Grayling Creek – Part One…

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Porochista Khakpour is the kind of person that makes you wonder where you went wrong. She is attractive, of course. She is brilliant, of course. But there is something more, a breath of worldly sophistication accompanies her. Sort of like… I am the chicken and find myself sitting in a restaurant, talking with Colonel Saunders about side dish recipies. She can make a guy nervous. We are riding in Esmerelda heading south along the picturesque Gallatin Highway toward Yellowstone. She asks me who I will tell when I find Forrest’s treasure.

Gallatin River

Gallatin River

But let’s move back a little in time. It’s the first week in August, 2013 and I am around the West Yellowstone neighborhood. Things are moving briskly. I came out here this time of year, in spite of my intense desire to avoid Yellowstone during peak visitor season, just to be with the BBC. They are here filming a story about Forrest’s treasure hunt and my searching experience in the Red Canyon is part of their story.

A few days earlier, before I leave my island home for the mountains north of Santa Fe, Forrest writes that a lovely and charming, dark haired journalist by the name of Porochista Khakpour is penning a story about him for a national magazine. She has spent several days interviewing him in Santa Fe and even visited his friends in Temple, Texas. He further writes that the poor deprived woman has never had the opportunity to visit Yellowstone and since I am headed there perhaps I could meet her at the airport in Bozeman and take her to all the important places in the most important park in the country. “You’ll like her,” he adds.

Forrest also puts me in touch with a member of his family who lives in Montana and happens to have rental accommodations near the park. His relative, Chip, agrees to put Prochista and me up for a couple of days. So, now I have an appointment to be a guide for someone who needs to know everything there is to know about Forrest. I have free accommodations arranged by Forrest and I am going to meet a relative of Forrest’s who clearly must have some idea where the treasure is hidden. Sounds like a plan made in heaven.

Except…what kind of name is Porochista Khakpour? Who is this dark haired siren about which Forrest has told me little? If I were not curious I wouldn’t be looking for the treasure in the first place. Hand me that computer.

Porochista Kakpour by Melissa Hom

Porochista Khakpour as she appears on the web. Photo by Melissa Hom

I know for certain that she’s not from the eastern European neighborhood in Detroit where I grew up. Too many vowels in her name. Kids there had last names like Wojciechowski and Czarnecki. She’s not Polish, Slav, Romanian or German. Maybe Italian…I try pronouncing her first name aloud as if she were a fine goat cheese from southern Italy…”poor-ohh-cheeeees’-ta”. It sounds right..it’s also fun to say. I decide she is Italian.

Not long after I consign Porochista, along with Muscato wine and hard salami, to the Italian corner of my brain I get cc’d on a note from Forrest to Porochista and Chip that reads something to the effect of-

“Chip, whatever you do don’t let anyone find the treasure up on Grayling Creek.”

I stared at that line for awhile. I cocked my head one way and then another…like a black lab watching a squirrel. I read it a few hundred times to make sure I had all 14 words in proper order in my brain. I took a short walk out in the woods. I ran into a beautiful Sphinx moth and took a few mindless pics.

Sphinx Moth from Lummi island

Sphinx Moth from Lummi island

Then I came back to the house, opened the laptop and looked at the message again. All 14 words were still there. That sneaky Forrest. He knows I won’t be able to look anywhere I’d planned now that Grayling Creek is stuck in my head. Of course it’s a red herring. Of course Forrest is having fun with us. I know this as clearly as I know my own name. I’ll bet he’s smiling right now! For some reason Jack Nicholson as Daryl Van Horne in the film, The Witches of Eastwick comes to mind.

I need to stop thinking about Grayling Creek. I decide to look up Porochista and see what kind of journalist she really is. To my surprise, before I even get her entire first name punched into Google her full name pops up in two dozen different references. Not like mine does. Not at various state and federal criminal postings but at places like the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Village Voice…impressive stuff! She’s written for those three and more and her first novel, Sons and Other Flammable Objects, has garnered notable awards including the California Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize. The only thing I can see to hold against her is that she is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence. On the upside she has an MA from Johns Hopkins.

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I was concerned. Porochista and I clearly have little in common. I was lucky to get into a state college and my accomplishments so far are pretty narrow compared to her own. What will we talk about? I have to spend 2.75 days with her. Esmerelda will be happy for someone intelligent to listen to. Do I resent her? Am I humbled by her? Am I frightened of her? Will this be a crummy 2.75 days? Based on her profile Porochista is probably vegan and can’t even savor a simple pizza with pepperoni. Will she show up in some highly fashionable but unhikeable shoes?  Maybe there is a good reason she has not been to Yellowstone. Maybe she doesn’t even like bear, buffalo and beaver…unthinkable, but possible…she’s from NYC.

But wait! This isn’t a date. This is an assignment. Show her the treats of Yellowstone. Show her the secular icon’s of Forrest’s youth in the wild and woolly west. I can do that as well as anyone. Forrest is what we have in common. She just spent several days with him. I can probably garner information that will help me think creatively about the treasure…I am beginning to see how only good can come from this. Just don’t stress the small stuff, I tell myself.

Confidence is in the ether.

