A Fun, Safe Side Trip….

by dodo bird


On my trip to search for Forrest Fenn’s treasure at Yellowstone Park, I decided to take a break and visit the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. It’s no secret that Forrest was on the board of directors there and has donated items from his personal collection. And I just really like museums. The Buffalo Bill Center contains five museums and for just an 18$ admission you can come back the next day. Seeing how people used to live makes me appreciate how easy our lives are now.

I left Yellowstone through the east entrance. On the way to Cody i stopped at the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. There, I found on display remnants of the old dam workings. I thought this huge wooden clad concrete ball was interesting.

It was lowered into the water to plug a pipe that carried runoff water to discharge below the dam. the huge ball was bigger than the pipe to act like a stopper. it wouldn’t fit through the pipe.

Arriving at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, I first toured the Draper Museum of Natural History. The Byrd Naturalist cabin is at the beginning.

I met and talked to Mike Brown,who is head of security.
The Draper is set up like a spiral ramp at a parking garage. You start out at the 10,000 foot level of elevation and descend to 4,500 feet always turning left.

The Draper houses the sights, sounds and smells of Yellowstone. caution small children not to be afraid. The floor of the Draper is carpeted and smooth so footing is no problem. It’s an easy hike,all downhill. At an archaeology exhibit i took this photo.

There are touch screen quizzes for the kids to test their knowledge of the outdoors.

So hear me all and listen good!

Four more museums to go!

by Dodo Bird-

102 thoughts on “A Fun, Safe Side Trip….

  1. There is a painting by Remington that depicts Native Americans taking out the nigh horse (one in front). Or the lead horse of a stagecoach therefore taking down the rest of the horses.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story and photos, Dodo Bird. Have fun with the other museums.

  3. Is that pictured rodent called a Whistler? He’s a cute little guy. Is the Fenn Cache kept at The Buffalo Bill center? I would really love to see it.

    • Heidini- I dont know if that is a Whistler or not, i never paid much attention to squirrels. and as far as to whether or not the Fenn cache is at the Buffalo Bill Center, i dont know the answer to that either but i did happen to look up the meaning of the word “trove” that he used in the poem. being a dodo bird i must occasionally find out the true meaning of some words as im easily confused.

      a store of valuable or delightful things
      and used in a sentence- “the museums trove of antique treasure”

      i wish Forrest would have wrote…”and leave my treasure chest for all to seek”

      sure would make my life a whole lot easier.
      believe me.

  4. My brother and I once found a white Folsom arrow point near Cabezon, NM, translation; the Bald headed one, it was less than 2″ in length and unselfishly sent it to be displayed at the Illinois State University Archeology Dept.


  5. I think we should all plan a safe trip whether the main course or on the side.
    I wonder what the rodent was saying.

  6. Dodo Bird—

    Thanks for sharing—-but I thought you were extinct. 🙂

    Nice article!

    • Sparrow- no i’m not extinct. thats a nasty rumor started by a couple of iron chickens. i’m an icon of extinction according to wikipedia. i kind of like being an icon, i feel important. im sorry to learn of the demise of your cousins the Dusky seaside sparrow. furthermore, im considering placing imagination on the endangered species list. due to the comments on this thread. i thank you all for the kind comments directed toward me but i’m saddened by the fact that nobody made any connection between my visit to the Draper and Forrest’s book and poem. unless, those who have are keeping quiet about it.

    • Dodo Birds are definitely not extinct. I saw one just today, it was staring back at me in a puddle.

  7. We also went to these museums on our last visit to Yellowstone. I wouldn’t have known about them except we heard about them on this web-site!

    Our family had a wonderful visit there!

