The Thrill of the Chase…the Book


Please click on the comment balloon below to add to the discussion of Forrest’s book entitled The Thrill of the Chase.

Please do not use this area for any other discussion.



472 thoughts on “The Thrill of the Chase…the Book

  1. Has anyone tried folding the pages of the book to find hidden imagery using the graphics as a guide as to where and how to fold?
    (I ask as a formerly avid reader of Mad Magazine.)

      • Yep Blix , …
        ” indecision is the key to flexibility.” … root of indecision is scission, to cut/divide, and of course flex is to bend. Never got any solid results, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a valid method. On the same page is the pile of coins … which has been cut down the middle & duplicated. Good luck.

  2. All,
    Our most current count of hints in TTOTC:
    32 hints in the book, not counting the “Gold and More” chapter.
    About a dozen hints in “Gold and More”, not counting the poem.
    About a dozen more hints in the poem, not counting (of course) the 9 clues. And we are reading TTOTC again to see if we missed any.
    Happy Thanksgiving week, and Safe Searching, everyone!
    “Have flashlight, will travel”

  3. At the close of that last session of this thread, the discussion of “THE BOOK” things were tense, well Mr Terrific will stay out of this one, I am, after all simply a silly stick figure, who can’t afford a Turquoise Belt Buckle and lately sill me, I have even (haunted) by a Troll who watches my videos on youtube then post uncomplimentary, unflattering and down right insulting comments. Are we not better than that?

    At almost a thousand views and climbing perhaps it was worth the cold and the criticism by one small minded “Troll” of an individual, obviously many others have enjoyed it.

    It would sure be nice to remind everyone that we come here for fun and an education in street learning from a knowledgeable group, and especially a pro like ff, so to me we need to lose the kind of backbiting rhetoric and help each other by actually giving something out, something useful, there is not much I conceal about my solve, it may not be correct, but if any part of it is used by the one who solves this poem then I will feel vindicated for allowing what most would consider and keep as a SECRET..Share your thoughts, because no one has very much of this figured out yet.

    Just for comic relief if I asked you all to state ONE word you feel is a definite or possible hint what would say?

    I think it is Borders…..What say YE?


    • Yep TT, but I call it List. and if you draw it, extend it, improve it, mark it, etc… you listen good.

      • OS2, now we are getting somewhere, is a mark a Blaze or is Brilliant a Blaze?

        List is what a ship does when it is in trouble, just sayin.


        • TT –

          I am a musician, I don’t know if you know that. I’m in a business that no longer pays it’s workers.

          A friend of mine wrote a song that was selected as the them song for an HBO show. As a result he had the #1 video on youtube. I am sorry to inform you that he still didn’t make any money.


          • Oh, I saw this video before. My Toltec/Chama solve is a little different and I have not been up there.

            I really look forward to riding the Toltec as well as the Line in CO along the Animas to Silverton etc.


          • Lugnutz
            Forgive me if you’ve already said, but do you perform solo and/or with a group where one might drop in to catch a show? Never know when I might next be in the second city. Have a memorable and Happy Thanksgiving.
            Chase well…Stay safe…

          • Kidutah

            It’s me and I have some folks I record with. No shows yet but we have recorded.

            When Racine Street Blues is mastered I will post a link here.


          • Lugnutz
            Thank you so much. Grew up listening to B.B.King and Muddy Waters. Joe Bonamassa and others today. My youngest brother was quite a drummer and a very long time ago played some shows with Buddy Guy at Marina City’s House of Blues. My eldest daughter is a microbiologist by day and a punk-rock bass player at heart. Me, no musical talent whatsoever (does dancing count?) and you sure don’t want to hear me sing. Please keep me posted – I will definitely give a listen. Have a memorable, happy Thanksgiving.
            Chase well…Stay safe…

          • KidUtah

            Everyone has some musical talent. Yes dancing counts. Clapping hands too. In Kentucky and throughout Appalachia there are people working to preserve not just the mountain music but the dancing as well.

            Music is all about how we express ourselves.

            I don’t sing well myself but this time I sang through a megaphone and I love it. Lots of imperfections.

            Does your daughter play in Chgo or somewhere else?


          • Lugnutz
            You are so kind. Speaking of Appalachia, bluegrass singer / fiddler Alison Krauss is a long-time fav of mine. Especially like her collaboration with Robert Plant. My daughter and her bandmates have played Chicago and a couple tours on West and East coasts. I don’t particularly care for her sound of music, but nonetheless a great group of young people. I know a few other folks involved with music in Chicago area – one for about 15 years who is a very good bass player whom I affectionately call son and who affectionately calls me old man! I first met him through my daughter when he was the big, protective brother-in-need at the time.
            Chase well…Stay safe…

        • Hey Tom,

          Even though it’s not a vintage train like in your video I think you will appreciate the skill of the guy who shot this remarkable video using a racing drone. My son showed it to me this afternoon and I immediately thought of you guys, especially JDA after asking about drones last week I think it was.

          I highly recommend watching it all the way to the end and it is at normal video speed. No fake fast-forward stuff. Just great flying. The music is cool too.

          And to stay within the HoD rules I’d like to comment on the colophon. We all know that an Ω represents the end. But why can’t an end also be a beginning?

          In keeping with the railroad them, though I can cite numerous other examples, consider a simple one-track railroad with a secondary side track midway from Casper to Albuquerque. That single railway line has 2 locations where a train begins and 2 where it ends.

          So I guess what I’m trying to say is that perhaps the ΩΩ represents the beginning and the end at the same time. Or to say it another way, they are one in the same. A circle being a perfect example because it does not become a circle until the end connects up with the beginning, and circles have certainly been talked about a lot with regard to the poem itself (I’m in that camp), but I don’t think it’s been discussed as it relates to the double omega colophon.

          Hope that makes sense.

          And if this ΩΩ thought has been previously suggested at the HoD, then I apologize to that searcher as it is never my intent to plagiarize another persons ideas.


      • Lugnutz,

        It’s very interesting that you mentioned SB Lost My Spot because I was just pondering that SB myself yesterday. I’ve studied and have tried to decifer that post several times, but keep returning to my starting place…..clueless.

        IMO it’s right there in front of our faces but our “wiring” doesn’t allow us to see the obvious. The old adage “if that was a snake I’d be dead” comes to mind. The problem is that dang snake bites me almost everyday now.

        I’ll keep studying that post in the hopes that one day I’ll find the key and unlock it.

        In the meantime, I for one would love to know if anyone ever correctly solved it.


        • Pinatubocharlie-

          For fun I will guess Green River between Fenn Clovis Cache and Flaming Gorge.

          The possibility of clues in scrapbooks is valid before Fenn’s June 30 pronouncement that he wouldn’t give anymore clues.

          For me and other New Mexico fans there is a potential clue/hint in Midge Blue Dun.

          I make stars on my map when I discover something of interest. If the same place comes up again in an unrelated writing that makes me wonder if I am on to something.


          • No disrespect Lug, but I think the Midge is part of his magic act if you get my drift. Saying it’s subtrefuge or a red herring is too harsh and unfair and unwarranted, but I think misdirection like in a magic act very fair.

            It’s a plain sight thing but our brains are getting in the way like the backwards bicycle.

            Take care……… Pinatubocharlie

          • Pinatubocharlie – adamantly agree

            and if riding a backwards bi-cycle ain’t awkward enough already.. just add multiple rabbit holes 🙂

  4. I have to say that I put the articles that were written off each other and found some very helpful details. Call me crazy but I like the idea of folding the pages. Of course I wouldn’t damage my books from F but I can copy them and then try folding them. New idea, and anything new is worth looking into it. Question!
    Has anyone found a 10yr old kid that can read the book and find the clues in the poem? I haven’t, I’m beginning to think that F is pulling our leg on that.
    Best to all and Happy Thanksgiving

  5. has mr. forrest said these 9 clues,are they 9 one words or 9 the blaze really white.he says if you know where to start,then somebody says he said ,begin it where warm waters halt.I think it is lost in the rocky mountains,as forrest only knows where it is,and no one can figure it out,and mr, forrest ain’t telling,no how,no way.his lips are sealed,so he can’t say,cause he said he will not say where it took him along time to write the poem,yet he writes a book ttotc.and decides to put poem in the book.ttotc,a memoir,that tells about forrest.a poem that tells you where a treasure is.he said he never named the poem,so why are we calling it ttotc.just because its in his book of memories.memories are in the mind from something you did in the now the treasure is hidden in the how can you find it.lost in forrest mind,nobody knows but him.a script,plan,idea,writing,sketching,hatching,free hand,a drawing,water color,coloring,painting a vision.ourself .our shadow.whats inside that counts,we are all stained with brown,see the white light and do good to each other.a little arrowhead ,started him on his fasinating set him on fire,got him excited,thus the fun to wanderlust.

  6. The book is a tour. Go where he went physically and think. Read the poem and break down the words to their simple meanings. Then read the book again and again. I typed out the entire book on my laptop and noticed something curious. I now only look in one geographic area for the blaze. Good luck! The snow is our worst enemy.

  7. After we get enough words from inside the book we can go to Tarry Scant and enter them, and perhaps some one will have what they need for a solid solve? TT

  8. Dal
    Click to add to the discussion of Forrest’s book entitled The Thrill of the Chase. I will not use this area for any other discussion – promise. I won’t discuss his…or his…or his…. The poem is in TTOTC so I presume I can discuss it, but there are other discussion threads in more tight focus with parts of the poem and supposed key word. So, this thread seems to be intended to cover everything more not covered by a more specific thread. Kinda deep hole so to speak. That’s it, I should follow the discussion threads in order of the clues in the poem. Here I go confounding myself again. Think I better post less and read TTOTC one more time – slowly – and just maybe I’ll have the first clue and find the right discussion thread to begin. Have a memorable Happy Thanksgiving.
    Chase well…Stay safe…

  9. Hi PinatuboCharlie: didn’t get a chance to thank you for sharing your Philippines/Pinatubo/Subic Bay story with us before The Book part 1 was retired. My brother served in the first Gulf War, and Subic Bay was (naturally) one of the Navy’s stops going to/from San Diego.

    Given the cause of your hasty departure from your island paradise, I find it ironic that you’ve settled on the shoulders of … wait for it … another active volcano! And not just any volcano, but perhaps the most dangerous one in the U.S. Hopefully you are not in a lahar hazard zone.

    And to top it off, you lived near Vesuvius (which I climbed a few years ago)?? Admit it: you like living on the edge and bouncing off the curbs. Forrest would dig your moxie. 😉

    • You’re welcome Zap.

      Your comment regarding your brother brings back memories. It was not unusual for a carrier battle group to pull in for a few days and drop anchor in the bay or tie up at Cubi Point or the Naval Station, but when we drove down the hill to work one day, it was not a battle group, it was a naval armada at anchor! Very very impressive. We had never seen that many ships at anchor in the bay, ever. And NO shore leave. We joked about that, but where they were headed was no joke.

      The next morning we were driving down the same hill headed for work. The armada was GONE and we all knew where they were going. Time to clean up the neighborhood. A few months later Mt. P. decided to do its thing.

      By the way, that was my second time working for the Navy in the PI. The first time I met my wonderful wife where we worked in the same office and married in the Base Chapel. And a few months later watched several thousand Vietnamese refugees process thru Grande Island, normally a fleet rec center.

      Oh, and so I don’t get put on someone’s naughty list, I should say something about TTOTC.

      Page 43, The Main Street Cowboys – Can you or someone else please explain why there are 6 names for 5 boys? Or does the first boy on the left have 2 names? Or am I in serious need of new glasses?


      • Hi P.C.: Based on the middle cowboy’s name ending with the initial “E.”, I just assumed “Nat.” was an abbreviation of Jim’s last name. (Note the period after Nat).

  10. Copper,no book yet.i called andrew and gave him my address. My one word clue,would be .
    I =me,myself,I.= lost.I’m lost on this poem.justify as i can’t figure it out.forrest fenn you are dr.watson and sherlock holmes.

  11. IN TTOTC, on page 41, Mr. Fenn says that sometimes he would get even with his father, for switching him, by jumping out of his window, and walking “down” to the cemetery, which was “north” of there house.

    • There’s no shortage of places, where down is north, but maybe this is one of the tricks of the poem, where taking it down, doesn’t mean a drop in elevation?

    • James – IMO: It’s tough to isolate the exactly definition/meaning of many of the words (and word phrases) FF uses and writes, and “down” is no different. He may have lived on top of a hill so every time he left home he would be heading down regardless of compass direction (I’m not saying that he in fact lived on a hill, just using it as an example). I might ask someone “I’m heading down to the store, do you need anything while I’m there?” and down is generically used (in conjunction with “heading”) simply to impart that I’m “going” to the store with no emphasis on compass directionality or elevation. This is one of the hardest parts about solving the poem.

      • I agree Bowmarc,

        Not just “down” but many words in the poem. And all are in “plain English”
        Many, I think, want plain English to be only in the context of what the think they are reading… prejudging the word, so to speak.
        Examples of down; can mean cozy, soft, even mean straight forwards…”down” can mean feathers which can relate to Native Americans and such [ just think about ]. Can mean; passing something. Or other terms for down to refer to; Duck [not the animal] but to bend or hutch over. Or down to mean; move forward with no real elevation involved, as you implied.
        These are just a ‘very few’ usages of “down” [ in plain English] and we have two downs in the poem… Do both “down” in the poem mean the same?
        fenn said “warm” means comfortable to him. Does this mean “cold” means uncomfortable? If it does, the some of the ideas that cold refers to the chest being made of metal doesn’t work well. if both warm and cold only means temperature like many have in their theories. I mean, would fenn relate to the chest as uncomfortable?… maybe if he actually did ‘throw’ himself on the chest, I guess.

        I’ll add; “look quickly down” can refer to down in stanza 2 as being the same… as a view and not so much a physical movement. Making both down’s only used for sight.
        Other words like “creek” can mean a small stream of water… then again… a small stream of water can be consider the same as a canyon by definition; tall or shear sides with flowing water… but the question is more about perception, in the case, than precision or accuracy [ the mud puddle to an Ant, idea ].
        Which brings me full circle to “down” might refer to a view and what we perceive as big or small may just be the opposite of what we think… I mean, can a creek refer to a canyon by usage of the definitions? Again, it not what we think we should see, but what fenn might have intended it to be. A creek means nothing more than a narrow passage… water is not needed for this definition to be usable. If this is the case, the poem can be read completely different…

        For example;
        Stanza 1 could be a view, and not so much a travel into a canyon [ there is a Q&A that seems to relate to this ]. Stanza 3 could be an enclosure of sorta the meek [ claustrophobic?] to go into a creek [ narrow passage, related to stanza 4 we might need to duck or bend or crawl “in there” [ kids may have an advantage here…lol… and why fenn may have had the ‘need’ to make two trips?]

        Each word usage can change the poem slightly enough to equate to physical features of the land and directions and instruction… and possibly all the clues represent a small area… That is if the readers really think about the words and not just what they want them to be.

        End of commentary…

      • Bowmarc…I made some comments over @odds+ends about the word “down”. They are only examples of a different way other than what is often offered or discussed.
        I used the word down…because it is nearer the first clue. It appears as though the Chase has faltered repeatedly right there at the first clue ,second clue…moving on to the third. All of Fenn’s ATF seem to point to this part of the deciphering for lack of a better term.
        Down…could have many different meanings as Seeker pointed out…so who knows. As a directional clue or placement clue…going in, moving through the canyon is possible if we reference the first stanza, “alone in there”. Doesn’t matter…up, down, north, south…just go in there, the canyon.

        • Q~ Who else knows where the treasure is buried?
          A~ I never said it was buried. I’ve avoided that word. I hid it. I don’t mean to imply that it isn’t buried. I just didn’t want to give that as a clue. It took me two trips in my car to hide the treasure. And I can tell you an 80-year-old man is not going to make a trip into a canyon, then come up and go down again. As for who else knows, I’m the only one. My wife doesn’t know. []

          I’m not sure In there is in the canyon…

          • Me neither Seeker! Ha !
            It is possible( as you have alluded also) that the clues may be in a tight or close relationship to each other. With that said…the whole deal could transpire right there in front of the whole world in a very short, abridged trek, with a couple of clever twists, that might make even the most adventurous folks wonder why they did not think about something a long time ago….just a scenario to toss around.

          • Ken,
            I’m sure you have seen the Fenn’s landscape [home]…
            I can tie the entire poem to that yard only on a small scale of the normal idea/usage of what the words seem to relay to. [ imagination?]

            Think about attempting to find a 10″ sq hiding place just in an area that size, with all that is around you. I dare say that would take some time to do, if you don’t have precise instructions.
            If you found such a location out in the vastness while searching… would you even consider it?
            The thing is… an area like that can be within a larger area that also seems to fit the poem, and many if not all, would walk right by looking for a huge canyon and miles of clues.

            Fenn said we need to be able to walk several hours to our solves “twice” [total round trips est. less than 6 hours].
            In one theory that trec is only to get to a location like that… but along the way… the scenery can look as much like the poem as the smaller location… certainty of the location beforehand, line of thinking.
            Huge, may not mean large but more inline with how fenn feels about the place… held in high regards and respect.
            The average Joe, even someone who is familiar with the area, may not know if this location, as such… so it’s only speculation as to why on my part. But the book might help with that.
            Quickly means short, fast etc. Scant is a synonym and means small etc. Its seems to me that the poem could be telling us [at the point of the blaze being found] ~ the scale of what we just read about. [I wonder if folks would call foul if that actually was true].
            I’ll take it a step further… using Plain English, nigh for left or even a westerly direction [if we twist it a bit], Down as south or from another point, far as right, possibly two rights [maybe right turn and the other a east direct [ depending ] In, Below, Up, etc. can all be utilize as directions in a small location, almost pacing out places of descriptions…

            You might be able to see; in this theory that hoB, if know, would over ride wwwh or any other prior clue.

