Perfect Solution…or Not…


SUBMITTED March 2016
by Anonymous

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:,-110.5078038,10z

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.,-110.8203777,16z

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:

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:,-111.3055148,13z

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?,-111.6580555,16z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xaca8f930348fe1bb

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.,-111.4916058,18z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xaca8f930348fe1bb

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…….


43 thoughts on “Perfect Solution…or Not…

      • Uk oh, Houston, we have a problem…. this is a great solve,
        But Forrest has said that it is important to get the right wwwh and that there are many in the RM’s.
        I can pick Old Faithful, or any number of hot water spring, or geysers from the several hundred along the Firehole river and wind up with the very same canyon down, the Madison, and the very same hoB. How can thAt be if picking the right wwwh is so important.

        But, Hey, good job, it put you in some good places along the way.

        • As a side note, along the same line of thought, look what this does to all those important wwwh near where the MAdison, Gibbons and Firehole rivers meet.

          • Well I have been thinking, I can’t find where Forrest has said that wwwh is the first clue. Here’s what I did find
            Question posted 6/20/2014:

            Dear Forrest, which is the first clue; the first line or the line that starts with Begin it where warm waters halt? ~Carolyn

            Thanks Carolyn, you guess.f

  1. He or she has some things right, one part of the solve for sure! Whether I can fine tune it we will see. I would like to talk to Anonymous in person…Pick each others brains???

  2. Lots of good reasoning, some stretched a little too far for me …. like the cold snake river association because snakes are cold blooded. But I liked the association of ‘going home to spawn’. Enjoyed it. Thanks.

  3. That was a good one. I’ve searched the same area but with a different set of clues that led me there. FF must be getting a kick out of how many ways there are to interpret his clues. I know I am! well, mebbe more like a kick in the kiester for me.

  4. I love how you think…the beginning is near the end like omega…I’ve always surmised that the clue poem takes us in a complete circle and we end up where we started…like the circle of life…trout spawn and die in the same place…Forrest was definitely thinking of death when he hid his chest…think like a trout…think like an Indian…think like Forest…and you might end up in a fen!

  5. That was funny Anonymous! I love your last paragraph where you say don’t go there because it’s not there. Hilarious. Thank you

  6. Thanks for the solve & congrats on checking it out! Nice links to support HoB… it fits so nicely that it is a hard one to shake off… but FF comments would suggest that we should. HoB has got to be at least the 3rd clue on the list if not 4th, and there is no uncertainty that many have made Hebgen Lake = HoB in their solves – it is just too obvious. We should look for big Brown elsewhere.

  7. Anonomous, what a great solve everything fit together so perfectly! I also enjoyed following along with all the links ! Sorry it was not there … Did you happen to have a metal detector?

  8. Anonymous, “This is the solve I came up with about a month into the chase.”

    Okay, so you’re a month-in, other than Quake Lake the rest is I feel is gibberish/wishful thinking. Point is we are suppose to ‘figure out what the clues mean’ That one specific area [a thing that didn’t exist when he was a kid] could be a clue, a waypoint, a qualifier….

    How long ago was it when Fenn prodded us?
    He himself proffered Quake Lake & said “google Quake Lake”.
    Maybe delve deeper into the features, landmarks, folklore, history, of these places

  9. Nice Solve Anon, you had me believing you were about to say Sorry guys I found it all of you can go home and forget the search now. I did wonder about some of your far stretched ideas. Also, the as close as 200′ came into play. It sounds so close and might be so close to where you searched that you stomped near it and covered it up some more with dirt from your shoe or you kicked a rock that bounced off of it. Yes Forrest is sitting at his desk smiling like a sly fox watching all of us going in circles round and round for these many years…. I have a new map and as soon as I can learn how to use it and go from there I am going to do some intense searching and try my best to calculate and just walk right to it. I got this new map from one of his Friday words with Forrest but hope to not give it away. Soon though we all need to get together and just talk and share and work together. Dal, You, Wolf, Cynthia, Stephanie,Mindy, Sasha, Desert Phil, all of us bloggers and interested Fenners!!!! I believe together we are all so close that If we put our ideas together, Mr. Forrest would be proud… What do all of you think? Ms. Girl!!!!

  10. My solve is different than your……….. but I know exactly how you feel.
    I have worn a smooth path………….back to the drawing board.
    Good Luck on your next adventure. 😉

  11. Hey, ex Navy nuke here as well. ELT on the Vinson from 1990-1995 and again 1998-1999 when I got out. I’m in Missoula now and have been to that general area (Quake lake at least) a few times although not searching that deep. The problem with your solve is it is to far in IMO, looks like over 5 miles each way and 3000ft elevation gain. How did you even get in there this early? Or was it last year? Anyway hard to make that trip twice in one afternoon. I have always thought Quake lake is a good area, I think you may have just gone too far away. The Beaver creek (Beaver Brown, living in a little beaver home there) seems like a better direction, and there is a road to help an old man like me out. I do think your solve is good in that it ends in an awesome spot to rest your bones. I really don’t think it’s in the park. It is just too stinking crowded there. I suppose there are places seldom traveled but those places aren’t as majestic as this little gem.

