About dal

dal is an occasional filmmaker, writer and photographer who lives on an island in Washington State's Salish Sea.

Scrapbook One Hundred Eighty Three…

scrapbook

APRIL 2017

Forrest Gist and the Waning of Art

There was this really good potter I used to know in Lubbock. Forrest Gist was his name, or Forest Gist, I don’t remember which so I’ll call him Forrest because I like that name better.

I had purchased one of his bowls from a store and gave it to my wife for her birthday. She liked it so much I thought it might be nice to get her another one for Christmas. (I hate that her birthday and Christmas are just 38 days apart).

So I went to see Forrest at a time when I knew he was firing about 30 pottery vessels in a large outdoor kiln. I arrived just in time to see him remove a still hot jar with a stick, look at it for a few seconds, then throw it on a cement sidewalk where it splattered. What th…?

I approached Forrest cautiously, not completely cognizant of his mindset, and remembering he had a hot stick in his hand. “Whatcha doin’, Forrest?” I asked respectively. He didn’t answer, but instead, threw another hot jar on the pavement. This went on a couple of more times before I decided to be rude to my friend.

“Stop, you idiot! I’ll buy some of those things from you.” He turned to me and politely said, “Look Forrest, I’m experimenting with a new glaze here, and that’s why I didn’t sign the pots in this firing. I want quality to be my signature, and if they don’t measure up to my standards I don’t want my name on them.” Gee, and I thought they were really good.

I helped Forrest clean up the mess caused by the demise of one kiln-worth of fired clay “Junkers.” And I had to admit that Forrest was the consummate artist. Although I didn’t agree completely with his quality control methods, I respected his philosophy.

What he had done prayed on my mind for a few days. I had already decided to be a world class bronze sculptor, and was sure my first two efforts were excellent platforms from which to launch my career.

What I lacked in talent could be compensated for in other ways. For instance, since I couldn’t get the hooves on my buffalo just right, I solved the problem by having him stand in mud. And my pilot self-portrait, well surely my talent would improve over time, maybe over a long time.

Going to Forrest Gist’s pot firings ruined my promising art career, so I decided to be an art dealer instead. The two bronzes remain in my collection to remind me to not to ever try that again.

Quality matters, and although no one should be allowed to set a standard for art, common-sense propriety must come into play at some point. My gallery purchased a drawing from a Yahoo artist for $15 because he wanted to buy a sandwich.

Over the next several years no one wanted to buy that sad sketch from us at any price.  One day Mr. Yahoo saw it in a storage drawer with a price of $15, and he became irate. He didn’t think we should be offering his early work because he had gotten better since then, and that sketch embarrassed him. When I offered to sell it back at my cost, he wasn’t interested. I’m sure he knew non-quality when he saw it. He should have thrown it in the fire years ago instead of bringing it to me.

My first impression of The Scream was that it should have been thrown in a spewing volcano. Never mind that not too long ago a pastel on cardboard version of it sold for about $120,000,000.00. Guess I don’t know as much about art values as I thought I did. f

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Eighty Two…

scrapbook

APRIL 2017

 

Rusted Remnants of History

My son-in-law, David Old, owns the 2,400 acre Viveash Ranch. It is just northeast of Pecos and up. Up to 10,637 feet. In 1977, his father died in a plane crash in Alaska, leaving David the ranch.

The 45 minute drive from pavement up to the first gate is a shock absorber crushing ride over rocks that feel a special disdain for any modern conveyance.

The ranch contains some of the most beautiful landscapes in America, with house-size rock outcroppings, 5 spring-fed ponds, and far-seeing mountain vistas. Animals are everywhere: elk, deer, turkey, and bear. Mountain lions, porcupines, and bobcats are also present.

Shiloh with a turkey he shot 4/22/17

Bears have been known to break a window in the main cabin and thrash everything inside, including the refrigerator and pantry, causing general mayhem. Several years ago David shot a rifle bullet through the front door to stop a bear that was clawing, and close to getting in. I think little Piper frequently peeped through the hole to see what might be lurking just outside, lest she open the door to a big furry surprise.

Each of the ponds contained trout that were fat from eating grasshoppers, crawfish, and unlucky water dwelling insects. Elk ate the cattails we planted, but the lily pads thrived. Fishing was good.

Three pet llamas and five horses grazed the wooded high country, undisturbed for years. Then all of a sudden there were only two llamas. Shiloh blamed a mountain lion.

There was always some grass, but occasionally during the dead winter months when the snow got deep, the pets retreated to the barn to wait for a chinook or a more enjoyable temperature. When necessary, Shiloh took hay up by snowmobile.

