The swimming hole at Lulls Brook in Hartland gives up her metal
It's always a mini adventure planning my next Upper Valley treasure hunt. These past few weeks I've been focused -- obsessed, actually -- on swimming holes, as they are plentiful and fairly easy to get to on foot.
The place I picked to visit this past weekend was the fresh water hole at the base of the Martins Mill Covered Bridge on Martinsville Road in Hartland.
While you can't see the swimming hole from the dirt road you can hear the din of Lulls Brook cascading uphill through a dense wall of underbrush.
To get to the swimming hole requires some agility and balance -- not to mention a good pair of hiking shoes -- to avoid a sudden fall on the loamy downhill path. You'll then cross over an old cavelike mill foundation, trash-filled and covered in graffiti and decay, and then you'll have arrived at your destination.
Even before I set my water-shod feet in the cool, clear emerald water I needed to take in my awesome surroundings by just listening, seeing, and breathing in deeply.
The rays of the afternoon sun glimmered through the trees as the late spring temperature hovered around 85 degrees. I could see the old covered bridge that spanned the brook less than 100 feet away from me downstream.
With my Garrett Ace 250 I scanned the swimming hole's shallows for metal. For the deeper middle depths I strapped on my full-face snorkeling mask aniid used my Scuba Tector underwater metal detector to search for lost relics.
Although the day's treasure was sparse, the swimming hole yielded a few small surprises: a worn guitar pick, a spent .22 caliber shell casing, a jacket zipper head, rusty iron nails, and several coins -- a quarter, nickel, and three pennies.
While finding valuable treasure is the ultimate goal in metal detecting, I was perfectly satisfied just looking for it surrounded by nature in this sweet little oasis nestled away in rural Hartland.