Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Two…




Today I received a wonderful email from Jeff Olsen and he gave me permission to post his P.S. I always had good excuses not to spend more time with my parents. And now, at age 88, I regret everyone of them. If anyone is listening please post a comment on this blog. f

“P.S. – I want you to know also that The Thrill of the Chase has already had an immeasurable impact on my life. Especially in regards to the relationship I now have with my dad (he is 82 and has recently just completed his memoirs as a partial result of me giving your book to him for christmas a few years ago), and in the adventures that I am able to take my kids on now and in the true spirit of your gift to the world…” Jeff










200 thoughts on “Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Two…

  1. I second this! When my dad was visiting in April, I shared your book with him. He said your writing reminded him of Mark Twain. With a twinkle in his eye, he asked if he could come treasure hunting with me. We spent 3 days in Montana hiking around Glacier and celebrating Father’s Day. He is 74 years old. My mom can hardly walk, so he loved being able to hike out in the fresh air. This was a true gift. Thank you, Forrest.

  2. Forrest and Jeff – Thanks for sharing. So glad that the Chase has inspired your dad to write his memoirs, and glad that the Chase has brought your family closer together. That, in my opinion, is the greatest treasure of all. At times, I have had four generations of searchers out in the mountains of Wyoming – What a thrill. Best of luck to you Jeff, and hope you enjoy your Dad’s Memoir – JDA

  3. I’ll post here my thoughts from Jenny’s site regarding the time I got to spend with my own father, learning more about his childhood and family members I never got to meet:

    I have gone on searches with my wife and children, and my father.

    On one trip, my father and I were on our way out to our search area and my wife called – she had been in a car accident. We had to turn around and drive about 9 hours to where she was visiting family. She and the kids were all okay, but to take my mind off the stress of the situation I kept asking my dad about this childhood, growing up in Brooklyn, NY in the 40’s and 50’s.

    We talked about family members, and his memories and experiences. Things I had never heard before. He and I grew quite a bit closer on that trip and I will always treasure his recounting of those stories and the fact we got to spend that time together — even though we didn’t get to go search for the treasure!

  4. I’m listening. I had my parents write down their memories 25 years ago and turned it into a scrapbook.
    My mom died in 2000. My Dad is turning 90 this Nov. We’re taking the whole family back for the celebration.
    I still miss my mom. I call Dad often.

  5. The chase touches many lives in ways forrest could not have initially anticipated. I enjoy my time researching and learning things that could bring me closer to the trove. It is a welcome break from the work/life stresses many of us live today. The chase allows families to connect on a different level. Time spent researching, talking and interacting. There is so much to learn in the process of some of the solves. I truly enjoy the history lessons and love sharing them with my family. My mother, my husband and my children all enjoy the stories of “today’s exciting information”. I also love the way it makes a person think. I am very thankful to Mr. Fenn for the opportunity he has shared with so many people.

  6. I’m with you Forrest having lost both my parents within 6 months of each other this past summer. I’m beating myself up pretty good too..

  7. My dad left January 2015, pancreatic cancer. I took a very special memento of his with me on a recent hike, it was nice to have some feeling of his presence. I left it at my final destination as I know he would have loved the view, as well as what looked like a very promising seam to cast a fly. Grateful for the time he and I shared.

  8. I’m listening, and I agree with Jeff. You have had an immeasurable impact on many lives, mine included. If it weren’t for the chase, I dont know where I would be now.
    Thank you Jeff for sharing. Thank you Dal for posting.
    Mostly, thank you Forrest for making your mark on the world in such a wonderful way.

  9. My father passed in 1978 before I was old enough to have regrets, and my mother in 2004. I have no regrets for that because I never missed an opportunity to share my love for her, with her.

  10. Beautiful words Jeff.

    I would give anything for more time with my mom and my dad. There is nothing worse than a lifetime of regret.


  11. Anything that brings families together is a good thing. I know my family and I have had lots of fun searches together.

  12. Great reminder Forrest and Jeff!

    My mom recently retired and told me that she wants to move from her home in north Hollywood to somewhere quiet in Santa Fe. I think I’m going to give her a call and tell her I’ll go house hunting with her.

  13. That is a great story. I understand how he feels. This CHASE is something my family is doing together too. FF’s plan is wonderful in so many ways.

  14. Sooo true! I have three nephews (now 7, 12, and 17; with no real father, or any other real male role model in the picture). I shared TTotC with them several years ago. Then, the oldest wanted to start going on camping trips and having our own mini chases or “practice” treasure hunts. Now, we all go out camping several times a year; there is a lot of Native American arrowheads and stuff to find in our part of central Florida. We have all become very close. Great, great great memories! It has been a true gift.

  15. I got to meet my dad for the first time (as an adult) 2012. We went fishing together on lake Texoma, where he lived, and we talked about our regrets of years lost to time and pride. No fish were caught that day but there was a new lightness in the air. He passed within the year and now I have no regrets.

  16. I loved the stories my dad used to share. Like, the time he overheard his mother tell a friend she was getting him a Maroon’s sweater for Christmas. My dad was a big Montreal Maroon’s fan as a kid, and naturally assumed she was getting him a sweater from his beloved team, and bragged to all his friends. Christmas comes, and he got a maroon sweater. He was very disappointed as a kid, but loved telling that story as an adult. I should have asked him why….

  17. Me and my sisters took care of my parents up until they died I got my dad to write a few stories about his childhood a lot sounded the same as Forrest stories. Seems back then they were always chaseing chickens Daddy said he worked on a farm in Denver furring the depression and they made him pour B.B. s down the chickens throat to make them weigh more lol got more money he always felt guilty about that. I guess I’ll have to write there stories down for them I have them all in my head thanks for another scrapbook ole coot you are getting us all excited again

  18. I’m 68 my dad pasted 37 years ago last March 18, I miss him everyday and would give most anything to talk to him for a couple of hours. That got real close to where I live.

  19. You’ve brought me out from my blog hiatus with this one Forrest and Jeff. Thank you for sharing those thoughts.

    During a very traumatic and tragic time in my life, I was laid up in bed for several months. During this time, my father was my rock. He live far away – but he called me every day, and often several times a night, and we talked and talked. We talked about his life, our life, my life. We talked about silly stuff, serious stuff, mind bending stuff, and otherworldly stuff. We healed past wounds in our relationship and developed a new and much deeper understanding of each other.

    Shortly after this, my dad passed away.

    Although heartbroken still to this day, I also see that personal tragedy as one of the greatest blessings in my life now. Had it not been for that devastating series of events that laid me up, I wouldn’t have had the chance to spend all that wonderful time talking to and healing with my dad. I am the only one in my family at peace with it all.

    One of my core briefs is that tremendous joys are often cast in the darkest shadows. I am still learning to not be afraid of the dark shadows that life often casts, but when they come I have a foundation of faith to pull from in large part due to all the time I spent with my dad at the end of his life.

    My mom is 83, and her health and my stepdads health at 88 aren’t good. Although we email, text, and talk by phone, I know it is time for a visit. I have an elderly, dear friend that I hope to visit with soon as well. I shouldn’t put it off; nor should he. No regrets.

    Thanks for the inspiration to go see them and call them more.

  20. Jeff, That is a beautiful thing to hear. Time is truly fleet of foot and sneaks up on us all. The memories that you are making are irreplaceable and are treasure much more valuable than gold. I think Marcus Aurelius had it right long ago.

    “Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away. “

    Kind of melancholy, but no time spent with loved ones and family is wasted. Thank you for sharing with us!

  21. You see Forrest, in spite of the difficulties along the way the Chase really has turned out the way you’d envisioned!

  22. Family and faith are so very important. This is a difficult time for me and my family. My father passed some twenty years ago and just missed the birth of my daughter whose BD is the 5th. We so enjoyed sharing experiences skiing, camping, backpacking, fishing, and hiking in New Mexico and Colorado. My Dad would have loved the Chase and hopefully he is watching my personal enjoyment in it. Thank you Mr. Fenn for the reminders of great memories.

  23. The bottom line is family is the real treasure even if we all walk away never finding the gold we found a lot of great memories with our family’s searching camping rideing in the car for hours on end lol we all now have great stories to tell because of what the ole coot has given us Adventure of the thrill of the chase.