            But we’re back to the old question what and where is wwh?

            All in a theory of perspective. because I have been told, size doesn’t matter.

          • Yess…your description is much longer than the one I posed…never the less I can still see/visualize a much smaller scale than most believe may be the case. Again…this is just talk and I am sure you realize that a simple walk around the block could take one person ten minutes. It may take another two hours depending on “what” they are doing, looking at/for and so on.
            I keep reiterating the importance about where things seem to being heading in the wrong direction. 7 (SEVEN) years and folks are still pretty much right where it was 6(SIX) or so years ago. First two clues and nobody knows anything really beyond that? If they even knew it at all? Ok…maybe four but not so sure?
            Something around the word down…or NFBTFTW has searchers twisted into knot. Logic says it has to be so basic that it is pounding on the walls to be seen. “Precise” may be what is throwing things off a bit. How about common sense…thinking is more important than doing?
            Why can’t there be a wwh that leads to a canyon that does not need to be hiked for days in whatever direction that has a HOB in close proximity? And so on…
            I went to Snake school…most times the scenario is big/BIG but the best choices for survival are limited. Best to find high ground fast(for extraction) and to be able to move quickly. Blend in fast and make yourself small, plan to move in any direction yesterday. Just more for the kitty…

          • Oh! sure.. end run my question. LOL

            Where the heck is wwwh and why?

            Yep, we all have the answers to every part of the poem but that one. The blaze, distance, which creek, why no meeks are allowed, even in the wood… lol, but i’m sure someone will correct me on that.

            Commentary meant as sarcastic humor, and not meant to be politically correct.

          • Shoot! WWH is where it’s at man…I thought you knew that! Dang Seeker…I’m sorry, It’s the place…you know…where all the cool kids go to get away and hang.
            Seriously, I believe that when/if wwh is solved for sure, and the person/s reveals it after securing the treasure it will turn out to be a place that is combined of all the words in the poem…tied together like the sweetest fly ever…with a couple of hackles dangling out there in the wrong direction…just for kicks.
            I’ve got an idea or two…but that’s another story.
            And don’t believe anyone here that says they know for sure…cause I think we know where that always goes.

  12. Seeker…
    Book Part1/ 11/21/17 3:46 AM
    You suggested that the colon was appropriate in usage, and yes, I agree.
    I really meant to say that Fenn could have easily just written ” So I wrote…” and just ended it with a period(.)
    That would have been just as acceptable and probably “more” appropriate, given his proclivity to using incorrect or discombobulated commas and sentence structure. Why pull a colon(:) out of his hat at the correct time?
    It just hit me at the time(no pun) because I was studying the timing of/or possible timing of the poem at the time. Jeez…lot of time there. More exactly…using a colon to emphasize a full stop…or long pause. Maybe…to look around/pay attention. Or… sometimes to indicate a change of speaker. Any thoughts?

    • Hi ken.

      If you read the previous blogs and a recent post I’ve made….

      IMO – a comma tepresents a directional change, possibly a left turn, and if you think about it, a semi-colin can represent a right turn….and a period is a stop and/or a pause, maybe because you’ve hit a marker.


  13. I have the new book, but I have not read it yet. I had surgery on my eye and my vision is not back to normal yet. I am looking forward to my eye healing so I can read the new stories.

    • Do you have someone who can read to you? You can close your eyes and imagine Windy City. Heal up fast!

    • Windy City

      Would it be ok to say what surgery you had. I had an issue a couple of years ago that I can and even spell.


      • Thanks for all of the kind comments. I had a membrane that was covering the macula removed. It is the same eye that I had a torn, detached retina repaired few years back.

        • Dang Windy, you really need to take the spoon out the cup before sipping your hot chocolate.
          Been there, done that… Just don’t push the recovery. You’ll be reading all the new clues so enough.

          • Hope you feel better soon Windy… If it makes you feel better I just got the third memoir yesterday…
            Take care of yourself 🙂

  14. Hi All — there aren’t separate posting topics for the books TFTW or Once Upon a While, so I figured “The Book” was the closest match. Just wanted to post a little summary of the “anomalies” I found in OUAW, some of which may have gone unnoticed by those who have received their copies.

    First off, the postmark stamps are obviously back. Not every one of the 39 chapters has a stamp — chapters 7 (Shelling Corn) and 9 (Glory Is Never Enough) are stampless. (If you want to cross-reference to the Scrapbooks on Dal’s site, Shelling Corn is SB #91 and the other on the Rawlings PRO 5 football is SB #100.) I have no theory for why he left stamps off those chapters.

    Second, like the stamps in TTOTC, one of them is unlike all the others. I mentioned this a couple weeks ago, but so far no one has chimed in on the answer. It’s not hard to find, so we’ll see who here solves it first. The mystery, though, is deciphering the meaning of that outlier stamp and what he changed about it. Consider it in the context of what was unusual about the stamps in TTOTC.

    Third, compare the illustration for the Unfortunate Hiccup on pages 70-71 with that of the illustration in Scrapbook 180. Notice what’s changed?

    Fourth: I don’t know if it’s a typo or intentional, but compare the title of Chapter 17 with what appears atop pages 76, 78 & 79. Given Forrest’s penchant for opposites, mirrors, and reversing sayings and song lyrics, I’m inclined to think it was deliberate.

    Fifth: Look closely at the photograph of “The Quahada Chief on a Black Pony” in Chapter 18. (This was Scrapbook 174 of the same title). Subtly hidden on top of (or behind?) that picture is a map of Kings Canyon in California. You should easily be able to make out “Glacier Monument” under the horse, and many other mountain peak names are visible including Palmer, Bago, Gardiner, Fin, Pyramid, Crater, Kid, Pinchot, Wynne, Striped, Marion, State, Dougherty, Kid, Goat, Munger and a few others. I’ve done a lot of mountaineering in this area which is why many of those names were familiar to me.

    Sixth: check out page 120. Do you recognize that shadow? It’s a mirror reverse of the cover of the TFTW shadow. Continuing with the theme of opposites and reversals, Forrest has maintained the reversed lyrics he put in SB #90 of the Tony Bennett song on page 123. The correct lyrics are:

    In my solitude you haunt me with reveries of days gone by.
    In my solitude you taunt me with memories that never die.

    And finally, in Chapter 38: The Bullet Comes Home (original SB #145) — the $2 bill at the bottom of page 169 is a picture of the $2 bill found at Ground Zero in NYC that belonged to Robert J. Gschaar who died in the South Tower of the World Trade Center. You can Google his name and $2 bill to see the matching image (and serial number).

    I look forward to reading other searchers’ discoveries of aberrations in and other observations about the new memoir.

    • Thanks for posting the short list of abernomalations Zap.
      At the end of the day( just jiving you). The $2 dollar bill is one that smacked me in the face real hard. Also was the reference to the numerous Mt. Peaks…kind of ties to “Patagonia”….more later.

    • Thanks Zap. I really need to buy that book and check it out. That $2.00 bill kind of intrigues me:

      “Your effort will be Worth The Cold” (WTC).

      • Sparrow: nice pattern recognition! I missed that one! It may be nothing, but nevertheless it shows you are calibrated to look for such oddities.

        And if you’re looking for some encouragement not to leave the Chase (it was you posting that this weekend, right? On my phone so hard to check) you have repeatedly demonstrated the lateral thinking skills necessary to unravel Forrest clues, in my opinion. Keep plugging away … winter is your friend since winter=time.

      • Thats cool, good thinking , wtc. But…..ff did not start the initial short-hand writing we use, (nfbtftw and so on) but I guess by the time he wrote the third book, He could have adopted it.

    • Hi Zap, why did he added the $2 bill to that page? Was something else added to the content of the text? I don’t have the book.

      • A mystery for us to solve, Oz10. Was it WTC? Was it Thomas Jefferson? Was it the 2? Who knows? I keep an open mind. I haven’t done a full text for text comparison with SB 145. All the OUAW story versions have differences from the original SB’s, Passages and so forth, some minor, some significant.

        I do recommend that any serious searcher buy the book. I think there are good hints in it, it’s a very nice-looking book, and the price is not a wallet-buster — especially considering the quality. And it’s very convenient to have a collection of “Scrapbook highlights” in a fast, tactile, reference format.

      • Oz10— in SB145 about the Bullet Forrest mentions giving his mother-in-law a 2 dollar bill, which she always eventually returns to him. He also mentions buying gas for 11cents a gallon, buying two gallons and saving 3 cents for next time.
        He says he still has that old 2 dollar bill. It is a reminder (or treasure so to speak) of when he was poor—- and yet still so happy. That two dollar bill gave him more contentment than a whole chest of gold could. I think the 2 dollar bill is one of his “treasures bold”.

          • lug—
            Probably an old one. But a new one would be fine too. I’ve got an old two dollar bill stuck in a Bible somewhere. lol. So i think I’m covered.

          • Sparrow –

            Whether it’s an Old One or a New One, either way it’s worth half as mush as a new Two Dollar Bill.

            I will bet my bottom dollar Forrest Fenn enjoys that joke.


        • Just for the record, he ‘pawned’ the $2 bill to Peggy’s mom so he would have spending cash to take Peggy out on dates…that whole premise is strange to me, as he never says what he paid to get it back…I assume it is the ‘joke’ that he could buy it back from her for less. The inclusion of the WTC bill is weird as well, I take the importance that FF shared a nostalgic feeling with his wife as the WTC guy and his wife did…but so? We know Peggy is important to him, is it just that for when one of them goes, the other will have that $2 bill to remember/cherish? Does not seem to be anything chase related…but then I’m of the opinion that not many SBs do (insight to FFs mind sure, but links to the chase I believe are in your heads). Just my 2cents, IMO IMO IMO

    • The obverse of the $2 bill has the Declaration of Independence. The stamp dates from the TTOTC are all country dates (save maybe one) of their declaration of Independence.

      The World Trade Centre connection was mentioned previously on Jenny’s “nature makes her own rules”

      “I don’t think earth can hurt it, under the right conditions wind might affect it, it’s probably already wet, and look at what fire did to the twin towers.”

      • 9=9: I investigated your claim that all (or nearly all) of the postmark stamp dates in TTOTC are countries’ dates of their declaration of independence. However, I could not find one full date where this was true, so I had to assume you were speaking only of the month and day and not the year. This latter “coincidence” is not as impressive when you consider there are over 180 countries with specific dates of declaration of independence. With any given date, you’ve got about a 50-50 chance of matching ~some~ country. But the odds of all 20 stamps matching a date would be about 1 in a million (2 to the 20th power). So, it’s worth investigating if it’s true. It starts off well:

        1. 16 Sep – Mexico (1810)
        2. 2 Sep – Vietname (1945)
        3. 25 Aug – Uruguay (1825)
        4. 10 Jul – Bahamas (1973)

        But then:

        5. 15 Apr – no match
        6. 18 Oct – Azerbaijan (1991)
        7. 3 Jun – no match
        8. 13 Jul – no match
        9. 5 Jun – no match
        10. 23 May – no match

        So true to statistical expectation, exactly half of the first ten stamps match dates, and half don’t, so I didn’t take it any further.

        • Not that I believe in any of this nonsense but dude, April 15bis the titanic. Therearent many more Infamous dates

        • Hi Lugnutz: I more readily associate April 15th with tax day. Had anyone asked me the date the Titanic sank, I doubt I would have even gotten the month right. But again, just matching month & day to historical dates without also matching the year is not a very interesting exercise to me. And what I showed above with the countries is that there isn’t even a correlation, so I don’t get why the claim was made.

        • Zap,
          ok I found all those independence dates except April 15 which is the sinking of the titanic, but more importantly the date Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. ILincoln is mentioned in TTOTC and has a strong link to the Declaration of Independence.

        • Zap…there you go…..statistically probably not the association someone made. I agree.

          Good work. I’ve removed it from a possibility to further research.

          The other notion of the postmarks, was that they could be associated to the month day the Fenn family took vacations.

          Another avenue could be associated to the month/day as relative to a numerical reference to something.

          1. 16 Sep – 16-9 / 16-09
          2. 2 Sep – 2-9 / 02-9/ 02-09 / 2-09
          3. 25 Aug – 25-8 / 25-08
          4. 10 Jul – 10-7 / 10-07
          5. 15 Apr – 15-4 / 15-04
          6. 18 Oct – 18-10
          7. 3 Jun – 3-6 / 03-6 / 03-06
          8. 13 Jul – 13-7 / 13-07
          9. 5 Jun – 5-6 / 05-6 / 05-06
          10. 23 May – 23-5 / 23-05


          I’ve never travelled down that rabbit hole, but have thought about the possibilities of the connections….namely the double digit choices. Somehow they tell me they may be connected to a map.

          A certain map. Maybe those space references on the sides of maps….A1 – D4…etc

          They could also be related to the “Row 4 Block 23” type numbers that were used in the book concerning Forrest’s father’s grave location.

          I wondered if they are locations on a map using a grid-like search pattern.

          But…what map?….so I gave up.

          Until just now.

          I have a map that has grid-like features on it.

          I’ll check to see if they fall upon the map…..this may result in those numbers are actual fishing locations of Fenn’s past.

          I would say this openly…..if these are “locations” on the map I have….I could honestly say that my research and map could be worth millions…..*smiles*….

          Interesting…..deduction I made while brainstorming for a few moments, huh?

    • Too forced and subtle for me, these things are.
      Relax more, you should.
      My opinion, this is.

    • Great compilation, Zap. I would add the painting “switch” page #136 OUAW and page #104 TTOTC. Also, Fred Harman is spelled two different ways…Harmon and Harman in the Red Ryder article. Harman is correct. “Ferd” is again mentioned…possibly illuminating Ferdinand Magellan? I would never had caught on to the Glacier Monument. Regarding TFTW, he talks about a “Castroville Point, CA” and a “Pedernales Point, CA” page #26. I think both of those places are in Texas. But again, pointing to California? I see Sosoko is again mentioned…sounds a lot like Sudoku to me – patterns of 3? Of 9? And lastly, the emphasis on Elvis. A couple of references to him in first chapter and of course the stick figure. Seems as though a lot of people were looking at Beowulf prior so the focus has shifted or we have been re-directed? The $2 bill connection is haunting. There are many more I’m sure. Quite sure, actually. Big smile!

      • Hi Sandy — good catch on the Harman/Harmon. Similar to the Orson Wells/Welles error in TFTW.

        I think the CAs you mentioned from TFTW stand for circa rather than California, though it is odd if they are in upper case without the period (ca.)

        • Zap – you are probably correct regarding CA; I hadn’t considered that since the abbreviation is not in the generally accepted format. As we know, Mr. Fenn makes his own rules and it makes life a little more interesting. Curious as to what you think the map of King’s Canyon in the real CA is all about? Are the maps shown in the new book hinting at us to change our focus? Good catch on Chapter 17 as well. You know, Forrest made a pretty big deal at the book signing about his editor and the little disagreements they had over his writing style. Funny that there are so many apparent “errors” – it would seem the editor lost a few of those skirmishes. I like how you think about the postmarks but I have a different take on them. Perhaps our paths meet in an intersection somewhere.

          • Zap ~’Forrest made a pretty big deal at the book signing about his editor and the little disagreements they had over his writing style. Funny that there are so many apparent “errors”’

            That didn’t seem strange at all to me, but might be important nonetheless.
            fenn has talks about how he corrupts words, bend words, twist meaning of word to make them work, even a dislike for the academically correct style writings etc etc. Of course, imo, we should keep an eye out for any reasonable reasoning for this.

            As to the maps… I have pondered many times about the “right map” and what details fenn relates to… whether GE or A map… the one thing that keep come up in my mind is water[s]. Not fishing guide maps or transit waterway maps… but a time of ecosystem mapping of the waterways… watersheds… even settlements involving water sources. A none human trail, so to speak.

            I mean, without the Rocky Mountains range and the affects of it on the surrounding areas [ from north to south in two countries ] the climate and weather, as well as the land would be so different over the entire search area. In this the reason for fenn saying only; in the mountains N. of SF… we need to understand something about the range itself?
            A comprehensive knowledge of geography might help?

            You rattle on about stamps and [ what I call code ] words in the poem about your theory… what I hardly ever see is you talking about how geography working within your theory… I’m not talking name of places or what a creek is… but more to the idea of geography’s influence on the challenge.

            Just curious…

          • Zap Let me add;
            My thoughts of what a human trail relates to is something made by man for man’s usage.
            Water is utilized by man, but never intended or created by man as a human trail, I can say the same for what is called a, mountain passage… it’s there, we use it, but it was not created for us, line of thinking.
            Just because we stomp the grass down, doesn’t make it a human trail… imo… those human trails are designed deliberately by man [humans]

          • Hi Seeker,

            “I have pondered many times about the “right map” and what details fenn relates to… whether GE or A map… the one thing that keep come up in my mind is water[s].”

            Well, I’m sure most agree that water plays an important role in the poem’s solution, which is not too surprising coming from a fisherman.

            As for an overarching water lifecycle view, I think that’s “zooming out” too far. Yes, the Rocky Mountains are special and rare. It’s unusual to have such a tall, long mountain range so far from the nearest tectonic plate boundary. The weather would indeed be very different east of the Rockies were they absent. But while this is all interesting, I don’t see how an appreciation of the majesty and importance of the Rockies will help finding a 10″x10″x5″ bronze box.

            “You rattle on about stamps and [ what I call code ] words in the poem about your theory… what I hardly ever see is you talking about how geography working within your theory… I’m not talking name of places or what a creek is… but more to the idea of geography’s influence on the challenge.”

            I think you will eventually find that the names of geographic features are critical to a proper decipherment of the clues. Knowing that the Rockies are moving, that rivers change their courses over time, that glaciers advance and recede, and so on will not help you solve the poem’s clues in my opinion.

