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Epilogue

Epilogue

Mountain Man waved to Bob and Kitty. He was about fifty yards away on an old foot path leading around Cottonmill Lake.

“You figured it out!” yelled Mountain Man to Bob.

The couple caught up to the rugged trapper.

“So you’re the legendary Mountain Man?” Kitty looked him over with a grin. “Are you here to claim Walter’s treasure for yourself?”

“No, ma’am. That treasure’s for you folks. That’s how Walter wanted it. I’m just here to help.”

It wasn’t necessary for the three to discuss how they knew that Walter’s treasure was located near Cottonmill Lake. The fact that they were all there made it obvious. The first time Bob met Mountain Man, he thought the man misspoke when he said that each chapter of his life was “a little letter.” He nearly forgot about it until Kitty spurred his memory into action while she talked about the painted cottonwoods being in early chapters of their lives. That prompted Bob to look over the earlier chapters of Walter’s manuscript. All he had to work with were the chapter titles. But each one was a little letter that made up a bigger clue. The first letter of each chapter spelled: C-O-T-T-O-N-M-I-L-L!

“So where do we look, Mountain Man?” said Bob. He was excited, but also overwhelmed by the thought of searching for days through the grass and trees.

“Right here.”

“Right here?” said Kitty.

“Right here,” said Mountain Man again. “But first, have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.” He handed Bob and Kitty each half a sandwich.

Kitty looked confused. But Bob had grown accustomed the old man’s eccentric behavior.

“It’s good,” said Kitty.

“It’s plum jelly,” said Mountain Man. “And that’s why we’re here. Shortly before Walter passed, he gave me a jar of it. He told me it was made from the finest plum thicket this side of Cottonmill and that one day I’d likely be sharin’ a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a nice lookin’ young couple. I guess that day is today.”

He paused.

“And then Walter said something about needin’ to help that couple find their riches. So here I am. And here’s where we look . . . in this plum thicket.” Mountain Man pointed into the thick vegetation of short plum trees that were rapidly dropping their leaves this late in the year.

Bob wasted no time. Chewing on his final bite, he went to his hands and knees and entered the thicket. Mountain Man hunched down and let his walking stick lead the way through the scratchy branches. Kitty gave a faint sigh for the fate of her dress and then followed the two men.

After a lot of poking at the ground with his willow walking stick, Mountain Man heard a hollow response.

“Over here, Bob.”

Bob and Kitty crawled over to the hunched-down Mountain Man. They scraped away the leaves and debris to uncover a wood and leather box. It looked similar to the one Bob found under his shop floor.

Bob opened it. His heart beat loudly as he carefully took out a folded letter.
Bob,

I had no doubt you’d get here. You have so much potential, kid. Don’t be mad at me for making you work at it. Here’s a couple thousand dollars worth of coins. It’s not a fortune, but it should be enough for you and Kitty to get out of the camera shop and take some adventures together with new friends.

Bob, the real treasure is the people standing with you right now . . . and the stories you write with them. Your life is still a blank sheet of paper. You make the titles. You make the stories.

Take care of them, kid.

– Walter

And that was it. But that’s all that was needed. There was a moment of silence as everyone processed the experience.

“Well,” said Kitty. “Where to next?”

“I’ve got an adventure in mind,” said Mountain Man. “If you’re up for it, that is.”

Bob rubbed his chin and squinted through his glasses. Then he nodded.

“Let’s do it.”

The Journey

Thanks to everyone for participating!  Below you can download a .pdf of the chapters with additional information about the formation of the story and the people that made this event possible.

Chapter 10 – Last chapter

Chapter 10 - Last Chapter

“What did you say, Kitty?” said Bob again.

“This tree is just not at that Chapter in its life where it is probably going to be flowing with cotton,” said Kitty.  “It can’t be more than four years old.”

Bob’s head began to spin. He sat down and pulled out Walter’s manuscript that he had been using as his own journal during his journey. He began to scribble. To mutter to himself. He connected dots. And crossed out letters.

He reviewed notes from his conversations with Mountain Man.
And then he began to laugh.

“What is it Bob?”