  24. My mom had a stroke nearly 10 yrs ago, my dad was 93 at the time, I moved in with him. By then it was too late to get stories, the stories from his childhood were told to me in my childhood. Long past. The one I’ll never forget, dad’s dad dug out a bunch of baby foxes from a den and housed them in the silo, well dad would catch a sick looking chicken and feed it to the foxes. After awhile the chickens weren’t looking too sick, but his mom wanted to know where the chickens were going..They had to give up their pet foxes. Dad died in 2012 at the age of 96, I have no regrets I was there til he died in his house in his own bed. I moved mom in with me, shes nearly 98 yrs. I keep her house so if the chance arises she’ll be able to go the same as my dad. No regrets.

  25. My relationship with my dad was mixed. He worked long hours on the swing shift 3-11 not getting home till near midnight then tending to the farm in the mornings before work. Most of the time he also worked weekends as well for the extra pay. For school I was on the bus at 7 am and up even earlier then to feed the animals and then in bed by around 10 or 11 at the latest in the evenings. So, I only knew him for a few hours on the weekends and he was always making us get up and work the farm with him. He was a grumpy stranger to me and It wasn’t a lovely family relationship.
    Then something strange happened, my dad got layed off. He didn’t stress about it either. Just kept working the farm and in the evenings we would go fishing together. We would fish and talk and It was the best of times as I finally got to know him. He got a new job in the fall and although he was again working that same late shift he did get more weekends off and we would still get to fish from time to time.
    My dad passed on many years ago but I know he would have loved the hunt. He and I shared a love of figuring things out. My own son and I have a much better relationship partly because we remember to do better for our own kids if we can help it. My kids got me the books for my birthday this year and I hope to take my son and daughter with me on an adventure soon that may involve a stop at a location I think matches the poem. Doesn’t really matter if we find it or not. It’s all about the thrill of the chase together.

  26. Wonderful gift back to you and your children… I wish I had recorded the stories of my parents…. A country boy that married a city girl during the Great Depression… and the survival of two large families immigrant families. Dad had a wonderful memory and was a great and gentle story teller who lost his mom at age 6, and survived childhood working in the coal mines from age 11 to 14 to support his siblings. I get so impatient with the whiners today.

  27. Forrest,
    I have made 28 trips to the Rocky Mountains in the chase and every step that I have taken my Dad (74 yrs. young) has also taken……. Thank You !

  28. I heard about TTOTC in 2012. My last Uncle on his side was a year away from dying and I didn’t know it. My Dad was 4 years away from dying I didn’t know it. One of my last of two aunties was a year away from dying and passed a little over a year ago. I went to New Mexico to “save” her from her financial situation and dementia. I stayed there for 7-8 months and hadn’t been there for 13 years. When I read Maj. Fenns Memoir I was so envious of all of the time he had spending summer after summer with family growing up. And then it hit me. I did the same thing. I spent nearly every summer in ABQ with my granny, aunts and Uncle. Then life happened and I had my own family to tend to. But I still live with regrets that I don’t think ever go away. TTOTC Gave me a new thirst for adventures again. It made me realize you can do it if you try. I especially enjoyed the story Maj. Fenn told about the lady who he had suggested doing paintings and selling them. She was able to make a living doing it. It inspired me to just start doing the things I love to do again. I don’t get to go BOTG looking for the Treasure chest like searchers out West do. But I think I have started to fill one of my own right where I am. It’s heart warming to hear stories from people having a positive experience from something so many people look passed.

  29. God is good, and His mercy endures forever.
    Thank you Jeff, for taking the time to be such a blessing to Forrest, and what a beautiful testimony you’ve now shared with us also, thank you both. Zeb and Tom

  30. I had a similar experience with my father and it took this exciting treasure hunt to get us both to toss aside false pride and have a normal relationship again, especially while on the phone. We might have talked an hour on the phone over ten years, but once I started the chase I would talk to him for hours, especially when I was BOTG in the Rockies and he was my wing-man for looking up maps, facts or answering my questions from his childhood. It was great to be able to ask questions about old cars, roads, and even colloquialisms that an older gentleman might use. For me and my father, the chase has been a blessing.

  31. Hi Forrest! I don’t have many regrets about my parents, but as my only son is in his senior year and preparing to leave for college, I realize, I wish I could live it all over again. to hold him as baby again would be so awesome. You know the kid, he is the one going to Harvard. I love that kid so much, I don’t want him to go!!!!

  32. Thanks Jeff and Mr. Fenn,
    Words of wisdom from two who know the secret. My father is with me every day, in spirit, somewhere on a banco wondering why. We always did think alike. I guess we’re all pretty lucky, when it comes down to it, to have great memories to share. Those that truly experience the wonders life has to offer even more so. After all it is a family affair, one big family affair. Someday we’ll all be sitting on a banco together somewhere, grinning from ear to ear, thinking about the culprit that started this big commotion. My guess is we’ll still be wearing our worn out boots, and won’t be wondering why. Got to go…time to call Mom.

    • Ahhh, Straw… beautiful sentiment. I have to go now too. Chopping onions over here

  33. I had a similar experience with my father and it took this exciting treasure hunt to get us both to toss aside false pride and have a normal relationship again, especially while on the phone. We might have talked an hour on the phone over ten years, but once I started the chase I would talk to him for hours, especially when I was BOTG in the Rockies and he was my wing-man for looking up maps, facts or answering my questions from his childhood. It was great to be able to ask questions about old cars, roads, and even colloquialisms that an older gentleman might use. For me and my father, the chase has been a blessing.

  34. Without a quick notation of what “them” means, one could read it as: I regret every one (of my parents). Just a thought as I read it while trying to listen well. I read at as excuses but that was how I was trained to read it. Doesn’t fit Mr. ff though as he seems to have adored his parents.

  35. It’s easier to look back at our mistakes. To bad there wasn’t a way to look forward 🙁
    I miss the small thing like my dad drinking all my offer

  36. Thus, more good things come from TTOTC. What a great, life-supporting adventure you have given to everyone who wishes to listen.

  37. To all you mothers out there that nurtured us for many months in your belly after our fathers sperm helped create us and bring us to life. It has been a thankless chore at times but without you, there would be none of us. Thank you thru good and bad.

    “For every beginning there must be an end and a new beginning”

    The gift of life as a human on this planet in this solar system in this universe may never be fully understood or explained but I can say one thing. It would never happened without our parents whoever they are.

  38. TTOTC for me has been a great experience. It got my wife and I off of our cozy chairs into nature. Was my wife’s first time seeing the mountains. She is anxious to visit the mountains again hopefully next year. Couldn’t think of a better way to spend time with my wife than adventuring with a possibility of finding the chest!! Sadly most people are too busy to experience the real thrills in life. I spend a lot of hours researching the Chase and it is chock full of important life lessons. Especially if you have imagination and find a good blaze! Family comes first always. Thank you Forrest and family! ..also anyone else in the Chase! God bless!

    • The chase has been an amazing adventure and I have gained a lot of respect for the searchers on here. Family should definitely come first. I overtapped myself this summer but saw some amazing new places but for now rest and family are my priority while I try to take time to focus on getting to that final location. Plus I have to save up to be able to do another BOTG as I need new tires before winter hits. Enjoyed reading your post Laddyaddy.

  39. Forrest and Jeff~ I wish I could tell a heartfelt story about growing up, but it was not that way for me. All I wanted to do is make my dad proud of me, that’s all. Now, both my parents are in there late 80s and I find it so hard to connect with them. If I don’t call, they won’t call me, and I don’t have much to say. My mother has dementia and my father is getting weak. He loves my mother so much, married for over 60 years. The song “Cats in the cradle” explains our relationship well. I have a 13-year-old son named Reagan and I promise to myself I would break the pattern, and I did. I do know that both my parents did the best they could with what they had… It was different back then. I will always love them. Thanks for the post I am thinking.

      • Paul,
        I like your honesty and your heart. And I can tell your son will grow up more aware of how proud he is to have you than concerned about a need to make you proud of him. I also enjoy your energy, optimism and perspective.

        • In 2002 I was up at my cabin In the Pecos wilderness. Unknowingly I acquired a blood clot from my return fright from South Africa. On Father’s Day June 16, 2002 it broke and gave me a double PE. It was just me and my dog Sheba. On Wednesday evening I was found in a comma. I was brought to St Francis hospital in Santa Fe in vary critical condition. On the way to the hospital I was told that I flat lined (NDE) for more than 10min. The Dr. told my parents I will most likely not make it thought the evening and if I did I would be a vegetable on a dialysis machine. After coming out of the coma 2 week later I was put in a room that was next to Tommy Hicks wife who was dying of cancer. My father and tommy became good friends. My father would come in my room not to see how I was doing but to give me updates on how Mrs. Hicks was doing. How do you think that made me feel? Synchronicity? I wonder if Forrest was up there to visit Mrs. Hicks from June-July 2002. I sure would like to know, it would answer a lot about what I feel? My father is a good man and I love him much. Maybe he did that because he could not handle his son almost dyeing. That is what I am going to believe.