    • Bryan Hersman- I wanted to reply on a previous post you made but the page was closed. This page looks as good as any to discuss this topic. You mentioned a possible connection to the Fossil record. Actually the Fossil record contains a very nice HOB and a NPFTM. Would love to discuss this topic further with you either on this site or via email.

  12. Hi Bryan,
    My first search, in May 2012, took me up Beaver Creek and to Axolotl Lake. I’ll let you figure out the reasons that seemed to make sense, but a blaze never materialized for me. However, the griz sure did! If you go up there, good luck and be prepared.

    • I sometimes wonder if we aren’t all going to far away from the car. Maybe just a few hundred yards would be enough. The thing about having a road in the forest is people don’t see what can be right there. I hunt deer and elk a lot in this kind of area. It is amazing the stuff that can be right off a road 100 cars or more pass every day. These people can be driving slow, “road hunting” looking intensely into the woods and they just won’t see it. Think of all the people who go missing in a car wreck and they now the route but it can take months if not years to find an entire car when they knew the road it was on. To a lesser extent it is true of a foot trail as well. If you are trying to get somewhere you stay right on the path. Hunters (game, treasure, antlers, fossils, etc) are the ones constantly beating the bush so to speak.

      • Another thought, hunters could be right on top of it and never see it if it is high enough and covered in snow before the season begins. The archery season usually starts before most of the snow flies unless it is really high. Of course there are places they don’t allow hunting as well.

        • If the chest was sitting on a rock ledge at waist high level on a 7000 foot mountain it would be covered with snow most if not all of hunting season . that would make it ” wet “

          • Forrest went on to say pretty much ever spot outdoors in the winter is going to be wet. I was just out today at only 5500 feet and there was still 2 feet of snow in the shadows and then nothing in the sunny spots. That was up the Blackfoot river in Western Montana and we had a very mild winter.
            I was looking for different treasure as an old map was marked with a ranger guard station. I have been to the spot 10 times and never saw anything there so was surprised to see it marked on the map. Sure enough in a thick grove of trees I found 2 foundations. I metal detected around and found lots of little rusty stuff but nothing overly interesting. I think the whole aera might have been in a fire as there were bricks and metal but zero old wood. Old maps are cool.

      • Bryan, you’re right about going too far from the car. My search was done either before FF dropped his clue about 2 trips in 1 afternoon or before I knew about it. Everything was clicking into place. At the time, in my solve the “blaze” was a remote game path that led thru a large wildfire scorch to the lake. But once there, no distinct/specific blazes to hone in on and “look quickly down” to. Meanwhile, the bears were homing in on us – on the way out, it was pretty clear we’d been followed by more than one (see pix on way earlier post).

        20/20 hindsight: too far off any track.

  13. Does anybody have a real total on the number of clues or possible hints ? The reason i ask is that i have 25 and not sure how many i might have missed. Out of those 24 fit totally on a location i have . Every one of them when you see the map is obvious . the 25th one is the blaze. That should be possible to find when i put boots on the ground when the snow has melted. I have reverse examined this spot and can’t find one shred of info that makes you stop and doubt any of it. I have 2 possible ” blazes” picked out on google earth at max resolution for my desktop (10 feet per inch ) . I don’t think there is one perfect solution except for the one that produces the chest . Being a newbie to this blog it will be days before i get a chance to read everything. My location is between 2-3 miles from the parking spot which would be an hour trip each way but Bryan might have an idea of it being closer to a road . The winding road at one point is less than a mile from my spot … can;t seem to get any closer. HAPPY EASTER EVERYBODY.

    • Forrest has said there are 9 clues. He hasn’t said how many hints or what exactly he means by clues but he has said almost every part is useful. 2-3 miles should be OK if the terrain is easy. He said he made 2 trips in one afternoon. 3 miles in and back twice is 12 miles which would make me sore at 47 years old but nothing I haven’t done opening day of elk season every year. I hope to be able to still do it at 80.

      • i am 53 and carried 12 full 5 gallon buckets of cons back to my car down lynx creek 2 miles … 2 buckets at a time. almost 80 pounds. From all the maps this is fairly level terrain from parking spot to the possible location ( we all know how dependable that can be )… There are 9 clues in the poem , at least 5 in live interviews… i find a possible 7 in TTOTC , and 4 in TFTW. There may be more and probably is. The possibility of bears and mountain lions scares me more than the hike ( not far , too far to walk ) . Thats why i believe it is more than a close distance from a parking spot. Ironically if i were to park in another spot it is about a mile mostly downhill but the farther distance parallels a stream and is much easier looking.

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