Cultural Transformations…


On the face of the Rocky Mountains are many names that come from other cultures placed there by Navajo, Ute, Spanish, Sioux, French and other speakers. Sometimes their translation to English matches up with lines or ideas in the poem which lead searchers to believe there could be a connection. This page is devoted to the discussion of trans-cultural concepts that might help us understand the poem.

A typical comment might include the idea that uncompahgre is often interpreted as Ute for “Warm Waters”. Following this idea someone might want to start their search where “Warm waters halt” or at the place where the Uncompahgre River stops..


129 thoughts on “Cultural Transformations…

  1. Thanx Dal, I was wondering where folks were getting all that kind of translation information I’ve seen sprinkled throughout the blog threads.

    • On one of my extensive searches in 2013 I stopped by the Ute Indian Interpretation Center which sits beside the Uncompahgre river In Montrose CO and asked the person at the center what Uncompahgre means. She told me it means “Where warm waters flows.” She was obviously of Indian descent and since she was working at that interpretive center I presume she was of Ute ancestry and therefore believe she knew what she was talking about.

      Note the following In support of the native American Indian’s definition.

      Wikipedia’s article on the Uncompahgre River:
      (actual quote of the source referenced by References #7):
      “by the Yutas called Ancapagari (which according to the interpreter, means Laguna Colorado) because near its source there is a spring of red water, hot and bad tasting.”

      What’s in a Name: Uncompahgre
      Ute meanings include “warm flowing water,” “where water makes rock red,” and “red soil” –

      A LADY’S LIFE ON A FARM IN MANITOBA (circa 1882)
      These letters were never intended for publication, and were only the details written to our family of an every-day life, and now put in the same shape and composition; not as a literary work, but in hopes that the various experiences we underwent may be useful to future colonists intending to emigrate and farm, either in Manitoba or Colorado.
      OURAY, August 24.
      “Mr. W—— met us at 5 o’clock A.M. at the “Hot Springs,” so called from the boiling water that gushes out of the ground, and which is said to give the name of “Uncompahgre” to the district, that being the Indian word for hot water.” –

      FYI: The Uncompahgre River begins flowing crystal clear at Lake Como near the peak of Brown mountain which then flows down the Poughkeepsie Gulch and then into a very deep canyon until it crosses under U.S. Highway 550 to where afterwards there are a couple of beautiful blazing waterfalls. Lake Como is frozen for the good part of the year and usually does not thaw out until late June. In other words the beginnings of the Uncompahgre River is sourced from frozen (halted) water. But… a tributary called Red Mountain Creek flows into the Uncompahgre River down river from those blazing water falls. That creek is heavy laden with a reddish brown color due to the large amount of iron in the creek that flows down from the three (3) Red Mountains which are also heavy laden with iron. At the base of these Red mountains (in the valley alongside the “Million Dollar Highway” which the Red Mountain Creek flows alongside) is a ghost town called Ironton.

      With all that said I am reminded of what FF says in TTOTC pg 27. “that rusty old iron thing marked the tail of my britches pretty good with a heavy brown color… I was beginning to learn where the edges were…”

      If anyone happens to be hiking in the woods in that area and sees my “NO STOPPING or STANDING NEXT 2 MILES” sign that I strategically planted in the middle of no where for amusement purposes then go ahead and give me a thumbs up.

      ALSO… If this info helps out for finding Indulgence then go ahead and throw me a nugget or two.

      • I believe u’re on the right track with Utes.
        JIMO but I don’t know much.

      • You may have something there Sam Sam. If I’m able to get there I will check it out for you and let you know.

  2. I looked at Ouray Ice Park last year. The area is beautiful, the local people are awesome, and there’s an historical B&B there that is incredible.

    • Ouray Ice Park was my first “armchair” solution — I liked it for a lot of reasons, perhaps most because of the Uncompahgre River. Uncompahgre translates differently depending on who you choose to believe: “red water sitting”, “where water makes rock red”, “hot water spring”, etc. When you add in the presence of spectacular ice waterfalls above the town of Ouray, you have two ways in which “warm water halts” at the same location. And of course there is certainly a canyon there (Uncompahgre Gorge). You can even toss in that the Uncompahgre is joined from the southwest by *Canyon* Creek. And what’s the name of the highway there? The Million Dollar Highway. Seems like the sort of location features that would appeal to Forrest. It’s also not too terribly far from Santa Fe — probably less than a 6-hour drive. He could get it all done in a long day.

      My main problem with Ouray, though, was I could never come up with a decent home of Brown. There is Brown Mountain nearby, but not in a direction from the Uncompahgre that you could “put in below”. On a final note, of the four states the treasure could be in, Colorado is the only one that ISN’T mentioned in TTOTC. Diversion by omission? Or perhaps omission because it doesn’t rank as high as Wyoming, Montana or New Mexico in Forrest’s heart of hearts.

