Spring Decisions…


by dal…

Spring is coming…I need a plan…

I’ve come upon a completely new (to me) technique for figuring out exactly Where Warm Waters Halt. Now I know from reading on the blog that there are many different methods folks use to come up with a place to “Begin it…” and the fact is that I have actually employed many of those ideas over the past five and a half years…anagrams, counting letters, numerology, associative wordplay, reading Forrest’s books for clues, consulting with gypsies, cohorting with trout, numerous conversations with drunks, prayer… But I have to tell you, this is by far the least stressful. Although I will admit that Goofy’s Mouse Pad Wee Jee Board at just $9.99 from Sacha’s on-line store (http://treasurehuntingshirts.com) is a great bargain, and students will also find the mouse pad useful for taking multiple-choice exams and even choosing a main dish at a Chinese restaurant.

But after very little luck at stumbling upon a place to “Begin it…” for the imminent searching season, I came upon this idea while reading a book about Supreme Court decisions over the past twenty years. If it works for them, I see no reason why it cannot work for all of us.


This technique is not without it’s drawbacks. First is the cost. I had to buy a set of six darts from Amazon for $3.99. But when you consider the alternative…say a medium grade metal detector at 300 to a thousand bucks…$3.99 isn’t so bad. And, of course, there are rules to consider…metal detecting is not allowed in National Parks and Monuments and I discovered that detecting around the old FennHaven Motor Lodge is not very productive unless you’re looking for bottle caps.

On the other hand, no one cares about darts. You can take them into any park. They don’t make noise unless you miss and accidentally stick one in a cat. They are just as functional at home as in the field. No batteries required.

For those who would point out that Forrest said we should use the book..I’d like to suggest that the book makes a great placemat to protect your darts from the nasty grime left over on old campsite picnic tables. I use the book regularly.

dart2smOh…and one more tip. The bigger the map, the better. The first map I had was so small I couldn’t tell if my dart stuck in Taos or Durango. But by using one of those great big Benchmark wall maps of the search area, I can tell, down to the township, where my dart is sending me.

A variation on this theme is to use nine darts (more $)…make sure you number them 1-9 so you know which dart is which…then your entire solution is laid out in front of you…
I have to admit though, it seems like some of the solutions I’ve read lately already use this technique!


120 thoughts on “Spring Decisions…

  1. Well I suppose this activity is a good as any, but lets twist it slightly. When you get tired of finding search area’s with your nigh hand you can switch to the less dominate hand. Personally I wouldn’t want anything resembling skill to be involved.

    • I resemble that remark, I think. Don’t know what medical device to use to check my polarity. Military said it was O positive, I always took that as a good sign.

  2. If you find that lobbing small slender missiles fails to find a mark then you can also use them for eating olives in a most eccentric manner.

  3. But… what about DOWSING RODS! You can buy a shirt hanger for 40 cents, and then you can violate the laws of physics by dowsing for the treasure.

    I used a different method to come up with nine locations: multi-variable hyper-space analysis of topographic names, geographic features, contour mapping data, and historical names used by people in the Rockey Mountains based on a search of 70,000+ historical documents.

    Once I get them, I will post “selfie” images of me and the treasure chest on Facebook….

    • Desert-
      I did the “multi-variable hyper-space analysis of topographic names” during my lunch break on Friday. It came down to the chest being located in my cider press..but I don’t believe it.

    • Good Luck with your search through 70,000 documents. Ever consider joining the Hillary email team with the FBI? Just my twisted humor Desertphile, Good luck on your journey though.

  4. Ha…a guy in my office takes darts super serious. He puts on his warm-ups, laces up his New Balance, dawns his Kareem googles, and shoots..,gotta admit, the dude is good. He’s always trying to get us co-workers to wager $$$. I learned a long time ago to not gamble…especially when playing VS a pro!!

    Is there such a thing as throwing darts from the heather??

