Scrapbook One Hundred Seventy One …


APRIL 2017


My library contains a few hundred books on archaeology because that’s my hobby, and I’ve read or thumbed through all of them more than once. Most are highly researched, well written, too technical, and dull as cold oatmeal. C’mon you guys, it’s not like tornados are stopped in mid-air by archaeology, or famines prevented, or even terrible diseases cured for crimanny sake. Loosen up some.

In 2004, when I wrote a book about my excavations at San Lazaro Pueblo I tried to change the archaeological norm by adding some levity. The book is quoted in technical journals, but credit is not given. They don’t like land owners excavating ruins on their own land so they ignore me. That’s okay because I’m having more fun than they are.


Many archaeologists are really good guys, like David Hurst Thomas, who is Curator of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He is loose, and he’s analyzing the San Lazaro church bell fragments for me.

The secret is to not get too excited about the little things. f


133 thoughts on “Scrapbook One Hundred Seventy One …

  1. I really enjoyed this Scrap Book f. It makes me wish I could make sense of my tenitis (sp?).

    • Ha ha you have the ringing too. Good luck with that. You will never get an answer from fenn. Just keep positive or else he will move on to the next person. He is still looking for the one. Denver international airport murals unlock the poem.

  2. Thanks Forrest for sharing,
    I do enjoy seeing sides of you that relate in the adventures you have had, sometimes in a more relax situation. I also thought beer went with everything, but life will go on without it. It seems that pond bathing can be just as fun as river bathing, at least a few others have enjoyed it too. I won’t mind if you happen to share more. Bur

  3. There’s the chest… right beside that rock on the right 😛

    I agree that sometimes the little things overwhelm us when they should not.

    • Hi IW: the question is whether Dal picked the photo and then Photoshopped it in, or if it’s an actual image that Forrest sent him.

      • Well I was mainly joking 😛 It’s not there. If you zoom the picture in… that straight edge is just a shadow of a twig that gives an illusion of the edge of the chest 😀

    • Hi IRON will. I hope you didn’t get too discouraged from scrapbook 130. Do you still believe in the trigger words. I think fenn was actually telling you to look for it and telling the nobody guy that everyone hates that his chance is gone. Either way you would know probably. Ears ringing still? On the other hand he likely has chosen a girl based on his last statement on mysterious writings. Where the finder will be pleased when “she” sees it. Very crazy. This chase is taking a long time. Unlike any other one the other people had to endure. Stay positive my friend. It’s possible and likely that Fenn won’t reveal that the chest is found even if the finder gives him the bracelet back. So many people will feel like they were the one it could explode in his face. It’s stupid because he has done wonders for the world and has changed so many lives for the better. I al.osteoporosis thought I was the one, then realized I was bi polar and my meds weren’t working properly. Now I am great and the community of searches and this site have turned my life around. Good luck and stay strong, I know you will

  4. Might be the only serious pueblo archeology text with a sense of humor…

    BTW editions of this book are hard to come by. Collected Works doesn’t list it on their website. Amazon had a couple but none showed up on eBay when I looked a few minutes ago.

    I really enjoyed reading the personal accounts from Forrest and the interpretations of the discoveries by Forrest and others in this book…
    Lots of photos and drawings to make things easier to grasp…
    A darn good adventure!!!

    • The signed, leather-bound copy from your contest will be up for auction at the SF Horse Shelter fundraiser in May.

      • Rhiannon-
        What a deal…that’s a very special edition…
        Where can we find out more about that auction?
        Is that the edition with the shard of San Lazaro pottery embedded in the cover?
        I saw that edition once…but maybe that one is Forrest’s own…

        • They have a website, I think it is thehorseshelter dot com.
          Yes, it is #4 out of 10 copies with a “gaming piece” from San Lazaro on the cover.

  5. Good SB! I have looked at that orange lichen on many a rock surface.

    It’s a clear sunny day today here in West Yellowstone. Maybe it will hit 40 degrees and melt some of this snow in the mountains.

