Part one – What do those clues mean…?


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

A great trout stream in the mountains…

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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114 thoughts on “Part one – What do those clues mean…?

  1. I wonder where in the mountains you see trout like in that photo from his book. Are those brown trout?

    • I think its hard to tell, particularly in B&W what kind of trout many are. Some are definitely Browns. Also see some Rainbow and Cutthroat. Those and more are found in NM and points north. I don’t think there is any hint to be had by IDing the trout.

  2. I have been thinking about the “searchers have been within 500′” statement. I know there has been a lot of discussion about it. Some how I keep thinking that forrest is talking about the first two clues only, and not saying that searchers have been within 500′ of the treasure. Some, myself included, have just assumed that he meant both. I posted this comment here because there weren’t many comments to sift through and it seemed like a fresh place to talk about what those clues mean…

    • If you remember Forrests first job in the Air Force was Radar Tech. Flying under 500ft is “flying under the radar as to be undetected.” If he knows that a few searchers have been within 500 ft of the treasure, it means that they were picked up on his radar.

      • I was a radar/avionics tech and instructor for a # of years… sometimes flying under the radar takes on a whole new meaning… ! This was just a comment to keep the ball rolling, so to speak…

    • When he said the 500′ people didn’t understand the significance of where they were… That makes me think they sped through a bunch of trails in the area without picking a specific one based on clues. Then they told him where they had unfruitfully gone.

  3. Interesting thought, thanks for that. Will have to think on it. 🙂 Im sure many will have an opinion.

  4. I wish I could join the hunt…I’ve read the poem…I’ve read and studied the clues, and they all bring me back to one place. FF…..your an amazing man & adventurer. Follow Fenn’s clues in the thrill of the chase… them, they lead you on an adventure and point to one place!!!

    • My husband thinks it’s a hoax, he’s not interested in the Chase. I however love the thrill and will eventually join the hunt by late spring or early summer….just need time to work on him to be my hunting partner… Hope I’m not too late….I’m not giving up…..thanks MaggieMay….Your right, why can’t I join the hunt??

      • Somewhat the same issue here. My spouse isn’t into the hunt but I hope to be able to get one search in this spring/summer while on vacation.

      • That is what I faced. I figured with my solution, that if I can convince the wife it must be good. Best part was when I convinced my son. Now I know it is good.

  5. Sounds like you’ve done your homework. Maybe I’ll see you on the trail. I’ll be the one with the big smile. Good luck.

  6. Okay Dal,
    I asked this question before. Did Forrest ever say “there are only nine clues in the poem”? I know that he has been asked if there are nine, and he answered “yes”. My point is that if there are more than nine clues, he could still say yes to nime
    knowing good and well that there are more. Just as easy as saying its North of Santa Fe. You know how evasive he can be without giving specifics. I just haven’t found anywhere that he specified only nine clues. Maybe I missed it.. Thanks. Hope your seminar went well…

    • Jeff-
      You have not done your homework and you want people here to save you the labor of looking yourself..
      He said in interviews that are linked on this very blog, in the very beginning “There are nine clues in the poem.”
      It was not in response to any question about the number of clues. It was in response to a question such as “Tell me about the treasure.”
      I have never heard him use the word “only” when saying that there were “nine clues”.

  7. I believe Forrest specifically stated on his site in the poem section that there are nine clues in his poem and if followed precisely, will lead to the end of his rainbow and the treasure. That’s pretty straight forward if you ask me.

  8. hi, I am new here but have been armchairing “Indulgence” since ff tucked her away…& this year I am going to the Rockies to join the search! My chat nick is Quiet 1, and I do hope I can bounce some ideas around? Here is my first one:
    the chest IMHO it I s not on public ground like a park because if found there it becomes the property of the entire USA, read: government.
    I also think that ff wouldn’t want his body to scare anyone, especially children since my understanding is: the site where the chest is the same place that he wants to be, just resting his bones forever, and I *think* that leaving human remains is a big No No in US parks on every level.
    So, would anyone care to comment on my impressions? None of my friends think it exists either so I am desperate to exchange ideas.
    please, feel free to tackle any of my _guesses_ & I hope that this gets some juices flowing!
    thank you & I hope to make some friends here … in the spirit of the chase!!