          After reading the other posts I have been inspired. I am going to go by my parents and tell them how much I love them and more, with no expectations.

          • Wow, Paul. I get it more than I can and should express here.

            I also know St. Francis Hospital well – it is where my father died.

            Blessings to you as well.

            I believe every living thing does the very best it can with what it has to work with. Our parents especially deserve this acceptance imo. So do all of us.

          • Twingem,
            Yes, I get it and it is hard to express. I wanted to tell the hospital staff what was going on with me, but did not want to be taken away in a straight jacket.

  40. If we could save time in a bottle…and take a tip now and then…oh what joy on the morrow while getting tipsy with loved ones and friends.

    Yesterday while leading the pack in line at market getting those essentials that hermits need like pancake mix, toilet paper, and wildbird seed I glanced behind me to see another old crusty soul. I had to do a double take. He looked at me and did the same.

    Low and behold it was my running buddy from grade school…we had not seen each other in years upon years (both of us on the backside of sixty).

    We exchanged phone numbers and are planning a day to go fishing. This will be a hoot to see which one of us is still the better liar.

    Thank You Forrest….keep those cards and letters coming!

  41. Thanks Forrest and Jeff,

    I like to think that the thrill of the chase has been for me what you intended for everyone who has been involved in it. It’s brought my family closer. My parents have been quite into the chase and experience it through the stories my wife and I share with them. My wife, son and I have made some great timeless memories.

    Thanks again, Ron.

  42. Wish I could turn the hands of time back. My Dad passed away a relatively young man. We had our share of adventures and I treasure every single one of them.

    Nice little post.



  43. My father is two months younger than Forrest. And like so much of that generation has the same drive and work ethic as Forrest. I travel 8 hours now to visit, usually every three months. They are both struggling with a few health issues, but just celebrated 68 years together. My mother is slightly interested in the Chase but probably thinks I am a little irresponsible to spend so much time and money on it. My Dad has lost too much of his ability to comprehend, but would have definitely thought of me foolish.

    My constant companion on my trips, and while daydreaming about the chase is my Grandfather, in spirit. He was my grandfather through marriage, the original died when my father was young. But I could not have picked a better person for the job. Like me, he was born loving wilderness adventure. They lived west, 2 days drive, in New Mexico. I spent a summer with them in 1973.
    I go back to that time and place whenever I smell pipe smoke like that he smoked. Smells trigger memories best.
    He would have loved this Chase, absolutely loved it. I would lay in bed at night in their back bedroom and read his old Lost Treasure magazines. We would go off wandering the mountains collecting old mining artifacts, agates, Indian artifacts, fossils, you name it.
    We roamed over an ancient Mogollon village on the Gila and after crossing paths again he pulled a nice greenstone axe from his pocket and gave it to me. Looking back on that day I believe he carried that axe in, having found it years before, but wanted to give it to me there.

    I was able to make a search, of sorts, with my son. Once there it evolved into a hiking and flyfishing trip, but time we will always cherish. Would not have happened without the Chase.

  44. My mom passed away in the spring of 2016. I had put a lot of energy into taking care of her at the end of her days. I had a lot of hidden anxiety and nervous energy that I no longer had an outlet for. I had heard about the Chase in 2013 but never went past a few hours of research. I found myself longing for a new focus. After a few long weekends of research, I launched my first BOTG Labor Day weekend 2016. It was of course unsuccessful, but I felt a strong draw to return. I went again October 2016, but this time I was alone. I found a wonderful “decharging” of my nervous energy. I felt like the Earth itself was siphoning away my anxiety. And then on the third day while wandering around, I found myself sobbing. It surprised me. I was balling my eyes out and I wasn’t sure why. In retrospect, my alone time BOTG experience allowed me to ground myself enough to properly mourn the loss of my mom. I found peace.

  45. F, Jeff’s words ring loud and clear for me and my family. The Chase has been the adventure of a lifetime and we have strengthened our family ties in many ways. All 28 of us finally took that family summer vacation we had talked about for years. Other searching trips have also been unforgettable bonding experiences with my wife and kids, and my younger adult brothers. They were in elementary and the middle school when I left for the Army (Brent, you are quite a character!)… As you wrote in TFTW, the Treasure is where you find it. I agree with you, family really is golden and time together is precious. In the words of Robert Frost “Nothing gold can stay.”

  46. Thanks for all the amazing stories!

    My Dad was a great guy. He worked hard throughout his life to take care of his family and he always made the time to ensure my childhood was filled with more fun than his was.

    He taught me to golf and fish. Treasured memories from my childhood include the times he’d pull me from school to go steelheading. I don’t recall the lessons I missed but I’ll never forget our adventures on the rivers. He loved to hear a reel scream. He passed on 5 years ago and I miss him a lot.

  47. Unfortunately I had a dad but not a father, my mother had to take his place. I will forever love and cherish her she is a strong beautiful lady, and is so helpful in what she can do for the family.
    I really feel sorry for her due to what she has gone thru in life, I think she she deserves the very best.
    Her and I are very close and will always be.
    We should all be there for our parents to love respect them, and give them your Time.
    If my mom wrote her memoir it would be the size of a large dictionary.

    I sure have enjoyed the Thrill of a Chase!!!
    And I’m listening!!! ❤️

  48. After a long 3 day drive, my dad and I reached the search spot only to come up with squat. We turned and headed for home when about an hour away from where we were… I had an epiphany! You guessed it…squat. Once more we turned and headed for home when about an hour away…I had another epiphany!! Yeah, yeah…squat! But the treasure of this story is his encouragement to me, to return again for the third time, considering I felt about as confident as a rollie pollie attempting to cross a steamroller factory floor.

    When discussing plans prior to each of our 6 trips(currently on one now), his standard reply has been “All I need is twenty minutes to pack my bag”! I think he ‘secretly’ just likes going because he knows we’ll be stopping at Wall Drug for their homemade doughnuts! : )

    I think my parents are the GREATEST people walking the face of the earth! Thanks Forrest, for some truly memorable Sunday dinner conversations!

    • P.S.- myself

      I just wish everyone in the world had reason to feel the same way as I do!

  49. Thank you Forrest and Jeff,

    I want to urge everyone to avoid regret; my father just passed away suddenly yesterday and I’m packing now for the trip home for the funeral. The past 24 hours has been a flood of memories–the impact not yet fully felt. My fondest memories were the times we spent together fishing, hunting, trapping, and laughing. You just can’t keep a good handlebar mustache down!

    Everyone will receive an extra tight hug tomorrow. Make the effort; our time is short.

    • Thank you Twingem, Argillite, and Deano Bravo. I learned things about him while there that I never knew before–his memories found in envelopes secreted away. A picture of him in Turkish attire from the early 60s while serving in the Army was priceless; as were notes/pictures from a long ago romantic interest.

      I learned it’s important to pry. Ask your parents for their memories–for things they haven’t already shared.

      • Craig,
        When my dad died we were cleaning out his erea by the kitchen table where he spent many hours a day due to emphysema. We found numerous notes of “I You” to my mom as well as other personal items.

        I wish you well. Good luck with the Chase! We all know they’re watching and cheering us on.

  50. I’ve been fortunate to spend a nice amount of time with my parents this summer and will get to spend time with my 92 year old grandfather, a WWII vet and a farmer at heart, next month.

  51. I hear you well Forrest. Each of us will never do everything we would like or should do. Life gets in the way and usually not by accident. I’m sure there are many times your father would like to have back. You are both remarkable men that gave more than you will ever know.
    I’m 67 now. At age 60 I quit my job and moved in with my parents to care for my dad the last 6 months of his life. It was painful, depressing, extremely personal but I will never regret keeping him out of a nursing home and letting him die in his own bed. I continue to be my moms caretaker. I’m single and my 5 children are grown , each living their own lives. I never dreamed my own life would end up like this. Mom has dementia bad and I cant honestly say much of it has been enjoyable. But it is meaningful and they are worth it. This past 2 years TTOTC has been a pleasant distraction for me. I can actually get excited about my solve and really hope I can make time for a trip to Wyoming. We haven’t met and probably wont, but you have made a difference in my life and added light within my shadows. For that I am thankful.