      • Forgot to add 2 more small items in favor of the Ouray solve (but not enough for me to commit to going there specifically for a Chest search): “a comprehensive knowledge of geography might help.” Note the similarities between comprehensive and Uncompahgre. Finally (and even more tangential), Chief Ouray’s second wife (after the death of his first) was Chipeta, which translates to “White Singing Bird”. That’s a nice little white dove nesting in the crescent moon on pg. 146. 😉

        • Zaphod, You said: “Note the similarities between comprehensive and Uncompahgre.”

          I’d be interested to hear how these are similar (please don’t say because they share some of the same letters).

          • Sorry: just phonetically similar — many common letters, and same number of syllables.

      • I know it’s been awhile since your comment but I am just now getting involved in searching. There are two “homes of Brown” in Ouray, associated with the river. One is “Brown cabin” which overlooks the river from a much higher elevation and the other is the former location of a dairy farm by the river which was operated by a man by the name of Brown. Just thought I would mention it..

      • Interestingly, after looking into Ouray, I noted it was the town filmed in the 1968 film True Grit. Perhaps, not being for the meek is in reference to needing grit? I agree the hot springs could be the warm waters. The braving the cold could be the ice park.

        Also, go in peace… Ouray is known as the “Switzerland” of America, which, Switzerland tends to always be neutral, or at peace…Just a thought out of the box…

        Heavy loads…maybe referring to the hydroplant there? Especially since the water is higher behind it. There is also a higher lake next to the ice park, according to Googlemaps, which also happens to be on the left of the trail (nigh of it)

  3. This is a good idea. For the first time I wished that I spoke Spanish to evaluate the names of places in NM.


    Has Mr. Fenn ever said whether or not it is required or helpful to understand a language other than English?

    • I wonder if his teacher was Ford or he added that in for a clue
      I really do believe forrest is trying to make us all think about meanings.

    • Hi Michael

      While almost any part of this poem can apply anywhere. My take on Ford is this… Something about the Ford car brand relates to the Chase, if you’ll remember Diggin Gypsies Ford was used in a story by Fenn. A Model T Ford drawing appears in TFTW with the line “it could twist like a snake” and there are 4 D’s on the right side of the poem descending vertically. Also lets not forget the post about Whitey Ford and as Lou Lee mentioned Ms. Ford the teacher. I like what Sancho has been saying too about El Camino Real. Maybe a winding path or road runs nearby the treasure then again Fenn is probably smiling as we chase our doggie tales in circles.

  4. I believe the origin of words and the true meaning it’s derived from comes into play, and can be helpful hints in guiding you in certain directions. Especially words Forrest uses in answers to questions or statements made. Bur

        • Agreed. Trying to decipher Forrest’s tricks in the English language is hard enough. I’ve been browsing this website and am realizing how far some people have already gone to try and make sense of all the subtle hints and clues that seem to lie beneath the surface of what Forrest is really trying to tell us. Perhaps a tribal dialect is needed. In my limited experience of arrow head hunting, Native Americans liked vantage points to see their game and to see potential neighboring tribes that posed threats. Also a nearby source of water was needed. The landscape sure has changed since, but there are some areas on the interior (parks) that remain untouched. Trying to find an area like this is like finding a needle in a hay stack.

          • Lianer-
            High “vantage point” this has always been my area in looking for “the blaze”. I believe the chest is in a upper elavation then the surrounding area. Forrest didn’t want his bones discovered by just someone passing by, so put your body higher then a line of sight and hidden behind, between or around a few boulders maybe next to a Juniper & Piñon tree. Why not have a final look (kind of a skybox view) at the beautiful area your dying in with joy in your heart before you slip away. Kind of like the movie “Space Cowboys” and Tommy Lee taking the rocket to the moon, the final view he had. “Fly me to the Moon”.

            By the way in one of Forrest’s answers to a question, the “word” he uses means- a upper area on a curve of a river or something close to that. Good luck. Bur

  5. I was recently pondering a search in the Tetons and discovered it’s french meaning. I was suddenly relieved the French didn’t discover the Grand Canyon!

  6. Just chiming in on a this post to also say, that in the Leadville post I had commented on earlier, chief Ouray was chief of the Utes and his name means Arrow but he was referred to as The Peace Maker. (Go in Peace). Not to mention the fact that Aspen, Colorados former name was Ute City. I personally think, he has added things to his final resting place other than the treasure. I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak. We all get a little crazy in our ideas, and me maybe a little more than some, but I think it is more than just a bland place or hole in the earth he has chosen, and thought that it was possible that he had carved out in a rock face, the face of Ouray down to his chest and a hole or cave, if you will, being in the chest of peacemaker. Take the chest and go in peace. We all need not underestimate Forrest Fenns ability to do anything! Planning for this has taken many years, and he has brought that up many times.
    A true artist can sculpt magnificent things from a pile of junk.

    • I think many searchers are to the point of going in peace. I heard that the Rainbows are having a get together this week in Alamosa, Co. and they’re expecting many Fennsters at the pow wow. Go in Peace.

