Asterisk, Omega, and Grizzly Bears….

SUBMITTED JUNE 2017
by VOXPOPS

 

Let me take you back to November of 2016. At that time I sent a story to Dal about finding a piece of truck tire, apparently encrusted with canine droppings. After studying my own video I came to the conclusion that this was a Chase marker left by Mr. Fenn at a specific location to which the poem directs you. Naturally, I came in for some considerable ridicule, but early in 2017 Forrest created an eBay listing about money that his own dog had chewed and partially excreted. Following on from the listing’s premature removal came the raffle of that same pile of indigestible moolah in aid of the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. For those who were observant, there were inconsistencies in the information Forrest presented that pointed toward the same place where the tire had been located. And after that came a story about the “waning of art.” Draw your own conclusions.

Tire as originally discovered – picture extracted from late 2016 video

Fast forward to May of this year, and I was chomping at the bit to get back out there. In fact I’d been getting paranoid about the avalanche of information Forrest had been releasing, as well as the avalanche of snow that had been falling across the Rockies (up to 200% of normal in some areas). I already had a flight booked for the end of May, but mixed feelings of urgency and confidence, with just a hint of smugness thrown in, spurred me on to add an extra trip (number 12) at the beginning of May. I was convinced that the treasure would be located close to where I’d found the tire, and I had the specific coordinates to hand. I prayed that the snow would be gone by the time I got there.

So where was there? Let’s just say that I was north of Jackson, WY. It’s three flights and over twenty-four hours travel time for me, plus a seven-hour time difference; these days I find that exhausting. So by the time I was on-site, I was feeling a tad discombobulated. The second emotion was disappointment. I was confronted by snow cover that was over two feet deep in places – and a six-inch swamp elsewhere. Searching in that environment would be near to impossible. And what was I looking for? I wasn’t sure, although like most searchers I had ideas.

But the first little crumb of good news was that the segment of tire I’d left by the roadside was still there, and I popped it in the rental car’s trunk. I’d been hoping to recover the “poop” that would still be in its original location, if it was indeed artwork, but the snow and water made hunting for that impossible.

Tire picture taken at home after recovery – you can just make out the mark (first tread notch on left) where the “poop” was attached

Tire picture taken at home after recovery – note cut edge

Tire picture taken at home after recovery – note ragged edge

Tire picture taken at home after recovery – note “sculpted” edge

Two days of searching produced a big fat zero – except for some very large and very obvious freshly made paw prints: bears! I tried to stay alert.

Paws for thought

My main spot was completely obliterated by the snow, and in any event I sensed that something wasn’t quite right about it, although I couldn’t quite put my finger on what that was. It was time to turn my attention to the secondary locations. Although I could see that they would more than likely be under water, there was a chance that some marker might be visible, if not the chest itself.  Prior to making the trip, I’d made arrangements with another searcher to check these spots for me last year, but for reasons beyond anyone’s control that had not been possible – and as it turns out I’m glad that fate intervened.

Too much snow!

There I was on day three, squelching in hastily purchased gumboots through the snowmelt, when I looked up and caught movement. I’d already disturbed what I later discovered was a sandhill crane – a gray jumbo of a bird that is as impressive to watch during take-off as any 747 or Airbus.

Sandhill Crane

This time it was no bird, but an enormous grizzly apparently foraging for breakfast. Fortunately, I was still a hundred yards or so away and he hadn’t spotted me. Of course, as soon as I picked up my camera Murphy’s Law swung into action, causing me to knock the focus switch and so prevent me from getting the best shots. But I was able to grab something before deciding I might be better off getting out of there and returning after feeding time.

Getting the hump!

Grizzly on the move

I have to admit I was nervous as, a couple of hours later, I traversed the area where the grizzly had been wading, keeping up a barrage of noisy yelps and other gibberish to warn of my approach. I kept search time to a minimum, and was turning to go when I looked up to find a wolf standing at the edge of the trees, watching me. It was a magnificent creature with predominantly snowy white fur. I wasn’t able to get a photographic record, but the sight of him is imprinted in my memory. Those unexpected glimpses of nature in the raw are the moments that stand out in the Chase for me. More to come on that later…

By now something was beginning to nag at me. It wasn’t just that I was searching in potentially dangerous bear country, but I had the feeling that there was yet more to this hunt than the couple of hundred miles that my trajectory had already covered over the last few years. I went back to the poem and looked for the thousandth time at the final verse. Then it dawned on me. I repacked my rucksack and hit the road.

Where I was headed was quite different in terrain and geology, and when I arrived I saw a myriad purple and yellow flowers as well as rocks encrusted with multi-colored lichens. Ring any bells?

Beautiful colors on display

And then I made the fatal error. After years of trying to let the poem lead me, I succumbed to force-fitting the solution. I ignored the spot where the poem told me to go, as it seemed too close to human habitation. The place I chose instead was logical, but I stopped thinking rationally and spent over two days literally digging in the snow. The area was flanked by a ridge that was largely snow-free, but running along the length of its base was a gulley that was still chock-full of the white stuff. I purchased shovels and set to. Now bear in mind that this area is over 7,000 feet in elevation, plus I’m overweight and over sixty years old. You get the picture! I not only got very tired, but I started to get strangely depressed and obsessively focused on this one spot. (Interestingly, I read a report a few weeks later that oxygen depletion at high altitude can lead to depression and even suicide.) I became convinced that Forrest had chosen this location since it would only become truly accessible for a limited period each year. What made matters worse was that when I returned to the hotel room and looked at the spot on my small phone screen, I was sure that there was a square or rectangular object located in the center of the gulley.

A workout at over 7,000 ft.

However, I didn’t just Google the place I was at now. During those idle hours, I retraced my virtual steps and, using the precision tools in the poem, found – for the very first time – Forrest’s asterisk. It was unmistakable and it was many miles distant. I had never been there physically, and now wondered if the spot would reveal any useful information. I lodged the info at the back of my mind, and prepared for more digging and searching.

The “asterisk” that the poem leads you to

Time ran out, along with the good weather. During the final afternoon, having spent hours searching a cliff and its rock cavities, the heavens opened and unleashed a torrent of rain and hail. Within minutes, the access road was a muddy sluice, throwing up clods of sticky brown goo that clung to the wheel arches and underside of the car, and would soon set like cement. I jet-washed the rental car and headed back to the airport, once again in relatively good spirits, knowing that my wife and I were still booked onto a flight three weeks later, and that I’d get another chance to solve this particular riddle.

At the end of May we flew into Salt Lake City in blazing sunshine, and drove to our motel. It was hot, and my wife was unused to the altitude. Searching in these conditions would prove to be an ordeal for her – not least because she didn’t share my confidence. The creek I needed to search was awash with snowmelt run-off. It really wasn’t possible to make an exhaustive search there, and it made me wonder if I’d messed up yet again. We spent the next couple of days expanding the search area considerably, but I kept coming back to the logic that sent me to the creek.

Searching in snowmelt

It was just as we were deciding to call it quits and leave the area that I made a discovery. The method I’d used to solve the last stanza had led me to the creek, but what if I reversed it through 180 degrees? I checked the coordinates, and then I checked Google Maps. What I saw there astonished me. I have viewed miles of sagebrush from the comfort of my armchair and I’ve never spotted anything that looked remotely like an omega. But that was exactly what I saw now. In fact, right next to the coordinate marker was what looked like a “T” or a “J” – possibly even a cursive capital “F.” Then came the omega – oriented perfectly for GE viewing – followed by something that might be an “o” or a square. The first and last symbols were ambiguous, but the omega was as clear as day – at least to me. My wife was, as usual, unimpressed. You can make your own judgment call from the screenshot.

Omega: “TΩo” = “Tωo” = 2 = the second omega (possibly)

Naturally, I was cock-a-hoop and itching to get out there to pick up the treasure! But nothing in this Chase is ever that straightforward. We searched high and low. We rearranged the coordinates. We gave ourselves blisters. But there was no darn treasure! As far as I was concerned I’d parsed every line of the poem, and reached the end point. There was an omega but no treasure. What else could I do? I looked at the other symbols and tried to work them into the solution, but the capital letter gave me no hints unless combined with the final symbol to perhaps read “Two” or “To,” and the square – if that’s what it was – suggested that I had to complete that on the ground to find the chest’s resting place. But were we talking yards or miles?

Where’s that darn chest?

And then I considered the asterisk. What if the poem leads you all the way to the end – the omega – but the treasure is at a second omega. Could the asterisk be that place? It was time to visit the star of the show.

