Searching Reese Canyon…

SUBMITTED September 2017
by BobZ


First things first, I got the book TTOTC.  Read the entire book including poem.  There are three places in the poem that puzzle me (more than others).  The first was “I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old.”  So what does that mean?  He’s not keeping his secret where, he’s telling us where with the poem.  The second, “If you were wise and found the blaze.”  Why in the past tense?  All other lines in stanzas two through four are present tense, and why did you need to be wise to find the blaze?  Finally, “If you are brave and in the wood” Why brave? Was this a further clue to the location of maybe just a hint.

From there I tackled the poem from the many Fenn writings, interviews, scrapbooks (thanks for that). As Fenn said you need to know where warm waters halt, without that you have nothing.  So I looked up the definition of warm water which was defined as either sea or ocean not in the artic.  I googled sea or ocean in the Rocky Mountains and came up with the Western Interior Seaway.  I googled that and came up with Bryce Canyon:

The exposed geology of the Bryce Canyon area in Utah shows a record of deposition that covers the last part of the Cretaceous Period and the first half of the Cenozoic era in that part of North America. The ancient depositional environment of the region around what is now Bryce Canyon National Park varied from the warm shallow sea (called the Cretaceous Seaway) in which the Dakota Sandstone and the Tropic Shale were deposited to the cool streams and lakes that contributed sediment to the colorful Claron Formation that dominates the park’s amphitheaters.

Other formations were also formed but were mostly eroded following uplift from the Laramide orogeny which started around 70 million years ago(mya). This event created the Rocky Mountains far to the east and helped to close the sea that covered the area

Only problem, Bryce Canyon was in Utah outside of the search zone.  That took me back to my first bother…I can keep my secret where.  So maybe he means the letter I and not the pronoun I is keeping the secret, and replacing Y with I it becomes Brice Canyon which is right below Durango, CO (even later in the poem the line is “so why is it that I must go”).  I put Brice Canyon on the Google map and pulled back.  Admittedly I began to work a bit backwards from there.  As I pulled back I saw the Navajo Dam, per Wikipedia: Navajo is a rolled earthfill embankment dam, composed of three “zones” of alternating cobbles, gravel, sand and clay. The dam is 402 feet (123 m) high…heavy loads and water high.  I now have two points.

At first I went off the Navajo Dam looking for a blaze.  After spending time looking around past the Dam, I decided to search the map back up towards Brice Canyon and the CO/NM border.  Following the waterway, three things immediately jumped out, Cemetery Canyon at the border (no place for the meek?), Los Pinos River was the waterway (the wood?), and where is the blaze?

So here’s the solve IMO:

As I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bold. (Informational)

Clue #1 – I can keep my secret where and hint of riches new and old. (“I” keep secret “where”)

Clue #2 – Begin it where warm waters halt (Begin the search in Bryce…no Brice Canyon) And take it in the canyon down (Take the search in the canyon down)

Clue #3 – Not far, but too far to walk (the canyon down is not far away, NM border sixteen miles from Brice Canyon)

Clue #4 – Put in (body of water in the canyon) below the home of Brown (Ute Reservation at border, or CO home of Molly Brown)

Clue #5 – From there it’s no place for the meek (Cemetery Canyon, TTOTC – you have to have guts to go in a cemetery) The end is ever drawing nigh (The river is drawing you to TC which is close)

Clue #6 – There’ll be no paddle up your creek, Just heavy loads and water high (you don’t have to go far down the waterway but if you did you’d come to the Navajo Dam)

Clue #7 – If you were wise and found the blaze (The Pinos River looks like this about a mile downstream from the NM/CO border:

Aerial view from Google Maps as seen from northern view,

but If turned to western view – If U were Ys and found the blaze.  The name Reese is defined as ardent or fiery – a blaze, but looking back at the aerial view from the north:

An “F” blaze can be found in the pine river.)

Clue #8 – Look quickly down your quest to cease. (boots on the ground to check the Reese Canyon wall at the bottom of the U)

The bank of the Pine River at the bottom of the U.

Made it to the spot.  Hidden behind tall grasses, a nook about two feet wide by two feet deep by 8 inches tall…could this be it?

Alas, empty.

Spent some time searching around the little island in the Pines River where the Y’s become a U in Reese Canyon, then went up top to look around there.  Did not take a metal detector, maybe it is there but I missed it? Maybe was there but already found?  Maybe I’m missing something in the clues. Maybe it’s hidden hundreds of miles away!

But tarry scant with marvel gaze (on BLM land so take it and go)

Just take the chest and go in peace (straightforward)

Hint – So why is it that I must go (“Y” is it that “I” must go)

And leave my trove for all to seek?

The answer I already know,

I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak.

So hear me all and listen good,

Your effort will be worth the cold. (TTOTC in Teachers with Ropes bronze is cold to the touch)

Clue 9 – If you are brave and in the wood.  (To get to the ledge of Reese Canyon you have to step into the Pine River)

My daughter being brave and in the wood (Pine River).

