Asterisk, Omega, and Grizzly Bears….

SUBMITTED JUNE 2017
by VOXPOPS

 

Let me take you back to November of 2016. At that time I sent a story to Dal about finding a piece of truck tire, apparently encrusted with canine droppings. After studying my own video I came to the conclusion that this was a Chase marker left by Mr. Fenn at a specific location to which the poem directs you. Naturally, I came in for some considerable ridicule, but early in 2017 Forrest created an eBay listing about money that his own dog had chewed and partially excreted. Following on from the listing’s premature removal came the raffle of that same pile of indigestible moolah in aid of the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. For those who were observant, there were inconsistencies in the information Forrest presented that pointed toward the same place where the tire had been located. And after that came a story about the “waning of art.” Draw your own conclusions.

Tire as originally discovered – picture extracted from late 2016 video

Fast forward to May of this year, and I was chomping at the bit to get back out there. In fact I’d been getting paranoid about the avalanche of information Forrest had been releasing, as well as the avalanche of snow that had been falling across the Rockies (up to 200% of normal in some areas). I already had a flight booked for the end of May, but mixed feelings of urgency and confidence, with just a hint of smugness thrown in, spurred me on to add an extra trip (number 12) at the beginning of May. I was convinced that the treasure would be located close to where I’d found the tire, and I had the specific coordinates to hand. I prayed that the snow would be gone by the time I got there.

So where was there? Let’s just say that I was north of Jackson, WY. It’s three flights and over twenty-four hours travel time for me, plus a seven-hour time difference; these days I find that exhausting. So by the time I was on-site, I was feeling a tad discombobulated. The second emotion was disappointment. I was confronted by snow cover that was over two feet deep in places – and a six-inch swamp elsewhere. Searching in that environment would be near to impossible. And what was I looking for? I wasn’t sure, although like most searchers I had ideas.

But the first little crumb of good news was that the segment of tire I’d left by the roadside was still there, and I popped it in the rental car’s trunk. I’d been hoping to recover the “poop” that would still be in its original location, if it was indeed artwork, but the snow and water made hunting for that impossible.

Tire picture taken at home after recovery – you can just make out the mark (first tread notch on left) where the “poop” was attached

Tire picture taken at home after recovery – note cut edge

Tire picture taken at home after recovery – note ragged edge

Tire picture taken at home after recovery – note “sculpted” edge

Two days of searching produced a big fat zero – except for some very large and very obvious freshly made paw prints: bears! I tried to stay alert.

Paws for thought

My main spot was completely obliterated by the snow, and in any event I sensed that something wasn’t quite right about it, although I couldn’t quite put my finger on what that was. It was time to turn my attention to the secondary locations. Although I could see that they would more than likely be under water, there was a chance that some marker might be visible, if not the chest itself.  Prior to making the trip, I’d made arrangements with another searcher to check these spots for me last year, but for reasons beyond anyone’s control that had not been possible – and as it turns out I’m glad that fate intervened.

Too much snow!

There I was on day three, squelching in hastily purchased gumboots through the snowmelt, when I looked up and caught movement. I’d already disturbed what I later discovered was a sandhill crane – a gray jumbo of a bird that is as impressive to watch during take-off as any 747 or Airbus.

Sandhill Crane

This time it was no bird, but an enormous grizzly apparently foraging for breakfast. Fortunately, I was still a hundred yards or so away and he hadn’t spotted me. Of course, as soon as I picked up my camera Murphy’s Law swung into action, causing me to knock the focus switch and so prevent me from getting the best shots. But I was able to grab something before deciding I might be better off getting out of there and returning after feeding time.

Getting the hump!