We drove for hours in blistering heat. We walked about a mile. We found a creek that was a raging torrent. I laughed as I stood on the bank and pointed at the place where the submerged asterisk – the stepping stones – ought to be. It was a ludicrous situation. A trillion gallons of snowmelt were cascading through that ravine. And yes, I’ve done some crazy things over the past four years, but there was no way I was going to venture into that maelstrom (as I described it in an email to Forrest). If he has secreted the chest there, it would have to be held in vault-like security so that it can’t move or spill its contents under those conditions. And yet…

You have to laugh!

We left there and drove to the desert to check out a possible corner of the square. There was nothing evident in that locale and I was beginning to lose hope. My wife was tired and fed-up, and just wanted to quit searching and visit family, so we made tracks for Eugene, Oregon.

My brave wife in desert heat

While in Oregon I kept turning over the evidence in my mind, but nothing new was forthcoming. But then, just as I was about to admit defeat, I saw a post on one of the blogs that intrigued me. Now, I don’t normally pay heed to others’ methodology because, like the so-called “hints,” you can all-too-often find yourself lost down a gigantic rabbit hole. But I was clutching at straws. I used what I found there to give me a new search place, a short distance from the asterisk.

As they say, hope springs eternal. Anyone who is an active searcher knows that is true, otherwise why bother? With only a few days left before our flight home, we set off on the thousand-mile journey back to the asterisk.

It was a beautiful morning and much cooler than on our previous foray as we left the car and hiked into the search area. This time we needed to cross a couple of wooded areas to reach the spot. As we approached the first one, it dawned on me why the woodland was there in the middle of scrub: water! And sure enough, as we scrambled down through the trees into a shallow valley, there was a stream that was serving as runoff from the overflowing main creek. We found a downed tree and edged across to dry land.

Heading down to the water

I was heading directly for the area we needed to reach – a clearing among the trees – but was unsure of how to access it. By climbing a steep hillside I thought I might be able see the best way in. I suggested to my wife that she stay by a rock while I went ahead to scout. That turned out to be a good move. As I reached the top of the crest, and peered down into the gloomy forest, I spotted movement. A bear was on the prowl.

Going up to look down

Reconnaissance

Because I wasn’t sure if the creature was aware of our presence, I thought I’d better make noise. I began yelling and whooping. It stopped and turned toward me. Then it bounded up the hill in my direction. That wasn’t supposed to happen! As it reached the edge of the tree line and paused, I called to my wife to back away. The bear was young, maybe a year or two old, and was beautiful. When it stood on its hind legs and looked straight at me, perhaps a little over thirty feet away, its eyes were intelligent and calculating.

I ran a brief test, and half-turned away to see if it might lose interest. Mistake! It immediately began to move in my direction. Quickly, I swung back to face it full-on, and began backing up while fumbling for the bear spray in my left jeans pocket. I tried to dislodge the safety catch by feel, never losing eye contact with my new friend. As my fingers found purchase on the plastic clip, the canister released a tiny puff of spray, shooting a yellow jet about ten feet forward of me. That was enough. The bear immediately turned away and began lumbering back into the trees. Phew!

Beating a slow retreat – thank goodness for the bear spray!

I returned to my wife who was in near-panic mode, and did my best to comfort her. From her vantage point lower down the hill, she’d only glimpsed the top of the bear’s head, and so was unsure exactly what was afoot. That may have made the situation even more difficult for her – not knowing exactly what was happening.

No encores, please!

We waited a few minutes before I climbed up again to see if the bear was still around. I caught sight of it loping away through the clearing that was our intended destination. Reasoning that time was what was needed, and that the bear would want to get away from these troublesome humans, we took our time retreating downhill before making a cautious approach through the trees at a lower level.

By the time we reached the clearing, there was no sign of the bear, but I was unable to concentrate on the search, thinking about our previous encounter. A largish rock in the center of the clearing was my goal, but there was nothing obvious around it.

Searching with spray at the ready

I began to widen the search area, but very soon I heard my wife call out that the bear was back. Looking up, I could see it moving among the trees on the hillside, roughly where I’d spotted it originally. It watched us, fortunately without making any further attempt to join the party. I ushered my wife out of the clearing and decided not to return.

He’s back! (Look to the bottom right)

Here’s a closer view

Re-crossing the stream via a different tree, my wife slipped and fell half into the water, scraping and bruising her leg on the log. She fought back the tears. By the time we got out of there, we were both soaked. Briefly and half-heartedly we checked another spot before returning to the car. At that point, my wife released her pent-up emotions, we hugged, and then began the long, long trip home. I had forgotten the yellow pepper spray that had caught and stained my fingers during the stand-off. After touching my nose absentmindedly, I was given a hot and painful reminder. Don’t stand downwind of that stuff, but don’t leave home without it!

DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT !!!

[SafetyOff] DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT !!!

So after all that, do I think I’ve reached the end? I really do – both ends, particularly now I’ve had a chance to correct a minor error. But it may also be the end of my hunt. Thirteen sorties are enough. We cannot afford yet another trip to prove me right or wrong. But just in case there’s some crazy, deep-pocketed speculator out there with money to burn on a shred of old tire, I’ve just put it on eBay at an eye-watering price to fund the final trip. Here’ are the UK and US eBay links:

UK eBay
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/-/132231414085?

or
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Weird-Art-Spare-Tire-Tyre-segment-found-during-Forrest-Fenn-treasure-hunt-/132231414085?hash=item1ec99b4145:g:zfQAAOSwHLNZRqXV

US eBay
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Weird-Art-Spare-Tire-Tyre-segment-found-during-Forrest-Fenn-treasure-hunt-/132231414085?hash=item1ec99b4145:g:zfQAAOSwHLNZRqXV

There again, should a TV production company be prepared to fund a trip in late summer, then great, too. But otherwise, if the treasure is where I think it is, it can stay; it isn’t going anywhere fast! And if I ever do write the book of my four-year adventure, I will include my methodology in that. Meantime, good luck to you all.

Voxpops-

Colter’s Hell….

SUBMITTED MAY 2017
by JAKE FAULKER

 

I’ve always wanted to head west even though I am not a young man physically. Cody Wyoming would be my second trip after staying in Reno Nevada for 6 months looking for something that wasn’t there.

My trip was not planned very well, I had gold fever (and still do) and I was going to Cody without reserving any accommodations. Besides, I have done this all the time when traveling to the White Mountains of the Granite State, Green Mountains of Vermont and Maine’s beautiful Appalachian’s. In worst case scenarios I would just pitch a tent somewhere or sleep in the car, but I had no tent and no car to sleep in Cody. The rental car I reserved couldn’t be acquired because my flight arrived too late to pick up. Closed!

I knew exactly what I was doing and would be fine.

Flew out of West Palm Beach at 5am on a Saturday morning and headed to Atlanta to catch a connector flight which would take me to Denver, then another connector to Yellowstone Regional Airport.

Landed in Atlanta only to find our plane was grounded, do to maintenance issues, which was fine with me considering they found the issues on the ground instead of 35,000 ft in the air.

Took an hour or so to get new flight to Denver to meet new connector, which worked out fine except…

Landed in Cody around 10pm MST, departed the plane only to find out my luggage was not there and they just told me to call them to see when it has arrived. OK, so no clothes, except for the clothes on my back and no high blood pressure meds which I foolishly put in my luggage instead of carry on.

Well, what the heck, I feel as though I need a couple of stiff ones to toss back, after all, I was on vacation so let’s not worry about the small stuff.

Called Town Taxi and Ron picked me up at the airport and asked him to take me to a bar or saloon so I can think straight. I would deal with the sleeping arrangements after I had a few. Dropped me off at Silver Dollar Bar and had a few while playing cornhole with a few locals, biker’s and vacationers. I would have to say the people here were very hospitable. I had told several people I was here looking for Forrest Fenn’s treasure and they knew nothing of it. I was surprised no one even heard of Forrest even though he was a trustee of Buffalo Bill Center of the West museum.

Had my fill & was really thinking straight if you know what I mean and called Ron to pick me up to go looking for a hotel or motel that had vacancy which he had told me it would be difficult considering it was biker week here in Cody. Thousands of bikers were passing through and staying there for Sturgis the first week of August. Just my luck, things were not going my way on this trip unlike many unplanned trips before. Ron did the research and we traveled to many different places that were packed full. Made many calls to no avail and told him to drop me off at the Ponderosa where I could meet Ben, Hoss, Adam, Little Joe & maybe have a nice meal by Hop Sing. Wrong Ponderosa, wrong state of mind & state & the TV show was not actual reality but the shots were in control. Timing & planning was wrong as well as you already know.

Ron’s a little older than myself and allot wiser than me & the look on his face was surely a sign that it was not going to happen considering he has lived in this town most of his life. But who am I to listen to someone who has been sober for several years as he told me.

