A Rio de Los Pinos Solve…

February, 2019

By Richard Cron

 

The Thrill of The Chase Poem – Clue Analysis with Notes and Timeline

Rio de Los Pinos

Rio de Los Pinos

As I have gone alone in there (Just as I have been alone to that place before)

And with my treasures bold (and I have gone there with my treasures unafraid)

I can keep my secret where (I won’t tell anyone the location)

And hint of riches new and old. (I will give clues of the existence and location of treasure (new) and the place (old))

Clue 1
Begin it where warm waters halt (the train station at Osier, Colorado) Passenger train stations are sometimes referred to as a Halt. Warm water is the steam train.

Clue 2
And take it in the canyon down, (traverse to and enter Toltec Canyon via the forest road, ford the Rio de Los Pinos, leave the forest road and take the vehicle path downstream along the river until it ends, just over a mile. Travel on downstream by foot through trees, brush and grass until you reach the canyon, approximately ¾ mile.) A scythe would come in handy for the hike along the river through an area of trees, brush and tall grass.

Clue 3
not far, but too far to walk

(refers to the short section entering into the canyon and traversing to the horse shoe bend that requires wading as opposed to walking).

Clue 4
Put in below the home of Brown. (The home of Brown is the Rio de Los Pinos. At the horse shoe bend in the river, “put in” or in other words, leave the river and “go ashore” where the canyon wall is a gradual slope allowing a not-too-difficult climb.)

Clue 5
From there it’s no place for the meek (meak).

(A scythe or meak will not be needed). There’s just rocky terrain ahead as you climb the canyon wall slope. 

Clue 6
The end is ever drawing nigh (as you reach the top of the slope, bear to the left toward the cliff formation (hoof) that forms the horse shoe bend in the river).

Directions to the Blaze:

Clues 7,8
There’ll be no paddle up your creek (don’t look in or around the stream for the Blaze)

Just heavy loads and water high (the steam locomotive train track)

The Blaze is the chalky area of road bank just above and below the C&TSRR track, uphill from the canyon and to the left of the stream (as facing downstream).

Directions to the chest:

Clue 9
If you’ve been wise and found the Blaze, look quickly down, your quest to cease.

(at the top of the slope of the canyon wall, find a vantage point where the Blaze can be seen over the hoof formation. This is the alignment between the searcher and the Blaze and reveals the area on the hoof of the chest location. The niche will be some distance back from the edge of the cliff “in the quick” likely at the high point of the formation and offering a view of the surrounding area, which is Fenn’s special place.)

After you’ve located the chest:

But tarry scant with marvel gaze

(Pause for a brief time and take in the view of Forrest Fenn’s special place.)

Just take the chest and go in peace or piece

(Don’t try to carry the chest full – too heavy.) Just take the chest (empty) and carry the contents separately – in piece.

So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek? (Why did I go there and leave my treasure to be found?)

The answer I already know, I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak. (Because I’ve lived a full life and now I’m nearing the end.)

Transfer of ownership:

So hear me all and listen good, (Pay attention, this is important,)

Your efforts will be worth the cold. (The difficulty, hardships and frustration of the search will be worthwhile.)

If you are brave and in the wood (If you’ve “hit the bulls-eye” – found the chest  – due to your courage and resolve) “Put one In the wood” is an old saying from the game of darts meaning you’ve scored a bulls-eye.

I give you title to the gold. (I transfer legal ownership of the treasure to you, the finder.)

Timeline:
I believe that one morning during August of 2009, Forrest Fenn departed his home in Santa Fe and together with his treasure, headed north on US highway 285 and traveled in his sedan to the junction of Colorado highway 17, just south of Antonito, CO (112 miles, about 2 hours). He then traveled west on highway 17 to mile post 29 (10 miles) where he then turned south on forest road FR103. On FR103, he traveled to Osier, CO (17 miles). 

At the Osier train station is a cafeteria where he may have stopped for lunch. He then would have continued on FR103, fording the Rio de Los Pinos. Branching off from FR103 is a vehicle path that continues on downstream along the river, which he followed to the end of the path (about 1 mile from the train station). Total travel time from Santa Fe was about 3 hours (plus lunch break). 

Forrest then made the first of two hikes, wearing waders, to his special place, carrying the chest contents and leaving the empty chest hidden in his car. He would return to his car to carry the chest to the site and complete the placement of the treasure. Returning to his car, he then drove back to Santa Fe, arriving home by about 7pm. 

The hike distance from where he parked to the site is about 0,8 mile. Considering the terrain along the river, it may have taken him about an hour each way, allowing for rest stops. Two trips from his car to the site with time to arrange the placement of the treasure probably could have been completed in approximately 4 hours or less, which could be accomplished in an afternoon. 

Supporting Evidence:
I believe the treasure was hidden in 2009, probably sometime during August, rather than in 2010 because access to the site can only safely be accomplished after spring/summer runoff. Fenn’s sedan probably wouldn’t have had sufficient clearance to ford the river during significant runoff. He would have already announced the quest in 2010 before that safe period of the year. Fenn would have been 79 years old.

A key word in the poem is “halt” because it is crucial to correctly identifying WWWH. Passenger train stations are sometimes referred to as a Halt. Forrest has said to begin with clue one. And he has said that without it, you have nothing. Fenn also said that if you don’t have the first clue nailed down, you might as well play Canasta. RR track rails are nailed down.

Fenn has told us that temperature is relative (warm brass feels cold to the touch). Warm water can become steam at high elevation.

Hints from TTOTC, etc: steam trains, Mrs. Ford, fly fishing, chalk, rainbow, oxbow or the double Omega symbols.

The 500 footers are the train passengers that pass above the canyon approximately 500 feet above the chest location.

Even though the river offers good fishing, the area is very remote other than the narrow-gauge tourist train (and its lunch stop at Osier), one might feel confident in going alone and boldly while carrying a fortune.

The only trails along the river are from wildlife as well as some cattle that are grazed in the national forest.

Forrest said the treasure chest is wet. I believe that he placed an alcoholic beverage (small bottle of wine) in or on the chest which would make it “wet” as opposed to “dry”. That allows the chest to be placed “high and dry” while still being wet.

