Thursday, October 26, 2017

Hunt #2: Google Maps Challenge - SOLVED!

Congratulations to Steve from Ohio who submitted correct answers to all four clues! Like many of us in the "treasure" hunting world, Steve enjoys the chase as much as the quarry. He says, "Not only do you get the thrill of the AHA moment, but it is very fun and rewarding to actually learn about the history behind the events." Great job Steve!

Clue #1
More than a century has gone by
And memories are fading away.
But some still pause to cry
For the tragedy that struck on Boxing day.

Once you're on track you'll find what you need.
Seek a sign and write what you've seen.

This one should have led you to think of some sort of tragedy involving a train more than 100 years ago. A bit of googling would have eventually turned up something like this news story or interesting information about those who lost their lives on that sad day.

Location: East Paris Train Wreck, December 26, 1903. 
Occurred near the intersection of 32nd St and Broadmoor Ave SE. 

GPS: 42.905247, -85.580941

Text: I would accept a few different options for this one. Steve mentioned all three! Standing at the intersection of the track and 32nd street, there are two signs that can be seen from here. 1) No Parking sign (P with circle and slash), and 2) Downhill grade (symbol of truck going downhill). The Stop on Red Signal signs cannot be seen here, though I would have accepted them as well.

Clue #2
Three sizes of the same
Stand on display.
Miss Gherardini by another name
Might have something to say.

Once you've drawn nigh you'll find a dent on the wall.
Look to the left and write the first name that you saw.


Miss Gherardini might have been the key to this one. Discovering that Lisa Gherardini was the inspiration for the Mona Lisa (whose smile suggests she might have something to say) would have led you to Leonardo da Vinci. Connecting da Vinci to Grand Rapids would lead you to Frederik Meijer Gardens where the American Horse Sculptures are on display (3 sizes).

The phrase "drawn nigh" also hints at da Vinci's sketches which were drawn and "nigh" means "near" or "on the left". As you get closer to the smaller statues using Google street view, you'll see plaques on the wall. (Google has used "street view" in many parks and non-"street" places around the world. Check it out!).



The middle plaque has the name Charles Dent (dent on the wall). To the left is the plaque with "Nina Akamu". Nina Akamu is the artist/sculptor who brought Leonardo da Vinci's horse to life.


Location: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI American Horse Sculptures.
GPS: 42.980686, -85.586343

Text: Nina Akamu

Clue #3
You're so fine
Was something Bob never said.
It was just a line
So don't let it go to your head.

Once you've found where he is, there's really only one way in.
Look to the right and take note from beginning to end.


This one proved to be a bit tricky for quite a few people but Steve nailed it. "It was just a line" indicates that "You're so fine" was a line a from a song. In fact, it was the title of a song by The Falcons. "Bob" was Robert Manardo, one of the founding members of The Falcons in 1955. He was drafted into the military and left the group in 1957 before "You're So Fine" exploded onto the charts in 1959. Hence, Bob never said "You're so fine".




"There's really only one way in" has a couple of meanings here. The first is as a hint to the cemetery where the only way "in" is to die. The second meaning hints at the place you're looking for on street view (which also ties in to the text you needed to find)...the entrance. Since street view doesn't actually go into the cemetary, this is as far as you can get.


Location: Robert "Bob" Manardo burial site. Resurrection Cemetery, Wyoming MI.
GPS: 42.889286, -85.684597

Text: Entrance [Entrance to Cemetery]



Clue #4
Let your attitude be
A lamp that can heal.
Sometimes it's free
To eat a Heavenly meal.

Once you've found your spot, it can be a real pane.
To the left is a sign for what kind of lane?


The first line of this one might bring to mind the "Beatitudes" (let your attitude be). A lamp that can heal, which hints at "Guiding Light" helps you get close, but not to the exact point you're looking for. Located nearby is God's Kitchen (a Heavenly meal). It can be a real "pane" was misspelled on purpose because you need to find "God's Kitchen" written on the window (pane of glass). From there you can see either the bike lane sign on the pavement or the "loading zone" sign on the sidewalk. 



