Colter’s Hell….

SUBMITTED MAY 2017
by JAKE FAULKER

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hey, why don’t you come on inside”

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

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

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

WWWH, Buffalo Bill Reservoir.

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

Take it the canyon down, Shoshone Canyon.

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

Put in below the home of Brown.

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

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

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

From there it’s no place for the meek,

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

The end is ever drawing nigh;

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

There’ll be no paddle up your creek,

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

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

Just heavy loads and water high.

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

The blaze?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colter’s Hell.

Jake-

 

A Fun, Safe Side Trip….

SUBMITTED APRIL 2017
by dodo bird

 

On my trip to search for Forrest Fenn’s treasure at Yellowstone Park, I decided to take a break and visit the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. It’s no secret that Forrest was on the board of directors there and has donated items from his personal collection. And I just really like museums. The Buffalo Bill Center contains five museums and for just an 18$ admission you can come back the next day. Seeing how people used to live makes me appreciate how easy our lives are now.

I left Yellowstone through the east entrance. On the way to Cody i stopped at the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. There, I found on display remnants of the old dam workings. I thought this huge wooden clad concrete ball was interesting.

It was lowered into the water to plug a pipe that carried runoff water to discharge below the dam. the huge ball was bigger than the pipe to act like a stopper. it wouldn’t fit through the pipe.

Arriving at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, I first toured the Draper Museum of Natural History. The Byrd Naturalist cabin is at the beginning.

I met and talked to Mike Brown,who is head of security.
The Draper is set up like a spiral ramp at a parking garage. You start out at the 10,000 foot level of elevation and descend to 4,500 feet always turning left.

The Draper houses the sights, sounds and smells of Yellowstone. caution small children not to be afraid. The floor of the Draper is carpeted and smooth so footing is no problem. It’s an easy hike,all downhill. At an archaeology exhibit i took this photo.

There are touch screen quizzes for the kids to test their knowledge of the outdoors.

So hear me all and listen good!

Four more museums to go!

by Dodo Bird-

Home of Brown…

green

This is for a discussion about “the home of Brown” in Forrest’s poem.

Got an HOB that didn’t work out…or maybe you need an HOB for a certain area…or perhaps you have an idea that needs some fleshing out..

This is the place to discuss all things HOB…

dal…

I Think The Chest is Here…

pink

 

Many searchers have decided the chest is in a general area…maybe even a specific area of the known universe of the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe. So this is the place where we can talk about where we, as individuals, think the chest is at…Don’t give away too much though… 🙂

dal…

Where Warm Waters Halt…Part Four

green

This page is now closed to new comments You can still read the previous comments but to add to the discussion please go to the latest WWWH page.

This is for a discussion about Where Warm Waters Halt. We’ve all got ideas that didn’t work out or we are willing to share…I think we can give folks just starting out some ideas for the kinds of places that might just be the place Where Warm Waters Halt…or not!

Let the discussion begin…

dal…

I Think The Chest is Here…Part Two

pink

This page is now closed to comments. To continue this discussion please go to the most recent “I Think The Chest is Here” page.

Many searchers have decided the chest is in a general area…maybe even a specific area of the known universe of the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe. So this is the place where we can talk about where we, as individuals, think the chest is at…Don’t give away too much though… 🙂

dal…

Home of Brown Part Two…

green

This page is now closed to further comments. To add to this discussion please go to the most recent Home of Brown discussion page.

This is for a discussion about “the home of Brown” in Forrest’s poem.

Got an HOB that didn’t work out…or maybe you need an HOB for a certain area…or perhaps you have an idea that needs some fleshing out..

This is the place to discuss all things HOB…

dal…

Where Warm Waters Halt…Part Three

green

This page is now closed to new comments You can still read the previous comments but to add to the discussion please go to the latest WWWH page.

This is for a discussion about Where Warm Waters Halt. We’ve all got ideas that didn’t work out or we are willing to share…I think we can give folks just starting out some ideas for the kinds of places that might just be the place Where Warm Waters Halt…or not!

