Scrapbook Thirty…


Bookbinder Mike Roswell made this specially bound copy of The Thrill of the Chase for Chanon Thompson, the lady who was “lost” in the Bandelier National Monument while searching for Forrest Fenn’s hidden treasure. She spent the night alone with temperatures huddling around 26 degrees. Forrest presented the book to Chanon who jokingly promised to carry it when she went searching in the mountains again because the compass imbedded in the leather cover would assist her if she became disoriented. Forrest said that Chanon is “a delightful lady who is full of vinegar and sparks.” (photo by Janet Shamlian)








88 thoughts on “Scrapbook Thirty…

  1. Nice picture and great story. I’m glad she was OK but that sure could have been a tragedy. Be safe out there everyone!

    • “To Chanon, You can’t be lost if you walk out. Keep searching. Forrest Fenn”

      To Chanon “First came the Alamo, next came Texas” Rick Nowak

  2. Don’t mean to be a crodiggity old man………Why is someone that did just about everything wrong and dangerous being rewarded?

    There are those, like Dal and Steph, that have spent no telling how much money and time searching for the treasure, along with giving all of us valuable insight into their methods and Dal with this blog helping everyone…..

    I mean the best wrong solution of the month/year award would make more sense than this…..I would surely make the finalists in that competition.

    I’m very disappointed in Fenn for doing this.

    • How else would we have scene her lovely face. She was doing what she was supposed to do! So, she got a couple things wrong. I’m just thankful she’s alive. Loosen up man, you’re taking this way too seriously. Press the feathers back down! You’re just disappointed that you were not there to loan her your cloak!

    • Thanks for saying such sweet things about me Old Guy *hugs and love*. Forrest is very very nice to everyone and just always seems to want to make everyone happy. I’ve stalked Forrest for two years now and you’d be surprised at all the things I’ve learned he’s donated to places. That’s totally his nature as you can see by what he’s doing that’s brought us all together. He’s been a great friend to me. Saying that…I agree that it’s a shame that she was the story(NBC’s doing) instead of some of the really neat searchers I’ve gotten to know that have tirelessly researched and gone out braving the elements and taught themselves the right things to do in bad situations(not speaking of myself…I’m camera shy). That just doesn’t make good tv I guess.

    • I think Forrest is just a very kind person..I heard that she got teary-eyed when Forrest gave her the book. If you look close at her face she looks like maybe she was in a weepy state a few seconds earlier…pretty sweet…

      • Hi Dal – can you tell which direction that compass on the book is pointing? Thank you again for posting that compass rose on your blog 🙂

      • Lol, I did cry! And the cameramen actually snapped some amazing and unexpected pics of it…I was overwhelmed by the fact that not only had he given me the book but his words meant so much in that he realized that I wasn’t lost! When I had gone back, everyone had reported it as thus and he wrote the truth…it actually meant so much to me…thus the tears 🙂

    • @Dal,
      I don’t doubt Fenn is a kind person. Maybe I’m overly sensitive about the topic……Millions of folks enjoy the outdoors every year and everything is just fine. If you want to delete my comment I understand.

      I’ve wandered the back country of the west for over 40 years, for work and pleasure. I’ve seen too many tragedies that were completely preventable.

      Don’t get me wrong……I admire and applaud those that push the boundaries, and sometimes bad things happen even to the experienced and well prepared. I’ve hung out of helicopters, been lowered down rock faces, battled mosquitoes the size of B-52’s just to get a picture. I salute those experienced and well prepared thrill seekers that know the risk and still chose to push the envelope but didn’t make it…..This Bud is for you.

      A magazine ask me to get a few shots of the high waters in Yosemite a couple years ago. I was there and watched these folks go to their death. I talked to one of the guys that went over the falls telling him it was crazy to be out there. He laughed at me.

      Here’s the story about Vernal Falls:

      I think what Fenn did was bad judgment rewarding someone for being stupid….there are many others more deserving of the reward. It makes it look like Fenn is just looking for publicity no matter what.

      “It doesn’t matter who you are, it only matters who they think you are” -Forrest Fenn

      Be safe out there.

      • I agree, it makes me want to go get lost in the woods all by myself so I can be on TV and get a freakin awesome book! I understand grace, but really she was being an idiot going alone in the first place, she didn’t know the area well enough to begin with! It aggravates me too and I am a very grace giving person. :-/

      • You already know I agree about the hiker. I’ve done things that weren’t smart…and I’ve made sure I’ve told people how dumb I was to do them….I’m not saying I’m not glad she’s ok and I’m not saying she isn’t a super nice person. Would have liked to hear more about what she should have done that she didn’t. Like where was her sandwich????? We all know to bring one by now. lol Forrest doesn’t need the PR…he’s already famous and successful. So I really think that came from his sense of humor with the compass, his sense of being caring for other people, and this is just my guess….but I personally feel he might have felt a bit of bad feelings that she was doing something as a result of his Chase. Even though he made it very well known to not take any risks…..he’s a very compassionate person.

