The Poem Married to a Map…


BY CharlieM


I started my search for the treasure in July of 2017, after a pastor was found dead along the Rio Grande River. I did do a physical search in the very first part of August 2017, which turned out to be unsuccessful. I did leave the poem at the “home of Brown” only because Forrest Fenn had set the elevation limit at 10,200 feet, Also, at the time I went I was searching through remains of structures that could be considered wood. However Forrest said the treasure was not associated to a structure, which I learned after I had returned from my first search. As it turns out that I had what I believe was the correct, “where warm waters halt,” and the correct, “home of Brown.” From that point on I was way off base with “below”, preceding the home of Brown and the rest of the poem.

I tried to visit the area where I thought that the treasure was hidden, June 11, 2018. The road in was closed because of the closure into the wilderness due to the 416 fire north of Durango. This resulted in the closure of the San Juan National Forest the same day that I would have liked to search with my wife along. We stayed at the Grand View Hotel in Silverton, Colorado that evening and toured the town. For those that have been following Dal’s blog, I said I couldn’t get into the search area because a culvert in the road had been washed out. I said that only to misdirect and not give away where I wanted to search, just call me paranoid.

One week later my close friend and I had planned a second attempt to go, but the road between Silverton and Ouray had a mud slide and damaged part of the road, which was later one lane was opened. So we planned another trip a week later, then we found out two days before we were to go that the road outside of Fairplay was closed because of a flash flood, fortunately we could make a small detour around.

It surely seemed that the cards were stacked against me and trying to prevent me from getting to the area I wanted to search. Finally I and my friend were able to go to the area where I believed the treasure was hidden on June 18, 2018 with beautiful weather for the full trip and back. 

The following marriage of the poem to a map and my reasoning for finding what I considered a good location of the treasure. The tools that I used to find the treasure is; the book, The Thrill of the Chase, because it contained the Poem and for the life of me I couldn’t find subtle hints. I also used Google Maps along with Google Maps, just to check the elevation and to obtain the grid coordinates. I am a poem purist and did not look for hidden meanings, as I believe Forrest at his word when he said something to the effect; the poem is straight forward and in plain English.

So here I go through the poem to explain how my path became to be. I believe my path would be hard to dispute and because the poem fits very easily to a map, without being forced. The path I took was using a map until where parked to go on foot.

As I have gone alone in there (I is to mean Forrest Fenn and in there is the Rocky Mountains)

And with my treasures bold, (the chest and its contents being mostly of gold)

I can keep a secret where,

And hint of riches new and old. (Forrest is saying there are hints throughout the poem. The riches new and old, is the very old and newer contents of the Chest, including the chest.)

Begin it, where warm waters halt, (I believe, Begin it, to mean the Chase, the search or start. I have heard over the years the references to the warm waters of the Rio Grande River. The river truly does halt at the headwaters after the snow melts off of the mountains during the summer. Also one could consider following the river up to its end where it halts at the headwaters. The Rio Grande River was put out of bounds for searching by Forrest because of the loss of lives. The rest of the Poem is not near nor follows the river.)  

And take it in the canyon down, (take it, to me means the search or your search. From the headwaters there is basically one way to go and that’s because the river is off limits and the other is because there is really no place to go. So I took the canyon down toward Howardsville. At the headwaters down to the road, there is no road or path to take, but you can use Google Maps.

Not far, but too far to walk. (In the era that we live in 5 to 20 miles is not far and for me 7 miles is too far to walk. It just so happens that from the headwaters to put in is approximately 10 miles, which is not far, but it is too far to walk.) 

Put in below the home of Brown. (If I had not been to Silverton, I would have not known that the elevation continues to drop through the town to the put in spot, which is where you would meet Hwy 550. If you were to take the canyon up to Brown Mountain, the home of Brown, just outside of town you would be immediately beyond 10,200 feet, so the Silverton area is truly below Brown Mountain. You merely passed through Silverton to the put in spot. So far nothing is associated to a structure.