            I realize that you’re not a fan of stomping out the clues, and appear not to favor the idea of a point-to-point-to-point type of treasure hunt, but what if that’s indeed what it is?

          • Zap,
            Where is geography in simple names of places?
            The point to knowing about the range itself and the watershed, Automatically puts a different spin on the poem other than gliding a finger over maps and hoping to match names of clues, example Brown Mountain… that is still a process of eliminations style search and can match anywhere with in the 4 states.

            By the way I showed how one theory using the Rockies and the CD could land a searcher in a very small location… is the theory correct… ha! who the heck knows… but it can be done.
            No names needed, until it is needed to be explained to another, just the natural landscape, and how it works, is all that is really needed.

            As far as the stomping mode type of search… the problem with many reported solves is… they all have many miles of stomping, then when that’s not enough or seems to be too much, alternate transportation becomes needed.

            Some one posted… if I recall correctly… they were told by fenn or there’s was a interview…[ my mind is slipping lately so don’t hold me to where I remember this from ] but the stated was … searchers didn’t quit, they left the poem.
            One way of taking that comment is, distance of stomping out clues… they kept going and going… walking by all the clues and the chest.

            So, if you think about it. All the clues over a large location can meet in one small location – in theory and still was
            “followed” ~ [meaning by understanding].
            To be honest, I’m not diggin that line of thinking much anymore. But ya’ll never get me to believe clues have to have names of places to be known about. [ sure the places might have names, but I highly doubt there in references to knowing how to decipher a clue.

            Commentary only.

        • Hi Sandy – I don’t have any strong theory as to the purpose behind the Kings Canyon map. I can make a weak connection to the area I’m focused on, but nothing I’d ever hang my hat on.

          “Good catch on Chapter 17 as well. You know, Forrest made a pretty big deal at the book signing about his editor and the little disagreements they had over his writing style. Funny that there are so many apparent “errors” – it would seem the editor lost a few of those skirmishes.”

          Yeah, she won the battle on things like “toothbrush vs. tooth brush,” “dishwasher vs. dish washer,” and correcting liquorice to licorice (pg. 14), but then missed some typos here and there (e.g. if/of on page 8, missing article “a” before jaguar on page 73). “Meadow larks” still shows up as two words, and why is the chapter 13 title spelled “Annabella’s Hat” with two N’s?

          “I like how you think about the postmarks but I have a different take on them.”

          So did you find the unique one?

          “Perhaps our paths meet in an intersection somewhere.”

          Perhaps so!

          • Hi Zap – my approach is to attempt to marry the post marks to a place on a map. I have had some success and one postmark is quite interesting – a marriage made in heaven so to speak. The rest fall into the category of shotgun marriage, arranged marriage, maybe just living together kind of relationship lol. I’m not convinced that every post mark is significant, and I definitely am not an expert in probabiIity, but there is one postmark / place name that I believe defies the odds of being nothing more than a coincidence. I know that this approach requires specialized knowledge but for me, everything is specialized knowledge since I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of the geography of the 4 states. Or of art.

          • Hi Sandy and anyone else following along w.r.t. postmarks in Once Upon a While. I’m still waiting for someone to correctly identify the outlier stamp. I’m beginning to think that very few people have purchased Forrest’s 3rd memoir, which if true is a shame. It’s a high-quality paperback, and in my opinion it does contains hints/clues/nudges/what-have-you that are found nowhere else.

          • I have the book.
            I haven’t looked at the stamps.
            I’m not sure why you do this instead of just saying what you found.


          • Hi Lugnutz: simple — I’d rather let people fish than throw them fish. I want people to enjoy the experience of discovery. If you have the book, LOOK! It costs you nothing. You’ll enjoy finding it. It’s not a hard problem.

          • Zaps
            1) wadaya mean ‘Lugs will only accept his slow poached fish on a silver platter’?

            2) wadaya mean ‘look at the book’?.. are you suggesting that (if Jonsey1 hadn’t seriously bribed the judges) i’da won the book therefore got the clues too?

            2.5) wadaya mean ‘it’s not a hard problem’ ..have you read the poem lately or.. ?

          • Hi CH:
            “1) wadaya mean ‘Lugs will only accept his slow poached fish on a silver platter’?”

            With white wine sauce. 😉

            “2) wadaya mean ‘look at the book’?.. are you suggesting that (if Jonsey1 hadn’t seriously bribed the judges) i’da won the book therefore got the clues too?”

            Yes, indeed! Of course, a copy of OUAW by carrier pigeon could take quite some time to reach your beautiful island.

            “2.5) wadaya mean ‘it’s not a hard problem’ ..have you read the poem lately or.. ?”

            Compared to the poem, the outlier postmark stamp is easy to find. Sandy posted that she found it, and I fully expect she did (but I can’t know for sure unless she gives me a little wink-wink hint that I’ll recognize). 😉

      • Hi Sandy or anyone else that’s been pondering the oddities in OUAW. Sandy: did you ever identify the name of the original painting in the B&W image on page 104 of TTOTC that was switched out for the Nicolai Fechin in OUAW on page 136? It seems an odd thing to deliberately alter, and he draws attention to it in OUAW by keeping the photograph B&W but replacing the original painting with the color Fechin. His graphic artist(s) even kept the frame the same — just stretched it a bit horizontally to accommodate the replacement painting.

        • Hi Zap. I havnt got the OUAW book yet. Do you know the name of the Nicolai Fechin work on page 136?
          Cheers Zap.

          • Hi ken — yes, that one is clearly Alexandra (Fechin’s wife). I haven’t figured out the artist for the painting that originally appeared in TTOTC. It doesn’t look like a Fechin to my eye (and certainly not an O’Keeffe, Hurley or Henri). Surely someone out there has figured out the artist/title.

          • Hi ken — ahh, I didn’t search long enough. The TTOTC one is a Fechin after all! Discouraging how hard it is to research (on the web) when the lute/mandolin “Player” was painted.

        • Zap – I need to go thru my notes on the painting…but I don’t think I do. My thought is that we are to be “drawn” to her unusual hairstyle. Or whatever those black claw like things on her forehead are! Hey, will you take a quick look at Sally Colorado’s blaze and tell me what you think? I have puzzled over it for a couple of years now. The F won’t let me forget it. It’s probably Cholo from SoCal but I don’t quite buy that.

          • Wow, Sandy — I have no clue what’s going on with that poor aspen. From top down it looks like an eyeball, ALE, upside-down 7, 11, a symbol I don’t recognize, a capital Greek sigma, a block letter F, and a square with a slash through it (or a Z with vertical bars on either side). Looks like even older carvings below and to the left.

        • Perhaps of interest to those researching Fechin’s painting of his wife Alexandra in OUAW as a change from the black& white mandolin player in same photo TTOTC:
          1. What remained the same in both books is a discrete painting of farmer at the bottom. Odd. Why there? With your effort to research.
          2. Fechin was known as a Tar-Tar from Kazan.
          Tar-zan. Forrest stated that his earlier name for Indulgence was Tarzan. Is there a connection to the poem?
          3. Fechin’s daughter Eya may be more important with respect to the chase as Forrest was personally connected to Eya. He may have also assisted with purchase and conservation of Fechin House in Taos when Eya passed away and her children could no longer maintain Fechin house-museum.

          • Good eye, Norwegian! In all my dozens of readings of TTOTC, I’ve never paid any attention to that small painting at Peggy’s feet, nor do I recognize the work now that I do see it.

    • Zap – another abernomalation or 2…..In SB #90, Mr Fenn includes a photo of a sculpture entitled “Salute to a Warrior”. And of course, “Salute to a Warrior” is the title of the Chapter in OUAW honoring Renelle. That brings me to an interesting (to me) connection I make with SB #90 and SB #185 in that both paintings show a sweat lodge in the background (or at least I think that is what is pictured in #185). Not that I think sweat lodges are involved but it seemed an interesting coincidence.

      • Zap and others…yes, I found the outlier postmark. Another abernomalation (thanks ken, love that term and will use it for eternity) and perhaps interesting postmark connection that has currently piqued my interest is Lady Pretty Blanket. She is mentioned twice in 2 different contexts. I am interested in the preponderance of Fred and Ferd name occurances as well.

        I wrote to Forrest to tell him that I know both of the men who played the “Little Beaver” role (now grown men, one is recently deceased). Fred Harman employed these men as young boys to star in the Red Ryder / Little Beaver rodeos and also as models for his art. It’s a small world down here on the borderlands between NM and CO. Both men are Jicarilla Apache Nation tribal members, and very proud of the role they played as the young Red Ryder in the rodeos especially and as friends of Fred Harman. Fred Harman put Pagosa Springs on the map (don’t laugh all you big city people, I’m talking about western art) and the museum is priceless. The Red Ryder / Little Beaver rodeos continue to this day.

        Jicarilla translates to basket – canasta translates to basket. Maybe the Pagosa region should be a waypoint on all our maps. Artists use models…and Forrest uses the model theme in multiple scrapbooks/stories. Love all these connections and some day I hope they lead me to the treasure!

        • Yes Sandy…I have researched Harman to some extent and have come away feeling enriched by the new found knowledge. I was never able to further any of that info. into a possible relation to a poem- solve scenario. I refer back to it once in a while…but only when something else seems to relate.
          Nice post.

        • Stayed in PG last week for the first time. Swam in a hot springs swimming pool at near midnight. Searched a little north of there the next day.

          • Sean – that area is rich…maybe not with treasure but it is a gem. Rainbow and Piedra natural hot springs, Chimney Rock, Treasure Falls, Treasure Mountain, the Harman museum ( I hope you went there), and the Southern San Juan Mountains. And of course the commercial hot springs are thought by many to be the best waters in the world.

            For awhile, I was really interested in the last known Grizzly Bear killed in Colorado – just east of Pagosa as the Raven flies in a very remote area and very near Fred Harman’s ranch in Blanco Basin. Autopsy reveals that that Grizzly was a mother of cubs and her remains are on exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. As far as anyone knows, the cubs didn’t survive or at least were never seen. I’ve since moved on but a nice connection.

            Interesting side connection; at the Fred Harman museum there is a preserved Aspen stump with Kit Carson’s name and 1859 carved into it. If I remember correctly, the Forest Service allowed Pagosa citizens to harvest the stump for preservation in 2006 as the tree was dying. So those initials lasted 150 or so years in the wild. I mentioned on the blog once that my Dad tells stories of the initials KC (Kit Carson had a ranch in the area) all over Philmont back in the 1940s when dad was a scout there. Kit Carson was a prolific graffiti artist!!

        • Sandy, Zap and others. Thank you for this very interesting post.
          I found this extremely interesting today.
          I have been working on a solve and it centers around Forrest as a vagabond. Forrest said in one of the fishing videos that he was going to name TFTW “chasing a vagabond” and then he pauses almost to his surprise that he said too much.
          So Thrill of the chase and Chasing a vagabond. Chase means to pursue. And in the Declaration of Independence with Thomas Jefferson is the most important line that Abraham Lincoln repeated thru his Presidency. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You could also say life liberty and the chase of indulgence:-).
          Now the Jefferson River in Montana is formed from the Ruby(Red) and Beaverhead( little beaver).
          Is Forrest hinting at this area? I have researched the area in the past but have never followed thru with a solve there.
          This area is very interesting. One of the only places where Paleo-Indians (Nomads or Vagabonds) frequented west of the Rockies. And they where of the Clovis.
          I believe at one time others had speculated the southwestern area of Montana to where Forrest found his clovis cache?

          Also Forrest had used the tramp, bum hobo references many times before. he was referencing the Vagabond as he states in the Video, “Chasing a Vagabond”.

          • **** DPT wondered “I believe at one time others had speculated the southwestern area of Montana to where Forrest found his clovis cache?” ****

            FF didn’t archaeologically “find” either the Fenn cache or the Crook County cache, he obtained them as already-assembled collections (both of them probably put together early in the 20th century). The original collectors are unknown, as is where-and-how they were originally found.

            His (significant) contribution was to maintain the collections intact as purchased, and to submit them for professional study.


        • Sandy

          Many searchers agree that Fenn would not violate tribal lands. Speaking of the Jicarilla, I wonder if you think Off Reservation Jicarilla land is Reservation land?


          • Lug…I think I know the area you are referring to… east of Chama? That entire stretch is fenced, signed, and gated. I think there are private landholdings in there as well. But inaccessible to searchers. The Rancho de Los Pardo is a huge private ranch on both sides of the highway going towards Cumbres.
            The Jicarilla Reservation proper is very well marked. And patrolled. I dont think the treasure is on tribal lands. Tribal police take their job very seriously.

  15. I didn’t recall anyone mentioning the pair of x’s on page 172. Shirley that wouldn’t be a hint or is it?

  16. Maybe its coincidental that the cover of OUAW with the stars fits my solve. The star that has the fishing line, is my put in below the HoB and the largest star is where I think the TC is at. It all fits my map.

    Just saying 🙂

    • Charlie M –

      We haven’t discussed the cover on HoD. Or I have not seen that discussion.

      I believe we are looking up through the constellation Orion. The “hooked” star is Mintaka which is the Delta star, etc.

      Someone may wish to argue that we are looking down through Orion but I believe we see faint Meissa back up there between Betelgeuse and Bellatrix.

      Spellcheck does not like (m)any of those words.


        • CharlieM –

          I do not know why you are asking.
          What I mean is that if you were Zap, you would be asking a question that you already had an answer to.

          Do you have an idea or are you asking me for an idea about why a man would fish for a star??


        • Lug,

          I get what you said. Why would a man fish for stars?

          Just ask’n…

          One could be fishing for “stars” – as with those who stand out or are above the crowd.

          What was this in reference to again?


      • Lug;
        You are probably correct in saying that the cover represents an actual constellation. I, on the other hand, think that it is a “Star Map” with the four main stars representing four of the clues.

        For me, the star on the spine represents “No Paddle Up Your Creek”.
        The star above that represents “Heavy Loads”.
        The star to the right and up from “Heavy Loads”
        represents a “NEW Water high” The fishing line represents a dry creek bed, and the final – Biggest Star represents where Indulgence lays in wait.

        I know you do not believe in “Hints” or “Nudges”, but I do – Just how I see it – JDA

      • Hi Lug/All: the stars pictured on the cover of OUAW do not match any constellation of which I’m aware. I’m an astronomer, so I know my constellations, and that is definitely not Orion — mirror-reversed or otherwise.

        • Sure looks like the Pleiades to me but I am not an astronomer . Not perfect to scale but looks very close . Some Native Americans in history said they came from the stars- the Pleiades. I am not sure of anything relative though. IMO .

  17. PD –

    I have seen the video of the event and I do not recall any conversation about the cover.

    What did he say about it? (I don’t have an hour to watch it again.)


      • PDenver –

        Oh absolutely.

        There was probably some guidance. I want stars. I want a boat. I want to be fishing for a star. Maybe.

        And the GA probably showed Fenn proofs.

        I would agree that it seems unlikely Fenn said Put a guy on the front with a fishing line hooking the star Mintaka.


        • Pdenver, Lug,

          I wish I may I wish I might catch a star tonight….
          Maybe this might refer to F hoping to have a person find the TC, which would be the star of the Chase.

          Just thoughts

  18. I notice the book doesnt get talked about much which seems a shame.
    Does anyone have a thought as to the various dimensions Fenn eluded to where his thoughts took him, when he blotted out Philly and the grave marker and how it could relate to the chase?
    He said it was life changing afterall.

    • Hi Kira;

      I am not sure that I have any thoughts on him blotting out Phillie, but I do have a thought or two on the grave marker.

      As I have mentioned before, “tarry Scant” can mean a black (TARry) stone that has been sawn on two sides (scant). A Grave marker, or gravestone like the one pictured on page 95 of TToTC.

      Forrest had originally planed to die at the place that Indulgence is secreted. I think that a “Grave Marker” (Tarry scant) was part of his plan. When he beat cancer, his plans changed, but I think that the idea of a “Grave Marker” remained.

      A grave marker – is just that – a stone that “Marks” the place where someone (something – Indulgence) is buried.
      “Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
      But tarry scant with marvel gaze,…”

      Look down, and you shall see my Grave Marker – Don’t be surprised – I told you it would be here…. Just take the chest and go in peace. (Interp)

      Forrest’s full quote says it all – ““We are all here only for the pleasure of others, everything living, only for the pleasure of others. Of course, that’s it! That’s why the stone marker said” …and smile at a homely girl.” It had to be pounded into me! That’s why all of Philadelphia was reduced to a thumbnail, to show me that each one is as important as the all, myself, no less than any of them, and no more. It seems obvious to me now that we are all temporary statements, like a cut bouquet on the living room table, to make brief comments in passing and maybe cause a smile, then go on to make room for others who will play their parts…
      If I cannot enrich those with whom I interact each day and cause them to be better for my having passed their view, then I have wasted my turn. That I succeed in this endeavor is not as important as it is for me to make a solid try. For if the try is sincere I have succeeded in whatever failure resulted …. So now, at least for me I know. And if no one should ever think of me when I have passed this vale, it will be of no consequence, for I have finally found my way and am at peace with it all.” f

      ““We are all here only for the pleasure of others, everything living, only for the pleasure of others. ” How can I add to that? – JDA

      • JDA,

        Thanks for sharing your insight. You bring some personal knowledge that you never had to share, but you did…. you made a ‘solid try’ there.

      • JDA
        Ive been considering tarry scant is the blaze. This is the only item that seems to for such a thing.
        Covering his thumb of Philly, pretend to be holding (object, like Statue of Liberty ) between thumb and index finger, having your picture taken of you holding up the Leaning Tower of Piza, all visual perspectives. Maybe a certain kind of perspective is needed to help to solve the poem. What it is escapes me atm.

