Odds n Ends About Fenn’s Treasure Hunt…Part Sixty-Three


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795 thoughts on “Odds n Ends About Fenn’s Treasure Hunt…Part Sixty-Three

  1. WhyMustIGo, (conversation from previous odds-n-ends)

    Somehow I knew that the quote police were going to get involved if I didn’t state something exactly as FF said it. I clearly stated that I was on vacation and didn’t have my quotes with me, but that I recall FF saying (paraphrasing) “Since FF has said that all we need is the poem and a good map, but TTOTC might help; the correct solution must be able to be figured out without anything but the poem & map”

    I was NOT referring to the quote you gave, ““Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map. f” However; this quote is not the only one in which FF talks about what we need to solve the chase.

    Jake/J A Kraven did a good job of pulling together the quotes that cover the what I was saying. Thanks Jake/J A Kraven. That is what I was saying.

    ” All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem” f

    “All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem. The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker.” f

    “All that will be needed are the clues, some resolve, a little imagination………..” (dust jacket of The Thrill of the Chase)

    I’ve heard it over and over again, stated slightly differently ” All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem” f

    IMO, there are some really good hints in TTOTC. They are subtle, but they are there. I believe FF when he says all the information we need is in the poem”. However; I am not opposed to using hints to help solve the clues.

    So, back to what I was saying before the quote police arrived. . . I think it is perfectly fine to use what we believe to be hints in TTOTC, and the ATFs. But, if the solution we come up with, doesn’t hold up on its own without the specific hints and ATFs then the solution cannot be right IMO. If we use the hints in the book and the ATFs and come up with a solve, but that solve could never have been arrived at with just the poem, that tells me that it can’t be right. But, if the hints and ATFs help us with a solve that really could have been figured out with only the poem had we thought about it from the right perspective, then I think its possible the solve is correct. IMO

    • The flip side of what you’re saying (I think) is the situation I find myself in. I came up with my solve using poem/map, and then found hints in TTOTC, etc. that strengthened my solve (possible confirmation bias stuff, sure) and it’s because of the strength of those confirming hints that it’s hard to give up on my solve after BOTG and why I’ll probably try to do 1 more trip before posting my solve.

      • FMC,
        That is what I am saying. If you came up with your solution with with just the poem and hte map, and the hints support your possible solve, then maybe you can tweek it a bit to make sure you have thoroughly worked it through. The poem and the map have to support the solve independant of other sources because we have been told that everything we need is in the poem.

        • “It helps to know something about Rocky Mountain geography when making plans to search for my treasure. Rocking chair ideas can lead one to the first few clues, but a physical presence is needed to complete the solve. Google Earth cannot help with the last clue.” f
          Jenny Kyle, Mysterious Writings February 4, 2018 on 6 questions with Forrest

      • Another thing to consider in his writing is that he seems quite parinoid a lot of the time. When he talks about other famous writers he tells a story about being in a book store and how a young man working there said out loud the title of the book, Forrest thought that the employee must of thought that he was pretty clever making fun of an old man. I think it was just normal business at the check out stand but he perceived it as a rude comment. This isn’t the first or last example of this. Fenn seems to perceive things that people do or say with much suspicion and tends to take things too personal. As I read TOTC to my kids to test the theory that we are over complicating things and a child might keep it simple enough to solve, my kids kept saying “this guy is selfless, he keeps assuming the worst of people”. I reread the book and I must say he doesn’t mind calling himself a showman or even a bit of a conman (the exact words are different but if you read the book you know what I mean). And the fact that he thinks that employee was making fun of him when I’m sure from the story he was just making an offhand comment tells me a little more about Forrest. Does this ring true for anyone else? Do you think that it might have any relevance to to the treasure?

          • Hi Eric,

            I’d define a man who offers millions of dollars of gold to the public the least selfish man on the planet. Forrest Fenn is a decorated American hero. This blog is rife with stories about the man that show he is the antithesis of selfish or paranoid.

            Words are not my thing so it is difficult for me to describe Forrest’s writing style but he makes me laugh in the same way that Vonnegut does. I don’t take things like the “Important Literature” chapter literally, I think Forrest is riffing on Salinger’s H.C. narration style, injecting tons of humor, informing of us things we’re going to need to know to solve, and giving us hints about things to research. An example would be a recent comment by a searcher about the possibilities of the Ovaltine comment being related to air rifles and decoder rings. Certainly something to consider.

            Forrest is able to write in a style where he is poignant when he needs to be on subjects like an individual’s legacy and how we should interact with our loved ones and our community. He’s able to educate us and expand our horizons on subjects that are specialties to very few individuals. But most of all he’s also able to convey anecdotes with tons of humor. My take is that he likes making us laugh as much as he likes to make us think. Try reading the chapters again with an expectation that Forrest might be trying to make us laugh at things and at ourselves.

            Others will be able to explain this better than I, as I say words are not my thing. I own the three memoir books and I can’t help but have my heart jerked, my funny bone tickled, and my brain expanded when I read them.

        • Hi Eric: consider the possibility that the entire encounter with the cash register guy at the Borders bookstore was a fabrication. Alternatively, if you believe everything that Forrest wrote in TTOTC is gospel, then you would have to conclude he is homophobic and a misogynist. I don’t think that’s the proper take-away, do you?

          • No I don’t. I don’t think he is any “ist” that people love to throw on someone. I just think that there maybe something that we can learn about Fenn that we can use to help find the treasure. I am rereading his books and found another example of an interesting quirk of the guy. He seems worried a lot about what other people think, which is good for the treasure because I believe that it is in his nature to want people to believe him. Therefore the likelyhood of him actually hiding a treasure is much higher! But we need to understand him as much as possible if we are to find his treasure, In the latest book, OUAW, he states that he didn’t find Trooper Gregg’s resting place and that his wish, at this time is that the chaparral and long-living creosote bushes will protect that soldier and permit him to rest in dignity …”
            Well, the forest that I have come to know wouldn’t have blinked an eye to dig him up if he had found him. I’m not trying to bash the guy, heck I would have dug it up to help build more historic information about the incident. It just shows another quirk of Fenn’s. Don’t you all believe that knowing Fenn better only helps our search? Oh, and for you who asked where it starts, well that’s easy, right? Of course not but to be honest and fair with everyone, don’t you think that where warm waters halt is at or very near where he took his nature baths???

          • Hi Eric,

            “Don’t you all believe that knowing Fenn better only helps our search?”

            Some would argue it’s essential. I would say that by the time you’ve read all three books a dozen times each, memorized the poem, and listened to him speak in a few dozen videos (in the hopes of gleaning some hints about where he might have hidden his treasure chest), you’ll have a very good handle on who Forrest is.

            To your closing question: “don’t you think that where warm waters halt is at or very near where he took his nature baths???”

            I never have, but many do.

    • Flutterby,

      What all the ATF’s have in common is “find the treasure”

      I think people miss the idea of the book has helpful by doing one of two things;
      1. use the book for answers.
      2. skip the book and think every detail needed is in the poem.

      Yet fenn has said; [paraphrasing] you don’t need to read the book, you need to read the poem. the book will help with the clues, but you can ‘find’ the treasure IF you can decipher the clues in the poem. [imo, the poem is only designed to ‘show us where the hide is’… but we need something else]

      That seems to be a big IF as to figuring it all out without the information from the book. Possible, sure, I guess… But something has to kick start the ‘correct thoughts,’ right? and all we had from the start was the book/poem and the challenge.

      Ha! My problem is the book for me is ‘information overload’. causing me to read the poem many different ways. So I’m probably just not thinking the right thoughts and have all the thoughts being viewed like a kaleidoscope.
      LOL and why the city of Troy took so long to be discovered… Main stream archeologists not thinking the right thoughts, until an amateur archeologist came long and did what all the knowitalls couldn’t.

      • Seeker,
        You said, “… but we need something else”. How can this be true if FF has told us “All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem. f”

        • Look at the wording of the quote… I always type out ‘find’ or “find” when mentioning this quote.
          Basically saying the information in the poem takes you to the ‘finding’ of the chest. hence all the “information to ‘find’ the chest” is in the poem… only the poem can “take’ some one to the hide”

          We need something, an idea to work with, the right thoughts… to understand the clues.
          I mean, for example just looking at a map… I have never seen clouds on one. So how do we “nail down” WWH as clouds without something from the book to push the idea to start with. How do we understand or have any thoughts of clues without reading the book… even IF we don’t fully understand a hint within it or recognize one…

          If I gave you directions stating;
          Start at the parking lot and head down the road, turn at the brown house and follow the flags to the end where you’ll find lots of water.
          Can ya do it? even looking at maps but not being told which maps or area for the correct map[s] to be usable? even if using GE.
          Yet if I tell you story about a time past… can you then relate the directions to a possible location?
          We need something to kick start ‘a thought.’ That something can only come from the book… it’s the only source that came with the poem.

          As fenn said; [paraphrasing a very well known quote ] the path would not be direct without certainty of the location beforehand.

          The poem is the path, where do we start?

          • Seeker,
            You said, “How do we understand or have any thoughts of clues without reading the book…”

            IMO, everything we need is in the poem. Clues in the poem support other clues in the poem.

            You are right. Clouds don’t show up on a map. And yet there are places named for clouds on the map. Cloud Peak is one place. There are others.

            A cloud is one place WWWH. Water droplets freeze in a cloud. Halt can mean freeze. So is cloud the right answer? I don’t know. But, it is possible. Certainly a child would know the answere and it is an answer we “already know”. It requires a bit of imagination.

            Other lines in the poem also use words that can refer to clouds or to the water cycle.

            You also said, “We need something to kick start ‘a thought.” FF says everything we need is in the poem. So if we can’t see what we need to see in the poem, maybe we are looking at it wrong.

      • [paraphrasing] FF. “…but you can ‘find’ the treasure IF you can decipher the clues in the poem.”

        The word decipher? Doesn’t that mean code. Convert into normal language? Decode, decrypt, break, work out, solve, interpret, unscramble, translate and etc…?

        I thought FF said [paraphrasing] “Don’t mess with my poem”.

        • Tracy,
          Decipher means to interpret, understand…
          A poem always need to be interpreted, it’s the fundamental usage of a poem… freedom of word usages.

          The thing is; straightforwards means; without concealment or deception; honest

          So while a poem can be a bit confusing at first [well, always for me… not a fan of poetry] understanding it, takes deciphering / interpretation… to be honest in the intent.

          The problem might be the idea of; how word usages come into play. Wood vs Woods are not exactly the same… even though some like to use the word woods in a solve… the words can be one description, and completely different in another.

          Our job is to decipher the idea of the correct usage. imo.

          Another word halt, can mean stop. another usage of halt can be; a change. If you halt someone by stopping them, both usages can be usable [ depending on other context to the usage ] such as stopping the movement of a person, changes their forward motion. Maybe even changing their direction by giving another direction to move to… ‘left face’ in marching, for example. Or in case of the waters in the poem… down in movement, line of thinking.

          Just about every word in the poem can have different usages… “take it in” to be a physical movement, or to, “take it in”; a view, with no movement at all. “IT” would now be “the view” of what is seen, rather than “IT” being a searcher’s journey, line of thinking.

          Should halt relate to freeze and warm stops being warm and waters is now ice… the idea can be a glacier that “take it in” the canyon down. Or should “begin it” relate to the past “where” a glacier carved a canyon… In present day searching the remains is only of the canyon, line of thinking.

          This is why the idea of reading the line Begin it where warm waters halt… can be deciphered, understood many different ways.

          We can begin it where warm waters does something.
          We can begin it where we do something at WWH
          We can begin it somewhere in a time period [ the past ] and still be at a place in the present.
          We can begin at a place WWW freezes or stops being warm.
          We can combined different / multiple meanings and usages… example begin it where waters freezes in a past time to understand what we see in the present time and still be valid 1000 years from now.

          Yep, that would be difficult to do with each word, phrase, line, sentence, stanza, the entire poem… nevertheless, just that single line in a sentence in a single stanza, without 5 other stanzas and 159 other words to contend with, can give a reader many options of thought… and has fenn said; we just need to “think the right thoughts”

          It would take me more than 15 years and a bunch of aspirin to get it just right.

          Fenn could have easily placed all the clues within in the book… he chose to create a poem with clues to “find” the treasure, within it.

          A quote that I feel tallies the idea of how to approach the solution;
          “I looked up words and definition of words and changed them, went back and rebooted… it [the poem] turned out exactly like I wanted.”

          To understand a meaning ans usage of a word… some times straightforwards is not always easy, as much as, in all honesty.

          Are we messing with the poem? Or is this attempting to decipher / interpret / understand the poem, in an honest thought or “right thoughts” by discovering how Multiple Meanings of word usages may come into play.

          The kicker is [ in this method ] is getting the idea of how to read the poem… The idea might be involved with the subtle hints for the book that will help with the clues… and the poem is the mechanism used to ‘find’ the chest.

          LOL was that a little bit of an over kill to your inquiry.

          Just an opinion… nothing more.

    • I think there are more than subtle hints not deliberately placed in TTOTC, I think there is a framework for the location of the chest.

    • Flutterby- let me help you…the treasure, and chest of the poem are not the same thing. when you understand this simple thing, it should get easier.

      I think.

      • Oh, I agree dodo bird. I do not think the word “chest” in the poem is referring to the TC. But, that is my opinion and cannot be proven until the TC is found.

        • Flutterby- but I can prove it…
          “poem if followed precisely will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure.”

          Forrest never wrote leads to chest, he never wrote leads to treasure chest, he never wrote leads to bronze box and he never wrote leads to TC. nobody needs to find TC its right there in black and white.
          this is a matter of understanding what the end of his rainbow is and his treasure.

          this is not my opinion this is what I read without being under the influence of gold fever.

          • “Poetry that is direct and immediate, speaking right from within the depths of the soul, resounding within life. And it is intensely spiritual without announcing itself as such. ”

          • “I said on the Today show that the treasure is not associated with any structure. Some people say I have a desire to mislead. That is not true. There are no notes to be found or safety deposit boxes to be searched. The clues can lead you to the treasure, and it will be there waiting when you arrive. f”

          • Flutterby- yes, the treasure as in Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Glacier, etc. etc. etc. national park will be there waiting.

          • Dodo.

            You say, “Forrest never wrote…”Leads to treasure chest…” This quote does not say “Leads” but it does say “TAKE” you to the Treasure Chest:

            Richard: What is the poem?
            Forrest: Well. it… there are nine clues in the poem, and if you can follow the clues, ah, one right after the other. they will take you to the treasure chest.” f Are not take and lead the same? – JDA

          • Dodo,
            It’s obvious Forrest was going to die where the chest is.
            I’m going to bring a rocking chair to Draper for Forrest to rest his bones. I don’t think they would let him die there though.

            “I don’t want to give any more clues but if I am not too feeble to return to the chest when my turn comes, I cannot think of any better place for my bones to rest for a few millennia.”

            From one dodo to another.

          • Dodo,
            “In 2,000 years, I hope someone finds that chest & gives it to the Smithsonian & put it on display.”

            Do you think Draper will still be there in 2,000 years.
            Not likely.

          • Jake- google the Lightner Museum St. Augustine FL.
            yes, in fact Forrest can take it with him.
            King Tut did it too.

      • dodo;

        One last attempt at a quote:

        “Mr. Fenn,
        Did you choose the hiding location purely because it was special to you, or were there other considerations? […] ~Michael Monroe

        Thanks Michael. THE SPOT WHERE I HID THE TREASURE was in my mind from the time I first started thinking about the chase. It is special to me and there was never another consideration. I was going to make it work no matter what. In my reverie, I often find myself stealing away to that place and I will always consider it to be mine alone.” f

        Forrest is obviously talking about hiding the Treasure Chest. How can Forrest hide the treasure – which according to you is the great-out-of-doors? He can’t! He can only hide the Treasure Chest! – Please open your mind a wee bit and see what the rest of us see – But, if you choose not to, that is YOUR choice – JDA

        • I often find myself stealing away to that place and I will always consider it to be mine alone.” f

          Who else owns it or is near there? 🙂 Sounds like the melancholy expressed in the Flywater chapter.

          • YUP – YUP and “As I have gone ALONE in there…” and this quote from the waterfall story in “My War for Me”

            I remember smiling and telling myself in an idle whim, ‘If I get back from this mission, I’m going down there.’…I felt I’d made a deal with that beautiful place. “You bring me back and I’ll come down there and personally thank you.” The deal was struck I trusted it, and it could trust me. It was our secret alone.”

            Seems to be a theme here – JDA

        • Thanks for that quote JDA,
          I had to look up that word reverie. I’ve never heard it that I can recall. Turns out it means to be lost in a daydream. That brings me back to the quesiton I’ve wondered for a while. Why are dreams so important to FF? He talks about dreaming and or sleeping frequently.

        • JDA- pretty much everything I do or think seems only to work for me and no one else.
          strange isn’t it?

    • FB, you are correct on your conclusion, but ‘hints’ mean different things to searchers. Some believe the subtle hints in the book point to places near the tc, that will be looking for shortcuts in my opinion.

      Based on ff comments regarding how the hints help with the clues it’s good to look at the definition of hint:

      a. A statement that expresses indirectly what one prefers not to say explicitly.
      b. An indirect or general suggestion for how to do or solve something.
      c. A slight indication of the existence, approach, or nature of something.

      Keeping all three in mind and the fact that he added the word ‘subtle’ in front of it tells me to be extra careful when calling something a hint.

    • Speaking of quotes, can anyone point me to any statements by Forrest that refer to how many clues can be solved prior to putting BOTG??
      Much appreciated!

      • MT1331: there are at least a couple relevant quotes. The one below is probably the most informative (it was posted here on 2/27/2017, but the interview was from May 2015):

        “How much progress can be made by someone just thinking and searching the Internet from home? (Another way of saying this: How many clues can only be decoded in situ?)”

        Forrest: “All of them, in theory, but not likely in practice. A searcher must go to the site to find the treasure.”

        • Hi Flutterby: another more recent quote is from this year’s Six Questions with Jenny, Question 6. Jenny’s question was, in part:

          “But this also got me thinking about Imagination and Knowledge, and how best to solve the poem. You’ve said to marry the clues to geographic locations and treat the poem like a map. But I wonder do you feel a person with ONLY imagination or ONLY knowledge is more apt to solve your poem? For instance, an Kid living on the East Coast might have an amazing imagination, but not much knowledge about the Rockies.

          “How much knowledge do you think a normal East Coast Kid has to have to find your treasure? Or is Imagination enough. As an example, would an East Coast Kid have to become familiar with the western ways, languages, and other manners of the Rockies?”

          The part of Forrest’s reply addressing this question:

          “It helps to know something about Rocky Mountain geography when making plans to search for my treasure. Rocking chair ideas can lead one to the first few clues, but a physical presence is needed to complete the solve. Google Earth cannot help with the last clue.”

          • Rocking chair ideas can lead one to the first few clues, but a physical presence is needed to complete the solve. Google Earth cannot help with the last clue. f

            How many clues can only be decoded in situ?
            All of them, in theory, but not likely in practice. A searcher must go to the site to find the treasure. f

            Is it safe to assume that GE will help with the first eight clues, in theory? Maybe that is the number we need to hit to ‘go with confidence’. A physical presence of course is needed for confirmation and to find the last clue and the treasure.

    • I have a strong feeling there is more to 66,000 links than 8.25 moles. I have an interpretation that crosses directly with my solve.

  2. Aaron,
    I would love to join your site with shared information. I can be reached at butterflygarden00 at yahoo dot com.

    • Good to hear FB. Love your insight. I am in the early stages of creating the site. I’ll be sure it has good security for a private blog side but may also add a public side. I’ll be sure and let you and others that would like to join when it is ready.

  3. Seeker: I think you should enjoy this new ATF:

    “Dear Mr. Fenn, Once you hid the treasure, did you take the exact same route in reverse to return to your car? Thank you. ~ Tyler Y.”

    “Yes I did Tyler, it was the most direct route. f”

    • Interesting answer but not really surprising to me. I would expect him to park as close as possible and take the most direct route in and back. Anyone else see something different?


      • It’s good to have 4WD. Not that one is “allowed” to go anywhere, at any time, with it.

        I’m old enough to remember an old saying: “Rules are made to be

        FF is older than I am.

        As always, IMO.

    • Zap,
      Straight forward… fenn followed the clues when he hid the chest, went back to his vehicle [ for the second load ] following the same route.
      This route had to be repeated for the second load [trip] to complete the task of hiding the chest and the contents.
      We kinda knew from prior comments, there are no short cuts and there’s no other way he {fenn} knows of but to follow the clues.
      In my mind, that is a start to finish of clue 1 thru 9 for all trips involved. The questions I have is;
      ~Did fenn ‘have to’ follow the clues for a reason other than the shortest route?
      ~Did he simply plan the shortest route?
      ~Is there only one reasonable route-?- meaning, the need to make the clue’s trail [reasonable] for most carrying 20 plus lbs. each trip. [other routes more difficult for most, line of thinking.]
      ~Did fenn ‘need’ to make two trips and tells us to do the same [ over several hours of walking to our solve ] for another reason? [for example; look quickly down as to bend or tight area that would be difficult to carry 42lbs by many.] @ the hidey spot.

      However this comment doesn’t clear up [ for certain ] IF fenn followed the clues, parked later at a clue, and only walked to his vehicle to the hide and back… as you and some others suggest. LOL I still ain’t diggin the thought of driving clues… but this comment doesn’t really ‘clear’ things up. It only ‘helps’ the idea; he followed the clues [ walking ] from clue one thru clue nine… and … did it twice because of weight restriction.

      What it may suggest… he parked as close as he could, walked to the Location of the clues [ a much smaller area than many might think, taking the shortest route he could create ] did the first part of hiding… walked back to his car and then back to the location, for the final task of joining the chest and contents.

      Which ever way you/me/anyone might thinks… it really only matter to how one reads the clues… clue one starts at the car, or clue one start at the location needed to be hiked to, or clue one was prior and fenn drove to a later clue… that later is a hard pill to swallow, imo.

      • Gulp…and there you have it. Right where we left off…still sifting through the possibilities and the options are still the same. It seems Fenn chose to answer this Q because it really does not clearly define the problem.

        • Clear as mud…lol
          I wish the question read more like;
          Did you follow/pass by the “clues” on the trip back to the car? Or a more direct question; When you followed the clues to hide the treasure, does that mean ‘all’ the clues, as we have been told to do, hiking the same route for both trips.

          Honestly, the only reason for knowing this would be of an average time scale and plausible distances of the clues… it doesn’t help with deciphering, and only helps in the idea of how far clues might be apart from each other {overall}… miles between?… all in the same location/place…?
          But, that does seem to be our job, to figure out all the details.
          Although, I do like; “… it was the most direct route. f”
          Which imo implies, following-[all]- the clues when hiding the chest was “designed” to be the most direct [ and possibly most reasonable route ] for ‘most anyone.’ “Don’t go where an 80 yr old can’t.

          • If you asked one of us to go to the grocery store to get 9 items…
            -a 20 pound turkey
            -cranberry sauce
            -sparkling cider
            -pumpkin pie

            Most of us would probably try to the take the most direct route from the house and in the store to accomplish it.

            But that’s not the important part, it would be a given that essentially all of us would use a grocery cart from the second we walked in to the grocery store till the moment we started lifting the grocery bags into our vehicle. It’s the most direct way, as such no one even needs to ask did you get the groceries to your car without a cart.

            The point, f took the most direct route. My take is he also used the most direct means of assistance in completing the hide.

          • Fun,
            In your scenario, you do realize you have a location first and more most before collecting 9 places/of items to go to, right? … going to the location of all the items.

            So, as you said ~ ‘My take is he also used the most direct means of assistance in completing the hide.’

            Which I take from that as to mean… he designed the route to be able to carry a load… not unlike that 20lb Turkey that needs toting around [symbolizing the first load while continuing the task of going from one clue to another]… rinse and repeat.

            The idea that fenn followed the clues and tells us we should be able to walk several hours in two trips… implies we do as he did. One afternoon to several hours. Walked less than a few miles [imo, both trips combined.]

            The though is; is this the only route [ the one way in and out theory]?
            Or did he chose the most direct route because of age, weight and later possible plans of finalizing the original plan, should illness come again?

            I don’t recall the age [possible 85 or 86] when fenn stated he could go right to the chest even now [ then ]. I think the trek is much easier than many think it is… especially when designed for a family to travel with kids [ even a 3 yr old girl who may need some assistance to get to the chest ]

            Again, all these ATF don’t help much in deciphering and understanding the poem’s clues… but they might help with all the wild ideas and crazy acts some have done… crossing river, climbing or repelling, traveling a canyon up and down twice [imo] or the need for a vehicle or alternative transport for movement between clues…

            lol The guy from TX with his wife and eight kids would need a pretty big boat for traveling the waters. Of course, he may live near the Gulf and already have one, I guess.

          • Oh! I almost forgot… when’s dinner?
            I’d like to get there early, skip the store bought gravy… I’ll make home made instead.

          • I kinda like my turkey dinner with stuffing…and green bean casserole is yummy too! These days one can order up this list using the appropriate app and the consolidated package delivered right to your door! Shoot…the local market in the city even does it. Some places in Japan have drive through shopping.
            Your point is taken Fundamental and may be true.

          • Seeker, yes I realize that my scenario has a location first before going to 9 places (clue answers?) just like f had a location first to travel to before he followed the clues.

            I wouldn’t exclusively make the same implications as you are with your following…
            The idea that fenn followed the clues and tells us we should be able to walk several hours in two trips… implies we do as he did. One afternoon to several hours. Walked less than a few miles [imo, both trips combined.]

          • Fun,
            Just curious… why?
            You know the ATF’s as well as anyone in regards to what fenn stated he did and tells us we should be able to do, and the ATF’s as what to do; to follow the clues, no other way to his knowledge, etc.

            And allow me to correct my prior comment ~’one afternoon equals several hours’ ~ I didn’t mean a full afternoon time line plus several hours in addition. If that was what you thought.

            What part of the comment didn’t you agree with?

          • Seeker, the part about f tells us we should be able to walk several hours in two trips… implies we do as he did.

            I would want to fully understand what you mean by this part. Are you paraphrasing and combining different ATF comments? If you could post the exact quote(s) where f tells us we should be able to walk several hours in two trips. Cause it sounds like you are combining two different f statements. Then, you state the only implication of that is that we need to walk for several hours in two trips…meaning that if we walk for “less” than several hours we are doing something wrong. I prbly don’t agree with that if that is what you mean.

          • Fundamental — I think Seeker’s wording is misleading since it suggests we MUST walk several hours or we have the wrong solution. That is an improper take away from Forrest’s ATFs. The walk could be as little as 5 minutes for all we know. The relevant statement is:

            “If you can’t make two trips from your car to your solve in several hours, then don’t go. Don’t search anywhere an 80-year-old man could not carry a heavy backpack.”

            This is a safety statement, and nothing more. It was telling the people that were hiking 5 miles one-way to their spots that their solutions were bogus.

          • Fun,
            Zap posted the quote, Although I don’t know how he can dismiss it as only a safety idea.
            Zap inadvertently add his thought that this was only about folks walking long distance one way… The quote stands on its own… several hours to your solve, twice or two trips.

            Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying several hours one way 4 times… all is in combination with all trips up and back in several hours equaling fenn’s ‘trips’ done in a time line of ~ one afternoon, following the clues, and up and back twice.

            Simple example; walk from the car in one hour or less [to the hide ], returns on the same route, [ 2 hours ish ] and repeats, for a total of four hours of hiking in one afternoon. Close enough for horseshoe. Your personal time may vary.

          • That’s what I thought, Seeker. I would stand by my statement that a shorter, one way trip from one’s vehicle trip of 10 minutes or less is completely covered or allowed from f’s statement. For some reason, you don’t agree with that. That’s ok.

          • Seeker: it still sounds like you dismiss the possibility that the total walking time (2 round trips) could be as little as an hour, or even 30 minutes. We cannot tell from Forrest’s statement anything about the minimum time/distance he walked. That’s why I said the motivation for the statement was to discourage people from pursuing solutions that involved absurdly long distances.

          • Seeker,
            One point to add. The tall tell sign that f’s statement could just be a safety guideline for all searchers is that he uses the words “your solve”. He doesn’t use the words “correct solve”. So he’s talking about houndreds of thousands of solves.

            -“If you can’t make two trips from your car to your solve in several hours, then don’t go.

          • I believe Fenn’s “If you can’t make two trips from your car…” comment does not clearly imply that a searcher *NEEDS* to make two trips like he had to. In that case it clearly becomes a *safety* comment to keep folks from extending themselves beyond the scope of the search. Leading up to this comment from Fenn there were some harrowing stories of searchers hiking long distances into not very safe areas. Again it is up to the successful searcher to glean this info from the properly deciphered clues and act them out on the ground. So far I have not seen anything in the poem that leads me to believe I need to do the whole thing TWICE….but that’s just me.

          • Hi Ken: I agree with your thinking that two trips aren’t a requirement. After all, with the exception of that one odd statement about leaving your searching partner in the car, Forrest has pushed the “safety in numbers” motto. With two or more people, there seems no need for two roundtrips.

          • There is another Zap…Weekly Words maybe 2016
            “Sage says don’t try and carry it home in one trip.”
            This one could be ripped to shreds as to it’s actual meaning, especially with the word *home* in it.
            My point above was that I fail entirely to see any indication in the poem that indicates making two round trips through the clues…and following them twice….period.

          • The comment is a fundamental guideline guys.
            Ya know like;
            8.25 north of that city down there in NM.
            The treasure is hidden in the RM’s
            Those have no safety factor involved…

            Fundamental things we should consider while attempting to solve the challenge… not safety facts ‘alone’… and not always in the field, in regard to thinking possibilities.
            Although, if you noticed I stated ‘ one hour or less’ using the idea of max hours as a scale.

            And seriously Fundamental Design… does fenn “need” so say ‘correct solve’?

            Is that not implied as “a solve” [complete], compared to a “general solve”?
            That’s the same as saying fenn didn’t mean ‘all’ the clues when he said he followed the clues.

            Why the heck would the man say; ‘be able to’ if not true?
            Or the actual solve is only a 1/4 mile total with all trips or use the words “less than a few “miles” for what he stated he did.
            Sure, he’s not going to give us an exact distance, or time… but I doubt very much he’d state those ideas of ‘hours and miles’ if they didn’t actual occur while solving the clues.

            Zap, fenn aslo said if your walking 20 miles get a new solve… would that imply a long distance of travel..even by car. I mean, like you said in your solve you could walk it by why would you want to… Fenn has constantly used the term walk when ever he speaks of the clues. Is he being misleading and we need to drive because he may have for some of the clues?

            Seriously guys, how much do you think fenn ‘only tells 85% of the truth, all the time’

            Maybe I’m nutz but fenn has been pretty constant with is wording on the matter… whether fundamental info – safety advise- of Q&A’s etc.

          • Seeker…just for kicks and nothing crucial really…but your premise that Fenn’s comment is NOT safety related may need some *tweaking*. If you click on the Fundamental Guidelines you might notice that it was updated 2017. Leading up to the list of guidelines is an interesting write up.

          • Seeker, yes, f does need to say “correct solve“ for your point to have legs to stand on.

            If you can’t make two trips from your car to your solve in several hours, then don’t go.”

            It’s a fact that not all solves have been to the same general area or to the same “correct” general area as where the tc is hidden (like in the amount of 350,000). Furthermore, it’s obvious that all the “general” solves aren’t correct and are nowhere near the spot where the tc awaits.

            So, when f says “your solve” in the quote it is easy to understand that all those hundreds of thousands of places are different…hence, an overall guideline type statement and not exclusively about the correct hiding spot of the tc where we can determine anything of value to it regarding the correct solve.

            Your solve= the many different solves of different searchers. Essentially, no two are alike.

          • One other thought…there’s no way f would equate “your solve” when talking to all the searchers with the complete or correct solve.

        • Yes, it makes sense that FF would take the most direct route. And he said he followed the clues. Does that mean though that the deciphering of the clues give us the most direct route? Clues pointing to a route versus a spot line of thinking?

      • Hi Seeker/Ken/All: probably the reason Forrest was willing to entertain this question is that its answer doesn’t tell us anything new. I can think of many questions that I suspect he wouldn’t answer because they would be too revealing — Seeker touched on some of them. Foremost among mine would be:

        Q: Would a searcher encounter all 9 clues in the course of moving from where YOU parked your car to where the treasure is hidden if they followed the route you did?

        There is undoubtedly a more “lawyerly” way of wording this that would eliminate loopholes and wiggle room.

        • LOL yep… get rid of “YOU parked…”
          That’s a red flag to a non-answer. But ya got the gist of it.
          If fenn is willing to say he followed the clues, and if my assumption is correct as to be, in all honesty from fenn, to be All the clues… answering if the reverse route was passing the clues should reveal a yes… IF answered.

          The only thing missing for clarification was the wording in the original question, dismissed “all clues” on the route.

          What the Q&A only reveals is; fenn didn’t seem to take any shortcuts / alternate routes at any time while hiding the chest and contents.

          IMO. the only real conclusion [ and in combination with other ATF’s related ]… Fenn started right off following clues and passed by them on all trips.
          fenn walked from the car to a location that contained all the clues [ did his the task of following clues at this location ] and walked back to the vehicle, twice. The second trip was straight to the hide… leaving the return trip the same as before.

          Folks may not like the idea… but fenn may have had to follow his own created clues to actually “complete” the poem’s clues.

        • Key point you made zaphod to me is if he had to do all 9 clues from where he parked the car. I’m new here so I may have missed something, but it seems to me that if the first two clues are telling us begin wwwh, then in the canyon down (not too far but to far to walk), IMO he’s most likely saying he drove part of the way into the canyon. Unless of course you think he used a boat, raft, or bike (which I don’t adhere to).

          I’m not sure why people seem to be so hung up on figuring out how long it took to drive vs walk and so forth. I’ve been all over the country camping in the wilderness for the past 15 years and I can tell you there are places where a 12 mile long dirt road that goes into a canyon to the ultimate destination I’m headed can take 45 minutes to drive. Then there are places where a large canyon begins and I drove 50 miles in 45 minutes. I think there’s really no pre-conceived idea of how long a drive should take that’s helpful in this unless you already have an exact location figured out and you’re trying to confirm it by tying it in with some statement FF already made. Just my opinion obviously.

          Personally, I feel the first two clues are to get us in the right geographical region and don’t necessarily need to be followed through twice to walk to where the TC is hidden.

          • Helen: your thinking aligns with mine. I have no problem driving some of the clues (and consequently, if I had to make two trips from my car to the treasure, it would not bother me in the least that I skipped driving clues on my second roundtrip). I know there are alternative interpretations to “Not far, but too far to walk,” but for me it has always been crystal clear that I am not to walk this portion. So I drive.

