A Method to the Madness…Finding WWWH

by Cynthia


Forrest has stated many times: “Start at the beginning so figure out WWWH.” Or simply, “Start at where warm waters halt.” Followed by “WWWH is the hardest part of the poem to figure out.” Yes, Forrest…we understand. Any searcher who has placed their feet on the ground traipsing from their parked car to what they think might be a good solve for where their warm waters halt , understands. I doubt if any of us know for sure if they are one of the searchers who knowingly, or unknowingly, was within 200 feet of his treasure. I’m in that boat…and I feel like I’m sinking fast.

Like many of you wiling away the days until the snow melts, re-reading TTOTC for the hundredth time, and trying to sleep while Fenn’s poem loops through your head, I wondered if there is an easier way to find a warm water spring that is not indicated as “warm” on a map. One of the conundrums I’ve noticed since the Little Girl from India appeared on MW is that since she can solve the first two clues and WWWH is probably one of the first two clues, then doesn’t that mean “it” (the warm waters) has to be identified on her map? Here is a picture of a section of the map and spring just upstream from the Red River Fish Hatchery near Questa, New Mexico. This is my story…to prove my point, maybe.

I am a map person. I have always loved road maps. When we, my family, traveled by car over 50 years ago (as interstates were still being built), I was the kid in the back seat holding the road map, squished in the middle between a brother and sister who honestly didn’t care about maps, or where we were going. They were idiots, I thought at the time.

How can a person not care where they are going and not be anxious with anticipation of what is just around the next bend? I always kept an eye on where we were to make sure my dad didn’t miss a turn…he never did…he was born with a “compass in his nose”, so to speak, and I think, luckily, I inherited the same gene. Now my entire wall is covered in large National Forest maps, and I couldn’t wait to head north to one of them, where the springs are marked by small circles, no names attached.

Saturday, Feb 4th started off just as the weatherman predicted…sunny, blue, cloudless skies with temperatures to reach the low 60’s in Albuquerque, unseasonably warm for this time of year. Molly and I hit the road…it was time to put my theory to test. I thought it might be easiest to find a warm water spring in the winter when the creek banks are snow covered. If a spring had warm water, the snow should be melted around it, right, making it easier to spot? While researching fishing spots in New Mexico, I had read that the lower portion of the Red River is popular in the winter-time because the springs above the fish hatchery helped keep the water warmer there than in other fishing places. So by deduction, I assumed that at least one of the two springs I circled on the map had warm water.

The ride up through Santa Fe, Espanola, and Taos was uneventful. It was the weekend and, despite the beautiful day, there was little traffic. I had been to the Red River Fish Hatchery 4 years ago. I smiled as I remembered my first honest to goodness boots-on-the ground search…. I was such a rookie back then. I thought I had nailed Fenn’s location and the poem would be pretty easy to follow to the loot! (I hope you all are smiling as you read this.) Boy, was I ever wrong!

Today’s search was different…I wasn’t in a quest to find Fenn’s trove but to find the little circle on my map marking a spring. I was searching for where the warm waters halt…

I parked at the far end of the hatchery, hoping no one would notice the empty truck sitting there unattended, with no one visibly walking amongst the various tanks of fish. Molly strolled freely while I snapped a few photos. Then I grabbed her leash and steered her to the path along the privacy fence, containing the off-limit properties to folks like me. We moved rapidly along the path of footprints in the snow, quiet, stealth-like, hoping no one would notice us.

The end of the path led to this property, a private residence surrounded by more fence. It looked like a lovely vacation home, or week-end retreat. A sign said “Beware of dog”. I laughed, and whistled…I wanted to see the dog. None showed up.

The narrow path now opened up into an old road. It was still partly snow covered, and where the snow had melted, the slick mud made the walking messy. But, when you are a Fenn treasure hunter, the condition of the trail does not matter. I dismissed the thought of Molly’s muddy feet and my disgustingly muddy hiking boots inside the clean truck later. We were on a mission…I couldn’t let it matter.

Within 10 mins or so we came upon a footbridge crossing the river. The snow looked quite deep on the other bank where most of its days were spent in quiet shade. There didn’t appear to be a path upstream on that side…we’d check it out on the way back.

In another 5 minutes or so I could see a spot of tiny green leaves peeking through the brush along the river. I knew it had to be the warm spring.

We carefully made our way down the short embankment to the green vegetation growing in the water there. The water trickling from the mouth of the spring was tepid, not nearly as warm as I had anticipated. But it was warmer than the river water…does this count? I didn’t know.

I poked around in the spring’s brush while Molly poked around the edge of the river. I was sort of disappointed but felt I proved a point, sort of. The snow had already mostly melted on the sunny side of the river, but the green vegetation growing in the tepid water did help identify the “warm” spring before I got to it, and I didn’t really need to touch the water to know it was “warm”. But mostly this supports my theory that the place where the warm waters halt can be marked on Little Indy’s map, but still not be identified as such. I mean, yes, you know it’s a spring, but there are a gazillion springs in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, so you have to solve the poem to identify where the right one lies; hence Forrest saying, “WWWH is the hardest part of the poem to figure out.” Capiche?

After a few more photos of the spring, we headed back to check out the footbridge before hitting the parking lot. Along the way, I noticed a few things I wanted to mention to someone…(please don’t mention this to other searchers, insert smiley face here.)

Look at this next picture. Notice how the sunny side of the river is desert-like with its rocky, sagebrush covered terrain, but the shady side has more trees and is more mountain- like. Is this why Forrest sometimes says “walk out into the desert…” and other times says ”in the mountains…”? This place looked like both.

And although I don’t think this particular section of the canyon is where Fenn’s treasure chest is hidden, I think it is “like” the place where it “could” be hidden. The spring was maybe, at the most, a half mile from the parking lot at the hatchery. Look at the path…easy, not dangerous. Take your kids and let them play in the water. No wild animals to eat them, you, or your dog. This is CNF land…so not private property as long as you don’t jump that fence. No one pointing a gun in your face because you are trespassing on their land. The road to the hatchery is open all year long since fishermen fish the river year round. (Remember, Fenn originally thought he was going to die where he hid the chest. Would he limit it to a seasonal place…one where the roads were closed due to snow for 4 months a year?) And, it’s not a busy place crawling with people, but there might be an occasional passer-by, especially if it was summer.

If any readers are freaking out now because I gave away their solve, relax. This particular stretch of canyon was written about and searched to death 4 or 5 years ago. I didn’t discover it … some earlier searchers used the tailing ponds and Pope Lake as their solutions. I prefer using an actual warm spring as my warm water. But, IMO, this is not the right one.

By the time we reached the truck, it was after 1:00 but still enough daylight to drive into the town of Red River and continue our exploration of the river itself. As I approached the Moly Mine on Rt38, I stared at the movement ahead… Holy smokes, after dozens of times driving through this area, I was finally going to see the mountain sheep. I parked along my side of the highway, turned off the engine, and watched, and took photos, and watched some more. I was in awe… Molly was not. After a quick glance, she curled up in the passenger seat and took a nap.

I hated leaving the sheep but had an agenda I wanted to finish. So on we went…into the town of Red River, a sleepy little old western ski town, a dot on the northern stretch of the Enchanted Circle.

I made our usual stop at the City Park, a dog-friendly place with dog-friendly accessories, namely poop bags and a trash can to put them in. Molly wandered aimlessly whereever her nose took her, dragging her leash behind her with nose on the ground on the scent of those noisy squirrels. Molly LOVES squirrels…coming here is a treat…we do not have squirrels at home. I used this time to call Michelle and see if she’d look on the Red River city webcam to

see if she could see us. She saw the truck and we discovered there is about a 20 second delay. Why does any of this matter? It doesn’t…but with Michelle directing me to point to align my arm in a direct path to the web camera, I found where it is located. On a pole above the Town Hall building. See the arrows pointing to it in the second picture below. (Slurbs, that black arrow is for you, my dear friend…I want all color-blind searchers to see what I see!)

We continued east on Main Street at the far end of town, going straight where the main road Hwy 38 bore off to the left. Even though this stretch followed the Red River, there was soon so much snow, I knew we would not be hiking to find any more warm water springs.

We did continue to the end of Rt 578, and I stopped to take an occasional picture or 12. I was amazed at the snow depth where the plows made snow banks along the pavement that were 8 feet high. It was a beautiful valley, even more so this day with the snow-covered terrain.

On the way back through Red River, we stopped at the Dairy Bar for a bite to eat. Then mosied on home the 3 hours or so it takes to make the drive.

If you’d like to see more pictures of our day, click on this link:

If you looked at the pictures, you can see the snow is really deep when you approach the end of Rt 578. This is where so many good trailheads begin, trails we used to backpack up to Lost Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Middle Fork Lake, Wheeler Peak the long way many years ago, trails that take fishermen to their special places. Might there be warm water springs along any of these trails or forks of the Red? I don’t know…there aren’t any tiny circles on my map. Will I hike these trails, walk along these streams, search for Fenn’s treasure here? Probably. Will I wait until May when the snow has melted from the last shady spot on these trails? Hardly! I will pack my snow shoes the next trip!

Cynthia and Molly…

157 thoughts on “A Method to the Madness…Finding WWWH

  1. Always interesting to find write ups of places I’ve been. When I tried to get to where you circled I couldn’t make even in good weather to much thick brush along the river. Heres something that not a lot discover, those springs come from a aquifer that is directly under those tailing ponds. What stupidity is it to put mine tailing ponds on an aquifer?

    • Something else that I thought when I looked at one of my maps of the area, along those lines… what kind of sense does it make to put a fish hatchery downstream from those tailings ponds? That is, how much nasty stuff leaches into the river from the ponds, and what effect does it have on the young fish? Doesn’t make much sense to me. 🙁

      I did enjoy reading about your and Molly’s adventure though, Cynthia, thank you for sharing it.

  2. Enjoyed your story and photos, Cynthia. Lost Lake reminds me of Mr. Fenn’s scrapbook, “Lost My Spot.”

    • pd, I think Lost Lake looks more like the lake in SB126 Personality Galore, with the floating hat and a guy named Dither. But then the high alpine lakes in the mountains above Taos all look alike. Didn’t someone identify the lake in the picture in SB126? Is it Williams Lake?

        • Thanks for sharing Lady Bug.

          Neat solve for sure. I dint think any

          searcher’s boats are sinking.
          As I have commented to you before ,
          I feel no one is really wrong . Just their imagination leads them to what ever they are looking for .

          Only My opinion.

          ” Where are the treasures wise Sir?
          he replied ” Where ever you may find them .”

      • Hi Cynthia — that lake in SB126 was Stella Lake in Nevada near Wheeler Peak. Dal left-right reversed the image to make it harder to identify.

  3. Thanks for sharing Cynthia – lovely story and great pictures. I especially liked the Mountain Sheep – Thanks for sharing. JDA

  4. Thanks Cindy, you know that I always enjoy reading about your adventures and your photos are awesome!


  5. Cynthia,
    I love your searches. I could read them and put myself in the spot that i am looking at. Some day we will have to talk. You have been my one source that got me into this 31/2 years ago. I have been pondering something that “f” said not to long ago about private property. In a interview he was talking to the radio person about the legalities to the Chase. Forrest did say one thing that caught me of guard. He said and I hope i’m close, What if there is no legal problems to the person who finds the TC? It has me wondering if he hide it on private property the only way he could do that without legal problems would be if he hid a different small box and inside a note that tells you to come to his house to pick up Indulgence. It would also work on all other government properties of the forest. I know that Forrest said that it is out there waiting for the right person but for him to say what if there is no legal issues really struck me odd. I’m on my 4th or 5th botg from Chicago Il. and I am loving it.
    Your thoughts please…. I really listen to you and Dal and I have the utmost respect for the 2 of you…
    Please be safe out there, you know papa (Forrest) said to wait until the snow is gone before you start searching!!!

    • Timothy, Thank you. I do know the quote you are talking about…I thought it came from his CBS Sunday morning interview with Barry Petersen, the on-line interview. Regardless, I like National Forest lands as holding the loot; seem to be the least complicated, at least in NM. Here is a supporting quote I have in my notebook of Fenn quotes: “I’ll happily share my national forests with you…” Forrest’s Blog Treasures Galore. But you should go where the clues in the poem take you. However, do NOT trespass on Indian land…I’ve been told they can take your vehicle. Which is a conundrum if you want to search Ponce de Leon Hot Springs in the mountains just south of Taos. It used to be a trust, I think, but is now governed by the Taos Pueblo. I ran into the head of their Tribal Council once when I was “visiting” the area. He was a very nice guy but told me not to cross any of the fences. The public is only allowed on the trail to the hot springs. I briefly contemplated telling him about Fenn and his hidden treasure, then decided against it. He did tell me he’d take me hiking to the lookout above the hot springs, but we never went. Wherever the chest is hidden, remember “But tarry scant with marvel gaze…” So who knows what kind of land the trove is on? Grab it and run!

      I quasi-searched in the mountains north of Taos yesterday. Snow is so frigging deep…but the ride was beautiful and worth the effort.

      • Cynthia,
        Thanks for taking time to respond. Just like you I can’t sleep much because my mind is “always on the Poem”.
        I do not gist about you and Dal being my guiding light. If it’s not me finding Indulgance then I hope that it will be you. I would like to talk further about about N.M. sometime but not on the blog…
        Best wishes to you and Molly and please keep on being as safe as you always are. It would really bother me if either of you were hurt. I am a lover of dogs and my Boston Terrier is so spoiled that she expect something from me even if I just go get the mail… But she is a female ;-))

  6. Cindy,

    Thanks for sharing. I think Master Fenn likes you a lot and you may be one of the persons that has come within 200-500 feet of the treasure. I have a couple of comments. Do you remember the Spanish couple that submitted their solve in Spanish on HOD? They noticed something that I had also noticed in their research for the treasure. The capitalized “S” on the back page of the Map in TFTW matches up perfectly with New Mexico border. This is important for 2 reasons, one there is a missing “s” from the word answer in the poem. I believe the “missing S” was not a mistake but is a hint to focus on the S shown from the backpage. The spanish couple also took notice of Fenn’s statement the he declined to put an X on the map but is there in “Spirit”. Again, a reference to “S” that lines up with the New Mexican border. I believe this area to be a high probability area for the “treasure zone”. If I had your time and knowledge, I would come up with my best solve in that area.

    Happy Hunting!

    • Mike, thanks for your info. I don’t remember the story in Spanish, probably because I don’t speak or read Spanish. I just now held up the map to the light so could see exactly where the block with the S shines through. It looks like the Hopewell Lake, Tres Piedras area. It’s beautiful there, and I did many searches covering A LOT of square miles with Chris the Math Teacher in that area last July. We didn’t find Fenn’s chest so it still could be there. You know, Fenn didn’t need to put an X on that map because there already is one: new meXico. Ha. But that still doesn’t narrow down the search area, much.

