A Small Scale Solve…

August 31st
I am on my way to YNP. Actually, I am on my way to Missouri via Yellowstone. I wanted to try my hand at a small scale solve…where the theory is that all the clues are actually quite near each other. Working off the idea that others identified the first two clues and then went right past the other seven. I am thinking, of course, that perhaps they went right by the other seven because they assumed the third clue was farther away and while they were headed NFBTFTW they went right by the other seven.

I only have a few hours in the YNP area this leg of the trip so I can’t spend much time there. But I am excited about trying this out. Not that I have a complete solution…I am stuck right now at the same place I am always stuck in my solutions…the blaze…

I left Lummi Island late today…about 2pm and am in Pateros, WA at 7pm on the wide Columbia…River of the West. As I crossed the Cascades I could see smoke in the Methow Valley and when I settled down into the small town of Winthrop on the east side of the range the local fairgrounds were home to what appeared to be hundreds of tents at what has become the Interagency Fire Command Post. A lot of firefighters in the area. I also passed the Heavy Equipment Staging Area for the fire fighters. I did not see any flames but plenty of smoke and I understand the apple and pear orchards that usually prosper from here to Yakima are in frightful condition because all the smoke for such an extended period has shaded the crop. Reports predict that this will be a very bad year for orchardists in the area and could spell the bitter end for some who cannot recover financially from such a loss.

I passed through dozens of little towns with flags waving smartly at half mast saluting Senator John McCain.

Here in Pateros the air is relatively clear and the river looks stately.

Looking across the Columbia from Pateros, WA about 7pm, August 31st, 2018. Not much smoke here.

I stopped by at a local bar for a burger this evening…
I generally like bar food and now that folks can’t smoke in bars they aren’t too bad…and this establishment had a patio surrounded by a tin fence and overgrown Wisteria…a cozy corner to indulge in bar food.

Typically, this weekend hosts a lot of rodeos but the smoke…or threat of smoke, has all but wiped out tourism in this area of the state. Few people from Seattle or Vancouver want to drive 300 miles through a smoky, baking landscape to attend… Maybe next year!

My intent is to post some pics and thoughts every night on my trip as I get closer and let you know how this small scale solution turns out…

Tomorrow I will post my half solution so you can chew on it for awhile and let me know where I went wrong..


September 1st

Stopped in Post Falls for lunch today. If you find yourself there and you like garlic…and you like Greek food…try out the White House Restaurant. When I say garlic…I mean GARLIC…these folks use it unsparingly…So much so that in the rest rooms they have a jug of mouthwash and small paper cups to use after dinner so your breath doesn’t kill your date. I had the lamb burger…and I have to admit that no vampires attacked me the rest of the day…

White House Restaurant in Post Falls, ID

Here’s my “so far” Small Scale Solution

WWWH – This is the spring at Ojo Caliente, which was Forrest’s favorite river bathing area when he was a kid old enough to ride his bike there. 

Why – Because the first stanza describes this place to me.

AS I HAVE GONE ALONE IN THERE – somewhere Forrest went alone

AND WITH MY TREASURES BOLD – he was naked when he bathed so his family jewels were not covered. And he was alone.

I CAN KEEP MY SECRET WHERE – He wrote the story “River Bathing is Best” about his visits to Ojo Caliente but it  was not published in TTOTC where other hints were published. Instead he kept the story on his web site (where it is still located) and published it in TFTW. I also believe this was a story he wrote for the West Yellowstone paper where it was first published. Because it wasn’t directly mentioned in TTOTC it could be described as a “secret” hint or clue.

AND HINT OF TREASURES NEW AND OLD – Inside the chest is new gold and old gold…new treasures and old treasures. This simply describes the chest and it’s contents very broadly.

BEGIN IT WWW HALT – The Ojo Caliente spring which halts in a small lake.

TAKE IT IN THE CANYON DOWN – The water has formed a miniature canyon as it runs out of the spring toward the Firehole River. 

NOT FAR, BUT TOO FAR TO WALK – How far to walk and for whom?…To an ant a mud puddle is an ocean.



So follow the canyon like you are an ant…

PUT IN BELOW THE HOME OF BROWN – My home of brown is Ojo Caliente…it exudes a brown mineral that coats the rocks where it’s water flows. You can read more about the mechanics of these thermal events HERE

Below this HOB could mean a number of things but to me, for the purposes of this solution, I am going to be looking directly across the Firehole in Fountain Flats. A place known for wandering bison and elk and the occasional griz. There are many trails in the area but there are also large areas that are trailless. It is permissible to walk around in Fountain Flats. I have done it many times. It is an enchanted place for me. The combination of thermal geography and scalded and alkali terrain contribute to the strange landscape…and when you consider that you are treading in the cone of one of the worlds most volatile super volcanos…well…it’s no place for the meek. Sprinkled amid the flats are copses of pine trees, wildflowers, a variety of animals and a unique geography that makes this a fairly unusual area…even by YNP standards.

I know what you’re thinking…Is Dal using Ojo Caliente for both WWWH and for HOB? 

Not really…I am actually using the thermal event itself…the geyser where mineralized water comes up from forty miles below the surface as my HOB and for my WWWH I am using the small spring/pond/lake that forms around the geyser.



THE END IS EVER DRAWING NIGH – This is always a tough line to grasp and I have to do some experimentation out there but it could mean that the end of Fountain Flats is to the left from my position on the far bank of the Firehole and facing into the flats.

THERE WILL BE NO PADDLE UP YOUR CREEK – There are many small rivulets from far away thermal events that drain the flats and run into the Firehole. I will explore the area for one that suits me…They are generally small…creek like…

They are too small for any kind of boat to paddle..

JUST HEAVY LOADS AND WATER HIGH – These creeks are filled with minerals from the thermal events they drain and at 6,500ft in elevation, they are certainly water high…

So that’s my plan and I am sticking to it!!

I plan to spend some time on Labor Day exploring the area…around OC to see what I can see…

No matter what I will have a good time walking around out there…I love that place…

September 2nd

Just north of the park tonight. On the lovely Madison. Might toss a Woolley Worm or Bearded Damsel around before it gets dark. Will head into Ojo Caliente area tomorrow.

No smoke up here but I understand they have had a lot of smoke and fires in the past days. The fire crews recently moved on to drier pastures.

I will drop Kathy off in West Yellowstone where she will search for “end of season” sales while I gaze at Ojo Caliente…”Men Who Stare at Geysers”…lol

Not my cabin

September 3rd

I spent the afternoon running through my solution…and adding to it as a few clues revealed themselves, while others remained hidden…In short…no, I did not find the box but as predicted, I had a great afternoon…weather could not have been better. Tomorrow I will post a more completed solution and some good photos showing why this is potentially a good location if someone can develop it more fully…based on what I found out there.

I also met up with Spallies and Diggin Gypsy and her husband John in West Yellowstone. We had dinner together and talked about Forrest and moose and laughed a lot…a good time was had by all…

A peaceful location complete with blaze, water high and heavy loads. No place for the meek yet not a dangerous location. A child could walk here with a little help from an adult.

