SUBMITTED March 2016
This is the solve I came up with about a month into the chase.
Open the links in different tabs. If you won’t need to refer back to them, I’ll tell you and you can just close them.
You’ll need a map of Yellowstone. Here’s that link:
I was listening to Forrest’s interviews when I first started. I listened to several and something was screaming at me but I couldn’t remember what the 2 rivers were that he mentioned. 2 or 3 previous videos, Forrest mentioned 2 rivers that merge where he loves so fish. I went back and found the interview. He said, “…… where the Gibbon dumps into the Madison.” This was a few days before I even knew of the Yellowstone connection. I did a quick search at that time for Gibbon River and obviously didn’t look good enough because I found nothing. When I learned of Yellowstone, I did the search again and found where the 2 rivers come together.
If you then follow the Gibbon river east from there for about a page on the same map, you’ll find Gibbon falls/Gibbon Canyon area.
When I did this, I was actually referring to this map: http://d1njyp8tsu122i.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/NPS_Official_Park_Map-11.pdf
Move your mouse to the lower right and you’ll see the magnifying glass to zoom in. Zoom in about 3 clicks and center YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. If it opens as a PDF, then just expand to 125%.
Right there, just upstream of Gibbon Falls, you’ll see Monument Geyser Basin and Beryl Spring. That was my starting point. When I saw that, I said to myself, “Hmmm. Hot springs. Maybe that has something to do with Where Warm Waters Halt.”
I then did some Google searches on that area. It had some pics and it cross-referenced another area in the park. Why it did that, I don’t know. Maybe because I was looking at Yellowstone hot springs. I was positive I found it. Where Warm Waters Halt!!!! Read the quick description on the side.
Dormant hot spring. Where Warm Waters Halt. (WWWH)
After a little researching, it’s actually a dormant geyser. I didn’t know the difference between a geyser and a hot spring. Hadn’t ever really thought about it. A hot spring continually flows. A geyser has a restrictive opening and the warm water stops while pressure builds-up then POOF.
After a few trips to Yellowstone using Liberty Cap as my starting point, I realized Forrest was calling active geysers WWWH, not the dormant geysers. Dormant more indicates STOP. Active geysers have warm water that actually halts then continues then halts again. So, back to the drawing board.
Yellowstone has about 10,000 thermal features. About 3 percent of those are geysers. Wow, 300 geysers to search. Luckily, those 300 geysers are grouped into only 12 different areas.
After a little research, I found the only area that has a canyon right next to the geysers was Monument Basin. That’s an area of the Gibbon Geyser Basin.
Doing some research on that area, just to sanity check everything, I found:
If you “Take it in the canyon down” you are now in the Gibbon River.
But what about this Home of Brown?
If you look on that Tab 2 map and to the far left, downstream from that ‘canyon down’ area, you’ll see Hebgen Lake. Just upstream from that, back toward this ‘canyon down area’, is this area:
Just read the first paragraph under ‘Features.’ This is some of the best Brown Trout fishing in the world. This is where they swim upstream to spawn. Fish swim upstream and go home to spawn. This area is the Home of Brown.
Forrest said the hardest part was knowing where to start. After that the clues become progressively easier. Great! I got it.
I was a Nuke in the Navy. They had an expression for us. They said, “If you give a Nuke a 50/50 chance, 90% of the time they’ll screw it up.” Well, I did it again. I was an idiot. : ) They screw it up because they think about it too much.
The poem says “Put in below the home of Brown.”
You can take that as “Put the home of Brown below where you’re at right now.” Then you would use the home of Brown as your reference point to show you are at the right location.
That’s what I did wrong. I over-thought it. I Nuked it. Then I headed in the completely wrong direction. I headed upstream from my ‘canyon down’ area.
How’s about “Put in below the home of Brown” means to go downstream from the home of Brown? And the next line in the poem says “From there it’s no place for the meek.” So, if you think about it, “below the home of Brown” and “no place for the meek” are the same spot.
They call it Quake Lake, short for Earthquake Lake. I think this would definitely qualify as “no place for the meek.”
Here’s another map that shows Quake Lake and how it’s connected to Hebgen Lake:
Forrest also said that most of the places the clues refer to did exist when he was a child. This is one of the places that didn’t exist. He was born in 1930.
He also said there is one key word that to the best of his knowledge no one has pick-up on yet. I now believe that one key word in the poem is ‘brave.’ It’s at the end of the poem, “If you are brave and in the wood”
All those previous links that you have open, you can close them now. We’re done with them.
I continued downstream from Quake Lake, down the Madison River, and I came to a few streams. Squaw Creek looked possible. Squaw—Brave, maybe. I followed all the branches upstream and found Echo Lake. Hmmm, that sort of looks promising. I think he did say, “Little snake, little snake.” That’s sort of an echo. And at the end of the poem he did say “Hear me all and listen good.” This could be it. But I continued downstream past Squaw Creek. What did I find?
Hmmm, Indian—-Brave???? I think we have something here.
I followed all the branches upstream and found something very interesting all the way upstream of the South Fork. That branch is called the South Fork Indian Creek.
That’s weird. It says Snake Lake but doesn’t show a lake. Click on the bottom left for a satellite view. Satellites don’t lie.
I checked with the forest service there. They said it’s a really shallow lake. It doesn’t even have fish. You can see how shallow it is. You can see the creek channel running through the lake on the satellite view.
The poem says “There’ll be no paddle up your creek”
How’s about “There’ll be no paddle (spoon)” but there will be a fork. ?????
“Heavy loads” is referring to boots on the ground—–a hike.
“and water high” is referring to a mountain lake.
What about the blaze? I think that’s just a symbolism word for him. When you have a forest fire blaze, is that the end of the forest or the beginning of a new forest? I think it’s both. It’s his symbolism for both end and beginning. So…
“If you’ve been wise and found the blaze” If you’ve found the end of the creek. Well, it’s the end going upstream but it’s not really the end, it’s really the beginning.
‘”Look quickly down, your quest to cease” quickly downstream from the end is Snake Lake.
So, we have it where everything matches up.
“Your effort will be worth the cold“—a snake is cold-blooded.
“If you are brave“—again, brave is Indian, Indian Creek.
“And in the wood“—-Look at the center of that lake. There’s a small, wooded island. It’s about 35′ X 85′.
Forrest said the treasure is not in a tree but it’s surrounded by trees.
He said it would get scorched in a forest fire.
He said it’s wet.
He said it’s exposed to the elements—-the rain and snow.
He said it’s at the end of his rainbow. I called a fishing guide place in Ennis, right there on the Madison. They said some of the best Rainbow trout fishing on the Madison is up the Indian Creek. This would be the ‘end of his rainbow.’
He said when you find it, you can go right there. There won’t be any real searching around. This small island is pretty specific.
He said there’s no human trail in close proximity to the chest. That’s because there can’t be.
He said no one would just stumble across it. That’s because no one is going to be out there unless they’re looking for it.
He said searchers have been within 200′ of it and not known it. The island is a little over 100′ from shore at the closest spot.
Go back to that satellite view and zoom out about 3 clicks. What do you see to both sides of Snake Lake? To one side is The Wedge. On the other side is Tunnel Ridge.
Wedge and Tunnel? Didn’t he say to bring a sandwich and a flashlight?
The TC is on that small island in the middle of Snake Lake.
BTW……Don’t go there. It’s not there.
The perfect solve that wasn’t perfect…….