The Key Word…Part Eight


This page is closed to new comments. To continue the discussion please go to the latest Key Word page.

“Many have given serious thought to the clues in the poem but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.”

The above is a quote from Forrest. This page is where we can discuss what that key word might be.




600 thoughts on “The Key Word…Part Eight

  1. “There” is the key word to me. If you don’t know where “there” is you might as well stay home and play…

    • ok ill bite in these wee hours lets describe the author
      F freedom

      O older inelegance
      R Re vision of normality
      R Riddle offered in time
      E Earned life experience
      S Solitude with commitment

      T Think deeper tantalizing thinker
      F faith with frustration
      E entertainer
      N nutritional mind feeder
      N nocturnal mind bender
      as i rounded the corner tonight i saw the Blaze pizza joint no kidding
      the Tc is not associated with a structure but it was funny so i started thinking. what do you think? good night to all stay safe out there. just my 2 cents

      • just a few more words IM SO GRATEFUL that SIR Forrest Fenn found his half, to make him whole Peggy, and with his tides, he shares his glory
        and saved my life with his story. you cant get much better then that
        TY again our friend Sir Forrest Fenn life is worth living every day the key is secrete. seen by all passed me by oh well back to thinking.

      • what if the key word was age: could you use it and not mess with the poem ? guess you could if the Blaze was next to old faithful but i like
        something about mavrick better.

        • sorry just tuning in to the thought waves with this one you do know that you never think alone. just a thought. thought by many i assume.

  2. It would not be wise to openly discuss anything relevant to the chest at this point. If you aren’t on the up and up then I might suggest folding the laundry and applying the exact pattern as before to each location. When you find the drum, beat it. When you find the dance, whoop it. We are gaining more ground waiting than we would with botg, imo.

    • This blog was created to do what you suggest we shouldn’t.
      If you do not want to openly discuss anything relevant to the chest or chase here, then you should not comment and don’t discourage others.

      • Jake,
        In theory that sounds Swell, but this thread is for discussing “The Key Word” is it not? How many seasoned searchers have stated what they believe to be “the key word”? How many unseasoned have STATED IT? So to me your comment is ironic at best.

        IMO Trout and Soda are keys. I seen someone mentioned on another thread that Laramie = Tears? Lamar? Trout? Soda?

        So, when you say —“This blog was created to do what you suggest we shouldn’t” —I believe almost everyone here posting is doing exactly what FallingRock has simply stated but in a round-about way! All the masses just beating around the bushes with their non-helpful-chat! JMO IMO

        • Many have proposed, shared, and discussed various words in previous installments of this thread, B.George.

          For example –

          in tight focus with a word that is key

          in there
          in the canyon
          in below the home
          in peace
          in the wood

          It’s one important possibility related to the winning solve analyzed by several searchers who consider the search destination to be a small one.


          • J A Kraven
            on November 17, 2018 at 4:17 pm said:

            “Many have proposed, shared, and discussed various words in previous installments of this thread, B.George.”

            Yup, all of which are useless per se’. A perfect example of my reply above is Zap. On the tread “looking in Colorado” a few weeks ago or so, Zap mentions to “Johnathon L” that his key word is ANKH! Has he ever mentioned it on this discussion board? NOPE! I know what it stands for. But have you ever heard Zap mention IT? NOPE!

            Also, how many other’s have never spoken about their “Actual” key word, TRUTHFULLY? Sure many/most throw out some lame crap to make it look interesting but the TRUTH is nobody has given up their “KEY”!

            Say what you will but we all know better. Heck, I have a few key words but I’m not going to share them.

            As for Zap’s key word ANKH, why don’t you ask him? Maybe he will tell you. And by the way, ANKH is not a key word, it’s a subtle hint is all. Go ahead and ask him! Don’t get all scary! BOO! I have a few times already but I got nothing from him.

            Carry on J A Kraven!

          • J A Kraven,
            Technically it should be NAHK but that would make it so much easier for all to figure out. Just sayin!

            Carry on J A Kraven!

          • ByGeorge: “the TRUTH is nobody has given up their “KEY”!”
            You just called everyone that shared their key word a liar.
            That’s just not right.

          • I have never said my keyword was Ankh. I don’t know where you got that. It doesn’t take a genius to know what my keyword is if you’ve been thoroughly reading this blog for the last 6 months.

          • Zaphod73491
            on November 27, 2018 at 9:55 am said:

            Love that movie, Jonathan! Hey… it even provides the answer to the word that is key: ANKH.

            Reply ↓

            Jonathan L
            on November 27, 2018 at 10:03 am said:

            You sure it isn’t the upsilon? you should email me what you think about ankh
            Maybe go to carousel together

            Then spin everyone some more. Key word, or word that is Key. I’m getting DIZZY!

            J A Kraven,
            I called NOBODY a liar! You just can not comprehend apparently!

            in there
            in the canyon
            in below the home
            in peace
            in the wood

            You call those KEY WORDS? I have to LAUGH! I call those “fluff”. You seasoned searchers are so full of yourself. Show me 1 person whom believes ANY of those words are key and I’ll show you a losing solve! LMAO!

            Zap, NEVER is a LONG TIME! Split hairs and tell me you NEVER said it. There’s your sign! At least I know better. BIG YAWN!!!!

          • Hi George

            Wasn’t me that used the word “liar.”

            And the word (not WORDS) I shared was “in.”

            Bye George

    • what is wise if i were to say some creek i need to re visit was worn what would you think? button zipper or closer underwear that’s close but if you think a creek you can see all that must be seen and smelled at the right elev where would it take you. we all think we’ve been there but where is the and can we go back? i have not found that spot yet but im thinking like you too. gaining exp aint easy these days the big picture is dont waste your time enjoy every moment.

  3. Could the key word be ONE
    First line of the poem, As I have gONE alONE in there.
    ONE & ONE wrote as a number =. 11
    An eleven letter word in TTOTC is Ye ll owstONE
    It has 2 ll’s which look like the number 11 and a 1 at the end.
    Forrest always says go back to the first clue
    Yellowstone was the FIRST National Park

    • Ya Little Jack, Those ONE’s have been discussed here before but didn’t catch the YellowstONE until you mentioned it.
      One is first and best.

      • Thanks Jake I’m not up to speed on what’s been posted, sorry if I’m not original, but it’s my idea so its original to me .

        • If you suggest that Yellowstone National Park may relate to this treasure hunt, please support the suggestion with reason(s).

          Oh . . . I should say something about The Key Word, since it’s supposed to be the topic here (even though I’m not convinced that it was originally introduced by Mr. Fenn). I believe that The Key Word in some circles is “jump”, which
          might be related to a good solve. As always, IMO.

    • Good post, Little Jack. A slightly more condensed variant:

      (As) I (have) (g)ONE (al)ONE in there
      (ye) ll (owst) ONE

      111 and 111. An integer longitude that passes through the westernmost part of the park. Also the integer portion of the longitude for West Yellowstone.

      • Little Jack, Jake & Zap,

        I don’t understand why there are those that don’t pay attention to what Forrest said:

        “Some searchers overrate the complexity of the search. Knowing about head pressures, foot pounds, acre feet, bible verses, Latin, cubic inches, icons, fonts, charts, graphs, formulas, curved lines, magnetic variation, codes, depth meters, riddles, drones or ciphers, will not assist anyone to the treasure location, although those things have been offered as positive solutions. Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map.” f

        I believe the line of the thought of dropping letters or emphasizing a word within a word would fall into what F said in the quote. This also would apply to numbers for longitude and latitude, that will not help. I believe when F said to simplify is to drop all that pertains to head pressures, etc…. in the quote above.

        The only way to use longitude, etc. would be when the tc is found.

        So why are you still thinking along those lines?

        • CharlieM. I’m not one that will say that others are going about it wrong. Though what you point out , as I would too, a quote is just pointing something out that is guidance from the poems creator . There are a lot of posts telling people a lot of ‘Shoulds’ to think in this way and not that way etc. To me, reading those is rather humorous.. Its like saying, “Like everyone here, I don’t know, but you should all think this way , the way that I think”. Just pointing out that quote from the Poet whom created the poem ,is real advice.

          It is a poem that is written with the intent as clues that is a map. It is just poetry. Words from a poet translating what the eyes , heart and mind can see from an artistic perspective-painting a picture ,essentially. Learning the Poets history and background is helpful ( nope, Nope)

          IMO .

          IMO .

          • Close Alsetenash,
            I think the word that is key is “nigh”.
            Or maybe it’s “key” or “Gallatin”….

          • CharlieM posted this quote: “Some searchers overrate the complexity of the search. Knowing about head pressures, foot pounds, acre feet, bible verses, Latin, cubic inches, icons, fonts, charts, graphs, formulas, curved lines, magnetic variation, codes, depth meters, RIDDLES, drones or ciphers, will not assist anyone to the treasure location, although those things have been offered as positive solutions. Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map.” f

            And then this quote:

            “On the Road With Charlie” (May 2017): “Well, it’s hidden in a pretty good place. It’s difficult to find, but it certainly isn’t impossible. But if you’re gonna find the treasure, you’re gonna have to solve the RIDDLE that’s in my poem. The nine clues that are in my poem. Nobody’s gonna happen on that treasure chest.”

            He then asks how these two quotes appear to be in conflict. I think not.

            Quote #1 says RIDDLES – with an “S” – Plural
            Quote #2 says RIDDLE – no “S” – Singular.

            When I was a kid and getting my tonsils out my parents gave me a book titled – “1001 Riddles for Kids.” I would bet that no matter how many of these riddleS I solved, it would get me no closer to Indulgence – BUT – solving THE riddle (no s) that is the poem certainly would get me closer.

            Just a thought – JDA

          • Jake. the Gallatin County shape is interesting that it looks like a key ,as has been discussed here lately. Along with deciphering styles pointing to the Gallatin that look to be adding plausibility in investigating foot prints .


            Not my way of thinking. But a good one non-the-les.

            IMO .

          • I don’t know what you mean about: “deciphering styles pointing to the Gallatin”
            What do you mean by “styles”?

            What do you mean by “investigating foot prints”?
            If you mean the places Forrest has been then I understand your cryptic jib for this.

            Clever for who? You don’t say whether Forrest is clever, you, me or the others that were chatting about it.

            You’re not very clear in what you state.

          • Jake, my apologies for my speak.

            What I meant by their cyphering style is the method of the first letters of words in a line of the poem and also some second letters to form the Gallatin- duscussed the other day. They pointed out the Gallatin County border perimeter formed the shape of a key.(Foot prints)

            I think this is clever as a thought process/investigation. That’s all I meant.

            Just not the way I approach it.

            IMO .

          • Alsetenash,
            Thanks for the clarification.
            It’s a tough task to figure what Forrest is saying nevermind all the folks here.

            I’m not sure where the footprints relate to the county shaped like a key but whatever.

            I think the word “method” works better.

            Either way Forrest is a clever SOB and no matter which style (method) you use, make sure the poem led you there first and not the shape of a county.

          • Jake. Looking at the Gallatin County on GE , the outline looks like a key. Is what was said. It does sort of look like one. To each their own about this.

            I had many different approaches to the idea of the word that is key. I didnt tackle the word that is key untill after I had already an area picked. Only for the purpose for if it can be justly added as a positive point to with my solve area. Making sure I am mindful of not toying with confirmation bias, but best proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It wasn’t until recently when it occurred to me-“you have got to be kidding me” , was my first thought to myself about this word that is key I came up with. Almost too simple.

            I’ll find out this summer , either way.


          • Speaking of Gallatin County, y’all know about Lost Dakota?

            Don’t know that it gets anyone closer to the chest, but it’s an interesting little cartographic curiosity.

          • JDA,

            * Riddle: a mystifying, misleading, or puzzling question posed as a problem to be solved or guessed : conundrum, enigma.

            * Riddle; a person, event, or fact that is difficult to understand or explain.

            While those definitions seem the same, they are slightly different.
            The first has intent, usually to mislead or not be direct.
            The second is more direct yet has difficulty in understanding. Or, more straight forward. Hence the avenue of the poem being utilized to present clues. A poem needs interpretation of the writers intent, intentions.

            The question is not about whether “Riddle” is spelled with an S or not in those comments. The question should be asked; what is the intended information being relayed by the words and phrases [poem] used?

            Ken has been known to state; the poem is a riddle, and I agree to a point. I take it a step further and say; The intent of how the poem plays out, is the riddle.

            So, while we’re on the subject of “a word that is key” { not a keyword as some have placed in quotes } The importance of a word is in question to how it works.
            Is it a word that unlocks the clues-?- or first clue or last?
            Could it be a word that shows the reader how to see the poem unfold-?- with the idea of following the clues *correctly* as the author intended?… his design.

            ~ They didn’t quit. They left the poem.

          • Hi Seeker – Long time no see (hear) – Welcome back.

            You ask an interesting question regarding intent. You didn’t ask, or state “What was Forrest’s intent when he wrote the poem?” You asked (stated) instead: ” I take it a step further and say; The intent of how the poem plays out, is the riddle.” … “The intent of how the poem plays out…” These words confuse me a bit. Forrest has stated that his intent was (paraphrasing) to get folks out into nature, and get kids off of their texting machines – But this is different than what you state – “. “The intent of how the poem plays out…”

            “So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure.” f

            This seems to sum-up Forrest’s intent – to get searchers to follow the nine clues in order to find the treasure at the end of his rainbow.

            So, what is “The intent of how the poem plays out…”
            It will play out when someone follows the nine clues and finds the treasure at the end of the rainbow. I think that what you are asking is – “Then what?” What will happen to Indulgence? What will happen to “The Chase” – meaning, what will happen to all of those people who have dedicated so much of their lives for so many years?

            What will happen to the “Finder”? Will he/she announce who they are? Will he/she say where he/she found indulgence, and HOW that was done?

            Somehow I think that Forrest has given all of this a LOT of thought, and somehow will help to orchestrate the answers to the above questions.

            I will go out on a limb, and guess, despite Forrest saying that the search might go on for a thousand years or more, that Forrest expected Indulgence would be found during his lifetime. I would guess that Forrest hopes that it will be found in his lifetime – although I could be very wrong. I would guess that Forrest “Intends” that certain things then happen. I bet that he knows “The intent of how the poem plays out…” but that is just a guess on my part.

            Let’s hope that it is found soon, and that we can then have the answer to your statement – “The intent of how the poem plays out…” JMO – JDA

            Sorry for being a windbag, but that is just what I think, and it took a lot of words to say it – 🙂 JDA

          • JDA,

            ‘Intent of how the poem plays out’ is different to the intent of creating the challenge.
            “Somebody could find it tomorrow and it may not be found for a thousand years. I’m looking at the big picture.
            **A lot of people who are searching for the treasure don’t see it the same way I do.** ”

            My post is not about the intent of getting folks out doors. It’s about how; a word that is key [of importance], can help with understanding how fenn designed, crafted, felt like an architect creating the clues by use of words, as he may have *intended* the poem to be *read.*
            The second definition of “riddle” [posted above in my last comment] ~ * Riddle; a person, **event, or fact** that is difficult to understand or explain, implies the idea of how a search might need to be done correctly.
            The difficulty of understanding this might fall in lines with a single word’s meaning / usage, and changes the perspective of how to proceed with reading the poem and actions on site.
            [note; this word may not help decipher clue’s references. Only how fenn may have intended a searcher actions to unfold for a correct solution of stated “riddle”]… how to proceed.

            IMO… this has been the reason some are confused about how fenn stated ‘knowing about… *riddles* will not assist and the poem’s *riddle* are two completely different meanings.

          • Seeker;

            “Intent” – “Word that is key” – A new way of looking at the poem” – “Your shadow solve idea”

            I enjoyed very much, your idea of a “Shadow Solve” that you expounded on so well a couple of months ago. This is certainly a new and/or different way of looking at the poem.

            “IF” “The word that is key” were to be “Shadow”, and it turns out that Forrest’s “Intent” was to get us to look at this phenomenon, that certainly would be a new and different approach, that few, if any, were in tight focus of.

            I personally like the idea very much. Next year, the Summer Solstice will occur on June 20, 2020 at 6:03 AM – I can hardly wait to test out your theory. JDA

          • JDA,

            You can label my idea as a “shadow” theory if ya like…. I’m only going by the ATF’s stated by fenn’s repeatedly suggestions [ in part ] to plan and observe…
            But, the theory will only work in the correct location [hence the need to have and understand the first clue].
            I hope, if it doesn’t work in your location, you won’t come back and say the theory is not valid because it didn’t work in your area.

            The word that is of *importance* [call it what ya will], imo, doesn’t unlock the deciphering of the clue’s references, as much as, how the reader might perceive the meanings of the words being read.
            Deciphering the clue’s references is a horse of a different color… deciphering the clues [ at least the first clue ] give us a place / location to play out the poem’s directions and instructions.

            The question for that is; Will the first clue lead us to that location alone? Or, do we need some idea of where we need to be at, first and foremost, in order to find the correct first clue-?- out of the many? [location]

          • Don’t worry Seeker – IF it does not work at my location, I will accept that fact – I am in the wrong place.

            We ALL interpret the words of the poem based on our knowledge and past experience, and willingness to study the many meanings of an individual word.

            Back to nailing down the first clue. “Begin it where…”

            Nice to see you back Seeker – Hope that others can figure out what you are driving at, better than I – JDA

          • Something inspired Fenn to use the term *riddle* years after listing it as one of many useless tools. Using a more abstract/or less common definition of the word may have been more appealing?
            More background info about riddles found in wiki or somewhere[ I can’t remember] years back spoke about riddles toying with conceptual boundaries by crossing them to *illustrate* that things are not always what they seem… and by doing so…emphasizes them.
            Key word… ha!

        • Hello CharlieM
          I listened to Forrest he said we need to figure, analyse, identify, solve, decipher and use your IMAGINATION.
          Forrest collects unique items, “one off’s” He likes to have the only one, it would be his alone to treasure.
          I think seeing one in a word isn’t over stretching the imagination.
          I hope someONE got something helpfull from my post, because I didn’t get any inspiration from yours.

          • It’s okay Little Jack, not many do get anything from his posts. Anyway, what you and zap could be a possible, IMO. You would still need to do something with the other letters or it would look like force fitting. But a good start, also interesting that zap’s longitude goes thru the park. We discussed this a couple days ago, Seeker came up with an example of 111, and I used the Gallatin example. As we progress thru the poem, we have to try to find all ways to solve the poem. If that is what you are trying to do, that’s great, as long as the word is in the poem. If this word is so important, it must be in the poem. It’s just, what do you do with the word “one”? IMO, the word is also in the statement he made, so both places, IMO.
            Along with that ATF that was posted, not to many focus on what was actually said. If f says that there is something that could result in a “positive solve”, everyone would be pursuing that lead. I guess there are those that rather follow a negative solve. If f says that using any of the thigs he stated would result in a positive solve, then why discount them. And again, the English language is part of a code, what, don’t use English? Ridiculous.

            If you find something within trying to solve the poem, and run with it where it gives good feedback, then who cares how you obtained it, as long as you are satisfied with the result. The only thing I see with what you proposed is leaving some letters out while using others to come to a conclusion. I may be wrong, so who knows, but I would think that you would need to place the other letters somehow, and within the poem telling you, or you will be playing with force fitting a solve. I agree with Zap Little Jack, which I don’t do too often, good post, good luck.

      • CharlieM: people do pay attention to what Forrest said. They just have a different interpretation than you do. I see nothing in the “head pressure” quote from Forrest that rules out the Easter egg insertion of a couple 111’s here or there. But I’m assuming you think it runs afoul of either codes or ciphers. (If Forrest intentionally hid 111 within the structure of the poem, it is definitely not a cipher; a “code” is more debatable. I don’t consider steganography to be a code, but I can appreciate if you feel differently.)

        Something that should give you some pause in interpreting that ATF from Forrest. You’ll notice “riddle” is in his list. You’re going to have to reconcile that with this quote from “On the Road With Charlie” (May 2017): “Well, it’s hidden in a pretty good place. It’s difficult to find, but it certainly isn’t impossible. But if you’re gonna find the treasure, you’re gonna have to solve the riddle that’s in my poem. The nine clues that are in my poem. Nobody’s gonna happen on that treasure chest.”

          • ken, has ff only said -riddle- once in regards to the poem? He seems to prefer ‘solve the clues’ just like using ‘hid the chest’ not buried.

            I wonder why is it, maybe riddles have a not so much (straightforward) connotation to it. On many of the interviews they call the poem clues cryptic and he has never complained about that either.

        • Zap,

          What puzzles me is F discounted riddles, yet again he says to solve the riddle. I’m very inclined to go with no riddle, and yet again the riddle of HLaWH is right there. So it comes down to when to accept or dismiss what F says. I think that time of statements were made, I tend to go with earlier statement as it was fresh at that time.


          • Ah!
            The catch 22 affect.
            “Some searchers overrate the complexity of the search. Knowing about head pressures, foot pounds, acre feet, bible verses, Latin, cubic inches, icons, fonts, charts, graphs, formulas, curved lines, magnetic variation, codes, depth meters, *** riddles,*** drones or ciphers, ***will not assist anyone to the treasure location,*** although those things have been offered as positive solutions. Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map.f”

            I take this as, the clues are not involved with a type of riddle – riddleness? Because we are told that is what the clues do… take you to the treasure. We simply need to decipher the correct interpretation of the 9 clues.

            Now the Riddle part or idea, seems to imply how and where we get started. Is it stanza one? and where “in there” might be…
            Is it stanza 5 with a question and answer, and we need to know what the answers mean?
            Is it stanza 6 and, well, all if it?

            Don’t we need to know of the location of all the “clues” beforehand and not so much the location of the treasure… I mean, that is what the clues do, right? So knowing about riddles won’t assist with the clues ‘needed’ that lead to the treasure, idea… but it may help with where the clues are at. * the only thing that seems to ‘assist anyone to the treasure’ are “the clues”

            ‘I warned the path would not be direct [the clues]… certainty of the location beforehand. [where the clues are]’
            Seems to me, that would be a riddle needing to be figured out.

          • I think Forrest meant to say puzzle, not riddle, when he spoke “’re gonna have to solve the [puzzle] that’s in my poem. The nine clues that are in my poem. Nobody’s gonna happen on that treasure chest.”

            I also think there is a certain line in the poem whose anagram describes the end location. The anagram itself is a riddle (as I think all the anagrams for all the lines are riddles). But anagrams or not, I think he misspoke when he said riddle.

        • Ken and CharlieM: I consider WWWH to be a riddle. It’s certainly a conundrum that must be solved, and I don’t think it’s literal, so that satisfies the definition pretty well.

          • Hi Ken: that works, too. After all, it’s not like any of the 9 clues have self-apparent, literal answers. Each one is an individual puzzle, enigma, or riddle to solve. Worse, we only know what two of the nine clues are in the poem with any confidence (WWWH and the blaze).

          • That’s the beginning and the proverbial end right there Zap. Let’s not forget that Fenn himself has equated the first clue as being more than half way there…metaphorically.

    • LJ,
      I like Yellowstone River but I’m looking for a “Cove” along the way. In my opinion possibly even a trove.

      • BG…check out Tom Miner basin…fantastic area w/petrified Forrest. Great area to catch little Cuts in the creek…

  4. One Key word ifor me I could be

    My guesses on that possibility:
    He may be talking about bills\money new and old in my opinion

    Chase bill is $10,000
    Thus the treasure is likely at 10,000 ft.
    It’s likely in a big game hunting area of either Carson Forrest (Blaze Carson cartoon)

    Or in the Gallatin Forest inside Yellowstone
    Both have areas that fit Forest’s altitude requirements perfectly

    Or near the money-President mountains in Colorado.
    The front range profile mimics Lincoln’s penny profile. And could be near the nose area of the profile?

    All above is my guess for ‘riches’ only. Not saying that others should believe it. Nor that it is THE key word.

  5. “Many have given serious thought to the clues in the poem but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.”

    Eyes are something that focus, so i thought this looked related to the poems EYE KEY ‘EKS’ revealed on the internet several day(s?) before Forrests statement. Although i believe there is one word he was referring to that is more applicable.

    • Afternoon astree,
      what statement did Forest make? and where could I find?
      Been dealing with the flu over here by Chicago.

  6. hum….key….word…nope…key sentence …..
    home of brown i cant define this because i would
    give away my secret

  7. YEs the words simple clear
    The book honest and true
    The man a priceless treasure

    Thank you for sharing him with us and
    Helping him in the ways you do

        • Doesn’t matter if it’s been uttered by anyone.
          How do you know without the treasure in your possession?
          You don’t, and you uttered nothing.

      • The only time I recall ff mentioning the word key, was when he talked about hiding the box, and that the box was unlocked, and the Key was inside the box. Is that a hint of a clue?

  8. For some reason I feel we have something in common, but is the blaze an “i” or might it be a “!”
    In New Mexico?
    Just thinking…

    • ‘i’=Eye = Ojo
      Ojo = is where a branch of the ‘Warm Springs Apaches’ camped below Ojo Caliente area. Which is also near LaMadera (the wood). And there are beautiful hand carved sandstone caves in that area. Ra Paulette, the cave digging carver, said in his video that some of his caves are public, some are hidden and others are made ‘private caves’ paid for by people on their own land..
      Solo, NM (Solo= ‘i’=one) is north of Ojo Caliente, NM, but you’ll have to google it.

      Dal went there one time I think….to an ancient abandoned Pueblo….or maybe I’m remembering wrong.

        • Thanks Sparrow.
          The WarmSpings Apaches in the Carson National forestalso camped near a canyon.
          Tribes really found sacred where two creeks or rivers came together like at Cañada Alamosa.
          That entire area has so many things which could fit parts of the poem. But same to the Jicarilla Apace tribal area.
          Arroyo Hondo fits so many clues. It even has a street with same analogy as a parachute. Which passes by a Graveyard. Plus a famous weaver named Brown who live on a ‘walk-in in the rain’ street.and… With a final bingo at a place called the Tesoro de Oro. (Google close up) and All within a short hike to a waterfall.

          But that place has never panned our for anyone yet.

          New Mexico is magical though. I’d love to spend eternity there. Especially up in the aspen grove near Santa Fe ski slope. Doesn’t get any better than that in the fall, imho.

          • Also when he says “tight focus on the key word” then doesn’t the word “focus” also mean eyes or eye?

            An eye above the pyramid on money represents………

            (I’m still stuck on money marks\images holding all the clues perhaps also though. Mainly because he underlined SP Chase in the latest book and Chase is on the $10,000 bill. It could be in money/‘riches’ worth… such as start with penny, next buffalo nickel, independence dime, next Washington dollar etc…..quarter, etc. old and new…or start at the mint in Denver, etc)

            But ‘i’ Seems like a perfect word as it can mean eye\solitude\solo\one\focus etc.

          • Oops. It’s Arroyo Seco not Aroyyo Honda.
            Seco has the weaver named brown, walking rain street, el salty,=jump street plus the waterfall etc mentioned above.

  9. I think searchers are reluctant to discuss what they themselves believe may be the key. People are generally selfish, are not going to give away to some one else what they believe they have developed as the key. Especially facing the long winter wait that has just started. I think a lot of statements given here are meant to direct other searchers interest to other far reaching locations. Searchers are splitting the same hair so many times, and grasping at distance straws. Being here in S. America, where there is no secure mail service, I cant just order up the books. So I am doing my basic research with the tools ff recommended in the beginning. It seems quite clear to me there is a point in the poem you must have BOTG to recognize the details of the clues in the poem as they are in ffs head. The actual landscape of an area is much different then looking at any map. Remember a 10 x 10 box is a small target especially when partially hidden. That means the box is not visible from all directions, while clearly seen from 12 ft. on one side, it may mean you could be within 2 ft. on the other side and not be seen at all. The search it self is hard as the details of the poem.