  52. I’m listening. 🙂

    Feeling guilty is just a bye product of love.

    Hugs for you Mr. Fenn ~

  53. My Dad passed away several years ago after a battle with cancer. He farmed his entire life, born and died in the same house. After l left for a few years ( and learned I didn’t know everything), I had great respect for what he did on a small farm to raise 7 kids. Near the end of his battle I put him on a tractor and drove him all over the farm to check on things. We ran a lot of electric fence and a wire that went high above a gate had come off an insulator. He raised me up in the bucket about 15 feet off the ground so I could fix it. He was pretty shaky by that time, but trust was implicit.
    The smile and contentment he had when we got back I’ll never forget. He knew I was coming home and I talked with him one last time. A neighbor was talking to my Mom in the other room and he died holding my hand. RIP a great father.

  54. I am fortunate that both my parents while in their 80s are still going strong and don’t live too far. I don’t remember my grandparents as they passed before I was five. I have photos of them with me and I would have liked to have known them. My father is continuing treatments for cancer that is in remission and we are hopeful it stays that way. I need to make an effort to spend more time with both of them or I surely will regret it.

  55. Forrest i have to give up the chase, i dont want my kids to wish they could have spent more time with there dad. I dont know what to do with the book i found , i suppose i can burn it. Maybe someday ill put it back where i found it. That sounds RIght. Not till next summer though.

    Thank you and take care.

  56. I took my mother and father to England last year so that they could visit each of their ancestors origins. My mother’s family is from Bath, and my fathers from Hitchin (I can’t make this stuff up). I was unemployed and living off of my savings at the time, but they are very senior and I felt like it was now or posibly not later. I’ll never forget the special moments that seemed to replay on that trip as I watched them fantasize about being witness to marrige cerimonies and birth blessings that happened many centuries ago. It’s buned into my memory forever.

  57. My mother just passed away after 90 terrific years of life. I always thought that if I were lucky enough to find this treasure, I’d show up on her doorstep with the chest, sit down and tell her the whole story before I let anyone else know about it. She taught me the important lessons in life, like self-reliance, self-confidence, and doing the best you could with the gifts God gave you. She loved the idea of the treasure hunt; I wish I could have held up my end.

    • You did hold up your end. You are a jewel in her treasure chest, fit for a crown, every time you visited, she heard a tale and held a treasure.

      • Agreed Indiana. The “riches new and old” are our memories, and we CAN take those with us!

        @Spoon – As long as you don’t let go, you’ll always hold up your end 🙂

  58. Oh Forrest,
    You certainly know how to go straight to the heart of the matter, don’t you. We will talk about George after I stop crying. Today’s the day Charlie hung himself in the basement and shattered our family seemingly forever. Mom went to bed and never got up and died of a broken heart a few months later. All good intentions of reclaiming anything of what my father built seems lost as the house and land were sold and Dad died in the nursing home earlier this year. And no, I didn’t say goodbye. It was the whole reason I became involved in the get him out of the nursing home and give him the dignity of a graceful death. So now I am in the limbo place reaching for my incredible children who are struggling to establish themselves in a world where even my dying would cost them money. And I still have nothing and no place to give them. The worst is that is was my fault all along. So, by all means people realize the only treasure you need is the one God gave you and that is your family no matter what shape or form it may be in. Forrest, even though I sometimes think you are a tricky old Loki and not everything about my experiences have been pleasant, it doesn’t change the coordinate in my heart that says ‘Thank you’. I left some real trauma on the back steps of the J.C.Penney building that has to be released today. So I will get back with you soon.

  59. I believe I hear you loud and clear. Now that my parents are gone, Mom in 2014 and Dad in 2017, the guilt I feel, for not being there for them more then I was, is sometimes overwhelming. But then I hear my Mom saying to me, ” Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep on plodding.” She told me that every time I talked to her in those last years, before she forgot almost everything. I learned a great deal from my parents and am grateful for their glorious wisdom. I would not have survived this long without it. Honoring them is my next step.

  60. I grew up with a father and brother who loved camping and the rocky mountains who both died too young. I wanted to be a mountain man. I loved reading western novels. I inherited my grandfather’s rocky mountain treasure books. When my first child was born, we started our trips to national parks and national forests. It was not easy at first. Sometimes I would carry two and hold the hand of a third and we stopped after 4 successful C sections in 6 years in between my wife running marathons. By the time each child was three they could climb all 600 granite steps at Yosemite falls on their own. We visited and hiked all the trails and river at Zion, Bryce, Cedar Breaks, Capitol Reef, Grand Escalante Staircase, Cascade, Mammoth. We jumped in waterfalls, cooked marshmallows, went river rafting, went on night hikes and stargazing and attended Shakespeare plays. We exhausted ourselves on hikes and bikes and ate fun meals and ice cream in meadows. We hiked in thunderstorms, played in the snow and picked apples and grew gardens and fruit trees. This summer, with my oldest son at college, we finally made it to Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Our car engine failed and we had to limp home without trying to solve the Fenn poem that I brought with me. Two weeks later, I sat down and within an hour had a solve. My parents and siblings have had many tragedies and I have two sisters in crises now who really need help in addition to more looming college tuition we have not been able to save for. Three quick marathon exhausting trips in three months sleeping in cars has not yielded the treasure, but I believe I have now identified a single clue that I got wrong thanks to my wife who called and told me to look again at the map (I was too tired to listen to my better half). On the way home from the airport Monday I picked up my youngest from soccer practice, and he asked if I found the treasure and told me I should have stayed until I could think it through and solve it. I told him I already have my treasure.

  61. I feel the same. Found out my mum has cancer. I’ve been rubbish when it comes to spending time with my parents.

  62. Listening? It’s difficult to ignore the cacophony of ack-ack fire – despite best intentions!

    There are both heart-warming and gut-wrenching stories here. Thanks to all who shared.

    The troubled relationship I had with my own parents has been partially healed through the love freely given by my wonderful mother-in-law, now 92. It is sad that today we are separated by 5000 miles of ocean and a continent, but Skype is a blessing.

    For many, the Chase has clearly been instrumental in bringing their families closer together, and long may that continue. For others, perhaps those of us less grounded, it can be a double-edged sword. Maybe, if we’re wise, it can help us to recognize what we need to do to bring our own lives back into balance. But nothing can ever replace strong and loving familial bonds.

  63. Thank you Jeff and Forrest,

    This has been a tough and heartfelt scrap book to read to say the least. Honestly, I’m very sorry for everyone’s loss. Losing my parents has been the hardest thing so far in my life to deal with. I miss them each and every day. I traveled just under 400 miles every weekend but 3 for five years just to spend time with them. Anything they needed done around the house I did it with no questions asked. My dad died in 2006 of Emphysema and my mother in 2012 of COPD…both on September 3rd.

    They were my hero’s. They both got to die in the house we grew up in and built from the blueprints that dad drew up…50 x 30 with full basement. Everyone chipped in and at age 8, I learned how to swing a hammer and drive a nail. Dad was a machinist and taught himself geometry at age 55 because it’s what the job called for. His last 5 years was spent in the living room recliner because he was unable to walk 20 feet for any reason. I was there and watched him trying to take his last breaths. It wasn’t pleasant but I let him know it was 1:00pm on a Sunday as his life slipped away. He was in a coma for 4 days before he passed so I felt a need to let him know what time it was and what day it was. He heard me and I’m sure he appreciated knowing that little piece of information. He was funny like that. He was my hero.

    Mom was the neighborhood doctor. If anybody got cut or scraped up during a neighborhood football game or riding a bike they would run into the house and mom would clean it up and apply the mercurochrome and bandage and make it better. She took over for our Mickey Mantle baseball team for most of the season when our coach passed away. She was our biggest fan and could always be heard at any of our sporting events. She too went into a coma for 2 days before passing. I was holding her hand when she passed and didn’t let go until 45 minutes later when they loaded her into the body bag. I called her every day, many times more than once or thrice just to talk and hear her voice. For weeks after she passed I went to pick up my phone to call my mom out of habit, only to quickly realize the slap of reality. I did leave a few voice mails for her though…She was my hero. I miss her and dad daily.

    With that said, I am glad that I have no more parents to bury because I never want to go through that pain ever again. As for regrets, many. As for doing the right thing for them, none.

    Forrest, we all had better things to do than hang out with our parents. We know they loved us unconditionally and are looking down smiling and cackling. I know they are having a blast watching me try to find some silly little chest in the rocky mountains.

