The Thrill of the Find

By Namster

If I had gone alone in there
Just looking for the gold,
I would have missed the chance in where,
My soul awoke from long a hold.

The Prologue
What started for me as just an adventure and an opportunity to see this beautiful part of the country has turned out to be an awakening of my spirit which has been sleeping for far too long.

I found out about Forrest Fenn and his crazy treasure hunt from a friend who subsequently asked me to join him in the search for that hidden chest in New Mexico. I agreed initially and began to research furiously, reading as much as I could. He was leaving in a couple of weeks and I needed to decide if I was in.

After hours and hours of reading and pondering and looking at Google Maps and Google Earth, I came to the conclusion that it can’t possibly be in New Mexico and that the treasure was indeed in Montana, the Treasure State, of course.

So I told my friend that I wouldn’t be going with him to New Mexico, but that I would be going to Montana instead at around the same time he was making him trip. He laughed and said that he was glad I was going to make the trip to search.

So I started to plan my trip and started to tell some friends about my upcoming crazy wild goose chase, to which one replied, “I should go with you. You know I’m psychic, right?”

Having never known this fact before, I was taken by surprise. The more I thought about it, the more I thought it would be a great idea and I invited her to join me. I was a bit concerned about walking around alone in Bear country. That was on a Friday and we were to leave the following Monday.

I gave her access to my cache of online notes and thoughts, and asked her to start taking a look at it. And boy, did she ever. She dug deep, in the two days before leaving and formed some very strong ideas of where the chest might be and how to go about finding it.

We flew into Salt Lake City and drove the 6+ hours to get to West Yellowstone. On the way, we stopped to get supplies. One of the intuitions that she got was about floating down a river or creek. Not having ever been to that area of the country, I had no idea what to expect and wondered why it would be necessary to float instead of just walking alongside the river. We would find out later that it may be very necessary and may be the one thing many folks have not considered. More on that later.

So, having that strong intuition about floating, she suggested that we buy a couple of inner tubes just in case. I reluctantly agreed considering the space they would take up in the car, and my reluctance in general to having my rear end in a river, that I knew would be cold, for any extended period of time.

Our first day there, we drove around to get the lay of the land and to visit the spots in Yellowstone that were so important to Forrest.

Of course, we paid homage to Old Faithful, although, she was 9 minutes late.

From there, we went to Ojo Caliente, which is the hot spring that Forrest loved to visit and has written about. My interpretation of “where warm waters halt” is a hot spring. Forrest said, “There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe.”

I can tell you that warm waters do definitely halt at Ojo Caliente. As I reached into the river where the hot spring flowed in, there was a very strange sensation. The part of my arm around my bicep was warm, whereas my hand, which was deeper in the water was cold. There was only a layer of warm water about 6 inches deep in the river. A very distinct separation of warm and cold water; not something I had experienced before. I have soaked in many hot springs before, but they have all been a consistent temperature. Maybe it’s because I have never been where a hot spring flowed into a cold river.

nam01We drove down the canyon along the Fire Hole River, stopped at Fire Hole Falls and the swimming hole nearby. It is easy to see why Forrest loved this area of God’s creation so much. In his words, “Surely, God underestimated his ability when he created the Firehole River.”

From there, we continued our journey down the canyon stopping at Nine Mile Hole where we saw some elk enjoying the marshy grassy area.

nam02We crossed Seven Mile Bridge (and fishing hole) and along the way encountered bison.

nam03We stopped at Barns Hole to soak in the love that Forrest had for that spot and to tried to imagine the trip that he wrote so fondly about in the Preface of Too Far to Walk. It is a place that is peaceful, and the rippling of the river water flowing downstream calmed my modern-day-overworked heart.

I even took the opportunity to take my version of the picture on the cover of Too Far to Walk. Unlike the one on the cover of Forrest’s book, however, this one is not Photoshopped:

nam04The drive led us out of the park boundaries to West Yellowstone where Forrest’s parents had cabins and he and his brother built a motel call The Dude. Both are still there today. It is a quaint town with lots of bars and grills. It was quiet, as the summer (gold) rush was over and some of the businesses were closed.
We checked into our hotel as this is the area where my initial research led me and we could do our exploring from here.

The next day, we set out to explore the area around Bakers Hole.