From there it’s no place for the meek, (This is where I struggled, if I had not gone through from Silverton to Ouray, I would have not known it was no place for the meek. From the put in spot you head north on highway 550 from Silverton is the Million Dollar Highway, which ends in Ouray. When you view the hwy from Google Maps it shows the road to be the Million Dollar Hwy. I thought what a subtle hint, at the time when Forrest hid the treasure, it was valued at a million dollars. The route between Silverton and Ouray the road has many steep hairpin turns with very little to no shoulders and follows a very steep rocky canyon. This area is definitely no place for the meek whether driving or on foot. In talking with people that have visited the area, they say they preferred not to drive the highway which has less than a handful of guard rails. To fully appreciate this area as no place for the meek, one needs to visit the area. I need to note that when viewing the road from Google Maps doesn’t help in determining the road and area as no place for the meek.

The 2 images below show part of the canyon that the Million Dollar Highway goes through. The image on the left, in the middle is the Million Dollar Highway. The image on the right shows the steep the canyon.


The end is ever drawing nigh; (Just out of Silverton, going north slightly west, approximately. 2 miles towards “no place for the meek”, there is the dirt road 558. Viewing the entire length of the road from Google Maps, the road continues slowly drawing to the left from highway 550 to the very end of the dirt road 558. Down the road about 4 miles in is the search area.  Road 558 has campgrounds along the way by the South Fork of Mineral Creek.)

There’ll be no paddle up your creek, (The no paddle creek is Clear Creek, just above the last campground, which it is very narrow and starts up high at a natural lake which is Clear Lake. There is no trail up the creek and it is steep).

Just heavy loads and water high, (The only way up the creek is “just” using a vehicle which is “heavy loads”. “Just” up the creek is Clear Lake, which is “water high”.)

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, (There is a trailhead just above the last campground it is the Ice Lake Trail which quickly goes above the altitude limit of 10,200 feet. The blaze for the trail is not the blaze, because, looking quickly down, is the upper campground. If you look at the road up to Clear Lake from Google Maps, the zigzagging of the road makes a mark on the mountain side. I believe the road is the Blaze. One cannot see the entire blaze (Clear Lake Road), from the base or from the top, while being physically on site. To go up the four wheel road it quickly is above the elevation limit)

Look quickly down, (this is from the base of Clear Lake Road, the blaze, looking quickly down from Google Maps, is the South fork of Mineral Creek. One cannot see the creek below from the blaze while on site because of tall Booth’s Willows all along the valley. You however can see all from the “big picture”, Google Maps. Google Maps is created by snapshots from the satellite and all those are combined to make a big continuous picture.)

your quest to cease, (Now you can see the area by looking quickly down this is the area that may contain the treasure in the wood.)

But tarry scant with marvel gaze, (For me, means to not dawdle and don’t be late gazing at the marvelous find.)

Just take the chest and go in peace.

So why is it I must go and leave my trove for all to seek? (I believe the reason why Forrest Fenn is primarily trying to get people off of their duffs and enjoy what nature and the mountains have to offer. Secondly there was the recession where people where struggling financially and he was hoping to share his fortune to help someone out, especially those with families.)

The answer I already know, I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak. (This sentence is just what it says, he did it tired and now he is weak from hiding the treasure.)

So hear me all and listen good, (Pay close attention to the following)

Your effort will be worth the cold. (I believe this is reference to cold water, (South Fork of Mineral Creek), the water you may be in to retrieve the chest.)

If you are brave and in the wood, (There is a pile of washed down tree trunks that is partially blocking the water flow. You would need to be brave and careful while searching through the wood. In the effort to search the wood you will be in water, hence your efforts will be worth the cold. On one end of the pile of wood is what could be considered an island covered with willows, this could also be considered wood. I thought of Gardner’s island when I saw the island.)

I give you title to the gold.

I may be wrong, but who knows I might be right. I may have missed something, but I feel this is a very good solution. Another thing came to my mind, its ten miles down the canyon to put in, its two miles towards no place for the meek and approximately miles four miles to the search area. Remember Dr Pepper, 10-2-4, what a coincident, just saying.  