Forrest commented that there was something he had said that he wished he hadn’t (after making the statement regarding what he could see and smell while standing next to the chest) – I believe that word was likely “pinon” because of the similarity to “pinos” in Rio de Los Pinos.

There are two adjacent horse shoe bends in the river canyon, corresponding with the double Omega symbols (or oxbow) in the back of TTOTC.

“So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and treasure” The horse shoe formation that contains Fenn’s special place may be seen as forming the shape of a rainbow at the base of which is his special place and his treasure location.

Forrest signs his name with a “dot” in the lower loop of the “F” in Fenn. Although this phenomenon predates 2009, it may be his way of signifying his special place. 

So, is he comparing the similarities of his signature to the horse shoe bends in the river with the “dot” roughly marking the spot of the treasure in the upstream horse shoe formation?

 The signature in the copy of TTOTC he provided for 2019 World Series of Fenn had an “X” instead of a dot. “X” marks the spot…

-Richard

159 thoughts on “A Rio de Los Pinos Solve…

  1. I genuinely like this solve. I searched the water tower at osier once. I’ve driven between chama and Antonio a number of times. I don’t really agree with you HOB but I don’t have a decent HOB solve myself. Why is brown capitalized? Either way I’m surprised nobody has found it in this area by now.

    • Thanks. Why wouldn’t brown be capitalized for the name of a (sub?)species of fish? I’ve seen that argument before but if Brown trout refers to the name of a particular kind of trout (rather than the color of the fish) – what do you think? Perhaps context is the key?

    • aard-
      Been thinking about this since the recent six questions came out…
      I wonder if Forrest took his mother somewhere special. He has said that he wishes he spent more time with her..

      A seemingly unlikely possibility is the place where his mother died…but it’s an unlikely hiding place because that campground is not a secret place…not a private place and is constantly changing…

      Another possibility is that the “umbilical” remark was just a turn-of-phrase he used to underline the critical importance of this place to Forrest’s mental, spiritual and physical nourishment.

      • He used the word umbilical on page 76 in TTOTC. The photo on the opposing page shows him in a clomp-of-the-boot pose on the ladder to the cockpit of his fighter jet and he’s showing teeth. He was 200′ above Tchepone mining the road when he was shot down.

        I’m guessing My War For Me is a critical story for the solve.

      • I’m working with the presumption that umbilical is with regards to your latter definition, Dal. And if all one needs is the poem, TTOTC and a good map, I’m figuring that area (specifically or metaphorically) is disclosed within the text of TTOTC (which sure seems to lean heavily toward YNP).

        But your comment ‘constantly changing’ intrigues me as did f’s reply to Q2. Just exactly where in Nature are things not changing? I go back a year later and my favorite tent spot for the past decade is destroyed by fire or falling trees or animal feces or abnormal snowfall or overflowing stream or insect. Where in the Rockies is Nature not altering any specific spot?

    • Good question. I’m pretty sure there’s a hint there. Maybe he’s referring to the fact that there’s only one road and/or path way in to that area.

  2. Richard,
    You have a lot of imagination but maybe too much.
    Glad you shared your theory for all to see and critique.
    I’m not a fan of a train or tracks for any clue or hint but you never know until it’s found.
    I don’t think there is any libaton in the chest to make it wet and wouldn’t make folks any more willing to search for it if there was.

    I wouldn’t assume when Fenn got back home in Santa Fe at 7.

    • I can easily see trains possibly being involved in the clues or hints just due to the multiple mentions of trains in TTOTC. I have a number of failed solves involving trains. But I have moved my thinking to a different track, and trains are no longer high on my list of probabilities.

      For now.

    • Imagination is key, IMO. I believe “Halt” is a key word which points me to the train station.
      I made extensive use of the dictionary to help my “imagination” but when he says he knows the chest is wet, I have to wonder why someone as thoughtful as Fenn would allow his treasure to be exposed to water (or the elements) for perhaps a thousand years? Also, the libation idea seems very Fenn-y and a clever way to playfully mis-lead in that it would suggest that the chest is near a damp environment rather than high and dry.
      Thanks.

      • Hi Richard,

        I think your last sentence may turn out to be right, who knows?

        As you know and stated, the first clue should be nailed down correct in order to continue to the second clue through to the final one, and finally to the chest. But don’t forget the fact that the reason why Fenn used the word “halt” in spite of its not rhyming with the word “walk” is, IMO, because he wanted to convey something very important. He could have used the word like “balk” which rhymes with “walk”, but he didn’t.

        If he really wanted to mean the train station, he would have used other words like “stop”, but not “halt”. I think “halt” rather means the stopping of the movement of the body of water, not the temporary stop of the steam train. Also I don’t agree with your idea of “warm waters” = “steam train.”

        — MK

        • MK,
          Fenn chose his words carefully and crafted a poem that if studied and interpreted would lead us to his treasure. “halt” is the perfect word to describe a passenger train stop. Perhaps you would have preferred that he had said “Begin it at the Osier train station”?
          It’s a puzzle, not a give-away.
          Thanks for your interest.

          • Hi Richard,
            Thanks for your honest answers. Please refer to the post by Tom Terrific at the end of this discussion area.
            — MK

      • When the snow melts in the spring, in any case, it will get moisture into the chest. Provided that he is in the ground.

    • Ha Ha, no, don’t I wish!
      Actually, I’ve never been to that area. I live about six hours from Osier and someday I may make the trip, treasure or no. I’d like to see Forrest Fenn’s special place and perhaps cast a line in that river.

    • Richard,

      The end is ever drawing nigh……perhaps you could focus on the word ‘ever’ in the clue. You will need to take several left turns to find the blaze after putting in.

      Good Luck!

    • I retired last August (2018) and along about October, being somewhat bored, I recalled reading of the Fenn treasure so I thought I’d take a look and see if it was still out there. Long story short, I figured it would be interesting to see what I might be able to do with the poem and very quickly, I was hooked.
      Rio de Los Pinos was the fourth area I investigated, it had a trout stream and Toltec Gorge is amazing and it seemed to fit the poem, generally speaking. The Osier station was an after thought as I was originally convinced that WWWH had to do with the NM fishing regs regarding warm water fish and trout (or special trout) waters. But along the way, I read a definition of halt that referred to train stops – my first aha moment. At that point, the poem was still mostly a mystery to solve but I felt sure I was in the right spot.

