Monday, on Nova Scotia's Atlantic coast, when Johnny and Adam and I woke up, we started heading back to Dr. Jim's Tupperville. Johnny and Adam hitched together. I travelled alone, and I had one detour to make on the way. One stop, to: Oak Island.
If you've never heard of the mystery of Oak Island, then you're missing out on a fantastic story.
Two-hundred-plus years ago, some gold was found on this barely-inhabited island. Oak Island's "Money Pit" came into existence. "The Money Pit" is a deep hole where some unknown person buried a treasure once. The crazy thing about this hole is that, as treasure-seekers have dug down into it, they've tripped sophisticated booby traps. The booby traps are trap doors that shoot water flooding into the hole and often kill diggers.
Decades of modern efforts and tens of thousands of dollars have brought people down to two-hundred-plus feet into the The Money Pit, but no one so far has been able to recover the treasure. One legend says seven people have to die trying before The Money Pit's treaure can be recovered. So far, six people have perished in the Oak Island hole.
Who could've dug such an elaborate, tricky hiding place? Ideas for The Money Pit's contents vary so much as to suggest they contain the lost manuscripts of William Shakespeare. Most people today think it contains the hidden booty of Captain Kidd.
I arrived at a prohibited rock causeway to vacant-looking Oak Island. Some guy nearby told me to hurry across the private causeway to the island's shore, where I could explore freely because all Canadian shoreline is public land.
I reached the beautiful island and tred its rocky shore. It was a low-lying, pine-and-poplar-forested island in a broad, wave-less bay that welcomed in many other islands. Deer ran about.
Hiking around to the back of the island, I passed three vacation homes then came to the dig site. There were old, rusty maroon pumps and pipes leading to water. There were old, white living quarters. A huge hole sunk into the middle of the island, circled by wooden railing. It was full with water and black, and it looked deep. This wasn't the actual Money Pit; it, I figured, was probably where the water was pumped to that otherwise would've flushed through trap doors and into The Money Pit where any digging team would've been working.
Nobody was working there these days. I came to the smaller hole that was The Money Pit. It was a hobbit-like hole in the side of the grass ground. It was boarded up with brown boards and surrounded, also, by old railing. It was wonderfully enticing to think that, below those boards, some two-hundred feet, lied probably one of the world's most amazing treasures.
Hunting for treasure is fun. I couldn't go down into The Money Pit, so I put on my mask and snorkeled around the bay. I was looking for Spanish dubloons. All I found was dirt.
I did learn something later on the day, though. Seeing a faded-purple flag nailed to a tree, I walked up and tore it off for a souvenir. Man, it was a cool flag; it had robed figures and latin writing on it, and it must've been hanging in that spot for eighty years it was so ripped up.
And, then, I thought; man, am I an a**hole! What did I want with this flag? It was much cooler up in that tree where other Oak Island explorers could see it for many more years. I tried pinning it back up on the tree, but I doubt it'll stay for long. Man, did I feel bad for doing something that stupid. Well ... at least, I won't want something I don't need and shouldn't have like that again in the future ...
I left the island. I got my water bottle filled up by nice, round, moustachioed, slow-looking Larry, who'd been standing on his porch.
Larry mowed lawns on Oak Island when they were excavating. He figured the owner might start again soon.
Larry had even been down into The Money Pit, a hundred-and-eighty feet. He said it was scary at first. He'd only gone when someone didn't show for work.
They re-enforce the walls with concrete. The shaft is wide enough for three people, who scoop dirt into buckets. They dig six feet down, then pour more concrete.
Larry confirmed that they'd stuck a camera into the hole once, at two-hundred-and-thirty feet, and seen the treasure chest. There was spookily also a human hand there, "Like it was waving to you." They were just ten feet away from the treasure. Larry said if he would've been so close, he would've kept going.
I thanked Larry for the talk and went to the main road to hitchhike the 120 miles back to Tupperville in the valley.
Amazingly, I got to the farm - even with my sidetrip - before Johnny and Adam did. It worried me that they hadn't arrived yet - not so much that I couldn't take a nap, though.
When I woke up at eight o'clock, they were just arriving. They'd decided to hitchhike through Halifax back to Tupperville, and they couldn't get a ride out of "The Big City's" urban arms until after two. They got briefly rained on. It had been a pretty bad day.
Adam Rohr said he'd still enjoyed himself. He and Johnny had taken a small break to watch a baseball game.
It was good to hear they'd still enjoyed the hitchhiking. Because, we were going to soon start making our grand way cross-Canada! Why, the next day, in fact, we'd be picking up the fourth member of our cross-Canada group.
Who is this fabled last member!? It's a mystery just as big and just as exciting as the question of the Oak Island Money Pit!!!
Here comes ...
well, maybe not.
... Canada-trekker # 4.
We're gonna be rich! - Modern Oddyseus
with Johnny and Adam
Thanks to Gerald; Mark; Tanya; Bob & "Maggie"; Casey; and Bill Armstrong for the rides!
NOTEABLE WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS: pheasant, white-tailed deer