          • My current thinking as that the hints (not clues) in the first stanza point us to a general area where WWWH can be found. In my current solve, it points strongly to Montana for about a dozen different reasons. A hint in TToTC narrows the area further for me. (Colorado would be ever so much more convenient. Oh, well. 😉 )

            BIWWWH itself is both the first clue (as per ff interview on New Zealand Public Radio. ID# 9299 on tarryscant.com) and the first specific waypoint (in my opinion). This is not the start of the search, but it is the Point Of Beginning for the treasure trail … the allegorical trailhead, if you will. Get here any way you choose, but this is where you have to start following the clues.

            HoB is another waypoint and is the point at which we cannot continue driving, forcing us to walk the rest of the way (or use some other form of transportation). “Put in” may have multiple meanings here, but I think one of those meanings is “time to park the car, breathe deep, and stretch your legs”.

            All just my opinion of course, except as noted. I could be wrong … and probably am.

          • Exactly, Helen. It makes complete sense to me that driving past some of the clues is necessary because it’s “too far to walk” after “And take it in the canyon down.”

      • As usual Seeker, you have managed to complicate the scenario. But, I always appreciate you tossing out thoughts to consider that may keep us on track.

        You said, “We kinda knew from prior comments, there are no short cuts and there’s no other way he {fenn} knows of but to follow the clues.”

        Actually, I don’t think he said there is no other way but to follow the clues. What he actually said is, “there is no other way to my knowlege”

        Curtis asked the question, “I have a question for Mr. Fenn:
        When you hid your treasures, did you take the same path that is described in the poem, or were you able to skip some of the steps because of your familiarity with the area?”

        Thank you Curtis The clues should be followed in order Curtis (does not answer the question). There is no other way to my knowlege. f ”

        FF’s answer has two sentences in it. They could both be talking about the same thing, but I don’t think so. I think the firest sentence states that the clues should be followed in order (to locate the TC). But the second sentence could be talking about actual knowledge and not the TC itself.

        I’ve spent 1/2 hour looking for a recent comment from FF that I’ve apparently filed in the wrong place. Maybe someone can help me locate the recent quote in which FF was talking about solving the poem and he said, it is a process (or something involving a process)

        I think that when FF is talking about “no other way to my knowlege”, he is suggesting that we must learn something in our journey to find the TC. It is my opinion that the search for the TC leads us through the steps in a process.

        “your effort will be worth the cold”
        your= yore (old or ancient)
        effort=a force exerted by a machine or in a process.
        will= to turn into
        be= exist, come to be, become, happen
        worth=”to come to be,”

        I think that the answers we already know point us to a process in nature that we must learn in order to find the TC.

        Please consider the following three quotes from an online article by FF titled The Mother of Indiana Jones (which by the way should give us a clue as to how to solve HOB-IMO)

        FF was addressing the issue of whethe private citizens should be allowed to excavate on their own private property. Interesting article! If you have time, read the whole thing. But, these three quotes I think are important.

        “In 1931, when Black led Lilly on a field trip to Angel Mounds (the largest known Mississippian site in Indiana), Lilly was both impressed with the vastness of the village and cemetery and was struck by Black’s self-taught knowledge and enthusiasm. Although Black never attended college, like Lilly he was well read and had been collecting artifacts for many years. Lilly realized that the only way archaeology was going to advance would be if he funded a full-time person such as Glenn Black to devote all of his efforts to archaeology. Lilly initiated efforts to acquire the title to Angel Mounds. After federal, state, and local governmental sources failed to acquire the site, Eli Lilly provided the funds to purchase it. Black moved into a house on the site and, with funding from Lilly, devoted the rest of his life to excavating it. Dr. Watkins’ position is particularly curious in the light of the fact that he is currently seeking the directorship of the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology at the University of Indiana, a position endowed by a collector and untrained excavator.” ()

        Interesting when FF talks about Lilly visiting Angel Mound with Black. He says, “Black’s self-taught knowledge and enthusiasm. Although Black never attended college, like Lilly he was well read and had been collecting artifacts for many years” FF could almost be talking about himself here.

        “Each year millions of taxpayer dollars are spent to recover artifacts and produce records that are later destroyed or damaged because archaeologists improperly pack, over pack, stack boxes without lids, or place them in areas with excessive levels of humidity, water, or active rodent populations. In these situations, provenience labels and brown, craft paper field bags rapidly deteriorate. In many cases, artifacts and site records not only go unprotected, but also remain uncataloged for decades. The Army Corps of Engineers (Trimble and Meyers 1991) found that the substandard record management at government-funded institutions resulted in the loss of information that impaired the usefulness of artifact collections acquired from CRM.( )

        The above quote is just necessary to understand this last quote.

        “Too often archaeologists have failed to match the scale of their efforts in the field with the scale of their publication effort. Archaeology is justified only if the information is later made available to the public” (Sharer and Ashmore 1993:156). 

        “Archaeology is justified only if the information is later made available to the public.” Personally, I believe FF has given us this poem so that we (the public) can have an opportunity to learn a process in nature as we seek for the TC.

        We know from TTOTC that FF believes that art and artifacts should be allowed to be touched and experienced, and not hidden away in a museum behind glass. So, in order to search for the TC, I think we need to obtain some of the knowledge that FF has obtained over the years of working as an archeologist.

        What process is it in nature that FF finds so important for us to learn?

        “Not a day passes that I don’t question myself about what lies just ahead and wether or not I can make it happen like it’s upposed to be” p 15 TTOTC

        I don’t think this quote from p 15 TTOTC is talking about setting up the chase and making it happen. I think he is talking from a metaphorical point of view. What is it that needs to happen?

        • Flutterby: the only quote I can find from Forrest using the word “process” is this one from MW Q&A (7/1/2014):

          “Mr. Fenn: In the past when you have said that several people had figured out the first two clues and then went right past the other clues, would you say that they got lucky and just happened to go to the correct starting area, not fully understanding the poem, or would you say that they did indeed solve the first two clues by understanding the poem and clues? C”

          Forrest replies: “Searchers have routinely revealed where they think the treasure was hidden and walked me through the process that took them on that course. That’s how I know a few have identified the first two clues. Although others were at the starting point I think their arrival was an aberration and they were oblivious to its connection with the poem. Playing a hunch is not worth much in the search and those who start out by looking for the blaze, are wasting their time.f”

        • FB,
          This is a quote that implies that The Quest is a process:
          “The blueprint is challenging so the treasure may be located by the one who can best adjust.” F
          “Have flashlight, will travel”

      • I am of the mindset that if you follow the clues they reveal a route. At the same time, if you are aware of your destination, there may be multiple routes available. Considering I can only do the actual searching driving a 30 ft motorhome (I’m disabled & have medical reasons it wouldn’t be possible to travel another way). My husband does the BOTG searches based on my research while I wait in the RV. So for us, if we thought only 1 absolute route available I might never even try. We are always having to check and see which mountain pass we can take this RV on and which campground in the National Forest can accommodate our vehicle. We are pretty daring compared to other RVers though. At times taking the rig places most wouldn’t but we always work it out somehow.

        I am also thinking that FF probably put in several places on the route you don’t necessarily have to stop at, but are his favorite places so he’d like you to stop. Sort of like your own personal FF tour.

        • If you are aware of “your destination”,then you should drive there in your RV, right?
          At that point, do you send your hubby out to bring back the …

          • I think that was what I explained in my comment above. He does the driving though, not me (bad ankles/
            weak legs) We’ve done 2 searches so far. I waited in the RV while he did the searching/hiking. I wish I had one of those amazing but super expensive all terrain tank like wheelchairs. Then I’d write about my WOTG experience! One of the things I miss the most from before my ankles and feet became damaged is hiking.

            Oh, and being able to get a full night’s sleep. Insomnia time right now as a matter of fact.

        • He did take a sedan when hiding the treasure which suggest that you don’t need an off-road vehicle.

    • I’ll not tangle with the quote police and it may not be relevant but I think he also mentioned in one of the interviews that the poem might not take you on the most direct route to the treasure. If you are sending a stranger to a destination you send them through gates or waypoints they can find to help lead them. “Begin…” and “Put in…” I think are waypoints. Where as If you know the destination and the lay of the land you might walk striaght to the finish. Forrest has said many times that the first clue is the most crucial to solve and it will help the others click into place when you find it.

      • Not rabbit-holes so much as Trout-risings. Fenn ‘put-in’ more than a few iffy words & phrases to explore. A reader develops an eye for them just as a fisherman reads a glint of light and shadow on the water as a “rising.”

        Three of my favorites are: Baby Ruth, Meadowlarks, & osprey.

        1) Baby Ruth candy bars … Why not just say ‘candy bars’ in this 40-60 year old tale of two cocky teens lost in the mountains? The brand name is like a… trout rising.

        2) An 8 year old shoots meadowlarks for dinner with his DAR … Was shooting songbirds ever legal in Texas? Would a principal condone illegality? Was the French legend, broadway play, and beautiful song about love and hurt simply a glint & shadow on water, or a trout rising from a deep hole?

        3) FLYWATER opens with a 50th wedding anniversary & comments on marital adjustments, and, “…watching an osprey dive for fish as I wrote a note to my wife.” Nice image, ospreys mate for life. A totem trout?

        Confidence comes with experience, always test ‘how deep is that hole?’ We can fish this river.


        Ps. Per one fishing source, there are 3 types of rises… sipping, tailing, & jumping.

        • One thing that I haven’t heard is that maybe he followed the clues in his mind, but only physically followed some of the clues when he hid the TC.

          We know that he parked the car, but never mentions when among the clues that he parked. For example on my solve he couldn’t have followed all of the clues physically on foot or any mode of transportation. I believe he only followed all of the clues in his mind because he is familiar with the entire path of the poem.

          I see no reason for FF to physically follow all of the clues when he hid the TC. Heck I followed only part of the clues physically when I went on my search. I found it redundant to follow all of the clues as I knew where I was going. However I did follow all of the clues in my mind.

          I’m not saying this method is correct, that is how I see it as a possibility. He never said he walked the entire path of the poem from clue 1 to clue 9. Never has FF ever mentioned where in the poem at any particular clue that he was out of the car. Answers to how and where is speculation, the same as WWWH and HOB, not until all is said and done.

          The poem and a good map for ME is all that is needed. Subtle unintended hints is like finding a needle in a haystack and more than likely wouldn’t be found as there is an overload of information and more than likely be speculation as to what the subtle hints are.

          Just Say’n and may not be correct.

          Good Day 🙂

          • Charlie…here is a good one for you….in part.
            “…Counting the clues and hiding the chest came later. It is not likely that anyone will find it without following the clues, at least in their mind.”

    • Do you think it could be a bus? He had to make two trips from his car. 60lb in a bag or backpack would look suspicious. There are a few places you have to take a bus from parking lot.

      • Smokybaer: good take-away! Forrest took the most direct route. Suggests there might be an indirect route.

          • Interesting that arriving from the air (heli, parachute whatever) would be most direct to anywhere (not in a cave)…strange. But the context is walking, following the clues as he did (no other way)…seems he is saying that in a reasonable, normal search method, his route is the most direct…not in the hypothetical such as hiring a heli to get there.

    • But what we don’t know at what point following the clues he parked his car. How many of the clues were passed while sat in his car? Does anyone know of any ATF’s relating to this?

      • rexnest;

        None that I am aware of. Wouldn’t that be giving away too much? For me, and many will disagree, I park at the “END” – “…the end is ever drawing nigh.” – But that is just how it works out for me – JDA

        • The only problem with parking close to the chest would be that I wouldn’t then be able to follow the poem to get to the chest. Unless I arranged a lift back upstream to the start of my solve, but it just doesn’t seem right I would need to do that

          • Rex;

            If you can “Follow the poem in your mind” or “see it on a map as you drive fairly close – What is the problem? I drive along-side a creek or stream or river from WWWH to my “end” point, where I park.

            I then hike near (almost parallel) to a creek or stream from where I park to where I think Indulgence is. I go downhill from WWWH to the “put-in” point, then uphill from there.

            You appear to go downhill for a good portion of your solve – and that is fine IF you can drive a
            good portion of the way and hike parallel to your water course until you reach the hidey spot.

            Only you can decide if a 79 or 80 years old man could do it. If not, find another area to work on – JDA

      • Not this again. It doesn’t matter where you park your car, your bike, your horse, airplane or whatever. All you have to do is figure out the places the clues refer to and get yourself there somehow. Parchute would be fun! I really truly think that if we understand the poem, then we will not need to ask these questions. But, of course that is my opinion.

        • If any of us truly understood the poem, we would be sat down with a cold beer and a heavy chest with a massive smile. The point I was making is that using an alternative mode of transport is a massive part of my solve but this means returning to the car using the same route would be problematic. If however you figured out where the chest was, would it be possible to park closer and not have to do the entire return route. Everything else seems to come together very well, so I would really like to make this one little hurdle work to give me complete confidence in my solve.
          I’m sorry if this topic has been discussed at length but I haven’t been able to catch up on much for a while

          • Rex;

            You say: “The point I was making is that using an alternative mode of transport is a massive part of my solve but this means returning to the car using the same route would be problematic.”

            This tells me that you use a boat, a raft a canoe or Kayak and go DOWN a river or creek, and that getting back up stream would be a problem.

            Two trips in an afternoon done by a 79 or 80 years old man – Doubt that Forrest could carry a boat, raft, canoe or kayak back up a waterway TWICE (If he hoped to keep the water craft).

            From what you have disclosed, I MIGHT rethink my solve – but that is just me – JDA

          • Hi JDA, you are spot on with your assumptions. The thing that constantly eats away at me is that everything else seems to fit perfectly even the ATF’s I’ve seen. With so many different interpretations of every clue/hint I would love to see this one point work. If FF took the route my solve suggests, the ONLY problem would be travelling back upstream to get back to his car. I’m happy to discuss more points with you JDA, as I live in England, getting out to prove/disprove my thoughts is very difficult for the foreseeable future.

          • rex;

            I do not disclose anything in an email that I will not disclose on the blog – but, if you want to chat, my email is : SculptorJDA at aol dot com – JDA

          • Hi Rexnest: the involvement of a watercraft on a river, stream or creek (as opposed to a lake) could be problematic, as you surmised, depending on the flow rate. I’m sure you saw the recent Q&A on Jenny’s which seems pretty fatal to a solution with a one-way water approach:

            “Dear Mr. Fenn, Once you hid the treasure, did you take the exact same route in reverse to return to your car? Thank you. ~ Tyler Y.”

            “Yes I did Tyler, it was the most direct route. f”

        • Flutterby ~I really truly think that if we understand the poem, then we will not need to ask these questions.’

          But thus far, we don’t, do we… Asking, thinking, inquiring is a needed part IF we think it will help to eliminate all the tangents.

          Rexnest, fenn stated; * To answer some questions and save others from being asked, I did follow the clues in the poem when I hid the treasure chest, although I hid it before the poem was complete. (Completed?) f (posted 6/5/2107)

          Dissect away…
          Some of us are still trying to get what fenn meant by “complete (completed?)”

          I think; fenn may have been saying… to actually finish the “poem’s” challenge [ what it was meant for ], he needed to place the chest and present the poem to the public by way of his book… hence complete, completed, completion of it all.
          Without the above, the poem means nothing, and would be useless on its own. The chest had to be hidden, [ even though the poem could have been written years before ] The book would be memories for the reader to enjoy, and no challenge presented, without the prize to be known of and laying in wait.

          In the attempt to “try” and simplify the comments… fenn followed the clues [ the same ones he told us we need to follow, in “precisely” the same manner, because, to his knowledge [ the guy who created it all ] “there is no other way…”

          Well, That is my dissecting of this comment. I’m sure others will differ. That’s why the blogs can be “entertaining”.

          • Thanks for your feedback seeker, much appreciated. I am happy that FF followed the poem to hide the treasure and we as searchers must do the same. My only issue would be returning to the car with the chest using the same route.
            Do FF’s comments indicate we must use the same path to both find and retrieve the chest? I don’t believe they do but others opinions are very helpfull

          • Not an exact answer – but close – Question posted 6/20/2014:
            I have a question for Mr. Fenn:
            When you hid your treasures, did you take the same path that is described in the poem, or were you able to skip some of the steps because of your familiarity with the area?
            Thank you Curtis
            The clues should be followed in order Curtis. There is no other way to my knowlege.f

            Hope this answers your question – JDA

          • Rexnest,
            There is a recent Q&A that basically stated ~ He went back to his car using the same route.
            So.. it he ‘traveled’ [ I don’ want to say “followed” ] the same route back… the ‘physical’ path seems to be needed for travel.

            But I understand what you’re saying… did fenn follow his own instructions to get to the chest’s hide or need to physically follow the clues.

            I’ll ask you this; If you created clues that were apart [by any distance] and could go to [lets say] to the blaze or any other clue.. without ‘needing’ to go to ALL the clues, would you do all the clues? Probably not, right?
            However, If I asked you, did you follow the ‘poem’s clues’ [ like fenn has been asked many many times ] and you stated you followed the “clues” — would you be misleading me if you didn’t follow ‘all’ the clues?

            Fenn stated “clues” If that doesn’t mean ‘all the clues’ in the conversation of the poem he created and we’re all attempting to decipher… imo .. it would be very misleading, and fenn has stated he wouldn’t intentionally lead [aid] or sway way [mislead] a searcher.

            Personally; my conclusion is he followed the clues in, because he may have had to. And took the same route each trip.

            Here’s another question of thought;

            It sound like your theory has clues that are some distance apart… Have you considered the “route” taken is not the clues, but only a ‘route from the car’ to get to ‘all the clues’ and then followed by the poem’s deciphered message/clues?

          • JDA and Seeker,
            Thanks so much for your responses, comments like those are exactly like I was after.
            JDA, I would appreciate an unbiased view of my solve so I will message you later with more info in the hope that you can give an honest view on whether or not you think it is viable. The respect you have from the majority of folk on here makes me value your opinion greatly.
            You have both given me fresh ways of looking at comments made by FF that were my stumbling point and I thank you both for that.
            Seeker you were spot on with the distances involved in my solve but using the poem as a map for me to locate the chest rather than one that must be travelled to retrieve it, would definitely work but this is my issue… And I want to be 100% sure before looking at making a trip over

          • Rex;

            I make it a policy to NOT read other’s solves. Too many potential legal problems. In a private email I will be willing to share with you what I will and will not discuss. Offer an idea about a particular line, or clue, and I may or may not offer an opinion, and I will tell you why

            Not sure I have the respect of some searchers, but thanks anyway – JDA

          • Rexnest.

            Here’s something to ponder…

            Q- [in part with a comment ]Numerous searchers are convinced they know where the treasure is, and are close-minded to alternate options. Only one, if even one, of course, can be correct. It seems a bit sad for seemingly so many to be entrenched on a wrong path, even if treasures of a different type can be found there as well. From your perspective, what do you feel causes such blindness or stubbornness?
            A~ Stubbornness is sometimes confused with tenacity. There are many avid searchers looking for the treasure who are not blinded by its value. After I hid the treasure I never went back to that spot, and now I can’t.

            At age 80 something [ 85 ish I think ]
            fenn said he could go right to the chest [ on that day or time ]
            I don’t have the date of the “six questions with FF” [above]
            However, a question come to mind of a possible reason he ‘can’t go back’ and might related to following the clues and not so much driving out clues…

            As my example prior; If there’s a hike involved just to get to the location of the all the clues [ which might be in a much smaller destination/area ]
            is where fenn [ hypothetically ] parked [no matter at which clue] now tftw even if it is the last clue.
            One of these thoughts might shed a little light.

            Each scenario has a problem of distance for [ lets say an 86-7 or more ] that fenn might not be able to make.

            Yet, What is the more likelihood that fenn followed all the clues and no longer able to do just that [walking], or fenn later clues are just as far apart, as some suggest, and it would matter were he drove to? It just too far at the age [from where he parked ] when he answered the Q&A.

            I haven’t looked for the prior statement or the date on this Q&A above… but it might help you to look them up, to see if the age difference has any impact to the comment vs. the Q&A and your personal solve.

            Just a thought……..

          • Rexnest

            Note; I double checked and the “six questions” was feb 2018.
            Hope that helps… you still have to check out the comment’s date, but i’m pretty sure is was around the time fenn was 85-86. I think.

          • Seeker and Rex: another quote relevant to the current conversation:

            “I don’t know I could physically get it. I’m not as agile as I once was. … When I walk 50 yards, I have to sit down.”

            That doesn’t sound like the words of a man who is pondering paddling a canoe or rowing a float-fishing boat.

          • Zap – most float trips, while in craft with controls, you mostly just float…that said, I agree, ff did not make the hide from a boat (IMO).

            I’m a little surprised no one reminded rexnest that FF told us he did the ‘hiding’ in 2 trips WALKING from his car…he carried the box in first, back to his car, then using a backpack, took the booty in…he did all this in ‘an afternoon’. Rex…your solve is busted (IMO) because 42lbs (20lb box + 22lb gold) is a lot to carry…try it, load up a backpack with 20lbs and see if you would risk navigating a river…now if you’re saying he loaded it all in the boat, went down river, parked the boat, then hiked in somewhere, that is a possibility, but I believe he has stated ‘from his car’ he ‘walked’…good luck and maybe don’t buy that ticket just yet.

          • Hi TBug: you bring up a point I should have touched on. It’s the same one that eliminates horses from serious consideration. In short: WHY TWO TRIPS? If you’ve got a boat/canoe/kayak/whatever, there is no substantive difference between 21 lbs. and 42 lbs. You’d do it in one trip, if only for logistical convenience.

            Now I do want to comment on one statement you made, TBug, which isn’t completely true:

            “… FF told us he did the ‘hiding’ in 2 trips WALKING from his car…he carried the box in first, back to his car, then using a backpack, took the booty in…he did all this in ‘an afternoon’.”

            There is a follow-up question that Forrest answered (sort of) that should cause you some pause:

            MW Featured Question (3/2/2015): “Forrest, you said you made two trips from your car to hide the treasure. Besides walking, did you use any other methods of transportation to get back and forth between the car and the hide? Thanks, Edgar”

            Forrest replies: “Edgar, your wording of the question prompts me to pause and wonder if I can answer it candidly, yet correctly. Were all of the evidence truly known, and I answered in the positive, you might say I was prevaricating, by some definitions of the word. And if I answered in the negative, you may claim that I was quibbling. So I will stay quiet on the subject. Thanks for the question anyway. f”

            My interpretation of this is that Forrest *mostly* walked. But at some point he did something that was distinct from walking, thus his problem in answering the question truthfully. Could be crawling, climbing, jumping, take your pick.

  4. In the previous O&E there was conversation about the Gilbert Gaul painting, has anybody seen it?

    • I doubt it, Ozten. A proposed candidate image may be posted on FB this week.

      Here’s the mention and description from TTotC (p106):

      * * * * ” . . . a black and white oil painting by Gilbert Gaul, who was a Civil War painter with good credentials. . . . The scene depicted a man standing on a wooden bridge holding a smoking pistol, with a dead dog at his feet bleeding all over the boards.” * * * *

      (the full story of the painting from TotC:
      * * * * * * Our gallery soon became a cistern for ideas and opportunities
      that constantly flowed into it, but I didn’t always know if a deal was good or bad. One time a friend came into our gallery with an art dealer from Amarillo. The two of them talked me into giving $5,500 for a black and white oil painting by Gilbert Gaul, who was a Civil War painter with good credentials. I hated to borrow the money, but I did. The scene depicted a man standing on a wooden bridge holding a smoking pistol, with a dead dog at his feet bleeding all over the boards.
      Well, over the next few years I tried to sell the painting to everyone I knew and the response was always the same: rolled eyes and an inquiry about the nearest restroom. I finally traded the poor thing to a museum for a small French watercolor, which I happily sold for $1,500. It pictured a bunch of fairies dancing around a rock, if you can believe I’d come to that.
      But the result of the whole episode was inordinately profitable for us because it was so educational. I learned about friends, art dealers from Amarillo, Gilbert Gaul, black and white paintings, smoking guns, and dead dogs bleeding on bridges – and I never made many of those mistakes again. Sometimes my memory can have a very long attention span. ff * * * * * *)

      The chapter is Blue Jeans and Hush Puppies Again

      (heh heh – Hush Puppies, Dead Dog? good one)


      • jake, (heh heh – Hush Puppies, Dead Dog? good one)- I always thought this was the only hint on that story since there are other instances in the book where he uses a word or phrase that means two different things within the story. Those are the only hints I’m interested in anyway.

        If someone finds the actual painting though, it will be great to see. It must be a ‘severe scene’ since nobody wanted to buy it from him.

        • Pepe Hush (just for fun)


          (the actual painting scene as described by ff sounds like something from a Stephen Crane, Bret Harte, or Jack London story)

          (and again, just odds’n’ends, not something that’s gonna get anyone closer to the chest, or even closer to a clue)


      • Hush Puppies ! Good one Jake. All the stories about tight Zebra boots, worn out slippers, pictures of feet propped up to the fire… good gravy man!

        • Ken- yeah man, whats with all the feet anyway?
          a person would tend to think feet may be the blaze. or maybe not a person but certainly a dodo.

        • Ken –

          This talk of feet gives me a chance to bring something back up
          These 4 measurements are equal:

          66,000 links
          8.25 miles
          43560 feet
          1 acre

          Now I ask you, the smartest most knowledgeable guy on the blog, is there something here?


          • Lugnutz: an acre is not the same thing as 43560 feet. An acre is 43,560 SQUARE feet. You could have added 660 chains and 2640 rods as equivalents.

            I would like to point out that Forrest made a mistake in that post back in April 2012 that I don’t recall seeing anyone mention. He wrote 80 square chains made a square mile. They don’t. What he meant to write was that 80 chains square made a square mile. It’s an interesting “mistake” to me because he made a point in one of his memoirs of writing he knew the difference between two square miles and two miles square, but the teacher didn’t. (The answer is: “two square miles”.)

          • I figured if anyone had noticed, it would have been you, Ken! I don’t think Forrest brought up the PLSS just for idle chitchat. It has certainly played a part in my solutions.

          • Lugnutz…I suggest you head back to the original posting on Saunier’s blog. Personally…I never got much further than Fenn speaking of the year 1620 and riding one’s horse past 80 telephone poles…but yeah…I actually do.

          • Zap

            Take a deep breath and read what Forrest wrote way back then.

            “The Treasure chest full of gold and precious jewels is more than 66,000 links north of Santa Fe.”

            More than 66000 links may be a reference to how far nothing the TC is, or you can read that another way.

            Later Forrest does say the TC is at least 8.25 miles north of SF. And both things are true, even if not related.

          • I think the mention of the 66000 links was also a way for FF to make sure people had a chance to know what a Gunter’s Chain is. 66 links is the length of this surveyor’s chain. I have been trying to figure out what the meaning of the magnetic declination lines on Forrest’s map are and I think he may simply be trying to tell us to orient to true north. One of my theories for our next botg is that when and if we find the blaze, we need to orient north and walk the length of a Gunter’s Chain.

          • Helen…A Gunter’s chain is 66 feet long…and has 100links.
            I think probably that is what you meant….

          • Ken, yes absolutely. Thanks for the correction. My brain got scrambled as I am thinking faster than I can type! Ever since I found about and started this treasure hunt, I dream weird dreams about it at night too! Last night I had the treasure, only it was back in the wild west, and I was running from some bad dudes who wanted to steal it from me! I’m probably not the first to dream that or to have a muddied up mind from too much wheel spinning!

    • Haven’t seen it but did find it in a catalog of Gilbert Gaul paintings. Its called Dead Dog.

      • The catalogue entry is known, FlutterB, but the shot’s not complete till an actual image can be compared to ff’s description.

        Monet painted 25 “Haystacks”, Cezanne (the guy on the left in my avatar) painted “Mont Sainte-Victoire” dozens of times, Van Gogh has his many “Sunflowers” and “Cedars”.

        It won’t get anyone closer to the chest, but to some of us it’s a curiosity itch worth scratching, Gilbert Gaul being a notable painter of 19th century Americana (both Civil War and Western), and this being an (alleged) unseen painting of his.


  5. Zap on the previous O&E’s you stated “These aren’t the innocent mistakes of an ignorant former art dealer. Who is the audience for such aberrations? I guess I’m surprised so many searchers handwave them away.”

    While it is hard to believe that they are just mistakes it is hard to know if they are meant to be hints. How do we know that it isn’t just FF having fun with us? He knows all of his words are scrutinized so making an accidental mistake is hard to believe. When he says something out of the ordinary or makes a mistake it makes people talk. It makes people think. This adds to the chase, and the mystery of it. I’m sure he enjoys it.

    • Hi Aaron: I agree that anything that Forrest does that adds an element of mystery to the Chase is good for publicity. As a man who well-understood the value of advertising, Forrest would recognize the importance of keeping the Chase “fresh.” But to answer your question of how we can know that Forrest isn’t just having fun with us, my answer is “statistical unlikelihood.” If the same hint is provided in dozens of different ways, it begins to strain credulity that it’s a statistical fluke rather than the simpler explanation that it’s purposeful.

      • I understand that you believe it Zap but for some of us that do not see this hint that you speak of it is hard to fathom. On the surface it seems like some of these things might be hints, but the plethora statements that could be hints makes sifting through it all and making guesses too long and daunting of a task. It is the opposite of simplify.

      • Zap: “If the same hint is provided in dozens of different ways,”

        Simple Zap, It’s not what you think are hints that matter, it’s only what are hints that matter.

        You see hints.
        I see aberrations.

        The thrill of the aberrations.

      • I believe so, I mean I think I would be entertained by it if I where in his shoes. All of us are entertainment 🙂 I’m sure he throws some good bones out there but hard to know which.

  6. if I was to but botg from wwwh I would have to walk about 54 miles to the TC – if I was to drive I would have to drive 54 miles plus 6 more miles off the main highway to where the TC is then park and walk less then a quarter mile to the treasure chest – walk or drive I would still go by all the clues

    • Frank,
      Why would fenn follow 54 miles, plus some, to hide the chest?

      In this scenario, fenn’s bathroom could be where WWH and drove by landmarks from his house to the hide… 54 plus miles away.

      “… people figured the first couple of clues and unfortunately walked past the treasure chest”
      another; [and I don’t ave the exact quotes] talked about searchers within 500′ and 200′ being different searchers or two different search parties, the one group had the first two clues and came within 200′

      That would mean ALL of the searchers [500′ or 200′] would have had to ‘known’ of all the prior clues to drive by and land 54 miles away, plus 6 miles off the main road and ALL walk the same 1/4 mile… right?
      Yet at the time, no one had given fenn the correct clues after the first two. As well as, in 2017, some may have the first four clues correct…
      It mind boggles me how anyone can drive past the first two clues [ because they told fenn where they were ] without knowing of the third, four, fifth …etc. and get that close to the chest… nevertheless adding 60 miles of driving in between.

        • dan rogers,

          Real Life Indiana Jones Interview, Fri Mar 8, 2013
          There have been some who have been within 500 feet because they have told me where they have been. Others have figured the first two clues and went right past the treasure and didn’t know it.”

          Forrest Gets Crazy Mail (12/15/2013): “Hello Forrest, May I ask – is it still true that now, even with searcher numbers doubling in the last year, you still don’t know of anyone who has solved beyond the first two clues? Emily”
          “Dear Emily, Searchers continue to figure the first two clues and others arrive there and don’t understand the significance of where they are. f”

          Six Questions With Forrest-July 3, 2014
          A man has been within striking distance but so have some women. That’s probably not a good subject to discuss considering the volcanic effect it could have in certain blog arenas. I wish someone would ask me a question that I would feel comfortable answering, like what color is a daffodil.f

          Six Questions With Forrest- July 3, 2014
          Searchers have routinely revealed where they think the treasure was hidden and walked me through the process that took them on that course. That’s how I know a few have identified the first two clues. Although others were at the starting point I think their arrival was an aberration and they were oblivious to its connection with the poem. Playing a hunch is not worth much in the search and those who start out by looking for the blaze, are wasting their time.f

          Questions With Forrest
          JULY 26, 2016
          Q1) Is/are the searcher(s) still involved, those you had indicated in August of 2014, who were within 200 feet of the treasure?
          A) I don’t want to answer that question because it would reveal too much. f

          Q2) If so, are he/she any nearer at all after two years time?
          A) Don’t know. Sorry. f

          OOPS, one more on this (pretty please)
          Q3) And IF he/she are still searching, after two years’ time, has ANYONE else neared or passed he/she in proximity to the above mentioned “within two hundred feet”? I’m hoping for a mind tingling, fire starting, blog buzzing answer from you, but just a response is fine by me!
          A) No need for oops, but again, I don’t know. f

      • seeker I don’t care who said what – but in my salve – there is no way you are going to get with in 500 or 200 with just 2 clues to get that close to the chest it would of been the last clues – your efforts will worth the cold and in the wood – so what happened to wwwh hob heavyloads and waters high and the blaze so it doesn’t matter if you walked or drove you would of had to gone by the other clues so like you say ff said no short cuts what happened

          • seeker – sorry if I sounded mean – nothing against you I like to discuss the chase with you – youre ok – so lets get it on

    • Great post. To the point.

      Enjoy the wilderness safely and responsibly.

      Blathering just requires Dal to obtain more file cabinets or wherever all this discourse gets stored.

  7. Zap –

    Once again you insult us all with your ideas about Fenn mistakes/hints and your attitude.

    Here is part 2 directed at, of all people, pdenver:
    Pdenver: I’m 100% sure they’re hints, but of course can’t prove it to anyone here. I can only encourage searchers to be suspicious of such flagrant errors/faults, and to speculate on Forrest’s motivation for making them.

    Zap you most certainly can prove it to anyone and everyone by just telling us one time what you see. Tell me why F changed the name of the Graciella painting and then I will tell you what I think.

    It’s difficult to hear you from so high on that horse. You need to speak up instead of speaking down.


    • Lugnutz: how are my words insulting? I expressed mild surprise and curiosity about why so few searchers show interest in the errors. Like they’re no big deal. I just want to understand the resistance. It’s like Forrest is waving a red flag, yet no one cares. Why?

      I thought my reply to Pdenver was polite, and not at all condescending or rude. I expressed my opinion: that I’m 100% sure that the aberrations are hints. And I expressed a fact: that I can’t prove it to anyone on the blog. And the reason I can’t prove it is that by providing just one example, you and everyone else would know where I am searching.

      “Tell me why F changed the name of the Graciella painting and then I will tell you what I think.”

      I’ll give you an answer, but you won’t like it. I believe he changed it for exactly the same reason that he mentioned Amelia Earhart’s Electra.

      • Interesting. I didn’t realize the Henri painting’s name had been changed until reading it here. If what I’ve looked up is correct, the real name of “Graciella” is “Florencia.” The envelope in scrapbook 107 was possibly addressed to Mr. U Puceet in Florence (CO or MT?). Coincidence?

      • West of Toledo: Florencia is correct. Hard to say what’s actually written on the envelope in SB 107. We’re made to think it says “PuceeT” (teecup backwards?). What’s funny is all the OCD “annoyances” in that one picture: cap off the pen, crooked stamp, folded corner on the $5 bill, and haphazard alternating all-caps with upper and lower case letters:

        Mr.: upper and lower
        U PUCEET: large and small caps
        ?LDErNES ? single lower case r
        ?orenc: all lower case except perhaps first letter, and as you point out could say “Florence”

      • Zaphod,
        I didn’t think your words were insulting at all.

