Alibi V.18 No.42 • Oct 15-21, 2009 

Scavenger Hunt

The Thrill of the Hunt

The results of the Alibi's fourth annual Scavenger Hunt

Mechanical gorilla (45 points)
Mechanical gorilla (45 points)

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.

Team Bennett
Team Bennett
[click to enlarge]

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.

Better Luck Next Year
Better Luck Next Year
[click to enlarge]

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.

Hey Kids! Slideshows!

For an up-close view of the winning (and almost-winning) entries, check out the slideshows posted over on our blog.

The List

A warning (10) *
Cupcake (10) *
Solar panel (10) *
Shoes hanging from utility wires (10) *
Fast-food ketchup packet (10) *
Vigas on a house (10) *
Public mural (10) *
Stack of tires (10) *
Sunflower (10) *
Yield sign (10) *
Hotdog cart (10) *
Escalator (10) *
Wind chime (10) *
Rail Runner train (10) *
Bike rack (10) *

Diving board (15)
Pun on a sign or billboard (15) *
Roundabout (15) *
Signed concrete (e.g., "Josh + Hannah 1994") (15) *, one from the '80s (25) *
Wind turbine or mill (15) *
Albuquerque city flag (15) *
Red-light camera (15) *
Paleteria (15) *
Band flyer on a light pole (15) *
Chihuahua (15) *
Harley Davidson (15) *
Birdhouse (15) *

Subaru with an Obama sticker (20) *
Prius with a McCain sticker (20) *
Galaga arcade game (20) *
Inside of a UNM dorm room (20) *
Sidewalk stencil art (20) *
Excessive punctuation (20) *
Anthropomorphic chile (20) *
Peeing Calvin sticker (20)
Mustache that curls up on the ends (20) *
Live roadrunner (20) *
Stuffed roadrunner (as in a children's toy) (20) *
Local band's bumper sticker (20) *
Charity's headquarters (20) *

The view from UNM's Fine Arts Library (25) *
Patriotic yard statuary (includes eagles) (25) *
New Mexico's state flower (25) *
New Mexico's state tree (25) *
Bear sculpture that's been carved out of a tree with a chain saw (25) *
Hot Dog on a Stick girl (25) *
Inside of a candy store (25) *
Braces (on someone's teeth) (25)
Airplane taking off (25) *
City dump (25) *
Representation of a howling coyote (i.e., not a live one) (25) *
Bunch of helium balloons (25) *

Maytag Research Laboratory (30) *
The Tile House (30) *
Old mine shaft house in Rio Rancho (30) *
Giant box of animal crackers (30) *
The 13th floor (30) *
Max Flatow building (30) *
Farm (30) *
Cow (30) *
Goat (30) *
Rooster (30) *
Pig (30) *
Cornfield (30) *
Mariachi band (30)
Blue cowboy boots (30) *
Someone performing an ollie on a skateboard (30) *
Ferris wheel (30) *

Lobo Louie (35)
Nigerian proverb (35) *
Baby animal (35)
"Scene" kid (35) *
Steve White's Pez (35) *
Hot-air balloon (35) *
Martial arts class in session (35) *
Piece of turquoise (35) *
Squash blossom bigger than your fist (35) *
Lizard (35) *

Eames chair (40) *
Analog gas pump (40) *
Hesher (40)
Entirely bald man (40) *
News helicopter (station's insignia must be clear) (40) *
Live band (must include name of band) (40) *
Busker (40)

Mechanical gorilla (45) *
Don Schrader (45)
Bomb shelter (45) *

A real anchor (50) *
A news anchor (50)
Drag queen or king (50) *
TJ Trout (50)

City councilor (60) *
Mayoral candidate (60)
View from the top of the Tram (60) *

Gov. Bill Richardson (70)
Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (70)

Double rainbow (80) *
Bryan Cranston (80)

Val Kilmer (100)

* Found by Team Bennett