Grizzly on the move

I have to admit I was nervous as, a couple of hours later, I traversed the area where the grizzly had been wading, keeping up a barrage of noisy yelps and other gibberish to warn of my approach. I kept search time to a minimum, and was turning to go when I looked up to find a wolf standing at the edge of the trees, watching me. It was a magnificent creature with predominantly snowy white fur. I wasn’t able to get a photographic record, but the sight of him is imprinted in my memory. Those unexpected glimpses of nature in the raw are the moments that stand out in the Chase for me. More to come on that later…

By now something was beginning to nag at me. It wasn’t just that I was searching in potentially dangerous bear country, but I had the feeling that there was yet more to this hunt than the couple of hundred miles that my trajectory had already covered over the last few years. I went back to the poem and looked for the thousandth time at the final verse. Then it dawned on me. I repacked my rucksack and hit the road.

Where I was headed was quite different in terrain and geology, and when I arrived I saw a myriad purple and yellow flowers as well as rocks encrusted with multi-colored lichens. Ring any bells?

Beautiful colors on display

And then I made the fatal error. After years of trying to let the poem lead me, I succumbed to force-fitting the solution. I ignored the spot where the poem told me to go, as it seemed too close to human habitation. The place I chose instead was logical, but I stopped thinking rationally and spent over two days literally digging in the snow. The area was flanked by a ridge that was largely snow-free, but running along the length of its base was a gulley that was still chock-full of the white stuff. I purchased shovels and set to. Now bear in mind that this area is over 7,000 feet in elevation, plus I’m overweight and over sixty years old. You get the picture! I not only got very tired, but I started to get strangely depressed and obsessively focused on this one spot. (Interestingly, I read a report a few weeks later that oxygen depletion at high altitude can lead to depression and even suicide.) I became convinced that Forrest had chosen this location since it would only become truly accessible for a limited period each year. What made matters worse was that when I returned to the hotel room and looked at the spot on my small phone screen, I was sure that there was a square or rectangular object located in the center of the gulley.

A workout at over 7,000 ft.

However, I didn’t just Google the place I was at now. During those idle hours, I retraced my virtual steps and, using the precision tools in the poem, found – for the very first time – Forrest’s asterisk. It was unmistakable and it was many miles distant. I had never been there physically, and now wondered if the spot would reveal any useful information. I lodged the info at the back of my mind, and prepared for more digging and searching.

The “asterisk” that the poem leads you to

Time ran out, along with the good weather. During the final afternoon, having spent hours searching a cliff and its rock cavities, the heavens opened and unleashed a torrent of rain and hail. Within minutes, the access road was a muddy sluice, throwing up clods of sticky brown goo that clung to the wheel arches and underside of the car, and would soon set like cement. I jet-washed the rental car and headed back to the airport, once again in relatively good spirits, knowing that my wife and I were still booked onto a flight three weeks later, and that I’d get another chance to solve this particular riddle.

At the end of May we flew into Salt Lake City in blazing sunshine, and drove to our motel. It was hot, and my wife was unused to the altitude. Searching in these conditions would prove to be an ordeal for her – not least because she didn’t share my confidence. The creek I needed to search was awash with snowmelt run-off. It really wasn’t possible to make an exhaustive search there, and it made me wonder if I’d messed up yet again. We spent the next couple of days expanding the search area considerably, but I kept coming back to the logic that sent me to the creek.

Searching in snowmelt

It was just as we were deciding to call it quits and leave the area that I made a discovery. The method I’d used to solve the last stanza had led me to the creek, but what if I reversed it through 180 degrees? I checked the coordinates, and then I checked Google Maps. What I saw there astonished me. I have viewed miles of sagebrush from the comfort of my armchair and I’ve never spotted anything that looked remotely like an omega. But that was exactly what I saw now. In fact, right next to the coordinate marker was what looked like a “T” or a “J” – possibly even a cursive capital “F.” Then came the omega – oriented perfectly for GE viewing – followed by something that might be an “o” or a square. The first and last symbols were ambiguous, but the omega was as clear as day – at least to me. My wife was, as usual, unimpressed. You can make your own judgment call from the screenshot.

