X Marks the Spot…




X Marks The Spot?

Our adventure takes place in Wyoming so if you don’t want to hear about Wyoming then stop reading now.  My husband and I started out on our trip July 9th and wanted to stop by and visit with Forrest on the way, but he and Peggy weren’t feeling well, so we skipped it and were going to try to stop by on the way back.  By that time we were exhausted and decided to skip it all together for now.  We spent the night in Amarillo the first night.  The next day we stopped in to see Geydelkon (who is also in the Chase) and his wife in Colorado Springs for lunch.  They are great people; if you are around that area, try to get in touch with them and talk about the Chase.


Carolyn, her husband Scott, Geydelkon, and his wife, Annette

We ate supper at a great restaurant in Steamboat Springs, but the name of it escapes me right now.  That evening we made it to Dixon, WY.  The plan was to go to Savery the next morning, which is like 10 miles away, but they don’t have any hotels.  Baggs, Dixon, and Savery Wyoming are 3 very small towns right in a row.  Apparently around this time of the year is rodeo season there and Savery was having a rodeo so we almost didn’t get a room.  We stayed at the Dixon Motel.  The reason we were headed to Savery is because they have a museum there called the Little Snake River Museum where the Brown house is located.  Thomas Brown Vernon built the house in Baggs, WY.



After all of the pictures of the old buildings we decided to go to Medicine Bow to hike and fish.  We were looking for Baby Lakes, but didn’t find it.  We were on a trail to it we thought along Bottle Creek, but after a mile or so of up and down hiking, we decided to turn around because we didn’t think that Forrest could do all of that, and we were having a struggle as well.  I would like to stress the effects of high altitude for those who are not used to it, like us Texans.  We rested often and sat down for about 15 minutes on an aspen tree that had fallen and carved our initials in it as others had done.  There were a lot of carvings all along that trail.  When we finally made it out we went back to Baggs and refueled and took a short (relatively) drive into the Red Desert where we would be searching the next day.  We went to where I thought the treasure may be hidden.  It wasn’t there, but there is one there now because I had put together my own small treasure and placed it in one of the many, many caves of the red desert.


On Page 130 in the Too Far to Walk book, there is a faint map that you can see.  In the word “New Mexico” the “X” is over the location where I thought it may be located.  It is down one of the branches of the Red Creek.  I would also like to stress how horrible the roads are in the red desert, if you want to call them roads.  Some that are labeled as a 4×4 road or more like an overgrown dirt trail and if it rains, you definitely will get stuck.  We were in our faithful Jeep, so no problem until the next day.

So we hunted all around the area and in all the caves and on all the rocky outcrops with about a million rabbits.  Those rabbits could climb the rocks and scatter into caves faster than anything.  There were also pronghorn everywhere; kind of like buffalo (bison) in Yellowstone.  After our search and our planting of our treasure we drove back to Baggs and spent the night at the Cowboy Inn.  It rained that night.  By the way, this whole area is BLM area and you definitely will be alone in this area of the Red Desert.  Make sure you have a full tank of gas going in and plenty of water.  I would also have a GPS and several paper maps.  We used our Garmin that we have for the car, the Wyoming Gazetteer, and a handheld Garmin Rhino 650.  These 3 things were invaluable to us and we only became lost a couple of times.



They are short on signs in this area too.  This area is so much larger than you think by looking at the map and the fact that you have to drive slow compounds it.  It took us at one point to drive 40 miles in 7 hours, which was on the Shell Creek Trail Road.  It starts off as Sandcreek road and turns into Shell Creek Trail Road.  Of course, we stopped at several locations.  On this road we saw a coyote momma and her two pups, a band of wild horses and a couple of wild horses that were in a bachelor’s group, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, rabbits, pronghorn, elk, grouse, magpie, and 2 rattlesnakes.  We were trying to reach Adobe Town, but were unable to due to the fact that the road was getting continually worse until it dead ended into the dry creek.  Had the dry creek not been so far down, we would have tried to cross it, but there was no way and we were forced to go South down a different road.  We took this road over to another road called Cherokee Trail Road, which was another 4×4 road, but not as bad.  We took it about 30 minutes and decided to stop and camp for the night so we would have time to set up before dark.  We got everything set up and built a small fire, ate supper, and sat in our chairs to observe the wildlife on the ridge and in the valleys around us.  We could watch the elk and horses graze.  It was nice.

