Monday, June 5, 2017

Goose Chase

This past week we went on an urban scavenger hunt.  Not an actual goose chase of course, but given our rednecky track record, you never know.

This particular goose chase was through the exchange district and downtown Winnipeg.  Sean had bought the package for our crew, which was super generous of him.  With this hunt, you have to "collect" urban items and accept challenges to earn points while competing against other teams in the area.

He's how it plays out; you and your crew download the app and are given a login name.  As you collect the items and submit them through the app, your "guide" reviews your submissions in real time to see if they are acceptable. Your guide also gives words of encouragement throughout the night.

I didn't know what to expect to be honest and at first we weren't sure what to do, but did it ever pick up momentum!  Next thing I knew we were running all over the exchange district taking pictures of anything and everything... a cornerstone, historical landmark sign, a horse's a$$, a fish, a sculpture of pioneers, a no left turn sign....

In order to collect the items, you have to take a picture.  The clever thing is that you can't upload a picture.  At first I thought it was garbage, because we were all texting photos to Sean who was the keeper of keys with respect to the submissions.  The more I thought about it though,  it was pretty ingenious!  This way you couldn't google or snap the pictures ahead of time. Nicely done.

Some of the items to collect where Winnipeg landmarks; specifics murals or sculptures.  Others were more generic.... a restaurant for example.  That being said, some of the items, while seemingly simple are quite hard to find downtown. A fish? A squirrel?  Even if you did see one, good luck getting your camera out in time to snap a pic of that nutty b*gger.

Then, in between all of that  running around, you would occasionally get a notification from your guide to do a challenge.  The first one was to have a member of your group act like a coyote and "howl at the moon".  Now there are a varied bunch of people downtown, but not a lot of coyote impersonators.  I was pretty impressed when Brad stepped up.  He perched himself up on a plant potter and howled.  Funny thing was that Sean didn't record it properly the first time, so he had to do it again.  Although  I wouldn't put it past Sean to have done that intentionally lol.

Some where mid challenge we had a interesting sort of fellow following us.  At first he stayed back, but then we noticed that he would "walk by" every five minutes. Considering we were running all over the place, it was pretty weird.  But I guess he eventually got bored chasing a bunch of people taking pictures of fountains.  We passed a lot of really cool places that I never knew existed and am definitely going to check out in the future.  We also passed this masterpiece who's sign genuinely looked like it was written in a sharpie.

It is a testament to Winnipeggers that we were stopped to ask if we needed help finding our way.  Admittedly, we did look like a bunch of tourists shouting out, "I think it's this way!" while staring at a map on google. But still, it's nice to know that those type of people still exist.

The list of things to collect was insane.  It was pages and pages and pages long.  I didn't think we would even remotely come close, but we rocked it.    As a bonus, if the pictures you took were creative, you got bonus points.

A highlight of the night was one of the challenges.  It was to act like zoo animals.  It just so happened that we were walking past a iron gate at the time.. and cue monkeys.  If you look closely at the end, Brad is throwing his own sh*t which was a nice touch.

This video makes me happy.  My friends are crazy and I love it.  I'm pretty sure we got a bunch of bonus points for that one.

Amazingly enough, two of our friends Kat and Gerrit came along as well.  What makes that amazing is that they just had a baby.  I mean, she's NEW.  In the weeks after I had the boys, it was incredible if I even left the house to get groceries let alone go on a walking tour of downtown with a newborn. Kat and Jerrit take Avery everywhere. They are parental rockstars.

Getting back to the hunt, the app for the chase was cool.   It had a facebook like feed where you could see not only your submission, but those of other teams.  It also had a leader board where you could see how you were faring against other teams.  Somehow that motivated us to move a little faster.  15th didn't seem anywhere near what we were capable of, so we stepped it up.  15th!.... 13th!!...11th!

As we were winding down the challenge, our guide gave us some good news.  We were one of a few teams to hit 100 pts.  EVER.  Woot!  So he asked for us to send in a picture of the team. At the time we were right by the city hall sign, which seemed as good a place as any to take the photo.

I'm not sure how this all came to pass, but I believe that two girls stopped Erin to ask what we were doing as they saw us running all around.  They were from Saskatchewan visiting town.  Next thing we knew, they offered to take our picture. One of then even asked to be in the photo...uh...  Kinda weird, but ok I guess.

After the photo, we called it a night and hit the King's Head for a celebratory pint as we came in 2nd overall.  I learned two things from the evening; there is an elegant mix of local gems and beautiful art along with super seedy spots in downtown Winnipeg.  On Wednesday night, my crew was one of the gems.
From left, Gerrit, Avery, Kat, Brad, Me, Sean, Debbie, David, Random stranger and Erin.


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