Ghost Hunting in the Adirondacks, Part 2

Now we knew it wasn’t a needle in a haystack, a small, dark gray ring lost in the middle of the Adirondacks somewhere along the trail. It was right there in camp. My wife looked at me and said, “We are going back for it.”

If you read my last post on my most recent camping trip with my buddy Josh Diaz, Ghost Hunting in the Adirondacks, you might remember that during that trip, I somehow lost my wedding ring. It was perhaps stupid of me to even wear it on a camping trip deep into the Adirondack mountains, but I did, and at some point during the trip, it had fallen off. A ring that, even under the best of circumstances will stubbornly cling to my finger (even when I want to remove it), just disappeared. It bummed me out, and I was a bit afraid my wife Laura would be mad at me (spoiler alert: she wasn’t nearly as mad as I feared, and was actually quite understanding). Josh and I searched diligently, but to no avail. We were in the middle of the woods in the Adirondacks, with inches of snow on the ground, and we had trekked over 2 miles.  Talk about needle in a haystack. Laura was determined to find it, however.

Laura at John PondOnce home from the trip (Superbowl Sunday, no less), I started going through the videos I took of our outing, and Josh did the same thing. In a matter of 20 minutes, we pinpointed when I lost my ring – the first morning at camp. The videos had shown that I had it the first day on the hike in, and I was wearing it before breakfast, but not after. It seemingly disappeared during breakfast. So now we knew: the ring was in camp somewhere, either where we were eating or where we cleaned up. My wife jumped online, ordered a metal detector from B&H in Manhattan for pick up the following evening, and our plan was to head back up to the camp on Tuesday to find the ring. It was a crazy proposition: a 5-hour drive up to the John Pond trailhead from Staten Island, followed by at least an hour’s hike to the camp in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness, and then we’d have to meticulously scour the camp for the ring. And then, ring or not, an hour’s hike out back to the car, and a 5-hour drive home. But Laura has never been one to shy away from adventure, and so it was decided. We picked up the metal detector Monday night, and first thing Tuesday morning, we started the long journey north.

We arrived at the trailhead at a little past 1pm. Sadly, Josh had to work and couldn’t join us in our search. The hike in was much easier this time, mainly because I wasn’t carrying a heavy pack and dragging a loaded sled behind me. And also because the log bridge that Josh and I laid across one of the bigger streams was still in place. All I was carrying was my metal detector, my knife, a lighter, and some EMF detectors, as Laura wanted to visit the cemetery on the way out. Her boots weren’t really hiking boots, so she didn’t have the traction that I did. For me, this was a cakewalk after the hike Josh and I endured (twice). But for Laura, it was a bit of a slippery journey.

Jason Metal Detector John PondIt only took us about an hour to reach the lean-to Josh and I had camped at just a few days earlier. Our firewood was still there, and it appeared as though nobody else had camped there since. We took a few minutes to catch our breath and enjoy the view of John Pond, and then we got to work. I set up my camera to take video of us, and we started searching for the ring. We got many false hits – bottle caps and beer can tabs and such – but no ring. After about 11 minutes of searching, I decided to head over to a tree near our campfire. We had a greasy steak fajita breakfast the morning I lost my ring, and I had gone over to the tree to grab some snow to clean my hands. Figuring it may have fallen off there, I ran the metal detector over the ground by the tree, and got the strongest reading yet. I leaned over, dug in with my knife, and *CLINK* – my knife unearthed my ring from the snow. I let out a triumphant “YEAH!,” embraced Laura, and felt quite relieved. We had done it.

Five hours of driving, one hour of hiking, and a mere 12 minutes to find the ring. We didn’t care though. We were so happy and relieved to have found it. I started a small fire to warm us up, Laura took some photos, and we just spent a little time in camp reveling in the serene beauty and solitude of John  Pond. But we had a long trip ahead of us, and we still wanted to stop by the cemetery. We packed our things, cleaned up the camp, put out the fire, and started our hike back out.

Jason & Laura Find the RingWe stopped by the cemetery, with Laura taking pics and examining the tombstones of Eliza King and Peter Savarie (the two children buried in the woods, having died of black diphtheria in 1897) and me taking readings with my EMF detector. As when I was with Josh a few days earlier, the meter was at a steady 0.0, not even a blip. Which didn’t surprise me. However, as Laura was commenting to me about the children’s last names and how they may have been step-siblings, the EMF meter spiked, and started beeping loudly and fervently. We both looked at each other, and then it stopped as quickly as it had started. We both had our phones in airplane mode, as there is no signal that deep in the woods, and we wanted to save our batteries. Our phones weren’t even out at this point. It was an interesting moment, and one I wish I’d captured on video. But like most paranormal experiences, they always seem to happen when the camera isn’t readily available. I kept the meter on for a long while afterwards, just to see if it spiked again, but it never again budged from its 0.0 reading. Ghost? Stray electro-magnetic field? We will never know.

But there was one more unsettling experience in store for us. About 10 minutes out from the graveyard, we were walking through some denser woods, but with a thinner patch of trees to our right. Suddenly, we heard a knock. Like a tree knock. It was ahead up us, towards the right, and seemingly deeper in the tree line. A few seconds later, we heard another one – but this time, it was behind us, and to the right. Laura stopped to turn around and look at me. I said it was probably just the wood in the trees thawing and making popping sounds, a theory I’d later hear repeated while I was watching the Bigfoot documentary Finding Jay by Jay Bachochin. I even allude to this exact trip in my review of that film. But Laura wasn’t buying that explanation, something that unsettled me because of the two of us, she is by far the more skeptical and pragmatic one. We kept walking and heard the knocks again – one in front, and one behind us. Were the same two trees – and only those two trees – having thawing pops? We continued, and then again, a third time – a pop in front of us, and one seemingly responding behind us. We heard nothing else. No other trees seemed to be having this popping issue. And frankly, I didn’t believe it was thawing either. I was trying to calm her down, but she didn’t buy the theory. It just seemed too deliberate. Like a call and response. We kept walking and it stopped once we passed that thinner area of trees on our right. We never heard the knocks (or thawing pops) again on the rest of the hike. I’m not saying this was a Bigfoot encounter, but by the same token, to have just 2 trees popping along our hour-plus hike is almost harder to fathom.

Siamese PondsAs we got closer to the trailhead, we ran into an older couple out hunting rabbits, and we stopped to talk to them for a while, and shared our ring story. They were really nice, completely charmed by the fact that we drove up from Staten Island to retrieve a wedding band, and as it turned out, they lived just down the road from the trail head. As we were packing up our car, they emerged from the trail and invited us to stay at their place for dinner! We reluctantly declined, explaining that we still had a 5 hour drive home, and it was already past 4pm. But it was a very sweet gesture, one we greatly appreciated, and one we don’t often see here in the city. We caught a deer out in the open and watching us at the trailhead, even though we didn’t see any wildlife in the woods. We jumped in the car, I called Josh to tell him the good news, and we headed home. Overall, it was great to get my ring back, and the added bonus was that my wife got to experience first-hand what Josh and I experienced on our trip. Plus, we got some unusual activity in the woods, which was quite unexpected, especially considering Josh and I spent 3 days in the same woods, and nary a strange sound was to be heard. Maybe on our next trip…

Check out the video summary below to see us finding the ring, and be sure to check out our new YouTube Channel!

Adirondacks Campfire

John Pond, Adirondack Mountains

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