Tim and I have always been adventurous. We can often be found hiking off trail, exploring our surroundings, and we have been known to spend more time in the woods than actually hiking the trails. Our first day hiking the trail at Horse Thief Lake in the Black Hills National Forest, we found a treasure that made me even more glad that we have always been adventurous.
Shortly after entering the trail head, we found a small stream, across the stream, heading into the woods was an animal trail, we followed it. At the top of the trail was a small cave with, what looked like a pile of leaves with a log under them. I was happy that we found this cool cave, but Tim says, “There’s something under those leaves!” I said, “Yeah, it looks like a log.” He says, “No, it’s a chest!” He leans down and scatters the leaves on top of the “log,” and low and behold…there’s a TREASURE CHEST hidden under the leaves!
At this point, Tim and I are very excited and surprised. We open the chest to find a bunch of notes, and fool’s gold. There are also some business cards, and a pen. We read all the notes, finding the original wasn’t hard, it read, “Take some gold, but leave the chest, or we’ll find you.”
The earliest dated note was from 2015. The chest had been there for over two years! We left our own note, written, as so many others were, on the fallen bark of an aspen tree. It read, “Happy trails, my friends. Love, Tim & Harmony J. It was the most awesome thing we have ever found in the woods, not for the chest itself, but for the significance of the chest, and what it represents.
This chest was buried in that cave two years before we found it. Multiple hikers had found it before us, but not as many as one would think, and, it was still there! It still had fool’s gold in it, it still had a pen, and it carried within it the well wishes of everyone who had come before us.
Do you think the original owners of the chest came and restocked it? I don’t know, maybe. But, imagine for a minute that they hadn’t. Imagine that everyone who came upon that chest, only left a note and took a single piece of gold. Imagine a world filled with people who thought of others who would come after them. Imagine a world filled with unselfish people.
In the words of our newly found friend, Jim, “Doesn’t that give you hope for humanity yet?” Yes, indeed it does Jim. Indeed, it does.