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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    One more way to meet Murdre Moste Fowle in the woods--well almost!

    My first night a Fontana Dam, I arrived late and slung my hammock between a nice, solid-looking telephone pole and a tree. Well, the tree was solid, but the pole was eaten up with dry-rot. As soon as I climbed in, the pole broke and attacked me. Barely in time, I rolled under the concrete picnic table just a little, and the pole came crashing down. It did serious damage to my hammock and my tarp, bruised my back and coccyx and ribs, and put me in a near-catatonic state for about 2 days.

    When I got disentangled, I went to see the pole. It had totally rotted on the inside of the base, likely from bug damage. It was at the Fontana Hilton, and the rules say that I'm guilty of a crime if I cause willful damage to TVA propoerty. This wasn't willful. It was dumb idea meets rotten pole.

    Who do I report this to? The TVA? The Nantahala hiking club?

    My only mistake, in hindsight, was grabbing everything up and flying back to the car on an adrenaline rush. I don't believe in hit-and-run damages, but I don't think that I committed a criminal act. I just got scared and ran.

    I'll talk to whoever they want me to talk to, but it needs to be said right up front that the pole was beyond its useful life or that wouldn't have happened; and it hurt really, really badly to boot!

    I'd love to tell them that if they won't charge me for the accidental pole breaking, that I'll sign away any liability that they might or might not have in the manner and cause of my injuries.

    I'm only keeping the threat in the back pocket in case they want a whipping boy, which I DON'T WANT TO BE!

    I've hung from poles many a time, but never again! I'm hurting and freaking out just a bit too much right now!

    Now to go cobble together two hammocks into one and hope that I can make all the repairs. I need to get back out now even more than before. You've got no idea what a telephone pole falling directly atop you, only separated by a small bench that you've rolled under, will do to your mind!

    I'll be better in a couple of days, and y'all can laugh all you want. Right now, however, I could just use some support! WHEW!!!

    Frank/Nightwalker

  2. #2
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    That's a new one - I don't think I've ever heard of anyone hammock-fighting with a telephone pole...

    Hope you feel better soon!
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
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    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  3. #3
    slowhike's Avatar
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    i doubt they will be to concerned about that old pole being broken.
    it's probably a good thing that the pole is down since it was in that bad a shape. just glad you weren't hurt more than you were.

    anytime you have any doubt at all about something you're going to hang from, kick it, push it, put it to the test.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  4. #4
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Kinda doubt they would be liable for anything. Who knows. Did that pole have live wires on it? Glad your o.k
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  5. #5
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    I'm glad you're ok as well. I think I would have trusted the pole too.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
    - Mark Twain
    “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”
    - John Burroughs

  6. #6
    Senior Member Redtail's Avatar
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    Sounds like that pole was an accident waiting to happen. Sorry you got hurt, on the positive side, it might have been worse. Thanks for the warning, I'll definitely put poles firmly in the dead tree category (aka no-hang!).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cuffs's Avatar
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    Close call! Glad its only a few bruises and bruised ego probably!

    What was the pole for? I think FF asked too, were live wires attached? Remnants of an old bear bagging pole?

    This is going to sound bad, but not intended that way... are you sure it was a pole? Those pine trees after theyve lost their bark because of the pine-bark-beetles look alot like poles... but are rotten to the core!

    Youve got the right idea, get back on that horse! Get out there and do some hanging!
    Get busy living, or get busy dying.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    You know the cops' rule: If you run, then you're guilty. Take your tazing like a man.

    I doubt you'll get in trouble for ratting yourself out. It wasn't intentional. Really glad you made it out OK relative to what could have happened, sorry about the hammock.

  9. #9
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    You know the cops' rule: If you run, then you're guilty. Take your tazing like a man.

    I doubt you'll get in trouble for ratting yourself out. It wasn't intentional. Really glad you made it out OK relative to what could have happened, sorry about the hammock.
    Dont taz me bro.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  10. #10
    Jazilla's Avatar
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    Dude I design electric line for a living. Contact the electric company in the area and let them know. Due to the age of the pole I see no reason they would charge you. As for anyone else looking to hang on utility poles, be careful. If the pole is almost white looking or the top is splintering or there are holes in the pole stay off. If the pole has been climbed a lot over the years it will be really marked up. Stay off these poles or you too could have a hammock fight with a pole.
    Yosemite Sam: Are you trying to make me look a fool?
    Bugs: You don't need me to make you look like a fool.
    Yosemite Sam: Yer deerrrnnn right I don't!

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