    Thank you all so much for helping me realize that today most every one of us has something in common, or will have. I hear you Forrest and so do your parents. Thank you for the Chase and God Bless You!

  64. Mr. Fenn,

    At age 53 and with my father and mother both gone for 9 and 15 years respectively, I find myself telling anyone who will listen and still has at least one parent.

    1. Don’t stop them when they tell the same story over and over again. Just smile and imagine you are hearing it for the first time because one day you will yearn to hear their voices again.
    2. As you get older, you will switch from thinking you were a better parent to how did they do such a wonderful job with so many disadvantages.
    3. Lastly, make the most of the time you have with your parents, time will reveal they were smarter, wiser, and always teaching even when we didn’t know it.

    Jeff, thanks for sharing your story. I hope everyone’s heartfelt responses inspire others to make the most of their opportunities. Cheers, J.O.

  65. Nicely done Forrest,

    You seen to have touched a special place in searchers hearts. I see blog names on here that I have not seen before and even seasoned searchers that don’t post often writing their special comments. You know how to bring and understanding that we are real people here, not just searchers chasing your rainbow.

    My parents are long gone and I carry special memories of them, but more so I try to instill in my son and granddaughter my life experiences so they can chose to challenge them or make there own direction, and I hope the do the latter.

    Thank you Forrest for your memories, it is nice to see how other lives compare to our own.


  66. Dad was a famous grudge holder. Sixty years was nothing to him. He and Beth -both strong personalities- didn’t get along, but Jane’s birth brought them together. When Jane wasn’t nursing or in motion she was screaming. Dad put her in a stroller and pushed her up and down the farm road . I don’t know how many miles they went together, but it was in the hundreds-

  67. Man, what a first year. Roaming north from the south central gulf coast of Texas into the Rocky’s for the first times presented some hurdles but we got through alright. Searched some in Montana and Wyoming on the ground and found some promising spots to check out later in Colorado and New Mexico. My co pilot for the expedition brought along what has to be the youngest member of the Fenn search community to date. At only 2 months, Kaiden put in the seat time and what a trooper. Got pics of us with the buffalo being frisky in April. Too bad we didn’t know about this web site then, we would have known that things hadn’t thawed at the search site yet. A couple of young ladies got hung up trying to jump a snow bank going down to the Upper Mesa Falls. We broke out the winch and straps and put the old 1 ton to work. My old truck had no problem getting down there so we got pics there too (us and our new friends). That is a special place, and seeing it with snow and ice around it with only a hand full of folks around… Awesome. The poem and some good maps, this is the best recipe I have found for a lifetime of true adventure. Thanks Bubba.

      • I’m going to enjoy this as long as it lasts. What a deal. Total immersion in nature and adventure with the possability of getting ritch to boot. Yep, what a deal_!!!

        • My dad was not around to guide the early years of our family years due to a traveling job (or something,) so as the oldest of four, I learned to hunt the small game that roamed the 30 acre patch we called home so we had something to go with the biscuits and gravy. He was so impressed when he came home that he gave me a .22 to use in place of my old Daisy. I wouldn’t get but one bullet at a time though. I’ll never forget the look on his dumb face when I came in with two squirls.

  68. Mr, F. I understand why you want to spend as much time with your family. For people, involved in the chase its brought families closer and that has to be a treasure in itself. Thanks, Paul.

  69. On Veterans Day we get to go visit my wife’s dad, a former Vietnam veteran who we just found on August 4th through DNA match. A lot of Amerasian children lost track of their biological fathers after the War. I love that guy for accepting a 50 year old daughter with open arms. We call him cool Dad 🙂

    • YEA for your “Cool Dad”. About three years ago, a son that I did not know I had, contacted me. Probably one of the happiest moments of my life. Nice to “Find a lost son” when you are 73 years old. 🙂 JDA

      • Happy you welcomed your son too! It is very meaningful to have Dads that care to listen and make time their kids. Can you believe that is the single and only requirement for a cool Dad? True story….Cheers to you and yours JDA

  70. Great sentiment Forrest. Not soon after I read your book and took to my first search, my dad was diagnosed with Cancer. We hadn’t talked much since he and my mom got divorced, because of how he handled everything. Not long after he was diagnosed with cancer I got to take him flying in my plane. After that I was with him every time he went into the hospital and was able to be with him when he passed last November.

  71. I dragged my parents, retired Seniors, to New Mexico for a vacation last Spring.
    I would not have picked that state, if it were not for The Thrill of the Chase.
    We had a blast!!!!!!!

  72. The reality of life is that when we are young and busy with our careers, young families and obligations; that is the time our parents often slip away. I don’t recall anyone on their deathbed telling me…”I should have spent more time at the office”, or “I could have done better on that project”

    On the contrary, they always speak of family….

    Best regards to all;


  73. Thank you Forrest and Jeff.

    This also serves as a good reminder for us as parents to be more engaged with our children, especially in today’s digital age.

  74. Parents are irreplaceable, once they are gone, all we have are memories. Make your memories for your own children, so that they will remember you!

  75. I agree with both of you. Time flies by way too quickly. Even if you can’t spend a day with your folks, find a way to spend some quality time with them. You can make memories this way too.


  76. For those that are listening…
    “Where” to begin? I began this particular journey about 25 months ago. One of my motivations is the “family tree” so to speak. Both backwards and forwards. Past generations, future generations, the family lines intersecting with me. I enjoy recollecting family memories, old memories as to those that have passed, and new memories with my family, including ttotc. None of us are perfect, and so I’ve learned from my family, both good and not so good, and I’ve tried to become a better work in progress through it all.

    T.S. I am a gut feeling listener. My instincts tell me I’ve listened quite well to Mr. Fenn, and to a certain extent, the community. I am humbled by all of this, and it will probably take me the rest of my lifetime to fully process this experience.

    • Soulstice;

      I love your moniker! I for one am listening. Welcome. One never knows what one will find once one starts looking into their roots. Good luck – JDA

  77. Hey Forrest, I’ve been catching up on your posts. I’m enjoying all of them.

    This post reminds a guy that time goes by so fast and it’s wise to slow down and remember what is truly important in life. I’m hoping I don’t have to be away from family for such long stretches.

    Rich W

  78. Both my parents are gone now; my dad, nearly 3 years ago and my mom, not quite 3 months ago. Dad was 82 and mom was 85. Somehow, I feel their presence every day, guiding me in ways they were not able before they passed. Life can bring many twists and turns – highs and lows – but, as always, their love found a way. Even now.

    Mr. Fenn, I’ve felt their presence when I’ve hiked to what I now refer to as “our special spot”.

    Warm Regards,

  79. My failures as a daughter haunt me everyday. I lost both of my parents way too soon. I wish I could find anything about myself as a daughter that made me smile. It’s a tough lesson to not only learn but to live with.

    I think this is amazing I wish my parents were still here to share this adventure with me I would give anything for a do over

    • KD;

      If my 76 years have taught me anything, it is that we can only live today. We can only do our very best to live this day as best we can, hurting neither ourselves, nor those around us. Look around you. Is there someone who needs a smile, a word of encouragement,? Will a dollar or two help the person on a corner more than it will help you? We can not change yesterday, but we CAN make today a better day for someone else – and in-turn make it a better day for our self. Just the words of an old fool – JDA

  80. Well, Forrest. I make the 400+ mile trip to see my parents every 6-8 weeks whether they want me to or not! Both parents are octogenarians and one is also an oxygenarian (dumb nursing joke). I treasure their stories and time together.

    I’m listening and thinking. In deep gratitude for all I have in this world, including my parents and your solid advice.


  81. I am listening… my mom died when I was 14 years old… cancer took her away from me.

    I held her hand for over a year and watched her suffer and die! I did not miss a moment, I was there all the time… watching movies on her beloved sofa! Today I forgot the sound of her voice, but I didn’t ever forget the sound of her laughter! It was unique and funny and I still giggle when I think of her laughing at Jerry Lewis or Louis de Funes! My elder brother and sister, they were 20 and 21 at that time and they did not come home for visits very often. Today I know both are missing her as well and both are regretting not to have spent the precious time with her like I did… those are the stories life is telling! We all have something to share and it is a nice idea to do it right here!

    I enjoyed reading all your comments here! Thank you all! Thank you, Forrest!

  82. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, positively impacted by the chase. Like father, like son.