    Quiet Queen Kali, or just Kali for short~

    • @Kali Hello, I’ve got nonbeliever friends too, you are among believers here! I think the TC is on BLM and ‘your creek’ is ‘our creek’ or lands that are owned by we the people. FF spoke with an attorney and thought of everything, I’m not a trained skilled legal professional but sure seems the advice from an attorney would be stay off of private property including Native and National Parks. Sometimes there is land locked tracts of BLM property surrounded by private lands, takes a helicopter to get there without trespassing or maybe a secret trail following the banks of a water way, IMO. –cholly q

  9. IMO – When ANY body of water merges with a larger body of water, is that not WWWH? A small stream merges with a larger stream, won’t the waters in the larger stream be colder than they were in the smaller stream etc. etc. So WWWH can be where ANY smaller body of water meets a larger body. Am I wrong?

    • @JD Morning JD, I just read your intro, sounds like you’ve found something great to do in retirement! My idea of WWWH is sort of what you describe above but the bigger body of water could be the warm water (if shallow and out in the open) and is cooled when smaller mountain spring run off streams merge with the main body at the home of the brown trout (where they spawn). But, this idea changes and is open to new thoughts! IMO Welcome!

    • In my opinion, the only place warm waters halt are where they bubble up from the ground and do not continue to flow… meaning, warm rivers continue to flow into cold, but yet they have not stopped, wheras warm water bubbling up to a pool does not continue to flow, thus equating to halt …

  10. I believe warm waters do not refer to water at all. I think the treasure is a lot closer to, or in Santa Fe itself. The whole region is one big mountain range. All the clues in the poem in my opinion must be definitive I.e. There is no ambiguity. The additional clues given later by Mr.Fenn are so vague I prefer to ignore them. As we have been told once you find the starting point everything else will fit into place. I have my ideas like everyone else. But should we not consider a couple of basic things; would you as an 79/80 year old drive around for miles on your own with a box containing very valuable artefacts? Me, I would drive, yes,but not too far. Consider Mr Fenn survived cancer, should we not be looking from a more ‘spiritual’ angle to solve the clues?

    • Richard,
      I undoubtedly agree with your summation that a spiritual angle is needed, but I would not discount some of the additional clues. As one example west of Toledo … forget the more than 300 miles part. In the Valles Caldera in New Mexico there is an area referred to as the Toledo Range … Why is that important to me? Most everyone believes the chest is in Yellowstone, yet so many have no idea that Valles and Yellowstone share so many similarities such as being super volcanoes … if one stood in the meadows of the caldera, you might think you were in the Lamar Valley … I guess what I am saying here is that FF’s mentioning his Church is in the mountains … So you see, closer to home, similar to yellowstone and spirtiual all in one … good luck!

  11. Dal;

    I see that this thread was first opened on September 2, 2011. A LOT has changed since then. Since this was written primarily for new searchers, to make them aware of a few key points…I think that we should mention that Forrest has narrowed the search area to NM, CO, WY and MT…Just so that there is no confusion.

    Thanks for the site. Sharing ideas with fellow searchers has been invaluable to a “Newbie” like myself…only three months into the search.

    Good luck to all, and STAY SAFE


    • Lug-
      That would be my belief…that Forrest’s special place is on “public” land..
      BLM, Forrest Service…possibly NPS..possibly State
      But certainly not on any kind of tribal reservation or trust lands
      This is just my opinion…

  12. Hello alll, people generally refer to me as MrPete. I’m brand new to the hunt and I have some ideas I’d like to get feedback from if you all don’t mind. At first I was thinking maybe I shouldn’t share my thoughts as someone out there could just take and run with them so to speak. However, it takes a village right? So here’s a couple thoughts and correct me if I’m wrong: when researching online no matter what the interest is, if you mention ANYTHING that has to do with the poem when trying a particular resolve chances are somebody has already tried that so what do you do? Here’s what I’ve done, I took every word in that poem one by one in consecutive order beginning at AS…. and defined them thru 4 different dictionaries (for lack of a better word) and rewrote the poem over 16X with changed out meanings of each word. You’d will be amazed at the vast amount of variations (differences etc..) in finding the resolve. However, that only caused yet more possibilities of its location so am I over thinking this?? Forrest said not to overthink the resolve but that’s coming a very intelligent man with a hell of a lot of experience.. Suggestions and or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.. Nice to meet everyone

    • Pete –

      You have made your comment where many may not see it because it’s an old thread.

      Look at the threads we are currently commenting on and pick a spot where you think you would like to share something.

      Thats my suggestion for how to get some responses.


    • Pete;
      Welcome to the “Chase”
      I agree with you that the definitions of words is ULTRA critical to solving the puzzle. I guess that I accomplished the same thing, but in smaller chunks. I worked on each sentence (clue) one at a time. In the end, I came up with a minimum of 48 words in the poem, that had significant meaning to my solve.

