Chasing Cache…


 Submitted February 2014

by Ryan-

I never thought I would be writing something to post for the world to see so again, please forgive my composition skills.  I will do my best and try not to turn this into War and Peace.  I write this adventure with a great inner conflict!  I let my intentions to post this be known to the Fenn community and it was not well accepted.  The reality is that I found what I was looking for and what many search a lifetime to find, if ever.  That is why I’m walking away from this quest.  I hope that others can find the treasures they seek.  The last thing I want to do is ruin the chase or be a spoiler so I will take steps to help prevent that from happening.  If the treasure is around my spot I will be glad for whoever finds it and have no regrets.  This is a real life adventure that has taken several twists and turns.  I have also hidden several caches along the way.  One is 2 pair of boots, a screwdriver and a roll of duct tape. The other three contain numerous tools and field equipment that could be helpful.  If you keep your eyes peeled you might happen upon one of them!


2013 Fiesta Bowl-EMAW

2013 Fiesta Bowl-EMAW


The Quest Begins

This adventure starts with a trip to the 2013 Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona to watch my beloved Kansas State Wildcats play Oregon.  My brother lives in Scottsdale and I had organized a boys’ weekend of football, golf and fellowship with several of my college roommates.  I was flying standby because my good friend Joe had placed me on as his only pass-rider ticket other than his family.  Joe trains pilots and flies for a major airline so if you fly stand-by and they have a seat open it is yours.  Of course they have a seniority list and I was low on the totem pole being an add-on to his account.  My best friend in high school and college was Ryan.  He was flying thru Houston so I planned my trip around his.  I thought I would try the flight before because as a stand-by rider you never know when you’re going to catch a ride.  I was lucky and made the first flight so he would be a few hours behind.  We have had a standing bet every college season since 1999 and he has yet to take a lifetime lead although he stung me this season.  We all had a goodtime at the boys’ weekend except the Cats suffering a loss.  We were soon heading home.

On the leg to the game, I was reading the Hemisphere article about Mr. Fenn and it instantly grabbed my attention.  I put the magazine in my bag to read later.  I was obsessed with coins and treasure hunts as a kid and always dreamed about the great adventures that companies like Disney put out.  My treasure hunts as a kid were finding silver coins in circulation that people missed.  One time I rode my bike to Bobby Ts in Miami, Oklahoma to pick up some candy.  When I paid for my loot I noticed the shine of silver halves in the drawer.  I asked if I could buy them and I soon walked out with about $20 worth of 90% silver Kennedy Halves.  The ride back to Houston was not going to be easy due to the traffic trying to go home from the bowl game so I thought the 6:00AM flight would be my best shot.  My brother dropped me off and I soon found out that my chances were slim to catch a ride home.  So, I read Mr. Fenn’s article again.  I had time to burn so I started deep thinking about the poem and its location.  New Mexico seemed the most logical to me so I started researching hot springs in New Mexico.  I knew a lot about New Mexico because my parents and Uncle Tom had places there.   My parents’ place is in Ruidosa and Uncle Tom had a place in Taos.  Uncle Tom (Thanks, Uncle Tom) gave me carte blanche access to the Taos House which I regularly used especially for ski trips.  Taos is a very mystical place and you can feel that when you are there.  I’ve been in love with the magic of Taos since my first trip there with my wife and infant son in 2002.  I was looking at the state wide list of hot springs as the second flight to Houston departed without me.  There were four more flights out.  Maybe, I’d get lucky.  When I looked at the list several were around Taos but one stuck out!


Sky Harbor

Three flights left for home and it wasn’t looking good!  When my eyes hit Ponce De Leon, Hot Spring I felt like it made since.  Maybe this waiting at Sky Harbor was going to pay off.   Could it be?  Could this Fenn guy have put his gold cache at a spring named after the legendary explorer for the fountain of youth?  It was worth a shot!  By the time my brother was picking me up, it had been a 12 hour Sky Harbor vacation and still no flight out.  The next day played just like the first but it gave me another day to dive into my theory.  I had my iPad and google earth and discovered that Ponce had what looked like a pool holding the hot water.  The property had an interesting history; it was a stopover on the Camino Real.  The Camino Real is an US National Historic trail system that was a trade route used by native tribes since the earliest of times.  It was also used by the Spanish Conquistadors to help spread Christianity and conquer lands.  It was a critically important place for early Native Americans because it supported crops and life as they knew it.  This seemed like a highly likely spot that had to check out.  The property had recently been turned into a conservation easement.  An anonymous donor donated $500,000 to the Taos Conservation society which purchased the land from Miranda, LLC.  The last flight out was quickly approaching so I ponied up and used my frequent flier miles to get home.  Flying stand-by (Thanks, Joe) can be challenging but it has been a critical part of me being able to try and clear the cache.

A few weeks later, I took my first of more than a dozen trips to clear the cache.  I would generally leave after work on Fridays and come home late on Sunday.  My first trip out was sometime in late January of 2013.  I was very naïve to treasure hunting and I thought I was going to walk out to the land and just pick it up.  When I arrived into Taos it was lightly snowing and I was pumped for my first hunt!  I tried to sleep but I was too excited for my adventure.  I planned to start my hunt at day break.  As a snow skier I’m very aware of what it takes to deal with mountain climate and I was prepared.  I had purchased some cheap rubber boots to combine with my ski gear which has never let me down.  I always traveled light so bringing a pair of boots was not an option.   When I walked out the door fear set in.  It was a whiteout!  A foot of snow was on my rental car and it was coming down heavy.  This was not going to deter me as I was ready for the elements minus good boots.  Besides, I had two good sets of wool socks on. When I arrived at the entrance, I would always call my wife to let her know I was starting.  That way someone knew where I was at.  I spent hours hiking in heavy snow and learned firsthand about the property.  The chest could have been at my feet and I wouldn’t be able to see it but I found what I thought had to be heavy loads and water high.  It was an aqueduct that carried water over an arroyo that helps irrigate the lands below.  It was held up by giant wood trestle.  I had learned a lot first hand and would come back in a few weeks.




The next trip out was a couples’ trip with my wife and our good friends Joe and Cassy.  Cassy grew up in Louisiana and had never seen snow.  We had a great long weekend planned out: couple snowmobiling with Big Al, a boys ski day while the girls went to Oco Caliente Springs.  It was a special moment seeing Cassy in snow for the first time ever.  The snowmobile tour was scenic with a trip to Wheeler Peak, the highest point in New Mexico.  Uncle Tom’s Taos house offered the perfect ambiance for any trip to Taos.  Over the years I have taken many friends there.  One of which is of particular importance.  Big John has been the best of friends, (Thanks, John) over many years and has helped me in my career, my life and this quest.  John is a giant of a man at over 6’ 6 and 250lbs of muscle.  His type is the reason my football career could not continue in college.  You might recognize his last name; he has a less popular relative that plays QB in the NFL.  Anyway, we decided as couples to go after the cache.  I had made them aware of the Chase and they were game so we spent some time searching with no luck.  We decided Orlando’s New Mexico Cuisine was better than freezing.  Every time I’m in Taos I make sure to get the best pizza (Taos Outback) and best Chile Relleno (Orlando’s) around.  If you are on the hunt those places are great! John and I have skied Taos regularly for years.  It offers world class skiing with minimal lift lines.  My wife has been my main stay in the hunt to clear the cache.  I’ve literally spent 1000’s of hours on the hunt for the chest and she has been there in support and strategizing every step of the way!  Without her support, I would have never had the chance to chase my childhood dream.  What kid has never wanted to go on a treasure hunt?  My sons do it all the time with their metal detectors.  I have searched and swam at Ponce De Leon with them a few times and we have always found something special.  So why am I still looking in this place?  It just makes since given the background of everything.  I’ve even brought my aging parents on the hunt which reminds me of a good story!