We decided that in the morning we would go back out to the main paved road (789) and go north to I-80 and go into Adobe Town from the North instead.  In the morning after we got everything packed up and ready to get back on the road, Scott opened up the hood of the Jeep to check fluids, etc and a packrat ran out.  He apparently thought the warm engine would make a nice place for his new home.  He had drug up small branches and things in there during the night and was all set up.  We cleaned out everything and set out.  As we were coming down Bitter Creek Rd (19) from I-80 heading south toward Adobe Town, there were more people and the road was a little better.  We saw a badger, unfortunately he ran too quickly for us to get a picture of him.  By the time we finally reached Adobe Town Rim, the Check Engine light came on and we decided not to turn the car off and to just look around for a bit.  After looking around briefly, we left disappointedly and headed to Rock Springs to find a parts store.  That was the closest big enough town to get things like parts.  It turned out to be the alternator so Scott changed it and we decided to forget about Adobe Town.  It seemed like we weren’t supposed to be there; like something was trying to keep us from going.

It was getting to be evening time so we found a hotel, fortunately.  As I mentioned before, it must be rodeo season there because Rock Springs was having a national rodeo there.  We ate supper and went to the rodeo to check it out where there were rabbits and prairie dogs there as well.  We didn’t stay the whole time and went back to hotel for the night.  The next morning we headed out for Killpecker Sand Dunes, which was north.  We hiked a little bit around and headed further North to the Wind River area.  Scott wanted to fish in some glacier lakes.  We went to the Wind River Casino that is run by the Northern Arapaho who are very, very nice people.  I love that place.  We were fortunate enough to be there on a Tuesday when they have their dances.  It’s like a small Pow Wow.  It was truly awesome!  I met a guy there who makes the headdresses for the group and is going to make one for my grandson.  We left the casino the next morning and headed to Lander and then took Louis Lake Rd (131) to Sinks Canyon State Park.  Went and saw the rise and fall and then to Fiddler’s Lake.  Caught some fish, saw a baby bird sitting on a log while hiking, and tried to hike to Christina Lake to catch Golden trout, but it was a 5 mile hike and we didn’t have it in us due to the elevation.

We hiked back to the car and went to Louis Lake and fished and caught more trout.  By the time the day was over with the fishing, we decided to head for home.  We went down through Colorado briefly and over to Kansas and spent the night in Salina and then down through Oklahoma and stopped at an animal safari place and then across the Red River to Texas; home sweet home.  Another 4 hours and we were at home with the weekend to recuperate.

No gold, but with treasures none the less and ideas about the future searches.  I’m still not convinced that it’s not around the Red Desert area somewhere.  It’s a cold desert and in the bottom half, you would be going in alone.  There are several canyons and the Little Snake River runs through it as well as several creeks.  Still so much more to learn.





51 thoughts on “X Marks the Spot…

  1. Thank you for sharing your adventure, the insight into just how rugged some of the off road locations can be and how long it can take just to travel a few miles and really and truly getting lost if not for your gadgets, all good to know! Thanks!

  2. I received a Rino 650 for my birthday in June. Can’t wait to use it on my hunting trips with my son,

    Keep looking till you find it! 🙂

    • One more tip Special, on my Rino 650, I bought the WY state map that is very detailed. I think it’s called hunt … Anyways, can’t remember exactly, but it helps a lot! I would purchase for your state you will be attending. Good luck on your searches!

  3. A great adventure. One of my worst fears is getting stuck on a dirt road in the mountains. It’s happened to me twice. Now I bring a shovel, a tow rope, and skid plates. I don’t know what I would do if the alternator broke. I will just stay on hard packed roads that are a short drive but too far to walk.

    • We carried a shovel too Michael. I would think all good treasure hunters would have one.

