Scrapbook One Hundred Eighty Two…


APRIL 2017


Rusted Remnants of History

My son-in-law, David Old, owns the 2,400 acre Viveash Ranch. It is just northeast of Pecos and up. Up to 10,637 feet. In 1977, his father died in a plane crash in Alaska, leaving David the ranch.

The 45 minute drive from pavement up to the first gate is a shock absorber crushing ride over rocks that feel a special disdain for any modern conveyance.

The ranch contains some of the most beautiful landscapes in America, with house-size rock outcroppings, 5 spring-fed ponds, and far-seeing mountain vistas. Animals are everywhere: elk, deer, turkey, and bear. Mountain lions, porcupines, and bobcats are also present.

Shiloh with a turkey he shot 4/22/17

Bears have been known to break a window in the main cabin and thrash everything inside, including the refrigerator and pantry, causing general mayhem. Several years ago David shot a rifle bullet through the front door to stop a bear that was clawing, and close to getting in. I think little Piper frequently peeped through the hole to see what might be lurking just outside, lest she open the door to a big furry surprise.

Each of the ponds contained trout that were fat from eating grasshoppers, crawfish, and unlucky water dwelling insects. Elk ate the cattails we planted, but the lily pads thrived. Fishing was good.

Three pet llamas and five horses grazed the wooded high country, undisturbed for years. Then all of a sudden there were only two llamas. Shiloh blamed a mountain lion.

There was always some grass, but occasionally during the dead winter months when the snow got deep, the pets retreated to the barn to wait for a chinook or a more enjoyable temperature. When necessary, Shiloh took hay up by snowmobile.

Then came the Viveash fire that started May 29, 2000. In a terrible few days the ranch lost 17,000,000 board feet of standing timber. The sky turned so black that the animals must have thought midnight had arrived twelve hours early, and just stayed. Billowing clouds of smoke could be seen from as far away as Pike’s Peak. Commercial airliners were diverted.

Scorching heat disappeared the vegetation down to hard pack, and below, destroying root systems that held the soil tight, and leaving a thick layer of ashes on top.

Then the June monsoon thunderstorms arrived on schedule and washed the ashes downhill in a flowing mass that covered the ponds, and suffocated the fish. The smallest pond was boiled to its muddy, steaming bottom.

Two historic one-room log dwellings stood in the fire’s path.

The Viveash cabin was built in 1885 by Lionel Viveash, who suffered from leprosy. He lived in the cabin for 27 years before New Mexico became a state, and died a year after, in 1913. I hoped the fire would spare the cabin that had stood for 115 years, but it didn’t.

Only fire-rusted nails now remain to tell that man had once lived there, and soon they also will disappear as the land residuates, and no one will remember where they were. The history of that cabin, and another one, was deleted from the world.

The beautiful sky-reaching ponderosa, pictured here being hugged by Shiloh, and many others like it, also succumbed to the heat and flames.

In the fire’s aftermath thousands of jet black ponderosa pine skeletons still stand erect, but without needles, as if to underscore the tragedy.

I had walked across those timbered mountains and witnessed the wild, pristine wonders that were there: majestic pine trees, douglas firs, aspens and scrub oaks. And to punctuate the expanse, a decoration of flowers: reds, yellows, purples, and the ever present white day’s eyes (daises). The green stalks of wild onions that we like to pull and eat were found throughout that colorful bouquet.

And then to see it later, as miles of rusted cinders and grotesquely shaped rubble, was a shock that surpassed my ability to describe, or a desire to even try.

The last vapors of smoke were still fading toward the Eastern Plains when the promise of a new beginning appeared. Someone said if your ship hasn’t come in, swim out to it, and that is exactly what David and Shiloh did. They hired lumber crews. Chain saws began to buzz through the mountain quietness. A sawmill was quickly erected, and trucks laden with logs pounded the ashy roads. Thousands of trees that had endured for decades, then killed by nature’s unreasonable wrath, were harvested.

When faced with a catastrophic event, the father-and- son team didn’t cry about the dead trees, they cut them down and made plank flooring, end grain wood blocks, and stylish three-dimensional wall paneling.

A market was waiting, and the demand was met. Customers for major hotels, government buildings, and eight Starbucks stores as far away as Kuwait, are now walking on Viveash wooden floors supplied by Oldwood.

And then, in 2013, as if to display another of nature’s irritating moods, the Tres Lagunas Fire flashed through the trees, burning 860 acres on the west side of the Viveash Ranch.

But again the Old family looked to themselves for strength and ingenuity, and expanded their business. This year they will supply 130 semi-trailers of split firewood to a major retail outlet.

