Winter Thoughts….

by Tom Terrific


“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
-Colin Powell

“Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.”
-Jonas Salk

“Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.”
-Tupac Shakur

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.”
-Albert Einstein

Forrest Fenn a retired Major USAF, noted art dealer and antiquities expert hid a bronze treasure chest somewhere in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, NM. Forrest said he hid the chest when he was 79 or 80. So 2010 is my opinion of the date and probably on his birthday since he turned 80 on August 22nd of that year.

I was born in New Mexico and live in northern New Mexico spent most (except Navy during Vietnam) of my 70 years collecting anthropologic artifacts, fishing, hunting, exploring, Kayaking, rafting, backpacking etc. I am well versed in local Native American Lore, understand and speak Spanish at an acceptable level, also have a CDIB card and I am a tribal member of the Muskogee Creek Nation.

What I have compiled here is a reading and opinion of the treasure map poem of Forrest Fenn AKA (also known as) “ff” or “f” and how the local and indigenous people view his words and their meanings.

In his map written in poetic form, I will make an effort here to back up my opinions with the corresponding statements where ff and others are concerned, some of these statements were not written down, but I have witnesses to verify they were said, starting in 2010 through today.

ff has said there are 9 clues in the poem, per page 132 “Thrill of the Chase” AKA TTOTC, furthermore he said on page 133 there are “hints” sprinkled in the TTOTC Book. But in my opinion he has never mentioned that there’s  not only 9 clues inside the poem, but  there are almost certainly HINT’S in his poem as well, although to my knowledge he has never said that.* If the poem is in fact a map (pathway) to the Treasure then like most maps it could (should) have a key or legend to be understood. On the “Mysterious Writings’ blog on Feb 04, 2014 under “Six Questions Jenny Kile quoted  ff   “It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching. Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.  The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated”.  Also stated this quote to Jenny Kile:  August 15, 2015 * “It seems logical to me that a deep thinking treasure searcher could use logic to determine an important clue to the location of the treasure. Is someone doing that now and I don’t know it? It’s not what they say on the blogs that may be significant, it’s what they whisper. f.”  Did you ever think how often giving your kids a “hint”  is like that, a whisper, sometimes it speaks louder than telling them the answer they need to choose?

Often a map’s key or legend is at the beginning so one doesn’t get lost in the details, that is IMO our case here,  hints and clues that described the translation of poetry into geographical places, rarely, if ever has that process been done. Looking in the first stanza we even see him use the word HINT, it should become apparent to you that knowing the difference between a clue and a hint is valuable.

The first 4 lines set up a hint of what the “Hidey Spot” is or may look like because it starts with the word AS, as he may have gone there with someone else in the past, I believe that someone was his father.

Background for that statement comes from this experience of the 2 leaders and members of  In November of 2013 an Emmy Award winning film crew called www.moonshots were hired by “Animal Planet Network” to film a pilot series of reality actors for a possible long term production based on Treasure Hunting. My brother and I were selected along with 3 other members of our group, a young couple who were already actors and my wife who is also a native New Mexican. Eric Hartman  and his assistant Dave, film crew were all part of the  who interviewed Forrest in November, 2013, Forrest told them “His father would know where he hid the treasure.”  Eric and Dave told us what ff had said to them on that following November day in 2013 just prior to our filming.

Moonshot’s passed this info out but not many people seem to know about it, this may have happened because ff would not sign a contract as an actor with them for “Animal Planet Pilot Series” this lack of approval by ff may have caused a problem for more filming. Everyone in our group signed contracts before they filmed us, there was about 11 hours of video made of us cracking jokes, speculation of the meaning of the clues and hints, and just capturing the beauty of Northern NM. My wife who has a great voice even sang the State Song,” O Fair New Mexico”. We all thought this would be a regular feature on Animal Planet.

Primarily we took the film crew along the Rio Grande Gorge and into Taos and the Angel Fire area near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Moreno (Brown) Valley at The Black Lake.

Because Forrest had said to the film crew that “His father would know where he hid the treasure chest” AKA (TC) We started to examine that statement with a magnifying focus on what this “allegedly” privileged info meant.  Since this info was never shared with the public we read a lot about what ff had said about his father, ff said according to Taylor Clark of California Sunday Magazine 07/15/15  “I thought I was gonna die,” Fenn explained recently in his feathery Texas drawl. “I kept asking the guy who gave me radiation what my chances were, and all he would say was, ‘Mr. Fenn, you’ve just got an uphill battle.’” Two years earlier, Fenn’s father had also been diagnosed with advanced cancer, and he had taken what Fenn saw as the dignified way out: a handful of sleeping pills. Facing that fate with terminal cancer 1987-1988 ff somehow survived and recovered. His suicide pact was similar to his fathers, except the place would be in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, NM at the same place where the TC is hidden now.”

Suddenly a set of very large gears began to click and moved heavy loads in my mind, these gears were as big as a Steam Locomotive’s Transmission, knowing In fact Forrest father, William Marvin Fenn had told Forrest this; “Grab every banana,” his father used to say while they were out on hunts together, baffling his son.
One day ff’s father elaborated: “He said, son, the train doesn’t go by that banana tree but one time, so you reach as far out as you can, because every banana you don’t grab is a banana you’ll never have.” This, according to Newsweek Magazine writer BRENT HUMPHREY. ff admits he never understood exactly what that meant, but perhaps he does now. I think you get where I am going with this if you are studying ff and his memoirs. On page 42 of the “TTOTC” ff said “The Katy Rail Road tracks were about half-mile from our house and late at night I could hear the steam engines puff and the engineers blow their air horns. It was a soothing sound and sometimes I think I can still hear when the wind is out of the east.” From an early age Steam Trains in my opinion were fascinating to ff, pulling heavy loads and filled by water (towers) high.

