The “Give Me a Break” Solution…

hl

August 2019
by dal

 

This is an old solution that I’m tired of hearing about. I’ve had numerous folks (maybe a dozen) tell me this is THE solution but when they arrived at the hidey spot the chest wasn’t there so someone must have already removed it. I hate that…

Forrest has said the chest is still where he left it many times since the first searchers arrived at this hidey spot so we know they are wrong but what surprises me is that folks didn’t understand that this was not a good hidey place even before they arrived there.

What I’ve submitted below is a compilation of many different solutions that have started out in the same place and ended in the same place. There have been slight variations in the clues between the beginning and the end but by and large this same solution comes to me more often than you’d believe.

I call it the “Simple Solution”. Because that’s what it is, very simple and straight forward, even logical…up to its end.

Step one of any solution is in identifying the place to begin.

You certainly won’t get to the chest by following the directions in the poem if you start out at a place different than the place Forrest intended the directions to start from.

I think this is self evident but let me explain…

map2

If someone gives you directions on how to find the Dairy Queen on Elm and Second Streets based on the fact that you are starting from the 7/11 on Box Street…you won’t end up in the correct place if you start from the 7/11 on Third Street instead. You’d need a different set of directions to get to the Dairy Queen on Elm Street from the Third Street 7/11.

So..the correct starting place is essential…Therein lies the rub that leads wise men to the dump instead of the palace.

Lets Begin:

Begin it where warm waters halt

Tens of thousands (I’m guessing at the number) of folks over the past 8 years have used Madison Junction in Yellowstone National Park as the place to begin. This is simply because two very warm Yellowstone rivers, the Gibbon and the Firehole end in this place and it is the beginning of the Madison River. 

There is a whole litany of reasons why folks might choose to start in this place:

1. This is a geographical place where two warm rivers end (warm waters halt) and one river starts, “it”

2. This place is known to millions of people as the end of the Gibbon and Firehole Rivers

3. This place is known to millions more people as the start of the Madison River

4. This place is known to tens of millions of people as the place where Yellowstone N.P. was born

5. This is a place Forrest is unquestionably familiar with

6. Forrest mentions fishing on all three of these rivers

7. Forrest wrote about walking in the Madison with his raft in TFTW

8. Yellowstone National Park is talked about extensively in all three of Forrest’ s memoirs

9. To me it is a logical and practical place for Forrest’s WWWH

10. This location is one of the early places that many searchers used for their WWWH and Forrest told us in a comment in September of 2012:

“Several months ago 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. Alas, and dame fortune, so often a fickle and seductive wench, never spun her wheel to lure them back.”

And at least one practical reason why it does not work:

1. Forrest said “There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe.”

This suggests to me that such a unique place, where two rivers end and a new one starts, is very unlikely to be one of many in the Rocky Mountains. I cannot think of another place where two warm rivers end and a new river begins…

But, what the heck…I’m playing the odds. Ten reasons for and only one against in my opinion…Let’s go with it.

  

And take it in the canyon down,

Screen Shot 2019 08 09 at 9 20 09 PM

USGS Topo Map showing Madison Junction with the Madison Canyon labeled just downstream of the junction.

I believe “it” refers to the Madison River.  “Canyon” refers to the Upper Madison Canyon which starts immediately below Madison Junction and “down” refers to downstream. So I take the Madison River, downstream into the Upper Madison Canyon…and all the way through that canyon…and keep going about 17 miles to Hebgen Lake.

Not far, but too far to walk.

I don’t want to walk 17 miles. So I’ll drive.

Put in below the home of Brown.

In this solution the home of Brown is Hebgen Lake for a couple of reasons:

1. Hebgen Lake is considered a Brown trout angler’s nirvana

2. Brown’s grow to be the largest and most desirable in the secret depths of the lake

The reason for this is:

The Mayflies.

Mayfly9

There are many species of Mayflies, more than 2,500 but they all seem to look fairly similar. Frankly, you’d have to care more about bugs than most normal people do to tell them all apart. Chances are that if you live somewhere on earth…particularly if you live near a lake…you have seen Mayflies…perhaps swarms of them around your porch light in the evening, in late spring and summer. 

Depending on where you hail from, the buggers are also known as Fishflies, Shadflies, Lakeflies and around Hebgen Lake by their Genus name, Callibaetis or Spinners. I can remember the air being thick with Mayflies flapping about over the shoreline of Indian Lake in Manistique in the summers when I was a kid. Swarms so thick I could smell them. They brought an odor like the lake from which they had just emerged. It seemed like millions of them appeared from nowhere. 

In truth they had just completed a journey started a year or two earlier when Mayfly eggs sank from the choppy surface of the lake and ended up in the sediment below, where they would spend the next few weeks or sometimes 24 months (depending on the species) in various states of development and then miraculously emerge again on the weedy surface as adult Mayflies. On the surface they can take off immediately…or float around for awhile contemplating their new abdomen or even climb atop a tall weed for a view of their newly acquired world before taking flight. Their shared timing is impeccable as tens of thousands, perhaps millions, do this over a course of days in the same lake….creating swarms of Mayflies, magnificent to some…alarming to others….and then, suddenly stop. They all die, falling to the ground where they clog drains, cover windshields and stink up the neighborhood.

emerge

Mayflies emerge from the bottom of the lake. This is a bug eating trout’s ultimate buffet.

Typically, adult Mayflies only live a day or two and in that time they have a natural inclination to do a lot of breeding and deposit eggs on the surface of the lake…where the eggs sink to the bottom…etc, etc.

Mayflies, of course, are not the only bug to emerge like this from Montana lakes. Hebgen is a virtual bug making machine and during the times of emergence it becomes a feeding bazaar for bug eating trout. In Hebgen Lake the trout are called “Gulpers” for the sound they make as they rise to the surface and greedily grab their victims before the insects can fly off to my front porch light and dazzle me with their numbers.

The “hatch” as it’s called when the bugs take flight is a magical and frenetic time of year for trout and also for anglers. In Hebgen there is more than one hatch per year and generally they last a very short time. Between hatches Hebgen Lake fishers tend to drink beer, eat chicken, read Orvis catalogues, carve whirligigs for their front yard and wax unpoetically about large fish they cannot prove they caught.

ffg

The fly angler’s goal is to fool the trout by using a lure, called a “fly” that resembles (sometimes pathetically) a Mayfly, Stonefly, Midge, Dun, Trico or some other bug in one of its various stages and throwing it into the lake at the appropriate time of year. This is called “fishing”. Sometimes you have to wonder what kind of nitwits fish must be to mistake what the fishers toss into the water for a real insect…

boobee

But understand, the fish are in a frenzy…caution to the wind…eat up boys while the eating is good. Hopefully one of those frenzied big Gulpers will spot your fly and go for it, you will land it and take a selfie to prove to your undeserving peers that you are among the greatest of fishers.

gulper

and then release it back into the lake and try again for a bigger one, or, if you are a fish connoisseur and brought your salt and pepper along… motor quickly to shore, start a fire and have a lunch of freshly grilled trout in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe.

fishy

Unlike stream fishing, you need a boat to get out on the lake to catch trout this way. Some fly fishers would never actually step into a boat. That’s for bait fishers…a lower class of so-called fishers…but the bragging rights are significant if you land a big Gulper, so the temptation can be overwhelming.

