Buena Vista Colorado…


BY Chris C


Begin it where warm waters halt (Cottonwood Pass-Continental Divide) Buena Vista Colorado.

Take it in the canyon down (take Co Rd 306 down into Cottonwood Canyon)

Not far but too far to walk, Put in below the home of Brown (Browns Cabin Remains on top of Mt.Yale)

From there it’s no place for the meek (Meek referring to followers of Chirst- Holy Water Beaver ponds and Mine Claim)

The end is ever drawing nigh, There’ll be no paddle up your creek, just heavy loads and water high
(this brought me to Denny Creek, and the Denny Creek Trail Head at the Base of Mt. Yale tradition was that Yale undergrads would climb Mt Yale here and place boulders at its peak to ensure it was taller than the adjacent Mt. Princeton (heavy loads) and Bridges were installed along the trail do to the excessive snow melt that made creek crossing difficult (water high). This mountain range is called the Collegiate peaks and given the tradition of collegiate paddles given for ceremonious reason in college and Fraternal societies (be no paddle up your creek)

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze (the trail head is at 10,000 ft, and at exactly 10200, rest a hard to find Longfellow Mine Claim (200 ft above trail head and 500 ft from the main trail). Longfellow being an often quoted and favored poet by Mr. Fenn and given that mine Claims are per mining law marked with “blazes” was certainly plausible. So much in fact we flew from Baton Rouge to Buena Vista to find out.)

Needless to say when we got there we stayed at the Rainbow Lake resort just 3 miles down the road… (the treasure at the end of his Rainbow).
The name on the mine claim is Carl Hicks,
(his foundry friend mentioned in the book is Tommy C Hicks)
Also Longfellow has several poems – with similarities to the treasure poem, “Brave and in the wood” -The Revenge of Rain-in-the-Face.

It just so happened that Co Rd 306 was being resurfaced and access was blocked for the month we happen to be there. Nothing doing my wife and decided to park the rental and hike in. About a quarter of a mile from the trial head, the foreman stop us and told us we had to turn back do to the excavation that was happening. Out came up with a story about my friend Forrest who’s ashes were just inside the trail and that we’d come a long way to bring him a sandwich and a flash light. So he let us ride with him to the trail head and he gave us twenty minutes to pay our respects… We ran all over the area where the mine claim should be but just didn’t have enough time to give a good look. Nonetheless, this was some of the most beautiful country this Cajun has ever seen and we spent the rest of the week having an absolute blast.

Thanks Forrest

-by Chris C

Additional Trip Pics from Chris HERE





36 thoughts on “Buena Vista Colorado…

  1. I like the X on the rock you found. I suppose that was pretty exciting.

    Too bad you didn’t have more time to search more.

  2. Workout much, Chris? Impressive. Great story, great pics. Thanks for sharing and coming to visit Colorado.

  3. I will never downplay anybody’s justifications for their own solves, since many have given me new ideas. And since I have yet to ever put boots on the ground in search of this treasure, I am really in no position to criticize anyone. I just can’t fathom making a long trip like that and only planning on one day to search.
    I will leave the middle of Kansas and put my first boots on the ground in search of Forrest’s treasure on September 2, 2018, but I will not leave the area until late in the afternoon of September 8th. That gives me six full days, with 12 hours of sunlight on each day and a good friend that will accompany me that is also willing to search the whole time (OK, if I think the fish might be biting along the way, we will take a short break).
    I have been studying this thing by reading everything I can find on the subject and anything that I feel may be relevant for almost two years now. Every time I come up with a location and look at it from many different angles, I tell myself “OK, what if it is not there” and force myself to come up with another solution. Each time I start over, my selection bias and justifications for WWWH and BTHOB (although they may be different) are solid and I am convince all over again, that this is the spot.
    I now have literally hundreds of places marked on my map, but have generalized them into about six search areas that will take about one day in each area to satisfy my curiosity. All of these six general areas combined, fit into about an 80 mile circle. Granted, of the six areas, I do have one that is on the top of my list and I hope to drive close to the area on the very first day and have my quest cease.
    If so, everyone reading this now will hear about it, but I have told myself that I will remain in the area just to check out the other places I have researched, just so one day when I am explaining my solves and how I came to and justified those conclusions, I will have memories of each and every place I had thought about and pictures to back them up.
    My biggest fear over the past year or so, is that somebody else will get there first and the location will be at or near one of my solves. So every time that Dal has something else posted, my heart jumps just a little. To all of you that have been searching for the entire eight (+) years, I thank you for your experience, thoughts, wisdom and encouragement that you have shared with me and thousands of other searchers, just by posting you’re insight… and pray nobody finds it within the next two weeks ;-^}.
    David McGillis