      • I’m not sure what the big deal is, she made a wrong turn it was late and she sought shelter and survived below zero temperatures. Kudos for her….The only reason rescue was called in because she missed a check in call with her boyfriend. It wasn’t like she was missing for days. One report said the rescue party ran into her on her way back to the car the next day. So was she really saved or really in dire need of a rescue. I think its us who need saving, non of us can figure out the second stanza…

      • I think it’s sweet that he gave her a copy of his book and I’m a bit jealous. 🙂 However I do worry that it might encourage others to do stupid things in the hopes of meeting him or getting cool book. KWIM? It is really cool by the way. She did some things right but honestly leaving her backpack and water in the car was foolish. I am glad she was OK and hopefully she will be a lesson to those who are going out searching. Take supplies even if you only think you are going to be gone a couple of hours. You never know if you could get lost or injured and need them. She is a very lucky lady in many ways. But I do hope that Dal and Stephanie got something that was just as nicer or nicer. I guess I’m sure that as nice as Forrest seems that he will not (or has not) forgotten them.

        • I’m not jealous she got the book….honestly I was thinking about why I feel I have an issue about her when I am glad that she survived and she did do some things that were right. I think why I’m upset with her is that she wasn’t prepared and what if it turned out worse than it did? What would that have done to The Chase and to Forrest. My first concern when the story broke was how he felt. It gave the media something to throw stones at about The Chase also. Then on top of it…NBC didn’t use it so much as a teaching tool. Even when Forrest got lost at 16, we learned not to eat porcupine lol. So I think that’s my reason for being annoyed by her and not feeling she should be rewarded as my perspective. As for Forrest being good to me. He paid for lunch when we went out(I did try to pay…but he wouldn’t let me). Then I had mentioned I was collecting his books when he was showing me his book collection and he asked which ones I didn’t have yet. I’m into history and art. I rattled off a few and he gave me a couple of them. Those are the monetary things. Getting to know an American hero, someone who just thinks of a cool idea and makes it happen, someone who can tell a story so passionately about objects that were used by people I’ll never know….someone who seems to always want to show others the path to having a zest for life…..someone who could easily feel they are better than anyone else, but instead wants to make sure you feel best about yourself….those are few of my favorite things I’ve gotten from him. So yeah you called that right Patricia. I heard a story that he gave these people little treasure chest tins with treasures inside. It was on Bob Haworth’s blog. If your not familiar with him…he’s the one who wrote the awesome song on The Chase. I’m going to post a link on my blog about his blog story about meeting Forrest as it’s something I really enjoyed reading. Here’s the link. _ about-meeting-forrest/_ ( Stephanie

      • Goofy-
        I remember that story about the hikers who went over Yosemite Falls. I believe we are our own worst enemies. When we are young we think we are immortal. When we are older we are pressed by time constraints. We miscalculate. We rely on “good luck”. We ignore history. We refuse to back down. We never read the manual. We never practice….
        It’s the human condition. The more of us there are, the more there are that fall prey to their own short comings. It’s what keeps the human population in check when there are not enough grizzlies left in the ecosystem.

      • @Dal,
        I agree with you; as the old saying goes, “If you’re gonna be stupid, you gotta be tough”. A reporter interviewed me but didn’t use it; I guess the editors didn’t like what I had to say. He asked me what I felt having witnessed the tragedy. I said, “Well son, if this is an example of their judgment I’m glad they won’t be driving on the highway where their stupidity could kill innocent people. Mother Nature is beautiful, but she is unforgiving and a devout supporter of capital punishment. But hey, they had a spectacular view to behold in their last seconds.”

        So we agree that stupidity and arrogance are just part of natural selection…..I just don’t think that stupidity should be rewarded.

