When I was a kid growing up in New Mexico I logged a zillion miles on dirt back roads all around, keeping off the asphalt because my motocrossers and trials bikes weren't licensed
. I guess back then tailgates on trucks didn't latch very well and stuff just dribbled out the back as people drove down the washboard roads. I found loads of tools (including a couple of actual toolboxes full), tow chains, several hydraulic jacks, etc. A friend of mine told me recently that he has a "honey hole", a stretch of highway near the intersection of a dirt road that leads into one of the major trailheads into the wilderness of the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming - he says that people drive 50 miles on the rough road with their truck loaded with caming gear, it gets all rattled loose, then they hit the highway and spin up to 70 mph and it all flies out within a few miles. He's scored a lot of goodies over the years in that area and won't share his spot
I was riding my bicycle up on the Blue Ridge Parkway this Spring, grinding up a long steep hill, and spotted a GoPro Hero camera in the grass. It had evidently spent the winter there because it was crusted with leaves and crap, a bit mangled from the wreck or being hit by a snow plow or mower, but otherwise in OK shape. The case had filled with water through a break in the lens and it had sat saturated for who knows how long. I emptied the water and let it dry for a few months but it appeared to be dead; I couldn't even check the photos on the SD card. I told a friend at work about it and he said he was pretty handy with stuff like that, so he wanted to take a look at it. For about $80 in parts from Best Buy he completely rebuilt it and it works great again! Now I want it back, dammit!
I'm a geologist and many times ride in areas where the geology distracts me. I was riding my DR650 down a tricky single-track trail one day (across the Morrison Formation of Wyoming, source of many fine dinosaur fossil beds) when I spotted a gorgeous dinosaur fossil (a gastrolith
). I turned my head quickly to focus on it, biffed immediately and cart-wheeled to the bottom of the draw, picked myself up, parked the bike (both unhurt), dusted myself off, walked back up the hill and pocketed the fossil. It's a paperweight in my home office now
I could go on and on with stories of all the stuff I've found in 49 years of riding...
Interesting idea for a thread!