CAUTION: HERE BE IDEAS THAT NEVER WORKED-
The usual response I get from folks when I talk about Forrest’s hidden treasure chest and show them his poem is, “What the heck does that poem mean?”
This is usually followed by “I have no idea where to start. Where does warm water halt?”
Then, when I tell them that Forrest has said that it is hidden in the mountains North of Santa Fe, they sort of implode. “That includes Canada,” they say. I agree and add that it also includes the Alps and even the Urals.
This post is intended to help new folks get a handle on how to start thinking about where to look…and just as important..where not to look. Just remember these are my own stupid ideas and none of them have worked for me…yet!
Forrest says that there are nine clues in his poem. I first read it in November of 2010. The same with his memoir “The Thrill of the Chase”. I worked all that winter trying to weave the hints from the poem and the information in the book together into a place where his treasure was hidden.
First I had to make some assumptions about the kind of place where Forrest would hide his treasure. Some of these assumptions are based on information from his book. Others are my own ideas based on who I think Forrest is. Remember, these are just assumptions. Not fact. Nothing I know for certain. Just my own attempt to condense what I have learned about Forrest into information I can use to find the treasure.
Here were my assumptions at the time about where the treasure is hidden:
1. Special place to Forrest
2. Trout related…probably a trout stream or near a trout stream
3. Beautiful place
4. In the mountains North of Santa Fe
5. In a place where it will stay for a thousand years if no one finds it
6. Not on private or tribal land
Okay, so I am looking for an attractive trout stream. I know it needs to be special to Forrest but there is no way I can gauge what “special to Forrest” really means because I don’t know how he thinks. But I believe that there is a more or less universal standard for beautiful and Forrest was a gallery owner and dealt with images of the west. His definition would probably not be too terribly far from my own. I don’t think he hid his treasure in a dump or an industrial area or off the side of the freeway. I believe its near a stream… a trout stream, and a pretty one.
It also needs to be In the mountains. This is one of my first conundrums because what exactly determines if something is “in the mountains”? To me, all of northern New Mexico is in the mountains. But that does not mean Forrest believes the same. He could mean just the places higher than 8,000 feet. Because I don’t know what precise definition he uses I must accept the widest definition. In my home in western Washington State that would mean everything above about 4,000 feet. In New Mexico, if I apply the same definition, it would mean the entire width of the state above Santa Fe…even Farmington.
In all of North America this could mean anywhere in the Cascades, Rockies, Coast Range, Appalachians, Adirondaks and so forth. But from his book, Thrill of the Chase, I feel I can also eliminate places he doesn’t mention. Like the Adirondaks for instance. In fact, when I read the book there were only a few places that are North of Santa Fe where most of the stories take place.
Even though folks tend to “give-up” when they read that Forrest hid his treasure “somewhere in the mountains North of Santa Fe”, I don’t think its that intimidating. Others feel that such an area is immense…too large to search…and it is. But I think I’m right when I say that you need to read his memoir and when you do you will see that there is no mention of Vancouver, BC or Portland, ME or Geneva, Switzerland. In my opinion you can rule those places out…and many more.
My last assumption is that its in a place where it isn’t likely to be disturbed for awhile. So not a likely place for a tractor to be plowing or the gas company to be laying pipe or the highway department to build a bridge.
Now I have an image of the place I am looking for. Its a pretty trout stream in a relatively remote location on public land….I hope…
Next, I can start applying the hints in the poem and see where they lead…
Oh…by the way..take everything I say with a grain of salt because even though I’ve looked in more than a dozen different places, I have not found it. I don’t think I’m any kind of an expert about finding this treasure. I’m just hoping to give folks who are confused about how to start, a bit of a push.
Continued in Part Two.
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