How To Have An Adventure For A Few Hundred Bucks…

MARCH 2018

by Jeremy


First things first, buy the hat. You need an adventure hat. It’s non-negotiable. As soon as you put it on, you’re basically Indiana Jones already. Adventure hats vary greatly depending on how cheap you are, but let’s call this $50. I spent $20. I’m cheap.

Next, buy the book. The Thrill of the Chase. It’s $35. It’s worth it. Don’t just buy the book. Actually read it. Someone out there’s going to disagree with this, saying that all you need is the poem, and that the poem is free. Ignore those people. Every adventure is wrapped in a mythology. This book is yours. Read it like Indiana Jones studying the grail diary.

Now, let’s get in character…

Principle: Thou shalt tilt at windmills. You’re going to want to pick up some other books, for free, at your local library. I recommend Huckleberry Finn. There’s a few chapters in Huck Finn where he describes how Tom Sawyer never saw things as they actually were, but instead as how he imagined them to be. That needs to be you. It’s not a Sunday-school picnic over there, it’s a caravan of Arabs and Spaniards!

This is how you have a proper adventure in modern times where the real world lingers in your periphery, and where your day job is only a phone call away. Set all that aside. You’re not Bob the Accountant. You’re Bob the Adventurer! You have to be ready to go out in the mountains where you can fight your imaginary foes without distraction. Oh, and you have to have imaginary foes. This is a must. You need a Belloq.

Don’t skimp on this research. A proper adventurer has watched all the movies and read all the books to the point where every rock carving and every blaze on a tree is a quiet reminder that the Hovitos are near. The adventurer knows that there are treasures around every corner, and everything that glitters is, in fact, gold. Imagination is always free.

You’ll need a treasure map. You should draw it on the back of parchment paper, in blood, but not in real blood, just use red ink and “let on” that it’s blood.

Adopt the vocabulary. Get in the habit of asking people, “Do we have an accord?” Tell people at the store that you’re on an “expedition to find the milk”. Refer to yourself as a knight upon a holy quest, because you are. Identify amongst your friends the cleric, the wizard and the rogue. You’ll need those guys. Refer to them as “party members”. Speaking of which…

“It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.” Zelda fans just nodded in approval, but it’s true. Bring your friends. Bring friends because they may chip in for gas and beer. If you don’t have any friends, bring your family. If your family doesn’t want to go, bring your dog. If you don’t have a dog… steal one from the shelter! You’re a bloody pirate!

Let’s hit the open road! You can fly just about anywhere in the United States and be there in a few hours. That’s fine if you’re on vacation. But you’re not. You’re on an adventure! It is worth your time to see the country as Kerouac intended, through a bug splattered windshield. Even if you live in the Rocky Mountains, you should fly out to the East Coast just so that you can drive back. There’s so much raw America out there, and at least once, you should see it by car. For the adventurer on the cheap, most of your savings is in skipping planes and trains in favor of the automobile. You can pile all of your party members in, and take your gear, saving a ton of money.

You also want to go camping, and not like “camping” where you sleep in an RV or a cabin, but more like how the Boy Scouts and homeless people do it. You want a proper tent, or sleep in your car. An adventure is not a pampered night in a warm bed. It’s a starry night in the middle of nowhere. Ever hear of Paxico, Kansas? Me neither, until we pitched a tent there at a little farm by the tracks. A train blew by around two in the morning. Nothing else like it. It’s pretty much in the center of the United States, too, and now I can say I did that. The next night we camped at the Orilla Verde in the Rio Grande Gorge. Back east, it’s instant adventurer-cred to say you slept by the Rio Grande. It’s an amazing experience.

Depending on where you are, camping costs can range from $0 (ie. a Walmart parking lot) to maybe $20 a night, if you go primitive, and at that price you might even find a shower. Get used to sleeping on the ground. You’re an adventurer! Avoid those KOA sites, they’re just a bunch of RV’ers watching movies and keeping you up all night.

Now that you’ve got a rough outline of what your adventure might be, let’s fill it up!