Earp Throw Down

My aging parents have a house in New Mexico and a few months back I called them to pick me up because I was sure of the location!  They picked me up at ABQ and we headed north.   I had a specific spot that I wanted to dig.  My mom got right in with me while my dad kept watch.  After a day of nothing, we headed back to Texas the same day I flew in.  One of the reasons I had them pick me up was because I knew they were both traveling armed.  I was positive I would need the old eagle eyes (Sorry, Mom & Dad) to draw down!  That strategy would soon come back to haunt me.  We stayed the night at a small West Texas town and headed out early for the 10+ hours home.  I drove home most the way to help my parents and because I like driving.  We passed thru several small towns where the speed limit would go from 75 to 30 MPH in a half a mile.  I would slow down because 10/10 times if you got a ticket in West Texas it would be in one of the speed trap towns.  After I was about 20 miles South of Guthrie, Texas I noticed a truck coming up from behind.  This was odd because I had the cruise set on a 100.  He had one small light on the dash of his truck with no siren.  When he got to the window he looked like he was straight out of the OK corral fight!  He had dirty pants, old cowboy shirt and hat, boots with spurs and a handle bar stache.  I love that look, it reminded me of my Kansas roots.  I’m generally pretty good at talking my way out of a ticket but at 100 plus I was going to save my breath.  The first thing he said was, “Son, do you know how fast you were going? I have been trying to catch up with you for 20 Miles!”  I think we passed him heading out of town. He was going the opposite direction but I never heard the radar detector go off.  My dad reached in the glove box for the insurance.  Sheriff Earp noticed the Glock and the draw down I was thinking about went the wrong way.  After some negotiating with a conceal permit we were on our way home and I had a $300.00 souvenir from my buddy Wyatt.  As I write this, I’m still on deferred adjudication for my Nascar adventure in King County, Texas.



Family Vacation

I was maybe a half-dozen trips into my adventure by the summer of 2013.  So, it was time to take the entire family.  We planned on river rafting, sightseeing, mountain hiking and prospecting.  All but a few of my trips had some other adventure besides hunting for Mr. Fenn’s gold.  I went skiing many times in the winter.  I even told my wife if I found it in the winter I was going to leave it in the car and go skiing.  On my last trip, I left it for good and went skiing.  Lonestar on the backside of Ski Taos tends to make any thoughts I have drift away.  My boys had a great time.  They love hunting for treasures of all kinds.  They got very excited when we found some old Indian pottery down Old State Highway 382. We searched and searched and couldn’t find the chest but it was a very rewarding memory with my family.  One thing we did run across was an old Coke cooler that had caught our interest.  It was an old, wet cooler and we analyzed it for a while.  It was rusting away but had what looked to be brass screws on one side of it that I thought were not original.  We finished our search and headed back to Texas.


Ponce De Leon Hot Springs

Ponce De Leon Hot Springs


The FF Blaze

I spent a few trips in the surrounding area of the springs.  I noticed on Google earth what looked like a reverse F and another F on the grounds just to the south of the entrance.  I thought this was it!  I was even able to manufacture some GPS coordinates out of the books but I could not find it!  My next solve was near the entrance gate.  If you look at Google earth, you will see what looks like a lower case Omega near the entrance. The road also makes a horseshoe shape so the double Omega had to be the spot!  I was even able to manufacture another set of GPS coordinates to locate exactly where it was at.  This was the trip I brought my heat packing parents on.  We spent most the day digging away until I couldn’t dig anymore.  One thing I’ve learned on this adventure is that digging in New Mexico is not for the meek!  I had to constantly keep my mom away from digging; I didn’t want her to get hurt.  The ground in the winter months is similar to concrete. It was at this point that I realized that if a 38 year old struggles then Mr. Fenn probably wouldn’t have buried it.  He always said, “I hid it, I didn’t say I buried it but that doesn’t mean it’s not buried” I kept thinking about what that meant.   Is it in a cave?  Maybe he used something to cover it?  At this point I was fully obsessed with the hunt.  I had covered every square inch of the 44 acres four times over and the aqueduct was searched out.  So I went back home and studied the poem.  It read it over and over again until it all seemed to click together.  I viewed this is a match between me and Mr. Fenn and my tenacity was in full bloom.  I felt like I had uncovered what was right in front of me!


Reverse F to the left and Omega starting below the Rd

Reverse F to the left and Omega starting below the Rd


17 dollars a Square Inch

17 dollars a square inch was the first book I bought because The Thrill of the Chase was on backorder.  I read it in a day waiting to catch a seat home from ABQ.  The book spoke to me and I felt like it was echoing that I had picked the right spot.  It talked a lot about Taos and Mr. Sloane and I felt like it might have some clues so I started digging.  The chapter about pricing paintings had a lot of numbers so I tried to make sense of them but had no luck.  It was a very interesting read; I was always interested in Mr. Sloane’s bell he found in the arroyo.  I thought if I found the chest I would try to buy that bell from Mr. Fenn because I wanted to have a connection with both of them.  If I ever found the chest I would for sure give Mr. Fenn his bracelet back. I would not entertain him giving me anything for it but I would have a copy made to help me remember the great adventure.  This is an elusive dream we all share and most people on this earth have had it.  I started this quest with the dream of the chest and found something else.  That is why I want to give my entire solution and all the details away.  The chest and the dream of wealth have lost their luster for me and that is why I’m going to reveal everything I think might be important in finding the chest.  And if you find it, I will be happy for you and expect nothing in return.  I think after you read the next few chapters you might believe that the chest is somewhere at Ponce De Leon just outside of Rancho De Taos.


Ponce De Leon Hot Springs

One thing I failed to mention earlier about Ponce De Leon is that the move to make it a conservation easement started about 15 years ago around the same time Mr. Fenn was formulating a plan.  If you do your research, you will see that all the timelines add up. I think the reason it took him 15 years is because he was waiting on the springs to be established as a conservation easement.  The $500,000 anonymous donor stipulated that the land must remain open to the public and that slowed the process down.  Another thing you might look at is the prior owner.  Miranda, LLC looks like a sister company located out of Fort Worth.  If you research it; you will find it is part of a real estate company and nothing else. It is interesting to note the road leading into the spring is Miranda Canyon Road.  Another interesting note is that about a quarter mile before the entrance is a private drive called Tatanka Trail.  It is a large property that has a house at the top of a hill overlooking Miranda Canyon Road.  Tatanka Trail translates to Sitting Bull Trail which could be a hint.  The property is controlled by the Taos Pueblo but I’m not sure who owns the land.  If you are a landowner, you can designate some or all of your property as a conservation easement.  When a conservation easement is in place the property is protected in perpetuity from being developed.  In other words the property can never be developed.  As a land owner you can hold the title to a conservation easement while it is managed by someone else.  You will also notice that when you turn off of Highway 68 onto 382 the first road you cross is Old Santa Fe Road.  This might be the best part!  The property was designated a conservation easement sometime around (I couldn’t prove the 25th) 10/26/09.  Roughly a year later (10/25/10), Mr. Fenn launched The Thrill of the Chase!  When I discovered this I thought it was game over but I still couldn’t find the chest so I went back to the books and the poem.