        And, I like the way you describe, ” “statistical unlikelihood.” If the same hint is provided in dozens of different ways, it begins to strain credulity that it’s a statistical fluke rather than the simpler explanation that it’s purposeful.”

        I agree that it is the statistical likelihood” that a clue repeated many times in different ways is more than likely to be a hint.

      • Zap

        You contradict yourself.

        You say one hint doesn’t make a solve. You make it sound like the hints you see that we don’t are almost insignificant.

        Then you say you can’t reveal even one of those hints because you fear we would rush out and get the treasure.

        And after all the hard work you put in.

        Here is a prediction.

        You will go to the grave never having told us why the name of the painting was changed or why Electra, or why lollypop or why the ABC ducks.

        • Lugnutz, I don’t see any contradiction. The hints are subtle — that’s why you don’t see them. (That’s “you” used in the general sense, not you specifically.) I didn’t find them either — at least not until well after I had WWWH. I’m not sure I’d even call them hints for that very reason — I don’t think you can use them to solve a clue. I’ve mentioned before that I prefer the term “Easter Egg.”

          But just because the Easter Eggs are subtle does not mean that once solved they are insubstantial. Solving just one of them would eliminate two states (and 95% of the remaining two states), so I hope you can understand why it wouldn’t be sage of me to just give you the solution to one of them.

          But I’ll tell you what — before the year is out, I’ll give you the answer to the Henri painting, Amelia’s Electra, the ABC ducks, and perhaps another dozen examples. I’m actually very much looking forward to your reaction, and will be a little disappointed that I don’t get to see the expression on your face change. 😉

          • Zap –

            I will look forward to hearing those ideas.

            Keep in mind that in every case so far the chasers that have written me had nothing. One of the chasers on HoD is smart and has good ideas and simply never actually shared enough for me to make a judgement. I’m adding this so that if he reads this he won’t think I am corralling him with the others.

            Corralling has two r’s and two l’s.

          • What do you mean by “before the year is out”?

            Some searchers might prefer that you just specify a “deadline” date that is easily understood by most of those
            searchers. But please don’t use any esoteric/arcane
            language like the word “halt” . . . ermagerd!

            As always, IMO.

          • Tighter F –

            Rest assured my good fellow.
            Before the sun sets today you will have your answer!


  8. My guess is that Mr Fenn is telling the truth when he says that he could go to the chest right now. Must be easy to get to.

  9. Looking back over this thread, “Time” seemed to be an important element. Thinking about “Time” I got to thinking about Forrest’s three memoirs.

    Not too long ago, Forrest published his third memoir. The covers on these three memoirs are each very different. One might ask why?

    For his first memoir, “The Thrill of the Chase,” Forrest chose (designed) a cover that featured three photographs. As can be seen, it includes pictures that reflect parts of Forrest’s life. Why did Forrest choose this cover, we might ask? What is a memoir anyway? A memoir is a trip back into the past, looking at one’s memories. Maybe that is all that Forrest wanted us to do in his first memoir – take a trip back through Forrest’s life, and looking at some of his memories.

    For his second memoir, “To Far to Walk”, Forrest designed a different cover: As can be seen, for this cover, Forrest chose to show only the shadow of himself. To me, I think that Forrest was asking us to look beyond ourselves, and to take a trip back through time – “Not far, but too far to walk.”

    Forrest has now completed his third memoir, and designed a much different cover. For this cover, I think that Forrest is now asking us to take a trip, through time, that goes back much farther.

    “Once Upon A While” is an interesting title. Most would say, “Once upon a time” – instead of “Once Upon A While.” Maybe Forrest means – “Once up a time – a while back.” Or “Once upon a time – a long while back” or even, “Once upon a time – a very long while back.” – But that would be too long a title, so he settled for, “Once Upon A While.”

    With this in mind, let’s look at the cover: Forrest is seen now, not as a picture, nor even as a shadow, but now only as a stick-figure – fishing – one of his great loves. Going back in time to the simplest renditions of the human figure – One that a child, or even a caveman might draw.

    The over-all theme, at least to me, seems to be a trip back in time. How long of a trip? What is the importance of that trip? Maybe only the finder of Indulgence, and (of course) Forrest, knows the answer. Just ponderin’ – JDA

    • JDA,

      I think with every memoir F does is for us to get to know him. Maybe knowing him, might help in understanding the poem.

      Just a thought

      • CharlieM;

        Although all three are called Memoirs, OUAW is more a republishing of SB’s – most of which are about things that have happened to “others” – and little to do with things that happened to Forrest. Stories about historical figures etc. J Lots of “Stories” not related to HIS memories -Just a thought – JDA

        • With each “memoir” there is less and less about Forrest and more and more about other people. Maybe that’s the real message; life is not about ourselves, but about everyone else … including the non-human “everyone elses”.

          Just a thought.

          • I agree Ray, Sometimes people miss the obvious.
            I need to get outa here cause the complication police are right around the corner.

            They take every letter and word that we or Fenn says and analyze it to where it’s unrecognizable to us.

            Memoir really doesn’t mean what it is to them.
            Statements from Fenn could mean anything.
            I’m paranoid.
            Goto go.

          • Pssst,
            Keep in mind the “Fenn quote police” are working with the “over complication police” in covert.

            Throw the books and poem at them when they get too close and have a map ready to get the heck out of there.
            That should hold them at bay for a bit.

    • JDA,
      I’m impressed with your analysis of the connection between time and the book covers. May I suggest that “Once Upon A While” was chosen as a title because the poem starts with the word “As” which can mean the same as the word “while”. Is the book title a subtle suggestion that the correct definition of As=while? Just wondering.

      • Flutterby;

        “As” can also mean SINCE – “Since I have gone alone in there (sic)”…You too should be alone when you go “In There”

        This interpretation serves as a warning to the solver, whereas your interpretation – “While I went alone in there…” talks about only what happens to Forrest at the time he “Went in there”

        Which is the better interpretation – Of course, I like mine, and am sure that you like yours.

        “While I went in there…” indicates that something else is happening at the same time – What is happening? “And with my treasures bold” OK at the same time he went in there with his treasures bold… what? “I can keep my secret where…” For me, there is no correlation…and adding the last line “And hint of riches new and old.” does not (for me) complete a thought.

        Whereas, with my interpretation – “Since I went alone in there (sic) – you too should be alone when you go in there (Interp.)… and with my treasures bold, I can keep my secret where = Since I was alone, I can keep it a secret where I hid…my riches new and old.” A complete thought or idea whereas your interpretation (using as = while) -( to me at least) does not complete an idea or thought – Just my observation – You may see it differently – JDA

        • JDA,
          What you are saying makes some sense because, as you say, it gives a complete thought.

          Since I don’t think that “I have gone alone in there” is even talking about FF taking the TC, I see a different meaning in it.

          The nice thing about sharing ideas is that someone might toss one out and it could help someone else. I tend to think your ideas are well thought out although I often have a different opinion.

          • Glad I had something that might help. – And having different or differing ideas is GOOD!!! – No one HAS to agree with me. I am happy when I learn that someone read what I posted, and happier if I learn that it made them think a bit. Have a GREAT day – JDA

        • Eaglesabound, IMO, in my solve both book covers are spot on…state & map of the journey. And I mean to the tee!

    • JDA…Interesting ideas about the *time* line concerning the 3 memoirs. Memories are important…and I believe Fenn’s created the spirit of the Chase. One thing that stood out to me was the title of the 3rd memoir which you touched on a bit. What I found interesting was the choice of *a while* vs awhile. The choice of either can change how one may perceive what is meant….or not.

      • Hi Ken;

        I honestly had not thought about it, but you are correct. There IS a difference between awhile and a while. I had to look it up:

        These two terms represent different parts of speech. The two-word expression a while is a noun phrase, consisting of the article a and the noun while (which means “a period or interval of time”). The one-word awhile is an adverb that means “for a short time or period.”

        The “A While” (Which Forrest used) does fit my thoughts better.
        “A period or interval of time” vs “fort a short time or period.”

        Thanks for showing me the difference. Nice to learn something every day – JDA

      • Hi Ken: I have wondered if the reason he chose While vs. Time was in deference to Eric Sloane (not wanting to copy Eric’s book title).

        • That’s a good point Zap. Fenn’s a *wily* ole boy…and perhaps it means nothing significant at all.

        • Zap –

          It follows his line of thinking that phrases and names have been used “incorrectly” for ever. He like to rearrange things to make more sense.

          Traditionally we say:
          Once in a while
          Once upon a time

          Fenn’s point of view may be that they make more sens the other way round. And I agree.

          Once in a time
          Once upon a while

          A while being a period of time. Time being a segment of while.


    • Thanks JDA, For me, another fascinating thing for me about the timeline is that I’m learning about stone age man, bronze age man, jet engine man, and internet man. I’m still pondering ‘New and Old’.

        • Certainly part of it. Another part is journeying to amazing spots on the planet and meeting amazing people. The probability of me ever finding the chest is extremely close to zero but these other aspects combined with exercising the grey matter make it lots of fun.

  10. Same old crap…same old babble…same old biddies…the leaves will be turning soon and the snow will follow. Y’all need to get botg sooner than later…IMO.
    I got good news and bad news…the bad news is Travis Brown has found the Home of Brown!!! The good news is he’s digging up his back yard at an alarming rate!!! BAHAHAHA!!! You’re killin me smalls! Like him or not he’s botg and that’s what it takes to solve this. Within the last week I decided to read the scrapbooks from 165 to the present. Didn’t really think about it before now other than his last one 188. But after reading those prior to 188 …man he’s shouting at you with the obvious….IMO

    9 years and counting? Must be a good reason right? (Big Smile) The 6th stanza explains exactly why it hasn’t been found … IMO
    I think there’s 2 huge hints in the TTOTC and 1 aberration…and then 2 solid hints for where you need to look…IMO
    Y’all better get that private information sharing room soon because summer is almost over! Reminds me of a Gordon Lightfoot song…something about a shipwreck? IMO Forrest wants it found before the ship sinks and when most hiking boots are hitting the closet, I’ll be BOTG and earning my keep. I just wonder if he’s watching the chest 24/7? Nahhh…no cell phone service in the mountains 🙂 right? Forrest Fenn you rock!
    My Dad once told me as a young kid that sometimes you gotta do what’s right rven if it’s wrong. I’ve been debating and I believe he was 100% correct. He was a mechanic in the Korean war and a machinist afterward. A lot of German engineering. Stanza 6 is a tell all as to why it hasn’t been found…who, what, when, where, and why!!! IMO…ONLY!!!

      • Dodo it’s all good. But as a neutral observer just step back and look at the big picture. Others see it also but then again it seems like most of the horses in this race have blinders on. It’s no wonder F speaks of Dizzy Dean in sb188 because some of you hit the nail on the head with your knowledge and then wander off aimlessly. IMO. JDA just hit the nail on the head and if you do some simple resesrch on a few things and follow your ❤ then you’ll learn what love is all about. IMO many of you work so well together on EVERY scrapbook! No bickering at all. But when it comes to odds n ends it’s the exact opposite. Step back and look what a newbie sees with all the snarky comments about each others. I don’t know about you peeps but in my book it’s supposed to be about the thrill of the chase but some on here lately have made it about the thrill of the smacdown. If I ever fine Indulgence I’m going to start a nonprofit for family pets!! So many people can’t afford to help their pets and they die needlessly because of COST! Pets are innocent family members and love us unconditionally. They have no sayso but place their trust in US and die because of costs! I’m all in… I just think what I see in the scrapbook mentality is commendable.. IMO
        And dodo, sorry pal

        • Thanks again Deano – I have at least one member in my fan club now (Just kidding) – JDA

      • Big yawn….another biddy heard from. So does stupidity! Thanks for the death threat…

      • Naw, safety tip, really. Misread your sense of humor, I guess.

        You’ll appreciate the old joke about a fight at a baseball game.

        Eighteen guys run onto the field yelling “Hold me back! Hold me back!”

        • Well played player! I just didn’t understand the purpose of the comment…long story short there are many new people viewing and it just looks ugly and a few women have made reference to the nastiness and it’s g unnoticed and continues. You peeps rock with GREAT ideas and I truly believe one of you in HERE will be the one to solve it!! Man you all work together like champs on the scrapbooks but lately it’s gotten nasty and all of us should treat these discussions that would make Forrest PROUD! Like I daid, I don’t care what others think of me but step back and look at the last few weeks and it does not represent or reflect what this chase is all about. Y’all rock with genius! Im not even close to you peeps on that level but I refuse to stand by and watch some reduce this blog and chase to uncomfortalbe borderline nastyness. I’m nobody but this chase has one name associated with it and this blog has one name associated to it and both deserve our best! So we all need to step up to the plate and think before we hit the SEND buttun! ❤ Thanks Forrest and Dal is all I have left to say…❤ sorry if I have offended anybody… BOTG PEEPS! Lets get this done. ❤ ❤ ❤

  11. Dear Dal,
    (I did not see a place to email you, so I am commenting this on your last post. My apologies if it is in the wrong spot.) So, I was pretty confident I saw something that most people were overlooking. With this said, my imagination got the better of me this weekend and I continued down a more creative path, which turned out to be a tangent off the main road of common sense. In my defense, I saw a lot of clues that pointed this way, and I was excited! To make a long story short, I dissected the book and boiled it down to its essential parts…literally. There are no bindings, strings, or glue left to hold the beautiful pages together. I feel horrible since I’ve never destroyed a book before, but then again, I never hunted for a treasure either! There is a first for everything :). I am sitting here nesting in the paper pages after my golden goose has been cooked, and wondering if it is possible to post the preface of “Too Far to Walk”. I am trying to save enough money to get to the Rocky Mountains from my home in Hawaii, and I will have to buy another TTOTC copy as these lone pages fray to their bitter ends.
    PS Your video of Fountain Flats is beautifully shot… nice job!
    Thanks H

  12. Fundamental Design,
    I agree, “a shorter, one way trip from one’s vehicle trip of 10 minutes or less is completely covered or allowed from f’s statement”/statements

    • No wonder there’s wavering.

      A longer-than-ten-minutes one-way BOTG trip from one’s vehicle to the place
      one may define as “the hidey place” is not automatically/necessarily “disallowed” or “discouraged” either. I never thought that, on a specific day, FF hid the bronze chest in the Rockies, after carrying the chest for more than 1,000 feet on foot after taking it away, for the last time, from an automobile to make the hide. As always, IMO.

    • Hi Rocky: Thank you for cross-posting! I can think of at least one YouTubing searcher who isn’t going to like those admissions from Forrest, but then again he’ll probably come up with some excuse/justification for why the commas, etc. are still crucial.

      At least Forrest’s answers are 100% consistent with the private message (I reposted here months ago) that he sent to another searcher (not to be named) about the irrelevance of the commas: “… no need to over-think it or look for commas and misspellings as clues.”

      • Commas, I agree with but not misspelled words. Worchestershire.
        I went to my refrigerator and took a long pull of Worchestershire
        Sauce to clear my head.
        It spells “chest” for a reason. I think it’s the letter count to the beginning of the word.

        • Here is a quote where Forrest seems to disagree with your mis-spelling idea: “Mindy,
          I would never encourage you to “screw responsibility,” as you say. I have encouraged everyone to get out in the mountains, but you should always think of your family first. Please don’t become obsessed with the search like some others. I have always said the poem will lead you to the treasure if you have the right map and know where to start. It is straight forward so THERE IS NO NEED to over-think it TO LOOK FOR commas and MISSPELLINGS AS CLUES. It was not written with the idea of fooling anyone.” f

          Are you sure that you want to go against what the author of the poem states? Risky business in my mind – JMO – JDA

          • It was not written with the idea of fooling anyone. f

            Don’t we all hope that MR ANYONE will show up at some point and find this thing cause it surely has been fooling everyone else for 8 years now… 🙂

        • Good eyes ! So maybe the chest is at the end of a long draw? Or in a draw? Or in a drawing? Only the shadow knows if it’s too far to walk? Well played Rock!

      • I concur. My feeling is that the exact punctuation and other fine mechanics are unimportant. It seems to me (just my opinion/impression) that Forrest has been urging us to not overanalyze nitpicky things and to focus instead on the mental images the poem conjures up in our minds. We are supposed to “see” the clues, then go look for them.

        This is certainly consistent with hints I see in TToTC that are helping shape my current solve. I try to consult my inner child on every idea I have, to keep me from getting too analytical. That little boy inside is having more fun than Forrest on an iron fire escape! LOL

        • YEA – YEA for letting “Little Ray” come out and play. He will show you the way!!! – JDA

          • That sounds like a Rodney Carrington song JDA, but I agree that letting your inner child, or subconscious, guide you is definitely the right way to go.

        • Do some research Ray because IMO you just hit an aberration on the HEAD! And IMO you are 100% correct on the punctuation theory also!! Great start IMO! I’m rooting for ya Ray…and you too JDA 😉

      • Hi Deano — I wouldn’t call it snarkiness, but rather a rejoinder to recent events. The comma cheerleader firehosed us here for days about how stupid we all were to not place the high importance on commas that he did. So yes, I admit to a bit of enjoyment in reading Forrest’s answers.

        • Zap you’re the man in my book! I’m rooting for you too! Some of the women have mentioned the snark and i know what you were doing but you’re better than that! We can see your ❤ …continue to help the others the way you have been…I don’t care what others think of me…all that matters is you have a good ❤ and you do.! We all can see that…❤

        • Lug: on the misspellings, there are many as you know. Some are probably innocent errors (e.g. desert instead of dessert in OUAW), but others are clearly not (e.g. Richard Wetherill spelled Wetherell or Orson Welles spelled Wells when the picture a few inches away spells it correctly). And would a life-long fisherman spell caddis wrong? I freely admit I don’t have explanations for some of the misspellings; but for some I have decent theories.

          • Zap –

            BUT, Fenn actually told you there are no clues in misspellings. You posted that.

            “… no need to over-think it or look for commas and misspellings as clues.”

            Ho can you now say the misspellings are clues? Hints, Easter eggs whatever. All the same. Clues

          • Lugnutz: I’m not saying the misspellings are clues. I’m suggesting some of them appear to be hints. None are that important. The many backwards sayings are much better hints, IMO.

          • Ok, well I will look forward to hearing what the reversed and manipulated sayings mean.

            Keep in mind, my father did the same thing. I also do it. I also refer to every landmark in our lives by a different name. My wife has to figure out what I am referring to. She is quote good at it, as any wife would be I suppose.

            My father was a Korean war vet and he used a lot of words that no one else used. Like moretyper.

          • * * * * Zap “on misspellings – Some are probably innocent errors (e.g. desert instead of dessert), but others are clearly not (e.g. Richard Wetherill spelled Wetherell or Orson Welles spelled Wells when the picture a few inches away spells it correctly). And would a life-long fisherman spell caddis wrong?” * * * *

            None of these are unusual coming from a small press, and a likely unedited manuscript.

            No reason a life-long fisherman couldn’t spell “caddis” C-A-D-I-S every day of his life. Or easily mis-type it. Or even type it correctly and incorrectly on the same page, and have a proof-reader silently “correct” the wrong one.

            I entered the samples above into Word 2010 –

            Wetherill Wetherell Welles Wells caddis cadis

            and the only one it questioned was Wetherell.

            Without access to the original manuscript, with no knowledge of the proofing and editing process (or who and how many participated, and how much time between submission and press time), and no data on the number and types of errors that *were* made, caught, and corrected, “*clearly not* innocent errors” is too strong a phrase. Proposed inferences are possible, conclusions are problematic.

            This is in part an answer to your fair question earlier in this scattered thread about why searchers would just turn a blind eye to aberrations right in front of their face.

            The answer is that not all searchers ignore them, but to some of us they don’t look like they look to you.

            This read like a shutdown, Zap, but it’s not at all intended as such. I think the questions are intriguing, we just ask different questions of the same evidence.

            I value seeing how you go about asking and answering them. Though from what I can tell we have different backgrounds in wordworking and wordplay, and I’m not sure we’ll ever align.

            It’s a living dialogue.


          • Thank you for chiming in, J A K. I would agree with you that simple typos are to be totally expected for what is essentially a ma-&-pa publishing outfit. Nevertheless, the few mistakes that have been left uncorrected are a bit strange for a man of Forrest’s background.

            The ONLY spelling mistakes that I found in TTOTC had to do with words with which Forrest was intimately familiar, three of which were proper names: e.g. caddis, Wetherill, Navajo and Colombia — three of which were on the SAME PAGE. Yes, these are things that a computer spellchecker of 2010 may have had trouble with, but let’s be realistic. To have so few spelling mistakes in a self-published work (excepting the ubiquitous compound noun errors, which seem to be a Forrest trademark), do you not find it remarkable that the errors are ALL for words that are squarely in Forrest’s wheelhouse?

          • You could be, and probably are right about some clever hints that are flagged by such things.
            Equally puzzling to me is the consistent over-use, IMO, of numbers such as how many cats get how many shots of milk, etc….., hints sprinkled around maybe?

            Ultimately I have given up on trying to find and use “hints”.
            If there, then they are just as open to misinterpretation as the poem itself. Which will only compound any dead end solutions, and keep you lost in the weeds.

            And I don’t think you need anything more than the poem, a good map, the direct statements from Mr. Fenn such as, not under water, not in a dangerous place, two trips in one afternoon, etc. The book helps understand him and where you might want to invest your efforts.

            Making all this difficult is easy to do.
            Making it easy is difficult.

          • In fact, I picked my moniker way back because I thought shooting meadowlarks for dinner was a hint.

          • Zap –

            What is the caddis misspelling?

            Would you mid providing the quote from he page?
            And maybe what ever precedes it?


          • Hello Lugnutz. “Flywater,” page 125:

            “The book now occupies a different shelf, closer to my view, for it holds some memories most dear and makes me know that moments such as those are fleet-of-foot indeed and calls to make them all the more. It is well said that ‘God subtracts from the allotted time of man, those hours spent fishing.’ And when my tackle box is closed at last and the cadis hatch is gone, I will rest through all of time and space, pillowed down and scented in, with a smile that comes from remembering the special things that brought me to that final place, one of which was knowing Peggy was there, somewhere, waiting for me.’

          • Should clarify to those new to the Chase. It is found in “The Thrill of the Chase,” Chapter “Flywater”.

          • Pdenver –


            First, and I think Jake almost said this, spellcheck EVEN NOW does not recognize CADDIS but does recognize CADI.

            So if anyone is thinking that CADIS is a clue I would say that’s bunk!

            I would add that Fenn does not correct it because he does not care.

            My opinon

          • On an Assyrian tablet of 2000 B.C. we find the following: “The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men’s lives the hours spent in fishing.”—Herbert Hoover

          • You’re welcome, Lugnutz. Let’s say the cadis vs. caddis is a simple mistake Spellcheck didn’t pick up. What about Richard Wetherill’s name as Zaphod mentioned? Let’s say that, too, is a Spellcheck error. What about the quote I posted? Would this still be considered a Spellcheck error. Reminds me of the scrapbook Mr. Fenn did a while ago about his Spellcheck smoking (paraphrasing).

          • Pdenver –

            It’s my opinion that Forrest rewrites those saying to make more sense, or to be clever. My dad did this his whole life. Everyone was annoyed by my father’s missuses of names and phrases.

            It is certainly possible, maybe even likely, that the specific rephrasing that you mention is a hint or clue.

            Do you have an idea of what the hint is saying?? Any ideas generally on these re-phrasings?


          • Lugnutz, this is a very good question which I believe we need to dig deeper. I keeping thinking faults and having a hard time thinking elsewise. With the particular quote, one thing I noticed is that they’re opposites. This, too, was discussed by searchers. Did you notice Mr. Fenn’s response in the current scrapbook? I keep reading it and wonder if he wears a smile on his face or if he’s hinting at something.

          • Thank you, pdenver, for posting the relevant section from Flywater for Lugnutz. In just those last two sentences, we have the cadis misspelling (possibly nothing), a reversed Babylonian saying about fishing, and a reversed phrase from Alan Seeger’s “I Have a Rendezvous with Death.”

            Strangely, Lugnutz opined: “It’s my opinion that Forrest rewrites those saying to make more sense, or to be clever.” Make more sense? Man is now punished for all those hours spent fishing?? Cleverness I agree with: he has subtly changed the line such that most people don’t even notice it’s bass-ackwards.

          • Zap, I think what some want to know is where are you going with it. There are some misspellings that are difficult to call them a hint. Navaho and Navajo are the same in the dictionary and can probably be used interchangeably. Maybe not Colombia and Columbia but both they are real words nevertheless.

            Now Wetherill to Wetherell, Welles to Wells and caddis to cadis if not misspellings then what is the hint there??? Are you looking for misspelled words in the poem or are you purposely misspelling words in the poem to fit a solution? Either way is a no-no, right? ff said do not mess with the poem and do not look for misspellings.

            So if something here is resonating with you maybe you can be a bit more specific at least, if not, then there is no need to be calling us boneheads day in and day out because nobody else is getting it. This is not admonishment, just a friendly request from a fellow traveler.

            See the long postings from Flutterby yesterday where she explained in depth some of the recurring thoughts from all of ff writings and the way it makes sense to her. They may or may not mean something to me or you but she has been making the best effort to walk us through her thinking process. In the other hand if she came and said, ‘I don’t understand why nobody else here is bright enough to pick up on this thing about the ‘design deficiencies’ without giving any reasons then some may get annoyed. Not because we have not noticed but because most saw it as ‘writing style’ and nothing else.

            I hope you understand where I’m coming from and again is not an attack, just friendly chatter.

            Btw, my recent research was based heavily on punctuation and it just got shot down by the latest ff post. I’m choking on a big @$$ semi-colon right now. 🙂

          • PD ~ ‘Lugnutz, this is a very good question which I believe we need to dig deeper’

            Yep, a great question from lugz. Only might I critique just a bit about “dig deeper”?

            I have read your posts and enjoyed your thinking process… I’d like to give you an example of what I see, that might, refer to digging deeper, yet without the idea of all this “research”
            Fenn’s jars and bells have the word “knowlege” It was misspelled deliberately [ stated by fenn ] as an attention grabber.. But the more important word in the saying on those items is “imagination”

            This might be similar to the idea of brown being capped. Brown grabbed All the attention, and research began in everything brown/Brown related went into high gear. [ lol might just be the most researched word in history ].
            Yet little notice go to “home”.

            Many use Brown as the word that is key or ‘a’ key. A simple deduction, I agree. but is it that simple-?- when we have an example of a word that does grab your attention “knowlege” yet we have been told, shown other’s quotes [ in the book ] that Imagination is more important than knowledge.

            Now for further examples; We have ATFs which state;
            ~If you knew what hoB is you’d go right to the chest… [ really, lol apparently we can’t look for the blaze in the middle of the poem, right?] but ok, no problem.
            ~If you know what hoB is why be concerned about WWH [ HUH? but isn’t that the clue we need to ‘nail down’ or we have notta? and stay home.]
            ~ and a second hand info, DG was kind enough to share, “where is your ‘home”?
            ~ and Cynthia’s recalling ~ ‘remember I said the treasure is not associated with a structure’ in regards to something mentioned about hoB.

            So, folks read these ATF’s and again hit the research on everything brown/Brown related… even things never mentioned in the TOTC or any of fenn’s memoirs. And yet with all the thousands of hours on that word alone… no find.

            Could it be… just like the quotes in the books or SB’s Q&A’s etc… the “ideas” might be more like the jars and bells? A subtle, yet indirectly hinting, that something else is more important and we oversimplify? Seeing what we want and not so much what was meant…
            Not unlike over simplifying the fact that there are many WWH in the RM’s.. resulting in dart tossing. { above, is only examples of thought }

            How deep do we need to dig, or better, do we need to dig at all, and just think more about what we have-?- and how it is written, presented, Not unlike the Quote in the book or Sloane’s opening line, or anything “abstract that grabs your attention”

            If I was the type of researcher ya’ll are… I’d be looking at Richard / Rich, rather than the misspelling of Witherill or what ever his name is. “Hint of riches new and old”…. Maybe, “the answers I already know…”?

            Just rambling and rumbling…

          • Hi Oz10: “Zap, I think what some want to know is where are you going with it.” Yes, I get that. I don’t have a solid answer for Navaho/Navajo — Forrest has used both spellings, so he probably doesn’t care. (Transliteration from a foreign language allows for flexibility on spelling.) Columbia/Colombia may also have been inadvertent (though we do have that dove sitting in the crescent moon to perhaps consider).

            Wetherell/Wetherill I have an explanation for (it’s nothing earth-shattering, and not that helpful IMO). I lump it in with the preponderance of ELLs that Forrest has sprinkled throughout his stories. (Count them up — there are a LOT.)

            The Orson Wells/Welles mistake (there’s that ELL again), however, directly ties in with one of the clues in my solution. And the second cadis in the Flywater chapter is sandwiched between two reversed sayings, the first of which hides an important hint (in my opinion), and so “cadis” could just be serving in the capacity of a marker or “blaze” to take notice that something nearby is amiss. The reversal itself of the sayings/quotes/lyrics etc. is to me indicative of something fundamental about the overall poem solution.

            “Are you looking for misspelled words in the poem…”

            No. There are none.

            “… or are you purposely misspelling words in the poem to fit a solution?”

            Absolutely not. I don’t change a letter of the poem. Because:

            “Either way is a no-no, right? ff said do not mess with the poem and do not look for misspellings.”

            Quite so.

            “Btw, my recent research was based heavily on punctuation and it just got shot down by the latest ff post. I’m choking on a big @$$ semi-colon right now. ”

            While punctuation in the poem probably has nothing to do with solving Fenn’s puzzle, I wouldn’t be too quick to completely dismiss punctuation oddities found in the books. For instance Borders/Border’s is relevant IMO, as is the missing second hyphen in what should have been Amos ‘n’ Andy.

          • Zap –

            It’s ok.
            You are missing the point of changing the saying.
            Fishing is folly as are most things we enjoy.
            Why would God give Fishermen a pass?
            Shouldn’t Fenn be doing something other than fishing.

            I don’t know. These are questions.

            Since Pdenver asked, do you, Zap, have an idea why this phrase was turned?

          • Hey, I see what you are saying. These oddities, for you, are not so much hints but ‘flags’ to pay attention to. I believe some of them are too, to what we pay attention after that differs from one searcher to the next and in some instances, if they take us into a rabbit hole we will dismiss them momentarily. I try not to call everything a hint. We all have the same information to work with.

            Forrest wrote about these flags in SB 179:

            Do I want to misspell a word to make the reader stop and look it up, and maybe feel a need to respond? It’s okay if the reader wants to work with me. I use other techniques too, like corrupting a word or idea.

            So there he talks about misspellings and ‘idea corruption’ like the reversed (sayings, quotes, lyrics). Those are ‘flags’ for sure. I have a list of the reverse sayings and now I’m working on compiling a list of words and phrases with double definitions to see if I can recognize patterns. I understand that I could be making a mistake if he was careful not to leave any patterns and that is exactly why imagination comes into play.

          • Hello Seeker. I appreciate your response and enjoyed what you had to say. While reading towards the end of your response of “the answers I already know…,” it brought to thought of knowledge or the past. Perhaps “hint of riches new and old” is a suggestion of something yet to be.

          • Pdenver and Lugz,

            On that quote, this is only my opinion, Forrest questions the original version. In a way, he wants to correct the record, being that he has spent many hours fishing throughout his life and unfortunately they will be subtracted at the end. No matter how long we live we should live longer unless some way, somehow those days were subtracted from us. The gods lied.

          • Zaphod, Lugnutz, Seeker, and Oz10, is there a word that seems to echo in the stories in TTOTC to you?

          • It’s only my theory, Lugnutz, but I believe the overarching reason why Forrest alters anything like this is to mark it as a blaze: something that stands out so that we will take notice.

            So, having attracted our attention, we then are supposed to ask ourselves: now *why* in the world did he want to draw our attention to this line? My answer is: it has nothing to do with what the line means, either before or after the alteration. It’s about steganography. In all these cases, I believe he selected lines because he noticed they happened to contain within them a hint relevant to the Chase.

          • * * * * Zap – “The ONLY spelling mistakes that I found in TTOTC had to do with words with which Forrest was intimately familiar, three of which were proper names: e.g. caddis, Wetherill, Navajo and Colombia — three of which were on the SAME PAGE.” * * * *

            Ya ‘ta hey-o, Zap

            Navajo/Navaho, as you and others have since noted, were commonly interchangeable, especially in the 19th and early 20th centuries (in fact, in the early 1930’s Mesa Verde Nat’l Park made ‘Navaho’ their official spelling in all public-facing printed material).

            Richard Wetherill’s paternal grandfather was Richard Wethereld in Ireland, changing to Wetherill upon arrival in the ‘States (why, I dun’no). I’m sure you know that ‘our’ Richard’s name is spelled Wetherell on his tombstone in Chaco Canyon. Fits your ‘ells’ collection.

            Richard Wetherill was killed on 22 June 1910. Here’s a website with pictures of a family re-union in Chaco Canyon on the 100th anniversary of that event, 22 June 2010 (a date which may have some special resonance for you, and maybe ff).


            (Slide #9 on that site is a picture of the Wetherell tombstone for anyone interested)

            * * * * Zap – “Yes, these are things that a computer spellchecker of 2010 may have had trouble with, but let’s be realistic. To have so few spelling mistakes in a self-published work (excepting the ubiquitous compound noun errors, which seem to be a Forrest trademark), do you not find it remarkable that the errors are ALL for words that are squarely in Forrest’s wheelhouse?” * * * *

            I’m eager to pursue this question too. We’re helping our youngest daughter move to Durango (CO) this weekend, and Odds-n-Ends will most likely flip over again before we’re back.

            I hope to pick it up again upon return next week – maybe we can move it to a more stable thread (the TotC book, perhaps?) where it’ll remain long enough to exchange thoughts on typos, and aberrations in general.


          • Zaphod, what you say makes so much sense! It needs to be fully explored and examined.

            As humans we are very good at recreating processes we’ve been shown (building a fire, etc.) or understanding something deduced or discovered by someone previously (the moon is a sphere that reflects sunlight) To be the person who first discovers something or sees it as it really is for the first time is extremely difficult. Sometimes when shown the right answers we have difficulty adopting and accepting them; look at the difficulty Galileo had trying to convince learned men of Copernicus’ theory that the Earth revolves around the sun.

            From Wiki, “Steganography is the practice of concealing a file, message, image, or video within another file, message, image, or video”. That is not an exhaustive list so we just have to add to it “Steganography is the practice of concealing a file, message, image, map, or video within another file, message, image, poem, or video”. We have been told by the creator of the poem that this is the case so we are way ahead of the game and don’t have to deduce that there is information inside the poem, we know it is there. We just have to recreate the transformation process to retrieve the 9 clues that indicate a map to a physical location in the RM’s where a treasure trove exists. Our choices are seemingly limitless but the poem creator has provided hints (however he is not going to provide us the answers).

