Forrest has stated everything in the poem is deliberate and placed there for a reason. Along with the words of the poem, the commas, semi colon, and the apostrophes’ all play their part to unlock the poem.
Forrest also said all you need is the book, poem, Google Earth, and a good map, a good map is an understatement, it must be the right map. Forrest served in the military, the military uses topographical (topo) maps, because they show greater detail and information about a given area. However, it is not just the type, but what edition to use as well. Forrest tells us he got cancer in 1988, and during this time, he began his plans for the chase. The right map to use for the chase is the USGS topographical map edition of 1988. The reason for this edition is it contains information that later editions change or do not show.
What is so important about using topo maps is elevation. Forrest has told us the treasure is between 5000ft and 10,00ft, the places on the map we are looking for to correspond with the poem’s clues are altitude markers. My War For Me, notice how Forrest mentions his altitude frequently during the story, what makes the 1988 edition so important over the other editions, is how the altitude markers are hand written, and marked with an X, verses no X and block printed in later editions.
“Begin it where warm waters halt”, is the starting point to identify the first altitude X marker. Forrest has made statements that have confused people to which stanza has the first clues. This is because the first stanza contains the first two clues given by the poem, but the second stanza is the starting point for the first X on the map and the poems path that gives the answers to the two clues in the first stanza. The drawing associated with the story, Teachers with ropes, is the hint instructing what to do, connect the dots. The drawing shows the teacher with her hand up to halt the car and she and the six students connected by the rope. Forrest said, looking for the blaze first is a waste of time, because solving the clues shows the blaze, and when you recognize the blaze, you will know how to find the chest’s location.
The little girl from India hint, Forrest said she could not get any closer than the first two clues, and if you do not know the first clue, to just stay home and play Canasta. The first stanza contains the first two clues, and it is not until you identify the other seven clues will you know what the first two clues are. The first two clues are the blaze, and the chest location. That is why, the little girl from India, cannot get any closer than the first two clues, because if she has solved the first two, it is because she has also solved the other seven.
“Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down,” three locations: Gallatin National Forest, Lee Metcalf Wilderness, multiple lakes that flow down Beaver Creek, and end in Earthquake Lake. Down from where the waters converge, is a waterfall, and near that is the first altitude X marker, or number 1, altitude X marker 6901AT. It is important to note, the altitude markers have an X drawn on the map with them, and the only letter not used in the poem is X. We are looking for “treasures bold”, and treasures are the X’s printed on a map.
“Not far, but too far to walk.” From the first X, look for the next X following the water down, the comma tells us it is not far, and associated with walk. Also following the canyon down from the waterfall, is a walking trail, “too far to walk.” follow it to our next altitude marker 6907T, NFBTFTW, is seven words, and where the trail and road meet is the X.
“Put in below the home of Brown.” Near the second marker 6907T, there is an old Ranger cabin. A cabin is a home brown in color, and we are looking to put in below for the capital B. Below the cabin, and put in below Boat Mountain, we have altitude marker 6818T. If you look closely at the map, you will see that the hand written number 8 next to the T looks like a capital B. Tea with Olga here our black X’s have merged with red crosses or t’s, and the red crosses are called Found Corners, they now mark the altitude. Also from Teachers with ropes the phrase “do not touch” is in red, connect the dots with red lines.
“From there it’s no place for the meek,” the apostrophe in “it’s” means two are tied together, from there to here, follow the red line to Ghost village, “no place for the meek,”, and to next red cross altitude marker, 6404T or 640for t-he meek.
“The end is ever drawing nigh;” Going left from here, following the red line, we arrive at our next altitude marker, this marker has an arrow “drawing” or pointing to it, marker 6398T. The semi colon means this point and the next point perform same action nigh.
“There’ll be no paddle up your creek,” From the current point, there will be a red cross, and with “no” number, but the apostrophe tells us to go two red crosses up your creek. Continuing nigh, take a diagonal line from 6398T through one unnumbered red cross and stopping at the second red cross. “Just heavy loads and water high” is Boat Mountain, and “Just” means to adjust to center altitude X marker, 9019AT near the red cross.
“If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, “ If you were “Wise”, then you are now X, and with Found Corners found the blaze. X’s and found corners tied together. “Look quickly down, your quest to cease,” follow the red line down to the last of our 7 points, 6547T. Now, connect all the points to see the blaze.
In addition, notice next to this point, is a gauging station for the Madison River, but on the map, it is misspelled gage. The definition of gage: a valued object deposited as a guarantee of good faith. Sounds like an I.O.U.
The blaze is a cursive capital f! But we are not finished yet, back to the first stanza, and to find the chest.
“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.” “As I” is f, and you find his blaze by finding the treasures and connecting the X’s.
“I can keep my secret where and hint of riches new and old.” I keeps his secret where and hints of where to look. The I is the eye from Forrest autograph.
“But tarry scant with marvel gaze, just take the chest and go in peace.”
The area we are now in, is Refuge Point, here is the sign at the entrance to the trailhead, see the picture of the man parachuting in, seem familiar?
Forrest says the chest is 10” by 10”, and this, along with the eye in his signature, tells us altitude X marker 6610T is the spot. However, we must adjust, “Just take the chest, altitude X marker 6610T, and go in peace.” Below X marker 6610T, there is a grove (leave my trove) of trees in the form of a cross (peace), which can be seen in Google earth.
Center tree of the cross, a good place to sit and think in the wood.
All of this is simply my opinion.