A few more lines in Wikipedia and I discover Italy is not even close. Not even on the same continent where Porochista is from. She was born in Tehran, Persia…aka Iran. Her family fled during the revolution in the 80s. She speaks fluent Arabic and her book is about the aftermath of 9/11 and it’s effect on sons who in every culture try to find part of themselves in their fathers. Alice McDermott, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her wonderful book, After This, described Porochista’s novel:
“Sons and Other Flammable Objects is a marvelous novel: witty, wise, continually surprising, continually inventive, exuberant, heartbreaking. It resists the easy categories of immigrant lit, family saga, first novel—because it is, first and foremost, a delightful, generous work of literary art.”
—Alice McDermott, author of Charming Billy

Confidence evaporates in the ether.

Ding! An email from Chip. “My plan is to walk straight to the treasure with you sometime Sunday.”

Back out to the woods and find the Sphinx moth for more portraits.

So now it’s Saturday, day of reckoning and I am sitting in Esmerelda at the Bozeman airport, short-term parking lot. I am considering the next 65 hours with Porochista. She writes for national magazines, the biggest and baddest newspapers and has a wildly successful novel to her credit. I write posts on a blog. The gap is wide. The possibility for learning is vast.

I am an hour early, as is my lot in life. Lateness is one of the eight deadly sins…wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, gluttony and lateness. I like to have knowledge of a place…get there in advance…know where the exits are…the fire extinguishers…the restrooms. If someone told me that after this life I was going to have to come back as an airport I would prefer to come back as the Bozeman airport. It is efficient and friendly and the fire extinguishers are conveniently located.

I am thinking about how to greet Porochista. I have never met her. But we have exchanged email. She wanted to make certain I was going to meet her in Bozeman on time. A worrier. I liked that about her. But now, the issue at hand was “hug” or “shake”. Did one or two emails and a common friendship with Forrest constitute a socially acceptable welcoming “hug”…or should I retreat to the always acceptable yet somewhat off-putting handshake? What to do? It’s never an issue between guys. I can only remember actually hugging a few men in my life. Proper hugging was not part of “de rigueur” taught in Marine Boot Camp. I learned to salute. I learned the value of a solid, single pump handshake. I learned how to greet the enemy with a simple thrust and twist of my bayonet. Nothing about hugs. Sister Mary Linus never taught us about hugging in Catholic school either. In fact, I am pretty certain, had I actually hugged one of my female peers in 7th grade I would have been taken out and turned to salt on the spot. Touching, even handshaking was frowned upon between the genders in Sister Linus’ classes.

Not only was I never taught when a hug was appropriate. I also struggled with how. My right hand clearly needed to go to the back, in the upper area…perhaps near a shoulder blade. At any rate, above the hook and eye thingy. But the left hand…that was the devil. The allocated area for it to land was lower and smaller, below the bra but there would be hell to pay if it landed too low. And being too high and actually touching the bra was not considered polite either. It was always a gamble. You could get in a lot of trouble by hugging a woman you did not know well. Particularly if her husband was standing behind her. And how close do you place yourself to her? Sister Linus always maintained that a foot was plenty close enough in dancing. But I’d learned from experience that in hugging, a foot of space was not what women who didn’t wear a crucifix expected. It was embarrassing to be pulled closer to a woman than my already shaky stance could afford. My footing lost, I would crash into my hugee like a drunk and lose my balance, sometimes twirling around once or twice in a little uncoordinated ballet that made everyone giggle. To this very day that still happens as I try to maintain the good Sister’s one foot of clean, unromantic air between myself and my hugee. I watch other men smoothly pull off the mixed gender, socially acceptable, greeting hug with a great deal of admiration.

As I enter the luggage collection area in the airport I can see tired passengers from the flight trolling down the steps from the restricted area above. It suddenly occurs to me in a flash of blankness that I cannot remember what Porochista looks like. I am here to meet someone and I don’t know what to look for…a woman. I try to imagine up the photo I saw of her on the web. She looked sophisticated, powerful, … and….and… Jeese! It’s not working. I remember her age as around 30. I am certain she had dark hair. She was from Iran for goodness sake, of course she had dark hair. I think she wore glasses in a photo I saw. It seems like every other passenger is a woman in her 30s with dark hair. I choose a stranger wearing glasses who might be Porochista. I smile at her. Welcoming her to Bozeman. She gives me a look that clearly lets me know I should be handcuffed and removed from the airport.

Tone it down.

I fully expect Porochista to be in the leading group of discharged passengers. Her Sarah Lawrence seat would be in first class. First on and first off. But the line of satiated travelers in linen and silk carrying suit bags, matching brief cases and complimentary roses moves past me and Porochista is not among them. We are now clearly in the economy class group…backpacks and small duffels. More stressed from having perched for three hours in an ergonomically designed seat that offers a tad less comfort than a plank. Still, no Porochista. Next are the partiers…twenty-somethings…t-shirts, shorts and hiking boots. Still no Porohista. Off comes the smartly uniformed crew and then, finally a familiar face from Wikipedia, but wearing a cranberry hoody and magenta sneakers…Porochista has materialized.

I plaster the “welcome to Bozeman” smile on my face and she posts her “thanks for being here on time” smile on hers. She throws her arms comfortably around me and exclaims that we have to stop at a burger joint somewhere…anywhere and get something…anything to eat.

Porochista at the Happy Hour Bar on Lake Hebgen

Porochista at the Happy Hour Bar on Lake Hebgen, wating for her buffalo burger.

