Forrest Gets Mail – 14

I love emails like this one from Diane. Makes me wish I could go back to the starting place and experience all of the things I might have done, but didn’t.


I have a technicolor picture of me running through the brambles with Diane.

It is comforting that the treasures chest thread has brought so many of us together in a kindred way. I feel like I know that girl who played with hobos. f

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Forrest-
My grandfather was a train engineer.  He used to do a big train whistle out of town so my grandmother could hear to let him know he was on the way, and she’d tell me to take off running. I would run like the dickens through the bramble, and meet his train on the edge of Lewistown, Mt., and he would stop it to a complete halt, then let me on, and I got to drive the train all the way through Lewistown, Mt., then I would hop off, with the train building steam and run back to grandma’s house.  Never fell once.  I remember the train would slow down slow, then come to a complete halt like how I think warm waters halt.

One of my favorite things to do is go in to town and have lunch with the “young hobos” who hop the trains out of Colorado Springs.  My Sunday hobo church.  They grab food from people coming out of the cafes and eat it up like morsels form heaven.  Took me only a day to adjust to their routine.  They are brilliant poets, just like Forrest.  A few are banjo players, and they are peaceful, but not for the meek.  They are totally free to ride the rails to the next adventure, and I live vicariously through them, as I also love the rails.
I’m new to the chase, and am having fun studying my stacks of maps, and the poem, and I giggle a lot when I wonder- “What would Bubba do?”
Diane

 

 

Forrest Gets Mail From a Middle School Class

 

Thank you Karen,

I will try to answer the questions for your students. I received about 30 emails and was a little overwhelmed. That’s why I didn’t respond to more than I did. My answers follow the student’s questions and are in bold type.

I can see by the first question that your students probably are not asking what they want answered. I will answer the questions as presented and not judge them. I will also leave your students with a poem. It is not a reflection on anyone, or the questions, but something for them to think about.

Today as I went up the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today, oh how I wish he’d go away.

 

Can you describe the first and last time you visited your secret fishing spot?
Yes, I went in my car both times and the sun was shining.

Also you said gold. In the canyon we are guessing the sunset make the rock look like gold is this significant to the place where you hid the treasure.
I am sure the rock would think so.

Does the 4 line in each stanza have a significance to when you hid the treasure.
No

Would you please give us a list of all your friends/superiors in the Vietnam war?
There are several hundred. Would you like the names alphabetical?

Could you also tell was time of year you hid the treasure?
Yes, it was summer.

We have a guess about where the treasure is hidden, and we were wondering if you could give us some feedback on it.
Yes, I think I could.

We believe that the treasure is hidden near agua fria peak, New Mexico.
I think that is very interesting.

Our group also thinks if it is not hidden there, then it might be hidden some where near Cimarron canyon.
The canyon is very long so if you go searching there please be prepared.

Our final guess is that the treasure may be along road 156 in Wyoming. Thank you for taking time out of your day to help us in our class!
You cannot solve the problem by starting in the middle of the poem. You should start with the first clue and then solve the other eight in order.

What is your favorite thing about the place where you hid the treasure?
It is in a place that is dear to me.

When was the first time you went to the place where you hid the treasure?
I don’t want to answer that question. It is more of a clue than I want to give.

What is your favorite outside activity?
Fishing

When was the last time you went to the place with the treasure was hidden?
A few years ago.

Did you name the poem The Thrill of the Chase?
No. I forgot to name it.

Were you close to your father?
I think I was closer in my memory of him than in practice.

Does Bighorn Canyon,WY ring any bells in your past?
Or does Black Canyon,CO ring any bells?
What do you mean by “ringing bells”

What is the emphasis of “where warm waters halt”?
I don’t understand the question.

What does “warm” mean to you?
It means being comfortable.

Where did you mostly go during your lifetime?
Europe, Asia, South America, and the United States.

When did you find this spot to bury the treasure like year?
I have not said that I buried it, and I don’t want to reveal when I discovered the spot. It is too much of a clue.

Does a blaze mean the treasure?
Not in my dictionary.

Why did you hide the treasure where you hid it?
I love the way you worded that question. I think you are going to be a science fiction writer. The answer is in my book, TTOTC.

What inspired your passion for art?
I have no passion for art. It was only a business to me.

Who was your biggest influence growing up?
My father and my football coach.

Why did you choose the specific riches in the treasure?
Because I needed them to put in the treasure chest.

Have you ever revisited the place you hid it?
No

How did the Vietnam War affect you?
It made me more forgiving, more considerate, and more aware that we need to leave other people alone.

What time of year did you hid the treasure?
Summer

Is there is specific reason that halt and walk are the only words that do not follow the  rhyme scheme?
Yes, I was limited by my ability.

What is your favorite place to be? or river?
In my home in Santa Fe.

Where was your favorite place? Why?
Why don’t you ask me how deep is a hole? I cannot single out one to be my favorite.

Why did you marry?
Because I was able to find a woman who was much better than me, and then spent 63 years hoping she wouldn’t find out.

What is “too far to walk” to you?
It is the name of a book I wrote.

Who were your partners in the Air Force?
I had no partners sir.

When you wrote the poem, were you thinking about fishing
No, I was thinking about the poem.

What was your favorite Hike/Trail Yellowstone.?
Trails are not favorites of mine. I always hiked off trails. Why go where everyone else had gone. The rangers didn’t like that, but I did and I was the one doing it. Do you see my logic?

Did it lead to the top of a waterfall?
Some did but most didn’t.

Where did you catch the Fish that you still have a memory.
In Alaska.

If so, why do you remember that memory?
Because a 900 pound bear also wanted it. Guess who won?

What type of fish did you like fishing for?
Trout, bass, perch and catfish.

What Is Blaze?
Anything that stands out.

How hard was it to write the poem and not give the location away?
It was not hard at all. I just had to stay focused.

In the poem, Thrill of The Chase when you talk about “Not far, but too far to walk” and “Take it in the canyon down,” is it referring to a waterfall.
You guys seem to be hung up on waterfalls. Don’t try to change my poem to fit your ideas.

We were also wondering if you could tell us anything about “The home of the Brown.
No

“Do you “check” on the treasure every once in awhile to see if it is still in tact.
Do you mean as opposed to being torn apart? I feel sure it is still intact.

And does anyone know for sure where it is, for example, your wife, or closest friend?
No one knows where it is but me.

We are looking into places in New Mexico and we are curious if we are in the right direction.
Go back to the poem and start with the first clue.

When was the last time you have been to where the treasure is hidden?
A few years ago.

Forrest Gets Mail – 12

Hello Mr. Fenn!

My name’s Kenda.  Had a strange thing happen the other day –involves you oddly enough

I watched Destination Unknown “Finding Fenn’s Treasure” on 1/13, Friday evening

I’m a paranormal researcher, I record ghost voices…  been doing it on a regular basis for 10 years now.

