Scrapbook Sixty Nine…


MAY 2014

Occasionally I get an email from a searcher who presents a different twist
to the story. I always get permission before forwarding it to Dal to post.
This is one of those. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not hinting that
the treasure is hidden on top of a rock with a bear guarding it. f


A serious question on Spring hiking that could save my life. Last year we
hiked Beaver creek in the soft spring snow for 13 miles and it was
miserable. Especially with the bears out there and hungry and all. I’m not
sure what was worse, the fatigue from that soft snow or my worry about being
out there all night with those grizzess.
Can bears climb rocks? If I get stuck out all night when we go next time, I
might try and sleep on some rocks to hide from them. But if they eat me,
then it’s your fault for hiding the chest in a place with mean bears all
around!  Next time can you pick a nice forest with small little creatures
that don’t eat people?


81 thoughts on “Scrapbook Sixty Nine…

  1. Phyllis, I have no idea if grizzlies can climb rocks but I’m thinking I wouldn’t take the chance!

    The bears are hungry now and the snows haven’t all melted yet so be careful and stay safe out there in the Rockies peeps!

  2. Phyllis, You still have to come down sometime. Then you are right back where you started ! Just bring someone along that runs slower than you…

  3. Bear spray, not rock climbing, is your best bet for staying safe from Grizzlies. That , and avoiding 13 mile slogs thru snow… Which, is Not likely the ‘too far to walk’ FF was talking about, IMO. 🙂

  4. Phyllis, I have spent two years in Yellowstone, three in Glacier National Park area and three years in Alaska. The bears in Yellowstone are somewhat used to people and they try to avoid you unless you get between bear cubs from their mother. In Alaska and Glacier National Park it is a completely different story. I never carried any type of weapon in Yellowstone. I would be more nervous about scary older men that carry ice picks yelling you are in my spot. Now that would scare me. You all have a good day.


  5. Thirteen miles is waaaay too far for me to walk up a creek.

    The little I know about Brown bears is that the mamas come out of their dens with their cubs right around now.

    Just gotta be brave and hope for a bumper crop of berries out there…

  6. Personally I do not think we have anything to worry as far as bears goes. Remember FF has said he went in there alone. And just a little birdy told me a few things about the poem 🙂

    • Chad-
      He may have gone alone in there but it’s no place for the meek. I suggest you bring along bear spray or Stephanie..

    • What Forrest should have put in the poem is ( as I have went in there alone with bear spray, Glock 17, 308 savage and sandwich for last resort )

  7. Phyllis you wrote: “Next time can you pick a nice forest with small little creatures that don’t eat people?”……..Perhaps that’s exactly where he did hide it.

    There are many tragic stories every year about people that don’t think; add gold fever to inexperience and it is a recipe for disaster. Mother Nature is beautiful, but she is a mean, unforgiving old broad.

    This guy laughed at me as I begged him to get out of the river. I watched them go over the falls.

    It used to be very upsetting to me, but over the years I’ve come to look at it as natural selection.

    If you’re going to be stupid you’ve got to be tough.

    • The natural selection comment is really sick, Would you tell their families that? Hooray to you tho for being so superior, never done something stupid- and just been lucky? Mocking the dead is sic….

      • Lowi, I apologize if I upset you. After many years of search and rescue if I didn’t separate my feelings from the situation it would be impossible to function. These tragic incidents are simply because of stupidity or arrogance of the victims. Before these people were washed away there were people out there with small children, I talked them into coming back…….but I had to walk away because I was so enraged at them for endangering their children.

        You can forgive and make excuses for stupidity, arrogance, and irresponsible behavior if you like…….Mother Nature rarely does.

  8. Hey all, let’s face it, Forrest and Dal have a lifetime of serious survival training but most of us don’t!

    If searching Montana outside of YNP, Call the Forest Ranger district for the area you’re searching – before heading out.

    They can advise you about closed trails, recent Grizzly bear, wolf and mointain lion activity. Rangers know about carcasses in the area which attract apex predictors. MAKE NOISE, keep bear spray where you can deploy asap. If you are in bear country, Rangers recommend GROUPS of 4-5 people stay together. General safety rule – NO FOOD in pack, and don’t eat bacon for breakfast. Bears can smell candy bars. Ask Yogi, he loves them. My family are Montana natives, year round outdoorsmen, and there are areas they don’t hike or fish because of Grizzlys.

    Anyone hear from Cognito? He livens up the search party and I have a question to put to him.

  9. If (according to Forrest) it’s safe to take your kids with you on the hunt, I am sure that Forrest in all his wisdom would have considered that fact when hiding the chest. So if it’s bears, mountain lions, chip monks (lol) or other vicious creatures that lurk in your search location, then you’re in wrong location. But after all, this is only my opinion.