“I know where the treasure is, Kitty. And so does Mountain Man. He knew it the first night I met him. And he was right. He gave me every clue I needed to find the treasure that night.”

“What?” said Kitty.

“That Walter. What a clever devil!”

“Well where is it Bob?!” Kitty was quite excited now.

He took his pencil and began to pick apart Walter’s incomplete manuscript for Kitty. Something about Bob’s conversation with Mountain Man that first night had stuck out to him. The way he spoke of growing old was just a bit too peculiar.

chapter10

“Oh my gosh, Bob. You are right!”

“Come on Kitty! We don’t have much time to get there!”

And out the door they went. It slammed so hard that it bumped the painting back to its prior position. If a fly were on the wall that instant, it could barely make out a smile on Mountain Man’s face formed by the cracking paint. In that same painting was another aging man standing next to Mountain Man. A friend. The figures in the painting watched as Bob and Kitty dashed to grab their treasure.

– the end –

(except for the epilogue)

Starting location for this Hunt

chp10_start

University of Nebraska at Kearney

Mission

In Chapter 10, with a little help from Kitty, Bob figures out the key to finding Walter’s treasure. He realizes that the clue he needed was right in front of him all along.

Today, you’ll learn the same thing. This is the BIG one. The $2,000 Grand Prize Token is in its final resting spot and it is ready to be captured by you. It’s homecoming and the hunt starts at UNK!

Your mission is to attend homecoming. A huge announcement will be made that will help you put all the pieces together . . . if you are clever enough to decipher it.

If you uncover a Nebraska Treasure Hunt token, keep it. Redeem treasure tokens Here. Redeem bonus tokens for Points by clicking “Rewards” in your Kearney App and then “Earn Points.” Read policies for possible hiding locations before starting your hunt.

Reward

One Grand Prize Token has been hidden somewhere in Kearney that is redeemable for $2,000 from the Kearney App and Hollman Media, LLC. The first person to possess the token is entitled to redeem it. TWO, and only 2, new Bonus Tokens have been hidden. They are redeemable for 500 Points each, rather than the usual 200 Points. Each can be redeemed only one time for Points.

Clue

Stay ’til the end.

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 archway_logocolor

Chapter 9 – Lucky Number 4

Chapter 9 - Lucky Number 4

Click!

Startled, Bob snapped his head around to see the locked doorknob turning.

The door opened. It was Kitty.

“You scared the Charles Dickens out of me, Kitty!” said Bob.

“I’m sorry, Bob.”

“Don’t worry, it was just a little scare.”

“No, I mean, I’m sorry about everything. I just want us to be happy. And what makes you happy, makes me happy. So I’m here to help.”

“Really, Kitty? You want to hunt treasure with me?”

“Yes. More than anything. What can I do?”

It did make Bob happy. Very happy. But he wasted no time.

“I’m trying to figure out this painting,” he said. “I believe there is something about this painting that points the way to Walter’s treasure.”

“How do you know?”

“Because look, everything in the painting is about the Trail. Everything in it I have learned about this past week during my journey.”

chapter9

They studied the painting. It was a collage of sorts that appeared to depict a series of scenes that might be found along the Trail. There was a prospector, a covered wagon, a bearded man . . . Mountain Man! And trees. Oak trees. And others. Bob had learned about all of them through his journey.

“Look, Kitty. Even the leaves of the trees look golden, like it’s late September. And look at the cotton flowing from this tree.”

“Well that’s silly, Bob. Cottonwoods don’t even drop cotton in September. And the one in this painting can’t be old enough. Not at this Chapter in its life.”

Bob squinted and turned towards his wife. He felt lucky to have her there.

“What did you say, Kitty?”

Starting location for this Hunt

chp9_start

Good Samaritan Hospital

Mission

In Chapter 9, a compassionate Kitty surprises Bob by dropping by the camera shop and announcing her interest in helping him find Walter’s treasure. There, the couple study an old painting of Trail life near Kearney and they reflect on the lessons learned throughout Bob’s journey.

Reflection is a fitting theme for today’s hunt. A little over one year ago, the Kearney App launched in part because of the generosity of CHI Health Good Samaritan’s willingness to support it financially through its title sponsorship. Without CHI Health Good Samaritan, the Kearney App and the Nebraska Treasure Hunt would likely never exist in their current forms.