  4. Well, you certainly had a nice vacation! But you covered far too much territory to adequately search. And isn’t drive from Muddy Gap to Lander spectatular?
    You missed some great sights, namely Encampment, Saratoga and Centennial…along with their mountain ranges, the Sierra Madres and Snowy Range. Simply beautiful!
    Having said that, so glad you enjoyed your time here!
    And yes, it is rodeo season…
    Karen from Casper

    • Hey Karen, maybe next year we can meet up. We did cover quite a bit of territory, but more of a search one area thoroughly in the red desert and the rest was more like a reconnaissance mission. We saw Encampment briefly because we were looking for the turn off for Baby Lakes. Still not sure where the lake is, but not important. I would like to spend more time from Saratoga all the way down to the Colorado border. That area will be our next search area to narrow down I believe. You are quite lucky to live there in WY so you can search more often and yes, it is quite beautiful there.

  5. Glad y’all enjoyed. There were more pics sent to Dal. Hopefully he has put them on the photos page. I haven’t checked.

  6. Excellent write up Carolyn and crew, sounds like you did a little of everything on your adventures!

  7. Great adventure story Carolyn! Glad you made it back before the alternator went out! 🙂

    • We were too CJ. I’m glad everyone enjoyed our adventure. It was a lot of fun! We try to grab every banana! Hope this helped somebody out there with their search.

  8. What a great trip even with a few complications. Sad to hear that the Fenns were not feeling well. One thing I know for sure is you can’t keep a good Fenn down. Carolyn you mentioned you weren’t done searching there, with all the open space, invite us next time. Great adventure thanks.

    • Hey Straw Shadow, we would love to meet up with people when we are out there so my email is csan2000@aol.com. Send me an email and I will keep in touch and let you know when we head out again or maybe we can make it around the same time that y’all can make it and we’ll have a great time! If anyone else wants to romp around with us when we’re out just send an email and we will keep you in mind. Gotta say though, you have to be prepared for roughing it. You never know where you will end up and may not always be a hotel near by. If you can handle that, you can hang with us.

  9. Thanks for sharing your story Carolyn. Sounds like a great trip. I’ve been curious about Medicine Bow and want to go traipse around there one of these days just for fun–can’t seem to narrow down a likely spot for the chest but love the history of the place. Looking forward to seeing more of your pics.

    • Raven, I haven’t narrowed down a spot yet for Medicine Bow either, but when I got back I ordered several NF maps. Start at Saratoga and work your way down the towns and find out as much as you can about them. My maps will be here Friday and then it’s going to be a while of doing research in all of my spare moments, which isn’t a lot. I also need to go back to the book and read it again and the poem like Forrest said.

  10. Wow, Carolyn! Great adventure. I’ve found that something breaks or goes out or is forgotten or lost on every search safari! But heck, things just happen. Just got back from Wy. Won’t give location, still scoping it out. But one day, I’ll write my adventures for posteritiessake. You keep doing the same. The chase changes lives, in a great way! Be safe and good luck. ¥Peace ¥

  11. Carolyn,
    I’d love to hear your nine clues that got you to these spots if you don’t mind sharing.

    • Hi Colokid,

      I don’t mind sharing, but not all of the places we went were because of the chase. My husband likes to fly fish and WY is where he can do that so that’s why we went up to the Wind River area. However, I look everywhere I go in WY. I chose the Red Desert because, like I said above, there is an X in a certain spot on the Red Creek that is located in the Red Desert and that place was searched well. I didn’t do a lot of thinking about the poem for that one, except for the Red Desert as a whole. The Red Desert is what is known as a “cold” desert. It’s not hot like the Sahara. Nobody goes there to the Red Desert so no problem going in alone. I know they have found antiquities there at one point and wouldn’t be surprised if there were more in a cave in there. I do think that the poem has something to do with the Little Snake River. I think Indulgence is in a cave somewhere. I mentioned Brown in my story above. I think that blaze is a symbol, on either a sign (like the forest service use to mark trails) or on a tree. I choose to not reveal the rest of my ideas, except for the fact that I think the treasure is located within the shape of a square from roughly slightly northwest of Rawlins going east to right above Medicine Bow to straight down to the Colorado border and then from Rawlins down to the Colorado border. Yes it is a large area. I choose not to say why I think that. That’s as much help as I can give you. Good luck!

