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MOOSE LODGE AND THE TREASURE
~A Mini Adventure~
How many times did Mimi have to tell the cooks to make sure the Taco cups were filled to the brim and over flowing? Every detail was important to Mimi Heart as she ran the exclusive Moose Lodge.
Mimi now ran the lodge as her parents had become snow birds most of the time spending their golden years in Florida. The lodge was located on a back road of Moosip Minnesota. This logged resort could be seen sitting in the middle of over nine hundred acres of land, and most of it made up of thick forest.
Near back as anyone could remember the Hearts always had owned Moose Lodge. Moose Lodge the “Moose Club” as the locals called it, could brag it was a well known private resort not only for your common patrons, but quite often the perfect get away for the rich and famous.
The building was totally built with logs and was a one story five thousand square foot ranch that besides the main dinning room and combination lodge it had four wings worth of suites to house the visiting guest.
There was a large sunroom addition off the west side that held the indoor pool and Jacuzzi. The whole interior was also decorated with logs right down to each room. The guest rooms varied in size from the economy size still housing two queen size beds and full bath; to the presidential suites that had their own living room and fireplaces. Every where there was an elegant rustic look to enjoy and relax in.
Outside the Moose Club was the largest skeet shooting grounds boasting the biggest in the country. There were various hiking trails marked out and maintained very well by the staff. There were your typical slate tennis courts. In the summer there also was an outside pool, and mini golf course. Year round there was a helicopter landing pad for the use of scenic views for the tourist for a small fee. In addition to the helicopter pad located on the north of the grounds there was a landing strip and hangers for the rich and famous to fly in with their private planes.
The resort mostly ran smoothly as long as Mimi over saw everything; keeping the staff focused and on the ball.
This was to be a big weekend as deer hunting season was starting on Saturday, and the lodge was going to be filled not only with the rich and famous but also hunters that were able to receive the very few permits to hunt on the back acres of the property.
Everyone was advised or already knew when venturing outside as a precaution to wear bright orange so there would be no way a hunter could not mistake you for a deer. This is why you could see many of the people walking around in an orange vest and hat.
This weekend just per chance also was the national skeet shoot off with competition including a women’s as well as a men’s division.
Mimi was going crazy with all the preparations! Her stress level was riding high and until she touched base with all the staff she probably would not get into that medium relaxed mode for the weekend.
Mimi had long orange red hair. A face filled full of freckles, rendering her a natural beauty. She was tall and lanky with very long legs. Mimi was outfitted for the day to venture any where need be, even if it was out to the woods to rescue a lost hiker. She had on a baby blue plaid shirt with skin tight jeans, an orange vest, and a French tipped bright orange hat.
Next Mimi had to check on the guides for the Moose Lodge treasure hunt.
She usually left Reese Armstrong to the task but she wanted to make sure all was set for Sundays hike to the cave where the mysterious treasure was supposedly buried and never really found.
The legend of the hidden treasure dated back further than anyone could remember. No one really knew where the obscure story even started for sure. All the same it was a known fable that most believed to be true.
Reese Armstrong a strapping thirty year old was the head guide and coordinator of the hike into the cave where the tale of the hidden treasure was supposed to be.
First he would begin telling the guest who wanted to participate, the legend and than out fit them with the proper tools necessary to dig further into the cave. It was a risky adventure, but the type of guest that showed up for Moose Lodge generally were into more excitement than usual in their lives.
The last place Mimi had to check was the skeet shooting range to make sure Ned Johnson who ran the competition had all particulars organized and safe to have this activity to go off without a hitch.
In Mimi’s mind now everything was ready for the first guest to arrive, and she prepared herself to try and greet each guest personally at one time or another. The Moose Club was especially known for its on hand impeccable service.
All was running smoothly from the helicopter site seeing tours to the staff over seeing the bar at the in door swimming pool.
It was already Sunday morning and for the first time in a long time Mimi decided to leave her capable staff running the Lodge while she ventured off with this days group to go look for the treasure.
Because there was no hunting allowed on Sunday it really didn’t matter what each person wore to venture into the woods. So on this day Mimi wore a pink flannel shirt with comfortable jeans, a pink matching French tipped hat as well readied her pink gloves.
