The Blaze


The following story was submitted by John Paul.


They say a picture is worth a thousand words but sometimes there are experiences when words, no matter how many, can convey a single moment.  I had some of those experiences this weekend.  And though I am catching running water, I am compelled to share a few of these moments with you.


Modern life has a way of keeping us busy with what seems like important things. There never seems enough time.  I had to go up north to take care of matters in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado.  I am a local from Albuquerque, perplexed by the pace of modern life and just as hustled and bustled as I was in Chicago, never knowing the word chill.  However, I was looking forward to this day trip for the drive alone.

I have always loved this drive, especially just beyond Espanola. There a stretch of road runs parallel to the Rio Grande and ascends towards a high alpine valley that extends from Taos, New Mexico to Salida, Colorado.

From this stretch of road I have watched bald eagles fly the Rio Grande and marveled at the river’s strength and beauty, cutting through the high arching canyon walls.  When an early morning or late afternoon sun strikes those walls they are a site to behold contrasting against the river’s deep greens and blues.

Nearing the top of this canyon your eyes catch a solitary cottonwood tree standing with a few mailboxes and nothing but sky behind it.  You then level out and before you is a vast plain extending forever.  It’s the kind of place where you can sit for hours and watch dust devils traverse its expanse.  Here, to the left, the Great Spirit reached down and with both hands rent the land in two, creating the Rio Grand Gorge. On the right side of this expanse are the magnificent Sangre de Christos Mountains extending into Colorado. Nestled at the foot of the first 10K footer is the town of Taos.

I love this part of northern New Mexico; it’s quite beautiful from the road as you head up past Lama and Questa.  But a road is a road is a road and lord knows I have been on so many of them.  Roads can be quite deceptive, just like a map. One begins to mistake the road for the territory as you wiz by all the marvelous expansive beauty.  However, from the road one never sees the truth fading away, just behind you, moments away, until you get off the road and start walking the trails. Time slows down at that moment and nature will not let you breathe, let alone see, until you have adjusted to her speed.

Along the way I had earmarked part of the Red River just above the Rio Grand Gorge to explore as a potential site for Fenn’s treasure.  This was to be a preliminary investigation; after all I am a busy person with bills and taxes to pay!

But I was unprepared for the treasures I was about to discover there.  I had never been to the Red River hatcheries.  I didn’t even know it was there.  I can’t tell you how many times I have whizzed by the HWY-515 entrance just off of 522 and not seen it.

I knew that the confluence of the Red River and the Rio Grande was a place to photograph and had planned, as a photographer, to eventually make my way there.  It wasn’t until the chase that I discovered the entrance to the hatchery.  Looking at it from Google earth I thought – now there is a place where one can drive their car and quietly secret away half a million dollars or so in gold.

This was to be a preliminary exploration as I have many sites that I want to explore and figure it will take several trips to provide due diligence with any of them.  I had no expectation of finding a treasure that day.  And, perhaps that made all the difference.  My pace was slower as I had provided enough time in my busy day trip to just hang out there and walk along the river’s edge.

One of the first things I noticed crossing the bridge to the hatcheries was a flagpole with the New Mexico flag bright yellow with its red zia emblem ablaze!  I looked quickly down but saw no speckles of glinting bronze or gold in the water below.  I went across the bridge to use the washroom and that is when I saw them.  Aha! Fenn’s secret fishing hole!  I had never seen so many Rainbows in one place.  Fenn’s rainbow . . . hmmm. Then i thought – this is the kind of place that would be dear to a fly fisherman’s heart.  A place dedicated to keep the thrill of the chase alive for all fishermen in this state.

It wasn’t until I began to explore along the swiftly flowing river currents that i really knew what that meant.  Here was indeed a wonderful magical secluded place, with the river beckoning me to follow its trail.  Every turn and eddy and rock became a new place to explore. It is difficult to explain but the river has a sound that is quite special to hear.

It opened inside of me the days long ago when as a young tyke I had spent all day fishing along the river’s shore with my Grand Dad in Bandelier, Texas.  It’s all suburbs now but at that time it was the boonies. The town was a dirt crossroad with a filling station and small store.  I remember a large open metal container filled with ice and water flowing inside.  It was nearly as tall as me.  Inside was a treasure trove of cold pop one could chose from to quench their thirst.