The Solve

The way I see the poem is that it is a self-guided map of the place that Forrest loves, guiding us ultimately to the chest. As far as I can tell, Forrest seems to love the area around Yellowstone National Park more than any other. Is there a better place to rest your bones (or hide a chest)?

I believe that the clues start with “Begin it where warm waters halt” and that it refers to a hot spring (Ojo Caliente) or maybe even Old Faithful.

From there we take it down the canyon “Not far, but too far to walk.” “Too far to walk” for me ties into Forrest’s follow-up book with the same name. And where is “too far to walk?” I believe it to be Barns Hole. The Preface of the book says that the trip from Barns Hole to Bakers Hole is “too far to walk.”

So, that leads us to the home of Brown. In looking at the various blogs, I came across a comment post made by Forrest about Bakers Hole and how there was once a dump above it where the Brown bears would come to rummage in the trash to find food. I found the comment peculiar because, although Forrest does comment on posts, there are not many where he adds that much information or provides that much detail. It seemed to me that it was a clue or a hint. Maybe Forrest is getting anxious for someone to find the treasure? The thing about this line of the poem that I think a lot of people miss is that it says “Put in below the home of Brown.” It says to put in. I did not really consider actually putting into the water in some kind of watercraft before the trip. I thought that I would have to cross the river or something like that. But when my friend insisted that we needed to float in the river, it made perfect sense. In fact, in her intuition, she saw Forrest putting into a river that was a near a boardwalk of some kind. He even chats with a couple that were taking a leisurely stroll on boardwalk. Well, there is a wooden platform at Bakers Hole and it’s located below the old dump where the Brown bears hung out, so we put in with our inner tubes.

nam05To be perfectly honest, floating down the river, with my rear end freezing, was the most enjoyable experience of the trip. It was so relaxing and just a beautiful way to see the area. We pulled out a couple of times and walked around; once in an area that had some elevation. There were pine tress all around, sage bushes under our feet and a sweeping view of the land that was just breathtaking. Certainly, I can see my bones resting there, but without finding any blaze, it would be a lot to search. Maybe a trip by itself in the future?

nam06There was an area that showed up on Google Maps that was peculiar. It was a strange white patch in an otherwise grassy area. I wanted to check it out and see what it could be. Even though there is no cellular coverage in the area, GPS still works on my iPhone so we hiked over to see what it was.

nam07What looked like a huge clearing turned out to be a 6 foot diameter area of ashy earth.

nam08It’s amazing what Google Maps picks up and even more amazing that I can access it from the palm of my hand. By the way, if you are going to use your iPhone as a GPS device, which is what we did, keep in mind that because there is no cellular coverage in much of YNP, your phone battery will drain much faster than normal. We had battery packs to help charge the phone while we explored. Also, there is an option with Google Maps to download the map for offline use which came in handy, because otherwise the GPS will still work, but all you will see is an empty grid on a yellow background.

It took us about 3 hours to meander down the Madison River to the bridge at Hwy 191. It was a magical journey, but a chest we did not find. We explored creeks that came in and out of the Madison and even found some bird nesting boxes. Maybe for wise owls? Have we “been wise and found the blaze?” Maybe, but we didn’t find the chest. No real heavy loads or water high, either. The Madison is very gentle in this area.

nam09The next day, we decided to explore the Gardiner area. My friend had a feeling about the area and the clues do fit…maybe even a little better than the Bakers Hole area.

If you think “where warm waters halt” is a hot spring, then Mammoth Springs is the grand-daddy of hot springs. It is high and wide and quite impressive.

nam10If you “take it in the canyon down” from Mammoth Springs, you’ll come to Gardiner, MT. There was a Joe Brown that found gold in Gardiner back in 1866 and his name pops up in Gardiner quite a bit. There’s Joe Brown Creek, Joe Brown Boat Ramp, and he had a home somewhere in the area. “The home of Brown” could also be Bear Creek where he first found gold.

The Yellowstone River around Gardiner is a gushing river with Class II-III rapids. This would fit in nicely to the rest of the clues. However, when we felt into the area, it just did not seem like an area where Forrest would want to rest his bones. It was too developed, the highway was too close to the river, and it wasn’t forested enough.

We explored the area and found some wonderful spots, but nothing that felt like home for Forrest.

