Mountain Warrior Women’s Wicked Weekend…

SUBMITTED december 2016
by the golden retrievers and sandy b


Sandy B and the Golden Retrievers had an Enchanted trip while hunting for Indulgence.   We have written this article for your entertainment.  Mr. Fenn says: read the blogs for entertainment.   We aren’t sharing our solves.  Sorry.  We are just sharing our fun trip with you.  We hope you find our story entertaining.   And we hope it encourages you to get out, hike, and search (in Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado) next spring.

We rendezvoused at a trailhead at the Embudo Canyon.  We hiked down into the canyon and crossed the Treacherous River to Treasure Island (it’s not an island at all, it’s just the other side of the river – but Golden R likes to call it Treasure Island).  We traveled thru the Magical Forest, moved a few rocks, reorganized some more rocks, and repositioned a few more rocks.


We Moved Rocks

One rock, standing up like a gravestone, caught our eye.


Standing up like a gravestone

Sandy B and Golden R couldn’t lift the rock out of the stone crevasse which held it.  Sandy B, who has an attention span of a fruit fly, left to explore around the ridge.  Since Golden R couldn’t lift the stone; Golden R tried to crank the stone sideways, like a lever.  Golden R was shocked to feel the rock move easily like a lever . . . and four more rocks, which were holding the lever-rock in place, all moved with a crunching noise.   It was a very “Indiana Jones moment”.  Golden R expected a stone entrance to a secret tunnel to appear.  But there was no secret tunnel and no treasure chest.

We walked in and out of the river . . .  up and down the river.  When we felt we had disturbed enough rocks, we went looking for the “Heartbeat of Mother Earth”.  With our ears pressed to approximately thirty or forty different rocks, we listened good, for the heartbeat.  Golden R’s ear was turning numb from holding the ear against the cold, wet rocks  (did we tell you it was cold and it was raining?); we never heard the Heartbeat (Sancho, we needed you.)   Sandy B heard a unique hum in that area, so we know we were in the correct spot.

Another “Indiana Jones moment” came, as we arrived at our car to find a note, enclosed in a plastic bag, on our windshield, from a treasure hunter.  The note suggested we meet for Happy Hour – Oh Yes!

Sandy B and Golden R had a wonderful evening with a very handsome treasure hunter.  We probably shouldn’t disclose our guest’s real name, but we like to call him “Snakecharmer”.  We tried to get information out of our guest . . . we tried to buy drinks for Snakecharmer, hoping to learn valuable information . . . but he was a rock.  We obtained no information about his solve.  We had a very fun evening talking treasure.

The next day, we took a drive thru a very muddy canyon; and we had to scrape the mud off our tires twice, because we were sliding on the mud.  Sandy B is an amazing driver; she drove us thru mud that had tire ruts or grooves in the road twelve inches deep.  Sandy drove us out of there in 4WD LOW.   Golden R was a good luck charm for Sandy B.  Sandy B has had eight flat tires this year – on this trip Sandy B didn’t get a flat tire!



More Mud

More Mud

We hiked a trail which promised warm waters halting, canyon down, and an X.


X marks the spot

We found eyes, a drawing nigh, and a listen good.   We stood in one spot which has a pi to the West,



Not pineapple pi

And a finger to our east.


and a pure white blaze to our North.   But no treasure chest.

The rocks along the trail were so fun to climb over and climb through – it was like a playground.  But Golden R couldn’t stay and play on those rocks, because Sandy B has the attention span of a mosquito.

We then entered the strange part of our journey. This was a time where Sandy B found a broken hiking pole which displayed the word: stop (obviously “halt”).


“Halt”, says the hiking pole

At this point, we were E.C. Watersing it.  (Before we sent this article to Dal, we received permission from E. C. Waters to turn his name into a verb meaning:  ‘find a clue in everything you see’).

We found a concrete trough.


Water High

As we looked behind us, we saw a big water tower up high.  Why didn’t we see that as we hiked by it?


More water high?

That was a beautiful, fun trail.  We found hot springs and saw foot prints from elk, badger and coyote (or fox).   But no treasure chest.

The next day we weren’t allowed to drive into the Vallas Caldera National Preserve, because it was hunting season; and WE WERE hunting!   So we pulled out our maps, and Sandy B discovered the BEST solve yet.   We packed part of our sandwich . . .


