The Poem…


This page is for discussion of Forrest’s poem. Please use it for only that discussion.

Here is Forrest reading his poem, The Thrill of the Chase. If you have not memorized the poem…don’t be concerned…neither has Forrest apparently…


423 thoughts on “The Poem…

  1. @ Seeker – I think the chest is part of the cake (the icing on top if, like me, you sometimes have a sweet tooth…LOL) because it is just one ingredient of TTOTC.

    Think on FF’s answer of “In a word – Yes” when asked “Is the blaze one single object?” and couple that with his latest comments from the German Playboy interview and perhaps, like me, you’ll be searching for FF’s “secret where” which, IMHO, is not exclusive of the blaze or Indulgence. 🙂

    • Ok,

      Answer this… What are we being wise and have found all about? It’s not the chest.
      The chest doesn’t even have to be on site, or even exist… we are looking for what fenn is telling us to ‘look/search’ for … a blaze.

      Fenn was asked [ as you know ] how far from the blaze is the chest? His response; Casey, I did not take the measurement, **but logic tells me that if you don’t know where the blaze is it really doesn’t matter.** If you can find the blaze though, the answer to your question will be obvious. Does that help?f

      In another Q&A the response was; …but 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.f

      IF the blaze can be predetermined, found on a map or GE. Why can’t we go to the blaze and skip all the other clues after locating the first clue?

      Now, IF fenn knew the blaze beforehand… why did he follow his own clues? Why didn’t he just walk straight to the blaze?
      {lets try and keep the ideas and excuses down a bit for a minute… like the idea; it’s a one way in or out scenario} – that’s not following, but simply walking pass, idea. {If anyone knew the blaze, other clues would not need to be ‘followed’ right? }.

      The only option in locating the ‘prize for doing something correct’ seems to be, locating the blaze, which we are told we need to find. Only, we have been told a number of ways and many times… just looking for the blaze is a folly.

      The blaze needs to be ‘discovered’ [ meaning; having knowledge of the discovery] by following the clues to it. I think at this point, in the poem, “If you been wise and found the blaze” is not a clue. However, I think the blaze is found prior in the poem, only when it is found, Many of us think there’s more places to go to.

      I think stanza 3 is not about other places.. but instruction on how the task is done /completed when the blaze is found… Only it seems that the searchers who were there, didn’t know they were that close. They all left the poem thinking there was other places to go to… hence the idea stanza 3 is about places in their solves, and not about how to finalize stanza 2.

      Here’s the catch 22… Because we need to “been wise and found the blaze” We automatically think 9 clue’s references are places needed for this. The intro to the poem tells us to follow 9 clues to find the chest/trove/treasure…
      How many places do we need to get to the blaze -?- is the question.

      The chest can’t be part of the cake, so to speak. It is nothing but a lure, a motivating factor, a 10″ sq container, a prize for being wise… to… have… found…

      • IMO:
        If you are wise enough to figure out where “in the wood” is, then you will know what the blaze is when you see it.
        As always, I hope I’m right!
        Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads!

        • Luckydog,

          I can see how that could be. LOL just not sure if you and is are seeing the same thing.

          • Seeker,

            If this also make sense to you, than maybe.
            You will realize what the blaze is and where ” in the wood”
            is, at the same time. They are tied that closely together.

            I hope I’m right!

      • “…to… have…found…” FF’s secret where which encompasses the blaze and the chest—both are ingredients of the secret where cake and the reason why I stated your IF #2 was partially correct.

        Stanza #3 describes 1 place twice, hence the semicolon.

        IMHO of course.

        • This is where we differ, Bowmarc. The chest means nothing to the clues. It’s only the pot that has been placed at the end… of the rainbow, so to speak. It’s simply a reward. And the only reason most folks are jumping at the chance to solve the clues.

          • I don’t think we differ as much as you think, Seeker. The chest cannot be a clue because FF has said that “a clue will point you toward the treasure chest”. However, the treasure chest does mean something to the clues.

      • Seeker…I don’t believe it is strictly a matter of a *one way in* restriction…but more of a matter of [precision]. As a person that lives outdoors I can envision dozens of places I have been that folks would very rarely stumble upon unless they were actually going out of their way to discover them.
        “The clues will lead you to the treasure and whether it’s buried or not, you can find it if you can find the blaze as a result of starting with the first clue. That’s what you have to do.” I think if a searcher has [deciphered] the clues enough to get to the blaze… the blaze will be pretty apparent. That person may even know what it will be before they arrive.
        “It’s not a matter of trying, it’s a matter of thinking.” Folks have been trying all of their wild ideas for years…endless botg attempts just looking and trying to make things fit. I believe this quote is fairly accurate to the results to date. I don’t believe the thinking and observing is reserved for botg taking in views and lining up what may fit. I believe that is done prior to making the first move on the ground…and boils down to actually deciphering the clues correctly. Call me crazy…but I strongly believe this will be how it all goes down.
        And finally… This from Barbara’s site…in part…” Counting the clues and hiding the chest came later.” I don’t believe for a second that Fenn had to do anything in the process of hiding the chest [before] he finished writing the poem. Like he said…he needed no information or anything beforehand. He may have a trick shot or two up his sleeve…but I think he’s a straight-shooter for the most part. It is difficult to ask the PERFECT question…and to get everyone to hear the same thing is NEVER going to happen.

        • Ken,
          We just disagree on a process and how we proceed, to figure out where the blaze is.

          I still think some searchers have been at hoB, or saw it.
          Either they didn’t know it, or they didn’t know what the next step is. But, it seems to me, the prior step is what confused them… NF,BTFTW.

          So, in reality, they didn’t figure out hoB properly. It really wouldn’t matter if the stood next to hoB, climbed on it, walked passed it, took a picture of it… The question is… did they know it, as to what it is, in the poem?

          You gave a quote;
          And finally… This from Barbara’s site…in part…” Counting the clues and hiding the chest came later.”

          Well, hiding the chest came later…right?
          Is that not the same as saying he ‘completed’ the clues on site [meaning he needed to find the blaze by following his poem]
          So, he didn’t have a blaze before going to the site ], then hid the chest? BUT that doesn’t mean the blaze is not talked about in the poem.
          Now he would have a blaze and exactly how many clues he would tell of… at the time he hid the chest.

          • That’s just it… I believe he [had] everything he needed prior to performing the magic act. This is the place of his lifetime and indelibly etched into memory. I think the blaze is part of what has been at that spot and will continue to be…and Fenn knew that before he hid the treasure… and in the [precise] movements of the act the solver will have no choice. The way you’re saying it now is not the same as implied before.

          • Ken,
            Your analysis is 100% correct.

            FF has known this place for a very long time (30’s or 40’s). FF has said his father would know exactly where it was. This implies he went there with his Dad a very long time ago (Umbilicaly connected).
            Since he knew the place so well, he just went there and hid the TC. Then he thought about crafting the poem. He didn’t NEED to do any research. It is the same now as it was back then.

            Your comments about how it will be found are correct. You need to think and analyze until you are sure you are right. A “presence” at the search area is required. One wont understand some of the hints or poem clues UNTIL they are in the search area.

            I call this the Middle game of the poem. It is still a huge search area (1/2mi X 1/2mi). Gradually, you get closer and closer as you understand the Clues from the topography.

            It is a thinking problem first and foremost, and a searching problem second.

          • Tom, that word “umbilically” is getting used so often, I believe it’s an overmentioned (and pretty lame) hint . . . kinda like “nailed down” or “marry”. Fortunately, the end of this adventure IS ever drawing nigh for some of us. All IMO.

        • @ken,

          LOL! Well THOUGHT out, well written…..well said!!

          “Call me crazy…but I strongly believe this will be how it all goes down.”

          Hello ‘crazy’……meet loco! 🙂

        • @SEEKER…..NO!! 🙂

          From page 131 of the book, Thrill Of The Chase….mebbe you’ve heard of it?

          “I knew EXACTLY where to hide the chest so it would be difficult to find but not impossible.”

          So, you’re saying he knew EXACTLY where he was going to hide the chest, but he had to stumble around and try to find a “blaze’ that would work?

          C’mon, Seeker, you’re trying awful hard to make this theory work…..but I ain’t buying that!!

          loco 🙂

          • Nope,
            I’m saying he laid his course to a spot within his special place, created clues in that special place and used something there as his blaze.

            Lets for the fun of it think the place is a petrified wood location. “brave and in the wood” kinda speaks of such a place. One point in this place has a standing wood. a shadow is cast from it, and a spot is shown of. At this spot is more down wood.. which could have a hollowed inner to place a 10″ sq chest.

            All of this is seen from WWH [ whatever they hell that is… ] the canyon [ near by, but don’t go to ] only directs the searcher ‘which’ way to look from WWH to see what hoB is. { hypothetical scenario }

            And stanza 3 simply tells us when to look. “Exactly” is where he wants to be at… his place… and not so much a 10″ sq spot.

            It one theory for the observational solve. No driving, boating, climbing, scuba diving, no need for drones o metal detectors… and within a small scale solve. All that is required is a small hike to get to his place /location of the clues, from his car.

            “From there” is not so much a place but a time of starting the execution of the clues. I think that involves the idea of “your effort” [what is needed to be planned for] it will be worth the cold.

            You might think the blaze is something else, somewhere else in the poem and at another location – other than – a clue in stanza 1. The blaze might be told of in stanza one… hoB.

        • Ken {not in TX, I think..} ~ ‘ I think if a searcher has [deciphered] the clues enough to get to the blaze… the blaze will be pretty apparent.’

          Sure, but what is the correct process to achieve this?

          You said ~ ‘That person may even know what it will be before they arrive.’

          I’m saying it may not be that way… both, your’s and my comments are strictly guessing, and it all depends on how one reads the poem.

          Personally I would like to ask fenn;
          Did you know what [ object ] and exactly where the blaze is at, while creating the clues in your poem and before hiding the treasure chest?

          Do ya think he’d answer the question???

          I mean, if he knew ahead of time… this solve is out the window. IF the answer is, no… well… wouldn’t that be a kick in the shins?

          • from ken [not in TX at this time]… Seeker, I agree that probably just about everything speculated here is pure [guess work] and that applies universally. It sure is fun though.
            At some point the speculation surely must come full circle for at least one individual…and perhaps partially for a few in some fashion. Your current theoretical [process] is not exactly a new concept, just not common to the normal approach. I was[and still think about it] on that kick in 2011 and stayed with it for quite some time. Looking at a paper map and looking at the actual place[botg] are two completely different perspectives. The stark differences between the two perspectives becomes a killer problem if a searcher believes that the correct solution is doable from the armchair… up to the blaze. Back then I did not believe that, so I ran with it… sometimes literally. At this point in my Chase opinion… I believe that the correct avenue is one that revolves around [actually deciphering] what the clues say…in order…and letting each one become the steppingstone to the next. In this approach there seems to be a higher level of possible precision which is probably the missing link to date.
            All of the discussions here are a catalyst for me to dig deeper and yours are no exception in that regard. There is always an argument to be made…pro or con, but that’s the way the mop hits the floor in everything and I’m game either way. When everyone stops shooting the breeze…then what’s the point?
            Yeah um Fenn might take issue with that Q…but then again I can’t really see why. A good kick in the shins is liberating now and then !

          • Ken,
            Once again…I like the way you think. [IMHO] I’m extremely confident that I found the Blaze back in Oct ’18. The poem alone led me there. The Blaze is something that simply doesn’t belong there; wish I could elaborate on that, but won’t. I’m not sure why I was originally surprised to see it – I guess shock/excitement might be a better description. [my Blaze] CAN be seen on Google Earth, but only after you have found it with BOTG by following the poem.
            Otherwise, you’ll never EVER find it by just using Google Earth alone.

            Seeker – The Blaze (that I found) has been there for a long time (Decades). I’m quite confident it was there when Forrest visited this place prior to hiding the TC. He’s been aware of it from the get-go…and no, he won’t answer that question [IMHO].

      • Solving for the blaze, at least for the first half of the poem is a good idea. I don’t think ff put the blaze in place though. That statement about not being feasible to even try to remove it makes me think it’s been there and will be there for hundreds of years.

        Before going there to look for a physical blaze or anything that stands out between millions of them, we need to find out what it is that he calls a blaze, especially since we know: ‘is it a single object?- In a word, yes. There is an unknown there and the poem should have the answer(s)

        He said -Although many have tried, I doubt that anyone will find the blaze before they have figured out the first clue. Don’t we know that several have solved the first clue? Have they identified the correct blaze? Apparently not since it should be obvious the relationship between the blaze and the location of the chest.

        • Mr. Fenn: How far is the chest located from the blaze? ~ casey
          Casey, I did not take the measurement, but logic tells me that if you don’t know where the blaze is it really doesn’t matter. If you can find the blaze though, the answer to your question will be obvious. Does that help?f JDA

        • oz… I’m thinking that the correct deciphering… in order… will lead exactly to the blaze. Marrying that info to the good map will make the blaze obvious. I believe folks are way [out of the box] in terms of the possibilities for the blaze. It’s The Thrill of The Chase after all…

          • sure ken, that’s the idea and we shouldn’t worry about it before deciphering the clues in order. That doesn’t mean that we can speculate certain things about it. Why ‘if you’ve been wise and FOUND the blaze? Not trying just thinking.

          • OZ10;

            “If you’ve been wise…”
            If, yesterday, or some other day in the past, you saw something (maybe in TTOTC) that stuck in your mind… Now, today, you see something on a hillside, or as a part of a landscape,
            “and found the blaze,” … and you know immediately that THIS must be the blaze, because of the recalled memory.

            Why “wise”? Because you held this image that you found in TTOTC in memory, and were wise enough to recognise it as the Blaze??? Who knows??? JDA

          • FF was trying to be clever while giving another hint. I
            think he succeeded. As always, IMO.

          • Tall,
            I think the “In a word, yes” answer is an attempt to avoid elaboration. The answer is simply YES.

      • I do believe that you need each prior clue to find the next one, and that none should be skipped. I don’t know yet if the blaze can be known without actually seeing it. Hopefully I’ll find out soon 🙂

  2. The poem will all make sense when you get it right. When you find the Blaze, the hard part starts. But don’t simply look for the Blaze. Follow the poem. It will lead you to the Blaze. FF may have thought that the clues get easier as you go, but as a searcher, I beg to differ. I found the Blaze in Oct 2018. I’ve been back twice since. I think I’ve finally got it this time. BOTG July 4!

    • Tom,

      What is different now [ in your July 4 upcoming solve ] that you didn’t know or do in 2018?
      You said; I found the Blaze in Oct 2018. I’ve been back twice since.
      Did you know it what the blaze at those times?

      • Yes, I knew it was The Blaze. There will be NO DOUBT when you find it. What’s new? Sorry, I’ve got to keep that somewhat classified, but I had not correctly decoded two of the final clues. They are very subtle and tricky.

        Don’t ignore ANY part of the poem. A part that seems to be filler…might actually be what you are missing!

        • Tom,
          A follow up curiosity, IF you don’t find the chest on July 4th, Independence Day, What would be your conclusion about the blaze [in your theory] at that point?

          Just curious…

          • Yeah, I’m not following protocol. I should preface everything with [IMHO]. My current search area is literally down to 100 sq ft. It will be a short trip one way or another.

            Since I believe that no other solve on the planet could possibly fit all of the data, I will be done with TTOTC. I’ve spent 7000 hours of pure thought on this over 1.5 years. I had one erroneous solve with 2 BOTG. This will be my last attempt. It will either be there….or nowhere.

            My conclusion will not waiver that I have found the Blaze. Because it is in an area that is exactly what ff has described elsewhere in TTOTC.

            I guess I’ll just be another idiot who says (1: someone beat me to it, 2: it’s a hoax).


          • Tom… you can join the countless others that have come and gone over the years that have come to a similar conclusion at the end of THEIR Chase. This hunt is a mother… and I love it. Good hunting to you on the 4th.

          • Thanks Ken
            In reality, I know I won’t be done. I’ll lick my wounds and make the walk of shame. Then get back to Tucson and start thinking some more.

            Yup. It is indeed a Mother! 😉

          • Or Tom, Could you actually be in the correct area to search, and you’re simply reading the poem wrong.. or as intended to be read?

            This is what baffles me when folks say; my solve is it, or it fits perfect.
            About the only thing folks change in a theory is another is a place to be at.
            We can change “take it in the canyon down” as walking, driving, boating, hiking.. enter from a different spot, exit from a different point.. be in a canyon, or be above one…any number of physical actions… but do we even need to move from the first clue-?- at this point.

            The same can be said for stanza 3. “From there” is not clearly stated from where. IF a searcher didn’t move from WWH then “from there” can be from the first clue, rather than the hopeful idea -from hoB… which has not definted distance to travel to from WWH.
            “From there” can be something else altogether, in meaning.
            NPFTM is simply a guess to what we think a place might be like.
            WhatIF, its a time we need to be at the location we are at? A time, many would feel anxious about, in a location they are not familiar with or have been there during a certain time.. especially if alone.
            Nope… many hope that this is a physical place to be found after moving from stanza 2.
            I think it still pertains, to ‘related to’ stanza 2. And IF correct, stanza 3 is/are instructions needed to be deciphered.

            Fenn has said a few time ~ “A good solve is frequently lost in a poor execution.”

            It seems to me, that poor execution is where everyone stumbles at clues 3 and 4.
            IMO, they didn’t understand why fenn has all starting at WWH, didn’t understand the idea of “take it in” .. “put in below” … Clues 3 and 4 might not be deciphered wrong to their references, but more to the fact of how those reference are used /understood.

            Anyways… if this is your last trip… enjoy it. That’s the whole point of this challenge being difficult. Not all will be able to solve the poem, but it is meant to be enjoyable and fun.

          • Seeker,
            Make no mistake. If you miss clue #1 & #2, you are dead in the water and might as well “stay at home and play canasta.”

            TTOTC is like a chess game and has an Opening, Middle, and Endgame. The difference is that there is ONLY ONE OPENING in TTOTC. Get it wrong, and you’re dead.

            So why am I so sure that I have the first two clues right? Because ff has given DOZENS of hints that help with those clues. They are all sublimely subtle hints. They are puzzles within puzzles. Some of them took me a full week to understand. Yes, the poem describes places to go (put one foot down and step on it to get the next place). Don’t go looking for Blazes 😉

          • Tom,

            You and I can say it different ways, but yes. **We can’t go looking for the blaze up front.** The clues find it [an object]… fenn just used it as ‘his’ blaze… within his special place he calls; his own.

          • To the “walk of shame” after a BOTG failure to find comment:

            I don’t relate to that as being ones resulting experience . To me, that’s a short-sighted label given for the failure to find after a BOTG . If anything, the ultimate success towards this TTOTC hunt is going to be the BOTG effort. Just because one doesn’t find it on their first to the current last BOTG effort , why is that given ” shame” as a style of walk? That is way too far up the “armchair searchers” rhetoric as justification for their lack of effort that perhaps they never haver performed a BOTG .Perhaos there’re not confident enough in themselves. That is, if we are to use words and phrases as a form of judgment ; which is also commonly called “ignorance” in some circles.

            There’s no shame in trying and failing at BOTG . What people write to others negatively about their results in of their efforts after BOTG , seems to fit better as a ,of the, “typer of shame”. Lol.

            Most movie critics never have wrote acted, nor directed a movie. They just watch them. Never is there an opportunity given to judge them equally as a kin.

            BOTG performers ROCK the TTOTC, no matter the result.

            IMO .

          • Alsetenash,

            I was just using Toby Younis’ terminology. Yes, there is no shame at all. Just frustration – which only enhances DETERMINATION!

            July 4 2019 will be my 7th overall BOTG. These trips are long and there is plenty of time to think in the car on the way back 😉

          • Ya, I hear ya Tom. Same for me. I have two areas that interest me. I searched the first one twice . Long drive home they were. I searched the second one once so far. But the first search of my location is really about gathering knowledge of the area. I don’t have high expectations for the first BOTG of an area, it’s not going to be found during an afternoon picnic. I believe that the poem and clues can be well figured out , to a point, from the armchair perspective. But ultimately, there’s at least one piece , perhaps more, that BOTG (required , IMO) is going to snap them all together.

            I believe one can solve the poem and clues armchair- to a point. Because there is an armchair solve. But there is also a perspective/perception of the poem and clues from the BOTG view; one cannot see this other ,otherwise.

            There’s the “wise” and the “other-wise”. You have to see it to have found it. There’s the armchair and BOTG . One will get you there originally , the other-finally.

            IMO .

          • Alsetenash,

            Yes. Armchair ideas are mandatory, but BOTG is still required. Some clues/hints wont be understood until BOTG occurs.

            I believe it to be nearly impossible for a single BOTG to be successful…unless they were there for at least a few weeks.

          • Tom. Yes, I believe one can determine a location from the armchair. But the destination of the clues are to be seen by BOTG . As being that everything we need is in the poem; perhaps it’s being on the ground level that we see what we read after determining a location.

            I think utilizing the ATF’s comes into play moreso during BOTG than armchair cross referencing ideas. IMO
            If certain ATF’s don’t make sense or seem applicable during BOTG, then something’s amiss.

            Practicality and theoretical work together in harmony. There will always be a disconnect in with one without the other.

            Just my opinion.

  3. Happy Father’s Day to all of the Fathers out there.

    “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, …” So, I found my blaze some time in the past.
    “Look quickly down, your quest to cease. …” No matter where you are, if the sun is shining, what do you see when you look down? – Your shadow of course. Might this be what we are looking for – The shadow of our blaze, and not the blaze itself?

    Weekly Words from Forrest
    The Weekly Words for April 29th, 2016 are as follows and combines with the following Featured Question:
    Mr. Fenn,
    Which direction does the Blaze face? North, South, East or West? Curious. Foxy “I didn’t take a radial off of the blaze Foxy. I’m thinking it may not be any of those directions”. f

    If it is a shadow that we are looking for, it changes direction throughout the day, and therefore: .” I’m thinking it may not be any of those directions” f

    Doesn’t that make sense? The problem is – How do we then use this information – assuming that it MIGHT be correct. Just musin’ – JDA

    • Hmm, I don’t remember his comments about a shadow. I only recall the paragraph about him not taking a radial to it.

      You don’t use that information to find it. It just corroborates that you have indeed found it. But there will be other factors that will leave zero doubt that you found it. It resides in a place that he has described elsewhere in TTOTC. You’ll look around and see all of the things he’s been hinting at.

      • The comments about the shadow possibility are mine – NOT forrest’s.

        Only this quote is Forrest’s :
        Mr. Fenn,
        Which direction does the Blaze face? North, South, East or West? Curious. Foxy

        “I didn’t take a radial off of the blaze Foxy. I’m thinking it may not be any of those directions”. f Sorry if there was confusion – JDA

        • JDA,

          Sorry about that. Your original post is clear; I just read it wrong.

          Nice thought about the shadow, but there is another possibility that fits f’s answer to Foxy.


        • Tom,

          Are you talking about, a mirror image of a location [each side] and what is in between those images?

          A simple example would be two trees, leaning towards each other, but could be staggered from each other….symmetrically vertical?

          In that style of vertical object[s] { it could be of one thing } a shadow cast from them or it, would form an X.

          Is that the thought?

        • Seeker,
          No. If the Blaze is symmetrically vertical, then there IS NO RADIAL TO IT! “I’m thinking it might be none of those Foxy….”
          The axis of symmetry points UP.

          • Tom – I agree with your line of thought.
            I believe the blaze may shadow other things but itself stands alone in all its glory.
            Just My Very Own opinion.
            But then again, I may be wrong………

          • Hi Tom,
            I’m at your (and mine) Blaze. I see that you were not able to either prove or retrieve the chest. No shame it that. I’ve been here 3 times and have been unsuccessful. If you are willing to team up, get in touch with me , at
            Jeff C

      • Tom, Pray tell us what kind of object you think the blaze is? Tree? Rock? You don’t need to tell us where.

        • All you need to know is that you will absolutely know it when you see it. There will be no guessing. Because it lies toward the end of the poem. If you decipher the clues, you’ll walk right to it.

          • Hi Tom,
            Glad that you are very confident you have found the Blaze. Good luck on your 4 July trip.
            One question though, as this has bothered me for awhile. Do you think that the treasure will be close or far away from the Blaze?. Without giving too much away, can you answer that?
            Jeff C.