Below is a image of the search area which is tied to stanza six of the poem.

Below are two images of the route taken that the poem is referencing. I followed the directions given in the poem to find the treasure. However I did physically drive to the parking spot and then I walked to what I believed the immediate area of the chest. I did not drive the entire path of the Poem to the treasure, but I did follow the poem married to a map in effort to retrieve the treasure.

It was a good thing that I took my best friend along to help me search. I am a below the knee amputee and going through the willows with a walking stick was a good thing to help maintain balance. The willows were very hard to navigate through for me as well as my friend. Our feet kept getting tangled at times. My friend went down and had a hard time getting up because there really wasn’t anything sturdy to hang onto except for the walking sticks. An 80 year old could walk from his car and through the willows. Don’t let the two images above fool you, as they dated back to 2007 and the area has changed since then.

You couldn’t see the area where I believed the treasure was hidden from the road because of the tall willows. No one could see us working through the wood to find the treasure. We went through the logs from the upstream side as the water was more shallow compared to the downstream side. We removed branches and silt that were mixed in while searching, from the topside of the wood, down to the water was very damp. We searched in every nook and cranny from end to end and even used a flashlight to see under the wood in the water, just by the mere chance the treasure was dislodged. We were wet all the way up to our shoulders and at times covered with debris. A large majority of the wood is above water, keep in mind Forrest said that the treasure wasn’t underwater and that it was wet. We didn’t take pictures of the wood and the immediate surroundings as we were trying to maintain balance and not to step into deep holes in the water, along with the excitement. We worked through the wood for about three and a half hours. We also did a very thorough search of the island with all its willows and along the banks on the other side. We also search through more wood upstream and downstream from the wood we initially searched.

Where I believed the treasure was hidden one could clearly see that this location would not be stumbled upon, nor would anyone have an interest in going through the willows. If I were to die in the location I would not be found for a very long time. Who in their right mind would want to fight through the willows even to go fishing? We did see bear scat and deer tracks and absolutely no one was around even though the campgrounds and the parking areas were busy. The biggest aggravation was those tiny flies that bite; it’s like flies all over a carcass. No treasure was found, but I and my friend enjoyed every minute of the excursion.

For those that are interested, the grid coordinates are 37 degrees, 48’19.28”N Longitude, 107 degrees 45’48.95”W Latitude, at an elevation of 9800 feet.

Below is a photo taken from the tailgate of the truck looking over the willows where we parked. The entire area is absolutely gorgeous and a perfect place to hide the treasure and rest forever.

  by CharlieM –



61 thoughts on “The Poem Married to a Map…

  1. CharlieM;

    NICE – NICE area! Beautiful scenery. Your solve seems well thought-out. Congrats.

    Yes, it seemed like the “Solve Gods” were not making things easy for you. Congrats on your perseverance.

    Glad you didn’t fall down one of those canyons.

    Thanks for sharing your solve with us – Sorry you didn’t find her – JDA

  2. Nice solve. I’m too much of a perfectionist I guess, but you put “I can keep A secret where”—it should actually be “:I can keep MY secret where”. But love the story and the photos!!

    • I think you are incorrect….The way you say it is implying he has only one secret. The way Forrest said it is implying he has more than one secret.

  3. Charlie M…
    I was on my way to Purgatory and was also challenged by the 416 fire. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  4. CharlieM, thanks for sharing and those that do, help others & you in our quest.
    “There’ll be no paddle up your creek, (The no paddle creek is Clear Creek, ”
    Could you give some reasoning why this is your creek?

    “Just heavy loads and water high, (The only way up the creek is “just” using a vehicle which is “heavy loads”. “Just” up the creek is Clear Lake, which is “water high””
    That would mean “too far to walk” may mean the same thing as where you need a vehicle.
    You got caught double dipping.

    Beautiful adventure, makes me want to get out there now!

