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Crazy Larry #1
07-30-2012, 08:53
Has anyone met the lady and her six kids that are hiking north from Springer, one son is autistic. They are from Louisiana....

Mountain Maiden
07-30-2012, 11:58
Has anyone met the lady and her six kids that are hiking north from Springer, one son is autistic. They are from Louisiana....

They spent 4 days in Hot Springs. Kids ages 7-14. She has her hands full. (understatement) Wish them safe travels and lots of smiles---sanity for her!

Pumba
07-30-2012, 12:15
Are they doing a thru hike?

Crazy Larry #1
07-30-2012, 12:56
nah, just a long distance hike...

Mountain Maiden
07-30-2012, 13:40
Are they doing a thru hike?
...
According to the mom--trying to make it to W VA and then jump to Katahdin and then hike south...

Drybones
07-30-2012, 15:01
They spent 4 days in Hot Springs. Kids ages 7-14. She has her hands full. (understatement) Wish them safe travels and lots of smiles---sanity for her!

My hat's off to this lady...she's one tough mother...gotta respect people like this.

Marta
07-30-2012, 19:43
There was a lady at the Ruck this year who called herself the Queen Mother, or something like that, who was planning to hike with a bunch of her kids. I wonder if this is her and her kids.

HikerMom58
07-30-2012, 20:18
Wow!! That's amazing!! :)

avalonmorn
07-30-2012, 21:11
Takes HYOH to a whole other level!

Crazy Larry #1
07-30-2012, 22:03
There was a lady at the Ruck this year who called herself the Queen Mother, or something like that, who was planning to hike with a bunch of her kids. I wonder if this is her and her kids.
that.s her...

Kryptonite
07-30-2012, 22:12
There was a lady at the Ruck this year who called herself the Queen Mother, or something like that, who was planning to hike with a bunch of her kids. I wonder if this is her and her kids.

I don't believe they are the same. Queen Mother lives in Northern Florida and not Louisiana. She has 5 children not 6 - the youngest of which is age 3. I don't believe any are autistic.

http://skywalker-pct.com/three-year-old-to-hike-appalachian-trail/

Wise Old Owl
07-30-2012, 22:19
details? close enough.

Mountain Maiden
07-30-2012, 22:24
I don't believe they are the same. Queen Mother lives in Northern Florida and not Louisiana. She has 5 children not 6 - the youngest of which is age 3. I don't believe any are autistic.

http://skywalker-pct.com/three-year-old-to-hike-appalachian-trail/

I think you're correct. This mom actually has SEVEN (all her biological children) the 18 yr old is home with Dad in Louisiana...

Mountain Pig
07-30-2012, 22:32
I have not met her but I am impressed.

turtle fast
07-31-2012, 12:40
wow....just plain wow!! Just imagine cooking meals!

shelb
07-31-2012, 14:51
Wow! She is brave! Hiking mom of the year!

Supreme Being
07-31-2012, 16:06
I think you're correct. This mom actually has SEVEN (all her biological children) the 18 yr old is home with Dad in Louisiana...

I do not think they are the same. Queen Mother started in July; no autistic children. IMO 3 years old is a little young to hike 10+ miles daily for 6 months. It would be different if two parents only had the one child and could carry her. As it is, I would bet that some of her children are having to carry the youngest at times.

cadman2772
07-31-2012, 16:17
This is the Care Bear Family...I met them in the shelter just prior to Suches going north. The mother cooked for them all, they were to go 500 miles...Retrieving Mail drops the entire way and was told the father was home working...I saw them on May 25th...Talked with the oldest boy, 15. He said they were all homeschooled and going to Virginia...One boys shoe was already worn down to the nub.They were all in good spirits and very polite, and tent camping.I was immediately impressed with the motehr being the leader of the pack. They were hiking at a very good pace also...I will never forget them.

TD55
07-31-2012, 16:20
Sounds irresponsible and scary to me.

Lone Wolf
07-31-2012, 16:28
i hope she doesn't stiff The Place. going on night 5

Mountain Maiden
07-31-2012, 17:14
Sounds irresponsible and scary to me.

LOL--EXACTLY what my Dad said when I told him I was going to thru-hike! :D

Mountain Maiden
07-31-2012, 17:18
Yes--Care Bears...

Tuckahoe
07-31-2012, 18:16
Sounds irresponsible and scary to me.


Sounds like neither to me.

The Old Boot
07-31-2012, 18:33
I found their trail journal -

http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=387918

She's far braver than I would ever have been!!

Lone Wolf
08-02-2012, 08:15
i hope she doesn't stiff The Place. going on night 5

i was right. she did stiff The Place. left $50. paid for 1 night out of 5.

Supreme Being
08-02-2012, 08:43
I do not admire this mother in the least. This woman is completely irresponsible for taking 5 children on the trail while broke. According to her journal, she does not even have the money to replace her 15-yr old's shoes. It is a difficult journey for any family that ranges from 7-15 years in age. However, when you embark on such a hike without adequate funds and are flat broke by Damascus - that is absolutely pathetic for her family. Search and Resue had to be called for her oldest 15-yr old who ended up walking 30 miles in one day while lost. This woman needs to put the needs of her family first. I am not opposed to helping hikers, but not when they are this irresponsible. She will soon be off the trail even if the donations do start pouring in.

Supreme Being
08-02-2012, 08:44
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=387918

Crazy Larry #1
08-02-2012, 08:47
Yep and that is just not cool. Came into town with a sad sack story right from the gate and worked it all the way thru , and even putting a couple of her kids up to her bidding instead of facing her own music. She blows $600 smackers at MRO while telling us she can't afford to pay for her and the kids basic needs....wonder who else she duped between here and Springer?

WingedMonkey
08-02-2012, 08:47
Should have done like Balls and Sunshine and asked for donations and sponsors.

Crazy Larry #1
08-02-2012, 08:51
When I open my hostel it nwill be by donation. And if you do not slap that donation on the table from the gate you can find someplace else to hang your pack, take a shower..... I believe in compassion for others and I will continue to be compassionate toward others but when they dupe me and then throw it in my face then that is no good.... ah, another part of a very long chapter 6 of The Place...

Crazy Larry #1
08-02-2012, 08:53
oh they got money buddy b ecause they have welfare, now that i remember my conversation with her....

tiptoe
08-02-2012, 09:03
Just read her trail journal. OMG, where to start?

Water Rat
08-02-2012, 09:17
Just read her trail journal. OMG, where to start?

That was what I was thinking! IMO the hike itself is not irresponsible, but the way she is doing it... Wow.

shelb
08-02-2012, 10:28
Missing basic necessities (no shoes and her journal said "can live without food as long as we have water"); plus, unable to supervise children....a 15 year old was lost in the woods OVERNIGHT! And now, according to Lone Wolf, committed a crime with a fail-to-pay...... In addition, I would worry about her special-needs child being taken care of properly....

I would think Child Protective Services might be interested in this....

Crazy Larry #1
08-02-2012, 11:53
Our Chief did get called and he checked them out, clean as far as the books says. And he did not think the kids were being mistreated. And she did not commit a crime because we work on donations, that's the wording anyway. We did not expect her to put a whole lot in the box but we did expect her to give at least half of what she used. She is a user and a abuser of others kindness...

Supreme Being
08-02-2012, 13:52
Missing basic necessities (no shoes and her journal said "can live without food as long as we have water"); plus, unable to supervise children....a 15 year old was lost in the woods OVERNIGHT! And now, according to Lone Wolf, committed a crime with a fail-to-pay...... In addition, I would worry about her special-needs child being taken care of properly....

I would think Child Protective Services might be interested in this....

This woman is irresponsible and selfish and CPS should investigate. According to her journal, she is no longer thru hiking, but rather wants to "get rides" to various points so that the kids can hike in those States. And she is going to do this until Nov. She has been off the trail as much as she has been on the trail. Her children all became sick from bad water and were previously forced off the trail. She bought herself a $200+ pack, but let her kid's shoes fall apart. Spent $300 on sleeping bags because the ones she started with were too small from the get go. She is trying to get the 15-yr old's pack "under 25 lbs" because it is too heavy for him. God only knows how much it originally weighed. This woman is just another example of a woman who had a lot of children and is working the System and is letting Welfare and donations pay for it all.

http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=385047

Lone Wolf
08-02-2012, 14:08
it seems that folks that use the hostel always have money for food, beer and gear but never $6 lousy dollars for a nights stay

Feral Bill
08-02-2012, 14:28
This woman is irresponsible and selfish and CPS should investigate. According to her journal, she is no longer thru hiking, but rather wants to "get rides" to various points so that the kids can hike in those States. And she is going to do this until Nov. She has been off the trail as much as she has been on the trail. Her children all became sick from bad water and were previously forced off the trail. She bought herself a $200+ pack, but let her kid's shoes fall apart. Spent $300 on sleeping bags because the ones she started with were too small from the get go. She is trying to get the 15-yr old's pack "under 25 lbs" because it is too heavy for him. God only knows how much it originally weighed. This woman is just another example of a woman who had a lot of children and is working the System and is letting Welfare and donations pay for it all.

http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=385047 None of us know this woman's story. As for being a welfare mom, I knew plenty of them as a teacher, who struggled mightily to do right for their kids. No need to dump on them.

TD55
08-02-2012, 15:08
None of us know this woman's story. As for being a welfare mom, I knew plenty of them as a teacher, who struggled mightily to do right for their kids. No need to dump on them.
Good post and just in time. We tend to get very harsh and negative here before we get the details. Sounds like the guys in Damascus did a good job, even to the point of having the Chief of Police check things out. As far as the problems on the trail, sounds like normal stuff first timers do. The comment "This is just another example of a woman who had a lot of children and is working the System and is letting Welfare and donations pay for it all.", well, that is a comment that is political, anti-gender and just wrong and disturbing on way to many levels

Crazy Larry #1
08-02-2012, 15:32
I am not dissing her for getting by any way she can but what she did here was uncalled for....

Pedaling Fool
08-02-2012, 15:40
She sounds like a not too smart of a person, but what can you do, they're all around us. Doesn't sound like Child Protective Services (CPS) can do a lot, since Damascus cops couldn't really do anything. It's called civil liberties and it's a tricky balancing act.

Supreme Being
08-02-2012, 17:20
I get so tired of people who make statements like "we don't know the whole story..." In this case, we do know a lot of this woman's story and it is in her own words. Read her whole journal and then come back on this site and say that this woman is responsible! She is spending hundreds on gear while not having the basic necessities like food and shoes for her children. She is loading her children up like pack animals - especially her oldest. It is clear that many of her children do not want to be out there on the trail. This is HER dream.

I am not opposed to helping a mother with a lot of kids when someone has lot their job or there are circumstances beyond their control. I do mind when as a taxpayer I'm helping to pay for their damn vacation! And I especially resent it when they make big promises to the media and then come into town and stiff the locals while taking advantage of their hospitality at the same time. If you don't have money to feed your family, you beg or borrow a ride home - you do not beg for more funds to continue your "dream."

There are many hikers who have just matter-of-factly stated, "I really underestimated this trip financially and I'll have to get off the trail soon." They haven't asked for a dime but we have donated because they were so close and wanted to see them finish. They weren't buying lots of gear or staying in town a lot. And they weren't in Damascus! This woman is broke and just getting started.

Crazy Larry #1
08-02-2012, 21:08
Here's one for ya guys. The family hikes out yesterday making it as far as Taylors Valley on the Creeper Trail. So about noon they break camp and all of them head to Lost Mountain Shelter, except one. One of her boys walks back to town and realizes that he lost them. Coyote, who is in town walks up here to my place with the kid and then Lone Wolf shows up and then the law shows up. So Officer Dow and Lone Wolf takes the kid and they go and try to track down mom and the rest of the kids. What blows me away is the fact that she apparently did not have a clue the kid was missing or she would have called the law way before he walked back into town which was about 7 pm....

WingedMonkey
08-02-2012, 21:17
New Visa commercial:

A video of LW's conversation with the mother...................... priceless.

Crazy Larry #1
08-02-2012, 21:25
I wish I was there. Hope Officer Dow records it...

fiddlehead
08-02-2012, 21:28
Sounds to me like she's giving those kids a different upbringing than most kids these days.
I think they'll be better for it. (as long as she's also teaching them math, science, reading, writing, etc.)

Travel is the best education IMO.

Those of you who are judging her as wrong probably brought up sheep for kids.

These kids will be fine.

Lone Wolf
08-02-2012, 22:29
Here's one for ya guys. The family hikes out yesterday making it as far as Taylors Valley on the Creeper Trail. So about noon they break camp and all of them head to Lost Mountain Shelter, except one. One of her boys walks back to town and realizes that he lost them. Coyote, who is in town walks up here to my place with the kid and then Lone Wolf shows up and then the law shows up. So Officer Dow and Lone Wolf takes the kid and they go and try to track down mom and the rest of the kids. What blows me away is the fact that she apparently did not have a clue the kid was missing or she would have called the law way before he walked back into town which was about 7 pm....so me, the kid and officer dow go back to where they camped the night before. nobody there. the kid informs me that the destination for tonite was lost mtn. shelter so we drive to summit cut and hike south 1 mile to the shelter. one of his brothers is there and he informs me that mom and the rest are back 2 miles at the AT-creeper trail junction. we leave the kid with his brother with strict instructions to stay put til mom shows up. we drive to creek junction where i pull up a vehicle guard so we can drive to where the AT meets the creeper. in the headlights we see several packs on a bench. i get out and shine a light in the woods and see a hammock. mom and the rest of the kids are settled in for the nite. we told her where her boy was. she didn't seem too concerned. this farce of a hike needs to come to an end before someone gets hurt, kidnapped or killed

Crazy Larry #1
08-02-2012, 22:36
Sounds to me like she's giving those kids a different upbringing than most kids these days.
I think they'll be better for it. (as long as she's also teaching them math, science, reading, writing, etc.)

Travel is the best education IMO.

Those of you who are judging her as wrong probably brought up sheep for kids.

These kids will be fine.


so me, the kid and officer dow go back to where they camped the night before. nobody there. the kid informs me that the destination for tonite was lost mtn. shelter so we drive to summit cut and hike south 1 mile to the shelter. one of his brothers is there and he informs me that mom and the rest are back 2 miles at the AT-creeper trail junction. we leave the kid with his brother with strict instructions to stay put til mom shows up. we drive to creek junction where i pull up a vehicle guard so we can drive to where the AT meets the creeper. in the headlights we see several packs on a bench. i get out and shine a light in the woods and see a hammock. mom and the rest of the kids are settled in for the nite. we told her where her boy was. she didn't seem too concerned. this farce of a hike needs to come to an end before someone gets hurt, kidnapped or killedYou are right but so is Lone Wolf and so am I for my judgement of the situation. That kid told me the day before they left that he just did not want to leave here and he was none too happy....but on the other hand she says in her journal that this is the one that breaks down....so just maybe he separated himself from the group and hiked back to town of his own free will?

shelb
08-02-2012, 23:13
I think they'll be better for it. (as long as she's also teaching them math, science, reading, writing, etc.)



....her journal is written at a 6th grade writing level, so I am not sure just how much writing instruction they will get.

With that aside, I do agree with you that travel is one of the best forms of instruction. We drive older cars, have a house that needs quite a bit of remodeling/fixing up, live quite simply during the year rarely eating out, and we have few "extras." However, we do travel quite a bit (usually camping)...taking the kids to many National Parks and Historical sites each year. My husband and I firmly believe in building memories.... Yet...that still needs to be done in a responsible manner.

