The Seven Searchers You Meet in HoD-ven….

JUNE 2018

by FMC


Disclaimer: This is intended as a bit of fun and not to denigrate anyone’s thought process, methodologies, solutions, etc.  As the saying goes, “Until the TC is found, no one can say anyone else is right or wrong.”

Every solve is unique.  Even searchers with the same WWWH might come up with different HOBs, have different thoughts on the Blaze, or disagree which clues can only be solved with BOTG.  That said, if you’ve been involved in the Chase long enough, it’s possible to break the various thought processes into seven distinct categories.  Some Searchers stay within one category, while others combine pieces and parts of multiple categories like a TTOTC Frankenstein, hoping their solve comes alive.

Poem Purists

These Searchers generally stick to the poem and at times, eschew even the books as unnecessary (though some will supplement their poem-based solves with select “hints” from the books).  The Poem Purist prefers to poor over Google Earth, seeking the perfect a-ha! combination of landmarks that they can match up to the poem.

Google Earth Rorschachers

While the Poem Purist looks for place names or distinct features on GE, the Google Earth Rorschacher looks for patterns in the land itself, not unlike someone identifying shapes in the clouds that pass by.  The GE Rorschacher can be identified by the images that they put in their solves, which frequently have MS Paint outlines of what they “see” in the land.

If you see an arrowhead in the above picture and wonder how you might tie that to a potential solve, you may be a GE Rorschacher.

Maths! (Maths Factorial)

Devotees of the various math-based methods… TBH, I don’t really understand what they’re doing beyond assigning numbers to the letters in the poem and then manipulating those numbers in various ways and ending up with coordinates.  If you see math in a solve, try for a few minutes to understand it, and then give up on it for being too complex, you’re reading a Maths! Searcher.


Different from the Maths! Searcher, the Code-Breaker looks for hidden messages in the poem, books, and ATF information.  Often employing butterfly = flutterby as part of their reasoning, the Code-Breaker is a fan of anagrams, the most popular of which takes “From there it’s no place for the meek” to “Meeteetse Pitchfork Realm of Horn”, which… okay?  The Code-Breaker also will frequently employ the grid method to the poem, lining all the poem lines up, then looking for words or phrases hidden in the resulting Seek and Find.  This method is explained (well and interestingly, IMO) in the 2nd half of Cowlazars vlog #9 –

Sherlocks and Historian Sherlocks

Sherlocks can generally be identified by some bit of internet minutiae that becomes the basis for their unique interpretation of a particular clue or clues.  Whether this is an obscure definition of a word, a fact about the temperature water freezes or boils at for a given altitude, or some other bit of trivia, the Sherlock Searcher is willing to explore any and all rabbit holes in order to solve the poem.  Historian Sherlocks are the same as regular Sherlocks, only they focus on historical events like town name changes, people that FF may have known or been interested in and where they might have traveled in history, etc.

Free Associationers

Whereas the Poem Purist makes, at most, limited use of the books, ATF comments, etc., the Free Associationer allows these items to drive potential solves through connections they make between the two.  For example, if FF says something about his coffee maker, the Free Associationer will seek out potential tie-ins with that statement (Mocha Point, Latte River, or similar).

The Uninformed

Sometimes these are newer Searchers, but more often than not, it’s Searchers that are lazy or otherwise unwilling to read even the basics of the Search parameters.  The Uninformed Searcher may claim their WWWH is a Dam or that they’ve solved it, only for their search area to be 5 miles from where they park with a 3,000 feet elevation gain.

Whichever Searcher type or types you are, there are things that can be learned from all of the types so I encourage you to read HoD with an open-mind.  Think, plan, and when you put BOTG, be sure to do so safely.  Good Luck!


128 thoughts on “The Seven Searchers You Meet in HoD-ven….

  1. This was the best laugh I’ve had all day!
    I know every one of them, just haven’t put names to them.

    Where do you fit, FMC? 🙂

  2. It’s kind of hard, not to be a poem purist.. when ff used to day: study the poem, over and over.. all you need is the poem….
    Oh yah…. who initiated “poem purist”?

  3. Nice article, FMC. I think there may be at least one other category of searcher that you have not defined, that being the “Logician Technician”—-or some such other humorous sounding name—-meaning one who uses logic to try to make the search material equal to the finding of Indulgence. The LT delves into all the available variables and tries to balance them against one another to formulate truths which systematically guide one to Indulgence.