    • Greg ~ ‘Remember a 10 x 10 box is a small target especially when partially hidden. That means the box is not visible from all directions, while clearly seen from 12 ft. on one side, it may mean you could be within 2 ft. on the other side and not be seen at all.’

      That sounds like the chest can be stumbled upon, which fenn was admit that shouldn’t happen.
      The other thing is; Are we really looking for a 10″ box? I mean, it seems the goal here is to locate the blaze… right? Regardless of how the chest is placed or hidden, buried, in sight, out of sight, camouflage…
      Could ‘anyone’ [ even a none searcher ] be within 12′ and actually find the chest [ in your scenario of the right direction]?
      IF that answer is Yes, then the place would need to be hidden itself, right? A place that would require someone to be “in there”. Basically saying; a place that would be 12′ or less in size.

    • “Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.” ff

      Why don’t you believe the word is in the poem, Eagles?

      Or is it just a gut feeling?

      If not in the poem, where are you looking for it?

  10. Well JA Kraven, I believe that tight focus means with a magnifying glass..
    Obviously the words in the poem are easily read, therefore it’s somewhere else.
    Did you scour the book for words that can’t be seen without a magnifying glass?

    • “words that can’t be seen without a magnifying glass?”
      I’m gonna get my microscope out.
      What do you think JAKe?

      I’ve been in the printing industry for about 15 years and there are lots of aberrations after the printing is done.

      Eaglesabound, if your words are in the pics or illustrations that were not drawn by Fenn then why and how?
      Get your hands on another printing of the book and put your mag glass to see the light but don’t do it in direct sunlight cause it may catch fire.

    • Of course I didn’t.

      “Every little abstract thing that might catch up in your brain” is a cold I’m not catching.

      Do you know what this means: “any part of some is better than no part of any”?

      Me either.

      • (Of course I didn’t scour the book for words, that is – in response to Eagles’ question.)

        • That’s too bad JA Kraven, there’s lots to be seen.
          IMO, there are alterations to some of the drawings in the book, some of those spell words, some are numbers.
          For example the word “map” on page 99. Surely you saw that one.

          • And luckily for me, they also make pistachio sometimes. 😉

            Thanks for answering my original questions.

            I’ve done an exercise similar to yours for decades now, a kind of armchair obsession of mine, searching maps drawn in the early 1500’s that show a still unidentified coastline in the Americas, and comparing place names on it with names in surviving accounts of the early voyages in the area by Columbus and his contemporaries.

            I’ve learned a lot and even found some things, some of it publishable. But I still can’t pin that mapped coastline to any real-world coast, nor tie its names to any of the documented voyages. I’d rather solve that than find ff’s old box, but the search itself suffices.


          • Sorry there’s no reply button to your post…
            I’m not sure where you got the impression that I searched maps from the 1500’s….but I do enjoy finding all the fun little things that Forrest put in the drawings for us to find. He did tell us that TTOTC was good research material.

  11. Hocus Focus….of all the clues the BLAZE gives instuction to tight focus….LOOK QUICKLY DOWN. To that end I stake my claim that BLAZE is the key word. Find the Blaze and find the chest. Just imagine some lucky bloke…..or blokess is one day going to find that elusive treasure and if it is not me then I will have to go back to my spitting and whittling or apply at Wally World as a greeter to past the time.This thrill of the chase has opened up my senses and for that I truly am greatful!
    Forrest I hope you spill some gravey down your front. HAPPY EARLY THANKSGIVING!!!

    • ** ** ** ” . . . I stake my claim that BLAZE is the key word.” ** ** **

      Good point about “look quickly down.”

      On the other hand, ff comes right out and says more than once that too many put too tight a focus on the blaze.

      ” . . . there seems to be more attention paid to the blaze than to the first clue. Perhaps that’s why the treasure hasn’t been found.” ff


      • Jake.. {J A Kraven}

        Ya can post it until ya blue in the face, a lot of folks won’t bother with it.
        But here’s the thing; fenn admits; figuring out the first clue before anything else [clues] is a must.. IMO the idea of a word that is key would be focused on that clue [the first clue].
        We know there are more than one word that keys in on something, and fenn even said when he reads e-mails he looks for certain key words in those mails. However, if we go back in time when the comment of “tight focus of a word that is key” it seemed to relate to the comments, at that time, about the first two clues deciphered.

        I guess I don’t understand why folks give the impression that there is a single magical word that will crack the case [all the clues] wide open. I mean, there are 9 clues we need to think about and it all seems to start with nailing down the first one or ya got notta… So here’s a theory… ‘IF’ everything is in order within the poem, that some say it should be, then any word that is important / key should be prior to any clues… right?
        So in theory… the word that works for BIWWWH should be in the first stanza.

        Here’s the kicker… IF that is the case, then another word of importance for any clue should be within a prior clue… if that’s how this works.
        OK.. lol that completely makes stanzas 5 6 useless, right? ~ No clues, no words of importance or key words etc.
        Until we bring up another comment that all the words in the poem were deliberate and risky to discount them.
        Ah! crap… well, there go that theory that a key word ‘must’ be prior to a clue.

        Alright.. with all that crap said; Why can’t the word “blaze” [not its reference] be a word that is key and help with deciphering WWH? Or any other later word in the poem… I mean, we’re talking about how a word can help figure things out, and not so much trying to figure out that specific word’s reference of that word or words. Do we dismiss Wood, or Brave, Brown or Meek, Tired or Weak or even what tired and weak could mean… just because we should “solve” the first clue before all others ‘clues’?
        ~How do we do just that [solve the first clue] if we don’t utilize all the poem’s words? and still keep in mind; all the information to find the treasure is in the poem.

        I’ll add this for thought;
        Could a person reasonably just use the words in the poem and find your treasure chest? Thank you ~Nope
        Thank you Nope. Nope.

        We have torn this this Q&A to shreds, and the most reasonable answer to why the poem words won’t find the chest is, you need to be there to find the chest… the question never allowed for physical presence, for a physical retrieval. fenn answered the question as it was presented.
        But that doesn’t mean the poem alone doesn’t have ‘All’ the ‘information’ to do so… a physical presence is needed. ~Basically saying; it can’t be ‘done’, ‘completed’, ‘completely solved’, to within a few feet, just by the poem.

        I think the word that is key words similar… it’s a specific word that kicks off the first clue only, and not a magical word that is all knowing for a solve.

        That was a long way to go to get my point across, but I like to show how I think things thru, rather than a fortune cookie post that don’t explain any thoughts at all.

        There ya go -Jake with the hat- … a nice long post for ya to run your spellcheck on. I don’t want ya to be bored.

        End of commentary…

        • Hi Seeker, I had a word that I thought related to the first clue. But the idea that the key word, “had” to relate to the first clue, never occurred to me. That’s one of the best ideas ever posted. IMO

          • I think that a key word may relate to the first clue in FF’s poem, but is not crucial in
            solving it. Good luck, all. As always, IMO.

        • Seeker,
          You mentioned fortune cookies, so here’s my best shot at one:
          “A word that is key” is quite apart from “THE word that is key” or “THE key word.”

          And another:
          Teach people WHAT to think and they will graze placidly among other sheeple, but inspire people to learn HOW to think and they will soar with eagles (tragically, I’m no Confucius).

          I’m sure you’re aware it’s mostly a waste of ink to attempt to sway opinion on blogs without cited facts, and there are very few facts in The Chase that are relevant to the poem’s solution. I know I’m not the brightest star in the drawer – or something – but that doesn’t deter my attempts to encourage intellectual gymnastics.

          To be perfectly honest, in the past few years I’ve given NO thought to F’s “a word that is key” comment. I need ALL my synapses and most memory capacity focused on correctly deconstructing F’s poem, and I give credence to only a very small number of his comments – just my approach.

          Last thoughts on your post:
          I agree there’s no “magical word” that breaks open the poem, FWIW. Too, I seperate F’s “word that is key” comment from his statement regarding looking for key words in searchers’ emails – I believe those contexts are independent and unrelated, again FWIW. IMO, F understands what words a searcher might articulate depending on how close they are to a “correct solve”, and I believe such a searcher’s words will be unique relative to words in the poem that are key – of course, it’s highly probable I’m wrong.

          It’s going to be a long winter, no?

        • *** *** *** Seeker supposed – “I’ll add this for thought;

          ** ** “Could a person reasonably just use the words in the poem and find your treasure chest? Thank you ~Nope”
          “Thank you Nope. Nope.” ** **

          “We have torn this this Q&A to shreds, and the most reasonable answer to why the poem words won’t find the chest is, you need to be there to find the chest. . . ” *** *** ***

          It’s much simpler than that – you left out the first part of Nope’s question, the qualifier about the backstory.

          The simple answer in short, if you don’t know there’s a treasure chest hidden in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, then neither the words-in-poem *NOR* any amount of boots-on-ground will find it.


          • Not really, Nope’s question has ‘treasure chest’ in it.
            The poem has treasures, chest and “trove for all to seek”
            In the mountains doesn’t truly help with the clues, as much as., gives us a much smaller area than the entire USA… I mean, at the time wasn’t Canada still in play?

            C?mon, which Jake am I speaking to? lol

            AH! just had a horrific notion… twins.
            Please say it ain’t so… Hahahaha.

          • If you don’t know wich Jake you’re chatting with then you may want to quit the chase. I just flushed your twin and watched the coriolis effect at work.

          • So you’re saying my twin thought is full of crap?
            Well, that’s a good thing… The thought of two of those hats floating a is no place for the meek.

          • Nope’s question also has the word “reasonably” in it.

            Canada? Without any backstory, Canada, Crete, Korea, Capetown, and the Galapagos Islands are all in play. I don’t see any nutritional value at all in that particular Q&A. It’s comic relief.

            And yet here I am still shredding and hacking away at it too. 😉

            Which Jake, heheh, a reasonable question – my mug’n’cap are on display here:


            I’ll go back to the sig I started with on HoD, when Jake F and at least one other Jake were already posting regularly when I got here.


  12. FOCUS:
    1. the center of interest or activity.
    1. (of a person or their eyes) adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly.
    “try to focus on a stationary object”
    2. pay particular attention to….

    • A couple other nouns (Wiktionary):

      The exact point of where an earthquake occurs, in three dimensions (underneath the epicenter).

      The most important word or phrase in a sentence or passage, or the one that imparts information.

      • Ah! PD,

        There’s the catch 22… “or phrase in a sentence or passage”

        Can the word of importance be something / single meaning of many words combined?
        Full sentence; begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk.
        20 words.
        line broken by commas; 3 choices for a word.
        Phrases? holy crap that’s a lot of word to brew over…

        Could “Begin it where” produce a word of importance like ‘time’.. ‘looking’ back in time? OUAW?
        Could “take it in” produce a word like ‘viewing’ or ‘observing’
        “Not far” to mean near, “Too far” – ‘don’t’ walk. or not far back in ‘time’ but can’t go back?
        LOL is “it” the magic word we all seek? Could IT mean the waters?
        Can “tight focus” be a hint related to the word that is key? “Gaze” maybe? to look steadily and intently… or “take it in”
        “Seek” is a word that means look for something
        “Gaze” is to look steadily
        “Look Down” is to. Well, look in a direction, “canyon down” is a direction as well. Do wee walk or just know something is not far to ‘see’
        “Put in” in the same context could mean ‘Look Below’ or down.

        LOL there seems to be a lot of observation going on in the poem… well, that I can ‘see’ anyways.
        Ha! maybe “observing” is the word that is key?

        • Hello Seeker. Observing could be a good possibility. Not far, but too far to walk could mean to stand still. I’m not sure if that makes any sense, but it’s something that I thought of a few days ago.

  13. knowingly =
    in a way that suggests one has secret knowledge or awareness.
    synonyms: deliberately
    ** There is no ambiguity with “feet” and “yards” within the context of the quote, thus “steps” is used for his subtlety.
    steps =
    a measure or action, especially one of a series taken in order to deal with or achieve a particular thing.
    a stage in a gradual process.
    ** Given the above definitions, I have the correct solve with one last step to complete, so for now, I’m probably more than several yards away. But what do I know?

      • Seeker –
        Typically my posts are geared for the focused few and they always fall on deaf ears. It’s lonely but I kinda like it that way, if you know what I mean.

        … Ok, here’s an innocuous know for you.
        I know there is no key word per se, because you don’t recognize it as a key word until after you have knowingly solved the clue.

        • I hope this knowlege has allayed all concerns about finding a key word, but woe unto those who believe that they have solved the poem and don’t surely know the word that got them there.

          • ID, our search areas are very different – and of course we are each handicapped at the moment, for different reasons.

            Unfortunately, in my solution, the finale is not a team activity.

          • Dear Idle: I offered Vox to tell him the solution. Being the gentleman he is he politely declined. I just cant convince anyone. No one it seems thinks outside the box…or is it in the box? Oh well…It doesn’t matter…I’m still wonely….
            Please excuse the cursing at the being of the video…otherwise it pretty much reflects how I feel….

        • Isn’t that more a confirmation words than a key word?

          I mean, the whole point of a word that would be key is to help with an actual thought, rather than something that say or implies later… hey, good job done after ‘knowingly’ solve a clue.

          But, I can almost see what you might be implying.

          For example; if the word that is key ‘comes from’ [lets say] “wood” yet it’s not truly wood… it might be meant as petrified wood [ by definition ]… then NPFTM might hint at a petrified forest, rather than a standing living forest.
          Another thought would be why ‘alone In there… bold’ would hint at petrified.. bold meaning not meek or timid or intimated. The same can be said for brave to be opposite of petrified…. all relating to a place / the same place, on a map.

          But don’t we still need the idea of what a key word does as far as helping / being in tight focus with??? rather than only known of – after you “solve” anything?

          I guess i’m not following your, who’s on first-?- if you already ‘know’ who, who is. Or we don’t know who who is because we don’t know who died in the first place… or.. umm… err, ah! crap, I forgot where am I or was… Watt was I talking about?

          • I think the key word acts like a “Key”. For instance, let’s say you had four houses, one in each state involved in the chase (Mt, Wy, Co, NM). Then you found a key that belonged to one of them. You could try that key in the lock of each house until you found which one it belonged to. Now you have narrowed the chase from the size of four states to a specific area in just one of those states. Personally, I ask myself why I even try to help. No one ever listens to me anyway. (That’s why it’s so lonely in my search area)


          • Billy,
            Ha, don’t worry, you’re not invisible! I hear you, and I believe you’re spot-on. I won’t spend time trying to find a key word within the poem or otherwise. However, I believe there is a key to solving the poem, and every searcher inherently possesses it. Forrest said this in 2011 during an interview with Jennifer London:

            “If a person will think, they can find the chest. But the secret is to think, and analyze, they can find the chest.”
            ( at ~10:25 )

            Hence, it’s always been my best guess that the poem’s key is to think, and as with many things in life, we can’t be taught to think – we must learn.

          • Billy, you started off by stating it as “I think the key word acts like a “Key”.”.

            It’s “a” word that is key, not ‘the’.

            Some say what’s the big difference?

            Imo, the big difference is what makes me not agree with Jonesy’s opinion about f’s word that is key proclamation which is posted just below in the thread.

            More specifically, we’ve had searcher Cynthia post that she talked to f right after he issued the “a word that is key” proclamation and she said he further described to her (paraphrasing >) that many of the lines in his poem contain a word that is key.

            Another veteran searcher named JJ has also previously posted on Dal’s and another site that he had emailed with f and told f essentially that he found the combination to unlock the poem. F’s response to him was that it took a key.

            So, I think f’s key proclamation was important for the idea of focusing on some type of word(s) that is key.

            F saying that he thinks the treasure might be discovered sooner than he anticipated doesn’t really affect my belief in the validity that a new, unknown dynamic in the poem was uncovered by a few searchers that can be valuable in helping one find the tc.

            Remember, f has said before in responses to searchers’ questions that he doesn’t really have expectations about when the tc will be found. His gut feeling was off also.

  14. I’ve said this a million times, but I dont understand the logic of this quote pointing to a positive correlation with a key word.

    If I were to say “Many of the blackjack dealers are drawing 21 while only a few are busting. I may be out of money sooner than I expected” the assumption would be that I would be out of money due to the MANY.

    If MANY are giving serious thought to the clues….and only a FEW are focusing on finding a key word….then wouldn’t logic suggest that the chest being found sooner than one thought would be due to the fact that MANY are on the right track while only FEW are off course obsessing over a key word?

    I dont understand the backwards logic of assuming the conclusion of the chest being found SOONER than one thought being drawn from the assertion that only a few are doing the correct thing. I cant wrap my head around where that is logically a viable product of the statements in the OP.

    Seems like people are reading what they want to think he said, versus what was actually said….though I give him props for his salesmanship skills. He didn’t mislead people, but people are misleading themselves.

      • Bingo . . . sorta. Not all leaders do the right (good/ethical)
        thing(s). But to lead is to excel . . . sorta.

        In the specific case, I think QUALITY of correct thinking will prevail over QUANTITY of ineffective thinking.

        If FF believes that a few searchers have been in focus with “a word that is key”, then I also believe this to be the case. Reading TTOTC many times could be helpful, if
        the info that was read sinks in.

    • A Jamie Jones sighting…The thought of Buckeyes enriches my taste buds. Anyway, that is if he means searchers and not clues. You are right, the many ways to think of that may be involved in what he said has become a little much. If clues are in tight focus, then it goes to reason that the key has meaning to that set of clues that are close together. And, with his comment of really only needing to solve the last clue, then we are talking about the final clues. I think that is what he is saying and not meaning to imply “searchers” are in tight focus. We only have a few that have arrived at the first two by accident, and maybe some/someone that may have come to the forth but not sure. That would leave the final clues not touched and his comment more inline with the clues being close to each other in the end. So it brings the thought of a word, used in the comment, and in the poem to be something that supports a key. More thought should be put in the poem, because if it is that important, the poem will solve for it.

      To think there is a magic word that opens up the poem is ridiculous. I don’t see this as him referring to the few as searchers. I see his comment from the few clues that are in tight focus. The only correlation I can see would be from that line in his statement, it being in the poem, and what it is doing in the poem. From reading the line, it sounds like he is saying the word is “that” or “key”. Since “key” isn’t in the poem, and that is, well, go figure. The word “that” is key. With it being the 113th word, and not really having any meaning, it’s easy to see that it is a distance. But again, like you said, that is one searchers interpretation. And we love to exaggerate everything. But I agree, searchers put to much thought in what they think he said compared to what he actually has said.

      You could compare it to his ATF that I love, that in the book, the answer to wwh, Brown, hoB, and the blaze are not given in a subtle way. Meaning, those things cannot be solved. But searchers dwell on the fact that they have solved for these things that have no answer. The only clue needing to be solved is the last, but, we will just forget about what f is saying and post that we can solve these unsolvable clues.

      You can only take some of these horses to water, but in the end, cannot make them drink. The guessing about some magical word will continue, as the rabbit holes start to bevel, more and more will slide in. There will still be those that say the two trips were on the same day, even though he won’t go down then back up then down a canyon, because his second trip he took a short cut, even though he says to follow ALL the clues, there is no other way. But we could drive to the third or forth clue, and not have to go all the way to the first on the second trip, even though we will follow no shortcuts. It is mind blowing how the masses just don’t listen.

      • Wait! What? ~ ‘because his second trip he took a short cut,..’

        How do you ‘shorten’ the “most direct route”?? Taking the “exact same’ route in reverse” – “following the clues when he hid the chest” – ” done’ in one afternoon”

        Dear Mr. Fenn, Once you hid the treasure, did you take the exact same route in reverse to return to your car?”
        Thank you. ~ Tyler Y.
        Yes I did Tyler, it was the most direct route. f

        If he “followed” the clues when he did the task of hiding the chest… for your scenario to happen, Follow would ‘need’ to take on two different meanings at the same time.
        The first time he followed part of the poem by understanding what the clues refer to and where they would be, and then parked some where to follow others in a physical hike.

        But I’ll take it one step more; IF he had to ‘drive’ a single route from the first clue to any later clue because it’s the only route to get to that later… that’s not following by any definition. That’s just passing by… something anyone could do, and not know of those clues, right? All they would need if the 3rd or 4th correct. Yet to our knowledge, no one has got those two clues correct… so you would need to give a reason why WWH doen’t need to be nailed down ‘or stay home’

        Fenn’s comment about the last clue [ the last one ] is common sense. You can have 8 of the clues deciphered, but if you don’t have the last clue… ya still have nothing.
        So when fenn said we need to follow all the clues [ have all the ingredients ] because to his “knowledge there is no other way” LOL well, he created those clues, and finally told us he “followed the clues”… so, he must have done ‘just’ that, all the clues, in the correct order “when” he hid the chest… and he **walked** less than a few miles to do just that.

        Your scenario [ no matter who is searching ] has someone at the first clue and/or first two clues… yet folks have been within 500′ and 200′ ONLY having those two clues?? Where does driving come into play? The problem is, for all, or anyone, to get that close and had the need to drive some unknown distance AND STOP in the same place… a third or fourth ‘consecutive correct clue’ is “required” to accomplish that. ~There is no other way~
        Yet for years [7 plus] fenn was admit; no one gave him the correct clues in order, past the first two.

        You’re forcing a need for driving because you don’t think NF, BTFTW can mean something else but a distance that needs traveling. You can think what ya want.. but to get near the chest {folks “unfortunately *walked* past the treasure chest”}, with a distance that needs driving to somewhere, from the first clue / first two clues… you ‘NEED’ a third clue to tell you when to hit the brakes.

        You said ~’It is mind blowing how the masses just don’t listen.’
        I agree. Welcome to the mass hysteria, your membership card is waiting for you at clue one.

        • Seeker, you either misinterpreted what I was saying, or, Shoot, I don’t know what else. I’m saying that most go against that thought of following all the clues. Not my scenario. I’m saying that he did follow all the clues, both times. And for him to do that, he wouldn’t go down then up then down on the same day. I’m saying there are no shortcuts, both trips he follows all the clues. Since that’s what he is saying, you cannot drive to say the first two clues, then on your second trip, skip the first two. This leads to him walking all the clues, both times. I have always said, you park at the first clue, then start walking. That’s what fits.
          Just because people have come to within 200′, 500′ means nothing. We cannot assume that is a horizontal distance. It very well could be elevation. The searchers that arrived at the first two clues, so what, they knew nothing. And, of course you will follow all the clues, no other way. It has to be. But the last clue being common sense isn’t what he said. You know, he said that is the minimum you need. That means I don’t need to have a solve for the previous 8 clues. Solving the poem is different then solving the clues. The poem solves to a spot, 8 clues will be on that path, to get to the chest, you need to solve the 9th clue from the poem. That is what is mind boggling to me. Searchers continue to solve for things that are unsolvable. Some clues need to be learned/found. What you said:
          If he “followed” the clues when he did the task of hiding the chest… for your scenario to happen, Follow would ‘need’ to take on two different meanings at the same time.
          The first time he followed part of the poem by understanding what the clues refer to and where they would be, and then parked some where to follow others in a physical hike.
          But I’ll take it one step more; IF he had to ‘drive’ a single route from the first clue to any later clue because it’s the only route to get to that later… that’s not following by any definition.
          Is exactly what I’m saying. It cannot work that way, you need to follow all the clues all the time, no shortcuts. He even says we have a long distance to walk, I’ve always said it, so I don’t know if it was me explaining it terribly, or I was in a hurry, or you just took it wrong, point is, Shoot, I don’t even know what the point was.
          So hear me, I now and always will believe that you park at clue one and walk to the chest, a long distance. As far as the comment about two trips in one afternoon, I see that as he talking about the one trip, not the one afternoon. He took two trips and was done in one. The last of course, when he was 79/80, which was his B-day, Aug. 22, 2010. He was 79 when he started that day, 80 when he got back to the car. So don’t go where a 79/80 year old man wouldn’t go. I also think there is only one way in one way out. At least for the norm, I guess someone could parachute in, probably illegally, but hopefully you get my drift. The best route is the one that goes in and the same way back out. Like he said regarding the first clue, “you need to find out….you need to learn where the first clue is” I agree, because the poem solve gives you a spot to go to, draw the path out to where you would start, that is wwwh.
          My opinion, Park, then walk roughly 5 miles. It is on a trail, because that is what he said. Hopefully, I explained a little better.

          • PosionIvy,

            I git most of what you’re saying and agree with most.. But lol now ya really lost me on starting at age 79 and leaving at age 80… OK so it was his birthday he may have done the task, but does that help?
            I don’t know the time of day fenn was born… so I don’t see the relevance to know ‘that’ day.

          • PoisonIvey: you wrote, in part: “As far as the comment about two trips in one afternoon, I see that as he talking about the one trip, not the one afternoon. He took two trips and was done in one. The last of course, when he was 79/80, which was his B-day, Aug. 22, 2010. He was 79 when he started that day, 80 when he got back to the car.”

            Absolutely false. Refuted by Forrest’s own words as well as witness accounts. The treasure chest was hidden prior to July 13th, 2010 — more than a month before Forrest turned 80.

          • Zap ~ ‘ Refuted by Forrest’s own words as well as witness accounts. The treasure chest was hidden prior to July 13th, 2010 ‘

            Well that’s late breaking news I must have missed.
            ya got a link, a report, a video… I can ketchup on?

          • Zap, pi… and Seeker… do you find it at all interesting that the TOTC was *published* January 2010, *released* in October 2010 ?

          • January 2010 is simply what’s printed on the Edition Notice page of the book.

            October 2010, the release date, is when printed copies of the book were actually available for release.

            No significance to the difference that I can see, or at least nothing useful. It’s from a small press, and unlikely ff micro-managed the edition notice. Likely just means that that’s when it hit their ‘work-in-progress’ list.

          • No Seeker, it doesn’t help. I was just rambling.
            Zap, could that have been the first trip?
            Seeker again, zap is referring to last eye witness accounts of when they saw the chest. I think it was Shiloh or Preston, I forget. I agree Zap, I have his first trip well before his B-Day, doesn’t really matter. I’m not 1000% on his B-Day, but it is when he was 79/80. If we take him at his word, like so many like to drive in, then that is when he was 79/80. Simple, means nothing.

            Ken, the thing I have noticed is the difference from his B-Day and the release. 64 days, could that be the mirror of the latitude? He mentioned this “Book of Days”, I have an explanation for that number in the poem, but there is something about the words in the book, 28,800, the difference to 80 years, 29220 days, or 420, and his comment. My book of days is the clue lines per stanza added to the key line, I get 29,220, probably coincidence, but there are reasons for his stories, not sure yet. I just think they are like little puzzles that f has included, really mean nothing, like when he hid the treasure, side notes if you will.

            Seeker again, so, since I agree with you that it really means nothing, and you agree with me on the other stuff, can I assume that we see the whole thing the same? Lol, just kidding. A little more time until the numbers start to soak in, whether they are wrong or right. Plus you need to work on your spell checker, maybe someday.

            I think Jamie comes out of nowhere sometimes to drop a topic for us to pull apart. She is pretty smart, almost intimidating. Notice, not too many “pirates” around anymore. Lol, still haven’t forgotten that verbal pirate execution that happened so long ago. Good to see you Jamie…

          • Seeker: I’ve posted my research for generating that hide cutoff date at least twice here before. Start with KBCO-FM Podcast (11/18/2010). Irene Rawlings talks about gallery owner and author Forrest Fenn and his book “The Thrill of the Chase”. Link:


            In it, Irene mentions having lunch with Forrest in July 2010, and during the lunch Forrest tells her he has “… hidden a treasure box – a box full of gold – and was just finishing up a memoir of clues and how to find it.”

