New: Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, even San Jose

I like The Game. I like the puzzles, but in between puzzles, I like hopping into a van and zipping around, visiting interesting places. Even though... all too often we don't really linger at the interesting places. Hop out of the van, grab the puzzle, hunker down, solve the puzzle, hop back in the van. Today, I visited a friend in San Jose. He was kinda close to a train station, but not super-close. So I had a bit of a stroll--and went through three game sites.

I hopped out of the train at the San Jose train station. Though I just-five-seconds-ago in the previous paragraph mused that teams don't always linger at Game-ish spots, this is not true of that train station. I remember spending a lot of time searching that station for a clue during the Midnight Madness: Back to Basics Game. We searched high and low; I watched an electronic announcement display for way too long. Today, after I disembarked from the train, I walked out of the station quickly. I looked up at the electronic display--and looked away quickly, still feeling somewhat embarrassed.

Next stop was the gardens at the Rosicrucean Temple. I'd been here before Jesse Morris for BATH3. We were on GC, and we visited NeilFred (and, uhm, maybe someone else who I'm blanking on?) who was guarding a puzzle there. It would have been a good opportunity to see the Rosicrucean Temple--but I was too focused on the game to think of playing tourist. Today, I played tourist--and found out that I'd already seen most of the temple gardens after all. Uhm, it had taken us a while to find NeilFred. Apparently, we traversed a non-trivial fraction of the gardens in the process. I did find one new thing today--a sundial. The Rosicrucean temple has a sundial. There's a tall tree next to it. The shadow of the tree obscures the shadow of the sundial. Wow, for a secret society that claims to have origins dating back hundreds of years, the Rosicruceans don't always plan things well.

Next, I went to the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, just a couple of blocks away. We'd picked up a puzzle there for The No More Secrets Game. We didn't really appreciate the Rose Garden then. We just hopped out of the van, grabbed a puzzle, brought it back to the van, solved the puzzle, and drove away. Even if we'd been in the mood to linger... the park was locked up. The park was locked up because it was well after dark--not exactly a prime rose-appreciating situation. Today, the park was open! And it was daytime! And I was in the rose garden! But it turns out that winter isn't rose season, so the rose bushes were just these stemmy things. But there was also a public restroom, so don't think that I totally failed to appreciate this park.

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Posted 2009-02-01