Scrapbook Sixty Six…


MAY 2014

Dear Mr. Fenn,

Greetings!  I Hope you are well these days.  I have enjoyed reading many of your little anecdotes throughout this adventure, so I thought that I would share one with you.  I hope that you have some time to read it, and that you find it amusing.

A few weeks ago, I returned from a wonderful trip to the Caribbean.  We took the RC cruise ship “Jewel of the Seas” up the Eastern passageway, through St. Johns (VI), Antigua, Martinique, and St. Croix, among other ports-of-call.  It was breathtaking, and I feel fortunate to have been able to take a trip like that.

On the way there, a funny thing happened every time I went through security at the airports, and when boarding the ship. Each time I sent my black Colorado Rockies backpack through the xray “tunnel”, the security agents would pull me aside and carefully go through the contents of my bag.  Aside from the tangle of headphones, kids books and snacks, I couldn’t think of what could be in the bag that would be causing such a commotion.  Eventually, the TSA agents would look at me, then back into the bag, back at me again, and finally they would hand me the bag and send me on my way.  Of course I would rummage through the pack each time, trying to find what had caught their attention and could find nothing! I was perplexed at what could be causing such a commotion, but got busy with everything else and forgot about it for the whole week, while we enjoyed our cruise.

A week later, while sadly packing up to head home, I discovered the culprit! In the very bottom of the backpack, hidden in the darkness, was a little memento I had kept from my first trip looking for your treasure chest.  It was an old rusty railroad spike, about 6 ” in length.  I’m sure you know the kind.



I felt a little bad taking it at the time, but there had been many more lying around, so I didn’t think this one would be missed.  It had followed me on all 3 trips to the same exact spot I was shooting for, where I believed that the chest was hidden.  I had to smile as I held the heavy little piece of iron in my hand, rolling it around.  I really had thought I was right, on that last trip to my “spot”.  Could’ve bet my life on it!  But I had to have been wrong, because I know you would have never hidden the chest on private property, right under the nose of a nice rancher who was unwittingly keeping guard over it.  So I decided the moment that I drove away that I must have been wrong after all – as amazing as a solution I had to your puzzle, I had failed.



And so I had given up on the chase and decided to move on.  That reminds me – I always wondered why you called it the thrill of the “chase” and not the “race”.  A race implies an actual end point, and chase.. well not so much.

Anyway, back to the railroad spike.  So I’m standing there holding this spike, wondering what to do with it.  My chase was over, and I didn’t feel like being stopped by security every time on the way back, so the solution was clear.  I stepped out on the balcony as the ship passed quietly through the waters, and took a deep breath of the warm, salty air.  Then, doing my best Peyton Manning impression, I threw the spike as far as I could into the sea.  It slipped beneath the waves without a sound, and that was it.  And that, Mr. Fenn is where my quest ended- not on some dusty railroad track in New Mexico, but in the Eastern Caribbean.  The rusty spike is now sitting at the bottom of the ocean, thousands of miles away. I can’t help but wonder if maybe thousands of years from now, some diver will discover it.  Can you imagine his (or her) surprise?  What the hell is this doing here, he would surely ask!  But more than likely, no one will ever find it. It will sit there at the bottom of the ocean for eternity.  And the only ones that knew it was there at all will be long gone.

So that’s my little story, and I hope I didn’t take up to much of your time.  I really loved the chase – it was truly a high point of my life.  I do feel that what you did was a good thing, getting people out there and spending time with their families.  Thank you again for that.  And if someone does find the chest – where I thought it was – then at least I will have the satisfaction of knowing I was right.


Mike B


That is such a great story, and somewhat unusual. It was for people like you that I wrote the book and hid the treasure.
Forrest Fenn




68 thoughts on “Scrapbook Sixty Six…

  1. Loved your story . I have one more chase then I should be done. I have enjoyed the adventure as I never have had this experience. I’m proud that I am a part of The thrill of a chase. I can thank Forrest Fenn for that. You are so lucky that Forrest responded to you !!!!!!! 🙂

  2. Wonderful story Mike B… A poignant end to a great adventure it seems…So many willing to throw in the towel these days…I suppose the wiles of nature and circumstance takes it’s toll on many in the end…So far nothing expended but computer time and reflection on my part…Soon to be on the road I hope to try at least once to see if I’m correct…Won’t really be all that much to tell unless I succeed…here’s hoping… 🙂

  3. Great story…it does seem quite a few people are dropping out for various reasons, disappointment, cash flow, other priorities…
    Then new people step in and begin another generation of searchers. This is going on the fourth season, a lot of searchers say this is the last time out. Maybe 4 yrs is the average span for an amateur chaser.
    Well, I’m still in! And hope I find it this season! ¥Peace¥

  4. Maybe she doesn’t see it as giving up. Maybe she figures she’s taking it home and there’s no reason to search anymore.