What a wonderful enchanted time that was and what a wonderful sound to hear again, the river’s gentle song.  I followed along the river and fell in love with this place.  If I had had a bedroll with me nothing would have been better than pitching camp right there along the river’s edge.

Along the way my eyes began to open.  I noticed which bugs were crawling along the river’s shore and which ones were skirting across the top of its side waters.  Now those were the kind of flies I’d need to fish this stream.  I would tie that fly, right there on the spot and fish all day!  Along the way I noticed something glistening on the banks in the sun.  I looked down and it was an earring.  I picked it up and continued along.

Further down stream a woman was sitting at a picnic table with her friend who was fishing.  I asked if she had lost an earring and she happily replied yes.  I produced the gem and it was hers.  I then walked further along the stream and noticed a small hook on a large rock.  I embedded it into the side of a weathered tree trunk.

To my surprise time had moved along quite a bit, though I had not even noticed it.  The trail had extended further than the 500 feet I had planned to explore.  Sadly, it seemed my initial exploration was done.  I then headed on up north to wild horse mesa in southern Colorado to take care of business.  While up there a little wild pony came up to me to say hello.  Looking at the blaze on the pony’s forehead I looked quickly down and saw my feet.  I thought, how fortunate and lucky a person I must be.  Life truly is the treasure.

86 thoughts on “The Blaze

  1. Nicely written, JP. Coincidentally, this spot, or more specifically, one very near it, is on my list of favorites to search when I do get a chance to get out there.

  2. I have never commented before but have read every blog. What a wonderful story. Made me feel I was there.I could hear every sound, see every blade of grass,bug and bird and color and the smells ! Thanks for a wonderful trip.

  3. WOW! Great read John….simply beautiful!

    You know Forrest Fenn’s Poem is so awesome, and with what I have personally have discovered within the Poem, and all my spots to search real soon, this Story by JP kind of, in a sort of way, gives all my discovered intel away! GREAT STUFF LOVED IT! And yes I’m sweating bullets now!

  4. Aww that was such a nice and well told story. I really like the pony part…It’s kind of funny…you find an earring, Dal finds a watch, my son finds gold(ok, presidential dollars)coins. You could get rich on a treasure hunt like this.

  5. Dear friends, thank all of you for your kind words. Sometimes a little magic happens in each of our lives. I hope it inspires you to continue with the chase! Thanks Dal for posting the article.

    • This is the first time, call be a Newbie I guess. I have written Dal and told him about myself and husband, Bill. We have been coming to New Mex. many years, and this Treasure Hunt is more incentive to see the state. I really find New Mexico enchantment for me. We’re from Missouri. First, I want to thank you John Paul for that wonderful story (you wrote it as if I could stand right by you and see what you writing about). Bill and I will be in New Mex. more than a week or so, we plan to be in Santa Fe about Sept. 10 or so. Wish I could meet some of you all there. We will write you all about our trip, so you all can see our route in the Taos and Abiquiu areas. In closing, just want to suggest walking the rim of Capulin volcano to get used to altitude, and like us, be sure to take lots of water
      and be careful if heat bothers you. And, mention was made if someone found the Treasure. If it was meet I would go directly to Santa Fe, find a bank, put it in a Safe Deposit, and call Forest. We are good folks and wouldn’t act stupid or anything finding the treasure. My name is really Sandra not Newbie, but Newbie for now.

      • Hi Sandra, thank you. I am happy you enjoyed the article. If you like, you and Bill can give me a call when you are up this way. Just click on my name here and that will take you to my web site where there is a contact form for sending e-mail.

        One thing you might enjoy is visiting the San Lazaro archeological site. Mr. Fenn has written a wonderful book about it. You might find a few Aspen changing color up in the Taos, Chama or souther Colorado area in mid September. Usually it is the first week of October in Santa Fe. Good luck on your adventures. I am sure everyone here will want to read about them.