Where N Blazes

I started looking for the blaze and couldn’t find one.  I knew where to start and I was a couple of trips in without the chest.  Frustration was setting in when I started thinking about where did Mr. Fenn start his journey?  I started where he started at Blue Jeans and Hush Puppies Again.  I started looking for clues and found a blaze he left behind in the Teachers with Ropes.  The story adds up to 84 if you look at the numbers correctly.  That is the Highway to Espanola which he mentions in the story.  The road to Taos is Highway 68.  If you start at Blue Jeans and add the dates of the postmarks concluding with Flywater you will find the number 68.  If you add all the numbers in those stories up you can get to the number 411 meaning pertinent information.  If you back off certain numbered words you can find the number 382.  If you add all the specific treasure items up you can also get to 382.   I have found many of all these numbers (84, 68, and 382) in all 3 books.  They tend to be easier to find in Too Far to Walk.  The treasure chest chapter adds up to 417 but if you minus out the odd words you will get the 413.  If you Google the number 413 you will find it is a Microsoft error message and you can fix it by CLEARING THE CACHE!  If you look in the Seventeen dollars a Square Inch chapter you can find all three (84, 68, 382, numbers assc. w/paintings).  I will list out the ones that I think I solved but I think some remain unsolved.  If Mr. Fenn posted a story on his blog it is possible you can find coded numbers if you can figure out how to look at them.  I think everything in his poem is double maybe triple entendre.  So, if you take 84 North out of Santa Fe and head north on 68 at Espanola you will run into 382 just before Rancho (De) Taos and that road will dead end into Ponce (De) Leon Hot Springs.  I have searched in that location more times than I would like to admit without any luck.  Below is a list of numbers that seem to match my theory above. Some of these numbers are hard to get to so I’m not promising you everything is perfect but it might be worth a look.  One of my favorites is Chapter 45 Mountain Man.  He talks about the $100 he put up and the cost per shot.  Then he mentions the mountain man shoots Alexander Hamilton in the forehead.  He is not on the $100 but he is on the $10 dollar bill.   If you add all the dollars up it comes to $380.  So, I researched the two dollar bill and Hamilton was on the first issue in the 1860s for about 7 years. When he gets shot it makes the dollar value $382!   Another one I like is Concy and Me, add all the numbers up and you get 371.  Then you need to add the leven in the picture on page 33.  The mirror on the wall poem adds up to 68.  Flywater can get you to 84.  The preface of Too Far To Walk has 84 on the first page and 68 on the second.  Another personal favorite comes out of Stout Hearted Men.  Look at the first two roads he would take to go home to Temple, Texas.  Look at the FIRST in the picture in the Mexico Beach House chapter and see if you can get to a number.  I believe the unattended clue is on page 125 in the middle of the page.  Try using military time with some chapters and see what you get.  Jungle Wisdom is also interesting to me!

I think all the chapters below could contain helpful number clues and info if you look at it in the right fashion.


  • Surviving myself
  • The Totem Café
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Buffalo Cowboy
  • Stout-Hearted Men
  • My war for me and every Chapter after


  • Preface
  • Expensive Memories
  • Chapters 11-19
  • Jungle Wisdom
  • Sunday Kind of Love
  • Words that Linger


So why am I giving all this information away?  I feel like I found what I was looking for!  I feel that my search could not go on!  I believe that an extraordinary art work should be brought to light!  I’m a private person and I’m not concerned about getting credit or being publicized.  I started this chase because I’m monetarily driven!  I was in the Chase for the money but somewhere during the Chase that reason faded.  I have everything I need and I’m content. Sure it would be nice to pay for my kids’ college and not have to worry about money in retirement.  However, I felt like I solved the puzzle and that has given me contentment!  I could be wrong and the chest might be steps away from my spot and if it is and one of you finds it I will be happy for you.  I would like to personally thank Mr. Fenn. You have given me several gifts that I will never be able to repay!  I have looked at this quest as a 1 on 1 poker match that I could compete with the best of the best.  I could never beat Mr. Fenn but I like to compete at the highest level.  If you see where you are at then you know what you need to work on to get better.  This plays out every day with my family and colleagues I work with, people like Nicky, Big John, Scott, Mash and you.  I strive to get better every day and I look for mentors to help me move forward in my career and life.  These people have made me better and Mr. Fenn has moved onto the short list.  I would have never dreamed that I could live out a boyhood fantasy like I did here.  And countless others are living the same dream.  This entire process has seemed to be destiny!  I’m not an overly religious guy but everything that has happened seems to be fate and I’m humbled.  Numerous pieces had to fall in place.  If anyone piece was missing then I would not be typing this today!   Other pieces were hours away from disappearing forever!  Every piece that needed to fall into place did to help me come to my solution.  Fate is the driving factor for getting to this point.  So, if I’ve missed it, good luck to all of you.  I hope it is found by someone deserving!  My greatest fear is destroying the Thrill of the Chase so I will take precautions so that won’t happen.  I know many searchers are as passionate as I am.  I empathize with those who have put countless hours into this amazing Chase!  I have stood beside you silently for a long time.  I feel deeply this is something I need to do.   So my key word is content regardless of what happens!



I believe I have found GPS coordinates in the books that can help you where to start if you can figure out how to find them.  I will mail the first person $100 bucks (Except Mr. Fenn) that can figure a correct set out.  I think this is an interesting part of the solution.  So I’m going to keep that in my back pocket for now.  I think I’ve found three sets but I would be shocked if there is not more.  The GPS coordinates will not take you to the spot but they are helpful.  When it comes down to it I think all you really need is the poem.  It should take you right to it if you know where to start.


Super Bowl Sunday

I have been in Taos more days than I’ve been at home this month!  My first trip this month was for my wife’s birthday.  I was planning on splashing her with some big nuggets.  It was like usual; it was half business half leisure. The plan was to go to Oco during Super bowl Sunday in the morning and start the Chase around 3:00 because it would be tumble weeds and us with the game on.  I went armed with all the Intel above and felt like I just missed it!  My wife found the spot and I didn’t go deep enough.  I think we were standing a few feet away from the gold and let it slip through our hands!  It was a devastating defeat because I truly thought like countless other times it was mine.  We headed for Santa Fe for some nice relaxing one on one time.  I emailed Mr. Fenn a similar solution to the one below an hour before kickoff. We flew back home on Monday.



My last Trip

A few days later I noticed the new set of questions he answered. “It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching.  Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is KEY.  The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.”   I felt sure he was talking to me, like I’m sure many did.  So after work on 2/7 I flew back out and drove to Taos as I’ve countless times over the past year.  I emailed Mr. Fenn on the way up to let him know I was heading back to my spot.  This was not my first back to back weekends but my hopes were sky high.  I got up early put on my ski gear and headed for my spot.  I got to my spot 5 days after I left it and was in utter shock at what I had found!  My pile of sticks was overturned and you could see what looked like the perfect cubby hole with depression marks in the grown.  I felt like someone had just punched me in the stomach!  It is hard to describe my feeling. It was overwhelming!  I took several pictures and tried to gather my heart off the cold ground.  I stood there for a while and then called my wife.  When I told her what I found she started crying.  I was in pure panic mode and that’s when I emailed Mr. Fenn.  The email failed to send so I did it again with the same results.  I tried a different email address and found out the same thing was happening.  I sat down and tried to think things over.  My first thought was someone beat me to it and I was the runner-up.  I assumed Mr. Fenn shut his email account down!  That’s when I posted on Dal’s blog.  I was undergoing overwhelming emotions to say the least!  I had my wife email him and it went through but a follow-up had her email blocked out.  At this point I didn’t know what to think or do.  I sat there for about an hour and decided regardless of what happened I was finished with this chase.


At that point I decided some snow skiing was in order.  So I packed it up, turned off my phone and headed to Taos Ski Valley.  I was still very distraught but bombing some steep blues always makes me feel better.  Skiing gave me time to think.  Did some someone beat me to it?  Was it never there?  Am I in the wrong spot?  Did Mr. Fenn come get it?  Does it really matter?  I have put so much into this that I didn’t have the interest to continue on.  I felt like I solved the puzzle.  That is why I posted this Chase is over for me but mine shall continue on.  In my humble opinion, that is why Mr. Fenn sent us all on this epic quest.  The key word is contentment!  That is ultimately why I’m giving you all this information!  The Chest doesn’t mean as much to me anymore!  I have come full circle and seen the place for the first time!  I’m comfortable finding an empty hole.  It’s life and I’m going to enjoy it.  I believe all my research and everything that I’ve found. The thrill of the Chase is not about the destination or the prize but the journey. It is about discovering the thrills in the smallest moments of each of the days of your life. It is about discovering the thrill in each day you have been given, in appreciating the true meaning of a word, in truly listening to what someone is saying and in discovering things about yourself. The thrill is about the crazy adventure you get to take with your parents, watching your children’s eyes light up with discovery, feeling the support of your friends and a shared moment with your wife. The thrill is about discovering art in the most unexpected of places!   So, I hope you all find it or are happy for the ones that do.  Mr. Fenn was right. It is the Thrill of the Chase, and it is the Chase and not the Quarry!






My Best Solution

As I have gone alone in there          To his special place

And with my treasure bold,              Unhesitant

I can keep my secrets where,          Hiding spot

And hint of riches new and old.        New the chest, Old the Bottle caps and string

Begin it where warm waters halt       Ponce (De) Leon Hot Springs head down

And take it in the Canyon down,       Take it down to Miranda Canyon Road

Not far but too far to walk.                Two points of entry: One is too far to walk for him, he takes the shortcut.