            I dug into this further and found that Irene was in Santa Fe on Tuesday, July 13th, for her book-signing at 5 pm at Garcia Street Books, so it’s likely that her lunch with Forrest was on that day, or a day either side of it since Irene doesn’t live in NM. Even July 13th is generous if the chest was hidden in Wyoming or Montana — he would have needed a day or two to get back to Santa Fe in time for that lunch.

          • Jake… the significance(or not) is that if the book was written and listed as published in January 2010, and was in progress printing etc. for October release date, that the *deed* was done as early as January… or maybe earlier. yes/no?

          • Just to clarify… The date/s are probably not significant as a good searching tool per se. The exercise is more a fact finding mission to clarify Fenn’s statements to get a sense of chronological order to all of the events leading up to the launch date. It is winter mode…

          • Zap…

            Sure, I know of the interview, but what difference does it make… it seems the chest was in its place before July of 2010 [13th]. Later the book published.
            Any date after that shouldn’t have any bearings on the hiding of the chest… right?
            All we really have is “at age almost 80” it was time act.
            However, we now know it was “summer” when fenn hid the chest. IF, big IF, a date was/is usable to help with the challenge, there is only an approx month window to work with; June 21 thru July 13.
            [ ok 23 days, probably less, for traveling and not letting anyone know the chest was actually gone. I think it would be safe to say we can eliminate another week or so, before the set date of that interview]. so we should be able to round it all off with a two week grace period; from the date of the hiding to the arrangement of the interview [ assuming phone calls were made to do just that ].

            And, should any date be reasonable for why it would be important to understand, regarding the clues- if for any reason- would be the first day of summer..imo. Possibly the idea of “if you can find the blaze, the distance… would be obvious.”

            [ other than the blaze being a marker, idea ] What could cause an unknown distance to produce itself-?-to an exact spot- of something hidden from view?……… Something that needs “planning” and “observation” and a need to be on site. As well as, something that; time and movement of the RM’s would have an impact on in 3009 making it more difficult to find the chest… a 10 sq inch piece of real estate, that nobody will stumble upon…

            LOL and it might be told of, in the poem. The date and what to do.

          • Seeker: “Sure, I know of the interview, but what difference does it make…”

            Hey, you asked, I answered. I would say it makes a difference if he hid the chest in June if a searcher thinks the hiding place is at 9800 feet in northern Montana. (“Get a new solve.”)

            “… it seems the chest was in its place before July of 2010 [13th]. Later the book published. Any date after that shouldn’t have any bearings on the hiding of the chest… right?”

            Yes, that’s why I poo-pooed the whole business about hiding it on his birthday at the transition from age 79 to 80. Forrest has eliminated that possibility. (That, or he lied to both Doug and Irene, which I think is grasping at straws.)

            “However, we now know it was “summer” when fenn hid the chest. IF, big IF, a date was/is usable to help with the challenge, there is only an approx month window to work with; June 21 thru July 13.”

            I’d allow any date in June. For Forrest (IMO) summer = June+July+August. People can argue that summer doesn’t start until June 21st (most years), but the date of the solstice is hardly the relevant number for a boy anxious for summer vacation to begin.

            “[ ok 23 days, probably less, for traveling and not letting anyone know the chest was actually gone. I think it would be safe to say we can eliminate another week or so, before the set date of that interview].”

            Agree that it’s unlikely that Forrest just happened to hide the chest three or four days before he had lunch with Irene. Need some extra fluff in there.

            As for the solstice vs. Father’s Day, I’ll side with the latter. Seems more meaningful to Forrest. It’s also a more humorous match to all the times that Forrest mentioned folks not being able to find the chest on a Sunday afternoon picnic or on “Spring Break” (get it?) I think that makes for a funny backhanded hint. But I get why you like the solstice as a possiblity — solar alignments and all. You should just be aware that the difference in the sun’s location in the sky on June 20th vs. 21st is imperceptible — less than 0.1 degrees in azimuth.

          • Zap,

            I’m not talking about 9800′ or where, or what state, as much as the interview itself.
            All the interview does is narrow down a date of possibilities. Which is ok, however, I think that the poem did it on its own… no guess work, no waiting for a possible Q&A interview… I mean, IF that interview never took place, would it make a difference? I say nope. I think the poem produces the info needed.

            Without codes or gimmicks…

          • ** ** ** Zap mentioned “. . . the solstice as a possibility — solar alignments and all.” ** ** **

            It’s clear from the context, Zap, that it’s not *your* possibility, but are there really searchers who have proposed some sort of solar, lunar, or stellar alignment elements as part of an attempt at locating the chest?

            The amount of precise information the 166-word poem would have to convey to get one to a right spot at a right time . . .

            I can imagine *that* ATF – “. . . a couple dozen searchers have now uncovered ‘one important possibility related to a winning solve”; they followed the clues to the right spot *and* on the right day, but unfortunately arrived on a cloudy morning when they needed to be there on a sunny afternoon.’

            (Though I do seem to remember one searcher writing something about a seven-foot stick and the shadow it cast being a key element of a proposed solve . . .)

            I recommend the third chapter (‘Astronomy with the Naked Eye’) of Anthony Aveni’s classic archaeoastronomy text “Skywatchers” as a corrective.


          • Hi JAK3: I’m not aware of any specific BOTG searchers who are employing astronomical alignment(s) as part of their solutions. (If I was, I would strongly urge them to reconsider.) Seeker has always seemed interested in the possibility (I think limited to sun-based), but I think the chance of an Indiana Jones Staff-of-Ra or Stonehenge-like 4D system being involved is extremely remote.

          • We will see Zap. You can twist all you want, the proof will be in the pie. There are more to just that zap, really. I like when you TRY to sound smart, I can see f laughing away next to his fire. We will see zap.

          • If we are going to get a date, we need to use the whole timeline and not just one interview. It started when f was diagnosed with cancer, Jan. 1987. When he got it removed, or, when he was told he had a 20% chance to last 3 years, when he got the idea, when he hit rock bottom, and when he got cancer, plus 15 years. I get the last week of June to the first week of July. But again, does it matter? Just a little side puzzle. But the shadow, Indiana Jones, Skippy standing, two people can keep, knowlege, and “Y”, are all part of the end, IMO. And, don’t forget the bell.

          • Zap, Seeker, Jak3, et al… The supposed timeline has issues that probably do not matter much in actually finding Fenn’s treasure. Zap has a good eye with the logic but his motivation is skewed by factors that are not true factoids through and through. The theory is a really good one Zap, and normally I might go along with it. Same goes for Seeker’s option. Still… there is no definitive proof presented as to who actually called who(that I know) when Fenn met with Irene. One would assume that it was Irene because she was going to Santa Fe for her book signing. She has known Fenn since the 70’s so it would make sense she would try to make the connection. Then again…because of their friendship…it would not be a big leap for Fenn to have known Irene was coming to town and made the call to hook up for lunch and talk shop. That said… Fenn’s TTOTC is listed with January 1, 2010 as the date of publication. As a self publisher there are a lot of hoops to jump through to get a book to the printer…as evidenced by the lapse between their lunch and the October release. Given the fact that Fenn has stated he thought of everything…wouldn’t he have been foolish to set the publishing date BEFORE he actually hid the treasure?

          • “wouldn’t he have been foolish to set the publishing date BEFORE he actually hid the treasure?”

            Yes ken, very foolish. I would think you would want the treasure in it’s hidey spot first.

          • ** ** ** Ken – “Given the fact that Fenn has stated he thought of everything…
            [ahem – “*tried* to think of everything”] 😉
            …wouldn’t he have been foolish to set the publishing date BEFORE he actually hid the treasure?” ** ** **

            All winter-mode speculation, but we’re looking at the finished product and working backwards. What if he was working on a memoir-story collection for 2010, and hiding his chest and completing the poem was just a to-do itch that grew and grew until it finally became the *main* idea of the book.

            Last known sighting of ff’s Wetherill Bracelet, May 2009

            (Summer 2009 was a *very* traumatic time for southwest artifact dealers and collectors, including ff)*

            ff turns 79, Aug 2009

            ff turns 80, Aug 2010

            *(Hardly anyone ever discusses Craig Childs’ pre-Chase visit and chats with ff in May 2009, documented in Childs’ 2010 book “Finders Keepers”, chapter14.)

            So. Did he write the book because he’d finally decided to do his “Viking Funeral” act, or did he finally work himself up to do his “Viking Funeral” in the course of putting together his memoir scrapbook?

            “. . . “when I hid it and was walking back to my car, I started laughing out loud, and I said ‘Forrest Fenn, did you really just do that?’ ”


          • Jak,

            This conversation was talked about long ago…

            Don’t quote me on this, but I think I recall fenn telling us, he wrote the book after hiding the chest and ** it [the book] wrote itself, ** taking a short time to do it. {maybe 6 weeks}
            But he was close to the deadline for publishing before the book was done…. Or something to that affect.

            So. it seems; poem was drafted and finished long before the book was started, the book was the carrier of the poem.
            But fenn need to hide the chest to complete the poem. Hence maybe why he said; **hid the chest before the poem was complete (completed?)
            The poem would be useless without the prize in place… right? No matter when the final draft was done.

          • ** ** ** Seeker requested – “Don’t quote me on this. . . ” ** ** **


            (see what I did there?)


    • ** ** ** Jonsey wrote – “I dont understand the backwards logic of assuming the conclusion of the chest being found SOONER than one thought being drawn from the assertion that only a few are doing the correct thing.” ** ** **

      I like the twist you put on ff’s “word that is key” answer, Jonsey; I hadn’t ever looked at it from that angle before.

      I think though that it’s important to consider these answers in the context of the question(s) asked. In this case, there were three questions in one:

      *** *** *** ***
      Feb 2014, Jenny Kile – “My previous 6 questions were asked shortly before last year’s February 27th segment of the Today Show. Reporting on your extraordinary treasure hunt, it resulted in an explosion of new seekers from all across the world.

      “What are some of your thoughts about the flurry of activity over the past year?

      “Did the excitement towards the Chase surprise you in any way?

      “Does it make you think the chest might be found earlier than first thought?”
      *** *** *** ***

      Three questions, and three sentences in ff’s written response.

      Answering via e-mail, it’s certainly possible that ff’s “the treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated” was intended more as a standalone answer to the third question, rather than as any consequence of attention or lack thereof to “a word that is key.”

      Q – “Given the explosion of new searchers from around the world . . . the flurry of activity . . . does it make you think the chest might be found earlier than first thought?”

      A – “The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.”

      That, anyway, is how I read it.


      • Mr. JAK3-

        You are correct, IMO. I predict the chest will be found close on a tangent very important to the ancient American Indians. This tangent is visible overheard on the winter solstice and formed by the alignment of three stars of Orion’s belt. Some consider those three stars to be represent the three WISE men. That tangent I believe, is 208.55 degrees. IMO Interestingly enough, that is similar to the number which Mr. F says we are all should be able to claim of Federal land. What a coincidence.

        • Ya ‘ta Hey-O, Billy –

          Hereabouts that time of year, Orion appears at dark kinda falling over backwards, and fades at dawn kinda tipping over frontwards on the other side of the stage.

          His belt maintains perfect alignment, but only with itself.

          Can you assist me in converting 208.55 from degrees into dollars and sense?


        • Hi JAK3: Orion’s belt is actually slightly misaligned. A line passing through the two brightest belt stars would pass south of the dimmest star (Mintaka). The misalignment is rather similar to that of the three largest pyramids at Giza — provided you orient your map with south “up”. The smallest of the three pyramids (Menkaure) would then occupy the same relative position as does Mintaka relative to its brighter belt neighbors.

          • When I’m up before dawn without my spectacles, looks like about 5 or 6 stars in his belt to me.

            four-eyed JAK

    • Jonesy…deep thought as always, and definitely challenges the gray matter when trying to understand exactly where Fenn is coming from when he answers. The problem does seem to be that often times there are more than one Q’s and Fenn’s answer/s can be misinterpreted as to which Q he is addressing. In this case I believe that he is admitting that folks have made *some* progress( perhaps to his surprise), he scans emails looking for *key* words and has seen some of those words, and he knows a lot of folks are out there searching. I too think he is a magnificent salesman and that most folks are misleading themselves. It is still a grand adventure, and when he says a few are in tight focus with a word that is key, it is not a big leap for most to put themselves at the top of that list and so goes the game…..

      • As a fan of Salinger (author of “The Catcher in the Rye”),
        I’d like to point out that the word “grand” makes me want to
        erupt. I remember that a character in that book was named Sunny. Maybe Holden’s experience with her could be called a “conversation piece”. As always, IMO.

    • Hi Jonsey1: Sorry for the long post to follow. I agree with what others posted here that there is opportunity for confusion when Forrest is answering a multi-part question. My takeaway is that he thinks the treasure might be found sooner than he expected for two reasons: that SO MANY people are searching, and that as a consequence of this a few people have uncovered something that he expected would take longer to discover.

      This ties in with another ATF from Forrest that I think gets misinterpreted because it is rarely quoted in full. It’s the “immediately started searching maps” ATF. A lot of searchers think Forrest was surprised that people went straight to maps looking for answers. But when you look at the context of the Q&A, that is not the only takeaway — nor even the most sensible one. Here’s the full Q1 from Six Questions 2013:

      Jenny: “I am sure you are aware The Thrill of the Chase has captured many hearts and ambitions of those who have read your book. Are you happy with the way the search for your hidden treasure is going? Do you have any regrets; or more importantly, would you like to see anything different in the ways people are chasing the prize?”

      Forrest: “It was fortunate that two writers, Irene Rawlings and Margie Goldsmith, liked my book enough to review it in national publications. Those stories gave it ignition. The hidden treasure story in the book provided enough propulsion to keep it in the public view long enough for word of mouth traffic to broaden its desire across America and beyond. I am more than pleased with the way it has been accepted. What I didn’t expect was the number of people who immediately started searching maps and using Google Earth to locate their special spots. Many have read my book multiple times looking for additional clues, or even hints that might assist them in the hunt.”

      I’m confident he was surprised by the NUMBER of people, not that those people would (quite sensibly!) start looking at maps. Further support for this interpretation can be found in “On the Road with Charlie”:

      Cole: “The community in the Thrill of the Chase and the treasure hunt has become massive. Like you said, there’s thousands of people looking for it. Did you ever, uh, think that it would get this big?”

      Forrest: “No. I’ve written 10 books and nobody’s ever wanted any of them. Every writer thinks their book is the greatest thing ever printed. My parents were dead, so who’s gonna buy my Thrill of the Chase book? So I printed a thousand copies thinking I’m going to die with these things. Two weeks later I went into reprint. There’s a lady by the name of Margie Goldsmith in Manhattan that wrote a story for Hemispheres magazine. The next day I got 1200 emails. Shut my system down. It took me three days to get my computer back up online.”

      • Zap,
        What do you make of “to locate their special spots”. Shouldn’t it be…”My special spot”?

        • Miafarmerfriend: I’m sure the searchers were ever HOPEFUL that their special spots coincided with Forrest’s. But since Forrest was talking in the past tense, clearly those folks all failed, and so I’d say “their special spots” was more accurate. 😉

          • Thanks for the reply, Zap. And I can see why you say that.

            But I also wondered if f might be implying *his* special spot was identifiable in some indelible way that allows having a place in mind prior to visually searching for it on a map or GE.

            My thoughts tend to short circuit when thinking about the chase… which is why I don’t post very often. So for clarity of context, I probably should have included: “people who immediately started searching maps and using GE…”.

      • You and I sing together in close harmony when it comes to those two “Six Questions Q1s”, Zap (Feb 2013 and Feb 2014).

        They both get bent out of shape due to being considered as sound-bytes out of context, and/or paraphrased (if “didn’t expect” = “surprised”, why not “impressed” or “bewildered” or “alarmed”?).


    • Jonesy,
      I’ve always wanted to ignore the ATF about the word that is key since putting the clues in a code that needs to be unlocked doesn’t seem like a very Forrest thing to do. But I haven’t been able to find solid enough counter arguments in other ATFs to refute it. You pointed the way for me with this other way of reading the original. Thank you.

    • No, Jonesy1….. I have to disagree……his statement is as follows “It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching. Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.” f

      This suggests that the “Many” are giving serious thought, but are not giving enough thought to a word that is key to the clues. And, only those that are giving serious thought and are in tight focus to this word that is key have a chance at finding the treasure. He knows who they are and they have sent him confirmation in an email or in a photo. That’s why he said the treasure may be discovered sooner than he anticipated. This is the logic one should take from his statement. JMO

  15. Hi All;

    “A word that is key” If the “Word that is key” is within the poem, we have only 166 to choose from. If, as Seeker said, the “Word that is key” needs to relate to the first clue – we have shortened our list quite a bit – “Begin it where warm waters halt…” Maybe we need to lengthen it to include the next two lines, but for now, let’s just stick to the first line of stanza #2. only 6 words –

    For me, the only word that sticks out among these six is “waters.” For me, the whole poem seems to revolve around water.(s) – WWWH, canyon down (flowing warm waters), put in, no paddle up your creek, heavy loads, water high. and maybe there are more less obvious ones in the remaining lines. – like go and leave and tired and weak (Sorry can’t take the time to explain this one 🙂

    Maybe, just maybe, if we really look into this word “water(s) we might find the “Key” to the poem. Where do waters originate – today and maybe back eons ago? How do waters flow? Fast, slow? Torrents and rivulets? Above ground and below. on land, and in the air. What is their “Life’s story”?

    Imagine (There is that word again) that you are a drop of rain or snow that helped create a glacier eons and eons ago – You started as a fragile flake of snow, and became a part of a force powerful enough to carve valleys and fill lakes with your precious liquid. You have evaporated and gone into the heavens, only to return a million, million times – each time renewing life where you land. Today you are part of a river, tomorrow a tiny rivulet that flows above ground only to go underground where you cool, and reemerge as a refreshing spring. All a part of a never ending story. Is this story the one Forrest is referring to? Is this the story that is the key to unraveling the riddle that is the poem? I think that it is – JMO – JDA

    • JDA,

      I didn’t say ‘needs to relate to the first clue”
      I suggested that IF there are other key words of importance that fenn looks for… then the tight focus word should relate to getting us started with the first, and apparently, most important clue… don’t leave home without it.
      Your scenario is a master key that unlocks the entire meaning of the poem, and not so much the first clue. With that said, fenn did say we need to ‘learn’ WWH.
      The question is; how do we go about learning? Does that info come from the poem, the poem and the book, the book, the poem and the book and the right map /GE, or do we spend hours on the HTTP:// and study ever possible avenue available.

      When I read your post, water was not the first think I thought of as a key of importance… to be honest… time was more relevant that water[s] alone. If you remover Time from the thought, all you are is wet. So IF we look at this as how water[s] go from solid to liquid to gas, rinse and repeat… and gong back to the ice-age to the present.. would the idea of “Riches New and Old” [ or what was meant by that ] be more important than the revolving cycle of water[s].

      WhatIF this is not about the water[s] cycle and more about how water is dependent on survival.. and the ‘environmental’ changes that affect the waters.
      “and realize *that all of us* are environmentalists to some degree”
      Really? Some don’t give a rats tail about the environment.. I’d even say many don’t, even when environmental changes hits us smack in the head. So is this the idea of fenn’s Big Picture? Thinking down the road? Folks don’t see the poem the way he does?

      WhatIF the word that is key, relates to water{s}, not as a cycle, but the end of it. The halting of it … The loss of Riches [new and old waters] The basic idea is; water is worth more than its weight in gold.

      Good post. It got the juices flowing for thought.

      • Seeker;

        We may be saying the exact same thing, you just might be better at expressing it than I. I may not have stated clearly how important water is to our survival, but tried to when I said “each time renewing life where you land”.

        In the poem, Forrest may be hinting at “A” cycle of water where it is visible, and then not, only to reemerge, only to go underground again. In the end, we are not sure if it will reemerge a second or third time, and this may be a “hint” at how earth’s precious water may disappear – for one reason or another.

        Will the next big war be over water? Possible. Will global warming eventually turn earth into a Mars-like – waterless planet? My crystal ball fell off of the mantle and broke – sorry, I can not know what the many-tomorrows may bring. I can only live in “today” – and thankfully that “today” includes life-giving water.

        Off of my soap-box – Gets the old noggin a whirrin’ though – thanks – JDA

        • JDA, my point was; could the preface in the book hint at environment? All our riches, new and old.

          For example: IF i wanted to give a clue that related to time or a specific date in time, idea. I may say; time was different when I was a kid, only you may not make the connection unless you had the right thoughts.
          It has nothing to do with my childhood, or the decades I was a kid.. the hint might be about when day light saving time came into affect .. time was different on a specific date.

          So instead of water being the key or important word… can something within the environment or cause to the environment have warm waters ‘halting’
          Note, I used a present tense and future tense of halt. Another words; what is the problem that had waters halting being good waters or the same waters?
          Instead of the idea of halt to mean, stop right now… looking at it as; ‘down the road’… “From there” could refer to the future environment and still be a “place” today and tomorrows…
          The idea would be that where the first clue is, is being told of as past, present and future trends, if the environment keeps going the way it is.
          GNP fits that bill well… in theory…begin it where warm liquid waters halt and take it in the canyon down… NF in time, too far to walk in time… the end is ever drawing near…

          It’s only a twist of thought [ twisted thought? ] to your idea.

          • I think I see your point Seeker. Only one of my two good brain cells seem to be clickin’ this AM – JDA

          • GNP is also the *only* place in the search states from which waters drain off the Divide to Hudson’s Bay (as opposed to the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of California, or the Pacific for all the other watersheds on the chase map).

          • Kee-reckt, Seek’, Triple Divide Peak in Glacier NP, Montana.

            If you look at the drainages in the search states, it’s at High Noon, and drains to Hudson’s Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific.

            The other triple divide in the search area is Three Waters Mountain, sw of Dubois WY. Waters draining there end up in the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of California, or the Pacific.

            All other divides are double at best, going to only two of those four possible final basins (Gulf-Mex, Gulf-Cal, Huds-Bay, and Pacific-Ocean).

            A little bit of the Bear River runs through sw Wyo, draining finally into the Great Salt Lake in Utah, an endorheic basin.


      • That is if he is saying searchers are in tight focus and not clues. But, both need to be addressed and see what he is saying in his comment. Who said they didn’t like commas. Insert some commas to his comment, maybe that will help.
        What if this word references some clues that are close together? This word somewhere in the poem, gives maybe a coordinate, would need to be a long word, but could, or maybe this words placement in the poem gives a distance? We don’t know if he means searchers are in tight focus or clues, that’s how it is read. He says a word “that” is key. What is the problem? Where did he say, a word “water” is key. Or anything for that sake? This is what I’m saying that we as searchers are not listening, and what I believe Jonsey was saying. It’s how searchers are interpreting, and until now, seems wrong. What we are use to gets in our thoughts way, meaning we get in our own way. We need to start with a blank slate and go from there. It’s best to not only see the different ways that his comments can be interpreted, but to solve for each way as much as possible.

        If you want to think there is some magical word fine, but if you are unable to see the flip side of what’s possible, you are doomed to fail, because we don’t know. Nobody can say the word “that” is not what he is referring. Just can’t because it is what he said. But all these made up words from everyone, what’s the point. They are not reading, they are interpreting. They are not listening, they are assuming. Then again, I guess it is easier to learn how to play darts…

    • Warm Springs Apache tribes

      Warm Springs boat dock North of Ennis lake Montana

      Warm springs mountain man group meets in West Yellowstone during the annual rendezvous. Don’t they also go to the crazy mountains for events?

      Warm waters could be trains or vehicles.
      If vehicles they would stop at national\state park areas to pay for permits

      A caldera’s boundary could be a halt of warm waters.
      As could a dead geyser…l

      I can name about 20 more which ‘waters’ can apply.
      So you are correct that ‘waters’ could very well be a key word.

      If the poem is a map… andi if ‘waters’ is the key word, then is it part of the “map’s legend”.
      A map’s legend explains what the legend’s symbols mean, right?
      Maybe Forest uses ‘waters’ as part of a map legend’s symbols?
      If so, ‘waters’ could very well unlock the map’s legend… that unlocks symbols of his map poem? Thus, are the clues all the names of waters\creeks,rivers,arroyos etc.?

      Certainly possible, imho.

  16. Rather than discussing what the actual word is that is key, I want to bring up options as to what Forrest was suggesting we do once we identify the word that is key:

    (1) Interpret it literally, rather than figuratively, or interpret it figuratively, rather than literally (Forrest seems to be very figurative sometimes, and very literal at other times);

    (2) Apply a dictionary definition for the word other than the default definition most people go to automatically when they think of the word (Forrest’s many quotes about dictionary definitions, e.g. the definition of “several”, support this)

    Anything else anyone can think of?

      • All and l is ten Iowa, a+l+l+l=10. That is why the word good, go odd. Since there are three values that make this line possible, two being odd values, one being even. Drop the even. A=1, L=3, or A=7, L=1. (no on A=4, L=2). SO HEAR ME ALL AND LISTEN GOOD, you need to use the whole line, (he is me, leaves you with some) Some ALL AND L is ten go od. Not the centerpiece, but close.
        I know you are hesitant in my way of finding the numbers, but you should really, give it a try. The answer to that line ends up being A=7, L=1. After you find the numbers in the poem, you then need to ask yourself, why give these letters these values? Answering that will answer all the values, giving you primary values and secondary values. The letter “E” is basically the center piece you are talking about. Just be ready for all the dumb comments about, errrr, that’s a code, no way. Just ignore the blind…IMO.

        • Gotcha, Charlie.

          I have your full key, so I understand your derivation fully. And I am very happy for you that you have a full alphanumeric output that you like. And I sincerely hope it leads you to the chest next time out.

          Unfortunately it does not work for me based on my vision for what a key should do. Ergo, I am still searching for alternatives.

          This past summer I eliminated full mathematical equivalence across “To Be” as my Fluid Math solution failed to yield results BOTG. Beautiful as it was, it failed, so I’m looking at simpler alternatives now.

          Using L = 10 as a centerpiece, one can derive:


          Now direct substitution can be made for any letter string in the poem. Coordinates in the zone can be found quite readily. Plausibility of each can be assessed by correlation of location to fit of description. Obviously this technique requires interpretative judgment, but knowledge of existing codes is not required for this concept, so maybe it skirts the rules . . .

          At any rate, I have a point of interest on my docket for next year.

          Best to you.

          • But, how about the other letters in that line? Wouldn’t “some all and l is ten good” make use of the whole line?
            Let’s try some poem words:
            blaze, bl as e, 10+10 = 3?
            How about gaze, g as e, 5+9+3?
            Add them all together: 131?
            Forrest Fenn= 4,3,6,6,3,1,2 4,3,2,2,= 25 11?
            And, wouldn’t “M” be the centerpiece?
            Finding the values is throughout the poem, not just one incomplete line. At least if you used the whole line, and came up with two possible answers, one of those could be the actual alphabet, A=1,L=3. It would be wrong but at least it would fit that one line. Just L=10 makes no sense. And then figuring out the rest is just too easy. Really think f made it that simple? You have to solve for the letters using the poem, to think he just put in one letter to solve and that gives all the values would be way to easy. Plus, these values should mean something. Sorry, I don’t see your values as valid.

          • I understand your perspective, Ivey. I, too, strongly prefer a more complex key, with mathematical validations. And, as you know, I’ve been working with those ideas and permutations for a long while. And as my as-close-to-perfect math solution failed despite 30 pages of word algebra validations of a the derived key. And as I had 2 inputs for the original key that changed 6 times as directed by the poem itself with the final key solving all 10 possible word equations across To Be just as I thought they should solve, I”ve moved away from your level of complexity in favor of extreme simplicity.

            I grant you that this key looks and feels skimpy. It’s probably wrong, as you say. And yet, it does produce an interesting coordinate combination. And as I would like to go to this place, it’s on my hit list for next summer.