  7. I have a hard enough time trying to decipher the English meanings of the words in the poem and on maps let alone translating from some other language! 🙂

    • Me too CJ, and given the fact that probably close to 100,000 have tried to unravel the poem, we aren’t alone!

  8. Hum…interesting, but I thing you all forget what F said. “The poem is straight forward…”. No hidden puzzles. A second language to solve the puzzle…? Imo, is NO. he said let a child read it, so he is referring to the innocent, clean non cluttered mind of a child, just plain simple. Sometimes things simple, are the hardest for adults because we forget hoe to let the clutter go and be free.
    It’s going to take IMAGINATION to solve this. ¥Peace ¥

    • Are you saying no one on this site has imagination?? I think those who have posted their solves would take issue with that statement. Heck, I haven’t posted mine and I still take issue with it.

    • “Some searchers overrate the complexity of the search. Knowing about head pressures, foot pounds, acre feet, bible verses,


      cubic inches, icons, fonts, charts, graphs, formulas, curved lines, magnetic variation, codes, depth meters, riddles, drones or ciphers, will not assist anyone to the treasure location, although those things have been offered as positive solutions. Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map.f” 

      I agree with Donna’s perspective, not only for the reason show the poem to a child. But I would think that “latin” , as having no use or nor assist anyone to the treasure location… that would be the same for any other language other than what the poem was written in.

      Although would will disagree Donna, that “Just plain” does not mean “simple”

      I think fenn may have suggested, show the poem to a child as, certain words a child would pick up on. { and that also depends on what a child is to you and to fenn } and I certainly don’t think a child could solve the poem. IMO

      Fenn’s Q&A example of admire; if twisted it we can make it work… to High regards.
      Preface of the book give the same line of thinking… I tend to use words that aren’t in the dictionary, and others that are, I bend a little.

      Words that a child may see, that an adult just read, is maybe the bending fenn is talking about. To an adult any word meaning is a common use. To a child it is the same, but in a different perspective. Fenn used the word secret as in hidden. An example of that is, the secret a can of Dr. pepper. To a child secret is a whispers or to tell a secret.

      Not so plain or simple. Perspective and interpretation is what a poem is all about. And fenn said the words are deliberate. Changing or transforming a word from another language not only can change it’s meaning from the poem but …IMO… is bordering on “messing” with the poem.

      Multiple Meanings and usage, more than likely. Multiple Language? … not so much.

      • Except for Spanish. I don’t think invoking Spanish for interpretations would be a stretch at all.

        There’s two reasons for this. One, FF lives in New Mexico. The entire state is Spanglish. Spanish and English go hand in hand in New Mexico. Even if you’re not looking in NM, and even if the treasure itself isn’t in NM, the poem was written by a man who spent half his life there.

        Two, FF recounts Spanish class in his book, out of all his school memories. It may not mean anything. If it does, it’s not a hint that screams for usage. Still, it’s no stretch to use it either.

        I’m a programmer in real life. Programming languages creep into my thinking process all the time. If I were considering what a man who is bilingual intended in a poem, I wouldn’t discount his second language in possible solutions.

        • Jeremy,

          I can see your points… Not so much NM because he lived there half his life. One can argue MT and WY for all is childhood impression of the place burnt into his memories, which alot of the book refers too. And a lot of his adult life as well. He has family there and has been involved with more than one organizations there as well.

          But I also could say… it’s possible that fenn chose “latin” in the quote because a lot of languages… French, Italian, Spanish, and some English, just to mane a few derived, in part from latin. and just gave an overall thought to language in general.

          Then again, in 500 years, who knows what language will be spoken here.

          • Spanish might be wishful thinking on my part. Considering that a lot of NM’s places have Spanish names, one would *want* it to be as easy as that.

      • I can’t help but rerun the interview response where FF fluidly responds with a new clue as the elevation being above 7,000 feet only to abruptly retract the statement and mention above 5,000 feet. Don’t you think that the immediate instinctual mention above 7,000 feet would narrow the potentialities a great deal? What are your thoughts on the “slip up”? When looking on google earth is seems to remove a great deal of area below 7,000 feet from the equation. When I draw a path to our location from the center of Santa Fe North to our site the measurement sits between 8.3 & 8.4 miles

        • Maybe something out there is under 7,000 feet and could still be considered “mountains north of Santa Fe”, but I wouldn’t know where that would be. Everything I’ve looked at that looks like a mountain is easily over.

        • The city of Santa Fe is at an elevation of 7200 feet. The Mountains above the city are about 10,500 feet. The Rio Grande is about 5,200 feet near Bandelier National Monument, or 5,595 feet near Espanola.
          This is just to give you an idea of why FF chose certain elevations.

          • As for the 8.25 distance north of Santa Fe, I use Tesuque NM as the mark. Add to that he often mentions his dog Tesuque, and one showed a photo of little Tesuque in a creek. Does that hint at Little Tesuque Creek?

        • Anthony-

          I guess I have misspoken enough in my lifetime to be careful attributing hidden meanings to what actually came out.