    One can ride a bicycle through the West Gate entrance into the National Park without sharing the road with automobiles until the 21st. By the number count of cars at the visitors center I am surprised by the number of people who choose to actually do this.

    • You live in West Yellowstone Hawk? Dude… I was there year and half ago, and ate lunch at the Buffalo Bar. My god, that place has some of the best food I’ve ever ordered from a Bar/restaurant. 😀

  6. Be loose and have fun are great words to live by. Thanks for sharing, Forrest!

    Like dal, I wouldn’t mind getting a hold of a copy of this book. Any second printings planned? 🙂

  7. Good that some folks have fun doing what they love…instead of being gloomy stuffed shirts with blinders on. What in the heck is that bluish relic laying in the dirt ? Good reading with great photos….thanks for sharing and looking forward to more.

  8. I like this scrapbook. Thank you for sharing this with us, Mr. Fenn. Now I know what supervising looks like. 🙂

  9. Thanks for sharing Forrest. I picked up on several “Nice-to-know” items.
    Love reading about your adventures – Thanks again for sharing. JDA

  10. Everything you ever wanted to know about lichen but were afraid to ask:

    An interesting quote from the website:
    Lichens are the most overlooked of the conspicuous organisms in the natural landscape. The eye often cannot see what the mind does not already know.

    There are folks called lichenologist, who knew. I guess that makes us Fennologist.
    Shocking discovery about lichen:

    Yeast cells and DNA were extremely common in the yellow, poisonous lichen, but rare in the edible brown lichen. It concerned two lichens that grow in B.C. and Montana and considered separate species for 100 years. One called wila or edible horsehair lichen, also known by the scientific name Bryoria fremontii, is a brown-coloured lichen that was an important traditional food for many First Nations in northwestern North America.

    The other, called tortured horsehair lichen or Bryoria tortuosa, is yellow and poisonous. However, a recent genetic analysis showed that they were genetically identical — they were made up of exactly the same species of fungus and the same species of algae.

    I finally get it, what took me so long……Fire up the truck, I’m on my way. (As soon as my wife gets a bowl and gives me a Moe haircut.)

    • Haha! I’m with you, Goofy! I was thinking I should go get a bowl cut today, lighten the load a little. Then go find a nice spot to chill and relax.

  11. Very interesting scrapbook. My wife and I have a copy of “The Secrets of San Lazaro Pueblo” and we just love it!
    Very well written and illustrated !
    It just adds to our amazement of Forrest!

    • Thomas;

      Since you have the book, can you tell me whether or not the picture of the bathing pond is in the book or not? Just curious.
      Thanks – JDA

      • JDA-
        I can answer that-
        Yes..all the images are scanned from the pages of the book..The text was retyped and sized so it would be more readable on the blog…but those photos are all actual scans from pages in the book…

  12. San Lazaro has always intrigued me… so many unanswered questions about life so long ago… I bet as the desert wind slowly passes by a person can hear the ancient past whispering in the solitude of that place…… it’s amazing to me just to think what it’s like to stand in such a place…

    Thank you Forrest for this scrapbook… I loved it!

    Have a great day…. see ya

  13. Nice SB Mr Fenn. Do you still visit the site as often since you sold the ranch? And I was wondering, is a sherd better than a shard?


  14. Nice post Forrest,

    Thanks for the living example of how to think for yourself, especially when told your wrong to do so. It is to sad more people don’t write their own history and stories.

    Some people don’t know what they believe since the can’t even convince themselves. Perhaps to figure if they can convince other’s of a fact they must be right. Phd’s can spend so much time on story and are mostly just guessing. We can all teach it’s ok to guess on our own and verify on our own. We can use our own imaginations. Even if one is wrong it will be a meaningful personal story to the individual. So many people find it easier to be told what to think than to actually think and verify on things themselves. I would like to see less fake stories in museums and in the news. There could someday be museums that have items with only info on found by location, and a possible date. Stories to be written by the visitor. You can call me on that.

