Carolyn Tucker works over clues to the treasure hunt at her home. Submitted photo

Carolyn Tucker finds herself suddenly very busy.

I heard from the Minot woman recently as she was prowling Kennedy Park in search of some kind of plaque she had heard was there.

“I’ve been down there twice,” she told me, “and can’t find it.”

It was all very mysterious. As it turns out, though, she’s just one of many out there hunting clues as part of a treasure hunt organized by a company called Dirigo Treasure out of Newcastle. And since there is some serious cash behind the treasure hunt, you can hardly blame Tucker for her ardor.

The message on the Dirigo website reads: “In celebration of 200 years of statehood, over $20,000 has been cleverly hidden somewhere in the great state of Maine. This mysterious cache is known to be called Maine’s Dirigo Treasure. Its location is a secret, a riddle, and a puzzle to be solved.”

As it happens, Tucker had some free time on her hands and she sees a good old-fashioned way to fill it. We caught up with her in between her forays — she had located three clues on that particular day, so she could take some time off to talk about it — and asked her all about this fun and potentially lucrative hobby.

Carolyn Tucker taking a break from her search for Maine treasure. Submitted photo

How did you find out about the Dirigo Treasures game? I saw a Facebook ad for it. I was bored and looking for something that would be interesting. I also thought it might be something I could bring my grandkids along and get us all outside.

What does the game entail? The game is a bit of a puzzle and a cipher. The deck of cards has pictures of places in Maine, some easily recognized, some that are pictures of rocks, so not as easy to figure out. Each card points to a clue that’s included. The idea is you go to that spot, and use the clue to decipher the coded message that’s included with the game. Once everything is decoded you can find the seven Dirigo stones that tell you where the treasure is.

How do you plan to go about tracking down clues? If I tell you that I’d have to swear you to secrecy. It is a contest after all. I recognized quite a few — my fiancé and I spent a lot of time traveling around the state on day trips before he died. Probably another reason I decided to play. Good memories driving around Maine.

Are you having fun? Yes I am. It’s like putting a puzzle together, each time I find a clue or figure out where I need to go I feel a sense of accomplishment. A lot of aha moments.

What will you do if you land that 20 grand? 20k would get me debt free and maybe able me to upgrade my ride for more trips around the state.

What do you do when you’re not treasure hunting? That’s a tough one. I’m not working right now. I bird watch and read. I take my grandchildren on adventures. I hope to get to Oregon to visit my faraway family.

Carolyn Tucker and her granddaughter Inara look over the day’s clues. Submitted photo

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