Challenge Nation: Atlanta 2014

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The annual scavenger hunt returned to Atlanta, as did we, for our 3rd year.  For those uninitiated, this involved receiving 12 clues, of which each team has to complete 11.  A few teams are serious about this, competing for a trip to Vegas and nominal cash places.  You’d identify them by people wearing race bibs who are running.  I didn’t see anyone run, just a lot of people enjoying the day, regardless of how long it takes.

And so it was that our intrepid Clemson crew began the hunt.  Hints are abbreviated somewhat.

1)  This building isn’t given this name because it’s filled with dry cleaners, instead it’s due to its triangular shape.  Atlanta’s version predates the more famous one in NYC that shares the same name by five years.  Your first mission isn’t to find the building itself but instead the huge wooden A-T-L jungle gym across the street. Take a team photo while spelling out the letters with your arms.  And upload your photo to any social media site with hashtag #ATLChallenge and take a screenshot.

No sweat.


2) Locate a friendly stranger who hails from a state that stars with the letter N, C, O, or P.  Have them prove it by taking the picture with their drivers license and act out a movie either set or filmed in their state.

This wasn’t hard at all, especially if you hear another team fish for the right candidate.  So, we posed with bows and arrows (Hunger Games) with some visitors from North Carolina who probably think Atlantans are very strange.   Regrettably, the person you show the photos to at the end of the race didn’t ask about our inspired performance...


3) This one is tricky on a Sunday with banks closed, so you have an “escape hatch” option: either acquire one of the rare banknotes that our third POTUS graces and take a photo of your team using it to buy something made in Georgia – or take a photo with the cornerstone of a building that’s more than 100 years old.

Nailed it... the Coke being bottled and HQ’d in Georgia.


4) This may be the toughest thing on the list – at least one bottle of Pepsi!  Take an ironic photo of your team drinking a Pepsi while hanging out with this bronze likeness of Dr. Pemberton.  No extra points for rubbing his beard, but we encourage it nevertheless.

The good Doctor’s bronze was located just outside The World of Coke museum.  And, we didn’t get any extra points.


5) This Georgia symbol includes the words “wisdom,” “justice” and “moderation.”  You’ll find the largest one in the state for you to pose on top of along Peachtree Street.  You can find it within a block of where the peach drops in 87 days!

Alright, a few things here.  The “Peachtree St.” is a joke in that there are many, many variants of the name.  Which is why the clue is unusually gracious in mentioning the Peach Drop, Atlanta’s embarrassing mimicry of the Big Apple’s New Year’s Eve iconic celebration.  But... there’s only a couple Peachtree St. options within the likely radius of this race.  And, lastly, it’s often easy to find solutions on major streets by the number of other participating teams standing on or around it.


6) Unscramble this anagram to find the name of a tiny park downtown that’s got an obelisk at its center (and kind of describes driving downtown): WORST PARKING PLAN.  It’s the site of the first public water source that made the founding of Atlanta possible.  You’ll know you’re in the right place if you find the Challenge staffer with tons of Americana props for your team’s most over the top USA! USA! USA! pose.

Well, Google didn’t help on the water source, and when  you’re walking around, unscrambling letters isn’t something we really wanted to take time out for, even noting that the Park part could likely be removed.  And, contrary to the previous clue’s observation, we didn’t see other teams congregating at this site.  Atlanta has “ambassadors” around that help guide people.  They didn’t know about an obelisk or the water source either.

After the race, we asked, and the answer was Walton Springs Park... the first clue in 3 years that we were unable to solve.  Dammit.  I gather by the photo included that driving around Atlanta is like going in circles.

7) You’ll need a little coordination and a quick courtship!  We want you to find any church downtown that’s currently active as a church then act out a wedding ceremony of two of your teammates!  But here’s the catch – you must include another Challenge team in your photo as your wedding party and/or officiant... And include at least one creative prop.

Answer, find a church on Google and another team standing around trying to figure out what to do next.  Wedding bells!  A lady is holding a folded something as a bouquet, and my hat becomes the Bible.


But wait, there’s more!  My friend Gregg gets as close as he ever will to being a groom.


8) Like the SAT, this one is a multiple choice.  Come back with a photo of any ONE of the following: a firefighter, a statue of liberty replica, a person on a Segway, a giant concrete squirrel, three live fish, or a person wearing a purple tie.  Give a big thumbs up!

We really, really wanted a concrete squirrel.  Alas.  But... Ray’s in the City became a likely dinner destination!


9) Is your team afraid of heights?  This Challenge seems simple, but can be tough depending on how you accomplish it... find a way to take a triumphant photo of your team elevated 200’ in the air.

The Omni hotel was very accommodating.


10) Today we’re going to revive the lost art of letter writing.  In short, buy a postcard and stamp, write a note on it about your favorite clue, pretend to mail it in an old style blue mailbox, then hand it in at the finish.

Great way to capture addresses of participants and feedback on the clues...


11) Locate the CNN “HMMWV” – then look around until you find the colorful sculpture of a character that appears in the show that was originally fully titled Adventure Time with Finn and Jake.   Convince two tourists to pose with you exactly like the sculpture.

CNN’s a popular place, and my hat didn’t quite work look as much of a horn as I had hoped.


12) Find a place that’s a home to a Pierre and 800,000 engraved bricks – and just for today, a bunch of four legged friends.  Your final mission is to find one of the bricks that has the first or last name of any Georgia Governor engraved on it, then take a photo with all of your team’s feet surrounding the brick.

A dog adoption was taking place in Centennial Park, and donor bricks from the 1996 Olympics are plentiful.  Google confirmed we had a governor with the first name of John.


Until (if) official results are posted, there were ~`132 teams, and we finished ~42nd, in about 1 hour and 50 minutes, which is what we did last year.  That said, we did everything in a single loop, without backtracking... and enjoyed a beautiful day while walking a race.


1 comment :

  1. Looks like you all had a great time, excellent!