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jay

Weird stuff on the trail.

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jay

Given that this is something that often comes up around a fireside, i thought it might be fun to share anything weird or unusual they might have seen or experienced on the trail.  

I like to find off the beaten path places where most people avoid.  while it isn’t unusual to find old houses or other structures, i stumbled ( almost literally) over an old graveyard once.  there was no evidence of any structures around that i could find but there were about a dozen old headstones.  most werent legible but i did find one dated 1820.  

honestly i was glad i found it during the day and not towards night.  i’ve seen too many horror movies that started that way. :)

anyone else have something to share?

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Mark

I've stumbled across an unmarked graveyard before, too. It was in the Charles Deam Wilderness in Indiana and was sort of spooky -- we were following an road that we mistakenly thought was the trail on the map, so we were super confused when we found out that neither the "trail" we were on or the cemetery were on the map. The cemetery had a fairly intricate tombstone for a Civil War veteran, and a tattered old Bible sitting on a tree stump.

I've found remnants of moonshine stills in eastern Kentucky and litter from attempted marijuana growing operations as well.

Other than that, I've found a lot of random mining-related artifacts out here in Montana and Idaho.

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wspscott

Most recent weird thing is this metal object near the summit of Standing Indian Mountain in NC.

It was about 12 - 16 inches tall, kind of weird to find at 5500'

2018-11-17+08.51.11.jpg

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John B

here's a couple:  found a mountain lion skeleton with a tracking collar (this was in a wilderness study area near uncompahgre plateau in Colorado.  

PB120005.JPG

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jay

These are all great, in my opinion.

question, if you find the carcass of a tagged animal, such as the mountain lion, is it something that should be reported when we make it back out or leave it as it is?

I found an old mine years ago day hiking in colorado.  a much younger and less sensible me thought seriously about exploring it but not having a light kept me from doing it.  probably for the best that.

On 12/8/2018 at 3:05 PM, wspscott said:

Most recent weird thing is this metal object near the summit of Standing Indian Mountain in NC.

It was about 12 - 16 inches tall, kind of weird to find at 5500'

2018-11-17+08.51.11.jpg

any idea what this might be part of?

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balzaccom

Looks like the top of a woodstove to me.  That's the chimney outlet in the back--the oval opening

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wspscott
14 hours ago, balzaccom said:

Looks like the top of a woodstove to me.  That's the chimney outlet in the back--the oval opening

that makes sense, thanks

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jay

given the 2 holes to each side of the oval, maybe an old sink frame?

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Aaron

Oddly enough @Mark, I’ve stumbled across what I bet is the same place in the Deam Wilderness, and sounds like using the same map!

Stangest thing for me was coming across an old boot partially sticking out of the ground, completely offtrail, in one of the most remote parts of the Winds. Although I may not have completely wanted to, I felt obliged and a responsibility to investigate, not sure if I’d find anything attached to or inside the boot...luckily it was just an old boot. A bit of a mystery - last place you’d want to throw a boot away.

Also offtrail, I’ve seen some interesting “cowboy signatures” on rock walls before, the interesting ones are those where you can make out a date, like 1905, but not the entire message. I’ve taken pictures of them and using a photo editing program can help make out parts of the message sometimes, but overall they’ll always be a mystery I suppose.

I’ve seen a backpacker carrying a small (twin size?) bed mattress, strapped to the outside of his pack quite far from any trailhead.

This last year a couple miles from the trailhead, I passed a day hiker heading the other way back towards the parking area - we simply said hello - the odd part was that 10 minutes later there’s a fresh, half eaten elk carcass about a foot off the trail. I thought it odd that he didn’t give a quick heads-up, and 10 minutes farther I passed another day hiker also headed back to the trailhead. Since he was just out for the day he had passed the area with the elk just an hour or two earlier - but he had not seen the elk (which absolutely couldn’t be missed). Interesting timing all around. A few days later and on alert, I had to pass the area again to get back to the car. What was left was still there - with mountain lion tracks scattered all over the trail around the immediate area.

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jay
13 hours ago, Aaron said:

Stangest thing for me was coming across an old boot partially sticking out of the ground

yea, that would give me pause, too.

A story that made the news a few years ago still sticks in my head.   A guy found a rifle that was over 100 years old leaned up against a tree in a national park in Nevada.

One thing I love about traipsing through the backcountry is that you never know what you will stumble across.

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