Let the discussion begin…

dal…

Thermopolis, WY…

SUBMITTED August 2015
BY Fenn Hunter

 

I have been doing some online research and have come up with a solve, which I know has about 0.01% chance of being correct, possibly less.  However as there is absolutely no way I can go and search them myself I thought I may as well send it to you. Please feel free to do with it what you will, ignore, follow up or share either partially or in its entirety with all – I was going to put it on your forum but didn’t want to waste peoples time if it’s totally wrong.

WWH – Hot Springs Park in Thermopolis WY. Hot Springs = Warm Waters.  Park = Stop = Halt.  Seems too obvious but we know the first tow clues can’t be too obscure they have been solved before.

Thermopolis is one of the towns marked on FF’s map, a major tourist stop on route to YNP.  Most importantly of all it’s a big fly fishing area and surely there is a chance FF fished here as a boy on his way to and from YNP?.

Although Thermopolis in under 5000ft.  That is not necessarily a problem: if the poem takes you up.

Canyon Down – We know that we need to travel up. Down on a map is South.  To the south of Thermopolis is Big Horn Canyon.

The Big Horn River is home to some notably big Brown Trout, often referred to as Big Horn Browns. This is a much lauded but relatively unknown fly fishing spot where fishermen will ‘float’ down the river.

If you travel South on Highway 20 for 4 or 5 miles (too far to walk and no obvious trail to walk on), you reach  ‘the wedding of the waters’. This is a spot where the river changes name,  Big Horn to the North, Wind River to the South.   Could Big Horn River be THOB?  It is home to Big Horn Brown Trout.  Big Horn Canyon is named after Big Horn Sheep which are Brown.  Just up river from here is also the Wind River Indian Reservation- which was home to ‘Camp/Fort Brown’. A military fort since renamed.   I think too that a Wedding of the Waters would appeal to the romantic in FF.

The Wedding of the Waters is a place where you can ‘put in’ to float down river – back towards Thermopolis.   In fact it’s the southerly most (furthest upstream) before reaching reservation land.   The putting in spot in within a couple hundred feet of the road – did FF mean that searchers (by being on that road) have been that close to the third, vital clue rather than the treasure its self?

Just downstream and across the river Is Memorial Cemetery, the final resting place to traverse the river you can’t be meek, and the cemetery is a scary place not for the meek either – it’s also a place where the end (death) is nigh.

From there Red Rock Canyon – a dry river bed (so no need for a paddle),  runs under the overhead train line (which carries heavy loads).

If you were to walk a few miles west into the canyon – in the direction of the Owl (owls are of course wise) Creek mountains, then the rocky outcrops on either side tower to just over 5000ft (could it be the altitude clue was a bigger clue than thought – that helps lead to a specific location, rather than a general area?)

The rock in this area is red and there appears to be a few cliffs in the area – could one look like a blaze? Or ese there are supposedly a number of petroglyphs in this area  does one mark the spot?  Whichever we know that me must climb to the top of the hills to get over 5000 feet. The area is not heavily wooded, but there are  some trees, is there a stand of them on top of one of the hills that appears as a wood from the bottom of the canyon?

When you reach the top of the hill it will no doubt be colder than in the canyon, and you will also be looking over the Wind River Indian Reservation (home of the Brave).  The hills have a number of drainage gullies running down them – a place  where a chest might easily be hidden without being fully buried and the chest will likely to be wet (especially in spring when the snow melts – what time of year was that interview held?)

How did an old man manage this journey? There are back roads just to the North that would take you very close without having to cross  the river and traverse up the canyon etc

Main problem, is this could be private land?  I think it might be but can’t really tell.. is it a problem, or the reason not to tarry?

I would be interested to know what you think of the above, is it with promise or complete trash?

Good luck and if it leads you, or someone, to the chest,  please do share some of the loot with me…

———————–

an addendum to this story from dal-
Please do not trespass. If this solution is on private property, please seek permission before accessing. We do not advocate trespassing.