Then came the Viveash fire that started May 29, 2000. In a terrible few days the ranch lost 17,000,000 board feet of standing timber. The sky turned so black that the animals must have thought midnight had arrived twelve hours early, and just stayed. Billowing clouds of smoke could be seen from as far away as Pike’s Peak. Commercial airliners were diverted.

Scorching heat disappeared the vegetation down to hard pack, and below, destroying root systems that held the soil tight, and leaving a thick layer of ashes on top.

Then the June monsoon thunderstorms arrived on schedule and washed the ashes downhill in a flowing mass that covered the ponds, and suffocated the fish. The smallest pond was boiled to its muddy, steaming bottom.

Two historic one-room log dwellings stood in the fire’s path.

The Viveash cabin was built in 1885 by Lionel Viveash, who suffered from leprosy. He lived in the cabin for 27 years before New Mexico became a state, and died a year after, in 1913. I hoped the fire would spare the cabin that had stood for 115 years, but it didn’t.

Only fire-rusted nails now remain to tell that man had once lived there, and soon they also will disappear as the land residuates, and no one will remember where they were. The history of that cabin, and another one, was deleted from the world.

The beautiful sky-reaching ponderosa, pictured here being hugged by Shiloh, and many others like it, also succumbed to the heat and flames.

In the fire’s aftermath thousands of jet black ponderosa pine skeletons still stand erect, but without needles, as if to underscore the tragedy.

I had walked across those timbered mountains and witnessed the wild, pristine wonders that were there: majestic pine trees, douglas firs, aspens and scrub oaks. And to punctuate the expanse, a decoration of flowers: reds, yellows, purples, and the ever present white day’s eyes (daises). The green stalks of wild onions that we like to pull and eat were found throughout that colorful bouquet.

And then to see it later, as miles of rusted cinders and grotesquely shaped rubble, was a shock that surpassed my ability to describe, or a desire to even try.

The last vapors of smoke were still fading toward the Eastern Plains when the promise of a new beginning appeared. Someone said if your ship hasn’t come in, swim out to it, and that is exactly what David and Shiloh did. They hired lumber crews. Chain saws began to buzz through the mountain quietness. A sawmill was quickly erected, and trucks laden with logs pounded the ashy roads. Thousands of trees that had endured for decades, then killed by nature’s unreasonable wrath, were harvested.

When faced with a catastrophic event, the father-and- son team didn’t cry about the dead trees, they cut them down and made plank flooring, end grain wood blocks, and stylish three-dimensional wall paneling.

A market was waiting, and the demand was met. Customers for major hotels, government buildings, and eight Starbucks stores as far away as Kuwait, are now walking on Viveash wooden floors supplied by Oldwood.

And then, in 2013, as if to display another of nature’s irritating moods, the Tres Lagunas Fire flashed through the trees, burning 860 acres on the west side of the Viveash Ranch.

But again the Old family looked to themselves for strength and ingenuity, and expanded their business. This year they will supply 130 semi-trailers of split firewood to a major retail outlet.

Nature frequently takes away, and in doing so she always looks at the big picture. Five-hundred years from now no one will remember the fires. But I’ll still be thinking about that great little Viveash cabin that disappeared. f

Personal note: The Fenn treasure chest is not hidden on or near the Viveash Ranch.

Photos by Lacee:
http://www.ellepeaphotography.com/viveash

Additional ranch photos can be found HERE

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Eighty One…

scrapbook

APRIL 2017

 

Doug Hyde in Full Flourish

Doug and I happened upon the art scene at about the same time, my gallery in Santa Fe was a little behind him maybe. That was 1972, and his sculptures had a small, but budding following in Scottsdale.

Doug Hyde

Over the next few years Scottsdale was where most of the money for contemporary western art was coming from. About 20 collectors held up that market, and if there had been an art marquee in town someplace, a few names would have been at the top: Eddie Basha, Henry Topf, the wonderful widow Kieckhefer, Kay Miller (Miller Brewing Co), and more, but mostly Eddie Basha, who owned a large chain of grocery stores.

Doug and I were a good combination, and we serviced those Arizona clients with an adroitness and polish the likeness of which I never witnessed again. Doug made hundreds of stone sculptures, Scottsdale wanted them, and I did the accommodating.

My wife and I liked Doug’s work so much we kept two pieces for ourselves.

Lady Pretty Blanket

This alabaster lady is not tall, just 2’, but she’s really heavy. That’s why she has been sitting on our living room fireplace without moving for almost 30 years. I couldn’t lift even half of her. She was isolated and lonesome. But then our great-granddaughter Arden came along, and at age two, fell in love with Lady Pretty Blanket. That’s what I named the stone pueblo woman holding a pot. When the house was too quiet, we’d look over there and see Arden and “Lady” sitting side by side talking to each other, and sometimes hugging. So of course we gave the sculpture to Arden, but she can’t take possession until my wife and I are gone. Ha!