Supreme Being
08-03-2012, 01:04
so me, the kid and officer dow go back to where they camped the night before. nobody there. the kid informs me that the destination for tonite was lost mtn. shelter so we drive to summit cut and hike south 1 mile to the shelter. one of his brothers is there and he informs me that mom and the rest are back 2 miles at the AT-creeper trail junction. we leave the kid with his brother with strict instructions to stay put til mom shows up. we drive to creek junction where i pull up a vehicle guard so we can drive to where the AT meets the creeper. in the headlights we see several packs on a bench. i get out and shine a light in the woods and see a hammock. mom and the rest of the kids are settled in for the nite. we told her where her boy was. she didn't seem too concerned. this farce of a hike needs to come to an end before someone gets hurt, kidnapped or killed

How old was the kid who was missing? A mother who continues to camp while her son is missing should be reported. I hope that that Officer Dow is making copious notes.

gumball
08-03-2012, 05:25
I'm sorry, I didn't read all the posts, I know CPS was mentioned--did you actually report this to the local CPS? If you have, and nothing was done, I would encourage you to report this again.

Gum

Lone Wolf
08-03-2012, 06:39
How old was the kid who was missing?

11 or so......

daddytwosticks
08-03-2012, 07:12
An accident (or accidents) waiting to happen...

Supreme Being
08-03-2012, 07:31
I am surprised that Officer Dow did not take control of this situation. If one of her kids goes missing and is hurt as a result, it is going to come back to haunt him. Because it seems the world always needs a scapegoat. I would strongly suggest that he alert CPS authorities just to cover his own butt if nothing else. It might just save one of those children. If CPS chooses to do nothing, then it is on them. At the very least, he should alert them to the fact that she did not notify authorities or look for the 11-yr old who was missing and it is the second child that she has "lost" in the last 2 or 3 days on the trail.

I am not opposed to taking your kids on the AT if they have a love of hiking too. I strongly support what Balls and Sunshine have accomplished. But this "forced march" is child abuse and extremely poor parenting.

Mountain Maiden
08-03-2012, 07:40
11 or so......

Ohhhhhhhhhhh--THIS child--as absolutely adorable and sweet as he appears, is the child that according to his mother, is one of the reasons they are on the Trail and can't just 'go home.' He's burned their house down, terrorized the neighborhood, stolen from neighbors, abuses the other siblings, etc. She says if they go home, he will be put in jail. Evidently, this hike was an agreement with the authorities to keep him away from the neighbors. He can be cute and cunning at the same time. I witnessed this. She was probably enjoying the break and time with the other children. (Not that it makes it right...) He is a beautiful child and hopefully will get the help he needs at some point before he ends up in real trouble.

gumball
08-03-2012, 07:53
He is still 11 years old and no one in authority is going to tell a family to take a hike if the child is that much of a danger. They will remove the child or put services in place, not tell a mother with an out of control 11 year old to take off by herself with the child and other children. Don't buy it.

Even if CPS doesn't intervene now, I would continue to report what you witness when incidents of a child being left by himself occur. It will at least create documentation of growing concern and won't make reports seem like isolated incidents.

You all know, as much as we all love the trail, it can be dangerous if only accidentally for adults. This year has proven that. A child on their own is at risk.

Mountain Maiden
08-03-2012, 08:09
He is still 11 years old and no one in authority is going to tell a family to take a hike if the child is that much of a danger. They will remove the child or put services in place, not tell a mother with an out of control 11 year old to take off by herself with the child and other children. Don't buy it.

Even if CPS doesn't intervene now, I would continue to report what you witness when incidents of a child being left by himself occur. It will at least create documentation of growing concern and won't make reports seem like isolated incidents.

You all know, as much as we all love the trail, it can be dangerous if only accidentally for adults. This year has proven that. A child on their own is at risk.

Absolutely agree with you. I do believe the child could be a danger to himself and others. However, since we do not know all of the details, it is hard to have an accurate perspective. My heart really goes out to ALL of them. I had a hard enough time taking care of my self on the Trail. Cannot imagine hiking with all these children! Good luck and hopes for safe travels for all of them.

Lone Wolf
08-03-2012, 09:05
this whole damn situation stinks. i ain't buyin' none of the stories. she was totally unconcerned last night when we told her we found her child. a real mom woulda called authorities right off the bat. what she's doing is not admirable

BobTheBuilder
08-03-2012, 09:29
Mom taught me that if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything. Therefore, I can't say anything. I just hope the kids make it through this "adventure" unharmed.

imscotty
08-03-2012, 09:35
Administrators, since we are discussing personal topics dealing with minors on a publicly accessible forum and since these discussions could have unforeseen and negative effects on the lives of these children, could we please move this discussion to the 'Sensitive Trail Subjects' Forum.

Pedaling Fool
08-03-2012, 09:48
What is the 'Sensitive Trail Subjects' Forum?

imscotty
08-03-2012, 10:18
My understanding is that the 'Sensitive Trail Subjects' forum may only be viewed by Donating Members who are subscribed to it.

There are so many things wrong with this discussion being conducted in a public forum that is searchable from the Internet I do not even know where to begin.
1) Broadcasting the location of children who may be left wandering in the woods unattended is dangerous and irresponsible.
2) If the children Google themselves someday, these children do not need the hurt and damage that can be caused by reading peoples opinions of their mother expressed on this forum.

Posters need to remember that what we say in these forums is very public. You should not say anything that you would not be willing to say to everyone on the planet, because that is what you are effectively doing. (Everyone can range from the person you are talking about, their children, criminals, pedophiles, everyone).

Some topics and discussions should be conducted in private.

Scott

Crazy Larry #1
08-03-2012, 10:21
There are no names mentioned here. And those who are about to encounter this family need a heads up!

Ladytrekker
08-03-2012, 10:29
Whats seems to could have been a great teaching tool to her children about nature and the world is turning out a lesson on how to get by on how to dupe others. Just what the world needs more users. Sad really.....There is nothing that can be done about stupid.....

atmilkman
08-03-2012, 10:34
Whats seems to could have been a great teaching tool to her children about nature and the world is turning out a lesson on how to get by on how to dupe others. Just what the world needs more users. Sad really.....There is nothing that can be done about stupid.....
How true. As much as you might want to you just can't fix stupid.

The Cleaner
08-03-2012, 10:35
The summer months on the trail are when all sorts of people and their stupid plans come out.They usually trash campsites&shelters and manage to pi$$ off a lot of other people while they are out.....

atmilkman
08-03-2012, 10:36
How true. As much as you might want to you just can't fix stupid.
P.S. Not even with duct tape and beer.

vamelungeon
08-03-2012, 11:13
Taking your kids into the outdoors is one of the biggest favors you can do for them, but the way this mother is doing it is what we used to call in the service a Charlie Foxtrot. Any mom that has an 11 year old that's missing and doesn't show any concern (even if he is the neighborhood terrorist) isn't doing what she ought to be doing. Taking these kids out this way with worn out shoes, losing kids, running out of food...totally irresponsible IMHO.

Tuckahoe
08-03-2012, 12:14
Taking your kids into the outdoors is one of the biggest favors you can do for them, but the way this mother is doing it is what we used to call in the service a Charlie Foxtrot. Any mom that has an 11 year old that's missing and doesn't show any concern (even if he is the neighborhood terrorist) isn't doing what she ought to be doing. Taking these kids out this way with worn out shoes, losing kids, running out of food...totally irresponsible IMHO.

+1 This. Certainly do not have an issue with parents getting their kids out of the house and hiking, or exposing them to to the wider world rather than shielding them because they might get hurt. I really want to slap the person everytime something is suggested because, "its for the children." But this is simply a sad situation

Lyle
08-03-2012, 12:26
There are no names mentioned here. And those who are about to encounter this family need a heads up!

True, but that still does not prevent criminals from possibly targeting these kids, or prevent the kids from doing a search and finding these unflattering posts. They are probably already aware of WhiteBlaze, and will have access to the internet many places along the way.

I'm not defending this Mom, she does seem pretty unprepared, and the trip poorly planned, but I agree that publicly ridiculing this family probably isn't the most gracious or understanding way to address the problems. No reason to subject the kids to our wrath.

Water Rat
08-03-2012, 12:34
At the same time, this gives other hikers the heads-up that they may have to stop what they are doing to make sure this kid (or one of the others) makes it back to the rest of the group. It's happened multiple times, so it seems that others are going to have to be able to keep an eye on the kids. I don't mean in a creepy way... The mom clearly is all about herself and her needs.

I just hope the kids do not get hurt in this misadventure... I also hope the search and rescuers stay safe the next time they are called to look for one of her kids.

Just a question... But, if her kid has terrorized the neighborhood, then shouldn't she be keeping an extra close eye on him?

shelb
08-03-2012, 13:00
Ohhhhhhhhhhh--THIS child--as absolutely adorable and sweet as he appears,.... according to his mother, ..... if they go home, he will be put in jail..... agreement with the authorities to keep him away from the neighbors. .... He is a beautiful child and hopefully will get the help he needs .....

Sorry....but they don't put 11 y/o's in jail. Rather, they are required to go through screening which usually ends up in counseling and/or medication. Wonderful children and adults sometimes have chemical imbalances that require medication to control (same concept as a diabetic needing insulin).

For those concerned one of the children reads this, I offer a suggestion to the kids: Give each person a number, starting with 1. WHENEVER the group starts moving forward from a campsite or even a brief stop, have each person call out their number in order. This is what we do with a group of 8-10 youth when we hike.... it makes sure no one moves on without everyone there.

Supreme Being
08-03-2012, 13:21
At the same time, this gives other hikers the heads-up that they may have to stop what they are doing to make sure this kid (or one of the others) makes it back to the rest of the group. It's happened multiple times, so it seems that others are going to have to be able to keep an eye on the kids. I don't mean in a creepy way... The mom clearly is all about herself and her needs.

I just hope the kids do not get hurt in this misadventure... I also hope the search and rescuers stay safe the next time they are called to look for one of her kids.

Just a question... But, if her kid has terrorized the neighborhood, then shouldn't she be keeping an extra close eye on him?

I was thinking this myself. A kid who has set fire to his home doesn't need to be on his own on the trail. And no child deserves to feel that he doesn't matter. FWIW I feel that the hiking communities, towns, and hostels ahead deserve to know about this family. People who previously might have donated to this woman deserve to know the truth. These kids will not learn anything about their family (on the off chance that they stumble across this forum) that they already haven't known for a long time. I somehow think that hiking will be the last thing most of them will want to do as adults after this. And I would say a lot more to this woman in person than I am saying here.

Crazy Larry #1
08-03-2012, 13:29
True, but that still does not prevent criminals from possibly targeting these kids, or prevent the kids from doing a search and finding these unflattering posts. They are probably already aware of WhiteBlaze, and will have access to the internet many places along the way.

I'm not defending this Mom, she does seem pretty unprepared, and the trip poorly planned, but I agree that publicly ridiculing this family probably isn't the most gracious or understanding way to address the problems. No reason to subject the kids to our wrath.I agree with on that Lyle, good point.....

RED-DOG
08-03-2012, 13:55
So why don't some body sit down with this mom and try and educate her on trail ethics and what she is doing is wrong? instead of screaming and ridiculing her.

Supreme Being
08-03-2012, 16:02
So why don't some body sit down with this mom and try and educate her on trail ethics and what she is doing is wrong? instead of screaming and ridiculing her.

I don't see TOW, Lone Wolf, myself or anyone else screaming or ridiculing this woman. It is far too sad and serious a situation for ridicule.

This goes way beyond "trail ethics." Trail ethics involve not pitching your tent in the shelter, having the courtesy to dig cat holes, and being considerate of others on the trail. No one on this forum is going to teach this woman to care that her 11-yr old is missing on the trail or give her the wisdom to know that if you can't feed your 5 children and keep them in shoes - you might consider going home.

This woman needs more help than the hiking community can give her. This isn't just about money, but rather about ethics and the extremely poor choices she is making. It is about 5 kids on the trail who are in harm's way. We can't teach this woman about caring for her children or not stiffing a town who has helped her out or making sure that you have food and shoes before you spend $600+ in gear. Normally all this wouldn't be open for discussion, but when the hiking community and hostels and towns ahead are going to encounter this woman - IMO there is nothing wrong with Lone Wolf, TOW and others from Damascus letting others know about their experience. Especially Lone Wolf as he spent many hours making sure that this young boy was safe - only to encounter a mother who didn't seem to care.

Crazy Larry #1
08-03-2012, 16:19
I don't see TOW, Lone Wolf, myself or anyone else screaming or ridiculing this woman. It is far too sad and serious a situation for ridicule.

This goes way beyond "trail ethics." Trail ethics involve not pitching your tent in the shelter, having the courtesy to dig cat holes, and being considerate of others on the trail. No one on this forum is going to teach this woman to care that her 11-yr old is missing on the trail or give her the wisdom to know that if you can't feed your 5 children and keep them in shoes - you might consider going home.

This woman needs more help than the hiking community can give her. This isn't just about money, but rather about ethics and the extremely poor choices she is making. It is about 5 kids on the trail who are in harm's way. We can't teach this woman about caring for her children or not stiffing a town who has helped her out or making sure that you have food and shoes before you spend $600+ in gear. Normally all this wouldn't be open for discussion, but when the hiking community and hostels and towns ahead are going to encounter this woman - IMO there is nothing wrong with Lone Wolf, TOW and others from Damascus letting others know about their experience. Especially Lone Wolf as he spent many hours making sure that this young boy was safe - only to encounter a mother who didn't seem to care.
Well said!

TD55
08-03-2012, 16:19
I don't see TOW, Lone Wolf, myself or anyone else screaming or ridiculing this woman. It is far too sad and serious a situation for ridicule.

Don't lump yourself in with TOW and Lone Wolf. They are providing empirical data. They are the "boots on the ground" and basing their opinions of that empirical data. Your post are based on opinion and judgments you have made based on your own values.

Pedaling Fool
08-03-2012, 16:22
My understanding is that the 'Sensitive Trail Subjects' forum may only be viewed by Donating Members who are subscribed to it.

There are so many things wrong with this discussion being conducted in a public forum that is searchable from the Internet I do not even know where to begin.
1) Broadcasting the location of children who may be left wandering in the woods unattended is dangerous and irresponsible.
2) If the children Google themselves someday, these children do not need the hurt and damage that can be caused by reading peoples opinions of their mother expressed on this forum.

Posters need to remember that what we say in these forums is very public. You should not say anything that you would not be willing to say to everyone on the planet, because that is what you are effectively doing. (Everyone can range from the person you are talking about, their children, criminals, pedophiles, everyone).

Some topics and discussions should be conducted in private.

Scott
I see, said the blind man

Supreme Being
08-03-2012, 17:44
Don't lump yourself in with TOW and Lone Wolf. They are providing empirical data. They are the "boots on the ground" and basing their opinions of that empirical data. Your post are based on opinion and judgments you have made based on your own values.

I am giving my opinion. That said, my posts have neither screamed at nor ridiculed this family.

Gray Blazer
08-03-2012, 20:11
I see, said the blind man

... as he picked up his hammer and saw.

Well, now that I'm in it ... I don't know what to say ... except people should avoid doing things that bring in the state to control or curb their actions.