A thousand MacGuffins. “Something hidden, go and find it.” This is the clarion call for every explorer. It is the thing that drives us forward. Somewhere out there is a treasure chest of gold and jewels, just waiting to be found. It’s the ultimate prize. But, wait, there’s more! The true adventurer accepts all quests offered, and in absence of any, makes one up. A MacGuffin can be anything, and you should always have one at the ready.

Want to see the smallest town in America?

Want to get lost in the House of Eternal Return?

Want to see the world’s largest sticker ball?

Want to count One Thousand Buddhas?

The adventurer says, “Heck yeah!”

There are thousands of offbeat attractions and strange discoveries waiting for you all across America. Many are free. Visit and plan ahead.

While your treasure awaits in the Rocky Mountains, somewhere north of Santa Fe, your adventure starts the second you walk out the door.

A couple more tips…

Take the small car. Ain’t no shame in it. I have a tiny black Nissan Versa SV, the cheapest car I could get brand new. It’s got a 1.6 L 4-cylinder engine. I know you’re jealous. On the open road people pass me by, but who’s the bad ass who can squeeze his car between two double-parked monster trucks at Walmart? This guy. A compact car is exactly what you need for adventuring. It forces you to travel light, and what you can’t cram into that 14 cubic feet of trunk space, you don’t need. The goal is to stretch each gallon as far as it’ll take you. Not much comfort, but when you’ve got 3,000 miles to go round trip, $300 in gas is a steal.

Rent the big truck. Once you get to where you’re going, ditch the car and rent a 4WD. Less than $100. There is nothing more fun than a 4WD truck in the Rocky Mountains. In fact, if you don’t have that truck tilted at more than thirty-degrees at some point, preferably sideways, you don’t get to call yourself an adventurer. Think ATV trails. Don’t worry. It’s not your truck. It’s insured. Once you get that truck, you go take that mountain. Find some sketchy road, and drive that thing up to the top! Don’t forget your camera.

Mingle with the natives. Find a local bar. Strike up a conversation with the locals. You’ll be glad you did. Every good adventure story begins at the Tavern. Don’t be shy. You tell those folks exactly what you’re there for. You’ve come red-eyed and weary across a whole continent to pluck Forrest Fenn’s gold right from under their noses. They’ll laugh and say they know exactly where it is too. When you ask why they haven’t gone and gotten it, they’ll mutter some excuse about being too busy. Muggles are funny that way.

Buy some trinkets. Make sure they’re authentic. $100-$200.

And finally…

Be prepared. That’s my motto.

Total cost: $500 on the low end. $1000 at most. Cost sharing will get it even lower, but don’t go so low that you aren’t having a good time. Treat yourself. We’re not savages.


161 thoughts on “How To Have An Adventure For A Few Hundred Bucks…

  1. Now that’s the way to go about it… I thoroughly enjoyed your recap and philosophy! I look forward to the book… Happy endings guaranteed – memories the way they’re meant to be.

    • Thanks, J!

      Exactly so. When you write your own narrative, happy endings are guaranteed.

  2. Jeremy, you are an excellent writer!
    Your story is filled with humor and shows that you completely get what our friend, Forrest, wanted us to get from his quest. 🙂

  3. Jeremy, This is excellent… you captured the spirit, the adventure, everything the Chase has been to me. And you worded it better than I ever could have! Kudos to your pictures, and especially of the Taos Mesa Brewing Co… Your pictures are awesome… OMG, now I have to drive there to eat those delicious looking nachos and scrumptious looking sweet potato fries! Seattle Sullivan, this is for you! See you there next month? Maybe? cynthia

    • Thanks, Cynthia!

      I love that place, Taos Mesa Brewing. The beer is good, the food is good, and the atmosphere is all New Mexican. It’s a great location, right out by the Rio Grande Gorge where some interesting characters sell their handcrafted jewelry to tourists, and you have a great photo op overlooking the river. Manby Hot Springs is out there too. You can make a day out of just that.

    • Thanks, Eaglesabound!

      I’m not sure. But if you tell me, I’ll race you for it 🙂

  4. Jeremy, I love you!

    I’ve been missing out on part of the adventure! I want to be Don Quixote looking for his Dulcinea (Indulgence). I’m the female heroine (or misguided woman) in my adventure! I already have my side-kick, Sparky.

    I need a hat! I have the jeep, but no hat. Excuse me, I need to go do my on-line shopping.

    • Thanks, MoonShadow!

      You get that hat, girl, and you go tackle those mountains. They might be giants!

  5. What a wonderful description of adventure. Reminds me of my camper when I was younger – a Pinto Runabout! That served many road trips till I moved up to a Pinto Station Wagon. I am indeed jealous or your Versa!

    • Thanks, minion!

      I loved your movie. My dad had a pinto when I was about your height. When it ran, it was the greatest.

  6. Oh that’s a good read:)
    Last year I took a month long trip a cross the country and rambled around out west. I knew nothing of the Chase then. Now I do. This year we will ramble with a purpose

    • Thanks, James!

      What inspired your month long trip? It sounds like you’ve got a few stories to tell as well 🙂

  7. Jeremy;

    Now I know what I have been doing wrong – everything 🙂 Love your philosophy – JDA

  8. I had hoped to see a picture of you and your Party Members in the Versa. Great writing and all worth trying to achieve.

    • Thanks, smogmaker!

      Here the valiant steed keeps watch over her companions on the battlefield. Unbeknownst to them, a dire beaver works furiously in the nearby brush to divert the river and flood their camp. They will be gone before the beaver is able to carry out its evil plan.

  9. Great story Jeremy!

    Clearly – an embodiment of the spirit of the chase. If FF could chose a searcher or type of searcher to have the TC, there’s no doubt it would be you or someone with that same adventurer approach. It doesn’t get any better than that – thanks for sharing your story.

    • Thanks, Covert One!

      I think Forrest Fenn cast a wide net when he challenged everyone to find his treasure chest. It is an open invitation, and there are a lot of people out there searching for it, from an amazing range of backgrounds.

      But I think… I mean, I’m confident in saying this… there is only one type of person who would answer that call.

      You answered that call.

      I believe you are exactly the type of person Forrest Fenn would choose to find his treasure chest, and so is everyone else here.

      He doesn’t choose, though. You choose. You decide where it is, and you go pick it up.

      It’s a choose your own adventure story. 🙂

  10. You done did it good! There is no substitute for the freedom of the open road and a good navigator or two ! A good time had by all…
    I bet the vehicle rental venues in the search zones have some good stories to share…I can think of a few episodes that I may or may not have insider info on.

    • Thanks, ken!

      So let me tell you my vehicle rental story…

      I call up the guy in Taos and say, “I’m in town a few days and would love to explore your mountains, but I need a four-wheel drive with some good clearance. Got anything like that?” He says he does, so I go out there, but when I show up and look around the lot there’s nothing at all resembling what I had in my mind would be a Humvee.

      I go in and say, “I thought you said you had a truck.”

      He explains that he does, but it’s out at the Taos Airport, and he can’t send a car out to get it because it’ll take two drivers to bring both the car and the truck back, and he’s only got one driver there. I’m welcome to it if I want to ride out the the airport with the lady at the counter.

      The adventurer says, “Heck yeah!”

      Turns out, she used to live at the pueblo, and has been living in the area her whole life. This is awesome, because it was like a free guided tour. She took me the long way out to the airport, pointing out things, telling me stories about what it was like growing up at the pueblo, and all the things tourists never get to see or hear. It was great! Ancient cultures, scenic views, and where to find the best art galleries. I paid $16 (I think) to get into the Taos Pueblo, but I learned way more about what reservation life is like in America on that free tour going out to pick up a truck.

      This was my truck…

      I miss that truck.

  11. This is wonderful Jeremy. I asked for a four wheel drive at the rental place and they asked “if the lady would like a Mercedes.” I looked behind me and said “what lady? I’ll take the Jeep.”

    Play the part, it builds confidence. A couple of tips to add:

    Don’t bring a lazy partner who fiddles with your radio. This is your trip. If Metallica gets you up the mountain and transforms you into Hercules, take control of the tunes.

    Beef jerky is a must. Garlic breath scares snakes.

    Beer/coffee/some form of tobacco. Nobody messes with a broad/bro who spits out the side of her/his mouth.

    A vest. Adventurers wear vests and cargo pants to store their “bad*ss essentials in.”

    Thank you Jeremy for reminding me how fun this is.

