The Art Angle Part One…



I’ve been out 3 times in 3 states, twice this year to Wyoming.  I link things I probably shouldn’t.  F might consider me someone who has over-complicated the approach. You might, too. You might be right. I’ve started looking for reasons to think outside the box, the big picture, and the big picture to me, at the moment, might be a painting.

I googled “famous artwork” and “Yellowstone”. Of course, Thomas Moran returned major results.  For those new to this line of thought, Moran is credited with helping to influence Congress and Ulysses S. Grant to preserve Yellowstone.  His paintings of the area were more compelling than the artist that was hired to be there, Henry Wood Elliott. I thought this might be significant.
Moran attended a famous expedition with Ferdinand Hayden in 1871 and sketched what he observed. The most famous work is “Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone”.
The following describes my exuberance and then disappointment as I ended up empty handed.
First, I believed the clues were the nine sentences:
– in there – go into the painting like Alice in Wonderland.
treasures new and old – Yellowstone is a national treasure, so is the painting.
– wwwh – the warm waters of Yellowstone halt in time in this painting.
– canyon down – Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.
– too far to walk – the figures in the painting rode in on horses.
– home of Brown – tawny colored horse in the painting now lives there permanently, also matches color description of Bessie the Guernsey calf, and fits quickly down later.
– no place for the meek – Fielding B. Meek was good friends with Hayden (Hayden started his expedition career working with Meek), but Meek did not attend this expedition.
– ever drawing nigh – Moran painted himself sketching on the left.  This seemed significant.
– no paddle up your creek – can’t paddle up the falls.
– heavy loads – 42 lbs of treasure
– water high – falls
– found the blaze – on the tawny horse
– quickly down – under the horse (ties with below the home of Brown)
– tarry scant with marvel gaze – I believed Moran Point was a significant place. From research, I was able to find it was not Artist Point, but instead in between Lookout Point and Grand View, two popular pullouts on the North Rim.  Moran himself even wrote an X on a sketch to mark where he sketched the lower falls. This HAD to be it. Tarry scant became a fancy way to say “Look out!” and marvel gaze a fancy way to say “grand view”.  This seemed significant.
– brave and in the wood – Moran Point is a closed off promontory. No one in their right mind would walk out onto it.  I had to check the trees.  Seemingly no one would just stumble onto it out there.
We’re brave treasure hunters. PLEASE do not try this. An almost 80 yr old dude would never consider this, especially in Nike running shoes.  The ground is very loose and drops into the canyon on either side. This was very very stupid indeed.
– worth the cold – all I could come up with on this was cold cash. Lame.
Instead of leaving immediately, we went in search of Moran’s aggregated perspectives hoping to find where the horses would have been in his painting.  Moran sort of combined his sketches to create his masterpieces, also to much criticism.  Paraphrasing, he wasn’t painting a photograph; that’s why Jackson was there.
Our only consideration was Red Rock Point.  This photo is off trail, just beneath the Rock.
Again, very stupid.  Slopes into the canyon are on either side.  Do NOT do this.  We came back empty handed.
In summary, it’s not at accessible locations at Red Rock Point nor Moran Point where any almost 80 yr old Indiana Jones would go.




24 thoughts on “The Art Angle Part One…

  1. @E.C. Waters, thanks for sharing a very imaginative solve and keep trying. Your bringing up Thomas Moran has made me wonder who might be the artist that painted a water fall and river scene painting that has been in my family for over 100 years! I have to get down to SC soon and take a look. Thanks!

  2. EC

    What a Perfect Painting. It’s Beautiful.
    Great Adventure, and interesting Solve 🙂
    Glad u didn’t fall off the slopes 🙂

  3. Another artist of that period in Yellowstone was Arthur Brown. His painting of a geyser led me to a similar solve. I started at Steamboat geyser, then down to wwwh at Ice Lake. Then I took it down Norris canyon to Grebe Lake. This was a special place in a couple of FFs stories. The art angle is a big part of the solution.

    • hello EC,hunch here. my hats off to you…great stuff.
      now if that aint treasure, I dont know what is.

    • I’m no longer as certain of the art angle as I was last week. I’ll admit, “outside the box” thinking is getting weird. Staying true to “ask a kid”, last night I watched “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure” looking for correlations. It’s a movie released in 2009. I’d like my 90 minutes back, but it did produce some strange notes.