            We are told to look for things that catch up in our brains. When the solution clicks we’ll ask ourselves why we didn’t think of that before or what took us so long. Encourage creative, inventive, and imaginative processes and hopefully Occam’s razor will prevail.

            I’d highly recommend Adam Roberts:”What Did Tessimond Tell You?”. Has anyone read it?

        • Seeker –

          Try so simplify if you preserve.

          My mom did not, but my aunt did.
          I remember the tall kettles of tomatoes on the stove. The skins peeling back. The scalding hot water used to sanitize the jar. The deep canyons carved in my aunt’s pale Irish palms.

          I never really liked her spaghetti sauce.

          I wanted to sit on the back stoop and eat the cucumbers I watched my cousins pick. But my aunt told me they had been canned!

      • f : Does punctuation have significance in solving the poem? “No.”

        f : “It (the poem) was not written with the idea of fooling anyone”

        yet the semi-colon appears there either to aid in solving the poem, or for the idea of fooling someone, otherwise it would not be there.

        so one of the quotes is not correct, it appears to me.

        • writis;

          I do not follow your logic.

          The semi colon may NOT have significance in solving the poem, but be there as a way of helping the reader read the poem the way Forrest meant it to be read.

          Let’s look at where and how it is used:

          “From there it’s no place for the meek(comma)
          The end is ever drawing nigh (Semicolon)
          There’ll be no paddle up your creek (comma)
          Just heavy loads and water high (Period)

          I read comma’s as I would a “Slow down” sign.
          I read periods like a stop sign.
          I read semi colon’s like a yield sign. I can proceed,
          but with caution. I don’t have to come to a full stop,
          but be cautious – look both ways.

          A sentence is one complete thought – so, this stanza is one complete thought – well, for me, two parts of one complete thought.

          Part #1 – “From there it’s no place for the meek(comma)
          The end is ever drawing nigh (Semicolon)

          Part #2 – There’ll be no paddle up your creek (comma)
          Just heavy loads and water high (Period)

          Forrest COULD have put a period at the end of part #1, and started a new sentence with part #2, but he wanted to show that part #1 and part #2 are somehow connected – thus, the semi colon.

          Putting these two thoughts together MAY not help in SOLVING the poem, but putting them together my help us understand something about the “map” that Forrest is wanting us to draw or find.

          Hope this helps – Just how I see it – JDA

          • JDA: “I read semi colon’s like a yield sign. I can proceed, but with caution. I don’t have to come to a full stop, but be cautious – look both ways.”

            So I would read that as the semi-colon is being used to aid in reading the riddle then.

            at the moment, my best guess is that the stanzas read as the punctuation, that stripping away the punctuation, and reading stanzas as blocks is the best way. But that is only a guess, judging from all statements by ff so far. Most likely I am wrong, and have been “fooled” into this ‘guess’. I am starting to see the longevity of this riddle.

          • JDA: I think you’ve stated the purpose of the punctuation in the 3rd stanza quite well. The lack of a period prior to the end of the stanza suggests all four lines are interrelated and work together.

          • Very well explained JDA. Your explanation helped me confirm a certain idea I have going for my current solve. Thank you for stating that so eloquently. It’s what I’ve been thinking in my own way, but couldn’t quite focus the concept in a way I could explain it to my significant other. So cool that you are coming from the same place with this one.

        • Writis –

          Here is an idea for you. I am not speaking to JDA or Zap, just you.
          Read the lines as clues. Don’t read them as poem or prose.
          Try that. Read the line. Identify the clue. Solve the clue. Take the solution and try to marry it to the map.

  13. Yup,
    You guys have found lots of contradiction quotes by Forrest & pasted them here.
    Lot’s of gray areas with nothing conclusive.
    Thanks for making my point.

    It comes down to picking and choosing which ones are valid.
    That’s up to each individual to decide and that goes for all the inconsistencies in in his stories and ATF’s as well.

    The Forrest grows lots of carrots.

    • But if you mix a few colors to all that gray you just might figure out it’s supposed to come out ❤ and maybe that’s whatst FF is trying to teach us? His love? IMO. How about that for a good starting point? Think about it peeps…IMO

      • Deano,
        Rainbows have all the colors and spectrums of the sun at most wavelengths.

        Forrest has changed quite a bit since bombing folks in other countries and expressed his feelings for those things.

        He did fly a jet with a nuke on many occasions ready for deployment at any time and ready to pull the trigger when called upon.

        If there was more ❤ in this universe than nukes and war, all the small rocks from suns and its inhabitants throughout the universe would be better off.

        “Peace can only be achieved by compassion”

        • “Peace can only be achieved by compassion”

          Peace is achieved when the person who has an empty stomach, watching their kids starve to death, stands next to and is eyeing your garden over your 5′ fence either dies or jumps that fence and steals your food so that you die.

          Then there is peace, until then arm chair “peace” activists can hold hands and talk about sharing that garden, until 100 more people show up looking over that same 5′ fence.

          Peace is a state of balance, when the Lion has made a ‘kill’ and is too full to run after the next rabbit, so that rabbit can take a nap on the back of the Lion; while the Lion writes short stories about peace…. very short stories.

          A great time had by all, until the next day (or civilization) starts it all over again.

          Peace is nothing less, and nothing more. “Peace” is like saying day is better than night. While the Owls scratch their heads wondering what in the heck you are talking about.

          • To take the analogy further:

            A true peace activist, (one that can achieve peace) is one that is versed in game theory, where they know that the only way to win the game, is to make sure everyone wins, that is playing the game.

            Such a person would have to have nerves of titanium, and able to leap tall silos with a single glance. To walk mine fields of political ignorance and come out the other side only missing one arm and perhaps a leg. To be dedicated and not filled with fairy tales. To talk people out of trade wars and every other kind of wars. But such people I could probably count on 1 finger… nail. Because they would be labeled on both sides as (for example in our civilization and time) as a commi loving baby killer, or a capitalist loving pig… farmer, labeled by the people who gained power by playing the game by ‘killing’ the other players.

            so we have that going for us 🙂

  14. “I know there are alternative interpretations to “Not far, but too far to walk,” but for me it has always been crystal clear that I am not to walk this portion. So I drive.” – Zap

    If he followed all of the clues, and drove the first two clues, and following the clues is the only way to solve the poem, wouldn’t he have to be driving on a one way, dead end street? If you are putting in on the side of two way street you could come from two directions then you would be able to do it without passing WWWH right? But how if that is the only way and that is what he did?

    • I haven’t managed to find anywhere where Forrest wrote that he had to follow all the clues both trips. More simply that we* have to follow all the clues in order to find the treasure.

      *we not including Forrest

      • The inverse can also be true, that Forrest is included and did follow all the clues as it doesn’t imply either one to be more accurate than the other.

      • Idle Dreamer;

        Doesn’t this quote indicate that we need to follow the clues in order?
        “So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure.” f

        Here is an even better one:
        Richard: What is the poem?
        Forrest: Well. it… there are nine clues in the poem, and if you can follow the clues, ah, one right after the other. they will take you to the treasure chest.” f

        Seems pretty clear to me – JDA

        • I don’t disagree, we do have to follow the 9 clues in order. The question is (at least in my mind), did Forrest have to follow the 9 clues each time from his car to the hiding space. I am in the camp that the 2nd clue should be driven and that you don’t need to return to WWWH if making two trips from where he parked.

          • Question posted 6/20/2014:
            I have a question for Mr. Fenn:
            When you hid your treasures, did you take the same path that is described in the poem, or were you able to skip some of the steps because of your familiarity with the area?
            Thank you Curtis
            The clues should be followed in order Curtis. There is no other way to my knowlege.f

      • Idle Dreamer,

        LOL, I think more and more folks are only hoping fenn just hands us all the answers.

        fenn has answered [ in summary {over the years}];
        ~He followed the clues when he hid the chest. [ only we want to say.. he didn’t say “ALL” ..lol ]
        ~ Took the same route he took to the chest, back to his car. [ Only we want to say, that doesn’t mean back to the first clue or from All the clues ]
        ~ He walked less than a few miles, one afternoon and made two trips. [ but we say, less than-miles can be 25 feet, or again, not from all the clues ]
        ~Tells us to be able to walk several ‘hours’ to our solves, twice, or don’t go [ yet we say, that is only a safety issue and nothing to do with how – in hours- we really need to walk a solve, [ regardless of how many trips we actually make/take ]
        ~fenn has also said; N of SF and some still look below or south of,
        ~fenn indicates the chest in MT, CO, WY, or NM… yet some are looking in TX and Idaho etc.
        ~fenn said if you’re walking 20 miles, get another solve. so we just throw in a car and that saves our 50 miles of solve, to be ok.
        ~fenn tells us we need to follow the clues [precisely], yet some only follow some clues in their minds and go to their solve later clues. [ even after he stated; he followed the clues “when” he did the task of hiding the treasure. And suggest fenn did the same [in his mind]].
        ~Even years after the comment WWH is not a dam, quite a few have man-made reservoirs as the first clue or a beaver dam is ok to use.

        ~Some claim the word “people” or “some” etc in fenn’s comments doesn’t mean searchers because he never stated “searchers” [in those comments]
        Example; “… people have figured the first couple of clues and unfortunately walked past the treasure chest” [Well, who else but a “searcher” is attempting to figure out clues?]
        Some want to chest to be in water, even after fenn stated; “not under water” and cry out ‘he never said ‘in’… Just because it did work in their solve.

        You stated; ‘I haven’t managed to find anywhere where Forrest wrote that he had to follow all the clues both trips…’

        You won’t, as of this date, find the word ‘ALL’ the clues; The question has been one of the most sought-out since day one, and took fenn 8 yrs to give that ‘one comment’… he followed the clues when he hid the chests… [ you should review the entire comment as well ]… If the meaning of “clues” does not refer to All the clues… I would have to say the comment is very misleading. Even with ” …before the poem was complete (completed?)”
        The one possible idea I can think of is, the last clue, may have been, needing to be ‘finished’ at the time fenn followed the clues to the hide. In theory… the last clue [ the blaze, in this idea ] needed to be in just the right spot, or marked or something… line of thinking.
        [relating to the Q&A about the distance from the blaze to the chest would be obvious, if you can find the blaze]
        But that is simply an assumption.

    • Sorry Aaron, not sure how I completely misread your question. My other answers are obviously not on target. That being said, that (your question) was one reason I was really fond of Bear Trap Canyon as a potential solve because it has the aspect that you can’t pass the power station unless in a raft.

      Plus Trail Creek Trail has the description on the Cowboy Heaven website as having switch backs at the beginning (before you enter the draw) as not for couch potatoes. Plus the creek is technically private property where you cross it. Of course, I am still working on a write-up for that solve and why I don’t believe it is there.

    • Aaron
      I think the important thing to remember in this Q/A with Forrest is the wording. Notice the word clue is not involved. The word focused on is “route.” So if driving and walking are required to complete the journey, route could be used to independently describe one mode of transportation from the other. i.e. If I’m explaining a challenge course to a group of participants, I would say, “Now use this route for this area of the course and take that route for the ropes part of the course and etc…” I think this Q/A should have no impact on the “overall course” to get there and only describes the last part of the trek.

    • I don’t think that driving on any one-way street is a reasonably good route to
      take on any part of the correct path that starts at the location indicated by a
      good solve of clue #1 . . . and ends at a reasonable place to park a car where
      one would start one’s correct-location BOTG search hike. IMO.

    • Hi Aaron,

      “If he followed all of the clues …”

      I believe he did (though perhaps only in his mind)

      “… and drove the first two clues,”

      I would say at LEAST the first two

      ” and following the clues is the only way to solve the poem,
      wouldn’t he have to be driving on a one way, dead end

      I anticipate where you’re going with this, which is why I added
      the clause “in his mind” above. If it turns out a searcher’s most sensible approach from their home (or wherever they’re coming from) happens to bring them to HoB prior to WWWH, then there is obviously no need to go to WWWH only to double back to HoB. Whether this scenario violates one or more of Forrest’s ATF remarks is up to searchers to decide for themselves. But I believe there is a clear distinction between solving the clues and navigating them.

      • Zap…I believe your last is perhaps where folks have gone astray…either moving one direction or the other for different reasons. This seems to bolster Fenn’s off beat comment to the question about *switching back*. Another comment comes to mind as well…”….complete/d…” which has gotten a fair amount of attention from different perspectives. I still maintain that figuring out/deciphering the first clue alleviates this issue entirely…and allows the searcher to understand the correct path.

      • Yes, I understand that his interpretation of following the clues and there is no other way could feasibly mean in ones mind. Forrest is a hard person to read and know what he is thinking when makes statements like this. Still, I find it more believable that he was speaking of following the clues in a literal sense.

      • Zap `I believe he did (though perhaps only in his mind)
        “… and drove the first two clues,”

        If possible… and yet unknown [factual] at this time. Then why couldn’t it all be done in one’s mind and simply go straight to the blaze, where the distance to the chest would be obvious?
        * “marry the clues to a place on a map” and simply go to one place… the X marks the spot [HLnW, the blaze etc.]
        I mean, we have the Q&A about all the clues deciphered at home [situ]… All of them in theory, but not in practice… so if possible to decipher clues at home, marry them to a map, because “the poem is a map”… the practice would be the retrieval of the chest… right? The need to be on site? [should the blaze be found]

        It’s a general question and not related to yours or anyone’s personal solve.

        The idea of driving [ just the first two clues ] yet following later clues, really isn’t needed to be done physically, driving to or by those clues, If we know where we already should end up at, prior to even putting the key in the ignition.

        My problem is; are we missing something, something needed to be done, seen, or both, as to the idea of “follow”?
        Follow can mean; physical movement [ hiking, driving, hop – skip and jump ]
        It can be as an understanding as well.
        Why can’t it be both meanings of follow as; a verb; go after in order to ‘observe or monitor.’
        A physical presence and following in our minds [ maybe even with some imagination thrown into the mix ].

        We are told to “plan and observe”… right? and fenn stated he followed the clues [when] he hid the chest.
        Maybe he had to do just that… observe something he already had known of, yet to “complete” [completed?] the poem… he needed to observe. Something he could not do at home, designing the blueprint.

        Is it just me or does anyone else find it funny that all we need to do is marry clues to a map an walk right to the chest… YET, we are told to plan and observe as suggested by fenn, And he finally say… he followed the clues, instead of just going to the hide, in a place that he can go to in his mind, create this whole challenge while not using maps?? Design a blueprint like an architect? Tells us there is no other way to his knowledge……… and yet…. he followed the clues? LOL any clue at all?

        As far as we know [ by fenn’s comments ] searcher deciphered clues, been on site, went by the seven remaining clues [ couldn’t pick up the scent of later clues], some being 500′ from the hide, some being 200′ from the hide… and none knew anything of what was in front of them? [regardless of who or how many times this occurred] Everyone has been fooled by not getting something ‘just’ right.

        Did they leave the poem physically by the idea they kept going right by everything… and/or… they missed the parts of the challenge of “planning and observing” while on site?

        I have thought about this a lot… I just can’t fathom folks who live and breath the chase, all made bad turns, or simply stumped by the third clue on a ‘path’
        Unless that third clue requires observing, more than movement, and a need to be at / nailed down [fixed] with the first two clues.

        This thought, Zap, is why I have a hard time with driving… to possibly drive from clues one and two to anywhere requires the next clue to be a place, and/or an exact known distance [deciphered]… Yet [using your theory ] folks have gone from the first two clues and within 500′ and 200′ of the chest… with miles between those points and not having the next clue [assuming #3 or 4] to stop them anywhere along the line. Only many seemingly stopped at the same location after miles of driving? That’s a hard pill to swallow.

        Something is missing, and all I can imagine is; the lack of the need to ‘observe’ ~ [perceive correctly] ~ follow by understanding and move accordingly. IMO each step of the path/view. I don’t think those folks missed the next clue[s]…as much as, they didn’t understand the first two clues.

        • Seeker…I believe your last sentence sums it up fairly well. I would only add… *they didn’t understand the first two clues* and their relationship to the next contiguous clue. Drive or no…this seems to be the crux of the problem.

        • Seeker pondered: “Then why couldn’t it all be done in one’s mind and simply go straight to the blaze, where the distance to the chest would be obvious?”

          In my opinion, that’s exactly what you can do. But guess what? To do so, I will end up going by [following] all 8 preceding clues because that’s the most direct way for me to get there.

          I think the person who ultimately finds the treasure chest will have the entire solution figured out before they leave home. There will be nothing to solve on site — they’ll simply walk right to it and retrieve it.

          I can hear your objections already. “What about planning, and thinking, and observing?” In my opinion, all that planning, thinking and observing had better take place at home, otherwise you’ll have nothing but a nice vacation to show for your troubles.

          I’m aware that you have it in mind that some time-dependent event must be witnessed on site in order to understand something important about a clue or clues. But I just don’t see anything in the poem that would lead me to that conclusion.

          • Zaphod, I think we agreed somewhat earlier about there being more than 1 route to get there. I just want to point out that when FF gave the impression that following all 9 clues is the most direct way, he was most likely speaking of his own experience. The “most direct way” for him was from HIS starting point. If you believe as I do that if you solve this thing, you can essentially skip physically going to WWWH, but still end up at the blaze, I think it’s good to realize that an alternate route could still be the “most direct”. It really depends on where you are coming from. It’s possible FF’s starting point was some lodge he woke up at that morning and it’s off the beaten path of a major highway. It’s possible for you or I to come in off the major highway (for example), skip going out of the way to FF’s starting

            That said, I am still thinking it’s highly possible that there are some places of the poem one needs to stop at to learn something to lead you to the next clue. There are lots of random little historical markers all over the Rockies and many have a story to tell.

  15. If I am remembering correctly, inside of the chest there is supposed to be a mystery item that Forrest has never mentioned.
    Any theories of what it may be?
    I am personally hoping it’s a Babe Ruth baseball card! I’m a huge Yankee fan

    • Veronica,

      I don’t know what it may be. But, I know from Scrapbooks Two, that FF has in his possession a Flying Tigers flight jacket with a leather blood chit on the back. It has General Chennault’s 14th Air Force patch on the left shoulder, and a secret object in one of the pockets that he won’t talk about except to say that it’s a secret and it’s there.

      So there is more than one secret FF is holding onto.

      • Quite a while ago, I recall seeing a photo of a woman, whom I believe is/was a searcher, wearing and posing with this jacket with Mr. Fenn. Her back was facing the camera. I believe this is the jacket she wore. I don’t know if she checked to see what the mystery item was that he didn’t want to talk about. Being a military jacket, there seems to be different possibilities like a religious cross/medal, a bullet, cyanide, photo of family, handkerchief, etc.. It would be nice to know.

        • Hmmm… I sure hope that the person who finds it lets us know. Until then, the mystery continues! And I loooooove a mystery!

    • Hey Veronica,
      I’m under the belief that ff put the title to the land it’s on in the chest. That is the title to the gold imo. The chest itself will be handed over to a nearby museum for ff’s legacy to last and it will drive business to this area and be on display for future generations. The Finder wins, ff wins, and the museum wins. And this way it won’t be about the gold or the money, but the thrill of finding it.

      • fun thought exercise for you Jake P… what if that land was tribal land? Seems the same conclusions…fame/story is the finders, gold/box is the tribes and everyone wins. I do not believe it is on tribal land, just a very big reservation in one state and in the mountains.

    • Hi Veronica. Is this what you were referring to?

      In a question and answer interview, this exchange occurred:
      “Are there any objects placed in the Bronze Chest that are connected, or have meaning to the place the chest is hidden? ~ Mike
      “No Mike, everything in the chest is straight forward and visual, except my autobiography, which some might find dull. Oops, I forgot, there is one thing in the chest that I have not talked about except to say I don’t want to talk about it. It is something saved especially for the person who solves the clues. I think that person will be pleased when she sees it.” f

      I too wonder what it might be. I have a guess, but (like Forrest) I too don’t want to talk about it – YET! – JDA

  16. Dal, once again, thank you for the Free Entertainment!
    Lol, sometimes I check into this blog to unwind….and then I start to think about and wonder…
    About circuses….
    Anyway, thanks!

    Not trying to be disrespectful, just trying to be funny!!!!
    Some fun stuff here in the last few days.

  17. Anyone want something new to think about? At least it’s new to me even though I’ve read over it several dozen times. I never noticed it.

    p 128 TTOTC
    At age fifty-eight, I had spent more than nineteen years asleep, and three of those years were on Monday. Think about that for a minute. Surely that’s a design deficiency of some sort”

    Scrapbook number Ninety-Nine Point Five
    Sounds to me like FF is saying his shower has a design deficiency as well.

    “My wife designed my shower except I didn’t want it enclosed with glass. She said I’d have to squeegee it after each shower and I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I’m careful not to splash.” f

    “And she put the huge skylight above my sprinkler. It’s just right there, and let’s light from the entire world in on me while I’m standing naked. Next time I’ll design my own shower.” f

    He said essentially the same thing in TTOTC p 6. “I take showers only at night so I can’t see my age as much. When my wife built our house, she put a skylight in my bathorom flat above the shower. It was a design deficiency but she didn’t have to stand there and see so she didn’t care”

    I’m going to come right back to this place in the book in a min. But, first, I want to point out a comment Zaphod made on this blog just this week. I hope it is okay for me to quote Zaphod. ” statistical unlikelihood.” If the same hint is provided in dozens of different ways, it begins to strain credulity that it’s a statistical fluke rather than the simpler explanation that it’s purposeful.”

    So, the first time I read about the showering at night, I noticed the comment about the bathroom having a design deficiency. I also recall reading about how much time FF had spent sleeping by the time he got cancer at age 58. I know he mentioned that three of those years were spent sleeping on a Monday. He said that it must be a design deficiency. But, as far as I could tell, Mondays and showering at night had no connection whatsoever to one another. But, I was wrong!

    Look up the definition of Monday. Merriam Webster Word Central has this to say about Monday, “One entry found for Monday.
    Main Entry: Mon·day
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Old English momacrnandæg “Monday,” literally “the moon’s day,” a translation of
    Latin dies Lunae “day of the moon”
    : the second day of the week

    So basically, the design deficiency is the same in both instances! The design deficiency of the bathroom is that FF must shower at night because its too bright in there during the daytime. He showered by moonlight (if you read between the lines)

    The design deficiency of having spent 19 years of your life asleep, is that three of those years were on a Monday (day of the Moon)

    Both design deficiencies involve the MOON.

    I said I was jumping back to p 6 in TTOTC. I have always thought this comment was important but didn’t connect it til now. Immediately after discussing the fact that he showers at night so as not to see how old he is, he launches into talking about his friend Eric Sloane.

    “some people live with old age. My dear friend Eric Sloane. . . He died two weeks later standing on a street corner in Manhattan waiting for the light to change. I’ll never get over that” p 6 TTOTC

    At least one website states that Eric Sloane died “shortly before the release of his last book, “Eighty”, on his way to meet his wife for lunch, Eric died instantly of a heart attack in New York, on March 5th, 1985, on the steps of the Plaza Hotel. Friends say it was the only time he was ever late. He is buried in Kent, Connecticut at the Sloane Stanley Museum.”

    So why say Eric Sloane died waiting for the light to change? My grandson gave me an interesting thought the other day about this. He is ten years old. He was detailing for his mom and I about how he woke up in the middle of the night and he thought it was daytime. He got up and looked out the window and the daylight wasn’t on yet so he went back to sleep. We both knew what he was talking about. The daylight wasn’t on because the sun was not in the sky. It was dark and so he knew it was night.

    It is an interesting thing that right after FF talked about showering in the moonlight (read between the lines), he then went on to say that his friend Eric Sloane died waiting for the light to change. Is FF saying Eric died waiting for the nighttime? The sunlight going away and the moon coming out, thus changing the light? And, then he says, “Life is like that sometimes, and death is always too harsh”.

    The very next thing FF talks about is his father “standing by the car doing something important and he said it to me right out of the blue”. (picture the sun is out and the sky is blue) “Who would you rather have working on your car. . . four years of mechanics. . . or a guy who has been working on cars for four years?”

    So, for a while, I have believed that HOB might be connected to the sun in some way. A land formation named for the sun? I’ve considered the Sundance Formation that reminds me of the story of Gypsy Magic p 43 TTOTC “The flashing flames made dancing shadows that seemed to move with the music, and there were times when I thought the girls saw me as they swirled by, but no one said anything”. I can picture sunlight dancing this way. Certainly the sun is like a giant ball of fire that “browns”/toasts everything below it like a giant oven.

    Now I wonder if moonlight is more important than sunlight or maybe they are both important or maybe neither is important. At this point, the moon is out. I’m too tired to take a shower. I’m going to sleep. I hope Miss Ford doesn’t mind.

    • I have never caught on to the “design deficiency “ pattern although, like you, I have heard that phrase time and again used by f. Funny thing is , it sort of fits into my potential solution. Thank you, flutter, for bringing it to my attention. I don’t know about everyone else on here, but some of my best ideas come to me late at night when I should be sleeping. Thank you for always looking a little deeper and the insight.

    • Interesting too is that forrest tells you about the bathroom tile faces that are looking at him in the shower. You wouldn’t be able to see those in the dark.

      • John Edo,
        I think he was just having a little fun with us talking about the faces in the shower tile. It was a way to point us to using our imagination and thinking about the shower again. IMO

    • Yep, really good stuff, flutters. Very intriguing. Hope to see you down the road.

    • Hello Flutterby. Thank you for taking the time to post this. You’ve made great points and you may be correct. I took the generic approach to the deficiencies and understood them as “faults”. In a broader view, I understood the “change” in association with “switch” which he received from his father, and along with other different things in the book. Moonlight may be something to look into. In the book, TTOTC, towards the back, there is the sketch of the lumberjack with the moon and dove(?). Many have had thoughts to this particular sketch, but I don’t think I’ve read anyone question why a lumberjack was out at night with his ax.

    • Nice thinking FB. There does seem to be a connection with light and a design deficiency. Maybe moonlight is more important but also it could mean the way the sun shines in a certain location seems to be a design deficiency.

    • Flutter –

      A sunlight deficiency leads to low levels of Vitamin D.
      Low Vitamin D causes Rickets.
      Rickets manifest as Bow Legged.

      Joe Ricketts owns the Chicago Cubs. he owns a 931 acre religious retreat on the Platte River in Wyoming. He lives in Little Jackson Hole, WY. He is active in Loon restoration, perhaps because he is one.


  18. Just want to commend what Deano has been saying. Having been away for a long time, burrowing down my own personal (and very dark) rabbit hole, I think he’s right about love. But we’re talking tough love here. (Didn’t Forrest say he was “of a different kind,” or words to that effect?) If we delve deep enough to solve the clues, maybe it’s like holding a mirror up to ourselves, and revealing the hidden depths. Whatever we find there is the truth – pleasant or not.

    As for the clues themselves, I think I may have spent the last five years chasing my own tail. If the hiding place is where I think it is, the answer is totally straightforward! The important clue is in the last line.

    And thanks to JDA for reminding us what Forrest said to Mindy. I have been guilty of just that level of obsession that relegates family to second place. Not cool. There’ll be no more BOTG for me, so I wish you all luck in your adventures. You’re all far better at generating the spirit of community than me, and maybe over the years you’ve created something far more valuable than whatever’s in that darn chest.

    • Good luck to you as well Voxpox. Personal health and well being is more important than any box of gold…

    • Good luck on your journey Vox. I am sorry that you are having a difficult journey. Please remember that there is light at the end of every tunnel.
      We each have our own journey, and only we can travel it. “One step at a time” That is all we can do. What is the old saying? “The journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step.” – or something like that. – Take heart – the next step shortens, not lengthens – the journey – JDA

    • voxpops,
      Glad to see you post again after a long slumber.
      I would like to see your solves in the wood and don’t use tires or poop as hints or clues, the tire shred can be moved and the poop will turn into dirt.

      You should be able to simplify to geography seeing you’re are intelligent.
      One trip a year without crazy thinking may go a long way and please read TTOTC & tftw again to help.

      • Thank you ken, JDA, and Jake – I really appreciate your comments.

        Jake, one day I’ll post my solve, but readers will need to suspend their disbelief for a good few hours – a glass of something strong might help, too!

        You’re right about simplifying geography. I took the scenic route! If I’d known what I learned along the way a few years earlier, things would have been much easier. But JDA’s right – it’s all about the journey.

        There’ll be no more searches for me – not even one a year. The Chase and I have been in a very long tussle, and it has chewed me up and spat me out! A few lines from Sting will avoid me having to put my own crazy thinking into words 🙂 :

        Every ripple on the ocean
        Every leaf on every tree
        Every sand dune in the desert
        Every power we never see
        There is a deeper wave than this, swelling in the world
        There is a deeper wave than this, listen to me girl

        • Yesir,
          There is a deeper wave than this and we need to ride it.
          Priorities, love and compassion should demand our attention.
          It was fun though and for you guys way over there to come here, my hat’s off to all who put BOTG.

      • Vox;

        Glad you are back – Hope you do post your solve(s) and sorry that the Chase has chewed you up and spat you out. It CAN be rough at times. And Yes, it is all about the journey. Godspeed – JDA

  19. Interesting remarks and insight Flutterby. Reading TTOTC s…..l….o….w….l…..y can make things jump off the page. At Chaco is a sun dagger of renowned (where Richard Wetherill spent his last days) as are there other such devises used all across the west and southwest and in the mountains north of Santa Fe. These devises are “blazes” if you will that are celestial calendars used by early inhabitats using the play of shadows either from the moon or the sun. These petroglyphs, or as I like to call them”blazes” are carved into rock and allowed the tracking of the seasons for various ceremonial as well as planting and harvesting times. It was critical to know when it was time to plant and harvst Maze, or when to make preparation to go travel to harvest Pinyon Nuts.

    “Oh, I’m being followed by a Moon Shadow, Moon Shadow, Moon Shadow….did it take long to find me? Oh I asked the faithful light”!!!

    -guy michael-

  20. From an earlier odds and ends:

    ken on July 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm said:

    Interesting choice of words…”nailed down”.
    In the simplest form that may relate to Fenn’s intention of using that terminology would be…*find out or identify(something) exactly*. This definition seems to fit his many comments; figure out, identify, discover, learn. Learn is interesting too because it seems to specify a process that will take time. and effort. Side note on *learn*…old terminology meaning [last footprint].
    Another poskibility about *nailed down* could be Fenn being his tricky self and saying that in order to *figure out* the first clue one must *nail* the correct meaning of the word *down* as he is using it. Some folks automatically equate that as moving to a lower area or elevation…or toward the bottom of. Another usage of *down* is simply; along, around, through, toward, in, into or on…without reference to height or elevation.

    ken, and others,

    Being that I am somewhat of a carpenter, nailing something down means that it is “set in place, secure, that it sleeps”. Now, the expression that “she sleeps” may be a mid-west slang term, but most of the crews I have worked with know what is meant when talking about studs, timbers and/or rafters that are set in place for good. When they sleep, they are nailed down, never to be moved again. (Even if they are screwed into place.)

    In my mind, whenever anyone uses the phrase of “nailed down”, that’s what I think of – something secure for a real long time, and unlikely to be moved.

    • Swwot;

      What if he means it literally – that “Something” is actually Nailed Down to something else? What could be “Nailed Down?” – a Marker of some kind? A Blaze of some kind? I have no ideas, just throwing it out there – JDA

      • First you need nails. Where do you get nails from? Wherever I learn where the first clue is, I might want to check if there is a place near by where I could get nails.
        If I learned that the first clue was near some geyser, I would hope there is a hardware store near by.
        Or maybe since he got nails from a Spanish galleon, you would be looking for a place high with oaks and pines. Whatever or wherever, I don’t think he used the comment “nailed down” to mean that you must absolutely have it right. (even though that is what you need). I think it is a reference to something where there are nails or something tied into the uses of nails. Railroad spikes maybe???
        So thinking it is where two streams merge or the flow of water stops would be a big “no”, unless you think that you have the clue “nailed down”, or in other words, totally correct. Which you cannot know unless you have the chest.
        Most likely, it’s a reference to nails, IMO.

        • Animal hooves are pretty much like their “nails”, right?

          And don’t get me started talking about insect collections, please.

          With all due apologies to any choreographers among us. IMO.

        • new and old is also an anagram of “land owned”. “h” in “t” of riches land owned.
          tree. “h’ in “t” = three. ¿?

          • Zap –

            And that would be a significant difference.
            If we were looking in Santa Fe we might be looking at the home of Beowulf.

          • Hi Zap,

            In your method of finding “aberrations”, This implies that ff intentionally left hints in the book. But aren’t there supposed to be only a ‘couple’ of hints and they were there unintentionally?

          • Sorry, Writis — missed your post from a couple days ago in which you were questioning how there could be so many hints in TTOTC (since there are so many aberrations):

            “But aren’t there supposed to be only a ‘couple’ of hints and they were there unintentionally?”

            Let’s look at the most relevant quote, as spoken at the Moby Dickens Book Shop on 11/2/2013. Starts around the 34:40 mark:

            Questioner: “I have a question. Back to The Thrill of the Chase, outside of the poem, how many clues or hints are in the book? Would you say 10 to 20? 20 to 30?”

            Forrest: “How many clues?”

            Questioner: “How many hints.”

            Forrest: “There are nine clues in the poem, but if you read the book, uh, there’re a couple … there are a couple of good hints, and then there are a couple aberrations that live out on the edge.”

            So there are a couple of GOOD hints. But does that tell you anything about how many really subtle hints there might be? As for the second part of his answer, I’ll give you my opinion of one of these aberrations he’s addressing: Border’s/Borders/borderline biddies. Those are aberrations that are quite literally on the edge (border).

            Now, to the second issue: unintentional vs. deliberate. Let’s examine that quote, which actually predates the Moby Dickens appearance by 7 months:

            “Dear Mr. Fenn, We are a group of avid elderly bridge players in San Diego who after reading your book hope to find your treasure. We are not into poetry as much as the memoir. We realize the clues are in the poem, but were wondering if there isn’t at least one clue in each chapter. Thank you for a great book. Sincerely, Emily”

            Forrest: “Emily, All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem. The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker. Good luck in the search. f”

            “The chapters in my book have very subtle hints”: sounds like more than a couple to me, as there are quite a few chapters in TTOTC. Also recall the line from TTOTC itself: “There are also other subtle clues sprinkled in the stories.” Sprinkled doesn’t sound like just a couple. But returning to his answer to Emily:

            “… but are not deliberately placed …”

            Just because the hints aren’t deliberately “placed” doesn’t mean they weren’t deliberately included. The placement/location could be completely haphazard and irrelevant. Also, that Forrest outright wrote there are clues sprinkled in the stories tells me that this was done deliberately. It’s not like the book went to print, and then later he realized, “Oh geez, I didn’t mean for all those hints to be in there.”

            Final possible loophole: “… placed to aid the seeker.” If a hint is so subtle that a searcher who hasn’t already solved the associated clue won’t recognize it, I’d say that hint won’t aid that seeker. And if a searcher HAS solved the relevant clue and spots the hint, it doesn’t really aid him/her in that case either, does it (aside from perhaps boosting their confidence a bit)?