Saturday morning -5 am EST, (3 am your time)  I did a recording session.   A voice that sounds an awful lot like you is speaking on it.   It’s not unusual for sleeping people to show up on recording, happens pretty regularly…no rhyme or reason to it actually.

Here’s what “sleeping you” said, “IT’S A GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT TO ME THAT MY OWN FAMILY HAVEN’T FOUND IT.”

“TAOS…  IT WOULD BE BALD WITHOUT THIS”    “DON’T YOU KIDS READ?”

Now, I don’t speak at all during the “answer” parts of the recording, only when asking questions.

Vocally, I’m 99.999% sure it’s you; got the accent, cadence, everything!

Just thought you might find it interesting  –I definitely do

I did a video of it if you’d like to hear it —  (incidentally, I was asking about the existence of Bigfoot at the time –“You” suggested I STOP asking about it considering  “THEY COULD BE FROM THE PRIMATE FAMILY” )

Sincerely,
Kendra

Here’s the link to the video…
FORREST FENN (Pure EVP) Sleeping Forrest Messages

Forrest Gets Mail – 11

 

Mr. Fenn,
I am a professional poker player living in Las Vegas… im 44 years old and I came to Vegas when I was 19 to pursue a career  in playing Blackjack… (not such a good idea btw) and have been here ever since. I received your book for Christmas (never heard about your story) and I will be trading in gambling on cards for gambling in the wilderness. Should be fun.

I recently purchased 10 books and have decided I need 10 partners and figured the best way to find 10 people I can trust* was to send it off to 10 inmates serving life sentences… figured they have the time and won’t be looking themselves😀😀.

I chose 9 men and 1 woman. I’m thinking my best shot is the Unibomer Ted Kaczynski.. as he is a pretty brilliant guy and also lived in Montana for a number of years… I have 1 question, Has anyone ever told you they were doing this also?

Hope this finds you well,

Brett

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.

image1

We Moved Rocks

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

image2

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!

image3

Mud

More Mud

More Mud

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

image5

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,

image6

image7

Not pineapple pi

And a finger to our east.

image8

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”).

image9

“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.

image10

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?

image11

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 . . .

image12

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).

image13

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

Something tells me we should go this way.

image14

Look quickly down

image15

We saw recent bear scratches on a tree.

image16

“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

image18

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-

 

 

In the RMs North of Santa Fe…

SUBMITTED NOVEMBER 2016
by Hear ME ALL

 

I’m sharing my first attempt at finding a solution that would lead me to the chest to show how imagination is important but also to show how even after being stuck on this for many months I did allow myself to reconsider other possibilities and options.  I realize that some will laugh, some may pick it apart, and some may see things that will make them scratch their heads.  I was convinced that this solution was feasible for many months but came to the conclusion after several failed attempts by myself and another searcher that this just was not the spot that is special to Forrest.  At the time it all seemed to make perfect sense to me.  Looking back on this and with what I now know, I scratch my own head wondering what the heck was I thinking.  I hope you enjoy and if not please be kind.

West Yellowstone, Montana

West Yellowstone, Montana

The first stanza talks about hinting of riches new and old.  When I did research on West Yellowstone which f likes to share stories about, I realized that some parts of the town are old and some to the south are fairly new.  The first stanza told me that West Yellowstone was the area that I needed to search.  F has said that most of the places the clues refer to were around when he was a kid.  That means that some came after so I attributed the new development to some clues.

Begin at Firehole Ave..  When you are stopped at the red light, there is another light for pedestrians with a hand facing out to signal them to halt.  In River Bathing is Best f said that the boiling geyser waters met with the cool waters in the Firehole River.  To me boiling waters meeting cool waters gives you warm waters.  If you are coming in to West Yellowstone from Highway 191 driving south, you will run right into Firehole Ave. and this light.

Take it in the canyon down to me hints at going south down Canyon St. from where it joins Firehole Ave.  You will just continue south from that intersection on Canyon St.  Forrest mentions Canyon St. in Totem Café Caper story.  I’ve also seen other posts from the past that suggest there was no way Forrest was going to down and back up a real canyon twice to hide the treasure.  Number one it would be a little dangerous for a man at that age and would not be fun to traverse with a load.  You have to pretend you’re in a Canyon when on the street but you really are taking it in a canyon down which is south.

Not far, but too far to walk to me simply meant I was driving.  Most if not all searchers would arrive at the first clue in a vehicle so continuing to drive instead of walk to me was an obvious choice.  I also wouldn’t want to walk through town carrying a chest filled with treasure.

Put in below the home of Brown.  To me this is the keyword.  Forrest capitalized Brown and most searchers don’t even give that much thought as it being the keyword.  I think this can be tricky as he knows people would tend to think of people named Brown, and then animals it might refer to, and on down the line.  To me it was Totem Café where the brown gravy assaulted his sense of smell.  I think Forrest enjoys having some fun and using imagination.  The put in below part came a little later for me.  When I looked up Totem Café back in February, a map came up.  It was a map of West Yellowstone.  That is when I realized that it was on Canyon St. and then noticed Firehole Ave. and started wondering if this could be the map that he has talked about.  Sure seemed that a number of things were connecting.

No place for the meek.  In my solve this was the Grizzly & Wolf Discover Center.  At some point in the past I remembered a comment from a searcher on Dal’s blog that said they thought they remembered Forrest saying bear were close by.  I’ve never come across Forrest saying that, but if that is the case this would be a pretty close place to my search area to have bear and also be not in a dangerous area since they are contained.   Also there are wolves at the center. Just south of the center is Gallatin National Forest, so if you use some imagination to pretend that you have to be brave when searching that area because of the bears and wolves that are close by it could work.  There used to be an exhibit that traveled the country that is now permanently displayed at this center. On the center’s website the article about acquiring this exhibit in 2002 says home of the world class exhibit BEARS: Imagination and Reality.  I thought that was interesting since Forrest has said that imagination is needed to solve the poem and has also said imagination is more important than knowlege.  Another thought that I had for no place for the meek was that you would not want to go down Yellowstone Ave. in accordance with Joseph Meek.

The end is ever drawing nigh.  Canyon St. dead ends shortly after the center.

There’ll be no paddle up your creek.  I never really made a strong connection with this part of the poem unless the meaning was, there is no paddle because there is no creek.  Could also mean you have to pretend you will be entering a creek where the canyon ends and no paddle will be needed.