    • Thanks, Copper!

      Adventure knows no gender, that’s for sure, and don’t forget that it takes copper to make bronze.

      These are great tips!

      You reminded me of another one: The adventurer needs theme music. Thou shalt not adventure without a playlist.

      • Interesting.
        Jeremy P retired 2 years ago if I recall correctly.
        Went out Eagle Nest Lake and threw his hat into the wind from the high peak.


        • I don’t think “retire” was the right word. After all, how many times has Forrest Fenn retired? 🙂

          Eagle Nest Lake, hat intact:

          I’ve been to New Mexico a few times in the past couple of years. I’ve been to Colorado. I even went to Acadia, in Maine — I totally know where Fandango is! I went looking for doubloons in Charleston, South Carolina. I might change things up if I look for Forrest Fenn’s treasure again.

          In every case, I solemnly swear, that I am up to no good, and tilting at windmills.

  12. I now know why I haven’t found the TC – not dressed like an adventurer. No adventurer hat! What a fatal flaw all along! Should have known better than go out and search without a hat.

    Now, for those adventurer cargo pants – nope, I didn’t wear those either! I can’t believe I missed such basic gear in the search.

    Adventurer vest – nada! Nothing! I missed it completely!

    It’s all starting to make sense now – it’s just that I wasn’t “prepared” with the right attire to find it!

    Going back to the drawing board now – might post pictures when I get all “geared” up…

  13. What a great read by a talented writer. My eyes just rolled along the words as my brain absorbed it . Kudos to the author … very enjoyable.

  14. Jeremy….you forgot to mention that if somebody accidentally tries to steal your campsite, instead of being mad (it was an honest mistake, I swear) it might be fun to make friends with that person, swap search theories and stories and a few beers deep into the night,, have your dad start her campfire, and then gather again around the camp coffee pot in the morning before going our separate ways. If you hadn’t been wearing that hat, I would never have recognized you from the blog. Good times, gimme a shout next time you are in my part of the world. Excellent story and you captured the heart of the chase. Say hi to your Dad!

    • SANDY—Ah–Now-The real camping and Pirate stories shall come out…Been on one or 2 of them myself..Long before the chase began. Be safe and enjoy whats around the bend.

    • Well, Sandy, I wasn’t going to mention it, but since you brought it up…

      Folks, if you ever want to meet a true pirate, meet Sandy. 🙂

      While we were out foraging for food, she stole our campsite! How could I be mad? I admire your skills!

      (Sandy’s great. You’ll never meet a nicer adventurer.)

  15. “Real Indian Stuff” I have seen that sign in person! LOL I truly like your sense of adventure! You have made me want to jump in my FJ Cruiser and head to the mountain.
    All good stuff Jeremy! Thanks for sharing.


    • Thanks, Tomas D!

      Isn’t that sign great!?!

      “I dunno… how can I be sure this is reaaally Indian stuff? Oh, it says so right here on this sign! Whew… That’s a relief.”

  16. Jeremy, Really enjoyed your story and your spirit of adventure. That grilled campfire food looks pretty munchie. I wouldn’t be surprised if Forrest chimed in with an attaboy!

    • Thanks, Afana!

      It’s really hard to say you’re roughing it when you’re eating so well, so you just have to “let on” that you were near starving the whole time. 🙂

      Speaking of food, out-of-the-way food stops are popular MacGuffins and you can tailor an adventure just around that. Foodies excel at this.

        • I’m not really sure. Hoping to sometime this year, but I haven’t made any plans, and haven’t decided where I want to go exactly.

          Over the winter I’ve been engaged in other cheap adventures. This past weekend I was at a local comic con stalking “Short Round” from Temple of Doom:

          I dressed my dad up as “Old Man Logan”, because at 65 years-old he has no business being at a comic con… so it was totally funny 🙂

          Adventure is what you make it.

          • I love it! 🙂 Your father looks like he had so much fun over the weekend, sharing it with his son. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing the link, JeremyP. 🙂

          • Thanks! It was a lot of fun. Apparently the Internet loves him as Old Man Logan too. I posted those photos just yesterday and it’s already got 2000+ upvotes!

