Warm Springs Part Two…



I guess I picked a bad time to go.  The rain was coming down in buckets as we drove up the road from Lander to Dubois and the future forecast did not hold out much hope for improvement.  Glad I brought extra boots.

Since we are searching under the cover story of being a pair of out-of-state fisherman, the first stop was Bob’s fly shop (name changed to protect the innocent).  I don’t want to out-and-out call ‘ol Bob a liar exactly but I have to say that almost none of the advice I got in there produced a fish.  It did strike me as coincidental, though, when Bob  suggested we head to the upper reaches of Warm Springs Creek, above DuNoir if we “wanted to avoid other fishermen”, and “didn’t mind catching smaller fish”.  So armed with a validation of our cover story and some sketchy directions on how to get there, we dodged more rain drops on the way back to the car and headed off looking for a camp spot.

Mud was building up fast on the side of the pickup when we finally rolled in to a nice campsite alongside the Creek.  We passed some of the old remains of the DuNoir logging camp on the way in but there’s not much left.  Only a few collapsing log cabins exist that now act mainly as historical lawn ornaments adjacent to someone’s $300k summer home.   It’s flat and open here and the creek isn’t all the big but very pretty country.  Bob was right about the fish here though.  If you caught anything over 4 inches in this section it was going in the record book.  Dark was coming on so time for a quick dinner, a last scan of the maps, and finalizing the next morning’s search plan.

I’d spent the last year collecting as much information as I could on this area and narrowed it down to two possible search areas around Warm Springs Creek:  DuNoir proper, and the Natural Bridge.   If you accept DuNoir as HOB, then “put in below the home of Brown” phrase meant everything downstream of DuNoir had to be considered.  My gut said that the Natural Bridge was the most likely suspect but I didn’t want to miss anything in my zeal to get there.  It’s 3 miles from DuNoir down to the Bridge and all indication were that is was going to be a rough 3.  We didn’t know what to expect.  The maps don’t show any trails…would there be some kind of path?  Do people actually hike in this canyon?  As I said before, this place isn’t promoted on the town website under things to see and do in Dubois so we were flying blind.  I wasn’t sure why people wouldn’t go….it looked like there were plenty of Forest Service access roads relatively near the creek.  I suppose I could have called around to different places in town and asked but gold fever comes with a certain burden of paranoia…why start asking questions that might raise suspicions …..better to coast under the radar.  I was hoping to see parts of the flume still standing in the canyon but didn’t really expect there was much left.

Stepping out next morning the air was damp, still, and ground fog hangs over the creek like tendrils of smoke.  Since we were camped right there in DuNoir  it made sense to start with a top down search.  Because of F’s admission that he hid the chest “in two trips in an afternoon”, I’d concluded that each one-way trip probably couldn’t be more the 2 miles at the outside.  Depending on terrain, this made it highly unlikely that he would get from DuNoir to the Natural Bridge but who’s to say there isn’t something else special in the canyon in between.

001Figure 1- Warm Springs Creek near DuNoir

We donned our waders (I mean disguises) and headed down the creek and into the canyon.  I was pretty surprised that quite a bit of evidence of the tie flume activity still remains.  Right at the mouth of the canyon is the remnant of the cable dam.  Cables were strung low in the water between rock bulwarks to hold back the floating ties until it was time to release them down the flume.  There are large portions of flume too.  It’s all pretty much worse for wear given the 70 years it’s been exposed to the elements but it exceeded my expectations.  Close your eyes and you can still see the stacks of wooden R&R ties being readied for a quick ride on this water slide.

Right from the start it’s clear that the canyon narrows quickly and the creek occupies what little room that is on the valley floor….no trail here….this was going to be a bush-whack.  We explored, poking under the rotting flume, and traveled downstream about a half mile before it became apparent that Forrest probably didn’t go this way.  It’s just too much of a struggle to get through what with all the river crossings, and dense vegetation.  Traveling the required 3 miles from this approach is going to take way more than an afternoon.  No apparent blaze here.

002Figure 2- Remains of the cable dam

003Figure 3 -The Flume below DuNoir

After catching a few fish, it was time to fold the tent on this end and head for the Natural Bridge.  I came well stocked with maps.  Topo, forest service, the Wyoming Gazetteer…you name it and I had it.  Seems that getting to the other end wasn’t going to present much challenge with all the forest roads we were seeing…or  was it?  The closest road was shown taking off directly below DuNoir after cutting through a development of summer cabins.  The maze of roads was awesome and poorly documented, but by using our trusty GPS we quickly found ourselves up against a …..locked gate?  Surprisingly, the FS road was locked from the private property side.  We were definitely in the right place within 10 meters, there’s no government signage, so what’s the deal?  You just can’t gate off public access like that….at least not where I’m from.  Well no problem.  It looks like there are plenty of other FS roads heading back into the target area just off of US 26 between Dubois and DuNoir.

The locked gate episode is still eating at me as we hit the turnoff for the next potential access point.  We take a bridge across the Wind River, then a left, a right, and now we’re parked in farmer Bobs front yard looking at nothing but uninterrupted barbed wire fence.  OK screw-it.  The next turnoff looks like a much more direct approach anyway, so it’s back out on the highway down a couple more miles, across the River again……dead end at a big berm of rock and dirt, planted fields, and more barbwire.  I’m beginning to sense a pattern.  Slow learners that we are, we went down a couple more blind alleys before we had enough.  Time to visit our ”friends” at the Forest Service office in Dubois.

The man at the Dubois FS office, Joe, pads around quietly behind his counter in stocking feet….all 250 pounds of him.  Hmmm, must be casual Monday.  Joe is pleasant and soft spoken.  “Yeah, that road is gated off by the private land owners up there ‘cause they don’t like people coming into their development from that forest side.”  “Seriously”, I said, “you let private individuals lock a public access road.”  Of course this makes no sense because, as we proved, anyone and their dog can get into the housing area from the other side.  No gates, signs, or even a disapproving look was cast in our direction on the drive in over there.  “So what about all these other access points shown on your map off Hwy 26.  They seem to be completely blocked by private land too,” I said.  “In Colorado most landowners have to provide easement at historical public land access points.”  “No,” Joe drawls lazily, “not here.  If they want to block it off they can.”  Well that cleared things up.  Apparently in Wyoming the inmates are firmly in charge of the asylum.  “Ever been up to the Natural Bridge?”, I asked, knowing the answer full well .  “Nope.”

But we aren’t skunked yet.  There’s one more road to try that comes in form the southeast.  It’s a round-a-bout way to get in but seems to be the last option.  Skirting south, looping up by the airport, and passing through another development of summer homes (this didn’t look good) we finally found our way onto a rough two-rut dirt track heading in the right direction.  The afternoon showers were just setting in.  Due to the camper on the back of the truck we crabbed slowly sideways up the “road” occasionally slewing side to side on water slicked rocks and clay.  Definitely not a maintained forest road but we’ve got 4WD so we’re getting by.  After a number of miles the ruts turn into a narrow downhill shelf road that’s so thin we’re brushing back tree branches on both sides.  I crossed fingers that we didn’t meet anyone coming the other way. …..backing up this was not an option.  In fact, we didn’t meet anyone but the next worse thing did happen.  At the bottom of this ravine the road made a sharp hairpin turn to the right while simultaneously dropping off sharply two feet down into a tiny creek then sharply up two feet on the opposite bank.  After a beer and a half an hour analysis about how stuck we were likely to end up, it was decided that the truck needed to get turned around.  Long story short, after some precision driving, a 12 point turn, another beer (for medicinal purposes only), some new whiskey dents in the Chevy, and the sacrificing of two small trees, we made it back up the shelf road and found a very spectacular camp site overlooking the Wind River valley.  The adventure had finally begun.

