Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty Nine…




I love your story Kristen. Once again I am reminded of why I wrote the book and hid the treasure. f


Mr. Fenn

I hope this email finds you and your family well.  My name is Kristen and I live in Atlanta with my husband and 2 kids. I discovered your book, ‘The Thrill of the Chase,’ about a year and a half ago.  Not only was I fascinated by your stories (and highly entertained by your sense of humor and witty writing style) but it also hit close to home. I was 34 and had just recently been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and told I had a 20% chance of still being here in 5 years. At the time my son was 4 and my daughter was 5 months old.  So…I get it.  Everything you think and feel when you think it’s all over.

I loved reading about the summers of your youth spent in Yellowstone with your family and wanted the same kind of memories for my kids.  I grew up in rural Missouri and my dad is a cropduster/farmer and avid outdoorsman but my kids were born in Atlanta and are ‘city’ through and through. You inspired me to change that.  I shared your book with my parents and siblings and proposed a family treasure hunting adventure. After they checked my temperature and determined I wasn’t delirious, they all got on board. We studied the poem, but came up with exactly zilch for a solve. We decided to go on an adventure anyway.  The obvious choice was Yellowstone.  A place we’ve always wanted to see, just never gotten around to making the trip.

Well, we did it. We spent a week in Big Sky Montana. My parents, my siblings, and our kids were all there together.  We explored Yellowstone, hiked to Ousel Falls (on a day where a grizzly was spotted on the trail!), fly fished the Gallatin river (THAT was a sight to behold, let me tell ya!), and saw TONS of wildlife. My dad was thrilled that we were finally coming around to his way of thinking.

We brainstormed about the poem at night trying to find our ‘aha’ moment.  I am of the consensus that solving the riddle reveals the exact location and just randomly ‘searching’ is a waste of time, but that’s just my humble opinion.  So, needlessly to say, we left with no treasure chest but that wasn’t really the point of the trip anyway.

The point of this rambling novel is to thank you.  I listened and took your words to heart and was inspired.  My family made memories last week that will last a lifetime (see picture below).  And hopefully it was just the first of many adventures we’ll have together.  We’ve decided Alaska will be our next. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you Mr. Fenn.  If you ever find yourself in Atlanta I would love to buy you a cup of coffee. Or maybe I’ll come to Santa Fe and bring your bracelet back if I ever solve that damn poem:)

All the best,


That’s my son, Jack, and my niece, Jessie Leigh. She caught that whopper but then bolted like a spooked horse when Max (with Gallatin River Guides) tried to get her to touch it.

PS…After 18 months of chemo there is currently no evidence of any cancer in my body. I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.

34 thoughts on “Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty Nine…

  1. Kristen— thanks not for writing to Forrest, and thank you Forrest for sharing with us. So glad to hear your cancer is gone! That is one heck of a nice rainbow! Did Jessie Leigh catch that on a fly? If she did that is fantastic. There are so many people that this search has blessed– it is truly inspiring. Thanks again for sharing.

  2. This is a beautiful scrapbook entry, Mr. Fenn. Thank you for sharing it with us. Kristen, your story is amazing. I’m glad you and your family had a wonderful time full of memories, and that you’ll continue to enjoy life to the fullest. I’m truly happy there is no evidence of cancer in your body. The best news ever.

  3. Some day Jack and Jessie Leigh will be sitting at a table having a cup of coffee, one will say “do you remember” and a flood of beautiful memories will come rushing back. Days like that are never forgotten.

  4. Kristen, thank you for sharing your story. I hope you get to have great adventures & make a mountain of memories with your kids in the coming years!

  5. Your photo is great, Kristen! You captured a moment that Norman Rockwell would have wanted to paint. It’s perfect. May you have the very best long and healthy life.

  6. What a nice story – THANKS Forrest, and Thanks for sharing your story with us. Kids are CUTE!!! Congrats on the “BIG C” survival – Y E A 11


  7. Great story! You survived 18 months of chemo, you can handle anything this life throws at you! Look forward to your next adventure with your kids.

  8. Kristen, I see many more adventures in store for you! Have fun in Alaska, take the glacial tour and see alot of whales!
    Maybe you can search in New Mexico and see the reason F decided to call it his home!
    Good luck, be safe!

  9. Wonderful to read your story Kristen – you are a survivor and now an adventurer! That’s the great thing about this Chase, it makes us all want to get out there, not only to look for the treasure, but to experience nature and its wonders and to have fun with family and friends. Best wishes to you and your family!

  10. Great story & sometimes you just got to go.
    No better place for family fun than the Gallatin National Forrest.
    I believe you guys were very close to his treasure but you found your treasure.

  11. I understand why Forrest wrote the book and hid the treasure because of haveing cancer. But it wasn’t meant for just anyone to find it especially family’s if we have to leave everyone one in the car according to his last weekly words hahah. He wants everyone to get off there couch and look but sounds to me it’s not in a area people
    Bring there families too I go hmmmmmm. Makes for a great vacation tho

  12. Kristen,

    Like you, I was diagnosed with cancer too. Luckily, I made a few trips out looking for the treasure before that happened. I feel we have something in common, other than the big “C”, as I really didn’t expect to find that treasure either; I just needed an excuse to go to that spot I read about and viewed from Google Earth.

    I put all my “Chase” plans on hold and even canceled a trip to (not gonna tell ya) this summer. 🙂 The good news is that I should be back in full swing by next summer.

    I truly wish you the best and hope your cancer is gone forever. I’m glad you not only got out to a place that is special, but you have already made plans for the next trip.

    Best wishes to you and your family. Your story is inspiring.

    Scott W.

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