Zuri and Nancy Bennett combed our city for three days, enlisting the help of neighbors, friends and random shopkeepers. They drove to Corrales twice, to the top of the Tram, to the city dump. Team Bennett found the first bomb shelter built in New Mexico, snapped photos with a drag king and caught a martial arts class in session. They found all manner of livestock.
But Zuri, a 22-year-old archaeology student, and her mom Nancy didn't just win our Scavenger Hunt—they won it two years in a row. Last year they topped the charts in our contest, and this year they put an even larger margin between themselves and their challengers. How did they do it? They planned.
Zuri whipped together pasta and fruit salads in advance to prepare for days jetting across Albuquerque (last year they subsisted on Doritos and jelly beans). Nancy used her skills as a librarian to research the unknown trinkets on our list. The two called friends for advice on where to find various elusive items—their neighbor Liz had a friend with pigs; Romeo showed them what an ollie was on his skateboard; when Nancy had to work, Mark briefly took her place to help snap photos.
After the team went to the Christmas Store in Old Town to look for a piece of turquoise, the owner, Lynette, jumped into the fray, taking them to her house, where she had an anchor and other treasures.
Nancy estimates they spent roughly 36 hours gathering their pile of photos, and both say they had a great time doing it. "You learn things, you make friends," says Nancy. They both say they'll do it again, although for next year they're contemplating competing against each other.
We started our Scavenger Hunt in 2006 as part of our Survival Guide. We thought it fit well with the theme of "survival" because it required people to learn a lot about our city in a finite window of time. This year, the Scavenger Hunt became its own beast, but the intention behind it is the same: We hope you discover nooks and crannies of Albuquerque you never knew existed; we hope those discoveries enrich your experience of living here; and we hope in the process you have a really good time.
For their valiant accomplishment, Team Bennett gets a prize package totaling more than $200: four tickets to Guild Cinema, $20 in gift cards to Taj Palace Indian Restaurant, $40 in gift certificates to Merle Norman, $30 to YogaNow, $40 to Gold Street Caffè, $20 to Pizza 9 and $25 to Bumble Bee’s Baja Grill.
For an up-close view of the winning (and almost-winning) entries, check out the slideshows posted over on our blog.
* Found by Team Bennett