European hikers showered with Grand Valley generosity

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Thursday started off as one of the worst days of Andreas Haller and Natacha Noirclere's travels. Their suitcases, clothes, photography equipment and more had been stolen and they needed help halfway across the world from home.

"Totally unexpected and everything was gone," Noirclere said.

The couple from Germany were hiking Wednesday at Rattlesnake Canyon as a part of their two week tour of the Western United States.

They returned to their rental car at 7 p.m. to find a smashed window and none of the belongings they had left inside, leaving them with the clothes and bags on their backs and without special camping equipment that had taken years to collect.

"These things we try to choose with love or with very great interest and they are gone and that’s very sad for us," Noirclere said.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office started collecting donations of clothes, suitcases and toiletries for the couple Thursday morning and were able to offer them plenty of items to choose from by the afternoon, something Haller said they wouldn't have experienced if the same situation happened in Germany.

"I don't think so in this case," he said. "I think you would be very alone and this was absolutely new for us here and it was absolutely fantastic."

The community not only left the couple with $730 and the donated items as they continue onto Moab as their next destination, but also with a changed view of American generosity.

"This kind of help and take care, it changed my view about America definitely and I will tell home," Noirclere said.

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