Mid-September and two bars of gold remain where Matt hid them 117 years ago. Or at least in close proximity. He meant to retrieve them later that year following his Winchester withdrawal. Perhaps the spring floods gradually moved them, maybe their weight forced them deeper though I believe the rocky medium prevented deeper movement.
In 2012 I journeyed nine times through the area attempting to confine the search area. This year I made twelve more pilgrimages. I climbed, slid, fell and waded until I discovered the old wagon road that linked Camp McKinney with the outside world. I stood where clumps of willows hid the robber until the targeted wagon slowed sufficiently for him to step into treasure history.
Try as I might, my White TDI Pro can only find all manner of deep buried tin, iron and steel that I don’t want. A great detector, it is limited by mounds of boulders and tremendous piles of flood debris. Trees of all size and condition.
As my last day of camping closed in the beautiful forested area south of Little Fish Lake, I admit my disappointment reached a yearly peak. That didn’t put me in an off mood. I sat quietly and savoured two slow coffee from the tailgate coffee bar. I appreciated my surroundings and the beauty that exists there. I love that place.
I admit I am currently stumped on what’s next. I am confident the search area is right. A lazy thief would only carry fifty pounds plus of bullion downhill to its watery hiding spot. The goggles he carried when shot tell me that under water was a best place to stash the treasure and easiest to remember. The wagon road crossed the creek twice and somewhere close by a suitable pool of water presented an opportunity.
Winter is not far off. Snow and ice will soon prevail. The thoughts of an unfinished quest over the winter months has little appeal to me. What’s next?