Van-Jacked

But Who’s Chasing Whom?

By Ray Brooks

Shortly after I moved to Hailey in 1984 to open an outdoor store, I met Hippy Jimmy and his girlfriend Lynn. They were a pleasant couple, who embraced a lifestyle that was largely out of fashion by then, but they also enjoyed visiting Idaho’s remote outdoor places.

Some time after I met them, they did an overnight trip to explore part of the Bruneau Desert south of Bruneau. Armed with a map, Jimmy drove their Volkswagen bus out to the east rim above the Bruneau River on the very rough boaters’ access road. Then they hiked two miles or so down to the river and tested the waters at the (too-hot) Indian Hot Springs.  When they hiked out a few hours later, they noticed a pickup parked by their bus. 

Suddenly, both vehicles started driving away.  A van-jacking!

Hippy Jimmy was incensed.  He ran after the thieves, Lynn trailing behind, and he started gaining (please, no “Van, go” jokes at this point).  Being on foot and almost able to catch the vehicles is a good indication of how really bad the boaters’ access road is, not to mention how angry and desperate Jimmy was.

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Ray Brooks

About Ray Brooks

Ray Brooks is a native Idahoan. Beyond retirement age, he remains an active rock-climber, river runner, and hiker, who keenly appreciates Idaho history. His climbing career started in central Idaho in 1969. To support his outdoor habits, he worked on Forest Service helicopter fire crews, was a Middle Fork Salmon boatman, ran an outdoor shop in Moscow, and became a sales representative for outdoor gear.