On our way to Jardine, we found an old shack that seemed like it was some kind of water control house?

nam11There were beautiful sites, but alas no blaze and no chest.

nam12The next day, we decided that we would soak our sore muscles in the Gardiner River where the Boiling River dumps boiling water flowing from Mammoth Springs. Again, this was a very unique experience. We found out that hot water and cold water really don’t mix. As you get closer to where the boiling water comes in, there is a layer of hot water that is only about 8 inches on the top surface. The water below is still cold. Because the hot water coming in is SO hot, it was a bit tricky to find a spot where you wouldn’t burn yourself as the hot water fluctuated with the river and people walking around.

nam13Every now and then, the water got so hot that all of these macho high school boys, who were too close to the hot water to begin with, all stood up in unison to avoid getting scalded. To get a picture of the Boiling River coming into the Gardiner River, I had to wade into the Gardiner River and in doing so, my toes got numb and started to tingle from the freezingness of the river. To warm them back up, I had to sit down and stick my feet up just below the surface of the water where the water was warm. There are areas where rock dams have been built where the waters mixed nicely and the temperature was very nice and more consistent.

This next part is a Public Service Announcement. We came across a short piece of pipe attached to a metal chain that was attached to a tree along the Gardiner River. There were no signs or labels on the strange thing so we decided to try to open it.

After going back into Gardiner to secure appropriate tools, we were able to get it opened and found inside a temperature sensor. I guess someone is taking water temperature readings of the river. It would be helpful of them to label it, but for you folks reading this, please don’t disturb it like we did. It’s probably very important work.

nam14We drove along Hwy 89 following the Yellowstone River down to the area around Joe Brown Creek hoping to “put in below the home of Brown.” Forrest could have put in right at Joe Brown Creek and float a ways across, get out to hide his loot, get back in and float down to the Yankee Jim River Access and get out and walk back to his car.

nam15The put in is pretty steep, though, and the area seemed a bit more remote, although the highway is still there. So we decided to explore the area across the river a bit. We tried first to get there from the Tom Miner area, but found the road had collapsed and was closed.

nam16Undeterred, we drove all the way down to Corwin Springs where the other bridge crossing was located and drove up. After what seemed like a half a day of driving on a bumpy dirt road we got to the area across from Joe Brown Creek. If Forrest did put in there and float across, the next creek is Sphinx Creek. But alas, it wasn’t much of a creek anymore. It was getting dark so we decided not to wander around. There was a cool old house that was built halfway into the ground. I peeked inside and there was still an old wood burning stove inside.

nam17On our last day as we drove through the park on our way back to Salt Lake City, we stopped at Two Ribbon Trail just upstream on the Madison River from Barns Hole. The boardwalk there looks very similar to the boardwalk my friend had seen in her mind’s eye.

nam18We walked around a bit and looked around the area. We started to think that maybe the blaze is not visible from land. Maybe you have to be in the water looking at the river bank to see the blaze. Maybe it was a marker used by Forrest to locate his favorite fishing hole as he waded down the river. Maybe when you find the blaze, you need to go over to it and then the chest is there on the river bank. If we had more time, I would have liked to make that float down that part of the river. Maybe I’ll come back some day to search that area, but for now, it’s too far to fly….from Hawaii.

The Find

Well, it was certainly an adventure; one that I have many people to thank for. My friend who introduced me to the Chase, my wife for telling me I was crazy to not go, and Forrest for giving all of us this reason to explore. Although we did not find the chest, I found something much more valuable. On the Chase, my friend shared with me openly about her clairvoyant experiences and her journey to reconcile those experiences and her abilities with her life as “normal” person. She shared with me her difficulties and ultimately her acceptance of her gifts and her desire to help others that may have had or are having the same challenges she had living in a world that does not understand those gifts. I think that almost everyone can say that they have had some kind of ESP, deja vu, or prescient dream experience in their lives. Yet, there is still a nonacceptance and maybe fear of people who openly declare that they have such abilities. I was reminded of myself a very long time ago. A much more spiritual self. A much more open self. Probably a more happy self. I feel that my heart has been opened again and I look forward to what new adventures that will bring. And for this, I am thankful… my psychic friend.