          • ok thanks Zap, I apologize ATF now that I realized how much time you needed for that informative answer.

  21. Dodo,
    Are you saying you don’t believe the solution to the poem will guide us to the treasure chest, the one filled with gold coins and antiques which FF has said he hid in the Rocky Mountains? If that is what you are saying, why are you even interested in the poem. Anyone can go to the Rocky Mountains and enjoy them anytime. Poem not needed.

    • Flutter –

      My advice is to not comment or address him.
      The answer to your question is that he wants to be Right.

    • Flutterby- just saw this comment from you that’s why my reply is late.

      yes, the poem will lead to the bronze box, but not right now.
      this is a three step process,
      first find the treasure (the great outdoors) which everyone here has done.
      second, find the chest mentioned in the poem which is at the Draper museum of natural history.
      third, find the bronze box which I think may have something to do with the end of his rainbow.

      of course I am interested in the poem, as I have found his treasure and the chest of the poem…only the bronze box remains to be found.

      so treasure, chest, and bronze box are three different things. its up to the searcher to sort out when in conversation Forrest is speaking of each.
      difficult but not impossible.
      I think.

      and Dal, feel free to nuke me at any time. this has become rather tedious for me.

      • Dodo,
        Bronze box is not mentioned in the poem and without the poem we cannot find what he hid.

        You have not answered any of my comments.
        I don’t think you should be nuked for truly believing what you believe but you should be able to prove what you think and write but more importantly you should be able to prove Forrest’s statement wrong and when you don’t have anything to rebut those statements you are left with nothing but a thought that doesn’t make any sense.

        You sure picked the right name dodo.

      • Front note to nukes.
        It’s a touchy subject and they are indiscriminate.
        I would love to live the day when they are not built or used anymore.
        The word alone should not be thrown around like a joke.

        There’s a very good reason why it’s not used here anymore.
        I think it hits home with most people. It’s a ugly word in this day and age and the actual thing is much worse than we could imagine and they all should be wiped off the planet and universe.

  22. if I was at wwwh and I took it in the canyon down put in below the home of brown – this to me is saying that wwwh is east of hob – so to get to hob from wwwh you have to go west – so begin it where warm waters halt and from there go west to home of brown imo

  23. Jdiggins on August 5, 2018 at 7:05 pm said:

    Hi everyone. I’m checking in to let you know that yes, I am OK. We evacuated our home in the Mendocino National Forest in the hills above Lucerne, last Sunday. Subsequently, my business partners home and our mutual business had been destroyed. As yet it is unconfirmed, but I am fairly certain by the videos I’ve seen, my home is most likely gone too. I’m ok, I’m alive, I can rebuild. Everyone has been so kind and thoughtful, thank you all so much for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. I’ll keep you posted on things as I hear. Love you all!


    As others have already expressed, I too, am glad you and your family are safe. Stuffs can be replaced. Rebuilding will take time.


  24. Here is something interesting! An old car parked right at a natual fen in Wyoming. I don’t know cars but I’m sure some of you do. What kind of old abandoned car is parked at this fen site in Wyoming?

    With all the discussion of cars in TTOTC, I find this to be very interesting!

    See p 44 on this link BTW- there are no roads or man-made trails here anymore. Just a car out in the middle of a fen in an area that is now protected and has limited access.

    • Thanks flutterby for sharing this information. Your suggestion that the meaning of the word fen might have some connection to the poem and treasure location occurred to me also, but so far this is not a major factor in any of my solves.

      You and others might be interested to know that I accidentally stumbled on a location in Wyoming named Fenn Creek when I first got interested in the Search a couple of years ago. I don’t even recall how I found this site, but I think it was from an online topographic map which I was viewing for a totally different reason. It was my first solve, and I was certain I had found the treasure hiding place. For those who might actually read this reply, I am going to reveal that I visited the Fenn Creek location in 2016 and obviously did not find the tc. I admit that this solve did not fit all of the clues, but it was plausible in most regards. The search area is covered with thick sagebrush near a large reservoir and close to forest covered lands. I looked in Fenn Creek (a nearly dry creek) and in the SW corner of Section 32 (a possible clue from ff’s writings) but found nothing. If anyone out there wants to try their luck, I suggest bringing a metal detector (which I did not have on my trip) because there is a lot of brush cover which could easily hide the tc.

      Best of luck and thank you for openly sharing your ideas. It is posts like yours that encourage me to disclose some of my own ideas and adventures.

    • Good thing it’s not a 41 Plymouth. Everbody would be tacking a radial to it and looking fer some tarry scants.

  25. I should have finished reading before I posted the link to the the fen that I just posted about. Not only does this fen have an old abandoned car sitting in it, with no maintained roads or trails there anymore. But, there is also a small boulder next to the car. The fen is called “Little Rock Fen”. I can sort of picture a bunch of fairies dancing around that rock. And “Littlerock Creek Fen is located about 0.8 km (0.5 mi) east of Christmas Lake atthe head of an unnamed tributary to Littlerock Creek” (https://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_series/rmrs/gtr/rmrs_gtr369.pdf) You may recall that when FF was shot down in the war on Dec 22nd. Two days later he returned home to his family on Christmas eve. So I find the fact that this fen is near to Christmas Lake to be an interesting coincidence.

    Its not that I’m saying this fen holds the TC. I’m saying, there are some interesting coincidences here. I believe a fen is involved in the correct solve. But, other than the ties to Christmas Lake and the old car, right now I have no way to tie this to the poem. Still ; I think you should just look at the pic on p 44.

    And, once again I would like to remind people that fens are protected. If a fen is HOB, then the poem tells us that we are to go “below the home of Brown”. So don’t destroy this fen please!

    • If “fens are protected”, does that mean that FF would not, in your opinion, have
      moved any vegetation in order to conceal the TC in its hidey place if the hidey place is in a fen?

      • tighterfocus,
        The TC is not IN a fen. The poem says “below the home of brown”. So if HOB is a fen, then the TC is below it and not in it. And absolutely under no circumstances do I think FF would have damaged a habitat. I know some believe he is a bit of a rebel. I don’t think he is. I think he is daring, but not disrespectful.

        When someone asked if the TC was associated with a “structure”, FF said, ““No need to dig up the old outhouses, the treasure is not associated with any structure. f” Nobody had asked about an outhouse. So why did he state it the way he did? A Peat is a word that can mean bathroom/outhouse. So if we aren’t to dig up old outhouses, then we cannot dig up a fen.

        But, I guess the question you are actually asking tighterfocus, is, would FF have moved any vegetation in order to conceal the TC. Again my answer is that he is not a rebel. He is daring, but responsible. I personally can’t see a problem with lifting a vine or a dead branch to conceal the TC, but I don’t think he did. Where is that quote about if you are 12 or 15 feet from the TC, you would see it. I don’t think it is covered up at all. I think he just set it down in a sheltered location and walked away.

  26. Lugnutz,
    Where can I locate that statement you quoted, ““… no need to over-think it or look for commas and misspellings as clues.”?

  27. I’m excited about my next BOTG in 2 weeks! My regular search partner , my 15 year old son, has been with me for the last 2 years, but has to go back to school. (We went in June already so he’s not too heartbroken) plus… I think he may still be feeling the effects of that drive! Ugh..This trip , I am introducing my sister to the chase. It is so much fun to watch others excitement when they find a “clue” and get that adrenaline rush!

    • Hey Kris!

      As locals know, there are two Blue Corn locations. Which one is this please?


        • The other one is down Cerillos near the hotel where Fennboree was held, so just wanted to make sure folks were going to the right one for the event.

  28. OZ10,
    I think it was not written with the idea of fooling ‘any one’. It was intended to fool EveryOne

  29. More fascinating informaton on fens! You may want to sit down as you read this. It sure explains a lot of phrases in the poem that I did not origianlly recognize as being possibly connected to fens.

    All of the following phrases from the poem could potentially connect to a FEN
    “gone alone in there”
    “keep my secrets where”
    “riches new and old”
    “end is ever drawing nigh”
    “no paddle up your creek”
    “heavy loads”
    “go in peace”
    “but tarry scant”
    “I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak”
    “your effort will be worth the cold”
    “in the wood”

    As I mentioned a few days ago, I think that FF metaphorically sees himself as a natural forest fen. A HOB. That is why his name is so important that no matter what happens, he will always have that. A fen is a very special place. It is the remains of history all piled up.

    Basically a fen is made up of peat. “Peat is organic matter (the dead remains of plants) that is deposited under water-soaked conditions as a result of incomplete decomposition. Peat accumulation occurs because the rate of organic matter production exceeds the rate of decomposition due to the soil being waterlogged. Peatlands form and are maintained only where the hydrologic regime produces perennial soil saturation.(https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/beauty/California_Fens/what.shtml)

    So basically a fen is a graveyard of sorts. It is the dead remains of history all piled up. And yet, it is also a home to a variety of specialized species of plants and animals that can survive ONLY in a fen. A fen is like an island (alone in there). The plants and animals that have a home there cannot live anywhere else. There are a few fens that have plants and animals that are so unique that they exist only in one fen in all the world.

    So lets look at the phrases of the poem and see how they connect to peat in a fen.

    “As I have gone alone in there”
    In the story of Looking for Lewis & Clark, the boys followed a stream until it got narrower and the sides got taller and nothing could get through but water. Water gets bogged down in a fen. It stops flowing and sits there where the fen holds it. Remember FF in the book store wanting to just hold a couple of books? Fen only went into the bookstore on rainy days apparently. With the rain coming down, it adds moisture to the fen and the fen holds the moisture just as FF held the books on the rainy days in the bookstore.

    Additionally, the word “gone” can mean dead. So plants and animals that die in the fen are literally alone in this island called a fen. And yet, they become one as they decompose into peat which is the substance that makes up the fen. The word alone means by ones self or all one. In a fen, the plants and animals that die there literally die alone in there and become all one.

    “I can keep my secrets where”
    I think the synonym “wear” fits better here. It sounds like where (hear me all) and yet it has a different meaning. It can refer to the wearing away of plant matter which becomes peat.

    “Hint of riches old and new”
    Peat is the combined material of both ancient and recent plant matter that has died in the fen. It is a hint of what once lived there.

    “Begin it where warm waters halt”
    Fens are a place where warm waters halt. The fen holds the water that often does not drain to any other place. Remember the story of River Bathing is Best? FF’s family lived in a little one room cabin with no running water and no “go-out” plumbing. Kind of like a fen. Many fens only get water from rain. They do not obtain water from streams, creeks or lakes and do not drain to other bodies of water. They are alone.

    “Not far, but too far to walk”
    A fen contains in a single place, hundreds or thousands of years of history all piled up. It isn’t far, but we can’t walk back in time to see it all.

    “home of Brown”
    Whether FF believes a fen is a HOB or not, it truly is. It is a home to unique species that can be found no place else. The fen is not composed of soil, but does contain a brown soil-like material called peat. More on peat later, but it sure explains a lot of things in TTOTC and FF’s ATFs.

    You may recall that I believe that the sun is somehow related to the correct solve. Turns out, “The energy in coal initially comes from the Sun, and is energy from sunlight trapped by dead plants” So this cold also explain the HOB. A place that traps sunlight. The sun itself is also a HOB IMO. It is the ultimate oven for cooking/browning things. Remember FF’s mother taking toast brown from the oven and covering it with jams and jellies?

    “The end is ever drawing nigh”
    Sure enough, a fen is built upon layers and layers of dead plant matrial (end drawing nigh-death)

    “There’ll be no paddle up your creek”
    Actually I think this phrase has two meanings. One tells us where the fen is located IMO. The other tells us that although this is a body of water, we can’t paddle through it. Its water logged peat. Its not clear water that flows like a creek or river.

    “tarry scant”
    I’ve thought for a long time that “tarry scant is referring to grasses” The word terry means to draw out. Picture terry-cloth. And then remember FF’s comments about Eisenhower’s brains pusing his hair out. I personaly think this is talking about grass growing. And then there is Catcher in the Rye which landed on top of Time magazine. A fen contains grasses that grow in no other place. They grow on top of hundreds or thousands of years of peat.

    “with marvel gaze”
    marvel=to show great admiration for
    gaze=inspection, scrutiny

    “go in peace”
    The origin of the word peat comes from a Welsh word meaning “piece”

    “So why is it that I must go?” I’ve never thought this phrase was talking about FF. Now I can see that it could very well be talking about the graveyard we call a fen. But the next phrase in the poem explains it a bit more.

    “hear me all”
    I think this phrase has a double meaning. First, its important to listen to the words. We know FF likes to “bend” words and meanings. We know he uses words that aren’t in the dictionary. He said so in TTOTC. So it is interesting to me that he uses the phrase “hear me all” just before the he says “Your effort will be worth the cold”. I think he is specifying that the next phrase you will hear in the poem must be listened to rather than taken literally.

    “Your effort will be worth the cold”
    Your=yore (ancient)
    effort=process of nature
    will be
    worth = to become
    the cold= the coaled

    So what the heck does it mean to become the coaled? I did not realize that Peat is the beginning of coal production. Tthere are two types of coal: humic coal, produced by the deposition of the remains of land plants in swamps; and the rarer and less economically important sapropelic coal, formed by the deposition of algae in lakes. The processes of formation are similar. Peat that undergoes pressure will become humic coal. It will literally become “coaled”.

    Coal is a solid, black, readily combustible fossil fuel that contains a large amount of carbon-based material – approximately 50% of its weight.[1][2] The formation of coal takes a significant amount of time, with coal beginning to form 290-360 million years ago, in a time known as the Carboniferous or “coal-bearing” Period.[3] As well, there are extensive coal deposits from the Cretaceous age – about 65 to 144 million years ago.[4] (Please see the timeline at the bottom of the page.)

    The formation of coal begins in areas of swampy wetlands where groundwater is near or slightly above the topsoil. Because of this, the flora present produces organic matter quickly – faster in fact than it can be decomposed.[2] In these areas, layers of organic matter are accumulated and then buried. It is these layers of organic material that then form coal. The energy in coal initially comes from the Sun, and is energy from sunlight trapped by dead plants. (https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Coal_formation)

    “in the wood”
    This realization was exciting to discover!
    “Peatification is the process of partial decay that we have described above. The action of bacteria destroys the weaker polymers making up the cell walls, such as cellulose, leaving behind mainly lignin, which is tougher. Because cellulose and lignin share a structural role in the cell walls of plants, the removal of the cellulose leaves the cell structures intact: a look at peat through an electron microscope reveals that even fine details of cell structure are preserved. The resulting matter is known as peat. The reader should note that this term does not refer only to gardeners’ peat, which is peatified sphagnum moss, but to any plant matter that has undergone the peatification process.(https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Historical_Geology/Peat_and_coal)

    Definition of lignin (mentioned in previous paragraph)
    : an amorphous polymer related to cellulose that provides rigidity and together with cellulose forms the woody cell walls of plants and the cementing material between them.

    “in the wood”
    can be referring to the lignin that is found in wood but that wood is broken down into peat which basically leaves behind the lignin.

    Question- Is there anyone who has found a way to connect all of these phrases to one common idea? This idea, right or wrong, at least uses correct definitions of all the words to tie them all to a natural forest fen.

    Lets look at the word Peat. It is the brown soil-like substance that makes up a fen. It is also
    a young girl (think-“smile at a homely girl”)
    a free standing spice cupboard (scrapbook pages mention spices and spice cuboards, one even shows a pic of a free standing spice cupboard)
    a bathroom (FF mentions bathrooms in numerous scrapbook pages)
    “March 27th: “No need to dig up the old outhouses, the treasure is not associated with any structure.”

    Did anyone suggest digging up old outhouses? If not; then why did FF use the word outhouses unless it was a hint to the word peat which can mean bathroom?

    So I am not actually saying that the solution is a fen. What I am saying is that nearly every phrase in the poem can be tied to a fen. And that the poem gives a location for the fen IMO. But, we need a TC in order to prove this idea.

    • Fascinating stuff there, Flutterby. You may be on to something. As it happens, this line of thinking adds a bit of confidence to my solve-in-progress. I’m already considering an area where many of these interpretations can be said to apply.

      Also, I can easily imagine Forrest placing the chest in such a place and chuckling in amusement at the play on his own name. It would be a fine joke indeed. 🙂

        • PLEASE everyone! Do not walk into a fen. It is hundreds or thousands of years of history that is now home to specific species of plants and animals that live no place else. No treasure chest is worth destroying a wetland! The poem IMO tells us that we need to be below the HOB that means that if HOB is a fen, we should not be walking around it in. Please, Please, Please do not destroy a fen!!! There are many. Please read about them and know how to recognize them so that you do not accidently destroy something so precious!

          • Totally agree. I cannot imagine Forrest tearing up a fen for the sake of a treasure hunt; my impression is he has too much respect for nature to do something like that. (I regret saying “in such a place” when “in proximity to such a place” is probably a more accurate way to say it.)

            Plus, I would think footing in an actual fen might be a bit too uncertain for someone carrying 20+ pounds. No, the chest might be *near* a fen, but is unlikely to actually be *in* one. At least, not in a literal sense.

            For my solve, I’m looking mainly at the references mentioning peat and time. They fit well with what I have so far.

          • Flutterby,
            Surely we can walk in a fen without destroying it.
            Mother Nature will recover more than we can & can handle a little foot traffic.

    • Hello Flutterby. Thank you for sharing this information. With all of the lines you’ve described as possibility pointing to a fen, how does one know which one is correct?

      • I believe the poem tells us the correct location. As you can see, I still have a few more lines to figure out even though I have most of it. But, I do think I have the location down to a short distance. There are two phrases that IMO tell us the location. I’m not the only searcher looking at this as a strong possibility.

    • This is good stuff Flutter !! Also remember, if this is relating to a fen, there should be fens south of Santa Fe NM.

      • Richard,
        Wetlands, including fens cover approximately 482,000 acres or 6 % of New Mexico.

  30. Two days until my first BOTG begins.
    3,500 miles, 4 solves, 4 states, 4 campgrounds, 2 weeks.
    First stop…New Mexico. A place where all nine clues refer to one thing and the directional clues match the geography surrounding it. Can’t wait!

    • Hello Wayne. Have fun and be safe. If you’re coming from a state where the elevation is considerably lower than the states you’re heading to, be sure to give yourself time to acclimate and drink plenty of fluids.

  31. 6 more days forrest! You can bet ill be planting trees soon in your honor!!!! I hope you have a wonderful birthday! 🙂

  32. Has anyone else noticed the word “thereafter” can also be a synonym or related word to “below”? Maybe this has been discussed before, as I’m new here, but I found this today. I never heard of below meaning afterwards in time before. So if below truly can be used in that way, the poem could be tellling us to put in afterwards the hob.

  33. Simplify. There are way too many letters. Make them all 0’s and 1’s. Black and white like Gilbert Gaul.

    There was a time way back when I made the poem into a QR code with the hopes it was going to display a useful pictograph. (That didn’t work)

    There was a time I tried to make it into a Dali-vision pictograph with pigments from the book. (That didn’t work either)

    I was trying to get creative with “And what if no one ever sees my art?” P139

    Maybe I was overcooking it? I’ll try for medium-rare next time

  34. I know its been discussed before, but I have never been this close to a resolution to the poem so it didn’t matter all that much to me until now. Would anyone possibly be able to detail the rules on collecting treasure in National Parks (I think it is against the law?), National Forests, Bureau of Land Management lands, any other areas that you might be aware of.

    I am not one that believes the TC is in Yellowstone, and I’m pretty sure you can’t collect anyting from a National Park.

    I’d sure appreciate someone sharing what you have learned about collecting things found in these various areas.

    • Google “Found Treasure in National Parks” – You will get all of the information you need. Basically, find it (No digging or metal detectors allowed) – Turn it in to Park Headquarters – they will try to locate legal owner (Forrest) who will claim it, and turn it over to the finder.

      Anything of value found on public lands CAN be claimed by the Government. They can say that it is in the public’s interest for them to lay claim to the “object of value” and choose to sell it and use those monies to benefit the public.

      Go to the “Legal” thread and read it all – won’t take you too long – Lots of smarter people than me have made very informative posts. JDA

      • * * * * * * JD – “Basically, find it (No digging or metal detectors allowed) – Turn it in to Park Headquarters – they will try to locate legal owner” * * * * * *

        Different Park officials have answered in different ways, but this seems to be the gist of it – for now.

        At some point (maybe not in our lifetimes, but probably not long after), it will become a historical/cultural artifact, and it will (under current rules) be illegal to pick it up and take it to Park HQ.


      • Thanks JDA. Somehow I managed to connect almost every single line in the poem to a natural forest fen and yet the obvious, look at the legal page on Dal’s site did not occur to me. Lol

      • Thank you JDA for giving legal advice on this post. I am curious why you are aloud to do this on this particular thread and other people are directed to another area on this blog?
        So what is up JDA are you a lawyer or do you just get to talk like a lawyer?

        • If you read my post, I directed her to the legal thread. I am NOT a lawyer, and stated that I am just a searcher like her.

          You are right, she posted it in the wrong place, and I probably should not have responded but I did – Just like you responded to my post. Our bad – JDA

          • You JDA are permitted to reference the “legal thread” yet
            still in this post andmany others you give your
            interpretation of legal advice.

            I am not saying this
            is right or wrong.

            Once again I am Clearly Clueless

          • JDA,
            I appreciated you redirecting me. Sometimes we just don’t realize there is a better page for a topic. I appreciated being redirected.

    • JDA, I have thought about this some and I wonder about areas that are designated fair game for prospecting. There are places on federal lands and state parks where rock hounders go to prospect of gold pan. Some will require a permit others don’t. They may allow small rock picks to be used and in some instances even heavier equipment (w/permit). Any ideas on legality if TC were to be found there? I imagine it wouldn’t be a problem. It also brings to mind a FF quote I think I read but can’t find now. Something he said in response to safety issues or advice he wanted to give to treasure hunters. If I recall, he listed a bunch of typical sounding outdoor type things such as bear spray, but also said something about proper permits (I think and am paraphrasing). If anyone knows where to find the quote I’m talking about I’d appreciate a link to it.

      • Helen, I think you’re thinking of the “Know the Limits” post, which contained this in addition to other strongly-worded safety tips:

        “If you plan to search in a National Forest or a National Park you should ask a ranger to brief you on your particular area. They can advise you much better than I can.” f


        It was posted the week that searcher Pastor Wallace went into the Rio Grande forever, and a father and son hiking near Carlsbad (not chase-related) died of exposure in triple-digit temperatures.

        It was a kind of first draft of the Safety First guidelines that are now linked on the masthead here at HoD.


        • Thanks for the link JA. I didn’t see this before. I don’t think that’s the one I was trying to find. This was more of a short list he rattled off than long paragraphs. I’ll keep trying to find it so I can post it it’s just so much stuff out there he’s said.

      • Helen;

        Like I said – Google it and read the Legal thread. I am just a hunter like you. I only know what I have researched and read – Ya’ Gotta’ do the same – Sorry – JDA

        • JDA, no apologies needed! Just making conversation really. I didn’t assume you were a lawyer with all the answers! Googled some on the subject but it seems hard to pinpoint the answer to what happens if I were in a gold panning area and found a treasure chest with a million bucks worth of gold in it?!!

          • Helen-
            This is not the page for legal discussions about the chest…
            This page is for discussions that do not have a dedicated page…
            Legal discussions belong under “Legal Ponderings” which can be found under the “Most Important Information” menu to the right, near the top in orange text.

          • The answer in the Operator’s Manual is

            “Just take the chest and go in peace.”


          • So Dal, will you be saying the same to the 3 people above who began discussing legal issues on this page which is why I was replying to and continuing that discussion? Or am I just being singled out because I’m new here?

  35. Does anyone’s solve involve a hint from the French Soldier’s grave in TTOTC? Curious if anyone thinks a French name of something is part of the correct solve.

    • Hi Flutterby: as I recall, Forrest once said he thought there was an “X” in that soldier’s name. Interesting, eh, given that everyone is looking for an X in the Rockies!

      • When searching I always keep my eye out when I am in an area where I can easily trip.

      • I’m not looking for an X in the Rockies, although I know some people are. I think it might help if the people looking for it could understand the possible hint in Jump Start the Learning Curve. IMO

        But, it makes zero sense that FF would remember that the soldier’s name was French and recall vividly the inscription on the grave marker and yet not recall the name. I think this is an example of the fox dressed like a hound. Just my opinion though.

    • What I find interesting is that Forrest days that he fell to the ground and came nose to nose with an aluminum grave marker, and then that he and his buddies found more stone grave markers – very curious. Why would there be an aluminum grave marker? JDA

      • Actually it isn’t that unusual that there was an aluminum grave marker perhaps made from a piece of a plane that went down. IMO

        • Agreed. It is not uncommon in war zones for military hardware to get repurposed by both warfighters and civilians. After WWII, my grandfather brought back a collection of men’s rings he had made from aluminum aircraft nuts and locally scrounged abalone shell. (His tour of duty was served on islands in the south Pacific.) It’s easy to imagine that whoever buried the man used whatever they happened to have nearby for a grave marker, such as a piece of wing from a crash.

          Whether it is significant to the Chase is an exercise left to the reader.

    • Remember, “the clues do not refer to and graveyard.” Or at least words to that effect.

      • Eric,
        You are right that the TC is not in a graveyard. But that doesn’t mean that metaphorically the French soldier’s grave doesn’t play into the solution. IMO

        • Flutterby’

          I concur – The French soldier’s grave marker does play into the solution along with at least two stone grave markers – like the one Forrest is holding on page 95 of TToTC – JMO – JDA

      • Eric,

        Just a little pet peeve of mine is, quoting something stated without even being close to what was said. What happens is; someone will use your post and run a muck with it all over the blogs and then it seemingly becomes factual.
        Fenn told us that the chest is not “in” a graveyard… nothing to the effect the *clues* have nothing to do with a graveyard. [ even when adding; words to that effect with the comment, the quotation seems factual ]. What would happen if a clue happens to be in Idaho… we know the chest is not there, but we haven’t [ at this point ] been able to rule-out a clue, right?

        The other idea is, fenn talks about gravestones and graveyards in the book… it might be possible, while the chest is not in one, a hint or even a clue references might be validated by knowing something about those stories. IF fenn, imo, said something to the effect ~ a graveyard “is not associated” with the treasure ~ I personally would dismiss a graveyard for any involvement… But as Flutterby stated, maybe the idea is more of a metaphor type of thinking. Maybe the idea could refer to a place not unlike [ but not likely] Custard’s last stand. {lol my examples are horrible, completely unlikely, but you get the gist}

        The other idea, JDA implied, WhatIF a stone marks the place of the chest and where fenn intended as his own grave spot. Would that stone not represent a grave marker of sorts? how many actual bodies does it take to give the ‘idea’ of a graveyard? I mean, If fenn did is original plan.. would we not be essentially ‘robbing a grave’ line of thinking [ even though the challenge sorta gave us permission to remove the ‘prize’ and leave the bones ].
        Some folks have even thought of an old plane yard to be a hint or clue… do we not refer these places as graveyards, yet no human remains?

        I just don’t want to see the same thing that has been happening [ for example ] ~a child can go right the chest,~ many blogger put that in quotes, and still do, even when fenn has already correct that wrong quote.

        Just a though…………

  36. Ok, Dal, it’s ok if you ban me too….
    After all, I am Clearly Clueless….
    Please email me.
    I really don’t understand why Helen was banned.
    I don’t know her…..
    I am not speaking up for her….
    I just don’t get it….

    VERY Clearly Clueless….

    • Actually, Clearly Clueless, I would like to know the same thing. It seems like an admonishment should apply equally to everyone. So I’d like an email, too, Dal, just to help me understand what happened, if you don’t mind. Thanks for your time and effort!

    • I am as clueless as Clearly Clueless and Linda and would like to know about the reasons… I cannot see any misbehavior and would appreciate an explanation for this harsh reaction… Helen was even trying to explain and… was banned!

      Ban for explanation needs explanation IMO! If not I am ready to be banned as well…

      However… thank you for the many many positive aspects of this site!!!

      • I was planning on making s’mores later tonight. Does anyone know where I might find a stick?

        On second thought, never mind… I’ll pull one from the wood.

    • Dal,

      I’ll not ask for an explanation, but have to agree with others that the admonishment seemed unnecessarily pointed. My read is that Helen was simply asking why that was the case…and the resulting ban for asking was overly harsh in my opinion and quite surprising.

      Appreciate all your effort with this site and all the challenges that brings!

    • Hey, Helen — start posting over on THOR.

      I’ve just recently been banned by the overly sensitive hostess there because I attempted to make light of the folly of her expectation that her site’s readers would somehow have an advantage over all other searchers because of what she believes to be the ‘special treatment’ offered to her by f.

      The universe will now be in balance.

  37. Can someone please point me to a story Fenn told of taking a Saturday night bath in a washtub in the kitchen. I recall that he was embarressed by having to take this bath right there in the middle of the kitchen once a week. Does anybody know where it is? I wanted to verify exactly what it said before I mention something that connects to it.

  38. Mr. Fenn, Said he hid the chest in (mid summer). He said that when he hid the chest that (no one else was around). And, he has said that (people continue to arrive at the hiding place). It seems unlikely that he hid the chest in Yellowstone, because Yellowstone would be crawling with people all summer long.

    • James,
      Can you provide source for the statement that “people continue to arrive at the hiding place”?

      • Flutterby: I’m sure the quote James is referring to is from Forrest Gets Crazy Mail (12/15/2013): “Hello Forrest, May I ask – is it still true that now, even with searcher numbers doubling in the last year, you still don’t know of anyone who has solved beyond the first two clues? Emily”

        “Dear Emily, Searchers continue to figure the first two clues and others arrive there and don’t understand the significance of where they are. f”

        • “figure the first two clues”
          That tells me the second clue is a no brainer when you find WWWH and the third is reeeeally tough.

      • Flutterby: I see, now, where you were going with this. You were questioning his parenthetical “arrive at the hiding place,” which could be a little bit misleading … unless the treasure chest happened to be hidden right at the starting point. (Probably not a good assumption!)

        • zaphod,
          That is not where I was going with this question at all. I simply had never heard the quote “people continue to arrive at the hiding place”. Now that you have offered the probable quote, that is not what it says at all.

          “Dear Emily, Searchers continue to figure the first two clues and others arrive there and don’t understand the significance of where they are. f”

          All this really says is that people are still “figuring the first two clues” which doesn’t specify that they are getting the first two clues correct. It only says they are working on it. Then it says, “others arrive there and don’t understand the significance of where they are. f” This basically tells us nothing. Where are they arriving? The first two clues? The hiding spot (which I doubt). Doesn’t clarify where “there” is. So its not a helpful hint as far as I can tell.

        • Flutterby: OK, so you’re of the opinion that no one has solved the first two clues and physically shown up at the starting point. And those that have shown up at the starting point were oblivious to the fact. I think that’s a very unrealistic assessment of the state of progress in the Chase. How in the world would Forrest know that people had been to the starting point if those searchers hadn’t specifically told him — and why would they tell him their whereabouts if they didn’t think that where they were was relevant?

          The simplest interpretation of Forrest’s ATF comments taken as a body of work is that some searchers have SOLVED the first two clues and have physically been to that starting point. And some of them *may* have solved two more clues as of over 2 1/2 years ago.

          I agree with your last sentence, though. Knowing that others have solved ANY clues is not at all helpful in narrowing down the starting point. But I think you’re deluding yourself if you believe that searchers have no idea whether they’ve figured out the starting point.

          • eh, kind of disagree. mr. fenn may have known they were at correct starting point and had first couple clues correct, but the searchers still wouldn’t have that certainty until they found the treasure. For all they know, they had clues 1 and 2 wrong. Dont think anyone will know they have clues 1 or 2 correct until they get all 9 and locate.

          • zaphod,
            You misinterpretted what I said. My point was, the quote “basically tells us nothing. Where are they arriving? The first two clues? The hiding spot (which I doubt). Doesn’t clarify where “there” is. So its not a helpful hint as far as I can tell.”

            Just as a for instance- suppose I tell FF that I think the first clue is an a specific place but I have chosen that place based upon the wrong understanding of WWWH, then I would be among those that ” arrive there and don’t understand the significance of where they are”. I might be at the right place, but not for the right reason and therefore can’t solve the rest of the clues.

            All I’m saying is that the quote itself is too vague to form any opinion on what it might mean.

            Do I think nobody has solved the first clue or the second or subsequent clues? I don’t know. And apparently neither does FF or else he isn’t telling.

            Questions With Forrest
            JULY 26, 2016
            Q1) Is/are the searcher(s) still involved, those you had indicated in August of 2014, who were within 200 feet of the treasure?
            A) I don’t want to answer that question because it would reveal too much. f

            Q2) If so, are he/she any nearer at all after two years time?
            A) Don’t know. Sorry. f

            OOPS, one more on this (pretty please)
            Q3) And IF he/she are still searching, after two years’ time, has ANYONE else neared or passed he/she in proximity to the above mentioned “within two hundred feet”? I’m hoping for a mind tingling, fire starting, blog buzzing answer from you, but just a response is fine by me!
            A) No need for oops, but again, I don’t know. f

            “Dear Emily, Searchers continue to figure the first two clues and others arrive there and don’t understand the significance of where they are. f”

            “many people have found the first clue but they didn’t know it. Until someone finds the treasure they will not know for sure that they have discovered the first clue.”

            So, if FF doesn’t know, then how can I know?

            I hope I’ve found the the first 4-6 clues. But, until somebody is holding the TC we will not know.

          • Hi Flutterby,

            “Just as a for instance- suppose I tell FF that I think the first clue is an a specific place but I have chosen that place based upon the wrong understanding of WWWH, then I would be among those that ” arrive there and don’t understand the significance of where they are”.

            Sure, one searcher could do that. But not multiple independent searchers. But this is neither here nor there. We know for a fact that at least two independent groups SOLVED the first two clues as of 2013. At the bookstore on 4/17/2013, Forrest said “two parties have solved the first two clues but missed the next seven.” You can confirm this with Goofy, but I don’t give it a second thought.

      • Zap’s quote is the one. He may have said it another time as well. I just assumed he meant they were at the hiding place. I still think it’s possible they were.

    • Hi Swwot: I’m a big xkcd fan! The “rollover” quote on that panel is even better: “Eno’s storied aria was once soloed by Judge Lance Ito on the alto oboe at Ohio’s AirAsia Arena.”

  39. It seems like there haven’t been that many solves posted from this search season (so far, at least). I will again encourage people that if you are done with BOTG in an area, post the solve that led you there. It is this kind of collaborative sharing of ideas that saves people time/$ (not searching an area that has already been searched) and can inspire new ways of thinking about the clues.

    I’m not quite done with my area this year, but will be sending my solve off to Dal once I am (and I’m eager to do so because I have what I think are some good ideas that I want to get people’s thoughts on).

