On Quitting the Chase…

by Ken S.

Warning – this is verbose and long winded.

I have only been at “The Chase” for a little over five months now starting in December, 2016.  I realize I am a late comer to the party.  I have not been out in the mountains yet because we still have snow down to the 5,000’ 6,000′ level here in Montana.  I was raised in south central MT and YNP has been in my backyard my whole life.  Many of you have been at this for years and it has changed your lives and, in some cases, how you now live your lives.

For me, and for most of you, all I can think of any more is “The Poem” of clues.  I think of it as soon as I wake up in the morning.  I recite the poem throughout the day.  Nearly every night I review different websites for new clues.  I stay up way too late looking at GE, the thesaurus, dictionary, and topo maps.  I have had several “solves”, most of which “work” to some degree or another.  For me, it is consuming and I want to/need to stop.  I have many other things I need to do and think about.  I hope in giving away what I have learned so far, I can maybe get this Chase out of my head.  Really, the best way for that to happen is for someone to find the chest!

In this monolog I am going to give most all of my solutions to clues I have found in the poem.  And, yes, I find more than nine clues in the poem.  As some have said, maybe each sentence counts as a clue, but within each sentence there may be several sub-clues (you can call them hints if you want, but I will refer to everything as clues for ease of typing).  I am not going to quote or cite blog posts or videos but will trust my memory of what I have read on different websites, primarily this one.  I know many of you will shoot holes in my logic and thoughts, that’s OK.  Some of you will discount me because I haven’t referenced ff quotes.  But, maybe some of my thoughts will nudge someone else into a different line of thinking, as do many of the blog posts I have read from others.  Btw: I am  a poem purist, I have not purchased the book(s).  Line by line, here goes:

As I have gone alone in there
Alone could mean Lone Wolf, Lone Star Geyser (ff is from TX), Lone Mtn near Big Sky, MT.  I only developed one solve based on this line.  Btw, there is a Fenn couple that own land at Big Sky, MT (public record).  I don’t know if they are related to ff.

And with my treasures bold,
Treasures Bold could be the creeks that flow into the Lamar River including the adjacent creeks called Jasper, Amethyst, Agate, Crystal, Opal, Chalcedony, and Flint.  All are treasured gems.  Their creek names are bold on a topo map in the area.  I have two solves that use this phrase as a clue.

I can keep my secret where,
I have found no clues in this phrase.

And hint of riches new and old.
The word old may refer to a historic mining district.

Begin it where warm waters halt
There are warm waters all over the west and in the Rocky Mtns.  I have considered mostly those only in my area of familiarity.  In YNP I considered both Soda Butte Cr. and less warm Rose Cr. in the Lamar Valley.  Neither are hot springs.  Soda Butte is warm and Rose does not freeze in winter.  I also considered the Firehole River, the Boiling River, Corwin Springs, the hot springs at Thermopolis, WY, and in the Shoshone River at Cody, WY.

WWWH could also refer to the geographic borders of YNP, but does it mean inside YNP or outside YNP?  Soda Butte and Lamar flow from the boundary inward, Firehole/Madison, Snake, and Gardiner/Yellowstone, flow outward.

Thermopolis, WY is well below the elevation of the chest hiding place but the poem doesn’t say you have to decrease in elevation.  I used Thermopolis as the start point for a solve that looks at the really “big picture”.

And take it in the canyon down,
Different canyons that I have thought of in my solves are Lamar River Canyon, Icebox Canyon, Gardner R canyon, Yankee Jim Canyon, Firehole/Madison R canyon, Yellowstone River canyon, Big Horn R canyon, Clear Cr. canyon in Colorado, and canyons that head south (down) on a map (only those which are associated with warm or hot springs).

Not far, but too far to walk.
This phrase is so very subjective.  Even though ff was 79 or 80 yo, I have hiked long hard miles with people that age.  It also depends on the altitude and terrain.  It is ten hard miles from Buffalo Ranch to Lamar R joining the Yellowstone R.  It is several miles from Boiling River to Yankee Jim Canyon.  My interpretation for this is that ff probably walked no more that six miles total on his two round trips to hide the treasure.  The higher the altitude the less the mileage would have been.  Similarly, if he was bucking brush versus walking through high park grass, the effort and distance would be much different.

Put in below the home of Brown.
I have a few different HOBs.  I borrowed from the blog for using the Lamar R. and Buffalo Ranch.

Along the Big Horn River just above Sheep Canyon there is a long-operating bentonite plant owned by the Brown Family.

Brown could also be Brown’s Lake east of Fort Collins for those looking in the Estes Park area.

I also thought of the sewage lagoons below Gardiner and the Grizzly Adventure in W. Yellowstone.

And, here is a doozy:  In one translation I found the word Brown has a Spanish translation as the verb “doarse” meaning ‘turn, turn about, turn around’.  But, in most Spanish dictionaries “doarse” means “to turn brown, or golden” such as for sauteed food.  So, doarse is a pretty weak interpretation of Brown, but . . .