Dropped me off and walked into the lobby where a tired husky man behind the counter was dozing off. I asked him if there was anything open for the night and he told me the obvious in a drowsy state. I asked him if I could sleep on the couch in the lobby until something opens up tomorrow. He suddenly awakened with a look that incinerated my soul and replied, if you don’t get out of here now, I am calling the police!

I left quickly and my heart was racing, knowing I am over 2,000 miles away from home with no place to stay. I took my pulse and was beating about 3 times a second. Holy crap, I really stretched myself thin on this one. I wandered out to find a teepee close by and was getting ready to spend the night Indian style when better judgment seemed to enter my mind and decided to call Ron again.

He was right around the corner and picked me up. I asked him if there were any more places he had in mind I could stay the night and that’s when I realized there are lots of great people here in this town and Ron is one of them. I cannot say this for the grizzly in the lobby. He took me back to his place on the north side of the Shoshone River where he had a couple of trailers in the field.

Ah, finally got to rest in a trailer with running water, electricity, bathroom wasn’t hooked up yet, but I had a roof over my head and that’s all I need for the time being. Isn’t it funny how all the things we take for granted?

I was truly thankful he took me under his wing that night when I needed a place to stay outside of the steel bars.

Didn’t get much sleep, heart rate was high. I was pretty sure my heart would explode at anytime.

Laying down, steering at the ceiling around 7am Sunday morning my blood pressure shot through the roof with several loud gun shots. I thought at this time, it was my time to go and should be brave and thankful for the time I had been here on this earth. I stepped out of the trailer to a man with a rifle pointing very near my direction out of the window of a house about 30 ft away. It was Ron, leaning on the window sill from inside his house, shooting at targets by the trailer I was resting in. I said to myself, please, I hope his aim is good and puts a bullet between my eyes, so I do not have to suffer as I walked towards the window.

“Hey, why don’t you come on inside”

Wow, talk about being out of your element, I was sure the end was ever drawing nigh.

At that point with soiled clothing, I decided I needed a beer for breakfast. Coffee was not an option for me at this point. He invited me in and showed me around. What a collection of old oil lamps, guns, arrows, hide scrappers, paintings, boots and all sorts of old west items he had in his home. I couldn’t believe it, the treasure was here & he was the center piece. This man is a collector just like Forrest. He let me shoot many of his guns, rifles, shotguns and one special cannon. I asked him if he has killed any elephants with this cannon of a rifle and he replied, just bison. I leaned against the window sill, aimed and blasted the cannon. My shoulder hurt for the rest of week after being thrown back a bit.

I told Ron why I came to Cody. He patiently put up with my obsession, not believing anything about it, although he told me a story about some treasure hunters that had to be rescued in the Absaroka mountains not too long ago. Had a great time & learning experience there in Cody and it’s history is deep. I already knew I would go back to see him again after this trip.

WWWH, Buffalo Bill Reservoir.

I know now that WWWH is not related to any dam, but I was thinking about the reservoir where a few hot springs were submerged by the dam that was built back in 1903. I believe this was the highest dam in the world at this time at 325 ft, surely the warm waters halted here.

Take it the canyon down, Shoshone Canyon.

Not far, but too far to walk. We will have to drive.

Put in below the home of Brown.

There is only one road that goes across the Shoshone (Stinking Water River) in Cody. Belfry bridge.

That highway is called Belfry Highway, named after the town to the north. There was a woman from the town of Belfry that succumbed to fumes in Colter’s Hell 1903 & her name was Wm. Brown from Belfry (Put in below the home of Brown.)

http://ultimatewyoming.com/wysections/WY2%20Sec02.pdf

From there it’s no place for the meek,

Joseph Meek was a trapper in this area as well as allot of other areas in the Rockies & the west. He never got credit for YNP or Colter’s Hell although he described the areas in detail, they didn’t believe him.

The end is ever drawing nigh;

Well at the time I thought that “nigh” meant near, but I know now it’s all about your perspective & more importantly about Forrest’s perspective. It could actually be the word that is key seeing he is winking at you; without the nose & smile. 😉

There’ll be no paddle up your creek,

Your up sh*t’s creek without a paddle comes to mind here.

Stinking Water River was the name of this river back in the day when things were less complicated. Evidently the newer settlers didn’t like the name the local indigenous people gave to the river.

Just heavy loads and water high.

The heavy loads & water high could be the dammed waters above Colter’s Hell.

The blaze?

I am wise at times, but not so wise in other times.

I thought the blaze was the gravel road to Colter’s hell RD 2ABW.

This road still is one of the oldest roads to the west from years ago when it was the blazing west.

My video camera would not work, my mothers camera that she gave me for the trip would not work, my cell camera did not work until the last day I was there when I was no longer searching. I had 3 cameras with me on this trip & didn’t work for a reason. Searched thoroughly in these areas for a week but I felt as though I was in the Bermuda Triangle when it came time to take pictures or make a call.

Plan B in surrounding areas at Rattlesnake Mountain & Spirit Mountain came up empty as well even though Forrest said it is there in spirit, about the X.

Some places are better explored in person only for your memories & experiences only & cannot be shared by modern technology for a reason I do not know of But I was able to get a few pics of hell.

Sometimes the trip is about the people you meet & not the quarry.

Thanks to Ron, who now owns Town Taxi made the stay & search fun. He showed me the places in Colter’s Hell where he found all those arrow heads & hide scrapers.

We went out on 2 trips to Colter’s Hell together to find the treasure when he eventually caved into the thrill of the chase.

The craters created by Mother Nature there were active & spewing with muddy waters with a stench of sulfur that still lingers.

When we were looking into these pits from above I could see vehicles that were obviously driven off the cliffs to their resting place below.

I knew at this point again, this was not the place to rest your bones with your treasure.

There was only one way in & out of these craters & went down into them only to find the old rusted vehicles filled with hundreds of bullet holes which made me nervous.

We searched the caves & caverns around only to find trash & burnt documents from a lawyers office located in Texas which I thought were connected to Forrest. Wrong!

The ceilings of these caverns were crumbling dried white deposits ready to fall at any time & decided to get the hell out of there.

We climbed back out the same way we went in only to see a Land rover parked where we were.

We climbed through the barbed wire fence at the perimeter of the crater that was the deepest & noticed the “Private Property” signs & approached the vehicle slowly with hearts racing & a full sweat.

The driver was wearing a collared shirt with a rifle embroider on his left chest & told us we were trespassing.

He had a passenger & a rifle & probably a handgun. I told him we were looking for Forrest Fenn’s treasure. He wasn’t amused & had a look on his face that said get out of here.

Come to find out, he was one of the caretakers of the property.

Some millionaire dude from another country bought parts of Colter’s Hell & surrounding areas for reasons unknown to me.

I would have to say after my experience there, that area is sacred to the spirits & better left alone. It was sad that people dumped there vehicles & documents there & have no respect for anyone including themselves.

Sometimes you got to go through Hell to get to Heaven.

Colter’s Hell.

Jake-

 

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-

 

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

Nine Facts….

SUBMITTED MARCH 2017
by WHUT

 

  1. In Mogollon, New Mexico, there is a church named Mt. Carmel.  (Home of Brown)

  1. The road past the church (from there) is  Hwy 159 known as Bursum Rd—universally described as no place for the meek.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gila/news-events/?cid=STELPRDB5418844

  1. As you enter Mogollon, on the left there is a drawing of a clock stopped at 4:00, the end of the last shift at the last operating mine in Mogollon, painted by the miners in the 1940s.   (End is ever drawing nigh)  

  1. Silver Creek run through Mogollon and into Deadwood Gulch.  Usually runs ankle deep.  (No paddle)
  1. The Confidence Mine just outside the town produced heavy loads that required up to 40-horse teams to just lower the ore down the mountain.   The mine is the reason there is a “water high”.  A pipeline (called “The Catwalk”) was built in Whitewater Canyon for the purpose of bringing water to the mine.   More on this later.
  2. The Catwalk carried water overhead as high as 20’ above Whitewater canyon’s floor.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fse_010087.pdf

  1. The Little Fanny Mine left tailings of brilliant white cascading down in a classic blaze pattern.  It flowed down into Deadwood Gulch.   It is easy to spot on Google or Mapcarta maps.

  1. There is a blackish flat rock formation opposite the mine tailings on the Deadwood Gulch cliff.  The powdery quartz tailings coat everything in a marble glazeThis is not a great photo, but it sits in stark contrast to the brown on each side, especially in shadow.    (Tarry scant with marvel gaze/marble  glaze)

  1. There are several wood piles between the tailings and the blackish cliff.  One looked manmade, with many sticks of nearly equal length (2’-3’) stacked vertically.  I was certain a snake, rodent or something worse would be underneath and would attach me as I pulled the sticks out.  I needed to remind myself to be brave.  (Brave and in the wood) 

I saved WWWH and Canyon down for last so I could give a more detailed explanation.  The clues begin and end with the Catwalk.

