WEST LIBERTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — For almost a full year now, many people have been isolated, cut off from their communities and forced to search for new ways to get active. As part of The Rebound Kentucky, LEX 18 has been dedicated to finding ways to help these individuals connect and adjust to this ever-changing reality. The town of West Liberty has been no exception to these challenges. But now, even in the cold weather, the town has found a way to have fun, get moving and feel some normalcy all in the name of some friendly competition.
It seems no matter where you go in West Liberty, people are talking about treasure.
"I actually went to the local gas station down here and the boy goes, 'are you treasure hunting?'" said Debora Stacey, a West Liberty resident.
Tired of being cooped up due to COVID, the Appalachian Outdoorsmen Association decided to give people in town an excuse to get up and get out of the house, and the excitement is contagious.
"We've not really had anything to do, so our president, Jimmy Cantrell, he came up with the treasure hunt and it just kind of exploded, " laughed Valerie Williams, the secretary for the Appalachian Outdoorsmen Association.
The hunts have taken the community by storm. A riddle drops on Facebook from Captain Clue, and then the town goes wild. Young and old, day and night, people searching for the treasure.
"It's so refreshing to pull into a park or pull somewhere and see people walking in town," Williams said.
And they say the treasure hasn't just gotten people excited and up and moving, but they said local businesses are also benefitting from the treasure hunt boom.
"We'll go treasure hunting, and then we'll be out late enough that I didn't want to cook dinner, so I would grab something here in town before we went back home," Williams said.
Debora Stacey found the very first prize. The treasure changes each time, but she said it is less about the contents and more about the bragging rights and the sense of community.
"To get people out and about in the community and get involved again, I think it's great," Stacey said. "I can't wait 'til today's treasure hunt!"
For more on the Appalachian Outdoorsmen Assocation, click here.
To join in on the treasure hunt, request to join here.