Thursday, October 12, 2006

Buried Treasure

I took these photos last year in Indiana. Jilly and I were snooping around off the beaten path when we came across a gigantic old hollow log with mushrooms and moss growing from every nook and cranny.

I looked into one of the openings and saw a military style ammunition can stashed not too far out of view. My first three thoughts were, weed, money and bomb, in that order I think. I searched and found no signs of wiring or other obvious mechanisms that might indicate a booby trap. Using a limb scavenged from the many that littered the forest floor, I poked, prodded, and then scooted the metal container into a position where I could grab it without having to insert any part of my body into what appeared to be excellent snake habitat. Having retrieved the box, Jilly and I discussed the possibilities for a short while until curiosity finally overcame my twenty-first century hypervigilance. I grabbed the latch, gave the lid a pull and !!!! nothing happened.

The ammo can was filled with a strange assortment of unrelated items including a popsicle stick, a postcard, an empty tube of lipstick, a guitar pick, and the list went on. It appeared as if someone had cleaned out their junk drawer and then went through a hell of a lot of trouble to hide the crap in a hollow log deep in the forest. The mystery was solved with the discovery of a small spiral-bound journal containing a list of people from various cities, states, and countries who had found this ammo box by way of GPS. It was a Geocache. I packed everything back into the can and left it as I found it. I later learned that in the Geocache world, I was what they called a “geomuggle.” Had I done harm to the container, its owner would be notified that this hidden trove of treasures had been plundered.

It was interesting but a little disappointing too. I could have used a tall stack of unmarked hundred dollar bills.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fantastic looking place! I would love a back garden like that. Pity about there being no stash of cash, and not even a bit of mary jane to compensate that, you cant help but feel hard done by...

3:34 AM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger Orhan Kahn said...

Such a wonderful collection of mushrooms. Again, beautiful photographs, especially the first one!

My first three thoughts were, weed, money and bomb, in that order I think. I lol'd.

7:01 AM, October 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fun adventure! c",)

10:08 AM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger David said...

OK, no dollar bills but at least it was not burried body parts.

10:23 AM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger Stucco said...

You should have put a note in the box that said "GPS devices are for cheaters", or "I stole the Lindbergh baby". There's something about these Geocachers that bugs me, and I'm not sure I can put my finger on it exactly. I think it has to do with them not being content to enjoy the environment for what it is, and needing to play hide-n-seek. I mean, look at those pictures. Isn't that enough? Damn.

10:53 AM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

Hi Judith, I am what Jilly calls a “looter.” I call it scavenging. There is hardly a box or sack at the side of the road that I don’t think, “money?” I’m used to the disappointment.

Hi Orhan, mushrooms are always of particular interest to me and green is the color of paradise. Add the two together and that is where I want to be.

Hey Irene, that's my favorite word. I use it every chance I get.

Hi David, that did cross my mind before I yanked the lid open. It was a fleeting thought as I detected none of the “precursors” that might foretell such an undesirable discovery.

Hi Stucco, my thought at the time was that one of these Geocachers was going to get either snake bit or badger mauled by reaching into that hollow log. The hollow was large enough to fit a sizable beast of one type or another. I didn’t have the heart to add insult to injury.

11:50 AM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger alphawoman said...

This is so very cool! The whole story and finding the treasure was magical...too bad no money! Those mushrooms are trippy!

8:17 PM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger lastonehere said...

I was once told about geocache, it sounded fun but if am going to put that much effort into looking for something then there better dam well be something there worth having.

9:58 PM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger Newsandseduction said...

'...twenty first centiry hypervigilence.' Does it also entail some drama and grandeur?

10:13 PM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

Mary, the whole forest was trippy. I’m going back to Indiana tomorrow for a visit but the weather has already turned. I suspect the mushrooms and the green will all be gone.

Lastonehere, allow me to lay your mind to rest, there is not one damn thing worth owning in those geocaches. It was interesting to read through the log just to see how far some of those people were from home. Kind of like these blogs except much more primitive.

Newsandseduction, life is not worth living without drama and grandeur. I find it all around me all the time.

10:38 PM, October 12, 2006  
Blogger MyHaystack said...

Awesome tale of great adventures uncovered! What a spectacular place! Love the trail of 'shrooms growing along that tree.
BTW~if they have GPS they could have hidden it a little bit better ... they deserved to be muggled :) Did you add anything tothe collection?

2:11 AM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous yank said...

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2:20 AM, October 13, 2006  
Blogger mdz said...

Wonderful the photograph ..and the blog...I`d like to have a similar spectacular landscape near my home...incredible...without words!!!

4:35 AM, October 13, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Great stuff!. I'll be back for more...

6:54 AM, October 13, 2006  
Blogger skinnylittleblonde said...

I love it!
That tree is stunning...makes you think of fairies & gnomes & all those mystical things!
GPS...gee, things have changed since we were kids, burying cigar boxes filled with dated goodies for the future to discover when & how they could!

