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Lions Back Carnage - 2004 Taco

Old 12-15-2006, 08:40 AM
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I'm new here, just bought a 4Runner less than a month ago, but am not new to wheeling.

I appreciate the manner in which this serious incident, and problem, is being discussed. I was appalled at how Mike, however great a guy he might be, was defended over on TTORA. Person after person who knows him came to his defense and stated how much he had helped grow the club and TTORA and wheeling. Do they not realize how much DAMAGE he did to all of the above with this one incident.

I see beer cans, bottles, etc ... all over here in southern Arizona. Not only is this stuff being consumed on the trail, but then they trash the trails. It is no wonder people want to shut stuff down.

I am just glad that the groups I go with do not allow drinking on the trail - that is for the campfire after. And I'm glad that folks here are fighting against such behaviour.


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Old 12-15-2006, 09:08 AM
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our club makes a habit of picking up any and all trash we see (unless its like a refrigerator or stove or something, which we've seen a few times )

there is one part of tread lightly that i think says it best: leave things better than you found them.
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Old 12-15-2006, 09:25 AM
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I've only had my 4Runner for a little more then a month, I don't 'wheel' like most of the folks in the discussion thread over at TTORA, and the only things I've heard of Nicole and Mike and their incident are the photographs and what was said here and there.

I lost two family members to alcohol and I have continuous problems concerning alcohol useage and those close to me. Here's what I DO know - it doesn't matter if you're the nicest, most experienced, most philantropic selfless amazing man/woman on the trail or if you're theiving scum destroying a stolen rig out in the sticks...if you're drinking while driving, you're making a big and serious mistake.

Unless your rig a development for the DOD and is fully autonomous and manages to crawl along across rocks and rivers, wheeling counts as driving.

I'm glad they're both OK. They could've died and/or killed someone. Good thing it wasn't any worse then it was.
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Old 12-15-2006, 09:33 AM
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This has become such an abortion, just to have all the buzz words around.

It is good the people are alive.

It is sad this personal attack fest has flown all around the web waves.

Something was fishy as soon as it started. Guess it was wet and not fishy.

The guy did the right thing owning up, stepping down and moving on.

With respect to enforcing "rules" anywhere, there are so many internet tough guys it makes me laugh. Please, go forth and make the world better. This is such a rehashed, regurgitated pile, I am amazed it is not yet locked.
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Old 12-15-2006, 09:41 AM
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I think the mods should do us all a favor and lock this thread. Keeping this thread open isn't going to do anyone any good. I think all the dirty laundry has been hung out to dry already both here and on TTORA. We all know what happened now and how to avoid this in the future.

Mike owned up to what he did and is doing the right thing now. Is it unfortunate that this event happened? Yes, but Mike is dealing with this the best that anyone can....he's doing the right thing now. We need to remember that we're all human and we all make mistakes, even avoidable ones.

Despite this incident, I am still proud to say that I am a Nor Cal TTORA member and that I have wheeled with Mike. I personally never drink on the trail.

I have never witnessed anyone in the Nor Cal TTORA group litter on the trail. They have always practiced low impact camping and wheeling, and always stay on the trail.
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Old 12-15-2006, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Flygtenstein View Post
With respect to enforcing "rules" anywhere, there are so many internet tough guys it makes me laugh. Please, go forth and make the world better. This is such a rehashed, regurgitated pile, I am amazed it is not yet locked.
bingo. it really is laughable to think that some of these people say they would go up to a person and physically take a beer away from someone who opened one on a trail. comical. that's just a good way to earn an old-fashioned ass-kicking from someone of the likes who would drink a beer while wheelin' on a trail in the first place.

oh, and i don't drink on the trails either, but i'm not anybody's parents, so it's just my opinion and my point of view which has absolutely zero bearing on the persons actions if they choose to ignore my advise. and i'll talk to someone about it before it got to the point of being an issue, but i would not forecably remove the beer from their possession. i would simply fake a "breakdown" and block the trail and call the authorities before i did that - however, that would be only for the most extreme of cases where i thought that someone life would be in danger. unfortunately, this would be one of those instances. lions back is dangerous enough without dulled senses. mike screwed up, made some mistakes. at least now he's owned up to them in a public fashion, has done the right thing regarding the organization, and hopefully does the right thing with his personal life.