Next morning we’re up and out of the camper to more gently falling rain.  It’s going to be an extra 2 mile approach to the canyon….more than we anticipated.  Had we been able to get where we intended, the canyon to Natural Bridge distance would have been about ½ mile.  That seemed to match easily with the “two trips in an afternoon” statement but now we’re looking at traversing in and out of three drainages just to get to Warm Spring Creek.  Raincoats, food, and fishing gear are hastily stuffed into packs then we’re off.  About ½ mile down the road I reach for the camera to shoot a picture of what appears to be some very large cat tracks in the mud when I suddenly realize I left it in the camper.  My minimalist buddy, with a camera that’s so worn you can’t read the words around the buttons, says he’s got his so no worries …..why am I still worried?

004Figure 4-North over the Wind River Valley, Ramshorn Peak in the background

Soon enough I’m standing on the rim of the canyon peering 100’s of feet down sheer cliffs to the river bottom.  It’s nothing short of spectacular.  “Pull out that camera and get a few shots”, I said.  “What’s that, it’s not working?”  Oh….that’s why I felt uneasy…..mister minimalist forgot batteries.  I didn’t come all this way to go home without pic’s so we’re scrabbling through packs looking for spares.  No spares but at this point the Garmin has serviced its purpose and is deemed expendable so I dump out the double A’s and we’re back in business.  Yeah,  AA’s….luckily it’s an old camera.

Next order of business is to find a way down to the stream.  Try as we might, it’s impossible to see exactly where the Natural Bridge is located down there.  I study the topo and by matching up landmarks on the opposite side of the canyon (yeah there’s that road over there that we couldn’t get to due to the gate) we guess that we are probably in about the right spot.  Maybe we can see more from creek level?  There are cliffs here but by working downstream a bit we find a useable game trail heading diagonally down a more gradual slope into the canyon.  Arriving at the water doesn’t bring much clarity.  Are we upstream or downstream of the NB?  I consult the map again and make the executive decision that we need to head upstream.  We are now faced with the reality that there is no trail and, to top it off, the sides are literally too steep, overgrown, and loose to side-hill next to the stream.  To save on weight we didn’t bring waders so it boils down to go home or get wet.  The first step is chilly but Warm Springs lives up to its name….not freezing.

005Figure 5- Fishing below the Natural Bridge

We could just make out bits of flume from the canyon rim but as we slosh around the first bend in the creek we are suddenly confronted with huge sections of flume still clinging to the canyon wall 50 feet in the air.  I don’t impress easily but this is incredible.  How the hell did guys in the early 1900’s build this with no access roads, no trails, and no machinery?  I can’t even image clinging to a cliff trying to hammer support beams into place with probably little more than a cheap rope preventing a long fall onto jagged rocks.  I would have loved to see this contraption in action with the loads of wooden ties floating down the flume on their way to the Wind River.  It’s wild here.  This is no place for the meek.

As you may have guessed, slogging through knee deep running water and feeling for every foot-hold on slim covered rocks is not a preferred hiking strategy.  It’s hard work and that ½ mile seems more like 2 miles.  It’s also not a straight path since there are pools too deep to wad and short water falls that can’t be climbed directly.  We are forced to zig-zag back and forth across the stream and sometimes scrabble up the steep loose banks to portage the worse of the obstacles.  Log jams are everywhere composed of 2 parts limbs and trees, and 1 part old flume lumber.  But the effort is worth the cold when we round the bend to see the entrance of the Natural Bridge gaping open like a huge mouth.

006Figure 6- Natural Bridge

With growing anticipation, we close the final 100 yards to the cavern and enter it on a small beach area.  What a place!  It’s a tunnel really, but there are stalactites, stalagmites, and glistening terraces of travertine just like a real cave.  Water drips from the roof everywhere and I’m especially amazed by a feature I’ve never seen before…..several of the ceiling stalactites have running jets of water issuing from their tips like small inverted geysers.  It suddenly dawns on me that we aren’t here to gawk, there’s got to be some treasure around here somewhere.  My working theory came from the literature that claimed abandoned sections of flume still remained inside the tunnel and had been slowly encased in calcium carbonate by the dripping water from the roof.  What if F had cleverly stashed the box under some boards knowing the mineral deposits would slowly seal it in place becoming ever more encapsulated with each passing year?  Well the tunnel isn’t a very big place and it quickly became apparent there aren’t many, if any, nooks, rocks, crannies, or loose boards suitable for a treasure stash.  Most of the real estate in the tunnel is given over to stream and it’s pretty obvious what wasn’t currently covered in running water gets a thorough scrubbing during the spring run-off.  There did look to be some “petrified” flume near the exit (hard to say) but short of having a jackhammer on hand there was no way to tackle it.  I’m sorry to say we walked away empty handed but I’m sure most of you expected that when you started reading.  We did fish our way back down the creek and between the two of us we caught almost every species of trout you could reasonably expect in the Rockies (browns, rainbows, brookies, cutthroat, cut-bows, and mountain white fish).  That in itself was a bit of an unusual and unexpected trove.


I won’t bore you with the walk-of-shame back to the car other than to say it was a 12 hour round trip.  I’ve been a lot of places in the Rocky Mountains and weathered some amazing adventures but this one quickly slid into a top 10 position.  While this seemed like an ideal hiding spot on paper, once again, the reality of the on-the-ground conditions probably rules it out for further consideration.  Could Forrest have managed to get it in there?  Perhaps…. but common sense says no.  If you are able to take full advantage of the roads via jeep or ATV you can get within ½ mile and a 200 feet elevation gain/loss but that last ½ miles a tough one.  Slip on a slimy river rock and you could be a goner.  This is not a place anyone should attempt alone.  It also clearly a late summer trip….this has death trap written all over it with higher water conditions.   In the day and a half we were there we only saw one ATV pass by on the road.  It’s a remote, seldom used area that’s probably not on the Dubois C of C’s things-to-do list for a good reason.

This trip is going on a year old now but, at the time, with just a little imagination, I did believe there was a reasonably good match-up between possible clues and the features of the land/history here.  My thinking has moved on since then.  I’m no longer convinced that historical events or a theme based solution is the proper direction.  Hopefully you will agree that this was one of the more “straight forward” solutions that’s been published on this blog to date.  If not, I’d like to hear why.  I know you will have comments.


140 thoughts on “Warm Springs Part Two…

  1. I think it is most important to think about the REASON why Forrest would leave a treasure. My opinion. I feel that at some time in his life maybe someone did something huge for him that maybe he is trying to pay it forward. Something to consider. I can only imagine how important this treasure is to him, and if I were trying to get someone’s attention, this is how I would do it.

  2. I like your straightforward approach, sometime back I’d mentioned that I thought Fenn found a remote area to conceal his chest in. Possibly near the Sangre de Cristo mountains. I was thinking a fsr that allowed him to get close with a short hike. I’m not in the camp that thinks he’d hide it right under our nose with thousand swarming his corpse. I’ve ruled Yellowstone out eons ago. Brilliantly written thanks for sharing.

  3. This is one adventure I’m sure Forrest would have taken,back in the day. Pictures of the inside of the tunnel would have been nice. All in all you had a good time and that’s what counts.

    • The camera wasn’t working well in the reduced light so my choices were limited. I wasn’t trying not to overload the story with pictures so went with the ones that helped tell the story. Did get some video that wasn’t too bad but no real way to share it in this format.

  4. My My Marvin –

    I feel like I’ve been on a trip right along with you. Amazing – that you guys would do that. Do you know – you are starting to write like Fenn?

    I can’t thank you enough for a journey into the deep……………..

  5. Marvin… What a great adventure… Interesting about the part where the private property owners restricted the access to public lands… Makes me think of when Forrest said it won’t be easy… Glad you caught some fish and great pics!

