On June 15 I received a phone call from Illinois resident, Hugh Rider. He was adjusting a boat cover on his dock at his cottage on Delavan Lake, Wisconsin, when a bee stung his hand. Instinctively, he shook his arm away from the offending pest, only to see his gold wedding ring fly and bounce off the dock into the lake. It was like adding insult to injury—a bad dream in slow motion.
After a 45-minute drive, I arrived at the picturesque lake. The area has been a vacation destination since 1878. Today, cottages dot its shoreline. Hugh arrived shortly after I did and together, we made our way to the boat dock. Once in the neck-deep water I first encountered aquatic plants. Such plants can be problematic for a detectorist as the foliage wraps itself around the coil and stem. But it was the historical evidence of cottagers going back over 100 years that presented the bigger challenge. There were the remains of concrete moorings with reinforcing iron, pipes, chain, bolts, screws and cans. But somewhere amongst all the ferrous metal was a precious gold wedding band. It would require all of my 40-plus years of metal-detecting experience to decipher that signal amidst the ferrous “roar.”
After what seemed like a lot of trial and error, Hugh’s ring finally gave up its hiding place and appeared in my scoop! Mission accomplished!
Hugh was delighted, of course, to have his wedding band back on his hand. And his smile tells the rest of the story.