Nature frequently takes away, and in doing so she always looks at the big picture. Five-hundred years from now no one will remember the fires. But I’ll still be thinking about that great little Viveash cabin that disappeared. f

Personal note: The Fenn treasure chest is not hidden on or near the Viveash Ranch.

Photos by Lacee:

Additional ranch photos can be found HERE



160 thoughts on “Scrapbook One Hundred Eighty Two…

    • David here, it’s beautiful there. What a tragic, happy, tragic, happy? story. You have both my congratulations and condolences, but I’m not sure in which order.

  1. Wow. If only everyone would take the bad and make something good out of it like they did. Imagine what our world would be like. They helped themselves and a lot of other people. Beautiful story!

  2. There was a fire that came through our Colorado mountain property more than 100 years ago. There are still a few brunt stumps around, but the forest grew back around them. I imagine in about 50 or so years there will be no evidence anymore, unless our Mother makes another appearance. Climate change will almost assure it.

  3. Many of the photos were taken by Lacee, Shiloh’s girl friend. She’s a professional photographer. With several exceptions dal selected what pictures to use from the 36 I sent him. Sorry we didn’t have any of the flowers or the llamas.

      • Hi Jake, If you click on the link at the bottom of the post it will take you to more pics of the ranch… 🙂

        • OK Dal there’s only 20 pictures on the website…

          I was hoping to see a Llama. Chama Llama:)

        • spallies do you know the clue # 4 for the news letter of mysterious writings,I got into it late.can’t figure out the numbers and letters code,so know I won’t figure it out and its almost up,not sure what I’m looking for a name of a book or person,thanks.

      • Okay…I’m emptying my pockets and placing the photos I didn’t use on a separate but linked page. Go to the bottom of the story and you will see a new link to the additional photos. They still don’t add up to 36 do they?

        I am surprised no one commented on Forrest’s last line-
        “Personal note: The Fenn treasure chest is not hidden on or near the Viveash Ranch.”

        I don’t know how you define “near”, but to me that rules out the possibility of the chest being anywhere in NM or southeast CO… 🙂

        My definition of “near” may be different than yours…

        • Dal, do you use a long-handle spoon when stirring the pot… keep from burning your hand??

        • seems i red about that fire doing research on a creek i cant remember but we have to be grateful for rain. thanks for the story may the cows come home to have a good night the elevation is out of range i dont think Forrest wants people poking around on that land it may not rule out the state tho. i might be wrong

        • I like your thinking Dal, near meaning not hidden in CO or NM 🙂 now that was really funny

        • dal, here are some relevant definitions:

          near: at or to a short distance away; nearby.

          short: measuring a small distance from end to end.

          small: of a size that is less than normal or usual.

          less: a smaller amount of; not as much

          And now the circle of uncertainty is complete! I personally disagree that this completely rules out NM and southern CO. To me, “near” seems would be somewhere in the range of 2-5 miles away from the ranch’s property lines. In the context of Forrest’s line I would interpret it more clearly as “please don’t bug the owners of Viveash, or any of their neighbors”.

          • Agree. But I think Dal could have other reasons for ruling out NM. He might already suspect it’s somewhere else. My opinion.

          • Of course, I can’t seem to find the location of Viveash Ranch on any maps so how do we know what area we are to stay away from? Does the Ranch go by a different name? I’m guessing it may be in the area of Viveash Mesa, perhaps along Forest Road 572?

            Ah well, like I said below: it looks like most of the area where the Ranch could be is all south of 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe anyway, so I think as long as people stick to that rule of thumb, no one should be poking around in that area anyway.

          • If TFTW is about 10 miles… then I would say at least a circumference of 10 Miles around this Ranch would be considered off the grid for searching.

    • There used to be a pasture with llamas nearby my home. When babysitting my niece and nephew, I would threaten to drive them to the llamas pasture and let the llamas spit on them if they didn’t quit misbehaving. They weren’t too scared, they thought it sounded fun. Kids!

    • Forrest,
      You have such a handsome family. Laces is a lucky girl. Now Kelly can end her search (she asked at the LA Fonda book signing if I had any daughters 🙂 )
      I love the outcome of the story, I watched it awhile back on TV.
      Thanks forrest.

    • Forrest,
      You have such a handsome family. Lacee is a lucky girl. Now Kelly can end her search (she asked at the LA Fonda book signing if I had any daughters 🙂 )
      I love the outcome of the story, I watched it awhile back on TV.
      Thanks forrest.

    • Shilo has his Grandfather’s eyes. The adoration and depth between these two is beautifully obvious.

