Spawning a Solution……

SUBMITTED NOVEMBER 2017
by The Geezer Team

 

We (the Geezer Team) believe that the best way to find the treasure is to take Forrest Fenn’s poem at face value and temper that with information provided by Fenn since the poem’s publication. Our approach will also include establishing segments such as A-B wherein A is WWWH and B is the HOB, the HOB and the blaze make up segment B-C, and the blaze and the treasure is segment C-D. We don’t know if our approach is any bettter than other approaches, we just like it.

The first stanza, we believe, is an introduction wherein Fenn is telling us the treasure is hidden in some kind of rock shelter at least as big as himself plus the treasure box, “As I have gone alone in there,”. We’re guessing to get in there, he may have walked in upright, stuped, crawled, or wiggled in. He is also telling us that knowledge of the hiding spot is his alone and safe. Fenn said when he decided to hide a treasure he knew exactly where to do it but how would he know about such a location? We believe it was discovered during approximately 12 summer trips to and from Yellowstone when he was a youth. If you study a highway map from the 1930s you’ll see a major route from Texas to Denver. That route passes right along three of the four major river systems for that part of the Rockies. The three river systems are the Rio Grande, the Arkansas, and the Platte. (Fenn has ruled out the Rio Grande, however). On those long trips away from and back to their Texas home, we believe the Fenn family stopped along the rivers to rest, to camp over night, and to fish for trout. And, there was probably enough leisure time for two exuberant boys to explore, discover, collect artifacts, etc.

In the second stanza, we got started right away on segment A-B. We believe that “Begin it where warm waters halt” is a tributary water way, which flows into a river, and that we have found that tributary. Finding A, of course, is the key to the whole enchilada. The tributary has numerous hot springs making it a warm water source. Then we have: “And take it in the canyon down,” which means the searcher is in a water craft of some kind (canoe, kayak, raft) going with the current and into a canyon. We believe the use of a water craft is confirmed by “put in” (2nd stanza, 4th line) which is a nautical term meaning to land, esp. put in to a port. Alternatively, a 4-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance might be able to be used when this river’s water is low, typically, early spring and late autum. But we don’t know if that’s legal. Now, what about “Not far, but too far to walk.”? How can a destination be both “not far” but also “too far” at the same time? Since the searcher has to go down through a canyon he/she might think why not just walk up on top the river bank. We believe Fenn is telling us (and we observed) that the canyon has sides that are riddled with deep gulches making that kind of endeavour a long hike – up and down, up and down, up and down, etc. thus adding many more miles, and tough ones at that.

“Put in below the home of Brown.” tells us where to stop, where to “Put in”, thus determining segment A-B. It seems like there are two ways to interpret “… home of Brown.”, both require Brown to be capitalized, but for different reasons. The first is that Brown is a proper name wherein the searcher must find a person, place or thing named Brown along the river, in the river, or on top of a bank overlooking the river, etc. We call this the “proper name” scenario The second interpretation is that Brown refers to an animal species; e.g., Brown Bear, Brown Trout. I can hear many folks screaming right now; ” … but, but, but, but the rules of capitalzation …”! And, early on in our quest, we would have been screaming right along with you. However, the capitalization of common species names is now becoming a regular practice. But, this is also a special case allowing Brown to be capitalized to distinguish a common species name from a feature like color. For example, we are saying these are not just trout that are colored brown but are a species with many distiguishing features. We call this the “Brown Trout” scenario, which we will pursue if the “proper name” scenario does not produce the treasure. More discussion on this later.

In searching for point B of segement A-B, we actually found a location with an interesting proper name. The proper name we found is Brownsville! But don’t try to find it on a map because it hasn’t existed for a long time. The town of Brownsville was a ghost town when the Fenn’s visited the area and there is now a different name for that location! That Fenn sure is a sly old fox, but don’t try to baffle the old Geezer Team, buddy boy! Actually, we stumbled into that information, serendipitiously, and went to the old Brownsville cemetary but couldn’t find “any body” named Brown (ha, ha, ha). We discovered later that the Brown in question is in a different cemetary. The old Brownsville town wasn’t quite on the river, but the slope of the land from the town down to the river canyon was sufficient for us to believe that that part of the river is “below the home of Brown.” Further, if a searcher “puts in” on the opposite river bank there is a gulch that kind of fits the next part of the poem.