  4. Excellent breakdown of treasure hunter personalities! 🙂
    I’m a combined Free Associationers & Historian Sherlock.

  5. Love it FMC – I was hoping Dal would post your Seven Synopsis- Thanks Dal for always keeping it fresh, fun and interesting!

    I agree with Bowmarc plesase someone take a shot at the Technician/ Game Theorist / DnDer

    And what about the Mystic Puzzlers/ Spiritual Vision Questers

    Oh this too much fun…


    • Exactly! There are the “remote sensor” searchers who concentrate on following f to the hiding spot after the fact, the dream interpreter who hopes to wake up to the perfect solve, snd the mystic who divines the answers through tea leaves. It takes all kinds!

  6. Thanks, that was a great piece, it made me smile.
    Don’t forget the Dreamers. I had a dream in which I found the chest under a large pine; being so preoccupied looking at the blaze (a small f) I almost didn’t see the chest at the base of the tree (should have looked quickly down) . Then I started to think about the historical significance of the moment and that it should be filmed and that’s when I woke up. I should have kept it simple and enjoyed the moment.

  7. It’s funny… because its true.

    Although, you may have missed one. I don’t have a fancy title for this type of research searcher, I’ll let you create a label for them [coined by Colokid ~ Kitchen sink solves].
    Closely related to it’s cousin the ‘Free Associationers’ only differs by the idea, everything ever mentioned is absolutely a clue that must be used.
    I guess this style of solver can be a collection of all the above… overkill on steroids.

    Yep, Funny… Because it’s true.

    • Seeker…we could call that all inclusive category of solving “ECWatersing”. With the greatest respect to EC Waters. The guy has style!

      • Yes ECWatersing is the original and best style. Doesn’t apply tonight EC.

        In fact EC has been making some good points lately


  8. A good book I read few years ago Howard Becker’s …Outsider
    Dealing with the Labeling Theory…interesting stuff…

  9. You forgot the You Tube Wanna Be Rock Stars.
    I found my category and laughed at quite a few I recognized as others putting their constant thoughts out into the world. Some humble and some cantankerous if you find fault … but enjoying the limelight and notoriety. Takes all kinds to make a community. good luck searchers!

  10. Great Fun – Thanks a LOT. I must be a mess, I saw me in at least two, probably three – -well maybe 4 of the listings – Oh well. Thanks again for posting – FUN – FUN – JDA

    • JDA,
      You may be on to something. Didn’t Forrest say something to the effect that as you read the blueprint the one best able to adjust could find the TC? I know this isn’t a word for word quote.
      You may be the one reading the blueprint correctly!


  11. If LT’s are (cat. 8) –
    Then “TWEENERS” must be (cat. 9) – – – Cause We fit somewhere “in between” one or more Categories (Like Me) – – –

  12. There’s also probably an over-confident sub-classification as well.

    I’ve considered the possibility that this and my other posts will enable someone to match up writing styles with the winning solve write-up (assuming I find it and write one).

  13. I must admit I didn’t read this one on Harry’s and I didn’t read it on THOR. Then I didn’t read it on HoD. Sorry I didn’t read this the first, second, or third time it wa as posted. My bad.

  14. FMC – thanks for posting this. These schools of thought or paradigms are interesting – although, I think there are a couple of categories missing. I believe a paradigm shift may be required to solve it (don’t ask me to explain that).

  15. This is a fun post, so I’m not going to criticize too much 🙂

    But I disagree strongly with the characterization of Sherlock Holmes as a trivia hunter diving into rabbit holes. His defining characteristic is the opposite — that he observes everything, but quickly rejects that which doesn’t matter. This was established in the first book, A Study in Scarlet, when Dr. Watson discovers that he doesn’t even know that the sun is at the center of the solar system (something you would expect that intellectuals at the turn of the century ought to know). Holmes explains that he only fills his mind with things that really matter, things are important to his work, so that his “attic” isn’t cluttered with useless facts.