            Don’t tell him, though, it’ll go to his head 🙂

          • Hello JeremyP. That’s great! You have a superstar in the family, although I’m sure you already knew that. 🙂

  17. My kind of an adventure. Put on a hat and go! Really enjoyed your story, and points for imagination and good advice!

  18. Jeremy! That’s it! You have described how I feel about the chase. I kind of live that way everyday, haha!
    I’ve got a hat, it was a real bargain and I never chased without my “good luck stuff” which is a scrap of fur named Wormy and a one eyed monkey. Every time I hit the trail I brought them.
    I didn’t care how I got to the trail, I was happy to be going. There’s no whining when you’re a pirate, you just do it, do it with a smile and enjoy every minute. But ya gotta wear a hat and bring your good luck stuff!

    • Thanks, Jeannie!

      I suddenly want to amend my original post to include: “You need a one-eyed monkey.”

      I need to find a one-eyed monkey.

      • Haha, all you need is a regular monkey and give it to a dog. My monkey got chewed up and both ears disappeared along with one eye. Probably most people would have trashed monkey after that but I couldn’t, so instead he became my lucky monkey and travels with me 40 years later.

  19. Jeremy, you captured the spirit of the road trip. It gave me goosebumps. Good God do I love a good road trip and adventure. I ache to do it again, someday.

  20. I like the video game reference. Mario, Link. and Lara Croft are my inspirations. Also, the Raiders of the Lost Ark soundtrack is my favorite CD to listen to on the drive home from my search.

  21. That is the way my parents taught me to travel. One of the best parts of the journey is the correct road food. Getting a summer sausage is better and cheaper than beef jerky. Also mixed nuts, fruit, and snickers bars for quick energy. Granola/Gorp mixed with M&Ms is good too.
    Another good money saver is to stay with relatives and old friends. Park at the truck stop and rest stops. Most of my relatives live in the Rocky Mountains, so I have the advantage with that.
    I also just bought a Nissan Versa sedan. It gets better gas miles than my Harley trike. But I wouldn’t go down a dirt road in it. Not in the Rocky mountains…
    Final saving tip: Bring some mountain money. AKA toilet paper.

  22. That was great! But after sleeping on the ground in the rain without the tent next to a Harley on a number of occasions…. I’ll take the cushy hotel with a hot shower any day.

    Word of advice.. Be careful who you befriend. I don’t know what the Rockies are like.. but farther west some people aren’t as trust worthy as we would like to think. Be safe have fun

    • Thanks, 21ponies! There is probably something to be said about being careful and stuff like that. That’s a different “How to…” though, and I probably wouldn’t be very good at writing it 🙂

  23. Nice write up Jeremy but you obviously have never treated Sandy to tucker. With her addiction to pine you best be packin a big three cord stockpile of green sawbucks.

    • Straw..I know and it’s not my fault you lose your senses when in the company of goddesses… and thanks for not mentioning ALL my addictions. The dude(ess) abides.

    • Thanks, Strawshadow!

      I’m not really sure what else you’re talking about, sorry 🙂

  24. Long time since l’ve seen a post from ya –always enjoyed them. This new post is exactly what the thrill of the chase is about– having fun . Keep the stories coming–turn it into a book.

    • Thanks, Arnold!

      The goal is to inspire you, and everyone else, to go adventuring… on the cheap. Then you can write your own book! 🙂

  25. Jeremy,

    A condensed version of your story needs to be in a commercial….car, travel, credit card, esurance, etc.
    It was thoroughly amusing and I can relate as I’m sure millions of others worldwide can also.
    Great and funny story.

  26. Jeremy. Thank you for the pictures and story of your venture into the Rockies.This certainly stirs the imagination and rekindles the desire to get back and at least eliminate my solve.Wishing all searchers a safe prosperous year.

    • Thanks, R–B!

      I agree. I hope everyone has a great searching season, and please be safe. Since I mentioned the Rio Grande, I’d like to reiterate what Forrest Fenn has said about it, in case others weren’t aware. The treasure chest is not hidden near the Rio Grande River.

      It is a cheap place to camp, though, and worth seeing.

  27. The Knight,the Cleric,the Wizard and the Rogue. What a party. Always love your way with words and your art is something else.
    Thanks for sharing,Jeremy.