I don’t even remember where my hands land but she does not yell for TSA so I think the hugging part went well. We pick up her small, well worn travel bag and head out the door. As we approach Ezzey, Porochista points and says in an admiring voice that she has read all about Esmerelda and is looking forward to the ride back to Yellowstone in my trustworthy companion. She has read my blog!

“She’s not so bad”, I tell myself.

Part Two – Meeting Chip exploring YNP and searching Grayling Creek. CLICK HERE.

 

171 thoughts on “Grayling Creek – Part One…

  1. You are so lucky to meet such a pretty lady to go treasure hunting with. If I ever get reincarnated, I want to come back as dal neitzel, champion hug and greet person. On this Veterans day, I salute you, Forrest, and al the other Vets who are here. Nice story dal….

  2. Dal, there is one thing for sure even if you never come across Forrest treasure chest your life because of it has become one big adventure. In a way I envy you but I’ve always enjoy reading all you have done so far in this chase. I believe I would have truly enjoyed meeting you back in June of this year when my first search brought me to Yellowstone , we were to meet but the weather had put you at another location, maybe we’ll have that chance again sometime in the future. So until then grab that buffalo by the horns and ride this thrill a long as you can and keep feeding us these wonderful stories of you and your ” Thrill of the Chase”.

  3. Dal, Once again you have out done yourself! Great story w/ great leading characters.Can’t wait for part two. Happy Veterans Day…

  4. “She writes for… newspapers… I write posts on a blog. The gap is wide.”

    Newspapers are a couple generations past their heyday. Now they’re little more than cut & paste operations for couple global bureaus. It’s a shame they’re still killing trees. Don’t shame the blog!

  5. Dal, I have come to the realization that you my friend, have won the treasure of Forrest Fenn! I for one would gladly trade the material riches of gold and glitters for the experiences you are enjoying. Thank you for sharing and, congratulations!

  6. Love your stories DAl and I’m looking forward to reading part 2! I have to live my “Thrill of the Chase” adventures vicariously through you as I’m pretty much of an armchair searcher, but I do hope to get out to the beautiful Yellowstone area next spring.

    Thanks for your service to our country too!

  7. Again, another well written story that keeps you wanting for more and that is all any writer could ask for! Love the humor you put into your stories. I really wish you had been able to come to the book signing in Santa Fe. We would have loved to meet you and have a chat. Thanks for keeping us all in the loop.

  8. So…..that’s what you were up to in early August.

    I love when something I read makes me laugh out loud, esp. multiple times! You know how to tell your stories, Dal. I’m looking forward to Part 2.

  9. Really? How long do we have to wait for part two? I was jonesing for another one of your stories too…. As always, its like we are there with you…. thanks for doing what you do!

  10. Dal – thank you so much for your amazing stories … you delight your fans with your words! I had the pleasure of meeting Porochista when she was visiting Santa Fe and took her treasure hunting with me also. She is a gem! I can hardly wait for Part 2 also!

  11. Dal, Has it ever cross your mind that you were the one that was within 500 ft of the treasure? Or the one that FF said solved the first two clues and drove right pass all the other clues? Just wondering…

    • George, I believed he said “walked right past the treasure chest”. To me, that says Dal should start over on every search he has have ever done… Or that could have been a trick….

      • SoCal, I kinda disagree. We all know that ff is not a trickster. I think my nose just grew a little. Anyway, when Stephanie asked ff who had been closer, her or dal, ff said she would be shocked. This implies to me that Stephanie was the one closer to the treasure and should start all over on every search that she has done. dal could follow her as she retraced her searches. Or maybe ff meant that neither one was close (a real shocker). Or maybe they both passed by the treasure along the same route. Too many maybes for one’s mind. I think that I am back at square 1.

  12. Just curious to know what people would need from the one who finds it as proof. A video? Photos? Confirmation from Forrest? What if the finder didn’t want to go public for reasons unknown to the rest of us. REMEMBER “take the chest and go in peace”, NOT “take the chest and post it on Dal’s blog”.

  13. I’d need confirmation from Forrest. I’m not so sure about a video…maybe I would trust that, but it’s kind of tough since things can be faked if someone really wanted people to believe it was found so others would stop searching or for their 15 min. of fame.

  14. Stephanie, Forrest put in a lot of thought and effort into the chase. He kind of enjoys the limelight and most likely wants a big photo of him shaking hands with the finder along with news media and many others like you and Dal trying to smile form the corner of the room. If someone just took the chest and disappeared all the fun for Forrest would be gone. The most likely scenario is that there is something in the chest that would require the finder to contact him and return to Santa Fe for the celebration. Don

      • Yes, I was thinking the same thing Stephanie. As much as the person would want to go public and share his/her journey, it would be too risky. Perhaps it will forever remain a mystery;)

        • I think there’s a good chance of that. I would hope that whoever finds it, would tell Forrest though. I think he deserves to know. He might already have a way to know though. He might be able to track someone all the way back to their house 😉 Maybe someone would send a video to a media outlet to tell them they found it along with a video of the chest and his bracelet so that we would all know.

        • Interesting conversation, maybe someone has found it and told Forrest the solution to the poem and told every one the blogs the solution, but omitted on thing… the confirmation they have the chest. Have they not rationalized their obligation to everyone while remaining anonymous? If they solve the poem and tell Forrest the solution but state they don’t have the chest, he can’t confirm you have it and thus “the chest is still out there”.