        • Kira;

          Look at the quote …”That’s why all of Philadelphia was reduced to a thumbnail, to show me that each one is as important as the all, myself, no less than any of them, and no more…” Humility – We all must become humble. No matter how powerful we might become – flying a jet is a powerful responsibility – we must each realize that each of us is no more powerful or important than the next person.

          Too much to put on a grave marker, but very important words and thoughts.

          I would not look for “Perspective” ideas, other than this is a fantastic perspective of why we are all here. Just the thoughts of a guy that has been around a bit too long – JDA

          • JDA
            Fenn quotes three pieces from Khayyam that is death related and each is in the form of his poem. At the end of this chapter Fenn is saying he made his peace with all of it. He is comfortable with death.
            I think theres something more there and has helped with a possible hint.

      • JDA,

        Nice write up on the grave marker.

        I have also pondered a “scant” being at the hidey spot as a grave marker. Like the one he’s holding in SB 126 along with his most interesting hat “Mildew” which he refers to as “her.”

        On MW, Fenn said, “You will find no mildew in the treasure chest.” Perhaps the scant and “Mildew” will be found standing guard over the chest. If one finds the chest and opens it, perhaps the finder will be pleased when “she” sees it.

        P.S. Hopefully, the grizzly in SB 126 will be absent from the finder’s scene 🙂

        • At the Top;

          I had never seen this quote. Thanks for posting it. I will let you know (I hope) if I find “Mildew” standing guard. I am quite sure I will find the “Scant” looking over Indulgence – We all can hope can’t we? – JDA

        • Just a reminder on the “supposed” quote on the soldier’s grave marker from the 1947 French Indochina war. The French in the 1940s (as today) are not in the habit of writing in English — especially on a grave marker for a fallen soldier. And I should think they would be even less likely to borrow a joking epitaph by Henry Louis Mencken that he wrote for himself. The original words were “If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.” Remember the 85% rule.

          • Zap –

            Why did you post this in response to the remarks on SB 126?
            Because of the female pronouns???


          • Zap…just curious what you believe to be the motive behind Fenn using that particular “misquote” in that particular story/setting? And what do you mean by “Remember the 85% rule.” ?

          • 85% rule is on pg14 when he refers tononfiction writers dont jave to be but 85% if the time right.

            My take is he used the quote amd replaced smile vs wink to tie his stories together.

          • Hi Kira.

            I’ve read a lot of things…..okay…nevermind that.

            But you are somewhat in the ballpark with what I think FF meant.

            Non-fiction to me is/are facts uncovered by a previous individual.

            Try to follow along…..maybe this helps with the thinking process.

            As you can see, the above statement is not complete.

            Like the poem, it is missing things. Things we do not know, yet still need to find.

            For me…many mentors and folks help me focus on the poem. I really don’t hink I can pinpoint one techniques, as like they are all active at once. Weird in some ways. Anyhow…..that is besides my point.

            Are you still with me? :o)

            I’m rambling… I was saying… discoveries are being found everyday that change history, and awaken the senses and starts churning my mind, and nothing like butter.

            I learned a long time ago, what we see is not what is what the truth can actually be. I ventured down THAT rabbit hole. I never resurfaced.

            So one coould say, I am still in that rabbit hole working this puzzle.

            Anamoly? I think so.

          • Tim
            Im able to follow, even if at times its like going through a crazy straw with tje loopyloops,
            In a way it is an experiment since Fenn wants people off the couch and devices . But the irony is, its possible theyre spending more time doing what he didnt trying to research clues than explore.

          • Hi ken: For your first question, I’ll tell you my best theory. It’s because Mencken was known as the “Sage of Baltimore.”

          • Hi Zap.

            I like that, but shooting from the hip will always leave questions, doubts, unsurity.

            But it does move one forward.

            Nietzsche – philosophical in nature, but still had questions of his own. Jung, the same way. Germany flourished in those days. It was a welcome site to see.

            Are you implying to read the poem with a steady mind?

            Many see the end without looking for a beginning.

            Sheez, I’m starting to sound like Yoda. No try. Do. Man I love those films…..since that first day I walked into the theater at Qua Vadis.

            It definitely has some measure.

          • …and zap…..always remember…..anyone can accomplish anything if they set their minds to it. Look at what FF did. 15 yrs….dedication.

            He put this together for family and friends to enjoy…….making it so even an every day joe, worker bee kind of person can get involved.

            He said it was simple. You see my brain thoughts and the motions I go into.

            A relaxed mind can take you anywhere.

            Be the chest.

          • Kira…I am well aware of “where” that comes from.
            My question was to Zap. I am curious why Zap felt Fenn used that particular misquote where he did and for what purpose.
            Your “take” is rather general…is there more to that thought?
            Zap…I am certain you did your homework in regards to Mencken.
            Mencken seems like a rather off beat character to insert in that story….maybe that’s the point?
            It is an oddity that nags at me.

          • Lugnutz: my post was in response to JDA’s mention of the grave marker in his post of January 12 at 8:18 am.

          • Hi ken — it “nags at me” too. I’m pretty sure the French soldier epitaph is a fabrication (or maybe a mis-remembrance), which naturally begs the question of why. I can make a subtle H. L. Mencken connection to my solution, but it’s not very satisfying.

            In the end, it may not be a hint to anything at all. After all, this story appeared over 4 years before TTOTC was published, and the same epitaph was used in that earlier pre-Chase version:


      • Wow JDA…..this is a much different view I’ve read of you. Nice.

        I don’t own his latest book… if that quote is in it….that is a lot to think in.

        Is there a clue in there?…..*shrugs*…..I haven’t a clue……LOL….but i will say, from all of my own life seeking chores and rituals I’ve been through, I can see Forrest as poignant and thoughtful and a very sincere person……

        Unlike anyone I have ever met.

        If he can use this imagery in just talking about how it can be world changing to exchange a smile with a nobody, imagine what kinds of smiles he has initiated across the globe? Shoot – I bet Ronnie the Scot keeps one in his pocket…..I too dream a little, which in ways contributes to making me smile…..etc…etc….etc….

        We all have seen what smiling does – Did you know that we even lose about 1 gram of fat with it. Even the smallest amount of hope is there. He sees it too.

        Trying to awaken a world that sleeps to become something Utopian is futile to do, I’ve tried. The world isn’t broken, it just isn’t aware.

        Believe me…..we all have our own perception. Although Forrest is trying to do much more than any of my small attempts……he did do something I could not or was unable to do. There is a prize at the end for the one who attempts. He opened an unknown door to the world of his life and dventures.

        He literally forced the world to recognize him in some ways, but he opened that door invitingly.

        The opportunity is knocking for us all. We should respond. We can literally as FF mentioned…..”leave worries behind”.

        I’m game.

        Be the chest.

      • Hey JDA…

        I’ve often read your posts about a “Tarry scant” as referring to a black marker and I can’t say you’re incorrect.

        However, have you considered the first word in the line “But” and put it together with “tarry” to hear it as “buttery scant” as in a ‘light yellow marker’ maybe?

        Or is this just too much of a ‘slippery slope’?

        Remember his story about his ‘slicks’? Maybe just a polished stone marker where all other surrounding stones are not polished.

        Just a stone out of place with its surroundings?

        Some thoughts is all.

        • Hi Sam;

          Thanks for your post. I am a pretty “Straight forwards” kind of guy. Although I think Forrest uses words in non-standard ways – I do not think that he would use it in the manner you describe – combining But with Tarry to = buttery = light yellow.

          As an aside – I do think that “THE” tarry scant is not all black, but may have a couple of other colors on its face. – Sorry, can’t say why I think this, but it has to do with a couple of SB’s.

          Thanks again for your post – always like to hear other’s ideas – JDA

        • Hi samsmith.

          Stones have always been part of my theories.

          I had one theory and thought it was a good one, when I found the a “cairns” on the side of a road.

          I then put cairns into my general solve as a method of the blaze. How a blaze can be marked…with cairns.

          To further this thinking, the road I was on, seems to allow cairns to be made and placed…..get this…from what you saying…small 2-3″ flat round rocks….perfect for stacking.

          Now whether this was good for me….I couldn’t find that same one…..2 yrs later…..gone……I must’ve imagined it.

          This led me to believe, if I am going to find the “blaze” what ever it was going to be…I had to go back a third time and look for it…while hiking through the wilderness with BOTG.

          I am now a firm believer in that I cannot solve this puzzle until I find the blaze.

          “if you’ve been wise and found the blaze,”

          This is a direction by FF to look for it. I doubt you can see it from GE or on any map.

          Yep…..I have to put myself back into the field and look for how these clues fit.

          Cheers and good luck to us.

        • Hey sam…good morning.

          When I think of butter…I think I will be sick! :o)


          Seriously….including things that related to “bad safety” – as “slippery slope” clearly does… be honest…..really never entered my mind as a place to look.

          Do you thnk an 80-year old man would mess with any “slippery slope”?…uh-uh. way too dangerous….we all want to live as long as we can, and that just doesn’t seem like something to get involved with.
          – …and “slippery slope” can refer to a “not so good choice”. Probably also eliminated from his construction.

          You see how I am using probability? It really is a wonderful tool to use.

          I think Fenn thought of everything…..”100 to 1000 yrs ‘everything’ “….

          Cheers and good luck.

  19. Here’s the quote:

    “Henri paintings were very important and quite valuable so my eyes were always on alert for his name in auction catalogs. After a few weeks I bought one. It was a picture of a little girl named Graciella. But for some unknown reason it didn’t appeal to me. Her face was, well, I don’t know.”

  20. Kira—–

    That’s because the name “Graciella” is a fictitious name for the painting.

    • Sparrow I know the name isnt the name, its just Fenn using Grace Kelly to get Graciella.
      Its just there is no matchimg images of the painting to what is shown in the scrpbook.

    • Florencia –> Graciella
      Bella Abzug
      Orson Welles (sic)
      Richard Wetherell (sic)

      Do I have your attention yet?

      • Zaphod
        Maybe your arrow is distorting my take.
        Florencia –> Graciella
        Are you saying you get Graciella from Florencia and not Grace Kelly?
        If so, I definitely dont understand.

      • Kira: I don’t think Forrest chose Graciella because of Grace Kelly. What is the common feature of all my examples? Per Forrest scrapbook: “People Just Don’t Understand”.

        • Zaphod
          This appears to be more of a butterfly affect than coded meanings to me. Two things Fenn like to do is mispell and makeup words.

          If it takes you somewhere, good luck, I dont see this kind of thought process as something Fenn has previously demonstrated.

        • Gracie Allen -> Graciella
          Now line up Florencia and Graciella and simplify.
          What do you get, Zap?

  21. There is something about the contrast between “Graciella” (wink at a homely girl–Forrest said he didn’t really like her face at first) and Grace Kelly. In the original SB there is a poster for “To catch a Thief” with Grace Kelly and Cary Grant on it.

    Forrest mentions Cary Grant later in the SB, but never Grace Kelly. I think because she is not mentioned in the SB, and is totally removed from the reprint in “Once Upon A While” she is VERY IMPORTANT. I think a lot of the hints have to do with what is NOT there, versus what IS there.

    All I can say is this—-I bought a defibulator for when I watch “Rear Window”. Grace Kelly is so beautiful in that movie that I literally have to be shocked back to life after watching half of it. I think it is possible that Forrest Fenn “treasures” Grace Kelly—-but I could be wrong.

    • Well, Princess Grace ~was~ born in Philly. And “Rear Window” is a Hitchcock masterpiece. But that’s not what Forrest is doing here, in my opinion. ELL ELL ELL ELL ELL ELL. Don’t forget all the 50s. What’s 50 in Roman (Hello Romnella = Roman ELL). Lanier School picture: what’s on all the girls’ blouses? “Well Private, what the h— do you want me to do about it?” and “When I asked what the h— he was doing, he told me that he needed the barrel to make a BBQ pit for the troops.”

    • Hi Sparrow: I just posted a hint-filled reply. It was comment #420068. However, I think it got filtered out by Dal’s software because it mistakenly thought the post had language that wasn’t family-friendly. (It didn’t — it had two quotes from Forrest that at first glance might ~appear~ inappropriate.) Perhaps Dal or Goofy can vet it and clear it.

      • Kira: I’d prefer the whole post appear since context is important. Unfortunately (for once) I did not cut and save what I posted, so only Dal or Goofy has the power to resurrect it. If the post ends up being gone to the ether, then I will post my best recollection — replacing the troubling (?) quotes with a link to where they can be found.

    • I will expand just a bit concerning Grace Kelly. Again, she is in the photo in the original SB 178—but she is not mentioned in the actual story—though Cary Grant is. In the new book “Once Upon A While” this SB 178 is reprinted—-however, the photo with Grace Kelly is gone. So this TOTALLY removes her from the story. I believe this is a hint, and very important.

      If we go back to “Featured Question and Chatting with Forrest: Bronze and Iron” 6-23-15–Jenny Kile’s blog we see a story about “melding” (putting two different metals together to from one thing).

      Forrest shows a couple of examples—-and one of them he says is of the “famous Rodeo Clown. Emmett Kelly”. So has melded two different metals together to form one person—Emmett Kelly.

      Now—-“Graciella” is a combination of Grace Kelly—and she has the same last name as the rodeo clown—coincidence? Maybe. I just wanted to throw these thoughts out there. To me Grace Kelly many be a more important hint than we realize.

      • How about Gracella and Florencia names both mean- Flowering? He bought the painting ( seed) and the picture grew on him ( flowered) after awhile. Just my poetic perspective. IMO .

  22. Some of you may find usefulness in this post, during your quest.

    Page 57 ttotc – “We should have buried him standing up.”

    Search Google – Repatriation of French Indochina Graves

    Rotorwash post 15 Sep 09 @ 21:28

    Rotorwash answers that the French soldiers were buried standing up, that a post-hole digger was used with the burials – Battle of Mang Yang Pass, 1954. The soldiers were buried facing France.

    I have no reason to discount the post, and found other corroboration elsewhere.

    Further research showed that many French soldier burials were repatriated in the 1980s, but we can imagine that many were not. The soldiers of the Mang Yang Pass battle were repatriated to Frejus, France at the Memorial des Guerres en Indochine, Route du General Callies 83600. The rows point to the sea in the direction of Indochina.

    Page 94 ttotc – French soldier stone grave marker.

    Page 95 ttotc – “Is it fair that no one recalls where those brave French soldiers fell and are now interred in that remote jungle clearing, hidden from life for a million sunsets?” And ff goes on to say they are forever forgotten, “save by me.”

    Page 100 ttotc – “It is more than sad to me, not just that the French soldiers are dead and buried, but that no one knows where they are or even who they were.”

    So, IMO and others may have thought, our quest should consider the search for a grave in metaphor (not that I believe in a buried treasure chest, but it is a possibility). FF during the recent Nightline episode stated the treasure was hidden where I put it. There are words in the poem which match. Maybe he said too much???

    Wink your eye versus smile …. to Zaps post above Jan 12 @ 11:04 am, where Zap explains the epitaph on the French soldier’s grave stone, and the different use of the words wink and smile.

    IMO, the blink (wink) and Operation Arc Light are related and help us to understand. And I found a place in the Rocky Mountains where things are buried standing up (sorry, will not reveal).


    • Speaking of revealing: When I ‘googled’ yesterday, it appeared they defined the identity of the whole shebang!

  23. Looking For Lewis And Clark
    Somewhere In Montana
    Sunday 20SEP 1946
    Page 59 TTOTC

    “He was quick to take the hint” and said he would just ride along and help me keep the mountains company.

    • quick

      Those words are in the poem and in that line.
      Just another coincidence.

  24. A book within the book:

    Forrest Fenn made reference to several books within TTOC and I have not read all of them. But recently I performed an online search for “JOURNAL
    “Nine Years in the Rocky Mountains
    Being a General Description of the Country, Climate, Rivers, Lakes, Mountains, Etc., and a View of the Life Led by a Hunter in those Regions”

    I found that this book is in the public domain and available for free download in several formats. There has been no mention of any clues or hints in this small publication. However, it certainly is a vivid record of living by your wits in the wilderness while under threat of attack by hostiles.

    It fascinates me to read about areas that searchers are currently moving through. Following Mr Russel’s travels on a map I see areas that now contain towns and farms described from an era of free ranging buffalo, beaver, mountain sheep and white tail deer.

    So if you are interested in reading about a “greenhorn” hunter / trapper learning the trade then I would recommend it. I can’t help but admire the mountaineers that chose to spend years in the Rocky Mountains through all seasons, trading with Indians and living off of the abundance of nature.

    It certainly stirs me to travel West at soonest opportunity.

  25. Well, Forrest Fenn’s new book is the only thing exciting enough to pull my attention away from watching Vikings plunder gold at the Olympics.

    • If you can find Forrest’s gold, you’d have enough of the yellow metal to make over 1200 Olympic gold medals. (But you’ll also need over 1200 troy *pounds* of silver for all those “gold” medals, as well as a lot of copper.)

  26. I read my copy over the holidays a couple of months back. I have to say, it was a faster read this latest time, but it took me a lot longer to finish because I would stop to consider what was written. Perhaps the difference in looking at the words versus wondering about their meanings. Maybe some of you have had a similar experience with this or another “favorite” book as well?

  27. TTOTC…
    “His words are some of those that tell the *insidious* stories the best, stories that have made me *think*:
    A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries,
    ” Fools!” Your reward is neither Here nor There.
    Strange, is it not? That of the myriads who
    Before us pass’d the Door of Darkness through
    Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
    Which to discover we must travel too.

  28. Here’s something that I’ve been chewing on and would love some input from others. At the bottom of page 13 of TTOTC, Fenn talks about why he never got around to writing his memoir. He first says he was always too busy, but then writes, “But the other reason was more important; my self confidence was really down at the bottom.”

    1) I don’t believe Fenn’s confidence has EVER been lacking, so that sticks out.
    2) There’s an obvious typo. Self-confidence should be hyphenated. Or should it?