  83. I love both of my parents, they divorced when I was 11. One went one way, one went the other….I bounced between them both. Mom is now gone, liver cancer got her at 59. My dad is 83, my stepdad 82…both served, not only our country, but for mom. Time is short…when I can spend time with family, I am there.
    Thanks Forrest for reminding us how precious our parents are.

  84. Its funny how many people think your talking to them every time you post a SB.
    The proceedings or transactions of a learned society. My parents are extremely hard workers. My father passed away in 86, at the age of 52. He chocked on a peace of stake. It took me a long time, i think around 9 years before I could eat stake again. Back in the day he was a timorous person and loved the hills. He could go up on any hill and look at all the trees and tell you what kind they were just by the bark. Yup you guest it, he bought and sold timber.
    My mom is a jollity of a woman and has been there for us all though out the years. Now at 84 this year. Her health is going down hill pretty fast. Four years ago she had a stroke and her memories are not like they were. she wants to move into a nursing home where she can be taken care of with out being a burden on her kids. Not if I can help it, she wont. I keep telling her, that a close family will help, defend and take care of each other regardless of oneself. But about 9 mins later I have to repeat myself . I know she listens but like sometimes like kids she just doesn’t hear me.
    Thank you FF for posting this.
    PS June is a beautiful month and we all look forward to getting back out there.

  85. Listening! On 11-2-2016 my Dad left this world as I held his hand. We had so many wonderful times in the mountains throughout my childhood. He tried to write down as many stories as he could recall of what the two previous generations had told, but my grandparents are long gone and so are most of their stories.
    I read what John Jarvie wrote which was later added to his tombstone:
    “Here in this world where life and death are equal kings, all should be brave enough to meet what all have met—from the wondrous tree of life the buds and blossoms fall with ripened fruit and in the common bed of earth patriarchs and babes sleep side by side. It may be that death gives all there is of worth to life. If those who press and strain against our hearts could never die perhaps that love would wither from the earth. Maybe a common faith treads from out the paths between our hearts the weeds of selfishness and I should rather live and love where death is king than have eternal life where love is not. Another life is naught unless we know and love again the ones who love us here.
    The largest and nobler faith in all that is and is to be, tells us that death even at its worst is only perfect rest—we have no fear; we all are children of the same mother and the same fate awaits us all. We, too, have our religion and it is this: ‘Help for the living, Hope for the dead’.”
    Well said, John Jarvie! Smartblonde

  86. Thank you FF! I did not fail the test, I just found 100 ways of doing it wrong..

    My mother and I just had an awesome 2-3 weeks exploring the beautiful mid-west. We went to Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone, Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon.. we both felt that we could have spent 2-3 weeks at each location.. there is so much to see and doing all of that in a short amount of time does it no justice.

    When we got to Gardiner, I said let’s check out the area I believe Indulgence is. It was late afternoon on a Sunday.. higher altitudes are not to be taken lightly.. every step is like a hammer inside your body! But we got to the trailhead and Mama said let’s go back, the 1 mile we walked to the area we just wanted to view was enough enjoyment for that moment.. well, on the way back to the truck we came across a traveler we both did not expect considering it was not there on the way to the trailhead.. I nearly stepped on a rattlesnake spread across the road and both of us mistook it for a stick.. if I didn’t retract my foot in time, I would have certainly stepped on it and my mother was 6inches to a foot away from its head.. I was absolutely mortified! To travel all the way from North Carolina looking for hidden treasure and then my mom nearly gets bit by a rattlesnake.. I was going to kill the snake but my mom said “don’t kill it, God will thank you for not harming nature”…. and I can’t stop thinking about that moment.. no amount of gold or money is worth my Moms life! I let go of it at that moment.. I went as far as I could go the next day(alone) and I didn’t come in contact with any wildlife.. the rest of the trip I was doing my best not to be maniacal about it all but I have my mother and that is worth more then gold!

    I never needed incentive to spend time with my Mom or go all the way to Gardiner but I thank FF for leading me in the special direction and leaving me with beautiful memories of a summer I will never forget..

  87. Solitude is what I appreciate most about the thrill of the chase. I worry at times that, when the chase is over, I will have to sneak away from others to achieve the solitude for which I long. I long to watch a Dancing With The Stars solo. How will I ever get to go solo? I guess that I can have an awkward envy of a fly. To be able to take a solo flight on a whim up to the highway in the sky to reach a towering height sounds fun to me. I like to think that you have lived the life that I would have liked to live, f. Your search for Indulgence has of them times given me emotions which I find difficult to put into words. Soon, I will find time to view a satisfying dance and smile. Thank you, f, for the opportunity.

  88. I regret not spending more time with my Great Grandmother. What an exceptional woman she was, a real mountain woman of her day, and the kindest person I have ever known. She died while I was on my way to the desert. My all expenses paid trip courtesy of some distant uncle that I never met. I felt guilty about leaving my party behind so I never attended her funeral. Might have been the worst decision I ever made.

    She passed on a great love of the untamed wilderness to my dad, and then my dad to me. I just love how a simple legacy can be passed down like that. Something tells me she would approve of what we are doing here.

  89. What touching responses. It’s pretty obvious from hearing from Mr. Fenn and the countless bloggers that anyone can relate to the P.S. It’s been many years now since I lost my father but time will never erase what I learned from him. He was the epitome of “never give up” and “never stop learning”. He was my fishing buddy, my search partner, and I spent many summers (and weekends) working with him in the woods. He was a successful land developer and logger and when he found himself in the middle of a legal quandary with some unscrupulous lawyers, he taught himself law…. and represented himself in the Superior Court, Appellate Court, and State Supreme Court, and nearly always won his cases. He was amazing. I was a girl, but, boy, let me tell you, gender mattered nothing to him. He taught me to buck trees and set chokers, how to drive the D8 and TD-25. Gender didn’t save me from having to split firewood or spare me from having to haul and then stack it. He taught me to type on a manual typewriter and all about geology and law and the bogs of Ireland, and when I became a teenager and started dating, he’d bid me a good time, smile, and remind me that “nobody will buy the cow if you give the milk away for free” :). He was so funny and generous and encouraging, so curious and adventurous, so willing to take chances and so eager to share the rewards, whether in experience or other, with anyone he met. My biggest regret is taking him for granted…. he was my Superman and was never supposed to leave. There was always supposed to be that next visit, that shared experience, that tidbit of advice.
    Of all his wonderful traits, it was his deep-rooted interest in facing challenges, in searching and solving and finding that I admired most. He told me once that searching, whether while rock hounding, or treasure hunting, or clam digging, or hunting for water with a water witch, whatever, gave his heart a little flutter, that it made it feel young again. I agree wholeheartedly and am so thankful to my Dad for passing that flutter on to me, and to Mr. Fenn and his challenge for allowing me to stay young at heart.

  90. The chase is a game and probably should not be the most important thing in anyone’s life. This life gives us one shot at a time. Family’s need company, people need help, animals need friends. Choose wisely all, and bring a smile to your end. g

  91. I’m listening deeply… and I like this one: “The more we love the more we lose. The more we lose the more we learn. The more we learn the more we love. It comes full circle. Life is the school, love is the lesson. We cannot lose.”
    ― Kate McGahan

    I suspect your parents would have agreed? Love always…

  92. In 1989 Cancer got my mother at age 53, we shared the same birthday for 28 years (including the 0 year). Before she died I told her she could make it rain on our birthday to let me know she was ok in Heaven. It rains every year on our birthday since. My father died at 67 in 2000 from a sloppy hospital mistake. I had been taught to be an electrician by my father and was a pretty good long distance swimmer like him. My dad had a BB gun too, but he shot the bus driver with it instead of meadowlarks. Seems every weekend we’d go fishing in his aluminum boat on San Francisco Bay for Striped Bass and we each get 3 big 34 inch Bass. One day we flipped on the bay and had to be pulled back to Coyote Point.

    • Bill I hear you. My Dad showed me how to wire a hot outlet. He has ALS and I spend as much time with him as possible. We went fishing once and a buddy’s canoe went over and we went to pull them out and I still see him as a hero. He doesn’t even remember the trip.

      I watch my mom care for him and so whenever I have the chance to make him a cup of coffee, I take it.
      Take the time you get with the ones you got.