Your mission is to visit CHI Health Good Samaritan in Kearney. Look for the Nebraska Treasure Hunt banner. There you will find the clue that will point you in the right direction to find today’s Tokens.

If you uncover a Nebraska Treasure Hunt token, keep it. Redeem treasure tokens Here. Redeem bonus tokens for Points by clicking “Rewards” in your Kearney App and then “Earn Points.” Read policies for possible hiding locations before starting your hunt.

Reward

One new Treasure Token has been hidden somewhere in Kearney that is redeemable for a $100 gift certificate from CHI Health Wellness Center at Good Samaritan. It is good for your choice of MassageTherapy, personal training, Pilates reformer training, or membership credit. The first person to possess the token is entitled to redeem it. 5 new Bonus Tokens have also been hidden that are redeemable in Kearney App Rewards for 200 Points each. Each can be redeemed only one time for Points. The Wellness Center is located in the basement of the Medical Office Building. Each day of the year, a new code is posted there that is worth Kearney App points. Today, there is also a “quiz” available in Kearney App Rewards that is worth 25 Nebraska Treasure Hunt Points if you answer each question correctly. The staff at the Wellness Center can help you with the answers.

Clue

“Like” the Wellness Center Facebook page. If Tokens are not being found soon enough, we may post additional clues there: https://www.facebook.com/wellnessfitnesscentergoodsamaritanhospital

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 archway_logocolor

Chapter 8 – If Walls Could Talk

Chapter 8 - If Walls Could Talk

Bob looked everywhere. He looked in closets, pried back baseboard, looked through boxes, in between windows. Pretty much anywhere there was a wall in his shop, he was looking.

After Mountain Man told him he was located in a historic building and that “The walls of that building have seen a lot of things over the years,” he was convinced that Walter wanted to bring him back to the shop after all.

With only two Chapters left, Bob was feeling like he was closing in on Walter’s treasure. He could hardly contain himself.

And he was getting desperate.

chapter8

Knocking on walls and listening with a stethoscope would have made Kitty laugh out loud, but Bob was alone.

After two hours, he sat down at Walter’s old desk.

His eyes slowly looked up. There hung Walter’s old painting on the wall, slightly crooked, just like Walter preferred.

In fact, the only time Bob ever remembered Walter scolding him was on a particular evening when Bob was about fourteen. He was sweeping up and decided to adjust the painting a bit.

“Leave it, Bob!” yelled Walter. “That one doesn’t get touched. Not now anyway.” And after giving his word to Walter, Bob never touched it again, until tonight.

Bob slowly stood up from Walter’s desk. After taking a couple deep breaths and a final swallow, Bob tilted the picture back to a level position.

Click!

Starting location for this Hunt

chp8_start

Heartland Bank Facebook Page

Mission

In Chapter 8, Bob returns to his camera shop in downtown Kearney and begins looking everywhere for that final piece of the puzzle. He believes there is a shortcut to finding Walter’s treasure. Like the 49’ers, Bob is determined to strike it rich quick, but for most of us, growing our future starts with a little outside financial help.

Your mission is to visit Heartland Bank’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/Heartland-Bank-1651515895064545/) and “like” it. Later in the day, they will post an announcement telling you where in Kearney you will need to go to look for today’s treasure.

If you uncover a Nebraska Treasure Hunt token, keep it. Redeem treasure tokens Here. Redeem bonus tokens for Points by clicking “Rewards” in your Kearney App and then “Earn Points.” Read policies for possible hiding locations before starting your hunt.

Reward

One new Treasure Token has been hidden somewhere in Kearney that is redeemable for a $100 debit card from Heartland Bank. The first person to possess the token is entitled to redeem it. 5 new Bonus Tokens have also been hidden that are redeemable in Kearney App Rewards for 200 Points each. Each can be redeemed only one time for Points. Later, Heartland Bank will post out a code on their Facebook Page that is redeemable for 25 points by a LIMITED number of people.

Clue

Heartland Bank sponsors the financial tools associated with the real estate listings found within the Kearney App. Continuing to use all the Kearney App’s rich features during the hunt is encouraged.