Doug Hyde

Doug Hyde is mostly Nez Perce, and he possesses bold native features and a strong code of ethics. During the many years we worked together, mostly without contracts, there were nothing but handshakes and pleasantness.

My other Doug Hyde sculpture is 27” tall. It epitomizes a dignified Nez Perce chief whose name has long been forgotten. His feather fan and drop-alongside ear rings testify as to his stature in the tribe.

He stands facing the wall in my kitchen now because the sight reminds me of the great Henry Farny painting, The Song of the Singing Wire. 

The Song of the Singing Wire by Henry Farny

To me, both figures personify the west at a threshold moment when the first faint sound of change was beginning to resonate across the soundless mountains. The western atmosphere was moving fast to make room for the “giant horse that gallops on iron rails.” There’s the same sadness in the painted Indian’s face that I notice in Doug’s sculpture.

Can you see tears of sorrow building in the eyes of those two Plains warriors? I can, and I wish my inadequate words about that sentiment were more eloquent.

Senator Al Simpson, Joe Medicine Crow and me.

Joe died at age 102 and was the last War Chief of the Crow Tribe. His great uncle, White Man Runs Him, was a scout for General Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Many years ago, Joe said to me in a wistful moment, “When I was just a little Indian kid running around, my elders told me about our history. I asked them if the government would ever give our future back to us.” f

 

Starting at Agua Fria…….

SUBMITTED APRIL 2017
by HUMBLEPI

 

Here is my solution to the poem:

Agua Fria (near Santa Fe) to Agua Fria (near Angel Fire).

Down through Cimarron Canyon.  Near Angel Fire is not far, but near Santa Fe is too far too walk (more than 92 mi.)

Put into Cimarron Canyon below Eagle’s Nest (home) in (of) Moreno (Brown) Valley.  And before you start beating me over the head with the oh that’s not Brown, it is one of the definitions, and per SB 179 Fenn doesn’t care if he uses a word wrong so long as the reader gets his point.

From there head up to Raton Pass (no place for the meek).

Climax (the end) is drawing nigh on the approach. (you can see my comments on SB 166 for a ton of hints re: this area which I was previously focused on as the location of the chest).

I sent Forrest this photo thinking I was on to something, because the star of Bethlehem (wisemen) sits on top of the hill pictured.  His next scrapbook ended with the line “The secret is not to get too excited about the little things.  One of the pictures was a smashed church bell.

Head up Raton Creek.

Morley mine at mile marker 3 (heavy loads).  St Aloysius Church bell tower is the only thing left standing in the demolished town and I see Scrapbook 172 as hinting towards this.  The doorway (portal) faces east and is a dichotomy with the rubble of the town surrounding it.  This bell tower sits approximately 9 miles (the distance Forrest’s bell can be heard) from the Climax Canyon.  It was also coincidentally built in 1917 exactly 100 years ago.

Up near Fisher’s Peak there is a Bell Tank and a Bell Spring. (Water High) SB 172 had 2 pictures of bells and 173 used bells jingled.  These are roughly east of the Gallinas (Chickens? SB 175) exit in the Raton Pass.

East from the bells, across the mountain is a giant natural amphitheater (so hear me all and listen good).

Anyone noticed the common theme of many of the recent SBs involving the army going out of their way to punish the Indians?  What about the sudden theme of the pioneers?  Well, follow this link to read about Kit Carson leading some soldiers down into the amphitheater after some Apaches.  It may shed some light on F’s post about his really great hat.

This kind of obscure place is exactly the kind of place F seeks out to hunt for his treasures.  This place is surrounded by private property and the kind of out of the way place that nobody would readily stumble upon.  It is part of the James Johns (Jimmy Johns? Bring a sandwich?) State Wildlife Area of Colorado, which by definition is also a “chase.”

To get there you have to be in New Mexico and walk from Lake Dorothey (I recall a few things being tied to the Wizard of Oz… Glinda, a photo of a “now leaving Kansas” sign I think?)  This reminded me of the lumberjack illustration.

If you reach the end of Fisher’s Peak Mesa where you head down into the bowl, you are greeted with a magnificent view.  Lake Trinidad lines up perfectly in the little gulley of the ridge that connects the upper part of the mesa to Fisher’s Peak.  In the background, you can see the Spanish Peaks and the rest of the mountainous skyline behind.  It reminded me of all those landscape paintings by Sloane and others Forrest has shared only ten thousand times better. Down below, the amphitheater looks like a giant bowl.  It felt like sitting at the top of the Coliseum.  I sat there for an hour in awe (tarry scant with marvel gaze) before I looked around a bit.