      • Cynthia,

        It sounds like you are one step ahead of me and didn’t need my advice. 🙂

        The only other comment that I would make is that when you begin with “Begin it where warm waters halt”. You are skipping the the entire 1st stanza. A lot of people on this website think that’s the proper method, but I would disagree. I find it hard to believe Fenn would write an entire Stanza without a clue especially since he says almost all words are helpful in finding the treasure, so skipping 4 lines and a full stanza seems extremely risky.. But who knows. All 9 clues could be derived from a single “key” word in the poem or the last stanza. And we’ll never know until the Treasure is found or Fenn decides to throw us some pearls (with some real shine to them, none of this “its wet stuff”)… LOL


        • Mike;

          I am in the camp that says Stanza #1 = the first clue.

          I also believe that the physical search begins with “Begin it wwwh and take it…” So, I have no problem with someone saying that their quest begins at wwwh.

          For me every stanza is needed, almost every single word. The quest is not over until ALL stanza’s. lines, and words have been used correctly…but that is just me. Others may differ. JDA

          • JDA,

            Interesting. I have read your comments and understand your search efforts. I know you have spent a considerable amount of time in your search area, which is little confusing to me. When I go to search, I know exactly what I searching for when I go to the hidey space. If you go out and are still searching for the blaze (or your last clue), then I submit that you not solved the poem. Howvever, if you have identified your last clue (say a specific petroglyph) and you spend your time looking for that specific thing. (then you have solved the poem) . What’s my point? You should be able to search your search area in a matter of hours, not days or weeks…. You get an A for effort. But I like the idea of doing a “search sweep” in hours, not days. I believe there is a lot of precision to Fenn’s poem once solved.


          • In the book, he mentions going alone into the cemetery as a youngin. Is it possible that the very first line is the same location as WWWH or at least one of the 9 clues?

          • Rio Arriba in loose Spanish is river above. My solve starts in Rio Arriba county but dosen’t refer to clouds condensing, as much as a still distilling. Y is it… WH is key. Be Gin.

          • I was confused with your when you said your would “start” at WWWH I thought you meant you were going to start with WWWH.

      • Sorry Cynthia. I posted my comment about the X before reading your post saying the same thing.

  7. Thanks Cynthia & Molly for not finding the treasure.
    You are one of the very few searchers that persuade me to look in NM.

    • I read Jake’s post differently. I read it as Jake has thought about it, due to Cynthias adventures, but NO, I do not think that Jake would ever leave Montana as a search area.. He has said that he might even move to Bozeman. Just my opinion – Jake can speak for himself – JDA

      • JDA – My question to Jake was in jest. I realize that he is as unlikely to leave MT as you are the Wood River in WY. 🙂

  8. Cindy, love the photos and story of your adventure and I like your theory about the warm spring… But please be careful out there going so early and by yourself!!! I know I know Molly is with you so your not alone 🙂

  9. I always enjoy your stories, Cynthia. Whenever I am up in the Red River area I always like to stop and sit at the fish hatchery, down stream at the picnic tables. Maybe next time I will go up stream to the spring.

  10. I just started on this quest last Oct. and can not believe that no one that has read the book that didn’t see the clues.
    I have seen the blaze but did not find the treasure=I found the blaze and as much as I could did not find anything else but because of health problems I could not even think right because of the altitude, I have only 1 lung-cancer crap.
    I returned to NC and read the book again and found the 2 clues that point to it and it is in a hot water spring at a spot that is pointed out in the book..
    When you figure out Catcher in the rye and cats like socks on a line and how they relate you might get close

  11. Great story and hiking pics Cynthia. Re: “Remember Fenn originally thought he was going to die where he hid the chest.”

    Maybe he originally thought he would own/live in close proximity to the piece of property where he hid his treasure?

    Personally, I don’t like to think about Forrest being gone because I have a few important questions I’ve never asked of him.

    • SL-

      Thanks for sharing! You have great insight in the Flyer. In your attached article, what is JD Salinger referring to when he refers to “it”, particularly at the end of the excerpt.

      Much Gratitude!

      • It’s a quote from Catcher in the Rye. Holden is having a bit of an existential crisis and his old teacher, Mr. Antolini, is attempting to tell him that it’ll get better (Holden is still a teen). The “it” here that he refers to is how people learn from each other, and the different ways in which that happens. “It” is the human condition in which we all find ourselves, and are all confused by.

        It’s a great quote, but, you should also know the teacher is drunk when he gave it, and later tries to make a pass at Holden. So, there’s that (another theme of the book is that people are morally bankrupt).

        Here is something that Mr. Antolini wrote on a piece of paper and gave to Holden, which Holden kept:

        “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.”

        I will say, that quote is probably one Forrest would want to share with people.

        • JP –

          Brilliant. Very insightful! I still think you were a little hard on Andrew Briggs (unfairly), but that a discussion for another day…

          Maybe there is a connection between Salinger’s “it” and Forrest’s “it”.


          • Thanks Mike. Regarding Briggs, I dunno, maybe. Certainly wasn’t the intent. He does, to date, have the honor of being the only person Forrest has said has “got a lot of it figured out… maybe.”

  12. Thank you for think of me (and the other color-blind folk), Cynthia. The black arrow is much appreciated. Us color-blind folk aren’t really blind to color as the title alludes. We are typically color defficient in how we perceive color. Very few people see in only black and white, but your arrow color helps 🙂 I wish you Happy Hunting. I like your post and I love all of the areas you went to too. I’m surprised you didn’t think about the layers of the Chase being like an onion. You’d have landed up at Cebolla Mesa. If you head back there you would have a different vantage point of the fish hatchery area… And you’d see a trail leading into the canyon down. Watch out for mud and cats. Also take note, dogs encountered in the area warned me to keep away from them. I thought I was going to have to pull out some hand to hand combat moves on the head of the pack. Be careful out there and if you want a sort of guide around Cebolla Mesa, here I be. 🙂

    • I am like you, color deficient. I see colors, but not the same as others. Pastels give me the most trouble. I had a teacher in High School that was black and white color blind. He came in wearing some strange color combinations on occasion.

    • Thanks, Slurbs, for the advise. I have been back to Cebolla Mesa and hiked down the trail to the river there. I’ve also hiked down from La Junta Point on the other side of the Red River to the confluence of the Red and Rio Grande. Also hiked the loop in the gorge to Big and Little Arsenic Springs. I’m done searching any place along the Rio Grande since I’ve done it ALL and now I’m tired (of that area.) I’ve heard of other searchers encountering wild dog packs…that would be scary.

  13. Hi Cynthia –

    I know I mentioned this to you before in regards to Ponce DLS. Did you get a chance to walk out past the cement pools? Di yu go out to the actual spring?

    There is a group of rocks there and one has a white cross painted on it. I have sent he picture in a newspaper article about the Spring ceremony that is held there.

    To reinforce what you said i don’t think we ever go on Reservation land. There is a lot in these states. The 30 or 40 acres containing the Spring is part of the Taos Pueblo but it’s not reservation land. In 2012 the land was inaccessible altogether. I plan to get out there even if the TC isn’t there.


  14. Cynthia,
    You and Molly make quite the searching team! Love the Red River area and have fished the Red River from the hatchery to the Rio Grande many times! Beautiful Canyon! The Red River was a famous fly fishing spot for large Brown Trout before the mining days. Love Michael’s Kitchen in Taos for breakfast!

  15. …Forrest has stated many times: “Start at the beginning so figure out WWWH.” Or simply, “Start at where warm waters halt.” Followed by “WWWH is the hardest part of the poem to figure out.”…

    Can you please provide the links to where ff said this?

    • Hank, Sorry but I cannot provide the links. I have them in my notebook of FF quotes without the sources listed because when I started searching in 2013, I didn’t know I’d ever need the sources. They might be things he said to me during a visit way back when. However, I sent my story to Forrest before sending it to Dal. I specifically asked him about those quotes and if I could use them in the story. His reply “It’s OK. Dal will post it.” (Meaning it was OK for Dal to post the story.)