      Miss Lacee; how dear & precious is this young woman?!!

      Life’s good ~

    • What does “with several exceptions” mean? 🙂
      Who picked the photo of the wood barn with Snoopy on it?
      How did that Snoopy get there? 🙂

    • Mr.,Fenn,
      What a beautiful massive ranch!
      What a inferno, if commercial flights were diverted, that’s telling me were looking at 30,00-50,000 ft of ash!!
      So sorry for David’s losses!
      However​, Father and son team, recover with resolve.!
      A inspiration and example too all of us, NEVER give up!
      I definitely know WHY they call it the, “” Wild West”!
      Best regards, MJ

  4. ff and David Old, Shilo too, how well did you Viveash Ranch guys know Andy Vigil, long time Town Marshall in Pecos? My Uncle Andy was a lawman of extraordinary reputation, he fought in the WWII, in special forces who defended the Islands of Alaska also was in the elite unit in like the Blakes who were paratroopers and skijumppers.
    Andy use to take me up to Jacks Creek, Elk mountain along the Viveash Ranch all the way to Pecos Baldy and beyond, he was one of the toughest men I ever knew, being well known throughout the Pecos Wilderness as the man you want to come and find you if you were lost.

    Tom Terrific

    • David and Shilo are following in the footsteps of the Ernie Blake* and my Uncle Andy Vigil.
      These men are two of many leaders in “the land of enchantment”, as are you Forrest, they are following in the footsteps of other great Americans, solving today’s challenges, and creating a better future for the next generation as well. Kudos!

  5. Nice post Mr Fenn. I had read about the Olds and the fires in my research but I didn’t know about all the old structures or the history of the property.
    Some conscientious soul should volunteer to rebuild the Viveash cabin!


  6. Forrest, What a great story to share with the readers…I especially enjoyed your detailed description of the property before the fire… ” house-size rock outcroppings, 5 spring-fed ponds, and far-seeing mountain vistas.” It sounds like a special place. It sure is good you added the personal note at the bottom of the story “The Fenn treasure chest is not hidden on or near the Viveash Ranch.” I bet searchers still go there to search, despite your assertion. Thanks for the answer. cynthia

  7. I think “Oldwood” is the perfect name for their company. It’s easy to remember, it tells exactly what it is, and it just happens to have their name in it. I think it’s the best name ever for a wood company.

  8. Maybe some of the timber money can be used to rebuild. Or buy a couple tepees.. though those won’t give much protection against the bears!

  9. Forrest you seem to have a never ending stream of stories. I loved reading about your son-in-law’s ranch. Thank you for sharing! I remember reading rumors in the forums that someone might have been close last season. I for one am grateful it’s still out there and that you’ve been able to share so much recently. I hope the faucet stays on and the stories keep flowing!

  10. My business thrives on old wood…the Viveash will rebirth and we will all be long gone.
    Side note: it is said that early natives used fire to rebirth the grazing areas to attract the bison and other wild life.

    • The Glory of God is in all things! In the good that befalls us, and the newly born baby, we praise Him and say, “The Glory of God!” And when horrible terrific hideous things happen to us, because my child was killed on the way to school, we tend to cry, “Why Lord?” Should we not be thankful with the horrible as well, and say, “The Glory of God!” And praise Him! God is good always, even when bad things happen!

      Lift up Him who all honor and glory belong, and get those BOTG!

  11. Beautiful story and a talented photographer. Nature’s conditions proved to be the perfect match for the spark of its own destruction. The Viveash cabins may never be the same, but they could be rebuilt. Things are often improved on the second try. Maybe smaller windows to keep out those furry surprises. Or a bar top to rest weary arms.

    Either way, the moral I see is to own it and remain resolute.

  12. I am reminded of a forest fire in Northern Arizona several years back. My son and I drove for miles through the burned up forest. I felt devastated and couldn’t choke back the tears. :’-(

    I am thankful that the Old’s were able to recoup some of that lose. The scientific community tells us that forest fires do some good. This SB revived some of the feelings I had first hand.

  13. Such an inspiring story and pictures of the Viveash Ranch. Those type of fires on large expanses of property reset everything about how you relate to the land. They sure did well on the post-fire reclamation efforts.

  14. Hey F….was this ranch related to/or the same as Simeon Viveash’s potato endeavor? He seemed to disappear from history when he went to New Mexico. Just random curiosity.

  15. Thank you, Forrest. Perfect timing.

    I could use some time on a ranch-like that soon. Beyond my kids and a handful of others, I was born to be a hermit in a place like that! I thrive in places like that and love the hard work too.

    Everything happens exactly when and as it should. Great SB.

  16. Thanks so much for the post Forrest. I was very happy to see that the family stepped up, and helped solve the problem Families are GREAT!! June is
    fast approaching, I hope that the June Monsoons cause no problems. The
    pictures athat you posted are beautiful – Thanks for sharing. Love all of the wildlife and panoramic vistas! Love them more than you can imagine. JDA

  17. The story went from good, to devasting, to good. I know that chest is not anywhere near that area. 🙂 thanks for sharing.

  18. Let us not forget the horrific fire of 1988 in Yellowstone. I took our children to see Yellowstone for the first time in 1993 or 94 and we were overwhelmed by the shear magnitude of it all. Think about the wildlife too. I can only think how many magnificent Buffalo, bison bison, elk, deer, bear, coyotes, etc. were lost to the inferno.

    I hope to be there again soon to see how Mother Nature has rebuilt her wonderful house at Yellowstone. She knows how to do that. Just look at Spirit Lake devastated by Mt. St. Helens as an example. Ditto for Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines. She works miracles. Behold her. She knows what’s she’s doing.

    Now, if she could only do something about those darn weeds in the front yard, life would be grand!

    • You’ll be amazed when you see the new growth. Many of the trees are about ten feet tall or so now.

      • PD,

        That’s great to hear. Fire ravages, but it also serves to rebuild. I’m not sure if it’s the Sequoias or Redwoods, maybe both, that require a fire to cause their seeds to germinate, so fires are critical to some eco-systems. Nevertheless, it’s hard to watch fires destroy ancient growth forests.


  19. We experience many deeply touching moments through your writing, Forrest. Life touches us deeply in many ways and it lasts til the end….
    It almost hurts.

  20. i think I understand what the wood is. Lol.
    The ranch was beautiful and the pictures are awesome. 🙂

  21. That’s a nice looking Forrest, Fenn. I wonder if there is a hint there somewhere?
    I also wonder if the pond supports fish after all that has happened?

  22. Viveash seems an appropriate name for the ranch and the mesa. As always, another enjoyable story from a rich life. I hated hearing about the beautiful area’s destruction, but like the confidence of Forrest’s family to make the best of a bad situation and of nature eventually restoring herself over time in the big picture.

    Out of boredom in waiting for the snows to melt, I find that I have now turned into one of those people who needs to dissect every entry on this site for clues. So here are my main takeaways:

    1.) If Forrest saw the devastation of this forest fire in 2000, there’s a decent chance that he did not use a marking on a tree as the blaze (which had been my working hypothesis).

    2.) Maybe Forrest DID use a tree to mark the blaze, but now regrets it because he was hoping that the treasure would be found by now and is fearful that the blaze may disappear soon?

    3.) Forrest may be nervous that the treasure chest could be completely consumed in a forest fire (since it’s “in the wood”) if it is not found relatively soon.

    4.) I think that Forrest has been throwing out subtle hints periodically because he is nervous about the treasure never being found. If the treasure is never found, and the bronze box ends up being consumed in a forest fire, flash flood, or other natural disaster, his hidden treasure may be lost forever and the story of it as well, which would indeed be a tragic lost opportunity. But really it’s just the weather and the snows keeping us out of the Rockies at the moment, so just a little more patience on everyone’s part and we’ll be on the Chase again this year, never fear!

    5.) No one has posted this question yet related to this scrapbook entry, and I’ve been bracing for reading it myself this evening, so I might as well get it out there to get it over with for everyone: Just how far away is “near”?

    6.) I wonder if this is the area that Iron Will was searching in a couple of weeks ago?

    7.) As Forrest describes the location of the ranch as northeast of Pecos, it seems like most of this area would be south of Santa Fe anyway, and certainly south of 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe. So no one should be bothering with this area anyways per Forrest’s previous clues, right?

    • A lot of people have been ignoring the 8.25 miles north remark over the last several years – hence F’s need to reinforce it’s not on Viveash Ranch .. or the Pueblo .. or his house .. or ..


    • Blex,

      (Long story short, I don’t think fire plays a role in FF’s
      thinking, regarding a correct solve of the poem).

      I gave a lot of thought to things that could hurt the TC,
      including a forest fire. This is not inconceivable, given many
      hundreds of years . . . right now, though, the location indicated by my solve has too few trees for this to happen. There are small groves, or “woods”, each with perhaps 20 to 30 trees, but they aren’t close enough to a larger forest for a fire to spread from the larger forest to any of the smaller “woods”. And lightning isn’t going to strike any of the smaller “woods”, because they aren’t near a peak of any kind. I believe that the TC is in one of these smaller “woods”.

      • The olive jar which has hair & his bio was dipped in crystalline wax.
        How could the wax not melt in a forest fire?

        Buried and/or in water.
        I’ll go with water.

      • Oh, I forgot about the 1,000 year down the road comment.

        If that chest is anywhere near trees & even if it’s not but on top of soil where trees & shrubs can grow in the future, I think you may have a problem 1K NO.

      • Hi Tighterfocus! I like your idea of Forrest using a limited spread of trees in order to anticipate the mitigation of possible future forest fires. It seems logical to me as a possible plan that Forrest set out.

        Jake also brings up some interesting comments regarding longevity related to forest fires. He seems to suggest that the chest being buried underwater might be a possibility to guard against possible fires, but others have also mentioned that hiding the chest in water would expose it to possible high levels of erosion (and complete relocation) in the event of a flood.

        I’m not sure what way to think seems most plausible. Both lines of thinking could be right or wrong. They could both be right or both be wrong, so I don’t necessarily have to make any sort of judgement.

        Here’s my take: As much as people want to think of Forrest as being this sort of all-knowing mastermind/guru who can anticipate everyone’s every move, he’s still just a human like us all. There are many aspects of the Chase that he did not anticipate when he first set everything in motion. I don’t think that this is a bad thing; I think that he likes seeing things unfold unexpectedly. There’s no way that he could have predicted all of the diverse solves proposed on this site, for example.

        In my opinion, I think Forrest would like to see the chest found sooner rather than later (I know I would if I were in his shoes). I think this scrapbook may at least in part be a reminder that freak events can happen in nature and that the chest may not remain intact where he set it if it is not found in the near future. And I think he’s right to point this out to everyone.

        Let’s find the chest this year, people! (And by “let’s” and “people” I naturally mean “me”! 😛 )

  23. Off the grid …love it,Forrest.
    Sad to see how much destruction a fire can make,especially to a cabin which stood for 115 years. What Shiloh and his Dad have done with their losses is admirable. Rather than sit back and cry about it,they took it and ran with it. Look at them now,successful lumberjacks. Thumps up to them.
    Is this where you went to plant those 260 pine saplings which you once talked about in a past SB ? How are they thriving now?
    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful place.

  24. Thank you Forrest and Dal for the SB. Wow. 17,000,000 board feet is a lot of lumber! Devastating. Great to see beauty coming out of the ashes. Amazing SB.

  25. The story illustrates a very healthy response to a major setback in life. But the setting described here reminds me of the view from Jardine, Montana overlooking YNP. There is a beautiful spring fed pond sitting above Bear Gulch. The mountains are covered with gigantic boulders. The view is breathtaking. Most visitors don’t even know it’s there. I think f is aware of it. It links strongly to the poem too.

    Brown => Bear
    V => V-shaped geography => Gulch

    The poem has lots of Vs in it. The ranch has two Vs in it. Hmm. At the bottom of the trail down is the spot where Joe Brown discovered gold. It’s where Bear Creek flows into the Yellowstone River. Last year a hiker was attacked here twice by the same brown bear, the day after I was there. I heeded the sign that closed the trail due to bear activity. I’m guessing he didnt.

    • Also mentioned in the post but more subtley is Pikes Peak. This year I traveled there as well. I stopped at a shop called Moutain Man. In the shop were vintage clothes and guns that looked similar to what f wore in the photos from TFTW chapter 45 entitled Mountain Man. Written on a posting were words to the effect that the meak shall inherit the earth, but doubted they would be able to hold onto it.

  26. Now thats how family pulls together and gets something done. Well done young man well done. Thanks f , great story and thanks for sharing.

    Family Rocks!!!!

  27. Mr. Fenn, to preserve the history and memories, and for the sake of posterity, my thought would be to build a rock cabin in the old Viveash cabin footprint, and furnish the inside with some of the milled old wood, and therefore incorporating the ancient, the old, and the new.

  28. What an amazingly resilient and creative family for you to be proud of Forrest!

    Fire may destroy mountains, but the Old family’s faith and hard work moved mountains.

  29. Thanks for sharing that story and the pics of ur family and the beauty of it all. It saddens me that the cabin is gone now never to be discovered by anyone again.
    Lovely turkey Shiloh.

  30. i never knew NM became a state so recently. is sad to see the forrest burnt but it is good to know that mother nature will take care of our lands.

