Last month, (July 2013), Lynn Richards and I (Bill Bruner) decided to take a trip to the Ironwood, Michigan area to detect the Gogebic county fairgrounds and other places. We stayed at the Curry Park campground right next to the fairgrounds. We both brought our own vehicles. Lynn has a Toyota Rav4 and I have a Dodge Journey. We have air mattresses and pillows and slept in our cars and with the rear seats folded down the space was just right for our air mattresses. We also cut some nylon screen and taped it to the outside of the rear seat windows, so with the windows rolled down it would give us some fresh air while sleeping. Lynn borrowed a 12′ x 12′ screen tent for the trip. When not detecting we spent some of the daytime hours in the screen tent with a folding table and stacking chairs. We had a small stove and paper plates along with plastic eating utensils and brought canned food and sodas and bottled water from home.
The daytime temperatures were in the high 80’s for the two days we were at the campground. The fee for our site was $10 a night and included electric/water hookup. There were flush toilets and showers about 75 feet from our site. The first day we obtained permission from the fairground officials and detected the Fairgrounds. Boy! Was it hot out! We didn’t find any old coins which was disappointing, but we gave it a good shot. The next day we wanted to do some water detecting, so we asked around as to where the locals swim. We were told that most of the locals swam at Gile Flowage. I asked someone for directions started driving and I guess I misunderstood something because when I stopped at a bar for directions we were in Mercer, Wisconsin, the waitress wrote directions to Gile Flowage. We went almost 30 miles out of the way. Well, we finally got to the right place and to our disappointment it was a very small area for swimming. The most embarrassing part of the whole thing was, when I found out the Flowage swim area was only about a mile and a half from our campground.
We also drove over to lake Superior and checked out Little Girls Point/Park and also Saxon Harbor county park. Both areas were neat, but not good areas for water detecting. We then drove back to the campground, broke camp and headed out for Courtney Lake, in Ontonagon County which we also heard was a good swimming area for the locals in that area. When we got there we commented that it looked good for water detecting, so instead of putting on our full wetsuits we just went in with swim trunks and diving boots along with a tee shirt. What a mistake that was!! The horse flies drove us NUTS! I must have killed at least a dozen of them and Lynn did the same. We did manage to find a few coins and I got a junk ring, but I had welts on me about the size of quarters and an inch high. A couple years ago Bill Castle and I went to a inland lake to water detect and I just had a wet suit with short arms and legs and I got bit up real bad and I should have learned my lesson from that trip………never again!
After the horse fly war, Lynn and I left for home, which was a couple hour drive. We had a good time and shortly after getting home we started planning for the next weeks trip.
The following week Lynn Richards and I left for Crystal Falls, Michigan. We stayed at Runkle Lake campground just outside the city. The price was reasonable at $12 a night with bathrooms, showers and electric and water hookup. The first day we detected around the campground which was dated from the 1920’s. We did the grounds and the ball field and found quite a bit of clad but, no old coins. We did some checking and found out the circus used to be in an area near the campground. We spent an hour or so in that area but found nothing good.
We then took a ride to Pentoga Park a few miles from town. As we were driving along the Pentoga Trail we noticed a man in the woods detecting. I told Lynn to give him a holler and I started to get one of our club cards to give the guy and maybe get a new club member. When he poked his head in my car window we all got a laugh. It was Ron Chouinard, our club vice president . (Picture is on members treasure gallery) He and his family were at Pentoga Park campgrounds with his family for a week and were staying another week. Kinda like a working vacation. (Ron owns Delta Fence). He showed us a pocket watch he’d found but, it was stamped made in China!
We left Ron and drove to Alfa, a little town on highway 424 not too far from Pentoga Park. We talked to a fellow in a pickup and asked about detecting the baseball field and he said “Have at it.” We found some wheat cents and one buffalo and one “V” nickel. I’d like to take another crack at the ball field next time we’re up that way. We stopped and did a ball field in Channing and another in Sagola. We found a few wheat cents and I got a nice Mercury dime. On the way out I took a peek into a garbage can and saw a dollar bill. Hey, I don’t dumpster dive but, I’ll take free money from the garbage any day.
We broke camp after two days and headed towards Ralph and then down to Northland to try and find a few more coins at St. Joseph church grounds. I started off with a 1900 “V” nickel and a short distance away got a Silver Washington quarter and a Silver Roosevelt dime in the same hole. Lynn got some wheat cents. After we were there for awhile I happen to look up and saw a woman and man detecting. We worked our way toward them and they did the same towards us. Well, we got another chuckle. It was Donna and Rand Gillespie! They had the same idea as Lynn and I to try the church grounds. First it was Ron then Rand and his wife….quite a coincidence, two different areas, meeting club members and a good distance from home.
On one of our trips we were checking out a woods trail and met a woman driving to pick up her kids at a camp. We asked her a few questions and told her who we were and she offered to let us go through her property. She said her home was from the late 1800’s and we told her we’d give it a try. We found lots of clad and Lynn got twenty three wheat cents. I got seven wheat cents and a silver Roosevelt dime and a mercury dime. It pays to talk sometimes. Oh yeah, we stopped at a small town hall on the way home and Lynn found a few wheats and I got two wheats an two silver Washington quarters.
I took some pictures on the trips and put them in the clubs – members treasure gallery. Til our next trip, I’ll sign this one off and get it posted. remember to “Cover your holes….PLEASE”.
Bill Bruner is founder and president of the Yooper Coinshooters Club. The club was formed May 3rd, 2010. The main objective is to introduce people to metal detecting and teach the proper techniques of locating buried targets and extracting them while leaving the area as pristine as possible. Happy hunting and don’t forget to cover your holes...PLEASE.