  8. Thanks for sharing Dodo Bird,
    Nothing as memorable as a cool family outing. The oversized wooden plug left me feeling really thirsty and a little squirrelly. Thanks for sharing

  9. Very nice…loved your pictures. Thanks for sharing. I hope to see YNP and this area eventually, maybe later this year.

  10. Thanks for sharing, Dodo Bird! I was picturing this place as being more like a classic small-town Carnegie Library, but am surprised by its scale and museum-like stature. Will definitely give this a stop when I’m in the area! 🙂

  11. There are many cool, hidden places in every state.
    Recently, we roamed Arkansas, and ended up in Murfreesboro. A big sign with an Indian, pointed to the KA DOH HA Indian Mound Village.
    For a few bucks, we toured a big field with deeply dug holes in the middle of out of placed mounds. The archeological recreation of bones and burial items was really interesting.
    As we examined each panoramic scene in the museum, there, in a wooden framed shadow box, was a Clovis spear point…donated by…wait for it…FOREST FENN! It was a pink hued flint, beautiful.
    It seems, I run into Fenn stuff or things that remind me of the Chase all the time!
    Thanks, F, for helping out that little museum! They sure we’re proud of it!

    • Thanks Donna M, that’s close to me. I think I’ll go check that out… I didn’t know Forrest donated a spear point to them….
      Thanks for the info… I hope you enjoyed your trip… have a great night…… see ya

      • It’s pretty neat, Focused! But they salt the plowed field with flint chips, ours had a “W” written in it! Lol

  12. Did mr.fenn say he started from home hide the treasure and was back that late afternoon?? It seems it was the case, the way I read from some of the articles people have written .

    • Norman, I’ll answer that, NO! He never said that. Only that he completed both hikes to his parked car, to hide the treasure, in one afternoon. Never said he left his house, hid it. He could have been in any of the four states for vacation, busines, ect. That’s just too big of a clue for F to give!

    • Also, you’ve mentioned on multiple occasions that it took two “trips” to secret the chest and contents to a very special place. Perhaps someone has already asked this, but I’ve not found an answer yet posted or video recording that contains an answer. Forgive me if this is redundant, but were both trips made on the same day/date? Not to be anal, but that would be one spinaroo of the giant ball we call Earth that constitutes a single 24-hour day to its humble inhabitants.

      Thanks so much.
      Kind Regards,

      Joe, you make this thing so complicated. Reminds me of the reason I don’t like meetings. I hope you don’t belong to a PTA someplace. I made two trips from my car to the hiding place and it was done in one afternoon.f

      Answer to another Q&A ~Ron, your question sounds like a travelogue, but I’ll answer it. No, I don’t want to be that bold. But I will say that I walked less than a few miles if that will help. I just looked “few” up and one definition is “scant.” Why do I sound like I’m talking in circles? f

  13. I have been to the cody museum,it is very nice.but I never knew about the place of the big wooden ball.I would of been touching that baby to see if part of a board opened and the chest was in there.

  14. Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip! Looks like a wonderful time. I’ll be sure to visit on my next trip.

  15. randawg- here is the chest the poem speaks of. in my photos above see the archaeology display. the large wooden chest with the letters “IN” on the lid. just take (a photo) the chest (this box) and go in peace.
    if you are brave and “IN” the wood.
    just take the chest and leave my bones. (bones in the display.)
    get it?

    I think.

    *the blaze is feet.

    • randawg- in Forrest’s book TFTW the chapter “My Prehistoric Friends”.
      imagine yourself as the indian family looking at the archaeology display at the Draper. kind of all makes sense now doesn’t it.

      I think.

    • dodo—

      The backpack is covering up other letters. It isn’t the word IN. I’m not sure what you are saying here, but I don’t think it is relevant.