Put in below the home of Brown        Two Homes of Brown- One is a home on the hill as you come to Canyon Road.  An entry point to the arroyo is apparent (left of the V tree). The other can be seen on the Cover of Too Far to Walk.  His legs make a shadow that looks like a home and has Purple and Yellow Flowers.  Purple mixed with Yellow is Brown. Put in below the Purple and Yellow Flowers.


From there it’s no place for the meek          It gets rough and hard to navigate.

The end is ever drawing nigh;                     You’re getting close and take a next left.

There’ll be no paddle up your creek,           You take the dry arroyo up stream.

Just heavy loads and water high.                The old coke cooler in the middle of the arroyo and an old piece of guttering nailed to some rough sawn timber.  Look at the wood the chest sits on in his picture.  That is rough sawn wood.


 If you been wise and found the blaze,          Blazes- The Book Blaze, Wood Blaze, Finnforest Wood and 42” string Blaze=Brilliantly Conspicuous

Look quickly down your quest to cease,        Head south/Dig in the sticks.

But tarry scant with marvel gaze                    Tarry scant describes the water high/guttering with tar that’s nailed to a piece of scant board.

Just take the chest a go in peace.                  Take it and go.

So why is it that I must go                               He knows his time is drawing near and he wants to enjoy watching your thrill of the chase.  Finding contentment!

And leave my trove for all to seek?                  

The answer I already know,                              “

I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak.                  “

So hear me all and listen good,                         Pay attention: Important

Your effort will be worth the cold                        It will be worth your efforts to endure.

If you’re brave and in the wood                          Dig to the bottom of the wood pile close to the fence line.

I give you title to the gold                                    You get the gold and maybe the title to the land?


IN THE WOOD- “He said he hid it, he didn’t say he buried it but that does mean it’s not buried.”  Buried above ground with sticks!  Entombed! See Expensive Memories!  This pile of wood was 3-4 feet tall.

TARRY SCANT- If you Google scant wood, you will find out the wood is generally smaller than normal and is rough sawn timber which is what the tarred guttering was nailed to.  It is also interesting to note that one of the companies that make scant board is Metsawood which recently acquired a scant wood producer that was named FINNFOREST.

HOME OF BROWN- There is Sage and Rabbit bush lining the road where Mr. Fenn takes his short cut. Purple + Yellow= Brown

GOLD CHAPTER- I think the gold chapter stories are important!

He talks about drinking sodas and collecting bottle caps.  Those things point to the old coke cooler.

Next he talks about collecting string and it was a great mystery what happened to it and his mom was watching for the Postman.  A few Feet away from the pile of wood is a bundle of 42” metal string that the Postman would use to help build the Fence that is 10 feet behind the pile.   The 42” metal string wouldn’t fit through a door unless you turned it sideways.

TWO TRIPS- The gold was 42 lbs and the metal bracing string are 42” long?

ROAD- The spot is 25 yards from the road.  You walk right by it!

EPILOGUE- The last picture in the TTOTC is an aging man that has chopped his wood and is looking at a crescent moon that brings a new life while all his wood has been chopped.

It could also be a giant 4 foot tall stack of sticks that are nesting the golden thunder eggs.  The fence line has had all the trees sawn down and the stumps remain just like the picture.

As I found it five days after I left it.  If you look closely you might see my heart on the ground!




Thanks you for your help!



Thanks, to my wife Nicky!  Without your love and support I would have not been able to travel on this epic journey!

I Love you!


127 thoughts on “Chasing Cache…

  1. I was a bit hesitant about people posting their Full solutions, but I am relieved as you and I are in different states completely. I admire your imagination but I don’t agree with most of your solutions. You have put a lot of effort and expense into this as so many others (including myself) have.
    The winner will be persistent thru the many disappointments they are sure to experience as they (we) mature along the way toward the correct solution. I lean to a simple place that now makes sense to me. I cannot wait for warmer temps and Spring and Summer to start looking again. I have done my research and feel confident. I think it is pure ego to “spill the beans” here and those who Think they have the right solution will find a way to go look for themselves and not give it away for free….
    Hope to see you on the trail if you change your mind.

  2. What an epic tale Ryan! Glad you are content with your decision to discontinue your search and thinking that you have the solution. Personally, I disagree with your solution but it was interesting to read your adventures and your reasons for believing in your solution. Good luck to you if you decide to go out searching again. 🙂

  3. Fantastic adventure Ryan.
    I was right there with you, and the writing was good too. Ryan, winners never quit, and quitters never win… So plz reconsider; I appreciate you. Good post!

  4. Thanks for sharing! It was a fun read.
    It made me think of my first trip and the indescribable feelings I had.
    They were not normal for me. I was amazed at my own self.
    I do not feel like you gave away the right solution to everyone.
    It has not changed my conviction for my location(s).
    I get a greater sense of the camaraderie among chasers.
    Wishing well to all! 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing Ryan(I bet you didn’t expect that lol). I just wanted to clarify, because many of gotten upset with me primarily as if my biggest issue was that you were posting your solution. While I think it can be a mistake for anyone who feels they can find the chest, to give out your thoughts and ideas(including myself)…it wasn’t the solution ideas that got me the most upset. It was that you were talking as if you were going to “release” only a chapter here and there as if to taunt us and you spoke very much as if your plan was to “give it away”, because you knew you had found it.

    People won’t hear me say I know where it is ever, even if I feel confident. I know what that sort of statement can evoke in someone who has put their heart and soul into believing they can be the one to find it. People tend to hear me talk about the negatives and it’s not to say “oh poor me”….it’s because I hope people can relate to me. A few people have called me an elitist and suggested I feel I deserve the chest and I hope they reconsider saying or feeling that way as it hurt me to think my passion and vocal projection hurt my character in their eyes. I believe Forrest explains when making the deal in his office with his Dad standing nearby, that none of us will truly have deserved such a windfall compared to others who do such meaningful work. I hope after this chase that we all consider doing more things to make differences like his Dad….and now Forrest.

    Saying all that….I enjoyed your story telling. I too have felt that New Mexico is a good place and have considered a hot spring such as that as I feel there’s a possibility that he felt “cured” from a spring as did the Flywater author from fishing….and he owed that special place. I have posted the first article I believe was ever written on the Chase and the reporter reports that it’s in New Mexico on my forum. Of course we don’t know if they got it wrong, or if Forrest changed the search area when he saw how big a story this became, but it’s one of those “hmmm, what was he thinking” type things. Here’s a link to anyone who wants to read it.

    Thanks again and I’m sorry to anyone who got upset over my opinion. I do think I was too harsh on Ryan and I do apologize for that *sorry*. Sometimes I get a thrill from using my words too much and get lost in the debate of a discussion.

  6. It is always interesting to see how others interpret the clues in the poem to come to their solutions.

    What I found astonishing is that you set your cruise control to 100mph. Ryan, that is reckless…please keep your safety and the safety of those traveling around you in mind. I can only hope that you will think of yourself and others next time you are on the road.

    Thanks for sharing your adventure!

  7. Great story.

    I would have never thought to researching conservation easements. If you are giving up the chase, I hope some other Wildcat fan finds the treasure.

  8. Ryan, Thanks for sharing your adventure w/ the searcher community ! Presented in this fashion, as a story, it is just that, A STORY. I like hearing how the mission at hand ( searching for the treasure) evolves into a recreational excursion that seems to comfort those involved. This seems to be a recurring theme for many of us and I can’t help but think that this is how it will go, many more times. It is pointless commenting on your solution. Not because it has no merit, more because it is not my place to be your critic. Off handed comments only stir the pot and really only serve the writer. I hope you find true contentment in your endeavors and good luck if you take up the Quest in the future…

  9. Hi Ryan,
    Sorry I thought your posts might be a Hoax! After I saw that you stopped posting, I thought maybe it was? What a great adventure! Sorry you did not find the treasure. Did you ever hear from Forrest? I think that hole and wood looks a lot like a fox hole or another small to med. sized animal.
    I will never forget the feeling I had when I thought I was about to find the treasure. It was magical to say the least. It keeps me going still today.
    Take Care and God Bless, Lou Lee-Chased by Brown Bears in Jellystone Park and Montana too.

