Richard’s View of the Poem…

My view of the poem:

First four lines:  No clues just Forrest asking himself where he should hide his treasure

Begin it where warm waters halt: As discussed by everyone this is the hardest clue to decipher because it ultimately is your starting point. My view is that he is referencing warm water rivers and streams in New Mexico.  So you would want to look for the highest elevation where you find a warm water river.  This location would need to be at the entrance to a high elevation mountain canyon.

And take it in the canyon down: You wold follow the road into the canyon, and this road follow the floor of the canyon, and not be at the top or lip.  Again, this canyon would be above the elevation of the warm water river or stream you started at.

Not far, but too far too walk:  This is letting the reader know you should be in a car and expect a drive of a little distance.  My guess is something over 10 miles, not more than 30-50 miles.

Put in below the home of Brown: I feel this is a reference to a location where you could fish for Brown Trout.  I believe this because of the phrase “put in” a boating reference, and the word below, which you use when discussing locations along rivers and streams.  I think you would be parking your vehicle downstream from the fishing location for the trout.

From there it’s no place for the meek: I think this is a reference to let you know the hike will be a little tiring for some.  My idea is that you will be walking uphill and from my experience hiking at elevation is always a little taxing on me and my kids.

The end is ever drawing nigh: Fairly straightforward, you are close so don’t expect to be walking too terribly long.

There’ll be no paddle up your creek: This one references the fact that there will be a creek close by.  The first bit of information lets you know you will be walking against the stream and it means you will not be following the creek because of the next line

Just heavy loads and water high: Here in Oregon we have large number of logging roads in our federal and state forests.  So if you take the two sentences together it is saying there will be a creek close by, but follow the logging road instead.  Also, these logging roads here in Oregon all have gates to keep private vehicles off of them, I am not sure if they do that out there in New Mexico, but they do it a lot here.  So the road represents the heavy loads(logging truck cargos) and the fact it is close to the creek represents high water.  Logging roads here follow creeks as they wind through the mountains, but during high rains or spring melt off, the creeks crest their banks and the roads become impassable because of high water.  So maybe Forrest is saying that the road could take heavy loads (log trucks) or be covered in high water under the right conditions.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze- Straight forward hiking reference to marking your trail.  From white marks on trees to barking them.  Could be a mark on rocks also but it is a hiking reference.

Look quickly down, your quest to cease:  My feeling is that because of the elevation you will be close to slope and he is saying look down over.

But tarry scant with marvel gaze- Don’t just wait and marvel at the beautiful view you see but get moving down the slope.  Again, I believe the blaze will be at a point where you would want to just take in the incredible view if you were on a normal hike.  Again, I believe the best vistas I have ever seen have been at elevation.

Just take the chest and go in peace- The chest should be visible from this location.  Personally, I think he left in the open on the slope, but not too far down because of his age and agility when he took it there..

The next four lines I don’t feel are clues, but more a statement to the reader.  Basically saying he knows why he has done it, and that it has tired him out.  Also could be a reference to his age.

The last stanza has two more clues which I think are very important to identifying if you are looking in the right area

So hear me all and listen good- No clue
Your effort will be worth the cold-  I believe this is a reference to the cold at elevation.  I have hiked a lot of the Cascades and I can say that at elevation it is always cool, and as early as fall can be downright cold.  I do not believe it is a reference to being in a cold water stream, rather that you are high up and it is cold up there.

If you are brave and in the wood- I believe this is Forrest telling the reader you must be in a forest to find this treasure.  So you that is why I think you must be at elevation and in a forest.

I give you title to the gold: If you are cold and in the forest you get the gold.

I know that the starting point is the key, but Forrest has also said to move with confidence.  So I think it is reasonable to use what I have said to look at map and cross reference to see if there are locations to fit what I have said.  You know New Mexico much better than I do, and you would know if any of what I have said makes sense or is plausible.  I will  never be able to be there around Santa Fe to look for myself, but you have put in a lot of effort and if any of this helps, more power to you.  Also, a lot of the logging roads may not appear on maps so you have to have knowledge of the area and which areas had been logged in the past.

