Will wonders never cease??

April 25, 2007 at 7:29 am

Wow, quite the story this week!! On Sunday night, after an exhausting but really fun hike up to the summit of Greyrock and back, I sat down in the grass next to our car and started digging through my backpack looking for my car keys. I pulled the camera out (which was the biggest thing in the pack) and set it next to me on the ground. As I was digging around, Mark showed up. He had the car keys.

Mark said “Hey, let’s jump in the car and go pick your mom up in the parking lot! That way she doesn’t have to walk down the steps again!”

I grabbed my bag, hopped in the car, and we drove off to dinner. Yes, I left my extremely nice, very expensive, Nikon D70 sitting in the grass on the side of the highway in the Poudre Canyon. And I didn’t realise it was gone for another two hours!

When we got home that night, my heart just about exploded when I realized what had happened. Mark and I got back in the car and drove all the way up to the Greyrock trailhead at 10pm that night, in the pouring rain. When we got there, it was completely dark, and we spent a half hour wandering all over the trailhead looking for a camera that just wasn’t there. It was gone. Completely gone.

The next morning, I started about trying to put my contact information out so that if a nice hiker had happend to pick it up, they could find me. I called the Fort Collins police department, and left my name and a description of the camera with their Property and Evidence department. The very nice woman taking the notes candidly told me “You know, chances are slim-to-none that you’ll ever see this camera again.”

I filed a report with the Larimer County Sheriff, and gave him the serial numbers for the camera and lens to put in the computer. I left a description and my contact information with the local office for the Roosevelt and Arapaho National Forests. Then I left postings on Craig’s List, Summit Post and Mountain Project.

Needless to say, I was really upset. I kept randomly crying on Monday, every time I’d see a battery charger or UV filter and know that there was no camera to use them on. I talked to our insurance guy, and we could put in a claim on our home-owner’s. It would raise our rates by $77 a year for three years, and we had a $500 deductible, of course. I was looking at cameras to replace it with, and since Nikon stopped making the D70 a few years ago, I really wasn’t sure what to invest in, or even if there was any way we could afford a decent replacement. The $4000 in checks to the IRS just cleared last week, and our funds are low.

By Tuesday, I was pretty sure the camera was gone. I had picked out a Nikon D40x that I could use, and maybe afford, but I just didn’t think it would be as good as my D70. I posted this picture on Flickr and got a lot of sympathy, but no actual help.

Then, in the evening after yoga, I got two emails from a woman in Greeley who said that she saw my add on Craig’s List and that her husband had my camera!! Just like that! She gave me his phone number, and I called up Mr. Doug in a flurry of excitement.

It turns out, he had been with a group of boyscout leaders practicing their backpacking that had hiked out right behind us. He had seen the camera, and picked it up to keep it out of the rain, and took it home with him. On Monday, they were looking on the Coloradoan for my add, and didn’t want to put out their own for fear that every crazy in Colorado would be calling them to “claim” their “lost” camera. On Tuesday afternoon, Doug’s wife decided to check Craig’s List, and when she saw my article, she knew that was it!

Tuesday night we drove out to Greeley, and picked up the camera. Doug was really nice, he presented me first with a disposable camera and said “Is this it?” I almost passed out. Then he pulled out my Nikon and I just about burst into tears again. It was so nice knowing that a perfect stranger out there might go through the trouble of picking up after my silly mistake, and then spending the time to search for the owner inorder to return this very nice camera. What a happy ending!!

Thank you Doug and Adela!!