Jan 20, 2010
“Oh. My. God. That’s a lot of Donkeys!”
Nev stares in disbelief out the car window as we slow to a stop at the side of the road. Ordinarily, a comment like that might seem out of place, but at our exact time and place, it couldn’t be more apt. Acre after acre of donkeys stretch out before us. There are, indeed, a LOT of donkeys.
The objectives from early morning hours was to make a road trip to the closest place in CA that still stocks the exact types of barbed wire needed for upcoming photography projects. Accompanying me on the expedition is Nev, always up for a little adventure. Everything in between departure and destination is where whim takes us.
Our wandering takes us down dirt roads and through places lost in time. Places that have a rich history, and others, a history one will never know. On the list of places to return is Elmer Long’s bottle tree ranch, where acres of metal trees “grow” about five thousand glass bottles. And who could pass up a chance to ride the S.S. Minnow. . . in full view of the freeway just a few yards away. With the honking and veering, I’m surprised we didn’t cause an accident.
Nev points to a rusted water tower with a small hole in the side of it. “I can fit in there” she proclaims. Minutes later I squeeze through the sharp metal gash behind her. It’s seems a rather dull and ordinary venture until we look down to see what is crunching underfoot. In that moment every good horror movie leads up to, we realize we’re standing in a mass graveyard. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of bleached rodent bones fill the bottom of the water tank, undoubtably deposited there for years by nocturnal predators. We gleefully collect some of the more pristine trophies, bringing them back with us for some unforeseeable purpose.
The sun is low in the sky when we decide to take just one more road wherever it happens to lead. Donkeys. Uh-huh. Donkeys. When we started out on our little road day trip, a “donkey sanctuary” wasn’t what we expected to find. But, like so many wandering adventures, it’s the unexpected you’re really looking for. The sun goes down as the herds of pack animals watch us leave, and we’re still left to wonder, why the hell there’s so many donkeys.
The number is on the sign. Another adventure could be a phone call away. . .
Cross-posted to deviantART.
Copyright 2010 by Adam Chilson