Monday morning came, and there I was, limping into the office. My legs were barely functioning. My lower extremities ached with every step. And even through all the pain, it was all worth it. What caused this agony, you ask? I competed in the 2nd Annual Dodson's Diamond Dash. And let me tell you, it was no easy task! Sponsored by Dodson's Jewelers of Spokane, this event pits several hundred teams of two against each other in the hunt for a single diamond ring valued at $15,000. And here's the catch... the ring is hidden somewhere in Spokane. Sound exciting? It was.

On Saturday at noon the countdown began. Our hearts were beating hard and I found that holding back little shrieks of excitement was nearly impossible. It was ‘go' time! Teams scattered. Everyone was hunting down clues that were texted to us and trying to find the answers on our cell phones. There were teams on bikes and others (like us) who traveled by foot in hopes of tracking down the grand prize. (Maybe I should have stretched first!)

Clues led us to local merchants and area attractions to collect new hints and complete challenges to move ahead in the race. First stop was Mobius Kids, then The Inlander, followed by the Spokesman Review, Marcella's Bridal, and Concept::Home. Some of downtown Spokane's greatest attractions also played host to frantic diamond dashers. We climbed the stairs of the giant Radio Flyer Red Wagon in the middle of Riverfront Park and then ran to the garbage sucking goat. The Spokane Falls SkyRide, the Rotary Fountain and the Monroe Street Bridge all played a part in this race, too.

After the grueling two-hour, high-tech scavenger hunt was over, all the exhausted (and excited) teams piled into the historic Davenport Hotel for the after-party and announcement of the winners. A fabulous meal of pot stickers, egg rolls, grilled chicken, cheese, fruit and wedding cake was served and the winning team was announced. Alas, our names weren't called. But there were great prizes given away like photo packages and gift certificates. We walked away with some awesome t-shirts!

 Even though there wasn't a new ring on my finger, we made our way back home. Looking back on it, the Dodson's Diamond Dash was not only a great experience for my sweetie and me, but also a great way to see our amazing city. (And wow, the Visitor Guide and VisitSpokane Map sure were lifesavers!)

Want to race for the ring next year? Check out for the info!