Seeking Snake's Stash

I am not sure how to begin this but will jump right in by saying, after a month of being threatened by having to ride in the trunk of Laura's car in order to go up to Oregon, I was boarding the bus. Here I was off and bound for Salt Lake City, Utah, where I would meet up with my dear friend Laura. From there we would drive another 850 miles or so to the master of detecting (Snake's home) in Oregon.

The bus ride seemed endless. I could hardly bear the smell of cheap whiskey, mildewed clothing, the smell of gas vapors from rotted food, and that was just the bus driver! Fourteen hours later I arrived in SLC. I was worried not knowing if I would be greeted or left  alone with a bus depot full of purple-haired, rings in their noses, chanting maniacs, or what faced me upon walking through the doors. I was lucky though, there were no people like that there, passing out church pamphlets. Instead I saw a face I knew. It was Laura. But wait! She brought some muscle with her. I knew then I was dead meat. Laura introduced me to Tammie, her four foot tall body guard.

After a very short "Hello" and "Glad to meet you," we loaded up in the car and headed to Laura's. Dang! Not even a hug. I knew then I hoped I could survive that long trip in the trunk.

Well, that night passed by slowly. Laura had to work that next day so she was off to bed. I didn't sleep much, just paced the sidewalk out front. The next evening when she got off work, we packed the car and off we went. I like traveling with her, she knows a lot of the area and its history. She drove to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, where we stayed for the night. Neat little town, plus they have hot spring water in big outdoor tubs. It felt great on my back.

She drove us to a place there for one of the best steaks I have had since my visit to Arizona. After another night of me walking trenches into the parking lot, Laura said it's time to go. So we were on our way again.

I felt so bad she did all the driving. We passed some wonderful places.
                             Twin Sisters, Oregon

She was a trooper though. She drove from 6 a.m. until we arrived about ten or so that night. Upon arrival in the big city (all three blocks) where Bob and Mary lived, we located the house. I got out to knock on the door to make sure this was it. After knocking ont he door, it opened up. I said, "Is this the PUTZ residence?" He slammed the door in my face! Yes, Laura, this is Mr. Sweet and Innocent's house.

Soon we were all giving hugs and handshakes. Eljay and Sue had already arrived.
                    "My own ta-ta pillow in stereo!"

They flew in from Alaska where they had been dredging up on Jesse's claim. Wish my amigo (Jesse) could have made the trip down also. To make it clear, maybe a lot of you didn't make the trip but you were there in our hearts and thoughts. We spoke of you all often. At first, I got to shake Snake's hand. I checked them close to make sure there were no crumbs on them, where he may have gotten into my apple pie, that his wonderful wife, Mary, had waiting for me. Eat your heart out Jesse! There were two of them waiting on me. 
                "Look Jesse, no grizzlies here!"

After big hugs from Mary and Sue, whom I was so delighted to meet, we all kicked back and relaxed a bit. I checked around closely not yet seeing Snake's stash.

We were all tired that night. Eljay and Sue from their long flight, Snake and Mary from the long trip to get them and Laura and I from the drive up, so we all called it a night. I would like to thank Bob's and Mary's son for giving up his bed to me. Also thanks Ty, for your bed-time prayers. I need all the help I can get. The next morning Snake took us to White's for a tour of the factory. Now folks, I want to tell you, I wish each one of you could see this place. I won't go into details, but we were all very impressed! You don't know just how much hard work goes into each and every metal detector until you see what goes on there. Thank you to all the folks at White's who took the time to explain how things are done there. I have never drooled so much in my life as I did that day! And yes, Snake watched me close. I kept my hands in my pockets. Too many witnesses anyways. The first stop on the tour was the snack bar. We had noticed a deep path trod into the blacktop leading from Snake's office to there. After leaving there and arriving back at Snake's, Jerry (TomHuck) and his wife arrived. Right off, Jerry let us know he brought Snake a gift. Knowing that everything he hears in chat is truth, he had a sack full of old cans since Snake finds nothing!! I won't go into every detail of this trip because I would be here forever writing, plus others may want to do their own versions of it also.

I will say, we did have a lot of laughs and great fellowship. Sue is a living doll, she keeps me inline and makes me laugh. 
                                                                                                      "Look Eljay! Just like in your dreams!"

Eljay, my bro, is quiet unless some oldies come on the radio then look out! He is off and singing  putting Elvis to shame. We did get to hunt a lot. But Snake, true to his word, was right. Finds there are tough, but that's to be expected. After all, no telling how many people in Oregon hunt since White's is right there. Also Snake eliminates some of the competition, as with Eljay, His first day out, he hunted and hunted without much success. At the end of the day, Snake let him know that the headphones he had were busted. On the second day, Eljay kept getting readings of 95+. He dug up three acres of the campus until that evening when Snake let him know that the coil he was using was busted. After this, Eljay learned to inspect his equipment well before detecting. Now is where I would like to bring up a short story and something for you to dwell on. Sandbagging! Yes, sandbagging. The fine art of putting junk and stuff into your pouch,  but placing good finds into a pants pocket. Speaking of which, while we were detecting at the university there, we all heard Laura yell out, "WHAT YA GOT SNAKE? HMMMMM?" Everyone heard Snake stutter and saw him turn pale, trying to spit out the words, "NOTHING! I HAVE NOTHING!" Too late! Like flies on a turd, everyone ran over to see a bracelet Snake had tried to pocket. Now something to make you think. Sandbagging, from what little I know about it, is the fine art of having your pouch on your left hip, then kneeling down to dig your target and if it's a good find, you palm it in your left hand, then with your right hand, you open your pouch, slowly dropping your digging tool or bull'seye into your pouch with the fingers of the left hand. Once you have done this, you slide the left hand to the left pants pocket. Within a matter of seconds, you  have the good find stashed away, thus keeping everyone happy, knowing you're all on an even hunting level of just clad and junk. When digging, remember to always keep your right side to the other hunters. 
                                            "I dare Laura to ask me what I have in my hand, NOW!"

What got Snake busted was looking around to see if anyone was looking. Laura was alert to this action, as I am sure she sandbags also. I can't prove it, because I know very little of this art form. Something to make you think though. We know Snake found a bracelet and a very nice pin from one of the old fraternities on the campus. But, if Snake was caught doing this, it makes you wonder just what else was found there and who sandbagged. After all, Sue does smile a lot and Eljay sneaks off a ways to hunt and sing. And Jerry keeps saying, "I am learning this new DFX detector now." And as I said, Laura does seem to know what to look for. That's the good side about hunting with Snake. All eyes are watching him. Well, I don't know of anyone else who was there that might have sandbagged anything. After all, it would take a pro to snake the Snake, and Hunt wasn't there. Bob again, thank you for taking us around. Oregon is a wonderful place and there are good things to be found there, but they are deep. Just like Snake's stash! He had 18 inches of dirt hauled into his yard before we arrived just to make sure we couldn't find his stash. Mary, once again, thank you for sharing your home and kind heart with all of us. And to your children for giving up beds and making us feel at home. Even to Sandy, their dog, whom I made a good friend of, also. Now we will have to shine our own shoes. 

All too soon, it was time to say goodbye to Jerry and his dear wife Hallie. It was a pleasure to have met you both. You're now familiy, like it or not. That Sunday we had to take Eljay and Sue to fly back home. This is always the hard part...the goodbyes. I was missing you before you even left. And yes, Jesse, eat your heart out, I got a kiss from Sue! Bob and I peeked through a small opening left in the wall until your flight left. After all, we do know of your record on flights so far. Bob drove us up into Washington, so now Laura can say she has been there. Now I can say I have been to every west coast state there is.

Then the next day it was time for goodbyes once again. Words can never express how good it was to finally meet the Canady family. 
                                                  "You're not kissing me, Snake! I'm not like your brother in Jersey!"

You're all the best and to everyone whom you ask to visit if they don't, that's their loss. They are wonderful people. We had a great time. After hugs and handshakes, Laura and I are off to Happy Camp, California. This is where a bunch from the chatroom got together in the past. I didn't make it for that trip, but all the way there, Laura filled me in on places and things that happened there to kind of make me feel I had. You're the greatest Laura! What it says on that ring Hunt gave you is true...Angel. You always made me smile and always shared your knowledge and kindness. At her swimming hole there, she showed me where Jesse had looked for gold and where Q had created his own underground stream from digging in the tree roots of the river bank, hoping for trapped nuggets. Even the rock he sat on that hurt his bony butt. Q, I heard your health is down. Please get better, my friend! You're missed in chat. Laura was down in the dumps over a restaurant that had closed a couple of months earlier. She was looking forward to the cobbler they used to make there.

We walked through Happy Camp and even went down to the Community Center to send and check email. Laura and the others who used those before are still listed in the system there. Well, time seemed to fly to me, but we were tired so we headed back to Utah. After Laura driving hard and being exhausted from putting up with me, we were back in SLC, Utah. Was nice to just relax a while. She tossed some burgers on the grill to feed me since all I had the whole trip was the apple pie Mary had for me and the delicious moose my amigo had sent to Oregon, she knew I was starving. (And yes, Jerry, this is B.S., too) You're learning! She sat down on the computer and was again laughing and seemed happy so it was time for me to go. She drove me to the depot and with a hug, she was heading back home. Thank you Laura for putting up with my sick humor and not locking me in the trunk. Thank you for your kindness and the many good times we had in the past. I hope at times I gave you a laugh or two. Thank you for opening your home to me.

Well, I am back home now, but will never be without a smile or even a tear in my eyes once in a while. You have all been so wonderful. I don't have the right words to end this story. I am not sure it is the end. I just hope you all keep on the way you are. Never forget, even just in chat, you all share a closeness most can't understand. We all come there to show we care about each other. We don't hide outside the chattroom and just come around when it's convenient. We've always been as one. With that thought, I close this. Remember dreams may just be that for now, but a lot of dreamers have found their treasures.