      I believe that you are on the right track. Keep it up. The KEY is deciding which word definition, among many, Forrest intended the searcher to use. One wrong choice, and you can be off in never-never land. Let the flow of the poem, and the use of your “Good” map, and “Hints” found in the two books (Primarily TTOTC) be your guide. JDA

    • Pete Wood – Welcome to the chase! Forrest has said that a comprehensive knowledge of geography is one of the needed tools. He has never mentioned that a dictionary or the meanings of words would be important. If you continue to use a dictionary you will be falling in rabbit holes like some other searchers. I won’t mention names here. F’s poem is a work of art in more ways than one.

      If you are accepting f’s challenge to get involved in the chase then you should take him at his word instead of trying to use tools that will not assist any searcher.

      Have fun!

      • Personally I don’t see why using a dictionary to look up word definitions seems so crazy to you HMA, I can understand that if you absolutely know already what the definition of every word is then you don’t need one, but not everybody does so why shouldn’t they use a dictionary, that seems a bit ridiculous. I have a pretty decent education and command of the English language but I still had to look up a few words to refresh my memory, like “tarry” and “scant”, these weren’t words I used much if at all, so I looked them up. Would you suggest I just skip them and not concern myself with their definitions?

        Also I know what drawing normally means to me, but when I looked it up I had forgotten the phrase “drawing water”, that means more in my solve than drawing a picture. Why would someone not want to look up the definitions of words if they are not sure of all their meanings?

        • Perfectly stated, Mark in Taos.

          I was about to reply in a nearly identical manner, even using “tarry” and “scant” as examples, but you beat me to the punch!

          As an aside, I also believe that “over-using” a dictionary could lead to misguided interpretations or connotations unintended by f.

          Like everything else… it’s all good in moderation. 🙂

        • Hi Mark – In the work that I’ve done on the poem, knowing the meanings of words has not helped one bit. I don’t think knowing the meanings of words will help anyone. Geography will help but not the meanings of words. If you try to force the meanings of words into a solution, then you have messed with the poem, IMO.

          Do you remember when f told Dal not to mess with his poem when Dal questioned why halt and walk did not rhyme? Do not mess with the poem. If you do it will be impossible to solve, IMO of course.

          • Fennatical said: “As an aside, I also believe that “over-using” a dictionary could lead to misguided interpretations or connotations unintended by f.”

            I agree with that 100%, over-complicating things, but if you don’t know what the “basic” meaning of a word is I can’t see the logic in not looking it up. I am sure a little girl in India that might not have the knowledge of the English language like HMA does could use a dictionary and it WOULD help.

            HMA: I kind of assume you just mean what Fannatical said that people can “over use” definitions when things might be more simple and basic, I Hear you.

            Incidentally I looked up “Geography” in a dictionary when Fenn mentioned it just to make sure I knew exactly what it meant, and it isn’t in the Poem so I wasn’t messing with the Poem, just refreshing my memory.

            But who knows, maybe it does depend on what the definition of “is” is lol…

      • I believe this is from the Moby Dickens book signing:

        Forrest: “They’re contiguous. I knew where I wanted to hide the treasure chest, so it was easy for me to put one foot down and then step on it to get to the next foot. That’s what I did. I changed it over, I don’t know how many times. I looked up the meaning of words. You know, we really don’t know what some of our words mean. For instance what does the word several mean? S-E-V-E-R-A-L, what does that mean?”

        • (At theTop)—

          Thanks— I was trying to remember where I had read that. Yes– it definitely proves that meanings of words are very important. Thanks again.

        • Yes…a “foot” as the most basic unit of a poem’s meter (iamb, trochee, spondee etc al) has a completely different meaning than a “foot” as a measure of distance or an anatomical “foot” . Dictionaries are invaluable.

        • At the top ~”That’s what I did. I changed it over, I don’t know how many times. I looked up the meaning of words. You know, we really don’t know what some of our words mean.”

          Shhh! don’t tell HMA, the guy will have a heart attack.
          Fenn also said; “… I looked up words and definitions of words and changed them and rebooted… it turned out exactly like I wanted…”
          “The poem in my book is something that I changed over and over again. When you read the poem it looks like just simple words there. But I guarantee you that I worked on that. I felt like an architect drawing that poem.”

          But according to HMA ~ “He has never mentioned that a dictionary or the meanings of words would be important. If you continue to use a dictionary you will be falling in rabbit holes like some other searchers”

          • Seeker – Thanks for those quotes, I knew I had read or heard them somewhere. I’ve never been fastidious about documenting those things Fenn has said or written, but there’s definitely a lot of value in it.