    This process of focusing on what really matters happens rather quickly for Holmes. If he was given the Thrill of the Chase, it might go like this:

    Sherlock flips through the book and sees that it is filled with words, photos, and illustrations. He’ll get the gist of the problem, that an elderly man put clues in the book that leads to a treasure chest. He’ll read the poem. He’ll pick up on easy to overlook things like the credits page that says that drawings are by a single illustrator “unless otherwise noted”. He’ll observe the lack of signatures and notes on the illustrations. Without even reading any of the stories, he’ll already be in tight focus on the idea that both the poem and illustrations are important. He’ll then focus on these leads, to the exclusion of other trivial things, like where Fenn might have owned property. He’s not going to dive down a bunch of rabbit holes and fill his head with distractions when he’s already found several shortcuts to what really matters. He’ll assume from the outset that everything that is critical to finding the treasure has some representation in the book.

    This is, of course, all my opinion on how Sherlock works, but it’s backed by reading the books and the commentary that has been written about him over the years. I’m a huge fan!

    • “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.” – Sherlock Holmes

          • I like Bravado…I have Justify to win.
            A TC would be spectacular for the sport.

          • Justify: Second horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown! Forrest Fenn called it, way back in 2016, when he said “Victory will always justify the effort.” 🙂

      • “…It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.” Brilliant – and applicable to the chase.

      • Jeremy,

        As a note of intrigue, I have Sherlock Holmes quotes pasted in through-out my poem solution.

        Your quote was too long to include so I have the succinct version of this Sherlock axiom, right after verse #21:

        “So hear me all and listen good,”

        Therefore remember:
        “It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognize, out of a number of facts, which are incidental and which vital. Otherwise your energy and attention must be dissipated instead of being concentrated.”


        • Here’s another for you:

          “What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is, what can you make people believe that you have done.” – Sherlock Holmes

          Sounds a lot like:

          “It doesn’t matter who you are. It only matters who they think you are.” – Forrest Fenn

          That said, and despite him sporting a Basil Rathbone hat over the winter, I don’t think Forrest Fenn thought about Sherlock Holmes when crafting the treasure hunt. I would say his inspiration was elsewhere.

          • In my words:

            “It doesn’t matter what the poem is. It only matters what they think the poem is.”


    • Webster’s def of “rabbit hole”:
      “a bizarre or difficult state or situation —usually used in the phrase down the rabbit hole.”
      I prefer the literal meaning. I can’t be the only searcher here who has actually looked into a rabbit hole?

  16. I don’t really know much about this and I do not have access to the books related to the search. Also, I do not have the means to do research on location, so I am pretty much limited to the poem, the blogs I can freely download like here and maps. But maps I find bewildering, it’s limited to place names but difficult to understand the topography and all the natural features in the land. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack without something definite to go by.

    I have looked for where there are canyons, arroyos, waterfalls and hot springs and also remains of ancient Pueblo sights, thinking that maybe treasures new and old might be indicated by the treasures of archaeological remains, But there are a lot of them. But that helps to narrow the search down some. That is if those basic landmark clues are all within the same area indicated by the poem.

    Fenn has stated that any ordinary school boy could figure it out. He’s also expressed that he’d like some ordinary hick who might need financial aid in hard times, so I am thinking the poem clues are not that complex, but there seems to be the need for an aha! moment when uncovering the answer to where the first clue is located. And it’s still needed to figure out the rest of it. But that if one is solid on the first clue, one is much more likely to finally find where the treasure lay.

    I have a hunch, not sure it’s sound, that maybe searching in the Yellowstone area between Montana and Wyoming is too obvious. And so far no one seems to have found it there. I also have a hunch but have no reasonable reason for having it, that the actual location is in Colorado, perhaps anywhere between Pikes Peak and Mesa Verde.

    I have no idea if it’s on public or reservation land, but that doesn’t seem to matter, if someone takes the treasure privately the same way Fell privately placed it there. At the point of recovering it from where ever it is, what difference does it make where it is? Probably, I imagine Fell already made legal assurance, waver for whoever may recover it, if they should bother even to make that claim.

  17. I ‘ve tried all of the above and then some. But mostly I like to read others solves and try to refine what they have proposed. Or find images of the search area and post them on twitter. I have some of dogs in Clear Creek, Cimarron Canyon right now. Sometimes I will be reading articles about Yellowstone and think that it somehow fits the poem. I recently read, and posted, an article about the upper Madison that had me thinking that the various holes along the river fit the poem.
    When I go out on a real search I will pull over, walk a couple hundred feet until I find a place to sit, and get the vibe of the area. That’s where I find it.

