On October 31, 2018, I received an email from Drew. On October 3, 2018, he and his wife were travelling the Icefield Parkway, that runs through Banff and Jasper National Parks, in western Alberta.
Shortly after they entered Jasper National Park, they were hit with a blizzard and an incredible amount of snow. They had to sit in their S.U.V. for 3 hours, until the storm settled down. They managed to move ahead for about 3 kms (2 miles) but, again, they had to pull off on the shoulder of the highway. It was then, that Drew’s wife stepped out of the S.U.V. into mid-thigh deep snow. She began to brush the snow off her pants, and suddenly felt her wedding ring slip off her finger and into the snow.
After 2 hours of a futile search, digging with a windshield scrapper, in minus 12 degree C temperature (plus 10 F), they gave up. Emotions were extremely high. Drew’s wife, knowing her precious 1ct. diamond, with 60 smaller diamonds, was within inches, not to be found. She had to leave it behind.
After they returned home, Drew’s wife was the one who found The Ring Finders website. She told Drew about it, which he paid very little heed to, but looked it up later; without her knowing so.
He found, I was the closest ring finder to the National Parks, at that time. He had bought a metal detector and was secretly making plans to return to the location and search. In his email, all he was asking for was any possible advice that would aid in his search.
I had replied that Jasper National Park was 300 kms (for Jim, that’s 200 miles) from my place, and I would be willing to search. All I asked was to cover fuel expenses. Drew was more than happy that I would help out.
A few emails back and forth, I finally asked Drew, where he lived. He replied St. Louis Missouri,, home of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and the St. Louis Blues hockey team. I told him I am more of an Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames fan, but have always been a Cardinals fan.
Again, a few emails later, Drew asked me, who my all time favorite Cardinal player was or is? I said, No question, number 20 Lou Brock!
Later we decided to do a search for June 1, 2019. I was sure the snow pack would be melted by then. As it turned out, I was only 50% correct. On the other side of the road, from our search location, the snow was still approx. 2 feet deep.
Drew flew to Calgary on May 31, and rented a car. On Saturday June 1, at approx. 10:30 am we met at the location. It was the Parker Ridge Trailhead, on Icefield Parkway highway. Drew knew he would recognize me from my picture on The Ring Finders website.
Being it was a Saturday, and no classes to teach, my son, Tyler joined with me. Drew had met up with 2 friends from Calgary, so we had a crew of 5 people to do the search.
We introduced ourselves to each other, and chatted about the ring; along with the storm Drew and his wife encountered. A little visiting, just to get to know each other a little better. Drew went back to his car, for a few seconds, and came back and presented me with a beautiful, original Mitchell & Ness, St. Louis Cardinals baseball jersey. Number 20 with BROCK across the top of the back. Drew actually tracked Lou Brock down, twice, to get him to autograph it. However, the 79 year old, baseball Hall of Famer, no longer signs autographs.
Drew showed us, pretty much the exact spot, where he parked on the side of the highway, where his wife stepped out and went behind the S.U.V. and started brushing the snow off her legs. The spot where she felt her ring slide off on the back swing.
I felt confident, we would find the ring; but was surprised by the amount of trash items we found. We started working, from the edge of the pavement down to the slope of the ditch, marking each search strip with a pylon. I was positive the ring would be on the surface, or maybe covered with 1/2 inch of road sand, from the highway maintainers in winter.
After close to 2 hours of searching, we were all standing at the side of the road. I was saying, I was going back to the car, for a coffee and change the battery in my pinpointer. About then Tyler bent over and picked something up. I got a glimpse of it, it was a ring! My first thought was, it’s costume jewelry! He held the ring out to Drew, and asked, “Is this the ring we are looking for?”
Drew immediately lost all composer; in fact he went border line hysterical! People who were parked across the road were starring, and wondering what all the commotion was about. Finally, I said to Dre to go over and explain to those people what was going on, and nobody here is getting killed!
Before long, we started packing up equipment, more visiting, picture taking etc. Drew was still having a hard time to contain himself. He was already making plans, for how he was going to present it to his wife.
That particular morning, a marathon race was going on. We waited until all the runners had passed by, later thinking approx. 100 runners ran by-inches from the ring.
There were so many variables that could have happen to this ring, in the 7 months it laid on the ground: being picked up by someone, or a large amount of ravens picking up shinny objects, and so on. Drew’s complication during flights from St. Louis to Calgary, changing flights four times. He also kept the whole idea of coming back to Canada, to search, a secret from his wife. Drew’s wife got her beloved ring back, after what I believe was an incredible story. Somethings are just meant to be.