    • GG

      I’m afraid your comments here may be dangerous…I do not agree with you, Forrest intended for kids and families to get off the couch and out into the wilderness. He said please take your kids and keep them close. Be smart. Take bear spray–at minimum. Do not let your kids out of your sight. This is supposed to be fun and a learning experience for us all. There are many hazardous animals and many other elements that can cause harm, not to mention the weather and how fast that can change in the mountains. FF said it is in The Rocky Mountains, 5000 – 10,000 feet in elevation. That is wild animal country. Most of us wilderness neophites have never seen these types of animals except in a zoo. By the way, if you are in your car or driving thru Yellowstone, don’t get out of your car to take a picture with a moose or a buffalo…they attack and kill people too. So that FF does not have to post another “warning” blog, please Be Prepared for all the dangers listed above and do not take your eyes off the kids and do not take any extreme risks either. IMO the treasure is not in a river, near a cliff, under a waterfall, near or in a mine or cave or well. That is just plain logical. That is what FF meant by “safe”. But, his t/c clearly is in a place near the homes of bears, wolves, mountain lions, snakes, and various other hazards. It is in The Rockies….

      • Respect for all that’s wild is vital. Years ago, I watched first hand as a tourist from Japan was gored by a bull elk – while having his photo taken “with the elk” wildlife inside & outside of Yellowstone are wild.

        • Why am I thinking about Rocky and Bullwinkle? another note, if common sense doesn’t tell you to get away from the 1500 pounds of hamburger with horns well I say let Murphy’s Law take effect! People just stay away from the wild life if you no have no back ground with nature!

      • Since this was only MY opinion (as I clearly stated), no one is obligated to accept it.

  10. LOL Ok, come on Dal and Forrest…fess up. Forrest “accidentally” sent my complete solve with all my private ideas to Dal that I had worked on for a long time. Only reason I was knowledgeable is because I was able to check who viewed the file and saw that Dal accessed it from home and work. He “accidentally” had to look twice. Should I take that as a compliment?

    • Lol, he looked twice so he could make sure it was written dow correctly…yes, I would take it as a compliment! But he still doesn’t have the treasure!

    • Hi Stephanie – I’m not sure how I would take that:) Have you or any other searcher’s been contacted by producers wanting to document your story?

  11. Hello, Forrest. We will just all have to be cautious with those bears. Bears scare me. What you say has me nearly hyper ventilating! Please stop with the scary stories. Phyllis, don’t worry. I’ll defend you with my walking stick. I’ll have my caged beast growl for you.

    • Oh my gosh! I meant Hello Forrest! Please forgive me. Oh, please forgive me. Please, Dal. Delete that post or at least add the “o.” I’m already too nervous about the wild animals. I don’t want to be considered to be a wild one too. Forrest doesn’t speak like that and I don’t want him to hear me speaking like that either. Everyone, please forgive me. I will start proof reading my posts better. 🙁

  12. “Bear bolt straight uphill in a landslide—no animal has such pistons for hindquarters.” — Norman MacLean, “USFS 1919” (author of “A River Runs Through It”)

  13. Off subject, I have a friend, Kaya, who paints with light brush strokes. On his canvas he paints bright pictures. At least they are bright to me. I am colorblind, maybe it has something to do with it. I’m pretty sure he might be colorblind too and we see things the same. He sure can paint a beautiful picture of landscapes with clear night skies. I like to look at his paintings and meditate. Sometimes, he asks me to study his painting style and then when I am, he walks in and starts talking. I dont know why. I bite my lip and finish studying. That’s when I have to tell him, “Kaya, I’m done studying.” I am so concentrated on his painting that I can feel like I am in it. I practiced painting and got close to painting just like him. I’ve watched his brush strokes so often that I know I can copy him without missing a stroke. I think to make sure I can paint like him, I’ll have to ask him to be kind and keep silent while I paint an incredible painting such as he. I shall dress with the proper apron to protect myself. He’ll have to sit quietly on his hands to try to control hiself. Maybe I will he will get the hint if I just say, “Kaya, please!” I swear, he can’t sit still. I like to see him without a cap, but you should see his hair. Just kidding, he gets his haircuts when he sleeps. He may not think so, but his hair makes him look sylish. I think when this whole Chase thing is done, I will give Forrest Fenn a painting that I’m working on of the treasure chest. I’m done with it, all I lack is the finishing.Kaya, the light brush stroke king, is so good that I’m sure FF has some of his paintings.