    • Wow…yes, yes you are being a ‘Crotchety’ (correct spelling by the way) old man. I am the ignorant one when it is you making assumptions on something you know nothing about and of course, making a judgement of someone (ME) due to what the oh-so-truthful media spins for their own means to an end. So lets clarify some truths here so that you many not be so quick to run with shit ok…
      1. I was never lost. The storm hit too quickly and the darkness fell as I was making my way back. I had been all over the park from the time it opened and for hours following that, climbing all over and getting to know the park. In my pack I had a knife, 2 flashlights, a map of the park, gloves, 2 flashlights, 2 bags of grapes, a turkey sandwich, 2 power bars and granola trail mix, a small rope (cause you never know)…in addition to the camel back with water. Not to mention, a coat and under armour
      leggings and climatherm running pants…When I started climbing that day, I ended up shedding the coat and sweatshirt I was wearing because it was beautiful, 65 with the sun shining. I left the park that day and knew I wanted to get down my the Rio Grande as opposed to being in the actual park so I stayed at the Motel 6 in Los Alamos that night to look at maps and decide my route.
      2. The following morning, I arrived at park opening and once again started out…I had not gotten far when I realized the way I needed to go down was pretty hardcore and not only was I warm by then as the weather was once again magnificent, but I felt weighed down by my supplies….I walked back to my car and offloaded the things I thought I didn’t need since I had my route down, approx. time-frame and mileage (due to studying Google Earth specific map images and several park maps, ect.)…And yes, THIS is what I did wrong…everything from there on and according to the park rangers, I did correctly because otherwise I wouldn’ have made it. I left my coat, face mask, gloves, one of the flashlights and under armour shirt in the vehicle and started back out.
      3. I was coming out of the canyon, after inferring it was time due to the time frame I had developed on mileage and getting back at a reasonable hour before dark when it began sleeting…and it happened in a heartbeat…this I say because I was in my t-shirt with my sweatshirt around my waist so it had been very comfortable right before this. I repeatedly tried my phone, albeit knowing it was probably not going to work as I made my way out to try to let my boyfriend know what was happening. I actually reached him right as I got to the end o the canyon and the Rio Grande (the ranger later told me that this was probably the only place in the area that it would have worked) and told him what was going on. He said to call him in 15 minutes to let him know I was still trekking on…however, since my cellphone had been searching and searching, when I got off the phone, the battery died a few minutes later.
      4. As darkness descended almost instantaneously due to the storm, I went to pull out my flashlight (and just fyi, My my boyfriend was an avid hunter who only buys the best…my flashlights were intense and powerful…hence my reason for choosing them). What I didn’t realize (and another thing I did wrong) was that when I chose which flashlight to bring, I just picked one instead of testing the battery. When I went to turn it on, it literally illuminated about a 3-4 foot circle in front of me. There was nothing I could do at that point but put my head down and make my way back.
      5. Despite my appearance, I grew up a country girl, have lived in the mountains of Pennsylvania where my stepfather trapped as a child and have been in the wilderness since I was a girl. I know how to use my surroundings as markers as well as keeping track of directions, ect. I also know how to identify animal tracks and some scat markings, and to always be aware of my surroundings and how to maintain my composure. I was also a corpsman (medic) in the Navy and am supremely aware of how my body works and what is occurring with it at any given moment…especially in critical situations. I also knew that it was too cold for animals to be an issue so I put all my focus on regulating my breathing, not panicking and staying alongside the Rio Grande because that was my reference point. At one point, after making my way several miles, I realized my feet were on a dry riverbed portion that I had not been on and since I was not having luck shinning my flashlight up to see my entry point I had come in with, I realized too late that I had bypassed it. It was at this point that the temperature was rapidly dropping and the sleet was getting heavier and I knew I had to find a place to bunker down.
      6. The mountains of Bandelier are full of Anasazi caves and holes but there is not much down by the river so I walked farther until I found a group of large rocks. I searched among them until I found a small space in which I could squeeze into but could only stay in if I curled in a ball on my knees with my head tucked into them. I tried to use my knife to cut out the lining of my backpack to rig a covering for one of the openings of the ‘shelter’ but it was so cold and not big enough for me to make it work. The space was so small that I then put my backpack over my back and head to keep in heat not realizing that there was a tiny space open in the back through which my knife and my phone (now useless anyway) slipped out of and slipped into a crevice of the crawlspace.
      7. My camel back was a smaller one and I had consistently eaten my food through the day to maintain my energy so I ran out of water a bit earlier but was quite hydrated. I had about 8 grapes left in the bottom of a sandwich bag and these I rationed through the night and sucked on and slowly chewed 2 at a time about every few hours. I took off my sports bra to wrap around by ears and tucked my arms and head into the front of my sweatshirt. Curled in a ball and pressed on both sides by rocks, I couldn’t move around at all so I had to focus on not hyperventilating with my head in my shirt and focused on the four count breath I knew would keep me oxygenated, not panicked and control my blood pressure. I did this the whole night until the sun came up. Knowing that there were probably searchers out by now, I also knew that they probably wouldn’t be looking for me where I was and that I had to move. I crawled out and started making my way back, sitting down when I needed to and getting back up and walking.
      8. I was walking up the mountain when I suddenly saw 2 people and a dog out of my peripherals and started yelling at them. They came running over and asked if I was ‘Chandra’ LOL, to which I answered YES, knowing they got my name wrong but not caring at all at that point. They also informed me that they almost kept walking because they thought I was another searcher. They said when they heard there was a 110 lb girl that had gotten caught in 24 degree weather (first time I knew how really cold it had gotten) that they knew they were going to be dragging someone out. They quickly gave me a coat, socks, gels and sugar water to sip. They were amazed that I was still walking and were concerned about the ability to get a medic cot, ect. down. In the interim, I had rested a bit and said that if they could help me, that I knew I could walk out the rest of the way. They warned me that the last mile was straight up and pretty brutal, and that was why they couldn’t get the medics down. I asked them what other choice there was and told them I could do it so with one of them holding my hand helping me forward and the other pushing behind me at points, we slowly made our way to the top.
      9. The ambulance instantly checked me out and was amazed to discover that the only thing wrong was that I had been a bit dehydrated and had very swollen knees from kneeling all night on the rocks. They had also called a reporter who discretely stayed int he background and as I was going down to the ranger station, he kindly asked me if he could ask a few questions. I nicely said, ‘No thank you, not doing that now’…The ranger asked me a lot of questions and told me not only did I do everything correctly to survive after getting caught but that if I would have kept going I would have eventually gotten back to my car…he also said that ‘that last mile or so would have broken your heart though!’
      10. I took 2 days in Los Alamos to let the swelling in my knees subside (they got about the size of grapefruits) and discovered through my neighbors and family that the media was literally stalking my house in Texas because they had heard about it on the New Mexico news and wanted to talk to me but thought I had already gotten back home. I had no desire at that point to talk to them because I was exhausted and tired and really needed time to process what had happened. Even when I got home, I consistently ignored repeated messages on my Facebook, phone and had my neighbors tell them I wasn’t home. They finally stopped after a few weeks. Then one day I heard a knock at the door and in the peephole saw a nicely dressed lady by herself and thinking she was selling something, I opened the door to dismiss her. Well, she actually was from the today show and caught unawares, asked me if we could talk. When she said they would fly me back and take me back to talk about it, I was willing because that meant I got to go process it by the light of day and from another viewpoint now.
      11. I had no idea I was going to get to meet Mr. Fenn…The Today show never promised me anything and I didn’t even know he had the book for me until the night before they invited me to the taping the next morning (at 4 am!) at his house and said he had something he wanted to give me (off camera of course)…to which I cared not at all! BUT the fact that I was going to meet him, was extremely exciting…as his spirit and ideas about adventure were they ways I have tried to live all my life and I felt in him a kindred heart.

