Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty Eight…





Here’s a long forgotten photo that I discovered in an old laptop. It shows the treasure chest at a time when I was still deciding what it should contain.

The two round objects in the center are 300 year-old gold and silver hunting case minute repeater watches. They came out, as did the large gems. The gold coins and nuggets were removed from their plastic containers and are now residing in the chest beside the little jar that contains my autobiography.

Months later, when the chest was almost full, I added two 5” round Pre-Columbian gold “mirrors,” the Tairona fetish necklace, and my revered turquoise row bracelet. Then I closed the lid, and that was that. Now the treasure is hidden in the mountains, patiently  waiting…f


Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty Seven…






On August 10th the Today Show crew showed up at Forrest’s home in Santa Fe and taped an interview with him. This was before Forrest announced that he was going to give his computer a rest. NBC also chased Cynthia Meachum up the Pecos to one of her fav places to look for Forrest’s chest.
Here is what Forrest says:
Can you announce that the Weekend Today Show will air a segment about the chase on Saturday next (Saturday, September 17th). I was recorded sitting by my pond and Cynthia and her dog Molly went searching in some beautiful country.  She wouldn’t tell me where for fear I would discover her secret fishing spot.

Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty Six…




For health reason’s Forrest is cutting back in his involvement in the chase. Less attention to email, fewer interviews and blog appearances will be his new MO. Here is what he wrote:

“I’m cutting back on my activities, which means going to lunch, seeing people, and time on my computer. f”

Jenny has a supply of Weekly Words from Forrest to last awhile and also wrote on her blog about Forrest’s intentions:

Don and Bubba

by dal-

Don Martinez was a California real estate professional who opened a fly shop in West Yellowstone in 1932. Wisely, Don spent his winters in California but when spring hit the rivers in the Rocky Mountains and the trout began searching for new hatch to feed upon, Don headed east and unlocked the door of his one room shop on the edge of Yellowstone National Park.

Don spent a lot of his time fishing and guiding in addition to running the shop and folks who knew him claim he had a fondness for alcohol. So he wasn’t always at his small shop and generally hired a couple local boys to fill in for him.


Inside Don’s shop. Don is in the middle.

His shop was stocked with a few good lines of fly-fishing gear and he tied and sold his own flies. In-fact, Don is credited with originating the now famous Woolly Worm and also with introducing dry fly fishing to that part of the country.

Unlike many retail shops, if you work in a fly shop you don’t just stand behind the counter all day waiting for customers to stroll in the door and hand you money. You spend your non-customer time tying flies… a lot of flies… because that’s what fisherman buy. No self-respecting fly fisher is going to walk out of a shop without a pocket full of hand-tied, local flies guaranteed to catch fish. It would be impolite and disrespectful.


If you are ever so blessed as to walk into a good fly shop you’ll see the usual…sleek, long poles…lightweight reels…a variety of green or brown waders and all kinds of “gadgets” to help you catch a big trout. But what generally jumps out at you are the neatly stacked rows and rows of compartmentalized bins holding hundreds of different kinds of fishing flies.

Bins of trout flies

Bins of trout flies

You’ll see streamers and buggers and dry flies and spinners with fascinating names like Zonkers and Old Adams, Royal Coachman, Bunyan Bug, Elk Hair Caddis and Sparkle Dunn, They are colorful and attractive like containers of tiny gemstones, shiny and glittering and begging to be picked up and examined…and that’s what you do in a fly shop.

A fisher is attracted to these bins of alluring flies no less so than the fish they hope to land. First you look to see what’s new…then you look to see how well they are tied. Then you begin looking to see how the local flies might be slightly different from the ones back home. Most of the flies are tied by the folks who work in the shop. A good fly tier can knock out a dozen or more flies in a single hour.

Back at Don Martinez’s fly shop, the local help Don hired in the 1940s included a tall, lanky kid known to his friends as Bubba. The kid was long on fishing skills even though he was barely in his teens, and was a good fit for the fly shop.

On one particular day Don strolled in about closing time, Bubba recalled. “I had just tied my 144th Woolly Worm of the day. I was shooting for a gross. Don looked at them and said he didn’t want them because I didn’t put silver tinsel on the bodies. He said, ‘you can have them’. So I kept every one of them and coaxed a lot of fish to the edge of disaster with those things.”

A Woolly Worm by Bubba

A Woolly Worm by Bubba. No tinsel needed.

Bubba also remembers using some of those Woolly Worms to his advantage when he was guiding. “The clients all had their fancy flies, but I always caught more fish on my Woolly Worm. Sometimes I was the only one who caught any fish at all. My other fly was the Squirrel Tail. I caught a lot of fish on it too, especially in the lakes. So I decided to make a Woolly Worm Squirrel Tail fly, which was nothing more than a Woolly Worm with some squirrel hair tied on the front. It became a famous fly and everyone called it the ‘Bubba Special’. I was a hero.”


