I’m of the belief that the overwhelming majority of people in the world are well intentioned and kind.
On my various adventures, I’ve been on the receiving end of amazing acts of kindness from strangers. When I’ve been in need, all but a few of the strangers that I’ve met have been willing to help, just like this guy who Brian and I met when Brian’s bike broke down in the desert on our bike ride across America. He lent us his truck so we could drive 80 miles each way to a town for bike parts, and we returned it with a full tank of gas. That was an amazing example of he kindness of strangers.
Yesterday in Grand Junction, Colorado, though, our path crossed with a bad apple, a thief.
Katie and I decided to stop at the Holiday Inn Express in Grand Junction on our way to our next national park. We needed solid cell coverage and WiFi for an interview by Keep Your Daydream (coming soon!), and we figured a hotel would allow us to get the kids settled in the room while we could find somewhere quiet for the interview.
I had parked the Tahoe and Airstream on the backside of the hotel, out of view of traffic on the street and under the security lights.
Sometime in the night, a motivated thief decided he wanted our Honda generators more than we did. He pulled off the tarp and cut the padlock on the chain securing the generators. He made off with the generators, which weigh about 50 pounds each, leaving everything else untouched.
I know the Honda generators are highly desirable, which is why I had them chained down of course. In San Francisco, I even lugged them up three stories to our hotel room for safekeeping. This time, I figured we’d be fine for a night if they were out of mind under the tarp and chained down.
It’s an unfortunate encounter that will cost us about $2,400 for replacements.
Katie and I were mildly upset for about an hour, long enough for me to snap some pictures, alert the hotel manager and file a police report. Soon after that though, we let the anxiety roll off our shoulders. The bad experience didn’t even ruin the day, as we had a blast that afternoon visiting our friends in Creede, Colorado and had a great night sleep at their cabin.
When seen within the broader context of our lives and the awesomeness of our year of adventure, the incident is memorable but insignificant. The loss is relatively minimal and replaceable.
We’ll likely pick up new generators in Denver next week, and perhaps I’ll better secure them to the cargo carrier to make them harder to lift. However, Katie and I are both in agreement that we don’t want to change our behavior as a result of the incident. We were unfortunate to cross paths with a thief with bolt cutters, but it didn’t ruin our day and certainly won’t ruin the adventure.
As for the police investigation, it’s underway. They are pulling security camera footage and key card data from the hotel to see if they can draw any conclusions, but my hopes are pretty low for recovering the property or restitution.
The investigation reminds me of one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes when Kramer leaves Jerry’s door open and the police come to make a report after a thief cleans him out: