On The Move…

SUBMITTED may 2015
Lois Highwater


I’m attaching some photos of the one spot that made me think “This is it!” The more I climbed the more convinced I was “the treasure really wants to be here!”

There’s a petroglyph of what looks like an owl in the lower left, a mixture of dead and live trees, and a shelf-like dirt slide up above. I climbed in and around all of them, and under all the trees.  There was a really cool rock formation with a rotted tree stump “growing” up the middle of the rocks behind one of the green trees. The rocks and stump were all about three or four feet tall. I poked all around that too. I didn’t get a picture of it but I think my mom did.

The cave/ lair is in the same general location, but not part of the other photos. These are ALL over the place. I got close up and peered inside maybe a dozen or so. They are so numerous, high, low, left, and right you can’t possibly explore them all. So I agree, you have to know what your blaze is and just what to do with it when you find it.
I also met a Mescalero Apache woman who taught me that rattlesnakes smell faintly like skunk.  I smelled this three or four times in my search, and backed off each time. Thankfully I never saw either skunk or snake, but plenty of other animals.

click on photo to see it larger

It’s beautiful up there.


23 thoughts on “On The Move…

  1. Thats an awesome thing to hear about rattlesnakes. I wonder if its true? Will have to go to the rattlesnake museum and see for myself. :). I dont hear well so thats always a consideration, not hearing the rattles.

    It really dawns on us when we get out there how many places that chest would fit. Thanks for your story. 🙂

    • Deb,I recently got up, close and personal with a rattlesnake after killing it because it was just too darn close to my home and animals and it wouldn’t leave. I read up on skinning and preserving the skin and successfully did both. It definitely did not smell like skunk to me–more like what an old dead chicken smells like.(I didn’t eat the meat although I’ve been told it tastes like chicken too). I would have tried to cook the meat if it hadn’t taken me so long to figure out how to skin it to keep the skin in tack. I have come across lots of rattlers and have never smelled one before hearing or seeing it. My guess is that a snake that smelled like a skunk probably got sprayed by one.

  2. Ahh Ummm may I inquire where you found the owl? I know a little about old spanish trail markers and that one is of interest to me.

    Thanks for sharing Lois

  3. That’s the thing searchers forget how small the chest is. You could be in the right spot and just walked right by it, there has to be very specific directions in the poem.

    • hi Ed


      I was wondering about directions where two as well? To me the the poem slows down, as the stream rolls by between the 3rd & 4th stanzas, can you help with this?


  4. Wow, great owl…I found an owl “thing” on a huge rock along the Old Spanish Trail…The Slide Trail portion to be specific in NM. I assume you aren’t going to tell us exactly where this is? Good story, regardless.

    • Hi, yeah I think the wise-owl theory is a great one. But owls represent something much different to the native Americans, usually death. From what I’ve read putting owl feathers in ceremonial garb is a big taboo. I always wonder if the chest is in a hidden ancient burial tomb that no ones found yet except f and is “guarded” by an owl glyph.

  5. I don’t think I see heavey loads and water high in those photos. It does remind me of the area around Diablo Canyon, where I used to search. But there are so many places in New Mexico that look like that. They are full of hiding places and ancient mysteries.

  6. My family is still searching the area, but here are some hints!

    The Slide Trail is not too far, but too far to walk. More than 200 feet and fewer than five miles. Were you to raft there, you’d have to do the whole Taos Box. Hope that helps 🙂

  7. Thank you Dal for posting this, and thanks to everyone else for the kind words. It’s a beautiful place.

    I didn’t know the owl was even there when I headed to search around the trees. I felt really good when I saw the owl, and even better when I hiked up, turned around, and saw the view.

    I can’t say for sure what rattlesnakes smell like, but I have been sprayed by a skunk! And I did get faint whiffs of “skunk” a few times in and around the lava. Otherwise sage was the biggest scent all around.

    My family is still searching the area. Once they’ve given up I’ll be happy to tell you where it is.

    Thanks again.

    • Very nice story, and I really respect your guarded secret! I hold mine very close too! I do believe you are in the right direction. Keep going and My you find the treasure!

      Lou Lee Bear, Finding a treasure everyday….from Whoville!

  8. Yes thank you very much glad you and family had fun. Stay safe and good hunting

  9. Great adventure, family fun. My nose isn’t so good so I must relie on my hearing and sight. Much like an owl from high above. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Thank you for the read and I see your vision of the owl. I have only came across one Rattle snake in my life and I’m glad it was a time before I gained my dog Titan. I’m not sure but I think he might go in for a smell. He has with a skunk once.He may or may not have learned his lesson. That is left to time to decide. I backed off that rattler real slow and it was never to be seen again. I think I will leave proving that theory up to some one else. Have a great life light forever JB

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