Before you start Part Two CLICK HERE to read Part One
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On Saturday after Irene, Marty and Margie headed for home Forrest and I started working on a new series of interviews and some demos for this blog.
I’ll add links to each video as I get them edited.
We started with a fly tying demo. Do you know how to make a lure to attract a hungry trout to your line? Forrest does. Remember he was a fishing guide in Yellowstone starting when he was twelve. He made his granddaughter promise that she would only fish with flys she tied herself.
Forrest says that you only need to know how to tie two flies to catch trout all season long, a Woolley Worm and a Squirrel Tail, and he shows us how to tie both…
Fly tying in the Fenn household is a family event. Even Cody helps out.
Next we went out to Forrest’s very own pottery shard pile in his backyard where we got the lowdown on southwest pottery making and decorating. You’ll wish you had a shard pile in your backyard.
From the shard pile we moved to Forrest’s book collection where he shows us some of his extremely unique books. I love his books. I think you will too.
From books we moved over to Forrest’s lab where he showed us some amazing finds from his pueblo at San Lazaro. This was a lot of fun as Forrest pulled out marvel after marvel from his beautifully maintained collection.
One more interview before I had to leave. The subject was his new book. Will it have clues? Will reading it make me smarter?
230PM Sunday, April 14th. Mile 2,126
Forrest and Peggy wish me a smooth trip home. They are terrific folks.
On the road again. There is a spot I want to check out in Utah that I’ll pass by on the way back to Washington State.
Look at this road. It’s begging me to let the truck explore it.
So I do. Off we go. I am as happy as I can be. The road is old but unruffled. My windows are down. Spring is in the air. The horizon looks spectacular. Esmerelda is running smooth and has a big grin on her face. She loves this kind of traveling. Not certain where we are or where we’re headed but it sure looks interesting.
Then I see another road that looks even more tempting. Esmerelda tells me to go for it.
Then it happens. Stuck good…I have no one to blame but myself. I pull out the ice axe and start digging poor old Esmerelda out.
It takes three hours to extract Esmerelda from her predicament. No Yellow Hat comes to my aid. The situation is worsened by the fact that her left front wheel is just a few inches away from a massive red ant colony. I consider them for a moment. thousands live in that hill. Maybe tens of thousands. I have to dig Ezey out without upsetting the ants because I well remember being swarmed and bitten by those little creatures in the past. They are not like the peaceful black ants we have at home. These guys attack and their bite hurts like a bee sting. Some folks are allergic to them. I am not but I still want no trouble with them.
The day is now nearly over. I am covered in sand. Esmerelda is covered in sand. The only thing left to do is find a shower for me and a carwash for Ezey.
On the way we pass a tourist trap empire. I have always planned to stop here some day. I still want to. Today is not the day.
Home at midnight on Tuesday total mileage = 3,553. No treasure but a lot of great memories. And Esmerelda gets me there and back once more.
My take away from this trip is..”Take the road less traveled but be prepared to spend a little extra time in the trenches.”
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Monday April 15th
Noon Monday – Mile 0. left the island at 9am this morning and had to wait til 11am to get my van out of the shop in Bellingham. I was tagged last week by a brand spankin new Toyota fancy sedan. If you must get bumped by someone, choose someone in a brand new car with lots of insurance. Anyway. It’s all fixed now. Great job!!
630pm Monday – Mile 347. Gas & go in Umatilla, OR. Free wifi so updated blog.
Midnight Monday – Mile 546. Pulled into a rest stop near Mountain Home and fell asleep.
Tuesday April 16
6am Tuesday. Started driving east again.
Ran into snow again on US6 through Spanish Forks. Some accumulation.
1230p Monday Stopped for lunch in Helper, UT. Nice folks. The town has certainly seen more prosperous days. Mining town. Used to mine nickle. Now its coal. Stopped in a couple of antique stores to stretch my legs.
5pm Monday – Mile 1167. Wilson’s arch along Hwy 191.
8pm Tuesday -Mile 1256. Monticello, UT. Will stay here for the night. Update blog. Had a buffalo burger at the Ranch House restaurant. 6hrs fromSanta Fe.
