Given the mild February weather this year, Calgarians are finding creative ways to enjoy the outdoors.
The Treasure League, run by local writer Anders Svensson, has launched a monthly treasure hunt in which the winner will get $500.
“That’s some sweet money,” said Steven Smith, a participant in the February hunt.
Clues are sent through mobile devices, and participants have a month to solve the riddles.
Participants must pay an entry fee of $10 to play and receive clues, but the entry fee does little to deter Smith. Whoever follows the clues and solves the riddles should find the hidden treasure chest which then can be cashed in for $500.
“My girlfriend and I have been sending the clues to each other, having a hard time solving them,” he said. “But it’s all in good fun.”
The clues are quite difficult, but the challenge of solving them is part of the appeal of the hunt.
“We have yet to solve a clue that would get us on the right path, but we’ve been close,” Smith said.
Smith and Kayda Laverick have spent their time exploring possibilities while thinking critically about what the potential clue reveals.
Usually it’s just a landmark, but in some cases, the clue leads to area of the city.
With all types of different puzzles, clues and riddles, Laverick and Smith have had fun just trying to solve the mystery. The $500 prize is a bonus, they said.
“Sure, the $10 is kind of waste, but this gives us something to work hard on together,” Laverick said.
The hunt has become a family affair. Smith has included his sister in hopes of solving the clue in a timely manner, and Laverick has employed the help of her father.
“We have yet to solve a clue that feels 100 per cent correct,” Laverick said while reviewing her clue.
Her clue was a series of empty lines and it read like a riddle. At first, Laverick thought it was describing Canadian Olympic Park (COP). And then she thought it was the Saddledome or possibly Olympic Plaza.
“It’s a head-scratcher,” Laverick said.
Although the difficulty of the clues could be enough to deter some, for Laverick and Smith it’s something different to experience.
We have yet to solve a clue that would get us on the right path, but we’ve been close. – Steven Smith
“Having fun is what matters,” Laverick said. “I think even though we aren’t likely to win, I still enjoy myself trying to decipher the clue.”
Still, the prize money would be nice especially after the holiday season.
“If I win the $500 eventually, I’m going to buy Kayda something nice, and myself a chainsaw,” Smith said.