Sunday, July 5, 2009

How in the heck....?

Every now and then when I'm geocaching, I stumble across something that just asks that questions, how in the heck did that get out there? You stand there and look and nothing really computes. Sometimes things can be explained. The cache we found a couple of weeks ago where we found the cache underneath the foundation of a house along a trail was easily explained when looking at the maps of the area afterwards. Those maps clearly delineated a road that wasn't there anymore, but obviously was there at one time.

The picture of the orange (what isn't orange now?) car was taken just off of a fire road. It looked like that car had been driven up as high as possible along a fire road and the unceremoniously dropped over the edge to run downhill until it came to a stop. Apparently someone didn't want that car anymore. I can't imagine it being an accident. Accidents would bring in medi-vacs, rescue operations and more than likely, they'd bring the car back out because it was a possible fire hazard, or just an ugly blight on the landscape.

Others, like the old Model A truck we found out in Joshua Tree National Park was just a prospector's truck that ended up being left out there when the old prospector died. It's still junk, but because it's inside a national park now, it's "historic" junk and thus it stays rusting away. It tells an interesting story about the early history of the area in and around Joshua Tree. Old prospectors and homesteaders laid claims to lands everywhere in the west and some of their claims get documented in areas like this.

Then there are the relics that defy explanation. We were looking for a cache named Shades and came across this old style station wagon. It didn't look like any road used to run up this canyon. In fact, while we were hiking, we were hard pressed to even find a suitable game trail. We ended up following a stream bed, clambering over rocks within the stream bed and had a difficult time getting up to the cache. How in the heck did that car get up there? At least it was serving some purpose up there, being a nice target, out of the way for gun toting individuals who needed some practice. We really couldn't tell, but it actually looked like a classic woody station wagon from the 1940s, one of those vintage cars that many of us drool over if we see them in museums or on the road. This one had definitely seen better days.

The hiders of these caches obviously knew about these abandoned automobiles. Names like Shades, Long Term Parking, and Dead Man's Truck, as well as Who Waxed Mr. Ed? give clues to where the cache might be, or what might be near the cache site. You still have to wonder sometimes how those things got out there.

Pictures were taken at or near the following geocaches:
Double Barrel Super-Soaker - by ohgr
Dead Man's Truck - by Land Snoopers [GC Charter Member]
Shades - by SHot70

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Just John said...

I remember thinking similar thoughts at a few locations in the high desert, and once in the Sierra Nevadas out of Lone Pine...How on earth some of those wrecks got where they are is a true mystery!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure there's a waymarking category for abandoned cars in the middle of nowhere.

Webfoot said...

Whatmegmakes -
I just checked and there is a waymarking category for Dead Vehicles. There is a waymarked abandoned Ford that has been there so long a fairly good sized tree is growing out of the back window of the car.

If I had kept track of all of the abandoned vehicles I've spotted while geocaching, I could add a substantial number to that category.

Anonymous said...

I just love finding old vehicles like that. They're like shipwrecks on land. My favourite geocache involves an old truck from the 30s, which I think was a White Motor Company truck. I wrote a blog entry about it a while ago: