HUBBARD LAKE - If you're thinking about running around in a truck with your buddies to shoot paintball guns at monuments, you may want to change your plans.
Susie McKillop, her husband, Matt, and 12-year-old son, Ryan, have discovered a unique, high-tech way to make you stop. Worse, McKillop is willing to share her secret.
It all started around 9:30 p.m. Aug. 12. Five youths made a commotion in a pickup truck when they zoomed through the parking lot of a trail that goes up Mt. Mariah in Hubbard Lake. The top of the old ski area is near-sacred to area residents, who usually climb to its summit Friday nights to watch the sun set.
"We saw the truck go flying up the trail," she said. "We could see them get out and we could hear them pounding on the picnic table."
The family worried that from all of the noise the youths were destroying the table and a monument there. McKillop also knew that if she called police, the young men would be long gone by the time deputies arrived.
It was about then that her son told her he had an idea. He ran inside their home and came back out with his iPad.
At first, McKillop said she was taken back. But her son did some clicking on the device and downloaded the sound of a police siren.
"Sure enough, he turned it on and it sounded like a real police siren," she said. "But it wasn't loud enough."
McKillop then remembered that she had some Baby Bose compact speakers that she could plug into her own electronic devices for music.
"He ran and grabbed those," she said. "He hooked them up and it blasted that police siren."
The effect was immediate.
"It was great to see them panic," she said. "You could see all the guys stop. They looked at each other, jumped in the truck and flew back down the mountain.
The family was unable to spot the license plate of the truck, and Matt had to clean up the mess with buckets of sudsy water. Otherwise damage was minimal.
"We felt pretty helpless, but my son was pretty creative. That was pretty good thinking on his part," she said. "We complain about technology and how much it costs. Well, I don't think I'm going to complain anymore."
Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.