 Admittedly ff has worn many hats in life, one of the earliest was fishing guide as told in “Thrill of the Chase, page 124, he, along with his father and brother all worked at a trout fly fishing store tying flies and fish guiding for pay. ff naturally became aware of how to catch trout and because of that experience  he would certainly know of each state’s fishing regulations, which were published (Game and Fish Proclamation) each year in the 4 possible TC states; Mt, Wy, Co and NM.

We now come to what I and many searchers think is probably the 1st Clue in the poem, but remember we have already received in the first stanza what is IMO “hints” the words “AS, HINT, BOLD, NEW and OLD.”  What may be the 1st (actual) “CLUE” after those “hints” may be “Begin it where warm waters halt” from line 1 of the second stanza (WWWH). Since I too have fished since childhood in New Mexico, and Colorado, there is only one place where I have ever in my 70 years heard those exact words “WWWH”, and that is in the New Mexico Game and Fish Proclamation, which stated for many years on the various rivers or mountainous streams at a certain spot: www (regulations) halt and (then) cold water regulations begin.

Next is the descriptor and IMO possible 2nd clue, second stanza line #2 “take it in the canyon down” only one definition of canyon exists and only one commonly used for down, and the Rio Grande to my knowledge is the only major river that goes South (down) out of the Rockies, it starts near Telluride, Co and travels east toward Alamosa, Co then almost due south to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico at Brownsville, Tx along the Old Mexico border a distance of 1885 miles.

According to NM Game and Fish at one time 1950’s through 1990’s
Where Warm Water Regulations Halted” on the Rio Grande was at the bridge in Embudo (funnel)NM  near the old Denver and Rio Grande Rail Road Station. The Rio Grande is AKA also know as: RIO BRAVO (brave river) in Old Mexico.,New_Mexico

you are now at that point near the bottom of the Rio Grande Gorge just over 5,800 feet. Since we think we got wwwh and canyon down, our opinion was to consider the next line as a hint, the jury is still out, but the line “Not far, but too far to walk” seems simple enough to us at, you either drive from there at Embudo, or you take the “Train” after all it is too far to walk.

Possible 3rd clue from line 4 of poem, second stanza says If you “Put in below the home of Brown,”  yes the Rio from the Embudo northward is a world famous producer of monster size BROWN TROUT, regulations change and fishing for Browns from there is rouged, treacherous and almost impassible, possible matching our next line and perhaps 4th clue, line 1 stanza three says “From there it’s no place for the meek” the poem does not “insist” (from there) that we go there, just that it is simply scary, just examine it on Google Earth, it is hard to imagine a rougher terrain to walk so let’s ride the train and when it stops we will grab every banana.

“The end is ever drawing nigh” possibly 5th clue, line 2 third stanza, so if we had put into the Rio Grande at Embudo and traveled up no place for the meek (gorge) (canyon) to its end, near Telluride, Co we would have to make a turn to the left, or “nigh” at Alamosa, Co and why did this clue include the word Drawing? DR is the initials of the Denver and Rio Grande RR which splits at Embudo, NM and up the tracts you could either travel to Chama, NM or Antonito, Co.  Both are 90 miles away from the city or limits of Santa Fe, NM. So Why 90 miles see answer below.* Also there are only two places where this Denver and Rio Grande Rail Road still has passenger travel one is rebadged  the Cumbress and Toltec scenic RR and the other is Durango and Silverton

We shall concentrate on the Cumbress and Toltec because its tracks follow the course of the ‘Pinos (pine) river” all the way to Antonito Co. Near Manassa, Co where the Pinos (Pine) empties into the Rio Conejos, and the Conejos empties into Rio Grande at Alamosa, Co. Interestingly it is exactly 90 miles from inside Santa Fe city limits according to Google Earth to Chama, NM and Antonito, Co and most importantly 90 to the “Toltec Gorge.” 90 seems to be an important number, mentioned at least 3 times in TTOTC Book page 57 it was 90 feet of water in Cozumel Mexico that Skippy, ff’s brother tragically drowned in and was also how far ff had to fly Olga’s Ashes, see page 116 of TTOC but a careful study of the Thrill Book on page 51 you realize who is on that page, father and Skippy, then notice the postmark which is circled shows (only) the #141, oddly there are 19 postmarks in the TTOTC Book, but all the rest are on even # pages, ask yourself what the statistical odds of that being accidental hint, over a million to 1? Now what is the sum of 141 minus 51? 90 again!

Now what does the name “Toltec” suggest and the name “Cumbress”?  Perhaps important ideas may come to your mind once you know what these names are famous for; ff said he felt like an “Architect” after he constructed the poem, well in Old Mexico and throughout North America the ancient “Toltec’s” were the “greatest builders”, famous for their “ARCHIECTURE”, and “Construction” now the term “Cumbress” in Spanish means Summit, which is 10025’ at the highest point on these Rail Road Tracks. The lowest point on Denver and Rio Grande is a little over 5,000’ According to Google Earth.

Where have we heard those numbers before?  first line:  TC is located between 10,200 and 5,000 feet.