I am not very creative and just thought I would take this poem as a straight forward, although vague, attempt at a treasure map.  My Dad was a fighter pilot like Forrest and he was always fairly direct.  So  I think a straight forward simple approach would probably be best, and Forrest’s actual intent.  Just my humble opinion.

Good luck and stay safe on your travels.

26 thoughts on “Richard’s View of the Poem…

  1. Yes Straightforward. Take the chest and go in peace, means take yourself.
    You cannot see the blaze from google earth. Because it’s so much higher. It’s way above google earth. 😉 Cha Ching 🙂

  2. Richard, Thanks for this information. Is the “warm water river or stream you started at” the SAME river or stream that runs down in the canyon which you “follow the road into the canyon, and this road will follow the floor of the canyon.”? Thanks

    • To be honest I don’t know. It could mean many things. It could mean the meeting of two waterways with one going up a canyon with the other continuing on, it could be a canyon starting along the waterway, or it could be canyon with no water that meets the warm water stream. It is hard to really know.

      • o.k. Thanks. There are lots of logging roads in NM! And some of them are blocked off with a chain or lock – just like you said. Thanks!

  3. Clear – straight forward, direct. I think you are missing something in Stanza #1. Glad that you use last stanza – many do not. I think that there is more to stanza #6 than you have stated, but what do I know.

    Good luck and TRY to STAY SAFE


    • JD,

      I re-read stanza one after seeing your post. I see what you mean, I probably did miss something

      “As I have gone in there alone” would seem to speak to Forrest hiking to this location alone

      “And with my treasures bold” would seem to mean Forrest carrying in the treasure

      “I can keep my secrets where” that would seem to be Forrest asking himself where to hide his treasures in the location he hikes into alone

      “And hint of riches new and old” This last line I can see can go a couple of different ways.

      (1) He could be saying that the area that he has hidden it in has a new treasure (his) and is also known for other old New Mexico treasure legends; or
      (2) It could also mean that he would be hinting of his treasure (new) and land area itself could be considered a treasure in and of itself. A place that he holds especially dear and he thinks is its own treasure.

      If it is #1 then the first stanza is the actual starting place and not where warm waters halt. A quick google search indicated there are 15 treasure legends associated with New Mexico alone. If he hid his new treasure in an area that is already known for a lost treasure it could make sense and narrow down the initial search area. Again, I know there are four possible states, but for myself I am going to hold to the assumption that he hid it in NM on a one day excursion from his home.

      However my impression of Forrest is that at the time of his life when he hid the treasure he actually valued the beauty of nature over material things, In having others go out and try and find his treasure with the promise of material gain it would be his way of sharing what he thinks to be most beautiful of all.

      I also re-read stanza #6 and I think we will have to agree to disagree on that one because I really don’t see anything else there. But then again does anyone but Forrest really have all the answers?

      Go in peace and enjoy the thrill of the chase


      • Rich…If you research Eli Lilly’s long contributions to the archeology profession as it relates to FF’s comments in support of private collectors having a viable role to play in finding and preserving ancient history I believe you will have a perspective which approaches FF’s motivations.

      • I pretty much think that your re-thinking stanza #1 is Right On It” Good job.

        We will agree to disagree about Stanza #6 – I do think that there is more.

        Good luck and TRY to STAY SAFE.


  4. Rich,

    Just a note about line 3 in the poem. Does it make sense that f would be trying to decide where to hide his chest when he said he knew exactly where to hide it when he came up with the idea and also that he was determined to make the poem fit the spot? Paraphrasing of course, not quoting. Seems there is another explanation or interpretation for line 3 that must have significance. And just as likely, alternative interpretations of lines 1, 2, and 4 as well that DO have importance to the location of the treasure. Just sayin’.

    • I haven’t heard or read that interview as I am just new to this. I do see your point, but I personally don’t feel there is a clue in that line. At the same time I am not saying my solve is correct, I am just offering my personal interpretation. I am sure there as many alternate explanations are there are people who read the poem.

      In truth I believe the only interpretation that will be proven to be correct, will be the one by the person(s) who prove they found the treasure. 🙂

      • I can understand your position on this Rich. Most think the same, in fact most solutions follow the same pattern of interpretation. For a moment shall we consider a hypothetical alternative?