    Although your poem is great tool, we can always hope many more people can find their own ways to reach people to dream, verify, and then act tactically on their own.

    All Caribou love lichen.

  15. Ok, I believe I got it. My thoughts cleared up. I am just waiting for the window of opportunity.

  16. Mr. Fenn, thanx for sharing. I enjoyed the swimming hole – brought back some memories from my younger days.

  17. I can’t help myself…first of all, there’s that thumb again! And, what an interesting “blaze” is created by the reflection in the pool of water. Look quickly down upon a partially submerged sandstone shelf lol. Thank you Goofy for the great lichen links, great information. And thank you Mr. Fenn for a fun and informative scrapbook.

  18. well,mr. forrest,the watering hole looked good,I thought ,that looks fun to do.then you had to go mention snakes, and that killed it for look so relaxed in the shade,then i thought,what if a rattlesnake had qualled up with him,gave me the willies.Tales of tom sawyer and huckelberry are.I want to find that treasure,is there a jackson island?I’ll imagine,I’ll start at the gulf of mexico and go up the mississippi and then the missuori and arkansas and end up around here make me smile and laugh.i could sit with you all day and listen to your stories.The Tales of Fenn.

  19. The smashing of the bell is a big part of the story and the history of the site.

    The pieces can be found and reassembled if people want to see the bell. It’s just a matter of remembering where all the parts were stored.

  20. Another swimming hole?
    This guy seems to bathe in his birthday suite at special spots.
    Water is life.

    We now know about the Firehole next to Ojo, the Madison & now San Lazaro. I know I am missing some others.

    • Yeah, the one in New Mexico where the warm waters halt…

      More snow today in the mountains of New Mexico…wtf? I was told Raton Pass is closed (fyi…)

      • It’s kinda ironic Cynthia,
        I have noticed a lot of snow in the south searching states.
        I think mom will open up all four states about the same time this year.

        Warm waters are still flowing in YNP no matter the temp.

  21. I like this SB, too. Definitely wise words. This chase is supposed to be fun! When it ceases to be fun, it’s time to take a step back and, well, have fun anyway. 🙂

    It’s never stopped being fun for me.

    And the San Lazaro book is awesome! My son and I have read it several times! 🙂

    • Yeah I agree it’s so fun. The ringing in my ears is awesome. Good for you that you have read the San Larazo book so many times with your son. I think you will find the chest. You are doing the right thing.

  22. A ringing in the ears has definitely been heard by many for quite a long time.

    It’s too awesome!

  23. Forrest,
    When James and I explored Tsankawi, we saw green lichen growing on rocks in a spiral (almost a bullseye) pattern. I wonder why that is?

    • Mindy…
      I once ran across a rock that had moss growing on it in a simple sun pattern…you know…the circle for the sun and lines around it pointing outward for rays…very basic…but I didn’t think moss could do that on it’s own so I took my pocket knife and scraped some away…underneath was a petroglyph in the same design…
      The moss had simply found that the petroglyph made a better substrate to grow on than the weathered rock face…
      So it traced the carving exactly…

      Maybe that’s the reason the lichen that you saw was growing in that particular design…

      • Dal, Where did you find this? I think you exposed the “blaze”…I’m always looking for a sun dagger petroglyph but your description of the sun also works.

        • Cynthia-
          That was not in the mountains…it was near my house on the islands…here where moss grows everywhere…including my roof…
          I suspect it is an old Salish Coast Indian carving…
          The Lummi Indians probably dreamed of sunny days and warm nights in this part of the rainy world like plains Indians fantasized about herds of buffalo.

