Forrest Gets Mail – 16

Dear Mr. Fenn,

I have an 11 year old son named River. Last year sometime he said to me, “I wish there were still treasures left to find”. I found this to be a telling part of his personality. He wasn’t taking about money. He was talking about the adventure, the purpose, something bigger than himself. I agreed with him. I always wished I were Indiana Jones when I was little and that there were still mysteries to solve and adventures to be had, by normal people. That you didn’t have to be someone special or have special education to be able to go do this amazing thing. I had never heard of your treasure until today and I’ve spent all morning reading about it.

Here is River, age two, teaching my brother to fly

I’m home schooling my son this next year and your poem just became part of his curriculum. I believe this treasure is out there, but for me in just excited to have something for my mind to ruminate over. How fun. I don’t know about you or your life, but now I want my son and I to read your book together- to show him there are still treasures to be found and adventures to be had. Thank you for the chance you’ve given so many people for that. Is it true you can figure all of this out remotely by looking on a map?? I wish I were more familiar with the terrain as I was born and raised in Alaska 🙂

Anyhow, I hope this finds you in good health. I hope reading of others odyssey’s has brought you as much satisfaction as searching for it has brought them.

I plan on studying your puzzle. Feel free to update me on any new clues haha! Maybe someday we will go rescue your box from its watery grave. Until then, thanks again for the adventure.




44 thoughts on “Forrest Gets Mail – 16

  1. I’m thinking that precocious 11-year-old might give us a run for our money, so to speak.
    Welcome to the Chase, Roxanne & River!

    • I hope so haha! All my iPhone Internet tabs are open and being used… All research into topography and word meaning and history and photos. Holy cow, how have you guys come up with so many amazing solutions?? I could use some precosious input right about now 🙂 but first I need to quit procrastinating on packing for our move haha…

  2. Great story Roxanne,
    I also wish I could be an Indiana Jones, for me it was a middle school teacher that was always medal detecting around our little town that gave me the thrill. I often would just tag along until I got my own detector. I have really enjoyed the chase for something maybe even bigger that Forrest has provided. It filled a void from my younger years. Good luck to you and your son River (what a cool name) in the Chase.

    • Thanks Fred! I was getting all excited the other day and definitely in Indiana Jones mode when my research in the clues led me to a canyon that has Indian carvings/drawing on the walls where twice a year on the solstice, the sun illuminates a certain portion of it… Until I realized there are no trees around and that the canyon, although in one of the correct states is not a part of the Rockies haha. However, cool to research, now I know something I didn’t previously, and I have a place I’d like to visit now even though it’s not Fenn Treasure land.

    • Thanks Michael,
      I have definitely already read some awesome solves and I’m not sure we will be able to come up with anything close… But that’s not the point is it? It really is about the chase? Although I certainly wouldn’t mind writing Mr. Fenn to tell him River has something that belongs to him to return and gifting back the bracelet. How stinking cool would that be??

  3. Reminds me of me and my mom when I was 10 years old. Thanks for the letter Roxanne. 😛

  4. Thanks everyone! If imagination is the key, we should probably all be talking to kids haha. I think most of us adults are like Peter Pan and forget how to fly at some point along the way. Like the movie Hook, when one of the lost boys says “Just imagine, Peter”. I’ll let you know what we come up with once we get into it! Maybe we will cross paths on some of our adventures. Best of luck and enjoy the journey 😀

  5. Roxanne, welcome to the chase I’m happy you and River could join us.

    But to be honest I’m disheartened to hear an eleven year old kid didn’t think there are treasures still out there to find. That is hard for me to imagine. When I was eleven there were treasures everywhere and grand adventures for the future. All I had to do was go discover them. So many things to see, so many things to do. The world was out there full of treasure just waiting on me to discover it.

    I grew up on bad side of the bad side of town and the first time I flew in an airplane was on the way to Vietnam at Uncle Sam’s request. When I was a kid we viewed the world through our imaginations and a few books that had pictures, not an Ipad. Fenn is right, we need to get away from the screens and get out there. Hopefully all our electronic devices hasn’t destroyed the American Dream of treasure and adventure.