          • Jeff,
            That’s an excellent question. I know FF would probably not touch this at all. All I can tell you is that since I’ve had 2 BOTG since [imho] I found it, it isn’t obvious what the answer to that question is. One must look to the poem for the answer to that question. 500/200 also helps 😉
            Thanks for your well-wishes.

    • There are only 4 precise directions that were asked about. What if it faces NW? IMO there is nothing informative in his statement other than not wanting to actually answer the question.

      IMO, If you have a solve that fits to water high, you can go BOTG to look for the blaze. It’s the only way you are going to find it. If you were wise in your interpretation of the prior clues, and found the blaze, you should probably look down (enter my marvel gaze x-ray vision joke). Now, that said, I sometimes think being wise in the interpretation of the prior clues could be an out of order hint, but it probably isn’t.

    • JDA – Love the shadow blaze idea! Did you know that a writer back in the stagecoach days of YNP called Madison Canyon the “Valley of the Shadow”? When I read that on the West Yellowstone Historic Center site, it made me wonder if that correlated to Forrest’s shadow pic with his fly fishing staff on the cover of TFTW. Forrest asked Dal to take the background pic on the Madison River. And Forrest and Peggy have supported that center.

      And shouldn’t we understand Forrest’s pilot speak as to “radial”, before we start heading off on a tangent to apply his quote to your blaze idea?:

      “A radial ‘radiates’ from a beacon and a beacon is on a bearing from an aircraft.

      So if you are south of a beacon then you are on the 180 radial, your bearing to the beacon is 000.”

      I think that plane is flying due North, right? Does that make sense?

      My backwardS bike S blaze is horizontal in the landscape and symetrical; with the YNP boundary line perfectly dividing “IT”. Is that virtually at ‘ground zero’? “IT” ‘faces’ up, if Forrest were to try to take a radial, while landing at KWYS right there. So none of the directions mentioned by ‘Foxy’ would apply, right?

      Roger Wilco, Foxtrot.

        • Tall Andrew – Thank you!

          When fishing the epic Brown Drake hatch and spinner fall last week, my librarian friend and I spent the next morning fishing a little ways above the “S-Curve” on the Silver Creek Preserve map. That has a major ‘put-in’ for float tubes just above it.
          If you wade fish in the deep silt of this part of the Spring Creek, you might sink in up to your waist and get stuck! Glad the bottom of the Freestone Madison River had small, smooth rocks for BITW (Boots In The Water). At Silver Creek Preserve, we would, ‘put in above the home of Brown’, at that “S-Curve”:

          Several photos are by my awesome photographer friend, Steve Dondero.

      • JDA – I hope Forrest will do me the kind service of taking a radial on Beacon Point, near Blaze Mountain, which is located halfway between the confluences of the Madison River; forming the ‘X’ at Three Forks and the ‘Y’ at Madison Junction.

        That looks like a fine tangent heading to explore, ‘Curious Foxy’! Is that an F•Oxymoron? ‘Always willing to learn’ with ‘clever’, which has the root word, ‘cleve’ or ‘steep slope’. That’s ‘C.F.’ or ‘See F’ or ‘Charlie Foxtrot’, IMO.

        Please provide the bearing and the radial, from both confluence endpoints of my “IT” as the Madison River, on that X•Y axis, Forrest. Thank you. My head is spinning.

        Sometimes you are the Fox and sometimes you are the Hound, right Canis Major?


  4. IMO, The blaze is man-made and couldn’t possibly be a national feature. Think about it, earthquakes, flooding, fires, stupidity of man. There are to any possibility of destruction for a national feature. But, if it’s man- made and gets damaged or destroyed for any reason the government will repair or replace the object. Its not feasible to mess with government property. What’s the fine for messing with signs in Yellowstone? It’s not logical for the blaze to be a national feature.

    • BB wrote;

      “IMO, The blaze is man-made and couldn’t possibly be a national [natural?] feature. Think about it, earthquakes, flooding, fires, stupidity of man. … But, if it’s man- made and gets damaged or destroyed for any reason the government will repair or replace the object.”

      Oh please. I suppose there’s no chance any government worker could stumble onto the chest in the process of making repairs? (ha ha)

      I think the idea of human maintenance and manipulation alone precludes the chest being located anywhere near where humans could congregate and “repair”.

      Ken (in Texas)

    • Hi Birdie — have to go along with Texas Ken on this one. If Forrest or anyone else had created the blaze, then the blaze could be removed or destroyed. For permanence, the blaze pretty much has to be a natural thing — and large enough that it can’t be removed, altered or disfigured (short of doing something absurd like using high explosives). Remember, Forrest wrote that it wasn’t feasible to try.

  5. Seems like a lot of “expensive folly” talk in here 🙂

    I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what “WWWH” is. Anyone feel confident? Seems not.

    “While it’s not impossible to remove the blaze it isn’t feasible to try, and I am certain it’s still there”

    An umbrella would remove the blaze if it was a shadow.

    “if you’ve been wise and found the blaze”
    Seems like he is saying if you will find the blaze if you’ve deciphered the clues.

    • corepuncher;

      An umbrella would not remove the blaze, it MIGHT change it’s shape. Also, it depends on how big of an umbrella you have and where it MIGHT be held – IF you are strong enough to hold it up in the right place – 🙂 JDA

    • corepuncher,
      Apparently you think this chatting is about a shadow being the blaze. I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion… a shadow is a darker area cast by an object, not allowing all the light in a particular spot. The object would be the blaze.

      The premise of the idea is; the object can be anything at all, only nobody will know it is an actual blaze / marker or even a pointer, IF they don’t understand that the poem is all about finding the blaze.
      Y’all are target fixated about the chest and not so much about how the blaze might give up the location of the chest.

      So here’s a theory. Whatever WWH refers to.. it of itself could be the blaze. The canyon down is simple where to look [which direction]. The put in below the hoB is the spot of where the blaze cast a shadow…
      One Place for a searcher to be at, other places involved only you watch and observe, rather than move. But that is only one scenario.
      The blaze could be hoB itself… seen from WWH in the direction of a canyon near by. That could be another scenario. But I get it… everyone want stanza 3 to be of places… I think some of it can me as well, such as HLnWH, only that may be a different way of saying “Just” hoB and WWH.
      The rest of stanza 3 might be about when this task can be accomplished.

      I also understand that some wouldn’t like this idea [ clues being of only 3 places and we may not need to go to them]… Only fenn as said; no one can find the chest on spring break or a Sunday picnic… well, why the heck not? If it can’t be done on an afternoon picnic, or over a two week vacation… who says it can be done on all days of the year?

      • Seeker;

        I kinda get hoB, with a canyon behind it possibly being the blaze, but I find it easier to believe that HLnWH could be what is thought to be a blaze, but in reality it is the shadow of this HLnWH that is the blaze.

        “There’ll be no paddle up your creek…” (related to canyon down and NPFTM), – “Just HLnWH…” maybe related to a waterfall – (Tall, water flowing down idea) Sparkling waterfall, blaze-like.

        But, the “Look quickly down, your quest to cease, …” could relate to the shadow cast by this waterfall – couldn’t it?

        “But tarry scant with marvel gaze…” Don’t spend time looking at the waterfall, it is the shadow you need to be looking at.

        “Just take the chest and go in peace…” Just take YOUR chest, and go to the place that the shadow points to.

        You say:: “Only fenn as said; no one can find the chest on spring break or a Sunday picnic… well, why the heck not? If it can’t be done on an afternoon picnic, or over a two week vacation… who says it can be done on all days of the year?”

        – Simple answer, maybe it can’t, and maybe it can’t if you are not in the right place at the right time on the right day. Sure complicates things doesn’t it?

        Wrong time, wrong day = close, but MAYBE no cigar – 🙂 JDA

        • Interesting, JDA, perhaps one cannot find the Blaze until the sun peaks through the canyon crevasse.

          • Maybe you guys are just having fun, but this is getting a bit absurd. A shadow is normally left by an object (denser in matter) being between the ground or other surface and the sun.

            At night, same holds true, but to a lesser degree by the moon. The fuller the moon, the darker the shadow.
            A fully waxed or waned moon – when it is the darkest makes little to no shadows – the time you would need a flashlight the most.

            You guys know this – you are probably just having fun – with my “shadowy” idea 🙂 JDA

        • Man. You know how far a shadow moves in an hour in the summer? How far along the horizon the sun moves in a week? a month?

          The shadow of our chimney at this time of year points southwest across the street at sunrise, and by sunset it’s pointing southeast across the backyard. travelling clockwise like a hand on the clock, the shadow goes from about 7:30 to 4:30 (if north = noon).

          (In the late fall and through the winter, the shadow of our chimney spends the whole day in the neighbor’s yard to our north, arcing from northwest to northeast, a much smaller arc)


          morning sun? setting sun? midday sun?

          early July sun? late August sun? (both are summer, but are very different in terms of times-of-day *and* – perhaps more importantly – shadow length.)

          Any hypothetical examples of how this crucial time-of-day + time-of-summer information could be relayed by the poem? (in addition to getting you to the location from which to watch)

          The poem would have to get you to as precise a spot as it would if that spot were the chest itself, but also add time-of-day info, and also whether you need to be there closer to the solstice or the equinox.

          ff’s “it was done in one afternoon” could be a *major* time-of-day clue in a solar/shadow solve, but it’s not in the poem.


          • Thanks JAKe;

            Well written and very cleay. One has to ask is their one special day in the year, and/or one special time of day that MIGHT be the correct day and time? Forrest said that he hid it in the SUMMER. Is this a hint?

            If it was done in “One afternoon”. What day of the year would give you the most sunlight in order to complete two trips in one afternoon.

            The answer to both questions above is very soon – June 21 – Summer Solstice Day for 2019. Is this day “THE” that is needed? Heck if I know, but I intend to find out. I will be “on-site” at 9:54 AM, the time of the Summer Solstice in Wyoming this year.

            Will “my” shadow point me to where Indulgence rests? Heck if I know, but I am at least going to give it a try. Hopin’ for a “sunny” day – JDA

          • I wish you nothing but blue skies (and dry ground) for your solstice expedition, JD.

            The good thing about the sun around the solstices is that it takes some time to turn around.

            In other words, the sun will be doing pretty much the same things on the 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 25th, even to the 30th if minor differences make no difference. So you’ll have a fairly stable sun-and-shadow-play window to check out for several days.

            Happy Hunting!


          • But Jake, what if a time and date are in the poem? What if we are talking f’s b-day, Aug.22? If the poem puts an “X” on a map, and you go to that “X”, stand something up, then wouldn’t the sun be in the same position at a given time of Aug.22? This would give a shadow in a certain direction and distance. Example:
            If a time is given, and a date, then the sun’s placement would be the same for that date and time. Meaning easy math could determine the direction of a shadow from the elevation of the sun at that time. So, if the poem gives a date and a time of day, the sun’s position will be the same on that date and time always. IMO, the poem doesn’t only give a time and date, but also a sun’s placement in the sky for that time and date.

          • Thanks JAKe;

            I am of the opinion that Indulgence COULD be found on most any day of the search season, but if a shadow can “Point the way” on a particular day, I want to take advantage of it. Tried using the Sun Shadow feature on Google Earth, with NO success. I MUST be doing something wrong. Thanks for your well-wishes – JDA

          • Hi JDA: as JAK points out, there is virtually no difference in the sun’s arc across the sky in the week before or after the solstice. From your hometown, for instance, the sun will cross the meridian at around 1:31:45 pm on 6/21 at an elevation angle of 70.57 degrees. A week later, it does so about a minute and a half later and only 0.175 degrees lower — or 35% of the sun’s diameter.

          • Sorry JDA, I’m just not a fan of the “Indiana Jones Map Room” certain time of year and time of day for sunlight (or shadow) to point the way.

          • That’s okay randawg – that is what the Chase is all about – different folks having differing ideas – 🙂 – JDA

          • I guess it wouldn’t hurt to bring along the “staff of ra”
            just in case. 😉

          • *** *** *** ***
            poisonivey proposed – “So, if the poem gives a date and a time of day, the sun’s position will be the same on that date and time always. IMO, the poem doesn’t only give a time and date, but also a sun’s placement in the sky for that time and date.”
            *** *** *** ***

            Your first postulate isn’t quite right, charlie. If it were true, then the solstices and equinoxes would fall on the same dates every year for a given location, and a glance at a couple-few calendars will tell you that they don’t.

            Now that might not matter much right around the solstices, but it would make a very observable difference in precision near the equinoxes.

            Add to that that the poem would have to tell you precisely where to stick your pole. No good standing it up on the 10-yard line or the 30-yard line when you need to be on the 20-yard line.

            Now it just so happens that the shadow of the chimney on our house touches the white corner of the red shed in our back yard around the summer solstice. It’s completely coincidental, they weren’t intentionally built to do that. But if either the shed or the chimney were three feet north or south or east or west of where they are, it wouldn’t happen.

            So I’ll grant you that it’s entirely possible that ff observed something like that in his special place. But if he then designed this chase around a ten-day window of opportunity (not even that if we’re at 22 August), and he tried to think of everything but didn’t worry about the effect of clouds on a solar-based solve, then the wild geese can have it.

            If the poem can really get you to a 10″ x 10″ X-marks-the-spot, it’s just malicious cruelty to leave you standing there at the wrong time of day and without the pole you need to find the other – the *real* – 10″ x 10″ spot.

            I’m not really trying to talk *you* out of it. Just trying to explain in detail why you’re not gonna talk *me* into it.


          • JAK,
            Lets leave the pole out of this… it would be obvious that a clue references [ a physical clue ] would be needed… for that pole idea.

            You said ~ ‘It’s completely coincidental, they weren’t intentionally built to do that.’

            Your analogy is spot on [ lol see what I did there ] This might be why, not only do we need to discover the blaze, but fenn may have done so.
            Hence the idea he completed the poem by going to the site [ his special place ] followed his own clues [ the way he designed them to work – his blueprint ] Then he found something on site when the certain clues aligned.. and that gave him a object… a blaze… a maker… that no one can possibly know it is a marker unless the follow the instructions in the poem.

            That’s the part that seems to bug some… I think what some thing are physical places / features of the landscape, could be instruction on how to proceed… once they are deciphered ‘as instructions.’

            For example; is NPFTM a place or a statement? IF a statement, what is it relaying to? Could it refer to “you’re effort”… if so, why would our effort be worth the cold?
            I’m not talking major temperature change… but thing about Night to Day.

            I’m not attempting to talk you into the theory… but why is it, we can’t do the task on spring break or a Sunday picnic? fenn didn’t say it was unlikely, he said; “Finding the chest is not something somebody is going to do on spring break or Sunday afternoon picnic.” [stated more than once].

            WHY? What is in the poem that could explain that statement.

            The one thing I haven’t said is; what kind if shape might the shadow be casting?

            If an physical feature in an area cast [lets just say for the fun] the shape of a beaver. Then fenn may have know what the blaze [ object would be prior to the actual hiding ].. yet this shaded design might only be around for a short [ scant] amount of days when the angle of the light is just right.

            Anyways, It’s fun to see some get so flustered over a little imagination… cuz there’s no place for imagination in the solve… right?

          • I got ya Jake, I only went with what I’ve found. A better example, my 8th clue is the coordinates the poem gave. The 9th clue, along with the key tells me Aug.22, 6:54am, 5 degrees. And, At that spot, every Aug.22nd, at 6:54 am, the sun is at 5 degrees elevation in the morning sky. My “lol, rod”, that I stick here in the ground is 7′ tall. It happens to cast a shadow 80′ long. Through research, every Aug. 22nd at this time, the same thing happens. Given the speed the Earth goes around the sun, and it’s revolutions, you can see that every year will be the same.
            It sounds ridiculous to me to, but it’s what I’ve found. (The key adds another element, but I couldn’t say, you know). The thing is, it all really doesn’t matter. It only matters to get the distances, I’m not really needing to take a 7′ “rod” at that time to get my shadow, and follow it, etc.. It’s a tough pill to swallow, this thought, but it’s what the poem directed in it’s subtle way. For me, solving the poem gave letter values, which in turn, gave coordinates. The “X” on a map. With that “X”, I could make my path on how to get there, where I start is wwwh. The poem solved some clues, like line 17. I get Sowyst, or southwest. It’s my 6th clue. The poem does solve some clues, but not all. Like Seeker has been ramming down our throats, some are observational, and only found with BotG.
            JDA’s, idea of a solar solve is possible, but since he’s not in the numbers thing, I’m wondering how he came across an accurate place, date, time, etc…
            If a searchers solve doesn’t have numbers tied to it, then this thought of a solar, shadow, way of looking at things would be impossible, IMO. Like you said, without the numbers somehow, the slight variations would just be too much to see it as a solve. (Well, I think you kind of said that, :))
            Again, if the numbers are not seen by a searcher in the poem, all this is mute. Without the numbers, you can forget distances, unless your solve can go by word count, but that would seem too general.
            The numbers are also a tough pill, just for the fact that there are no x’s, so I get it. If you can’t get one letter, then the idea would be done, and I didn’t find them until I was 3 years into the chase, and then, the poem only gives you half. But there is a way, to get the values of the whole alphabet. If it is not part of the poem, and these values are just what I came up with, lol, man, I’m brilliant. :). But alas, nope, something told me, f, I’m just a pawn…Always, good luck Jake…

          • Seeker, let’s look at the entire quote:
            “I’m not flippant about this. It’s not something somebody is going to be able to do on spring break or a Sunday afternoon picnic. I’m looking a hundred years down the road, maybe a thousand years down the road. ****People don’t understand that.”****“Whoever finds the treasure will mostly earn it with their imagination. ***I have done only a few things in my life that were truly planned. Hiding the treasure chest is one of them.”* -f

            It sounds like by mentioning Sunday afternoon picnic or spring break it is not to be taken literal, and he is just saying it’s not going to be easy.

            Who knows though. If a shadow is involved that seems like it would lend toward justifying the 1000 years portion of the quote.

          • *** *** *** ***
            Seek suggests – “Lets leave the pole out of this… it would be obvious that a clue references [ a physical clue ] would be needed… for that pole idea.”
            *** *** *** ***

            It’s charlie’s pole (a 7 foot pole, if I remember right – “you go the X [and] stand something up”), not mine. And leaving the pole out of it is exactly what I suggested to him.

            *** *** *** ***
            Seek’ wondered – “ . . . why is it, we can’t do the task on spring break or a Sunday picnic? fenn didn’t say it was unlikely, he said; ‘Finding the chest is not something somebody is going to do on spring break or Sunday afternoon picnic.’ [stated more than once].
            WHY? What is in the poem that could explain that statement [?]”
            *** *** *** ***

            Why indeed. If he did it in one afternoon, and it involves light-and-shadow on a certain date, well, every several years that date would fall on a Sunday afternoon, right?

            Here’s one version (of many) that I think says what ff means by that statement. It’s not complicated, but if you want to imagine some more cryptic message lurking within it, I promise not to get flustered.

            “. . . let me put this in perspective. So many people have decided they’re going to take a picnic lunch out on Sunday and go look for the treasure. Or something to do over Spring Break.” ff, Collected Works Bookstore, 23 October 2013

            *** *** *** ***
            Seek’ LOL’ed – “Anyways, It’s fun to see some get so flustered over a little imagination… cuz there’s no place for imagination in the solve… right?”
            *** *** *** ***

            Using imagination and embracing every possibility are two different things.

            It’s not a pillow-fight, it’s a discussion, and if I hadn’t given it some real (experience-and-imagination-based) consideration, I wouldn’t have bothered sharing (several times over the years) my thoughts on the likelihood of light-and-shadow play, or other archaeo-astronomical-type possibilities.


          • Aaron;

            How does the shadow idea lean towards the 1000 year statement? A shadow is dependent on an object being there – So whatever it is that casts the shadow needs to be there today, 100 years or 1000 or even 10,000 years down the road. The OBJECT could change shape due to erosion, earthquakes etc. Changing its shape a bit – will this change in shape affect the shadow that is cast? Sure!

            I believe in the shadow Idea, but I also recognize that the object that causes the shadow CAN change over time, and thus make finding Indulgence more difficult down the road – Just musin’ – JDA

          • Aaron… this is from The Lure 2017 Fenn’s answer to Q3
            “The fact that nobody’s found it I’m frankly surprised. I would hope that somebody would find it before too long. You’re not going to happen on it. You’re not going to find it on spring break or on a Sunday afternoon picnic. You’re going to have to figure out the clues. Go to the first clue, and then the clues are consecutive after that. If you can decipher the clues, you’re gonna find that treasure chest.”
            His answer to Q7; “The clues will lead you to the treasure and whether it’s buried or not, you can find it if you can find the blaze as a result of starting with the first clue. That’s what you have to do.”
            For me…what Fenn is pounding into our heads is that going out on spring breaks or Sunday picnics trying to figure out the clues, or trying to visually align anything in the field is not going to work ever…unless the clues are [deciphered/figured out/learned before you ever physically set out looking for the treasure chest. Sure….folks are having a blast making memories and giving it the ole college try and being actively a part of the Chase…and there ain’t no shame in that for certain. But I think that the person that really wants to solve this thing is going to figure it out and then go act it out.

          • JAKe: “It’s not a pillow-fight”
            It seems more like a food fight.
            Food for thought?
            Ya, I know, some of the food is rotten.

          • JDA, I said that because I think if one has to rely on a shadow at the right spot at a certain time of day then there is a chance it would significantly prolong the chase. Clouds are one thing. What if they are in the right spot at the wrong time of day? It’s hard enough for searchers to figure out clue 3 much less worry about a shadow. With no validation of getting previous clues correct until the shadow shows up and the chest is found, I’d wager that the chase would never end.

          • Aaron,
            I agree. If Fenn used the sun in that way to find the chest and there are no instructions in the poem indicating this, then you gotta let it go and do not even consider it ever again because it may never be found.

          • Aaron,
            That is one of four that I know of, and all say the same thing [ and all over a period of time, not so much back to back ]

            Jak, It’s not about a day “Sunday” It about the time of day mentioned “afternoon”.

            Think the the solve is accomplished in the morning or early morning sunrise.

            Other than some major unknown [major earthquakes, YS popping it cork etc.] What might make it harder in the future for searcher to find the ‘blaze’ and the chest. The RM’s are still moving.. this natural movement, can shift things on ground, and displace them enough to throw off that shadow affect. How much displacement is hard to say… but should the blaze [ for the sake of argument ] be a rock pillar, the narrow top could be a pin point spot.

            There are still many angles this theory could play out… the point is, and i have asked before;
            How many clues does it take to make a single reference of a place or its feature?
            How many clues refer to places?

            What might appear to sound like a place, might end up an instruction.
            Not unlike my thought of “take it in” can be an observation for a searcher to do vs. a movement searcher thinks it means.
            The observation would work well with the idea of what IT might refer to…
            Begin “observing” where warm waters halt.
            I do find it interesting that there is not much talk about what needs “planning and observing” in regards to the solve.

            Looking at maps and getting time off from work doesn’t seem to be the idea.

            How many clues can be done at home?
            All of them, in theory… but not in practice. OK what is it that needs doing on site – IF – we can find them on a map. I mean “all of them” doesn’tt seem to imply to fenn say the last clue can not be seen from GE [ and I would assume a map as well… fenn made them equal with his Comment: GE “and/or” a good map.]

            See I call this analyzing the poem. Others call it over complicating the poem. Well, fenn did say it is difficult, but not impossible. as well as, “try” and simplify the clues. I think we all have gone through the idea that this wouldn’t be that hard… only later… we know folks have solved clues, on site, and some within a certain mount of feet from the chest.

            How easy can the final solve be if searcher are smack in the middle of it all, and still, don’t know much at all?
            Is the process different from what we have seen in posted solves and blogs?

            Aaron posted the quote;
            “I’m not flippant about this. It’s not something somebody is going to be able to do on spring break or a Sunday afternoon picnic. I’m looking a hundred years down the road, maybe a thousand years down the road. ****People don’t understand that.”****“Whoever finds the treasure will mostly earn it with their imagination. ***I have done only a few things in my life that were truly planned. Hiding the treasure chest is one of them.”* -f

            What did fenn plan for [ when designing the poem ] What don’t we understand?
            And why would he follow his own created clues IF he knew where the blaze was and what it was, before he wrote the poem’s clues-?- exactly to a 10″sq spot [ the hidet spot ].