  3. That was a great solve!!! I like most of it, but mostly I like the way you explained it. It actually made a lot of sense. Thank you! However, I’m still in the WY group.

  4. I have ridden that train to oiser stopped and ate and took the train on to la veta and then back.beautiful country. Especially as you come over and see la veta pass.but with the past fire.im sure its not now.has to have time to grow again.

  5. Very interesting solve. You certainly put a great deal of thought into it. I don’t quite buy in to all of it, but I cannot disprove it either. If nothing else, I think you are a searcher to be watched closely.

  6. I have been fascinated with the Cumbres and Toltec for some time. I recommend taking a ride on that train when visiting New Mexico.
    Part of your solve “if you don’t have the first clue nailed down, you might as well play Canasta. RR track rails are nailed down.” caught my imagination because Canasta can be a box, and trains have box cars… but that is a stretch.
    Once while looking at photos of that railroad I found the image of a small natural arch that is shaped like an arrowhead. It is near a tunnel.
    I am glad that you brought this solve up again. I would like to visit there again.

  7. I really like this solve. I’ve considered this area alot recently due to (imo) hints at RR..but couldn’t make a complete solve. Also, wasn’t there a quote somewhere that Forrest said ” if you know where warm waters halt you’re halfway there”…???….well Osier is considered the halfway point of that train ride. I could continue w/ train references but they’re too many to list I feel. Well done sir!

  8. BTW….that quote may or maynot exist. The main reason that stuck was after reading it, was the curiosity that your “begin it” was also a halfway point.

  9. Funny- 3 summers ago my wife and I did this exact solve (we live in boulder co). We searched the area and found some great hiding places but came home with nothing but good memories. We did find this area to have great camping spots and very few people areound. There were two gentlemen from Arkansas who were fly fishing on the Rio De Los Pinos and they showed me a couple of nice browns they pulled from the stream. This area is stunning and the train stop is pretty neat. I’d like to go back down there again but just haven’t made it the last several years.

    Look up “halts”, there are many steam train (warm water) halts along the sceanic route. Kinda hard to know if you’ve picked the right one. Problem with this solve is ifs highly unlikely that this is the exact route that FF took because mostly is only accessible by train.

    Beautiful area, worth the trip..

    • I have read of several people that have searched within Toltec Gorge but as you pointed out, there are many possible hidey-spots. But that is exactly why the Blaze AND its correct use is critical to pin-pointing the chest location.
      The reason I chose the Osier “Halt” is more because I first investigated the Toltec Gorge and the trout stream at that location. The train halt was something I noticed along the way, so to speak. And for the same reasons you give, Osier is remote and fits the poem pretty well. Forrest said to marry the poem to the site.

      • Hi Richard,
        Not a bad solve! But what you’re doing is to marry the site to the poem, not marrying the poem to the site. It should be done in the opposite way IMO. Some may argue what is the difference between those two methods, but you should analyze and solve for the poem first and then try to look for the sites or locations that fit to your particular solve.
        — MK

          • Hi Richard,

            Sure I quite understand since my solve is different from yours. That’s the freedom we have in posting any idea or solve that only you can come up with. But in order for your solve to be the correct solve (meaning that your solve is the one and the same as Fenn’s) your solve has to satisfy not only all the clues but also all the hints and comments as well given by Fenn himself.

            So I want to remind you of three comments by Fenn, and I’d like you to give the explanations whether your solve still fits to those comments.

            1. “And I can tell you an 80-year-old man is not going to make a trip INTO a canyon, then COME UP and GO DOWN again.”

            2. “There isn’t a human trail in VERY CLOSE proximaty [proximity] to where I hid the treasure.” This means that there IS a human trail in CLOSE proximity where he hid the chest.

            3. “Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts.” What is your big picture?

            — MK

      • Iron,
        Yes, one of the inherent problems with a secret treasure like this is that it’s possible for it to be found and never reported. The Fenn treasure could quite possibly become just another myth. Once Fenn has passed there will be no one left to say for sure.

        • Once found, I think word would get out eventually. Either the finder or some successive owner would want to show it off, and someone they show it to would eventually leak the secret. Or they might end up auctioning it off whole or in part for the cash. Then it would become public knowledge.

          Of course, it could be years or decades before any that happened.

          And if it doesn’t get found for a thousand years, it will most certainly become the stuff of myth and legend.

  10. Thanks for sharing, Richard. This area never caught my eye before, for treasure-searching or otherwise, but I’d like to visit it sometime.

    I tend to veer away from areas with trains, for the simple assumption that I don’t think Forrest would have liked to pass away in a spot (going to sleep using sleeping pills) where train noises would be in close proximity.

    You certainly have a unique idea about the inclusion of a celebratory alcoholic beverage to make the treasure chest “wet”, but then I don’t see how the statement of physics telling Forrest that the treasure is wet would fit into this idea. Still interesting to think about.

    • I think listening to the sound of an old steam locomotive, chugging along in the distance, would be a good last lullaby, don’t you?
      Thanks.

      • From TTOTC p. 42 (Gypsy Magic):

        “The Katy railroad tracks were about a half-mile from our house and late at night I could hear the steam engines puff and the engineers blow their air horns. It was a soothing sound and sometimes I think I can still hear it when the wind is out of the east.”

        Based on that, I suspect Forrest would be just fine with the sounds of trains in the distance wafting across his final resting spot.

        My grandparents lived about a block from a railroad line when I was growing up. Whenever we we would overnight with them, we could hear the trains grumble past, loaded with sugarbeets or coal. Of course, I was born into the era of diesel engines, not steam, but I found the sound quite restful myself.

  11. I’m appreciative of your effort but cant say I’m on board with the route, sorry. If peradventure… it were nearer his home; say round about 66(ff:), then you might have something! I am partial to your 2009 schedule though, however id prefer it be in the early stage of summer.