    • PS, I think I got mixed up with you and RC posting. I thought someone said the Treasure was gone? Than you and them disappeared from the blog…so we were all wonder? Who? What? Where? What? LOL….Carry on!

  10. Don’t worry nobody found the chest there.
    Just look at the place. You telling me THATS the place Forrest picked to lay in peace?

    • Yeah, it’s unimaginable that Forrest would even want to live so far out West, IN NEW MEXICO???? Chuckle, chuckle.

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  11. Good story, Ryan. Don’t give up on the chase. Hang in there. The treasure is still out there. Go get it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  12. Ryan, great story and very interesting logic; thank you and Dal for posting it. I really enjoy hearing other searcher’s stories and seeing the pictures. It’s great that your whole family got involved in the chase…….That may be what it takes to solve the poem; a family……..A redneck with twelve kids in a pickup.

    Just my opinion…….I don’t think you and your clan are done yet. Take a little time to clear your caches, rethink the poem and get back out there with your kids. That’s what it’s all about. I look forward to hearing your next adventure. Pay no attention to the naysayers and folks with paranoid personality disorders. They are the folks that would never let you touch the artifacts and paintings in the gallery; I’m sure glad Fenn didn’t listen to them.

    Get your family back out there and touch the chase.

  13. Hey Ryan, I found something that may be of interest. What’s your email.

    (you may be one of those “first two clues” guy and I may have found another)

  14. “I believe I have found GPS coordinates in the books that can help you where to start if you can figure out how to find them. I will mail the first person $100 bucks (Except Mr. Fenn) that can figure a correct set out. I think this is an interesting part of the solution. So I’m going to keep that in my back pocket for now. ”

    Explain to me how this is relevant when Fenn said the hints in the book were not placed there intentional to aid the seeker???????

    GPS coordinates seems like a intentional thing to do. Why in the world would Forrest go back through his book asking himself…”Hmm..I better look at all the numbers to see if any match up to the GPS coordinates”

    The best I can give you is a quote from V for Vendetta: “There are no coincidences only the illusion of coincidences”

    • That part makes me laugh so hard my sides ache.
      I would gladly give Mr. Fenn $100 for the correct set of coordinates! Any one would.
      I’m still laughing.

    • Fantasy Entails Navigating Nuanced Facts
      Our Reasoning Reordered Eventually Seems True

  15. What I find interesting is that since Ryan’s “discovery” Forrest has gone a little “quiet.” No confirmation or denial that the treasure has been found?

    • Maybe it is just a coincidence, or maybe he got an email from someone else or maybe he drank his yearly margarita and decided he liked them after all. lol.

    • lol@ “Forrest has gone quiet”

      i suppose you think F should be making some public announcement every 24 hours

      conspiracy theorists unite!

  16. Oddly enough, I stopped getting updates on peoples posts. I, too, have jumped around in excitment when I thought I discovered another clue. This adventure never ceases to amaze me. I have been circumfrexed with this chase! I can hardly wait until I get out into the mountains again. Good job, Ryan… “Never stop searching!” That’s what ff told me. Dont stop. Maybe just take a break. Think about how much fun it has been.

  17. Ryan, interesting however, it seems like a little brush fire (and we have a high fire danger here) would exposed the chest to the lucky firefighters or anyone crossing this area. Seems no real longevity to the hide. You certainly had some of the thrill and I hope to continue to search with your family. Good Luck

  18. I have spent the last two and a half years searching for Forrest Fenn’s chest. I have been through the gambit of interpretations too. I have found Lat/ longs, metaphysical meanings, literal meanings, and physical meanings. I have come full circle after 21 searches. I am back to simple solutions….back to square one. It is amazing to me when I read other interpretations posted on Dal’s blog what leaps and bounds people take with the clues…and then it dawned on me that I was doing the same thing!! It is so easy to convince yourself you are correct when you have been struggling with the poem and then you have that AHA! Moment…It all comes together in your mind and seems so logical…but its all just an educated guess. When you hear Forrest describe the way the chest will be discovered, you must realize the poem is like the list of directions you get when you seek directions on mapquest. Mapquest gives you a map, but without those words, you would be left to figure it out on you own. That is what most of us, including myself, are trying to do. We have the map, and we are trying to figure out where to go using various bits of information scattered around in different articles and interviews. What we need to do is learn to read the directions. When guessing, we can never go with true confidence, only a false sense of security. Of course at some point we all want to get out into the field and test our hypothesis, even though the facts are already in front of us in the poem, if we just read it correctly. I also find it very interesting how many people end up in the same locations. This is because there is a finite amount of information on the internet that leads researchers to similar or identical solutions…in addition, logical interpretations of possible clues bring us to many of the same areas. I’m sure most people that are serious have found Eagles Nest, Agua Fria, Ojo Caliente, Firehole River, Madison River, Yellowstone river, Red River, Rio Grande Gorge, Wood River, etc.. etc..Blah Blah Blah.
    Of course, the chest may very well be at one of those locations. We know Forrest has said people have been close…But I take what the coyote says with a grain of salt. I have learned a thing or two about searching just by trial and error. For example, I know it will take more than one day to cover a search area with ANY degree of thoroughness. I have also learned not to travel until I have a full solve. I have learned to search for photos of my areas because google earth is inadequate to know exactly what kind of terrain and vegetation I may encounter. I have learned 42 pounds is heavy, and I will bet MANY searchers have no clue exactly what they will be trying to carry out if they find it. Dog food bags don’t cut it…go lift a 2 h.p. motor, or a 40 pound ingot of lead, or two bags of bird shot. Go pick up 5 gallons of milk…with one hand…now you are getting closer. I have learned the chest is not in water, standing or moving, and if I am wrong about this then in my opinion the chest will never be found. I have learned not to trespass, and if the chest is on private property without a conservation easement, I will not find it. Forrest would not place the chest on private property in my opinion. One thing I have not learned is how to correctly read the directions.
    I must admit my solves have evolved a great deal from my outhouse days. I have searched the Firehole, Madison, Yellowstone, Wood, (WY), Wood, (ID), Red, Rio Grande, and Snake Rivers. I have searched Flaming Gorge, Glenwood Canyon, Rainbow Arch, Ice Caves, Lava tubes, Hot Springs, Geyser basins, and crevices. I have had plans to search Bandolier, Mesa Verde, Canyon of the Ancients, and Jemez. The chase has given me a treasure trove of memories and experiences I would never have had without it. Greed inspired my searches at first…but now it has evolved into something more…I believe most of us have experienced this. I have found many artifacts and rocks during my searches…treasures in and of themselves. I am always concerned when somebody comes on the blog saying the search is done…but when I hear the various adventures, I am always relieved…mostly because their interpretations of the clues seem so foreign and different than mine. That sounds pretty conceded, but all I mean is everyone has different ideas and I am more worried when others Ideas match mine than when they don’t.
    My latest search was at Lower Yellowstone Falls. Many of you probably recall my solve, since I listed it out on the blog. I was feeling pretty good about that one, but got to thinking about doing it twice with 20 pounds on my back at 80 years old and realized I was wrong. I still believe that the chest will be harder to retrieve than it was to hide, and I don’t want to go into details about that belief. I have two solves currently that I am excited about, but I haven’t got all nine clues laid out for both yet. One is in Colorado and one is in New Mexico. I am starting to fall into that closer to home camp…and I am not 100% gone from MT and WY, but NM or CO makes much more sense to me, for so many reasons. Dal’s blog is a fantastic resource for those of us that take the chase seriously, but we need to remember that there are those of us who for whatever reasons, whether it be distance, finances, family or work, will never be able to pursue our ideas and actually search the spots we find during our research. Those people deserve a voice too. They should be allowed to share ideas if they like without being put down or blocked. Perhaps they will give one of us lucky enough to be able to search the idea or break we needed to find the chest. I imagine that would give some sense of satisfaction to a person that knew where it was, but couldn’t search. I will not be sharing any more solves, but what I will be doing from time to time is posting my ideas as they relate to the search. For example, what if Where warm waters halt when solved is the placename of the correct canyon? So if wwwh was the Firehole River, then the canyon would be the Firehole River Canyon. This seems like a logical possibility, especially since Forrest clarified that WWWH is a place, not a region…it becomes logical that you could include the AND take it in the canyon down as a part of wwwh.
    I have thoughts on Forrest’s bells too. He admits to burying some of them on BLM land at about 3 feet deep. I am guessing he’s doing that in loamy soil with a posthole digger. I doubt very much he’s out there in the lava fields with a breaker bar and a spade shovel digging a 3 foot hole. However slight the risk, getting caught digging on BLM land would not be in his best interest…so the places are isolated, and the digging is easy. The thoughts I have about the treasure are much different. I find myself needing to know when and why and how he located this hiding spot. If it was when he was young, it is almost a given that it is in MT or WY. If he found it when he was in the AF it is almost a given that it is in Colorado or New Mexico. If he found it after his diagnosis it is almost a given that it is in New Mexico. It is also possible that the location has nothing to do with being an ideal hiding spot, and has more to do with being a spiritual or meaningful spot. In this case, the chest is most likely buried, since a perfect hiding spot was not likely located while he was seeking spiritual connections and answers. Of course, it could be a combination of the two, and be spiritual and meaningful because of what he found in the hiding spot when he found it for the first time. This is the idea I lean toward. I believe he found the spot during his time in the four corners area in the air force. I believe he found the spot by actively searching near a more obvious spot…and that his spot is well hidden and special. I believe it is isolated, on federal property, and relatively safe from the elements and ravages of time. When we look at discoveries that are hundreds and thousands of years old, they are almost exclusively in caves, buried in the ground, and/or in arid environments. Of course there are exceptions, but I am speaking in generalities.
    One thing I am thoroughly convinced of is that the chest is out there somewhere. It is not a hoax. It may be a publicity stunt, but that does not mean the chest is not out there. We have the directions, and we have a key of sorts, that will help us learn how to speak Fenn. The rest is up to us.