To get back to the home of Brown
Because of the magnitude of the “hatches” on Hebgen Lake, the trout grow large and it’s a great place to fish during the heat of summer when the fish above the lake flee the warmed up streams for something deeper and cooler and bug infested…Fishers surge to Hebgen when the “hatch is on” for the thrill of catching a BIG Brown, and many will. Hebgen Lake Browns average 19 inches vs Rainbows a couple inches smaller…so…Hebgen is considered the home of big Browns…Ask any trout catcher who lives nearby where the Home of Brown is and they will yammer on for hours about the great gulpers they caught on Hebgen Lake.

Putting in Below

The Madison River enters Hebgen Lake at its southern end and exits at the north. Prior to the dam the lake was simply a wide spot in the Madison River. Montana Power added a dam at the northern end in 1914 to make a reservoir that is used to regulate the flow for reservoirs and hydro projects further downstream. They named the reservoir after Max Hebgen…who, unfortunately didn’t live long enough to see the project completed.

Putting in below the home of Brown means putting in below the dam.

How far below the dam do we put in???

The poem tells us exactly…

From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.

Okay…stay with me here.

Screen Shot 2019 08 09 at 9 51 45 PM

Hebgen Lake Dam…see that big white thing in the center of the photo? That’s where the water from the dam is returned to the Madison…That’s the outflow. That’s directly below the dam…NOT Forrest’s special place. Don’t look there.

I’m going to say that the poem is telling me to put in DIRECTLY below the home of Brown…Immediately below the dam…where the meek won’t go…where you certainly can’t paddle upstream and where the water comes from high and the stream bed is filled with rocks and heavy loads. it’s a scary place below a dam where the tail water rushes out creating a lot of noise and where the potential for dam failure seems imminent and death feels just an earthquake away.

And is there a blaze…

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,

You bet. Lots of them. If you’re brave enough to walk around down there you’ll find blazes of all sorts, sizes, shapes and denominations depending on your particular belief about what a blaze could be…

But you should have realized before you started even looking for a blaze that this could never be the spot where Forrest expected to take his last breath…expected to be his last sight of this world. Who in hell wants to die below a noisy dam?

There is a trail made by fishers everywhere you walk down there and a road about 60ft away. No animals down there either. They have better sense…and you can’t smell anything but lake water.

and this is where the set of directions fails quickly and makes no sense.

I agree that up to this point a case could be made….but this is not the hidey spot…

So why is it that I get several folks each year who want me to believe that they went down to this place because it absolutely fits ALL the clues in the poem…yet the chest was not there …

So they claim that clearly, someone got here ahead of them and removed it…

Why does it not occur to these folks that this is not Forrest’s “special” place? He never hid his chest here. He never intended to die here.

Come on folks. Get over yourselves…

This might be a simple solution but it’s simply wrong

-dal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

175 thoughts on “The “Give Me a Break” Solution…

  1. Awesome post Dal! I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve only been in this chase for going on 3.5 months now and even I wouldn’t pick that spot as the place FF his the chest. It doesn’t fit, nor does it make sense.

    There is an area of Hebgen that does make sense, sort of, but 1000% not there. Can you do us all a favor Dal? SAY IT LOUDER FOR THOSE IN THE BACK

  2. FF said the places in his book are not hints and they certainly aren’t clues. Some people just don’t listen and you are in the front of that line. Keep searching though…you have got to spend your money on something. May as well be a lost cause.

  3. Mia Culpa.
    At one time or another I suspected various places along the Madison.
    Bear Trap canyon, Ennis, whatever.
    Now I just look at local place that are interesting for the geological features, like box canyons and waterfalls.
    Thanks for setting us straight.
    hmmm…if f always knows that it hasn’t been found, maybe there is a live streaming camera there. There a a few of those in YNP.
    Okay, I was joking about that one. I already checked.

  4. He would not talk so much about the Madison if it had anything to do with that river IMO. Look at places he doesn’t talk about but also has treasures.

    • Nice lake picture. Any golden trout splashing about? Man you just know there are some hogs under that spillway on Hebgen. I used to fish a spillway on the Mississippi when I was a kid. Later I fished a one where I currently live. I’ve hooked a few down there that I could not stop with 8 lb line on my spinning setup. Since 9/11 they would take it very seriously if they saw someone sneaking up on a dam at sunset for any reason. Can’t do that anymore. g

          • Slough Creek— Yellowstone.
            Great Cutthroat trout fishing. But they can be finicky. My brother and I were up there fishing. He had a grasshopper fly with legs—-I had a grasshopper without legs.

            Only HE could catch the dang things. lol. They ignored my fly because it was “legless”. I finally “snagged” one of them and hauled it in. I let it go. Very powerful fish though–took a while to bring it in. Almost lost my boots in the mud doing it. 🙂

            Fish there if you can——BEAUTIFUL!!!

          • Ace.. I just returned from a backpack trip to both Upper and Lower Sand Lakes in the Sangre de Cristos CO. Apparently the lakes are loaded with hybrid Cuts that Fish and Game are going to completely eradicate at the end of August (the entire drainage) in order to re-introduce a pure strain of Rio Grand Cutthroats. The upper lake in particular is loaded with average 20″ “hybrid”cuts. They are beautiful and delicious!! It seems sad and a waste to me….that fantastic fishery will take years to recover. I understand but I dont.

          • Nice, thanks for the line on some cool fishing spots. Both are going on my to do list, if I can find the end of it. Aw heck, I’ll just put them say, up here. That way I will get to them sooner. g

          • meBigGuy – When I stayed at Campfire Lodge in the Summer of 2013 (twice), the manager reported that a dead Brown trout was found at the bottom of the Madison Slide, measuring 38 inches and weighing 35 pounds. I thought that was a fish story. It wasn’t. Scroll down in this link:

            https://www.montanaangler.com/montana-fly-fishing-blog/201610/fall-run-browns-madison-river

            There is also a nice picture of that awesome Upper Madison River zone, next to the Day Use Area and below the Hebgen Dam spillway. I texted a similar photo with a fly fisherman in the ‘bubble line’ to Forrest’s email on his birthday on August 22nd, 2013. From the Grizzly Bar and Grill in Cameron (across the Madison from where his parents camped in their Airstream). That blog is a great resource for fly fishing locations and tips, IMO.

  5. How does Forest know the chest is where he left it ? Has he said he’s been back ? I recall him saying he didn’t think he could go “in there” even if he wanted too.