            I ask myself these questions…

          • Seeker, the quote was “I have done only a few things in my life that were truly planned. Hiding the treasure chest is one of them.” So, not just the poem but the entire process. The plan for hiding the chest would have probably looked something like this:
            – Purchase a chest and stuff to fill it with
            – Start working on the poem
            – Plan the trip so that nobody knows what I am doing
            – Hide the chest
            – Complete the poem
            – Write and publish a memoir as an avenue for delivering the poem

            Seems like a lot of planning involved just on the surface.

          • Aaron;

            I think you have it MOSTLY right.
            – Purchase a chest and fill it with “stuff” – Agree
            – Start working on the poem – Agree
            – Plan the trip so that nobody knows what I am doing

            I think it took Forrest multiple trips, some that had to be on “special” days in order to figure out where to secret Indulgence

            – Hide the chest – I think that Forrest had to prepare the site before he could hide it “in one afternoon”.

            – Complete the poem – Only after my caveats above.

            – Write and publish a memoir as an avenue for delivering the poem – I agree

            Good thought process – Thanks for posting your ideas – always fuel for thought – JDA

          • For what it’s worth re: won’t find it on Spring break/Picnic, here is my interpretation:

            It’s in a VERY DIFFICULT SPOT. It isn’t near a park with picnic benches. It isn’t near ANY place that one would go out and have fun. In short, it isn’t near any place where a typical person would EVER go.

          • *** *** *** ***
            Seek’ persists – “Jak, It’s not about a day “Sunday” It about the time of day mentioned “afternoon”. Think the the solve is accomplished in the morning or early morning sunrise.”
            *** *** *** ***


            Now all we gotta do is find a place in the Rocky Mountains that has mornings.

            Strong work, Seek’!


          • Hi poisonivey — you wrote above, “The 9th clue, along with the key tells me Aug.22, 6:54am, 5 degrees. And, At that spot, every Aug.22nd, at 6:54 am, the sun is at 5 degrees elevation in the morning sky.” So you are okay with both the required find date and time not matching when Forrest hid it? Because he says he hid it in the afternoon, and he definitely did not hide it on August 22.

  6. You only need the flashlight to see into or inside of a crack or opening in a rock face.

  7. Upthread, Seeker wrote:

    ” … theory for the observational solve. No driving, boating, climbing, scuba diving, no need for drones o metal detectors… and within a small scale solve. All that is required is a small hike to get to his place /location of the clues, from his car.”

    First, Seeker, it’s not a “small scale solve”; it’s a large scale solve, which you would have known if you understood the concept of geographic scale.

    Second, if all that is required is a “small hike to … his place … from the car” >>> why does Fenn have so many clues?

    Given your description, I can see Clue 1 = WWWH, Clue 2 = direction of and distance to this so-called “observation” site, Clue 3 thru 5 would be the so-called items searcher is supposed to see at observations site. So where are your additional 4 clues?

    Actually, there’s no reason to have 3 clues to view from observation site; that’s arbitrary; any more would seem redundant; any fewer would add to your solution problem.

    The point is >>> your “observation” solution seems to require too few clues. Yet Fenn has specifically said there are nine. To discount that number sounds like you are not following his directions; you could invent places for additional clues, but given what you have already said, that would sound tacked on, in order to win an argument.

    In my opinion, the searcher who finds the chest is going to be open-minded to many different solutions, a person who has considered and rejected many theories, not someone who rigidly clings to one theory as if it were a life-jacket, and holding on to it for dear life.

    Ken (in Texas) 🙂

    • @ Ken (in Texas) = We can all agree that FF has said that there are 9 clues in his poem. To my limited knowledge, FF has never said that all 9 clues have to be separate and distinct things. IMHO, having a redundancy of clues reinforces a searcher’s confidence, and arriving at a special observation spot after only a few clues, then observing how the remaining clues interact from that spot is a viable scenario for a solve. Not recognizing the redundancy complicates the solve process and helps make it difficult, but not impossible. Looking for 9 distinct things is a lot different solve than looking at just a few things from differing perspectives (Big picture perspective first, the clues to which led you to the smaller picture perspective spot where you then apply the remaining clues to perhaps triangulate the hiding spot of Indulgence).

      How many solves have we all read about that have us stomping out 9 separate places as opposed to a solve that has us stomping out a few places, observing the rest of the clues from that point we just arrived at because of those few clues, piecing it all together from there via the remaining clues, then walking to where we think Indulgence is waiting? Again, to my limited knowledge, I can’t think of any examples of #2. Some may argue that such is because FF has said (paraphrased) that there will be no switching back, etc. but the counterargument to that is you are not switching back, you are following the clues as given by FF and are in essence going from macro to micro all the way down to that tiny spot where the chest is waiting. This is certainly a plausible reason why poor execution of a solve has resulted in the chest not being found, searchers leaving the poem, etc.

      Just being open-minded, and, of course, IMHO.

      • Bowmarc;

        I agree that one must keep an open mind. As you know, I have a “Big Picture Solve” and a “Small Area Visual Solve.” My “Small Area Visual solve does combine several clues into a single “object” – We will see how this approach works out – JDA

        • Yes, JDA, one of the things I like about you is your willingness to share your general ideas, and that is not intended as a backhanded compliment because we all have details, etc. that we must keep guarded regarding our solve(s).

          I am not a fan of multiple trips through the poem, but read and take note none-the-less in case something moves me in that direction.

          As always, best of luck to you JDA.

          • Thanks Bowmarc – I appreciate it. – Always remember – TRY to STAY SAFE – JDA

      • Upthread, I critiqued Seeker’s “observational” theory, which suggests that searcher only needs to walk a small distance from car to some observational site, from which multiple clue features can be used to triangulate the treasure chest location. Bowmarc countered my critique and agreed with Seeker that this “observational” theory is plausible.

        Bowmarc said: “FF has never said that all 9 clues have to be separate and distinct things. IMHO, having a redundancy of clues reinforces searcher’s confidence, and arriving at a special observation spot after only a few clues [Seeker didn’t say “few clues”; he implied one], then observing how the remaining clues interact [there are 8 clues after WWWH] from that spot is a viable scenario for a solve”

        Hi Bowmarc … You are correct that Fenn has not said that all clues have to be separate and distinct things. Neither has he said the opposite.

        A redundancy in clues may enhance confidence, but it also reduces the work for searchers which, by the way, is an enticement for those who want the hunt to be easier and the puzzle solved within Fenn’s lifetime.

        So in Seeker’s “observational” theory, instead of having to solve 9 clues, searcher might need to solve only 5 or 6 clues depending on how much redundancy there is. There are other ways to enhance confidence without redundancy. Further …

        Seeker says only a “small hike” is needed to get to the chest from one’s car.

        You skipped over the problem of small scale that I mentioned, which is important. Seeker’s theory is NOT a small scale solution; it is a large scale solution (large scale means large amount of detail, for searchers not familiar with the concept of “geographic scale”).

        As such, redundancy clues would be within a fairly small area (to accommodate so much detail), and therefore unlikely to be included on ANY map. After all, isn’t that the whole point of most searchers’ assumption that after WWWH, clues require BOTG?

        For this assumption, after WWWH, all clues can only be discovered with BOTG. Which directly contradicts Fenn’s assertion that most of the clues “in theory” can be determined from home.

        It’s discovering the clues from home that enhances confidence, as opposed to having an arbitrary number of clues that can be used at some observational spot.

        All of the above is my opinion of course. But I think some readers have perhaps been led astray as a result of reading theories, such as Seeker’s, that are popular. After all these years, popular theories have not worked.

        I would suggest an easier, less arbitrary theory than the one proposed by Seeker, a theory that is so obvious that even a child could correctly identify it.

        Also, instead of merely giving lip service to Fenn’s suggestion for knowledge of geography, it might help if searchers would actually LEARN geographic concepts, such as “geographic scale”.

        Ken (in Texas)

        • Hi Ken;

          You say: “So in Seeker’s “observational” theory, instead of having to solve 9 clues, searcher might need to solve only 5 or 6 clues depending on how much redundancy there is. There are other ways to enhance confidence without redundancy. Further …” I am not Seeker, but that is NOT what I have read. To me Seeker has said that you have to solve all nine clues, and that they are all in a confined (small) geographical area. Even IF something – Say a big rock – can serve as an hoB, a HL and a WH or any other clue – you still have to solve the clue and decide that that “Big Rock” satisfies the requirements of the clue.

          In my “Small Area Visual Solve” one geographic feature is used to answer more than one clue, but I have to solve each and every clue to recognize this fact. JMHO – JDA

          • JDA wrote: “To me Seeker has said that you have to solve all nine clues, and that THEY ARE ALL IN A CONFINED (SMALL) GEOGRAPHICAL AREA. [I have added CAPS to make a point.]

            JDA … you have agreed with Seeker that all the clues are in a small area. So you must believe that these clue features (except maybe WWWH) can only be discovered BOTG, and not by any map.

            Why do you discount FF’s comment that at least most of the clues can be solved from home?

            Ken Tx.

          • Ken;

            When you say that I must find the clues with BotG for my small area solve, you are very much mistaken.
            I found almost all of the clues while sitting at my computer, and confirmed them at later dates with BotG.

            Forrest said to use your imagination, and I think that this is important. When standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, is it difficult to imagine the eons and eons that it took the Colorado river to carve this magnificent gorge? Can you mind imagine when it was a flat valley? – When it was covered with sand dunes – When it was a part of an inland sea? – When the earth was first formed? This is the kind of imagination I am talking about. So as I stand at my Small Area Visual Search spot, I can imagine many, many things that are associated with clues – bringing those clues ever closer to the spot where I stand, and into the present. I have been on a trip through TIME, as well as reviewing a set of scenes that are/were associated with clues. Maybe doesn’t make sense, but it does to me. JDA

          • Ken {TX} ~ stated ~ ‘JDA … you have agreed with Seeker that all the clues are in a small area. So you must believe that these clue features (except maybe WWWH) can only be discovered BOTG, and not by any map.’

            This was never stated by me. That is your conclusion.
            I’M saying, to work through the solve one need to see it unfold. That is not the same as not being able to find clue’s references on GE or a map… I’m sure some have located clue references after the first two clues, In fact fenn indicated as much… the first four clues comment.
            Only they didn’t seem to know anything about how to proceed correctly, not unlike the first two clues solvers.

            The difference with this theory is, it doesn’t force 9 clues to have 9 places. Some clues just can’t be a place.
            NF, BTFTW is a statement, not a place.
            Although, there’s probably a physical place /feature before and after that statement.

            The question still remains; do we need to go to those places?
            If you think this is only a stomping point to point solution, then this idea won’t work for you… you have made up your mind; nothing else is feasible unless it works for your solve / theory, right?.

        • Howdy Ken (in Texas) – I am answering your response to me paragraph by paragraph (starting from “Hi Bowmarc):

          You are also correct about FF not saying the opposite; however, he has said there are 9 clues so most searchers assume that means 9 separate things. My argument is that multiple clues can be describing the same physical thing at different times in the poem, thus making the number of things we need to discover less than 9. We still need to solve all 9 clues, they just point out less than 9 things in the end because some things are described more than once.

          This redundancy does not reduce the work because it takes analyzing the poem correctly to arrive at this solve process—mental exercises before doing the actual physical stuff via BOTG (“read the poem over and over and over, slowly—thinking.” FF). I cannot stress enough that searching for 9 separate and distinct things is an entirely different type of search than going BOTG knowing that your pathway to Indulgence was determined and reinforced by clues that describe things multiple times, thus given you a sense of direction. As an example, what if WH is a nod back to WWWH? Both seem to reference water of some type in an elevated position, right? So that can be 2 clues speaking of only 1 area. That’s called redundancy as FF has used redundant components in his poem and such is plausible. Again, ignoring WH as a way to reorient yourself to WWWH in your journey to retrieve Indulgence means you are moving towards some other thing you have determined to be WH—you’ve left the poem as written by FF.

          No, Ken (in Texas), you still have to solve 9 clues—there are no shortcuts. I’m sure there are other ways to enhance confidence as well, this is just one theory amongst many others, all of which seem to favor 9 clues = 9 separate and distinct things.

          I believe FF when he says (paraphrased) that he hid everything in one afternoon and walked from his car when he did so and such walking was less than a few miles. Sounds like a small hike to me if it was all done in one afternoon via walking less than a few miles.

          I don’t think I skipped over scale at all. Any solve has to go from big picture down to the exact spot where Indulgence is hidden—macro to micro. Rocky Mountains/Four States down to the 10 by 10 spot keeping Indulgence grounded. Relatively simple concept regardless of what theory is being used.

          As to your fairly small area comment, ask yourself how have some searchers been to within 200 – 500 feet of Indulgence after only the first couple of solved clues? Seems like a pretty good indicator that the search area is fairly small.

          A theory is anything you can think of—a mental exercise that later gets proven or refuted by putting same to the task. I can theorize a solve for all 9 clues from anywhere, and then go BOTG to try and prove such, with the ultimate proof positive being claiming Indulgence. No contradiction there in my eyes.

          The “Observational Spot Theory” is just one of many theories that has been presented to the search community and certainly is no more or less plausible than anyone else’s theory about how to find Indulgence because no one has done so yet.

          I appreciate you commenting and discussing TTOTC. Each reader of same has to decide for themselves how plausible any theory/information presented is. IMHO, the popular solve process is the one that has searchers stomping out 9 clues and any information presented that is contrary/counter-intuitive to such is frowned upon. For example, if I told you that my current theory does not include HOB as a clue, what would your response be besides to ask me to explain why and/or to basically call me crazy? I can anticipate certain ATF’s being presented as evidence that HOB must be a clue, but trust me, I have analyzed them against my theory and it still holds water (pun intended there…LOL). Be open minded, exclude same as a clue, and see where it takes you…what have you got to lose? If nothing else, you’ve used your brainpower to refute something I have posited and thereby strengthened your own theory by discounting mine all in the spirit of a healthy discussion about TTOTC. 

          I can suggest an alternative theory to Seeker’s as well, and have probably written 30 pages describing the process so far, that uses just the poem and FF’s instructions therein to correctly read the poem. I’ll probably have another 30 pages typed out before I have fully applied this theory to the poem and, hopefully, have a solve that prompts me to go BOTG.

          I agree about geography because of this FF’s answer to this question: Q – “Can hunters really get to the treasure location with just a good map, the poem, and a decent knowledge of words?” FF’s Answer – “I wrote the book for everyone who feels a sense of wanderlust. In your last question if you change the last word to geography, my answer would be yes.”

      • Ken,

        I never said “triangulate,” in this theory.

        You said; ~ ‘So in Seeker’s “observational” theory, instead of having to solve 9 clues, searcher might need to solve only 5 or 6 clues depending on how much redundancy there is.’
        Um, err, did you pull that rabbit out of a hat?

        I only mentioned that there may only be three “physical” places that certain clues represent. Other clues are of instructions to how to proceed, in this theory… still having 9 piece of information.

        Regardless of your idea of “geographic scale”… a small scale search is about – not traveling miles through a point to point process. The concept has nothing to do with geographical scale. It is about taking in – “take it in” – ones surroundings from a single vantage point… the first clue, the clue that is needed to be nailed down or stay home.
        So, how to we get to the critical first clue? We hike to it, not park at it, or simply drive by it, or just see it in our mind…

        You stated; ~ ‘All of the above is my opinion of course. But I think some readers have perhaps been led astray as a result of reading theories, such as Seeker’s, that are popular. After all these years, popular theories have not worked.’

        Astray Seems deliberate… I have no concerns what other think.
        Although, the same can be said for all the trial and errors, trail blazing, from one point to another, stomping 9 needed point to be at.
        That’s not really an opinion… only, up to this date has failed horribly.
        {ps. I didn’t know I had that much influence, either.. *such as Seeker’s, that are popular* Gee, I may get a big head.}

        Lastly… as to my suggestion of the blaze in the scenario I presented… the blaze is not man made, it is not created / made by fenn hands… it is a natural feature fenn may have used / utilized as “his” blaze in the poem. I suggested, what fenn created, were clues to discover this blaze, and he himself may have had to follow his clues to bring him to it… hence; completing the poem and a place [ a 10″ sq spot ] to ‘hide’ the chest – within – his special place he knew he wanted to have the chest lay in wait.

        The part you may not understand or might not even grasp… probably, is that stanza 3 could be about how / when to search.
        Wrong , Right , or Indifferent… many won’t like that idea. Heck, many already complain about time and money they have wasted, and family problems because of their obsessive behavior.

        I like it when folks debate my theory, theories… but at least attempt to see it with open minds and not present claims I’m attempting to lead anyone astray. That’s pure BS.

        It’s a theory, a conversation about the challenge … you can love it, hate it, or love to hate it… but don’t take it so personal if it doesn’t include your geographical scale, thingamabob.

  8. I agree with your assessments Maybe the key is not the shadow but just what makes it. There is a book that starts out that way. I sense a little of it in Mr. Fenns writings. Just because. I MHOP. IMO.

  9. If one is supposed to “look quickly down” from the blaze in order to find the treasure chest, and the name of the chest is “Indulgence”, would that mean that the name of the blaze is “Overindulgence”?

    • I believe thinking of the “blaze” as something looming over the chest in that context could actually help in some search scenarios.

    • This hypothesis-like idea seems a little confusing to me; did FF indicate that a
      searcher is expected to (per the poem) actually go to the blaze?

      • Tall Andrew – Nope. Forrest hasn’t said anything definitive about the location of the treasure with respect to the blaze, except that the answer will be obvious once they are found.

  10. Disclaimer, all thoughts are IMO …

    While this is my first post, please don’t take that to mean I’m a newbie. Like most, I have come up with numerous solves, only to pick at them until they fail. I have a trip scheduled, in 11 days for a solve that doesn’t want to fall apart, but I have started on a new train of thinking about the poem and TTOFC.

    I try apply two base principles to my research. First, Forrest always tells the truth, just not ALL the truth. When reading his responses and remembering that, it helps to understand why he says what he says (IMO). Second, Forrest has told us how to best approach finding the correct solve and I try to apply it best as I can.

    So here is my question to the community, in the chapter ”My brother being Skippy” why would Forrest give the elevation of Hebgen Lake at 6000’ ?? it’s more like 6550’ and there is no way he doesn’t know that. I don’t believe its artistic license either, I believe it’s a reference to “water high”. I just can’t seem to get its proper application in the solve. It could be the TC is at 6000’ or it could mean the blaze is 6000‘ away. Thoughts ?? and has anyone else noted the wrong elevation reference ??

    • TZ , i too was wondering about the 6000′ , not sure why he tells us that but i believe it to be a HINT .

    • Hi TZ;

      Have never given it a bit of thought. I do not search that area, so I never knew the elevation of Hebgen lake. No where in my solve is 6,000 a relevant number. Not an elevation nor a distance – sorry – I am no help at all – JDA

    • Hi, TZ – Hebgen Lake is an artificially-created reservoir and its water level may be raised and lowered depending on need and rainfall that occurs in any particular year.

      • Possibly reasonable, but I’d be surprised if that adjustment accounts for
        anything approximating a 600 foot variation in elevation. However, I
        don’t thing any of this will much relate to a good solve of the poem. All IMO.

      • Just as an FYI, 6000′ on the Madison River would put you 6 miles west of Quake or about 12 miles west of Hebgen Lake. 6000′ is way lower than the water level in Hebgen, even if the lake were empty.

      • But this may have been a generalization on FF’s part, basically saying a pilot wouldn’t land a float plane on any lake 6000’+ in elevation.

  11. Sort of related, but I fully believe that if we could figure out why “the little girl in India can get no closer than the first two clues” we could solve this thing. Although that statement does seem to contradict the line from FF that “in theory, all of them” can be solved from one’s armchair, although it wouldn’t be practical. Anybody have any thoughts on this that they’re willing to share?

    • It has been posted several times by several people, but, If the little girl only has the poem and a map of the Rockies, the resolution is probably too small to reveal whatever is needed for clue #3.

      Many people have hoB as clue #3. For me, clue #3 is “From there it’s no place for the meek, The end is ever drawing nigh. I know for sure that a map of the Rockies would not show “MY” “No place for the meek.”

      The same goes for my hoB – Just how I see it – JDA

      • Hi JDA,
        can you say what is an approximate size of your hoB?
        Will not agree with you about #3 – in my solution it’s hoB and clue #4 is “From there it’s no place for the meek, The end is ever drawing nigh.” Again #4 and further clues are just “road map”. Blaze is final clue for me and thank you again for suggestion of alternative idea of blaze i.e. a shadow. In my next BOTG I’ll consider this idea and try to search some “ephemeral blazes”. Before I paid attention only to solid ones.

    • IMO cannot get closer and cannot solve are two very different things. Even if she were to have the correct answer on where to go, she will not be able to get there to actually ‘put in’.

    • Agree with JDA: insufficient map resolution. Jenny specified that L’il Indy only had the poem and a map of the U.S. Rocky Mountains. It’s actually somewhat revealing that she can actually solve two clues under those restrictions (that is, assuming that’s what Forrest is implying by “cannot get closer than the first two clues”). If my WWWH is correct, then I could indeed solve it and the canyon down with just the poem and that map. But no way could I solve the third clue without a much better map.

    • The interpretation I like best, though it doesn’t help me much, is that the third clue is something that’s not on a map or visible by satellite. It makes me wonder if hoB could be a smell or a sound. That would be something that even if you knew what the clue meant, would still be difficult find online.

    • I have to disagree with the map resolution theory as being the answer why because the truth is we don’t know the specifics about her map, meaning I could just as easily argue that it was exquisitely detailed in every way, shape, and form. This answer by FF was a written one (it was part of a MW Six Questions blog) so his use of the word closer as opposed to solve is deliberate. My suggestion is to think about FF’s reference to the backwards steering bicycle video and apply that lesson to the first two clues to get them to shake hands in a manner that validates TLGFI ATF.

    • There is an in-between step she must take after the second clue and before the third clue that she will not realize if she is not there.

    • Yeah: The little girl in India concept/discussion is relatively insignificant in value,
      and should be totally ignored, in my opinion. That subject may be about as
      over-mentioned as the “canasta”, “nailed down” or “marry” thing. All IMO.

      • D & T,
        Insomnia tonight? I agree with a lot of what you say even though you make it difficult to want to take your side.

    • The Forrest quotes that seem to contradict the “little girl in India” answer to me are the ones that mention the finder of the treasure will have “moved with confidence” and has worn “a smile to the right spot”.

      Quotes like these seem to imply that one can figure out from their armchair where to go in order to get very close to the hidey spot, and in my opinion, a good ways further into the poem than just the first two clues; possibly all the way to “heavy loads and water high” … or further?

      I agree with those who are saying that Forrest found a loophole in Jenny’s original question and wriggled through it. I bet his answer would have been different if instead of saying “a map of the Rocky Mountains” Jenny had substituted “Google Earth”. (Of course, if she had asked it that way, Forrest may have chosen not to answer the question at all.)

      • I think the answers are in a counter-intuitive approach to solving the poem (the backwards bicycle video), one which incorporates a certain amount of redundancy of clue references that result in less than 9 things/places to be “stomped out” but none-the-less add up to 9 clues to find Indulgence. This equates to no loophole by FF in his response to Jenny.

  12. Zap you wrote,
    If Forrest or anyone else had created the blaze, then the blaze could be removed or destroyed

    IMO anything natural could be damaged or destroyed, Earthquake Lake proves that. Also, man is taking over and new constitution is always a concern. The last 10 lines in the poem are there for a reason. Mr. Fenn himself has said he hide the treasure before the poem was complete. IMO the first half gets you to the blaze and the second half tells you what to look for and where the treasure chest is. As for people moving the blaze, city limits don’t move, park boundaries don’t, ect. There are many signs out there that are permit and will always will be.

    • Birdie Bates – I agree about the power of Mother Nature to move mountains, when “IT” comes to destroying the blaze. Earthquake Lake on the Madison River is a poignant example. And another Great Flood in Montana, like the one that formed Missoula Lake, could destroy my backwardS bike S blaze, also. Especially if Mother Nature rebounds to our human caused Global Warming with another Ice Age. Or, if another comet impact event happens to take us all out. I miss the Wooly Mammoths.

