All aboard crew! We are holding a ticket for you
Let’s depart before our summer turns to sawdust.
Standing at the beginning, will you soon be winning?
Our new bear is hidden well -- this you can trust.
Shoe-up for some tromps -- we promise: no swamps
It got a bit waterlogged by that quaint little bridge.
You will not earn the crown at a house full of brown
Nor on the greens that grow down at Manitou Ridge.
Stanzas I: Under the surface of our welcome to hunters and acknowledgement of Manitou Days’ 2018 theme (“All
Aboard”) were references to a project undertaken at Lakewood Hills Park in 2014. As described in a White Bear Press article posted at the park, a state-funded group called Tree Trust (“this you can trust”) employed a group of young adults to cut and build a boardwalk (“aboard” and “sawdust”) across the swampy ground that is now Tee #1 of the disc golf course (“standing at the beginning”). The article also goes on to state the same organization had earlier built the wooden bridge at Matoska Park, near which the 2017 medallion was hidden. In fact, it is called a “quaint bridge” in the article and so we pulled that exact wording when describing the structure in the second stanza.
Stanza II: “Shoe-up” hinted that hunters would need to walk a bit in order to locate all of the clues spread
throughout the park. Last year’s medallion was found in a low-lying area that filled with water after heavy rains, which created a mucky situation for hunters. This year, we promised, would bring searchers to higher, drier ground. The last two lines instructed hunters to avoid the Fillebrown House (“house full of brown”) and Manitou Ridge Golf Course.
In harbors double, five gathered rubble
And later came to adopt a bill.
Build a foundation of your own creation
All it takes is adherence and skill.
So load the gang in the car -- you needn’t go far
Let the kids loose ‘til they’ve had their fill.
Tuck away those phones, stretch your old bones
Or, better yet...throw a burger on the grill.
Stanza I: The world renown 3M company started in Two Harbors (“harbors double”) with a group of five men
seeking to collect the mineral stone (“rubble”) corundum. An early hero in the company -- and later executive -- was Bill McKnight (“a bill”), who was key is guiding the company into the organization that we know today. Feeling the need to share his success with others, he asked his daughter to create what is now known as the McKnight Foundation (“build a foundation”). Finally, “adherence” hinted at the many adhesive products offered by the 3M. McKnight Road forms the eastern boundary of the park.
Stanza II: This clue sought to paint a place with room for kids to run and play. Lakewood Hills is the largest
city-operated park in the White Bear Lake. The park contains a playground and the nearby YMCA offers many opportunities for young people to have fun. The last line hinted to the grills in the park, but even more so, to Bergeron Pond, southwest of the medallion’s hiding spot, with the words “burger on,” which is also how the name is pronounced.
Chart your course; with all grass divorce
These discoveries will help a ton.
With handlebar hairs, the woodsman stares
Here in our corner of the 6-5-1.
When the love is gone, seek what lusters on
With numbers three and six less than ten.
When a sub ceasefires, the case then inquires:
How the (heck) do we get them down again?
Stanza I: Hunters were encouraged to enter the woods (“divorce the grass”) to where disc golfers play (“chart
your course”). In the woods, near the juncture of Holes 10 and 14, the image of a man (“woodsman”) with a large handlebar mustache is spray-painted onto a tree. Behind him, on another tree (in the middle of Hole 10), the number 651 is prominently spray-painted. Solving this clue would likely cement a hunter’s feeling that s/he was in the right park.
Stanza II: With all of the treasure hunts around town, there are only so many ways to create fresh clues for
baseball diamonds, so here another attempt. The first line was taken from the lyrics from Shirley Bassey’s opening to the James Bond movie “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971). In the second line, three less than 10 is seven, as in 007 (the agent number of James Bond), and six less than ten is four, the number of ball diamonds in the park. The final two lines describe the end of the movie. MOVIE SPOILER ALERT: When Bond crashes a submarine, it ceases the firing capability of a satellite made of diamonds. The “Bond Girl” in this episode, Tiffany Case, asks at the very end of the flick: “How the hell do we get them down again?” We censored it for our family friendly event.
A battle brews, it’s really ongoing news
Those within five may not get a pass.
Though flowers may mourn, 919 did warn
Are there too many straws in the glass?