Omega: “TΩo” = “Tωo” = 2 = the second omega (possibly)

Naturally, I was cock-a-hoop and itching to get out there to pick up the treasure! But nothing in this Chase is ever that straightforward. We searched high and low. We rearranged the coordinates. We gave ourselves blisters. But there was no darn treasure! As far as I was concerned I’d parsed every line of the poem, and reached the end point. There was an omega but no treasure. What else could I do? I looked at the other symbols and tried to work them into the solution, but the capital letter gave me no hints unless combined with the final symbol to perhaps read “Two” or “To,” and the square – if that’s what it was – suggested that I had to complete that on the ground to find the chest’s resting place. But were we talking yards or miles?

Where’s that darn chest?

And then I considered the asterisk. What if the poem leads you all the way to the end – the omega – but the treasure is at a second omega. Could the asterisk be that place? It was time to visit the star of the show.

We drove for hours in blistering heat. We walked about a mile. We found a creek that was a raging torrent. I laughed as I stood on the bank and pointed at the place where the submerged asterisk – the stepping stones – ought to be. It was a ludicrous situation. A trillion gallons of snowmelt were cascading through that ravine. And yes, I’ve done some crazy things over the past four years, but there was no way I was going to venture into that maelstrom (as I described it in an email to Forrest). If he has secreted the chest there, it would have to be held in vault-like security so that it can’t move or spill its contents under those conditions. And yet…

You have to laugh!

We left there and drove to the desert to check out a possible corner of the square. There was nothing evident in that locale and I was beginning to lose hope. My wife was tired and fed-up, and just wanted to quit searching and visit family, so we made tracks for Eugene, Oregon.

My brave wife in desert heat

While in Oregon I kept turning over the evidence in my mind, but nothing new was forthcoming. But then, just as I was about to admit defeat, I saw a post on one of the blogs that intrigued me. Now, I don’t normally pay heed to others’ methodology because, like the so-called “hints,” you can all-too-often find yourself lost down a gigantic rabbit hole. But I was clutching at straws. I used what I found there to give me a new search place, a short distance from the asterisk.

As they say, hope springs eternal. Anyone who is an active searcher knows that is true, otherwise why bother? With only a few days left before our flight home, we set off on the thousand-mile journey back to the asterisk.

It was a beautiful morning and much cooler than on our previous foray as we left the car and hiked into the search area. This time we needed to cross a couple of wooded areas to reach the spot. As we approached the first one, it dawned on me why the woodland was there in the middle of scrub: water! And sure enough, as we scrambled down through the trees into a shallow valley, there was a stream that was serving as runoff from the overflowing main creek. We found a downed tree and edged across to dry land.

Heading down to the water

I was heading directly for the area we needed to reach – a clearing among the trees – but was unsure of how to access it. By climbing a steep hillside I thought I might be able see the best way in. I suggested to my wife that she stay by a rock while I went ahead to scout. That turned out to be a good move. As I reached the top of the crest, and peered down into the gloomy forest, I spotted movement. A bear was on the prowl.

Going up to look down

Reconnaissance

Because I wasn’t sure if the creature was aware of our presence, I thought I’d better make noise. I began yelling and whooping. It stopped and turned toward me. Then it bounded up the hill in my direction. That wasn’t supposed to happen! As it reached the edge of the tree line and paused, I called to my wife to back away. The bear was young, maybe a year or two old, and was beautiful. When it stood on its hind legs and looked straight at me, perhaps a little over thirty feet away, its eyes were intelligent and calculating.

I ran a brief test, and half-turned away to see if it might lose interest. Mistake! It immediately began to move in my direction. Quickly, I swung back to face it full-on, and began backing up while fumbling for the bear spray in my left jeans pocket. I tried to dislodge the safety catch by feel, never losing eye contact with my new friend. As my fingers found purchase on the plastic clip, the canister released a tiny puff of spray, shooting a yellow jet about ten feet forward of me. That was enough. The bear immediately turned away and began lumbering back into the trees. Phew!