          I reflect on my own adventure and see how easy it would be to have discovered the chest and shared the solution with everyone including Forrest (while satisfying that urge to tell someone) and yet remain totally protected from the “bad side” of actually disclosing you have the treasure. Surely someone clever enough to solve the poem will be clever enough to evade the pain of disclosure.

          Forrest would still deny it has been found even though the solution matches, thus he can continue to say it is still there. Everyone now has the solution but don’t know it! Makes you wonder…

          Perhaps the right question to ask Forrest is whether someone has solved the poem, or found the blaze rather than asking if someone has found the treasure.

          The Wolf

          • If someone actually finds the treasure, the only honorable thing to do is send a picture of the bracelet to ff anonymously.

          • The Wolf,
            I am an independent thinker, so my approach is very different from most. As long as the end result is the discovery of the treasure, I suppose it doesn’t matter if you miss a clue or get them all wrong! I wish I had the opportunity to communicate with Forrest once again. I wouldn’t ask him about the poem or the blaze. I would say to him, I believed in you when I had no tangible evidence that you hide a treasure, now do you believe in me?

          • Pam,
            I too am an independent thinker and a Maverick of sorts and I see that in you except I do not understand is: why is it important for Forrest to believe in you?

            The Wolf

          • Wolf,
            My reason for TTOTC is far different from most. My ambition is not driven by monetary gain or pubic notoriety. If fact, the thought of being in the public eye gives me heartburn. Only my family and Forrest know why it is important to me. If Forrest doesn’t believe in me, then what would be the point in the discovery?

          • I’m perplexed as to your reason as Wolf was. I don’t understand why it would be so important for Forrest to believe in you. I mean I think he believes all things are possible for everyone. I think he wants us to believe in ourselves. I have personal reasons that this is so important to me also that have to do with anxiety and something that made me fearful. I think the biggest gift I’ve gotten from this is….asking myself, what would you do for this treasure chest. I did one thing, then two things, then three things, etc. I try to do something outside my comfort zone each trip. I’ve been considering going alone to meet a guy I barely know and run out into the wildness with him on a search lol….I think Forrest memoir teaches that we all should push ourselves and instead of asking what if, ask why not(I stole that sort of from Rick I think ;-). I’m guessing you don’t want to say why it is you feel that way, but it does make me curious since I don’t understand it. I do hope if I find it, that he’s impressed I was able to figure it out. Maybe that’s what you mean?

          • Stephanie,
            Good for you for facing your fears and anxiety. I can only imagine the many stories we don’t hear about. Thank you for sharing yours. My story and reason for the chase is not one I wish to share with anyone outside of my family and Forrest. Perhaps someday, but not now. I hope you understand.
            I do believe in myself and at times have been called “overly confident”, but I just laugh. To me there is no such thing. You must believe in yourself in order to have others believe in you. It would be nice to hear Forrest say he believes me or to give me a wink or a nod, but TTOTC will go on regardless of who or what he believes.

          • I do think Forrest has had to hear a lot of heartbreaking stories that I’m sure make it hard on him…..

            I didn’t mean to sound like I needed to know your story. I just didn’t and don’t understand the need to have him believe in you part and it was a curiousity why you’d feel that way….but that’s ok. I was about to say “I hope you find what you’re looking for”, but then thought maybe I don’t lol….just joking. I do hope you get the validation you need some how some way.

            I do think that it can be healthy to share our stories. I’m not at all trying to pry, just that I’ve watched a lot of Oprah lol….seriously though…I do think to put yourself out there and let go of the stories and secrets can be freeing. I haven’t done that completely with mine..but little by little I try to, because I have a lot of shame about them. It’s easier if people think you don’t have any or many faults for some reason.

          • Wolf, I agree – Why would it be important for f to “believe” in any of us. Many people have made false claims that would give him reasons “not” to believe in everything that people write to him about the treasure, the hunt, or even things people write about themselves. I’d be skeptical too! 🙂

          • Pam,
            For me the money is not important, I have enough to keep me and my family happy (at least that is what my wife keeps telling me). The publicity is scary to me and thus I would probably have difficulty disclosing to anyone I found it (including Forrest) because of the onslaught of the unknown, including having the government coming after me to take it all away and charge me for who knows what (the US government does not want a Canadian to find this treasure), etc. Then there would be all the hatred from all those searchers who would want to kill me for ruining the party – lol

            For me it would be the personal satisfaction of being the only one to solve such a difficult challenge – that would be immensely rewarding.

            I also think the only thing that is important is that you believe in yourself – what someone else thinks is irrelevant.

            The Wolf

          • Wolf,
            Thank you for being the voice of reason. I too believe keeping things private is the only way to go. I didn’t feel that way at first, but time and circumstances can certainly change one’s way of thinking. I would however, let Forrest know in some way. My good conscious tells me so. Indomitable perseverance, with, in many instances, great ingenuity will finish the race. See you at the finish line;)

  15. Don..thinking I might have to stand in the corner and watch someone else celabrate finding my golden ticket…makes me ill.

    Hi Stephanie.

    • Ill hang out with you don. Ill even bring the wine. We can sing “tiny bubbles”. Id find a you tube video, but Im at the VA where I should be paying attention…but you guys are more fun to pay attention to.