    • I agree that it’s on the edge of what Fenn could do in a day trip but I believe it was doable. All things considered, I don’t think he would have ventured too far away from his home, alone, with a fortune – and a secret.

      • Hi Richard,
        I’ve never heard Fenn said that he did it in one day. He made two separate trips to his hiding place in one afternoon, though. The time from departing his home and coming back could have taken him more than one day, I’m pretty sure.
        — MK

        • Thanks for your reply. Yes, anything’s possible I suppose. I tend to believe that he didn’t venture further than a day trip. Taking into account his age and the fact that he was transporting a fortune while maintaining secrecy, even from his family. I imagine that he was often gone from home all day so being gone for that length of time wouldn’t necessarily have raised suspicions, even from his wife.
          I wrote the timeline to show that it could have been done in in a day.
          Thanks.

          • I would go so far as to say, depending on his “usual” habits at the time, even a “me-time weekender” might have been workable. (Drive out in the AM, hide the chest after lunch, camp for the night, get in a little morning fishing, and head home in plenty of time for Sunday dinner.)

            Any longer than that and his family might start asking questions.

      • Mr. Friend.
        I don’t usually have a whole lot to say on the blogs since I am kinda new, in comparison to veteran searchers.
        But I’ve taken a liking to you from that redneck thing.
        You may be right on that time frame you mentioned, and for the train. Not a bad thought. It came to me. Round House.
        Maybe it’s there, like a rotating bridge.
        Early summer seems so far away, but this is an unusually snowy winter. I like Easter for the new search season, but what do I know. Maybe the grass will turn green and the bugs might be out by then. Scratch that it hurts my feelings. That Colorado does have a nice ring to it.
        Happy Hunting.
        Grasshopper

        • Grasshopper,
          I recently read there used to be a turn table at Osier but it was removed many years ago. I think there is a turnaround loop there now for a Chama day train.

          • There used to be one in Antonito from what I remember but it looks like it may be gone. Don’t know if that helps you any.
            Good luck

        • Howdy Hopper,
          You may wish to think twice about hitching your wagon to one of MY star points. That ‘redneck thing’ left me red-faced after realizing the “pointy-head” I thought I earned was due to donning a dunce cap.

          It’s maybe more likely I should be tucked under your wing seeing I’ve yet to receive mine. I’m beginning to think Mr. Odbody has flown the coop!

  12. I applaud the creative thinking here. I have no standing to comment on the quality of this solve but I do want to make a couple of comments.
    I am intimately familiar with this immediate area. I have fished it annually for 2 decades plus.
    1. Do not attempt to access this site with anything but a high clearance 4WD. Once you leave the pavement of hwy 17, the forest service roads are not well marked. Have a current USFS, Rio Grande Natl Forest map on board
    2. When one hikes south, from the depot or the ford, and gets to the gorge itself, the terrain gets very challenging. Remember what Mr. Fenn has said about solves with elements of danger.

    The fishing is wonderful. If fishing, consider hiking to the west, upstream, on the rail tracks, about a mile from Osier station, across a span of track over a canyon. Once across, drop off the tracks to the left and down to the river. Fish upstream, to the west. You will be fishing waters that see fishermen/women only a handful of times annually. There are 8 plus miles of river to fish with accessible banks, unlike the banks near the depot. I had a friend (RIP, Dick) who would catch the morning train in Antonito, ride to Osier, get off there and fish a few hours then catch the train upon its return from Chama midafternoon and ride back to his car in Antonito. The train ride itself goes through beautiful country but after an hour or so, for me, becomes somewhat monotonous. It is a slow train so if the train catches you on the tracks, on the span over the canyon, you can outrun it.

  13. Thank you for Sharing!!! This treasure hunt has been very enlighten and if I found the treasure this summer. I will make sure that place is a secret until there’s only one person that know the location. I will ensure Fenn will continue to visit his place only knowing that the person who solve his poem knows. My solve is legit and proven by the book it is amazing once you unlock the poem. It took a lot of imagination but once you find that key word, it goes with Begin after that all comes together. I wish I will meet Dal, he is the only one I would share my solve with since he does one of the things I would love to do for a living. That’s looking for treasure in the sea.

    • Thanks for your reply. I don’t think Fenn will ever return to that site as he is not physically able anymore. I think he turns 90 this year.

      • Richard,
        I don’t think Fenn said he was not “physically able” to return to the site where he hid indulgence.
        I think he mentioned he has to sit down or take a break after 50 yards of walking and I think he has mentioned that he can’t go back to the site but I don’t think he ever said why.

        I think he can’t go back to the hidey spot because too many crazies are stalking him and other searchers could easily recognize him.

        • Well, we know that people have previously stalked him and followed him around, likely hoping he would unknowingly reveal the chest’s location. And people who resort to that kind of behavior can sometimes become dangerous when the smell of gold is in the air. I think if he were to retrieve the chest now, his trip home with the chest could be a dangerous one indeed. And if he went there with the intent of it being his final resting place, his body might not even be cold before someone following behind him jumped the claim.

          I think that as long as the chest has not yet been found and claimed by a searcher, Forrest can probably never safely return to the spot. And he is the only one who can answer whether he would be bold enough to try.

  14. Mr.Fenn once named the treasure “Tarzan” … who lived in the “Jungle” … and the definition of jungle includes complexity and confusion among others. Look it up. Don’t expect the solve to be simple. It’s probably not. My humble opinion.

    • Hi EasyPeasy,
      I also remember that Fenn said that when somebody finds that chest, everybody’s going to say, “My God! Why didn’t I think of that?” IMO the hiding place is not that hard to find after all. You just can’t figure it out yet.
      — MK

      • I am reminded of the old adage that often the best place to hide something is in plain sight. Adults tend to overlook the mundane and the obvious. But it doesn’t work as well on children because they still have their sense of wonder; everything is still magical and unusual to them.

  15. An interesting read indeed.
    I find it informative and refreshing.
    Now I may be wrong, got a tendency to
    be that way from time to time.
    Personally, I believe the Blaze will be pointing toward the hiding spot. I noted in the picture the Blaze you bring to the reader’s attention points more to the south Vs the suggested Location of
    the chest.
    Carry on oh seeker.

