472 thoughts on “There’ll be no paddle up your creek…

  1. Tired and worn-out theory follows: I feel it’s associated with the first poem in the book, song lyrics from Ernest Tubb’s “I’m Waiting on Ships That Never Come In” –> which, to me, points to the area of Yellowstone Lake, the E.C. Waters on Stevenson Island, and Dot Island (don’t paddle to this arrowhead shaped spot on a map which, itself, is pointing at an area known as The Great Wall).

    Apologies to vets for being repetitive in most threads. I can’t get unstuck from this for some reason. I’m like that Rick Lagina dude on Oak Island convinced and digging everywhere on the island (ok, not really digging but as passionate).

    • I have a couple of opinions forming here now.

      Another less well-known word for “paddle” is “peel”. If looking around the Yellowstone area, I find a worthy Peale Island, named after Albert C. Peale. Peale Island has a cabin where, over time, wealthy or VIP government officials have stayed, similar to F’s depiction made in his blog post “Concy and Me” on his oldsantefetradingco.com site. The word “peal” is also a term used when discussing bell-ringing, suggesting a hint to his chapter “Dancing With the Millennium” on the bronze bells he created. F also shows a tiger skin in his book… potentially referring to the tiger skin having been peeled. And he uses the word “appealed” when redundantly describing the bracelet he wants back, with “twenty-two turquoise disc beads set side-by-side in a row.” In a row. Rowing like paddling? (I also repeat to be dramatically redundant).

      Considering my obsession of the E.C. Waters as a starting point, Peale Island is now a definite curiosity.

      Another forming curiosity is that the Little Joker spring in Mammoth Hot Springs was named by Albert Peale. As it relates to Mammoth Hot Springs, I’m seeing word correlations everywhere now. I hope to post this as a readable story soon. When considering the opening poem uses the words “four cards and a joker”, something about Albert Peale now appeals to me as no paddle up [your] creek.

    • Also, could it be that F’s reference to throwing one’s head back in laughter after seeing the chest might also refer to the word “peal”?

    • A clue. There will be no paddle is straight forward to me. A creek without any sort of paddle, although, the tail of a beaver is called a paddle, so maybe a beaverless creek. A beaverless Beaver Creek?

  2. There’ll be no paddle up your creek, (comma means pause) just heavy loads and water high (Period).

    Maybe it’s telling us “DO NOT ” go up the creek. $$$$$$$ 🙂

  3. Follow creek upstream that can’t be navigated by your standard boat. I strongly believe the phrasing offers additional hints about which creek to follow.

  4. I believe you need to figure out what paddle means . Such as an oar, a duck, paddlefish etc. Then apply one of those to where you are. Such as paddlefish are found in the Missouri River, but not up one of its tributaries for example. No paddlefish up your creek.
    My solve is not this example , but another one.

    • Good one. I agree that “paddle” is probably a noun and not a verb.

      I doubt anybody has ever paddled up a creek before. A creek is where you put your canoe on your head and sing Frere Jacques.

  5. one definition of paddle is to “walk barefoot in shallow water”

    So perhaps the line, “There’ll be no paddle up your creek” means that you can’t walk barefoot up the creek.

    In the book, Forrest seems to be barefoot quite a bit. So maybe that’s a subtle hint as to what he meant by no paddle up the creek.

    • Nothing here will help? Doesn’t it seem interesting that There’ll is a combined word, and by combining these two words ‘there’ and ‘will’ it means there are two words in the poem that have 9 letters. There’ll and treasures.
      Does it make any connection to why the 1st stanza state; As I have gone… instead of … As I’ve gone?
      Are these words, You’ve, I’ve, I’m… were chosen in place of the full wording or was it simply writers desecration.

      Why place a line that is deliberately connected by a “semicolon” to the previous sentence to have no help?
      Not to mention the meaning of each word, one being creek: a narrow passage, or the metaphor to being in a difficult situation. Lets skip the original metaphor and look at other meanings for a second… Between a rock and a hard place… in a bind… a tight spot, etc. Could these be indicator for the next line has heavy loads and water high. or even a hint of what tarry scant means to marvel gaze.

      Maybe there is no help here, but it sure raises a lot of options to look into. Not to mention a lot of wasted space.

      • @Seeker, I think the word “have” is an instruction. That’s why “have” instead of I”ve. I “have” g on e. Kinda like: As I, (have “g” on “e”), (“al” on “e”) ” in” being another instruction. As I have the grale. Possible…?
        As far as the clue lines, I have:
        9 lines that show the coordinates
        9 lines that show the “path” ( if followed precisely, etc…)
        11 lines that show the alpha/numeric.
        Altogether, 5 lines that are support info, the rest a clue of some sort. But, only 9 that if followed precisely… or face value clues I call them.

        • How do you get “grale” from ~ (have “g” on “e”), (“al” on “e”) ” in” being another instruction. As I have the grale. Possible…?

          Where is the R coming from? I think, if we have to guess at anything it’s most likely wrong. Fenn has used example of twisting words by their meanings and I guess by their sounds as well if, we take in a accent or pronunciation or even sound a like words. [ example; “But” in the poem for “Butt” ] I’m not seeing placing the R as a possibility… but that is just me.

          • As I (have “g” on “e”) “al” on “e”) in the r e= As I have the “g” r “al” e. “G” is on the first “e” in the word there. “al” on the second “e” in there. Letter by letter, look for instructions. Now reads, As I have the grale. Breaks down even more.= grale=
            g are a le= ale. Now reads “As I have the ale”
            I know might be confusing, it could be broken down differently, but all end with the same result. With the alpha/numerics this reads, “As I have the 11.”
            It is a support line for me. The alpha/numerics, for me, have primary values=80, secondary values=57. Together=137. 1+3+7=11.
            I try to see the poem as instructions, and not take things for “face value”, at least not until the end. For me, alpha/numerics are from 11 lines: 2,11,13,14,15,16,17,18,21,22,23. Open mind, just check it out. Break down the lines. You will see. Head start- line 21, So hear me all and listen good=
            So “he” are “me= some all and l is ten go od. a+l+l+l=10, good = go odd.
            a=1 and l=3 or a=7 and l=1. Blaze= bl as e. Gaze= g as e. E is found in line 2.
            Whether you want to try or not, just note, if you do, and you get all the values, you now made the poem even harder. Tremendous amount of work. And, in the end, may not be right, since only Forrest truly knows.

          • Seeker, I only say this because it will answer your question about I’ve and I have. Line one, have is an instruction, line 20 I’ve is used because of ownership. Line 20, I have would not make since, like I’ve does.

          • @Jake, I hear you, we don’t. It’s just the path Ive found. With the letter values, now breaking down each line requires multiple ways of solving one line. Pain in the &^%. 2 now can become to, or too. 13 can be 4, or for. Some lines yield 8-9 possible ways to break down that line. Maybe more, but in the end, all makes since. Sorry so vague. Just check it out, it may pan out, may not. Just don’t blame me if it opens up the poem a little and it’s back to square one.:).

          • Square 1 could = 9 or more possibilities. It doesn’t make sense to me.
            I am looking for coordinates based on a more straight forward method, like Brown being 44’38’38’.39″ 110′ 53′ 28.42″, How could you possibly go through all the math & come up with the location of the chest or any of the clues. I know Fenn was a pilot & flew by GPS allot of the time but I think what your thinking is over his head as far as him doing it this way. Fenn could have but I don’t think he had this in mind considering he is a man of the forest before he was a man of the numbers and air.

          • Charlie,
            I think your method is a cipher or code?
            Fenn stated:
            “Some searchers overrate the complexity of the search. Knowing about head pressures, foot pounds, acre feet, bible verses, Latin, cubic inches, icons, fonts, charts, graphs, formulas, curved lines, magnetic variation, codes, depth meters, riddles, drones or ciphers, will not assist anyone to the treasure location, although those things have been offered as positive solutions. Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map.f”

            I don’t want to stop you from searching but it seems obvious that what you are doing is not accepted in Fenn U 101.

            Now if you were to figure: HALT could be: Hike Along Lazaro Trail.
            I would be fine with that because I do not see any code or cipher being used.
            I said before you are intelligent & maybe you should use your intelligence in a manor in which Forrest has not excluded IMO.

          • Don’t think it’s a cipher solve, but it’s close. If the poem gives an instruction, do you follow it? It’s not messing with the poem if the poem tells you to do it. Remember, we all know Fenn likes to talk around things to make us think, at least that’s what I see. Not deception, truth actually, but interpretation is the thing. Case in point, I sent Dal what I think is the blaze. Very simple sundial/campfire ring of rocks thing.Now, He doesn’t think so because of Fenn’s comment, “The blaze can be obliterated but it would take a tremendous amount of work”, And throwing away the rocks didn’t seem like tremendous amounts of work. And I agree, and most would. But, it would definitely be a tremendous amount of work to get to that spot anyway, solving the poem, the hike, and all.
            So, as we start the New Year agreeing and disagreeing, I find instructions in the poem. And, with those instructions, solve. 24 lines that can be broken down…lol, hard to do unless meant to.
            May be wrong Jake, may be wrong, but, I look at my final spot. In the landscape I see a lot. Knowing landscape changes, I don’t think too much of it, but, a symbol of pi, the running man, FF with the second F turned, a mushroom, an eye and T next to it, and a fallen tree that looks like Me In The Middle pic… It’s as good as any.
            Some sup[port info: The only place I see he mentions a “degree” is environmentalists to some degree.
            Environmentalists + to = degree. Also, page 57 pic backs that up9turn upside down look at Skippy). All in all, there are numbers,and, if you wanted to be technical, the English language could be considered a cipher of sorts. It’s all in the interpretations. Happy New Year my friend.

          • Really Char?
            The blaze can be obliterated but it would take a tremendous amount of work.
            There always seems to be support info, but never shown?
            I wish someone wood get it & be done with it, so I can get on with my life!
            Just go get it & be done with it & by the way bring a jack hammer this time of year.

            I will give you all a clue again if you know what your looking at.
            But it seems as though all the people looking at maps miss this 2nd clue.

            Take a god look & you will know what I am spewing.

    • Charles – it’s what I call confusion, the inability to see things in context. Take out a magnifying glass in a hotel lobby and stare at the lobby tile, you’ll more than likely see a pattern in that tile, but would you know you were in a hotel lobby? The answer is no! What your doing is messing with the poem and in doing so your loosing the broader context. I don’t see any rules in what you do and I don’t think Forrest would send 100k people on a lame quest. You can do this type of thing to any poem or writing, heck pick up time magazine. The broader context must be preserved—a canyon IS a canyon.

      • @ Ak, come on now, not new here, Sometimes you just have to believe what you’re looking at. Keep going over the poem, more and more, you’ll see. Definitly will not happen in a day. Plus, trying to solve this poem for face value seems to get one nowhere. If I had a poem that says the sum of abbb=10 good, what would you think? It wouldn’t be talking about my abs. This poem, IMO, has a similar line. There are letter values. The fact that they add up to 80 is good enough, but secondary adds up to 57. Has to be done on purpose.Forrest Fenn adds up to pages in the book, a lot of support. Up to you, just another way to see. It’s lead me to a good nine clues, that’s all I’m saying.

        • a lot of support? You have said this many times.
          Show the support you have been talking about so I can go get the treasure.
          Because I am not smart enough to figure out your cryptology.
          At least throw a teeny little itsy bitsy clue to where you think the first clue is & you know we are not smart enough to figure out the rest.

          • Okay Jake,
            Coordinate lines = 3,4,5,6,8,20,22,23,24. Latitude=22, longitude=23.
            From those lines, first letter values = 36, total words=63. xisix.
            Add the lines by stanza, to simplest,:
            Stanza one=3+4=7
            Stanza two=5+6+8=19 = 1+9=10 = 1+0=1
            Stanza three=0
            Stanza four=0
            Stanza five= 20 = 2+0=2
            Stanza six= 22+23+24=69 = 6+9=15 = 1+5=6
            altogether = 7+1=8, 0 , 0 , 2+6=8 = 8008. Familiar number.
            5 clues make up the latitude( which=22 = 4)
            4 clues make up the longitude ( which=23 = 5)
            And, 8008 is the exact altitude/elevation in feet of those coordinates.
            At the coordinates, you place “Y”. It’s a stick or branch, 7′ tall. Think Indiana Jones in the map room.
            Support = the word “knowlege”
            Alpha/numeric has “Y” = 7.
            knowledge= know lege, lege is short for legend, which is what he considered Skippy.
            Skippy = Skip(instruction) p, your left with “Y”
            legend= leg end = foot. So, Y= 7′.
            Now, you just need the exact date and time, and coordinates. Coordinates are back-up, the poem tells you what to do from the blaze.
            Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead. (alpha/numeric keep in mind, a=7)
            Two (people can, ‘can” the instruction) (keep a) = Two a secret if one of them is dead. Or, two 7 secret if one of them is dead. = The standing “Y” stick, and it’s shadow.
            I think that’s a lot of info. All IMO.

          • Char: “I think that’s a lot of info. All IMO.”
            Yes your right, but it’s TMI, way over the top, you should be working for NASA.
            Numerical Alphabetical Satire Association

        • Referring to an earlier portion of your solve from 12/31/15 @ 3PM. I didn’t quite understand how you got to “As I have the ale.” But I like it. A case of beer weighs between 36 and 42 lbs…..how far can one carry a case of beer? Not too far, because you have to stop and drink them along the way…..getting back is too far to walk.

  6. – No paddle up gulch at oar creek. Go past this junction on river.

    – Trade your paddle for a saddle and ride the range like Lewis & Clark or drive the tar top after tarrying shortly, marveling, no pee add le

    – No paddlin your butt this time Forrest fenn…just a turquoise bracelet from the finder.

  7. Thought I would add this… Paddle makes me think of Waddle which makes me think of Forrests ducks… 🙂

    Full Definition of paddle
    a : a usually wooden implement that has a long handle and a broad flattened blade and that is used to propel and steer a small craft (as a canoe)
    b : an implement often with a short handle and a broad flat blade that is used for stirring, mixing, or hitting; especially : one used to hit a ball in any of various games (as table tennis)
    c : a small usually numbered sign that is raised by a bidder at an auction to signal a bid
    d : a flat electrode that is the part of a defibrillator placed on the chest of a patient and through which a shock of electricity is discharged
    a : any of the broad boards at the circumference of a paddle wheel or waterwheel
    b : any of the broad blades attached to a shaft (as in an ice cream machine) and used for stirring
    : a computer input device with a dial used to control linear movement of a cursor on a computer display

    • Thanks for this post. After sleeping on theses definitions. I awoke to an ideal.
      What of Paddle is an abstract rendition of the word ” Oar ”

      Perhaps a play on the word ” Or ” . Wooo Did I just spot a crack in the poems armor?

    • I’ll go with this def spallies,
      ” any of the broad boards at the circumference of a paddle wheel or waterwheel”
      There was at least one paddle wheel up this creek at one time & no longer there now.

