Once while fishing, an Old hippie dude kept walking out of the woods and crossing the stream with a full burlap sack full of some not legal plant. This happened about 3 times, then I left. Saw a state trooper down the road, filled him in.
Another time while hunting jackrabbits, saw some crackheads show up to an empty burned out trailer out in the middle of nowhere. They didnt stick around too long. I think they realized they were far outgunned by the 3 of us :)
Once I was hiking with my brother, out in the middle of a local greenbelt (band of forest surrounded by subdivisions) and we walked right into a pot grow. They had it in the silt just off a stream, and there were really nice tools (likely stolen from the nearby construction sites) just sitting around rusting. We got out of there fast.

Another time I found an old stone house. Maybe 8x10, single room with a fireplace. only the bottom four feet or so were left and I assume the rest had been wood that had rotted away or been taken for firewood. It looked to have been around 150 years old. After that it became a regular stop along my hikes, until some crackheads found it and used the rocks to build a fort. That was a sad waste.
...shot at for stumbling across pot growers.
...shot at for stumbling across poachers.
...shot at for being on "someone's turf" on public land.

Once found a very rusty, turn of the century S&W grown into some sage brush. It turned out to be something the police were VERY interested in. :(

Routinely find evidence of poaching. (I guess that isn't strange, though, if it is a common occurrence.)

Once found a "bomb shelter" that turned out to be a Studebaker sedan, buried and encased in concrete. (If you have to go; go in style, I guess.)

Once heard two men having a conversation at the bottom of a 300 ft deep mine shaft ...that had been closed 30 years prior.

Once saw a coyote come out of a dead cow's fecal factory. (Okay, just the coyote's head; but still...) I didn't bother shooting it.

I could go on forever. I love the desert, and visit regularly. And... I believe in a simple idea my grandfather taught me:
Don't just pass through an area; observe it.
Covering 100 sq mile of desert is easy. Noticing what is in that 100 sq mi is a different story. :D
Well if you guys want a good scary story, I got more than a few of them... But here's one of the creepier ones.

Just a little background, I grew up in and around southern california, I spent plenty of summers out in 29 Palms.

Well, one time we went a different place.. out near El Mirage dry lake. We had gone out for a day of offroading, shooting and all kinds of the normal stuff you do out in the desert. As it was starting to get dark, we were convoying back to camp, about 5-6 miles, it was a full moon night, so we were driving without headlights, just giving us a chance to see where we are going without blinding all the other drivers.

Anyways, when we were still a few miles away from camp, one of the people in a different vehicle noticed something off to the right and made a radio call about it... it was a figure, a large figure running through the darkness at some distance. Despite the moonlight, the figure was completely black. More concerning still, we were driving nearly 40 miles an hour, and the figure was keeping pace with us.

With a mix of concern and panic, we sped up, but still the figure kept pace. One of the guys in a different vehicle pulled out his pistol and took a single shot in the direction of the figure, and the figure simply stopped, in maybe 1 or 2 steps. We continued on our hurried pace back to camp, packed up and havn't been back since.

I've seen some strange things in the desert, but this one takes the cake. I'll post some other stories later.
Man, that is creepy! I don't think I've had any encounters out in the woods come to think of it.

I sure love hearing about others' though!
Was hiking around signal peak outside Silver city NM. Came across a big cow head at ground levle. I poked it with a stick and its eyes poped open and screamed at me! It was a steer standing in an old cistern full of murky water. All that showed was its head. I tell ya when it oooooood at me i freaked as my body was running away. Later we cleaned the area and fenced it for our use at the cabin.
Anyone have any updates to this thread? :)

Not really, I've been maybe getting too old and cynical. I've been doing a fair amount of solo camping (something that used to kinda freak me out in my younger days) and I've just been very DNGAF.

I've been trying to find more weird stuff, but just haven't seen much lately. Most of my trips to/from WA have been on the back-side via I-395, which compared to I-5 is a really nice road. Sure the CA portions are all screwed up, but the NV/OR/WA parts are in great shape. I have a number of different routes I've been taking, most of the time I'll do LA->Bishop and then I'll take Route 6 into NV and meet up with 95, which goes through Hawthorne NV (which is a recommended stop BTW, check out the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum). From there I can either cut west and get into Carson City/Reno (kinda've a back-track) or I can keep headed north, go through Winnemucca, and head either through Idaho or through Burns. Mostly it depends on the weather.

I kinda scared the crap out of myself last time I was headed down. I cut from LaPine over to Valley Falls (I-395) and caught a snow-storm. It was a very-much sub-optimal time, and with a little bit of luck, I cruised in to the truck stop in Lakeview and was able to crash out in my jeep for the night. The roads in that area are not very forgiving, and on both sides had steep shoulders going into the ditch. Crashing out ASAP was high on my list of things to do.

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