Last edited by bamachem; 12-15-2006 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:22 AM
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every situation is different obviously. im not gonna walk up and take a beer out of someones hand, i will ask them to dispose of it and stop doing it. but i will not stop short of taking it away if they dont listen.

these are club rules, you wheel with my club, you follow the rules, or you dont wheel with my club. whats hard about that?

its not about being tough, its about setting an example so that the sport i love can grow rather than shrink into non-existence.

i dont know where you guys wheel, but around here, every day is a fight to keep trails from being closed. there are a lot of people who fight hard to open new ones, keep open ones open, and find private land to access legally.

its doing a great disservice to those people and really disrespecting them as well if i were to allow someone in my club to wheel unsafely.

Last edited by lee; 12-15-2006 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:32 AM
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It is refreshing to know that some people understand that the consequences of these actions will be reverberating for years to come and that Mike and I will deal with each and every one as they come about... Mike has a very good idea for an anti-drinking "add" after some of the consequences are dealt with and its an awesome idea... look forward to that. It makes me feel better to read posts where not everyone wishes we had died on Lion's Back for a better example of why not to do stupid things on the trail! We are dealing with things, personal things, that don't need to be displayed all over the internet... Unfortunately enough garbage both related to this incident and not has become public knowledge... I understand it hits home hard to certain people who have had to witness tragedy due to alcohol first hand, but the bottom line is non of us can go back and change the events that took place that day, and for people to think that Mike and I are reveling in our friends support or just trying to get by till the next time then that is ignorance...

But I stick to my belief that continueing to throw stones is getting non of us further... I understand that this incident will be talked about for years to come. Although I don't agree that continued efforts to kick Mike or myself is going to change how people act on the trail. Karma is a bitch and for all who continue to want to drag this on, you will make a mistake in your life at sometime or another and I hope you think of us and how you would want your friends to re-act...I couldn't ask for better friends or a better boyfriend, interpret that as you may
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:38 AM
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Bottom line, Nicole and Mike are still here with us. It doesn't matter what club they are part of as we are all part of a larger community of offroaders. Lets support them in their time of need and move forward and ensure that these accidents do not happen again.
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:21 PM
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For those of you don't make it over to pirate or the other boards, I thought I'd update this thread with a reply directly from the driver.

I'm the dumbass who killed that 2004 silver double cab Tacoma.

I know you popcorn lovers won't be happy without a story... but I'll make it short and sweet.

I flew out to CO to visit my girlfriend, and we took off for Moab for a couple days of wheeling. We headed out for Hell's Revenge, with her driving the entire time. I was just a passenger, and had a few beers while enjoying the awesome Moab scenery. Cruised up Hell's Gate, Escalator, and played around in some of the tubs on the way. Got to the end of the trail and talked my girlfriend into driving up Lion's Back.

She didn't really want to do it, but cruised up there anyway. Got a little nervous about driving down, and I volunteered to drive. Asked me if I was okay to drive, said sure! Everything seems okay after a few beers right? Headed down, and got pretty close to the bottom. All I remember after that is crawling out of an upside-down truck half buried in the sand.

I made sure she was okay, then walked away and let her vent. Someone on the road must have called 911, because it wasn't long before law enforcement was there. I fessed up as the driver, and ended up spending a few hours in jail. That was only the beginning.

This whole incident is going to cost more than $35K, and that is only the financial burden. I am still not certain that I won't be a guest of the state of Utah for awhile. Next time you decide to pop a few beers on the trail, think about my ĊĊĊĊup and what it might cost you and your loved ones.

In addition to the financial burden, I feel that I have given a black eye to wheelers everywhere, and that is exactly the opposite of what I am about. I have spent tons of time and money towards helping to keep our sierra trails open here in CA and I feel that I have betrayed my friends and fellow wheelers with this one careless act.

Trucks can be replaced, I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I had injured or killed my girlfriend. I will be paying for this mistake for a long time. At least I don't have to face my girlfriend's father at a funeral.

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