In The Canyon Down…


This is the place to discuss the line in the Poem..

“And take it in the canyon down,”

Is this line as direct and unambiguous as it seems, or is there more to decipher than meets the eye?

Do we need to know what “it” is before we can figure out where and what the canyon is?



214 thoughts on “In The Canyon Down…

  1. I think it’s worth noting that Forrest uses the word “in” rather than “through”. Does this mean we should enter the canyon but not leave? Are HOB and the Blaze inside the canyon along with the treasure?

    Most people appear to interpret the word “in” as if it were the word “through”…
    For instance when using Madison Junction as WWWH most folks go “through” or beyond the Madison Canyon to look for their HOB..
    Same is true of the Firehole Canyon..
    Brown’s Canyon..
    Is this the wrong approach?

    • Puzzle permutations for “Canyon”:

      C any on
      Can yon
      Cany on
      Can Y on
      Con nay

      Puzzle permutations for “Down”:

      D own
      Dow N
      Do NW
      D won
      D now
      Wod N
      W nod
      W don

      Other combinations possible, but these should be enough to get someone thinking outside the box. Personally, I prefer “cany on down” and “canyon D own” with the first phrase being much closer to the finish line than the second phrase, which I have as a general area starter hint.

      BOTG next weekend for first and only time this year, so I’ll find out whether fluid math works or not quite soon.


      • “fluid math ”
        Good luck Iowaengr.
        I wouldn’t leave Iowa in search of F’s treasure relying on math.
        The aftermath will tell you so.

        Thanks for the breakdown though.

        • a thinking thought is never the wrong approach its like polishing a star at a pot latch the gift that keeps giving even when your not 200 feet away you always have the prize in your pocket good day to you Sir and all.

      • Iowa,
        I just discovered your year-old Black Canyon solve on Dal’s Other Searchers Archive. Is this planned BOTG trip a new solve or the same Black Canyon solve?
        The chances of your reading my reply are not good, since your post is over a year old. If you do read this I am interested in exchanging ideas with you because, unlike most people out there, you believe that coordinates could be a crucial part of finding the treasure location. I have another take on hidden coordinates that you (and other searchers) would find very interesting, but with a different twist.


    • You are already in the canyon at WWWH, so it’s just natural for Forrest to use the word “in”. Then you travel “down”, which is actually up in elevation but south on a map. So – “In” because you are already in and “Down” because you need to go down south. IMO

    • To my way of (here-to-date clearly flawed, apparently) thinking, ‘take it in’ means nothing other than ‘enter’. You sell more books with a poem that says ‘take it in’ vs ‘enter’. All the great poets know this. If not, their agents inform them prior to going to print. Or they find better representation in light of dismal sales.

      You exit, if indeed you ever exit, when you’ve traveled not far and have arrived at whatever the heck the home of Brown is. It’s these later two clues, but not ‘in’ that determine for how long one stays within a canyon, IMO.

      In Cynthia’s recent Iron Spring solve, she drove on the convenient NPS-provided road that ran adjacent to her ‘canyon down’ before entering below hoB.

      So, if your tax dollars have funded a perfectly fine road that runs adjacent to a canyon down, a hard working American should feel every right to use that in lieu of slogging through some canyon, one might argue.

      Also, I’m still open to ‘down’ meaning south, even if the elevation rises. If one considers his comment in TTOTC that he would walk ‘down’ to the cemetery that was north of his house (and I don’t think there’s too much elevation change in Temple TX to argue this was at a lower elevation), then all radials become options for a ‘down’ direction. Plus, I think Sinks is a great ‘canyon down’ due to the word play sinks/down offers (and it’s full of aromatic sweet sage and pine).

      So what was the question again, please?

    • Dal,
      I’ll offer something I just posted on odds and ends about the poem because it is integral in understanding the canyon clue….

      Notice that the 3rd stanza does not use any pronouns. This is because the instructions in that stanza do not invoke a botg action until HOB line. These clues are only map based clues helping you narrow down your search field unitl you “put in”…I believe most of the third stanza tells us how to narrow down our search without botg till the “put in” and its backed up by the words Forrest uses that invoke an action from the searcher….

      Forrest said to pay attention to all the nouns in the poem…I believe he was talking about the pronouns and IMO, they are key to breaking this chase wide open….Follow the pronouns to decipher the poem. Split them up based on their use and you will unlock your solve!!

      I use this approach because it provides logic to the words and the way Forrest has put them together in the poem…He was an architect when he built this thing.

      It’s been 8 years and I want someone to find this thing…I hopes its me but either way, it may take the community to get enough boots out there at all logical spots the poem describes…
      All IMO

        • Good catch Zap, I’m referencing only I, me and my vs you or your…I referenced these specific pronouns under another thread and didn’t bother with this post. I didn’t think about someone not seeing the post from a day ago.

          • I don’t really need any new people to discuss the chase with, but you might consider that Put In is not an instruction.

            There are many put ins throughout the search areas and those are geographic locations. They are also nouns.

          • Thank you for the info Lugz…I consider put in to be a geographic location as well, I call it a trail head to be specific. I may not be using the correct blog lingo so I appreciate you pointing that out…My solve actually references 6 specific geo locations.

          • 6 and not 9?

            To me they are all geo locs and there are no instructions on how to move between them.

            Can I ask how you ocame to 6 and then what the other 3 clues represent for you?


          • 2 of my clues reference a direction/distance but do not define a geo location specifically and 1 is describing something rather than some place.

            I choose to describe the poem as a set of instructions that lead you to the chest vs just a map because a map alone is not enough to find anything by itself. My instructions contains a map, path to follow, map legend and a way to know what they are…but maybe we’re taking semantics now LOL

            I would prefer more clues because that’s the “meat on the bone”…You have nine, that’s awesome, I just can’t get anymore out of the poem from my interpretation…

            All IMO

          • Hi Lugnutz/Seeker: I get the whole “take it in” and “put in” stand-alone alternative interpretations, but the problem I see is that it reduces *just that stanza* to a sentence followed by a noun phrase with no verb, a dependent clause, and another verbless noun phrase:

            Sentence: “Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in”

            Verbless noun phrase #1: “The canyon down”

            Verbless dependent clause: “Not far, but too far to walk”

            Verbless noun-phrase: “Put in below the home of Brown.”

            If Forrest had maintained this theme of disjointed words and phrases without verbs throughout his poem (or at least elsewhere in the poem) then I’d consider it. But no — the rest of the poem is readable prose: subjects, verbs and objects — nothing dangling, no incomplete sentences. So treating “put in” as a noun, or “take it in” to mean “admire the view” breaks significantly from the pattern of the other 5 stanzas (as well as all his other poems Forrest has shared with us).

            Yes, some will argue “it’s a poem — he can do whatever he wants.” But I think it would be pretty anomalous to diverge so significantly in just this one stanza. That does not sound like a case of following Forrest’s advice to “Simplify if you can.”

          • Zap,

            To me, take it in the canyon down, is a motion or movement to go down into the canyon. I believe that there is a lot of movement in the poem up to the blaze and looking quickly down.

            Just say’n

          • Hi CharlieM: clearly our interpretations of the second stanza are similar. Specifically, my interpretation is:

            (You) begin it where warm waters halt
            And (you) take it in the canyon down,
            not far, but too far to walk.
            (You) put in below the home of Brown.

            It may not be the correct reading of that stanza, but it is the simplest, most straightforward, and most consistent with the remainder of the poem.

          • Zap –

            You are describing exactly what I think is happening. The “poem” is just the vehicle for delivery of clues. To me, instead of the poem he could have just said, Here are 9 clues that will lead to the end of my rainbow and my treasure.

