This story struck me as one of the dumbest things I’ve seen in a while.
Gotta wonder how many trees they passed by while heading wherever the hell they thought they could find the perfect one. No reason to think they’d learn anything after having to be rescued LAST FRIGGING YEAR!
A shame their genes couldn’t have been removed from the pool before they had reproduced . . .
There is a long standing debate in the S&R community about charging for searches and rescues. Most of the people actually doing the S&R are against the idea, because that means people will wait until the shit hits the fan before calling, making for much worse rescues. Others (who are footing the bills) have different criteria.
I don’t believe there is any mechanism to charge people for S&R in Oregon right now.
They may have lost their way but were prepared with maps and a GPS equipped cell phone this year. They brought at least some emergency supplies such as blankets and water. They forgot the tire chains though.
The couple found a place, got their tree, cut it down, strapped it to the top of their 4WD and were on their way home. The story doesn’t mention anything about whether they had a hard time actually harvesting the tree so I’m guessing it was no big deal. They didn’t go further than they would be able to carry a tree out.
They got stuck in a snow drift (or as near as I can tell from the description) on a remote mountain road out of cell phone range. They worked to free themselves and were finally successful after three days.
Believe me, my mind boggles at how foolish and downright stupid people can be. But in this situation people took a mild risk by driving remote mountain roads, just like some hunters, skiiers, and others do, to get something they wanted. They were successful in their task but ran into some bad luck on the way home.
It’s kind of a pointless risk to take to go way out in the wild where you may be risking getting stuck/lost/hypothermic/dead to cut down a tree that some wildlife may be living in order to save yourself a few bucks* instead of buying a live tree from a local vendor. A tree that was most likely raised for the sole purpose of being a Christmas tree, provides employment for some people and comes free of wildlife. And all of that was done to get a perishable tree that will be a fire hazard in their home, drop needles all over their carpet, they’ll look at it for a few weeks then drag it to the curb to be taken to the dump to practice a pagan tradition for a Christian holiday. It all seems kind of silly to me.
*Do they even save any money on tree purchases what with the gas to drive way out to the wilderness, all the stuff they had to do to make sure they were prepared for an emergency and the tree permit? Oh yeah, and the cost of the Search and Rescue team.
I’m not getting the hate either. They were obviously prepared for getting stuck in the snow, since they did get stuck last year. They had water and blankets, which they would have easily frozen to death without. They just forgot their chains, which I don’t think would have helped with them getting stuck in a snowdrift anyways. A shovel would have helped though. I’m sure some food packets would have helped as well, like MREs.
Wile E, the permits are $5, sold through the Forest Service and usually sell out within hours of being available. I’ve done xmas tree hunting, and it’s actually a lot of fun. You don’t do it to save money, you do it for the experience of it. I don’t mean to sound snarky, but there is a lot of “why do x the hard way when you can just go to the store and buy it?” attitude in the US these days, which I think is unhealthy as a society. It feeds our consumerism and we as a people lose a lot of real world skills that we may need some day.
Well, maybe I just can’t sympathize because my family has never had live trees for Christmas (unless it was in a pot and could be replanted). And risking death and leaving your kids orphans just to have that live tree hunting experience without the children along (I thought most people did this so the kids could have the experience with them) is foolish. Sure they were prepared but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have died and they apparently weren’t prepared enough to have some sort of backup plan to call for help or at least call off the search and rescue.
If the experience is so special why not take the kids and go someplace less remote and safe so they can all enjoy this special tradition?
For me, it basically goes to what types of risks folk choose to assume, and who ought to bear the costs of questionable decisions/bad luck.
The original story said these guys were stuck for 4 hours last year. So this year they didn’t bring chains with them? I’m a flatlander myself, but I think it is pretty darned stupid to drive in the mountains in winter without chains. Hopefully someone will explain why I am wrong.
Moreover, these guys didn’t see any need to tell anyone where they planned on going? If they had, the resuers would have had a much better chance.
Telemark comments on the debate concerning cost for S&R. I guess this sounds hard-hearted, but why does the public even offer S&R? Couldn’t you just adopt a plan that if someone decides to go far enough into the wilderness, they are on their own? Folks could always take out “rescue insurance,” or family members could work out deals with private rescue firms.
Certain risks are just so easily avoidale, that I question why the public as a whole ought to bear any costs at all for some individual’s choice to take a certain risk.
Yes, you did. The story’s been updated. None of that was known before. It at first appeared they were yet another case of someone taking unnecessary risks and potentially putting others in harm’s way to bail them out. No “hate”, just annoyance if they had been part of that disturbing trend. Glad to see they’d in fact prepared more suitably (not completely but better than first implied) and are okay after all.