The next line and could be 6th clue which says “There’ll be no paddle up your creek” “Just heavy loads and water high”. These 2 lines from the third stanza are both part of this 6th clue in my opinion we no paddle, IMO too far to walk, so just ride the train which will go up “our wooden creek” with coal powered locomotives that use tall water towers to fill the locomotive boiler tanks, are you with me so far? If you look at the links I sent, you will see many of those water towers, and since those Rail Road Tracks were built in 1870’s thru 1890’s and carried commodities like copper, gold, silver, coal, lumber, and livestock etc.  Just what more proof do we need to infer “just heavy loads and water high.”

So now the next gear we have left to click is the “If you’ve been Wise and found the Blaze” IMO the blaze IS the Rail Road Tracks themselves I am sure it was blazing fast in the 1880’s and remember tracks are always face one way, UP! Our 7th possible clue. When asked on Mysterious Writings on April 29, 2016 “Mr. Fenn, Which direction does the Blaze face? North, South, East or West?  Foxy I didn’t take a radial off of the blaze Foxy. I’m thinking it may not be any of those directions. f”

The next shift IMO is the 8th  clue. “Look quickly down your quest cease” One of the most spectacular views along the Cumbress and Toltec Scenic RR  is called the “Toltec Gorge”, it is one of the deepest and most stunning gorge’s in the Rockies, it certainly will impress you to see it and view the Garfield Memorial Tunnel and Tombstone Memorial and Plaque which was erected in 1880 at the top of this sheer 600 ft cliff  right where the huge steam locomotive is balanced daily at the mouth of the tunnel, it’s  an absolute drop into the Rio De Los Pinos, See the sign below it reads: Passengers are requested not to throw any rocks into the gorge as fishermen are liable to be below. “”,  just  imagine that this could explain   “Look quickly down your quest to cease,”

9th and final clue may be “But tarry scant with marvel gaze, just take the chest and go in peace.” IMO this photo of the Toltec is a marvel gaze, I feel the TC is near. Also duplicating go in peace thought, IMO Memorials and Tombstones make peaceful places

If you have read ff’s chapter in TTOTC Book, “My war for me” when he describes the mysterious water fall and clearing that beckoned him to visit, the place where some of those brave French soldiers who died in the Indo China war in 1947 were buried, see in TTOTC page 91 he mentions arranging an army helicopter ride and visiting that clearing where the little stream dropped so mistfully onto the rocks below.  If you use Google Earth to follow the narrow gauge tracks into the Garfield Memorial tunnel you will understand just how you must travel through a similar environment, a small river with many waterfalls, falling like a mist far below with clearings and pristine fishing, you are near the border of Colorado and New Mexico, see sign, I took photo in June 2016 and the one immediately above on September 30th 2016 I was in standing on the RR tracks for both at the border, trivial fact this train which follows the Pinos River  loops back and forth from Co into NM 11 times on its journey.

From 1970 through the present day the Cumbress and Toltec Rail Road has been carrying passengers from Chama, Nm to Antonito, Co, and vice versa, from May thru October. Entrance to Garfield Memorial Tunnel has this huge granite tombstone  marker at the entrance, imagine how many souls could have been within 500 feet, if the TC was hidden in or near the tunnel this marker or RR tracks? If you are brave, even fool hardy you may walk through the tunnel.

 From 1970 through the present day the Cumbress and Toltec Rail Road has been carrying passengers from Chama, Nm to Antonito, Co, and vice versa, May thru October. Above tunnel has a huge granite tombstone memorial marker at the entrance, imagine how many souls could have been within 500 feet, if the TC was hidden in or near the tunnel? If you are brave, even fool hardy you may walk through the tunnel. See photo, if you stop in the middle of the Garfield Tunnel it’s exits (entrances) look like “Omega signs” one on each end < Ω tunnel Ω >.

See Rail Road Tracks on the right photo below, I was on top of the tunnel here, river below almost 1000’ drop from this vantage point.

Is it possible that Forrest and his father or other family members had ridden that Scenic Train? Perhaps even fished the Pines River 600 feet below? Is it also reasonable to think that Forrest almost certainly flew over or nearby the Toltec Gorge on his many trips into Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado? Use Google Earth to draw a straight line to Cody, Wy home of Buffalo Bill Museum, from Santa FE, NM. Do you still think it is out of the realm of possibilities? Target acquisition was what he did in Nam, now I propose he found Rocky Mountain Rivers to explore and fish, especially the ones close to home only 90 miles away from Santa Fe which he could easily journey to, fish and return home the same day.

Now I shall skip to the final stanzas and try to analyze the final “HINTS” IMO, not clues: Per TTOTC Forrest was 2 years older than his sister June and 2 years younger than brother Skippy, he was right in the middle, now the middle of Cumbress and Toltec RR is Osier Station, Co, it is 2.2 miles from Osier to Garfield memorial tunnel, on page 95 TTOTC Forrest was at that beautiful Waterfall and clearing in 1968 on December 22nd  and ff’s birthday is August 22nd , per Dal’s site, look at  page 110 of the “Thrill” Book it states that 20 students and 2 teachers filed into ff’s gallery? #22 was also the name of a very disturbing and enlightening book about pilots, their stress and their almost suicide missions:  “Catch 22”. Also #22 appears several other times in his TTOTC Book like the 22 turquoise beads on the bracelet he will buy back? But I digress; “So why is it that I must go” A line that reflects the feelings of the protagonist in Catch 22, and this line as well “And leave my trove for all to seek? The answers I already know, I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak.” They seem like lines straight out of Catch 22, and speaking of pilot stress, how much weight did ff loose in his tour in Vietnam? 22lbs perhaps? Per page 131 TTOTC ff says 20 troy oz of gold was in the chest? The whole load was 42 lbs, so minus 20 lbs and Viola! There you have 22 Lbs for the TC itself, Folks, I do not make this stuff up!  If you still do not believe read on….

