Around-the-world scavenger hunt ends with big surprise for Lakewood woman

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. — After Amy Linville finished earning her master’s degree, her boyfriend’s graduation gift was to send her on an adventurous scavenger hunt around the world.

And it ended with something the Lakewood woman wasn’t expecting.

The hunt began at their home and included stops in the Denver metro area. One of the clues was to hike to the top of Green Mountain, where Linville found a bag.

After getting home, she opened the travel pack and found a Japan Rail Pass and a one-way ticket to Tokyo.

Linville said she didn’t believe it, that she had to work, and there were Christmas parties and other plans to tend to. Linville said by email she later found out Arnold had contacted her boss months earlier to arrange the trip.

The trip to Japan was for the next day and she was setting out solo.

“I still was not able to process this,” she said. “I could not believe it. There are no words to explain what I was thinking or feeling. It was too surreal.”

She flew to Japan and went to a friend’s apartment. But the friend was in the U.S. for the holidays and to get into the apartment, Linville had to sneak past a security guard, get into the mail room and enter the mailbox combination to retrieve the key to the friend’s apartment.

Once inside the apartment, Linville found the next clue on the refrigerator. It would come from one of her childhood friends who lives in Okinawa.

For seven days, Linville traveled in Japan. The childhood friend, Kassie, then met up with Linville for dinner and delivered the next clue: Linville would fly to Barcelona after a brief layover in Qatar.

The next clue was at a bar in the outskirts of Barcelona, but it was closed for Christmas week and Arnold had to email it to Linville.

“Brett was a little upset about this one,” Linville wrote. “He had overnighted the clue to the bar owner and the bar owner said he would definitely be open.”

Arnold emailed the next clue, which led Linville to San Sebastian, Spain.

Once there, Linville had a room in a hotel on a cliff overlooking the Bay of Biscay. Then, on Christmas Day, the final clue arrived.

Linville had to hike up a peninsula and find the overlook in the picture that she was given.

“I was feeling a little depressed being alone on Christmas,” Linville wrote.

She did the hike but there were four overlooks that looked like the one in the photo.

As she looked at park benches seeking the next clue, a man pointed Linville to the spot where she needed to go. As she was hiking to it, she spotted Arnold walking up at the same time.

“I asked him if there was still a clue of it he was my clue,” she wrote. “He was my clue. And he said, ‘Actually, I have it right here.’”

That’s when Arnold pulled the ring out and proposed.

“He asked me if I was willing to go on another adventure with him,” Linville wrote. “And I said, ‘Of course!’”

The couple plans to marry in the fall.

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