            Where warm waters halt
            Canyon down
            Too far to walk
            Home of Brown
            Place for the meek
            Paddle up your creek
            Heavy loads and water high
            Found the blaze
            Quest to seek

            for example…

          • Seeker
            Interesting perspective, I have never thought of WWWH by applying the element of time and then maybe the lapsing of such changing the “viewable” scene…I applaud the creative approach! I will dwell on this for a few….
            I’m currently of the thought that the imagination is applied only to attach the hints to the clues, but the clues section of the poem is very literal. Begin it at WWWH starts as a spot on a map and you figure out the correct WWWH by applying the correct hint laid out in the poem and then continue to the next one…

          • OR is it? Why doesn’t Forrest use “you” in that stanza or better yet, why are we to assume that reference is what he meant…He does use it in 3 and 4 and I think if he wanted it to be there in 2, he would have put it there….
            The poem is simple once you understand how the words are structured thru out it. It’s like watching a magician do a simple card trick very well and you can’t figure it out the first time you see it. You have to watch it over and over. If you knew how it was done, you would say that’s easy and probably not appreciate the trick anymore.
            That doesn’t mean its simple to understand the first time seeing it. This is what I believe Forrest meant by simple (simple once understood) and he’s a wordsmith…And just because you know how the trick was done, you still would not be able to perform the “sleight” until you practice it over and over just like reading the poem over and over to recognize it. Look a stanza 1 and 5…what do they have in common? All “I” or “my”. What do 3 and 4 have? “You” or “Your” and that means something just like not have any of these references in the 2nd…It’s the best way to split the poem logically with a degree of recognition of “things”…
            Of course, all IMO

          • Treasure Happy,

            Good logic, and why it might be possible we read into the first stanza as us / a searcher.
            We can read the first line in stanza 2 as Begin it where… vs. begin it.
            Warm waters halt seems to be a reference to something involving waters that have something to do with the ‘state’ of waters… Yet, is “where” a place-?- or “begin it where” a place in time”

            fenn keeps saying this will be done mostly by imagination, And we have two more books with title that seem to refer to time ‘tftw’ now/present time about a past time… and… once upon a while, [ or the idea of once upon a time ] in the past, all books of “memoirs”

            fenn talks about “down the road” 100 years a 1000, even 10,000 years. Does the poem reflect the future “down the road only, or can it represent the past as well… even the first line in the poem starts in past tense “… have gone” and hints of riches “new” and “old”

            LOL then follows the two stanzas by saying If you’ve ‘been’ wise and ‘found’ the blaze.. again, past tense of a find.

            Is the poem’s idea of imagination to have of think of “begin it where…” in time … warm waters halt?

            Fenn said a comprehensive knowledge of geography ‘might’ help… most of which relies on knowing of the lands past, the affect and how it may affect future changes.
            So I’ll ask an age old question [ see what I did there, lol ] when a searcher needs to observe… and use mostly imagination to solve this… “when” [begin it where] is he or she observing what is in front of them?

          • Replied to wrong spot Lol…

            Interesting perspective, I have never thought of WWWH by applying the element of time and then maybe the lapsing of such changing the “viewable” scene…I applaud the creative approach! I will dwell on this for a few….
            I’m currently of the thought that the imagination is applied only to attach the hints to the clues, but the clues section of the poem is very literal. Begin it at WWWH starts as a spot on a map and you figure out the correct WWWH by applying the correct hint laid out in the poem and then continue to the next one…

    • Dal,
      What if you don’t need to go into, around, through a canyon at all? “Take it in” might only be an observation…

      Q~ “Who else knows where the treasure is buried?”
      A~ “I never said it was buried. I’ve avoided that word. I hid it. I don’t mean to imply that it isn’t buried. I just didn’t want to give that as a clue. It took me two trips in my car to hide the treasure. And I can tell you an 80-year-old man is not going to make a trip into a canyon, then come up and go down again. As for who else knows, I’m the only one. My wife doesn’t know.”
      I’ll add; and do it “twice in one afternoon”… related to other comments of fenn’s action when hiding the trove.

      However, there are some places that could fit nicely with the poem’s clues [ Madison area for one ] that has you in a canyon [ as warlock suggest as a possibility as well ]
      Nicely only means; IF correct.

      • “It took me two trips in my car to hide the treasure.”

        I missed this Q&A, and I’ll have to ponder this for a while.
        I could understand two trips from my car in one afternoon, but two trips “in my car”.

        Thanks for posting this!

        • That has been a discussion since the Q&A… But I’ll add that this is the only time that the words ‘in my car’ where used. all other comments [ that I know of ] say “from my car”
          One way or another it seems to be a slip up or misprint… becaue we have so many other comments saying “from my car”

          However, in all honesty and imo, ~” It took me two trips in my car to hide the treasure” would seem to mean two different days or at the very least, a long time span between the taking of the chest, then the taking of the contents in a single day time.
          Bot idea’s don’t jive with all the other comments either. Why do two trips in two days or separated two trips in one day [ example morning to evening]… to drive anywhere?

          I mean, there are other example of slips; one was; Peggy didn’t know for 8 month, and another was 18 months.. when he took the chest out of the house to hide it.
          One time fenn was reading the poem and stated, “If your’e breve and in the wood” vs. “you are” seemed odd at the time a guy who took 15 years to write a poem would slip on that… but slip ups happen.

          Personally I think fenn has been very precise in his thousands of question presented to him for 8 years, at age almost eighty plus some… I look at the Q&A above as nothing more than a slip of the tongue, not a hint or a clue.

          • Thanks for the explanation, Seeker.
            There have been times since this chase started that I had to step away from it. In doing so, I obviously have missed some discussions.
            Always appreciate your insight, as well as the many other searchers that participate here.

          • Luckydog,
            I’ll never steer you in the wrong direction… I’ll just point, you turn when you want…lol

    • Dal, I’m inclined to believe that “Begin it” implies that you should mark a starting point on a map and that “take it in the canyon down” means to do one of six things with the map, starting at the “Begin it” point::
      1. Draw a straight line to the South.
      2. Draw a straight line down-canyon, using the first segment of the canyon to establish direction.
      3. Draw a straight line in a southerly direction, using the first segment of the canyon to establish direction.
      4. Trace an elevation line down-canyon.
      5. Trace the path of the canyon in a down-canyon direction.
      6. Trace the path of the canyon that goes in a southerly direction.

      Keep in mind that Forrest was, first and foremost, a pilot – – and pilots plot courses. I suspect that he took out a map, started from his “special” location and reverse-plotted a route to a definitive location (WWWH). He could use map features or straight navigation lines or a combination thereof and then construct his verbal “clues” accordingly. From all his subsequent “hints”, I suspect that he realizes that his poem has some serious shortcomings. For instance, the line “The end is ever drawing nigh.” is problematic no matter what spin you put on your interpretation – – water flow, sunset direction, chest location, etc, etc.
      Just thinking.

      • Adrian –

        Consider drawing that line between WWWH and another location that a clue leads you to.

        Forrest doesn’t fly straight.


      • Adrian Sheely ~ ‘I suspect that he took out a map, started from his “special” location and reverse-plotted a route to a definitive location (WWWH).’

        You might want to read up on this topic a bit more… fenn stated he didn’t use maps in creating/writing the poem. I would also assume that applies to GE as well.. in reference to ‘reference tools’ “…GE and/or a good map.”

        Just a suggestion

    • Dal, I am new here and am currently in a search location. Your thoughts on the canyon line of the poem are exactly how I think about it. In fact, where I am right now, several counties are inside of a very large canyon. The area I’m in, is within the first 15 miles from my WWWH and of that roughly 50+ mile long canyon. I will posting a much longer comment in the near future with a little about myself and the 2 BOTG searches my husband did for me ( I use a wheelchair so couldn’t do the hike) just in the past several days. I’m the one trying to solve this puzzle though and instructing him where to look. If only I had one of those awesome all terrain tank like wheelchairs! I’ve only been at it for a week or so though.

    • For us the TC is in a canyon which also contains the blaze. Imo. We think the blaze is mountain peak that is not visible until you reach a point in the canyon. I came up with this after visiting Palo Duro Canyon in Canyon, TX. We were searching for a landmark but couldn’t see it until we turn a corner and I saw it pecking out from behind tall rock spire. If you are walking in a canyon you tend to look up the walls in awe and when you see the peak over the rim look down to find TC. We don’t know if we are right or not until BOG but by using GE it does seem to be a working theory. we are hoping to make trip mid Sept.