    To the victor goes the spoils…

    Happy searching…


  5. Hello Dal. Just got in from a nice day up in the Rocky Mountains and read your story and you have me rolling on the floor. Would you like to borrow my lawn darts instead? I won’t charge you anything for the use of them. 🙂

  6. This could work. Watch out for carnies with dull darts and slightly deflated balloons. At least the prize is better than a stuffed SpongeBob. 🙂

  7. Dal, I’m using the conjunction of the Firehole and Madison this year as my beginning spot. Yes, used it before, but doing it again. This year my 7 year old grandson may get to go with us.

  8. Dal – Great laughter ensued in District 23 after reading of your lively game-based approach.

    The neurotypicals think “rent darts” which also translates to “re(tard)ant which inhibits fire. With some people you’ll never get your message through but don’t be disheartened just know they think differently.

    If you make a lyrical dance out of this post I am sure I will get it right away.

  9. Dal, If you tell me everywhere you already searched, I’ll tell you what your next highest probability is…..likely as accurate as your darts. HA!

    I’ve been working on process of elimination, keeps taking me back to the firehole, but after reading, sounds to me like about 60,000 have already searched it to death. Can’t see how it has been missed for so long with so many looking.

    • “…about 60,000 have already searched it to death. Can’t see how it has been missed for so long with so many looking”.
      … maybe ’cause it ain’t there.

      That’s what my psychic genie is telling me. That will be $500, please. 🙂

  10. Hey Dal , where did poetry page IV go ? III is closed and IV is not there Once it left the ” recent posts ” ………… Just wondering………. Thanks Focused

    • Thanks 23kachinas…. I just noticed it wasn’t under ” searcher discussions ” ….have a great evening ….. See ya

  11. If that doesn’t work try a game that involves booze, pingpong balls, and removing an item of clothing. Or maybe you can put a single bullet in a revolver, spin the chamber, point it at the map, and choose different solutions until it fires. Go to the place where the hole in the wall is. Bring spackle.

    • Friend-
      Those are stencils on the wall. Three walls in the cabin are old growth Alaska Yellow Cedar tongue & groove salvaged from a building being torn down. To add a little bit of cheer to the somber cedar walls Kathy added the brightly colored stencils about every two feet.

  12. Are you telling me you haven’t bought a bucket of fried chicken to get the bones and shake them out of a cup onto the map ? UMMMM CHICKEN !


  14. Dal I like to see you are on the creative juice. Dart 7 should be the main interest. The location is there for sure. I know it be brave now. Have a great night always JB and Titan

  15. I have a map of the Rocky Mountains with hot and warm waters from the latest USGS geothermal inventory / survey, and the map includes locations that can be considered “Home of Brown.” My computer then calculated the distances between all points “warm” to all points “brown,” and threw out everything over six miles. That left nine locations, two of which are at known trails that are rated “easy.” Two locations are very difficult to get to, so I discarded them. Perhaps one of the seven is the correct location.

    Does this mean I’m cheating?

  16. your funny Dal,all your gonna do is have a game of darts,just like the chase,a game.the goal,(treasure is there).where,rocky mountains,place,someplace special,where is someplace,anywhere.because we don’t KNOW,only forrest knows and his dad.he’s still got me on the poem. but I’m still thinking.

  17. Yo Dal, Yoda wisdom says…
    1. a higher win% blue darts have.
    2. Y’s it is to follow eye holes made by darts.
    3. A very tolerant wife you have

  18. Great technique, Dal!! I highly recommend it…….oh, and you get better results if the ceremony is performed during the Dark of the Moon…..while holding a crystal skull, with a lit candle on top of it!! 🙂

  19. Well personally, I ‘d go back to “cohorting with trout”. If they ain’t talkin’, it’s because they don’t understand your question. You need to learn their language.

