My husband, Sean and I are on a quest to search for Dirigo Treasures, a real-life treasure hunt throughout the state of Maine! For those just joining my adventures, you can learn more about the rules of the scavenger hunt in my older post. While we’ve been going “out of order” by jumping around each of the levels, most of our time spent this past month has involved several road trips throughout Maine to physically find each clue. There are 52 locations in the deck of cards (as to be expected) scattered throughout the entire state. So, I’ve dusted off my 4WD and started racking up the miles!
These weekend getaways have been a wild ride. From nearby beaches to mountains, we have found ourselves exploring towns and islands we’ve never heard of. It has been quite a nice break from the work-from-home monotony of everyday life. Sean and I started our first weekend adventure together, bringing our pup, Sophie on board, to start exploring the Southern Maine locations, which are closer to home. It took us some time to get into a groove of keeping our eyes peeled for specific details of each clue, while maintaining respect for the area and other visitors. We felt like we were on a slowed-down version of the Amazing Race!
Without giving away too many of the locations and clues (because what’s the fun in that for those who are playing?), we’ve had to break down and group the locations by region. My husband tends to work on Friday nights and weekends, which led me to a solo road trip the following weekend throughout mid-Maine. It also led me to a milestone of my first solo road trip! I had traveled across the world to Australia and New Zealand solo a few years ago, but had never really hit the road alone. I usually hate driving, but there was something liberating about seeking the experience solo, especially after a year and a half spent mostly at home.
During my first solo road trip weekend, I found myself visiting historical sites I had never heard of, including a fort created for the War of 1812 and running up a hill to visit a 100 year old house built by a Norwegian architect. Of course I had to include Sean in on the fun and despite being apart for the weekend. Many phone calls were held, mainly for him to keep me on track and give positive words of encouragement after struggling to find some of the clues.
Our third weekend spent on the treasure hunt was split between separate, solo road trips on Saturday, with Sean tackling the western side of the state while I made my way up the east coast. I got another head start by crashing in a motel Friday night, in order to hit the first ferry out of town to the remote island of Vinalhaven.
After a chilly morning at sea, I spent the afternoon and evening driving up Route 1, all the way up to the Easternmost point of the Continental United States! It was a beautiful, scenic, and sometimes quirky drive up the coast.
However, remind me to never visit a remote art sculpture exhibit in the woods alone at sunset ever again…
We meet back in the middle of the state in Bangor, crashing at a pet-friendly hotel (hello, Quality Inn!). It was a blast sharing our adventure stories of the day (and to actually have new stories to tell one another)! We must have driven at least 500 miles that day between the two of us. It was also Miss Sophie’s first experience in a hotel with us! I think she got used to it pretty quickly…
The last couple of weeks, we have taken a break from physically searching for clues. After a few weekends of spending hours on the road alone, I was feeling a little burnt out. We’ve also been able to figure out a few of the clues through specific internet searches and Google rabbit holes. And while a part of me is sad that we aren’t traveling to all 52 locations, I know my car and my wallet will thank me later! We have 5 locations and clues left to figure out, which means I will be hitting the road again for another epic adventure! And for us to be one step closer to finding the treasure!
But even if we don’t find it, this treasure hunt has been an amazing experience, filled with fun stories and interesting sites we’ve seen!