  2. You’re not in a canyon at WWWH but have to go into one.
    “it” = your quest
    You will be going down in elevation from WWWH to the canyon.

    • The Firehole Canyon is the only labeled canyon down in elevation from Fountain Flats & WWWH F’s bathing spot on the Firehole. Brings you North to Madison Junction eventually. Seems too far to walk for me about 7 miles. HOB must be somewhere around here & you may need gas money to get back to WWWH.

      I like how “down” is the last word in that line.

      • Jake-
        Absolutely true…
        But if I continue on “down”stream from where the Firehole halts I am on the Madison…and Madison Canyon is a “not always on the map” canyon. just below Madison Junction.

        Some maps can’t seem to decide if the area should be a valley or a canyon.

        It feels more like a valley than a canyon but on maps where it is labeled it is consistently labeled as Madison Canyon.

        From there, the next canyon down is also called the “Madison Canyon” and is the canyon below the Hebgen Lake Dam.

        …after that, the next canyon, occasionally referred to as the “Madison Canyon” but more often referred to as the Madison Valley or Madison River Valley is that stretch from Reynolds Pass to below Ennis…

        Finally, a canyon with a different name… Bear Trap Canyon, after Ennis Lake…

        It begins to feel like the canyon might be very near WWWH…within sight…
        and then it is the “put in” that remains “Too far to walk”….

          • I don’t really have anything in mind falling. But if I were to consider Focus’s concept then I would need a WWWH that has a canyon down I can view from where I begin…
            So it makes sense that the canyon is close to WWWH, maybe even above the canyon so I can take it in…

            I get stuck and look for ways out…Focus just posted an idea that was new to me, and also possible. So my mind is playing with it…trying to imagine how the other clues would then work…see if it takes me somewhere new…

          • Dal,

            Should WWWH be a viewing station… and nailed down a “fixed” point needing to be at.
            Down may not be “in” the canyon when attempting to see hoB. Down can be a southward direction to look and hoB could be above your viewing location. Should that scenario come into play, “below hoB” can still be actually above where you are at.

            Here’s a smaller version of the idea. Say your standing on you back deck [ if you have one ] and you look south at a tree [ the tree represents hoB’s location ], only the tree is 60′ tall and hoB is 30′ up that tree… you still are looking “down” in a southern direction [represented on a map], but up 30′ up at hoB, and now you need to be below that [ lets say 10′ on that tree] ~ that is still above your viewing location and still could be considered down {south} and up {elevation} at the same time… to be put in below that hoB at 30′ high in that tree.

            This would cover down and below, yet both meaning; ‘above’ where you are viewing from. In fact, i think stanza 3 is only describing what you see as well… the end is ever drawing [ drawing is a pulling action of gravity with water ]… the water is coming towards you, hence no paddle ‘up’ your creek, your creek is coming to you… to where? “just” HLnWH or WWWH. The point at wwwh you need to be at.

            This idea seems to imply; If you screw up and follow the creek and can’t find the other clues… go back to the first clue… where you need to be. And why many have been within 500′ but left the poem, they may have never been in the right spot… The point is; you need to “nail down” the first clue… you need to be “fixed” in a single spot to view the clues only from that spot.

            In this case, finding the correct view point that does this… hoB now has become the blaze, so you need to look down at where you are, to discover the chest… a scant of a place to look at with marvel gaze.
            *If you knew where hoB is, you’d go right to the chest.
            *If you know hoB …why be concerned about wwwh…

            You wouldn’t be, you would be at it.

            Well, in theory of course…
            I’d like one of the egg sized nuggets, a few smaller ones and co-author fenn’s bio, and the solve related book.
            Oh! and the wife would like that big old sapphire gem, and the diamond ring.
            I’d like to have the frog as well, but we can play a game of pool to see who gets that. You buy the beers.

        • Madison valley. That’s where the peggy is! Just maybe my old solve was correct? I am so puzzled by this. Does anyone know where or when ff said she knows? Or refereed the finder of the chest to be female?

        • That’s one of the problems we all face with maps Dal.
          Your 1st 3 links – have Madison Canyon in 3 different places with a dot marker or script along the river or descriptor as Earthquake area at Quake Lake.

          I would have to assume that Madison Canyon starts where Firehole Canyon ends & extends to the end of Quake Lake.
          Funny how canyons are named from the waterways instead of the surrounding mountains.

          Madison Valley has private property along its borders & have ruled this area out as a hihey spot & don’t consider this area as a canyon all the way up past Ennis. I also rule out all the way to 3 forks.

          If the canyon is within site of WWWH then F’s bathing spot could be out. But I rely on GE for those 2 clues. Yes the “put in” place could be too far to walk but I also think that most of the early clues are “too far to walk”.

          Bottom line for me is there’s the Firehole Canyon is close enough to WWWH & I know there’s little imagination involved but I see those that got the 1st 2 clues being a no brainer & these geographical areas fit the bill with Forrests favorite spots & think all the clues (spots) have been traveled & favored by F.

          • Revision
            Not that it matters.
            I would have to assume that Madison Canyon starts where Firehole Canyon ends & extends somewhere before Bakers Hole. Tough to know where the boundaries of the canyon end.

            I would call the next canyon Hebgen Canyon but there was no Hebgen until the dam so maybe Madison Canyon West & would extend to Quake Canyon after 1959 only. I wouldn’t be surprised if the searcher(s) within 500′ were up any of the creeks above Hebgen.
            Lot’s of activity there. I may be joining them.

    • Jake,
      We’re told to look at maps/GE, told to marry clues to a place on a map… still assuming GE is a map as well when fenn used “and/or”… So why wouldn’t down on a map mean “south or southward direct and that could mean up hill line of thinking. So put in below hoB might simply mean South of.

      You seem to think down must be elevation, as many do also, yet, again, on the tool fenn tells us to use while deciphering the poem… GE and//or a map… down means south as well, regardless of elevation.

      • Seeker;

        Just to throw a monkey wrench into the mix. Frequently people say, “Let’s get on down the road” when the road could go in any direction and even go up a hill or mountain. So, “down” can mean most any direction and both up or down in elevation – Offered just to confuse the issue 🙂 JDA

        • JDA,
          Sure, and fenn even used “down the road” explaining, going to the cemetery at night which was “north” of the family home.

          BUT, if the poem needs to be precise to be followed as such, the idea has to be factual more than a simple wording that many use wrong.
          So we really only have two options; Down or below in elevation or southward on a map.

          Well, there is a third; ‘under’ But I ain’t diggin it. Ha! see what I did there… lol

          • Seek –

            Previously I used the image of a clock face in order to explain to you how the lines cross. I did that because you one of a couple chasers that is open to the idea that the trial is not linear.

            On a clock face overlayed to a map all other points are below 12.


  3. I have often wondered about ” take it in the canyon down.” could it also possible mean, a look? as in just look down the canyon with your eyes? As opposed to a thing, like boat, bike, or what have you.

  4. I would say that all the clues and the treasure are in a canyon but to me the mountains are far apart that in the middle of the canyon is flat land it would not be a closed in canyon

      • Like your idea. The basin is where water does halt and warms up because it has no where else to go but to be evaporated up into the air and become clouds. Maybe one of the holes that is in the basin and close to the hills and take the evaporated waters (it) down the canyon. Or find that one canyon where the clouds form and rains down the mountain. I think that would be on the west side of the mountain because of the Pacific ocean forms the warmer air before hitting the mountain. So my guess is some one is looking east which makes since because to look at water vapors at a 45 degree angle with the sun behind you would form rainbows. So maybe even canyon could mean yon (yonder over there and look. Can U see in the yonder). That’s if FF is into the deciphering stuff. And if I was 80 years old I would be more sight seeing than physically moving my body through mountains. FF said the poem was “”Meant” for pp to get away from computers and such””. Meant to? Was meant to? past tense? That’s why I think it’s possible that the TC is in W. Yellowstone in town somewhere. Hiway 20 = H20 boundary street (halt). Canyon st. down. Bears are there in the Grizzly Discovery Zoo and the statures of brown bears, buffaloes and some painted with colors. Norman Rockwell and Brown and Bigleow advertisement company making match books, calendars and etc…for companies in W Yellowstone. Canyon St. comes to a dead end so maybe take my bike on the Spur trails to that place?