  5. Very nice solve Charlie, and thanks for sharing. I’m glad the roads finally opened up and you got to search and explore in the San Juans. I’ve thrashed thru the willows of South Mineral many a time as the creek is prime Brookie fishing…fun little gold panning creek as well. I’m a little surprised you didn’t see a moose or two! It doesn’t sound as though you took the trek over to Stony Pass – headwaters of the mighty Rio Grande. That is bucket list country, and highly recommended if you return to the Silverton area – where treasures indeed are to be found.

  6. Hi Charlie, I think you already know how beautiful I think that area is. Your solve brought back some great memories for me. I am sorry you had so many obstacles and that you were not able to find the chest. It does sound like you had a great experience with your friend. Thanks so much for sharing. Kind regards, Dave

  7. That looks like a beautiful area! You definitely have persistence. Great story and thanks for sharing. I don’t believe my wife would like me driving on that highway, but if I get the chance I certainly want to. Maybe I will plan a trip through there and just not tell her. LOL.

  8. Thanks for posting your solution, CharlieM. As you have posted it in the last hour or so, I haven’t had a chance yet to peruse your logic. Will try to do that later. But what I can say that I agree with, with just a cursory glance, is that your search did not take you to the Yellowstone/Gallatin area. Congratulations on that decision.

    Ken (in Texas) 🙂

  9. Thanks Charlie, I love reading people’s solves. Can you talk about your logic for wwwh ? I didn’t follow why you consider the rio grande to be warm ? And where exactly it halts (stops). I think you are defining halt as were it begins (headwaters reference) but I’m not sure, and that is it a very general area of San Juan mountains…and In my opinion a difficult interperation of water halting.

    • MikeD,

      I would like to suggest using GM and type in headwaters of the Rio Grande, its pretty precise place. I don’t know what to say about Halts, Its been explained, I think.

      • Ah you were referring to Headwaters Park, sorry. I thought you meant the high streams that feed the river, there are multiple. The “warm water” references I’ll have to research. Thanks again!

      • CharlieM,
        Ok I buy the halts part of what you said but I agree with MikeD that the explaination of WARM is not clear. You said: ” I have heard over the years the references to the warm waters of the Rio Grande River.”

        What references….heard where? Surely the headwaters at ~12000 ft aren’t considered warm.

        My second question would be about the decision to jump over the CD into another canyon (actually a series of canyons) to head toward Silverton. Forrest said “The treasure chest is not under water, nor is it near the Rio Grande River.” This doesn’t preclude following the “canyon down” that is more closely associated with your WWH (Rio Grande drainage) some distance as long as you don’t end up ‘near’ the Rio in the end….does it?

  10. sounds like you were working hard,nice pictures.the million dollar highway is a very dangerous highway,lots of people get killed on that road.people need to watch what they are doing on that highway.I think its just too far for mr. forrest to go out of his way to hide the chest there,I could be wrong tho.remember no dangerous place.sounds like you found a beaver dam.good luck in your next far as yellowstone,mr. forrest loved that area.I am just trying to figure the poem out.for years I’ve read,studied,wrote,used computor and paper to write on for notes.I come up with different things.but I’m going to keep trying.

  11. What a beautiful picture at the end!!!
    Glad u finally got to search. You did well trying to figure it out. We all think so different
    I love it!!! At least you gave it a shot!!!

  12. CharlieM, thank for sharing. It was a lot of work doing this, and a lot of work making the
    search trip (not to mention the searching itself). I”m glad you and your search partner
    enjoyed the experience.

    The above is all in my opinion. I do have a couple questions, though: What would make that place — where you searched — special and important to FF? And do you think he would hide
    the TC in a place where bears live?

    • tighterfocus,

      F said his chapel is in the mountains and the place I believe is special for the reason the treasure is hidden there and it is a gorgeous place for the final resting place. I reminds me of the valley in, My war for me in the book.

      Just say’n, thanks for the inquiry.

  13. Hi, CharlieM. Thanks for sharing your solve.

    I think that the main idea that has me confused on your solve is how you decided on the headwaters of the Rio Grande as WWWH, but then took the canyon down in the opposite direction from where the Rio Grande flows on the other side of Stony Pass. This would make your true WWWH being the source of some tributary streams (Maggie Gulch or Cunningham Creek) that feed into the Animas River.