By the time WWII was finished Don had sold his shop and retreated back to California permanently. He died in 1955 at the very young age of 52. His old shop is still in West Yellowstone. It’s Bud Lilly’s Trout Shop these days. If you wander in there be sure to gaze longingly at the fly bins and admire the Woolly Worms. Look around for a Bubba Special.


Forrest generously sent some pics and corrected what I wrote about the location of Don’s shop.

It turns out that Wikipedia (where I got the info about the location of Don’s shop) is incorrect. The Bud Lilly shop shown above is the NEW Bud Lilly shop. The old one did take over Don’s old shop but Bud outgrew Don’s small space and they moved three and a half blocks away to where the shop above is now located.


Don’s shop was probably located around here on Yellowstone Ave. (from Google Earth Street View)


A young June Fenn standing out in front of Don’s shop on Yellowstone Ave. That’s Don in the doorway. (from the Forrest Fenn collection)


Inside Don’s shop. That’s Skippy over in the corner. (from the Forrest Fenn collection)

Don’s shop (and the original Bud Lilly shop) was located on Yellowstone Ave. about half a block east of where Eagles is today.


You won’t find Bubba over in the corner tying flies anymore. He grew up, did a few pretty cool things, and I heard he moved out to Santa Fe.

I wonder if he still has any of those Woolly Worms left?

Click the link below to:
Watch Bubba tie a Woolly Worm


Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty Three…


MARCH 2016


I just read your signed copy of the Thrill of the Chase. I enjoyed it all
the way through. When I read the segment on Skippy’s passing I was set back
for a minute. That is why I am writing to you. It was astonishing how he
passed and the similarities to my story. You see, I took a cruise with my
wife. We went to Cozumel and took a scuba diving adventure. At about 20 to
30 feet in depth, I stopped her, and in my best attempt, proposed to her
underwater using my redneck form of sign language and theatrics. She
squeezed my hand firmly. With her goggles steaming, bubbles spewed out of
her mask as she said yes. Odd how some journeys end and how some begin. Bless you sir,

Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty Two…


MARCH 2016

I received this story from an old friend. We flew the happy fighter skies together in the 1960s when he was a major and I was a 1/Lt. His call sign was Black Bart and I was Comanche. He is a man of fiber and substance who retired with three stars on his collar. He didn’t write the story, but his comment to me was about living when times were simpler and the rewards were greater. He taught me that imagination could nearly always be used to narrow the gap. f


When I was a young boy, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box.. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was “Information Please” and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone’s number and the correct time.
My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.

“Information, please,” I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.

A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.


“I hurt my finger…” I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience..

“Isn’t your mother home?” came the question.

“Nobody’s home but me,” I blubbered.

“Are you bleeding?” the voice asked.

“No, “I replied. “I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.”

“Can you open the icebox?” she asked.

I said I could.

“Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger,” said the voice..

After that, I called “Information Please” for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math.

She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, “Information Please,” and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, “Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?”

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, “Wayne, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.”

Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone, “Information Please.”

“Information,” said in the now familiar voice.

“How do I spell fix?” I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much.

“Information Please” belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.

Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, “Information Please.”

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well.


I hadn’t planned this, but I heard myself saying,

“Could you please tell me how to spell fix?”

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, “I guess your finger must have healed by now.”

I laughed, “So it’s really you,” I said. “I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?”

“I wonder,” she said, “if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls.”

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

“Please do,” she said. “Just ask for Sally.”

Three months later I was back in Seattle.

A different voice answered, “Information.”

I asked for Sally.

“Are you a friend?” she said.

“Yes, a very old friend,” I answered.

“I’m sorry to have to tell you this,” She said. “Sally had been working part time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago.”

Before I could hang up, she said, “Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne ?” ”

“Yes.” I answered.

“Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you.”

The note said, “Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He’ll know what I mean.”

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.


Life should be an illustrated search for hidden treasures, and not just a guided tour. f


Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty One…


MARCH 2016

A Stellar Solution

The author of this story asked that he not be identified, so Dal named him Stern. But after reading it in the Scrapbook, and deciding he was some kind of a genius, I begged to allow his real name be used. He replied, “Eck! I’m not that kind of brave! How about Reddigo? He was my first dog and a weiner dog at that. Somehow at three years old, ‘The Ruff and Reddy Show’ became ‘Reddigo.’ Mom says I wanted to name him after both cartoon characters at once and that’s how it came out.”