    • It’s very simple to find out, put a check for 100,000 there, when you go to cash out, it will become known to FF, well, this is my guess

      • Thanks I hadn’t heard of the “IOU” from a pod cast interview. Clever. My other question: If a warm river joins any other moving body of water how can it be interpreted that the warm river “halted,” when clearly the water never stops moving ? Halt by any definition I’ve found means at least a momentary pause, like a drop of water off an icicle.

        • SoulSurfer;

          If I may. Let’s say that we have a stream called “Tepid Stream”. It joins up with “Big River.” At the place that they join, It is not called the “Big River/Tepid Spring.” It is known only as the “Big River.” As an entity, the “Tepid Stream” ceased to exist or “Halted.”. JDA

          • Hi JDA,
            If that’s the case Fenn should have written as “Begin it where A warm water
            disappears”. Don’t you think?
            — MajinKing

          • No I don’t – Waters does not always refer to multiple streams or other bodies of water. We are dealing with two different water sources here – Tepid Stream and Big river = waters. I could be wrong, just how I look at it – JDA

          • JDA – just trying to figure out how others think. So using your example, you are saying the NAME Tepid Stream halts. Then you’re saying it’s named Tepid again later on? Because I’m saying that halt means stop then start again.

          • Concur with JDAs statement above. Not saying it is THE answer, but I would never rule it out. It fits one of the defn’s of halt. Yes the water continues, yes it gradually gets cooler, but the entity Tepid Spring halts [ends].

          • Exactly Yellowdawg. 🙂

            Warlock – No, in my solve it does not reappear, – The waters of Tepid Stream just join the waters of Big river, and the join forces as they take the canyon down. JDA

        • I’ve always seen halt as stopping but then starting up again. A halt is a temporary stop. “Temporary” is what distinguishes the definition of halt from stop. Remember Fenn was an architect when he wrote these words. If one water source joins a bigger source then it stops, ceases, ends. Fenn said “halt” which is why I eliminate the convergence of any two water sources as possible WWWHs. If he meant stop, he would have written stop.

          • Warlock: I’m with you. Geysers halt. And some extremely rare rivers do, too (e.g. Saint John River in New Brunswick “halts” and then reverses direction four times a day thanks to the huge tide changes at the Bay of Fundy). Alas, N.B. is rather distant from our 4-state search area.

        • Soul-
          It’s a matter of Geographical names. The Gibbon ends at that point and the Firehole ends at that point. A good map will clearly show you this. So folks who believe in this starting point are not considering it from the “waters” point of view. There is no question that the water never stops. But geographically those rivers absolutely stop…as do all rivers at some point…what’s unique about this spot is that we have two rivers…both warm…ending in a specific geographical location and a brand new river starting up in that same location.
          http://mysteriouswritings.com/featured-questions-with-forrest-warm-waters-and-geography/

          What bothers some of the folks who do not buy into this location as a starting point is the uniqueness…According to Forrest there should be many more like it…but it’s hard to come up with even one place just like it…
          http://mysteriouswritings.com/featured-questions-with-forrest-warm-waters-and-geography/

          • We have often speculated about a bathing place in New Mexico of the same name as the bathing place WWWH on the Firehole. So, that was one place. But, there are so many warm springs in the Rocky Mountains that it makes your head swim, if nothing else.

      • Yellowdog/JDA – I still ask you where is the halt? The name of the smaller creek has stopped. I get that. The river has been flowing continuously and still is even after it absorbed the creek. But the name of the creek and the flowing river are 2 completely different things and neither one of them halted(stopped AND started again). So I guess you’re saying that halt just means the same as stop?

        • Yes, Warlock. I just looked up the definition of halt (For the umteenth time) Here is what it says:

          halt1

          1.
          bring or come to an abrupt stop.

          It doesn’t say anything about starting again. In the Marines the command was – Platoon, HALT! . This meant to come to a complete, abrupt stop. A new command had to be given to start moving again – Forward, MARCH. Two separate actions. The command HALT did not mean to stop for only a short time, and then start moving again after “n” amount of time. Just my experience, and what the dictionary says – JDA

          • I agree “HALT” is a curious choice for 2 rivers converging, and the little one stopping …although in a 2D Map view I see your point. I hate to use a hot spring as my WWWH bc its been so beat to death but to me it does fit better–though instantly changes the meaning of “it” from water to road or something else, IMO.

            I replay this FF quote a lot:
            “There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe…Look at the big picture. No shortcuts to ME means that you can not choose a WWH arbitrarily you need to unlock the poem using the “big picture.” The first stanza, the poem in its entirety, google maps, i have no idea what he was talking about. I’m LOST lol.

  6. Hey Dal,

    Have you ever seen the sign at the beginning of Uncle Tom’s trail?

    Tarry Scant, and Marvel Gaze.
    Take your time, enjoy the scenery, and rest often…

    Makes one wonder…

  7. Hey, I clicked on this to read a dumb solve and instead I get an education about mayflies and gulpers?

    LOL, that’s why I’ll click on anything written by Dal. Nice job of weaving it into a good story.

    • JW – Did I spy a Brown drake hatch and spinner fall on Hebgen Lake in that great pic, Dal?:

      http://www.troutnut.com/hatch/35/Mayfly-Ephemera-simulans-Brown-Drake

      Great writing! And your solve still works for the front end of my Cabin Creek solve. And for my Madison Owl solve. The great put in for that second one is at a series of Blue Ribbon Upper Madison River fishing holes, next to that Day Use Area, just below that prime tail water below the Hebgen Dam spillway. You can put in with waders, a float tube or a canoe, like Donna M and her new fishing guide friend did (to check my Owl hidey spot).

      Bob Jacklin caught a trophy 10lb Brown in that ‘water high’, across from the ‘heavy loads’ of my glacial erratic Owl blaze. My fly fishing librarian friend and I saw that mounted Brown, and met Bob Jacklin, at his fly shop in West Yellowstone, this past May. They were both well preserved.

      One could float or canoe all the way down the Madison River from that put in, ending up in Earthquake Lake; a route that qualifies as ‘no place for the meek’ for sure. There is a photo with a hollow stump and a fly fisherman in “Flywater”, that I am hoping the author’s friend, Scott Schnebly, can help me locate on that lake.

      Just a few alternate thoughts…

      • Dal – And as to animals being on that checklist Forrest said he can see from his hidey spot:

        https://dalneitzel.com/2015/09/07/not_moose-01/

        Diggin Gypsy was standing at that Day Use Area I mentioned. And at the put in, behind that moose, I found Elk bones next to a Grizz-sized flattened area of grass, as I walked that fishing trail you mentioned, toward the dam. I am sure My Grizz, who frequents the Cabin Creek Trail and the USFS camp at that trailhead (across the 75 mph Highway 287), takes full advantage of ungulates who cross that wide open space. And probably also drags roadkill carcasses down to his cool riverside nap location.