  5. No matter how one construes “in or through” a canyon is simply semantics. If one starts up high in order to go down “more than likely” will have to take it in the canyon down or through the canyon down in the RM. To me down in most instances in the RM is going from a higher point towards a lower point.

    Dal above asked, “Are HOB and the Blaze inside the canyon along with the treasure?” If one has the correct solution will be able to answer the question. It also depends how a searchers solve on how they perceive the locations to be. It’s a hypothetical question with so many different answers.

    Just Say’n

  6. Just a thought…

    To “ take it in” is also a figure of speech meaning to “admire the view”

    The view was so beautiful that Mary wanted to stand there and “take it in” before we left.

    So, if this is the use, then at warm waters halt we would go nowhere. We would just stand there admiring the view of the canyon below us. Then we would go “not far but to far to walk” to put in…. etc… a use of a comma would change the way it’s interpreted… of course we all know that Forrest is known to remove commas from time to time…..

    I’m just rambling… until next time… see ya

      • I don’t know Dal, but this thought might help narrow down a WWH location… “ one which has an admiring canyon below it….. just my 2 cents…. have a great day Dal…. see ya my friend…

        • Seeker has been parsing out this *view* for quite some time…it was one of my really early theories that I still ponder. I have other ideas now…but a searcher never knows.

          • There are searchers and then there are finders.

            I wanna hear from the latter.

          • aardvarkbark ~’There are searchers and then there are finders.’

            Nope.. only one finder… then there’ll be first of last place, that follows.
            As of now… it seems fenn’s special place only has visitors.

          • funny stuff aardvark %! Gotta be a searcher to be the finder….then again, a tracker might have an advantage.

    • Turning the stanza into a sentence, maintaining the punctuation ff used, it reads:

      Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk.

      So either:

      1. the warm waters are halting it and taking it down into the canyon, or;

      2. where warm waters halt is where you take it in the canyon down.

      IMO, I don’t see any way that “take it in” can be used as “enjoy the scenery” in either the poem or the sentence version.

      • The problem, Imperfeckt, You’re reading it as a sentence rather than poetic, that looks like ‘answers.’

        I’m not saying don’t read it in sentence form, but keep in mind; things in the sentence need to be “deciphered” from a poetic writing of clues. Reading too literal doesn’t decipher anything.
        So if, for example, WWH represents the cat-walk [ lets call it a stop ] at the Grand Canyon AZ. “Take it in” just became another deciphered clue of viewing from that cat-way… or it all could be considered one clue… a place to view from.

        I think many forget this is a poem first, that needs deciphering of clues… without knowing what a clue represents … reading the poem as a sentence is only using the words as seen, not as deciphered.

        But this is only an exercise in an attempt to see how one can read to the poem in the hopes of understanding what a clue could refer to, by reading as a stanza in a poem or by sentences… in the hopes an idea would pop.

    • Possible Pin but unlikely IMO.
      Maybe you should elaborate why?
      Is your WWWH in the rockies too?
      Where the heck is it then?

  7. Let’s say that warmer waters flow towards a cold water course ahead. Then you see a clear path to get there by a road. Standing there, WWWH, you look back to the canyon that the warmer waters have carved over the past thousands of years, and the “canyon” is clear to you. He says, “And take it in the canyon down.” Then he says it’s “not far, but too far to walk”, and you realize that you must travel down the road which runs alongside the canyon. until you reach what you believe is the home of Brown. Then you “put in” to the “canyon down” below the hoB.

    This is my opinion only


  8. The first thing I did was use my imagination to visualize what a canyon down in the Rocky Mountains, near Santa Fe, looks like. And there are plenty of them.
    Diablo Canyon near Buckman was my favorite. Frijoles Canyon in Bandolier National monument fit the poem perfectly. As does adjacent canyons outside the national monument. Such as Alamo canyon and Pajarito canyon. And looking at these canyons doesn’t take much imagination at all. As they may relate to the poem they are simple, obvious, in the mountains, and down. No cyphers, anagrams, or riddles required. And the plants, animals, scenery is all there.
    As for WWWH, both northern New Mexico and Yellowstone are volcanic areas. With warm waters galore. So pick one that has meant something to FF at some time, or some place he frequented over the fifteen years that he wrote the poem. In New Mexico he enjoyed archeology, and fishing in places like the upper Pecos (?)…IMO.
    That, in a nutshell, is my logic and vision for identifying the Canyon Down.

    • Michael –

      Many chasers act as if the man stopped fishing when he turned 17. The truth is, of course, that he has spent more hours, days and years fishing since 1973 then he spent before, right?

      The man loves New Mexico. He already knows every fish by name!


  9. “Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down.”

    In my opinion, this statement does NOT direct you to go down the canyon. I read this to mean that you begin it where warm waters halt and take “it” (the waters) in the canyon down.

    In my current (probably wrong) solve, I begin “it” (the adventure) where WWH, and then I go a very different direction from where the waters go down the canyon.

    FWIW, my WWWH is NOT in the Rocky Mountains… but it’s real close; kind of an aberration, if you will. 🙂

    All IMO,


    • Fennatic Al –

      There is a group of us who read it this way. The waters are being described. One think I think about is that maybe the waters carry something down.

      What is the water carrying down I wonder?

          • Jake a Duck can leave any time. He doesn’t need to stay in the water at meek or heavy loads. The duck doesn’t need the blaze to tell him where to go. The duck doesn’t go up stream to lay eggs.

            Or maybe I don’t know enough about ducks and seeing this whole thing as allegory of Fenn’s life told as if he were a fish is nonsense?? Maybe this whole time I should have been thinking of Fenn recalling his life through the eyes of a duck.

          • Huh. You’re “What is the water carrying down I wonder?” question made me think of the “viaduct” scene in *Cocoanuts* (Marx Brothers, 1929).


            (That’s just a short snip – the youtube video of the whole routine doesn’t seem to be working today.)

            “What is the water carrying down I wonder?”

            I see now that you weren’t really asking, just asking us to guess what you had in mind.

            I never would have guessed “an allegory of Fenn’s life told as if he were a fish.” Now that I do know, I can’t think of anything useful to contribute.


          • Jake –

            The poem reads like the fish’s journey from the mountain stream to the open water and back.

          • Oh, I see it alright, Lug, and I appreciate the view.

            I just can’t come up with anything useful to add to it.


          • The flume. It’s wooded and lots of history there. They used poles that had hooks I believe to untangle the logs not a paddle. I have looked into the flume area and it’s very interesting. Nails, wood, pp riding the logs down on the flume.

          • Which one, Tracy?

            Off the top of my head there are at least two flume remnants in the Chase Map area, quite far apart from each other. And maybe another one or two I’d have to double-check.


    • I see halt and take as ‘it’ (your route or path or search) begins at where
      warm waters halt and then warm waters follows/takes ‘it’ (your route) in
      the canyon down. These are two separate events, one immediate, one
      described for later. BOTG does not begin properly until put-in below HOB,
      therefore warm waters joins your route which is later described in the poem, IMO, a different point of view.

  10. Personally I think that down is the tricky word here. I think down=grassy hillside or grassy area. I do not think it is a direction to go. IMO

  11. Canyon Down could be Memory Lane… Not far, but too far to walk. Where Warm Water Halts could be where Awareness Begins, or at a Threshold Moment. My personal favorite, HOB is not a good time or place to be, sort of a depression.

    Map may be a time and space challenge. Lots of symbolic marriages… marry the whens to the wheres, the old to the new, truth to fiction, enjoy the clever & funny blazes.
    Have fun, will travel … w/o boots on the ground.