  28. Jeremy P, I love your stories and comics. Here’s another way to save a few bucks, hit me up next time you are in my neighborhood and I will pay for the Taos Mesa Brewery beers. Maybe even a few shots of Taos Lightening if you’re really feeling adventurous and bring along a designated driver to give me a ride home lol.

    Also I agree 100% “Thou shalt not adventure without a playlist”, I put my playlist on youtube, some of the songs I like to listen to when I’m Chasing this Dream. I DJ’d before at KNCE ( the radio station that broadcasts out of an Airstream at Taos Mesa Brewery, I think I will do a Chase Themed Radio show this spring or summer, maybe during Fenboree or something…

  29. Jeremy, very entertaining story. I like your sense of adventure and “heck yeah!” attitude.

  30. Jeremy, Thanks for the wonderful article. Good to know: I can stop using real blood. I’ll buy a red pen today!

      • Very nice story, Jeremy. Sometimes I don’t feel worthy of finding the treasure based on stories like this. But then I remember what F says – that if I can decipher the poem and find the chest, then I would have earned it. And that would make me worthy.

        Golden Retrievers – nice one.

        • Thanks, JBL!

          This is just how I choose to have an adventure, and it’s only loosely related to the Forrest Fenn treasure hunt. I try to apply it whenever I take a trip anywhere, for any reason. I was making up excuses to have a good time long before I read TTOTC 🙂

          I think it’s important to remember that, for all we know, Forrest may have hidden the treasure chest down a peaceful trail from some memorial park, where retrieving it means simply getting out of your car, walking over, and picking it up from the bushes. Maybe you don’t have to slay a dragon. I don’t know.

          Whatever the case, you earn it by taking a chance. That’s all. It’s a choose your own adventure story.

          • You are very gracious, Jeremy! You represent KY very well!!!
            I have loved traveling in the past and hope I can do more soon. When I can’t travel, I watch The Travel Channel and go on VRBO to look at condos and homes in far away lands to get a better sense of what traveling to those places would be like.
            My solution led me to a place that was not very arduous to get to, but once I got to my blaze and the treasure wasn’t there, I then went to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone. It was beautiful! I went with my son and loved it. I hope to go back with my husband so that he can see the beauty there.

    • BATTY…I was thinking more along the lines of fossilized remnants from the late Pleistocene. The inner core tip of a mastodon tusk perhaps? I know there are some to be found in Colorado…

        • BATTY – my reference was to the Snowmastodon site. Of note, the site has close ties to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and it was discovered in 2010…the story practically wrote itself! Fully excavated in 9 months. No lithic evidence at the site but plenty of speculation about what happened there. Had stone points/tools been discovered the site would have pre-dated Clovis by 40,000 years or so. Indeed, Forrest would have found that beyond fascinating. The area seems to combine several topics of interest to Mr Fenn. Ski area (SB # ski-skating across a POND), Pleistocene megafauna, per Doug Preston, the Denver Museum of Nature/Science, warm waters. I dunno. Everywhere I look I see a solve.

  31. Jeremy P. my hat is off to you even if only one of my shoes is tied and my shirt has strawberry jam down the front. Shucks, you was only two point three miles from the ranch when you stayed at Mill Creek Camp Grounds in Paxico. Not far, but too far on a dusty country road named after a Pottowatomi indian chief. I like the fact that adventurers get absorbed in the local culture enough to support the local taverns in ghost towns which if not for adventurers would have dried up and rolled away like tumble weeds years ago. We ain’t got no Brown Trout round Paxico, but we got the beef. Lots of beef. Why those Texans send their boney cattle up from the Lone Star State to fatten em up on that lush Flint Hills grass. Next time you are in the hood, give a shout fellow adventurer. I would let you bunk for free at the ranch, take ya for a ride in the ranger into the Flints and even let you try on my Indy Jones hat. Loved you story. -guy-

    • Thanks, Guy Michael!

      Mill Creek is exactly the place! You may not have Brown Trout there, but something was in the water making noise through the night. River monster, maybe?