  6. The picture of the cave with water coming out of it is something I have considered for sometime. By any chance did you have a flashlight and a sandwich?

    • I know how you feel. All I had on my last search was a gopro around my chest and as we all know those don’t have a FLASHlight. I can’t wait to attempt that mountain again,well prepared this time… 🙂

  7. Nice job with having a cover story…after all, you wanna tell the truth…just not the WHOLE truth 😉

  8. loved the rest of the story,you sure are a story teller,nice pictures.keep it up mr. forrest,we haven’t heard from you in along time.you got ” lost”. your still my dad.

    • Thanks Virginia….I like the way you think. Watch out for those polar bears.

  9. Great read Marvin. You are tenacious and focused–two attributes that I believe are indispensable to anyone who has a chance of finding Indulgence. Thanks so much for sharing your adventure.

    • Thanks Raven. I like most the comments that you post on this site and value your opinions.

      I’m kind of surprised people haven’t pointed out some of the glaring problems with this solution. If no one gets out their scalpel I may have to do it myself.

      • Marvin –

        How could I even begin to critique your solve – when imo –
        you are not even in the right state. lol

        I do think one of the most important considerations would be – WHY did he put it there.

        Was it just because – or was it for the love of something ?

        • Good one InThe,

          Yes some of us have a favorite state but I hope folks let the clues lead them to places and not a preconceived idea that’s unrelated to the poem.

          Some will probably argue that the poem holds the answer to your question….why did he choose that place….but at this point I’m dubious. I’m not sure we will know why unless he tells us. I even suspect that if we went there it would not be obvious to us what makes it special. Basing this on:

          Mysterious Writings 10/1/2014
          Would you want the person that finds your treasure to admire the place where it rests? Andrew

          “Well Andrew, I’m not sure “admire” is the right word but if we twist it a little maybe we can make it work. The word means approval or high regard. So it works. I sure feel that way or I would not have hidden it there. I like the way you think Andrew. f”

          Sounds to me like he’s saying he has doubts whether we will think it’s a place worth admiring (maybe not that beautiful?) but we will appreciate why he choose it.

          • Unless its a place that reminds him of a traumatic event so admire wouldn’t fit the emotion he feels about his special spot. High regards or approval would fit into the sequencing that I laid out.

            IMO Forrest says this spot is special to him but to my uncertain knowledge has he said it was a good memorable spot for as being good.

            I have special spots that remind me of loved ones that pass but I don’t consider them to be good

          • Marvin –

            Love makes the world go round. 🙂

            I do believe he placed it in a spot that is near and dear to his heart. Forrest has a big heart – and his family and friends are precious to him. If we know the man well – almost everything in life – excites him. He’s a true adventurer. Weddings play a big part in my solve……………. and if that’s true – don’t think it would be in a river or a cave.

          • Inthechase,

            Weddings???? I can’t wait to hear this one. LOL. I’ll reserve judgement but prepare for a skeptical reception. Ha, ha

          • Well Marvin –

            Here’s the deal with weddings –

            First we have FF’s wedding – the photo is in TTOTC chase right across the page starting “My War for Me” – which he said is THE most important chapter you can read. Now, why would he place that photo – across from there?

            Secondly there was a scrapbook about his wedding and that coming up – is going to be his 62 wedding anniversary. No comments allowed on that page. Why not.

            Thirdly – in that SB – he talked about his TUXEDO. I think you can find the X in there. Ah Ha Ha – now I’m laughing. That is really a stretch don’t ya think?

            Of, course there’s more for you to find.

          • Inthechase,

            Ok you lost me at Scrapbook. I suppose hints in the SB’s can’t be completely ruled out but I’m not a fan. So, yes, I would say that most of this is a stretch…IMO.

            Now you said: “My War for Me” – which he said is THE most important chapter you can read. ”

            I don’t remember seeing this quote anywhere. Do you have a source?

          • Marvin,
            In my book, Finding Forrest Fenn, I go in great depth discussing special – in fact there is a chapter dedicated to just that. I also included 46 point checklist that can test a solution based on confirmed Fenn facts. This checklist can tear apart any solution and I think it is a must for anyone to use prior to spending thousands on a trip.

            That said, I noticed Inthechaseto picked out one of the more important items – “Why is it special” and you have quoted a perfect example that hints to what really is special. That quote is extrenely important. If you follow the clues and end up with something that explains “special” beyond any doubt, you know you have it. If not – the solution is incorrect. Special is the fundamental requirement, regardless of how well the clues fit.

          • Marvin –

            I have looked for the quote and cannot find it. Can anyone else help me out here and find the quote – about My War For Me being the most important thing you can read?

            Thank Wolf – in full agreement.

          • Inthechaseto,

            I think this is what you are looking for:

            “When I came home I was tired. I was tired mentally, I was tired physically and I wrote a story that’s in my memoirs called “My War for Me.” If you don’t do anything else, read that story. I think that story has 7500 words and I am very proud of that story.”

          • Wolf,

            Well I agree that every searcher should have a checklist to vet their solution based on things we “think” we know. I have one but your’s is longer then mine….checklist that is. The problem is that the list is only as good as the person deciding what to include and we all have built in personal biases. So great idea but not bomb proof.

            You said: “If you follow the clues and end up with something that explains “special” beyond any doubt, you know you have it.”

            Here again we have to judge what constitutes “special” against our own personal bias so I don’t see how you can get to “beyond any doubt”. There seems to be too many possibilities for what’s special.

            I notice a lot of folks want to put an emotional/family spin on this. Could be but I think there are other equally good things to consider.

          • Marvin,
            Your point is well taken and I couldn’t agree more- the kiss of death is that searchers apply their own bias to solving the clues.

            However, “Finding Fenn” is my theory so I have gone through a lot of pain to learn to remove those biases and focus on only Fenn proven facts (facts are confirmed statements not interpretations).

            I believe when a searcher follows the clues and ends up with a special place that defines Fenn and not the seeker, it will be obvious beyond any doubt. That is why it is so easy to tell when someone has the wrong solution.

          • Wolf… I really like your checklist it is very helpful but I don’t recall him ever specifically saying “no anagrams”. If anything I think he said he likes anagrams…

          • Spallies,
            I believe he likes puzzles and crossword puzzles,etc. However, the fact – “… codes, depth meters, riddles, drones, or ciphers will not assist ” rules out codes and cyphers and an anagram is a form of coding. But you will see that I actually included an anagram in my solution – just because I know how popular they are with searchers!

            But I stopped short of triangulating dog measurements! 😉

          • Wolf,
            So how about an example? Use my solution, apply your checklist, and show how it fails. You don’t have to apply the whole list…just enough to illustrate your point.

            This could be a good plug for your book and I won’t be offended because I’m not emotionally invested in this solution.

            I think this would be a great discussion point.

          • Marvin,
            I have already provided the needs to explain “special” reason. It is very important that everyone realizes the checklist works very simple – one failure and the solution is over – look elsewhere. It is not a pass/fail or a percentage – it requires 100% of the 46 facts to be checked off.

            I will give one tiny example of something important that many ignore:
            “Does it explain how he would know that the treasure has been found? When asked how he would know it would be found he said, “I really don’t want to answer the question because that would be an answer I really don’t want to reveal.””

            So any solution requires a very good answer to that question, if one doesn’t – it is the wrong solution.

            There are many more items outside the checklist that I think are important such as elegance. A poem that is straightforward but required 15 years to develop must also reflect that level of thought or elegance (elegance is my word but you know what I mean) in the solution and the answers to the clues.

            The Wolf

          • Marvin,
            As side from the checklist, one needs to explain why every word in the poem is important. (he said not to mess with the poem).

            So for instance, many ignore the word “your” in “no paddle up your creek”. For any solution to be correct – don’t you think one needs to explain why he used the word “your” and why is it “your” creek?