Crazy Larry #1
08-04-2012, 06:44
... as he picked up his hammer and saw.

Well, now that I'm in it ... I don't know what to say ... except people should avoid doing things that bring in the state to control or curb their actions.

That;s an excellent point...

Papa D
08-04-2012, 09:12
I don't see TOW, Lone Wolf, myself or anyone else screaming or ridiculing this woman. It is far too sad and serious a situation for ridicule.

This goes way beyond "trail ethics." Trail ethics involve not pitching your tent in the shelter, having the courtesy to dig cat holes, and being considerate of others on the trail. No one on this forum is going to teach this woman to care that her 11-yr old is missing on the trail or give her the wisdom to know that if you can't feed your 5 children and keep them in shoes - you might consider going home.

This woman needs more help than the hiking community can give her. This isn't just about money, but rather about ethics and the extremely poor choices she is making. It is about 5 kids on the trail who are in harm's way. We can't teach this woman about caring for her children or not stiffing a town who has helped her out or making sure that you have food and shoes before you spend $600+ in gear. Normally all this wouldn't be open for discussion, but when the hiking community and hostels and towns ahead are going to encounter this woman - IMO there is nothing wrong with Lone Wolf, TOW and others from Damascus letting others know about their experience. Especially Lone Wolf as he spent many hours making sure that this young boy was safe - only to encounter a mother who didn't seem to care.

From what I have picked up reading this post, I think this is accurate. The whole notion of being able to practice "trail ethics" is based on someone being a "reasonable person." Reasonable and mostly well-intentioned hikers can learn and practice trail ethics. It seems that this person isn't really reasonable or what the community thinks of as a "hiker" or "backpacker." She almost falls in the category of "sketchy person on the trail." She might have (or have had) good intentions but it seems that now, unless someone out there is willing to essentially adopt her and her kids and provide good gear and support with money, she will continue to cause problems for herself, her kids, and the trail community. She probably needs to just get off the trail.

RED-DOG
08-04-2012, 11:00
Well since this thread was started all i have read is how a bad mother this lady is and some body is whinning about loosing a few missly dollars in damascus.

doritotex
08-04-2012, 11:24
Well since this thread was started all i have read is how a bad mother this lady is and some body is whinning about loosing a few missly dollars in damascus.I think it's about how irresponsible it is to go out on the trail with 6 children without proper gear and money! I don't think anyone is whining about the loss of a "few miserly dollars", it's about wandering around without ANY money to feed her children. The woman sounds mentally ill, seems like she might be manic-depressive or bipolar.

RED-DOG
08-04-2012, 11:31
So were are a bunch of doctors now. The only person i have read in this thread so far that is trying to help this mother and her children is Lone Wolf. That is really SAD.

Supreme Being
08-04-2012, 12:14
So were are a bunch of doctors now. The only person i have read in this thread so far that is trying to help this mother and her children is Lone Wolf. That is really SAD.

Read all these posts again. And then read what Lone Wolf himself posted. I'm not trying to put words in his mouth (OK - sorry, I probably am), but the impression that I got was that even Lone Wolf himself was pretty disgusted in how little this mother seemed to care that her young child was out there at night alone; that this mother needs to become responsible before someone in the family is hurt.

It is sad. But instead of judging us for being horrified about the actions of this woman - you are fairly close and just finished the trail. Why don't you go to this family and see if you can guide them along the trail? Because more money won't help protect those kids. Nothing short of a guide is going to help them. Or perhaps a series of "trail angel guides" who will support them.

SawnieRobertson
08-04-2012, 13:37
With all the knowledge of this group that you (LW and TOW) have, what would be your best guess about when they would or did reach Grayson Highlands and the ponies? How about Fox Creek, Dickey Gap, Trimpi Shelter? Are you able to guess their miles per day? And when did they leave Damascus? I'd appreciate knowing. Thanks, Sawnie

bessiebreeze
08-04-2012, 13:43
And I would like to know exactly where they are now, also. And about how fast they are traveling. I plan to hike in Southwestern Va within the next 2 months, and I really don't want to run into them.

Thanks for any information about their whereabouts.

TD55
08-04-2012, 13:59
And I would like to know exactly where they are now, also. And about how fast they are traveling. I plan to hike in Southwestern Va within the next 2 months, and I really don't want to run into them.

Thanks for any information about their whereabouts.
Might be difficult to predict their whereabouts over the next "two months" AND AS STATED IN AN EARLIER POST, dangerous to the kids. Sounds like you want a weekly update and the safety and privacy of the family be darned. How about this, why don't you give us details of your hike, some of us may want to avoid running into you.

RED-DOG
08-04-2012, 14:25
I would rather hike and shelter with this family than with most of you guys, and i would probably alot safer too.

Lone Wolf
08-04-2012, 18:59
With all the knowledge of this group that you (LW and TOW) have, what would be your best guess about when they would or did reach Grayson Highlands and the ponies? How about Fox Creek, Dickey Gap, Trimpi Shelter? Are you able to guess their miles per day? And when did they leave Damascus? I'd appreciate knowing. Thanks, Sawnie


And I would like to know exactly where they are now, also. And about how fast they are traveling. I plan to hike in Southwestern Va within the next 2 months, and I really don't want to run into them.

Thanks for any information about their whereabouts.

i'm not posting their whereabouts

Gray Blazer
08-04-2012, 20:24
I would rather hike and shelter with this family than with most of you guys, and i would probably alot safer too.

Well said.

Gray Blazer
08-04-2012, 20:25
i'm not posting their whereabouts

​I think you already did.

Crazy Larry #1
08-04-2012, 20:33
I would rather hike and shelter with this family than with most of you guys, and i would probably alot safer too.

And we would probably enjoy that as well.....

Crazy Larry #1
08-04-2012, 20:34
i'm not posting their whereabouts

ditto that...

Sarcasm the elf
08-04-2012, 21:14
So were are a bunch of doctors now. The only person i have read in this thread so far that is trying to help this mother and her children is Lone Wolf. That is really SAD.


I would rather hike and shelter with this family than with most of you guys, and i would probably alot safer too.

This site has a long history of passing judgement. I like when people with first hand knowledge post their concerns or tell us of legitimate issues, but usually the call to action is led by folks who have no information to go on other than what they've read on the Internet. If you recall, in the last year a bunch of Internet experts from this site also decided that they solved a murder based soley on posts they read on WB :mad:

shelb
08-04-2012, 21:48
Whatever we think/say about "Cheer Bear," I am sure she loves her kids. She may not be doing what is best for them, but I do not question her love for them. Some people do not always make the best choices, and they often use poor judgement. Hopefully, nothing tragic comes of that.

Crazy Larry #1
08-05-2012, 10:36
This site has a long history of passing judgement. I like when people with first hand knowledge post their concerns or tell us of legitimate issues, but usually the call to action is led by folks who have no information to go on other than what they've read on the Internet. If you recall, in the last year a bunch of Internet experts from this site also decided that they solved a murder based soley on posts they read on WB :mad:


Whatever we think/say about "Cheer Bear," I am sure she loves her kids. She may not be doing what is best for them, but I do not question her love for them. Some people do not always make the best choices, and they often use poor judgement. Hopefully, nothing tragic comes of that.
That's right Sarc... Sgt Rock was that suspect, what a bunch of ditwits.... and I agree with ya shelb...

Marta
08-05-2012, 11:33
Is she taking care of her kids to a "normal" standard? No.

Is it morally acceptable to sponge off other people and The System while hiking, or at home, for that matter? No.

But people in this country have the right to have a zillion kids, even if they don't have the resources to care for them. Throwing those kids into the foster care system is almost never an improvement in their lives. The best thing for us outsiders to do is help the kids, if we are moved to, and butt out if we are not.

Mountain Maiden
08-05-2012, 12:50
Is she taking care of her kids to a "normal" standard? No.

Is it morally acceptable to sponge off other people and The System while hiking, or at home, for that matter? No.

But people in this country have the right to have a zillion kids, even if they don't have the resources to care for them. Throwing those kids into the foster care system is almost never an improvement in their lives. The best thing for us outsiders to do is help the kids, if we are moved to, and butt out if we are not.

Well said, Marta.

BabySue
08-05-2012, 13:07
Too bad this family isn't homeless; then everything would be A-OK.

Old Hiker
08-05-2012, 13:23
Too bad this family isn't homeless; then everything would be A-OK.

Or illegal.

Pedaling Fool
08-05-2012, 14:39
But people in this country have the right to have a zillion kids, even if they don't have the resources to care for them. Throwing those kids into the foster care system is almost never an improvement in their lives. The best thing for us outsiders to do is help the kids, if we are moved to, and butt out if we are not.Or you can just throw them kids into plastic storage boxes :eek:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/prosecutors-charge-ohio-couple-with-forcing-children-in-plastic-storage-boxes-as-punishment/2012/08/03/89aa9a92-dd60-11e1-8ad1-909913931f71_story.html?wpisrc=nl_most


Ohio couple charged with forcing children into plastic storage boxes as punishment


An Ohio couple were charged this week with punishing their three children by forcing them into plastic boxes sealed with duct tape and only a square cut in the top for air.

The children, ages 5, 6 and 8, were crammed into the boxes as punishment June 16 at the family home in Steubenville while the parents went to the grocery store and left two uncles at home with them, a prosecutor said. A friend of the family arrived at the house, got the children out of the boxes and contacted police.
The children “were all basically demonstrating (for authorities) that they were curled up in the fetal position, laying in their backs,” prosecutor Jeffrey J. Bruzzese said.

The children were in the boxes for about 15 to 30 minutes, with square holes cut out of the lids to expose the top part of their faces. There was no indication they had been put in the boxes before, but it was part of a cycle of abuse by the parents that included having weights dropped on their feet, Bruzzese said.

The children have been removed from the home and are in good health, the prosecutor said.

James Allen Taylor, 29, and stepmother Samantha Marie Taylor, 26, were indicted this week by a Jefferson County grand jury on charges of endangering children, a felony, and unlawful restraint, a misdemeanor. Each also faced another felony endangering count related to “ongoing corporal punishment practices of the family.”

It wasn’t clear Friday whether the couple had attorneys, and a working phone number for them couldn’t be found.

The two uncles were also indicted. Bruzzese said they helped put the children in the boxes, with one of them cutting the air holes.

Steubenville is on the Ohio-West Virginia border, about 150 miles east of Columbus.

Water Rat
08-05-2012, 14:49
Wow. Stunning.

atmilkman
08-05-2012, 15:03
Or you can just throw them kids into plastic storage boxes :eek:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/prosecutors-charge-ohio-couple-with-forcing-children-in-plastic-storage-boxes-as-punishment/2012/08/03/89aa9a92-dd60-11e1-8ad1-909913931f71_story.html?wpisrc=nl_most


Ohio couple charged with forcing children into plastic storage boxes as punishment


An Ohio couple were charged this week with punishing their three children by forcing them into plastic boxes sealed with duct tape and only a square cut in the top for air.

The children, ages 5, 6 and 8, were crammed into the boxes as punishment June 16 at the family home in Steubenville while the parents went to the grocery store and left two uncles at home with them, a prosecutor said. A friend of the family arrived at the house, got the children out of the boxes and contacted police.
The children “were all basically demonstrating (for authorities) that they were curled up in the fetal position, laying in their backs,” prosecutor Jeffrey J. Bruzzese said.

The children were in the boxes for about 15 to 30 minutes, with square holes cut out of the lids to expose the top part of their faces. There was no indication they had been put in the boxes before, but it was part of a cycle of abuse by the parents that included having weights dropped on their feet, Bruzzese said.

The children have been removed from the home and are in good health, the prosecutor said.

James Allen Taylor, 29, and stepmother Samantha Marie Taylor, 26, were indicted this week by a Jefferson County grand jury on charges of endangering children, a felony, and unlawful restraint, a misdemeanor. Each also faced another felony endangering count related to “ongoing corporal punishment practices of the family.”

It wasn’t clear Friday whether the couple had attorneys, and a working phone number for them couldn’t be found.

The two uncles were also indicted. Bruzzese said they helped put the children in the boxes, with one of them cutting the air holes.

Steubenville is on the Ohio-West Virginia border, about 150 miles east of Columbus.
Bull whip all four of these lousy excuses of humanity.

WingedMonkey
08-06-2012, 09:07
This is the story of the rescue before they got to Damascus:
Missing teenager found Matthew Hundley / ([email protected] (//[email protected]))
Around 2 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, Avery County Sheriff’s Office received word of a missing 16-year-old boy who became separated from his mother while hiking on the Appalachian Trail, according to Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye.

“He was walking ahead of his mother. Apparently, that was something that was not unusual. He was good about going to the next shelter and waiting,” said Frye, explaining how the mother and child were separated. “She got there and he was not there.” Because of sparse cell phone service, it was late at night before the mother was able to contact the authorities,

“There is no way to look for anyone that late at night and be successful, so we started first thing in the morning,” said Frye, who explained that the boy was found by Carter County authorities at Dennis Cove Falls, near Watauga Lake around noon on Saturday, July 28. “He had walked approximately 20 miles from where he was last seen,” said Frye.

The boy was found in good condition. According to Frye, the success of the rescue was due in part to the massive pooling of resources from all nearby agencies.

“It was a huge collaboration effort between the our fire departments, our rescue squads, sheriff’s offices, U.S. Forest Service and Carter County Rescue Squad,” said Frye. A North Carolina Highway Patrol helicopter was also brought in to assist with the search.

“We are blessed that we have resources like that in our county that allow situations like this to be handled as well as they are,” said Frye.

http://averyjournal.com/News/story/Missing-teenager-found-id-010177

Sly
08-06-2012, 09:16
“It was a huge collaboration effort between the our fire departments, our rescue squads, sheriff’s offices, U.S. Forest Service and Carter County Rescue Squad,” said Frye. A North Carolina Highway Patrol helicopter was also brought in to assist with the search.


No doubt it was a huge collaborated effort, but what was he rescued from? They're still out there hiking so they can't be that bad off.

Lone Wolf
08-06-2012, 09:20
No doubt it was a huge collaborated effort, but what was he rescued from? Unless I'm mistaken it's not like he was actually lost, and wandered off the trail. They're still out there hiking so they can't be that bad off.
the kid is autistic. he could've gone down a road or started bushwhacking. less than a week later her 11 year old got separated from the group and me and a cop had to hunt down mom

Pedaling Fool
08-06-2012, 09:21
No doubt it was a huge collaborated effort, but what was he rescued from? They're still out there hiking so they can't be that bad off.
If we could only know what would have happened. All I know is that if I were missing a kid I wouldn't have been so carefree.

Lone Wolf
08-06-2012, 09:30
If we could only know what would have happened. All I know is that if I were missing a kid I wouldn't have been so carefree.last thursday night when i found her she wasn't very concerned about the 11 year old she hadn't seen in 9 hours. very strange. didn't ask if he was hungry, thirsty, tired, injured. nothing

Water Rat
08-06-2012, 09:34
It sounds like the kids who need the most "mom time" are the ones who are left on their own. Just my two cents, but this is a recipe for disaster.

Sly
08-06-2012, 09:53
the kid is autistic. he could've gone down a road or started bushwhacking. less than a week later her 11 year old got separated from the group and me and a cop had to hunt down mom

OK, the family has had two run-ins with the authorities and they're still out on the trail. Do you have any idea where they're from and if it's a better environment? I doubt the kids would prefer being under custody of child services.