7am Wednesday morning. 3 inches of snow on Esmerelda. 20 degrees. Slushy Roads. Followed a snowplow for the first 11 miles. It may take longer than 6 hours to get to Santa Fe.
Noon Wednesday. In New Mexico. Lighter snow. None sticking.
4pm Friday- Mile 1,787. Santa Fe, NM. Checked in to Inn at Loretto in downtown Santa Fe. I don’t think the valet guys park many 14 year old vans here. But they treat Esmerelda like she is a Mercedes.
5pm Wednesday evening. Meet with the Japanese TV crew. Really nice folks. They film me in the lounge at the Inn. It takes a half hour. More filming with them tomorrow as we hunt for the treasure.
550pm Wednesday. Park illegally in front of Collected Works Bookstore. Grab camera and run inside. It’s standing room only. 150 people crammed into the bookstore to listen to Forrest, Michael McGarrity and Douglas Preston. They have had these events before but never to a crowd of this size. I cannot find a place to shoot from. I can’t even find a place to stand. I am about to head out the door when a a guy offers me a seat he has been saving for his friend, who did not show. He tells me he recognizes me from the blog. It’s Rich. I take his kind offering. I cannot see Forrest from where this seat is located but at least I am close enough to record decent audio. There is no sense in trying to record video.
7PM Wednesday evening. After the event at Collected Works. I meet some blog folks there including Stephan the Pantsless Pirate and his beautiful wife. They are both wearing pants. Rich, who provided me with a seat. Bonnie and lovely family. I also meet Dorothy and Mary from the bookstore. There are several others as well….YEA BLOGGERS….Forrest joins the blog group and is familiar with all the blog nicknames. We stand around and talk clues…well, what did you expect?
Everyone is having a good time. I am soooo glad I did not leave. What a wonderful group of people the bloggers are.
9am Thursday. Meeting with the Japanese crew. We head north toward Taos and the treasure (maybe). I have decided to revisit a place that looked promising but where I ran out of time on my first search. You might remember this place. North of Taos on the Rio Grande. The John Dunn Bridge area. I found an “F” carved in a rock there. But no chest. People ask me how I followed the clues to this spot. Here goes:
Where Warm Waters Halt = the start of the gorge at the NM/CO border. Based on an essay by Tony Hillerman on the Rio Grande.
Take It In THe Canyon Down = the Gorge of the Rio Grande. Also known as the Box. An 800 foot deep canyon that is about 25 miles long.
Not Far, But To Far To Walk = about 17 miles from the CO/NM border.
Put In Below The Home Of Brown = downstream and also south of the Rio Hondo a popular Brown trout stream.
From there it’s no place for the meek = the canyon is a difficult place. There are limited trails and beyond the trails it is rugged walking over uneven, steeply sloping ground and around huge boulders. Another interpretation of meek could also refer to the terrible spring house that was built by Alfred Manby down here. It was so dark and frightening that the public refused to use it. yet another interpretation could be the steep and rugged road on the west side of the canyon leading back up to the mesa.
The End Is Ever Drawing Nigh = as you walk downstream you are headed to the end of the canyon and the end of the trail.
There’ll Be No Paddle Up Your Creek = Manby Hot Springs also known as Stagecoach Hot Springs which seeps from the side of the canon and into the Rio Grande.
Just Heavy Loads And Water High = the large boulders where the springs comes out of and when the Rio is high it floods both the upper and lower pools of the hot spring.
The Blaze = the “F” carved in rock up the canon wall just inside a cave.
No! We did not find the chest. We looked around a little more. Temperatures dropped quickly. The wind came up suddenly and it began to snow. So we decided to take off and head over the Sangre de Christo’s where the weather looked better. We had lunch in Cimarron and tried to find a blaze I saw three times but was never able to check out. Unfortunately, I could not find the blaze this time …and no…we did not find it there either.
It was dark at about 9pm when I finally got back to Santa Fe. Another 450 miles on Esmerelda.
Friday 9am. Meet Forrest at his house to film his art direction session for his new book. Susan and Lou bring ideas for the book layout and design to show Forrest.