            Or better yet – any solution that can answer those subtle nuances score higher in the acceptability category.
            Hope it helps,
            The Wolf

      • Marvin I think most folks don’t want to come across as mean; or don’t want to take the time to actually go through your reasoning for the clues; even though you’ve asked for constructive criticism.

        Your story is well written and enjoyable to read and I really like your pictures; too bad you left your camera because those pictures would have been spectacular considering how good a job you did with the caveman camera. The history of the area is very interesting and you’ve done a great job presenting it…..how did those guys build the flume in that canyon?

        I think your idea of a theme based solution is interesting and worth keeping in mind if one discovers a theme after solving several clues. The theme could then help decipher the remaining clues. To me coming up with a theme before solving any clues or only one or two clues would lead to forcing the clues to fit the theme and a deep rabbit hole to nowhere.

        I have a difficult time taking a scalpel to your solution because I would have bull dozed it from the start; difficulty level, no blaze, etc. But I really enjoyed reading your story.

        • Goofy –

          If it was easy – it would have been found by now. Perhaps your thinking it is more difficult – I don’t know.

          I think the finale solve will be very difficult – but once you have the idea of what it is he’s trying to tell us – you will have a lot of research to do – which is not difficult – but extremely lengthy and time consuming.

          Layers is not an easy concept to even think about.

          So difficult in one regard and easy in another.

          Ah, well heck – I could be so wrong. 🙂

        • Thanks Goofy,
          I realize some folks get emotionally involved with their solutions and become defense, but how else do we gain knowledge if not by critically analyzing our past failures?

          In hindsight, I would have bulldozed this solution too based on difficulty but the difficulty could not really be assessed without being there. From what I could see on maps it really looked like a short 1/2 – 1 mile hike with about 200 feet of elevation gain. I figured F could handle that. It’s not till you get in the canyon and find out there is no bank along the stream that it gets ugly. And the access roads were not as they appeared.

          I think I stated at the end of Part Two, I’ve completely moved away from this specific idea and the theme based approach in general. Several things have been said by Forrest after this solve was conceived that now steer me in other directions. His quotes about not requiring any special knowledge, and knowledge of history not being required, many places WWWH’s, etc.

          Also, if you try to apply some of paradoxes (how did folks get within 200-500 feet and not know it, how did they get two clues right and miss the rest?) it doesn’t work well with this solution. It’s a remote area and you have to going there deliberately so these scenarios don’t match up well.

          You said, “To me coming up with a theme before solving any clues or only one or two clues would lead to forcing the clues to fit the theme and a deep rabbit hole to nowhere.”

          I agree 100%. Definitely a pitfall of the theme approach. I think this is the number one error most people make……forcing informational tidbits together that really don’t fit.

          Anyway, glad the readers seem to be enjoying the story. I tried to make it entertaining.

          • I agree wit you 100% Marvin. You definitely need a theme, otherwise you are going to end up going out in the field without fully thinking things out. I have a lot of experience in not thinking things out. I actually thought I could go out and conquer and find the treasure. Boy was I wrong! What’s new though? Fenn is a tricky guy.

            I will probably likely try my luck west, 110 miles near the top of range of hills, located south of a pueblo site (Fenn likes Pueblos), and there appears to be large pieces of wood on the ground!!! Clue? Their is also a definite theme here and I am confident that if I don’t find it, it may lead me closer. As soon as I find out access issue (maybe tribal land) I will have to head out there.

            By the way, thanks for all of the useful info you have provided in your write-up.

          • Oops! I have been entering my username incorrectly… It’s lianer, not linear.

          • LInear,
            Well actually I just said I no longer believe in a theme based solution. I did at that time but have switched to a simpler approach.

            Love your energy though so get back out there and have another look.

        • So, Wolf. .. We know he said he made 2 trips, is there any thoughts that he made 2 trips to 2 separate places? As in I’ve done it tired. .as in a car, and now I’m weak… As in he got carried maybe? Like on a chair lift or train or tram? AND just thinking… Maybe your creek is a play on words? Like YORE creek? As in no waffle past as in past tense, just past creek, just heavy loads and waters high. And all this while I’m driving in rush hour in OKC LOL

          • Kim,
            I promised not to comment anymore but since it was you asking with your specific and interesting questions – I would say you either read my book or your thoughts are very much inlined with my line of thinking.

            Okay, I’m gone again. Sorry for the interruption.
            The Wolf

      • Wolf,

        Well you actually had me considering buying your book for a minute but you lost me.

        You said: “I have already provided the needs to explain “special” reason.”

        Actually you only provided a personal opinion that it is necessary to explain “special” which in my opinion is your personal bias. I explained that I don’t think it’s possible to know exactly why it’s special until he tells us or we see the actual area….my bias. Maybe the question should be; “Why do you think he was in this area?” Like a crime scene, you want to place him with a motive for being there.

        And: “Does it explain how he would know that the treasure has been found? When asked how he would know it would be found he said, “I really don’t want to answer the question because that would be an answer I really don’t want to reveal.””

        Again, your opinion that this needs to be answered. I believe he has said may different things regarding this issue and, in fact, IMO, he implied that he is relying on someone not being able to keep the secret, return his bracelet, or be the type of person that wants a spotlight. How does an answer to this seeming paradox move you closer to the chest? Pretty sure he admitted he doesn’t know “for sure” in one of the early interviews.

        So, IMO, while it might be helpful to consider these issues, I think these can’t be called “Fenn proven facts”. It certainly can’t be asserted that these questions “must” be answered and there can be no certainty that they have been answered correctly without the box in hand.

        Fenn said all we need is the poem, and all we need to do is figure out what the clues mean.

        So in summary; checklist with reality check questions good idea, answering questions that can’t be known- not that important…..IMO.

        • Ohh yeah. I just meant a theme approach from the viewpoint of Forrest’s personal life experiences. But that’s a bit cocky, to try and say I know what Forrest is thinking! So, once again I should be wise and think it out. I believe you meant more of a theme based approach of history (like the flumes you wrote about)? I think you’re owning it on these posts! Thanks for the correction!

        • I haven’t read anyone’s books wolf lol I can’t afford it sorry. If you will please send me a copy lol I promise I Will read it. Lol. Otherwise I will wait to buy it. The excerpt was fun. 🙂

  10. A treasure at peace within a most honorable and humbling place. – Perhaps, one fine day; a return by the Flyer as well?

    The journey to self; the most wondrous one of all. – The Heart would be good place to start. ( Isn’t this the place where some of our most cherished & deepest of memories chose to rest ?)

    If still able; I would so love to savor the spiritual awakening which Colorado’s Rio Grande National Forest …..holds. ( A forever treasure worth much more than gold.) Much more than a lot of… ‘things.’

    A Stones throw away from a Monumental Blaze of……many. I think it best that I end it there. Why continue a search if you’ve discovered a priceless bounty of immeasurable, personal wealth a long the way?

    Be respectfully gentle if you wish to visit here. – You could bring some that are closest to your heart; even if only in memory?

    This Mother’s journey from ‘there to here’… has given me more than words could ever begin to tell. How wonderful to have shared it all with my son!

    Gratitude forever and a day to the “Flyer” for having helped guide us a long the way ~

  11. Marvin, I like it. Thanks for sharing, your idea of fishing waders for a cover story, the locked gate(s) on public right of ways, roughing it in the rain, great adventure. Right away I felt your hoB was a little weak, not tired but just weak! I liked the feel of the area and the connection with the RR construction. The overall thinking of a ‘theme’ is a good idea to me. The Mountain Men, Beaver (possible hoB), western expansion, railroad, destruction of habitat, fishing, wildlife, ancient civilizations, art, glaciers, water, mining all combining to create a special and private place for the TC’s resting spot. I just finished reading the first edition of ‘Flywater’ and there are a few differences between the first and latest editions for any newbies out there thinking about researching that book and I just finished reading about the life of Billy the Kid by Pat Garret. There is an interesting name of a town in NM that reminds me of the story about ‘all that was left was the front porch’ but, location isn’t north of SF. Next.

