mystery pint-sized station wagon

When I first scouted this spot I noticed a small white station wagon about 100’ away in a clump of trees. I didn’t see any camping gear set out or anyone around it.

Based on styling cues I think it was a mid-90s Ford Escort wagon. It caught my eye because:

  1. they would be my nearest neighbor
  2. I think little wagons like this are overlooked by the cardweller community like minivans are in the vandweller community.

It’s a tidy package, copious room for a bed, and would likely get decent MPG. There was a factory rack for mounting solar or other stuff on top. Neato.

Didn’t see anyone for a few days and started to think it might be abandoned/dumped.

Muffin-enabled fly-by

Still no one near it a few days later. I needed to walk Muffin so we chose a path that would pass by the site. The car has no plates on it and had at least one flat.

Now I’m thinking it’s stolen or might have a dead body in it. D’oh! Muffin didn’t alert, and even though we weren’t close I assumed I’d be able to smell the decomp if present.

the Big Blue Barrel

This morning there was a 55gal blue plastic barrel standing next to the car. WHAT?!?!?! It definitely wasn’t there before, and I didn’t see anyone drop it off.

In the movies they dissolve bodies with lye in those barrels.

Muffin and I got closer for a photo in case LEOs needed it. We saw (and smelled) nothing in the car:


It was very clean inside. As in it had been cleaned. My alert level went from “aware” to “fully awake now”. What’s going on?

a partial answer

Just now I heard a sound and looked up; a pickup was attending the car and they’d got it running. Sounds like there’s a cracked exhaust manifold.

One of the participants danced a frenetic jig then loaded up the empty barrel. Danced another jig, then hopped in the car. Both vehicles drove off with the wagon driver applying squirrely inputs while tailgaiting the pickup on the dirt road. I suspect our wagon driver likes to dabble in the pharmacological arts and applies his surplus energy to detailing the interior.

Still no idea what the barrel was for.


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