    Don’t get me wrong; I’ve considered the areas east of the Rio Grande Headwaters before too, but ruled that area out as not fitting the poem even before Forrest officially announced the Rio Grande to be crossed off our search lists.

    • Blex,

      I guess one could consider the Animus River, the canyon down also ends below the hoB, and I have never heard the Animus referred to as warm waters. There are many tributaries of the Rio Grande, combined is warm waters.

      Just my thoughts,

  14. suggestion CharlieM- start using the words treasure and chest in their proper context. your word usage made it difficult for me to follow the story.

    but I must congratulate you for finding the treasure. what a wonderful marriage, excellent work. as for the chest though I believe is at the Draper museum. lord only knows where the bronze box is. and yes, I agree completely in that forrest could rest his bones at your spot forever.
    thank you CharlieM.

    • dodo;

      Just because you interpret the meanings of treasure, chest and trove one particular way does NOT mean that your way is the one and only way.

      Most of us do NOT agree with you. Why should we change the way we see the world – just because you do not agree with us?

      Also, how you interpret these words is your OPINION not FACT, and you should so state – JMO – JDA

      • JDA- don’t change the way you look at the world.
        i’m not asking anyone to agree with me. just take a step back, look around to try something different. its time after 8 years.
        you are correct, my way is not the only way to see the treasure.
        my way is not the only way to see the trove.
        my way is not the only way to see the chest.
        thank you for pointing these things out.

        and whenever I say “I think.” it means the same thing as JMO.
        I think.

        • dodo bird,

          I agree with JDA on his thoughts about your comment to me. You said, “but I must congratulate you for finding the treasure”, I did not find the treasure, unless being in the area as a treasure. I really don’t follow what you are truly trying to say.

          Thanks for your input.

          • CharlieM- yes, anywhere in the great outdoors the poem leads you is the treasure. which, many have done.
            the chest of the poem is something else.
            the bronze box of gold and jewels is again something else entirely.
            this is what I’m truly trying to say.

            all in my opinion, not to be taken as fact.
            I think.

        • Out of curiosity dodo, what in the poem leads you to thinking that the chest, trove and treasure are all referencing different things. I read you thoughts on BBC and the museum, but I don’t see how the poem guides you to these discerning factors especially by just using the poem as Forrest has said all that is needed to get to the bronze box is the poem….

          • Treasure Happy- look up the definitions of those three words chest trove and treasure. you will see that they all have different meanings. the thing to “take” in the poem is chest. and yet Forrest states in TTOTC that ..”following the poem precisely will lead to the treasure and the end of his rainbow.” what about the chest? his “treasures bold” are the items he personally donated to the museum. and the “trove” is everything in the museum collectively.

            can you provide the quote from forrest where he said “all that is needed to get to the bronze box is the poem”? I believe you will find he used the word “treasure” and not bronze box. treasure as in the great outdoors.

            I think.

          • Dodo;

            Here it is: Hi Fenn,
            I’ve read your wonderful books and they didn’t help me one iota. The poem with your precious 9 clues is ambiguous, which means absolutely worthless in my opinion. I don’t think the BRONZE BOX can be found using the information that is currently available. I have arm chaired this thing to death. Why don’t you give me something I can chew on?
            Thanks for nothing, Outta Here

            Well Mr. Outta There, I will give you something to chomp on.
            Stop arm chairing that thing to death and get out in the trees where the “BOX” is, but before you go, look at the poem as if it were a map, because it is, and like any other map, it will show you where to go if you follow its directions. f

            How does this quote equate with your “three definitions?” – JDA

          • The below is copy and pasted from the cheat sheet on this site from a Q and A with Forrest:

            ♦ Q: Are you willing to say whether the place of the treasure chest is the same as the one where you had previously plotted to have your bones rest forever? “Yes it is. f”

            I believe this identifies that the meaning of the words treasure and chest are one and the same. I’m not sure if anyone could find anything that specifies exactly what you are asking because if I were Forrest, I would think I’ve answered that question a thousand times…The semantics you are depending on are a stretch IMO but we all have them so thank you for the different perspective.