      • Honestly Cynthia, I was going to ask the same question.
        Over time, it seems we [ searchers ] tend to take quotes and run them together. I have seen direct quotes that mention … need to know where to start… need to start at the beginning… need to nail down the first clue… without the first clue, stay home etc. etc. [ too many to list and too long of a post to do so ].
        The way you wrote out the wording in “quotes” above seems to have two or more twisted together, imo. Which changes things a lot. The only times I have ‘read’ [ for example ] wwwh is the first clue or we need to start at wwwh, is in interviews with no audio or video and no way for us to verify for accuracy.

        Please don’t think this is a B*tch session… I think it’s very important to have exact correct wording of what fenn actual says… How each interpret or thinks what is being stated… that a horse of a different color.

        Always enjoyed your outing and search stories… even a little jealous that you have the availability to spend so much time enjoying different locations. Again, really enjoy the readings of your travels.

        • Seeker, I agree that wording of Fenn’s quotes is important to know how to interpret them. So when folks write comments on any blogs that Forrest wrote to them such and such in an email, you and me the reader have to decide if you want to believe it is an exact quote/written statement, or not. I take them with a grain of salt, unless I know the individual. The first time I met Forrest face-to-face was at the Too Far to Walk book-signing at Loretto Inn in SF 10/01/2013. The first thing he asked me was about my WWWH. He spoke to the crowd as well. As far as I know, there is no public recording of this event. Sorry. This is why I asked him for permission to post these quotes as annotated in my notebook in this story before sending it to Dal. I wanted to make sure I was not putting something out there that was wrong.

          • Hi Cynthia, you are so lucky to live in that neck of the woods, I think it’s great and I love to see all your photos. I was at the same book signing at The Loretto, sure was fun, there were so many people there.

          • Hello Cynthia, great write-up and pics. I, like others here, am jealous. Not of your proximity to the search area, but of your access to everything the “Land of Enchantment” has to offer!!

            Now, I’m probably going to make you mad……but I’ll take those quotes with a bucket of salt. 🙂

            Forrest has stated many times: “Start at the beginning so figure out WWWH.” Or simply, “Start at where warm waters halt.” Followed by “WWWH is the hardest part of the poem to figure out.”

            Forrest has never said any of those things publicly, at least not ‘many times’.

            I’m pretty sure that if he had, it would have been discussed, ad infinitum, over the 4+ years I’ve been involved in the Chase. I might have missed one or two, if he had been reported as saying such, but I don’t think so.

            I don’t mean to disparage here, so it is quite possible he said those things, many times, to you privately.

            *If anyone can provide a link to where Forrest made any of those quotes, worded exactly as Cynthia presented……I’ll forward funds to Cynthia for a steak dinner!! 🙂

            (no, I won’t eat my hat, Jakester has that covered)

            Cynthia, thanks again for your stories and pictures. They are wonderful!! And, truly, I’m not picking on you…..just making a point.

          • Loco,
            I will eat my britches if WWWH is not the 1st clue.
            Does that make you happy Loco?

            I guess I need something else on the menu.

            I would be willing to bet when the chase started, most folks thought WWWH was the 1st clue & then the failures that followed made them think they were missing something & started complicating things.

            Some may even thought, the end is ever drawing nigh 😉 is the end but cease seems to cap it off.

            From there it’s no place for the meek may not be a place?

            How many times do you need to be put back on track?
            “I would advise new searchers to look for the clues in my poem and try to marry them to a place on a map.”

            “It seems like the longer one thinks about the search the more they complicate the problem.”

            Wasted talent & wasted time adds up to what we have today.

          • Cynthia, as you indicated that you do so also, I believe I’ll take those quotes, as worded, with a bucket of salt! 🙂

            Forrest has stated many times: “Start at the beginning so figure out WWWH.” Or simply, “Start at where warm waters halt.” Followed by “WWWH is the hardest part of the poem to figure out.”

            —- I don’t think he has ever stated any of these publicly…..loco 🙂

            (I sent another comment, but it is off in la-la land, somewhere. This is abbreviated version)

          • Cynthia,
            Nice story as always, but after reading your responses to Seeker and Loco, I’m still a little confused about the quotes you’ve posted here. These three quotes are all just different ways of saying that you better concentrate on WWWH above all else. Many of us probably don’t need that advice but still…your quotes lend extra emphasis to the importance of WWWH if not actually stating this is the first clue. You’ve implied that F acknowledges these statements in a round-about way (giving you permission to post) but did he unequivocally verify that he made these exact statements to you in the past? Do you stand by these quotes as Forrest verified facts or are you saying that you are taking these three quotes “with a grain of salt”?

        • Cynthia,
          One of the reasons I talk about fenn’s quotes is… I don’t save them. I normally look them up to review or for an accurate quote for a posting. However, when I started to look into quotes about the first two clues from many moons in the past to the present, I was finding miss wording quotes of others more than actual quotes from fenn.

          Maybe that is due to my many searches on FF’s quotes, and my search engine picks out many other comments that others have stated…Idk. {side note; that is why I appreciate guys like Loco who always kept me honest, and JCM for his hard work collecting all of fenn’s comments and making them available …{1st and second hand.}

          Psssss. between you and me, I think wwwh is the first “clue.” ~ shhh!
          I’m just not sure if it’s ~ the need to know where to begin ~ or ~ need to know where to start.

          • To Seeker and Locolobo regarding Fenn quotes vs non-useable quotes. I don’t want to belabor this point but… As most Fenn treasure searchers know, Forrest 4 to 6 years ago met hundreds of people personally at the bookstore, at Downtown Subscription, and even invited many to his home. Some of these people have mentioned on the blogs that often the first thing he asks you is about your WWWH. I imagine he really gets/got a kick out of hearing our ideas of what and where wwwh is. Are we, them, me supposed to disregard his comments to our faces because the conversation is not recorded? Because he didn’t say it “publicly?” If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Sure it does, and so did Forrest, to hundreds of individuals. I think I understand that you, Seeker, (and probably many others) keep track of ff’s “publicly” recorded statements as well as those that are “hear-say” and may be or may not be actual statements made by Fenn. That is the method I use as well.

            Locolobo, You said “I don’t think he has ever stated any of these publicly”, so you will take them with a grain of salt. I’m not insulted in the least that you feel this way. I’d do the same. I did my best trying to confirm their accuracy by getting Ff’s approval prior to posting this story. And he said “It’s OK…”

          • Colorkidd, Our comments regarding the quotes passed each other. I am saying that Forrest said these three quotes to me face-to-face. I agree that they hold nothing new…they just confirm what he has been saying all along about the importance of finding wwwh. (Hence, my story about finding one particular wwwh to prove a point about the ease of finding them in the wintertime).

            I did say that I take some un-substantiated Fenn “quotes” by folks I don’t know “with a grain of salt”, and I am not insulted by those that prefer to do the same with mine.

          • It is great that some folks have chronicled the massive amount of Fenn quotes and statements from the beginning of the Chase. It is a good source as a reminder…but I personally think that the majority of them are obsolete and not necessary to move forward and solve his poem…and ultimately find that dang Treasure. Six or seven years have gone by…and all of those quotes have not really done one bit of good(IMO). Yeah…it is a distinct possibility that Fenn has tossed a few hidden hints around with his SB and other fun things he shares…but that remains to be seen. THE POEM, TTOTC, a GOOD MAP, and/or GE are going to be what solves this thing.

          • But Ken-
            The poem, the book and the good maps have been around since the beginning as well and so far those tools have not led to the chest either…
            I suspect that it’s a matter of the “correct” implementation of the tools…knowing not only which ones to use but also how to use them that will lead someone to the chest…

          • Good point Dal…as usual you get right to it. As THE ORIGINAL suggested tools that Fenn himself offered up…I would defer to them as the BEST sources to solve this thing. All other stuff…is just that…stuff. Just my take on it….