    Confidence is another word for secret. It’s very easy to make this connection. So is Fenn really saying he couldn’t write his memoir until his secret (the treasure chest) was down at the bottom? If you read the line in the first stanza, “I can keep my secret where,” as “I can keep my confidence where,” then it completely changes our view. This line now says, “My treasure chest is down at the bottom.”

    The next big question is obvious: The bottom of what? Anyone have any ideas? I have my own thoughts… 🙂

    • NW Native,

      You have are correct in this line of thinking. Its about your guts or confidence. Whether you are comfortable or not. Forrest told us warm means comfortable to him. So wwh is discomfort and uncomfortable which means timid and meek. The second stanza is about the timid, meek and unfortunate. Non confident. Then third stanza is for the confident and comfortable, brave, bold, etc..

      You asked NW Native bottom of what? As Forrest would say, how deep is a hole?

      • To help you understand more remember Forrest said warm means comfortable. when comfortable halts , stops or ceases to exist it is uncomfortable or discomfort. Look up the definition of uncomfortable and discomfort!! Both mean misfortune, unfortunate, awkward, poor, timid, shy, meek. Now look at Scrapbook 99. The most important scrapbook!

        Just like page 99 with map in TTOTC. Remember there are 9 clues in poem. 9 and 99 are important to figure out wwh. I am not sure where it is but am on right path. 9 is an odd number. Just like the oddball meek and uncomfortable. Forrest like the rare and odd!!

        After you look up uncomfortable and discomfort etymology and definitions read scrapbook 99 again.

  29. I was doing a little Googling of F-100D Super Sabre info when I ran across the actual source photo for Forrest’s book on page 85. I’ve always been suspicious of the “37mm rockets” caption that Forrest added to the photo, given that 37mm is less than 1 1/2″ in diameter — certainly less than the diameter of the rockets in the photo. Turns out it’s a salvo of 2.75″ rockets (70 mm) being fired by an F-100D-85-NH (serial # 56-3415) in South Vietnam in 1967. This very aircraft was later lost (along with its pilot, 1Lt Clive Jeffs) after an engine failure near Nha Trang on 3/12/1971:

  30. On page 41 in TTOTC, Mr. Fenn says, he walked “down” to the cemetery, which was a block “north” of there house. In the photos of there house, the area looks pancake flat.

    • James;

      Many people refer to “down” without respect to direction or elevation.

      “I need to go down to the store.” regardless of where the store is in relation to the house – Just a way of speaking – JDA

  31. In the TOTC book, Mr. Fenn mentions US currency, more than any other single item. And Buffalo nickles, dominate the theme.

  32. Hello everyone.
    I feel really enthousiast about solving this riddle. But to my disadvantage i live in europe where TTOTC is overly expensive to get by . I’m looking for someone willing to send me a digital copy of the book so that i can read it and finally adress the problem with all hints. I’m willing to forge a durable partnership and share my thoughts with whoever sends me the copy first. Thanks in advance !

  33. In the TTOTC book Mr. Fenn talks a lot about death and dying. Eric Sloane, important literature, Olga, my war for me, his battle with cancer. And he talks about his childhood memories in West Yellowstone, with his family and friends. And how he loves it when those memories come sparking back. Well, some of the people he shared those memories with are probably buried in the West Yellowstone cemetery, which also serves as a trail head. Maybe the kind of place where there wouldn’t be anyone else around.

    • Yep, yep, its the 191 hwy trailhead to the Gneiss trail…. the trails other TH is about where Yellowstone’s W. entry road dips below the home of brown. I think someone in an armchair wrote about it … Weeds & Roots or something, caution, though….some lost their heads on that trail. Others didn’t.

      If I had legs and access to PLSS maps, I think I would know where to look. The Epilogue was very helpful that way. I could be wrong. I’ll never know.

  34. Hi OS2, I’m thinking the cemetery could be WWWH, because of all the tears fallen on the ground, and coffin lids “nailed down”.

  35. The “postmarks” are depicting the cancellations from the Passport program of the National Parks. You can purchase a “passport booklet”, stamps, eParks, etc. that the parks will cancel upon your visit. You can download a list but many places are added and some are not on the list. Points of interest within a section also may be able to provide cancellations.

  36. Reading Forrest Fenn – code is cracked

    He gives us what we need to do it ourselves in TTOTC. I’ve done it. Now you do it.

    FitzGerald – not the Gatsby one, but the one who translated and interpreted Omar Khayyam. Research him on wikipedia and Kearney’s claims of “transmogrification”. Not Kearney, NE, although that is also important.

    Heidegger – Being and Time – not Time Magazine, nor being almost eighty with a lot of time to think, but the philosophical treatise in linguistics and hermeneutics, groundbreaking for its time. Joan Stambaugh provides a good translation from German to English, but was somehow unable to fully capture the cultural nuance buried within the German language (probably not intended but certainly debated). The work on etymology wasn’t deep enough, but has been called out by King. It’s definitely worth a glance. But Stambaugh seems pretty important, too.

    Allegory – not allegations, not an alligator, not an alley for a painting, not an alabaster marble, nor solo allí. Look up allegory. Male searchers above 50+ will probably be angry and hateful about this. It’s hard-ass stuff to work through. “Do not hate what you do not know, for the greater part of knowledge consists of what you do not know.” – Ali ibn Abi Talib (see what I did there?)

    Even neologisms. Yawking?

    He said it was difficult, but not impossible. Students of this will be thrilled and annotating for decades when realizing and considering how much content there actually is. I used to play a related computer game when I was a kid. Even bought a retro t-shirt for my outings in May. I have the sense Forrest will be compared with the likes of James Joyce in modern lit, but in the true spirit of etumos, perhaps he has just created a new category.

    They’ll probably put Forrest on a half-dollar coin or something. Oh wait. But seriously, what’s the point of rocks if not for a good chase?

  37. I really enjoy all your posts E.C. ……. but I’m wondering if that unemployed Texan w/12 kids & a pick-up is on a parallel track. Anyone taking bets on who will get there first? It won’t ever be me, but I do love all the reading and thinking and guessing. Good luck to you.

    • So, let’s be clear on your reference. He’s repeated this several times. This article has an example:

      He wants to give hope, bring families together, get kids off the couch and into the mountains. He hopes this is the kind of person who finds his treasure. A redneck isn’t someone who is unable to look up etymologies of words and read maps. It simply means someone who works outside in the sun.

      The puzzle is difficult to solve or it would have already been solved by many.

      • E. C.–

        I agree with you. I also believe that when Mr. F said that “no specialized knowledge is needed” (or something like that) that he understood the wide range of knowledge and resources that are available to each and everyone of us via the internet. To find the strong box you do not need to be an engineer, geologist, doctor, historian, physcologist, artist, outdoorsman, lawyer or whatever….. All the information we need to solve this puzzle is at our fingertips, with the assistance of our imagination and recogninance from a few botg.. All of course IMO


    • More probable as to why he used the term “redneck” could be related to Patrick Huber, and his writing of “A Short History of Redneck”.

      “Huber is a surname of German language origin. It derives from the German word Hube meaning hide, a unit of land a farmer might possess.” Further support for this assertion is an allusion to Herbert Hoover through the quote in the Flywater chapter about “subtracting from the allotted time of man”. Hoover is the Anglicized version of Huber.

      Not to mention he continues to remind people “I said I hid it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t buried.”

      Have a look at “hide” as a unit of land:
      “The Anglo-Saxon word for a hide was hid (or its synonym hiwisc). Both words are believed to be derived from the same root hiwan, which meant ‘family’.”

      Do you yet see what he’s doing, and the importance of names and their etymologies?

      • E.C.–

        I couldn’t agree more…well said.

        This is the knowledge which will crack the riddle, and reveal it’s hiding place in 2019. I’ll bet Mr.f is buying more Maalox as we speak..


        • I’ll bet he’s not. As much content as he’s released, it’s clear he wants it to be found. When it is, it will very likely raise his standing in the modern lit world as the solution is released and people begin to understand what went into writing TTOTC.

          • In my view, when he said “try to simplify”, I don’t believe at all he was saying something like “don’t think about the puzzle as being complex.” When you see him thinking, he’s running a search in his head to pull from his secret vocabulary and deciding how to construct it. I compare what he said to simplifying a math equation, but for a phrase, such that one needs to reduce words to their lowest common meaning and origin to assess their value in solving the puzzle.

            As I explain this to experienced searchers (n00bs don’t want to hear about it), I find myself more and more starting with the negative condition and finishing with the positive condition. Over the years we have become so conditioned to think a certain way (Brown must be Brown and can’t be Almond) that most will now reject this. In the youtube cast the other night, Dal said he hated the backward bike reference. I now understand its value and why we were directed to it. And it doesn’t hurt that his surname is Sandlin. I trust this was also intentional based on the patterns of Forrest’s decision-making when calling out references to other work. They typically have multiple references. He seems to do his homework, and I believe he wants us to do ours.

            It’s not difficult for some to make the jump of Jolly Green Giant to the Giant’s Thumb near the Green River, or a dragon bracelet to the Oregon Dragoons, or T.S. Elliott to T.C. Elliott’s etymology of Oregon. But it increases in complexity when trying to link Candy Ann to Kanda because of the word Kandian. It is more difficult to understand an intentionally messed up quote, and how it possibly connects to something about a chase, a thirl, a coin, the word “hew”, a location, or teaching us how to solve the puzzle and why botg are required.

          • LOL E.C.
            You’re a real gem.
            I’m glad you’re at the other end of the spectrum and the real truth is probably somewhere in between.

  38. Reply button still not working for me…. maybe its a sign.

    E.C. Glad to know you are sourcing each word & syllable down to Lucy’s first grunt and re- tracking it back up through man’s linguistic journey thru time, space and a riddle to a treasure box in the Rockies, but my money’s on the redneck. He’s more likely find the hidey place the way I think FF probably found it, by curiosity and exploring.

    I enjoy your posts … (your efforts are worth the cold) … but please do not assume that I used the word ‘redneck’ as a pejorative, or that the internet is the Great Equalizer. Lady Luck is still the dominatrix of Cyberland.

    • No worries from my side, OS2. We each see what we see. I happen to be preparing to go “see the elephant” in a few weeks. After my 23rd trip out a couple of years ago, I decided I wouldn’t spend another copper on this unless I felt I had something worth investing again. For me, that feeling has finally returned.

      • Hey E.C. Glad to hear you are heading into search mode this year! Safe travels…and thanks for the posts.

      • You said, “Reading Forrest Fenn – code is cracked.” way up they’d.

        Code? I thought there are unintended subtle hints sprinkled in the book, providing one can find them as F mentioned in Gold and More. (not exact quote)

        I’m an educated man, there is a whole world of difference between code vs hint. Straight forward plain English also comes to mind and we’re not playing crossword.

        The book has stories, experiences, poems, “the poem” and subtle hints. I focus primarily with marrying the poem to a good map. Codes, twisted words, hidden meanings, etc.. aren’t in the book = speculations and rabbit holes.

        Fact and logic, plus geography will be the answers.

        Just Say’n

        • We each see what we see. I have proposed an approach that seems to be working for me. The “code” I have cracked is that he is communicating with a specific vocabulary, word replacements that have specific etymologies that answer the riddles in his poem. The answers lead to the treasure. If I am clever enough to correctly solve the riddles, I intend to beat you to the chest. I will be there for two weeks starting 5-12-19. See what I did there?

          When he says “geography”, look at the word’s etymology. This word, when understood, gives it all away.

  39. Addressed to Veronica’s question – Which chapters in TTOTC do I think hold hints.

    1) Gypsy Magic
    2) The Totem Caper
    3) The Long Ride Home
    4) Looking for Lewis and Clark
    5) Buffalo Cowboys
    6) My War for Me
    7) Tea With Olga
    8) Flywater
    9) Gold and more
    10) Dancing with the Millennium

    Some have written hints and some have pictures or illustrations that I think are hints.

    I know, Forrest said “words” – but isn’t a picture worth a thousand words? JMO – JDA

  40. Tea with Olga is definitely on my list too. I wonder how many hints are actually in the book? It is going to be very interesting , once the chest is found , to understand how Forrest put it all together.

    • Hi Veronica.

      I will step off into the “Wild Blue Yonder” and I will even tell you which chapters I think hints are in words, and which are PICs or both.

      1) Cover of TTOC = PIC
      2) Surviving Me = PIC and Words
      3) Gypsy Magic= PIC and Words
      4) The Totem Caper = PIC
      5) The Long Ride Home = Words
      6) Looking for Lewis and Clark = PIC and Words
      7) Buffalo Cowboys = Words
      8) My War for Me = PIC and Words
      9) Tea With Olga = Words
      10) Flywater = PIC and Words
      11) Gold and more = PIC and Words
      12) Dancing with the Millennium = Words

      Some are obvious, and some call for a bit of imagination – JMO – JDA

  41. I have read the book so many times, but your comments make me want to re-read it. I seem to find something every time

      • JDA-are you still in the same neck of the woods or have you moved? And when are you searching so I know to go the day before?

          • Veronica and JDA

            Well I know you want to talk about chapters but since all I have is only one hint from the book that helps with the first clue solve and two other hints that help in confirming that one hint, it would be hard to tell the chapters they are in, because someone would see them and with a little research put my “general solve” in jeopardy. Now there are a few hints that are way out there, and you would not know them until you solve most of the poem clues because those hints point to things and places in the big picture area but not to any of the clues.
            So guess I stuck my nose in with no help at all, sorry.
            But my track shoes are on and getting ready to walk slow and carry a big stick, or I just might be “Walking Small”. Lol

            Good luck,

          • Hi Bur;

            You said, “all I have is only one hint from the book that helps with the first clue solve and two other hints that help in confirming that one hint, it would be hard to tell the chapters they are in, because someone would see them and with a little research put my “general solve” in jeopardy” HUMMM??? wonder what those 1,2 or 3 hints are???? Have a GREAT day Bur, and good luck on your upcoming BotG – JDA

  42. I have a copy of the original map used in TTOTC opposite the poem. In comparing the copy of the original to the one in the book, I have an observation I wonder if others have noticed?

    In the book, the words New Mexico have been Photoshopped off the map. Does anybody know why they might have done this? I have a theory but it’s pretty weak.

    • Michael;

      The map is very blurry. How do you know that you have the “original” map?
      Just curious – JDA

    • Michael;

      To answer your question, I would GUESS (and that is all it is – is a guess) that Forrest did not want to mislead anyone my hinting that the treasure is in NM. The blurry map (probably blurred deliberately) was handy, so he used it, blurred it, and removed NM to not put a false hint (one way or the other) – Just My GUESS – JDA

    • Micheal Moreland,

      Yes it’s a old New Mexico map. Don’t have the year right now. There’s a picture of Forrest with his finger point to nowhere on that map in front of a place he ate at. Someone might remember it’s name. I would have to research to find it.

      Good luck,

      • Ya Fred, That’s a good match and looks like the map to me for sure.
        The gold items are below Santa Fe so I don’t think it’s a hint or clue but who knows…

  43. Bur- I don’t blame you for not wanting to elaborate. Who on HOD wants to show all of their cards? I don’t. I would be pretty ticked off if I did all of this research and someone used it and scooped up the treasure. It’s almost search time for me and I am feeling very confident. A hint in the book put me on the right path on my last BOTG, which lead me to the start of the next clue. I went home empty handed because I zigged where I should have zagged. Izzy and I will be back at it soon and we can’t wait! Good luck to you Bur and JDA on your searches, and stay safe!

    • Yes getting ready, got less than two weeks. Good luck and be careful especially if your near the area of Lisa’s solve. The grizz thing you know.


  44. Bur- I’ve already searched Cabin Creek, up one end and down the other for a few years .It is truly a beautiful place. I’m not scared of the Grizz ( we have an understanding… you leave me alone, I will leave you alone and I will make enough noise to be heard waaaay in advance) it’s only people that I worry about anymore.
    I am excited for you!! I just love Opening Search Season! Winters are long and our window has finally started to open.

  45. I’m trying to retrace (on GE/maps) “Searching for Lewis and Clark”. I see where the picture was taken on Lisa’s 205 trail. But where did they go from there. If you take him at his word (50 miles), he came out on the Taylor Fork. Or maybe Sage Creek. (BTW, those are in Lee Metcalf Wilderness). But, the trail to get there and end up in a a creek with vertical walls (like Canyon Creek?) is difficult. And doesn’t match the “turned back for half a day and found another stream to follow”.

    If, from the 205 picture they went North into Sage Basin, it’s pretty unlikely to end up in Canyon Creek. But, I’m not seeing other vertical walled creeks North of “the highest mountain we’d ever seen” (Saqe Peak?) Maybe Sage Creek gets vertical on the way down from Sage Meadow.

    So, anyone have any insight? Did he really come out on Beaver Creek?


    • I think the quest took them north, maybe as far as Big Sky and realized they were not able to go any further. The Spanish Peaks would stop them from going any further north.

      If they came out on Taylor Creek around Woodward it would be about 40 miles back to where they started the quest if they followed Taylor Creek out to the Gallatin then south to West Yellowstone.

      “Historical land uses in the Taylor Fork drainage included livestock
      grazing, logging and mining. Very limited gold exploration and mining occurred intermittently from about 1880 to 1945”
      “Cache Creek, Taylor Creek, and Eldridge Creek allotment was grazed by 900 to 1100 sheep from the 1940s until it was vacated in the 1980s”

      If Fenn and Donnie made it this far they would have passed by a cabin or few and the dirt Taylor Fork Road.

      Looking for Lewis and Clark, and In Love with Yellowstone chapters are the 2 good hints in TTOTC for me, but I have some problems with what was said in LFL&C chapter.
      If they were heading generally north then they would have passed the highest mountain so why would it be an issue?

