Scrapbook Two Hundred Seven…


September, 2019


Absarokee Hut


In 1982, I was writing The Beat of the Drum and the Whoop of the Dance, my first biography of the painter Joseph Henry Sharp (1859-1953). It was a wonderful and fulfilling experience for me. My friends complained that the story had consumed me. Maybe so, because a note written to myself at the time, reads “I am drawn to Mr. Sharp like smell is drawn to a daffodil.” (that unfortunate comment is the by-product of too much wine, and working too late at night). 

Early Winter on Crow Res

Early Winter on the Crow Reservation by Joseph Henry Sharp

Sharp wanted to spend his winters at the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana where he could record a culture on canvas that he felt was fading from our national view. It was not uncommon for Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapahoe, and Blackfeet Indians to visit the Crows, and Sharp wanted to paint all of them.

My preface to “Beat of the Drum” reads, in part:

I journeyed four times to Crow Agency, Montana, where the artist spent the happiest part of his life. I swam the Little Big Horn River, and walked the Custer Battleground as Sharp had done. I saw many of the things that he had seen, and thought many of the thoughts he must have thought. Present reality faded as I saw hundreds of teepees that populated the valley while painted ponies grazed along the river. 

As my knowledge of Sharp expanded, I found a growing parallel in our personal philosophies and interests. We both revered the life the old-time Indian lived, and bemoaned the bureaucratic overcast that suffocated the very spirit of his dead. 


In 1905, with the blessing of the Indian agent, Sharp built a log cabin on the reservation adjacent to the battleground. Seventy-nine years later, I purchased the cabin for $15,000.

The problem was that an Indian school teacher was living in it, and I certainly wasn’t going to throw her out. We made a deal, she could live in the cabin, rent free, as long as she wanted to if she would notify me when she moved out. I was told it would be vandalized if it stood empty. 

A few months later she called to say she was leaving, and I flew up to look at the cabin I had never seen on the inside.  

In 1926, it had been the headquarters for the 50th reunion of the Custer Fight. A few of the old battle-hardened troopers and Indian warriors who had fought in the fight, signed the guest register in the cabin. That number included General Edward Godfrey, who was with Captain Benteen in the fight and later received the Medal of Honor for his action in the Indian skirmish at Bear Paw Mountain. I was thrilled to own such an important piece of history. 

Soon after, I gifted the cabin to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, 164 miles away.


I knew it would safely rest there in perpetuity.


The Cabin Inside the Historical Center

But there were two rules. They had to go pick it up intact, and install it within the museum complex. And if there was anything under the floorboards, it had to stay under the floorboards. I had learned from a Montana old-timer that tradition required the builder to leave some kind of “thank you” token under the floor, a talisman of sorts.

 Sure enough, when the cabin was lifted, there was a claw hammer laying in the dry dirt among a host of spider webs and doodlebug swirls. It was vintage-old, but in good condition. I thought that was pretty well-ordered because an interesting footnote to history had unfolded right there in front of me. 


Cabin Interior

A few years later, when I was a trustee of the museum, I enjoyed touring the many artifacts in the basement storage areas. 

Well, there on a shelf was the hammer, horribly out of context, forlorn looking, and totally forgotten. To make matters worse, someone had affixed an ugly, sticky label to the hammers handle. I was sure that both the cabin and the hammer felt maltreated. 

I asked the curator to gather up a shovel and the two of us headed to the museum alcove where the cabin was installed. It didn’t take much effort to dig a small tunnel below the footing and slide the hammer in under the floor. 

The curator and I were joking as we walked back to his office. At the next board of trustees meeting he made an announcement about what we did. They all smiled. 

Sometimes you have to just grab a misplaced tradition by the tail and rearrange it back like it’s supposed to be. f 

Author’s notes: 

*There is some reason to believe that the hammer was later retrieved and placed inside the cabin. I don’t know. f

*My treasure chest is not associated with any structure, and it has not been retrieved or moved since I first hid it. f

*The email below confirms my story about the hammer at the Sharp cabin. Maybe it is time for me to give another hint. The Fenn Treasure chest is not hidden at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, or any property owned by them. f


Dear Forrest,

I wanted to make you aware that lately several people looking for the Fenn Treasure came by/contacted the Center of the West hoping to gain access to the Joseph Henry Sharp Cabin to view the hammer kept in the crawlspace under the floorboards. One gentleman spoke to several staffers on the phone and then proceeded to misrepresent our conversations in a YouTube video.

I wonder if we can request your help with this and other inquiries by confirming to the public that the treasure is not buried at the Center? And/or, may I make an image of the hammer available to the public, and explain that the hammer resides below the cabin at your request, by verbal agreement?

19 00 269

Thank you in advance.



Karen B. McWhorter
Scarlett Curator of Western American Art Whitney Western Art Museum







187 thoughts on “Scrapbook Two Hundred Seven…

    • I have also walked the battle fields of the little bighorn, and the one thing o have to say is we we were born to s see what we have became to be. we are here to remember, that is always the big picture. good day to all.