From the east of where I took that photo (the photo does not do this view justice at all), a few hundred feet, is a secret waterfall that was roaring from the melting snow. The water sheeted down through a mountain of snow and disappeared. I thought I would get a good picture of it when I climbed down but because this gorge is on the north side, the snow was waist deep and the terrain was so steep I couldn’t for the life of me get back up near the waterfall.

I followed the creek down slowly toward Second Spring on Gray Creek keeping a wary eye for something that might let me know someone had secreted a can of Dr. Pepper in the stream, but the snow was still working against me.  I found a dry hill a little way up from the spring and camped out for the night.  In the morning, I went down to second spring thinking some of his hints pointed that way and for a brief moment I got excited when I thought I saw a bell sitting in the snow.  It turned out to be the remains of a tea kettle.  I moved it onto a pointy boulder approximately 2’ in a direction away from the spring.  On the ride home, it occurred to me that maybe that’s what Tea with Olga meant in the valley down below the mountain.

I wish I hadn’t been so overly eager and gone in May like I had originally planned, maybe the snow would be gone and I could search the waterfall and the creek more thoroughly.  As it was, I had to trespass North to Trinidad to escape the mountain.

FYI, the hike is not for the faint of heart it took most of the day the second trip (bedroll?).  My first attempt was so insane it will likely become a book.  I believe F may have used a horse to get there.  Many of the latest SB mention horses, and that could be why he refused to answer the question about using any other form of transportation.  It was definitely an awe-inspiring place and to me has all of the qualities he would look for in his special place.  These peaks are part of the Raton Mesa formation which also contain the Folsom Archaeological site.

Fisher’s peak by name would seem like the kind of place a searcher would go and come close to the chest but have no logical reason for being there.  Plus, his family passed through Raton Pass on the way to Yellowstone; these mountains would be the closest Rockies for that Texas Redneck with no job and whole lot of kids.

Just for I plotted the points out like a flight plan from Santa Fe Municipal Airport (in Agua Fria) to the waterfall and they seem to line up.  As you can see from the photo the first clue gets you more than half way to the treasure.

Hopefully someone else gets a chance to get up there when the snow melts the rest of the way and do a thorough search.  Maybe you will be the one to get out there and find it, but even if you don’t, I can assure you it will be well worth the trip.

One last thing… I know that F said no special knowledge was required.  All of these things could be solved as clues without having any special knowledge, but that doesn’t mean special knowledge won’t make you more successful.  The key word is required. Two hands aren’t required to be a drummer, ask that guy from Def Leppard; but that doesn’t mean you tie one behind your back.

Here is a picture of the range I took from the back of a pickup as I hitched a ride back to Sugarite.  You can see my consolation prize (elk shed) I carried from the mountain north into Trinidad.

 

HumblePi-

 

Recycling Mistake

by forrest fenn

These vignettes from Forrest’s collection are only to share. To see 294 additional pieces  please visit
www.splendidheritage.com

 

The 40mm anti-aircraft autocannon has been a popular weapon in many of the wars since 1930, when it was invented by the Swedes. It was certainly used in the Vietnam War, and in great numbers. Here is what the brass MK2 shell casing looked like after its explosive projectile was fired from the 40mm cannon.

Bottom of casing

An enterprising Vietnamese merchant in the little hamlet of Tuy Hoa acquired some of these brass casings and started turning them into lamps, vases, beer mugs, and other oddments.

Finished vase is nine inches tall

He employed three or four workers who reshaped and polished the canisters. There was a ready market in American GIs who wanted a souvenir to take home. The Viet Cong soldiers were not happy with their countrymen fraternizing with the “Yankee Imperialists,” so they raided the store, killed everyone inside, and confiscated the inventory, which they sold individually on the black market.

This vase, given to me by my crew chief, now resides behind some books where I don’t have to look at it unless I want to, and that’s not very often. It’s not on my list of most favored objects. f

 

Butterfly Maiden

by forrest fenn

These vignettes from Forrest’s collection are only to share. To see 294 additional pieces  please visit
www.splendidheritage.com

 

I hope these kachina dolls don’t take this personally, but I like old things, especially if they are powerful, and gracefully show their age. These three do. More than a hundred years ago the Hopi Indians in Arizona carved them from roots of a cottonwood tree. Most kachinas have multiple duties, but some stand out more than others. Faith is a big part of the colorful Kachina Culture.