It’s now a park, but back when the Confidence Mine was operating it needed water to process the ore.  The Whitewater Creek wasn’t a reliable source that far down the canyon, so an engineer named Graham built a pipeline from up above that carried a constant flow of water to the processing plant.  The pipeline attached to the canyon walls some 20 feet above the floor and it was dubbed “The Catwalk” because miners would have to walk it like a tightrope high in the air to make repairs.  (BTW, the water source  where the pipeline begins qualifies as “warm water” and has brown trout).  So the Catwalk started where the warm water halted and took it in the canyon down.

The distance between the Catwalk and Mogollon is only 2 or 3 miles, but it’s so steep and rocky it would be unwalkable.   That distance is as the crow flies—to drive it is about 12 miles.

Go to Google Map and mark the waypoints for the clues listed above.  Or a better map for this is Mapcarta.com.

  • Catwalk Recreation Park.
  • Mogollon, New Mexico, then zoom in.  The church is on the far right of the town on higher ground.  There is a parking area below the church for visitors to walk the town.
  • The clock drawing is on the left rock wall where Deadwood Gulch begins.
  • Silver creek flows through the town and down Deadwood Gulch.
  • Confidence Mine is just across the road North from the Catwalk.  It is most easily found using Mapcarta.com.
  • The blaze is in the middle of the points just marked and easy to spot.   (searchers get the first clues right, then go right past….)
  • The tarry scant can’t been seen on an aerial map.  You can see, however, see a large tombstone-like rock which is 40 feet tall directly below the mine tailings.  That is nearby.

An alternative that requires an IMO is:  Forrest’s unusual use of a missing “D” in knowledge and his several references to tea make me wonder if he wants us to change “down” to “town”—as in reference to the canyon town of Mogollon.

Either way, the waypoints bracket The Catwalk, The Confidence Mine, Mogollon and the blaze.

Spare me the “but Forrest said….” stuff.  I’ve studied everything Forrest has said, and I have responses to the “north of Santa Fe” quotes.  He said north for a reason, and he said many other things that should have alerted searchers.  In this thread I’m giving you facts, and if you don’t want to use them it’s okay with me.

Now some IMO.  Let’s look at the “map” on page 99 of the book.

  Notice:

  • The outline of a cat (circled in red.)  If you look at Google map you can see a similar pattern on Bursum Road  (Look for the “ears”.)   This is where the Catwalk is.  It should be easily found on both the Google and Mapcarta maps.
  • The ladders (circled in yellow) on a map not drawn to scale are where the Gila Cliff Dwellings are.
  • The mountain peak and the blaze (circled in black).  See the very same outline of the picture of Fanny Hill above and the tailings.

  • Notice the arrow going down the right side of the tailings into Deadwood Gulch.
  • The “X”s of the bombs tailfins mark the Confidence Mine and Cooney’s grave on a map not drawn to scale.
  • The “river” resembles Bursum Road as it winds to Mogollon.
  • There is a county airport between the Catwalk and Mogollon

  • .  The residence at the airport has an old sedan

  • Wonder if Forrest borrowed it?

Another interesting tidbit:  At this spot a tunnel directs the creek through the cliff for about 40 yards.  If the water isn’t running too high, you can walk through it—but take a flashlight.

From the town, the spot is an easy, almost level half-mile walk from the road.  It’s easiest to just walk the creek, but don’t worry—your effort will be worth the cold.

As a final resting place—there is a beautiful spot on top of a huge boulder looking down the gulch above the stream.  I totally get it.

https://goo.gl/photos/9CYi69mQYxHpuw6F9

To wrap this up—three comments:  First, I have been there and didn’t find the TC.  Second, Why would I give up my solve?  A couple of days ago I was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, and I won’t be able to go again.  My friends and family think I’m insane for thinking there’s a treasure out there somewhere, so no one to pass the secret to.  I know you out there are as involved as I have been with this.

The third is the best:  I’ve done maybe a thousand or more hours of research.  I’ve learned things that are a part of vanishing history:  warm water Apaches, the suspected birthplace of Geronimo, and hideouts temporarily for Butch Cassidy and Billy the Kid.  The mining lore of New Mexico ghost towns is fastinating. The Confidence Mine payroll wagon was robbed 21 times by the same guy before they caught and hanged him on the 22 attempt.  I even came across an account of a mine boss overhearing an Apache cook and Chinese laborer talking-to each other, each using their native dialect (Apache and Tartar Chinese).  The languages were nearly identical! and they had no problem understanding each other.   Mind boggling.  I’ve seen cougars, herds of elk, grey wolf tracks and listened to coyotes howl as I camped under a dark sky that makes the stars twice as bright.   I’m richer for searching, and I hope the unemployed redneck will come and find it.

Links

Mogollon

http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/nm/mogollon.html

http://www.mogollonenterprises.com/

P.S.  Be Aware!  The only road to Mogollon is CLOSED for repair.  Not just kind of closed where you can drive around barriers—it is completely gutted and you will not be able to drive into there.  The few locals that live there have a deal with the construction company that requires the company to move their heavy equipment to allow the locals to pass.  They will not do that for visitors.  I have explored all the other possible accesses to the blaze.  There are none.  The terrain is rocky and there are vertical drops of 200 feet in the canyon.    The very best hikers would need several days and mountain climbing skills to make the trip even though the distance is short.  The elevation changes are staggering.  Also, there is private property there.  The locals are their own law enforcement, so check property maps before you plan a hike.

Read up on Catron County, New Mexico.  It is a unique place, the size of Delaware but the largest town (county seat) has a population of 143.  Past a law prohibiting the US Government from taking property from individuals. Hmmm.

by WHUT-

Redemption….

SUBMITTED MARCH 2017
by DIGGIN GYPSY

 

On one of last year’s searches I brought along a small tribe of my family to help search.

My right hand little man was my grandson Dylan.

I thought I had found the “blaze of all blazes” on a previous trip which cast a great shadow over the Madison River and we all came to the blaze to check it out.

This was my “blaze” and this is it’s story.

On an earlier winter trip near here I was walking and fell on a 3 foot snow drift. As I lay there struggling to get out I looked over and I was like “Dang that rock has a face and looks  to be wearing a long smock.”    The Virgin Mary?

Later on, after I was home I kept thinking of that lady rock and it reminded me of something I saw in the book on page 99, the walking man carrying what looks like the Virgin Mary. If you flip the picture on it’s side, the man is an eagle.

So you have a man/eagle and Virgin Mary.  That mountain rock I saw looked exactly like that. Many items in the book started clicking for me with lady or Virgin Mary. The ole coot drew the L on all the little ladies shirts.  Miss Ford is a virgin who he talks about way too much 😜.

Skippy in the graduation smock. Peggy in her wedding gown.  The picture of the girl with a vail.  The crescent moon and dove, both symbols of the Virgin Mary. Forrest holding an ax (Jesus was a carpenter).

I know what some of you will say: “The ole coot ain’t religious.” Awww, but he is spiritual. I took these pictures in his garage and there it was Our Lady of Guadalupe hanging with all his favorite things.

He has several old religious relics. Some of them are on his scrapbooks. Some have to do with the Virgin Mary.  Indulgence, hmmmm something he is offering as a redemption for all his sins so he can sit at the great banquet table with all his friends.

So where better to put that sacrifice than at the feet of the “Virgin Mary Rock”? 💰
if you zoom in on the rock you will see Mary gazing down… “gaze and marvel”, two words that are used a lot referring to Our Lady of Guadalupe or the Virgin Mary, ohhh or Miss Ford.

In the map with the frog there is a ghost woman in the middle of it.  I figure that it has to mean Ghost Village on the Madison, which is right where the “Virgin Mary Rock” hovers with an eagle at her side. Which is right next to the high mountain that reminds me of church steeples.

Also on the gold coin in that photo is Jesus. He has a thorn crown on his head.

and there is a ghost woman with big eyes and her mouth open.

He seems to write often about women who know how to stand on their own two feet and who are inventive.  Heck, he just loves women.

Mary was the ultimate woman.   A lot of his scrapbooks are about women.

He mentions Sacajawea. She was referred to by others as Mary. Queen Elizabeth I of England was known as the Virgin Queen.

A lot of clasping of the hands in the book too.  His little sister and him a few times. He who teaches a child labors in Gods workshop. Joseph taught jesus to be a carpenter and there is a picture of a carpenter at Peggy’s feet. Beavers are carpenters. So he must have been alluding to Beaver Creek hahahe.