The Denouement

For anyone who may be reading this, you may be thinking why I am sharing all of this in so much detail.
It’s probably due to my propensity to babble on and on when I write. There are certainly places that I would like to explore further. Why not keep it to myself for later, after all, I’ve only been into the Chase about a month. I guess, it’s the new (renewed) me. Why not share it in hopes that it might help someone else find it. Maybe they’ll want to search an area that we searched. Or maybe they’ll not search an area we searched and be able to focus on another area. I would be happy for anyone who does find the chest.

Some final thoughts. From a purely intuitive view, my friend feels like Forrest put in near a place with a boardwalk, or something that looks like a crate. There were people around and the atmosphere was light and joyful. Forrest was very joyful as he hid the chest. He may have even chatted with people on the boardwalk, and they may have said to him that floating in the river was a great idea. Maybe he floated down the river and on the left bank of the river he got out where his blaze is. Maybe the blaze can only be seen from the river. Maybe you need to look down quickly otherwise you’ll float by?
She also sees an image of a map. There is a drive that makes a curve and then a dotted line. Maybe you drive and then get out and walk the dotted line? The other lines are possibly a park border? Anyways here it is:

nam19I personally think it is in the Yellowstone area. Maybe not in YNP but just outside. I think there are too many issues with it being inside YNP. Maybe Montana? Maybe the Lake Hebgen area? It’s hard for me to see any other area that is as important to Forrest. But of course, we don’t know every detail of Forrest’s life; only what he has shared. After all, he does live in Santa Fe. Maybe my friend who introduced me to the Chase was right all along and it’s in New Mexico.

Good luck to all!

84 thoughts on “The Thrill of the Find

      • can you tell me where the house with the wood stove in it was located?…i tried to find it using google earth, but i cant seem to find anything thats even looks like it. thanks…jim in ar.

      • thanks for the sharing of your adventures Nampster…. I love your thought process….. I feel that Forest is dropping several hints around fly fishing…. “just heavy loads and water high”… heavy loads IMO can make reference to the heavy load on the fly rod… and water high can refer to deeper water in the river… Forest mentions he fished 10 river miles down to Bakers hole with a Dingy at one time…. it’s plausible that Forest could have walked the river with the chest and contents in a small dingy ???

        • Blaze could make reference to a burned out area from a past fire such as the one in 1988…. also heavy loads and water high could make reference to the 1959 Earthquake when the huge rock slide happened which brought down Madison canyon and caused massive flooding from the river and the tsunami waves on Hebgen lake ???

  1. Wonderful share, way cool! Your pic of Two Ribbons Trail gave me goose bumps, I had a dream this past spring while waiting on the book to arrive, involving a board walk along a river and two Hawks landing in a tree above the side walk cafe table, one hawk a Coopers had two green ribbons on its legs. But, I feel my vision is not YNP. Thanks!

      • @namster regarding river/boardwalks none that match my dream, the river in my dream was very wide and slow, not to deep, there were cotton woods but it was late Fall and most of the leaves had fallen…there was a railing made of pipes…..there was out door seating, I think I ordered a pizza, feels like NE NM or SE CO, Raton area or Cimarron to me,,,,,I won’t know until I get there….thanks again, great pictures, what it’s all about for sure.

  2. Great story I liked how detailed you are with the story. I`ve said it before and I’ll say it again YNP will always be a hot spot to look. But FF said there are subtle clues in the books TTOTC and TFTW but it sounds like you followed a lot of it almost word for word.

  3. Great story, Namster! My wife and I were just in Yellowstone last month and visited many of the same places you did: The Firehole (including the watering hole above the falls which was VERY crowded that day), Mammoth Hot Springs, the Boiling River, and the beautiful drive along the Madison out to West Yellowstone. The reason we specifically went to the Mammoth Hot Springs area was to check out the Gardner River in a few places. Lava Creek (figurative warm water) empties into the Gardner above Gardner Canyon. Seemed like a good potential WWWH followed by a “take it in the canyon down”. But what you learn from being there as opposed to staring at topo maps and Google Earth is that the area just isn’t that “pretty”. The stretch of the Gardner north of Mammoth Hot Springs is very desert-like: short on trees. It just didn’t seem particularly “special”, in the way (for instance) that the Madison is west of where the Firehole dumps into it.

    • I agree, I like the area around the Madison River better. Area north of Mammoth Springs is dry and not very Forrested.