Photo above is from Fountain Flats…This was along the creek I couldn’t paddle, with water high and even heavy loads….Additionally..it seemed like an excellent place for Forrest to lay in the grass under the shade of those trees, listen to the creek, watch the animals, smell the pines and relax after a hard day of bathing and fishing…By the way…no human trail in close proximity…remote but less than a 30minute walk from where he could have parked. So easy a child could get here…and surely not a dangerous location.

Tuesday, September 4th

Dal’s Revised Small Scale Solution 

Based on being in the area and following the clues as they unfolded.

The first stanza did not change from my original interpretation. I believe the first stanza gives me info about WWWH so that I can identify it.

In this case it is describing Ojo Caliente in Yellowstone National Park as written about by Forrest in both TFTW and on his blog in a story titled “River Bathing is Best”.


The sign to Ojo Caliente from the Freight Road Trail on Fountain Flats

Ojo Caliente Spring and Geyser. The Geyser is the bubbly patch on the near side of the pond. It gets higher but I got tired of waiting.

To me there are all kinds of problems with OC as a place where warm waters halt…but I selected it because it seems to be an oft accepted WWWH location touted by many…and because it was one of the very first WWWH places identified…and because it has a history that goes back at least as far as when Forrest said that folks had identified the first two clues…and finally because I wanted to try out a small scale solution.

We know that WWWH is the first clue because Forrest said that. This means the first stanza is unlikely to be a clue…so what is it? For the purposes of this solution I have used it as a four line hint. It helps us find where the place to begin is located. The second stanza simply begins by telling us to start at the WWWH place. But it fails to give us any information that will help us identify where that place is located. In this solution the first stanza provides us with all the information we need to identify the location of WWWH…the place where we should start our journey. The first stanza is Forrest’s voice telling us about his experience while bathing at Ojo Caliente.

Ojo Caliente is made up of three elements:

1. A Geyser of hot water that is pumped out of the magma heated earth 

2. A spring or small pond formed where the hot water from the Geyser is held and cools a bit before heading downhill 

3. A channel where water travels from the holding pond to the Firehole River. 

From the spring we are told to take our journey in the canyon down…

Here is a pic of the channel…directly downstream from the spring at Ojo Caliente.

It’s a canyon. Pretend you’re an ant

The water leaves the spring and has more or less carved a channel in the mineral material nearby as it rushes to the Firehole River. This channel is about 30ft long. It starts at the spring and ends at the river. Many might argue about whether I can legitimately call this channel a canyon or simply a channel or something else. I won’t quibble. I have my doubts too…But the important thing here is to think like Forrest…not like Dal…and to Forrest…The person who said “To an ant a mud puddle is an ocean”…this might very well be a canyon. Additionally, I believe we are supposed to use our imagination…I mean look at that photo…That certainly has the characteristics of a canyon to me.

Not far but too far to walk… Here lies the first conundrum. How far is to far too walk…and to whom is it to far? Well..since our canyon is on a diminutive scale, perhaps our “to far” distance is also on a diminutive scale…maybe…but here’s another idea…If you tried to walk in that canyon of overly warm water it would be too slippery and to warm to get very far. You might get one step but by the second step you’d be sliding and your feet would be scalded. And look at that steep slope in the photo above…you’d be on your keister in no time if you put feet in that canyon…it is clearly too far to walk…because the water is too warm and the canyon is to slippery to walk…you might make it a short way but not the entire length. My imagination might be working overtime…but that’s all I’ve got…and Forrest accused me, on this very blog, of not having any imagination…

So practically any distance at all in that canyon is too far to walk…40ft would be impossible..in my opinion…

Put in below the home of Brown…I actually have a home of brown…I actually even have brown..ok…not a caps brown…but ..but…but…

Look at the pic below…

That’s pretty brown

That brown ooze is either bacteria or a mineral that comes out of the geyser…so the geyser is the home of that brown stuff…

Okay, okay…you don’t like that home of Brown…ok…try this one…

The Firehole River…It is definitely a home for Brown trout.

So if you put in BELOW the home of Brown…you could be putting in on the south side of the river..South is below on a map..North is at the top and South is at the bottom…

South is down

This is what the canyon down looks like from the other side of the Firehole river from Ojo Caliente…the South side…

The below side…the place to put in…

And no…you don’t have to swim across the river to get to the other side…because there is an excellent and convenient bridge across the river right next to Ojo Caliente…

Walk across on that bridge and along the river to the place below the home of Brown…

From there it’s no place for the meek…this is the caldera of a super volcano for crying out loud. If you are afraid of loud noises or being blown to smithereens this is no place for you.

The end is ever drawing neigh…to get to the treasure walk to the left along the river.

Til you get to the creek that you can’t paddle up…like this one in the pic below…

Fairy Creek which runs into the Firehole River a hundred feet or so from Ojo Caliente

This is Fairy Creek. It enters the river just a hundred feet or so from Ojo Caliente. At over 7,000ft it’s certainly water high and as you can see it has heavy loads of log and rock debris as well as minerals from various hot springs along it’s route.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze…lots of blazes on tree trunks from bison using them as back scratchers…but even for the sake of this solution I cannot believe that Forrest intended a mark on a live tree to be visible for a few hundred years…The blaze needs to be something more timeless like a stone carving or a rock cairn or a large white stripe of quartz in a basalt rock face…something that will stand out and be there for centuries.

I walk up the creek and keep my eyes open. Here is a marvel gaze of the area from up on a hill. The creek winds in and out of open places and various copses of trees.

The view from  a hill down onto an open area along Fairy Creek

There are many natural rock piles in the area. They often look like this.

Could a rock pile be a blaze?

And they have interesting and exciting cubby’s for hiding 10x10x5 bronze chests.

But which rock pile? There are hundreds of them.

None that I could see were any more likely than the next…no “F” anywhere…no large quartz rock standing out…no ancient petroglyphs…

So…that’s how the solution ended…same as most end for me…no blaze…stumped…

But it was fun…I had a ball…In all..the walk from where I parked to Ojo Caliente and then Fairy Creek and then the area with potential blazes…about a half hour…about a mile and a half. Very even terrain…unless you decide you must climb a hill to look at the view…

It took me longer because I was figuring things out..and taking pictures, climbing hills and having fun…

Here’s a Google satmap of the area.

I think I’m through with small scale solutions…

Tuesday September 18th

Visting Forrest

Our trip to MO went well and Kathy and I turned Ezmerelda west and headed for Santa Fe. On Monday I visited with Forrest. Willie was the first to greet me.

Forrest already had two guests when I arrived. Alex, a writer for the German edition of Playboy Magazine and Jason, a searcher who, with Sacha, will be taking Alex out on a search this week. I guess we’ll all have to read the German edition of Playboy to see if they found it.

Alex has some serious journalism under his belt. He excels at profiles. HERE is his web page. I’m looking forward to his story. I need to brush up on my German….

Jason, Alex and Forrest in Forrest’s office as Alex grabs a couple shots of Forrest for the story he is writing.

Jason is a First Sergeant in the Army. That makes him a senior non-commissioned officer with three up and three down and a diamond in the center.