Forrest responds:
“I am a very simple person and you want me to have copious meetings with lawyers, preachers, undertakers and your family. What is wrong with me just riding my bike out there and throwing it in the “water high” when I am through with it? You don’t know how many man hours I have spent on that subject. Thanks for the input but I think you should mobilize your club and hit the trail searching for the wondrous treasure. Besides, I’ll probably get hit by a train. When you find the treasure please come sell me the great turquoise and silver bracelet that is in the chest. I wish now that I had kept it. f”

Duh…Forrest say what? : “Besides, I’ll probably get hit by a train!”
IMO climb the water tower ladder and hide the bike inside so no one will ever find it! This man has thought of everything, or so he said.

Treasure Hunters, Can You Hear Me NOW???

If you are riding the train from either direction, it won’t stop and let you off at the Garfield Memorial Tunnel and it becomes very dark in there so you might wanta take a flashlight, now contemplate your navel or stomach because at Osier, Colorado 2.2 miles away, the train stops, passengers disembark at this, the halfway point and eat a sandwich? Just sayin, where have we heard that before and who said it..?

By car travel up Hwy 285 from Santa Fe, NM to Antonito, Co and take a left and go about 8 mi to a town called “Mogote”, Co, turn another left there and cross the Conejos River and head for Osier Station near Toltec Gorge on Farm rd 103. From Osier is 2.2 miles distance as as a crow flies to Garfield Memorial Tunnel, but over 3 if you follow the RR Tracks, it is pretty level and easy walk, the view is spectacular!  Ice out and snow melt is about first of June. Stay on the RR tracks, walk in the wood uh duh, unless you hear a train a commin!

Somewhere near there could be his secret where. The mystery of why, only Forrest knows but it is tantalizing to imagine that ff was in this place.
Tom Terrific, Terrific as in “Enthusiastic”


117 thoughts on “Winter Thoughts….

    • Like! where are my emoticons? I am lost…Thanks Slurbs you are a deep thinker and you and so many others could have written this easily!

      Like OMG this is not facebook is it? Well thanks to everyone for the many Kind Words!

      Tom Terrific

      • This is where I think it is. Not sure if I agree with all the interpretations but this is my favorite area.

    • You are all deep thinkers and any of you could and have written better than this, how do you think I get my inspiration….it comes from yall, so keep those cards letters, and comments a coming, I will not be surprised if one day we read the actual solve and hit our foreheads and say; why didn’t I think of that!
      Tom Terrific

  1. Tom;

    You have put a lot of work and thought into your solve. I wish you the very best in finding that last special spot, and the Treasure. Nice Job!! Nice pictures too. Stay warm, and TRY to STAY SAFE – JDA

  2. What a fabulous, well written, and beautifully supported solution!

    Come on global warming! Melt that snow, and thaw that ice!

    Just 90 miles away! 🙂

  3. Nice story Tom. Parts of it sound familiar.

    Did you search there at all since you live so close?

    PS: In particular I like the Catch 22 references, that was definately something new to see out here in the chase 🙂

  4. Great solution and well written story Tom. I really enjoyed your pictures.

    This area has been very popular with searchers since the beginning. I’ve been there several times myself. There are many versions of this solution with lots of impressive confirming/conformation bias hints. Your “catch 22” is one I haven’t heard of before.

    It’s hard not to like this area for the location of the chest. There are several clubs: off road, horse backing, ATV, hiking, etc. that are sure the chest is in this area and have scoured it thoroughly. I’ve wondered if these are the folks going right past the chest because of predetermined solutions.

    • I would have also checked the trestles.

      I liked Tom’s story a lot, but I am not sure with the blaze. Everything else seems cool.

  5. Great story and pics! I have a similar solve for this area.
    And the race is on!!! 🙂

  6. Very nicely done, TT. You have obviously put in a lot of thought and are extremely well versed in the hunt parameters. Nice photos, too.

    Have you searched this area yourself? I don’t recall you saying.

    From my POV, your most interesting comment was: … “Ice out and snow melt is about first of June”. Thanks for that info; it’s reassuring, for my own solution.

    Ken (in Texas)

  7. A very good read, Tom. I like the thoroughness of your description/walkthrough and all of your supporting hint explanations. Also, very beautiful photos! I want to hike around in this area someday myself! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Interesting solution, Tom.

    I enjoyed reading it.

    It’s interesting how photos can jog a person’s memory. When I saw the water tower I was reminded of a scene from an old Buster Keaton movie.

    I saw the water tower scene…and remembered it…after I learned through genealogy that Buster Keaton is a famous (distant) cousin of mine. I was born in ’71 so I’d never watched any of his movies. I’m particularly impressed that Buster Keaton fractured his neck during that scene…but the cameras were rolling…so he jumped up and made the show go on.

    It’s interesting…and fun…to discover our family ties to the past. I believe this understanding helps to broaden our view of our ties to all of humanity…

    …and that we’re not so different from one another…after all.

    Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

  9. This hits all the right notes for a wild west treasure story, excellent job sir.

  10. Hey Tom. Liked your solve. Some elements are similar to my solve, although I am searching in Montana. I have always thought the second line of the poem points to Montana. Treasures Bold. Treasure S. The tate is missing, but if you Google Tate Bold you will find it is a type of font. I think it is a semi cryptic clue from Mr Fenn. All in MHO of course.
    Good luck in your search.