Just heavy loads and water high.  This one took me a bit to figure out.  For the longest time I thought it was just added for filler.  Then I studied the map some more and realized that one of the streets is Electric St. so that could mean heavy loads.  Two other streets are Old Faithful and Geyser so I thought that could possibly be for the water high.  The problem with that is they are a few blocks over and not on this path.  The old water tower is also on south Electric St. and at one time I thought that could be the water high.  Here is what I think Forrest meant by heavy loads and water high.  At the end of Canyon St. sits the Worldmark resort. I came to the conclusion that the world part refers to heavy loads as in carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.  For the water high I thought mark could refer to a high water mark.  Again I used some imagination and I’m sure many would dismiss my thinking.  You can park in the parking lot at Worldmark and go into Gallatin Forest through a break in the fence that the resort made to push winter snow off the property.

When the canyon dead ends I put in here.  Part of it is somewhat open with grass and sagebrush and some is thicker with trees.  In 1988 there was a fire that burned quite a bit of Yellowstone and close to West Yellowstone.  This area was burned in the fire.  The tallest trees in this area were probably planted a couple of years after that fire.  You can definitely see rows of trees in places.  When Forrest made some posts in the past as Forrest Fire, I thought he might have been trying to see if anyone was paying attention.  This area is not one that many frequent due to it being past a dead end.  It’s also not a spectacular looking area.  No water, or trails, just trees, sagebrush, animals, grass and a fairly safe place but you have an unusually high number of bear and wolves right next door at the center.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze. While standing at the end of canyon I gazed around for any sign that something could be a blaze.  About 1/4 mile south I spotted something and told my son that it might be the blaze. Most might not even spot this object unless really paying attention.  It was a radio tower with a beacon light.  The word beacon is also known as a blaze.  It is visible during the day but is clearly visible at night. This made me think that Forrest long ago told everyone they might want to take a flashlight and sandwich because the blaze was more evident at night.  I believed that the blaze was the red beacon on top of the radio tower.  In My War For Me, f talks about how the blink was winking at him.  The beacon on the tower also winks.  In that story he also talks about how some place was beaconing to him.  I thought that was an odd choice for wording when he could have said beckoning.  When I considered those things it seemed to add up. Also in his book and some recent replies to questions he uses red letters.  Where I began was a red light and the blaze is also a red light.  Red is also one of the colors in the rainbow.  Could the Firehole Ave. light and the beacon light be the beginning and the end of Forrest’s rainbow?

As for the sixth stanza I thought that Hear me all referred to Radio Rd. which is south of town that goes right to the blaze.  Forrest also mentions radio a number of times in other stories.  He also used the word canned for getting fired from his newspaper job.  Canned can also refer to pre-recorded radio.  Your effort will be worth the cold if you are brave and in the wood.  I was doing some internet research before we took our first trip and was studying West Yellowstone.  West Yellowstone is located on a very cold and heavily wooded plateau so that was good enough for me.  Also if you remember back to The Totem Café Caper Story, Forrest talks about Frosty’s polarity.  West Yellowstone sits almost exactly in the middle between the North Pole and the equator.

To conclude I must say that this area south of West Yellowstone does not contain Indulgence.  I did see new country, learned new things, made memories with my son that are priceless, and learned to adjust to the poem.  I took a total of three trips to this area with only two of them allowing for searches due to the weather.  Another searcher graciously searched for me this fall as well.  He shot some video which I appreciated very much.  F is correct when he says the poem is important.  It contains so much more than what you might expect.  I learned to see not read.

Hear Me All-

 

Spiritual Tranquility…


SUBMITTED NOVEMBER 2016
by 1idwillhe

 

willietreastrove I promised in my blog http://www.1idwillhe.wordpress.com I would write my first memoir of “The Hunt”, of my past expeditions…. When you first read the title you’re going to think this is one of those blogs telling us they don’t even care if they found the treasure just being outside in the nature was a treasure enough and gave me a spiritual, tranquil feeling….

Wrong..!!!!!   NOT THIS BLOG

Even though I have seen some beautiful scenery that I would never of seen if I wasn’t looking for the Bronze Chest … The title only means something I found on my last trip .. An Indiana Jones moment and those are the words that best described the Relic I found and I even have suspected video footage of the Treasure Chest and found a long-lost Indian ceremonial ground I call Area 51!!!…

Ahaaaaaa… Got your ATTENTION…..and don’t cheat and look at the pics below until you read the memoir just like Fenn’s poem from top to bottom or from the Mountain tops to the river beds…ff style so to speak

And let’s all be honest… Anyone who says they are not doing this for the Fame or Fortune or both is talking out of the hind end of one of Fenn’s mules… Sure there are some people who would donate some to certain charities and like myself if I found it there is a lot of churches and person(s) and organizations that I would gladly give money to for them to succeed because they helped me or I believe in what they stand for etc…

And I do see where it can create a bond with family, kids, and friends to go exploring in the wilderness and get away from the White Noise we have gotten so use too and took so much for granted by having ( it ) delivered to us by just a push of a button – Anyway off the soapbox and on to “The Hunt”

My Searcher name is 1idwillhe … I grew up with Goonies.. ( Hey you Guys !!!)  and Indiana Jones my name like in the movie Goonies…an anagram if you will…. one-eyed Willie is the Pirate who died with his treasure and made a map and a riddle so others could find it later…

goonies

ME AND MY YOUTH
As kids when winter was here we would walk on the river and creeks that were frozen solid this way we could explore more area without pushing thru all the vegetation like in spring.. Sometimes one of us would accidentally break thru with our snow boots and get freezing wet and cold the others would laugh but at the same time glad we all did not fall in the frigid water. You can cover twice as much ground with no trees or grass or weeds around you.

In springtime and summer we would build forts and make knives and spears out of farming chisel plow teeth and railroad spikes we found on the tracks, Staying up all night building huge fires and catching frogs for night catfishing, Maybe even sneaking into the neighbor’s garden or apple tree for a midnight snack.

We would go wandering in the woods with our BB guns pretending of being Mountain Men looking for gold, or big game, a lot of the times we would play Army Snipers like in Vietnam having 2 teams go against each other and if you was caught or shot by the plastic rattle of the toy M-16 or the AR gun sound effects we made with our mouths.. you had to act dead till there was only one person standing then it would decide what team was the winner …one of those kids became a real sniper/Navy Seal and was involved in getting a major terrorist that made world headlines …Soon after… he was sadly shot down months later along with his other comrades due to our governments ignorant rules of putting all of our eggs/talent in one basket and losing a lot of Americas Keepers by one RPG shooting down his helicopter while helping others in a fire fight

navysealflag

Anyway Now I am a 40 something year old guy… still with the need for adventure… I like to hike and fish, but don’t do it every week or even months sometimes….. I am only an average hiker my last big hike was climbing Mt. St. Helens alone and that was kinda freaky but exhilarating at the same time. I started up the trail through the woods for about 2 miles sunny and 75 degrees by the time I made it to the summit 5 hours later I was in a snow storm with 40 mile per hour winds and above most of the clouds. It took a toll on my body especially my knees I realized I didn’t have the proper training for this big of hike and learned the importance of the walking stick to ease the shock of stepping up and down the trail. Sometimes if you were off the main trail you had to jump over crevices 30 feet deep even tho they were not very wide if you fell accidentally you would never be found. Occasionally other hikers met me on the path galloping quickly up or down saying hi for a brief second and then gone again.