Connecting the Dots…

SUBMITTED AUGUST 2015

E. C. WATERS

 

Disclaimer: This is my hypothesis. It is “tl;dr”, but worth the invested time if you’re a serious seeker. There may or may not be a treasure chest after following and attempting to prove this hypothesis.

<InMyOpinion>

So, yeah… There’s a news story out at the moment regarding a persistent seeker. The story focuses on everything he’s given up to be in the chase, and it basically impales him (and by inference all of us) in the public eye. It suggests we are all addicted to lunacy. While I too had come to the conclusion that I had solved the puzzle, I have concurrently come to the conclusion that I don’t want to continue with how the media and Yellowstone National Park officials depict us… as lunatics. I don’t believe I’m a lunatic, although this is likely to be what a lunatic thinks. For this purpose, I’m tapping out, but also publishing my lunatic solution with my recent experiences, which of course resulted in my returning empty-handed. For those who use Twitter, follow my random thoughts on @mikebibler. For those who like dalneitzel.com, I am organizing my thoughts in a way that is hopefully meaningful for this community. It is important to also know that I work in IT and have interests and experiences in the field of text mining. I use computer programs to quickly sift through information (structured and unstructured) and attempt to derive meaning and/or correlations. This is how I started my chase.

Like everyone, but computer software, I used readily available geo-referenced feature names above 5,000 feet and below 10,200 feet, and searched for synonym cluster hits within a reasonable proximity tolerance. I followed this path for about 8 months with no solid findings and only one trip out in April 2014. I stopped in Colorado, Montana, Yellowstone, and Cokeville, WY to look at the areas of my most favorable results. Next, I focused on specific angles of F’s interests: archaeology (“aguas tibia”), then art (“Thomas Moran”) for about 6 months and 2 more trips, and then finally literature. It wasn’t until I started focusing on story-telling (inclusive of movies) that everything snapped into place for me.

By my amateur and incomplete analysis, I speculate F conceived of his plan with a specific adult audience in mind, wrote a few things in the beginning, like My War For Me, and then began to augment as he found more correlations of his own life to that of “the hypothesis”. I speculate the idea of getting kids out into the woods and off their devices came just before writing or finalizing his poem. He said the book quickly wrote itself. As such, I speculate parallel paths to the chest developed: one for adults as in the original plan, and an augmented plan for children that also seems to fit. I’ll attempt to describe my translation of these paths, right or wrong. You can think about them now because I’m not going to think about them any longer. I believe the chest is out there. I now also believe F to be a genius, far smarter than I am, and far smarter than he lets on. There are some who would say I give him too much credit. To you I say “then go get the chest where you think it is, smarty”. There are a few who challenge my premise and say one could derive meaning from any literary source, such as Robin Hood. Ok, fine. I could not derive a motivating fraction of the volume of content from Robin Hood

that I can derive from “the hypothesis”. For those who insist the poem is all one needs to find the chest, I have this to say: yes technically yes I agree Yes. If that response seems silly to you, please download the free or paid version of James Joyce’s Ulysses somewhere on the Internet, get into the wood (paper) and read it. Lege totum si vis scire totum. Having this book may not be necessary, but it sure as blue hell makes everything F is saying so much easier to relate to and understand, even if (with irony) what he’s saying relates to content that is very difficult to understand. And for the kids, please find Disney’s digital movie Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure.

Path #1: For the Kids

“Ask a child where warm waters halt.” says F. I think this may have three meanings.