    • Interesting, and fun to travel down an artistic trail Slurbs. I always enjoy being introduced to new artists and would enjoy seeing Kaya’s work and your painting for Mr. Fenn when it’s ready for presentation.

      How is your solve going?

      • V. W. Been having fun. My solve isn’t going at all. It is done. Speaking of going, that’s what I will be doing soon. I’m sure ff knows when I will be going out again.
        Ritt, my color blindness doesn’t get in my way. But, because of it, I did nearly step on a rattlesnake around this time last year! Talk about jumping out of my skin!

    • slurbs…..Do you think that being color blind will hinder you in the search for the chest out in the mountains?

  14. All I can say to Phyllis is the words of a wise man. I can’t recall his name. But it was something to the effect of “stupid is what stupid does”. That’s my opinion. (Insert smiley face here)

  15. Oh Yea, the bears might be a little tame in Jellystone Park, but just up and away from there at a Hot Springs Camping location. I was chased by a bear. Coming fast into camp from the smell of food, Large Black bear. Ate all the food up, Tent on ground in morning, enter Tube deflated and shivering in the car, injured all night with very bad sprang to Leg, running and triping to get away. KEYS and such in tent. Scared *#@!less. And Chased back in “old” days in Jellystone. Montana bears………Lots of them. now and back than.

  16. Some people are just out of their league and either don’t know it or don’t want to know it.

    Bears are wild animals with a very keen sense of smell. There are no tame bears in Yellowstone. Invade a mature bear’s space and you’ll find out just how tame it is. Also, bison are responsible for far more deaths than bears. Bears kill relatively few people every year. It’s a short list, but you don’t want to be on it.

    Mountain lions always see humans as prey. This is true of all the big cats, and a 150 lb. mountain lion can bring down an animal four times its weight.

    Pay attention, and inspect ledges, trees, and the terrain around you as you go.

    • Thanks for the advice, but I choose to remain blissfully ignorant, and continue to go places that scaredy cats won’t.

    • if you’re gunna run with the big cats and bears then you gotta eat with them too. or get eaten by them. something like that. i forgot the exact wording.

  17. Does anyone think the blaze might be a pre-historic drive line [lines of stone to herd bison or sheep toward a cliff or clubbing area] ? Montana has lots of them. They can go over a mile. They are easy to see, especially near Yellowstone. I was with an archeologist once who pointed to one and said, “that’s 5000 years old.”
    Those made for bighorn sheep would go up a mountain. At the top would be a hiding spot, where the local humans would jump out and club the sheep.
    “If you are brave and in the wood?”

  18. Forrest did, but then forwarded it to Dal for him to view it. Had a lot of good ideas that I was showing Forrest.

    • I am aware of a strange post that appeared here, from forrest that was very wrong. It was complete miss information. It was from a searcher, but not that searcher and another name for the info.
      Not sure if it was intentional, or a mistake made by forrest, mixing things up??? The whole thing reminds me of the strange stories in the books! I think forrest is a trickster, or a prankster. Make you wonder about the things he is saying, Here and THERE!

      Lou Lee chased by Brown Bears in Montana and Wyoming.

      • So Is Forrest a straight shooter? And what he is saying is it to throw us way off? On purpose to lead us away from the treasure, because maybe its right under are nose, and we can’t see it through the tree’s he is putting in the way to SPICE it up a bit. HEEE HEEE HEEE
        That crazy Forrest!

      • It was only complete miss information only because it was all the wrong Headline and name. Which made things crazy for me on this hunt. Funny business. But no harm done. Only questions and wonderings….which is part of the fun and mystery for me, dont get me wrong, just because I did not write the above post in a the way it came out. I got in a hurry. Sorry forrest. Much respect to the man. HEEE HEEE .

  19. Lions and tigers and bears, OH MY! This is what gives the Chase part of its Thrill, eh?

  20. Interesting choice of words. No I’m completely serious. Why do I feel my post might be buried further in the ground than any treasure might be? LOL.

  21. R.E.I sells a large can of bear spray puts out a good stream…send any bear packing as do other sporting good stores. Stay safe and yes by all means if your going into the Yellowstone highlands make sure that bear spray is clipped to a belt or somewhere readily accessible.

  22. I saw a special on Rangers out taking animals and They walk with a pop gun sounding off as they walk. I guess it scares Bears off.

  23. FF, Dal or Ava: thanks for the info about mountain lions. Can you offer help as to how to scare off mt. lions in advance. The area of my solve would be a natural habitat for rattlers and mt. lions which makes me nervous for our safety. Cats are sneaky and quietly stalk. The location IMO is a perfect solve, but I’m not willing to endanger our family for any amount of gold.

    Anyone out there have specific experiential help or advice?