The name doesn’t identify the writer, but it does show that he’s human. f


Mr. Fenn,

A 10″ x 10″ target, to my mind, is an impossibly small target considering the vastness of your target area.  How to reconcile those two extremes has been on my mind a lot and has gotten me off on a tangent that, to my knowledge, nobody has considered.  Possibly not even you, but, given your aviator experiences, it’s a distinct possibility that you’ll understand my reasoning perfectly.  Of course if you did, my hat is off.  It’s brilliant.
However, it’s so brilliant that I have some difficulty in believing that anyone would ever come up with it.  I’m not exactly sure what that meant, but nevertheless…

Google Earth has a sister component named Google Sky*.  If you look up, to the stars, in the right place and at the right time, an entire series of clues fall into place.  For instance,  Acamar, in Eridanus, and Arching are both excellent candidates for “where warm waters halt” because Eridanus is the river constellation and is visible only in the Southern sky. Both stars are known as “the end of the river.” Archinar isn’t visible from above 33d so it gets the axe, leaving Acamar as a reasonable start place. If I assume Santa Fe as a starting point and look south (“As”), there is distinct time of year when Acamar and all the subsequent clues (described below) are above the southern horizon.  That date in the Fall, more or less, is August 22 or roll that to the Vernal equinox and you have the same thing.  Assume “I” is the intercept angle from the horizon up and it’s not a big jump to “horizontal azimuth vernal equinox” or “have.”  At that point, all of a sudden, the “home of Brown,” becomes apparent. The First point of Aries, as described in “Brown’s Nautical Almanac” is your HOB.

There a couple of other indicators.  “Not far, but too far to” sounds an awful lot like “Not Fornax, but to for(nax) two” or Beta Fornax, which lines up with “the bend in the river,” or Angetenar.  Of, course the perfect place to put in.

Horizontal East from there is Columbia (the dove, no place for the meek), Canopus (no paddle, the rudder), the end (Puppis), ever drawing (Pictor, the easel), heavy loads (Vela, the sails), and water high (Antlia, the water pump), and, of course, the chest or Pyxis.  So, who is the blaze?  Beats me.

Wezen (wise and) points at Sirius. Maybe, but there are two wezens in that region of space.”In peace” or in Pyxis, points at Naos, or “the bright and shining one.”  Down, in this reasoning, is the incidence angle to the horizon. A minimum of two over lapping great circles drawn from the incidence angle will define a specific location on Earth.  Whether that’s the start or finish, I don’t yet know.

After that, I’m stumped, but if I ever nail down a specific sidereal hour angle, I think I have a reasonable shot at measuring an assumed position using navigational stars, incident angles, and great circles.  That answers my original question on how to pinpoint a 10″x10″ plot of ground, or at least eliminate a lot of potential targets.  Of course all that also
perfectly fits with your statement about over thinking the solution.  I’m really good at that.

Then there’s my alternate theory.  In Google Earth, just west of Hegben Lake are a couple of silhouettes created by the general land forms.  Directly west is a gentleman with a staff and a hat that looks suspiciously like your TFTW cover, he’s even carrying a sack of gold (Gold Butte).  Directly above him is the silhouette of a ram, and nestled right below there is the city of Sheridan, which is suspiciously close to Sharadan, the second star seen (right behind Mesarthim) in the First point of Aries.  It’s a loose connection to the star solution, but there none the less.

Like before, all the clues are there, like mesa art, as silhouettes and landmarks.  The blaze is a cow’s face.  Wise is a river.  Divide is “ever drawing.”  No place for the meek is Silver Star.  The chest, when you see it, is a heart attack waiting to happen.  Drill down and you find that “Why” has a question mark.  Bell Mountain points to McCartney Mountain.  If you “list ten” degrees good, you’ll finally see the wood.  At that point, you had better be brave.  Else Tesuque will get you.  Just north of there is a flying key, which presumably, fits the keyhole, to its South.  I sent you that picture for a Christmas card.  It’s just north east of Glen, MT.  Take a look from about 30,000 ft.  You’ll see the chest.  Zoom in and you’ll see a great big W with a question mark above it.  Nine clues, start to finish, but again, I can’t imagine anyone ever figuring all this out.  Let alone being within a few hundred feet and not finding the prize.  It’s far too simple after a point.

I know.  It’s a stretch but good for the brain.  You quoted Einstein and after a lot of digging I found the magazine article for that original interview.  His full quote includes another line.  “… Imagination encircles the world.”  So there you go!

Oh, btw, I just ordered “A Walk Too Far.”  If it only came with a sextant, my life would be complete.



*Another excellent star mapping program is “Star Walk.”


Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty…


MARCH 2016


This post is by Dal and not by Forrest

Forrest was interviewed by National Public Radio’s John Burnett a few weeks ago. That interview will air across the country on NPR stations this Sunday, March 13th on Weekend Edition Sunday. Typically, this show airs on Sunday mornings but stations can vary the broadcast to meet their own needs so the start time may be different on your local NPR station. Check your local station’s program schedule.

The show’s website is here:

They should post the story on that page on Sunday and we will put the story’s link here and on the blog’s Media Page once it’s posted.