For segment B-C, Fenn cautions that the going will be tough (“From there it’s no place for the meek,”) and searchers will be in a non-navigable creek (“there’ll be no paddle up your creek,”). We are puzzled, however, by the words “your creek”, why not just say “the creek”. One reason we could think of was that maybe we should be looking for a creek with a name like “Treasure Creek” or “Gold Creek” or “Searchers Creek”, etc. But there are no creeks with names that fit that category in our search area. We are more puzzled by the next line, however: “Just heavy loads and water high.”! Some searchers say the heavy loads could be big boulders and rocks but I hope no one is trying to carry them around! Some searchers say the heavy loads are the treasure box contents, but it hasn’t been found yet since we’re following the poem sequently, as Fenn suggests. Does “water high” mean there’s water further up the gulch, does it mean the water found will be deep, or is it a water feature like a water fall? We know for a fact that this gulch has a wet lands seven miles up from the river and has some small springs along the way but for the most part the gulch is seasonal – intermittent wet and dry. Like a tree that’s been cut down, we’re stumped, so we will move on to the next stanza.

Discovering point C requires finding the blaze, a major element to finding the treasure. Fenn offers little help in the poem simply saying “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,” which tells us nothing because we already know that the Geezer Team is wise! He has told us, however, that the treasure is not in close proximity to a human trail and that searchers have been within 500 feet! So at .5 miles we got out of the gulch and went 500 feet left and right. Some searchers believe “nigh” means left, so why not just do the left side? Well, we’re having a hard time finding that definition. No matter, if you go one side and don’t find the treasure, you’ll be wise and go on the other side, or go home empty handed. But, when a searcher leaves the gulch what should he/she be looking for as a location? Look for a place that satisfies Fenn’s sensory experience as if he were standing near the treasure hiding spot. Fenn wants to able to see his beloved Rocky Mountains, a river valley, the river, pine trees, and indiginous animals (deer, elk, prong horn, big horn sheep). He wants to smell sage brush, pines, and most of all Pinon Pine, especially when the sap runs thick! To date, we have searched an area approximately .5 mile from the river and 1 mile up, on both sides of the gulch, with no results. Winter is coming on so we will wait until spring 2018 to do the next mile up.

Since the blaze must last 10,000 plus years it can’t be a tree notch, a carving, a cairn, or any thing like that. It can’t rot, rust, or be prone to erosion or being moved in any way. So we are left with something like a natural rock formation or discoloration. But we don’t buy that either. As mentined earlier, Fenn said he knew exactly where to hide the treasure. It is highly improbable, though, that a natural blaze would be in exactly the right place too. We’re guessing that the blaze is something he made, brought in and placed himself. Something meaningful to show the way. Something like, like … Well, figure it out yourself, we can’t have all the fun. The meaning of “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze.” is that since the blaze is man-made, you will know it when you see it, else you are not wise! So now we have a way ahead for segment B-C.

Segment C-D is from the blaze to the treasure and Fenn gives searchers instructions. He says “Look quickly down, your quest to cease.” We believe he means, when a searcher sees the blaze, stop! Moving forward toward the blaze (a natural tendency) will put the searcher out of position to see the chest! Looking down has several interpretations such as look down at your feet, or look south, or look down the trail, or if the blaze is high, just bring your gaze down. We believe it doesn’t matter at this point. When we find the blaze we’ll try anything and everything to find the treasure, even bring in bull dozers, back hoes, construction cranes, jack hammers, etc.!

In the final stanza first line, Fenn urges searchers to listen up with: “So hear me all and listen good,” then: “Your effort will be worth the cold.” and “If you are brave and in the wood”. We believe that the “cold” means that the hiding place is on the north side of some feature, a cliff, rock out-cropping, boulder pile, etc., where the sun never shines. And/or the river and creek waters are always cold! The last sentence of the poem is puzzling. Why does one have to be brave, unless its just a general trait expected of searchers? For “in the wood” we’re guessing Fenn means in the chest, which is lined with Lebanon cedar! For the rest of that sentence and the last line of the poem, “I give you title to the gold.” Fenn has gone weird on us. If we have the chest and its contents we don’t need title from him or anyone else. Unless, unless, … unless all the intended treasure is not in the chest and we have to collect the rest from him or his estate!