Location: God's Kitchen, next to the Guiding Light, Grand Rapids MI
GPS: 42.957678, -85.667761

Text: 1) Loading Zone or 2) Bike [Bike lane symbol on pavement]

Q & A

Sometimes I get mail from searchers who ask some pretty inquisitively good questions. Here are some examples:

Q: (Regarding Hunt #1 Seek and Ye Shall Find)
You gave a hint about the treasure being north of hell, but south of paradise. Does this indicate that the treasure is in Michigan? Or are we to extend those north and south boundary lines across other states?

A: I've been asked this question more than once. Directly answering it might give away more than I'm inclined to at present. But in response to this question, I'll eliminate two more states from consideration: Minnesota and Iowa.


Q: (Regarding Hunt #2 Google Maps Challenge)
Are the clues contiguous, as in is clue 2 close to clue 1 location and so on?

A: No, the clues are not connected nor are they related to each other.


Q: (Regarding Hunt #2 Google Maps Challenge)
When looking at Google street view, Google has placed street names on the surface of the streets. Are those street names part of the answers?

A: No.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Google Maps Challenge - New Hunt (and it's free!)

Status - SOLVED
This is my first "Google Maps Challenge" hunt. Nothing to buy - it's free! 
Everything you need to get started is right here.
Prize: $25 Amazon gift card. (Valid only in the US).


Instructions
This Google Maps Challenge takes place in the greater Grand Rapids, Michigan area. I've created a set of four clues that will lead you to specific locations in the area. There are four specific locations that need to be found. All four clues must be solved to claim the $25 Amazon gift card.

Each set of clues has a two part solution.
  • The first part of the solution is the location related to that clue.
  • The second part of the solution is the text you need to find. You'll need to be using street view to find the text.

The Clues

Clue #1
More than a century has gone by
And memories are fading away.
But some still pause to cry
For the tragedy that struck on Boxing day.

Once you're on track you'll find what you need.
Seek a sign and write what you've seen.

Clue #2
Three sizes of the same
Stand on display.
Miss Gherardini by another name
Might have something to say.

Once you've drawn nigh you'll find a dent on the wall.
Look to the left and write the first name that you saw.

Clue #3
You're so fine
Was something Bob never said.
It was just a line
So don't let it go to your head.

Once you've found where he is, there's really only one way in.
Look to the right and take note from beginning to end.

Clue #4
Let your attitude be
A lamp that can heal.
Sometimes it's free
To eat a Heavenly meal.

Once you've found your spot, it can be a real pane.
To the left is a sign for what kind of lane?


Submit Your Solution
So you think you've solved it? How do you claim the $25 Amazon gift card? If you follow these instructions precisely and communicate your solution as specified, the gift card is yours! All four clues must be solved to claim the $25 Amazon gift card.

Send the following to me in an email:
  1. Subject line of your email: Hunt #2 Solution.
  2. Include the following details:
    • Clue #1
      • Location: (can be GPS coordinates and/or description of location/event)
      • Text:
    • Clue #2
      • Location: (can be GPS coordinates and/or name of location)
      • Text:
    • Clue #3
      • Location: (can be GPS coordinates and/or name of location)
      • Text:
    • Clue #4
      • Location: (can be GPS coordinates and/or name of location)
      • Text:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#1 is Now an Armchair Treasure Hunt!

Status - ACTIVE

This hunt is still ACTIVE! The cache is gone, but the finder never claimed the gift cards. While I don't believe the cache could have been stumbled upon by accident, there's always the chance that it was discovered by someone who wasn't searching specifically for it.

Fortunately, I considered that as a possibility when designing the hunt and so disguised the cache as a geocache. I included contact information, but made no mention of the treasure hunt. I also made no mention of claiming the gift cards.

This is now an ARMCHAIR TREASURE HUNT!

  • The Poem - You can read the poem here, but there's something wrong with it. You'll need to fix it by finding the clues in the book.
  • Buy the Book - You'll need the book to fix the poem. :) 
  • QR Codes - If you have an older version of the book, these are updated QR codes (no clues in these!)
  • Value - Locked in at $700 in Amazon gift card codes. The amount will no longer grow now that the cache is gone. This prevents a potential treasure hunter from delaying the claim in order to grow the gift card balance.