Typically a First Sergeant would be in command of an entire company of infantry. I walked to the other side of the street when I saw those senior NCOs headed in my direction…Jason looks like the kind of guy who could find that chest…I don’t know where he’s looking but I hope it’s the wrong place 🙂 He worries me!!

Forrest was looking good. I think that was the first time I saw him wearing a shirt that wasn’t checkered. Alex interviewed him for a couple of hours while Jason and I listened intently for clues or hints…there weren’t any that I noticed…maybe Jason feels differently. You’ll have to ask…or read the story. I don’t know when it will be coming out.

Before we left Forrest posed with Kathy next to Ezmerelda wearing one of Kathy’s new acquisitions. It reminds me of the lodge hats that Fred and Barney used to wear on The Flintstones.

Forrest and Willie on the front porch saying goodbye to Jason and Alex.

It was great seeing Forrest. Nothing new to report. No bombshells. Just that a good time was had by all.

Thursday September 20th

Heading Home


I went by Ezy in the repair shop parking lot this morning. I had not made my decision yet about what to do with her…junk her or have them replace the motor…

Kathy said I should let Ezy wear the buffalo hat and take a pic…

I don’t know…looks like she’s smiling to me…

So I walked into the shop and told them I wanted them to put a new motor in her…

I feel so much better and I believe Ezy does too…

So we moved the last of the mountain of stuff Kathy collected at Yard Sales in Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri from Ezy to our brand new (to me), 2005 Ford Expedition…it was the only vehicle we could find that was big enough to haul all the stuff we had inside Ezy…and we left Cortez for Mesa Verde National Park…

What a place…800 years of settlement by folks who made houses and communities starting in pits about 550AD to the  amazing cliff dwellers around 1200AD and beyond…then…they simply disappeared…vanished!!…Pretty cool trick…

The park protects nearly 5000 archaeological sites. It was home to thousands of folks who planted corn, raised families and built communities all over the Mesa. The educational exhibits did a phenomenal job of increasing my understanding of how those folks lived.

The Mesa Loop Drive is a lovely self guided driving tour with interpretive signage and a museum and naturalists…excellent job…

Not all the communities at Mesa Verde were cliff dwellings. Below is an archaeological dig on a pit house. One of the oldest types of housing found in the park.

They even have dioramas of several of the pueblos and cliff dwellings that are great fun to lose yourself in…

I wonder if some archaeologist a thousand years from now is going to be looking at the foundation of my house and trying to understand what life must have been like back in the early 2000s?

The views in the park from the top of that Mesa are absolutely staggering…

And let us not forget that one of the prizes for finding the chest is a turquoise and silver bracelet made from beads found by Richard Wetherill one of the original investigators of Mesa Verde…even before it became a national park in 1906. Below is a pic of Richard Wetherill and party at their camp in the park.

The “new to me” Ford is running great. It has more gizmos than I know what to do with. Even air conditioning and adjustable peddle heights for the brake and accelerator…But get this…this thing gets about 12mpg…About half of what Ezy gets. When I get back to Cortez to pick up Ezy I’ll be selling this SUV back to the dealer where I bought it…

But I’m not complaining…I’m happy as a clam that Ezy is getting a new life and I have a reliable vehicle to drive back to Lummi Island…. and holds all our collected wonders 🙂


October 21st, 2018

Headed back to Cortez, CO to pick up Ezy. Two solid days of driving each way…
Anxious to see Ezy. I hope she remembers me…

Looking forward to the drive through the aspen color in the foothills. Might stop HERE to see the Pando, the Trembling Giant…say hi…take a few selfies…ask the giant about life, Home of Brown….that kind of thing…

by dal







297 thoughts on “A Small Scale Solve…

  1. If you pass through Missoula on the way let me know and we can do lunch or dinner. I know a really good place to get a burger.

    • Thanks for the invite Idle…
      I like following the Clark Fork…but I plan to stay off I-90 this trip…cutting through the back door so I’ll miss Missoula…

      • There is a lot of construction on I-90 in Montana so at least you can skip that. I also wouldn’t be surprised if you were the one the 200 feet was about so good luck.

    • Jan-
      It’s not a bad place to live. Have you lived on the “rock”?
      The ferry leaves for annual maintenance next week. Three weeks without the Whatcom Chief or car traffic onto and off of the island..It’s both a blessing and….ok…it’s actually a real big blessing for those of us who kinda like the island without cars and tourists…call me a curmudgeon 🙂

  2. Good luck to Ya’ Dal. Can’t wait to read your “Shortie” – Have Fun and TRY and STAY SAFE this Labor Day WE – JDA

    • It’ll be “short”…Here’s the synopsis..
      I planned
      I went
      I had a good time
      I returned with lighter pockets but fuller heart and calmer disposition than when I left…

  3. DAL,
    To save you the burdensome
    work of lugging 42 lbs back to
    your ride.,, Just email me your
    complete solve NOW, and I’ll
    have all 21 lbs ready and waiting
    for you to load up.

  4. Keep Esmerelda’s tank full, a sandwich ziplocked, your flashlight on it’s lanyard, your meds in ample supply and your maps handy! Good luck Dal!

    • Ran-
      Ezzy loves the road more than I do…she got a few nicks removed and a new coat of white paint at the beauty shop. She looks like a million dollars…

  5. DAL PS
    I Forgot that I have to make a little
    NFBTFTW side trip first, but
    TIA DALMA and I will have it waiting
    for you. We promise. Yo Ho Ho

  6. Drive careful Dal. Tak care of Ezzy too, Missouri is “ To Far To Walk”……. good luck to ya on finding your blaze….. take care my friend… until next time… see ya

        • Dal… not bad..

          Dal,take your lime, place in your glass,

          Sip and cherish , your memories past.

          Then fall asleep, in peaceful dreams,

          And rest for what, tomorrow brings….


          See ya my friend… be safe out there

      • If your blaze takes you down near “Rush” Lake you might think about acting “quickly”…”tarry scant” and again, good luck Dal. I see some wood below that lake. Go get it today. Dave

  7. Good luck Dal, if you are in the are of my solve would you mind checking something for me?

    • I already looked Mark. It’s not there. I have to run to the bank right now. Back in a jiffy…wait for me… 🙂

  8. Hey Dal,
    Where are you headed in Missouri? I live north of St. Louis. Just got back from my first botg. Visited NM, CO, WY and MT.

  9. Good luck, Dal. From all of the beautiful states we traveled through moving to Colorado, Missouri was my favorite. Safe travels to you.

    • Thanks PD. I have only travelled along the Mississippi and stopped at Becky Thatcher’s house previously so this is a new adventure…Wait!!! Becky Thatcher was a figment of Samuel Leghorne Clemen’s imagination right?? How then, could there be a house that belonged to her in Hannibal? Those rascals…got me for $7 once again…

      • Hmmm. Becky Thatcher is Laura Hawkins, and Mark Twain is Samuel Clemens. Go ahead and enjoy the tour again, Dal! 🙂

  10. You better hurry Dal I’m 10 steps ahead of you stay on your side of the Mountain or I’ll toss rocks at you lol

    • Ha Ha, light bulbs are turning on, I have a new idea too. Im thinking of running over there Monday!