            “The poem in my book is something that I changed over and over again. When you read the poem it looks like just simple words there. But I guarantee you that I worked on that. I felt like an architect drawing that poem.”

            I love that quote. He carefully chose his words so that the poem would be a very accurate set of instructions to keep the astute searcher on the right track to the chest. The poem tells us what do do next at each step and, in some cases, what not to do (IMO).

            Example: “There’ll be no paddle up your creek” The word paddle has a definition (not archaic) that I never knew of until I was involved in TTOTC.

          • At the top,
            keep in mind some are from interviews. So it would be prudent for you to listen to them and hear all that was stated.
            I don’t know how long you been on the chase… but there are tons of interviews in the media section and in the searchers book section JCM has a document worth looking at. Tell him I sent ya and ya might get 10% off… umm maybe you shouldn’t mention me, he might charge ya 20% more…lol

          • Seeker,
            Here’s a short background on my history with the Chase. I got started in March 2014. I spent about a year doing armchair research, but never came up with anything that I felt confident enough in to do a BOTG search. In May of 2015 we were flooded out of our home in Texas and I didn’t give TTOTC another thought until I got my family situated and repairs on our flooded home well under way.

            In December 2015 I came back to it. Sometimes a break can be helpful (even if it’s brought on by unfortunate circumstances). About 3 weeks later (January 2016) I found the key that unlocked my solve.

            I’ve just recently started posting here on HoD as a way to pass the time during the “off season,” but I’ve been lurking since 2014. 🙂

            Thanks for the resource suggestions.

      • Pete,

        To prove a point, a man took a beautiful Spanish love song and used a variety of dictionaries to turn it into a German version. Upon sending it to the young German lady that he was trying to impress, she cried and refused to speak with him again.

        IMHO, research overkill (may be fun and mentally rewarding, but) is the best way get no place special with this Chase.

      • Hear me all,

        For one who uses that name, you must not have a clear understanding of that particular line of the poem if you are so against using the dictionary.


      • Given that my vocabulary is probably the smallest (worst) of the entire chase crowd, I had to use a dictionary to look up a lot of words. I didn’t know the words: trove, as, gone, riches, brown, tarry, scant, blaze, meek, nigh, cease, gaze. So anyone who suggest a dictionary is not needed is simply smarter than me when it comes to words. They know words that I don’t. They might even know the second or third definition of some of these words and I didn’t even know the first one.
        But talk to me about geography and I might suggest that people don’t need a map because I know the Rockies pretty well after all these years of studying the maps of the place. (but wouldn’t it be presumptuous to assume everyone knows what I know.)

    • Pete;
      Being new to the chase, you probably are not aware that HMA and I have a running battle over the use of dictionaries. Follow your gut. Your gut told you to use a dictionary – you have a smart gut. JDA

      • Pete;
        I offer the following Forrest quote: “Forrest once said, “There are nine clues in the poem, and the clues are in consecutive order. If you want to find the treasure chest – you have my book there – I’ll tell you how to do it. Read the book just normally … the poem and the rest of the book, and then go back and read the poem 6, 8, 10 times – study every line, every word. Then after you do that, read the book again, slowly, with the idea of looking for clues or hints, that are in the book that will help you follow the clues. You can find the chest with just the clues, but there are hints in the book that will help you with the clues.” f

        Note that he says “…STUDY every line, EVERY WORD….”

        Just food for thought. JDA

      • JDA – You ignore the poem at your own peril. You ignore f at your own peril. I think you’ve interpreted the poem and f in such a way that nobody, not even f, can make heads or tails of your thought process.

        You might want to include a double dose of logic with your lunch today. 🙂 Unless you like chasing rabbits and eating crow.

        • HMA;
          Same old song. You have NO idea how I have interpreted the poem, so why say that “No body, not even f can make heads or tails of your thought process.”

          At least I have been willing to publish some of my thoughts. You have published nothing! All you can do is put me, and others, down because we chose to think differently than you.

          Quite honestly HMA I am getting quite tired of reading your put-downs. Either back up your false claims, or kindly keep your opinions to yourself. NOT trying to limit your right of free expression, just saying that enough is enough! JDA

          • JDA –

            “Same old song. You have NO idea how I have interpreted the poem.”

            I do know how you’ve interpreted the poem because you’ve told us over and over how you use archaic meanings of words and you search in WY. I can read so that is how I know.

