Armchair Thoughts From the UK……

SUBMITTED june 2018


Armchair thoughts from the UK

I first came across Forrest Fenn in the news following an unfortunate tragedy for one treasure seeker.  A google search later and I was hooked on the mystery and challenge, the map and poem both being readily available.  I love a good mystery and love the great outdoors.  Being in the UK I can’t get my boots on the ground so to speak due to health issues.  Thank heavens for the internet!   Like anyone, I may be way off the mark with my theories and interpretations.  However near or far I am from the real location I hope that whoever eventually finds the treasure lets us all know the location, anonymously or not.  

In my search I’ve read a lot of different theories and snippets in addition to the poem and map, but those things have just reaffirmed my chosen location, correct or not, to me. I’m sure others may have already thought of it.

Having read through the poem several times I finally settled on the nine clues being between ‘begin’ and ‘cease’, which might seem obvious in some ways. I think most of the rest of the poem is a very personal narrative from FF.

‘Begin it where warm waters halt’
Within about an hour I decided to centre my search on Colorado, based on a combination of maps and feeling. I then came upon the town of Poncha Springs. The town was founded in 1880 because of the hot springs. The springs were capped in 1935. The town calls itself the ‘gateway to the Rockies’. It is also on Highway 285 north of Santa Fe, NM (possible take on 8.25?).

‘And take it in the canyon down’
You never go up into a canyon, so I didn’t think this so much as a navigational pointer, more of an instruction to head to a canyon.

‘Not far, but too far to walk’
My guess is this refers to the fact that Browns Creek is too far to walk from Poncha Springs, but head up Highway 285 and then on county road 271 and you can get to parking for Browns Creek Trailhead. (You could also start in the Gunnison direction and follow the trail from higher elevations where there is also parking, but that didn’t work for the clues for me).

‘Put in below the home of Brown’
Browns Creek trail/waterfall (not Little Browns Creek)

‘From there it’s no place for the meek’
You have to head off the trail to Browns Creek waterfall and then I believe you have to head off track to the treasure site.

‘The end is ever drawing nigh’
The waterfall is on the left if you approach following my route and a waterfall is a termination of sorts.

‘There’ll be no paddle up your creek’
If you see the creek and trail this is not cryptic at all.

‘Just heavy loads and water high’
I’ve taken this literally as the waterfall and impending treasure.

‘If you’ve been wise and found the blaze’
I believe that this is the waterfall; a beautiful cascading waterfall which creates quite a large blaze.

‘Look quickly down your quest to cease’
There are several possible rock shelters on the falls where the water has eroded behind the waterfall. They are generally easy to explore areas and can be quite large in waterfalls of this type and size. There are also a few possibilities alongside the waterfall, but my belief is behind.

I then cross checked my chosen solve with other comments and potential clues;

It’s a natural formation that’s existed for thousands of years and will for thousands more, although not in the same form.

It fits the elevation.
It’s not dangerous if your wear the right gear.
It’s behind, not under water.
It’s reasonable to get to for young and old.
There is car parking not too far.
Plus others that have just sought to affirm my choice.

The main web sources, aside from Google Maps and Wikipeadia were;

Like with any possible seeker I would love to know how near or far my possible solve is. Hopefully if and when the treasure is found the finder will let us all know.

Happy hunting!


18 thoughts on “Armchair Thoughts From the UK……

  1. NicoUK,

    I really enjoyed reading your comment, you’ve obviously put a lot of time and thought into your solve.

    I am also from the U.K and got the Forrest Fenn bug last May.

    I’m hoping to make my one and only BOTG trip soon, due to the distance and cost of the trip.

    What part of the U.K do you live in ?

    Ronnie the Scot

    (I don’t need to tell you the country that I live in ha ha)

  2. I thought you did a great job! I also think you are along the correct lines with how to read the clues, just perhaps the wrong location. Hope you get to do your BOTG one day.

  3. NicoUK,
    From a link you provided…
    Browns Creek Trail is a 4–5 mile out and back trail that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from June until October.Hike Time 3 Hours
    Length of Hike 4–5 Miles
    Difficulty Level Moderate to Difficult

    A single round trip being 4 to 5 miles would be ok… giving a time span of 3 hours.
    Only fenn stated he need to make two trips and his time line of doing that, on afternoon.
    IF my calculations are correct, that would be 8 to 10 miles in a 6 hours time span for hiking. Not out the the realm of possibilities… but that seems to be the very max time and distance imo. But I would like to ask; Why would you think this is a special place to fenn?

