SUBMITTED december 2014
You all know me as InTheKnow, but my kids call me Mom, and my sister calls me Crazy. I have almost 30 searches for Forrest’s treasure, just since I joined the search in August. This is one of my stories, and part of my current solution. I have never changed my solution, I only move forward in the poem.
I went on my first search without knowing much. I knew Dal had a website, and so did Forrest. I knew he said a few clues on the Today show, and that he wrote a poem. I was inexperienced and thought I was a smart cookie. I can figure this out easy. Any of this sound familiar?
After reading the poem a few times, I deduced my starting point. I wondered if warm waters could be translated into Spanish, and it turned out to be a geographical place. Agua Caliente. If you Google Agua Caliente, you end up getting results for a Casino in California, and a few other small places, but none of them in the search area. If you add New Mexico, you can get two different results. I will let you decide which one I started with.
Agua Caliente translates to ‘warm waters’, and we know that Forrest knows at least a rudimentary amount of Spanish. Also, if you live in the Southwest for any length of time, you pick up a moderate vocabulary of Spanish words. Now, what about the halting, you ask? Well, Agua Caliente is a warm water spring, which runs down a canyon, as a stream, and HALTS at a swimming hole. It is actually a popular swimming hole, because the water is so warm. So, we have warm water halting, both by name and by action. I figured it couldn’t be a coincidence.
Now, lets go in the canyon down and see what we can find. First, we pass the town of Pilar and the Rio Grande Visitors Center. Pilar is a very popular river rafting area. There are dozens of rafters going from Pilar, to the bottom of the canyon, every day. So, we have our ‘Put In’ and ‘Canyon Down’. As for the home of Brown…well….I skipped that one, for now. I will figure it out when I get there.
If you follow the canyon down from the swimming hole and Pilar, you will find very little in the way of landmarks. However, there is one bridge, called the Glenn Woody Bridge. Glenn Woody was a business man who made a lot of money mining in the area about 100 or so years ago. He built a bridge to cross the Rio Grande on the ruins of an old government-built bridge that had been burned down by the Apaches – twice. All that remained were the concrete pylons, which still remain today. Glenn Woody left the area to join the California gold rush, and eventually went bust. After Glenn Woody went under, the local sherriff purchased his property and bridge, and used it as a fishing retreat. Now, it is owned by an eccentric man, who leads a very interesting life – but I will tell you more about him in a moment.
Glenn Woody Bridge – that could be ‘in the wood’! Oh boy, this is it! The very next day, I packed my husband, my 11 month old, and myself into the car, and drove two hours from my house to the bridge.
When we arrived, I was so excited, I jumped out of the car and ran straight down to the edge of the water. I didn’t worry about silly little things, like the fact that the water was very low because the monsoons hadn’t arrived yet, so where I was standing would be underwater for part of the year. Also, nevermind about the fact that 100 people stop here every week to enjoy the water, walk their dogs, or to enjoy an adult beverage in the serenity of the tall grasses. This had to be it, right?
I trudged through the muddy banks, the tall grasses, and the thick bushes. The whole time, I swore a snake was going to jump up and bite me any minute. My husband looked on in confusion as he and the baby ate snacks by the car. We were only at the site for 20 minutes, and the last ten were me sulking because I knew I was wrong. There was no way Forrest was going to hide a treasure in a place with so many people.
While I was sulking, my husband was being social. As he sat in the back of the SUV, staying out of the rain with the baby, a truck pulled up, and a man got out with two large bags of dog food, weighing 40 lbs. each. The truck then drove off and the man started walking towards the bridge. My husband struck up a conversation with him. It turns out he is the current owner of the bridge, and the property across the way. He also has two pets: a German Shepard and a Wolf. It also happens that these two have mated – twice – and both times had produced 7 offspring. So, he now had 1 dog, 1 wolf, and 14 hybrid offspring to feed. Also, I should mention that these animals have no cages, leashes, chains, or any other kind of restraints or restrictions on their movements. He told my husband that he walked all the way into town to get them dog food. His vehicle is not working, and he is down on his luck at the moment, so he sometimes finds himself accepting generosity from his neighbors (I use that term loosely, because I am not sure where the next neighbor is, but it is a couple of miles in either direction). Members of the community often donate dog food to him, and give him a ride to and from town, whenever they can. For today’s ride, he hitchhiked from a stranger. The man also admitted to my husband that he regularly drives across this bridge. Anyone with a shred of common sense would question walking across the bridge, and would laugh at the idea of driving across this ancient structure. The two men exchanged pleasantries, and the man lifted each of the two bags of food onto his shoulders, and started off for home.
I didn’t know that the wolf/dog animals would play a minor roll in one of my future searches. I will share that story soon, if you like. It involves a mountain lion den, and hitchhiking a ride across the Rio Grande River from a river rafting group – twice.