Alright, here we go with the explanations. Remember, I did purposely make it harder this year figuring people would have more time to work on the clues.
Whether snow or no, this hunt is a go.
Fresh air and sunshine will do you much good.
To dodge the virus is most desirous
So wash your hands, not just because you should.
You should break your stride, and go catch a ride
To a place of numeric harmony.
Now Saint Paul’s a Twin, but the code to win
Is to call the place a solo city.
Washing your hands, and not just because you should is a reference to the medallion being disguised as a clump of dirt which may get your hands dirty. For the rest of the clue, start at the end. If you google “solo city” you will immediately see that is a nickname for a city in Indonesia. The international “code” to “call” Indonesia is 62. “Catching a ride” refers to a bus and of course Route 62. Route 62 makes a stop at bus stop 6262, a place of numeric harmony and the closest bus stop to the treasure.
Find this bit of lore about forty-four,
Looking back to pre-Columbian times.
An endearing site might help set you right
And give direction to your paradigms.
“44” refers to the 44th President, Barack Obama. He graduated from Columbia, but prior to that he went to Occidental College (my alma mater!). Occidental in turn is a term meaning “western”. This is a reference to the “West Side” of St. Paul where Cherokee Park is. The endearing site is the Dearing Mansion near the park which should help confirm which “west” was meant exactly.
The Postal Service might make you nervous
But lots of letters are a useful aid.
How many needed if unimpeded?
Somewhere above forty you’ll have it made.
The Postal Service was a band with a hit called “Such Great Heights”, a reference to Cherokee Heights (If you google “The Postal Service” this song comes up right away). The lead singer of that group is also the person behind the band “Death Cab for Cutie”, which might make you nervous. “Lots of letters” are found in books, a reference to the “little library” found in a yard across the street from the area of the hiding spot. “Somewhere above 40” is a reference to the park being above Water St. which is County Rd. 40.
A secretary most necessary,
The second time through there would be less dross.
For a time but brief he became the chief,
But you’ll still find him under the same boss.
This is a reference to James A. Baker who was Secretary of State under the first George Bush and then became Chief of Staff, also under Bush. But he had also been Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan, so under Bush it was his second time serving as both a Secretary and a Chief of Staff. At Cherokee you will still find Baker (St.) under George (St.) on a map.
There’s plenty of land you’ll find near at hand
But crossing the street is quite forbidden.
Stay near to some trees and watch your step please
Or you might stumble on where it’s hidden.
Cherokee is a decent sized park, but private property, which is out of bounds, is on the other side of the street. There are trees near the hiding spot and you might actually feel the medallion by stepping on it. It was also hidden in a slight depression which could trip someone up a bit.
If sick, but not sure, you still want the cure.
Also keep plenty of water nearby.
Still no discovery for a recovery
But a marginal treatment gets you by.
The Cure is a band whose lead singer is Robert Smith, a reference to Smith St. The nearby water is the Mississippi. “Marginal treatment” refers to the park being on the border of St. Paul.
Not at work all day? Find places to play.
Although this is a game where you don’t touch.
Contact is taboo. Whatever you do,
Leaving yourself on the sidelines is clutch.
The “places to play” refers to the various places to play sports in the park, but particularly the tennis courts near the treasure as tennis courts have sidelines and the treasure is roughly in line with one of them. Tennis is also a sport without human contact. “Leaving” tells you it is hidden under some leaves. The first letter of each line forms “NACL” which is the chemical formula for salt which is in turn a reference to Morton St. near the park.
These times are scary, a load to carry,
Yet there is no rigging of the results.
Will you stand whining? Be a star shining?
It’s a lot better to act like adults.
“Carry” (Carrie), (the) “stand”, (the) “shining”, “It”, and (Salem’s) “lot” are all scary stories by Stephen King. Both Stevens and King streets are near the park. “Rig” is another name for a truck and “no rigging” refers to a “no trucks” sign near the treasure.
I bet Uncle Joe knows where you should go.
It’s a most irregular kind of park.
There’s no place to bat, where’s the parking at?
A dolt may think it’s somewhere near Bismarck.
Uncle Joe is Joe Biden who is from Delaware, another street near the park. The park has a definite irregular shape to it. The only thing resembling a baseball field has no home plate and there are no parking lots. Some geographically challenged people may think the West Side is in Dakota County just as Bismarck is in a Dakota.
What will you have wrought if digging for naught?
You really don’t want to be the weak link.
Try taking a stroll, going pole to pole.
You will feel groovy when you start to sink.
“Wrought” (iron), “pole”, and “link” allude to fences as there is a fence all around the tennis court by the treasure. Taking a stroll alludes to the nearby sidewalk and walking trail. The area with the treasure sinks down from both the trail and the sidewalk and the medallion is hidden in a slight groove in the ground.
Let me dish some dirt, and yet not quite blurt.
A street name is something that’s sure to please
And yet no name hath this critical path.
So such a hint would be just a big tease.
This is just a reference to the alley between Delaware and Cherokee, which the treasure is in line with. It also roughly aligns with a series of utility poles which look like a line of big T’s (“big tease”).
It’s now plain to see the park’s Cherokee,
But go far from any picnic table.
Facing the blue wall, power above all,
Find a groove in the earth if you’re able.
This tells you the park and that it is not near the picnic grounds. The blue wall is part of the tennis courts and align yourself with the power lines, then look for the groove.