    I suppose Dal may be sitting on some also (saving them for the off-season), but no way to know for sure…

    • FMC ~’It is this kind of collaborative sharing of ideas that saves people time/$ (not searching an area that has already been searched)’

      What about the ‘area’ where folks have told fenn where they were, what the first two clues are, and walked by the chest, Yet, they didn’t know they had been so close.
      Don’t get me wrong, I like to read the processes of a search and such… But how can you considered any placed ‘already been searched’ … so, save time n money and don’t go there?

      • Seeker –

        Here is why.
        Because everyone of those people is just like everyone here.
        They are standing at WWWH and then they jump in a car and drive past the TC. Or hike miles down a canyon or whatever.

        So lets here the starting points. I can solve from those points without going right by the TC or leaving the poem.

        • Lugz,
          You’re talking about points and places and solves.
          My comment was about how we can consider any place “searched” with the idea… Ah! so and so looked that place over, no need for me to go, line of thinking. When searcher [ explaining their solves to fenn ] have clues correct and made it to a 500′ and/or 200′ station near the hide.

          Would I like to hear those ‘general solves’? Sure.
          Would I dismiss them, and save time and money with the thought… that place was searched, I ain’t going there? Heck, NO.

          I too have encourage some to give a write up on a solve or the theory they had.
          But, just because JDA [for example] is looking for nine blazes [with 21 searches notch on his walking stick] doesn’t tell me that his area is no longer valid… because it has been search.

          LOL, Between Cynthia, Dal, Jenny [Sixer] and a dozen others, or even Stephanie?…I should be able to eliminate 75% of the RM’s as searched, and forget about it. Especially in the greater YS and most lands N.of SF… right?

          CO is looking pretty good right now…

          • Hey Seek,

            Not saying this is a slam dunk but doesn’t Occam’s sharp thingy suggest that lack of success in all those areas may be because the TC isn’t there? I have been more focused on places (general areas) most people would rule out. I don’t have confidence in my wwwh but there are ways it could work with the ATFs (200/500′) but I’m mostly playing Canasta these days. At any rate, I live in CO, but not botg, I don’t think the box is here (IMO). You sparked another thought…’general solve’…’region’…’area’…how do people define these scales…if we all could agree on a range of actual, measurable numbers, maybe it would be easier to talk things thru…for me a ‘general solve area’ is super vague and means nothing to me…I consider mountain ranges or named national forests to be ‘areas’…like, I’m heading into Arapahoe nat forest…within that area is the RMNP region…but that is still a pretty big area…what do you all think? can WWWH be as big as an ‘area’ or ‘region’ or is it more like a square mile…an acre? I imagine some ATFs could be used well in a discussion…let her rip

          • TBug;

            My, my – how ones views change over time.

            What was once my “Final” search area, became my “General” search area, which then became something smaller and today my “Correct” search area is but a very small land area within these two area’s

            I started out searching an area that was about 10 miles on each side of a square. (General)

            I narrowed this down to a square that was about two miles on each side of a square.

            My “Correct” search area is now a square that is only about 200′ X 200′ (or less).

            I still travel through (drive) my “General” search area, and hike a portion of my next area (1/2 mile X 1/2 mile to reach my “Correct” area.

            Bottom line – I would find it hard to define “General” and “Correct” area mass other than how I just did it. Who knows if I am correct? Only one final BotG will determine that – 🙂 JDA

          • Tbug ~’but doesn’t Occam’s sharp thingy suggest that lack of success in all those areas may be because the TC isn’t there?’

            If you’re talking about places, all over the map, that searchers by the tens of thousands have looked into. My answer is, Nope. LOL I have not read a posted solve with two solves being the same, or even close as to what a clue refers to in the same area.

            If you’re talking about those folks with the first two clues and being somewhere within a few hundred of the hide… well, my answer is still, Nope. The chest was there… fenn stated the searchers were close. So dismissing any area just for the fact it as been search, even by someone you may think has it all together, as far as a solve… Naaa, I’m gonna go where I think the poem takes me no matter how many times the area has been tossed. I just won’t look under the same rock as JDA or the tire and propane tanks Vox found.

            On a side note… regarding unknown distances we may need to travel. What i don’t get is why force watercraft, vehicle into NF, BTFTW as needed to be ‘far between clues’ [ I try and always use the – far between clues because most have many miles away from one clue to another ]
            Could it be that a clue is just simply on the other side a waterway… maybe a distance of 50, 100 or more ‘feet’ away, but ya just need to get to the other side?

            If a search uses a boat or car or calls Uber… does it matter as long as you are certain of the clue[s]? So far… that next clue has given folks the most problem, instead of a simple explanation… just go around… hoB is not far, line of thinking. But every solve I personally have read about by folks chatting here has miles, even many miles, from wwwh to hob.

            Yet< again, for the life of me I don't know how any of those who had the first two clues, drove miles away [ in some solves ] and it seem most of not all, got to the chest within feet of it… without "knowing" the next clue or two clues.
            Yet fenn said the didn't. They only had the first two.

      • Seeker,

        It’s certainly a judgment call based on who’s posting them, the detail that person provides, and each person’s own belief in their solve.

        For example, I’ve never seriously researched any solves in Yellowstone in part because of the number of people that have looked there. In reading Cynthia’s solves in NM, I find her to be a thorough searcher and with similar thought processes to my own so I would be less inclined to get excited about a solve in an area she’s posted a detailed solve about. If and when JDA ever posts his solve area, I will for sure never put BOTG there.

        Maybe I hold my own posted “Going to See the Elephant” solve as an unrealistic standard, but I’m pretty sure anyone that reads it isn’t going to where I went (unless they’re okay with trespassing, but that’s a different issue).

      • i believe some people have been closer than 200 ft to the tc whether they realized it or not. that’s my gut feeling lol.

  40. Forrest said in his reply to the latest scrapbook 189 that he loves molten metal.

    That is a very interesting word molten/melt. It means to GLOW. If you don’t know what the etymology and definition of glow is you better look it up and get in the chase!

    • Excellent, Sparrow – what a great voice.

      (I bet radio training had a lot to do with the profusion of exaggerated recognizable voices in movies before the rise of tv. Led too, to an explosion of comedians doing impressions in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s, when enough people in the audience could still place the references.)

      “Was you ever bit by a dead bee?” – Walter Brennan, To Have and Have Not


  41. to walk or drive you have to go by all clues but in my opinion not from his car to the treasure chest – where he parked is at the south side of in the wood- walked less then a quarter mile to the north end (your efforts will be worth the cold) of in the wood to the treasure chest

  42. Is there a 3rd way to “follow” the clues…
    A. Follow the clues in a line, the treasure at the end.
    B. Follow the clues in a loop, ( TS Eliot style) and
    a: the treasure is IN THE MIDDLE
    b: run the loop again, you missed something, but you know more now.

    • OS2;

      I know that my theory is not accepted by most, but here is what I have found. – Concentric loops. Loop #1 through the poem takes me from WWWH – down a canyon etc to the Heavy Loads and Water High location and the Blaze and look quickly down – No treasure. Loop #2 takes me from my previous Water High location, (which now becomes my new WWWH), and on through the poem in a tighter loop. (Less land mass). Still no treasure – Loop #3 mimics loop #2 but on an even smaller scale – leading ultimately to Indulgence. Works for me – JDA

      • OMG JDA …. way too complex for me, but Maurits Cornelis Escher might like it. Good luck…. i’ve gotta go count my 10 toes again.

          • Eric, the question used “switchback”
            fenn even repeated the question to himself in a questionable manner…

            I think the idea of switchback and double back can be considered two different things… This answers was on video and I believe this is the same Q&A section Dal might have transcript and is on this blog [ lol some where in one of the headers threads ] It should be too hard to locate it, if you want.

            Side note; personally, this is a worded question which I wish was not worded as it was. But hindsight is always 20/20.

          • Eric;

            Technically, I am NOT doubling back. I am NOT going over any of my previous steps. To the best of my knowledge he did not mention loops – Bur again technically. a loop is a closed circle, and I close no circles – it is a continuing spiral that gets smaller and smaller – JDA

          • Seeker/JDA/All – here’s my transcript of the Moby Dickens Book Shop video (11/2/2013) starting at the 7:50 mark when the second question is asked:

            Forrest: “Is there another question?”
            Female quesioner: ““I have one about the poem. Umm, if you follow the poem precisely, will you find yourself switching back?”

            Forrest: “If you follow the clues in the poem precisely, would I what?”

            Woman: “Will you find yourself switching back? (delay) Making a loop.”

            Forrest: “This gal’s dangerous, you know that?! (laughter) Would I find myself switching back. Well I think I can say no to that without giving away too much of the clue.”

          • Thanks Zap – As can be seen, he does not address the loop.

            My 3 Lap process is not really needed. I COULD just start at the beginning of lap #3 and he happy. Were I to do so, and publish it, I would get a thousand questions – all would ask the same thing – “How did you get there”? “What made you start there”? etc.

            So, that is the reason I use the three-lap approach. JDA

          • Zap,
            Switching back… ok, not the same as switchback. LOL can’t rely on all the noodles to be firm, I guess.

            But yes the answer is still interesting, as to not giving too much away, idea.
            The problem is, is it of a physical nature or an idea?
            My mind can switch back and forth. A dogs tail can, without any real movement of the animal, but more of the mood of the dog.
            It’s just one of those answers that no matter what, we may not know what was in fenn’s mind as he understood “switching back” in regards to ” …Um, if you follow ‘the poem’ precisely”

            However, In the theory I was chatting about the JDA a little while ago [ if you read it ] The ides doesn’t have any ‘doubling back / switching back’ or even switching the order of the clues in the poem. All it has is a searcher ‘following the clues’ from a vantage point, that starts at the first clue, but not being at the first clue… and all don’t in the field.

          • This is a reply for all those that sent me a reply. Thanks for the insights! I puzzled this one over and thought again about what Fenn said about simplify. I had my kids look over the correct quoted reply to the “switch back” question and all 3 of my kids (14, 18, and 21) they thought that it was clear that you don’t loop back to a previous part of the trail! For what it’s worth, I really don’t think you will double back to any previous portion of your trail. Hey this opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it…;)

      • JD

        Actually if you take that and superimpose it on the landscape it’s similar to what McB and I believe.

        Like a Target or funnel the clues focus the search area down to the point of retrieval.


          • Presumably we are sitting at a table looking down from about 500 feet or 200 feet or 50 feet

          • These are NOT actual numbers.

            Let’s say my first WWWH is at 8,000′ – Canyon down to put in point/ hoB at 7,000′ – go uphill to END at 8,000′ Hike to HLnWH/blaze at 8,500′

            Lap #2 start at 8,500′ climb to 9,000′ for all clues

            Lap #3 all clues at 9,000′ – give or take a few feet.

            As I said, NOT real numbers, but you get the idea – JDA

          • JDA ~’Seeker – Start is the first WWWH.’

            Are you positive-?- that is where we need to physically be to start or begin in an actual task of doing the challenge?

            IF we were standing on a high ridge, and I told you to being far over a valley to another ridge… would you automatically go there?… while I was explaining where else to go to “from there” ~ that point you can see far away.

            Or would you listen and possibly see the next points I mention, that is closer than the first, then another point mentioned and another…closer and closer, but all can ‘only’ be see from where you are standing. { the distance doesn’t matter for the explanation } Far in this scenario is just farther than you “need” to be, and more to, where you need to “be at.”

            The fine point I was trying to make is… we could have walked by everything, even started at the farthest point, but nothing of those points would be viewable “in all” until at a specific spot.
            Many like this idea of a funnel affect, a linear line, even zig zaging point to point… and all wanting to start at a single point. Yet, we all desire the other point to be at.

            Does it matter where you physically start the “order” of “Following” the clues, as long as you ‘know’ where you need to start the clues from?

            fenn said he designed the poem using the example of it, as a blueprint. When you look at a blueprint you see where you need to be/begin and how it all comes together as it should… long before you even break-ground. What you have in a blueprint is a finished tasked and an explanation of the finished work.

            That is exactly what we have with the poem. We see the finished work right in-front of us. Now all we have to do is go to the area we want to break-ground [park anywhere ya like] at and watch it all unfolded. I think we need to build the poem at it’s foundation… the part that bring holds it all together… The clues are the pieces that need to line up, on it’s foundation [ in this case the foundation would be the clue / the ground where everything lines up at.

            This does not change the idea of “need to start at the first clue” but gives a twist to “need to know where to start” and both ideas being correct.
            If you don’t have/see all the ingredients/material you can’t have the correct outcome, line of thinking.

            So, in this theory, where am I ‘not’ starting with the first clue?

          • Seeker your point is well taken. Yes, a blueprint tells the contractor how to build the house. Included in the “Set” of blueprints is a plot drawing that says where on the property the house is to be built. Also in the “set” of plans is usually a bigger Plat plan that says where in the subdivision the plot is. This is my approach.

            Although in building the house, only the blueprints are needed, the Plat and Plot plans get us to where we are to build.My “Plat” plan takes me from my subdivision overview, and gets me to the “Plot” that the house is to be built on. The “Plot” plan tells me where on the 1/2 acre plot that the house is to be built. Finally, I use the blueprint to actually build my house.

            Call the Plat and Plot plans support documents – if you will. Just how I look at it.

            True, I could look at ONLY the blueprints, and they would tell me what the finished house would look like, but the plat and plot plans get me to the site so that I can see the finished house for myself – JDA

  43. Hey flutter – I know this doesn’t fit your current ideas but I am onto a similar process where I see a ‘theme’…some may recall the various SBs about George Dabich, the mummy cave story is especially poignant the way FF described listening to George’s stories about the excavations and findings, and then driving back up to the cave one night to experience the thrill himself. https://dalneitzel.com/2014/08/24/mummy_cave/

    At any rate I was doing some research and googled Mr. Dabich and was looking at his obit: “George’s father owned the Machado, a ranch in Clovis, Calif.” I’ve been on an archeology kick of late and many know of the Fenn Clovis Cache, for me the interesting links include George Frison (rancher/artifact collector turned archaeologist), his namesake institute at the University of Wyoming has a Forrest Fenn on the board, and the recent video from 2006 confirms that Forrest and George collaborated closely on the books about the Fenn Clovis Cache. Fenn bought the cache in 1988…interesting…and eventually shared it with George F and another researcher who then published the books. Some of George Fs work is incredibly important in the area of paleo-indian history/archaeology, of note he once used an atl-atl and a real stone tipped spear to harvest a sick elephant in Africa to demonstrate the effectiveness of the weapon, other insights were provided about his practical ranching knowlege of animals and how indians likely used herding/other behavioral traits to track animals and harvest them, finally he is credited with finding the ‘Frison Effect’ related to stone tool making, whereby he proved that when a stone tool was broken by use they were often then reshaped into a smaller tool/weapon, the size reduction being the ‘effect’ that was provable through excavations. I think Forrest would have admired George quite a bit during his collecting and San Lazaro adventures because George was known to be not just a scholar but a practical thinker (the mechanic who had been fixing cars for 4 years, but he then later went to school too).

    A current working theory I’m indulging is that Forrest and these gentlemen (both Georges) were peas in a pod and the linkages to archaeology (sites) are interesting…not sure where to go with this, but hard not to chase rabbits sometimes. All IMO IMO IMO. I do have a nifty little idea about a site that brought me a new idea on wwwh…very ‘imaginative’, but i’ll need to run a few things to ground before I’m willing to share (probably aren’t new of course, but maybe).

    • Tbug,
      Very interesting stuff! One of my grown kids lives in Clovis California where this George guy’s father was from. I’m also interested in archeology. Would love to hear your new idea about WWWH.

      • Thanks Arg, I was familiar with that site as well, George F grew up nearby in Tensleep so much of his early work was informed by his childhood experiences and knowlege of the local geography…sound familiar?

        I’m feeling generous today…I really don’t think this is new but here goes: in terms of archaeology many important discoveries involve sites that have large amounts of animal bones…consider these as possible wwwh here is my idea: most of these sites are noted for the large mammals found (natives understood herd behavior and could exploit for food) mammals are WARM blooded, blood is mostly water, so where these sites are could be Where Warm Waters Halt. It is fairly elegant (not a huge stretch of imagination nor a giant logic leap, IMO) and there are many, most N of SF. Again I don’t think I’m the first anyone else used this idea in a solve before/current? Could be a fun mapping project I haven’t done an extensive search yet, anyone care to share?

          • Thanks Arg, but yes, those were the types of places I was thinking…and there are indeed a couple south of SF…interestingly, a lot of the jump sites tend to be ‘plains’ geography, often situated in valleys near rivers (where grass and water may have been more plentiful and more likely where the animals would be). The ATF about ‘seeing’ animals, is an interesting link to me, as it is both literal and figurative and aligns well with FFs ‘way’ of storytelling (IMO).

            Anyway, I’m struggling with the ‘specialized knowlege’ ATFs…I waver, but mostly I believe that FF and his father held these types of sites in high regard (searching for arrowheads, etc.), had ample time to visit them and other ‘touristy’ places during their 1600 mile journeys to/from YNP to Texas…given that most searchers have/will journey these same paths, it seems NOT specialized knowlege in finding/exploring them…in terms of choosing THE one, I’m not there yet, but MT seems to have many more (at least that are preserved/set up for public use). Thanks for the conversation.

    • Thanks, Dal. That’s an interesting interview. It’s nice to know that donations are helping jdiggins in this challenging time.

  44. Has anybody else had trouble ordering a book that doesn’t live in the United States? I’ve tried twice with no success & no reply from my email to them. Any ideas?

  45. Tbug,
    I don’t see why your WWWH can’t be as big as an “area” if the area fits as an area WWWH.
    My “There’ll be no paddle up your creek, Just heavy loads and water high is a big area. No a place to go. Just a confirmation that its “up” from WWWH & HOB. Gives me a location for WWWH & HOB.

  46. Zaphod,
    I had not heard the quote from the bookstore about two independent groups solving the first two clues. When did he say that?

  47. Zaphod,
    Regarding your comment on the number of hints in the poem. While FF did say there “are a couple of good hints”, this can have more than one meaning. “Couple” can mean combine or connect. Also “couple of good hints” could mean a couple of hints about the word good in the poem.

    One thing I’m pretty sure of. I see some of the exact same hints repeated again and again.. I think that when the same hint is repeated over and over, we should pay attention to it.


    • Flutterby,
      Couple in his context means 2.
      There are two good hints in TTOTC.
      Yes, they are good as they are good hints.
      If we overcomplicate every word he uttered, we would spend eternity getting nowhere.

      • Jake,
        IMO that kind of reasoning is why the TC has not been found. But stick with that thought process. Decreases the competition IMO

        • “Decreases the competition IMO”
          I was thinking the same thing and that’s a fact.

        • Can’t really equate a reluctance to over-complicate with a lack of imagination, or blame either for lack of results up till now.

          A tour of some of the other chase-blogs will quickly show that there’s been no shortage of complex, convoluted, and sometimes even over-complicated attempts to find the TC.

          Equally unsuccessful so far, no?


          • Jake,
            You are right that there are plenty of over complicated selves out there. I think mine is unique because it ties almost every phrase to one idea. It also uses literal definitions for every word so that all phrases mean what they say. IMO

      • I agree with “couple” = 2. Also, “few” = 3. And “scant” = more than a few, but not many.

        Just my opinion based on what I’ve read about Forrest.

  48. the reason we have to start at wwwh imo Is that from there – the poem puts us on the right direction to hob you have to go somewhere from wwwh – think about the ( Y ) if you keep going on the right side you keep going north and that’s the wrong way because the poem says that wwwh is east of hob there fore we go ( west ) to hob where all the clues line up going north – – – – clues
    – wwwh

    • Sorry frank – I do not agree with a single thing you say. For me, From WWWH, I go South (down) – actually SouthEast. From Put-in point I go south and southwest then west (Kinds in a horse shoe) – Then mostly south to TC.

      Not sure where you think the poen says to go east of hoB.

      We all see it differently – Good luck in your search – JDA

    • frank,
      How does the poem say that wwwh is east of hob? I actually agree with that, but haven’t seen it in the poem. Thanks a lot.

      • Luckydog im glad you agree – I just don’t know how to explain it to help you see it in the poem – this stanza is only imo talking about two things – wwwh and hob if you know where you are at on a map – to take it in – you have to go up to hob leaving wwwh at the bottom just think east and west I hope this helps its just my opinion frank

        • Thanks frank,
          I think most people consider “down” as South or elevation. For 5 years I was in that line of thinking. I believe that I have finally figured out the correct wwwh and it is East of hob. If I am correct, it will surprise almost everyone. There are many wwwh and most are North of Santa Fe.
          We won’t know for sure until it is found.

          Does your “map” give you a name for “it”, as in Take “it” in the canyon down? Mine does.


  49. its ok JDA if you disagree – begin it where wwh and take it in the canyon down put in below the home of brown to me its still talking about wwwh which to me below means east of hob wwwh being west to hob good luck to you to JDA

  50. JDA from hob and wwwh in my salve there is nothing south of there all clues are north of hob imo except wwwh and that’s east of there

  51. Hi Flutterby: that info was based on a post by Goofy on 4/18/2013 about Forrest’s Collected Works bookstore appearance the previous night (4/17/2013) which was attended by Doug Preston, I believe New Mexico writer Michael McGarrity, Irene Rawlings, Dal, TFTW designer Susan Caldwell and obviously many others. Here’s the link:


    You can listen to the audio here:

    Goofy’s synopsis isn’t 100% accurate (Forrest doesn’t use the word “solved”) but I think “solved” captures the intent of Forrest’s words. Here I transcribe the relevant portion of the audio above: I believe it is Doug Preston who asks, “So Forrest, has anyone, I mean, has anyone ever gotten close to finding it?”

    Forrest: “I don’t know what you mean by close, but I know people have been within 500 feet.” (Collective “ohs/ahs” from the audience) “There are two different parties that have figured out the first two clues … correctly, and went right past the treasure chest because they didn’t have the others.”

    Some will probably still quibble, but I believe it’s wishful thinking to suggest that “figured out the first two clues correctly” is nothing more than saying they had *identified* the words in the poem that constitute the first two clues. In the context of just talking about people who had been within 500 feet, it’s hard to imagine that after 2 1/2 years only a pair of parties had figured out which words in the poem correspond to clues 1 and 2. Let’s be honest: they solved them. It’s the only sensible explanation for how they could then go “right past the treasure chest because they didn’t have the others.”

    • Zaphod,
      You are right. That quote does seem to say two different individuals or groups figured out the first two clues. It says “figured out” as opposed to other quotes that say just “figured” as though it might be figured out or someone is figuring (working on it). I’d say this quote clarifies it. At least for me. I agree with you. And this was in 2013? Surely there has been progress since then

    • Flutterby: that’s been my take — that there certainly must be more than two parties who have solved the first two clues by now, given that more than 5 years have passed since that statement from Forrest, and hundreds of thousands more people have been added to the competition since early 2013.

  52. I hope the following may help someone.

    On another Chase site I posted what I believe is the correct starting point (without the refinement that will provide precision). IMO, if you unlock the poem’s secrets, you can find the hiding place from there – and it’s absolutely straightforward. However, in practice (as I found to my cost), you are likely to deviate and follow a mind-numbingly tortuous path to arrive at the same conclusion.

    The key to the whole thing is the split. The split in the poem; the split in one’s being, and the physical split that you’ll discover at the end. (Y not?)

    And on a side note, poor old Leeroy is also hopelessly split.

    From thinkbabynames.com:
    “the name Leeroy means “the king”.”

    From the urban dictionary:
    1: To destroy all hopes of success.
    2: To rush headlong into danger without regard to consequences.
    3: To satisfy one’s own desires at the expense of all around oneself.”

    My suggestion, for what it’s worth, is to find the split, and figure it out from there. If you’re like me, you may need a flashlight and gloves to deal with whatever you find lurking in dark corners. But maybe, if it’s lunchtime and the sun is shining, there’ll be meat in your sandwich!

    And if you want to avoid what I put myself through, go back to the first clue, and keep going back until you get yourself on track. It’s not far, but it’s a long way! The poem IS the map, and the asterisks are your bedrock.

    Since I have come to doubt my own sanity, you would be wise to take this as suspect information unless and until you can verify it for yourself!

    • You’re not alone Vox.
      You don’t have to be crazy to be in this Chase
      …But I think it may actually help! 😉

      • Believe it or not, randawg, that means a heck of a lot to me! Having been a loner for most of my days, the Chase has actually been the loneliest period of my life – despite the presence of this wonderful and ever-growing community. Few share the approach I’ve taken, and so I think my words tend to come across like the rantings of some slightly smelly old vagabond you might cross the street to avoid!

        I do hope that you and others are making real progress. Wouldn’t it be nice if the box could be retrieved soon?

        Good luck!

      • tighterfocus, these are the asterisks that guide you toward the treasure. They are physical, can be found on Google (and I have visited one of them – it exists in the real world!). They are not essential IMO, but without them (particularly the second one) you would be hard pressed to know whether you were on track.

        In order to find the asterisks, you need to be in very tight focus ( 🙂 )with a particular word in the poem. Precision is required.

  53. Oh, the freakin’ irony! Almost did a full Leeroy there!!

    This is a minefield. What’s right, what’s wrong… priorities! Someone lock that self-destruct button!!!

    From Cowlazars on Sunday morning:

    Donation and drawing update for everyone.
    As of 8/19 $16030.72 has been raised by 233 people.
    We have 639 entries in the drawing and I have emailed the first 181 numbers out.
    We are basically at the half way point of the donation window (12 days left)

    • Thanks for sharing Lugnutz.
      That is truly one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever seen. Thank goodness they are alive to tell about it.
      Certainly adds an element of planning and respect I’ve never had to deal with in the back country but one that I will forever be cognizant of going forward.

    • There are many forest fires now, so don’t forget to be aware before and during a search. Don’t go searching where forest fires are near your search area.

      Stay safe!!

      • Agreed. Wildfires are nothing to mess with. Also, keep in mind that areas where wildfires have burned can be quite prone to flash flooding during rainy weather for many years thereafter, so when searching in such areas, always keep track of where the nearest “higher ground” is, and keep an eye on what the weather is doing above your current elevation.

        It is better to cancel the search and come back another time than to press on in the face of genuine danger.

  55. FROM KPro this morning..

    This is HUGE!

    Please, everyone listen with big ears (to quote Forrest).

    As of today we have raised $16,255.72 to help Jamie Jordan, who lost her home and business in the terrible Mendocino Fire. If we can get enough donations to raise that figure to $26,255.72 by August 31, Forrest will donate $10,000 to Jamie. That will give us $36,255.72. WOW!

    Please help us spread this word around the search community because we need everybody’s help.
    Here is the paypal: https://www.paypal.me/JJDiggins

    • All right. I’m in, even though I’ve never met any of you. Like CharlieM says, it’s the right thing to do. I’ve been looking at and smelling the smoke all the way to Montana. It’s awful. If anyone is up here and wants to split “it” if we find it, let me know, cuz I’m still not sure I want to walk a short distance alone.

  56. Some sage words from Winston Churchill to take to heart after each failed BOTG trip: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” However, that wisdom should be tempered by another Winston quote: “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”

    • J A Kraven: well done! You are of course correct. (Was trying to be a little like Forrest, here.) These two quotes (and quite a few others) are commonly attributed to Churchill, but they aren’t his.

      • Deliberate, eh?

        I’ve long suspected you might really be a small group of Macedonian teenagers.


      • J A K: If only we could make as much dough blabbing here as those kids in Veles…

        • I like what F shared in his chapter about the old man that removed the covers from the funny books – in his latest memoir: ‘hush boy you froth to much’….lol! We love you Zap and long winded Seeker and of course JDA, wouldn’t be hoD without you all!

        • ** ** “If only we could make as much dough blabbing here as those kids in Veles…” ** **

          Hmmm . . . you might be onto something there, Dr Beeblebrox.

          “Can a group of teenagers in Macedonia, who speak good English, but only have your poem, a map of the US Rocky Mountains, and a few dozen websites, make a lot of dough posting ‘fake clues’ about where the treasure is?”


      • Linda: have tried several times to reply to your recent emails. I get nothing but bounce-back errors.

  57. It’s funny you would use the saying “sage words”. I was reviewing some old Scrap Books over the weekend and one was SB 49. Out of all the spices, he did not mention Sage.
    Sage = Wise ?????

    • Hi Luckydog: ’twas not accidental. 😉 Two bottles of sage in the top layer of SB49’s spice rack (yet unmentioned in the text, as you point out). MW Weekly words (2/26/2016): “Sage says don’t try and carry it home in one trip.” And who was H. L. Mencken? “The Sage of Baltimore”

      • Sage Stories under Forrest Speaks her on Dals site.
        And I don’t even remember H. L. Menken

      • Luckydog: H.L. Mencken is the source of the quote that Forrest claims he found on the French soldier’s gravestone he tripped over in Vietnam. The original words were: “If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.”

        • Thanks zap,
          I remember now. Too much to remember. lol
          One of my favorite quotes from him was,

          “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

          Reminded me of the Chase.

  58. I’m guessing (and enjoying) all these delightful aberrations, coincidences, anomalies, cross-references, word-plays, slips, etc. are FF just toying with his audience. It’s that cat & mouse thing where his eyes are open but his lid shut. He certainly is teaching all the Miss Fords to to be on their toes.

  59. I understand now how lightning starts forest fires. It rained steadily for at least 45 minutes to an hour at my camp site this evening and a fire I had built was still burning.

    While sitting out the thunderstorm, I found myself thinking about what it must have been like when Forrest and his friend Donny spent time in the mountains near Yellowstone with only their horses, bedrolls, and clothes to stay warm. They probably sheltered under trees wherever possible. They were probably cold and a little miserable, no?

    • It’s best to avoid building camp fires in our national forests. NFS closed Santa Fe NF because too many small minded folks disregarded their fire ban earlier this season. Hundreds of thousands of acres have been burnt due to camp fires improperly managed.

      Many who have enjoyed the wilderness – 19th century trappers to modern day Boy Scouts – have been cold and a little miserable. No mention of Donny and f being so when looking for L&C but word on the street has it that Donny was in a swivet.

      • I share your concern about forest fires and my campfire was burned in accordance with strict regulations in a cast iron-lined pit built for that purpose. The campground host provided instructions and would not have permitted campfires otherwise.

        As far as Forrest Fenn making any mention of being miserable, he alluded to it just a bit on page 63 of TTOTC where he wrote: “There’s nothing worse than a wet bedroll on a cold night.” I do get the impression, though, that of the two of them, Forrest was the hardier. This was a guy who was already working as a fishing guide and who, some years later, calculated that it would take him a month to trek out of the Laotian jungle, tigers and cobras notwithstanding, on his own if necessary after being shot down.

        I think L&C would have loved to have Forrest along.

        So, does an aardvark bark?.

  60. Does anyone have any idea what happened to Curious Hobbit? I seriously wonder whether that New Zealander is wearing a silver bracelet and grinning somewhere on his own private beach?

    • Hi Sparrow: I miss our furry-footed down-under friend. His posts always brought a smile to my face, and I do hope he is well and continues to peek in on our antics.

      • I agree, Zap – even if he did like to poke his cousins in the North. 🙂

        And talking of directions, the Chase needs its Antipodes like hobbits need second breakfast (a golden rule I applaud and emulate whenever possible!). Middle-earth is where its at, surely?

  61. I dunno.
    He posted here a few times under the name “highlyanonpirate” with a
    green muppet gravatar. I think he’s focusing on catching flies these days.


  63. There are now two ways to help out JDiggins and her husband, Bill with their home and business loss in the Mendocino Fire…
    KPro has a raffle with a lot of really great and some rare items donated …
    You can find out more and buy tickets on KPro’s site here:

    Cynthia is also hosting a silent auction for the Forrest donated, original illustration of the Gypsies Dancing Around the Campfire from TTOTC page 43.
    As of this moment the bidding is up to almost $1,790…
    Remember, this is to help JDiggins and Bill rebuild their home…
    They lost EVERYTHING…we can help…
    To see how the semi-silent auction is going and to bid on the original book art…
    Go to Cynthia’s blog…

    • dal,
      Is there a way to just donate rather than to buy a raffle ticket or auction? I’d lke to just send cash. Can you message me and let me know where to send it?
      -Flutterby butterflygarden00 at yahoo dot com

      • If you want to write a check rather than use PayPal…make the check out to Mike Cowling and send it to:
        Mike Cowling
        3870 East Flamingo Rd
        Ste A2 pmb 212
        Las Vegas, NV 89121

        If you have any questions about the raffle or donating items you should contact Kristie:

        Hope this helps – JDA

    • Keep the donations coming! Need to hit the $26xxx mark by 8/31 to net Mr. Fenn’s $10k addition. I think donations are around $20k now? Dal, can you confirm?

      Running on faith and highly, highly confident we’ll hit the mark for JDiggins!

    • Ah, Crap! Deaf, blind and speech impaired with good understanding of English in Braille with assistance of a Li’l Indy with a map of the US RM’s might be able to solve the poem… sigh!.. where does that leave me?

      Side note; I read Helen Keller’s story many moons ago, she was a great inspiration for me [that doesn’t happen often]. I remember fenn asking a question to searchers; ~ Which reminds me Jenny, if you could have a two hour dinner, just the two of you, and converse with anyone who ever lived in the history of the world; Who would you choose, and why? I’m interested in the opinions of your bloggers also. f

      I may have needed/wanted more than two hours, but Helen Keller would have been one I would have like to have personally met. I was 8 when she past.

      • Seeker – a bit of quick math says you are 58. New Info. Helen died in 1968 – you were 8 when she passed, so you were born in 1960 – which makes you 58. I guess we learn something new every day.
        🙂 JDA

        • that’s old news to me JDA! He let it slip awhile back, I’m just waiting to learn that he used to be a guard at Elmira! lol!

  64. Looking for another way to peruse the mass of data on the maps?

    What’s the “right map”? What are we looking for on a map? If you’re looking for shapes of geographic features this won’t help you. If you are looking for names it might. There is a danger that the data available via this method is not the same data that is available from the “right map” so use this at your own peril.

    Go to this site:
    Select a state from the dropdown (may be best to repeat this process 4 times with all 4 chase states, you decide)

    Download and unzip the .txt file
    Give it time to fully load.
    Save that .txt file
    Open the file from Excel (remember to select either Text Files (*.txt) or All Files (*.*) so that you can find your saved .txt file)
    Hopefully a Text Import Wizard opened up
    Select “Delimited” and Next>
    Deselect Tab and select Other, in the box next to Other enter the pipe character “|” (shift \ on my keyboard)
    Click Next>
    Click Finish
    Hopefully that loaded your spreadsheet
    In Excel click on the Data tab and click on Filter
    Save your file in a *.xls_ format

    Now you should be able to use the power of Excel to extract the data of your choosing.
    For example:
    -filter a single County
    -filter on a single USGS map name
    -filter ELEV_IN_FT with “number filters”, “greater than”, and enter 4999 (danger, only the last clue might be at that elevation)
    -filter FEATURE_NAME for “Text Filter”, “Contains”, Brown (if only it were that easy, lol)
    -filter out anything below a certain latitude or filter on a select range of long and lats
    -if you find an interesting feature copy the SOURCE_LAT_DEC and SOURCE_LONG_DEC cells together and plug them into Google Earth’s search field. It’ll fly you right there.

