Forrest Gets Mail – 23


Johnny and Donna were fortunate enough to experience something very rare in the Rockies. I have spent a lot of time there and have never been so lucky, but maybe next time…f

Dear Mr. Fenn,

We returned today from our most recent BOTG and wanted to tell you about a very exciting discovery.  While we were in the wood yesterday morning, Donna and I encountered a fully grown wolverine!  As a wildlife biologist/research scientist, I can assure you that this was an incredible experience…something that is too rare to even consider happening by chance alone.  The Chase put us in the right spot at the right time.  We will cherish  this MARVEL GAZE forever.  Donna found a newspaper article from last year that details the discovery of wolverines in the Wind River Range for the 1st time in over a century.  There is also a short video in the article.  Here’s the link;

We anticipated being able to go straight to the spot that we’ve had an eye on since last summer to search for Indulgence.  Unfortunately, foot travel became too dangerous and we were forced to turn back after only getting 1/3 of the way across the raging flow.  We are planning to return as soon as conditions improve.


Johnny & Donna








101 thoughts on “Forrest Gets Mail – 23

  1. My husband and I have seen one by a ranch by Red Canyon in Montana. I couldn’t get my phone out and zoomed in quick enough to get a picture, but it was very cool to see it before it disappeared into the high grass. I didn’t realize they were that rare.

  2. Fascinating – WOW – a wolverine. SO RARE – SO RARE!!! Congrats Johnny and Donna. Being at the right place at the right time, and seeing the MARVEL GAZE – WOW!!! JDA

    • JDA, This could be a nod to your shadow theory..right place at the right time…..Also, coincidentally Johnny and Donna = JD.

      Just messing with ya.

      • And I thought that I was the only one who noticed that coincidence 🙂

        Take care

        JDA (Johnny and Donna A) 🙂

    • Wolverines…solve win er…solve winner

      You forgot to account for the “W”

      • W. It’s the 23rd letter of the alphabet. There are 23 of them in the Poem, and 23 of them in this post. It’s FGM 23. Coincidence? I think not.

    • I wouldn’t have thought to use anagrams, but I think you’re onto something. I’d be inclined to make just a small adjustment to your result:

      re solve win. . . resolve win

      Although this is re the solve and the win, it’s not about re-solving, but about resolve, IMO. Here’s a hypothetical. Suppose someone has accurately solved the “puzzle” but has encountered external difficulties. How do they resolve them for the win? They require resolve – and lots of it. And why might they be lacking that? To solve FF’s poem requires almost boundless tenacity and mental strain. Come to the end of that and you might well experience anticlimax as well as fatigue. Then you find there are additional obstacles to overcome, perhaps a “raging flow,” and it all gets a bit much.

      Suppose the gold holds little allure, what then? It may be necessary to rekindle the spark that once burned brightly in your imagination, an idea to do with new, wider horizons and stepping out where few have gone before – maybe you could call it MARVEL GAZE. If you’ve already crossed the threshold, you know what this looks like for real, but if you remain this side of the “portal” you only have the wisp of an idea to sustain you. More work, more concentration is required – balanced with more kindness – to remove those obstacles. It could take a thousand years. . .

      Of course, since no one can be sure about anything here, this is just idle speculation, and if you take wolverine in the singular, you get “wine lover!” 😉

      • Voxpops said, “FF’s poem requires almost boundless tenacity and mental strain. Come to the end of that and you might well experience anticlimax as well as fatigue…and it all gets a bit much.” Especially if the gold no longer holds allure.

        Amen to that Vox!

      • Voxpops, hmmm I like your theory!
        Anticlimactic is definitely the correct word I also have experienced with the thrill.
        Along with other climates!
        Wolverine=wine lover. The nectar of the gods….oh my!
        Voxpops I believe you’ve captured the essence of the TTOTC!
        Thank you for posting Johnny and Donna, what a rare experience!
        Thank you also Dal. ❤️

    • Hi Grace,

      “….experienced something VERY RARE……”.