We also had Forrest demonstrate how to tie his favorite (and trout’s favorite) wet flies. But wait there’s more… Forrest took us out to his pottery shard pile and showed us a thing or two about prehistoric and historic pottery making in the southwest.
We also visited Forrest’s lab where he explains some of the unique artifacts and value of the digs at his pueblo, San Lazaro.
Saturday 10am. Margie Goldsmith, Irene Rawlings, a lovely friend of Irene’s by the name of Marty and Forrest all head out to do some shopping and walking around Santa Fe.
Irene Rawlings is the Media Maven of Denver. She is host of FOCUS on the Clear Channel radio network across the country and has written several books including her latest Cast Iron Cooking With Sisters On The Fly. Irene has been instrumental in moving Forrest’s story beyond the city limits of Santa Fe. http://www.irenerawlings.com
Margie Goldsmith as you all know has written three Huffington Post stories about the treasure chest and broke the story nationally. She also penned the lovely Hemispheres story which appeared in United Airlines seat pockets during the month of January 2013 and which has been credited with getting the Today Show interested in Forrest’s story. Margie is a gifted freelance writer. http://www.mgproductions.com
First stop is Wendy Lane Henry’s, Back At The Ranch Cowboy Boots on Marcy Street..Forrest’s fav boot shop. Wendy outfits celebrities like Renee Zellweger and Randy Travis and provides custom made boots. Margie is interested in a pair of low rise cow
boy girl boots. What a great place. Margie finds a pair of boots in an astonishingly short period of time (for a girl). The rest of us just gawk and offer varying opinions. Marty and I entertain ourselves by taking pictures of boots and Margie’s feet.
In the lot Forrest cleans up his Purple Heart plate. “I got this the hard way.” he says.
Next we head over to the Santa Fe Railyard and the Flea Market for some browsing.
After about an hour with the fleas we look for lunch. We choose the busiest cafe in Santa Fe because it’s close by. It’s a locavore hangout and they have a map showing where their local raw materials come from. Forrest takes this opportunity to show us precisely where the the treasure chest is not hidden.
After lunch we head over to the State Capital where Forrest has an appointment for a TV interview with Lorene Mills. Lorene hosts a talk show called Report From Santa Fe that airs on several PBS outlets in the State . This is her third interview with Forrest since he hid the treasure. Her studio is very snug…She’s taken a press office and turned it into an entire production facility. Pretty nifty. You can find all three interviews with Forrest on the shows website http://www.reportfromsantafe.com
To find the Forrest Interviews go to her archive and search on Forrest Fenn.
More to come including my latest search and poor Esmerelda takes one for the Gipper in Utah..
This is Part Two of a search conducted by a searcher who goes by the name, The Wolf, on this blog.
If you have not read Part One Click Here
The next day the sun did rise and we awoke but Jordan was starting to get a really bad cold; plus I think that all that hiking took a toll on his body. We picked up our fly rods and headed towards Valley of the Pines. We soon came across a pristine pool of crystal clear cold water headed by a small dam. We fished for an hour or so and took some photos and headed off to Valley of the Pines to check out number 5 and 7 on our list. Of course expectations have been drastically reduced and we are now just living the adventure at this time and it is much more enjoyable with out all the extra pressure since I have stood down my public affairs personnel!
There were two locations I wanted to check out there; one was linked to the Tea with Olga story. Three colors (red, black and green) of tea translated into Horseshoe Lake as where warm waters halt. Forrest had a small story about how much iron goes into horseshoes, but I could not verify the source or temperature of water thus it was a weak connection to the clue. However, if you follow the East Fork River canyon down where it joins the Red River to the Valley of the Pines, there are a lot of Brown houses (log cabins) but nothing in particular I could liken to the home of brown. None the less, the “Red” River flows down through the village and has two tributaries flowing into it. One would be very similar to the Vietnam waterfall story with a meadow (number 7) and the other was “Black” Copper Canyon(number 5). We now have two of the three colors and I am hopeful some ground work would reveal the “green” connection. If you travel up the creek without a paddle you go under some power lines (heavy loads) come across a small pond (water high) that has two more creeks feeding it. I believe this pond is called Maggie’s pond.
