The All Star Break, as It Were

We've reached the halfway point of the summer hunting season. The Cooler Crew has picked up a pair of medallions. Coldest Hunter snagged Roseville, and Matt Koskie grabbed Cottage Grove. Way to go guys! Nine hunts are down, and not all of them without controversy. Columbia Heights had the brick-breaking problem to ultimately get to the medallion in Judge Wargo Court. The Blaine hunt lasted only a single clue which was taken down fromt he web site before any of us knew what it was. C'est la vie though, right?

The good news is that there are still a lot more hunts out there for us to get. So crew, lets get out there and find them!

2013 Summer Hunting Season Kicks Off Today

With the release of the first three clues for the 2013 Hugo Good Neighbor Days Search For Spike, the 2013 hunting season is officially under way. Having found six of the summer festival medallions last year, and being more organized and determined this year, we are in a position to capture even more festival treasure this summer. At this time, we know of 14 cities having treasure hunts this summer with prizes ranging from $100 to $1500 depending on the hunt. To help keep tabs on the hunts, we've added a block to the right hand side of this page called "Today's Events" which shows whatever events are in our site calendar that are going on today.

Let's go Cooler Crew and capture some treasure!

2013 Allison Wonderland Mock Hunt Kickoff Party

The Original Gabe's By The Park
Saturday March 2, 2013
5:30 start, 6:00pm clue release
991 Lexington Pkwy N
St Paul, MN 55108

More from the white rabbit:

Announcing the 2013 Allison Wonderland Mock Hunt

From the White Rabbit:

I have to admit that when it comes to being creative, nothing inspires me so much as seeing something done badly.  Consequently this year's clues and explanations have me quite inspired to get started with writing clues for the Mock Hunt.  So with that said, let's go ahead and set the date for Saturday, March 2nd.  The first clue will come out at 6:00pm that nightand be released, once a day, every day at 6:00pm until the end.
 
There are two ways to play.  One is to be a registered hunter which costs $10.  If you are registered and you find it, you will win the whole prize which I estimate will be around $500 this year.  You can also hunt for free, but then if you win, you get just $100 and the remaining registration money will carry over to the next hunt (which is what happened last year).
 
So if this hunt left you wanting for a better puzzle to solve, I encourage you to keep in touch and watch this message board over the next month.

Closing out 15 years: the 2013 Rehash Recap

What a way to close out a milestone year for the Cooler Crew! Coincidence or not, after a slew of red herrings from the clue writer, we ended up digging back in the birthplace of the Crew -- well, the in-person birthplace of the Crew anyway -- Cherokee Heights Park. Of course things have changed since those early days. After two weeks out in the frozen tundra, we've decided to wimp out for the rehash, and nowdays have it indoors, typically in the shelter at Newell Park, and this year was no different.

Just as with the Predig, we met a lot of new friends, and welcomed back some old ones. After a years-long hiatus, KT returned and assumed co-MC responsibilities with Redbear. Those two just make a great comedic team when it comes to justifying which door prizes go to which winner. This year's door prizes were rounded out with plenty of PP swag, rightfully "acquired"  from the press conference and winner's party at Gabe's (and from the Vulcan Victory Dance the night before), along with the requisite clue-related prizes: a copy of Joel Barker's Paradigm book, plenty of Vinyl from the band "Head East" and Bing Crosby, and DVDs of the "movie" Mashed Rice, er, Archimedes, and crazy food items like Yellow Mashed Rice, Morton Salt, and Little Debbie Honey Buns.

16th Annual Rehash Bash

16th Annual Rehash Bash
Potluck
Sunday, February 3, 2013
Newell Park - Pavilion

Once again, after the fiasco last year with the weather not being as cooperative as it was supposed to, we're returning to an indoor venue to commiserate the end of the annual hunt. Join us at Newell on February 3 at 11am, and bring a dish to share!

Recap of the 2013 Predig Gig

The 2013 Predig Gig was arguably one of the best we've had to date. With over 60 people in the group shot here, we probably had somewhere around 150 people come through the doors over the course of the evening. We had the entire banquet room at Joseph's Grill on Wabasha, plus as the room cleared out, we had a huge portion of the dining room. As always we welcomed back old friends and welcomed in new friends!

Joseph's provided their $15.00 pasta bar: all you can eat pasta, cooked up to order with whatever veggies, meat, pasta, and sauce you wanted. Great food for a great deal! The plate is sure a lot bigger than it looks when you're making your selections for sure. After people ate in the banquet room, the tables were rolled up and the lights dimmed as the room became a dance floor. For people preferring conversation, the dining room was available and coolerheads mingled back and forth between the two.

Mom provided the annual Cooler Crew button, while Lil'man's son provided the DJ services for the evening. Clue Master organized the two park pick pool boards, each worth $125. Thanks go to Allison Wonderland for organizing the whole event! Everyone is looking forward to reprising the location next year!

Follow the hunt on our 2013 treasure hunt page.

Joe Medallion's Treasure Hunting Tips - 2013 Edition

In a matter of days, we'll all be once again scouring parks at 3am in search of the ever-elusive medallion. Only a handful of groups, somewhere around 60, have the honor of laying claim to the title of "Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt Finder". However, for the 2013 hunt, that's all about to change. No longer will the honor go to a group of hunters; the official rules state that there will be one and only one winner. In order to collect the full prize, the single finder must have his or her own registered button. If you find it and don't have a button, you've either got to forego the full prize, or put an awful lot of faith in someone who does.

This leads us to the first tip for the 2013 hunt. Buy a button. Register it in your name by the appropriate deadline. If you expect to be hunting with your kids, it won't hurt to have one registered in their names too, just in case. Even though the rules for minors have been in place for years, its a little unclear as to how it will be handled if the puck is found by someone under eighteen.

Does this rule change mean you should go solo this year? Absolutely not! Out of the thousands of people who search for the medallion, only one will find it. The odds of being that one are stil pretty slim. I've said it before the greatest treasure mostof us will ever find is the camaraderie and the friendships that are created through this crazy hobby.

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Cooler Crew -- A History

During the 1990's, the St Paul Pioneer Press opened online discussion forums. These forums were called Water Coolers. The forums had discussion topics related to sports, politics, news, and current events. Each year, the Pioneer Planet — the online section of the Pioneer Press — opened a discussion forum as a media for hunters to discuss the clues for the Winter Carnival Medallion Hunt.

During the earlier years, one might find a few hundred posts during the hunt. As more hunters had computers, those numbers jumped. From 1997 to 1998, the number of posts increased from the hundreds to the 5-digit thousands. It was during the 1998 hunt the Cooler Crew was born.

The community spirit and teamwork displayed in the Pioneer Press Medallion Hunt thread was inspiring. The group of hunters found themselves at the end of a hunt not wanting to let go of new friendships and the camaraderie found on the Water Cooler board. The idea emerged to do what anyone would do in the middle of winter in Minnesota. A picnic in Cherokee was planned - the first Rehash Bash!

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