          I cannot hold Forrest’s feet to the fire for a misspeak any more than I can for a typo. It is clear what he intended us to hear. He has stated it over and over and made mistakes more than once during interviews about the elevation of the place where the chest lays.

          I am in this game to find the treasure and I know what Forrest has intended me to hear and I believe he has told the truth and I believe that there are enough instructions in what he has told us to find the chest if we are persistent enough. I don’t worry my funny little head over what he didn’t intend to say or apply obscure interpretations of his words because I am confused. I know others do and I have learned from some of what they have discovered. But I am somewhat of a simpleton and never been good at reading peoples minds.

          In spite of this deficiency on my part, there is not a word or phrase in that poem that confuses me. I feel confident that I know what he means by every line. I have not come to this conclusion alone. Folks here have helped me see. It’s the bigger picture that I don’t yet understand.

          Unfortunately, it takes more than a familiarization with “Forrest Speak” to actually follow the clues to the treasure. But that”s because the poem is a riddle…a puzzle…not because I don’t know what it tells me to do.

          It is only ambiguous because I am not in the place where Forrest intends me to be as I read the directions.

          Like the six blind men describing the elephant that they are touching but not seeing.

          “The elephant is a pillar,” said the first man who touched his leg.

          “Oh, no! it is like a rope,” said the second man who touched the tail.

          “Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree,” said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.

          “It is like a big hand fan” said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.

          “It is like a huge wall,” said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.

          “It is like a solid pipe,” Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.

          They are all right and yet they are all wrong…missing the bigger picture for getting lost in the details. If they had been able to huddle together and use what each knows to put the entire puzzle together they could have figured out what an elephant looks like.

          What matters to me is to see the whole elephant and not just a small part and falsely believe I understand what an elephant looks like.

          You are a fountain of thought-provoking information Anthony and I appreciate your contributions. But to some others I would suggest that listening is good..opinion is good…filtering is good. Argument serves no purpose in this chase as far as I can tell.

          • Seeing an increase of the term “puzzle” for a while now on your blog site. A poem that is a puzzle is not in sequential order IMO. That opens up many options.

          • Easier said than done Dal, seems like I’ve been arguing more and more with myself lately. I still can’t figure out who’s winning the argument.

          • Well stated Dal!

            My reservation about the village approach in a treasure hunt; someone is apt to take your ideas and capitalize on them without sharing the reward. You of course are well aware, so I applaud what you have done here to encourage people. You are in inspiration 🙂 Mr. Fenn clearly enjoys your involvement.

            My approach has been different (as each of us has our own thoughts and ideas). When starting my search, I chose to completely disregard any chatter surrounding the search and focus on the poem and credible “facts” revealed by f. The what we know list you posted was the only piece I have used from your work to help me with research. Thank you Dal!

            After analyzing every word in multiple ways, I have experienced more than one WOW realization. It has led to some bizarre speculation in my small mind. Full of curiosity and excitement, I’m going to join in my first ever treasure hunt in the wild. Whether or not I find the chest, this is an amazing experience. Forrest has my eternal respect and admiration.

            Best of all, I see this as a piece of history in which we are all sharing. Mark my words. Forrest Fenn’s poem will be taught in classrooms one day. Don’t mess with his poem!

            Next step for me is to figure out what the heck to bring with me on the search besides arm floaties, flashlight and a sandwich. He did say the treasure is wet, right? Ha. Good luck to all of you!!!

    • Donna,
      IMO, you have peeled away all the layers and exposed the core issue. You said:

      “he said let a child read it, so he is referring to the innocent, clean non cluttered mind of a child, just plain simple. Sometimes things simple, are the hardest for adults because we forget hoe to let the clutter go and be free.
      It’s going to take IMAGINATION to solve this.”

      I don’t believe the answers to the poem lie in the vast ‘knowledge’ of humanity available on the internet. As you said above, and reiterated by Forrest, imagination will lead one to the answers, IMO.

      I posted a little poem on this site somewhere a while back, and I’ve modified it just a tad since then and I’m posting it below. I apologize in advance as I know I’m deluding myself to think that, with my under-sized brain, I’m capable of enlightening anyone about anything, but this poem represents a frame of mind I believe has helped me. Some may call it meditation – something I’ve never been able to do. I simply call it thinking freely.

      An open mind is slow, not still,
      A free mind – it takes more will;
      To free the mind, cast out what’s taught,
      Break free the chains in which it’s caught.
      A mind can free when slow in thought
      And when it is encumbered not.
      And once it stills, just let it go,
      A gentle nudge and it will show
      One a fresh world of places new
      That none have Seen, or steadfast few.
      So guide it gently here and there,
      Now free to roam a world laid bare:
      A buoyant butterfly aloft
      Dancing with Spring’s breeze so soft.


      • Joe,
        I like your thoughts about letting go. The idea have in mind is to set my thoughts aside as they come to mind in order to become quiet and an open mind. Thinking about work let it go, worries about family let it go for now and eventually I am quiet and almost away from time with an open mind. I can then imagine myself elsewhere. My thing is to imagine being on the lake shore with Jesus and having a discussion. Hope this helps someone.