  20. I just got back from a trek up the road from window rock to four corners over to ship rock and back down to window rock ft defiance whether I found the Lutheran church I was trying attend Sunday worship. Left at 8 am got back at 8 pm. I found a spot that met every single clue including The Fenn original address mile markers 1415 or 1413. A blaze a hot water tank and his old car a coffe pot lid strategically placed with a rock to hold it in place. I tore my last good shirt climbing through a barbed wire fence and stepped over bear poop. But no treasure. I found a Lutheran mission school and listened to the sermon based on Where your treasure is so is your heart. Yes I am telling the truth if you knew me this is my life God uses me as a pawn to warn others. I drove along the edge of the road letting cars pass so I could find a blaze in Window rock. I trespassed on private property while the family dog even laughed as I broke the barbed wire on an old refidgerator. My friends think I’m crazy. I found five blazes in Navajo really. Five. In the past two years I could not find anything resembling s blaze asnd at sundown on a Sunday five. The last one was at the church I missed on the first pass at 9 AM. I left them a nice note with my phone number drove back to Gallup, had meatloaf at the Cracker Barrel. Not the end just have to go back to teaching Monday morning. So cross those places off the list too. The next trip will be to the northeast corner. I have the thrill of the chase in my blood.

  21. For the low, low price of only three $99.99 payments, I can send you the complete set of nine darts, maps of all four states, a copy of The Thrill of the Chase … and an autographed picture of Bullwinkle, the missing moose.

  22. Dal, It was delightful to read your story and your new approach to finding Fenn’s treasure chest. If you haven’t found it by June 3rd, could you please bring your darts to the Fennboree so others could try them? I think this is the beginning of a new game to be played by those attending…

  23. Hi Dal,

    Bad news fer ya lubbers, Us pirates has already tried that thar trick, only being real sly and craftly-like, we used eye patches and a blind fold, and threw them thar darts all at once-like, and left-handed! All the lasses hereabouts was real impressed, but we still couldn’t figger nothing at all about them warm waters, except maybe we wouldn’t be needing our wetsuits.

  24. Hi ya Dal, funny you mentioned the cat… I had to put away my darts, to this day my dog is still giving me dirty looks. Ya know the kind. ” You could not hit the broadside of a barn with a cadillac.”” At any rate I have some thoughts I might send to you shortly. I think you will find them interesting.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  25. Hi Fenners

    Originally from Cornwall, England now residing in the Northwest U.S.A

    I just wanted to say thanks for all the valuable resources. Your blog is invaluable in the chase!

    • Steve,
      For you to come from so far away, tells me you mean business.
      Nobody travels that far away to reside in the NW unless you have a pretty good solve. Did you bump into the little girl from India on the way here? You may just be as close to the 3rd clue being here. I would say good luck, but you probably don’t need it.

    • Steve-
      It’s all the great folks who comment and send in their adventures that make the blog so useful. If it wasn’t for them this would just be me and goofy talking to one another and having burping contests 🙂

    • That little girl from India is shadowing me 🙂 just kidding. No I’ve been in the U.S.A since 88 making music etc…

      Cheers & thanks for the welcome I’d raise a glass but can’t find and icon for that 🙂

  26. Dal, thanks for the great advice. I think the 9 dart theory is the best, but may I suggest using thread and link the darts starting with one then two, etc. Next start with one and link odd numbers in a row. Next do the same for even numbers, The chest will be the point that has the most stings crossing. If it is not there try going from 1-10,2-9 etc. You’re bound to find it.

  27. Admittedly, this dart idea sounds much more clever than most of the recent solves touted on the blogs. The key to success using this method may boil down to the color of the darts and perhaps the correct sizing of the target map. Dal’s onto something, I just know it!!! I personally tried a similar technique using an antique blow gun I brought home from the Phillipines years ago. Unfortunately, I never got past putting the device to my lips. After that things got real foggy and when I woke up on the floor I remembered that I wasn’t supposed to touch the dart with my mouth. I still think this has promise, but I do not want another headache like that one. Any volunteers out there?

    • Hi Ken, I volunteer for blow darts…”Dal style” Red licorice sticks make excellent edible dart guns===•>. Although, thinking more like Forrest… We need well chewed wads of Bubba gum to spit at the map.

  28. Hmm…so now Dal is down to throwing darts? It seems a little luck and superstition may be called for as well.

    If so, may I participate today? You see it’s my 13th birthday and my daughter’s 13th birthday too (if you count the day after Feb. 28th).Thirteen has always been my uniform number in sports as well.