    You said; ‘Within about an hour I decided to centre my search on Colorado, based on a combination of maps and feeling.’
    Can you expand your thoughts of why this location… I mean, it seems to me a dart toss at the moment. Seeing WWWH is the clue that needs nailing down, I’m not getting that ~AHHa ! good choice feeling you seem to have.

    You also stated; ‘It’s not dangerous if your wear the right gear.’
    Do you think fenn used the right gear?… maybe I should ask… What gear are you referring to exactly?

    • Good stuff, I would also say you can add another 5+ lbs when figuring if he could have done it. Yes, the chest and such would have been 20lbs b/w two trips but that’s not all he would be carrying.

      Could be anyything from water to bear spray to a knife, phone or gps, etc..even his clothes and the backpack are added weight.

      I also consider the steepness of the route – makes a big difference if going up, down or sideways.

      Imo it’d be very difficult for an 80 year old to do any real steep up-hikes when he has the bag. I did one recently and was gassed several times – and didn’t have 25 on my back and I’m half that age!

      That hike made me reconsider what he could and could not do with such weight. It’s a lot. Think that’s part of the BOTG aspect, you have no real idea from GE what the hike really is like until you try.

  4. Thank you for sharing your ideas! have searched that area and specifically the waterfall. Its a beautuful hike! From the trailhead to the waterfall is approximately 3+ miles. I don’t believe FF would have walked 12 miles in a day, 6 of those miles with a heavy backpack (He said he made 2 trips from his sedan in one afternoon when hiding the TC). I personally eliminate any final solution that ihas the TC greater than 45 minutes at a slow walking pace from where I park my car.

    • Sandy,
      Since you have been there… why would you think this would be so special to fenn?
      We may never know exactly why… but I have been always curious if we would ever find out { and maybe being there would answer that, being at the correct location that is. }

      • Seeker –

        That’s a great question for Sandy, Nicouk and other searchers.

        Let’s face it, if all we were looking for is the spot that is most precious to Fenn we are looking at a narrow strip of land in the tree line 90 feet above the river overlooking where hi mother died and where he was lost with Donnie.


      • Seeker…I personally don’t think this particular waterfall would be special to Fenn. I do think the Arkansas River and associated areas have potential for being “special”. But, I had to go “alone in there” to make that determination. I think it is very difficult to determine, without BOTG, if a locality fits the criteria of “special”. And of course, “special” is very subjective. On paper, and on GE I might add, many solutions seem “perfect”. Until you get to the spot in question and realize that you are wrong, or wonder if the trickster is using his 85/15 rule and the place he hid the treasure would not appear to be “special” in any way to the casual observer. If you follow that “train” of thought.

        PS…anyone thinking of traveling to Durango in the next few weeks might want to reconsider. Wildfire is severely impacting air quality, road closures, and the train isn’t running for the next few weeks.

  5. Hi, NicoUK. Thanks for sharing your ideas. The big question that pops into my head is: Aren’t you taking the canyon up instead of down? Whether the poem is referring to heading up the highway 285 valley or is referring to finding a canyon later on to follow, you would be heading up a canyon in terms of elevation gain in both cases.

  6. Thanks NicoUK,
    An interesting crossroads indeed and if I were a geologist I might call it crosshairs but that’s behind me now.

  7. NicoUK, that big catch in your solve that few seem to get is the “8.25”, however it was originally given by”f” in Rods….Ask yourself Why? Why does he use words out of popular vocab use words not common since before the last century, but many such words are are in his poem? But I tarry too long and scan tally clad my purpose. Also the relationship of many comments by Forrest are given “tongue in cheek” like this, about WWWH “If you don’t have that one nailed down you might as well stay home and play Canasta.f.

    Somehow Fenn, has a bit of the an·ces·tral Scott and little Cockney Rhyming Slang in his Lingo, but what it all means to each solve is created by us, what it means in terms of the poem to F is another matter, so for someone so far from the Rockies to catch “ff ” sliding one by so many of us reminds me that he’s one to be telling porkies” I must commend you. Now answer the big question if you have the “Thrill Book” what one word is on page 9 that is so out of character for Forrest to use and why? Hint it borders on breaking with ff’s shopping habits.


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