            Admittedly, my expectations for this place panning out are quite low, but WTH? It’s got the same chance as any other poetically-derived solution.

            Besides, a keyword concept probably ought to be limited to a single word. Listen certainly fits that bill, especially if it served as the Longitude coordinate, as well.

            Listen = 107.1232

            2/3 of the way to a pinpoint solve with one word. Crazy simple, yet completely bold, too. Talk about needle-in-a-haystack clever, but only time will if my little idea pans out.

            Best to you.

          • Okay Iowa, I see what you are saying. Listen is as good as any. I just know you attempt the numbers and just blabbing my two cents. As always, good luck, and have fun.

          • easily deemed not probable…
            ‘all’ and ‘L’ is ten (all and listen)
            W is ‘E” and ‘found’ (wise and found) ((which already makes no sense))

            W = 5
            E = 3

            5 does not equal 3
            not without a multiplier of…
            where does it end?
            for that matter (the alphanumeric approach) why not just use the prescribed scrabble values?
            because they too are of no tangible consequence…..

  17. The very first clue line ends with halt. Is halt the key word? It stands out as it does not flow with the poem. This line starts the path to find the treasure. In a way, this can be a blaze or trailmarker. Halt is key to WWWH. Following the poem and paying attention to punctuation is vital and not getting lost with oral clues that haven’t been written or references that people bring out as they remember.

    If you’ve been wise and found the blaze. Maybe “you’ve” is key. You have studied the poem and looked at Google maps endlessly. Is this past tense implication saying you will know what the blaze is. Instead of believing that as you take the path to the TC, you are looking for a blaze, maybe it is a known and taking the precise trail, the blaze can only be seen briefly in one location which is the intersection of 2 points.

    Neither one could be a key word. You can’t discount any word because it was written by one man whose meaning is really only known by him. This is just my thoughts on some possible key words that are bias to the area that I think it could be.

  18. Poppycock = nonsense, rubbish, claptrap, balderdash
    Forrest said: Many are giving serious thought to the CLUES….NOT CLUE NUMBER ONE in my poem.

    It is amazing how word/ words travel and morph into something different than the origin. We have an old bitty living in town thst we call Telegraph Trudy. If you want something broadcast just tell Trudy. The word around town isn….telephone…..telegraph….tell Trudy. You can be sure that by the time the news gets back to you it sometimes is so full of POPPYCOCK that the original can not be discerned.

  19. I think there are three locations to identify in order to find the TC according to the clues in the poem. As the most searchers already know by now the first location is where warm waters halt. The second location IMO is the put in point below the home of Brown, and the last location is the blaze. The remaining lines contained in the first, fifth and the first part of the sixth stanza are the logistics. And the third stanza describes the path from the put in point to the blaze and back to your car IMO.

    And I think there are also three “key” words in the poem which help to identify three locations, one for each, and another key word for the final action after you find the blaze, and the “tighter focus” key word for the whole poem.

    “Halt” is the key word to identify the first location. “Home” is for the second location. And “wise” is for the third location. If one can correctly interpret what “halt” means, all you have to do is to identify where the starting location is out of many places which will fit the subsequent clues. Fenn said that there are many warm waters halt in the Rocky Mountains. If the searcher can correctly interpret what “home” refers to, he may be able to nail down the correct put-in point, the second location. Then you have to be “wise” in order to find the blaze, the third location. How wise? I can guess what that means, but most searchers will laugh at it. And finally you have to “be brave” in order to actually find the TC. I think this is where you have to be on your BOTG.

    And I think the most focused key word is “Brown”. If you correctly identify who or what this “Brown” is, then you will be able to find the second location together with the “home” to correctly nail down the put in location. Then you can park your car there and start walking toward the blaze. Fenn said once that you can nail down the put in point it will definitely (not the exact word Fenn used, I guess) lead you to the TC’s hiding place.

    Then the first half of the third stanza describes the path to the blaze, and the second half of the same stanza describes the same path, the only path, after you retrieve the TC, to your car at the parking lot.

    Happy ending! Of course all these are my humble opinion only.

    — MajinKing

    • After retrieving the TC, it may be kinda arbitrary what path is taken to return to your parked car. Something relatively short, rather than
      winding for the sake of scenery, might “fill the bill”. As always, IMO.

      • Hi tighterfocus,

        According to my current solve, I think the return path is the same as the path to the blaze, but also it is THE ONLY path there is between the put in point and the blaze. I remember that Fenn said that the path he took was the same one as he took to hid the TC and the most direct route in answering to one of the questions.

        — MK

  20. Googling “key definition” has shown me the word “key” defined as I see f as he has used it in the context of this thread. It is, here, defined as a verb. Fifth definition as listed hence, the “5.”
    be the crucial factor in achieving.
    “Ewing keyed a 73–35 advantage on the boards with twenty rebounds”

  21. Majinking…..brilliant, brillant, brilliant! BROWN …….BROWN ……BROWN. A daunting task to say the least. Difficult, but not impossible according to the wizard. So many Browns and not enough time. Could it be possible that there is something in the poem that would lend to conjuring up the right Browm. Could it really be as simple as the home of the largest Brown trout? I think he is still on the wall up at Coopers at El
    vado. Maybe a put in is on the Chama below there. Well, the bones are starting to creek and ole man winter is making himself at home and it is some time before the seekers should come out for safety sake. Lots of time to read and read and read and reread the poem. Brown bear, Molly Brown, Ranger Brown, Brown Pelican, Brown Wooly Worm, Rachel Brown, Brown Bat, Brown trout, Buster Brown, Brown & Bigaloe, Brown buffalo……………

  22. But here’s the thing; fenn admits; figuring out the first clue before anything else [clues] is a must.. IMO the idea of a word that is key would be focused on that clue [the first clue].

    Well stated, Seeker IMO, I would think that since the first clue is “Begin it where warm waters HALT” that the Thrill Book might offer some (hint) guidance to that (Halting) place, so what happens on page 9 TTOTC? A Border, is introduced, where we must halt, next to a Canyon Down and a “put in below the home of Brown”. First two clues confirmed IMO. Key is Halt/Border, the Canyon, from there is no place for the meek. Which creek is nigh and drains into this canyon? Why would a creek be not paddled and Just (only) heavy loads and water high?

    Some time back after the release of “The Lure” ff made a comment that no one had given more than the first 4 clues and hinted that stuff said by many searchers might be given but in the wrong order, it was at the theatre I think after the first showing. can’t find it, but I paraphrase.


    • Not before everything else TT. Lucky you added (clues), lol. It is possible to know the end spot before the first clue, IMO.

  23. Just caught up with this entire post to this point. Zaphod dropping some A+ knowledge, IMO.

    I suppose this is why I need to keep reading these things. Cheers.

    • Thanks, FMC! You’ve reminded me … back in September you were close to sending your latest solution to Dal to post. Did that ever happen and I just missed it? I see yours from 2017, but I’m assuming the 2018 one was different.

      • Sorry for the delay, I’m still not getting notifications for this thread and I’ve been taking a break from keeping up as diligently with these threads…

        Yes, it was posted in September(?) I think. I’d link it, but that would make it too easy to find for the masses.

      • Hi FMC: well if it’s there, it’s posted under a name other than FMC. The only FMC submission under “Other’s Adventures” is “Going to See the Elephant” from August 2017.

          • Dal, with how much you have done for the chase community while working and searching I am not surprised, or offended, by trivial oversights. Just to clarify, I mean the link not being added to the page (not FMC’s solve). I am more impressed by how well this blog runs and is maintained. I only knew that it occasionally happens because mine never made the list.

          • Dal: I echo Idle’s sentiments. I love how this blog is organized and I have no complaints. You have a life, and that you dedicate such a large portion of it to maintaining such a smoothly operating, wonderful treasure trove of information is an astounding gift to everyone here.

        • Thanks, Idle! Now that I visit it I realize I must have read it right when it came out — just didn’t remember that it was FMC’s submission.

  24. I think “it” is the key word. It defines wwwh as something that can be followed.Where warm waters halt has to be “to far to walk from the next clue”.I can not see wwwh as anything but a starting point to drive from.

  25. Only thing that i have found that matches wwwh that can be followed is the continental divide trial’The map in ff book is a copy of the first continental divide trail map,this fits look at the hole pitcher ff has stated over and over.

  26. ff has said that if you follow the clues you will find the box. if wwwh is a place there is no why to go too the next clue.

  27. and heavy loads water high. could be a dam.ff made it clear that wwwh was not a dam’Why?”

  28. Key word in the poem, just me maybe, “Waters” to me is the key word. Also in the poem is the word water. Where warm “waters” halt and “water” high.
    Just me again, if you can discover the difference between “waters and water”, you just might discover a new place to look.

  29. Perhaps,
    A key that fits a word, is a word that is a key.
    Just as an eye in sight, can help one see.
    The sound of silence, to assist the ear.
    Echos to be heard, a ghost most fear.

    The pool of spells, prehistoric head.
    Reminding us all, not all life is dead.
    Though waters will rise, waders are warm.
    A kitten will call, the dove to warn.

    A turtles tail, will know it is ours.
    Just look up, and follow your stars.
    Travel through space, forget the time.
    Iconic memories, of a terrestrial kind.

    With bears and ice, stick figures talk.
    It’s here you’ll find, the art to walk.
    Just don’t forget, it’s all for fun.
    And learn to dance, with a skeleton.

  30. Maybe “halt”, as in moving with a halting motion. It makes me think of a locomotive starting out, chug……chug…… chug, ect. It makes me think of Chugwater, WY. all though it’s outside the search area.

  31. Dear Design-
    The key word is why…….I cant tell you just how important it is to narrowing down the search area,….but I can tell you it is right up there next to the double omegas! All of course IMO.

    Best regards;

    1f Billy

    • No, leigh, but . . .

      . . . when ff came out with the ” . . . you can’t ignore any of the nouns in that poem” comment (On the Road with Charlie pt I), I took a moment to list all the “the noun” combinations (on the same page where I listed all the “in” occurrences in the poem, because some of them become “in the . . . ” combos).

      There are nine:

      the canyon
      the home
      the meek
      the end
      the blaze
      the chest
      the cold
      the wood
      the gold


      • interesting, I wonder if “The answers” can be construed as a noun. And then again, we would have to ignore entire parts of the poem that seem important, like loads, water, paddle, etc…..

        and also ignore the part where ff says that he crafted every word, of course that could mean he is purposely crafting misleading… welcome to another possible conflict of ATFs…

        • Good eye, Writis –

          “the answers” should certainly be added to the list between “the chest” and “the cold.”

          The three places where “in” and “the” combine are

          in the canyon [down]
          in [below] the home [of Brown]
          in the wood

          (The “in”s are
          in there
          in the canyon
          in below the home
          in peace
          in the wood)


        • its the words that you know are significant (for sure) that just isnt so

          its the little things (words) that count

          …i think

  32. Site works mostly smoothly and I thank dal for his efforts. I am still having trouble at the moment with subscribing (this attempt is from my phone).

    • I’ve figured out my issue and posted the solution in the OnE thread.

      My word that is key used to be not in the poem. My new one is in the poem with an interpretation I’ve not seen on this site. #hope

  33. I have a thought on the key…as I just got back from LV…all their keys are electronic…digital if you will. Made me think twice about keys.

  34. I cant decide whether the key word is halt or Brown. Needing to solve the 1st clue, is the most important per FF. So i guess I’ll go with halt. Isn’t there a warm river in Park county in the search area? Or is warm referring to us, our warm bodies halting? Like coffin lake. ( that no subterfuge atf comment confuses me on that one). Or those steam trains halting in CO? Is the triple divide peak being the trifecta, trinity of warm waters halting? Below that is the NBR , ( national bison range), hob. Three forks Montana could also be the triad, trifecta or trinity of warm water halting as well. If FF is advertising in full color per J. Lewicki, does that mean this whole poem is kinda referencing fishing? Eh again more questions than answers. Since its winter and its getting to cold to fish, i guess its time to start logisizing this poem again. Godspeed to all fellow searchers.

    • Choices you have to make to have a solve you believe in. You must learn how ff thinks. He dislikes hard fast rules, but sublet changes that requires imagination.

    • Hi TN,
      If you are able to nail down the first clue, WWWH, you can at least start your search at the right spot. But if missed the home of Brown, you are going to end up in a faraway creek somewhere deep in the RM. Please don’t forget Fenn’s comment about some lucky searchers. They were able to solve the first clue and come close to the treasure within 200′ or 500′ but past right by the treasure, because they could not pinpoint the home of Brown. In that sense I think the word “Brown” is the key, IMO.
      — MK

  35. I don’t think the “word that is key” is in the poem. But that word is in TTOTC.
    As always, IMO.

  36. I am curious if the word that is key is enough to get the “correct” coordinates to the treasure. I had an out of the blue insight that gave me a set of complete coordinates based on one word that I currently believe is key. The 500 and 200 foot circle concept works there for notable landmarks. Not that I think I have found the treasure, but a nice warm thought to help with the cold winter. Which, wow, definitely has been cold as even my cruise control wouldn’t work until my van had warmed up.

    • Idle;

      I think that you MAY be dreaming if you got a complete set of coordinates from one word. I wish you luck with it, but I, personally, would have to see it to believe it.

      The solution has evaded folks for close to nine years – who knows, you just might be the one – JDA

      • I definitely am dreaming. December of 2017 I felt confident in my solve location. December 2018 I have a different solve, confirmation bias is running amok, and my confidence is no where to be found. I think I ended up poking my head down so many rabbit holes that eventually I fell into one and ended up in Wonderland.

    • ID;

      Just for fun, I added the digits of the first set of coordinates and came up with a number. I then went searching the stories in TTOTC to see if I could find this number. Well, I couldn’t find THAT number, but I did find two numbers very near to each other in a story, that when added together equaled my number – Interesting.

      I then added the digits of my second set of coordinate and again went looking. This time, I found the exact number.

      Coincidence? Probably, but interesting none the less.

      One can make ANYTHING fit into a round hole if they have a big enough hammer 🙂 JDA

      • Interesting yes, but I could use a little clarification as I would definitely be willing to try this.

        When you say first set of coordinates, which format of coordinates are you using (degree, minutes, seconds or decimal or ?) and are you adding all the numbers in the coordinates or maybe just the minutes? Are your first and second set clue locations or just coordinates that you have?

        There is no hole on Earth that can hold Uranus.

        • ID

          I use what GS displays – _ _ degrees _ _minutes __ . __seconds

          So, there are 4 sets of two digits that I add such as 12 degrees plus 34 minutes plus 56 plus 78 seconds North

          12 + 34 + 56+ 78 = 180

          I then found two numbers that were VERY close to each other in a story that when added together equaled 180 (as an example)

          150 + 30 = 180. Hope this helps ID – JDA

          • yes it does, thanks for the clarification JDA.

            180 also is divisible by 9, but I am assuming that isn’t your actual coordinates. I have noticed a lot of the interesting numbers in the book (like the number of words) are divisible by 9.

          • Hi JDA

            I got

            .. for all to seek
            4 all 2 seek (kees)

            Using letter position in alphabet

            4x (ALL) + 2 x(SEEK)
            4x ( 1,12,12) + 2x(19,5,5,11)
            4×25 + 2×40

            Well, it was worth a try. I think it as a stretch.

          • seek meaning: 1. to try to find or get something, especially something that is not a physical object:

            Uh! Not a physical object… hmm. I wonder why this word was used?

          • (v) to try to find, to look for, search
            (v) to inquire, to ask, beseech
            (v) to try to acquire or gain, to strive after
            (v) [obsolete] to go, move, travel (in a given direction)
            (v) to try to reach or come to, to go to
            Hey… did you read some of the examples in your link? *If the people seeking amputations are harming only themselves and doing so voluntarily, then a hands-off policy is in order.* huh…

          • Point, Ken,

            We are seeking how to decipher and understand clues.
            The objective, is to find a lure [ be it what it may ] But first we need to understand why fenn chose words he deliberately used… in poem form…

            All the meanings of words, usages, definitions posted, are factually correct. { I’m not making them up }
            So, do we simply use the other definitions to keep it simple, or is our job to ‘try and simplify’ what we are being told-?- and think the right thoughts…

            Sure, while we all know the most common usage of ‘seek’.. Is that the only usage we should consider -?- just because it commonly used in that manner?

            As far as all usages… Cold can mean the flue, An emotion, a personality trait… But at some point we need to see how those meanings and usages work wit the entire poem.. right?

            Quest [ in one meaning ] search for; seek out…
            LOOK is part of that idea. To observe.
            Cold even has definitions, for example; a cold trail, or lack of information, or false leads, or failed attempts… Getting farther from something. [ I shorten those to make a point ].

            If all we’re doing here is talking simplistic, rather than, trying to simplify… well, the idea of KISS, from the get go, is still failing horribly.

            ~ I look up words and definition of words, changed them, went back and rebooted… it came out exactly as wanted.

          • You threw out an alternative meaning that seems to fit your theory…so I offered up a few to support mine and yours as well. Maybe the approach would be better served to start with the first word of the sentence and work on the subject from there… or get really off track trying all the *alternative meaning* combinations in order of the words given in the sentence. So; *therefore* seems right for that one, however, there are about 20 more choices that could/maybe/possibly be used in various combinations. If you choose [therefore] it can lead back to something mentioned previously and maybe *keep* a reader on track, or not.

          • So; be as you are, stand still
            I put that one out there for you seeker
            So; after a pause to introduce a new subject or question**

          • Oz,

            I was bored one day and thought, if 166 words ‘only’ had five definitions each, that would be 830 usages for each word…
            Then I thought, what about phrases of words… my head nearly exploded.

            If we look at three words alone;
            we can have many many usages for these words by their meanings.
            Add them together, and we have yet more usages of intent for their words references.
            I guess it would take me a long too, to design a 166 words, in poem form, in some kinda order, to relay a message that is told of, by only using those words as clues for information to be understood. And still wanted it to be difficult but not impossible.

            Oh! My shorter post is to your post is;
            I agree.

          • @ Oz – except when a butterfly is really a flutterby, then it is all about the imagination, perhaps.

          • Ken,

            Yep… as in my post to Oz… I think the idea here is to find the correct combinations of words meanings, usages, definitions, word phrasing to understand what is being relayed.
            No, that is not an easy task. But we have been told this was not easy. And fenn stated he took approx. 15 years of work to get it just right.

            And… he had all the answers /critical information to start with… For the life of me, I can’t understand how folks call fenn a wordsmith, yet expect all the words to be of the simplest ideas. We’re supposed to “try and simplify” a difficult task…

            That idea, just tells me 300,000 plus can’t follow a map or simple directions. I ain’t buying into that. But if we create a theory strictly on one hopeful / typical method… we could be forcing the wrong meanings / usages to be nothing more than a nice vacation.

            Then again, some have said there’s no need to look up words.
            I’d rather listen to the guy who created the challenge. [ his comment posted above ].
            Plain English encompasses all usages.

            LOL do I have the correct usages? IDK. But I do know I haven’t nailed down WWsH yet. So,my attempt is trying to figure out why, when folks have clues deciphered [ the first clue especially, and possible four, to date] know one knows… anything really, other than a clue’s “reference” – be it a physical or directional or instructions reference… something is missing or the process is wrong.

          • Bowmarc, I wouldn’t shift into ‘imagination’ gear right from the get go. We need to have a logical base to start from, to me it makes more sense than to follow a flutterby down a rabbit hole. lol…

            ‘It seems logical to me that a deep thinking treasure searcher could use logic to determine an important clue to the location of the treasure’

            It is logical to him that we could use logic.

          • weak; adj.(grammar) displaying a particular kind of inflection
            inflection; a change in the form of a word that reflects a change in grammatical function, a turning away from a straight course, diffraction
            I’m not dissing the idea one bit because I believe this is part of the equation…repeat….part of.

          • Roger that, Ken, part of the process indeed.

            Have you diffracted all the gerunds yet?

          • ken, Silence! I kill you… lol

            answer, :to act in response to an action performed elsewhere or by another.

            That fifth stanza is full of wonders…

          • I get the “part of”

            Some of this has a small percentage of speculating.
            But the over all idea needs a flow of constancy, to bring the ingredients together in the correct order to form what ever we have to formulate.

            For example; IF fenn ‘needed’ to follow his own clues… what would the reason or need to do that?
            Sure we can dismiss that idea because he did use “all” the clues in that comment. But I think that thought is just an excuse… IMO he followed the poem as we are told to. The poem’s “clues”, the 9 we’re told of. The alternative argument is, he never said ‘some of the clues’
            The question still remains; IF he needed to follow his own creation of the challenge – to complete it… what is the reason he might have needed to?
            My idea is he needed to find the / a blaze… meaning… he used something that was on site as his own blaze for the poem. That is what we’re suppose to be looking for.. the blaze.

            Some can argue the point; fenn knew exactly where he wanted to hide the chest.. The question is; does exactly mean a 10″ sq spot or the place that is special to him and thinks of it as his own?

            Yep, some speculation is needed, but we need it to flow smoothly, to have some kinda true confidence in how we proceed.

            I have often wondered if fenn gave up the first clue’s “reference” its physical place… could we solve the poem even with knowing that-?- using the common method of a point to point stomping mode… I got a “gut feeling” Nope.

          • Bowmarc… Fenn said not to ignore any of the nouns in the poem. So(that could be a noun) yes I have a fairly extensive list of possibles. Looking at it(the list) turns my brain into spaghetti at first glance. A few turns around the block reveals some interesting things though.

          • Seeker wrote:
            “Some can argue the point; fenn knew exactly where he wanted to hide the chest.. The question is; does exactly mean a 10″ sq spot or the place that is special to him and thinks of it as his own?”

            “The question still remains; IF he needed to follow his own creation of the challenge – to complete it… what is the reason he might have needed to? My idea is he needed to find the / a blaze… meaning… he used something that was on site as his own blaze for the poem. That is what we’re suppose to be looking for.. the blaze.”

            Q. When you wrote the poem, did you start with the first clue or the ninth?
            A. ” I knew all along where I wanted to hide the treasure so I didn’t need a map or any information to write the poem. Everything was in my head. It took me a while to get the wording exactly how I wanted it. Counting the clues and hiding the chest came later. It is not likely that anyone will find it without following the clues, at least in their mind.”


            Seeker, it would appear, to me anyway, that Fenn did NOT ‘need’ to “follow his own creation of the challenge – to complete it”……He specifically states in his answer to Waterhigh: “I knew all along where I wanted to hide the treasure so I didn’t need a map or OR ANY INFORMATION TO WRITE THE POEM. Everything was in my head.”

            Nope, he didn’t have to go on site to find a blaze in order to ‘complete’ the poem!! (oh, IMO!!)

            If ya wantsta keep believing that he ‘needed’ to follow the clues for that reason; then hey…who am I to tell you otherwise!!…..keep on, keepin’ on, my fren…. loco 🙂

            I ‘hope’ I got the correct reply button… goes nuthin’

          • between loco and I…and maybe Kraven, that comment from Fenn has been posted a whole bunch o’ times this year… for almost the same reason…

          • 🙂

            Yup ken, I know….I just thought, maybe, one more time might save the little feller?? 🙂 🙂

        • Bowmarc, I wouldn’t shift into the ‘imagination’ gear right from the get go. It is easy to follow flutterbys down rabbit holes. I think we need to have a base to work with using logic.

          ‘It seems logical to me that a deep thinking treasure searcher could use logic to determine an important clue to the location of the treasure’

          ***sorry if this post came out as a duplicate***

          • Since you brought up logic, is this logical?

            There has to be a reason WHY we need WWWH to be nailed down AND WHY it is absolutely needed for the correct solve.

            In theory, as a fellow searcher, I think that it is logical that if I somehow bypassed WWWH but correctly solved for clue #2 and all the successive clues without any further occlusions/deviations whatsoever, that I could still find Indulgence. I think the same could hold true for starting from any correctly solved clue and following the remaining clues correctly without any occlusion/deviation whatsoever.

            As an example, let’s say I was driving through one of the 4 known search states on my way to one of the other 3 search states because I have the perfect WWWH location picked out. Somewhere along my journey an elk jumps out in front of me as I’m motoring along at 70 mph and I make a split second decision to jerk the wheel in an effort not to grill some fresh elk meat (pun intended HA HA). My decision to jerk the wheel (instead of jerky the elk—OK , I will stop while I’m ahead) causes me to roll my vehicle down an embankment and into the wilderness. As I am unconscious in my vehicle, the weather I have been trying to outrun prior to my elk encounter catches up to me, the clouds burst, and the rain creates a flash flood which then carries me further into parts unknown.

            When I come to, I have no idea where I am. Through my cracked windshield I see trees and mountains. When I get out I smell wonderful smells of pine needles, see pinion nuts getting carried off by squirrels that disappear into some sage brush that is noisily being munched on by a perfectly healthy, unscathed elk that is completely unconcerned about the grizzly bear fishing in the creek nearby. As I stand there, I suddenly remember something FF said and start thinking about the poem, so I start saying it aloud. While reciting the poem I spy with my little eye something that makes me think it is clue #2 of the poem and walk to it. This process of saying the poem aloud and finding each successive clue goes on until I have successfully solved from clue number 2 to clue number 9 and low and behold, there is Indulgence in all of its magnificence (OK, one more, then I will stop—at this point I really do have an idea of WWWH and half of the solution involves my bladder and the other half my pants!).

            The point of that imaginative scenario is that I was literally clueless about clue #1, but correctly identified #2 because of where my unfortunate accident landed me and found Indulgence as a result of following all the remaining clues correctly from there.

            As a result of imagining a scenario whereby a searcher is somehow lost, but correctly identifies & solves any clue other than #1 and follows the rest correctly thereafter, the only reason that logically allows for WWWH to be 100% necessary as FF dogmatically insists it is, is IF WWWH is where Indulgence is hiding.

            Without quibbling over the things I used to flesh out my story, like arguing “But Bowmarc, Elk—or Cervus Canadensis—isn’t even an indigenous species to the area you just described because they wouldn’t munch on sage brush—or Atrimisia Tridentata, because such would cause them indigestion—or dyspepsia….”, what does the search community think about this premise? Is it logical?

          • What color was the Elk???

            In your hypothetical scenario, you found clue #2 after the accident, but did it have a relationship to your original wwh or did you find a new wwh?

          • I don’t know. Regarding the first two clues, how do we know that their location on a map can also be identified while driving down the road? Especially when we have to ‘learn’ what wwh is.

          • That’s a good way of looking at it Oz. Fenn mangled the original what color is the bear riddle I think to further his point that perhaps he took things to different level and at the same time maybe emphasizing that without all of the necessary ingredients the puzzle is impossible….starting with the first ingredient.

          • I’ma gonna be agreein wit Ken, Nope.

            That would mean, any clue would not be needed to get to the blaze or at least the clues prior to the blaze [ call it HLs if ya like ] If somehow you felt you found heavy loads… why not just start from there?

            We have to take into consideration the idea of looking for later clues is not what fenn believes possible… we need WWsH. And the suggestion you mentioned;
            [~the only reason that logically allows for WWWH to be 100% necessary as FF dogmatically insists it is, is IF WWWH is where Indulgence is hiding.]

            It is quite possible. Depending on how you ‘look’ at it.

            LOL, But that is what I call a heck of a search… regardless of how it unfolded.

            But, I’m going to take it a step further. What might give us the idea that the above ‘dogmatically insists it is, is IF WWWH…’ Might be NF, But too far to walk ‘

            How are we to know what ‘Not Far” is?
            I would think, whatever is inferred of [be it another clue or a distance of something] we would need to see what “Not Far” is, to know, it is too far to walk.

            IF that is the case, being ‘at’ WWsH would be a must… right?