    • DG-
      Are you out there AGAIN???
      Why don’t you just move out there? I think you spend as much time in that beautiful area as the locals…
      I’ll be on the lookout for Georgia plates…

      • Yea I dropped a few pieces out of the treasure box and had to come back and collect them And yep I think I know this place better than The ole coot now

    • DIGGIN,
      WITH SIZE 25 FEET.???

  11. Lewis&Clark, the return journey. Safe travels. I hope your vehicle has a good filter. That campfire smoke smell is hard to get out after driving through fire areas. Keep the recirculate button engaged.

    I have some friends who own a vineyard in Cali who are concerned about the impact smoke will have on this year’s grape crop due to absorption through leaves (the joke is that many 2018 vintage labels will say ‘smoky finish’). I imagine, other than the resulting shading, this will impact apple crops, too, presuming they even mature. I’m anticipating an abundance of apple infused charcoal briquettes and Australian apples in US stores.

    Who’da thunk a teetotaler would favor bar food. Good on you for self restraint.

    I’m fondly remembering Aretha this weekend. I find career politicians to be the complete antithesis to our Republic. But that’s for a separate blog entirely.

    • Cynthia…
      I’ll think of you and Molly while I aimlessly clod around looking at bison bones skewed around the thermal pools like so many pick-up sticks. Does Molly like bones?

      • Molly likes anything that is stinking and disgusting… so I’d say yes if those bones are in a state of decay. Otherwise, I’m guessing she’d choose some type of scat!

      • He bought an FJ Cruiser… I bought one soon after. Gotta keep us with the Walkers. But he stole my idea for the gravatar photo! You have a keen sense of observation. I hope this helps you find Fenn’s loot! Seriously… well, sort of!

      • Dal we really do miss seeing you. Somehow these Fenn events just aren’t the same without you!
        As for Cindy’s and my gravatar, I took that photo of Cindy and her FJ so I felt justified in stealing the idea. LOL
        Be safe!

  12. The race is on! Another chaser was just in that area, left and is now returning to get the treasure!? Well good luck all and be safe.

  13. Alert! Wild man on the lam, wielding ice-axe…last seen driving a white van. He is said to frequent the Yellowstone area and has been rumored to recite the same poem over and over while he hikes.

      • this is entertainment 101 how crazy you guys get im going the other way
        but ill wait a week ive been trying to remember every where we have been that fits the pattern a green olive jar and its area is i think it was in nm this is tough good luck dal

  14. Hey Dal good luck! When you pass through Pierre, SD shoot me an email. I’d like to meet you and shake your hand.

  15. I was thinking along the same lines. If you find the skull, you will be at the same spot I went to. I left it on a log.

  16. Thumbs up for *small scale*, Dal – I look forward to your report.

    (There are many miniature golf courses in the Rocky Mountains, and “I know of a few searchers who have been reasonably close to the treasure puttputt . . . .”)


  17. Just to put it out there. I plan on heading back to Yellowstone next month for some more botg. My solution begins at the Madison junction for biwwwh. Any suggestions or help would be properly rewarded. JRC

  18. Good luck Dal. I realized this morning I didn’t have a Dal voodoo doll in my collection. Does your solve look like it’s a good one? If so I need to make the doll as realistic as possible. Do you have a beard? I’ll need to add one if you do. The voodoo dolls do seem to help keep people from finding the treasure, so when I say “good luck” I don’t really mean it. lol.

  19. Good luck Dal!
    When I got serious about the chest a couple years ago I really poured over HOD, my favorite part was Dal’s adventures, I read every single one and was enamored with his story telling and the adventures he had. My absolute favorite was the NM coyote story (ha, an ice axe in NM) it read like a Hollywood screen play and had all the requisite twists and turns. Well of course after I got thru all those stories I started reading others, of course plenty of adventures but not quite the same story telling. Anyway the last couple years Dal’s stories seemed to be shorter and I think he’s very focused and doesn’t want to give too much away. At any rate I’m glad we get a search story, even if a short one, thanks Dal! I sure hope this fall we get to see some new stories of failed solves…seems like they all have failed yet no one saying a thing…that crow sure is gamey ain’t it? Ok I’m going back to canasta…I’m in steamboat springs all weekend if anyone wants me to check anything out holler trevorsmith369@hotmail.com

    • Tbug-
      Thanks for the kind remarks…
      I ran into a good story while searching earlier this year that I have not written up yet..
      I’ll put it out this winter I think when things are slow…
      Another character…I love characters…

  20. It’s about time you went back to soak your boots and chat with the day pack girl.
    I’m sure the waters are warm even when it’s 60 below zero there. That would eliminate a lot of warm waters north of SF if the feeding temp of the spring could freeze or get cold.
    I like the large scale better but a great place to begin and possibly cease.

      • I encourage everyone to go swim near the caliente eye and then take your quest in the canyon down. 🙂

      • I would like to know who piled up rocks in the Firehole at the base of the Ojo flow to create this warm water area? I added a rock last time I was there. C’mon Forrest, own it like you do.

    • Aaron-
      I’ll have to see what I think of this. This is the first Small Scale for me. I guess I’ll have to get down on my hands and knees with a magnifying glass to look for the clues…I think ants have something to do with it …see my solution posted today…above…

      • I like it, good luck to you. One place we searched this year is not far from there, Sentinel Creek. Nice hike, and caught a few trout 🙂

  21. Dal: you mentioned not having much search time on your outbound drive to Missouri. Are you planning on doing more searching on your return west (obviously assuming you don’t find it this long weekend)? And will this round trip be the one that you retrieve the Little Cache to let it winter on Lummi Island?

    • I don’t think so Zap. I plan on coming back on US2 for the variety…
      But if there is one thing that you can depend on about me it’s that I rarely have plans and if I do they are always in motion.

  22. I posted the solution I am working with on the main post above…along with a garlicy place to eat in Post Falls, ID.

    • I don’t think so. I plan on coming back on US2 for the variety…
      But if there is one thing that you can depend on about me it’s that I rarely have p[lans and if I do they are always in motion.

    • “AND WITH MY TREASURES BOLD – he was naked when he bathed so his family jewels were not covered. And he was alone.”

      That is my favorite part of your solve and honestly a great interpretation .

        • I believe that if that is the place he is referring to that his treasures bold are his family members that he said that he went there with.

  23. I have been researching for about a week now, I always thought it was in that area. I was going this weekend but could not make it. Just a thought, try looking for the area Fenn use to lay naked in the grass to dry off, and look down into the tall grass. I also think it could be not to far from where madison river meets fire hole river. alot of people from what i read follow the madison river. I am thinking starting where they join and going back up the fire hole river. Take into the canyon down does not have to mean down as in elevation, but I think it could mean down as on a map, or even down as in southern direction. So if you start where those rivers meet and go down, south, you would go up fire hole river (no paddle up your creek), you would hit high waters and it would be a heavy load as you are going upstream. Below home of brown means you would also go upstream firehole river (they were dumped in river where madison meets firehole). googled earth it and it aint no place for the meek if you go upstream. Anyhow , I am going next summer if not found. I have a couple other ideas as well. Good luck.