  5. If you people are at the right plases that is in the poam that is probably about five to seven plases you will be on camera beleive what say

      • Hey Cognito if you know so much why haven’t you got the chest? Are you trying to break into a high security Fenn? Using Black velvet gloves? I suggest going in after dark 🙂

  6. Mike B, I enjoyed your story a great deal and like you, this will be my last trip out to search for the treasure. I love my solution so much that if Forrest didn’t hide the chest in my spot, he should have as it’s a great spot! LOL 🙂

    I’ll still follow the blogs just to see if anyone finds it, but my researching is over.

  7. Nice story, I hate to admit but I too have an old spike and a very old oil can as a souvenir from one of my trips to Chama and areas north. If you are there or up in Durango, do yourself a favor and ride the small-gauge steam engine trains, what a fun time! I thought the train metaphor had to be part of the solution and walked a lot of miles of track and under a few tressels. Could be there but I didn’t find it, but now I am off to a new area that I have a lot more confidence in. Good luck to all searchers this summer and stay safe, there is still a lot of snow and then a lot of big hibernating animals will appear.

  8. 500 years from now someone like Dal will be looking for the train to go with that spike.

    I hate to call out the elephant, but how does one announce to the masses, especially, probably some scary ones….FF, ff, f, Forrest Fenn’s salutations?

    Some how I feel like a ship has sailed in this adventure. IMHO!

    Yet…this is Dal’s house. Awaiting your humble and educated opinion as to if the game is still afoot! Can’t decided if it is anxiety or relief! LOL

    • knownothing-
      I don’t understand what you are referring too. Forrest signs-off in many different ways. Why is that a problem? And what has that got to do with “a ship has sailed”?

      • Forrest latest two scrap books have had a major impact on the posting lately. Some, however, are reverting to methods he decried. But there has been some semblance of a return to sanity (logic). Dal, you do an incredible job of keeping us focused.

        We need another “Searcher of the Month” and you fit the bill better than anyone. I don’t know how to accomplish that, but I wish to go on record as nominating you for the next “Searcher of the Month”.

        Is there someone that will second, third or how many does it take to nominate Dal as the latest “Searcher of the Month”?

  9. Great story! Sorry so many are talking of quitting. 🙁
    I am too stubborn to quit. Even though my life may get very busy I will find a day or two to go look. Getting out in the woods, breathing the fresh air makes it easier to go back to those pressing things we can not ignore. Breathe! Sit under a tree and just BE. 🙂

  10. Mike , Very classy way to end the search! I see by the responses to your sharing that quite a few people are dropping out. The brief excitement has run its course for some. The thrill is gone such as it were. I may not go dashing of to the airport in the middle of the night, but I am in this for the long haul. This is all too intriguing and educational to just drop it. A good mystery lives on … What were the coordinates where you tossed the spike, Mike?

  11. If I wrote a book, I think you all might think it’s fiction. One of my last searches include a drunk girl running from a guy at 4am that just jumped in our car with a police officer chasing her. Using a wench to lift a 300lb storm drain and convincing a barmaid to give me a tour of warm waters halting….and to be honest, that would be the boring parts. Maybe I should take preorders to fund our searches……

  12. I have no qualms of making a fool of myself for the sake of gold or fun, but I think I should hold off till I need to fund a possible defeat fun.

    • Stephanie, Make no mistakes here. You are far from being a fool, and who gives a cr-p about what others think anyhow. The stories that go along w/ this Chase will at some point be just as intriguing and exciting as the Chase itself ! That is how legends and lore happen

  13. Too bad Skippy wasn’t still diving in that area, it would have been a great ending to the story, Skippy at the dinner table, “Here I was searching the old wreck and out of no where a railroad spike clunks me on the head. Way out in the Carribean how the __ did a railroad spike with New Mexico sand imbedded in the rust get way out there?” As Forrest just smiled and passed the potatoes.

  14. I certainly enjoy stories like this one. My quest didn’t end today as I had expected. Soon though, soon. My plans were thwarted.

  15. One could find that spike in the ocean…It would be difficult but not impossible.

  16. Hi everyone! Thanks for all the nice responses to my story. And thanks Dal for posting it. The only reason I’m ending my search is because I simply don’t have the time to devote to it currently. I wish you all the best of luck though- I know it’s out there waiting! Oh, and if anyone cares to search for my spike, here are the coordinates: 18*04.52’N, 064*43.38’W. Good luck and happy hunting!

  17. Mike. I am sorry to hear that you are leaving the chase behind, but I thought you were supposed to throw in the Towel, not through in the Spike?

  18. Dal When someone sends you a story to post do they also include the pictures or do you supply your own? I remember you posted your own picture of the rooster. Did you supply these two photos or were they sent from Mike B.?