  1. I just visited the Sharpe cabin for the first time this month. It was beautiful!

    I wish there wasn’t a protective wall to keep us from walking around and touching the cabin, but it was a connecting experience nonetheless.

    Thanks Forrest, Dal, and Joseph Henry Sharp!

  2. Enjoyed reading this, but now my mind is going in 20 directions. Especially because of the very last sentence. Things that make you go hmm!

    • James,

      I agree. It stated that it has not been retrieved or moved since he first hid it, but he didn’t say that it hasn’t been “found”.

      And by that I mean that maybe someone emailed him with the correct hidey spot? It definitely has my mind spinning lol. Only Forrest knows.

  3. Another reference to the treasure still being where he left it. I take it as Forrest saying to someone “It’s there, go get it”

  4. Thank you, Forrest, for gifting us with this story. Next time I’m at a football game, I’ll be sure to
    yell at my favored team: “Gift ’em with hell!” This entire message is part of my opinion. (It’s mine because someone gifted me with it.)

    • I agree with everything you just said there Tall Andrew. It was a great story by Forrest. I am having some of the same feelings, but hopefully this gift you received wasn’t intentional.

  5. Thanks Dal, for placing one of your recent photos of the cabin in my story.
    An unfortunate side note to history is about a client of mine who lived in Santa Barbara. She owned the guest register that was in the cabin for the old fight participants to sign.
    I once had the opportunity to leisure through it and see the names of many historic figures.
    A forest fire in Santa Barbara took her house and the guest register. Surely there were a few angels who cried. f

    • Nice story and save of history but unfortunately Mother Nature takes it back in time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      Some secrets never last as time wipes the canvas clean.

      Your treasure is not associated with any (man-made) structure?
      I know, we always want more.

      • Yes, could you define “Structure” for us? 🙂 Thanks for the scrapbook! Something to ponder over the snowy weekend!

        • Better yet. Please define associated. What is this, like no structures within 10,100,1000,10000 feet of the treasure? Associated is pretty comprehensive.

          There is a structure within 90 feet of the treasure location I defined. Going by Forrest’s words I am inclined to think there is no way that can be it.

      • Agree, nice story Forrest.

        His Treasure “Chest” is not associated with any structure, but in the path that the chase (poem) takes you on may have many structures, including man made ones. IMO….. Forrest, please at least give that much.

    • Wait, did you sell it to her?

      ” I was thrilled to own such an important piece of history. ” versus “I once had the opportunity to leisure through it and see the names of many historic figures.”

      Thank you for the scrapbook Forrest!

    • Thank you for this story Forrest. It is sad to hear about her loss, Fire can be a terrible thing and it can make a severe impact for years to come.

    • I plan on visiting the Buffalo Bill Center next summer. Look forward to seeing the cabin. Anyone have recommendations on restaurants in Cody?

      • James – The only place that I ate at in Cody when I visited the Center last summer was “Granny’s” for breakfast a couple of times. It’s a straightforward diner, but the food and service was great there. I recommend as a good place to start the day and fuel up before a day of museum-visiting and/or hiking. Have a good visit next year!

      • I have a negative story about a restaurant. A few years back Tess and I were in Cody. We saw a sign “New Mexican Food” Being from New Mexico, we immediately went to try it out. We both ordered enchaladas. As any Mexican food eater knows, it HAS to be oven hot. Ours were served COLD!! I asked that the waiter take it back and re-heat it. They made a new plate, and again served it COLD – yuck!

        I ate it anyway – well half anyway, and we left. The sign meant “NEW – Mexican restaurant NOT – New Mexican restaurant – and it was SOOOO new, it had NO idea how to serve Mexican food.

        Oh well, we enjoyed the museum any way – 🙁 JDA

    • Hi Forrest
      Was one of those crying Angels ridding a goat up by wwwsh?
      I thought I might have seen one there.

    • Forrest, thank you for caring enough to take the time and the money to move that piece of history to the museum. Maybe you were meant to see the names of the register for a reason.

    • I’m replying to Forests post but anyone can answer, is that an air conditioning window unit or maybe a swamp cooler hanging off the side of the cabin in the b&w photo? Seems odd, and probably not an ad unit, but sure seems funny. HA!

      • PL289 – Interesting spot! The first window air-conditioning units were invented in 1945 and I can’t tell if this photo is older than that or not, but I don’t have any better guess as to what that box could be. Forrest purchased it in 1984 when it was still being lived in.

        It’s also worth noting that that portion of the cabin (if it is part of the cabin) did not get relocated to its present spot. I can’t tell if that is a lean-to addition that was added onto the cabin at one time (and was then left behind or demolished when it was moved to the museum?), or if it is a freestanding outbuilding partially hidden from view by the main cabin.