  24. ALERT Update ! Top culinary experts from across the globe working with NSA analysts have been tracking wild hiker’s movements! Insider information has disclosed an uptick in cyber communications being monitored have indicated that initial theories about a hidden treasure are now thought to be a clever disguise for a spin-off of a popular food show. Suspect has been preliminarily identified as possibly being *Guy Fieri’s* (host of Diners Drive-ins and Dives) taller and much older brother. Stay tuned for more updates!

  25. Dal,
    Upon returning from my trip I was working on a solve in the same area. When I saw you mention fountain flats I thought I would chime in. Look quickly down=duck. Mallard trail. Very close. Hope that helps.

      • And then there’s this,
        Rancher Blaze Barker returns to Dead Falls after being framed by … Johnny Mack Brown in The Lone Star Trail (1943) Johnny Mack Brown, Jennifer Holt,

        The 1872 Hayden expedition originally called Lone Star Geyser “Solitary” because of its remoteness.

        Hope you get it. Good luck.

  26. Dal,
    Always a good read and thanks for the culinary inclusion. What’s a good recipe without all ingredients? Everybody loves the sweet kiss of garlic, just not the price of peeling the cloves.

    • Straw…I agree…Peeling garlic is right up there with shucking corn and peeling apples…
      I guess I’m pretty lazy…lol…

  27. I always enjoy the posts about your adventures, Dal.
    If you stop to eat in St. Louie, i recommend ,The Crown Candy Kitchen. The place is an old school candy store and soda fountain that serves the best BLT,and buttermilk milkshakes you’ll ever have! Goodluck, and stay safe out there!

  28. Hey, Dal,
    I can meet you in St. Louey if you give me three hours notice. I thought of you and your island as I flew over in July. Was surprised at how brown all the grass was considering how Seattle is usually rain-foresty green. Hi to Berwin girl, too.
    And good luck, (I guess) on the search.

  29. Thanks Waterhigh…
    I tend to avoid big cities…I think all those flashing red and green lights and markings on the pavement make me crazy…

  30. There can be no small scale solution for an epic adventure.

    Food suggestion: eat a steak at The Iron Horse Pub in Gardiner on the back deck.

  31. Dal – Even though you are very familiar with the Ojo Caliente and Fountain Flats areas, being chased by a hungry Grizz or a rutting Bison could cause you to lose your bearing (pun intended). Always remember to look for Elk Thistle, like that guy who got lost on the Hayden Expedition did. You can boil the stalks. He lost a lot of weight, but he survived for 37 days.

    If we don’t get an update on your post here, I will send these guys in after you. They are professionals.


  32. Dal, nice to see that photo of Pateros. My family calls that corner 3rd base rounding for home. Fires have been tough again this year.

    Yellowstone pics are beautiful

  33. Dal, are you going to check out Jardine, when going through Gardiner? I need someone to check a spot for me!

    • Hey Sweetpea-
      Nice to hear from you.
      No. I stay away from that area of the park. I don’t have a good reason for doing that.
      I think I am attempting to be knowledgeable about at least one small area rather than try unsuccessfully to know a broader area of the park.
      I know my limitations and they are significant…

  34. Hey Dal,
    1) Any chanced that Fenn told you where his family’s cabin was in west Yellowstone?
    2) Also, can you disclose the exact spot you took the cover pic for TFTW on the Madison? (My brain has been spinning in circles).

    Have fun and luck tomorrow. Stay safe! Thnx!!

  35. Everyone is packing up and leaving west Yellowstone yay gives us searches a little more breathing room.

    • Just took a peek at the webcams and it looks like it’s absolutely beautiful weather there. Have a great time searching.

      • Yea the weather is perfect searching weather I’ll never look here again until first of Sept summer months are to hot and crowded after Labor Day everyone leaves here

        • Good luck out there! You know I’m always rooting for ya!! I don’t have to tell you to be careful because those grizz see gypsies with pokey sticks and high tail it outta there.
          I will anyway…
          stay safe hun!!!

        • The best time to be there in Yellowstone is after the kiddies go back to school and vacation days are over. I like Tuesday afternoons! IMO

  36. I added a pic showing the terrain where I was looking today. I’ll add a thorough description and explanatory photos tomorrow night.

    • I’m glad that you had a good searching trip in your favorite area of YNP, dal! The Fountain Flats area looks very beautiful. Have you ever explored eastwards up either Tangled Creek or White Creek west of Firehole Lake Drive? They both look like areas that go into thick woods at higher elevations and I can imagine might provide some scenic views to the west overlooking the Fountain Flats area.

      • Blex, my family and I hiked up White Creek this summer. It is a warm creek with numerous thermal features around it so step carefully if you visit. There is also a nice little waterfall on the creek. I thought it would be a nice blaze since it is a warm waterfall. Really beautiful place to visit but no treasure there that I could find.

        • Well, I’m at least glad to hear that those areas were worth it for the scenery! Sounds like time well spent!

  37. I Would not give up on that area. I would be looking for something maybe FF carved into
    a large boulder. A stickman or canoe and something. That river bathing is best sure
    sounds like a hint. Sounds like following a creek that is going up hill from fire hole.
    He seems to have many special spots. Writing his first stories and the TTOTC
    do seem to be in that area. Go find that thing…

  38. Dal, you are in my search area. My BOTG last month was that exact location. I followed the fairy creek all the way to the falls. It was a long and tiring day. I got pretty excited once when I thought I found a pretty good blaze at the base of a hill about 3/4 mile up the creek. You might check it out if you have the time.

    • I like the area too. We hiked to fairy falls and off trail up to the top of it. No way an 80 year old could go up there but it was a pretty incredible view. There are two waterfalls above the Fairy as well.

  39. Glad you were able to meet up with Spallies, Diggin Gypsy and her husband. The photo of the area looks really nice. Thank you for sharing.

      • Was that Spanish food lol Was really good seeing y’all there I hope you and Kathy atleast found a dimond in Arkansas as we walk away with the treasure trove hahaha

      • You going to Arkansas Dal? If you do send me an email, I could show ya around….lol see ya my friend

  40. I added my final solution with final pics and a satmap…This is the solution I followed yesterday…look at the main post above..

    • Dal,
      You reference the channel as a canyon using the idea of a mud puddle to an ant looks like an ocean.. ok I get the imagination and scaling down. Then ya kinda lost me. I mean, you went right back to full size scale of the landscape. An actual creek which dwarfs the canyon idea, NPFTM being the entire park/super volcano, continuing with HL being many rock piles… I mean, on a small scale that would be equivalent to MT. Everest.

      The simple question would be…you started small [stanza 2] ~ What happened to the smaller scale idea once you left your hoB? {scale size meaning; keeping the idea of the first stanza} A 40 ft canyon vs. a 100 plus foot creek run.
      Was there a reason you started small and then went [ for lack of a better term ] Normal Natural Scale?

