It seems like every year I do this thing where I reflect on my adventures of the year before and lay out goals for the one to come.
It's possible people are bored with that, but with the snow on the ground and ice on the lakes, I'm just really antsy for some good, old-fashioned treasure hunts. We still have a long way to go, but I am dying to get out.
Last year was one heck of a year for "treasure" hunting. I did more metal detecting and diving than I have probably ever done, not to mention magnet fishing. Though much of what I uncovered wasn't necessarily valuable, it was still immensely exciting for me.
I started last year magnet fishing before the ice went out. That's probably how I will start this year as well.
With my magnet I was able to retrieve someone's Snap On wrench for them. I also found goodies for myself, including ratchets, pliers and wrenches, fishing gear, camp chairs and four fishing rods ranging from two 1980s Mickey Mouse rods to a $200 St. Croix rod and reel combo.
I found those rods all on the same dock, along with other great finds. Someone there attempted to hire me to find a cell phone they dropped in the water, but much to my surprise, when I tried to dive with my metal detector I found that the weeds just below the surface are at least 15 feet tall and as thick as grass on a lawn. The deeper I dove, the darker it got, but that didn't matter because the curtain of weeds on my mask kept me from seeing anyway.
If I acquire a wet suit and act fast I might be able to return to that spot with my dive gear and detector early in the spring before the dock is installed and the weeds take over. I was told of two other phones and a wallet dropped there, and with any luck I can return some working SD cards. I'll bet I also haven't recovered all the dropped fishing gear there.
Diving was more successful elsewhere last year. I helped recover a diamond ring even though I had problems with basically all of my equipment and had to hobble something together on the fly. I also recovered an anchor - well, two if you count the homemade paint can anchor. I was looking for a completely different anchor at the time, so I'll be returning there before the weeds set in.
As for above ground metal detecting, my finds display that has hung on my wall for years went from one lonely 1970s pocket knife to containing an earring, a very nice fake ring, a 50 year old brass lipstick tube, a matchbox airplane (which might have been mine as a child), a 100 year old pocket watch and a 102 year old silver plated spoon, among others.
I have yet to find a single silver coin. That's on my bucket list for the year, as is a harmonica reed. My sister beat me while I showed her the ropes metal detecting and found her own pair of harmonica reeds. Some real jewelry with real gems and precious metals are also on my list, though some militaria would be nice too.
Here's to another exciting year. Now we just have to get past all this snow.
Travis Grimler may be reached at 218-855-5853 or email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Travis.