Meaning 1, kids love Disney everything. The movie Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure has some very interesting coincidences that, if recognized, will actually lead the seeker to the solution I hypothesize is the winning solution. In this movie is a lyric sung by Lyria, a story-telling fairy. Other coincidental names of characters correlating with words in TTOTC include Fawn, Blaze, Clank, Rosetta, and Tinker Bell (bronze bells, For Whom the Bell Tolls). F also mentions a painting about fairies dancing around a rock in the chapter Blue Jeans and Hushpuppies Again. And F uses the words “sprinkled” for describing what he has done with clues in his chapters. “Sprinkled” is a very specific word in the context of Tinker Bell, and has sent many seekers to Fairy Falls in Yellowstone. In this movie, Tinker Bell is seeking the fabled Mirror of Incanta (F’s chest is said to contain mirrors) for a rumored single remaining wish to correct something that went wrong. Here is the lyric:

The Ancient Chant

Journey due north, past Never Land
‘Til a faraway island is close at hand
When you’re alone, but not alone
You will find help and an arch of stone There’s one way across the isle’s north ridge,
But a price must be paid at the old troll bridge
At journey’s end, you shall walk the plank
Of the ship that sunk but never sank
And in the hold, amidst gems and gold,
A wish come true awaits, we’re told
But beware and be warned; there’s a trick to this clue: Wish only good will, or no good will come you

For the treasure you seek you may yet come to rue!

Journey due north, like somewhere north of Santa Fe? A faraway island, as in there are islands somewhere in the Rockies? Alone, like alone in there? An arch of stone, maybe like Natural Bridge at Yellowstone? What’s at the north ridge? A troll bridge, like maybe the (non)Fishing Bridge? A ship that sunk but never sank, in the Rockies, like maybe the E.C. Waters? Past Never Land? Here’s a screen cap of Tink’s homemade treasure map:

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 7.42.59 PM

So, if the E.C. Waters is the ship that sunk but never sank and it’s on Stevenson Island, canyon down or south of there is Dot Island. But wait, Dot Island LOOKS LIKE AN ARROWHEAD! F has been alluding to finding an arrowhead when he was nine that started him on his adventures. I had to have a closer look at Neverland. I found this in reference to J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan:

“Of all the delectable islands the Neverland is the snuggest and most compact, not large and sprawl, you know, with tedious distances between one adventure and another, but nicely crammed.”

Ok, Dot Island, check. But I’m a bit of a scientist and this path seems crazy (journalism worthy). How can I actually validate that Tinker Bell has ANYTHING to do with any of this before I invest money I don’t have into a search? I sat through the other Tinker Bell movies looking for and noting any similarities I could find. There are a few, but enough to indicate significance? There’s one in the first Tinker Bell that is a bit more than coincidental to the Buffalo Cowboys chapter in TTOTC where Cody is replaced by thistles that seem to rampage the area, needing to be corralled, with Tinker Bell in tow. There’s a few more here and there that would seem to allude to similar stories or words F chose. But in Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, released after the book but before the range clue on NBC, this popped up unexpectedly:

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 7.43.07 PM

So, above 5,000 feet and below the tallest peak in Yellowstone, 10,200. Ok, check. Tinker Bell is now strangely and somehow involved. E.C. Waters to Dot Island (Neverland).

“Ask a child where warm waters halt.” says F. I think this may have three meanings. (It’s worth repeating like F did.)

Meaning 2, in the Preface of TTOTC, F gives us this poem to ponder:

“Life is a game of poker, Happiness is the pot.
Fate deals you four cards and a joker, And you play whether you like it or not.”

These (roughly) are also song lyrics from a song remade by Ernest Tubb, the Texas Troubadour. Ask a child where warm waters halt and they might reasonably tell you “a sink” or “a tub”. That would be useful to derive because this particular song from Ernest

Tubb is titled I’m Waiting On Ships That Never Come In. Now why in the world would F use that in his preface if not to signal where warm waters halt, back at the beginning of his book after reading his treasure poem? If he’s waiting on ships, that would indicate a lake higher than 5000 ft that can support a ship. At least one that would match this criteria in the search zone, as well as match the criteria of synonym allusion, is indeed the E.C. Waters, a steamship remnant on Stevenson Island.

“Ask a child where warm waters halt.” says F. I think this may have three meanings. (It’s worth repeating like F did.)

Meaning 3, E.C. Waters, the person, was replaced by Harry Child after the government became impatient with Waters’ obnoxious behavior, helped introduce competition and drove him out of business. Clever. This Child would definitely know where warm waters halt.