      • You’re right Seeker…butI had to get across that river somehow…
        That’s when I feel I left the mini scale concept…
        We know the chest isn’t in water and that’s where the canyon goes…
        So..I had to cross it…and that meant a leap of about 40ft…
        Then things got bigger and further…
        There certainly is no place to hide the chest right at OC…and the spring is littered with trails on it’s perimeter.
        ON the other hand…a mile and a half from the parking lot is still pretty small scale…
        It was good fun but enough holes in it to make a chicken wire fence…

  41. Dal – it was fun to follow along on your small scale adventure over the past several days. As always, great pictures and narrative! There is a little rock/mineral/fossil shop in West Yellowstone near the south end of town; they have miniature (small scale) wooden treasure chests for sale – emblazoned with the word “TREASURE”! A small scale treasure chest might be an appropriate souvenir of this trip! I have some great pictures of myself “finding” the treasure chest in West Yellowstone…

  42. BOTG and just feeling good about discovering new things is 99.9% of the journey. Small scale(SS) versus large scale(LS) is wholly subjective at best…the correct reading of the poem is probably somewhere smack dab in the *middle*. If my wife reads Dal’s new adventure she will see a whole new avenue for *shopping* adventures…and that’s just fine by me….Thanks for the write up Dal.

  43. Hello Dal. I enjoyed your thoughts in regards to small scale. In my imagination, small scale could possibly be related to “Fairy” Creek. Fairies are mentioned in his book, too. Love the photos. Were you bold enough to enter the bathing spot as Mr. Fenn and Cynthia did? 🙂 After seeing Cynthia’s story, I had told my husband I would love to go there when the day was turning low and take a dip. We’ll see if my actions are just as brave as my words.

  44. Thanks, Dal, for sharing your story. This was one of my search areas this past summer. I also followed Fairy Creek upstream to the hill of rocks and Boulder Springs. I checked every nook and cranny on that hill. Nada! But like you, I had an amazing time!

    Ain’t life grand when you’re a boots-on-the-ground Forrest Fenn treasure hunter!!

    • Cynthia-
      I was confident you had been there before me and eliminated all the bears which is why I felt confident walking around in that area… 🙂

      • Hey, Dal, if you want to continue following me BOTG to where the treasure isn’t, I will be in Cody Monday night and start my new search area Tuesday morning. Be there or be square! Cody KOA… you can buy breakfast! LOL! I wish!

        • I’ve gotta ask if it was a gold colored collapsible aluminum snow shovel? My wife, son and I were behind (northwest of) the rocky hill in Dal’s picture and found one a couple weeks ago. Kind of weird spot for one to turn up. We were cutting across from fairy springs to sentinel creek. Beautiful area but kind of exposed to hide anything.

        • I, too, found a sawed-off (wooden-handled) shovel near my search area back in June. It was planted in the middle of a 3-foot diameter disturbed dirt pile, just a few feet off a horse trail. I was not curious enough to dig into that pile to see what had been buried. The shovel and pile were still there earlier this week.

  45. Did you make it to the falls, I don’t see a picture of those. Definitely one of my favorite things about Fairy Creek.

    • ID-
      I have been there before. This was a small scale solution. I tried to follow the clues but keep everything as near as possible to WWWH. In this solution all the clues I found were within a half mile of my WWWH. Going out to the falls would have added 6 miles there and back..

      • Wow, never really thought about just how much extra distance that would add. Which would definitely seem to eliminate it.

        As you did ask for advice (I assume not rhetorically). This is where I think you might be off (in my opinion it is thinking outside the box):

        “I CAN KEEP MY SECRET WHERE – He wrote the story “River Bathing is Best” about his visits to Ojo Caliente but it was not published in TTOTC where other hints were published. Instead he kept the story on his web site (where it is still located) and published it in TFTW. I also believe this was a story he wrote for the West Yellowstone paper where it was first published. Because it wasn’t directly mentioned in TTOTC it could be described as a “secret” hint or clue.”

        Unless you are back in the camp that the unintended clue wasn’t Canada.

        • ID-
          Yes…I’ve written about River Bathing is Best in the past and mentioned what you wrote…As I noted at that time, in my mind not putting the story in TTOTC contributed to making it a “secret place”. Therefore enhancing it’s likelihood of being the place described in stanza one.

  46. I always get excited too when I stumble upon areas of rock piles with possible hiding spots like the ones you found here, dal. Thanks for sharing all the details of your small-scale solve. I think I agree with your conclusion that such a small-scale solve is probably not correct, but I appreciate your thinking outside of the box and trying something new.

    When I read that you were using Forrest’s quote about “to an ant a mud puddle can be like an ocean”, the first thought that popped into my head was “Well what about Forrest’s other quote to ‘Look at the big picture. There are no short cuts.’?” Here we have two different quotes focusing on a small scale and a large scale.

    For giggles, I just looked up both phrases on tarryscant.com this morning (“big picture” and “mud puddle”) and I noticed a couple of interesting things. Forrest’s “big picture” quote was used in response to questions asking about how close the treasure was to both a human trail and Forrest’s home in Santa Fe. However, Forrest also uses the phrase “big picture” several times to also describe the spanning of time rather than geographical distances. Under the “mud puddle” search there is an interesting quote from Forrest in a 2017 interview in which he uses the same “to an ant a mud puddle can be an ocean” quote in illustrating that one person’s measure of personal success can be diminutive in the eyes of another. I’m not sure if any of these are significant in terms of hints, but they provide some interesting material to ponder further over!

  47. Hello Dal,

    I find it odd to consider Ojo Caliente Spring, it is a superheated, alkaline spring which, on its northern end, boils constantly to a height of 12 to 20 inches.

    As you said under NFBTFTW, “If you tried to walk in that canyon of overly warm water it would be too slippery and to warm to get very far. You might get one step but by the second step you’d be sliding and your feet would be scalded.” You mentioned “overly warm water” and “scalded” which to me is not warm, it is boiling hot, it is way over warm.

    So I would never consider your wwwh as not viable. However I find your solve interesting, but not practical to downsize to an ant’s view for your canyon down. If you were the size of an ant it would be a canyon, to be that size is not practical then move on to your actual size, to me your canyon is merely a very small ditch.

    Like I said your solve is interesting, you do have an imagination, I think its gone overboard.

    I hope you don’t take this personally, it’s merely a critique. I’m glad that you had fun. Have a safe trip.

    Just Say’n

    • Of course I take it personally…It was my solution…I am to blame 🙂
      But that doesn’t mean your ideas bother me…
      Thanks for the contribution…

  48. Dal,
    Interesting use of your imagination. If I continue your “ants” view and continued through the poem (canyon down, put in, heavy loads, water high etc) I would end up at a treasure chest the size of a sky scraper…. now that my friend I would call the “mother lode”… you know Dal, I think I like your way of thinking….shhh, don’t tell anyone else I said that… lol
    Have a great night… until next time.. see ya my friend….

  49. Dal, what is your opinion about these meadows you visited pertaining to his clue about what he would see, smell, etc…. would you say they have sagebrush? If I was standing on the treasure… could I say I smell sagebrush?? The reason I ask is because I went there once, but I only found a small bit on the edges although I did not venture around as much as you did.

  50. All in all Dal’s adventures are always well written and documented with wonderful photos of the area. My only disappointment with this one was no follow up on the magnifying glass and looking for ants…

    • ken-
      You’re right…I didn’t look for ants..certainly there were no anthills in view…
      If they had been near OC their little legs would be toast…

  51. When I first started searching I really liked Yellowstone, but what always got me was that ATF comment where f says you could go retrieve it any time of year, in any weather. All but one of the roads is closed in YNP, right? The one at the North Roosevelt entrance stays open until Mammoth? Perhaps you could cross country ski in, but wouldn’t the ground be too covered with snow to find it?