The adventurers were gathering in front of the outside fireplace.
There were ten in all that had signed up to come along. This time Mimi decided to recite the legend herself.
Mimi began “It was an eerie full moon night in the Moose Lodge’s forest when the robbers took their first and final walk into BearBinCave.”
“There were five robbers, but only four went into the cave to hide the treasure.”
“The fifth stood outside to guard the entrance.” “His name was Garth Dark”
“The four robbers went deeper into the cave by lanterns and could no longer eventually be heard while their voices grew in the distance.”
“Garth Dark heard three gun shots come from the cave and heard what came next from the reaction of the shots”
It was a huge thundering sound!”
“A sound from within came rolling out!”
“A cave-in sounded like it rolled in from one end of the cave to the other which was evident by Garth it had totally blocked the cave!”
“Spooked and helpless to enter in the cave Garth Dark ran for his life, the only living soul to survive, and tell the tale!”
Mimi ended her speech with
“Now it is up to all of us to search and dig for the treasure and the lost souls in the cave.”
Next all twelve hikers went off into the East woods. There was Mimi and her guide Reese. Than there were ten guest some of which were famous so they will have to be described by first names only for privacy reasons.
The hike to the cave went off well except for one hiker who lagged behind called Lee. Finally Lee a very thin blonde young woman caught up to be able to sit in the semi circle everyone else had gathered around, in front of BearBinCave. Mimi and Reese stood in front of the group to give last entering instructions.
Everyone with these instructions started to put on their safety equipment. Each person was outfitted with a lighted hat, additional hand held flash light, a small pick-axe, miniature folding shovel, and a back pack filled with everything needed to be comfortable and to survive the day in the cave.
The last thing Mimi announced was
“If any of you wish to sit this exploration of the cave out now is the time to say so, and I will leave you with Reese to spend the day here.” “If anyone feels this way please raise your hands.”
To Mimi’s astonishment there were five hands raised that did not apparently feel like they could bare entering the cave. Mimi expected at least frail Lee to raise her hands, but not the other four who were Mr. and Mrs. Knoll, and two teenage girlfriends Shanell and Amber.
Regardless Reese had to stay behind and occupy these apprehensive adventurers.
Entering into the cave led Mimi, than came adventurers Carol, Frank, Lucy, Mr. Ben Howard, and last but not least cute little Cindy Stark.
Carol, Frank, and Lucy where the famous people that decided to go on this hunt for the treasure. Ben Howard was your typical handsome rugged man who flew in from a southern state and Cindy was about twenty two years old with dark brown hair sturdy built herself and very sure footed.
All cautiously followed Mimi as instructed.
They went deeper and deeper into the winding dark cave.
There was no daylight to be seen and no hint of a way out but back tracking so all they could do was move forward to their destination.
By Mimi’s watch it was already ten o’clock, and she knew they would get to the digging site soon.
Every one was muddling through except Lucy did seem a little peaked, shuffling her feet a bit and it looked like sweat running off her brow.
The air inside the cave was dank and smelled of dampness, filled with mildew.
Finally they reached the spot to start digging and everyone unloaded their back packs. Out came the picks and shovels along with snacks and water.
Some joking was made amongst the adventurers, and that seemed to relieve and relax Lucy. Before long everyone was cracking away at the stone that lay in front of them.
It was short haired Carol that made the first discovery of a large rock that seemed to hold the surprise that they reached the end of the barrier!
Astonished that there was finally hope to get through the cave-in, Mimi urged the group to dig even harder.
Before an hour went by they had broken through enough for the largest of the group to fit through who was Ben.
This was now even uncharted territory even for Mimi!
She instructed every one to stay close behind and to watch their steps. Everyone was excited and even had a little fear running through their bodies. The thrill of the adventure heightened, and everyone felt it!
Mimi knew they only had to one o’clock to investigate further and it was now eleven thirty. She instructed her guest of the situation that they would have to turn back no later than one o’clock to make it back in time to walk home while it was still day light.
Everyone in the thrill of the moment urged Mimi on to go as far as they could before their time was up.
The passage way was narrowing and zigzagged to the left when right before their eyes they could make out a pile of bones!
