I've said it before: I love a good hunt.Today The G-Men and I went on a scavenger hunt through Seattle. Sponsored by City Solve, the clues proved challenging, mind-bending and demanding of some good hard walking. We saw our city with fresh eyes and discovered previously unexplored parts of this hip, smart and frequently odd town.
We also deciphered nearly all ten of our designated stops -- with one kick-me exception.
|Westlake area. A bonus clue. Find a drink with ice cubes.|
And for once, Seattle needed cooling off.
Temps hit almost 80 today.
We saved this clue for the end, since it was on our route back to the race's finish -- at 88 Keys, a dueling piano bar (not kidding). But by the time we got to 2nd Ave, we'd already spent nearly four hours hiking Seattle's notorious hills, and now, as we wandered up and down 2nd Ave, our spirits flagged.
Finally, we stopped a cop on horseback.
"We're looking for The Maltese Falcon."
He scratched his head. "Only thing that comes to mind is a statue," he said. "It's of some predatory bird."
It was possible. After all, Seattle has a statue of Vladamir Lenin. Why not the the bird of Bogart fame.
But the tatue wasn't in Pioneer Square.
"And," the cop added, "I don't think that bird is a falcon."
|One of the funnier clues.|
Spoofing the Tom Cruise divorce: Find L.Ron Hubbard's
book, Dianetics. The guy in the Scientology Center
was NOT amused.
Meanwhile I gazed longingly down a side street. Heaven was right there -- down Cherry Street. Seattle Mystery Bookshop.
If only we had time for tangents! Go browse, lose myself in the stacks . . . .
But the clock was ticking, and we were losing. After wandering 2nd Avenue some more, we finally decided to this stop would be one of our allowable "skips" that the rules allow.
Yet despite all that, I felt haunted.
Somewhere -- right under our noses-- that blasted Maltese Falcon was mocking us.
At the finish, a girl checked our photos, making sure we actually found each clue and that all four of us were in every picture.
I glanced over her shoulder, reading the answer sheet.
Maltese Falcon, it read. Seattle Mystery Book Store.
"What?" I cried. "It was the book store?!"
She nodded. "Not a lot of people got that one."
Fine, I wanted to say, but I'm a mystery writer. If there was one clue we should've gotten, that was it! And my heart had been pulling me to go there-- and I ignored it.
I could get all philosophical here -- about following your heart, thinking less literally, not watching the clock -- but I'm frankly too tired.
I want to put my feet up and celebrate with the G-Men.
Because next year, we'll be out there again.
And beware, mystery clues. I'm coming for you.
City Solve holds races around the country. Check to see if there's on in your your area.
|We were SUPPOSED to find a sign with the word "love."|
We finally resorted to changing Move to Love. The guy painting this sign took our picture.
You can see an incomplete green blob, on the right, which we interrupted.
Nice guy -- nice city.