Story sponsored by:

 archway_logocolor

Chapter 7 – Mountain Man, Again

Chapter 7 - Mountain Man, Again

“So your lady wants to travel the Lincoln Highway, does she?”

Mountain Man was positioned on the opposite end of the campfire, just outside his cabin. He carefully dumped the small sack of acorns into an old dutch oven.

“I guess. It sounds fun and all, but I just don’t know if I can get away from the shop for that long,” said Bob.

“Look, Bob, now I know that my muscular physique and hard exterior may prompt you to think of me as a fightin’ soul. But Mountain Man is a . . lover at heart.” He tilted his head for emphasis. “And you should take your wife on that trip.”

“But what will we do?”

Mountain Man nearly lost his cool as he gave the logs a hefty poke with his stick.

“What will you do?! What won’t you do, Bob? A generation ago, I’d see all kinds of folks traveling up and down that highway, pulling over and camping wherever they pleased and meetin’ all kinds of other nice folks while listening to the radio around a fire. It’s freedom, Bob. Live it!”

chapter7

Bob found Mountain Man’s passion nearly equal to his seemingly unending knowledge of local history.

“Mountain Man, what happened to the Trail around here that you often mention?”

Mountain Man’s eyes glazed over as he began to relive the lively tales while the fire dwindled.

“. . . and I never really trusted that telegraph a whole lot, machines talking to other machines across the country just seems crazy to me, but that’s why them boys no longer ride them ponies through these parts . . . and I tell you what, during the boom, Kearney Junction was the liveliest, brightest city west of St. Louis with its electricity and its trollies and the mill and all those investments from those eastern boys.”

Bob was fascinated to learn about the rich history of Dobytown and Kearney Junction. He could hear ragtime music in his head as Mountain Man painted vivid, lively pictures of this great Archway to the west.

“No, Bob. The Trail ain’t dead, though. The Trail lives on! Even after the bust, the buildings and parks that still stood were among the finest around. Those of us who chose to ride out the bust and sit on the wealth that remained are all the happier now.”

“I suppose,” said Bob.

“Take that building you are in right now, that’s one of them left over from the boom. The walls of that building have seen a lot of things over the years . . . you ever think about that, Bob?”

Bob did think about it. Just now. He flipped ahead to Chapter 8.

“That’s it, Mountain Man! I’ve got to go!” And off Bob ran.

Starting location for this Hunt

chp7_start

Barney Insurance Facebook Page

Mission

In Chapter 7, Bob revisits Mountain Man and learns all about the history of Kearney, from the Oregon Trail all the way past the founding of the Lincoln Highway. Incredibly, Barney Insurance was around to witness a majority of the stories shared by Mountain Man. Barney Insurance has been in Kearney since 1888!

Your mission is to visit Barney Insurance’s Facebook Page and “like” it. Sometime today, they will post an announcement telling you where in Kearney you will need to go to look for today’s treasure.

If you uncover a Nebraska Treasure Hunt token, keep it. Redeem treasure tokens Here. Redeem bonus tokens for Points by clicking “Rewards” in your Kearney App and then “Earn Points.” Read policies for possible hiding locations before starting your hunt.

Reward

One new Treasure Token has been hidden somewhere in Kearney that is redeemable for $88 from Barney Insurance as well as $88 to give to a local charity of your choice. The first person to possess the token is entitled to redeem it. 5 new Bonus Tokens have also hidden that are redeemable in Kearney App Rewards for 200 Points each. Each can be redeemed only one time for Points. Later today, Barney Insurance will post out a code on their Facebook Page that is redeemable for 25 points by a LIMITED number of people.

Clue

The location of the hidden Treasure Tokens will be listed as a “Place” in the Kearney App. At any time during the Nebraska Treasure Hunt, Barney Insurance may post out an exclusive clue on their Facebook page.

Story sponsored by:

 archway_logocolor

Chapter 6 – Night Out

Chapter 6 - Night Out

“This is so much better than Mountain Man’s turkey-leg-surprise,” said Bob as he devoured his meal by candlelight across from Kitty. He had decided to take her to her favorite Kearney restaurant to make up for all the time he had been away the last few days.