    • Cholly,
      I agree that HOB was a central weakness. In this case it referred primarily to a thing (wood) and only secondarily to a place (logging camp). But there are lots of places that could describe a “home” for wood.

      Since F told us that the clues relate to places and that “a comprehensive knowledge of geography might help” I think that it’s important to figure out how the clue describes a place. If there’s a connection to fishing or wildlife, I’m thinking it’s a secondary one. Just some thoughts.

  12. Wow “THE Wolf”, if ever a statement needed a big fat IMO, this one does:

    I have already provided the needs to explain “special” reason. It is very important that everyone realizes the checklist works very simple – one failure and the solution is over – look elsewhere. It is not a pass/fail or a percentage – it requires 100% of the 46 facts to be checked off.

    I have not read your checklist, but since no one can even agree on what the 9 clues are, how can you declare 46 definitive facts that prove or disprove a solution? Goofy has to be hovering over the nuclear option as we type!

    I guess the one I am struggling with is the only one you mention…the one that you are throwing up in Marvin’s face…”special place”. How could we know what special is to Forrest? I have many “special” spots that I experienced with my Dad that my family knows nothing about. My wife and son would know nothing about the bend in the creek where him and I submerged a canoe and almost drowned, the cave that him and I discovered in the Ozarks, or the forest glen in which I started my first fire with no match. Forrest’s “special” place is known only to him and one other…”Two can keep a secret…”., and I believe one of them is dead…IMO. There is no way that we can try to get inside Fenn’s head and discern what is special to him. Cross that off your checklist. (Besides, if he wanted to go out and die with the chest, yet have his remains be there so long that someone who discovered him would have to read his enclosed memoirs to find out about him, then it is a place his family doesn’t know about…otherwise when F came up missing, after a few weeks his family would say “hey, let’s check that special fishing spot he always talked about”…game over…his living family does not know about this spot, and there is no way we can tell if a spot is “special” to him, IMO)

    That being said, I love your solution, Marvin, and the spot could be special to Forrest as you related with the route to Yellowstone theory, but I will agree that your HOB is sketchy, and if it is as remote as you say, searchers being 500/200/12 feet away seems unlikely.

    Great write up!!

    • discolor –

      That was pretty gutsy for a first post !

      Wolf does not need to put IMO for discussing a check list he made.

      If and when you find the secret spot and all that goes with it –
      you will know for certain – IMO X 10

      • @inthechaseto

        LOL!! “discoloration” has been around for quite awhile!! 🙂

        Hey disco, where ya been hiding!! 🙂

        • Watching from the cheap seats…too much drama…and by the by…”itsincolorado”…IMO!!!

  13. Yeah…not my first post…about 3 years in…and I would think IMO is warranted for a statement like:

    “I have already provided the needs to explain “special” reason. It is very important that everyone realizes the checklist works very simple – one failure and the solution is over – look elsewhere.”

    That sounds like a statement of fact that I have not seen Forrest corroborate, and I have seen much less be excoriated on this site.

      • Just like any statement on this site is held to the standard that one must express it as an opinion…his checklist looks pretty all-knowing, and a little condescending. There are a lot of “daft” searchers out there that would accept Wolf’s checklist as fact…sorry, thems is the rules on Dal’s blog.

        BTW…is it “inthechasetoo”? or “inthechaseto…something”?

    • Disco,
      your pretty funny, you made a comment as if it was fact on something you know nothing about. Prove my facts in the list are wrong and then you can talk.

      If I have a list of X proven facts and they all have to be true to pass, if only one of those facts is proven false in any solution then the solution is false. That is a simple logical fact and even Nuclear Goofy will agree with that (and we don’t agree on anything)…

      Disproving solutions by a checklist of facts is one technique, but another way is the elegance test. This requires an IMO because there are people who genuinely believe solving the poem is like buying a lottery ticket, find any 9 matches to the clues and put your ticket in the box and see if your ticket is drawn.

      However, that goes against the Fenn architect statements. How does random matching of clues explain how the searcher will know how to go to a precise spot with confidence and a smile on their face?

      The only way, I can see it is if you can prove it. Proving it before you have the treasure that is. What kind of solution does one require in order to prove before hand? Well one can start with explaining what “it” is? Or can almost every word in the poem be accounted for? One other thing is each solution should be able to identify what the clues in the book are. That seems easy but it is a requirement since he says they exist. Another elegance test that must be considered: how can your solution explain how those words in the poem where constructed in such a way that it put a smile on his face?

      The Wolf

      • Excellent points Wolf,

        I do believe there is one solid way of proving you are in the right spot. That is only if one follows the poem precisely. He gave us a way to prove a solution and that is just my humble opinion.

        Fenn was an architect in drawing plans for us to follow. But if one is not in the right place to begin with – none of this will work and that alone is what is making this solve so hard.

      • Wolf,
        Not really following your train of thought. You seem to think that you have a fool proof recipe for debunking a solution ahead of a search. If I understand it, you want people to explain/answer a list of questions you prepared. Things that you think are mysterious like the use of “it” or “your”. Again, these are explainations you derived and you think are important. Dude…this is your bias talking…IMO. IMO “it” and “your” mean what you would expect them to mean so I’m not dwelling on that stuff. And explaining these things is not related to what I would call a “Fenn provern fact”.

        Here’s a Fenn proven fact. There r nine clues in the poem that will take you to the treasure if you can figure: a) what they are, and b) what places they refer to.

        Here’s a sample of what I would ask a searcher to consider.

        1) Why did Fenn have reason to be in that spot?
        2) List the nine clues and relate them to the poem and show how they are derived only from the poem?
        3) Explain how you can get the first two right and miss the rest.
        4) Why are there many places where WWWH?
        5) If you’re using something out of the book or SB’s show how it points to something specifically in the poem.
        6) Is this a solution that everyone will understand immediately and slap their head once you explain it to them? I think this is crucial.
        7) Do the clues flow smoothy from one to the next?
        8) Here’s a no brainer. Ask your friend if it makes sense. If they say no you better do some soul searching.

        There’s others but I’m getting tired.

        Wolf, honestly, I think you are well intentioned but are you sure you’re not just trying to sell books here?

        • Marvin,
          You are hilarious! It was you who brought up the book. Don’t spin it on me – the book sells well enough on its own.

          You got a what I said was wrong. I said there is a list of facts that you could use and then there is the elegance test. I gave an example of what that may include for you to test your own solution.

          I hope you can understand why Goofy kindly suggested to you why no one will tell you why your solution is wrong. You said you would be open but really you are not – so I will tell you what you want to hear – “you are right – you have the perfect solution”

      • Well Wolf, irrefutable facts about the chase are few and far between in my opinion. I can’t imagine 46 irrefutable facts. So far all I’ve seen you present is your opinion.

        You wrote: “Fenn proven facts (facts are confirmed statements not interpretations).” This blog is chocked full of confirmed Fenn statements. What they mean or whether they apply to solving the poem is a matter of opinion. So you have a list of criteria that, in your opinion, the solution must pass to be a viable solution. That is fine but it is only your opinion.

        Here’s a list of facts in my opinion. Care to add to them for discussion. Or anyone else can add to them.

        -Located above 5,000 ft and below 10,200 ft.
        -At least 8.25 miles North of Santa Fe, New Mexico
        -Not in grave yard
        -Not in out house…..not associated with a structure (structure is subjective)
        -Not in a mine
        -Where warm waters halt is not a dam.
        -Chest and contents weigh 42lbs. (Fenn said 44lbs. in one email, but has said 42 several other times)
        -Chest is 10x10x5 inches and made of Bronze
        -Forrest published a map in his book Too Far To Walk and told us the chest is hidden somewhere on that map
        -The treasure is in one of 4 states: Montana, Wyoming, Colorado or New Mexico
        -Most of the places the clues refer to did exists when Fenn was a kid.
        -Clues in consecutive order
        -Searchers have been within 200 feet.

