SUBMITTED AUGUST 2018
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.
-by Chris C
Additional Trip Pics from Chris HERE