In my youth, growing up in Grand Junction, Colorado, I frequently explored the outskirts of town in an old jeep and on foot. Now I only visit on rare occasions such as for visiting family this last week for Thanksgiving. Our motel was just a mile from the desert, so it was the obvious place to go to run the dogs in the morning.
The area, sandwiched between the city limits and the mountains, is open to the public for lots of uses. The rolling hills of Mancos Shale provides some tempting challenges for off-road vehicles and motorcycles. As such, there are many vertical paths headed straight up (or down) the hills, and these provide paths for dogs and humans to stretch our legs after sitting in the car for the 1000 mile road trip from Oregon.
From the crest of a Mancos Shale hill
Carlin and Tooey resting after zooming to the top
When it rains or snows, these hills become slippery and somewhat treacherous to navigate in or on a motorized vehicle. There are frequent roll overs and spills that are often the outcome of mixing speed, alcohol, youth, and internal combustion engines. (Note: the author of this post only knows about this through hearsay and never did anything like it in his youth.)
On the slope of one such hill, Carlin noticed a lump of dried mud that looked out of place. He turned over the artifact, and we determined that it must have resulted from such a mishap.
Carlin’s prize, with pups and Trice below looking for more
Encrusted in the alkaline clay-shale muck, was a rather nice wristwatch. Based on the broken band, it appears that a motorcyclist must have taken a hard spill sometime in the past, and the watch was ripped from his wrist and buried in the muck. After some recent rains, it reappeared on the surface where Carlin extricated the find like a fresh found fossil. The leather band looked like what you would expect when you bury something organic in a caustic soup of minerals, but the watch was in near perfect shape with the correct time and the hands just ticking along as though nothing was wrong. The date was three days off, so I speculate that since not all months are 31 days, this watch must have been buried for sometime.
When I returned to Oregon, I cleaned it up, ordered a new band online, and should have a fine time piece that has already proven to be quite rugged. For the record, this is a Luminox Anacama model 1925 (MSRP $625).
I can only hope the original owner is still alive, as we found no wrist bones sticking out of the mud. I am sure that if he survived the spill, seeing his motorcycle sitting at the bottom of the hill probably distracted him enough that he never noticed the watch was missing.
Tooey and Carlin cruising the ridge looking for more goodies (rabbits specifically)
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