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Treasure Hunt

#1 User is offline   rob_wilson 

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 01:35 PM

Hi all,

In case anyone has wondered what I've been up to recently, here's a story you may enjoy.

A local fall festival held a treasure hunt in October 2008 and had another one this year. You had to pay to participate ($15 last year and $20 this year) and then you were able to create a login to a password protected site that provided clues to the location of the treasure. I found the site last year, but was unable to find the treasure. I was determined to find it this year. The website, at which you can see last year's clues and photos of last year's winners, is http://www.hhtreasurehunt.com/.

The hunt began on October 9. Like last year, the clues were often very cryptic in nature. The person running it employs the use of many different types of codes. Each day would find another clue, some which were helpful, others that seemed less so.

After seeing yesterday's clue, I knew that today's clue would turn this into a foot race. I had been getting the clues between 6 and 7 every morning, but decided last night that if I woke up overnight I would check to see if it had been posted yet. I woke up at 2 am and sure enough the clue was there. By 3 am, I knew where the treasure was located. Knowing that one or more other "contestants" were likely to be up and searching, I decided to head out into the night. When I got to the suspected location, there was nobody there. Not knowing how early the clue had been posted though, it was likely that someone had come and gone with the treasure in hand.

Within 2 minutes of arriving at the park suspected as housing the treasure, a car pulled in and a family of 3 got out, also searching for it. Although the clues had led us both to this particular park, there were no clues that told us specifically where the treasure was hidden. We only knew that it was "in a tree" and that it was not buried and would be between ground level and 8 feet off the ground. I happened to spot a tree with a large hole in the base. I went over to it and looked inside the hole, which looked like a small cave. I thought I might be able to make out part of a nail. The treasure last year was hanging on a nail at one end of a log.

Reaching in, I confirmed that there was indeed a nail, but I didn't feel anything hanging on it. I was sure my fears were confirmed that someone did indeed see the clue earlier than I had and had already retrieved the prize. Just then, my hand brushed up against something solid. I pulled on it and whatever had held the object to the nail let go. I slipped my hand out of the base of the tree to look down at a gold colored pumpkin. On the pumpkin is a phone number that I was to call and a code word that I had to give the person who answered the phone to confirm that I did indeed win the contest.

When I did call the number, I was told that I had officially won the contest. I get to keep the pumpkin medallion (valued at $325). I also get a pumpkin filled with gold (valued at $75), and a check for $1,000.

Once the contest is officially over, the clues will likely become available without having to register so you'll be able to see what I went through to win. Some of the clues involve photos of locations in my local area, so of course those would be harder for someone from out-of-town. However, some were even somewhat difficult for me because 5 of the 10 photos were of places that no longer existed for one reason or another.

A few other tidbits:

The Puzzle Master told me that he went out around 11:45 pm to make sure the prize was still there. He did this because he got word that someone had been at the park earlier in the evening and spent quite some time, over an hour the way it sounded, looking to no avail. Yet I was able to find it within 15 minutes of being there in the 3 am hour armed with a flickering flashlight. Granted the place was lit up fairly well with a street light, but still they should have had the benefit of sunlight in their search.

Oh, and the medallion had a phone number and a code word. I had to call the phone number and give the Puzzle Master the code word in order to confirm that I had the genuine item. The code word was Archimede$. He used the word in honor of the owl in the Disney movie "The Sword and the Stone". Kind of tells you that it was always meant for me to find, doesn't it?

Of course he also told me that he had a stuffed owl that he had thought about hiding with the treasure. I think I'm glad that he didn't. I can imagine what I would have been thinking at 3 am if I had reached into that tree and felt something like that!

Also, although I found the prize around 3 am, I waiting until a more reasonable time of 9 am to call. Turns out he had been up all night waiting for someone to call him. Who would have thought that waiting until a reasonable hour to call would be the inconsiderate thing to do? Had I called him when I found it he could have gotten some sleep.
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#2 User is offline   MaxiBarns 

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 07:15 PM

Congrats, what a fun surprise...can you help me win the Volvo for the Twilight contest? :)
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#3 User is offline   Rinjo 

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 03:04 AM

Amazing!!!! Congrats!!!
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#4 User is offline   rob_wilson 

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 11:43 AM

View PostMaxiBarns, on Nov 4 2009, 07:15 PM, said:

Congrats, what a fun surprise...can you help me win the Volvo for the Twilight contest? :)


You should have a PM from me.
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#5 User is offline   FRD714 

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 12:22 PM

Looks like MaxiBarns will be the owner of a new Volvo. :)
Frank
"We'd like to dedicate this to our friends out there in that superstretch limo...."
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#6 User is offline   rob_wilson 

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 12:52 PM

View PostFRD714, on Nov 5 2009, 12:22 PM, said:

Looks like MaxiBarns will be the owner of a new Volvo. :)


:D Well, I may be of some assistance to her anyway. Looks like you have to solve a series of puzzles to won the contest. Only the first person to solve the final puzzle wins.
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#7 User is offline   MaxiBarns 

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 06:30 PM

View PostFRD714, on Nov 5 2009, 11:22 AM, said:

Looks like MaxiBarns will be the owner of a new Volvo. :)

Let's hope! I was only joking, but if someone wants to Pimp my Ride, I'll be happy to play the game...that and my Honda w/ a quarter of a million miles on it (no joke) could use a break.

All I can say if I were actually to win the car... ROAD TRIP!!! I do belive Disney & a meal would be in order.

On a side note: thanks for the help Rob Wilson
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