    I have black darts on a white board….I will throw six darts twice. The first set will total the latitude and the second will total the longitude. Does that sound scientific enough?

    Happy Leap Day! Do something special with your extra day!

    ~Wisconsin Mike

    P. S. My Fennboree Shirts arrived today!

      • Thanks Dal! ~ I certainly did!

        “As I have gone alone in there…” – Lunched with a few good friends,
        “And with my treasures bold…” – had a special B-Day dinner with my kids,
        “I can keep my secret where…” – gave my daughter a surprise early B-day present!
        “And hint of riches new and old.” – She and I both turned 13!

        Overall, I Indulged and the day was ‘priceless’!

        -Wisconsin Mike

  29. Hey Dal,
    So you are abandoning the Madison Junction (area) for wwwh?
    I loved your description and interpretation of that place for wwh, so now I’m curious about your change of heart. Did you lose interest from so many searches? Are you doubting your original thinking?
    I sort of see this area as the most widely accepted wwh, the base line, or the obvious answer to the poem. Many of the A type personalities dismiss this as “too easy”, but as you well know, this is a massive area… certainly loved by Fenn.

    • decall-
      Long time no see…
      No..I have not changed my mind about my WWWH…that story was just an attempt at humor…my inner Mark Twain. I still have a ton of research and searching left in that area.I have not wavered one iota..

      • Really, I thought your explanation is one of the best I’ve heard…. and exactly what I was thinking. I don’t see anything wrong with STARTING at the most obvious and working out from there. So you have plans for this spring? Do you feel you’ve made some headway on the poem? (I can always be found over at the more raucous chasechat… and just like 100 others I believe I am the 200 ft. guy)

        • decall-
          I don’t know about the term “headway”…but I know what area I will be moving into next. Just following the clues and exploring options..Having a good time and enjoying being outside…still looking for those phantom moose that everyone else claims to have seen.

          • I hear you Dal, maybe those sheepish creatures tend to hang a bit higher than my search area. One would think those northern creatures would be an easy mark for the eye, who knows.

      • Dal,

        If you believe that the Madison Junction is WWWH, what is your thoughts on the first stanza possibly containing the first clue. Do you have an interpretation of the first stanza that may have led you to your WWWH?

        • Let’s say that wwh is correct, do you have hoB yet? Do you feel you need more insight on the first stanza to get past wwh? Just curious.

          • decall-
            I have what I believe is the HOB as of this winter. I’ve spent two years trying to figure out what it could be. (I’m not the brightest pumpkin in the patch)

            I plan to try it out this summer. But it’s still a maze after the HOB with lots of choices. So unless I am very, very lucky I will not be walking into the chest. This is a baby step project for me and there are plenty more opportunities for me to screw up…even if I were to be correct about the first three…
            I am feeling stronger about this being correct…but I can’t say that I am feeling confident. There is so much more to know….

        • Literate-
          For me, the first stanza is a prologue. It sets up the poem. Tells us why he wrote it. This is important and provides information we can use to find the chest but in my opinion none of the nine clues.

  30. Too funny Dal! I have a new plan and will be testing it out in a couple of months. I also tried something new and read the poem to my grandsons (Bubba age 7 and Mike age 8) a couple of times and they drew pictures of where the chest might be. They both had different interpretations of where the chest would be. So, we are going to look for the chest in May. Bubba wants me to buy a metal detector and he’s totally jazzed about the hunt and can’t wait. Looking forward to the great outdoors.

  31. “Supreme Cork Decisions”
    With Dal??!!?!?

    Argh!! Why didn’t I think of that. Always the bridesmaid….

    Oh yeah- thanks for the placemat idea, too. One use and I managed to spill my cranberry juice and dye the whole thing pink. C’est la vie.

  32. Dal,

    You are too funny! The Wee Gee Board Mouse Pad is a lot of fun. But, without an X, it makes life more interesting.

