Adventure No. 15: The Grand Hunt

Adventure No. 15: The Grand Hunt

Buckle up boys and girls.

This is a long post. But it’s about the most important thing in the world: My birthday. 

When you run a business building adventures, it tends to pique the interest of people around you. For my birthday, I wanted to create an adventure for friends, family, and anyone who wanted to join. Everyone was invited! Here is how it went down:

The Invitations…

It all started with the invitations. I figured if they were wax sealed and had the recipient’s first initial scribed on the front, it would get a better response than a Facebook event. I was wrong. Getting the Yesses and nos was like pulling teeth.

I invited Ellen Degeneres.

I invited Ellen Degeneres.

She couldn't make it...

She couldn't make it...

This is the only instruction people received. My invitees knew what I was capable of, but they weren’t given any other information except that it was going to be a treasure hunt of some sort, they will be traveling around, and they’ll probably get drunk. And boy did they ever!

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The Hunt Begins!


The Staging location was Old Town Gringos. The team there was amazing! Gringos is a magical place to have some margs, eat some tacos, and start a massive treasure hunt.

When the attendees arrived, they were greeted with this big sign! (Look right) In my absence, I had close friends and family run the show.

6:00 pm - Teams are formed

After the sign, there were tables adorned with treasure chests. The first of three tables had the instructions which read as follows:

STEP 1: Pick a pin. Fasten it somewhere visible. Don’t stress over the pins! They’re just a fun way to help form teams.

STEP 2: Build a team. Hard Minimum of 6. Soft maximum of 10. Teams can consist of any number of roles but if you don’t have at least one navigator, you’ll be screwed.

STEP 3: Buy a Drink.

STEP 4: Get the Map. At 6:45, one codebreaker from each team reports here to pick up the map and clues.


*Sidenote* be friendly and inviting! There are lots of people who don’t know each other.  As an adult, it’s way harder to meet new people for some reason. But here’s your chance! MEET SOMEONE NEW!



Each team picked a member to come to the front, grab a treasure map and an envelope and go from there!


The Map was split into quadrants with the passphrase encoded with 4 different cyphers. Inside the envelope was your basic instructions, some slightly more detailed instructions, an envelope just for the workhorses, and the "Don't open until the end" envelope.

Essentially, our teams (who were all aptly named after American Gladiators) needed to find 4 bars. Inside each bar was a big poster with the decode the encrypted message. 

The goal: Locate the Bars. Decode the passphrase. Find Chris Waters.

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But what were the workhorses doing while the nerds were doin' nerd stuff?

They were performing their task of being wild, rambunctious, and drunk. They were magnificent! You can see their task list to the right.  It was the job of the chronographer to document and the broadcaster to send it to me so I could track the points



And they're off!

There was a fleet of golf carts waiting outside

the restaurant. One of the cool things about Old Town Scottsdale is there's always flocks of golf cart drivers shooting around picking up and dropping off people for tips. I called up one of the companies and told them 100ish people would need a ride at 7pm from Old Town Gringos. Everyone traveled in style! (except the one team that decided to walk. They got last place.)


The teams traveled around Old Town finding the bars, buying drinks for strangers, and decoding the passphrase! Once they decoded all four parts of the passphrase and amassed 20 points, they opened the final envelope. 

After drawing the lines from bar to bar, the competitors then rushed to the central location where they found the gatekeeper. 

"Passphrase?" He would ask? At that point they would read him the decoded message:

By Lewis J Bates

By Lewis J Bates

Once the phrase was completed, the team got a high five and one final envelope.  This envelope contained a piece of Vellum paper with part of the map etched on.  There was also a dotted line leading to a big X. Once they lined the vellum paper up on their map,  they had their destination!

The Final spot was this sweet bar called The Beverly on Main. It's this sweet speakeasy style bar with a secret room behind a bookcase (Literally perfect for me).  Group by group the teams arrived! I had medals for the first place team!.  Everyone came in, ate some food (The Beverly Catered) and continued to drink!  The Hunt was grand indeed!

Everyone was super drunk by the end.

Everyone was super drunk by the end.

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Would you like to have a massive birthday bash that's all about you?

Reach out to me! I'm happy to build you a Grand Hunt of your very own!


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Last post: Adventure no. 7: The Perfect Date                        


For your own personal enjoyment, here are some of the entries from the guestbook i laid out  

*Note* These entries are transcribed exactly how they were written.

YOOOOOOOoooooooooo Rage. Dude what an amazingly organized adventure of epic proportions. You should totally do this more often because are lovt people showed up ! ! We need to do Chipotle and Mario Kart at my place soon. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" - Andrew


"You are a king, a joy, a gift, and a scholar." - The Queen


Chris, Happy Happy birthday to the most fun human alive!!! You know there isn't an adventure too tough for me to crack! (winky face) - Lo

"You are the nicest person I know and I can't beliiegsh. (Jesus I'm drunk) you put this on for everyone.  So excited to see what you do next!" -Josh


"OMG I have never gone on one of you adventures berfore but my god do I want to do it again! You put on so much effort and it was so creative I absolutely loved it! Sorry if my handwriting is sloppy I'm a little tipsy LOL Love you!" -Payton


CHris! This is bomb AF! Fun Times! Let's get Joes n Geisha soon! ILY Happy bdary! Voddy soda n Voddy soda for life!" - Coco ner