Once in a while we would talk and take a break with one another, taking pictures with each others cameras of the scenic view and to show our friends and family we actually did this. A lot of them had accents from other countries visiting Washington State just to hike this hibernating volcano that erupted May 18th, 1980..
It is a whole new atmosphere up there another world maybe that is why you see snow on some mountains even in the summer time and made me realize how small us humans really are.

mtsthelensaftermtsthelensbefore

I am a Tool and Die, Machinist, World Traveler, Inventor, Bartender, Welder, Web Designer, Programmer, Poker Player, last but not least A Treasure Hunter type guy by trade and love nature and wildlife… I wish I could say I get a lot of fresh air and do hikes every week but truthfully it comes rarely but always up for a challenge… I love the outdoors but don’t get to be in it as much as I want to due to the everyday stress of life.

 

wsoppoker

My Motto: You Only Live Once (Y.O.L.O.) and you write your own Memoirs;
Boring or Exciting…

I have been on other treasure hunts which has been on the news years back, where a guy wrote children’s books, with poems and drawings in it, and gave hints and clues to expensive custom-made insect replica jewelry made of diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, gold, and rubies etc… hidden throughout the USA in parks and nature areas.

So after hearing of this guy who was a Famous Art Dealer that hid a Roman Chest filled with Gold and Jewels… That got my attention !!

 

 

O CAN-A-DA moosestamp
My first encounter with the Great Outdoors was at age 14 when my best friend Andy asked me to canoe the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota with his uncle and 2 cousins from Wisconsin. We would be guided by 2 guys in their early 30’s that were kind of religious chaperones that knew the area, and taught us to survive out in the woods. His uncle was a pastor and this trip was supposed to be a spiritual awakening showing us what god has created and how beautiful it can be. We would row into Canada and look at some Indian petroglyphs along a cliff within the lake. We had to haul the canoes on our backs across many rods/yards to each different lake. We also had to carry all our gear and food with us for the week, the water, god furnished it the clean water was in the middle of the lake, and always in the middle of the lake which is safe for drinking, getting water near the edge you would feel ill like drinking the water from Mexico at a bad cantina from bacteria and E.coli. And talk about cold waters, I still haven’t experience that cold of waters now at even 40. This was hard work not easy at all I think we all became men that summer.

The one time that hooked me to the beauty of the outdoors was when we paddled into Canada and camped on a rock island in the middle of this big lake. Just got done eating and laying back on our sleeping bags staring at the gigantic black night sky with trillions of stars, hundreds of galaxies and a hint of greenish haze of Northern Lights. I have looked up there many times but when you have towns, vehicles, or street lights nearby stealing its grand view of the pitch of darkness it robs you of the heavens above.

While in awe it happens… a 2 hour-long meteor shower hits right over us we look at each other and smile not saying a word and continued watching this phenomenon for the first time.. for this Iowa boy it was magic like someone playing a marble game overhead… Us boys were in total bliss.

Doing that canoe trip I was hooked I knew my passion was being outdoors . Once I got older I would organize fishing trips into Canada. Sometimes it was just me and another friend or relative, but one year we had a full crew and that was a blast. We all stayed in this huge cabin that could hold 16 guys if needed all equipped with a fridge, stove, sink, fireplace, the utilities that needed electricity was adapted to LP because we was out in the Boonies and no such power was available.

My friend Bruce who looked like a mountain man with long hair and a gray handlebar mustache that hanged down passed his chin. He lived in Iowa in the winter but him and his family owned land near Ignace and Upsala Ontario near English River. They had 4 cabins and building another that year he would move up to the resort mid-April and come back in October. He offered fishing for Walleye and Northerns and Bear and Moose Hunts. These were the days I got use to logging roads, up in Canada each good lake you have to travel 15 miles of rough riding logging roads eventually you get pissed off going so slow and eating Bruce’s dust from his truck guiding ahead by day 2 you don’t give a crap if you scratch the sides of your vehicle from the evergreens or damage your shocks or even blow a tire.. it was hammer time the faster you go the more rocks you skip over which remarkably gave you a smoother ride.

One time Bruce loaned us his half red half rusty F-150 Ranger that he put over 150,000 miles on it and these were tough miles and all the scrapes and dents on the body proved it… I am not even sure the 4×4 worked but he did have a monster winch in front that he claimed got him out of a lot of hairy situations. He told us about this good Northern lake that had boats already there from a bear hunt earlier in the week, he said take the beast the Ford and hed down there. That was awesome because we didn’t have to haul boats and motors with our vehicles and that would save us a little gas so we can stay more at camp than traveling back into town for fuel. And we was itching for a mighty Pike 6 of us guys piled in the cab and box of the truck driving to the secret spot and singing in the woods to the cassette tape of the Kentucky Headhunters “Spirit in the Sky” A few miles from arriving at the fishing spot we stumbled upon some black bears a mother and her 3 cubs. They all froze looking our way like we were some kind of aliens bellowing to that awful commotion off the radio and us trying to sing along. The bears shaking their heads while they ran for the trees.

Those summer Canada nights with the smell of evergreens in the air were awesome, we would tell stories, laugh, and eat fresh fish or my famous Chili while drinking Labatts Blue Light 6 guys 10 cases of beer 4 days and no hangover, I always thought it was because of the abundance of clean oxygen from the vast forest of Ontario.

In Canada one of the practical jokes I would like to play is Bruce had a dog named “Hey You” a gray hound and if you were new to fishing here and didn’t know any better you would think Bruce was talking to you or himself and then I would play along while both of us was just talking to the dog “Hey You” “Get Over here” “Hey You” “ Are you hungry” finally I would tell my fishing buddy victim that” Hey You” was the dog’s name.. Good times…. Lol

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So as you see I have a passion for fishing also years later I would go to Cancun and try my luck Ocean fishing catching Mahi Mahi, Barracuda, and big Sailfish. Cancun is beautiful and especially around non springbreaker times and I really liked the looks of the jungle around the outskirts of Mexico; outside the tourist area. One afternoon we took a day trip to Tulum with ancient ruins still there.. it was 100 degrees but it was still fascinating to me just trying to envision hundreds of Aztecs and Mayans inhabiting this area. They said this use to be a trading place where Spaniards would drive their ships near the beach and come to shore to trade guns, spices, and liquors for gold, jewels, and hides .. This beach is still one of the most gorgeous sands I have seen and the year before they had a Sports Illustrated Swimming Suit Edition shoot here and the beach made the cover of the magazine. All these experiences made me what I am today the need to travel see the world and its new customs and partake in its adventures – Y.O.L.O.

