“It has to be around this tree somewhere.” Oliver says. I offer to climb it and check, while he and Rory stay on the ground and search there. They both nod and then get to work.
I wipe my sticky hand on the smooth, white bark of the tree, which removes some of the sap, and then begin my ascent.
About fifteen feet up, I find what appears to be a man-made divot in the tree with a small box inside of it labeled “SØMNIUM”.
I push a strand of hair out of my face and grab it excitedly, one foot wedged between two of the limbs and the other against the limb with the hole.
I sit down on the opposite limb, open the box, and pull out a gold medal on a ribbon. On the front of the medal, the words “First place” are centered between two olive branches curving up along either side. Underneath the metal is another sheet of paper, folded tight enough to fit into the box.
“Guys! I found it!” I shout down at them, non-sticky hand cupped around my mouth.
“Get down here, then!” They cheer, almost in unison.
I slide down the smooth trunk of the tree with ease, the first item in hand.
Oliver calculates the coordinates and Rory pulls up his phone and enters them into the site.
A confirmational “ding!” tells us that we've just earned 1,000 points for the first item, and the second place spot right behind Team Mauve.
I think to myself, a sense of pride washing over me: That's one item down, and seven to go.