        Below I share how I get there.

        To practice sitting peacefully with a quieted mind, I sit comfortably with arms at rest on the arm of a comfortable chair on my back porch. Relax shoulders, breath from diaphragm, eyes closed and then set distracting thoughts on my imaginary or real table by my side.

        This can be called meditation I guess and can be described as cultural imo

  9. Bobby Plant once said, “Cause, you know, sometimes words have two meanings”……..

    And that’s especially true if you understand Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”!!

    • Jason – I emailed the lyrics to “Stairway to Heaven” to Forrest around Easter of 2013. I thought almost every line related to The Chase. My favorite final words :

      “And as we wind on down the road,
      Our shadows taller than our soul.
      There walks a lady we all know,
      Who shines white light and wants to show,
      How everything still turns to gold.
      And if you listen very hard,
      The tune will come to you at last.
      When all is one and one is all,
      To be a rock and not to roll.

      And she’s buying a Stairway to Heaven”
      – Led Zeppelin,”Stairwsy to Heaven” from The Song Remains the Same

      Love, Ms. Shadow

      • Correction: “souls” and “Stairway”. “IT” appearS my backwards bike S from Baker’S Hole made “IT’S” way to the “Stairway to Heaven”.

        Thanks again, Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin. I have singing that song, since I was 14 years old.

        Big S-mile!

  10. Uncompahgre has a third part (unca ) hot. (pah) water and(gre) spring, water halts in a spring. Ouray Colorado has a hot springs pool.

  11. I always thought Forrest would have come up with the warm waters idea in the poem form his time in the air vs on the ground. If you flew over the land in winter and saw green through the ice that would be WWWH IMO. Could be small area like a spring…and his curiosity may have lead him to investigate in person.

    Goes back to his comments about how small the waterfall appeared when he was boots the ground and tripped over the grave marker. Just look how small the water spigot is on his book cover next to his as a boy.

    Comment over at Jenny’s blog:

    “…a comprehensive knowledge of geography might help.”

  12. Hi 23 kachinas, I have been reading geography books to try to understand what it is we all might be missing. I have learned a lot! Well forrest has said he does not like trails, Its at a between place….but you must be brave to go in there. I think you will know it by the blaze. IMO…..Happy Hunting everyone!

    Lou Lee Bear, a small time Prospector from Whoville.

  13. Lou Lee, good for you exploring geography/hydrology and topo drainage! Ok, my sister is a GIS Analyst and a Geography major so I picked her brain once about the idea of springs and learned a lot.

  14. Oh thanks, this journey has opened my mind to learning these systems, Spatial Data Models and GIS analysis functions. Things I dreaded in school. Now its interesting! I am buying books like this for 25 to 50 cents at yard sales. My Daughter who is in College, say’s these books I have, cost $125.00 or more for classes. I will tell you a amazing story about what I found in a book about Montana. When I have time to tell the tale.

    Lou Lee Bug, Learning everyday, living to tell the tale.

      • Dave Avery, so simple, so profound, halt could merely mean change, not stop, after all this time someone might be getting the application of ff perhaps using the fishing regulations WHERE WARM WATERS HALT (CHANGE OF The rules)

        I think Lou Lee has know this for some time.

        If ff was a pro fishing guide (trained by his father) they both know, yes his father knows (Knew), where warm waters halt, and probably where the TC is hidden, I have been saying this for 3 years now.

        • Do you mean changes of fishing rules? Like you used to could fish there and now you can’t or something? Or more like a non written rule from fisherman, not the Parks & Wildlife group?

  15. Knowing some things may not assist you TO the treasure but they may assist you in staying out of the wrong areas. Of course it all depends on how you choose to interpret.

    For example… in graph format reading from top/down one row starts with “Ert” NM. To me that small Latin word in the first paragraph tells me it’s not in NM.

    I’m thrilled ff’s TOTC has boosted NM tourism – it’s a beautiful state; but at some point serious searchers should examine carefully the poem’s text.

    Important German words found in poem text are:
    Forest lived in Getmany while in the AF

    Additionally, I found numerous Spanish words, Shoshoni and Arapahoe; Egyptian names.
    Tewa has been mentioned by others. These words are found by eliminating spaces and sliding adjacent words together as “word searches” are formatted.

    • 42..another good German word is “halt”…
      I’m not trying to push a point. I just thought it was an interesting addition..

      • In my post above, I may have jumped the gun…slightly.
        The “transformation” and “translation” sent up red flags for me. The first thing that came to my mind was, “don’t mess with my poem.”

        42 just gave an example of my line of thinking to why I think that. “For example… in ‘graph format’ reading from top/down one row starts with “Ert” NM. To me that small Latin word in the first paragraph tells me it’s not in NM.”
        “These words are found by ‘eliminating spaces’ and ‘sliding adjacent words’ together as “word searches” are formatted.”
        or… sorry Wolf.
        To take the word halt, place it with Marching, a given command used in a foreign language, squeeze march from it, transform it to a month of a year… etc.

