You should probably not work for a land trust monitoring easements, because you won’t have any fun and will never see anything worthwhile. You shouldn’t visit the Eastern Sierra either. It’s definitely not beautiful, and there’s nothing there to do.
I was monitoring an agricultural easement that had a historic boneyard this summer, and I peeked inside the back end of a crumbling Ford truck. Sitting there was a pile of nice quartz crystals that have possibly sat there for decades. Turns out, ranchers like crystals too. I left these in their place and added them to my mental list of items I’ve found while out monitoring items that range from beautiful and pleasant like a pile of crystals, to bizarre and unpleasant.
In 2014 and 2015, respectively, I found a fully stocked mini fridge and VHS porn tapes while on an ESLT highway cleanup. In 2016 I found a large plastic witch’s head on Big Hot Springs Ranch. I have found golf clubs so far out in the sand on the backside of Mono Lake that I am forced to imagine rabbits play golf. Most recently, my coworker and I found a toy camel with bendable legs wearing a “Dubai” sweater. This was off of a closed logging road near the Hoover Wilderness. A few weeks ago we also found a survey monument covered in nearly 500 pennies we now know who did that.
Perhaps the most meaningful find was a eulogy and prayer written to a deceased husband on a Mylar balloon, and the spookiest was a freshly decapitated owl’s head with no body in sight. The find with the best story could be the handmade metal bear sculpture used for target practice, located a good thousand feet up a hillside from Buckeye Creek. The most common finds are general trash items such as cans, bottles, and scraps of plastic, but not far behind is clothing: sweaters, socks, shoes, gloves, and hats, along with tools and cooking supplies such as knives, forks, pots, and dish towels.
I could go on. I have found California King-sized Harley blankets, life jackets, animal parts, historical artifacts, and all sorts of treasures where I least expected them. I’m waiting to find Bigfoot, and when I do, I’ll let you know. Until then, it’s honestly rather boring around here.
Author Sara Kokkelenberg is the Land Stewardship Manager here at ESLT. If you have questions or want to get in touch with her, you can email her at .