The Math Teacher…

SUBMITTED july 2016
by CYNTHIA

 

Honestly, I needed a break after Fennboree and the recent media projects. I was worn out both physically and mentally. I swore I was going to take a month off from anything Fenn treasure related….no researching, no BOTG searches, no media, limited blog time. Then I received an email from a guy in North Carolina…said he’d just heard of Fenn and his hidden treasure chest a week prior… did a little research, figured out where the chest is located, and then found my email address. He wondered if I’d be his guide to retrieve the treasure chest… my payment was half the treasure. I smiled as I read his words… not because of his assumed new wealth, but because he was totally new to this and so confident.

Chris explained he is a math teacher who lives and teaches in Spain but was ending a 3-month visit with his aging parents in North Carolina. He only had 10 days before he had to head back to Spain, so if I agreed, it’d have to be soon. My calendar was empty, and I had to admit I was intrigued…I liked the idea of searching with a math teacher…probably had a very straightforward, logical approach to solving the poem. Plus he was a new guy to everything…no scrapbooks or blogs to taint his thinking. He sent me a picture of him rock climbing in Spain…I decided if he was fit enough for that sport, he wouldn’t die on me up on some mountain top. I replied, ok and asked what he had in mind. Within minutes, he sent me his flight itinerary…my God, he was arriving in Albuquerque late the next day.

The following morning we met early at the rendezvous point in Bernalillo where he showed me on a map the location where he was sure the trove resided…Burned Mountain just a tad southeast of Hopewell Lake which is along Hwy 64 in the Carson National Forest 20 miles west of Tres Piedras.

01

I was ecstatic…I had driven across this high mountain scenic byway prior but had never searched this area. So basically, I was about to set out on an adventure, to me at least, which involved seeing new places and driving on new-to-me dirt roads. I was thrilled…

He had no lodging plans so I suggested the first stop should be the Chili Line Depot in Tres Piedras where he could check-out the place for supplies, groceries, maybe lodging…There was nothing else in that triangulated area between Ojo Caliente, Taos, or Chama / Abiquiu.

02

I could tell he was antsy…after all, he knew where that chest lay in wait and he wanted to head west to get it. But I had one request before we left the Chili Line Depot parking lot…a quick picture of him and his rental car license plate which I would text to my family and friends because they all said… “What the hell is wrong with you? Going out into the wilderness for 4 days with a stranger!” I know… I got the picture…Ted Bundy’s face flashed through my mind. He also was good-looking, charming, and smart…and a serial killer!

I shot the photo, texted it to my family, and off we went to retrieve Fenn’s chest, Chris in his rental, Molly and me in the pickup. Chris followed me through the campground at Hopewell Lake to scout out a potential site to spend the night, and then I let him take the lead. He parked at a spot off FR91B, right on the curve that he felt was the closest spot to his GPS co-ordinates high up Burned Mountain. We both grabbed our packs, and off we went, him in the lead using his iPad to navigate, then Molly and me bushwhacking through the tall grass and weeds not far behind.

There was no trail anywhere leading up the slope to the summit of Burned Mountain…in my mind, I knew this was a good thing…you know, “no human trail in very close proximity”…I didn’t let on. This was Chris’ solve…

03I had decided from the get-go I was not going to interfere or make suggestions…I was the guide, of sorts, not the Fenn-treasure-hunting expert I believe I am. LOL! (Every reader should be laughing out loud or at least smiling now at my mention of my skills, or lack there of.)

We saw a lot of trees that looked like this…Chris asked me what made the scratch marks? I didn’t know…maybe animals with antlers, or bears with large claws, pissed off aliens, Fenn searchers making false blazes trying to mislead…I stayed silent because I really didn’t know.

04We arrived at the exact GPS location where the chest should have been hidden…It was in a portion of forest that looked like everything else surrounding us. Nothing special, not even anything “different”. At least we were “in the wood”, but that was little consolation to Chris…I understood that look of disappointment…I’d experienced it, and I’d seen it on others’ faces. I asked if we could still climb to the summit, since we were near…the map said Burned Mt is at 10,192 (maybe that’s why Fenn picked 10200 ft as the upper limit…hmmm.) The top was covered in large rocks that looked like an old landslide, but that wasn’t possible since we were on the top. It made no difference, but there sure were a lot of hidey spots there.

05 Chris went exploring while Molly and I took a water break and ate a snack. He found a “pit” that was 12 feet across and 20 feet deep. All I could think of was the pit in the Silence of the Lambs where the girl was held captive. Geeze, maybe I watch too many movies.