Beating a slow retreat – thank goodness for the bear spray!

I returned to my wife who was in near-panic mode, and did my best to comfort her. From her vantage point lower down the hill, she’d only glimpsed the top of the bear’s head, and so was unsure exactly what was afoot. That may have made the situation even more difficult for her – not knowing exactly what was happening.

No encores, please!

We waited a few minutes before I climbed up again to see if the bear was still around. I caught sight of it loping away through the clearing that was our intended destination. Reasoning that time was what was needed, and that the bear would want to get away from these troublesome humans, we took our time retreating downhill before making a cautious approach through the trees at a lower level.

By the time we reached the clearing, there was no sign of the bear, but I was unable to concentrate on the search, thinking about our previous encounter. A largish rock in the center of the clearing was my goal, but there was nothing obvious around it.

Searching with spray at the ready

I began to widen the search area, but very soon I heard my wife call out that the bear was back. Looking up, I could see it moving among the trees on the hillside, roughly where I’d spotted it originally. It watched us, fortunately without making any further attempt to join the party. I ushered my wife out of the clearing and decided not to return.

He’s back! (Look to the bottom right)

Here’s a closer view

Re-crossing the stream via a different tree, my wife slipped and fell half into the water, scraping and bruising her leg on the log. She fought back the tears. By the time we got out of there, we were both soaked. Briefly and half-heartedly we checked another spot before returning to the car. At that point, my wife released her pent-up emotions, we hugged, and then began the long, long trip home. I had forgotten the yellow pepper spray that had caught and stained my fingers during the stand-off. After touching my nose absentmindedly, I was given a hot and painful reminder. Don’t stand downwind of that stuff, but don’t leave home without it!

DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT !!!

[SafetyOff] DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT !!!

So after all that, do I think I’ve reached the end? I really do – both ends, particularly now I’ve had a chance to correct a minor error. But it may also be the end of my hunt. Thirteen sorties are enough. We cannot afford yet another trip to prove me right or wrong. But just in case there’s some crazy, deep-pocketed speculator out there with money to burn on a shred of old tire, I’ve just put it on eBay at an eye-watering price to fund the final trip. Here’ are the UK and US eBay links:

UK eBay
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/-/132231414085?

or
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Weird-Art-Spare-Tire-Tyre-segment-found-during-Forrest-Fenn-treasure-hunt-/132231414085?hash=item1ec99b4145:g:zfQAAOSwHLNZRqXV

US eBay
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Weird-Art-Spare-Tire-Tyre-segment-found-during-Forrest-Fenn-treasure-hunt-/132231414085?hash=item1ec99b4145:g:zfQAAOSwHLNZRqXV

There again, should a TV production company be prepared to fund a trip in late summer, then great, too. But otherwise, if the treasure is where I think it is, it can stay; it isn’t going anywhere fast! And if I ever do write the book of my four-year adventure, I will include my methodology in that. Meantime, good luck to you all.

Voxpops-

60 thoughts on “Asterisk, Omega, and Grizzly Bears….

  1. Oh my gosh, Voxpops! You and your wife had one heck of an adventure. The encounters with the bears would have scared the daylights out of me. I didn’t check out the eBay links, yet. You could always call nickname the tire “Beowulf” being that tire blowouts are also called “Alligators.” Thank you for sharing your adventure with us.

  2. Quite an adventure Voxpops. I must say that I’ve never been “cock-a-hoop” before. Hopefully you can return one day and continue your search.

    • Thanks, randawg. It’s doubtful whether I’ll be back. My wife and I are “income free” at the moment, and I’ve already spent too much. Eventually, someone else will twig the same thoughts as I’ve had, and may be able to complete the journey. One guy with a good combination of intellect and imagination is rapala67. I dont think he/she posts here, but look out for them in th future!

  3. I can’t believe you removed a clue from the field!!!

    Gloves are off – I’m going out next week and paint the home of Brown green, maybe stick a paddle up the creek while I’m at it, so there.

