Fellow North Shore resident Dan Kennedy (a finisher of the 48) was strolling through the Danvers Town Forest this weekend when he came upon the rusted-out remnant of an automobile. The heap was easily a half-mile in, which set off an online discussion as to as to how it got there. It’s not uncommon. I saw three different junkers on my hike through Chebacco Woods today, and there are at least three I know about in Ravenswood Park and Dogtown.
Some find it depressing that others are so quick to despoil the forest. While that’s true, you can also look at the junkers as a sign people have pretty open access to the woods around here. If the nearby stone walls are any indication, a lot of the rust-outs are on what used to be private land. In most cases, they’ve been there for years — I haven’t seen any Kias, Hyundais or Saturns on my strolls.
The best part, though, is the air of mystery, however sad and rusty. Walking past a heap always starts a backstory spinning in my head, one filled with questions. Just what leads someone to abandon a car in the middle of the woods? Did the auto let its owner down, making the abandonment an act of revenge? Did the owner love the dying car and bring it into the woods for a coup de grace, Old Yeller style? Was it stolen, and was someone missing it? Was it used in a crime, and what evidence was left behind? Did the driver use his directionals out of habit, even in the woods?
And my favorite:
What was the last song on the radio?