Let the bugs swarm into an artform
That’ll lead you to our winning cup.
Listen... K? Well, it seems either way
You’ll be able to see exactly what’s up.
Stanza I: This stanza refers to the legal battle currently being waged over the use of water from the aquifer
below White Bear Lake, which could place stringent restrictions on lawn/garden watering (“flowers may mourn”) within five miles of the lake (“those within five may not get a pass”). Advocates of a changing local water use recall the record low water level, 919 feet, measured in 2013. In a May 8 article by Pioneer Press reporter Bob Shaw (The lake or the lawn? Watering ban hangs over heads of White Bear Lake neighbors) the chairman of the Restoration Association is quoted as saying “We have too many straws in the glass.” We liked that quote/analogy and decided to incorporate it into our hunt. So, what is the tie to Lakewood Hills? The city’s Pumphouse 4 is located in the northeast corner of the park. It was also not by accident that this stanza was placed in Clue 4.
Stanza II: “Bugs” in the first line hinted to Bugs Bunny and hunters were prompted to remember his famous
catch phrase, What’s Up Doc?” The word “Doc” without a “K” (see third line) referred to Doc’s Landing, a bar very near the medallion’s hiding place. If you add the “K” you get DocK, which referred to the wooden fishing pier even nearer to where the medallion was deposited.
Take your cake pan and your wily clan
To where big birds are known to crow.
Watch your feet as you faithfully compete
All puzzle pieces should tightly stow.
To the weather they will sometimes tether
A word with a conjunctive ending.
Seeing eight, not nine -- it’s a promising sign
That from the bottom you are ascending.
Stanza I: Lakewood Hills has one of the premiere disc golf courses in the Twin Cities. According to Fred
Morrison, the creator of the frisbee, the idea for the toy came when someone offered him a quarter for the cake pan that he and his future wife were tossing back and forth to each other. “Big birds” referred to the scoring terms used in the game -- including albatross, eagle, and condor. Those that participated in the 2014 at Varney Lake may have recalled that this area of south White Bear Lake was once farmed by the Croe family (a plaque to the family stands near the large pavilion). Finally, “watch your feet,” “puzzle pieces,” and “tightly stow” referred to the foot mats found at the start of many of the tees on the disc golf course, which look like interlocked puzzle pieces.
Stanza II: Just west of the disc golf course, Belland Avenue runs into Lakewood Hills and where it does so is
almost in a direct line with where the medallion was placed in the park -- so we had to make this one a bit hard. The word to know here is bellwether. The word “bell” is tied (“tethered”) to wether (“weather”) and if you add “and,” a conjunction, you arrive at the name of the street. The medallion was hidden on the side of a hill. When you walk up (“ascend”) from the bottom of the hill next to Handlo Pond, the eight-sided concessions building at the baseball complex comes into view.
Be very careful on your take, but head to the lake
Where the many trees grow oh so tall.
Please, no frowns -- navigating ups and downs
Is just part of our treasure hunt ball.
No time for cavil: grab cement, water and gravel
Then combine ‘em for a delectable mix.
If beer’s your lure, pass through the sewer
Found not far from sports and picnics.
Stanza I: This clue named all of the elements in the name of the park. The first line alluded to “lake”;
the second line to “woods”; and the third, with “ups and downs” to “hills”. Hunters were warned to be
careful on “their take” of the clue and not rush to a literal lake.
Stanza II: If you combine cement, water, and gravel you get concrete. If you take the word “concrete” and add
the word “mixer” (line 2) you arrive at Concrete Mixer, the star of Culver’s ice cream scene. Truly delectable. A Culver’s restaurant is located just south of where we hid the medallion. Next to Culver’s is Doc’s Landing, a sport’s bar (“beer’s your lure”), which can be accessed from the south end of the park by passing between two large and odd cement sewer pipes.
Lion’s or West? No. Matoska? Please don’t go
Nor will you score in parks with beaches.
You’ll be gleaning all clues yet without meaning
Down in the city’s far southern reaches.
Many a paved road run close to our abode
Highway, avenue, and lane to regard.
As you enter, be sure to look to the center
And take in the green, grassy boulevard.
Now, while hiding the thing, a map and clue we did bring
And, somehow, it got lost in a box of sand.
