“How We Found GoPro #3″
Anthony and Kaitlen solved our “hangman” style puzzle and found the third GoPro given to us by Eastern Bank. After some unscrambling, the puzzle read:
YOULL HAVE TO KNEEL BY THOMAS VEAL. THEN YOULL SEE A FALLEN TREE POINTING TO YOUR VICTORY.
As we said in our riddle for GoPro #1, our true finders never give up. Here’s how it happened, in Anthony’s words:
My friend Kaitlen first showed me the puzzle a week or so ago, but there were too many blanks to determine anything and I wasn’t particularly interested in a GoPro anyway. But by the time Saturday came around, enough words had been exposed that I felt compelled to look around and help her out, so I made some big assumptions and eventually was convinced the camera was at Choate Hall, a law firm in the financial district that occupied a sizable portion of 2 International Place. I wasn’t sure just how public a place the camera would be hiding, but I figured that building was prominent enough to be it. So we drove there late Saturday night and dodged the bar crowds and post-Sox revelers. We didn’t try to get insode, since it was 11 PM, but we checked every nook and cranny around the building and didn’t find anything. The next day, I decided to drive back and see if I could go inside; perhaps the camera was in the lobby, or in the Choate Hall office. I got into the lobby, but I wasn’t able to get up to Choate Hall without an invitation (of course). On my way out, I walked through the building’s cafeteria, and noticed there were trees planted underneath the tiles, which would be a perfect spot to hide things, but I figured I was suspicious enough for trying to get into the building on a Sunday for no particular reason, so I left.
I was going to go back again to check out the trees on Monday, during the day, until Kaitlen pointed out that once an S was added, it could no longer be Choate, so that was out, and I felt like an idiot. Once the V was added to what became Veal, we assumed it must be “Oval”, but we couldnt figure out what the other word was, until at about 10 PM that night, when Kaitlen realized it was Thomas, and it must be referring to Thomas Park, which is oval-shaped. Not only that, but when searching for Thomas Park, one of the first results is a Boston.com article from a few months ago talking about an elm tree that was arching too far over the street and was ready to be cut down. “You’ll have to kneel by Thomas Oval, then you’ll see a fallen tree pointing to your victory”. I found the tree, noticed it was pointing to the monument on the top of the hill, but the monument was locked. It crossed my mind that perhaps it may have been inside, but because of the government shutdown, the monument was closed, but that seemed like an unlikely oversight. I did see someone else with a flashlight in the forest that night, so perhaps they had a similar idea.
Anyway, Thomas Park seemed like a dead end unless there was more specific location info, but later on Monday, Kaitlen made another discovery and sent me the same Thomas Veal article that was just posted on Plenty of Twenites (after I told you I found it). Lynn was a 30 minute drive from my work, and it seemed like a few people had already figured the hint out, and I still wasn’t even sure I really wanted or needed a GoPro, but at this point I was obsessed with solving the puzzle and finding the thing, so I took a few hours off work and made the trip to Lynn, fully aware that I may just end up not finding it, or worse, being too late. When I got there, I realized one does not simply drive to Dungeon Rock, but rather, a mile-long hike awaited me. I took what I thought was a shortcut, but crossing rocks and branches in oxford shoes ended up being a bad idea. I eventually got to the rock, but there were plenty of fallen trees and no clear starting point at which I would kneel by Veal. I followed every fallen branch, and even found an empty army-style ammunition box, which made me think I was too late, but fortunately it was unrelated to the puzzle. I climbed on top of Dungeon Rock, its nearby rocks, searched every nook and cranny, and investigated every conspicous fallen tree that seemed to be pointing somewhere, but nothing. After half an hour, I was ready to give up and walked down the hill in front of Dungeon Rock, took one final look around, turned back, and noticed something unnaturally white next to one of the fallen trees, hidden under two sheets of rotten bark. Of course, it was a soggy, ripped, dirty Eastern Bank paper bag, with bugs, rainwater and a GoPro 3 in it.
I called Kaitlen, emailed Steve, enjoyed the sights of the forest for a few minutes, and walked back up the hill, where I saw another treasure hunter arriving. I know if I had driven and hiked all that way and saw someone else walking away with it, I’d be disappointed, and if I hadn’t dedicated so many hours looking and searching in various locations, I probably would’ve just let her have it. But after all the driving, walking and research Kaitlen and I did, I’m glad I found it, and since she pretty much solved it, I’ll let her keep it. Plus, it was nice to get fresh air, and fun to solve a puzzle, too, even if I was woefully wrong twice.