    • Just had a thought when you talked about New Mexico and it being a place an 80 year old would go…doesn’t that mean he wouldn’t go too far?

      I thought Cimarron was the most obvious place in my searches with horseshoe cave, Maverick campground, the special warm trout waters and the reservoir, Devil’s washbasin up by the boy scout camp.

    • I understand that you can DIG and Metal Detect on BLM land. You also can have a mining claim on BLM land, so just do NOT dig on a patch of land that is staked out with markers of some sort.

      • Never thought about this before, but what if “title” to the gold is a claim title on BLM then mustang? Ah ha!! What a title that’s in someone else’s name that’s just been signed over to him? Oh wait…that wouldn’t be good for 1000 years. Nevermind lol…well could maybe work some how. How long can you own a claim for?

        • I’ve had that thought since July 2013. It maybe so. You are one I’d like to meet. Or did we already, while I was sitting with Bob and Fred?

        • I had this same thought. Forrest says “riches new and old”. The “old” maybe valuable natural resources. There was an article by Tony (something) that said Forrest had a “secret benefactor” when he first started the art dealing. Although it could of just been the author’s way of adding to the mystery. But Imagine finding the treasure in a gold mine – that you now own lol – would be great!

          You could probably own a claim forever as long as the tax man still got paid.

    • Some of you have been searching a lot. I’ve been to one location only. Here is a thought I just had. Maybe one of the artifacts in the chest was found at his secret location and he is just putting the treasure chest were he found that artifact and that object is hard to let go of and also what made the place special to start with. Since he won’t live forever its time to put some things to rest. In a way giving back to those who have given him so much adventure(the dead). Maybe its just a beautiful arrowhead. He really needs to find a way to get his bones tucked in there when the time comes… I agree its all about finding the hidden meanings and following Forrest’s trail of thoughts… could it be in his pueblo site….sorry ff that was a joke get the no trespassing signs up… good luck everyone you will need it 🙂

      • I like that logic, PIECES-9….

        I often thought that the treasure is hidden in a place where he once found a treasure of his own (perhaps an arrowhead) in his youth. That spot has been very special to him ever since, because of the thrill he felt when finding it.

        By hiding the treasure in the same location, I agree with you that it is as if he is giving back. He returned to the spot to return the artifact, along with many other treasures to pay respect to the thrill of the chase he felt when looking for hidden treasure, and the thrill it gave him when he found it.

        I think it aligns nicely with “and hint of treasures new and old” Old being the object he is returning, plus the many new things he is putting there.

        Of course, this is all just speculation. But it works for me.

    • Well put! Your comment has been the best comment I have read yet. You have the right thinking and approach. I’d like to meet you some day. The invitation is open. One rule though, no telling where we plan to go or the solve that goes along with said “where.”

      • deal..I may be in the area this summer…I’m usually a loner, but if you know the lay of the land down there perhaps we could search together…I’m not greedy.

    • Michael D; Enjoyed your post. I can hear your sincerity and passion, not only about chasing your solutions, but also about the related topics you touched upon. I chase mostly in spirit & mind, although I have made a couple trips out west. I don’t have the resource of locality or freedom of time to act often, and don’t know if I’ll ever reach 10 attempts let alone 21! But then, all I need is one more – the next one! Thanks for contributing.

  19. All I got to say now is……Watch out for those Brown Bears!!! In Wyoming and Montana! Carry Maze. And Bells. Bring Treasure to leave for kids. And Always and I mean Always Hike with someone who You can out run! Stay Safe!!!!!

  20. Has anyone else realized that Forrest answered the question whether or not it is buried???

    In a Q&A Forrest was very cleverly asked if you can see the chest from Google Earth. His reply, No because it doesn’t go down far enough.

    Take a moment to realize what he just said. Psycologically if it was buried he would of stopped right there, knowing full well that it is a easy question to answer. But he didn’t and explained why we can’t see it.

    • JMC-
      I disagree with your interpretation of what Forrest meant. I believe he simply meant that Google earth doesn’t zoom in far enough. In other words you can’t see it because the chest isn’t big enough to show up. “It doesn’t go down far enough” wordsmithing I have heard many people use on satellite imagery when they can’t see the needle in the haystack they were looking for..
      I don’t believe Forrest said anything one way or another by that remark..

    • JMC

      i get what you’re saying but i dont think it answers the question of whether it is buried or not, or however it may or may not be hidden

      “google earth doesn’t go down far enough”

      but what if it did go down far enough, what if it went so far it could see into the ground or see through rocks?

      the point was google earth isnt capable of seeing it, if you want to try and read more than that into it, good luck

    • Yes, he has answered; he said “I never said it was buried. And I never said it wasn’t. ” 😉

      While I agree with Dal (I can barely make out the color of my little car, let alone a 10″ bronze box on google without using StreetView) But FF’s google earth comment can also be read 2 other ways:
      1. There’s a cover, like a large stone, atop of it, so unless you can see the side you’d be out of luck trying to use aerial online maps.
      2. It’s not buried, but in a ‘well’ of some sort: google earth does not show ditches or wells with any kind of accuracy: exposed to open air / unburied? yes. Below ground level, so technically buried? Yes! (So, buried and unburied both!!)
      Too far ‘down’ for satellite imagery? YES

    • I wouldn’t say that’s a difiniative answer, but I too questioned that. He’s saying the reason is because it doesn’t go down far enough. As if it would, you could. He’s not saying anything is blocking it. I think he once said he felt surrounded. So I’ve questioned if there’s a way it’s surrounded by big boulders for example and you can only see it when you are above it and looking down into the space the boulders created. I like the idea of a well, because of the fairies, but that’s a structure.

      • Only a well made of bricks is a structure: a well that’s a drilled /dug hole is a lack of earth that happens to be column-shaped negative space. 😉

      • Haha oh Stephanie, that’s why you’re closer than anyone to finding Forrest’s secret.

        The google earth comment was just confirmation, the poem itself indicates it is not buried.