Got sandwich & got flashlight

“Did we have a flashlight?”, you might ask.  Sandy B carried two or three flashlights at all times; and a rock hammer/pick axe/lever for moving rocks and scraping tires.  Golden R carried two flashlights, two different packs of matches, and two different packs of waterproof matches, and everything we needed to build a shelter if we got lost.  If we got lost, and had to spend the night in the mountains, our shelter would have been seen from the space shuttle.

On this hike we found a tiny, tiny water fall (it’s so tiny you can’t even see it in this picture below).


There’s something weird about her right hand in this photo

Something tells me we should go this way.


Look quickly down


We saw recent bear scratches on a tree.


“I was here”, Bear.

We found treasures old and new; and we did it tired.

There was no poop on that tire, Voxpops

There was no poop on that tire, Voxpops


This old 1939 Ford needs to be re-tired

If Sandy B had been driving that truck, it never would have gotten stuck.  Sandy B can drive anywhere.

On this hike we had home of Brown; canyon down; WWWH; listen good; and X marks the spot.  So we moved some rocks, reorganized some more rocks, and repositioned a few more rocks.

No treasure chest.

We had a very fun trip; and we saw some amazing sites.  And we are getting closer and closer to the treasure chest.

Golden Retrievers and Sandy B-



53 thoughts on “Mountain Warrior Women’s Wicked Weekend…

  1. Are all the pics from the same trip? Snow in some pics, no snow in others? Maybe different elevations.

    Ken (in Texas)

    • Ken, all the pictures were from the same trip Thanksgiving week. We rendezvoused in the Taos area mid day Monday. Just our luck there was a big storm that started as rain and turned to snow overnight at about the 7000′ level. We searched our first day in a downpour. The summer than was seemingly never going to end, ended in style!

  2. ECWatersing… I like that and know the feeling! The great thing about Forrest’s poem is that almost anything you see hiking can fit the clues.

  3. Now this is a very entertaining post! I chuckled throughout – love your senses of humor.

    You may be close. I was thinking about your photo of ‘finger rock,’ and from a certain perspective, it could signify Forrest’s salute to academia 🙂 . Just having fun… A great write-up.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. The Golden Retrievers and Sandy B. definitely have what it takes to get the job done ! It looks like everyone was enjoying the trip. Fun times and great photos to keep the memories close…Thanks for sharing and good luck in the future.

  5. Two wild and crazy girls having fun in the mud in a magical forest turns into a hot time in the ole town at night. No place for the meek, with you two, from the sound of it. Thanks for the entertainment ladies.

  6. Thanks for sharing – Sounds like you had a “Rocky” trip at times.

    Lovely pictures – Have a GREAT day – JDA

  7. Poor Sandy B, its a good thing she has Golden R with that attention span. But I bet she was just makin sure she was lookin quickly down from the blaze from all possible angles and marvel gazing in all directions. Maybe Golden R forgot what it’s like to be young and be running around all the time. : )

  8. Loved your story…very entertaining. It’s so awesome you ladies met and shared such an adventure. For me, this is what the Thrill of the Chase is all about…having fun in the outdoors. I loved the pictures, too. Hope you both continue searching and join us at Fennboree 2017.

    • Any ideas when Fennboree 2017 will be held? Will it be around the time of “The Lure” release? I was asked to make camping reservations the weekend following Memorial Day. This was the same reason I wasn’t able to go last year.

    • Cynthia, I loved Fennboree 2016. I’m trying to talk Sandy B into coming in 2017. Sandy B would LOVE meeting everyone as much as I did!

      • Are you all from Denver? I was just out in Colorado last weekend for a quick search. Weather was great.

        • @Jennifer Guidry: GR lives in the Denver area, I Iive in Durango. We got in touch via the blog since we have similar/identical search areas, met in person mid-November, joined forces Thanksgiving week. Give a shout if you’re in the area again.

  9. Great story, I was enjoying it all until I seen the snow. YUK!!!! I was glad to see you ladies had fun and enjoyed the time in the Rockies.
    Be safe, that’s first. Some people are gun shy and if they hear a noise they will pull the trigger. Glad you stayed away from there.
    Good luck on future trips and it’s always safety 1st…

    • Timothy, A little snow makes everything look like a fairy-land. And snow is fun because you can see animal tracks. It’s fun knowing what animal just walked thru there.

  10. Dear SB and GR,
    I hate to tell you, but that white stuff ain’t mud. A starving mountain lion was tracking you. She and her two kittens live there at finger mountain. After seeing your sandwich they decided they weren’t hungry after all. You girls were having a great time, but you got a little smashed on Coronas. Maybe that’s why you kept calling me Snakecharmer. f

      • pdenver…we are not allowed to divulge the true identity of our guest. I will say that he also doesn’t like dry cheese and bread sandwiches.

