My ideas


@alfabob
 

I haven't posted in a while. The first couple of clues I thought the clue writer was referring to the present pandemic, or maybe an historical reference to the Spanish flu of 1918/1919. So, I tried to connect parks history with 1918.I started to veer toward Harriet Island, hoping that Harriet Tubman was a math ('figure') teacher. She was a public school teacher, not necessarily math. I thought 'old sport' line could be referring to a dog owner talking to their dog ( a dog park nearby), or 'old sport' might literally mean a very old sport like the Hmong Tuj Lub, which has a field in Phalen-Keller Regional Park, referenced in a previous Treasure Hunt. But then, I googled 'old sport' and got a line from The Great Gatsby, by the St. Paul born F. Scott Fitzgerald. I looked where he was born and found a nondescript park near his birth home in St. Paul. Then, other clues led me back to the river area (shifting sands, etc.) so I read up on F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby and found a connection to boating. Aha!, I thought. The Minnesota Boat Club, on Raspberry Island is close to Harriet Island. And F. Scott and Zelda used to stay at/frequent the White Bear Yacht Club in White Bear Lake. There is the St. Paul Yacht Club at Harriet Island, if the Fitzgerald link is just to imply a St. Paul park. Then a clue about 'shifting sands' again told me a park on the Mississippi River, the clue about not 'punting' (a punt is a type of flat-bottomed boat) means going for it, or full steam ahead, which led me to think of the steamboats/riverboats at Harriet Island. When you are on the river  you want to avoid the 'shifting sand bars' or you'll run aground. Then clue 5 came out and I thought maybe the clue writer(s) were harking back to the time(s) they had egg on their faces in 2004 (putting the medallion in a real donut, only to have some animal transport it to a different hiding place, not referred to in the clues) or 2007, when it was found at Hidden Falls Park after only 3 clues because the hider forgot about their footprints in the snow being discovered leading to the hiding spot. so, I looked up the clues to these hunts of 2004 and 2007. I found out that the word 'level' led to the Cleveland Street name that led the finders to the medallion. So, I looked on google maps for Hidden Falls Park and I find a Kenneth Street down from Cleveland (ave/st) leading to Hidden Falls. The 'beyond our ken' clue made me think it was at Hidden Falls, beyond/down from Kenneth St. So, the river was still in play. The 'it'll be a ball' clue was a reference again to the red balls on the power lines that cross the river near Hidden Falls. There's a dog park in Minnehaha Park across from Hidden Falls. Then, Clue 6 comes out and, to me, it screams COMO Park. So, I searched some more on google for history, and I couldn't connect everything in the clue(s) to Como. The 'life as slow as molasses' still made me think of a Mark Twain quote or something about life on the Mississippi River, something maybe Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn would have said. So, I searched some more on Mark Twin, and in his book 'Life On the Mississippi', there is a chapter on White Bear Lake (talking about the legend  of how the name came about form Indian ( Native American) lore. Then I looked up history of White Bear Lake and found that some of the gangsters of the '30's would hide out here  and how there are some drug/alcohol rehabilitation centers here ('a place to cover and recover'), how the Native Americans had/made maple sugar ( the 'slow as molasses' maybe referring to the 1919 Boston Molasses Flood disaster) in the area, and how it was a summer resort for people escaping the life of the cities, etc. So, now, I think, White Bear Lake park is the spot, as long as it's in Ramsey County.

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