            I have never intended to put you down. I do apologize if you feel that I have done so. I do get a little agitated when other searchers try to lead others astray. F never said that a dictionary or the meanings of words were good to know or helpful. If you still think they are, then you have stretched a tangent IMO.

            I have put some good things out there but they aren’t always going to connect with everyone. I’ll repeat something that helped me. When I started “seeing” the poem I could understand what the clues were. You have to be willing to see things radically different than what you are used to. Hope that helps.

            If one were to find archaic meanings of words in the poem, I think it would destroy the building so to speak. Architects don’t use subterfuge when drawing their plans. If they did, there would severe problems and nothing would work as intended. Think about that. Why would f spend 15 +/- years working on the poem if he intended for searchers to change it up with other words. He did the hard work, so why do you want to change it all? Seriously THINK about that.

          • HMA;

            You say, ” F never said that a dictionary or the meanings of words were good to know or helpful.” – read my quote – “…STUDY every line, EVERY WORD…”

            How much planer does Forrest have to be for you to “get it”?

            You then sat, “If one were to find archaic meanings of words in the poem, I think it would destroy the building so to speak. Architects don’t use subterfuge when drawing their plans”

            How is knowing EXACTLY what a word means, being subterfuge? It took Forrest 15 years to write the poem, so that ANY work could have several possible meanings…and thus make the poem more challenging. At least that is MY view.

            Let’s agree yto disagree, and stop the childish quibbling over words. JDA

        • HMA;

          You are always boasting about how you are just trying to help me. Well, how are you helping ME or Pete by putting me down, and intimating that Pete is going down the wrong road…at least according to you, and you did not even have the courtesy to say that that was YOUR opinion. JDA

        • HMA;

          I do NOT ignore f. I quote him exactly – and YOU ignore it.—“STUDY every line, EVERY WORD…”

          Forrest can not be any clearer, and yet YOU choose to ignore him, not me. JDA

          • JDA –

            You quoted Forrest. “STUDY every line, EVERY WORD…”

            I agree with his statement. To me that doesn’t imply that I should use a dictionary or know special or archaic meanings of words. It means you need to see things differently.

            F recently stated that no tricks or subterfuge were involved on Jenny’s site. Do you believe that? If your answer is yes, then quite messing with f’s poem. When you quit messing with the poem, you will be amazed at what you will see.

    • Pete;

      Sorry that you got caught up in the middle of HMA’s and my ongoing battle.

      As I said, I think that you are on the right path. Forest once said, ““The poem in my book is something that I changed over and over again. When you read the poem, it looks like just simple words there, but I guarantee you, I worked on that thing … I felt like an architect drawing that poem.” f”

      What are the tools of an Architect? Ideas, paper, pen, drawing board, computer, knowledge of materials used in construction etc. What are the tools used by a poet? IDEAS, paper, pen, a writing surface, a computer and WORDS! Words are really all a poet has in order to “paint a picture” or describe a scene or place. WORDS are the key. Using just the right or correct word is the key to painting that picture in such a way that the reader can see the SAME picture that is in the poets mind. You are on the right track, at least you are in my opinion. Good luck with your search. JDA

        • HMA;

          IF you find the treasure, I will be one of the first to say that I was wrong, and that you were right.

          In my humble opinion, knowing what a word means does NOT constitute “Messing with the poem.” You have your opinion, I have mine. They differ – so be it, JDA

          • JDA –

            “IF you find the treasure, I will be one of the first to say that I was wrong, and that you were right.”

            I did find the treasure. I’m just looking for the treasure chest with the contents now.

          • JDA –

            “How cute, you using slightly different meanings of words to be cute.”

            I had no intentions of being cute when I made that statement. If you solve the poem, you will know exactly what I was talking about.

            One last thought before I escape this vortex and head outside. Words do matter but the meanings of words do not. No tricks and no subterfuge period!

        • HMA,
          I have a technical background and my command of the English language is limited. Especially when I am trying to communicate on paper. So I hope I am saying this in way that others understand, and don’t take offense to.
          Aren’t you using dictionary definitions by default? When you think of the word canyon aren’t you using a definition that is in the dictionary? Or the word paddle, isn’t there more than one use for this word you use in your present vocabulary?

          • Timw – You are correct that there can be different meanings for the same word. To me it makes no difference. Meanings of words do not help IMO. Words do.