          • Ken ~”It is a good source as a reminder…but I personally think that the majority of them are obsolete and not necessary to move forward and solve his poem…and ultimately find that dang Treasure. Six or seven years have gone by…and all of those quotes have not really done one bit of good(IMO).

            While I can’t agree fenn’s quotes are obsolete.. some are years old.. But without the older comments would the newer ones make sense?
            My example is; fenn repeats the need to nail down the first clue… At first many / a majority thought that was all we needed to do, decipher the first clue and we’re golden. Then came the first two clue[s] comments [some of those comments are several months and more than a year apart] and the most recent, the one and only ~ first 4 clue comment.

            Do we dismiss the “first clue needed to be nailed down” comment, even though fenn himself had stated it was deciphered? Is it really obsolete?
            Then there are others comments, such as; need to know where to start or need to start at the beginning… but never a mention of wwwh with then by fenn. Are those just another way of saying WWWH is the first clue and where we start, like many “hope” it actually means?
            Or is it another piece of information [ stated over the years ] to say possibly; where to start is the place you “find” the clues?

            I [ imo ] think…as fenn has stated… there are many where warm waters halt in the RM’s… picking one, is nothing more than a dart toss at a map… maybe what fenn was implying is, we need to know where the correct wwh by knowing where we begin at a specific location. No dart throwing at all those many wwh, even IF it might be the first actual “clue” to follow.

            I mean, if we listed all the simple ideas searcher had over the years [ not specific spots ] for wwh;
            hot spring
            merging waters
            dry basin
            a road
            lake / and yes dam at one time.
            glacier[s] snow cap mountain.
            glacial time period
            etc etc etc.
            Do they tell us that need to know where to start?

            Sorry, but I thought the poem was to ‘lead’ us ‘precisely’… not pick/guess/go on a hunch and choice ‘our’ favorite first clue and run with it.

            BUT, most important… why wasn’t there never a public comment to state what others hope they got right, that wwwh is the first clue and place to start..IF true?

            It’s been a major debate from day one, right??

          • Ken – I would have to agree with Seeker that the comments of f are not obsolete, at least I do not believe the collection that I have compiled is. I consider them timeless; they are specific details for the most part about finding his chest and where it is hidden. There is so much f has said that needs to be thought about and considered that he has said specifically about the chase after his treasure chest. The real power in the comments is combining them together to form ideas and perhaps even ‘rules’ to give guidance in how to find the special spot.

            There are many people who would probably save themselves hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars in travel and botg searching if they correctly know and understand what f has said. Nothing worse than dropping a couple grand and then finding a quote which could have rule out something in that botg solve, which would have pointed a person in a better direction and a better solution.

            For others, nothing worse than spend weeks or months chasing an idea, thinking it is perfect, and then to come across a comment from f that directly rules out that idea. It just sets people back all that time and keeps them from thinking about what might be the correct idea to pursue.

            Anyone can follow this link to where the documents are available.
            There are 10+ pages that can be looked over and read as samples of comments from f that are in the documents. Every time I reread the documents, I learn or pick up something new (and I don’t want to guess how many times I have read through all of them)… I just add those thoughts and incorporate the ideas, which I think are like a piece of a giant jigsaw puzzle that will eventually become understandable, that will eventually spark the right thought that will finally start to reveal the correct understanding for solving the 9 clues in the poem and finding the grand prize.

          • Ken – I would have to agree with Seeker that the comments of f are not obsolete, at least I do not believe the collection that I have compiled is. I consider them timeless; they are specific details for the most part about finding his chest and where it is hidden. There is so much f has said that needs to be thought about and considered that he has said specifically about the chase after his treasure chest. The real power in the comments is combining them together to form ideas and perhaps even ‘rules’ to give guidance in how to find the special spot.

            There are many people who would probably save themselves hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars in travel and botg searching if they correctly know and understand what f has said. Nothing worse than dropping a couple grand and then finding a quote which could have rule out something in that botg solve, which would have pointed a person in a better direction and a better solution.

            For others, nothing worse than spend weeks or months chasing an idea, thinking it is perfect, and then to come across a comment from f that directly rules out that idea. It just sets people back all that time and keeps them from thinking about what might be the correct idea to pursue.

            Anyone can follow this link to where the documents are available.
            There are 10+ pages that can be looked over and read as samples of comments from f that are in the documents.

            Every time I reread the documents, I learn or pick up something new (and I don’t want to guess how many times I have read through all of them)… I just add those thoughts and incorporate the ideas, which I think are like a piece of a giant jigsaw puzzle that will eventually become understandable, that will eventually spark the right thought that will finally start to reveal the correct understanding for solving the 9 clues in the poem and finding the grand prize.

          • JCM

            I have just sent you my fourth email requesting customer support for the products I purchased. Have you gotten the emails, and just do not answer them?


          • Seeker and JCM…
            Your responses are well written and do make sense…to a point. Knowing how Fenn thinks or how we think he thinks may help somewhat…but I will defer to the premise that the tools necessary to solve the poem and FIND the treasure are THE POEM, TTOTC, a GOOD MAP and/or GE. Anything beyond that is just adding to the already mish mash of info floating around out there. Obsolete is probably the wrong word for me to use…overkill, unnecessary, or something along those lines would be more appropriate. Every time more info is added the NOISE gets louder and drowns out the important things. Heck…folks are comparing Quantum physics to how this should be solved…no offense meant guys. Simply put….keeping things basic and using what the doctor prescribed is going to cure this. The mechanics of sorting through all the quotes and statements is just hanging more hoops to jump through. KISS…

          • Ken, [ in parts ]…. emphases noted by ***

            There are a few words in the poem that are not useful in finding the treasure Phil, but it is risky to discount any of them. ***You over simplify the clues. There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe. Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts.*** f 

            No 49, I cannot tell you how many searchers have identified the first clue correctly, but certainly more than several. ***I cannot imagine anyone finding the treasure without first identifying the *starting point,* although many seem to be preoccupied with later clues.*** To me that’s just expensive folly. f

            …when I read the stories of other searchers, I often think that their solutions to the clues tend to be either easy solutions or made out to be very complex and over-thought. Are there any suggestions you would give in approaching the clues and solving them? ~Craig
            Craig, there is no substitute for thinking and planning and observing and looking at maps, ***unless it’s the desire to keep it simple.***f

            I think the problem that searchers make is that they don’t dwell long enough on the ***first clue.***

            Dear Forrest,
            You tell us that we should find “where warm waters halt” before trying to solve any of the other clues. Imagining that we haven’t seen the rest of the poem, and all we have to go on is:
            a. “begin it where warm waters halt” and
            b. “somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe”
            Do you think that we can confidently determine the starting place for your treasure trail? ~ Steve
            No, if all you have to go on are those two clues you cannot proceed with confidence. Look at it this way. If you were making a cake and you left out a few ingredients, would you achieve your goal?

            ~Sorry for the long post, but the point is; I find it interesting that fenn never mentioned wwwh as the first clue or the place to start when given the opportunity… yet many have stated he has mentioned it to them… That’s an oddy in it self, right? My last example is such;

            An important clue
            One thing Fenn will say is that most An important clue
            One thing Fenn will say is that most people are missing the most important clue; “begin it where warm waters halt”. When you solved this clue, he shared, and the others will fall into place. “If you don’t know ‘where warm water halts,’ Fenn said, “you don’t have anything.” It’s not much, but it’s a start. [ note; no video or audio for this interview…]

            Where has fenn stated, ? {verifiable}; When you solved this clue, he shared, and the others will fall into place.*** “If you don’t know ‘where warm water halts,’ Fenn said, “you don’t have anything.” ***???

