Scrapbook Fifty Two…



december 2013



Winter is upon the Rockies from the Canadian border in the north to Santa Fe in the south, and the many lofty  mountain tops that are jammed in-between. Most searchers have retired for the winter and are saving money for expeditions planned for spring when the mountain laurel will again bloom above 5,000. Others complain about the cold but continue searching favored locations. For those who are still active, please heed the rules that govern cold weather survival.

snow tree
Some fireside researchers have ganged together on the blogs hoping to find flaws in my character that will miraculously lead them to the treasure. It is interesting also, that crazies continue to surface. I have emails from both police and doctors suggesting that I stay alert. Being Forrest Fenn is getting harder all the time, but it will continue to be fun as long as I have a tree to hide behind, maybe a tree with an f carved in its trunk. ff




66 thoughts on “Scrapbook Fifty Two…

  1. Dear Forrest,

    Please be cautious of the doctors. They may be some of the worst crazies. I may have seen a study showing that profession to have a higher than average percentage of sociopaths. Eat lots of apples.

  2. I am positive that ff doesn’t include me in the fireside researchers because I don’t have a fireplace. And I know that I’m not included in one of the crazies because I am neither a cop nor a doc. So, I can safely say that ff just gave out another clue. Either the chest lies near a tree trunk with an f carved in it, or it lies nowhere close to a tree trunk with an f carved in it. Best to look behind all tree trunks that you find with an f carved in it.

    • Forrest, I am fairly sure I am one of those crazies but to you I say….It takes one to know one 🙂

    • Ripped out the fireplace in favor of a pellet stove we bought end of season with our tax return. Next idea, a solar generator to power the thing. lol

      • We put a pellet stove insert with a thermostat into our fireplace – really like it for the no mess and ease of heating the room, although I miss the look, sound, and smell of a real fire blazing away.

        • Depends on your electric bills where you live and how warm you keep your house. Im not sure what you heat with where you live.

          I have asthma that triggers with smoke exposure, but can be with the family now with the pellet stove.

          A local woodstove company could probably answer questions for your area.

          • We have natural gas here in Chicago. I was thinking of one for our basement. I’ll have to look into it again and see if it would be cost effective. Love the solar power idea to run it.

  3. ” but it will continue to be fun as long as I have a tree to hide behind, maybe a tree with an f carved in its trunk. ff ”

    Now Forrest,You know darn well many will take this as a clue.

    Half of the crazies will be looking all winter for the f carvings in trees.

    And the other half will be carving f’s in trees and antiquing the carvings with a small propane torch they bought from a discount store and will antique 248 f’s per tank of fuel.

  4. Maybe with an f carved in. Yeah, and Maybe not. 😉
    Another could-mean-anything (or could mean ‘go chase your tail’) phrase from the veteran treasure hunter.

    Well played, sir.

  5. It is disconcerting, Mr. Fenn, that the crazies are increasing, but it seems you may also be expressing how you are feeling. I truly hope this holiday season finds you well and especially joyful!

    Most of us have been hung up on the blaze from which we should look quickly down. I’ve seen a lot of blazes, but none are a carved letter f.

    Thank you for bringing this thrill (=joy) into our lives.

  6. Heed those warnings f – I’m married to a doctor and they do see a lot of crazies in their practices. My brother-in-law is a cop and they truly do have to deal with the crazies.

    I’ll be sitting by the fireside this winter planning my next search in the mountains but now I’ll be thinking of looking for it behind a tree with an f on it. 🙂

    • It seems that I misinterpreted who the crazies were to ff. Sorry CJinCA, ff, and any cops or docs out there. *frowny face and smiley face*

  7. Hmmm, f on a tree huh? I found a few of those… but I don’t think that’s the blaze we are supposed to be looking for.

  8. I’m with you SoCalJeremy….I think Mr. Fenn is having a little fun!
    With due respect Forrest…that is a lure that this little fishy refuses to nibble on. 🙂
    Thanks for the chase sir…what a thrill ride! Love it!

  9. On another note:

    I’d like to get away from earth awhile
    And then come back to it and begin over.
    May no fate willfully misunderstand me
    And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
    Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
    I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
    I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
    And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk,
    Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
    But dipped its top and set me down again.
    That would be good both going and coming back.
    One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

    Robert Frost

    • Would that hidey place last 100 or 1000 years?…… I’m pretty sure I’m not one of the crazies…. I may be one who should stay home and play canasta though

  10. I think he is leaving it up to us to figure out what it means to each of us.
    I just hope Im not one of the crazy ones! lol

  11. My Father planted a mountain laurel back in the mid 40’s. It was beautiful. It was transplanted a couple of years back and is still blooming today.

  12. Added a new area of the blog today. SEARCHER OF THE MONTH. Forrest wrote the first piece. It’s called Salute to a Warrior..and it’s a wonderful story about a determined lady and her significant search..

    You can find it by going to the tippy-top of the page and looking for the “Searcher of the Month” tab under the header photo…

  13. The auction for Polly’s painting titled “The Reapers” has ended. The painting started at $10 and finished up at $450. I think Polly is already planning her next trip west to search for Forrest’s treasure.
    Thanks to all who bid on the treasure..even Smileycat…

    I think I will wait awhile to host another auction…
    I have had a number of folks want to auction all kinds of items…including a horse..

    I think we’ll hold off on the auctions for awhile..
    (a horse?)

  14. Hello Dal,

    I was on another blog and someone mentioned there was no scrapbook 32. Could you shed some light on this for me? Thanks, have a great evening.

    • 32 is a sacred number to me and I did not want to mess with it…

      The 32nd Division during WWI were known to the French as “Les Terribles”. By folks from Michigan they were known as the Red Arrow Division. I had a great uncle that lost both his legs in 1918 while in the 32nd Division. The division was relentless. For six straight months they took enemy fire in the trenches. They had 14,000 casualties and took 2,000 German prisoners. They never lost to a single German offensive. My Uncle William was one of the 14,000. I only remember seeing him once, in a wheelchair when I was quite young. Others told me of his courage. I regret not knowing him better and not hugging him.

      In the 1970’s I worked with a great man who was a member of the 32nd in the Pacific in WWII and survived the trek across the Kapa Kapa Trail on New Guinea. His face and body were badly scarred by grenade shrapnel. No woman would love him. He never had kids and never married. He was the toughest/kindest guy I ever knew. I miss him too.

      I think these are the reasons I skipped Scrapbook 32..

      • Hi Dal, what happened to Ladies only? Did you delete it? The prize was given to one lucky woman. It was a great, great prize! Did not know it was really all about Sexy, Playboy worthy! wish I would of known that….Heeheehee, I would of worked harder to make sexy…..It was a great prize…..! I enjoyed all the picture’s! Where is it….? How did they like the book? Wow just wishing I could see it. Please forrest fenn, do share more.

        • Lou-
          The Ladies Only Contest is exactly where it has always been.

          Go up above to the sidebar and click on More Info & Musings. That is where the Ladies Only Contest was originally filed and can still be found.

      • Thanks for the story. 32 means a lot to me as well. I wish I can tell you mine. Just another rainbow. I will always keep it a secret from everyone.

      • LOL, I guess I should have continued reading these scrapbooks before asking my question at scrapbook 33! Sorry for asking the question already answered, Dal. I’m still relatively new here 🙂

        • Thank you for being to so kind to posting it the 100th time. I hope everyone will take the time to read Dal’s response. I remember reading the explanation long ago, but didn’t recall where he had done so.

  15. Today, December 20th, 2013 is an anniversary for Forrest. 45 years ago today Forrest was shot out of the sky over Laos.

    • Hi Jim-
      Good eye!
      That news footage from KOB-TV in Albuquerque was shot in his backyard in Santa Fe. He has carved his initials and other figures in several trees in his backyard. No one knows if those are supposed to look like the “blaze” in his poem…except Forrest…and he’s not talking about it..

      Searchers have found “f” and “ff” carved in trees and in rocks all over the Rockies. Some were there long before Forrest hid his treasure. Others were carved recently by folks who want to “fool” searchers into thinking they found the spot..

      Believe me, it can be pretty exciting to find a “ff” carving out in the mountains only to suffer the eventual conclusion that it was a mean spirited prank left by someone else.

