Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Buried Treasure

Squirrel Trap?
At 54 years of age, I finally found my passion.  My son is about to graduate high school and hasn't a vague idea of what he wants to do in his life.  Until recently, I hadn't figured that out myself.  Now that I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, in a super energy efficient home which is in no way complete, I find that all I want to do, every day, until it's too dark to see, is to play in the dirt.

I am digging for buried treasure!  One of my favorite friends, a man who I respect, admire and also work for gave me an awesome Christmas bonus.  I took that bonus and for the first time in a long time, did something totally selfish with it.  I spent it on myself!  I went online to craigslist and found an awesome deal on a metal detector.  I had borrowed one briefly last fall and played with it for about an hour.  Once I had my own detector in hand, I couldn't wait for the snow to melt so I could get started.

What is this?  It is solid brass.
There is quite a learning curve with metal detectors.  Each type is different.  There are cheap ones and very expensive ones.  Some go in the water and some don't.  Mine is a White's MXT Series E and is fairly complicated and I am learning as I go.  The best approach for me is trial and error.  I did read the manual and I will read it again and again, but there is nothing more rewarding that getting out there and digging in the dirt and finding treasure.

I sound like I am getting rich.  Getting rich has NOTHING to do with it.  I am getting rich in the land, in being outside, in sunshine, in discovering the past.  Every single item that comes from the ground has a history, a story.  This property definitely has a past.  I am starting to think it was a junk yard.  It wasn't really.  It was settled in a time and place where you didn't go to the dump to get rid of your trash,  Transfer Stations were unheard of.  People left their garbage behind or created a "dump" on their own property (or their neighbor's if they could get away with it).

Our property is teaming with "stuff".  It's not a garbage dump, I don't have evidence of a pile of garbage.  But after five days of playing with my new machine, I have discovered quite a array of interesting 'treasures'.
No idea
We know there was a school here.  It's on the internet!  We all know you can't put anything on the internet that isn't true.  :)  Also, the foundation of the school is still present, along with the well.  So far, the only possible school related stuff I have found is a belt buckle and a button.  Oh, and a lot of nails.

Otherwise, I am teaming in iron products.  The first and my best find which hooked me immediately was a complete trap which I found at the base of a tree.  Probably a squirrel trap because it's not very big, about four inches across.  You should have seen me sifting through the wet mud and pulling it out piece by piece.  I felt like a kid at Christmas.
Bullet I dug out of a buried log.

Following the trap, I've dug up tractor parts, a U joint, nuts, bolts, rods, a wedge or spike, tin cans, flat tin, brass from bullets and the bullets themselves.  Daniel came out Sunday and dug up a giant bolt and washer.  These finds are random.  There are "hits" all over the place.  I think I could dig right here for years and still not find everything.

Random exploring last summer revealed three different wagons remains on the property.  I wonder why, who built them, was there a wagon shop here?  What kind of people lived here?  Who were the kids that went to the school?  Are their families still living in the area?  Maybe I should have been a detective!

I have a side story for you.  Recently I put my game cameras out.  Two days ago while detecting, I discovered that my south camera batteries were dead.  So yesterday I took fresh batteries out to the camera, but forgot the film (memory card).  I thought of going back, but I got carried away looking for treasure.  So I decided to wait until today.

Well, shame on me.  We were sitting in the living room having a bowl of soup last night when I shouted to Don and Daniel, "Elk!"  There were seven elk cows heading across the south of our property toward the creek and of course, my camera (with no film)!  It was a rare treat for us.  We have been watching the elk up on the mountain through the binoculars for a week, but this group decided to visit.  The deer were already out the west window and joined them.  It was a sight very few get to see, even in our neighborhood.

I did grab my camera and took some pictures from the upstairs window.  But I was peeved at myself for missing the opportunity on my game camera.  I must remember that not all 'treasure' is buried!  

No comments:

Post a Comment