    • OS2 ~”Canyon Down could be Memory Lane…”

      Yep, but how about ‘Time’ on a geological scale?
      Memory lane could still work.. if thinking geological. But when I hear the term Memory Lane I think only of a person’s life. My problem is… how many same memory lanes are there in the RM’s and nearly all are N.of SF… line of thinking… there has to be some connection to be workable, right?

      Just saying… it’s hard to find a memory on GE. How did little Indy find it on a map of the US RM’s, the poem, and notta else?

      Just pondering the thought.

      • Seeker, I accept that Fenn’s use of the word FAR could imply either space or time, and that FAR/ TOO FAR/ NOT TOO FAR are range guesstimates; but I doubt he meant geologic time since the memoir is all about the authors personal range, his places, his memories.

        It may be entirely true, that the concepts in the poem are totally independent of the events in FF’s memoir, but as they are both sourced from the same biologic vault, I choose to think there is a relational overlap. ΩΩ.

        My own 80 years of memories are likewise FAR but NOT TOO FAR from my armchair. Some memories are welcome, some not. In fact, some are NOT FAR ENOUGH! I think we all have a few old guilts that haunt us like unpaid debts, old memories that just won’t let us go In peace. Memoirs are often said to be written to settle such debts. I wonder if the poem’s “So Why?” may be a private motive disguised as a question. Geology is written as it happens, in the rocks, on nature’s bookshelves.

        A memory can be whole event compressed into a flash of time, a universal experience unique to each individual. But for the Chase venue, the epistemology aspects of memory are one of those ‘things not worth knowing. However, I suspect Fenn was keenly aware of them, & cleverly used Frosty’s rash firing to dismiss them with jokes like “a garbage truck backing up” and “the secret of thought”. Holden Caulfield might respond, “It killed me.” Me too. Brain evolution of prehistoric man has probably crossed Fenn’s reading list.

        Now, for those still seeking tangible treasure to buy some current peace with, the words and expressions in the memoir are how you get into the trove-hiders head. The thoughts & clues expressed in the poem & the book, were formed in Fenn’s unique and personal garbage truck. For me, that’s FAR more entertaining than stomping thru the woods, and I just may decode a secret place. OS2

        • “Stomping thru the woods” gets old fast, unless the path is a bit
          more smooth and level than the one to the TC. IMO.

      • Seeker, I accept that Fenn’s use of the word FAR could imply either space or time, and that FAR/ TOO FAR/ & NOT TOO FAR are range guesstimates; but I doubt FF meant geologic time since the memoir is all about the his personal range, his places, his memories.

        It may be entirely true, that the concepts in the poem are totally independent of the events in FF’s memoir. As they are both sourced from the same biologic vault, I choose to think there is a relational overlap. ΩΩ.

        My own 80 years of memories are likewise FAR but NOT TOO FAR from my armchair. Some memories are welcome, some not. In fact, some are NOT FAR ENOUGH! I think we all have a few old guilts that haunt us like unpaid debts, old memories that just won’t let us go In peace. Memoirs are often said to be written to settle old debts. I wonder if the poem’s “So Why?” may be a private motive disguised as a question. Geology is written as it happens, in the rocks, on nature’s bookshelves.

        A memory can be whole event compressed into a flash of time, a universal experience unique to each individual. But for the Chase venue, the epistemology aspects of memory are one of those ‘things not worth knowing. However, I suspect Fenn was keenly aware of them, & cleverly used Frosty’s rash firing to dismiss them with jokes like “a garbage truck backing up” and “the secret of thought”. Holden Caulfield might respond, “That killed me.” Me too. Brain evolution thesis on prehistoric man have probably crossed Fenn’s reading list.

        Now, for those still seeking tangible treasure to buy some current peace with, the words and expressions in the memoir are how you get into the trove-hiders head. The thoughts & clues expressed in the poem & the book, were formed in Fenn’s unique and personal garbage truck. For me, that’s FAR more entertaining than stomping thru the woods, and I just may decode his secret place. OS2

        • I partially disagree OS2 – I think that time – eons and eons of time have FAR more to do with the poem than you believe. I think that the story through eons of time have more to do with the “Treasures” that are to be found in the poem than one might first believe. JMO – JDA

          • So, you partially agree? I always will settle for half a loaf because any part of some is better than no part of any. (I hope I got that right.) OS2

    • That seems to be an extraordinary amount of — shall we say — “imagination”
      that you are bringing to bear. I think it’s more than what is required for a good solve.

    • OS2 – thanks for the time and space reference. I’ve always wondered whether P14 “to the Caliph I am dirt, but to the dirt I am a Caliph” mention on the same page as Einstein was a reference to the the theory of relativity. (I’ll keep wondering).

      • I don’t know Argillite, but it is a great statement isn’t it? I think it may mean to take a dirt trail and not an asphalt one. Or a royal one (Camino Real). Kismet is a story of rapidly changing fortunes, and as I recall, some of the names and places in it sound like Yellowstone features. It was a long time ago that I read it. It’s on line. Good luck. OS2

  12. take it in the canyon down – if you are going to pass by 3 canyons – it could also mean take it in the lower canyon or canyon down

      • strawshadow – sometimes you have to write to where people can understand – I could of said 2 canyons but to me its better to have more then not enough

  13. Some things that innately imply “down” may warrant an “in” vs. a “through”…
    Just random/brainstorm thought/types of places/ place names including:
    Drop off

    A word like “slide” or “trip” or “falls” may also warrant “not far but too far to walk” or one with “Brown’s” as a prefix would be a double bonus.

    • Jonesy1 –

      I heard you came down with something.
      I have been feeling down.
      I am planning to down some cough medicine.
      Hopefully this cold will be done and gone!

      Are you down?


    • Focusing on the word ‘in’ is a good idea. One of these two definitions of ‘in’ appears used to indicate inclusion within space, a place, or limits. Or:used to indicate motion or direction from outside to a point within. So in a physical sense being in the canyon already or on the outside moving in both work.

      Is there a metaphorical ‘canyon down’ as well though? Imagination is needed for this if so.

  14. *also in that stanza we “take IT in the canyon” DOWN….later on we “look quickly” DOWN.

    -if you marry/combine these you end up “take IT (a quick look) in the canyon”

    Look quickly = Glance
    Look quickly + Tarry Scant+ Marvel Gaze = Peek / Peek-a-Boo

    I dont know that area but maybe a Glance Trail or a Peek or a Peek-a-Boo Falls or something or another?

    Okay. No more wine for me.

  15. Seeker,
    If WWWH is supposed to be a viewing only station, shouldn’t the poem give a clue to that? You mention, “nail down” the first clue. But “nail down” is not in the poem. So if you need to be “fixed” in a single spot, shouldn’t the poem tell us that?

    I’ve actually believed for a while that HOB and the blaze are the same. Someone mentioned the other day that perhaps WWWH and HOB were one and the same. I thought they wrong until I discovered something today. Now I question whether WWWH, HOB and the blaze are all the same thing- different descriptions of the same thing. I’m just thinking this over. Haven’t decided yet but leaning that way.

    And, btw, I still don’t think we are going to “put in” anywhere. I think “put” means deposit and we need the deposit that is below HOB.


    • The poem’s clue to “where” warm waters halt is the clue to be fixed in one spot. WWH could be rather large so the need to figure out ‘where’ relates to how we can see/view hoB. Which might be a scant of a spot to view from.
      Hypothetical; you’re at a lake and you decipher “take it in” as a view… NF, BTFTW is a viewing distance, not needed to walk to but not far away to see hoB.

      You have to combine the clues for a full understanding. So you need to observe the view from wwwh by finding the correct spot there to do it… see hoB. hoB lines up just right and you have discovered that spot… but it’s something needed to be understood prior to getting there… so you can actually look for that spot to view from.

