Chalk Creek…

SUBMITTED August 2014
BY JMGuidry


I have only been at this for 2+ years now and I thought the TC was in Montana (Firehole River) to begin with. After one trip I did not feel compelled to return there to search (probably because it is too far?). Colorado is in the middle – FF said it would be nice if  his family could come back so he could be in the middle again (pg 35 TTOTC).

I used to go to Princeton Hot Spring long ago when I lived in Colorado and it is in the Collegiate range (wise mountain range).  Then I discovered the fish hatchery on Chalk Creek. He says on page 125 in TTOTC when talking about flywater “chalk the memories once again”.  The fish hatchery diverts hot/warm water off Chalk Creek for the ponds and then it feeds back in to Chalk Creek. They have 1 million+ fish there at any given time. The Greenback cutthroat trout (Colorado’s state fish) and Rainbows as well as a hybrid are raised there. As you go down the “canyon” toward the Arkansas River, you cross under a train trestle. That is where an old Pontiac is laying on the side of the river bank (reminds me of FF story about Cody the Buffalo).

Search #3 zoomed out

Search #3

What caught my eye on Google Earth was an open sewage pond nearby. I though what a perfect place to have the IRS go in to retrieve the TC! You would not paddle up your creek because you are not in it and it is certainly no place for the meek! I could not leave it alone. I kept thinking about it for days – then said surely it cannot be legal, the State must know about this!  Sure enough the state does know about it and is after the homeowners of the trailer park to deal with it.

An engineer was hired to come up with solutions (least expensive solution- 1 million). In the engineering report one solution was to buy the property between the Chalk Creek and the pond. The name on the platted property is BROWN. So the next step was to find out more about the creator of the poop pond – Chateau Chaparral. Can you believe they have: Old Biddies Hand & Foot cards…..Tuesday & Friday 1:00pm.

Ok at this point I told my husband I was heading into that pond for the TC. He decided to come for the search as he did not want me going in and kept insisting that FF would not put anyone at that kind of risk. At least I roped my hubby into going☺  When we got there, a fence was around the pond, so I decided it was off limits! This was my second search of the area, so I decided to go over my “ facts” with hubby. Nathrop/ Chateau Chaparral/Chalk Creek are almost at the top range of Brown’s Canyon. The warm water halts at the fish hatchery, take it in the Chalk Creek Canyon down – not far but too far to walk (about 3.5 miles), put in below the home of Brown (below the strip of land between the pond and Chalk Creek)OR below Browns Canyon (it is noted that the “s“on Brown was added by a cartographer at some point).

From there it’s no place for the meek the end is drawing nigh there’ll be no paddle up your creek just heavy loads and water high. Hubby says you are near the Arkansas River which is not your creek (chalk Creek) that we came down but a river with heavy water flow (heavy loads when water is high and not for the meek if the water is high and you are below Brown’s Canyon. If you’ve been wise and found the blaze……. This is where we are stuck.

The blaze could be the suspension bridge which is a private bridge across the Arkansas River owned by Chateau Chaparral. Look quickly down your quest to cease. So is it below this bridge? The Chateau is mainly a summer park, so maybe in the fall the river flow is lower and people are not around? I have a few other places that also “work”, but hubby keeps telling me I’m forcing things to work as solutions☹  I think Extemporizers solve is much more beautiful than this one.

Adele’s song keeps playing in my mind:

Should I give up,
Or should I just keep chasin’ pavements?
Even if it leads nowhere
Or would it be a waste
Even if I knew my place
Should I leave it there
Should I give up,
Or should I just keep chasin’ pavements
Even if it leads nowhere

I build myself up
And fly around in circles
Waitin’ as my heart drops
And my back begins to tingle
Finally, could this be it

Or should I give up
Or should I just keep chasin’ pavements
Even if it leads nowhere
Or would it be a waste
Even if I knew my place
Should I leave it there



39 thoughts on “Chalk Creek…

  1. Lol at one point I was thinking along sewage as well that’s why forrest would laugh. Lol

  2. Nice solve. I’m not sure how that is the middle though. If he went from Texas to Montana. Wouldn’t that put Wyoming in the middle too or maybe the border of Colorado and Wyoming. I’ve used middle more in finding the blaze….like middle of the creek bed.

    I found a bridge in one of my searches that’s over a dry creek bed and the name Forrest is written under it. It was written there in 1997 along with two other names that didn’t ring a bell. I couldn’t get through the rocky creek bottom there though without a tool, so I wrote it off.