          • Not picking a fight, but are we to infer from your statement that you in some way are using a cryptogram or some such, since it is the word (and that means its letters) that are important and not the words meaning? If so, hasn’t Forrest cautioned against this? Just curious HMA. This is one of the first insights into your methodology that you have shared with us. JDA

          • JDA –

            Not picking a fight, but are we to infer from your statement that you in some way are using a cryptogram or some such, since it is the word (and that means its letters) that are important and not the words meaning? If so, hasn’t Forrest cautioned against this? Just curious HMA. This is one of the first insights into your methodology that you have shared with us.”

            The meanings of words are not important IMO. Geography is the what f told us is useful and I find that to be very helpful. If one doesn’t understand Geography, it would be impossible to solve his poem.

    • Well Mr. Pete, as you can see, if you don’t like religious arguments this is not the place to be. It all depends on what you “believe”. The different sects will argue infinitum with little or no basis for their argument. The chase gods have spoken to them and they are absolutely certain they are correct.

      Non believers are not allowed into the sacred House of Fenn. Most don’t dare hearken at out door. There have been some brethren that became blasphemers and non believers and were cast forever into the darkness of un-enlightenment. That’s my job.

      However we do have some agnostics. They don’t seem to know what they believe, but love to argue with everyone. Seeker is the Pope of Agnostics.

      Welcome to the chase.

      • Goofy – LOL! Nice way to sum it up. Hopefully the spring fever that is going around will be tamed when the snow melts in the Rockies.

      • Goofy,
        I’m not sure Agnostics is the correct term for me.
        I really don’t care if there’s a God or not… I just can’t stand his fan club.

        OH! Now, I see what ya meant about, love to argue. Has in present forward justification for explanation…
        Dang, I did it again…

      • I like to return to this profound comment every once in a while. Where is Goofy these days?

        • He’s probably ordering his new F650 dually and will making an announcement on what color he chosen, later this summer. Hope it’s not camo… that won’t hide that monster anywhere.
          I knew I should have bought a Goofy’s Weemeemageemee mouse pad when I had the chance!

          • One of the other reasons I come to these earlier threads is to stay on track about “don’t mess with my poem”. Although it is one of those…reader choice…comments from Fenn, it helps to go back to the specific time frame when Fenn made those comments and stay current with what was going on.

    • Pete Wood,

      LOL ya havin fun Yet?

      Suggestion; Look up as many interviews [ media section of this blog will help ] look up the Q&A’s [ this blog and Mysterious Writings. along with others posted at the bottom of each page] will help as well… to make up your own mind.

      As you probably can tell, some of us head strong searchers know all and like to tell everyone we do… just enjoy the ride.

      • You stated that Forrest Fenn and my name mean the same thing. It what language are you referring too? I’m quite curious, thank you very much.,,

          • LOL, that’s what I kinda figured but as usual I was overthinking that n was looking through Latin, Hebrew, The Bible, etc.,, trying to find exact matches…too funny..,

  13. So when reading the above conversation, what should one consider to be the defining moment? 🙂

    • Hi Sparrow –

      “So when reading the above conversation, what should one consider to be the defining moment?”

      It probably depends on who reads it. 🙂 JDA thinks he has a valid point and I think I make logical and valid points. This conversation reminds me of how we all see things differently or force things to fit what we want them to be. If for instance f had written down in the poem, “turn left here”, there would invariably be some searchers who would turn right and some would do so because they think f uses trickery. They abandon logic and create a fantasy to follow. That’s a part of what makes this chase so much fun. The many different ways to see or interpret the poem.

      If one chooses to mess with the poem, it’s game over.

      • HMA – When I first read Forrest’s statement “don’t mess with my poem” I thought he meant “don’t eat my poem with a group of people”, then I got out the dictionary and looked up the different meanings of “mess” and decided he probably meant “don’t disorder my poem”, but I could be wrong lol…

        • Hi Mark – IMO, if you change any part of the poem, it would be considering messing with it and would disrupt the construction. If the construction is disrupted then it would be impossible to expect a cake on the other end. Does that make sense?

        • There is that Laurel and Hardy short where they wind up in the Army due to Stan. As they sit down to eat Hardy says “this is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into” and the word can be defined two different ways. 🙂

      • HMA, I have followed your comments closely because you say so many things that make me think you are on the right path, at least partially. Just my opinion, and you don’t need to confirm or deny, but I believe that you and Zap have figured out the word that is key and how it unlocks the poem. The rest is using pure geography to find the treasure. If you are so inclined, please feel free to comment. If you feel it gives away too much, you don’t need to comment. Regards, JBL

        • JBL – No secrecy here. I do believe that Zap and I have figured out the key word. I see the entire challenge as geography. Others may disagree though. To me, it involved logic coupled with geography. When those two things meet, then many things are possible.