      This is a testament to how far reaching the treasure hunt has gotten. No matter where you rest your head, you’re probably within five miles of another searcher 🙂

      Thanks for giving me some insight into the area, in case I ever do write a book. We picked the place just because it was about halfway to where we were heading, and I’m glad we did. The grounds are well-kept, and the showers hot. Only stayed the one night, but I’d definitely recommend it to any traveler.

    • Also, if you head out from Central Kentucky, chasing the sun, this is where you lose it 😉

  32. Loved reading this write-up, Jeremy! IMO, you have expressed the ideal attitude & adventurous spirit a Chaser should have on their quest. Huzzah! 🙂

    (And +1 recommendation for “House of Eternal Return” in Santa Fe. That place is great! I highly recommend visiting Duel Brewing across the street afterwards for some delicious Belgian ales!)

    • Thanks, Blex!

      I haven’t had the chance to go to the House of Eternal Return yet. I just used it as an example because I really, really, really want to. I’m a fan of George R. R. Martin, and it looks exactly like the type of weird I’d drive across the country to see. When I do, and I will (!) I’ll stop in at the brewery you mentioned. Thanks for the tip!

      • You bet, Jeremy! It’s definitely worth the trip! Here’s another tip for when you do visit: you can skip purchasing the “special eyeglasses” that they offer to sell you at the front door. (They’re basically those prismatic glasses that cause rainbows to appear when you look at light sources; adds nothing to the experience.)

    • Glad to you hear you mention Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return.
      Also a HUGE fan of Duel Brewing across the street. (Duel Brewing actually serves beer inside of Meow Wolf)

      I frequent Duel Brewing often. In fact, I’m a “Duel Citizen”. 🙂

      I highly recommend it!


  33. Jeremy P.

    That post of yours is great!! I have my Indiana Jones hat, I’ve had it going on 26 years. It’s a good one, waterproof, washable and comfortable. I love my hat and I look good wearing it too.

    I’ve got my boots that are comfortable, waterproof, nice heal and sole. They cost $15.00 and have had them since I was married 38 years ago, and has some patches on them that look like inner-tube patches.

    My Subaru gets great mileage too, my cost for gas the last time out looking for all that gold was under a hundred bucks, 800 miles round trip. Slept in the car and had to warm it up a couple of times, it was about 35 at night.

    I didn’t splurge much on food, just 3 burritos, one in the morning and 1 each for two nights. Found only one place open after 8 pm and the only place open at 6 am. Brought along some water and had 2 large coffees in the mornings.

    I smelled pretty ripe by the time I got back home. The water was way too cold even for a quick splash.

    Total trip cost was well under a couple hundred dollars. I really did like your post, that’s the only way to go. 🙂

    • Thanks, CharlieM!

      I tip my hat in recognition of another adventurer. You’ve got it down right. I read stories from people where they say that the first thing they are going to do after finding the treasure chest is head down to Santa Fe and return Forrest’s bracelet. No, sir or madam! You go take a shower first. If you don’t smell too ripe to walk into a gas station, you’re not doing it right.

      • Jeremy,

        We are in the Rockies this week and I thought about you yesterday – we stopped to eat at a local dive. I had a “Ditch Burger” and we ate with our family among the locals and people passing through. We aren’t searching – just out with the family on Spring Break.

        Agree with your comment about getting a shower before bringing ff’s bracelet back!

        As a side note to the bracelet, there are searchers who say they wouldn’t return it to ff if they found the TC. I have no respect for someone like that.

        I would shower and, maybe….just maybe, even dress up to return the bracelet to ff.

        • I agree on the bracelet. Remember that scene in Goonies where Mickey says, “Leave that for Willy.” That’s kind of how the bracelet should be. If you’re the Fratellis and you take it, don’t be surprised when walls start collapsing and a big boulder comes tumbling at you or something else bad. Goonies is required viewing. Study the source material, it could save your life!

          Hope you have a good Spring Break. Don’t forget, even if you’re not looking for treasure, you should really be looking for treasure 🙂

          • Amen to that Jeremy! We found plenty to treasure on our trip. Great times with the family and wonderful scenery.

  34. Has anyone thought a mule??? I like to have good food. We used to pack into Sierra Mountains back country, wilderness. We brought fresh food. Vodka, steak, chicken. Not expensive but it sure makes the trip more enjoyable. Enjoy the journey. Isn’t that what’s it about? If you get lucky frosting on cake.!