        • Maybe one of these days. Five full days with boots on the ground, another week off and now back to work. Found lots of treasures, just not the one I was looking for.
          Now I have a mound of paperwork to deal with that keeps me employed ;-^}.

          • Glad you collected a few treasures – Sorry you did not find “THE” treasure – Sorry about the paperwork – JDA

          • I think this is on the right track. Also he said it was in Rocky Mountains. I think the Rockies are huge and impossible to find one small chest. I feel like he is misdirecting us. It may be possible that it is in the Rocky Mountain National Park. A much smaller search area to be sure.

          • Or the Little Rocky Mountains in Montana.

            With the added simplicity that only a very little of the Little Rockies gets up to 5,000 ft


  4. The Collegiate Range has “schooled” quite a number of searchers… but not for lack of trying! Looks like you had a blast. I hope you spent time at Cottonwood Hot Springs…not only do warm water halt there in Cottonwood Creek but those waters are highly therapeutic …among the top 3 healing hot springs in the state (IMO).

  5. My dad really is hidden or buried (but I don’t want to give that as a clue) in that area, When you see his blaze, the answer to where he is will become obvious 🙂

  6. I found a Rock with a X on it as well, but there was no way of moving it. Lol.
    I’m glad u searched there but u are still farther away from where I search. You picked a great state to search!!! Glad u had a safe adventure.

  7. Nice BOTG Chris.
    Geography, maps to places or things at places and direction. Good realistic take on the poem.
    One of my concerns is (Browns Cabin Remains on top of Mt.Yale)
    I see HOB not being a man made structure but you never know.
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Forest says physics tells him the chest is wet….. was there any area that would allow the chest to be wet in the area of your search ??? Sounds like a great adventure was had ….. Remember that Forest said you can see mountains, pines, animals, and sage brush in the chest area….. wondering what clues led to this spot

    • This spot had all of that , sage brush -Pinions – pines – animals etc… my initial look started with the Arkansas River valley snow melt effects on geothermal springs… Specifically, in the March time frame the snow melt can literally cool them to the point you wouldn’t even want to sit in them… So (warm water-stopping in (March- i.e. Stop Marching = HALT) . Once I found the Browns Cabin remains, I certainly couldn’t disprove my theory… That being said, there is still a couple other spots around the area that could fit… Milk Creek to the south also had some interesting aspects related to the poem …

  9. Nice solve Chris!
    I liked it all but HOB…and I agree that you should have had several days to search.

    • Well we had three days total, but with almost no access to my search area due to the road work ( just plain dumb luck and horrible timing), I did check out a few other places of interest but it was for nigh…

  10. I’m rather fond of the South Park area myself. My wife and I used to take day drives to Salida for lunch. We’d go down to Canon City and come in along the Arkansas River route. Then, after lunch, we’d head north through Buena Vista and Leadville, then home via I-70 and I-25. Very pretty country out there. Well worth the visit even aside from the Chase. 🙂

  11. Nice solve Chris! It’s hard to make just one trip. I made three developing my solve and still kinda want to go tinker with parts of it. One source of doubt that I might find with yours is that the setting, from the pics, doesn’t seem too ideal for spending one’s final moments. Looking down at that road and all.

