What are the cool and strange stuff that everyone here has found in the Alaska wilds? Stories? Pictures too??
What are the cool and strange stuff that everyone here has found in the Alaska wilds? Stories? Pictures too??
I was searching for a geocache near Devil's Pass trail when I found an area in the woods that was littered with old tin cans. They were all in advanced stages of rusting away and were grown over with moss, so they had been there for a very, very long time. I'd guess it was the former site of a mining camp. There must have been thousands of cans spread out over a 30 yard radius area. While some may have considered it litter, due to the age and location, it was a bit of a history mystery that was interesting to find.
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I once found a rifle leaning against a tree all rusted no scope iron sights an old winchester. Must have been there for at least ten years never tried cleaning it just knocked the big chunks off and hung it in the shed.
I found a complete, undisturbed cow moose skeleton in some alders back of Homer. I took the skull back to camp.
"– Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg
i've found many vehicles, rusted and old (had suicide doors and oval windows) totally rusted... found many tires... old chairs... cans ..mucho history mysteries
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I have found old line cabins in the BB area and a few around here. Some were barely recognizable in their tumble-down state.
Also around here it is hard to NOT find where the countryside has been disturbed in pursuit of oil/gas, so its easy to find pieces of machinery in the new growth. It is not unusual to find old rusty traps in the woods, but I have never found one with a bone in it.
An abandoned apple orchard. A few miles into a nice creek/valley in Idaho. Was pretty cool, because although the trees had not been pruned in many, many moons, it was quite obvious that someone took great care of them in their day.
It was a great place to wait for black bear or the odd mule deer.
A few miles away, a large, well cared for, field of 'weed'. I never returned.
Could you imagine a black bear with the munchies?
A pair of rubber coated bino's, severely chewed by rodents. It appeared they had been there at least 10 years.
Great postings! I am quite the history buff so wandering around out there this summer will keep me busy. Hopefully I will have a job too of course
I found a rocket once. I am almost certain it was a hydra rocket from a helicopter rocket pod:
It was pretty rusted all over and the area where the warhead would be was missing. I am pretty sure it had been fired at one point as there was nothing inside it (ie. you could see through it from end to end) so it is basically a metal tube with some rocket fins on it.
A buddy and I were hiking in a remote part of Hatcher Pass back in high school. We stumbled upon a old shaft, partially collapsed, in the middle of absolutely nowhere. The mouth of the shaft was littered with rusted mining tools and the like. More interestingly, there was an old wooden crate just inside the shaft. It contained what, upon initial inspection, appeared to be a harmless, gelatinous goo. We poked at it a bit, revealing beneath that layer of goo... about two dozen soggy sticks of TNT. That harmless goo was high explosives exposed to the elements over the decades. Needless to say, we back away slowly and never returned.
Also found a rusted bulldozer with bible verses scrawled upon the blade and caught someone's old hold halibut pole while fishing in Resurrection bay.
I've found old cabins, lots of mining stuff but most interestingly a unopened beer. OK I know whats the big deal.....It was my birthday about 4 years ago and Tracy and I were out back packing. I asked if she thought anyone remembered it was my birthday "well somebody left you a beer." "I wish" I responded knowing perfectly well we were on day 2 of our hike and nobody knew where we were. After several "I'm not kidding" and "BS" she picked a beer up from the side of the trail and tossed it to me. There written in badly faded pen was "happy birthday Rick!" On a can with a little rust starting to show and a pull tab! I haven't seen a beer can like it since before I could drink! I still wonder if the Rick that beer was meant for knows he missed it?
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Great stories! Keep em coming!
I found lots of weird stuff when I was a land surveyor.
My most valuable find was an intricate ivory carving near Kivilina that I turned into the local native corp. I also found two mammoth teeth and a piece of tusk that I kept.
West of Sheldon's Point at near the mouth of the Yukon I found a hand carved spruce bowl out in the middle of the tundra (brought there by a flood most likely) and a human skull that also was most likely from a flood. Several old eskimo house pits and cemetaries.
One of my friends found a pistol and a tin containing survey notes near Watana (Devil's Canyon) from the original R.R. surveyors in the early 1900's
I once found a six pack of beer in a creek that was unopened and still good. Even though it was miles from any road or trail. Yes, we drank it.
The same thing happened to one of my surveying bosses and there is now a creek named Hamms Creek up by Sherman north of Talkeetna.
The last day of our job in Sheldons Point we were sitting by the river and a full bottle of vodka floated up. Yep, we drank that too
Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem
The best thing I have found was a camera that I had lost the previous year.