06

When he returned, he suggested we go find the meadow that showed up like a large triangle on GE. It was just below and east of his “spot”. It was beautiful…lush with vegetation, a few summer wildflowers, and surrounded by aspen groves. I told him that was my treasure for the day…this is what searching for Fenn’s treasure is all about. I doubt that he agreed, at least not that early on in his 6-day trip to New Mexico.

07

I asked him more questions about his solutions to the poem…he said he thinks Fenn started at his home and the poem goes north from Santa Fe. The first place he saw where warm waters halt is Ojo Caliente, not the actual spa but the river itself…where the Ojo Caliente enters or “halts” at the Chama River north of Espanola. And even though the poem says “and take it in the canyon down”, the journey continues northward. We agreed on one thing…Fenn may have found his “special place” when he was fly-fishing decades ago. The Rio Vallecitos is near; Placer Creek flows into Hopewell Lake and out below the dam. The area is beautiful, not that far from Santa Fe, and not so heavily used.

We made our way back to our vehicles…Molly led, dragging me behind her, and then Chris followed. It was mid-afternoon…I had to leave to take Molly home. Chris and I made plans to meet in Espanola the next morning, and ride together from there.

He ended up going to Hopewell Lake then hiking down Placer Creek to Long Canyon, then up the Continental Divide Trail, roughly northwest, stopping where it doglegs around back to the road. The next morning, he excitedly told me he saw an amazing meadow and a fox…Ok, I thought to myself, now he is starting to get “it”…

Day two began bright and early…as I drove, he navigated, and talked…a lot. I asked him again about the poem. To understand his thinking and solutions I first had to understand him. He explained he loves scavenger hunts, and spent weeks creating scavenger hunts for others…I mean, really detailed hunts that were difficult but solvable. He felt Fenn’s poem had to be created along the same line of thinking…straightforward, not obtuse. The whole idea is for it to be solved…so Fenn wasn’t going to throw in red herrings or use words that you have to decode, decipher, or unscramble. Each word means what it means, only there are multiple meanings for words, hence the puzzle. He felt he understood Fenn’s spirit of engagement and that you must read the poem and think of it from his perspective. The poem is a journey, and the whole poem is awesome, starting from Santa Fe. The headwaters for the Ojo Caliente and Chama Rivers yield canyons and valleys and some of the most spectacular fishing in northern New Mexico, and his home of Brown was a specific fishing hole known by local fishermen as THE place to catch the Browns. OK, now I understood…

He directed me off Hwy 285 onto SR111, where we continued north through La Madera (which translates to “the wood”), through the tiny wooded hamlet of Vallecitos, and onto forest road 274 bearing northwest just beyond Cańon Plaza. I was ecstatic because I was now driving on a new dirt road through a beautiful narrow valley along the Rio Vallecitos. I thought it was spectacular…we parked at a small turnoff immediately after crossing a bridge over the creek, then made our way to the water. The plan was to walk upstream, along the bank, looking for a fishing hole that could be considered the home of Brown. His idea of contacting a local fly-fisherman who would already know this location was a good idea but too late for our use. We had to find the hoB ourselves. It’s debatable whether or not the “trail” we followed along the bank was human or not. It wasn’t much of a trail but we guessed a few fishermen had probably trampled that same path.
08

When we ran out of bank to walk on, Chris decided to wade further upstream to see what was around the next bend. I gave him one of my trekking poles, and off he went…

As I sat waiting patiently on a giant boulder, my legs dangling out over the stream, I soaked in the beauty of the day… the blue sky, the green trees, the entire area, the circumstances… I mean, my God, I’ve been searching for Fenn’s treasure for 3 and a half years, and I’m still enthralled with new places to see. I hoped that by the time Chris left New Mexico and the search, he’d know and understand The Thrill of the Chase…

09
Chris returned without finding the home of Brown so back to the car we went. I suggested taking FR44 from Vallecitos south to the village of El Rito, and hiking back to Potrero Falls on the way. I had searched this particular area a couple years ago and wanted to show him a few of my solutions. Near the top of the ridge sat Valle Grande Peak with its seeping spring, the water trickling down into the Rincon de Tio Francisquito Basin. Not far but too far to walk from there was the turn back to the trail leading to Potrero Falls, my heavy loads and water high.
It was a short 10-minute walk through the shady woods to the falls. No cascades of water this day, only a small fall at the bottom. Nevertheless it was a nice respite from sitting in the car and a chance to stretch our legs.