    HDD

    • Thanks. IMO, the Blaze is seen in the distance and is used as an alignment point from which the searcher sights across the “hoof” formation, with the niche location being back from the cliff edge “in the quick”. Before sighting the Blaze, the searcher climbs up a rock skree, on all fours (gloves needed). When it’s possible, veer left toward the hoof formation, looking back towards the Blaze. In that general area, the Blaze should be visible across the niche on the hoof. I think that when you see that spot, you will recognize it as Fenn’s place. The chest is obscured behind or under one or more (flat) stones and may require the use of a flashlight. There will be a “beverage” with the chest to go with your sandwich, IMO.

      • Hi Richard,
        Do you really think that Fenn was able to climb up a rock on ALL FOURS with 20+ lbs on his back at age 79 or 80? No way!!! And back and climb it again the second time? Think again. I don’t think your solve is the right one.
        — MK

        • MK,
          Not a rock wall. At that point there is a rock skree of not too steep of grade that he could’ve climbed, using his gloved hands to assist.
          If you don’t agree that’s fine.

  16. Coming back after waiting to see what others posted about this area.

    Personally, my fav section was downstream from yours, Richard. I was applying NM fishing regs and ‘borders’ references in TTOTC to suggest the Wildlife Management Area or the area immediately inside the eastern border of the Carson NF (WWH at the CO/NM border, canyon down is heading west from there, HOB is the Los Pinos). Easily accessible by sedan. Never could figure any place not for the meek nor any heavy loads nor any water high where one might toss a bike, and now, don’t know why anyone would have an umbilical attachment to the area.

    Nonetheless, the Cruces Basin Wilderness was a delight when I explored it a couple decades ago. And any searcher anglers should know that the Los Pinos was recently ‘improved’ in order to create an even more appealing habitat for wild browns (Browns?).

    http://magazine.wildlife.state.nm.us/rio-de-los-pinos/

    Lovely part of the state worthy of a visit, regardless.

    • What shocked me was that after I decided that the chest was located on the upstream horse shoe hoof, I saw in the blogs some chatter about Fenn’s signature habit of placing a dot in the lower loop of “F” in Fenn. Looking at his signature reminded me of the river canyon profile with his initials forming the horse shoes and the dot being the treasure location. Then when he signed a TTOTC book for the poker tournament in Vegas, he put an “x” instead of a dot. That was confirmation for me. But was it just confirmation bias?

  17. Richard,

    You certainly have a huge imagination, however you missed the mark completely. Playing darts for in the wood, is just that tossing darts with a lot of misses. Also the terrain is fairly rugged and a lot of work for an 80 yr old and have to do it twice. The need to use a scythe causes much more work for an 80 yr old.

    Just out of curiosity how old are you? I would guess much younger than 80.

    Sorry there are too many inconsistencies with your interpretation of the poem, or rather wild imagination. I simply don’t buy what your selling. Ever think about playing canasta?

    Don’t take offense, I’m usually blunt and to the point.

    Just Say’n

    • Thanks for your reply. My scythe interpretation was solely a play on the tall grass and brush along the river., not that he actually used one. But I agree that it could simply mean that there is unnerving trail ahead.
      That location is not that difficult to access if you wait until well after run off. There are two problem sections- fording the river and entering Toltec Canyon, when there is deep water during run off. The entrance of the canyon to the horseshoe bend (about 100 feet) is deep enough to require a swim in fast water during run off but just a wade in August or September (not far but too far to walk).

      • Hi Richard,
        There are a lot of references to the water (in the poem and in other hints) but the actual path from the WWWH to the chest may not include any water wading or wetting of your feet, IMO.
        — MK

        • MK,
          I think that most searchers believe that there is a definite relation between the poem and a water environment.
          No need for you to agree, plenty of others may see it even if you don’t.

  18. Richard, great minds think alike, in March of 2017 I wrote this up for Dal and it may have a Million Reads now, see https://dalneitzel.com/2017/03/07/winter-thoughts/

    Also be aware that in the Rio Los Pinos. in those horseshoe, double Omega turns they can be seen in my video at 9:41 on this tape https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-GD4vhA3No

    Please heed my warning, to anyone on this blog foolish enough to try and navigate through there, it is 600′ below the RR tracks and the walls are straight up, the current goes under rocks and into caves, can be so dangerous. Please listen to TT been there and done that. I do not think an 80 year old walked through there at any time of year. If he went he followed the tracks to the other trail down which is safe:::::

    I have known that the Ford behind the Osier Lunch Room could be “worth the cold”, and Halt is correct for all trains stop there, they even use to stop at the Garfield Memorial, but a sedan is not gonna ever ford the pine…take it to the bank. A sedan could go and has gone to the Osier Station in Summer cause I have done it in a Toyota Camary.

    If you watch my video above which I shot from the marker you can see int the book of Blazes Tom Gregory, AKA Tom Terrific I was within steps of the 10,190′ eleveation and 500′ above the Train Tracks, if you want to access the bottom or the Toltec Gorge, see the only safe access to the bottom without peril at 8:32 there is a ridge, a shoulder and a trail to the bottom, I have fished and backpacked in there for about 55 years, but stay out of the Doulble Omegas, they will kill a fella…capiche.

    In the name of safety, this is a public service announcement. Don’t try that route its a death trap. TT

      • Thanks Jake!

        A correct solve, that allows someone to get within 12′ IMO will be understanding “But tarry scant with marvel gaze,” IMO says that line is short or scant of the view and the TC is not quite on the edge of our knowlege as yet, but it is around the next double omega bend… TT

    • Thanks TT,
      My solve only goes about 100 feet into the mouth of the canyon (not far, but too far to walk). I have the chest location on top of the first omega which is accessible via a rock skree gradual up slope located just inside the canyon before the first bend in the river. I’ve seen photos of that area taken in August that show only shallow stream. And at the Ford, it’s only a few inches.
      Thanks for the advice and warning.
      BTW, that has to have drawn numerous searchers with the Osier Halt and the double omegas, if it’s so dangerous, don’t you think Forrest is aware that folks are going in there and would have voiced his concern as he did with the Rio Grande?
      Thanks.

