Season Five…

by Diggin Gypsy


13.300 miles,   2 pairs of boots,  new set of tires,  3 lost flash lights,  50 bottles of Advil.  Went thru 3 backpacks  and always lost the bear spray.  Someone on the ride always had a head cold. Don’t matter when we went someone always was sick  and shared it  with the rest of us. We’re gonna start wearing those mask the Chinese wear. Smart people them Chinese 😷🤧   Then we always had the one that was always hungry, we made them hike with a picnic in their back pack.    The one who always had to use the bathroom carried the toilet paper.  I won’t mention who that was 😂. What a team we made!   If one couldn’t hike up a hill to look in a pile of rocks the other one did.  That was mainly Charissa and Melani. I watched for grizz at the bottom of the hill.
We also learned throughout the years that no matter if your 5 feet away or 10 feet away you cannot hear each other holler;  bring walky-talkies, they come in handy. Otherwise you spend half your time looking for each other instead of looking for the treasure, and then we all hike back mad and fighting, “where the heck was you?”, hehe.
Five years of searching we have tread thru every darn huge bush. Y’all know which ones. The ones that turn fire red and leave marks all over ya and the bees and birds hide in them. From Hebgan Lake to clear beyond Earthquake Lake  them dang bushes have been searched. Hate them bushes every stump or log along the Madison and hebgan has been overturned more than twice hills have been walked and walked again, and again. and again.
So what was suppose to be an easy drive/hike right up to our spot on one of our trips  ended up in days of long hikes down that road to Horse Butte. We walked all the way to Edwards Peninsula. One minute sunshine, the next minute a darn blizzard. First day was fun. Second day it was a job. Third day I wanted to kill my sister. Fourth day the gate opened and I realized I was now crippled and could barely move my legs to get out of the truck to search within 5 feet.
So I sat in the truck eating Fritos while I told them where to look.
Here was one of our many blazes.
Yeah! A line of white marble rock all the way across the mountain.
Now where is down? lol
Well no treasure there so we decided to look for gold in a creek instead.
This year we hiked thru tall swamp grass and we searched thru all the Lilly ponds outside of West Yellowstone.
We have totally lost all fear from animals. The first year, ohh  my god, every sound we heard sent cold chills up our spines. Five years later we’re brave Viking women.
Searching is so much fun for us, I don’t care if all we walk away with is an old coke bottle and a piece of an arrowhead, and maybe a ole fish hook of the ole coots off the Madison. We have fun fighting and making memories.
We camp and we eat cheap.
And when it gets too cold in your tent, you go to the Madison Hotel and get the cheap room for $75 and share a full bed with your sister. Desperate times call for desperate measures!
Horrible nights sleep.  The things we do to find a treasure. We had to share a bathroom with 20 other people. That was rough!  I’d rather share with the animals in the woods. None-the-less, 2017 was a fun year of searching with my team of Diggin Gypsys. Can’t wait to see what adventures are ahead of us for season six!!!!
ps: Stay away from Bessie. She doesn’t like visitors. She is one mad cow!
Goodbye 2017
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-


Snakes Galore…



I’ve searched around thirty times I’ve run into all sorts of animals in Montana. But this time was  where I became a little meek ok a lot meek . I start my day by eating at the campfire lodge with my sister.  We always sit at the table by the wall so we can see the osprey dive for the fish    Showing the fly fisherman how it’s done .

After breakfast we head to the mountains. My sister made a pole with rebar on the end to poke in the ground and the cracks in rocks.

We looked in every pokey juniper bush and around every sappy pine full of pollen and shuffled thru every sage bush scaring all the birds. One bird looked at me and raised his feathers at me like you can’t see me now haha.  By the third day we started searching the rocks.

This is why I think Forrest said it will take an Indiana Jones type. Snakes were everywhere. Not just one but everywhere we searched around rocks they were glaring at us like come on its no place for the meek. The more my sister poked around the more they slithered toward me. We were on a rock cliff over looking the water.  We are climbing in the hole mechetti and pokey pole in hand.
“Hand me a flashlight.” Melani says, “I found something.”
I said “What?”
She pulls out a white urn…

photo 1

Yep we found Doc. I think he beat Forrest to his special place. Then we tried to put doc back after we apologize to him and explain why we’re in his hidey hole. Right as we try to stash him back in there out slithers a snake then another snake and another snake. Holy mackerel we stirred up a snake nest. Mel says “Run Marti!”
I can’t, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place holding doc in my hand.

photo 3

photo 2


All of a sudden I felt all my strength leave me. Poor ole doc rolled down the hill as I layed him down because I had to grab onto sage brush to get back up on the hill. Melani grabbed Doc in one hand and the mâchétti in the other. She is definitely more flexible than me.



The snakes were glareing at us to give Doc back so when we got to the top of the hill we had to roll doc slowly down to a crevice close to where he used to rest. I like to think we saved him from snakes and now he is in a better place 🙂 . We felt like heroes. The rest of the day we encountered more snakes.

photo 4

I don’t think I like looking in June.  Snakes were sunbathing on every rock and under rotted tree stumps.

The moral of my story is animals rule the state of Montana. Searchers beware! Definitely no place for the meek or weak.







Imagination Runs Wild…

Submitted May 2014


Warm waters halt = Hebgan Lake
Take it in the canyon down = Canyon below the dam
Not far but too far to walk = Drive
Put in below home of brown = Hebgan lil side road to the ghost village u park
From there it’s no place for the meek because it’s a ghost village

photo 5

So we get out of the truck and start hiking  till our end is ever drawing nigh, looking for heavy loads and water high. I assume this means the log jams at beaver creek.

There will be no paddle up your creek telling us don’t go that way so we search for a blaze.


We found a blazing “F” on an Aspen tree.  We looked quickly down and saw nothing but our feet and the river.

photo 4

We move on to then find this cool horse shoe beer can 🙂
I was thinking, “Dang! my lucky day”. Next day we come back to the same spot and looked even harder. We left no rock unturned and no bush or goose undisturbed.

The Australian cameraman Nick was with us that day when two huge moose starting charging at us.
Now we had just had a group talk about bears. “(ok) if we see a bear no one run”.  Me and Libbi saw them moose and thought well hell it ain’t a bear, Runnnnn anyway. Poor Aussie Nick left standing there with camera and tripod lol. Thank god the moose ran up hill.

So then I take pics of everything I find on the ground. I found a glove a really nice one. Then Charissa found the other one after I thru mine back down.


We walked a lil further and found a ole red car fan or boat motor stuck in the ground by a log. I wanted to shove it in my back pack but we were being filmed :-).  So all the hiking and filming ended.

The day we were to go home I looked at the book. “Dang!!” I shouted to my sisters and Libbi Dibbi. “We found it haha.”

photo 2

I was looking at the pic of that page in the book that has the initials JF under it. I saw them propellers look just like the fan to me, and over JF was a three blade emblem. That’s the only pic in the book that I found that had initials. I figured it meant “just Forrest“.

photo 3

Seemed to me Forrest made it a scavenger hunt. After you find the blaze then imagination comes into play. Remember he said all you need is a flashlight and a sandwich I figured because the rest of the stuff is laying around out there. We’ll that was my thought anyway .

We’ll no treasure around the fan blade or the “F” lol.  But it sure was a heck of a good ending to my treasure hunt in Montana.

-Diggin Gypsy