When I came across a sale from Groupon of a scavenger hunt that will save us 65% off of its original cost, I said, why the hell not? Never done this types of things before. I dragged Jeff into this with nothing to expect. All it says was 4-6 miles of scavenging clues around downtown Minneapolis starting from Bootleggers. Bring your camera and a smart phone and using only your own two feet and a public transportation (no taxis, cars, bikes, bikeshares, rollerskates, camels or hoverboards! it says). Unfortunately my attempt to recruit others was nihil. Although there’s a prize for the best costume, Jeff is not the type to dress to impress.. There are 12 clues and you are to complete 11 of the 12 clues. Here’s our report of the end results.
The temperature was 98 degrees, with little humidity. Here we are waiting at Bootleggers for the announcement. We REALLY wished we could’ve had a couple of pints here. Yeah, don’t ask why…
Here are the clues:
1. The Cities may be Minnesota nice, but just in case — there are more than a few crime fighters around. The Minneapolis P.D. has 800 officers alone, but anybody with a badge and a gun will do — snap a picture with them making the “Charlie’s Angels pose” to complete this clue.
I spotted this cop and went running for it as soon as I sensed he was stopping. Another group came towards it as well. Both groups took turns taking pictures. Mr. Po-Po drove away as I have a feeling he’s not interested in taking anymore pictures of other scavengers.
2. Make some music with a street musician — take photo with anyone playing an instrument out there!
The dude told us that we both had to be in the picture. He said he knows the because that’s the rule as he’s been doing this all day since the race started. I gave him a buck.
3. Seeing as that there’s a Twins game in just a few hours, it shouldn’t be hard to find a fan around. So let’s make it only slightly more difficult: find one with Mauer jersey (not shirt!) and have your team mime pitching while the fan’s swinging in the photo
The dude knows what to do as soon as he saw us. Told him he may be all over the internet the next day. He was “Hell yeah, I told you dude” to his friend.
4. Find any target that has nothing to do with Target or Target Field… and take picture with it. Be creative!
Here’s our “target” picture. It’s round and has a “target” middle. Snap! You’re it! I had in mind a dart in a bar somewhere but got distracted somehow.
5. Go to the exact halfway point of this railroad-turned-bike/pedestrian bridge (look up, do you power lines? You’ve gone too far!) and take a photo of your team with the downtown skyline behind — while jumping for the sky! Here’s the catch: you have to do it with another Challenge team.
This is the Stone Arch Bridge, a former railroad bridge crossing the Mississippi River at Saint Anthony Falls. It’s a beautiful stroll overlooking downtown Minneapolis. We had to take numerous attempts of this shot because the other team has a camera phone and and kept failing to take pictures of us levitating. Thank goodness I didn’t rely on our camera phone.
6. How is it that an establishment founded in 1997 can sell more Jameson the last four years than any pub in Ireland? Take a photo with your team and mementos awarded for this (dubious?) honor. (If they are not enthused about the crowds Challengers, you can take the photo out front)
In case you can’t see it, it’s The Local bar on 10th and Nicollette.
7. You can’t skip this clue: it’s unseasonably hot out today — so we’ll combine a clue with a mandatory 5 minute break which must occur after 2 pm at this Pelli designed public edifice. Take a picture of your team in front of any clock at arrival and departure — make sure they’re 5 minutes apart AND mimic the clock’s hands with yours! Use this break wisely to strategize the rest of your course and to READ the other clues closely and make sure you did them right! Also, please be respectful while indoors!
8. A plaque can be found with the words that PRECEDE the lyrics “Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?” Mimic the pose of the art it’s attached to.
That my friend is a bronze statue of Mary Tyler Moore from the Mary Tyler Moore’s show.The opening title sequence features many scenes filmed on location in Minneapolis in both summer and winter, as well as a few clips from the show’s studio scenes. The opening sequence scenes changed each season, but always ended with the same hat toss filmed at the intersection of 7th Street and Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. The hat toss was ranked by Entertainment Weekly as the second greatest moment in television.
9. So, you knew we’d put a “GMF” sign clue in here, right? Did you think we’d make you take a photo within three block of the sign AND make you a make a human pyramid with the sign visible AND make you convince at least one stranger to take part?
“GMF” stands for Gold Medal Flour. Beginning 1880 and for 50 years thereafter Minneapolis was known world-wide as the “Flour Milling Capital of the World” and now known as Mill City.
10. Have your team stand on the rim of this fountain and get the entire of this pretty-well-known green copper roof in the background. No bonus for getting IN the fountain, but we’re not stopping you either…
The Minneapolis City Hall, originally had a red terra cotta roof but it began leaking so a copper roof was installed. At 180,000 pounds it was said to be the largest in the country. The copper has since acquired its characteristic of green patina, due to mold and oxidation.
11. Minneapolis was incorporated in 1867, but plenty of folks were around even before that. In fact, there’s at least one building that was completed 10 years prior. Take a photo with any building older than the city itself.
We thought the Mill City ruin was older than the city itself. Turns out we were a few years off. The Twin City Lines is one of the oldest
12. Do you think they misplaced the 5 foot tall baseball that goes with glove?
I am so glad we went and did this race. Not only we get to burn a ton of calories we also get learn a lot about Minneapolis, its landmarks and the history behind it. It makes me appreciate more about the city I live in. This site shows the final results of the 137 teams that checked-in, not including the ones that gave up. We placed 78th under Team Zebra, not too shabby. The Minneapolis Challenge benefits for Boys and Girls Club of The Twin Cities. So that makes us feel good to contribute to a good cause. Check out this site for dates and location of the next race in your town.
A couple of pointers for those of you first-timers:
1. Wear good shoes, you’ll be walking around a lot and maneuvering tourists and bums a lot.
2. Check the weather. Wear comfortable, loose clothing. Jeans are way too hot in a 98 degree weather but ideal for rainy days.
3. Come hydrated and bring a small water bottle in your small backpack. The less you carry, the better. The race provides water before you’re off for the search but you’re on your own during the search.
6. Bring a map, sit down for a few minutes and READ BETWEEN THE LINES. Jeff and I had to come back to two spots because we didn’t read its fine lines. Figure out the places you know for sure of its locations and head there right away. Don’t sit and idle trying to figure out locations of ALL items. Keep walking.
4. Bring somebody who’s a walking “Brittanica Encyclopedia”. If they don’t want to pay for the race, ask them if they could join you anyway and share the prize if you win. In my case, I would bring our cousin Matt L. Relying on Wikipedia or Google from your smartphone is nice but you run in to dead spot most of the time. This person can also serve as a picture taker or a “stranger” in the picture. Or if this is not feasibel, make an appointment with someone who will be staying home and in front of the computer. Text or call your questions to this person.
5. Bring your own pocket camera. Don’t rely on your camera phone.
We are looking forward to the next one, next year.
This group won my vote for best costume.