        I spent a lot of time at Campfire Lodge, in that ‘no place for the meek’ zone. I watched and learned from many fly fisherman, including Jim Slattery, the owner, and his nephew. I spent a lot of time walking that fishing trail, especially going along the Ghost Road all the way to Earthquake Lake. I saw and smelled all of the things Forrest said he did from where the treasure lies.

        I still need to hike up that Sheep Creek Trail, across the Madison River from there; right near where the Blackfeet Indians posted the Stars and Stripes to signal to Osborne Russell and his party that they wanted to ‘go in peace’. Forrest said he read that book at least 16 times, right? And My Grizz was seen crossing the Madison at the Cabin Creek confluence, heading that direction. Probably following all those Bighorn Sheep I saw heading that direction, also, on the highway one evening.

        I have not given up on my original search area.

      • Thanks, but I’m not big on sources aside from TTOTC. So sources that have multiple degrees of separation from the poem are things I probably haven’t read and don’t know about.

  8. I had done some research a few years ago about the mayfly hatches. There is a species of them called the “Western March Browns.” I figured as a fishing master and former fishing guide, Forrest would certainly know about them. The problem is that this species does not have a specific region where they reside… they are over the place in the rivers in and around Yellowstone. I suppose that these little bugs could be the “Brown” that Forrest referred to in the poem but I gave up on that idea a long time ago. Maybe someone else can put something together with it.

    Awesome write up Dal!

    TimM

  9. Hey Dal. Right on. Hebgen was an obvious starting point for a lot of us for all those exact same reasons. That was a long time ago. Now we know those initial “points on a path” were misleading. But, not necessarily “wrong”. They lead elsewhere. There’s the rub.

    From Little GIdding:
    We shall not cease from our exploration
    And at the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time”

    The circle of life for a trout. And a trout fisher? You catch my drift, yes?

  10. I’m still baffled about the several people who personally informed me that they have actually located the TC but that it cant be recovered for a number of reasons. FF has said that the only way to be sure you have a correct solve is to get the TC. So if it is missing from your solution or cant be retrieved, you dont have the correct solve. It’s just that simple.

  11. Dal, I have a few comments to your write-up, that will most likely end up in moderation as usual. First off, “ten reasons for, and only one against in my opinion.” Care to elaborate? Next, you believe “it” is the Madison River, not IMO, that’s not “it”. You are much better @ expressing your stories than finding the TC over the last 8 yrs. Except in this case, you lost my interest midstream with to much info on insects. Fish on. Last but not least, most searchers in the beginning of the chase were focused on NM., before Mr. Fenn changed the “mountains north of Santa Fe” to the Rocky Mountains north of SF. Just my opinion.

      • Ok Dal, So, If I get your gist, It’s your opinion that you think there has to be two warm river’s joining a third cooler water source to equate to WWWH. IMO, you’ve been lost for 8 yrs. because you don’t yet understand what and WWWH. JMO as usual. As a side note, you’ve written many a story before this, that has been captivating.

        • Afana-
          No. I don’t think there has to be two rivers joining a third…
          You really seem to have a hard time comprehending what’s on the page…

          Please read the first couple of paragraphs…
          This is not my solution. This is a compilation of solutions sent to me by others…

          However, I have used Madison Junction as my WWWH in the past. I have also used others…
          I am still looking for the perfect WWWH…when I find the chest I’ll know I finally found the right one.

  12. Thanks dal,
    Your straight forward writing style is a natural for a big green eyed boobie like myself. With big Gulpers feasting, a proper mend and a Yellow Quill will keep them rising. Mid August ito mid September is a great time to be on that section of water. Now back to the solution…

  13. Dal imo your exactly right. A person can not choose a start location, they need to start where Forrest has instructed them to start. If someone is starting at a location they chose and not the one their instructed too, then their wrong. IMO

    • I don’t think Forrest has made it clear (by “instructing” us) where to start. He has given us an opportunity to guess at a starting location, and try to build a good solve based on that location. But I’m at peace with all of this. It’s been fun so far, not to mention scenic and educational. As always, in my opinion.

      • Tall Andrew;

        Do you honestly feel that Forrest created the Chase that would rely on a GUESS about the most important clue – WWWsH? I do NOT!!!.

        Logic, good observation and common sense will lead the finder to the correct WWWsH – not good guessing – JMO – JDA

        • JDA you are correct. Logic good observation and commom sense will lead the searcher to WWWH. Just for your information that the WWWH and the BLAZE is AZOTEA TUNNEL. Heavy load and water is nearby. You can view in google map. It is in northern NEW MEXICO. But the sad thing is that FENN has retrieved it and placed in WYOMING state in a private grazing land with a building and the fence is in a unique shape partly resembling the previous structure of WWWH.

  14. I agree with Madison Junction and the canyon.
    But then “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”.-ff

    • He sure did take the chest from his vault at home and hid it in one of the four states. If your certain its in WY you are just guessing.

    • With the hundreds or more searchers looking in the area and around the YNP, doesn’t that give you pause that the chest isn’t there? I think FF is smart enough to put the chest in a place that is not familiar to the searchers. MT & WY are way to obvious just because its his favorite area, don’t you think that is the “Joker”? Could very well be, then again…….

  15. Dal,

    Excellent write-up. Searchers have to realize the simplicity of the poem allows it ti be applied anywhere. Your own kitchen for example. Anyone’s kitchen for example. Just use more imagination than “knowlege” and WWWH is the sink drain…NPFTM is the trash can, etc.

    That is why there are millions of blazes and thousands of WWWH locations. Yet, ff does tell us exactly where to go and once there, you will stand next to the trove facing your ethical dilemma and considering the consequences.

    • E.D. (sorry for the giggles), did you forget to say that your message is all part of
      your opinion? If Mr. Fenn told us exactly where to go, why didn’t you go there?

      • Zap, I do not often disagree with you, but what do you think this quote means, if there is not a requirement that some WWWsH must appear south of Santa Fe?

        “Someone unfamiliar with your poem receives a message that says “meet me where warm waters halt, somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe”. Would they be able to work out where to go? If they can’t, would they need the whole poem, another stanza, or just a line or word to help them on their way? ~Phil Bayman
        .
        There are a few words in the poem that are not useful in finding the treasure Phil, but it is risky to discount any of them. You over simplify the clues. There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe. Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts. ” f

        http://.mysteriouswritings.com/featured-questions-with-forrest-warm-waters-and-geography/

        Just askin’ JDA

        • Hello JDA,

          ”Look at the big picture”, I believe simply means that there are indeed several places that are matching the criterias for WWWH. Therefore one must see the ”big picture” i.e considering the other clues in the poem, together with this information. In order to to eliminate the other potential places and find the right WWWH.

      • Hi JDA: my interpretation has always been that in the third sentence, Forrest is referring to all the conceivable interpretations of WWWH that searchers might conjure up — a lake, for instance. There are certainly lakes south of Santa Fe.