            Side note for the tourist with a full tank of gas; it doesn’t matter if we actually drive, hop skip and jump, or float the lazy river… we would need to see how far, Not Far is, to make any decision on what is; too far to walk to… otherwise, we need to know where that is “beforehand”. In that case, WWsH is not needed to be at.. we just drive to the place that is too far to walk.

            But we’re right back to Elk scenario… and fenn wouldn’t need to follow any clues, or even say that he did when he hid the chest.
            He would have a short cut, skipping some clues.

          • Hi Seeker;

            Just got back from the “Function @ the Junction” – A good time was had by all. Loved meeting new folks, and seeing a few that I knew before – What a group of lovely people.

            Have enjoyed reading your recent posts. I especially liked this comment: “[~the only reason that logically allows for WWWH to be 100% necessary as FF dogmatically insists it is, is IF WWWH is where Indulgence is hiding.]” An intriguing idea. Especially when you couple it with NF,BTFTW. One could be at WWWsH, and Indulgence be only a few feet away.

            This is fitting my solve very nicely. I hope to test it out in the coming weeks. Thanks for the posts – JDA

          • JDA,

            That was Bowmarc’s comment. I just add a thought that would make it necessary to be at WWsH, for the line NF,BTFTW to work. Without WWsH how would we know what is too far yet, not far?

            The kicker is; if we can figure out what NF and BTFTW means without being on site… two things happen.
            1. Bowmarc’s ‘ 100% necessary ‘ means the chest could be at or very near WWsH.
            2. His other scenario [ warning you should not day cream while driving ]. We don’t need to actually follow all the clues. Heck we may not even need to know of them..IF we can figure out a later clue, that is.

            My problem with this is two folds;
            1. There is a shortcut.
            2. Do we really know how to go about it all, if we don’t have all the information in the poem?
            Skipping over the first clue, even if possible by Elking on the correct second clue, would mean; WWsH isn’t the idea of being; the clue to nail down or stay home… we have nothing without it. Those would be false statements.

          • Bowmarc,

            If one were to miss the first clue, how would you be able to know that you had the second clue? Ya simply can’t, but you could only in a dream.

            To take a short cut is a hope and a dream to end up where the treasure is. Logical thinking, research and fact is the only way to the treasure. Now how could that not be true?

            Speculating and theorizing does not make things as fact no matter if one believes that those two do work, I wish the one that thinks that way, an extreme amount of luck.

            Just Say’n

          • Gee Wiz JDA—give credit where credit is due (Insert Smiley Emoji here).

            All the rest – There would not be any shortcuts if FF is telling us our goal first, and then telling us how to get there. (Insert mic drop emoji here).

          • Bowmarc;

            Don’t read too much into my statement. I am NOT saying that you go from WWWsH directly to Indulgence. I travel from WWWsH, down the canyon, to the put-in place etc all the way to the blaze and “Look quickly down” etc to the end of the poem – and find Indulgence very close to where I started my VISUAL journey – much of which was traveled “In my mind”. JDA

          • LOL JDA—Only meant that it was my comment that you liked, not Seekers. Glad to hear ya had fun at the Function in the Junction. Wish I could have gone.

      • On another rabbit hole related to numbers:

        15 years of setup followed by 9 years of the chase added together is 24 years, so 1 year has passed for each line in the poem since the chase started to be implemented. 1 year has also passed for each each clue in the poem. Plus 88 years have passed for the man who have brought us all together with 89 quickly approaching.

        • ID

          Forrest said that it took him 15 years to write the poem. We have no idea how many years it took him to “set up” everything. This could be a much larger number than the 15 years to write the poem – Who knows? Probably only Forrest – JDA

  37. Don’t worry Idle Dreamer, I’ve got enough confidence to compensate anybody lacking such. Every thing is as it should be.

    • Hi ID & Slurbs,
      I’m against the idea of the clues being interpreted in the form of coordinates. IMO the clues should be interpreted like they refer to the specific locations (or waypoints). If they are connected in the right order, it will eventually lead the searchers to the blaze and the chest IMO.
      — MK

      • Technically that is how I got to the area (and all my areas) but the winter is long and confirmation bias is in the air.

        • Me too! I can say that I have not searched for hints to coordinates. I have looked at the coordinates of my spot just out of curiosity. I cannot recall more than three digits of on half of my coordinates. To myself, they are not too significant. I might be able reverse find something in my coordinates, but have not done any trying to that attempt. That may be something I can focus on while we wait for all of this fresh fallen snow in New Mexico to melt.

          • Try adding those coordinates together, to get a 4 digit number, then subtract the coordinates, to get another 4 digit number. Take those 4 digit numbers and do the same thing. See what you get when you subtract those 4 digit numbers. See if that number is anywhere in the poem. Makes you think if you come up with 2442.

  38. “…only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.”

    i think Forrest means that a few have taken a photo of a word that is important. that word might be IN. the word in, in capital letters found on the lid of the wooden chest at the Draper museum. the reason the word in is important is because of the line…”if you are brave and in the wood” again the word in. and the reason, i think Forrest doesn’t put an s on the end of wood is exactly to make it work this way. he didnt mean tromping around in dangerous woods. its a hint to the lid of the chest. confirmation you have photographed the correct chest at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. there are many antique chests at the museum. only one has the key word IN, on the lid.

    here are the “few” that have been in tight focus, that i know of….

    but, of course i could be wrong as i usually am.

  39. Hi, every one i’m a new searcher and believe me when I say this. Mr. Forrest Fenn is an amazing men. I wish I could create so many adventures, like he went too. This treasure is my ticket for that adventure. This summer it will be found and it will be found by me, I have decipher all the clues. My story is super funny, but I will leave it until I find it. I hope Forrest read this because, it was around midnight that I crack the poem. With my hot chocolate at hand and lots of imagination that took me to see a lot of beautiful scenic vistas that I want to explored. This men has given so many clues that is even crazy to count. All I can say Mr. Fenn that ring you gave Mrs. Peggy is well deserve and I’m Glad she will always be your hero or your captain. Thanks see you on the summer.

    • Whew, Luis, it’s about time someone figured out the poem. We’ve all been waiting for someone like you to come up with the correct solution. Let me be the first to congratulate you on your upcoming vacation. I can hardly wait until you share the details of your adventure. Just remember, one of the best things to pick your teeth with after a mountain picnic is the feather of a crow.

    • Welcome to the chase, Luis! I will keep an eye on your progress and prepare the dough for a delicious humble pie!

      Please come back to taste it after your first trip!

      Good luck, stay safe and have great adventure!!!

    • Luis- fantastic !
      enjoy the treasure, and just take the chest.
      oh, you can just take the treasure too if you have enough film….its a lot.

      i think.

    • Well Luis, we can’t say that you don’t have enthusiasm. Welcome to the Chase and good luck. We have all been where you are, so cock sure of ourselves and our solve. We each have wondered how everyone else could have been so dumb, or blind.

      Well, as the saying goes – We shall see if your boast holds water, or is a sieve. Again welcome, and good luck – JDA

  40. Welcome Luis, Good luck in your adventure . Don’t let peoples responses discourage you. Stay positive.

  41. Nigh is an interesting word, Near is one meaning, as well as approaching, bordering on…etc.
    What is interesting is, it can relate to ‘time.’ Something that we would need to know of, that is coming.
    We have been told /suggested to “plan and observe.”
    We have been told fenn followed the clues when he hid the chest… yet… he stated; “To answer some questions and save others from being asked, I did follow the clues in the poem when I hid the treasure chest, although I hid it before the poem was complete. (Completed?) f ”

    What wasn’t completed? A clue in the poem that needs to be planned out? The entire poem needs to be planned on?

    The poem seemingly start in past tense ” As I have gone…” The jumps to present tense for the searcher… to begin. Yet later we have the line; “So why is it I must go and leave my trove…” Future tense? Past tense in line with “As I have gone… and now leave the trove?
    IF stanza 5 should mean that, Then the poem must have been complete when the chest was hidden because he followed the clues… right?

    Unless Nigh might indicate something “approaching”.. something related to
    ” ; There’ll be no paddle up your creek” An event that might need to be “planned and observed” to actually complete the clues.

    Some may say; Nigh means the searcher is getting close. Other might say a creek is flowing your way etc etc. However, many words and phrases relate to ‘time.’
    NF,BTFTW… in time, for example.
    Begin it where .. in time, for example.
    HORNAO… past and present, or even a future event idea. Example; New Years…[ in with new out with the old, line of thinking ]… a point in time that changes something related to time, or time of year… “The end is ever [always] drawing nigh [approaching]” ~ Something that happens on a yearly scheduled?

    “Riches” beside meaning; of wealth, also means; of knowledge. Is the poem hinting about the idea of ‘time’ and something that “approaches” during a time period? Something we all have ‘knowledge of’ not unlike New Years…
    Fenn said when he wrote the poem he was thinking down the road… Regardless of how far down the road… he was thinking of the future. Could it be of a future even, yet something that happens each and every year?
    The end is ever drawing nigh… it always approaches at a certain time of year.

    Grant ya, this idea won’t go over well with those who think the poem is a point to point only method. The line; “the end is ever drawing ‘nigh” in the case is more about instructions and understanding what “riches new and old” might imply… something “ever” ~ Always, approaches.

    • I believe the first and fifth stanza represent a double entendre in that there is the obvious meaning involving FF hiding the chest, and something else. Perhaps a past event. This “something else” helps us with the location of the clues. The clues then take on meaning that involves the geography and the end is ever drawing nigh has to do with something we find on location that gives it meaning. I don’t think nigh is a keyword, but something to help us get closer to the box.

    • Why does the key word or “nigh” have to be one meaning?
      I like all the ones you listed and more.
      Getting close
      North Interstate Gallatin Highway
      They all fit being my 5th clue and where I’m at the 4th clue.
      Ya, it’s in the poem as Fenn said.

      • I remember when Seeker wrote this last January. I figgered I’d wait for more responses to comment…. but that never happened. Time just slipped away…

    • Kinda the idea, Ted.
      Only that seems too simplistic and not precise enough… allow me to explain;
      I was thinking more about the ‘time’ / date during any given year the event takes place to be more narrowed down (narrow down-able?)… such as ‘fall’ on a September day or week, and not so much the color of leaves. Or New years at the end of January, as another example.
      Nigh, might not represent a searcher, a searcher’s movement, or a flow of a creek drawing closer… but something that approaches needing to be planned for and observed.
      Another thing fenn talked about is; over time, because the RM’s are still moving, that movement will have an impact of the clues… Ya got ask, why? Not only why, but how-?- it will impact them… making it harder to find the treasure.
      We are told right from the get go, follow the clues precisely [exactly].
      How exact, precise, are those clues needed to be done?…. especially when we are told; it’s not something someone can’t do over spring break or a sunday picnic; he was thinking down a 100, 1000 plus years. [ note; that’s not saying it can not be found today ].
      So we have movement of the RM’s [ assuming that implies the natural movement that has been going on for ages vs. a catastrophic event ] and time, knocking things off kilter.

      What type of ‘approaching’ events would/could be affected orver a long time span of natural movement of the land / landscape?
      I’ll add; something that can be traceable / ‘track’~ even predicted / figured out, in the past and into future… even when the movement of the clues and/or clue are/is affected.

      We are told the book will help with the clues. We are told all the information to find the treasure chest is in the poem. I think the book helps only with the ‘type’ of ‘references’ the clues were intended to be.
      I also think the poem is more about instructions of how to utilize the clue’s references, properly and intended, by fenn. And the reason they “all” needed to be followed exactly as “instructed.” A point to point stomping method allows the process to possibly skip a clue.
      Example; IF you ‘know’ what hoB is, why be concerned about WWH is?
      The question is; Can hoB actually be discovered without WWH? or any other later clue, be discovered?
      Note; the word discover… That is meant as; to ‘know’ [absolute] what it is, and where it is [exactly], beforehand.
      I don’t think that is possible…. but I do think that most, if not all the clue’s references, can be deciphered to what ‘they are’ or represent… yet, not so much of how they may have been intended to be understood and/or how to utilize them.

      However, I do think we can figure out where the clues are ‘all located’ in a certain area. In short, we should be able to discover WWH, then follow the maps ‘instructions’ exactly [the poem is the map with instructions – not so much directions only]. We follow the instructions of what is expected to be planned out for… to observe… what is taking place… something that the allows the clue’s references to unfold.
      One fun little ‘example’ would be, for this line of thinking, Yosemite’s Golden Falls.

      Think and analyze [ an analytical mind, logical reasoning ], Plan and Observe{?}, and will mostly be done by using imagination… [ *forming a concept* ]
      Nigh’s definition as; something approaching, seems to give reasoning to stanza 1 “hint of riches new and old” as to something that is observed as the change in time approaches…

      In theory…………..

  42. Dal – New word that is key idea:


    From page 15 of “Flywater”, where Grant McClintock is discussing what that word means with Scott Schnebly, who happens to own a fly shop here in Sun Valley:

    ‘Evocative of joyful days and revelation, “flywater” is the shortest poem in the fly angler’s library.’

    I still want to explore where that rainbow ends on pages 18-19 behind those cabin at Parade Rest Ranch on Grayling Creek. Could that be the end of Forrest’s Rainbow???

    • Lisa-
      I took a look out there. Didn’t find any ending rainbows. I am not certain it’s a good place to catch Browns either. Nice folks at the Parade Rest. They serve a great breakfast for $10 in their cozy lodge. I recommend it.

      • Dal – Right. Thank you. But good fishing for Arctic Grayling up that creek, if you paddle over from say the Madison Arm of Hebgen Lake, fishing a while for Big Brown trout, then make your way over and go no paddle up your Grayling Creek on foot to the Parade Rest Ranch area.

        And then there was that Big Brown bear that attacked that guy on Rainbow Point on the Grayling Arm. Where did he call home of Brown?

        Forrest and his Dad loved to fish Hebgen Lake by boat. Remember all those Brown trout in a circle in that picture in his book from one of their trips? The Brown trout head up the Madison Arm to the Madison River and spawn every year just below Madison Junction. Is that home of Brown?

        What was the exact place that you determined that Forrest put in on Hegben Lake with that blue boat and paddle in that picture of when he came back from the Airforce again?

  43. Hello all, new to this searching thing but I am trying to keep it simple and look at the word warm for my key. There are plenty of different places in all the states that do warm /springs/river/creek in the name. I look around those places for my canyons to see what fits. I have a few places I wanna check out this year sometime in the later part of the summer. Hope this helps!

      • Anytime and thanks for the welcomes. I posted not to long ago on the where warm waters are fourms, looking at Missoula, Montana. I have a few places where I think it may actually start. But this will be the first year I get to go and see some of the places. I am from Louisiana so it’s a bit far for weekend travels.

    • Reo;

      Welcome to the chase – We always look for new insight – You just might be the one to bring us that new insight. Good luck, and HAVE FUN and TRY to STAY SAFE – JDA

  44. Thanks! I am just not sure where a good general area is for posting random questions or leads that someone else may have already tracked down. I don’t wanna clutter one page that has nothing to do with the main topic.

  45. Reo;

    “General stuff” that does NOT relate to one of the threads usually goes under “Odds n Ends.”

    To find a list of the other threads – Go to the top of a thread – look on the right dor “Searcher’s Discussions” – click – you will get a list of the available threads – including archived threads of the basic topics. Hope this helps – JDA

  46. Hi Seeker,

    A few more thoughts on Forrest’s “word that is key” quote. I’m posting here in order to stay on topic.

    Here’s the quote:

    “It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching.

    Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.

    The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.”


    Here are a few things that jump out at me from this statement:

    1. “a great number of people”
    2. “many”
    3. “clues in my poem”
    4. “few”
    5. “tight focus”
    6. “word that is key”

    Here’s the thing. In tearing this statement apart, it would appear that we need to be looking for a “word”. That’s what the statement seems to be saying. When looking for this “word”, Forrest’s comment spins back to “clues in my poem”. I can only surmise that whatever this “word that is key” might be, it most likely exists somewhere within the “clues in my poem”.

    I also give the word “few” some consideration. This “word that is key” might possibly be located somewhere within one of the first “few” clues. It’s possible. It’s certainly worth exploring. Forrest also goes on to mention “many” and that “a great number of people are out there.” Could this snippet of information be pointing to a possible idea of a “word that is key?”. Of what this “word that is key” might represent? I’ve considered that possibility as well.

    Lastly, we have “tight focus”. My understanding of the poem is that there is a “looking” clue. We would probably be wise to be in “tight focus” with the “looking” clue. Makes perfect sense, right? This could also be a hint as to where the “word that is key” might reside. These are all things that I personally take into consideration when exploring the possibility of the idea of being “in tight focus with a word that is key.” Plus, I really like to tear Forrest’s comments apart. That’s half of the fun for me!

    You got any ideas on this one?

    Anybody else?

    All IMO.


    • I have found a word in the book that has always caught my eye. It’s mentioned several different times in several different contexts and is a specific word. Not something generic like water or creek.

      • Hi JimB,

        I like the idea that hints are in the book (TTOTC). I can work with that. But Forrest has also told us that all of the information to find the chest “is in the poem” (paraphrased). Shouldn’t this mysterious word be found there too?


        Can your “word” also be found in the poem? Or, Did the “hint” in the book lead you to it? I understand if you don’t want to answer. No worries. Just curious.

        If it’s “contentment”, how does that word help with the poem? Contentment would be something different for each of us. If that is the “word that is key”, I wouldn’t know what to do with it, even if I did find it. LOL.

        Thanks for the reply.

        Good luck,

        All IMO.

        • The word is not in the poem, but it is probably a word I hear Fenn repeat many times, especially when telling people what to do to find the treasure. And that word is also in both the preface and the last chapter of TTOTC

          • JimB

            Very nice. I’m intrigued. I’ts just so hard for me to imagine selecting a word, for help with the poem, from outside of the poem.

            LOL. The thought that keeps running though my head is: Pick a word, any word. Like a game show. LOL.

            But you may well be right, that may be how this “word” can be found.

            And good catch on the repetition of words that f likes to use repeatedly. That seems like a wise thing to do. IMO. Yep. I do it too!

            All IMO.


          • It wasn’t a word I looked for, but it had always intrigued me. I’ll admit that my search area hasn’t moved much since I first started the chase in 2016. As I continued to work each clue, and moved farther down the poem, this word kept popping up in stories describing my search area.

          • Jim B, If this was such an important word, and all you need is the poem to find the chest, then the word would have to be in the poem. If not in the poem, then I could find the chest without the word. Making it not needed. Either the word helps find the chest and is in the poem, or, the word makes no difference, is not needed, and hence, not in the poem.

          • poisonivey said this…

            Jim B, If this was such an important word, and all you need is the poem to find the chest, then the word would have to be in the poem. If not in the poem, then I could find the chest without the word. Making it not needed. Either the word helps find the chest and is in the poem, or, the word makes no difference, is not needed, and hence, not in the poem.

            I don’t agree with this. I mean, on the surface it sounds good but one can find a situation in the poem that doesn’t agree with what’s said above.

            Many searchers say something that sounds good on the surface. I think it’s important to dig deeper and try to find situations where another discovery can be found.

          • FD,

            That is a good way of saying it… a situation.

            One consideration is, what a clue could reference. Or how is a clue is usable and/or understood.
            Example; A “clue” can be of a place and an instruction of why this place is needed. WWsH could be such a place.

            A physical place to start, a place that is not able to skip over by just simply driving by it, and a place that we need to perform the next line at “take it in”

            In this theory, the word “observe” might be a word that is key.
            As you pointed out in another post when someone stated “The” word that is key and correct it…
            I recall a comment [from fenn] about looking for key words in the poem or through out the poem or something [don’t quote me on this, that’s why I’m asking for help]… I can’t recall where or when, but if you or anyone else happens to know of it, could you point me in the right direction… I’d appreciate it.

            LOL where’s loco.. I need to send up the bat signal.

          • I’m following the *situation* model in terms of a word that is key. That is just as reasonable to think along those terms as it is to think that the word is in the poem. The part that I think gets glossed over whenever this topic comes up is the context in which Fenn is saying it. His answer in part from the 2014 6 Q’s is…”Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.” He’s talking about the clues in his poem and folks giving serious thought to them. In the same breath while talking about his poem he says that only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. Why would he shift to a word outside of his poem while speaking about his poem? That seems like a huge leap to me. Further… if one takes that thought to the next level and couples it with searcher progress…maybe it could be said that this word helped those few decipher the first clue enough to get close?

        • Seeker;

          Check out this link:

          Here is a part of that conversation with Jenny:

          Many searchers told me the general area in which they are looking. I didn’t read the long emails, but in most of the short ones I looked for key words that would get my attention. Several did this year and I hope my lack of an email response was not taken as a clue.

          Hope this is the one you want – JDA

          • Could be. like I said, I couldn’t recall exactly what was said; i’m getting old. It was just something I recalled hanging around in the back of the closet, in the deepest darkest corner of my mind.
            However, I think there’s another comment about key words [ plural ] in the poem…

            IF i find it I will post it, but no luck so far.

          • I believe you are speaking about what Cynthia shared at one point about what Fenn told another searcher.

          • Yes, I agree with Ken that it could be about the Cynthia post.

            She wrote that f told her many of the lines in the poem have a word that is key. (Or something like that).

            I believe that there are some words that are key in the poem. I just wanted to show that because I think that, I don’t think there’s no possibility of a word that is key which is not present in the poem. Could be both.

          • That’s more than likely where I heard it, guys… thanks.

            It does raise an eyebrow to the idea of the original “a word” that is key to relate to the first clue only, or even the second stanza and having the same idea of remaining stanzas.

            LOL but it raises more questions. IF many lines have a type of key wording… are those key words fenn picks out of e-mails in the poem or from a deciphering of those lines in the poem.

            Example; is the line FTINPFTM… a single key word??? mentioned by someone yet, they may have not understand what the word was meant for?
            Or can home of Brown, be more about habitation, rather than a structure, idea.

            Anyways, thanks for the heads up…

          • ken,
            I’ll add to your question about ‘outside the poem’
            IS it really outside the poem IF a word is meant as a deciphering of a clue?
            MY, example only, is how Take it in, be either a ‘movement’ [ as a key word for understanding what is needed ]
            or view from WWsH [ as a key word to observe from WW’sh ]

            Neither move or observe are in the poem [ technically, as words ] but can be considered part of the poem as to their deciphering word needed to be understood.

            How would that change folks way of looking at/ reading the poem? Because at the time of the Q&A only the first two clues were known of as mentioned correctly in “order”. But what was mentioned?

    • Is it the same few that got the first clue(s), came close, but went on by not realizing? My suspicion is the key word was among the first clues. how’s that for an idea?

      • Hi Saun,

        I like it. Whenever I notice Forrest using certain words repeatedly, I start paying attention.

        Interesting thought about the first “few” searchers getting close. Maybe they did have the “word that is key.” Maybe that’s where it can be found?

        Here’s a thought. How helpful would “a word that is key” be, if it were to be discovered near the end of the poem? I suppose that it might only help with later clues. But if that were the case, then it doesn’t really “unlock” the poem in way, much like a “key” might be expected to do.

        Heck…..I don’t even know what this “key” is supposed to do anyways. Do you have any ideas about that?

        All IMO


        • A “key” not only unlocks but can “wind” something up!
          I definitely believe it has “wound” us all up.
          Don’t you just love the English language? LOL

          • Hi wwwamericana.

            Yep. I’m feeling a little wound up now. LOL.

            I’ll admit it…..I do enjoy digging deeper into Forrest’s words and comments. I think thats where some of the answers might lie.
            It’ is crazy. So many different meanings for what seems like such simple words. I’m having fun with it.

            Good luck to you.

            All IMO.


        • The key may only unlock the initial clue(s). That would at least help narrow down ‘where’ to look.

        • As I sit here opening a can of Spam, it occurs to me that a word that is key is church, as in “church key”. And if you are in tight focus, does that mean you are zoomed in “real close”?

          On the other hand, the chest is not associated with any structure, so….

          Might have had a brain storm. Or maybe it was just a brain fart.

    • SRW;

      It may not be the “Word that is Key”, but the word “Where” in the poem has always intrigued me. “I can keep my secret WHERE,…” followed by “Begin it WHERE warm waters halt.

      “I can keep my secret WHERE’…” is such strange phraseology – an incomplete thought or sentence – – – “I can keep my secret (as to ) WHERE I secreted Indulgence.— or something like that. WHERE indicates a place, but what place? Followed by “Begin it WHERE (an unknown place again) warm waters halt.

      The word WHERE is “nowhere” in the rest of the poem – Interesting.

      Where oh where is this missing or secret WHERE that we are told to look for???

      Just ramblin’ JDA

      • Hi JDA,

        Yea…..Where. That’s a good one. While I don’t see “where” as being the “word that is key” (though it could be), I wouldn’t know what to do with that “word” to help in solving the poem. This mysterious “word” should help not hinder, I would hope.

        LOL. If “where” is the “word that is key”, I’m probably better off chugging along without it. LOL.

        But the “where” question. Yea, that is a good one. The wording is strange but then so is the rest of the poem too so I’m not sure that its super unique. IMO.

        Thanks for the thoughts.

        All IMO.


      • Where is at place “Begin”.

        IMO, “Begin” is the most important word in Line 5.

        Your mileage may vary.


        • wwwamericana – I think the first ‘where’ stands for the ‘secret’ hidey spot, and the second ‘where’ stands for the start; the first clue.

          ‘where’ > w•here

          Alpha = A
          alpha = a (fish symbol)
          Omega = U upside-down
          omega = w

          Eye•M the Alpha and the Omega…I See ‘a fish’ at the Beginning and the End. I See a Double Omega Island at the Beginning, and a Double U backwardS bike S at the End. I See an Alpha fly fishing at Madison Junction, and I See an Alpha upside-down in my hide-y hole….

          I think they are identifying the Beginning and the End of the Poem map. The Alpha/alpha and the Omega/omega. But T.S. Eliot would say an End is a Beginning, right?

          The ‘M’ is for ‘Montana’ in my solve.

          All Eye•M•O.

          • wwwamericana – Just remembered someone said that Forrest referred to Skippy as being an Alpha, and Forrest also said Skippy should have been buried standing up.

            Thinking about my Cache A hole….

    • My previous 6 questions were asked shortly before last year’s February 27th segment of the Today Show. Reporting on your extraordinary treasure hunt, it resulted in an explosion of new seekers from all across the world. What are some of your thoughts about the flurry of activity over the past year? Did the excitement towards the Chase surprise you in any way? Does it make you think the chest might be found earlier than first thought?
      It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching. Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated. -February 4, 2014

      It’s been over 5 years since that statement came out on Mysterious Writings. I always wondered what triggered that comment and what was the chatting at the time. I don’t have a lot of time to research so I only used two chat sites that were in existence for at least a year before 2/4/2014 and found some interesting things. Not saying ff read it in those sites, it could’ve been in emails sent directly to him, sure.

      Coincidence or not, I found that less than 3 months before that statement came out, some searchers were arguing that if the poem was a riddle/cipher then it will be impossible to narrow down the vagueness of the clue references without some type of KEY. That is the way most riddles work anyways they wrote. Nowadays, if you want to talk about this topic and you start your post with ‘I have an idea for a key or keyword’ you immediately get blah, blah, blah, he didn’t say keyword, blah, blah, blah he said ‘word that is key’, blah, blah two different things. The issue is that nowhere anybody put it that way, of course, Forrest was the one who gave us that term ‘a word that is key’, I doubt those who he heard/read it from used that term. Those posting publicly back then call it just a key, keyword and others compared it to a map legend.

      What words were they considering? I think home of Brown wins by a long stretch, then wood comes in at second and halt wins the 3rd. But other words were talked about in depth at that time like EVER and some others.