            All opinions of course… We read ALL these comments in an attempt make sense of them for our solves… however, like this thread above… I have never heard, seen the “quotes” stated the way they are presented, as first hand from fenn.

            That is why after the fact comments should be reviewed carefully… they may help with all those rabbit wholes.

          • Seeker…. I do like all of those quotes and statements…really. I have been loading my dart cannon with them for a number of years and they never seem to have the correct grouping to pinpoint a good bulls eye. I have been hovering over my select area for a long time trying to put the pieces together…the thing is…all of those after statements have led to me not seeing what I should have seen many moons ago. A while back…I erased the memory banks and focused only on what was provided in the POEM and the tidbits offered in TTOTC and started fresh. My MAP collection became much more useful at that point and my search area has shrunken drastically. As it turns out(for me)… that WWWH debacle is VERY clear now and I will just say this…the path is very indirect…but the bulls eye IS there. Here we go…

  16. This is great! What I love most about your posts is all the photos you share. It’s beautiful country out there.

  17. Cynthia’s stories and photos are always a great example of One Searcher being at peace with the Chase and how it pans out in their mind. There is always a sense of direction that just is…and not forced into something that isn’t. Let’s face it folks…wandering around in some of the most magnificent country available…sure beats sitting around waiting to win the Lotto….

    • Thanks, Ken…you are absolutely correct…I wander A LOT. And as I wander (and drive to and fro, I also wonder A LOT.) Some of my most “brilliant” ideas have occurred as I was driving. I get so lost in my thoughts about solving the poem that sometimes I miss my exit. Some times, I even sit around waiting for those Lotto numbers to show up. PB over $300M

      • Cynthia,

        Thanks for your most excellent stories and photos.

        Also, thanks for your revelation of purchasing a lottery ticket. One should never limit one’s possible sources of LUCK. 🙂

      • Hi Cynthia nice picture. Looks like a beautiful place.Like to visit some time.If you are looking for warm waters halt ,then springs are on the move hot or cold must change your thinking and it isn’t the first clue or hint .PS my sister is named Cynthia.thankss

        • Clint, What if the word halt doesn’t mean what the waters (warm springs) do, but where they are? In Spanish, halt means Jara. So what if the warm springs are off the trail 200 feet in La Jara Canyon?

          • cynthia, I speak English very well, and
            have no reason to think that “halt” means
            anything other than “temporarily stop
            moving”. I believe you are “overthinking”
            the poem in this regard. If you arrive at
            a guarded gate, and the guard orders you
            to “Halt!”, what do you do?

            I rest my case.

          • Tighterfocus –

            If you want to get persnickety the warm waters do not halt. The sentence doesn’t end there. The warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down.

            The word you is not implied preceding take and therefore we are lead to conclude that is the waters that then take it in the canyon.

            That’s if you want to get persnickety about what is and isn’t being said.


          • Interesting, SandyB. I believe Mr. Fenn has mentioned opera and “Alto” is a section/range of vocals.

          • Pdenver…I know you like to follow threads. Alto has many interesting definitions that are fun to play with. I like yours.

          • Hello SandyB. Alto definitely has a lot of possibilities. I could visual Canyon of the Yellowstone to qualify a few definitions for that word.

  18. Nice post. I like your method for finding the ‘warm spring’. FF is the king of contradictions. Even though he has said: “Shut your engine off until spring”, the poem says: “Your effort will be worth the cold”. Finding a tepid spring where the water is only a few degrees warmer than the adjacent creek or river water would be much more difficult (or impossible?) during the summer months.


    • Old Clues. Priceless.The original draft of the poem says to me, camp fire ring and bones of bob b qued fixins’ cooked over the campfire.The printed version Effort worth the CHAR COLD… and Brave,…NOT CHICKEN and in the wood .hope you get a chuckle out of this..

  19. Beautiful area. I lived in the Village of Questa for about a year. Check out Cabestro canyon and Midnight, the medows are at about 9500 feet. On my journey to my search spot, I still camp at the “Wild Rivers” area, where the Red River joins the Rio Grande. Look for my red BMW. But caution, the coliche, “muddy clay” , is like snow or ice, and will get your vehicle stuck in a heartbeat. Wait till the sun dries it out mid day.

    • Seattle, Great to hear from you…are you planning on attending Fennboree 2017? I hope so!

      Yes, I’ve been to Cabresto Lake and the drive to the end of Rt134 that runs the length of Cabresto Canyon. Walked to a few of the mines, too. The high meadows are beautiful. Unfortunately, much of this old Keystone Mining District is above 10200, so outside Fenn’s criteria. But it was still a fun place to visit. It was refreshing to find old mines, etc that were still open to anyone who wanted to traipse around them, or enter if they were fools. So many areas anymore are restricted with too many rules. Which is why I love our National Forests, at least in NM. One of the few places I can go alone in there…

  20. Thanks for another great photo essay on your northern New Mexico jaunts. Such beautiful country!

  21. Cynthia, I love the title! We women always have a method to our madness! I enjoy your photographs as well as your descriptive search.

  22. Hi Cynthia –

    Do you think of WWWH as hot springs exclusively?

    Do you mind if I ask how you originally came to believe that? I was not around at the beginning.

    I can tell you why I like hot springs. Forrest said to read the poem out loud and listen to it. I have done that a lot. When I read the line I hear warm water salt. So I began looking at what a salt water reference might mean in the RM north of Sante Fe. I did not realize at first that other people were looking at hit springs for other reasons.

    I would enjoy hearing yoir thinking. As you say it’s the most important clue.


    • Lug, My comment just disappeared so here is a more condensed version. Originally I believed warm waters could be many things as noted by a previous comment, even tears, metaphorically speaking. After Fenn answered Phil on MW “There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe.”, I changed my mind to exclusively believing warm waters is a warm H2O spring. I think that statement eliminated geysers and the confluence of two warm rivers near YNP. I think the wwwh clue has a to be a geological feature to withstand the test of time, not the NAME of one. So what kind of warm water features in the RMs can be mostly north of SF but one or a couple be south of SF?

      On HOD 6/21/2014 FF wrote, ““I’m getting dizzy, will someone please send me an Extra Strength Tylenol. My address is: Forrest Fenn PO Box 8174 Santa Fe, NM 87504 To my knoyledge that’s the only PO Box I have now. The other one I had halted when hot water poured out of my hot water heater onto the cold cement floor.” I think his silly comment referenced his story River Bathing Is Best which you can read free on his website or in his book TFTW. A portion of it says, “Just before the river, there on the right, was a green geyser pool which spilled and spewed a small streamlet of boiling water that ran downhill for about fifty feet and into the cold river. My secret bathing spot – where the hot water tumbled into the stream…
      It was a wonderfully uncivilized pleasure in a remote area where nothing could interrupt the purity of my naked solitude.
      I made that bike ride more than a few times, even though it was somewhat arduous to pedal that far at only one manpower. But it was always worth the effort.” It also goes on to say “My memories of those experiences are so dear to me that I hope in time all of my grandchildren will follow my footprints to that special place.”

      I do like your comment about El Salto Falls, which I explored 3 years ago. It’s on private property so I did not search away from the falls.

      • Oh, Lug, a couple other thoughts. I’m not posting all the exact quotes but we all know ff has said some searchers have solved the first 2 clues and were within 200/500 ft of the treasure, other searchers have been near but didn’t understand the significance of where they were, and others happen by which I translate as non-searchers but hikers, fishermen, etc. So like the warm springs I found in this story which was part of my intent of this story: the spring was marked on my map but not as warm or hot and I headed there, it was not a fluke. Other fenn searchers have searched that canyon but didn’t know the warm water spring was there. Then other people will just occasionally walk by it because it’s along the river where people fish and hike. So I think a spring marked on a map (so the Little Girl in India can find it) but without a name fits all these scenarios. The problem is finding the RIGHT one. And you have to solve the poem, at least the first stanza to find it.

