Friday, March 03, 2006

The Steel Bones off Cabezon Road

CABEZON PEAK RD.--At first we almost overlooked it. The rusted metal did not stand out from the rest of the debris near the corral, including the large shell of a moving van, minus the truck, which served as a pump and bunk house.

But it was such a large piece of junk that eventually The Artist Ken Saville and I wandered over and looked more closely. We were looking at the remains of two mobile homes...just the chassis, actually. What the heck were they doing here? And the big question: Did somebody dump these skeletons here to get rid of them? Or is there another story?

There was only one thing I could think of that would account for the condition of these two hulks: FIRE. Fire brings on rust. Moreover, it gets rid of everything that burns or melts. And there seemed to be very little left of these trailers except the undercarriage. Under the trailer hitch were a recently placed tire and board. Did that mean the trailer was a burnt hulk before it was towed here?

Then again, at some distance from the trailers there was another pile of metal. It was twisted metal sheathing, looking like it had been caught by the wind and rolled across the high open country where we stood.

It appeared to me that the trailer had caught on fire, burned all the wooden studs and joists, and left the sheathing to tumble away over the years. But could it still have been towed, at least in theory, to this place after the fire.

Aha. The wheels tell more of the story. Those steel bands around the rims where the tires should be are the remains of steel belts. The rubber from the steel-belted tires has burned away but left the belts. It is pretty obvious that this trailer has not been moved since the tires burned.

It looks like someone entertained the idea of hauling these things away (hence the elevated trailer hitch), but eventually decided it was too difficult. Let the grass cover the bones. And here in the dry, thin air of the Land of Enchantment, we will have the clues to this story to ponder for at least a couple hundred years.

1 comment:

Phil said...

A nice little piece of archaeological inquiry, Jon...