He likes to sit in a graveyard ghost village.

Forrest says there are three dimensional figures on the chest. I believe they could represent his three favorite women. He wrote “no saint could match her faith”, but actually the Virgin Mary did match her faith 😜. The Candy Ann team saved his life same as Mary did for mankind by obeying God and doing just.

So there is my solve. There are many more references to ladies and the Virgin Mary, I could go on and on.

As my family explored the area we crossed the river and left no stone or log unturned. Following the Madison we soon realized the water is so swift in there that we didn’t think he could possibly carry forty pounds across. It’s just to dangerous…not just for Forrest but also for anyone trying to follow in his footsteps. Clearly, my solve was a bust.

Before we left the Madison, Alvin came to tell us bye. He thought we were all quite the show.

Just as we are leaving the dam area we see a moose being born…what are the odds on that?

That was an incredibly memorable moment for Dylan. We’ve made many trips to this area and have always come back home without the cheat, but we never leave Montana depressed.  Every moment being in the mountains is better than any amount of money.

Now back with my nose to the grinding stone.

Diggin Gypsy-

 

Winter Thoughts….

SUBMITTED MARCH 2017
by Tom Terrific

 

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
-Colin Powell

“Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.”
-Jonas Salk

“Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.”
-Tupac Shakur

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.”
-Albert Einstein

Forrest Fenn a retired Major USAF, noted art dealer and antiquities expert hid a bronze treasure chest somewhere in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, NM. Forrest said he hid the chest when he was 79 or 80. So 2010 is my opinion of the date and probably on his birthday since he turned 80 on August 22nd of that year.

I was born in New Mexico and live in northern New Mexico spent most (except Navy during Vietnam) of my 70 years collecting anthropologic artifacts, fishing, hunting, exploring, Kayaking, rafting, backpacking etc. I am well versed in local Native American Lore, understand and speak Spanish at an acceptable level, also have a CDIB card and I am a tribal member of the Muskogee Creek Nation.

What I have compiled here is a reading and opinion of the treasure map poem of Forrest Fenn AKA (also known as) “ff” or “f” and how the local and indigenous people view his words and their meanings.

In his map written in poetic form, I will make an effort here to back up my opinions with the corresponding statements where ff and others are concerned, some of these statements were not written down, but I have witnesses to verify they were said, starting in 2010 through today.

ff has said there are 9 clues in the poem, per page 132 “Thrill of the Chase” AKA TTOTC, furthermore he said on page 133 there are “hints” sprinkled in the TTOTC Book. But in my opinion he has never mentioned that there’s  not only 9 clues inside the poem, but  there are almost certainly HINT’S in his poem as well, although to my knowledge he has never said that.* If the poem is in fact a map (pathway) to the Treasure then like most maps it could (should) have a key or legend to be understood. On the “Mysterious Writings’ blog on Feb 04, 2014 under “Six Questions Jenny Kile quoted  ff   “It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching. Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.  The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated”.  Also stated this quote to Jenny Kile:  August 15, 2015 * “It seems logical to me that a deep thinking treasure searcher could use logic to determine an important clue to the location of the treasure. Is someone doing that now and I don’t know it? It’s not what they say on the blogs that may be significant, it’s what they whisper. f.”  Did you ever think how often giving your kids a “hint”  is like that, a whisper, sometimes it speaks louder than telling them the answer they need to choose?

Often a map’s key or legend is at the beginning so one doesn’t get lost in the details, that is IMO our case here,  hints and clues that described the translation of poetry into geographical places, rarely, if ever has that process been done. Looking in the first stanza we even see him use the word HINT, it should become apparent to you that knowing the difference between a clue and a hint is valuable.

The first 4 lines set up a hint of what the “Hidey Spot” is or may look like because it starts with the word AS, as he may have gone there with someone else in the past, I believe that someone was his father.

Background for that statement comes from this experience of the 2 leaders and members of www.nmtreasure.com.:  In November of 2013 an Emmy Award winning film crew called www.moonshots productions.com were hired by “Animal Planet Network” to film a pilot series of reality actors for a possible long term production based on Treasure Hunting. My brother and I were selected along with 3 other members of our group, a young couple who were already actors and my wife who is also a native New Mexican. Eric Hartman ehartman@moonshot-productions.com  and his assistant Dave, film crew were all part of the www.moomshots.com  who interviewed Forrest in November, 2013, Forrest told them “His father would know where he hid the treasure.”  Eric and Dave told us what ff had said to them on that following November day in 2013 just prior to our filming.

Moonshot’s passed this info out but not many people seem to know about it, this may have happened because ff would not sign a contract as an actor with them for “Animal Planet Pilot Series” this lack of approval by ff may have caused a problem for more filming. Everyone in our group signed contracts before they filmed us, there was about 11 hours of video made of us cracking jokes, speculation of the meaning of the clues and hints, and just capturing the beauty of Northern NM. My wife who has a great voice even sang the State Song,” O Fair New Mexico”. We all thought this would be a regular feature on Animal Planet.

Primarily we took the film crew along the Rio Grande Gorge and into Taos and the Angel Fire area near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Moreno (Brown) Valley at The Black Lake.

Because Forrest had said to the film crew that “His father would know where he hid the treasure chest” AKA (TC) We started to examine that statement with a magnifying focus on what this “allegedly” privileged info meant.  Since this info was never shared with the public we read a lot about what ff had said about his father, ff said according to Taylor Clark of California Sunday Magazine 07/15/15  “I thought I was gonna die,” Fenn explained recently in his feathery Texas drawl. “I kept asking the guy who gave me radiation what my chances were, and all he would say was, ‘Mr. Fenn, you’ve just got an uphill battle.’” Two years earlier, Fenn’s father had also been diagnosed with advanced cancer, and he had taken what Fenn saw as the dignified way out: a handful of sleeping pills. Facing that fate with terminal cancer 1987-1988 ff somehow survived and recovered. His suicide pact was similar to his fathers, except the place would be in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, NM at the same place where the TC is hidden now.”

Suddenly a set of very large gears began to click and moved heavy loads in my mind, these gears were as big as a Steam Locomotive’s Transmission, knowing In fact Forrest father, William Marvin Fenn had told Forrest this; “Grab every banana,” his father used to say while they were out on hunts together, baffling his son.
One day ff’s father elaborated: “He said, son, the train doesn’t go by that banana tree but one time, so you reach as far out as you can, because every banana you don’t grab is a banana you’ll never have.” This, according to Newsweek Magazine writer BRENT HUMPHREY. ff admits he never understood exactly what that meant, but perhaps he does now. I think you get where I am going with this if you are studying ff and his memoirs. On page 42 of the “TTOTC” ff said “The Katy Rail Road tracks were about half-mile from our house and late at night I could hear the steam engines puff and the engineers blow their air horns. It was a soothing sound and sometimes I think I can still hear when the wind is out of the east.” From an early age Steam Trains in my opinion were fascinating to ff, pulling heavy loads and filled by water (towers) high.

 Admittedly ff has worn many hats in life, one of the earliest was fishing guide as told in “Thrill of the Chase, page 124, he, along with his father and brother all worked at a trout fly fishing store tying flies and fish guiding for pay. ff naturally became aware of how to catch trout and because of that experience  he would certainly know of each state’s fishing regulations, which were published (Game and Fish Proclamation) each year in the 4 possible TC states; Mt, Wy, Co and NM.

We now come to what I and many searchers think is probably the 1st Clue in the poem, but remember we have already received in the first stanza what is IMO “hints” the words “AS, HINT, BOLD, NEW and OLD.”  What may be the 1st (actual) “CLUE” after those “hints” may be “Begin it where warm waters halt” from line 1 of the second stanza (WWWH). Since I too have fished since childhood in New Mexico, and Colorado, there is only one place where I have ever in my 70 years heard those exact words “WWWH”, and that is in the New Mexico Game and Fish Proclamation, which stated for many years on the various rivers or mountainous streams at a certain spot: www (regulations) halt and (then) cold water regulations begin.

Next is the descriptor and IMO possible 2nd clue, second stanza line #2 “take it in the canyon down” only one definition of canyon exists and only one commonly used for down, and the Rio Grande to my knowledge is the only major river that goes South (down) out of the Rockies, it starts near Telluride, Co and travels east toward Alamosa, Co then almost due south to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico at Brownsville, Tx along the Old Mexico border a distance of 1885 miles.

