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Old 06-13-2016   #1
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1
mean people suck in Ruby Horsethief

I've been boating Ruby Horsethief for over 20 years and always had positive experiences with other boaters there - until last weekend. I met Jason, his wife and two male friends at the Loma put in and they seemed nice. We had a permit to camp at black rocks, and so did they, at the site just upstream from ours. When we got to our designated campsite, they were set up there because they had missed theirs just upstream from ours. The rules on the permit state that if you miss your black rocks designated camp site, you must camp further down river at May Flats. They seemed to think it was OK for them to take our site due to their mistake. I told them that wasn't true and my party offered to get them to their site, either by lining their cataraft upstream or helping them carry their gear there. They decided to try lining the boat up. That ended up not working even with three of us helping, and they ended up even further down the river, to the next eddy. Then we offered to let them camp in the lower part of our site (where they thought we should have originally gone, and let them stay in the prime part of our site). I thought that was settled, and shortly after that there was a swimmer needing rescue, so myself and the other two men in my party went to help with that. When we returned from rescuing the swimmer, we discovered that Jason's group had left after giving the remaining female members of our group a hard time about their circumstances and again claiming that they had a right to be where we were. That was the last we saw of them (they didn't camp at black rocks, and apparently camped at the Westwater ramp that night). When we got to Westwater two days later, two of our tires were slashed. They knew our vehicle, since we had unloaded right next to them at the put-in. Seems very unlikely the tire slashing of one particular vehicle in the lot was coincidental. Look out for Jason on a cataraft with a pirate flag. The people he rafts with are definitely total assholes and cowards. On the positive side, a very generous man named James from C.Springs gave us and our slashed tires a ride back to the put-in where our other vehicle was, saving us a very expensive tow and lots of time. Everybody else we met was awesome, as usual.

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Old 06-13-2016   #2
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 130
I'm not saying you are wrong but a passive aggressive internet call out ain't all peace love and happiness.

Pro-tip: Anytime you are camping at Blackrocks (and certainly busy high water weekends), eddy out ASAP, walk the beach and see whats going on.

Sucks that your camp got taken, sucks that your tires got slashed. But smoke crack first, then post.

Don't be surprised if this rant bites you in the ass. And no, I don't know any Jason with a cat.

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Old 06-13-2016   #3
tellutwurp's Avatar
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 260
I've never done ruby, but seems like if they had a permit it would be easy to acquire his name and then truly publicly shame him.

I don't see why this would bite you in the ass. Sometimes these types of things are misunderstandings, but as soon as violence, property damage, threats, or the like becomes involved, then I feel like it's fair to air it out.

I certainly know I'll deal with Jason with a cat and pirate flag accordingly.
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Old 06-13-2016   #4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 25
Pro tips

Nothing passive aggressive about your post.

The aggressive ones were the folks who felt entitled to your permitted spot.

How kind of you to attempt to move them up and satisfy everyone.

How good of you to try to help swimmers in the very high water.

They should have gone to May Flats, graciously.

In the old days it was a free-for-all and it would be reasonable to argue that sites were first come, first served. Of course that didn't work. And, of course the resources are not there to provide enforcement. Now we have adult supervision without the adults.

The new permitting process has almost put a stop to this nonsense but some did not get the memo.

Shame about the tires. Sad reflection on those who thought that was a good idea.

I hope you still get out there and have some fun. Sometimes we are surrounded by assholes. But remember, not everyone is like that.

See you on the river, but don't take my site!
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Old 06-13-2016   #5
trevko's Avatar
Fort Fun, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 117
There are two sides to every story but there is only one way to interpret a chicken shit move like slashing someone's tires at the take-out.
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Old 06-13-2016   #6
Plunk your magic twanger!
Gremlin's Avatar
New Castle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,105
I know the BLM reads our posts but I would go to them directly. Before the current system was put in place I had a gun pulled on me by a group that was in the site I signed up for so I guess things are better than before. Now that we pay, up to $100 depending on group size, the BLM has created the expectation that your camp will be available for the night you reserved.
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Old 06-13-2016   #7
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,324
Nice first post! Hummmm???? I hate to say it but I would have taken the lower camp. I'd would have asked them if they want to stop by later for a beer. Could a been a kick ass night.
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Old 06-13-2016   #8
silverthorne, Colorado
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7
J. Boulder,

I feel for you. I know it can be tough at high water to catch some of those eddies. We just got back from a trip ourselves where somebody had gotten a ducky stuck on a strainer above BR 7. We managed to rescue the ducky, but I was unable to catch the eddie at BR7, BR8 and BR9. We managed to get it to shore just after BR9 eddie. Their group was super appreciative even though I missed the eddie. They got the ducky back and the swimmers were fine. The eddie at BR7 was no problem for me alone in my kayak, but in a loaded raft it could be hard to catch. Still, there is no reason to take somebody else's camp. Your solution of lining the boat back up to their camp was a reasonable option too bad it didn't work. The group that took your camp had no right to that camp and should have moved on their own when you arrived. It might have sucked to carry all the gear, but it probably sucked more to camp at takeout. Slashing your tires otta land the permit holder in jail.
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Old 06-13-2016   #9
Edwards, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 8
Sorry to hear about your ordeal.

We had a madman once go crazy and threaten our group when it was an honor system camp sign up at put-in. We signed up for a camp and then stopped to hike and so we pulled in near dusk. The guy went totally crazy when we politely tried to reason with him. I had even taken a picture of the sign up sheet with my phone. He then threatened us so we got the hell outta there. I vowed never to run Ruby again until a proper permit system was in place, which happened the next year I believe. It is sad there are still people out there that will resort to violence or property damage when they do not get their way (entitlement issues?). I hope the BLM reads this and takes appropriate actions. Not sure what they can do, but at the very least look into the matter.

Anyway, sorry again.

And a BIG FYI: We have a big grey Jacks Plastic cataraft and we fly a Sea Shepard flag that looks a lot like a pirate flag (kids always point and say "look at the pirate flag"!). My husbands name is Derek, not Jason tho, please say hi if you see us on the river, we are really nice
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Old 06-13-2016   #10
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 130
When we got to Westwater two days later, two of our tires were slashed. They knew our vehicle, since we had unloaded right next to them at the put-in. Seems very unlikely the tire slashing of one particular vehicle in the lot was coincidental.
Unlikely but possible? You all but accuse this person of a fairly major crime but you don't actually know that. It's a large step from a camp dispute to vandalism. The internet is a small place you don't know who may be reading. You outed him as
Jason on a cataraft with a pirate flag
but you remain anonymous.

Again, I'm not saying that he and his group were not total knobs and I'm not saying that they didn't slash your tires. Internet witch hunts usually don't go well. Be careful what you wish for.

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