“Why do you do it, Bob?”

“What? Eat? Because I’d starve to death otherwise.”

chapter6

“Oh, Bob. You know what I mean. Why do you go here and there and everywhere, putting in all this time and energy in search of something you may never find?”

“I don’t know, Kitty. I guess probably for the same reason that the 49’ers did it. I like the adventure and the hopes of finding something big.”

Kitty looked disappointed. It was a look that told Bob he had all the riches he needed right in front of him. And he couldn’t disagree.

“Look, Kitty, when I read those excerpts from those families emigrating west on the Trail, I realized something. They all did it for different reasons . . . riches, adventure, starting a new and better life, religious independence. But they all embodied that American spirit that I think is strong in me. Plus, you know, I find it enjoyable to get out of the shop for a while and put my mind on something else.”

Kitty could tell in recent weeks that Bob had started to become a bit over-stressed with running the daily activities at their camera shop. She was sad that her “Big Kid at Heart” had been looking a little overworked.

“Let’s get away,” said Kitty. “Just for a while.”

“Where?”

“I don’t know. We’ll just pack the car and head down Highway 30. The Pacific, the Atlantic, we’re halfway between both. You pick. Left or right?”

“I tell you what,” said Bob. “Give me ’til the weekend. If the treasure isn’t ours, then I’m all yours.”

“Well, maybe if you bring me back two scoops of ice cream . . .”

“You got it, Kitty. And then I have to make good on a promise. I’ve got to deliver this package.”

Starting location for this Hunt

chp6_start

LIPS Print Service Facebook Page

Mission

In Chapter 6, Bob takes Kitty for a night out and they talk about adventure, riches, and even the historic Lincoln Highway, now known as Highway 30. Learn about its significance here: http://visitkearney.org/lincoln-highway/ You may find it helpful at some point during a hunt. Throughout the Nebraska Treasure Hunt, we have been placing our custom-printed banner at various locations throughout Kearney. LIPS, located just next to historic Highway 30, created this banner for us. Their Facebook page is the starting location for today’s hunt (https://www.facebook.com/LIPSPrinting). Like it. Later in the day, they will post out the exclusive location clue that will let you know where you need to look for today’s hidden Tokens.

If you uncover a Nebraska Treasure Hunt token, keep it. Redeem treasure tokens Here. Redeem bonus tokens for Points by clicking “Rewards” in your Kearney App and then “Earn Points.” Read policies for possible hiding locations before starting your hunt.

Reward

One new Treasure Token has been hidden somewhere in Kearney that is redeemable for $100 worth of pizza from Papa John’s. The first person to possess the token is entitled to redeem it. 5 new Bonus Tokens have also been hidden that are redeemable in Kearney App Rewards for 200 Points each. Each can be redeemed only one time for Points. Stop by LIPS on Tuesday to show your Kearney App and someone may give you a code worth 25 additional Nebraska Treasure Hunt Points.

Clue

Be sure to like both the LIPS Facebook page and the Kearney Area Visitors Bureau Facebook page. A random clue may be published on either page at any point during the Nebraska Treasure Hunt.

Story sponsored by:

 archway_logocolor

Chapter 5 – Oak Trees and Bumblebees

Chapter 5 - Oak Trees and Bumblebees

“Excuse me, miss?” Bob felt a little awkward as he tried to flag the nurse down while she walked the path from the hospital to the majestic old home. “Could you tell me where I could find an oak tree?”

The woman stopped. “Come again?” It wasn’t every day she encountered such a request and she feared Bob may have been a patient in need of a different hospital.

“I’m sorry. It’s just that a friend of mine doesn’t get around as well as he used to and he asked me to come here . . . specifically . . . to gather some . . . uh . . .acorns for him. This is the Franks’ old home, isn’t it? My name is Bob, by the way.”

“I think it might have belonged to some Franks at one time,” said the nurse. “But some of us employees from the TB hospital live here now. It really is a marvelous old mansion, isn’t it? I’m Helen, by the way.”