          • JDA- thanks so much for that info. yes, I remember when FF put the word “BOX” in quotation marks. that confirms what I think. anything in quotes can be considered “so-called”. get it?

            and Treasure Happy- you may consider the words treasure and chest one in the same based on that comment if you wish…I do not.
            thank you.

          • This topic has taken up enough space…and probably could be put to rest if folks would just read TTOTC one or two more times and pay extra special attention to page 129 paragraph three starting with the word “Fortunately”.
            If that doesn’t do it for you in terms of explaining away this *idea?* then I don’t know what will.

          • – Dodo

            Aside from the Q and A mentioned above…
            If you read the last paragraph on pg 129 thru the end of the first paragraph on 131 of TTOTC you will see the words box, treasure and chest used interchangeable. The top paragraph on 131 also states, “…discovering a treasure chest containing more than twenty troy pounds of gold.” I’m not sure how you could interpret any of these examples to mean different things.

          • Treasure Happy- my point exactly! box, treasure and chest used interchangeably? but why?

          • Dodo – Occam sez FF did that simply because he wanted to…it doesn’t HAVE to mean something…simple creativity, freedom to choose different ways to describe something, etc.

          • As Ken so correctly stated – “This topic has taken up enough space…” Enough said! We will NOT change dodo’s opinion, so probably best that we all quit trying – including me – JDA

          • Dodo,

            I’m having a hard time understanding your flip flop on this conversation. First stating all 3 are different and yet you can use the words interchangeably as part of your “proof” that they are different makes my head spin in so many circles the rooster’s crowin’ and its 5pm over here LOL….Either way, my deliberation point has been exhausted on this topic and I hope you find the directions to the hidey spot in Draper area of museum and secure the chest!

  15. CharlieM,

    I like Clear Creek, that’s where Coor’s gets it water from. Anyway all kidding aside, I have searched in Black Hawk Clear Creek area. A known Brown of our history lived in Black Hawk – Central City area. Clear Creek has two omega’s on it on Route 6 and a image of a owl in the rock formation by one of them. This solve was when I was thinking out of the box, no luck there.

    Enjoyed your solve.
    Good luck in the future.


  16. Thanks for sharing CharlieM. I don’t agree with your ‘warm’ approach to the headwaters, I think you arbitrarily went to the west down the animas drainage (look up watersheds if you think headwaters are wwwh), and I don’t think a pile of logs in a creek/river will last 1000 years (all IMO), but thank you for sharing, and certainly keep at it, I’m sure you’ve already got a few new ideas.

    So the nerdgineer in me decided to do some back of the envelope calculations for people to better understand why the box (42lbs) would not survive most stream flows (despite FF telling us ITS NOT UNDER WATER):

