It’s a strange, strange world we live in my friends.  Frequently we encounter things that defy explanation, even if you are sporting a slightly twisted sense of humor.  I just can’t get my head around some stuff, no matter how hard I try.  Today’s post features such a thing.  Or pair of things, to be precise.

Over the summer we did a short 2 part photoblog series highlighting a ghost town here on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada called Paldi.  Rich in history for our local area, this ghost town is almost now completely gone and very little remains of what once was a burgeoning community.  Our original 2 part series can be found at “Paldi the Ghost Town: Part 1” and “Paldi the Ghost Town: Part 2“.

This expedition was one that Mrs. Toad and I undertook in the middle of the summer.  Once we posted our series on it, our best friends the Mudpuppies mentioned that they would like to check this out and we formed a plan to head back as a group for a follow-up.

From the satellite view online, it really looked like we had missed some really great stuff, in the form of buildings and facilities.  This struck us as highly odd because when we were there, we truly believed we had captured all there was to capture of this tiny place.  But the satellite views told a different story…  so we headed back.

Abandoned Suitcase - Paldi - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Abandoned Suitcase - Paldi - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

We found nothing.  Well, not exactly nothing…  just almost nothing.  Remnants of those who once lived here.

What have we here?  An enigma wrapped in a riddle.  I can hear everyone shouting, “what’s inside the suitcase, Toad?”.  Uh-uh, no way.  There is no way in the Wide World of Sports that anyone is opening this thing to see what’s inside.  Some bells can’t be unrung, some lessons can’t be unlearned…  and once the proverbial Pandora’s box is opened, there’s no stuffing that Genie back into it.

Given human natures propensity to get rid of problems by cutting them up into smaller pieces and shoving them into suitcases just like this to discard on the side of a road, there’s no telling what’s in here.  And it very well may be highly distasteful.  Given that we all just had lunch, and when we found this artifact we all stood around it for 5 minutes looking at each other…  there is no way we were going to crack it open for a peek.  It just simply wasn’t going to happen.

What do you think is in it?

Abandoned Shoe - Paldi - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Abandoned Shoe - Paldi - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Huh?  What’s this?  You took a picture of a green vine?  No, my good friend, no I would never do that…  look close…  look closer…  closer still.  Yep, there’s a sneaker in there.

OK, now I’ve got a few questions.  Who wouldn’t notice that they are down one sneaker?  Have you seen discarded underwear left about?  We have, in various places.  I always ponder myself a question there; wouldn’t you notice that you came to the party with undies on, and left without ’em?  The only thing stranger than that would be to lose one shoe.  Seriously, wouldn’t you notice this?  As you were walking down the road going “pfft, flit, pfft, flit?”  So, from this point forward let’s call the person who lost this shoe “Hoppy” shall we?

I think that this picture is a testament to sneaker manufacturers.  Full of moss and nearly completely enveloped in the surrounding vegetation, the actual shoe itself looks like it’s in remarkable condition, doesn’t it?

These artifacts were all that we found that afternoon, although the gift of the underlying mystery has been something we’ve enjoyed since.

What a strange world we live in.

Thanks for popping by for a visit today, everyone, we really appreciate it!  As always, please feel free to leave us any comments you may have as we truly love to hear from all our visitors!!




  1. avatar Kerri says:

    What a GREAT post Mr Toad!!
    PS – you should have opened the suitcase….. you may have found the other sneaker 😉

    • *smacks forehead* OH MY GOODNESS, OF COURSE!! Next time out on one of these adventures, we’re gonna bring you along, my friend! You will have the official title of “Chief Thinker”! LOL Thank you so, so much for your visit and most wonderful comments today, Kerri, I laughed and laughed here! 😀

  2. I loved the original series Toad and this is a neat follow up. During various explores I have encountered various discarded items of clothing and suitcases and you know what?
    I’ve never been tempted to open one of them.

  3. Gracious. I am practically KILLING myself over here trying to find vintage suitcases for a decorating project and there you go finding one in like the oddest of places. *sigh* that’s my luck for ya 🙁

    • LOL Well, first, thanks for the visit and comments Heather! Second; I am pretty certain no matter what kind of project you’re working on (and with your latest project regarding interior design and such, I am REALLY certain) that this is not the suitcase for you, my friend. If I thought it was, even for a brief second, I’d go get it and ship it to you. I have no idea how much extra weight is in there, nor what it IS.. does FedEx need to know about the actual contents??

  4. avatar newd7000user says:

    Toad, I marvel at your ability to resist! Of course if it had been me maybe I’d be in therapy right now so I will use your experience as a reminder to check my curiosity against reason when the situation arrives. 🙂 I’m really loving that shot of the shoe! I was enjoying the green and texture of it when the contrast of red on black pulled me out of the moment and demanded me to resolve the shape of an shoe overgrown with beautiful moss. It really is amazing how pristine the shoe still looks as the pair I’m wearing right now are quite the worse for wear even though they get to sleep inside at night…

    Great post my friend, have a great weekend!