Lone Wolf
08-06-2012, 09:54
OK, the family has had two run-ins with the authorities and they're still out on the trail. Do you have any idea where they're from and if it's a better environment?

whatever sly. once again you don't get it

Sly
08-06-2012, 09:57
whatever sly. once again you don't get it

No I probably don't get it. Do you get it? What's your answer besides out of sight, out of mind?

WingedMonkey
08-06-2012, 09:57
You are correct Sly, she should have never called 911.

Sly
08-06-2012, 10:02
You are correct Sly, she should have never called 911.

I didn't say that, I just disagreed with the wording in your article.

Definition of RESCUE
transitive verb
: to free from confinement, danger, or evil : save (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/save), deliver (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deliver): asa : to take (as a prisoner) forcibly from custodyb : to recover (as a prize) by forcec : to deliver (as a place under siege) by armed force

I realize everyone is worried about the kids, I'm just saying no matter how bad it looks, it could be worse. Has anyone asked the kids what they think?

Mountain Maiden
08-06-2012, 10:51
I didn't say that, I just disagreed with the wording in your article.

Definition of RESCUE
transitive verb
: to free from confinement, danger, or evil : save (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/save), deliver (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deliver): asa : to take (as a prisoner) forcibly from custodyb : to recover (as a prize) by forcec : to deliver (as a place under siege) by armed force

I realize everyone is worried about the kids, I'm just saying no matter how bad it looks, it could be worse. Has anyone asked the kids what they think?





I have wondered what the conditions are 'back home.' You never know... whatever they're dealing with on the Trail, what they've left behind might be much worse.

RED-DOG
08-06-2012, 11:16
I used to be very proud to be part of the AT community and every thing it stood for, but after reading all the post on this thread i am pretty damn ashamed to be part of this and the AT community. So have a very nice day.
I Will Be donating to this lady and her children. :datz

Lone Wolf
08-06-2012, 11:34
I Will Be donating to this lady and her children. :datz

donating what exactly?

RED-DOG
08-06-2012, 11:43
I am going to take a little drive and see if i can locate her and the children and whatever she needs its going to be hers, and this is the last time i am posting about this thread. This thread turned me totally against the so called AT community.:mad:

The Cleaner
08-06-2012, 11:44
donating what exactly? Bus tickets to get them back home,if they have one.....

SawnieRobertson
08-06-2012, 11:49
If they are still in SW Virginia, they got a quite-bonding experience last night with a long-lasting torrential downpour. I hope that duct tape that was used as seam sealer worked well. But as a mother and a retired high school teacher, I tend to think that, if they survive, this is ultimately a very positive, maturing experience. I could never have survived having six kids, myself, much less have handled an expedition of this magnitude with one who is autistic plus all the others. The whole thing strikes me as amazingly good as well as potentially not so good.

Train Wreck
08-06-2012, 12:02
This woman is irresponsible and selfish and CPS should investigate. According to her journal, she is no longer thru hiking, but rather wants to "get rides" to various points so that the kids can hike in those States. And she is going to do this until Nov. She has been off the trail as much as she has been on the trail. Her children all became sick from bad water and were previously forced off the trail. She bought herself a $200+ pack, but let her kid's shoes fall apart. Spent $300 on sleeping bags because the ones she started with were too small from the get go. She is trying to get the 15-yr old's pack "under 25 lbs" because it is too heavy for him. God only knows how much it originally weighed. This woman is just another example of a woman who had a lot of children and is working the System and is letting Welfare and donations pay for it all.

http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=385047

I saw her journal entry appealing for people to volunteer to give her "rides" in parts of each state. Including MAINE and NH. If she can't even keep her kids together, fed, and shod, on the easier sections she has been on so far, what the heck can happen when the terrain/resources really get sketchy? How is she going to lug a toddler through the Whites or do stream crossings in Maine?:eek:
I give her one point for her enthusiasm and desire to let the kids experience the great outdoors, and negative 100 points for her total ignorance of what she is undertaking. FAIL.

Flounder940
08-06-2012, 12:09
I used to be very proud to be part of the AT community and every thing it stood for, but after reading all the post on this thread i am pretty damn ashamed to be part of this and the AT community. So have a very nice day.
I Will Be donating to this lady and her children. :datz

This coming from the person who ripped people for wanting to post Katahdin summit photos.

Train Wreck
08-06-2012, 12:19
[QUOTE=shelb;1319589]....her journal is written at a 6th grade writing level, so I am not sure just how much writing instruction they will get.

I find it hard to believe that anyone who has hiked and herded 6 kids all day, now has to settle them in camp, cook and feed them, is going to have any mental energy left for any reading, math, etc. Ditto for the kids on the receiving end of said instruction. Heck, most of the time when I pull into camp, by the time the essential chores are done, it's all I can do to glance at the profile map and check over the next day's trail. *snoring with Data Book open on chest*

Rasty
08-06-2012, 12:22
[QUOTE=shelb;1319589]....her journal is written at a 6th grade writing level, so I am not sure just how much writing instruction they will get.

I find it hard to believe that anyone who has hiked and herded 6 kids all day, now has to settle them in camp, cook and feed them, is going to have any mental energy left for any reading, math, etc. Ditto for the kids on the receiving end of said instruction. Heck, most of the time when I pull into camp, by the time the essential chores are done, it's all I can do to glance at the profile map and check over the next day's trail. *snoring with Data Book open on chest*

I have to agree with that. I've pulled up to camp and not had the energy to eat. I went right to sleep and woke up five hours later and then ate some food.

BobTheBuilder
08-06-2012, 12:38
i am pretty damn ashamed to be part of this and the AT community.

Right back at ya, Red Dog.

Water Rat
08-06-2012, 13:16
I saw her journal entry appealing for people to volunteer to give her "rides" in parts of each state. Including MAINE and NH. If she can't even keep her kids together, fed, and shod, on the easier sections she has been on so far, what the heck can happen when the terrain/resources really get sketchy? How is she going to lug a toddler through the Whites or do stream crossings in Maine?:eek:
I give her one point for her enthusiasm and desire to let the kids experience the great outdoors, and negative 100 points for her total ignorance of what she is undertaking. FAIL.

I read her journal. I was shaking my head. What really got to me was when I got to the following entry:

"Hey all only 10 more days till we are back on the trail!!! I can't wait. I hate being home, I may just go on the trail and never come back! If I told the cubs that however they might just throw me off a mountain and I really never would come back. Well our plans have changed since the planning of this trip started. Originally we were gonna be hiking to Damascus and getting off trail on July 15th! Now we are getting back on and staying until Nov. 13th. We will be hiking from Wayha, where we got off, to Waynesboro, VA. From there we will rent a car and drive up to Baxter State Park. We will be stopping in D.C. and New York. We are going to make this an educational trip along the way. This is probably the only chance we will ever have to go to these places so might as well do it while we can! I am hoping that we will be able to get rides along the way back south. I would like to hike spome in each state but skip over large sections. That way we can walk some in each state and get us out of the upper north as quickyl as possible."

I doubt that finding the rides will be an issue because she mentions renting a car. With what money? She claims to not have enough money to put shoes on her kids' feet.

She mentions they ARE staying on the trail until Nov. 13th... It sounds like she intends to do this no matter what. This is even with her kids with her. Kids who might become sick, or injured, or tired of trail life.

She mentions this is probably the only time they will ever be able to do this trek. Why? Are they closing the AT? Why not wait until the kids are older, there has been more planning (so she doesn't have to rely on the kindness of others), and everyone has the proper gear.

I think it is awesome she wants to do the trail. Her enthusiasm should be contagious... However, it feels like she is the one on the run. This seems to be all about her, but I don't really get the feel this is the hike the kids want to do. I am getting this feeling from her journal. It seems to be what she wants to do, so they are gonna do it. No matter what.

I could be wrong. She could be a really nice woman, who is just overwhelmed by trying to hike with 6 kids. Who wouldn't be? I am just going on what she has written in her journal. Her words and her actions just do not jibe.

Crazy Larry #1
08-06-2012, 13:25
I used to be very proud to be part of the AT community and every thing it stood for, but after reading all the post on this thread i am pretty damn ashamed to be part of this and the AT community. So have a very nice day.
I Will Be donating to this lady and her children. :datz
Listen partner, you have forgotten that we are not as perfect as you are so therefore we have an excuse.....

Crazy Larry #1
08-06-2012, 13:29
I for one am very happy that you feel the way you do.....and to help another human being is one of the most awesome things you can do in life.....

JohnWayne
08-06-2012, 13:58
I am going to take a little drive and see if i can locate her and the children and whatever she needs its going to be hers, and this is the last time i am posting about this thread. This thread turned me totally against the so called AT community.:mad:

Her kids will probably tell you that while their mom can stay out there, they would like a ride home.

God help us that we should have different opinions here.

Train Wreck
08-06-2012, 14:08
It will be interesting to see if she continues to post on her journal, or just decides to lay low after seeing all the negative feedback posted so far. Or if she will pop in from time to time if she needs more assistance.
Just an observation.

RED-DOG
08-06-2012, 14:42
I am not perfect and not trying to be, i'm just trying to help this family, somebody has to or we will be faced with a starving family and their going to start dropping off like flies, and thats all we need is more dead bodies on the AT period.

Lone Wolf
08-06-2012, 14:44
I am not perfect and not trying to be, i'm just trying to help this family, somebody has to or we will be faced with a starving family and their going to start dropping off like flies, and thats all we need is more dead bodies on the AT period.

well quit postin' and hit the road...

Lone Wolf
08-06-2012, 14:52
I am not perfect and not trying to be, i'm just trying to help this family, somebody has to or we will be faced with a starving family and their going to start dropping off like flies, and thats all we need is more dead bodies on the AT period.


well quit postin' and hit the road...

be sure to report back with your findings

RED-DOG
08-06-2012, 15:03
I am on the road know with my girl friend driving, and i will post back what i find, but better yet why don't i swing by damascus and pick you up and you can go with us.

Lone Wolf
08-06-2012, 15:05
I am on the road know with my girl friend driving, and i will post back what i find, but better yet why don't i swing by damascus and pick you up and you can go with us.

no desire to go. i did my part

Train Wreck
08-06-2012, 15:09
If not for the feedback from people who have actually witnessed this family's misadventures so far, and confirmed that they are indeed really on the trail, I would think her journal is one big troll-fest :rolleyes: This thing is just absurd on so many levels. Especially based on the assumption that she is traveling just this side of broke. None of this makes any sense, unless she has financial resources that no one knows about.

For example...Hope she has scoped out the costs of renting a car...every time I go on a trip car rental turns out to be a considerable expense.... Let's do some fun number-crunching! Hmm, 6 kids + 1 adult, plus all their gear, assuming they are going to just day-hike mostly, camp sometimes. Gotta have at the very minimum a full-size car for that. Length of rental? Assume minimum 3 weeks, to allow for drive time plus "experiencing" each state for a bit of trail hiking, say 3 times a week. It's a long haul from Waynesboro, VA to Baxter Park, ME (955 miles if heading from point A to point B). Average rental per week for full-size car, figure about $300. So we are looking at $900 not including gas. Add another $200 minimum one way for gas because to get to trailheads, you're not always going to be on the highway getting good mileage. It sounded to me like she was only renting one-way, and hiking the trail southbound, looking for rides in-between sections (hence the appeal for volunteers to give her rides on the list she posted along specific locations on the Trail). So add additional penalty for not returning the car to starting oint. I don't even know how to estimate that since it depends on where the drop-off point is. If she's renting both ways, you can usually only rent a car for 60 days. That's gonna cost about $1800-1900, plus still more gas (add another $200?) If she's planning on dumping the car in Maine, then she is counting on the kindness of others to move her family on down the trail as they arrive at certain road crossings. Fine if you're an adult and can deal with the uncertainty of hitching, not so good if you're dragging 6 kids behind you, it's cold, it's raining, and your ride doesn't show up.

What about feeding those kids? I sorta think they won't be happy to eat protein drinks, granola bars, Nutella, and ramen salad, whatever that is, the whole duration. This is what she said she's feeding them while on the trail. No hot meals and no variety. On the road, are they going to be happy bypassing every MickeyD's and KFC? Don't think so!! Every off-trail meal at a fast food restaurant, figuring $5.00/person, is a minimum $30 per meal. If she's packing groceries instead, estimate what it costs to feed a family of 7 per week (I have no idea) and get in sufficient calories and nutritional standards.

I strongly suspect, that if this hot mess of a hike continues, it will evolve from a "backpacking trip" into your basic road trip vacation with very,very brief forays onto the AT in the form of short day-hikes, and a lot of campgrounds. Which is probably what it should have been planned to be anyway. And the kids will probably have a lot more fun. Me, I just have a little problem financing someone else's poorly planned vacation.

silverscuba22
08-06-2012, 15:16
I am going to take a little drive and see if i can locate her and the children and whatever she needs its going to be hers, and this is the last time i am posting about this thread. This thread turned me totally against the so called AT community.:mad:

Red-Dog, this isnt some tornado victim, or flood victim that is starving. this is a lady that made piss poor life decisions IF you go there any try to "help" her all you are doing is enabling her, she will take whatever you give her and then move on the next place and rinse and repeat the whole process again. if she cant even afford shoes for one of the kids or FOOD she has no business on THE AT !! please take some pictures "when you get there " let people see how this family is doing. its one thing for an 18-22 yearold to go out and do soemthing stupid like this... but a mother of 5 ???? give me a break

Train Wreck
08-06-2012, 15:19
Flame me if you must, but just so you know, I will be the first to apologize to this lady if further events prove that she really does have a rational, workable plan to give her children an awesome outdoor experience. Based on what has happened to this point, and the rambling and somewhat incoherent journal entries so far, I can't deduce any such thing. And she should be aware that by sharing her experiences with the community, they ARE going to have an opinion, good or bad, and give advice, good or bad :)

Jim Adams
08-06-2012, 15:49
There is no such thing as "having the right gear". IMO anyone that goes ultralight and has a pack under 20# is irresponsible and doesn't have enough gear to "hike correctly". They borrow cell phones, stoves, fuel, shelter, complain if the shelters ar too full because they have no shelter with them, bum food, medicine, rides etc. yet it is not my place to post about them hiking wrong. The children haven't wanted to stop or at least 1 out of 5 would have by now. She may have plenty of money and she is hoarding it away from the public, trying to get as much "free" help as she can, none of us know that.
I will always have the childrens best interest at heart and as long as they want to stay out there and are able to do so, it is no one elses businrss. After reading most of these posts I guess you all would have had Emma Gatewood committed in an old folks home because she didn't have the "correct" equipment, relied on others at times for food and shelter and was so old that surely she has alzheimer's and can't take care of herself.
To those posting that want to help this mother and her kids, my hat is off to you.

geek

Lone Wolf
08-06-2012, 16:23
I will always have the childrens best interest at heart and as long as they want to stay out there and are able to do so, it is no one elses businrss.

it became my business when she stayed 3 extra days at the hostel waiting on money then stiffed the hostel then a day after she left one of her young kids shows up back in town not knowing where mom and the family are. i wasn't gonna leave him. me and a damascus police officer went out of our way to search for mom and the family

silverscuba22
08-06-2012, 16:41
it became my business when she stayed 3 extra days at the hostel waiting on money then stiffed the hostel then a day after she left one of her young kids shows up back in town not knowing where mom and the family are. i wasn't gonna leave him. me and a damascus police officer went out of our way to search for mom and the family

Lone Wolf, you have went above and beyond. i think Jim Adams might of missed where in the last 3 days of her hiking she has LOST 2 kids !!!! and the 2nd time SHE DIDNT SEEM TO CARE !!!!!! yes try to help the kids, but dont enable to mom to jst turn around and do this again !!!

