Mixing Nevada history with mystery and remembrance, the 13th annual Nevada Day Treasure Hunt begins Oct. 6.
Laurie Olson, who organizes the hunt with her family, said this year’s event has extra special meeting.
Not only because it’s Nevada’s Sesquicentennial, but because this will be the first year the family has put on the treasure hunt without Olson’s 89-year-old mother, Joy Samsel, who passed away in December.
“It is a very significant year for us,” Laurie Olson said. Joy had been president of the nonprofit organization. “She was the person who always wrote the first clue.
“We are dedicating this year’s hunt to her.”
Starting Oct. 6, the Nevada Appeal and www.nevadaappeal.com will publish a daily clue about the whereabouts of this year’s treasure. It could be anywhere in Carson City or Churchill, Douglas, Lyon, Storey, Mineral or Washoe counties. Because the Appeal does not publish on Mondays, that day’s clue will be available only online. Clues will be given Monday through Friday.
The first person to find the treasure, a small acrylic square containing a Nevada Day Treasure Hunt medallion, will receive a $1,000 prize.
The prize is forfeited if the hidden treasure is not found within 15 clues.
The Olsons were avid participants in a similar hunt in Oregon that ran during the annual Rose Festival. When they moved to Nevada 17 years ago, Laurie’s son Jesse suggested they start one of their own in the Silver State. A family tradition was born.
When it comes time to write the clues, she said, the family — Laurie, her husband, Pete, and their grown children Jennifer Walker and Jesse Olson — all contribute.
The clues draw upon the state’s history, geography and other tidbits.
The medallion is inside a leather pouch and hidden on public property. It will not be buried, and searchers won’t have to climb or do anything physical except walk up to retrieve it. Searchers will not have to make any purchases to find it.
“We really spent a lot of time to make it a great event,” Olson said.
Prospective treasure hunters should go to nvdaytreasurehunt.com to read the frequently asked questions and past clues, which contain explanations for each.
The person who finds the treasure should bring it to the Nevada Appeal, 580 Mallory Way, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Players must be 18 or older to participate.
The event is sponsored by Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital, Ponderosa Stamp & Engraving, Sign Pro, Sierra Nevada Electric and the Nevada Appeal.