So yeah, there are several thoughts where a kid could assist (as it pertains to my hypothesis). I felt I was on the right track, but that my hypothetical solution was still incomplete.

Path #2: For the Adults

I speculate F wanted each of us to experience our own Odyssey. I speculate that F recognized the intriguing amount of correlations of his own life and experiences from Ulysses and to Odysseus. Perhaps he embellished enough to make the correlations fit, and perhaps that would be the reason he also released Too Far To Walk, to release his real story. James Joyce himself said the following which also seems to apply to F:

“If I gave it all up immediately, I’d lose my immortality. I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.” – Joyce’s reply for a request for a plan of Ulysses, as quoted in James Joyce (1959) by Richard Ellmann

With that said, I’m not capable of explicating all of what F meant or alluded. I can find a reasonably convincing enough amount of content in TTOTC, Scrapbook posts on dalneitzel.com, and in F’s public appearances with James Joyce’s Ulysses or other The Odyssey allusion material. This is super clever because Ulysses is one of the most difficult books to process as well as being the most important Modernist literature of F’s time. Why didn’t he mention it in his chapter Important Literature? Well, that should now become obvious. For purposes of organizing this material just to point to the sheer volume of it, I will do so in these three categories: 1) Ulysses references about the chest and its contents, 2) Ulysses references from TTOTC and Scrapbook posts, and 3) references related to the actual hunt locations.

1) Ulysses (and The Odyssey) references about the chest and its contents
– F named the chest “Indulgence”. This word is also used prominently in the Ulysses colophon by Sylvia Beach, publisher at Shakespeare and Company, apologizing for the

misspellings in this most exceptional of cases.
– The chest depicts ladders. In Ulysses, I wonder if this alludes to Stephen and Buck leaving the tower via a ladder.
– 265 gold coins = 265,000 words in Ulysses
– 2 Ceylon sapphires = Ceylon tea distributor located at 2 Mincing Lane, London, E.C. (there’s E.C. again… so strange)
– 6 emeralds = I believe this relates to the emerald 4-leaf shamrock ring (2 extra as stem)
– 42 lbs = #42 is Ulysses in the Companion to Modernist Literature
– 20.5 Troy lbs of gold = Troy was defeated in The Odyssey, the book which Ulysses is said to allude. Twenty may allude to the number of people at Dignam’s funeral. Death’s number.
– F’s autobiography in an olive jar = Odysseus built his unmovable bed around an olive tree, proof to Penelope that he was Odysseus. In Ulysses, “Olives are packed in jars, eh? I have a few left from Andrews.”
– Gold dust and rubies = I speculate it relates to this line in Ulysses … “Dust slept on dull coils of bronze and silver, lozenges of cinnabar, on rubies, leprous and winedark stones.”
– My hypothesis suggests there is likely to be more, I’m just not ambitious enough to find and list them.

Not convinced yet? Let’s continue.

2) Ulysses (and The Odyssey) references from TTOTC and Scrapbook posts
– Ulysses uses the word “Fenian” for an Irish movement of the time (that’s kind of funny).
– Important Literature – F references the book Kismet, kismet is mentioned 4 times in Ulysses.
– Important Literature – Ulysses is missing while being the most important Modernist literature of F’s time.
– First Grade – F says John Charles would bring a jar of olives to school. In Ulysses, “Olives are packed in jars, eh? I have a few left from Andrews.”
– My Spanish Toy Factory – Ulysses references a squatted child at marbles.
– Me In The Middle – references chickens being chased, same is in opening scene of O Brother Where Art Thou (another set of allusions to The Odyssey)
– Gypsy Magic – Ulysses uses the words red Egyptians as Gypsies were was once thought to have Egyptian origins.
– My War For Me – F references Shakespeare throughout, Ulysses references Shakespeare and Hamlet throughout, and the book was published by Shakespeare and Company. There are several more, but this is getting too long.
– Teachers With Ropes – this concept is the final scene in O Brother Where Art Thou (another set of allusions to The Odyssey), the Penelope character is dragging her children holding onto twine, the last one is lassoed with the twine.
– Teachers With Ropes – Gilbert Stuart is the artist of the George Washington paintings F allows the children to touch. Stuart Gilbert was the French translator for Ulysses.
– A scrapbook about forgetting his keys – In Ulysses, Bloom has to break into his own house through the basement for the same reason.