      It was an honor to meet him and he was gracious and fun to talk to. There is plenty more that I have not included but I believe this will suffice for now for a bit of clarity sake…I didn’t mean or want any of this to happen but I don’t dictate why things happen as they do…all I can be is thankful…and learn from my mistakes…however, I wouldn’t trade what this has taught me about myself for anything…as well as the adventure and the events that came about because of it. So judge me…but at least now you can do it from a more ‘enlightened’ perspective.
      Chanon Thompson

      • I wish we could have read this back when it happened to get a full perspective. Very nice write up of your experience as I hadn’t known it was that bad for you. So glad it had a great outcome.

        • Thanks Stephanie…Lol, I guess you couldn’t have known since I didn’t clarify anything at the time…and it was pretty serious but I absolutely learned what I was made of in the process. And you are absolutely correct about the talking about the dangers, ect. I really, really wanted and expected the Today show piece to be a bit more inclusive of certain things however, not being at all versed in the way the media does things, I was quite disappointed in what the did choose to show. Either way though, I did get the chance to go back and evaluate things as well as get a wholllleee lot of pictures from the cameramen as well as meeting Mr. Fenn that I wouldn’t have otherwise so I can only take the good in that part 🙂

      • I had read in at least one report that you were not lost and that you were actually walking out but I’m sure many reporters either thought it made a better story for their purposes to say you were lost or they never looked into it themselves but just took someone’s word for it that you were lost.

        Glad everything worked out for you and what a bonus to meet Forrest and receive that great personalized book!

        Good luck with the Chase!

        • LOL, you might have read the only report that said that…It was quite the eye opener for me to see how they take an initial report and literally run with it! Then once what really happened comes out, it is in no way covered or explained…made me realllllyyy think about and look at the way I view things I hear and see on the news, ect. Either way, thank you for your kind words and I am assuming since you are on here too, that you are perhaps looking as well, so GOOD LUCK to you!

      • Chanon,
        Thanks for sharing the real story! Glad you made it out. I know how it feels to be stranded over night in the woods. And YOU ARE BRAVE! I remember being afraid and worried about Bears in Oregon as a 20 year old, I was working for the forest service and did not make it back to the rig, in time and they left with out me…I made a small tent out of some plastic I found along a creek. I was so scared! I had nothing with me, but a shovel. I know you must of suffered too. Your story made me remember. I am still too afraid to go along, anywhere near bear country. However I do hike alone, quite often in Cougar country. I always carry a big knife.
        Thanks for sharing! One question….Are you still searching?