        • Cynthia –

          I think searchers can pick the correct warm waters and begin searching. Some choose the spring as the final spot when it should be the beginning. In that case maybe the whole walk from WWH to TC is 200 or 500 feet.

          Generally I think no one has found the blaze while walking. The blaze gives an indication of where to go and chasers walk on by.


      • I think it was about 20 miles from West Yellowstone.
        His bathing spot.

        Never named the hot spring….

        • Sure! He had fishing spots nine and eleven miles up the Madison. Why not a little further to the bathing spot.


          • Lug;

            You seem to be throwing darts or something else at the wall and hoping something sticks. Splat, splat, splat.

            Why not reason things out instead of just going splat, splat, splat? Just my observation of your three posts in a row here, and your rant of last night.


          • JD –

            I just don’t close myself off to possibilities.

            So far picking one warm waters and one home of Brown hasn’t work for anybody.

            I am always looking at new things as opposed to forever looking at the same thing.

            I have lots of gold stars on the map and I look forward to searching them.


          • Lug;

            Well, good luck to ya’ guy. One star = one star. Forrest says to follow the clues consecutively, How does one star do that? Do you jump from clue to clue, and put a different colored star on your map for each clue, and hope that you get a string of stars, in the right order? Your approach might work for you, but it sure would not work for me.

            I also do not have the funds that it would take to visit 50, or 100 different places in 4 states.

            Just my opinion. JDA

      • I find it funny that the day I visited Forrest his septic tank was backed up..

        If the poem tells you something ff says he will do, you follow that right, well it does, IMHO.

      • Thanks Cynthia –

        The other day I was thinking about places that are special to Forrest. I was looking at the map to see what the western boundary is. I noticed for the first time that Collins is on the map.

        It could just be that Forrest is honoring his mother. But I do wonder if he went to a special place after his mom died. Maybe there is a place up there that is special.


    • Ok…I’ve just gotta jump in on this one or , I.M.O., this damn chest will never get found , I.M.O., other than someone who understands what the hell Forrest is telling us. There are several ways of looking at this one . 1) Forrest said in an older quote, “if you don’t know where to begin , you might as well stay home and play CANASTA. That is an anagram of TANCS A ” Tanks A”. Further, he won the bracelet from Harvey on a POOL TABLE. a pool in Spanish is a tanque. There are arrays of tanks “tanques” in the hills of New Mexico, hence TANQUERAY. BE GIN. There is nothing about a hot spring . It’s where warm waters HAULED. Read into blog 126 ” He spoke with a drawl “……say BWWWH in a drawl. Combime the wordplay on “water ” to ‘watter” as in electricity, and it points in a whole different direction, literally. Bessy’s tail was a fly swatter, p.121 has fly water , and the story about Skippy’s electric flys watter, and him being the general ” General Electric and HE BE GEN” is , I.M.O., obvious. Really? HEBEGEN? I wish more people took a different approach to the clues and quit looking at it in such physical meanings. Hot springs? Yes , they are there, only they are rusty bed springs in the sun. Learn how Forrest thinks, his humor is incredible. But his wit is unbelievable. Please don’t think he’s some old fuddy duddy, remember his mind is like a youngster. And I will let you play the odds on this one . Not Far, 2 words, a-B. but to far to walk, 5 words a-b-c-d-E. Put in below the home of Brown. 7 words. a-b-c-d-e-f-G
      From there it is no place for the weak. 9 letters. a-b-c-d-e-f-g-h-I The end is drawing ever nigh there will be no paddle up your creek.14 words. a-b-c-d-e-f-g-h-i-j-k-l-m-N….Whats that spell people? BEGIN. What are the odds.In my solve, this is where I begin. Tanqueray at the start, Beefeaters at the end. Full circle…. Lord, I think I just gave away the farm, knot.

      • SS: “From there it is no place for the weak. 9 letters. ”
        Actually, it’s: From there it’s no place for the meek”
        8 words, 8th letter: H
        It spells: BEHIN
        Maybe the next letter should be D.
        Doesn’t help me at all when people do this but have fun SS.

  23. Cynthia … Have you ever considered the area near the Tsiping ruins (Tsi-p’in-owinge’), on Pueblo Mesa, southwest of Lake Abiquiu?

    Forrest would never hide the chest on the mesa top, in my opinion, because he would be very respectful of its historical significance, and not wish to disturb anything.. But, he might hide it somewhere within a 1/2 mile of said ruins. I was there last summer and searched the area near the ruins, first on the west side of the mesa, then on the east side. Never made it to my destination because I didn’t realize the condition of road 27 (coming in from the east). But there are some definite local places in that area that line up with specific clues, especially “and listen good”.(line 21).

    Since that adventure, I have moved on to another location that I am far more interested in. Just thought you or another New Mexico searcher might also have been curious about Pueblo Mesa and its prospects for where the chest is hidden.

    Ken (in Texas) 🙂

    • Thanks, Ken, for this info. I have not searched this area, nor visited those ruins. It sounds like a good place to do both. Soon, maybe. Hopefully not as much snow there as the higher elevations.

      • A couple of poem interpretations for this area (1) “hear me” and “listen good” suggest an echo; and there is an outdoor amphitheater just south of the ruins, somewhere.
        (2) with some imagination, the northern wall of Valles Caldera could be thought of as a metaphor for WWWH, with lava as substitute for water,
        (3) there’s an interesting HOB immediately west of Pueblo Mesa.
        Other potential clues also exist in that area.

        I liked that area as a search site because it was close to Forrest’s home , because of the archeology at Tsiping, and because the western slope of mesa has terrific view of the Georgia O’Keefe mountain (C. Pedernal).

        My destination was the amphitheater, but a searcher might need 4WD, which I did not have, coming in from the east,

        You might give that area some thought.


        Ken (in Texas)

  24. Cynthia–
    It’s fun to live inthe Chase through your eyes….

    As a Sherlock Holmes fan, I appreciate your effort to use scientific analysis, but I think the basic premise of “halt” excludes a moving stream. The water may cool, but it certainly doesn’t halt.

    I believe the halt is the result of being frozen. As a scientific plan, I would identify all the mountain peaks reaching at least 10,200 feet elevation. Then I would look at the north face of said peaks, where snow remains year round.

    I’d then look for roads that lead to a peak’s north face, though not all the way to the top. “It” to me is the landmark and doesn’t require physically standing on it. In my scenerio, you position yourself below the peak and gaze downward in a canyon–not far, but you don’t have to walk it.

    Below that peak is HOB, where the road stops or you are paked. Near that is a name that fits “no…meek”. You head down that road/canyon/landscape, etc to it’s end. You see “the blaze” and it leads you to the chest.

    Long winded, but the starting point makes more sense to me. But yours is more fun….

  25. The first stanza is absolutely key. In my solve, Line one set’s up a quick history as to how Forrest came about the location. Line two identifies (although vaguely at first) and line three confirms without question (when looking back at line two) the location. Line four is a referral to something occurring in continuous fashion at the location (sorry, won’t elaborate further).

