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??