    You and River grab the book and map and hit the road. I don’t think that is against government regulations, yet.

    • Thanks Mr. Goofy,

      Your response was spot on! (didn’t mean to sound British).

      It’s all about discovery… There is not much to be discovered within ‘text messaging’. Conversations are so important!


      Some guys are using technology to get people outside. I think they were searchers or just read about Forrest’s chase. The march of technology will only pick up.

      This is a “Augmented reality” app, like pokemon-go. This type of busines is going to be the next big thing. Good for these guys, wish I could buy stock now.

      • TheReal…-
        From the photos it looks like folks playing the game are out in the countryside in places where they need to be paying attention to where they are stepping.
        I’ve seen many folks playing Pokemon walk out into traffic and heard about folks riding their bikes into the sea.This is in an urban setting. Imagine the problems of walking around Fountain Flats in Yellowstone with a phone glued to your eyeballs. How long before someone walks into a thermal event or isn’t paying attention and gets too close to a bison?

        I don’t know if this is such good idea,,,

        I don’t think I need any augmented reality when i’m outdoors. The reality of being there is plenty good enough for me and the treasures are numerous and memorable…worth much more than a coupon for a buck off a hamburger at Sonic Burger.

        • Amen to that, dal.

          As a runner, I can easily run up behind a kid whose preoccupied with his/her little hand-held tech-box; and when I pass them, they jump; they’re completely unaware of their physical surroundings.

        • In Colorado, there is an organization called “Colorado Treasure Hunts”. They hide $$ in various denominations and provide “clues” on their facebook page, usually in the form of a picture for reference, and a general location. They generally hide $$ every weekend. My daughter and I found $20 last weekend. It was very cleverly hidden and not easy to find. A good friend of ours found the $2500 prize last summer. The next big hunt is April 1 in the Colorado Springs area. It is a good way to get people out and about, and a good way to hone your treasure hunting skills. #coloradotreasurehunts.

      • Maybe so Catcher, I find that very sad. Through “augmented reality” we have become fat, lazy, brain dead lemmings living in human feedlots. Humanity has become a herd to be managed by bureaucrats that know what is best for us. If we step out of line they use a cattle prod to “enlighten” us on the correct way to live and what to say.

        Beam me up Scotty, no intelligent life here.

        • Goofy – Where’s your hope? I can understand your realist stance but it seems like you have thrown in the towel regarding our youth and for hope of finding the chest. What gives?

          Show us some positive spirit! Surely you have a little bit of that left in your bones. And no I didn’t call you Shirley.

          • No giving up on youth here. It’s true, many people are so distracted and lazy and out of touch these days that we could all be led easily into a dystopian society and many would not even notice. But there’s those of us out there, even the young who are thinkers and aware and not distracted. Even my boy keeps an eye on world events. Hope is not lost Goofy 🙂

      • While I generally agree with dal, Ken, & Goofy about people needing to be safe in the wilderness and aware of their surroundings, I think that there’s something to be said for games like “Pokemon Go” in how they have given some people the kick in the pants that they needed to at least get up off their chairs and go outside and move around. To me, the effect falls right in line with one of Forrest’s main goals of the Chase: to get people outside and enjoy the outdoors.

        I personally am not interested in “Pokemon Go”, and I also didn’t need a treasure hunt in the first place to give me the impetus to go outside and enjoy nature, but I’m not all people. Whether it’s the Chase or Pokemon, it’s good that things like this are helping some people come to appreciate the outdoors. I hope that once people get out into the great outdoors that they don’t JUST spend their time looking at their phones, or ONLY searching for treasure, without actually appreciating their surroundings.

        Thanks for posting this link, TheReal. I was initially thinking that this app wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but after watching the video, I’m intrigued and may actually download & give it a try! It looks like a better alternative to “Pokemon Go” and a good way for me to get some walking in around town while I’m waiting for the mountains to thaw out!