      • Sparrow- yes the backpack does cover up other letters so that ONLY the letters IN are showing. this is done on purpose. I know this to be fact because when I visited the museum in 2013 the backpack was laying loose on top of that wooden chest. I lifted the lid of the chest looking for the bronze box. the bronze box is not inside that chest. the backpack tried to fall off, I caught it and replaced it as best I could. at the time, I had no idea of the significance of the wooden chest and the letters IN. the thoughts would come to me later as I examined photos I took while at the museum in 2013. I called Dr. Preston curator of the Draper and told him what I had done. he informed me that the archaeology display was a work in progress and wasn’t finished yet. he also informed me that he talked to Forrest Fenn about me and Forrest assured Dr. Preston that the bronze box was hidden nowhere in the Buffalo Bill center of the West.
        fast forward to 2015. once I understood that the wooden chest at the Draper is in fact the chest or the poem, and the letters IN are from the “brave and in the wood” line, I returned to the Draper to see if the backpack was still there and the letters IN were exposed. they were, it was, in fact the backpack is now screwed down permanent and the lid to the chest is screwed down as well. the chest houses electronic devices to run the touch screen quiz at the display. (answers I already know).
        this is the solution to Forrest’s poem. you are to visit the Draper, take a photo of this chest and go in peace.
        that’s it.
        this is indeed relevant Sparrow. its half the battle. now I’m searching for the bronze box and as for its location there in no poem, no clues no hints. my adventure has just begun.

      • tight- I been thinking about your comment for a long time and no, I don’t get the backpedaling. can you explain?

  16. howdy folks. ive been let out of my cage and intend to tell all. the solution to Forrest Fenn’s poem is right here on this thread. read it and weep.
    the Buffalo Bill Center of the west is stanza one. photo.
    Yellowstone to cody, WY is stanza two,
    HOB is the Byrd naturalist cabin at the Draper museum. photo.
    the Draper experience is stanza three. photo.
    blaze is the feet of Harold McCracken,
    chest is the wooden box with the letters “IN” on the lid, TAKE a photo. photo.
    Forrest left his trove, at the museum for all to seek.
    the answers he already knows are the answers to the touch screen quizzes. photo.
    hear me all. photo
    effort worth cold is the year round temperature controlled museum.
    brave and “IN” the wood. photo.
    title to the gold is the poem.

    I think.

    • Ummmm…. congratulations(?)
      Your solution did make me weep. Have fun with your photo of that wooden box. I’m still gonna search for the bronze treasure chest.
      Thanks for the humorous post.

      I think?

      (PS: If I print a copy of your box pic, does that mean I solved it too?)

      • randawg- no, you have to make the trip to Cody yourself and shoot the chest with a canon. or any camera. second place is available.

        I think.

    • Looks like a fascinating place to visit.

      Don’t forget to visit the “Robert W. Woodruff Gallery of Embellished Arms” while you are there. (SB 14? – makes me chuckle anyways)

  17. Hey Dodo Bird…. that big cement, wooden ball … that was basically a stopper…. is called “ a HALT”….

    • Hi C,

      Zeldasings, I remember that trip of yours. After you guys were there I did a lot of research for that area because of where my solve, back then, had taken me to that particular region. Good to see your still involved in the chase. If your still searching I wish you the best. Stay safe and good luck.


    • Yes Zelda, a commentor by the name of Tommy Voltaire provided the link above in which the word “halt” can be seen clearly on the bronze plaque.

      thank you.

  18. Well dodo.

    All I can say is good luck. I do not follow your logic, and that is OK. I do not see where you are following Forrest’s ATF comments, but that is OK too. You say that after taking a picture of the wooden box, that the search for the Treasure begins but, no poem, no books etc. So how will you ever be able to find it? As I said, good luck my friend. Happy hunting with nothing to lead you – JDA

    • JDA- correct, with no book no poem I am searching for the bronze box. your comment mentions treasure. for me, the treasure is the great outdoors.
      all I have are imagination and a few Hunches. thanks for the well wishes.

    • JDA,

      I wanted to let you know that I have sent my solution to Dal, with images. As I said before this was my last search. However I will continue to visit and post here on hod.

  19. JDA has told me he is having trouble following my train of thought here on this thread. I’m going to explain in more detail, just for you JDA. a little at a time.

