Posted by: fergy1008 | July 22, 2012

It’s Riddle Time

Angela came to me the other day with a flyer announcing a “first annual” ride, a photo scavenger hunt with your digital camera or camera phone sponsored by a local chapter of the Moose Riders.

The Moose Riders (not to be confused with the Moose Lodges we all know) have chapters all across the United States. The Lakes Moose Family Center #1865 in Lakewood is home to Chapter 511 – Lakes, who were sponsoring their first annual Riddle Ride for the benefit of two worthwhile charities, Mooseheart Child City & BASH.  Mooseheart Child City is a residential childcare facility, located on a 1,000-acre campus 38 miles west of Chicago. The Child City is a home for children and teens in need, from infancy through high school.  MOOSEHEART cares for youth whose families are unable, for a wide variety of reasons, to care for them.  BASH (Bikers Against Statewide Hunger) provides food bank services to local areas as well as food delivery to shut-ins. It began in 1995 in the creators home and a year later moved in to a building through which they now serve more than 2,500 Tacoma residents each month.

When Angela approached me about the ride I’m not sure what she thought I would say. We were supposed to have spent a long- in Port Townsend at the State Rally for our Gold Wing chapter but I had ended up having to do overtime during the week and we had our niece’s birthday party Sunday, preventing us from attending the rally but leaving Saturday wide open for a ride. I said sure why not. Being their “first annual” and a different kind of ride than your standard follow-a-set-of-instructions-to-a-destination, we set no expectations and adopted a wait-and-see attitude. Plus, the entry fee was only $10 per vehicle (including passenger), so we weren’t taking a big financial risk. The day of the event we grabbed a few items from the cupboards for a food donation and headed to the Lakewood staging area. I had crossed the numbers of the address when putting it into the GPS so finding the place was a little challenging at first. Luckily, Angela spotted another biker with what looked like a food bag strapped onto the passenger seat and we decided to follow him. Sure enough he led us to the correct location just across the railroad tracks. Arriving on site at the Lakes Moose Family Center we were pleasantly surprised to find it was a large gated site complete with a very large common grassy area and a shelter which would later house the after-ride BBQ. There were only about 10 or so bikes when we arrived, but it was a good mix of Harleys, another Gold Wing, a Honda Shadow, a homemade trike and a shiny new BMW GS1200.

At check in we were given a half-sheet “Team Card” to be used in the photos, along with a list of 20 clues that, when correctly solved, would lead us to our destinations for the day. Each team had 6 hours to figure out the clues and ride to as many  locations as possible while returning by 4pm deadline. The first team to arrive back with the most sites visited won a first place medal, (and bragging rights).  Angela and I spared no time getting to work. As luck would have it, she brought her iPad and together we quickly figured out about a half dozen clues. I overheard another team struggling so I went over to offer my assistance. I told them what some of them were and they actually had some that we hadn’t figured out yet…great! But now, with almost half of the clues unanswered, we were at a roadblock. Luckily, there was an additional clue sheet that could be bought for $20 and the event was cheap enough so we had no problem ponying up $20 for a second sheet of clues (it was a fundraiser, after all, plus we got additional raffle tickets with our purchase).  There was a third set available for purchase had we needed even more help, but the second sheet gave us all we needed to figure out the remaining clues. It was a lot of fun to figure out the answers and we definitely had to work together, merging our individual knowledge, along with a little help from Google, to determine our destinations.  (At this point, if Angela were reading this entry, she would want to know what all the clues were to see how many answers she could get so we’ve included them at the bottom of this entry for you to try yourself.)

With clue answers in hand and determination in our eyes we set out to our first location, Starbucks! This was right around the corner and, having not had breakfast yet, we figured it was a good chance to get something to eat and double check our notes and planned route. The second stop was just a stones throw away as well, Eagle Leather which has always been a great sponsor of bikers and charities. Actually, the first six or so stops were in the local area. And, as familiar as I am with the area, some of the businesses we visited were locations I didn’t even know existed.  We visited a variety of places throughout Lakewood, Steilacoom and Tacoma this day.  We never would have thought we would enjoy riding around the city so much but we had grins on our faces much of the day.  They sent us to a nice variety of spots – not just easily anticipated motorcycle shops but they took the opportunity to showcase local eateries, independent businesses and historical and memorial locations.  They deepened the experience for the riders, and the destination locations, by offering additional raffle tickets if you brought back a signed and dated business card (5 tickets) or a receipt from a location (10 tickets).  It got you off your bike, not just for the picture, but also took you inside the business.  We did a little bit of both, plus some casual sightseeing.  This day we bought a delicious muffin, a ½ pound of buffalo jerky, a new pin for my riding jacket, and I, being the social bunny hopped, off at a few stops and got as any business cards as I could.


I met a really nice tattoo artist with a great looking shop, went into a well-established meat market that I knew about but had never been to, and we visited a cemetery with dates going back to the 1700s that’s just  down the street from where I work.