      • Real,
        I’m simply dumbfounded, but that’s not unusual. I fail to see a problem with ‘real’ reality. I think Goofy said it best, and I dispute only the limitation imposed by his “managed by bureaucrats” phrase. I will add that I don’t believe all bureaucrats are muppets, but those that have chosen that path serve as the conduit to the masses, as do other select entities, institutions, and/or icons throughout societies. They are shortcuts, and, for now, are useful to the unseen hand.

        Just an opinion.

    • Hi Goofy,
      Yeah I know it’s sad- kids are a little different than they used to be. I didn’t even have a TV growing up and if we said “I’m bored”, then we had a choice of do chores or go outside. We spent almost all our time outside haha. Unfortunately for River, we had some complicated family stuff so in some ways he had to grow up a little faster than normal. But now we are moving to a different state and I am cutting down on the amount of time I work so I can have more time with family, and this is just an adventure that will be great for both of us- live some life that isn’t centered around work or electronics. I plan on reminding him about adventure 🙂 Don’t you worry

  6. All the best Roxanne! You are in for a lot of fun— and you are going to learn many new things because of the chase. Welcome! 🙂

    • Thank you! Maybe we will have to find our way to the end of a canyon and bring an IPod to play that song while looking at everything haha!

  7. I got an eight year old that wants to be ‘Short Round’. Does River own the plane, or does he just give flying lessons? Maybe he or your brother can fly you around to look for the blaze? 😀

    • Well, my brother is quite the adventurer already, so while he once had a plane he no longer does. He flies for work spring through fall to remote Alaska villages, then travels the world in the winter time. Last winter it was Beruit and Sri Lanka. I was stuck being a responsible adult haha… So this Rocky Mountain thing is a cool way for me to get out of my mindset and comfort zone 😀

  8. Great email and even if ya never find the treasure keep that little guy always exploring always something to find in the woods even if it ain’t gold

    • Thanks Gypsy!!
      I agree. And it isn’t about the gold now anyway… River’s dream is to live in a log cabin in the mountains. He thinks money is ridiculous. He said if he ever became rich, he’d want to give the majority of his money away because he doesn’t understand the need. He wants to study bugs for a living. I’m happy with his mindset 🙂 I’m just excited to show him some different mountains than the ones he knows here in Alaska. I think I ran across something you published online with some pictures of one of your trips. Man, what an amazing thing to be in such places of beauty. I’m looking forward to it!!

  9. Hi Roxanne,

    We began homeschooling our 11 yo this year, and the first block was “Where the supervolcano meets the volcanic supergroup” (Yellowstone, the Absarokas, and 50 million year old petrified forests). We realized we could go after all the regular-schoolers were back in their chairs under the fluorescent lights, and that worked out great. No reservations, no plans…… met another homeschool family from our neck of the woods. The grizzlies were down out of the mountains.

    I haven’t told them yet, but we’re going back this fall for, er, um, hydrology, yeah, that’s the ticket.

    • Thanks so much for this comment! I’m actually really intimidated to home school. I meet moms quite often in my line of work who homeschool and appear to have ALL their stuff together- their children all in a row studying at their respective desks, grocery shopping, etc. I’m the mom who pulled River out of Kindergarten to spend two winters in South America. I’m in a little bit of a different position now where we are moving to be closer to my mom who is ill, so I was thinking “how can I make this homeschool thing interesting and fun and out of the ordinary, and not be inside at a desk, and bring back stories for my mom?” but still stay near- And boy this is the ticket! So thanks for some great ideas on what to incorporate (volcanoes, etc) into the teaching portion. So far, I’ve bought a globe for River and came up with a non profit plan to teach him to bake weekly, then donate the baked goods to the homeless in the new town we are moving to, and now the poem- and that’s as far as out homeschool plan has gotten! After out move is complete, I’ll take some of these cool ideas and Coke up with a better plan. In the meantime, lots of reading FF stuff. Thanks again for taking the time to message!

      • Kids in the kitchen is the greatest way to teach them fractions (among other things.) Enjoy your time together.

  10. Wishing you both a wonderful time as you chase for adventure. I love the photo you shared of your brother and River. The twinkle in River’s eyes puts a smile on my face.

    Thank you for sharing this letter, Mr. Fenn.

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