Mrs Baggins
08-06-2012, 16:44
There is no such thing as "having the right gear". IMO anyone that goes ultralight and has a pack under 20# is irresponsible and doesn't have enough gear to "hike correctly". They borrow cell phones, stoves, fuel, shelter, complain if the shelters ar too full because they have no shelter with them, bum food, medicine, rides etc. yet it is not my place to post about them hiking wrong. The children haven't wanted to stop or at least 1 out of 5 would have by now. She may have plenty of money and she is hoarding it away from the public, trying to get as much "free" help as she can, none of us know that.
I will always have the childrens best interest at heart and as long as they want to stay out there and are able to do so, it is no one elses businrss. After reading most of these posts I guess you all would have had Emma Gatewood committed in an old folks home because she didn't have the "correct" equipment, relied on others at times for food and shelter and was so old that surely she has alzheimer's and can't take care of herself.
To those posting that want to help this mother and her kids, my hat is off to you.

geek

Grandma Gatewood may well have been a bit cracked BUT she was not endangering anyone but herself. She was not dragging young kids along. This woman reminds me far far too much of a relative (by marriage). Her trail journal reads like it was written by said relative or much like a 12 yr old who was barely getting by in school, may have had abuse issues as a kid, and is not quite all there. It could have been written by said relative. It "sounds" just like her. Even said relative's own grown kids now look at her and say "Something is not right up there." She loved her kids but she was all about herself, was jealous of the attention her kids got and acted it out just like another kid, and expected them to take care of themselves too often. She spent money on ridiculous unnecessary items because that's what she wanted while badgering other family members to give the kids toys and clothes for holidays and birthdays "because it's too expensive." And often after they did, she'd sell it at a garage sale to buy more crap. Her husband went deaf to it early on and didn't want to hear about it from anyone else. Could be this lady's husband is the same way. He's just glad she's out of the house.

Pedaling Fool
08-06-2012, 16:58
I am going to take a little drive and see if i can locate her and the children and whatever she needs its going to be hers, and this is the last time i am posting about this thread. This thread turned me totally against the so called AT community.:mad:I'm skeptical that you're actually going out looking for them in order to give her and her children "whatever she needs". But if you, or anyone, were to locate her, in order to provide assistance, you don't realize what you're getting yourself into, in the way of providing support.

What are you going to do buy them all the gear and shoes they need and then dinner?

Even if you were to do that, the drama would not stop; she'd still be complaining about subsequent money issues and other problems. Are you going to come to her rescue then? These problems are far more complicated than someone simply down on their luck. I can help people down on their luck, but I can't help people that make awful decisions as a habit. When someone doesn't show concern that their kid is missing, there's something wrong there, that simple assistance cannot address.

Train Wreck
08-06-2012, 17:03
I will always have the childrens best interest at heart and as long as they want to stay out there and are able to do so, it is no one elses businrss. After reading most of these posts I guess you all would have had Emma Gatewood committed in an old folks home because she didn't have the "correct" equipment, relied on others at times for food and shelter and was so old that surely she has alzheimer's and can't take care of herself.

geek

As someone else already noted, Grandma Gatewood was an adult and was not endangering anyone but herself. She was a tough old bird who had already lived a pretty challenging life and the AT was just more of the same.

Things change when you throw 6 minors into the mix, half of them under the age of 12. As to assuming they "want to stay out there", I wouldn't regard that as the key to whether or not they should remain on the trail, given the mom's inability to keep the group self-sufficient and out of trouble up to this point. As minors, it's up to their guardian to make responsible decisions for their welfare. Even as an adult section hiker, whether or not I wanted to stay on the trail any given day largely depended on how I felt at that particular moment, the weather, closeness to town (no contest on that last one) I wouldn't expect a child to be capable of making a long-reaching decision of that nature, they're CHILDREN!

Train Wreck
08-06-2012, 17:21
[QUOTE=Train Wreck;1320829] Every off-trail meal at a fast food restaurant, figuring $5.00/person, is a minimum $30 per meal. If she's packing groceries instead, estimate what it costs to feed a family of 7 per week (I have no idea) and get in sufficient calories and nutritional standards.

*should have said, a minimum of $35 per meal. Dang, I'm having trouble keeping up with all those kids, even from a distance :p

Kryptonite
08-06-2012, 17:56
There is no such thing as "having the right gear". IMO anyone that goes ultralight and has a pack under 20# is irresponsible and doesn't have enough gear to "hike correctly". They borrow cell phones, stoves, fuel, shelter, complain if the shelters ar too full because they have no shelter with them, bum food, medicine, rides etc. yet it is not my place to post about them hiking wrong. The children haven't wanted to stop or at least 1 out of 5 would have by now. She may have plenty of money and she is hoarding it away from the public, trying to get as much "free" help as she can, none of us know that.
I will always have the childrens best interest at heart and as long as they want to stay out there and are able to do so, it is no one elses businrss. After reading most of these posts I guess you all would have had Emma Gatewood committed in an old folks home because she didn't have the "correct" equipment, relied on others at times for food and shelter and was so old that surely she has alzheimer's and can't take care of herself.
To those posting that want to help this mother and her kids, my hat is off to you.

geek

Have you read her whole journal? Stop romanticizing this hike. It doesn't sound like her children now want to be there at all. I hope that Red Dog has room in that car to take them all home...

Rasty
08-06-2012, 18:26
[QUOTE=Train Wreck;1320829] Every off-trail meal at a fast food restaurant, figuring $5.00/person, is a minimum $30 per meal. If she's packing groceries instead, estimate what it costs to feed a family of 7 per week (I have no idea) and get in sufficient calories and nutritional standards.

*should have said, a minimum of $35 per meal. Dang, I'm having trouble keeping up with all those kids, even from a distance :p

Well your both right. Sometimes it's $30, sometimes it's $35. It just depends on how many kids show up!

grateful 2
08-06-2012, 18:29
Thanks for helping them LoneWolf. After spending time with you in Damascus, I knew you would do the right thing.
it became my business when she stayed 3 extra days at the hostel waiting on money then stiffed the hostel then a day after she left one of her young kids shows up back in town not knowing where mom and the family are. i wasn't gonna leave him. me and a damascus police officer went out of our way to search for mom and the family

Train Wreck
08-06-2012, 19:31
[QUOTE=Train Wreck:1320893]

Well your both right. Sometimes it's $30, sometimes it's $35. It just depends on how many kids show up!

Bahahaha! Well played, sir!

Rick Hancock
08-06-2012, 21:01
When I first started reading her "journal" I thought how child like entries were, long drawn out letters "soooo", numerous misspellings, and the topper was the lack of mileage/camping site for each day of travel. There were dates but that's it. Then I read the part about renting a car and driving to Maine with stops in DC and New York. Further along she began her spiel about rides down the east coast! I've never been one to take a handout. On my thru-hike a fellow hiker paid for my breakfast as I didn't have money. I made sure that I caught up with him and repayed his kindness. Maybe I've just been lucky not to be in a poor mans shoes. I remember reading Awol's account of Steve/Elwood and how he kept sponging off of the good graces of others. This lady seems to be doing the same thing as she and her kids make their haphazard way along the trail. Every year there are people who head out to the AT and sham their way northbound mostly, they don't last long and people pick up on their game pretty quick. Worst part of this is certainly the kids and the fact that their traveling with someone they love but doesn't appear to be 100% stable.

shelb
08-06-2012, 22:41
If we could only know what would have happened. All I know is that if I were missing a kid I wouldn't have been so carefree.

I freak out more when my dog is missing...and then I just find her sleeping in some odd place like a closet...

shelb
08-06-2012, 22:54
[QUOTE=shelb;1319589]....her journal is written at a 6th grade writing level, so I am not sure just how much writing instruction they will get.

I find it hard to believe that anyone who has hiked and herded 6 kids all day, now has to settle them in camp, cook and feed them, is going to have any mental energy left for any reading, math, etc. Ditto for the kids on the receiving end of said instruction. Heck, most of the time when I pull into camp, by the time the essential chores are done, it's all I can do to glance at the profile map and check over the next day's trail. *snoring with Data Book open on chest*

You bring up a very valid point. By the time anyone settles down for the evening, cooks dinner, plans the next day, etc (not to mention what energy it would take to with 5 or 6 kid), it would be too exhausting to provide proper instruction for several kids.... This doesn't mean there is not a lot to learn on the trail about so many things.... However, I am not sure that someone with multi-ages could appropriately "home-school" them all (or give them the support they need to catch up when they get back - especially the older ones).

Train Wreck
08-06-2012, 23:26
[QUOTE=Train Wreck;1320728]

You bring up a very valid point. By the time anyone settles down for the evening, cooks dinner, plans the next day, etc (not to mention what energy it would take to with 5 or 6 kid), it would be too exhausting to provide proper instruction for several kids.... This doesn't mean there is not a lot to learn on the trail about so many things.... However, I am not sure that someone with multi-ages could appropriately "home-school" them all (or give them the support they need to catch up when they get back - especially the older ones).

I am very doubtful that any structured lesson plan can be adhered to under the circumstances. Wonder who's carrying all the school books?? The mom or the kids? If I was a kid hauling a heavy textbook up and down them thar hills, you can bet I'd manage to "lose" it the first night out. Is hiking the AT so important that you should put your kids' education at risk and allow them to fall behind?

Marta
08-06-2012, 23:35
[QUOTE=shelb;1321040]

I am very doubtful that any structured lesson plan can be adhered to under the circumstances. Wonder who's carrying all the school books?? The mom or the kids? If I was a kid hauling a heavy textbook up and down them thar hills, you can bet I'd manage to "lose" it the first night out. Is hiking the AT so important that you should put your kids' education at risk and allow them to fall behind?

This is actually the least concerning thing to me. The most important lessons don't come from books. During the hike the kids will have more responsibility, experience a greater variety of things, and meet more interesting and inspiring people than they ever would have done if they'd spent the time at home, bent over textbooks.

JohnWayne
08-06-2012, 23:47
[QUOTE=Train Wreck;1321054]

This is actually the least concerning thing to me. The most important lessons don't come from books. During the hike the kids will have more responsibility, experience a greater variety of things, and meet more interesting and inspiring people than they ever would have done if they'd spent the time at home, bent over textbooks.

Not only that but they will learn navigational and survival skills from all the times they get lost on their own!

Add to this the panhandling techniques they are already learning from their mother on this trip and they are set for life. I believe one Damascus local already mentioned that the mother had sent the kids in to ask for things?

At first I thought this was educational and a good thing. After reading her journal and learning how she was not concerned about her child who went missing and how she wants everyone to give her and her kids rides everywhere, this is just an example of a mom who is using others.

Sly
08-07-2012, 00:12
Lots of negative vibes in this thread but refreshing to see a few here recognize the good that can come from the hike.

silverscuba22
08-07-2012, 00:29
Lots of negative vibes in this thread but refreshing to see a few here recognize the good that can come from the hike.

Sly, i dont think anyone is saying the kids shouldnt be out there, the AT is great for kids to learn good life lessons, but the mother should of PLANNED things MUCH MUCH better and made sure they had basic food and money for shoes and whatnot...... i wish my parents would of taken me to hike the AT when i was young, but i KNOW my mom would of made sure i didnt get lost, and if somehow i did, she wouldnt be sleeping or cooking on the side of the trail SHE WOULD OF BEEN LOOKING FOR ME !!!

Sly
08-07-2012, 00:44
Sly, i dont think anyone is saying the kids shouldnt be out there, the AT is great for kids to learn good life lessons, but the mother should of PLANNED things MUCH MUCH better and made sure they had basic food and money for shoes and whatnot...... i wish my parents would of taken me to hike the AT when i was young, but i KNOW my mom would of made sure i didnt get lost, and if somehow i did, she wouldnt be sleeping or cooking on the side of the trail SHE WOULD OF BEEN LOOKING FOR ME !!!

I know what you're saying but too many people rely on gear, and planning, when what they need most is determination and spirit. Some of the hikers with the best gear and best planning, go home the earliest.

Most of us would rather see a self sufficient hike without any begging, borrowing or stealing. LW may scream and complain about ripping off the Place but it is a church hostel that works on a donation basis. That they left $50 is $50 more than many others have left. I didn't hear him say anything about her drinking, smoking or otherwise disrespecting the Place or breaking the rules.

I'm not going to judge the mother or her love, or lack of it, for her children. As long as she's not beating them, and they appear to be having fun, it's fine by me.

Supreme Being
08-07-2012, 00:54
Lots of negative vibes in this thread but refreshing to see a few here recognize the good that can come from the hike.

I don't see much good on this particular hike and I am generally one who believes there is something to learn in all situations. Many of her kids do not want to be there. Several kids have gotten lost. One child walked 30 miles. She hasn't paid many of the locals and she is begging for food and taking advantage of the generosity of others. Meanwhile she is buying herself a $200 pack while her kids' shoes fall apart.

What disaster or injury has to happen before Authorities get involved? Think of Hiker's Appetite and then think of growing children and how hungry they must be. Because is there anyone here who believes that this woman is carrying sufficient supplies? I highly doubt it.

Feral Bill
08-07-2012, 01:48
This may be the saddest thread I've ever seen here.
I hope these people get the help they need, which may not be the help they want.

Lone Wolf
08-07-2012, 06:52
I know what you're saying but too many people rely on gear, and planning, when what they need most is determination and spirit. Some of the hikers with the best gear and best planning, go home the earliest.

Most of us would rather see a self sufficient hike without any begging, borrowing or stealing. LW may scream and complain about ripping off the Place but it is a church hostel that works on a donation basis. That they left $50 is $50 more than many others have left. I didn't hear him say anything about her drinking, smoking or otherwise disrespecting the Place or breaking the rules.

I'm not going to judge the mother or her love, or lack of it, for her children. As long as she's not beating them, and they appear to be having fun, it's fine by me.
you really are clueless

Sly
08-07-2012, 07:24
you really are clueless

Yeah, and you're a know-it-all about hiking, parenting and motherhood. It seemed like you were hoping they'd leave Damascus without paying the Place and indeed, they did short change them. Did they do anything else to disrespect the Place?

JohnWayne
08-07-2012, 08:10
I know what you're saying but too many people rely on gear, and planning, when what they need most is determination and spirit. Some of the hikers with the best gear and best planning, go home the earliest.

Most of us would rather see a self sufficient hike without any begging, borrowing or stealing. LW may scream and complain about ripping off the Place but it is a church hostel that works on a donation basis. That they left $50 is $50 more than many others have left. I didn't hear him say anything about her drinking, smoking or otherwise disrespecting the Place or breaking the rules.

I'm not going to judge the mother or her love, or lack of it, for her children. As long as she's not beating them, and they appear to be having fun, it's fine by me.

None of us have said that this woman doesnt love her kids. But a couple of us are saying that she is a crappy mother in this situation. When you take a group of kids out on an extended hike and fail to plan to the extent that your kids are starving, when you write in your journal that "all you really need is water" when there isn't any food, do you think the kids are having fun?