  3. Canyon down…Home of Brown…Warm waters halt…up **** creek without a paddle…The End…SEWAGE POND! (Obviously not an outhouse because Forrest said so…but he never said anything about sewage ponds.)

    BUT! …always a big BUT, right? It’s those “buts” that keep us from living our dreams.

    One of those “buts” could be being dirt poor, for example…hardly a “nice but”, however…because a person can solve it by simply becoming a slave to Mastercard. Simple! Living the dream! 🙂

    Also, I don’t think for one millisecond that Forrest would place a treasure that’s so “near to his heart” anywhere close to sewage. C’mon people!!!

  4. Glad you didn’t go into that sewage pond. That is dangerous! Even though you’d be going alone in there (nobody would want to go with you), you wouldn’t find the chest there. Good luck in the future hunts.

  5. JMG: Funny solve and great tie-in to Adele’s song. Another confirmation that the flow of ideas for the rainbows and browns cruising Forrest’s river is constant. I swam against the current too long and am resting in a peaceful eddy. IMO your bridge/blaze is worth following through since Forrest boldly noted extensive info in Suspension Bridge scrapbook; and in light of the fact he his mentor Eric Sloane wrote about and painted historic bridges (ref. “Seventeen Dollars a Square Inch”).

  6. Also Browns Creek ( known as a warm water creek) feeds into the Arkansas a little further down from Nathrop. Browns creek has Browns waterfalls closer to Browns mountain. Browns Canyon ends just below Hecla Junction (a major take out point). Below that is where Browns Canon switching station is and the old state bridge. This is where you first get a glimps of the Angel of Shavano (if it is the right time of year.) and if you know what it looks like. Banana Mountain is also at this end of the mtn. range and Tin Cup too. If you want to go over a valley and up near the Mosquito range there is High Creek which flows from Warm Springs down into High Creek Fen which was purchased by the Nature Conservancy with the help of some school children. The teacher wanted them to know what a million looked like, so she had them collect a million pennies. After they were collected a Brinks truck had to pick up the load and it was donated to The Nature Conservancy to help purchase this once cattle grazing/ peat farm land. The entrance has a 8×11 sign that you do not see as you go speeding past. The gravel road is about 500 feet off 285 to the 2 car “parking lot”. It is considered a highly rich Fen. FF story on page 16 in TTOTC talks about signs “But I can’t say the sign didn’t make a difference in my life because it did.” The other area is the Rainbow trail which is really long. It goes from the northern end of the Sange De Christo range down toward the San Luis Valley where there is an alligator farm off Veterans Highway. On the Rainbow trail is Music pass and Marble caves. I hope to narrow my next search somehow

    • Really interesting, I enjoyed hearing your solve. I have spent many happy days in Browns Canyon. There’s a Last Chance Fluorspar Mine, heavy loads, and fluo means creek in Latin.

    • I read all these solves and realize mine is just another piece of dried out straw in the haystack.
      Nothing would please me more than for someone to solve the poem in my lifetime. Just to solve the mystery.

        • Go GET IT DAL! We would all be pleased and celebrate with you 🙂

          Are you sure you don’t want my old solve? Trying hard to give it away to someone who loves the country. Last week my son and I pulled up a bush full of huckleberries and ate right off the bush hiking to the falls; sat in a stone chair midstream at the top of the falls and stared down a moose. You’d not be disappointed in the scenery. Thanks for all you do to keep your blog running Dal.

          • If you might consider where the warm waters halt and go the other way up into the other canyon which ends at St Elmos (possibly St Elmos fire aka the blaze), I spent two months in a tent at the bottom of Mt Antero back in 2010. Also possible that you might go down to browns grotto warm spring. (didnt go there) Heckla might also be promising.

  7. JM, “interesting” solve! 🙂 I like some of the interpretations in your story. It’s amazing all the different ways we interpret the clues. Good Luck next time!

      • and second it. Just love how the thinking is laid out and linked together. Dont think Fenn would want to curl up next to the TC in a sewage pond though. Otherwise, some good connections & ideas.

    • Just like FF story on page 111 in TTOTC how the kids all answered differently but all were “correct”.

  8. I have searched today no chest here. Put in , well it’s either rocks or water here where I am I don’t see anything that u could put the chest in something. Unless it’s underground or underwood

    Of course I come back to the same location . I feel that my solve makes since but maybe not. I’m just not getting it.

