For the third time in five years the Anderson family of Sonora found the treasure and collected the $200 prize for saving the Mother Lode Roundup.
The search for the treasure is a Roundup tradition that begins each year with Coyote Sam and his gang snatching something of value that would keep the Roundup from taking place. The gang — this year without Sam — stole the parade permit and buried it.
The Union Democrat published clues to the location for six days before the Andersons and their friend Jake Stone found the treasure around 7:30 p.m. Friday.
It was on Highway 108 across from Keystone Ranch about a mile before the intersection of J59 buried vertically in the ground, Carl Anderson said.
“We went on recons every night,” he said. “A lot of hours, probably 12 hours, grass this tall, kicking up my allergies.”
Stone found it, and Anderson’s 8-year-old son, Kurtis, dug it up.
“It’s a lot smaller than normal,” Kurtis said.
Along for the hunt was Anderson’s wife, Lacee, and daughters Emmy, 5, and Ally, 1 as well as some other friends.
After Kurtis dug up the box, one of the older kids grabbed it and took off running. Kurtis was able to run him down and save the treasure once again.
Carl Anderson, a Tuolumne County native, Summerville High School graduate and Tuolumne Utilities District employee, said he loves the tradition of the Roundup and the treasure hunt. It’s also a fun activity he and his wife can do with their children.
Kurtis, who is in the third grade at Sonora Elementary, said he loves the thrill of the hunt.
“It’s fun,” he said.
He’s reading the Hardy Boys series now and thinks the sleuthing lessons of Frank and Joe helped in the hunt for the treasure.
The Andersons came to The Union Democrat Monday morning — Emmy and Kurtis were sprung from school — to collect their winnings that they will split with Stone. And then they went off to Day-O. Kurtis wasn’t sure if he was going to have the cookies and cream or orange cream smoothie.
He is sure about one thing: searching for the treasure next year. He’ll be there.