Perfect day in Portland – Day 1 #WDS2013

//Perfect day in Portland – Day 1 #WDS2013

This was easily one of the best days of my life.

The day started with a 45 minute bike ride into downtown Portland, along the Willamette bluff, watching the city rise and wake.

I found a place to meditate, and then I rode through the ever-expanding Pearl District, going to revisit old familiar landmarks, and places where I’ve lived and worked over the past 15 years, places I haven’t seen for the last two years I’ve been living in Costa Rica.

Riding on, I went to NW 23rd avenue, and had a kick ass yoga class at Corepower Yoga.

Caelan meditating

My good friend Tshombe met me at the class, and together we sweat and strained against our limits.

We went to Tara Thai for lunch; I hadn’t had good thai food in years. Spicy and light. We talked on long tangents and laughed and laughed.



We went to New Renaissance Bookstore, and found our old friend Paul Richard was giving astrology readings there today.

I got some jewelry and sage, and then went to NW 21st to walk down memory lane. The espresso I got from Coffee Time was fantastic, and I savored it as I sat at the same table where I was sitting when I first saw my future wife pull up to the curb, and dared myself to ask her to be my date to my new years eve-eve party.


Then I went to see my friend Mikaela Jones. We sat in the park on Lovejoy and talked for twenty minutes, instantly reconnecting in the way that dear friends can.

I walked her back to work, and she saved me a trip to Kinkos. Giving her a thumb drive, containing the 1 page PDF that was the fruit of three days work, she printed them for me, preparing me for the next phase of my day.


Scan and see what happens.

Scan em and see what happens.

She printed this image on the sticker paper that I had in my backpack. The backpack that I spent an hour thoughtfully preparing last night, with 4 different outfits and props and gear for everything I accomplished on this epic day.

Today I finally fulfilled my greatest failed project.

Today I ran a smartphone treasure hunt, through the city of Portland. I ran around in my Real Life Superhero costume, performing and improvising with strangers and crowds, showing off my parkour tricks and guiding two teams in a race to find a treasure.

I have never talked about Danger Man before on my blog, because I’ve always kept our identities strictly separate online. This anonymity was one of my greatest failures with the project, so I see no need to continue it.

Up until now, Danger Man has always been my rough work in progress. The first website I ever built was The first full length ebook I ever wrote was the 12 Great Failures of Danger Man. The first videos I ever made were the episodes of the Danger Man Show.

None of it was very good.

But it taught me my craft, giving me the skills to become a digital producer.

Fully half the work I poured into that project never bore fruit; the stunted side to that story was that I spent weeks creating complicated treasure hunts, fusing digital media into puzzles and maps and city landmarks.

I never made a single treasure hunt that worked.

Until today.

Today, I left QR code stickers around the city and created the Superhero Smartphone Treasure Hunt. After listing it as an event for #WDS2013, I ran through the end of the Early Registration Party in full Danger Man costume announcing the plan and the prize, and I had 3 people show up to join.

Announcing to the crowd in Pioneer Square, a family of 4 came over.

And Tshombe, Mr. Guns himself, came to run with me again.

Pals, the alternate version.


The eight participants split into two teams, and I made sure they all had QR scanners on their phones. We practiced on the first clue, which gave them an intersection and a photo.

Scan and see what happens.

Scan and see what happens.

(If you’ve got a QR scanner on your phone, you can scan one of the QR codes above and see what they saw.)


Hidden in the inside of the newspaper box in the photo was the next clue, which, when scanned, would provide another intersection and a photo. The teams raced each other from clue to clue, sprinting through the streets. I even had them run through Powells, to find a clue by the Moleskines.


At the end, the winning team was given a treasure of coins from a foreign land, which happened to be easy for me, bringing them from Costa Rica at the beginning of this trip.

It was only a few days before I left for Portland that the idea struck me: since I’m coming back, and I’ve got the Danger Man costume sitting here waiting for me, and the World Domination Summit is encouraging people to host their own events around the core WDS activities, maybe I could actually put this together and pull this off.

And I did it.