She paused and tilted her head. “Acorns, huh? I haven’t seen anything other than squirrels foraging the trees around here, but even they mostly stick to the walnuts. I don’t even think there are any oaks within a block or so
of here. Now I could probably find you a nice hackberry, or a cottonwood, or a—”

“No, no! Mountain M. . . I mean my friend . . . .doesn’t want anything to do with a messy cottonwood.”

“Well don’t fret, Bob. Cottonwoods are done seeding this time of year anyway. And unfortunately so are the Lindens and their sweet flowers that bring the honeybees. They make the best tea. That’s what you really want!”

As Bob stood admiring Margaret’s knowledge of all things tree-related, he heard another familiar voice clearing her throat behind Bob.

It was Kitty.

“Hi, I’m Kitty” she said to the young nurse. “Bob’s wife.”

Margaret excused herself up the steps of the old Frank House to leave the couple alone.

“Bob, I’ve been worried sick about you! Do you know what I had to do to track you down?”

Bob could only imagine. He found himself losing track of time, particularly the past couple days as he carried out his quest to find Walter’s treasure.

“I’m sorry, Kitty. How about I take you out tonight? Somewhere real nice?”

Bob’s charming grin quickly put Kitty at ease.

Bob embraced Kitty and quickly forgot about the oak trees, cottonwoods, and every other tree and nurse this side of the Missouri. Behind Kitty’s back, Bob held up Walter’s script and glanced at Chapter 6. He was right on track.

chapter5

Starting location for this Hunt

chp5_start

The Frank House

Mission

In Chapter 5, Bob finds himself searching for acorns near the Frank House. Things were different around that part of campus in 1945. Your mission is to learn about those differences. The Frank House will be providing free tours all day to Nebraska Treasure Hunt visitors. Go there and take one. Your guide will give you a clue you need to get you closer to the treasure. The museum will host tours from 2 pm to 7 pm.

 

If you uncover a Nebraska Treasure Hunt token, keep it. Redeem treasure tokens Here. Redeem bonus tokens for Points by clicking “Rewards” in your Kearney App and then “Earn Points.” Read policies for possible hiding locations before starting your hunt.

Reward

One new Treasure Token has been hidden that is redeemable for a $100 merchandise package from UNK. The first person to possess the token is entitled to redeem it. 5 new Bonus Tokens have also been hidden that are redeemable in Kearney App Rewards for 200 Points each. Each can be redeemed only one time for Points. Take a guided tour at the Frank House and you will be given a code worth 25 Points.

Clue

In the Kearney App is a “Tour” that shows many examples of the types of locations where you might uncover Tokens. Be sure to take an actual guided tour of the Frank House to get the clue that will guide you to the right types of spots.

Story sponsored by:

 archway_logocolor

Chapter 4 – The Mountain Man

Chapter 4 - The Mountain Man

“I tell you what,” said Mountain Man as he took another big bite off his turkey leg. “If the Trail don’t kill you, it’ll make you that much tougher, and smarter.”

Bob managed to track down the fabled Mountain Man and his one-room shanty. The man’s home was organized.  But his stories . . . not so much.

“You gotta explore them trails around here, Bob. Each is a journey and a treasure of its own . . . Guidebooks mostly exaggerate the Indian threat, Bob. . . and that’s how they fixed ’em wagons, Bob . . . yep the Trail lives on!”

chp4_mountainman

After an hour or so of seemingly random phrases uttered by Mountain Man, the rough, but friendly, host agreed to look at Bob’s items.

“Walter was a friend of mine, you know?” said Mountain Man.

“What?” Bob had never heard Walter mention him. “How’d you know Walter?”

“How’d I know Sallie Hester? Or Margaret Frink? I just did. I’m a people person, Bob. Yeah, old Walter was a fun coot, I tell you what. We had some good times together exploring the trails and whatnot.”

The more they talked, the more Bob was convinced that Mountain Man knew something of Walter’s treasure. He wrote down notes as fast as he could on the blank pages of Walter’s manuscript.

“Well, it’s time for my bed now, Bob.”

“But it’s only 6 pm,” said Bob.

“Well then it’s definitely past my bed time. I’m old and tired. My bones hurt, Bob. But each Chapter of my life seems to get a little better. Yep, I say every one is a little letter.”