        Let’s say, for instance, it isn’t f speaking in line 3; that another entity is talking here. Also that the words “can keep” refer to ‘hide’ or ‘hidden’, such as in ‘castle keep’. What is ” my secret”? Isn’t that what we seek, the ‘location’ of the chest? And of course there is the big confusing word “where”. What if that interprets as ‘in the poem’?

        So we have an alternative interpretation which would read something like this – “I(un-named entity) hide the location of the chest within the poem”.

        See what I mean? I would posit that very few words of the poem can be accepted at face value or read literally. IMO most of them really mean something else.

        Another good example is the word “canyon”. This is an alternative usage of the word ‘canon’. Whole different meaning when used this way. Why believe it must mean a literal ditch between two walls? Simply because everyone else believes it? I really do not believe f would have made it so easy, he’s craftier than that.

        He said we would have to think and analyze.

        And you are correct, the only one who will prove their solution is right will be the one who carries home Indulgence.

  5. Starting where warm water stream becomes cold and then drive along the bottom of the canyon?
    Sounds like Cimarron river and canyon to me. But only because I was there yesterday. If that were the case then the Home of Brown is the Moreno Valley and Ranch.

  6. Clue 9 is that you will have Title to the Gold… literally. The gold will not be in the box. That’s how he knows that you will become the owner without legal issues. He said he consulted an attorney. They wrote up the Title to the gold… literally.

    And that’s how he knows it has not yet been found. Because in order to claim it, you have to give over the title.

    • Nick – You might want to spend some more time sitting in the desk and being a good student. Have you studied Forrest much? By that I mean, have you read through most of the things he has shared over the years, have you watched most of the videos, and have you ever eaten humble pie?

    • Nick, you make an excellent point about a title to the gold, and we agree with all you say except it’s not a clue since a “title to the gold” won’t help you find the chest. It sounds to us that all the other, non-gold, items are in the chest otherwise why did he have to make two trips from his car to hide it! Unless, unless …?!?! When we, the Geezer Team, find the chest I hope we have to go to Fenn personally to get the gold instead of a third party, which will be the case after he’s gone, we think.

      Dennis Bockhaut, Geezer team, member

  7. Good view of the poem, Richard! I do have some concerns, however.

    In paragraph 1, I think the line “As … there” is a clue, to be used later, because it describes the minimum size of the hiding place. It suggests a small cave of some sort.

    In paragraphs 2 and 3, you talk about the importance of elevation. In your scenario, however, a warm water stream cannot flow up into the canyon.

    In paragraph 5, why not a watercraft of some sort since you state that “put in” is a boating reference? Also, why would a fishing location be a “home of Brown.” In the poem, Brown is capitalized while brown trout in normal usage is not. I think Fenn intends for Brown to be a proper name!

    In paragraph 10 don’t forget the blaze must last 10,000 + years, marks on trees don’t work, I think.

    In paragraph 13 is where the clue “As … there” comes into play, I think. Thus, the chest is not in the open.

    In paragraph 17 I think it’s not only the elevation contributing to the cold but also a cave on the north side of a slope !

    Dennis Bockhaut,, Geezer Team member.

  8. Rich,
    Nice and lucid. I’ll go you one “better”: Stanzas 2-4 (Begin…cease). Consecutive, contiguous and in order. After that, the successful searcher is already in possession. But I haven’t quit my day job…

  9. Hello Richard and to all,
    Richard thanks for the post. I am completely on the same view as you on the taking the poem straight forward approach. I strongly feel it is Forrests intent. I think a few lines in the poem are placed in a manner to be little more complex so that the Chase can last a millennium, but the overall consensus is to get EVERYONE involved that is able to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. So yes the poem is straightforward with a hint of Cayanne pepper added to it.
    Everything you stated here is in a manner that families can work together on a solve then put BOTG to test their theories. I LIKE IT!
    Can I please caution you and to all as well? I feel Forrest has tried to become one with nature. He has created this enigma to take us away from the technological advances of society. Keep the poem as earthly as possible. In other words although logging companies are a necessary evil, I strongly feel that Forrest would not allow them to play a role in his masterpiece. All IMO
    Good luck to you sir and to all.

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