shit disturbin' part two.

this weekend is off to a poor start.
adam and i took off some time to create a four day weekend. we do this frequently to try to squeeze in a little backpacking.
by mid-week, it was clear that the weather wasn't really going to cooperate. i wasn't up for another soaking wet backpacking trip, so we opted for day hikes.
today we planned to hike dial and nippletop, which would have been just under 15 miles round trip. the trailhead for these mountains (and many others) is on private property, owned by the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, aka the Ausable Club. the owners of AMR have negotiated with the state of New York to allow hikers an easement over their land so they can access the state land that exists beyond.
as we parked in the allowed lot, we noticed multiple signs reminding us that we were on private land. we passed a sign stating that no pets were allowed on AMR property. i (erroneously) believed that the easement allowed us to have our dog (on a leash, licensed and under control) hike with us.
after signing the register at the gatehouse to AMR lake road, we began our hike. very quickly after, we were approached by an armed man. other than his name tag, he was not dressed as a security officer, but he was carrying a silver pistol. he had a digital camera bag around his neck and had a small bleeding wound on his face. without explanation, he took out the camera and began taking pictures of us. as soon as he began speaking, we knew our hike was over. he asked us where we were headed and if we had seen "the signs". we identified adam as a probation officer in the state of new york. mind you, we weren't trying to get out of anything, but wished for this cowboy to save his condescending breath explaining his obligations . then he said, "i am going to have to arrest you for trespassing".
he proceeded to escort us back to the gatehouse and detain us. he called in another security guard from the Ausable Club and summoned a state officer by radio. we sat being totally cooperative, providing identification and surrendering adam's weapons (he had a leatherman and his new kershaw knife). inside my head i am thinking, "this is just to scare us, he can't really arrest us....right?". i can't even imagine what was going through adam's mind, being that he actually knows the law. (for instance, i was not aware that this cowboy security guard really didn't have the authority to arrest us. this is why he needed to call a state officer. i guess i just listen to scruffy looking guys with big shiny guns.)
here we waited for over an hour until a NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Officer could arrive to deal with all of our lawlessness. i actually felt bad for the EnCon officer. seriously, did he need to come all that way to deal with us? we would have quietly left the property if mr. cowboy said that we really couldn't have the dog and had to turn around. he never gave us that chance.
so in his generosity, mr. cowboy decided only to "arrest" one of us. oh yeah, you guessed was me. the real law enforcement officer explained that this was a violation; a citation and not an arrest, and was comparable to a speeding ticket. maybe it was just wishful thinking, but i thought i could sense this officer saying to me with his eyes, "i'm so sorry this cowboy made me do this".
so now i have an appearance ticket for the town of Keene. i figure i'll just enter a plea of guilty by mail, considering that i truly wasn't supposed to have the dog there (i really didn't know). but maybe i'll send in a little note explaining the circumstances in an attempt to inspire sympathy (and a lesser fine).
it's kind of funny that i am blogging about this at all. i think it is embarrassing, especially considering what adam and i do for a living.
my pride will recover, but i am not sure how long it will take before i can bring myself to use that trailhead again.

it seems i will have to bring myself to that AMR gatehouse sooner rather than later.
i left my komperdell hiking poles there.



  1. Amazing... this is the kind of world we live in today - the first instinct is to "arrest."

    The people at AMR should be ashamed.

  2. Oh,my god! My heart was in my throat trying to get to the end of your post...I CANNOT believe that actually happened to you both. And I was hoping for you to be able to relax and enjoy your time off.. Not to mention that the courtesy shown to my fellow PO was to arrest his significant other???? I guess you should be happy you got to keep crosbi and that the crazy ass bastard didnt make you surrender her...

  3. Wonder what would have happened if you had just kept walking?

  4. what an ASSHOLE. a better question than "did you read the signs" is "are the owners of this private property aware that you are harassing and intimidating people on their land with a gun"? the small bleeding wound you reference leads me to believe he encountered someone who didn't think he had any authority and if there is any justice in this world, they stabbed him in the face.

    grrrrr! sorry you had this happen.