      In this case hoB must line up to the spot at wwwh and that alignment is the blaze. the distance from the blaze [ hoB ] will be obvious to the chest… your standing at or very closer the chest.
      When looking at hoB from wwwh and hoB being the blaze… below is the location is the chest and the distance from the blaze to the chest will be obvious, IF you can find the blaze [hoB]
      Finding hoB needs a precise spot to view from… HLnWH could be part of wwwh and that could be the spot to be at.
      The main point of Dal’s question was… what do we do, go in, go through… I say neither.

    • I don’t think that WWWH, in order to work, has to be just one specific small (say, smaller than a typical Taco Bell restaurant) location. I can think of a few that
      qualify, without compromising my solve. Each of these few WWWH locations
      is near what one would/could describe as a canyon. IMO.

      • Larger, more like a mall that contains a food court in which is a taco Bell and behind the register a man that rings a bell to open a drawer revealing 5 compartments, one if which is empty

      • tighterfocus,
        I agree. WWWH does not have to be a large area. It just has to be large enough on the map to see it. IMO

  16. I think canyon down is the main clue where people reading the eventually solution will say to themselves “why didn’t I think of that”.

  17. canyon is the only word in the poem that makes direct reference to the great outdoors..
    creek is debatable.
    I think.

      • tighter- because creeks run through suburbias and canyons don’t.
        if you build houses and populate a canyon and make it accessible with roads, to me the canyon becomes more of a valley. the word canyon generates images of barrenness in my mind, wilderness. you can debate canyon if you like, but I think what I think. I’m from an island.

        so if we can agree that canyon is the only word in the poem that references the great outdoors, then the rest of the poem is purely suggestive. isn’t it? I mean just one word out of 166?
        which causes me to think that this chest mentioned in the poem is not in…the great outdoors.

  18. Earlier this year I was at a search site and asked a local a question. He pointed in the direction of my solution and said “if you go down into the canyon…” What he pointed to I would not have called a canyon nor would I have considered going there as “down” . It was eye opening and my girlfriend nudged me as she knew the significance of what he had just said.

    • Sean,
      Just for interest sake, I looked up canyon on powerthesaurus
      The following are all synonyms of canyon which means that what we might call a canyon, could also be called these things. Remember that when the children visited FF’s art gallery, he showed them a bronze indian and asked them what it was. Some said a bronze, others said indian, one said it was an art. So I don’t think we need to find something “called” a canyon as long as it “is” a canyon. IMO
      Synonyms of Canyon from powerthesaurus



      Aperture=crack, break



      Arroyo= crack, opening


      Basin=gorge, vale

      Black Hole=

      Blank= break, rest

      Bottom= break, rest

      Box Canyon=

      Breach- break, opening

      Break= crack, ditch

      Caesura= break, rest



      Cavity=slit, opening


      Channel=water, vale




      Chasm= ravine, crack

      Chine=valley, gorge

      Cleft=ravine, gap

      Clove=crack, fisssure






      Chest Tip=



      Combe= valley




      Coulee=ravine, gully




      Crevice=break, crack





      Cut= gap, rest


      Defile=division, break

      Difference=break, rest

      Dingle=gorge, vale

      Depression= flat, basin

      Dell=valley, gorge


      Discontinuity= break, rest

      Disparity= break, rest

      Ditch= channel, route

      Divergence= break, rest

      Divide= break, rest

      Division= break, rest


      Drain between fields





      Fissure=ravine, break

      Flash Line=



      Flute Clearance=


      Fracture= crack, break


      Gap=break, breach






      Glen=valley, gulf

      Gorge=valley, ravine



      Grand Canyon=



      Gulch=crach, fissure

      Gully=conduit, rest





      Hiatus=break, rest

      Hole= break breach

      Hollow=break, rest


      Inconsistency= break, rest

      Interlude=break, rest

      Interspace=gap, break




      Intermission= break, rest

      Interstice=break, rest

      Interval= break, rest




      Lowland=gorge, vale








      Narrow Gorge=

      Notch=ravine, breach


      Opening= crack, slit

      Orifice= break, rest

      Overflow Groove=




      Paus=break, rest


      Plain=gorge, vale



      Ravine=gap, crack

      Recess= break, rest

      Respite= break, rest

      Rent= crack, division

      Rest=break, breach

      Rift= crack, breach






      Rupture=break, rest


      Separation= break, rest


      Slot=break, rest


      Space=break, rest

      Spew groove



      Swale= gorge, vale




      Trough=conduit, means



      Vacuity= break, rest


      Valley-ravine, gully


      Void= break, rest








    • Eaglesabound,

      i have the same idea to why hoB is a stand alone sentence yet in the first rhyming stanza… everything in the first stanza, and possibly the entire area, is ‘below’ the home of Brown.
      IMO, this is one way to nail down which correct wwwh out of the many… even canyon, I mean how many canyons are in the RM’s
      I think the line; “put int below the home of Brown” gives us where we need to start, but only known of if we understand the first clue’s “reference” ‘in full’ and correctly.

      At least that is one way of reading the poem.

  19. Begin it where warm waters halt AND TAKE IT in the canyon down.
    You take the warm waters halt into the canyon with you as you are going down.

    This creates a huge wwh and matches with “Look at the big picture”.

    • Rocky ~ ‘You take the warm waters halt into the canyon with you as you are going down.’

      What does that mean ‘you take… with you as you are going down’? It sound like we need to bring it with us… whatever the reference to the clue refers to.

  20. What if warm waters halt was a degree that warm waters halt at. Lets say a longitude degree.
    and you take that degree down or south into the canyon. If you are going down into a canyon and it’s too far to walk, you are driving. And if you are driving down a canyon to reach below Brown, the words “down” & below” have an analogy. So if you are driving down a canyon to get to below Brown, what is connected to a canyon? School students will tell you “a mountain”.

    • Rocky,
      I think that if WWH requires a degree in which they halt, then there has to be something in the poem that says so. But that is just my opinion . I don’t think the poem gives us mileage, numbers or degrees. I think that the poem is simply an illustrated map, illustrated with words.

  21. when you get to where warm waters halt take the canyon in until you get to a canyon going south (down) its not far but to far to walk to get to home of brown

  22. I understand “it”as meaning meaning your search. And also what you find there at where warm waters halt. Begin your journey where warm waters halt “ and take it, the river,, in the canyon down.

  23. Lugnutz,

    Interesting that you mention a clock face. I’ve done some searching in connection with the Bighorn Basin. One website describes it as “Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin is an oval scooped out of the northwest quadrant of the state and encircled by neatly aligned mountain ranges. If the basin were the face of a clock, the Bighorn Mountains would run from 1 to 5 o’clock; the Bridger Mountains from 5 to 6 o’clock; the Owl Creeks from 6 to 8 o’clock; the Absaroka Range from 8 to 10 o’clock; and the Bear Tooth Mountains from 10 to 11 o’clock.The Pryor Mountains form a plug at high noon” (

    I’ve wondered if “Pryor Mountains” “end is ever drawing nigh”. If you think about it, Pryor is something that existed before and if it is forever there in Mtn form, then time is forever rotating.

    Just some thoughts. . .

    • Flutter

      So now we are picturing several places and n the map and loosely calling this an arrangement that looks like a clock face.

      Now think about how high you are in the sky. How high you are determines how far you can see, and therefore, which locations fit.

      500 feet up you can see 27 miles, making the clock 54 miles across.

      200 feet up you can see 17 miles, making the clock 34 miles across.


        • Flutter –

          It’s useful information when I am out hiking.
          I am six foot three feet tall.
          I can see 3.1 miles to the horizon.
          I can use that to mark a distance by choosing a landmark at that distance.

          Of course, as I move, the horizon moves away.
          In fact, of I have never actually reached it!


          • Hi Lug: assuming you meant 6′ 3″, you can actually see 3.31 miles to the horizon. The standard equation fails to take atmospheric refraction into account. Even Marilyn vos Savant failed to account for it in her Parade magazine column earlier this year.

          • Lugnutz, If the horizon moves away as you walk, does that mean “the end is ever drawing nigh”?

          • Zap

            are you just saying the earth isn’t round? Maybe not at 50 miles, but certainly it’s “flat” enough that my normal line of sigh to the horizon is 3.1 miles.