  4. Wonderful tale and pics… I fee sure when Fenn reads it his mouth will water and feet will itch. Hope you get to do it again.

  5. Thanks for sharing your story namster. I really enjoyed reading it and your pictures are great……That is some beautiful country.

    I too have visions; but most of mine involve the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. 🙂

  6. Great story & thanks for the detailed info Dal. I think you should write a book about all your travels. I would definitely buy. Maybe setup a account or Paypal donate button to pay for the printing, publishing and other costs & maybe even donate some to cancer research or some other great cause.

    Oh, tell me wise sir,
    Where are the treasures?
    And the wise man replied,
    “Wherever you find them.”

    • Sorry Namster, somehow I always seem to miss the most important details of a story or poem. That’s why I will never find the treasure. I’m not sure why I thought Dal wrote your story. Just getting old I guess.

  7. Hawaii? I plan on being there for my 25th wedding anniversary. I also plan on recovering the treasure chest before then. I believe that my plans are possible. Everything in this comment is stated as fact and not IMO.
    Thank you for sharing this post with us. My favorite part was the light and joyful part.

      • I expect to be in Hawaii November 13-20, give or take a day or two on either end. Which island are you on? We don’t have the island set just yet. We should have it set by 3pm Mountain Time today, 9-12-15.

  8. Great read Namster. You have written a joyful account of your find and I appreciate you sharing it with us. Pictures are lovely and they really provide us with the means to tag along on your search. Well done! Thanks.

  9. Loved your story Namster! The pics are fabulous! I have been to many of those places and love the Joe Brown Creek area.

  10. Thank you for sharing your adventure. I hope to visit there someday myself. I like the idea of floating in a tube! I am glad you had a good trip. 🙂

    • High in the Sangres at Easter. So beautiful, still embracing snow but clear patches wide enough to put up a tent and stoke a warming fire. Clear fast running creek to soothe one to sleep under a spectacular star studded sky. Now I am wondering , could it be that dogwoods grow that high.

      • Cottonwood yes. I don’t know about the dogwood. But I looked up the story SL referred to and what the dogwood represents I believe has a place in the winning solve. Now corners Namster, they are all over the place in ttotc and tftw. Your friend may be on to something.

  11. Namster, Great story and beautiful pictures…thanks for sharing. You should continue to search for Fenn’s treasure chest because you sound like one of us who understands what the thrill of the chase is all about. I’m still hell-bent on New Mexico as the hidden treasure chest spot but that’s just my opinion, and your pictures and story reinforce the multiple reasons to visit the YNP area. Truly beautiful! cynthia

  12. Excellent story Namster. Your photos are beautiful. I would say that your experience searching for the treasure was well worth the effort. I have come up empty handed on every search that I have been part of but the pure joy of being out doors and discovering new sights has always been worth the effort.

  13. namster … interesting adventure and wonderful pics. Re: your solve, some of your poem interpretations I agree with, some I don’t. But from reading many peoples’ interpretation of WWWH, what I have never quite figured out is what in the poem would distinguish one hot spring from the zillions of other hot springs in the Rocky Mountains? Just curious.

    • I think that’s the first difficult part is finding where WWWH or in my thinking which hot spring to start from. I guess you could take each one and follow it through the clues…..

      I started with the one that I felt Forrest had the most fondness for.

  14. Thanks everyone for the kind words. It was definitely a great trip and well worth the effort.I’m not much of a look at every tree or rock kind of guy, so for me, now that I know what the lay of the land is like, I will need to really nail down the clues and most importantly a blaze before heading out again. Or just go explore for the fun and have the search only as a side thing…..

    • Namster,
      Thanks for sharing a very interesting search story. Very nice presentation, layout, and visuals, IMO.

      In your comment above, you wrote:
      “… so for me… I will need to really nail down the clues and most importantly a blaze before heading out again.”

      Note that Forrest’s fourth stanza does NOT begin:

      ‘If you are wise and find the blaze,’

      Though this version maintains the same metre/tempo/syllable count and rhyme, and appears to fit equally well with the subsequent line, the poem uses past-tense verbiage.

      Best of luck and safe passage in your search.

      • True that Joe. But I’m also inclined to think that there should be some idea of what and where the blaze is. Forrest said, ” “The book and poem will lead you straight to it if you can figure it out.”

