Rush of Spring…

snow road

Submitted march 2014


Springtime in the Mountains North of Santa Fe

Well, I went up there and it didn’t look like what I wanted. There was still snow even before the trailhead. We had to stop way before and get out and walk. Made it to the trailhead and couldn’t see that pointy peak that would peek out at me every now and then as I walked. Very enclosed. Disappointed we started walking back and I just stopped. Wait a minute this is a very special blaze, no where else, probably, do the borders come together at a point forming a corner which just so happens is also a trailhead. You gonna throw your ideas on that to the wind, I told myself. My son asked me what I was doing and then I told everyone to come back. We went and stood at the trailhead and I said. “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, look quickly down, your quest to cease”. Everyone looked at the stream before us.


I jumped to the last stanza and said, “Now hear me all and listen good, your effort will be worth the cold.” We continued to stare at the stream. “If you are brave and in the wood, I give you title to the gold”. Our line of vision traveled from the stream to the densely forested area sandwiched in a little hollow where the stream came forth. My son cried, “It’s in the wood and rushed forward. Everyone else also ran forward as well. A couple of seconds later we were post holing it past our knees. Laughter ensued as shoes came off in the drift and bodies fell this way and that. Not my son though as he trudged forward. Although no one had realized how deep the snow was there he didn’t miss a lick, his balance completely intact. He rounded a corner where the bank jutted out obstructing our view. Calling forth for us to follow in his footsteps, he waited for us to catch up. The others made it to him but I waited to see what they would find. The snow was too much for the majority of our party and it wasn’t long before they had scaled the bank up to the trail. My son lingered at the stream. I decided to climb the bank also as I wasn’t keen on twisting an ankle in the deep snow. Laughing and chattering, my daughter and her two friends became intensely interested in a huge evergreen high up the slope with a vibrantly red colored trunk stating that excitedly that she thinks she found the place. The voices of the others faded somewhat as they moved away from me. I was still waiting for my son to come up to the trail. He eventually did with a confused look on his face. You should come down there he told me. But the day had been long and the walk back was going to take time. I noticed the sun had hit the western ridge and darkness would be a reality soon. It had been a beautiful day, warm even despite the snow. I could hear the voices of the others again as they drew near.


My son whispered something to me. I looked at him. He whispered louder, “It was coming right out of the rocks.” I wonder if he saw that right. “We can’t go down, I don’t want to get caught out here after dark.” We started back making our way over the frozen road. I kept stopping and making people take pictures with their phones. I don’t have one, a phone that is. Pictures of the snowy bank sprinkled with evergreens. Pictures of the creek running swift and clear with snow mounds caressing its sides. Everyone noticed how nice it was up here. The shadows grew longer as we walked with our car finally coming into view. My son told me, “ We need to come back. It reminded me of something in the 13th warrior.” He has my interest now but it’s too late for today. I will have to return another day.


61 thoughts on “Rush of Spring…

  1. I’m thinking my solution would lead me to an area with a lot of snow just like this so I’m anxiously awaiting the spring thaw. I bet you are too Anonymous! Looks like a promising area. 🙂

    • I second CJ’s thoughts. That area looks very promising, Anonymous. With all those pines it looks a lot like the area where I like to search. It’s awesome that you take your family with you. Memories are forever.

  2. That was an awesome story , and it sounds like you all had so much fun, I can almost see the kids laughing as they ran and fell knee deep in snow. Thanks so much for posting it.

  3. I have sat on the side lines and followed Forrest Fenn. I have read his books and poems many times. I also have read other things he wrote in Old Sante Fe Trading Post, Dalneitzel,s blog Thrill of The Chase, and read and listened to many news articals.
    I doubt I will ever be able to make a trip of my own. So I thought I would post my thoughts on the man, the poem, the treasure, and the hunt.