A bit about the “Broun Trout” scenario, which we believe is actually a “Brown Trout spawning” scenario. First we have to find a new WWWH for segment A-B, either on this river or another. Next we go down a canyon as before but this time we’re looking for a Brown Trout spawning tributary to begin segment B-C. Once we find the tributary, we are “… below the home of Brown.” and can head up that creek and then explore 500 feet on either side to find the blaze. The phrase “… no place for the meek.” now takes on a new meaning as it refers to the trout swimming up stream to spawn! Females carry approximately 10,000 – 20,000 eggs (Just heavy loads …) which are laid and fertilized in the autum but don’t hatch until the spring when the waters start warming up. The hatch becomes thosands of fry and those that survive become fingerlings which stay in the creek at least a year. Thus, although still non-navigable, the creek must have water all year and be deep enough for spawning (… water high.).

We imagined spawning to go something like this: After swimming up stream, a male trout approaches a female and she says “Wow, you look buff, what’s up big boy!” He says “Yeah, been working out for the spawn. I’m wondering if you’d be interested in a little romance?.” ”I am! I just laid a few thousand eggs over by those rocks in a nest I made. Go knock yourself out, then come back for a cigy-pooh! (Jack Kerouac beatnik slang for cigarette). After which I’ll cover the fertilized eggs with sand and gravel, then we’ll get back to the river. You won’t tell any body about this, will you? I mean, we just met and now we’re having all these kids! A girl has to worry about her reputation.” “Nah, what happens in this creek, stays in this creek.”

The Geezer Team-

49 thoughts on “Spawning a Solution……

    • Love to see the gathering of big dorsal fins hanging out on the gravel bars in late Autumn. Spawn –>fingerlings–>”fingerthings”. I always thought “fingerthings” an odd FF term, and he has used it several times. Sure sounds like “fingerlings”. Now, to find that wine cooler.

  1. Thank you, very interesting.
    I know, that i am inviting wrath
    of the geezer club, of which, being 72,
    I might be a bit young to belong to,, but dag nab ir,
    Brown trout is not specific at all.
    Of all the “trouts” they could and often
    are found in any waters suitable for
    holding trout, due to their adaptability.
    YNP has tried to limit a lot of their waters
    to Cutthroat trout.
    Other than exceptions like that, Browns can be found in most Western
    trout waters. if they in some time in history have been stocked in the water or a tributary.

    • BATTY;

      I will not deny the adaptability of Brown trout (See, I capitalized it like Forrest did). Even though they can be found in most streams in the Rockies, I still think that there is something special about the “Home” of Brown that is important as relates to Brown trout. But then again, I know nada – )An Old Geezer at 75 – and proud of it. JDA

    • I previously thought that HOB referring to a trout was way to broad and, frankly, ridiculous.
      However, isn’t it fun when the chase finds a way to slap you up side the back of your head and says “keep an open mind and use your imagination!”
      There is a singular Brown Trout solve for the search area that, in my humble opinion, is very solid.
      Though I personally lean toward the capital B being more appropriate for a proper name.
      Good luck and best wishes!

  2. I interpreted the poem differently. IMO the poem, while a key to the location, contains clues that are based on what Forrest Fenn’s life was about. Geography, history, aviator, archaeology, etc. I look at the stanzas and try to think of what would be important to him. My thoughts are that TTOTC contains more specific clues to landmarks creating the blaze.

    *Fenn’s poem reminds me of another treasure hunt ‘Poe’m which I had almost forgotten about.

  3. Enjoyed your story. Remember, special equipment isn’t needed to find the treasure chest. Leave the heavy equipment, etc. at the construction site. Good luck to The Geezer Team.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Geezerteam! I have also looked at the poem as segments between geographic points, however I believe that the proximity between the blaze and the treasure does not require a C-D travel segment. I have no solid reasoning behind that belief other than “gut feeling” though, so a C-D travel segment could be entirely possible too.

  5. Geezer Team;

    Well thought out – as is typical of us old Geezers.

    I like your Brown Trout scenario, I think that it has a lot going for it.