        • Namster,
          “The book and the poem will lead you straight to if you can figure it out.”

          Post-interpretation and referring only to the blaze, I wholly agree with this comment. I’ve mentioned before I don’t advocate, and no longer utilize, the book or Forrest’s later comments/illustrations/photos as hints to any of the clues with the exception being wwwh. IMO, the book’s value is insight into Forrest’s mind and how he Looks, Sees, and thinks.

          Post-interpretation, using non-TTOTC ‘information’ from Forrest carries the same risk: too much noise and too many rabbit holes – just my opinion. However, I believe Forrest when he says there are subtle hints in the book/TTOTC but, IMO, any hints/information should be viewed with very cautious and guarded optimism as post-interpretation confirmation.

          Forrest has said he worked on the poem for 15 years. He’s said the book was written in a relatively short time frame, and he’s said (paraphrasing), ‘the words/stories had been in my head for some time’. He had plenty of time to craft stories and phrases for the book, and if the “very subtle hints” in the book “are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker”, why are they there? Being the author and publisher of TTOTC, it would appear that Forrest had total or near-total control over every word/photo/illustration/symbol in TTOTC, so were the clues unintentionally placed in the book, or were they deliberately placed to do something other than aid the seeker?

          Q/A on TTOTC book:
          Dear Mr. Fenn,
          We are a group of avid elderly bridge players in San Diego who after reading your book hope to find your treasure.  We are not into poetry as much as the memoir.  We realize the clues are in the poem, but were wondering if there isn’t at least one clue in each chapter.
          Thank you for a great book

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

          Sorry for rambling – my mind tends to wander. BTW, the FWIW value of all my comments/opinions = 000.

      • …….Joe, Namster, i don’t think it is a mere change to past-tense so much as a directive ‘to act’, to affect the future. I think one must found=make the blaze…. to act instinctively to correct a wrong or quiet a curiosity.

        Perhaps by finding a lone fallen grave stone, arighting it, and lo, there under the face will be the TC. That may be too obvious an example mimicking the event at the VietNam waterfall, but I think one will find the blaze by founding it (as Fenn did). Going, doing, doing for others, doing right, even when only the grass knows, is the answer Fenn knows.

        Found peace. Pay mind to the legacy you leave.

        I think the blaze of the Chase requires some action more than just wandering eyeballs. I’m probably a dreamer.

  15. Here if is half past 3am sitting on the
    veranda at the ranch listening to a chorus of coyotes echoing out across the Flint Hills of Kansas.
    I just finished another great armchair adventure of the American West. I wish to thank all of you who have
    have supplied me with hours of thrills and thrills and thrills of the chase. My hat is off to you all. It is right nice to take these “trips sitting here on the windmill and never having to leave the farm”. Keep those cards and letters coming!!!

  16. great story even though the treasure would not be hidden anywhere in or nigh Yellowstone. why hide something at a place where everyone will look first.

    • liv-
      Forrest chose the spot because he was fond of it and because it was the spot he intended to end his life when he believed he had terminal cancer. By hiding the treasure there he gave the location a place in the narrative of his life. It becomes recognized, at some point, as an important place in his personal history. It was an important place to him and now it is an important place to tens of thousands of others…even though we don’t know where it is just yet.
      Clearly not everyone looks there first or last, and clearly, in spite of the number of people that have looked in the Yellowstone area or anywhere else, it has not been found. So the place is not obvious by anyone’s definition…except possibly yours.

    • You can make the same case for all of NM. But why eliminate an area on a hunch? I recall a story of the Fenn family stashing their summer gear near Yellowstone lake, and it was always there the next year. A 10″ square chest wouldn’t be all that hard to do the same.

          • howdy namster, hunch here. yep thats the one. Rescue Creek in YNP near Gardiner. theres a trailhead across the footbridge over the river. behind the trail marker sign theres a old dead tree with a split trunk. only about 7 foot of it left. both trunks are hollowed out. i keep bear spray in the hollow trunk, the shorter one. your welcome to use it if you search that area. if you have to empty the can on a critter, just leave your name and adress on a note with the empty can and i’ll send you a bill. well, assuming the critter didnt get you.

    • I think it’s just outside of Yellowstone.

