In late 2012 I was looking into a legend I had heard, a tale of stolen gold, political intrigue, and secret societies. While researching, I discovered two very strange pieces of paper in an archive of historical documents at the University of Texas. At first I thought nothing of them, but then arose a nagging suspicion that they were more than what they seemed. Late into the night I puzzled over their contents, until I found a hidden message in each one.
Each message directed me to a place, so I visited the first one. As I approached the location, I felt certain I was being watched, so I abandoned my quest and moved to the second. As I approached it, a stranger started walking toward me with ill intent, so I turned and fled.
Now I am on the run, pursued by nefarious people whose intent I do not know. All I know is that they believe I have something they want. I do not know where it is, or even what it is.
Please help me. Decode the hidden message, and find out why these people are looking for me. But above all, be careful, since it is clear that someone is watching the sites closely. If you value your life, approach the sites with great stealth, and do not linger once you have retrieved what is there.
And now for some details about this series...
- Santa Anna's Gold is actually two separate cache series that both end in the same cache, namely this one (GC3Q889). Depending on which of the two puzzles (above) you solve, you will go down one of the two forks in the puzzle series.
- The two forks are meant to be worked separately, and have completely different puzzles, caches, and back stories.
- If you are working by yourself, pick which of the two puzzles tickles your fancy, and go for it. When you get to the end (or get stuck), feel free to try the other puzzle and the other fork. You can log all of the caches you find, although it would be kind of weird to log GC3Q889 twice.
- If you are working in a team of people, I really recommend that you split your team in half, or challenge another team to split the first two puzzles with you, and race to the end! I have gone to some trouble to try to make the two sides similar in difficulty, so hopefully racing teams will have a level playing field.
- All of these caches are in the downtown area, and most of them are walking distance from the Capitol. That said, some of them are in locations that are not open 24/7. I recommend planning to attack the series on Sturdays in the day time, for several reasons. To wit:
- Parking will be easier to find (although still not free)
- Many (most!) of the caches require EXTREME STEALTH due to their locations in high-muggle areas downtown. Grabbing the caches on weekends will reduce the number of muggles you have to avoid.
- This series is going to take most people a fair amount of time to solve, so making a day of it on the weekend will give you lots of time to work on it.
- You're going to be visiting a fair number of historical sites and tourist attractions in the downtown area, and doing some walking. Bring water and wear comfortable shoes!
- Bring a pen/pencil. The caches do not have writing implements in them.
- Did I mention that EXTREME STALTH is needed for many of these caches? Please help me keep this series alive by being super careful about whether you are seen grabbing & replacing the caches.
- Please be careful to put the caches back *exactly* as they were placed. There is actually an "up" side to many of them. The "official geocache" label is on the top side of the caches -- please put them back in that orientation!
- One of the caches has some very special restrictions about how you will be allowed access to it. Please respect these restrictions (they're not mine), and don't get cheesed off when presented with them.
- BRING A CAMERA OF SOME SORT. Seriously. There are at least three different objects that you will want to photograph so you can have a reference to them later. All of these objects need to remain in their "home" locations, so unless you have a photographic memory you will really want to be able to take pictures while you're working this series.
- This series generally escalates in difficulty as you go, so the first couple of puzzles should be pretty easy and then it will get harder. If you get stuck, don't give up -- keep plugging away. And feel free to ask me for hints. I will try to help you without ruining the fun of solving it yourself.
- HAVE FUN!
Use this geochecker for Santa Anna's Gold: