Cherry Tree and Rock Rose…



Hi, everyone.  Just returned from another trip. This one was BOTG was with my husband and our two girls. We traveled from Tucson,AZ

to Valles Caldera, NM. We went to Flagstaff, the Petrified Forest, Jemez, Valles Caldera, and Los Alamos, in that order, then back home through Hatch        and Wilcox,AZ. Our days were spent searching Los Conchas Canyon. The felsenmeer of Los Conchas Canyon to be exact. (The other place that has felsenmeer in the U.S. would be the Appalachian Mountains.)

It has always been my own personal opinion that the special place to Mr.Fenn was New Mexico. It is my opinion that he made the chase for the people of New Mexico and we were just lucky that it became as popular as it did. Here is my solution to the poem. In my opinion, each sentence has at least two meanings, maybe more that are beyond my limited thinking. I will try to include some of the hints(IMO) I have found as well as my definition of what I believe(IMO) to be the clues.

**What follows is only my opinion and does NOT ,in any way, mean that I am correct in my interpretation.**

IMO, in the poem, ‘It’ is referring to the chase and ‘it’s’ is referring to it has.

IMO Clue #1. As I have gone alone in there.-as Forrest talks about looking down from high above.

This clue is from the viewpoint of a pilot- alone in the sky- as one first looks for the starting point from looking on a map.

This clue also is reference to the starting point that has one I in it. Rite?

His bold treasures are his epiphanies of life.

The french word for treasure sounds a lot like secret. ( french is a theme in the poem)

AHORNAO -New Mexico.


This is referring to the warm water regulations that are specific to NM. The halt at the border (borderline biddies). Most places that they halt of North of Santa Fe as most states are North of NM.

This clue is also used with the first clue to find a place on the NM border that has one I in it. Sugarite Canyon.

Take it in the canyon down- this is not a clue but a very specific direction that is commonly misinterpreted- this gives you a direction to go from Sugarite-down=south AND also tells you to go in the canyon down- down in the poem- the last place in the poem. Double meaning.

As you go south from Sugarite Canyon you are leaving the Rocky Mountains ( it is the very border of the Rocky Mountains) Little Girl In India gets left behind here.

IMO Clue #3 Not far but too far to walk

Not 4 but 24, as in A-24. A road. Keep going down until you are told to do different. That brings you to Capulin, NM.

IMO Clue #4 and one of the most important clues! The Blaze!!( the Blaze that I mention is IMO only!)

As you drive into Capulin ,NM you will come upon a home. A Brown home and put in under that home is a lava rock wall.

The blaze is a rock wall. Un mur. The french word for mur sounds a lot like mirror. Did Forrest ever mention Rum?

Capulin means Black Cherry. Capulin has a place that is not for the meek.

‘It has no place for the meek’ where’ the end is ever drawing nigh’ (left) . Capulin Volcano. As you ascend you are turning left but as you                           come down to the beginning you are going right.

There will be no paddle up your creek- this is telling you to find out what Capulin’s creek is. (It is not Capulin Creek= by Bandelier and the cliff dwellings)  as that is not Capulin’s creek.

Which Capulin? This is a thinker but eventually the only one that makes sense is Capulin, CO. That’s right. In another state.

The creek that is in Capulin, CO is La Jara Creek. It has heavy sediment and farm runoff and higher than normal temperatures.

Heavy loads and water high.  Surface Water Quality Bureau.

IMO Clue #5 is the La Jara Creek- mentioned above.

La Jara can mean Red Willow but is also known as Rockrose- the pattern in the middle of a Rockrose is a Star-asterisk-ancient Greek for little star.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze- we did, remember the wall?

Look quickly down your quest to cease- Looking quickly down from the map you are back in NM. ALSO double meaning.

IMO Clue #6 your quest to cease. Look at it this way- your quest ‘to see’- to see in french is a voir. Your quest a voir- a reservoir.

Your quest, La Jara Reservoir.

Not the one in the mountains of CO. The one that you looked quickly down to in NM.

( There are a lot of Capulins and a lot of La Jaras) half the challenge is finding the correct ones.