  35. Jeremy- everyone loves your writing and sense of adventure. sadly for me it is the chest of the poem i seek and your advice is worthless. sorry pal.

  36. Jeremy–

    What fun! That’s what Mr.F had in mind, IMO. I also believe we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. While traveling out there exploring, the deputy and I listen to all the old western songs on Pandora. Good channels are the Roy Roger, Sons of San Joaquin, Sons of the Pioneers. Now be sure to buy beef jerky for the long trail but also remember sun flower seeds. You need sunflower seeds to stay awake on the long drive. Believe me no one can fall asleep at the wheel shelling sunflower seeds in your mouth like a bird!

    1 F Billy

    • Thanks, Sherif Billy!

      I agree. Sunflower seeds are great traveling food. I’m not sure if they’ve done any science on it, but I also heard that they they help drivers stay awake.

      One of my super powers is that when traveling I don’t sleep well anyway, because I don’t want to miss out on anything, so on a 22-hour drive I’m up for at least 18 of it. I drink coffee like it’s water though 🙂

  37. Hey Jeremy,
    I didn’t know you were from Kentucky! Where do you live? I grew up in Northern Kentucky and all my family still lives there except me. I heard the call of the SouthWest and have lived in Santa Fe for the last 18 years.

    • Lexington area! I frequent Cincinnati, so I’m in NKY all the time. Every time I say I live in Kentucky I have throw out the disclaimer that there’s at least three different Kentuckys. There’s Eastern Kentucky, the Appalachia area that gets a bad reputation, which is usually what ends up on TV and the movies. Then there’s Northern Kentucky and Louisville, which might as well be the Midwest, with a few Southern influences, and then there’s central Kentucky, which is all bourbon, basketball, and horses… and me!

  38. Hey JP!

    Great stories and sense of adventure. Reminds me of my earlier days (I’m your dad’s age). I, too, am from No. Ky. (sittin’ there now) and love the Rockies when I get the chance. Just wanted a chance to scream “Go Cats!” as the NCAA tourney starts in full in a couple days.

    Good luck in your quest and be safe!

    • Thanks, Blueinred!

      I love your name! It’s a sea of blue around here whenever basketball season starts up, so I’m always making the joke: “Kentucky, the state that bleeds blue and votes red.” 🙂

  39. Jeremy love this article, you should get it into Outside Magazine! No kidding…

    I’m sharing it with all my D&D friends of old and new.

    Thx GCG

    • Thanks, GCG!

      It’s a shame he ruled out the old mining tunnels. I would absolutely be up for an old fashioned dungeon crawl 🙂 If you’ve got the right DM in your crew, you can’t help but have an adventure.

  40. Jeremy I like the way you think. You are very funny and truthful. Both great qualities. And your smart and fun. Good luck on all of your adventures!

  41. Well said, Jeremy. Really enjoyed the write up.

    I suspect a fair number of us searchers are also “thrifty” when it comes to accommodations and food selections.

    Good luck to you in all your adventures!

  42. Jeremy, I’ve read and reread your article and enjoy it every time. I love being part of the ‘Thrill of the Chase’ adventure, and think your adventuring advice is some of the best! I especially love the ‘fly east just so you can drive west’.

    • Thanks, Chase Fan, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Of course, Forrest was a pilot himself, and I think a lot of folks see flying as a convenient way of making the trip possible, but I maintain that getting there is more than half of the adventure. Every great adventure story involves a heroic journey. I mentioned my love for Huckleberry Finn, and most know that the story unfolds through a series of episodic adventures on a slow raft along the Mississippi River. Today you could fly that route in maybe an hour or two, I dunno. What a wasted opportunity — no way, fetch me up a canoe! 🙂

  43. One thing that has me puzzeled…. Forrest Fenn said in the Moby Dick Bookstore Interview that ” It was 15 years from the time I got sick till I hid the Treasure”. He got sick with cancer in 1989. So that puts him hidding traesure in the year 2004. Not at age 79 or 80. And not in 2009 thru 2011. Some interesting things happened in the year of 2004. You should probably do some digging there. Dal just a thought

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