    Keep on thinkin’ and a-figgerin’ and you guys just might be the ones to find it. JDA

  6. Geezer Team;
    Thanks for the well-written fable…errr…story. I read it with my Sunday morning coffee and pictured myself as a kid reading the Sunday morning tribune funny pages. Enjoyed it! Chase well…Stay safe…

  7. Geezer team, I loved your story. Very well written, although I wish you would have included pictures. It’s going to be a long winter til most of us can search again. Thanks for sharing… I loved your humor. I mean, who doesn’t love a good spawning! 🙂 cynthia

  8. One of the best posts I’ve read on this site. It is really well thought out. We don’t agree on the WWWH but I think you’ve laid out the blueprint from the correct starting point. It was very generous to share.

  9. I haven’t yet heard anyone suggest that wwwh might be referring to the “Warm River” it starts in Idaho but ends in Wyoming…

    • Hey-O, Nicky G –

      How do you get the Warm River ending in Wyoming?

      It starts in Idaho and ends when it joins the North (Henry) Fork of the Snake, also in Idaho.

      Jake

  10. I think I’ll have to plead the 5th on this one. Got searchers thinking friend or foe with my comments.
    But enjoyed the story
    Thanks

  11. Forrest has said that “the chest is not at the top of the mountain but close to the top”. Next time you go, start your search from the top going down. Maybe just maybe you,ll get lucky. 🙂
    Couple of things I don’t agree with are the use of a kayak/raft and heavy equipment. These are the type’s of search’s that give Forrest a bad name.
    All in all,it is a good write up. Thanks for sharing.

    • Onuat;

      You may have been joking about starting at the top of the mountain and working down, but I think that you may be closer to the truth than you might know.

      “Begin it where WWH”- Could this be a glacier? at about 11,000′?
      “And take it in the canyon down.” – Follow the canyon down that the glacier made many thousands of years ago.
      “Not far, but too far to walk” – Not far in actual miles, but far in geological time.
      “Put in below the home of Brown.” – Seeker mentions the Brown’s Valley Man in his solve entitled “From the Mind of an Abstract Thinker,” In Seeker’s solve he refers to the first men to inhabit North America 9,000 – 10,000 years ago – So, do we descend (geologically) to this era? – Who knows – Works for me. – etc. through the rest of the poem. Try it, you might like it. JDA

      • Hi JDA – Did Forrest say that geology trumped geography? I must have missed something. Do you have a link? This could change everything if true.

        • Definition of GEOGRAPHY is: the study of the physical features of the earth and its atmosphere, and of human activity as it affects and is affected by these, including the distribution of populations and resources, land use, and industries. – JDA

          • Since GEOLOGY is the study of the physical features of the earth, my saying “So, do we descend (geologically) to this era? ” is correct HMA.

            Definition of GEOLOGY: the science that deals with the earth’s physical structure and substance, its history, and the processes that act on it.

            Similar, but different – They seem to work hand-in-hand – JDA

          • Hi JDA – Thanks for correcting and explaining geography vs. geology.

            I still don’t see geology as being a tool in solving the poem. I see named places in the poem that match with places on the map. Those named places also match with f’s writings so I’m inclined to follow his route and not the route of a glacier or waterfall. If the poem, named a place that was a waterfall I would follow but the poem doesn’t IMO.

            Forrest said at The Lure screening that someone is going to figure it out. Hopefully we can all have a good laugh when the solution is made known.

      • Just a bit of explaining on the “Begin it wwwh/glcier thing.

        About 1.8 million years ago, the weather on earth began to change. The “warm waters” began to cool off. The earth began to get colder. Snow and ice were the norm. Glaciers began to descend down from the poles. This process continued for many thousands of years. In many places in the Rockies, glaciers were up to two miles high (Heavy loads and water high?) As the glaciers moved downward, they carved the valleys we see today. About 11,700 years ago, when the earth again began to warm up, the glaciers began their retreat back up the valleys they dug. 2 – 3 thousand years later, Paloe-indians began to inhabit these new valleys. In some cases the time was longer – around 7,000 years after the glaciers left. Is this what Forrest meant by a knowlege of geography would be helpful? I think that it might. Just how I see it – JDA

      • JDA
        What I was referring to was their search from” nigh”. Sorry if it didn’t come out right. 🙂
        My WWH is not that high in elevation. I believe WWH to HOB is not that far in elevation from each other maybe 6000 to 7000 feet where indulgence is. This is all in my opinion ..