    JAKe

  4. You sure have a active imagination, creativity but I’ll add, you may be too creative.

    You know what I’m gonna say.
    Something about my hat.

    • Ha! You may be right, Jake – who knows? But I wouldn’t want to be in your hat-devouring shoes if you’re wrong!

      • I’ve got a few tire scraps Ide like to sell you.
        Steel belted & I’ll throw in the rims for free.

        Just take it to a tire recycling facility.

        • Thanks for the offer, Jake, but unless they’re solid gold rims, I’ll have to pass. I’m trying to raise money, not part with it!

    • You can say that again, Michael – we’re exhausted! I have come to know Wyoming, in particular, very well, and it has some amazing contrasts.

  5. Hey, if the Irish can sell air to the Chinese in a bottle maybe they will buy your tire art. It’s worth a try.
    Hope you come back and share some more adventuress endeavours.
    Cheerio..

    • I’ll whip over to Beijing and give it a go, Onuat! Like I said to randawg, it’s doubtful I’ll be back, but you never know.

  6. The person who finds the treasure will move with confidence and walk straight to it…. Every time I read a story about a searcher wandering around the woods I think to myself “what an idiot.” IMO.

  7. I gotta tell ya Vox, the poop on a tire solution has got to be the pinnacle of dumb. I mean really. I’m a well known professional tire destroyer in the off road world, to the point I have off road tire manufactures sending me tires to try out. Your chunk of tire is very typical of what happens off road. You hit something at high speed; sharp rock, tree stump, splintered log, or flat lander driving a Subaru. The tire get sliced clean on one side and the other side is ripped off the wheel. If you sell that tire shard for what you’re asking let me know. I can get you all the authentic tire pieces you want: we can forget about the chest and become gazillionairs selling chunks of tires to dummies.

    You have, at least for me, put to rest the idea that Fenn is having a grand time messing with searchers. Your tire poop story is the first thing that came to my mind after reading Fenn’s money poop story. You guys are being played like a cheap guitar by Fenn and I find it hilarious. No wonder searchers think Fenn is sending them subliminal messages, he actually is. It’s hard for me to believe anyone would fall for that, but there’s a chump born every minute. I always wondered who bought that stuff on late night TV. I’ll bet a hundred bucks you have a Popiel Pocket Fisherman. C’mon tell the truth.

    If you write a book I’ll be first in line. You have a very enjoyable writing style that is fun to read. And I’ve got to know the train of thought that would make a seemingly normal, intelligent person come up with such strange ideas.

    On a side note: Your wife is a saint, and very pretty on top of that. You married way above your pay grade.

    Thanks for posting, I really enjoyed your pictures and story.

    • I can heartily agree with your penultimate comment, Goofy. I don’t know how I ever got so lucky.

      You know, I’ve wondered whether Fenn is playing some of us, and it’s possible he may be. But until that is proven, I prefer to cling to the notion that he wouldn’t stoop to that.

      The tire fragment is my only tangible memento from the Chase. Whether it’s a genuine piece of Fenn art or just a random shred of modern life, it’s what I discovered at a significant place, and not something I actually want to part with. The only reason to try to sell at such an inflated price (pun intended!) is to fund one last trip.

      And come on, Goofy, we’ve all bought the Kool-Aid and been sucked into this never ending saga – you included. It’s just that my Kool-Aid is a slightly different flavor from yours!

      • Vox you’re right, we’ve all took the bait. But some of us took the bait, and hook, and line, and sinker, then climbed up the pole and jumped in the boat.

        I don’t look at playing the game as Fenn stooping low. Anyone that doesn’t realize we are smack dab in the middle of a Fenn marketing plan just doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on. Don’t get me wrong, I think Fenn is a great guy and would give you the shirt off his back, but if you challenge him and pull out the monopoly board he’s going to clean your clock.