      And park boundaries do, in fact, move. That’s why I got back into the original YNP ‘box’. And why I discovered that the YNP boundary moved again in 1929. Scroll down to ‘Folder 33’ to see some great pics taken after that event, in 1931-32:

  13. Good morning JDA , TZ

    JDA your conversation above about shadows and the poem blaze reminds me of one of my searches. Of course shadows was a big conversation years back and during this time I had incorporated shadows in my poem solves search area.

    Forrest had said something like- I’m not going to put a X on a map.
    I was searching from a Birdseye view ( satellite map) of my area of search when all of the sudden I seen a X formation on the map. It was created by the shadow of two trees. There it was plain as day right at a outcropping of a few boulders. That photo was taken just at the right time early in the morning to create this effect. So I started thinking about my blaze which was this tall flag pole that could be seen above the trees for a good distance all around it. I wondered if it’s shadow in the early morning pointed to this spot that the X was created. Now don’t get me wrong my search was going to be below that pole in a 200′ circle which I did.

    Anyway I made the trip out to this area and was at it before the sun even rose. Beautiful area and about twelve deer crossed slowly by me as I stood waiting for the sun to rise up high enough to create shadows of the trees in the area. When it did I followed the flagpole shadow for about 500′ – 600′ and low and behold it actually ended just before that X spot I had seen on that satellite map. That X mark was created by two pine trees but one was leaning at a angle behind the other.

    Of course I search that boulder area with my pinpoint metal detector and found some old barbed wire pieces and a few old can opener topped rusted beer cans but nothing more.

    So at one time I concidered a shadow in a solve. Was it a “rabbit hole”, yes, at least for that area.

    TZ , as far as your statement about Hebgen Lake elevation 6000′ being incorrect and why? Well in my solve the elevation in the area of my HL & WH is right at 6000′. Could that be a hint to the elevation of indulgence, I don’t know, but sure sounds good to me. Lol

    Well good luck guys,

      • Maybe I can find me a “Flag Pole” that will lead me to the “X” – 🙂 – JDA

      • JDA,
        Actually my pinpoint metal detector going off at that X spot boulder cluster got my heart a pumpin. But yes seeing that X on the satellite view did get me excited a little, but I already had clue solves for most of the poem clues before I came across the X.


        • YUP – YUP THAT would get the old heart a pumpin’ – Hope to experience that same feeling soon – 🙂 JDA

    • YEA – Allsetenash – Glad that the glaciers are growing – If only recently – JDA

    • Yes JDA, they have been growing for at least 10 years. It’s all about cycles , the earth has cycles- short and long game ones. A. good understanding of geography is helpful, as FF says. He probably has seen many cycles in his time spent in the RM’s. Heck, the carbon emissions from one major volcano eruption , is equivalent to 1000 years of humans and cattle emissions.

      Terra is a powerful being. She decides whether or not we are a tick or an asset , lol. No matter the tick talk of time.

      IMO .

      • You are so right Alsetenash – “Mother Earth knows best” . . and she knows how to heal her wounds, provided those wounds are not too deep. She recovered from a time when the entire earth was covered in ice, and “life” survived. We, as humans, may not, but “life” will. JDA

  14. 1. Is the Blaze one single object?
    In a word – Yes
    (so we know the blaze is an object)
    2. “The clues will lead you to the treasure and whether it’s buried or not, you can find it if you can find the blaze as a result of starting with the first clue. That’s what you have to do.” (This implies the blaze is the last clue)
    3. JMO: Regarding the question about the direction of the blaze, There were only 4 precise directions that were asked about in the question. What if it faces NW? IMO there is nothing informative in his radial statement other than not wanting to actually answer the question or not knowing the exact answer, or it faces up, etc.
    4. “It helps to know something about Rocky Mountain geography when making plans to search for my treasure. Rocking chair ideas can lead one to the first few clues, but a physical presence is needed to complete the solve. Google Earth cannot help with the last clue. f”
    (implies GE can’t help with the blaze)

    As I have summarized before:
    If you have a solve that fits to water high, you can go BOTG to look for the blaze. It’s the only way you are going to find it. If you were wise in your interpretation of the prior clues, and found the blaze, you should probably look down (enter my marvel gaze x-ray vision joke). Now, that said, I sometimes think being wise in the interpretation of the prior clues could be an out of order hint, but it probably isn’t.


    • I agree on all 4 points. Big thumbs up and logical.
      My only disagreement is that “wise” or “been wise” may be a clue (place) where the blaze is.
      BTW, this probably should have been posted on “The Blaze” page.

    • I think that if a person has the correct area, there is a lot more than simple directions in the words fenn says, In the poem, in the book, in scrapbooks, Forrest gets mail and most definitely in his premeditated and overly repeated answers to his questions. We may not know where it is until the chest is found but in my opinion, if you don’t see ideas, concepts and definitions in the things Forrest says relating to your area that your average searcher doesn’t see as well, then it’s time to find a new spot. Forrest is clearly talking to the searchers that are zeroed in on correct parts of the solve and again imo, if his words that he’s said over and over again don’t have a secret ring to them in your own solve, then you’re probably missing a whole lot. I definitely think it’s unwise to surmise we know anything pointed at all about the words, clues and phrases he offers until this is over. That type of constrictive thinking is what makes a person miss important details and spiral down rabbit holes missing the obvious.

    • Nice post mBG.

      Your point #1 = I agree that the blaze is an object/thing. At one point I thought the Poem was the blaze because it is, in essence, a trail that FF has blazed for us to find Indulgence. By the time you get to the the part of the poem that speaks of the blaze, “you have been wise” because you have found the poem and read it (note the past tense). LQDYQTC meant to read the poem intelligently, and read it normally from top to bottom (ie quickly down). JTTCAGIP meant you had all the clues already and should be able to go get it. FF has said “While it’s not impossible to remove the blaze, it isn’t feasible to try, and I am certian it is still there”. Well, FF is certianly sure the blaze (AKA the Poem) is still there (because we all have the poem), it is not impossible to remove it (I could toss it out), but it isn’t feasible to try to (because many of us have it memorized / it is posted all over the internet, etc.). Additionally, contary to his assertion that we won’t just stumble upon the chest, nothing is 100% certian so there is still a finite chance that some could do just that—hence another thing that validates his “not impossible to remove the blaze” comment. The real kicker for me regarding this theory is the ATF you have used as your point #1—how hilarious and clever for FF to answer with “In a word—yes” IF the poem is the blaze because the poem is a singular thing (A Poem) but made up of words!

      Your point #2 – “you can find it if you can find the blaze as a result of starting with the first clue.” As I just commented, IF all the clues precede the blaze wording in the poem, this is 100% an accurate statement by FF because knowing by that point that all 9 clues have been exhausted means that the blaze cannot be a clue, hence you can find the treasure by following the clues.

      Your point #3 – hopefully by now you can see another possibility for why FF gave his answer in the manner he did. The orientation of the poem is relative to how each searcher is positioned, hence it is impossible for FF to know, so again, his answer of “I’m thinking it might not be any of those directions” is perfectly valid. The same holds true for his answer to this question: “How far is the chest located from the blaze.” FF’s answer is that he didn’t take a measurement (again, because it is all relative to where the poem is when a searcher finds the chest, thus impossible for FF to know) AND “If you can find the blaze though, the answer to your question will be obvious”–again, how hilarious and clever of FF to answer this way, a 100% accurate answer and one that has him chuckling inside.

      Your point #4 – You’ve probably figured out by now why GE can’t help with the blaze IF the blaze is actually the poem. Yet again another example of how FF can get a belly-chuckle out of people out wasting thier time looking for the blaze before figuring out the first clue.

      In closing, I’m prepared to be labeled crazy for thinking along these lines, but I challange all of you to re-examine the ATF’s regarding the blaze while thinking about the poem itself as the blaze and see just how many of them are 100% truthful, and how hilarious some of the questions and FF answers are.

      I got a lot of stuff like this rolling around in my head and need to get rid of some of it. If it helps you, even to just smile, it’s worth sharing.

  15. I’ve been leaning towards the idea that the line “I can keep my secret where,” is what actually refers to the “chest” in the first stanza, and the rest of the first stanza helps with finding WWWH. The line in the book that leads me there – “So I decided to fill a treasure chest with gold and jewels, then secret it – leaving clues on how to find it ” Secret – “kept from knowledge or view”.

    • how about in the book when he says, “I’ll tell you my secret plan”? pg.137.Maybe that is his “secret”. His “secret” plan is about burying bells.

    • IMHO, the chest is not the secret—we know all about it, just not where it is, so this line means something a bit different than where your current thoughts are heading.

    • ~ I warned the path would not be direct for those who had no certainty of the location beforehand, but sure for the one who did.

      First and foremost, we should have an idea of “where” the location is. Location; seems to imply a place where he had gone at some point in his life. A place that contains the clues within.
      The path seems to be the clues and starting with WWsH. The question is; does “And hint of riches new and old” help with discovering the location -?- vs. anything to do with deciphering clue’s references.

      I mean, fenn is a collector of artifacts, love the mountains,
      {I think it safe to eliminate desert areas}, enjoys being off the beat track… But something [ maybe from TTOTC book ] might lead us to where the clues are located. That would be a big help from the book to help with the clues, that WE need to decipher.

      • @ Seeker – IMHO, “secret where” is a reference to a place, making “…alone IN THERE” and “…MY SECRET WHERE” from stanza #1 equivalent to one another. This is yet again another example of a theoretical possibility that there is redundancy within the poem that will help make a searcher confident that they are on the right track in their solve process.

        I think I am slowly learning to how to ride FF’s backwards steering bicycle…and yes, I am riding it down the path made by the clues because “A clue will point you toward the treasure chest.”

      • Hi Seeker,

        You asked:

        The question is; does “And hint of riches new and old” help with discovering the location -?- vs. anything to do with deciphering clue’s references.


        The very definition of the word *hint* is to provide some sort of help or assistance or suggestion or even possibly a clue.

        I know you know this but I’ll include it anyways: the dictionary also defines the word *hint* as an inkling, indicator, sign, signal, pointer, innuendo and even a whisper.

        I take the word *hint* in the poem as a freebie. The *free* spot on a Bingo card if you will. I treat it as a nudge, in a certain direction, compliments of Fenn. Everybody needs a place to start, right? We’ve all had to do it, IMO. But mostly, I like that I get it (my starting area) straight from the words in the poem. Not the book, not the SB’s, not the Q&A’s, etc. No twisting, bending, spindling or mutilating of the simple words in the poem. Just a simple place to start.

        This method has served me well but I would be interested in hearing how other searchers have chosen the beginning areas of their own solves.

        I mean, here’s our choices right (as far as the words in the poem go):

        1. treasures bold ———-> Montana
        2. new and old ———-> New Mexico
        3. brown ———-> Colorado
        4. why is it I must go ———-> Wyoming

        I would guess that this is where most of us have started (I’ll acknowledge not all). IMO. But from there, it’s all about the Holy Matrimony with the maps, TTOTC, toss in a few SB’s, a Q&A or two and hopefully things start to click. IMO.

        I don’t know if this helps or not. Just another brain overload for the day I suppose. But good luck anyways!

        Oh, and to really answer your question from above: It could be both. IMO.

        All IMO


          • Thanks FD…I’m always worried that I’ve said too much. I hope I didn’t. Tis a fine line to walk, for sure!


        • It very well could be both… But if we’re to think a hint helps with the clues and the clues get you to the end… the only clues we are told of are 9 within the poem, right. { I agree, lets skip SBs and such for now } the only thing we had from the get go was the book.
          With that said, I’ll rephrase the question; Does the book only help the clues by telling us [in some manner] where to look / search ‘for’ the clue’s references?

          With the fact that we know WWsH is the first clue… anything before that may imply hints from the book as new and old. The reason for thinking this is… we are not sure of the information is the poem having hints.. we only know that the poem contains clues.

          The other thought { involving the poem as having a type pf hinting process } we would still need ti understand New and Old related to those.
          Using your ideas [ as many have ] NM and or MT would be the idea of where to search. Brown is later and why I must go, is as well [after the first clue]. So to get a reader started, wouldn’t New and Old [in this line of thinking] almost yell, New Mexico?
          I mean, normally if we say something like that line, it is almost always; Old to New.

          What other factor did we know from the start?
          The book is only sold at one store, in SF. NM.
          The book only tells of the “mountains N.of SF.” Which are part of the RM range.
          And if we take into consideration, MT was known for the treasure state in the mid 1800’s [ minerals related ] and later as the Big Sky Country… Mostly as a tourist advertising campaign from the 60’s…
          Which of those two states makes more sense IF only thinking of a single state?

          My point to all that is: would it be reasonable for all involved [today’s searcher] and for future searchers to get the “location” of where to hunt for the clues, from the book – as helping with the clues? And the poem holds the information to go from there -?- to get you closer to the end.

          I look at it this way;
          It’s not unlike the comment; ‘try to marry the clues to a place on a map.’ I can see that as all the clues to a location in one place. Other’s see it as many places with no given area designated. [ another-words, clues can be miles apart, even in other districts.]
          I also see; Hints will help with the clues [in the poem] by helping a searcher discover where the search takes place.
          One reason to think this idea [ hints in the book help with the location of the clues ] is; we are told there are many WWsH in the RM’s… lo…l how many could be in each state [hundreds]? Do we look at them all, search every one, hope and poke by a process of elimination?
          Something should narrow the idea of where to search down to an area that contains all the clues… I think this was why fenn gave us the warning; certainty of the location, to have the path be direct… “beforehand”

          Just more rumbling and rambling…

          • At one instance he tells us that the clues are not intentionally placed to aid the searcher. Yet another he tells us that we should read the book and the poem then go back and read the book. I wonder if even FF knows if the hints in the book will really help us pre-solve. To me it makes more sense to be able to recognize them after coming up with a solve. Then again there is that darn confirmation bias…

          • Seeker, you wrote: My point to all that is: would it be reasonable for all involved [today’s searcher] and for future searchers to get the “location” of where to hunt for the clues, from the book – as helping with the clues? And the poem holds the information to go from there -?- to get you closer to the end.

            Fenn: The clues are in the poem and my book has hints that will help a person with the clues. THE BOOK WON’T TAKE YOU TO THE TREASURE CHEST, but the book will help you with the clues that are in the poem.

            Is it okay to think that the book will give anybody a general ‘location’ of the clues, since he only mentioned ‘to the treasure chest’ in that statement?

          • OZ10;

            My answer is yes, because of the part you did NOT put in caps: “but the book will help you with the clues that are in the poem.” – Note that hes uses the plural – CLUES – not just the singular – CLUE. So, as I read it, the book will help with ALL of the clues, including the first which is finding WWWsH – Just how I read it – JDA

          • Seeker, to continue, I’ll try to respond to your reply’s one at a time.

            You re-asked:

            Does the book only help the clues by telling us [in some manner] where to look / search ‘for’ the clue’s references?

            I think that everybody gets a different thing from the book. I didn’t start using the book personally, until about year 5 of my search. And I’m glad that I did it that way. So to answer your question, as honestly as I possibly can, I didn’t get any of my *where’s* from the book. I see *what’s*. IMO.

            To clarify, my locations are not spelled out in the book (I’ll acknowledge here that others may see hints and/or places in the book differently). IMO.


            You also said:

            Using your ideas [ as many have ] NM and or MT would be the idea of where to search. Brown is later and why I must go, is as well [after the first clue]. So to get a reader started, wouldn’t New and Old [in this line of thinking] almost yell, New Mexico?

            Can he scream any louder?

            Others will disagree. But each searcher has to choose for themselves. Where does the poem tell you to start? That’s the ticket. The treasure is where Forrest put it. It is not where you, me, or anybody else wants it to be. We must follow the poem, IMO.


            you also said:

            What other factor did we know from the start?
            The book is only sold at one store, in SF. NM.
            The book only tells of the “mountains N.of SF.” Which are part of the RM range.
            And if we take into consideration, MT was known for the treasure state in the mid 1800’s [ minerals related ] and later as the Big Sky Country… Mostly as a tourist advertising campaign from the 60’s…
            Which of those two states makes more sense IF only thinking of a single state?

            I like it. Your deductive reasoning is solid. It reeks of logic. They don’t teach that in school ya know. Have you picked a state yet? I think if a searcher can commit to a search state, based on sound reasoning and unbiased logic, they are ready to advance to clue #1 and beyond. IMO.


            You suggested:

            My point to all that is: would it be reasonable for all involved [today’s searcher] and for future searchers to get the “location” of where to hunt for the clues, from the book – as helping with the clues? And the poem holds the information to go from there -?- to get you closer to the end.

            I’m not sure Seeker. I don’t know that the *location* has been typed in the book.
            Your comment above confuses me a little bit. Maybe it’s the wording. I don’t lean on the book as much as some other searchers might. The book helps (hints) to the clues in the poem (for me…again it’s the *what’s* not the *where’s*). The clues in the poem will get you there (the *where*s). Sorry if I muddied that one.


            Lastly you said:

            One reason to think this idea [ hints in the book help with the location of the clues ] is; we are told there are many WWsH in the RM’s… lo…l how many could be in each state [hundreds]? Do we look at them all, search every one, hope and poke by a process of elimination?
            Something should narrow the idea of where to search down to an area that contains all the clues… I think this was why fenn gave us the warning; certainty of the location, to have the path be direct… “beforehand”

            Something does narrow the idea of where to search. I think knowing the state could help with this, at least a little. At least a searcher won’t be looking everywhere, at all 4 states. Plus, a searcher will have selected a starting area directly from the poem. I think that’s important, per Fenn’s comments. Hopefully that begins to provide some confidence and some certainty. And there aren’t as many WWW’sH as you might think there are. One has to wonder, why are the waters warm?

            Hope that helps just a little bit more. Good luck.

            All IMO.


          • SWR,

            With just a state to go with, we still have the problem of how many WWsH there might be. [ even IF we can say WWsH is of one type, ex. a waterfall ].

            Regardless of narrowing down to a single state, it still works out to a poke and hope, looking for the starting point of the clues. Don’t you think fenn ‘might’ have narrow it down a bit more?

            He did say; in the poem; As I have gone… and alone.
            Alone can mean the first or just by one’s self. [ basically ].

            Doesn’t stories in the book imply place he went alone to? A graveyard, a Waterfall, in an aircraft, etc etc.
            LOL maybe we’re we are to start in an aircraft graveyard… [ not my best suggestion, but hey, who knows ]

            See, here’s my problem. When I read the book ‘thinking’ about individual clues ideas… I saw hundreds of possibilities for 9 clue references. Yet, when I started thinking about the book to help with the clues “location” [ all of them ] certain areas popped. One being the GNF… it is the map fenn burned in the L&C story.

            While it ‘may not’ be the location [or could be]… the idea of having a good map is possibly being indicated. Something fenn stated later… GE and or a good map.
            That alone narrows down a searchable location, compared to the entire RM range, or a single state. So while i’m not big on SB’s having hundreds of hint and clues as well… many comments, Q&As are directly related to the challenge, so I can see how some relate to the book as helpful… for the “idea” that the location is about where all the clues are located and not so much individual clues themselves… that is our main job. Deciphering 9 clues… not 200 and counting.

            LOL and we still have the useless clue debate to rehash…

            Thanks for the chat… this was actually fun BSing…

          • I find it very hard to believe that any book hints would be related to a state or any location. The hints help with the clues and the clues help with locations. It was never implied that hints would help with locations. I doubt FF would want to give that much away in the form of a hint.

          • Hi Aaron: I think there are actually quite a few subtle book hints that yield specific, named locations that are in the general vicinity of the places the clues refer to.

          • Hi Zap, I don’t disagree that a person can find hints to named locations in the book. Whether they coincide with correct identification of clue locations is what we will hopefully find out. If a person thinks they have then perhaps they are on the right trail. Let me ask though, were you able to determine that these subtle hints refer to clue locations before or after you found your spot?

          • Hi Aaron,

            Exactly. That information (if it exists) has got to be in the poem. I’m thinking that’s what the answers to a correctly deciphered clue are….the *where* and most likely the *how*. IMO.


          • I’m with Aaron on the [hint] issue. Let’s not forget the comment from Fenn about ALL of the information is in the poem for all to see…and that the SUBTLE hints in the book can help with the clues and are not deliberately placed. He has also added that part of the mystery is figuring out which hints to use. Early on folks got the first two clues and were within striking distance…[without] the benefit of the massive database of SB, ATF, interviews etc. With that last part said… it makes no sense logically that all of the so-called hints(hundreds) folks think Fenn is serving up are going to help one iota unless the clues are properly deciphered as intended by Fenn. Most folks won’t like this comment because it doesn’t fit their work in progress…but that’s what makes this a challenge.

          • Hi Aaron: well, there are certainly plenty of actually named locations that Forrest writes about, and I think most searchers would conclude that if any of these were actual clue locations that the puzzle would have been solved a long time ago. Too obvious.

            But some named locations (Montana, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park) are of little use because they are so large. Just because Forrest writes about YNP a lot doesn’t mean he hid it there, but even if he did, just mentioning the park is hardly helpful.

            Some hints could be quite generic and could be used anywhere. Take Border’s/Borders/borderline biddies and his “how do you know where the edge is if you don’t go out there and look?”: it’s hardly a stretch to conclude that Forrest is hinting that a border is involved in the solution, but that doesn’t tell you what border, or even what kind of border.

            But IMO there are other hints that are far more geographically specific, but simultaneously more subtle. I just don’t think someone would pick up on them unless they were already augured into the right area as a consequence of solving the first couple clues. Yes, the book is long enough that with very little imagination one can find “confirming hints” (read “bias”) for places in all four states. So if Forrest only supplied a few such deliberate hints, they would be indistinguishable from the hundreds that searchers could manufacture for themselves. To be recognizable as distinct from confirmation bias, the hints would have to be more plentiful: either many hints to the same thing, or many hints to many things that are all found in a small geographic area.

          • Hi Aaron;

            You posted this: Aaron on June 19, 2019 at 2:09 pm said:

            “I find it very hard to believe that any book hints would be related to a state or any location. The hints help with the clues and the clues help with locations. It was never implied that hints would help with locations. I doubt FF would want to give that much away in the form of a hint.
            I have “Chasing words of Forrest Fenn.” If I put in “Clues” – I get 436 responses
            If I put in “hints” I get 80 responses.
            If I put in “Location” I get 45 responses
            At no time do I find both “clue” or “hint” coupled with “Location”

            As a prelude to publishing the poem, this is what Forrest had to say: “So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure.” f

            He didn’t say that the nine clues would lead you to a location. True, a location (the end of my rainbow and the treasure) is hinted at, but he does not use that word.

            I do get both Clues and hints coupled.
            So, when you mix Clues and Location together, I think you are making a mistake.

            Forrest once said, “There are nine clues in the poem, and the clues are in consecutive order. If you want to find the treasure chest – you have my book there – I’ll tell you how to do it. Read the book just normally … the poem and the rest of the book, and then go back and read the poem 6, 8, 10 times – study every line, every word. Then after you do that, read the book again, slowly, with the idea of looking for clues or hints, that are in the book that will help you follow the clues. You can find the chest with just the clues, but there are hints in the book that will help you with the clues.” f

            Again, neither “clues” or “Hints” is coupled with the word location. Maybe I am just too much of a poem purist, but it bothers me when people couple things together that Forrest has never put together – JDA

          • But JDA: “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.”

          • “Some of those kids from Penasco are very bright. The treasure will be found by someone who followed the clues to the location. To me, that is the only plausible recipe.”

            “I don’t know how Toponymy can help you at all Chris (I had to look that word up). But if you knew the geographic location of each clue it would be a map to the treasure. f”

          • Hi Zap;

            You came up with two quotes that I didn’t. Yea for you! Wow, your data base must be something special!!!

            Splitting hairs I guess, but both of your quotes say “clue to the location”, not “clue location” – petty, petty, petty 🙂
            “Clue to THE location” implies (to me) the final location of Indulgence whereas “clue Location” can be used for any of the clues – JMO – JDA

          • Hi JDA: I concur that two of my quotes were specific to the treasure’s location, not to earlier clue locations. But the toponomy quote is pretty specific: “geographic location of each clue.” Forrest seems to be suggesting that each clue is a geographic location. He doesn’t specifically say “geographic location of each of the nine clues” so I suppose one could read the statement as “geographic location of each clue (that is a location).” But it does require that more than one clue is a location.

          • Zap, there is an area that I recently started focusing on, so I’ll just speak to that. The borders talk in the book has something to do with one of the clues. I wouldn’t call it a subtle hint to a location so much as an idea though. After going through my database of FF quotes I have found very subtle hints to few of the clue locations from the Q&A’s that wouldn’t be picked up on unless a person knew this spot first.