    • I.M.O. Andy, the first stanza tells us to be careful around the old mine pits. “As I have been alone in there”, refering to his “cock PIT” flying over the East Coast. ” And with my treasures … B OLD ” , I can keep my secrets WARE….
      Be WARE OLD PIT . As Forrest talked alot about olives, old pits rang a bell with me, and wood ‘nt you just know there are old mica pit mines out there, filled with water, that I would not want to fall into . Just a thought.
      Also, IMO, and maybe Dal can help answer this one, Forrest never actually said you have to start at a warm water site. The whole county of Rio Arriba , “meaning river above” translates into where warm water halts, especially in monsoon season. To me, Forrest is a master at making you think one thing, but having a whole different meaning in the end. What I mean is, in the close vicinity of the spot I believe the chest is, are 2 chase lounge chairs, an old rusty set of bed springs in the sun,”hot springs”, a dart board “in DIANA Jones club” ….2 posts for tanning hides,” the fire escape and spanking story ” and an OLD fire ring. Remember Frosty canning Forrest? A big fat hunk of a dirty name, and how the kettles of Brown gravy insulted his senses? Check this out. In Spanish, OLFATO means sense of smell. Word play my friends . Simple word play….I.M.O. of course !

    • Great link! I could go for a slice. My favorite isn’t listed, but the Chocolate Walnut sounds yummy. The New Mexican apple appears to have a kick to it. I wonder if Mr. Fenn has tried it. Quite a few months ago, I watched a video in regards to Pie Town and it was amazing. Thank you, my friend.

    • SL, thanks for sharing the link for Pie Town…I’ve been there several times. I don’t think it’s where warm waters halt, though. I think it’s where the warm fat starts to gather on your butt! There’s got to be lard in those pies! The drive across Hwy 60 from Socorro is also beautiful, and it’s cool to stop and see the VLA (very large array) and listen for aliens (the ones from outer space).

  26. Returning here after a few months’ hiatus, a couple of salutations seem in order before I share the show-and-tell I brought.

    First, Dal, or whoever runs this website, does a remarkably functional interface into the vast trove of data under his management. I go around many websites for various reasons and personal interests. This website is exceptional, excellent in doing what it is for.

    Second, to the topic: I enjoy your photos, Cynthia, and Molly doggy. Thank you very much. Nice writing, too.
    However, I am firmly in the not-NM camp. I haven’t seen anything new or telling in the photos of NM terrain that I haven’t seen many places in and along the Rockies. (Also the Sierras and Cascades, but those are out of bounds of TFTW.)
    I’m about three-quarters in the WY belief and one-quarter of a CO faith.
    My main sense (of Forrest’s frame of glory, and ideal), is focused on the car trips from TX to Yellowstone, in childhood, with family. Along the route were side trips. The possibilities are my intrigue.
    It isn’t clear to me which route was followed heading to Yellowstone. On 1940s roads. I reckon anytime it got to North Platte it jogged west to Denver before continuing north through Cheyenne and Laramie regions. But that’s just me. All along there are magnificent sidetrips of less then 50 miles.

    In the book (and TV) Lonesome Dove one of the principals died on the trail in MT and the others escorted the body back to TX. Somehow I have the impression that Forrest disagreed with that, for having seen both his native TX and the high country in the Rockies he would choose to be left in the spectacular scenery if he died there and not returned to TX. Also, by his airplane affinity, he must appreciate altitude – the big difference between sea level and 5000 ft. and 10000 ft. – preferring the up in lifted-up. Mountain air is hyper-charged.

    Also, in his stories he tells of flying his plane along the Front Range, or through it, such as known around the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and there the bird’s-eye views include a wonder of scenes.
    So I think he was flying one day and he saw “the blaze.”

    And I figure “the blaze” is a play of light in a notch or shaft of a mountain, such as a canyon, where the sun shines at a certain time of day, (rising or setting?), at a certain time of year, (the autumnal equinox?)

    Now comes pictures of what I’m thinking. Here is a photo and a video of it. At Horsetail Falls off of El Captain in Yosemite, for a few days in February, at sunset, with cloudless skies – another prize of pilots.


    • I’ve enjoyed what you’ve posted, Wendi, along with the link. I would love to see this falls in person. Thank you for sharing.

    • Wendi,
      Thanks for commenting and sharing the link to that awesome “blaze”. I’ve been to Yosemite but never saw Horsetail Falls like that. I agree with everything you said. I think there’s a story about one of the routes ff’s family used was over Raton Pass which I thought was an excellent reason to search in that area.

      I agree he may have found his blaze and first spotted his special place from the air since he mentions flying above the treetops with Eric Sloane as his co-pilot to Taos and Oklahoma City. And we know he circled the Taos Mountains when he dumped Olga from his plane. I think the poem may be written from what he saw in the air.

      I know a lot of searchers think ff’s special place where he secreted his cache is related to his childhood, YNP, West Yellowstone, or the route. One thing I don’t think I’ve ever read is what if his secret place is, indeed, in New Mexico, and it was the last fishing hole, arrow-head collecting place he and his father shared near Santa Fe, or at least within a couple hours drive of SF? Another reason 2 people can keep a secret if one of them is dead. We know his father visited him here in SF because of the story Father on the Banco.

  27. The POEM reads “where warm waters halt” not “where warm water halts”. This is the problem with all the NOISE. People mis-quoting the facts. There is a difference…and it’s not in the middle…

  28. thanks cynthia – really enjoyed your adventure into such beautiful country. certainly looked like you ‘braved the cold’ up there 🙂

    esp liked your photos with the roads included, as it seems to portray the whole adventure in a more realistic perspective.
    I was looking at Machu Picchu on GE recently, and whenever i opened photos with roads in them, i just wanted to jump on a motorbike and go explore them
    – the narrower and twistier they are, the better 🙂

    • curious hobbit,
      That road going up to Machu Picchu is only about as wide as a vehicle and when two tour buses need to pass (one going up and one going down) sometimes one of the buses needs to backup to a place where the road is just a little wider and then the one that passes actually has it’s outside wheels on the very edge and if your looking out the window you see nothing but the canyon below. Yes your stomach is in your throat.
      As far as the treasure there might be some pieces of gold jewelery that the gold maybe could have originated form Peruvian gold in the chest.
      Now WWWH, it’s my belief that it is not a hot spring or where a hot spring meets a cool river. Remember “halt” and to me this does not happen with these selections.
      Motorbikes can be fun riding anywhere, I like both dirt and asphalt. Good luck. Bur

      • Bur,
        Hey email me, I can’t find your Email address. Mine is my username @yahoo . Com. I need to tell you where the tc is. Lol

    • Bur – wow! sounds like a memorable bus ride, thanks for sharing – haven’t been there yet, but is on the bucket-list.

      yep i agree that bikes are fun in all terrains as i grew up on dirt bikes, then progressed to terrorising motorists on fast road bikes 🙂

      agree too that WWWH is not automatically related to temperature, and is equally as likely to relate to friendliness or kindness
      Luck back atcha, mate 🙂

      • curious hobbit,

        If you ever do that bucket list make for some time in Peru because there are many areas I believe you would like. Might want to do a little sand surfing out in the desert by the Nazca Lines. Lima, the coastal city, is to busy for me. Bur

        I always enjoy your posts and pictures, sorry for not posting this earlier. I like adventurist people like you, kind of reminds me of me LOL. Anyway good luck and stay safe. Bur

  29. i’m not sure this is the correct place to post this, however there is a lot of talk on “where the warms halt” going on here.

    The following is from Forrest Gets Mail From A Middle School Class.

    One of the questions is “Is there is specific reason that halt and walk are the only words that do not follow the rhyme scheme?
    Yes, I was limited by my ability.”

    I wonder witch wood HALT or WALK he would have preferred to change IF he could have found one that rhymed properly.

    Maybe HALT is not the best choice?
    Maybe WALK is not the best choice?

    Any thoughts on other possible words to use?

    • Maybe the tc was found in Delta County CO. This was actually my first choice and I wonder if this was the solution. It would fit in better with how damp the treasure chest got inside.

  30. Fenn does state in an interview with Josh Gates for the T.V. show Expedition Unknown that WWWH IS THE FIRST CLUE

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