  18. Hey, what about “the lurker” – the searcher that does nothing but read the blogs and has no interaction with their fellow searchers?

  19. That was humorous, thanks..

    But I want to point out, in my opinion, those doing anagrams are not code breakers. We are artists.

    Making good anagrams is an art. It is a talent that some have and most do not because they don’t bother practicing.

    Thanks for your humor.

  20. Thanks for the article. I am definitely a code breaker. However the best code breaker I have found to date is Nyquil. The stuff really works.

  21. JD

    There is also Ariadne’s thread.

    The idea that multiple ways are necessary for a solve.

    That may be where you live.


  22. I only see two different types of searchers on HOD. Those who are fairly certain that they are correct and those who know that they are correct. At this rate crows will become an endangered species before it’s found.

    • LOL! I ate mine extra cold last in the warm breeze last weekend. But, while I was on my last search, I came across other seekers that were on the verge of suffering frostbite they were experiencing such cold. Yes, I helped them up and they were grateful for the warmth I provided. I was more influential than their close friends and I feel that I help in their survival. My crow is slowly beginning to taste like chicken. You are what you eat though, that’s why you’ll never catch me eating chicken!

    • Randawg,

      A good question, although many don’t understand what ‘poem purist’ actually means, to those who say they are.

      The idea is that “All the information to “Find” repeat Find/ located the chest is within the poem.” In the mountains N.of SF is a direction to look. A poem purist, like everyone else, knew of 9 clues contained with in the poem. These are not answers… but information everyone had to start with.
      The answers to Finding the chest should be in the poem by way of answered clues… poem purist believe the poem gives up those needed answers, the clues themselves, and not so much outside resources.

      One thought is; sure, the stories in the book can help with the clues, but the book is not needed… and more often than not… is confusing because it adds more rabbit holes to complicate thoughts, than helps.

      fenn has said; [ paraphrasing ] there are very subtle hints in the book that can help with the clues, and not deliberately placed to aid a searcher… if you can recognize them…
      But the poem will lead you to the chest if you can decipher the clues… hence; all the information to “find” the chest is in the poem.

      The poem purist doesn’t rely on outside resources; such as bible verse, Latin [ or any other language ] Other authors books etc etc.

      But that is not to say they don’t utilizes maps because they are unfamiliar with a location they may never been too, or look up a word they are not completely familiar with… they work with what the creator of the poem said; In the mountains N.of.SF is a chest full of gold that can be found if you follow the 9 clues contained in the poem that will lead you to it.

      But some say, you can’t be a “poem purist” if you know of 9 clues or in the mountains N. of SF…
      That is just semantics from those who want answers to be everywhere else because the poem is Difficult, and not really attempting to see the work that took 15 years to accomplish.

      Dang… that’s along definition. I’d bet google is glad I don’t work for them.

      • Seeker,

        At the risk of engaging…

        You speak as though you know the nine clues are intended each as a direction or a plotted confirmation on a map that is meaningful. What if the nine clues are themselves just clues, just more allusions intended to “set” you into the general vicinity, where then the 24 lines are more meaningful? For example, I am currently following an idea that there are nine allusions, the Ennead, found in the poem that suggest a vicinity of Pyramid Peak, CO. These are not directional clues, but I believe an allusion of the number nine to help get me started thinking toward an Egyptian theme. Suddenly, I can start to see Egyptology allusions from the book. They won’t help me in any of the poem’s directional clues, per se, but will get me thinking and connecting along the lines of Egyptology.

        Realizing that you are not interested in after-the-fact information, but will still pull Fenn quotes to support your arguments, what does the following mean to you?

        – “I would advise new searchers to look for the clues in my poem and try to marry them to a place on a map.”

        – “Read the clues in my poem over and over and study maps of the Rocky Mountains. Try to marry the two.”

        One can read those sentences in different ways. “Marry” implies to me a sort of dualism which to me should be further explored. What does the term “marry” imply to you, out of all of the other word options that were available? Why not “overlay”, “compare”, “review”, “combine”, or any of the other options? Why emphasize “marry” on separate occasions?

        Excepting Atum/Ra as the creator, the Ennead are paired.

        • Alternative concept.