10

I explained that when I searched this area a couple years ago, I had scrambled up the boulders along the cascading water falls to the top, where I
discovered a lush meadow filled with wild flowers. It reminded me of Forrest’s Vietnam waterfall story, where he “paid my debt to the waterfall and the magic clearing to which I felt so obligated.”
After leaving the falls, we stopped at the El Rito District Ranger Station to ask questions and try to get any information that could be helpful in identifying THE home of Brown. Both rangers behind the desk were amiable and talkative. Before entering, I had warned Chris not to mention Fenn or the treasure. (Last month I had stopped at the Camino Real District Station in Penasco to pick up a map…the lady behind the desk was friendly until she asked what brought me to her neck of the woods, and I replied Fenn’s treasure. She rolled her eyes and walked away…well, screw her, I thought at the time.) I asked these rangers what was the source for Potrero Falls? It couldn’t be snowmelt or rainwater entirely as the early summer rains were minimal. I wondered if it was a spring…they didn’t know. Chris asked about fishing, especially for Browns. It was suggested we try the Rio El Rito all the way up the canyon on FR110, as long as we stayed off the private land. She also mentioned Fifteen Springs, way up in a high alpine meadow northeast of Canjilon Lakes, north of our current location. (Not for fishing but to see the springs.) She warned the 3-mile drive back to the springs was undriveable in an automobile but we might be able to drive it in the FJ Cruiser. (I swear much of this 4-day adventure should have been an advertisement for Toyota.)

Off we went again…along the El Rito, driving through the forest canopy, stopping, and wading once to check it out. I think we both agreed this stream just didn’t seem “right”.

11When we got to the tee in the road we headed west toward Canjilon to visit the Rio Canjilon, and it seemed even smaller. We didn’t even get out. But the drive across the ridges and higher alpine meadows was pretty with cooler temperatures…it was green, there were cows to gaze at, and it was 73º versus the high 90ºs in Santa Fe and Espanola.

12The day ended with me giving Chris my extra copy of Forrest’s Memoirs TTOTC…he had never read the book, and I thought it might help him. He read it in his hotel room that night…

The third morning started with breakfast at the Abiquiu Inn where we met Desertphile. I had emailed him the day before to see if he would be available, and to my amazement, he was. He brought maps to give us, pointed to the hot springs at the edge of the Chama River where a potential hoB might be, and talked freely to both of us about his solutions to the poem, as well as sharing data he had collected regarding water temperatures, and such. Before we realized it, they were nudging us out the front door…my God it was noon!

13

David went his way, and we went ours. Chris talked about how after reading TTOTC, it seemed more likely Fenn would have hidden the chest in the YNP area. I agreed that the book makes a compelling argument to head that direction.

We drove north to Chama, found the Rita Chamita creek, shook our heads no, and headed back south. The day was sort of shot by now but we still wanted to explore.

We headed back the rutted road to Fifteen Springs…not to find Fenn’s treasure but to find mine. You know…some place new…a place painted green, with cooler temperatures…it was all of those things. We were over 10,200 ft and it was 71º.

Chris and I walked around and through the swamp cabbage looking for the 15 springs… they were mostly dried up. He saw a deer run from the edge into the aspen grove…he hollered to me and pointed.

14We made our way through the ruts back to the forest road…I could see trees, I could see mountains, I could see animals. Then we headed to the Chama River…

15Once again, this was not actually the spot to look for the treasure chest…it was more of a recon for Chris in case he wanted to come back here the next day or two and search the spot Desertphile pointed out that morning.

16Chris thought about swimming across the river and hanging from a ledge for a photo…
I cautioned against it.

17

The next morning was my last…He talked a lot about structure…how logically the poem’s solution would begin where warm waters halt where they enter a cold stream. That’s the canyon you “and take it in the canyon down,”; from there you have to drive “Not far, but too far to walk.” That’s where you find the confluence of a side creek and “put in below the home of Brown”, a place that’s noted for it’s Brown trout. Then you go up this side canyon, you know, “there’ll be no paddle up your creek”, etc etc. He handed me the sheet of paper with his drawing of this structured journey he spoke of. It looked identical to something I’d drawn 3 years ago when I seriously started this chase… me and hundreds of others…

He agreed to let me take the lead this final morning and show him one of my structured solves…I posted it on Dal’s site a couple years ago, under the name The Slide Trail.

18

We started the journey hiking down to Manby Hot Springs, north of Taos. In the short time it took to descend to the hot springs, it appeared there were already folks soaking there. They may have been un-clothed…we maintained our distance. From there, we drove all the way back down along the Rio Grande canyon to the Orilla Verde area where we made our way to the Slide Trail and confluence of the Rio de Pueblo and parked. From there we made a short hike part way up the trail until we got to the slide. Just on the north side of it was a small box canyon off to the right, filled with shade trees and boulders. I suggested we go back there and take a look…it was only 200 feet to the end of the box, and I couldn’t remember how thoroughly I’d checked it prior. Chris thought it didn’t look “special” enough to be Forrest’s special place. I agreed but emphatically replied none of us know what is special to Forrest…In my opinion, if you are in an area with any possibility, you search it before you leave it! My tone was harsh, and I felt guilty afterwards…oops, I was supposed to only be his guide, not throw my opinions in his face. Sorry, Chris!

19

20
Fenn’s treasure chest was not found…we quietly returned to the car, then made our final drive together to his car in Espanola. We hugged good-bye…

As I made the 2-hr drive home, I contemplated our journey together. I had driven over 200 miles each day…I saw places I’d never have seen otherwise…I enjoyed listening to his ideas about solving Fenn’s poem…I learned a lot about rock-climbing…I learned David’s secrets…but most importantly, I had fun. I worried whether or not Chris felt the same. I felt responsible for him…I had been his guide.

21

Chris emailed me from the airport Saturday morning as he waited to board. Along with sending thanks, he talked about his last day in New Mexico and his long hike up to Wheeler Peak via the Middle Fork Lake and Lost Lake Trails. He said, “it was awesome, but I was destroyed afterwards.” Is that like saying, “I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak?” Absolutely…

22

Standing on top Wheeler Peak (picture from my archives 2015)

If anyone wants to see more pictures of Chris and his search journey, go to this link:

https://cmeachum.smugmug.com/Fenn-Treasure-Search-with

-Cynthia

 

105 thoughts on “The Math Teacher…

  1. Cynthia, again you didn’t invite me and Tesuque to tag along on a great outing. What is your excuse this time? f

    • You and Tesuque are invited to join me on a great outing. Her short legs are fine since we will not be hiking much. Hmmm . . . what is your excuse if you rather not come?

  2. That looks like a great business, being a guide for Forrest Fenn Treasure searchers! You get to have all the fun and get paid (assuming you got paid).

  3. Pretty waterfall and Aspen groves. I think I’ll start calling you a Saint Traverser for all you do for others.

  4. Your searches are unmatched, Cynthia. I had always wanted to go into that area south east of lake Hopewell and north of Madera, up past the end of 111. But if you say the road is safe and easy, I’ll take your word for it.
    I was surprised you took him to the Slide trail. If I knew I could have pointed out the petroglyph of the radio and a couple of others.
    Great photos and story.

  5. Great adventure! Thanks for posting. The thing that repeatedly strikes me is how similarly so many searchers see the chase. My solve is based on a thought process akin to many searches (including Chris), yet slightly askew. Thanks again Forrest for the push into the sunlight!

  6. Cynthia what an awesome story u wrote about yalls adventure. I’m sure you had fun. Great photos I felt like I was on an adventure with yall. 😉

  7. Thanks for the extra photos; they really enhance the visuals to show where y’all searched. And my goodness what a great writer Cynthia is.

    Just a minor critique or two about the solution (by comparison,my solutions no doubt are really bad).

    What would make Burned Mountain special to Forrest? There must be a million mountains in the Rockys that look almost exactly like this one. The photos reveal a landscape that seems a tad monotonous; lush vegetation everywhere, little variation in topographic features, though toward the end (El Rito area?) you could at least see mountains in the distance, which provided a nice vista. In almost every reference I have seen to the celebrity fish, it’s name is spelled with a lower-case “b”, not a capitalized “B”; insignificant detail?

    Chris seems like a nice guy, fun to be with. Never stayed at Abiquiu Inn; Bode’s is great place for supplies + good food, if perhaps a bit pricey for this Texas redneck.

    Thanks again for a great write-up and vicarious adventure.

    Ken (in Texas) 🙂

  8. Great search story and pictures Cynthia, It is a thrill to go on your adventures with you, even if it is only on the blog.
    Thank you for sharing..

  9. Cynthia,
    Thanks for the tour of New Mexico,s beautiful countryside. You definitely are an Ambassador of New Mexico .. 🙂
    Imo,you are closer than you think you are.

  10. Not that I have spent a great deal of time investigating it or anything, but regarding the most important question from the photos I can say:

    It is my considered opinion that the couple in Manby Hot Springs is not naked.