I get that you dont want to judge but how about the rights of the kids? Imagine hiking for miles each day and needing lots of calories anyway because you are a kid and growing and your mom runs out of food and the only way you are going to get any is if you beg?

These kids have already been sick and 2 have become lost. It takes a lot more than "determination and spirit." It takes a mom who puts the welfare of her kids before her own dreams. And yea maybe it takes a mom who also cares when two of her kids are missing at night. She left one boy at a shelter and she didn't know where the other one was. Reports also suggest that this boy wasnt so much as lost as he didnt want to go back on the trail and so went back to town.

I dont think there is a one of us who is saying that the hike itself is wrong. If this mother had left with adequate gear for her kids (not the best gear but at least sleeping bags that fit her kids); had gotten the weight of their packs down first; had planned the food drops better and had saved enough to afford food and shoes for her kids - I think most of us would have been cheering her on.

Many thru hikers make dumb mistakes and they have to pay the price. But kids do not deserve having to pay for their parents lack of planning by going without food and shoes.

jburgasser
08-07-2012, 08:20
[QUOTE=shelb;1321040]

Wonder who's carrying all the school books??


No text books required during summer vacation. Just sayin'.

Ickybod

Creek Dancer
08-07-2012, 08:21
My sentiments exactly.

Creek Dancer
08-07-2012, 08:22
My sentiments exactly.

My post was meant in response to JohnWayne's post.

shelb
08-07-2012, 08:38
I dont think there is a one of us who is saying that the hike itself is wrong. If this mother had left with adequate gear for her kids (not the best gear but at least sleeping bags that fit her kids); had gotten the weight of their packs down first; had planned the food drops better and had saved enough to afford food and shoes for her kids - I think most of us would have been cheering her on.


Agreed...there was sure a lot of cheering for Balls and Sunshine! They are awesome (both dad and daughter)!

Sly
08-07-2012, 08:40
None of us have said that this woman doesnt love her kids. But a couple of us are saying that she is a crappy mother in this situation. When you take a group of kids out on an extended hike and fail to plan to the extent that your kids are starving, when you write in your journal that "all you really need is water" when there isn't any food, do you think the kids are having fun?


Many thru hikers make dumb mistakes and they have to pay the price. But kids do not deserve having to pay for their parents lack of planning by going without food and shoes.

I wouldn't put too much stock into Cheer Bear's journal, after all it's written at a sixth grade level. Seeing that it appears, or has been written here, she can't even feed her kids, how are they going to get to Maine to hike south?

Planning is way over-rated. The most difficult step it getting to the trailhead.

You can't starve and hike the AT at the same time, it doesn't work that way, so enough of the dramatics. I haven't seen one post, or indication that the kids are unhappy.

Hike your own hike...

JohnWayne
08-07-2012, 09:21
I wouldn't put too much stock into Cheer Bear's journal, after all it's written at a sixth grade level. Seeing that it appears, or has been written here, she can't even feed her kids, how are they going to get to Maine to hike south?

Planning is way over-rated. The most difficult step it getting to the trailhead.

You can't starve and hike the AT at the same time, it doesn't work that way, so enough of the dramatics. I haven't seen one post, or indication that the kids are unhappy. If y'all are cheering them on, you have a funny way of doing it.

Hike your own hike...

Sorry partner, but you are reading at a 6th Grade Level. I stated all the reasons that most of us were NOT cheering this mother on. However almost all the hikers I know were behind Balls and Sunshine because the dad loved his daughter enough to plan for her needs on the hike. He was responsible. Her mother too.

As for this mother's journal there is a big difference between not being able to write well and not telling the truth. So either the children are at times going hungry or she is making up lies and then going into Damascus and begging for food. You can't have it both ways. Either they are without food or she is a liar. There were 2 lost children in 2 days on the trail. One had Search and Rescue return him and the other had Lone Wolf and Officer Dow return him. Dramatic enough for you? Or do you think this is made up too?

Something you should think about is that yep The Place is run by donations. But for every family like this who takes more than their share or abuses the generosity of The Place. How long do you think they could continue to help others? And then hikers like you wonder why these places have to close?

Crazy Larry #1
08-07-2012, 09:26
She has plenty of money or she has an unlimited credit card. While she was telling LW and I that she did not have money until it cleared the bank she is spending $600 at MRO and the kidss are walking by eating ice cream...so go figure.... I know she received donated money....

Crazy Larry #1
08-07-2012, 09:28
I am not perfect and not trying to be, i'm just trying to help this family, somebody has to or we will be faced with a starving family and their going to start dropping off like flies, and thats all we need is more dead bodies on the AT period.


Flame me if you must, but just so you know, I will be the first to apologize to this lady if further events prove that she really does have a rational, workable plan to give her children an awesome outdoor experience. Based on what has happened to this point, and the rambling and somewhat incoherent journal entries so far, I can't deduce any such thing. And she should be aware that by sharing her experiences with the community, they ARE going to have an opinion, good or bad, and give advice, good or bad :)


[QUOTE=Train Wreck;1320829] Every off-trail meal at a fast food restaurant, figuring $5.00/person, is a minimum $30 per meal. If she's packing groceries instead, estimate what it costs to feed a family of 7 per week (I have no idea) and get in sufficient calories and nutritional standards.

*should have said, a minimum of $35 per meal. Dang, I'm having trouble keeping up with all those kids, even from a distance :p


When I first started reading her "journal" I thought how child like entries were, long drawn out letters "soooo", numerous misspellings, and the topper was the lack of mileage/camping site for each day of travel. There were dates but that's it. Then I read the part about renting a car and driving to Maine with stops in DC and New York. Further along she began her spiel about rides down the east coast! I've never been one to take a handout. On my thru-hike a fellow hiker paid for my breakfast as I didn't have money. I made sure that I caught up with him and repayed his kindness. Maybe I've just been lucky not to be in a poor mans shoes. I remember reading Awol's account of Steve/Elwood and how he kept sponging off of the good graces of others. This lady seems to be doing the same thing as she and her kids make their haphazard way along the trail. Every year there are people who head out to the AT and sham their way northbound mostly, they don't last long and people pick up on their game pretty quick. Worst part of this is certainly the kids and the fact that their traveling with someone they love but doesn't appear to be 100% stable.


She has plenty of money or she has an unlimited credit card. While she was telling LW and I that she did not have money until it cleared the bank she is spending $600 at MRO and the kidss are walking by eating ice cream...so go figure.... I know she received donated money....
I know she did receive donated money while here, I witnessed that first hand....

Train Wreck
08-07-2012, 09:45
[QUOTE=Train Wreck;1321054]


No text books required during summer vacation. Just sayin'.

Ickybod

Um, she said in her journal that they would be on the trail till November 13.

Water Rat
08-07-2012, 09:50
Lots of negative vibes in this thread but refreshing to see a few here recognize the good that can come from the hike.

Hiking can be a very educational experience. I am all for parents getting their kids out of the house, away from the tv, and out on the trail. I am all for parents spending more quality time with their kids. I think it is way past time for kids to get outdoors again...the way it used to be.

However, nothing good can come from a mother teaching her kids to skip out on bills, teaching her kids to beg from others, and teaching them to nto look out for their siblings.

One should have to work for what they want. This woman seems to have a sense of entitlement. She wants to hike now, so she is going to hike...no matter what. I have to wonder in what state she left her sense of responsibility. She lost one kid, then proceeded to lose another. She took no precautions to make sure it didn't happen again.

As the adult, she is responsible for those kids. However, it does strike me as odd that the siblings didn't notice/care that one was missing. Is this a common thing? That raises more than a few red flags in my book.

shelb
08-07-2012, 10:23
Hiking can be a very educational experience. I am all for parents getting their kids out of the house, away from the tv, and out on the trail. I am all for parents spending more quality time with their kids. I think it is way past time for kids to get outdoors again...the way it used to be.


This is SO true! I will never forget when one of my boys (at age 12) told someone he HATED hiking, but he still wanted to go backpacking with me. When he was asked why, he responded "because I like to talk." When we are backpacking, he has a captive audience for hours each day, and he gets to ramble on about whatever he wants to... We have had some interesting and heart-felt conversations while backpacking. (plus, now I better understand the rules/procedures/etc. of all the sports he plays!).

Sarcasm the elf
08-07-2012, 12:07
I am often amazed at how much some people enjoy critiquing the lives of strangers...

Kryptonite
08-07-2012, 13:05
I am often amazed at how much some people enjoy critiquing the lives of strangers...

I am often amazed at how those reading about these strangers can be equally judgmental. You kind of remind me of the housewives buying up the tabloids each week and then complaining at how journalists are so invasive.

generoll
08-07-2012, 13:20
could this be the same person referred to in this journal?

http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=6207

Lugnut
08-07-2012, 14:10
That journal is from seven years ago.

generoll
08-07-2012, 14:32
I KNOW that the journal is from 7 years ago. Did you read it? My question was could the woman with children referred to in that post be the same one that is being referred to in this thread. Other then adding to the size of her brood, it seems to strike a familiar note somehow.

Rasty
08-07-2012, 14:41
I KNOW that the journal is from 7 years ago. Did you read it? My question was could the woman with children referred to in that post be the same one that is being referred to in this thread. Other then adding to the size of her brood, it seems to strike a familiar note somehow.

It's plausible.

silverscuba22
08-08-2012, 00:26
I am going to take a little drive and see if i can locate her and the children and whatever she needs its going to be hers, and this is the last time i am posting about this thread. This thread turned me totally against the so called AT community.:mad:

Still no word from Red-Dog ?? huh thats weird, should be pretty easy to find a group of 3-6(depending on how many are lost at the time)

Kryptonite
08-08-2012, 01:54
Still no word from Red-Dog ?? huh thats weird, should be pretty easy to find a group of 3-6(depending on how many are lost at the time)

He may still be with them? One thing you have to admire about Red Dog is that he saw a need and then went and helped. But I suspect it is going to be an expensive project for him. I truly hope that this woman appreciates it and doesn't con him.

While I would never send a donation to this family for fear that it would not be used for food, etc., I do think the kindest thing hikers could do would be to have Hiker Feeds along the trail for them. At least the kids would be fed!

Train Wreck
08-08-2012, 03:34
He may still be with them? One thing you have to admire about Red Dog is that he saw a need and then went and helped. But I suspect it is going to be an expensive project for him. I truly hope that this woman appreciates it and doesn't con him.

While I would never send a donation to this family for fear that it would not be used for food, etc., I do think the kindest thing hikers could do would be to have Hiker Feeds along the trail for them. At least the kids would be fed!

I'm totally fine with giving them something to eat if you happened to run across them while hiking, but IMO the kindest thing that hikers could do is NOT encourage her in any way or provide any incentive to this woman to stay on the trail. I don't see any good that would come out of reinforcing her expectation that someone is going to continuously be there to pick up her slack. This could lead to even more irresponsible decisions on her part. As someone else posted earlier, the situation is more complicated and she needs a lot more help than the hiking community is able to provide. Someone needs to take her aside and somehow, talk her into postponing this hike until she can figure out a way to control the kids and provide for their needs better than she's done so far. I know you may think this sounds cold and uncaring, but enabling her poor decision making is not going to help this family survive out there in the long run. At least that's what my head says. My heart is so troubled at the thought of kids going hungry. :( Difficult situation no matter how you look at it.

Kryptonite
08-08-2012, 06:18
Train Wreck: After reading your post, you are right. I was wrong. This would be enabling. If this had been a family dream for them all and they had planned and simply run out of money 1/2 way, I would be the first to help. But from what we are hearing, at least several of the kids really don't want to do this and they have run out of food, etc., right from the start. The mom now wants rides to various states and they aren't doing a thru anyway. So we help this family and next year - 5 families and the following year 50 families. Where would it stop? But I do feel badly for the kids. I hope that Red Dog can talk her into taking them home. Or at least take the kids that don't want to be there home. Thanks for your post.

Train Wreck
08-08-2012, 13:14
Train Wreck: After reading your post, you are right. I was wrong. This would be enabling. If this had been a family dream for them all and they had planned and simply run out of money 1/2 way, I would be the first to help. But from what we are hearing, at least several of the kids really don't want to do this and they have run out of food, etc., right from the start. The mom now wants rides to various states and they aren't doing a thru anyway. So we help this family and next year - 5 families and the following year 50 families. Where would it stop? But I do feel badly for the kids. I hope that Red Dog can talk her into taking them home. Or at least take the kids that don't want to be there home. Thanks for your post.

Kryptonite, your original post only reveals that you have a heart and like most of us, your first instincts are to help those who appear to be in need. Nothing wrong with that :)

Nutbrown
08-08-2012, 17:58
Hikers are usually self sufficient and honest (usually), at least in all of my experiences. I think that is why this story is hard to hear in this community. Trouble is, this happens EVERY day in every town in America. Not that the mother upends the family to take the kids on a ld hike, but the kids being left to fend for themselves, the hunger, the dishonesty. We all live in a roses and sunshine world... what kind of computer or smart phone are you typing from? Do you want to help this family? Then donate to your local food bank. All these families have similar stories. It should break your heart, not make you angry.

SassyWindsor
08-08-2012, 20:11
it became my business when she stayed 3 extra days at the hostel waiting on money then stiffed the hostel then a day after she left one of her young kids shows up back in town not knowing where mom and the family are. i wasn't gonna leave him. me and a damascus police officer went out of our way to search for mom and the family

If a youth is wandering around the trail lost it seems like the law should call social services to at least inquire which route to go in protecting the children. It seems the mother could be charged with some sort of child abandonment or neglect. Maybe I'm wrong on all accounts but the law should be highly encouraged by citizens/hikers to get involved until a resolution is reached.

Crazy Larry #1
08-08-2012, 21:52
ho hum.........

atmilkman
08-08-2012, 22:09
ho hum.........
ho damn hum.......................

Lone Wolf
08-08-2012, 22:30
ho hum.........

perhaps you shouldn't have started this thread. you, me others here are/were just tryin' to help. we observed certain things. all the time. at the hostel. i hope her and the kids are alright. we're just jammin'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvFxG3rZQ2E&feature=related

SassyWindsor
08-08-2012, 23:39
It's difficult to discuss a situation involving kids without having first hand knowledge of how they are really doing. From statements of those who have been in contact with some of the family members it doesn't look too good. I hope for the kids sake they will come out of this ok. Meanwhile, I've tossed my 2-cents worth of recommendations in and that's all I can do. I still think social services, within the proper jurisdiction, should check in on them.

Rasty
08-09-2012, 00:52
It's difficult to discuss a situation involving kids without having first hand knowledge of how they are really doing. From statements of those who have been in contact with some of the family members it doesn't look too good. I hope for the kids sake they will come out of this ok. Meanwhile, I've tossed my 2-cents worth of recommendations in and that's all I can do. I still think social services, within the proper jurisdiction, should check in on them.

They may be moving just fast enough to stay off the social services radar. Most are run at the county level and once they are out of the county they don't exist.

mfleming
08-09-2012, 00:53
Interesting thread....

shelb
08-09-2012, 01:06
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvFxG3rZQ2E&feature=related

That's it!

