Tropic Hunters

There’s an annual event sponsored by The Miami Herald newspaper in South Florida called the Tropic Hunt. We’ve been participating since the mid-1980s when it first began; Dale and I came in third place that year, and Kelly and I made a father-daughter event out of it more recently.

The Tropic Hunt is part scavenger hunt, part puzzle-solving, and a touch of weird and crazy. It’s hard to explain, but you get a map and numbered, written clues from the Sunday newspaper, then you have to solve visual puzzles that are scattered about a part of town, and those answers relate to the written clues and map, ultimately leading to a solution.

The grand prize is usually a Caribbean cruise and there are now thousands of people competing each year.

This year, the Hunt was at the new Miami Marlins baseball stadium.

Dale and I went after leaving Kyle’s triathlon and we met Kelly and a group of her friends that came down from Gainesville to experience the Hunt.

As we were trying to solve the fourth puzzle, Dave Barry and Tom Schroeder, the creators of the Tropic Hunt and nationally-renowned humor columnists, walked by. Dale made a point of telling them that “we had come in third in 1985 and that the 3rd place prize that year was just an autographed Dave Barry book and couldn’t we have a cruise, please?”

One of the puzzles was underneath the stadium and we had to wear hardhats to listen to “Casey at Bat.”

Kelly and her crew did outstanding – they solved every puzzle! And they almost won! Unfortunately, three other teams just edged them out.

Better luck next time!

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