  19. Dal – You may have missed my post. I still want to know this, please. When someone sends you a story to post, do they also include the pictures or do you supply your own? I remember you posted your own picture of the rooster on Diggin Gypsy’s story. Did you supply the two photos on this Scrapbook page or were they sent to you from Mike B.?

    • Don’t know if you’re still around, Becky from WV, 2 1/2 years later, but I see that you never got a reply from Dal to your question. I’m curious, too — particularly the source of the upper picture.

      • Here I am. I never did get an answer from Dal. The year is now 2020, & we’re all on lockdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I seem to have a lot of questions that, for whatever reason, remain unanswered. I’m still hopeful though.

        Are you still around, zaphod73491?

        • Hi Becky. IMO, these two photos seem to have been taken by the same eye. Looks like a different style than dals photography. g

        • Hi Becky — Cholly let me know that you had replied. (Thanks, Cholly!) Yes, I’m still here — but Dal’s site (or WordPress) stopped sending me notices of message replies several months ago, so I only check in once a week or so.

          • My replies isnt working much either, I chalked it up to my alien hunting and activities of those at area 51.

  20. It’s over for me. Time to move on! This will be the last time I look at this blog or pick up Fenn’s book. My chase is over. I realized that even though it was fun I was neglecting other things in my life that were more important. I know Forrest meant for this to be a fun experience but there is always another side of the blade! Some people have lost their life savings looking for this, others have gotten hurt or arrested. Me, I just lost sight of what is important in life. I forgot to smell the roses while running around like a crazed maniac looking for this chest. So I decided it’s time to put it to rest and store it away in the memory file deep within my mind. I never found the chest but in my mind I am ok with that now. To be quite honest It doesn’t matter to me whether it is found or not anymore. It feels good to let it all go! Good luck to everyone and don’t let this chase let you lose sight of what is really important! 🙂

    • Brad, there’s a lot of truth to what you are saying. For the last 1/1/2 years I’ve been spending a lot of time researching and reading the blogs, far more than I probably should. 🙂 I have one last search to do this summer and then that will be the end of it for me too. I will probably check the blogs occasionally to see if the treasure has been found or to read about others’ adventures as I do enjoy those, but I won’t be analyzing every word Forrest or others post trying to follow leads or searching for clues. That should free up a lot of time! 🙂

  21. Well I understand the chase is time consuming and financially hard. This is my last adventure as well although I have enjoyed this and actually using my brain lol. This has been my hobby for over a year . I feel confident in the location I’m searching . I will post sometime in June where I was searching and how I used my imigination !!!!!!!:)

    • Well, CJ and Amy-
      I have quite enjoyed reading your posts, and will miss your input. Best of success in your separate adventures. Eagerly awaiting to hear about them.

      • Brad-
        Didn’t mean to dis on you. I was at the bottom of the page and just caught AS and CJ’s posts.

        I echo what CJ said (that is, after I make my first and probably only trip this summer). I have already been “legally positioned” out of two rather large inheritances ( a little less than ff treasure value) so if I don’t find the chest, it won’t be anything new. My life is filled with family fun times and adventures, even if it’s just frisbee golf in the backyard or in the adjacent park. (Oh, my new metal detector found a whopping 41 cents so far, with many more “hits” to dig up when i get a sand scoop/sifter.) So I’m already finding treasure. Enjoy smelling the roses again, and best of success in your last hunt. I’m eager to hear about that too.

      • Thanks Mac! I’ve enjoyed your posts too. 🙂 I may participate a little after my last search but some things have happened lately that have made me question the wisdom of continuing. If my current solution isn’t correct, it should be as I really like it and don’t want to rethink everything to find a different spot. It’s just too time consuming and there are other parts of the country to explore that are not in the Rockies. 🙂

  22. Question: Has anyone determined what FF meant when he stated that the treasure isn’t associated with a man made structure? I understand it not being in an outhouse/museum/bank vault/etc, but does this mean that the clues in the poem are also not associated with man made structures? For instance, I have a specific dam listed as a clue, but I don’t have the treasure as being located on/inside/under/next to the dam. I also have a street/hwy/road (roads are man made) listed as a clue, but not the treasure being next to/under the road, etc. Also, my HOB is a specific city (man made). I have the treasure as being located in an (not man made) open area. Any help/ideas on what he actually meant would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!

    • TJ- I think all you can do is take FF at his word + make your best guess. I think he meant the chest itself isn’t associated with any structure, but others might think none of the poem could be structure-associated. Yet others are probably going to say he was only talking about outhouses. Then there are the folks who argue about what may and may not be ‘structural’. Sigh.
      I’d say ; find the today show clip on YouTube and research/watch a few times, and then make your own best guess based off what your gut says.

  23. I hope you waved that nail goodbye! Forgive the pun, I’m tired, I have been driving all night!

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