This Butterfly Maiden has faded over time, but has kept her Mona Lisa twinkle. At least for me she has. Nothing about her has changed in the 50 years since she came to live with me. She pollinates dreams and makes them come true. Look her up if you don’t believe it. That’s why she’s my all-time favorite.

Kachinas are made to teach Hopi children how to dress for the dances, and the Sao Hemis is one of the most elaborate. Although customs change over the generations some things don’t. Sao Hemis always wears a kilt, a tablita, and their bodies are painted with black corn smut.

The Three Horn kachina is a warrior who likes to sing excitedly when he dances. He’s one of the guards and, when needed, can rush into action with great swiftness. He brings rain to the ground that insures a good harvest. And a good harvest can mean the children will be healthy, the crops will grow, and the water will be potable.

Two books on archaeology say that the Kachina Culture didn’t exist in pre-historic times, but we found those accounts to be fraught with misdirection.

Painting by James Asher

I found two helmet style masks at San Lazaro Pueblo, and paid to have them excavated by professional archaeologists. Radiocarbon (C-14) and archaeomagnetic dates show that the masks were used between 1450 and 1520. The pueblo was prehistoric until 1540 when a Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado entered the Southwestern landscape. The official archaeological record is being revised to reflect my discovery. f

A Fun, Safe Side Trip….

SUBMITTED APRIL 2017
by dodo bird

 

On my trip to search for Forrest Fenn’s treasure at Yellowstone Park, I decided to take a break and visit the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. It’s no secret that Forrest was on the board of directors there and has donated items from his personal collection. And I just really like museums. The Buffalo Bill Center contains five museums and for just an 18$ admission you can come back the next day. Seeing how people used to live makes me appreciate how easy our lives are now.

I left Yellowstone through the east entrance. On the way to Cody i stopped at the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. There, I found on display remnants of the old dam workings. I thought this huge wooden clad concrete ball was interesting.

It was lowered into the water to plug a pipe that carried runoff water to discharge below the dam. the huge ball was bigger than the pipe to act like a stopper. it wouldn’t fit through the pipe.

Arriving at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, I first toured the Draper Museum of Natural History. The Byrd Naturalist cabin is at the beginning.

I met and talked to Mike Brown,who is head of security.
The Draper is set up like a spiral ramp at a parking garage. You start out at the 10,000 foot level of elevation and descend to 4,500 feet always turning left.

The Draper houses the sights, sounds and smells of Yellowstone. caution small children not to be afraid. The floor of the Draper is carpeted and smooth so footing is no problem. It’s an easy hike,all downhill. At an archaeology exhibit i took this photo.

There are touch screen quizzes for the kids to test their knowledge of the outdoors.

So hear me all and listen good!

Four more museums to go!

by Dodo Bird-

April Report….

SUBMITTED APRIL 2017
by Go4Gold

 

To Whom it may have the greatest interest:

This is an accumulation of various communications I’ve been having and am using it to share where I’m at in the hunt.  The major portion was to Jenny Kile.

My name is Ricky Blair.  I’m living in Albuquerque, NM and am new to the Fenn Treasure.  I caught the Expedition Unknown episode back in November (I think Nov) and started working the poem, reading the various website material that Jenny and Dal have put together over the years and after researching through January, I came up with Location A and Location B.

On Feburary 11 my sister and I drove to the A location as Expedition 1 and began our search.  Within the first hour we found a “BLAZE”.  It was not understood what it was, what it was but it was something that someone did on purpose so we took a look around to get acquainted with the neighborhood but because we weren’t prepared to do more than a day trip, we took videos and stills and hiked around some and then drove back to ABQ to process the data.

When I charted the “BLAZE” on a white board and after a couple of considerations, I realized that it was a “creation” that portrayed the topography of what you see when standing in front of the “BLAZE”… now that is too much of a coincidence.  That someone would take the time to “make” this image of what you see is beyond my understanding unless Fenn did it to point the way to the treasure and the more I read the poem and studied the topography, the more I found (I’m convinced) I hit the target with beginner’s luck.  Using the clues below, I have a 100 percent accuracy so far.  See what you think.

As I have gone alone in there

And with my treasures bold,

I can keep my secret where,

And hint of riches new and old.

I took this first stanza as his Store in New Mexico “riches new and old” and it all being very personal to Fenn and thus the first clue.  Specifically, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Begin it where warm waters halt

And take it in the canyon down,

Not far, but too far to walk.

Put in below the home of Brown.