  16. Does anyone know the genus species of the mountain laurel Mr. Fenn is referring too?

    The closest I can guess is Sophora secundiflora. If that’s correct, my idea to search around the Wood River upstream from Meeteetse, WY is waaaay off since S. secundiflora’s range is in TX and NM.

    • The more I look, the Sophora secundiflora’s range is all south of Santa Fe. Looks like I’ll stick with Wood River for now. 🙂

        • Yup. I hadn’t considered Santa Fes other than in NM.

          But the Rockies don’t extend far enough south and the habitat description doesn’t quite match for the secundiflora. So maybe I’m still safe, if the “it’s in the Rockies” hint is valid. 🙂

          I should revise my statement below, in response to Dal – I don’t know what I’m doing; I just had a good set of hits on my initial interpretation of the poem. I’ll post that in The Nine Clues section.

          • correction, the interpreting clues – 2 section. Wow, I’m abusing space here. 🙂

      • There is the town of Laurel Montana in the Yellowstone Valley north of the park…but it is only 3,300ft in elevation according to Wiki..
        If you feel it could be a clue you might consider looking for something like a laurel canyon or a laurel creek, etc that sits above 5,000 feet..
        It would be like Forrest to disguise his clue by having everyone assume he meant the plant while he really meant some other thing named Laurel…

    • Maw-
      Why do you think that his reference to mountain laurel is in any way, shape, or form a hint to the where-a-bouts of the chest?

      • Everything is a hint until it isn’t. For example, after looking under both secundiflora’s, the distribution ranges are all wrong so it’s easy to say they are not useful as hints.

        Right now, I’m not looking for where the chest is but where it isn’t.

      • I cannot find anything anywhere on the internet regarding “mountain laurels” in the Rocky Mountains. If I am missing something, would someone please enlighten me. Add to my “thrill” in this chase.

        I believe there is a connection because Mr. Fenn mentions the “mountain laurels” that are above 5,000ft and the planning of one’s expedition. He also remarks about an “f” carved in a tree. Is he being very shrewd, or just poetic???

        • Special-
          You are correct. No “official” mountain laurel in the Rockies. Maybe a colloquialism for a plant that locals refer to as a mountain laurel above 5K feet in the Rockies…but I am not counting on it…
          I think it’s just a case of incorrect nomenclature…

      • I don’t expect I’ll be the one to find the treasure. But I do expect I’ll enjoy the scenery when I go searching. 🙂

        When I visited Prescott, AZ and hiked around Lynx Lake in Prescott National Forest and Watson Lake, those were good times. I didn’t make it to Granite Mountain but maybe another time.

        Thanks for mentioning Amelia’s cabin, that sounds like a little treasure by itself!

  17. Well… I tossed my latest brainstorm in the trash heap for good.. and went back to the basics…and here I sit w/ a smile on my face as I look back on all of the hours of research and the interesting facts I have ferreted out over the last year (almost). All I can say is wow ! The four adrenaline fueled trips combined w/ wet clothes, mud, mountain lions and lack of sleep and a plethora of self induced planning errors leave me feeling completely satisfied. The journey has just begun…again. My new approach is a combination of all I have learned thus far. Along the way I have had several aha moments that have made me change course. These course corrections have led me in a circle…I am now at the beginning of where I originally started and can’t believe where I am…Right back at my original hot spot…Here I go again !

  18. I like revisiting these old scrapbooks.
    “…as long as I have a tree to hide behind, maybe a tree with an f carved in its trunk. ff”
    I saw a tree in my search area that had an oval patch of bark scraped off with what looked like initials carved on it. (I took pics but couldn’t make out what the letters were). The patch was about 20 feet up the trunk. If Fenn carved on a (live) tree as a boy then it would be pretty high up by now wouldn’t it?
    Drawings in “the book” show Fenn looking up in the cemetery and again in the stump pic holding the axe.


  19. I checked every cottonwood tree in the Lamar Valley and I didn’t find an “FF” carved in a tree or any freshly-baked pineapple pies…but I did find a whole bunch of freshly-baked buFFalo pies.

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