After having read the latest Rustlings and postings in the Newsroom, I was envious of all the great dumping that has been taking place by fellow Rusty Bunchers. It was time for a return trip to Brad xxxxx’s neck of the woods, Taos, New Mexico. Taos is nice little resort community elevation 7000+ feet and about 2 and ½ hours north of Albuquerque. Famous for skiing but also for the Rio Grande gorge with a bridge of a 650 foot drop and 1000 feet long. The original “bridge to nowhere”! A couple months ago I had written a story on the last trip up there with mixed results, found lots of cans but the condition was hurting. We wanted to get back ASAP but we could never get our schedules in sync. We also knew we couldn’t delay too much longer as Mother Nature was going to start to move against us. Being it was already December,there wasn’t much snow up there yet. That’s certainly was in our favor but that could change at a moments notice. Last time it was Brad, newbie Scott xxxxx and myself. Scott couldn’t make it this time due to a matter that had to be removed from his body. So Benny xxxxxx joined us.
Benny and I got off to a late start. We told Brad 9am and didn’t arrive until 10 mostly due to a delay at Mickey D’s, seems like they were giving all the food away that day. I had lost Brad’s cell number so I couldn’t call him and tell him of the delay. Brad, being ex-military, has a saying, “if you’re on time, you’re late!” Well we were really overdue then! We oogled his collection especially all the low pros cones he decided to collect since the last time we were up there and then it was off to the woods. In between the last time we went dumping and this time, Brad had located a couple of dumps, one was almost exclusively oil cans and another contained 6 oz soda cone tops and a boatload of bottle caps. The coolest of the bottle caps were Brewers Best. So that’s where we were heading first. There are numerous dirt roads crisscrossing all over the place. On the way to the oil can dump we saw one of these dirt roads and decided to give it a run. We had gone a ways back but weren’t seeing any rust so we decided to turn around and go another direction. As Brad is making the turn he eyes an old rusty can. He exits the truck to check it out and it’s a 30s Coors waterfall can. Ok so maybe we should keep going! It was an omen from the can gods. So we keep heading down the road and after a few turns Brad sees rust off to his side. We all get out and grab our hoes and start digging. I found this all black can where all I could see was the seam and keglined strip. I’m thinking black Acme? Then Brad finds another black can and it’s a Black Label USBC 38-10. Not a super can but condition looked good. We are finding numerous other cans of that era, Hamms and Pabst. Benny had ventured down the road and starts yelling, “ Come here come here! I found the mother lode”. We look over and he has a Bud OI in his hand.
About 20 yards from where Brad and I were digging, Benny had indeed found the mother lode dump. It was probably 20 yards long and down the side of a hill. Benny starts “instructing” us to start at one side and work our way across. Lots of coffee and food cans at this dump. The cool thing about this was everything had color! I join in on Benny’s side where he had found the Budweiser. He starts pulling out more. I then spot a white can on top. What is this, I ponder to myself. It’s an Acme Bock USBC 28-33. But all the red was faded on this one. WOW never dumped one of those before. Then Benny pulls out a beautiful one with color. Then more Bud OI s. Then he hits a vein of Acme bocks. As he’s pulling them out he says, Acme bock, Acme bock, Acme bock “ then finds a Schlitz can and says “dirty Schlitz” and throws it over his shoulder. It cracked me up especially the way he said it. Reminded me of a scene from the 3 stooges where they have a wad of 100 dollar bills and are counting them, 100, 200, 300 then hit a 50 dollar bill and throw that away (but then jump after it!). Another unusual can for New Mexico that Brad had unearthed a Carling Red Cap ale USBC 119-25 with fantastic color. It had one fade spot. We had boxes with us where we were placing all our treasures. Not only beer cans but various food tins, pop bottles (a cool one with a running waiter on it) and other misc bottles. We dug for quite a while but only could get half of it as the ground was frozen in places. I went back to where we were finding the Acme bocks and dug for a little while and uncovered a coffee can that had 2 cans in it. One can on the inside the coffee tin was a Mazola oil can and I could tell the other was a beer can. Dollar to donuts I told Brad and Benny it’s an Acme bock. I peaked inside and saw the white seam and I was right! How many times does it turn out to be a Pabst or Bud? Man I was stoked. It was wedged in there and I didn’t dare try to take it out for fear of scrathing the heck out of it. I waited until we got home and then used tin snips to cut the coffee can to get to the Acme can. We had found about 6 of the Acme bocks but also Acme USBC 28-15. I took the stash to the truck and wrapped each Acme bock in newspaper. This had to be a dump from an old diner or something, as there was tons of coffee cans , juice cans, cans of lunch meat, Vienna sausages. I kept this cool looking Motts apple juice can. Another collection I got going in my garage. If you follow the road past the dump it made a switch back around behind the dump. Brad went looking back there and found some Goetz Country Club cones and one Mitchells IRTP but they were exposed to the elements. Funny thing was the Bud Ois were found sided by side with the Acme bocks. At first I thought they were the non-Oi type but sure enough, they had instructions on them. It was also a mixture of IRTP cans like Walters and Tivolis and non-IRTP like Hamms, A-1 , Pabst and the Carling cans. Certainly a return trip is in order but we must now wait until spring. We had a great outing already but it was still early in the day and had other places to check.
It was off to the oil can dump. How Brad had found this one I don’t know. There was barely a two track visible from the road but he saw it. We parked the truck and headed down the road ½ mile and there it was. Actually there 3 or 4 different piles of cans, loaded with oil cans. I could date the pile because one sided non-IRTP Coors flat tops were in there as well. Brad doesn’t save oil cans, so he let Benny and me have at it. Again condition was great. Benny and I took about a dozen each, we were kind of picky on condition since they were so good. I save oil cans because like beer cans they can have cool graphics. I have about 100 in my garage. Brad had ventured down the road and was digging in a small pile of Bud and Pabst Ois but for some reason the condition was shot. Why couldn’t the oil cans be trashed and the beer cans in decent shape? We gathered our booty and it was off to another area.
We were back on the road where we had rummaged through the old bar last time we were up here. We past our previous haunt and found another road that would take us back into town. Again we found another dirt road veering off to one side so we followed that. We found rust but more like our last trip we much of it was exposed. Benny found a little spot under some trees that had Bulldog stouts and Country Club malt liquors that had color but that was it. Since we had done so well we decided to call it a day and head back to Brad’s and then back home. Man, had Brad not spied that one lone can, we would have not been as successful as we were. Until next time….Cheers Dan