  31. Beautiful story! The circle of life goes on, no matter what.
    Speaking of cabins…my cousin, Tom, lives outside of Atlantic City, WY, in the western mountains. He finished his bear proof cabin last summer. It has twenty port windows he salvaged from an old cruise liner in California., defiantly bear proof! It does not have a front door, it has a trap door on the porch, lift it and step down 8 steps and climb back up eight steps into the entryway! Solid walls of thick lumber all the way around. We jokingly call it the “timber sub”, which is what it looks like. His fury neighbor, “Yogi”, never did make entry! We are trying to get him to patent the design!

    Everyone stay safe, don’t get gold fever and forget how ruthless Mother Nature can be!

    And Dal, “near” DOESN’T knock NM or CO out in my book! Good try, tho’ ! 🙂
    ¥Peace ¥

    • very interesting i never heard of that entry way before but sounds pretty full proof and would be an open and shut case for any smokey that tried to break in. gives a whole new meaning to Where not locked in they locked out lol.

      lalalalalalalalalalalalala laters joe

      • Joe, yes! The Bears are conditioned to look for a door in the wall! They are actually standing on it and don’t even know it! Lol!

        • No matter how guarded something is, a bear has a keen sense of smell. Many cabin cupboards have been raided by bears.

          • bears don’t scare me but is annouying when they come sniffing around cause they think they own the place and do whatever they want like we in siberia or something lol

            laters joe

    • Mindy , did you catch the hint with Leprosy? A squint or a lepers window was used by Monks at a church. Like the Bear and the peep hole example.
      Look up Hagioscope!!

      A leper window is what Monks or hermits used. Examples of hermits and Monks are those who withdrew fans where dead to society, like a living Saint.

      The description of the man with leprosy fits the description of a hermit.

      • Blex, good info but that is not far from Viveash.
        Look deeper. There are more spots that are alone, including a hermit , near Yellowstone. Where the Fire of 1988 took place. I believe this is what Forrest is talking about.

        Use your imagination to see Thor, Yellowstone lake. And the llama or camel that is Hebgen lake. Look at them on google earth or a map. They will appear.

        The omnivescent guru the Dalai Lama.

        Also there are two places with one cabin still standing while others left in ruin. Ghost Village and Queens laundry.

        Lots of references to Barns lately also. Today’s post and the barn with weathervane are some examples. May be wise to learn about Barns hole on the Madison river. It’s the first hole. Where the stagecoaches where stored in the Barns:-)

        Is it just me or did the one pond turn into a mud pot??

        • I guess I can see Thor and a llama in the lakes if I use my imagination a bit. Like in Yellowstone Lake, West Thumb is Thor’s hammer, and the South and Southeastern Arms are his legs? And then I guess Hegben Lake kinda sorta looks like a llama on its side if Grayling and Madison arms are the legs, and the part where the Madison River joins is the pointy head and neck? I’m getting more of an anteater or prehistoric sloth vibe from Hegben’s shape than llama or camel.

          You are definitely thinking in interesting directions, DPT. I’ll be interested in learning where it ends up leading you.

      • Awesome info, DPT. I’ll check it all out more thoroughly tonight. But one thing that struck me was the rifle hole peephole. Piper had “gunsight.” 🙂

        • Does f have a peep hole at the treasure site? A web-enabled camera maybe? Has he seen any bears lately? Maybe he’s saying you should take your gun with you just in case. I will. You don’t want any bears chewing on your face. You might end up a hermit. Take your Ruger Alaskan. Be safe. Be like Iceman.

  32. My imagination scares me!
    When we moved to California after my dad died, I was at a sleepover with some girls my age, though I barely knew them. They told me an earthquake was coming and I cried all night. I called my mom and she assured me I was safe, if I wasn’t she would get us in an airplane until the earthquake was over. Wish that really were an option. Anyway, it made me feel better, then.

  33. I like that imagination Jdiggins.

    Mindy and others. We have to connect the examples to geography. No place names. Geography .

    Now alone means isolated, secluded, solitary. It is SET APART from society. A hermit or monk. Now look up the definition of Saint in Wikipedia, the etymology. It means Set Apart. What’s another name for Saint- archaic. Hallow. Another word for Hallow is Hollow!!! A hollow no connects your geography.

    Learn what a valley or hollow are. That’s your vale, geography!!:-). Your welcome:-)

      • Iceman, good thinking but that is a placename.
        When Forrest told us a couple weeks ago on Jenny’s site to use geography and place names won’t help you very much was a huge reveal. One of the biggest I have seen since I started the Chase 2 years ago. No toponomy.