    You’ll get a sense of what can and can’t do with the data at your disposal but never forget you are deviating from the Poet’s instructions so there may be peril involved. Good luck, I hope it helps.

    (I hope I didn’t make any typos or skip any steps there)

    • Argelite;

      You say: “If you’re looking for shapes of geographic features this won’t help you” Boy, I could not disagree more. With one exception, I think that NAMES will do nothing for you. “Shapes of geographic features” – this is the absolute thing that a searcher MUST focus on if they are to solve the riddles of the poem. Wish I could say just what that feature is, but I will in due time. Without FINALLY being able to identify a particular geographic feature on a map, I would still be chasing my tail, instead of getting ready to find Indulgence – Or at least I hope to find her. JMO – JDA

      • When I said this “… If you’re looking for shapes of geographic features this won’t help you….” I meant the process I documented won’t help you. I didn’t intend to imply that looking for shapes is not going to help.

  65. Argillite,

    Forrest said this below on Mysterious Writings regarding names of places. FYI, Toponymy is the study of place names (toponyms), their origins, meanings, use. Last year I had a great solve right down to a spot, but it was based on the names of places, and then I saw this quote. Needless to say, I was let down, but still not giving up! 🙂

    ◾Dear Forrest, What’s more important in solving the search, a greater knowledge (“knowlege”) of Toponymy or Geography? ~Chris

    I don’t know how Toponymy can help you at all Chris (I had to look that word up). But if you knew the geographic location of each clue it would be a map to the treasure. f (Questions w Forrest 2017)

    • Kathy W: you go right on using place names. I believe they are ESSENTIAL to solving Forrest’s poem. Toponymy isn’t a study of the mere existence of place names — it’s the study of their origins, e.g. how a place came to be named what it’s named — its etymology and history.

      • Hey Zap, technically you are right, but this has always confused me. If we are trying to figure out the poem then we are “studying” everything to do with it, so if we are going by names of places in a solve then we obviously would have thought about it first (“studied”), so then we would be studying the names of places and their origins (I did), which Forrest said would not help. Ugggg……not sure which is correct. As I said, I have a good solve, and it goes right to a double omega, but it is based on names of places. I have not been yet, as still not sure about this. I live in Denver so at least not too far. I should just go, but have not had enough free time yet to do it. Not giving up though until it is found!

        • And, the double omega is in an area that looks like a fishing fly! BUT, another reason I have not gone yet is because I cannot tell for sure if the spot is on private land or not. I think it might be, but not totally sure, so if it is, probably not the place, but who knows.

          • Personally I think the double omega is pointing to the statement in which FF says he pictures his father sitting on a cloud somewhere lighting candles, “some of them at both ends”

            Here is something new to think about! I know we all know the basic definition of a candle. How about this definition from Merriam-Webster
            “a thin, upright new shoot forming from a terminal bud on a pine tree in the spring. Pines grow from the branch tips, which elongate into “candles” in spring, then fatten into mature, needle-covered branches.”

          • Flutterby, I think maybe the double omega represents his brother and sister with him in the middle as the middle child. My opinion of course.

        • Hi Kathy,

          “If we are trying to figure out the poem then we are “studying” everything to do with it, so if we are going by names of places in a solve then we obviously would have thought about it first (“studied”), so then we would be studying the names of places and their origins (I did), which Forrest said would not help.”

          I guess my advice would be to simplify: less researching. Any time you start to feel like you’re getting into PhD thesis mode, take a step back. For instance, don’t worry about how or why a place got its name — in my opinion, it’s not relevant. The history of the West, while fascinating, is also irrelevant (IMO). Our job is to *translate* the poem into navigational instructions, nothing more.

          “I have a good solve, and it goes right to a double omega, but it is based on names of places.”

          I see nothing wrong with that, though I would be careful not to place too much importance on the existence of omegas, or the lack thereof. If all the preceding clues lead you to such a place, that’s fine. Just so long as you didn’t pick out some omegas on the map, and work your way backwards from them. That would be a recipe for failure since there are millions of omegas in the Rockies.

          • I did not look for the omegas, they just were there when I got to that point. I know what you mean and what you are saying and agree. The research I did was not hours of it. In fact, it was pretty simple. Like Forrest has said (not an exact quote), ask your kids. 😉 I have two sons, young men now, but I remember what they liked when they were younger, and still like, and so do I!

          • I agree on one particular point; The omegas may be hints, but they are not clues. They may help you identify a correct solve once you have it, but you should be able to initially discover the solve without relying on them.

          • I know what you’re saying Kathy W.
            I wasn’t looking for any omegas anywhere until I saw this at his bathing spot on the Firehole River next to Ojo Caliente.

            Coincidence or….

    • “But if you knew the geographic location of each clue it would be a map to the treasure”. f

      When you Google ‘place name’ you get:
      Merriam-Webster- a geographic locality.
      Dictionary.com- the name given to or held by a geographical location, as a town, city, village, etc.

      So now what…….?!?! 🙂

  66. Happy Birthday Forrest… (8/22/1930)

    You have blessed our world with your 88 years of positive influence.

    Thank you!


  67. Now that it’s past midnight in Santa Fe, Happy 88th lap around ole’ Sol, Forrest! You’ve caught up with the keys on the piano. I’m still trying to locate the proper gift — something small, made of silver, with some turquoise to match your belt buckle…

  68. FYI — At 10 a.m. Aug. 20, lightning strikes set trees on fire on the west side of Highway 191 in Yellowstone National Park. The incident is considered part of the Bacon Rind fire. Despite three episodes of steady rain that night, the trees were still burning the morning of Aug. 22. It is definitely impacting air quality in the region. This is in addition to smoke from Northern California fires being blown across Utah, Wyoming, and elsewhere. Fire authorities from several agencies will be meeting with residents at 7 p.m. tonight in West Yellowstone — I think it was to be at the Presbyterian church.

    • Yup, been keeping tabs on it.
      Hasn’t jumped Snowslide Creek & still at 2045 acres.

  69. Lugnutz: you thought *you* were being teased by Fenn. Consider this. Here’s my post to you from 12 days ago:


    “Lugnutz: if you’re inclined to hitch your wagon to the intergalactic rabbit holes of E.C. Waters, then it’s no wonder that you find it hard to accept any of my ideas.”

    And now, what were the two most recent Fenn Q&A additions to Mysterious Writings?



    How does that register on your coincidence meter? 😉

    • Zap –

      You literally read only what you want to hear.


      The difference is that I see Fenn as making fum of my attempts and YOU see him as providing specialized support directly to you in the form of hints through his posts.

      Do you at all understand the difference between me assuming Fenn is saying I’m not on track and you assuming he is reinforcing you?

      We can agree he reads comments as has fun with them.


    • Lugnutz? Huh? I think you’re totally misreading the intent of my post. It was meant to be humorous and to 100% agree with your interpretation — that Forrest is messing with us. I was saying that just like Forrest was having fun with Horse for you, he was having fun with “hitch your wagon” for me. It’s not a hint; it’s not a clue.

      • Zap

        Ok, but in the past you think he continued to hint at your WWWH after the point when you had told him what tit is, right?

        You believe he continued to hint at the location, thus reinforcing your solve right?

        i’m saying that if Fenn continued to hint through BTFTWs etc, then he is clearly telling you that you are wrong. Right?

      • Hi Lugnutz: to simplify matters, let’s take me out of the equation for the moment. We know at least two separate parties had solved WWWH as of April 17, 2013. Forrest could only know this because they told him their WWWHs, probably by email. Yet this date precedes the release of TFTW, and all but the first 33 Scrapbooks.

        So by your argument, there can’t be any hints to WWWH in either TFTW or Scrapbooks 34-189 because this would reinforce and tip-off those early WWWH solvers, right? And yet I claim there are plenty of hints in TFTW and Scrapbooks that came out long before I had even heard of Forrest Fenn. If that claim is accurate, obviously dropping hints for those early WWWH solvers hasn’t helped them. Seems to me that Forrest has concluded that just solving WWWH is far from sufficient to figuring out where the treasure chest is hidden, so why not continue dropping hints to WWWH — even to this day?

        • ” there can’t be any hints to WWWH in either TFTW or Scrapbooks 34-189 ”

          I believe this. In fact there are no hints in Scrapbooks is the way I see it.

          But I was commenting to you as much about all ATF not just SBs. There are no hints in the scrapbooks. That’s my baseline. I think my baseline makes more sense then yours.

          You believe there are hints in everything and that he has hinted at WWWH hundreds of times. Is that correct? Hundreds?


          • Lug;

            Have to disagree with your baseline Lug. For me, there are LOTS of hints in the SB’s – JMO – JDA

          • Lugnutz: okay, just wanted to be clear that your baseline is no hints in the Scrapbooks, and none in TFTW. And, as you know, I think you’re mistaken.

            I believe Forrest has hinted in all of the following ways: The poem, TTOTC, TFTW, OUAW, many (but not all) of the Scrapbooks, most of the Vignettes, dozens of MW Featured Questions/Weekly Words/Q&A’s/Six Questions, and Forrest Gets Mail.

          • Zap – and a piece of apple pie with vanilla ice cream – Just ribbin’ ya – I pretty much agree – JDA

          • Lugz ~ ‘I believe this. In fact there are no hints in Scrapbooks is the way I see it.’

            Is a suggestive thought a “hint” or can it be more a; recommendation for thinking the right thoughts?
            For example; If you tell a story of geography and there is no real information within the story that would help or hint at… is the idea of the story itself, a suggestive thought… geography?

            I think I need to look up “very subtle” again, it seem many want a hint to be a slap in the face idea.

          • Seeker –

            I am really just talking to Zap.
            If you recall he thinks that Fenn drops hints that begin with B T F T and W pretty much all the time. So I am not talking about subtle associations to geography. He is talking about blatant ongoing hinting to those that share his view.

          • Lug—

            Can I throw something out there? I’m prone to think that there are many “hints”, but most of them are not direct hints. What I mean is that they could be a “hint” once or twice removed.

            As an example: Let’s say a story mentions honey, and also salmon. You might think: “Oh, that’s possibly a hint that a bear is involved somehow”–because bears eat honey and salmon. But what if the ACTUAL hint is the word “ROAR”—that would be a sound a bear makes—but many other things can make a roaring sound too.

            I’m not sure if I’m being clear—but what I mean is there are subtle hints that possibly point you toward something— but that “something” might not be the FINAL thought that is really being presented.

            Hints might lead you to an Eagle let’s say. But maybe incredible vision is the real hint? I think a lot of what is in the SB’s could be like this—–hints that are twice or three times removed—-they are pointing to something—but not as obvious as we think it is. Just my thoughts.

          • Sparrow

            Sure and I think this makes sense.

            The hints and clues are indirect and suggestive.

            Many here see thungs, or at least discuss them, as if these hints we’re obvious.

            To me, if the hints are obvious and repeated 100 times or move this should be over.

            Specifically I don’t understand bhow Imagin can see 299 hints, know the keyword and yet have absolutely zero treause.

            I mean, my gosh, what’s taking him so long? Did he get together with Zaphod12345 and Hear Me None to draw lots for what year they would get to retrieve the treasure. And in the meantime they come here to sabotage our endeavors for fun.


        • Zap –

          So there are dozens of hints? An that isn’t more than one hundred? OK, but you have definitively said in the past that F has referred to your WWWH more than 100 times. I asked if Montana was removed would you consider another state. You responded by saying you would quit because you would know that F has been misleading you intentionally.

          But I will stick with dozens for the moment. There are dozens of hints at where to begin and only, what, 3 or 4 people have figured them out? You believe you are that much better at this than the other 2000 on this blog? Or the 50 that regularly comment?

          What are the odds that this line of thinking is correct Mr numbers? Is it more like the 4 people are correct or the 46?

          • Lug – “dozens” seemed less provocative of scorn from naysayers such as yourself. I still stand by the keyword (not WWWH!) being hinted at well over 100 times.

            Yes, if Forrest said outright that the treasure was not in Montana, I would quit without hesitation and move on to another challenge that was solvable.

            “There are dozens of hints at where to begin and only, what, 3 or 4 people have figured them out?” Again, let me tweak that: 100+ hints at the *keyword* which is a required element of figuring out where to begin. This keyword by itself is not enough to tell you where to start.

            As for how many people have found it, I have no idea. I’m aware of three others, but clearly it is much more than that because people solved the first two clues back in 2013 — years before I did. Furthermore, I don’t believe, in your words, that I’m “better” than everyone else here on this blog at deciphering Forrest’s clues. Tenacious, yes, but not better. I (and you!) have no idea how many lurkers have solved the starting point. Out of hundreds of thousands of searchers over nearly 8 years, I’m inclined to think it’s 50 or more.

          • Zap;

            I do not understand your comment: “Yes, if Forrest said outright that the treasure was not in Montana, I would quit without hesitation and move on to another challenge that was solvable.”

            If Forrest were to say that the treasure is not in Montana, how does this make the poem unsolvable?

            As you know, I believe that Indulgence is secreted in Wyoming, and I honestly believe that the poem IS solvable, and that I HAVE solved it. So, for me at least, your statement makes NO sense – care to explain your thought processes? JDA

          • Hi JDA: I meant unsolvable “by me.” If we turn the situation around and Forrest told you the treasure wasn’t in Wyoming, wouldn’t you have a similar reaction? It’s just a measure of my own certainty in my solution process.

          • Lugnutz,

            I don’t typically jump into the fray on these but I figured it couldn’t hurt this time. I will agree (my opinion of course) with Zap that there are a plethora of hints relating to the word that is key. I have found many of them myself, as I believe I have found the word that is key and WWWH.

            Clues (and I do consider the word that is key PART of clue #1, because it is absolutely required) must come first – the hints Forrest has sprinkled into his works are almost impossible to understand unless you have the clue, because otherwise you will pass right by them without even knowing there was a hint.

            I haven’t found all of them, but I have found enough pointing at the starting location that I have no doubt in my mind it is correct. Forrest has been doing it for years IMO and while subtle, they are clearly recognizable once you know what to look for.

            I would caution you to lessen your focus on the hints for the starting point. They are utterly useless unless you have already found the word that is key. I would be more than surprised if someone figured them out prior to actually knowing what that word is.

            Put away the internet for awhile. Get the poem in front of you, and see what you find.

          • Thank you very much, imajin, for chiming in in support. My interest in waging a one-man crusade of trying to steer people in the right direction has been flagging in the face of so much opposition. Unfortunately, the most likely outcome will be a doubling down of resistance to such ideas, rather than reconsideration, but I do thank you in advance for taking a few arrows.

          • If you think the correct solution to the poem’s clues will be elegant in some fashion then I think the hints’ solutions will be just as elegant or more.

          • Zap ~’Yes, if Forrest said outright that the treasure was not in Montana, I would quit without hesitation and move on to another challenge that was solvable.’

            Ha! Aren’t we being pouty today..,
            ~ If it’s not where you want it to be, I quit?
            Doesn’t that raise a red flag you might possibly be forcing your location on a single wrong idea / process?
            How can you know anything is truly solvable without considering alternative thoughts, if one isn’t working out has hoped.
            Man ! I gotta say, all I’m hear right now it Waaaa! especially with your other comment below to imajin;
            **My interest in waging a one-man crusade of trying to steer people in the right direction has been flagging in the face of so much opposition. Unfortunately, the most likely outcome will be a doubling down of resistance to such ideas, rather than reconsideration…***

            That there, is the perfect example of being hypocritical I have come a crossed in along time.
            Ya might want to look up the word; reconsideration.

          • IMO

            You guys are going to laugh at yourself when you realise what he has done with the hints. Mr. Fenn is very cheeky & clever! Lol most of you will kick yourself because he has told us the answer to the question.

          • What is a hint?
            noun: hint; plural noun: hints

            a slight or indirect indication or suggestion.
            synonyms: clue, inkling, suggestion, indication, indicator, sign, signal, pointer, intimation, insinuation, innuendo, mention, whisper
            a small piece of practical information or advice.
            synonyms: tip, suggestion, pointer, clue, guideline, recommendation;advice, help;

            In “Charme and Me” Forrest tells the story of removing a stone and finding a cache in a hollowed out place – including a picture – to me this is a hint!

            I also think that everything in stanzas 1, 5 and 6 are hints. – but I could be wrong. – JMO JDA

            verb: hint; 3rd person present: hints; past tense: hinted; past participle: hinted; gerund or present participle: hinting

            suggest or indicate something indirectly or covertly.
            “there were those who hinted at doctored evidence”
            synonyms: imply, insinuate, intimate, suggest, indicate, sign.

          • Seeker: I wouldn’t quit because I *want* it to be in Montana — it would be so much easier for me if it was in New Mexico. No, I’d quit because if Forrest declared the treasure wasn’t in Montana, it would mean (for me) that Forrest was lying about the lack of red herrings. And if THAT was true, then the 85%/15% slippery slope begins, and that would be my cue to move on.

            As for the rest of your post, Seeker, you are now on permanent ignore. It’s been a tortuous 3 1/2 years sparring with you and your horrible spelling and grammar, and with this last missive your future posts now land on top of the Time Magazine in the circular file. I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding someone else to pester.

          • Zap and or Imagin

            Is that what you two heroes are doing?

            Waging a lonely war to guide us in the right direction to the starting point?

            How do you judge that?

            I would say you are doing a miserable job but I wouldn’t want to confuse you with the concept.

            Feel free to show me, or anyone, anything at all that points to the location of WWWH or the supposed key word. ANY TIME

            Side note for Imagin. You do realize you do not share Zap’s starting point right? And once you reveal yours he will tell you you are wron. Right?

            Some day…

  70. https://dalneitzel.com/2014/07/02/map/#comment-43658

    Did anyone ever identify the TFTW error Dal mentioned:
    “…He also said that there was an error in it….” (I’m not talking about the Canada or TFTW comments from the preface. Those seem more related to unintended clue comments rather than error comments)

    If the error hasn’t been identified is there any chance that it is related to this comment?
    “I don’t want to broaden the clues and hints I’ve written about by pointing them out. What surprises me a little is that nobody to my uncertain knowledge has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve.” 2/4/2015

    Is there video of Forrest seeing the published map for the first time? (I’m pondering a crazy theory based on the map)

    • Argellite;

      I have never seen any comments that would indicate that this unintended error has been found. I personally think that there is a picture in TFTW that Forrest had not intended. I think that this picture COULD be a clue – JMO – JDA

      • Thanks JDA – I scoured those pictures pretty closely too.

        Do you know if there is video of Forrest seeing the published map for the first time? I couldn’t find any – video might help me determine how high on the crazy scale my theory is.

        • Since I am mostly deaf, I seldom watch the videos – too hard to understand – therefore, I am not the guy to ask – Sorry – JDA

    • Argillite: are we talking unintended error, or unintended clue? When TFTW first came out I found an error on the pull out map, and I believe the unintended clue is in the text of the book.

      • Error not clue, and yes, related to the map. Not a typo and really not necessarily an “error”

        Here’s where it gets funny

        The crazy theory that I want to explore is perhaps WWWH is outside of the shaded area on the map? (I know that is not going to sit well with everyone who has a verified WWWH)

        Is that outside the realm of possibility? To correct the map anomaly would bring too much attention to the anomaly and the significance of it. It’s not like it was ever communicated that WWWH is inside the shaded area of the map the same way as we don’t know the elevation of WWWH, just the treasure chest. So in reality it is not actually an error, just something that may tend to steer searchers away from the WWWH since 2013.

        Look at the big picture

        My thinking along this line is because I’ve found something I really like as WWWH

        • Hi Argillite: like yours, my map “error” isn’t a typo. It’s not even an error per se; it was a choice made by the map creator.

          But to answer your question, no — there is nothing wrong with the theory that WWWH might not be in the shaded part of the map. In fact, there is no requirement that WWWH be on the map at all (e.g. it could be in Canada). While I believe WWWH happens to be in the shaded part of the map, nothing that Forrest has said ATF requires it.

          • Thank you Sir! I won’t discount the site I’m exploring just yet, I’ll see if I can develop a solution back on the map.

      • Zap,
        Didn’t fenn say the ‘unintended clue’ was Canada ~ poof?

        If I recall correctly as well, something was said about the preface of the book [tftw] – you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see it or something?

        I could be getting my wires crossed and recalling one comment about all the above… but I do recall something about the preface being stated. Or I could be recalling what other think they heard and place their ideas in quote… lol… naa that never happens.
        Argillite, ~’The crazy theory that I want to explore is perhaps WWWH is outside of the shaded area on the map?
        Lets explore the idea’s craziness…

        Regardless of fenn ‘not’ mentioning clues within or outside the shaded areas on the map… I have to look at the idea of ‘outside’ with this comment in mind;
        * To answer some questions and save others from being asked, I did follow the clues in the poem when I hid the treasure chest, although I hid it before the poem was complete. (Completed?) f (posted 6/5/2017)

        Depending on where your first clue is, is it reasonable to assume it might be close enough to the other clues for fenn to have followed to the chest hide, that are inside the search zone? { I should say; inside the zone where they chest lays in wait, to be accurate }.
        — I get it, that some think fenn may have only physically followed some later clues and the first few in is mind… but that is a hard pill for me to swallow. Especially with other ATF’s talking about searchers having the first two clues and went by the other “seven” remaining clues, or searchers figured the first couple of clues and walked past the chest.
        Then we also have the comments of fenn going from his car to the hide twice dropping off the chest and its contents etc.
        All seemingly imply the idea of fenn followed the all the clues physically when he did his task of placing the chest in its resting place.
        I just can’t see how fenn would need to follow clues in his ‘mind’ idea, “When” he hid the chest. He created the clues… right? to say he followed the “clues” but only to physically follow ‘some’ later clues doesn’t make a lick of sense to me.
        So I would ask yourself… is your WWH within reason, not only with the first quote posted, but with the other known ATF’s having searchers at the first couple of clues and passing right by the chest-?- [apparently some being within 500′ and others 200′ from the chest’s hide ] and fenn taking the same route?

        For me, for WWH to be far away [ even using the line NF, BTFTW as some unknown distance ]
        Any searcher who indicated/solved they were at the correct first two clues and made it to the location of the chest, ‘all’ would have to have the next “precise” ‘correct’ clue to get them to that location [ regardless be it 10 miles or 100 ] That’s a minimum of the first ‘three’ clues accomplished, in the correct order, for that to happen, not only the first two. **{or we have really know idea of what is and is not clue or how many clues is needed for an answer}**

        IF… there is another mode of transportation involved, driving a vehicle etc. Why in the world would fenn bother making that comment… unless this is nothing more than a site seeing tour, idea, and fenn only did the same tour [for lack of a better term] one last time as he went to hide the chest.
        In either case, imo, both scenarios makes the comment misleading… since we are told we need to follow the clues ‘precisely’ – in order, because fenn said, there’s no other way to his knowledge.

        Then we have a Q&A where fenn says; he took the same route from the hide [ he used to get to the hide ] back to his car… assuming he did it twice as we’ve have been told he did.
        While this doesn’t perfectly clarify anything… would the logical assumption for all ATF’s involved… basically claim he walked the clues route, or at the very least, walked the same route [twice] to get to the clue’s location and the hidey spot?
        One last thought… for WWH to actually, physically be in Canada, idea, wouldn’t it be required all searcher to obtain a passport-?- for anyone to be at the first two clues or at least the first clue? Maybe that involves the “planning” part of the solve… IDK

        Just food for thought that I would consider if my WWH happen to be ‘outside’ the map’s shaded area. No theory is crazy if you can logically work around the barriers. The crazy part is, to hang on to it, if you can’t.

        • Hi Seeker: regarding the unintended clue in TFTW, to use your words — yes, I think you’re getting your wires a little crossed. Here’s the relevant quote:

          Moby Dickens Bookshop video (11/2/2013) at the 38:01 mark: “Coming from the online site again, I’ve been asked to ask you how many people have told you that they’ve discovered the unintended clue in Too Far to Walk and how many were right?”

          Forrest: “Well, I’ve not had anybody tell me the answer to that clue. If you read my preface, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out I think what they’re talking about. But there are clues in my new book that can help a person. Did I answer that question – did it have two parts?”

          Interviewer: “Ah yes, uh no that was it.”

          It’s quite clear (to me at least) that lots of people THINK they have found the unintended clue in the preface, and that it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what they (erroneously) think it is. But they’re all wrong because Forrest said right up front that no one has told him the correct answer.

      • Zaphod: I would be interested to know the error on the pull out map if you would share it. I have not found any errors on the map so far, but I am willing to share several peculiarities about the map, some of which have been previously pointed out by other people.

        1) What is FWS (Fish & Wildlife Service?) and why is it even shown on the legend? I recall seeing one area in this shade of green on an online replication of the map, but I can’t see it on the printed version in the book; 2) The town of Browning MT has the final “ing” faded out to suggest “Brown”. I know this is an artifact of the printing , but was it intentionally done to suggest a HOB? I personally doubt it. 3) Why are all mountain ranges named in the plural form with an “s” at the end? This seems like a rarity to me. 4) Why are magnetic declination lines shown on the map? What purpose do they serve?

        Just food for thought. McK

        • Hi, McKendree. My book is at home, so I can’t check the anomalies you’ve pointed out above until later. Suffice to say that the “error” (if you can call it that) I found is different from these and aligns more with what Ray wrote.

          As for the magnetic declination lines, I don’t think they have any bearing (no pun really intended!) They’re stylistic rather than accurate, and of course we have the long-ago comment from Forrest that suggests magnetic declination is probably not relevant.

    • I don’t know if I have found the error under discussion, but speaking as a former professional in the mapmaking/cartography/GIS industry, there is one tiny flaw in the map in TFTW that jumped right out and bit me the first time I studied it. Unfortunately for me, I have been unable to link it to any viable solve so far, so I have no idea if it relates to the Chase or not.

      I am reluctant to point it out, but it does not take any specialized knowledge to identify. And once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Every time I look at the map, I get this urge to grab an extra-fine pen and correct it. But then the ink of the correction would bug me. Aaaaargh! 🙂

      • Ray: you could very well have spotted the same thing I did in the map, and if so, I understand and agree with your reluctance to point it out!

      • Is it possible that I just revealed your error in my reply to Zaphod a few minutes ago? I am also a former professional in mapmaking and GIS (in the field of geology and mineral exploration). McK

  71. How can anyone know if there are any hints in the SB’s without the chest having been found?

    • Hi Aaron: no way to “know,” any more than there is no way to know if one has got the correct WWWH “nailed down.” The closest you can get is a preponderance of evidence.

      • Right, but without the chest there is no real preponderance of evidence that one can confidently rely on. If you think otherwise how would you know?

      • Probability and statistics. If a coin comes up heads 100 times in a row, what’s the most likely explanation?

        • I am interested in someday finding out what this mysterious factor is that you speak of so highly.

          • BAHAHA!!! My thoughts EXACTLY! Double headed coin! Also reminded me of some of those Double Eagles that we’ve heard so much about.

          • Ha… my 1st thought too.
            Black and red taught me that on the roulette wheel a LONG time ago. No way the odds can hit that often. That was an expensive trip.

        • Zaphod,
          If a coin comes up heads 100 times in a row, I look closer to see if it has heads on both sides. JMO

        • Good old Prob & Stats…man both my brothers took that class in their Senior year but I had to skip it. Algebra & Trig were where I excelled…if “A’s & B’s” can be considered “excelled”? Trig…FOIL? Man I loved that class. IMO of course…

        • The chance of the 101st coin coming up head, remains 50/50.
          The same is true of all other coins in the first 100.
          Always 50/50

          The chance of Fenn just simply repeating things out of habit or by choice has nothing to do with statistics or probability.

          Remind me never to take you to the roulette table.

  72. JDA,
    Hey I see you posted in the comment section on MW about the bowl of ice cream “Cold Happiness” that Forrest answers “agee”(s) question about money buying you happiness. You said this in your opening…

    Forrest says: The feeling of happiness came over me and was very strong…(JDA) I think that Someone has just told Forrest something that has made him very happy. I wonder who has said what?

    Forrest then says: “A small cup of ice cream cost a nickel and a dollar would buy 20 of those things…..It is probably harder to buy happiness if you’re very wealthy, but money can usually make a pretty good down payment. f

    I have recently seen McB posting on another blog/forum that he now has 17 partners with botg. He said he was in NM/CO on the 20th and then heading for WY/MT for the weekend. He could be spinning the class about his current location but??? Maybe Forrest was referring to him and his crew as the 20 bowls of ice cream splitting the spoils and that 5% of the take can make a pretty good down payment towards happiness? Just a thought there peeps! As for me I’m leaning towards McB might have just yelled “BINGO”!!! IMO of course…

    • Deano,
      I’m fairly sure McB doesn’t have a clue. There are a couple of people I’d bet on and he isnt one of them. Just my opinion.

      • Flutterby,
        I was just pointing out a few comments about McB to JDA in case he wasn’t aware of it. If JDA hit on something about Forrest and that “something had made him very happy” then that’s a possibility with the 5 cents & 20 ice cream splitterooo. I also seen McB stating on yet another blog/forum that he was looking for searchers(July) and that Indulgence is under a square rock(McB posted a pic) and that’s why nobody can find it. I’m not saying McB has it but it’s always a possibility? I mean, every now and then, even a blind squirrel can find his nuts…right? IMO of course…

        • Deano,
          If McB has a pic of a square rock where indulgence is located, then why does he need 17 searchers to look for it? If he knows where it is, the poem should take him right to it. IMO

          • Flutter,
            I guess you would have to ask McB? I can only speak of what I read from him. McB isn’t hard to find on those 2 sights if you want to ask him? He’s the guy with a BIG head on his profile pictures. If I remember correctly the picture he posted was from another searcher and McB was recruiting. Beats me…I was just referencing the amount of ice creams Forrest spoke of and possibly a group of people has Forrest Happy and McB is the only one I have seen with the numbers. IMO of course…

      • McB likely has as many clues as the rest of us have. What McB does
        with the clues is key. As always, IMO.

  73. JDA,
    I agree that there are hints in the SB. But I think that they are the same hints that are in the books. Different people, places, and stories but the same hints repeated throughout. IMO

    • Flutterby,
      I’m not talking about the latest SB(189)…But on Jenny’s Mysterious Writings(today or yesterday) “Forrest answers a question”…it’s a question from somebody named “agee” and JDA posted his thoughts as he broke down what Forrest was possibly conveying to the masses.
      Flutter…as far as I’m concerned YOU have came up with some mind blowing things/thoughts that HONESTLY BLOW ME AWAY with accuracy when it comes to my solve. There are some absolute geniuses in here that leave me scratching my head as to HOW IN THE HECK did he/she come up with that? Some smart cookies in here to say the least!!!!! And I’m not saying my solve is the correct solve in the least. Y’all just are on another level and I’m looking UP atchyas!!! IMO of course…

        • Well I meant it Flutter…and you’re welcome. As for BOTG again…I’m not 100% sure right now. The old liver has been kicking my ass lately. But hopefully sometime before the snow hits. IMO of course…

    • Mike congrats on the successful run and everything you do in the Fenn Treasure hunting community. I’ve been watching for about a 9 months now…

      Really appreciate what you do and you only get better over time.


  74. I was walking in the forest two days ago, when from behind me came the sound of crashing branches and bushes being trampled as something large was rushing at me from what must of been a huge grizzly bear, as I turned to confront the beast I entered what people oft describe as time slowing down. I remember distinctly being able to turn my head/eyes from side to side many times trying to identify where this great noise was coming from, and feeling one hand land on top of my bear spray, and one hand land on top of my pistol. I also remember having enough time to think, why have I not been bowled over yet, because the noise was that loud, and to emphasis the fact, a large dead tree branch came crashing to the forest floor about 3 feet from me.

    By this time my eyes were wider than I can ever remember darting back and forth from the tree branch and the canopy high above, and my mind is still in such a state that I was thinking to my self: ha, clever bear, throwing tree branches at me first to distract me.

    After a few more seconds it started to dawn on me what had happened. An outside observer viewing this scene would have been amused at the sight, it must of looked like an old style western gun fight, where as I staggered back one step I was about to draw down on a dead tree branch with both hands a blazing. I was not laughing though, because this dead tree branch had the drop on me, as my two hands had not even begun to draw either weapon out of its holster, which seemed like very long time for the whole matter; although it probably was only a few seconds.

    After thinking about it, I think a bear would have only given me a few more seconds longer, and the results would have been the same. uh Fortune, such a fickle wench, she came within 3 feet of adding another notch on her belt, better luck next time.

    stay safe, but not too safe. I believe one feels that much more alive and can cure several modern illnesses, if every once in a while you prepare as much as you can, and then enter into a proposition in which your survival is not guaranteed, yet come out the other end. The birds seem a little less annoyed at you invading their personal space, The trees seem to lower their tone when the wind rubs their branches together. The snow seems to fall slightly more gracefully to the ground in the ut-most silence that you have ever witnessed.

    • WOW – That sure got your attention! Glad it was just a tree, and not a bear or moose. YUP those experiences do awaken in us a greater appreciation of life and what it holds for us – Thanks for sharing – JDA

    • In the animal kindgom porpoises and chimpanzees have the greatest intelligence. But the creature with the greatest sense of humor is the Sasquatch. It sounds like one of them got the better of you. lol

  75. Forrest: “No specialized knowledge is required mdavis19, and I have no expectations. My Thrill of the Chase book is enough to lead an average person to the treasure. f”

    This from June 2014.

    Tooby, Cynthia, Kpro, SeanNM, Sascha, IllinoisGhost ….

    ya’ll are sub-average. Congratulations.

    Not dissing anyone. Just reminding you what f thinks about you.

    • aardvarkbark,
      …Not dissing anyone. Just reminding you what f thinks about you.

      I would disagree with you in 2 ways…
      First you can’t speak for f…so f can not be thinking anyone is of sub-average. IMO of course…
      Second, you would have to include approximately 350,000 others in your “reminder”…including yourself.
      I think what f was trying to convey is that EVERYBODY has the same chance at finding Indulgence. Look at some of the great minds on these blogs/forums and tell me that they are of sub-intelligence? It’s not what other’s think of you but what you think of yourself? I’ma gonna ends wiff dat…good luck and stay safe peeps!

  76. There has one thing that bothers me about the TC and grizzlies. F is telling us all to be safe, why would he put anybody in a place that has grizzlies to deal with? If a redneck and a truck load of children, why would F put children at stake, let alone the searchers?

    This absolutely causes great concern, this cause me to think strongly that MT & WY are not the states that the TC is hidden. I was raised in MT and it was always a concern for my parents and for me when hiking in the woods as well as Grey Wolves caused just as much concern.

    I can’t for the life of me think F would put us in this predicament.

    Just Say’n

    • CharlieM, think about Yellowstone, it is one of the most popular vacation spots for families to bring their children in the U.S., it also has one of the most numerous populations of grizzlies in the lower 48, yet there the families are. That is what ff means by a reasonable expectation of “not in a dangerous place”, Yellowstone is not dangerous by a normal definition. Even places with higher densities of Grizzlies are “not in a dangerous place”, because the odds are far higher of someone being injured on the highway driving to that place, than to be injured by a grizzly just with some normal precautions.