– A scrapbook about house slippers with a hole in his sock – In Ulysses, “Stephanos, my crown. My sword. His boots are spoiling the shape of my feet. Buy a pair. Holes in my socks. Handkerchief too.”
– A scrapbook on Glenna Goodcare (of her works, he chose these) – In Ulysses, “… the tea merchant, drove past us in a gig with his daughter, Dancer Moses was her name…” This scrapbook instead could be pointing to the importance of the maternal relationship alluded to in Ulysses, and between Molly and Milly. There are very small Molly Islands in Yellowstone Lake. I suppose it’s also possible that the chest could be here, but everything else in my hypothesis points to Dot Island. And perhaps I’m anchored.

– My hypothesis suggests there is many many more, I’m just not ambitious enough to find and list them.

Still not convinced TTOTC is entangled with Ulysses? One more.

3) references related to the actual hunt locations (in my interpretation)
– wwwh: E.C. Waters – there’s a German passage in Ulysses, “Und alle Shiffe brücken.” – canyon down, tftw: boat to Dot Island – Ulysses refers to Dottyville, a colloquialism to a lunatic asylum, and according to journalists, where all of us belong.
– home of Brown – A Phil May cartoon referencing Dottyville seems appropriate to F. Definitely google it.
– no place for the meek: Dottyville (Dot Island) was E.C. Waters’ zoo. The park officials shut it down after seeing what an idiot Waters was and how the animals were being treated.
– end drawing nigh: Dottyville (Dot Island) is in the shape of an arrowhead, pointing NW.
– no paddle: Dottyville (Dot Island)… seriously, have a big motorized boat take you, or if you’ve dragged your own there, use it. Paddling here could endanger your life.
– water high: elevation of Yellowstone Lake
– blaze: Dottyville (Dot Island) pointing at the location. Ithaca, Episode 17 in Ulysses, ends with a giant dot, an oversized period which at the time alluded to a Latin mathematical suggestion of QED, or problem solved.
– hear me now and listen good: a sound (water measurement) synonym is “fathom”… he says this twice —> 2 fathoms – he also alludes to this somewhere when describing measurement systems of links, chains, fence poles, telephone poles, and fathoms.
– efforts worth the cold: this is where I completely missed it… I think you have to wade into cold water and look under a rock off the point of Dot Island (there are 2 visible during windy waves, it’s probably the one 2 fathoms or 12 feet away from the NW point shore so that Dot Island is pointing at it). I started to wade in barefooted, without waders. My feet were in pain immediately and began to numb. I had to turn around. A fathom used be about an arm’s length. Maybe he’s suggesting to stick your arms in the ice cold water and feel around. That seems weird. Maybe use a flashlight first.
– brave and in the wood: paper is made of wood. F alludes to this as being a bit of a conservationist. So, get in the wood and read Ulysses. “in the wood” may allude to “read the story about the wooden horse at Troy.”
– give you title: an allusion to Ulysses S. Grant, the President who signed Yellowstone into a preservation… “grant U president”. See how he nicely tied that all together?
– the nine clues are the nine sentence-ending punctuation dots, alluding to the nine muses throughout his book and throughout Ulysses, plus Ulysses has nines all over the place.

Motivation into Action

Now you know the premise to my hypothesis. More random coincidences than Robin Hood? I’d say yes absolutely yes undoubtedly yes. So I went there just last week, boots on the ground. Here’s a few findings as I traipsed around, roaming with purpose but without the confidence in the “get into the lake” solution.