      I found this Geo Survey Mark where Taylor Rd splits into a Y near Deadhorse.
      Pretty sure there was a dirt road there way before the quest.
      The date is 2 years after Fenn’s quest in this area.

      I still like this area after many searches but I’m searching further south as well.

      • I envy you being on the ground there. It’s a big deal for me to get out there from Oregon. I’ll probably be BOTG late July when all the back forest roads are open.

        I don’t think that their trek got N of Taylor Road. I like that there is a Air Strip on Taylor Road, though. Problem is to find a spot that he could call his own.
        ” The spot where I hid the treasure was in my mind from the time I first started thinking about the chase. It is special to me and there was never another consideration. I was going to make it work no matter what. In my reverie I often find myself stealing away to that place and I will always consider it to be mine alone.f “

        • When I read this, I wonder if other people have been near his special location? Or does he alone feel like he was the only person there. Or anywhere near there.

        • I agree BigGuy, I don’t think they would have gone past Taylor Creek seeing they were starving and just wanted out at that point.

          There was a dirt road there back then and fairly occupied by people and grazing animals.
          Woodward Mountain and that great big long ridge would be impossible to scale with horses so they would have come out of the woods next to Woodward (Lightning Creek) or between the Gallatin and places in between. Not quite 50 miles but then again “fact and fiction is often blurred by the passage of time”.

    • Wisely and wisdom are mentioned in “Looking for Lewis and Clark” chapter.
      Gallatin National Forest in flames. I wonder how many other chapters mention wise that can relate to the poem???

  46. Has the poem “Ode to Peggy Jean” gained prominence in anyone’s solves? I’ve recently been revisiting this chapter and there are suddenly a couple of possible subtle hints jumping out at me from the poem itself. Most likely confirmation bias on my part, but maybe not?

    The location of that chapter in the TOTC book is more prominent than I realized, being the penultimate chapter immediately before the epilogue. It always seemed like an oddly placed chapter to me as well. Except for the first couple of chapters, the rest of the book flows chronologically through Forrest’s life. “Ode to Peggy Jean” focuses on the support Forrest received from Peggy and his children during his brush with cancer in 1988, but chronologically it would make more sense that it be placed before one or both of the preceding chapters “Gold and More” and “Dancing with the Millennium”.

    “Gold and More” also talks about Forrest’s brush with cancer and how he decided to create the Chase, and in “Dancing with the Millennium” he’s back up to almost present day making his bronze bells. Then we jump backwards in time to more reminiscing about the period during his brush with cancer in 1988 in “Ode to Peggy Jean”. It’s seems like a possible aberration to me, but Forrest could have had a particularly ordinary reason for arranging the chapters in this way that eludes me.

    • Hi Blex;

      If I were going to publish my memoirs, and did not know that I was going to publish a couple of other memoirs – I would have my “Ode to Tess” very near the last. Tess would be my last thought as I was about to “Cross Over to the other side.” An epilogue just closes that door, with “Tess” safely on the “Inside” – Just how I would do it – JDA

      • That’s a romantic way to describe it, JDA and falls right into my line of thinking over the past couple of days as well. The Ode seems to be more prominently tied to the idea of Forrest choosing his final resting spot that I had first noticed.

    • Blex – I think you are right on as to the importance of this piece of poetry.
      I have always thought of it not as Forrest titled it but rather as “Owed to Peggy Jean.”

      • wwwamericana – Perhaps it is the ode itself that is owed? I just looked up the definition of an ode and one of them is “a poem meant to be sung”. I wonder if Forrest has come up with a tune as well when he wrote it?

        • Taking another look at this….maybe owed-ode is really old said with a FF Texas drawl.

  47. Apparently I placed my post on the wrong discussion page (I’m new) so Dal pointed me in the right direction. And he also noted I did not specify which book in my original post. So Cooper, now I understand the confusion. Let’s try this again.

    Just a quick thought here. This may have been discussed elsewhere, but to my knowledge, I have not seen anything posted. I apologize if there’s another thread out there.
    Does anyone think there is something strange about the “identification card” image on the bottom right of the inside cover spread of TTOTC? The blue/purple side of what appears to be a stamp of some kind. Why is everything else in black and white sepia EXCEPT that stamp? It just seems to be odd to me. Plus the image is certainly not FF at age 17. Why bring so much attention to that card?
    My first thoughts are it might be telling us something about the blaze, maybe shape or color? Or am I just falling into another hole!

    Any thoughts out there?

    • Here’s a thought Geysergirl,
      Read the yellow shaded part on the left hand side of the I’d card. From top to bottom. Start at the letter I..

      • I “C” where you are going….but not sure it means anything to me. But who knows! Thanks for the thought and happy hunting!

      • Hey Eaglesabound: that’s a pretty nice find! “IN A CiPhEr, So” (where the “r” comes from the chopped m of “Employed”).

        • Yep: old typewriters didn’t have a “1” key — the lower case L did double-duty, saving a little room in that crowded fan of letter hammers.

    • Stamp reveals a purple “gun” or war arm shape. War-arm warm waters halt in death on a battlefield.

      My guess is may correlate to his AF medals, perhaps he hung his Purple Star on a pine tree near the chest’s location. Just my conjecture and opinion

  48. Interesting thought on the resemblance to a “war arm” shape 777. Did not see that. But that’s what makes this so fun and head scratching as we all see things in a different way.
    Don’t think I agree with the medal on a tree though. Sounds fitting, but not probable in my opinion. Not sure how long the medal or the tree would stand up to a hundred or thousand years! But I like how you think. Certainly an imaginative way to see it.

  49. Anyone else notice that TTOTC and TFTW are bound in linen? OUAW is soft back and blue…why change?

    Cost???? Thats my guess. Hard backs must me much more expensive.

    My 2 hardbacks look like they’ve been held captive fur years…almost totally totaled! My OUAW book is still fairly good shape.

  50. In the chapter “First Grade” Forrest describes being taunted at school by another kid named “John Charles whatever”. John Charles sometimes taunted Forrest by waving a jar of olives in his face, and Forrest doesn’t really go into much more detail except describing the jar as appearing to have been filled one olive at a time, which I take to mean that the jar was very thin and narrow almost like a test-tube.

    Anyways, I just don’t get the taunt. Why would John Charles decide to wave a thin jar of olives at Forrest as a way to taunt him? Were olives a luxury item back in the 1930’s so that John Charles’ flaunting of it was a way to make fun of Forrest’s family’s modest lifestyle like the loud-mouthed biddies who lived in the nicer brick houses up the street? That’s the only possibility I can come up with. Any other ideas?

    • I always found that part a bit odd as well but never could make anything of it. But what you state may very well be true. At least it sounds feasible to me. Regardless of the reason, I also found it interesting that Forrest chose to place his autobiography and two pieces of hair in an olive jar.

    • Blex. Back in the 1920’s and 1930’s there was a couple of severe cases of botulism poisoning from jarred and canned olives. Quite a few people died. Mainly canned and jarred olives from produced in California. Eating just one killed people. From those poisoning events, came about new food safety measures for canning and jarring vegetables.

      So, being as it was a well known story abound in those time frames when ” olives were a killer by eating just one”. That could likely be the reason for the taunt with a jar of olives that they look like they were put in there one at a time.

      ‘Hey dude, would you like an olive’? Back then , was probably slang for a quick death by the paralyzing effect of botulism by eating just one jarred or canned olive.


      IMO .

      • One olive ends it all? How dastardly. Maybe that’s why f stays away from martinis. Me, I like olives. The End.

      • Interesting Alsetenash…

        Acid foods are foods that contain enough acid to have a pH of 4.6 or lower. They include fruits, pickles, sauerkraut, jams, jellies, marmalades, and fruit butters. Acidic foods can be processed safely in a boiling water canner, usually without added acid (lemon juice, vinegar or citric acid). This is necessary to control botulinum bacteria. Acidity may be natural, as in most fruits, or added, as in pickled food. Low-acid canned foods are not acidic enough to prevent the growth of these bacteria. Acid foods contain enough acid to block their growth, or destroy them more rapidly when heated. The acidity level in foods can usually be increased by adding lemon juice, citric acid, or vinegar, although this by itself, does not mean the recipe is safe.

        PH of Olives:

        Olives, black 6.00 – 7.00
        Olives, green, fermented 3.60 – 4.60
        Olives, ripe 6.00 -7.50

        Did you know that California ripe green and black olives essentially taste the same? The only difference is the color created in how they are processed…

        When making black ripe olives, oxygen is constantly bubbled through the tanks and around the olives during the whole curing process. This turns them a deep, uniform black color.
        The process for making green ripe olives is exactly the same, except that no oxygen is introduced to the tanks during curing. Their color stays bright and lime green.

        Why does “Jarred Awake” come to mind?

      • Alsetenash – Wow, that’s a really interesting idea and it makes fairly good sense to me. It could have been one of those 1930’s pop-culture facts about olives being deadly that everyone knew about at the time that gradually faded away over the years until now we’re scratching our heads in the 21st century wondering what it means.

        So John Charles whatever was really up to speed on trendy news items at the time. I wonder if he went on to become a late night show host?

    • Blix I finally realized it’s Blex, not Blix….my apologies.
      I may be alone & over my head here, but I think that First Grade teaches a bit about the artful skill of observation, association, and alternate languages like symbolism. Literary persons & art dealers are so keenly aware of symbolism, especially those that speak from cultures where speech is politically or religiously not free, or, cultures without written languages. Of course, observational refinement is critical in the sciences.
      Doesn’t the photo of the oval faces lined up on the school lawn mimic the image of green olives stacked in a jar? Children, like green olives, being the immature stage?
      Doesn’t JC waving his olive branch in Forrests face suggest something political or historical about the humanity of an angry & maltreated enemy. Ora Mae may be another comment about class distinctions and alternate views. t think the book hints a lot about Fenn’s growth and values and things that changed over time, and things that didnt.

      • OS2 – No worries. Yes, there’s a lot of good stuff in those early chapters that I had overlooked or forgotten about. Forrest learning about what was worth spending his time on and what wasn’t.

        I also found this interesting about Ora Mae: She insulted Forrest’s father by calling him something along the lines of a one-horse show (forget the exact words; book’s tucked away right now). Could that specific memory be the inspiration for Forrest naming his publishing company the One-Horse Land & Cattle Co.? Could John Charles taunting him with the olive jar be the inspiration for Forrest to store his autobiography inside an olive jar in the chest? Definitely good stuff to ponder!

    • Blex,
      If the olive jar was as thin as it sounds it could have been a cheaper, less blatant substitute for a roll of quarters. Doesn’t have as much weight, but a first grader might not be able to control a swing while palming a roll of quarters. It took me quite a few decades past first grade to learn how to fight as dirty as that, but maybe John Charles was a fast learner.

    • Hi Blex: the odd detail about the olive jar probably falls within Forrest’s 15%. I certainly count it as an aberration and a hint.

      • John Charles- olives

        Once again your thoughts are heading for the best solution as to why, and Fenn’s 15%. Could it be a hint somehow? In the big picture of chase related info, does it fits in? Can it relate in a kind of confirmation in helping with a clue solution.
        Maybe if you know it’s route that it is meant to help on.

        Good luck,

      • Hi Bur: sure, it could be a hint. If it is (and as I indicated, I have a workable idea), it’s certainly not one of Forrest’s “couple of good hints” — at least in my opinion.

        “Can it relate in a kind of confirmation in helping with a clue solution.”

        That’s the olive jar I would stuff it into.

  51. Sparrow, From my first reading of TTOTC years ago, I felt the characters of JC and Ora Mae were both very consciously incorporated to express something Fenn possibly realized as he wrote his memoirs, …. something he felt as a child, but didn’t understand until much later. He tells us “the temperament of the country was different in the 1930’s.” but character & values are “umbilical” senses that emerge in experience. I believe the memoir isn’t just stories. There’s lessons. Most of his SB’s, are just stories.

  52. You know we talk about “hints” in TTOTC book, interviews, and the big one – scrapbooks lately.
    If I may clarify my hints some, and how they lay out in the TTOTC book and so on.
    This may not be easy to understand but I’ll give it a try.

    Let me say most hints that I tend to see are ones after “my findings” of clue solutions one thru eight.
    The ones in the TTOTC book are a little different. The hint finds, in the book, came when I noticed a certain theme after reviewing the book over and over. (Thanks to another Florida searcher for giving me their book to review). I found a “specific thing” I wanted to research more about, and as I did the research showed a lot of info, and the more I research this info it started to pop up in other parts of the book. Now these pop up lines or paragraph “hinted” to this “specific thing” which I have called my theme. So now in the book I have this theme and two hints that refers to this theme. Now none of these hints solve a clue, but this theme if researched from beginning to end, will “help” with leading you to the first clue answer.

    Once you have the first clue answer, most of the others will come into view, through maps, area info, and a botg trip.

    But back to hints. If by chance you are on the right trail and have found most of the solutions to clues in the poem, that’s when you’ll see other hints. I see two more hints in TTOTC book that are helpful indirectly with clues solves, like more so in helping with confirmations of sorts.
    Now with all these scrapbooks out recently I see some hints about the “big picture” and areas around the clue solves, also hints towards the hints and theme in the book.
    There is one hidden hint I’m looking for and have not found or figured out yet. Not to say it’s not out there.
    So those who don’t believe there are hints at all, all I can say is do the book research. Forrest has put them out there for “all” to see, and to put together. If done right they just might lead you to that adventure of a life time with a treasure chest at the end.
    Of course this is all my opinion, on how I have come to see Forrest’s book hints, and so much more.

    Thanks for reading and good luck.


    • I like what you have to say Bur. Well thought out. Now if I could just find those hints you mention. Oh well, it will be a long winter – lots of time for readin’ and researchin’ – Thanks for the post – JDA

      • JDA,
        Just for you, a hint to a hint to a hint. Forrest would have made a good one, I think.
        Learned how to do this from Forrest. LOL

        Thanks for your post JDA.


  53. I was looking at the sample e-book pdf for TTOTC that they have on the website a while back and noticed something kind of odd that I’m sure most of the book owners have thought about for a long time. In the chapter about the treasure, the very first word is “And,” but the N is in a goldish color that almost makes it blend into the background. (I thought it was a typo until I looked closer.), while the other two letters, A and D, remain the same font color as the majority of the book. So what I guess I’m wondering is, are any of the other chapters done this way? And does anyone have any interesting theories of what the significants (if any) of it might be?

    • NoName6 – I had never noticed that before! I’ll have to check out my copy when I get home!

      • Yeah man, I thought it said, “Ad” (or I got mustard on my phone screen again) at first, but take a closer look at it because it’s very close to the background color on the page.

      • That’s cool. If you don’t mind, after you look at, could you leaf through the rest of the chapters and see if any of the other chapters do the same thing. (I just realized that the word leaf could be “look quickly down” I hadn’t associated that word until just now.)

        • I have a hard copy of the book and what you describe is not in my book. All letters of “And” are the same color as the entire sentence… “And then I got cancer.”


    • NoName6… I dont know what you are talking about…. I dont see any ‘sample e-book pdf’ on the website.
      However, in my TTOTC book, “in the chapter about the treasure”…. which I assume you mean is the chapter titled: GOLD AND MORE ….. the first word of the first sentence is “IN” … “In my mind I’ve always been ….etc.” The letter “I” is in brown ink, the letter n is in black ink. The first 6 paragraphs are about FF’s collections, and they are in black ink. The 7th paragraph starts a new topic with … “And then I got cancer.” This 5 word sentence is in Brown Ink. The body of all the paragraphs in the chapter are in black ink, Only 3 things are in Brown Ink…1. the “I” of the opening word “In” …..2. the 5 word Cancer sentence…… and 3. the Poem.

      Its my opinion that the font and color changes in the book are style, not hints. It is curious though, that there are several bits of color ink in the book. Inside the hard cover (front and back) is a bit of purple on the I.D. photo. On the photo of the Main St. Cowboys (pg 43) there is a bit of green ink, pg 109 has “Do Not Touch” in red ink. I forgot if there were other bits of color hidden in the text.

    • NoName6: huh? What e-book? Forrest has never released a soft copy of TTOTC to my knowledge.

      • Sorry — I figured out the mystery. NoName6 is referring to the *excerpt* of the book on Forrest’s website. The link is on this page:

        And the link is:

        On page 129 (page 11 of the 15-page PDF), the large drop-cap A (of the word And) leading off the paragraph is followed by a canary-colored “n” and then back to brownish-red for the rest of “And then I got a cancer.” There is a similar color aberration on page 73 (PDF page 6) in the caption under the picture of Forrest at the side of his T-6. “I learned to fly in the T-6…”: in “in the” the dot of the i, some of the top of the n, all of the t, most of the h and the upper right of the e are canary yellow again. Part of the right of the “n” is red. No idea why. These anomalies do not exist in the printed version.

          • I looked up the “ And then I got “ at the linked you provided. I see the “n i th” hint readind down / n orange, no range / and “n’d” (end, cancer). Nothing else yet. Seems unlikely to be a typo, but moreso than the “shoed ends” spanning the bio

        • NoName6 & Zaphod – Thanks for the information. I also went through TTOTC this morning and confirmed what Zaphod said already that those oddly-colored letters do not appear in the printed version. But thanks for bringing it up, NoName6; I guess some people knew about that oddity already but it was new to me.

          I will say that glancing through the book looking for colored text revealed another possible aberration that was new to me that I found interesting. Check out the chapter “Ode to Peggy Jean” that starts on page 141. The first sentence of that chapter reads: “Cancer is a terrible word.” You will notice that the first letter of that sentence (C) is larger in size and a dark brown color instead of the regular black text. This is same style for the starting first letter of every chapter in the book.

          HOWEVER, at the start of this chapter not only is the letter “C” dark brown in color, but also every single letter in that first sentence. This is the only chapter of the book where this happens at its beginning. I find that interesting.