  33. Hmm, I hadn’t considered darts yet. I’m new to the chase, and haven’t exhausted a lot of avenues yet LOL. I remember hearing about it a few years ago, but never gave it much thought. Recently however, I was on YouTube and a video suggestion popped up so i watched it. BAM! I was bitten by “the bug”. I’ve started a journal and have tried to keep it organized, but have already started taking notes in the margin as I didn’t allow enough pages for the subject lol. Now I find ideas to things the poem is referring too, popping into my head at odd times, like driving, or grocery shopping, and dang it and my journal is at home. Apparently the poem is running on a loop in the back of my head ha! After reading some of the postings here, there is no way I’m at the level of thought or experience of most hunter/seekers here, but it sure is fun. Happy hunting too all and good luck!

  34. “What if” Dal let go of the dart?

    I was trying to figure out where the dart would hit in the image above. Over a straight line it would hit somewhere in south/central Wyoming. Of course it wouldn’t fly in a perfectly straight line. Gravity would pull on it. To figure out the arc you’d have to consider things like force over distance.

    This close to the map, he couldn’t get a good swing of an arm/body motion. It’d be a flick of the wrist. Not a lot of force there, but not much distance either. The amount of available force could get you an almost straight line over this distance, but Dal would have a lot of choice in the amount of force he wanted to use. He could use no force at all, for example, and the dart would simply fall to the floor.

    Now we’re suddenly wondering what would Dal do? Would he use a lot of force, or a little force?

    Maybe Dal is mad at that map. Maybe we ought to think that he would put a lot of force behind the dart out of anger and frustration. Still, he is holding a dart, and not a shotgun. Dal, we can conclude, is at least somewhat calm and relaxed, maybe even jovial. Darts are just a game, after all. If we zoom out and Dal’s other hand is holding a gas can and a lighter, we should be more concerned.

    Maybe it’s the other way. We’re rather close to target, maybe this means that unconsciously Dal is hopeful. Deep in Dal’s mind is the thought that maybe something might reveal itself on that map, just before he releases the dart. Hope might cause him to hesitate, exerting less force when flicking the dart. Maybe Dal’s not going to throw that dart at all! The dart’s not going to hit the map or the floor. It’s going back in the dart case or wherever Dal normally keeps his darts.

    Maybe what happens to the dart when Dal lets go of it turns out not to be a question of physics or Dal’s mood, but instead the fate of the dart is wrapped up in some unknown element. Maybe right behind Dal, out of the crop of the photo, Dal’s cat lies in wait. Just as Dal lets go of the dart, the cat springs from the table and snatches the dart middair because, well, cats are evil ninjas and that’s what they do.

    There’s a lot of “what ifs” wrapped up in what might happen when Dal lets go of that dart. Evil flying cats aside, your best guess might be that it’ll stick in the map, somewhere north of Santa Fe, but who the heck knows?

    How about a nice game of coin toss instead? There’s even odds and the Law of Averages says both sides will turn up eventually.

    • What if there are other clues in this post, such as the words “DRAW BACK, TIP, and POINT OUT? Lots of little things that might pertain to darts and trajectory.
      And there’s an even bigger “what if” I think about when I read this…

    • Jeremy, you are too funny. First “the little girl from India” problem, now we have the “What if” Dal problem. And yes I’m worried about evil flying ninja cats. LOL.

      • Haha, I like it!

        The “What If Dal Let Go of The Dart” Problem. #WIDLGOTD

        Searcher A: “Have you figured out the ‘what ifs’ you’re supposed to be considering?”

        Searcher B: “I dunno, I’m stuck on #TLGFI Problem and the #WIFLGOTD Problem.”

  35. Ok #WIDLGOTD and it hit in a location outside of anywhere he considers the chest to be hidden but still within the highlighted area, does he then just consider that a mistake and throw a redo? Because that’s what it seems like a lot of people are doing in this great big chase. Some seem so narrowed in and focused on certain areas that they can’t see outside their own boundaries. And they are quick to find fault with any idea that is outside their boundary. I guess it’s human nature. And I’m not speaking of anyone in specific. But sometimes I wonder why people try so hard to make others think and see their way. I guess Forrest’s way is the best way. Read the poem, read the book, read the poem, read the book, etc.