  11. Great job Tom! You left out the part where the treasure lies. however, I would not mind going on a treasure hunting trip and get a scenic train ride at the same time. All the best and finding gold is easy for the gravity alchemist. hehe.

  12. Nice job Tom. When I hear mention of the Cumbres & Toltec scenic railroad it reminds me of River Phoenix and the circus train scene in Last Crusade. Did you know that the house in Antonito that was used as ‘young Indy’s’ home in the film is now a B&B and you can rent a room and stay there for the night?
    Also… River’s birth name was ‘River Bottom’. 😉

    • randawg, often my thoughts too were along those lines of Raiders of the lost Arc, Last Crusade etc, I just never made the connections this was a beam of light shinning right where a connection could be in the Thrill Book, there is also the Rio Grande scenic RR over La Veta Pass, Alamosa Co, PBS has a neat film about Michael Martin Murphy and other entertainers who play the train and get off at La Veta and do concert! Awesome show!

      Tom T

  13. Good job Tom, you held my interest! 🙂
    Maybe someone will go there at the end of May…

  14. I wrote a letter to mr. fenn along time ago about this railroad,no answer back,and blaze is a clue,you left that out,so you got a clue wrong.I think the home of brown means = me you start at the beginning,Home, and end back at I=if,have gone=not there,alone in there.If not there myself inside,I don’t know,just guessing on that part.its dang hard and fustrating.whisper,its what they are telling,saying,gossiping?everyones got ideas,good ones,but yet where,somewhere,anyplace,there,here,now,present.I say answer is the key word.why,didn’t you answer me,I didn’t hear you,don’t you ever listen to me, 5 senses playing maybe?when forrest is in the mountains,he is lost,by that, I mean its a total new person.he can block out all the bad and sounds of city life,abd bask in the tranquility of the forrest and hear the most beautiful sounds of the forest or just the quiet and peacefulness of the forest.I think of the little spot where they used to hide all their gear until the next year, time and time again,and nobody messed with it,I guess because they could not find it,not that they were looking,because they didn’t know it was there.but I’m thinking that spot is where the treasure i can kiss that goodbye,you ain’t getting me in montana or wyoming,where them grizzlys are.I’m just a plain scaredy i sit at home trying to figure out the poem,its fun for me.but wish i could find it tho.good luck everybody.all your stories,ideas are great.

  15. It took guts to write and have Dal post this for all to see, there is 70 years of knowledge here.

    Thank you

  16. Great solve and fun to read. I applaud your thorough research and approach to finding the treasure.
    A few comments if I may…
    – Osier means “willow” – the type of willow used in basketwork. And of course we all know Canasta means “little basket”.
    – The Osier lunch stop has an amazing full course menu, and I believe they used to offer pineapple pie. It is no longer on the menu.
    – Unfortunately, but logically, it is illegal and there are very stiff fines and possibly more severe consequences for walking/riding on railroad tracks. You will hear the train coming, but you won’t hear the little cart the goes ahead to check the tracks and another that follows behind to put out fires. They move really fast and are silent (and deadly). That being said, I know of people who have riden their bikes on the Durango to Silverton track and were caught. The conductor gave them a severe scolding but they were not arrested.
    – Both the Cumbres and Durango trains stop at designated areas along the line to let passengers off and on again. Very popular with backpackers, rafters, fishermen. It’s a great way to access the wilderness. No one thinks twice about a passenger getting off the train with a heavy pack.
    – The Rio Grande River headwaters originate off of the east side of Stony Pass just outside of Silverton. One of my favorite places on earth.

    • Would someone take notice to see a gentleman getting on and off this train, twice, seeing we know he took two trips from his vehicle to the hiding spot? I don’t know the area, nor how often the train runs the track in a day.

        • Thank you for the link, SL. If I’m looking at this correctly, Mr. Fenn couldn’t have taken the trip, twice, in one day. Do you see the same?

          • Hi PD, SL, et al
            There are many “parking areas” adjacent to where train tracks cross a road. On the Cumbres/Toltec, Osier is one example out of several. Rockwood is a well known stop for the Durango/Silverton train. The (train) cars would be “whizzing by”, for sure. Anyway, a daring person, who knows the train schedule, could park their car and walk (or ride their bike) the tracks x2 in one afternoon. An older man carrying a pack and a fishing pole might not attract much attention.
            Another point re: Home of Brown. On page #8 of TFTW, FF in his own pen captions a picture “Dad with a trophy brown trout he caught in Hebgen Lake”. On page #33 of TFTW he capitalizes all the letters in GERMAN BROWN TROUT. Kind of confusing. But, in my mind, I think that this might rule out “home of Brown” as being home of brown trout. Anyhoo…

  17. I like your process for tying everything together. Good read. I’m not convinced ff would have hidden the tc along R/R track like this…could a 79-80 year old man have made this trip in car, parked, and made two trips in one afternoon? Maybe, I’m not BOTG familiar with the terrain, but your description leads me to believe if it’s hidden there then it’s at one of the towns on either end on public land (assumption). Otherwise, the terrain would be too difficult for an aged person. All this just IMO, nice job though.

    • PL 289, In mountainous terrain the constant, overriding problem ,especially in bushwhacking is walking up to higher or down to lower elevations, but this walk along or on the tracks is almost level and no bushes so much easy to walk. I also want people to remember you are actually walking in wood (ties) and just a side note, the river all along and below is the (Pinos) Pine, most furniture and antique furniture made in NM is Pine Wood, also if you are brave and can stand the cold, you are in the “Wood” river.