        • Goofy,
          Yes your list is small subset of my fact list. The list was verified by at least three other prominent searchers but if you want to call something you know nothing about an opinion – I am ok with that, but I would suggest you update that list of yours – it has fallen behind 😉

          • Well Wolf get me a list and I’ll update it……If I have to pay for you opinion I’ll pass.

            You’re starting to sound like one of those late night TV salesmen. BUT WAIT!!!

          • Ok Goofy – I get the hint. I will stop. I am sure people would rather listen to you chastise other searchers anyway…

            BTW – do you know what you sound like?

          • No Wolf; that is if Marvin doesn’t mind please do proceed. You’re telling me how out dated my list is. Please enlighten us.

          • Wolf,

            Let’s be clear. I think my solution makes sense, is simple, linear, and more straight forward than most, but even I don’t believe it is THE correct solution.

            I have no problem with you or anyone hacking at it. The problem is, it seems to me you are talking in circles. I asked you to apply your method so people could see an example, but, IMO, you have kind of danced around that request and expounded on this alleged list of “irrefutable facts”. You’ve thrown out a few words that you think are mysterious (“it, your, special” ) but I don’t agree with your view that a good solution must “answer” something about these or explain what these mean…. its subjective.

            Goofy said: “Well Wolf, irrefutable facts about the chase are few and far between in my opinion. I can’t imagine 46 irrefutable facts. So far all I’ve seen you present is your opinion.”

            Thanks Goofy….that pretty much sums up what I’m getting from Wolf as well.

            So let’s assume you have a good list and that comparing a solution against it is a good idea. Who decides whether the solution answers these questions/”fact”….you or the author of the solution?

            You said: “If the searcher twists the reasoning at this point to rationalize the solution rather than discovering the meaning of special – well then that is confirmation bias.”

            Yes, but who decides what constitutes twisting or rationalizing? Who’s to say that there isn’t a “twist” in the poem that requires some non-rational leaps? It sounds like you’re asking the author to subjectively analysis their own reasoning in a detached way. Not possible. People get too caught up in their own emotions. You need to provide a better explanation as to how this is supposed to work if you want people to believe this will work.

            IMO it’s impossible to provide a litmus test for a riddle that has yet to be solved….it’s all subjective….not quantitative.

            Lastly, you said: “The list was verified by at least three other prominent searchers”.

            I’m really curious what constitutes a “prominent searcher” in your mind?

  14. “your [sic] pretty funny, you made a comment as if it was fact on something you know nothing about. Prove my facts in the list are wrong and then you can talk.”

    I am not saying the facts in your list are wrong, I am saying that knowing a “special” place in someone’s mind is impossible, even for close relatives. That shouldn’t be on the list, and doesn’t invalidate Marvin’s solution. That place could be secretly special to F for any number of reasons.

    “Elegance test”…sounds like the computer programmer in you coming out. Even inelegant solutions might be the ticket…they just take more time. I don ‘t think Forrest is a computer guy…a clunky, FORTRAN punch card, forced solution might be what is needed. Don’t over-think it!!

    • Disco,
      “Special” – Lets clear up a few things. Too many assumption being made here and you know what they say about assumptions. I said that one has to explain “special” as way of testing a solution. Why is it assumed anyone should know what special it? That is not what I was suggesting. In fact, I would be the first to say that searchers put their own bias into what that means.

      What I do suggest is a searcher forget what they think special is and follow the clues to the final spot and then apply the special test. At that point the solution should explain what special is without personal bias. If the searcher twists the reasoning at this point to rationalize the solution rather than discovering the meaning of special – well then that is confirmation bias.

      The computer programmer in me would be emphasis the logic or fact checklist. The artist side of me would promote the “elegance test” – that is totally a feel thing – you can’t prove it – you can only sense it.

      If an inelegant solution is correct, I will be the fist in line of about a thousand searchers knocking on Fenns door wanting to kick him in the butt for wasting our time. I would like someone to give a really good explanation as to how a random set of clues could explain Fenn’s inferred reaction of the finder – “what took me so long.” Emphasis on really good reason.
      The Wolf

      • Thank you Wolf…well put as always. However, you stated that after one finds the chest, they will realize why the spot is special…unfortunately, I still believe that the one who finds the chest will not know why this is Fenn’s special spot. If F is alive, hopefully he may explain it to them at that point. Still, I don’t think that is a litmus test for a solution, and Marvin Candle has a good one.

        • I agree that Marvin has a good solution. I was one of the first to acknowledge it. He doesn’t even know how good it is. However he asked for someone to disprove it – so I provided a few ways to test it. I did the same for German Guys solution when he asked.

          “I still believe that the one who finds the chest will not know why this is Fenn’s special spot.” -That is a really big assumption – considering this exchange :

          Mysterious Writings 10/1/2014
          Would you want the person that finds your treasure to admire the place where it rests? Andrew

          “Well Andrew, I’m not sure “admire” is the right word but if we twist it a little maybe we can make it work. The word means approval or high regard. So it works. I sure feel that way or I would not have hidden it there. I like the way you think Andrew. f”

          • There is a lot of contortions to get from his statement that the finder will “admire/approve/highly regard” the spot, to your checklist requirement that we must understand why it is special to Forrest. Maybe on your checklist it should read: “Is this spot admirable, widely approved, and highly regarded?” That would jive with the facts, as I see it.

      • The glaring fallacy of this whole analysis is that if the chest isn’t at the final spot, the searcher does not need to “…follow the clues to the final spot and then apply the special test.” Finding the chest is the one and only “test” that has can confirm or refute any ones solve. The debate about the efficacy of any other proposed “test” is nothing more than speculation and can not be judged reliable or even applicable unless and until the goods are found.

        It may be helpful to know why an area is special to FF but unless he tells us, I don’t think you or anyone else is able to irrefutably pinpoint that reason without first identifying the place and if you do that, the reason for picking that place becomes irrelevant. If you are correct, you will have the chest. If you don’t have the chest, then all of the tests in the world will not magically make a chest appear. It seems as though numerous folks believe that they possess special knowledge into FF’s head. If you know why someplace is special, great, but my guess is that FF picked a spot known only to him. I think it probably was somewhere he felt safe and at peace. It may be beautiful or may look ordinary–what he felt in his heart and soul is what makes the spot special. None of us will know for sure “why there” until we find the chest and even then the special reasons for that particular spot may never be revealed. Perhaps that will be the ultimate mystery surviving long after the chest is found. But that chapter has yet to be written…..

  15. Hang in there wildbird! The treasure is still waiting out there for someone, why not for You? or me…..?

  16. A quick critique.

    By my reckoning this solution didn’t require close to half of the poem. For me that doesn’t fit with “There are a few words in the poem that are not useful in finding the treasure Phil, but it is risky to discount any of them”. This is the biggest issue for me. Perhaps my Tour de France joke “solution” used more!

    You say “Slip on a slimy river rock and you could be a goner…this has death trap written all over it” yet we know “The treasure is not hidden in a dangerous place in the normal definition of the word”.

    One could argue that the Natural bridge is a structure and we know the hiding place is not associated with one.

    • Good comments Pacman.

      “There are a few words in the poem that are not useful in finding the treasure…..”.

      I’ve wrestled with this one a lot. In the end it has to be a judgement call as to what is a clue and what isn’t. I like the idea that every sentence holds a clue, but I have not been able to make it work. I’m still trying though.

