SANTA FE DUMPING
First off ,I like to thank Chris for his all his time and hard work that went into his editorship of the Rustlings and thebest of luck to Kevin Dooley for taking over this timeconsuming job. I was again in Los Alamos, New Mexico on business repairing some equipment from the fire here about a month ago. I had some free time , since after my evaluation ,itrequired ordering some parts overnight. I wanted to gocheck out an antique shop I knew of in Las Vegas , NewMexico. It was a couple hours drive away so off I went. I had finally got there only to find there were closed that day.Oh Well , as I was driving there I noticed the old highwaypretty much followed the new highway so I decided to check out some roadside pull offs to see if I could find somecans. Worst case I would enjoy the beautiful scenery. I was also heading in the direction of an old dump where my brother ,Ed , and I found some Cream Tops 20 years ago. I wanted to see if I could find this dump again. New Mexico was our old dumping ground and we found many agood cans here. I did do some roadside pull offs and sure enough there were plenty of old flat tops. They consisted of mainly national brands from the 50's and 60's with a fewsprinkles of regional brands like A-1 and Tivoli but the agejust wasn't there.
It was fun kicking around the surface cans but I decided it was time to move on again. I was near the area where Ithought the old dump was but couldn't locate the road itwas off of. It was time to head back to the main highway.On my way there some glistening of broken glass caughtmy eye. I pulled the car over and saw some rust in the woods. There was a cattle gate and since IT WASN'T POSTED I jumped the fence and scurried off. It was soon evident that there were piles of rust everywhere. I had happened upon an old landfill. The size of this dumping ground covered 2 acres at least. I saw every type of Coors flat tops everywhere. I could see this dump was bulldozed but around the trees it was apparent those cans werespared. Also at the edge of the dump the cans seemed to be unharmed as well. As I walked around this place I could tell it had the age I was looking for. I found a surface pile of quart cones. There were also Budweiser Ois lying around
too. I soon discovered some old xxxx New Mexico license plates. I also noticed the dump had been burned but not all of it. Dump burning is not uncommon in Northern New Mexico. But it seemed there was enough unburned areas to make it worthwhile. I was still in my work cloths and needed some to dig with. I went back to the car and headed to a 7-11 store I had seen down the road. I bought something to drink and a hand digger. What I needed was a 4 pronger but what would I do with it when it came time to board the plane? Besides the hand digger was only a buck and a quarter. At that time I also changed into jeansand a T-shirt. Furthermore I called and left a message on my brother's answering machine and told him about my whereabouts since no one would ha
ve known where I was had something happened to me.
I made it back to the dump but this time I entered though a second cattle gate and sure enough it opened up into another dumping ground as big as the first. What I did then was just scout around and just see how big this place was . I was looking for the big opener holes in the flat tops before I dug. It wasn't long before I was finding Pabst Ois and Pabst cans from the 40s. I did see that near the trees were virgin areas where the cans were buried in pine needles and were solid and had the paint. The soil verymuch reminded me of the same type of soil in the California Mountains…very soft and easy to dig. The altitude was about the same, 7500 feet above sea level. The soil was very much different that the soil at the Tommy's dump.Tommy's was pretty much sandy and the cans didn't holdup to well. Here it was more of a dirt and most of the cans were solid. I did take a tomato box while I was at the store so I could take a sampling of cans along the way. I had also bought a disposable camera so I could take pictures. This dump was predominantly all beer and oilcans. There was a great deal of surface rust and I was looking for areasthat had some depth.. I found that the edges of the dumpwere the older areas. I soon discovered low pro , invertedrib , flat bottom cones. I also found Blatz ale and Old Heidelberg cones but the condition was poor. I did pull out a decent 1930s Coors export. Digging near the trees I found a great spot to dig as the cans were pretty muchprotected. One of the first cans I uncovered was an Acmestein girl can in grade 2 condition. Digging a little more I came across some green Muelhebach cones too. I also found some oil cans which were coming out of the ground in great shape. Further down I found a pile of WaltersIRTP flats that had escaped the flames and the dozer. I soon unearthed some Kollers Topaz crown. I also pulledout a Coors Double aged that was a can in a can.The size of this dump was very overwhelming and intimidating for one person to dig. It was evident that there wasn't much digging I could do today and a return visit is a must Since I was going to have to come back ,I've invited
my crew of Scott xxxx, Mike xxxxx, John xxxxx and Rick xxxxx . Those guys live in Colorado and it's only a 4- hour drive for them to come down. They were also mypartners in crime at the Tommy's dump. It's going to take that many guys to rip it a new one and unearth the better cans. So my haul for a couple hours of scouting was about a case of cans. I grabbed some mystery cones and flats just to see what else was in here. It certainly was a pleasant surprise to find this dump because when the day started dumping was the furthest thing in my mind. As one Rusty Buncher used to say , he found the best dumps when he wasn't looking for them. By the time you read this we'll have had a chance to return so stay tuned for further updates.
