Jan 30, 2014 - By Eric Blom, Staff WriterDecades of annual searching finally were rewarded Wednesday when Betty Faden found the Wild West Winter Carnival Medallion.
The Riverton resident found the object at the base of a yellow-and-white pole in the vacant lot near the intersection of East Main and N. 5th E. in downtown Riverton.
"Just finding something for a hunt is exciting," Faden said. "Even if you didn't offer any money, I'd still go out and do it."
Despite her magnanimous attitude, Faden will receive the $500 prize for finding the medallion with a Winter Carnival button pinned to her coat. She has been searching in all of The Ranger's treasure hunts "since the 90s," but the medallion was the first object Faden has found.
The Ranger also stages annual hunts tied to Easter, Riverton Rendezvous, and the fall football season.
Wednesday was Faden's first day searching for the medallion this year. Worry that predicted snowfall covering the prize spurred her to get out and look for it.
Six of a possible 10 clues had been published in The Ranger before the medallion was returned.
Faden said the most helpful hint was "You know it's hidden in the city, and the spot isn't all that pretty." Wednesday's clue also mentioned "something yellow and white."
"We thought it was in a parking lot so we starting doing downtown parking lots," Faden said.
Her husband Philip drove her to Kusel's Furniture and Appliances to check the parking lot behind that building, which was a hiding place once before. Then, she searched the lot across Main Street from The Ranger's offices and found the prize.
The "isn't so pretty" part of the clue resonated with Faden.
"All those cans say 'industrial waste' on them," she said, referring to metal drums a few feet from the medallion's hiding spot.
Nevertheless, she searched the area and found the 5-inch bronze disk at the bottom of a fence, which happens to surround a "bubble bath" vapor extraction system cleaning contaminated groundwater.
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