If Dot Island also interests you, and you don’t have your own motorized boat, Cap’n John Blair of the Otter will shuttle you from and to Bridge Bay Marina (launch at the gas station next to the docks where Virginia has manned the desk for years). They are open for shuttle service between season-open and season-end (about June 15 to Sept 15 depending on various things). Make a reservation. Cap’n John and Virginia need permission from NPS to drop-off and pick-up at Dot Island for day hikes because it’s not one of the pre-approved drop-off points. A NPS day-use hiking permit is not required according to the ranger we checked, but you’re not allowed to camp overnight. Earliest drop-off is at 8am. Latest pick-up is at 5pm. The shuttle costs a little more than $300 as an excursion special for up to 6 passengers in total, so make sure you believe it’s worth it. It comes with a canoe, which we opted out of because we weren’t yet convinced the water was related. Doing this with park permission removes all the worry, and there’s enough worry just being on the island than to also have to worry whether or not you’re legal. Once approved, you’re good to go. If you mention you are seeking Fenn’s treasure, you will undoubtedly be denied. It makes people there nervous because they don’t want to break the rules, and they all believe we’re dotty as it is. A letter (although a bit dated but still applicable) is always at the ready to be shown to the “tourons”, a colloquialism of what the park concessionaires and rangers call us, moron tourists, because we must stop traffic for 20 minutes to get pictures of a lumbering bison, or feel confident enough to try to pet one before getting gored. But this letter also expresses the seriousness and the consequences:

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Just follow the rules. Don’t destroy our park. Dot Island has a beautiful open grassy vale behind some trees on the NE side of the island, or up and over the peak dune on the west side near the northern tip. There are a couple of things that appear to be old rusty fire pits about 30 yards apart along the north tree line. Do not start fires. Just take pics. We had a picnic, took a sandwich. We packed out everything we packed in, although we did find a few old rusty cans, bottles, jars, and a broken plate fragment in a large hole area with a fallen tree on the SE side of the vale. Uncaring and littering people have been there before us. Just use common sense and you won’t ruin it for everyone else. Also, watch for a nesting duck near the NE edge of the grassy vale. It scared the wits out of me as it flew up vertically into my face when I approached. Good for a laugh and a story after when I could see the duck returned. But that’s the beauty of Dot Island. It’s secluded and difficult, but not impossible. There’s an extremely low probability of seeing bears, bison, elk, moose, no worries of attacks, although there have been sightings in the past of stranded wildlife early in the season perhaps after crossing on the ice. Rangers will attempt to relocate stranded wildlife. One other caution about Dot Island… It’s packed with stinging nettle, thistle, and lots of other thorny messiness. Hikers beware. The nettle is quite ugly and helps to discourage passage into a lot of areas.

Looking east into the vale.

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A fire pit on the NE tree line of the vale, pointing north into the tree line.

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A fire pit on the NW tree line of the vale, pointing east toward the other fire pit about 30 yards away.

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We also located a heavy wooden plank in some woods near the SE corner of the island.

It’s about 200 to 300 lbs. Upon hearing of it, Cap’n John speculated it might have floated there or was abandoned there from a former dock. It was old, very solid, and very heavy. We found a similar sturdy plank at Spruce Point the next day, wondering if “in the wood” could be Spruce Point after failing at Dot Island.

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This plank at Spruce Point had a marking scratched into it. It looked recent-ish.

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An old picnic table at Spruce Point… We checked all around the rocks at Spruce Point, but may have missed it if it’s there.

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We also hiked Sand Point to Rock Point (aka Suicide Point although I don’t know why) to a location we believed was the position on the western lake shore where Dot Island is pointing. The boating staff call it “The Great Wall” area because of the cliff erosion formations. The hike in the sand was a foot muscle killer (FitBit should have given me at least 3x steps), and fallen trees were a real impediment in several locations. But we did find this interesting human formation at Rock Point…

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Anyway, thanks to Dal and Goofy for running a great site. I said I would give up after this. And so I am… yes I said yes I will Yes.

Cheers all and good luck, E.C. Waters (aka Mike Bibler)

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