        Aren’t the people sending Fenn their solutions playing mind games with him, or they are out right cheaters thinking Fenn is going to tell them something to give them an advantage. I don’t think Fenn is the one that stoops low.

        I choose not to challenge a guy at his own game, although I do get a kick out of watching the arrogant searcher’s attempts to bamboozle him. It’s like watching a street punk pull a knife on a Samurai.

        Anyway, I really did enjoy your story and pictures; and hope you find a way go on more adventures.

        • Thanks for the kind comments about the story, Goofy.

          Yeah, I have no illusions about Fenn being able to wipe the board with the lot of us, and I know he’s much smarter than me.

          I sometimes wish that I hadn’t been communicating with Forrest (if you can call a one-way conversation “communicating”). Then I could be sure that I wasn’t being played. But when I’ve been out in the wilds on my own, or spending hours at home rethinking strategy, he’s the only person I can share confidences with – everyone else is either not interested or competition! So for me, he’s been something of a muse.

          Occasionally, when I’ve had breakthroughs, I’ve succumbed to hoping he’ll offer some sort of acknowledgment, but I hate myself afterwards for wanting to “cheat” as you put it. In the end, though, the silent sounding board approach has helped me to make what I consider progress, but for me, his stories and posts have only ever provided after-the-fact confirmation (or otherwise) of things that I had already figured.

          I’m not sure what it takes to pull this off. There are searchers who are much more emotionally strong than me, but who seem to lack a degree of imagination. There are others who seem to enjoy pulling apart other people’s experiences. Fortunately there are also some who are predominantly constructive. But what surprises me is the overall lack of curiosity that seems to pervade the forums. I think that curiosity, flexibility and a willingness to entertain the unlikely are some of the qualities that may be required.

          • Well Vox none of us know what it will take to pull this off. I’m probably one of the one’s you describe with no imagination. I would of never in a million years thought poop on a tire was a clue. 🙂

            Hang in there and keep it fun. When it’s not fun anymore it’s time to quit. With a wife like yours you already have more treasure than a lot of guys will ever have.

          • Well said Vox couldn’t have said it a bit better.

            Those fleeting moments of lucidity and imagination flutter bye just as quick as they come.

            Entertaining the unlikely entertains the unlikely event of mental dexterity. I will dare to entertain it, should it show itself.

          • Thanks, Feathers-n-Glue. I certainly agree with you about the fleeting nature of lucidity (at least in my case!). I’ve found that it almost takes entering a meditative state to make breakthroughs. I think that’s why nearly all of my own leaps forward have occurred after the excitement of the hunt is over. During searching it seems that the brain is using quite different attributes, and cannot devote resources to imagination – but it does store all sorts of information subconsciously. The trick seems to be to allow it to process and bring forward its own ideas without trying to consciously censor the imaginative process.

            My last leap forward came – as usual – at the end of this most recent search. I have been loath to claim any certainty up to now, not least because the poem leads you to so many places that you begin to wonder if it’ll ever end. But now I know that the omega scratched into the dirt is the empty end of the rainbow. (I’m so surprised that practically no one has picked up on that). Infuriatingly, I missed the other end by a few hundred feet, simply because I failed to follow through on my own convictions and got (literally) sidetracked. However, there is absolute proof of the treasure end of the rainbow that anyone who has followed Fenn’s trajectory, as delineated in the poem, would realize when they see what’s there on the ground. Of course this is an opinion, but for once I am 100% sure in my own mind. That is why I am hopping mad with myself, and desperately trying to raise the funds to go back. If I wasn’t certain, I wouldn’t waste any more time on this hunt.

        • well I was telling it to Goofy . he said he could get lots of those Road Gators . I wasn’t calling you goofy Voxpops !But hey make flip flops out of it , put some of Forrest’s original words or maybe an Omega on the bottom of each and you got Fenn Flip-Flops ,to far to walk foot wear !!!

