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'Experienced' hunters find Rivertown Days medallion

Kay Huppert and Russell Hovde take the Rivertown Days medallion they found at Westwood Park to Edina Realty's office manager Sandy Becker. Not pictured is Sheri Huppert-Hovde, the third member of the winning team.

Russell Hovde, his wife, Sheri Huppert-Hovde, and Kay Huppert are first-time winners in the annual Rivertown Days Edina Realty medallion hunt.

But they brought years of medallion-finding experience with them when they began the Rivertown Days medallion hunt this year. The three have found other medallions - two during River Falls' annual festivals and one during Prescott Daze. The Hovdes live in Prescott, and Huppert lives in River Falls.

This year, the three found the Edina Realty medallion near the dinner hour Thursday, July 16, at Westwood Park, 19th and Walnut streets. All three had Rivertown Days buttons and will split the $500 prize.

We were on a roll, so to speak," said Hovde about the decision to look for this year's medallion.

The first clue was released July 13, but the three waited three days for additional clues, which they picked up at the Edina Realty office. 

They also downloaded a print-out of the city's 34 parks.

The first park they checked out was near ConAgra Mills on Vermillion Street. No luck there. The fourth clue was about a football field facing west. They looked at Todd Field, but again did not have any luck. 

They looked for about four hours Wednesday, July 15. Their search ended with no medallion, but they remained determined. 

The sixth clue talked about a river being near. Again, the Hovdes considered the nearby Vermillion River and the name of the park at 19th and Pine streets. 

When they went to Westwood Park, they observed some people using the playground equipment. About 6 p.m., Sheri Huppert-Hovde walked near the sign and looked down. There was something in black plastic wrap (actually a trash bag). She picked it up, looked inside and found the medallion.

She turned to her two companions and told them, "I think I found it."

We ran to the car and got inside," laughed Russell Hovde. They arrived at the realty office shortly before office hours ended.

Hovde plans to spend his share ($250) of the prize on a new rod and reel. The women will take their half and use it to pay some expenses for a planned trip.

And yes, they will return next year for more searching.

It's in our blood," Hovde said. 

The clues

Clue No. 1: Hastings is a nice city and its people do know. On Hastings' streets you have it easy to go. There are some parks and buildings that provide nice things for you. The medallion people will seek and will be presented via clues.

Clue No. 2: Rivertown Day will soon be here. Finding the medallion can be yours this year. The city of Hastings is where people go. You may take note of things in a short row.

Club No. 3: There are some things growing where the medallion will be, but it will not be found in a box or tree.

Club No. 4: A football field is facing west, it is this direction that is partly the best. South must one go and not trees that are there. Be a finder, be a finder, you can declare.

Clue No. 5: A stand of strength that is three and tall. It can stop as it has in spring, summer and fall. City limit is south so go north, now is the call. Medallion searching people, are wise people all.

Clue No. 6: A river is near and many people know, the river does run, but does not run slow. Go north, go north, that is the best way. The medallion is there and each day will stay.

Clue No. 7: There are two roads that are there, 18 is a number one can declare. So south is the best, but not too far, do walk, do walk, don't stay in the car.

Clue No. 8: It's a tree-lined park and outdoor biffy. Its sign is there and can be nifty. Look behind to find the medallion when there, you can be the winner both good and care.

Final clue: Go south on Walnut Street to Westwood park. Corner of 9th and Walnut street. Portable biffy next to park sign (N.E. corner). Medallion is hidden behind the sign between the boards, wrapped in plastic.

The explanation

Clue no. 1: Parks are in Hastings. Park is in city limits.

Clue No. 2: People are informed about locating the medallion, which is in the city of Hastings.

Clue No. 3: The medallion will not be located in tree or a box.

Clue 4: The local football field is in west direction from Highway 61. The medallion is south and west of the football field.

Clue 5: The "three and tall" is the back stop area where the softball fence is located. It is in Westwood Park.

Clue No. 6: The clue mentions the river, which is the Vermillion River. People should look for the medallion going north of the river.

Clue No. 7: Go to 18th Street, then one more block south to 19th.

Clue No. 8: Trees surround the park and an outdoor portable toilet is located there. Westwood park sign identifies the park.

Final clue gives directions to Westwood Park. Medallion is located behind the sign.