  93. Grew up with out a dad basically and my mom died when i was 16 I had family. I tried to make a relationship with him after I was a man, but he disappeared again. We get along and I miss him and my mom. I Will spend time with my children.
    my dad and i were camping when i was 5, i wanted a light to see him by, so he took a stick of deodorant and a cotton string and we had a “candle” macgyver style. we woke up to a small burn spot in the bottom of the tent, we still laugh about it, and it was the first time i saw and understood it was the “wax” burning. He lite a fire in me to Solve problems by understanding the value of what you have, imagination.
    thank you and i figured i should post something Forrest Fenn asked us to.

  94. Although my Dad was stationed in PEI for part of WWII, I don’t think he ever made it over the border. If things had turned out differently, maybe he could have settled in Scranton – he might have enjoyed living in the city where The Office was filmed.

    I’ve a funny feeling that that was where I stopped at a secondhand bike store back in the ’80s, and the owner asked me where I was from. “England,” I replied. He frowned and thought for a moment. “Which state is that in?” he demanded earnestly.

    Oh to be thirty again… heck, I’d even settle for mid-fifties. When I was fifty-two or fifty-four (some time around then) I moved to the States. That was quite an adjustment – but I don’t think you could ever confuse Eugene with Scranton!

  95. I’m getting some quality time in with my mother who spends her days taking care of their farm alone since her husband had a stroke… She broke her hip a few days ago after slipping and falling off her crutches she had for the broken heel she acquired a few weeks ago while using a sledgehammer on a ladder to get the hay barn door to open… 🙂 She is going crazy being in a wheelchair so I gave her the poem to look at… This should all be over very soon!!! 🙂 lol…

    Thanks Forrest and Jeff for sharing!

    • WOW – when it rains it pours – Sorry for your Mom’s troubles. Hope she enjoys the chase – JDA

      • While she is in a bit of a holding pattern right now this woman has been all over the Rockys! So hoping she has some good insight! She already came up with an idea for Water High… she said “that is when they would wait til Spring for the snowmelt runoff to make the water high. Then they would proceed to move furniture and heavy loads and heavy objects across the river they could not in low water.

  96. I have often wondered how my life may have been different if I had had a father around when I was growing up… it is what it is though and hopefully I’ve turned into a halfway decent lady Here’s a salute to all of the wonderful parents out there!

  97. F –
    I spent the summer hunting with my father. We had a wonderful time experiencing nature and enjoying one another’s company. Unfortunately, I had to return home due to finances and personal commitments, but my father is still working on it and I am in contact with him. He mentioned that the site has gotten busy the last couple days.

  98. It has been my turn to take care of family, thus no BOTG. Constant care.

    Off subject, 2 of 3 not so cold (or hot), listening to the other channel. Maybe correct.

  99. I read this scrapbook a few hours before going BOTG, and felt terrible for not taking my Dad with me. But he’s such a terrible back-seat-driver, always flipping the bird at other drivers. So, it was either be shot and murdered in a road-rage incident, or take Dad with me. I chose life. Didn’t get the chest, and now I feel guilty for not taking the old fart with me. But I’m still alive. This is my internal struggle.

  100. Your post is correct. I’ve been asking my folks about their memories regarding WW2, moving to Canada, et, etc.. Some times they open up about what they remember, other times its not something they want to discuss. Every now and then I ask a question and see their eyes slowly drift away to somewhere else… that’s when I know I hit on something good. Thanks.

  101. I really am not that involved in the Chase any more. Someone may have commented on this already—(I didn’t read all the way through the thread). I know Forrest is sharing a very sincere thought regarding his parents and would like people to “listen”. But he may also have thrown a clue out there in this SB too—I’m not sure–just sharing something I saw when I read it. It’s in this sentence:

    “And now, at age 88, I regret everyone of them. If anyone is listening please post a comment on this blog. f”

    Forrest is a great writer and knows the use of words very well, I don’t think his error above was by “accident”. The sentence should read “I regret every one of them”—-not “everyone” which does not refer to individual errors, but actually designates a group of people. The word “everyone” makes me think of the sentence “So HEAR ME ALL and LISTEN GOOD”.

    The fact he uses EVERYONE, and then asks if anyone is LISTENING makes me think this SB may have something to do with that line in the poem. Because he uses EVERYONE in his sentence, could he mean we are to read ANY ONE instead of ANYONE? As in if ANY ONE is listening. Catch my drift?

    Just thought I’d throw that out there. Have fun everyone. I’m personally very burned out and don’t think I have a bats chance in hell of ever solving this thing. lol

    • Well spotted, Sparrow. IMO, this SB relates specifically to the end of the Chase, and should be read in conjunction with SB 191 and the recent MW Q&A’s.

      I hear you with regard to being burned out, as that describes my situation too. However, I don’t think, at this late stage, it would be remiss of me to suggest that this is no ordinary treasure hunt, and that if you are “engaged” to the extent required to complete the quest you will experience a type of burnout beyond anything you would have thought possible.

      I don’t want to go into details, as I think few will fully appreciate how bizarre and deep this challenge actually is, but suffice to say that Lana wasn’t far off the mark with her Vision Quest concept. Forrest’s comment in one of the early bookshop videos that (to paraphrase), nothing is as it seems, is a hint at what could unfold for those who dive deep into the poem. To be honest, if you’d told me five years ago of the sort of experiences to expect, both psychological and physical, I would have laughed at you. This is not a game.

      One of the reasons I have been absent from the forums (aside from burnout and the need to step back for sanity’s sake) is that I have had to take time to process the changes wrought by my involvement in the Chase. It’s not yet time to talk about what’s been going on, but maybe that day will come. Most will probably be skeptical – and that’s understandable – but to quote Shakespeare:

      There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
      Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

      I should also quote one of Forrest’s rules:
      1. There is no such thing as a self-made man.

      I don’t know how this thing will end, but I don’t think it will be as a result of the individual actions of any one of us. There is only one pilot. But if you want to board the plane, you must be prepared to pay the price – in full.

      In the end, though, don’t forget to smile!

      • Hi Voxpops, nice post.

        I wonder if there were no longer the lure of material gain, would the community still keep trying to solve the poem and discover the final spot for themselves?

        It seems such a heartbreaking thought of humans that the lack of material gain at tge end might end the quest for chasing all the other treasures one finds along the path to discovering the final spot.

        What do you think? Will the community keep searching and suppirting each other without the lure of material things? Or is the lure all it is?

        • I think the lure was essential to generate involvement and excitement, and set the wheels in motion. I don’t know how many searchers would fall away without the “hint of riches,” but probably most – leaving the diehard puzzle solvers to carry on.

          For me, although I still have momentary flights of fancy regarding the possibilities the gold could open up, I have no real attachment to the trove anymore. The whole thing will probably play out as it is supposed to, and so there’s little point in lusting after trinkets for their own sake.

          What is far more interesting is what lies beneath and beyond. That is the real hidden treasure…

          As far as the community is concerned, I think it will reduce in size, but there may be reason enough for it to continue in a new form. We’ll see.

          • Nicely stated voxpops. Forrest seems to have plenty of faith in human nature, hopefully this faith will be strengthened by whatever happens.

  102. I regret having not been there for my mother who passed two days after New year this year. If it wasn’t so expensive and far to travel I could have visited more often. I hope she forgives me for not being there.
    Life is difficult when there are bills and loans to pay and we are always playing catch-up with the pay checks.
    I hope to somehow make it home to see Dad before he goes to be with Mom. Time waits for no one.

  103. Thanks Vox.

    I think you are wise indeed. I must remember my mantra that everything happens exactly when and as it should. My job is to show up and remain present/open.

    The real journey for me has been one of self-discovery and reconnecting to something much bigger than myself.

    It will definitely need to go in my book titled “you just can’t make this $hit up.”

    Peace. Namaste.

  104. Thank you Forrest and Jeff,

    After my Mother had passed away suddenly, one night I had a dream and in the dream I was saying “it’s about time”, this was in response to “winning a prize or something”. So I thought I was meant to win the lottery or some money! I never did. Then while watching TV, on came the story of “The Thrill of the Chase”. I realized that this could be the “Prize” I had dreamed about. So started the “Thrill of MY chase”. I’ve been enjoying the thrill of researching,planning and then going into the mountains and exploring.
    Although both of my parents have passed, not a day goes by without thinking of them and smiling……I had the best parents ever!
    Thanks again Forrest for “The Thrill of the Chase”.

  105. Wisdom appears and beauty is to be found in this poem , and like the grapevine beneath my window, it somehow cries out: “Look! for gleanings of good things to come in the harvest! If the fruit be good, then the whole tree also.”