    First stanza of the poem…
    as I have gone alone in there. this is the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
    and with my treasures bold. this is the items donated to the museum by Forrest and Peggy.
    I can keep my secret where. the secret is the fact that the chest of the poem is here and it is not the bronze box.
    and hint of riches old and new. the Buffalo Bill Center of the West houses riches old and new. a lot of stuff!

    got it JDA? pretty simple. now you know where to start.

    I think.

    • For JDA- first stanza tells you where to start and stanza two tells you how to get there.
      since the first stanza tells us where to start so lets talk about where to begin the journey to the starting place just to make sure we have the correct starting place.
      begin it (the journey to the starting place) where warm waters halt.
      Forrest has said there are many places in the rocky mountains where warm waters halt. true.
      but since we know that the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is the starting place then we must reverse engineer WWWH and canyon down to the HOB.
      easy- WWWH=Yellowstone
      canyon down= road from Yellowstone to cody.
      too far to walk? yes.
      HOB is the Byrd Naturalist cabin (see photo above) and notice the sign next to the cabin…Expedition Trailhead…what better place to put in?
      its so simple isn’t it?

      I think so.

      • Thanks dodo, but,

        1) I am not having trouble following my train – I just do not accept the idea.
        2) I am not stupid, so I do not need to be fed information “a little at a time.”
        3) No need to be sarcastic – “got it JDA?” – yes, “I got it” I just do not accept it as fact.
        4) You then say, “but since we know that the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is the starting place” – YOU believe this to be a fact, I do not.
        5) Since I am not stupid, and do not need your sarcasm, and do not accept your premise (at all) please refrain from addressing comments to me – Thanks.

        As far as I am concerned, FAR too much time has been spent on your particular rabbit hole. Have fun, and good luck – JMVHO – JDA

        • Wow, sorry JDA.
          so that means you do understand what I’m trying to say?

  20. Dodo, when a solve comes to a halt it is usually because of a misinterpretation or getting stuck somewhere that is hard to interpret. Since you haven’t found it yet with this solution where are you at?

    • Aaron- I have found “It”. it, being the chest of the poem. I took it and went in peace. the whole solution is on this thread.
      guess I gotta pick up with you, where I left off with JDA.

      stanza three describes the Draper experience. that’s all.
      with me so far Aaron?

      • I am, but the ‘it’ I am referring to is the bronze box filled with gold, not the ‘it’ in the poem.

          • Aaron I got a Hunch where the bronze box will be but I don’t want to talk about that right now.
            its a little thing between me and the big guy.

      • Aaron- again on the third stanza…
        “end ever drawing nigh”
        in my photo above of the Draper you can see the spiral ramp that takes you down in elevation from 10,000 feet to 4,000 feet. ever turning left, into the basement, where you will find a good map on the floor. you can see all these things in photos online about the Draper. the only photo you will not find online is that of the chest in the archaeology display. only here.

          • Aaron- this wooden box with the letters “IN” on the lid is the one mentioned in the poem and the instruction is to “take” the chest…a photo…and go in peace.
            the line – “if you are brave and IN the wood” is confirmation you have photographed the correct chest.
            I think.

          • Aaron- forgot to add how it helps me….my quest has ceased, for the chest.
            now, where is that bronze box of gold and bling?

  21. Hello dodo bird. Do you consider any other part of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West part of your solve, or just Draper? The Center definitely holds a lot of history in it. My family and I were mainly at the other end of the building. Took a lot of photos.

    • pdenver, yes. in fact the whole reason we went to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West was to search the gun museum. finding the Draper was an accident and taking my photo of the wooden chest was an accident too. I had no idea of the importance of that photo at the time. it took two years to see what I had done. and am still not 100% sure that this has anything to do with Forrest’s puzzle. but the evidence is here, possibly coincidental but I doubt it. of course Forrest wont tell me yes nor no.
      we also searched the plains indian museum extensively. the Draper was the last place we looked and both of us just dropped jaws and said ..”oh my god, this is it.”
      I still remember the feeling as if it were yesterday.