    • Hi Mindy — when I was skiing at Squaw a few weeks ago, we noticed that on some trees the lichen grew in delightful, parallel rings around the trunk. After thinking about it for a while, and looking closer, it appeared that each ring was positioned where a branch once stuck out (but no longer). Here’s a picture of what I’m talking about:

      • Pretty cool, zap…the ones we saw looked like definite spirals on the top of boulders. I’ll post a couple pics on my blog tomorrow. 🙂

      • Hi John — you are right, of course. The photographer for the link I sent misidentified those rings as being lichens: “Some trees were covered in a sheath of fluorescent green lichen reminiscent of the Olympic Peninsula, while the lichen on others was stratified in rings all the way down the trunk to the height where last year’s snowpack had reached.”

  24. “A lichen is not a single organism, but the result of a partnership (mutualistic symbiosis) between a fungus and an alga or cyanobacteria. Some lichens are formed of three or more partners.”

    And beer doesn’t help?

  25. Nice scrapbook Mr. Fenn. I see you got all tuckered from all that sand play! I think I am going to get your SOSLP book and raise my I.Q. in archeology.

  26. Thank you for sharing. It’s a beautiful book and I hope to read it some day. It’s a shame that many archaeologists don’t share your additional gifts in story telling, but I wanted to comment because you never actually know what future archaeologists may yet be inspired by your book.

    When I was in sixth grade, I was lucky enough to find a copy of “Secrets of the Great Pyramid”, by Peter Tompkins, in a yard sale. It was thick and full of difficult words, but the stories really captured my interest. Stories of how Al Mamun first tunneled into the pyramid in 820 AD, using fire doused with vinegar to break the stone. How Davison noticed, by echoes, that there may be something at the top of the Grand Gallery, and then climbed seven ladders and crawled through 16 inches of bat dung to discover a new chamber. These stories were amazing. I shared the book with my history teacher (still recall his name, Mr. Harper) and he taught class straight from the book. I got an “A”, just because I had already read it.

    I never did become an archaeologist, mostly because my later grades weren’t so hot and my attention span took a nose-dive in my teens. But I could have, and would have, just based on that one book. I still have the book, actually. If Mr. Tompkins was still alive I’d try and find some way to say thanks.

    There may be some kid, right now, reading your book, or ten years from now, and it may spark a lifelong interest and career in archaeology — from storytelling. If we’re lucky, that kid will have your wit and humor and keep the cycle going.

    Also, I wanted to comment…

    “…in a sunny place, and sprayed with beer once a week, it would continue to grow and keep its colors.”

    If only people came with these set of instructions. 🙂

  27. Don’t get too excited about the little things = Don’t sweat the small Stuff (?)

  28. Laid back and enjoying life doesn’t mean one can’t be academic and knowledgeable! Please keep sharing your joys in life, Forrest! 🙂

  29. “The secret is to not get too excited about the little things. f”

    Do snakes qualify as little things? I can’t be sure, but isn’t that a snake pondering Mr. Fenn’s right hand in the “pondering” photo?

    • And a frog in the lichen picture, bottom right. Well camoflauged but his eyes are peering out.

      • In Hopi mythology, during their great migrations (and to this day), the people were instructed to keep the opening in the top of their heads open to communicate with spirit. Interesting depiction of that perhaps?

  30. Lich en

    Thank you Forrest. Interesting as you always are. And thanks Dal & Goofy.

  31. Always love the stories. Has any ventured that FF left a bell at the location of the chest? “Here me now and listen well”

    • Hmm, why would he leave a bell at the location when he left the chest at the location? Oh! Maybe 2 treasures 4 the finder? Nah, but I believe bells are a hint to the location and that’s just between you and me and IMO.

  32. Ok listen up and listen good*

    -Guys and gals I think Forrest is screaming something at the top of his lungs but are we listening.

    I gather from the words between the words….communication.

    Firstly I’d like to say I believe he is talking about a guy or man.

    The word “safe” appears and then we have him wondering aloud “when win?” as if he’s posing a question to this guy. The word mele appears twice melee aaarg that’s pirate talk. Dore is used talking about gold bars?? It’s all there no need to point it out.

  33. I wonder how many sites and artifacts were plowed under during the construction on the US. Good for you, Forrest, for excavating San Lazaro Pueblo and the book on this subject is worth reading.