    • You are so right Rick, I truly believe Mr. Fenn wants us all to “stop and smell the coffee”. We are all buried in our day to day routines that we never take the time to see what our surroundings have to offer us.The beauty of life that many of us blow right by, everyday. “The journey is more important than the end result” is a message that fits this whole search perfectly. What we stumble upon while we are searching for the treasure……is the treasure itself. I am now reading Mr. Fenn’s memoir, and yes I am fascinated…..Mr. Fenn, your message is coming through loud and clear…Thank you

  6. Thanks for the story John Paul. I’m getting restless to get out there and have been getting the camper ready to go. Your story reminds me why I love so much to out in the mountains just exploring. That is the true treasure.

  7. Wonderful story and so well written JP!! I can’t wait to be out there one day and visit the places I’ve been reading about. Do you think you will revisit the area again, or start your search over from scratch? There are many more treasures to discover! 🙂

    • Hi Oakleygirl, yes most definitely. There is so much to take in here and at any other location. When feet are all the ground the possibilities seem endless and the time limited.

  8. It seems that this site, near the hatchery, would be very crowded if all of us who have marked that spot show up at once. Crowded but most likely enjoyable. Thanks for the virtual tour of the river.

  9. I agree with you Onecorgi. If we all Hauled our Behinds to that Site it would most definitely be Jam Packed. There would have to be some sort of crowd control. Danger usually results in overwhelming crowds especially when there’s potential millions at Stake.

  10. Genius.

    So the gold isn’t real but the treasure the poem describes is the journey. This would explain why there is little detail and very generic descriptions; so everyone can go on thier own unique hunt and the prize is the memory.
    Well, done Mr. Fenn, well done.

    Peom solved.

  11. Scrub jay Chaser here Dal, that was awesome. I cant wait to get out there with the family. I think I know where to look.

  12. Nice story, JP. We were there last spring, so I know what you mean. Gorgeous area. Keep the stories coming. Part of the whole process for me is the enjoyment I get out of others’ adventures.

  13. Beautiful area and one of the most searched too… check Dal’s recent post – I believe it was one of his first areas and he spent 3 days searching The Box area of the Red River.

  14. Great story , I just left there yesterday after a month camping with my brother, that was our final spot to check unfortunately for me we didn’t find it… As I Probably won’t make it out there again I’ll share a secret.. About 2-4 miles before the entrance to the hatchery there’s an access road to a camp ground that has a trail down to where the red river meets the rio grand.. The name of this road you ask.. Forest road #9… Coincidence?

  15. So — 31 people have claimed to find the chest, and Forrest says none of them have found it. How does he know?
    1] He can check on it. 2] Someone else checks for him 3] He can check on the chest electronically [phone?] 4] Movement of the chest triggers a signal = phone call from a cell phone?
    I would prefer the last one. It would tell him exactly when the chest was moved. You would need a power supply to keep the phone charged = battery and solar panel. A switch under the chest should do the trick. Any other ideas on how he could “KNOW” the chest had not been found?

    • Maybe he is just using commen sence.
      He might know the area well enough to know at certain times of the year the chest is going to be buried in snow and will not be found until a certain time of the year after the thaw.

    • In order for him to be sure that those 31 people do not have the treasure, they had to have given him some information about where they “looked”. If that is the case, those 31 people now have more information than the rest of us because they know a location that has been eliminated. Hold on though because we might be able to level the playing field again: Because most people think the treasure is either in Yellowstone or northern New Mexico, that means that it is very likely at least some of those 31 mentioned one of those locations. Therefore, we can eliminate Yellowstone and northern New Mexico from our search.

      • Interesting “negative hypothesis proof ” thinking Jeff….
        If I told Forrest I had found the treasure, it would not include any “proof of the find” — that would 1] end the chase for others 2] tag me for possible IRS taxes 3] make me a target for the media and other nuts. I would not tell Forrest.
        But I like your thinking…ie. If I claimed the treasure was found in Yellowstone, it must be false, and proof it is not in Yellowstone!

    • Forrest would certainly be aware of military transponder equipment that could last for years anywhere in the Rockies, even potentially under water (perhaps pilot survival gear). Some of that equipment might have been available from military surplus in the years after the Viet Nam war, and could be available today. Just opening the chest, or moving something on top of it, such as a log or rock, could set the equipment off, letting him know the chest has been disturbed.