      • Hello dodo bird. Do you believe the exhibits explains what it is you’re looking for while out in the wild, or do you believe it’s inside the museum itself? Mr. Fenn wants families to be outside and experience the beauty of it.

        • pdenver- yes the exhibits at Draper help you understand Yellowstone, BEFORE you visit the park, this is what the Draper is all about. its a safe place for kids to understand what they can and cannot touch at Yellowstone. what kids and parents too can and cannot do at Yellowstone. for safety.
          and yes pdenver, this is exactly what Forrest wanted parents and their kids to do.
          as far as TTOTC is concerned, the treasure is the wilderness and the chest of the poem is at the Draper.
          (see archaeology photo above)
          it can be said the Draper has both the treasure and the chest.
          thank you for asking, I think this helps everyone.

  22. CharlieM- its all right here. rather than me going through it for the umpteenth time just tell me which part you don’t understand.

  23. “this wooden box with the letters “IN” on the lid is the one mentioned in the poem and the instruction is to “take” the chest…a photo…and go in peace.
    the line – “if you are brave and IN the wood” is confirmation you have photographed the correct chest.
    I think.”

    Got it, but how does taking this photo help you?

  24. “my quest has ceased, for the chest.
    now, where is that bronze box of gold and bling?”

    And you believe the last two stanza’s help with this?

    • Aaron- its a threefold thing. the last two stanzas, in fact the whole poem helps you find the treasure, the chest, and finally the bronze box. in that order.
      ive been saying all along, the treasure is the great outdoors, your BOTG search.
      the chest of the poem is at the Draper.
      I’m not ready to talk about where I think the bronze box will be.
      three solutions to the poem to find three different things.
      I think.

          • whats really fun for me is reading all the comments/discussions about the various topics…WWWH, HOB, NFBTFTW, and so on and IF (big if) these people would realize that every BOTG search has led them to the treasure (the great outdoors) then they are all correct. each and every one has the correct WWWH. each and every one has the correct HOB. the correct blaze. because they found the treasure and didn’t know it. there is no reason to discuss right or wrong on these issues.
            the real discussion should be about the difference between treasure, chest of poem, and bronze box.

            I think.

  25. Dal posted my story here in April of 2017. shortly after, Forrest sent scrapbook 183 to Dal for posting. the last photo of forrest’s scrapbook shows the painting entitled “the scream”.
    I’m guessing this was done in response to my last photo here, showing my little buddy screaming.
    and still no one hears good.

    • I agree dodo. Forrest must have read your story and sent that photo along as his reaction…Screaming…I think he was yelling…”That’s the most preposterous one yet!!!” 🙂

  26. Dodo bird unselfishly provided us with a photo of a wooden museum chest that is most definitely “in the wood”.

    thank you dodo.
    i think?

  27. as per Dal’s request i will try to be clear using Dodo birds fun, safe side trip.

    using the photos provided above….(in my opinion)
    the Buffalo Bill center of the West is where Forrest has gone alone and with treasures bold.
    the halt ball at the Buffalo Bill reservoir is where warm waters halt.
    the Byrd naturalist cabin at the Draper museum within the Buffalo Bill center of the West is the home of Brown.
    the spiral ramp down is ever turning left and no place for the meek.
    the feet of Harold McCracken at the archeology display is the blaze…feet.
    the chest with the letters “IN” (brave and IN the wood) exposed is the correct chest to “TAKE”, as in a photo.
    the answers Forrest already knows is the answers to the questions on the touch screen quizzes at the draper.
    and dont anybody remind me that “its not associated with a structure” because if one were to remove the structure that is the Buffalo BIll center of the west, the chest would remain as it is in the basement intact.

    Dal, CLEARLY to me this is the solution to finding the chest of the poem. nine clues.
    i think.