IMO Clue#7 Leaving the viewpoint of Marvel Crosson-a pilot like Forrest- tarry scant with Marvel gaze

okay I capitalized Marvel because, it is a nod to pilot Marvel Crosson.

This means that you should be putting BOTG pretty soon here

If you have looked quickly down and are in NM and are looking for a La Jara Reservoir then you will come to Valles Caldera.

A most wondifferous place. The vastness and beauty of this land is hard for me to translate into words.

To walk through the towering rock walls by the East Fork Jemez transports me to the Island of Enchantment.

( An Egyptian Myth about a shipwrecked sailor)

So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek? IMO,These are directions.

So means South and why means Y. If you are looking at the La Jara Creek then you will see that it meets up with the East Fork

Jemez in the Valles Caldera. The two waters connecting form a Y. Go South at the Y. Follow that to your next directional instruction.

The answers he already knows- of course.

I’ve done it tired-IMO, this means to take the road and is the next direction. Tired as in on tires- in a car. Take the road. IMO, also could be part of tarry scant because you are on the road for such a short amount of time.

IMO Clue #8 And now I’m weak.=Fatigue

This refers to the climbing area close to there where one of the routes is called Fatigue.( fatigue is French for weak)

IMO, it was a little tricky for me to find the way to go once in the Valles Caldera, there are a few reasons for this. Again, all IMO.

1. The house on the hill in Valles Caldera is an old movie set. One of the movies made there is called Fight before Christmas AKA

Troublemakers. Watch it if you get a chance, I almost stopped my quest at this point.

2. One of the character’s names is Hill ( in real life) So this could lead one towards Cerro La Jara. ( been there)

3.  The other possible place would be the climbing area north of the road known as Chilli Willi Wall. The omega shape is here as well.

4. At Chilli Willi are some tempting things, including a shadow, turkey sandwich, two star climbing routes, a word that is key, tasty freeze

( Indulgence anyone?) and a little further on is the grotto. (flashlight anyone?)

5. I would think that to bury the chest at Chilli Willi would risk someone finding disturbed earth the next day and digging it up.

So hear me all and listen good. This is a direction. Double meaning- Remember so means South

and if you go South from the route of Fatigue then you are headed into Las Conchas Canyon.

Concha is a part of the ear, the cymba and  the cavum of the concha ( flashlight anyone?)

Go in there- listen well! Go in the Canyon Down! Into Las Conchas Canyon.

Your effort will be worth the cold hard determination.

If you are brave and early or late. Look up wood structure- two parts of wood are early wood and late wood.

As I traveled up Los Conchas Canyon I came upon the large felsenmeer. IMO-the Blaze

IMO Clue #9 and in the wooD I Give you title to the gold.


**This is all my opinion and I could most definitely be wrong**


No one would ever build here, it is protected by fire, floods, and other Earth happenings.

What reason would one have to go through these rocks other than to search for something?

They were thoroughly gone through( by us) and replaced as they were before.

We searched 22 steps from the bottom, in the middle, making an X. (for Alfonso X of Castile(Spain)- Alfonso the Wise.)

( La Jara is a municipality of Toledo, Spain)

We checked the area around the X. Thoroughly searched.


The stones clinked like ice as we walked over them. You are able to see down quite a bit into the spaces that are in between the rocks.

What we did find was a large man made hole.. A large hole in the stones, about three feet deep, in the perfect spot,

in the perfect space, in a wonderful place. Why someone didn’t fill it in was a sign in my own mind.

I remember one of my first post on HOD asking if one would tell if they had found the chest.

I would want to know if someone did find it. I did not find it but I found the area that ,IMO, was “it’ to me.

We could very well have in the wrong area. Maybe we didn’t search enough. Perhaps we were in the wrong state.


* Again, I have no proof of anything past, present, or future, and fully acknowledge that this is my opinion and only an opinion

and should not deter anyone from enjoying the chase*.

The chase is a life changing experience, a chance and opportunity. That opportunity exist for everyone to enjoy.

I have many more places that I plan to experience with my family ( as we have always done) and will be going forward

on new adventures. I am no longer bound to New Mexico. It’s been real, New Mexico, it was nice to meet you.

Lastly, I will share my rendition of the last stanza of the poem as I imagine it could end. (FYI, this is something that I made up)

If you shall chance to find me there,

Settled in beneath the stones.

I rest now where I outta be,

Just take the chest and leave my bones.

Peace and well wishes to all. LeAnn.

68 thoughts on “Cherry Tree and Rock Rose…

  1. What a beautifully elegant solve Leann! The best I’ve ever read. I wonder if you didn’t actually find the spot. Thanks for a great read!

  2. Thanks very much for describing your solution. I’m a little confused on the geography of your search. You mention a number of locations (La Jara Reservoir, Sugarite Canyon, Capulin, N.M.) and none of these places are close to where you finally end up, which is just south of Hwy. 4 and just west of Bandelier Nat’l. Monument, if I understand you correctly, in the Peralta Canyon area. Correct me if I’m wrong.


    • I wondered if it sounded a little rambly. Each place was connected to the previous place. The final destination was in Los Conchas Canyon.

  3. Hi LeAnn,

    “The french word for treasure sounds a lot like secret. ( french is a theme in the poem)

    AHORNAO -New Mexico.”:

    Could you explain the “AHORNAO”? I don’t recognize it as any acorstic for a poem line, I don’t think it’s French, and I don’t find it on Google maps.

    One of the reasons I ask, is because the 20th letter in each line of the first stanza, give HORN.


    • Hi, astree. I’m sorry if it was confusing. I was trying to shorten the story a little bit. AHORNAO= And hint of riches new and old.

  4. Beautiful solve,
    Leann. Nice name too. Is there more history to this post/solution? When did you come up with all of it? I’d love to read all about it. Awesome job!!

    • Hi, Jamie. When I first started researching I read all the scrapbooks, the santa fe trading post stories, The Thrill of the Chase, and anything else that I could find before looking at a map. One day I thought, ‘what if warm waters is talking about NM water regulations and they halt outside of NM. Then I remembered a scrapbook in which FF was replying to a little girl in a letter and told her she was make of sugar.

      • You find any scrapbooks about snakes and snails and puppy dog tails? That’s the only part I don’t understand….its like there’s a jam in that entire half of the poem….or else to many searchers are numb to the nut parade conductor. I like to stick with sweet too though…then again I’m from Ohio, and know that those who live in buckeye trees should not throw batons…. So I stick to making the chocolate peanut butter confections
        for the little ones. Can’t resist their smiles.


      • Maple syrup, mmmmm. Love those candies shaped like leaves. They were all over Frankenmouth Michigan where I spent awhile nearby as a kid, what a pleasant reminder to return, that memory is so close still I can smell it.

        • I love those kind of dear memories. Childhood. Chocolate, peanut butter, maple..oh my! I love all that stuff. I have a wicked sweet tooth so maybe I just saw what appealed to me. 🙂 There must be something Freudian in there, rite? I have to think that over next time I’m in an ear… I mean, I mean canyon.

  5. nice solve. You might want to check Forrest’s map in his book TFTW, I think that area is kind of on the border of the search area. Beautiful country though!

    • That’s true. It is right on the border. It’s vaguely there but he has admitted that it is on the map so it must be considered. I think this was intentional to put it in an area of little notice.

  6. Thanks,LeAnn, for posting your story. Your solutions were interesting, but too round about for me. In July 2014, I also searched Las Conchas Canyon…I used the Valles Caldera boundary as my WWWH. Regardless, I loved learning about felsenmeer (German for “sea of rock”) and really enjoyed your story. It sounds like you and your family have plans for many more adventures. Good luck to you all in your future searches. Please continue to share your stories.

    • Thanks, Cynthia. I think that I am done for awhile but will post if we ever resume. I hope that you have wonderful adventures as well. Interesting that you searched that canyon, did you see the felsenmeer?

  7. I agree that learning about felsenmeer today was wonderful! Those must have been some heavy loads. Sugarite isn’t in the Rockies but than neither is Cimarron an d searchers LOVE that place. I think many searchers will now enjoy visiting the area.

    I can’t help but wonder what time of day you were there. It may be that time matters.