From there it’s no place for the meek,
This one is also subjective depending on one’s personal fears – or maybe it refers to a place where the meek would not be found.  At first blush I thought this meant that “You are going to have to work for it.  It’s not easy”.  Or, it could be a scary place – bears, wolves, buffalo, rattlesnakes, guarded private property, nasty switch back roads, nasty park rangers?  Could meek be a religious reference (inherit the earth).  If so, could it be related to a church camp or mountain chapel?)  The Big Horn River cuts through both Sheep Mtn. and Little Sheep Mtn and sheep are referenced in literature to be meek animals.  Meek is associated with timid so maybe “no place for the meek” is associated with the antithesis such as Devil’s Slide, Hell Creek, wolf, etc.

The end is ever drawing nigh;
Some of the blog posts suggest this as meaning “to the left” so some of my solves used it that way.  Others did not.  For my Thermopolis, WY solve I interpreted it as the Shoshone River which enters the Big Horn R just below the Sheep Canyons after its run from the YNP west entrance down through Cody, WY

There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
As with most I interpret this as a small stream or dry creek bed.  It could also mean a stream with heavy rapids that cannot be ascended even by kayak.  This could mean the Shoshone River through Cody, WY.  Also, paddling is not allowed in YNP, nor can Lamar R be paddled upstream in the canyon portion because of the close boulders.  This could also mean to bypass Slough Creek which is the only creek with substantial water flowing into Lamar R.  It could also mean Crystal Creek which is one of the “gems” streams with very little water that flows into the Lamar.

Just heavy loads and water high.  
This could mean the large boulders in the Shoshone R as it flows from below BB dam down through Cody, WY or the heavy silt load on the Shoshone R at the BB dam, the Willwood dam, and where it flows into the Big Horn Reservoir (all in the Thermopolis solve).  I also took this to mean heavy loads of huge boulders in the rapids in the Lamar Canyon.  Water high might mean the high water mark of the Lamar (or any) river.  Water high could be where Lamar joins the Yellowstone and becomes a river too deep to cross on foot.  It could also mean any alluvium, especially braided – can’t paddle that – , at a creek’s mouth such as where it spills into a larger river)  Heavy loads (lodes) might also be referencing the many prospects and mines such as in SW Montana and along Clear Cr in Colorado.  Heavy loads and water high could mean a glacier or perennial snowbank.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,   
For the Thermopolis solve:  you have gone past Sage Creek (wise) as you go upstream.  The blaze is the Firefighters Memorial on Shoshone River upstream of the dam, elevation:  6190’.  This falls apart at the end because of the ff comment about no human trails in close proximity.

On the Fort Collins/Estes Park solve I was looking at a B-29 crash site that I thought ff might visit and honor because he had been a military pilot.  The B-29 trail description is to look for an Arrow on the final leg to the B-17 crash site.  For this solve I ignored it being a place ff might want to be buried.

My first solve along the Lamar R included an “owl face” along the river in the foothills between Tower Falls and Lamar Canyon.  The “eyes” are two small lakes, the beak is a small hillock south of the eyes.  The Blaze is an outcrop of white soil between and north of the eyes about 200 feet.

The Blaze could also be Tower Falls as seen from Specimen Ridge.  The Blaze could also be the Devil’s Slide above Yankee Jim Canyon.  Either type of “Blaze”, rapids or falls, could easily have a rainbow associated with the spray.  The rapids would show a rainbow most of the day with the sun to the south.  Tower Falls would only have a rainbow early in the morning with the sun to the east.  Devil’s Slide is also rainbow colored rock and soil.  Devil’s Slide is on private property but the very top end is on USFS, although quite a tough hike to access.

Blaze could also be a burned area but most of the YNP area burned up in 1988 and many subsequent years so that could mean just about anywhere in MT or WY.

Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
This phrase tells me that I am very, very close to the chest.  It is either literally at my feet or just down hill from where I am standing.  If you imagine my “owl” of pond eyes, it could mean to look at the “downy legs” and talons of the “owl” which would put it at the high water mark of the Yellowstone River across from Tower Falls.

To Cease could mean two (2) C’s such as Crystal Cr. or Cache Cr.  Two C’s could also mean the continental divide where water flow splits between the Pacific Ocean (sea) and Atlantic Ocean (sea).  But, that is just about anywhere in the Rockies in MT, WY, CO, and NM.

But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
To me, this means “Get the heck out of there before getting caught”.  That could be a situation for both NP lands or private lands.

Just take the chest and go in peace. 
I think this means “Don’t whoop & holler”, don’t tell anyone you found it until you are safe at home.  Peace could be a reference to a church camp or travel through a cemetery even though the TC is not hidden in a cemetery.  Peace could mean respect for the dead killed in the B-29 crash.

So why is it that I must go And leave my trove for all to seek?
I don’t see anything here.

The answers I already know,
I don’t see anything here.

I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.
I think this is telling the reader ff did the trip on rubber tires, probably by car or truck and that he was gone a week.  Of course, a week of travel could put him in any search state depending how many times he stopped and how fast he drove.