    • NG, make yourself look as large as possible by spreading the flaps of a coat or jacket outward and upwards, and carry a strong stick, hickory is a good choice, and a knife.

      Don’t ever turn your back on a cat. Put rocks in your pockets in case you should ever encounter one which is unlikely, but don’t stoop to pick up rocks in a big cat or bear’s presence. Don’t run. Back away slowly, but without making eye contact.

      Be wary of walking in terrain where undergrowth or heavy tree cover limits your ability to see your surroundings.

      All things said, it is unlikely you will see a big cat or bear, but being prepared to the best of your ability helps ease the mind.

      I’ve seen a mountain lion with 2 almost grown cubs, but was in a vehicle so wasn’t scared at the time. However, this was on a large ranch we were hunting on, and afterwards it made me very nervous walking alone in the dark to a hunting blind not far from where we sighted the cats crossing a ranch road.

      As for rattlers, don’t go putting your hands into dark crevices, use a stick first, and remember snakes can leap or lash out the length of their bodies so stand to one side when you inspect a crevice with a stick first.

      • Great advice/tips. I’d add , for thoroughness:
        –if a bear, especially a black, is aggressive /approaching and making eye contact, many experts agree that you SHOULD give eye contact back. Be firm , stand your ground, and shout loud & confident, like training a dog (after all, bears are fairly close cousins to dogs, evolution-wise). Sometimes they need to just be put in their place, and standing your ground makes it clear this is ‘your territory’ and if they want to cross the line you’ve claimed, they’ll have to fight for it. Black bears respond relatively well to this (presuming you haven’t done something foolish like get between mom & cubs or hungry bear and a carcass it’s claimed). Grizzlies not so much, but if you’re down to throwing rocks, it’s a decent option and has on rare occasion worked.
        –to be clear: bear spray is the goto choice, not rocks in pockets. Guns are neat options too, but here’s a ‘fun’ fact: 50% of bear encounters involving firearms end up in human injury. 2/3 to 3/4 of bear encounters involving spray result in no injury.
        –On that note: Get 2% capsicum or better. Any little 1% OC pursesize mace isn’t going to cut it. 3% mugger fogger is an ok option, but if possible get a 10oz or larger size of proper bear spray, and get 30′ stream, not 10′ fog (fog can blow back in high wind and incapacitate your party)!
        –spray, guns, cars, kevlar , etc do not make you ‘more safe’ nor less susceptible to attack nor death. They are no substitute for common sense and outdoors skills, they are merely last resort options (& gambles at that) when an apex predator has already targeted you for death – (i.e. don’t do anything you wouldn’t do unarmed, just because you have ballistic mace).
        — a few LE friends I know swear by MeanGreen by FoxLabs, which claims to be 6% and also has the side benefit of marking the assailant with green dye. None can vouch for bear effectiveness, but it is a stream, and it drops crack fiends to the ground for 10 minutes or more. 🙂
        — keystone conservation in Bozeman RENTS spray. As does Glacier Outfitters in Apgar and Phasmid Rentals in Belgrade. Very convenient considering Glacier NP & Yellowstone are both grizzly homes.

        Happy & safe hunting 🙂

  24. LOL I suppose that has to do with my solve not being right, but it could be that it should have been there if there really was a treasure to find. We will never know. After all, he’s thinking 1000 years down the line. He thought of everything 😉

  25. Hi Pam,
    I don’t know why, but my replies seem to keep going to the bottom of the pages. Yes, I’ve been asked a lot and don’t have any interest in that sort of thing. I might write a book though. I have some already written. I was thinking of looking for a ghost writer for that…someone with all their ducks in a row in the literary world, but not sure that’s the route I want to go or not. I think it would surprising to everyone(not dal I guess) of the far reaches I’ve taken in this Chase.

  26. Whhoooaaaaaa. . . . . . hold the horses here !!!
    Did you read what I read ??

    “I always get permission before forwarding it to Dal to post.” (regarding the email he received.)

    But “Tomasita” stated that “she” didn’t want “her correspondence” posted. She was just sending a letter to Forrest to thank him.

    Hmmmm …….. so which is it? Did Mr. Fenn forget his rule and forward “her” letter on accident.

    Not meaning to be a pain, but just trying to figure pieces of the puzzle.

  27. “I’m not hinting that the treasure is hidden on top of a rock with a bear guarding it. f ”

    Well, I guess its time for me to take a break. The only thought I got from this scrapbook page was… Not ON Grizzly Peak (a 13’er).

  28. Could someone send me a picture in the book of drawing signed Jf (whaley.tony@gmail. com)its got like broken propeller above jf

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