Boulderite Melissa Pearce was spotted striking a Heisman pose early Thursday morning outside of the Colorado Daily's office.
Her enthusiasm at 6 a.m. was warranted. She found the fifth and final rock for the Daily's five-week Boulder Rocks! treasure hunt — it was sitting underneath a pine tree outside the newspaper's office.
"While singing 'Fields of Gold,' I held it like a football and did the Heisman," Pearce said in an email. "Someone drove by looking for it and asked if I had the rock. I said, 'I FOUND IT!' and she congratulated me. I guess the early bird gets the worm."
This is Pearce's first year searching for the prized rock. However, she said she and her boyfriend, Garett LaCouture, had been searching diligently each week this fall. LaCouture, who works for a startup web company in Boulder, would study Google Earth images of different areas while Pearce was on foot searching.
She had a mini-crew help in her search, too. Pearce, a nanny for Leo and Bruno in Boulder, said the "kid geniuses" helped her brainstorm each week after reading the clues. Even the boys' dog, Jelly Bean, joined the trio on various hikes around town in search of the $500 rock.
The prize is well-deserved for Pearce, as she said this week alone the clues steered her up Boulder Canyon for two hours on Tuesday, and on Wednesday she hiked Chautauqua for two hours and then Wonderland Lake for an hour.
"I looked like a crazy person looking under every pine tree in sight," she wrote.
But after coming very close to spotting last week's rock, she didn't want to miss out again so she took "drastic measures" this week.
"I set my alarm for 6 a.m. every morning to read the newest clue, drank a cup of black coffee, channeled Sherlock Holmes and then went out to search," she wrote. "I knew I was going to win this week. I am not superstitious, but I am a bit stitious."
As for the cash? She and LaCouture have a plan.
"Garett and I took the rock out for coffee this morning and we looked up flights to Mexico and Cuba," she said.
Follow the pair on Instagram at @garett_lacouture to see where this story ends, she said.
Thanks for playing, Boulder. We'll see you next time.
Christy Fantz: twitter.com/fantzypants