What the heck is that thing?!
A long time ago, people in Skagway did things. They came to town on boats and built structures and lived life. The interesting part of all this is that the stuff they built eventually got old and broke. When it did, they either just left it there, dumped it in the water, or chucked it in the woods. When you go hiking today, you may stumble across some of the stuff those old-timers threw away. When you do, you will likely say, “What the heck is that thing?!”
Wow. What the heck is that thing? And why is it just laying sideways on a mountain?
Is that a relic, antique, or garbage?
When you do come across some old piece of junk in the woods, you may wonder if it’s something important or just some crap that people didn’t want to deal with. Fortunately, there is a way to figure it out.
If you’re hiking around Skagway and find something from the Klondike Gold Rush, that is an important relic. You should leave it alone and call someone from the Park Service or Skagway Museum to retrieve it so that it can be preserved. If you find something that isn’t very old, it’s just trash and you should throw it in the garbage.
Consider this scenario. You are hiking up AB Mountain and you find an old pickax from the Gold Rush. Wow. What an amazing discovery. You decide to take a few photos and when you get back to town, you send the photos to someone capable of retrieving it so that it can be preserved and revered for generations to come.
Now say you’re hiking up AB Mountain and you find a pickax that looks like it’s only 15 years old. That is just a stupid piece of garbage. Pick it up, take it back to town, and toss it in the trash. We don’t need litter on our trails!
But what if I’m reading this blog in 2119?
Good question. If the current year is 2119, then I am dead. However, 2019 is a long time ago, which means that stuff that is now considered garbage is actually quite important and valuable. If you find anything from 2019, you need to preserve it in a museum. Say you find that same pickax on the AB Trail, but now it’s 115 years old. You need to make sure it’s collected by a professional so it can be preserved as an important relic. Man, I sure hope that nobody found it 100 years ago or it would have been thrown away!
If you find the eyeglasses that I lost last month, make sure you put those in a museum and tell all of the tourists that I’ve been blind as a bat for the last 30 days. Strangely, my bowling game has improved since I lost those glasses.
You still haven’t answered my question, “What the heck is that thing?”
Hard to say. The thing in that picture looks like some sort of gear thing with a big lever. It’s located on the shore by the old Railroad Dock, so it’s probably some mechanism that was used to pull crap onto the shore from boats way back when littering wasn’t such a big deal. But it could have been a torture device for all I know.
Old stuff you come across in the woods is interesting because it’s not like the stuff we see every day. The big gears and giant lever are like something out of a movie, so it’s very interesting. If you come across a plastic water bottle, that’s not such a bid deal. But maybe someday it will be!
Just imagine a person walking around Skagway in 2367. They come across an old plastic water bottle and are mesmerized by its unusual shape and construction. They pick it up for a closer look, turn it around in their hands and say, “What the heck is that thing!?”