Here is where I think I use some creative thinking and “put in below the home of Brown” was the key.  I call it clue 2.  Just because he used “BEGIN IT where the warm waters halt”, he sends you to a canyon and it’s too far to walk so you have to take a vehicle to get to the “canyon down”.  When I realized what the home of Brown meant, I found a suitable canyon nearby I now call clue number 3 and an association with a NM Hot Springs (clue 4) wasn’t far away but “too far to walk”.  “Too far to walk” was clue 5.  So there was a possible SOLVE for the second stanza.

From there it’s no place for the meek,

The end is ever drawing nigh;

There’ll be no paddle up your creek,

Just heavy loads and water high.

The next stanza was dead ON !!  From the areas that you can park a car without it being in danger and you would trust it to be there when you got back from the adventure, there was a ravine and “no place for the meek” (clue 6).  I’m still working on the “end is ever drawing nigh” but it seems just a needed rhyme for “water high”.  I have looked into the horse lingo of Yup and Neigh as Right and Left but it’s been said that Fenn uses the correct words so I may take the spelling of nigh does not mean “LEFT” but word usage to get in the poem’s rhythm and to symbolize that one was getting close.  “There’ll be no paddle up your creek” was right on because its normally a dry river bed when you get down there and is clue number 7.  “Just heavy loads and water high” was just what you see around you… Large ass boulders and a water high MARK on the canyon walls.  Again, clue 8 and 9 were right there…

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,

Look quickly down, your quest to cease,

But tarry scant with marvel gaze,

Just take the chest and go in peace.

Here is where speculation is all you have to work with and the reason I’m not holding the treasure now.  It says that “if you’ve been wise and found the blaze, look quickly down, your quest to cease” has to be the full line.  I originally thought I found the BLAZE but one can’t be sure without knowing what you are looking for and I hunted closer to this BLAZE during Expedition 2.  My philosophy has been that the BLAZE is “to BLAZE a trail to the Treasure.”  But I also think it takes at least 2, preferably 3 data points to BLAZE a trail.  Just one is a sign post… but little detail.  A 2nd Marker gives you distance and direction and a 3rd gives you a real trail to follow. So what I think I found February 11 was the “Trailhead”.  I think I found the 2nd marker on Sunday this week but it was late in the afternoon on the last hunt day (of course) so I have to make Expedition 4 on April 1st.  So I’m saying I think I stood in front of a Trailhead that points the way using the topography you see in the background which lead me to possibly the second marker.  I have my opinion on what the second marker “says” but I won’t know until I go back up.  Coincidentally the second marker is right under the “water high” mark so it flows just like the poem.

So why is it that I must go

And leave my trove for all to seek?

The answers I already know,

I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.

Now this stanza definitely doesn’t have a clue here.  I think it was sentimental stated and nothing more.

So hear me all and listen good,

Your effort will be worth the cold.

If you are brave and in the wood

I give you title to the gold.

Same here.  Conclusion to the poem but no clues I can see and I’ve basically accounted for the 9 clues and feel I hit the target there.  I have a funny feeling that “in the wood” is just saying “in Forrest’s head”.  (Forest/Wood… get it?)  Bravery is symbolized in spending your money, time and effort to find the Treasure, “I give you title to the gold”.  Done.

Expedition 2 starts with me spending the first 3 days searching and digging just below (“look quickly down”) the BLAZE that I now think is the Trailhead but you don’t know until you look, right?  I even found a perfect rock ledge that would be the best spot to slide in the treasure, cover it with sticks and rocks and pine needles and let it freeze up in winter, AND I even got a major hit from my metal detector.  OMG was I excited.  It was frozen over so for two evenings I would run my propane heater under a blanket to soften the ice and when it was uncovered, it was just an old tin can so far back it had to have been put there in the ICE age.  I have the can and the pictures to prove it.  I even broke my military shovel handle trying to get it out.  But the can looks nice on my mantle as my treasure hunting memento.  I realized after I went home that the “water high” mark was where I should have been looking.  (That was then my focus during Expedition 3.)

It was a 7 day event so I continued looking and hunting and I recorded on video all the hikes so that I could review them while lying in bed at home.  Expedition 2 gathered more information but no addition glory in search of the treasure.