          • Aaron, Zap, the hint/clue issue always raises the same questions that will go unanswered. Why did ff made a distinction between them? The clues will take you to the treasure location, the subtle hints in the book will not.

            That seems to be easy to understand but when we add the other part of that statement ‘the hints will help with the clues’ that’s when some rationalize that if the clues move me forward towards the treasure location then the subtle hints will not be about the correct clue locations but around them or in close proximaty. Lol. That to me is confirmation bias no matter how you look at it.

            So the question that should be asked is, if Fenn said only the 9 clues in the poem when followed precisely will take me to the treasure and not the subtle hints in the book, how or in what way can a subtle hint help me decipher the poem clues other than pointing to random locations??? Is not a matter of needing to find the chest in order to confirm if a clue or a hint was correct, just to simply interpret HIS definition of a clue vs a hint.

          • oz10, that quote screams of having to solve the 9th clue. It’s like the book, (since he differentiated the poem), will take you to clue 8, but the answer to clue 9 is in the poem. It’s like he’s saying the hints will help distinguish the clues on your path, but to get the chest, the book does not hint of anything pertaining to clue 9. Clue 9 is solvable and only can be solved with what’s in the poem.
            As far as we know, that would make the answer to your question yes. General being the path you are on.
            But and no. Clues should be changed to clues 1-8. If the book contained any info on solving the 9th clue, then he wouldn’t be able to state that. So, the book will get you close, to 8 clues, but the poem is needed to get the info needed to get the 9th clue. (in all actuality, the poem being in the book means all you need is the book). That’s not to say that there isn’t info in the poem to get you to a spot somewhere. It can. It’s just emphasis should be put on the poem in regards to solving that all important last clue.
            JDA, if the book helps with the last clue, then it would take you to the chest. My question would be, if the book hints at solving the first 8 clues in the poem, or, answers to the first 8 clues are in the book, then what is the poem solving? Is the poem solving clues? Seems like the hints in the book do that. So what is the poem solving? Or, can you get the same solve out of the book as you do in the poem? Regarding the first 8? Why put the clue solves in two different places, seems like a waste. Unless the poem is a story of your path, and what it solves is getting to an “X” on a map, and the 9th clue. That sounds like the poem solves for a coordinate, and what is needed from there. That it references certain parts of your path taken, the clues, that can be figured out from hints in the book. So where does that leave everyone that says the poem solves for clues? The poem only has 24 lines, not much room there to explain how to solve 9 clues. But the book, I can see at hinting on how to solve 8. I can also see the poem having enough room to solve for 1 clue, and explaining how to get there. In fact, he probably would need a book to explain how to solve for the clues, 148 pages. What if the book was only 1 page long???Not very likely that it would solve 9 clues….

            Food for Thought

          • oz10;

            I could very well be wrong, but this is how it works for me. I read the poem 6, 8 ,or 10 times – I have it well into my two functioning brain cells. I go back and I slowly read TToTC. (This is an example only and IS NOT in TToTC) – but let’s say that I read a story that tells me that Forrest was 20 miles East of West Yellowstone , in a place that had a lot of pine trees, and a small waterfall. I now have an image in my mind.

            I go back to the poem, and I think about WWWsH – Could the description above be a description of WWWsH? West Yellowstone is a town, I find “A” town and I find a place 20 miles east of “my” town that has a lot of pine trees and a small waterfall.

            The “Hints” – 20 outside of a town
            Lots of pine trees and a small waterfall – led me to “A” place that I decide is my WWWsH – The hints helped with the clue. The clue (WWWsH) will get me closer to Indulgence.

            That is how the “Hint” / “Clue” works for me – JMO – JDA

          • We’ve heard that the hints will help with the clues. I don’t understand why it’s confirmation bias when some rationalize that the hints may point to an area outside of where the clues take over.

            F said “but the book will help you with the clues that are in the poem”. I think the only way the hints help with all the clues in the poem is by helping narrow down to where the first clue is.

          • -I don’t understand why it’s confirmation bias when some rationalize that the hints may point to an area outside of where the clues take over.-

            FD, doesn’t that sound like looking for short cuts, when we know there aren’t any? If you say, it wasn’t a short cut because I had to solve the clue first and the hints were confirmation ATF of the points outside where the clue took over, then it becomes confirmation bias. Those hints didn’t help you solve for the clue, they only became ‘apparent’ after you solve the clue.

            Another way to ask the question will be: Can the subtle hints in the book help us decipher/solve/unravel any of the nine clues before we can marry them to a map???

          • Oz10, I’m not saying that the clue has to be figured out first.

            I don’t think a hint runs into a barrier called “short cut”. It’s the very nature of what the word hint means and does in the Chase…helps with the clues.

          • Right, they help with the clues. I guess it is up to us to decide if they will help before or after solving the clues.

        • Good post SRW. In the beginning it was as simple as that yes, maybe. You mentioned the 4 state search area and I always questioned the decision to eliminate Idaho and Utah plus later Canada, and wondered if these 4 states now, each of them, play a part in the poem. Too big of a picture???

          • Hi OZ10,

            I must have gotten lucky. By the time I joined the search Idaho and Utah had already been eliminated, so I never had to contend with those two states. Shortly thereafter, Canada got axed. Looking at the poem though, I’m not able to come up with any good phrases that would have led to Idaho or Utah. The remaining four states are easier to do that to (with the words in the poem). Maybe that’s why those two states were eliminated, if only to continue the confusion. LOL.

            All IMO


          • SRW, yep that’s what I meant. Though I think there is a little bit of Texas in there too.

        • Aaron;

          I agree clues DO relate to SOME locations or places, but not ALL clues relate to locations or places – JMO – JDA

          • @JDA – Hopefully your clues point you towards the treasure chest as FF has said they will do, so I can see some of the clues being directional and some being places/locations.

          • Thanks Bowmarc – I hope that they point to the treasure as well – Have a GREAT day and TRY to STAY SAFE – JDA

          • Can’t we consider some sort of a location / area, as well as a direction. CD for instance is both a combination of a location or area (canyon), and a direction (down). What about NPFTM? After putting in the direction is in the NPFTM spot, which is also an area. It all really depends on how you see it and how it relates to everything after your own WWsH. For me there is a mixture of the directions and areas in the same clue.

          • It could still be just one location, with a series of directions within that location…

    • Which one? He has a few, or so I am told…LOL.

      The words “secret” and “where” need to be thought of collectively in that sentence. We are not looking for his secret, nor his where, we are looking for his secret where.

      • I, 100%, agree. It is the “Secret Where” that we are looking for. I know that that makes no sense, but maybe someday it will 🙂 JDA

        • Makes perfect sense to some of us, JDA. Now if only the rest of the poem did…LOL.

      • Well put Bomarc. I agree that the “secret where” is what we are looking for. It’s FF’s secret where and also “I” keeps it close by.

        • Aaron, ol’ buddy, you still can’t spell my name right after all this time together…LOL. “I” am starting to think ya don’t like me. 🙂

        • Agreed. I’ve concluded (right or wrong) that the only place to be absolutely alone and keep a secret is in our own head. The monkey king Fenn is fond of saying things with multiple meanings. Going alone to secret the treasure, and having treasured memories in one’s head, can both be true as they relate to unlocking the poem. Motive and method.

  16. I believe we are all still way off point – kinda like being frozen in time.
    Don’t forget to look at the BIG picture.
    Definitely not a Sunday picnic cuz it’s taking a lot more effort than that.
    Gonna load up my cooler very soon and hit the road.
    Finding the right spot to land is going to be the hard part.
    As always IMO.

  17. Hey JDA, check out my new solve under I think the chest is here section. I think I finally cracked it.

  18. If there were confirmations to be had in the poem and I know there aren’t any, but just for fun, wouldn’t it be very “National Treasure-Esque” times two for there to be a final confirmation that revealed itself only in your imagination… An imaginary “x” mystically appearing, marking the exact geographical 10″x10″ spot. Wow!

    A guy can dream, can’t he?


  19. Dejoka, only the last line will lead you to the treasure. The rest of it are Forrest’s memories.

    • Craig,
      The last line leads to the treasure? Kinda anticlimactic don’t you think? It is straightforward though, so you may be onto something. I assume you are gleaning f’s memories from the poem and marrying them to geographical locations on a map to lead you most of the way? The last line though must be jam packed with info.

      Me? I’ve been looking for an obscure, unbelievable and seemingly impossible grand finale confirmation since December. One confirmation worthy of an epic but mere 166 word poem along with the equally remarkable nine clues. One confirmation worthy of a multi-million dollar treasure and the effort put forth into finding it. Just one last confirmation that will tie up all the loose ends and leave no doubt as to where the treasure is hidden. A fitting confirmation is all that is left to find, given everything else, it has to be there. Perhaps I’ll find it, perhaps not and perhaps it doesn’t even exist or even matter, regardless, my next trip will be my last. All in all(minus 3 early wild goose chases), this chase has been a thrill.


  20. Upthread alot of you are talking about clues versus hints. The chain was so long that I didn’t know which reply button to hit so I am putting my .5 cents in here (Tax man took the other 1.5 of my otherwise 2 cents… LOL).

    We have been presented with a poem that contains information. When we analyze what we think/consider 1 bit of that information (say, WWWH for instance) we should be deciding if it is a clue or if it is a hint. (I know FF has already said WWWH is the first clue, I am just using it as an example of a bit of info from the poem!)

    Designate that bit of information as a clue, and by FF’s own definition, it will “point you toward the treasure chest.”

    Designate that bit of information as a hint, and by FF’s own definition, “it will just help you with the clues, if you can understand that.”

    The conundrum is sorting the two of them out.

    It might help to do so by taking each bit of information from the poem we want to apply a designation to and analyzing it as a clue, and then analyzing it as a hint. You just might find that something everyone else wants to call a clue makes more sense as a hint.

    Here is why: One way for a hint to help with a clue is by eliminating itself from being considered a clue, thereby allowing us to designate something else as a clue, which in turn allows us to stay within the confines of how FF wants us to solve the poem. I’d say it takes a bit of thinking about that possibility (how I just defined how a hint helps with the clues) to come to that understanding exactly as FF originally stated, “IF you can understand that” (emphasis on IF is mine).

    I’ll throw a wild example out there and say that HOB is not a clue, it is a hint. I’ve said it before on this very thread (to Ken in Texas, if memory serves) but everyone ignored it, but here it is for a second time for all of you to consider. The real clue, IMHO, is in the shadow of what has otherwise been placed into the spotlight of that sentence.

    • I don’t think it was ignored, just quietly coveted. Also, huge kudos on decimal and cents. I hate when stores label things for under a penny.

    • I like the shadow idea, or reflection, or something like that, but how about for ‘not far but too far to walk’?

      • Yeti;

        Could Forrest be telling us to make a visual search, or see places that we have been to, but see them in our mind’s eye – you don’t have to go back and “stomp” through those places this time? It is working for me. JDA

        • JDA,

          That’s the kind of …or something I mean; I would at least like to see where a little imagination may lead

      • in my mind Forrest gives us the distance of too far too walk in the preface of the book he titled, too far too walk. He tells us a story of waking down a river, the distance approx 10 miles and then he tells of a promise he made to himself to make the trip again. As he concludes the story he takes a somber tone when he tells the audience that he regrettably physically could not fulfill that promise to himself. “For me now it’s just too far to walk.”

        So here we have a book called too far too walk, my guess is he addressed this line like that because it was part of the solve that the community was befuddled by for three long years. Then Forrest gives us a distance of a journey in his preface and ends said preface by stating that the journey of said distance was too far too walk.

        I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to suggest that he gave anyone with the ability to read between the lines, just a little bit, the distance that your solve needs when accounting for too far too walk.

        • If It’s too far to walk, what does one do to get there? Take a bike? Call Uber?….or something else 😉

          • Tom:

            You had reported you were headed out on July 4th for a search? Any update? Asking before I drive 1000 miles …….


        • Double a,

          In part of a long Q&A fenn states;
          “Please don’t ever overextend yourself. I was 80 or about when I hid the treasure **and it was not a difficult task.** I will soon be 87 and I could go back and get it if I were so inclined, I think.”

          He stated the same at different ages [ about going back to the hidey spot if he wanted]; 84 was one I recall and again at 85 [ you might want to look up those ATF for yourself ].

          The tftw book was published in 2013…
          So, why tell us he could go get/go to the chest at any age [stated] after the 2013 release.. and then say in the book, it’s too far to do so, [as a clue ] at age 83 [ the age he was when he published tftw]… for your ‘idea’ of it to be an answered to clue / line in the poem? ‘Not far, but tftw’

          IDK… it seem that might be jumping the gun on a hope, rather than a possibility.

          • Just for the sake of interest. Here’s the 85 year old comment;
            “…the chest is where I left it, and it is not in a dangerous place. At age 85 I could go back and get it.”

            Double a,
            I’m curious if it was at all possible that 10 miles could be a distance for the line in the poem, NF,BTFTW… how would fenn accomplish that distance at age 79 or 80, twice, when he hid the chest. Would that be, at least, 40 miles of travel for two round trip.. or 30 miles for one trip in and out, and a second trip back to the hide.

  21. Here`s the thing , FF said he wanted to get US,CHILDREN [ people] off the couch and out to see the same things that he has experienced . well he said it kind of like that , The one place that he tells the most about is about a 50 mile radius of WEST YELLOWSTONE . It`s hard for me to think of it not being right there . and also , the 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe hint , I was able to use that distance in my solve . and pretty sure it may have solved the HOB problem. JMO

  22. JPE: I have noted your radius keeps increasing as time goes by. Is that a reflection of your uncertainty in your solution, or a fear that you were initially too specific and you feared searchers would figure out your spot? If the latter, fear not: no one cares about solutions that aren’t close to where they are already focused.

    • Zaphod , thanks for reply , you got me , i did change it but the best way to explain why is to say this , of all the Rocky Mountains , a spot that is 50 miles in dia. is a very small area . could you imagine ALL the searchers in that tiny little spot ?

      • JPE: you could fit the entire world population in Rhode Island, each person with 1 square meter. If you took all Fenn searchers who have ever gone boots-on-the-ground, and distributed them evenly across the four-state Fenn-zone, no searcher could walk to the location of any other searcher in the time that it took Forrest to walk from his car to the treasure.

  23. Hi all;

    I have been at the quest for longer than many, shorter than quite a few. I have been in the 9 lines = 9 clues; clues are in stanzas 2,3 and 4 and the hints are in the other three stanzas camp. I have been in the 9 sentences = nine clues until Forrest up and told us that the first clue was “Begin it where warm waters halt” camp. I have “Followed the Arrows” – 9 trips through the poem idea and a bunch of others. In other words, I have been all over the map in trying to solve this silly thing called the chase. So where to now?

    I now believe that stanza #1 is a prelude, and that the remaining stanzas are the 9 clues.

    Believing that stanza #1 is a prelude – let’s take a look at it – from possibly a completely different perspective. I MAY be crazy, but here goes.

    “As I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bold, I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old.”

    This is one long sentence, so that is why I typed it the way I did instead of breaking it into four lines. Why did Forrest choose a poem that utilized four lines per stanza, even if he was expressing one singular thought? Maybe he does want us to look at the long sentence as fragments. Let’s say that each line is an important fragment of a bigger thought.

    “As I have gone alone in there…” A fragment of a bigger thought or idea. Where did Forrest go – “Alone in there”…? How about a novel idea? How about his own mind? His own thoughts? “As I have gone alone in there…” = “As I began to look at my inner thoughts…” (my interpretation).

    “And with my treasures bold, …” = “Looking at my own thoughts, I found some bold and interesting ideas hidden within”

    (Yes, I know, this is pretty far-fetched, but bear with me).

    “I can keep my secret where…” = I can keep what I have discovered within my mind a secret where no one else can discover it…” or

    “And hint of riches new and old.” = and/or I can choose to drop hints about my discoveries. Some of these discoveries involve the past, and go back millennia (old), while others are new, and relate to today – our present place in time. Maybe these “old” and “new” discoveries are linked in TIME in a never-ending cycle…

    Sure, this is a new way of looking at Stanza #1, but I find it interesting. If this interpretation is anywhere near correct, it would cause one to begin to look at the whole poem in a new and different way. Could the whole poem relate to TIME in some new and interesting way? If so, what way is needed? HUMMM???? Just musin’ (I told you it might be crazy) JDA

    • It is good to try to look at the poem from different perspectives. It is the only way this thing will be solved. I have thought about the poem in a similar fashion that you just described, only didn’t get anywhere with it, because I could not translate it to a location on a map. Perhaps you or someone else can. Good luck, and always try and think new thoughts while working on old ones!

      • Thanks for your response Aaron. You say: “I could not translate it to a location on a map.” That does seem to be a challenge doesn’t it? JDA

        • Yes indeed. There are some great ideas out there, including this one, and passing the sniff test requires a location on a map. Maybe deeper thought is needed 🙂

    • JDA, thanks for new interpretation of Stanza #1!
      I agree that it can be just a prelude but it also can contain some hint(s) (hidden one i.e. not just word “hint”). For example, it can be a hint for start point location. Maybe TTOTC book should help to understand this hint (will read it again, this time slowly).
      Well, I already use my time for 2019 search season and now will just wait for next one. My new hoB is still promising area for me – need at least 3-4 days to search it next summer.
      JDA, how was your 2019 search? Or you are still in action?

  24. JDA
    Yup, yes, and carry on. I believe this to be two stories in one. There is a tale from long ago, maybe Forrest’s youth. It would include his father. Our path to the treasure may well be a recreation of that memory. Good stuff, thanks.

      • My grandkids were picking on me, told me I was older than dirt. Told them us old people invented the stuff. Must admit I do like digging into the history buried by the sands of time.

  25. As I have gone alone in there
    And with my treasures bold,
    The 2 lines above relate to:
    So hear me all and listen good,
    Your effort will be worth the cold.
    Which relates to:
    Begin it where warm waters halt

    I can keep my secret where,
    And hint of riches new and old.
    The 2 lines above relate to:
    If you are brave and in the wood
    I give you title to the gold.
    Which relates to:
    If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,

    Any takers or fakers?

    • Some interesting ideas Jake. Interesting how some of the lines rhyme –

      Bold and Gold – Old and Gold

      I can also see where bold and gold can relate to WWWH
      I can also see how “new and Old” and “title to the gold” relates to the blaze

      Very Interesting thoughts Jake – Thanks for the post. JDA

    • So hear ME (Mother Earth) all and listen good,
      Where in the rockies can you hear the sounds coming from Mother Earth?
      Hissing, roaring, boiling vents?

      • Jake,

        There’s a difference between “interpretation” of words and “replacement” of the same words with other words, that just don’t seem to jive.
        Note: “Jive” in this case is not about dancing, but about understanding… Just to prick my point.

        • I’m not replacing words. It’s called an acronym. “Me” will always stay there representing “Mother Earth”.
          Do you have an answer to my questions?

          • An abbreviation is capped. ME is not capped in the poem. MLB, NFL, WTF…

            “me” represent him or her or at the very least ‘self’ in any word definition.

            To attempt to answer your question… Is Mother Earth [ a mystical naming ] to mean what?
            Mother Earth definition: the Earth considered as a living being and the provider of all that is on the Earth
            —used to refer to the planet Earth as a woman or a goddess protecting the resources of Mother Earth. —–Mother Nature is a Greco-Roman personification of nature that focuses on the life-giving and … The word “nature” comes from the Latin word, “natura”, meaning birth or … is usually translated as “Mother Earth” —- the earth considered as the source of all its living beings and inanimate things.

            To which kinda of sounds am I to refer to? In the simplest of terms, is wind a product of Mother Nature?
            The splashing of waves against the shore line… or does Poseidon fall into that category?
            I mean, the roaring water is a result of gravity most of the time… does Mom have that control?

            Nature : the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations.

            That list is in thousand: babbling vs, roaring , idea with water. yet roaring can be describing a very strong wind… or a place where the wind is funneled creating pressure while exiting, in a roaring sound, A heard of buffalo meet the same criteria and has been describe as roaring thunder. It the sound of ‘rolling thunder’ a possibility?

            Oh! Simple answer is; Just about every inch of the RM’s as any give point or time… we can hear nature.

          • It’s not an abbreviation, once again it’s a acronym.
            So, Does that mean you don’t like my theory?
            I think it fits well.

          • That’s a good Ramen noodle post. Look at all those noodles going in every different direction.

          • Acronym; an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word (e.g. ASCII, NASA ).
            Definition of acronym. : a word (such as NATO, radar, or laser) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term also : an abbreviation (such as FBI) formed from initial letters : initialism.

            The theory? I think it’s too simplistic of a thought to start with. What other sections of the poem relate to sound?

            I mean, Bowmarc and I were chatting earlier where I gave examples of “IT” referring to a theory…
            I’m being serious to this conversation… You attempt say certain part of the poem relate to other with know example of how or why… you ask about sounds with a few noisy words But not much more.

            LOL How can I say I like it or not, with no information, explanation, any thought process to go on???
            Does a boiling vent make noise? Sure it does. Have you ever hear a squirrel running and hopping on dry leaves and twigs… The little guy sounds like a horse going by.

            Give us something to work with, IF you want a logical thought out response…

            That’s as bad as some who say: IMO the first clues BIWWWH… that’s not an opinion, it a fact.

          • Seeker: “The theory? I think it’s too simplistic of a thought to start with. ”

            Rhyming is to simplistic? WOW. It’s a poem dude.

            “noisy words But not much more” WOW

            “LOL How can I say I like it or not, with no information, ”
            WOW! It’s in the poem for all to see.

            Mother Earth, you know the earth as in the ground making noises….
            The squirrels and animals live on Mother Earth.
            Oh gee, I guess a car going by with a loud muffler is Mother Earth. lol, you really proved your point.

            “Give us something to work with, IF you want a logical thought out response…”
            I did. It’s in the poem.

            Oodles of noodles overcooked.

    • Jake,

      I’ll have a go at it… but I’m a guy, and I can’t fake it ~ {needs interpretation}.
      As I have gone alone in there
      And with my treasures bold,
      The 2 lines above relate to:
      ~Fenn’s special place which is encompassing by WWsH…Begin it where warm waters halt. THE clue that is needed to be at. or just forget about the whole thing.
      I can keep my secret where,
      And hint of riches new and old.
      The 2 lines above relate to:
      ~ What is seen at his special place he calls his own… new and old.
      Your effort will be worth the cold.
      If you are brave and in the wood.
      ~Are not so much different places to any actual place mentioned prior in the poem… but a situation one finds themselves in. When the idea of “No place for the meek” arises.

      I’ll add… all taking place within fenn’s special place… the deciphered reference [place] of; Where Warm Waters Halt.

      What else ya got… this is a fun little exercise.

      • I don’t think you need to be at WWWH. Ithink the only clue you need to be at is the blaze.
        I don’t know what is seen at his special hiding place that is new and old. Could be the contents of the chest or maybe an old indian stomping ground with lots of artifacts but has new fresh growth.

        I didn’t mention – no place for the meek, that’s lines away so I think it’s a different place from the beginning and the end spot. Just another place to travel through.

        I didn’t understand some of what you said.
        It seems like you are trying to steer my thoughts back to yours but I just wanted to know what folks thought about the relations to these lines in the poem that seem to correlate with each other.
        JDA’s got it without making it complicated.

        • I have considered, NPFTM to mean, leave the main path here and make your own way. But that is one of many thoughts.

      • Jake ~ ‘I don’t think you need to be at WWWH. Ithink the only clue you need to be at is the blaze.’

        Hasn’t that been answered by fenn?

        You said; ‘I don’t know what is seen at his special hiding place that is new and old.’
        Ok I may not have explained well enough. But this is a poem, in poetic form, not everything is pure black and white. Hint of riches new and old; is the idea of a new day is drawing near, as the old day departs. This line may relate to the idea of; FTINPFTM. The concept of an ‘observational solve’ allows different thinking to the thought that NPFTM is not actually a place of its own… but a time of day { nite- in a 24 hour period} It basically says we may need to be on sight at sunrise… which might require a camp out.

        IF all you’re doing is thinking this as a method of stomping point to point ONLY… I get it. But the observational style solves give a different perspective to what is being seen and need to do vs. only trying to go from point A B C D E F G H… I mean at some point we have to conclude; all clues can’t be places.
        Or we all really suck at reading maps. lol.