  11. Great story, sounds like y’all had fun exploring! I’ve been trying to find the time to write up a few solves of my own recently, with pictures, cataloging 5 trips since May 2015 traveling from Texas to southwest Montana area in order to save others time and money from searching the same areas but I don’t particularly enjoy writing so it might take a while for me to complete-I have great straightforward solves that go along with the poem but no treasure yet. If any writers would like to write my stories I’d be glad to tell them! I’m now researching new areas, that have caught my interest, if I’ve been wise and found the blaze…

  12. What a great search! My thoughts :

    1. A searcher guide paid in “half the treasure when found” will slowly go broke.
    2. Cynthia, you set out with Chris because he had a mathematical, untainted solve. Then you “tainted” him with f ‘s book. Now Chris may think Yellowstone is “it”, like most everyone else!
    3. Can you imagine searching for the treasure with the man who hid it? You have the “imagination”, he has the “knowlege”, but somehow the guy with the knowlege says that imagination is more important !!!
    4. If f did accompany you on your search, would he be willing to say if you were getting “warmer” (closer) or “colder” (farther) from the treasure? NOT! But at least you could watch him to see if he gets nervous when you do get close!
    5. Everyone is naked underneath their clothing. Just as eyes are not closed, just the eyelids…..

  13. Cynthia,
    You drove right past my solve location! I sent you a Facebook message. Please check it out.
    Thanks,
    Mark T

  14. Cynthia, I love your writing skills and your passion. Please don’t over do it ! You know how this stuff can lead to burn out . Learn to say no , there is only one You and we want you to be well and happy always.

  15. Great story, Cynthia. Part of your and Chris’s adventure went through an area my son and I have been searching and researching for several months. Forrest said the TC would be hard to find. Ain’t that the truth!

    • Phile, I think you already know all the places where is ain’t. What will you take for that hat and not back out? f

        • @dal: “I’ll offer Desertphile a buck but that must include the manure stains…
          Now I have to go out and raise a dollar somewhere…”

          My hat wishes me to point out how insulted it feels at the lowest, I mean highest, bid so far. It is like offering $1 for Sitting Bull’s tobacco pipe; like $1 for Leonardo da Vinci’s sketch book; like $1 for The Lone Rancher’s mask.

          • Desert-
            You’re right. I apologize. I completely ignored your hat’s feelings. My bid was short-sighted and meager. I’ll up my bid to $2.25…just to show what I’m made of…
            and in spite of the fact that I have no competition for my bid….
            Call me not a spendthrift!!!

          • @dal: ” I’ll up my bid to $2.25…just to show what I’m made of…”

            Six years ago I auctioned off my hat, via Youtube, for the charity Médecins Sans Frontières. I was astonished at how much people were willing to pay for it. Tommy From the Bronx auctioned his hat as well, and we had a contest. His hat got almost $100 more than mine, the bastard.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cAhc1LMgts

      • You need a cowboy hat. : ) I was saddle sore from my long ride Saturday. All I could think about was your ride on Lightning and trying to sit on his rump for comfort. Kedar would be so mad if I tried it.

      • @ForrestFenn: “What will you take for that hat and not back out? f”

        Gosh, I would have to discuss the issue with my hat; we are a team, like Batman and Robin, like The Lone Ranger and Tonto, like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, like a fighter pilot and his $5 cigars. We (my hat and I) would consider an even swap, but then I would have to get another hat for being seen in public, as yours isn’t up to that.

        • @pieces: “Am I missing a inside joke..?”

          It’s a secret joke. 🙂 I have constructed a hyperspace multi-variable database that includes geographic and topographic data as well as linguistic and temporal (historical) data as well as geothermal data, that has produced 1,611 possible search locations; 9 locations are grouped in the “most likely” category, of which I have searched 2. The data took me months to collect, and a dozen hours for my computer to construct the “degrees of separation” pathways. I know with high confidence where the treasure is not. 🙂

          Gosh, I even found a historic Post Office in the Rocky Mountains where a woman named Braun used to live as Post Mistress. I have left no digital stone unturned.

      • @pdenver: “Hello Desertphile. Don’t sell! The ladies love you in it! ;)”

        My hat and I discussed it. We have concluded that it’s a trap. We suspect Forrest plans on something nefarious with my hat that involves the CIA, NSA, FBI, and the Taco Bell Corporation. We’re too smart to fall for it.