      • writis,

        You are talking about people being in populated areas of interest. I’m talking about places that are not in those areas of interest. The park service does not allow for soft camping, ie.. tents, because its not safe with all of the grizzlies around. The majority of searchers are out in mountains and not in areas of interest for the visitors & campgrounds. And yet a child was attacked by a grizzly recently.

        Just above you were scared stiff for a moment, because you thought a grizzly was coming at you when it was a tree tree branch making all of the noise. Why would F put people in a place that causes constant fear or paranoia because of grizzlies possibly attacking.

        With all of the crowds of people in the area on the roads, its a no wonder there would be more accidents than bear attacks. A whole bigger ratio of people verses bears.

        Just Say’n

        • Hi again,
          one is influenced by the news we hear, unfortunately the “news” we hear is more like advertising, you didn’t hear about the several children hurt on Montana roads in the past few months, or the about 107 deaths on Montana roads so far this year because it is not going to sell advertising. If the “news” packaged those deaths into sensational news stories, we would all be afraid to drive in Montana. It is very similar to the news stories of deaths of searchers being sensationalized, where there are 10s or dozens of deaths in national parks every year, but those didn’t get their sound bites, (no ad dollars in it). I would give anything to see a wild grizzly… just not too close 🙂

          • writis,

            Again you are talking about traffic, and those that are hurt in the parks. When most injured are accidents in the parks and most are more than likely do not have grizzlies.

            I can deal better with black & brown bears as more docile and afraid unless there a cubs, however grizzlies are known to have bad dispositions more unpredictable and more carnivorous about what it eats. There is no sensationalism in one losing their life or being attacked, or mulled by a wild animal.

            Which makes me to wonder how well you are versed with the wilds in the RM north of Colorado other than deer, elk and fowl hunting. You are not going to find grizzlies in Colorado or in NM. If your itching to see a grizzly up close, I wish you the best of luck even with a sidearm that you were carrying, bear pepper spray its a maybe.

            Thanks for the input.

        • CharlieM,

          I agree that Forrest would not have hidden the TC in a dangerous place where families might encounter a grizzly. It is my opinion that the hiding place is well south of the Grizzly habitats.

          He has made comments for years about how a family with kids might choose the spot for a picnic if they happened upon the area. My thinking is that black bears are always a potential sighting in any part of the Rocky Mountains, but still those encounters are fairly rare.

          I am always prepared for any wild animal as I have mentioned in past posts. I don’t expect to get ravaged of course.

          My son wrote to Forrest in 2017 to ask about bears, and Forrest replied, “You should always be bear aware sir.” I could be all wrong, but I have never believed he hid the TC in YNP, and thereby not in much of Montana either.

          I believe it is in southern Wyoming, Colorado or Northern New Mexico. As far as I know, it could be in the foothills west of Denver as well.

          Just my opinion

          • Franklin,
            I have never heard the picnic comment you refer to. Does anyone have a source for that?

            Definition of picnic include
            1 : an excursion or outing with food usually provided by members of the group and eaten in the open; also : the food provided for a picnic
            2 a : a pleasant or amusingly carefree experience
            b : an easy task or feat
            3 : a shoulder of pork with much of the butt removed

            1748 (in Chesterfield’s “Letters”), but rare before c. 1800 as an English institution; originally a fashionable pot-luck social affair, not necessarily out of doors; from French piquenique (1690s), perhaps a reduplication of piquer “to pick, peck,” from Old French (see pike (n.2)), or the second element may be nique “worthless thing,” from a Germanic source. Figurative sense of “something easy” is from 1886. Picnic table recorded from 1926, originally a folding table.

            If anyone has that picnic statement, I’d like to see it.

          • Flutterby

            Sorry maybe I misspoke, as I am also having trouble finding it, but it’s the general comments he has made which made me think that way. Such as….

            “I wanted to give the kids something to do,” he said. “They spend too much time in the game room or playing with their little handheld texting machines. I hope parents will take their children camping and hiking in the Rocky Mountains. I hope they will fish, look for fossils, turn rotten logs over to see what’s under them, and look for my treasure.”

            I cannot find it, but somewhere there is a comment about a small child being able to hike in with “a little help” to the location. The picnic thing may have been my addition. But none of his earlier comments lend themselves to a grizzly bear possibility.


          • Franklin;

            Here is the quote you wanted:
            Question posted 6/9/2014:
            You said in the past that the chest is not in a dangerous place; yet searchers are searching along Cliffside’s, raging water, and other seemingly dangerous places. Could you please elaborate or qualify your statement in which you said” The chest is not in a dangerous place”
            Edward, thanks for the question.
            The treasure is not hidden in a dangerous place in the normal definition of the word, realizing that there probably is no place on this planet that is safe under all conditions. Bloggers have quoted me as saying that a child could walk up to the treasure. I don’t think that’s an accurate quote because a three year old girl would have a problem without some help. Remember, I was about 80 when I hid the chest, and had to make two trips”.f

          • WyMustIGo:

            Can’t find quickly for NM, but here is most recent data for TX, from snopes.com, which is a fun site, anyway: “Illegal immigrants made up about 6.4 percent of the Texas population in 2015 but only accounted for 5.4 percent of all homicide convictions. Legal immigrants made up 10.4 percent of the Texas population but accounted for only 1.6 percent of homicide convictions. Native-born Americans made up 83 percent of the Texas population but accounted for 93 percent of all homicide convictions.”

            And for grizzly deaths in WY (only 1 in 2015): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_bear_attacks_in_North_America#2010s

          • Franklin,

            I tend to agree with your thoughts and concerns regarding grizzlies. So far all of my searches have been either in southern Wyoming, Colorado, or Northern New Mexico. But this is not so much to avoid grizzly habitats, but because my solves to date just developed from my own particular approach to analyzing potential clues.

            However, to play devil’s advocate here, why then would Fenn not restrict the Search area to non grizzly territory? Would the difficulty of the treasure hunt be that much less if it were restricted to places where grizzlies are not present? It kind of relates in a way to the guy who drowned searching in the Rio Grande Gorge in NM. Will it take a grizzly mauling or death to persuade Fenn to tell people to stay away from dangerous bear habitat? Hence no Yellowstone or Montana?

            Here is a possible explanation for this conundrum: Forrest selected the hiding spot and hid the tc with regards to his own personal experiences in this special place, which were pleasant, memorable, and did not result in any dangerous encounters. He may have naively assumed that anyone correctly solving (or even on the right track to) the poem clues would be led to the same or similar geographic area. Then, a man drowns in the Rio Grande Gorge and another in the Arkansas
            River and Forrest realizes that some people are misunderstanding or misinterpreting his mindset and his explicit do’s and dont’s. So he corrects his original search parameters to avoid further tragedy, saying it is not in or near the Rio Grande. This then presents a catch 22 situation; Does he also do this for other potentially dangerous situations before an incident occurs? To do so in the grizzly bear case would significantly narrow the search territory, and give certain searchers an advantage or even make the solve too easy. So what can he do? This could be taken as evidence of the tc location in NW Wyoming or western Montana. Why? Because otherwise wouldn’t you expect him to publicly eliminate this territory, especially in light of the recent bear mauling in Yellowstone Park.


    • CharlieM, that is an interesting point and one that I’ve been thinking about lately as my general solve takes me deeper into bear territory.

      I disagree with your conclusion, though. I think the prospect of bears is what guards the treasure best and also explains the “brave and in the wood” line in the poem.

      I wear a bluetooth speaker playing AC DC to keep the bears away. So far it has worked perfectly and my fear of bears in the woods is going away..

      • Muset,

        I have only one thing to say never get comfortable in the wild, if you do I wish the best of luck. 🙂

        • Also, you can’t hear nature around you playing AC DC. I don’t think you could hear anything around you, such as a bear coming at you.

          Its better to listen while in the wild, loud music isn’t going to help you. Wear bells attached to your shoes its just as effective, now you can see and hear nature, you will enjoy it better.

          • I agree to a point CharlieM.
            Music may not help deter a bear ~ that is close… but it may prevent/deter a bear wandering closer, if far way, idea.

            Should a bear be within striking distance, some sounds may aggravate the situation.
            Other times, because of constant contact with humans [YSP for example] bears forget there natural instincts.

            If a bear, and this is only my use of deterring a bear, is too close for comfort and before alternative use might be need… a screamer horn or air horn [ not unlike what hecklers use at sporing events. ] is very useful. The more unfamiliar and louder the noise, the better.
            Noise is still the best deterrent because it allows the animal to move away from an unnatural, or unfamiliar sounds, even annoying sounds like my singing, possibly long before an encounter or a human even knows a bear is near.

            Although the method sucks when hunting other game… some times, ya have to pick and choose by which/witch hunt you’re on.

          • Seeker thanks for your thoughts. Its just me, I wear bells which does help. I would rather hear before I see, so hopefully I could take evasive efforts.

            Over all noise does help, with constant noise such you said singing, one cannot hear or appreciate the noises that are from nature, for me makes for a better experience.


          • I use my Fox whistle, just blowing it a few times when I enter an area where visibility is limited. We always do that as well as talking and stuff. It allows a black bear to move away from the sound before you get there.

            Twice now I have seen them moving down and away from our whistles, so I feel pretty confident in using them.


      • Muset,

        I like your idea of playing AC DC to scare away bears. I would suggest their hit song Hells Bells. Probably far more effective in scaring away bears (and my wife) than ordinary tinkling kind that hikers carry.


      • HA! Muset,
        Do you play ‘Highway to Hell’ while looking for NPFTM?
        I guess playing “big Balls” would make the big bear think twice about attacking… lol… of make the Griz think twice about approaching while dancing through the tulips to Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheep.
        Bear Spray? I don’t need no stinking bear spray… I’ll just plat Thunder Struck at full volume…

        Ya made me chuckle…

        • You made me chuckle too. Still think Hells Bells is the best bear deterrent on the market.

  77. In Tea With Olga, Mr. Fenn says in the opening sentence “Somewhere along the way I learned that my cost could also show a profit.” They drink “red” tea at their first meeting to memorialize that neither of them are making a profit with the current situation. In the second meeting they strike a deal that became profitable for both so they memorialized the meeting with “black” tea. When a business is profitable it’s said to be “in the black” and unprofitable is “in the red”. Shelly referenced the Ben Franklin quote and I agree Mr. Fenn was talking business. But I have nothing for “Green” tea. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Jeff: I, too, mentioned awhile back that my best interpretation of the red tea and black tea was a nod to “in the red” (negative) and “in the black” (positive). That leaves green. Green can mean go (Olga is gone, after all). From the story context it’s certainly not a reference to “green with envy.” 😉 They’re also the three colors on a roulette wheel, though that doesn’t seem to help much.

      • Hi;
        Thanks for sharing. You are my first blog reply..ever I’m new to blog. no facebook, etc.

        Yes, black and red/profit and loss make really good sense. Green and Go is interesting to me because he didn’t “go” to the top of the mountain. If we only had the poem and the book (minus Mr. Fenn – sorry Sir) then this could be a hint about where not to go. And we all know that later on Mr. Fenn said it was not on top of any mountain but, maybe close to the top (i’m paraphrasing). So maybe this was a hint in the book that he later chose to share with he search community. This is all theory of course but if it were true it would provide great insight about how to discover other hints in the book…maybe?

        • Jeff;

          Welcome to the chase. Good luck to Ya’.

          Regarding Tea with Olga. If you read the whole chapter carefully, you will find reference to all seven colors in the rainbow – plus the Oreo cookie – Black and white.

          : “So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure.” f

          Remember that a rainbow has two ends. Maybe one end of his rainbow is as colorful as a rainbow. – maybe layered like an oreo cookie; while the other end has the “pot of gold” (Indulgence)

          Just something to ponder – JDA

          • Are you frustrated by this treasure hunt?

            I was unable to recognize “reference to all seven colors in the rainbow” in the chapter TEA WITH OLGA. But thank you (anyway) for stating that claim as fact . . . not as opinion. As always, IMO.

      • Then welcome, Jeff, to the home of Dal blogosphere (you’ll occasionally see HoD, so that’s one less acronym for you to puzzle over). Newbies are always welcome — we don’t bite (much) — Dal sees to that! I’ve never had a great theory for the hidden meaning behind the red/black/green tea colors, but I think most searchers agree that it’s not just some random story detail. The colors are vague enough that they can be made to “line up” with probably hundreds of search locations, so in that sense it’s not a very helpful hint, and worse, can be a source of confirmation bias for a lot of wrong places.

          • Jeff –

            These are also the colors of tea and old woman in New Mexico would serve. Rooibos has been more popular in the deserted west than in the rest of the country.


        • Zaphod,
          I think that the tea colors tell a story mentioned earlier in TTOTC. Don’t have the page number handy. But FF mentioned his friend Eric Sloane died waiting for the light to change. Pretty sure these two stories are introducing/reminding us of a concept FF talks about frequently. The stories are told with different names and places but they are talking about the same concept. IMO

      • Red and green mixed with black is brown, also the flag of New Mexico and Colorado make brown, there is not brown in the rainbow, and what has this to do with finding the end of Fenns’ Rainbow you ask?

        Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly, rule of thumb.

        Electronic School, USN, USAF and all the Old School knowledge.


          • Color Value
            Black 0
            Brown 1
            Red 2
            Orange 3
            Yellow 4
            Green 5
            Blue 6
            Violet 7
            Grey 8
            White 9
            Gold ±5%
            Silver ±10%
            None ±20%

            Color coded resistors
            Mnemonics are used to help memorize the electronic color codes of electronic components such as resistors.

            The first letter of the color code is matched by order of increasing magnitude. The electronic color codes, in order, are:

            Black brown red orange yellow green blue violet gray white.


      • Timw: anything is possible, but I very much doubt the green tea is a nod to the phrase “green with envy.” Too much tangent-stretching.

  78. Has anyone ever considered “Canyon Down” to be Canyon Deep? As in standing on a rim and looking way down? If you had several canyons to choose from, wouldn’t that tell you the correct one?
    As Seeker says” just spitballing.”


  79. Maybe I can shed some light on some of the questions appearing today.

    Are there hints? – IMO yes, I’ll give a couple of examples
    Can you extract info from stanza 1 to help narrow down your search area? – this works for my WWWH (although I didn’t see it until afterward)
    What constitutes a preponderance of evidence for WWWH?

    This chase is an amazing treasure trove of information for psychologists about how humans form thought associations and relationships from seemingly disparate sources. The chase could spawn thesis material for decades. Bottom line is we don’t have Mr. Fenn’s memories, experiences, or thought processes so how can he provide us information to understand the clues and solutions to them. He’s not going to give the answers away but maybe he can provide subtle guidance.

    Lugnutz gave us Apophänie. Zaphod gave us Pareidolia and a reference to Rorschach. These are important things to consider when someone shows you an inkblot on a card and one person says it’s a bat, one person says it’s a dolphin, when perhaps the correct answer is that it looks like someone folder a card over with ink on it. But I digress, back to the subject at hand…

    What if the wooly worm references were a hint to “simple fly” (good one Lugnutz). We may have thought dolphin or bat so eventually Forrest tired of bashing us over the head with it and just came right out and told us “…I will give you a clue: try to simplify if you can. That’s good advice…”

    What if “Passages Three” references to the “Son of the Morning Star” were hints? Did we recognize it if it was? Hang onto that thought I’ll be back to it.

    My current WWWH analysis is for a point off the shaded section of the map so it doesn’t sound like I’ll be making anyone angry by revealing it. It doesn’t look like what I might use from stanza 1 is the same as anyone elses so again hopefully that is OK as well. This will all just serve as an example that maybe there are still hints coming, maybe you can extract info from the poem, and maybe you can make a case for your WWWH.

    Simplify: from stanza 1
    Bold – think type face – BIG
    Hint Of Riches New – HORN

    That gets me down to 2 counties or 1 range

    This will be a stretch, I know I’m looking for an X. St Xavier? Relationship between Xavier and Marvel? Ask a kid. (not suggesting any relationship to MG).

    Just over 5 mile SE of St.X. is a pair of geographic features with names that bear a striking similarity to scalding water pots on P37 & P48. There is two of them so (WW=2) A bit of imagination is required to envision the word play relates to WWWH. Each time they are mentioned there is a reference to a horrible smell. Next to these geographic features is another geographic feature whose name conjures up a bad smell. Right next to all of this is human made feature that seems like a nod that we are on the right path to start a journey. It’ll be more fun if you go there, it’ll be easy to find. The vicinity is full of important Historical and Archeological locations – back to hint from Passages Three. If I think down is south I can immediately confirmation bias a CD, a great HLWH, perhaps even a blaze, of course more work would be required to gain confidence that any of that is correct.

    In summary:
    Hint? – yes, IMO
    Stanza 1 info? – yes, IMO
    preponderance of evidence for WWWH? – you’ll have to decide but there is more than zero.

    There are some brilliant people on this blog who are incredibly supportive and collaborative, I’m very grateful for the help.

    • Argillite,
      I’m not sure I understand how Hint of riches new [ and leaving out old ] relates to horn. { oh! wait I get it… H Of R N} Duh!
      Ok I still really don’t get it… you’re using letters from 4 words [leaving out two other words in the same line] for one idea, and a full word to come up with BIG, leaving out all other letters and words in another line.
      If we can pick and choose which letters and words we want you use and change, I could probable figure out who killed JFK.

      If all it does in produce ‘big horn’… I can easily see stanza 5 pointing in that direction with the “answers”~ tired and weak, as the Medicine Wheel in Big Horn NP.
      LOL if this area were to be correct… why would fenn state it in two different stanzas, and different ways of creating/deciphering it ?
      I mean, couldn’t “brave and in the wood” give the idea of “the Indian’s spiritual Wheel” as well? Now we have three locations in the poem that could hint to one idea/location.

      Don’t get me wrong the area / NP is one I have looked at very seriously [ and differently ]. But why the over kill [seemingly] in now possibly three stanzas 1 5 6?

        • Hi JDA, just a simple acrostic type thing from those 4 words. Seemed simple and Forrest said to simplify.

        • JDA,
          It seems like a stretch to me to get Horn of Penty out of simply Horn. However; you brought up riches new and old. Couldn’t help thinking that you recently commented that you think the TC is in Wyoming. Techinically Wyoming is a hint of treasures new and old. It was named after a place in Pennsylvania. But, then this is getting into Toponomy which apparently FF says won’t help us or at least he said he didn’t know how toponomy would help. The state of Wyoming is named after Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania. Wyoming state is the new and Wyoming Valley Pennsylvania is the old. Does this help us with the poem? Not that I can see. Just tossing out a random thought.

          While I’m visiting random thoughts, I will just point out that horns are made of the same material as toe nails. I’m intrigued by SB #130. I wonder if the pic of FF’s toenail poking through his sock is significant.

          Just wondering aloud.

          I have several solves going on at the moment. One of them happens to be the Big Horn area, but not for the reasons mentioned above.

      • So are you saying there is more info in the poem that can provide a nod to that location? Wouldn’t that be a good thing?

    • Argillite: your lengthy post and its many ideas suggest to me that you have the right kind of mind to unravel Forrest’s WWWH.

      • Thanks Zaphod, I’ll keep searching for the right one.
        (I’m wondering if you actually went to a topo view of the site I mentioned? Did you see any parallels between the man made geo feature I mentioned today and Forrest’s final words in his punctuation post today? Is that just pure coincidence? Surely those things are several days old before they get posted?)

    • Arg –

      First I agree there are some bright people here. Remember too, that Icarus would caution us against the attraction to brightness.

      And let me say, who, whoa, whoa. You are not supposed to take things that we say and put them together thoughtfully. You are supposed to huff and puff and then blow your own horn.

      For fun I would like to say that a horn isn’t always something that makes a noise. In the days of Jericho horn was just as often used to hold food or beverage or what have you. It’s cool and fun to find the word HORN and go to Montana and Wyoming to find the Horns. It may be move fun to recognize that horn fits into a scheme of vessels.

      One of the smart participants here at the home of Dal is found of yelling Kettle Corn. I wonder if he thinks about Kettle Horn or Cattle Horn or if he just gets stuck at kettle corn.

      *I graduated from St Xavier and believe me, there is not treasure there.

      • Thanks Lugnutz. I’ll keep searching the other areas. One of my problems in the past is to start analyzing a WWWH and support for it to the exclusion of all others. This then leads me away from finding the right one for months at a time. Good advice for me and the 350K would be to devote a portion of time allocated to always finding a better WWWH, at least as much time per day as I spend here at Dal’s. No matter how much confidence I have that I have a current BOTGable solve. Keep searching for alternatives. It sounds like ‘when you get it you know it’. I’ll go back and look through the vessels you mention cans, jars, basins, bowls, horns, etc.

        Speaking of Icarus I was fascinated by this:

        Forrest once mentioned an Astrophysicist friend or something of the ilk. I ran across it once but can’t find it again. Does anyone know who that might have been?

  80. Regarding recent posts about the treasure map in the TFTW book, here is another thought which just came to mind, in line with my previous replies to Zaphod and Ray Henry. What (if any) connection could there be between the poem line “where warm waters halt” (the word waters written in plural) and the map labels of mountain ranges in the plural form with an “s” at the end? Forrest could have composed his poem with the phrase “where warm water halts” but he chose to use the plural form. Similarly, he apparently chose to do the same for mountain ranges in the Rocky Mountains. So is there anything there fellow bloggers?


    • McK,
      Page 102 TTOTC says” The grass sees and the trees and rushing waters of the spring creek also see.
      Notice “waters” referring to “one creek”.
      Hope this helps.


      • Kanafire,
        I assume you know that any body of water can be referred to as “waters”

      • Kanafire: Good point. I realize that waters can refer to a single stream or river. I was just speculating about a possible connection between this and the use of the plural for mountain ranges on the treasure map. The juxtaposed words “spring creek” however is most interesting to me because it ties into my most confident solve. I had not paid any attention to this page of TTOTC until now. Of course it could be a case of confirmation bias but who knows?


    • McK,
      I think it is as simple as the fact that “waters” can mean “body of water”. The same goes for a mountain range. It means a group of mountains that share a range.

      • Flutterby: You are right. However, what I meant was that this is an unconventional form of labelling mountains on a map in my opinion. I think if you look at most maps, mountain ranges are not referred to in the plural form. I was just speculating whether Forrest might have imbedded some form of hint here. Like for instance is there one mountain range on the treasure map that is labeled in the singular (like Sangre de Cristo or Wind River etc). This is just a hypothetical example – these and all other mountain ranges as far as I can tell are labeled as plural.

        • McKendree,
          You are right, “if you look at most maps, mountain ranges are not referred to in the plural form.” It certainly adds something to think about.

          • Flutterby: Yes, and it also makes for some awkward if not erroneous names like Wind Rivers. There is only one Wind River, and the actual name is Wind River Mountains or Wind River Mountain Range.

      • Flutter –

        I cannot tell, honestly, if you do not understand, or if you are screwing around.

        No one, and I mean no one, says; “I’m heading out to the Rocky mountains for spring break”. Everybody says; “I’m heading to the Rockies for spring break”.

        Part deux

        There is no singular of water. I cannot hand you a water. You cannot drink a water. The cup or bottle is assumed. No one in Europe knows why we talk this way. American short cuts. Fenn puts the S back where it belongs.

        Two choices
        begin where warm water halts
        begin where warm waters halt


      • you must admit Zap that this newest *spin* on Fenn’s *careful* use of punctuation is rather humorous. yes/no?

    • With the rogue punctuation f used, I was certainly confused about what he was trying to say to the Colorado searcher, which makes his point perfectly and humorously, that punctuation is important. IMO.

      I thank my high school English teacher for teaching us the punctuation code/cipher. It takes a special teacher to make even punctuation fun (seriously!).

    • Jenny,
      FF’s answer: “No, you seem so positive and I don’t want to give you an advantage over other searchers, so I won’t say, good luck to you. f” makes it appear that he did indeed wish the writer “good luck to you” in an off-hand manner. I can’t see how that could have resulted in any “advantage” or encouraged a BOTG journey, FF is getting along in years (as am I), so I suspect that he is tiring of the whole process and is getting a little loose with his statements.

    • I’m lost but I’m with Carolyn on this one. It sounds like Forrest is just saying it doesn’t matter. Don’t bother but good luck if you do go. Maybe being more punctual has something to do with it? I’m not completely sure why the middle question mark 2 gaps/holes in the upper right side of it and the other 2 don’t? More than likely it’s nothing but it kinda stuck out. Thanks Forrest! Thanks Jenny! Thanks Mr. Burke!

      • Delano, I was about as bad a student as Mr. Fenn. No kidding, I even played hooky yo go fishing. But, I think he actually did say to him, good luck. I could be wrong. Maybe there’s a literature teacher on the blog this morning to assist.

        • Jeff,
          fenn did…
          fenn also explain his caution of using publications.
          ”…Sometimes punctuation can be confusing and that’s why I’m very careful when I use it…”
          Even that sentence, some would/could argue a comma might be usable after ‘confusing’
          [personal note; I truly dislike the little bent vertical slash… it’s like its giving me a dirty smirk as if it knows it’s fooling with me]

          The point to this is, we still need to consider the avenue of which the information was presented.. a poem.. and a poem allows the author more freedom of usage vs. Hartford perfect. fenn choice to use punctuation where/when he wanted, plain and simple. Will knowing about punctuation usages help?. LOL I have read poems with no punctuation at all.

          What surprises me, is the attention given to punctuation, not the idea of hints, we all hope to see. [ which could have read; punctuation and not the idea… but does that matter really?

          [ Should that have read as; ‘What surprised me is, the attention given to…? ]
          LOL I guess this is why book editors have a job.

          ‘Forrest Burke’ ? A real searcher or alias? [IDK]
          Only, “Burke” means fortified. Is there at hint here? Might the trove be stashed in a manner it is neither buried nor hidden, but entombed for protection-?- out of sight.
          Remember, at one time, fenn’s bone were supposed to be there as well. ~Just take the chest and leave my bones… or something like that.
          * Go ahead Zap, tear up my poor grammar, lousy typing skills, misspelled words, lack of proof reading, misuse of proper punctuation and not using capital letter for proper nouns
          [I’m a product of the American Education System]. Yes, product is the correct term and usage… it said so in a dictionary.

          Wow!, I might, still not be, quite awake yet… where’s the cawfee.

    • punctuation, smunctuation…bully for the stage 4 liver cancer fellow making a run!!!

  81. Jenny, did anyone else notice that the ending of Forrest’s quotation of; “No, you seem so positive and I don’t want to give you an advantage over other searchers, so I won’t say, good luck to you. f “Punctuation Police” are getting this one, aren”t they?

    I guess if you’r 88 this tiny
    faux pas. TT

  82. I’ve wondered for a while and mulled it over and just have to ask. Has anyone considered that WWWH might be read, not as a place where warm waters halt, but as “wear” (that) warm waters halt? I’m reading old posts to clean out my Email box. They piled up while I was on vacation. I know a lot of discussion has gone on about the Firehole River and whether that might be WWWH. I have not thought it is. Still don’t think it is the correct WWWH. But, consider the following. Fire is wear on the landscape. Water halts it. The fire is certainly going to warm that water before it halts. Certainly a hole could be described as a “canyon down”. So I’m not directing anyone to the Firehold River. YNP is out of bounds IMO, just as other property owned by the government. But, I wonder if there might be an alternate reading of WWWH that isn’t being discussed.

    I’m fairly sure of my current solve ideas, but this other thought has crossed my mind. Thought I’d toss it out and see if anyone can use it.

    • Flutterby,

      Personally, to read a word as a sound alike for another word, is treading deep waters.
      For example; should ‘where’ relate to time or a place in time.. rather than just a place, line of thinking. To use the meaning[s] of ‘wear’ loses the idea completely.
      Lets take the word ‘product; article, item that is manufactured or refined for sale. Right?
      It also means; a quantity obtained.
      Which might be more in line with teaching and/or learning [depending on the context of the subject]……. Both definitions don’t seem to relate to each at all, right? But the usage of the word… is of that ‘spelling’ of the same word.
      When we change words like where vs. wear, are we not changing why fenn chose the word to being with? IMO, that is a huge tangent [ huge not as in size, but as in importance ] and a deep rabbit hole… but not whole.

      But don’t take anything I say to be factual. I still get confused with words like “read” and “read”… pronounced; reed and red.
      Ha! I’m not sure if my usage of “Take” is even correct anymore.

      • It is not like Fenn has been crystal clear *how* to decipher his poem *precisely*. He has commented on his knack for thumbing his nose at the conventional ways of writing and saying things…and even intentional misuse of words and purposely misspelling. His latest comment about punctuation even adds fuel to the fire. I believe it is possible to use the *given/written* word in the poem…and still arrive at another possible meaning… w/o crossing the line in the sand defined by his *don’t mess with my poem* comment. Like you said Seeker….it is a poem.

    • I don’t know how the latest Q & A can leave anyone thinking that punctuation matters in solving the poem. FF has said it doesn’t.

      Does the semi-colon have specific meaning for the correct solve? If so, what?
      No. f
      Does punctuation have significance in solving the poem? If so, what?
      No. f

      • He is clearly saying it does, and not only that but he is mocking people who think it doesn’t.

        Seriously, how can you honestly say that punctuation serves no purpose in the English language? ROFLMAO

        Don’t worry, the chase will be over real soon. Non believers will be left in the dust wondering what went wrong.

        Forrest NEVER said that punctuation doesn’t matter when solving the poem. Please stop trying to mislead other searchers.

  83. All,

    I am looking for a question and answer that was asked of Mr Fenn.

    It was something to the effect of, once you get to the treasure location how long would it take to search the area and find it?

    That’s probably not even close to the wording of the question but if anyone remembers this being asked I would appreciate a link to the source.


    Not sure if this is even close to the wording.

    • I do not think he ever answered such a question. I do think that the correct solve will lead you to within mere steps of the chest, but there is something you need to discover while on-site to know where the chest is in the first place. In other words only 8 of the 9 clues can be solved from Google Earth. Once at the 8th clue you will know what to do and where to go IF your solve was right up to that point.

      All IMO of course.

    • Ronald…the only thing that comes to mind(maybe because I think of this one often) is; “Well you have to move your carcass out there I guess. But if you can find the treasure chest it won’t be a big job for you to get it.”
      This was in response to a Q about having to move anything(like a rock or something) to get to the treasure.

    • Ronald,
      The way you explain the question is unclear to what you are asking about. I’m not sure if you’re looking for an overall time line of the task, going through the clues, or the task of retrieving the chest from its hide?

      It would help to narrow down a quote or some ATF that may line up with what you are looking for, if you could narrow down what the idea of ‘treasure location’ referred to.

  84. Thanks for the responses and I’m familiar with all of those QA responses.

    This one was different and he responded something like,

    you should be able to recover or locate it in an after noon.

    I probably am thinking of something else but thanks again

    • fenn said; he “done in one afternoon”… which i’m sure you may know of seeing you know the other quotes presented.
      I’m wondering if you may have heard a blogger repeat fenn’s quote with a searcher in mind… example; a blogger’s idea; fenn said we should be able to do this in one afternoon, and the placed it in quotes, has if fenn said we could.

      The assumption might be reasonable, but not exactly what was said.

      • Seeker


        I’m headed to the mountain tomorrow to get the chest and for some reason memory of that possible Q/A was weighing on my memory.

        Nothing will change in the end without it being remembered by anyone or quoted somewhere.


    • Once a clever-enough solver/searcher has arrived within 50 feet of the TC,
      that person should expect to spend between 1 and 2 hours doing a very
      careful and thorough search (moving things around, “digging”, poking/prodding, looking under things, etc.) — before being satisfied that the search has been reasonably completed. I’m not happy about this. As always, IMO

  85. I have a question for the crowd… Does anyone know how we came to call the chest Indulgence? Did this moniker originate from FF or some other way?

        • I know why he changed it from Tarzan to Indulgence. Because he was worried a Cheeta would find it.

        • *Tarzan* is definitely a head scratcher and could create a Rabbitosaurus hole the size of the defined search area. For fun; The character and original story launched one of the longest lasting fantasy character/hero *adventure* series. The birth of *pulp fiction* at it’s best for the times. The radio broadcast series utilized innovative technology that produced the sounds of the jungle while telling the story…the listener used *imagination* to form the pictures.
          My favorite…commemorative name for a type of *chameleon*.

          • Doubt it will help but there is a Tarzan Dam in Blaine MT.
            10 or so Clayton’s in MT &WY. Let me know if you want a list.

  86. With my latest post of my solve, The Poem Married to a Map (part 2), I was hoping that intelligent people, such as Zap, Lug, Seeker and JDA, etc.. would debate my solution. (not inferring others aren’t) Or is it that folks think I’m off my rocker or what? I have no real input so I can better gauge whats wrong or right. Criticism I always welcome, I am fallible as we all are.

    Just Say’n
    I could use the help!

    • HA! Charlie ~ ‘Or is it that folks think I’m off my rocker or what?’

      LOL well… you did refer to Lugz, Zap Myself, JDA as intelligent… I think most will answer; Yep, he’s lost it.
      I’ll go have a look see and give ya my best dissecting, if ya like.
      And I’ll even fluffinutter it a bit, cuz ya think I’m “entellogent”
      Even if you did leave out ‘good lookin’
      But it’s ok, most seem to forget that little tidbit of fact.

  87. Charlie,

    I have just downloaded and quickly reviewed your latest post. I am willing to give it some credence because the idea of WWWH being the headwaters of the Rio Grande has occurred to me and other searchers as well.I am willing to give your ideas an honest and unbiased opinion. However, there is one red flag that stands out in your solve which bothers me the most, and maybe this is why others have not replied to your post. I have a hard time believing that the blaze can be any recognizable feature on Google Earth or other search engine or remote sensing platform at this point in time. You or I can find any features which might represent a potential “blaze” if we use our imagination, and your seeing a white streak is just one of millions of possibilities.I have visualized many in my own mind. some of which I created and some of which I replicated from others’ suggestions.

    My apologies, but I don’t think that Forrest meant for the eventual tc finder to home in on the site based on any type of satellite image. Just my opinion and good luck.

  88. As many of you know, Forrest Fenn wrote the Foreword to my book, and I’ve been asked if there is a hint from Forrest to his hidden treasure in there (besides the words on the last page).

    We discuss one of his comments in the following video:


    What do you think?

    • Jenny and Allen,
      I do like the way you seem to be aligning certain ATF’s with the search / solve in mind.
      The idea, imo, that seems to roll it all together is; …know the place for the first time, and the WhatIF comment… with fenn telling us; nail down the first clue or stay home. [not mentioned in the video].

      I’d like to add, for thought, a Q&A [in part] the answer was stated; They didn’t quit, they left the poem.

      Great little segment and thoughts provoking… Thanks for sharing.

  89. This page is closed to ne w comments. To continue the discussion please go to the latest Odds n Ends Page.

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