        I think there could be as little as 4 places, but we may not need to go to them. WWH [a must be at] canyon [ a no go ] hoB [ a possible no go] the blaze, [a must be at.] YET, we still need to ‘see’ those places to complete the poem. I also think stanza 3’s job is to tell us ‘how’ to discover the blaze… using the prior places.
        You could call it a small scale solve, but I’m not sure of the true definition of small or large.. until on site at the “first clue”

        As far as JDA’s post… lol… I was lost, just like you’re lost with mine. Just saying ‘I see’ doesn’t explain what is being seen or thought of or a process of why this might be a good idea.

        • Anyway, I think you missed my point Seeker.
          JDA did an OK job as my post was about certain lines in the poem how the relate to others. I thought it was pretty simple to understand but I guess I’m wrong.

          Bold (1st stz 2nd line) rhymes with:
          Cold (6th stz 2nd line)
          Notice 1st and last stanza and both 2nd line.

          Old (1st stz 4th line) rhymes with:
          Gold (6th stz 4th line)
          Notice 1st and last stanza and both 4th line.
          Do you see a pattern here?

          I won’t explain the rest because it is obvious and remember, you can’t prove anyones theory wrong with your own theory as you try to do.

    • I am kind of running along the lines of:
      As I have gone alone in there
      And with my treasures bold,
      The 2 lines above relate to:
      If you are brave and in the wood
      I give you title to the gold.

      • Ya, I can see that as well. I leaned the other way because of the placement of the lines in those 2 stanzas.

      • I’m running right along with you on that one, Ol’ Yeller.

        I’ll go one further and suggest that the word *in* serves multiple times in the poem (and the chase map) as an important marker; perhaps one of the elements that made ff feel like an architect while piecing the thing together.

        *In* is a useful word with which to be in tight focus.


  26. Back to the poem.
    Has anyone noticed the last letters in each line of these stanzas?

    1 stanza:

    4th stanza:

    6th stanza:

    • I did a fair amount of that kind of word-letter counting way back at the beginning, while getting thoroughly acquainted with the poem (both as a story and as a structure).

      Since the rhyme scheme is A B A B, it stands to reason that most stanzas would do either that too with their final letters, or A A A A.

      The two last-letter exceptions in the whole poem are stanza 2 (because of the halt/walk ‘near-rhyme’) and stanza 5 (because the go/know ‘true-rhyme’ isn’t mirrored by their spellings).

      I’ve never looked at the poem in a way that involves anything like significant letters, though I’m well aware that folks do play numerology games with the words and letters.

      Do you see any significance to the letters D and E, or is it just the architectural pattern itself?

      I HAVE looked at the 1st person 2nd person 3rd person pattern of the stanzas (which I think is architecturally intentional, but not necessarily significant).


      • The only thing I can get from this is:
        There’s only one word that begins with “e” in the previous stanza.

        There’s only one word that begins with “d” in the previous stanza.

        So I guess we end it in the 4th stanza and it’s a done deal in the last.

        • Jake – Straight from Mr. ed’S mouth:

          1 stanza:

          4th stanza:

          6th stanza:

          Each final ‘e’ looks like a pictogram and a Poem line direction to my Smil•e hide-y spot.

          Each final ‘d’ looks like a pictogram and a Poem line direction to cross the lower ‘S’ curve of my backwardS bike $ blaze at the YNP boundary, heading North to South. As we basically did.

          Only using the actual lower case final letters allowed me to See that. Thanks for your great observation, Jake! Wow. Kewl.

          • OK Lisa,
            Is there anything that doesn’t point to your backwardS bike $ blaze?

        • Sorry JDA.
          I just got rid of the Chief link.
          Forgot about that, not that anyone noticed.
          Nice sculpture though.

        • Come on Jake!..

          I’m trying to start you off on the right foot way back at the Boiling River. Please at least visit Mammoth and Gardiner this time up there..

          • OK you got me there, your new gravatar threw me off.
            Thought about that are for while but couldn’t make all the clues fit.

    • Hmmmm… According to this hidden code it looks like you need to go right to the source, and ask the horse. He’ll give you an answer that you’ll endorse. He’s always on his steady course. Talk to Mr. Ed! 😉

      • No sir,
        Although I find it interesting he used the “wink” ; punc after “nigh”.

        • Interesting that you think of it as a wink—were such collections of regular type/punctuation thought of as emoji’s/emoticons back when FF penned the poem, or did they become popular afterwards?

  27. Generically speaking about the correct solve for the poem. Would you all agree that it must be in one of two forms?

    1. The Poem (alone) should reveal an actual “Title to the Gold”.
    • By that I mean an actual name of a very specific spot, sufficient enough to enable a searcher the ability to walk straight to it and find a 10 inch Bronze box.

    2. The Poem should in some way, derive specific associated points
    • From which a searcher can align (on a map) or converge from (Intersect) to pinpoint an actual spot specific enough to locate a 10 inch Bronze Box.

    My point is, to solve the poem, it would seem highly implausible to read the first clue (BIWWWH) and randomly select the correct starting point from a map (that we can only presume is limited to the Rocky Mountains) based on purely interpretive information. It seems more plausible that the correct method to solve the poem is going to be much more deliberate/literal interpretation of the poem that points you to a very specific location. After my last search in New Mexico (a month ago) it occurred to me that even as specific as my solve was, it still had me searching an area roughly the size of a football field on the side of a mountain. This was mainly due to USGS location data typically only being valid within 500 feet. So…going forward I am approaching this solve with a much more deliberate/literal approach to :

    “Begin it where warm waters halt”

    For example, a solve aimed at deriving the “Title to the Gold” might look like:

    Begin “it” where warm waters halt – warm waters halt (end) at “S”

    So Answer to the 1st Clue – “Sit”

    So the first word in the “Title to the Gold” would be “Sit”

    Which would hopefully by the end of the Poem compose something like:

    “Sit Yon Rowan Spring at Mill Creek in Lion Woods”

    I know, I could be totally wrong – In all honesty, I am mostly sharing so one of you will actually find it and let me know if I was ever even close….Your thoughts?

    • Hi Chris C,
      Seeing’s you asked, here are my thoughts on this.
      The book, TTOTC, says …”will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure:”
      Now, most searches are looking for the “treasure” only, and not both the “rainbow and the treasure”. These two items/ideas are very closely linked, and unless you have found the meaning of both for your solve, it would be hard to continue.
      These will help you in solving the poem. Only my thoughts.
      Hope this helps,
      Jeff C.

    • IMHO ….#1 assume that the feature is named specifically. Whereas many hills/gullies/draws/buttes out there on public land are not.

      #2 I agree the poem derive specific points from which to begin. And it does. So keep studying it. The poem is replete with clues – and has been said before but others do not dismiss any portion, no matter how small. My solve fits with both clues in the poem AND from the TTOTC book. (I have chosen not to read the other books at this time.,) Plus, I have identified the connection to the book Flywater.

      Forrest has been most clever with the number and relevance of clues he has dropped ~ so very clever.

      • and I think we’ve possibly been “barking” up the wrong tree.
        It’s been 9++++ years and we have yet to come up with a correct solve.

    • I can’t help but feel like we see some of the same scenery on our searches.Goodluvk

    • Chris C. – Love thiS!:

      Begin “it” where warm waters halt – warm waters halt (end) at “S”

      Soooooo fitS my solve, where the Madison River aS “IT” in the Poem begins at Madison Junction, where I begin my search, and that I physically ‘end’ my search at the backwardS bike ‘S-curve’ at Baker’S Hole.

      And my treasure location is underneath the ‘rainbow’ of the lower half of that ‘S-curve’; the lower ‘U’ of the Double Omega. That was for you, Jeff C.

      Just vetting my Baker’S Hole Solve again. Hey! Maybe the Larry with the retired Baker’S Hole sign at Fennboree is the namesake of the Larry that Dal just met at Baker’S Hole Campground! That would make Sense, right?

  28. Its a beautiful thing, no doubt. But like an all-star poker player all jacked up and knowing he’s been uncinated, the long walk of shame is ever drawing nigh. Feeling a bit sombrehued as you look quickly down and realize your last fifty dollar chip has already been placed into the pot, those dreadful words, “hold my seat, I’ll be back”, slip out as you slip out the back door. Leaning heavily on the foundation that a Wells Fargo must be just around the corner, staged up and all ladled with green, you keep searching but alas to no avail. Not all is lost though, not yet anyway, theres still the other bank, the one noted for its heavy secondary enrichments. Yep, old faithful, what a gal. Oh, she may take a little prying but in the end, why, you know she’s a reliable source. If only there was a way to bottle her up and share the rewards. I imagine one could kick back and ride the tide for many moons to come. Heck, you could even share the good fortune. I’m sure there’s a deserving soul, one like Thunderose, who has her priorities in order and who would like to share a seat at the table. So now I guess the only question is how many big blinds should we buy-in with? I’m guessing a whole trunkful, just to be safe. Can’t wait to get back to that table, all refreshed and ready to trade mark with a little style.

  29. I wonder – when the fly has been cast and the fish has been caught; who will be there when the table is set?

    • You! Of course, will be the main attraction, lol, all in good taste americana.

      • Your so silly, what kinda gig you think this is? Your the star attraction and in your honor we will be serving leapfrogmilk as a refreshment. Your spot has already been reserved, my long legged friend, so I’ll pick you up at just the right time.

  30. Jeff C,
    I agree. “The end of ff’s rainbow” must be understood – as he meant it – in order to have a shot at finding the treasure.
    I have remained off the blog the past couple years to form my own interpretation of the poem layers; and follow my own ideas. When the poem is justified with spacing removed, there are numerous stories; layered categories sprinkled through out. One of my favorites is the Candy layer: ‘rain blow pop’ runs through the words rain bow, boon(gift), Fenn.

    Just my opinions…
    my conclusion on rainbow is two fold:
    1. Rainbow point on Hebgen lake is the beginning of Fenn’s carefree days – away from Texas, and out of his dads reach).the treasure trove of gold is not there, but his other treasured memories remain there.
    2. Forrest is ending “his rein/reign” and bowing low. Humbled, no longer in charge of marking peoples lives as targets for death. perhaps 1988 caused him to think about how his past could influence his afterlife. No idea what his actual belief system is. Poem includes ‘several’ themes.
    3. The poem says…warm waters halt: at Truth (be hot or cold, not warm) death/DOA; snow; 32 degrees f; 32nd degree mason; the wall (vets names); the knoll (ref. to Dealy plaza/jfk); Gin/spirits; at land; the hew wood(ref. to Christ on the cross); at the blaze (fire). War-Arm waters or lakes/rivers shaped like a war club.

    A different way of seeing or interpreting Canyon Down is swan down or “topographical feathers”.

    The poem is a parody; fully of puns and double entendre with word puzzles to be solved.

    The word Chet is repeated many times in the poem. One def of ‘Chet’ is a private game preserve, or private property. Draw your own conclusions.

    “Marvel gaze” imo is more than one location which Forrest enjoyed from his plane sight while flying. IMO ff waited until google earth was available to the public so we could enjoy some marvel gazes while trying to solve the poem.

    After 6 years, my best guess at location of the safely hidden bronze box is New Mexico; but one must solve Montana locations to understand where.

    Forrest may have hidden dollar bills on a few trees at key locations with specific serial numbers, but not sure yet where or if one could submit that to recover the trove.

    If you’re listening Forrest, you can tell me to get back in the box now. Ha!

  31. I hope this quote helps folks with their problems reading the poem & the direction it gives.
    ” It is my prerogative as the writer to decide when I want the reader to pause, not the reader’s.”
    When I see a coma in the poem, I pause and observe, all IMO. Good luck all!

  32. I have kind of been silent on this blog for the past couple of days so I could go back and focus on the poem, words and phrases that FF used in interviews, and the TTOTC & TFTW books. For everyone who doesn’t already know, I am relatively knew (3 months in) to this chase. So, if anything I say moving forward has been discussed, or this sounds repetitive, please forgive me.

    Let’s take Mr. Fenn for his word. Let’s assume he always says what he means, and means what he says. Looking at everything from a very basic point of view. He stated, and all of these quotes are taken from the “Cheat Sheet” section of Dal’s blog.

    1. There are nine clues in the poem (what if all 9 clues are not 9 separate clues, such as 9 separate locations…but 9 clues to a general location)

    2. The discussion has varied widely over this quote “clues are in consecutive order.” Did FF go from 1-9, then 9-1, then 1-9 again, then back from 9-1? A lot of searchers are speculating that he did, because he said “consecutive order.” But, what if, he stated that as he knew a lot of people are not familiar with the area the treasure his hidden? For them, for us, not familiar with the location, they would have to precisely move from 1-9 in consecutive order. But let’s say for just for conversation it is in Yellowstone/West Yellowstone area…FF grew up in this area and he would not necessarily have to go in consecutive order as he knows this area like the back of his hand…hence him saying he could go right straight to it?

    3. “Some folks correctly mentioned the first two clues to me in an email and then they went right past the other seven, not knowing that they had been so close.” As well as, “People have been within 500′ of the treasure,” and “some have been within 200 ft.” This takes me back to #1. I believe that the 9 clues are all within a specified, relatively close location.

    4. “The chapters in the book have subtle hints but they’re not deliberately placed to aid the seeker.” What if all the clues in the book are not specifically related to the poem itself, as in directional standpoint..but what if the clues in the book guide you to that area mentioned in #1? All the references to yellowstone (hebgen lake, rubber dingy there, madison river, the slide (could be madison slide)). What if they are only there to eliminate the other states and areas along the rocky mountains?

    With this information considered, here is my current speculation:

    1. WWWH – Hedgen Lake itself! “Hebgen Lake is approximately fifteen miles long and four miles wide. The lake has been called the “premier STILLWATER fishing lake in Montana.””


    • Hi James;

      You have been doing some thinkin’ there partner.

      I will cut-and-past answers to some of your questions.

      I am relatively knew (3 months in) to this chase. *** Welcome to the Chase.

      1. There are nine clues in the poem (what if all 9 clues are not 9 separate clues, such as 9 separate locations…but 9 clues to a general location)
      * ** this is highly possible, and some of the clues may not be places, but instructions on how to get to the places – JMO

      2. The discussion has varied widely over this quote “clues are in consecutive order.” Did FF go from 1-9, then 9-1, then 1-9 again, then back from 9-1?
      *** When asked this question Forrest said that he did retrace his steps because it was the most direct route – paraphrasing.

      3. “Some folks correctly mentioned the first two clues to me in an email and then they went right past the other seven, not knowing that they had been so close.” As well as, “People have been within 500′ of the treasure,” and “some have been within 200 ft.” This takes me back to #1. I believe that the 9 clues are all within a specified, relatively close location.
      *** Again, this is entirely possible – JMO

      4. “The chapters in the book have subtle hints but they’re not deliberately placed to aid the seeker.” What if all the clues in the book are not specifically related to the poem itself, as in directional standpoint..but what if the clues in the book guide you to that area mentioned in #1? All the references to yellowstone (hebgen lake, rubber dingy there, madison river, the slide (could be madison slide)). What if they are only there to eliminate the other states and areas along the rocky mountains?
      *** We each have to interpret the “Hidden Hints” in our own way. Your way is as good as any at this point. JMO

      With this information considered, here is my current speculation:


      *** Good Thoughts – Keep on thinkin’ And TRY to STAY SAFE – JDA

      • JDA –
        Yeah I have been thinking a lot about different possibilities and locations. I e-mailed Forest and asked him “Did you realize the endless possibilities ones brain can conjure up to make the poem work?” He didn’t respond. Lol

        It is crazy the amount of locations that “fit.”

        I appreciate that answers and the kind words

        • You are more than welcome. I remember when I first started 44 months ago. Had a million questions – Some I have found answers to. Some, not so much. I was thankful for those that reached out and took the time to answer some of my questions – JDA

      • Nice post JDA. When discussing the “9 clues”; one could add there could be clues which look like a 9 or layered 9’s which form a sun burst.

        It’s my opinion after working TTOTC poem/puzzle for a few years; there are many more than 9 clues which all confirm the main 9.

        I also believe Greek, Spanish, German, and Hebrew words are cleverly layered in the poem to convey mini stories which help you understand a bit of who Forrest Fenn has been.

        For me, the most troubling statement Forrest has made is…

        “It only matters who they think you are”

        If ff truly believes that about himself, one can deduce that ff leans upon deception rather than truth. IF he follows this philosophy, his integrity is on the line, IMO.
        If he doesn’t follow that philosophy, why did he choose to include that statement and the one about only telling a portion of the truth???

        • Out of curiosity 42,
          Are you familiar with Greek, Spanish, German, and Hebrew languages and words?

          The reason I ask is because I noticed a trend from searchers, where they rely on their own knowledge (whether specialized or not) to solve the poem.

          • Good question Jake… I Enjoy reading, and because of it know 6-10 Latin or Greek words often used in the English language as well. Not familiar with Spanish language at all, but Verde green is a common color that I would recognize. Because Forrest lived on an AF base in Germany, and Koenig(king) Is in close proximity to the English word queen in the poem, It was an easy guess.

            In my opinion, no special languages are required, that doesn’t mean they won’t be “helpful” In solving the poem.

          • Thanks 42. I’ll get back to you in 5 months when I learn another language.
            All kidding aside, I think only the English language will help solve the poem that is written in English.
            No comprende it’s a riddle.

          • Hello nobody’s poet,

            Regarding Hebrew, the word EL which means God in Hebrew and also in other languages is repetitive in the poem but could mean anything or nothing related to solutions.
            “Ruach” which Translates
            Holy Spirit, breath or wind Is present. Some bloggers have speculated Holy Ghost creek, NM could be in play.
            Yahweh & Adonai Can also be found in the grid when searching for connected letters, but not necessarily in a single row.

            Greek “Chi Rho” which translates to Jesus Christ is in the poem, (pronounced Key row.)
            “Christ -Y –
            Cross” is found in a V formation, but all connected

            Oh interesting, but most of us will not likely perceive why those words are present in FF‘s enigmatic poem.

          • E
            Which I believe translates
            “With God”
            presents itself vertically near the end of the poem

        • Thank you 42. I am also noticed the different patterns of double Ts in the poem, and trying to discern their meaning. IMO, they appear too often to be random.


    • James , welcome to the chase , I too are new to chase , about 2 years , but only about 1 month on the blog . I also am drawn to the area that you speak of , i`m thinking somewhere from OLD FAITHFUL to landslide at EARTHQUAKE LAKE . I know that is a large area to try to narrow down but a very small area compared to the Rocky`s . I too believe that most , if not all the hints i found in TTOTC lead me to this area . I can marry most of the clue`s in the poem to a place on a map , that is if i have the clue`s right . for now [ I THINK I DO ]

      • Good luck to you JPE, and welcome. I have always steered clear of YNP and adjacent areas – Just seemed TOO obvious to me – but what do I know? NADA. Good luck to Ya’ and TRY to STAY SAFE – JDA

    • James;

      You got me to thinking about the poem, about it being straightforward and for some reason, the word “manifest” So here is a part of a recording that Forrest made back in may, 2017:
      FORREST: “But what puzzles me is that I have written 10 books, and in each one of my books I have made up words, and I corrupt words. For instance, in my TOTC book, I talk about courting my wife and I said, ‘Everybody knew that she was too good for me, but tenacity was never one of my shortcomings.’ It’s a terrible corruption on that word, but my point is, if everybody knows exactly what you are saying, what you mean, then who cares what the word is? And so, that thought permeates, manifests itself in the poem. Well, what is he, is he joking? What does that word really mean? Does he mean what he says it means? And so that adds, puts a little desert on the top of the cake.
      … FORREST CONTINUES: But the poem is straightforward. Ah, if you can figure out the clues, there’re the … ah, there is nothing in that poem that I, that will make you think I am trying to fool you. I have never discouraged anybody from looking anywhere, or led them towards it, and I never will. There is no tomfoolery in that poem. It’s straightforward. (31:01) (5/8/2017)

      For you James, for me, and for any searcher I think that Forrest saying that he corrupts words etc. is a MAJOR hint about how to solve the poem. He reinforces the above with the following quote:
      Forrest once said, “There are nine clues in the poem, and the clues are in consecutive order. If you want to find the treasure chest – you have my book there – I’ll tell you how to do it. Read the book just normally … the poem and the rest of the book, and then go back and read the poem 6, 8, 10 times – study every line, every word. Then after you do that, read the book again, slowly, with the idea of looking for clues or hints, that are in the book that will help you follow the clues. You can find the chest with just the clues, but there are hints in the book that will help you with the clues.” f
      Look up every word, even if you think that you know the meanings – some will surprise you. JMO – JDA

      • That is true if what FF said is to be taken as the truth , so as for me Hebgen lake should not be WWWH . But that does not mean it could not be one of the remaining 8 clue`s . IMO

        • Ya, Hebgen Lake area may be take it the canyon down clue or heavy loads and water high. I would say this area is very dear to Fenn.

  33. Look quickly down your quest to cease. Just say if you had a copy of the poem in your hand as you are standing in front of the blaze, reading the poem as you walked, your concentrating with no interruptions because you left your search partner in the car, you read look quickly down your quest to cease. Question, isn’t the poem YOUR QUEST TO CEASE? The quest your on and want to finish. When I quickly looked down at the poem (meaning look back though it from the beginning), As I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bo!d I can keep my secret WHERE and a hint of riches new and old. Begin it WHERE warm waters halt. To me standing at the blaze and going back over the poem made the word WHERE stood out, like it was telling me the beginning is the end because he has gone alone in there but now he’s to weak to make the trip in there so he had to keep his secret WHERE warm waters halt, you go back and to see if ( really see it for the first time.) IMO, what do you think????

  34. His place he treasures is in there, but it’s too far to walk now,the trove would be where, secret where, where warm waters halt , back to the beginning .IMO

  35. Sparrow, you said we need to learn how to read a poem. I found this useful List of ideas on how to interpret a poem by Author Edward Hirsch

    General questions that you might ask when approaching a poem for the first time:

    Who is the speaker?
    What circumstances gave rise to the poem?
    What situation is presented?
    Who or what is the audience?
    What is the tone?
    What form, if any, does the poem take?
    How is form related to content?
    Is sound an important, active element of the poem?
    Does the poem spring from an identifiable historical moment?
    Does the poem speak from a specific culture?
    Does the poem have its own vernacular?
    Does the poem use imagery to achieve a particular effect?
    What kind of figurative language, if any, does the poem use?
    If the poem is a question, what is the answer?
    If the poem is an answer, what is the question?
    What does the title suggest?
    Does the poem use unusual words or use words in an unusual way?

    • In laying a foundation for understanding the TTOTC Poem/puzzle, i have attempted to answer these questions and added “Structure” of the poem to this list, and placement of key letters or words.

  36. A mystery to whom may seek
    From a mystery man seen alone
    To whom may seek the wreak
    And see beyond its debts be known

    A mystery to whom may seek
    From a mysterious man not known
    To whom may seek the wreak
    And to whom secrets unknown

    As only the one will see it sense
    And only then can be fulfilled
    With just in his thoughts of iridescence
    And then well able the path of ville

    If that quest is not of receipt
    The brave and the wood will be
    For the quest was all of one’s deed
    And the end is all to be encompassed

    • I’d like to say that I like this poem but it confuses me.
      Perhaps you can explain you thots in composing the lines.

  37. Seeker & Anyone interested…
    “The poem’s rainbow”
    of hints at color; descriptors I see in the poem when justified into grid format(no spaces between words).