      • Not yet.the snow is just now comming off the mountins and will look while out looking for gold panning sites.a group of us have 4×4’s and like to explore the rugged areas south of here. thanks for your reply

  12. Carolyn: I’m very late to reading your story. I see in the group picture that Geydelkon is wearing his transposition namesake. Nice to attach some faces to names. A shame Forrest hadn’t eliminated deserts yet at the time you checked out the Red Desert, but at least you combined lots of activities into your adventure!

    • Geydelkon looks like one of Native American mentors from my youth (they aren’t the same person but the similarities are interestings).

  13. No matter how many locations you think are in the Poem they could never be used to form an X at the TC location I can see drawing three or four lines from three or four spots to one spot but that would be much different than the X marks the spot solve imo

    • To me the Blaze is where the Chest resides if I use the Blaze as a point the X marks the spot idea would take me away from it right? imo

      • Carolyn I understand . my comment was more about X marks the spot in a general sense as it relates to my half baked solve. your comment about literal vs. figurative is interesting and maybe where the truth lies. I keep hearing the ” make all the lines cross ” idea and am baffled but can’t rule anything out. thanks for sharing your adventures and beautiful pictures

        • Yeah, I’ve heard that about crossing the lines too but haven’t found anywhere Forrest has said or written it, so I disregard it. The adventures are the real treasure.

          • you can easily find where ff was quoted saying this directly in a Tarry Scant search of ” cross”, or half a dozen partial phrases dealing with “cross”.

          • Hi Carolyn: Forrest seems to like the “lines crossing” idiom. He used it as early as 2013 in a Six Questions answer with Jenny Kyle (in which he also used “metaphorically speaking”):

            “The bulk of the book (TTOTC) was written in six weeks and phrases that I had never thought of before, suddenly appeared on my computer screen. I said in the forward that the book wrote itself. I had written seven books before this one, and it seemed that none of the lines crossed where they were supposed to, metaphorically speaking.”

            But the primary instance of the phrase that got folks’ attention was in the Business Insider story in February 2017:

            “Read the clues in my poem over and over and study maps of the Rocky Mountains,” he said via email. “Try to marry the two. The treasure is out there waiting for the person who can make all the lines cross in the right spot.”

            Link is:

            Keep in mind this is a journalist’s story quoting Forrest. But it is from an email, and given that Forrest has mentioned lines crossing before I’d say it’s pretty reliable.

          • “The treasure is out there waiting for the person who can make all the lines cross in the right spot.”

            I read that with “all the lines” meaning the 24 lines in the poem. We know that the clues lead us to the treasure, so saying that the lines in the poem converge on where the treasure is hidden is another example of Forrest saying something that sounds interesting but doesn’t give us any more information.

    • Hank ?, You can see drawing lines from three or four spots, but you don’t see how the poem comes up with four spots? or is it that you think an “X” takes more than four spots to form? In either case, the Poem can and probably is describing more than even four spots, and an “X” only takes four spots to form.

      • Writis;

        True, an “X” only takes four spots to form BUT they can not be in a straight line. If you think so, please make these four spots into an “X” without moving any of them * * * * Just sayin’ JDA

        • At a screen width of 254px JDA it was a piece of cake to make an X without moving any of them as they were stacked in a 2 on top of 2 pattern.

          • Well, there you have all your ingredients for making a star, spot, asterisk, or X. Whatever you want to call it.

      • Since I think the Chest is at the Blaze the only way to get the lines to cross there would be if the Blaze were somewhat in the middle of the other locations. The locations I think are linear but not necessarily in a straight line with the Blaze and Chest at the tail end imo

        • Hank, if you have plotted at least 4, and hopefully 6 or more clues on your (ideally paper) map, the intersection of your 2-3 lines will hopefully GIVE you the blaze/treasure. An asterisk, or X, if you will. The first time I did this I ended up with a virtual “peace sign”. It was cool, man!

  14. LOL JDA. If only our clues were lined up like ducks in a row! I cant imagine that you dont have ANY specialized knowledge. Big smile.

  15. I think that trying to create an X that marks where the TC is . . .
    is not a very wise way to spend one’s time, compared to working on a good solve.
    I discourage everyone from working on a bad solve.

    And for what it’s worth, roosters have wattles. Ducks have waddles. As always, IMO.

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