    • BW,

      Here is something to chew on. Maybe the clue given many years ago; “Not in Nevada” actually had some weight. There are no O’s in Nevada, but the remaining four states; Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, and Colorado all have at least one O. Only Colorado has more than one (it actually has 3). If we get rid of the two extra o’s we are left with: clrado. Re-order these letters and we have: Cola Dr. perhaps this is your Dr. Pepper.

      Fred Y.

      • Or maybe it has to do with Dr. Pepper’s slogan: 10 2 4. From 10 to 4 on a clock face we have half a circle. Maybe it has something to do with pi. (3.14) or 180 degrees. We all know how Forrest loves to talk about pie’s.

        Fred Y.
        P.S. It feels good letting a few things out, was getting tired of whispering all the time. Long time lurker ready to let some things go. Could be wrong about all I say, so all in my opinion of course…

          • Okay feeling real generous tonight. Scrapbook 99.5 first picture. There is something on the counter related to this subject. It is a little off, but I will leave it to everyone else to figure out why?

            Fred Y.

          • Hi Fred Y.: no takers so I’ll bite. The alarm clock on the bathroom counter is reading 10 to 3 — an hour shy of the Dr. Pepper slogan. He’s also one light bulb shy right above the clock.

          • Nice catch Zap,

            Nailed it!!! Now what does light and hour difference mean to you? Put the answer to that question together with other things on the counter, and you will be relocated more than likely. It helps to get the overall concept of the whole scrapbook as well.

            Fred Y.

          • Fred Y.: well, Daylight Saving Time doesn’t really do anything for me (other than maybe rule out out-of-play Arizona that doesn’t observe it). In any case, nothing at this point will divert me from my location — indeed this SB alone has four hints to the same clue, IMO.

          • Totally understand Zap,

            IMOA of course, what you said about daylight savings is correct in my thinking, but nothing to do with Arizona. I was in no way trying to sway you or anyone else away from their current solve. No one could do that with me either, just having fun throwing out some things related to mine. I don’t think you could miss the central theme of this scrapbook, but I think from what you replied we are applying it differently.

  34. Thanks for the post Dal . And thanks F for the stories .
    You are always doing stuff like that .
    My guess you are still pleasing others . =)
    Honorable in the full regalia !

  35. I posted the following Link quite awhile back. Mable embraced Taos, and it’s people embraced her back. Rachel Brown, (Malcolm), among others, (Warden, Pond, etc) could also be included in the marvelous stories of legends It would be a truly wonderful gift if The Flyer were to write that book ! (**Artists – Taos Memories)

  36. I’m looking quickly down at 5:35, feel like I been in the wilderness all day.

  37. Forrest, you’re such a tease! You post little reminders relating to a correct
    solve, even though those reminders won’t help anyone actually solve the

    Thanks for the interesting scrapbooks anyway. And thank you very much
    for making this treasure hunt possible for so many people. If this hunt did
    not exist, I probably wouldn’t have been to the Rocky Mountains yet. My
    two trips there were quite interesting . . . and almost fruitful, regarding the
    hunt. I can almost smell the “fruit”.

    I’m the guy who commented about your choice of the word “sandwich” (another tease).

    This is all IMO.

  38. Forrest, your choice of certain words and phrases (related to the rocks with
    lichens) indicates that you’re a very clever fellow — although we’ve known
    this for years.

    It looks like you’re having a lot of fun with this chase. I certainly hope so;
    it must have taken a decent amount of time to write this latest scrapbook
    of yours. Many thanks. Much of your cleverness therein was not wasted
    on at least one searcher.

  39. crystal geysers blew.. it didn’t work because… CC

    sometimes you just can’t force.. a gale

    aggregation nation is probably good food for thought..
    but who am i to say?


  40. haha my grandpa would take naps just like that every day after tea time.

    Archaeology seems highly rewarding. Might be the next hobby to dive into..

    Thanks f

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