The $10,000 treasure hidden somewhere along the Wasatch Front has been found.
For Andy Swanger, it started as a fun reason to get outdoors when a co-worker asked if he wanted to help him find some treasure. But things took a more serious turn as David Cline and John Maxim revealed more clues.
“I took last year’s poem and compared it to this year’s poem,” Swanger said.
He even visited the trail where the treasure was hidden last year.
Ultimately, his hunt for the chest took him and his wife to Heughs Canyon near Holladay, where Swanger says “everything lined up.”
The police officer and father of three girls wasn’t the only one to end up there. Several fellow treasure hunters also took their search to the trail.
When Swanger and his wife searched the trail for the first time on July 4, he said, “We were really close and it just felt right, and I got up this morning and I said, ‘I’ve got to go back.’”
“I searched thousands of trees on my way there. At that point I was like, ‘I’m never going to find this thing,’” said Swanger.
But he continued on, and in his words, “somehow lucked into it.”
There in a small cave, he found a tree that looked out of place. He tugged on it and found it was loose and he was able to pull it out. There, under the tree, was a chest sticking out of the ground.
Meanwhile, Maxim received a notification on his phone from a camera he had placed near the chest. He looked at the camera in time to see Swanger walking away from the area with the chest under his arm.
“The first thing I did is call David and said, ‘What do we do now? He’s got the chest!’” Maxim said.
The two decided to drive to the trailhead. They arrived in time to be there with Swanger’s family and fellow treasure hunters as Swanger made it down the trail.
“It was a really special moment and we were happy that we were there to share it with them,” Cline said.
“Very exciting. Very exciting. I still can’t believe it,” Swanger said.
He said his daughters have already decided what to do with at least some of the money — a trip to Disneyland is in the works. And he’s planning more trips to the outdoors, which Cline and Maxim said was the whole point of the treasure hunt.
“John and David, thanks man. I hope you keep it up. It was incredible,” Swanger said. “They did exactly that. They got people out. They moved them.”
“We’re both kids at heart, and there’s nothing more fun than a treasure hunt,” Cline said.
Cline said they had several people reach out to them over the last couple of weeks, including one man who said he had lost 16 pounds because he was out hiking and searching for the treasure every day.
They described it as “the greatest pleasure and treat watching this unfold.”
“We just hope that everyone that went out had fun, and hopefully, we’ll see you next year,” Cline said.
To which Maxim responded, “There’s a next year. There is a next year. For sure.”