Just like searching for an Ancient Roman Bronze Chest named Indulgence…and the need to find a good fishing hole and catch some Brown/Rainbow Trout..

 

 

THE HUNT
This year I went to New Mexico and went to the area that I found unique clues that no one has talked about on any blog, interview, or website about the location of Home of Brown; I Scoped out the territory within the week i was allowed due to my remaining vacation days and my work place being slow in production and found some interesting data of the lay of the land and terrain,….

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On my first trip in August after doing extensive research we arrived at the locale I wanted to check first. We went down a well-known trail and scoured the country side along the river trying to piece the poem and the location together, The sun was hot and it was sucking the water out of our bodies without my cousin or I even knowing about it, we thought we brought a lot of water for each of us… but as the day went on, little did I know my cousin wouldn’t feel good and he started getting dizzy I had him sit down in a shaded area under a tree and told him to cool down with the cold water from the river.

We was down in the canyon and the day was about to turn to night and we had a good hour of climbing back to the top. I learned some valuable lessons that day on how the Wilderness could NOT be your friend. In my blog I persist on telling new hikers to bring plenty of water with them. Luckily after relaxing in the wind and shade and drinking the last of the water he felt better and we both made it out just after dark.

Another valuable lesson I stress to Fenn Fanatics – Keep an open mind sometimes you have to let go of your Solve, It might not be the correct Home of Brown or Where Warm Waters Halt or even the right Blaze they might actually fit the puzzle and poem and you think it has to be it.

Then you need to step back !! Look at the situation, don’t use up valuable energy searching at that specific area all day;.. and always make sure your out of harms way, still have water and time to make it to camp or safety before dark …if needed go back the next day and continue searching.

The next day I wanted to hit this special trail, it rained overnight and we checked out the road prior to the day before. While driving to the trail, I noticed the roads were getting ruts in them and it was getting greasy.. Eventually we made it to the canyon and started walking down the trail when I noticed my boots getting heavier from the mud and just a few feet in front of me was this huge paw from a Mountain Lion or something big… it was the size of my fist and sunk in the mud a half of an inch meaning it was heavy and large… Kurt said I don’t want to tangle with a lion or be his lunch we only had a .22 cal pistol which would have probably just tickled the cat.

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I agreed and thought we would hit it the next day which would allow the sun to dry up the trail and make it easier to walk down to the river and canyon. I had another location in mind it was farther away but fits 3 hints in the book.. we drove the white bomber down a level B road and wishing I rented a jeep as we bounced back and forth on a mud road with bowling ball sized rocks used for fill. Now I know why the local cattlemen and loggers have these expensive full-size trucks in the area.

An hour later while my kidneys were numb we made it to the spot and walked to edge of the cliff looking for a trail nearby and found nothing. Getting out the spotting scope I notice a few bends along the river a weird rock formation staring at me. My mind was hearing “Who Who – who who” yes it was a magnificent owl shaped rock with big eyes looking up at us, The day was getting late and the road was getting rougher, I am sure there was a trail nearby but daylight was not on my side and I decided to come back with a high clearance 4×4 vehicle.

The last day of the August trip we rose up early in the morning to hit that spot hard, trying to find a trail that Mr. Fenn could easily hike down to the canyon floor. Driving to the area we stopped at a scenic lookout to see if anything pops out at us and then while walking back to the car.. Kurt noticed it.. A big gouge in the sidewall of our front tire.. Damn it I yelled!!.. I knew there is rarely anyone able to fix a tire, let alone get a new tire in the area. I told Kurt we were screwed and won’t be able to find “How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll of a tootsie roll pop”?? – slang for heading to location of Owl rock formation – we now had to head back to town base camp and see if anyone has a tire and install it on the car before we leave home early the next morning.

Thank god.. the tire held its air 20 miles till town and we found a shanty garage hidden behind a motel the guy was huge, looking like one of ZZ Tops brother with overalls I thought to myself if he can’t do it we would have to travel to Taos on a donut tire… The guy was real nice took out his cell phone with a credit card scanner attached to it… dusted off his computer and ordered us a tire that was being delivered their first thing in the morning.
We left the car there overnight and walked back to base camp and had a few cocktails with the locals going over our trip in our heads wishing we had more time…

While discouraged traveling back home to Iowa and thinking of the vast territory I realized we need More Eyeballs to find the blaze, My cousin and I isn’t enough people to search in this grand locale – I’d rather split the riches with a dozen or fewer people than go home empty again…

I started this Blog to find other Searchers or Partners behind the Scenes to be part of the Team that Solves the Puzzle and gives Forrest his Bracelet Back !!!
I have 4 areas that fit the poem all in the same location i am certain it is in one of them but we need searchers to track this blaze..

Fenn said so himself, he knows people was within 200 feet and never found it –
And I think I know where and don’t want to be another person walking by it.

 

 

THE VIDEO
Feeling pissed off about not accomplishing all the trails and scenic spots on the August trip. Especially the one with the paw print and not getting down seeing the owl up close had me biting my fingernails with eagerness to make one small trip before winter…

One thing I know I need is more eyeballs or other searchers helping us look for that darn Blaze. In these wide open spaces locating a blaze in which you don’t know what that blaze is a “F” or petroglyphs on rocks or trees, white or orange object or rock formations or a bronze jar or Cairn on top of ordinary rocks who knows??…. How am I going to search all this territory with acres of hiding spots galore?… Which I think is the location??

Then while looking at Dal’s site it hit me… Create my own blog… and make a resume application asking other searchers, hikers, enthusiasts, puzzle-solvers to join forces and create a one of a kind team with certain expertise that will help in any situation…
We all sign a contract to keep it fair and give updates to members who can’t travel with us at the time on Facebook and my website….

So off to WordPress and I started creating my website, September was here and fall was starting to change the leaves of the trees and here in Iowa farmers were harvesting their corn and beans and in the back of my mind I still wanted to head back to New Mexico before winter but thought it would have to wait till 2017 and then I saw it… Doing some research….

I saw the bronze chest in a video I have… My heart started racing and I felt my blood pressure sky-rocket, it was here all the time I bet I watched that clip 100 times and never noticed it…

I looked around to see if anybody saw me smiling and laughing in a mischievous way… I kept my secret for a few days and analyzed the video and area it was in and even compared the size with some trout swimming near it that I copied and pasted next to it for reference.

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I showed my girlfriend and few others that I trusted and got their opinion … what does that look like? Some didn’t even know I was looking for a treasure chest and said it looks like a box in the water… I said Precisely !!!… as they looked at me in a dumbfounded way thinking why are you showing me this?