        • Thank you for sharing your story and commiserating lol! Oddly enough, at a certain point I didn’t even think about fear…it was kinda like, I have to do this to survive, you know…and honestly, thank goodness it was too cold for any animals because that probably wouldn’t have helped! I also had a very large bowie knife that I had carried with me previously and had also left in the car…arggg! But did have the small pocket knife that ended up falling out of my pack in my bunker down though…and I too, enjoy hiking alone and always have…I love the feeling of just me, my thoughts and nature. I also refuse to let this experience end that but instead choose to learn from my mistakes….And yes, I absolutely am still looking…obviously, I realized my mistake in location however, I DID catch the treasure bug and it still makes me very happy to sit down with my maps and make new plans 🙂

      • Chanon,
        It is very good of you to share your experience with others. I work in Search and Rescue and prevention is what we are focusing on to ensure unfortunate events do not happen to others. Sharing your experience (although humbling) will actually save lives and minimize similar events.

        When I search alone I carry these items:

        The first one I helped to design and it allows two-way communication and GPS tracking via Iridium SATCOM. Cellphone coverage is unreliable to non-existent in the mountains. The second one is one way and is used when you are in distress, so the searchers can come right to your location. Again this is satellite based.

        I hope all other searchers carry at least one of these items when searching alone.

        The Wolf

        • You are correct that it is humbling, especially after reflecting and realizing the temperature, ect….However, it did show me what I was capable of and that my ability to remain calm, regulate my breathing and not panic were some very relevant reasons I was able to get through…That being said, I LOVE the idea of these items and obviously believe they are an essential part of any significant outdoor excursion…I am in no way discontinuing my search, or my exploration and outdoor adventures so I will be investing in these items in the future. Thank you for this information! 🙂

  3. Well, the next time Chanon embarks upon such a quest, she should-had-aughta take along a great big warm fuzzy Teddy Bear, ta snuggle with. And some sandwiches, and a big thermos of steaming hot coffee, and two cups–so she can share with the Teddy Bear.

  4. Another delightful woman! That’s two delightful women this week. Okay repetition is good. Maybe with enough repeatiing, it will finally soak thru this ol’ noggin. bears repeating two delightful women. I think he is teasing me now.

  5. She made some mistakes, maybe foolish ones. Wasn’t the first time the hunt for gold did that to someone. Let’s hope it’s the last.
    We’re glad you’re ok Chanon, Great outfit!

    a lesson learned…


  6. ff seems to be very gracious indeed.a gentleman’s gentleman.i am sure chanon did not get an extra clue for her troubles tho.rock on ff!

  7. I think Forrest would not want to learn that someone who was looking for his treasure ended up losing their life. I think he is thankful that she is alive and is just being a wonderful man – she was in the news to begin with – what would it look like if he ignored that? She is being given undeserved favor as someone mentioned above. That’s something many Christians should be familiar with due to the grace of God and his Sacrifice for all who fall short of being perfect – something he knew that we couldn’t do anyway and made plans for from the beginning.
    Please use a little self control if you don’t believe in God. Thank you.

    • If those who believe in God would use a little self control, then you would never hear from those of us who don’t. No real offense meant. Your beliefs are yours to embrace.

  8. This should be all the evidence that anybody needs, to understand, that when you step off the black top in the middle of nowhere, KNOWING how to navigate with a map and compass, is an absolute essential! Being able to look at a topo map and KNOWING how long it will take you to get from point A to point B, KNOWING how to find your position on the map, these are all essential, Hope this helps.

    • vinegar and spark, so we are talking duality of earthly and divine. I have heard women like sweets and men like sours, but actually don’t know what i’m talking about. I have so much to learn so little time.

      • Ahh, Persons, Things, and Archaeology:Contrasting World-views of Minds, Bodies, and Death that’s a paper delivered at the conference “Respect for Ancient British Human Remains:Philosophy and Practice” Manchester Museum 17 Nov 2006 that’s better. will be glad when my book gets here. trying to think like an archaeologist is not working well.

    • Please refer to my above response to Goofy…I knew exactly where I was along with my reference points and mileage time frames. If you have any interest in what happened, once again like the others, instead of assuming you know what I had or didn’t have or did or didn’t do then please read it…especially #3 🙂

  9. Thought I’d jump in after lurking for a few weeks. She is typical of most of this urban generation; clueless when it comes outdoor survival skills. I lived in western Colorado for years, worked ER and rarely did I see a local come in for doing something like this, although it did happen. Usually out of shape, under dressed yuppies, even some hunters – not from the mountains – who didn’t realize that the weather can change in a heartbeat. Unbelievable.
    I commend her for her spontaneity and zeal for the search, but she gets a fat zero for preparation and forethought. Grace forgives, but doesn’t reward the behavior, but it’s Forrest’s book and he can do what he wants. The motto of one outdoor survival skills class was “Preparation is the key to survival” and even that can’t always be counted on in the mountains. Things that you never expect can happen in the mountains. I was almost run over by an elk calf running at me with a dog on his back with his teeth sunk into his neck. Where the dog came from I have no idea. Anyway, this situation would have been a good opportunity to show what you might need, a backpack with fire starters, space blankets, first aid kit, compass, wool cap, common sense. Just my opinion..

