Yes, it was hard seeing him in that state, but not as hard as the pain and suffering would have been if he were to be an invalid for months or years. But although the day and the hour were unknown, as much as he could, he lived those last few days and hours under his own terms.

Back on track here... if I meet my end while out on the trail and end up missing, as I told my sons, when all reasonable efforts are exhausted and I haven't been found, please take comfort in the knowledge that my body will be disposed of naturally... I don't need no stinkin' coffin, I don't need to be burned... and left in an urn. Rather, let the birds, the bees and the bacteria do their job to recycle me.

So for me, not being a spring chicken myself...
Jim Lyding wrote:*Always remember that getting home is mandatory.
When my time has come and I happen to be out hiking, getting home will not be mandatory!
Or better yet, I will already be HOME!... on the range...

Oh yeah, please pardon my diatribe as well...
CannondaleKid

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Re: GPS Joe

Post by CannondaleKid » Jan 07 2011 8:00 pm

BTW:
CannondaleKid wrote:when all reasonable efforts are exhausted...
I do not feel all reasonable efforts have been exhausted in the search for Joe yet. That said, I will continue in my efforts whenever conditions are good for effective and safe searching.

@Tough_Boots Thanks for the photos of the Peeley/Sheep area! The value of the most current information cannot be understated when it comes to safety.
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Re: GPS Joe

Post by chumley » Jan 07 2011 8:24 pm

News coverage is really much more simple than that. It's not about telling news, its about getting eyeballs to watch/read which results in selling advertising.

Lost hiker(s) in the Superstitions, or somebody injured on Squaw Peak or Camelback make the news because so many viewers/readers are familiar with the area and can "relate" to the story. Next to zero people have ever heard of Mt. Peeley, and even fewer are familiar with the area. And that includes the news "reporters" who would have to drag fat butt from downtown all the way up there to tell the story. Because especially with TV news, if there's no pictures, there's no story. Again, it's easy to fly a helicopter over Camelback or get photos of a bunch of police or SAR vehicles in the parking lot. Reporters are LAZY.

A lost hiker in a remote part of the world only ends up in the news when something extra compelling has happened ... like the hiker cut off his own leg to get out of being trapped under a boulder. Kids and young, single, white girls who are missing also make the news. It's a sad commentary on our society, but those are generally the facts.

Joe's disappearance was reported once or twice in the Payson paper, because folks who live there are slightly more likely to be interested in the story because it involved local search teams from a much smaller community.

Call me a cynic, but if it doesn't have flashing lights (or boobs), chances are it's not going to be considered news by local eyeball news channel.
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Re: GPS Joe

Post by JimmyLyding » Jan 07 2011 8:37 pm

@CannondaleKid: Well said CannondaleKid. I certainly agree that there is an inherent risk factor for any hike. Perhaps the most important thing is being aware that anything can happen, and just doing your thing.

@chumley: We basically agree on which types of news gets fed to us. The sad thing is about why it's what we're looking for.

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Re: GPS Joe

Post by joebartels » Jan 07 2011 8:52 pm

I agree with Chumley. Also believe the time lapse from lost to reported cooled the embers.
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Re: GPS Joe

Post by imike » Jan 07 2011 9:06 pm

CannondaleKid wrote: When my time has come and I happen to be out hiking, getting home will not be mandatory!
Or better yet, I will already be HOME!... on
Well stated. We have one moment guaranteed... an ending. Life is about filling all the other moments, that end will take care of itself.
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...

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Re: GPS Joe

Post by Sredfield » Jan 07 2011 9:57 pm

Wise words from you all. A very insightful thread, thank you.
Shawn
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Re: GPS Joe

Post by DarthStiller » Jan 07 2011 10:26 pm

@CannondaleKid
I have to mention how much I am completely in tune with you on this. My father died last year so I can relate very much to your story and your outlook on closure and burials.

In general, I tend to think that if this did catch on to local (or God forbid, national news), it just might end up being more of a problem than we might like to think.
chumley wrote:if it doesn't have flashing lights (or boobs),
:o Have what now?

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Re: GPS Joe

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 08 2011 5:34 am

A good reporter could cover it, as an online club of friends searching for their lost, very experienced hiking friend. But most reporters have no clue. I would worry it would be inaccurate.

I have realized that since every article I have ever read in the paper or seen on TV that I knew something about personally, was ALWAYS quite inaccurate, that therefore most news articles must be quite inaccurate. I have therefore given up on paying much attention to news. However, this semester I am taking a class which requires me to subscribe to the NY Times (there is no textbook--the Times is the textbook!!) So, I guess I will start finding out about news again. Hopefully with not much Bristol Palin or Kate what's-her-name included. I can do without that stuff.
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Re: GPS Joe

Post by Sredfield » Jan 08 2011 7:14 am

azbackpackr wrote:"I have realized that since every article I have ever read in the paper or seen on TV that I knew something about personally, was ALWAYS quite inaccurate. . . .
I've had the very same experience.
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.

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Re: GPS Joe

Post by chumley » Jan 08 2011 8:59 am

The NYT doesn't have much Kate Gosselin in it, but on the rare occasion they do a story on something Arizona-related, I often laugh all the way through it. There's usually descriptions that make it sound like this state is another planet. It's almost as if the writer's opinion was formulated from a childhood screening of "Raising Arizona" and everything about Arizona is seen from that viewpoint.

Not too long ago there was a story that described Mill Avenue in Tempe in great detail. Except that the details were written by somebody who had clearly never set foot on Mill Avenue, but rather somebody who had read some things about it on the internet. What's sad is that the NYT is considered the paper "of record" and readers who have never been here assume what they read is fact.

Newsflash: News is rarely fact.
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Re: GPS Joe

Post by Jim_H » Jan 08 2011 9:22 am

New York City!! My salsa comes from old El Paso!
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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