      • Richard,

        Is this a place you would take a family to, like a redneck would do with a pickup truck full of kids going on a family treasure hunt? I don’t think so. I would heed TT’s advice and stay away. Hate to see another statistic go down in the books without thinking things all the way through. This not where an 80 yr old would go!

        • Just depends on the time of year – late summer through fall, absolutely!
          Biggest danger is high water. Wait until well after runoff.

      • Nice write up. I’ve made that ford of the Los Pinos from Osier multiple times. I highly recommend a high clearance vehicle with 4WLow. It is a very rough, very steep grade to the river from Osier. Getting back up that hill without a decent off road vehicle is dicey. Although technically I suppose my Xterra is a sedan. Additionally, I’ve fished up and down the Los Pinos from Osier many times, and followed the route you recommend on more than one occasion. I would not attempt entering the gorge without technical climbing equipment. Been there, done that. Who knows…maybe I missed something. But I scoured that area (and tbe majority of the Cumbres Toltec line) for weeks and dont think it’s a go. Good luck to you…who knows, maybe I was a 200’er.

      • Richard, the place you speak of is right on the border of New Mexico and Colorado, up to a point it is safe to fish and wade after runoff, usually in Late June to July time frame, but once you commit to go further south into the jaws of those turns you will realize it is pretty had to walk up stream and you may find it tough to climb rock walls with wet feet that are straight up slick and hundreds of feet high. It is 600′ up to the relative safety of the RR Tracks.

        I commend your thinking that it is in this area, it is a “Very Special Place” but THERE BE DRAGONS ‍ yet there be a safe way to the best fishing holes and back pack campsites at the 8.900 to 9,000 ft level of the Pine or Pinos River, see my video at 8:32 follow the tracks over the border and take the shoulder ridge into the giant Aspen Grove to the bottom, an 80 year could do it, there are many beaver dams and the scenery is spectacular. My video was shot from 1,000 ft above there and about 1,500 laterally and due south from the state line, which is marked by a brass marker from the settlement of the US Supreme Court 1868 agreement between Colorado and New Mexico at the 37 degree latitude parallel that is 5 degrees warmer than 32 degrees which is at 106 degrees longitude, at the town of “Anthony, NM” odd that Antonio or Antonitio, Co is 90 miles north of Santa Fe on Hw 8.25 I mean 285 on the Colorado NM border at 106 degrees longitude where the train leaves to Chama from.

        Right in the middle of your 64 mile journey is Osier, which means “Willows” in another language, oddity is “Canasta” means “little willow basket” in that language, nice picturesque place to grab a sandwich? Did I mention there is a tunnel there, and a peaceful granite memorial to President Garfield, there is even a natural Arrowhead Archway on the other side of the Garfield Memorial Tunnel, you might need a flashlight too…Incidentally the most famous Brown in the Rockies was Molly who lived in Leadville, Co (Denver too) which is at 106 degrees latitude. I do not make this stuff up. However I think ff might have.

        In the late 1988 to 89 time frame Steven Spielberg filmed the movie “The Last Crusade” staring Indiana Jones and his father, guess where many scenes were shot in the Canyon called “Toltec” and the Train Tracks near Antonito, Co (see trailer,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKYWXIAJKNM) even the home of young Indy was there. Know it for the first time…Where was the Holy Grail found? “Canyon of the Crescent Moon:” Who knew Steven pretty well you ask…ff

        https://indianajones.fandom.com/wiki/Holy_Grail

        Who recovered from cancer in 1988/89?

        We rest our case for this area. TT

        • Correction 106 degrees LONGITUDE for the Home of Molly Brown at Leadville, CO.

          Antonito, Co or “little Anthony” in Spanish is that the same as Anthony, NM 106 degrees long. 32/37 degrees lat. coincidence….maybe? But Molly Brown on US HWy 285
          “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
          t_s_eliot_

          TT

  19. Don’t know if this has been mentioned, but they did film a portion of Indian Jones movie using this train line. FF mentions Indiana Jones in one small sentence in TTOTC. Beautiful area, love to get back to Oisier and have another weekend to search. I’d probably bring my fly rod this time tho.

    During my search, I did wonder off to the west of Oisier and along the ridge top that overlooks the river and found some great calcite and quartz crystals, they sit with my rock collections and I look at them everyday. I kinda figured this would be a fantastic overlook to “rest you bones”. I also think that FF was smart enough not to put indulgence too close to a river bed. Of course any waterway can flood if there is an exceptionally wet year so I wouldn’t expect the chest to be near as close to water as some searchers on Dal’s blog describe.

  20. Nice write-up, Richard Cron.

    But waders, high clearance vehicle, scythe, oh my. I thought this was supposed to be a fun outing to include the kids, not some dangerous, impenetrable jungle adventure.

    Since you have not been to your site, I would caution you about slope. From personal experience I can tell you that a slope that looks fairly easy to ascend on some online maps may turn out to be much steeper. Reality does not always conform to maps.

    I do like your interpretation of wet vs. dry. This is the first theory that I have read that uses that interpretation. So congrats on some creativity.

    Overall, I will take a pass on your well-written theory, owing to a crushing lack of easy accessibility.

    Ken (in Texas)

    • Water “high” could be interpreted as water “overlooking”. High is such a general word, that we are all forced to guess which usage FF intended us to choose.

      Nothing firm implied here, just food for thought.

      Regards.

      • Iowa,
        So much of the poem is up for individual interpretation. Fenn has stated that when we figure it out we can go with confidence. Hard to figure.
        I was born in Creston many years ago and lived for the first 5 years of my life on our family farm near Griswold. Grew up in the Keys – also hard to figure.

        • Agreed, Richard.

          My current solution takes a bit different tack from yours.

          As I have GON a lone N T here
          And with my treasures=ORE bold
          Put these together and one gets: ORE+GON T here . . . Oregon Trail
          Research on the trail allows one to create a full solution whereby the place fits the poem exceptionally well.

          Thus, I am currently relying on a combination of homonyms, synonyms, word substitutes and directional clues mixed in via letter separations that change the meanings of the written information.

