Saturday, March 26, 2011

Capture the Cruze!

I've mentioned before how much I love The Amazing Race.  I am mostly envious of all the traveling and experience in different countries, however I am also a huge fan of puzzles and adventure.  I blogged back in October about a Halloween scavenger hunt that Jacob and I did with a couple of our friends around Portland.  It was a was a blast.  We won "Best Costume" and had a great time.  So, when I heard on the radio about another scavenger hunt that local Chevy dealership were putting on, "Capture the Cruze" (with the grand prize of a new Chevy Cruze) I was IN! =)

Jacob and I arrived at Pioneer Square this morning at 10 am to check in (everyone was required to pre-register), and were surprised at the number of people that we found!  (Especially since everyone was required to "apply" for a spot in the challenge...we were all told that it wasn't guaranteed.... I find that hard to believe now! lol).

This is a view of the front of the line, from where Jacob and I started out.  The line went down an entire city block, around the corner, and then into the square.  I heard one of the guys behind me talking to his friend.  Apparently they had spoken to some contest official prior to the big day and were told that there would only be a hundred people in the race... there were probably closer to a thousand.  He said, "well, at least the odds are slightly better than the lottery". lol

Waiting in line... not sure what to expect
I want the red one!
Jacob and I never had any illusions that we would actually WIN the car.  Way too many people that were WAY more into it than we were.  Plus, since we don't have "smart" phones, we knew that we'd be at a disadvantage.  But, we both love a good adventure, and this was definite that. Plus, we got a free t-shirt out of the deal!

All suited up and ready to go!
Donations were taken for Doernbecher's Children's Hospital
The weather in Portland has been pretty hit or miss the last week.  There has been a LOT of rain... and rain was in the forecast for today.  Knowing my luck, I decided to guarantee that it would NOT rain by actually being prepared and wearing my rain boots! lol

It worked!  No rain! =)

For two hours Jacob and I walked around a (very small) section of the city trying to figure out clues sent to us via text message (the contest used a system called SCVNGR that delivered clues via text or app.  It was a pretty cool system, but, like all things electronic it definite was frustrating--especially in a race setting!-- and had it's downfalls). 

Hundreds of people in blue running around this small area of downtown definitely turned some heads!

The messages would give us an address or intersection, and then a clue/puzzle that we had to solve.  For instance, the one that threw us for the biggest loop had to do with finding a "storm" above a gift card store and figuring out what "group" created the storm.  We were standing outside this store for several minutes trying to find anything that remotely looked like a storm.  I felt like the biggest idiot after 5-10 minutes when I looked up across the street and saw this Verizon ad:

Lots of the clues had to do with math (add the number of vowels in the building sign to the year the namesake of the building moved to Oregon), but everything was clearly in view on historical monument/building signs etc. so, even though we had a "phone a friend" on standby, we never really needed to use him.

I think we hit about 30 different clues in the two hours that we had to play.  The winner was based on how many points could be obtained in two hours (each correct answer was two points).  We all reported back to the square at 1:00 for the winner announcement.

Two hours later... tired, but happy.  And the sun was shining!
As I mentioned before, the grand prize was a new car.  Second place was a cruise in the Caribbean.  I would have been over-the-moon-happy with either (in fact, I'll be happy if we just get in some of their facebook photos! lol).  But, alas, we didn't win.  Oh well.  Maybe next year. ;)

We had a great time, got a lot of exercise (I'll definitely be sore tomorrow!) and got to spend some time together doing something that we don't normal do (I kind of relish those opportunities).  Plus, we got to "refuel" afterward with some Buffalo Wild Wings. =)


Sara and Spencer said...

Hi Brittney-

I came across your blog when I typed in capture the cruze portland on google. I had to laugh when reading through your post. My husband and I were standing in line two behind you. He is in your second picture down in the post. It made me laugh that of all blog posts I would find it would be someone who was in line so close to us and that I would see my husbands face in it :)

We had a blast as well! I loved the verizon/ Icon groupe challenge. It was a tough one and so many people including us stood there for so long trying to figure it out. I turned around to walk away and saw the lightning and thunder :)

Anonymous said...

Hey! We participated too and my husband is big on puzzle solving and treasure hunting. I just loved the adventure of the date. We had a good time, but were plagued as well by technical difficulties. We thought we chose wrong by running the "app" rather than choosing the texting route. It seems to be a universal observation that when several hundreds of people flood a system, be it smart phone or texting, there will be communication problems. Thanks for posting, it was fun and exhilarating and we'll definitely be on the hunt for more of these opportunities! ~ Elizabeth from Eugene

Anonymous said...

I'm doing this event in Philly later this month...your blog is SO we have an idea for what we are getting ourselves into!
Roz & Jai in Philly

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