So hear me all and listen good,
Is there sound which could be a clue – water gurgling?  I liked the recent post from another Chaser of a natural amphitheater.  I thought that was a good interpretation.

Your effort will be worth the cold.
A synonym of cold is Icebox (canyon in YNP, another is Piercing such as water spray from a water falls.  It might be as simple as having to wait through the cold of winter before snow melts enough to search in the field.

If you are brave and in the wood
This could very well mean the TC is hidden in a hollow log thus easier for a child to retrieve.  Or, it could mean under a log thus easier for a child to see under.  Or, it could mean to duck under the water to get under a log jam.  In two interviews FF has said people should get out and kick over a log.  My favorite interpretation is that there is wood inside the chest that carries a “deed” to keep the findings.  Wood could also mean it is in the trees, if so, there are trees along the the high water mark at most rivers.  Brave might mean be careful of buffalo and grizzlies.  Brave could mean Warrior Mtn in the Idaho Springs, CO mining area.  Btw, there is a Santa Fe Mtn just south of I-70 near Idaho Springs and 8.25 miles north it leads one to a mountain called Fairburn.

I give you title to the gold.
A legal title for the finder could be inside the chest along with legal caveats and codicils.

Finally, I am saving two solves from you all because they are within a day’s drive from my home.  I plan to check them out if the snow ever melts.

Solve #1 – Begin at Soda Springs in YNP, travel down to Buffalo Ranch, cross the Lamar over to Crystal Creek.  Look around between the Lamar R bank and the top of the drainage.  Look for a hollow log or under a log near anything that could be a blaze.

Solve #2 – Begin at Soda Springs in YNP, travel down to Buffalo Ranch, look on GE for the Owl Eyes and forehead blaze.  Walk downhill to the Lamar R bank and look through the trees near the high water line along the river.

Solve #3 – Begin at Soda Springs in YNP, travel down to Yellowstone Picnic Area, hike up Specimen Ridge, break off from there and hike down to the Yellowstone R across from Tower Falls.  Look around the side of the draw on your way down as well as check out the high water area along the Yellowstone R.

Solve #4 – Begin at Soda Springs in YNP, travel down the Lamar R to its merging with the Yellowstone R.  Check out around the confluence area at the high water mark.  There could be a recognizable blaze in the area.

Solve #5 – Begin at Thermopolis, WY, travel down the Big Horn R and shallow BH canyon just below Thermopolis.  Travel down to where the Shoshone R flows into the Big Horn R (below the bentonite plant owned by the Brown family) at the upper end of Big Horn reservoir near Lovell, WY.  Follow Shoshone  R up through Cody, WY, up past Buffalo Bill dam and reservoir until you find the Firefighters Memorial (blaze).  It might be there but there definitely are human trails in the proximity.  Also, for some inexplicable reason, I doubt ff would use an industrial plant as HOB, then again . . .

Solve #6 – Begin at the Boiling R. south of Gardiner, MT, travel down the Yellowstone R canyon towards Yankee Jim Canyon.  Somewhere near there you will see the Devil’s Slide down the side of the mountain.  In this solve HOB is the sewer plant for Gardiner, MT – not very attractive.

Solve #7 – Start at Idaho Springs, CO.  I didn’t find a HOB here but I did find a Toledo Mine, Santa Fe Mtn, Warrior Mtn (brave), and Fairburn Mtn (blaze).  I didn’t work this one very hard.

Solve #8 – I didn’t develop this one very well.  Start at Brown’s Lake near Ft. Collins, search for a B-29 crash site in CO just west of FC.  There is one not far north of Estes Park but still outside of RMNP.  This one can be mostly driven to on FS roads but has to be walked to the last mile or so.

Solve #9 – Begin at Upper/Middle Geyser Basins, travel down the FH river canyon, turn around (Spanish verb for Brown) at the Firehole River Drive one-way sign, look around between the confluence of the FH river into the Madison and then up stream towards FH falls.

I admit all of my “solves” have holes in them.  This has been strictly arm chair stuff while I’ve been waiting for the snow to melt.  Remember, I only learned of the Chest Chase last December so have not had a chance to get out in the hills.  And, after a couple field trips, I hope I can get this out of my system.

And, finally, it has been nearly two weeks since I have read anything about Fenn’s treasure.  I think I have broken my addiction to the poem.  I think I’m back to my previous life again.

Ken S in Montana

98 thoughts on “On Quitting the Chase…

  1. Yes, the poem is very vague maybe even too vague for anybody to ever solve it. The chase is well…just a chase. Some of the most complex riddles poems and problems have been solved in a short amount of time. This riddle is missing important info sooooo….. well good luck.

  2. I read your solve and I think that it’s cool that we all have a different take on what Fenn is trying to tell us through his poem.