    • Yea that was my thoughts as well but once we actually got there (check out the other pics link above) , it was really pretty, but not quite what I had in mind…

  12. glad you had a wonderful time in bunie,the water is the best drinking water ever.I love the way your standing on the rock looking and you put a shadow of a black bear in the woods behind you.funny.at least it looks like it to me.we are all studying and looking.on my trips,I found a vertabre of a deer, a rusty old railroad tie,and a piece of coal.fun stuff you find.treasures.forrest fenn must have the highest IQ,as the way he put this poem,no one can figure it out yet.I love him so much,he is so nice,the girls are lucky to have him as a dad. we all love to hear his stories,his scrapbooks are like journals of time past,full of history and humor,sure keeps you on your seat wanting more.love all you people.

  13. I’ve searched thos area. The Holywater beaver ponds were my take on the heavy loads and water high. double leave meaning for each. Logs for the dams (HL) create high waters. the Holywater (WH?) mine is just under 10200 and produced some heavy loads.

    Also in the vicinity were some claims owned by Asa Fox (as in sly/wise as a fox,) I’ve discounted this as it led me to a better solve, as well as the inclinations that the clues are not structure related, though I suppose one could conclude the pass or mountain itself was the HoB and the Denny Creek trailhead is the parking g are below where you put in for whatever direction you might go from there, though I will say the Holywater is more to the nigh side. But the other claims are more toward collegiate peaks wilderness (wise).

    Interestingly when I was there one of the gas station employees said there was so.eone there the year before looking for a treasure.

  14. Thanks for the inspiration and I’m glad you had a safe trip. I believe Forrest had the road work done just to keep his treasure hidden a little longer!

    • *chuckle*

      I can imagine the phone conversation.

      C-DoT: “Hold on a second! You want us to WHAT?” [Turns to co-worker]
      “Hey Phil! You’re not gonna believe this! I’ve got some guy from Santa Fe on the phone here; you’re not going to believe what he wants us to do….”

      Thanks for that image. I’ll be grinning the rest of the day.

  15. Something else I came across is an alternate definition of “been” as in “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze”
    from wikitionary:
    been n (plural beenderen or benen, diminutive beentje n)

    bone, constituent part of a skeleton.
    (uncountable) bone, the chalky material bones are made of
    (bone): bot, knekel, knook

    So then the phrase could be taken to mean:
    “If you have “bone , chalky substance , parts of a skeleton” wisdom and found the blaze” ( blaze being white )

  16. It was a great solve, only on home of Brown Forrest Fenn said it’s not a man made structure. That is such a beautiful area. Glad to read your post. Best of luck to you. I live in Colorado. It is such a blessing. Hope you can come back very soon. You have a lot ol wonderful ideas.

  17. Interesting solve Chris. I have considered this general area also because of the old Brown Cabin. HOB is something I wrestle with. I used to live in Leadville, Colorado and venture towards Buena Vista to prospect and site see. I’m glad you enjoyed your time in the mountains.

    • Chris C,
      It all depends on how you read into the ATFs…
      fenn has said ‘the treasure is not associated with a structure.’
      You can take that two ways;
      1. Only the chest and its hidey spot.
      2. Any clue [ because the clues are ‘only’ associated the challenge ].
      There is a second hand piece of information from a [personal] conversation with fenn about hoB [ Cyhtia’s blog as it, and can be found on Dal’s site as well ] ~’remember I said the chest is not associated with a structure’
      There are also other comments [ if you think about it as a whole idea, process ] one being, WWH is not a dam, which is a structure.

      You’ll need to search the comments [ exactly quotes ] to make up your own mind. But it seem to imply… the clues may not be of a structure [ assuming man-made ] as all the clues were created by fenn, and reference something involved [in the field] with the solution.

  18. It stacks up better than many Solves Ive read on here thats for sure!
    Too bad you didnt have more time, maybe you’ll get to visit again someday?

    I roared with laughter about you friend Forrests ashes, nice one!

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