Carson City man solves treasure hunt

Adam Trumble / Nevada AppealBernard Cihigoyenetche displays the Nevada Day medallion that he found Wednesday in Washoe Valley's Wilson Commons Park.

Adam Trumble / Nevada AppealBernard Cihigoyenetche displays the Nevada Day medallion that he found Wednesday in Washoe Valley's Wilson Commons Park.

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On his third search of Wilson Commons Park in Washoe Valley, Carson City man Bernard Cihigoyenetche found the annual Nevada Day Treasure Hunt medallion on Wednesday. “I was stunned,” he said. “I was shocked.”He has participated in the annual hunt for six years, often narrowing the search down to the right location, but never actually finding the medallion.“I've been close several times,” he said.Following in tradition, he got up every morning during the hunt at 5 a.m. to read the clues at “Then I research online,” he said. “Sometimes I can figure it out in an hour. Sometimes I get to work and I still haven't figured it out. I never figure out all of them as far as deciphering every single clue. You just pull out bits and pieces.”After the first few days, he said, he starts to narrow it down. “Once you work on the clues, you get an idea,” Cihigoyenetche said. “You start to work on those ideas and try to fit the puzzle.”After four or five clues this year, he said, he determined it was somewhere in Washoe Valley. Having some flexibility with his time as owner of Capital Towing, he and his wife, JoAnn, have spent eight days physically searching, hitting Davis Creek Park, Bowers Mansion and other nearby places.On Wednesday, he said, he and JoAnn were among a handful of people searching around the park. When he found the medallion in its customary leather pouch along the fence line across the road from the park, he didn't make any kind of commotion.“My wife heard somebody found it, but she didn't know it was me until I showed it to her on the way back to the car,” he said. He said the 13th clue, printed on Wednesday, led him back to the park.The hunt runs each year for 15 days.The first person to find the treasure, a small acrylic square containing a Nevada Day Treasure Hunt medallion, will get a $500 prize. An additional $500 will be rewarded If the winner is registered at Laurie Olson, who organizes the hunt with her family, said she was happy to see the search go on so long this year.“We put a lot of effort into making sure we didn't give anything away too soon,” she said. “That way people could have more fun with it.”Now that it's over, however, it leaves a bit of a void for Cihigoyenetche.“Now what? I guess I go back to my regular life tomorrow,” he said. But he still has the Nevada Day celebration to look forward to, where he will watch his son Daniel march in the parade as part of Carson High School's Blue Thunder Marching Band.And through figuring out the clues, he's also discovered more about the state he's called home since 1991.“I've learned more Nevada history than through anything else,” he said. “I could give tours around Washoe Valley I'm sure. I've become like a local historian.”


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