  3. Thanks for sharing, Ken!

    That has to be the record for the number of times the word “could” was used. 🙂

  4. I started the chase in March of 2016 and have similarly been consumed off and on this past year. It’s in my nature but I’ve learned to steer myself back to finish things that need doing before it becomes detrimental to my family

    I feel like I’ve finally turned an unhealthy obsession into a healthy one. I think the most important thing that has kept me safe is making sure that each time I go out, I make sure to learn something new and teach that something to my family. That way I’m not neglecting any responsibility but am actually enriching our lives.

    It also helps to have a devil’s advocate in my wife. I’ll spend weeks on a solve then try to explain it to her. She’ll just ask a simple question that destroys the whole thing. It’s hard to stomach for about a day but then I come around and realize how eight she is.

    Anyway, I can relate and I really like what you’ve come up with without actually getting out to look. It tells me that you’re wise to things in the mountains that I had to learn by dragging my family all over the place.

    I wouldn’t mind bouncing some ideas back and forth if you’re up to it. I’ve been quiet on here until now. ryanleedavies gmail

  5. Ken you’re just getting started buddy. Some of us have been at this for years. It looks like you’ve done a good cursory review of the area and since you live in Montana you have a leg up on most of the country. Fenn said he didn’t give away the chest. The finder of the chest will have earned it.

    I wonder how many of the 11,902,923 folks (give or take a few) that live in the Rockies are searchers.

  6. Ken, I too gave up , as a Florida resident, One cross country trip was all I was able to muster. I have a solve that hits all the clues, without forcing the puzzle pieces to fit. The solve flows perfectly. I believe I saw ” as I have gone alone in there”. It is a large doorway carved into solid rock, but my weak heart keeps me from returning, Yes, it is Montana. I will share more if ask.

    • Mirage321, that doorway is interesting to me. Would you
      like to give any more info about it? Thanks in advance.

      • Many have said Gardiner Mt. But I will give my entire solve to explain why ( also I have a half hour to kill)

        As I have gone alone in there
        and with my treasures bold
        ( He states that he can go inside.. also count the number of letters “45” which is the amount of letters in the next line also. the 45th parallel is where the boiling river dumps into the Gardiner river ) so why didn’t Forrest just write “I have gone alone in there with my treasures bold” starting the line with “As” may be considered poets license but I think he wanting to say something.in the number of letters hence he added the “AS & and” He repeats 45 letters in the next stanza but nowhere else do they add up to 45.
        If you trace the road to Gardiner from that point on Google Earth you will see the elevation drops hence going down the canyon. (it would be a long walk)

        Arriving in Gardiner you put in below the home of Brown who discovered gold there ( treasures new and old.)
        No place for the meek?? In Francis Fuller’s book about the famous trapper Joseph Meek, who trapped there in the early to mid 1800’s there is a quote by one of his friends, I believe it was Jim Bridger who after all the beaver were gone he said, ” this is no place for us” Hence NO PLACE FOR THE MEEK which prompted him to move to Oregon becoming the first governor. The book has a great story of Indians chasing Meek and him ending up on “Bear Creek” I am sure Forrest read this book as a child.
        Back to the solve. If you look on Google Earth to the right , above Bear Creek you will see an arrow on the hillside. Match that arrow to a file picture of Forrest as a young man on horse back and look at the markings on his head. the same “BLAZE” The picture can be found by typing in Forrest Fenn and click on images.
        I researched all the old records I could find on Jardine mining and Joe Brown and the gold found there, the town of Gardiner etc. There had been a few buildings built there so I placed myself in a ten year old Forrest Fenn’s mind and thought where and why this place. ( where Bear creek dumps into the Yellowstone) He swam and fished there as a boy.
        So I drove myself there from Florida , The direct hiking trail from Gardiner had been closed because of complaints by the owners of the land where the trail begins, ( according to the good folks at the Gardiner Chamber of Commerce) So I had to hike down the hill below Jardine along Bear Creek. The creek makes a thunderous roar as it hits the huge boulders in its bed. I was 58 years old at the time and the hike took it’s toll. I had to stop and rest often, the trip back up the trail was the hardest. But, when I reached the river I thought that a young Forrest had found a great hiding spot in the remnants of the old grist mill or smelter that once was built there. So I put on my goggles and looked everywhere I could. but, no luck. The rivers current is very strong where the creek meets the Yellowstone and I was alone so I did not go where I think the treasure is… From the trail bridge crossing the Creek if you look down and across the river you will see a doorway carved into solid rock . A hundred years ago there was a sand bar there which was sifted and mined and doesn’t exist now. Many other changes had occurred because of other minerals mined there over time.

        So young Forrest had no problem getting there and old Forrest knew of a safe way to get inside to hide his treasure from his exploring as a child.
        ME,. well I had intentions of returning, but shortly after my trip I had a massive attack. and now I give my solve to some who might be able to follow through.
        You will find that the elevation is right and all the clues fit perfectly. Remember also that if he had put it on private land or Government land, It’s theirs NOT yours. and Forrest is thinking long term. People buy and sell land but a river is every ones and a doorway carved from solid rock is going to be there hundreds of years from now. Also 3 years ago a young lady told of her journey camping and hunting for the treasure on Bear creek on this site. I was shocked when Forrest ask her a few questions about her trip directly. VERY RARE.

