After years of pondering whether or not dropping a couple hundred bucks on a mineral or metal detector was a wise use of money, I've finally decided to hell with it--I'm doing it--and I might actually be turning into my father in the process.

I've spent some time this week researching buried material detectors. Many people get a vision of the old, crazy, disheveled man, reeking of whisky and pushing one of these relic finders along rivers, muttering to himself.

"THERE'S GOLD IN THEM THERE HILLS!" Legends can't be created without claims, and when you take a hard look at the bygone days of the western United States, these "stories" don't seem all that far-fetched. In fact, if you don't believe lost valuables are scattered throughout thousands of miles of this western territory we reside in, you likely slept through history class.

Of course there are still fortunes to be made. Yes, there is an unimaginable amount of lost loot and buried treasure all over the country. You don't have to take my word, but you should take the word of the U.S. expansion of yesteryears; there are even black and white photos to prove it, in which no one is smiling. Millions of dollars in valuables are extracted from sea floors every year across the globe, so why would the land beneath our feet be any different.

While you can't just pack a shovel and your detector and start digging on protected park lands, the City of Rocks has a fascinating history. We are talking about real, actual routes, heavily traveled by miners who hid valuables from bandits and outlaws they knew were waiting in the shadows.

One only needs to research the routes throughout Montana, Idaho, Oregon and California, to understand the magnitude of riches that awaits those who enjoy dropping off-the-grid for a while in search of adventure.

So, if you happen to run across me this summer wearing a robe and flip flops and following the lead of my shiny new detector, by golly, don't report me as if I'm lost or possibly suffering from a deteriorated mind, just know that I like robes and have a mortgage.

2020 Twin Falls World Record Attempt

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