      • PTN, you have really hurt my feelings. I have pre-scheduled, at the drop of a pin: an entire parking lot, a catering service with lots of free bars, five live bands, all the top celebrities (no politicians), a blue tent and a pink tent (both with live entertainment), a swimming pool (can be heated), other sporting facilities, baby sitters, dates for those without a special one, lots of door prizes, and ff signing anything. I just hope they are not as disappointed as me when I cancel tomorrow.

  16. Okay BBQ for a 160 people, several types of meat and chicken.
    Baked potatoes w/onions salt pepper, and garlic salt…tofu to fool ya…corn on the cob….and baked beans…oh and pinapple pie and Dr. Peppers.
    How much will that cost me brimiester?

      • I have thought about it. If I ever actually sign my name to anything, I wouldn’t be able to avoid thinking about the relevance of those three letters. How do you pronounce Medici and Botticelli anyway? I bet Sra. McChesney from Forrest’s blog knows. I am trying to think in Latin now. Gospel meant “good news” in the time of Augustus in Rome. Found a great book at the local thrift store with similar Roman bronze items shown in the pictures..no, I didn’t buy it. 🙂

  17. I agree…kinda…f Would know…ces could be related to pontif Or Godfrey de Bullion….long shot at best.
    Could be directional Or places…. very intentional.
    Also CE common Era…is a fairly New term It Was AD in my day.
    And Who would Mark The box w/ce5?
    Maker Or owners Mark?

    • I believe F designed the latch in hopes the finder wouldn’t damage the box once found. I would imagine F put the coding system on the latch.

    • OK…I’ll check with Mark. He gave me a good lead on the Gospel word. I think my bible is in the bronze chest…oh no, it isn’t there…yet 😉

  18. I don’t think f knows The 35000 people That Have talked to him about TTOTC…Or That he cares to. I’m a speck a dust in his universe.

    Heck I wish Robert Redford Would take a liking to me and come make my books into movies…oh I’ve heard That somewhere before.

    As for individuality and justice for All…I wonder?
    I remember following stephen’s clues…and Rick’s
    Dal Was in Cimarron…I Was around abiquiu at The same time as Stephanie…I got a wonderful little ticket doing 60 in a 45 passing Bodes…I Was looking at The map for The Abiquiu Lake…ouch. I should write a song about abiquiu…
    From there I followed Stephen’s blaze…to be honest I Have no clue where those pirates went…Lol.
    I went to The fish hatchery…red river …..in The following months …tons of new people went to these same spots…original…I doubt It.
    Interestingly I thought It Was in a ditch…The mind wonders.
    My favorite is porta pueblos…When we were at nambe falls…there Was a sewage treatment plant…I told my buddy to go check It out…HOB. I later
    Posted It talking to some guy on an early scrapbook and bam no structures please…Lol. Original I doubt It! No worries…no rules…plagerize silly.

    • Norman McLean wrote “A River Runs Through It”. Robert Redford liked that book and made a great movie. Anyone with double initials is Ok by me. The fly fishing guide who worked on that movie wrote a book called “Shadowcasting” that is a great resource for learning fly fishing. That term was coined by Norman in the book. I would bring Bradley to Forrest’s party if he was not already married to Angelina. I think caddisfly asked if anyone knew what this term meant. I was on a hiatus and not participating for a while. The location for that scene with Bradley was on the Gallantin River I think. The guide made up his character’s actions based on what the book described for “shadowcasting”. Oh, and Sundance Mountains are near Devil’s Tower…couldn’t forget to mention that blaze while I was remembering an almost-close-encounter with Robert Redford.

      • E* A lot of good clues there. Thanks. If I may add a thought. I just finished watching Indiana Jones. One of the lines that reminded me of Forrest was, “If you want to be a good archeologist, you have to get out of the library.” Not sure why your post made me think of that.

  19. Invalid security pass is what it says? If I can’t blog here…I’d Have to take my MM SS down the rd.
    Mapsmith How are You.
    If I may.
    Dbl letters…for nouns…directions…Or code?
    Or a combo?

  20. Hey, Are you guys still out looking for the treasure? No update on this? What happened, what is the big fuss all about? Why no pictures or updates? Did you get along? Did you have fun? Why no reports? etc.

      • Thanks Dal, we all look forward to it. Don’t leave out every story about which trails, and rivers you searched as well as other details. Did you film any of it? And was Your new friend afraid of “BARS”? and could she keep up with you on the trail?

  21. I know I’m lagging behind and you guys all probably already know about H. L. Menckin and Huckleberry Finn, and the original source of Fenns quotes, the Crow reference of the double omegas, and how Eric Sloane is the dead man that shares his secret through his art but can somebody please explain why on the back dust jacket of thrill of the chase it says that Fenn has wrote 8 books including ttotc but on page 4, Fenn, himself, says that this is his 9th book? Where is the missing book? I’m still thinking that he has an alias.

  22. It crossed my mind that it might be the biography that he included in the chest but just doesn’t sit right with the comments he’s made…

    • Perhaps you’re looking for this…….

      “Find Beauty and Holiness in New and Necessary Facts : Siah Armanajani Paperback – January 1, 2009
      by Forrest Fenn (Author)”

    • Or this……

      “Nicolai Fechin- An Exhibition of Paintings on Loan From the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics by Ltd.- Santa Fe, New Mexico Forrest Fenn- Fenn Galleries (1975)”

    • Or this………..