        I didn’t get the gold but I camped above the creek and I did get memories that I cherish, as I explored Yellowstone and stopped at Mt. Rushmore, Devils Tower, and the Crazy Horse monument, and I have Forrest to thank.

        Well good luck treasure hunters

        • Thanks for sharing Mirage! I didn’t know that the first two stanzas added to 45 letters, but I have considered the 45th as a WWWH because that is the southmost northern latitude at which sea ice typically is formed. I think the boiling river is the gardiner river where the flow from mammoth enters? I too have been intrigued by Joe Brown and Joe Meek and their history in the Gardiner area, but I hesitate to pin much on them because they would qualify as obscure knowledge. I’m intrigued by this stone doorway and would like to explore but doubt the TC is there: something that alluring would result in accidental find; doesn’t sound like a safe, kid friendly, or old man friendly spot. Also he said it is not in a mine. I’m glad you got out there though! Best wishes for you and your health!

      • It is near Gardiner , as many others have speculated, but my math teacher would never let me give an answer without showing my work so here is my solve.

        As I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bold and the next stanza have 45 letters, Wouldn’t it flow better if Forrest wrote “I have gone alone in there with my treasures bold” Ok some say poetic license , I say he added the “As & And” to get to 45 letters , Why 45? because the Boiling river dumps into the Gardiner River at the 45th parallel. Take it in the canyon down… Just follow the elevation on Google Earth and follow the road into Gardiner, It drops all the way to Gardiner which is too far to walk. PUT IN below the home of Brown.. Forrest said he walked to hide the treasure twice. or did he?. HMMM “Put in” is a boat term and old Joe Brown was the man who discovered the gold on Bear Creek.
        I am sure that Forrest read the book by Francis Fuller depicting Joseph Meeks exploits trapping beaver etc. in the area, So I read the book too. It is a great read, but on page 264 chapter XXII. 2nd paragraph .. Newell said to Meek, “We are done with this life, done with the life in the mountains, done with wading in beaver dams and freezing or starving alternately, done with Indian trading and fighting, the fur trade is dead in the Rocky mountains and IT IS NO PLACE FOR US, NOW, If it ever was..
        Hence, No place for the Meek, Forrest could have said the weak, or the frail , but remember he was having strong emotions himself of dying which starting him on his quest. and the paragraph does say “We are done with this life.”
        Meek then left for Oregon territory, settling it and becoming it’s first Governor.
        The Blaze…. well stay on Google Earth and look at the mountain to the right above Bear Creek, There is an Arrow, then search Forrest Fenn “Images” look for the one of him as a young man on horseback. The BLAZE on the horse is exactly the same only I remember it being upside down.
        There will be no paddle up your creek, Again? water, and I can tell you from being there that there are huge boulders in Bear creek , when the water hits it makes a roaring sound, (which is the name of another nearby creek he and his trapper buddies found) so he is saying don’t go up the creek..
        I had research the Jardine mining records, and as much as I could of Gardiner . There once was a mill there and a few other buildings at the mouth of the Creek where it splashes into the Yellowstone.
        I know that Forrest explored there as as a boy and It is a magic place, the water is calm in the river just above where Bear Creek dumps. So that’s where I went to look for an old foundation with a secret hiding place that a young Forrest might have discovered. I waded and swam in the cold water of the Yellowstone, If I had discovered the gold, The COLD would have been worth it. “Get It??
        The path from Gardiner to this point was closed 4 years ago according to the Chamber of Commerce because the land is privately owned, So I had to make my way down from the road near Jardine. At the time I was 58 and it was tough (Bad Heart). But there is a bridge crossing the creek, and from there if you look down and across the river, There is a cliff that is straight up and solid rock, Into it is a doorway carved out above the water line of the river, but will fluctuate depending on rain etc.
        Keep in mind that Forrest would not hide his treasure on private land, or Gov’t land as the owner or Gov’t would own the treasure not the finder. And he thinks long term, hundreds of years, so there he wouldn’t hide it in a log or something like that. That place in the Yellowstone won’t meander or bend in time, because that canyon on both sides are high and stone. They will always be there.
        I was alone at the time, the water is swift where it pours from Bear Creek and across the river from there is the doorway. Once there was a sandbar there that was removed and mined for gold, Why it was carved , I could not find in any records, but a young boy would have discovered a way to get there and an Old Forrest would have remember how to safely return. The current does flow down into Gardiner from there and paddling up would be a little much, So I left to one day return, However , a massive attack since, a few stents and CHF makes me give up and share my thoughts.

  7. Im impressed I think u have out thought me.
    Very good. It’s so funny because I have one solve, and I can’t think of anywhere else to search. My mind will not allow me to.
    You did a great job. 😉

  8. Wow-Great job Ken. My one and only search starts this morning. I’m just waiting for my Dad to get his fanny out of bed. I flew in from Alaska yesterday and I’m quite taken by this country. This is the summer, someone is going to scoop this “thang” up.

