Plans Changed…I’m Glad They Did

Wow, so much has happened in the last 48 hours. First and foremost, the rib problem I’ve been battling interrupted my plans for yesterday; I stayed at home, where the heating pad and a couple of prescription pain meds became my best friends for the day. Prior to that occurrence, I discovered that my Ion Sports Cam wouldn’t record, either video or photos; I’ve had it for over two years and used it heavily, with almost all my Youtube videos being shot with it. It’s small, waterproof to ten feet and very easy to operate, and you can imagine my disappointment. I wasn’t looking forward to shelling out extra cash for a new waterproof cam.

As my wife and I sat on our patio sipping our Tim Horton’s black gold this morning, I remarked that my ribs weren’t hurting at all. As we had no plans other than to grill out later in the evening, my redheaded angel said she wanted to get some housework done and then do some shopping…and added that if I wanted to go metal detecting it would be fine. Now you see why I call her my angel!

I’d already thought about what I might do; with today being Labor Day, I knew the Lake Erie beaches would be busy and many depositors would be leaving behind things that us detectorists love to find. I’d also previously scouted out a couple of new river spots I wanted to hit, so I made the decision to go river detecting. After all, tomorrow or Wednesday would be prime times to hit the thinned-out beaches up north.

I readied my gear for water detecting, kissed my wife and told her I’d be back around 3PM, maybe sooner if I wasn’t having any luck. I backed my 2004 GMC Canyon out of the garage and headed for the Mohican River.

First, though, and without my Chief Financial Officer’s blessing, I made a side trip to Walmart and picked up a new video cam and micro SD card. It’s best to commit the sin and ask forgiveness later than ask permission beforehand and be denied.

I arrived at my spot near where the old settler village of Newville had stood, geared up and headed into the water about 200 yards east of the Pleasant Hill Rd bridge. I was in luck; no one else was at the spot fishing, which its very popular for. I tethered my floating sifter to my belt, secured a lanyard to my waterproof pin pointer and then switched on my AT Pro.

The hunt was on.

The pickings were slim, aside from all the iron targets. i did find an old Zippo lighter early on, which I’ll try to clean up to see if there’s any sort of inscription. Some clad change, a couple of wheat cents, an old broken spoon and a junk kids’ ring rounded out most of the three hours I spent in the water, aside from the two canoeists who glided by in the gently flowing river.

I’d left my gear bag on a high and dry rock just off the river bank and was making my way back to it, with the intention of calling it a day. The rocks became the size of moss-covered cannon balls, making the footing treacherous. Still, I continued to swing the detector’s coil, as a lot of material gets trapped between and under rocks.

Withing about fifteen feet of the bank I hit a semi-high tone. Centering it, I withdrew my pin pointer and searched an area between two large rocks; soon, I pulled up a short length of fishing line with two small shot weights attached. After bagging them, I stuck the pin pointer back into the small space between the rocks, which was in about two feet of water; I was still getting a signal. The space narrowed until I could only squeeze two fingers in and began brushing away the sandy silt, pausing every so often to see if the target had moved.

Deciding it would be my last target for the day, I brushed a few more times before rechecking the crack…and the target had moved. I relocated it in the small pile of material I’d just brushed out, holding my hand-held machine on the spot while grabbing a handful of pebbles and sand. I had the target, whatever it was.

As I opened my hand once I’d cleared the surface of the river, I saw a small, dime-sized coin; giving it a quick once-over, I decided that’s what it was, and a badly-worn dime at that. I put it in the fat pill bottle in which I keep my smaller finds, closed it up and climbed out of the water, tired but happy to have been doing something other than sitting in the recliner at home.

As I loaded my gear for the trip home I phoned my wife, telling her I’d be there in about a half-hour. “Great”, she said, “you’ll be just in time to start the grill.” Brats and burgers were to be our evening meal, me being the grillmaster of the house.

I arrived home shortly thereafter, telling Stacy of my rather meager finds.

“But you had fun, right?”


I unloaded my gear bag, thermos, .40 caliber M&P Shield and my ‘finds’ container from the passenger compartment, pausing to shed my soaked tennis shoes and socks in the garage. Once inside I stripped off my shorts and t-shirt, heading for a much-needed shower. It was luxurious.

After getting dressed, I emptied my finds onto a paper towel to take a closer look, which is habit. I used my small, high-intensity flashlight and magnifying glass to examine the dime, hoping to at least get a date off it.

What I saw shocked me.

Although I now knew the coin wasn’t a dime, I could easily read the date: 1786.


What in the world had I recovered??

As I sit here telling you this story, I’m still not 100% sure, but I think it might be a Spanish 8 reale piece, which now makes it my oldest coin yet.

Sometimes, a change in plans is a good thing.


Author: timteamohio

Retired cop embarking on new adventures, seeking to recover the history beneath us.

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