Well that decided it … I told my girlfriend, family, and work I am heading back to New Mexico very soon before winter. I had to check out that area and claim Fenn’s Trove before the snow and ice come and spring of 2017 brings high waters… So I planned the next few weeks ahead, changing and switching  some dates.. because I am a proud Godfather of 2 boys my sister has and had a baptism on a prior date that I forgot … so i decided to go before I was leaving to the Bahamas on a cruise with my GF she was not very happy.. But understood I had to go.

Kurt was onboard and we set a guaranteed date leaving Thursday night after work and drive all night 16 hours later we would arrive at the destination and start hiking that morning.
Kurt and I taking turns driving and getting little cat naps now and then knowing the morning will bring on a big hike to where we saw a big cats paw and we hope he wasn’t napping there. This time I was smart and retired the white bomber and rented a SUV with higher clearance than my car. This rental made driving to the canyon a breeze with dry roads and small ruts. It was a sunny cool day mid 60s perfect for claiming the prize and hoping the chest is still there.

After an hour hiking we made it to the area and knew the last few hundred feet will be hectic trekking thru 8ft tall grass and bushes and a few boulders the size of VW Beetles. The river was moving fast and I prayed it was still there I had my metal detector and waterproof boots on ready for the challenge..

Kurt stayed behind with the walkie-talkie and I ventured another 100 more feet trying to match my laminated picture with the real location of this beautiful marvel gaze view and finally,…… I found it.

But… I don’t see the box anymore I was on the opposite side so i looked for a shallow place to cross the river and get a closer look 15 min. later upstream I saw a place and I braved the cold toward the woods on the other side and BOY was it cold !!! – Remember don’t try this at home I looked for a shallow spot not wanting to get carried away by High waters, I took my time and used my walking stick for stability and checking for deep holes walking slowly across…

Well I was already wet so once on the other side I stayed near the water’s edge and looked for the box shape in the picture, it could not be found… But there was a bigger rock near it that may have been it in the clip the water was above the shape in the video which from a higher zoomed angle from a camera made it look smaller…Crap !

I did take my metal detector to the area and did get some beeps but no chest thinking after all these years rocks may have piled on top of it and buried it or someone else took it…

Oh well at least now I know it is not there and I can sleep at night..

Time to look at Option Area #2 . Leaving the area I took a short cut on a downed tree around the annoying tall grass looking in the rock crevices along the way. We made it back to the top of the canyon and hed back to base camp to get ready for Location #2 the next day.

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Water levels were low that revealed rock that looked similar to chest underwater

 

 

THE RELIC
Day 2 of our short weekend trip we are leaving tomorrow and driving all day so I can make it to work on Monday… Area #2 is a new trail I haven’t been on yet I wanted to do in August but ran out of time its steep but not very long in length and think it could be right up Fenn’s alley of a one afternoon trip hike.. Driving near Taos we arrived at the gorgeous surroundings we quickly grabbed our backpacks and started down the canyon. Just a few yards down the path a Rattle Snake came across my lane and coiled up looking at me … hissing at me telling me don’t go down this trail Evil lurks below… Hind sight 22…. Kurt said I will stay up top… he is petrified of snakes, I called him a Wuss and pushed the snake toward the bushes and walked down the path.

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The trail is not kept in shape and had a lot of loose rock and pebbles on it, one wrong slip and down head first into the canyon… Maybe the snake was telling me something???
Half way down the cliff I saw a pathway stretch off the trail slightly I investigated it and noticed a bench carved in the side of the cliff staring at the other side of the cliff and waters below..

I thought cool and sat down had a drink of water looking at the Marvel Gaze. Eventually I made down the trail and next to the water’s edge Where that darn 8ft tall grass was…again this grass or bush has half-inch diameter wood stalks so you can get on your knees and see the path but if you stand up walking all you see is leaves and hear the roar of the river nearby.. I walked slowly bent over and made out some rabbit paths which got me to the water’s edge and what a view!!!

I found some cool beaches and made a video of some rushing water of High loads, I bet the fishing is great here… Kurt chimed in later on the talkie asking if I made it all right I said yes.. you Wuss.. I should be back up shortly, I explored a few hundred yards downstream and then I see it…AAAAAAhhhAAAAAhhhhh… A scary Female statue or Buddha just sitting all by herself looking at the calm peaceful waters looking spiritual and tranquil minding her own business.. Suddenly I have the theme song to Indiana Jones in my head… Dundada da Dun da dahh…. Dundada da DunDun Dun da dash….

I held that cast object in my hand and thought of the Temple of Doom where all those zombie like India guys were possessed by evil if you look close she has a cutoff hand and little heads for a necklace a gold nose ring and a wicked tattoo scar on her forehead and what looks like blood on her lips.. it don’t get any weirder than that…I put it back not wanting bad Karma or DID I HMMMMM ???…

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Update: After doing research on this statue it was not a Buddha but a Black Magic Hindu God named Kali.. I found this out by being on the Carnival Cruise ship when leaving for the Bahamas a few weeks later, there are a lot of foreigners around the world work on these ships for 7 months at a time. I asked some of the people from India and they said it was Kali she is a powerful entity and works in evil ways. They told me to not even touch it because myths even claim you will be under her power and have bad luck . They was shocked where I told them I found it and claimed that is not a normal place where Kali would be worshiped.

indiana

While heading back thru the tall grass I lost my way and ended upstream from the entry of the trail .. the bad luck was already beginning… I started climbing the cliff to get above this NBA basketball team tall grass and hopefully spot the trail, when I stumbled upon a cave that might have been used for hunters or fisherman or Indians of long ago, I explored it awhile noticing a concealed fire pit and looked over the field of tall grass to where I thought I walked pass the trail for the climb up…

Climbing down that ledge of the cliff which gave me the birds eye view of where I need to be…. I remembered the Rattle Snake and hope I wouldn’t put my hand or boot on a rock ledge and get bit… A few minutes later I was back on the ground and pushing my way thru the weeds still thinking of the movie clip in Raiders of the Lost Ark where the black tarantula spiders and webs was all over Indiana and I hoping, praying no spiders land on me or ticks for that matter.

Up the trail I go and made it to the top in good time after a few short water breaks the day was getting hotter and Kurt was up top bored acting brave telling some other girl hikers that there was rattlers down there so be careful. It was early enough to check out my next spot I call Area 51 we hopped in the SUV and headed south to explore this mysterious area.

 

 

AREA 51

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Area 51 is a unique place while searching from the sky near the OWL rock formation I think I found an Indian ceremonial site or dwellings not on Tribal land and I was going to drive as far as we can and trek the rest of the way to find out what was there ..it definitely looked interesting from the sky.
I don’t think it has nothing to do with the treasure but at the same time I am in the exploring mood and finding some history of Indians of days gone by is just what the doctor ordered for the last day of the trip.
We had to take the long way to get to it which was ok I had fun checking out the small towns of beautiful New Mexico. We crossed the river while driving on those bowling ball roads for an hour and noticed a family of Bighorn sheep on the cliff. Digging my kidneys out of my throat from all the bouncing from ruts and rocks we see the area and looked for some type of road closer to the canyon so we didn’t have to walk so far because the day was about to end. What was uncommon is we actually saw a lot of trucks on this desolate gravel highway, Kurt and I looked at each other and wondered if there was a sale of Kachina dolls somewhere or what?