We’ve both driven by it dozens of times but this time we actually took a moment to go in and look around and think of those who settled this area so long ago.  We stayed off the freeway as much as possible, taking longer but more scenic routes to our destinations.  We traveled along the Steilacoom waterfront and Chambers Bay to reach North Tacoma. Angela walked around the Tacoma War Memorial near the Narrows Bridge, which I’ve visited before, and we took advantage of our knowledge of the area to cruise in to Pt. Defiance the back way instead of sitting in the line for the main entrance that stretched almost a half-mile. We discovered the road from Ruston was open again so popped down and rode all along the Tacoma waterfront. We choose to skip a bonus location across the Narrows Bridge in order to be sure we got back in time.  We arrived about 20 minutes before the cut-off time and were surprised to be the first ones back.  We checked-in, had our photos reviewed and our receipts and business cards tallied for raffle tickets.  While waiting for others to arrive we bought a hot dog and soda from the provided BBQ stand and perused the raffle items that we had a good chance of winning. In the end we had 19 destinations and 45 raffle tickets, enough to win us first place and several great prizes! We won a variety of novelty gifts but also a few very respectable gift certificates from Cycle Gear, South Bound Honda, and Eagle Leather. We’ve already used the Cycle Gear certificate to help buy Angela a new summer weight riding jacket 🙂

I must say, for a whim decision, the event and ride was a joy to participate in and we’ll definitely be putting this on our 2013 riding schedule.

Clue Set #1

  1. Double the first letter of the alphabet and have a piece of Jerky
  2. Scarlet porcine skins
  3. Feathers and hides, get ready to ride
  4. Across the street from where the bikers meet, venti, grande, single or quad
  5. It’s not NORTH, EAST, or West, tied up, Rebel
  6. Insane curly haired stooge, Goldwings
  7. Right next door to #2
  8. Knobbies, Kevlar, and racing, they specialize in it here
  9. Stone the moorage
  10. LOCAL 22nd letter of the alphabet, double birth
  11. Next door to AAMCO, green and gold, POW/MIA are honored
  12. I’m across the scary bridge, far away on Kitsap Way
  13. Needles and pins, this DEAD MAN’s HAND, wins
  14. On a BLVD named for our STATE, pioneers rest here
  15. Outside is one, inside is two, Frances Farmer lived across the street for a time
  16. I am on land, honoring the past, in the oldest town around
  17. Fur and goods, Hudson Bay flourished here
  18. A living honor where Old Glory and Blue Stars stand watch
  19. I’m not a little TEAPOT, I’m a quirky building
  20. Get your nicotine but no tar, I’m not too far

Clue Set #2

  1. Minor league teams, steaks
  2. The color of blood, a big bike, chaps
  3. Boots, jackets, community support
  4. Named for a character in Moby Dick, come see me then eat Chinese food next door
  5. We are kinda FONDA of _____ _____ _____
  6. I don’t wanna HAUL  it, U do it!
  7. Pastries like your MAMA used to make
  8. My neighbor across the street sells in bulk
  9. Park your boat here, grab a beer
  10. Small the building, loud the roar from the back door
  11. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, pins, patches and other things
  12. Her ride name rhymes with Litter and she fixes tanned skins
  13. They do ink, they do gauges, permanent reminders of the ages
  14. Silent stones tell our history, many names left a mystery
  15. You can play soccer or softball in this place, find the items, win the race
  16. HISTORY all in one place, there is a Ferry near that goes to an island
  17. People dress up to teach about the past
  18. War? What is it good for? Tacoma remembers
  19. Bob owns me, ain’t no jive!
  20. Fanciful flavors, lots of VAPOR


  1. AA Meats
  2. Red Hog Leathers
  3. Eagle Leather
  4. Starbucks
  5. South Bound Honda
  6. Crazy Larry’s
  7. Mama’s Bakery
  8. Cycle Gear
  9. Rock The Dock Bar & Grill (Dock Street Tacoma WA)
  10. Tacoma V-Twin
  11. Military Memorabilia
  12. Critters Taxidermy
  13. Aces -N- Eights Tattoo
  14. Old Settler Cemetery
  15. Steilacoom Park
  16. Steilacoom Historical Museum
  17. Fort Nisqually in Point Defiance Park
  18. Tacoma War Memorial
  19. Java Jive
  20. The Vaporium


  1. Steve just loved your write up on our ride. The Lakes 1865-WOTM 511 Moose Riders worked really hard to put the event together. I’m told we did in 5 weeks what usually takes many months.
    Just a little clarification, we are a riding group that is part of the Loyal Order Of The Moose, aka The Moose Lodge 🙂 As far as I know, our Lodge is the only one in Washington with a Moose Riders group at the moment. Thank you again for such a glowing report and I hope we can make it bigger and better next year!
    Lesa Hatley
    Lakes 1865-WOTM 511 Moose Riders

  2. […] Riddle Ride Last year we had a great time participating in the Moose Riders Riddle Ride, a one-day photographic scavenger hunt in the Tacoma/Lakewood/UP area.  I’ve emailed last years organizer to see if their holding it again this year, but haven’t heard back yet. (previous blog post: […]

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