    • thrill-
      What Forrest actually wrote is different than what you quoted…and my interpretation does not leave that area out at all..

  52. Dal – Thank you for sharing your Small Scale Solution and the great pics! I loved it!

    Was thinking it would be great to have a thread called, The Big Picture, to discuss theories for that. I was watching ants crawl along the shoreline up in the Sawtooths at Alice Lake Thursday afternoon, thinking about you in Yellowstone at Ojo Caliente. Here is a post from another blog to explain my new thread idea:


  53. Kathy and I stopped by Forrest’s place on the way home from Missouri. I met a couple of folks there. I added it to the page above…scroll down from the top to today’s date.

      • Bumping Dal’s pics from last night…..I felt certain that by now someone would have had a good joke about the centerfold.

        Great to see Forrest inducted into “The Loyal Order of the Water Buffaloes”. He’s certain to make Grand Poobah in no time. Psssst, “Ack, Ack, A-Dack” (don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret)

  54. Well…this may be the bitter end for Ezmerelda…I am in Cortez, CO . Ezy spun a rod bearing and probably bent the shaft..
    I am trying to decide whether to have a rebuilt engine put in or just give up on her…
    Logic says give up…after this it will be a tranny and drive shaft and rear end…sigh…
    How much do I want to spend on a sweetheart with nearly a half million miles??
    Emotion says keep her going…She’s been with me for 18 years…

    I have a replacement vehicle for the ride home….
    I can leave her in the shop and come back for her in a month and sell the replacement vehicle back to the person I bought it from….

    I have to make a decision tomorrow morning and head home…
    Scrap yard or repair shop…?????

    • Oh my…
      The emotional part of me whispers…repair shop.
      Yet, the realist in me always yells louder…..
      Clearly Clueless

    • Dal,
      I totally understand your dilemma. We can get attached after awhile, but there comes a time when we need to say goodbye!
      You’re absolutely correct when thinking, what’s next? It’s not a matter of “if” it’s a matter of “ when “. And there will be a when!
      Better to upgrade!

      • Thanks Kana-
        But to add to the logic side…I wonder if the repairs would be tax deductable since it happened on the business portion of this trip…

        Here’s my reasoning-
        So the blog is a business for me because I sell books (TFTW) on the blog.
        Consequently things I do to support my business are also tax deductable.
        Business expenses…right?

        I go on trips to find the treasure and I write about them on the blog and people come to the blog and buy books…
        The stories draw in customers…
        So if it costs me money to write a story…perhaps that’s tax deductable.

        If I had to get Ezy repaired on a business related trip would that be a business expense too?

    • Dal,

      With that many miles on Ezmerelda, if the engine is shot, its more than likely the transmission is not too far behind. I would say she’s pretty tired that’s a lot of wear. How many more botg is left in her?

      Scrapyard and a good eulogy. 🙁

      Just Say’n

    • Dal,

      My sister keeps her 1994 Ford Escape Electra going strong but I worry about her a lot.

      Your call!

    • Dal, your decision will be the best one. Everything happens exactly when and as it should, I believe. I just got a shirt today with “faith” written across it.

      Holler you want a stop over just outside Boulder. You and your family are welcome to my guest rooms.

    • Hi Dal,

      Sorry to hear about your truck. Hope this helps:

      So hear me all and listen good,
      Your effort will be worth the cash.
      You heard a loud noise from under the hood,
      So get a new truck and call her Nash!


    • Oh no, Dal!
      I’m so sorry to hear about Ezmarelda! She has been good to you over the years and think of all of the adventures that you have been on with her! so I vote repair shop. ( if I get to vote) She is not dead yet, just a little tired .
      It’s very easy for me to say, because it’s not my wallet, but do what your heart tells you .
      Best of luck to you!

    • I vote repair. If you can get a vehicle half way to a million you can get it to a million. Otherwise get one with a lifetime warranty as you would definitely be able to utilize it.

      • You’re right…all it takes is a willingness to be stranded out in the middle of nowhere with no cell hoping someone else comes by in a day or two…lol…

    • I think you will be glad a month from now if you decide now to let a scrapper take it from here. Check under the seats for change and lost CDs first.

      Safe travels home.

    • Dal, I will say fix it if you have time to research for a good engine/tranny swap in CO. To tow it back to your place will be way to expensive.

    • I’ve had the same experience wit ha ’73 Mustang. The best thing you can do is scrap her and move on though. Old vehicles can become money pits and you will grow to love a new ride even more.

      Reminds me of an experience with an ex-girlfriend…

  55. My grandmother lost her dog decades ago. She was so sad she hasn’t had another pet. I told her, you never gave another one a chance.

  56. Well, Dal… “sometimes it’s good to just slam the door on a relationship and start over”…I think I read that in an Ann Landers column once upon awhile.

  57. Just one more thing Dal…………………Yack Ack Adack!!! LOL Loved Kathy’s Hat!

    Safe travels,


      • LOL! I am really sorry about Ezy! She treated you pretty good over the years. I know it’s has to be a hard decision.
        Good luck with what ever you decide.

  58. Bummer about Ezzie, Dal. Had to make that choice once myself.

    !!!! I know !!!! You could ask Seeker to list ALL the pros & cons…..that would make the choice simple. 🙂

  59. Forrest looks great! Snazzy shirt! Cute dog! OMG in that one shot where Forrest’s back is to us are those some bronze bells in the foreground in front of the tissues?

    Newer cars with their modern conveniences are so great. Little things like FOB’s that open the doors or trunk when you have your hands full with groceries….and better wiring for cars with usb ports and gps maps….Ahhhhh so nice….and better gas mileage….and bluetooth and tons of radio stations…ahhhh….also there’s the peace of mind that they will more than likely not need repairs for a long time.

    • Good eyes Thrill-
      They are bells and jars he has not buried yet…
      He says he is finished making them…
      I would guess that there are at least 12 of them laying around in his office…waiting to be hidden…

      • Oh and they were bigger than I had imagined – about the size of a Hydro Flask cut in half. I wonder if he’s mostly hiding them in NM….

        • Does Ezmerelda have heated seats? If not that’s a deal breaker for me…I can’t get warm any more when it’s cold outside. However, if there are going to be monthly payments that’s not fun either, unless as you say you can write them off. I always like to get a car a couple years used and keep them until the cost of repair is greater than what the car is worth.

          • thrill-
            Ezy is a basic cargo van..no AC, no heated seats, no cruise control, no GPS, no tinted windows, no chrome go fasters…basic…but with character…like me 🙂

  60. Dal,
    I think that Ezmerelda is trying to tell you something. She is saying that you have finally come to the right area of the treasure chest. She stopped to tell you to think… what if? Yes, Indulgence must be close by and she felt it in her rods, and after so many miles chasing around the Rockies, here, here is where it lies. She is a faithful servant but knows when it’s her time and she knows you will do the right thing. Just think. What if….