          “Wedding of the Waters” relates to Wind River. Google it for details.

          Gives you a general area tied to your marriage idea that is not Pyramid Peak.

          Which is right, if either? From whence does confidence arise?


          • Re confidence, who knows but Fenn? I use a false confidence in all of my approaches just to start to build a case. Otherwise nothing would arise for me. Everything would remain random. It’s also what investigators and scientists do, start with a hypothesis and build upon it until it proves false. Or true.

            From a decoding perspective, I’m reviewing where warm waters halt as the word “oasis”, which can be transliterated as wHAt {Aa2 X1 N25}. From a geonames perspective, I also like the idea of Frigid Air Pass because of the hint of the washing machine (Frigidaire, also a freezer) from the book.

          • If you like freezer, here is one for you.

            Line 7: “Far to” = “F ar(e) T O!”
            Line 23: “You are” = “U ar(e) E”
            Line 2: “TreasUres”
            Swap T w F and U w E.
            Creates: FreasEres.

            But if you didn’t like Wind from Li es 5&6, I’m sure you will hate this one. LOL!


          • Thanks, Dal. Had not read that one. My interest is less with the Thermopolis area than the Wind around Dubois, but it was a good read, anyway.


        • EC ~ “Realizing that you are not interested in after-the-fact information, but will still pull Fenn quotes to support your arguments,..’

          I’ll do you a favor and not engage… you have no clue of what you say…

          • Except its author, in the context of the poem, perhaps no one has a clue, including you. In the context of how you present, arguable.

      • Seeker,
        Good points! What does “poem purist” actually mean? I find it difficult to believe a searcher would not use all Chase resources at his/her disposal. I’ll digress and quote from a movie I like, “People will read again!” I have to believe that’s the case in The Chase, as well, regarding TTOTC and post-TTOTC comments from Forrest.

        Twingem also made a great comment above regarding “the intuitive dreamer searcher” that I believe is quite relevant. Are epiphanies the product of a collision of thoughts from the conscious and subconscious minds? Is this collision not simply a sudden surge of intuition? Is it possible to access our subconscious mind on demand and in a productive manner? It’s my belief the human mind is capable of intuiting in different ways.

        From my own experience, I’ve found I take a very strict “poem purist” approach after I’ve reached what I feel is a complete solve. Because Forrest has stressed on multiple occasions the information in the poem will lead you to the TC, I use a poem-only approach as a final ‘sanity check’ – that’s just the method I use, FWIW. The premise being: Can I get to this spot/area using only the information contained in the poem?

        Please pardon my rambling. Thank you, FMC, for an entertaining read. 🙂

        • Joe,
          Appreciate the comment. But I think you should know I don’t consider myself a poem purist. I just don’t go haywire looking for info outside the chase. I may refresh the old brain-cell now and then, looking up things I should know about, forgot about, or never fully understood before…

          The term poem purist was coined by an other who could not fathom the thought that the poem could contain the information needed. So folks like me took the blunt end of what fenn has told us. “all the information to “find” the chest is in the poem.

          I just posted a comment to Bowmarc [odds n end threads] that gives the “idea” the poem, not only holds “all the information to “find” the treasure chest” but may tell us where other information is, that will help.

          The idea is that the poem can explain how to solve itself… if that makes me a poem purist, I’m ok with that… my only idea is… the poem should explain that… poetically. We just need to listen to what is being said.

          {my one example was} “brave and in the wood” and how “Hint of riches new and old” might align with a thought process of how to proceed with understanding the poem.. which seems to fall in line with fenn’s many comments over the years… only I took it a step further with the hypothetical that fenn was no longer in the picture… and the poem explains what fenn has been saying all a long… IF he wasn’t around to say it.

          • Hello Seeker. I’m not sure if I understood the latter part of your comment. With what you stated, and the knowledge that Mr. Fenn had changed the poem because he beat his cancer, does your thoughts still coincide with this?

          • PD,
            All we seem to have has far as changes are; words and their multiple meanings, and a line which was to say something like ~ take the chest and leave my bones.
            We don’t know how many changes or even if another line was omitted or added.

            The words would have to be relatively the same; example only, IF ‘stop’ was in place of halt… fenn would have change stop to halt to make a similar rhyme or visa versa. Or for any of many reasons to change a word’s usages… But the premise should have remained somewhat the same, only more to his likening in this final product. [example halt can mean; ‘stop’ or it can mean; a change… either or both may have been needed, hence the possible change.

