Trespassing Incident at Gore Canyon
Here's what happened. Last friday, a group of five of us put on to gore late in the afternoon. We stopped at the paddle in shortcut, located next to the sign that reads "no portaging," and got out our boats. Peeking over the embankment, we saw somebody in a tractor stacking hay bales about 100 yards up to our left. Should we go? Somebody said "fuck it, lets go" and we ran across the spit of land, put back in, and had a good run down the canyon. Myself and another member of the group headed back up to run shuttle and a Grand County sheriff was waiting for us at the put in. The rancher who owns the land called the cops and was very, very, intent on pressing charges against us for criminal trespassing on agricultural land. The exact penalty of this charge is ultimately decided by a judge during a court hearing, but it was clear that would be a significant fine and a lot more than just a slap on the wrist. After a stressful hour of negotiating with the sheriff, the sheriff called the rancher and his son who agreed to come down to the put in and talk things over with us. The father and son basically said they have been dealing with this shit for a long time (20 plus years) and they are sick of it. It's their land, they are growing hay to feed their cows, and all they want is respect for their private property from the boating community. They were both reasonable and understanding individuals, but firm in their stance. They ultimately agreed to not press charges against us if we spread the word to Colorado boaters that it is NOT ok to take the short cut across their land and the next group that is caught on their land will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The next day, we timed how long it took to paddle leisurely around the oxbow. 12 minutes. It takes at least two minutes to get out of your boat, walk across their land, and put back in. So next time you are paddling in, please don't be a lazy ass and take the extra 10 minutes out of your day. Have some respect for these guys and their property and paddle around.