Craig McGettigan, Turkey Extaordinaire

Fair warning: This is another Treasure Trove update.

First the good news: The code for the snail token was cracked yesterday. I was on the verge of solving it for myself, but those crafty internet bulletin boards beat me to the punch. It worked more or less the same as the Dragonfly — match up a pattern on a page (in this case, the dots on the snail page) with numbers, from 1-5; pair up the numbers to get a letter on the 5×5 grid; combine the letters to get an intelligible location. The only real trick here was knowing to read some of the decoded words backwards, just like you need to with the hidden poem words on the page.

And, as with the Dragonfly token, there was a free for all once the solution — ANITA SP PICNIC AREA — was posted to Anita State Park is in Iowa, right between Des Moines and Omaha. Know anyone in one of those cities? I sure do.

Now the bad news: I called my friend Craig, who lives in Omaha, about an hour from Anita, and he wouldn’t agree to drive to the location until Saturday. I’d been calling frantically with Andy and my brother Doug, and we decided we couldn’t wait that long. Andy phoned his brother, who miraculously agreed to make the 5 hour drive to Anita. When he got there, at about 2am, there was a tree that exactly matched one of the trees in the book. In fact, it was the exact tree that preceded the page with the snails on it. What’s more, there was a knothole exactly where the book’s illustration suggested it might be. Unfortunately, there was also a railroad spike with a note attached. No token.

Though I don’t know what the note said specifically, it was something along the lines of, “I found the snail token. Love, starthinker.” Sure enough, somebody posted to the message board as starthinker around the time the stake was discovered by Andy’s brother.

Bottom line: We missed this thing by hours. Craig could have probably made it in time. Ugh, soooo close! For shame, Craig McGettigan, for shame. TurkeyMonkey doesn’t have a hall of shame, but we’re seriously considering making you the honorary inductee.