      Tom T

      • Tom T…that is a terrific cross reference re: “in the wood” and Pine (Los Pinos) River. Also, FFs’ friend was named Concy Wood. Always wondered if there was a connection somehow.

        • Sandyb, you think like me, only better I never thought about Conchy Wood his old football coach and friend, The more brillance we shine on the hunt, the more likely we will break on through to the other side,…remind me of a song we listened to a lot while I was in the Navy

          Tom T

  18. When scouting this area, I presumed that the Colorado state line was HOB (home of Molly Brown). I put in just below the state line in the Rio de los Pinos. Follow it to the gorge. Unfortunately, I left my water shoes at home…

    • Interesting story Tom. But please point out to readers that they are trespassing on private property, and fools to be walking down railroad tracks.

  19. I have explored the Toltec Gorge area multiple times looking for the precious… so very beautiful up there!!!

  20. Great story, Tom. I’m glad you shared it with everyone. I thought there’d be more comments when you disclosed “his father would know where he hid the treasure.” Ever since you told me that, I’ve kept it in mind. It hasn’t helped me find the treasure chest, YET, but I think it could tie ff’s special place to a place he visited with his father. Train, maybe. Fishing, maybe. Hmmm…I CAN”T WAIT FOR THE SNOW TO MELT! I’m not searching the area you just described but you had some great solves. Thanks for sharing this.

    • I do believe that Father Fenn knew precisely of his sons dear and special location.

    • I always thought that FF trip to Grebe Lake in Yellowstone with his father was that special place. It may be, but trying as hard as I can to make the clues fit, it is inconclusive.
      Would somebody pleeeze post a search of Grebe Lake !

      • Have you checked the Wyoming Page to see if others have commented about searching there?

    • Cynthia you and your dog Molly getting through the winter OK? The treasure hunt people are all like you they make me feel good, so I hunt knowing if ever I get lost some great people will find me.

      Tom Terrific

  21. Terrific story Tom. Now I will finally go up there for a ride.
    Will it look different coming back from what it looked like going up?
    How do we get down to the Rio de Los Pinos?

    • Michael,
      From somebody who’s lived in the area, hunted and fished the National Forest around Osier Station, I can recommend the following:
      You can drive (4 wheel drive) from Antinito to Osier, or take the train. From the station, you will have a 1 mile walk downhill to the river. If you are stout, you can follow the river 2 miles downstream to the Gorge. From the Gorge the river is mostly privately owned, with very limited access. Over the years I’ve tried to fish that river between the Gorge and the end of the campgrounds originating west of Antinito with no success (it’s heavily posted and fenced). I have heard that a few LOCALS get access. West of Osier, the river again has access primarily through private property.
      Breathtaking country; an 80 year old man hiking down to the river and back twice?? Examine the terrain and you decide. Horses???

      • That’s good to know. I was planning on checking out that area this summer. I’ll stick to the western/higher portion of the river. Thanks!

        • Tommy if you know where to drop down to the Wood river from the RR tracks (just past the NM State Line) see the colorful photo I took where the aspens are all aglow, it is a pretty easy walk, not that a 3 year could do it, not without those immortal words “daddy could you carry me” but If you are of average strength or an exceptional 79 year old it can be done, I have backpacked it dozens of times, one of the best fishing areas I know and the huge clearings there are without a lot of camper trash. Fishing is unbelievable, took a 19″ German Brown out in September one year…fisherman’s paradise! If you go n.west of NM line you will need a Colorado Fish Lisc..

          Tom T

      • Keith, if it is after early June you do not need a 4X4, I have driven past Osier and parked by the river in a Toyota Camry without any problems, that is if there is no rain and mud, June is usually very dry and warm, however do not attempt to cross (ford) the Los Pinos and drive to Chama, not until runoff calms down, but fording the river will require 4X4 and good clearance. Also you need to be brave if you ford the Wood.

        Tom T

    • Using Google Earth to search Los Pinos Canyon I noticed that there is a natural arch that is shaped like an arrow head. If FF’s story about looking for arrow heads as a youth is a hint… There is one up there.
      Sorry I didn’t get the GPS.

  22. This is the year boys I’m going to come back take the gold n prob move to a place called nice france =0)

  23. I took a little Walk on the DSNG yesterday. This has probably been said elsewhere…but at the railroad switch, right or left, there are 2 signs to alert the conductor re: the position of the tracks. GREEN diamond shaped and RED is round. Same pole. Large black X for crossing. Another red, green and black. Tea, anyone?

    • PBS television is doing a special tonight on Antique Trains and Rail Road. CumbresToltec is spotlighted. If you missed it check it out on their website. Tom Terrific

  24. SandyB,

    This may be of some help – ‘Semaphores’


    • Amy: Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true. Reality is wrong, dreams are for real. Tupac. I can’t say it better. Tom T

  25. Hi Tom Terrific –

    It’s good to hear your ideas.
    I would like to suggest something for you to consider. The line and perhaps the clue is not as you typed it. Here is how it’s actually written.

    Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down.

    That’s the full sentence.

    I hope you find what you’re looking for.

    • Lugnutz,

      I have read your comment several times about the wording I listed in my article “Begin it where warm waters halt (and) take it in the canyon down (.)” and to my observation of that “sentence” the way I described it is verbatim except for the word “and” which I omitted because it has no effect for my purpose, also the period was left out as well.

      What, in your opinion changes the effect of ff’s meaning by the inclusions of those two things?

      Tom T

      • Hi Tom –

        It’s not two directions.
        Begin it where warm waters halt
        Take it in the canyon down.