  9. Sorry to see you go Ken, but we each must make our own decisions.

    I hope that what you published helps some searcher to find it, since you have decided it will not be you.

    Good luck on your two remaining solves and TRY to STAY SAFE. JDA

    • What JD, JDA, or is it JDAs? is really saying is…. whew thank goodness, one less searcher. Besides there are so many folks named on Ken on here it’s hard to keep track.

      Okay, a bit more serious. When in life do you think you’ll get another chance to do something so over- the- top? Goes without saying, there’s dozens of adjectives to choose from when describing this challenge. Fenn has generously given his time, nurturing, some wealth, encouragement/ doubt this gesture can or will be repeated.

      Hey, there’s nothing to be ashamed of, we’ll all be back in diapers down the road, just hope JD gets there before me.

      • theycallme9clues;
        Your last line can be read two ways – You hope that I get to the diapers stage before you, or you hope I get to the treasure before you…hummm???

        Used to be JD, then another JD opted for it – so JDA it became. Somehow, (gremlins) a lower case “s” appeared on a couple of posts – not sure where they (the gremlins) came from. 🙂 JDA (See no “s” now – Gremlins are asleep)

  10. Several people have been adversely effected by their unhealthy behavior regarding the search for Airman Fenn’s treasure. If they are suffering from the hunt, they are “doing it wrong.” The primary goal is to have fun looking for the treasure— finding it, seems to me, should be a secondary goal. I dislike seeing people give up, but the sane people will. 🙂

  11. Thanks for sharing, Ken.

    I agree with the others who have said that you’re just starting out and shouldn’t give up right away, however I also know the feeling of the dream of the Chase eating away at you and the uncomfortable obsession it can cause. I’m in the same boat as you just about. I only got into this thing in January and am also frustrated by the long wait for the snows to melt in order to actually do some physical searching.

    But finding a balance in life is important too. I still do the other things I like to do in the meantime, and acknowledge the fact that if the treasure is discovered tomorrow by someone else, that I am content with life without having found it. The Chase is a fun hobby, but does not need to consume my life entirely. I’ve played around a bunch of solves similar to (though different than) the ones you have listed above; some more half-baked than others, but there’s one of my solves that stands so far out beyond the others that I have convinced myself (most likely erroneously) that it is correct. I plan to pursue this one solve when the time is right, and then be content with hiking in the mountains for only the sake of hiking in the mountains for the rest of the summer. I don’t want to squander this year’s hiking season on nothing but treasure hunts! It’s all about finding balance and contentment in life; don’t ever let your overall happiness hinge on whether or not you find the treasure. As long as you keep that it check, you should be golden and can enjoy yourself. Take care, and I wish you many good adventures this summer!

  12. Ken, I greatly appreciated your solves. Thank you for opening your research and being bold enough to post. Your thoughtfully considered ideas helped me expand my views. I hope you come back to the chase with renewed ability to balance daily life with searching.

    • hatchet jack. i hope you never sailed the spice route. your name scares me.
      i for one cannot agree with that little poem.

      life is not a game of poker, rather survival
      happiness is not the pot, rather survival is the pot
      fate does not deal, fate awaits
      and im not playing here, im serious.

      well, those were our intentions anyway. until the humans showed up.

      • DoDo Bird-Thx

        I, Hatchet Jack, being of sound mind and broke legs, do hereby leaveth my bear rifle to whatever finds it. It is a good rifle, and killt the bear that killt me. Anyway, I am dead. Yours truly, Hatchet Jack.

  13. For those of you still looking remember children can accompany you on your hunt, find somebody with a Drown GPS and heat seeking device, fly at dark early evening chest is a heat sinking and will retain heat long into the night and you can cover many miles using a grid map. Just a thought good luck.

  14. Wow.
    I think your second paragraph strikes a nerve with many of us. I started May 6th 2016. I have made 10 trips in the last year and two days and I’m planning the next one soon. I don’t feel obsessed, or that the Chase is interfering with my life. If I did I would probably quit too.
    I have read about people that quit their jobs and moved to the Rockies to search. I consider myself a casual searcher and it’s been fun and exciting for me so far. If it wasn’t I wouldn’t do it. The Chase is not for everyone I guess. Good luck in your future endeavors.

  15. Big Skip here…
    Ken:
    Thanks for your thoughts and ideas regarding the TC Chase. I too have entertained the idea of “getting out”. My wife suggests I am now captivated and obsessed by the idea of the Chase. She, as many times before, is probably right. But I keep coming back to the idea of, what “if” when the TC is found and the story unfolds as to where, your solve #2, or #4 or #9 was the place. I’m not sure about you, but I might have a very difficult time sitting on that one for my remaining years.
    Just a thought.
    Thanks again.

  16. If your chasing your Self, you shouldn’t think of it as giving up. It’s more like moving on and letting go.

    Oh and get a local library card, those places can get good reads from anywhere now. Amazing to me, it’s like a National Library from your zip code.