      • Yep, Lou Lee, This old body of mine is still kicking, but its having so much fun reading all of the post on the blogs. It’s interesting to read the wide variety of ideas and solves from everyone. Mostly I just sit back and laugh at the goings on. I find myself content these days just enjoying life a day at a time. I do hunt, but not for Indulgence, I have my reasons not to hunt for IT. I hunt for resolve and understanding, it’s in my nature.

        Are you still hunting for the TC? I have seen you’ve been posting on and off. I see many old timers are still searching. It seems everyone knows where IT is. LOL…. well good luck to you LL.

        • Oh Hi Ritt!
          Yes I am still searching a bit but mostly thinking and learning!
          I feel I know know so much about the Rockies! So many great places so little time.
          I too am so surprised it’s not been found!
          Im still working alot and I hope to retire and go look full time!
          Glad to see a few “old timers” are still here!
          Best Wishes and regards, Lou Lee

    • Ritt-
      It’s certainly possible. A lot of folks look in this neck of the woods…
      We’ll know your right if Forrest announces tomorrow that another searcher has been within 200ft of the chest…

  61. I had to scroll back up and make sure it didn’t say Playgirl or Dal’s comments about Forrest looking good would take on a whole nother meaning! Kidding aside, congrats Forrest! I think all guys secretly (or not so secretly) want to be featured in Playboy (any country). At least now some guys might actually read an article in one for the first time.

  62. Dal,
    I met a very nice young man at work and after talking for a while I found out that his wife was pregnant and they had just gotten a place of their own, but money was tight and they didn’t have much for their apartment. We were getting a new patio set, so I asked him if he would like our old set. I text him a picture of it and he told me that his wife, Esmeralda, yelled with excitement. I could not help but think of you and your old van. :}
    I see this as a sign. Esmeralda will be giving birth to a new life.
    It is time to let your Esmeralda go.
    Sorry, all the best,

    • I know you’re right…but it reminds me of the age old question-
      “Is it buried or just hidden?”
      logic says one thing but there is a strong pull in the opposite direction…

  63. Dal – while you are in Cortez, there are a few “warm waters” nearby. There is a little hot spring in Rico (rich in Spanish), Dunton Hot Springs, and Colorado’s only geyser (1.5 mile mostly level hike fairly close to Dunton). The geyser is lukewarm to cool, but considered a true geyser. You can’t beat the Dolores River Canyon in Autumn…and didn’t Forrest write a story about Dolores (he spelled the name wrong lol). And on your way out of Cortez, if you’ve never been, go thru McElmo Canyon and see Canyons of the Ancients and Hovenweep. Magical.

  64. Sad thing Dal…the loss of Ezzy. I kinda thought the ole girl would eventually feel the weight of you tucking a heavy box o’ loot under a sleeping bag in the back. New adventures with a new ride are on the horizon. Thanks for the updates…oh, what’s the back story of the head piece?

    • Ken-That was my hope too..
      The hat came from a tourist trap in North Platte called Buffalo Bill’s Fort Cody Trading Post. Kathy liked it and so far everyone we have visited on the trip has worn it for a photo…including Ezy…I’ll place a photo in the story above… 🙂

  65. Now wait just a darn second…Dal, did you already decide Ezmerelda’s fate? If not I think a reminder from FF about memories, reveries and the old times is in order! The fact that she is an all wheel drive van and got you half a million miles is a testament to both you and the van. I won’t deny a new vehicle will make your future adventures more comfortable, but I think saving her is a better plan…since it needs a new engine, an upgraded crate motor would bring you reliability as well as improved efficiency, I’m thinking a 650hp LT4! Given the miles on her, I would not hesitate to pour a few bucks back into it…clearly it was built well…it can be rebuilt well too. It is a tough decision…but cars have souls and while it may not be the best financial decision (and could leave you out there someday) she will always promise an adventure for you…my all time favorite story was your NM Coyote trip…Ezy was the star! She turned herself around after getting stuck in the sand, and she received the fetish from ol yellow hat, he didn’t give it to you, he gave it to Ezy!

    If practicality reigns in the end, I understand, but do yourself a favor…put your mark on her, sign her in some permanent way, so that in the distant future, should she be found and revived, and that person stumbles on a silly treasure hunt, they might make the connection with her too. Good luck and enjoy your Colorado/NM adventures.

    • Great point Tbug-
      I waited til I was at the repair shop counter this morning to make my decision…simply because I didn’t have to…
      I told them to put a reconditioned engine in her and call me when it’s done.
      I am not going to toss away 18 years of loyal service just because Ezy had a very bad day…
      I feel better…

  66. New pics and last post above as Kathy and I run for home so I can be at the studio Monday morning. The ferry isn’t back from annual maintenance yet and they’re working on new pilings on the docks. Looks like it will be back next week. In the mean time we have a temporary foot passenger ferry… We should be home sometime Sunday…about 1200 miles to go…

    • Dal, I hope your journey home has been smooth with Ezy’s round of TLC. Hope she us purring like a kitten once again!

  67. I have to say, when I saw that you’ve decided to replace the engine it made me feel pretty good. I get sentimental over stuff I don’t even know about!

  68. How gorgeous!!
    Have a safe trip, Dal, and I’m sure Ezy remembers you. She will be happy to see you too!

  69. In Jackpot, NV. Pulled over to take a nap. Woke up smelling smoke. The county fire fighters set a control fire on the side of the road to burn away dry grass that could be a hazard. I had to move away…
    Going to walk thru the casino and then head toward Wells and Ely while the getting is good…

    • Dal, your updates make me envious of your free-adventuring retired lifestyle! You are doing a good job at making life worth living!

      • Blex-
        I am not retired. I run a community TV Station in Bellingham, WA. I commute from my island 5 or 6 days a week and drive the 14 miles to the studio. I can’t afford to retire!!

        • Sorry, Dal! My mistake! I can’t afford to retire either, so we have that in common! Glad that you and I both can at least take some time off to hit the road and go on adventures! 🙂

  70. Thanks for sharing Dal,
    I see that Mr. Fenn can’t help himself when it comes to posing with his arm around a beautiful woman. Kathy was smart to stay in the vehicle, lol.

  71. I have Ezy back!!! Yippee!!!
    I sold the Ford back to the guy I bought it from in Cortez..
    I am headed back home tomorrow. I want to try and stop at the Pando in western UT.

    The color in the cottonwoods all along the canyon bottoms is magnificent…
    I am hoping that Pando will also be colorful…

  72. If you liked Mesa Verde, you will love Hovenweep. It is kinda sorta on the way to the Pando. You can walk the loop in an hour if you are pressed for time. Or make a morning of it. Great interpretive center also. Amazing place, and you won’t have a better chance than now.

    • Thanks Sandy…I stare at that Hovenweep sign every time I come out here. I think I was there on a film shoot about 20 years ago… but I can’t be certain…We did a number of amazing places in the area…Down inside Canyon De Chelly, Monument Valley, Canyonlands, etc……spent a day in each spot sunrise to sunset…making pretty pictures..
      I was much younger then…I could run around with 30lbs of camera gear all day…
      These days even my phone seems like a burden.. 🙂

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