According to NM Game and Fish at one time 1950’s through 1990’s
Where Warm Water Regulations Halted” on the Rio Grande was at the bridge in Embudo (funnel)NM  near the old Denver and Rio Grande Rail Road Station. The Rio Grande is AKA also know as: RIO BRAVO (brave river) in Old Mexico.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embudo,New_Mexico

you are now at that point near the bottom of the Rio Grande Gorge just over 5,800 feet. Since we think we got wwwh and canyon down, our opinion was to consider the next line as a hint, the jury is still out, but the line “Not far, but too far to walk” seems simple enough to us at www.nmtreasure.com, you either drive from there at Embudo, or you take the “Train” after all it is too far to walk.

Possible 3rd clue from line 4 of poem, second stanza says If you “Put in below the home of Brown,”  yes the Rio from the Embudo northward is a world famous producer of monster size BROWN TROUT, regulations change and fishing for Browns from there is rouged, treacherous and almost impassible, possible matching our next line and perhaps 4th clue, line 1 stanza three says “From there it’s no place for the meek” the poem does not “insist” (from there) that we go there, just that it is simply scary, just examine it on Google Earth, it is hard to imagine a rougher terrain to walk so let’s ride the train and when it stops we will grab every banana.

“The end is ever drawing nigh” possibly 5th clue, line 2 third stanza, so if we had put into the Rio Grande at Embudo and traveled up no place for the meek (gorge) (canyon) to its end, near Telluride, Co we would have to make a turn to the left, or “nigh” at Alamosa, Co and why did this clue include the word Drawing? DR is the initials of the Denver and Rio Grande RR which splits at Embudo, NM and up the tracts you could either travel to Chama, NM or Antonito, Co.  Both are 90 miles away from the city or limits of Santa Fe, NM. So Why 90 miles see answer below.* Also there are only two places where this Denver and Rio Grande Rail Road still has passenger travel one is rebadged  the Cumbress and Toltec scenic RR and the other is Durango and Silverton

We shall concentrate on the Cumbress and Toltec because its tracks follow the course of the ‘Pinos (pine) river” all the way to Antonito Co. Near Manassa, Co where the Pinos (Pine) empties into the Rio Conejos, and the Conejos empties into Rio Grande at Alamosa, Co. Interestingly it is exactly 90 miles from inside Santa Fe city limits according to Google Earth to Chama, NM and Antonito, Co and most importantly 90 to the “Toltec Gorge.” 90 seems to be an important number, mentioned at least 3 times in TTOTC Book page 57 it was 90 feet of water in Cozumel Mexico that Skippy, ff’s brother tragically drowned in and was also how far ff had to fly Olga’s Ashes, see page 116 of TTOC but a careful study of the Thrill Book on page 51 you realize who is on that page, father and Skippy, then notice the postmark which is circled shows (only) the #141, oddly there are 19 postmarks in the TTOTC Book, but all the rest are on even # pages, ask yourself what the statistical odds of that being accidental hint, over a million to 1? Now what is the sum of 141 minus 51? 90 again!

Now what does the name “Toltec” suggest and the name “Cumbress”?  Perhaps important ideas may come to your mind once you know what these names are famous for; ff said he felt like an “Architect” after he constructed the poem, well in Old Mexico and throughout North America the ancient “Toltec’s” were the “greatest builders”, famous for their “ARCHIECTURE”, and “Construction” now the term “Cumbress” in Spanish means Summit, which is 10025’ at the highest point on these Rail Road Tracks. The lowest point on Denver and Rio Grande is a little over 5,000’ According to Google Earth.

Where have we heard those numbers before?  http://dalneitzel.com/cheat-sheet/  first line:  TC is located between 10,200 and 5,000 feet.

The next line and could be 6th clue which says “There’ll be no paddle up your creek” “Just heavy loads and water high”. These 2 lines from the third stanza are both part of this 6th clue in my opinion we no paddle, IMO too far to walk, so just ride the train which will go up “our wooden creek” with coal powered locomotives that use tall water towers to fill the locomotive boiler tanks, are you with me so far? If you look at the links I sent, you will see many of those water towers, and since those Rail Road Tracks were built in 1870’s thru 1890’s and carried commodities like copper, gold, silver, coal, lumber, and livestock etc.  Just what more proof do we need to infer “just heavy loads and water high.”

So now the next gear we have left to click is the “If you’ve been Wise and found the Blaze” IMO the blaze IS the Rail Road Tracks themselves I am sure it was blazing fast in the 1880’s and remember tracks are always face one way, UP! Our 7th possible clue. When asked on Mysterious Writings on April 29, 2016 “Mr. Fenn, Which direction does the Blaze face? North, South, East or West?  Foxy I didn’t take a radial off of the blaze Foxy. I’m thinking it may not be any of those directions. f”

The next shift IMO is the 8th  clue. “Look quickly down your quest cease” One of the most spectacular views along the Cumbress and Toltec Scenic RR  is called the “Toltec Gorge”, it is one of the deepest and most stunning gorge’s in the Rockies, it certainly will impress you to see it and view the Garfield Memorial Tunnel and Tombstone Memorial and Plaque which was erected in 1880 at the top of this sheer 600 ft cliff  right where the huge steam locomotive is balanced daily at the mouth of the tunnel, it’s  an absolute drop into the Rio De Los Pinos, See the sign below it reads: Passengers are requested not to throw any rocks into the gorge as fishermen are liable to be below. “”,  just  imagine that this could explain   “Look quickly down your quest to cease,”

9th and final clue may be “But tarry scant with marvel gaze, just take the chest and go in peace.” IMO this photo of the Toltec is a marvel gaze, I feel the TC is near. Also duplicating go in peace thought, IMO Memorials and Tombstones make peaceful places

If you have read ff’s chapter in TTOTC Book, “My war for me” when he describes the mysterious water fall and clearing that beckoned him to visit, the place where some of those brave French soldiers who died in the Indo China war in 1947 were buried, see in TTOTC page 91 he mentions arranging an army helicopter ride and visiting that clearing where the little stream dropped so mistfully onto the rocks below.  If you use Google Earth to follow the narrow gauge tracks into the Garfield Memorial tunnel you will understand just how you must travel through a similar environment, a small river with many waterfalls, falling like a mist far below with clearings and pristine fishing, you are near the border of Colorado and New Mexico, see sign, I took photo in June 2016 and the one immediately above on September 30th 2016 I was in standing on the RR tracks for both at the border, trivial fact this train which follows the Pinos River  loops back and forth from Co into NM 11 times on its journey.

From 1970 through the present day the Cumbress and Toltec Rail Road has been carrying passengers from Chama, Nm to Antonito, Co, and vice versa, from May thru October. Entrance to Garfield Memorial Tunnel has this huge granite tombstone  marker at the entrance, imagine how many souls could have been within 500 feet, if the TC was hidden in or near the tunnel this marker or RR tracks? If you are brave, even fool hardy you may walk through the tunnel.

 From 1970 through the present day the Cumbress and Toltec Rail Road has been carrying passengers from Chama, Nm to Antonito, Co, and vice versa, May thru October. Above tunnel has a huge granite tombstone memorial marker at the entrance, imagine how many souls could have been within 500 feet, if the TC was hidden in or near the tunnel? If you are brave, even fool hardy you may walk through the tunnel. See photo, if you stop in the middle of the Garfield Tunnel it’s exits (entrances) look like “Omega signs” one on each end < Ω tunnel Ω >.

See Rail Road Tracks on the right photo below, I was on top of the tunnel here, river below almost 1000’ drop from this vantage point.

Is it possible that Forrest and his father or other family members had ridden that Scenic Train? Perhaps even fished the Pines River 600 feet below? Is it also reasonable to think that Forrest almost certainly flew over or nearby the Toltec Gorge on his many trips into Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado? Use Google Earth to draw a straight line to Cody, Wy home of Buffalo Bill Museum, from Santa FE, NM. Do you still think it is out of the realm of possibilities? Target acquisition was what he did in Nam, now I propose he found Rocky Mountain Rivers to explore and fish, especially the ones close to home only 90 miles away from Santa Fe which he could easily journey to, fish and return home the same day.

Now I shall skip to the final stanzas and try to analyze the final “HINTS” IMO, not clues: Per TTOTC Forrest was 2 years older than his sister June and 2 years younger than brother Skippy, he was right in the middle, now the middle of Cumbress and Toltec RR is Osier Station, Co, it is 2.2 miles from Osier to Garfield memorial tunnel, on page 95 TTOTC Forrest was at that beautiful Waterfall and clearing in 1968 on December 22nd  and ff’s birthday is August 22nd , per Dal’s site, look at  page 110 of the “Thrill” Book it states that 20 students and 2 teachers filed into ff’s gallery? #22 was also the name of a very disturbing and enlightening book about pilots, their stress and their almost suicide missions:  “Catch 22”. Also #22 appears several other times in his TTOTC Book like the 22 turquoise beads on the bracelet he will buy back? But I digress; “So why is it that I must go” A line that reflects the feelings of the protagonist in Catch 22, and this line as well “And leave my trove for all to seek? The answers I already know, I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak.” They seem like lines straight out of Catch 22, and speaking of pilot stress, how much weight did ff loose in his tour in Vietnam? 22lbs perhaps? Per page 131 TTOTC ff says 20 troy oz of gold was in the chest? The whole load was 42 lbs, so minus 20 lbs and Viola! There you have 22 Lbs for the TC itself, Folks, I do not make this stuff up!  If you still do not believe read on….