This land is not part of the Carson Forrest so I am feeling there may be something here; however, it is posted heavily with private land signs. My research indicated there was an old mine further up the creek. I carefully traversed the creek until I located an historic mine. It was all locked up but around the corner there was a small cave, larger than the one I found yesterday, perhaps 40 feet long. Oh my, could this be it – the first line of the poem states “as I have gone alone in there”? Out comes that handy flashlight he keeps telling everyone to bring and I am thankful I heeded that advice. I carefully crawl in and it has a strange recognizable stench and I place my shirt over my nose and laboriously breath through it, as I shine the spot light on every square inch of the cave. I do not feel comfortable and start to wonder again – this must be where I must be “brave” and endure the “cold”. I quickly search and get out, and in a weird way I am glad I do not find the trove because I might have just left it there, as any more time in that cave would probably not be tolerated. I take a few photos and enjoy the beautiful view overlooking the small stream while I imagine how the old prospectors and miners would have processed the ore from the mine.
I now head back as it has been an hour and Jordan is probably starting to worry. I follow the other stream back and find the powder house that was once used to store the explosives to blast the ore out of the mine. I arrive at the car and Jordan is in a trance playing games on his iphone – so much for getting out into wilderness!
Next we follow the 578 highway towards Wheeler Peak and investigate area 8 and 9 but nothing exists to verify any clues so we head towards area one. While en route we investigate area 6 but we cannot locate the access so we just fish instead. This is the life! We pack up and head to area one and re-search some areas that I felt were under searched on our first scan. Jordan is now very tired and falls asleep so I go it alone again. This is not as much fun but the scenery is so spectacular that feeling soon goes away. Since Jordan is ill, I decide to turn it in early and get an early start the next day.
The next morning Jordan is still under the weather but since the day is so inviting, I head out with the promise to be back by 10am – of course I bring my PLB. I arrive at area 6 and I really am just going for an enjoyable hike in this place that keeps calling to me. There are only 3 clues linking it to the poem but I just can’t resist. I finally find access to the area (third time lucky) and take some really cool pictures and I return a half hour late. After a much needed sleep Jordan is feeling refreshed and we head to the Red River Fish Hatchery to try and catch some Brown trout. We head down the Pescado trail that JP talked about, do a little fishing and talk to some hikers. After a very enjoyable afternoon we decide to head back and search a couple of spots I feel I missed during day one at the Taos Ski Valley. On the way, I marvel at the nearly infinite number of hiding spots along this trail and realize that perhaps an area can never be searched too much. At this point, I remind myself that I am on a mission here and that I need to be cognizant of my surroundings, so I start scanning for blazes all the while thinking that this is pretty tough searching with the countless number of nooks and crannies that Forrest could have hidden this treasure.
I climb over a small hill, look up and instantly freeze. I run the gauntlet of emotions as they rapidly flash through my mind – I am dumbfounded. Could this be the blaze that no one has been able to locate? It can’t be; this has been searched too thoroughly, yet this is too obvious, I am totally perplexed ….
The following story was submitted by a searcher who goes by the name, The Wolf, on this blog.
My son Jordan and I arrived in C-Springs and rented a car and drove to the TAOS area. Our plan was to search the Enchanted Circle area of TAOS. We plan to hike, fish and of course pick up the treasure at some point do to my sure fire method of solving the poem. I first learned about the poem from the Today show. It took me 3 days of pretty hard work to get all 9 clues and I had some time on my hands because I needed Jordan to get the time off work. During that time I decided to research some cool hiking and fishing areas, as well as test my spot to see if I can find any back up spots. After I finished, I had amassed a total of 10 possible areas to search, all of varying clue solutions. This article covers my number two and three spots. I was so sure it was there I was already planning what to do with it, planning press releases, drafting a poem for Forrest, etc. Just like the three stooges writing checks just because they bought a lottery ticket!
