Our final day of spring break was supposed to simply be a travel day for getting back home. But since we had been rained out the previous day, we decided to try and squeeze in the treasure hunt on our way out of town. It didn't go over too well as we had to deal with snow and slick roads, but I think the kiddos still enjoyed it.
Above: Fitting together pieces of the Aztec treasure map.
The first stop was Crocodile Cave. This cave has a long history. First, it's full of ice cold, and I mean ICE COLD water that certainly was used by Native Americans. Nearby granary ruins and pictographs attest to this. The cave, more recently, has been one of several high-profile targets of real treasure hunters convinced that the fabled lost treasure of Montezuma is hidden somewhere in the Kanab area. Other treasure hot-spots are the nearby Three Lakes along Kanab Creek and in Johnson Canyon northeast of town.
I had everything ready. I sealed a piece of the treasure map into a bottle and then tied a long string around the neck of the bottle. I ran up ahead of everyone to "scout things out," and quickly climbed down in to the cave and onto the lake's edge. For some dumb reason, at the last second, I decided to put a bunch of rocks into the bottle to make it sink to the bottom. I thought this would be funner for the kids when they pulled the bottle out of the lake with the string. Big mistake. After putting rocks into the bottle and re-sealing it, I held tightly onto one end of the string and chucked the bottle toward the far end of the lake. I felt a strong tug on the string when the full weight of the bottle had unraveled all of the string in my hand, and then it went completely limp. Immediately I realized that the additional weight of the rocks in the bottle had caused the string tied around the bottle's neck to pop off. Dang! there was only one way to retrieve it now.
Just as I was about to pull a Bear Grylls and dive into the dark, cold water of indeterminate depth, Susie talked me out of it. We would just have to press on without the clue.
Above: Junior treasure hunters pose outside of the Crocodile Cave in Angel Canyon.
The next stop on the treasure trail was to the "Arch of Doom"--a small and isolated free-standing arch out in the middle of a sand flat. A little digging beneath the arch yielded another clue.
The clue directed us toward the "Tunnel of Lost Souls"
We braved the unknown and traversed the tunnel. More digging at the end of the tunnel turned up the final clue.
The final clue let us to the "Sands of Death" a.k.a. the Coral Pink Sand Dunes where X marked the spot and we hit the mother load (toys and candy).
Above: The entire gang at Spring Break '11.
Can't wait 'til next year!
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