    These comparisons are rudimentary, by no means the end-all-be-all as they involve several major assumptions. I am trying to show the relative forces some of us have experienced to compare to what the box may ‘feel’. Here are the major assumptions: it is easy to look up stream flows for most creeks/rivers in the rocky mountains, this is because all mountain water is managed to some degree…we need to know how to divvy it up for the farmers. Stream flows are usually reported as Cubic Feet (of water) per Second. In order to calculate drag force in fluid flow we need to know a couple things…first is the velocity of the fluid, for simplicity, I am assuming a uniform velocity at all depths (not reality, but the idea is most of us aren’t looking in 10 foot deep rivers…any scuba/snorkel folks out there?), water is slowest at the edges, in this case I’m trying to show that in a fast water scenario, like a flood, we would see pretty fast moving water. In order to guesstimate the water velocity I chose some stream flows (200 cu ft/s, 500 cu ft/s, and 2000 cu ft/s). Next I assume a river depth of about 3 feet and a width of 50 feet, this is what I would deem a ‘fishable’ river, or ‘medium’…it is not a small creek and it is not a major river like the Mississippi…but for me this would be similar to the North Platte during a lower water year (like we’re having)….this river dimension (Area = 150 sq ft) can then be divided into the stream flow to give you a velocity…so those 3 stream flows become 1.33 ft/s, 3.33 ft/s and 13.33 ft/s. (quick tip: if you need to judge the speed of water, drop/throw a stick in, count 10 seconds, see how far it went and divide by 10…if the number is over 10 be careful!) Next we need the density of water, I chose 50 deg F, since trout like temps close to this, for 62 lbs/cu ft. Next we need to make some assumptions about the shape of the object that is subject to these forces; I chose the drag coefficient of a cube (roughly the box) and a slightly lower number indicating a ‘smoother’ shape. Finally, we need to know the area of the object that is subject to these drag forces…a 5″x10″ face of the box was chosen, then I estimated the dimensions of my lower leg (3 ft x .5 ft x 2 legs)…the idea being, this is what you would feel as a fisherman standing in a river about 3 feet deep (again, ‘fishable’). And finally, we need to calculate the static friction forces required to move these objects…in other words can the force of the water overcome the friction forces holding the box in place…again major assumptions on coefficients of friction used…rubber on dry concrete is about 1, rubber on wet concrete is about 0.3 (the key here is that I’ve ignored buoyancy, so these are conservative and assume the river is not shifting directions/depth etc.)

    OK the fun part…for a river flow of 200 cu ft/s (about ankle deep for a 50′ wide river) the ‘smooth’ box experiences about 10 lb-ft/sec^2 up to about 20 lb-ft/sec^2 for a ‘rough’ box. As the river flow increases to 500 cu ft/s, the box experiences 60 lb up to 125 lb. And for a river flow of 2000 cu ft/s the box experiences 955 lb up to 2000 lb. The static frictional force of the 42 lb box (if it had a rubber bottom on dry concrete, ie a very conservative number) is 1351 lb-ft/sec^2…if we get more realistic that number goes down to about 400 lb-ft/sec^2.

    In other words, these calculations show that a higher flow river condition can EASILY up-end the box and send it down river. Nail Coffin…if your river/creek ever has the ability (what does a 100 or 1000 year flood look like in your area?) to flow above 1000 cu ft/s it is highly probable the box wouldn’t be there after that event.

    To compare to fishing, I used myself (175 lbs) standing in 3 feet of water moving at those flows…the static friction force to overcome is conservatively about 1689 lb ft/sec^2…in 200 cu ft/s water your legs (as a smooth cube, so not really but pretty conservative) would feel about 82 lb ft/sec^2, in 500 cu ft/s flow its 515 lb-ft/sec^2, in 2000 cu ft/s flows it goes to 8,262 lb-ft/sec^2 !!! In other words BE CAREFUL if the flows are high for that river!!!

    I know everyone is gonna jump in and say ‘but my no-paddle creek is always slow water’…that is the major point here…you can’t be sure of that…100 or 1000 year floods can and do happen more frequently than you think (those are just statistical analysis assumptions), it would be pretty dumb to put the chest in/near a creek that could flood and expect it to last 1000 years…and I can confidently say FF knows that (IMO haha!).

    • No argument from me Tbug. Spring Runoff varies widely, stream by stream and year by year. Not only that, but a big runoff will move the stream bed back and forth in its plain.

      If the chest was hidden very near a river, creek, or stream, it’s now either not where it was put or it’s buried (or a little of both).

    • What piled all of those logs up where CharlieM was searching? Exactly the sort of flow that Tbug is describing. To add another note of caution, stay well clear of log piles or downed trees that have any water flow through them. Strainers are second only to foot entrapment as a cause of fatal whitewater accidents.

  17. CharlieM – Thank you so much for sharing your adventure and solve process with us. I hope you reevaluate everything and give it another try sometime, and hopefully mother nature cooperates a little more next time too! Thanks again.