Forrest responds:
“I am a very simple person and you want me to have copious meetings with lawyers, preachers, undertakers and your family. What is wrong with me just riding my bike out there and throwing it in the “water high” when I am through with it? You don’t know how many man hours I have spent on that subject. Thanks for the input but I think you should mobilize your club and hit the trail searching for the wondrous treasure. Besides, I’ll probably get hit by a train. When you find the treasure please come sell me the great turquoise and silver bracelet that is in the chest. I wish now that I had kept it. f”
http://dalneitzel.com/2012/10/02/forrest-gets-mail/

Duh…Forrest say what? : “Besides, I’ll probably get hit by a train!”
IMO climb the water tower ladder and hide the bike inside so no one will ever find it! This man has thought of everything, or so he said.

Treasure Hunters, Can You Hear Me NOW???

If you are riding the train from either direction, it won’t stop and let you off at the Garfield Memorial Tunnel and it becomes very dark in there so you might wanta take a flashlight, now contemplate your navel or stomach because at Osier, Colorado 2.2 miles away, the train stops, passengers disembark at this, the halfway point and eat a sandwich? Just sayin, where have we heard that before and who said it..?

By car travel up Hwy 285 from Santa Fe, NM to Antonito, Co and take a left and go about 8 mi to a town called “Mogote”, Co, turn another left there and cross the Conejos River and head for Osier Station near Toltec Gorge on Farm rd 103. From Osier is 2.2 miles distance as as a crow flies to Garfield Memorial Tunnel, but over 3 if you follow the RR Tracks, it is pretty level and easy walk, the view is spectacular!  Ice out and snow melt is about first of June. Stay on the RR tracks, walk in the wood uh duh, unless you hear a train a commin!

Somewhere near there could be his secret where. The mystery of why, only Forrest knows but it is tantalizing to imagine that ff was in this place.
Tom Terrific, Terrific as in “Enthusiastic”

 

A Method to the Madness…Finding WWWH

SUBMITTED FEBRUARY 2017
by Cynthia

 

Forrest has stated many times: “Start at the beginning so figure out WWWH.” Or simply, “Start at where warm waters halt.” Followed by “WWWH is the hardest part of the poem to figure out.” Yes, Forrest…we understand. Any searcher who has placed their feet on the ground traipsing from their parked car to what they think might be a good solve for where their warm waters halt , understands. I doubt if any of us know for sure if they are one of the searchers who knowingly, or unknowingly, was within 200 feet of his treasure. I’m in that boat…and I feel like I’m sinking fast.

Like many of you wiling away the days until the snow melts, re-reading TTOTC for the hundredth time, and trying to sleep while Fenn’s poem loops through your head, I wondered if there is an easier way to find a warm water spring that is not indicated as “warm” on a map. One of the conundrums I’ve noticed since the Little Girl from India appeared on MW is that since she can solve the first two clues and WWWH is probably one of the first two clues, then doesn’t that mean “it” (the warm waters) has to be identified on her map? Here is a picture of a section of the map and spring just upstream from the Red River Fish Hatchery near Questa, New Mexico. This is my story…to prove my point, maybe.

I am a map person. I have always loved road maps. When we, my family, traveled by car over 50 years ago (as interstates were still being built), I was the kid in the back seat holding the road map, squished in the middle between a brother and sister who honestly didn’t care about maps, or where we were going. They were idiots, I thought at the time.

How can a person not care where they are going and not be anxious with anticipation of what is just around the next bend? I always kept an eye on where we were to make sure my dad didn’t miss a turn…he never did…he was born with a “compass in his nose”, so to speak, and I think, luckily, I inherited the same gene. Now my entire wall is covered in large National Forest maps, and I couldn’t wait to head north to one of them, where the springs are marked by small circles, no names attached.

Saturday, Feb 4th started off just as the weatherman predicted…sunny, blue, cloudless skies with temperatures to reach the low 60’s in Albuquerque, unseasonably warm for this time of year. Molly and I hit the road…it was time to put my theory to test. I thought it might be easiest to find a warm water spring in the winter when the creek banks are snow covered. If a spring had warm water, the snow should be melted around it, right, making it easier to spot? While researching fishing spots in New Mexico, I had read that the lower portion of the Red River is popular in the winter-time because the springs above the fish hatchery helped keep the water warmer there than in other fishing places. So by deduction, I assumed that at least one of the two springs I circled on the map had warm water.

The ride up through Santa Fe, Espanola, and Taos was uneventful. It was the weekend and, despite the beautiful day, there was little traffic. I had been to the Red River Fish Hatchery 4 years ago. I smiled as I remembered my first honest to goodness boots-on-the ground search…. I was such a rookie back then. I thought I had nailed Fenn’s location and the poem would be pretty easy to follow to the loot! (I hope you all are smiling as you read this.) Boy, was I ever wrong!

Today’s search was different…I wasn’t in a quest to find Fenn’s trove but to find the little circle on my map marking a spring. I was searching for where the warm waters halt…


I parked at the far end of the hatchery, hoping no one would notice the empty truck sitting there unattended, with no one visibly walking amongst the various tanks of fish. Molly strolled freely while I snapped a few photos. Then I grabbed her leash and steered her to the path along the privacy fence, containing the off-limit properties to folks like me. We moved rapidly along the path of footprints in the snow, quiet, stealth-like, hoping no one would notice us.

The end of the path led to this property, a private residence surrounded by more fence. It looked like a lovely vacation home, or week-end retreat. A sign said “Beware of dog”. I laughed, and whistled…I wanted to see the dog. None showed up.

The narrow path now opened up into an old road. It was still partly snow covered, and where the snow had melted, the slick mud made the walking messy. But, when you are a Fenn treasure hunter, the condition of the trail does not matter. I dismissed the thought of Molly’s muddy feet and my disgustingly muddy hiking boots inside the clean truck later. We were on a mission…I couldn’t let it matter.

Within 10 mins or so we came upon a footbridge crossing the river. The snow looked quite deep on the other bank where most of its days were spent in quiet shade. There didn’t appear to be a path upstream on that side…we’d check it out on the way back.

In another 5 minutes or so I could see a spot of tiny green leaves peeking through the brush along the river. I knew it had to be the warm spring.

We carefully made our way down the short embankment to the green vegetation growing in the water there. The water trickling from the mouth of the spring was tepid, not nearly as warm as I had anticipated. But it was warmer than the river water…does this count? I didn’t know.

I poked around in the spring’s brush while Molly poked around the edge of the river. I was sort of disappointed but felt I proved a point, sort of. The snow had already mostly melted on the sunny side of the river, but the green vegetation growing in the tepid water did help identify the “warm” spring before I got to it, and I didn’t really need to touch the water to know it was “warm”. But mostly this supports my theory that the place where the warm waters halt can be marked on Little Indy’s map, but still not be identified as such. I mean, yes, you know it’s a spring, but there are a gazillion springs in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, so you have to solve the poem to identify where the right one lies; hence Forrest saying, “WWWH is the hardest part of the poem to figure out.” Capiche?

After a few more photos of the spring, we headed back to check out the footbridge before hitting the parking lot. Along the way, I noticed a few things I wanted to mention to someone…(please don’t mention this to other searchers, insert smiley face here.)

Look at this next picture. Notice how the sunny side of the river is desert-like with its rocky, sagebrush covered terrain, but the shady side has more trees and is more mountain- like. Is this why Forrest sometimes says “walk out into the desert…” and other times says ”in the mountains…”? This place looked like both.

And although I don’t think this particular section of the canyon is where Fenn’s treasure chest is hidden, I think it is “like” the place where it “could” be hidden. The spring was maybe, at the most, a half mile from the parking lot at the hatchery. Look at the path…easy, not dangerous. Take your kids and let them play in the water. No wild animals to eat them, you, or your dog. This is CNF land…so not private property as long as you don’t jump that fence. No one pointing a gun in your face because you are trespassing on their land. The road to the hatchery is open all year long since fishermen fish the river year round. (Remember, Fenn originally thought he was going to die where he hid the chest. Would he limit it to a seasonal place…one where the roads were closed due to snow for 4 months a year?) And, it’s not a busy place crawling with people, but there might be an occasional passer-by, especially if it was summer.