      That’s a great anagram, however, we all know Forrest is a master of saying things that can be interpreted in more than one way, or have a completely different meaning than what our mind sees because of context.

      In this context of FGM-23 I would agree those words convey uniqueness, but what if (remember his comment about what ifs) he is actually referring to something else?

      Though they do hunt, Wolverines are primarily scavenger carnivores meaning they eat a lot of cold meat, VERY RARE, cold meat. So instead of being the solve winners, Forrest is subtly telling them or someone else they are VERY COLD and to look somewhere else.


      • Hi Charlie;

        Nice pick-up on the eating habits of a wolverine – a scavenger. Maybe Forrest is hinting at this post is like a scavenger hunt. Hidden within the post is a hint that will help Johnny and Donna get closer to Indulgence. Just a thought – JDA

  3. Shredder! Get your furry rear end back here to Idaho!

    “If you have a searching partner, best to have them wait in the car.” f

    That’s probably why Forrest wrote that over on Jenny’s Mysterious Writings site. Good to know where Shredder got off to.

  4. What an amazing sight that must have been. Thank you for sharing and bringing a smile to the day.

  5. Johnny and Donna summed it up perfectly… “The Chase put us in the right spot at the right time.”

    The wolverine’s natural predators… wolves. And yes Forrest, I applaud your enthusiasm. “Maybe next time…” 😀

  6. An article I just read said there are perhaps only 300 left in the united states. That is truly a rare sight to see.

  7. I wish that I could witness a wolverine in the wild. I would be happy to write about such an experience. Thanks Forrest Fenn, for sharing your experiences, stories, poems, and emails.

  8. Thank yous, Donna, Johnny, dal, Mr. Fenn and of course Mr Wolverine or Mrs. Angeline,
    What a marvelous adventure and very rare treat to stumble across such a splendid creature, in the wild, and so reknown for its tenacity. Willing to stand up to a grizzly, bull moose or wolf, this loner is no loser. And great news to hear they are on the comeback. Great timing also, like The Wolverine in the “Atomic Bomb” clip. Or The Wolfman Jack classic “American Graffiti” when Toad’s friend Terry has his moment with the babe in the T-bird. That’s what its all about.

    • The Babe in the T-bird was ff’s good friend Susanne Somers.,
      Forrest said he was always good with birds. Places named Thunderbird, T-bird etc.

  9. This is really cool – I thought I’d have to go to Siberia to see this animal – good job guys!

    Funny – growing up, a book called Carcajou was required reading in my family.

  10. WOLVERINE’S !!
    I couldn’t resist. It is more likely to find somebody re-enacting a scene from the movie Red Dawn. Finding an actual Wolverine is a rare treat.
    And good for you to know when to quit and NOT try to cross a rushing river.

  11. Johnny, if you love Donna…
    Donna, if you love Johnny…
    …please, never go across -any more- “(river) raging flows.”

    Every responsible searcher knows that this is entirely against the, “ff rules.”

    Please frame your picture large and prominently in your home. Cherish your found “trasure” and be thankful for second chances!

    When the trove is unveiled, the person who – crossed a raging flow – will NOT be the finder, IMO or dare I say, as a matter of fact.

  12. That thing, a pack of wolves, and a mother grizzly with a cub are three things I hope never to see in the wilderness. I have no problems with the browsers and the grazers.

    Hopefully by now they are all up in the hills were the air is cooler.

    • Moose can be scary also. Last search I had my third incident with a moose charge. Two of the times they came full speed from behind me when I was sitting at the camp fire. Once I got between a mom and a baby. They all came so fast I had about two seconds to react. g

  13. What a fortunate encounter! Wolverines are fierce, beautiful creatures and certainly nothing to take lightly. Probably not as dangerous as the raging flows, but at least you made it back safely. I hope you make it all the way and across…next time.