      “Spirits in the Art – From the Plains and Southwest Indian Cultures ** Signed By Hanson and Fenn ** by James A.; Forrest Fenn; Hanson and Photographs (1994)”

    • And yet another………

      “J.H. Sharp: Sharp’s Montana years brought immortality to Indians he painted by Forrest Fenn (1981)”

    • Don’t know if this is a book per se……..

      “High Plains Paleo (Primitive Poster Series) by Forrest Fenn and Mark Mullins (Jan 24, 2005)”

    • Maybe a scientific journal??………

      “Central States Archaeological Journal : Volume 48 January 2001 Number 1 Paperback – January 1, 2001
      by Forrest Fenn (Author)”

      • Jason-
        Forrest wrote many magazine articles and books. He also contributed to other author’s and scientist’s writings and the paleo poster of his points collection is a beautiful but very hard to find collector’s piece. Most of the searchers that are seriously looking for the treasure have read, scanned, purchased or borrowed dozens of documents authored by or about Forrest.

        • Well, even with all that said, you still didn’t answer Michelle’s question……So which book is #9???

          Maybe you can ask him next time you see him….

          I was just offering several possibilities to Michelle that may have been overlooked…….

  23. Good mornn… I still think The horse shoes are the beginning and end…and kiss my #*%…
    Question is begin and end where….obviously The library…Lol.
    I started teaching the Kids and I…How to mummble in code..no particular code…random…smiles. I had to show them the keys and how to use them…complicated to use.!
    I’l never figure out this poem!!!

    For a change of pace I read a little Shakespear for Dummies. Taming of The Shrew is my fav….not What I read but a fav…

    Believe It Or not…I’m going on a search tommorow?…I had a stupid idea…it$s so stupid…I hve to go look…
    Mark H.
    I won a few bucks! had fun..edit…edit…edit….grrr !

  24. As you can see, many KNOW everything forrest fenn, and people still don’t have the treasure….because I truly believe as ff has said that it was important that know ONE, and I mean NO ONE….would know his secret Location. Its top secret. TOP TOP SECRET. As not in any Book, person, past friendship, known places he explored, etc etc……Only little hints, but no direct anything.

        • I think Lou Lou makes the point that it seems many are looking for evidence of a location being named in media quotes, books, etc……, but odds may be more likely that the actual specific spot is not mention by name in any FF work or interview at all, ever.

          I agree: the best hunt spots in other treasure hunts , in my experience, tend to be places never even mentioned, but only vaguely alluded to if you happen to have had the right mindset to start with.

          • Ok thank you, makes sense to me now. Yes I agree the place is not mentioned in the books or Fenn related website. just my opinion, nothing more.

          • Hi, My point I was trying to make is that the place had to be a secret. He said not a place anyone knew he went too.
            So I see people running up to Hebgen Lake and all over there and other places he mentioned. I just think its part of the story….It was very important he said that NO one knew this. The person that did, is dead now…..Top Secret.

          • Yup. If you believe that stanza/sentence 1 is clue 1, as I do, it’s crystal clear the chest will be nowhere that was mentioned, (other than the places alluded to in the poem).

    • I gotta disagree with you Lou if someone has walked right by it It’s not that top secret and the location is in one of the books,he dont state the name of the place tho.

      • The chest could easly be very near somewhere mentioned in the book. For example, lets take nine mile hole, how many have stopped and looked there, BUT how many of us have walked across the river and searched the grassy banks on the other side of the river and the land goes for a half mile or so south towards the mountains. IMO, There are several dozen places like this mentioned in the book, that are not being SEARCHED, maybe looked at but NOT searched!!

          • I used the Madison as another example, it would take several hundred ppl walking hand in hand doing a search, and if we all did not have a Metal Detector WE STILL may not find i even he told us it was there somewhere on the banks of the 150 miles of that river.

          • Yes, but FF has made it clear you wouldn’t need that sort of approach: the poem will lead you there, exactly there “you will proceed with confidence”.

            If I may bore you a bit, here’s a poem based treasure hunt clue from another real hunt a few years ago:
            “Clue #5
            Passed over recently, this transition is not within his #1.
            Though it could be considered instrumental,
            It’s not unique to his own invention, unless it’s a tremolo.
            Yet it is instrumental throughout Seattle…”

            The theme was ‘win a year of music’.
            If you research some of those key words, you can find that the riddler is probably hinting first at les Paul, but really trying to get us to an architectural/transportation feature — that’s a very specific place.
            The crossroads of which was spelled out in this clue:
            “Clue #3
            One of western’s favorite sons sings a happy song.
            This cowboy king would have found great joy
            Riding off into the sunset, from his apple valley home
            Atop a golden palomino — but not a silver calfee…”
            Seattle’s most famous (bike & jog) trail is the BurkeGilmanTrail, where one might find a Calfee (bike). The most intense intersection of bridges and bike trails is in the Fremont neighborhood. Which is exactly where, 1 block from the Fremont bridge and 1 block from the trail, was where the medallion was hidden. All you needed was to know what color/kind of medallion to seek. Which is where this clue came in:
            Clue #6
            On a dark Sunday it began; he betrayed his friend with a kiss.
            Now it’s two minutes to midnight: Kickstart your hunt;
            If you don’t have a fear of the dark, you may discover
            A silver disc made with iron, not with lead.

            Another clue had been about “underfoot”. The solution was an iron, silver-looking disk set in the sidewalk, in front of a music store, 1 block from the bridge and the trail.
            Anyway, just an example how a vague sounding poem can actually be quite specific.