      Another little thing I found out that back then, remember this was before Loco came and crashed the party with the first clue NZ interview, lol.. was that many used the home of Brown as the most important clue to figure out first. Some argued Brown is tangible, something like a true north if (below the home of) means true south. I thought that was interesting. If someone says something like that nowadays gets crucified or worst, beaten down into the box again.

  47. SRW said…”If it’s “contentment”, how does that word help with the poem? Contentment would be something different for each of us.”

    Also said…I’ts just so hard for me to imagine selecting a word, for help with the poem, from outside of the poem.

    On the point that contentment would be something different for each of us. I hear that often. It’s like when searchers say confidence is different for each of us so how can you objectively gauge that? It’s subjective.

    I say, not if you use confidence or contentment as a key and not just the usual subjective use of the word. It turns the subjective into a non subjective key. A key being something tangible. It’s a different way to focus on the attributes of a word like ‘confidence’.

    On the second point, a word that is key like confidence (for example) can be utilized in the poem even though f didn’t use that word. He used a line and word in the poem that can possibly produce the word ‘confidence’…”From there, it’s no place for the meek”. If it’s no place for the meek, then maybe it’s for the one that is the opposite of meek. I haven’t heard many searchers say they go meekly on their botg search from this point in the clue path.

    • Fundamental Design – Yes! Like the answer to a contiguous clue riddle in the Poem, maybe? Or, like the answer to a crossword puzzle?:

      Two across (10 letters):

      “From there it’s no place for the meek.”


      What’s that, Miss Ford?

      con•f•i•den•c•e > con•f•eye•den•see•e > with•f•eye•den•See•e

      That ‘con’ means ‘with’ in Spanish. Forrest said, “move with confidence” in that quote. Is that another ‘word map’, Forrest? That final destination backwardS bike ‘e’ sure looks like a profile Smiley, winking at me on my topo, with a tear of laughter coming out of that eye!

      Fran Warren would get the ‘den’ part:


      Did you breed those Star-nosed Moles in my hide-y hole, Forrest, to study the medical application of those super sensitive touch-for-sight stellar facial structures?


  48. I would opine that the word that is key is opine.
    A combination of the convergence of the Rio de los Pinos (Pine) and your creek, the Osier creek.
    Oh sure!

  49. I think it’s all about reading and interpreting exactly what is said. Breaking it down, I see:
    the word “few”
    the word “that” is key
    the word “few” is in tight focus with the word “that”, which is key.
    To find the answer, takes a couple other ATF’s, the book, bighorn medicine wheel spokes, and opposites/mirrors. I know, sounds ridiculous, but it will answer your questions.
    Remember, the word “few” is important. The answer will give you an idea of how far to walk. (I walked less than a “few” miles). And is your answer to the 9th clue. All, IMO.

  50. As searchers we need to focus on the fact that he went ALONE in there . study the places he went alone . that may not be where the treasure is but may be the place to start , TIGHT FOCUS WITH A WORD THAT IS KEY , alone .

  51. It`s not that he went alone just to the place he hid the chest , he has went alone to each of the 9 clue`s if we can figure out 9 places he has went alone too , we have solved the poem [ key word ALONE ]

  52. Shortly after the time I started blogging “The Poem as Nine Sentences” here on Dal’s site (and thank you again, Dal, for not only making that blog its own category at that time, but also for your site overall), I came across what I thought was the key word. It was an exciting time for me, and understanding that word helped me to shape a theory or two about TTOTC.

    As of this very writing, I have adopted a new key word. What is surprising to me is that I did not see the correlation between these two words until now, and how thinking of this new word as the key word opens up the poem in a much greater way than my original word. I’m not saying that my old key word wasn’t correct, because it still is, but this new word from the poem encompasses the old key word.

    Before I reveal this new key word, I just want to comment, IMHO, how hilarious I am finding it to be.

    My new key word is treasures.

    How ironic sounding is that?

    (PS – I am not at liberty to reveal my original word—it would give too much about my solve process away)

    • Bowmarc,

      Forget the words for a moment… How does / do the word or words open up the poem.
      I mean it’s great to pick a word and run with it, yet there has been many discussions involving “treasures” and all the word in the poem and many from the book… So, from one word guy to another…What do you see in this word that is any different from those other theories that have been talked about?

      • Seeker,

        The word that is key, has become very speculative for all. Heck it could be Brown, Meek or any other word. We don’t see the data from Forrest’s emails, letters, etc., for him to make a statement that folks are in tight focus with a word that is key, (paraphrased).

        The only way to know for sure, is that F tells us the reason why he made the statement and the justification.

        Just Say’n

        • In all honesty, Charlie, You seem to want verification, rather than, investigation. Maybe a simpler term would be; ‘asking oneself about the WhatIFs’

          I find it funny when folks heard fenn say; “try and simplify the clues” and “over complicate the clues”… and they seem to forget… “difficult but not impossible” and “if it was easy anyone could do it” or “it’s not a matter of trying, it’s a matter of thinking.”

          Everything about this is speculation. It’s our job to weed it all out.
          Just saying; ‘The only way to know for sure, is that F tells us the reason why he made the statement and the justification.’
          Is only hoping some day he will explain… I doubt that will ever happen. { unless he feels it “necessary” to do so… examples WWsH is not a dam, and the chest is not underwater… comments}.

          Nope, Nope. We need to figure out what his comment relates to, how he may have intended it, and attempt to work it out related to the topic… “the poem”

          A side note; I think we all have attempted to simply find a word that works for a predetermined theory ‘we’ [ a searcher ] create and align a word that works for ‘our thoughts’…

          I’m going the opposite route, and attempting to find a word, or wording, that helps understand why all are screwed up at the first two clues.

          It seems to me, many are jumping the red light in the hope their next clue reference might work. LOL if that is all they are doing.. [ and that is what it seems to me ].. They are now driving blind folded, even IF they can decipher a clue’s “reference”. Just because we might have a clue’s “reference” correct, doesn’t say we have the correct process of “following” those clues.

          • Seeker,

            That is all that I have done is to investigate, analyze to find out the facts that hold up and yes to justify each clue as possible sound facts.

            Your approach is fine for you and that goes to anyone else’s theories. I’m not saying I’m right or your wrong, however I don’t use words from ATF as confirmation or justification to each clue that is being worked on, nor do I use stories in his book to justify a clue.

            Forrest has mentioned to simplify but to not over simplify, the longer one searches it becomes more difficult, and I believe the answers to each clue lies within the poem married to a place on a map, except for the first clue we need to learn in order to have the right map and starting point of the path to the treasure.

            It’s all about geography, the right map and the poem. Using only AFT and unintended hints sprinkled within, provided one can find the hints, does somewhat complicate things in many ways. It boils down to real places and things on a map and botg, which I believe are the right tools to use.

            Heck the word that is key that folks are in tight focus with could be any clue. Brown could be the word that is key. I’m truly in tight focus of what the poem says and not focusing on most of the ATF comments.

            Research along with investigating the poem is where the primary answers lie. I will be posting in a few days that is heavily related to actual places and things with out using ATF or the book. We’ll see how it goes, you may be surprised how closely things are on a map that I deem factually, are very real places and things that I believe the poem says.

            Just Say’n

          • Treasures works exactly how FF has defined it for us IN the poem itself ON the poem itself. If you can solve that statement, you’ll be IN ON my theory, not that such is the place to be because I still don’t have Indulgence as a result of this process either (and no, my caps above isn’t an anagram for IN ONION or anything like that). The last two stanza’s have me halted (well, more the 2nd to last stanza) and I don’t want to force it to fit. Everything we need is in the poem, no need to know foot pounds, etc.

            Anyway, I say all that because it was more the word that manifested the thought/theory than the other way around.


        • Charlie, I know you are paraphrasing, but, saying that “folks” are in tight focus is way off and not true. He says “a few” are in tight focus, has nothing to do with “folks”. You have to at least paraphrase correctly, :).

          • Also Charlie, one thing to remember is that f cannot just ideally sit by. That is the reason for the ATF’s. It’s really the only way he can still play the game. There are reasons he chose the stories he used, why he formatted the book as he did. To not use the book, or, not to try to decipher certain ATF’s is putting yourself at a disadvantage. If f is putting the time into saying or doing something chase related, then we need to put the time into listening and interpreting what he is spending his time on. Some ATF’s answer some very important questions, and the hints are just as important to solving the poem as the clues. That is the justification, the checks and balance system needed. It is nearly impossible to find the chest with just the poem and a map. Not saying it cannot be done, but wouldn’t you want the poem, a good map, and hints and confirmations from f?
            I am interested in what you have to say. Going from place to place in the forest where maps don’t go is interesting to think that it could be done. I’m curious how you will be able to pinpoint a small spot without numbers. We will see.

          • Poison Ivy,

            Isn’t that being a bit picky…?

            Folks doesn’t give a head count, nor does a Few. [and I know the definitions] In its simplistic form it means a small number. But don’t we need a comparison to judge from?

            A few of 100,000 can be 100… There needs to be context to guesstimate how many; a few- folks could be.

            It’s not unlike – “walked less than a few miles.” For this comment we have context… “miles.” IF the answer was intended as to be honest… and I believe fenn did answer in all honesty… Less than a few miles should be at least one mile walked [ in total ]… because a few means small amount of what it told of.

            LOL.. fenn tells us he receives 100 e-mails a day [ at one time during the past 9 years ] … how many if a few?

      • That is a good question, Seeker, and I have been sitting here for 15 minutes thinking about how to answer. Well, it’s been about thirty minutes now and I think I am going to have to pass on the question.

        Just messing with ya.

        My original key word planted a concept in my mind about how to read the poem. It was only applicable to a specific stanza of the poem. My new understanding about how to read the poem has guided me to broaden my thoughts and I have now arrived at treasures as being the key word because such applies the concept that my original key word planted in my mind to every stanza of the poem because treasures incorporates my original key word.

        Does that make sense?

        • Gotta like a person with a sense of humor…

          Sure I get what you’re saying, only it doesn’t explain how treasures illuminated your original key word. I can understand wanting to be tight lipped… but can you explain what “treasures” means to you?

          LOL I’m just trying to get into a conversation about how a word that is key is usable. Not so much what it is to you personally or anyone else.
          In my mind; a word that is of importance makes something pop to draw an idea from. What makes your word pop?

          • I think it popped for me when I realized that treasures incorporated the concept of my original key word, which was only specific to one stanza, and applied it to the whole poem, kinda like I stated above. More to the point, treasures is mentioned in every stanza of the poem IMHO. Knowing this is helping to isolate clues from hints, and vice-versa. Does that help any better?

          • Hint of riches…
            WWsH … hoB…
            J HLnWH…
            Quest to cease…
            Brave and in the wood…

            LOL I might be off…

          • Seeker,

            I hope you don’t mind me taking a stab at responding to your question regarding how a key is used to open up the poem.

            Along the way, I have a few key words and they have all guided me to a better understanding of what the poem is about and how to go about solving it.

            The first one served two purposes; first, it opened the door to help me identify the correct general search area, and secondly, like in elementary school, it was a baby step that helped me LEARN his thought/design process. And most importantly, it can be used in a few different ways that fit the poem’s direction.

            The second key word for me is one I had studied for a long time but had discounted it as being a little far-fetched as a key word even though I have used this place of places (like the 48 contiguous states) to help me move forward in other areas of the poem. But then, earlier this year that 1 watt light flickered to life and then it hit me. I had been right all along, I just wasn’t interpreting the word precisely. I was thinking more generally, when I should have been looking at it more like a place it lives if that makes sense.

            What really made me smile is that the exact place served to confirm my general search area is correct and this key word process taught me a little more about the poem’s design and how to interpret it.

            That brings me to my third key word. Curiosity hit me one day when studying my search area because of something that didn’t seem to fit; it was different than the other places in a very specific way, a blaze if you will, though I’m not sure it is THE blaze. The answer I found opened up a unique and very rewarding rabbit hole. Not rewarding in terms of the chest and it’s contents, but in terms of understanding. The light is getting significantly brighter now and I’m actually beginning to dream I might actually graduate from high school.

            Shortly thereafter I rewarded myself with a diploma because that’s when a particular and very familiar word finally made sense to me. My third key word.

            It was an iterative process that I had to learn, just as Forrest has told us.

            Having said all that and I might very well be wrong, but, because of his terminology ‘tight focus’ I would put my money on #2 though I could easily make a case that my #3 is the one. That’s because #3 led me to other important places and turned out to be a rock solid confirmation of #1 AND IMO, led me the answer to NFBTFTW.

            I hope that helps answer your question, at least from my perspective.

            Take care……..pinatubocharlie

        • mmmm – he said he was gonna have “to pass on” didn’t he?
          Hope he didn’t mean that literally…..
          As far as “keys” – I’m always losing them.

      • Seeker: “Forget the words for a moment… How does / do the word or words open up the poem.”

        How are we to forget the “words” for a moment when you ask a question about them in the same sentence?

        • ~ Forget what Bowmarc thinks the words are.. and more to how they are approached to come to a conclusion.

          Bowmarc got it…

  53. Heck Bowmarc… treasures is as good a word as any. At least it’s in the poem and relates to what is hidden. Fenn’s comment about the word that is key came in response to Q’s from Jenny in 2014 and there was a lot of talk back then about various words…some in the poem and some not, over in the Key Word threads. I remember Seeker commenting about [treasures] being the only nine letter word in the poem along with a slew of other ideas.
    The one thing that stuck in my mind back then was Fenn’s comments up to and previous about some folks had figured out the first two clues and were close to the treasure. Just in a very general and simple way I believe the word has/d something to tie it to the correct start place and nothing more. Just my idea from back then….

    • Ken, you forgot that the word “treasures” or rather the letter “T” in treasures is 42 spaces from the beginning of the poem.. or the first letter in the word “As”

      LOL was it helpful? I mean, a 42 lb chest, the reflective angle of the sun to create a rainbow is 42 degrees… blah blah blah, and on and on…
      Ah! the early days were fun to speculate. But it sad we still seem to be doing the same type of thinking, and not too much creative imagination thinking for different approaches of understanding how folks on site didn’t know much at all.. even with solves clue’s “references”.
      I can’t help to think… ok, I have always thought… we’re reading this poem wrong. [ my last comment relates to the many solves posted by searchers are of all the same process – only the names of places change. ]

      • Yup… I covered all those ideas with [a slew of other ideas] and I still think about some of those spicier ones every so often. Like I’ve said…the speculation will eventually lead to a revelation for one individual. It’s not sad for me at all Seeker and I think you may be underestimating some of the folks involved. Just because they don’t blurt out some of their better ideas… doesn’t mean they aren’t having good imaginative thoughts…. even if they are wrong. I see this as a long term adventure, the ole [marathon] analogy that Goofy threw in the mix so often. It is fun to watch the cyclic pattern of topics with some believing they haven’t been thought or spoken of sometime ago. The New Wave so to speak…
        Hope everyone continues to enjoy [The Thrill of the Chase] and if it ain’t workin’ for ya… toss it in the burn pile and think different thoughts. Like right now I’m thinking more about grilled veggies and spare ribs….

        • Ken,

          I do agree to some extent with what you said…..I hope those ribs are meaty and very tender. Got to go now to eat something very good.
          See what you started!

          • what? The ribs…the burn pile ? Yup… a friend is a butcher and hooks me up real good…. long bone spare ribs you could play hockey with. Over and out to lunch.

      • Ken ~ ‘Seeker and I think you may be underestimating some of the folks involved. Just because they don’t blurt out some of their better ideas… doesn’t mean they aren’t having good imaginative thoughts…. even if they are wrong’

        I’ll rephrase and say… possibly not thinking the right thoughts. Sure… that can relate to a deciphering of what and where a clue is at… but my contention is about the process of proceeding.
        I don’t consider looking at maps as an observation. I think this is the point of having to be on site. I don’t think planning involves personal aspect involving when a searcher can go [ leave of work, etc ]. I think planning is involved with the process of the solve. We don’t need to plan where to park, or if we need extra sock to splash through water.
        But there seems the idea; thinking, analyzing, thinking the right thoughts, planning and observing are all parts of a completed solve. For me, that means things expected to be done [ as fenn might have had to do himself with his own clues ] by a searcher to complete the process of discovering the blaze.

        So far, an observational solve seems to answer many points of concerns that have been brought up over the years, and only fairly recently has fenn commented on some of them;
        One being he followed his own clues.
        I can help it if folks want to tip toe around that, but it implies he followed all the clues.
        Now, the major question is WHY? did he seemingly have to.
        So… in the idea of a word that is key… IT in stanza two can be deciphered as observe, mainly because “take it in” can mean to look, observe, keep track of, understand. But here’s the catch… this type of solve is not understood unless more of the poem can relate to the same process.
        This means a reader should have a good understanding of the entire poem [ in any method they dire this do unfold ]. IMO, there is no way we can “just” decipher WWsH placement / place / feature and expect this clue is fully understood why fenn want a searcher at that point.

        Even IF “take it in the canyon down” means to travel through said canyon… somewhere along that thinking process we should ask; why start here if all we have to do is find hoB or HLnWH or even know the blaze, and start there-?- if this is a stomping method solve.

        Some have figured out the first four clues, right? Even though that is all we have to work with [that comment]… it still says we can decipher them, but do we understand why and how the process works?.. with 1/2 the poem clue’s ‘references’ deciphered???

        fenn didn’t think those folks knew much of anything. [and we don’t know if any of them had this magical word that is key, either].
        How is that possible… two first clues solved, four first clues solved, and folks “went by” walked passed” floated down the lazy river… leaving the poem?

        What does the comment “left the poem” mean?
        I think it means; physically moving away from the correct location fenn might want us at, and leaving the process of completing the task by following the instruction within the poem.

        Here’s the kicker… this [my] theory can not work without WWsH. Other wise i have nothing to work with.
        While all other theories, I have read about, with mappings and pictures, could take a searcher to any place their deciphered clues are at…meaning they can start at later clues. This make WWsH basically useless IF that can be done, and in a stomping mode process.

        IMO. the poem is an illusion the reader creates in their mind. I think this is why the poem has done its job… ~it not what I say, its what you think I said, idea~

        Like you said, not all folks post or even post here… I’m attempting to get others to join in to chat about it.. a different look at how it could unfold. Only those who jump in usually use their solution to talk about their own solve. I’m not talking about deciphered clues… i’m talking about the process of working with deciphered clues.

        • If my tlypling looks slippy ips because this tyranorib weighs about 1 1/2 pounds… holy bbq sauce! Hey man… I get where you’re at and agree that the same ole same ole, over the river and through the woods type ideas ain’t workin’. Burn pile comes to mind every time and I could spew out a bunch of the same just for the sake of taking a stand and trying to fit in. I don’t play that way. The thing is though…and I’ve said this before… I believe that the poem in its entirety is indeed a riddle that will guide the solver in how to execute the clues. I think that anyone can figure out the first two clues but the kicker for me[at this time] is that I think that no one gets past that because they have not figured out the riddle [what/where to do/go next].
          Where we completely differ is this whole *observe* and *take it in* stop and look here and look there…. for what? If a searcher is not botg they’ll never get past that point… unless they’re clairvoyant and can see a thousand or two miles to know exactly what’s at that spot before they can move on. Maybe I’m missing a step or something in what you’re saying?
          I’ve said this before as well… I’m not convinced that the issue is a one way in or out, as much as it is a matter of precision in how the clues unfold for the searcher… most definitely premeditated.
          Folks left the poem because they didn’t even know why/what they were there for and where they were supposed to go next.

          • ken: “If a searcher is not botg they’ll never get past that point… unless they’re clairvoyant”
            Gotta be BOTG at some point don’t ya?

            “What if” there are some that are clairvoyant?
            Maybe that’s what he means but I doubt it.

            Speculating about the “word that is key” and stating what it is here without any reasoning, doesn’t make any sense.

          • hey Jake… it is true that a searcher will never retrieve the treasure chest unless they actually go there. That’s a given. They are absolutely not going to retrieve the treasure chest unless they solve the clues in the poem either. Right? So…I believe that it may be possible to figure this out before taking a great vacation…up to and maybe including the blaze. You do it your way and I’ll keep rooting for you… okay? As for speculating about this so-called key word… or stating anything about it without any reasoning… I agree and haven’t seen anything here that hasn’t been beaten to smithereens.

          • I agree ken, and I read somewhere you may take a trip this year. I think it’s prudent to be patient as well till you can get to the area where the blaze may be or not, sitting in your armchair as I am now.

            You may root for me but secretly in the back of our minds we think and know it’s just a vacation and that’s how I feel about it now, but I may not be able to go this year 🙁 so I will root for you.

            BTW, I haven’t seen my “word that is key” *nigh* been beaten to smithereens when I 1st mentioned it about a year ago and recently when dal posted my partial solve.
            I did elaborate on it in detail but no smithereens just a few smoke bombs.

            I think it’s just foolish to say what anyone thinks or knows what the “word that is key” is without elaborating on it.

            Ya, this is my key word and don’t want to discuss it!
            Take it or leave it. My key word expands the existential readings of the poem to interpret the book in such a way, it points me to another word that Fenn has mentioned many times in his book which translates to another word that means what the 1st word was.
            Does that make sense to post something like this?

            For all we know, there may be no word that is key or key word.

          • Nice idea on the *nigh*… but I’ll pass on that one too. Your last sentence is where I’m at with this whole key word buzz. Truth be told when it came out of Fenn’s mouth I believed then that it was a comment generated out of his heavy involvement with the blogs[SB’s etc.] and probably more likely spawned from an email or two. While there is most likely some/a little truth in it Fenn is/was having his way with us and loves the wild frenzy of posts and ideas that are born of his every word.
            Full circle for me is knowing that folks very early in the Chase got close with just the poem, TTOTC and some maps. Hardly any videos out, very sparse blog activity by comparison, no MW or any of the Q’s, no TFTW…none of that. The funniest part to boot… the number of searchers at that time was miniscule to the numbers now and still folks got close. This tells me that the first two clues are definitely solvable from a distance and that the hang up call happened because the rest of the info was not even close to being figured out. Sure… there’s the *maybe four clue* comment and clues in the right order comment mixed in there, and that is one of the biggies that makes me think that there’s something to figure out overall. later…

          • Ken,

            Of course being on site is a must. I have even said, we must be at WWsH… no skipping by that.

            Of course if someone can’t see the definition for “take it in” [take something in] ; fully understand or absorb something heard or **seen.**
            Then their only option is to move, stomp, go…

            Show me one solve [ out of the hundreds posted, on youtube, explained on the blogs… where the searcher didn’t leave WWsH.
            Heck some never even bother being at it… they start botg later, like at their hoB for example.
            That is my point.
            I have ponder, how the heck someone could decipher 4 clues [ lets say, clue 4 is hoB ]… why wasn’t the chest located? Why wasn’t the blaze discovered? [ as far as we know, no one got the order {process} correct to do that ].

            In this [my] theory, they might have been able to decipher later clues… even found them on GE or whatever map they use. But the process they all seem to take is going to these points. Maybe they even seen those later clues from WWsH …
            [but we were not told of that ]
            …and they went to them, or at least what they thought was the next physical location.

            I’m saying this might be the downfall of everyone. Be that a kick in the bells or not… IF i had a location with a good WWsH, a canyon near or seen from WWsH, and possible seeing what could be hoB… I’m not moving yet. IMO the poem has not told me to move. We create that illusion in our minds we have to move beforehand by possible misinterpretation of phrasing and words.

            lol, I get it though… there would be an eruption on the blogs that would make YS past eruption look like a firecracker. IF this theory was correct [ even if only from the start ]
            IMO, Misinterpretations start at;
            Follow and Lead.
            Begin IT and Take It In. {observation}
            Put In.
            LOL.. and most of stanza 3…
            Effort Will be Worth the Cold. {possibly}
            Brave and in the Wood. {possibly}

            But mainly it starts right at the words follow and lead.
            [ and those word usage, I have given possible reasoning and explanations behind the theory]

            These phrases and words give the reader the ‘allusion and illusion’ that creates the idea a stomping mode is the only process available to them.

            That’s not fenn’s problem, that’s our own fault. The wording in the poem is honest to their usages. In plain English.

            But I’ll end there… it appears that folks have made their minds up this is *only* a point to point stomping method. I’m really ok with that.

            Thanks for the squawk…

          • @ Jake – If you are referring to my recent posts about the key word, I think they are full of information that is being shared while not outright giving up my solve process.

            Such points may be difficult to see, but not impossible.

            I think it is more inane to make a comment about not sharing because such comments are the epitome of inane.

          • I’ll buy that ken,
            I won’t copy and paste your thoughts again but sum it up as: You can’t buy 100% into everything Fenn says considering he is a great marketer for his product and knows how and where to press the buttons to get folks into a a thinking frenzy.

            They are full of something but I get nothing from them.
            Sometimes I’m just a wise guy without the wisdom.

            You told us what your key word is and many have done so without any explanation. You may want to share more here so others can give you input on it.

          • Depends, Oz,

            I would gather a short amount of time…
            If at WWsH, and hoB is used as a pointer idea.. seeing what happens, could be at one or the other. I guess it would matter what we are looking for [a shadow affect, or a beam of light affect]

            Without being on site to see something and how it is designed, its hard to say. But I don’t think we need to move from them. Because for me NF, is for viewing. BUT too far to walk, is saying don’t go.

            The poem reads of time involvement. new and old could be past and present and still be of a short time span, such as, night to day. or dusk maybe..
            NPFTM could refer to just that; Night time into morning and why our effort will be wroth the cold of night.
            Look quickly is of a time span, and tarry scant can mean linger for a short time as we marvel gaze [ gaze; as to fix upon something]… everything is about observing. Possibly an event that takes place in a short time span of a year… Summer.
            Time and Location and Observation all need planning. I would think the planing would involve when the event takes place to use the clues by following what happens during the event… and how the blaze or the chest is discovered.

            IMO.. stanza three explains this. Stanza 2 is the location.
            The path needs to be followed by watching it unfold. In the simplest terms I can think of; we are watching a type of sundial.

  54. Well, since it’s Speculation Saturday, I might as well speculate too.

    I also have a word that is key. It is one word and it’s in the poem. But when I went looking for this magical word, I went looking for a word with the idea that it might have the potential to lead me towards a process, a concept, or a method or something. I obviously don’t know if my magical word is the right word or not, but it has provided me with some insight, so I’m using it for now.

    But in the end, I think that most *words that are key* are pretty much pure speculation, including mine, and we won’t likely know if that *word* was super helpful or not until the chest is found.

    All IMO.


  55. I believe that knowing “a word that is key” can only be mildly helpful, in a best-case scenario.

  56. Looking in the dictionary I see a few interesting meanings for “word”.

    – A discussion or conversation – e.g. “I’d like to have a word with you”
    Could a word that is key be a comment or discussion he had?

    – A promise or pledge – e.g. “Give one’s word”
    Maybe it refers to a promise that he wants us to keep in mind?

    IMO neither is likely, but I also think it’s unlikely that there is a single word that unravels the poem. We’ve been told numerous times t I’m of the opinion that there was a contextual meaning to that comment that we’re not aware of.

    • Clumsily posted that before I finished deleting a sentence. Just ignore the partial sentence in the last paragraph.

  57. What is interesting to me is that it was in 2014 when he said a few people were in tight focus with a word that is key and the treasure may be discovered sooner than he anticipated and now it’s 2019 and apparently the treasure has not been found yet so it seems to me that even the people that knew the “word that is key” haven’t figured out what it unlocks…

    • “The key word is contentment. If you can find it, everything else has already fallen in place.”

      Fenn could have related this statement from 2014 from this one in 2013.
      Funny how Fenn never stated what the “word that is key” actually does to help you but searchers run in every direction on how it helps them even though it hasn’t.

      • “The key word is contentment. If you can find it, everything else has already fallen into place.”