So gently sift around -- Kids, there’s only one to be found
Grab it and be closer to logging yourself a grand!
Stanza I: Eliminating the parks along the lake, this stanza narrowed the hunt to the southern part of the city.
Lakewood Hills is on the southern border of the city.
Stanza II: Lakewood Hills Park is bordered by an array of different types of streets: Interstate Highway 694,
White Bear Avenue, McKnight Road, and Orchard Lane. However, the main entry to the park is a boulevard.
Bonus Stanza: In an added twist to this Manitou Days hunt, we left a scribbled-on map and hand-written copy of
part of Clue 8 in the park for a lucky hunter. Placed in the sands of the playground next to plastic logs used by kids to climb to a platform, the map contained circled numbers that would tell its finder of the structures each of the clues had been referencing (and the outline, but unlabelled, amphitheater not yet named in the clues). Potentially most helpful, however, was a the leak of second cryptic stanza of Clue 8 that, if read closely, could lead the individual or group to the treasure.
On one flank is the well; on the other the bell
And searching nearer one can really pay.
It’s a very short hike to go up and see Mike
Or see a singular landmark on a wintry day.
She’s encouraged every kind -- those enemies bind
“Ashore, come!” Keeps beaconing new-comers here.
America’s proud history to hold, elaborated and told
Ensconced right in harbor; just one or two to see.
Stanza I: On the eastern end of the park is Well #4 (Clue #4) and on the western end of the park is Belland
Avenue (“bell” at the end of Line 1; “and” at the beginning of Line 2 from Clue #5). To help narrow down the space within the park, hunters were told to look for Mike. Just southeast of the medallion site is a clear view of a billboard advertising Jersey Mike Subs. From the same high ground, when leaves are not on the trees, you can see the blinking “1” of the First Bank building in downtown St. Paul (“singular landmark”).
Stanza II: With cadence and rhyming off, this stanza was to alert hunters that wordplay was at hand. Shown
below, the first letter or two of each word (“one or two to see”) spelled out “Seek The Back Bench Amphitheater.”
She Enlightens Every Kind -- THose Enemies Bind
Ashore, Come! Keeps BEaconing New-Comers Here.
AMerica’s Proud HIstory To Hold, Elaborated And Told
Ensconced Right in harbor; just one or two to see.
NOTE: We promise that this clue was written well before the current immigration crisis and was
not meant to be political in any way.
Did you crack Clue 8’s code to our secret abode?
Using the first one or two letters, all was conveyed.
You’re sort of slow...do you need the thing to glow?
And, yes, we meant to throw you some shade.
One group served to win, the other likes to spin
But both assembled here to accomplish a role.
Testimonial, narration, or Shakespearean oration
All possible by repurposing an old electrical pole.
Stanza I: The first two lines told hunters to go back to Clue #8 if they hadn’t found the secret code. “Throw you
some shade” referred to the shade provided by the lone tree in the amphitheater, under which the medallion was hidden.
Stanza II: The amphitheater at which the medallion was placed was constructed by the VFW (“one group served
to win”) and the Rotary Club, whose symbol is a wheel (“likes to spin”). The supporting logs for each of the benches were constructed using an old electrical pole. A metal tag from the pole can still be seen on one of the benches.
CLUE #10 (not released):
Time to race! Lakewood Hills is the place:
A gravel path will show you were to go
Your piece of the pie hides south of the Y
Near the shores of pond named Handlo.
Benches numbering 12 - where campers can shelve
Made possible by the Rotary and brave vets.
There you’ll find our stash under the lone ash
Check tiny rooted crevices, leave with no regrets!
The "Manitou Days Medallion Hunt" was created by Burnet Realty in 1980 and is the oldest continuous suburban treasure hunt in the Twin Cities Metro Area. The event was the brainchild of real estate agents Jan Rapheal and Sandy Espe Sorenson. They enlisted the help of Jack Moser, then clue writer for the St. Paul Winter Carnival Treasure Hunt. The reigns were passed to real estate agent Jan Holtz from 1995-2012, before they returned to Jan Rapheal and Sandy Espe Sorenson in 2013. White Bear Lake native, Chad O’Leary, has written the clues since 1995.