    • bob greene – I totally LOVE your Draper Museum solve! You explained it very clearly, IMO.


      ♦Where warm waters halt is not a dam.

      From Dal’s Cheat Sheet. That ‘Halt Ball’ is part of the old dam at Buffalo Bill Reservoir.

      • hi Lisa! i havent talked to you in a long time, this is nice.
        the halt ball is no longer a part of the dam and is not in use. the ball is part of an outdoor museum. if one day Dal’s chest sheet were to include ….”where warm waters halt is not a museum” then i will dismiss the halt ball.
        the hint to the halt ball in TTOTC is Forrest’s missing ball of string. the string ball was so big it wouldnt fit through the door. Dodo bird (me) alluded to this in his commentary.

        this comment is not in my optnion, i see as fact.

        • correction: cheat sheet not chest sheet.
          this fun, safe side trip thread could be the chest sheet.
          i think.

    • Thanks for the clarity Bob…but what about the chest with the gold and jewels…the one the rest of us are trying to locate…
      How does that fit into your solution…
      You keep differentiating between the “treasure” and the “chest”…
      If your solution is for the chest…what about the treasure…or the chest with the gold and gems and turquoise bracelet and the olive jar containing his bio?

      • Dal, i think the chest with the gold and jewels will be at the end of his rainow….yet to be seen.
        the treasure is the great outdoors, anywhere the poem leads you or any searcher.
        you know as well as anyone else here that this is all about the thrill of the chase. enrichening lives not wallets.

        i think.

    • Geez. I wish it was that easy. Everything in a museum. Wouldn’t get winded there. No difficult roads. Now there is a treasure hunt. Sign me up Bob. LOL.

    • bob greene

      The building still stands, its a existing structure, are we suppose to tear it down, like the woman tried in Silverton, CO with the base of the Christ of the Mines Shrine?

      Really? nope

      • no rubber, the chest of gold and jewels is not at the museum. dont go digging up any old outhouses, shrines, or museums.

    • That would be fun to incorporate at the Forrest Fenn Mountain Menagerie(A Place Called home). I hear there’s already an exhibit in the woodworks for the Interactive Guided Tour. Can You Escape the Thrill of The Chase with only the poem? Don’t think for a second that you won’t have to get your boots dirty or your gloves wet. Very creative and Good presentation. Keep it UP.

      • falling- thanks for reminding me about the one room schoolhouse at the Draper museum. a place to get your boots dirty and gloves wet. a place where students are encouraged to “please touch we are responsible”. a school with no tuition and everyone graduates. a place where kids learn to take better care of the planet.

  28. i spoke with dodo bird yesterday briefly hes out of country on vacation. the holidays are unnerving to any large flightless bird. dodo is at the south pole visiting his penguin buddies and sends everyone here well wishes.
    happy holidays!

  29. im gonna try something here, lets see if it works…..
    ok, i think what Dodo is trying to convey albeit subtle, is this.
    photo one is stanza one, clue one… where Forrest went alone and with treasures bold.
    photo two is WWWH, clue two.
    no photo but clue three is canyon down the road from buffalo bill reservoir to cody, wy.
    photo three is HOB clue four.
    photo four is the Draper experience, clue five.
    photo five contains clues six and seven, clue six is the blaze, the feet and clue seven is the chest below the feet.
    photo six is the kids at the touch screen quizzes, which is clue eight the “answer(s)” Forrest already knows.
    and clue nine is back to photo five, “brave and IN the wood” the photo of the correct chest taken. not the bronze box.
    i think.

    • well Forrest, no comments to my greatest and latest nine clue solution. thats ok, im used to not getting much attention.
      trying to provide a sensible,logical alternative to a BOTG search in the wilderness for anything but the bronze box of goodies falls on deaf ears it seems. as it should be per your desire to get families “back to nature”. you got maximum effect with minimal effort. lol
      bravo! and cheers! my friend.

      i think.

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