Finally, after all those months of cobbling together treasure hunts that didn’t work, I came back home and put together one that did.

This was my greatest accomplishment today, on this most perfect of days.


After the treasure hunt ended, I brought everyone to Davis Street Tavern for Huntress Happy Hour. I invited everyone I knew in Portland, and we had a great time.






I rolled out the helmet, and everyone put in their business card. I drew out names and gave away coffee and chocolate and art from Costa Rica. I got to thank all of my wonderful friends for coming to see me and spend time with me.

Then, my partner in masterminding and excellence and positivity, Jonathan Logan gave me a ride with my new WDS friend Sarah up to the zoo, and we went into the beginning of the three day festival / conference / mindmeld / experience of awesomeness that brought me back to Portland in the first place.

Everyone I met today was awesome. This is my guild, the people from around the world that are able to look at the world differently, and interact with it according to their own rules.


I met dozens of creative and interesting people today. I met bloggers I’ve known online for years, but never met in person. I met an old web design client for the first time face to face. I got to watch March Fourth perform a great set, and we got some amazing schwag. Having free dinner and a free beer topped it all off nicely.


Then I rode my bike back to St Johns, sometimes taking a bus or a train so I wouldn’t have to pedal uphill, and came back to my family’s house, where I massage my weary feet, and I blog about my amazing, epic day.

Moving on: read about Day 2 #WDS2013

By | 2016-12-26T14:05:46+00:00 July 5th, 2013|Adventure|

About the Author:

Father of 3. WordPress website designer. Creative director @ Stellar Platforms. Writer, multimedia producer, digital marketer, and retired superhero.

No Comments

  1. Susan L Renwick July 8, 2013 at 12:28 am - Reply

    Caelan, I truly enjoyed reading about your adventure today. Great blog. It’s been so enjoyable watching your journey to CR take shap and flourish. You are an inspiration – you’ve done something I believe many of us WANT to do, but are AFRAID to do. Maybe you should write a book about how you did it… the process… sort of a how-to for those of us who keep thinking about it, but don’t know where to begin. Hmmm… just a thought. Have a great time in PDX – look forward to more blog posts. Sincerely, Susan Renwick =)

    • Caelan Huntress July 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks for coming by my blog, Susan! I’m already putting something together. Stay tuned!

  2. Adam Dunlap July 8, 2013 at 1:50 am - Reply

    Thanks for the Huntress Happy Hour! Super fun and great seeing you 🙂

    • Caelan Huntress July 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      Great seeing you too, my friend! I have some ideas for a parkour obstacle course we should talk about.

  3. […] can read about Day One and Day Two of my time at the World Domination Summit if you need time to catch […]

  4. […] you can read my recaps of Day One, Day Two, and Day Three of this epic-level conference of […]

  5. Mandy July 17, 2013 at 12:58 am - Reply

    Portland is such a great city. A person could have an awesome day just dining out there and not doing anything else all day! I like that you incorporated Powell’s into your smartphone treasure hunt; I always like to stop there when I visit Portland.

    Your Danger Man adventure sounds awesome indeed. There is such a creative culture alive in Portland–it seems like the perfect place for such an adventure. I read on your “about me” page that you’ve chosen a Waldorf approach with your kids, and I think your creativity really embodies that approach! 🙂

    • Caelan Huntress July 17, 2013 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      I love Portland like nothing else. It’s a place where you can safely celebrate your weird.

  6. […] (With one notable exception.) […]

  7. […] (Disclaimer: I also made a treasure hunt for WDS in 2013 as well, but in keeping with my RLSH character, I did it guerilla-style. It was totally unsanctioned and without permission. People still had a good time doing it anyways. You can read about that first treasure hunt here.) […]

  8. […] WDS 2013 part 1 […]

  9. […] blogged about it I sent a link to the WDS Adventure Czar and said, “Do you want me to do something like this […]

  10. […] Hot Seat) and I’ve been to the last three years of WDS (I wrote about WDS 2015, WDS 2014, and day 1, day 2, and day 3 of WDS […]

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