The Hunt is On!

It’s funny, the things that you miss, no matter how insignificant.

For as long as I can remember, mid-February meant heading out to a local park and searching for a tiny plastic medallion.

I never found the Syracuse Winterfest Medallion, but I came close. I was in Burnet Park, no more than 20 feet from where it was later found.

Other times, I was on the wrong side of the county.

Too many Februarys have gone by since the outbreak without a treasure hunt.

I took an old lid to a plastic butter container from the kitchen, added a logo, and hid it late one night.  The next morning, I  posted the first clue to its location in the lobby of the Best Western.

“To find the medallion, it’s safe to look alone.
The treasure is hidden inside of the zone.”

The first clue never gave you a real sense of where to look.  Why start now?  Throughout the day, rumors swirled about the contest.  There was a rumor that Ron was even going to give a free lunch to the winner.  Others said that the Corps would let you ride along for a mission.  I hadn’t thought of a prize.  I was too concerned with coming up with interesting clues.

“To win the hunt you need to go out there and look.
I’m not as good at writing these as the guy in that penguin book.”

I got a few laughs out of this clue.  Penn even offered to help me out.  I think he just wanted to know where it was hidden.

“The medallion isn’t buried or out in plain sight.
You must find it during the day, because it won’t be there at night.”

After the third clue, I had a few that wanted to refer me to Krezner.

“At dusk it goes east.  At dawn, it goes west.
Find the medallion, and you’ll be the best.”

By the time the fourth was posted, word had spread through the zone.  I heard that Slater was even caught looking.  He denied it.

“To find the treasure, you don’t want to be late.
The information you need is found at the gate.”

I must have made this clue too obvious.  Within half an hour of posting it, the medallion was found.  Jensen, a member of the Corps found it. 

Clipboard thought it was strange for Jensen to ask to look at his clipboard.  Later, Clipboard told me that he felt foolish not finding it sooner.

Next year, maybe we’ll throw in a chili cook-off too.

3 Responses to “The Hunt is On!”

  • The year that the medallion was in Hannover Square, Shelly and I were at the exact spot where it was hidden two days before it was found. We just didn’t go deep enough in the snow, quit, and got a beer and some chilli in a bar right across the sidewalk which we never would have been in anyway. The Hunt is a great way to see parts of the County that are right in front of you that you wouldn’t otherwise notice. And to feel your optimism slowly blow away like a drifting snow, leaving nothing but a cold, aching despair.

    The people that have won over the past couple of years have been teams that saturate an area. It can be lonely and weird to be out there yourself, dusting and chipping away at tree roots. If only there were a group of publicity and money-hungry Central New York patriots that could get together and find this. If only.

    By the way, Chris, this is an excellent idea. I’ll bet if you put the phrase “Syracuse Medallion Hunt” or “Post Standard Medallion” or “Winterfest Medallion Hunt” somewhere in the text, the number of people (not Z’s) who stumble onto the site would quintuple.

    I’m going to win.


  • It’s hard to believe now that we actually ignored the tree where it was hidden this year three days in advance of its being found because we actually adhered to the rules of the search.

    By the way, do you mind that I moved your “Read More”?

  • I think I actually looked at the tree when I was there by myself. I just didn’t smash through the three inches of ice on top of the medallion.

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