          • For an observer on the ground with eye level at h = 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m), the horizon is at a distance of 2.9 miles (4.7 km). For an observer standing on a hill or tower 100 feet (30 m) in height, the horizon is at a distance of 12.2 miles (19.6 km).

            Hmm, I guess size does matter…

            But here’s a WhatIF about the canyon down idea… WhatIF hoB is above the canyon and Put in below the hoB is as well?
            Canyon now becomes nothing more than a view in direction on a map, line of thinking. Southward. What does that do to the horizon issue…?… or issue of not far, but too far to walk?

          • Lugnutz: as I wrote above, I used 6′ 3″ — same as 6.25 feet. An approximate equation for computing horizon distance in miles, taking atmospheric refraction into account, is:

            HD (in miles) = 1.324 * SQRT(h)

            where height, h, is given in feet. The 1.324 constant depends on several factors: temperature, pressure, atmospheric density, optical wavelength, and local earth radius.

          • Zap –

            I’m not sure but I think to use your equation taking into account the factors you mention you would need to know where I am standing.

          • Hi Lug: for a high-precision answer, yes. But to first order, where you’re standing on the earth introduces very little change in the answer. It varies linearly with the square root of the local earth radius used; I used 6371 km (the earth’s mean radius); at the equator it’s 6378.137 and at the poles it’s 6356.8. The difference from my answer is greatest at the pole, but it’s still a difference of less than 0.13%.

            A much greater source of error is using your height in the calculation rather than the height of your eyes above the ground — a factor that Seeker brought up.

            And now to make this Canyon Down-relevant, Seeker wrote in response to Adrian: “… fenn stated he didn’t use maps in creating/writing the poem. I would also assume that applies to GE as well..” That Forrest didn’t require a map to create his poem is a reflection of his familiarity with the region of his clues. We don’t have that luxury; we will absolutely need a map. And just because Forrest used no map in constructing the clues of his poem, I wouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that the answers to some of those clues are to be found on maps and/or Google Earth.

          • Look at the big picture and I would suggest you look at it from the correct vantage point.

  24. In my attempts to interpret or solve the poem, I, and apparently many others are unable to-1) associate a specific location with ‘where warm waters halt’ and 2) create a scenario where WWWH is a viable location to ‘begin it’.

    To me, WWWH should be a definite location. Someplace a searcher would drive to, park and start following the instructions in the poem. The problem with that is—I cannot find a suitable ‘starting point’.

    Take it in the canyon down…does that imply that WWWH is somewhere higher? Significantly higher, or slightly higher?

    Or…does this phrase break down into – ‘Take it in’ and ‘canyon down’ (look down at it?) or is this a spin on ‘down’ – as in goose down? Is there a Goose Canyon somewhere? Or, is the goose down in another language (spanish, shoshone, arapahoe, etc.).

    This thing is spinning out of control for me….!!!

    • yesiamapyr8,
      I really think it is easier to think about map locations in more abstract form. Everyone seems to be needing to decide how far they are going to drive, or where they are going to park and where they start walking, hiking, etc.

      I can’t even think about how I’m getting to where-ever, until I know where where-ever is located. When I’m not working on this poem, or spending time with my family outdoors hiking and kayaking, I am a researcher. I find that it is easier to discover informaiton if I don’t have a preset idea. For me, I don’t care how I’m getting to where-ever. All I need to do is find it on the map and then find HOB and see if the other clues line up. From there, I need to work through all the comments from FF that might rule out the solve for one reason or another. Like if its 100 miles from point A to point B, obviously that isn’t going to work. Back to the drawing board.

      Here is an example. When I was a kid, teachers always gave us word searches to keep us occupied, supposedly learning something. But, really word searches are time wasters. I was pretty good at them, because I meticulously went through the letters is an ordered way. If the word I needed to find started with an A, then I would go through all the letters in the word search either vertically or horizontally and stop when I found an A. Then I had to find the 2nd letter. Lets say it was a P. Lets find Apple. So I’ve got this A. I don’t really know whether this word is going to go up or down or left or right or even diagonal. All I know is that I stop on every A and see if it has an adjacent P. If it doesn’t, I rule it out and go on to the next A. If I find an A that is adjacent to a P in any direction (up, down, etc) then I check to see if it has a second P next to that. If it doesn’t, I move on to the next A until I find an A that has an adjacent P, adjacent to another P, and then an L and then an E. But, before I start, I don’t know if I’m going up and down or left to right or diagonal. I just look adjacent to the first letter to find the second and so on.

      I think this search has to be done that way. Just one way to approach it.

      • I, too grew up with puzzlers such as word search. I have spent a lot of time (wasting?) doing word puzzles and similar challenges.

        I approach the chase in much the same way that you do. I had what I believed to be a solid solve until I went BOTG and found that the real world and some of it’s denizens were bent on showing me that my solve was not feasible.

        I started getting seriously involved in the chase last October. As soon as it was practical, I went BOTG this summer and came up empty.

        I’ve reviewed my solve, dug deeper into the interwebs, did a lot of reading, watching YouTube, etc., and I have reduced my confidence level in my own solve from highly probable to somewhat likely. I’ve not crossed it out since the WWWH seems solid, but statements by ff his own self appear to counter my course of logic.

        So, I am trying to approach this with a clean slate and see if anything waves at me to get my attention…

        My greatest inability to move on beyond the first clue is trying to make the first and second clue (step?) work together.

        To ‘begin’ implies a point on the map as a place to actually embark on the chase. Where? Well, on the face of it that would be ‘Where Warm Waters Halt’. The overt implication is that Warm Waters were on the move, then halted. Water only goes one way-down. So, from somewhere ‘higher’ than the halt location water begins it’s trip.

        The apparent next clue states that ‘it’ should be taken in the canyon down. This appears to be directly attached to the line previous as written and punctuated. If I assume that ‘down’ in this clue is a direction, the warm waters were already headed that way-then were halted.

        So, these two instructions imply that somewhere, warm waters are moving (down per gravitational pull) and I am to begin my chase by intercepting the track of the warm water after it has halted-or at least continue traveling downward-in a canyon, if the warm water cannot proceed.

        An 80 year old man allegedly took himself and the chest with it’s contents somewhere relatively ‘up’, then proceeded to secret the chest and it’s contents for us to find.

        I am possibly taking the second stanza too literally, perhaps the meaning lies deeper in an interpretive level, such as ‘down’ being an allusion to ‘goose’ or ‘halt’ being used only as a poetic tool, which substitutes for a more definitive word (that wouldn’t rhyme). ‘Evaporates’ maybe?

        Dunno, I felt better about this when I had a solid solve…except that it was wrong…

        • Sounds good yes, except you seem to interpret “it” as waters but then in the next line you could be taking “it” in the canyon down after the warm water cannot proceed. If it cannot proceed but you still need to take “it” in the canyon down, how can the waters be the “it”?

          • Aaron,
            That is a really good point you just made, “. . . “it” as waters but then in the next line you could be taking “it” in the canyon down after the warm water cannot proceed. If it cannot proceed but you still need to take “it” in the canyon down, how can the waters be the “it”

        • yesiamapyr8,

          You said, “‘Where Warm Waters Halt’. The overt implication is that Warm Waters were on the move, then halted. Water only goes one way-down. So, from somewhere ‘higher’ than the halt location water begins it’s trip”

          Actually, in Yellowstone, waters sometimes go up in geysers. Not that I’m in the Yellowstone camp because I definately am not. But, geysers are in other places and halt can mean to stand at attention, so technically a geyser is not an impossible solution. Though I doubt that’s it.

          You mention evaporation. Have you noticed the the wording on p 80 of TTOTC?

          “a small waterfall in the center of the clearing dropped water so far that it turned to mist before it could spread on the rocks below. It must have been 100 feet or more. Large birds were circling around as if they also thought it was an amazing sight. How peaceful it all seemed.”

          Notice the wording, “it turned into mist before it could spread on the rocks below”. That sounds like evaporation to me.

