Saturday was a terrific day to award the prize for the annual silver treasure hunt to Steve and Julie. We met at the telephone pole they found the medallion on for a picture fest. The sun was shining down on us but the wind was blowing at about 15 miles an hour and the temperature was struggling to get above 20*. We were not dismayed though and the picture taking was accomplished without delay and we proceeded to Russell&Ballards Jewelry showroom for the prize itself: A box of money and other accessories to accompany the engraved winner's mug everyone wants to have sitting on their mantle. Steve and Julie brought their entire family along and I have to say that I have not met a more enjoyable group of people. Smart, supportive, fun and friendly pretty much sums them up. I can certainly see why they were able to persevere and win the game. It was my great pleasure to join them in their celebration. Good job guys!
According to all the mail and comments I've received: The new, faster pace of the clue announcements seem to be a hit as well as beginning the hunt after the holiday season. A large, younger crowd joined in using some of the new technology they are so familiar with and sped up the transmission of ideas back and forth almost instantaneously. As it was, at least this time, the tried and true method of trial and error on foot proved to be effective. It is fascinating to observe the use of things not even in existence only a few short years ago. To me it is fascinating, to those that grew up with that stuff it is simply commonplace and will probably be outdated in less than a decade.
I had fun, a lot of other people had fun and the 31st silver treasure hunt is in the history books. I look forward to seeing and hearing from you all next year. I have to learn more about the passing on of information because the newspapers and other audio or video media are changing by the day and aren't a reliable source for the riddle and clues any more. Matt VandeBunte from the press did an excellent job this year and the Advance newspaper did too until their printing schedule changed. Like I said, I have to learn more as time goes on. We used to be able to count the participants by the amount of riddle requests we received in the mail because it was not published in the papers but it got so popular I couldn't keep up with it and the papers and TV announced them. Our highest count has been over 40,000 hunters. With the news exposure even more are aware of it. I take satisfaction from that fact because each person that becomes acquainted with the treasure hunt has an opportunity to learn more about the danger of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. A subject many people don't want to talk about. Kind of like a ghost: You can't see it, you can't smell it, you can't taste it so it's scary to discuss. The game makes it more fun than scary. We all win!