    I found some cool doodles from books signed by Eric. You never know once you open that cover…could be a drawing? That’s enough for me. Easy to find happiness in little things without trying to much.

  17. I don’t feel I am obsessed, other than maybe the first 2-3 weeks until I got the majority of my solve down pat (I am a Voxx article as chase intro guy). Since then, I’ve been following the blogs and stuff online and have had a few more eureka moments that have clarified the last few clues, but for the most part, I’m just waiting until I can get to my BOTG date. If I find it, great (LDO), and if I don’t, I’ll post my solve and from there, TBD. I don’t know if, having crossed a BOTG search for a real treasure off my life bucket list, I’ll be content and let it go or if I’ll work to find a new solve. I do know that if I have a new solve this summer, but can’t go out again until next summer, that’s going to be a hard wait.

  18. A few folks over the years have mentioned that a twelve step program may become a reality sometime along the way.

  19. Some good ideas in there Ken. Thanks.

    My first trip was very similar to your sixth, but back then I thought Joe Brown lived up in Jardine.

  20. Ken,
    I appreciate your sharing. That takes commitment. If you have a great solve in what you’ve shared no one will believe in it more than you. It came to you and you are the one to see it through. In my experience the chase gets only more exciting, stressful, and obsessive after you set foot in the field. If I didn’t have a family I would have no problem committing fully to the obsession until it is done or I cracked, but with a family I expect we all have to set a limit to our participation. You are setting yours prematurely. You can stop scouring the Internet and focus on your best (not most convenient) solve and go physically to it when the time is right. The whole thing will change then and you will probably drop many of your other fragments. I think you have a good logic and approach and could be the finder. All the clues are connected so it is important to focus on the start and get out and start there.

  21. I’ve got a Question for dal,if he could find out,ok, mr. forrest wrote a memoir.in the book ,The Thrill Of The Chase. he put a poem about a treasure chest to find.but yet on mysterious writings,I ‘m sure he said to a persons question,he forgot to name the poem.so why are we calling the poem the chase,or thrill of the chase,forrest says something like,its not finding,but its the thrill of the chase.is he saying then the answer to the poem is ,its the thrill of the chase,its the book itself, thats the title to the treasure.

    • Hello Virginia Diane. What I’m about to offer may be a poor example, but I believe you may understand what I’m trying to say. Remember when you were a little girl on Easter morning, and you went out looking for the hidden eggs? Do you remember how exciting it was to search? I believe the “Chase” and “The Thrill of The Chase” may be something like this. We’re all looking for the golden egg…the treasure chest. Perhaps others may explain it differently.

        • Cooper, I have to ask, did you have to drag your father? Lol. If I had traveled grim Alaska, I would have said the same thing.

          • Hah! I did have to drag and it was grim!:). He slept in the car while a deer chortled at me. I didn’t know deer did that. The location seems perfect, but it is NOT a place for children. I saw three snakes. Safety is more important than money.

        • Hello Copper. Most people communicate through the blog. Others post their email on the blog, but I believe it’s something you’ll need to really think before doing so because it’s out there for all to see.

        • (Second try.) Copper, most communicate through the blog. Some have posted their emails on the blog, but know that by doing so, all will know it, too.

  22. Ken,
    I like your observations. A few of your “X’s” I have been too. 🙂
    I have never given up on anything…well, I did give up on chocolate but my husband forced a chocolate bar down my throat for mecidinal purposes! I guess my withdrawals bothered him!
    Anyway, I’ve been searching since 2011. I’ve had people tell me, “Dang, Donna! You’ve been looking for a while, if you don’t have it by now, give up!” Or, “You haven’t found it, your ideas suck!” But, it’s not about the “finding it”, it’s all about looking for it. Getting the telescope out and zooming in on the tight focused areas that the clues fit. (Yeah, I said “telescope and not microscope–I like the telescope word better!)
    Recently, I have been spending several hours a day, caring for my handicapped hubby (vet), and my 4yr old grandson, Jesse, who is autistic. I need to unwind, so I let my mind wander through those 4 magical states, and recite the poem to different song melodies. I put myself and Jesse to sleep at night, reciting the poem. Despite all that I have going on, I STILL have time to record books for the blind, and am in the process of getting the studio to approve TOTC as a book for me to read/record! And I STILL get some research accomplished!

    In my busy life, I’ve been able to do dozens of searches, one was for 39 days last year, while my hubby was at the VA, getting some much needed physical therapy! Here I am, still treasureless!

    What I’m trying to say, is…DON’T QUIT!
    Give it a month to rest, and try again. Make a promise to yourself that you will research only 2hours a week. Heck! You still have CO/NM to look into!

    Fenn created this crazy adventure to lure us outdoors, and some of us can’t get out as frequently as we’d like to, but there is no limit to where your imagination can take you while in that armchair!

    The exercise your mind gets from all this, is supposed to deter dementia, so several of us should be safe…wait…what was I saying? Oh! Take a break, but don’t throw it out the window.
    Good luck, hope to see you back again!
    ¥Peace ¥

    • Donna M.