  14. thanks for confirmation Forrest. tarry scant marvel gaze is viewing wildlife and nature. nothing more. but then i dont need anything more, do i.

  15. Wow this is an amazing post especially since I am there right now. We are staying at the Wind River KOA from July 20-28. Looks like I have a FF treasure hunter near me and didn’t even know it. We have made several search areas so far but no TC. Good luck everyone!

    • W N;

      Hope you have fun, Try and STAY SAFE and I hope that you find all that you seek = 🙂 JDA

    • I love wild animals. Encountered my first Wolverine at dawn, at Lake DeSmet near Story, WY. Memorable experience.

  16. How cool is that, thanks for sharing. About 1/year i see a mink along the banks of various creeks that I fish in Wyoming, their always fun to see too.

  17. Richard;

    Have you ever been to the Wind River Range? It stretches for about 80 miles from southeast of Jackson to just west of Riverton. It includes three wilderness areas – Fitzpatrick, Bridger and Popo Agie. It includes 9 fabulous peaks – Including Gannet Peak, which is the tallest peak in Wyoming at 13,810′. I know that is above Forrest’s top-out elevation at 10,200′. None the less, this mountain range is one of the most beautiful sections of the Rockies that I have ever been in or seen. JMO – JDA

  18. “but MAYBE next time…f”
    Maybe there won’t be a next time because it’s too far to walk now.

      • Maybe it’s your next time he’s referring to.
        I don’t think he’s sending any secret messages to anyone here but you can always dream.

        • Dreams are what make reality more interesting than your 9 to 5 “Can’t wait till Friday” existence. It’s what allows people to reach for something greater than the life they would’ve never found otherwise. All things of greatness in this world, were at one time, derived from a person’s dreaming it could happen.

          Jake, I would rather dream and fail that dream, over and over… than live a story where your imagination is void of life… IMO

          • I hope this Chase isn’t your only dream because we have all failed.
            Surely your imagination is beyond the Fenn relm and not void of other lifes challenges.

          • “WE” did not fail. With my experiences I will simply refer you to Mr. Ed….

            I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Thomas A. Edison

          • I agree…. failure over and over will only make it sweeter. DREAM ON! That’s what life is all about. The 9-5 will always be there. Don’t let anyone snot on your dreams . Good luck out there, not too much luck but good luck. Have fun and dream like it’s “wet”. Lol

        • On searches where I have come back 42 pounds light, I do not feel like I have failed. I liken the feeling to getting skunked on a fishing trip. Those tricky trout, just wait until… g

          • This ain’t no fishing trip.
            I’ll always catch at least one fish.
            The main goal is to find the chest and all have failed as far as I know.

  19. I had a minute-long staring contest with a badger in New Mexico some years ago during one of my trips, but certainly no wolverine. Great mail!

  20. The “Gravely Range” of mountains in Montana is where the wolverine photo (attached link) was taken. That range is near Cameron and the Madison River. Wolverines and rare Axolotl salamanders can be found in the Gravelies. “Gravel maze”

    • randawg,

      I seen that video a couple a days back in the news and thought of posting it here. Just goes to show you wild animals can be wild. I have been close to bison but not in their so called personal space. I give most animals a wide birth if I can or I wait until they go on there way. I like some here have seen a lot of different animals in my travels, but yep a wolverines I cannot put on that list.

      Thanks for that reminder video and good luck.

  21. Wolverines anagrams to:

    @Solve weir”.
    find the right fish weir/ladder which prevents upstream migration of non native species.

  22. Jonny and Donna thanks for sharing…. I’m not sure I would want to run into one… But, Wolverine = wine lover….. lol I think I found my spirit animal 🙂

    • Virginia, time & gravity don’t rest do they? All I have to do is look in the mirror to reflect that reality.