          T here and W here being examples of alternative reading possibilities.

          Main takeaway though is that your solve has no linkage to any info provided by the poem itself. Thus, IMO, your solve must be incorrect. Suggest trying to work with the poem itself only until you solve it’s information encryption scheme or until you devise a map location to expand from like the one offered here.

          Again, nothing firm implied. Just food for thought.

          Regards.

        • One definition of confidence is “secret”, as in “information held in confidence” or “to confide in someone”.

          IMO, you can only “go with confidence” if you go having the “secret” of the poem. i.e. “go with the secret in hand”. I think the correct solve will be one with no guesswork involved; it will tell you exactly where to go and how to get there with no room for doubt. My wife was like that; great at telling me where to go and how to get there. 🙂

          Alas, I can not yet go with confidence.

          • Good advice Ray – Alas, I too can not yet go with confidence. Close, but not there quite yet. – JDA

          • I think I can go to where the chest is in confidence, 95%. The last 5% will be completed when I get there on my BOTG. There is no second in this chase, I want to be the first.
            — MK

  21. Thanks.
    Makes me wonder why if that area is so difficult and dangerous that anyone would spend so much time, weeks even, scouring the area? Why would Forrest hide the treasure in grizzly country? Is anywhere all that safe? It’s been nearly ten years so I doubt that it’s on some street corner, under a newspaper, with a sign that says “take me”.
    For Fenn to think that it might go unfound for a thousand years you can bet that it’s not in an easy place and as he has said that you won’t stumble over it.
    I have read that the trout habitat on Los Pinos is stressed beginning mid summer due to low water levels and rising water temperatures. Recent photos of the west end of the canyon show very low stream levels in the August/September timeframe. One could drown in an inch of water but I still bathe (occasionally).
    Having said that, I’m not a BOTG searcher and I’m not particularly interested in the treasure. I think that if I found that treasure, my life would change for the worse.
    I would like to see Fenn’s special place and someday I may hike in there to look for myself. It’s been a great pass time trying to solve the riddle of the poem and I thank you all for your comments.

    • Thanks Richard Cron. Any theoretical solve is better than no theoretical solve. Don’t listen to the critics…their theoretical *solves* are most likely not bullet proof either. I understood what you were saying…but I LMAO when I read that you bathe (occasionally). Carry on…

      • A wise man once said, “Any part of some is better than no part of any.” If you feel good about your solve, keep working it and find the chest. Even if your solve doesn’t take you to the right place yet, you might have joined the 200′ club and not even know it. One little tweak in just the right spot could turn a wrong solve into the winning solve.

        Just be sure you know the difference between bold and reckless. One can lead you to the chest, but the other can be your downfall. Literally. We don’t need to lose any more searchers.

        • I wouldn’t advise anyone to go to that site unless they understand the dangers involved. If it were me, I wouldn’t attempt it until well after run off, probably around August or September. Use some common sense, be prepared and assess the conditions and don’t be afraid to wait. I think Fenn had it pretty well figured out – not only it his place special but it happens to be in a location best accessed during a very narrow timeframe of the year. At least there aren’t any Grizzly bears in there unlike many of the apparently safer search areas many folks are involved in.
          Thanks.

  22. Hi Richard,

    Your solution caught my eye because about a week ago I was trying some arm chair solves in that very area. Nice solve, but I am of the opinion it is a little too difficult to be the correct one – I reject the idea that FF would hide it anywhere so difficult that we would need a scythe. Also a little leery of climbing up and down the sides of canyons.

    I’m trying to take some of the subjectivity out of solving this thing – meaning, I think what we find when we take on the chase is not FF’s treasure, but ourselves. No matter how hard I try, I tend to keep returning to making solves that fit certain themes and ideas, and I see that so many of us tend to do that. The question is “what would Forrest do?”

    I like your way of thinking, though. If nothing else, if I live long enough, I may have to take that train ride.

    • I really don’t think that it’s all that difficult if you wait until after runoff. And I think there is a path up to the top of that horseshoe formation that just requires a bit of caution – and gloves.
      I bet the niche is fairly obvious and recognizable from fairly close. Someone with a high resolution drone could find the spot from just outside the canyon, study the footage and “go with confidence”.

  23. This is a well thought out solution, but I don’t think it’s the correct solution. Also it’s a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing this. Don’t you plan to go back and look? If you’re within 12 feet you’ll see it.

    • Smartblond;

      You say: ” If you’re within 12 feet you’ll see it.” – What makes you think this?

      Is SB 78 Forrest says: “I have not said that a searcher was closer than 12’ from the treasure. It is not likely that anyone would get that close and not find it.” “Not Likely” – NOT a certainty. If you do not know exactly what you are looking for, IMO – you will not find it – JMO – JDA

    • The Blaze will reveal the spot and I do believe that if you get that close, it will be recognizable.
      I’ve seen nothing yet to convince me otherwise.

      • Question – How will the blaze reveal “the spot”? What do you do with the remaining 11 lines once you find the blaze? Surly they have meaning don’t you think? Just askin – JDA

        • JDA,
          Please review my solution. It’s all there, I believe. Happy to give you my take on anything specific.
          Thanks.

          • Sorry, I had forgotten that you do have answers for the remaining lines – Sorry – JDA

      • Oh that elusive blaze………too many possibilities!

        Richard, have you looked at The Book of Blazes? If not it can be found on the right sidebar. You might find interesting.

  24. CharlieM,
    No disrespect intended but I have great confidence in my solution including the Blaze. As I have stated previously, the Blaze is the chalky mineralization uphill from the canyon at the steam locomotive railroad track (heavy loads and water high). In TTOTC is a passage that I believe fits well into my solution, page 125, second paragraph: “But I know as the seasons slowly change and the leaves of life fall and are reborn anew, so do the names of those who wade those waters and chalk the memories again, this time is for themselves.
    You must wade into the canyon a distance of about 100 feet to the first Omega or horse shoe bend in the river (not far, but too far to walk).
    The chalk is viewed by the searcher (after a gentle climb) from a distance across the top of the “hoof” formation which forms a line that along with the last clue “look quickly down” (back from the edge, in the quick) forms a fairly accurate cross-point which is Fenn’s niche, likely at the high point of the formation.
    “In the quick” comes from another of Fenn’s books where he speaks of a story of his farrier shoeing his horse and being cautious not to get a nail in the quick of the hoof.

