Trailridge Runners 4WD Club
Scavenger Hunt

October 2009

by Christy Howe

"I loved the Switzerland Trail."
"It was so much fun to go on trails near where we live that we had never been on."
"Getting up a trail, followed by the thrill of getting to cross an item off the list, was really a highlight of the day, repeated multiple times."

These were a few of the comments participants in the first TRR Scavenger Hunt had about their day of adventure. We met at the Centennial Park trailhead in west Boulder, where participants dropped off a potluck dish to Gordy and Christy for the day. In attendance were Matt and CarolAnn Schwab, Richard and Carla Harmon, John and Kathy Howell, Mike and Caroline Moore, Ray and Wanda Comeau, Greg Beery, Don Lamprecht, Roger Briden and Linda Giandinoto, and Bill Boitano and Polly Raider. Numbers were drawn to determine who would go off in which order on their quest to find the items in the pictures. The person or group who found the most items would be declared the winner at the end of the day.

The group was given some rather detailed instructions and a group of pictures of items to find and check off on their list, and we all watched the first Jeep take off and wished them on their way. Starting at Sugarloaf Mountain, the route proceeded on the Switzerland Trail and up through Sunset. Perhaps the first excitement came in "Paris", where a couple of people living on a mining claim up past Sunset decided to give the group a hard time for driving up "their road", even though it is a legal county road. They ended up blocking the road with a backhoe once they realized that multiple vehicles were coming up, so that nixed that little leg of the journey. Fortunately, no odd items were to be found at the top of that road anyway.

The route continued up Pennsylvania Gulch, on to forest roads south of the Switzerland Trail, up the Gold Hill road, through Ward, to Spring Creek, and down from the Peak to Peak Highway to the Howes' home, where the dinner took place.

Surprisingly, some items had changed since Gordy had scoped out the route and taken pictures. One was a really cool airplane on a mailbox that had disappeared in a week's time. Richard and Carla were able to ask the owner about it and were told that it had blown off during that week after several years in place. Another one, which we actually knew about, was a Barbie doll mounted on a mailbox. Evidently Barbie had only been a party marker, but Gordy couldn't bear to remove the picture from the list for Carla's sake, since she's so bummed out that Gordy's Barbie is no longer riding in his winch! There was also a Barbie Jeep but no one was able to find it.

Ray and Wanda perhaps had the most trouble. After being berated by the French lady in "Paris" (so-called because the squatters had a sign up declaring it so), they continued on their way until their electrical system unexpectedly quit as they headed down Spring Creek near Ward. Matt and CarolAnn came by and they managed to get it started and limp to the final destination, unfortunately missing one of the interesting legs of the journey but first for dibs on the food awaiting them at the Howes' house.

Gordy had told the group that extra points would be given to anyone who found something more outrageous than he had found. Bill and Polly won this, proudly displaying pictures of two Bactrian camels AND a mailbox with both Fred Flintsone and a dinosaur (and some other stuff) mounted on it, quite the step up from Barbie!

After dinner was gratefully consumed, Gordy announced the winners and Christy handed out gag prizes. The grand prize, awarded to Richard and Carla, was a sign saying "Bang Head Here". Running in a close second were John, Kathy, and Greg, working as a team.

All agreed that the day was a long one but a grand success and stated that they eagerly awaited the (potential) follow-up next year.

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