      – There’s a treasure on a secret island in the movie.
      – The treasure is related to an old ship’s hull on the secret island, coincidentally like the E.C. Waters on Stevenson Island. This could be wwwh and tftw as the E.C. Waters was a steam ship abandoned on the island.
      – While Stevenson Island is named for Colonel James Stevenson, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote “Treasure Island”, an important literature.
      – There’s a magical mirror of interest that grants a final wish in the movie. There’s a mirror rumored to be in f’s chest.
      – There are characters named Blaze and Fawn.
      – There’s a stone bridge that is key to finding the ship in the movie. Could this be the nearby natural bridge in Yellowstone?
      – F mentions fairies (or a fairy ring) in a painting in TTOTC.
      – Could his sound bite of “THINK” mean “TINK”?
      – (Non)Fishing Bridge is nearby, and it is painted brown. Also, the E.C. Waters has a rusty prop. Could the home of Brown be the home of Rust? F mentions rusty jeans in TTOTC.
      – no paddle could be because the name of the creek is “Bridge Creek”. It could also be no paddle because the ship was a steam powered vessel.
      – worth the cold could be the process that created the natural bridge, a process known as “freeze-thaw plucking”.

      I’m done driving forth and back to WY this year. Perhaps an enterprising seeker could check the Natural Bridge area, and if not there, hire a boater at Bridge Bay to take them out to the E.C. Waters location to have a closer look. When I first suggested this, I remember a seeker saying they’d already checked the hull and island, and “man-made structure” would have excluded this.

      • EC,

        “Angle”. I been thinking this maybe a problem as to how to understand the poem. Art angle, fishing angle, War, history, explorers etc. What is it we all are doing? The first thing most would say is… “treasure hunting” …

        But is this not a cache hunt? We are not looking for a “lost” treasure or a “sunken” treasure or even “stolen hidden” treasure or ancient artifact etc. We’re looking for a “cache” hidden by an individual for the sole purpose to find it.

        Maybe if we change our line of thinking it would help, Just a thought. One thing most of those types of hunts have is permanent land markers. What markers work with a Comprehensive Knowledge of GEOgraghy and are meant to last 1000’s of years.?

        Maybe, not so much out of the box thinking is need.

        So why did those searcher get the first clue[s] correct and may have not know?

        Is there a connection to Brass bells and case?

        Is the big picture something to do with Brass objects / locations?

        Do Google Earth and/or a good map have those scant points?

        Are we missing the other meaning of “your effort will be worth the cold”? Touch.

        Just food for thought.

        • @Seeker: Lege totum si vis scire totum. While these ideas are nonetheless weird, the fact remains that conventional thinking hasn’t yet found it. As I reread and reread, linking all of these ideas together has become my $3M challenge.

          And yes, the Latin was intentional, with “knowlege” and Totem Caper. 😉

        • @Seeker: If it’s not a “lost treasure”, would you consider it to be the same type of situation conducted by Michael Stadther, e.g. a puzzle search?

          If yes, could Allen Polt have hidden the word “Wyoming” (and maybe other words) below the blaze in the Gypsy Magic illustration?

          Are the number of fish and captions on pages 120 thru 123 somehow hinting at a code like Melville School?

          I guess the point is no ideas are stupid except those like I’ve describe that risk death. Glad to see f eliminated creepy mines.

          • Hey E.C

            So you no longer think the treasure is in The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone? I know of one writer that said its in the canyon.

          • @Cat cut, it’s a big place. It could absolutely be there. It wasn’t where we targeted at Moran Point and Red Rock Point, nor where we looked around Lookout Point, Artist Point, Grand View, Inspiration Point, and Point Sublime (Beulah Brown). These are the places the clues have loosely taken us so far. We didn’t look around Uncle Tom (Miss Ford allusion could link to Pres. Gerald Ford as a 1936 park ranger).

            We wondered about how to get to the location of the Golden Gate perspective because there is what appears to be a curious marking that could be a blaze in another Moran painting hanging on display at Buffalo Bill Center.

            We also considered Seven Mile Hole Trail, the dormant geyser cone being wwwh, Mt. Washburn as hoB (grizzlies), but had exceeded our hike tolerance for the trip.

          • EC,
            Keep in mind what F said

            All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem. The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker. Good luck in the search. f”

            If the art work was designed to hold hints it would have been deliberate and intentional.

          • @Colokid, while I do agree with your redirect to a certain degree, I also read this in his book: “There are also other subtle clues sprinkled in the stories.” The implication is that the book of stories can be helpful in understanding more about the clues.

            Advice taken, though. Thank you.

      • One more coincidental curiosity about the fairies mentioned in TTOTC, the painting traded for the fairies was a Gilbert Gaul black-and-white of a man on a wooden bridge with a bleeding dog. I’ve been unsuccessful at locating this painting online.

        Could the bridge in the painting be an allusion to the Natural Bridge, Bridge Bay, or the (non)Fishing Bridge?

  4. Great theory and it’s good you tell ppl not to go there there’s a lot of places and things we did that were dangerous to and don’t relize until after the fact that he didn’t do that 🙂 but looks like y’all had a great adventure walking thru a painting 🙂

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