I have always liked to explore places off the beaten path. If I am traveling and have the time, I try to take the odd road or walk the odd trail just to see where it goes.
In California, as I drove through Sequoia National Park, I saw this trail that ran off the main road. I decided to see where it went to and was pleasantly surprised.
The trail was drivable so instead of walking I followed it in my car. I drove about a mile and a half through thick woods filled with Sequoia trees. It was an awesome ride along a very rocky trail.
As I drove along, I realized there was no place to turn around. At first, I wasn’t too concerned then the trail got worse.
Since turning around wasn’t an option I decided to keep going even though my gut was telling me I needed to start backing out.
Just before I chickened out, I came into a small clearing. On The other side of the clearing the trail continued, so like a good explorer I decided to see where it would end.
It ended in a primitive campsite that overlooked a valley filled with huge trees a thousand yards below.
I turned out to be one of the most spectacular sights I have ever seen. I stayed there for several hours and when I drove back out (turning around in the campsite) to the main highway I noticed the sign warning people to not drive on the road.
Too bad I didn’t see that sign earlier, but then I wouldn’t have all of the pictures of the treasure I saw that day either.
I found a manmade rock formation at Big Sur on the Pacific Coast Highway after taking another strange-looking road. I have a rock from the beach and pictures as well. It was not far from that bridge that you used to see on the Chevrolet commercials.
Many years ago, near Capps, Florida I went with a friend to look at a duck pond we were going to hunt and found one of the oddest treasures I have ever seen.
A half-mile into the woods we walked up on an old rotting fence. As we approached the fence, I saw a pair of men’s brogan (high-top) shoes sitting on the ground right at the fence. They were sitting just like someone had been zapped out of them with the laces tied at the top. I didn’t have a camera with me at the time so there is not a picture of that treasure.
I found a nice Case folding knife at a local park stuck in the ground. I do have that one.
In my collection of treasures, I have a railroad spike I found in the middle of a plowed field. No explanation as to how it got there; the nearest track was five miles away. I have an assortment of coins I have found, including an 1880 silver dollar. I did find a $50 bill once, but I spent it.
According to legend, a fellow found a large gold nugget on The Old Florida Trail section that runs through Gadsden County (referred to now as Old Federal Road).
As for me, I’ll just keep looking. Maybe one day I’ll find another old tobacco needle or another rusty cast iron pot.
Byron Spires is a retired newspaper editor. He has written dozens of short stories and serials in the Havana Herald. He recently published “The Curious Life of Marci Bell: Part I,” in a series of three books. You can contact him at email@example.com.