Attempted Robbery by Outlaws in Eden!!

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

By Patricia Giniger Snyder

The smashed passenger-side window in our Toyota Prius.

So much about Living Life Untethered is to expect the unexpected. We’ve been so lucky because that “unexpected” has almost always been something wonderful.

Over the weekend, our smashed passenger-side window of our Prius was not one of those happy surprises.

It happened on a Sunday after Adam, my husband, took a wonderful 3-hour hike on the Wheeler Creek Trail in Utah's Wasatch Range, the northern part of the Rocky Mountains. The trailhead is located where the Ogden Canyon Road meets the edge of Pineview Reservoir. See below.

Route 39 coming from Ogden on the left is the Ogden Canyon Road. The Pineview Reservoir is in blue.

The Wheeler Creek Trail.

The Ogden Canyon Road is one of the entrances into the idyllic Ogden Valley. The valley is made up of several rural communities -- Eden, Huntsville and Liberty -- and has three ski slopes -- Powder Mountain, Snow Basin and Nordic Valley. One of Utah's license plates says, "Ski Utah. The Greatest Snow on Earth." I hear it's true.

What I do know is Eden is among the most beautiful and special places we have ever lived and/or visited.

Pineview Reservoir in the Odgen Valley.

When Adam returned to the parking lot back from his 4.7 mile hike and opened the car door, tiny white particles were spread all over the dash and front seats. His first thought was that they were flower petals!

Our Prius at the "crime scene."

But no, they were thousands of tiny shards of glass. The passenger window looked like someone had taken a baseball bat to it, although policeman thought the perpetrators had used a rock. Our Prius was still locked shut, and the only thing of value inside was Sunday’s New York Times, which they left untouched.

Adam called me as soon as he got his bearings, and wondered whether he should call the police. I said, “Absolutely!” It took about 45 minutes for an officer to arrive, and it was good he did. Just after he finished taking down Adam’s information, two hikers came out of the trail and realized the woman’s purse (which was in the car next to ours) had been stolen. They had left one window opened a crack because of the intense mountain sun, which was all the policeman said the thieves needed to unlock their car.

Although it was a Sunday, we immediately called GEICO, our car insurance company, and they assured us window replacement was covered with no deductible. The representative suggested that we use SAFELITE because it’s a national company and if there was a future problem with the window, it could be replaced or fixed wherever we were. That’s important for people on the road like ourselves. For those of you who don't know us, we sold our home in December 2016 and have been working digital vagabonds ever since.

GEICO probably has a deal with SAFELITE, because our representatives could tap into their scheduling system, but unfortunately, she couldn’t get us an appointment with the nearest SAFELITE until 5 days later. We took it, hoping that we could call directly and reschedule sooner. That’s what we did on Monday morning, and we got an appointment for later that afternoon.

The new window is so clear, you can barely see it!

With the battered window replaced, I thought about the many lessons here. The first, of course, is not to leave your wallet unattended in your car. Secondly, persistence pays off (getting that SAFELITE appointment earlier, which was important to us because we had to be in Salt Lake City, 50 miles away, several times that week). And thirdly, there really are people in the world who do mean things, even in a place called Eden.

Adam joked that perhaps someone smashed our window because we had Texas license plates with a NY Mets frame in the front and a NY Giants frame in the rear. But no, it was thieves looking for easy targets – hikers enjoying the day. As a friend wrote when I posted our story on our Living Life Untethered Facebook page, “I will never understand people who do this – so destructive, costly, disrespectful and downright rude.” Adam’s take was what he used to tell our kids when they suffered a setback – “if that’s the worst thing that happens to you this year, you’ll have a good year.” Fortunately, that’s always been the case for us. Amen.

The truth is even Eden has rotten apples, though perhaps a better story is the outlaws were from somewhere else and escaped through the canyon just beyond the parking area, like in an old Western. I’d like to believe that’s true.

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