          • The poem, and books are multiple layers. No simple solve here. I am awed by the amount of knowledge this is written with and pulled upon to solve.

            He has given some pretty significant hints recently. I suspect he wants it over with, and out of his everyday life.

            Happy hunting everyone! 🙂

          • Imagination amuck:
            It occurred to me last night/today, that maybe Home Of Brown, which we often abbreviate HOB, might actually be tied to “Hob” (that the capital letter hints to us that it could be part of an abbreviation), aka Old Hob, aka the Devil.
            For grins I ran with that, and researched Home, Devil, and the various state names we have in play.
            One of the first to come up was Devil’s Tower, WY. Also was known by a different name by the Lakota nation as the ‘Bear’s Lodge’ , or a home for a brown bear. (!) There’s an awfully large blaze nearby as well, and a highway bridge and a river too, just at the base of the blaze. Check it out yourself on the google maps.
            Also, US 14 is the highway that takes you to Devil’s Tower, the terminus of which is the Eastern Gate of Yellowstone NP, certainly too far to walk… from a place where warm waters halt!
            Now, for Heavy loads and water high — I’d look for high voltage wires on towers and a water storage tower…
            🙂

        • Yes, thats good examples Mapsmith. In this case ff has said its more about imagination that knowledge, and he tends to bend the meaning of words,,,, So there is hope, it doesn’t take prior knowledge of the area, it just takes the poem and imagination.

        • I think the bighorn sheep and Grizzes have searched it, though. And maybe the Blackfeet and the Sheepeaters. And maybe Huck Finn too? 😉

        • There was a fabled Brown trout that was caught across the river from the road in a lie somewhere near nine mile hole. Home of Brown? There was also a fisherman named Jim Nelson, who knew Jim Callaghan, Jack Hemmingway and Craig Matthews. They called him the “Phantom”, because he would always show up suddenly where they were fishing. Jim C. And Craig were there to honor him and to scatter his ashes somewhere on the Firehole River. I wonder if he showed up when Forrest was hiding his treasure? Only the “Phantom” knows..

  25. I don’t know any thing f…that’s why I want to learn….I left Tunica and past The Mother rd….now I’m stoppn at The house to rest…then 300 miles west of Toledo…
    Lofun…Hi ladies
    Mark H. mile marker 36 on 55 North.

  26. Thank You map…
    Is The poem a hoax??? No…I want to think it’s real.
    It is similar to ones belief in God…You must Have faith!
    …with that said, that’s not my money…so?
    If dal lets me post this…I’ll tell You how stupid I areally am….smiles.

    • Mapsmith – have you heard of the AEolian harp? I wonder if the power lines you mentioned we should look for would make a sound if the wind was right? Or harp sounds from a cave maybe? A “Close Encounters” visit while climbing Devil’s Tower might be both melodic and interesting to SETI. That lady with the tattoos and curlers might be able to tune in! I met the son of the lead actor from that movie here. He was acting in a Shakespeare play about a woman who chose three suitors by having them choose a chest of gold, silver or lead. Does anyone know the name of that play? My mind is a sieve. I played Bianca in “Taming of the Shrew”, and I will not be employing that casting agent again. I should have played Kate.

      • That would be ‘Merchant. ‘
        “The quality of mercy is not strain’d.
        It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
        Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
        It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.” -Portia

        • Thank you, Map. A beautiful quote. Mercy and forgiveness are paramount to love. Another movie called “Stage Beauty” came to mind. Claire Danes plays the first female allowed by the king to play a female in Shakespeare’s plays. She competes with a man who is famous for playing Desdemona in Othello. And then there is “Shakespeare in Love” starring Gwyneth Paltrow with a similar theme. What was the story about Gannymeade (sp?) and Troy again? All the world’s a stage..who said that? Thank you for the help and inspiration of your brilliant mind, Mapsmith. 🙂

  27. Okay…remember…this is dumb but…
    Also dal has said “The key is in the box”…Or don’t destroy the lock its open…well I doubt its open…Maybe a puzzle.
    I’m researching French stuff and of course…I think of the statue of Liberty.
    Click…bronze…statue…The lock on The box…fs jars.
    A jar….glass could break but bronze…not so much….Maybe The treasure Or treasures galore are secreted in monuments…
    More after rehearing my Joke coffee.

    • Hi Mark – the Statue of Liberty is the Roman goddess Libertas..is that justice or freedom? I believe equal is equal and that there should always be an even playing field. I do try to create one anyway. Her very large shadow could be known as Stands with Right Fist in the Air on the Ladies Only blog. Dal should fly to New York and get right on that before December 1. I know I saw a documentary about the design and production of it, but maybe someone else can refresh my poor memory please? Remember..espresso is for girls, Mark.

    • Je me suis. CES être ses. Or C’est ses. These are my guesses for the CES initials on the chest after playing with the French google translator. I wrote a Christmas card in French to my boss and his French wife more than 20 years ago, which is the last time I tried to use this language. Weirdly enough, I am sitting at the computer table at coffee shop deux with the son of somebody I knew at that “fruit company”, who is a developer and who helped me figure out how to put that ^ symbol above the e on this iPad. My first experience using one. Coffee shops here have everything One needs!

  28. Yes I’m sure Dal can give us a list!….
    PLEASE DON’T go tearing up statues and monuments…Maybe You will know how to open something If You see It?