      • Good thought, but I would think Forrest would have forseen someone with the proper high end equipment looking for such a signal. But, maybe hidden someone in the interpertation of the book and the poem, is the reason to use such equipment. Ah, always something to trigger the imagination.

  16. 1. he made an offer to the finder in the olive jar that no one could refuse. – the gold isn’t in the chest and you must contact him to get it-$100,000 for the bracelet maybe
    2. the whole idea is bogus?
    3. motion camera?
    4. no one KNOWS-

    • I bet the finder must provide a picture of themselves with his unique bracelet in their possesion. If they can’t produce it than they don’t have it and he doesn’t have to leave his couch.

      • Linda, I agree with you regarding the possessing of the turquoise bracelet. I think if Mr. Fenn hid the box, perhaps, that’s all there is in it, as well as the title…’.bring me back my bracelet, I will give you the gold’. (TITLE) Although, I don’t think He has ever said these words, it’s just a thought, it seems evident to me. I wouldn’t want to put anyone life in danger, taking out a box full of $$$$, out into the open. I have other thoughts on this but will stay secret to me for now….

        • All of the above makes sense. All of the treasure I believe is not in the chest, but most certainly the title to it is, and a contact # as well. I am sure Mr Fenn wants proof of the find, otherwise someone could find it and be off with it undisclosed. Thats what I would do to make sure the hoopla of finding it would be celebrated by everyone.

          • Stephen-
            If only a title was in the chest what would happen if the chest is not found for a thousand years? That paper would be worthless. We know the goodies are actually in the chest. Forrest told me that. However, it’s possible something else is also in the chest.

  17. Mary

    Not all the roads are numbered “9”, it just struck me as odd is all, I mean why nine clues anyways, why not 10… Maybe I’m finding clues where there aren’t any only fenn knows for sure, this search may drive me insane lol…what I do know is my brother, my dog shisha and I searched 7 locations for a month straight… Everyone fit perfectly by the way.. They took us from the collegiate peaks to durango co to Taos nm n everywhere in between, And I return home rich in everything but gold, my soul is full and my spirits are high, the experiences we had are priceless, money can be spent or lost, but these memories will be with me forever

  18. Ty, I loved the pictures and scents. Very well writen and im sure the story of grandpa and fishing was the real treasure you found along that river.
    Back to Forest Road #9, that’s a hunt for me as well. I do believe the 9 is the time of day. Being an old catholic and knowing something about that time of day. “Look quickly down (south) at 9am from the blaze”. I have not found the blaze but when/if I do I will be looking south at 9am.

    • sreve,
      regarding #9: The Thill of the Chase is Forrest’s ninth book. In 26 years. Also 9 clues 6 stanzas and 24 verses. Dunno if this info is worth even a plugged nickel though. And the 26 years might be a date from when he wrote the book and not when he hid the treasure so it might make the 26 years and 24 stanzas the same count.

      Now this falls under the nine clues topic but it may need to fall into the trash bin, just started reading the book and this popped out to me.

      • Onecorge, I agree completely. There is however a word in the peom that also refers to a christian/catholic prayer time, that being 9am. As this post is about the blaze, I took it there simply because of how I think the blaze will show any of us the treasure.
        Of course this may be filed in the trash bin… To me and my research and view of the poem, it fits. Blaze/9am/south.
        I read all the blogs here and have been in the chase since before F went worldwide, so my clues are still in development. Just tearing apart the poem over and over and finding great clues that may or may not have anything to do with the treasure but that make perfect scents to you is all part of the chase.

  19. JP, this is an awesome write up. Your selection of words in the description of the area is incredible. That is truly an amazing area with spectacular views. I think I might have been out by Questa that same weekend searching under Elephant rock. Good luck on your search. Dal, thanks for sharing.

    Good Luck all,

  20. Such a beautiful, elegantly composed story! Pretty pony, leaves me smiling 🙂

  21. Great story JP and very well written too. I think many of us are hoping to get out there soon so we can share your experience. That area is one I was looking into as a possibility for the treasure too. It sounds beautiful!

