This is the story of how my husband lost his wedding ring in the Death Valley National Park sand dunes and found it one week later. If you haven’t been to Death Valley, the picture on the left is what part of the dune looks like.
Several years ago, my husband and I went to Death Valley National Park for a weekend camping trip with friends. Our first stop after five hours of driving was the famous Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. The dunes cover a vast area with peaks as high as 100 feet. We ran inwards into the dunes with excitement. We frolicked around like kids doing jumps and karate kicks. Midway in the air as he jumped twirling around, my husband gasped as he realized that his wedding ring had slipped off his finger. Since he was turning, the ring could have gone in any direction. It was a heavy ring. It could have been thrown far in the process and would sink easily in the soft desert sand.
Our playful mood immediately diminished. Everyone in our party started looking for the ring but it was an impossible task. We were surrounded by a sea of sand. It could be anywhere. We looked for about 30 minutes with no luck. Not wanting to ruin the trip, I told everyone not to worry about it. Things happen. I told my husband that we can just go back armed with a metal detector. We could do a day trip the following weekend and try our luck then.
Despite the initial setback, the trip turned out to be the best camping trip we’ve ever had. Death Valley is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen- the eerie silence, it’s history, it’s vastness and scenery. It’s a place like no other. We saw a lonesome fox while we strolled in the moonlight. We explored as much of the area as we could during the trip. We visited parts of the park that most people do not get to see. We had a bit of a scare when we took a dirt road by a cliff (not recommended). It was a tough maneuver but my husband handled it great. The entire trip was full of memorable and fun adventures.
The following weekend, we headed 300 miles back to Death Valley with my husband’s best friend who was with us on the prior trip. We purchased a metal detector from Radio Shack to use. It was late morning when we arrived at the park. We had made a mental note the weekend before on where we were. However, it was difficult to know which part of the dune exactly. Much harder is figuring out where the ring would have landed. We did our best to guess and set out to look for the ring.
The metal detector proved itself to be useless. It was making false alarms. It was beeping even when there was no metal object in the area. After more than one hour of searching, I was ready to give up. It was futile. Finding a needle in a haystack would be easier. With the noontime heat beating on us, I told my husband that we should just give up. My husband agreed but wanted to try for a few more minutes. He and his friend decided to ditch the metal detector. They were going to comb the sand with their hands. On their knees, they would work side by side digging their hands into the sand. They would scour the sand upwards into the peak of the dune and downwards to the bottom and back again until they cover a given area.
Already given up, I retreated under an umbrella to shelter myself from the heat and to rest. Moments later, I heard my husband and his best friend shout in excitement. After only a few tries, my husband had found the ring! Miraculously, the ring slipped right back into my husband’s ring finger when he dug his hand into the sand. What are the chances of that happening? It was unbelievable! It was an awesome and joyous moment. We couldn’t believe our luck.
The drive back was full of jokes about how it was a sign that we are stuck with each other. It is the most unbelievable experience we have ever had and we were all smiles. To this day, I still can’t believe our luck.
Do you have something similarly unbelievable happen to you?