Taking it to the Streets ~ A CityScape Adventure Race in Portland

I don’t watch The Amazing Race very often, but when I do, I am always intrigued by the puzzles and the obstacles that the teams have to work through.  I also root for “team old people”.  Go figure.  It all looks like so much fun – until somebody has to bungee jump or walk a rope bridge dangling over a crocodile infested river.  Count me out.  I’m not that much of a thrill seeker.

So, when I saw an opportunity to participate in a CityScape Challenge Urban Adventure Race, an Amazing Race type event right here in Portland, I thought “Why not?  How hard can it be?”  I signed up and told hubs what we were about do.  Sometimes, it works better that way.  He calls it “just shut up and get in the car.” cityscapeadventureteambackpack

On Sunday morning, Team JustaBackpack checked in at 11:00 a.m., received our race packet, sized up the competition, warmed up with a Bloody Mary for luck and then, just as the clock struck high noon, tore open our envelope to reveal the challenges before us.

Some teams warmed up like this.

Some teams warmed up like this.

Team Backpack and Rollie warmed up like this.

Team Backpack and Rollie warmed up like this.

The race was on!

Each team had to complete 12 challenges. There were clues, riddles and puzzles that required us to hunt for a location and then complete a challenge and capture it with a photo.   Speed was key.  We’re definitely not speedy!

The Challenges started like this…

Challenge # 1 – Find the 42 ton locomotive named Peggy and take a pic of your team in your best lumber jack pose.

Challenge # 2 – Winnepeg has the title of being this frozen drink capital of the world selling over 188,883 of these each month.  Drink one with your team and document with a pic.

We raced 129 other intrepid teams all over Portland – from the waterfront to the zoo, from the Japanese Garden to the only 7 Eleven in downtown Portland (Slurpee was the correct answer to Challenge question #2).  We walked, we ran, we took the light rail train, we squeezed into a city bus, and we ran some more.  We also stopped atStarbucks to refuel and figure out the answers to six anagrams and a riddle that led us to purchase a can of Evo or Wellness pet food and return to the start where we collected our last three clues.

Challenge:  Ask 3 strangers on the train to pose as the 3 Monkeys.

Challenge: Ask 3 strangers on the train to pose as the 3 Monkeys.

For the next 3 hours  and 31 minutes, we played a game of cat and mouse – trying to out compete, out strategize and out wit the other teams using only a smart phone, pen, $10 in dollar bills, and our own two feet and public transportation.

Doing our best Vrikasana at the gate to the Japanese Garden

Doing our best Vrikasana at the gate to the Japanese Garden

The first three teams across the finish line won cash. We were not one those teams.  We finished 64th.  But we gave it every bit of strength, experience and wisdom we could muster.  We were an awesome team!

And the winners are...not Team Backpack and Rollie

And the winners are…not Team Backpack and Rollie

We returned home totally spent but exhilarated.

Team Backpack and Rollie will definitely be back next year.

CityScape produces urban race adventures in cities all over the country.  If they come to your town, I say go for it.  We had a blast and I’m sure you will too.

Nancy

 

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10 thoughts on “Taking it to the Streets ~ A CityScape Adventure Race in Portland

    • Heather, You and Garry (or girlfriends) have to do it next year. It was so much fun and almost all of the teams were your age. We were definitely the oldest people there and I used it to our advantage. Big line to get on the MAX – I’m calling “old people coming through” and they step aside so we can get on. Ha ha. Some were left waiting on the curb for the next train. Yes. we got a wee bit competitive!!

    • Hi Evans, Yes this was really fun and all the teams were friendly and fun too which made it really nice.

    • You do live in Paradise. We have to take advantage of the short lovely summer and get outside as much as we can. This was fun. Trying to come up with 30 different fun things to write about has spurred me to get out there and find new things. That is a bonus to this whole Blogathon thing which is turning out to be way harder than I anticipated. I haven’t even thought about tomorrow’s post yet. Yikes! Have a wonderful day.

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