    Anyhow…I’ve been working on map and Michelle’s…theories of nouns with Dbl. letters…gg kk … And of course GPS…
    Please forgive my rambling!
    HOLD ON MORE COFFEE.

    • Today I am using my borrowed portable DVD player to watch Season 1 of the cable series “Da Vinci’s Demons”. The opening scene in Episode 1 features the Turk speaking to Da Vinci about time and death: “..Time is a River..what most fail to grasp is that the river is circular..” Later there are great scenes about Da Vinci solving the source of a madness causing illness in a convent and attempting to find clues to the secrets behind the Hebrew Book of Leaves. The 27 letters in the Hebrew alphabet and his creating 3 rows of the corresponding pages, which he discerns should be viewed from up a ladder in the vault, seem to be the key. Oh,..Bill the Lizard climbs a ladder to look in on Alice in the Lewis Carroll story..there were a few lizards in the shadow photos..teapots,too! I really liked the leaves and red and yellow colors in Maggie’s butterfly shadow picture. She could view things from a higher perspective using that shadow! Da Vinci also had a locked chest in which he kept his secret designs..it exploded when the Pope’s henchmen tried to force it open with their swords. I guess we should make sure we know the code to open Forrest’s chest then? His brother Skippy may have liked Da Vinci, since he tried to design and build a helicopter. More when I finish the series…

  29. Tomorrow morning, following coffee…I’m headed to Terre Haute Indiana…this is The home of Larry Bird…perhaps the greatest Celtic of All time…I can’t say The treasures there..but I think f might like ball!..

    Terre Haute is about three hundred miles west of Toledo.
    Making my quest east….I Just through that in there…smiles.

    I might be looking for fs hasp…I don’t know…but It could be plausible. I Have 6 spots based on this…a needle in a haystack.

    I only live two hours away…so tomorrow I follow Larry Bird.
    Mark H

    • The movie “Michael” with John Travolta as Archangel Michael features what could be Forrest’s missing giant ball of string. Was that in Indiana?I remember the size was mentioned to be 42 feet in diameter, which was not lost on me!

    • Orlando Bloom played Paris in “Troy” too, right? And he was an elf like Cate Blanchett in the “Lord of the Rings” movies (about doing the right thing and the lust for gold). I watched that movie she did that she won the Oscar for last night. I liked the line “Remember who you are”, said to her by someone close when she was the most afraid. I watch movies and read stories to learn about love.

  30. If I may continue.
    For All those That wonder about The Masons, Mary Magdelan and Jesus…A fine person that blogs sometimes on this site…sold me this little diddy.
    In Or around 1099 Godfrey de Bullion…a Crusader an alledge founder of The KT took Jerusalem from the Musslums. Upon his arrival into the city of Jerusalem the victors wanted to make him King.
    He said…I can’t be king. There is only one King…Jesus! …Instead de Bullion said he’d rather be The Protector of The Seplecher(sp). Jesus’s tomb….
    If de Bullion Was The founder of The KT…why would he say Jesus was The only king? why protect The Seplecher…
    I like the whole debate. Mary Or Jesus…it’s Love!

    • “Kingdom of Heaven” was a great movie, starring Orlando Bloom, about KT. They were bankers of gold, weren’t they? Friday the 13th was bad day for them. Love does conquer all. I think Orlando played a blacksmith in that movie and in another one I love, where he falls in love with a woman he chases..arrrgh..what was her name in that movie? I have a sword in my head and can’t remember. Just Kidding!

  31. Mapsmith there’s alot to be said about the area you mentioned. It happened to be the very first location i did research on. If you’ve researched the area enough you will understand why it is so enticing to focus some if not all of your attention to the area.
    I was persueded by a higher power to move on but all my hard work has been saved and sits in the back of my mind.

  32. LOL Thats what I thought. Even fields huh? I thought it was even, all it takes is determination, curiosity and imagination. Never give up, remember?

  33. I added an auction section to the blog. I did this so that people who are looking for a way to raise some money for their searching habit can try selling their art or spare Clovis points to other searchers on this blog. There is no fee to list something here. Just send me a photo and a description and we’ll see what we can do.

    Polly’s painting entitled “The Reapers” is our first item. Let the bidding begin!

    You can get to the auctions by going up to the top, right under the big photo. There is a row of items there. The one farthest right is “Auctions”. Click on that and you will get a list of all the auctions going on right now. Click on any item in that list to go to that particular auction…

    Please let me know how this thing is working…it’s a big test…

    • Thank you, Don. I hope you enjoy your day, with/without your family around you, today too. Please feel free to send that pic of the late model red Ferrari with the cool license plate to Dal for the auction. I can’t text it until I can afford to buy a new phone. That would buy a lot of gas and food for searchers on the hunt! The owner would like to remain anonymous.

  34. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
    A special thanks to Forrest for starting us all on this adventure and to Dal for providing us with a forum where we can share our thoughts!

  35. Appropos of nothing—I came across a photo of Porochista in the current Poets and Writers Magazine (p. 57). Still east coast elegant, but her upswept hair is now a surprising shade of pink.
    Is there something in the water of Greyling Creek?

  36. Just saw Porochista at a reading of her new novel in Santa Fe last night. Yes, her hair is now blonde with a touch of pink – some research for next novel she said. She is as beautiful as always and charming and friendly.

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