I’m in the middle of the forest this past Thursday evening, nighthawking a cellar hole with, my obsessed as I am, detecting buddy Scott. I’ve got part of a shoe buckle, a square pin & a neat old flat button in my pouch. He has a coin (type yet to be determined), and a nice thimble. Things are going well for us in the darkness of our detecting wonderland… Suddenly, mid target dig, Scott comes over and says “Hey Allie, there are people coming up the trail, lets head back to the Land Rover”. I look around and see nothing–no flashlights, just darkness, but I hear a small commotion, so I quickly take heed, grab my gear and follow him.
Back at the car, we are both standing and looking in the direction of the commotion, neither one of us sure whats going on. I’m thinking maybe someone is lost, or hurt, or maybe its the police. My body is on high alert as I stare into the darkness.
We hear a woman’s voice, but see nothing. Scott calls out “Can we help you?”, and suddenly into the light of our headlamps a woman appears, but whats disturbing is that she’s got a group of about a dozen children with her, walking up the trail in the dark. A very confusing moment for sure, mostly because while the woman and her group do not appear to be in any distress, I’m now wondering WTF is she doing with them wandering around the forest in the dark.
Rather than respond to Scott asking if she needed help, she says “Are you going to be here long?” Wow–there’s nothing like a good dose of rudeness to strangers in dark woods in the middle of nowhere–it’s a good thing we’re nice people.
We relate that we are metal detecting, and that yes, we will be there a while. The woman rambles something barely audible about conducting a class for the kids to learn sensory skills, hence their lack of lighting–they are practicing walking in the dark. She then says our headlamps are “disturbing their vision”–OMG, Really???
Both of us being brought up to be polite, and not wanting to ruin the childrens “class”, we shut our headlamps off, assuming the group would pass on by and continue up the trail. As they passed, the woman again asked if we were going to be there much longer. We looked at each other and we’re like, “we’ll just wait until you leave”. Then the woman says they are going to “sit down nearby and be very quiet”. And you know what? They did just that. They took up residence right next to the cellar hole! Unbelievable. I look at Scott astonished, and say “Of all the times and places…”.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
The woman and her group of students stayed for almost an hour. Them sitting in the dark quietly, and us next to 4 wheel drive, having a snack and giggling quietly over our predicament. We couldn’t leave, for to do so would mean noise and headlights. We didn’t want to ruin the kids class, so we waited… patiently.
They finally departed, and if it were not for the rustling of leaves, and a few whispers, we would not even known they had left. Wouldn’t it have been thoughtful to say “thank-you” or “we’re leaving” to the nice, friendly accommodating detectorist’s waiting patiently nearby?
The woman’s rudeness kind of ticked me off. Last I knew, this was a free country (sort of), and the land was not private. I thought it was very brazen for her to ask if we were going to “be there much longer”. Um… hello, we were here first, we had our own plans and were doing our own thing, and maybe we didn’t want to stop detecting, shut our headlamps off, and risk getting hurt ourselves walking in the dark, then stand around for an hour, so you could hold your bizarre twilight tike hike.
Don’t get me wrong, I love kids, or else I wouldn’t have been so agreeable to move aside for their night time experiment, but c’mon, what was this woman thinking taking a group of kids out walking around the woods in the dark? Most people are good people, but not everyone is, and you never know when you’re going to meet someone who could be dangerous, especially under those circumstances.
Ah well, my blog, my opinion, but it definitely took the cake for the most weird and ridiculous thing ever to have happen while detecting.
We attempted to hunt a bit more, but the spirit of the hunt was lost, so we packed it in, deciding to come back another day, um… I mean night.