        Jake, when I initially discovered this quote, I thought it was an example of Fenn hiding an answer to “a word that is key” in plain sight.
        Contentment became my key word, and I saw it as ‘it’ in the poem… Begin it where became Begin contentment where… so in a big picture kind of way I was looking for events or things that I thought may have contributed to Forrest’s contentment- and I fully believe Forrest has found contentment. I wouldn’t say this word “unraveled the poem,” but I think it did give me a new way to think about the poem.

    • Well, Mark,
      We did have the “gut feeling” comment in 2018.
      And IF I recall correctly, in August or September he basically canceled that feeling. That alone was interesting.

      • I can relate, I had a “gut feeling” I would find it in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 too and I had to cancel those feelings. But I have new “gut feeling” I will find it in 2019. Now if only I can figure out that key word lol…

      • that was interesting. personally I don’t think he thought folks would find it quickly to begin with. hasn’t he uttered 100 years, thousand years a few times? Then again…there’s the [quite frankly I’m surprised nobody has found it] comment tucked in there.

        • Yes, Forrest has referenced 1000 years numerous times, and I recall at least one time he referenced 2000 years.

        • FF: ” … I’m going to do this, and they’re still looking for the Lost Dutchman Mine in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona, and other places, and I hope 10,000 years from now people are still looking for Fenn’s chest out there someplace.”

          • Rather than wondering about how long it’ll take to find and
            retrieve the goodies, one might seriously consider focusing
            on solving and searching. I said “one”. (I am one.) IMO.

  58. What is on your key chain? Keys to a vehicle? More importantly are keys to WHAT?


    What is in your heart, your deepest feelings? After all this is a poem that took 15 years to write, when you leave planet earth, what have you lost and found?

    These are the key words of great thinkers IMO, home, heart, health and happiness just a few H words that might be key to unlock the co ordinates, so imagine that 1413 North Main is a co ordinate, just a 4 digit code after Home of Brown.

    Why home, that is where ff said this in an interview on: Q; What is your favorite place to be? or river? FF “In my home in Santa Fe.” Forrest gets mail from school kids

    We were also wondering if you could tell us anything about the home of Brown? FF “No.”

    “I took battle damage to my plane and wondered if I would make it home. ff

    If you wear a smile to the right spot you will wear a grin going home. ff

    At home I cut the post to fit, tarred the bottom 24 inches and placed it back in the ground. ff”
    Train Bell from Eric mounted on top, post from main Kiva support at San Lazaro Pueblo.

    “If you don’t have that one nailed down you might as well stay at home and play Canasta.ff

    “Your question reminds me of another : You leave home and walk a straight line for a mile, turn 90 degrees left and walk a curved line for a mile and shoot a bear. Then you turn 90 degrees left again and walk a straight line back to your home. What color is the bear ? f”

    Stay HOME and you are in the box where it is warm and comfortable, now is that THE WORD or not?


    • Hi TT: on the bear riddle, Forrest altered it into a form where the answer could be brown, black, cinnamon or white. The originally-worded riddle had only one answer: white. Not clear if Forrest knew his changes had ruined the riddle, or if it was accidental.

      • Zap, The words in the riddle, any riddle are sometimes in a mask of poetic expression that are like not seeing the forest for the trees, in our poem research we have IMHO a couple of riddles that mask the real meaning of an illusion ff creates, imagine the word WOOD, why not woods or Aspen or pine or what??…a target. Wood is the old archery saying for hitting it in the center of the target. Forrest has “put in” so many of these expressions that finding and sorting them is like a needle in a haystack. All this borders on ones imagination and if you think like fenn then ur in the wood.


        • As Daniel Boone once alluded to “Don’t get lost in the woods, because it can be bewildering.


      • Hi Tom: just to clarify, I wasn’t trying to get philosophical, I was simply saying that Forrest reworded a classic riddle into a form where it didn’t have a unique correct answer. The original one did.

        I think most of us agree that Forrest’s poem as a whole is a riddle: 166 words that once deciphered will lead to the chest’s location. It’s an impressive feat, really: 166 simple words that reduce an enormous Rocky Mountain expanse down to a 10″ x 10″ x 6″ spot. (I say 6″ because Forrest did so once upon a while, I can measure photographic dimensions easily enough, and all the times that Forrest said 5″ were associated with “depth” not height.) In my opinion, “Begin it where warm waters halt” is itself a riddle within the overall riddle. And it’s a riddle that grade school children can solve.

        • Dang it, all this time I’ve been looking for the 10″ x 10″ x 5″ spot and now i’m told it’s x 6″—–that is it, I quit! LOL

        • Zap… it will most likely turn out to be a solution that in it’s basic element a school child would definitely be more apt to grasp. As adults we’re not doing that spectacular of a job as of yet. Tons of fun though. Other than figuring out another place where the treasure isn’t, do you feel more encouraged after your recent search?

          • Hi ken: actually, not — at least not yet. On past trips after crossing another spot off the list, a new insight would typically materialize within a day or two. So far that hasn’t happened, and I think that’s partly because I can’t escape one of three conclusions: (1) that my final location was actually one of the clues (just not the last one), or (2) Forrest has not been truthful about the lack of deliberate red herrings, or (3) I’m a victim of extreme confirmation bias. To be sure, red herrings (bias) can be self-made by the searcher. But it strains credulity when the poem specifies a place in more than one way, and Forrest’s ATFs provide so many unique ways to hint at the same specific geographic location. Sure, if you work on the Chase long enough, the propensity for “John Nash syndrome” to overtake you increases. I just don’t believe in such an extreme level of random coincidence, nor in my own ability to manufacture that many false connections.

            I suppose Forrest could indeed be deliberately hinting at a specific spot, but it is just a landmark in the general area and not one of the clues. But if so, I don’t get the point of all the repetition.

            Since there is no need for Forrest to plant false clues (we searchers certainly require no help in that department), I’m stuck in a holding pattern waiting for the next insight.

          • Nicely put Zap. As the days tick by in Chaseland (background soap music) it becomes easier to spot the cyclic patterns. You’ve got a good mind Zap, use it to find the delete button or have a ceremonial burning of the papers. It’s liberating man! If it’s that good… and you’re still not finding it…it’s probably wrong. I’ve been wrong a thousand times… okay maybe once or twice…
            Fenn’s safety messages have been loud and crystal clear…hmmm. On the other hand there are not many decidedly clear answers to most Q’s…hmmm
            Stick with it Zap and think of the folks in 2012 with hardly any ATF, no SB, only some videos and a couple of interviews, the poem, TTOTC and some maps. Why did they get there that quick? Sure… It’s like Groundhog Day…but not a whole bunch different.

          • Hi ken: well, as far as the first 2 clue solvers early in the Chase, I had no more than they did when I solved them (to my satisfaction): the poem, TTOTC, the right map, and a few early videos. So I’m not at all mystified how they solved those two so quickly (couple years). I didn’t buy TFTW (and OUAW) until much later, nor had I read any of the Scrapbooks, Weekly Words, Six Questions, etc. I would agree that the flood of resources that searchers have today are probably a deterrent (or at least a distraction) to solving WWWH.

    • Tom Terrific – You quoted Forrest:

      “If you wear a smile to the right spot you will wear a grin going home.” ff

      I wonder if Forrest means, “home”, as being the FennHaven Cabins?

      Big S•mile! And Eye am throwing in a wink AND a ‘grin’, Forrest!

  59. “It’s home. Here’s where I’m most comfortable.” ff

    If you can not see home from what he writes, then you might not understand, in your imagination, for Forrest knew “Where Warm Waters Halt.”

    It just borders on sublime thinking.

    Perhaps the reason no one gets the Home of Brown in the correct order is because it is a point of reference, not a specific structure. A Co ordinate.


  60. Quiz: If I gave you this series of numbers what would you think I was referring too: 104.4500 X 116.0500 * 35.07525 X 49,0000? Now what would a 10″ square look like in digits after the . How many places after the .

    Now home of Brown IMO is to the left and the TC is to the right somewhere in those #, this is not for kids, but a navigator can find it, so can most pilots.


    • A sextant is an effictive tool, works best with a good clock, a good map, and level ground or water. Now what is Polaris doing in this formula that a kid could understand? Home of Brown maybe?


  61. 4 to the 4th power is an exponent-which is the mathematical definition of index
    www. is an address-which is the computing definition of an index
    Brown resides in an index
    Nails are in decks
    The Roman Catholic index would be no place for the meek. That would probably require an Indullgence.
    He covered Philadelphia with his thumb. Thumb index.

  62. The key word COULD be “poem”

    E.S.P. &

    No need to esplain

  63. I have read enough comments on this thread in the last hour to not want to go back and find the specific comment to which I will respond to with the following: It is my belief that f would find it to be not ethical to tell the TTOTC searchers what to discard and what to hold on to when it comes to their solve. Therefore, I also believe f would find it to be not ethical to reveal anything more to help aid the Chase community by showing where and what to grab for achieving the Indulgence Goal. Just because f knows where all of the aberrations, nooks and crannies exist does not mean he can ethically tell us where they are. Do not expect more than he has already given. I, amongst a few more, believe f has provided enough to find Indulgence. This is my opinion, so focus on the word which is key and go find this quest to cease! This is all stated In My Opinion. Stay safe and I’m sorry for not separating my paragraphs be way of indentation. I should know better, my daughter is, both, a Librarian and a writer. I’m sure she’ll read this and I will be in for a hard time. Ugh!
    Forgive me for not proof reading this Sparkling Little Daughter.

    • Wait! What?
      You have a librarian and a proof reader in the family… and you’re just now tell me??
      I’l bee spending a’ll me postest vla two U… lol

        • After this is viewed and digested each of us see through our own imagination, but objectively the one page that stands out like a blaze has to be the signature and the two exes, if there was a hint in there I would say it is Borders, like the one in My War for Me. DMZ was only a few miles from Quang Tri, and 50 miles or so from the exact co odinate in the Laotian Jungle where ff spent one of his last unpeaceful nights in Country, in late December, 1968.

          Many people think that the places of your childhood’s fondest memories are umbilical to your memory, however I hold that a near death experience, twice in a lifetime might be something that you cannot shake, it becomes part of you and all you long for is the warmth of home fires and to go in peace.

          Where is did Forrest find the most contentment? Santa Fe, it is after all not only “The City Different but it is also The city of Holy Faith”.
          Imo this is where we begin to think about the special place and why and where that place is when he decided to hide his secret where that holds treasures new and old….

          Might not be so far from home since home seems to be where you hat is…or is that just Lucky old Mildew?


  64. I believe a hint to the hint for the “word that is key” is in the last scrapbook. Forrest it didn’t get unnoticed.
    Just reviewing scrapbooks again,

    • Bur – Was that keyword in Scrapbook Two Ought Two actually, ‘Two’? Like, ‘Two Seek’? Or, maybe this was a name and distance reference?:

      “…he ate 2 Babe Ruth candy bars and nailed the wrappers to the Red Canyon sign that had been placed by the National Forest Service to mark the trailhead.”

      I Spy ‘mark’ and ‘2’:

      Mark Twain > Mark Two > Twelve Feet > Safe Passage

      Those Big Wheels keep on turnin’, Forrest.

      And ‘wrappers’ can be ‘dust covers’ of a book. I read Mark•S “Roughing It”.


      • Hi Lisa,

        No that hint is not “two” but you seem to have a point there.
        It seems Forrest knows how to throw out a hint without anyone seeing it. Maybe I see it because I believe I have found the word that is key and can see related hints sometimes. I believe Forrest is trying to keep everyone one the same playing field all they have to do is “listen good”, or read well.

        Thanks for your reply Lisa.

        • I couldn’t agree more with the fact that Forrest is leaving a trail for all who are paying attention to follow. When it comes to this subject here, I think Forrest left the biggest clue of all as to exactly what that word is, included in the very same comment that he mentions “a word that’s key”. You have to be paying attention as I said but I think it’s right there in front of us all from the moment he eluded to the existence of such a word.

          • Double a – So, could t’hat be?:

            In tight focus with ‘A word t•hat•S key’?

            Or, quoting Forrest correctly, using “that is”:

            In tight focus with ‘A word t•hat Eye•S key’

            Reminder: small ‘t’ means ‘ford’ of a river, in map language. Just makin’ more ‘word maps’. What say you, Mildew t’hat? Too many holes?

            IMO. With Giggles.

      • Lisa and Dal,

        You both take a lot of photographs; I take a few but…I have never
        focused “with” anything (that I’m aware of). Have you? Focused
        “on” something, sure. The usage “with” has always puzzled me.
        Sorry, if this has been discussed ad nauseam then just ignore. TIA

        • How about a “scope” Mr. Crockett??
          You use a scope to sight in things that you want to see in more detail. Just an idea. Perhaps Lisa or Dal will have better ones.

        • D. Crockett, excellent thoughts — y’all may be onto something helpful there. I said “y’all” (wink). As always, IMO.

          • I am considering the possibility that either of two words may be the “word that is key” mentioned by FF. Those
            two words share 3 or 4 letters. But the “word that is key” is
            not needed for a great solve. As always, IMO.

  65. Just catching up with this key word talk after being out of town for a couple of days and want to my two sense in as it relates to imagination, the key word, and WWsH.

    I believe it takes use of imagination to solve the riddle and determine the key word. In my mind it is more important that WWsH. Not only does it allow one to find the correct WWsH, using logic, but also allows to work out a few other clues. To me the ones that found the WWsH did so without knowing the key word so they did not work out how to use the second and third clues in conjunction with the first . This caused them to leave the poem. I believe the third clue is very tough because it requires a combination of logic and imagination. Many people are better at one than the other, but this requires both, along with understanding the key word. This is what I believe based on where I’m at with this now, and of course I could be wrong.

    • The word that is key is a tough one, I don’t have a clue. But it’s hard to imagine that someone hasn’t figured it out by now?

  66. The location of indulgence, is probably some where simple. The fact he said few are in tight focus w a word that is key is pretty significant. The fact that dedicated ft searchers haven’t found it yet us significant as well.

  67. I am just a NEWBIE at the search , about 2 years , but i still believe that the key word is ALONE , in my solve i have found by reading TTOTC that FF went alone to each of the places that the first 8 clue`s referred to , that is assuming i have the clue`s right .

    • Welcome to the Chase see you out on the trail most important advice is remember the Tc is in a safe place your life is important so don’t go where a 79 or 80 year old could not carry it to like a cliff or raging creek be wise and get there and pass if its not safe a week or two can make it right good luck to you

    • Hi JPE, welcome. Alone is not the key word I’m going by, but it is important with
      helping with my identification of warm waters halt.

  68. Consider this quote from :

    He scans them (emails) for two or three key words, which he says, “has happened three times. Three people have said key words. I never heard from them again! But they haven’t found the treasure.” (January 2018)

    Given how many people have been searching, and how many emails he receives, chances are that almost EVERY river, mountain, town, lake and park name has been mentioned to him many times. Therefore, I contend, that this “two or three key words” is NOT a place name. So…lets brainstorm on what else they could be.

    • Hi Corepuncher,
      Most likely key word(s) is in the poem so Forrest just scans emails for correct solution of this coded key word. IMO, but the hoB is most probable candidate for key word(s). Maybe these 3 searchers provided correct solution for hoB to Forrest but since he never respond to them they never know that their solutions were correct.
      I never send my solutions to Forrest because I know that it’s useless. Just sent several questions that he never answered. But sometimes unanswered questions tell more that answered ones. Currently my solution of the poem stops on the hoB. My recent visit of this area gave me some hope i.e. I’ll will visit it again but next time with some additional equipment (metal detector).
      Anyway IMP but I think that key word(s) in poem is hoB. Forrest said it very clearly: “if I told you who is Brown, you’d go right to the chest”.
      Knowing who or what is Brown eliminates even knowing what is WWWH.

      LONDON: But you didn’t answer my question, who is Brown?
      FENN: Well, that’s for you to find. If I told you that, you’d go right to the chest.

    • Hi corepuncher, If not the name of the place, then maybe something about the place that got there attention?

      • A key is separate from the lock, it is used to unlock. IMO the key word is not in the poem, it is used to unlock the poem. My key word is Trout.
        “Come and get me, come and get me, come and get me”

  69. I believe I have finally found the “word that is key”! I haven’t been looking for it at all. I’ve got a search location that I feel sure about, and I’ve been studying geography. Yesterday I was looking up a definition of a word when all of a sudden I figured out something I had overlooked before. I thought it over for a few hours and then it hit me what the “word that is key” really is. It is really so simple! And, now that I believe I’ve got it, I’d like to suggest that the title of this page be changed. IMO, it is not a “key word”, but a “word that is key” and those are two different things, IMO. It seems to me like a key word would unlock a definition to other words in the poem somehow, but this doesn’t. I believe the reason FF called it a word that is key is because it does something unique. It does not in any way unlock the phrases in the poem. But, knowing the word that is key makes all the difference. Understanding this one word allows me to read the poem as it is and it has a completely different meaning. Just knowing the word that is key allows all the other words to make sense together. Its almost like trying to explain a garden to someone who has never seen a plant. If a person has never seen a plant of any kind, and they read a poem about a garden, they couldn’t possibly understand what a garden is because they don’t know what a plant is. Teach them about a plant, and then, even if they had never seen a garden, they could learn about the garden by reading the poem about the garden and because they have learned about a plant and touched it and felt it, they might be able to understand a complete garden full of other beautiful plants, soil, water, sunlight, etc. But, if you have no idea what a plant is, you can’t imagine a garden. I think this is a good explanation to understand the word that is key. It doesn’t unlock any other words in the poem. But, having knowledge of the word that is key allows all the other basic words in the poem to make more sense together. This is my opinion of course. But, honestly, I can’t imagine that the definition of any other word would allow us to read the poem with greater understanding and clarity. It is so simple, and yet essential.

    I didn’t look for it previously because I don’t think anyone could find it randomly. It has taken 3 1/2 years of studying the poem, 2 years of studying geography and some BOG to finally get there. It has taken trying to understand the poem and analyzing each and every phrase and word in detail. I finally feel that I understand the poem. I now know why FF chose to say, “take it in the canyon down” instead of go down a canyon. I understand why it matters that the first phrase says, “As I have gone alone in there” if the first clue is supposedly “Begin it where warm waters halt”.

    This word that is key is fascinating IMO Now, . . . Can I find the TC? I hope so!

  70. Seeker, Et all, I’m taking the discussion that started on Odds n’ Ends to this page, because this is probably where it should go.

    Really not trying to poke at anyone with my word that is key. It sounds to me like Finder might know what I’m talking about, so would like to follow up with him/her. My intent in posting was to find others who have identified the word that is key (or believe they have), because having this word changes everything. I think it is possible that a group of people who have identified the word could put their heads together and find the tiny spot the TC is hidden. Because, remember that even if you understand the poem, four states of the RMs is a large area. I’m no longer focused on solving the poem. I’m focused on locating a tiny area in a four state range that contains the exact spot.

    I want to state that anything I say here is my opinion only.

    Based upon my understanding of FF’s quotes, I believe the following to be true.
    1. The words in the poem mean what they say.
    2. A complex understanding of geography might.
    3. The clues are straight forward

    I believe that FF is describing a location in the RM’s where he hid the T C. It has to be someplace that will possibly still be there in 1,000 years or so.

    Up until now, I’ve been just like everyone else trying to make sense of the poem. We all seem to have some questions that we have wanted answers to. Why the first stanza if the first clue is supposedly WWWH? Why “Take it in the canyon down”. What is “it”? Are we carrying something? Following a stream? A trail? I know there has been endless discussion about “Not far but too far to walk”. Somewhere there has to be an answer, doesn’t there?

    So I have studied the words over and over and over. . . . I have looked up every definition. I have read the books again and again. Studied the quotes, Studied the map. Studied geography.

    And then something clicked! It was like a light coming on! All of a sudden, I realized that by applying one definition to one word in the poem, the poem was saying something entirely different than I thought it was. I thought I had tried every definition, and I’ve done it again and again trying to make sense out of it all. I haven’t thought we could just randomly pick one canyon out of the RM’s and head down that canyon to pick up the TC, using any mode of transportation, etc. It is way simpler than that! Understanding the definition of this one word, and reading the poem through a single time with the understanding that the definition of this one word is not what I had thought has answered every single question I or anyone else has come up with. It clarifies what the poem is actually saying. It doesn’t rearrange the words or alter the definitions of any other word, but it allows me to see what the poem is really about. Its literally like the light came on!

    The poem describes a specific land formation. There are Not a lot of options that fit this description, but there are some. I believe I have the correct one, but until I’m holding the TC, I can’t really know for certainty. Ethical Dilemma suggested that if one understood the poem, they could go straight to the TC. Yes, and No. You still have to marry the poem to a map. Just because I now understand what land formation is the focal point of the poem, doesn’t mean I can go straight to it. There are several that fit the desciption, though I think one fits it best. I want to get it right. I can’t go back to my search location for a few days, so I decided to re-read the books to look for subtle clues that might help me decide which of several locations that fit the poem are the right one. I’m not talking about deciding which canyon out of billions are the right one. I’m talking about much less than a dozen spots which fit a very specifc description are the correct starting place. I believe I’ve got it, but I want to be sure.

    I honestly would love to hear from anyone else who has figured out the word that is key and is interested in collaborating. IMO, once this word that is key is discovered, the search has changed entirely. Its been narrowed to a very specific type of area. It still means BOG to find the TC and it still isn’t going to be easy, but I think that collaborating would allow a group of people to locate the TC sooner than one person could do on their own.

    Finder- I would love to message with you about the word that is key. You can ask Dal for my Email. If anyone else has identified the word that is key and can answer the riddle in the poem, I would love for you to get in touch with me also. I find it a bit sad that knowing this word takes me out of some of the discussions that are being had on things that are clearly answered in the poem and I no longer can discuss some of them. My search is taking on a tighter focus.


    • Flutterby,

      If you are willing to say, did your “word that is key” put you inside of YNP?

      (At the Top)

      • At the Top,
        I have never revealed my search location. However, I will say that I am 100% certain that it is not in YNP, IMO.

        • Flutterby,

          Not looking to learn anyone’s search location. I was just curious because the way I would describe my keyword is very similar to your own. It literally made my solve unravel right before my eyes and, in my case, it took me to YNP.

          Your description of your “word that is key” is intriguing. Good luck with your search.

          (At the Top)

    • Flutterby,

      I have some points in your post I would like to ask about. I do understand you want to chat with folks about the key word… however i’d like to chat about a couple things you stated.

      I get the idea of a word that can open a different reading / perspective of the poem… My theory and Method does basically the same thing, only using three words instead of one and it’s meaning of the phrase. As you; ‘I realized that by applying one definition to one word in the poem, the poem was saying something entirely different than I thought it was.’

      Then you say this; ‘…It doesn’t rearrange the words or *alter the definitions of any other word*,..’
      I would like you to expand on what is meant by ‘alter the definitions of any words’…
      What I mean is, who chooses which definitions / meanings / usages of any word, for only a certain definition of anyone word-?- as an alteration from one definition to another for that word?
      Begin; start; perform or undergo the first part of (an action or activity)
      Begin; come into being or have its starting point at a certain time.
      While start is presence for bot meanings and usages… in is dedicated to time… the other is of present time only. Whos chooses what is being altered to start with?
      I’m a bit confused to what you mean.

      You also said ‘You still have to marry the poem to a map. Just because I now understand what land formation is the focal point of the poem, doesn’t mean I can go straight to it.’
      Ok… this does sound like what fenn tells us with the warning of, the path would not be direct but certain for the one who new the location beforehand, line of thing.
      What I would like to ask is; can you give an approx. size of this land? I assume you can find it on GE and that should help with a good guess of the area’s [ “land information” ] size.
      That is just a curiosity question for me. {example; Less than a mile s… or covers five miles… 500 feet square, in circumference, etc.}.

      • Seeker,
        What I was trying to say is that the word that is key doesn’t combine with any other words to alter their meanings. I believe the words mean exactly what they say, but as you have pointed out, words have multiple definitions. Until I found this word that is key, it was hard to figure out which definition was the right one for each word. The sentences seemed disconnected and left me with more questions than answers. Once I read the poem through, after finding my word that is key, it was very simple to see what was being said. I thought I described this pretty well in my first post about a word that is key yesterday. If I read a poem about a garden, and I had never heard of a plant and had no concept of plants or how they grow or what is involved in their growth, then reading a description about a garden would be hard to picture in my mind. But, if someone explained a plant to me and let me touch it and smell it and see how it grows, then I would be able to comprehend what is being said in a poem about a garden. That is honestly the best example I can think of. Understanding the word that is key is like understanding a plant. If you understand a plant and have experience with plants, then you could read a descriptive poem about a garden and comprehend what is being said. Understanding the word that is key is essential to understanding what this poem is talking about. This is all my opinion of course.

        • Flutterby – My word that is key is ‘wiSe’, which represents an S-curve formation in my ‘IT’: the Madison River (note: the ‘tight focus’ on that capital ‘S’). Forrest’s answer when asked about the blaze being a single object was, “in a word, yes”. Or, maybe, ‘in a word, yeS’?

          “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,”


          If you have been wise and found the blaze,

          So, maybe?:

          If you have Ben (Franklin) wiSe and found the blaze,

          Look at Ben’s Odometer invention and ‘clockwise’. I did the ‘halve Ben’ thing and chose the Rainbow bend lower half of my backwardS bike S-curve in the Madison River at Baker’S Hole. And I proceeded ‘clockwiSe’. I found the ‘way’ (archaic noun meaning of ‘wise’), by using the directions in the Poem lines married to a map. And by determining odometer distances from Forrest’s books and from his TFTW preface.

          And that ‘few’ could refer to Ben Franklin’s actual quote about three keeping a secret if two of them are dead.

          Do you think Forrest was influenced by the movie, “National Treasure”? I do.

          All IMO.

          • Flutterby – From the preface of TFTW:

            “The distance was about 10 river miles.”

            My friend’s truck odometer read exactly 5 miles from my Forrest’s proposed put-in on the Madison to the bottom shore of my backwardS bike S-curve at Baker’S Hole. Where the Rainbows spawn during the Spring run. Thanks for the clear pic of the interpretive sign right there, Dal, in your “Vagabond” story.

            So, 5/10 equals ‘half way there’, metaphorically and physically, does it not, Benjamin Franklin? Love those spinning wheels, numbered from 0-10 and 10-100, rotating clockwise and counter-clockwise. I think my ancestors, the Romans, did that odometer thing first, though. Isn’t Washington DC modeled after Rome, Ben?

            Speaking of 100, what time is it on the clock at Independence Hall on the reverse of your $100 bill? Is that 2:25pm in the afternoon? Is that a good time to walk out to my search area? Or, maybe, start at the Interpretive Sign at 5’oclock on the dial, and follow the clock’wise’ = ‘way’ to 2’oclock on the dial?:


            That looks like the path we followed back on Memorial Day Weekend. We could certainly make two trips from our truck at our campsite in one afternoon.

          • Lisa,
            Thanks for sharing. Not sure I understand how the poem tells you that it is the Madison River? My word that is key tells me what “it” is.

      • Seeker,
        You asked “can you give an approx. size of this land?” I could, but I’m not going to. Sorry. I can see it clearly on GE. It is clearly on printed maps. There are instructions on how to find the hidey spot. But, I didn’t work this hard to just lay it out for everyone to read. If somebody else has the word that is key and wants to discuss specifics on how to find the exact hidey spot, then I would love to hear from them. The word that is key is essential to understanding the poem and if someone doesn’t have it, they also haven’t studied geography in enough depth to understand why it is the word that is key. IMO

  71. Hi Flutterby: continuing from the Odds -n- Ends thread:

    “I’m not certain that your word that is key is not the same as mine.”

    I am, as you will see below.

    “I’m not sure yet how to find out that we have the same word that is key without one person disclosing it to the other. But, I hope there is a way. I think there might be.”