    • I am ‘typical’ of nothing! Oh the assumptions! This is fascinating to me. Please refer to my response to Goofy above. How dare you assume I have no ‘outdoor survival’ skills when you have no idea what happened. Number 5 should explain a bit but I feel the need to copy and paste it here for you just to be sure you ‘get it’:
      5. Despite my appearance, I grew up a country girl, have lived in the mountains of Pennsylvania where my stepfather trapped as a child and have been in the wilderness since I was a girl. I know how to use my surroundings as markers as well as keeping track of directions, ect. I also know how to identify animal tracks and some scat markings, and to always be aware of my surroundings and how to maintain my composure. I was also a corpsman (medic) in the Navy and am supremely aware of how my body works and what is occurring with it at any given moment…especially in critical situations. I also knew that it was too cold for animals to be an issue so I put all my focus on regulating my breathing, not panicking and staying alongside the Rio Grande because that was my reference point. At one point, after making my way several miles, I realized my feet were on a dry riverbed portion that I had not been on and since I was not having luck shinning my flashlight up to see my entry point I had come in with, I realized too late that I had bypassed it. It was at this point that the temperature was rapidly dropping and the sleet was getting heavier and I knew I had to find a place to bunker down.
      Did I do things wrong? You bet! However, I took note for sure and better believe that I will utilize that information in the future…that IS the point of mistakes, correct?

  10. I’ll throw my $.02 in. That’s all it’s worth anyways…
    Charon followed the golden rule when going into the wilderness and that is she told someone where she was going and when she’d be back. Even if all hell had broken loose around her the search and rescue teams would still have found her in whatever condition she happened to be in. She’s lucky to be alive but that doesn’t mean she’s stupid at all. She’s just like the rest of us dreamers out there.
    Forrest has a very bright spotlight on him and he has played to the media by meeting with her and giving her a token gift. It was a nice thing to do and that’s Forrest in a nutshell. I believe he is a great man with a huge heart.
    The problem I have with It is that Forrest seems to be treading a very slippery slope when it looks like he’s playing favorites. There are many, many searchers out there taking unnecessary risks to get their gold-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow. There will be more people getting lost, injured or worse before the hunt is over. I remember Cloudcover’s harrowing story. She’s also lucky to be alive but there was no free book for her because the media attention wasn’t there. All of us will abandon logic at some point in our searches. I doubt there are enough free books to go around.
    Please please please be careful and go prepared!

    • Hi Kimborough – just wanted to add that Forrest has that great story in his book about getting “lost” himself with his friend, Donnie.

      • I’m glad you remembered that Lisa…I recently was talking about different people having different perspectives….and I had wondered what his was to this situation….and now remembering that he too was in a situation like that..I don’t know…just interesting. He’s one person that when I have a strong opinion about something can easily change my view on things.

  11. Just a thought…. did anyone ever think that neither one of them wanted to this? I would think the “Media” sought them out. (“Great story, let’s get on this one”). Chanon, glad to know that you feathered well, me on the other hand, could not ever do something like that, by myself. I actually never heard of “The Thrill of the Chase”, until AOL posted it on their web page. Since then, reading the story, thank you “media”, I, along with others are now on the quest. I use to sit at my computer after a long day at work and relax doing a crossword puzzle or game , now I find myself, waking up in the middle of the night, googling maps, phrases and places I never dreamed of venturing to. Thank you Mr. Fenn for a beautiful story of yourself and the poem, without them I/We would be still be doing things like crossword puzzles. To think I used to feel that, that was so rewarding…. not anymore, ha, ha, ha!!!! Does anyone else think they know more than I about New Mexico by now? Yep, that’s where I’m searching, from Massachusetts. Good luck to all.

    • OH MY GOODNESS! A rational viewpoint in the runaway train of assumptions that has occurred here. I actually got on here because I accidentally erased some of my Forrest Fenn pics and knew there was a good one here! In the process, I discovered all this ‘information’ about what happened…hence the replies now :). I wrote Goofy back in one of the above post and explained a of what and how things happened and you are absolutely correct that the media sought me out…in fact, I ignored and hid from them for weeks until I got ambushed at my door by a Today show lady who I thought was a salesperson! I had no idea I would get to meet him and am thankful that things turned out as they did…and as I said above, I would not have changed my adventure now if I could and plan to keep living fully…as I always have. Just wanted to say thank you for seeing clearly as well as GOOD LUCK in your search as well…I am also continuing mine 🙂

  12. Personally I believe this was a hoax. Lost and all of a sudden the very next morning find your car no problem???? Publicity stunt and a sympathy vote to maybe get a extra clue from Fenn. I can’t be alone in believing this

    • JMC-
      She never claimed she was lost. Listen to her interview on the Today Show story. Your comment is a perfect example of how people screw up perfectly good information from first hand sources and then spread it around as truth.

