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Pike Place Market Street Scramble

13 December 2016

By Jill Ellison

We had such a fun time exploring nearly 6 miles of downtown Seattle on foot! The Street Scramble is an urban adventure where teams receive a map with dozens of checkpoints listed (of various point values) and a list of questions to answer about the checkpoints. The goal is to reach as many checkpoints as possible within 2 hours and answer the questions associated with each checkpoint. The questions would have been nearly impossible to answer without having made it to the checkpoints, so cheating in this way was unlikely. Checkpoints are typically located at intersections, though not all street names were listed on our map, so we had to do some on-the-fly orienteering! We had 30 minutes prior to the start of the race to strategize our route and add any notes to our map.

Upon reaching a checkpoint, we had to read and answer the corresponding question. Some examples of questions at the checkpoints:

What is in the SW facing window?     a. canoe     b. orca whale     c. wooden box

How many toes are on the bottom most animal on the totem pole?   a. 2     b. 4     c. 6

What color are the ornaments on the tree in the lobby?  a. blue    b. red    c. silver

What made this scramble particularly fun was being downtown in the midst of the holiday splendor. From the Rudolph-themed market piggy, to the dazzling lights near South Lake Union, it was a true delight to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of this beautiful city.

One of my favorite checkpoints was in “The Valley,” which is part of Olympic Sculpture Park and somewhere I had never been before. The art piece in The Valley was a series of towering, curved-steel structures and the answer to the question was found in an inscription on a plaque describing the artwork. Take a look at the photo and make your own guess on what the answer could be.

…the native word means, “place of the _____.”

a. grandmothers       b. laughing sounds       c. rivers

We were unaware of The Valley and would have spent many valuable minutes searching for it if it wasn’t for some kind security officers that directed us to our checkpoint!

The Market Theater by the gum wall was the check-in location and where teams were recognized following the event. Our team, “Santa’s Little Steppers” had a great time and we plan to do another scramble in the future. Some of the proceeds of the event support The Market Foundation, which you can learn more about here. Look out for more Street Scramble activities in 2017!

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