    1. White
    2. Snow, snowy
    3. Blue (tule blue) Lace
    3.5 lace veil
    4. Heavenly vue (sky blue)
    4. Verde (Spanish-green)
    5. Pea
    6. (Y)ellow
    7. Lavender
    8. Red
    9. Brown, mud,
    10. Chesnut
    11. Pea (green)
    12. Black
    13. Gray
    14. Blood/bleed red
    15. “Broose” (Black & blue)
    16. Gin (clear)
    17. Downy (feather white)
    19. A(s)ure azure
    20. Teal
    21. Sea (clear blue/green)
    22. UR cake (uranium cake equal fluorescent yellow)
    22.5 yello cake clay
    23. Sand
    24. Gravel (gray)
    25. Sunset, sun, blaze
    26. Tar, clay
    27. Nude
    28. Black
    29. Violet
    30. Pee
    31. Cheese
    32. Saddle (brown)
    33. Tan
    34. Rose
    35. Steel, tin, iron
    (Steel gurnee/gurney)
    36. White hot
    37. Dun
    38. Blonde
    39. Orang(e)
    40. Pine
    41. Fir tree
    42. Olive
    43. Gold
    44. Money (green)
    45. Brown thorn; wood
    46. Night (dark/black)
    47. Day
    48. Pot/hemp/thyme
    (All run together in poem)shades of green/brown
    50. Leche (Spanish- milk)
    51. Mar-oon
    52. Heart rare red
    53. Boy blu
    54. Lonely (blue)
    55. Chess ( B & W squares)
    56. SMU Mustang (a red pony) Yes, SMU Mustang is in the poem – lines 16/17 stacked. What is it there for??
    57. UT Horns (University of Texas Longhorns) burnt orange
    58. Pool (Color would depend on swimming pool or pool of green in the Madison River).
    58. Forest (green)
    59. Fen/Bog
    60. Roi (Latin king)
    Koenig(German king), Queen, HRH: royal purple
    61. “Just Ju stake”
    (cross of Christ = Brown wood

    ALL of these words can be found in the poem’s grid…Word search like a kid for “surrounding” letters.

    For anyone wondering if justifying left into a grid is messing with the poem…

    Read first letters of LINES
    12 & 13

    12. JUST
    13. IFY

    Note: When colors are displayed as LIGHT, Black is the absence of all color, and white is the presence of all colors. Scientific experiments show combining all colors of a prism overlaid yields white light.

    Obviously, When colors are painted with natural pigments the results of mixing color is different than with light. Example: (Greens + reds = shades of brown or mud)

    **ANYONE, I would love your comments on the following question:

    What color do you think represents brave?

    (perhaps related to solving the poem) could be red or brown as representing native American Braves; or Air Force blue; army green?

    Personally(just opinion)
    I like the color teal to represent bravery,.. it’s a combination of peaceful colors blue and green without a hint of fearful colors; a mixture of Colors from water, sky & vegetation in their simplicity.

  38. Colors continued: (right justified poem)
    62. Aqua
    63. Cyan
    65. Nut brown
    66. Bordello red
    67. Travel star (“shooting star” flower forest references is purple & yellow)
    68. Soot ( ash gray)
    69. Bean ( Brown or green)
    70. Dole pineapple (yellow)
    71. Hues

    • At one point I thought “look quickly down
      your quest to cease” might mean look quickly
      down your quest (his rainbow) two c’s (colors).
      That would be either orange or yellow depending
      on how you interpret ‘down two’. So from the blaze
      you would see something of color to look at the
      bottom of. I chewed on that for a while, but it
      ended up tasting like rabbit. IMO however, color
      will undoubtedly play a part in the successful solve.

  39. @Jake Faulkner

    The southern third of the Rockies (well within the search area) has been owned by differing groups, from various indigenous peoples to the French, Spanish, and now U.S. The idea that other languages may be germane to the poem should be considered. IMO.


    • The poem is written in English if you need a reminder.
      Other languages have to take a back seat unless Fenn publishes his poem in other languages which I don’t think he did, so, end of story for me.

      Feel free to translate whatever words in the poem to whatever language might help you, but keep in mind there are as many rabbit holes as languages and interpretations and in this case the obvious is in the language it was printed in.

  40. Prospector on January 20, 2020 at 3:12 pm said:
    No place for the meek sounds undesirable, I can’t imagine one would go there intentionally.

    Prospector I brought the conversation here for a reason;
    Many things in that line of the poem should be considered… as well as other lines. So many parts of the poem may come into play in the attempt to understand what is being read and not just one line at a time.
    “From there it’s no place for the meek”
    From where?
    What does place refer to?
    Why would only the “meek” [someone who may not want to do something] be concerned? worried? or uncomfortable? *IN* some kinda situation?
    IN doesn’t always mean a place… Put In and Take it in, don’t have to be of a place as well… they can mean to observe something.
    IN; expressing the situation of being enclosed **or surrounded** by something.
    Does surround always mean enclosed? Nope, for example; one can be surrounded by darkness, but nott enclosed as to within somewhere.
    I’m not saying Nyctophobia is at play… that’s an extreme form of a fear of darkness… but the meek might not like a situation of being in the dark, an over night, in the mountains away from town/city comforts and lights. That could be an “undesirable” condition, situation a searcher may face. Some more meekish searchers?

    The idea is; not so much a physical place, but a place/situation *in* time.
    The question now would be; why night time?
    Maybe the next line “TEndIEDN;” can help with why an overnight stay on site might be a clue. What happens when night ends?

    And I’m back to an old question; does a clue’s reference need to be a physical place?

    • Hello Seeker. You asked if a clue’s reference need to be a physical place. Can they still be contiguous?

      • PD,

        If you mean, physical clues as a place can still be contiguous to a none physical clue reference?

        Why not, if they are adjoined for or by a purpose.

        This is one reason I think clues [ physical ] are utilized rather than just walked by.
        None physical clue’s references might explain how the physical one are to be used to discover the hide.

        During history of the US.. states became states that were not ‘touching another’ yet the were joined / contiguous by a reason.

        Or, Marry the clues to A place on a map doesn’t have to mean those places are “touching”… they come together for a result. The question is; how do they join to achieve the right result?
        Contiguous; next or together in sequence.

        Sequence; a particular order in which related events, movements, or things follow each other… Hmm there’s that word “event” again.
        Why does “event” pop up in many meanings of many words in the poem?

    • Old or new, it is a great question “Does it need to be a physical place?”

      I would venture Yes. Forrest himself has said to marry the poem to a map. Surely one must be looking for connections between the poem words and identifiable places. Physical places. Names, presumably.

      Brown’s Park comes to mind. Formerly called Brown’s Hole. Among the notable mountain men who visited was Joe Meek. Perhaps the chest is hidden north of the boundaries of that park, therefore once you leave the park and go north it is no longer the place of the Meek.

      The area I’m looking at is south of Brown’s Hole, I used it merely as an example of how language can (should?) be linked to the HOB.



  41. I was going thru the poem (again for the zillionth time) and started thinking about the line/statement “If you’ve been wise”. So just for the heck of it I searched how does one become wise. Here is what I found and will post simply for some winter entertainment and maybe even a bit of re-discovered “wisdom.” 🙂

    1.) Think before you speak.
    2.) Realize there is never a ‘right time.
    3.) Balance self-interest with the collective good.
    4.) Put things in perspective before you jump to conclusions.
    5.) Don’t blindly accept the status quo.
    6.) Keep your power – don’t let other people’s negativity upset you.
    7.) Don’t act impulsively – have a purpose and a goal.
    8.) Accept other people for who they are.
    9.) The cover may be pretty, but the book might not be.
    10.) Don’t judge others – try to understand them instead.

  42. Another thought on the poem.

    So obviously this poem is quite the master piece and meant to be a challenge. We know Forrest spent 15 years perfecting it for various reasons. But perhaps one of the reasons it took so long was because the way to the treasures resting place is, when applied to a physical reality, actually very, very, simple in context to all the clues. So Forrest needed to come up with a way to make it appear much more complex by adding in all the “mystery” and what ifs. Kinda like walking on an established trail with the most direct path to something, where’s the adventure and discovery in that.

    So lets pretend Forrest decided to tell someone where it was.(HA!) I tried stripping away all of what I would (IMO) consider “non-directional clues” for a lack of better term. Examples below:

    WWWH – If he’s naming which canyon to go to, I would think we no longer need this clue

    PIBTHOB, FTINPFTM, HL&WH, But tarry scant… take the chest… and the last two stanzas – Descriptive needed to help confirm you are in the right place if you are solving the poem and not being told exactly where to go

    So if you read the poem and take into consideration the thoughts above, could that conversation go something like this?

    “Go to (X) Canyon and take it down to (X) Creek. Follow the creek and not too far up on your left you will see (Blaze). Look just below it and that’s the spot.” Yikes! Really? LOL!

    Let me make it clear I am just throwing this out as a thought. It’s not something I necessarily believe to be true by any means, and it is based on how “I” would see the poem in general. But maybe it sparks something for someone else.

  43. isolation contemplation

    I have a hearing loss and a balance disorder, so I’m not the one to invite on an adventure if it involves traipsing perilously close to the edge of a cliff on a windy day and I won’t hear your whispered secrets. But I know a few things about ears. And in the past few years I’ve thought over the poem until, well, there are some things I have noticed. (Most of them were not about ears but this one happens to be.) Maybe you have noticed some fun things too. Whether they are meaningful or not, I DO NOT KNOW but I love seeing new things in the poem, especially when I think they’re clever.

    Here’s a favorite. If you like it, maybe share something fun that you have noticed about the poem.

    This train of thought is circling around the 8th sentence in the poem. (Side note: the 8th cranial nerve is important for your sense of hearing.)

    So hear me all and listen good,
    your effort will be worth the cold.

    So like I said, I happen to know a few things about ears, and one of them is that they are sometimes referred to by their Latin abbreviations. It’s like when you go to the eye doctor, and your glasses prescription refers to your right eye as OD and your left eye as OS. Well, your right ear in a medical setting is sometimes referred to by the abbreviation AD, and your left ear by AS. (Note: first word in poem… As)

    Now this train hasn’t taken me all the way to any station – though maybe I just missed a turn. And there’s no AD anywhere to be seen, and that’s not even a word. (At this point you may have considered whether or not you care that the first and last letters of the poem are … A and d.) But if you’ve stayed with me till now, would you like to tell the class how both ears are indicated?


    SO WHAT?!! You say.

    Says I: Guess what is the symbol for gold on the periodic table?

    stay safe everyone,


    • EveningDawn, very interesting information and clever of you to note it’s 8th line placement in the poem coinciding with hearing’s 8th cranial nerve.

  44. @everyone – I know we’ve been through this before, but I’d like to get some feedback on the “tense” issue in FF’s poem. Let’s treat this as a roadmap with FF telling us how to get to where he his the treasure.

    To me, the 1st stanza is simply an intro/lead-in, like a topic sentence.

    Stanza 2 gives us, in the present tense, commands of action … “Begin”, then “Take”, & finally”Put in”. Okay, I get it.

    Stanza 3 is simply descriptive … NO directions, NO commands. So there we remain at hoB until further notice, which comes at the beginning of Stanza 4 … where the verb tense has changed.

    Stanza 4 also gives us NO directions/commands until AFTER we supposedly have the blaze in sight. Those next ones are “Look”, “Tarry”, “Take”, & “Go”. However, let’s back up to the beginning of Stanza 4 where FF wrote “If you’ve been wise & found the blaze”. The connotation there is that the blaze location is between wwwh & hoB … because according to FF’s directions/commands, we have gone NO farther than hoB.

    All that being said, with FF’s emphasis on the importance of the first clue (wwwh), doesn’t the poem precisely lead us backwards to find the blaze? Is it at wwwh?

  45. Becky;

    You say: “Stanza 3 is simply descriptive … NO directions, NO commands. So there we remain at hoB until further notice, which comes at the beginning of Stanza 4 … where the verb tense has changed.

    I very much disagree.

    “From there it’s no place for the meek, The end is ever drawing nigh.” By saying “From there…(the hoB) indicates to me a distance that needs to be traveled. The next line: “The end is ever drawing nigh;” also, to me indicates that you are traveling “some” distance, and that as you travel that distance, you are getting closer to the end.
    “There’ll be no paddle up your creek…” this also tells me that I need to travel UP the creek.
    “Just heavy loads and water high…” To me this describes two “things” that you will see as you go up the creek (without a paddle).

    “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze…” can mean that if, in the past you found something that could be the blaze, and NOW recognize4 it as a blaze…
    Or – If, after you traveling from hoB, through the meek place, to the end, and up a creek (with no paddle) and spot HL & WH – THEN you spot the blaze…”Look quickly down …etc.”

    Seems to me that Forrest HAS outlined a clear “Trip” along a “MAP’s” path. JMO – JDA

    • JDA,

      Seems to me if you’re following directions you would, look or go into said canyon. Here, one should see or be at hoB… Logically.
      Yet, nothing in stanza 3 says; go, move to, or any direction to attempt. (It seem searcher force a location to have a creek at this point).
      From (hoB or the canyon or WWsH) …where does the poem say we need to move in stanza 3?
      I mean, even in stanza 2 it gives some idea of looking or moving by NF,BTFTW.

      For stanza 3 to have movement by a searcher, how do they know which direction, distance,… Do we just take a shot in the dark for some physical point that represent NPFTM?
      That doesn’t sound precise to me…
      Unless, a searcher has already discovered the blaze ( an answer to a prior clue) and that place is not for the meek-ish.

      The question is… Why or what causes any “place” or situation, to make some folks a bit intimated?

      LOL, again it seems to me many might be forcing simplistic meanings and forcing the idea we need to travel as many as 9 points on a map.

      – Marry the clues in the poem to a place on a map.

      End of commentary.

      • Seeker, you said “For stanza 3 to have movement by a searcher, how do they know which direction, distance,… Do we just take a shot in the dark for some physical point that represent NPFTM?
        That doesn’t sound precise to me…
        Unless, a searcher has already discovered the blaze ( an answer to a prior clue) and that place is not for the meek-ish.”

        In stanza 3 line one I totally agree that movement is either not advised or there is caution to not go, but as you correctly stated in line one movement into or through NPFTM means stop, halt, or pause, look at line two, the end is ever drawing night, looking at the end, either left or closeby but no movement is required on IT, the quest, the journey, however you and me part ways, waters or tracks at ‘there will be no paddle up your creek” . If one does not paddle up the creek two obvious conditions exist there on line 3; either there is no water in that creek or we must get out of the water we were in ever since the “Home of Brown PUT IN” from last line in Stanza 2, we have been wet. So to make the case that we need to exit the river of lake and either walk up a smaller body of water, or a dry creek, but it is possibly a named place or creek until we arrive at the last line in stanza 3, #4 which says, “Just heavy loads and water high.”

        Suddenly, in Stanza 4 time changes and we are moving to the blaze, not just in motion or movement, but time, for something we had to be wise men to see, and that is from the past, to read that this way is how IMO ff meant it. Once ff was asked by a searcher Can the blaze be pre-determined by the poem or can it only be determined at the search area?- becky

        Becky, you are a rascal to ask that question and I have been sitting here for about fifteen minutes trying to decide what to say. Well, it has been thirty minutes now and I think I’ll pass on the question. Sorry.f

        Seek, notice he said fifteen minutes, thirty minutes, if you have been or are wise this is easy math.

        TT In Algebraic expressions TT for time traveler

        • Tom,

          I get the idea behind that Q&A relating to time.
          However, if we’re parting the waters …lol.. “creek” also means; narrow passage.

          Take the definition as you like, but it could relate to few ideas.
          “Look quickly down” might imply a searcher needs to duck or bend or even crawl. Some folks may not like the idea of a right spot they may need to traverse.
          Another idea, and on a smaller scale of a searchable spot… A narrow passage way that could resemble what a canyon would be described as.
          Scenario; you look from WWsH down ( I think in a southern direction ) to locate home of brown. To get there “from there” ( meaning you haven’t left WWsH yet ) you travel a narrow passage way seen from WWsH. That would be the “creek’.

          This might explain why “if you’ve been wise” is past tense because you found the blaze… hoB. At the end of said narrow passage you should discover the hidey spot… The question is; how is it hidden?
          No one else would know the chest is hidden there but a searcher who has *hopefully* followed the clues to know it’s there.

          Just rambling and rumbling.

          • Nice, on Look quickly down, what do you think about, look quickly also means ( peak ) down from the peak of a mountain you are facing. Just a thought.

          • Quick also means; the central most part of something.

            Using this definition, your mountains peaks works well. But I have something else in mind relating to bending or crawling. It also provides a point to be at. We still don’t know how large of a feature is for, example, hoB. Or any clues.

            Another factor is Quick or quickly involves time.. not unlike many words and phrases in the poem.

          • Seeker;

            There is also an obscure definition of quick or quickly that relates to an aromatic aroma – Lots of “Possibles” – JDA

          • Seeker – I like your central most part of something – like the quick of a fingernail etc. JDA

          • Seeker -“You hurt me to the quick – You hurt me to my core – my most central part – OW – JDA

          • JDA,

            While quick is useable like your examples… They are only useful if they can be applied to a natural surrounding

            That’s why I think clue are contiguous in the manner I talk about. Creek would be of a narrow passage vs, a waterway. The narrow passage could relate to folks being unsure to travel or crawl under something.. idea, to each clue, regardless of order the are told about… they must works with each other… almost as it was one feature or spot.

            The point by point method allows skipping a clue, such as clue one..,IF, repeat, IF a later clue can be found in a different area and possibly miles away.

          • Ok, Seeker, JDA and Thomas Conrad, well and all who have their ears on anyway, when you are at WWWH I totally agree with Seek that SOuth is that direction, because if we take it down, as in canyon the saying is always we are going south when going down, right? Now imagine for a second that these both are correct answers, and that is so steep and so far south that it is just too far to walk…so what metaphors have Forrest responded to in the past, I mean scrapbooks or vignettes etc? Is someone doing something that he, ff feels compelled to post about? My sense, no my feeling is that might be the case, I do not wish to go into a lot of detail or rabbit holes on that, it is just too deep a hole to fathom at this point, but assuming there has been a common thread or picture embroidery in this latest Chaos, what would it be? Only one’s imagination can paint that picture correctly, this subject of WWWH and its related Canyon is way more IMHO than halfway there and if one has that nailed down, like a man on the cross nailed down for a spiritual message of sacrifice, It becomes clear the imagination if you are a believer.

            What we have here seems to be ff’s Church in the Mountains IMO, that place we suspect is the riddles answer, ask if one can be married in there, only if the metaphor and the geography agree in name and purpose, kinda like the blaze and the timing have to be synchronized to sound the “Church Bell, in the steeple, it all fits yet, sadly one may also attend a funeral procession at the same time, do churches do both? Yes so does our poem equate to an epitaph as well? Does the riddle, our poem sound like that-? If you are a “BRAVE in the wood”, as a final take and line to the chest, so take the chest and leave my bones certainly could be a Native American funeral pyer…
            Recently this happened: A pyre also known as a funeral pyre, is a structure, usually made of wood, for burning a body as … In the U.S., a group in “Crestone, Colorado”, a part of the Crestone End of Life Project, obtained legal permission to perform “open-air cremations” …What have we found in our poem?

            In a normal ceremony, the venue is at a “Marvel Gaze”, some lovely picturesque place, so now what does that sound like to all who listen good?

            The blaze would forever be known as Fenn’s Point IMHO. And I think I can, I think I can, I know I can, said Thomas.



          • Seeker;

            I totally agree with what you say. I DO believe that quick(ly) relates to having to stoop over, or crawl into a lower place of some kind. My other definitions were just for thought. “Center” of something fits perfectly with my solve location – I think. Will know more once I can put BotG. JDA

          • I’m still waiting on the “proof” that hoB is a clue. It seems like everyone is taking for granted that hoB is a clue, so it must be contiguous. What if it isn’t? Then, it doesn’t need to be in order or contiguous. All the assumptions that you are making is taking into account, (wrongly), that hoB is a clue.
            As far as instructions, they are in every stanza. In every line, so no saying certain stanzas have no instructions or commands if you will. There are commands in every line.
            As far as needing 9 points to travel to, I think we know that is ridiculous. Somewhere, somehow, one of the clues must be a number, or direction. That may lead to a point, but the clue itself would not be a point.
            As far as the third not having movement, IMO, the word “nigh” seems to discount that thought. It would be hard for something to become “nigh” if not moving towards it. If you are taking this for face value, seems like the end is getting closer in the third stanza, at least for the brave.
            So, until someone proves that hoB is a clue, this is just rambling and rumbling.

  46. @JDA – I understand what you’re saying because I’ve thought that very same thing. But upon closer, very exacting analyzation of both the wording of the poem & FF’s statement that the clues must be followed PRECISELY … I’m having doubts.

    I once asked FF about the verb “tense” situation. He told me that the poem is EXACTLY how he wanted it to be … that he would NOT change a thing.

    But according to your post, you think the treasure location is somewhere between wwwh & water high. Is that correct? That would mean that the blaze is NO farther ahead than water high?

    • I feel that the blaze is in the general vicinity of HL & WH – Within 200′ of each – JMO – JDA

      • I have been working on a solve that is consistent with following the clues in order. With the blaze second-to-last. Now, if things would warm up….


  47. @JDA – Again I understand your theory that we when get to heavy loads & water high, we continue forward … looking to find the blaze. But what about the verb tense of both words “you’ve” & “found”. If the blaze is to be located FARTHER ON PAST “water high”, wouldn’t the sentence have read … If you’RE wise & FIND the blaze?

    @Nobody’s Poet – What do you think about finding the blaze? Do you agree with JDA?

    • @Becky – The blaze can only be seen by venturing to a particular spot. That’s why the searcher who has made it thus far is “wise”. So, for me, it is not about the tense of the poem – but instead about clue order.

      The more I study the poem, the more I see hints hidden in plain sight. It is a mastery of word, no – make that letter – placement. No wonder Forrest warns us not to mess with (change) his poem in any way! IMHO


      • Becky, NBD … Hmmm ….. I thought the searcher might have to go thru a gate or gateway, and the blaze would be on the backside of it. You only saw it if you turned around…. but that idea was deflated when I thought it was determined that the path was not a circular one, or one that had other exits more logical or convenient than the one you entered by. If it is only 1 way in, you had to see the blaze as you exited … and of course, would respond accordingly.

    • Becky;

      I said that the blaze was in the vicinity of HL & WH – within 200′ of each. I did NOT say that the blaze was beyond HL & WH – JDA

  48. @everyone – I’m pretty sure that we searchers all agree that to find the treasure we need to follow FF’s directions. & just like going anywhere else, there is physical travel involved. I do NOT find that in the 1st stanza. FF told us that Clue #1 is wwwh so let’s begin there … because his poem directs us to do that. The very next order we’re given is to “Take it” somewhere … so we do that. “Not too far” is part of that same order, imo. Then we’re told to “Put in”.

    So, for the sake of my example here, let’s assume we have now arrived at the Atlantic Ocean (the home of Blue). The very next order to do anything physical is at the beginning of the 4th stanza. Remember FF said to follow the clues PRECISELY. Right? But the 3rd stanza is merely descriptive & if we continue to physically move forward toward the treasure, we are only ASSUMING that’s what FF intended. That is NOT precisely following FF’s directions.

    So here we are at the shore of the Atlantic beginning stanza 3. If we follow our assumptions, we board a ship bound for somewhere/anywhere to satisfy “no place for the meek”. Aboard the ship, we are certainly “ever drawing nigh” to the end, “no paddle up (our) creek” because we are now in the middle of the ocean & there’s no help for us (up a creek without a paddle). “Heavy loads & water high” … you betcha, king size waves & all.

    To me, this is exactly WHY the 3rd stanza is possibly one of those tricky red herrings. FF gives us NO direct orders to move ahead toward the treasure location. If we assume he meant for us to do so, the orders would be clear, … NOT vague assumptions made by us.

    The very next command AFTER hoB is to “Look quickly down” … if, & only IF, you’ve found (past tense) the blaze. When followed PRECISELY (exactly to the letter), the blaze has to be located between wwwh & hoB. There’s just NO other way.

    When I’ve attempted numerous times to point this out to FF, his words back to me are some such thing as: You might be right. You might be wrong. No one said I’m perfect. I do NOT know about verb tenses so I sometimes make mistakes. The poem is exactly how I meant it to be. I would NOT change a thing.

    • Becky;

      I think that I posted this to you before, but I disagree that stanza #3 does not give instructions to move.

      “From there it’s no place for the meek,…” – From the put in place below hoB, there is a place that the meek dare not go. For me, he is saying that one must traverse that space – Starting at the put in place, and as you travel this space, “The end is ever drawing nigh.” – You are getting closer and closer.

      For me this stanza is nothing BUT travel – but we all read it differently I guess – JMO – JDA.

    • @Becky from WV – IMO you shouldn’t discount any of the stanzas. I find stanza #1 to be the most important one of all, yet it does not contain any of the 9 clues that I agree we need to follow precisely to find the treasure chest.