        Geography and the way it was described, like old terms. Example, go left at the beaver looking mountain. It is smart of Forrest to use geography. Will last a long time.
        Solitary geyser might be called upper geyser in 20 years due to its location to old faithful. Names can change geography probably will not for a long time.

        • I think you may have misinterpreted what was said. The words of the poem trumps all other sources of information. My opinion.

          • Iceman, Forrest said in response to toponomy( which is the study of place names) that it isn’t of much use. I don’t know how else you could interpret that other than place names aren’t of much use.

            Words in poem are very important but to link them to place names is not of much use is how I interpret it.

            Hence , no use to link with place names.

          • DPT –
            Nooooo. He said the “study of the place name” wasn’t of much use. The “place name” itself is. Why on earth would f make up new rules 6 years into the Chase? Think.

          • DPT: you have misinterpreted the meaning of Forrest’s statement about toponomy. Toponomy concerns itself with the *origins* of placenames — the who, how, why and when a geographic location acquired its name, not the what. You can choose to exclude the notion that placenames are the answers to the clues in the poem, but I think you’ll do so at your peril.

          • Iceman and Zaph, thank you for the clarification. Yes, I see know how I messed up. Too many things flowing through my faucet.
            I always appreciate the help.

  34. Thanks for the story. About 10 years ago here in San Diego we had fires devastate some really nice mountains that I like to hike. I just hiked it last weekend and while all of the large trees are dead bushes and smaller trees are coming in nicely now. It was really nice to have the large trees but I also do not remember the wooded area being quite as thick with underbrush, possible because there was too much shade from the smaller trees. It seems like eventually the forest will grow in even better than it was.

  35. Mother nature and Time! Old is new and new is old. Everything seems to come full circle. The ranch is beautiful Forrest.

  36. That place is incredible. It’s a shame the fire took the cabin and temporarily scarred the area, but it in no way made it any less amazing.

  37. I think you will find all of the animals mentioned here like bears, wolves, elk, etc hanging from the walls stuffed and mounted at the Stagecoach Inn in West Yellowstone. The front desk got is a riot. He saw me with a bear bell and bear spray holster and asked me if I was going out to feed the bears. A real comedian he was.

    • Iceman,

      I stayed at the Stagecoach Inn years back when I first started the chase. The animals in the Inn were, to say the least, very interesting to look at (took photos). I too had a pepper spray story. When I got there and was planning on heading out early morning on my search I had ask the guy who set up the little breakfast bar where I could buy some spry cheap. He happily told about a shop close by and I thanked him. The next morning before light I was setup to go, the breakfast bar was not open had about 45 minutes until it did. But I just happen to see the guy that sets it up and he ask if I found the spray, of course I said yes and that I was heading out now. I just want to give that guy a thumbs up because he open that bar up for me so I could chow down before I left to search. In fact since I did not use my spray at all on all my ventures out I had asked if he could use it and he said I have friends that hike Yellowstone quite a bit and sure he would give it to them. I also gave him a nice tip because he opened that breakfast bar for me again the morning after my first search. So again nice experience at the Stagecoach Inn. I also met a fellow searcher there in West Yellowstone and he also posts here from time to time “Mustagg”, he’s a really good guy and has search all over Yellowstone. We discuss searches areas but I have moved on from there because my search took on a different direction. Good luck if your there now searching,I waited to most of the snow had melted before I searched my 3 areas then. Bur

      • Sounds like you have had some interesting hikes in Yellowstone Bur. Keep searchin’! Glad you gave him a Good Tip – JDA

        • JDA,

          Yes, I search 3 areas there in YNP. Two started at Mammoth Hot Springs and both roads down. One to Undie Falls area and one to Grizzly Lake area. Also like many have done through the years I also did Firehole Falls area. But like I said my solve has taken me in another direction, and not sure when I will have another opportunity to go back out but I believe it will stay unsearched hopefully. Good luck and stay safe. Bur

          • Good luck Bur. I hope that your area remains un-searched, until you have the chance to go there, to search yourself.

            The snows are melting in many areas, as we speak. JDA

  38. Thanks Dal, Lacee and Forrest,
    A welcome reminder that the lowest ebb is the turn of the tide. A beautiful place no matter when you look at it and how.

  39. I feel safe with this Scrap Book. I do not have to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but together have been poured. Chaff and grain I shall take with a faithful hand and sift them. I will keep what’s worth keeping and with a kind breath blow the rest away.
    — some credit given to Dinah Maria Mulock Craik (1826-1887)

    • Slurbs,

      Thoughtful and wise observations. Made me breathe a sigh of…..many things wonderful ~


  40. Great pics, Lacee. Thanks for the story, Mr. Fenn. Very sad regarding the building damage, but at least the Forrest will grow back.