We had to turn around because the road was taking us away from the location. I was driving a rented 2016 Nissan Rogue and sagebrush scratching the sides would not be good for this new paint job, while turning a big gray truck approached us slowly and a guy heavily armed was staring at us thru his window. I said hi and noticed it was a Game Warden with an Arsenal of guns near him.

I asked why all of the traffic out here in no-mans land of the desert. He said an elk hunt is going on and this is also some logging grounds also. I told him the area I like to be in and he suggested we might want to go back a mile and look for a road near the mountain that will take you closer to the cliffs edge.

He looked at my fancy smancy vehicle at mentioned it might not have enough clearance for some parts of the road. We laughed and was bound determined to see these Indian images I saw from the sky. We hed back a mile and started slowly down this road with low tire tracks in the lane and a high center and you don’t dare drive cockeyed with one tire in the middle hump and one in the tire groove due to the sharp sagebrush sticks scratching your car. I tried going about another ½ mile down the road and realized it’s not worth wrecking the underside of the car and having it look like a psycho ex-girlfriend keying your vehicle that the rental car company owns.

It was getting late and dark in a couple of hours so I swallowed my pride and told Kurt we will have to come back next year with a jeep. Farewell Area 51 I will see you in 2017

 

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Some of the places and events of this story/memoir have remained confidential due to future hunts in 2017… I will be checking a BB gun site location and a “W” location a Hoya location and a Brown Bear Trail, Search again in-depth the Relic Kali area, The Owl Rock Formation and exploring a petroglyph near a hot spring and definitely Area 51

From the words of the Terminator

terminator

If you would like to Join the Team go to my website “The Hunt”
http://www.1idwillhe.wordpress.com

1idwillhe-

 

 

Angel Fire Loop Tour…

SUBMITTED NOVEMBER 2016
by CYNTHIA

 

11-09-2016 (Day after Presidential election)

I awoke this morning and immediately checked the news…the election results were confirmed from nervously watching the results on the news last night before retiring. This morning’s immediate financial reaction was stocks were dipping, pesos hit a record low, and the value of gold was soaring. Wait a minute! What? Did this mean I should go searching for Fenn’s chest filled with 20.2 troy pounds of gold. YES. YES…but where to go? I didn’t have time to research the poem and come up with new solves. So I stood here in my library perusing the giant wall map of the Carson National Forest and the Enchanted Circle.

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I hate to admit that I’m really stuck on this general vicinity, and I’m not ready to completely rule it out as the location of Fenn’s hidden treasure trove. Having spent a lot of time lately researching place names to match his clues in Scrapbook 107, I can’t forget the name on the envelope…U Puceet. Is Fenn saying “up-you-see-it”? Is he telling us to look up…like at a nest? Like at an eagle’s nest? Hmmm…ever since he ruled out that WWWH is not a dam, most searchers stopped going to Eagle Nest, but could it mean something else? Is this still the road less traveled?

I grabbed my backpack, put Molly in the truck, and texted Michelle that I was going on a “drive”…I wasn’t sure exactly where I was headed but Eagle Nest would be on the itinerary and I wouldn’t be home before dark. I have really tired of the “low” road to Taos as well as the “high road to Taos” so decided on I-25 and the Santa Fe Trail once again. The best thing about going that way is stopping in Las Vegas for breakfast… I found the first two treasures of my morning at Pedro’s on Grand Street. A personal-size pineapple upside down cake and a peach-filled Danish, to go. The nice lady behind the counter wrapped them up and put them in a sack which I immediately placed beneath the seat to keep Molly’s drool from landing on it. We’d partake of one of them after the next stop… Charlie’s Bakery and Café on Douglas Ave where I picked up a bag of freshly made tortillas that I would take home.

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Eating at Charlie’s has always been a treat, too, as it is a “special place” in itself. This next picture is for Forrest… I think I once heard that he likes eclairs.

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Back to the truck I went and exchanged the pack of tortillas for Molly. I figured by now she might need a potty break and I wasn’t sure where or when the next stop would be. The walk in the weeds behind the parking lot was successful, and now it was time to eat one of those delicious-looking goodies. I shared the Danish with her… she snapped each bite from my fingers like a hungry pirannha. Then off we went again, my fingers still intact…into the wild blue yonder of northern New Mexico.

I decided to stay on the Santa Fe Trail once again. I really like the idea of Fenn using the poem to lead us from his house to the treasure. Wouldn’t it be funny if the dotted line indicating the Santa Fe Tail on this monument is right? I mean this could be a roadmap to Fenn’s gold!

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Traveling north on Hwy518, I stopped long enough to take a picture of Hermit Peak…from the east this time, looking west AT it.

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The rolling hills of the highlands and plains to the east of me were just as bucolic. The green fields were fading into their winter brown but still magnificent. I wondered if the driver of the lone truck on the rightside of below photo would agree.

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By now I had pretty much made up my mind to do a HUGE loop “tour”. I continued north on 518 to Mora, a fairly small community who earlier settlers called San Antonio de lo de Mora, or “stopping place”. Maybe warm waters halt there as well. Regardless, for anyone interested, look up Mora in The Place Names of New Mexico…there are about half a dozen clues from the poem that fit this area. I found this road plaque on the way to Mora in the picture below interesting. Who knew? I mean about the sandstone “hogbacks”…

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I had been through the Mora Valley once prior in a treasure search to reach the upper Pecos Wilderness by way of the Rio la Casa to Walker Flats.

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What I remembered most were all the little pink houses…as John Cougar Mellencamp put it,

“Ain’t that America, home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses for you and me…”

How appropriate for this particular day! I rolled down my window to take pictures of a few of these little pink houses…I could smell the wood smoke from their fires used to warm the cool morning air.

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Soon I entered the village of Cleveland made famous by its Roller Mill Museum. I did not stop at the mill this trip…I was on a mission. I did stop and take a couple pictures of the old Cassidy & Sons Country Store. This was where I needed to turn and follow the Rio la Casa to Walker Flats, and had a most difficult time finding this building. I mean the building was easy to find…it was the faded name that was difficult to see.

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I continued north and in a few more miles came to an even smaller village named Holman. Then I saw this road sign in the picture below. Holy crap, I had missed my turn-off for Rt434 in Mora to get to Angel Fire. I chuckled and made an immediate u-turn.