      The main goal of TTOTC is to find and retrieve the treasure chest, so for me such a goal is in mind when reading the poem. Just because FF does not plainly state or direct us at times in the poem, if you keep that goal in mind, such can tie information together to help us make progress.
      As an example, the transition between stanza #2 and #3 has us putting in below the HOB at the end of stanza #2. The “put in” portion of that information is just as important (I think it is more important, really) as the HOB information. The put in point is a specific spot. Stanza #3 starts by saying “From there” in reference to the spot we previously determined, namely that put in spot. Keeping our goal in mind when reading the next pieces of information in stanza #3, it really does give us direction as to how to proceed. Descriptive, yes, but with purpose, especially since the word phrase “From there” that we are given can be defined as “Forward that point”. I certainly see that as directionality. The kicker is in the last stanza. “If you are brave” certainly sounds like it could mean that in our search effort we have already gone somewhere that is described as no place for the meek, which is a descriptor and director for how to proceed from the put in spot from stanza #2. Sounds like a hint (last stanza) helping us with a clue (stanza #2), places importance on all the stanzas working together, etc.

      The blaze, to me, is the sum of the clues, hence the trail for us to follow precisely to achieve our goal. The reason for the past tense is because all of the clues have been given and the blaze signals the finish line, at which point we are told to LQDYQTC—the quest being to retrieve the treasure chest, which can only be accomplished by crossing the finish line aka discovering the whole of the blaze.

      Lastly, IMHO, FF is being kind to you with his responses because, IMHO, he is a genuinely kind person. I can tell they frustrate you, but consider his point of view for a moment: he knows EXACTLY how TTOTC works because it is his creation, yet he receives innumerable correspondence in which searchers try to tell him how they think it should work—imagine his frustration because he is not giving out any more clues yet is constantly bombarded with searchers opinions on how his creation should work when he already knows with 100% certainty EXACTLY how it all does work but cannot tell them, so instead you get comments such as the ones you were lucky enough to receive from him in the first place. Talk about frustration!

      I’m off my soapbox.

      All IMHO

    • I’m with JDA on this one.
      Clearly the 3rd stanza has directional movement towards the treasures location.
      I would not ignore any of the 4 lines in this stanza.

  49. But, JDA, “From there it’s no place for the meek” is NOT an instruction from FF to physically move away from “hoB. It’s merely a descriptive phrase. You are only ASSUMING that is what he MEANT. In NO way is that PRECISE.

    • Becky,

      While “put in” can be to go in… Another definition is; to put in an amount of time.

      Should that definition be the one intended.. the word “place” doesn’t necessarily need to be a place to go to… It can be of a “situation” you are placed in… the meek-ish may not be comfortable with.

      So, are we to go to hoB or something place below it, or do we take time to observe something that might happen while looking below hoB. ( Put in the time to observe )

      Below, in this case can refer to a direction and area to look at. Only we need to know where that direction points us to look. If we haven’t actually left WWsH…and canyon down is on a map as south, southward.. below need something to SHOW us they way…hence a shadow.

      Now we need to know when to look… I think stanza 3 is where this information is.
      So .. following those “instructions” are / need to be, precise.
      But I agree with you – not so much the way JDA explained. At least in my theory.

      I think the problem with my theory for most is not so much the definitions I use… They are what the are… It’s the idea that there may not be 9 places like many attempted solves have told of.

      There could be 8, 7 or even 4.

      In the case of four physical places, most would or could have been around when Fenn was a kid… and probably long before that. And one physical place that wasn’t… Making his statement true and honest.

      What seems more reasonable -?- to the idea /clue – as Fenn calls it – don’t go where an 80 yr old can’t…
      A place where all the poem places out, and could stay the same for a long time… or traveling many miles between clues and possibly by vehicle, rubber dingy, stomping or combination of those… and those “different” place staying the intact enough to “be precise enough” not blow the whole challenge out of the water.

  50. I do agree the third stanza is directional. Movement can be marked in different ways. Obviously by where you are going OR where you are leaving. I assert that “no place for the meek” refers to the fact you have left a meek area. For example: Let’s say you just crossed the San Isidro River. Saint Isidro was known for his piety and care of the poor and animals. Meek spirit. So as you move on away from the San Isidro River, you are leaving a “place for the meek.” IMHO


    • Nobody’s Poet,

      I agree that the third stanza is directional. The initial part of that sentence: “From there” indicates a very specific location that we are to then proceed “from”. And it may be safe to infer that all the information prior to has lead a wise searcher to that spot (the correct starting point, I believe so), and they then must choose a path forward from there.

      But the following mentions from Forrest seem to indicate that searchers have arrived in, at or around this location but went right on past not knowing they were so close, thus “going right on past” may indicate that they didn’t make the appropriate directional change or understand the significance of where they were:

      Forrest said, in the Julius Brighton/Dal Neitzel video: There have been a few people with five hundred feet. I think there have been people within a couple hundred feet. They figure the first two clues, but they don’t get the third and the fourth and they go right past the treasure chest.

      He has also said, a few other times, that searchers have figured the first two clues and went right on past and or even walked right on past the treasure and the other seven clues.

      So I am firmly of the belief that stanza 3 may indicate the directional path that we are to proceed along, once we have arrived at the correct starting location.


      • @seannm

        I agree that Stanza three does indicate the directional path one must continue on. Indeed, how else could you leave the “place for the meek”?

        Where we would differ is my assertion that “begin it” is the same spot. Where to begin it is miles away.

        The poem is much more simple than most believe. There are *multiple* numerical clues in the poem to confirm to a searcher they are progressing correctly.



  51. @Bowmarc – I understand most of what you said about the finding of the treasure being the goal. However, if you move away from the “Put in” spot at “hoB”, where do you go? FF does NOT tell us, does he? Do you believe there’s actually a “creek”?

    Of course I disagree about the importance of stanzas 1 & 6, 5 also. I believe stanzas 2, 3, & 4 are the meat & can stand on their own without the other fluff. I still believe we have to go backwards from “hoB” to locate the blaze. Had FF stayed with the present tense, I would be more likely to accept stanza 3 as his intention for us to continue onward. But then maybe NOT.

    You said that you think the blaze is “the sum of the clues”. Does that mean it is NOT on its own one of the nine clues? I believe it to be the 9th one.

    @Seeker – I know nothing about time & I believe it has NO place in the poem. But what I do know is that FF has told us to find the hints in TTOTC, apply them to the clues in the poem, & to marry those clues to places on a map. Those would be physical, geographic locations. So if you have wwwh, you travel physically down a so-called canyon & stop below hoB. I believe stanza 3 is more of an iffy situation, & before I travel on past hoB, I certainly intend to check out wwwh … just in case I’m right.

    But the blaze is still unknown to me. What is it? What will I be looking for? Therein lies the rub!

    • @Becky from WV – The line says “Put in BELOW the home of Brown.” (BELOW is in all caps as my emphasis), which is entirely different than you saying AT the home of Brown. I read it to mean we are not at HOB yet, but are at the PUT IN BELOW spot only. I’ve already commented above that the next words from the poem are “From there” which can translate to FORWARD THAT POINT. At this time, you have to decide if your direction of forward travel from your PIBTHOB spot will be towards or away from HOB itself, a walk through time/observational style of movement only, etc.

      As to the importance of stanzas 1, 5, and 6, you can choose to discount them as entirely usless fluff to TTOTC if you like, but I for one do not, especially in light of a pretty significant ATF by FF where he (paraphrased) tells us it is risky to discount any of the words in his poem (you can find the exact ATF on using the search word “risky”) and choosing to ignore 3 entire stanzas worth of words is the epitome of risky.

      I absolutely think there is a creek involved, though such could be called by another name like a stream, rivulet, etc. because this is a poem afterall.


    • “ I believe stanzas 2, 3, & 4 are the meat & can stand on their own without the other fluff.”

      F has said that just using the wwwh clue and somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe isn’t enough on it’s own with the following Q&A. So, I don’t agree with the above theory.

      Dear Forrest,

      You tell us that we should find “where warm waters halt” before trying to solve any of the other clues. Imagining that we haven’t seen the rest of the poem, and all we have to go on is:

      a. “begin it where warm waters halt” and

      b. “somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe”

      Do you think that we can confidently determine the starting place for your treasure trail? Steve

      No, if all you have to go on are those two clues you cannot proceed with confidence. Look at it this way. If you were making a cake and you left out a few ingredients, would you achieve your goal?

  52. Goldilocks

    I wanted to address what I’ve called the Goldilocks problem with the poem.  I had written about it years ago (and a notable person has as well), but since years have passed since then it seems even more apropos at this time. 

    Forrest Fenn, among other things, is a huntsetter, because he has decided to hide a treasure chest and then provide a system of clues as a challenge for others to attempt to unravel, presumably to the point of attaining a correct solve and grabbing the treasure.  But Forrest is a novice huntsetter; a rank beginner (as far as I know).

    Successful huntsetting is a challenging and delicate art.  Some have tried and failed, and some hunts have created great conflict or disaster, and some have worked out just fine.  I am sure many people have researched or participated in other challenges that have been designed and set in motion.  And the huntsetter is the dictator for deciding what to hide and what media or method to present for people to utilize to solve the puzzle.  The author could chose a map, or diagrams, drawings, paintings, or any type of writing, or a poem.  I would expect that most huntsetters initially believe their clues to be ingenious, only to find out later that the public either agrees or thinks quite the contrary in the end. 
    One cannot determine unequivocally if the huntsetter is a genius, fair to middlin, or mediocre until the solution is revealed.

    So Forrest chose to write a poem, and put that poem in the context of a specific book.  He tells us that all the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem.  “It is there for all to see.”  But he also surrounds the poem with many personal stories and pictures, some that have appeared before and some that have not.  And he does state that while all the clues are in the poem, there are hints in the book that could help a person solve the clues.  So the book can support the determination of the correct solve, if you successfully identify and apply the hints.

    Along with the book and the poem, there is a mountain of other contextual information.  This site, other sites, interviews with Forrest, scrapbooks, comments, answers to questions, misquotes, innuendo, etc.  Any solver can accept or reject any or all of this material.  To each his own.  This has lead to many heated arguments about poem purists vs everything-ologists.  Again, you pick your poison,  To add to this, Forrest has called his poem a poem, my riddle, a map, an architectural plan, etc.

    But then there is the Goldilocks problem:  
    Too Hot:  It would be easy for a huntsetter to purposely design a poem that could be solved quickly.  That didn’t happen.

    Too Cold:  It would be easy for a huntsetter to purposely design a poem that was impossible to solve.  That might be the case, but hopefully not.

    Just Right:  It is extremely challenging for a huntsetter to design a poem that is Just Right, meaning that it will not be immediately solved or never solved.  It would be solvable, and solvable within a reasonable (whatever that means) number of years.

    Most huntsetters hope for a hunt that is Just Right.  They want the hunt to be challenging, to show off their skills of clever deception and concealment of the answers, but can be solved by the right, insightful and hard-working individual in a reasonable time period, perhaps within 10 years.  The huntsetter typically wants it found in their lifetime to enjoy the results, award the prize, and experience the fruits of their labor!  

    But therein lies an issue concerning Forrest:  
    1.  He has no prior experience being a huntsetter, and 
    2.  He has said that he is ambivalent (but may not be) about someone finding the treasure in his lifetime.

    So it is an obvious concern, for both the huntsetter and the hunters, that the huntsetter would have great difficulty gauging the difficulty of the challenge.  Every single aspect of the poem and the landscape, in Forrest’s case, is absolutely intimate and familiar to him, but certainly not to others.

    There is no ideal way for Forrest to test The Poem in advance of offering it up.  And he has even said that you won’t know if you have the correct where warm waters halt unless you find the chest.

    We have all experienced this problem countless times in life in much simpler ways, such as trying to explain a concept that is so obvious to oneself yet instills blank stares in the room, or giving perfect directions to someone because you are intimate with the details but the person who received the directions thinks you are crazy because they are approaching it cold.

    So how can Forrest design a poem that was Just Right?  What was his intent, ten years or a thousand, which he has proffered?

    It’s a fact that The Poem is not easy.  It hasn’t been solved.  It is not Too Hot.

    I am sure that most would pray that it is not Too Cold, and that The Poem is not impossible, right?

    It appears that it may not be Just Right (but still could be), because it has been going on for a longer than many anticipated… 

    I wonder what Forrest thinks. 

    I would assume that most searchers hope that The Poem is some version of Just Right.  It is Warm. We want it found sooner (presumably by me, or some other me out there) rather than much later, or much, much later.   Or never.

    So until the chest is found, we cannot solve the Goldilocks problem.  
    Given the dedication and effort by so many individuals, we must believe in our hearts that yes, it is doable.  It must be Just Right, before we eat the warm porridge and lay down for a rest. 

    Do you believe that it might yet prove to be Just Right? Or Too Cold?  Why? 
    Does it even matter?


    • Halogetter,

      It’s been a while… hope all is well with you and yours.

      Different thoughts for me personally. I think *just right* is the idea of the readers creating an illusion / precondition notion
      On how to read and proceed.
      However, in the end there will be an air of elegant cleverness… yet straight forward with all honesty.

      I’m not sure if that refers to hot, warm or cold… But there will be some whom cry foul / fowl.

      Full of opinions and options.

    • Hi Halo: one thing that’s different about Forrest’s challenge is that he has chosen to exercise the option of moving the goalposts since he continues to engage with the searcher community. Perhaps initially he wanted to guarantee that it wouldn’t be solved in days or weeks and erred on the side of it being too difficult. He could then sit back and gauge progress for awhile. If it became clear that searchers were hopelessly off-track, he could try ~carefully~, subtly, nudging us in the right direction. (In the past I’ve borrowed from the Manhattan Project and referred to this as “tickling the dragon’s tail.”)

      My opinion is that he’s provided enough hints: that it has been solvable for some time, and that success by someone is inevitable. Maybe not in weeks or months, but I feel confident that we are closer to the end of the Chase than we are to its beginning. That he has stopped providing clue-solving progress for years now is suggestive that one or more parties are further along with the clues than the uncertain four he reported in November 2015.

    • Hello Halo, I remember discussing this a couple of years ago. It is a good point that FF has no experience with creating a hunt like this. Because all of the information is in his head, and he has no practice at doing this there is no way for him to know if solving this is a possibility. We are all playing a game that nobody may ever win, but we can have a good time doing it.

      My wife and I created a treasure hunt for our boys using clues once. I thought it was fairly easy. The boys were within 20 feet of where they needed to be but still had trouble solving it without additional help. If is difficult but not impossible in the mind of the creator, who knows the answers, how impossible is it really for those of us who do not?

    • I don’t worry about it cause there’s nothing I can do about it.

    • Halogetter – I recall Forrest himself mentioning in an interview that he was a little worried when he first set off the Chase about whether or not the treasure would be find right away, and was glad when it wasn’t.

    • I think Forrest tried to check on how hard he was making the poem. We know at least one person, Douglas Preston, saw earlier versions of the poem. This could have been a way for Forrest to check if the poem was too easy. But it wouldn’t have been a way to check if the poem was too hard, without Forrest giving out some information about the correct solve (which seems unlikely from Forrest’s comments about not giving anyone extra information).

    • Hey there Halo. It is inevitable that some searchers may get to the point where they travel down that path that questions the solvability of Fenn’s poem. After search failure spanning multiple years the individual may begin to lose faith. Those that dwell in that realm should perhaps find something more tangible to entertain themselves. For folks like myself… Fenn’s Chase is as exciting now as it was on my first adrenaline packed road trip some nine years ago. Mystery and matching wits with another can be packed with many rewards if approached without expectations. I have not ventured forth for 2 seasons and am patiently waiting to get back out in the Rockies for some good clean fun.
      Thanks for popping in with the Goldilocks scenario and rustling up the dust…

    • Hello Halo and all. I hang out mostly over on the MW site but saw a cross post there from Zap about this post so I came to check it out.

      Your Goldilocks question is a good one, Halo. IMO, to answer it, one has to consider the main aspects of what makes something too hot, too cold or just right. Mr. Fenn is the artist; and we have to figure out what did he paint with this puzzle? Three basic aspects of this painted puzzle that play into the Goldilocks paradigm are 1) the canvas (the breath, depth and diversity of the Rocky Mountain four state search area, 2) the expertise of the painter (FF in drafting the poem as you eloquently question), and 3) the style or technique that was employed (level of specificity or generality of the clues and hints once deciphered (is it a Picasso, a Van Gogh, a Salvador Dali, a Sloane, or an original Fenn?)

      What style or technique are we looking at? In my personal opinion, the poem is not a Dali, with a painting inside a painting (once you study it enough, you finally see the levels hidden within). No, I believe the complexity of the poem is found in the size of the canvas and the generality of the clues. Although the painting expertise certainly has some sophistication and intrigue for a relative beginner (at setting a treasure hunt), it is not necessarily advanced in schooled treasure hunt technique. To mask this, I believe FF reverted to general clues in the poem, that even once deciphered don’t necessarily paint the whole picture until all the generalities are blended together. And further masked by a very large canvas.

      I will say, though, I believe there is quite intriguing sophistication within his books that displays his imagination and sense of humor. But, as they say, that is another story.

      Indeed, although FF says he is not an artist, he has painted a wonderful Fenn.

      I think this site has some regulation about stating all in my opinion? That’s what it is. Sorry for the long intrusion as a newbie poster.

    • Very nicely written, Halogetter.

      To answer your question, my opinion is that Forrest would prefer that the poem be “too cold”.

      I don’t really think he wants the chest found in his lifetime. And so he purposely composed a puzzle that would be next to impossible to solve. In so doing, Forrest’s name and his treasure hunt would go on for at least decades, to create a lasting legacy.

      Forrest may be an amateur at writing poems and building a puzzle, but I think he was quite insightful in his understanding of the people who would be searching for his treasure.

      He rightly concluded, perhaps subconsciously, that contemporary searchers in general are not very astute. They tend to want quick answers, they look at only the most obvious possibilities, and they tend to be overly swayed by group-think, wherein searcher and idea popularity carry too much weight in the search “community”.

      And searchers routinely disregard Forrest’s verbal instructions, owing to their laziness in wanting to defend a weak solution, rather than the difficult process of starting over from scratch.

      Searchers in general lack a sense of subtlety, a trait that was much more prevalent fifty years ago.

      And so Forrest imbued his puzzle with substantial subtlety, knowing that searchers’ aversion to hard work and their aversion to thinking for themselves would protect the poem’s secrets.

      The status of the treasure hunt is thus best understood from the standpoint of a weak searcher “community”, vis-à-vis Forrest’s poem writing skills.

      Ken (in Texas)

      • @Ken:

        The assertion that Forrest does not want the treasure found in his lifetime folds when you stand it up to his actions last full. The flurry of scrapbooks, one after another. A marked increase from his usual workflow. That took quite a bit of effort. If he wanted **no** progress, he would/could have done nothing. I venture that action alone is clear evidence he wants the chest found in his lifetime.

        Is if fair to label searchers lazy? Hardly any of us are trained investigators. It’s only human nature to go for the obvious (such as thinking the treasure lies in/near Yellowstone simply because Forrest has such fond memories there.) The time and energy spent by many known searchers suggests anything but laziness. Stubbornness……well, maybe…..



        • I think you are right, Nobody’s Poet. I believe Forrest wants to live out the whole Chase, including the VIP entry into the social distancing winners party. Why would he want to miss his own little party?

          He will have something else up his sleeve for when the two points meet.


      • Hi Ken: I lean more toward Forrest wanting the treasure found while he’s still alive vs. after. (Probably his family does, too.) But points in favor of your opinion are that he has said he was looking 100, 1000, 10,000 years down the road, and spent 15 years on-and-off revising the poem, even “rebooting.” Why fuss over such issues as clue semi-permanence if not for a desire to have the puzzle outlast you?

        But I think we should also allow for Forrest’s opinion to evolve as events have unfolded over the last decade (the six known fatalities, threats to his family, etc.) And as others have pointed out, why continue to interact so heavily with the searcher community and risk inadvertently giving something away if you really don’t want it found?

        “Forrest may be an amateur at writing poems and building a puzzle, but I think he was quite insightful in his understanding of the people who would be searching for his treasure.”

        I totally agree.

        “He rightly concluded, perhaps subconsciously, that contemporary searchers in general are not very astute.”

        On average, perhaps, but when you have hundreds of thousands of folks working on the problem for many years, you’re unavoidably going to have some very smart cookies in that mix. For every MEH or StS out there, there are a hundred more like them that are just as bright, and most of them don’t post on blogs. We get a biased view of collective searcher knowledge, behavior, and attack strategy if we only draw conclusions from contributions to Dal’s, Jenny’s, THOR, Harry’s, and so on.

        I agree with your sentiment that “group-think” will never solve this treasure hunt, and that’s partly because the value of the prize is too great for people to openly share their best ideas.

        “Searchers in general lack a sense of subtlety, a trait that was much more prevalent fifty years ago.”

        I think it’s hard to support that position based on some of the far-out ideas I’ve seen shared here. If anything, many searchers are TOO subtle, too imaginative, too fanciful, making obscure connections to arcane subject matter. I think Forrest is more “straightforward” than many people give him credit for. They don’t take his statements about the lack of red herrings or subterfuge seriously, and they think every misspeak must be a clue (pinon nut comment, saying 7,000 feet before correcting it to 5,000).

        But to get back to Halo’s original subject and summarize, I think:

        1. the initial plan was to make the poem just barely UNsolvable
        2. monitor progress
        3. if people aren’t remotely close to figuring it out, subtly nudge them in the right direction, or at least steer them away from bad ones (e.g. outhouses, cemeteries, mines, 14,000-foot peaks, 20-mile Bataan Death marches)

        And one final, far less likely thought: If some searchers are getting ~too~ close, flood the blogs with new information to distract them. Harder to find the needle if you add hay to the haystack. 😉

        • Zap – Coincidentally, having a discussion about ‘re-booting’, because of those dreaded snails, and whirling disease, over on Jenny’s Facebook treasure page. I wore the studded variety of the Korkers ‘Darkhorse’ wading boots. Felt soled boots have been banned in many ‘Flywaters’.

          I think the lonely treasure heard the ‘clomp’ of my boot nearby, last Memorial Day Weekend of 2019…

        • @zaphod:

          Excellent observation! It has been nine plus years now and no one has found the treasure. So Forrest did NOT make it easy! And the idea that his viewpoint on whether he wished it found in his lifetime perhaps did morph over time.

          And, the more I think on it, the more I feel Ken does have a strong point. Sometimes pulling back and starting over is harder than doubling down.

          And, frankly, most of us just don’t know If/when to switch horses.

          But Forrest did say recently it is only a matter of time. So perhaps soon this will all be history.



    • I think finding the treasure is probably not as difficult as peeling onions.


    • .
      This is quite interesting, because recently the Wikipedia article on another treasure hunt called “on the trail of the golden owl” lists a Mr. F B Fenn as a secret collaborator. We don’t know if that’s true or not; my interpretation is that is a type prank but if it is true it may mean that forest does have some other experience in hunt setting.

      Regardless, I believe that Forrests treasure hunt is one of the most genius hunts ever devised and speaks to both his creativity, perseverance, and ingenuity deployed over the years that he worked on it. Forest has said that the puzzle is difficult but not impossible, and where ever that lands this treasure hunt in the Goldilocks spectrum, I believe him.

      • How in the world can we rate whether this is one of the most genius hunts ever devised? Until one has the chest in hand, and only then, can one know for certain whether his clues were creative and ingenious, or just obscure, generic and ineffectual.

        When you won’t even know if you have the first clue right until you have the chest in hand, seems like a little on the “this bed’s too hard” side.

        Even thinking about the poem being solved in 100 years or 1000 years seems a little on the “too hard” side.

        Thinking Forrest is moving goal posts to help hasten the chase is confirmation bias to me. If the goal posts have been moved it has been in very small fractional increments. Not enough to turn the bed from “too hard” to “just right”.

        If you created a treasure hunt and could interact with all of the searchers, wouldn’t you? It’s got to be entertaining to see the infinite amount of ways every word he says can be twisted into clues.

        All IMHO

      • I am pretty sure thats a prank. I occupy me with the golden owl treasure hunt now for more than 14 years and I never heard about a secret collaborator named Mr. F. B. Fenn. During my searching period, I have read the Wikipedia article about the golden owl several times, and I cant remember ever reading the name Fenn. I guess the name was added the last months to this Wiki article from a funny person.

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