          • JBL – I don’t get why so many searchers want to excuse what f says. Example would be that he talks about putting Olga’s ashes on Taos Mountain. Some searchers see that and run to Colorado because they don’t believe he would dare tell about his special place. This was just an example though.

    • It (the above mentioned convoluted conversation) is defined by those who are participating. The Impasse was created when the Poem was a finished product and published for all to read…
      There is an argument around every corner if one looks for them. Moving on…

    • FF Quote from Moby Dickens for assistance:

      Male: Forrest, did you have nine clues before you wrote the poem? Or did nine clues appear after you wrote it?
      Forrest: They’re contiguous. I knew where I wanted to hide the treasure chest, so it was easy for me to put one foot down and then step on it to get to the next foot. That’s what I did. I changed it over, I don’t know how many times. I looked up the meaning of words. You know, we really don’t know what some of our words mean. For instance what does the word several mean? S-E-V-E-R-A-L, what does that mean?
      Male: Many.

      Forrest: What?

      Male: Many.

      “Forrest: No. It means more than two, but not many more than three. Isn’t that a way to define a word? More than two but not many. I doubt that anybody in this room knows that. I mean I wouldn’t know it except I’m a writer and sometimes I look things up. There are lots of words in the English language that we can’t define. Consequently we use them erroneously. How the hell did I get on that subject?”

      It is about the Use of a word based on its meaning. There are words that have more than one meaning .Therefore, its intended use in a sentence is defined by the supporting structure of the sentence . Looking up a word to see its many uses by its multiple definitions is good advisement as eluded to by FF. For assistance to understand FF’s intended Use of a word, is to learn a bit about FF through his books ,stories and identifiers in the poem sentences. A dictionary is helpful for possible meanings and proper uses of words as FF eluded to himself as by his quote. He does that himself being as a writer.

      Several years now searchers have been searching and still searching. What does that mean? It means , never ending debates. lol.

    • 8:54 IMO.
      Based on previous exchanges it was almost predictable that the troll would jump out from under the bridge at that exact moment, and of course we were all subjected to the same old argument. Again.

  14. My office just took a call from a MRS. Wood and she said that yesterday her husband announced that he was starting a “new hobby” with a whole lot of bright, intelligent, salt-of-the-earth, patriotic Americans. This morning she said that he refuses to get out of bed…she wants to know what to do………………(just kidding)

  15. I had an interesting day yesterday at work. I was really busy trying to make things happen. It was 4:45 and it was time for me to close up shop. As I was making it up to the front office, I asked my co-worker, where is Pepe. WE called out for her and she didn’t come running like she normally does. Perhaps, I did not pay too much attention. Normally when it gets to be around 4:30 she comes into the lab and sits there and looks at me. She says, Dad it is time to go home because you work too hard. That always put a smile on my face when she does that.
    So went back into the 5000 Sq. foot facility looking for her. I was getting frantic. Where did she go. Did she sneak out while one bay door was open? So we took off around the trailer park next door and searched the neighborhood looking for her. We were asking everyone that was outside. I was telling my partner that we need to head back to the office and see if she came back. So I decide to look at the security cameras. Ha, there she goes on an expedition at 2:45 out back and she disappears. Thinking she must of found a hole near a fence post out back. Sure enough we found an opening. Fountain creek runs about 200 yards from the property line and we decided to head over there. Still, no sign of her. I was feeling sad once again but the rules I have embedded in my mind kept me strong.
    I decide to look at the security cameras once again. In the far distance 15 minutes later, the pix-elated image of movement went to another hole that was part of the trailer parks fence. I started to feel better. I had sent my coworker home and I went to a few doors. Where, I never knew that was that many Chihuahuas living next to the office.
    No one has seen her. I was getting desperate and light was diminishing for a return trip. So I created a flyer and placed them on doors, gates, windshields and mailboxes all over the area.
    It was 7:30 when I got home. I had this sinking feeling that I may not ever see her again. I cried and wiped my tears and cried again. It was 9:45 when a young man called and said that he had seen her south about 3 blocks away at a storage facility walking around. I promised the young man that I would call him back if I found her. Well, I immediately hoped in my pickup truck and headed down there. I had to be brave. I pulled up to the area and I called out Pepe, Pepe, Pepe. All of the sudden, I hear a faint jingle. It was her dog tags that gave her away. I got out and she came running out of the darkness happy to see me.
    When I go home, I called the young man whom I learned was 15 and told him that I found her. He says that makes me happy. Again, words flooded my mind but I had to choose only a few. I told him had a reward for him and to meet me at my office tomorrow.

