Their website says, "If you liked the DaVinci Code, Goonies, National Treasure or Harry Potter, you'll love Ravenchase Adventures!" Well, YES! They just happened to have an event schedule for May 5 -- Claire's actual birthday -- in Richmond, VA. So off we went.
Seventeen teams of 2 to 6 players each met at the Robert E Lee Monument in Richmond where we were given a backpack including five clues, a treasure map, a black light, a small portable radio and a lighter. We were told that we did not have to complete the five clues in any specific order, but that we should find a puzzle piece at a secret location to be determined by solving the clue. Then this puzzle would be put together to reveal an additional code to be deciphered.
The clues were tough! They involved things like counting the number of stars on a statue, dividing by the number of Grand Slams won by Arthur Ashe (native of Richmond) and tuning into that frequency on the radio to hear a clue directing us to a different location.
One clue said to look for the "saddest horse you ever did see." We found him outside the Virginia Historical Society.
Later we had to seek out the grave of the fifth president, write out the first 50 letters from the plaque on his grave, then use a numerical code to direct us to the location of the puzzle piece. Here's James Monroe.
I didn't actually take pictures during the race these are various google images. We were too focused on looking up info, reading maps, scoping out other teams and deciphering clues. The final clue involved information that could only be read under black light, or after being rubbed with an ice cube or heated with a flame. But, believe me... it's not like the clue said "apply ice here." Or "use the lighter here." Everything was in code!
Eventually we were lead to the Globe Hopper coffee shop where we were supposed to breathe on a mirror to reveal a clue.
Claire and I nearly hyperventilated in the bathroom and had no luck finding anything. Then Jeff came in and saw a mirror hanging on the wall amongst other pictures and coffee-shop decor. Duh. Eventually we made our way to the final destination... a great little local bar and grill where we enjoyed drinks and socializing with the other teams.
It was funny how we settled into various roles as we went along the race. Claire and I did all the deciphering, matching numbers with letters and words. Jeff kept his nose in his iPad looking up key passages in the clue and trying to match them to logical locations. Benjamin was on constant look out for time-chips. These were poker chips that were hidden along the race that would take 15 minutes off your time. He found two!
We all had a great time and spent lots of time discussing all the clues and excitement and funny things that happened throughout the day. Claire even said she would like to do it for her next birthday!