      Yes this path was a bit dangerous but there was no way to know before we got there. I may have “embellished” this a bit with some literary license, but nothing that would necessarily scare off a seasoned fisherman. This is probably the biggest reason why I now agree that it is not THE solution. I don’t think an 80 yr old guy would tackle it alone. But, heck, it is a very cool place and I’m glad I went. Also, by way of full disclosure, I can’t say with total certainty that there isn’t an easier way in. We just took the shortest route from where we camped.

      Is the Natural Bridge a structure? I think in the context that this was said he implied man-made structure. This is an all natural feature, carved by water, that existed prior to the flume, not man-made, so if we discount this then we discount almost everything in nature (rocks, caves, crannies, trees, etc). IMO

      • It’s a good solve just to dangerous .Mr. Fenn wouldn’t put it in a place where anyone would get hurt .now my solve has everything involved all clues in poem some things in the book a flashlight and the same above as below now the more I see I can connect with a scrapbook of forrest so in my opinion I have a solid solve and to a spot not just a area that needs searched and looking on Google Earth i believe i see a square object kinda shines in couple spots and small I ran it through a filter and that object has 90° angles on four corners I think it is it. I debated on saying anything because all the negative comments I have been on this quest for4 and a half years and many hours and many hands on searches so I’m not just spouting off I’ve been on dal’s blog for 4 years got a lot of information so I still have to go and see right now it’s speculation until it’s touched

        • Tony,

          Correct me if I’m wrong. Didn’t Fenn say that Google Earth doesn’t go down far enough to see the tc? (paraphrasing)


        • Busyb yes he did but I screen shot the spot and enlarged it and it could be a rock that’s perfectly square and shiny in a couplespots but i don’t think it’s naturally going to be that square in natureand it’s not in a place that it would be trash left behindno this fits to perfect

          • Tony –

            If it’s not Fenn’s TC – perhaps it’s Spanish treasure – many think it’s still out there somewhere.

            Best of Luck to you – go get it. Take photos and keep us informed.

        • Page 99 of ttotc the place drawn does exist everything including the palm tree and under the palm tree you’ll find the chest

      • When I went there, I too saw the land lock. So I went in from way above, than down. I wanted to get higher but got stuck for a moment in the snow. Got a little scared when I saw a well eaten elk remains. So the Bears where out. Many in the area, talked about the bears and bear spray not being the best protection. It saved Jack Hannahs life in Montana a couple years ago. Being able to jump in a car saved my life.

        Lou Lee Bear, from whoville

    • Marvin –

      You stated above – In the end it has to be a judgment call as to what is a clue and what isn’t.

      I respectfully disagree with that statement. Nothing about this chase will be a judgment call. If we take a look at FF – everything he does is calculated and planned – and pretty right on target.

      I don’t think he makes a lot of mistakes – and when you find he made a mistake – it’s probably for a very good reason.

      You could never go with certainty to the TC – unless their was a specific way to do that. imo

      • Inthechase, many, many, searchers have gone with certainty only to come up empty handed. These searchers that believe as you do then go off on emotional and delusional rants because they are certain they are correct. The chest has already been found or it was never there to start with because they are certain of their solution.

        Which brings us back to the fact that there is no way to be certain of a solution until the chest is found.

        • Goofy –

          You just kill me with laughter. You just keep thinking that. 🙂

          Do you want to explain to me why he would say the searcher will go with certainty……. (paraphrasing)

          How could you possibly do that if there wasn’t a concret fool proof way to do it?

          • Into-how is there absolute certainty unless and until the chest is found? Columbus made 4 trips across the ocean to look for a route to asia. He died convinced and CERTAIN that he had made land fall in ASIA on every trip he made. Did he go with certainty? Yes. Was he certain that he found asia after the first trip? Yes. After the second, third, and fourth trip? Yes. Do you see any bearing his folly has on this discussion? I ponder that historical fact and am reminded that a persons feelings of certainty sometimes have no bearing on reality.

          • Raven –

            Columbus didn’t have a map – and also didn’t have a poem or a book or a FF showing him “how” to do it. 🙂

          • Into I think folks are taking the “go with confidence and certainty” way too seriously and only leads to emotional trauma instead of logical thinking.

            To me if one is willing to expend their time and resources searching exhibits a level of confidence in their thinking. But to be absolutely certain only leads to delusional thinking.

            If you are absolutely certain your solution is correct and it’s not there leads to the obvious conclusion that someone has already found it or it was never there to start with. Is this what you are saying?

            In my opinion your way of thinking is illogical and only leads to emotional distress when you are wrong. I’m wondering what is going to happen when you find your perfect solution and it’s not there.

      • Hi Inthechase

        You said: “Nothing about this chase will be a judgment call”.
        I’m not sure I understand. F has not provided a list of clues so we must use our judgement to figure this out. Are you just saying that you agree with Pacman that all the words must be used? It’s possible and I have worried about this.

        Perhaps it would help to examine the whole quote in context.
        “Someone unfamiliar with your poem receives a message that says “meet me where warm waters halt, somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe”. Would they be able to work out where to go? If they can’t, would they need the whole poem, another stanza, or just a line or word to help them on their way? ~Phil Bayman

        There are a few words in the poem that are not useful in finding the treasure Phil, but it is risky to discount any of them. You over simplify the clues. There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe. Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts. F”

        The way I see this Phil is trying to get a handle on WWWH and asks F for simplifying information. F responds that he won’t supply the simplification and admonishes Phil not to look for shortcuts. So to me, he is not saying that every word be used, just be extremely careful what you choose to ignore. We’ve heard similar statements from F before. It’s a cautionary tale….IMO.

        Off topic, but IMO the far more interesting part of this exchange is that “There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt”. Food for thought right there.

        • Marvin –

          That was not the quote I am thinking of – I will go hunt for the right one again.

          You are so right about where to start being the most important thing – because with out that – nothing will work for you.

          If you go to his website – read the poem – then go to the book – read the poem. If you find the difference – you are off and running. 🙂

          • Goofy –

            You didn’t answer my question.

            Why did he say go with certainty. ??

            I do not believe being certain of anything – makes one delusional – but if you do – that’s OK.

          • Into I’ve already explained it several times……But I’ll try again.

            I think some over emotional folks are going way overboard with his statement.

            Again, for someone to spend their time and resources traveling to a spot displays a high level of confidence in my opinion. One of these days one of those folks will be correct and find the chest; they had enough certainty to go look. That is what I think he means, because no one will stumble over the chest. You have to go look to find it.

            So a searcher with enough certainty to go look will find the chest. But if you feel absolutely certain in your solution then you simply cannot be wrong. There have been many searchers that look at it like you do; they are absolutely certain they are correct. And when they are wrong they have an emotional breakdown.

          • Goofy –

            I see your point about an emotional break down – and sorry to hear that some of our searchers have done that.

            To be a great treasure hunter emotions should be kept in check. I have had fun many times – dancing around the room when I have had a new discovery – and why not. That’s all part of it.

            I have decided and it is a decision – not to blame myself or anyone else if it’s not there and here is why –

            I have had a blast and a half doing this and I can’t thank FF enough for the thrill of it all. I have learned more about history and life in these few short years – than all the time before. I feel I have earned much more than a college education and have just treasured every minute of it.

            I thank you too Goofy for all the time and effort you have put into the chase.

      • Certainty is why we put one foot in front of the other every single day. The same holds true for the treasure. If you aren’t certain, why bother going?

        • BW –

          Right on – but you better watch it – cuz Goofy is saying you are going to become delusional. 🙂

          • As it relates to The Thrill of the Chase, certainty, can be derived from common sense, or fever. Either way, you end up on a lovely walk with Mother Nature.