    I will write more about the young man and I will have a few photos to show everyone later. I am sure he will be happy to earn my respect.

        • How wonderful, GEYDELKON! This story has turned out to be positive for everyone involved. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you both the best, and Pepe, too.

        • GEYDELKON – I’m glad your dog was found safe and sound. Also kudos for sharing the TTOTC with the young man. I’ve shared f’s story with a number of people and most of them are very intrigued.

          Enjoy the view of the CO Rockies this evening. Are you seeing any snow melt yet? I remember being at the Garden of the Gods resort about 2 years ago for a wedding. Weather was gorgeous and the background with the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak were superb.

          • HMA,
            Check out this photo from Barr Camp (halfway up Pikes Peak) a couple of days ago that someone posted on the Camp’s Facebook page. Barr Camp is located right at 10,200 ft. above sea level, so a good reference point for keeping an eye on snow levels:


            Keep in mind though, that it’s also on the easternmost slope of the Rockies and that the mountains further west (and north) are still holding quite a bit more winter snow.

            But I think you’ll agree that this is a good sign! Melt, snow, melt!!! 🙂

          • Blex – Thanks for the link. I took my first BOTG trip on this treasure hunt at the end of March last year. I got stuck north of Denver for a day due to a blizzard. It was a freak storm and the snow melted in a couple of days but it did shut down I-25 and parts of I-80 in WY for a day. Hopefully the spring snowstorms in the Rockies this year will be a little more calm.

    • That was a nice story to hear today, GEYDELKON. I’m glad you were reunited with your dog, and that she didn’t have to be out in the wilds for too long on her own.

      It’s also nice to see another searcher from Colorado Springs on the site! I was just walking along part of the Greenway Trail along Fountain Creek last weekend. It’s been great weather lately and has almost been feeling like Summer today, let alone Spring! Cheers! 🙂

  16. Is it possible the whole poem is talking about a waterfall? Has this idea been explored? To me just thinking about this guys age and everything, it had to be a place relatively easy for him to get to. Just reading the poem over a few times, the whole thing started to sound like he was describing a waterfall. The blaze being where this water was hitting. Thoughts?

    • Jay C. R,
      Sure, If we take “begin it where warm waters halt”; as in a temporary change in direction… flowing horizontally then vertically, or in another word, waters stop flowing in it original direction [not unlike marching, and then come to a temporary stop in a forward motion]. Then the waters take it in the canyon down… not far is elevation but to far to walk to get where the waters resume it’s horizontal movement.
      The question I have asked myself is, where is hoB at this point? Below the falls or is the falls below hoB… [ is the description of stanza 2 and 3 already below hoB and that might be the reason folks never knew they got the first two clues correct, but able to tell fenn exactly where they were and why?
      In this theory stanza three give descriptions of the view from the top of the falls looking down { the meek } the rest of the stanza is obvious… imo.

      As far as the Blaze… I think it’s something else all together different.

      So sure, I can see it. but now what?

      The interesting thing about a falls involvement is fenn’s secret pledge [ if you will ] to a waterfall in the book.
      It would answer a few things in thinking of the poem this way… one being… what took me so long?

      • I figured I’m never going to be able to make it out there to test this theory that it may be a waterfall. So I thought I would post the thought here to see what others thought and maybe give someone who is going to search, something to think upon. “There will be no paddle up your creek, just heavy loads and water high” to me the poem as a whole seems to talk only about one thing. A waterfall. The whole thing is fascinating. I wish you all the best.

        • One more thing, the blaze I believe may refer to the sun reflecting upon the water. Thus if it is around the waterfall, the rippling water will give the appearance of fire or as he called it blaze. Again just trying to think this out.

  17. for me warm water is ice or snow that is frozen and is already melting and is turning in to warm water – melting is warm imo

  18. Okay so I just found out about this and this is my theory if anyone wants to use it.
    I feel that although people think that warm means temp, I think it means red
    so we start at Red River in New Mexico. Then you travel down Cimarron Canyon State Park. All the way to Ute which is an Indian tribe which can be interpreted maybe as below the home of Brown? Then you continue to Cimarron which is below Ute and in Spanish Cimarron means wild which can be interpreted as brave. This can be related to no place for the meek. Then when it says heavy loads and water high most people think it means waterfall, but I think it means lake at a high altitude. Nearby is French Lake which is at an altitude at 6,378 feet. I don’t know where to go from there. Anybody is welcome to use it.

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