      And this is why:

      1. It had to be the most important place to Forrest to want to rest his bones there.
      2. He talks more about Yellowstone in both his books than anywhere else.
      3. He spent every summer as a child in the YNP.

      YNP is 3,468 sq MILES. Even if Forrest some day said it was hidden in YNP (which I don’t think he will ever do), it would still take forever to find it. And then if you add the surrounding areas, there are a lot of trees, rocks, caves and rivers to search.

      You can walk right past something the size of the chest if it was placed behind a tree you didn’t look back at it.

      I think even if he reveals WWWH, it would still be difficult. Let’s say he even reveals where be started walking. If he walked in some direction for 1.5 miles it would give you an area of 3 mile diameter to look for something about the size of a phone book.

      I think Forrest is straight forward and enjoys putting the hints in plain sight and having people walk or read right past them.

      In my thinking, the books help us to narrow it down to the YNP area, from there its still a needle in a hay stack.

      Or it could be in New Mexico :0

  17. Forgiveness is a very special kind of revenge…sorry you didn’t find it. I like your thinking a lot. My wife and I are headed out today for the first time to look for the treasure. Should know by noon Sunday. I can tell you that I am extremely excited as I had a breakthrough in the last few days and all clues now align with the “stars”…till then.

    • Straw…well put, the NPS is currently and certainly benefiting from the chase whether it is there or not.

      Dal, no doubt it is a special place for Mr Fenn as well as his family, everyone of them, past and present I reckon, there is a peace obtained with that history all on it’s own. YNP is already recognized as an important place in his personal history. I cannot debate how special it is since I am aware and agree with that fact. This is likely the first place people think of weather they go there right away or not…imo. Forrest knows this so maybe, just maybe there is a place special to just the individual, not the family. Someplace where only subtleties will uncover (and a poem) a special place to Forrest Fenn. Do you have a special spot of your own? Oh… and thanks for stating the obvious with me as the possible exception. Well done. Nothing is obvious with the chase, I know that. It is just another approach to the chase my friend. Good luck

  18. Namster, Princeville 10-12 to 10-20. If the treasure is not found by then, I’d be surprised. Feel free to contact me via email… abqnewkey at hotmail. I’ve provided my email on the blog before. Anyone that emails me will at least provide the handle they use on the blog. I think anyone who would be shown my solve would have something to say about it. Maybe we could talk about it if we get to meet. I might be aired on the show Big Kitcchens on FYI Channel on Monday. It is about the El Pinto restaurant in New Mexico. I was there with my wife and son during the taping. I wish I could make some El Pinto food with me while searching in the Rocky Mountains. I am not subscribing to this post, so please e-mail me. Customary IMO for this comment.

  19. Hi Namster,
    I am not sure whether you should be a tour guide or a photographer.. Awesome photos and detail of your places! Very cool! Yellowstone is like Disneyland for Nature lovers that’s for sure.. I would love to spend every Summer just walking around enjoying the sites and wildlife and exploring. Its a Magical place!

    • I’ll take your word for it, Justin. I’ve heard a lot about Yellowstone (yellow stone aka gold?) I’d like to go to Montana one day. I’ve heard how beautiful Yellowstone is but honest to my Maker I have never been there in the flesh. I have let my spirit wander there in my dreams on occasion…but I always wake up…bummed out that I’m not there…but happy that I’m here with my wife and children. It seems they are both Magical places.

    • Why do I have to choose? Can’t I be a picture taking tour guide? I guess I need to get a camera beside the one on my iPhone!

  20. Namster, wish I knew you were in YS…right now, I’m sitting around a small and very smokey campfire, visiting wirh rhe camp manager. She has satellite and is allowing me to piggyback her reception here at Hegben lake. I am planning the most direct route to my next search spot, here in MT.
    I, too, have had dreams of wood walks. Don’t know if it is part of the area or not.
    I’m so glad you had a blast, and hope you continue to search! It was a great story!
    Be safe!
    ¥Peace ¥
    P.S. I’m surprised the Park Gestapo allowed you to float, I was sternly instructed, “no rafts, tubes or swimming (in hot springs), but wading/fishing allowed, with a permit.” Seems all about the same to me. I think they try to confuse you on purpose, don’t you?!

    • @donna, we found out from the Bakers Hole camp manager that we weren’t suppose to float down the river in YNP. He said that people float then take out and walk about a mile while the river meanders in YNP boundaries and then put back in. Seems really silly.We didn’t know so we just did it. Didn’t even think we would be in YNP when we floated.

