Bomb Scare on Mount Pinos

  • A pile of rocks sat, hardly noticed, on a ridge on Mount Pinos for 18 months. But when a military ammunition case was unexpectedly spotted on Friday, Feb. 11 at about noon, Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Benson called in to say a live grenade had been found in such a box a few years ago in Lebec. So the Kern County Bomb Squad was called out from Bakersfield and the Kern County Roads Department was called in to block the road to Mount Pinos. [Hedlund Photo/ The Mountain Enterprise]

    Image 1 of 5
    A pile of rocks sat, hardly noticed, on a ridge on Mount Pinos for 18 months. But when a military ammunition case was unexpectedly spotted on Friday, Feb. 11 at about noon, Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Benson called in to say a live grenade had been found in such a box a few years ago in Lebec. So the Kern County Bomb Squad was called out from Bakersfield and the Kern County Roads Department was called in to block the road to Mount Pinos. [Hedlund Photo/ The Mountain Enterprise]

  • A pile of rocks sat, hardly noticed, on a ridge on Mount Pinos for 18 months. But when a military ammunition case was unexpectedly spotted on Friday, Feb. 11 at about noon, Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Benson called in to say a live grenade had been found in such a box a few years ago in Lebec. So the Kern County Bomb Squad was called out from Bakersfield and the Kern County Roads Department was called in to block the road to Mount Pinos. [Brandon Carroll photo/ special to The Mountain Enterprise]

    Image 2 of 5
    A pile of rocks sat, hardly noticed, on a ridge on Mount Pinos for 18 months. But when a military ammunition case was unexpectedly spotted on Friday, Feb. 11 at about noon, Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Benson called in to say a live grenade had been found in such a box a few years ago in Lebec. So the Kern County Bomb Squad was called out from Bakersfield and the Kern County Roads Department was called in to block the road to Mount Pinos. [Brandon Carroll photo/ special to The Mountain Enterprise]

  • A pile of rocks sat, hardly noticed, on a ridge on Mount Pinos for 18 months. But when a military ammunition case was unexpectedly spotted on Friday, Feb. 11 at about noon, Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Benson called in to say a live grenade had been found in such a box a few years ago in Lebec. So the Kern County Bomb Squad was called out from Bakersfield and the Kern County Roads Department was called in to block the road to Mount Pinos. [Hedlund Photo for The Mountain Enterprise]

    Image 3 of 5
    A pile of rocks sat, hardly noticed, on a ridge on Mount Pinos for 18 months. But when a military ammunition case was unexpectedly spotted on Friday, Feb. 11 at about noon, Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Benson called in to say a live grenade had been found in such a box a few years ago in Lebec. So the Kern County Bomb Squad was called out from Bakersfield and the Kern County Roads Department was called in to block the road to Mount Pinos. [Hedlund Photo for The Mountain Enterprise]

  • A robot with a water cannon was deployed to blast the ammo case. Nothing exploded. What popped out was childrens toys. The note inside the lid of the ammo box said: Geocache­­­­—Please Read. CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve found a geo-cache. It’s part of a worldwide game using GPS units. There are more than 300,000 caches all over the world. We hide these and find others. If you found it by accident—welcome to a cool sport. Join the fun on the web www.geocaching.com. It’s free! Please sign the log and, if you want, make a trade. Don’t vandalize or steal this cache... [the rest of the note is obliterated from the water cannon’s explosion].

    Image 4 of 5
    A robot with a water cannon was deployed to blast the ammo case. Nothing exploded. What popped out was childrens toys. The note inside the lid of the ammo box said: Geocache­­­­—Please Read. CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve found a geo-cache. It’s part of a worldwide game using GPS units. There are more than 300,000 caches all over the world. We hide these and find others. If you found it by accident—welcome to a cool sport. Join the fun on the web www.geocaching.com. It’s free! Please sign the log and, if you want, make a trade. Don’t vandalize or steal this cache... [the rest of the note is obliterated from the water cannon’s explosion].

  • Brandon Carroll with Kern County Roads Department found the Mount Pinos geocache site at www.geocaching.org. Carroll, from Lebec, said that he and his children often go out with other Mountain Community families to discover geocaches stashed by others involved with the sport. [Hedlund photo for The Mountain Enterprise]

    Image 5 of 5
    Brandon Carroll with Kern County Roads Department found the Mount Pinos geocache site at www.geocaching.org. Carroll, from Lebec, said that he and his children often go out with other Mountain Community families to discover geocaches stashed by others involved with the sport. [Hedlund photo for The Mountain Enterprise]

By Patric Hedlund

An ammunition case covered by rocks was discovered at the Sierra Vista turnout, not far from the Buena Vista parking lot on Mount Pinos about noon on Friday, Feb. 11. Kern County Sheriff’s Deputies were alerted. Deputy Dave Benson called to say he’d found a live grenade in such an ammo case in Lebec a few years ago. The KCSO decided it was suspicious. The bomb squad was summoned from Bakersfield. They deployed a robot with a water cannon to explode any incendiary material within the case.

No explosion occurred. What popped out were some children’s toys, a notebook signed by 18 previous discoverers of the stash, and a note beginning, “Congratulations, you have found a geocache!” [That' s pronounced 'Gee-O-Cash'.]

Brenda Graham from Antelope Valley Bank says her family enjoys the sport. Brandon Carroll of Lebec, who works with the Kern County Roads Department, knew all about it. Lance Borgrstrom wrote a note to The Mountain Enterprise implying that the Kern County Sheriff’s Office is a little behind in its knowledge of popular recreational activities for families on the mountain. He said there are 210 caches within 15 miles of Frazier Park, and that there are now “1,294,631 active geocaches around the world.” Interested? Grab your GPS and go to www. geocaching.org to play.

The note inside the lid of the ammo case explained it all: Geocache­­­­—Please Read. CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve found a geo-cache. It’s part of a worldwide game using GPS units. There are more than 300,000 caches all over the world. We hide these and find others. If you found it by accident—welcome to a cool sport. Join the fun on the web www.geocaching.com. It’s free! Please sign the log and, if you want, make a trade. Don’t vandalize or steal this cache… [the rest of the note is obliterated from the water cannon’s explosion].

This is part of the February 18, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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