Good Luck Dumping
SANTA FE DUMPING PART 2
From where I left off, I essentially found the old landfill of the town of Pecos, New Mexico. Pecos is just a stones throw from Santa Fe. I had little time to excavate it myself and due to its size, I would require some help. I had contacted my Colorado friends and fellow Rusty Bunchers, Scott xxxxx, Mike xxxxx, John xxxxx and Rick xxxxx. Having been told the dates they could not make it, I arranged a schedule where we all could make the trip. The box of cans I had taken home the first time were ratty and mostly mystery cans but I wanted to know what type of rust was on them. After soaking them even the worst can cleaned up enough to see what it was. The lo profile cones turned out to be Blatz and the flats were 30s-40s Coors and even an Acme from California.
The next month I found out I was going to be in New Mexico over a 2-week period for business. I picked the weekend in the middle for our dumping trip. We had planned on meeting around 10 am in the morning as they had a 4 hour drive to get there. We met at a prearranged spot and my drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe was uneventful. It had chosen to rain that night and all through the morning. It did quit by the time the fellas arrived but would make for a lot of mud. Now keep in mind, it hadn't rained for about a month until this day! But as it turned out, aside from the mud, it was a perfect day for dumping. The temperature was around 70 degrees and a nice breeze. That is uncommon for New Mexico in July. We then drove to a filling station so we could plan our insertion into the dumping grounds. It was off a busy road, for that area, and we didn't want to be seen. Scott and I drove the guys to the cattle gate where they dropped off the gear and hopped over the fence. Scott and I then drove back to the filling station. We dropped off the truck and then proceed to walk back. It was a 1/2 mile walk. When Scott and I arrived at the gate ourselves, we waited until the coast was clear and scurried over the fence and into the woods (but to grandmas house we didn't go!). A perfect insertion, the Green Berets would have been proud of us.
All of us started finding remnants of cans right away and I lead them over to the "staircase". This is where it looked like someone made a crude staircase down through the dump to the gully. Because of the rain it made digging a little more difficult because the once soft soil became like cement. We all dug in and although we were finding the older 30s cans the condition was not what we would like it to be. Lots of 30s Coors and Buds. A bottle digger would like this place as most of the bottles coming out of the ground were intact and not broken (although the age THEY like wasn't there). Rick and I were digging side by side and he said it reminded him of the time we dug together in Alaska at the infamous McCarthy dump. What was discouraging was we were 3 or 4 feet into the side of the dump and the cans down under were faded. What we later determined was it was probably a huge open landfill and probably bulldozed and covered up probably sometime in the 60's due to the amount of fade the early cans had on them. At that point of time we decided to spread out. Mike and I wandered up around the backside of the dump. As we were walking we found more 50s cans, mostly Walters and Coors. Mike and I then discovered a little area that had pine needles and wasn't burned. Digging in here we found some decent 30s Coors and a pretty nice Bud OI. I uncovered 30s Old Milwaukee with the house on it. We decided to go back and have the rest of the guys dig in an area that was a little more productive. It took awhile to find the place again but soon we all were digging in an unburned area. Rick had gone off to a little area on his own. He then said, "What is this can...Brewers Choice?" We all knew the Brewers Choice can from Utah was a fairly tough can and the remaining 4 of us pounced on his area. But it turned out it was Brewers BEST not choice, false alarm. Although the cans we were finding were not burnt, there just wasn't the quantity we were looking for. Again there lots of bottles, I found a cool-looking embossed bottle that had the ace of spades on it. We finished off the unburnt areas and decided we were probably through with this place. Scott and I uncovered 2 Schlitz flats USBC 129-15. Scott didn't have this can so that was a good thing. Our take was a couple hefty bags of cans and some bottles. What puzzled me was we didn't find one Manhattan brewing co can which is far from the norm in a 1930s New Mexico dump.
We then started the hike back to the vehicles. As I was walking back along the road, a hole appears in one of the bags I was carrying. I was dropping cans unknowingly until one of the guys pointed it out to me. Luckily the hole wasn't there for very long. We got back to the truck and ate lunch. Rick pulled out some funny colored pickled eggs, which I think I was the only other brave soul to eat one besides Rick. Because it was still early in the day, I thought maybe I could lead these guys to the old Cream Top dump. We checked the map and headed out in 2 vehicles.
We drove many a dirt road the rest of the day. Saw some great scenery and found some campgrounds but lots of people fishing everywhere we went. Never did find the old Cream Top dump. Funny how after 20 years ones memory gets a little fuzzy? We did get out and detect a little bit but found mostly 60s flats. They decided to spend the night and drive back to Colorado the next day. Since the Santa Fe Indian festival was going on, I directed them to drive to Las Vegas, New Mexico and spend the night there. It was an hour away in their direction back home. I said there's a couple of antique shops they could check out.
Before they left, we divided up the take, which wasn't much. I took home a few cans and some glass. I said my good-byes to them and headed back to Albuquerque that evening.
From what they told me later (maybe the could write something on the next day) they found some good breweriana at the antique shops. An A-1 thermometer and a Walter piece. They also hit the infamous Tommy's dump and walked down to the now dry reservoir. That was the natural location where washed down Black Eagles would be. They found cans but nothing they could read. When Scott cleaned the cans when he got home one of the mystery cones turned out to be a Century cone. All in All it wasn't the most productive trip but to spend the day with good friends and drink beer and even find some cans, it made it all good.