        • Phile, that hat would love to leave your head for mine. I’ll give you a buck twenty-five, and you pay postage. f

          • @ForrestFenn: “Phile, that hat would love to leave your head for mine. I’ll give you a buck twenty-five, and you pay postage. f”

            My hat read that (it’s better educated than I) and said “I would rather be set on fire once again that sit on anything attached to Forrest.” I am kind of worried about that “once again” part—- is my hat keeping secrets from me?

          • pdenver – Yeah,…just remember THIS hat:

            http://dalneitzel.com/2015/01/21/scrapbook-one-hundred-six/

            John Wayne had one with a hole in it also,…in “Rio Bravo”

            https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/59/0c/c0/590cc02a61c31d8beb54565c767981e3.jpg

            Forrest wrote:

            “You know, I really hate to brag about some of my stuff, especially since Tesuque just won the Blue Ribbon for being the best pet on the internet. But honesty compels me to admit that I possess the most interesting hat on this blog.”

            Maybe that won’t be true anymore,…if he gets YOUR hat,…Desertphile! 🙂

          • Hello E*. I believe you to be a wise person. When you posted elsewhere, was there a connection you made with the photo of the lake? What do you believe the scrapbook page was suggesting?

          • pdenver – I just read the thread from the other blog and my comments there. I made a connection between the stone Stela next to Forrest in his scrapbook and the stone he tripped over in “My War for Me”. And I just happened to find that picture I posted of Stella Lake,…while putting in search criteria in Google Search,…and noticed that the land forms were identical. I made the Stela stone monument connection after. But if ff had anything to do with choosing that image for his scrapbook,…then I think he found the location this way (a post from the other blog):

            E* on May 1, 2015 at 7:10 pm said:

            decall – Personally,…I think Forrest “arrived at Stella Lake” in a Fighter Jet,…by flying over it,…while he was training USAF pilots,…while stationed in Arizona (and getting up at 4:00am to do so!). Wheeler Peak in Nevada is at 13,063 ft.,…so it’s a pretty big obstacle to avoid. I’ll bet he was curious and decided to explore around there,…finding Stella Lake on foot,…later:

            http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3286/3152370599_59ac361cc1_z.jpg?zz=1

          • Hello E*. I’m curious. What time did you make your post on the other website in regards to the lake on SB126?

          • pdenver – I think my post over there was archived,…because I can’t find it now. But 49 dollers came over after he saw The Wolf’s post at Dal’s,…and he acknowledged that I was FIRST (even though he found Stella Lake through a comment by his wife shortly after my post). And then 49 dollers, decall and others discussed Stelae and Stella Lake for a REALLY long time afterward. And I enjoyed posting with 49 dollers on other topics there as well.

          • pdenver – I provided the wrong link to The Wolf’s post about Stella Lake. Here’s 49 dollers’s post and the one about mine from the Wolf (posted because I asked him to PLEASE let 49 dollers know over here, which took a while to happen):

            http://dalneitzel.com/2015/01/21/scrapbook-one-hundred-six/#comment-72660

            http://dalneitzel.com/2015/01/21/scrapbook-one-hundred-six/#comment-72676

            And you are most welcome! I am here to help others with their solves,…and to maybe come up with a few new ones of my own along the way! 🙂

    • Did you know that Molly Brown once lived in what is now a ghost town in Montana? I don’t think the treasure is near there but I did find that as an interesting fact a while back

      • Jeremy, here’s another Molly Brown tidbit, a celluloid factoid. The 1964 film The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Yes ‘movies lie to you’ as Fenn so eloquently put it.

        I haven’t seen the picture myself, sounds wholesome & nonviolent enough…”Molly is an uneducated, poor, mountain girl who leaves her mountain cabin in search of a wealthy husband, respect and a better life.”

        Well the exterior shots of that cabin (the cabin she left) took place in Colorado over 50 years ago, here’s a link http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058708/locations?ref_=ttfc_ql_6

        I have much more respect, appreciation for motion pictures filmed on location, and since those scenes were shot near the entrance to an amazing National Park, it caught my attention.

        Is this what f meant by ‘the big picture’?

  16. Cynthia, If you had added in some of that crazy logic I rambled on about at the Fennbouree , you might of had it in the bag, so thanks for keeping that one “under your hat “, so to speak. Good research on La Madera being “wood”. The meaning of Pilar being “pillar” , Tres Piedras meaning 3 cornerstones, and El Rito , “the Rite”…or ritual. Sounds like all they need now is a table top. I have a new location since I saw you June 3rd, believe it or knot, the spot has 2 chase lounges “your quest 2 cee’s” and a dart board ” Bulls Eye”. Your welcome to tag along ….before you get unpacked. Good luck. Seattle. And thanks again for hosting the Fennbouree. You and Tom were awesome !