  41. Folks seem to be seeking and finding hints in almost every SB from Fenn.
    In this one, I didn’t see any, except perhaps a very weak connection in
    the word “Rusted” (in the title). I don’t think there’s much value in this
    connection, though, but it might tend to help confirm, for a correct solver,
    that they are in the correct “general neighborhood” — within a few miles,
    that is — of the hidey place. I realize that a few miles isn’t a lot of help, but
    it’s better than hundreds of miles away (such as in the wrong state).

    • tighterfocus,
      what state do you believe the hidey place to be? I ask because of something you said in another post.
      I believe it is in WY.

  42. I’m not certain the meaning of this scrap book.
    But I know one thing. There is nothing more satisfying than running a steil in the pristine wilderness.
    Next time you talk to Shiloh ask him if he is up for some free labor. I would love to help out.

    • Snyder, for me, the work ethic of this family stood out as much as the sadness of the devastating fire.

      • Yes BW , me to.
        When life gives you lemons, pick them up and throw them as far as you can. Then walk to the nearest cherry tree.
        With a good work ethic there is nothing a hard working family can not do.

    • Snyder- with the forest gone and the lumberjacks it reminds me of the axeman drawing in TTOTC.

      opinion mine.

      • Snyder- im a little slow, true to name. again i think of the axeman drawing in TTOTC. where did the trees go the axeman cut? maybe Forrest is telling us in this scrapbook? used for building homes. i see a bird at home on the moon. was there an astronaught who made the moon his home? temporarily. a bird nest is just sticks, thats where i live. you guys go on ahead….ill catch up.

        opinion mine.

  43. Nice turkey Shiloh. Also, that tree you were hugging was probably +250 years old, no?

  44. I was just reading a bit on forest fires in the Rocky Mountains this morning. In very general terms, forest fires occur more commonly and frequently in lower elevations 5,000 – 8,000 feet above sea level. In these elevations, forest fires naturally break out every 5 – 70 years. At higher elevations above 8,000 feet to treeline, forest fires naturally break out every 250 – 450 years (But then again, seasonal dryness seems to be the #1 factor in how forest fires get started and quickly out of control, which is something that could affect forests at any elevation).

    I’m not sure if Forrest was aware of any of this information, but if I were in his shoes and concerned about the safety of the treasure with regards to forest fires, I would put it somewhere above an elevation of 8,000 feet.

    • Hi Blex,
      I know several people believe the chest to be “in” water and others believe it to be in a rocky area so that a fire could not hurt the chest or its contents.
      I said awhile back that I believe it could be in a meadow that stays wet/muddy most of the year. From the first snowfall until all of the snow has melted in higher elevations this meadow stays wet. The grass is knee high so if a fire burned in this area it would burn fast with no damage to the contents of the chest…all imo of course.
      One more thing…from the first snowfall until the meadow is dry enough for it to be walked in is about 9 months or less depending on summer rainfall ( my best calculation ). This limits the amount of time the chest can be found….again…jmo.

    • Many have fallen by the wayside Sparrow. The days are long and the road is hard; only the strongest will survive the trials and tribulations of the chase.

      But hey, grab a beer then:
      You put the lime in the coconut, you drink ’em both’ together
      Put the lime in the coconut and you’ll feel better
      Put the lime in the coconut, drink ’em both’ up
      Put the lime in the coconut and call me in the morning

      Guru Goofy hath spoken.

    • Sparrow- they haven’t clubbed you in the head yet. thats the worst.

      believe me.

  45. While returning home today, I read a sign which reminded me of this Scrapbook. It read:

    Rio Grande National Forest
    “Land of Many Uses.”

  46. This scrapbook came to mind as we drove by the Daisy Trail in Yellowstone. Hope to walk this trail the next visit.

    • JBL, I think that double Ls is just another rabbit hole at worst,
      and only a tiny hint at best. Not worth worrying about.

      The above is my opinion.

  47. Wow. This story means so much more to me now. Thanks so much for sharing it forrest.
    Ahhh…the taste of lemonade…

  48. I thought a bob cat was a Mountain lion. They just do not give up when hunting you down.

    • BigOnus;

      A mountain lion is MUCH larger than a bobcat. A bobcat is about twice the size of a pet cat. A mountain Lion is two or three times larger than a bobcat. JDA

      • JDA Yeah, I know Mountain lions are huge, but did not know a bob cat was a separate animal. Thats double the worry. I best take an unfit mate with me as a safeguard, so I can make good my escape! Survival of the fittest!

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