Bob pushed Mountain Man a little further on what he might be keeping to himself.

“I already told you everything you need to know, Bob. Just connect the dots and you’ll find your treasure in good time.”

Bob’s disappointed frown finally got the best of Mountain Man.

“Look, kid. I’ll make you a deal. There’s some fine trees up by the Franks’ old house up by the hospital. Go there and ask around for some acorns. Don’t stink ’em up with that messy cottonwood cotton, though. I got a recipe I’m working on here. You bring a sack back to me and I’ll help you find what you need, Bob.”

Bob looked at Walter’s title for Chapter 5. Now he was happy.

Starting location for this Hunt

chapter 4 map

BBQ on the Bricks

Mission

In Chapter 4, Bob tracks down Kearney’s Mountain Man who begins to tell Bob stories of Kearney’s rich history. Bob then questions Mountain Man about his knowledge of Walter’s treasure. Mountain Man agrees to help Bob find his treasure, but only after sending him out on a hunt for some ingredients that will complete the secret recipe he’s developing.

Your mission is to visit the “BBQ on the Bricks” going on Saturday in downtown Kearney. Remember, this is the same location where Bob Kringel once owned his camera shop. Taste the different foods and various ingredients downtown. Explore and shop. Look for clues. Somewhere, there is the hidden treasure you are seeking.

If you uncover a Nebraska Treasure Hunt token, keep it. Redeem treasure tokens Here. Redeem bonus tokens for Points by clicking “Rewards” in your Kearney App and then “Earn Points.” Read policies for possible hiding locations before starting your hunt.

Reward

One new Treasure Token has been hidden downtown that is redeemable for a $100 gift package from the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce. The first person to possess the token is entitled to redeem it. 5 new Bonus Tokens have also hidden that are redeemable in Kearney App Rewards for 200 Points each. Each can be redeemed only one time for Points. If you see the Nebraska Treasure Hunt logo, a code may be nearby for Points. If you spot Mountain Man, talk to him. He may give you a clue.

Clue

There’s no need to wander away from downtown to find the treasure or earn Points.

Story sponsored by:

 archway_logocolor

Chapter 3 – Too Many Books

Chapter 3 - Too Many Books

Books. Books. And more books. Bob was in a hurry.

To find what? He didn’t know. But he was convinced that Walter was guiding him somewhere—hopefully to riches—through the clues he left behind.

Bob found a quiet corner in the library and began to sift through Walter’s photographs. They were all so old. Most had names written on the back.

“Excuse me,” said Bob to a young library aide who was restocking books. “Can you tell me where I might be able to find information about the people in these photographs? I believe they are from people who lived or passed through this area. Maybe on a Trail of some sort?”

The worker squinted at the photos. She turned one over. “Sallie Hester,” she read.

She grabbed another. “Margaret Frink.” She looked up at Bob. “These are quite rare and old. Let me show you something.”

She scooted Bob down the aisle to a collection of older books. She handed one to Bob. He began to flip through the delicate pages of pictures and excerpts.

His mind began to drift as he scanned the short excerpts from early pioneers traveling through Ft. Kearny on their westward journey across the Oregon Trail:

“We sold our home and everything we could not take with us . . . and joined the trail for California . . . As far as the eye can reach, you see nothing but wagons . . . We are now in the Pawnee Nation. When we camp at night, we form a corral with our wagons, to protect our animals.”

Bob thought about the tenacity of those headed west and the dreams of adventure, freedom, and fortunes! The hardships were a bit harder to think about.

“It was a dreary journey. At Devil’s Gate, we were visited with snow, hail, sand, and fierce winds . . . we could go no further with snow so deep and no food.”

Bob continued to dart his eyes from one page to another.

And then he stopped.

chapter3

It was a picture of a rugged man, with a long beard and sparkling eyes shining through his leathery face. It was the man who lived alone in a shanty near the Platte River, south of Kearney. Legends abound of the old man by the river who “never died.”

“Mountain Man,” was the caption.

Bob grabbed Walter’s manuscript. “Chapter 4: The Mountain Man.”

“That’s him!” shouted Bob.