  21. What an exciting adventure you had. Great ideas and loved your pictures. 🙂 thank u for sharing, I will share mine one day. 🙂

  22. Namster. Wow, If your friend’s drawing was the NW corner of YNP, the circle is dang near where you searched. It is also an area of interest for me. Worried that I will run out of weather before I can get over there.

    • That’s why went to search there. What didn’t make sense though is the feeling of driving the circle. There are no roads on that corner of YNP that do that. I’ll be looking at other areas that might have that.

      • Well….it could be the route of a couple of lost would be mountain men…the circle with the dash “lost” line. Not too far from Joseph Mountain, the source of the Gardiner River.

      • Hello again Namster, i.e. if you’re still around,

        I was revisiting the MN/WY discussion, and re-read your tale.

        Over the winter, I decided to draw a 50 mi. circle around where I surmised Forrest and Donnie Joe picked up their nags…..Forrest wrote that they regained civilization some 50 miles from where they began the L&C hunt.

        The circle and state lines together look VERY much like your friends sketch. She may have been on to something, or just reading my mind.

        Thanks again for sharing, Joseph

        • Haven’t been around for a while, but recently organizing and consolidating my digital files and this article was corrupted so, thankfully it was hear and I was able to re-create it and save it for my archives again. Good luck!

  23. At the top right corner of TTOTC map, (14) ….there is a very small patch of purple. It appears to be the only place on the map with this color.

  24. namster,

    I just read about your adventure and all the comments, took me about an hour because at each new location I’d switch over to google maps and check out the spot you and your friend were at. What an awesome time for you and with all the details you provided I could almost picture myself there. I’m really looking forward to my 1st search next April.

    Thanks also for your interpretation of “Put in below….”, I’d never thought of floating down a river but it does make sense that FF would do exactly that. Not necessarily when he hid the TC but as part of the trail the 9 clues create for us to follow. 5 and a half months to go for me to get out there, I can’t wait 🙂

  25. Nampster, I just found out about the treasure and started to do research the past two days. I have come up with two locations . What is amazing is as I read your adventures you mentioned a place that I came up with except you were missing one piece that I came up with on the river. I’m a fisherman and retired military and the blaze is a landmark that he uses to locate where he hit the treasure..for example where he says put in that’s easy for a fisherman to understand what he is referring too and floating down the river u look for the blaze it could be only seen from being on the water..I used google earth and I found a location where u could hide a box and not be seen only if u where on the river and directly over it..the only problem with that spot is it doesn’t look like a resting place..I feel u have to float down the river to locate the blaze and then u will find the treasure..the other location is north of Santa Fee I have not read his books but this place is gorgeous and is the biggest hot spring in the world..the only clue I can’t tide in there is Browns hm..every other clue works..that is why I started searching in Yellowstone…hint u never searched the river u instead drove meaning the area u drove u could not see the blaze it was only visible by the water..he mentions that someone was 500 m away I believe that was u and if u would have got in the water instead of driving u would have seen the blaze and found the treasure..remember when his dad was dying he took him to Yellowstone..I haven’t research NM so tomorrow I will and see what I come up with…more too follow

    • Sorry, haven’t been around for a while. I actually did get the feeling that we needed to be in the river to see the blaze. We actually did walk a bit in the river and floated a bit as well. Quoted from above:

      “We walked around a bit and looked around the area. We started to think that maybe the blaze is not visible from land. Maybe you have to be in the water looking at the river bank to see the blaze. Maybe it was a marker used by Forrest to locate his favorite fishing hole as he waded down the river. Maybe when you find the blaze, you need to go over to it and then the chest is there on the river bank. If we had more time, I would have liked to make that float down that part of the river. Maybe I’ll come back some day to search that area, but for now, it’s too far to fly….from Hawaii.”

      Good luck in your adventures and have fun!

  26. Hi hamster I have a question in what year you were in madison river Yellowstone I hope you you be there and answer my question thank you

    • Aloha! Not been around but saw the news recently so thought I would pop in. I’ve only gone searching once in 2015.

      Good luck!

  27. I namster did you send email to ff after your trip to Madison river I hope you still there if you did what date? Thank you

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