      • I like the paddle wheel, but not up my creek, but WWWH. The paddle wheel was often used for irrigation back in the day.

  8. As with the other clues, IMO, this may have multiple meanings, such as…

    1) a non-navigable water flow.
    2) an intermittent stream.
    3) A stream or river in which it is impossible to move upstream in.
    4) The time of year when this clue is most useful is when the water body is frozen, or dry.
    5) You are looking for a location named, or referring to “shit creek”.

    or…something else.

    Happy New Year all!

    -Wisconsin Mike

  9. IMO…
    First, if you have been wise, it marks a particular point, because there is only one creek at that place. (I guess that would make it a clue.)
    Second (figurative) meaning, it may be difficult to decide where to go from there.
    “Have flashlight, will travel”

  10. “Well, we’re up s*** creek without any paddle.” – John Dos Passos in Adventures of a A Young Man about Glenn Spotswood. Dos Passos was also a member of the Lost Generation with other Fennian references, like Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and several other attributables.

    • I agree EC,
      Clearly Fenn is being a joker again.
      I think anyone who does not see this is as “up shi** creek without a paddle” is up shi** creek without a paddle. Maybe this is stinking creek? Maybe Beaver creek?
      Already checked Shoshone.
      Hmm, there are thousands of creeks on the map.

  11. …There’ll be no paddle up your creek,..
    Could it be a description of what the next line in the sentence means? The meaning of no paddle up your creek, means a difficult situation. Maybe fenn bend it some or twist it a bit, and could it mean in a bind or trapped? What traps a creek, which in the simplest terms means flowing waters? We know WWWH is not a dam. But can heavy loads and and water high be one, and the meaning of trapped or in a bind, be telling of the waters being trapped by the dam.

    We know, “most” of the place the clues refer to did exists when fenn was a kid. Is this possibility of a dam one of them or maybe even a newer one that was built when fenn was an adult? Maybe that marvel gaze is the view we need to see from heavy loads and water high.

    Again, why do readers see a single line as a single clue/hint, with no or little connection to other parts of the poem?

    Food for thought…

    • Don’t know if this helps, Seeker, but that line for me is just a support line. I get from it: ” 22’ll be for your latitude”

  12. I think … “There’ll be no paddle up your creek” is the same as saying “you’ll be up a creek without a paddle”. Seems like there’s no turning back at that point & continuing on becomes much more physically difficult … heavy & high will be strenuous. Not necessarily a creek or a paddle. FF did say the treasure will be earned.

  13. So I brought up this thought 2 1/2 years ago, and I still believe it is a credible solution to “No Paddle Up Your Creek”:

    (This was in Nine Clues Archive #16…and, that in itself, is hard to find…good luck)

    “Scott C. on May 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm said:
    Just wanted to throw out my thoughts on one of the nine clues, maybe it’s been mentioned before, but i don’t recall seeing it. This interpretation of “no paddle up your creek” fits with my solve, but it won’t give away my location, so I am okay with giving it out here. There hasn’t been much discussion on this clue as everyone is pretty set on this clue meaning a dry creek that can be walked up, or a creek that can’t be canoed/rafted up, or a trail along a creek that can be traversed without a paddle…etc…kind of a no-brainer…easy…a throwaway clue, right?

    However, what if it means an old stamp-mill? Not all gold mining is done like you see on “Gold Rush” or the other gold searching reality shows. Usually, large gold-bearing boulders need to be crushed into pebbles before sluicing. The way it was done was using a large water mill on a creek or river to power the “stamping” or crushing of the rock. There are probably hundreds or thousands of these, or the remnants of these, littered throughout the Rockies, usually missing the “paddle wheel”. So if there is the foundation or vestiges of an old gold mill on your favorite Fenn creek. there probably would no longer be a “paddle” there. “No paddle up your creek”. Strong correlation to gold…”

    Back to today:
    I think that it is a no-brainer that you don’t paddle up a creek. As a former white water rafter and canoer, I cannot think of a time I paddled “up” a creek for more that a few strokes…therefore I will state what I believe, one cannot paddle “up” any creek. So either that is a worthless clue (or not even one of the nine, just a waste of 1/24 of the lines in the poem), or Muset is right in his post somewhere north of here…”paddle” is indeed a noun. If paddle is a noun, I contend my solution makes the most sense.

  14. That’s interesting discoloration and works so well with the poem. Saw one on Taylors fork – Lightening Creek, Montana last summer but it looked like a dangerous area to get to.

    • Thanks 42…appreciate the positivity. Your spot sounds a little iffy, don’t go where an 89 year old might break a hip!

    • Hmmm…a high altitude dry creek bed seems like an oxymoron, and an extreme rarity. If you believe that, and know of one, then you may be onto something…follow that dream.

      Snow has been falling, melting, and running down the same canyons for thousands and millions of years. The only way it would stop following the same path of least resistance is for a man-made construction (eg. dam, road, wall, etc) or natural disaster (eg avalanche, mudslide, cliff collapse, etc.) to re-route the water flow and cause a dry creek. That is rare. I have not seen an abundance of dry creeks (or any) in the Rockies in all of my travels above 5000 feet.

      Most dry creeks are at low elevations (below 5000 feet) usually in the desert, and are caused when the snow pack in the Rockies is not sufficient to feed/slake our homies in Southern California.

      Not trying to be snarky, I just think that your confidence in a high altitude dry creek is misplaced.

  15. A creek/ stream/ river bank? Perhaps it refers to a stopping point… where a group may or may not continue past. FF mentions people walked right by the location but also mentions they came within 200 feet.

  16. OK Seeker, it’s been fun playin’ with you again. Thanks! I think I’ll go lurk awhile…..hopefully until spring(but I doubt it!! 🙂 )…..it’s getting way too deep for me, again. Good Luck to ya!!……….loco

    Fenn once said: @4:25 – “I wanted people to go out and…and have some adventure, some imagination….use their common sense to try to solve the clues in the Poem.”

    Simple Definition of common sense:
    The ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make good decisions.

    Full Definition of common sense:
    Sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.

    Synonym Discussion of common sense:
    sense, common sense, judgment, wisdom mean ability to reach intelligent conclusions…..

    —-sense: implies a reliable ability to judge and decide with soundness, prudence, and intelligence
    —-common sense: suggests an average degree of such ability without sophistication or special knowledge
    —-judgment: implies sense tempered and refined by experience, training, and maturity
    —-wisdom: implies sense and judgment far above average

    So, we are to use our imagination…..but use common sense(judgment based on a ‘simple perception’ of the situation or facts) when applying it to the Poem!

    • Loco et al,

      In which interview was the following stated by f?

      “Fenn once said: @4:25 – “I wanted people to go out and…and have some adventure, some imagination….use their common sense to try to solve the clues in the Poem.”

      • Hey Cholly, Well while all of you are freezing it is a nice 80 deg here and coming into the dry season. As for the celebrations in the city, they do their things but I don’t get involved. Third world living has it’s challenges, and security issues no sense adding to them. Thanks for asking though.


  17. The meanderings of my muddled mind is telling me that No paddle up your creek is a location not far from WWWH. Something sitting just on the edge of my mind just awaiting a piece of this puzzle to show itself… Now where is my copy of the poem, ummm need sleep brain not happy at 3 am.. research, research, yawn. Zzzzzzz. ( goes face down on keyboard. )

  18. Here is something to consider outside the box…let’s break it down. I have always thought Forest is genius in his poem and that the clues are first riddles that need to be solved before the clue is revealed. This is important because his word play is a step or two beyond common knowledge. The reason we must research and use our imagination.
    Now I have my humble opinion…the line states “There’ll be no paddle up your creek”. The word play here is “your creek”…..not… ” the creek”… Why is that? and coupled with “no paddle” and the direction “up”. So the riddle is now solved ..You will be driving (DOUBTFUL) walking/hiking(PROBABLY) up in elevation down “your creek” (path). The correct path from all the other paths available to you in that location is described and identified in the next line.
    I did not understand this until I had returned from my search and poured over where and what I had missed….Then the awhha moment hit…So as soon as I can I will go back out there and travel up this path,,,and let you know what I find…

    Thanks Dal,,,,I really love this site allowing all of us to enjoy a common connection in an awesome adventure. Happy New Year and have safe and exciting hunt to everyone.

    • The “your” in “your creek” is interesting. Most of the poem is second person point of view, but you’re right. Now that you’ve pointed it out, it sticks out. Seems like “the creek” would be more natural to say. The use of a possessive pronoun associates you to the creek.

      • So when you have reached this point in the search…the path, your path (your creek) is the one that there will be no paddle, hence a trail, a road, that is along or tangent to the creek you had assumed this line was all about. But now which trail,,,there are probably a few in the area. The next line identifies “your creek” you must travel up.

  19. Why “there ‘ll” and not……..there will? Might “paddle” be short for…… P A D?

    A location isn’t out of the question.

  20. “There’ll be no paddle up your creek,” is a word play on the idiom “Up sh..s creek without a paddle!” meaning “To be in a very difficult situation!” To me this line is a very important clue because it tells us 4 things. After landing (“Put in below the home of Brown.”) we go “up” a non-navigatable “no paddle” creek, which is on public property “your creek,” The whole idom indicates difficult going as in “From there its no place for the meek,” The latter is now redundant so we can throw it out as a clue and preserve its number (5), i.e., “There’ll …creek,” is now #5.

    • Dennis,

      I have always like the use of idioms, and this part of the poem is great example of that. Why stop at just this one line? Could the entire poem be read the same?
      Is Warm waters halt about the temperature of the waters or something else all together. Can put in below the home of Brown, capitalize to give another meaning such as Mother Earth~ a given name ~ for example.

      I do like your analogy to “your” creek hinting to public land… I think the cleverness in the words chosen for the poem may just be the way you explained your thoughts to this line in the poem. I would like to know your thoughts on tired and weak as used as an idiom.

  21. All,

    I always believed that no paddle meant that the creeks water was too fast to “paddle” up (paddle’s definition to me is: to move about in the water using ones hands and feet as a fisherman might move about in calmer waters) so the water is too fast moving to paddle up. (up obviously meaning upstream)

    Heavy loads and water high could mean large rocks and deep pools.

    so the Stanza to me translates to:

    You must be brave / bold to traverse this area, you should be on the left side of the creek and the waters (creek and or stream which would be a tributary of the canyon down waters) are fast moving with large boulders and deep water.

    Now i believe that there is a trail and or path that follows this creek and that the “blaze” will be within close proximity of this trail (within 200ft or less) possibly on the other side of the creek.


    • Seannm: ding ding ding! And you win a cigar! That is MY exact deduction of that line! I was going to type all that, but you saved me the trouble!
      The only on jettison is, you just walk along it, no trail as F said. By being observant, you see the blaze as you ramble along the waterway!

    • Boy oh boy has my interpretation of this line changed in just a short month and a half.

      I now believe that “no paddle” could mean that the creek your going up will be no trouble to traverse as an 80 year old ish man carried 2 heavy loads up it to get to the end.


  22. I would like to point out that only twice in the poem does Fenn imply modes of transpertation and this is one of them but does it possible mean this is where you change your mode of transpertation?

    • I have thought about different modes of transportation in the past, not really sure if it’s needed now, But that could be the reason we’re told to plan.. who knows.

      The problem with another way of getting to a location other than walking / hiking is, what method? A bike, a kayak, a motor boat, a horse… If any were ‘needed’ what tells us which is needed and / or if more than one is needed.

      I would hate to think I’d have to tie a bike and a boat to a horse, with paddles or an outboard motor, food, water, maps, bedrolls, metal detector, a drone, rifle, bear spray, satellite phone, the book … and lug all that back after finding the chest. I mean, where they heck will I put the T-paper? I’m not doing the three leaf thing ever again.

      Now we know that fenn was capable of walking to the chest, so why can’t we do the same after we solve the poem correctly… bottom line is, we should know the location of the chest before hand to that area that is obviously allowable to walk.

  23. “You’re up a creek without a paddle this time mister.”
    When I was a kid in Michigan this was a common phrase used by adults. There was no vulgarness attached to it. It was used by many folks as a warning that my luck was about to run out. My parents were about the same age as Forrest’s parents so it’s possible their common use of the phrase is relevant.

    The phrase was used in a specific situation…
    Lets say I was late turning my homework in at school. The teacher might let it pass the first time this occurred. The next time I would certainly get a warning that this behavior needed to stop. The third time the teacher might look at me and say “You’re up a creek without a paddle this time mister.”
    The implication being that in previous occurrences of not handing in homework on time, I had been up this same creek but I had gotten away with it. I had a paddle before, but not this time.
    This time my lame excuses wouldn’t save me. I was in trouble for not following directions and there would be consequences…my luck had run out.

    So the phrase described my situation. It was an allegory for life and it was about me…and my life in particular. The creek represented my future and the paddle was what would help me avoid problems in my future. With a paddle I could navigate my future. Without a paddle my future was going to be in the hands of powers other than myself.

    Another example-
    I was supposed to be home on Friday nights at 10pm. That was a rule in our house. I often ran amuck of this rule. If I was close to 10pm or if everyone was in a good mood, they might let it pass. But eventually my dad might meet me at the door when I was sneaking in and say to me, “You’re up a creek without a paddle this time mister.”
    Meaning, there was no excuse and I was going to be punished. I had abused privileges and my immediate future was now in his hands.

    So how does this relate to the poem?
    I believe that the poem is, for the most part, allegory. That the poem has specific directions in it about where to start and what to do next but that those directions are, for the most part, hidden in allegory and that this line in the poem is a perfect example.

    Certainly Forrest is not suggesting that we are in trouble and are about to be punished at this point in our journey to find his chest. I don’t believe Forrest’s directions to locate the treasure include a path that could be treacherous or painful when followed. The chase is intended to be a family activity. I believe Forrest intends the search to be fun and to bring folks together not engage them in perilous activity that could be punishing.

    So then, is the phrase, as used by my elders, helpful to interpreting the clues in the poem?

    In fact, the phrase is slightly different from the common phrase used at the time. He has turned the phrase on it’s side a little. The line does not read, “You’re up a creek without a paddle.”
    He has altered it slightly by writing it as, “There’ll be no paddle up your creek.”

    The original phrase tells us about ourselves…we are no longer in control of our future…
    Forrest’s turn of the phrase does not tell us about ourselves. It tells us about the creek….the future… our path to the treasure. That there will be no paddle…no control…

    So it sounds very much to me as if Forrest is saying, “There will be no turning back after this point.”

    On the surface that sounds a little creepy. But I don’t think that is the intent. I think the intent is that we will not want to turn back. We will know that we are onto finding the treasure when we get to that point.

    So, my interpretation is, Forrest is telling us that when we get to this point in the chase we will know we are close to the treasure. Something will happen at that point to open our eyes to the fact that we are on the right path.