    The Man

    His church is in the Mountains and the river bottoms.
    Through out his life he has certain things which held meaning.
    Fishing, warm water baths in the hot springs, solidute in the mountains, history, artifacts.
    Among these there is the special time at the waterfall, and when he coverd Philadelphia.
    He also mentioned the coffe cup which almost cover the ladies whole face in the book store.
    The cover on the buried jar which had corn and roll bugs in it still.
    Mr Fenn also spoke of the Cancer his father had, his time with cancer and thought of impending death.
    Who are we and why are we here? The merging of his thoughts brought about the revelation that we are really only important in what we think of ourselves. That we are just an asterisk in time. Our importance is in what we do and how we affect others in our short exsistance here in time. Can he make a difference in lives by what they see in him and what he does? He believes so. Thus the hiding of the treasure. Not only for getting parents and children up off the couch and explore our world but to find the THRILL IN THE CHASE.
    Another area of consern was the lack of anyone knowing who he is or to know who he was. Thus another merge of thought to secret his treasure. He would be the Mark Twain of our time. To be remembered now and possibly in the future when someone found the treasure. He also had wanted his bones found next to the treasure with his autobiography, maybe not to be found for thousand of years. It does not matter the outcome for he will not be here to see it, but he knows. Just put his name in the computer he comes up everywhere. He has to try because atleast in trying he has succeeded.

    The Poem

    As I have gone alone in there (Mountains, hot springs bath, waterfall, fishing wholes) Where he went.
    1) Begin it (hunt) where warm waters halts ( start here do not deviate don’t rearrange)
    2) Take it ( chase) in the canyon down.
    Not to far but too far to walk (added info on direction)
    3) Put in below the home of Brown( Has to be something that withstands time)
    Not an out house or structure or street sign etc. More like Brown trout, Brown bears, Something in National Forest Protection or history that will not change..)
    4) From there it’s no place for the meek ( hint that it may get difficult now)
    5) There’ll be no paddle up your creek ( look for a creek)
    6) Just heavy loads ( rocks boulders) 7) and waters high( waterfall)
    8) If you’ve been wise and found the blaze ( another thing that has to withstand time, markings on a rock. he spoke of being wise as a fox?? ?maybe an owl?? Maybe anything in his mind.Only important to him???)
    9) Look quickly down your quest to cease.
    the rest of the poem to me is more in why he hid the Treasure. Every day we live we get one day closer to our immeninet death. He wants to be remembered , he wants to try to bring some of what he found in life to others.
    So hear me all and listen good
    Your efforts will be worth the cold ( the crossing of a stream or looking behind a waterfall. Or just picking up the cool of the bronze box that the chilldren felt even in the warm room)
    If you are brave (he did say difficult not impossible) and in the woodv(his mountains) I give you title to the gold


    Most inportant Begin WWWH
    Don’t rearrange order.
    Don’t over think it
    let a kid look at it.
    Hid or buried. Hid covered like the stories in his book. has said don’t dig.
    not old out house not associated with a structure.( I believe that in it’s simple form no houses,not around sociaty. it is in the wood undisturbed country.solitude place).
    unlocked can’t be toppled or thrown open( which would never happen if it were buried.)
    can go right up to it even a kid can pick it up (Again not buried)
    He considered mudslides, earthquuakes, fires, and floods.( so an area that is not prone to such and has been the same for hundreds of years already)
    Don’t go where an 80 yr old man can’t go. ( especially carrying half of 42 pounds 2 trips so think of distance and wieght in this factor)
    2 groups of searchers have been within 500 ft ( have not gone thru all the post to see when he said this and if there is anyway to narrow where people have gone or even posted this. may just be his knowleadge thru email with people.)


    If Mr Fenn wanted to go off and die near his treasure I do not think it would be to far from where he lives. I can’t imagine being sick and have to go along way to accomplish this. Of course the thought may have been more fantasy than reality. None the less I would think even then he would want to be close enough to keep an eye on things. So to me even if he got sicker or now that he is better, but still has old age creeping up on him, that it is somewhere that even if he couldn’t drive he could get someone to take him for a ride to his remote spot at anytime and could tell if anything was distrurbed or going on. He could just have someone run him around to different places he likes and no one would really know if any of these were the spot. I believe like he said in the Philadeliphia saga that covering it up made it like another demension. There is so much unspoiled countryside out there that I am like Mr Fenn it will be hard alot harder than people think. There are so may warm waters, rocks, creaves, canyons, water falls, creeks, and caves that a 10x10x5 Bronze box can be wedged into, put down into, covered behind or below places. All I can say is happy hunting. Enjoy the Mountains and countryside. Don’t get obsessed to the point of not enjoying the chase. Someday I may get to go but it needs to be soon, For me also as everyday that goes by I get closer to my death. If upon Mr Fenn’s passing they will let us know if the treasure is still secreted away still then maybe my grand kids or great grand kids will come across my things and join in the chase. Just in case trying to located a area I think fits the poem. Wish me luck on that .

    • Gwenlee,

      Your lengthy post is appreciated, and I do wish you luck. We are all getting closer to death, but I do hope that yours is not soon. I thought I might post this, which I had previously posted elsewhere.

      Out The Window:

      There are many themes and threads that Forrest Fenn paints in TTOTC, with many side paths, segues and twists. But what is the primary theme in TTOTC and Forrest’s life, at least as he is communicating to us?

      He sneaked out the window to the cemetery and to a camp of dancing gypsies, he sneaked out the classroom window and down a rusty slide that marked his escape to freedom, he shot songbirds and stole pies, he drove (and ran) 1,600 miles with his brother with no licenses, he roped a car to a bison, bathed naked in the Firehole, he stranded VIP’s in the woods, clung to a milk truck and delivered milk to undressed housewives, he impersonated a college student to be with friends, peed in a gas tank, compelled a helicopter and pilot to risky territory to his “secret alone”, touched rare paintings with children, enjoyed parental letters calling him a fraud, started an art gallery without a clue, sold forgeries and was resented by dealers, hobnobbed with the rich and famous, confronted Bella Abzug and the NY Times, spread ashes on sacred Taos mountain from his plane window, took off on flights of discovery without destinations, wrote and published his own books with made-up words and mistakes, took the fork in the road “together” with Peggy, designed and cast bronze bells to bury for future explorers to find, filled an ancient treasure chest with riches and hid it, spent 15 years writing a poem like an architect for the chase, and still wants to throw himself on top of the treasure chest to die in the sun and dare you to find him!

      All the while he was responsible for his own education, contrasted with his father’s formal education, but with his father’s philosophical support as told in stories and quotes, and was free in part because Peggy “allowed me the luxury of doing the things I thought were important.” He was a fake cadet, but a real husband, pilot, and art dealer.

      Forrest’s profound statement in “My War for Me”, the one chapter in TTOTC that Forrest told us not to miss, is that we are all there for others, everyone. It took him years to connect his experiences in Indochina and above Philadelphia to understand this. You matter if you matter to yourself (“all I have is my name”), and you matter to yourself if you are good to others, so as not to “waste your turn”.

      You don’t need 15 minutes of fame or to kill a president to be remembered. You matter if you made life better for others. “So, to be important I only need to impress myself only to me. And I can do that if others are positively affected by what they see in me or see me do.”

      And yet, he puts forth extensive and detailed efforts (“I thought of everything”) to apply his wealth and skills to be known and remembered, to create a lasting legacy. Despite all his experiences and accomplishments, he still feels inadequate in comparison to his father’s deeds (Father on the Banco). His father worked to improve the lives of children, and Forrest was good at taking care of himself and his family. Despite his worthy accomplishments, his insecurity lingers, and he remains humble and true to his origins. He said he lead a charmed life, so he must feel very blessed.

      So if he is at “peace with all of it”, why does he need to go through such great lengths in the public arena to be remembered? His family and dear friends are there for him, and he has his pueblo to explore endlessly. “So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek?” That was his question he put in the poem, but did he give the complete answer?

      Forrest faced death when he was 58, yet with the love and help of his family he was given a new lease on life. Did this death sentence instill in him a need to ensure his immortality, or to at least approximate it with the significant resources he had at hand?

      So he is at peace with all of it, or perhaps not. After he got cancer the idea for hiding a treasure chest hit him: “…after the probability of my fate had finally hit bottom, I got an idea.” And later, “I’ve never been willing to stand idly by and be part of a forgotten history when I may be able to impact future events”, so he designed, cast and buried bells and jars filled with his autobiography to impart a future, unknown legacy.

      So part of being at peace with all of it also involves going out the window to the future in multiple creative ways.

      But he is apparently not bitter or hurtful to people, and shares greatly with others in his reach for remembrance, and has given to us our own quest if we want it. He is with us, not against us. He reaches out for us, and doesn’t recede.

      Forrest does not wish to go gently into that good night, but rather to rage against it with his own creations of mind and hands with everything he’s got left, all the while watching that energy fade from the man in his mirror, and with the embrace of family, friends and strangers by the thousands willing to join him by his side.

      I believe it is this: Forrest always chose the alternate path, chose freedom, the road less taken, rules and protocol be damned. He escaped from the clutches of the ordinary. But he was still there for others, as they were for him.

      He is still 13 and doing it the different way:
      He is sneaking out the Window once again.
      This is what the Chase is all about.

      And to get that treasure chest, you will need to sneak out the right window.