Submit Your Solution
So you think you've solved it? How do you claim the $700 in Amazon gift cards? If you follow these instructions precisely and communicate your solution to my satisfaction, the gift cards are yours!

Send the following to me in an email:
  1. Subject line of your email: Hunt #1 Solution.
  2. Include the poem's solution with at least 20 clues deciphered correctly. Please note:
    • I count a total of 28 clues in the poem.
    • Not every sentence contains a clue.
    • Not every line contains a clue.
    • Some lines contain more than one clue.
    • Some sentences contain more than one clue.
  3. Identify the hidey spot to within 200 feet.
    • Send GPS coordinates.
    • OR send a screenshot of google maps with the location marked.

Cache Contents
The cache is gone! 
It's no longer part of the prize, but here's what was inside.

Earrings from Creations by C & C - Thanks to Dominique Moceanu (1996 Olympic gold medalist) for contributing to this hunt. She has many great pieces available for purchase. Click the link to learn more and to visit her site.
Greek Coin - ca. 350 BC
Roman Ring - ca. 300 AD
Steel Pennies - from World War II
Jewelry Case - crafted in Japan
DVD - Grosse Pointe Blank...why would I include this??



Saturday, September 16, 2017

IMPORTANT UPDATE

As of September 16, 2017 the cache has been found BUT the gift cards have not been claimed!

The finder has 30 days to claim the gift cards.

If the gift cards are not claimed per the instructions in the book (and found on this site) by 11:59pm EST on October 16, 2017 this will become a legit armchair treasure hunt - no travel needed to win the gift cards! 

The gift card balance is now locked in at $700. The balance will no longer grow. This prevents a finder from delaying their claim in an attempt to grow the reward.  

Stay tuned for additional details and guidelines if the prize is not claimed!


***OCTOBER 2 UPDATE***
The gift cards still have NOT been claimed.
The finder now has 2 weeks to claim the gift cards.

***OCTOBER 17 UPDATE***
The gift cards were not claimed by the deadline.
This is now an armchair treasure hunt.
No need to physically retrieve the trove to claim the $700 in Amazon gift cards.
Click here for full details.






Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Good vs. Evil - Which side are you on?

A war has been raging for thousands of years. Everyone is a soldier. Even if you think you aren't, you are.

The thread is woven throughout history. We see it in our stories, our movies and every facet of our lives. We see it over and over again.

Good vs. Evil. Which side are we on? We'd all like to think we're on the good side (well...hopefully). But maybe that's our first mistake. Our pride gets in the way and clouds our thinking.

Here's our second and fatal mistake: in the pursuit of our self-righteous "goodness", do we hate anyone? Now that we've quickly found creative ways to justify and excuse our hate (I mean it's not really "hate", right? After all they're the "evil" ones), let's consider how we can deceive ourselves. If we think we're right and noble and just that tarnishes our thinking. We move into a dangerous series of justifications. That makes others wrong. That makes others our enemies. That makes others "evil".

Love has been said to be the way to end all this bitterness and hate. Love will unite us. Love is the answer. Maybe we should scrutinize our love. Do we love our enemies? Sure we do, right? Cue our quick thinking, creative, self-reinforcing thought processes again. Let's explore our "love". Do we mock our enemies? Do we wish bad fortune upon them? Do we look down on them? Love has no room for any of this.

Perhaps our "goodness" is just a guise. What truly lurks beneath is a covert agent of evil. It doesn't have to be that way.

It's time to fight the good fight.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Q & A

Sometimes I get mail from searchers who ask some pretty inquisitively good questions. Here are some examples:

Q: I'm reading your book (Kindle version) and I want to ask if the page numbers mean anything - the reason I ask is that the Kindle doesn't really have page numbers, so I would be missing something if they were important...

My answer: Page numbers are irrelevant and not important.


Q: You narrowed down the search area in one your blog posts. Would you be willing to narrow it down even more? I mean the prize really isn't that big to be searching such a large area.