        With that said. We all have tried many methods to understand the poem… and most of those method don’t seem to be that straightforwards, as we all hope the poem to be.

        But like I said, I may have jumped the gun… when we see the word “halt” most will relate/see it’s German origin. But are we to use that language to change a word[s]?

        I think, in my perspective and hopefully I’m following fenn’s advice correctly… is not translate or transform, but understand that the words was deliberate and chosen to be noticed, an indicator if you will. So is it more likely that the word gives a meaning to that clue, as the place maybe German related some how?… Possibly the discover [person] of the location, was of German origin.

        Like I said before, the words” transform” and “translate” may have confused me… but I can see “Relationships” that can be useful.

        • Seeker,
          German is starting to make its way into the thinking. With halt now nicely timing into my proposed hoB. Thanks for emphasizing the march/month thing. I left it out in my WWWH discussion but planned to tie it in the end when we “see it for the first time.”

      • Yes Dal, this topic is a interesting addition. Many words or term usage can be understood, by many, as to mean only one thing. Our education sometimes plays tricks on what is said and what is really meant.
        Example: if someone wrote- I live in a hazardous state of well being. Most people would understand that as this person lives in a “risky” form of life. So is that what that person really meant when saying it or could they have meant – I live in a “venturesome”-(derived origin 1580’s) state of happiness-(a part of well being).
        All I’m trying to say is words or terms can be said or written with people understanding this is pretty straight forward, but the one who wrote or said it meant something altogether different and thought it was pretty straight forward.

        Forrest has answered many questions with words sometimes I have never seen or heard before or that seemed over the point. This also follows true with words in sentences in TTOTC book. So for me to not researching these words or terms might be careless on my part. Yes straight forward might just be straight forward, but in who’s eyes. (the poem is pretty straight forward???) Bur

        • So if Forrest is saying the poem is pretty straight forward do you think the path you take following the poem, with boots on the ground, is pretty much a straight line until maybe “ever drawing nigh” ?? Bur

          • Bur, I am not answering for Dal, Seeker nor the Wolf, but as it is attached to this thread, my personal response is yes – kind of. My solve is linear (though not in a straight line as you asked), in that one thought leads to another and all questions raised in the poem are answered in my mind’s eye. The “gotcha” for me is, where to put my boots on the ground. I’m still researching that. If I knew for certain where to start from, I would be making plans to go pick up Indulgence.


          • Yes swwot, I agree this is not the topic, but connected in sort of a way. Your one thought leads to another is true. I my solve stanza 2 is all in one place if you look from WWWH the rest is clearly seen and your journey begins. Ok back to topic. Bur

  16. Knowing the meaning of each word Forrest used in his poem is critical to solving the poem. I think it’s possible that he has created a sort of fun in his usage of the words so that in every instance he doesn’t choose the typical or known definition of the word. He is stretching each word to mean something he intends.

    It’s easier to keep the location hidden if his meanings are not typical. For example in interviews or email responses you cannot trip up a person who has created a secret meaning.

    A person with a unique schema of the poem can and will do cartwheels around your novice interpretations. Sound familiar to anyone here?

    The cultural interpretation implies a community of understanding around words used to create language or communication. Not until the poem is solved will people understand the Chase’s cultural interpretation of the words he used.

    • Well said 23! Especially the last paragraph! I may add that its forrests own formula and no one else’s. Your not going to find anyone way model or mode of interpretation. Like not in any one book. In one small hint or clue that I got from forrest, I realize that the poem has hidden secret meanings in the words. But we all know that, right? Unlock the Key……Sounds easy right? Still no one that we know of has found the chest. Or unlocked that KEY Word.

      Lou Lee Belle, a small time prospector and rock hunter from a village in the Rockies called Whoville.

      • Thank you Lou Lee, I was having a moment of caffeine induced clarity. I can’t tell how many times I’ve tried to conjure up a solve that works for what I want it to mean.

        If you’re always wrong it makes your skin tougher when Forrest says silly things back to you to make your realize you still don’t have a clue.

        Grab every lemon! I mean banana.

        • Hi 23,
          I wrote the story about the montana book, but it did not post….I will try again later. I hear ya on being wrong, and clueless…..LOL….
          I am trying to rethink the poem.
          I am now starting with a clue well before WWWH.

          Lou Lee Bear, just a lowly small time prospector for whoville.

    • I hear ya boss. Apparently I’m allergic to something I added into this mornings protein shake…my nose is running and I’m going thru Kleenex like a madman.