        • Yep, I agree with this. He states many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt. He is talking about examples of warm waters halt in geography and not the one in the poem. If he was then perhaps he would have mentioned it like he did in the quote about the one home of Brown in his poem.

  16. I enjoyed your write-up, Dal. Although forewarned, I do believe searchers will continue to see for themselves. If they do not see the treasure chest, go back and reread the poem, book, and marry the clues to the map. Gosh, I would love to have a Gulper! The few short years of fly fishing, I’ve only had one bite and I missed it. Time to roll up my sleeves, put on my waders and let the fish know who’s boss! lol

  17. Dal – “Forrest has said the chest is still where he left it many times” – yes, but how can he know that for sure? He can’t go check, and he’s said that no one else knows, so no one else is checking. If the finder wants to avoid tax on the find, or just wants to avoid publicity, he/she would have a motive to keep quiet. Unless the chest itself – not just whatever is covering it – can be seen by satellite (and FF subscribes to a satellite service with a lot more definition than Google Earth), how can he be sure it’s still there? And so, how can we be sure?

        • The stages/changes of a blueberry. Berry starts out green, turns to a reddish/purplish color, then to the mature berry of purple/blue. When the blueberry is at the red stage, it is still green (not ready to eat/bitter). Believe me, when I read the scrapbook for the first time, I asked the same question. I believe the scrapbook shows a lot of change.

          • Pdenver – That makes good sense to me, but the meaning behind the line in the context of the quatrain is still eluding me. Is Forrest saying that the blue color of the blueberries is symbolizing his sadness of the coming winter and that by keeping “the warming days of June” when the berries are red (& green) the cold and sadness is kept at bay? Could blueberries be substituted for blackberries? This color symbology is taking me back to “Tea with Olga”.

          • Hello Blex. I enjoyed reading your thoughts in regards to the blueberry and the possibility of what it might represent to Mr. Fenn, as well as, the possible connection to the chapter of “Tea with Olga”. Although I do not know of his thoughts, you may be correct. It is a puzzling line.

  18. Dal – Agreed; that location does not look appropriate. But going back to how you started the write-up talking about not being able to get to Dairy Queen from the right 7/11, does that mean that you no longer believe the junction of the Firehole and Gibbon as WWWH? I thought that you had been consistently sticking to that idea pretty firmly.

    • Blex-
      I use two different starting points because I have reasons to question each and so far I have not stumbled onto anything better than either of those two.

      Madison Junction is one…

          • Dal,

            So when he says specialized knowledge or extensive history…would you consider, if this is a hint in TTOTC, Journal of a Trapper as “specialized knowledge” or “history.”

          • James-
            I have no insight beyond what others have already said about this.

            To me “specialized” knowledge is knowledge beyond the norm…
            The problem with this is that the “norm” is different for various folks…
            For example, a person who got all “A”s in school and has retained that knowledge is likely to have a better normal knowledge about most subjects than I have.
            I don’t think Forrest was trying to be vague when he said that.
            I think it was an off hand remark that simply was intended to give us confidence that what we know about the universe is probably enough to unravel the poem…and the only additional knowledge that might come in handy would be an above average knowledge of geography.
            And that makes a great deal of sense to me since we know that the clues in the poem are places.

            I think he was simply saying that we don’t have to be geniuses to figure this out…

            On the other hand Forrest made the puzzle and I certainly believe he is above the norm in knowledge about many, many subjects.

            So the question becomes; Did Forrest write the poem based on his own superior knowledge of certain subjects because he believed that was the norm OR did he base it on being solvable with a less enhanced degree of knowledge, like mine???

          • Let me elaborate a little more: ff stayed in TTOTC about Robert Redford “if he had ever written anything,” if that is one of his subtle clues…would ff directing you to that book be considered “specialized knowledge?”

  19. THANK YOU, Dal. That’s the best write up I’ve ever read why WWWH is not Madison Junction! As someone who gets emails from searchers claiming they have solved the poem but need me to go get it for them, I could scream that there are still (after 9 years) so many people using Madison Junction as their WWWH. In my list of ff quotes from years ago, I have “WWWH is the hardest part of the poem to figure out…” I don’t have the source but will look for it and add it in a comment. Many times over the years, Forrest has alluded that finding the right starting point, the right WWWH is the most difficult task finding his treasure chest. So it still baffles me that so many use the most COMMON WWWH in the Rocky Mountains. Same goes for Ojo Caliente in YNP. It’s the 2nd most un-imaginative starting point in the Rockies!

    • I don’t think what Dal wrote ruled out anything (other than the hidey spot). Could be correct WWWH and CD. And then just went past HOB and everything else.

      • Yellow-
        I think what Cynthia is referring to is my one reason against using Madison Junction as a starting point. I list ten reasons why it’s a logical starting point and one reason against it…and that one reason is pretty important…don’t you think?

    • Cynthia-
      UNIMAGINATIVE…lol…Now you sound like Forrest!!!
      I think it’s very imaginative…using the first stanza as a description of the place to begin and not as a description of the hidey place:

      As I have gone alone in there

      And with my treasures bold,

      Those first two lines of the poem tell me Forrest went to this place alone and naked!

      That sounds a lot like his bathing place to me..lol…

      • Dal, you just – made me – picture the Naked Forrest Theory (can’t believe that I just said that.) Never even considered that before!

        I now believe in the Madison Junction solve for everybody (except me).

        Thanks for opening our eyes…(i think)?

      • I think FF was being symbolic or figurative or something like that, by
        implying that the hidey space represents/resembles something or
        someplace else — where he may have gone alone, and with his “treasures bold”. It might be helpful if you try to put yourself in the mindset of a hypothetical old man. (It works for me, because I am an old man.) As always, IMO.

    • That doesn’t seem logical to me. It may be true that one’s opinion hasn’t thus
      far been PROVEN to be better than another’s, though. All IMO.

  20. IMO I believe that searchers start with a simple search or one they have read about. They may go years using other’s starting points/ideas. I believe the reason is that the Chase is sort of like a religion. Now hear me out …. when someone grows up in a religious family, the person will be following what the parents believe. At some point in one’s life, the person either needs to have their own “aha moment” or they will eventually lose their faith because it has no meaning. The same with the Chase, searchers begin with reading and learning what others have done and follow that. Eventually, they will either have their own “aha moment” or will lose interest in the chase. The “aha moment” could be a new insight they have, really believing they are on to something. If they simply follow others, they will eventually lose interest, or say that the chest is not real, or believe that someone else has taken it from their spot. I understand these searchers. For the first two years of my Chase, I was following ideas put forth from others. It wasn’t until my “aha moment” that I began searching in my own spot, for my own reasons based on my own insight. To all the new searchers it’s okay to look where others have looked, it gets your feet wet. Eventually you’ll have to discover your own WWWH and start your own individual adventure! Best of luck to all.