  17. The poem is as simple as counting 1-9

    You can’t pass clue #1 without a credible clue #2

    If you agree that the first clue is “Begin it wwwh” then, when you take the canyon down, if it doesn’t lead to something that might resemble hoB. You must find another canyon. It’s that simple. That is my common sense opinion.

    Best of luck- with your lists and stuff


  18. Sure its simple that’s why no one has found it or is just too simple for a normal adult ? A game for kids and special cases like us 🙂 I doubt it….

      • What kid wouldn’t love a totally awesome swimmin’ hole?

        My son reminded me of such a place he had once read about a long time ago – (BTW..there’s actually a Canyon in Yellowstone called “Firehole Canyon”) It’s nearby Madison Museum and Mystic Springs where The Little Firehole River drops close to 75 feet.

        Up aways, and possibly WWWH alts; there’s also the YNP’s Lamar Ranger Station which was once the home of B rown. (Lamar Brown, a much respected Ranger).

        Back to that swimmin’ hole:

        “As I have gone in alone there ” might be a special spot of Forrest’s, nearest the Madison River’s “Nine Mile Hole” (Lots of mud at its Lower-upper Falls, tho). – Take a left turn off of the Grand Loop Road and detour at Firehole Canyon Drive, (which was once Madison Canyon Road). Hopefully, to arrive at a one- way, two mile drive which will lead to this magical place!

        * Note…. that also located in the Madison River’s “Nine Mile Hole”….there could be an awesome and secret FISHING spot that can only hold….ONE fisherman!

        Have to go in there..alone ~

        I’m still trying to find my way around; so, thanks for your time and patience. I appreciate it.

        Great luck to you if you should venture out that way. Enjoy your SELF, and most of all….appreciate the opportunity to be able to enjoy one, beautiful journey in person!

        May God Speed ~

    • Pieces,

      I would suggest it’s quite possible that a normal adult brought up in a city might never understand the poem. However, someone who has spent decades of seasons afield will be able to take Fenn’s poetry map, and apply it to a topo map, and find some credible solutions. Just a thought mind you.

  19. I have had a emotional breakdown, but not from not finding it. I get very upset because I can’t get out to find it, for one reason or another. Its very frustrating, for me and the worse of it. I have always had such a great time on my hunts. And had a feeling of elation, all the way home. Now if I just can find a way out of here…..here being my situation that makes it hard for me to go……..but i will in time.

    Lou Lee, a treasure hunter, chased by bears and lived to tell the tale…..

    • I feel your pain, Lou Lee… I’m sitting here in office, no more than 30 minutes from my Home of Brown, but it’s raining, and my foot’s been hurting for a week, might have a fracture, dammit, I want to get out in the beauty of nature and hike, and maybe come across the chest. I have to wait at least until Friday, but it’ll be the weekend, and the tourists are heavy this year… then again, I don’t have to outrun the bear, just the slowest tourist!

      • Well Naught

        You will be way ahead of me…..Good luck! Have a great time.! Nothing like being in nature and seeing something new. I Just Love what Forrest just said on Jenny’s. If he was in the business today he said he would do it on the net and spend the rest of his time fishing…..good idea…!

        Yogi, came into my camp in Lolo Hot springs campground. I was cooking a nice dinner and he came running to it, ate it all up. None left for me, I coward in my van. I have wrote about my adventure here, before so I don’t want to get Goofy or someone mad at me. It sure was fun. One of a few bear encounters!

        Still hoping for a miracle.
        Lou Lee Bug, from Whoville.

      • I feel for you Lou Lee. I am stuck in the office like many people looking at my computer screen and thinking about how cool it would be to be out there looking for the TC. At least my work should let up this weekend or early next week and I will get a chance to get out again. In the meantime I am just going to have to dream about finding the treasure and researching. Wouldn’t want to run into any big grizzly bears though! That would be scary! Lucky my search area only has black bears. Anyone know the range of Grizzlies in Colorado (Denver area)? Hoping the grizzlies are only further North, have never brought bear spray with me. Is this a bad idea?

        • Grizzlies jn Montana and Wyoming. You should be okay in Colorado. Bear spray is always good idea when you’re in Yogi’s backyard

        • My mom was in Wyoming last week and wondered where the big black dog suddenly came from while she was out walking… Lol it was a black bear… I asked her if she had her gun she said of course but it was in the cabin… She said the black bears always do the turn and run so she is not scared of them… I will have to ask her about grizzles and if she has seen any in Wyoming…

  20. Thanks so much Lianer and Naught. I think Bears are pretty harmless mostly, IMO. But, we have invaded their home. Just be prepared just in case. Makes one feel a bit safer. I Love Bears. That is why they Love me so much! Maybe they just Love my Cooking. When I was a kid in Yellowstone, I was just a tasty Toe headed kid…..I Love bears. I have Bears dancing on my wall. Have you ever heard the song…Teddy Bears Picnic?

    Lou Lee Bear

    • Has anyone searched along the Gibbons River? Maybe from the falls to the confluence with the Madison and Firehole Rivers. Just a thought.

      • Phil-
        I have looked in the stretch you described. But I was never enamored of it for several reasons…proximity to the road is one issue for me. Lack of solitude is a related factor. I only spent about two days looking in that particular stretch. My heart was not a follower of my feet.

  21. Hey gang, checking in on vacation from Western New York. First off, thanx Marvin for the fun read to your solve. It helps me to see and understand how others are thinking through the poem clues to their solution. What I like here on Dal’s site is the “coopetition” concept coined in the IT world a few years back where big hitters in the industry cooperate on technology and standards, but compete for customers. There is a lot we can learn from one another as we solve the solution for ourseleves – to our own satisfaction. I’ll check back in again once I get back some where west of Toledo.

  22. How do you get to a thread after it has moved off of the new posting list? As an example: Warm Springs part 1. I looked under searchers discussions.



      • Goofy,

        Most of the topic board is common sense, but like Windy I find myself looking back for discussions and end up searching the wrong topic for it.

        Is there any easy way to put a footnote if you will on, example “warm springs part 1″ or 2 – section ” other adventure ” …at the top of the page. { I repeat, easy way to do so. I know that is a lot of discussion and topic involved}

        It would help this {self } idiot from scrolling through the wrong areas.

        just a thought.

        • Seeker I’m not going to go through and edit a qazillion posts; but I can do what you ask with some custom code and a little rearranging.

          I can see where doing a search could turn up posts that the searcher doesn’t know where they came from. Does anyone else think this would be helpful to them?

          Just so we’re on the same page Seeker; what I can do is put something like…..This post is in “xxxxxxx” under the title to the page. Which would match one of the menu items. Is that what you are talking about?

  23. Marvin, I’d like to thank you for both Part 1 and Part 2 of your adventure. Here I sit at my desk at work on a Tuesday morning, it’s quiet and there’s no work for me to do. I had to stop halfway through Part 2 and go smoke a cig outside because I almost LOL reading the “12 point turn” part and my coworkers would have gotten irritated with me. Your descriptions were so well written I felt like I was right along side you guys. I loved the history lesson in Part 1 and the adventure in Part 2. Thanks again for sharing 🙂

  24. Thank you Marvin for your delightful tales. I so enjoyed the history of the flume and all. Very romantic.
    About a year and a half ago, on my own, I woke up in the middle of the night with the poem cycling through my head (not an unusual occurrence) and the question I was having was “what is ‘it’?” Begin it, and take it. My answer to this “it” became “your map journey”. “It” was something you just did on a map; that was why a girl in India could solve the first two clues, because she didn’t have to leave her computer, map etc. For me, the “it” became quite significant.

  25. MARVIN CANDLE this is the spot. It fits perfectly. Don’t give up and go back. IMO. I am 16 hours away from the flume. If anything this is the best solve yet.

  26. I don’t think you should give up on this spot. I have some information that might be helpful to you. I’m 61 and in Georgia, so I won’t be getting back out there.

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