  18. Charlie M, this is where I got my confirmation from ff, now this says that I was on the right TRACK, it looks like not many people but another FISHERMAN would know this: WWWH

    “Someone unfamiliar with your poem receives a message that says “meet me where warm waters halt, somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe”. Would they be able to work out where to go? If they can’t, would they need the whole poem, another stanza, or just a line or word to help them on their way? ~Phil Bayman”

    “There are a few words in the poem that are not useful in finding the treasure Phil, but it is risky to discount any of them. You over simplify the clues. There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe. Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts. f ”

    “Mr. Fenn, Is there any level of knowledge of US history that is required to properly interpret the clues in your poem. ~Steve R”

    “No Steve R,
    The only requirement is that you figure out what the clues mean. But a comprehensive knowledge of geography might help. f ”

    Many searchers have thought that warm waters halt at a dam because water being released through flues near the bottom of the dam is much colder than water on the surface of the lake. I have discussed around that subject with several people in the last few days and am concerned that not all searchers are aware of what has been said. So to level the playing field to give everyone an equal chance I will say now that WWWH is not related to any dam.” ff

    Charlie M, Good job on putting one foot on top of another in your analysis, this to me is the only way to solve the Riddle. IMO Forrest left off something, after a comprehensive knowlege of Geography, a good understanding of fishing regs. Back in March of 2017…..

    There is a possibility that 32 Degrees Lat. is a mirror image of this WWWH. If so there is a secondary layer of the poem solution. IS HOME OF BROWN COLORADO?


    • TT,

      Thanks, can I grin or should I hold off for awhile? So, what your asking is NM the place to be? Maybe, then again.

    • Tom,

      Great stuff. Super helpful if everyone on the blogs shared that much info and research this chest would be found. There is no way one person is smarter than the collective wisdom of many. But I guess that’s not what TTOTC is all about …anyway:

      Phils question is helpful bc I think the only way to determine wwwh is either to pull hints from the first stanza as you suggest or imo more likely the next two lines; canyon and HOB. These collectively make the 1st clue (or 2?) . FF saying there are “lots of places wwwh in the Rockies “ is just maddening but confirms that point- wwwh alone gets you nowhere. We have a map with no names except HoB.

      I do like the fishing reg connection for warm waters but why “halt”? Is that a term used on signs you’ve seen? Halt doesn’t match the rhyme scheme it has to be absolutely critical to the 1st clue. If the point at which (on a map) warm and cold fishing waters meet , one could use “halt” That’s logical albeit an awkward choice of the word. It would also require a fish and game map from the state and/or local knowledge. Makes that theory less likely In my opinion .

      HoB wow Colorado ? Love that thinking I firmly believe a writer would use “Home of “ in that way when referring to the origin of something rather than someone’s house or a single mountain or Moreno Valley . If someone asked me the Home of Brown trout i’d say Colorado but a case could be make for Montana and anything with a guess or arbitrary solution doesn’t seem like an answer to a clue.

      Sorry I don’t have more to contribute I’m just getting started. Thanks again for the help.

      • Hi MikeD: gotta take issue with one faulty assumption you posted:

        “There is no way one person is smarter than the collective wisdom of many.”

        That’s a popular appeal from the average. Seems logical on paper, but fails spectacularly in reality. Do you think crowd-sourcing would have come up with general relativity before Einstein? Would have done a better job on the Sistine Chapel than Michelangelo? Proved Fermat’s Last Theorem before Andrew Wiles? Many problems do not benefit simply by throwing more people at the problem.

        • Hi Z,
          I shouldn’t have made my “assumption” in such absolute terms. Every google search is crowd sourcing and I think you’ll agree it’s pretty helpful because of the efficacy of the algothirm. It may be unwise To underestimate a focused team of “average.” But let’s agree to disagree (about needing Einstein to solve this) and debate wwwh.

  19. Good perseverance in completing your mission, but why did you believe that that area had any special significance to Forrest? “treasures new and old”, treasures old are memories that he is HINTING of. Good luck pn your next search, but remember the treasure is hidden in a very special place for Forrest and memories are what usually makes a place special. That is why he is hinting of treasures new and old.

  20. I think the treasure is in the Canyon down. Forrest Said people have deciphered the first to cllues then we went right past it this means it is in the canyon down

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