          I guess by making the entire sentence a different color, it helps emphasize the devastating feeling of cancer suddenly entering one’s life. It makes that sentence pop out of the page. So maybe it’s just done that way to give it that literary punch?

          • I’m just glad someone else saw it. Two people said it wasn’t in their copies. I thought I was seeing yellow Ns again. It gave me an interesting idea though. What if the keywords is “new” with the s in riches. That would give you south, north, east, and west. Maybe you have to somehow follow those letters in the poem to reveal a message. Just as a example the word begin has e and n. So you would take the letter to the right of e and the letter above n. Another reason I think this is because not one line starts with W, the last line contains no S, and all lines ending in E have punctuation next to them. As well as the contraction “There’ll” He had to make it that to get rid of the W.

  54. Here’s another thing in the TOTC book that was newly noticed for me at least: Page 8 shows a picture of Forrest at a book signing. The caption reads: “The author signing books at the turquoise mine”.

    Have Chasers determined where the “turquoise mine” actually is? Is it one of the mines in the Cerrillos area? And also, what book is Fenn signing in the photo? I can clearly see the logo of Forrest’s publishing company on the left page, and then part of a map on the right page with part of its label visible “The Gallisteo ….”

    Can anyone shed light on the mine and the book? I feel like this might be another one of those topics everyone may have discussed in detail early on in the Chase, but I could only find some vague chatroom banter on the Mysterious Writings forums with a Google Search.

    • Sally Colorado – I think that’s a good guess! Would that book have been Forrest’s most recently published book before TTOTC?

      • I think ” Seventeen Dollars a Square Inch” was published 2007, “Secrets…” 2004.

        I like the toes in that picture. LoL. Never could figure that out. Loco? Zap? Ken?

  55. Bells, jars and teenage angst……
    We know that The Catcher In the Rye is an important book to Forrest. It’s subject matter and theme are similar to those of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plathe – coming of age, the pain of growing up, the fear of becoming just like the adults we so despise when we are young, the desperate clinging to our independence, sex and the loss of innocence.
    Could the bells and jars made and then buried by Forrest, as told about in TTOTC, be a reference to this other, similar literary work?
    And could the connection between these two important books be important to those searching for his treasure, as well?

    • Hey Joe, good to find your post in here since I haven’t seen a youtube video in a while. It would be great to hear a recap of your experiences this last summer…


  56. This is an open question to the Forum relative to TTOTC’s “Teachers with Ropes”

    Specifically the line; “I wanted to tell her that sarcasm was a ploy of the uninformed.”

    Anybody have some thoughts regarding this statement?


    • GCG – I’ve taken that line pretty much at face value. Do you see something else there? I guess you could take away the 2nd letter “N” to change “uninformed” to “uniformed”?

  57. Hi GCG, I don’t think there is any hidden meaning there, or hint or clue. To me, the statement sounds like standard Forrest Fenn, thought and speech.

  58. Dal asked that I move my Odds & Ends post to this thread… so here it is:

    Because I can’t do BOG, I search in TTOTC for Important Literature but there is no discussion page for it, so, here I go…

    The phrase on page 137…. “There may be laughter and glee…” rang a bell.

    Hunting The Snark by Lewis Carroll is a nonsense poem about nine hunters with a strange map, on a quest for a Snark. It takes a somber turn at the end. The final stanza reads:
    “In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
    In the midst of his LAUGHTER & GLEE,
    He had softly and suddenly vanished away-
    For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.”

    An awesome epitaph, no? Read it again.

    Fenn’s sentence goes on… ”because you won’t be there when it happens”…. (a soft and sudden vanishing?) …. then he deftly brings you back to his “secret plan.”

    The Snark poem is full of tingling bells, metaphors and Chase references. (And it’s a lot funnier than T.S.Elliots Four Quartets.) But I wonder if Fenn’s ‘Brown’ or ‘home of Brown’ could be a word-combo construct like Carroll employes.

    Just my thoughts FYI… here’s the poem’s link:—
    Hint: click on the highlighted words.
    Jan. 27th is CLD’s birthday, a man who expressed the inexpressible through ‘nonsense verse.’

    • OS2… so this is where your comment ended up. Good to know! Your posts mysteriously relocate rather frequently it would seem.

      • Relocation doesn’t change anything, just makes it harder to find.
        And that takes quite a bit of effort.

      • Hi Sally, and Americana. I just checked back in on this thread and saw your replies. Yes, Dal told me to take my post off Odds & Ends to this thread, but the replies to it on Odds & Ends did not get transferred. So sorry, & thanks for finding me and replying again. OS2

        I noticed the next posts by Perotti are about Forrests bottle cap collection… I think Ill say something about that a litter further down.

        • LOL – don’t worry OS2, we’ll pick you up where ever you might land. Looking forward to your caddy comments.

      • E.C. Glad you think so too. I think the awesome epitaph was probably a well captured snark to ff as well.

        In fact, I think the Dancing With History chapter is irony about big, full, colorful memories of one’s vanishing history that can never be wholly shared, getting trapped into permanent little jars with screwed-on lids. Sort of like warm waters halting.

        So, it might be good for snark hunters & treasure hunters to note: “What I tell you 3 times is true.”

  59. Aberrations, page 127. If his father was tired of seeing Forrests bottle cap collection strewn all over the house, why would his father go around town collecting hundreds or thousands more and give them to Forrest? This sounds like an aberration to me.

    • I think maybe because Forrest was gonna have to drink and buy all of the ones he was collecting. His dad was showing him how to go and get all of them for dirt cheap(people left em laying out). And he was showing him how to diversify what he was collecting because then he could go on to collect other stuff.

    • James – I always took that as meaning that by his fathers hand he already now had “everything” in his collection, so Forrest lost interest. The “thrill of the chase” was gone. 😉 JMO

    • Sorry this comment is a month-and-a-half after the fact, but I’d like to throw in my two-cents’ worth here.
      In fact, this is classic psychology that Forrest’s dad used in relation to his bottle cap collection. A psychologist friend of mine once told me a story of an elderly woman in a nursing home who kept stealing towels from other residents’ rooms. Finally the staff decided to bring in cartloads of towels, until her room was full of them. Sort of a reverse psychology tactic, saturating the stimulus. Ultimately, the woman told them to stop bringing in all those towels, and the behavior of stealing towels stopped.
      Not surprising, in my opinion.

      • Another saying comes to mind: “you can’t play tug-of-war with someone when they keep handing you the rope.”

  60. Hi Geysergirl, I think this is an example of the 85% truth. Mr. Fenn had made it very clear that his fathers version of child psychology, was a switching or spanking. It seems doubtful that his solution to the mess of bottle caps strewn everywhere, would have been to add hundreds or thousands more to the already mess??

  61. Hi James… thought I’d add my thoughts on that bottle cap collection…
    I think a helpful rehearsal hint might be in the ECLECTIC COLLECTION

    As Fenn tells us, Art was his business, not his love. But a good businessman, like a good mechanic, studies his business. So, Fenn must have come to understand a great deal about the language of symbolism … which Prof. Robert Langdon showed us, says morel than the face of the canvas tells. But you all knew that… so, I’ll move on to GOLD & MORE, the first part, about his collections.

    The bottle caps seem a very possible collection activity for boy-Fenn, but it could be a total exaggeration or a fabrication. That ball of yarn …. bigger than a doorway? In in a year? I think that’s a riddle. And Fenn shows us a logical riddle answer… ‘a window & the ’postman’.

    The 3rd collection … the ‘eclectic collection’… IMO, might be symbolic meat … I see it as an overview of the Chase process…
    1. ’Moccasins’ suggests a walk, hit-the-trail. (Beaded moc’s were mainly used for special events & dancing I think. Dancing waters halt? )
    2. Fore-edge painted books, to my experience, usually show a long view, a scenic view or something related to the story within the book. Mom had a long view…pg 21, TTOTC.
    3. Weather vanes just scream ‘directions’ don’t they? Are the “weather vanes’ a ref. to Cardinal directions, or the N &W of Latitude & Longitude? In a post above this one I mention a Lewis Carroll poem, and I am reminded of it here again, and the sometimes confusing convention that a North wind blows South, makes me think of a stanza in Fix 2 of Hunting the Snark:
    >> But the principal failing occurred in the sailing,
    >> And the Bellman, perplexed and distressed,
    >> Said he hoped, at least, when the wind blew due East,
    >> That the ship would not travel due West!
    4. “Ancient Egyptian jewelry”… jumps me to images of museum-store jewelry & those charms of golden cartouches of Cleo’s name… the cartouche that broke the Rosetta Stone mystery. Is it a hint to a name? Brown? … “… if it weren’t for my name I wouldn’t have anything at all.” (pg 23, TTOTC)
    5. Arrowheads… aim & fly, hope to hit the mark. A blaze? Look down to find one.
    6. Finally, pocket knives. Not throwing knives, or skinning knives, or killing knives… hiding in pocket?

    So that’s how it works for me. Try your own interpretations on this list of symbols.

  62. Great post, OS2. Thanks for pointing out that FF has potentially showed us how to solve a riddle. Excellent observation.

  63. In the chapter “Looking for Lewis & Clark”, Forrest writes “we did shoot one animal that I promised not to talk about”. What do you suppose that animal might have been?

    I think when I’ve read through this chapter before, I always assumed that, per one of the lessons that Forrest says he learned: “Porcuprine meat tastes like kerosene”, that the one animal that they shot was a porcupine. Now I’m thinking it couldn’t be a porcupine, because Forrest talked about how its meat tastes and I think that would qualify as talking about the animal that they shot.

    And why does Forrest write that “we” shot an animal when they only had one rifle between the two of them? I would imagine that really it was either Forrest or Donnie who shot the animal that will not be named.

    I wonder what the story is behind that animal they shot? I guess we’ll never know for sure, since Forrest promised not to talk about it. And I wonder who Forrest made the promise to not to talk about it? I’ve always assumed Donnie, but maybe it was someone else who he was talking to after their miserable cross-country trip was over. Does Forrest himself regret shooting whatever animal it was that he promised not to talk about?

    Just one of those odd, little mysteries included in the book. Forrest could have just as easily not written about shooting an animal at all in this chapter, but he chose to write that line about promising not to talk about it. I find that a bit strange for some reason.

    • Blex;

      We will probably never know. An odd thought – could this animal have something to do with hoB? Just a question for us to ponder – JDA

      • JDA – I certainly would not rule that idea out. It’s also possible that it relates to another part of the poem, or a reference to the treasure location outside of the poem. Or it could have nothing to do with the treasure location at all. Who knows?

        At any rate, I like a good mystery and agree that it’s been something fun to ponder over this morning!

        • Taking the possibility that it could relate to hoB – How many animals can we come up with that live in the Rockies?
          Bald Eagle
          Barn Owl
          Bear – Brown Bear or Grizzlie
          Bison or Buffalo

          That is all I can come up with. What on the list might Forrest not want us to know he killed and ate??? Now THAT is the question – (I can see a couple) – JDA

          • JDA – I’m guessing it wasn’t a magpie, since Forrest expresses regret in the chapter of not shooting a couple earlier on in his trip when he had the opportunity.

            The first idea that popped into my head was that maybe he killed a baby animal like a fawn or moose calf. Or possibly the mother of a baby animal as well. I could see that type of thing sparking some regret.

            I’d add deer, moose, elk, and marmot to your list. Those are the only others that come to mind right now.

          • My guess would be eagle given a few years earlier an act was signed to protect it. Otherwise, porcupine.

    • My initial thought was that it was a porcupine, and that is how he learned the lesson of what the meat tastes like. Later, I considered it part of the other 15%. (Referring, of course to a non-fiction writer’s being correct 85% of the time quote.) I found this supplemental ATF interesting in that regard:

      “I said, when I went into Border’s to buy a book that it was raining; people are looking up in The Farmer’s Almanac, 15 years ago, to see if it was raining on that date. But there is a lot to be said and um, … But, you say some innocent things like “It was raining when I walked outside”, you know, I don’t remember whether it was raining or not, but it, it kinda adds to the story, and I think all right, am I the only one that does that Doug?” (28:46) (11/2/17)

      Just another thought.


      • Lori – You’ll get no argument from me there! It could very well be just a line added into the story to provide a little intrigue. It worked on me! 🙂

      • I also thought it was pretty obvious and funny that the “animal” that shall remain unnamed, was later listed as how bad it tastes.

        cool writing technique. probably even has a cool name in the annals of “writing” of stories, if someone is part of that “nether world” of “writing of stories” …. enlighten us?

  64. Possible hint, page 48, the giant kettles ( cauldrons), and the smell. Yellowstone?

    • If you go through TTOTC and mark off every possible WWWH mentioned, you will find a whole lot of kettles and kettle-like things. (They are also in much of Montana and parts of Wyoming, and maybe CO and NM, too, but haven’t focused there.)

      You will also find a whole lot of springs and words that mean springs. And, of course, death and tears and rain etc…

  65. @everyone – FF instructed us that to find the treasure, we need to read the poem enough to have it memorized & then to re-read the book slowly, noting the aberrations (some such wording). Well, in one of my numerous re-readings, I experienced a small epiphany.

    FF appears to not only be an architect, but a sleight-of-hand illusionist as well. He focuses our attention & thought processes on one thing while he skillfully adds the important info as an afterthought. I’ve found this to be true, not only in TTOTC, but in his oral statements as well.

    So, true to form, we sail over & away without noticing his addition of a hint. I know that’s what I do … correction, that’s what I have done, until now. I’m attempting to focus my attention off of the main subject & onto a lesser added part. Am I making sense?

    Here’s an example. The story of FF buying a Gilbert Gaul painting for $5,000 & selling it much later for $1,500. All my focus was directed to the $$$ loss, the lessons FF learned, & most of all the poor dead, bleeding dog on the bridge. That dog thing still to this day upsets me.

    I completely sailed over the sentence about the museum picture of the faeries dancing around a rock. I know it may NOT seem like much, but as an example of FF’s illusions … this is but one. I am convinced that “rock” is the important word in this whole story. Might NOT be much on its own, but I believe that once some more of these seemingly ancillary statements are uncovered … so will the treasure be. What say you, fellow searchers?

    • That’s what makes him such a good magician/illusionist.
      He was taught by the best.

    • I commend your insight Becky from WV, the opening line of the “Thrill Book” makes it clear, “Life is a game of poker, Happiness is the pot. Fate deals you four cards and a joker, And you play whether you like it or not.”

      Recognizing that Forrest is the joker or The Heyoka (heyókȟa, also spelled “haokah,” “heyokha”) is a kind of sacred clown in the culture of the Lakota people of the Great Plains of North America and many other tribes including my own, the Creek. The title of heyoka spirit is contrarian, a jester, and satirist, who speaks, moves and reacts in an opposite fashion from that which is considered normal, in his actions or behavior toward the people around them. Another words ff is drawing attention through clever use of literature, euphemism, even oddity’s he sometimes uses like intentionally misspelled words or the invention of words to focus thought on a point or topic, a rascal he is, precocious he be, adroit too. His vocabulary is astounding but his syntax is so easy a kid can understand it. I would call ff a smooth operator, guess you learn a lot when you fly fighters for a living and survive like a cat with 9 lives.

      Becky, here is a small example from what Forrest called a “Requiem For A Wreck”… “But this time I was fiddling with the radio trying to find Meryl Haggard singing Me and Bobby Mcgee.” In this line he misspelled Merle Haggard, and actually most people know that the most famous version was sung by “Janis Joplin” only a very few know that Merle Haggard also did it as well, the only Meryl I know is Meryl Streep actress who starred with Robert Redford in 3 movies, so what did you glean from that scrapbook? Was Forrest focusing on something, well good luck with this and the other 253 or so, plus vignettes, Q and A’s so much to try and understand if you are fairly new here prepare yourself for a lot of research. Good Hunting! It is worth the cold.


  66. @Tom Gregory – Perfect, Tom … perfect. If you were here, I’d … I’d … I’d … share my ginger ale with you. I cannot believe I missed those 2 hints. NOT the Merle one or the song. Those are NOT the hints. See, that’s what I’m talking about … FF’s sleight-of-hand, getting us to focus on that stuff. I have been so lax & simply followed along wherever he led. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

    I’ve been such a goobersaurus! Well, NO more. I’m putting on my blinders & re-analyzing everything I can to see what else I can glean. I like that word – glean. Makes me kinda happy. Know what I mean, jellybean?

    I really like your writing, Tom. Your vocabulary is as astounding as FF’s … maybe more so. You stated that he sometimes uses intentionally mis-spelled words or the invention of words to focus thought on a point or topic. Indeed he does, & that’s exactly what we need to avoid. FF is saying, “Hey, look here at this!” as he places the actual hint elsewhere right under our noses. Just like E.A. Poe’s Purloined Letter. Oooooh, boy, am I ever fired up now. Think I need to freshen my ginger ale.

    Again, thank you, Tom. You are really, really good so give me more. I’m listening to everything you’re telling me, but I had to look up the word “syntax”. I am such a doof!

    • Becky, I guess Becky, Thanks, but as they said in Waynes World..I, like Mike Myers am not worthy.

      However this search has been a learning experience and after about 8 years of bouncing around the poem, the book and the Fenn style of writing, yes even excursions into movie making for Animal Planet about treasure hunting, I know my place and it may forever be relegated to a position as Gandhi pointed out, a “Dalit” one of little importance here. There is hope as Forrest once quoted from Kizmet, “To the Caliph I am dirt, but to the dirt, I am Caliph.” ff is pretty observant if I did not mention that characteristic too.

