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Lost in the woods, or stolen?

With hopes that an honest individual picked up the pack, I sent a text message to my cell phone. The message read, "Reward offered for the return of this phone and the pack that it was in."

I knew that the phone was still turned on. My wallet, with identification and phone number was also in the pack. I waited, but no one called.

The next day, I reported the theft to the State Police. When the Trooper finished the interview, he asked, "If we find the person responsible, do you want them prosecuted? That is our job."

"You know," I began, " I'd just like to get my gear back, but it's been almost 48 hours. If it were an honest individual, I'd have my pack back by now. I'd like you to do your job."

Two days later, my wallet was found along the side of Route 3, near the intersection of Alderbrook Park Road. The contents were scattered as if it had been thrown out the window of a moving vehicle. My cell phone is probably somewhere along the same stretch of highway.

I hope that some honest parent, guardian or disgusted spouse reads this story and recognizes the new Sony camera with a Vivatar lens cap or the spruce colored, EMS GorTex rain jacket that some slug just brought home in a nice, Mountainsmith pack.

The reward still stands and my email address is listed below. However, from now on the packs will stay on my back and a paddle in my hand.

A bottle of whiskey may now be considered safe, but a camp no longer is. It's a sad day when the Adirondack woods and waters are no longer considered the habitat of honest men.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net

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