DaveSail
08-09-2012, 02:59
Train Wreck: After reading your post, you are right. I was wrong. This would be enabling. If this had been a family dream for them all and they had planned and simply run out of money 1/2 way, I would be the first to help. But from what we are hearing, at least several of the kids really don't want to do this and they have run out of food, etc., right from the start. The mom now wants rides to various states and they aren't doing a thru anyway. So we help this family and next year - 5 families and the following year 50 families. Where would it stop? But I do feel badly for the kids. I hope that Red Dog can talk her into taking them home. Or at least take the kids that don't want to be there home. Thanks for your post.

You did read back a bit that there is no " Home " . The " Wild Child " burned it down , so they had to leave ! DVW

Creek Dancer
08-09-2012, 06:18
There is a home. The mother writes about going home in her journal. And the father is at home with another child.

Crazy Larry #1
08-09-2012, 08:01
perhaps you shouldn't have started this thread. you, me others here are/were just tryin' to help. we observed certain things. all the time. at the hostel. i hope her and the kids are alright. we're just jammin'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvFxG3rZQ2E&feature=related
that's what i'm sayin......

Crazy Larry #1
08-09-2012, 08:07
i like listening to this....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JwXCBi-Eh8

HikerMom58
08-09-2012, 11:24
He may still be with them? One thing you have to admire about Red Dog is that he saw a need and then went and helped. But I suspect it is going to be an expensive project for him. I truly hope that this woman appreciates it and doesn't con him.

While I would never send a donation to this family for fear that it would not be used for food, etc., I do think the kindest thing hikers could do would be to have Hiker Feeds along the trail for them. At least the kids would be fed!


I'm just now reading this thread.. Wow, just wow. I don't think that Red Dog will be "duped" into helping the woman and her children. When he determines what her deal is-then he will, then, be operating from a place of compassion and love for the woman and her children. I admire Red Dog for getting involved, personally. That amazes me!! Good for him and God bless him.

I will say that I believe with our current system, we actually protect the rights of people to remain mentally ill. Yes, I did use the word protect b/c that's exactly what we do. We need to move more towards the middle of the road. I wouldn't know how to go about the process of moving towards the middle, but I can clearly see-Houston, we have a problem.

I would share, with you all, my story of running into a person that clearly needed help but I'm sure I would be judged for my opinion of the person.. it was so obvious but I know I would get comments like- Are you a doctor? etc...how DARE you say those things on and on.... that's why I said, we PROTECT their right to be ill and NOT help them out at all. If they aren't harming themselves or others, leave them alone. Sure thing.....:( He was starving... I bought him dinner at the Home Place, dropped him back off on the trail, cried all the way home and reported what I had witnessed to the proper authorities, prayed he wouldn't ever harm himself or anyone else and hoped, somehow, he would survive. IMHO that's not cool, at all.

BabySue
08-09-2012, 16:23
New journal entry: http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=389118

Papa D
08-09-2012, 16:34
All other issues aside (and there are a lot) - if she is in Southern VA (even mid-VA) on August 9, she is about 1500 miles from finishing the trail NOBO - - she and the kids would have to hold down a nearly impossible pace of 29 miles per day to finish by the end of September (her journal entry said she hoped to "make it thru" - when?, am I missing something?)

Velvet Gooch
08-09-2012, 16:47
One should let others live their lives as they see fit. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...

TD55
08-09-2012, 17:15
"make it thru" - when?, am I missing something?)
Think she means make it through the journey, wherever it may lead.

JohnWayne
08-09-2012, 17:35
Pursuit of happiness is fine with me as long as it isnt on someone else's dime. This woman can say what she will but when you post that you don't need nothing but water and everyone knows that there are kids involved the donations are going to start pouring in. She wrote this and then uses a credit card to buy $600 in gear? If that isn't asking for a handout in a snake bite sort of way, well I didn't see her write, "Resupply box didn't arrive. Guess I'll have to use my credit card." No sir, it wasn't even bread and water for them kids it was going to be just water! And if she could only afford to stay one night then why stay 5? I would hanker to guess that washing the towels and cleaning The Place were from HER family. Doesn't sound to me like $200 in labor which is what she owes them.

I don't cotton much up to a mother who says she knew her 12 year old would come back eventually after he left for town. This ODD kid. This kid didn't seem to have a problem with authority with Officer Dow or Lone Wolf least not that we heard. Sounds to me like his parents can't control him. Guess ODD is now a fancy name they give to kids who burn their house and act up.

Now I know some of us are going to be on different sides of the fence on this one and that's OK. I've said my piece. Ive heard that the hostels ahead have been warned. How they now wanna handle it is their business.

Lone Wolf
08-09-2012, 17:38
New journal entry: http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=389118

the 12 year old with O.D.D. was over 10 miles away from the family at 7PM. he was not gonna simply turn around and meet up with them

HikerMom58
08-09-2012, 19:24
I'm just now reading this thread.. Wow, just wow. I don't think that Red Dog will be "duped" into helping the woman and her children. When he determines what her deal is-then he will, then, be operating from a place of compassion and love for the woman and her children. I admire Red Dog for getting involved, personally. That amazes me!! Good for him and God bless him.

I will say that I believe with our current system, we actually protect the rights of people to remain mentally ill. Yes, I did use the word protect b/c that's exactly what we do. We need to move more towards the middle of the road. I wouldn't know how to go about the process of moving towards the middle, but I can clearly see-Houston, we have a problem.

I would share, with you all, my story of running into a person that clearly needed help but I'm sure I would be judged for my opinion of the person.. it was so obvious but I know I would get comments like- Are you a doctor? etc...how DARE you say those things on and on.... that's why I said, we PROTECT their right to be ill and NOT help them out at all. If they aren't harming themselves or others, leave them alone. Sure thing.....:( He was starving... I bought him dinner at the Home Place, dropped him back off on the trail, cried all the way home and reported what I had witnessed to the proper authorities, prayed he wouldn't ever harm himself or anyone else and hoped, somehow, he would survive. IMHO that's not cool, at all.


Wow, I really did a terrible job of writing that post. Sorry for the bad sentence structure, etc... I've never been good at writing. This one was especially bad. :( Hope you could make out what I was saying here. *yikes*:eek:

generoll
08-09-2012, 19:28
seems to me that those who want to help could do so by paying The Place what she stiffed them. If you recall the story of the Good Samaritan, he paid the innkeeper to care for the injured man, he didn't give the money to the injured one. ergo, give your donations to help this lady settle her debts.

Mrs Baggins
08-09-2012, 19:30
New journal entry: http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=389118

Read it. Still comes across as a mentally challenged 30+ year old....one who thinks and acts like a teenager. You can weep and moan and gnash your teeth and wail that it's "not the kids fault" but you are aiding, abetting, and enabling this. She's learned very quickly that if people "just want to help the kids" then she doesn't have to do squat. Others will jump in to feed them, clothe them, equip them, take care of them. She can do her "I'm doing the best I can" carnival act, all the while knowing the weepers will take care of everything. And her kids are learning that others will jump in to take care of you if you just weep and moan and plead "I'm doing my best" with the appropriate sad face and lots of exclamation points. I don't care if she wants to walk off into the wilderness and never return..she's dragging young kids along who don't know anything else but to follow mom.

Train Wreck
08-09-2012, 19:41
the 12 year old with O.D.D. was over 10 miles away from the family at 7PM. he was not gonna simply turn around and meet up with them

7 pm, getting dark soon, and the family unit is now dispersed along 3 separate points on the trail...over 10 miles distance. Just...wow.

HikerMom58
08-09-2012, 19:52
Read it. Still comes across as a mentally challenged 30+ year old....one who thinks and acts like a teenager. You can weep and moan and gnash your teeth and wail that it's "not the kids fault" but you are aiding, abetting, and enabling this. She's learned very quickly that if people "just want to help the kids" then she doesn't have to do squat. Others will jump in to feed them, clothe them, equip them, take care of them. She can do her "I'm doing the best I can" carnival act, all the while knowing the weepers will take care of everything. And her kids are learning that others will jump in to take care of you if you just weep and moan and plead "I'm doing my best" with the appropriate sad face and lots of exclamation points. I don't care if she wants to walk off into the wilderness and never return..she's dragging young kids along who don't know anything else but to follow mom.

If she was trying to do this hike with her children with an obvious physical problem.(broken arm) Wouldn't we all be more willing to get her the proper care, ASAP. We would insist on it and pay her bill if need be, wouldn't we? But like you said, Mrs. Baggins, she is coming across as a mentally challenged 30+ year old. We don't want to suggest anything to REALLY help her. Live and Let Live. I can't wrap my head around that way of looking at this situation or any other ones like this...

Mrs Baggins
08-09-2012, 20:02
If she was trying to do this hike with her children with an obvious physical problem.(broken arm) Wouldn't we all be more willing to get her the proper care, ASAP. We would insist on it and pay her bill if need be, wouldn't we? But like you said, Mrs. Baggins, she is coming across as a mentally challenged 30+ year old. We don't want to suggest anything to REALLY help her. Live and Let Live. I can't wrap my head around that way of looking at this situation or any other ones like this...

"Live and let live"......I DON'T CARE what she wants to do for herself. Walk off a cliff. I do not care. But she's dragging little kids along. What are they going to do, really? "I hate mom and want to be taken away." Seriously? Is that what people are waiting for? Kids aren't going to do that. They'll cling to her side until they're starving. And even then they'll want to trust that somehow she'll feed them. The "leave them alone" crowd either 1) have no kids of their own and therefore cannot, CANNOT, understand what it is to have children (your dogs don't count) 2) wanted to go on an adventure as kids and think this is somehow a way to live that out (except it ain't YOU is it?), 3) are/were absentee parents who don't have a clue as to what kids NEED vs what they think they want.

HikerMom58
08-09-2012, 20:11
"Live and let live"......I DON'T CARE what she wants to do for herself. Walk off a cliff. I do not care. But she's dragging little kids along. What are they going to do, really? "I hate mom and want to be taken away." Seriously? Is that what people are waiting for? Kids aren't going to do that. They'll cling to her side until they're starving. And even then they'll want to trust that somehow she'll feed them. The "leave them alone" crowd either 1) have no kids of their own and therefore cannot, CANNOT, understand what it is to have children (your dogs don't count) 2) wanted to go on an adventure as kids and think this is somehow a way to live that out (except it ain't YOU is it?), 3) are/were absentee parents who don't have a clue as to what kids NEED vs what they think they want.

AMEN!! My hands are shaking thinking about this situaton.... I'm sure a rescue team should be out on the trail right now... Do you suppose Red Dog is there, right now, making it happen? I hope so...

Sly
08-09-2012, 23:17
LOL.. you people need to relax. Worry about your own kids or a neighbors. Tons of kids have hiked the trail or part of it, and I doubt any of them are emotionally scarred from it. The kids are probably having the time of their lives, away from the ills of urban life.

The father is a police officer. I think he knows what's best for his kids, atleast moreso than a bunch of cyber hikers.

Sly
08-09-2012, 23:19
"Live and let live"......I DON'T CARE what she wants to do for herself. Walk off a cliff. I do not care. But she's dragging little kids along. What are they going to do, really? "I hate mom and want to be taken away." Seriously? Is that what people are waiting for? Kids aren't going to do that. They'll cling to her side until they're starving. And even then they'll want to trust that somehow she'll feed them. The "leave them alone" crowd either 1) have no kids of their own and therefore cannot, CANNOT, understand what it is to have children (your dogs don't count) 2) wanted to go on an adventure as kids and think this is somehow a way to live that out (except it ain't YOU is it?), 3) are/were absentee parents who don't have a clue as to what kids NEED vs what they think they want.

You need to mind your own business.

Kryptonite
08-09-2012, 23:51
The kids are having the "time of their lives???" This must explain why at least one of them is telling the locals they don't want to leave and then hikes back to town. Her journal mentions others. She has a 7 year old who is having to hike at least about 10 miles daily with a pack that they were trying to get to 10 lbs so probably weighs more. The older ones are carrying at least 25 lbs. And this woman just knew her child would eventually find them again? No. She knew that one of the locals would bring him back. I just hope that the next time this kid runs off that the authorities keep the kid and charge the mother with endangerment before the wrong person picks him up.

I think women are just wired differently and that is why this story resonates with many of us. HikerMom put it a good way with comparing it to a broken arm even though we saw it a little differently. If a child on their own broke their arm while hiking away from this family and they didn't want to hike anymore, would we be concerned or want to help this woman continue her hike? Not me. Sunshine broke her arm and her dad would have stopped in a minute, but SHE was the one who insisted on finishing. What a difference in how these two families are raising their kids! There are at least a couple kids in this family who don't want to do this hike and NONE of them should be on their own.

I believe in helping other hikers but I won't donate to this. If other hostels know that hikers are going to pay their outstanding bill it is enabling to a degree. I do agree that if someone is going to donate that The Place is the best place to start. But everyone has their own beliefs and it is their money. Someone else wrote that it is pretty lame to be moaning about having to live on water and then her having a credit card the whole time. I think Red Dog's heart was in the right place but I wonder if he realizes that this woman had a credit card?

Kryptonite
08-09-2012, 23:57
You need to mind your own business.

Uncalled for remark. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and right to post if not breaking the rules. At least by opening this topic, more hostels and potential donators know the truth. What they choose to do with that info is up to them.

Sweetspot
08-10-2012, 00:06
I love the updates on this family. I wish I was was hiking with them so I could see exactly what is going on. Is there anybody out there know were they are now?

vamelungeon
08-10-2012, 05:48
"Live and let live"??? Child neglect is a criminal offense in most places. But sure, turn your head, mind your own business, blah blah blah.

Lone Wolf
08-10-2012, 05:51
You need to mind your own business.

you need to do the same. you're just as much a cyber hiker as the one's you accuse

fiddlehead
08-10-2012, 05:56
Gotta agree with Sly here.

Too many judgmental people coming down on this woman for trying an adventure that the kids will never forget.
Her biggest fault was probably creating the online journal that all the perfect people are condemning.

Luckily I had a father who was similar and let us go out and camp and hike pretty much whenever we wanted as 10-15 year old kids.
Sure taught me a lot.

Lone Wolf
08-10-2012, 06:12
Gotta agree with Sly here.


i disagree with both of you. neither one of you has met or had any interaction with this family

Papa D
08-10-2012, 07:40
Think she means make it through the journey, wherever it may lead.

Oh, ok - weird thing for her :confused: to say then --thanks

Papa D
08-10-2012, 07:43
It's funny, but I know there are plenty of uneducated single parents who have kids running wild on city streets all hours of the day and night, doing all sorts of drugs, family violence, and so forth. This family just happens to be in "our realm" so we are making a big deal about them. If this were a site about the streets of the Chicago South side though, we might hold this woman up as a model parent.

Nutbrown
08-10-2012, 07:56
I agree with you Papa D. The AT is far away from real life issues for most of the country.

Creek Dancer
08-10-2012, 08:08
Neglect is neglect, regardless of whether this happens in our AT community or in our neighborhood.

HikerMom58
08-10-2012, 08:16
i disagree with both of you. neither one of you has met or had any interaction with this family

Words of wisdom have been spoken. Knowledge=Power It MAY be needed here to protect the innocent. We try to do that in this country.


"Live and let live"??? Child neglect is a criminal offense in most places. But sure, turn your head, mind your own business, blah blah blah.

I'm glad we all don't turn our heads.

HikerMom58
08-10-2012, 08:26
Neglect is neglect, regardless of whether this happens in our AT community or in our neighborhood.