  21. “In this solution the home of Brown is Hebgen Lake for a couple of reasons:

    1. Hebgen Lake is considered a Brown trout angler’s nirvana

    2. Brown’s grow to be the largest and most desirable in the secret depths of the lake”

    In simple words: Hebgen Lake is the hoB because Brown trout live there and grow to be the largest sizes.
    Well, I have only one doubt about this solution: I don’t see any imagination in solving of the hoB. Forrest definitely had and has extraordinary imagination so his “home of Brown” is not so simple. I’m sure that when the hoB will be solved “everybody’s going to say, ‘My God! Why didn’t I think of that?’”

  22. I Loved visiting Forrests beloved Yelliwstone! Going to all his favorite places I know he went to and Loved!
    Still I never thought that this was THE one. But who knows? Didn’t Dal search this area and make a post about it, long ago? Sorry if this has been addressed, I have not had time to read all the posts.

  23. I Like the Dairy Queen reference here and I think a good example of how the poem is vague enough that you could come up with that stellar winning solve and just be in the wrong place.

    If you start at Starbucks, where those warm waters halt in your grande cup, and head down the street in your pickup, a good ways but not out of town. Just down past the UPS store, which of course is the Home of Brown, and hang a right and you’ll see the Dairy Queen sign blazing above it. You can’t miss it. That Blizzard will give you a brain freeze, but it will be worth the cold cause it’s good!

    How many towns in the 4 state search area will this solve fit? More that one I bet. Don’t get discouraged if it’s the wrong place; just maybe check the next town.

    I’m sort of in the camp that Forrest’s “Don’t dig up the outhouses” clue involved the whole poem. So I wouldn’t poke around any man-made structures, especially dams, as my way-points or destinations. I could be wrong too though.
    Don’t get discouraged. Just keep on hunting.

  24. Um… yup nope. Thanks for the write-up Dal. I always like reading your stories. They just flow along and are easy to digest. Thanks again… and thanks for the best blog for the Chase.

  25. With the hundreds or more searchers looking in the area and around the YNP, doesn’t that give you pause that the chest isn’t there? I think FF is smart enough to put the chest in a place that is not familiar to the searchers. MT & WY are way to obvious just because its his favorite area, don’t you think that is the “Joker”? Could very well be, then again…….

    I mistakenly posted this up thread, but its down here also!

  26. Dal: Nice job, but are you saying that, after nine years, we now know only one place where is isn’t! LOL. How about starting a running list of places where people haven’t found it yet? I’m pretty sure more money has been spent by searchers than the chest is even worth, but that’s been great news for the tourism industry in the search areas! West Yellowstone will sorely miss the chase when and if it ever ends.

    • Not naysaying the chest or throwing in the towel, but your statement is a given. Say over 3 years I have put in 1000 hours. At minimum wage (here) that is $15000. The cheapest I can do a BOTG, $500. Of all the people, time, travel, etc, i would have to think you are talking near $100M spent. That is just my quick back of the envelope guess.

    • David-
      That proposal for a list of places folks have searched has been suggested to me a number of times…
      I have two reasons for not creating such a list:
      1. I don’t have the energy
      2. I don’t believe there is any practical value in such a list

      Answer 1 is self explanatory
      Answer 2 needs some additional input

      I don’t believe such a list is valuable because:
      1. What I consider a “search” in an area and what someone else considers a “search” in an area might be completely different and just because I searched there doesn’t mean I thoroughly searched there, and maybe I missed an obvious marker….
      2. We have no idea about ALL the areas searched. There are thousands…maybe tens of thousands of searches we never hear about…
      3. People lie…
      4. My guess is that this info already exists…at least as much as your’re likely to find out about…just go to all the blogs, forums, vlogs and such and read the solutions posted…you’d have all the info the rest of us have to make such a list…you could make your own list…
      5. If the clues lead someone to a place I think they should check it out…regardless of whether someone else has been there. You might have a better idea about how the chest is hidden than the last person who went there…
      6. It’s TTOTC…not TTOTF (find). Searching is fun…builds character and keeps you thinking…

      • Dal: Of course, there is value in such a list–entertainment! Isn’t that what all the blog content is for? I certainly don’t look for real content on blogs or boards. Still, I would agree with your answer #1.

        However, to be serious, I hope that, if and when the treasure if found, someone will try and do the research needed to determine how many people have actually searched, where they went, and how much they spent. Gypsy’s Kiss did a survey, but it is still just a small sample. The amount of time people have devoted to the search, as well as searcher insanity, is staggering, so it would be an awesome case study of how people think when they are trying to answer questions that they cannot solve. Think ancient peoples and acts of nature. People want to see patterns even where none exist, so they create answers that are not supported by fact or twist the facts to support their beliefs.

        • David T – Exactly why I think the bronze chest and the backstory belong in the Natural History Museum at the Smithsonian, when found. Last I heard, the Director chose to forward my request to the Museum of History for consideration instead. I believe The Chase is a Social Artifact.

      • A “list of places folks have searched” would be a novelty but useles as a searcher tool. As you said in reasons 1 and 5, the treasure will almost certainly be found in a place that’s been searched multiple times already.

      • I intend on working on such a list when I have time on my chase website. I’m working on two other websites at this time as well as finishing writing a book and working a full time job so it may take me some time. I’ll update when I do however.

        • Good Luck Aaron. Not all searchers (including me) reveal their search area. It will take a BIG pin to cover all of Wyoming, since that is all I have revealed about my search area, and I suspect many searchers are just as secretive – but Goof Luck – JDA

          • Thanks JDA, I wouldn’t expect all to reveal their search locations, particularly if they are still searching there. There are plenty of people that have searched and given up on areas. Any kind of info they can share could be useful for others in either saving money on a trip, or by providing more detail on the area, how they got there, and where exactly they searched.

  27. To me “Take Your time” does not evoke “Tarry Scant”. It would be the opposite in meaning.

    Beside that, the treasure has been said to be not near a human made trail. And that is what Uncle Tom’s Trail is, with no way to leave it. But, I do like that it is a box canyon with awesome waterfalls. And, the bottom of the sign DOES evoke “I’ve done it tired”.

    • FF said “human trail”. But that’s vague. A tracking dog could follow a scent
      trail left by a human. Is a road a “human trail”?

      His comment about a human trail isn’t very helpful. I suggest a searcher should
      concentrate more on the poem than on any blogs about this hunt (if serious
      about finding the TC, that is). All in my opinion.

      • Tall Andrew – Good point. Is Forrest going Boots In The Water to cross the Madison River, wearing chest-high waders, to get to my hidey spot, a ‘human trail’?

        Could a good Hound Dog follow Forrest the Fox there? Probably just to the shoreline at Baker’S Hole. Within 200′ of the treasure.

        All IMO.