My search began with Where Warm Waters Halt (WWWH). I was searching for such waters in the Wheeler peak area because a nearby mountain is called “Bull of the Woods”. I found this very small pond on the other side of the mountain that was spring fed. It was called Blake’s Lake (near Williams Lake) at about 13000 feet elevation. The interesting thing about this lake (other than it is named after my other son) is that at some point past the pond the water just disappears underground for a while and then reappears further down the canyon. Ah, what a wonderful fulfilment of the “Halt” criteria! If you follow the canyon down 4000 meters (that fits the too far to walk criteria) it intersects Long Creek (“The Long Ride Home” from the book) in the middle of the TAOS Ski Valley. I think maybe Fenn is using his humor here to use this area by stuffing it right under everyone’s nose. That would even explain why he knows whether the treasure is still there. Further to the strength of such an area is that it is owned by the village and my research stated that anything found on municipal lands, you can keep. I am thinking, that Fenn is a genius, he even thought of that aspect. Now I had to look for the Home of Brown, so a quick search in the village directory indicated that UPS (co-located with USPS) was right at that intersection between the two creeks. I think to myself, no one would ever think of that, and if you did, it would be so hard to associate. My secondary search area is now rapidly gaining strength.
200 meters up Long creek there is a fork in the creek which meets the “no place for the meek” for this climb is quite steep. I figured heavy loads could be the bridges crossing the creek and the water high are the cascades of small waterfalls along this creek. Now I just have to find the blaze. During this search I noticed the TAOS Ski Valley has a helicopter pad and the creek running below it led to Heli-pad Falls. Forrest mentions helicopters over 10 times in his book and he used a helicopter to get to his special spot in Vietnam. This either gives more strength to my area of perhaps the “brownout” effect produced by helicopters is the home of Brown. At this point I want to re-read the book to see if any other subtle crews come up. I noticed that the streets in the village mostly have animal names. As I read the book, I kept track of the number of times the 35 streets came up. Over half of them did at least once, but I noticed he talked about getting “switched” a lot. I noticed “coyote”, “Phoenix”, “Katchina” and “bull” were mentioned more than once. I found that these street names all occurred around the right fork of the creek (does not work for the “end is drawing neigh” theme but a heavy coincidence none-the-less. One word that keep suspiciously coming up was “Chipmunk”. I was initially disappointed until I looked at a different village map and found “Chipmunk Ln” right on the middle of all those other streets. It was like a bread crumb trail leading me up that right fork. The heavy loads must be all the bridges that cross the creek and the bread crumb trail ends at the “Phoenix-Switch back” road where it turns into “Bull of the Woods trail” (“in the wood”). I had that Eureka moment! He hid it under that road (perhaps a rock tunnel) and that is why he states “in the wood” because when you are in the tunnel you would be in (or under) the wood. Also no one would think of looking there and it would be easy for a 80 year old man to stash it. The Blaze has to be in that tunnel where the creek crosses the “Bull of the Woods trail”.
Now I am getting really exited. After we searched our primary area, we headed to the Taos Ski village at about 2:30; plenty of time to just walk up to that spot and pick up the treasure and still be back before dark, right!? We arrive and verify the clues, found the UPS store, etc. I drive up to the bridge and my heart sinks when I discovered there is no bridge, just a series of culverts. I park and look inside of culvert; nothing seen so I run up the creek about 20 meters and find a small cave – could this be it!? My heart races, I pull out my flashlight (aha, that is why he said to bring that) and remove the snow and I be “brave” and climb in. The cave has a small nook and a pile of dirt where he could hide/burry the treasure too – Mayday-Mayday-Mayday! Where is the blaze? The floor was covered in clear ice – this is the perfect spot but no blaze and no treasure. I return to the car and I fight back tears as I put on my sunglasses, I don’t want to let Jordan notice my sadness. At this point we decided to walk from the base up the creek and see where else it intersects “Bull of the Woods” trail. It is definitely not a place for the meek, the altitude is 10,000 feet and a lot of snow still remains and this up hill climb requires many stops to catch our breath. Finally we come to the creek-trail intersection and HOLY COW my heart stops, is this it? I look down at an aspen tree (“brave”) and there is the blaze a perfectly carved “F” right at the base of the stream. I look all around but there is no sign of the treasure. Please don’t tell me he buried it in that stream! I look around and find another blaze nearby – this one is an “cave man”, in fact this place is a mecca for blazes. Now I am not so confident. We continue all the way up to the snow line; we stop at the cascades and drink deep the aura of moment. Beautiful, calming sound of the gently rushing water – enough searching let us enjoy this for a while.
