It couldn’t be more appropriate. A young boy with deep roots in the Upper Clearwater, plus a female German tourist, were the first and second prize winners in this year’s Kids-Wild Treasure Hunt in Wells Gray Park.
“We are so excited that Michael is the recipient of the grand prize!,” said Elizabeth Shook, mother of the first prize winner. “We try to get the kids outside as much as possible and this year’s treasure hunt made it that much more exciting for the kids.”
According to his mother, Michael Shook completed the first four geocaches in early July with his four-year-old sister Adalie and his father, Craig Shook.
At his seventh birthday party, which had a rocks and minerals theme (complete with a homemade quartz crystal piñata), Michael received a copy of Cathie Hickson’s book, Wells Gray Rocks!, which contains clues for the treasure hunt.
At the beginning of August Michael’s cousins from Lacombe, Alberta, came to visit so Michael’s uncle Gord Dubois offered to take Michael and his 12-year-old cousin Reece on a trip into the park. In a marathon session they completed the remaining six geocaches in one day.
“The boys had a wonderful time and we are grateful to all the organizers of this worthwhile event,” said Michael’s mother.
Michael is the great-grandson of Francis Shook (Emery), one of two sisters who, in 1932 (not 1913 as reported in last week’s issue), built the historic Bee Farm in what is now Wells Gray Park.
As first prize winner, the young boy had his choice of a painting of an eagle’s head by Robert Bateman or $3,000 in cash. He chose the money.
Treasure hunt organizers are presently conferring with Bateman to decide what will be done with the painting.
Second prize in the treasure hunt went to Karin Haterkorn of Hamburg, Germany.
She and her partner, Matthias Kasten, spent part of last summer travelling in western Canada.
“We stayed in Canada for three and a half weeks and saw a lot of very impressive places, but our stay in Wells Gray Park was the best part of it for us,” she said. “And we loved to combine all those walks we did with the exercises we had to solve during the treasure hunt. It is a great idea to give people an understanding of the nature treasures of that region in that way. We hope a lot of people took part of the contest.”
For her prize, Haterkorn had her choice of one of six paintings by Upper Clearwater artist Doris Laner, or $700 Canadian. She chose a painting of Helmcken Falls titled “75th birthday Morning Mist.”