My answer: I've got to hand it to you for asking. Yes, I'd be willing to narrow it down even more.


Q: Forrest Fenn has said that you have to follow his clues in order and that you probably won't be able to solve past the first couple by using just a map and the poem. Are you willing to say anything similar about your clues?

My answer: Unlike Forrest Fenn's poem, mine has to be "fixed" first, but after that the concept is the same in my view. I'm not sure if I fully agree with the second part of your paraphrasing.


Q: Are you sure the "chest" is still there?

My answer: As I respond to this question...no, I'm not sure. But I will be sure within the next 30 days.



If you have questions you can send them to me via my gmail address... readandseekadventures.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Look What I Found

Searchers for Forrest Fenn's treasure might see a few interesting things in this photo.

As a refresher, take a look at the last stanza from his poem:

So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.

We've all seen the "brave" and "wood" discussions. But a "brave" made of "wood" eating ice cream which might be... "worth the cold"?

Hmmm....

Friday, May 19, 2017

Signs

Sometimes you have to recognize the signs,
Even when they're spoken without a word.
Sometimes you have to read between the lines,
Especially when there's something to be heard.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Reflections

In March 2013 I learned about Forrest Fenn’s hidden treasure thanks to the Yahoo homepage. It was all a lucky coincidence, however, because that was the default homepage on my Internet Explorer browser and I never use that browser.  I needed to use Internet Explorer for a specific website I was visiting - a site likely built in the 1990s and not updated since. So I popped open the browser and there was a box of gold staring me in the face. 

I read the article, did a little internet searching and in 30 minutes or so I figured I might actually have a chance at finding this thing. That was four years ago today. Some people don’t believe in coincidences. I might not either. 

As I'm about to embark on what may be my last search, I'm reflecting on some of the many things I've learned along the way. 


Inspired by the Chase and Forrest Fenn:
A quest never ceases. It just changes direction.

The end of the rainbow isn’t always the end.

There are some places where you should never go alone, unless you ought to.

If you look too quickly down, you’ll be staring at your feet.

Tomorrow never comes. It’s always today.

Clues are not hints and hints are not clues. And neither will get you very far if you don’t know where you’re going.

If you start at the beginning you’ll likely get lost.

Weather in the mountains can change on a dime.

A blaze is a blaze unless it’s not there.


Attributed to Forrest Fenn:
It is fun to arrange words in such a way that you have to smile at the end of a sentence.

Autobiographers always lean toward the subject.

It is important that I drink a martini at least once a year so I can continue to remember why I don’t like them.

All that I could remember was that I was not supposed to forget something.

He was so busy talking he didn’t hear what I was saying.

One should not let knowing a little bit be a substitute for learning more.

Life has been a rough draft of the place just ahead where the past will come alive again.

Each artifact that is not recovered is a book that will not be read.

Sitting quietly can bring many smiling rewards.

How do you know where the edge is, if you don’t go out there and look?

Having enough money is much better than having a lot of money, because casual cash propagates idle fingers.

Gaining experience isn’t always peaceful.

An interesting phenomena of homo sapiens as a species is that they will find a way to argue a point even when none exists.

(This is something Forrest wrote for Eric Sloane)
Mighty oaks from little acorns slowly grow
Then finally fall and wisp to naught,
But those who plant a seed of words
Live on in groves of human thought.

Sometimes principle is reason enough to abandon logic.

Stay in your job only if you love it.

Get out in the mountains and turn a log over to see what’s there.

Avoid those things that distract you from your self-esteem.

The key word is contentment. If you can find it, everything else has already fallen in place.


Fenn Favorites
“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”~ Yogi Berra

When his wife asked him to change his clothes to meet the German Ambassador he said, “ If they want to see me, here I am. If they want to see my clothes, open my closet and show them my suits.” ~ Albert Einstein

“A hero is someone who can keep his mouth shut when he’s right” ~ Yiddish Proverb

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school” ~ Albert Einstein

“Intellectuals solve problems: geniuses prevent them.” ~ Albert Einstein

T. S. Eliot said:
We shall not cease from our exploration
And at the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time