  17. Just stumbled across a bone-afied HoB. Yes here a spot with mounds of documentation, and is a short distance away from a ‘one of a kind’ boneyard.

    here is a 31 page .pdf report [the color photos alone are worth your time]
    https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/hcd/THPO/Brown_House.pdf

    “Results of Archaeological Monitoring and Data Recovery at the Charles Owen Brown House, Historic Block 215, Tucson, Pima County, Arizona”

    Obviously skeptics will moan about this being too far from the search area, but what about that boneyard?

    Wiiki: “Davis–Monthan Air Force Base is the sole aircraft boneyard for excess military and government aircraft.”

    “The base is best known as the location of the Air Force Materiel Command’s 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), the aircraft boneyard for all excess military and government aircraft.”

    • @theycallme9clues: “Obviously skeptics will moan about this being too far from the search area, but what about that boneyard?”

      No, that is correct; that is where Forrest parked.

  18. Friends are extremely important…You already have the treasure..I am extremely happy to see that you were able to both reach out to each other. I know that this story has inspired me to think about my friends and put some of my things aside. One of “MY” friends in particular is going to receive a call from me later in the day to discuss how we can try to put these in the past. Maybe we can try to get together very soon…although I hope he can and will receive my call.. Either way, I will send him a message and hope that He will call me direct. I miss playing cards with him and still need to understand al the cards to be able to completely play at his level of skill……Should be a good time I hope.

    Still rambling again today, but I truly do miss his friendship. We had a lot of fun with each other. In addition, he always tried to help out my family which is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING and extremely appreciated! I just want to know I have a true and honest friend that I will be able to include back into my inner circle.

    TY for your patience everyone. Just needed to get a few of my thoughts out and not even sure how to express them now.

  19. Chris has the right eye for treasure, his sixth sense brought him to Cynthia, or maybe that’s reversed. Either way a fine search and story by both of you. I love different perspectives and the pictures Cynthia provides always makes one feel like they were there. Is there any way we could get a close up of the Desertphile picture and don’t hesitate to include the maps. Thanks for sharing.

      • @cynthia: “I will ask Desertphile tomorrow if I may release the map in the photo.”

        One of tyhe two warm springs on or near Rio Chama is well known (where I pointed on the map). The other is a secret. 🙂 It is near what long ago was called “French House,” from which French Mesa was named.

      • Hi Cynthia, I enjoyed reading your story with Chris the Spaniard; delightfully refreshing scenery and temperatures! So, I just am wondering whether Chris revealed his take on the G.E. reading(s) because I think one has to essentially get your probable location pretty much in the cross-hairs, N-S, E-W. from what you put together from the clues, I have my set; do you have any idea what his set would be? He came an awfully long way, not to have it down. Still he had to love discovering the Enchantment of NM. Best regards, moi

  20. Good search & great write-up. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Get some rest, then… more please. Knowledge, imagination, and a little Kismet (luck) to you.

  21. Chris made a good decision when he chose you as his guide. It is obvious from the blogs, you go above and beyond in all that you do. I enjoyed the write-up.

  22. ***** CYNTHIA & MOLLY *****

    —-INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN TREASURE HUNTERS—-

    ____have FJ……will travel____

    🙂 Great adventure & write-up, Cyn. Good Luck to YA!!! 🙂

    • Cynthia, if I win the lottery I am going to hire you and Molly to guide me to my location… That would be a blast! How many trips have you been on now? Have you passed Dal?

  23. Cynthia! Great write-up of an incredible adventure. I will always be indebted to you for showing me the wonder that is the Carson National Forest and the thrill of the chase–it was awesome! A shout-out to David as well for telling riveting stories and sharing ideas that morning–what a nice guy! And of course I am grateful to Forrest for writing the first lines of a narrative that we all get to continue. Forrest has crafted an enthralling and accessible real world experience for anyone who wants to take up the challenge–what an act of pure, creative generosity.

    And since I’ve never posted here before, a little introduction. I’ve taught high school math for a couple decades, mostly in California but recently at American schools in Spain. I am the sort of person who frequently quits my job to explore a new career path or embark on adventure. I rode a mountain bike across the US a while back, worked as a wilderness ranger in Southern California, taught English in Portugal for a year, and I’ve been a rock climbing bum in a dozen different countries. Anyway, I quit my latest teaching job about a year ago to write a math book, and while I was doing that, the health of both of my parents started to decline. They needed help moving out of their house and developing a sustainable system for dealing with their medical issues. So I returned to North Carolina for some months to do that.