    You are correct — there is. 🙂

    “I can’t imagine that any other word in the poem could possibly clarify what the poem is saying.”

    That sentence alone tells me your keyword is not the same as mine. As I’ve revealed many times on Dal’s, mine is not one of the poem’s 166 words.

    • Thanks for clarifying Zaphod. I haven’t followed the word that is key discussions at all because I didn’t think anyone could randomly figure out the word. So, I have not read your previous posts about it. But, if your word is not in the poem, then it is not the same word as mine. I’m curious how a word outside the poem could be tied with any certainty to the poem? Anyway; my word is in the poem and just knowing its definition clarifies what the poem is about. It makes sense of all the questions I previously had about the poem and gives me a specific description of the land form/feature WWWH and what to look for. As I said perviously, there are more than one spot that fits the starting description, but not many. So, I want to be sure I get the right one and follow the rest of the clues very carefully. The rest of the clues are also clarified by the word that is key. This word simply clarifies specifically what the poem is describing and by knowing that, it is easy to see what to do with the clues. Interestingly, I’m surprised that I can now see nine distinct clues when previously I didn’t believe in counting clues because I thought we had to understand the poem. Now that I understand what the poem is about, I see the nine clues. But, of course this is all in my opinion. I’m not trying to convince anyone that I have the word that is key. I am trying to find out who else thinks they might so that we can have a private discussion and go from there.

      I would like to add Zaphod, that based upon your posts this morning, I remain unconvinced that you and I are not on the same page. I wonder if perhaps your word that is key means the same thing as one of the words in the poem, and you might not be aware of it; because a couple of your statements left me thinking you and I were standing in the same spot in the RMs. I’d be willing to bet that a unique definition of one of the poem’s words might mean the same thing as your word that is key. IMO

      • Flutterby, I think the keyword is it. But my solve led to Idaho, so what do I know, right? I believe you start at Gin Creek (Be[gin]), and take it 1.5 miles south (not far) where it turns into Plank Creek (but too far to walk). I think those are the only 2 clues you have to solve. IMO

        • Hmmm, Interesting Craig. Not sure how the word it brought you to Gin Creek. My solution does not use the names of places. I think that when you look at geographical time, the names of places are useless. FF told us he read Osborne Russell’s book. Osborne usually didn’t give the names of places. He used descriptions of places. But, good luck with Gin Creek. My location is found simply by the description and not its name.

          • That sounds interesting flutterby. I got the word Gin because I looked at the definition of it. It’s something to the effect of a thing previously mentioned or easily identifiable. Think about it, why would he have wrote it “begin it”? He could have just wrote “begin” without the it next to it and it would still be correct. Plus Gin Creek is in close proximity to Poker Creek and Rummy Creek. Remember what he said about staying home and playing canasta if you can’t get the first clue?

    • Hi Flutterby: no worries. Few have time to read everything on a blog, myself included.

      “I’m curious how a word outside the poem could be tied with any certainty to the poem?”

      My word is steganographically secreted within the poem — more than once (presumably for redundancy to boost confidence).

      “I would like to add Zaphod, that based upon your posts this morning, I remain unconvinced that you and I are not on the same page. I wonder if perhaps your word that is key means the same thing as one of the words in the poem, and you might not be aware of it…”

      A good thought, Flutterby, but not possible in my particular case since my keyword does not have a synonym.

      • OK… I’m bite Zap… your word aside. Can you show another word that doesn’t have synonyms. You can’t have the only word in the entire English speaking world that claims; no synonyms.
        Maybe I should ask also… What is your definition of synonyms?

        **a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language.
        ***person or thing so closely associated with a particular quality or idea that the mention of their name calls it to mind.
        LIke OJ… ? but no need to concentrate too hard on it?

      • Hi Seeker: I think you’ve answered your own question. Most proper names do not have synonyms. Example: can you give me a synonym for Mexico?

        • LOL Nope, I can for donkey.
          But, according to Thesaurus there are 118 similar meanings… go figure.

          But I still say steganographically is not only a coded message..”Coded messages; have words or symbols which represent other words, so that the message is secret unless you know the system behind the code.”
          I haven’t heard you explain how the poem or the book gives anyone that particular um, system? to use. Isn’t that just a guess?

          I also don’t think it’s straightforward or straight forward by any meaning of the word[s]

        • Seeker: steganography is not a coded message. Ciphers are coded messages. In steganography, a message is simply concealed within a carrier (in this case the poem) such that no one but the intended receiver is even aware that such a message is hidden there. “Stego” is used all the time in puzzles and treasure hunts. It’s not hard if you’re looking for it. — just requires a little bit of lateral thinking, i.e. imagination.

          • Yeah we had this conservation before, Zap.
            ~In steganography, a message is simply concealed within a carrier (in this case the poem)…

            That sounds like a letter in an envelope, concept. But the letter within say what it say, the envelope is it carrier. You still need to break something up and create something else.. in this case words or letters from those words to build another word… right?
            To-each-their-own, I don’t see how that is not a coded message, Then again, Andrew Briggs [ or something like that ] used the L&C version of a coded message and fenn did say he got it mostly right? {even though fenn did say he couldn’t followed the solve and find the chest} LOL we just don’t know what he got mostly of… the system or clues or the place he claims the search is located around. OR if it’s any of those.

            So, who knows….

          • Hi Seeker: as you say, we’ve beat this poor horse before. Let me just close by reminding that an acrostic is one example of a very simple form of stego, e.g. the often-mentioned (H)int (O)f (R)iches (N)ew. That example is so simple and obvious that if Forrest had done the same thing with a comparatively long keyword, it would have been found in the first week. Short words provide little confidence because they will naturally turn up in a 166-word poem (e.g. GAIT in stanza 1). But there are endless variants that are only barely more difficult than that example.

          • Let go my stego.
            I just like when Fenn says it’s in the mountains (Montana) north of Santa Fe.

          • Zap,
            Yep, get it… But i’m just not convinced.
            I mean, for me… there’s nothing that says straight forward, no subterfuge, plain English, or anything a kid “might get it” ideas.
            BUT.. If you can show me something that could suggest this idea from the book or poem [even though you say only use the poem], other than the idea of imagination, in this case, is a guess, in my mind… I could think it’s possible.

            Personally, and for me alone, I have a hard time not thinking the is a code, straight out of the box of codes.
            The only reason I could even think of an idea like this [ and again, this is just me ] “I can keep my secret where”

            Even then, using “Where” in stanza 1 to align with stanza 2’s “Where” warm waters halt [and having a name]… “Secret” would have to give some indication of a method or system that is usable without guessing of that method.

            Every definition of secret i have read, is meant to ‘keep hidden’
            So imo, something should indicate this method you use… because you even said; ‘such that no one but the intended receiver is even aware that such a message is hidden there.’
            Are we all not the intended receiver?
            So something should give us a reason to know about it as such, a “Stego” . That’s a biggy for me.

          • The only definition of “secret” we need to know is the one given to us by f.
            “I will tell you my ‘secret’ plan”. That is the definition of “his” secret.

  72. I’m curious if this word that is key was given to you by an ATF, or something else f has said. Or, what directed you to this word in the poem? I would think that if it is so important, then something f has said directed you to that simple word. Meaning, did something instruct you to do something that inevitably put you on this word, or is it just a straight guess, seeing how there may be coincidences?
    Like my word is “that”. I found within an ATF that I should do something, which, gave me an answer to where I can find what’s in tight focus with that word, the word “few”. These two words share a commonality, thus answering another ATF, and in turn, defining what he is saying. It’s not the word so much as it’s the number. This way, I’m only going by what f has said, without a random, no matter how good, guess. It’s hard to argue that when he says “a few are in tight focus with a word that is key”, that he’s not saying a word “that” is not key. He says it, a word “that” is key. Also hard to argue that he’s also saying that the word “few” is not in tight focus with the word “that”. Especially when another ATF directs you to do something where you find the word “few” in the book, why it’s there, and why it is a reference point.
    So, if I’m to believe you have found a word, it needs to come from f, and not you. It needs to show a process where somewhere f told you to do the things you do to come to this word. And also, to stay consistent to his ATF’s. And remember, the poem is a map, a key on a map isn’t something that unlocks something, it is merely something at the bottom of the page showing distance. It’s not the “legend”. So many think this word is used to “unlock” when in reality, they forget the poem is a map. If the poem was a lock, then they may have something.
    As you can see, it’s easy to divulge certain things, if you have some word that opens the poem for you, then okay, but to think you will be giving away the farm if posting this word, then maybe it’s not really what you think it is.
    Also remember, if sooo important, then we would have known about it in 2010/2011. Not trying to be discouraging, if you found something for your solve great, I just have my doubts…

    • Poison,
      Everything I am going to state here is my opinion. The reason nobody has solved the poem is that nobody really knows what this poem is about other than a map contained in a poem. It is a map but the clues are tied to one thing. That one thing is the keyword. I’m not going to tell you exactly how I figured it out because it is so obviously the right word and if I told you how I got it, you could figure it out with enough effort. I’ve followed FF’s instructions. I have read the poem again and again. I have read his books over and over slowly thinking. Then read the poem again, read the ATFs, re-read the books, etc. This word that is key provides a frame of reference for the poem. Knowing what FF is talking about allows you to see that the map is described in reference to this thing. I’m not interested in proving to anyone that I have the right word that is key. Sorry. Not trying to be rude or anything. It took a lot of work to get here and I just want to enjoy it while I try to work out the final clue. I’m just sad that knowing my word that is key takes me out of some of the other discussions on this page which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I hope eventually someone else gets the word that is key also as I would enjoy discussing it with someone else who arrives at this place. Good luck to everyone! All the above in my opinion.

      • Would you say that given your word-that-is-key definition, that even the meaning of hoB changed for you?

        • Maybe it’s a word like one of the following (I don’t know that I would consider these compound words, even though each is
          comprised of 2 distinct words)?

          . . . “alone” or “below” or “loads” or “listen” or “effort” . . .

          Even “pirate” is made of 2 words (hee hee!).

          As always, this entire posting is part of my oPInion.

        • Hi Tall Andrew: since there are only 166 words in the poem (of which 55 are duplicates), it seems unlikely to me that Forrest’s word that is key could be a poem word.

          “Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.”

          Out of tens of thousands of searchers, only “a few” have focused on the correct word? Seems to me that hundreds of searchers (more than a few) must have at one time or another selected each and every word in the poem. Some of the more interesting words have probably been considered by thousands of people, including these 40: alone, below, bold, brave, Brown, canyon, cease, chest, cold, creek, down, drawing, effort, gaze, gold, heavy, keep, listen, loads, marvel, meek, nigh, paddle, peace, quest, quickly, riches, scant, secret, tarry, tired, title, treasures, trove, walk, warm, waters, weak, wise, wood. Even uninteresting words like “it” attract a huge number of proponents.

      • What a concept. Figure out a single keyword and walk away with a treasure chest worth maybe three million dollars. In your dreams Flutterby. You’re gonna have to work for it. One little clever discovery won’t do. But keep the positive attitude. That’s a must have.

        • Ok So this is my top 7 words in the 150+ words? One of these imo is: in order……


          I have narrowed it down to one of these.
          The Key word is…
          you decide.

          The other most important hint I have heard from Forrest is:
          “Adjust” whatever that means! Right?

        • Lou Lee: unfortunately, Forrest did NOT answer the question that Cynthia posed, and even if he had, it wouldn’t have told you anything because of the way she worded it. She simply asked if the word was in the poem; if I was Forrest and I wanted to wiggle or quibble, I could say yes to that and yet have a word in mind that isn’t one of the 166 poem words, such as SAND or WAND. If I wanted to ask it less ambiguously, I would have said, “Is your ‘word that is key’ one of your poem’s 166 words as it is read or recited normally?”

          • Well that was my take on it. Maybe I will listen to it a couple more times.
            I still think it’s there.

          • Zap – Agreed. But, then, Forrest would have said he already answered the other question posed by someone else, and he didn’t want to answer Cynthia’s. He always finds a way out. Like he and Donnie did, out Cabin Creek. Or, like Forrest did, in Laos.
            Or, like Forrest did, when he was investigated for artifacts removal. IMO.

          • Well Cinthia said to Forrest “in the poem?”
            And Forrest replied “in the poem”
            Why wouldn’t the key word not be in the poem?
            You guys are silly debating this….and cranky too! Ha!

          • Hi Lou Lee: not cranky, just a little mystified why people are reading into a “nothing burger.”

      • Hello Flutterby,

        I’m not a frequent poster here, but I will say that my keyword can be described in the same way you have described yours. Not sure if we have the same word, but the word is important only insofar as it points one to the context described by the poem. A significant number of searchers are aware of it, but although they look, they do not see.

        For me, it unraveled the whole smash almost all at once.

    • JDA – Watch the clip: there is one word in the Poem that will help you more than the others. But, you need all of them (clues?)
      The last clue is the most important, because you will have the treasure in your hands (paraphrased).

      Anyone want to do an exact transcript? Did I get that right???

      • JDA – When Cynthia asked if the word that is key was in the Poem, I was waiting for Forrest to answer:

        IT’s in the Poem.

        Which, IT is. Several times. Seemed to me he was making a careful effort NOT to say those words.


        • JDA – And Forrest called himself a “Maverick”:

          “When a client gave Samuel A. Maverick 400 cattle to settle a $1,200 debt, the 19th-century south Texas lawyer had no use for them, so he left the cattle unbranded and allowed them to roam freely (supposedly under the supervision of one of his employees). Neighboring stockmen recognized their opportunity and seized it, branding and herding the stray cattle as their own. Maverick eventually recognized the folly of the situation and sold what was left of his depleted herd, but not before his name became synonymous with such unbranded livestock. By the end of the 19th century, the term maverick was being used to refer to individuals who prefer to blaze their own trails”

          Hmmmm…is the ‘blaze’ in the Poem a trail???

          • JDA – Just a reminder that there happens to be a fly fishing trail all along my backwardS bike ‘S’ blaze at Baker’S Hole. Which begins at the end of the Boundary Trail. Which begins at the end of Boundary Street, where the Fennhaven Cabins now house the employees of the Branding Iron Inn. Who might just have a warm floor we can sleep on. And who might also know how to skate ski.

        • lisa, where is the photo of the word IT and who were the few who were in tight focus?
          respectfully yours, Bob.

    • Thanks a lot for sharing that.

      I think Forrest was disassociating the one more helpful word in the poem from the word that is key.

      The word ‘wood’ (coincidentally the subject of the latest SB) might be more helpful than the rest because it might be part of the last clue; that could be his way of deflecting an unwanted question, IMO.

      • 100% agree with you, Muset. And as I pointed out in chat during their show, Forrest never said his “word that is key” is a poem word in any case. “Word in the poem” and “poem word” (as in one of the poem’s 166 words) are not equivalent. Many words are “in” the poem that aren’t actual poem words, such as “sever,” “one,” “allen” and “dig.” And depending on how you define “in the poem,” words like “horn,” “gait” and “bait” are there as well.

  73. Am I wrong, or does everyone think the ‘key word’ is a word in the poem? To me, close reading of Fenn’s statement allows for the key word to outside of the poem.

    • I am with you OS2 – I think that the “word that is Key” is not found in the poem – but relates to the area that Indulgence will be found in – JMO – JDA

      P.S. I have changed my mind several times as to what I thought that word was/is – So don’t hold me to what I might have said a couple of years ago 🙂

    • OS2: I think you know I’ve never been a key-word-is-a-word-in-the-poem guy. The short length of the poem, the large number of searchers, and Forrest’s use of the word “few” in describing the number of folks in “tight focus” for me precludes it being a poem word.

      JDA: I’m surprised to learn you are in the same camp! I thought you favored wood (or more specifically “in the wood”) as Forrest’s word(s) that is/are key? If you’ve made an adjustment on that score, I applaud your flexibility.

      • Hi Zap;

        As I said, I have had a couple of different words, at different times, that I felt was “The Word that was key.”

        Someone commented that it HAD to be a word in the poem – My question is “WHY?”

        Let’s say that “The word that is key” is “valley” – Valley is not in the poem, but “Canyon down” is, which could relate to a valley.

        “As I have gone alone in there…” could refer to a valley.
        “From there it’s no place for the meek…” could refer to a valley.
        “Look quickly down…” again could refer to a valley
        “So why is it that I must go…” Same as above – a valley???
        “So hear me all and listen good…” The echo heard in a valley???
        “Brave and in the wood…” All of these lines COULD refer to a valley. If so, then “Valley” sure COULD be “The word that is key.”, and yet the word “Valley” is NOT in the poem. JMO – JDA

        P.S. “Valley is NOT my “Word that is key.” JDA

        • So, if I get this straight, you guys don’t think that the word that is key is not too important, right? Everybody has tried to find this word that , what you guys say, just is not that important at all. Waste of time, rabbit hole, whatever. Is that right? I’m just curious, since f has given the answer to such a question, and if you follow what he says, it turns out to be somewhat important and in the poem. It would have to be in the poem if t was important, but according to you guys, it’s not needed, if I’m reading between the lines correctly.
          Here is your why JDA, because all we need at the core of this chase is the poem. If this word is important, then someone with the poem, and only the poem, could find it. That word would have meaning in regards to the chase. If it is not in the poem, then it is not too important, so no need to spend time worried about it. If it is a word like you use “valley”, then it’s not the word f is talking about, because canyons can also be ditches, gulches, basically anything. We are left with guessing, and that is not the way to solve.
          Like I’ve said before, we cannot try to define what f is saying, all we can do is go by what he is saying. To define the word “few” to mean searchers is ridiculous. F just says that the word “few” is in tight focus with a word “that”. It’s key, “that” is in the poem, just because someone cannot solve why, shouldn’t lead to all this guessing.
          (at least use a word in the ATF to explain your hypothetical point).
          If it is important, it is in the poem.

          • Poisonivey,

            I’m in the group all you need is the poem to find Indulgence. Then I’m also in the group that the word that is key is not in the poem.

            Let me explain some, and these conclusions are after I believe I have solved 8 of the 9 clues.

            Looking at the poem alone. If you have figured out the first clue somehow either by guessing or putting two and two together to somehow come up the correct answer to the first clue. The rest of the clue solves will follow a pattern on a map but only with research and a botg trip. At least to the clue “water high”.

            Now if you have come across the word that is key, (which I believe I did years back in TTOTC book in the hints Forrest talked about) that word will help with solving the first clue. Then the rest of the clues will come in to play as described above.

            Now the comment that Forrest made about – there is one word that will help you more then some of the others….in the poem. This is also true from what I see now. That word (not the word that is key) is one that most searchers do not understand it’s meaning, but has been correctly said in some comments throughout years of the chase, but debunked time and time again. This word is very important in a clue solve imo.

            Ok thanks, for reading my comment and hopefully this will be “food for thought.”

            Good luck all,


        • poisonivey: I’m assuming you’re not including me in your “you guys”: I’ve been consistent for years in my opinion that without Forrest’s word that is key, a searcher has no chance of solving the poem.

          • There just cannot be a “key word”. That would mean that Forrest knew that a few people were on to the key word and then decided to screw them over and give a hint to the rest of the world, which of course he would never do. That right there is incontrovertible proof that there cannot be a “key word”. A “word that is key”? Absolutely. There are many words, probably most of the words in the poem that are key. But Forrest commented on one particular key word that only a few had correctly discerned. The only thing that means is that we need to look at some of the words differently, maybe see an alternate definition or use that word in conjunction with another to give it a different meaning or use a little imagination, which is more important than knowledge, to figure what the word means. I wouldn’t waste any time looking for a “key word”. IMO

          • Warlock62,

            F never said that the few who were in tight focus with a word that is key were focusing on the same word. That’s an assumption.

            He did not originally comment on one particular word.

          • I see it as when f says something that obviously has a hint in it, then it’s like it’s own little separate puzzle. Like every line in the poem is in itself, a little puzzle. When he makes the statement that ” a few are in tight focus with a word that is key”, it’s a small puzzle. I try not to define his words or anything, just look at what he is saying.
            a “few”- I put nothing as far as what “few” means. Could be searchers, could be clues, could be just the word few.
            are in tight focus- again, try not to define what f is saying, but feel like the word “few” is close to something.
            with a word that- Here, you get the answer to what few is in tight focus with, the word “that”.
            Is key- obvious importance or this is also where f answers, the word he is talking about is key.
            So you have a couple possibles on what he is saying in this ATF.
            1. the word “few” and the word “that” have some common interest, and it is key.
            2. There is a word and that word is “key”, meaning the word is “key”.
            3. At the time, some random searchers were working on something that was key in possibly solving, and it had to do with one word.
            That is what he is saying in the ATF. He’s not telling us to guess or come up with our own words. Either, someone is working on something that is key and could be summed up with one word. (highly doubt that is what he is saying). Or, there is some kind of “key” that some are working on, or we can just use what he is saying, that the word “few” has something to do with the word “that”. It may seem ridiculous, but like everything chase, if you know what he is saying, you understand, if not, then there is the confusion.
            If it is that important, then best believe it’s in the poem.
            Like the word “that”

    • OS2 – For my two cents, I’m still a firm believer that the “word that is key” is one of the black & white words contained within the poem; not a hidden word that must be unlocked with a cypher or reading backwards or diagonally or upside-down or combining pieces of two different words together; just a plain ol’ face-value word that is in the poem.

      Yes, basically every single word in the poem, no matter how seemingly insignificant, has been heavily scrutinized by people at one point or another (e.g.: “As I” backwards is “Isa”! Lake Isa! To the Yellowstone post-haste!), but I think that what Forrest was saying was that there was one word that was very important for us to focus in on in order to aid us in marrying the poem up to a place on a map; an interpretation of the word that some people have been chatting about, but not many.

      Remember the original context of Forrest’s statement about the “word that is key”: he was answering the question from Jenny Kile in 2014 as to whether he thought the treasure would be found soon. He answered “It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching. Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.” So I interpret that to mean Forrest heard or read someone’s comments in 2014 that nailed the correct interpretation of the “word that is key”, but obviously whoever caused Forrest to believe that the treasure could be found soon went down the wrong path even though they hit the right interpretation of the key word.

      I’ve certainly hopped around between different words in the poem that I thought were the one that was key, and I have my latest favorite picked out, but I’ve never swayed on my stance that the key word is a word in the poem. But then again, I haven’t found a treasure yet, so take it for what it’s worth!

      • Thx for your reply Blix, but I never meant extracting a word from a group of words. I meant finding a word within a word (even if it is a different spelling but is phonetically the same). One example might a tight focus on the word Brown… the middle letters are ‘row’ …… which could imply an oar or a paddle, or even a R.O.W. a ‘Right Of Way’ track through a forest… perhaps a fire lane or a clearing under power lines. Is there a Brown power company or does it some how relate to a power grid? Thats the kind of linked thinking I tend to use.

  74. Zap, JDA, I wonder things like why ff even made the WORD – KEY statement… did he want to tell us that a few people were hot on the trail, or did he want to put an image of a key & lock as a word in our imagination? Key opens lock if it turns the tumblers. Are tumblers the letters in a word? Is a new word is freed from an old word? (anagram or a word within a word) Or is it the action of a key that goes into a hole (Browns Hole, Bakers Hole? ) and turn ( lots of turns & switches in the stories… both as punishment and as fate/kismet). All the tight focus associations are delicious nibblings, but I haven’t got a clue.

    • I’m a little slow on the start of this ol chase here, but after thinkin and writin I have found there sure is a keyword. Staring me right in the face and up in thinker. I’ve have now heard more than one individual reference this word too. Just saying, if anyone understands that. The keywords location is of definite value.

      • Jasonhall – Ok, following your lead. Word that is key is ‘wise’?:

        If you’ve been wiSe and found the blaZe/blaSe…

        My backwardS bike ‘S’ blaZe/blaSe has a tight focus; namely in the word, ‘wiSe’. Remember when Forrest answered:

        “In a word, yes.”

        Or, maybe?:

        In a word, yeS.

        See how that ‘S’ letter is magnified, like it’S in ‘tight focus’???

        Anyone following what I’m puttin’ down here???

        How many have mentioned seeing that fly fishermen-loving S-Curve on my ‘IT’ as the ‘Madison River’ at Baker’S Hole? How many have sent Forrest a ‘tight focus’ pic of the awesome interpretive sign, with the two relief Big Brown trout on ‘IT’???

        Think about ‘IT’…

          • Jasonhall – That quote was from a Bill Cosby album I used to listen to as a kid. He didn’t like snakes, either. Indiana Jones had a bad snake experience as a child. Here is one of those suggested movie quotes:

            “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” – Indiana Jones

          • Jasonhall – Here”s another round:

            There’s a big snake in the plane, Jock.

            Oh, that’s just my pet snake Reggie.

            I hate snakes, Jock. I hate ’em.

            C’mon, show a little backbone, will ya?

            ThankS, Indiana JoneS…

  75. I’m ok with thinking it’s possible the poem has some words that are more helpful than others in finding the tc.

    It’s a basic concept.

    • I agree although I think it’s a recipe of a few important words in the poem. Not just one.

    • SilverKnight, you said:

      “when the key word is found, the point of the blaze will be self evident”

      I never considered the “word that is key” to help with the blaze clue solve, only the first clue. Since this is the only clue I have yet to solve I might have to consider this, and look in my findings of related possibilities.

      Thank’s and good luck,

      • Bur, don’t lock yourself in. Why can’t the few words that are important help both figure out the first clue and the blaze?

        • Yes. I was just thinking that Fundamental Design. That’s why my comment. So I will look into this more and will try and avoid any rabbit holes.

          Thanks and good luck.


      • Hi Bur: I agree with your thinking that Forrest’s “word that is key” (note: *a* word, not words) can logically only be related to the first clue (or perhaps the first and second). The statement was made at a time when only two clues had been solved.

        Obviously there are some poem words that are more important than others (e.g. “Brown” is more important than “If”), but that’s a separate issue from the word that is key.

      • Hi Bur,
        if you said about the blaze “since this is the only clue I have yet to solve” you should solve clues #1-8. Just want ask you how you know that you have solved them correctly?
        If you was near “heavy loads and water high” you was very close to the blaze i.e. 200-500 feet from it. Why you can’t found the blaze by simple searching around HLAWH? If you in patch with radius 200-500 feet you should found the blaze during several days.


  76. There are four words that F repeatedly gives huge clues to. Two are used often, one more sparsely, and one almost never.
    In this case he is alluding to the third sparse word. It is a five letter word in Thoughts to the clues. His friend Michael Douglas could help with the answer,
    Don’t sweat it, this is a diversion, only the second and fourth will get you close,


  77. When Mr. Fenn first made the word that is key comment, (wise) was the most popular choice. I thought the word (quickly) was it, because (quickly) seemed out of place with tempo of the poem.

  78. Hey there JDA.

    Earlier you mentioned that next year Summer Solstice is on 20 June 2020. I really appreciate you posting that because that’s my daughter’s B-day, plus, and the day after was Father’s Day.

    And that’s going to occur again next year. How cool is that?

    Could be a lucky day for me.

    Take care………..Pinatubocharlie

    • YEA – Happy Early Birthday to your daughter!!! an auspicious day. Happy early Father’s day – just in case I am not around on June 20,2020 🙂 JDA

  79. Solstice….ugh think that’s my wife’s birthday. Can’t remember reading keywords. Lots of words and theories.
    All I’ve deducted is that “it” is in there. “It” is in the poem and that’s just how it works. May I find it I hope. But i have to follow the poem and every instruction to get results. As long as I remember to take my poem in the morning I go a searching.
    This must be the trickiest poem ever!!

  80. If I may be so bold.
    So why is it THAT I must go
    Why is =it
    Drop the I
    If you’ve been wise
    The verb to be, past tense
    Have been-Bent

    Just requires a little adjustment.

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