    • JMC-

      Yes, I have put that out there before regarding the comment that Google Earth doesn’t go down far enough, and it supports the idea that the chest is not buried. As Dal said, the chest isn’t big enough to be seen by GE because the resolution isn’t fine enough. If the chest was buried, I think his answer would have been a simple ‘no’, because no visible light satellite imagery goes down far enough to see something that’s buried. Because this was an off-the-cuff answer to a question, and not a prepared answer, I think his answer is very straightforward.

      This comment, and many other comments by Forrest, together do tell me that the chest is not buried.

      And from the start Forrest has stressed the family search aspect of the Chase, especially the involvement of children in both interpretation of the poem and actively searching together outside. I don’t believe that he intended for families to purchase metal detectors, haul shovels, picks, and other supplies along with them on their searches. He has continually stressed the family aspect, not professional treasure hunters.

      You might say that you don’t need a metal detector because you think the chest is buried but clearly marked. This is a possibility, but unless the poem is telling you that it’s buried and clearly marked, you may always doubt yourself for not finding it because you DID NOT bring a metal detector.

      I also don’t think that Forrest wants to be responsible for creating thousands of holes in the Rockies. He would certainly not want searchers damaging important or sacred sites, or them getting into trouble with authorities, tribal councils, or private owners for digging things up on his account. After all, he said that “he thought of everything”, and he surely would have considered this.

      And think about the logistics for Forrest to bury the chest. He would take at least 2 (which he said) or 3 trips to the spot:
      -3 Trips: If he went first without the chest, he would need to hike and then dig a hole with a shovel (maybe pick) in earth that likely may be very hard, rocky, or full of roots, and then leave that hole open and go back and retrieve the chest. Then, presumably based upon his statement about two trips due to the weight of the treasure, he would fetch the empty bronze chest, place it near, beside or in the hole, and then go back again and retrieve the gold and other contents, and then return to the spot and put the contents inside the chest, and then bury it.

      -2 Trips: If he went on his first trip to the spot with the weight of the heavy bronze chest and his shovel and other things he’s carrying, then he would dig the hole and either place the empty chest near, beside or in the hole, but not bury it yet, and then go back and retrieve the contents and bring them back and place them in the chest, and then bury it. If he did this, he would have an open hole in the ground with a pile of earth, and the bronze chest just sitting there somewhere. The project would be half-finished and open to view. And this is a 79(?) year-old guy doing all this.

      There are other scenarios, such as he dug and buried the chest on the first trip, then returned and dug it up again to insert the contents and re-buried it, and/or that it’s in soft earth or sand, etc. But I don’t buy it. The chest could be covered as Mapsmith points out, but the GE response would then not make sense.

      And Forrest said in several ways that he was “going to go out there and fling myself on top of that treasure chest and let my bones go back to the dirt.” Do you think he would keep expressing it this way if it was buried? Or to leave his bones and take the chest?

      And originally he was sick with cancer and intended to take the chest with him out there to die. He may be lucky to get there in the first place with the heavy chest when he’s weak and ill, so do you think he was fully prepared mentally and physically to go through one of the scenarios above and bring tools and dig the hole and bury it and then die?

      JMC: “Take a moment to realize what he just said. Psycologically if it was buried he would of stopped right there, knowing full well that it is a easy question to answer. But he didn’t and explained why we can’t see it.” This is simple. Yes.

      -Finally, the poem clues are telling me that it’s not buried.

      If you find the chest and it is buried in earth, please save a handfull of tasty soil for me and let me bake it into a batch of brownies, and I will eat them with a dirty smile.

      If I find the chest, I will take a picture of it in situ with a copy of a current newspaper and post it.


      • Well thought out reasoning and I mostly agree. There could also be a natural depression or hole which might be easily covered up with a smallish rock slab (a scant) so it could be sort of buried but not buried in the common understanding of the word, and that would make sense of his never wanting to give “buried” or “not buried” as a clue. There is no way he could answer that question with a yes or a no if the chest is covered up with a rock or even under a log.

        • The thing is…his google earth comment doesn’t seem right if it’s covered. Also there was a comment about a child just walking over to pick it up. I wonder if there’s a small hole that a child could go through to get to it if it’s surrounded by rocks or something. Maybe that’s why he suggests bringing kids also.

          • How can you speak to what Forrest has said or not said? Seems like an impossible statement to make.

            I was told by Mark dreyer who runs a blog listed on Forrest site that when he was at Forrest’s table, Forrest told him that.

            There’s more to that story, but I do believe this to be true..that it was said to him. I think the idea behind the statement being asked and answered was, is it in a place where a child could get it…not really if it was logical that they could lift it.

          • How can anyone speak to what Forrest has said? You did.

            Forrest has said, ” he is blamed for saying all kinds of things he didn’t.”

            ” Also there was a comment about a child just walking over to pick it up.” Did I misread you? Sorry, 🙁

          • Was going to respond, but changed my mind. You and anyone else who chooses to believe what you’re saying can do just that. I’ll leave the brainstorming up to you.

          • I think his Google Earth comment was just an off-the-cuff remark that might not be meant to be taken too literally. Everyone knows Google Earth doesn’t go down far enough to see everything clearly, even buildings, and certainly not a 10″x10″ chest. Forrest did say no-one would stumble over it so to me that means it is not lying out in the open where even if Google Earth DID go down far enough, that it could be easily seen from above. And I don’t think it would be in a very deep hole with or without a cover over it as it would be too difficult to get the treasure in or out.

            The few things I can remember ff saying about children in regard to the poem and chest is something like: give the poem to a child; it’s (the chest) not in a dangerous place; and a child could walk up to it, (not necessarily pick it up though as even I would have difficulty picking up 42lbs!). There may be other things on other blogs that I may have to read up on but I pretty much have to rely on Forrest saying he wasn’t going to give out clues he thought would help any one person find the chest so I have to look to his poem, books, video interviews, and the scrapbook blogs where he has said or written things which may or may not contain subtle hints. 🙂

  21. Forrest said A metal detector might help. Also the picture of the typewriter in the book…..Under Wood…..Is a hint maybe….Hidden NOT Buried!

    • He also said there’s a danger of it being scortched by a forest fire. So to me, that wouldn’t be likely if it was buried. I won’t rule that out, but that does lend itself to being in a more open enviroment in my opinion. He also says it’s exposed to the elements.

      I’m trying to think of ways you would be up high and look down below into rocks. Maybe if you were on a bridge. I think you have to be in one certain place like that and can only see it when things align like that. Kids climb on rocks and such, so maybe that’s why a kid is important. It was reported he wanted to be entombed near it. A gathering of boulders naturally placed with a secret place inside would allow for that. Maybe there’s one little area you can climb into this space at.

      My imagination sure has some cool hiding spots LOL I want to find this place lol…..

    • On ff’s site in his blog, there is an email from a Lady asking about if its safe for kids to look for the chest, something like that, and ff said that the chest is is a safe place so that I think your kids would be safe.

      • I heard him also say, Keep them close. And that your not gona just go and find the Treasure on a picnic. I hope I can find it on a picnic! LOL with YOGI BEAR and BOO BOO.

      • Or on one of the “Forrest Gets Mail” Posts on this very blog The question was:

        I wonder if you could tell me if it’s at a place that my boys and I would be able to go to that’s not too risky of a place (ie: the side of a cliff). I haven’t even read your book yet. I’m already planning a trip though to Yellowstone with my family.

        Patty, the treasure is where an elderly man put it so I suppose your kids would be in a safe place if they found it. f

        That Q n A is here:

  22. No way to know if I’m closer than anyone…but it might be that my odds are better, because I started to include mental illness as a way to solve it lol. Didn’t Forrest say something about being close and horseshoes that basically said close doesn’t matter?

    • LOL Stephanie, mental health is in the eye of the looney toon. My friend tells me if you question your own sanity, you are fine. lol I trust his take on the subject.™

  23. Can I go rock hounding, gold panning, use a metal detector?

    Rock hounding and recreational mining are permitted activities on public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The usual rock hound materials, including agates and stones, may be collected in reasonable quantities for hobby use. Petrified wood collection on BLM lands is limited to 25 pounds plus one piece per day to a maximum of 250 pounds per year. Panning, sluicing, and suction dredging for gold may be arranged through permit at certain areas. Metal detecting is a recreational activity that people do to find coins, jewelry, and precious metals. Metal detecting is allowed on BLM lands as long as no artifacts are removed.