    “Thus says the Lord,

    “Restrain your voice from weeping
    And your eyes from tears;
    For your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord,
    “And they will return from the land of the enemy.
    17 “There is hope for your future,” declares the Lord,
    “And your children will return to their own territory.
    18 “I have surely heard Ephraim grieving,
    ‘You have chastised me, and I was chastised,
    Like an untrained calf;
    Bring me back that I may be restored,
    For You are the Lord my God.
    19 ‘For after I turned back, I repented;
    And after I was instructed, I smote on my thigh;
    I was ashamed and also humiliated
    Because I bore the reproach of my youth.’
    20 “Is Ephraim My dear son?
    Is he a delightful child?
    Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him,
    I certainly still remember him;
    Therefore My [j]heart yearns for him;
    I will surely have mercy on him,” declares the Lord.

    21 “Set up for yourself roadmarks,
    Place for yourself guideposts;
    Direct your [k]mind to the highway,
    The way by which you went.
    Return, O virgin of Israel,
    Return to these your cities.
    22 “How long will you go here and there,
    O faithless daughter?
    For the Lord has created a new thing in the earth—
    A woman will encompass a man.”

    23 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Once again they will speak this word in the land of Judah and in its cities when I restore their [l]fortunes,

    ‘The Lord bless you, O abode of righteousness,
    O holy hill!’ -Jeremiah 31, NASB

    Thank you for sharing Jerry, oh, and you too Jeremiah!

  106. That’s a beautiful dream you have about being closer to your mother Happy, and I hope you find the wherewithal to make that happen if it’s to be so. But think not that she’s a million miles away, as she’s closer than you think, your mother is secreted in your heart. In the words of Christ Jesus: “And where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

  107. I’m listening Forrest – although my wife says I am terrible at hearing, I still listen.

  108. Yep I too had negative feeling towards my father and because of Forrest and the chase I was able to understand the need to loose my pride.
    And once I did and contacted my father after 18months of no contact after he told me and my kids to “never come back”(because he thought my kids were cheeky) he admitted he was happy if got back in touch and it was his pride that stopped him from contacting me.

    ps. there seems to be a lot of people listening on here!
    Is anyone hearing? As I seem to be deaf as a log!

  109. I lost my mother 3 years ago. My dad is still with us, although he doesn’t remember who I am. He really doesn’t know what to think of the poem but he does read the book pretty often. No BOTG with him, and I can’t seem to get my 28 year old son interested. I’m still trying though.

  110. If I never find another clue and never catch a glimpse of another hint, then learn that every insight I ever thought certain was utter madness… I will die heart full.

    My 9 year old was dealt a deep disappointment recently. Sharing in a search for hints (we found one!) on a page and on a mountain kept her young head held high and her mind off things that build the kind of character none of us wants our children to have to build. How can I repay you for that?

    I had a conversation today with my 14 year old about creation stories, religion and spirituality. He’s 14. I have gone actual days without hearing more than grunts from the kid, but something about This. Every once in awhile it makes his eyes light up, then his brows narrow in sceptical judgement just before the sparkle returns as he sees something there he didn’t see before.

    I cannot spend time with my mom, but spending time with my kids is all she’d ever ask for and hope for from me. For those of us whose parents are gone. I believe this to be true. They are with us in the wind when we chase.

  111. My grandfather raised me and I was fortunate enough to spend the last few years of his life with him. Our days were full of adventurous travels almost up until the day he died at age 88. If I were to tell you half of the stuff we did in those last few years you wouldn’t believe it and if you did I would probably be in a whole lot of trouble. We planned on heading west to look for the treasure not long before he passed on and it was sad that we didn’t get to go, but I am beginning to think he planned it that way because it turned out that he had already found it. He had it tucked away in his bedroom behind a lamp with a wooden lampshade, and I should have known he was hiding something because he always kept that door locked. And I had to drill that thing out on more than one occasion. I sent a picture of it Forrest, but I don’t think he got to it yet so I figured I would post it here.

      • I meant to note that I am sorry for your loss sweetlou55. I mean no disrespect to your post the artist name is just incredibly interesting.

        • My apologies for the delayed response Idle Dreamer I just noticed your comment and thanks for your condolences.

          TC Wood – indeed an interesting name 🙂 I believe his real name is Tom Wood…I did come across a few other paintings by him, but not much in the way of biographical information.

  112. I am listening.
    Both of my parents have passed away. My father in 2007, 3 days before my 16th birthday. My mother in 2009, 11 days before my little brother’s 15th birthday. My little brother then passed away in 2013… There are a lot of regrets I feel from excuses made to not spend more time with each of them. Fights that now seem completely pointless which I still feel shame over.
    I now do my best to spend the time I do have with my husband and two children. My son will be 4 in May 2019, and my daughter turns 2 in December this year.
    I’ve made two trips to look for the chest. The first, in April this year, was our first family vacation ever. Wonderful memories were made. I feel I gained confidence and grew as a person from this adventure. The second trip, in June, to the same place, was not with my family (my daughter was with me, but not my son and husband) and did not feel right. It was different. Before the second trip I had promised my husband the trip would be my last. I had misinterpreted what he had wanted me to promise. I will not make any more trips without my family and I will carefully plan and prepare for any in the future.
    We will make another trip to the location. (Third time is the charm!) I am waiting until my son and daughter are old enough to really enjoy and remember the trip. I have faith in the hiding spot and know the chest is patient. I am currently planning for us to make the trip in 2024. They will be 9 and 7. I think those are good ages to make lasting memories. I feel that if I am correct about the location there is a good chance it will still be there when we all go there again.
    I hope they enjoy the thrill of the chase as much as I have. I can only imagine how it would have felt at that young of an age. Thank you so much for the opportunity you’ve given us Mr. Fenn!

    • Hi Leisa;

      Welcome to the search. Will the treasure still be there in 2024? Who knows. That’s 6 years – added to the 8 it has already been hidden – who knows. If I were you, I would try to talk my husband into another trip a bit sooner. – Again, welcome, and good luck – JDA

      • Thanks!
        I am waiting because I want my children to remember the experience. My husband would agree to go if I were to plan for sooner. I however don’t see a reason to rush. Things do change though.
        As you said, “who knows?” Time will tell.

  113. I’m listening Forrest,

    I am grateful to still have both of my parents and have always loved near (the bird that stayed bear the nest). I love that I get to see them (including when this SB came out) fairly often. Plus I can chat with them online. I even enjoyed my Dads latest book and he frequently writes (he does a weekly writing contest every Friday).

    As for regrets I missed an opportunity to see my grandmother, her name was Ruth and her favorite candy was Baby Ruth. My grandmother, mother, and I were all born at the same hospital. She was someone I always loved to visit and it will always bother me that 1/3 of the way to Wisconsin my vehicle broke down and we had to limp home. My last BOTG reminded me of that trip as my van had not one but two tires go flat which ended my search season before I was ready. I definitely understand Voxpops on how easy it is to dive too far into the chase and lose yourself. I got lucky as I was at low speeds when the tire issue occurred. Highway blowouts can be deadly (have experienced one and had promised myself never again).

    Ultimately I wish I could have made that trip (BBQ has never been the same as hers was amazing (sloppy joe)) as it signifies a failure on my part I have yet to remedy. My kids have never been to Wisconsin.

    As for my parents they seem to live in a place of wonder. People carry guns and miracles happen more frequently then seems logical for a remote area. My Mom happened to drive past someone in a custom camper that had a CO2 issue and managed to save their life. That still amazes me as hours or days can go by on those roads without a soul. What are the odds she would happen upon them right at that critical moment?

    I cherish my parents every day! I hope every one (everyone) can bridge any gaps if you have any and live life with a smile.

    Thank you Forrest for the chase, I hope someday to get to shake the end of the man who inspired so many!

    • Shake the hand of the man who inspired so many. Need to proof more as my fingers are way too big for my phone’s keyboard. Sorry.

  114. I’ve decided to take Forrest’s regret to heart and spend more time with my mom. I may get a sore neck nodding as she talks about her latest recipes, but I trust it’ll be worth every second. My father, conversely, thought children are like wild horses and must be broken to be controlled. No chance of regret there.

  115. True to form, my pops passed away peacefully on 5/25/2020. Memorial Day off this crazy year. I will always remember you dad. And Forrest, I will never forget your gifts to me personally, my family (in the form of my dad’s memoirs that we now are reading every word of, and in the future experiences that me and my children get to enjoy.

    “The Rocket Man” has finally made it to space:

    PP.S. – there will be another “chase” 😉

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