  23. Wow Johnny and Donna!! You’re so lucky. I’ve seen wolverine’s tracks many times but I never saw one in person. During winter, they usually migrate over passes between valleys, and quite often you can see their paw prints in the snow.
    On the other hand, you shouldn’t ever need to cross a raging river. It’s too dangerous. I have this feeling that the area you’re searching actually has actually two rivers, one merely tricking creek, and the other one, a raging river at this time of the year.
    Remember, Forrest wouldn’t hide his treasure in a dangerous place. If it is where you think it is, than there must be a road access from the other side of the raging river.

  24. Wolverine State Says Yippie Wolverines returning to claim their land.
    Michigan is the Wolverine state with nary a wolverine seen in some time.
    Bravo to this couple for sharing their discovery.

    • Karen;

      So happy to hear that they are returning to claim their land. (even if the sighting was not in Michigan). YUP, it has been some time since they have been seen – how sad. I agree, thanks to this couple for sharing the info – JDA

  25. Those are FEISTY critters! It must have been an amazing sight, enough to give Johnny and Donna new insight into MARVEL GAZE.

  26. Hello Johnny and Donna. So happy to hear you were able to be at the right place and time and view such rarity. Hope you’ll get to do the same, Mr. Fenn.

  27. This FGM23 message presumed to be FF seems to mention that they did not cross the final threshold past the Marvel Gaze, meaning they sent a solve with 100% of the clues solved, but for what ever final reason, did not retrieve the chest (car problems, lack of oxygen, lack of water, sprained ankle, etc…)…..

    wolverines = solve winner

    QUESTION: Statistically, only someone who has sent FF a solve between the 4-July Fennbang, and 19-July FGM#23 can be considered or?

    • For what it is worth… I don’t believe this Scrapbook has anything to do with anyone’s solve or potentially correct solve. I believe Fenn is just staying active with the Chase and passing on interesting emails that folks send him.

    • I get the same impression that he’s hinting someone is close. “foot traffic became too dangerous” could mean a multitude of things, if not related to high water levels. If they’ve had their eye on it since last summer though, that leaves a bigger window for sending the winning solve.

      wolverines also = resolve win (go back and get it right this time) 🙂 Sounds like they’ll return when conditions are better, so maybe we’ll find out this year.

  28. “We anticipated being able to go straight to the spot that we’ve had an eye on since last summer to search for Indulgence. Unfortunately, foot travel became too dangerous and we were forced to turn back after only getting 1/3 of the way across the raging flow. We are planning to return as soon as conditions improve.”

    I read this as Forrest playfully acknowledging that someone sent him a solve showing they had correctly solved three of the nine clues, including NTBTFTW, but foundered after that.

      • Especially if you are referring to NTBTFTW??? Is that Not Tar But Too Far Too Walk? Maybe that’s how it ties in to Tarry Scant! It’s all making sense now ☺️ 🙂

  29. Yesterday, I received the new issue of National Geographic in the mail and there’s a story about wolverines.

  30. Much is being made of a movie that Charlie Sheen and Patrick Wayne Swayze were in in 1984, a lot of it was filmed around Las Vegas, NM and probably did not show a particular Marvel Gaze that one might point out as “Special Place” after all Las Vegas is several miles South of Santa Fe, NM which is a bit of Trivia in my scope, that being said, I do feel that the Special Place as ff refers to it, was probably ingrained, indelibly in his memories around that time, after all, all his nuclear family may have been at the special place then, 1984 or perhaps the 1970″S? That place being umbilical is like going home, and that is why the TC may just be on .1314 North Main St in a Temple somewhere in his mind, what is 66000 links? 8.25 or why is HWY 285 the most northerly rt to the teeth of the Rockies?

    Does anyone else know where this man built his wife their first home, with a view of which Mts from the Front Poach? Perhaps this rare site could be appreciated by one of ff’s heroes, one he may emulate and perhaps will never forget since he wants us to follow int those foot steps of the main who said this..,
    Aldo LeopoldAldo Leopold > Quotes

    Aldo Leopold quotes Showing 1-30 of 153
    “I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.”
    ― Aldo Leopold
    tags: environment, nature, wilderness 1324 likes Like
    “There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
    ― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
    tags: farming, living, nature 259 likes Like
    “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”
    ― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
    tags: inspirational, nature, science 201 likes Like
    “Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
    ― Aldo Leopold
    166 likes Like and 166 word in the poem:
    “There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.”