    • Hi, Lugnutz. We were there in the afternoon. I didn’t think of the time making a difference but now I wish I would have thought of that and maybe stayed until sundown. Sugarite is at the border of the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains. At least that is what they are labeled as. I would love to visit the area someday.

      • I would say that the sea of rocks fits the previous clue for me, heavy loads and water high. I was thinking today that the blaze might need sunset to be seen sort of in the way it works for Indiana Jones in the first movie. Perhaps you (and others) are one step short of victory.

        The light comes in, you see it blaze through an opening, it’s blinding to look at the sun, it illuminates the hidey hole, stop looking at the blaze and start “digging” where that light hits!

        • That could be a very real possibility. The area I was in was affected by the Las Conchas fire and the sun coming from the trees might blaze a little different now. It is also at 9500 ft. I image that in a canyon there could be a way to shine through in a specific way, I’m just not sure how.

  8. Thanks for sharing. That’s a great solve & that sounds like a wonderful place! It’s difficult to walk away and leave a beautiful place like that!

  9. Thanks, Golden Retrievers. It was very hard to walk away. Having been there 3 times I knew that I might not be back for a long long time.

  10. Hello alopes. Thank you for sharing your journey. It sounded amazing. I enjoyed reading how you interpreted the poem. You’ve put a lot of thought into it. Enjoy the memories.

  11. I really enjoy the Jemez mountains also. I have driven and riden pastthe are you refer to many times. But I never stopped there because there is always too many cars parked at that spot for me to get close. Which makes me question if FFcould have gone in there alone. Maybe it was midweek when there isn’t so many people.
    But just to make sure I understood your solve, are you talking about here?…
    35.819702, -106.532776

    • Hi, Micheal. The coordinates as shown by Google Earth are 35.48’34.59″N and 106.30’56.15″W. ( according to my computer).That’s not exactly where the hole was but in the area. I didn’t take coordinates of the hole. We didn’t park at the parking area but at a dirt pull out. Off a highway 4, to the East of Los Conchas Day use area and West of the entry for Valles Caldera Preserve.

    • The wonderful Jemez Creek area is a beautiful place. I went in there but just for fun. That’s by the Cattle Call Wall and if you follow the creek in you can get to other climbing areas as well. My solve was not by the creek but rather West of there in a canyon on the other side of HWY 4.

  12. I don’t think anything west of Santa Fe is considered the Rocky Mountains. At least according to every geography map that shows only the Sangre De Cristo is part of the Rocky Mountains that go into New Mexico.

    At least that is what i am banking on with my search. That Forrest has said “It’s definitely in the Rocky Mountains” and west of Santa Fe is not technically part of the mountains.

    This is the hardest part because there are no warm water streams or creeks in New Mexico. However, i am still 99% sure it is here. There has to be another explanation for his poem.

    I have been in Santa Fe for 1 week. I have searched probably 4 different locations with none of them going further than the first 2 clues.

    Tomorrow is my last day here and I’ll need to do some major research on my last chance at finding a solve.

    • Hi, Travis. There are a many good places to search in New Mexico. I hope that you are enjoying your trip and taking notes on the places that you have been for next time. Good luck and well wishes.

  13. Travis, IMO, you are incorrect. According to Goode’s World Atlas (“a good map”), the Jemez Mountains are part of the Rocky Mountains. And there are definitely warm water streams and creeks in New Mexico, just north of Santa Fe.

  14. Very nice Alopes, creative imagination, you had me stumped with “AHORNAO” as well until I read down to Astree. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Great read could be!!! I hope no one has found it and just not telling anyone!! All us Fenners are just still calculating and figuring!! Good luck in your searches!! Keep us all in the loop on any more missions for the chest…..See you all in the funny papers Ms. Girl

    • Thanks, MS Girl. I will keep all in the loop if i decide to loop around. I hope you are having fun with the search as well. Fenners are the best for sure!

  16. I grew up in the area you were searching… there are lots of other felsenmeer besides the Los Conchas canyon. One near-by the Valles that comes to mind is the ‘back side” of Chicoma Mtn. pretty much the entire side is felsenmeer. there is much throughout white rock canyon.. these were tricky terrain for me and friends in our youth. I doubt 80 y/o Fenn would chance a scramble with a heavy load on his back?