    Howard

    • Hiya Howard, what awesome comments!!! 😀 You make me smile a smile a mile wide here with your thoughts, my friend! Thank you so very kindly for taking the time to pop by and for leaving us with these fabulous thoughts, it really means an awful lot to us!!

  5. avatar Viveca Koh says:

    I sometimes see single shoes lying about on the streets and have wondered exactly the same thing as you Toad – how can these people not notice they are down to one? Great shots again, showing that nature will always reclaim everything in the end.

  6. avatar Eden says:

    Lol I can see your point about the suitcase….lovely color in these. Have a great weekend!

  7. avatar ehpem says:

    Toad – given what has been washing up on Salish Sea beaches for the past few years, its the running shoe I would have been avoiding!
    It looks like it could be really recent, except so much has already covered it up. If you were an archaeologist, you might be tempted to “date” the shoe from its style and calculate Mother Nature’s rate of reclamation.

    • LOL! More great comments!! This is great stuff, my friend! I was thinking about the whole “foot in a shoe” thing that we’ve all heard so much about up here lately when we did this shoot. Needless to say, I didn’t take a super close look for those obvious reasons! I left my carbon dating machine at home today, so I can’t do any extended forensic work on the aforementioned shoe. I guess we’ll have to leave it all up to everyone’s imagination!! 🙂

  8. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    Lovely post Toad! I really want to know what’s in that suitcase! 🙂 Maybe another time you and Mrs. Toad can venture up there again with the Mudpuppies, and open it reeeeaaaally carefully!:)

    • The only way we’ll open that case, Rachel is if you come with us! We’ll drop you off at the suitcase, with a long stick.. then we’ll head our way to the local pub for a pint of something delicious and await to hear your results!! We won’t leave you stranded, of course, we’ll come pick you back up after you open the case. 🙂

  9. So here’s my theory…the owner of the sneaker actually opened the suitcase and the sneaker was all that was left of them. OMG…I watch to much television 🙂 Great story and shots Toad.

    • That’s it! From now on I’m gonna call you “CSI Edith”!! LOL Ha! Great comments here, Edith, thanks so much for popping by and having some much needed fun with everyone here at The Hollow!

  10. I don’t know Toad, I think I would of had to open that suitcase! My curiosity would have got the best of me for sure! Might have been a million dollars in there. It’s always interesting what you can find someplace. Very cool post!

    • The odds of that suitcase having a million dollars in it in comparison to the odds of containing one severed head are slim, my friend! But, as you mention, we’ll never know!! Thanks so very much for popping by here Michael, and for your wonderful comments! It really means a lot to us!

  11. avatar Mike says:

    Hey there my friend. Great write up and images to go with it. Thanks for leaving us with a nice cliffhanger! *grrrr* I would have opened it!! Of course, I’m kind of twisted that way….

  12. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Super images Toad. I probably would have looked in the suitcase though. Your ability to write prose is second to none. I don’t think I could hold a candle to you about describing the sneaker.

  13. Nice shots and story Toad. My guess is that the suitcase holds a secret formula for manufacturing indestructable sneakers.

  14. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Bah, this is gunna drive me crazy. Now I wanna know what was in that case. It was prob just dust, but still… 🙂

  15. avatar Jim Nix says:

    wow Toad once again your little adventures result in some fun, excellent and interesting photos!

  16. avatar Rick says:

    Good story telling, Toad! I still want to see what’s in the suitcase! LOL!

  17. Very interesting story :)! People lose very strange things. In the excursion that you’ve seen before in my blog I found a jeans!!! How anybody could lose his jeans in middle of the forest? Oh… I prefer don’t ask xD!

    Thank you so much for your comments :)! The destruction of natural areas is very sad. Usually humans are guilty, but sometimes parasites, bugs or other natural causes are the reason of it.

    In my case, I think the wind was the main factor. The wood was “protesting”. By other hand, that area was reforested: It’s affected by a desertification process, with landslides. I think trees there are not too much fixed.

    • Thanks for your visit here, my friend! I really enjoyed your set of photos on the blog. I, too, find it very strange when people lose what would seem to me to be obvious bits of clothing . Especially when you’re prancing around outside in the middle of winter, wouldn’t you notice that you’re half exposed to the elements? These are definitely things that make me wonder. Thanks again for your kind visit and comments, my friend!

  18. avatar Adam Allegro says:

    Oh man, I must have missed this one. You now have me pondering and kicking myself as to what was in the suitcase. I would have opened it, but then I tend to do first and think later. Many times it has kicked me in the ass, but sometimes it is pleasantly surprising. Well done once again Toad 🙂

    • I really think given the location of this suitcase the odds would have been a bit on the “unpleasant” side of things, my friend! LOL We really are enjoying all the feedback we’ve gotten from everyone on this post, it seems the mystery has left many with as many questions as we managed to answer here! Thanks so much Adam, best wishes to you and your family my friend!