I took my first sheep on a solo hunt when I was 19. All I had was a disposable waterproof camera, so even though timed self-portraits were out of the question, I still burned up most of a roll taking pictures of the sheep. Much to my dismay, the camera was nowhere to be found when I got home. I was 99% certain that I had seen it on the floor of my truck after my hike out, so I figured it had fallen out at the gas station on the drive home. The next fall I took a friend with me back to the same spot. White walking along a rocky ridgeline my friend tripped and fell over a rock. The rock rolled over, and there under the rock sat a disposable waterproof camera like the one I had lost the year prior. I told my friend the story, but was certain that this couldn't be mine since I thought I had it in my truck. Besides, even if it were my camera, I figured the film would be ruined from exposure to a year of extreme temperatures and weather. We snapped up the last couple of frames for kicks, and I dropped it off to be developed when I got home. When I picked up the photos a few days later, my jaw just about hit the concrete floor of Costco. Not only was the camera mine, but the pictures of my sheep were perfect. That camera had sat there under a random rock for almost exactly a year (364 days, I think) without damage, and my friend happened to kick that one specific rock. That is certainly the craziest thing I've ever found in the woods.
Not Alaska, but I spent a lot of time exploring the back country in California back in the early 90's. (Yes, there actually is back country in CA)
My buddies and I have found countless abandoned mines, with mining equipment still there, a few cabins from the days when cattle were driven over the sierras from Nevada to the CA coast, Also found an abandoned apple orchard - but it was known and lots of folks go up there every year and harvest the apples.
The most interesting find though - one day we were out off-roading. I was driving my 88 Suzuki Samurai and my buddy his 84 Toyota 4X4. We found what appeared to be a very over-grown fire break road going straight up a pretty steep hillside and decided to see if we could climb it. We made it to the top, where the road curved around to the left and broke through some pretty dense brush. Suddenly right in front of us was an old in-ground concrete swimming pool completely overgrown, and half full of mud, with a broken diving board at the deep end. We thought - "What a thing to find in the middle of some remote mountains in California at 6000+ ft. elevation!" So we parked the vehicles and began looking around. On the other side of a dense stand of Manzanita and buck brush, was a very large 2-story log cabin. All the windows were broken, and carpenter ants had eaten almost the entire hearth around the fireplace. There was a bookcase full of moldy books, none of them printed after the early 1970's.
We drove a little further along the overgrown road, and found at least ten more buildings, including one long building with a large kitchen and rooms in the upper level. There we found some old boy scout pamphlets and we figured we must have stumbled on an abandoned boy scout camp. The most recent date we could find on anything was an empty Pepsi can - the bicentennial commemorative version - 1976. My wife still has the can.
We left the place, still there as far as I know.
My first yr in AK 1978 hiking in the Alder above Larsen Bay Cannery on Kodiak Island I came across a complete Brown Bear Skeleton laying in a pile of decomposing hide. The skull (missing lower jaw) is one of my favorite conversation pieces, all the teeth were there and in excellent shape. I figure it was an old age death with skull still there. Beautifully bleached out with no rodent chew marks or anything.
Most obvious is the proof of how hard it would be to hit a charging bear in the head and do anything other than make him really mad, it's all eye sockets and nose cavity, forehead slopes at in incredible angle if he is running at you and looks like Way Thick bone protecting the brain.
It still hangs in my shop 32 years later in fine shape, along with a few huge leg bones, one was used as a door handle on the log cabin I built in Talkeetna woods, Huge Bone Awe Inspiring to grab a hold of...
I was stationed at Ft Huachuca and while deer hunting one year was wandering an area and there were piles of 30-06 brass obviously military stuff... Anyhow I picked it up and looked at the headstamp I forget who made it but it was stamped 1919 on it wow.. Obvious fired from the old Browning 1919 machine gun as I said laying in piles at least hundred spent cases. Also thru my wanderings while hunting Huachuca I would find M1 Garand clips everywhere as well. Also some hunter thier were lucky enough to find bundles of marijauna as well LOL... Huachuca being a hot spot for Illegals to cross thru I would find piles of trash but every now and then find some cool stuff. I found a perfect blanket laying on the top of a hill obviously it had made the trip from mexico on the back of some illegal I picked it up took it home washed still have it... While dove hunting in Arizona stumbled across a group of Illegals about 25 of them pulled the pistol I was packing and boy those dudes were gone hauling @$$ thru the mesquite trees have no idea where they went LOL. Down thier never know if you were going to run into mules hauling dope. In Alaska pack a sidearm for bears and stuff in Arizona pack a pistol for the illegals and drug runners/mules.
A corpse (no kidding..)