  25. Wow, I get all that just for pointing to something of interest here on hoD. Trying to be friendly, Geese…. Thanks, I said nothing about your theory……….geese…..

  26. CharlieM,
    I apologize if I seemed irritated. Just trying to defend my solution is all. I appreciate your comments, honestly.
    I shared my solution for everyone to see, hoping that numerous searchers would like my theory and go with confidence to see Forrest Fenn’s special place.
    I had hoped to hike in there myself but my back and knee are worsening so that probably won’t be happening.
    If anyone takes that trek I hope they share some pictures.
    Thanks.

  27. excellent work Richard!
    directions to the end of his rainbow and the treasure followed precisely!
    now, what and where is that chest?
    (the one in the poem)

    • That’s the lower part of the gorge. Fenn’s place is only about 200 feet past the upstream entrance to the gorge or the “teeth of the Rocky Mountains”, and relatively safe if one waits past runoff, late August.

  28. M.H. thanx for to link…..I still think the Land Of Enchantment could be changed to The Land Of Treasures. I thought I smelled Pinyon while checking out those canyons. Would be worth the trip to play there for a few days.

  29. Michael H, just fyi, Franks solution is in New Mexico, in the upper part of the Toltec Gorge, the video you referenced https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXZ5X_bwDpA is actually lower by about a full mile or more.

    The Omega turns his solution referenced were just below the border of Colorado, and that is the most dangerous spot, stay out of there, it is directly below his solve in the river which is very unforgiving any time of year. If you watch my Video at about 8 to 9 min in you will see just what dragons there be. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-GD4vhA3No

    TT

  30. Halt is important in the poem and it really helps identifying the first clue. Imagination and what if is need it to solve this poem. My solve have taken me to a small area, but right now I’m focusing on the blaze. Trying to figure it out if the treasure is buried or Hidden, right now my hypothesis have indicated me to pay attention to past blazes made by Indians. BOTG gives you a different perspective on the location and will hate to go and not find it due to the blaze.

  31. Not to discount the possible dangers of the gorge, the location I’ve described in my solution only requires a 100 foot wade to the first omega, then an easy path to the top. There is NOT deep or fast water if you wait until after runoff.
    Ever notice how some people make dire claims over and over? “Me thinks thou dost protest too much”.
    How dare me post a good solution that perhaps they missed and would now discourage everyone else so they can go claim the prize.
    If you’re interested, hike to the mouth of the gorge and see for yourself (canyon down). Just wait until after runoff and be careful.
    “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”

    • “Ever notice how some people make dire claims over and over?”

      I think it is partly because we have already lost a few searchers who thought they were on the right path, but got into more trouble than they could handle. We don’t want to see anyone else walk, ride, hike, climb, or wade into that kind of situation again.

      • I agree but I’m pretty sure Fenn has made several trips in there, late in the season.
        That place fits the poem very well. Book hints, Fenn quotes, etc, fit.
        And if that place has been searched numerous times AND is so dangerous, life threatening, I believe Fenn would have included Toltec Gorge on the list of places where the chest isn’t. But after all this time he has not.

          • Joe, That, of course, depends on the snowpack but usually mid to late August the flow at the river ford near Osier is only a few inches deep. At the entrance to the gorge, the stream narrows so it may be a foot or more with deeper holes in places.
            I’ve read of people going in the gorge in June with life vests and had a very rough swim. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it and going past the first bend in the gorge at the first omega is asking for trouble.

          • That is good. Anyone planning to look here, please wait until late August.

            Besides being safer, I predict new information by then.

        • Richard,

          Forrest doesn’t need to list any other places as dangerous. Your still defending your theory, as I understand you have no intention of going to where you might think the TC is.

          You might consider that your location is safe and the ones that thought their theories would be safe, yet again those people decided to take a chance and now they are no longer with us.

          Stop and reason with logic instead of listening to your ego. We’ve had many theories posted here, read the comments people have disagreed. The posters of their theories move on after a couple of days, yet you’re still at it after two weeks, still trying to convince folks you are right. How about joining in conversations elsewhere on this site, you’re going to drive yourself into something that could be detrimental to your mental health.

          All is just friendly and hopefully helpful to you, nothing more.

          Just Say’n

          • Charlie, If YOU would stop making comments on my post we would all be happier.
            Just sayin.

          • Richard,

            It may be your theory, as far as your thread, it is open to all to comment whether you like it or not. Lighten up, just trying to be helpful.

  32. Charlie, just let it go. I will continue to defend my post as long as it takes. There are several of you folks that just can’t seem to walk away from it without a negative comment. It’s all been said so you might want to stop insisting on having the last word.
    And I wouldn’t be surprised if you are one of the first to show up at Toltec this search season.
    BTW, I couldn’t be happier.

    • You should be surprised if I go there, but not in my lifetime. I’m not a theory stealer at all.

      It’s not that I dislike you, it’s just your theory. Ya know I had a lot of negative comments with my theories, I didn’t mind at all, you see I opened things up for criticism by posting, its just the nature of the beast, ya have to expect it. Did I learn anything from it? I sure did.

      Take Care 🙂

  33. You should check in with Shelley and Toby at AGK. They made a bunch of trips to that exact area over the past year, documented it with pictures and wrote a story called “The Day Fenn Hid the Treasure” that your story sounds like. He has drone video of them crossing the river in his truck. They quit looking for the treasure in October. They mighta beat you to it, bud.

    • Luis,
      I think the treasure was found last fall. Otherwise I wouldn’t have posted my solution. Let me ask you this – if you found the treasure, would you continue to search?

    • That’s a very nicely written story, IMO, and fairly accurate, I think. Yes, they shot pictures and drone video of the search area but posted nothing from in or over the gorge (canyon down). A comment was made that the video was “too good” to post. It was shortly after that that they stopped searching.
      They are even better actors than writers, IMO.

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