I give you title to the gold. (His legal release of the property?)

I sent the solution to Forrest Fenn to see if he would respond with anything like…”Good try, but never there” or “Sorry, not even close”, but instead nothing, only an announcement three days later that the third book is almost complete and going in to print hopefully the following week.

Speaking of scrapbook entries, go back and take a look at Scrapbook 4, wonder if this scrapbook entry will make the cut in the new book?

Good luck in your searches.


16 thoughts on “Searching Reese Canyon…

  1. Nice write up. Did notice though that you listed the sentence be as “if you WERE wise and found the blaze”. The wording is actually “if you’ve BEEN wise and found the blaze”.

    “As I HAVE GONE…” relates to “been” far more than “were”. This could be important, but who knows? Thanks a lot for sharing your solve with us!

  2. Bobz, like your attention to detail, this solve allows light onto a mystery that so many searchers never see, the time and tense of certain expressions as stated in your article WHY PQST TENSE?

    See some views of Bryce Canyon that you told were somewhat of a surprise, recently I entered a note on blog about the age of Bryce Canyon Bristlecone pine some 5,000 years old, they are found in 3 of the 4 states of search area, Wy, CO, and NM, these old beauties are like living pyramids of old, born during golden age of Egypt, their history reveals secrets like ice age, and extreme droughts over the 5 past millenia. Priceless records… warming may be cyclical but only they can tell us, one called Promethius was sacraficed for the global record it held. Sad that cutting, but it proved to be 5,000 years of climate record…maybe it was worth it.


  3. I was wondering myself,forrest said only one can keep a secret.he knows his secret,so why is he telling us where his secret spot is.he is not suspose to tell.he said he hid the treasure on a dare.who dared him,douglas preston,forrest himself.then he wants others to get out and enjoy journeys kinda like he got to do.enjoy life,nature,america,the he saying if you do this ,you are making your own it that the poem is unsolveable.or if you find the treasure,your stuck with it with no way to cash it in,because of government.boy am I confused.and those rocky mountains just keep getting bigger and bigger,how can you find a needle in a hay stack.that poem is made by a genius.

  4. BobZ – looks like a great place for a sunny adventure

    i esp liked your ‘man overlooks wilderness river’ pic – 12/10!! 🙂

  5. Bobz-
    Nice write up, thank you , I enjoyed your story. You did a lot of internet research, can a child follow the first several clues based off of this info, probably not. Your daughter appears young and strong however I can’t see Forrest at 80 standing in the middle of the Pine river with a 42lb treasure. Think about it, the treasure probably isn’t with in at least 200 ft from any river due to spring run off floods, etc, he hid this to last at least 1000 years, even at 42lbs, this treasure will easily be washed away by waters current. IMHO people need to back away from their riverbank endings.

  6. Q. The letter play is interesting, Y is it that I must Go? Wouldn’t that mean the I leaves the word and not come in to the word?

    Hopefully you searched the island that makes the U or F. Geographically it should be there in 100 years but it won’t be there in 1000 years.

  7. Brice Canyon is a new one for WWWH – do you want to go log it at warmwatersfound dot com or is it okay if I do (with a link to this solve and proper credit, of course).

  8. Loved your first establishing the Bryce sea, then then switching the Y for I to nail Brice Canyon; the rest of the analysis, not so much. But I did appreciate your effort and enjoyed the bog story & pics .

  9. Bob,
    Enjoyed your story. I also emailed Fenn after my most recent ground search of an area in Colorado. He replied right away, but only said cryptically “I received it Dave, but I can’t answer any questions about the search f.”. Like you, I was fishing for some type of hint that would indicate whether I was on the right track or not. At first, I thought that because he replied so quickly that maybe I was on the right track, but I have since decided that this was wishful thinking on my part. Good luck.

  10. Bob…your write up is a fun read and I like the word/letter play you employed. Nice photos!! Looks like the Pine was pretty muddy when you were searching. I live in Durango, and one of my patients was showing me pictures of 20″-24″ rainbow trout he was catching from the Animas, right behind the library. It got me thinking about the TTOTC chapter and “reading for free” at Borders bookstore …and at least one interpretation of the “end of the rainbow” just steps away. Have fun in the chase and thanks for sharing.

  11. Bobz, I really like your initial gut feeling on what’s going on with f talking about his secret. For a guy who’s trying to keep his secret, why is he hinting about it in the very next line. Something doesn’t add up with that…

  12. Nice Bob! An original offering to explain the “it” and clever and compelling “i” for “y” key that seems to be hinted at and supported in multiple lines of the poem! If you’ve read my solve you know my explanation for the past tense in “If you’ve been wise….”. I think that the lines/clues previous to that line build the blaze on the map….also in my solve the building of the blaze brings the searcher around (“wise”) a loop that is in the shape of an arrowhead on the map. That stated I love to read another perspective and I respect your “u” that has been “y”s angle. The problem I find with coming up with a good solution that doesn’t pan out is that it is hard to move on.

Comments are closed.