  5. I have no love for the AMR, and generally consider them to be snooty rich folk, but I can't believe with all the signs, and all the guide books, you didn't realize you couldn't have a dog with you. It's posted's impossible not to know, unless you can't read, and then you wouldn't have a blog, so I doubt that's the case.

    Agreed, they should have simply escorted you off the property, and an arrest is overkill. But we also have to remember that they could shut down access altogether, if they chose to, so we have to accept what we get and move on.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Even though more than one sign indicates a policy of "No Dogs" (among other restrictions), you thought that a leash would make it OK? Every month, hundreds of hikers use the Lake Road and adjoining trails on the AuSable Club's private property and manage to honor the clearly posted rules. You come across as just a whiner. Arrested? No, you merely received a citation - pay up.

  8. You got caught breaking the law by a steward, excuse me, "cowboy." Why? Because you ignored the rules? Because you thought the rules didn't apply to you?

    What do you think would have happened if you were caught speeding on the Northway? Would you say the speed limit didn't apply to you? Or that it didn't matter because you had a seat belt on? Or would you blame it all on State Police "cowboys" for wearing guns?

  9. in appreciation of your right to free speech and opinion, i will not delete all of the above nastiness.

    i find it funny that much of the negative stuff is coming from profiles that are hidden.

    if you read my full post (not just what was excerpted on adirondack almanack), i never indicated that the law did not apply to me, or that i was going to contest anything (i sent in the ticket and plead guilty). it was an honest mistake.

    i expect that winter warlock, algonquin and daniel.eagan have never made a dumb mistake before. and if they have, i do believe they wouldn't have the balls to write a blog post about it.

    @winter warlock:
    our trail guide did NOT mention no dogs. we certainly would NOT have brought her if it did.
    and i most certainly AGREE with you re: needing to follow the rules in order to preserve our right to use the AMR easement.
    i am not arguing that they have the right to make such regulations.

    thanks for deleting your sexist comment. unfortunately, it was already sent to my email.
    for the record, it was the security guard who spoke of arresting us, and this is why i used the word "arrest" in the post.

    clearly you feel personally affronted by this post.
    if i was speeding i would take my ticket and pay it.
    just the same way i took my trespassing ticket and will pay it.
    i was telling a story in this blog post, not making commentary re: my being above the law. it is not unusual for people to be given warnings. call it whining, but i was just hoping for that option.

  10. When I realized that it was a woman who was doing the whining, I removed my "man up" comment (I don’t consider that sexist); there is no “edit“ feature. You can blog about your bad experience, and you can whine about it, and I can criticize you for your portrayal of the event (thank you for the opportunity). The AMR’s policy is clearly posted in 2 or 3 places before you pass the gate. If I made a silly mistake like that, I don’t think that I would whine about it and feel the need to criticize the employee who is hired to enforce the club’s rules that apply to public use of their private property. Hikers who routinely use that easement don’t want violators (or people who make mistakes and are caught) to aggravate the normally cordial personnel at the gate. If you had done sufficient research about your intended climbing route (your problem shows that you did not), the AMR’s policies would have been mentioned, although perhaps not in the guidebook that you read. Your mistake seems to be that you thought "No Dogs" meant "dogs must be leashed". You mentioned the gate keepers gun, and how you were threatened by it - did he unholster his weapon at any time? I would think that with the volume of hikers who pass by the gatehouse, there are enough people trying to cheat on the rules that their tolerance and patience is thin - that’s understandable to me. You were merely in the wrong place at the wrong time (and with a dog). Is my profile in order? I expect that those without profiles may have recently signed up just for the purpose of commenting, and didn’t care to spend the time to fill in the info. If you would like to have even more comments, post your story on one or more of the specialty Adirondack hiking forums.


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