    There will be no paddle up your creek
    ….could be an allegory…as could the other eight clues.

    The meaning of the poem then becomes a matter of identifying and properly interpreting the allegories.

    In my opinion: (This week 🙂 )
    The poem is direct. It tells you exactly what to do…start here…then do this…then do that…but it does this in allegorical form..like a fairy tale..
    The puzzle is in finding the allegories and figuring out their root phrases and understanding how Forrest has twisted them.

    The nine clues could be the nine allegories.

    • This thought process is interesting, “The nine clues could be the nine allegories.”
      One Meaning; a story of morals, Or in this case a poem of the same. Are we reliving fenn’s life lessons? is this possibly the ‘influence’ [ or at least one ] intended.
      Does take a new meaning to Brown in one sense.
      Maybe hear me all and listen good is of the same premise to No paddle up your creek.
      I’m really filling up on all this food for thought, on this topic today… Hope I have room left for the prime rib dinner tonight, and later pizza and pigs in a blanket, chocolate cream pie and punch.
      Have a safe new years……..

    • Dal, I agree with your examples.
      But, you must admit most our elders or mentors would try not use the “S” word among children. Well I hope not anyway.
      I think this creek has a way of ruining your plans.

    • Well, all in all I think it has been a good year for searchers considering no one was killed or seriously injured that I know of, correct me if I’m wrong.

      There has been allot of ground covered in all four states & many places have been eliminated, mostly for the boots on the ground peeps that don’t broadcast where they have been or going, so it’s there secret.

      I hope to be back in Yellowstone to check out Secret Valley Creek up the Gibbon & then check out those 2 or 3 no name creeks on the Madison. I see them there on GM, but have no names? Maybe they have no names because you can name it Treasure Creek after found.
      One of the creeks seems to be seasonal maybe that’s why it’s not named. I do not know the criteria needed for a creek to be named.
      The creek down below Harlequin Lake seems like another good hiding spot. Doing research on HL reveals there are swarms of the common brown mosquito which tend to ruin your hike. Hmm, HOB?

      I hope I get there before you do. Then again I don’t doubt that at least a few have already been there.

      Good luck, be safe, stay healthy, be smart in 2016 to all in the chase.

        • Thank you Dal for having the insight to create a great melting pot of peoples ideas, where we can come together & gather Fenn’s statements & share.
          Yes, lets have fun along the way.

        • You didn’t have to create this. You created this website for us! You did this knowing there were going to be no adds or sponsors. It costs you money, I know & you don’t make any money from it, just like Forrest doesn’t even make his publishing costs back. I know, you get no preferential treatment from Forrest, just like everybody else. I know because he said he has your number.

          Sooner or later someones going to draw the correct number.
          Probably, more like later.

          The treasure is where I think it is I…no.

          So is Goofy out where his treasure is now?

    • There’ll be no paddle up your creek.

      How about just simply what it says? No paddle,no creek . A dilemma as to where to go for the next clue. An example would be something like clues 1,2,and 3 got you to a Fort now you need clue 4 which is at another fort, but it’s 120 miles to the north, with no direct path . You must take a leap of faith. Hence ,up a creek without a paddle or a dilemma.
      However if you make the correct move somehow that will be confirmed, maybe by clue 5 . IMO

    • Dal,

      One of Marvin Fenn’s words of wisdom is rining in my ear “the greater part of knowledge is knowing those things not worthy of knowing”

      Happy New Year!\


      • 23-
        Nope. Carl is real and if that story is an allegory I don’t know about it..
        Names and places were changed to protect me from a lawsuit…but the story and characters are real…

    • No paddle because water heavy, rushing.IMO…Rushing down from High above. That is how I see it…”Heavy Loads and Water High”

    • Thanks, Dal. I basically share your view of the “no paddle up” issue. That is, I too believe that the poem is allegorical. It has obscure clues in it about where to start and what to do next – descriptions that are hidden in allegory. I believe the “no paddle up” line is, as you say, “a perfect example.”

      Before the point in the poem where “no paddle up” is stated, we have already been told to “take it in the canyon down” (“it” being, I believe, the search). So, I think the “no paddle up” statement is not a movement clue but only to help establish a unique starting place – that is, the up-canyon direction at the starting point is difficult or impractical to paddle.

      (The above is in reply to your post in the Nine Clues on 12/30/2015. I could not get it to clearly post in the message stream of that date. Windows 10 problem?

      (RayB is probably a new moniker.)

    • Dal,
      Wow! This thought process is well thought out & well written! Thanks…and thanks for everything. It’s good to be here with fellow searchers as thrilled by the chase.

  24. For me, there is a whole different angle to “There’ll be no paddle up your creek”. My take on this line gives me a locator clue…combined with most of the examples already spoken of above. Happy New Year all you searchers out there ! Stay safe and keep your powder dry…

    • hey ken, hunch here. yeah locator sounds good to me too. Stinking would be your creek. and leave the old outhouses alone.

  25. So I just got TTOTC for Christmas. One thing I noticed was the multiple mentions of spankings and/or switchings (or paddlings) he recieved from his father as a child.
    So let’s start with the phrase “up a creek without a paddle” meaning from Fenn’s childhood point of view you have done something wrong and are in a situation where you are going to be on the receiving end of a paddling.
    Taking line from the poem in this context makes changes the meaning some
    “There’ll be no paddle up your creek” may mean something like “there’ll be no consequences for your next action”

    I feel like at this point in your journey to the treasure you will be facing something that appears dangerous or could get you into trouble but by facing the heavy loads and water high bravely (not meekly) you will be able to move forward. (think the invisible bridge from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)

    • Springer,
      I think you meant to say:
      “there’ll be no NEGATIVE consequences for your next action”
      I believe “consequence” could go either way?
      Now it makes sense to me.
      But either way I agree with most of your statement.

  26. Is it possible that creek means something other than water or even a dry creek. Could creek actually mean another word with the same context? A word that would be just silly to think of paddling up? When researching words how far do we reach to find other meanings? Just asking because I found a word with the same context that is nothing like a creek of water and would be silly/funny to even take a paddle. I can’t say the word without giving it away. But IMO some research into the word “creek” is necessary.

  27. i believe that heavy loads is a mountain – no paddle means – don’t go any farther then the creek – waters high- this is just my opinion- happy new year everyone

    • Never mind Dal, I didn’t scroll down far enough…
      Interesting, so, maybe a message saying you’ve got this so keep going to the heavy load and water high. If you’ve made it that far, by being “wise”, and found the blaze near the heavy load, water high, you’ve got the treasure.
      I feel the unlucky searchers that were 200′ from the chest, we’re at a feature worth looking at, an attraction, like falls.
      Say, the trail they followed, led to a fall, with a lookout and you were meant to stay on this side of the overlook blockade. They did, and we’re that close to Indulgence, but followed the rules!
      You have to now go off trail to the blaze you see, beyond the permitted area. After all, we, as citizens, own that land too. Ropes, guard rails? Pppth! Who cares!
      Get the chest, don’t tarry in a forbidden area, leave peacefully!
      Don’t be meek! Go for the gusto, live for once, break a rule! Hopping a barrier won’t hurt anyone!

  28. Scribe Happy New Year. All sounds interesting on “No paddle up your Creek” maybe it is a paddle down stream like that paddle wheel down stream. Good night all. See you in the funny papers and along the trail on the chase…

  29. Seeker asked about other idioms in the poem.

    We (my team) believe that “There’ll be no paddle up your creek,” in Stanza #4 is the only idiom or idiom-like phrase in the poem. If someone can point out others, we’d be happy to analyze them for the benefit of all. An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but that has a separate meaning of its own and that the separate meaning is understood within its culture. So, unless a phrase is generally known to be an idiom, how would one apply an idiomatic strategy?


  30. “When you buy something from me you do me a disfavor. You acquire a really great object, and then I spend the money and have nothing left”
    What does this have to do with anything?

  31. I think it means don’t go up the creek Or you can’t paddle up the creek you gonna have to walk over heavy loads of rocks and go thru some high water. At some point awwwww who the heck knows only the old coot 🙂

    • @ Diggin Gypsy All the following is my opinion. None of the clues are significant until one discovers the first clue. The clues are not what they seem. If a searcher looks for another clue that is not the first clue he, or she will fail to see the other clues. Now, I could tell you I know that I know where warm waters halt is but you probably would not believe me, so I won’t waste your time. So I’ll leave you with this question, if you wanted to hide something and you did not want it to be found, where would you put it? Somewhere where nobody could get to, or somewhere where nobody would search, like an obvious place, in plain sight? But that is not the case, or is it? I do not think one should be asking himself, or herself where the chest is but rather where they don’t think it is. I think we underestimate Mr. Fenn ,and the poem. RC.

      • I don’t think it is on private property that he really owns but never recorded the deed and has some sort LLC trust pay the yearly taxes, that would be to clever, IMO!

        • Ya Cholly, that would be a clever move by a true poker player. Good thinking, but might be a bit illegal to trespass w/o permission. Only work around i can go into would be public trail access or near road easement. Anyway, maybe ‘Poker’ is really the key word in the end game. There’s bound to be a poker “bluff” or bottom deal included and perhaps a ‘belly buster’ with all the pie Forrest ate in WestYellowstone. I didn’t know there’s a blaze in poker. So, my new strategy is to learn about poker and at least make the bubble. That way, when my ttotc hand was a bust, I’m ready for Vegas baby;-)

      • RC , I believe you know wwwh . I know also, and I’m guessing a few others also know. That means you have clues one and two correct IMO. What clue do you think your on now ,if you don’t mind my asking. I have been at this a little over a year and believe i’m on clue 4 at this point.

        • Lisa,

          If I may, I hear or read almost the same thing from searchers and it is puzzling to me why. You said you have worked on the poem for a year and believe you may be as far as clue four… that’s great, and I’m not knocking your solve, heck I don’t know what your clues solves are. But doesn’t it seem funny that if you can get to clue four [ correct clues answers ] that it should be relatively easy to figure out the rest? [ don’t think I’m picking on you personally, it’s actually a question for all searchers ].

          I get finding the answer[s] to clue one or two maybe the hardest part, but I thought the clues were to get easier as they went along, especially if you’re following a path. Help me out Lisa, I’m totally lost.

          • none of my clues were easy to come by and they did not get easier the more I of them I worked out. But its all relative, you are asking a question assuming I have all the right answers which I would like to think I do but I don’t know that for sure.

          • JL,

            That’s my point.. IF someone has the correct answers to even a few clues or now some have possibility four [ from what we have been told ] why is it so hard to finish the rest off the poem?
            We have been told we need to know where to start, the first clues is important, the clues get easier… And the chest is hidden well so that no one will stumble on it. We’ve been told that one should be certain beforehand, and the clues precisely lead to the chest. We have been told many indicated the first two clues, yet seemingly did not know, and now four clues may have been solve and still may not have been known… what is it, we are missing?
            I asked for a reason, not just spouting off… could it be that at each location we need to find or understand what the reason is about that location? Are the clues actually in the field and the poem leads to those clues? Could it be we are following the poem and not the clues… At this point in time with a suspected 100,000 searchers [ maybe 1/2 physically looking ] something seems to be a mist in all these brilliant solves and part solves.

          • Seeker, jl, et al;
            Start with the poem.
            IMO, forrest is telling us where to look, and what to look for. He has said (paraphrase), read the poem, then the book, then the poem, again and again.
            IMO, I have found things in my notes that make so many things make sense now. I am reviewing my poem notes. Deconstruction, and reconstruction. I am confident, but am in no way announcing I know anything. I’m just saying, I am trying to listen good and go back to the poem. 🙂

          • Great advice, Jdiggins. I was certain I knew. I announced I knew. Had all of the coincidences and correlations reasonably mapped out. Went to where I was certain it was. And yet, here I sit typing my yummy-crow-message, still certain it’s where I’m certain it was. I’m a fool.

          • Seeker,
            I don’t know the answer to any of those questions, what I do know is I solved it the way it worked for me. I can weave a path to where I just need to go pick it up, I am confident but I have been confident about a lot of things in my life that didn’t quite work out the way I planned so I always leave a little in reserve or try to have a back up plan. I would not be one to brag even if I had the chest so why would you want to before being sure? I spend my time now looking for the flaws that could exist, to me that is the best use of my time, I tried to relax for awhile but that is just not possible, you cant just quit TTOTC it has a way of following you around and wont be ignored. The hard part now is all the quotes that FF has out, it would have been easier with just the poem and the book I think. IMO

          • Seeker, let me see if I can explane. Clue one can be several differant locations ,however it must lead to clue two. I’ll try and give you an example … let’s say wwwh is a certian candy . , you know this with 100% certianty, because when you found the candy, it had a confermation. Lets say a type of nut in it, thats only grown in one small area of Georga. So know you know its the correct candy.You know its the right candy your looking for.. However theres 30 candy stores in the four states that sell this candy. Now you have to find the correct store that leads to clue two. Ok it takes you two months, but you find that , but now clue two has 10 differant paths to take . Which one is correct? you have to explore them all untill you you find the correct one. That takes you another sixs weeks .Now clue three has 8 paths to take, and that path takes you another 3 months to get.
            All your paths that are correct will have a confermation of sorts and will lead to the next clue.
            Forrest said it gets easer as you move along these clues (not exact words) however I think that depends on the person following the clues ,and how diffacult they make it on themselfs.Many times you will think your at the end,but your no where near the end. Case in point .. myself ,hubby and three teens drove 2200 miles to clue two, I really thought I was at the end , great trip but after returning home and much more study I now know where, and what I did wrong.
            Remember Seeker, Mr. Fenn took 15 years to write and work on this poem . NO ONE is going to do this in a week or a month. No one has done it yet and it’s been 6 years and I know there are a few people that have gotten clues one and two correct.I think RC is one of these peope thats why I ask him what clue he beleaves he is on.
            Mr. F said if you dont get clue one right ,it’s just a nice vacation. You will know when you get it right.. I cant tell you how but you will know it’s right. It wont be random. I hope this helps you understand why its not relatively easy to figure out the rest. Good Luck, Lisa

          • Lisa thanks for the response.
            The explanation got my sweet tooth drooling, so I was glad we still had some candy canes left over from Xmas.
            This sound like the only way to solve the poem is by botg, and I’m fine with that analogy. Yet still, how would the comment ‘ be certain beforehand ‘ comes into play?
            “I warned that the path would not be direct for those who had no certainty of the location beforehand, but sure for the one who did.” f
            These little tidbits of after the fact information seem to imply that, not only is understanding the poem prior possible, but there should be no misdirection [ on the part of the searcher ] or guessing with path to take. I would just be guessing at, if one was to be following the wrong map this might make it more difficult. Which brings me to the next problem as what is the correct / right map fenn talks about.