        It’s one sentence describing the waters. It’s the waters that take it in the canyon down, not YOU as the reader.

        The waters halt and take it in the canyon down. People have difficulty understanding that. They read it as two things or two clues instead of as a singular description of the location.

        I’m not saying I’m certain. That is how the sentence is written.

        What if it said. Begin where young Hawks gather and and take to the sky.


        • I read it as “Begin it (your journey) where warm waters halt and take it (again, your journey) in the canyon down. His usage of excerpts of the poem fit his description. Obviously not yours, but it doesn’t mean he was incorrect. Since the beginning of this chase there has not been one person who has been absolutely correct about any of this. IMO

          • Lugnutz, and Richard B.

            A very famous politician once answered an inquiry under oath: “It depends on what your definition of (the word) is is.
            To determine the meaning of the word “is”. : Bill Clinton said to the grand jury about why he wasn’t lying when he said to his top aides that with respect to Monica Lewinsky, “there’s nothing going on between us.”

            Several times Forrest has said that his poem is straight forward, his intention was never to mislead etc.. When I analyzed the poem from a local NM perspective I tried to look at colloquial expressions and rhetorical honesty, understanding that geography was laid out in front of us through his use of words, 9 clues and many hints, now that was how I saw the poem from start to finish.

            The last known whereabouts of Indulgence was in his safe in Santa Fe, NM and since he quit flying in about 2007, and carrying 42 lbs of gold and bronze on commercial airlines was, well probably not happening after 911 I conjectured that the TC was driven by auto and may well be close to home.

            So I must take him at his word and remember that little girl from India? What could she “know or discover” “but” (and) still only get the first two clues right?

            Nothing is said about the hints I felt existed in the poem, perhaps they are more important than the clues, you cannot see the forrest for the trees he has created in his metaphorical image place on an imaginary map. That IMO is the Key.

            Tom T

          • Hi Tom –

            I am way behind on these emails.

            My NM solves are all quite straight forward. Maybe all my solves are. I don’t take any words and move them. I do not use math or apply a cipher. I don’t apply a key word. I do look at Forrest’s words in the context and setting they emerged in. I mainly spend time looking at the may places that can be considered for WWH.


          • Sure Tom –

            I am just suggesting to you that many read that line incorrectly. Because of this they see two clues where there may only be one.

            That’s my opinion and maybe you could look at it that way and see how your solve or area changes.


        • Lugnutz,

          My NM solves are the same way. I bet you and I probably share this same idea on where the warm waterS halt. Have you gotten a chance to get some boots on the ground yet this year here? Let me know if you want to do some adventuring. I’m less than an hour south of Santa Fe.

  26. You missed my point. The point I was trying to make was that regardless of how one quotes the poem or interprets it, no one has been correct….yet. So to tell anyone they are wrong is strange to me. The author is the only one who knows who is correct.

    • Thanks, that is true, so until the TC is found all is just speculation. SO GOOD HUNTING TO YOU ALL!

  27. Tom T—-

    Just to clarify. Forrest didn’t say the little girl from India could only get the first two clues right. He said she couldn’t get closer than the first two clues.
    Could he have been saying ‘physically’ closer????

    “I wish I had another treasure to hide in the Appalachians. The little girl in India cannot get closer than the first two clues. There are many disabled people who are deeply into maps and geography, and they are having a lot of fun.”

    • I believe that when you understand that little girl, you will have a “face palm” moment… but I could be wrong 😉

      • Kevin and Iron Will,

        This answer of ff’s given on Jenny’s Mysterious Site about the “Little girl in India” was oddly worded and seemed to come out about the same time as the last movie which Robert Redford and Nick Nolte starred in called “A walk in the Woods” , set in the Appalachians Mountains and it’s theme seems to have a lot of the elements Forrest might embrace, perhaps a coincidence, but could be more to the oddity he incorporated ….watch the video traileron youtube then tell me again what you think.

  28. Richard B, and Lugnutz,

    I have scouted this “marvel gaze” called Toltec Gorge and Los Pinos River since the 1960’s, I hunted, back packed and fished there almost every year, but the main reason this location fascinates as perhaps his hidey spot is that the RR tracks are level and easy to walk.

    If this is not the perfect fit for ff at 79/80 years old then where is a better place? I have been out at least 35 times for day hikes and overnight’s in NM and CO, and at 70 I am still very active.

    If you think you want a trip just 90 miles away from Santa Fe, contact me at

    Tom T

    • I will email you. I was actually up near that location a couple weekends ago. There is still snow on the ground, but I was able to make it pretty close to the train station, as I have an amazing 4×4. I stopped a few miles short and talked with an elderly gentleman who was hunting bob cats. He told me to wait a few weeks before I went in the rest of the way. I listened and we talked about hunting for about 15 minutes before my departure. I did not head up there specifically to check out the location, I actually just so happened to be in the area. It is quite lovely up there.

      1SG B

    • Boaz, I do know for sure who/what Max you speak of, but know this for sure, there is not any human trail where I filmed this, at 500 ft above the tracks and 1500 feet above the Pine, it is a Marvel Gaze, and I tarried scant. so type into your Google Web search the following: youtube Toltec Northern New Mexico Treasure ………Quickly down from this 10,100 ft perch the world will fall away at your feet and you will have the (only) best seat in the house.


  29. Drawing=Pulling. The end of a train (engine) is always pulling closer to the destination.

    I could hear the train when the wind was out of the East. Seems like coming from the East to me.

    I took a slightly different approach on my last visit.