  36. hehehe…nicely done Dal!!!

    The randomness is a great way to just do it!

    Personally, I have an idea about where to begin…if you care to hear me out for a sec….

    FF said that a couple from Utah figured it out…..well, to my surprise, when I took a trip up to the WYP area last year….I just so happen to stay at a place that also – per the local summer residents – had a Utah couple stay at in the past yr or so.

    Coincidence? I think not….again…. because of some additional clues I dug up while I stayed at this place.

    Now fast forward to last Sept/Oct, I sent FF an email inquiring about that digital photo you created….I read you made it or put it together.

    Anyhow, I found that lake in the picture….and asked FF if I was on the right track. Knowing I wouldn’t get an answer, but hoped I would in some way…..well I sort of did, within another interview he made…again this one was in the form of questions some one posted on your blog…. asking him if anyone has found the starting point. It’s a recent post…within the last couple of months….Anyhow….

    He again mentioned the Utah couple, but also added, I’m paraphrasing….”I think several more may have but I am not quite or too sure.”….I think he was referring to my team….of course I am only guessing, but it seemed odd, that after I sent that email, he happens to respond in a new way.

    Granted…my email was cryptic in some ways just so I wouldn’t let on to him how close I am…..but he would have known the lake location and name if I mentioned it….and new the region….and would also know of the place I stayed….as it was very close to that lake.

    That was all I heard of the starting point reference….which makes me believe he mentioned that AFTER I emailed and after my team was in the same area the Utah couple were at. It’s gotta be.

    Anyhow….IMO…WWWH is definitely a reference to a woodsman as “the edge of civilization”…more specifically…a specific place he stayed, be it a motel, hotel, lodge, campground, etc…etc…etc….

    My bet it was a campground or maybe even one of those hunters cabin…..he was very familiar with the area I was in….and I think he knows the area well….

    To further my thoughts, and hopefully not to give out my search area….*smiles*…there is a specific spot in the West Yellowstone park region which not only agrees with his own words, but has all the components of the poem……WWWH….IMO….is not a Hot springs.

    If you would like to talk offline and in a more private manner….I’m always up for a good discussion….My email you already know.

    Thanks again for taking the time to read my post.

      • I am a Led Zeppelin fan. Found out today!!! Please tell me the UT folks found it so I don’t have to drag my butt all the way to MT. 😉

      • I am so missing the connection – care to explain? I see no Black Dog or Stairway to Heaven mentioned. 🙂

        • There’s a old cabin above Paradise Rest Ranch at Hebgen Lake and one of the road names is Led Zeppelin.

          • Your welcome anytime. I will be thrilled when the seeker finds it.

          • Tracy – Did you look for a blaze that might be indicated in the song, Stairway to Heaven? And maybe that blaze would point to a static, but formerly rolling Rock, with a cache hiding the Gold in the bronze chest. I would go looking at the time of day, when the Shadows are Taller.

            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 are one and one is all
            To be a rock and not to roll
            And she’s buying the stairway to heaven

          • Tracy – Sounds like you may just need that flashlight.

            Thank you so much for sharing!!!

            Stairway to Heaven has been my theme song for the Chase, ever since I joined in February 2013.

  37. Tim, sounds like you are still searching..if the treasure does not end up in Montana then you need to relook your last seven clues..lol..PS I live in Utah

  38. Remember Forrest said be wise to find the blaze..1st clue WWWH is a hot spring, Wyoming, 2nd clue is a canyon, Wyoming
    Blaze is white, umbrella, spirit
    Wise is pink tourmaline (loving energy/spiritual healing)…This is what I came up with throwing my darts

  39. oops threw another dart, WWWH was not a hot spring, but where two warm rivers halt..out of darts..lol if u follow the path of the dart it will lead u to the end of the rainbow

  40. Your welcome. Happy to share when it lines up with my thoughts plus more.

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