About a month ago while out on a 38 mile run along the highway I found a couple of torn up, run over, and mangled plastic ziplock bags in a roadside ditch. Why they caught my eye, I don't know, but I decided to run into said ditch and retrieve them. What I found were bags full of small red stones, and a few minerals. I honestly thought they were for a Bedazzler, but decided to throw them into my pocket, just in case.
Fast forward a few days:
After going to numerous jewelers and gemologists, tt turns out the baggies full of red stones were all natural rubies - 44 of them to be exact. They are all low grade, primarily, but rubies none the less! "Hmmm", I thought... it was a longshot, but I decided to head back up the highway with Holly and go treasure hunting, just in case there were more to be found.
Fast forward a couple more days:
There we are in a litter-filled ditch enjoying semi-truck diesel fumes along with other 60-70 mph vehicle traffic less than 15 ft away from us. What were we thinking?!
BAM! I see another tiny ziplock bag, but wait, EMPTY. Despite this, our hopes were now up; at least we had found the right spot.
Fast forward to an hour later:
Holly and I have now found 10-12 more baggies full of all sorts of precious-looking gemstones - probably another 100+ stones altogether. Even if we discovered they weren't valuable, it was still a rush to find these little treasures in the ditches, in the middle of the road, and loose in the rumble strips on the highway.
Fast forward a month:
After doing my due diligence to make sure there were no gems reported stolen in the region, I went to several more gemologists to inspect my newfound stone collection. It appears I have:
- Emeralds (LOTS of emeralds and at least one that is worth several hundred dollars)
- Rubies (LOTS of rubies, none of which are worth more than 15-20 bucks per carat)
- Tourmaline (possibly the coolest looking of all the stones, several are of jewelry quality)
- Blue Topaz
- Mystic Topaz
- Sapphire (this is the most perfect of all the stones, but the jury is still out on its authenticity)
This latest find got me thinking about some of the other random crap I've found on the roads and trails:
- Driver's Licenses (x2) - Returned to grateful owners.
- Wrap around ear warmers - I got at least a season's use out of these bad boys!
- Hubcaps - Some of which I've kept...
- Sunglasses - Specialized bike glasses that have protected my running eyes on several occasions.
- Money - Small denomination bills and numerous coins... nothing too impressive.
- Golf Balls - I like to pick these up and save them for some reason.
- Gear from a plane crash - One of my coolest mementos, behind the gemstones!
- TBD... I'm not done exploring yet!
Lastly - on a more serious running note - the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler is less than a week away... I'm hoping the hay is in the barn, so to speak. I banged out my last long run today (20 miles @ 7:12 pace), and am hopeful for a PR at Rocky. In 2010 I ran 17:31 there, so anything below that will be considered a success, based on only having 8 weeks to prepare. To be continued...