      • Dal, Thank you! For TRYING to clarify the dissemination of disinformation and how people instantaneously jump to conclusions based on very little. This has been an extremely eye opening experience for me…not in the sense of the wilderness stuff (actually pretty comfortable with all that) but in the fact of people’s perception’s of things as well as how the media REALLY does influence them…despite the fact that most people realize (or should!) that the media spins everything for THEIR own benefit. Anyway, I have often utilized the info I have obtained on your website and though I have since realized that my ‘searching spot’ was not correct lol, I got to explore Bandelier which is amazing and beautiful in its own right so I consider that a gift. :). Please keep posting information as I am still continuing the hunt as well 🙂

  13. What’s wrong with wanting beautiful things and people in your life?

    Success is a lousy teacher……..

    Have more failures and mistakes then probably everyone here.

    One time drove all the way to Florida to detect for gold coins. The metal detector kept going crazy. So after a half a hour threw everything in the car and went back home 19 hours away

    Months later realized what had happened after dropping a hammer on my foot. The shoes I where using where steel toed……..

    After that learned to check and double check gear and how it interacts with other gear.

    That was a little mistakes others have been off the charts……….

    Find Forrest to be personal and accessible. Also enjoy are competition. Want the best don’t care to settle for anything less…………..


  14. All failures should be countered with stories of success;

    Found meteorites lost art paleo artifacts arrowheads gold coins rings bracelets

    Solved 2 armchair puzzles worth $30,000

    Sold one The The Thrill of the Chase book on eBay for $460…………….

    The resume is bewildering and keeps growing with failures and success.

  15. Thanks:)

    Selling and buying artifacts over time has helped.

    Forrest has been a trader his whole life You obtain many skills from this which helped Forrest to grow as a person and increased his wealth.

    If you notice it’s the Forrest Fenn treasure hunt? Not the Rick treasure hunt?

  16. I wonder if Adam has written his victory poem yet… Shouldn’t he be picking up the treasure in the next couple days?

      • Dal once told me that I’d have a hard time finding my britches with both hands, I hate to admit it, but he was mostly right. I’d be willing to bet that Adam and Old Jules will have similar problems and might be wandering around the woods at this very moment in pants-less attire!

  17. Took Forrest a lifetime to create this wealth and he spent over 12 years on the puzzle.

    Wonder if people think intuition/special insights is a magic cure all?

    When in reality a lot of hard thinking trials and errors are needed.

    In my opinion this is going to be a very long ……………………………………..treasure hunt

    Though Adam was a German rock star?

  18. Reminded of the movie 300 when you meet certain people Which you have nothing personal against………..

    Leonidas: You, there. What is your profession?
    Arcadian: I’m a potter, sir.
    Leonidas: And you, Arcadian. What is your profession?
    Arcadian: Sculptor, sir.
    Leonidas: Sculptor. You?
    Arcadian: Blacksmith.
    Leonidas: Spartans, what is your profession?

    There are people who live and die by their profession…………they know nothing else.



  19. I think Forrest has a sense of humor and that is what this was all about. I don’t think it was about rewarding anybody for anything. I also feel he was glad she came out alive. It was only because resuce squads were called that it made news headlines. Thus instant national attention regardless of the person involved. Now that everything has gone world wide expect more public exposure for all sorts of news stories surrounding this treasure hunt. Expect some fabricated stunts too for people wanting attention for thier own agendas. When Forrest went on the Today show he opened up a can of worms no doubt. But he also opened up a whole lot of Fun, and excitement too! Remember it is about THE THRILL…..nothing ventured, nothing gained……

  20. Chanon may have made some mistakes, she should have packed some small simple things to make her night a little more comfortable, but wh

  21. She achieved her goal in meeting the man so i applaud her for that. Her boyfriend needs smacked upside the head for letting her go out alone, he must have a nice insurance policy on her. I would never let the love of my life do such a thing.

  22. This may help some. Say you have 6 hours until is gets dark. Start your search. Keep track of you time. When you have been out 3 hours it might be a good time to head back. Start back sooner if you have traveled down hill as it will take longer to get back. Forrest should have said bring a watch with you as well.

  23. Chanon may have made some mistakes. She should have packed some small simple things that would have made her night a little more comfortable, but when it comes right down to it she had the most important survival tool, a positive attitude. Little kids have survived much harsher nights and grown men have died in much milder temperatures, what she did do right was not freak out. She missed a turn, big deal, at least she didn’t go screaming through the trees getting herself farther off track. She hunkered down and in the morning she back tracked to her trail. Her backup plan had already been set into motion and had she not been able to find her trail, rescue was on the way. I think it’s kinda funny that Forrest gave her a book with a compass in the cover. If you dont like the way Forrest runs his treasure hunt then go start your own. If Forrest included a map to his treasure in the book he gave to Chanon, it’s his prerogative.