But Mimi reminded everyone to keep quite so there would be no cave-ins’ to happen.
After investigating the bones it was determined it was definitely a man who passed away there.
It was now twelve o’clock and they only had an hour to push on.
Mimi led them down into a tight squeezed opening that rubbed against their clothing, however when she reached the other side there was a wide opening with a natural spring going through it. When the last person arrived through the whole is when they were able to look around their surroundings.
What they saw was amazing!
The ceiling was high about twenty feet or so and there was a clear water spring that entered from one rocky wall to another. Across the brook they could see what looked like another pile of bones.
Everyone seemed to be holding their breaths as one by one they crossed the stream of water. There they looked down at the bone’s remains that seamed to lay all in a row. Yes it appeared to be three bodies that lay there in bones only.
As they looked around further there were decayed shovels strewn around. It seemed like the legend was coming true right before their eyes. The only thing was that there was no treasure to be seen?
Mimi announced there was only a half hour to go before they had to start back so if they were to start digging some where to find the treasure they better start off now.
Frank made a statement “If I came this far I am not leaving with out that treasure!”
Everyone just ignored Frank’s statement and picked a spot to start digging.
It was Cindy who went to the far right to start digging, and it was Cindy that disappeared down some sort of shaft!
Everyone came running over to see where she was?
There she lay sprawled out about ten feet down in a whole. Cindy was unconscious but seemed to be coming around. Mimi grabbed for the emergency rope she had been carrying and tied it around all the remaining adventurers bodies so they could help pull when she went down to get Cindy.
When Mimi went down she noticed something hard on the earth below Cindy.
It appeared to be a top of a box!
“Could this be the treasure?”
Mimi brushed it off and both she and Cindy used their hands to dig the rest of it out.
This was astounding!
Every heart was pounding!
“What could be in this box?”
Mimi couldn’t open the box down there it was too rusted, and besides they still had to get both she and Cindy to safety.
First Cindy got tide to the rope so everyone in unison could pull her up. It was difficult but she made it!
Than it was Mimi’s turn to get pulled up, “but how could she do that and hold on to the box at the same time?”
Mimi thought for a moment while others were shouting down suggestions. It was nearing one o’clock and soon they would be out of time to start back.
Finally Mimi remembered some of her boat training and how to tie different knots, so she wrapped the rope around the box tying it with square knots.
Than Mimi jumped herself up higher on the rope so both she and the box could be hoisted up.
It was working!
Everyone had to pull harder than ever but they were getting both Mimi and the box out of that dirty dusty whole!
Finally Mimi was on sturdy ground and next she finished hoisting the rest of the box up too.
The box didn’t seem that heavy but none the less everyone was excited to look inside.
Flash lights had started to fade a bit now and the darkness was starting to encircle them while Ben took a pick-axe and pride opened the box!
All you could hear were gasps because there at the bottom of the box were diamonds, rubies, and a few gold pieces.
Probably in terms of today the treasure wasn’t worth much, but it was just the fact the adventure led to the ending of the legend that was so phenomenal!
Mimi took charge as the head of the group to dib-by out the treasure amongst everyone including herself.
Than it was just turning one o’clock and “thank God they all were safe and sound” to start backwards in their journey which seemed to take a lot longer to get out of the cave than when they went in.
Finally they were out in the bright light receiving hugs from the bunch that had been waiting outside.
They were filthy from being in the cave but couldn’t have worn bigger smiles from having accomplished solving a real true mystery legend!
This time the hike back seemed to go fast with all the bubbling of conversational tales that went on, of how it went to find the buried treasure.
When they all had cleaned up and gathered back to the lodge’s main lobby Mimi made the announcement for a celebration to be held that night in honor of the found treasure and a new ending to the legend tale that now could be told.
The entire guest list at the lodge was invited and everyone enjoyed hearing about the legend and the successful find of the treasure!
There was never such a party at the lodge; it beat all other parties ever held at the Moose Club!
Everyone partied to beat the band all night long, and all guest could not had been more pleased at their stay at Moose Lodge that week.
To this day Moose Lodge still holds the same hiking tradition to visit the treasure site in BearBinCave, and many people still hunt to find even more treasure.
Lisa J. Warner