            The idea is… the poem should have been done IF fenn was going to leave at the time of going to his final resting place, with that thought, the poem would be almost identical as it is the way we see it, with the change in the line we know of.

            I mean, can you see any other possible changes that would be completely different than what was presented to us in 2010? because he survived…
            He had to omit “leave my bones” right? So, many readers would like to think this change happened in stanza 4… whcih seems the most reasonable and logical.
            IF it was something changed in stanza 6… well, that would screw up my interpretation.

            It’s hard to work with the woulda shoulda coulda and what might have been.

          • Good question PDenver…which compelled Seeker to talk about the suggested omitted line…”leave my bones”… Another comment from Fenn was something like “and leave my bones alone”.
            I have often wondered if that was the ONLY part that changed in the poem? That, and the second line of the fourth stanza to make the rhyme pattern consistent.
            With a little bit of imagination it may be a good indicator of sorts for the blaze.

      • If one is aware of the “direction” north of Santa Fe and that there are 9 clues in the poem, then they can’t really be a “poem purist”. Sounds like you are saying that they can use selected Fenn quotes that they have overheard, as long as they don’t buy or read his books? The concept doesn’t make sense anyway. To not use all of the tools you’ve been given is illogical. I could drive to the market in the rain at night without windshield wipers or headlights but why would I? I believe you have to use all of the resources Mr Fenn has provided (and then some) to find his chest. Sorry but that’s my opinion.

        • That may be how it sounded to you, but not what was said.
          I didn’t say it, I repeated what others have said.

          You completely lost the idea of why a poem purist was called a poem purist in the first place… they use the information available at the time, [ release of the book that contains the poem ]. Even excluding many if not all ATF’s ~ because the information supplied upon the release of the book should be enough.

          While others say that is impossible…saying; major research, other sources, other than the avenue that presented the poem… must be used… the ideas of needing to know Spanish, or the bible, or head pressure, or read all the SB’s with the idea they must contain needed clues etc.
          IF that was all true… then the poor smuck who bought the book on opening day in 2010 had absolutely no chance of solving the clues.

          It has nothing to do with using or not using anything that came out later… the “idea” is to only concentrate on what was at the very start.

          This idea, the premises, has been suggested by fenn as well, over the years… get back in the box, don’t look for answers outside, the poem has all the information to find the chest, the one who can best adjust…
          The idea is to work with what we only knew of from the start:
          In the Mountains, N.of SF is a Treasure that can be found If you follow {precisely} Nine clues Contain in a Poem, by deciphering those clues.

          You want to change the idea of a poem purist to be the same as the person who coined it… that is to say… it can’t be done without outside sources.
          ***Remember… the searchers who attempt the challenge in the “poem purist” method, never called themselves that… it was originally meant as a derogatory put down.
          Those who have been around long enough to remember that, understand that.

          • All,

            My solution is based on the poem.

            ATFs = I consider them as suspects.

            For example: “Where a man of 79/80 can go.” I think it restricts too much.

            Most people think that at that age the person can not take anything anymore. This is a mistake.

            For I know many 79/80 who do things, which I (48) would not do.

            Other: “The place is special for FF.”

            A place to be special does not have to be beautiful or pleasant.

            This “special place” may have only some special “meaning”.


            The poem is part of the text of the book TTOTC.

            So the “poem purist” is not wrong in considering the TTOTC information.

            What is not convenient is “to base” your solution on other information, other than the poem and the TTOTC.

            ATFs and other sources, should “only” serve as indirect support to the clues.

            In the same way that the landscape supports the central point of an oil painting.

            ATFs, and other things, give the “big picture” theme.

            However the focus of the “big picture” is in the poem.

            In my opinion, this is how the “Thrill of the Hunt” should be seen.

            I consider myself a purist, not literal. I look for the “meaning” of the poem.


  23. I know I said I would be mum here until I returned from my search, but had to comment on this thread. I’m glad to see *poem purists* rated near the top of the post. I don’t know if that is good or bad, however I’m rooting for those who are.

    It was well done and had fun reading, good job!!