Starting location for this Hunt

chapter 3 map image

Kearney Public Library

Mission

In Chapter 3, Bob spends time at the Kearney Public Library reading about the Oregon Trail and the History of Kearney. Your job is to do the same. Visit the library before 5pm today and start reading. The treasure you are looking for will be within reach.

If you uncover a Nebraska Treasure Hunt token, keep it. Redeem treasure tokens Here. Redeem bonus tokens for Points by clicking “Rewards” in your Kearney App and then “Earn Points.” Read policies for possible hiding locations before starting your hunt.

Reward

One new Treasure Token has been hidden somewhere in Kearney that is redeemable for a $50 gift card to Target AND a $50 gift card to the Sequel Bookshop in Kearney. The first person to possess the token is entitled to redeem it. 5 new Bonus Tokens have also been hidden that are redeemable in Kearney App Rewards for 200 Points each. Each can be redeemed only one time for Points. September is Signup Month at the library. Sign up for either the Library’s free texting service or a new library card, and you will be given a code worth 25 Nebraska Treasure Hunt Points.

Clue

Reading pays.

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Chapter 2 – Off to the Library

Chapter 2 - Off to the Library

“What’s it for?” asked Kitty. She watched Bob tinker with the old camera he had pulled from the wood and leather box.

“I don’t know,” said Bob. “I don’t get it. Any of it.”

“And the letter?”

“It’s cryptic,” said Bob. “But that’s just like Walter.”

“And it’s just like you to be out chasing treasures, Bob. Walter knew you so well.” Kitty grabbed the letter and gave it a quick read.

Bob,

So you found it, you devil! I knew you would, kiddo. I planned this adventure just for you. Here are a few items to help you along the way. The nugget’s real! It’s from an old ’49er. Consider it the start of the Hunt of a Lifetime. Get out, Bob. Explore town. Learn. Have fun and don’t let the camera shop consume you.

And remember, the Trail lives on!

Take care, kid.

Walter

chapter2

“You’re right, Bob” said Kitty. “It does sound like Walter. What about the map?”

“It’s of Kearney. But there’s nothing conspicuous about it. Nowhere to start or anything too useful.”

On the table were a dozen old photographs, a gold nugget the size of an acorn, the broken camera, the letter from Walter, and a partially completed manuscript.

“It looks like Walter started writing a book,” said Bob. “But all he finished were the names of ten chapters. There’s no text, no notes, just blank pages for each chapter. It’s strange.”

“It’s Walter,” they said together.

Bob began to read the chapters aloud to Kitty. “Chapter 1: Can the Floorboards Hold a Secret? Chapter 2: Off to the Library.”

Bob paused. Kitty could tell a lightbulb went off in his head. He drew an X on the map and rolled it up. He tucked the items back in the small chest and sprung for the back door, old box in hand.

“Where are you off to, Bob?”

“I’m off to the library!”

Starting location for this Hunt

chapter 2 start image

The Kearney App sign next to Meadowlark Dental Associates

Mission

Walter wants Bob to get out, explore town, and learn. Your mission for this chapter is to do the same. Start at the Kearney App sign located along the walking trail that passes by Meadowlark Dental Associates. A clue will be posted there that will direct you to the general location of the Treasure Tokens and Bonus Tokens hidden for this chapter.

If you uncover a Nebraska Treasure Hunt token, keep it. Redeem treasure tokens Here. Redeem bonus tokens for Points by clicking “Rewards” in your Kearney App and then “Earn Points.” Read policies for possible hiding locations before starting your hunt.

Reward

One new treasure token has been hidden somewhere in Kearney that is redeemable for a Keruig coffee maker compliments of Meadowlark Dental Associates. The first person to possess the token is entitled to redeem it. 5 new bonus tokens have also been hidden that are redeemable in Kearney App Rewards for 200 Points each. Each can be redeemed only one time for Points. While at the sign, you will learn about another opportunity to earn 25 additional Nebraska Treasure Hunt Points.

Clue

The Treasure Token is hidden on public ground that can be reached easily by foot. The general location of the treasure token is a “Place of Interest” under “Places” within the Kearney App.

Story sponsored by:

 archway_logocolor