If any readers are freaking out now because I gave away their solve, relax. This particular stretch of canyon was written about and searched to death 4 or 5 years ago. I didn’t discover it … some earlier searchers used the tailing ponds and Pope Lake as their solutions. I prefer using an actual warm spring as my warm water. But, IMO, this is not the right one.

By the time we reached the truck, it was after 1:00 but still enough daylight to drive into the town of Red River and continue our exploration of the river itself. As I approached the Moly Mine on Rt38, I stared at the movement ahead… Holy smokes, after dozens of times driving through this area, I was finally going to see the mountain sheep. I parked along my side of the highway, turned off the engine, and watched, and took photos, and watched some more. I was in awe… Molly was not. After a quick glance, she curled up in the passenger seat and took a nap.

I hated leaving the sheep but had an agenda I wanted to finish. So on we went…into the town of Red River, a sleepy little old western ski town, a dot on the northern stretch of the Enchanted Circle.

I made our usual stop at the City Park, a dog-friendly place with dog-friendly accessories, namely poop bags and a trash can to put them in. Molly wandered aimlessly whereever her nose took her, dragging her leash behind her with nose on the ground on the scent of those noisy squirrels. Molly LOVES squirrels…coming here is a treat…we do not have squirrels at home. I used this time to call Michelle and see if she’d look on the Red River city webcam to

see if she could see us. She saw the truck and we discovered there is about a 20 second delay. Why does any of this matter? It doesn’t…but with Michelle directing me to point to align my arm in a direct path to the web camera, I found where it is located. On a pole above the Town Hall building. See the arrows pointing to it in the second picture below. (Slurbs, that black arrow is for you, my dear friend…I want all color-blind searchers to see what I see!)

We continued east on Main Street at the far end of town, going straight where the main road Hwy 38 bore off to the left. Even though this stretch followed the Red River, there was soon so much snow, I knew we would not be hiking to find any more warm water springs.

We did continue to the end of Rt 578, and I stopped to take an occasional picture or 12. I was amazed at the snow depth where the plows made snow banks along the pavement that were 8 feet high. It was a beautiful valley, even more so this day with the snow-covered terrain.

On the way back through Red River, we stopped at the Dairy Bar for a bite to eat. Then mosied on home the 3 hours or so it takes to make the drive.

If you’d like to see more pictures of our day, click on this link:

If you looked at the pictures, you can see the snow is really deep when you approach the end of Rt 578. This is where so many good trailheads begin, trails we used to backpack up to Lost Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Middle Fork Lake, Wheeler Peak the long way many years ago, trails that take fishermen to their special places. Might there be warm water springs along any of these trails or forks of the Red? I don’t know…there aren’t any tiny circles on my map. Will I hike these trails, walk along these streams, search for Fenn’s treasure here? Probably. Will I wait until May when the snow has melted from the last shady spot on these trails? Hardly! I will pack my snow shoes the next trip!

Cheers!
Cynthia and Molly…

Mountain Warrior Women’s Wicked Weekend…

SUBMITTED december 2016
by the golden retrievers and sandy b

 

Sandy B and the Golden Retrievers had an Enchanted trip while hunting for Indulgence.   We have written this article for your entertainment.  Mr. Fenn says: read the blogs for entertainment.   We aren’t sharing our solves.  Sorry.  We are just sharing our fun trip with you.  We hope you find our story entertaining.   And we hope it encourages you to get out, hike, and search (in Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado) next spring.

We rendezvoused at a trailhead at the Embudo Canyon.  We hiked down into the canyon and crossed the Treacherous River to Treasure Island (it’s not an island at all, it’s just the other side of the river – but Golden R likes to call it Treasure Island).  We traveled thru the Magical Forest, moved a few rocks, reorganized some more rocks, and repositioned a few more rocks.

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We Moved Rocks

One rock, standing up like a gravestone, caught our eye.

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Standing up like a gravestone

Sandy B and Golden R couldn’t lift the rock out of the stone crevasse which held it.  Sandy B, who has an attention span of a fruit fly, left to explore around the ridge.  Since Golden R couldn’t lift the stone; Golden R tried to crank the stone sideways, like a lever.  Golden R was shocked to feel the rock move easily like a lever . . . and four more rocks, which were holding the lever-rock in place, all moved with a crunching noise.   It was a very “Indiana Jones moment”.  Golden R expected a stone entrance to a secret tunnel to appear.  But there was no secret tunnel and no treasure chest.

We walked in and out of the river . . .  up and down the river.  When we felt we had disturbed enough rocks, we went looking for the “Heartbeat of Mother Earth”.  With our ears pressed to approximately thirty or forty different rocks, we listened good, for the heartbeat.  Golden R’s ear was turning numb from holding the ear against the cold, wet rocks  (did we tell you it was cold and it was raining?); we never heard the Heartbeat (Sancho, we needed you.)   Sandy B heard a unique hum in that area, so we know we were in the correct spot.

Another “Indiana Jones moment” came, as we arrived at our car to find a note, enclosed in a plastic bag, on our windshield, from a treasure hunter.  The note suggested we meet for Happy Hour – Oh Yes!

Sandy B and Golden R had a wonderful evening with a very handsome treasure hunter.  We probably shouldn’t disclose our guest’s real name, but we like to call him “Snakecharmer”.  We tried to get information out of our guest . . . we tried to buy drinks for Snakecharmer, hoping to learn valuable information . . . but he was a rock.  We obtained no information about his solve.  We had a very fun evening talking treasure.

The next day, we took a drive thru a very muddy canyon; and we had to scrape the mud off our tires twice, because we were sliding on the mud.  Sandy B is an amazing driver; she drove us thru mud that had tire ruts or grooves in the road twelve inches deep.  Sandy drove us out of there in 4WD LOW.   Golden R was a good luck charm for Sandy B.  Sandy B has had eight flat tires this year – on this trip Sandy B didn’t get a flat tire!

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Mud

More Mud

More Mud

We hiked a trail which promised warm waters halting, canyon down, and an X.

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X marks the spot

We found eyes, a drawing nigh, and a listen good.   We stood in one spot which has a pi to the West,

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Not pineapple pi

And a finger to our east.

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and a pure white blaze to our North.   But no treasure chest.

The rocks along the trail were so fun to climb over and climb through – it was like a playground.  But Golden R couldn’t stay and play on those rocks, because Sandy B has the attention span of a mosquito.

We then entered the strange part of our journey. This was a time where Sandy B found a broken hiking pole which displayed the word: stop (obviously “halt”).

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“Halt”, says the hiking pole

At this point, we were E.C. Watersing it.  (Before we sent this article to Dal, we received permission from E. C. Waters to turn his name into a verb meaning:  ‘find a clue in everything you see’).

We found a concrete trough.

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Water High

As we looked behind us, we saw a big water tower up high.  Why didn’t we see that as we hiked by it?

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More water high?

That was a beautiful, fun trail.  We found hot springs and saw foot prints from elk, badger and coyote (or fox).   But no treasure chest.

The next day we weren’t allowed to drive into the Vallas Caldera National Preserve, because it was hunting season; and WE WERE hunting!   So we pulled out our maps, and Sandy B discovered the BEST solve yet.   We packed part of our sandwich . . .

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Got sandwich & got flashlight

“Did we have a flashlight?”, you might ask.  Sandy B carried two or three flashlights at all times; and a rock hammer/pick axe/lever for moving rocks and scraping tires.  Golden R carried two flashlights, two different packs of matches, and two different packs of waterproof matches, and everything we needed to build a shelter if we got lost.  If we got lost, and had to spend the night in the mountains, our shelter would have been seen from the space shuttle.

On this hike we found a tiny, tiny water fall (it’s so tiny you can’t even see it in this picture below).

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There’s something weird about her right hand in this photo

Something tells me we should go this way.

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Look quickly down

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We saw recent bear scratches on a tree.

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“I was here”, Bear.

We found treasures old and new; and we did it tired.

There was no poop on that tire, Voxpops

There was no poop on that tire, Voxpops

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This old 1939 Ford needs to be re-tired

If Sandy B had been driving that truck, it never would have gotten stuck.  Sandy B can drive anywhere.

On this hike we had home of Brown; canyon down; WWWH; listen good; and X marks the spot.  So we moved some rocks, reorganized some more rocks, and repositioned a few more rocks.

No treasure chest.

We had a very fun trip; and we saw some amazing sites.  And we are getting closer and closer to the treasure chest.

Golden Retrievers and Sandy B-