This year’s medallion was attached behind a loose piece of tree bark, then tucked behind chicken wire that wraps several cottonwood trees along the south bank of the Arkansas River west of the John Mack Bridge. The trees are on public land along the river between O.J. Watson and Herman Hill parks.
Here are each day’s clues and what they meant.
Welcome all friends, your surroundings respect.
We are counting on you, these clues to collect.
Stay on public land, of the rules be alert.
The first one to find it hits Chilton pay dirt.
Aside from the general notes to follow the rules, the main point of this clue was counting. There are 81 characters in the first two lines of the clue. For some stretches, Broadway, the street the John Mack Bridge is on, is known as U.S. 81.
Day Two of the hunt, it hasn’t abated.
This flight of fancy may leave you sated.
As you peruse county geography.
Refresh yourself with a nice icy tea.
The rules say the medallion is in Sedgwick County; this clue narrowed that area to within Wichita’s city limits. Icy tea is pronounced ICT, which is the airport (or flight) code for Wichita.
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Don’t forget the paper, our original space.
Go back to its origins to stay in this race.
This clue pointed to a tree. Paper is made from wood and the origin of it is trees. An additional clue is our original space. This year was the 40th anniversary of the Eagle Medallion Hunt. The hiding place that first year was in the bark of a tree in Oak Park.
A city this big, many spots to conceal.
The place that we chose, it had some appeal.
So where did we put it? Here is a summation:
It’s hidden at an anonymous location.
Two bits of information in this clue. First, there was much loose tree bark in the area, as it had peeled off of the trees. Second, anonymous told you that the medallion wasn’t in a park; it was in a place without a formal name.
Tomato, Tomahto, which one do you use?
Where you come from will offer some cues.
Out of two mouths, it’s one and the same.
You’re nearly there, in this twisty game.
This clue pointed to the Arkansas River. Depending on where you’re from, Arkansas is pronounced ahr-kan-zas or ahr-ken-sah. Two mouths indicated the Arkansas River and Little Arkansas River merging. The river is twisty.
Between mayor and president the gap isn’t thin.
That chasm is key if you’re wanting to win.
Consider the ends, one of history’s bits:
It was common knowledge that one was the pits.
The medallion area was along the river between O.J. Watson Park and Herman Hill Park. Watson was the former president of the Park Board, and Hill was the 34th mayor of Wichita. At one time, what is now Watson Park was sand pits.
The Kansas roads that one would deem bad:
Don’t have the right to call this one Dad.
Before the adventure, Dorothy sang her song.
Then just walk away (but her preposition’s wrong).
John Mack, the bridge’s namesake, was known as The Father of Good Kansas Roads. In “The Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy sang “Over the Rainbow.” The John Mack Bridge is a rainbow arch bridge. If one were to walk away from under, instead of over, the rainbow, they would be closer to the medallion.
From a historic spot, the symbol you’ll see.
As you head out, your lucky number is three.
The missing piece you might say, was once part attire.
If you figure it out, you’ll be under the wire.
The John Mack Bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places. From it you would see the cottonwood tree, which is the state tree of Kansas. The medallion was on the third tree – and was in a group of three trees – from the bridge. The missing piece that was once part attire was a reference to the piece of bark, which was a fallen piece that was placed back on the tree. Under the wire refers to the chicken wire that was around the trunk of the tree.