Higher Numbers Don’t Always Add Up…


You may be wondering why there is a photo of a zebra at the top of this page…I’ll tell you in a minute…

After the story about Forrest’s hidden treasure aired on KOB-TV in New Mexico last summer a lot of new folks joined the search. I’ve heard some grousing from a few early searchers about how this waters down all our chances of finding it. I’ll try to give it a positive spin.

So who is out there looking and why you shouldn’t give a hoot.

Forrest told me in July of 2011 that he figured there were about a hundred folks actively searching for the treasure. After the KOB story that summer, the number seems to have jumped tenfold…maybe more. This is great for book sales and building up the Cancer Victim Fund where profits from the book sales end up. From that perspective its certainly a good thing.

Forrest reported earlier this week that Collected Works had sold over 850 copies of the book. How many of those who purchase the book actually get out of their reading chair and go look…That’s the relevant question, isn’t it. And what about the folks who find the poem and head off without purchasing the book?

Susan Miller recently pointed out on this very blog that soon we’ll be tripping over one another as we search for that bronze chest. Maybe so!

I personally know only a few people who are out looking. Interestingly, although I’ve tried getting my family excited about hunting for the treasure, none of them show the slightest interest. Good thing I don’t depend on selling things to people for my dinner.

Forrest sends me pieces of his email every once in awhile to share on this blog. I find it fascinating the depth and breadth of the personalities that catch gold fever.

Look at this photo of a team that apparently believe its hidden in the water and look pretty well outfitted to find it if it is. Now they just have to find the right water!!! Since they didn’t report finding it, we can assume this was not the right place. If it is in the water they are better prepared then many of us…but how many believe its in water? Raise your hands!

So my point is that this is not likely competition because most of us would not be looking in water like this anyway. Don’t get distracted by numbers.a

And what about these guys? Is this a place you’d be looking? I just don’t think higher numbers necessarily mean higher quality searchers…

Then there is this sweet letter from a young lad who joined the search this summer-

hi Forrest I am a 12 year old boy and I stumbled upon your treasure on the news about two weeks ago I think my 59 year old grandma emailed you the other day about our first adventure looking for your treasure. We went again to day to look for it we came back with no treasure but it was lots of fun. this time I got to wade through the river it was funny because my grandma and I were walking through the river when it started to get higher and higher my grandma started to panic it was funny because she started screaming i’ll never forget that moment once she got out I still kept walking in the river back to the hot springs thanks for hiding the treasure it was a lot of fun spending time with my family. when I was in the car I was reading your book looking for clues and I fell asleep on page 4 thanks again hope you can get back to me.

Ahh yes…the screaming, drowning grandmother routine…that’s always a good way to give your grandson a belly laugh. Yet another person looking in water…maybe there is a trend here. He didn’t get far in the book…page 4.

Forrest did get back…here is his reply-

I’m glad my book puts you to sleep because men your age need a lot of rest. Please put your grandma in a floatation device before you let her in anymore rivers. Grandmas who are willing to go looking for treasures with you are hard to find. f

Have some fun…like the kid above. He’s not steamed about not finding the treasure. He had a good time anyway.

It shouldn’t all be competitive…look…Gadi, our intrepid reporter from KOB-TV was out looking and was kind enough to leave something behind so the next person there would have a snack. He knows somebody else is bound to come looking in the same spots he already checked. So look for a Baby Ruth candy bar duct taped to a road sign. If you find it send me the picture so I can put it on the blog…

This is a very gratifying note from one of those folks that was motivated to get outdoors by Forrest’s book-

My family and I just got back from Taos, looking for the treasure. I have to say Thank you for this hunt. The real treasure was the experiance of spending time outdoors with my family. We got to experiance some beautiful places we never would of know was out there. I have gotten the fishing bug really bad. I do not know how to fly fish, but that is going to change!! If you know a good place or person to learn fly fishing, please let me know. My daughter in law is sight impaired and she had a blast hiking (with the help of my son) the trails and experiencing the outdoors with us. We had such a wonderful time. Of-course we are still hunting (along with a million other people) for the treasure. However, I just want to send you a note telling you that you have opened the door for our family enjoying time and the outdoors together.

Thank you for this treasure!!

Finally there is this story that I heard about Forrest from a very reliable source. A few years ago Forrest was attending an auction of western items. One of the early items up for bid was a pair of outrageous zebra skin cowboy boots. Forrest bid on them and won. Then he proceeded to take his favorite boots off, put the zebra boots on and tuck his jeans into the tops of the boots so everyone could see his ridiculous new footwear. He wore them for the rest of the auction in spite of the fact that they were too small for his feet…Forrest understands that life should be fun…and maybe a little discomfort makes the fun even better …

Here’s the bottom line. If hunting for the treasure is making you crazy then I sense you are in it for all the wrong reasons. We all would like to have a spare million or so. But in my opinion this treasure hunt is about interpreting the mysterious poem first. Second, getting outside and trying your interpretation in the real world. Its a puzzle more than a get rich quick scheme. You have an unprecedented opportunity to get to know a very unique individual in Forrest Fenn and you’ll have fantastic stories to tell your grandchildren about treasure hunting. Way down at the bottom of the possibilities is worrying about actually finding the chest. It should be fun. Lots and lots of fun. Don’t worry about the other guys out there. Just enjoy the hunt.


5 thoughts on “Higher Numbers Don’t Always Add Up…

  1. Ok, I love the read…but really love the part about the zebra boots. I like the not taking things too seriously attitude.

    I don’t know why I didn’t get an automatic email that you updated the blog. Hmmm, I just read Forrests too, but his doesn’t have that feature…so I just have to check it every once in a while. My family doesn’t have too much interest either Dal. Jeff will go and enjoys being out there…but he doesn’t have that feeling we all have. The overwhelming quest to figure out what Forrest meant in his poem.

    Oh and I finally told someone about the treasure. My girlfriend who wondered why I barely spoke to her most of the summer. She might soon become obsessed too. I’m reluctant to let her have my book though to read….I don’t think I can be that far from it.

    • I am surprised you didn’t see them when you visited Forrest. Next time you visit you should try them on and get a pic so we can see if they are really you!

  2. Just got into the treasure hunt and have enjoyed your blog thus far, Dal. Really enjoyed the Mike story! It’s funny. We’re in Chicago and I have 4 young children so we’re going to vacation in the area and take them on our hunt. Just like hundreds of others, we feel like we’re really going to find it. Realistically, I know the odds are low since there are a number of intrepid and devoted hunters such as yourself out there, it just all feels so right! We probably won’t find it, but it is sure to be fun and I doubt the older kids will ever forget this vacation!

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