    Happy hunting!

  22. i will begin at www.
    And take it in Fenn canyon down
    I can not walk every step of your past
    Under the rules of Brown

    I’ve grown new eyes so i may be wise
    gaining truth from what you’ve wrote
    what words can i use to convay the blaze?
    but through hunger taught from your note.

    what we read, is not whats wrote
    use rule’s of three to compare
    from by a knight i find the truth
    you gave me clue’s that must be square

    “three square miles” is math, you say
    “three miles square” is the english way
    the answer needs to be written down
    use rule number one,from. mr.Brown

    you ask three things, in a line of one
    the answers you already know
    i can only asume, I’ve just begun
    but i’ll figure it out as i go

    I’ll give a clue of what i know
    the trove you leave for us to seek
    it’s ordained that man should grow
    and what we leave, is not ours to keep

    • George please go get the Chest already and save yourself all that time in figuring out what rhymes with this or or that or that with this. Good luck and don’t forget to upload a video of your find or atleast a photo.

  23. Hi everyone. I was fortunate to meet Mr Fenn today at the Gold Expo in Albuquerque. He signed a book for my daughter. Maybe it will encourage her to come out here and search for the treasure with her Dad.

    I mentioned to Mr. Fenn that i was not looking for any clues to the treasure but that i had a question that maybe he could answer. I inquired about him saying that he knows for a fact that the treasure has not been found. Anticipating the question he asked “You mean how do i know that it has not been found?” I replied well yes, sort of, but that really i don’t care about the how but was curious if he had evidence.

    He told me, that he could not tell me because it would give away information that could lead to the treasure. So, i tried to explain my intent but probably did a bad job communicating it. He responded that it depends on how you define evidence. I was at a lost for words . . . it seemed kind of useless to carry the conversation further.

    I guess his answer makes sense. If he had said yes, he has evidence, what difference would it make? I guess others would make further inquiry as to how. In the end maybe it’s a dumb question. It’s sort of like asking “how do i know he hid the treasure? I don’t but i believe him.

    So, it’s a mystery . . . but he seemed pretty certain that he knows. He said that we can rest assured that the treasure is still out there. Looking beyond words and reading his body language, it was obvious to me that the man had no doubt that the treasure is still hidden.

    My take on this is that Mr Fenn does have a way of knowing if the chest has been found, whatever it may be and i believe him. He seemed very assured on that point.

    So, there you have it. What more can i say… except thank you Mr. Fenn for signing my daughter’s book and for putting the treasure out there. That i did.

    He seems like a kind soul and he definitely has a trickster streak in him too. He seems to enjoy both and the two together are charming.

    • Very cool! Thanks for the report on your encounter with FF.
      Hope your daughter goes with you. I’m trying to recruit my 82 yr old dad to join me – he’s in UT at the moment. I have yet to determine how far he can carry a 42 lb. box. 🙂

      • Hi Mountaingrrl, I was going to say that he would have to make two trips but if you are with him it would probably be one. I am hoping my daughter can come out here and join in the chase. That would be fun. Thanks!

      • I was wondering that, Jen. Funny I had so many things I wanted to talk to him about and it ended up on this subject. He was busy with folks, signing books.

  24. Thanks for sharing your meeting with us JP – It would be great if your daughter would go on the hunt too. FF said he didn’t put the treasure anyplace dangerous so she would be safe and what a fun adventure it would be for her!

    I trust Forrest when he says the treasure hasn’t been found yet. I don’t know if he has any hard evidence or if he is just trusting that the hiding spot is under snow or a road or trail a searcher would have to take would be too muddy to travel on right now, but I believe him.

  25. Hi CJ, Fun, yes – dangerous no. I got into three dangerous situations at Abiquiu Lake and it was costly and not fun. I told myself that if it is dangerous then I am looking in the wrong place! 🙂

    I do feel like he has a way of knowing. If it is snow then he had to have a way of knowing before the snow got there. I also feel like you that he has some evidence but then, as he says, it depends on how we define evidence. He is a crafty fellow but I do believe him that whatever method it is he cannot talk about it because it would give away clues to the hiding place.