Expedition 3 was Friday, Saturday and Sunday 3/12 last week with thoughts of hunting Monday but I was beat from the first 3 days.  So Monday I felt I needed to go to Area B just to see its possibilities.  I had not been there yet because Location A was so perfect.  When I finally got there Monday afternoon, it was a totally different look and feel.  Nothing on the poem seemed to be there.  It was all private land with Keep Out signs and fencing everywhere.  Lots of little homesteads and driveways.  No canyon that was accessible by the general public and no “heavy loads and water high” could be seen from public access… so I count it out as a treasure location.  Location A is on State Land and can never be bought or sold or bulldozed so I think I got that covered also.  Location B just confirmed my first attempt and Location A as my search area.  And “No”, that doesn’t usually happen to me and frankly I’m shocked.  My personality is one that if I pick left, it’s right or any 50/50 chance I’m 90 percent wrong.  So I usually gamble by placing a little money on my pick and have someone else put a little more money on the opposite and that actually sustains my gambling technique.  So I keep pinching myself to think I hit the right location the first time.  Best part, no one is looking here.  There was no evidence that anyone had ever been there searching.  I left totems for the gods as proof I was there and hope it appeases them so they give up the treasure on my next outing.

Looking at the additional clues:

Cheat Sheet

What we are taking as fact:
♦Located above 5,000 ft and below 10,200 ft.  Just for the hell of it, I took the mean of the two numbers at 5200 divided by 2 and added 5000 to it to come up with 7600 as the possible elevation.  Why would Fenn say 10,200? Just 10,000 would be enough or 11,000 if that wasn’t important.  So where I’ve been looking is between 7400 and 7700.  Right on my target.  Location B was all over 8000 in contrast so this is what made Location A primary.  It wasn’t something Fenn said, it was just an oddity I worked to explain.
♦At least 8.25 miles North of Santa Fe, New Mexico This was obvious to me and hunters say it’s because Fenn didn’t want people digging up his back yard.  I heard someplace less credible that his father’s and mother’s graves were dug up.  Well in my trips to Location A, I found that 8.25 (north of the Santa Fe City Limits) is the cutoff to Los Alamos and fits with my Location B.  I can see where it would give hunters additional areas to consider if they were looking in New Mexico and keep them from digging up Santa Fe.  I didn’t pick my A spot just because of this, a possible hint but I am north of Santa Fe and that’s on target.  It did give me a reason that B location might be plausible should A not be.
♦Not in grave yard  Check
♦Not in out house…..not associated with a structure  Check
♦Not in a mine  Check
♦Where warm waters halt is not a dam.  Check

Subjective information:
♦Don’t go where an eighty year old man couldn’t go.   I can walk the area in about an hour and return for water and food.  I slept in my camper and walked the area twice each day, once in the morning, once just before dark.  It was better flashlight effort when there wasn’t the sun glaring my vision (also the camera’s) If I put the treasure at a specific spot, it would be fairly easy in my Location A.  I found that if I walked up the rim of the canyon, that I could drop down into the canyon with ease.  I didn’t have to crawl over ever boulder or around every tree. I do realize that it would be a bitch in winter as the little walk down area was steep and if ice and snow was present it would be a “no-go” especially carrying my treasure (being hopeful).  I understand that Fenn did the hide in December so I ruled out that he used the rim and came in the “backside” of the canyon to deliver the cargo that way.
♦Not associated with a structure  Check

Fenn has said:
♦ There are nine clues in the poem.  Check

♦ Start at beginning… That’s New Mexico or Fenn could not have done the trip in an afternoon from his home without someone else knowing.  I can make the same round trip from Santa Fe in 5 hours in my old camper truck.  If I had a car that did the speed limit then it would be less.  Now the oddity of that is where do the Trailhead and “Markers” come in.  Did he do them before or after hiding the treasure… different day?  different season?  Hide the treasure and then come back and work on the Markers?  That’s my guess.  I look at the intricate nature of expressing what you see in the background took some time.  Someone artistic made it in maybe under an hour?  And when you know where you are hiding treasure the time is direct.  Let’s say the line “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, Look quickly down, your quest to cease” suggests that you find another Marker, Marker 3 the final BLAZE, you look right down… that you basically are standing on it and I know that Marker 2 was not in a position to be the final Marker.  Since I didn’t understand what it was telling me, I looked all around and the point below the Marker was just higher than the river bed, and I don’t think Fenn would place it where it would be damaged by the elements so there is going to be one more Marker.  It took time setting this up and I don’t know that I could accomplish the same tasks alone myself in one afternoon.  My thoughts anyway.
♦ Clues in consecutive order.  I agree from what I’ve seen at Location A.  If you follow the topography against the poem, they are 100 percent accurate.  Still, stanza 2 is questionable but I got pointed to this location that has all these oddities and it’s way far coincidental !.
♦ Don’t mess with my poem.  With the exception of stanza 2 I tried to keep it straight.

“Some of the searchers have been within 500 feet I know”. If you are just on the road passing by, it could be 500 feet to the treasure.  In fact, its been marked off by measuring tape and paint markers so I hope around 500 feet is accurate or more accurate.  I’m working the area now and the 2nd Marker is about that distance so I think the final marker is within a few feet.  I’ll know more April 1.