          Technically, water could not fall in a clearing unless it is rain. So while the wording is possibly just a literary description, if you disect what it says, it actually says water was falling from nowhere-like right out of the sky (think rain). It just happens that I tend to lean toward WWWH being a cloud, specifially Cloud Peak. But, I’ve got more than one solve going on at any given time.

          So, I had a new thought about WWWH today. Well, it is sort of a new thought. I’ve thought about holes before (How deep is a hole?). I considered The Great Divide Basin with its Red Desert. But, now we’ve been told the solve isn’t a desert. So that is out. Still; the idea that this basin is kind of like a hole, separate from the surrounding area in topography and not connected to any drainage to either ocean is interesting to me. It’s like an ISLAND. This is where my new thought came up. Is it possible that an island could be WWWH? If you think about it, an island is basically a hole in the body of water. Its a place the water does not go right in the middle of a body of water. It seems possible that an island could be WWWH. In fact, if you google definitions for the word “I”, one of the definitions you will find is “island”, that “I” on a map can mean an island. So if we are to rely upon actual definitions (which I am not saying we have to do), then “I” could be an island and that island can be WWWH because its in the middle of a body of water and a place that water halts.

          pyr8’s like islands don’t they? Good places to hide treasure. 🙂

          IMO Just fluttering around with various thoughts today.

          • The island would have to be in warm water. Most water
            above 5,000 ft. elevation in the Rockies is relatively cool
            (if “warm” means “comfortable”). All IMO.

        • Welcome aboard pyr8,

          Many of us feel your pain. For myself, I live far enough away from the 4 states that I have not expended any money in a BOTG search, as of yet. But, the angst in me has no real outlet like a BOTG trip would give, whether I found the treasure or not.

          I think meeting up with some of my fellow searchers could be a safe outlet and have regretted not being able to attend any of the Fennborees, or book signings that have happened in the past few years. Perhaps there will be a Fenn Convention in a warm spot this winter.

  25. keep in mind Forest was an Air Force Pilot- Take it in the canyon down may refer to a plane going down… just heavy loads and water high may refer to a plane carrying water to help fight a fire= Where warm waters halt- the water dropping into a fire for example.. no paddle up your creek- if you are going down, you are up shit’s creek, which does not require any type of paddle.. i am thinking if these pieces can be tied together we might be in luck…

  26. I believe that the first ‘it’ (begin it…) as identifying ‘the chase’.
    I am inclined to believe that the second ‘it’ (take it…) is also referring to ‘the chase’.

    (I am not a skilled wordsmith like some people we know, so I apologize for not indicating ‘it’ more clearly in my previous post.)

    • yesiamapyr8 ~’I believe that the first ‘it’ (begin it…) as identifying ‘the chase’.’

      Ok, sure. Could you [ for conversational purpose ] defined “The Chase”
      Actually; I’d like anyone to put up their definition, idea, suggestion, theory, conclusion… to what “the Chase” is.

      • I defined ‘it’ as ‘the chase’.

        The ‘chase’ to me in the context of the poem itself is the journey following the 9 clues in the poem that allegedly leads one to the ‘indulgence’.

      • Seeker;

        For me the “Chase” is the unraveling of the poem, and the quest for Indulgence. – “So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure.” f

        The “Chase” (for me) is discovering what the nine clues are, figuring out how to follow them precisely and ending up at the end of the rainbow and the treasure.

        It is experiencing the “Out-of-doors” again. It is extending and creating new bonds with family members – It is learning about the history and geography of my search area – It is learning more about myself.

        That is as concise as I can sum it up Seeker.

        What is the “Chase” to you? JDA

      • Seeker,

        Come on! The Chase is the race to find the treasure, with many people trying to do the same thing to get there first.

        • CharlieM,
          Not everyone is trying to beat others to the TC. Many of us are after the solution to the poem. Believe it or not; the poem itself is what draws some of us into this chase.

          And for me, if someone else finds the TC, I hope to smile and say, “hey, I was right about some of those clues!”.

      • The Thrill of the Chase was the first memoir about Fenn’s life. The chase is life and one pursuit of everything one hopes to achieve or goes after during their life.

      • Well,
        For me the chase really has nothing to do with the poem.
        The idea of “the chase challenge” was only inspired from the idea that was kicked started by a cancer scare [death apparent, line of thinking]
        “The chase” imo is much more than just the poem, gold and a challenge to decipher clues… it’s more a life’s obsession… “riches new and old”

        Archeology, geography… ‘where’ it was and is. The little arrow head says it all; It was ‘waiting’ to be found…

    • yesiamapyr8,
      Very similar to my thoughts.
      I believe “it” is “the chase” or “your quest” which is the same to me.
      What’s a “skilled wordsmith” anyway?
      Do we have to be one to find the treasure?

    • Aaron,
      Do you know the logic behind the hat?
      I thought for sure no hat could have more personality than a personality hat.
      P – ers – on – a – lit – y Hat
      Thank you for your vote.

  27. Where’s “atop”?
    At the top of?
    Either way you would have to chop down allotof trees to see Hebgen.
    I can see with my imagination though.

    • At the top of the falls… its a cliff drop… 197′ down, 180° down into the valley/canyon. (The trees in Viet Nam were 300′ tall! ) I think the view from the top will pan from NE to NW across the valley. The trail is on the valley floor, & passes the Gramd Prismatic Spring before going to the pool at the bottom of the drop. (Arn’t prisms used in tight focus instruments?) From the pool, the water flows north to FF’s bathing area on the Firehole. I wonder, could he see the falls? And, is that marvelous blue eye possibly a sweet blaze for pilots flying in and out of WYS to SAF?
      Keeping it simple and poem-pure (I can do that!), can Hebgan Lake (an HoB) be seen from atop the falls?. OS2

      • No. Hebgen is what, 15-20 miles away to the NW, and the land between for a ways is just as high as you are (same ridge) – and as Jake said, tree-covered. You’re in those trees, not over them.

      • You cannot see Hegben lake from atop Fairy Falls. We hiked to the top of Fairy Falls in June.There are two smaller waterfalls above Fairy Falls and it is a wonderful view from up there. We saw a geyser going off in the distance. It is a heck of a climb up though and one an 80 year old would not do.

        If anyone wants pictures from atop the falls give me an email address to send them to.

        • Aaron, I would love to see those pics, and hear anything else you have to say about that view … was there a trail to the top? Or signs telling you stay on trail or climb at your own risk? Thank you so much. OS2 email pictures to me at….
          — niahartman at icloud dot com —

          • Sure thing, I’ll send them from home later. There was no trail going up or on top. We found the best way up just east of the falls in a rocky area. Saw lots of obsidian on the way up.

  28. tighterfocus,
    What if this island was uniquely warm? The weather is described as “banana-belt” weather in a place you would not expect? Did you know there is such a place?

  29. Dear Searchers,
    Did FF ever defines/interprets his view of the Rocky Mountains? I think i solved several clues in relation to the “big picture” (at least the first one), but to find and to start the concret search, IMO, depends on the following: The most important thing to be aware of, is that there are no exact or formal boundaries for most mountain ranges. The transition from mountains to foothills to plains can be very gradual in many places, and drawing any kind of line will be an arbitrary exercise. So, which ranges and mountains does FF define as Rocky Mountains, especially IMO for the Southern Rockies (NM)!! For example: According to the often used boundaries, the Jemez Mountains do not belong to the RM’s.

    Sure, i also know the map from FF in the TFTW and probably it is realy only meant the colored part on that map. It would be logical, bu not absolutely clear.

    Thank’s for some inputs to this view …

    Best regards

    The best-known attempt to define the Rocky Mountains and other regions of the USA was by Fenneman in 1917—there are several versions of his map on the internet

    • Marco,
      My advice is to use the highlighted area on the map in too far to walk.
      It’s pretty clear unless you got a copy of that page that didn’t print the way it was supposed to.

    • I think I see two minor hints in your message.

      Regardless of whether you choose to worry, the summer is almost over.

      As always, IMO

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