  17. Words, their current and historical meanings – alow me to quote CS Lewis, a man who knew something about words:

    “The word gentleman originally meant something recognisable; one who had a coat of arms and some landed property. When you called someone “a gentleman” you were not paying him a compliment, but merely stating a fact. If you said he was not “a gentleman” you were not insulting him, but giving information. There was no contradiction in saying that John was a liar and a gentleman; any more than there now is in saying that James is a fool and an M.A. But then there came people who said – so rightly, charitably, spiritually, sensitively, so anything but usefully – “Ah but surely the important thing about a gentleman is not the coat of arms and the land, but the behaviour? Surely he is the true gentleman who behaves as a gentleman should? Surely in that sense Edward is far more truly a gentleman than John?” They meant well. To be honourable and courteous and brave is of course a far better thing than to have a coat of arms. But it is not the same thing. Worse still, it is not a thing everyone will agree about. To call a man “a gentleman” in this new, refined sense, becomes, in fact, not a way of giving information about him, but a way of praising him: to deny that he is “a gentleman” becomes simply a way of insulting him. When a word ceases to be a term of description and becomes merely a term of praise, it no longer tells you facts about the object: it only tells you about the speaker’s attitude to that object. (A ‘nice’ meal only means a meal the speaker likes.) A gentleman, once it has been spiritualised and refined out of its old coarse, objective sense, means hardly more than a man whom the speaker likes. As a result, gentleman is now a useless word. We had lots of terms of approval already, so it was not needed for that use; on the other hand if anyone (say, in a historical work) wants to use it in its old sense, he cannot do so without explanations. It has been spoiled for that purpose.”

    So what was Forrest saying – really? For better or worse, I’m in Dal’s camp that the words in the poem are simple to comprehend and difficult to solve as clues.

    Additionally, not a lot has been said of late concenring how a child would understand the poem. How many of us have let a child explain the poem to us in thier own language and taken notes? If so, what were the results? My kids are all too old and there are no grandchildren yet to ply – so I am kind of out of “natural” opportunities to test this out. So I would be interested in what others have found out as they have asked their children what they thought the poem meant – how it translates to a child.

    Inquiring minds want to know,

    • Swwot
      You dropped a load of knowledge (or knowlege) in that summation. Come on now, a gentleman wouldn’t share that much info without expecting something in return. Name your price sir!

      • Morning PI289, so are you an early small block Ford fan? Specifically, why the 289 in your handle? I have an older Ford that I’ll be stuffing a 351W that has been bored and stroked out to a 408 into it. Yeah, I’m kind of a “motor head” too. All for now, as this is waaaaaay off topic.

        • Not really a motorhead, but still a ford guy. The 289 came from numbers that related to one of my first solves. Long since poopoo’d by ff since that solve was in Utah. The PL as well had to do with an earlier solve but I’ve long since moved on having not been successful in that line of reasoning.

          • I bought my 62 in 86 and had a 289 set aside for it, but came across the 351W afterwards. Both needed rebuilding and there’s no replacement for displacement, so I’m going with the larger motor. Sold the 289 about a month ago.

            I take it you’ve been chasing for a while? I just heard about it earlier this summer. It’s been a fun mental exercise to ponder between other projects and activities of everyday living.

            Good luck!

    • For the inquiring mind….I asked my little one ( the genius) what do you think when I say “As I have gone alone in there” the response was “In my room” why your room I asked? Because that’s my space was the reply. What’s your space I asked? The reply ” my universe”. I quizzically looked back and heard a quiet whisper “shiesh the first verse”.

  18. The legacy is about Forrest Fenn and so I believe the language is American English and the culture is 20th century America.

    Learning about other cultures is really fun and enlightening, but I doubt any other culture applies to the puzzle.

  19. @swwot,

    Very true.

    In order to solve the Poem, it is incumbent upon us to see it as it is…..not as we want it to be!

  20. Been waiting for this for a while now. . You can look up tewa names by googling anthology of tewa. I am really saving you a lot of time so please give me a piece of the prize.

    Ohkay owingeh-place of stong people
    posugaihoohoo-place where water slides down hill
    picuris=those who paint
    Nambe=rounded earth
    caja del rio=box of the river
    pojoaque=water gathering place
    cuyamungee=the hill where stones are slipping
    los alamos=the populars
    otowi=gap where water enters or sinks
    alcalde=the judge
    la bolsa=the bag
    penascoblanca = white cliff
    cimarron= brown
    this is just a starter

    • Cimarron does not mean brown. It means “wild” or “bighorn” as in bighorn sheep. “Marron” is brown in French or Spanish. Cima in Spanish means mountain top, summit or peak.

  21. Here’s a hint; BUREAU is French. In English it is translated to mean a ” chest of drawer,s.”; SB on spice,s,utensils and the antique chest of drawers in the bathroom. So with that said, I believe the Chest is in a chest of drawers in the bathroom… 🙂

  22. I’m new to the search and have been researching for 1 1/2 months. I found the cultural transformation page interesting because when I translate some of the words from Tewa to English, I was able to find WWWH in Ojo Calienete. El Rito being home of Brown. Then, I found something very interesting. It was Too Far Too Walk which I thought of a pilgrimage. Then, I saw the names of the pilgrimage sites churches in Northern New Mexico. So, I looked at El Santurario De Chimayo which is where the three cultures statue is found and also saw the blaze on the door. What also struck me was the picture of the Kokopelli on the Aspen tree (running man with helmet) that Mr. Fenn sent to Dal. The Spanards asked the Indians to remove the phallus (flute) from their drawing. So, all of this makes sense to me. But, I could not find the trove at Chimayo. Any suggestions?