  26. Interesting conversation you had with Forrest, John Paul. Thanks for sharing. Since the hunt has been going on for a few years, it doesn’t seem like the ‘evidence’ should relate to weather or seasonal conditions.

  27. JP, I can see the twinkle in ff eyes as he replies to you! Great to read your accounts! Thanks!

  28. Hi JP, I would separate the words from the symbols, I would let the blaze tell me what direction it is pointing in, not the words. James

  29. Arthur C. Clark once made this comment, “perhaps we are standing on the ruins of a civilization so vast as to render it invisible” The poem and the chase are like that, we are given so much information, that we could be staring right at a clue and not recognize it due to information overload. James

  30. Hi JP, It’s like having another truthful good clue, would only add another distraction, to an already abundance of distractions. James

  31. Hi all, I was thinking about the F blaze,and what would I do if I saw it? I would look quickly down, and if I didn’t see the chest, then what? I would look around for another clue or marker, still nothing? I would look at the F again, the F is not standing still, it’s pointing to it’s right. The F could stand for far, but far doesn’t really work, because it does not give you a location, but if the F stood for “not far but too far to walk” it would seem like more of an indication to a new location. James

  32. I believe I have figured out what his blaze is now is just finding the darn thing ! lol It’s funny how you think on something for a long time and it just sort of pops into your head, and you think, “boy am I hard headed or what” ? 🙂 Anyway, when I see it I will know it. Night all.. dream of treasures.

    • Hello AzureDeb,

      I have often thought that perhpas the blazer was the treasure itself. We were wise and found it. – now look quickly down to marvel at it but don’t hanf there forever. Just take the blaze and go in peace.


  33. I posted this in the wrong area earlier I guess. But I think the blaze is something you have to know before you go. If you’ve been wise and “found” the blaze, then you know it already, hence the reason Forrest says the person that goes for the treasure will not do it by guessing, but with confidence.

    • Stephanie – I am convinced of this now after my last outing.
      J.P. – I found the Blaze in this Red River Box area near the hatchery. Perhaps when I have some time I will send a photo to everyone and a little story. Until then it is probably more fun for people to search for it themselves. It was pretty cool and matches the Stephanie vision in some respect.
      The Wolf

    • Hi Stephanie, There are a number of blazes/clues, blazes/clues are simply markers like a trail of bread crumbs. A main blaze/clue, gets you to an area to search, once at that area, secondary blazes/clues need to be found, that guide a searcher to the chest. That’s why I posted that some parents, have probably wiped the clues off there kids fingers. hth

      • Traditionally, a blaze would be set at eye level, as on a trail. The poem gives you a clue as to what the blaze is.

  34. Beautifully written JP and that is what I tell my twin we will try are best to find the chest but if not then we shall still have a Golden Adventure and no pun intended to the commercial “Priceless”. Thank you for the story. Glenn

  35. Hi JP, I’ve thought that when the chest has been found and the search is over, I would still be drawn back, from time to time. It’s an inescapable feeling, that defies, logic or reason, but it’s hook is firmly set.

    • Hello James,

      I was near there with some spare time so i dropped by again. The river is simply beautiful. Its even higher and running faster now with the snow melt. It’s a gorgeous place – just a few minutes there for a moment but the magic was the same although the place was a bit more familiar. However, i have not hiked it down to the Rio Grande but someday i will.

      I was in southern colorado and marveling at the Conejose River as well yesterday. My how beautiful it is there. I saw lots of Aspen trees. Spring had not sprung there and snow was still present. I can’t wait to see that area all green and then in fall with the hillside ablaze!

      The hook does get set. 😉


    • @goldmember333

      By “primary blaze” do you mean that you think there are multiple blazes? I know several searchers have thought along those lines, but I don’t know why exactly. The poem says “found the blaze” which seems to me that it is one blaze. Just my take and I could be wrong.

      I’m just curious and killing some time today. Thanks!

