Three men were banned from Yellowstone National Park after a ranger caught them cooking chicken in the hot springs.
This happened in August and the park ranger alerted that several men were hiking with cooking pots toward the Shoshone Geyser Basin.
Shortly after he noticed them, he also found 2 whole chickens in a burlap sack in the hot spring as well as a cooking pot nearby.
When the now defendant Eric Roberts from Idaho Falls, Idaho was asked about what was the group doing, he responded ‘dinner’.
Eric Roberts and Roberts from West Valley City, Utah were ordered 2 days in jail and a $540 in fines and fees while Eric Romriell from Idaho Falls paid $1,250 in fees and fines.
These men were also sentenced with 2 years of unsupervised probation. This was done because of violating laws on the use of national parks.
It Was a Joint Idea, Said the 3 Men
What was supposedly planned to be a fun family summer trip turned into probation sentences.
The two cousins and their neighbor, as well as their families, took two chickens and canoed for 8 hours and hiked to the Shoshone Geyser Basin to have delicious lunch, apparently cooked in the hot springs.
When they were asked about whose idea was to do this, Eric Roberts responded they came up with the idea together.
Respecting Designation Is Pivotal, Say Park Officials
The park website notes that the hot springs have killed or injured more individuals in Yellowstone than any other natural feature.
And, the officials urge from visitors near the thermal areas to remain on the designated trails and boardwalks and if they come with children, to always keep them close and don’t allow them to run around.
Linda Veress, the park’s spokeswoman, explained that it’s not just illegal to go off the boardwalk or trails and to touch or throw objects into the springs or other features at the park, but it’s also dangerous.
The water in the systems can reach more than 400 degrees F and may cause major and even fatal burns.
For Romriell, an ophthalmologist, it didn’t seem like they were doing anything wrong. In fact, he took monthly trips as a scout master in Idaho for several years.
Each time, his troop tried creative ways of meal cooking like making milkshake out of forest fruits they found while hiking or boiling hot dogs in the springs while swimming nearby.
He added that he didn’t think this would be destructive. In no way was his intention to cause trouble.