Right on!! And the ill treatment of children is all relative but it matters to THESE children. Thank God for our ability to feel empathy and compassion. I feel bad for people who can't feel those emotions, as much as they should. I'm not judging b/c it's never something anyone would not want to feel. Who would ever choose that? No one.

JohnWayne
08-10-2012, 08:28
It's funny, but I know there are plenty of uneducated single parents who have kids running wild on city streets all hours of the day and night, doing all sorts of drugs, family violence, and so forth. This family just happens to be in "our realm" so we are making a big deal about them. If this were a site about the streets of the Chicago South side though, we might hold this woman up as a model parent.

Sir, I criticize parents who let their kids roam the streets as well. And there's not a day when the sun would rise where I would hold this woman up as an average parent or adult much less a prized model one. This woman is a freeloader and a mighty sore parent in my book. To let a troubled O.D.D. Kid off on his own in the woods or an unfamiliar town is inviting trouble. Reading this woman's journal puts this into straight from the horses mouth so i have to kinda chuckle when several here are rewriting this mother's tale to make it out to be a heap better than what it is. Been reading White blaze for a couple years now too and recently decided to make it official and join. Never met Lone Wolf or TOW but reckon they are usually ones who say Mind Your own business here if I recall. Them jumping up after meeting this family makes up my mind if it werent made up after reading the journal. It's mighty easy to look the other way or pretend what is going on is right. Hope the good officer has notified other authorities up the trail to be on the lookout for more neglect.

Lyle
08-10-2012, 09:30
"Live and let live"??? Child neglect is a criminal offense in most places. But sure, turn your head, mind your own business, blah blah blah.

It's what this country and society does with religious right-wingers and nut cases all the time.

In my opinion, that is a much more damaging, sad, and destructive way to bring up your kids than taking them out on a hike for which you may be unprepared and grossly underfunded. The woman is spending a lot of time with her kids, I see no report or indication of physical abuse. Some may claim mental abuse or neglect, that's a tough one to quantify, and on a continuum of what I have observed in everyday life, it does not strike me as alarming.

Yes, if the kids truly are mal-nourished, this may be an issue. But absent any actual evidence of such, I would be willing to give Mom the benefit of the doubt and assume that her comments about going without food for several days are tongue-in-cheek exaggeration.

Would I allow a nearly 13 year-old with Attention Deficit Disorder to hike on his own? Perhaps, perhaps not. Depends on the kid and the situation. Oft times the diagnosis of these conditions is by a family practitioner and not the most accurate. The boy has hiked over 500 miles with Mom and company, I would assume he has developed some skills and that Mom has developed some confidence in him and his skills.

Regarding the 15 year old who got separated and spent a night alone, we were all cheering a couple of years ago when a 16 year-old headed out for a thru-hike on his own, this kid is one year younger and spend one night on his own. I don't see the reasoning for the outcries of abuse. Again, this kid has already hiked on the trail for over 500 miles, I assume he has developed a fair number of skill to see him through.

OK, they shorted The Place some money. Are they the first to do this? Sounds like, from Mom's most recent post, that they did leave a substantial donation (more than most any other hiker and confirmed by LW), and that they did some chores and resupply of the commodities used. Not really free-loading in my book. If The Place feels they need to receive a set amount, then charge a set amount and quit calling it a "donation". Too confusing to those who just happen along.

Again, this is NOT the way I would do a hike with my kids, or anyone else's, but does it rise to the level of "Neglect"? Not based on what I've heard and read, or what I have experience as a Paramedic and former child care worker. At least not when compared to what many parents put their families through. This could be a very positive thing. On two occasions law enforcement has become involved and on two occasions the family was allowed to continue on. Apparently they did not feel it was such a drastic situation that they needed to insist on action. Does this exonerate the Mom entirely, of course not, but based on all I've heard, and compared to other situations I've seen first hand, I say it is proper at this time to mind my own business and look the other way. At least until some REAL evidence of neglect or mistreatment can be given.

No offense meant to LW, TOW of anyone else. I said earlier in this thread that I felt it should not be discussed so openly or (as other also pointed out) the whereabouts of the family given. It appears that the second half of that has been taken heed of, and everyone gets kudos from me for correcting that. I just thought, since the discussion continues anyway, I would voice my opinion in mild support of this family. Or, if not support, then at least not totally condemning this Mom's behavior. Just looking at it from a realistic point of view, not an ideal.

Crazy Larry #1
08-10-2012, 10:10
It's what this country and society does with religious right-wingers and nut cases all the time.

In my opinion, that is a much more damaging, sad, and destructive way to bring up your kids than taking them out on a hike for which you may be unprepared and grossly underfunded. The woman is spending a lot of time with her kids, I see no report or indication of physical abuse. Some may claim mental abuse or neglect, that's a tough one to quantify, and on a continuum of what I have observed in everyday life, it does not strike me as alarming.

Yes, if the kids truly are mal-nourished, this may be an issue. But absent any actual evidence of such, I would be willing to give Mom the benefit of the doubt and assume that her comments about going without food for several days are tongue-in-cheek exaggeration.

Would I allow a nearly 13 year-old with Attention Deficit Disorder to hike on his own? Perhaps, perhaps not. Depends on the kid and the situation. Oft times the diagnosis of these conditions is by a family practitioner and not the most accurate. The boy has hiked over 500 miles with Mom and company, I would assume he has developed some skills and that Mom has developed some confidence in him and his skills.

Regarding the 15 year old who got separated and spent a night alone, we were all cheering a couple of years ago when a 16 year-old headed out for a thru-hike on his own, this kid is one year younger and spend one night on his own. I don't see the reasoning for the outcries of abuse. Again, this kid has already hiked on the trail for over 500 miles, I assume he has developed a fair number of skill to see him through.

OK, they shorted The Place some money. Are they the first to do this? Sounds like, from Mom's most recent post, that they did leave a substantial donation (more than most any other hiker and confirmed by LW), and that they did some chores and resupply of the commodities used. Not really free-loading in my book. If The Place feels they need to receive a set amount, then charge a set amount and quit calling it a "donation". Too confusing to those who just happen along.

Again, this is NOT the way I would do a hike with my kids, or anyone else's, but does it rise to the level of "Neglect"? Not based on what I've heard and read, or what I have experience as a Paramedic and former child care worker. At least not when compared to what many parents put their families through. This could be a very positive thing. On two occasions law enforcement has become involved and on two occasions the family was allowed to continue on. Apparently they did not feel it was such a drastic situation that they needed to insist on action. Does this exonerate the Mom entirely, of course not, but based on all I've heard, and compared to other situations I've seen first hand, I say it is proper at this time to mind my own business and look the other way. At least until some REAL evidence of neglect or mistreatment can be given.

No offense meant to LW, TOW of anyone else. I said earlier in this thread that I felt it should not be discussed so openly or (as other also pointed out) the whereabouts of the family given. It appears that the second half of that has been taken heed of, and everyone gets kudos from me for correcting that. I just thought, since the discussion continues anyway, I would voice my opinion in mild support of this family. Or, if not support, then at least not totally condemning this Mom's behavior. Just looking at it from a realistic point of view, not an ideal.well said................

Pedaling Fool
08-10-2012, 10:13
well said................
Is it? I don't know, I'm too lazy to read a book this morning, so I'll take your word :D

Creek Dancer
08-10-2012, 10:18
Fifty dollars total for 5 nights of stay for 6 (or is it 7) people is a substantial donation????? I don't think so. She only paid for one night out of five. If she didn't have the money, she should not have stayed. A partially used container of laundry soap and some toilet paper does not make up for what she owes them. And yes, she owes them and stated so in her journal. She figured they would be understanding because of their connection to the church. She took advantage of them. Period.

Hiking skills could not help this young kid if someone had tried to abduct him. Thank goodness LW and others were there to take him under their wing.

Kryptonite
08-10-2012, 10:26
The boy has O.D.D. not A.D.D. Big difference. Totally agree with Creek Dancer and HikerMom and John!

HikerMom58
08-10-2012, 10:28
Well, it's just hard to understand. I admit, I prefere ideal to realistic, without full knowledge, in this situation.

They will most likely be in my "backyard" very soon. I'm looking forward to meeting them, if I were to get so lucky.

My daughter wanted my trail name to be Spainish Inquisition instead of Angel- So if she's open to sharing her story, I'll be all ears. If things don't seem right, IMHO, I will not look the other way. For me, I wouldn't be able to get a good night's sleep, at night, if I did.

It's easier to ignore right-wing religious nuts than it is to ignore ones with real problems that can be treated with proper care.... just saying.

BobTheBuilder
08-10-2012, 10:30
It's what this country and society does with religious right-wingers and nut cases all the time.


Couldn't wait for the opportunity to express some religious / political hate this morning?

Kryptonite
08-10-2012, 10:38
Well, it's just hard to understand. I admit, I prefere ideal to realistic, without full knowledge, in this situation.

They will most likely be in my "backyard" very soon. I'm looking forward to meeting them, if I were to get so lucky.

My daughter wanted my trail name to be Spainish Inquisition instead of Angel- So if she's open to sharing her story, I'll be all ears. If things don't seem right, IMHO, I will not look the other way. For me, I wouldn't be able to get a good night's sleep, at night, if I did.

It's easier to ignore right-wing religious nuts than it is to ignore ones with real problems that can be treated with proper care.... just saying.

Haha. I vote for "Spanish Inquisition" too!! Has much more character about it! "Angel" is so common. You deserve a name with pizzazz!!

Old Hiker
08-10-2012, 10:51
You need to mind your own business.

“Evil flourishes when good men do nothing.”
~British statesman Edmund Burke

HikerMom58
08-10-2012, 11:08
Couldn't wait for the opportunity to express some religious / political hate this morning?

Funny you should say that, I was thinking the same exact thing. Well, :welcome to white blaze... gotta love it.


Haha. I vote for "Spanish Inquisition" too!! Has much more character about it! "Angel" is so common. You deserve a name with pizzazz!!

Aww.. that's sweet, Kryptonite. :) Another vote goes to SI! :) The only time that I remember that "Spanish Inquisition" wouldn't have worked as well as "Angel" was when, a super sweet, first time out- section hiker, shouted to me, "Hey Angel, would you please help me put my socks on?" I was both surprised & honored by the request. Without a doubt, that's one of the best moments on the trail, for me.

Lone Wolf
08-10-2012, 11:19
Fifty dollars total for 5 nights of stay for 6 (or is it 7) people is a substantial donation????? I don't think so. She only paid for one night out of five. If she didn't have the money, she should not have stayed. A partially used container of laundry soap and some toilet paper does not make up for what she owes them. And yes, she owes them and stated so in her journal. She figured they would be understanding because of their connection to the church. She took advantage of them. Period.

Hiking skills could not help this young kid if someone had tried to abduct him. Thank goodness LW and others were there to take him under their wing.

$6 per night, per person is the required donation. no work for stay. hikers using the hostel are supposed to clean it, wash their towels, etc.

Eighty-Eight
08-10-2012, 11:28
Multiple levels of 'natural selection at work' highlighted with these individuals, family, forum, trailtowns, community at large....said process is often very sad to watch when up close and personal, and invites good-intentioned interference which then becomes it's own part of the process. If everyone who has best intentions towards these individuals and the family would donate ten federal reserve notes to a trusted individual who could then contact The Mom with the prospect of: 'O.K., here's $2K that 200 concerned hiker's would like to give you IF you'll get your children off of the A.T. Have you ever heard of the Continental Divide Trail?' Then again, it's vastly entertaining to watch how luck becomes part of the process. I'm going to go sell my chinese made svea for twice what it's worth right now so that i'll have my ten bucks ready.

Feral Bill
08-10-2012, 11:35
$6 per night, per person is the required donation. no work for stay. hikers using the hostel are supposed to clean it, wash their towels, etc. I don't understand the concept of a "required donation". Please explain.

Lyle
08-10-2012, 11:43
The boy has O.D.D. not A.D.D. Big difference. Totally agree with Creek Dancer and HikerMom and John!

Just more psycho mumbo-jumbo to explain and excuse bad behavior. I looked up the treatment for O.D.D. According to the bulleted highlights from the American Pediatric Association website, I didn't see anything blatantly at odds with their recommendations, other than missing some recommended counseling. They also recommend exercise, playing up and recognizing the child's positive accomplishments, not escalating situations, and picking your fights. Kinda like letting the kid hike backwards if he wanted and Mom had confidence he would return when ready.

Rasty
08-10-2012, 12:08
It's what this country and society does with religious right-wingers and nut cases all the time.


Couldn't wait for the opportunity to express some religious / political hate this morning?

Couldn't agree more with Bob!

HikerMom58
08-10-2012, 13:09
Multiple levels of 'natural selection at work' highlighted with these individuals, family, forum, trailtowns, community at large....said process is often very sad to watch when up close and personal, and invites good-intentioned interference which then becomes it's own part of the process. If everyone who has best intentions towards these individuals and the family would donate ten federal reserve notes to a trusted individual who could then contact The Mom with the prospect of: 'O.K., here's $2K that 200 concerned hiker's would like to give you IF you'll get your children off of the A.T. Have you ever heard of the Continental Divide Trail?' Then again, it's vastly entertaining to watch how luck becomes part of the process. I'm going to go sell my chinese made svea for twice what it's worth right now so that i'll have my ten bucks ready.

Well, it's like that TV show, What Would You Do? (I think that's the name of it) You know the show with the hidden camera and fake actors? Some people don't want to get involved and others can't help themselves. I relate to the ones that want to get involved... we can't help it... OK? We have to be careful about how we approach people, when "red flags" are up about someone's behavior, no matter who they are. I know, I know, some people don't think there are any "red flags". The laws are complicated and complex. No one, here, wants to stick their nose into this families lifestyle/business but at the same time we won't stick our heads in the sand, either.
In the end, no matter how we personally feel about this family, the "laws of the land" will prevail. Do we keep "calling in the troops" to take a good hard look at them? I'm saying, YES!! Sorry, if anyone on here or the family themselves are bothered by that fact. I think the BEST thing I could do would be to get out there and hike with them for a few days.....humm... that's not a bad thought. The rubber mets the road....

Train Wreck
08-10-2012, 13:17
Well, it's like that TV show, What Would You Do? (I think that's the name of it) You know the show with the hidden camera and fake actors? Some people don't want to get involved and others can't help themselves. I relate to the ones that want to get involved... we can't help it... OK? We have to be careful about how we approach people, when "red flags" are up about someone's behavior, no matter who they are. I know, I know, some people don't think there are any "red flags". The laws are complicated and complex. No one, here, wants to stick their nose into this families lifestyle/business but at the same time we won't stick our heads in the sand, either.
In the end, no matter how we personally feel about this family, the "laws of the land" will prevail. Do we keep "calling in the troops" to take a good hard look at them? I'm saying, YES!! Sorry, if anyone on here or the family themselves are bothered by that fact. I think the BEST thing I could do would be to get out there and hike with them for a few days.....humm... that's not a bad thought. The rubber mets the road....

Watch out if you join this traveling circus, you will get sucked into the vortex :p

HikerMom58
08-10-2012, 14:18
I hear ya!! :p

Train Wreck
08-10-2012, 16:19
The boy has O.D.D. not A.D.D. Big difference. Totally agree with Creek Dancer and HikerMom and John!

I'm confused again...is she traveling with one, or two kids with developmental challenges? One of her earliest journal entries mentions a kid with autism. I got the impression that the one with ODD joined them at a later date. Wow.