        • I must have missed the fact of your mystery guest’s dislike for dry cheese and bread sandwiches. I do appreciate your response to the Snakecharmer. 🙂

    • Mr. Fenn (Snakecharmer), It takes a lot of Coronas to wash down a sandwich like that.

    • Mr. Fenn,

      You are an exploration expert, so may I ask, is it alright to explore unfenced private property or does one need to seek out the owner for permission? What is the protocol in the great Western US?

      These two adventurers has such a great time! Any land owner would have to be a real stick in the mud (or “white mud” head) to turn them down.

      Thanks in advance for some words of wisdom!

      • …had such a great time…
        (I’m not that illiterate – qwerty, fat fingers and spell check failure made me do it!)

      • Just last week I was walking the river bank (river is low now too) and a land owner was upset with me for trespassing. He said he owns to the middle of the river!! I think the Government took water way rights away from land owners back in the 1930’s??!!

    • Dear Mr. Fenn,
      Thank you for your comments and observations. I caught a glimpse of that hungry Cougar and her cubs…they were magnificent! I’m so glad to know that my sandwiches are a Puma deterrent…I will remember that for future expeditions. I believe we are lucky that Gyrl decided we weren’t the quarry she was after.
      I’ll be sure to watch the Coronas more carefully in the future – thanks for the advice. Best to stay out of the mud…we got a bad tip and followed it – good thing that Xterra drives itself for the most part.
      Regards…Sandy B.

  11. Great pictures. Love the rock formation giving you the finger and the arrow pointing the way. Amazing that you could find so many crazy things in one place.

    • Spoon, You summarized our trip exactly. How could there be so many crazy things in one place? There were additional crazy things that we were laughing so hard we forgot to take pictures.

  12. Golden Retrievers and Sandy B, I like how you suggested everyone search Montana, Wyoming and Colorado in the spring, but not mention New Mexico. 😉

  13. These photos are fantastic. I had the pleasure of meeting Sandy B on the trail once. You folks better watch out. She’s a dedicated searcher and won’t stop till she finds that thing 🙂

    • Jake, You’re so funny. You should join us on our next search. I know we’d get some crazy pictures if you’re with us!

        • @Jake – we named that old truck “Bullet III”. It’s missing a few parts…but could be a fixer upper LOL.

    • @23 Kachinas – love the website link. I want to look into the trailer idea further…at my age glamping is sounding better and better all the time. I usually camp at least March thru November, but this trip we splurged (or at least I did) for the Sagebrush Inn. It’s my favorite in Taos…old SW adobe style, very historic, awesome breakfast buffet, nice artwork, fireplaces everywhere including your room (channeling FF and his pinyon fire), lovely hot tub and a great base camp when it’s snowing. And how can you go wrong with free self parking? It was also nice to have a place to spread out our maps and make sandwiches. Good times.

      • When I’m not in a tent: I LOVE the Sagebrush Inn. I have gotten so lazy that: for camping I bought an “Instant” tent. Ha ha – I can set it up in like 30 seconds.

        • GR, that is funny. That’s what I call the Xterra…my tent in a can. Just add Coronas and you’re set.

  14. Sandy B. and Golden Retrievers – Thanks for sharing the photos and the adventure! I sure hope you two keep searching NM as well.

  15. Thanks for the entertainment gals! That’s my ki d of trip. I appreciate all of the pictures, especially the one with the red line. Glad y’all are safe.

  16. Sandy B & GR
    you said, “we hope it encourages you to… (in Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado) next spring.”
    Does this mean that you guys/gals won’t rest until you’ve turned over every rock in NM?

    • TCM9Cs: As long as it is 66,000 links north of Santa Fe, it’s fair game in my book. Snakecharmer says: “In case of emergency, break glass…that’s how we know it’s in New Mexico”. Kind of an inside joke that only those of us traveling the highways and byways of New Mexico truly can appreciate, LOL.

  17. Golden Retrievers and Sandy B, Thanks for sharing your search. I enjoyed your sense of humor and the photos of the neat rock formations. You two sound like a fun group to search with, truly enjoying the thrill of the chase and not just the treasure chest.
    Good luck on your journeys, looking forward to reading your next adventure.

  18. It looked like in photos there were elements of Fenn stuff. One of the early photos has a horseshoe shape on it and another photo has what looks like a bell at the base of a rock formation. It looks like a Fenn environment.

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