ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED may 2012
I’m off again to look for Forrest’s chest. This time back to New Mexico. I’ll tell you more about my “go to” spots a little further on…
I have 17 wonderful days to explore. But it takes 2.5 long days of driving to get there from here. So subtract 5 days from the 17 for travel. I like the drive though. I am from the generation that loves to get in my truck and drive off into new vistas and old towns. Stay off the freeways as much as possible. Stop along the way in mom & pop diners and test their apple pie. Nothing quite makes me happier than traveling down a two lane blacktop on my way to who cares. It’s like a metaphor for life I suppose. The future is all ahead of you with turns and twists and surprises galore. The present is on each side. Grasslands blossom into woodlands which evolve into mountains and trout streams and finally into wide main streets with curious place names like Dinosaur and Goliath and Mumps and Digger and Shack. Towns the developers haven’t reinvented yet. Towns that have escaped the call of Walmart and Burger King. Places proud of their history of bad guys in black hats and working women in low-cut, gingham dresses. Every mile there’s something or someone new. Traveling on the road is one of life’s fabulous offerings. I live for adventure…even small ones.
I just got my GMC van with 267, 000 miles, serviced and pronounced fit enough. This trip will put another 5-6K on it. I’m looking forward to checking out my new spots. They match the poem pretty well. I’ve had all winter to consider them. All of my spots are within 100 miles of Taos…except one. All are in or through canyons or streets named Canyon. There are Brown ideas with homes in the vicinity that mark the place to put-in. Some are remote, down twisty, red stained government roads amongst mountain scenery and pinyon forest. Another is not very far from the center of a small tourist town with several mom & pop apple pies to try. They are each unique, requiring a different interpretation of the clues in Forrest’s poem to find. Some I know are near blazes…of various types. Others will require looking for blazes once I get there. One blaze is on a stone carving of a bigger than life-sized stallion. Another is near an entirely different blaze than I have ever considered before.
Let me tell you about one place. Not far from Elizabethtown. In a lovely, historic and accessible area. Following the clues in the poem will get you there…except the blaze. I’ll look for that when I get my boots on the rolling mountain scenery. I’ve rejected this spot several times because it seemed so unlikely. Brown was the hardest part. But right now it all falls together. I know several others who have looked in Elizabethtown itself, but this is not their spot.It’s near Elizabethtown but not in it. Whether the chest is secreted there or not, I don’t know. But even if it is, even if this is the exact place where Forrest hid his chest two or three years ago…I may not find it. I might pass right over it without recognizing it. I could miss it. Lets face it, my chances of finding Forrest’s hidey place are miserably low…but I love the chase.