  23. I noticed a similarity between Forrest Fenn’s shadow on his book and the El Santurario De Chimayo Pilgrim statue. Near the church, there is a river that flows near it and looks like the one in the book-Too Far Too Walk. I also felt that he walked there before tired and now he’s weak. Maybe he went in a pilgrimage when he was diagnosed with cancer. They have Popular trees in the area. I looked at Forrest Fenn’s photos on the web and one picture does have a cross and just beneath it a pilgrim with a walking stick. It makes sense to me that people would carry heavy loads during a pilgrimage because the carry crosses and gifts for the church. It’s just a thought.

  24. Is the starting point of 8.25 miles from where Santa Fe starts or center or furthest end?

    • Rose –

      Here is a little more about the 8.25 miles –

      Forrest actually said something else over on Richard Saunier’s blog: “The Treasure chest is full of gold and precious jewels and is more than 66,000 links north of Santa Fe.” and we know that a link is 1/100th of a chain and a chain is 66 feet. So:

      100 links = 1 chain
      66,000 links = 660 chains (66,000 ÷ 100)
      1 chain = 66 feet
      660 chains = 43560 feet (660 x 66) = 8.25 miles

      A lot of info like this can be found under “important info” on the side buttons.

      Happy Hunting

      • “The Treasure chest is full of gold and precious jewels and is more than 66,000 links north of Santa Fe.”
        Not trying to confuse anyone but I want to remind that there are more ways to consider the word ‘link’ So what else might be meant by link? Jewelry links in a chain?
        Golf Links? The word “links” comes via the Scots language from the Old English word hlinc : “rising ground, ridge”[1] and refers to an area of coastal sand dunes and sometimes to open parkland. Wikipedia. Links (golf)

        • uken-
          If you read the original comment where Forrest spoke of links and chains you will see that the context is precisely about the links and chains of the Imperial system of land measurement. He was not talking about golf courses or necklaces or sand dunes. He even gives precise examples. It’s a good read.

          • I apologize folks for my unintentional mislead. I had read about f and links as well as several comments on it. I failed to recall his specificity on what a link is. Thanks Dal for monitoring comments like mine.

  25. I also have the home of brown (habit) as the Carmelites Monestary on Old Santa Fe Trail. The go in peace is our lady of Guadulupe.

  26. I’ve been researching the churches in Santa Fe and trying to convert the native Americans and what came to mind was the Thrill of the Chase. The Spanish came into the area and then they tried to force them out. There’s a lot more history to this but it makes sense to me. I was stuck on FFs last words I give you title to the gold. Which brings me back to the Thrill of the Chase and what the Spanish were looking for–gold. It this the possible solve???

        • I’m still in NM and searched again today. I saw a garden area next to the St. Francis Basillica with the different stages of Christ. It’s a beautiful place with Aspen trees and when I looked down, I saw an inscription on stone that the garden was donated by the BSA in early 2000. Then, I saw a wooden fence in the garden and behind it was a cross shaped structure. It was covered with leaves back there and I wasn’t about to sift through it. Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful place to visit. I also stop by and saw the Loretto chapel. I saw the stain glass window with the Alpha and Omega. The miraculous staircase (in the wood) seemed like a good place to go up for a brave person and then another staircase to the bell tower. But, those areas are closed off.

  27. I read this great story of the Apsaalooké nation. It involved a wise owl (who was married to a dwarf) being alone, being lost, having a big heart (how the Indians signed brave) and the use of special wood (in a surprising way). All this happened in a sacred, no trespassing place, you would have to be bold to go in there. I think a little too bold but if you are an Apsaalooké member you probably already looked there.

    I did find this resource that shows the Apsaalooké names for common places in and around Yellowstone, and why they were named that. Sometimes the names don’t line up well with the English names but maybe a few possibilities in there.

  28. This may appear to be putting a “new twist” on the discussion, but here goes

    For those searchers who didn’t grow up in the United States, soaked in American
    culture, I think it would be helpful to do some research about it.

    More specifically, about what might have influenced FF’s thoughts when he was
    a young child (say, about ten years old).

    He would probably have been exposed to books and movies, but not to
    television shows — they weren’t available in 1940.

    I don’t want to give away too much of my solve, but I think what I’ve said relates to a successful solve.

    The above is just my opinion. Yours may differ.

    Good luck to all searchers. Please take care to be safe.

  29. Hi all. Just checking in. Been off for a while. I have been learning a lot lately. Not necessarily about my latest solve – although I do continue to refine it and have high hopes (but then don’t we all) – but about more general things in life. Like getting along with people and how to say things and how to respond to things and such. For example some of my own family are Chase-doubters. They think my involvement in this is crazy. I find myself getting frustrated with them too easily. But the Chase and all the good folks and information on here keep me driving forward while I learn new things and better ways to interact each day. Just had to say that and this transformations page seemed like the right place to do it. Good luck this summer all.

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