  28. Of all the bewildering “solve” E-mails you must receive Dal, I can’t help to think that just maybe one of them could actually be (or evolve into) the correct solution.

    • Ran-
      I ask folks NOT to send me their solutions unless they want them on the blog. Most people honor my request but some just write their solution and send it to me without asking…
      The reason I ask folks not to send me their solutions is for legal and ethical reasons. What if someone sent me their solution and it was one I was also working on?
      They would never believe me…and if I actually found the chest in that location it would be very complicated to prove that I did not use their solution.
      So, unless someone is sending a solution for posting on the blog and therefore the public use of their solution I don’t want to see it…

      So…I don’t receive very many that you don’t see on the blog…
      However, there are solutions that come that I won’t publish on the blog…those that are in a known dangerous location. Those that do not follow the guidelines…for instance they may take the searcher into a cave or under an outhouse. Those that are repeats of another solution already on the blog. Those that are written poorly and I cannot understand. Solutions that end with folks saying they are certain it was the correct solution but since the chest was not there Forrest must have moved it or another searcher got there before hand and removed it….
      There might be another reason or two that I wouldn’t post a solution but I can’t recall any others right now…

      • I used to think that searchers confiding in you would give you an edge in the Chase but it sounds a lot more like a nuisance.

  29. Maybe look a little further downstream from the dam, like around Fireside (the blaze?).
    There is a large white mark high on the cliff across the river there. Would FF have waded the river to hide his teasure?

    • Brad-
      Of course…but that was not the point of posting this solution. But if you want to read other solutions along the Madison, further downstream, there are several others posted under “Other’s Adventures”. Diggin Gypsy specializes in the area around Ghost Village and Beaver Creek and has many interesting possibilities in her writings…

  30. Dal, this must have been an emergency. You broke the looking glass.
    I can’t imagine how many emails you receive. Thanks for all you do, (I think for free, right?) no salary from Forrest. You deserve the income from his next reprint.

    • 42-
      Glad you asked that question.
      There has been a rumor that surfaces every once in awhile that Forrest pays me to keep the blog. Absolutely not true. I doubt that Forrest even looks at the blog unless I write something stupid and he gets a ton of emails calling it to his attention. (that’s happened)

      Forrest does send photos and stories to be posted…but he does not pay me in any way shape or form…

      The blog is my fault and my fault alone…
      OK…except I have help from Chris who is the technical guru around here…
      Hence the ads…which provide a fee to Chris for the work he does to keep this place from burning down.

      • Haha…Your fault..that’s funny!
        May I ask something that seems Taboo?
        It’s about Goofy. He just disappeared? Has anyone heard from him?
        I saw a video online that said he was niether goofy, old or male! Lol
        It said someone connected to Forrest.
        Seemed like he worked 24-7 on this blog!
        I always wondered if he was being compensated.
        But that’s not my concern.
        They said he was really a she? Lol
        Anyway it’s a mystery and there seems to be alot less banning going on!
        Dal and Chris your doing great and Thank you!
        Again, can anyone confirm If Goofy ever checks in? Or is it one big mystery……..has Dal even ever seen him? Or talked on phone? Hehe

        • LL-
          I never met Goofy. He was a guy I just knew I could trust so I gave him the passwords to my email, my server, the blog…he could have cleaned out my bank account if he wanted…
          I trusted him without hesitation and he never crossed that trust.
          He was tough on others who couldn’t abide by clear rules and he had his beliefs about how the poem could be interpreted. I miss the guy…
          He just disappeared…as mysteriously as he appeared…
          I know what part of California he lived in…
          I know he was married and had kids…
          I know he liked dogs and big trucks…
          He knew the mountains and had friends in low places…
          He was a great IT person…
          He was honest, grumpy and smart…
          Lots of folks on the blog liked him…
          Those who were the target of his anger did not…

          Legends usually grow over time. Speculation about who Goofy really was and where he went continues to exceed likelihood…
          But that’s okay 🙂

          His photos at the top of every page of the blog are my reminder that he is still here…helping me keep this rag together…

          • He is still here? Have you ever spoke with him?
            What a mystery!
            Why did you trust him? Did anyone know him?
            Why doesn’t he just say hi?
            Thanks so much for answering.
            Did Forrest know him.?
            Sorry for all the questions.

          • Regarding the photos at the top of every page of the blog, I tink: some of those photos are pretty *grand* (although Holden Caulfield wouldn’t want me using that word); more than one could deserve a “thumbs up”.

  31. thanks Dal. Im sure you put hard work in taking care of this blog, and may I say, you are doing a good job and I thank you. For a lot of years ive heard of a place that is near and dear to him,And I think for me it has a good clue and that to me would be , home of brown.

  32. I’m going to respectfully disagree with the many on here who post that the Madison Junction solve is “unimaginative.” I firmly believe that WWWH is Madison Junction. I think many people get lazy after the first or second clue and start rushing things. IMO, the laziest and most unimaginative solve is one where “Home of Brown” refers to brown trout. And that’s where things get sideways for many searchers. Of course, I haven’t found the chest either, so what do I know? I know that I revised a West Yellowstone solve that I feel like I rushed through, and plan on going BOTG next year, if Indulgence hasn’t been found by then. Also, keep in mind that Forrest originally referred to Indulgence by another name.

    I keep coming back to the West Yellowstone area because the clues seem to fit best. I briefly moved to Colorado, and while I found some astounding coincidences with relation to certain locations, I just couldn’t make it work. I also live in northern New Mexico, and can’t seem to make it work. It’s Wyoming/Montana for me or bust.

  33. I like ice cream so any way I can get to Dairy Queen will work.
    Sometimes I even take a “shortcut.”
    Chocolate is my favorite.
    Not an opinion – it’s a fact. LOL

  34. Dal , could you do us a favor and tell us where to find the statement when FF said that searchers and/or people have been within 200ft and/or 500ft from chest ??” I believe it can be connected to Madison junction area . oh , I need to know when he made this or these statements . please , after i verify what the statement actually say`s , i will tell how they may be connected . if it is not too much trouble , thanks

    • JPE;

      I have “Chasing Words of Forrest Fenn” by J.C. Merritt. I typed in 200 feet and it came up with 37 separate comments that Forrest has made that relate to 200 feet. I then typed in 500 feet and got 8 references, so, it would be difficult to post them all. I went to http://Tarryscant.com and put in 200 feet and stopped counting at 25 times. I came up with about 11 times for 500′.

      Go to Tarryscant.com and pick the one(s) that you think apply. Use the tools that are out there, rather than asking others to do your research for you – Just a suggestion – JDA

      • Sorry if I sounded a bit brusk – I am just encouraging you to discover what tools are out there, and then use them so that it is YOU that are making the decisions, not someone else – No offense I hope – JDA

        • JDA , no offence here , i can assure you that I WILL look for my own quotes from now on . i had just seen so many other times in the blog where others ask of a certain quote and other bloggers seemed to help without it being a problem , that i thought i would ask rather than trying to find it myself . you in no way hurt my feelings , besides , I am no more upset about asking the question than you should be for answering one not addressed to you .