    Once they were roughly stable I was rather cooked, and I stumbled across the story of Fenn’s treasure, not sure which article it was. I totally got absorbed in it, because it’s an intriguing puzzle and the spirit of it really captivates me–it resonates with me as a teacher who tries to put math in the context of a narrative to get my students interested in math, and it excites me as a rock climber who has climbed new routes and enjoys seeing other people climb the routes I opened. It was so cool that Cynthia not only replied to my email but encouraged me to come out for myself to explore–she is a true gem of a person! I had a great time traversing the meadows, streams, forests and mountains north of Santa Fe with such a seasoned treasure hunter and kind individual. Now I am back in Spain but there is no doubt that every now and again I’ll re-read the poem and start flying around on Google Earth, perhaps one day to return to the chase in person. In the meantime, thanks to everyone who has posted their cool stories around the web, best of luck to all, have fun and be safe!

    Chris

  24. Yesterday, I received this email from Chris. He tried to post it as a comment but I don’t think it worked so here it is:

    Cynthia! Great write-up of an incredible adventure. I will always be indebted to you for showing me the wonder that is the Carson National Forest and the thrill of the chase–it was awesome! A shout-out to David as well for telling riveting stories and sharing ideas that morning–what a nice guy! And of course I am grateful to Forrest for writing the first lines of a narrative that we all get to continue. Forrest has crafted an enthralling and accessible real world experience for anyone who wants to take up the challenge–what an act of pure, creative generosity.

    And since I’ve never posted here before, a little introduction. I’ve taught high school math for a couple decades, mostly in California but recently at American schools in Spain. I am the sort of person who frequently quits my job to explore a new career path or embark on adventure. I rode a mountain bike across the US a while back, worked as a wilderness ranger in Southern California, taught English in Portugal for a year, and I’ve been a rock climbing bum in a dozen different countries. Anyway, I quit my latest teaching job about a year ago to write a math book, and while I was doing that, the health of both of my parents started to decline. They needed help moving out of their house and developing a sustainable system for dealing with their medical issues. So I returned to North Carolina for some months to do that.

    Once they were roughly stable I was rather cooked, and I stumbled across the story of Fenn’s treasure, not sure which article it was. I totally got absorbed in it, because it’s an intriguing puzzle and the spirit of it really captivates me–it resonates with me as a teacher who tries to put math in the context of a narrative to get my students interested in math, and it excites me as a rock climber who has climbed new routes and enjoys seeing other people climb the routes I opened. It was so cool that Cynthia not only replied to my email but encouraged me to come out for myself to explore–she is a true gem of a person! I had a great time traversing the meadows, streams, forests and mountains north of Santa Fe with such a seasoned treasure hunter and kind individual. Now I am back in Spain but there is no doubt that every now and again I’ll re-read the poem and start flying around on Google Earth, perhaps one day to return to the chase in person. In the meantime, thanks to everyone who has posted their cool stories around the web, best of luck to all, have fun and be safe!

    Chris

    • @chris: ” A shout-out to David as well for telling riveting stories and sharing ideas that morning–what a nice guy!”

      Okay, now I’m blushing….

      If Chris and Cynthia are up for a terrible, brutal adventure, I can lead them to the hot spring in Rio Chama Gorge; there is an ancient “trail” at the end of a horrid road, and the last few miles must be done on foot. Or float down, and end up at the ranch.

  25. I get about 25 emails a day from searchers who have had similar experiences. Not everyone has a guide as mountain wise as Cynthia. Because she didn’t know Chris, she sent his photo and license number to friends at home before they struck the trail in search of the treasure. Common sense is always good savvy. Everyone knows the sun can be mean to those who are not prepared. It is a good idea to take more water than you think you’ll need. Please stay safe. f

    • In the spirit of “getting off the couch”, I would like to offer a suggestion to those searchers that do not frequent “the wilds”.

      Take a day trip….not a long expensive search trip….just a day trip….. a dry run trip. Find out what things you wish you had brought. Pretend to see a bear (or a moose, in Dal’s case). See if those shoes really hold up like you expect. Have fun. Not finding Indulgence on the cheap ! 😉

      Oh, and learn a little about how much care “staying safe” requires.

  26. Anyone notice the laughing face in the waterfall photograph? I have actually been to that very spot. Part of my solve involves rte 111 and 64. 111 = I + gONE + alONE and 64 = 6 verses + 4 lines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *