THE THREE RIVERS PART ONE!
Welcome once again to another edition of Bottle Digging with Jason and Rick. In this episode you will see how truly taking your time to plan a bottle digging adventure will help you to find a lot of golf balls???? (did I say golf balls?)!
The Planning Begins
After a couple days of recovering from the less than productive trip down the Blue and Eel rivers me and Rick started planning what our next move would be. We broke out our maps again, popped open a beer and began planning a trip that would be a surefire winner with lots of treasure to be had. This time we decided that Ft. Wayne, IN would be our spot. Ft. Wayne has three rivers running through it the Saint Joe flows in at the N. part of the city, the Saint Mary's at the SW Corner of the city and the Maumee from the West side of the city and they meet in the middle of the city. We live West of Ft. Wayne so we decided to float down the Saint Joe into the Saint Mary's and back to our pick-up point. There it was the foolproof plan (once again, Not!!!!!).
On Friday of this week I went out and bought a pick-up truck (no more of dad's, thank god) so when Sunday morning rolled around we had it made. We loaded up our trucks and off we went. We got to Sweeney park beside of the Saint Mary's and left my truck then we headed to the North part of Ft. Wayne to put in on the Saint Joe and start the expedition. We already had planned where we would be putting in this time so when we arrived we had a big surprise. The flood gates were completely open and the river was about 15 foot above where it should have been. We hadn't had any rain so this was completely unexpected. But we were not to be deterred. We should have went home!!!!!!!!!!
MAP OF FT. WAYNE, IN
One of the first things that we noticed was the big warning sign on the boat ramp that read "CAUTION! contact with water could cause illness", nice........ We put the boat in loaded up our gear shoved off and away we went! We were moving, I mean we were probably doing 25MPH in a flat bottom boat and we weren't rowing. This part of the city is pretty heavily populated and we didn't see even one piece of glass. It took us about 20 minutes to reach the three rivers intersection, boy was this going to be a short trip. We stayed with the current from here and kept on flying. Wait......... does that look like a dam up there?, I think it might be but it's not on the map!, I think that we'd better pull over and make sure! Boy was that a good move, it was a dam alright and had about a 20 foot drop. We were wearing shorts and had to fight through the briers (ouch!!!) to make it to the dam. There was a small foot trail that led down to the bottom that we'd never get the boat through and some guy fishing off the wall. I went up to the guy and asked if he knew a way around with a boat and he said that people went around on the other side of the river. I told him about our predicament but all he would talk about was the enormous catfish some crazy guys on the raging torrent of a river had been catching. So we went back to the boat and started rowing back upstream to make sure that we didn't get sucked in and killed (I love bottles and adventures but not that much!) when we reach the other side we pull up the boat (which had about a hundred pounds of gear in it) and walk up the other narrow trail (this is going to suck!!!!) to the high traffic road (great!!!!!!!) cross it and go down the weed tangled, steep, ground uneven, root infested @#%$#&***%$# trail to the bottom where we are going to have to carry all of our gear and our boat (AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!), WHY DO I DO THIS! Well no other way home so here we go. About a half hour later when our briar molested body's got all of the equipment across the road and down to the river we were off again.
Not too far below the damn we hit some shallows and islands, wait there's glass!, all broken of course because we were right below the damn from Hell! On we go, about three miles down river we seen glass on the bank (this is it). We had to tie the boat to a tree to keep it from floating away and then we started to inspect our surroundings. Blop top pieces, hutchinson pieces, medicines pieces, this was finally a hot spot. Well once again "NOT!" We dug four holes while getting eaten alive by disease ridden mosquitoes and did not find even one whole bottle...... Dug!!!!!!!!!
ON TO THE NEXT SPOT!
About three of four miles down the river we started wandering about our surroundings, were we out of town?, but that was impossible the Saint Mary's runs right through town.... I thought? We started seeing a lot of newer dumps on the same side of the river as the dump we previously stopped at and finally found a place to land near a large low spot surrounded by hills. We got out and inspected some of the hills turning up a few 1930's sodas and a token. When we got down into the large low spot I found a golf ball, and then another one and another one and another one (I'll stop here). I found about a dozen golf balls, strange why would there be a golf course in town??????
WHERE THE #*#@ ARE WE????????
We got back in the boat and started down river again. about two miles later we seen a road sign right by the river so we pulled up the boat and I held it in place while Rick went and checked the sign. He came back to the boat and check the map. We were on the Maumee river about 8 miles EAST of town. Impossible rivers only flow South and West (don't they?????). No they don't and I guess we're still learning. We checked the map and found that we were only a couple of miles from Maumee park (East of where the map above ends). So we went to the park and pulled up the boat. No pay phone(figures) I went up and asked a guy if we were anywhere close to a payphone and he said about five miles. I told him our predicament and he said he lived close to where I parked the truck and that he would take me. I'm lucky in that I have almost always met nice people who would help and if the guy who helped me reads this, thanks again! I did appreciate it!
I finally got to my truck and then I got lost going back so Rick had to stay at Maumee Park for about 45 minutes waiting on me.
Well that's it we found hardly anything (except about a dozen golf-balls), but this trip wasn't nearly as bad as the last one so things were getting better!
Until next time, take care and be careful, and as always!
"ENJOY THE DIG!"