    Who is this famous ecologist who managed the Carson Natl Forrest?


  31. I saw a wolverine in a zoo in Alaska. I would not want to meet one of those in the wild.

  32. “..something very rare in the Rockies.” = ignore the monkey, search its river

    There you go.. maybe..

  33. It’s always the creatures and the sights that amaze me the most as well. I had a similar encounter with an extremely rare animal. One thought to be extinct for some time and was only recently re-discovered. One of my first trips I saw moose, fox, buffalo, and then this animal (which I will not name because it will surely give my spot away). But I was only about 20 ft. from it, it was running around in a wood pile and it stopped and looked at me and my friends, as I turned to get my phone to take a picture, it turned and darted off into the wilderness. Amazing stuff. Thank you for sharing!!

  34. The Wolverine is a bear-like “mustelid“
    “… I MUST go…”

    If looking at states the treasure may lie in, Montana would be the key state with widespread wolverine habitat through the Rockies.
    Wyoming has scant Wolverine habitat.

  35. Part of me thinks some comments in Ramblin Pam’s recent interview are related:

    The nickel, dime and 2 pennies comment IMO hints it’s Forrest’s two cents that someone is nickel and diming the details, missing the treasure staring them in the face. Maybe he’s frustrated at this point that someone isn’t picking up the hints he’s throwing down. C’mon Johnny and Donna, you can do it!; just 2/3rds further.

    • Mr. Fenn did use the phrase (paraphrased), to “coin a phrase” on Jenny’s blog.

  36. Johnny and Donna are real people. They have posted on other forums. I believe they might be on to something, but I’m not sure… They have found a medicine wheel somewhere as their Blaze.

    • Do you have a link please? The significance of your statement alone is crying gor a link!

    • There are a lot of medicine wheels out there, and most of them documented.

      Big Horn Medicine Wheel
      Vermillion Creek medicine wheel east of DNP

      just to name a few

    • if you want to know the secrets of the medicine wheel, then just ask. I am the “self-proclaimed” expert on the subject. I don’t see it as “the” blaze, but a map, yes, quite possible. If you have incorporated into your solve jars and bells, then you definitely will find answers within the medicine wheel.
      With what they presented, it doesn’t lead to much as far as following a path to the chest. To generalized and error ridden. To hang a solve on a medicine wheel instead of the poem is a mistake, IMO. At least the Bighorn wheel could be used to show direction, answers to ATF’s, reasons for some ATF’s, bells stories, key references, book hints, and a possible map to a secret and a reason for his comment, does bighorn ring any bells? With everything it has to offer, still consider it only hints. One small part of the big picture.
      Now if they had a poem solve that told them that is the blaze, I’m all ears, but I’m skeptical they do, since the answer to the blaze is not out there. (insert ATF about the answers in a subtle way). Sorry, not at work, don’t have the link, but everyone already knows.

  37. It would be interesting to get Johnny and Donna’s take on their email. We might have to wait for their book if they’re that close though.

  38. The Chase has put an exciting X on the map for us all at one time or another. And isn’t that what it’s all about? When we get caught up in how solid and matter-of-fact this world can feel there’s nothing like a soul-stirring experience in nature like the one you just described to serve as a reminder that there’s a Higher Hand guiding us all. In Emerson’s time the word for this was Transcendentalism. The Chase continues to renew THAT for those who seek it. The real treasure, a big fat smile. The rest is mere gratuity.

  39. While revisiting this post tonight, my kids were watching a nature show, “Night on Earth.” As I read, the show cut to a scene of a wolverine and the narrator said, “a wolverine is a rare sight.” I’m going to take this as a sign. Time to find the edge.

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