      “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

      Do not go gentle into that good night,
      Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
      Because their words had forked no lightning they
      Do not go gentle into that good night.

      Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
      Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
      And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
      Do not go gentle into that good night.

      Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
      Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      And you, my father, there on that sad height,
      Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
      Do not go gentle into that good night.
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      -Dylan Thomas


      • Halogetter enjoyed what you wrote. Yes I got all that from reading Mr. Fenns books. Even tho I have not been on my own chase I have had the pleasure meeting Mr. Fenn. He is laid back, easy going, knowledgable on many topics and is as whimsical in person as he portrays himself in his books. So if I don’t get to chase the treasure I certainly can chase the most important things left in my life Make a difference maybe in those I come in contact with. Luck with your search. Gwenlee

  4. The Thrill of the Chase from a kid’s eyes…. Everyone please take kids along on the adventure , life is short and PreAlgebra slope will Be there forever to be mastered. Time with family on an adventure once in awhile makes a life time of memories. Go back…….. often.

  5. Thanks for sharing the great adventure. The picture with the tracks in the snow reminds me of when I was stuck in my truck with a steep hill of Aspens and a ditch on one side and a shear drop on the other with only 4 feet of clearance, try to back out on ice, slipping sliding and spinning is tough stuff. Be careful you all. I’m waiting a bit longer for it to warm up. Good Luck, in the chase. Be safe and warm.

  6. Yeah there’s the monkey wrench. What does that mean, I wonder? Since I didn’t go down with him to the place but was there nearby does that qualify as a woman Might have been with him? Everybody is doing that to their current solve I guess. I’d like to think I’m not grasping at straws but the odds are, I am. I will maintain a positive attitude though until I’ve been to that place once more. I like your exclamation marks Amy.

    • Cloud, I’ve been away for a few days and just read some of the recent posts. Was there a statement by Forrest in the last week that I might have missed about someone (a man?) being close to the treasure or are you referring to his old remark about people being within 500 feet or maybe to the answer to the question asked of him at Moby Dicken’s about who’s been close?

  7. Dont many people search as couples? I know when we are out we see many more couples than we do singles.

    Nobody wants to believe me when I say he has a trail cam on the area. Watch the reaction to that.

  8. I take it as typical f. Tongue in cheek statement, just more confusion. He’s like E.F. Hutton,
    yet sometimes it’s best not to listen!
    He’s sitting back laughing, as the confusion unfolds..

    • @Pirate that may be the truest truth yet spoken. Who could know what the trickster is up to. Something’s unfolding behind the curtain as he plays chess on 3 separate boards w/yellow & green squares. I hope the mirrored images/shadows clear in my lifetime for curiosity’s sake alone. He seems like the real deal though. What’s your take?

          • Tooth brush if you live in Kentucky. FIor one tooth. Me? I could bite your ear off! 🙂
            Can you hear me now wwww?

      • I don’t think he is playing a game at all. He was asked a question and answered. Maybe he knows the person is married and his wife may or may not have been on that particular trip? Regardless this is another non-clue to me. These have nothing to do with the book or the poem, and won’t help you find the chest, as he has clearly stated in a Q & A that he hasn’t given out any clues that will help a person find the chest. If persons want to go around and look for every solve by a man on the chat boards, sheesh be my guest. I don’t think ff is misleading anyone. Sure he may be ambiguous, but when all is said and done we will see how straightforward he has been all along (I’m talking to you people who still are looking at dams). The most relevant thing he said was to figure out the 1st clue…again.

  9. Why does everyone think the first clue is where warm waters halt to me it’s not maybe I’m a little crazy but I’m close to complete solve everything is in one spot my other 4 search area’s came up to be duds I made things fit the poem but this area the poem fits perfect and all clues fit perfect I just need picture of page 99 of ttotc ( the drawing with the 3 blade propeller) for another clue verification my email is I really wish I could bring alot of you with me on this hike but I will take pictures and put them up after I get back I’m not going to say the chest is there if it ain’t it should be

    • Now that’s a comment to live by. “If the chest ain’t there, it should be”
      I love it! Best of luck to you!! 🙂

    • For the record old choctaw, my latest solve attempt has the first clue being the very first line in the poem….but then…every line is significant and must be accounted for IMO. So, who is to say which lines Mr. Fenn views as making up the 9 clues. It doesn’t really matter as long as your solve fits the poem sequentially. So best of luck to you in your search.

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