      That was really nice and encouraging and with all your responsibilities to boot. But reciting to your husband at night just before you go to bed? Ah, what do I know, I’m a proud 7 percenter who doesn’t know if I’m circling the wagons or they’re circling me. No matter, I can tell your a asset to the searching community and always with positive input. Thanks

  23. Often your tasks will be many, and more than you think you can do…
    Often the road will be rugged and the hills insurmountable too…
    But always remember the hills ahead are never as steep as they seem, and with faith in your heart start upward and climb till you reach your dream.
    For nothing in life that is worthy is ever too hard to achieve if you have the courage to try it and you have the faith to believe.
    For faith is a force that is greater than knowledge or power or skill.
    And many defeats turn to triumph if you trust in God’s wisdom and will…
    For faith is a mover of mountains,
    There is nothing that God cannot do, So start out today with faith in your heart
    And ” Climb till Your Dream Comes True” ! ~HSRice

    • aMp,
      Thanks for sharing this. Today I had a conversation with a close friend who recently found out he had stage 4 cancer in his lungs, a spot on his liver and also his bones. Today was his 3rd day of chemo. He has 18 more weeks. His attitude was very positive in light of the situation. I never knew him to be a religious person and yet we shared those thoughts today. No matter how difficult life can be there is always something positive to draw from it, if only for a fleeting moment, maybe just sharing a memory of good times past. I will be visiting him soon and will remember, not only your words, but the words of many on here who have shared troubling times and inspiration. I think he will appreciate listening to many of the stories that I have quietly listened to here. When a pebble drops into a pond the ripples continue in harmony long after the pebble is gone. Don’t ever think silence can’t be heard.

      • Well said Strawshadow.

        Your thoughts brought my mother and father immediately to mind. I cry. I miss them so much. This is my first Mother’s Day without mom. She thankfully went “easier” than dad, prostrate cancer. Dimentia can be so forgiving at right time.

        Sorry for the emotion folks. Group hug time.

        Pinatubocharlie

      • Strawshadow,
        I’m sorry for your friend. What an amazing person he must be to remain positive. He’s lucky to have friends like you. He’s in my thoughts.

      • Strawshadow,
        Just hearing the news of your close friend made me think of a poem I wrote about cancer….. I will find it and repost it on the poetry page for and your friend k….
        My prayers are with your friend…… see ya

  24. We all have a right. A right to grieve. The heart understands and gives its permission.
    Words unspoken and unnecessary. Tears in all of their dignity are silent for a reason.

    • We also have a right to hope for more. Whether that be the hope of finding a golden key in a rainbow or the hope that the ones we’ve lost aren’t lost at all, but are only waiting for us to finish our turn and be reunited.

      I think Shakespeare had it wrong. To be or not to be isn’t the question. To be or to be something more is; our purpose. Could it be any other way? Can you truly look upon the grave or picture of a true loved one and not feel their love?

      How is that possible if they have ceased to exist? Anyone who has felt that love radiating from those they’ve lost know in their heart that It was something felt and shared. It isn’t something we can create on our own or ignite from a memory.

      They must be close by. If life is a stage, then they are in the wings and we will all rejoice after the curtain closes.

      Grieve, but only for the sadness of not being able to see them for a season. For we will see them again and knowing they are their gives us courage and confidence to better play our parts.

      That’s what I think anyway.

  25. In the past few years
    There has been building
    up within me an obses-
    sion that the only way
    to peace of mind is to
    go somewhere in the
    desert, far away from
    things, and just sit
    down.
    . . . Ernie Pyle

  26. They keep piling up. I just figured out 10 cent yo-yo. As Larry the Hunter Guy would say, “that’s funny right thar”

  27. Anyway I’m sure warring film crews can race to document getting to your lovely spot out of the sun.

  28. Merry Christmas and Happy Hunting New Year.
    Stay on the trails in Yellowstone people cuz it’s the beginning
    but not the end of Forrest’s rainbow.

  29. Seems to me that someone either had a little too much to drink during the night or their ‘Thrill’ of going on a chase exploded with too much excitement in their belief that they will soon be finding the treasure of Forrest Fenn… we have already seen how well this typically goes over for searchers. 🙂

    Maybe we will be seeing yet another book published of the perfect solve in the near future without a picture (just like all the books before) of the found treasure anywhere to be seen in that book. I won’t be surprised to see a few of these by late fall… or sooner.

  30. Ken,

    Thanx for sharing. I can relate – when I first heard about this chase, I was “all in” for about 6 months. Then life got busy and now I’m mostly a lurker here on Dal’s site. My solve is stewing on the back burner, as it is just a general way of thinking about the end game. In my minds eye I can see where Indulgence is resting, but I do not have a firm starting point. My mind comes back to it now and again, sometimes waking me up at night and I make notes then. Later in the day I’ll do some research on those thoughts and keep plugging away at my solve. If ever I decide on a starting point, I’ll set up a hunt with my younger son, as he has been my sounding board throughout.

    Good luck in your endeavors!

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