            Do you personally consider a type of map or is it possible, ‘The right map’ is not so much a map as commonly known. My thought here is fenn already designed the right map… no, not in directions as we may see them in poem, but a map designed into the poem itself. The theory here is to know the first clue [ possibly in combination with the second clue ] and following the design and wording of the poem… this would eliminate conventional maps as to date, as well as to be usable in the future, if something was to change drastically.. yet still more difficult.

            As you said, you have been following or discovered wrong multiple paths. Is the only way to find the correct path, is by hit and miss? and many failed attempts.

            This doesn’t ring in my ears as correct when we have been told; certain beforehand, lead precisely, without the first clue all you have is memories… clues get easier… etc. and the most important imo is, that to the best of fenn’s understanding, searcher don’t know they have clues correct.

            I have always wondered why the line reads ” If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,” being past tenses. When the wording in the more popular viewed clues are in present tense. The line could have read as; If you’re wise and find the blaze. This is the only line in those three stanzas that is past tense. Maybe we need to have found the trail-map within the poem beforehand, prior to going to the location to look down. Have you ever noticed if you fold the poem in half it lines up perfectly from one side to the other. A happy accident or by design?

            I’m not knocking your ways, nor am I saying I’m remotely correct.. just looking for a plausible answer[s] to some of my own questions.

            Thanks again for the response. Oh right… what was the answer to your first clue again? lol.

          • Seeker,
            The same quote by f stating that the path will be direct runs through my thoughts also. I also think some as myself have tendency to overthink everything, which is not a bad thing but it can also lead to indecision. At some point a person has to take what they have in the bucket and throw it at the wall and see what they come up with. This Chase is one big leap of faith, a high stakes poker game that you don’t know if you have the right cards or not. If you dont play them and always fold your never going to be the winner. I’m not a spring chicken anymore and I’ve done some things most people never thought I could, one of the lessons I learned is the hard part is just getting started, most are afraid to start a difficult task because they are afraid of failure.

            I could answer your questions you ask but in the end they are just my opinion, you still have to make up your own mind. I made up mine and I did it my way right or wrong. If i would have used my Intuition when I first read the poem I could have cut a lot of time out of coming to the conclusion I have now. But I might not have found the answers I needed any other way. I believe there are different ways a person could solve the poem but in the end all that matters is who gets there first this is a game where second is fun, you had a great time and good memories to show for it, but someone else has the trophy. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of things to be learned from TTOTC, but when I accept a challenge from somebody my strategy is play to win. Just like in a game of chess, the farther out you can plan your moves the better a player you are. IMO

          • Seeker – you said:

            I have always wondered why the line reads ” If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,” being past tenses. When the wording in the more popular viewed clues are in present tense. The line could have read as; If you’re wise and find the blaze. This is the only line in those three stanzas that is past tense.

            I like your questions, maybe because I have already given much thought to most of them from one angle or another.

            Why past tense? I have two reasons; one that I won’t share because it gives too much info I don’t want to divulge. The other one is that I think it requires botg to find it; to be wise is to have experience with or be alert to something. We know f intended to throw people off at this point; I have it directly confirmed to me in an email from Tony D. (Daily Beast articles from several years ago). If you understand the poem and have been able to figure out the other clues prior to the blaze, you will have some ideas on how to approach the solution and identify it once you have found it. If you don’t understand the process for figuring out the meaning of the clues (and maybe even if you do), you will walk right past it and not realize it; which is exactly what I think those who have been within 200-500 feet have done. I tentatively have it as the 7th clue and one where you are in close proximity to the chest. How about this statement from f:

            Has anyone seen or mentioned the blaze to you? ~Stephanie
            Thanks Stephanie for the questions. I have read them several times very carefully. They appear subtle on the surface but they aren’t. A yes or no to either question would give too much away, so I’ll pass. Sorry, and I’m aware that some searchers will pick me apart for this answer. f

            If f admitted someone had seen it or mentioned it to him would have given confirmation that more than the 1st two clues had been solved; but by not answering “no”, he opens the door that he won’t lie to us about it having been seen, maybe even identified, and doesn’t want someone to know that they have indeed been at it. Thus people continue to get so close, but those last few clues, over the last couple hundred feet, continue to elude and continue to require a lot more time, observation, and thinking — botg — all giving the person a truly significant appreciation of this place, and the surrounding area, that is so special to f.

          • JCM,
            “If you don’t understand the process for figuring out the meaning of the clues (and maybe even if you do), you will walk right past it and not realize it;”

            Would you give an example of what it means to figure out the meaning of a clue. For instance (not even and opinion here), A clue might say to me, Where Blue river and white river meet. Are you indicating I would still need to figure out the meaning of where the two meet?

          • ”If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,”
            Very simple IMO, If you’ve been (past tense) wise = If you have figured out the other 8 clues. And found (past tense) the blaze = If you have figured out clues 7 & 8 then you have found where the blaze is, which is the easiest clue to figure out once you have unlocked all the others. The blaze is within 50 ft of the 8th clue.
            All in my crazy op.

          • Uken2it – I can’t say that I know what it means to figure out a clue according to f; we all have our theories. Based upon what f has said, I believe that it should entail some application of “a word that is key” to the clues in the poem (which my thoughts on it are likely to be 99.99% wrong); and subtle hints in TTOTC that somehow help explain and give meaning to the very general and vague terms contained in the poem (WWWH, home of Brown, the blaze, etc.).

            So let’s say, for example, that where Red river and Orange river meets it turns into Black river, if the clue is WWWH and “a word that is key” is color, then this helps give meaning to what WWWH means, warm waters stop where they stop being warm in color – black; it is like a missing piece to the puzzle that opens it up to having an understandable meaning and one that would give some confidence that it is correct.

            This is one way I have looked at it, and there are other ways I have thought about how it might work; and I am positive others have even better ways that they have come up with that make this example look like child’s play. Problem is, none of us can prove (with the chest) to have nailed the key word correctly and f has said only a “few’ have figured it out, which means the other tens-of-thousands of us are full of ourselves thinking we have it all figured out. Throw in the book hints and how they might work with it too, and we are all back scratching our heads about it. But it does come together somehow; f has made that abundantly clear in my opinion. You just have to think the right things.

          • Thank you very much JCM. Very helpful to have one example of how it might work. If there is one key and that key is a word it make great sense. I hadn’t thought much about the word that is key in this manner. If I find the pot of gold, I’ll through you a nugget. ;^).

            I thought it might be a word that sets up the concept of the poem so you would look for the correct www, hob, etc. Or as a word that unlocks the clues for correct interpretation. But how you described I can understand how one can find the clue and then solve it. Thanks again.

        • Two solves I am working on have the first clue taking me to the east coast and To Montana. As has been said before, these locations may lead to second clue and so on.

          • reklim;

            Is your statement a fact, and if it is how do you prove it, or is it just your opinion?

            Have you solved all nine clues? If not, how do you know that clues 6,7,8 or 9 is not harder? Just sayin. If it your opinion, you need to state that. JDA

    • Seeker – moving your comment down to give you some more of my thoughts…

      In relation to clarification as to his statements possibly being hints or clues, in the interview, f specifically states that there are nine clues in the poem and the discussion then launches out from there about what are the number of clues in the different lines that the reporter reads from the poem; so I have to accept that what they talk about are the nine clues in the poem and nothing to do with what might be hints in the poem. With regard to what are hints and what are clues, I stick to f saying that all the information you need to find the chest is in the poem; I don’t feel a need to go looking for other things to understand what the clues are in the poem, but I do go looking for hints to help me understand what the clues mean. (the twofold challenge of the poem: what are the clues and what do the clues mean).

      When I said “that might not be exact”, I meant it to be that there might not be 3 clues in each of the gradations of getting closer to the chest (i.e. maybe there are only 2 clues that pinpoint you to the exact location and 4 clues that get you in the vicinity of the chest); if that helps clarify what I said.

      As far as portions of the poem potentially not being useful to solving the poem or being part of the nine clues, my thoughts have evolved over time. I see the poem as not only getting you to the chest, but also his general story and determination of doing it all wrapped up into the poetry. If he had not recovered from the cancer, no book would have been written. No book would have meant no subtle hints in the book to help with understanding the clues; so maybe his earlier rendition of the poem would have been more understandable and easier to figure out along with why he was doing what he did. But f got better, he wrote the book, and revised the poem to make it more challenging and reflective of what he was capable of doing, given he no longer was in a race against time. So the un-useful parts of the poem may just be legacy detail from his original plans.

      • Apparently I copied the wrong comment…

        Anyway some collects quotes:

        And at the end, the one who finds the gold will not feel lucky, but instead, will ask himself, “what took me so long?”

        Fenn is confident that the treasure will be unearthed eventually and says it will take the right combination of cunning and perseverance. “It will be discovered by someone who has read the clues successfully.

        Seeker, I will say with high confidence that those who go from one search location to another have an abysmally low chance of ever finding the chest. For those who might have solved the first 4 clues correctly, what is the likelihood that they are different from one of the “several” who got the first 2 clues correct previously? I would bet not likely. I would put my money on the “few” who are in tight focus with “a word that is key”. Whoever it is has enough confidence in what they have found and continue to pound the same area – probably just not being able to get there much.

        As far as the why getting the clues is so slow going, it comes back to the twofold challenge of the poem, figuring out what the nine clues in the poem are and figuring out what the nine clues mean. I do not believe you can determine what all nine of the clues are without getting them correctly interpreted as you go. Going back to the second stanza, lets PRETEND that someone tells f that they think that there are 4 clues in that stanza, but there are actually only 3. They get three correct but lets say nf,btftw isn’t a clue; f then says that only the first two clues have been solved correctly, because their third clue was not correct. Yet the searcher may be getting or following the other clues, maybe even getting some of the later ones correct and getting within 200 feet. But they read from f that only two, now maybe 4 have been solved correctly; what confidence does this instill? Whoever is making progress must have a lot of persistence.

        To back this thought up, consider f saying that a man had been closest, but some women had been close too a couple years ago. Back then he only would say the 1st two clues had been solved correctly, but yet somehow know the man had come closer or was closer… was it because he had later clues figured out that the women didn’t?

        So reality to me is that someone is getting close, they have an understanding of the poem that no one else has figured out from a word that is key (and everyone else has no concept of it other than it exists – though many like to think that they do), and the person probably has come to understand some of the subtle hints in the book. It is now about perseverance, more thinking, searching the correct area, and a final question of “what took me so long?”. They just need to finish piecing it all together without giving up, because f did say in so many words that it would get easier once you get the first clue, but that it would still be difficult.

        • JCM, JL, JD…

          I’ll need a little wiggle room here, as the post are jumping all over the place, and having a bit of a time to keep track.
          JL, I’m not a big believer in faith to start with, so when it comes to fenn’s comments I have stated, they also seem to not rely on it as well, but more to the fact that somehow he is telling exactly how to find the chest. Lisa’s post was interesting to me as it seems to be the same… a hit and miss of which path to take. Not just hers but others as well. This confuses me when we’re told differently. [ of course I could be reading those comments wrong ]

          I am enjoying this conversation guys… But i’m jumping in and out today checking the blog … let me have a day to soak up all your post and i’ll get back.

          I do appreciate your responses… just having a busy day to get back with a good response. Thanks.

          • Seeker, About your comment on the past tense of the line containing the blaze. I believe the blaze is the key word that Forrest was talking about that we need to concentrate on. I believe that is why its the only line that is in past tense. My opinion of course.

      • I really like your thoughts on this sir well done.. just to add when f said to a popular blogger here “no one is looking AT the right spot” could he of meant NO! , One is looking AT the right spot.”? he is rather clever with his words.

        • @ Hunter,

          I tried searching for that statement, but failed to locate it. Would you know about when it was made and o whom?

          Thanks, Yiga

          • Sure yiga ! It’s a quote provided by a blogger whom f sent via email . there is a large discussion regarding it on the “other chase site”

          • Hmmm this is the only one I have really used, not sure about “another”. I know there are many Could I ask was it recent?

  32. In my solve, I am driving down a road that parallels a flowing stream. I have passed a place that is no place for the meek, so the end is ever drawing nigh. but how far? how will I know? AH HA, I spot a dry creek bed passing under the road, leading to the flowing stream. I can not paddle up this dry creek bed, so I walk a short distance to the flowing stream. As it happens, the dry stream bed leads to the headwaters of the stream I had been paralleling. This flowing stream is “MY” stream. I know what the blaze looks like, so now all I have to do is find it…If only winter would pass quickly.

    Dal, thanks for your blog.

  33. reading the new post in this section has solidified my solve I have started on plans to make the trip out west from the state of Kentucky thanks to all who have posted on this blog, and to you Dal for hosting the blog. When I return I will post the solution on this blog. Sneeky snake

  34. IMHO I fervently BELIEVE that I know what the blaze looks like…I COULD be wrong, but do not think so. I will know in late spring or early summer. I will post my solve either way.

    • I too believe, that I have found the blaze, and I will take a sixth and final leap of faith to retrieve indulgence after the snow melts.

  35. thinking maybe this line has nothing to do with water. A creek can also be a twisting, winding, etc… Maybe a dirt trail. No paddle needed there. But, since most water flows from north to south, or from a higher point to a lower point, (most,most) then maybe it has something to do with latitude, since that is north/south. Just a thought, kind of a stretch. Is possible he is just talking about a dirt trail.

  36. IMHO. I think it is a very important clue. There are at least 3 meanings to no paddle in my solve. One being the obvious, not being able to paddle up it (which is darn near every creek I’ve ever seen) but also in the sense that something blocks your way (possibly a culvert that runs under a roadway, or something similar). In my solve it also has two other meanings that describe the area that your leaving and the area you are going into. Same with heavy loads and water high (2 to 3 meanings for each) which corroborate your area. Same with the entire clue lines of the poem. You could literally make the poem fit any area if you just say this river fits, and hey there’s a canyon,etc.

    • @s267, I agree, if you take this poem for “face value” to start, you’re not going to get far. Solving the poem, however one does it, is the important thing. As soon as someone says something like, the HOB is Purple mountain in Yellowstone, and doesn’t back it up with a way they got that info by solving it in the poem, I lose interest. Face value can be expressed at the end of it all, once you’ve solved the poem. For me, I got coordinates. When I see how to get to those coordinates, from start to spot, I can see the 9 clues in order ,face value so-to-say. WWWH, canyon down, meek, etc… and even all those should have some kind of back-up info. f always says to go back to the poem, not go out and hit every canyon down in hopes you find the right one. And, since he says “nobody will just stumble upon it”, It just doesn’t seem smart to take the poem for face value. Answer that in the end.
      Also agree with multiple ways to solve individual lines, I think that’s pretty obvious. Some lines have only one way to solve, others I’ve found up to 10 ways that it can be answered. All interpretation, IMO.

    • seeker,
      “I warned that the path would not be direct for those who had no certainty of the location beforehand, but sure for the one who did.” f
      How would a person have certainty? Because you know what your looking for.
      Now how do you know what your looking for? Because you you got clue 1,and 2 right. How do you know this because ,there’s a nut in the candy and your 99% sure that is what your looking for. No one will know 100% but I’ll take 99% any day.
      If your at a fork in the road , you take the left side and there’s no candy store ,you go back to the fork and take the right side.

      • Lisa,
        That’s great determination… Yet that does not explain certainty beforehand.
        The path would be direct … sure for the one who did.” f

        Changing directions, re-thinking wrong interpretations time and time again while in the field, doesn’t sound ‘direct or certain about beforehand’. It sounds more like jumping the gun. Again i’m not knocking anyone who is out searching… The poem was designed to do just that. Yet by this comment and others it seems the searcher should have a very good idea of a full solve without all the extra hiking and boating, traveling and indecision that so many have experience.

        The idea that one has to make dozens and in a lot of case many dozens of trips, doesn’t make sense to what the comment actually states.

        And while some find their treasures in being out, enjoying them selves [ that’s great as well ] This is all about the solve and what we have been told as stated above. Fenn stated the one who find / solves the challenge will ask/say ‘what took me so long.” this doesn’t sound like wrong turns and different paths to me either. In the video posted and being talked about on 9 clues thread [ I believe ] fenn stated the person will think [ about the poem ] this also doesn’t sound like one or two clues known and go have a look see for the other 7 or 8, but think about the full solution beforehand.

        The 99% sure, is fantastic. And should have very little doubt. But questioning which path while in the field, sounds like doubt ~ by those comments of being certain and sure before.
        So my pondering is, what is it about the poems true solve that say… this the correct one. That elegant, brilliant, genius, clever, straightforward… solve that we all talk about. I know most don’t want to think about this because they have a solve they enjoy too much to bother with it… But I’m sure there are a few out there that look at this pondering the way I do… or maybe I’m just being too literal with those comments from the Author of the poem.

        • seeker , Who said anything about being out in the field?
          Think of it this way .. I the searcher am drawing a map. I have 9 clues to locations or points on my map , that will lead me to the end. Its entirely on me to determine which of those points are correct and fit with the clues given.
          Now if they fit ,there MUST be something about those points that let you know that they are correct,hence the clues.
          Now once my map is drawn out complete, I will have a direct path to take. If the first eight points (clues ) on my map are correct then IMO, clue nine will give me the certainty beforehand. I dont know how Mr. Fenn will acomplish this ,I am not at clue 9 .My guess ,there will be no where else to go beyond ,somehow you will know when you have solved clue 9 and when you find that location , your at a dead end no place left to go, no more words in the poem, no more forks in the path to take. Maybe that will be your certainty.

      • Lisa, you hit me with a snicker with your nut in your candy. We know Mr. Fenn has an inkling for chocolate. Once again when I read that statement I see another word that maybe key.

  37. seeker”-what is it about the the poems true solve that says… this is the correct one.” a word that is key is the answer. A word that is key is not a keyword, but rather confirms that your solve is correct. IMO

    • Emmett,

      I don’t like to see the ” key word ” either.
      “a word that is key” seems to imply that, if understood properly the poem reveals itself… at least to some degree. Where as a ‘key word’ is [ for me ] something needed to use and unlock a pattern of sort [ for lack of a better term ]… that feels more like a code or cipher.
      Subtle difference in my book, yet important differences.

      If the word that is key is the deciding factor to certainty or sure beforehand, do you think that word is a clue itself or with in a clue? Simply a word placed in the poem at the proper location? or even one outside the poem… such as rainbow?

      I found an interesting meaning to rainbow that describes, and is about the RM’s ~ that one I keep to myself. So out of curiosity would you tell / explain your word that is key? Mine at one time was the smallest word in the poem, now I’m not so umm confident… maybe we can take this conversation over to the keyword topic, if ya like.

  38. seeker: “a word that is key” is a word in the poem, that will confirm, geographically, that u are searching in the correct area. It does not unlock anything. It is not one of the nine clues. It is only relative if you are searching in the correct area.
    I found an area that seemed to have an abundance of what seemed to be correct clues, but many places can fit that bill. Closer scrutiny revealed a word, that without a doubt, assured me that this was indeed the correct area.

    As an aside, the smallest word in the poem, is of major importance.IMO

    I’ve always found your posts very insightful and well thought out. good luck to you.

    • Emmett, “a word that is key” is a word in the poem, that will confirm, geographically, that u are searching in the correct area. It does not unlock anything. It is not one of the nine clues. It is only relative if you are searching in the correct area. IMO This is correct.

    • Hi, first time posting. I found out about Fenns treasure about two weeks ago. Im pretty sure I know where to look but I am stumped getting into around clue 5ish. I live in Illinois, so I cant really so out there and look around. I dont know about a certain word being key. What do you mean a word is a key? like a cipher?

        • This is Forrest’s quote from Jenny’s Mysterious Writings site: “It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching. Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated” I always wondered if he meant the “word that is key” was in the poem itself or someplace else, like TTOTC.

          • I think it could be either. I found a word
            in TTOTC that is VERY important, but
            not in the poem.

            I also found a word in the poem that is
            also VERY important. I think both these
            words are key.

            The above is just my opinion.

  39. Lisa; u scare me. No one has ever agreed with me before. If you don’t have ALL the clues nailed down, u might as well stay home. No one will stumble upon the chest. What state do u live in?(just curious)

    • Emmett ,I live in a one red light town , near the coast in Alabama. I have to have ALL the clues nailed down, the Rockies are to far away to go on a hunch. Did it once this year ,but it’s to costly to just load up three teens two dog’s , hubby and take of for the mountains.

    • Forrest wouldn’t want ppl walking over ice in the winter he has told me several times not to go in the winter Dangerous

      • That is new information. At least to me it is.
        It is said to be a seasonal search, but I did not get the gist that winter was ruled out. I had just now thought that the season for a seasonal search would be a winter when the water was low or frozen.

        • I could see advantages to searching in the winter and disadvantages also. I think the best bang for your buck would be in fair weather but if I lived close enough to where I could go look and be somewhere warm by evening I would not let winter deter me. I would have to be fairly certain and specific though. imo

          • DG
            Just thinking about not finding it in the snow, perhaps that is true because it is sheltered or underwater and yet there is snow all around. You will not find it “in snow”

          • I’ve looked in the snow a lot and I relize now that was crazy of me I could of died ESP where I was in Montana there snow is nothing like north georgia snow the weather changes so sudden one minute hiking on sunny day then a blizzard comes out of no where. Forrest stresses for everyone to be safe winter is not safe in Montana

          • I’m with you on that Diggin. I would not put myself at risk winter, spring, summer or fall.

          • If your going to exclude all the seasons, just don’t leave your home for anything, it’s not safe. And while your at it you should not search using the internet. There are viruses, Trojans, worms and all sorts of diseases your computer can get. There are risks involved whatever you do in life, just try to minimize them. A frozen creek to go up doesn’t sound to sound IMO.

          • If you had the right metal detector you could find it any place. Snow is not an issue unless the ground would be too hard to dig. Your never going to find the microscopic blaze anyhow. I jus don’t have 20k for equipment, anyone have 20k they could lend me 50% return on your investment. It’ll double you’ll make 40!

  40. Lisa; Ive gone to church several times in Elberta,(one red light) while visiting friends in Josephine.
    I live in SW Ms. Small world-
    2100 miles to my solve

      • eight trips- three by car/truck-same area-I’m going to Biloxi tomorrow with friends. PM me if you want to talk/drink coffee.

    Look at the top of this page. Right under the header photo. The far right tab now takes you to Sacha’s Tee Shirt Design Contest for Tee Shirts at Fennboree…
    Get out your favorite set of markers or your favorite drawing program and get started. You can submit an entry thru February 10th. We all vote on February 11th and 12th..
    May the coolest design win!!!!

  42. Hey searchers I’m new here. I started after watching Expedition Unknown with one of my sons’ and have been trying to catch up by reading the numerous blogs (I have read everything from 2013 to now on several sites). I clearly don’t have the treasure… yet. lol, because I am writing this. My particular solve can’t be executed until spring and even perhaps summer. I have made several treks to my location since before Christmas in order to understand my solve. The trailhead to my solve is currently under 4′ of snow and winter is just beginning. Now like you, I have to spend all winter trying to poke holes in my solve. I feel I need to prove myself wrong in order to go back to my day job. ha ha. I am sure you seasoned hunters have felt this way during your journey. Waiting stinks. Happy searching everyone.

    • That’s horrible. Forrest has said time and time again to think like a 80 year old 🙁 he didn’t do anything dangerouse. Hope he is ok . And no one should be looking in the winter !!!!!

      • I agree with you. Hoping for a good outcome. From where he’s from is just a few miles from where I live. Sure hope he’s okay and found soon. Thank you for posting this news, inthechaseto.

    • “I don’t know what to say except that I’ve said a number of times that you should let the search rest until spring,”
      Bilyeu, may you find the ultimate treasure & go in peace.
      Billye, did not use good judgement.
      I hope others will learn from this.

      • And it ain’t even just the winter Forrest was 79 he didn’t go down a raging river Can’t over stress not to go where a 79 or 80 year old can’t go Forrest had a hard time just standing in line at a book store . And he hates being cold so he wouldn’t take the chance of getting froze in a river .

    • Unfortunately he’s been missing since the fourth, it’s now the sixteenth, it would be nothing short of a miracle if he survived. One plunge into very cold waters in the winter is a recipe for disaster. If we could only understand what Leo is saying & thinking……

      • Then I hope and pray for a miracle, If I was in the same position I would not want people to give up on me just because it seems improbable for survival. If I was close and/or he was my friend I would search until I found him or someone else did

  43. Heavenly father,
    We ask that you keep Randy in your care, give him strength and lift him up as on wings of an eagle, and bring him safely home.

  44. I feel like “there’ll be no paddle up your creek” means that you will only have one opportunity to see it when you get there, and when you pass it, you won’t be able to easily turn around and retrace your steps.

  45. It is sad to see such a dedicated searcher such as Randy go missing. My family does not know him personally but we keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers. I hope there is some resolve soon.
    As the search for Randy is under way, we are reminded of the harsh environment that our beloved mountains contain within.
    As a side note to this search and for all of the impatient searchers out there, we are told over and over again to put down the search until springtime and to not go where a 79/80 y/o man cannot go.
    With that said, I would like to add a tidbit of thought to those comments. I just received my TTOTC last week, and a simple observation made it clear to me that it may be impossible to chase the chest in the winter.
    In terms of the treasure, we know that it will be hard but not impossible to find. With that said, any landmarks in or near the area will be small and/or obscured to a point that we the searchers would be able to find it because we are knowingly looking for the chest in said area, and it would be difficult if not impossible for a day-hiker to stumble upon the chest.
    Mr. Fenn stated in his book TTOTC (freebie to those who don’t have the book) that he plotted the site of his final repose. When we all get to where we are going, we will know we are there because we have found this plotted marker(s). In the middle of nowhere that may be a rock ledge, a small cairn of rocks, 4 rocks representing the perimeter of a crude gravesite etc. etc. If I am correct in this interpretation, then it will be near impossible for us searchers who are knowingly looking in a particular location to come across a crude gravesite if the markers for it would more than likely be covered in snow allowing us to walk past it and continue searching the gazillion rocks nearby in vain. Six inches of snow may be all that the site needs to be obscured from everyone, searchers and non-searchers alike.

  46. Forrest Fenn is the man,and I have loved every minute of my time researching his poem.I want to share my thoughts with everyone.Lets start with Home of the Brown which Forrest said isn’t a good place to start.I believe is simply water where Brown trout live,but not just any water its the firehole river where Brown trout was first brought to Yellowstone,and maybe he hid the chest with the title to his gold,and kept the contents with him,and that’s how he knows when the chest is found,and that would explain a lot of his clues,so just keep it simple people,and listen to what he says.he has a way of saying things to side track you,but he says things the way it is.happy hunting,and I will be glad to share any of my theories which is my 6th one,and I thought I was right everytime.good luck and be carful because not just any 8 year or any 80 tear old man can go where Forrest went.Thank You Mr.Fenn for serving our country,and GOD SPEED

  47. An unpaddleable creek. Whether because its dry, too shallow, too strong a current to go upstream, or not allowed by regulations, et al. I think its just meant to let us know to look for and recognize a creek that cannot be paddled, for whatever reason.

  48. Dal et al,
    I concur with Dal’s interpretation to some extent…IMO you will definitely KNOW you are on the right track by the time you reach this point in the chase…But the question remains…is he telling us NOT to go up the creek?, Or is he just telling us the creek is too small to row up, so we must walk…If we are NOT to go up the creek, then where? Why bring up the creek at all if we are not looking for it? So, IMO we are looking for a Creek that is nigh from no place for the meek, and we are to go up that Creek, but not in a boat…again, all is IMO

    • @Michael D, I can envision an interpretation that comes to the base of a waterfall. Can’t paddle up the waterfall under any circumstances, water is high (up), and if it’s hidden near the fall, one might get wet making it worth the cold. It would also explain the need to go down into a canyon.

      Apologies if this has already been suggested.

      • E.C. Waters High.
        I think this interp is right on. Maybe the blaze is the falls & the treasure is in a crevice behind the bottom of the falls? Yea, you will be cold even in the summer in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado or NM, dipping in a creek above 5,000′ in elevation. So you see your effort will be worth the cold, pretty straight forward & not a clue IMO.
        Yes it has been suggested over the years here & there, but I don’t think you need to apologize for your thoughts.

      • Remember. Don’t go where a 80 year couldn’t go twice in one day. Don’t need no more people getting hurt out there Forrest isn’t superman

    • Michael,

      I think you are already on the creek. It’s your creek; it’s your fishing hole. And for some reason nobody is going to paddle from down stream to interrupt you.


      • Let’s THINK logically for a moment…Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE the waterfall idea…I used it myself, ALOT. But, IMO there’s simply no waterfall in existence in the Rockies that that is stable enough to maintain i’ts current geological condition over the next 1,000 years, that has not or will not be visited by humans frequently. a smaller falls is too volatile, and unstable to hide a treasure behind…and a larger falls is not “private” enough, especially if it can be visited twice in one afternoon from a vehicle. Therefore…IMO any Ideas that involve hiding the treasure directly in the path of water of any kind, is out. Furthermore, water is the most powerful force on earth, it moves mountains…Forrest knows this, and IMO he placed the chest in an area protected from the force of water, at least flowing water. So, while your creek is part of the equation, IMO the final resting place ill not be along the bottom of a canyon, but more toward the top…and probably someplace with a slope of less than 30 degrees, since anything steeper is prone to slides and avalanches. JUST MY OPINION>>>

        • @Michael D, perhaps it’s not a paddle up the creek but a pebble? Pebble Creek? Ice Box Canyon in Yellowstone might be where warm waters from Soda Butte freeze (in an icebox), it’s accessible by car, not far but too far could be the opposite side off trail…HOB could still apply for Lamar Valley ranger station, and there are cascading falls.