10:09 AM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't we all use some more cash? :P I wish it had been for you! Either way you got some super rad pics out of the excursion. I really like them!

1:54 PM, October 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im with stucco on this one except Id leave all kinds of unsavory things like giving a bum cheap booze for remenants of his underwear or over 60's shocking porn -just for the twisted individual inside of me! Mu ha ha ha

3:57 PM, October 13, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

I never heard of geocache. What is it? (By the way, that first photo looks really mysterious.)

5:01 PM, October 13, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

Myhaystack, we scribbled a short entry in the log saying that we had stumbled onto their game by chance. We didn’t have any trinkets handy so we didn’t take anything out.
It was an adventure though.

Yank, I will visit your site.

Mdz, it is a sad state of affairs that we have to fly halfway across the country to find paradise.

Matt, thank you. As soon as I’m back in my natural habitat (currently out of state), I’ll visit your blogs.

Hi Skinny, it is a mystical forest. The world has come a long way since my brothers and I hammered nails into boards and called them battleships. There is no denying the benefits of technology but I think kids are missing out on imagination.

Csmc, still would have been better with the cash.

Judith, I can’t say it didn’t cross my mind. I guess I’ve mellowed with age.

Hi Baz, the whole place was like that. The word “geocache” in my post is a link to a very long and labored explanation at Wiki. They take there geocaching very seriously.

9:34 PM, October 13, 2006  
Blogger Agent Kitten said...

hey thats where i am. good ol' indiana. where are these beautiful woods located?

3:48 AM, October 14, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

Agent Kitten, I'm told by the locals that the place is known as Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest, or Cox's Woods. It is reputed to be the last, or the best, or the something , stand of old growth timber in Indiana. The pictures were taken in late spring. Reminds me of Oregon.

11:37 AM, October 14, 2006  
Blogger Dr. Blogstein said...

Slagjob: It looks like Middle Earth.

12:58 PM, October 14, 2006  
Blogger drama-addict said...

So what did the postcard say?

5:58 PM, October 14, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

Doc, it is the midwest.

Drama-addict, I don't recall. I do remember it was wrinkled and dirty though.

6:34 PM, October 14, 2006  
Blogger Benny said...

Hi! Nice blog! Add me to ur links and let me know, i will add u, thanks :)

6:58 PM, October 14, 2006  
Blogger Cheesy said...

Wow Slag it DOES look like Oregon! Reminds me of the fungus I found on the trees in the redwoods also!
pics here

Man how come I don't find little treasure troves in the jungles?? Lucky you!

10:58 PM, October 14, 2006  
Anonymous Vandana said...

wow thats awesome! i like ur pictures :)
and how lucky to find something out of the ordinary in...a jungle!!!

2:12 AM, October 15, 2006  
Blogger Lae said...

Hi! Nice blog ! What about link exchange? Let me know =)

7:03 AM, October 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was hoping for a drug stash, but a GPS game's booty, well...OK, whatever. :)

2:00 AM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger skinnylittleblonde said...

OT- what's up with invitations to 'link exchange'? what do these people mean? Does it mean 'will you be my friend?' kind of like that MySpace place?

Above & beyond that...I'm glad to hear you left them a note. Hopefully, they will get a kick out of it too.

2:03 AM, October 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have started something similar (probably a spin-off) but I'm not that educated in the history.

My son is 7 and we started Letterboxing.

Its fun for the kids (and the big kids)

10:55 AM, October 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A surprise find. I mean your blog. i loved the photos. Like Bazza i am clueless about the term geocache. Let me guess. is it some sort of cache like in the Antartica earlier foodsupplies were stashed for the explorers?
There is a namesake whom I see now for the second time. This one is as I identify myself with

12:00 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger Nezo said...

HI! I love mutch, your blog, our organizacion, your template...
I have blog that I know that that you will love:

3:29 PM, October 16, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

Hi Benny, it is true that your blog contains many sexy bikinis. Unfortunately, my humble blog is geared towards significantly less stimulating subject matters. Thank you for asking though.

Cheesy, I checked out your fungus photos, very cool. I don’t know what it is about those fungi, they can turn a pile of manure into a work of art. By the way, I found that geocache because I’m really nosy.

Hi Vandana, thanks. It is very out of the ordinary considering that the place is only a few hundred acres of original old growth forest in the middle of a vast expanse of plowed farmland and developed properties. There are only a few places left in our country that could be described as jungle and I think there is only one area that technically qualifies as a rain forest. Very sad.

Lae, thanks. I’ll visit your blog as soon as I can.

Parlancheq, I’m still searching for that random bag of crap worth keeping.

Hi Skinny, that’s pretty damn funny. I think most are sincere but some have empire building on their minds.

Hi Michelle, letterboxing could be the next big thing.

Hi Benny, thanks. I’m afraid the Antarctic explorers would have been sorely disappointed by the contents of a typical geocache. The long sordid tale of the geocache can be found at

Nezo, thank you for the heaps of praise. I will visit your blog as soon as I unpack from my recent trip to the hinterlands.

1:42 AM, October 17, 2006  

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