          • I like it! Too Far To Walk footwear. Maybe the omega could flash like the LEDs on those cute kiddies’ shoes! Hey I’m open to any moneymaking ideas that’ll get me one more trip…

  8. After all that, voxpops, you deserve at least a steak dinner at a fine restaurant of your choice. Terrific writing and photos. A self-published book by you on your many treasure hunt experiences would make a dandy summit (so to speak) to cap your 4 year adventure.

    Your wife comes across as an intrepid trooper. Maybe you should have let her try to solve the clues in the poem. So far as I can tell there are not asterisks, there are no omegas, there are no grizzly bears anywhere in Forrest’s poem.

    Ken (in Texas)

    • My wonderful wife is just way too sensible and even-keeled to get hooked by the poem. She’ll throw up the odd observation now and again, but it really doesn’t interest her that much. The fact that she came along at all on this last trip has more to do with the opportunity to visit family than anything Chase-related.

      You’re right about the absence of asterisks, omegas and grizzly bears in the poem. I didn’t expect to bump into any of them, and certainly wasn’t out looking for them. They just happened to be at the locations the poem sent me to. I haven’t included the very last thing I discovered, but it relates nicely to two of those three things you mentioned!

      Oh, and thanks for your kind comments. I like steak dinners!

  9. Voxpops thanks for sharing that long adventure.
    Sorry u did not find the gold. Proud you got outta there safe. 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Amy. It’s not really about the gold in the end, but it sure would be nice to put this thing to bed!

  10. Hi Vox. I saw a tire too, with a big snake snoozing under it. I hope you have another adventure in your future. Life is an adventure, make it so. Goofy…..try to be nice.

    • Glad the snake was snoozing, Copper! Yes, life is an adventure, and I have to say that Mr. Fenn has provided a stunning backdrop to part of it – at least for me.

    • I’ve always known that she’s my one true treasure, Mark. If I sell the tire, I hope to be able to provide her with spa weekends whenever she wants!

      By the way: newsflash: start price reduced to $99.99

      (That’s what it was when I created the listing, but upped it in case there might be some rich banker out there wanting to gamble on something other than derivatives!)

  11. You make me wonder if you’re the first searcher to document using bear spray. I hope you learned your lesson not to entice a Grizzly. I carry two cans of spray, one on my belt and one on my chest hanging off the front of my backpack. You never know if you’ll run into more than one. Glad you took some with you and had it ready.

    • I’ve learned stuff on every trip, Road Hawk, particularly in relation to these environments that I’m not used to. But I have to say that there was no enticement (at least not deliberately). I was trying to warn the thing of our presence. It obviously found me so irresistible that it couldn’t bear to be separated! 🙂

      Seriously, though, although I knew there were grizzlies north of Jackson, where I searched solo, I wasn’t expecting to meet a bear in the place where my wife and I searched. It just goes to show you that you really can’t be complacent.

    • I agree that it’s not on the desert, Donna. I made a brief foray to a desert area (before Forrest released the desert info) to check a theory before concluding that it was, indeed, far from the desert.

      Although it might look a little like it due to the sagebrush, the omega was NOT discovered in a desert area, and our final destination was far from the desert, in amongst the trees.

  12. If searching in Colorado, be careful as someone has said that the Colorado Department of Natural Resources has issued warnings of Grizzly sightings and has advised the wearing of little bells to make your presence known. They also suggest carrying canisters of Pepperspray. It is easy to discern Black Bear scat from that of Grizz…Black Bear scat has squirrel hair in it….Grizz scat smells like pepper and has little bells in it.

    Be safe when in bear domain and equip yourself with the knowledge and products designed to detour “too close encounters “.
    AHHHhhhh….THE THRILL OF THE CHASE

  13. Look carefully at the tire tread pattern – the two Omegas! That’s amazing and you must be on to the right solve!

    • Huh? I’m not seeing what you’re seeing – unless it’s a wind up. 🙂 Could you point out the omegas a little more clearly, please?

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