It’s more than a month since Chris and I did the High Trek Adventures in the East Bay! After failing miserably at Journey to the End of the Night, I went on a scavenger hunt rampage. And I stumbled across this one.
It was an one-day adventure—truly like the Amazing Race–where we raced around the East Bay solving clues and running to the locations. We only had to take a photo at those locations (no crazy puzzle solving) and get to the finish line as quickly as possible.
At first, we solved all the puzzles using Chris’ incredible sink of knowledge and our smart phones at our disposal. We called ta-ching, but he couldn’t compete with the quickness of our puzzle-solving.
Then we strategized how to get to the locations—most located in Berkeley (Ashby, downtown, on campus, on San Pablo/University) and Orinda. And off we went.
At the end, we were exhausted from running up and down the Berkeley campus. I am pretty good at walking long distances, but running at full speed wasn’t something I had done since high school. Not to mention that it was in the high 80s in the East Bay.
As we finished the last TREKpoint collaborating with another team, the team said that they were going to run to the finish line at Lane Splitters—located more than a mile away. Chris and I looked at each other—there was no way we had the energy to run at a full sprint all the way there. I suggested that we catch the bus.
So we ambled on the other side of University. We ran into another team who told us the next bus—a 52—wasn’t going the direction (later we discovered they were WRONG). So we waited a little longer and caught the 51. Somehow we were lucky and got on last. Standing in the front row, a handicapped woman said she was getting off and that we could have her seat.
The bus was packed, even on a Saturday afternoon. The handicapped woman got off and we sat in the row. As the bus pulled into the final stop, another elderly woman got up. The bus driver proclaimed, “Front door only!”
Bonus points for us as we noticed that the elderly woman blocked all the teams from exiting. Chris and I dashed off the bus to the corner. Unfortunately all the lights had just turned red. The light for turns on opposite directions turned green. Chris spotted the team that we had just collaborated with in downtown Berkeley sprinting down University.
“Oh no…” we both thought in our heads.
That’s when Chris said, “Whatever I do, just follow me.”
Too defeated and exhausted to say anything, I nodded.
Then he took off on a run through the middle of the intersection sprinting from the corner we were just on to the opposite corner. I ran after him, trying not to see that cars were coming toward us…but hopefully not close to us. As we ran, the teams left at the corner yelled, “Cheaters!”
And then we ran with that other team into the finish line. The High Trek rep declared a tie at 10th place. And we were in the top ten team of finishing of over 100 teams.
After more tallying with bonus points, somehow we ended up at 9th place and the other team at 5th place. Mysterious how they jumped since we had the same exact bonus points. But for Chris and me, it was proof that we could finish a race like this well even with the lack of ability to run long distances…and that we were SMRTer than everyone else.