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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Austin Really is Weird

As mentioned in the previous entry, I've been ranging into new areas of the forest behind my work ... due to "NO TRESPASSING" signs in my usual "work break walk route."  My most recent discovery has re-affirmed the notion that it is always good to try a new path.  I discovered something that I had been driving past for over two years now.  Here's a picture of it from the road; do you see anything?  It's underneath that big oak tree there behind my mirror.

When I made this discovery, I was walking underneath that power line that you see there.  Below is a picture from the angle of my first approach.  The thing I noticed first was that post there holding up that branch.  That just didn't make any sense to me why someone would have put that there in the middle of nowhere.  That is what made me stop to look closer, but do you see my discovery there in the background?


Yeah, me neither.  In fact, I got so close before I saw anything that the old saying is true: "If it were a snake it would have bit me."  The purpose of the post did become apparent; it was to hold that tree up and out of the way of a path up into this hidden area.   I still didn't see anything particularly interesting.  Do you?

Ok, well, then I turned the corner and what is this?  It's a freaking house.  It is made of cedar posts that form a lean up structure, but they are secured with wire all around to keep animals out.  Then, on the ends, it's got welded up steel grates and a door with a padlock to keep people out.  In the yard, there is a bucket to either sit on or collect water.  Also, there is a little feeder for the animals.

The plaque over the door says that this house was established in 1994.  Whoever built it has some animal bones and horns to keep the evil spirits away.  Inside, there is a small tent to keep the sleeping area clean and dry.  I just had to imagine for a moment how much money I could save if I lived in a structure like this since it was so close to my work.  I could use the shower in the gym at work, and I could eat breakfast and lunch at the little cafe in my office building.   All I would need is a bicycle to get to all sorts of places to hang out at in the evenings.   Heck, I could even dress up as a homeless guy and panhandle some very popular nearby intersections.

This has been literally under my nose for the last two years ... and I've been out in these woods exploring.  All the people driving are totally oblivious, even if they almost drive into it, as someone apparently did.  If you look close at the picture below, you can see car parts from where someone ran off the road and crashed into the brush at the back side of this house.  I just bet that even though they were only 10 feet from this structure, that they had no clue it was there.  The things you find in this town, Austin really is weird!
Close up view from road side, and where a car came to rest recently.

I'm Never Going to be "Nice" Again!

I've been hiking around in different areas of the woods behind my work lately.  One of my favorite places has been marked off, "NO TRESPASSING."  Before you judge, it wasn't me that inspired the signs.  Some other folks whom I have not met have been enjoying my secret garden.  I know this because they have been leaving behind large quantities of beer cans for some time now.  In fact, they act as if it were their secret garden, leaving behind chairs and other trash as well.

The other day I was walking through and I came upon a blue tarp that was wrapped neatly around something.  As you can see, even though they put this tarp behind a landscape wall, they didn't even do a very good job of hiding it.  Anybody walking through the area could plainly see it, and who wouldn't be curious about what is under there?  So, of course I checked under the tarp.

Sweet, these guys have gotten too lazy to carry all of their booze in and out of the woods.  What do we have here, only a 5 minute walk from my desk at work?  Ahhhh, half a bottle of rum, half bottle of tequila, plastic beer chugging tube with funnel, cups and beer pong balls.  Hmmm, whatever could be in the cooler?

 Beeeeeeerrrrr!!!!  Cheap beer, hot beer, but potentially free beer.  I swear, this is like a year's supply of cheap beer for me.  As tempting as it was to load all this stuff up into my truck after work, alas, I'm a "nice" guy.  I'm not going to deprive these messy, but creative folks of their good time.   So, I wrapped everything back up as I found it and went back to work.
Now, in the course of time, a rain storm came and the creek below swelled with water.  I could still get to area from work, but I surmise that the owners of the beer were cut off from their stash by the high water.  I refrained for several days, walking by and seeing that the hidden treasure was undisturbed.   There were a couple of days at work when I just wanted to carry a glass of ice and coke out there and at least enjoy some of that rum.  But, I'm a "nice" guy and I'm not going to steal from somebody's supply like that.

Imagine my disappointment when I went out to the secret garden one day only to find a construction crew clearing brush and picking up trash.  I wish I could have been there when they opened up that tarp.  That must have been a nice surprise for them.  I wonder if they were smart enough to hide the find from their boss.  Oh well, the messy people taking over the secret garden didn't get to have their party, nor did I.  And, now there are "No Trespassing" signs everywhere too.  So, that's it, next time I find a pile of beer in the woods, it's going straight to my truck!