    The bridge at the bottom has a arch and a F on it checked both ends and the End sign that is in this area .

    Actually when I enter this place there is a sign that says Begin and when u leave it says End . I feel so much adds up here but I cannot find another blaze. Maybe soon I will post my solve I have been everywhere. 🙂 it’s been a good journey

  9. I came back to check to see if I could actually find an old water well but I haven’t seen one and I have asked a few locals if there is one they say no. That’s why I asked yesterday if anyone was thirsty.

    And there is a story to that 🙂


    good luck searching near my location 🙂

  10. This solution reminds me of the old joke………A guy walks out of an outhouse and tells the next guy in line that he has an emergency and ask him for a hundred dollars. The fellow hands him a hundred dollar bill.

    He took the hundred back into the outhouse and threw it down the hole. The fellow in line sees what he did and exclaimed, OMG! What are you doing, have you lost your mind! He said no I haven’t lost my mind; when I pulled my pants up five dollars fell out of my pocket into the hole. The fellow in line says, “So why did you throw the hundred I gave you down there?”

    He answered, “You don’t think I’m crawling down there for five bucks do you.”

    • I’d do it for a million bucks!! Actually I thought that maybe there would be a fishing line attached to the TC hidden in the grass, but Hubby also said that the acid would eat away at the fishing line.

  11. Keep in mind, Forrest said this is a place where he considered going to as a final resting place for himself. This would be a very special, serene, beautiful, peaceful and remote location. Outhouses, sewage ponds, etc., just don’t fit this man and his life. A map, the book and common sense about this special man will help in future searches. Good luck !

    • Your correct – I lost my mind in the Thrill of thinking that IRS would have the sewage problem fixed so they could get the TC – homeowners happy and IRS happy to collect possibly more than the cost of repairs.

  12. Good solve. But, all private land there. Downstream is Browns Canyon, Browns Creek and Brown Ranch. Next public access is Hecla Junction. Or, what is upstream from bridge at Chapparal Ranch?

    • You are correct that the land surrounding Chalk Creek is private – the stream I believe is not. The land on the East side of the Arkansas is Wilderness area which I believe is public land. Getting to the other side is difficult, but not impossible. Swan Historic site is on the other side & not even the Colorado BLM guys knew about it, except for one guy and it seemed he was wanting to keep it secret. The Bridge from Chateau is the easiest access otherwise the road from the Salida end to the railroad track and about 7 miles of walking the track to get there. Or upstream from Chateau is Ruby Mountain the start of Brown Canyon and a trail that gets you almost to the bridge at the Chateau.

      • JG, thank you for explaining your area and historic site. your details may have shed light in my area. Enjoy your weekend; mine will be low key as I’m looking forward to rest 🙂

  13. I like this thought path. I have been looking at why halt/walk doesn’t specifically rhyme whereas each word was chosen with intent. “Halk” (nook) and “Chalk” would be reasonable diversions, and “Chalk Creek” fits this diversion, as well as a bunch of the other coincidences mentioned, although this thought path hasn’t been discussed much.

  14. I’ve long been interested in this area, too, and as I live only a couple of hours away, I’ve done some searching. So many of the clues can fit, Browns Canyon, Browns Pass Cabin, Chalk Creek, warm water. Please let me know any other ideas you may have, thanks

  15. Hi Posey
    If you look at 2010 topo map of the area you’ll see between the Hot Springs and the Fish hatchery 2 blue lines becoming 3 blue lines. The clue begin where warm waters halt is the hot spring running into Chalk creek. to far to walk well its about 3 miles from Hot to fish. put in below home of brown is a clue about the hatchery. so draw a horizontal line just below the home of brown . the 3 blue lines are water and they are below the home of brown(hatchery). Between the hatchery and main road there is another spot but when I got there it is well fenced in PRIVATE PROP. From the book thrill forest said he was the middle child. So between the hatchery and hot spr we have the 3 pieces of water. In an interview on you tube he said two trips it was too heavy for one. The area is now divided into building sites and you can drive to an opening just near the fish hatchery. The MIDDLE water is a irrigation canal owned by water rights guy. I named this one Forest middle child. I found that it was DRY as a bone. HMMMM wonder why. I walked up the dry canal and found the huge tree down HMMM HUGE tree was a statement by somebody. I climbed over it and WALLA the area where Forest probably placed the chest was all slid down towards Chalk Creek. Go there with a video camera and film this and put it on you tube.

Comments are closed.