    It’s the highs and lows that take a toll on this chase.

    • David, I am so sorry I missed your post here earlier in January, but with my hindsigh being 20/20 I will try and understand what you expressed here on my “Winter Thoughts” from 2017, the above comment about Drawing equals Pulling is a statement that screems out in ff’s SCrapbook 245…

      Look at the 3rd pic, Eric Sloane drew this for Forrest (circa 1980ish) on his odd-shaped pallet, originally attached to his painting easel, which ff actually measures and used as his rule of hand, or little finger to thumb measurement to be exactly the length of the pallet, I asked myself why measure it with his outstretched HAND? Suddenly Drawing and Nigh takes on a new meaning, it is the exact clearence on the wheels and flanges of the Narrow Gauge RR?

      That SC book was near the end of the for lack of better description “Chaos Group of post, starting at 209, ending at 247” where Mr Terrific has questioned if there is a little Me and Bobby McGee in Forrest soul that has not been seen, are we now realizing what this Scenic Rail Road has or may have meant to Forrest and his family in the past, since well the 1970’s been a place of Rememberance, Reunions a Reflection of the memories from that possible last time they, his family was together, if I could prove that go in peace was the memorial tunnel I would have my complete solution, all of it, even the last clue, it a place is completely unique in the Rockies, it’s a location in the San Juan Mountains along the border, woven like braids in the hair of a Sales Girl with a great education from page 9 in the Thrill Book, also a river runs through it and the 64 miles (64 squares on a Chess Board) but this view is what people come here to see, it is breathtaking.

      I could point our how many of these Chaos Scrapbooks give rise to this
      are but here are just a few, The Wash Basin AKA Spanish Bowl SCBook 237 and SCBook 241 shows a treasure chest and three Spanish Crosses or Cruces, which should be know to all now as Cruces Basin Wilderness, AKA WWWH, which flows mistifllly in Home of Brown, Beaver Creek see Educatin Ardi and SC Book 238, Paul Dyck lived on Beaver Creek, however, David many here will have reasons why these relationships are not actually what Forrrest intended, it is only how I interpreted it and that is welcome by me because more than anything we all are searching for the truth of this Spiritual Riddle that is surely ensconsed in the poem, all these recently posted by Forrest has piqued my interest, and I am reminded of the rules of logic that Scrapbooks could confirm a general solve, but unless we solve what the blaze is we will be unable to come within a few steps of Indulgence. Correctly Identified “The Blaze” Provided my general solve is correct will allow a searcher to find that pinpoint of a place which cannot be seen on Google Earth, but that location lies in the sunlight most of the day.
      If my theory is true and correct for say, even seven of the clues, then:

      That could prove my soloution in the upcoming “Winter Thoughts II” coming soon, under construction” it might just spark a winning solution. If it does I could get part of the blame…OK?

      Just to whisper one last thouth of logic, let me say that I know truth when it is proven by the law of non-contradiction (LNC) (also known as the law of contradiction, principle of non-contradiction (PNC), or the principle of contradiction) it states that contradictory propositions cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time, e. g. the two propositions “A is B” and “A is not B” are mutually exclusive. Formally this is expressed as the tautology ¬(p ∧ ¬p). Also I will point out that in Me and Bobby McGee, SC Book 235 I see it this way, “If all cats are animals, therfore…all animals are cats?” Prove me wrong and find the chest. It is near and someone will find it here…


  30. Thanks so much TT. We are playing on the same side of the tracks on this one – although i’d say that 33 1/2 might be nice flange to flange measurement give or take 1/2 inch. Flanges are definitely key to keeping it “on the track” Logic might be telling me that ”it” does not contradict the other “it” = so if I were to begin and take — those two “its” could be one in the same. To me given the reference you made above to a bookstore we aren’t too far off. I’d say within a stones throw or throwing off a shadow that is. I remember the first time i found something like F did and only because I was looking down at the time. Yes the view looking down from above is amazing, just as it has equal perspective from below looking back up. Interesting the paint brush was nailed to the left hand side of the palette. Nails were an interesting way to attach a brush. As a struggling writer i rambled a lot but always made sure my first two lines or my last two lines made the point and the middle of the story just sort of filled up space. “The past will always be contradictory when told by one person at a time. I feel my life has been a rough draft of the place just ahead where the past will come alive again and all of my experiences and friends through the years will meet with me at the great banquet table of history. Then there will be no past.” I’m not sure about you asking if a cat was an animal — but I can tell you Cat Stevens wrote some really fine songs. Peace Out Tom.

    • Yes, “Cat Stevens” Ooh baby baby, it’s a wild world
      It’s hard to get by just upon a smile, girl. Just directly across the wood river is a wilderness area called Cruces Basin Wilderness, it is the entire south rim of the Toltec Gorge, the North rim is the Border, the Garfield Memorial Tunnel and there is a curious image of a Buffalo that is the size of a Mt Rushmore President, the horns are the RR tracks going through the tunnel, you can see it and a natural Arrowhead Acrhway #354 so just google it. or Google Earth it, at Fennboree in 2017 I took my i pad pic of it an showed it to Forrest, he was very quiet and then suddenly pointed at the Garfield Memorial Granite slab and said in a comical way, there it is, the Treasure, we both laughed because he cannot show any real feeling about this type of image.

      Look at SC Book 169 which is “Chruch Bingo” and realize that post was 5 day after Winter Thoughts by TT, SC book 171, and 172 were about a church bell from San Lazaro Mission and a Train Bell from Eric, Mr Terrific does not make this stuff up…


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