  35. I tried to make the halt as trains halt at junctions. Like my failed MJ down M.canyon to
    seven mile bridge where the other seven where. Wrong. I like my campanula creek one
    except in real photos you can step over it. Could just be where the gibbon ends is all.
    Summer time in Yellowstone. The crowds. that’s not happening. Well the Park itself is
    part of Forrest life. Maybe the answers are in the books. What happens 20 years from
    now. Google forrest. lot something block something. Or a conversation. remember that
    forrest fenn guy. O yah. the. Yellowstone National Park guy. The answers he already knows.
    Thats the bad reasoning I use. But you don’t see me getting on a plane to go search either.
    I know I should write dal my solve. I think I just read an ear full of the answer to that.
    My question is how hard is this. He is OK with it staying where it is forever. Is it easy or
    near impossible to locate the chest. Forrest how about another hint.
    I know please rule out Yellowstone. Wishful thinking.

  36. We all need a break some time.
    As long as there are newbies (as we all were at one time) there will be no break in the entertainment and those that know or knew exactly where and what all the clues are will keep rolling in.

    I would make it more difficult to find my email address.

    Considered Mad Junk, but couldn’t get over the names ending being a focal point even when the names may change in the future. I don’t consider either rivers being warm to the touch at or near the Junx all year long. Why would some of the clues in the poem be seasonal with total disregard for what the human body actually feels? Out the window it went.

    You can take a bath in the Firehole anytime of year near Ojo.

  37. And still, I would like to return to Mr. FF’s past tips, where the hint at the rocky mountains is not at the top, but perhaps nearby, at one of the forums it was discussed how I would be more repelled by this topic when looking at the google map map, http: / /mysteriouswritings.com/forrest-fenn-treasure-facts/

  38. ” or, if you are a fish connoisseur and brought your salt and pepper along… motor quickly to shore, start a fire and have a lunch of freshly grilled trout in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe.”

    Seriously, Dal?!? “Start a fire’?!? After hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness have been scorched due to human incompetence, you advocate for fire? Your picture shows a responsible outdoorsman using a stove. Advocate for that. But “start a fire”?1?

  39. I’ve given”it a break” but I’m not out by any stretch of the imagination. Solve isn’t spot on, or maybe it is. Guess it depends on scale.

    I can’t imagine indulgence being found this field season, still possible I suppose. I think I’d like to take a trip next year. And my “give me break” solution is correct until proven otherwise. Similar to the theory called gravity, it’s still a theory.

    Cheers,

  40. Hi Dal,

    This I don’t understand the logic of:

    ”Forrest said “There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe.”

    This suggests to me that such a unique place, where two rivers end and a new one starts, is very unlikely to be one of thousands in the Rocky Mountains. I cannot think of another place where two warm rivers end and a new river begins…”

    Here Forrest basically confirms what he means with WWWH i.e a place where a warm river meets with a less warm or cold river. There are indeed many places like that in the Rokys. And it also matches Madison junction, since the firehole river (hot river) meets wih a cold river Gibbon river and forms the Madison river.

    So my point is that this also speaks in favour for this place at WWWH.

    • Hi Chris,

      Can you name one other example? You said “There are indeed many places like that in the Rokys.” You said that “And it also matches Madison junction, since the firehole river (hot river) meets wih [sic] a cold river Gibbon river and forms the Madison river.”

      But then why Forrest said that “Begin it where warm waterS halt” in his poem, instead of “Begin it where warm water haltS”. Firehole River is just one river, not rivers.

      — MajinKing

      • MK-
        Let me jump in here…
        The Gibbon is a warm river near Madison Junction. Not as warm as the Firehole but much warmer than a cool mountain stream. Like the Firehole it passes through geyser basins on the way to its end and hot thermal water brings up the temperature considerably. Gibbon Falls cools the water down some but it is still warm water when it hits the Junction. It has been so warm in some years that the river below the falls has been closed to fishing. Feel free to read this description of the Gibbon from Montana Troutfitters in Bozeman:
        https://troutfitters.com/blog/post/an-intimidating-river-in-yellowstone-by-mike-cline

        They say this about the Gibbon:
        “Geothermal influences from the Norris Geyser Basin and downstream thermal features warm the river much like but not as much as the Firehole. “

        • MK-
          So that’s why folks say “warm waters” fit the junction perfectly…two warm streams end in that place allowing for the plural form of warm water…

          It fits very well…that doesn’t mean it’s correct..it just means it fits…

      • Hello MajinKing,

        Good points but I think Dal explained it pretty well. ”Warm waters” i.e two waters that converge into water (making up a river) that is ideal for fishing brown trout (”cold water”). This is the explanation I think.

        Notice: the water does not become cold immediately of course, since both Gibbon and Firehole rivers are ”warm waters” but metaphorically speaking since they form one of the best trout waters in the world.

        ”The Madison is one of those world famous rivers that almost any fly fisher anywhere will recognize. The river is one of the best places in the world to catch large brown trout. ”

        http://chiwulff.com/pages/madison.html

        Now to your first question: are there more examples in the rockys where two ”warm waters” (rivers) converge and give raise to a new river? I am sure there are. @Dal could you help us out here?

        Cheers,
        Christ

    • I think Forest’s comments about the “big picture” and “many places” means that if you try and shortcut, i.e. isolate lines of the poem and solve them individually, solutions become infinite. clue 1: Begin it where warm waters halt And take it in the canyon down. When I read that clue “It,” , in both halves of the line refers to the same noun/subject. In thinking about the meaning of “it,” that meaning should also fit clue #2 (or the second half of clue #1 depending on how you define the 9) which is NFBTFTW. PIBTHOB. If “it” is a road, based on what many people think about the meaning of NFBTFTW, then we are driving. So, we are looking for a road which begins or intersects or is very near to a place WWWH. Then that road needs to go into a canyon almost immediately. Following this interpretation further let’s add the term “Put in” as a reference to exiting a river at a port or dock. So we now are looking for a road, that starts at WWWH, goes through a canyon down (in elevation), follows a river that leads to HOB, all within 10-20 miles. That narrows down our possible WWWH significantly, yet we still need to decide what WWWH means (hot spring, river junction, the ocean).

      Another approach: If you define “it” is as a river and follow it on a map vs BOTG and don’t start BOTG until HOB, now we have more possibilities. UGH

      ps I’m pretty new to the blog so I’m sorry if this thinking is too basic and has been beat to death.

  41. wwwh and canyon down is one place- canyon down to me means the bottom of the canyon – so start at the bottom of the canyon where wwwh is , and take it in (go up ) to home of brown.

  42. I think that when you get to in the wood – you will start with the first stanza which will be the last stanza – where you will go alone in there- just like he did, take the gold and go in peace

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