SUBMITTED JULY 2014
My involvement began when a guy in our church mentioned some millionaire from Texas hid a treasure chest. At that time I didn’t think very much of it, however, the next day my youngest daughter told me, “I bought something for you. A book, but it’s going to take a little longer to get here.” Too much coincidence here.
Yes, the book was “The Thrill of the Chase.” I quickly read it and felt that Mr. Fenn and I have a lot of things in common. I could see he loves fishing, me too. He has a serious interest in gold, me too. Forrest loves trout fishing. I like bass fishing. I would like to learn to fly fish. I own a very nice Fenwick fly rod and reel that my son gave me, but it’s never had line on it. I don’t even know how to select what kind of line to use.
There is one thing that all fishermen have in common, which is the knowledge that some fish like warm water while some like cold water. I had just recently found out about Abiquiu Lake, just north (and a little west) of Santa Fe. To my understanding, and according to the New Mexico Game and Fish Department, this is considered a warm water lake. It is a great bass lake. Below the dam, the water runs cold and down a beautiful canyon. Trout fishing is abundant in the Rio Chama river. All I had to figure out was what would be considered “below the home of Brown.”
After speaking with a few of my acquaintances who do trout fishing, I selected a spot where a normally dry creek joined the river and had a small forest of trees. I knew I would have to look on-site for the blaze, After making the trip.
When I got on-site, I can’t describe the feelings that I had. Every one that can remember their first trip knows what I mean. The anticipation, some how, restrained me from jumping right in. I knew I had to set up camp, have supper, and return the next morning for a closer examination of the blaze I saw.
I had to climb over a small berm covered with thorny berry vines to get to the tree that had been struck by lightning. That was such a beautiful blaze. My arms bleeding, I finally found a way to the marked tree. When my metal detector sounded off, my heart was really pounding. Just a rusty old tin box, that’s it.
Along the creek (no paddle needed), I saw lots of trees that could have been considered marked with a blaze. I searched this area twice, once with my brother-in-law. No luck. But, now my number two location was calling me.
When Forrest gave the clue, “above 5,000 feet”, I asked myself why didn’t he say, “above 6,000 feet”? My research showed me there are only two bass lakes (warm water) north of Santa Fe. Both are just above 5,000 feet. In fact if you listen good to Forrest’s interview on the Today Show, he sort of stuttered saying, “seven, er, 5,000 feet.” Both of my locations were almost exactly 5,700 feet.
I’ve made two trips to the Abiquiu location and have concluded it doesn’t fit the poem well enough. The other warm water lake is Navajo Reservoir. The river feeding the lake is the San Juan. It gave up the state record Brown trout. As the San Juan leaves the dam there is an extremely interesting occurrence in which the San Juan runs down a canyon for four miles. That stretch is Internationally famous for its trout fishing. And not only that, but it is a catch-and-release area. To put it simply, the Brown trout do not leave this “home.” Just past this area is a seasonal creek coming into the river and many large boulders are there. I’ve looked twice in this area, giving up each time.
To aid my investigation, I purchased a book which I thought Mr. Fenn suggested. “Flywater, fly-fishing rivers of the west.”
To my great interest only one New Mexico river was pictured, the San Juan. As it turns out, there is a similar book. Perhaps I got the wrong one. To my delight I convinced myself that I needed to make one more trip to this area to look for the blaze. Plans were being made. Then in May 2014, Forrest gave us Scrapbook 68 and said, “”So to level the playing field to give everyone an equal chance I will say now that WWWH is not related to any dam.” ff”.
I can’t describe how my heart felt. After countless hours of watching video’s and reading, I really believed I could think much like Forrest. All of that is gone now. I can see why many are looking for codes, anagrams, etc., I don’t agree with these approaches. Somehow, two persons figured out the first two clues. By now, surely there are more searchers. What did they see that I couldn’t? Maybe something will come to me, but, as for now my trips are on hold. Sure wish Mr. Fenn could give us a clue that would help lots of us with a starting point.