          Apologies if this has been previously discussed.

        • Michael – I 100% disagree. When you read “The War and Me.” you can not help but be moved by how much the waterfall in Viet Nam affected Forrest.

          Forrest says, “.”…I felt I’d made a deal with that beautiful place. “You bring me back and I’ll come down there and personally thank you.” The deal was struck I trusted it, and it could trust me. It was our secret alone.”

          I feel that a similar waterfall here in the States is how Forrest has kept that pact, by secreting his TC near just such a waterfall.

          Two weeks ago in a MW post Forrest said,”Until now I have resisted telling them to get back in the box where their thoughts are comfortable and flow more easily.

          To me, the “Flow more easily” was a reference to the waters below a waterfall, where the waters flow more easily. I could be 100% wrong, but I think not. I guess we will see on the 23rd.

          Good luck Michael, and TRY to STAY SAFE


          • JD, might I also add that F said, ” the small clearing was now about 300 ft across, and belly high grass made walking difficult. It was impersonal and disappointing.
            IMO, impersonal and disappointing means cold.
            I can’t wait for the 23rd to come for you as you are so confident in your solve.
            Good luck to you in your search.

          • Where did Forrest say the clearing was 300 feet across and belly high grass ?

          • Ohhhh he was referring to where the waterfall was hummmm could be describing the area where treasure is also thanks for mentioning this

          • Hi DG,
            I thought you gave up on the chase after reading your story on Mindy’s site. Are you back in?

          • I try to quit hahah but it’s like a piece of chewing gum stuck to your shoe the more I try to pull away it justs stays with me hahaah 🙂 how can one truly quit after they think for years on end 🙂

          • Thanks Eaglesabound.

            I am just counting the days, reading everything over and over again, looking for any small detail I might be overlooking.

            Isn’t all of this SOOOOO much fun?

            Thanks again to Forrest for “The THRILL of the Chase.

            Good luck and TRY to STAY SAFE


          • JD, I’ll be the first to congratulate you.
            Might I ask if you are local? Local meaning you live on the west side of the country.

          • Eaglesabound and SeanNM;

            Eagles – I live in Pocatello, Idaho and my search area is in Wyoming – NOT YNP

            Sean – nothing stops “things” from flowing more easily. The THING you are referrnig to weighs 42 pounds, and I expect that it is nicely nestled against a small boulder in the stream, in an area where “quiet” waters flow.

            Hope I got your drift…Those are my current thoughts anyway.

            Good luck to you both and TRY to STAY SAFE


          • I think you’re right JD, the waterfall in VietNam may have reminded him of one he knew in the States… and he made the promise to return and called it a “debt”.

            Fenn pointed out its significance by telling of another debt honored — when his parents paid the return on their mortgage.

            Good luck and a safe return to you as well.

    • [insert street name] Creek. Don’t paddle silly.
      Or Battle Creek, Michigan (not my opinion just example] don’t paddle up there drive.
      Just a few ideas that are as old as the hills.

  49. Perhaps we could ask Stephanie what falls she has checked and also communicated these to F. It seems to me she’s the one who would faint if she knew how close she’s been or would tear up the countryside going back to all the places she’s visited. And it seems to me like she’d readily share since she sees it all as a hoax anyway, right? I mean this in good spirit.

    • Good luck with that ECW,
      There are many waterfalls in the RM’s.
      Not going to get details of WF from anyone except for a few that are posted.
      Besides, waterfalls can be dangerous, very dangerous. I was pulled out of one when I was 12 years old in Maine when I didn’t realize there was a deep pool dug out where the water, rocks & debris gouged out a deep pocket in the rock at the bottom of the falls during a weekend getaway with my science teacher at Linden school in Massachusetts along with a few of my classmates, Shawn H., John B. & Brian B. Mr Seroise took us to Maine for this trip which I thank him for this learning experience that is forever embedded in my mind. If I wasn’t pulled out from the bottom of this small waterfall, I would not be here today to express myself.

      Be careful out there & don’t go where Forrest wouldn’t or couldn’t.

        • Well james,
          I have changed my mind as many do here after time passes by.
          I do think it’s very near a waterfall & possibly in a deep erosioned out pool of water at the bottom of a small fall.
          Kinda like the one I almost drowned in when I was a kid.
          These pools can be deep.

          • And the key word is ALMOST! Glad that that pool below your waterfall did not claim your life.

            Hope that the next waterfall is as generous to you as was the one at age 12.

            Good luck Jake, and Don’t just TRY – but BE SAFE


          • Thanks JD,
            Well, it wasn’t my time or my waterfall although I almost bought it.
            How many others here have had that experience?
            Not many I bet.
            I hope to take one more swim in a pool below a waterfall come late summer or fall, but doesn’t seem likely.
            Hopefully your falls are more welcoming than mine when you go.

    • Have you ever had that moment, where your mouth overides your ass- perations? Lol. Pretty sure it has nothing to do with a waterfall. Stephanie may have been closer to Indulgence than she was aware.

  50. IMO heavy loads describes mining (lodes) that took place in the creek…placer mining utilized hydraulic hoses to strip the gravel from the canyon walls…water high…or, perhaps there’s a lake to the north of the creek we seek….this could be water high as well….son many options!

    • Michael;

      One of those options is this: Heavy Loads = the 42 pound treasure chest and its contents and Water High = a waterfall. I expressed my feelings re the waterfall a bit farther up this thread.

      Good luck to ALL searchers, and TRY to STAY SAFE


  51. imo to me its a place where – there is a mountain (heavy loads ) with a creek (waters high) that flows on top of the mountain. no paddle to me means – don’t go up to the creek stay below jmo

  52. This is one of the parts that confuses me the most. I’ve gone in my canyon down, and shortly after I see a cave drawing to my right. I think the semi colon before this line is very important. I am not sure if it’s telling me to pause and keep going, or if I should stop and turn around. If I pause and keep going then I’m going down the creek. If I stop and turn around then I’m going up to the creek. Decisions decisions.

  53. This is as good a place as any to mention again. Forrest didn’t write good map. He said it. He may have have said Goode map. Goode having been a cartographer. Likewise he didn’t write anything about a key word. Did he?

    • Lug you need to do more research before you make statements like that. Obviously you don’t know what you’re talking about and apparently haven’t even bothered to read the scrap books.

      Fenn wrote: Some searchers overrate the complexity of the search. Knowing about head pressures, foot pounds, acre feet, bible verses, Latin, cubic inches, icons, fonts, charts, graphs, formulas, curved lines, magnetic variation, codes, depth meters, riddles, drones or ciphers, will not assist anyone to the treasure location, although those things have been offered as positive solutions. Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map. f

    • …and you can find his statements about “a word that is key” and “the key word” over at MW (Mysterious Writings).

  54. You will be stuck at the perpetual solvers road block. Do you just drive into a military base unchecked? No, you halt and the guard will tell you if you can enter. You are the car stopped at the green light and we tarry scantly around your stalled butt. Do you see yet that halt is only the death of the cancer patient’s body the halting of the heart and the spirit enters the process of exiting this life and entering either heaven or hell. If halt meant you go no further than their would be an awfully long line of cars waiting to enter the Air Base. Word used to stump the searchers who are stuck inside the box. What happens when water is halted or not released from a dam? does it run back up the mountain or does it find an exit? Leadville is the home of Brown but our government gave the canyon above Salida his name so Browns Canyon is also a Home for Brown. I can’t make you get it but that is how it works. Fenn had many years to assemble his puzzle, it wasn’t wrote to make it easy, it is to make it hard. If you can’t get past this stop sign than you may as well turn around and go home. So if you go to Home Depot and you paid and headed for your car and the automatic door doesn’t open right away and you have to Halt a few second and just before the door opens you notice the bi-lingual exit sign. As you walk out somebody walks in the halt is only the doorway that you start or enter your chase. So we see this doorway or gateway so patient dies his warm blood halts his spirit exits the body and enters a new chase or heaven. Forrest has subliminally reference Shakespeare about having “your exits and entrances” So when your warm water reaches the cold water it exits its source. Did anybody remember me mention that bi-lingual thing? because you’ll have to think about that after this little lesson. (comments are to help understand that halt is only a stop on the way to the treasure.)

    Chief of the Fennatics

  55. There are not many creeks you can paddle up.
    So, here I am up craps creek without a paddle, I am not enjoying fishing here at times. I think I’ll take a break from fishing & walk up this creek to see heavy lodes & water high. See you at the blaze.

    • Casey,
      There are not many that start in WY & end up in MT.
      I will tell you & all the peering eyes here that my search area is in the Madison’s.
      Goofy has probably seen this a few dozen times, especially early on the chase.
      If you want to click on my name above & goto contact page to send me a PM & I can disclose where the details lie.

      • I have been at this 6 weeks, so i have no searches just 200 hours map time, but i believe you are on the correct path.i tried to get you info off the link you left but it doesn’t work.

        • If you’ve come to the conclusion that you start in WY & end up in MT in 6 weeks, you are way ahead of me.
          It took me over a year to come to that conclusion.

          You can throw out some details here without giving too much away.
          I have pretty much put it all out here if you want to dig & see where exactly it led me. I’m pretty sure most will ignore your solve considering you’ve only been at this a short time.

          My email is on this site in several places. I am not willing to post it again.

          • Jake,

            When he said “Those who solve the first clue are more than half way to the treasure, metaphorically speaking.” What do you think he meant? I was thinking he could be saying that the first clue and the last clue are in the same state, if it spans 2 of 4 possible states and you figured out the 1st clue you would be half way there, not more than half way. But maybe that is not what he meant at all and I am just hearing what I want to hear to force fit my 1 state solve. What do you think he meant by this statement?


          • Mark,
            I take that statement along with the others about the 1st clue.
            Paraphrasing, If you don’t have the 1st clue, stay home & play canasta & if you don’t have the 1st clue you got nothing.

            I think the 1st clue & where the last clue is, which I think is the blaze are sort of one in the same as in: The 1st clue is at a waterfall & where the last clue is at a waterfall – or – The 1st clue is at a bathing spot & where the last clue is at another bathing spot.

            So, theoretically you could be at the blaze where I think the treasure lays & not know it because you didn’t get the 1st clue.

            What I get is if you don’t have that 1st clue nailed down, you won’t know what your looking for where the last clue is.

            As I stated on MW: “It doesn’t matter how close you are, it only matters if you know you are.”

            As far as the 2 state theory goes, your right about 50% and not over.
            I just happen to like WY & MT because he wrote about them more that NM & CO. I tend to cherish & remember those chidhood years in the woods much more than other years.

  56. When FF writes up YOUR creek is he talking to himself (Fenn Creek) with heavy loads (two trips) & water high (back up the canyon) to WWWH

  57. I can’t say what this line, “There’ll be no paddle up your creek”, means.
    I just know that I don’t want to get paddled myself, in this case by Mother Nature.
    And I can see how this idea might scare others besides myself.
    I’m sure even Forrest considered this when he hid the treasure.

    Lets be safe about this great adventure.
    I think Forrest, even though he’s willing to wait beyond his days, somewhere in his head is thinking something along the lines of:
    “Hurry up, can’t wait forever.”

  58. The following is just my opinion. Yours may differ.

    My thinking includes the following ideas:

    1. As you travel “up your creek” (a real creek, by the way),
    you notice that it is not one that is suitable for a canoe/
    raft/kayak, etc. . . . so you won’t be using a paddle here.

    2. The path (along this creek) takes you kinda far from the
    modern things you might appreciate, such as emergency
    medical treatment (i.e., a defibrillator, which uses “paddles”).
    Not that a helicopter couldn’t bring this, but following the
    creek uphill involves a long(ish) walk, which will put you
    more than a few hundred feet away from the nearest
    defibrillator. And you’ll also be out of range of decent
    cellphone signals. So don’t expect treatment from a
    defibrillator while on the BOTG part of the search!

    . . . continuing, now, with the next line of the poem — because I
    couldn’t find a section of this blog that addresses mainly
    the phrase “heavy loads” . . .

    Many folks seem to think that “heavy loads” refers to carrying
    the treasure. But while traveling up the creek in search of the
    treasure, you wouldn’t yet have it. So you won’t, at this time,
    be experiencing heavy loads due to the weight of the treasure.

    Good luck to everyone, and please stay safe.

    • I recently took another look-see in the same search
      area I went to in May 2016. This time I learned that
      an Iphone, with AT & T coverage DOES work! That’s
      good news, from a safety point-of-view. So an
      emergency defibrillator’s paddle(s) could, in fact, be
      brought by helicopter if appropriate . . . but by the
      time it arrived, it probably wouldn’t do much good.

      I learned on this last trip that the terrain, and details
      about what’s on the ground are quite different than
      what I was able to see on google earth. BOTG
      searching makes a BIG difference, compared to
      sitting at home and using a computer.

      The above is just my opinion. Good luck to all

  59. “No paddle up your creek” is one of many figures of speech in the poem which are common for fishermen and canoers. Since there are so many such terms I believe (IMO) it is wise to consider their meanings FIRST as fishing OR canoing terms BEFORE considering other potential interpretations for those terms. I believe NO PADDLE means either; 1… that the water is too swift to paddle upstream or 2…that the new tributary or confluence is dried up and you will need to stow your canoe away for a time.

  60. You’re right JDA ,
    I put IMO after that statement ,but it did not show up? It is a statement of fact,
    I do have the 9 clues solved (IMO) and all the hints. I promised Dal I would follow the rules, which means everything I say is followed by IMO or I believe.
    Clues 3,4, and 5 are the hardest.(IMO)

  61. Hi Team, I’m new to the hunt, so apologies if people have already brought this up, but reading no paddle and water high got me thinking. “Water” isn’t plural, so it’s not the same sense as WWWH, not a body or confluence of waters.

    Play with the syntax a little and you can think of “water high” as “high water,” as in high water mark. Could it be that you don’t need a paddle, because it’s not deep enough, but at one point (either a flood, or is no longer high water because it was dammed) it was? Maybe it’s a little more nuanced than a dry river bed?

    • Welcome to the Chase, Bwanapoa. Good questions. I believe you’ll enjoy reading conversations others have had on this blog.

    • Welcome aboard Bwanapoa,

      Dal has done a pretty good job (along with the site admin) in keeping tabs on all that has been posted. Sometimes searching can help for a particular word – but often the returns are too long to wade through. (Word play unintended.) I have found the best thing to do is to set aside some time every day and plow through all the back comments to try to get caught up. Your mileage may vary.

      You will discover that many, if not most, of the ways of looking at a word or concept has been turned over and mulled on by someone in this group. In that sense, this is a big “think tank” and gives your mind something else to consider as you do your research. Don’t be too surprised if you have an “aha moment” every once in a while as you read.

      To the point, “water high” has been thoroughly considered, but until Indulgence is in the hands of the finder, none of us knows if it has been fully vetted.

      Good luck to you as you search,

  62. “There’ll be no paddle up your creek”

    The obvious answer is that it’s a stream that is too small, narrow, or shallow to paddle a boat in. Or simply a dry creek bed or wash.
    Buy why “your” creek?
    Some have said maybe it’s because it’s in a public or National park.
    Others say it’s a play on: ‘Up the creek without a paddle’ but that phrase does not specify “your”.
    Could it be My creek because I will have to find or re-discover it?
    -Definition of creek:
    chiefly British : a small inlet or bay narrower and extending farther inland than a cove
    : a natural stream of water normally smaller than and often tributary to a river
    archaic : a narrow or winding passage

    • randawg, the saying always refers to “you’ll” be up the creek or “we”ll” be up the creek or “they’ll” be that famous creek… You, in the saying, is the specific reasoning… depending on the situation.

      The saying means to be in a difficult situation { basically } but the word creek {as you have shown} can mean “a narrow passage.” It could also be explained as, between a rock and a hard place, or even in a bind {a problematical situation.}

      Being this follows no place for the meek and the end is ever drawing nigh… a narrow passage fits well with a physical landscape without having to travel by water or get wet. Maybe a travel between close rock faces, a higher elevated area like a switch back trail needed to travel up to heavy loads and water high. In this case “your creek”could mean your travel to… a higher point {fear of heights, maybe} Traveling a tight passage way { claustrophobic } or a number of other things many folks don’t care for.

      The obvious reasoning may not be the reality… Just like halt might not mean stop { in this case }, but a change in direction… Not unlike marching forward and halt the forward motion… you’re no longer going in the direction you were. Yet, we do have another command, if you will… a downward direction… and the forward motion changes without ever stopping.

      • IMO, it may well be that no paddling progress upstream is directly a result of heavy and high water loads especially if you are meek in your efforts directly after “putting in” the waterway.

  63. “There’ll be no paddle up your creek” is like saying
    “Yes, we have no bananas.”
    With a conflict between ‘There will be’ and ‘no paddle’.
    Then there is ‘paddle’ and ‘your’….is that y’ ore?
    Probably not. But it makes me wonder:
    Who is being refered to when he says ‘your’ ?

    • For me, Clue #4 includes all of stanza #3. Because of the semi colon though, I break it up into two elements. The bottom element includes, “There’ll be no paddle up your creek, Just heavy loads and water high.” So, for me, the no paddle, and the heavy loads and water high are all one element.

      “There’ll be no paddle up your creek implies either treacherous waters where one can not take a kayak, boat, canoe etc or that the creek, rill or rivulet is too small for any kind of water craft. …JUST heavy loads, and water high – meaning that the ONLY thing in these waters will be the TC and “water high”

      So, climb as high as you can, following this small water course, maybe to its beginning (Water high), and it is here that you will find the TC. Just MHO – JDA

      • jda – I agree that there’ll be no paddle up your creek and heavy loads ad waters high is one element – but I think that waters high is a direction that sends you north to the blaze imo

      • “There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
        Just heavy loads and water high.”

        Sounds like that clue might be related to a dam as approached from downstream, eh?


        • I see the 3rd stanza as a steep rocky creek bed (steep = no paddle) and water high as a waterfall. Also railroad tie flumes could be heavy loads and water high: warm spring creek near Dubois WY has a few elements that may fit the poem, anyone been there?

          • Tbug;

            Type in “Warm Springs Creek” in the box below Dal’s pic and two solves come up by a guy named Marvin back in 2015 – JDA

    • frank, I agree (if what you mean is that a searcher shouldn’t
      be actually walking upstream IN a creek, if it’s practical to
      walk beside the creek). The poem gives directions that
      define the route/path that leads to the TC. A searcher is not
      required to literally walk/drive/swim along that exact path.
      Using the path to navigate is the ticket, in my opinion. By
      the way, it’s a real creek. Not deep enough to paddle up it.
      And “waters high” actually (physically) exist there, but also
      in a “figurative/metaphorical” way. Same with “heavy loads”.

      The above is my opinion.

  64. ok ken – I think that no paddle up your creek means don’t go in the way of the creek but go to heavy loads and waters high imo

  65. Just an aside. I’ve noticed quite a few people making the same error on this blog.

    “I should of gone to the store earlier”.
    “I should of said water”
    ” I should of been more specific”

    The word that should be used is HAVE. ” I should HAVE gone to the store earlier”. I should HAVE been more specific.

    This post brought to you by my Grammar, who used to hit me on the knuckles with a ruler for not using the word “of” correctly.

    • Sparrow, I agree with you 100%. I’ve been tempted, many
      times, to (try to) educate other people about proper grammar,
      spelling, etc.

      Most are offended or insulted. To THINK that a fully-grown,
      legal-age adult doesn’t know it all! Oh, the horror!

      You might want to refrain a bit from doing this too often, as
      it does tend to offend the uneducated masses. These folks
      have pitchforks, and vote!

      On the other hand, if a variety of educated folks each take
      an occasional “turn” doing this, it might help . . . while absolving any single individual of a huge share of the responsibility for such a tremendous crime against humanity!

      • Sparrow and Tighterfocus-
        I consider myself educated…
        I make lots of grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes and spelling blunders, not to mention typos and unnecessary corrections by spell check which slip through unnoticed. In the end most folks know what I mean even if they are revulsed by the way I wrote it 🙂

  66. I am new at this but Water high is referencing the act of taking your shoes off and walking in shallow water. So where your going is wet and cold.

    • I’m sure you’re going to have a lot of fun, Amanda. I enjoyed reading your opinion to what “water high” may be referencing to. What are your thoughts to “heavy loads”?

  67. I am of the opinion that I have found the general location for the treasure. I believe that up a creek without a paddle refers to walking a trail beside and through a creek and I am pretty sure where that creek is.

    • Good luck Amanda. What state do you think that it is in. if you do not mind telling. Remember, TRY to STAY SAFE when you go up your stream. JDA

    • The reference you are looking for is:. ““Generally speaking, there are places where one should stay on established trails; Yellowstone is one. However, it reminds me of the worn-out axiom, “If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes.” When I am in the mountains or in the desert, the last place I want to be is on a trail. Ain’t no adventure in that for me. There isn’t a human trail in very close proximaty (sic) to where I hid the treasure.” f

      “Not in very close proximaty” vs 500′ Hope this helps JDA

    • Amanda;

      The question is ,”What is not in VERY CLOSE proximity”?
      Is that 10′? 25′? 50′? 100′ or more? Good question. My personal guess is 25′ or more. Just my guess, others may differ. In other words, I would guess that the TC is AT LEAST 25′ away from a human trail. JDA

      • I think it’s 200′-400′ feet off from a human trail because of Forrest’s statement of how close searchers and others have been to the tc.

        • Jeremy, I think it’s about a mile (as the crow flies) from the nearest (typically defined)
          “established” human trail. The creek, however, is considerably less than a mile from the TC.

          All my opinion. Yours may differ.

  68. TBNPUYC,JHLAWH…many folks have thought of many ways that these two lines of the poem can be interpreted. I personally have scattered thoughts as to what the possibilities could be. My ongoing theory/solve?, consists of the creek belonging to me/us (either on public property or property owned by the citizens, managed by others), and it could have moving water in it (possibly not always). There is another interpretation that I discovered a couple of years ago that could be a blatant indicator…but I can’t seem to give it up yet. Maybe sometime.
    I have kept in mind Fenn’s words about threading a tract through the wiles of nature and in keeping with that, the creek I favor has a couple of geographical/locational attributes that indicate that this may be a good candidate.
    At one time I was convinced that this stanza had to be about waterfalls…but no longer.

    • continued…
      Many have asserted that HL could indicate a bridge(that carries heavy loads), power lines carrying heavy loads of electrical current, mines(lodes) etc. One common assertion is boulders, which I tend to lean towards as this seems to make a lot of sense.
      Water high has been talked about in terms of water towers…which I just don’t see as standing the test of time. Especially when speaking of a thousand years. Waterfalls seem to be very common…and I certainly believed that enough to make 4 trips to one. Waterfalls make sense because of Fenn’s story of one in Vietnam, and that was my assertion early on in my Chase. In the end…I had to let it go because I just did not believe that Forrest would truly want to be memorialized by the horrors of a war that nearly took his life and many of his comrades. His shared feelings in My War For Me seemed to indicate that this part of his life was exclusive except in how he made it through. Just my take as a veteran.
      There are other sources of water that may be higher in elevation than where a creek may be…such as springs, lakes, ponds etc. One idea that I particularly like is a high water mark/line. I have seen many examples in my travels…from glacial run off marks to more subtle ones eroded into deeper creek beds. This choice also allows there to be no water at all at present. Just tossing things out there… Have a good one.

      • Ken, I like the way you think. Good luck, and please
        emphasize safety while searching in the Rockies.

        And thank you for your service to our country.

  69. His cleverness is enchanting, No paddle maybe as simple as a dry arroyo or as cunning as: No paddle (oar) or ore, a naturally occurring solid material from which a metal or valuable mineral can be profitably extracted? Up your creek there is a deposit of some kind of ore?

  70. There’ll be “no” paddle up “your” creek…

    While I like multiple meanings of word usages, how words can be phrases to mean two or more things at the same time… such as; creek could mean simply a narrow passage and/or still involve water, or not.

    The typical phrase “up that famous creek with out a paddle” [ which in that case does not mean real water or another ” being in hot water ” doesn’t truly mean being in water ] ~ However, it means to be in a difficult or almost impossible situation to get out of.

    We, as readers of the poem could be forcing this line as a clue, while maybe, the intent was to indicate… there is “no” need to do anything that will put in into a bad situation. “Just” ~ to mean; right… as in; to be at the right location of HLAWH?
    Could the poem actually be telling us NOT to put ourselves into a difficult situation? There’ll be no problems to go where you need to go, Just [ another meaning and usage; “precisely” ] to find heavy loads and water high?

    I’ll also add the thought [ because of the discussion on the Odds N Ends thread about; should the chase be called off because of certain incidents that have occurred.] The thought being; fenn has actually attempted to think of everything [ line of thinking ] but we’re not listening and thinking? And, that information is IN the poem ~ either as a warning, or in part, a warning to use common sense, and in part, a clue as well?

    Might we look at the entire poem slightly different if we take the warning[s] [ ATF as well ] Don’t go where an 80 yr old can’t. Or as fenn stated in the book; “…at age almost – eighty,”… { an odd way to say that, isn’t it? }…” I figured it was time to act.” Implying that the location is easy enough for an elderly person to do? Possibly rethinking the need for a blow up dingy, or a quad, rope to repel down a cliff with etc.

    I could argue the point that the line “As I have gone a lone in there…” could be a clue or could be another way of saying… the place is not to be considered a difficult area, that can’t be traverse by an 80 yr old carrying a heavy backpack to, twice in one afternoon. Subtle, if thought about.

    Is “Brave” used in line 23, last stanza, meaning that we must be fearless to do something, putting ourselves in a difficult situation? Or another definition of the word; to take on a challenge… which was the kick off of why fenn started all this… a challenge to get out and find his special spot.
    Does “tarry scant and marvel gaze…” to mean, get the chest and get the hell out of there fast… like some have suggested? Or could imply we need to linger, stay, a short, small amount of time to look at something as a clue?

    “There are a few words in the poem that are not useful in finding the treasure Phil, but it is risky to discount any of them. You over simplify the clues. There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe. Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts. f ”

    The first sentence to this answer is interesting [ IF we start thinking about the poem, possibly, giving us warnings, NOT to do something. My thought might be one reason it took fenn a period of 15 years… line of thinking… to incorporate everything he desired ] “A few words… “not useful in ‘finding the treasure'”… but risky to discount any of them.

    Maybe we should take another look at the poem and ask, WhatIF?
    Like, does the “big Picture” include common sense, as well as, interpreting the clues? AND if fenn came out and told us exactly what each line was meant for… would you really want to know?
    Do we want to attempt to solve the poem, or only, to be lead on a leash to fulfill our greed of the lure?

    Just food for thought……… even if it might kill your brilliant solve. Better a solve, then you.

  71. There’ll be “no” paddle up “your” creek…

    While I like multiple meanings of word usages, how words can be phrases to mean two or more things at the same time… such as; creek could mean simply a narrow passage and/or still involve water, or not.

    The typical phrase “up that famous creek with out a paddle” [ which in that case does not mean real water or another ” being in hot water ” doesn’t truly mean being in water ] ~ However, it means to be in a difficult or almost impossible situation to get out of.

    We, as readers of the poem could be forcing this line as a clue, while maybe, the intent was to indicate… there is “no” need to do anything that will put in into a bad situation. “Just” ~ to mean; right… as in; to be at the right location of HLAWH?
    Could the poem actually be telling us NOT to put ourselves into a difficult situation? There’ll be no problems to go where you need to go, Just [ another meaning and usage; “precisely” ] to find heavy loads and water high?

    I’ll also add the thought [ because of the discussion on the Odds N Ends thread about; should the chase be called off because of certain incidents that have occurred.] The thought being; fenn has actually attempted to think of everything [ line of thinking ] but we’re not listening and thinking? And, that information is IN the poem ~ either as a warning, or in part, a warning to use common sense, and in part, a clue as well?

    Might we look at the entire poem slightly different if we take the warning[s] [ ATF as well ] Don’t go where an 80 yr old can’t. Or as fenn stated in the book; “…at age almost – eighty,”… { an odd way to say that, isn’t it? aberration? }…” I figured it was time to act.” Implying that the location is easy enough for an elderly person to do? Possibly rethinking the need for a blow up dingy, or a quad, rope to repel down a cliff with etc.

    I could argue the point that the line “As I have gone a lone in there…” could be a clue or could be another way of saying… the place is not to be considered a difficult area, that can’t be traverse by an 80 yr old carrying a heavy backpack to, twice in one afternoon. Subtle, if thought about.

    Is “Brave” used in line 23, last stanza, meaning that we must be fearless to do something, putting ourselves in a difficult situation? Or another definition of the word; to take on a challenge… which was the kick off of why fenn started all this… a challenge to get out and find his special spot.
    Does “tarry scant and marvel gaze…” to mean, get the chest and get the hell out of there fast… like some have suggested? Or could imply we need to linger, stay, a short, small amount of time to look at something as a clue?

    “There are a few words in the poem that are not useful in finding the treasure Phil, but it is risky to discount any of them. You over simplify the clues. There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe. Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts. f ”

    The first sentence to this answer is interesting [ IF we start thinking about the poem, possibly, giving us warnings, NOT to do something. My thought might be one reason it took fenn a period of 15 years… line of thinking… to incorporate everything he desired ] “A few words… “not useful in ‘finding the treasure'”… but risky to discount any of them.

