Metal Detecting in Northern Ural Mountains, Russia (Story 6), page 7
Getting Back To Civilization Was Not Easy
The Largest Pewter Sleigh Bell I Had Ever Found, 4 Inches In Diameter, With Two Iron Peas Inside
We did not have much time left for more detecting as we still had a long way to get back home. Now we had to hitchhike from the point where the minivan's driver dropped us off on a previous day. He said that it would not be a problem to catch a ride back to the nearest city where we could take a train to Ekaterinburg.
This time we used the dirt road to get back to the highway. In an hour, we were there. Only not that many cars were passing by, that got us concerned a little.
We spent three hours trying to hitch a ride on that highway! Among all vehicles that passed by there were only a few cars which all three of us could fit in. But their drivers did not even slow down when they saw us, three bum looking guys in the middle of nowhere! The rest of the passing cars were completely full. We had to find another approach to solve the problem of getting back to civilization.
Our only option was to walk back on that dirt road, pass the site where we metal detected, and walk five more miles to the bridge over the river. At least the map showed the bridge. But I told my partners that the map was issued in the 1970s and many changes could take place since then, especially in the areas like this one.
The bridge could be washed away by the river during the floods and would not be repaired as the villages around had disappeared. There was only one small village remaining across the river and it had a train stop. So we decided to walk 10 miles to the bridge.
We covered seven miles when I noticed a guy walking towards us on the road. Vladimir and Slava were walking a dozen yards in front of me. I guessed that they were very sure that the bridge was still there, so they just greeted the guy and passed by him without even asking about the bridge.
When I came up to the guy, I asked him if the bridge was still in use. I hoped to hear his "Yes" but that was not the case. I called Vladimir and Slava, who just kept walking, to come back. Now we were trapped. We had to walk seven miles back to the highway!
I asked the guy how he got here. He told me that he and his friend drove here from the highway, the one we came from. Finally his friend's car came into view. I knew already that these guys were the only chance for us to get back to the civilization. I explained our ordeal to them and they agreed to give us a ride to the nearest train station.
We were just lucky that these guys came to the area to look for their friends who were fishing somewhere on the river. They found us instead and helped us enormously. In return, we presented them with the atlas of topographical maps that they liked a lot. It was useless to us anyway. And we were lucky again when we found out that the train back to Ekaterinburg would arrive at the station in half an hour. So we bought the tickets and were happy again waiting for our ride home.
A Rural Rail Road Station
It took the train seven hours to get back to Ekaterinburg. But we did not care because we had survived through the ordeal and come back in one piece. We all learned something. This trip was our reconnaissance of the area. Provided a better solution to the transportation problem and plenty of metal detecting time available, the sites would produce many great finds.
Sunset In Ekaterinburg
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