    • Good thought CharlieM. I believe that the original author of this labeling charade declares to be a poem purist…so yes that would be the correct assumption.
      As a side note to that…I would just add that being able to find humor amidst the sometimes wayward and crazy nature of this Chase, is paramount to remaining a healthy activity that welcomes and embraces everyone without too much emphasis on the negative side. So far, here, this has been the case.

  24. YIKES! Some of our thought processes have been exposed. Lol
    If you rearrange the 7 groups you can also come up with the evolution of some searchers. Lol very funny & well written

    • Wildbirder….good to see you and I like your idea of the evolution of a searcher. Aligns with my own. I’ve been expecting you to chime in soon with a response to the many comments about “eating crow”. As a fellow birder, I hate that term and hope the blog will start using another. Or we can accept what is and recognize another group of searchers…”The Crow Eaters”.

      • Sandy…I for one will not use *that* term any further. It is humorous to a point…but definitely should not be overtaxed.

  25. What doesHoD stand for or ATF. I know I am showing what a bird brain I am but I don’t UNDERSTAND acronyms. HELP!

  26. I don’t worry about old sayings. Let them eat crow. Lol I had a nice pot pie or two after a search or two.
    I don’t post much because I don’t like rehashing things. I guess I am a dreaded lurker.

    • The fact that you have posted at all takes you out of the “Dreaded Lurker” category. Thanks for coming out of the shadows – We enjoy your pretty colors – JDA

  27. I’m mostly a poem purist with a little bit of code breaker lately to cooborate my solve after the fact. I have found the perfect solution that aligns with the map, but I also have hints from Q&As and the book, and a couple other sources I won’t divulge quite yet that line up with my solve which has never been posted online before. All you need is the poem and a good map. I’m about 95% certain I can walk to the TC with confidence and will do so in early August. I believe that Forrest routinely names geographic features in the WWWH area but mixes them with other words to subtly disguise them. He’s practically dangling the answer in front of everyone like a giant pork chop.

      • Thanks JDA, I have a team of 4 going and will have a personal locator beacon on me. Part of my search team knows what I’m up to with certainty, the other may get a bit of a surprise when I say look quickly down on our hiking trip lol.

    • Hi Eric I can’t say why we choose Aug as our search time. I was wondering why Aug? And where do you search? We search NM.

      • Wildbirder I will be in Wyoming and like JDA not searching in Yellowstone. I chose August, let’s use Yellowstone for my example, some of the trails there are still closed until late July due to bear activity, the creeks and rivers are still swollen from snow melt with lots of mud and some of the higher elevation trails are still snow covered until late July. August should provide the safest opportunity to ford a river or creek should I need to on my trip. Most of my hike will be around 7,000 feet in elevation but I will be at 9,000+ for part of it and will likely ford a river or two that could be knee or waist high at that time of year. Later than August and you risk getting snowed on, though that can happen there any time of year.

        • Darn Eric, does this mean that I need to schedule my next outing before August? Just Joking. Doubt we are in the same area, but even if we are, the Rockies are BIG. 🙂


          • JDA I thought you might have had my spot pegged until you went on Memorial Day. I’m pretty sure we’re not in the same location.

        • I am also confident that anyone else going out to the location of the TC is going to really have to work hard for it before August or I would be in the car on my way already and not waiting patiently in my armchair.

        • Thanks safe journey. Not sure if we will search this year money is an issue but my hubby’s back is bigger issues
          He was having issues finding work he could do because of back pain. FINALLY got him to a good back Dr. who did a complete look includi g x-rays. Guess what hubby BROKE his back when he was 14 (his is 69 now) we worried it will need to be fused. But in could be worst. We like to say we are stressed but blessed.

  28. HEBGEN backwards:

    Clearly (tongue in cheek) indicates the Chest is near a creek in the Madison Range north of Hebgen Lake :

    TTOTC p.60 “Surely the rippling brooks would be grateful for our company and the grizzlies would understand that we were just exploring the area and meant no harm.”

    This. is why I don’t attempt code breaking. …..although a creek in the Madisons sounds good….


  29. oh oh oh, my hand is up pick me!

    How about the person who says nothing for months and then the comment he posts says…


  30. This article is so funny! Thanks for sharing this article!

    What do you get when you cross a “Code-Breaker” with a “Free Associationer”?

    “Breaking Free” ?????

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