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Bullied near Kite Lake on Buckskin St by front end loader

Colorado 14ers access and fee issues only, please
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Bullied near Kite Lake on Buckskin St by front end loader

Postby sully0321 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:32 am

So I don't normally like to stir the pot and in general I'm happy to follow the rules and I always respect private property. I can't shake this one off so easily though, so I thought I'd share it here and see if anyone else has had a similar experience. For the most part, yesterday went as planned and I was able to do the Democrat/Lincoln circuit w/ a couple buddies. We had a great day up there and were feeling pretty good as we were driving back down Buckskin to Alma.

It was around 12:15 and we were almost all the way back to Alma when a front end loader came bouncing up the road toward us. As soon as the driver spotted us, he swerved directly into our path and started gesturing for us to go in reverse. We figured we were probably coming up on a small construction operation, so we obliged by backing up. Now, any reasonable person would expect in this situation that this would be the end of it, and that we could pull aside and the big truck could drive past, but this driver was intent on intimidating us and continued to charge forward with his bucket leveled with the front of our truck. As we attempted to pull to the side of the road to get out of the way, he indicated with his hand gestures that he was upset with us, put his loader into park and climbed down and ran over (visibly upset) and began yelling at us to get out of the way and that there were "two 20,000 lb trucks coming up the road in 10 seconds" and that we "have to get out of the road right now". We attempted to reason with him that we were trying to do so and that there was a large pull-off right next to us that he was blocking us from accessing by making sure his bucket was about 2 feet away from our front bumper. So as he climbed back into the loader, we quickly maneuvered off the side of the road into the pull-off area.

As soon as we were off the road, the driver of the loader positioned his vehicle directly behind us and began revving the engine and articulating the body left and right all the while staring menacingly down at us. Our friend who's truck we were in, yelled up to this guy that this was unnecessary and that we were only trying to get out of the way. To which the driver of the loader replied with some macho rhetoric about not being able to hear us, and why don't we come up there and say it again. At this point I became concerned that we might have some kind of conflict brewing... we were trapped by the truck behind us, with no way out since there were rocks and trees in front of us, and this guy was clearly out of his mind to think this was acceptable behavior. Sufficed to say we remained calm and tried to wait it out... within a few minutes two semi's loaded with large boulders on flatbeds drove by, with an Canyon Enterprises, Inc. pickup truck in between them. As soon as they passed, the loader pulled away and we were able to get out and head back down the road.

Now, I don't know if this is an isolated incident or if anyone else has experienced something similar up there, but this was one of the all-time worst experiences I've had involving a 14er. I understand that a lot of the land around Kite Lake, including the 14ers, are privately owned, and that access is and has been problematic for hikers. But even given all of that... we paid for parking at the trailhead, we were respectful of the private property, and we were on what I believe is a public road. What gives anyone the right to behave like this? Were these employees of Canyon Enterprises, Inc.? The same company that operates the trailhead and collects the parking fees? What were they going to do with those boulders? They were huge... car sized ones... does anyone know about any of this? Has anyone else been bullied like this? My friends and I would love to know.

~Sully
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Re: Bullied near Kite Lake on Buckskin St by front end loader

Postby its_not_a_tuba » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:41 am

Wow. Maybe he was related to this guy?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_Heemeyer
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Re: Bullied near Kite Lake on Buckskin St by front end loader

Postby TravelingMatt » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:51 am

I would contact Park County (and/or the town of Alma, if it's their jurisdiction) about this. Whether it's road construction, erosion work or a private minimg interest, they should know what's going on. It would help of you got any kind of additional identifying info on the truck(s) involved.

Although Kite Lake Road abuts private property, the road is public, not to mention wide enough everywhere for two normal-sized vehicles to pass. Dozens of people drive up to the TH (or nearby) every day. If this is any kind of long-term project they are probably acting this way towards others.

I've certainly encountered people on backroads who are unwilling to yield and such, but there's no excuse for this. Yes, as the vehicle traveling downhill you are obligated to yield first, but it sounds like that's exactly what you tried to do. What kind of hurry were they in, anyway?
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Re: Bullied near Kite Lake on Buckskin St by front end loader

Postby MtHurd » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:52 am

Was the driver an ex-lawyer?

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Re: Bullied near Kite Lake on Buckskin St by front end loader

Postby djkest » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:58 am

I would contact the parent company with your story. This guy needs to be delt with before he damages a vehicle, hurts someone, or kills them. Idiots shouldn't have control of dangerous machinery. :)
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Re: Bullied near Kite Lake on Buckskin St by front end loader

Postby chasrobt » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:02 am

We were coming down Kite Road toward Alma and crowded way over on the shoulder by a loader-but not blocked, along with the glares and "gestures". Afterwards we stopped at the bar in Alma to unwind with a couple of cold beers!


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Re: Bullied near Kite Lake on Buckskin St by front end loader

Postby speth » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:08 am

its_not_a_tuba wrote:Wow. Maybe he was related to this guy?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_Heemeyer


:shock:

That's crazy.
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Re: Bullied near Kite Lake on Buckskin St by front end loader

Postby Upwardlybound » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:25 am

That's lousy, and very poor PR for Alma. As others have said, contact the company and Alma/Park County officials. Alma does have an interesting history with heavy equipment, but I don't think they want this getting around. Glad you're safe!
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Re: Bullied near Kite Lake on Buckskin St by front end loader

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:38 am

A rampage similar to the Granby (2004) event happened in ALMA in 1998. Same deal...

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/06/290158.shtml

Thomas Leask actually killed someone in his Alma rampage.

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Re: Bullied near Kite Lake on Buckskin St by front end loader

Postby MountainHiker » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:26 pm

It is a public road. When I see oversize loads on other public roads I see a clearly marked pace vehicle. When it’s something beyond what can be handled by a marked pace vehicle then law enforcement should be called to help clear a path in a safe manner. Perhaps some of the cops on site can comment, but that might require permits the company didn’t want to deal with.

I also suggest contacting the company. Maybe the boss is an a**hole also, but chances are he’s someone who didn’t want this to happen. I’m sure the owners wouldn’t want the legal and liability issues that could arise if someone reacted aggressively to this type of treatment and a physical altercation occurred.
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Re: Bullied near Kite Lake on Buckskin St by front end loader

Postby MountainHiker » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:38 pm

Interesting, there is a company called Canyon Enterprises that runs campgrounds in the area, including Kite Lake.
http://www.canyonenterprisesonline.com/campgrounds.html
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Re: Bullied near Kite Lake on Buckskin St by front end loader

Postby JQDivide » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:41 pm

I'm guessing it is the same Canyon Enterprises that runs all the campgrounds in this area.
http://www.canyonenterprisesonline.com/campgrounds.html
It runs the Kite Lake area.

I've talked to the owner a few times, seems to be a nice guy. And is very particular about how the campgrounds are taken care of by the hosts. I can't remember his name.
But even if it is the same company. I bet the front loader dude was a contract hire from Alma or Fairplay.

I'd contact him, just as an FYI that he has asses running around the roads.

JQ

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