At around 6 pm, I decide to pack up and leave but I will check out Heli-pad falls for one last search. Jordan is catching a cold so he stays at the car. It is only 400 meters but it is almost straight up, slipping and sliding up the shale rock requires many stops to plot the next path and to catch much needed breath. The waterfall is spectacular but no way is anyone in there right mind climbing up here (especially an 80 year old man) thank goodness I brought my 406 Personal Locator Beacon just incase.
I start to get really depressed as I succumb to the fact this search is over, and my dream is dead; when I realize that this experience is all a part of the “thrill of the chase”, one must ride the emotional roller coaster to truly run this adventure. I quickly snap out of it and realize that tomorrow is another day and the sun will rise. Thank goodness we planned a lot of other hiking and fishing… now I will focus on spending time with our son. The adventure continues…
Go on to Part Two by clicking here
The following is a note directly from Forrest on Thursday morning, April 11th:
I have 31 emails from people who claim to have the treasure in their possession. These guys have a need to be noticed. I can assure everyone that the treasure is still where I hid it. Several have said they know where the treasure is but want me to go with them to get it because they think it is booby trapped. And of course they want me to drive because their pickup is broken. Some have been to a spot where they are positive the chest was hidden but it wasn’t there so surely someone beat them there and took it. All of that stuff is nonsense, the treasure is still there. f
No comments are allowed on this post.
The following story was written by John Paul who comments on this blog. The actual treck to his spot was accomplished in early April of 2013. Thanks for the great story JP…
They say a picture is worth a thousand words but sometimes there are experiences when words, no matter how many, can convey a single moment. I had some of those experiences this weekend. And though I am catching running water, I am compelled to share a few of these moments with you.
Modern life has a way of keeping us busy with what seems like important things. There never seems enough time. I had to go up north to take care of matters in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado. I am a local from Albuquerque, perplexed by the pace of modern life and just as hustled and bustled as I was in Chicago, never knowing the word chill. However, I was looking forward to this day trip for the drive alone.
I have always loved this drive, especially just beyond Espanola. There a stretch of road runs parallel to the Rio Grande and ascends towards a high alpine valley that extends from Taos, New Mexico to Salida, Colorado.
From this stretch of road I have watched bald eagles fly the Rio Grande and marveled at the river’s strength and beauty, cutting through the high arching canyon walls. When an early morning or late afternoon sun strikes those walls they are a site to behold contrasting against the river’s deep greens and blues.
Nearing the top of this canyon your eyes catch a solitary cottonwood tree standing with a few mailboxes and nothing but sky behind it. You then level out and before you is a vast plain extending forever. It’s the kind of place where you can sit for hours and watch dust devils traverse its expanse. Here, to the left, the Great Spirit reached down and with both hands rent the land in two, creating the Rio Grand Gorge. On the right side of this expanse are the magnificent Sangre de Christos Mountains extending into Colorado. Nestled at the foot of the first 10K footer is the town of Taos.
I love this part of northern New Mexico; it’s quite beautiful from the road as you head up past Lama and Questa. But a road is a road is a road and lord knows I have been on so many of them. Roads can be quite deceptive, just like a map. One begins to mistake the road for the territory as you wiz by all the marvelous expansive beauty. However, from the road one never sees the truth fading away, just behind you, moments away, until you get off the road and start walking the trails. Time slows down at that moment and nature will not let you breathe, let alone see, until you have adjusted to her speed.
Along the way I had earmarked part of the Red River just above the Rio Grand Gorge to explore as a potential site for Fenn’s treasure. This was to be a preliminary investigation; after all I am a busy person with bills and taxes to pay!
But I was unprepared for the treasures I was about to discover there. I had never been to the Red River hatcheries. I didn’t even know it was there. I can’t tell you how many times I have whizzed by the HWY-515 entrance just off of 522 and not seen it.