    • Hi, DWRock. That is pretty cool that you grew up in that area. Lucky! It is a beautiful place. I think that there is more felsenmeer on rabbit ‘mountain?’ by the caldera but I’m not very familiar with other felsenmeer areas around there. That is interesting to hear that it is more common than I had thought. Is there more felsenmeer in the Los Conchas Canyon area? I not certain if Mr.Fenn would walk on it either. I am going to google Chicoma to see where that is at.

      • I misspoke when I mentioned Chicoma. Caballo is the mountain with felsenmeer down its backside. We would camp on top of Caballo and then scramble down the large rock slide the next day on our way to the next mountain, Chicoma. At this point we were on Santa Clara reservation land, and in the gully between the two peaks runs a patrolled road that we would run across with our heavy packs on and run up the steep opposing side as quickly as possible to avoid an encounter with the indians who could drive up with minimal warning. One time we were caught on that road and with a rifle pointed at us we were forced into a pickup and taken out to the headquarters in Espanola to call for a ride home. They took some massive antlers from us that we had humped over Caballo (not obtained on reservation land) the previous day.

        • My husband went to the top of the felsenmeer at Los Conchas and said that it was very loose and not a good place to be. The bottom is much safer 🙂 I had a chance to Google Chicoma and it would be quite the hike! I was able to find one picture of Caballo and the felsenmeer facing Chicoma mountain. Beautiful. Gotta love youths. As teenagers we spent a large amount of time at the large mountain range in Tucson(the Catalina State Park). It was basically our back yard. We would go out in big groups of our friends and just camp in one of our favorite spots. People can’t do that now but back them it was different. I bet you guys hated to ‘lose’ those antlers, the price of getting caught. Cherish those kind of memories, they are the best!

  17. Oh, I forgot to write something in my story. It ties in with french words. Wise in French is sage. Also, when Mr.Fenn was saying that the treasure ‘is wet’, I have a suspicion that what he was really saying is that the treasure ‘est chouette’. ‘Est chouette’ is like saying ‘is amazing’ or ‘is great’. So, yeah the treasure est chouette. hahaha As Always, IMO.

  18. And I will tell something else. The coordinates for Sugarite Canyon are in the The Thrill of the Chase book. I found them there, but I will say IMO.

  19. I went up to the Los Conchas Trailhead in the Jemez mountains today. I have wanted to stop there for a long time but the parking along the road was always crowded. And today was no exception. Yet I was able to find a space near the rock wall where climbers scale the cliff and repel down. From there I had to cross the field and wade across the creek to get to the trail. I had little problen with crossing the creek because I can’t stand back up without a cane. Once on the trail it was an easy walk. There were many families with their kids taking advantage of the sunny day. I have to believe that this is one of the most beautiful trails I have ever walked. I only went about 500 feet down to the place where I recorded with GPS coordinates in my post earlier on this thread. It is a gorgeous spot. IMO it is a ‘Tarry scant, Marvel gaze’ type of place. See for yourself

    About a half mile east of the trail head is the Los Conchas Fishing Access. The parking lot was empty. It has much the same scenery but not the trail or people. There are a few picnic tables connected by a paved path near the parking area. But after that you must wade across the creek to get to the trail. I sat down and rested for awhile, and decided to save this place for next time. IMO the fishing access area is more of a solitary hike where you might ‘Go Alone in There’.
    Just keep in mind that there are TWO spots named Los Conchas close to each other. Take your family to the west one, and take your fishing pole to the east one. Enjoy.

    • Hi, Michael. Gorgeous pictures! I am so glad that you were able to find a spot. I have been to that area before but last time was the only time that I had the opportunity to walk along the creek. We went in the same way you did. Past the cattle call wall and through little clearing to the creek. I have a picture of the same log that you do ( with the bare branches sticking up all over the place). Too cool. I picked my husband up at the day use area but didn’t hike in that way either. The felsenmeer is on the opposite side of hwy 4, a little further east of the day use area. It may be a long long time before we make it up to that area again but I am so thankful to have experienced it and happy that you were able to as well.

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