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Well, hell, I missed the turn onto Rt434 again and I was looking for it. Did fate just hand me four cards and a joker…should I turn around and go home? Was this an omen for something menacing about to happen? Screw it, I turned around once again and this time turned onto 434! I smiled, looked at Molly, and admitted I really wasn’t paying close enough attention to the details, apparently. She wagged her tail…not seeming to care.

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In a few miles I was passing the Alpaca Farm…once again, I just stopped in my lane, rolled down the window, and snapped away. This is one of the best things about parts of New Mexico, as well as the other three treasure states…there just ain’t much traffic once you leave the city!

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I continued north on the increasingly narrow, twisting road, the broad pastural valley filled with cows and alpacas giving way to the steeper sides of forest as we made our way to Coyote Creek State Park. It was time to stretch our legs and use the bathroom. Oh, there’s a sign there saying you have to pay the $5 daily use fee just to use the toilet… this time, I think NOT. We were like stealths…stretched our legs, took care of business, and moved on.

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In a mile we reached the forewarned road construction. I didn’t mind as I chatted with Javier holding the “STOP” sign and marvel gazed at the big-people Tonka toys. I wanted to drive this one…I bet it could help find Fenn’s treasure.

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Finally the “stop” sign twisted to “slow”, and on Molly and I went, following Coyote Creek and climbing in elevation as we made our way to the top of the plateau. As we crested the hill, the trees thinned and gave way to this… Wheeler Peak standing majestically off in the distance, the Sange de Cristo range filling the horizon… breath-taking.

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So many pictures still to be taken. The entrance to the Angel Fire Country Club…

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Deer crossing the street in Angel Fire during the middle of the afternoon…this is why I drive with my camera on my lap.

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It was painfully slow driving through Angel Fire as the deer gave way to a few slow-moving vehicles in front of me. I impatiently drummed on the steering wheel, trying to move them faster. By now it was 2:30 and I still had probably 20 miles until I got to Maverick Trail where I planned to walk to the Falls with Molly. JeremyP had posted a really good solve in this area…I really like Touch-Me-Not Mountain.

The slow-pokes turned west and off I zoomed now that I was on Hwy 64. I blazed through Eagle Nest, climbed the hill, and entered Cimarron Canyon State Park, another fee area. I quickly made our way past the Palisades stopping to take a few pictures…

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…. drove into the Maverick Creek Campground where we walked to the creek and pond and then on to the parking area at the Trailhead to Maverick Falls. I had never hiked this trail and there were 2 choices…the narrow one beside the big sign that said Maverick Trail, and the one with the chain saying “closed”. I opted for the narrow one. It was mid-afternoon, the day-light seemed to be dimming. This is a fairly steep canyon so the light was giving way to dusk, or so it seemed. I hated this trail from the initial climb up the steep bank. The soft golden leaves of autumn had gotten brown and brittle and slippery, and made the trail more obscure than I liked. I had no GPS co-ordinates and wasn’t positive this was the way to the Falls. Thank God I had Molly on a leash as she hauled my butt up over that embankment. There certainly was no way Forrest climbed up and down this trail with the chest and then the treasure. We went a bit farther since it leveled off but I still had a bad feeling about going any farther this late in the afternoon. A few pictures more, and we turned around. I decided to follow what I thought was the old-logging road now overgrown with vegetation down the hillside that was so miserable climbing up. I figured it would come out where the chain crossed the other “choice”. Well, I was wrong…this trail seemed to end in low-growing shrubs that I easily navigated but it was harder for Molly to bushwhack through. Finally, we reached the truck…

I was hungry so figured Molly must be too…I dug the second of the breakfast treasures out from beneath the seat. I gave Molly bites of the cake while I ate the pineapple slice smothered in a buttery brown sugar glaze, topped with candied pecan pieces and a maraschino cherry in the center. It was delicious, and the perfect mood-enhancer, after that miserable hike.

I was in great spirits again…maybe there was rum in that tasty pastry but I didn’t think so. There was still no traffic as we made our way east towards Ute Park and Cimarron, probably a good thing as I held my 35 mm Nikon up to my face and snapped pictures through the windshield as I drove. Some came out good, others not so much.

I love Cimarron for all sorts of reasons…the giant sign on each end of town says it is “Where the Rockies meet the Plains.” I concur…it also has old and new historical districts, but best of all, it is home to the St. James Hotel, a place where Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett and other old-western outlaws spent the night. It is also HAUNTED…supposedly. I stayed there once in one of the haunted rooms. Even got up at the witching hour 2 or 3 am, I forget, and tried to find ghosts and spirits, nada. But we did end up with a reflection of a guy in a mirror slinking sideways in the corner of the bar. The next day when we looked in the bar…there was no mirror. Pretty cool…can’t wait to go back.

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We continued south on Rt21 through the sprawling Philmont Scout Ranch, where deer were abundant. I rolled the windows down so Molly could enjoy the wildlife viewing…she understands the word “animals” and seemed to enjoy the first hundred. I enjoyed every last one of them.

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We were still on the Santa Fe Trail, and there were frequent signs to remind us. The Philmont Scout Ranch would be a perfect place to search for Fenn’s treasure chest, if it weren’t the Philmont Scout Ranch…private property. So many good clues here, and I especially like the Tooth-of-Time land formation and ridge. What if the word-that-is-key is “Time”…what if that is how we unlock the clues in the poem?

On we went to Rayado where this is one of my favorite non-clues but should defintely be a clue…I mean, look at this. EX spells “X” and there are two upside down omegas.

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We passed by the few buildings comprising Rayado, made our way through Miama, and on to Springer where we hopped up onto I-25 for the ride home.

The orange-ish sky was now fading to twilight and the horizon was a dark silhouette to the southwest. I could make out the outlines of numerous antelope along the fence to the west.
The night sky gradually increased in size as the daylight faded to black…

There was almost no traffic between Springer and Las Vegas. The half-moon blazed out my side window and there was a planet as bright as any star in front of me…it looked like a starburst in the shape of a cross. Patsy Cline softly sang Crazy through the radio…Molly slept on her pillow in the backseat. It was a time to reflect…

I thought about all the people who waved or nodded their head when I passed by today…was it because I drive a pickup truck and look like a local, or were they unusually happy? Were they as elated to have the acrimonious campaigns over as I was? The vitriolic spewing of words during Sunday NFL football was almost enough to make me stop watching until the election was over. But I was totally calm now…driving is soothing to me, and it worked. Regardless of ones political persuasion or convictions, I think John Cougar Mellencamp still has it right…

“Ain’t that America, home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses for you and me…”

Eleven hours, 400 plus miles, and 200 photographs later, Molly and I made it home. We are resting comfortably in front of our juniper fire…oh wait, it was Forrest that said that. We are just resting comfortably, happy to be home, and happy to be living in America!

To see more pictures, click on this link:
https://cmeachum.smugmug.com/Angel-Fire-Loop-Drive

Peace!

Cynthia and Molly