  36. Was once in a spot and didnt find anything,until i got back and re-anaylzed things ,and to my dismay,my treasure map held more clues,(which are not found on goggle),which like fenn has said,he wants people(kids) to get out there and search.i do hope to get back soon,and find that blaze that i had seen,the final one i believe.
    that fenn , a crafty man he is!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    oh and i do believe i have found how he knows that no one has found the treasure,but again this is only my opinion.hehehe!!!!

  37. Great blog Dal, and JP great story! Like others, I too believe I had found the spot. I’ve just finished 5 days searching the area. I did not find it, but we certainly had a thrill chasing the treasure! I suffered several injuries, but honestly it was well worth it, because we had fun, and well … every time I am on vacation I have at least one injury … it’s me and I am who I am and this time was no different.

    I’ll outline here what my interpretation of the poem is and maybe it will help someone else.

    Good luck and God Bless.

    I created a map based on the poem, and no I did not go through each step, but landed at the end where I believe Fenn’s Rainbow is. I began my quest in the aptly named town of Questa at the confluence of the Red and Rio Grande rivers. This is the put-in that starts the Taos Box white water raft run, and up the Red is the hatchery where folks carry buckets of brown trout in the spring and release them into the Rio.

    The Taos box is described in many brochures as not a place for the timid.

    The last rapid before the end of the run, is called Sunset rapid, and just past this is the Rio Pueblo de Taos where in the early 90’s 57,000 tons of rock came down in a landslide that was caused by the rushing waters from the top of the mesa (Just heavy loads and water high).

    While thinking of the blaze, I thought maybe the sunset, or maybe it could be a surveyor’s mark. Think of the blaze as something that will stand the test of time. Any marking on a tree will be gone in years to come. Fire will destroy the trees, rock slides will destroy the trees, but a surveyors mark or the setting sun will be there for many years to come.

    This area is also an area known for trout fishing, and if Mr Fenn went in there with others around, it would be a bold move.

    My Notes:
    1. As I have gone alone in there
    And with my treasures bold,
    I can keep my secret where,
    And hint of riches new and old.
    (summary of the poem’s hints, going into the canyon, people around (boldly going with treasures – but probably carrying a fishing pole and backpack contains chest)

    2. Begin it where warm waters halt
    And take it in the canyon down,
    Not far, but too far to walk.
    (red river fish hatchery – spring time folks carry buckets of brown trout to the put-in below)

    3. Put in below the home of Brown. (put-in at red river and rio grande)

    4. From there it’s no place for the meek, (taos box – rio grande)
    The end is ever drawing nigh; (sunset rapid – rio grande’s last rapid before takeout at junction)
    There’ll be no paddle up your creek, (rio pueblo de taos)
    Just heavy loads and water high. (avalanche area, old nm 570 or sr96)

    5. If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
    Look quickly down, your quest to cease, (sunset marks the spot or area and will last just a short time)
    But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
    Just take the chest and go in peace. (9 pm prayer time for Catholics, time set by St. Benedict [Benedictine


    6. So why is it that I must go
    And leave my trove for all to seek?

    7. The answer I already know,
    I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.
    (walked no more than a mile from the barricade – 40-50lbs is pretty heavy to carry, even on one’s back –

    weak and tired after that)

    8. So hear me all and listen good, (Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart. The phrase “ear of your heart” suggests that one does not really hear what has been said unless those words enter the heart, the seat of the will.)
    Your effort will be worth the cold. (echoing in canyon, listen to the words in poem – canyon gets cold when sun sets???)

    9. If you are brave and in the wood (small grove of trees on the rio pueblo de taos)
    I give you title to the gold.

    I began it where Forrest said,
    And took the canyon down.
    Above me was the hatchery,
    This is the home of brown.

    The Taos Box, which isn’t meek,
    Sunset is where I vie,
    The last rapid before the end,
    The landslide, mesa’s water high.

    The avalanche I set my sight,
    My bearings they were true.
    The sun set close to nine,
    I knew we were almost through.

    To solve the riddle of the blaze,
    That was the hardest part.
    Then St Benedict he spoke to me,
    I used the ears within my heart.

    At nine pm, the sun will set,
    The last prayer of the day.
    The shadows cast from the setting sun,
    The blaze surveyed the way.

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