It was the summer of 2004. Casey and I had been married for a short 15 months. We traveled to Colorado for our typical week-long summer vacation.
Our Colorado trips then were different than they are now. Our time was spent doing anything WE wanted, without consideration for the littles that now accompany us. For Casey this meant, lots of fly-fishing, golfing, and the occasional 4-wheeler ride.
The streams of Colorado are beautiful. Calm and still in some places, rough and treacherous in others. Deep in some, shallow in others. In some areas you can see the bottom, but not in most. The bottom of Spring Creek is rocky, slippery, dark and sometimes murky.
I will never forget the way Casey looked after he came home from a particular day of fly-fishing with my dad. Devastated. He looked devastated.
He had lost his wedding ring while on the stream.
When it was time to head back to the cabin, he looked down and his ring was gone. He had no recollection of it falling off. After reliving the day's events, Casey remembered falling in the stream in one particular spot. He surmised that the ring must've slipped off during that fall. He and Dad went back and looked in and around that location, but had no luck. What are the odds? It would've been like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.
While any wedding band is special, I'd like to think that Casey's was exceptionally meaningful. Casey and his grandfather were very close while Casey was growing up. Unfortunately, his grandfather passed away before he and I met. While we were engaged, I had Casey's wedding band made from a piece of his late grandfather's jewelry. So the ring not only carried the significance of our marriage, but also a memory of his grandfather.
With no hope of finding the ring, we continued our vacation, but with a dark cloud hovering. Casey had a tee time scheduled the next morning. It seemed that there was no hope in finding the ring, so he went ahead and played golf. I tagged along and rode in the golf cart with him. (Remember! We were newlyweds!) The golf was good, but the mood was somber. Casey is a pretty laid back guy, but he was so bummed about the loss of his ring.
Unbeknownst to us, my mom and dad felt so sorry for us that they went back up the stream while we were at the golf course. They decided to take one more look in stream again. This time they were armed. Cleverly enough, they each took a 9x13 glass pan with them. The thought was that this would stop the current in the water and serve as a make-shift magnifying glass. They could hold the pan at the surface of the water and look though it seeing the bottom clearer.
Casey had fished for a while on that fateful afternoon. There was probably almost a mile of stream to cover. Where to begin? They started at the spot of the "fall." Which turned out to be a good starting point. Not long after beginning this dismal ring search, Dad spotted a glimmer of gold.
Another look I will never forget....returning to the cabin after 18 holes and seeing the gold wedding ring hanging by a literal string in the door frame!
We were shocked, grateful, SHOCKED, and thrilled. Needless to say, when Casey goes fishing now, he might take a few kids, he might take his lunch, but he definitely does not take his ring.
And honestly, nine years later, I am still shocked the ring was found.