    This comes directly from the BLM website

    • Good info. Maybe he’s telling us that we have to get a lease/claim for the land so we can hold title to it. That would be an interesting way for him to have done it if you think about it. That might be the only legal way it can be obtained.

      • Interesting so what you are saying is… order to legally claim the chest we will need to buy the land. Land that probably comes at the price of the contents of the chest.

        So, what this WHOLE CHASE IS ABOUT is that Forrest is giving us money to buy land. And that, my friends, is the “title to the gold.” And such hollowed land, as Forrest would agree, is worth more than 100 chest filled with gold.


        • no not buy the land and I don’t even believe in what I’m saying is what it is(but you never know)…I’m saying to own it, you could go to the BLM office and stake a claim so you can legally take ownership of it. How much does a claim cost for a year? I don’t know…just an idea.

          • Blm land can be leased, but only for certain uses such as cattle grazing. I believe we do have the right to access blm land for recreation purposes but you need to notify the office when you will be in the area. There
            are guidelines under which the land can be used. I think digging in any form is not allowed.Thats how
            I understood it.

          • From my understanding you can sign a land grant for 30 years but after that 30 years you have first choice to resign. The trick is to find out where the search engine to look for land grants. Also to keep in mind that if the land grant is to a family names anyone in the family name can claim the grant after the term is up. IMO

        • I think, IMO, this idea is neat n creative, but more unlikely than the numerology translations in its usefulness to finding the route/map to the chest.
          I stick by my statement last year: the ownership is mainly about possession and a certain fraction equalling the law, besides that: the chest is a Lost N Found item no a bureau of Land Mgmt artifact; ownership isn’t going to matter much more than if you found a millionaires engraved watch (and the engraving said “I give you title to my gold: keep the watch if you find it”)
          Ever find a $20 bill on a trail? Did you send it to the BLM/Dept of Interior Secretary? Not likely.

          • Hehehe Map, good point. I discarded this idea long ago. Too much risk dealing with government entities.

        • Actually, the price for the property is the bracelet only…you get to keep the rest…and the property…
          But how do you hide an arrangement like that?? I’m sure theres a way….

    • I agree, Jeff. Forrest has continually reiterated that you can have the chest if you find it.

      It’s romantic and fascinating to think that there’s some kind of land deal or something, but what does this mean if he died beside the chest, and what does it mean if the spot is found after his death?

      I don’t think that’s what “title to the gold” means.


  24. Get the Chest, Tarry Scant and get the h*** out of there!
    that’s what Forrest is basically telling you.

    • No, it actually means he came out with his own line of aftershave called Tarry Scant. He’s telling you if you’re a guy to put a little on and the girls will stay with you for a little while *wink*

  25. Off Topic-
    I am giving one of my treasure hunting presentations at the Ferndale Library in Washington on Saturday and then I will be gone for a week. I may not always be in a place where I can monitor the blog so there may be new folks whose comments get thrown into moderation and stay there for a day or more until I am out of the wood. Sorry in advance for that. I am hoping Goof will keep an eye on things for me but I haven’t asked him yet because I don’t want any of that “wolf bait” secreted into my pack again… 🙂

    • Impossible to present and tape at the same time..I tried it once and nearly electrocuted myself…anyway..these things are only partially about Forrest’s treasure..mostly about other hunts…However there is a free, signed, TFTW book that some lucky attendee gets to take home..Not many people attend so the chances of getting a book are pretty good…I try to attract kids to these things..

  26. So I take it you are NOT in Utah? My keen senses picked up on that since you said you don’t go out west much…Just get those solves down to as far as you can possibly go before you hit the field…make every day count…and if you aren’t having the time of your life, your doing it all wrong!! Thanks for the kind words. The majority of my searches were done in Idaho before ff gave out the not in Idaho or Utah clues…But I have been on several in MT, WY, CO, and NM. I have chosen to focus on CO and NM for now unless I discover something that lures me back up North…besides, the southwest beckons to me…

  27. I was so inspired by what fenn did I wrote my own poem. I hid 25 cents somewhere and if you can solve my poem it’s all yours!

    If you follow my 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 clues precisely within my poem it will take you to the end of my arch of colors and maybe to my chest.

    start fast, the cat ate the dog,
    but scary moles to the rise,
    infinity eats the Smog,
    as he sometimes buys.

    chipmunk stew for him,
    house that’s purple-blue,
    I think they called him Tim,
    chickens say moo.

    car pinging motor junk,
    lick a peanut, eat a monk.
    from there go east, then east, then east, then east,
    but stop before the priest.

    five, Rt 36 I kid a kid,
    went to bed in my head,
    I said, limp turkey smoking jerky,
    it all seems a bit murky.

    Listen all and hear me good,
    find my gold before he should.

    Clue 1 – The treasure is somewhere within our solar system.
    clue 2. – Bring a ham sandwich, not a turkey sandwich but A HAM SANDWICH!
    Clue 3. – If you are holding the treasure you will see it.
    Clue 4. – the treasure is not under water but on top of water, but in the dirt, but not buried by 80 tons of dirt.


    • Brad- Brilliantly written. But, I am pretty sure I have the solve already. Yes, 100% sure !!!!!!! It’s hidden in your mind. I win !!

      Dal- Is there a chance we could have a separate spot for poems? I have seen many throughout your blog that merit their own little home, AND chapter in your new book.
      Well ??? Well ???

      • Will mentioned that Forrest said the “Key” is “contentment” in his last set of questions with Jenny. Once he said that, it made sense to me. I think Forrest wants to see us content like he’s found. I’m not even close if that’s it LOL

        • While in the previous questions Forrest did say “The key word is contentment. If you can find it, everything else has already fallen in place.” referring to ideas that have guided him in his life, it doesn’t really fit with his statement “Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.”

          The reason I think the “word that is key” is in the poem is because of the structure of the sentence where the two thoughts of “the clues in the poem” and “tight focus with a word that is key” are contained in the same sentence separated by a comma. Of course we all know Forrest doesn’t always follow common sentence structure, common punctuation, or common use of words! 🙂 Also, why would the treasure be found sooner than anticipated if we were all just content? 🙂

  28. ok,

    I am not going to say anyone is right or wrong. Obviously the chest is still out there. But I do want to point out that within this poem there are very specific things that say Yellowstone. They have nothing to do with the book and If I have never read the book I would still see the Yellowstone within the poem. I’ve been there many times, not for the chase but like Fenn spent a lot of my life through out there. If you research Yellowstone enough you will see what I mean. I wont obviously tell you what it is because I have to get there first!! haha but that clue should guide you a bit. Good luck to everyone and have a happy and safe hunt!

    • Well you cant just throw the book away and pretend it doesnt matter. What you see can also be seen about other locations. Its all about perception. You see Yellowstone, others see Colorado or New Mexico.
      Good luck!

      • I showed the poem to my 85 yr old mom, she said, “Well, that’s easy, he is talking about Yellow Stone!”. She was so a matter of fact about it and looked at me like I was daft for not figuring it out, which I had, heading to YS in May! ¥Peace¥

        • Maybe I’ll see you up there! I don’t know when I’m heading up there yet. Depends on the weather and if I can access it. Good Luck!

      • But we can just throw away the book. He says that the book will only assist you in distinguishing what the clues are in the poem. That only helps you know what the clues are in the poem…(if you can match them) you’d have better luck playing the lottery. It wont tell you or hint to you what the clues really mean. He said all you need is the poem and a little research. I personally think the book is useless. The poem is where it’s at and in my opinion from my knowledge of Yellowstone there are things in that poem that take you to a specific spot. Hey I may be wrong but it’s worth looking into it. I just have to wait till It’s accessible.

  29. My money and time will be in New Mexico. My solve is in the Taos region.

    Dal has been to the same area with the same results as me. But I still believe.

    Plus it is a great area just to look upon the mountains and high desert. More like a vacation instead of a working search.

    Worth the time and money spent so far. I would not change the trips even though the chest has eluded me.

    Good luck with the Wyoming angle.

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