I knew that the confluence of the Red River and the Rio Grande was a place to photograph and had planned, as a photographer, to eventually make my way there. It wasn’t until the chase that I discovered the entrance to the hatchery. Looking at it from Google earth I thought – now there is a place where one can drive their car and quietly secret away half a million dollars or so in gold.
This was to be a preliminary exploration as I have many sites that I want to explore and figure it will take several trips to provide due diligence with any of them. I had no expectation of finding a treasure that day. And, perhaps that made all the difference. My pace was slower as I had provided enough time in my busy day trip to just hang out there and walk along the river’s edge.
One of the first things I noticed crossing the bridge to the hatcheries was a flagpole with the New Mexico flag bright yellow with its red zia emblem ablaze! I looked quickly down but saw no speckles of glinting bronze or gold in the water below. I went across the bridge to use the washroom and that is when I saw them. Aha! Fenn’s secret fishing hole! I had never seen so many Rainbows in one place. Fenn’s rainbow . . . hmmm. Then i thought – this is the kind of place that would be dear to a fly fisherman’s heart. A place dedicated to keep the thrill of the chase alive for all fishermen in this state.
It wasn’t until I began to explore along the swiftly flowing river currents that i really knew what that meant. Here was indeed a wonderful magical secluded place, with the river beckoning me to follow its trail. Every turn and eddy and rock became a new place to explore. It is difficult to explain but the river has a sound that is quite special to hear.
It opened inside of me the days long ago when as a young tyke I had spent all day fishing along the river’s shore with my Grand Dad in Bandelier, Texas. It’s all suburbs now but at that time it was the boonies. The town was a dirt crossroad with a filling station and small store. I remember a large open metal container filled with ice and water flowing inside. It was nearly as tall as me. Inside was a treasure trove of cold pop one could chose from to quench their thirst.
What a wonderful enchanted time that was and what a wonderful sound to hear again, the river’s gentle song. I followed along the river and fell in love with this place. If I had had a bedroll with me nothing would have been better than pitching camp right there along the river’s edge.
Along the way my eyes began to open. I noticed which bugs were crawling along the river’s shore and which ones were skirting across the top of its side waters. Now those were the kind of flies I’d need to fish this stream. I would tie that fly, right there on the spot and fish all day! Along the way I noticed something glistening on the banks in the sun. I looked down and it was an earring. I picked it up and continued along.
Further down stream a woman was sitting at a picnic table with her friend who was fishing. I asked if she had lost an earring and she happily replied yes. I produced the gem and it was hers. I then walked further along the stream and noticed a small hook on a large rock. I embedded it into the side of a weathered tree trunk.
To my surprise time had moved along quite a bit, though I had not even noticed it. The trail had extended further than the 500 feet I had planned to explore. Sadly, it seemed my initial exploration was done. I then headed on up north to wild horse mesa in southern Colorado to take care of business. While up there a little wild pony came up to me to say hello. Looking at the blaze on the pony’s forehead I looked quickly down and saw my feet. I thought, how fortunate and lucky a person I must be. Life truly is the treasure.
April 8, 2013-
In a short note today Forrest announced that he plans to devote more time to writing and less to the search for his treasure.
Forrest had three books in the works when the treasure hunt first gained notoriety in 2010. In order to get the word out about the treasure he has had to devote considerable time to the hunt over the past two and a half years and very little to completing his books. Now that the treasure hunt has reached maximum velocity with searchers from all over the world participating, Forrest feels that he can finally return to his writing. So today, Forrest announced that he will no longer be available to answer questions about the treasure on FaceBook or via email or phone. Additionally, he will be cutting back on book signings, appearances and media requests but will continue his monthly appearance on The Today Show to hand out a new clue.
In his note today Forrest said “I love all of the adventurers who are in the search but I can no longer answer, or even read, most of the 300 emails I get each day. My book has to be my priority.”
Forrest has written nine books so far on varied topics and has contributed articles to magazines and other publications. He received the New Mexico Rounder’s Award in 2012 for his contribution to the culture of the west.