“Searchers have been within 200 feet”. Huffpost interview 02/04/15 If a hunter has been in the “canyon down” then I agree, they were very close.
♦ “The person who finds the treasure will have studied the poem over and over, and thought, and analyzed and moved with confidence. Nothing about it will be accidental”.  I’m not one to challenge this because it’s what I’ve done but Fenn didn’t take into consideration that hiding the treasure is so different from hunting for one.  Take a pin and put it in a haystack and then describe where you put it.  Describe it OR draw a picture.  It still takes a huge amount of effort, time, money, contemplation (and a magnet) to find the pin.
“All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem.”  If this is the case, then I’m still saying I’m right on target.
♦ Q: Were both trips made on the same day/date? “I made two trips from my car to the hiding place and it was done in one afternoon.f” And I agree as pointed out above.  So on target here.
♦ Q: Are you willing to say whether the place of the treasure chest is the same as the one where you had previously plotted to have your bones rest forever? “Yes it is. f”  I can say that I might not want to be buried there but spreading my ashes there would be amazing.
“There isn’t a human trail in very close proximaty to where I hid the treasure.f”.  Confirmed.  There are no trails, no civilization except the occasional piece of trash.  There appears to be 4 wheeler trails that someone has been on, just off the rim of the canyon some but I disassociate them from the hunt.
♦ Q: Is the Blaze one single object? “In a word – Yes” I also agree.  Even when you have 3 to 1000 markers, the BLAZE is only a single object.  The BLAZED TRAIL is just one item.  In the use of “in a word”, he’s justifying that even if it is 1000 different sign posts, it’s only one BLAZE.  I gave you my opinion earlier and I still stick with it that it takes 2 or more markers to point a trail.
♦ Q: I would like to know if the blaze can be found during the day without a flashlight. “I would say yes.f” I agree.  I found the Trailhead at 11am on February 11th.  I found what I’m calling the 2nd marker at sunset on Sunday 12th,
♦ Q: Did the same 9 clues exist when you were a kid and to your estimation will they still exist in 100 years and 1000 years? “The clues did not exist when I was a kid but most of the places the clues refer to did. I think they might still exist in 100 years but the geography probably will change before we reach the next millennia.”  This is ambiguous.  Did the “heavy loads” and “water high” exist when Fenn was a kid?  Well, yeah.  They are millions of years in the making.  Was the road there and the parking spot?  No, they did not exist.  And would they be there in 100 years?  Should there not be an act of god, yes, they will be there in 100 years.  But should there be a major fire?  Obviously important information on trees would be destroyed.  Even a boulder with subtle clues on it could carbon up, break up from intense heat… water could destroy markings, topple trees and move boulders.  As it is, the Location A is well within the realm of Fenn’s statements.  If everything is equal, what I see at Location A will be here 100 years from now.

 

Anyway, that’s my SOLVE so far.  It is a pleasure.  Happy Hunting !!

Happy Hunting

Ricky Blair
Albuquerque, NM
Go4Gold@aol.com

Scrapbook One Hundred Eighty…

scrapbook

APRIL 2017

 

The Unfortunate Hiccup

While walking around my office a few minutes ago I paused to look at this thing. It’s a hip pocket flask that was made to hold a “3/16th pint” of libation. It says so right there on the bottom. The silver overlay on the bottle is applied by a complex chemical procedure. If it was a Russian icon, you’d have to call it an oklad, but this is different.

The swirly engraved initials near the bottom were adeptly applied, ostensibly to identify the owner who will always remain a mystery to me because I can’t read the fancy letters.

Sam Snead

At the 1949 Master’s Golf Tournament I observed a nattily dressed gentleman use a pair of binoculars to watch Sam putt on the 10th green. It was a little strange because the man was standing less than thirty feet away from where the putt was about to be made.

And then I noticed something. The fan wasn’t watching golf at all. He also held a flask in his hands, and every time he raised the binoculars to his eyes, he took a swig from the bottle. It was a subterfuge that very effectively disguised his odd drinking practice. No one seemed to notice but me, and just as Sam drew his putter back to make the stroke, the natty guy hiccupped, causing the putt to jerk left a few inches and unceremoniously roll past the hole. I felt partially to blame just because I was watching it.

The binoculars guy

As the crowd moved to the next tee the binocular guy was noticeably teetering to the starboard side. That’s why I moved to the 13th fairway and watched Jimmy Demaret hit his mashie niblick shot to the green. Sam Snead won the tournament so I went home happy.

Surely it won’t be long before our government enacts legislation that prohibits anyone from drinking and watching golf at the same time.f