      Perhaps I have matured some and my ego has mellowed down as well, it seems clear to me that after thinking of solves and refining and polishing them up to accomplish a goal, I decided to write what I really thought, so I wrote this and decided to film stuff too which all comes down to a big search for the Holy Grail, oddly the Holy Grail was NOT the most beautiful golden chalice on the shelf in the Canyon of the Cresent moon, those were there to fool INDY, the correct choice is not always easy to spot, The Grail was a plain old potters cup, which I chose to grab on too and when I looked up I say WWWH, it was there all along just not what I thought, it was warm, as in comfortable, it represented a spiritual metaphor where it was finally seen so if you look closely you might pick out the winning solve.
      Somehow I suspect that the song Forrest Fenn will eventually write, the one called “Cold Coffee in a Hot Cup” will relate in spirit to the Holy Grail because this Quest is like the one in “The Man From La Mancha”… Thank You, Cervantes!


  67. HAY LAYDEEE…goobersaurus? What a Hilarious post. Y’all from WV are rockin’ the funny chair tonight!

    The word rock is so abstract. Maybe ya need o fine tune it a bit? I mean everywhere you look you see a ROCKY? Hey Rocky, ya wanna see me pull a Rabbit out of my hat?

    But seriously, WV Rocks with laughter tonight. Do you know Mrs. Cogburn by chance? Sweet lady…


  68. @ByGeorge – I used to own an undercar repair facility franchise. People were constantly phoning for quotes & asking how they could repair their own vehicles. Or they’d bring their own parts to save $$$ & ask us to use them. The very worst was when we’d spend time checking out their vehicles, writing out a quote, … & then they’d go elsewhere to get a cheaper estimate. I understand trying to save a few $$$, but still it was more than annoying.

    But we were the BEST! So eventually those who could over-ride their pride & embarrassment would come grovelling back to us. As the boss I had a standing rule for that behavior. A $20 charge would be added to their bills. We called it the “Goobersaurus” fee … for their stupidity.

    Now then, on to more important matters. I realize that the word “rock” taken on its own merit is pretty useless. But when added to my exponentially increasing list of FF’s other sleight-of-hand maneuvers, it helps to form a consistently emerging pattern, Whoa, Nellie! Now there’s a sentence filled with words almost worthy of jacbNimble. NOT quite, but almost.

    So, ByGeorge, I’ll be taking my “hilarity” show on the road to CO this year, probably in the fall. Advance ticket sales commence in August. I’ll be sure you receive a couple. Funny show? You betcha .. ’cause I’m just a rockin’ hoot. That’s what FF calls me, but around my little village of Williamstown, I’m known as “Wiener”. The great & powerful Becky from WV … a wiener,

    Can you believe that? I want to be glamorous & sophisticated & desirable & intelligent & beautiful, but instead … I’m “Wiener”. You see that, don’t you, ByGeorge … I’m just a doof.

  69. What do you think FF meant by his several comments that LOGIC should be used?

    Was FF hinting that there is a deductible logical proof in the poem or the book? A syllogism, a proof, used to deduct the clues? Used to find the TC, the Snark1.

    Further up this thread, there are discussions on the Snark poem by Lewis Carrol. A little 3 step math example in The Beaver’s Lesson reminds me of FF’s 3am thoughts on 19 years asleep which provoked me to count it out too. FF must have laughed a lot as the TTOTC “wrote itself”

    Anyhow… such a proof is what I seek.

        • Yes. I also find a specific reference to computing in the poem, hence the original allusion to [paraphrasing] “getting kids off their electronic devices and out into the fresh air”. But more so, I believe Forrest is wanting to assist all of us to find the treasure, and will bend his metaphors and allusions to speak whatever languages we are speaking at that moment in time.

          • E.C totally agree. The codes are the things he repeats verbatim in interviews year after year. The clues are details from ttotc he conspicuously never Brings up.

          • Matt – respectfully I disagree. In my opinion, he brings them up in everything. Code, clues, hints, everything. He wants it to be found.

          • E.C. waters,

            ” In my opinion, he brings them up in everything. Code, clues, hints, everything. He wants it to be found.”

            If FF is giving out clues in everything, i.e., scrapbooks, interviews, code, clues, hints, everything, why has no one managed to get closer than around 200′?

            People were as close as 200′ around 2015 and FF has put out so much in the way of scrapbooks, etc. since that time.

            Doesn’t seem like anyone is getting closer if it is indeed FF’s intention that it be found soon. IMHO.

          • Yosemite Sam – ah, good. Logic. My supposition is that not many have put it all together yet to the very end. It’s difficult. To get to the 9th clue with confidence, one really needs solve the first 8.

            200 feet can also mean something other than the 200 feet most people interpret. I strongly doubt any searcher would have been within the common interpretation of 200 feet away from the chest on purpose and not have already found the treasure chest. Let’s see how this season goes.

      • Maybe it’s just me, but I’ll try again, …….. it’s Important Literature … NOT Important Mathematics, Coding, Computers, Electronic Notations, Whatever.

      • Logic…Truth tables…Sheffer stroke…T AND F…X OR Y…P AND Q…NAND gates… Boolean Shmoolean. IT all seems so confusing. I’d rather simplify. The only gate I care about is THE Way, THE Truth AND THE Life

        3pm is easier than 3am…although 3am might be wise if you are a night owl.

        …now let me vanish away in rapture and evade the disorder, chaos and tribulation of riots, looting, arson and violence.

    • OS2 “the book wrote itself” because Important parts of ttotc are heavily lifted from memoirs that take place nearby IMO

      • I suspect it “wrote itself” because the opportunity to play with us gives FF much “laughter and glee.”

      • Did f actually say, “the book wrote itself”? I do not recall it. I read something similar, but not sure if he meant the same, despite the seemly implied. Maybe he said it somewhere else.

        • BigOnus: close. “My books have to write themselves or I struggle. This one did.” (final paragraph of page 4 of TTOTC)

          • In know Zap, thats what I read. Are we sure it means what it seems to imply was my point.

          • I am just saying AC, don’t read that book on face value. There is a lot going on. I struggled to get through it without drifting off into the world of weird. Took me 5 attempts and I still cannot work out if I actually read it.

            The funny thing is, my wife read it through and had not seen anything that I later showed her.

            Its a work of art.

    • Logic rules are simple enough for non-mathematicians. Logic operations are AND, OR and NOT. Everything else is derived from those. There are a lot of ANDs in the poem, and there is one NOT. These probably shouldn’t be casually dismissed.

  70. Important Literature, absolutely. And yet Forrest utterly dismisses the “Important Literature” he mentions in that chapter, with the exception of Catcher, which in retrospect he danes to extract from his circular file. The surface message is: screw required literature.

    • I think thats a big misread, Zap. The book is full of literary jewels, and Mr. Fenn’s own words are not shy of such awareness.

      • OOPs, thats my misread of your point. Sorry. Yes, the ‘surface message’ does seem to be like the boy who prayed for D’s. Somewhere a ford happened.

      • Hi OS2: yes, you got it. We know Forrest values literature — he has an impressive library. It is the young, unsophisticated “voice” in Important Literature that ~acts~ unimpressed by Hemingway and Fitzgerald and is ignorant of Redford’s Outlaw Trail.

        • Hi Zap… ‘We’ got it. Our paper boat still floats.

          Come along all you pirates and sailors, get off your couches and little machines. Say what you see on this Fennian sea, come cast for the smiles and dreams.

        • Consider also James Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake”. It is very different from Joyce’s other works. At the time, it was widely criticized by the writerly community, including many of Joyce’s own esteemed peers. It was dismissed as trash and nonsense, suitable only for the wastebasket, but has since become regarded as “important literature” in some scholarly circles.

          On the surface, it’s a very difficult read and absolutely horrid as entertainment (in my opinion). Quickly flipping through it, you wouldn’t expect much from it, and I doubt most younger folks have ever made a serious effort to read and understand it … if they even know it exists. But if you look deep into the technique Joyce used for this book, there is a lot to be learned from it with respect to wordplay. Among other things, it makes great use of idioms, portmanteaus, invented words, and oblique references to the society of the time in which it was written. It also ends where it begins, quite literally; the last few words are a place and are exactly the same as the first few words.

          And truly, once you try incorporating such techniques into your own writing/speaking, it can become addictive.

          I feel certain Forrest is familiar with this book. Whether it plays a part in The Chase is a question to which only he knows the answer; and it seems unlikely that he will reveal that answer while the chest is in play. (Or maybe he already has, and we just walked right past it.)

          • Hi Ray;

            I just looked up “Finnigan’s Wake” on Google, and this is a bit of what it said: ” It is significant for its experimental style and reputation as one of the most difficult works in the Western canon.[2] Written in Paris over a period of seventeen years and published in 1939, Finnegans Wake was Joyce’s final work. ” Sure sounds like a difficult book to read and understand. Interesting that it was published in 1939, and was Joyce’s last work – Kinda like Forrest’s Chase is his final work. Interesting that it took Joyce 17 years to write “Finnigan’s Wake”, and it took Forrest over 15 years to write and publish his poem – Very Interesting. Thanks for pointing me to the work, I MAY try to read it. JDA

          • Ray Henry – as far back as 2015 there have been comparisons of Forrest to James Joyce and his art of allusion, metaphor, and word play, with the intention of setting up a common thought model from which to work. I have taken the time to study both Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake back then. Other than the value I received back then from shifting into synonyms, homophones, and whatnots (an unpopular shift back then up until recently), there does not seem to me to be a true connection to these works otherwise. There seems to more likely to me to be a connection to Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, and the follow-on works that reference this, much like Ulysses follows and references Homer’s The Odyssey.

            But I do enjoy reading how you are thinking. I’ve shared this in the past, it’s my opinion that people will be annotating Forrest’s words for quite some time after it is “game over”, and comparing his works to the likes of Joyce’s and Carroll’s works.

          • Ray Henry – oh, and maybe with a final hint of Tombstone 1993. “I’m your huckleberry.”

    • I have a take on Important Literature that I’d like to share, and it has to do with Catcher.

      The girl that helps him is drinking coffee to start. Warm water, warm brown water no less. Their path to the “exact spot” that the two “important books” were found begins with warm water halting as she drank it. He follows her (the vessel that warm waters halted in) to the exact spot where two popular books were located. These books had such big reputations. It’s possible that there are touristy areas near the correct spot that also have big reputations. As this vessel walks away she really feels proud as he could see it in her strut. This vessel that encapsulates the warm water is probably a popular and very scenic geographic location.

      When he gets in line he gets stuck behind the biddies who were preoccupied with some kind of breathtaking nonsense. Anyone that has driven through Yellowstone knows that it is common to get stuck behind people stopped and staring at breathtaking animals. The next day when he went to borders he avoided places where children might be (the children’s section), where people might be camping or picnicking (the cooking section), where most tourist would go (the travel section). He liked his spot because he didn’t expect much from it, as is his description of Catcher.

      I believe the chest is in YNP in an area that tourist wouldn’t frequent, but maybe near or geographically contiguous with an spot that they would.

      • Additionally, FF brings up that the author of Catcher died, the author or creator just like FF is the founder of his spot that he intended to die at.

      • Do you think that the word Catcher is truly a reference to the book CITR? Might it serve another purpose?

        Just throwing it out there for ponderration.

        • IMO its probably more than one thing- but one is a euphemism for a different book.

        • I think it is possible that it is related to the end is ever drawing nigh and hoB. Hard to explain why without giving too much away.

          I do find it interesting that FF writes this chapter in a similar style, attitude, and voice that CITR is written, up until the final page of the chapter at least.

          • Matt – I scan read a few articles looking for keywords and coincidences. I didnt bog myself down in reading the books mentioned. Important Literature to me was more about what Forrest was saying in that chapter.

            Just like the preface was an instruction on how to read the book the way needed to find the treasure. Beautifully abundant with hidden gems.


        • BigOnus yea I hear that. Easy to get bogged down and smart of you to stay focused. I certainly have been down some rabbit holes. But this article tho tells you something important about “what” wwh is imo

          • I will read it if time permits Matt, but my search for WWWH ended many moons ago.


        • BigOnus I’m sure that it have. I should have worded it: a novice searcher might learn about “what” wwh is

      • Aaron, I’ve been thinking along those lines from my first read of TTOTC. I figured Store #1 as the old bookstore at Norris. The little girl’s strut, a reference to the classic old ‘parkature’ buildings. Her braids the many boardwalks braiding between the geysers. The books – all the named geysers. The good school – signage, available info. The cup hiding her face…. the breezeway view of the porcelain plain. Its whiteness is rather blinding at high noon. The loud clerk… probably roaring mountain. Sniffering grinning women– sulphur fumes. etc. etc. The children’s section, cooking & travel… the camp site, arriving & leaving campers with so many different state license plates. So many things must have changed since FF was a boy and he could wander freely…. There is a particular path with a ‘no exit’ sign that he must laugh at.

        • Interesting take OS2. It’s good to hear that someone else is relating that chapter to various places. My thoughts do tie in to my search area, which I like. I did have some of these ideas before coming up with this solve, but my location has made them even more clear to me now. Could be confirmation bias of course, but we’ll see.

      • I think there are some good ideas here, but I see one aberration; coffee is usually served piping hot. Frequently uncomfortably so at first. And notice the sense of frustration on Forrest’s part in that story, where he is surrounded by strangers who seemingly want to pass judgement on him or are getting in the way of his purpose. This is an important story, but not the first clue. (In my opinion.)

        As Olga would know, tea is a much more comfortable drink, meant for more intimate conversation and more relaxed moments with close friends. Tea is a warm drink, but the water must not be too hot or it will scald the leaves. This is why proper tea is made by boiling water in a kettle, then transferring it to a teapot before serving, so it has a chance to cool to a friendly temperature before the tea is steeped.

        Coffee is fine for work, or for giving you a kick in the pants when your body wants to crawl back into bed, but tea is better for contemplating warm waters.

        This leads me to think the chest is not in YNP, or in close proximity to any hot springs.

        • Ray, a thought; …. I think the hint (if it is a hint) was the cup, not the coffee…. but i got to thinking about coffee… brown,… not capitalized….. but someone’s CAFE might be….. or even the name of a coffee …… home of Brown….. Maxwell House? That’s all I got. Good luck.

        • Maxwell Land Grant was in Colfax County, NM and part of Las Animas County, CO.

      • Aaron, the word ‘biddies’ could also be referencing ‘broads,” which is a description of river water.

  71. My thoughts on how to use the book, and what it hints at:

    1.) Trains. I think wwwh may be a rail stop, and the rail line is in the “canyon down” and leads to the “home of Brown”. Fenn alludes to trains (or mentions them outright) in various places in the book. Sliding down the old iron fire escape (which leaves a brown mark… The rail line leads to the home of Brown), the kids holding onto the knots of the rope and crossing the street. Talking about the Katy railroad that he could hear at night, which was comforting (and Forrest’s linking of “warm” and “comfort” in Forrest Gets Mail 13), and those are just a few. Oh, and the ball of string disappearing out the window -> “I can keep my secret where”. How do you keep your “where” a secret if it’s the last place you go before you die? One way is to use some other form of transportation so that your car isn’t parked near the spot where you want to rest in peace.

    2.) Miss Ford, and Ford generally. This name is all over in the book, why is it singled out?

    3.) Forrest has said “look at the big picture”. In “Important Literature”, he talks about several books he doesn’t like, but ultimately it’s “Catcher in the Rye” that inspires him to write TTOTC. The “big picture” here is biograpies and history, more of which is mentioned elsewhere (such as “Journal of a Trapper”). Forrest started his own art gallery and is a very avid amateur archaeologist and collector. Go read the “About Us” page on the Denver Museum of Nature and Science’s website, and how the museum started. Charles Bovey and Mary Sue Bovey (her maiden name was Ford, IMO this is why that name is singled out) assembled an entire town with all sorts of cool things in it. If he has people he feels a kinship with, I would imagine it is people like this. Because that’s what he’s done, too, with his collecting and San Lorenzo Pueblo. I think the “big picture” is the important part, and not so much the minutae. Or, rather, the things that live out on the edges, when taken together, point towards these larger themes, such as:

    4.) No place for the meek is a graveyard. He felt pretty brave sneaking out and sitting on headstones. The fallen French soldier, and the general theme of remebering those who’ve gone before and how they impact our life. Tea with Olga, indeed the whole purpose of hiding the treasure next to his bones. The courage to end one’s life on their own terms, rather than letting society dictate how you have to die if you feel it should go otherwise.

    • Trains – single file
      Teachers with ropes – single file
      Ford factory – single file assembly
      Maybe we’re looking for a single file with directions

    • Srch, I like your post, knowing that posters only give away a tidbit of their thoughts. #2 is a keyword in my thoughts.

  72. I thought ford. I’m botg in a too far to walk way with a bullet, and seriously gonna be renting a ford.

  73. Yosemite Sam brought up the idea that no one has gotten any closer to the TC since Forrest said that someone was within 200 feet several years ago.

    I think the reason for this is that Forrest made a statement that made most people eliminate an important possibility about the first clue. And since then most everyone has misinterpreted that clue. Once you understand what he really meant by his statement it becomes much easier to solve the first clue and then on to the next several clues before the real tough ones come into play.

    • Ah! Finally a kindred spirit! I feel I have already solved the ninth, and choked on the final step last week by not interpreting one word. I now have an interpretation of the word I misinterpreted and looking forward to botg over Father’s Day with my son.

      Will I see you there, or perhaps hear something sooner in the news that I don’t need to go after all?

      • E.C.W.-
        I won’t be there on Father’s Day but possibly the week before. I was actually at my final search area earlier this week and was able to eliminate several possibilities that fit the clues. Now I’ve just figured out what I think is my best solve yet. It fits all the clues, even the 9th clue (totally). And it’s “Too far to walk.” (242 feet to walk)

        I’ll let you know if you don’t need to go out on Father’s Day. But I don’t think we’re searching in the same place. There is no evidence that anyone has searched in my spot except me. And it would show if they had.

        If I don’t find it and you do, let us all know.

        • Landhigh – Ah! Thank you for the clarification! You are correct, we are not searching in the same place. Good luck!

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