    Maybe we should take another look at the poem and ask, WhatIF?
    Like, does the “big Picture” include common sense, as well as, interpreting the clues? AND if fenn came out and told us exactly what each line was meant for… would you really want to know?
    Do we want to attempt to solve the poem, or only, to be lead on a leash to fulfill our greed of the lure?

    Just food for thought……… even if it might kill your brilliant solve. Better a solve, then you.

    • Seeker wise thoughts. We are all probably all overthinking. Perhaps the poem is vague so many people will go everywhere. No paddle up your creek. Maybe it means you will have no choice when you get to this point in the hunt or as simple as shallow or no water.

  72. Opinion on “no paddle”

    Just describing the creek as small and not navigable, which by
    definition is true of most creeks I would think. Just filler and
    confirmation that you’ve found the right creek / canyon. Same
    with “heavy loads” (material moved along by a glacier or stream)
    which is above the “water high” (waterfall), all reinforcements
    that you’ve started at the correct “warm waters”. Continuing,
    hoB further confirms you’re on the right course to the “put in”
    area, at which point all the previous clues are no longer needed
    as you get out of your car and walk about 800 ft into the wood,
    find the blaze and get the treasure. Simple, eh? !!!

    By the way, a creek is not liable to carve a very impressive
    canyon, IMHO. Those who expect a really big “ditch” might
    be disappointed to find a very gentle valley, at best, with a creek
    in it, but the map says it’s a “canyon”, so it’s a canyon on paper
    at least. (Where I’ve been, in my opinion). You’re mileage may vary.

  73. Thinking about this after having hiked the Grand Canyon and canoed the Green River it strikes me that small side canyons are not all that rare. These places can be caused by the slow erosion of water from small creeks or tiny streams (often dry during the summer). They aren’t always deep enough to allow paddling in a canoe so you might as well just walk up the creek bed. Basically no need for a “paddle up your creek”. Alternately there could be more water flow that makes it difficult to paddle which would cause creek walking to make more sense. Obviously not a good idea during high flow times but not so bad in shallower clear water.

    It’s also interesting that the small feeder streams or creeks can be much warmer than the main river they eventually enter. For example think of the large eroded basin at the bottom of Hermit’s Creek in the Grand Canyon which then feeds warmer water into the colder Colorado River. I’m not saying the treasure is located there but it’s a good visual of what I’m talking about. Not really new ideas for sure! I just think some practical experience in these areas might be helpful.

    I just rediscovered this whole thing after seeing a short blurb on TV many years ago. It seems one of the problems is knowing how deep one needs to go into analyzing parts of the poem. Some things could be very literal and others could be word games wrapped in an enigma of multi-layered puzzles, native American history/folklore, and/or scientific research.

  74. Someone once wrote that the person who finds the treasure would be one who thinks outside the box. I don’t think, I live there. When I first read the poem. I had 2 thoughts. If there’s no paddle up your creek, go down. The second was as many others, a dry creek. Being ex-Army, and a study of Indian culture, I saw the word,”blaze”, as a trail marker. The military uses them to mark mine fields, roads and a bunch of other stuff. Indians used them for roads, burial grounds, and a few other things as well. Even the Boy Scouts. Now days people use gps. I think one very big clue isn’t in the poem nor book. How the heck does Forrest Fenn know how close people have been to the treasure? He would have to either have a camera with a very powerful transmitter, or it can bee seen by a government camera of some sort,(of which all of the public has access to), .Some examples would be highway/freeway cams, Forrest service monitoring fires and other things. Maybe he has a buddy that set up trail cams and checks them once a month. My friend suggested F. knows because of all the people who write to him telling where they’ve searched. Don’t know but I am curios.

    • Scotty-
      The answer to that question has been asked and answered many times over the course of this blog…
      Forrest knows that some were close to the chest because people wrote him and told hime where they were looking and where they had traveled and the solution they invented. No cameras in the sky. No secret squirrel technology. Just searchers communicating their path to him in email.

      • That’s what my buddy said. But if I were to hide a few million, and I had the resources, I would get a kick out of watching people hunt for it.

  75. Dal, I would love to receive an invitation to see Mr. and Mrs. Fenn in their home, too. I had to scan up to see whom you were talking to. 🙂

    • No you haven’t lost it pdenver 🙂 an invitation to visit Forrest and Peggy at home would be a treasure in itself. Just to stand amongst the many artifacts in his collection would be phenomenal…. of course meeting the Fenn’s at home would be great too 🙂

      A few have had the honor of doing so and I’m sure it’s at the top of their keepsake of memories… I’m rooting for ya pdenver… keep your fingers crossed.. lol.

      Have a great day… see ya my friend…..

  76. I thought interesting that some Sheriff in N.M asked Forrest to retrieve the treasure because so many people have died trying to find it. Ok, so people jumped into raging rivers, alone, without proper flotation devises, because they thought a 78 year old man with a heavy back pack would do it? The Sheriff called this a “great tragedy”. (I call it something else) What I found ironic was the article below it stating 7 people died in a N.M freeway pileup. This due to the police not closing it when the smoke from a fire caused zero visibility for almost a mile. So much for preventative measures eh?
    I applaud Mr Fenn for sticking to his guns. The amount of people that have ventured out into the wilderness is fantastic. All because of his generosity and love for the great outdoors. The Sheriff has no idea what kind of impact this could have.
    Wilderness areas are shrinking. City folk make the rules. The newer generations don’t have the love for being far away from the city as generations past. We need to get them out to appreciate the beauty, wonder and adventure God has provided for us. Maybe some will become politicians and help protect the land. Here’s to hoping

  77. If it is a noun then how would it help us if not there? Something like a boat sitting by the creek with no paddle in it?

    Here is what I believe TWBNPUYC means. It is the point that, after hiking from your car, you get to a creek. The line in the poem gives us a direction to go once we find the creek, which is up it or against the flow of the current. We won’t need to paddle as we will simply walk it.

  78. Totally correct Aaron. Once at the creek, the poem gives us the direction. Up your creek says to me to turn uphill. Then the term “water high” makes more sense.

    • so when you find (rightly determine) the creek… you head uphill or against the current. while at the same creek is the BLAZE from where You look quickly down… leaving you with the Blaze and No Paddle on the same creek bed… whether there’s running water or not.

      I personally think there’s running water

      • Yes I agree. It is running water. A small creek which has area to walk on one or both sides. That creek creates a beautiful space, which may not be evident from the road where you have traveled to get there. As long as you have “put in” below the infamous “home of Brown”.

  79. I considered that “paddle” might be a reference to beavers, and that FF was implying that the creek is not one that has been dammed by beavers.

    But why would FF want to tell us this? If a searcher was looking along
    a creek that leads to a known beaver pond/lake, this is of no great
    consequence, as far as I can tell. So FF would have little reason to
    point this out to us. Therefore, I believe that the word “paddle” probably means something else in the context of the poem.

    I think it relates to spankings (“paddling”) that FF received when he was young. This creek’s location relates, in some way, to (relative) freedom — from spankings and other examples of discipline, constriction, and/or regulation in (his) life.

    The above is my opinion.

    • Lol tighterfocus, or it means since its an ‘easy’ creek, you wont get ‘spanked’ going up it, or no rapids, easy flow, shallow, like the one his grandaughter was standing in.

  80. One definition of paddle I’ve not seen heavily considered or discussed here is:

    Paddle – to walk with bare feet in shallow water.
    “the children paddled at the water’s edge”

    My interpretation has always been that the stream or body of water in play at this point in the poem will not be shallow or will not allow barefoot wading due to depth and/or swiftness of the water, and/or due to what constitutes the bed of the stream or body of water.

  81. In my trips and in my opinion (yours may vary): You are in a difficult place up until “your” creek. This difficult situation is like ff’s escape from the classroom. But at your creek you will have the freedom to move about (not like the difficult position you have been in for quite a few miles previously). Another way to put it; you can’t get punished up your creek. From the home of Brown we go through a rough area that is ‘No place for the meek’ to get to your creek. Now from there my trip goes specifically uphill toward heavy loads and high water. I was BOTG at the blaze but did not have the physical strength to get where I needed to be, lol… Three miserable, cold, wet, exhausting trips (with ms)… But, there is another easy but punishable way (if caught)??? My next trip will be preparing for possible consequences? Or can I slip out the “classroom” by the iron fire escape?
    It sounds like fun!
    BTW Irma must have knocked chcsechat offline?

    • No offense Steve, but your travel sounds like a place an 80yr old with a heavy backpack wouldn’t go [twice in one afternoon]. Call it a clue or a hint or just informational… but I like to keep fenn’s “two trips” in mind when I evaluate a possible area.
      Another thought, if you’re using no paddle up your creek as a ‘difficult situation’… why can’t it mean something to the effect of ‘between a rock and a hard place’? This sound more likely to me as a feature in an area [ more easily traveled ] yet fits the same “description” in the poem, without losing the ‘physical strength” to carry on or be “punished” if caught?
      I just don’t understand why folks get so fixated on their solution, they dismiss the warning signs, that their solution could simply be wrong… if the idea that ‘being punished’ for wrong doings is involved.

    • Steve, I don’t recommend that any searcher take the “easy
      but punishable way”. And I don’t think FF would want a
      searcher to do this . . . even if FF may have done it himself.

      The above is all my opinion.

  82. I’m thinking he used the word “your” for a reason here. He could have easily said “the creek.” Why say your unless it had meaning? Your is a word that gives designation to exactly which noun you’re referencing. To me that means there is more than one option (or creek) but YOURS is the one that does not have a paddle…BUT what it does it does have are heavy loads and water high. As for that last bit, I think I may have figured out exactly what it means tonight. And I’m so excited that I can barely contain myself.

    • Tinkgrrrbell, I agree that the use of the word “your” is

      Even if you have the right creek, there are a few very
      challenging clues still to solve. Don’t give up too easily,

      The above is my opinion.

      • I do not even believe that it necessarily has to be a creek. The word your to me is more important. IMO your creek could mean either your path or your creek. We shall see someday.

    • Tinkgrrrbell;

      Had to look at your name a couple of times – very cute. Congratulations on your epiphany re the heavy loads and water high. Glad you are excited – that is what the chase is all about in my opinion. Good luck – JDA

  83. “There’ll be no paddle up your creek,” my thoughts on this is saying one of two things….I’ll give the example of creek first, as the meaning of a creek growing up in Montana.

    1. When water bodies make their way from the mountains towards the ocean, they vary in sizes. At places, a small stream is referred to as a creek. So, in terms of size, river is the largest with stream coming second and the smallest of the three being referred to as creek.

    The water current, when it emerges from the mountains is called a creek and, after waterfall, it is called a stream. Actually in mountainous regions, when rain falls, it flows and runs downhill. Water gets collected in tiny channels. These channels join with other channels and a creek is formed. A creek is narrower and shallower than a stream or river.

    2. The other interpretation is and a common saying is… Well your up the creek with out a paddle, this refers to there is no solution at the time with a problem. Example: the car breaks down and you don’t have any money to fix it.

    I am inclined to prefer #1. You almost always can’t use a paddle in a creek. I believe there is a small creek very close by where the treasure is hidden. I don’t believe #2 applies at all simply meaning there is no current solution to the solve.

    As always it is IMHO

    • Hello CharlieM. I enjoyed what you had to say. One of my thoughts for “There’ll be no paddle up your creek,” as well as, “Just heavy loads and water high,” is an arroyo.

      This is an opinion, offered as a thought.

  84. I think “paddle up your creek”, should be keep separate . From heavy loads and water high, which I don’t consider to be clues. IMO

  85. I do believe they are to be separated. My water high is not a creek stream snow or lake. And. my heavy loads has nothing to do with the other. It is hard for me to tell about the up a creek without a paddle till I can get there and boots on ground. It could be any of 3 possibilities Or more….3D on the map ain’t cutting it for me.

  86. Dear Ms. Mindy–

    Hats’ off to you…….
    You were correct in the notion that Hiawatha was important to solving the poem..IMO

    The sherrif is a bit embarrassed that neither he nor his deputy figured that out on their own. You see Hiawatha Kansas is just a short ride from Billy’s diggin’, and a hop, skip and jump from Atchison.

    You see…..”no paddle up your creek”……..Hiawatha had the only canoe that you didn’t have to paddle. Today I guess he would be driving a self driving Tesla…..

    Billy never read the “song” in his schoolin….it is quite the story. It really hit home in so much as the theme coincides with the moral thoughts of Mr. F following his experiences in Vietnam.

    Mindy….I’ll keep looking ov’r my shoulder for you…………..(I’m not the only one that thinks you’re smart)

    Best regards;

    Sherrif Billy

  87. To me, the context is very relevant.

    “From there it’s no place for the meek,
    The end is ever drawing nigh;
    There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
    Just heavy loads and water high.”

    Also relevant is the semicolon. Consider the way information flows before and after that punctuation.

    What if…. AFTER you find home of Brown, that from there, it is close to being done, and “From there”, it is scary and un-navigable… therefore, at that point, you aren’t going anymore, rather, look to see the blaze where you are.

    You’re nearing the end, because any further you can’t paddle the creek, because of heavy loads and water high. So don’t.

    (Wondrin’ aloud)

    • “From there it’s no place for the meek,

      Once you leave the hoB – the next thing you will encounter is a place where the meek might not want to go.(It is not dangerous though)

      The end is ever drawing nigh;

      After you leave this “meek Place” you will be getting (more than once) closer to your END location. (End can mean boundary or border) So, you may have to cross more than one boundary or border before you reach the END.

      There’ll be no paddle up your creek,

      You will then encounter a creek, stream etc. that is non navigable due to size, water flow (too much or too little) – waterfalls etc.

      Just heavy loads and water high.”

      Again, big boulders, waterfalls, high up in the mountains – etc.

      Just a couple of possibilities – JDA

        • “In your interview with New Mexico True Stories, you mentioned that you know that the treasure is wet. I checked out the date of that interview and it looks like you said that in a February, which could mean that you knew that it had snowed or rained at the site of the treasure chest, or simply because of higher water.

          Now we are in mid-summer, and if we assume that no storms have passed through recently, would you know that the treasure is wet now? ~Thanks, B

          Yes B, physics tells me the treasure is wet.”

  88. If its in water at this rate with this cold it won’t thaw till August. I do own a pick to chip it out if necessary. I am going as soon as the snow melts but it might be a long spring.
    I have finally got a legitimate solve(After finally seeing the forrest for the trees..).that I am very pleased with and I will share after I have investigated it thoughtfully on foot with my vasser boots. I am not going in there meeting some rattleheadedcoppermoccasin as we say here in okla. I have killed only 2 pigmy rattlers with a hoe in my yard but I don’t mess with the copperhead and the water moccasins here are aggressive. I don’t let the grandkids run around in flip flops on the farm.

    I have enjoyed all of you fellow seekers comments and. It has been a pleasurable thought provoking exercise for the brain. I wish you all and the creative master himself a great new year!

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