Search underway for $10K treasure hidden in Utah wilderness

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SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WASATCH FRONT — The next time you're hiking along the Wasatch Front between Ogden and Santaquin with friends, by yourself or even with your dog, be on the lookout for a treasure chest.

Inside it? A cool $10,000.

"It's real cash. It's actual real cash," said John Maxim.

Only Maxim and David Cline know where the treasure chest is, because they hid it.

"I'm a little bit crazy," said Maxim with a laugh. "I think in the first video, I said, 'Hey everyone, don't tell my wife about this.'"

She may know, though, because these friends posted a poem full of clues to their Instagram pages this past weekend that leads to the treasure.

Almost right away, scalawags everywhere started looking for it.

The two hid a treasure last year with $5,000.

"The response last year was insane," said Cline. "We kind of joked on the way down, after burying it, you know what, in a couple of months we might have to come back up here and dig it up ourselves because no one might care, you know?"

However, that treasure was found in four days.

"He made quick work of our poem last year," said Maxim.

So, this year they wanted to make it a little tougher.

"We don't want to make it as easy as last time because, again, we just underestimated the genius of people," Cline said.

The reason they're doing it? They're sick of so much division and negativity in the world.

"It is a treat to watch families who send us pictures or videos and it's like a family in a van and all the kids have headlamps on and they're all so stoked to get in the mountains because they think they have it solved," Cline said.

While $10,000 is nothing to sneeze at, it's nothing compared to the joy of seeing a kid smile.

"I got a message from a single mom who's got three boys," said Maxim. "She said this is the first afternoon where they didn't want to play Xbox all day long."

Maxim and Cline had children in mind when they hid the treasure chest.

They say it's not a mission impossible, it's not in a dangerous area, and it's not dangerous to get to where it's hidden.

"A 10-year-old could do it," said Maxim. "We did it in our flip-flops. You don't need carabiners or ropes or anything like that."

"If anyone feels like it's getting a little bit dangerous, we say it's probably not there," said Cline.

For all those saying it's not legit or they must have a catch, here's what they say.

"There's something about a treasure hunt that I just love," said Cline. "It brings out the kid in all of us."

The two men said they will update their Instagram pages with more clues as time goes by.

Here are the links to John Maxim's and David Cline's pages, including the poem with clues and map boundaries to where it's hidden.

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Alex Cabrero
Alex Cabrero is an Emmy award-winning journalist and reporter for KSL-TV since 2004. He covers various topics and events but particularly enjoys sharing stories that show what's good in the world.


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