    • Onuat wrote:
      “Forrest has said that “the chest is not at the top of the mountain but close to the top”.
      —————————————————————–
      Where did Forrest say this? Documentation please.

      Ken (in Texas)

          • Onuat wrote: ““the chest is not at the top of the mountain but close to the top”

            I found Forrest’s actual statement. Here it is >>> “… it’s not on the top of any mountain … It may be close to the top”.

            “may be”. And so there is no guarantee at all that the chest is near the top of any mountain. And the word “close” could mean all sorts of things.

            So like a lot of statements attributed to Forrest, his statement “may be close” tells me next to nothing.

            Ken (in Texas)

    • Onuat, your name could be “Ontoit”, after each right up like the Geezer’s Team, we grind down a few more edges, or Ledges if knowlege is gained, those statements, like yours that make me think about starting from the end, where indulgence sleeps and work backwards, they most often are the AH HA moments, the puzzles of life are best solved by seeing the goal, and never taking your eyes off it, where WWWH may be the first clue, but you will never truly understand it until perhaps the last one is visited. If that mountain is over 11,000 feet it is probably not near indulgence unless the chest is at 10,200? then it will be near the top of a good sized peak.

      In most of the 4 states left in our search, the population centers where the largest concentration of people live are in this order, Denver, CO, Albuquerque, NM, Billings, MT, Cheyenne, Wy the smart money on location of the chest says that it is easier to hide something where “No one is around” and specifically where you could say out loud “Forrest did you really do that!” “YES” near a mountain top, alone in there, secret where? Bold is he in there, riches new and old are there….not far but too far to walk, so how do we get there? Show it to a kid? This Borders on insanity, I need more Coffee Honey…

      TT

  12. I must of missed the memo about Lebanon Cedar! Agree with a lot of your thinking, especially site location was discovered during one of the earlier trips to summer camp either on the way there or back. Also, north side of the mountain but have to disagree with any need for water craft. Thanks, nice way to start a Sunday morning.

  13. To the Geezer Team:

    I have somewhat of the same ideas about the Brown Trout spawning theory. I do have a very, very significant area for HOB pertaining to this that I have been tirelessly researching online. This is only my second post. There is one reference and/ or hint in TTOTC that matches up to what I have discovered. There are so many different angles that the treasure could relate to: Brown Trout, Indian ruins, Arrowhead points in specific areas relating to archaeology? Or maybe all of these kind of correlate in the same area? I am working on a HOB from another aspect as well. Hope someone finds the treasure!! I hope to get out and search maybe next summer, if my kids go with. Good luck everybody. Mari

  14. Searcher trickery at its best. Why would someone post their solve without repeated failure or having the chest in hand.
    Apparently he thinks Forrest would waste his golden years on searchers blogs. Baaaa Hummm Bug

  15. Logically thinking Definitely would not get cedar wet. . and I think your feet will get wet a little but no boats or deep water to traverse.

    When I read the poem out loud using my best okie drawl it did bring forth some variation on some words. Are they valid? I do not know.

  16. Very Good Geezer Team. I like your practical way of thinking! I have thoughts along these travel routes too. And Forrest did say get back in the box. The treasure is up there high, just like Forrest said. As his family would fish the rivers. Something led him higher. Something super interesting. Lead him up. Where they discovered the blaze. I believe it’s not too hard to get too. The road will take you most of the way up. IMO……Have a nice evening all!

  17. Hey Greezer Team…as the name suggests…you might be over 65.
    Are you sure you are trying to figure out the treasure solve, or are you trying to figure out your Social Security Plan? A-B C-D E-F
    The Social Security Plans can be as tricky to solve as The Poem.

    Some good ideas, good read. When words can create a sense of place, let me ride shotgun. -guy-

  18. Well maybe it can get wet if they “swelled” it for the box they could have. cedar and bois de arc are used for fencepost because they last a long time but even treated with oil or pitch they still rot especially if wet. I still don’t think it’s in the water close probably.
    I like the glacier idea whoever said that. How about the snow line to be simplier? But your gonna follow the canyon down so your not actually gonna have to go up that high I would hope. Just one more possibility in an endless number of possibilities.

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