    • Hi Neil – I like to watch “Man vs. Wild with Bear Gryllis for survival tips. It is very informative and entertaining and I have never seen him lose his cool. Thank your for your comment.

      • Sorry but Mr. Bear is a clown and will get you killed. Anyone who takes unnecessary risks like jumping off of high cliffs, cutting a tree in half to swing across a canyon, etc is doing that stuff for TV sake (not to mention staying in a hotel when he says he is staying “in the woods”). You want a decent survival show, watch Surviorman. At least he does it on his own and tells you not to act like a tool.

      • Hi Indy – I like that show too, but he said to drink tea made from pine needles when he was lost in the Sierras and Forrest said in his story about getting lost that tea made from pine needles tastes terrible. Sooo, I am not sure about Survivorman’s advice…

  24. Mr. Fenn is precise and deliberate. He had to know from the outset that his act of placing a chest in the woods could result in some potentially dangerous adventures. It’s part of what makes searching for the chest so vivid and real. I have a lot of back country experience, but I myself had a stupid moment on one of my excursions and was hopelessly disoriented for 30 minutes…I was deep in the woods, and I will freely admit that my heart was pounding…Remember, the wilderness can swallow you whole and leave no trace, even if you are relatively close to a trail or trailhead. So don’t bushwhack, ever, unless you have developed orienteering skills…

  25. Don’t worry about her, she’s ok and besides that leaves the treasure for us to find. I’ll have so much experience chasing this treasure once I find it I’ll go for the Lost Dutchman’s gold and the Lost Adam’s too.

  26. i like almost everything i read and see about this woman. the feisty attitude, the tatoo, the red hair, the super cute dress …. but searching in Bandelier National Monument? if anyone thinks theres even a snowballs chance of it being there all i can say is … good luck in your search.

  27. For some reason the hikers facebook page came up as someone I should “friend”…probably since we’re both on some TOTC page…anyway….she posted about her situation publicly on there…so I’m just pasting it here in case anyone was interested in reading it from her own words.

    Per Chanon Thompson facebook page…….

    Just got home after the second most amazing events that has happened to me lately! They ended up having to cut alot of what we shot yesterday because there was soooo much more! Just to clarify…I was never lost. The rangers realized this when I showed them exactly where I had to bunker down in the rocks and where the rescuers found me walking up the mountain about a mile and a half from the top. I was coming out of the canyon and didn’t even have my sweatshirt on when it started SLEETING! I called Tommy at the edge of the canyon before my phone died and I was in the freaking sleet and pretty much instant darkness. I was about 3 miles from my entry point but could not see up into the canyon and realized I had overshot because I couldn’t see and it was so cold. I had no water left, 8 grapes, a dead cell phone, my IPAD (oddly enough in a bad ass case that protected it!). I had to walk until I found rocks to crawl into and had to spend the night curled up in a ball on my elbows and knees with my head tucked down until light. I had regulated my breathing through four count breaths to make sure I didn’t lose energy through shivering and to control my heart rate. I used my sports bra to cover my ears. At first light I was so cold I had to make my self move but knew I had to go back to my entry point so I would walk to where I could and then just sit down. I found an animal trail that I started up because I was too weak to go back up the mountain but knew that as long as the Rio Grande was at my back and I went up that I would get to civilization lol. I was walking up on a small clearing when I saw the 2 people and their dog to my right and called out to them. They were looking for me and very happy to see me but almost passed me because they said when they heard that a 115 lb girl had spent the night in 24 degree weather (I knew it was fucking cold!!!) that they were gonna be dragging her out. The paramedics checked me out and I knew I was ok…only dehydrated and sunburned lip so after they realized that they wanted to hear everything! That’s why I was so upset when I heard the news that I was ‘lost’ because obviously the news had not talked to me or anyone involved directly and just ran with it before hearing the conclusion! Everyone was so amazing and it was an incredible experience that I am definitely writing about. Forrest Fenn was amazing and said I was inspiring so that made me proud and he gave me a leather bound, signed copy of his book with a compass and the script said ‘To Chanon, You can’t be lost if you walk out. Keep searching. Forrest Fenn’ :):):)

  28. I’m surprised there aren’t more dramatic stories due to this chase. Such a treasure can bring out the craziest/reckless side of people but seems the majority of the searchers are pretty moderate. Keep up the good search!

    • Lol, let’s just say I didn’t set out to prove myself hard-core :)…and thank you as I too am extremely thankful for the good outcome as well as the fortuitous events that followed it…it definitely was quite the ‘bonus’! 🙂

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