  6. I enjoyed this scrapbook. Learned a little more history about the cabin that I didn’t know previously. I’ve seen the cabin and it’s beautifully preserved for generations to see. I enjoyed reading about the tradition and what was found and can only wish the hammer is still under the floorboards. If it truly isn’t, that would be sad, especially since it was a stipulation to the property. Some traditions are meant to be.

  7. I was trying to find where the original location of the cabin was exactly in the crow reservation.
    If anyone has this information I’d really appreciate if you could post it. I have spent some time. In the town of Garryowen. if any of you have a chance to stop in that town and go to the museum I think you’ll find it’ surprisingly wort it.


  8. Well who would of ever thunk it Cool info indeed post some more story’s while us searchers wait for the snow to pass arghhhhh

  9. Wow! I literally just text somebody this city name, the story of that cabin, and surrounding cities 2 days ago. Now scrapbook 207 comes out and talks about the same thing I told them! This is kinda creeping me out.

  10. I really enjoyed the history as you recorded it, it’s nice when things aren’t lost. My father-in-law is Harris Custer, a descendant General Custer and he has done a lot of research on the area and had been there many times. I forwarded the scrapbook link to him because there’s information here he probably doesn’t know and I know he will enjoy it. Sharpe was an amazing man I’m so glad you chronicled the history for us. James

  11. So when do NM searchers toss in the towel and admit they’ve been wrong? Within the last 48 hours Forrest was quick to post this year’s winter safety warning and effectively shut down search operations in the Northern Rockies. Now yet another recent Montana story.

    • Zap… Your reasoning may be valid, or it could be totally misguided. As the poem has not been deciphered and the treasure retrieved… I remain open to the idea that the poem’s solution will eventually reveal it’s secrets and lead someone to the hidey place… wherever that may be.

      It is really great that Fenn has taken searcher’s safety up a few notches ahead of the stormy weather in the Northern Rockies. He really shouldn’t have to… but some folks just don’t get it. As far as this SB goes… Anyone that is really familiar with JH Sharp would know that he spent his *winters* at the Crow reservation and always showed up before the Crow Festival in October. Thus, he spent his summers elsewhere… considerably south of there.

    • Zap – The only thing that will ever make me rule out New Mexico completely will be if the treasure is found elsewhere.

  12. “Sometimes you have to just grab a misplaced tradition by the tail and rearrange it back like it’s supposed to be. f”

    Definitely some wisdom in this statement. IMHO.


  13. Hey Forrest

    Thank you for sharing a part of history in “The Beat of the Drum and the Whoop of the Dance”.

    I’m always looking for books related to native history and art. I’m going to have to put this on my list to read. Whenever I have the time and pass by Little Big Horn I stop to pay my respects. I’ve sat there by the visitor’s center and closed my eyes and try to go back in time. I recently finished reading “Custer’s Fall” by David Humphreys Miller. It just amazes me that Joseph Henry Sharp was actually there recording history with paint. Can you imagine being able to talk with people that were a part of that epic turning point in history. Truly the end of the trail for an ancient way of life. I was looking at Joseph Sharps paintings online and like his style. Now I’m thinking of stopping at some of those places his art is kept and will most likely want to see those places in his paintings for myself.

    Thanks again Forrest for preserving this for all to see.

  14. I had the pleasure of visiting the Custer Battleground this summer. Truly enjoyed the visit.

  15. Good Evening Forrest;

    You have so many interesting stories. Thanks for sharing them with us. A lot of information to absorb in this one. Lots to think about. JDA

  16. I’m fortunate to have this beautiful book as part of my collection. Joseph Sharp was an extraordinary artist.

  17. Lol, and what was the name of the typewriter he used to write the book?:0

    And 164 miles? Why did he remember that? Google Earth? So, if so, was there something else he may have been reminiscing about while strolling thru Montana?

    Seek-no-further tree looks more and more like a possible hiding place.

    • Since they had to move the whole cabin to the museum, I’m guessing 164 miles was a significant piece of information that had to be known before both parties agreed to the deal.

      • Bowmarc;

        Funny thing is: If you google distance between Absarokee, MT. and Cody, WY, they say that it is only 97 miles, NOT 164 – HUMMM? I must be missing something. The cabin was on the reservation, and not in the town of Absarokee, but somewhat near, I guess. Someone may have the answer as to why this disparity – JDA

  18. Thank you for sharing this story with us, Forrest, and for preserving a bit of the past, along with a tradition that went with it. So much has been forgotten, it’s nice to see when something is remembered. Having Native American roots myself, I love stories like this. Our spirits have definitely become suffocated and have always been much happier free.

  19. Grabbing a misplaced tradition by the “tail.” More stories about Cody, Wyoming. Is Mr. Fenn trying to give us a hint here?

    Is he referring to “Tailwaters?” Tailwater fisheries are those that exist solely due to the influence of a dam at the head of the river, or section of river that regulates flow and temperature. Spillway type dams allow warmer water from the surface of reservoirs to enter the river.”

    Hebgen Lake (between the lakes) is considered a Spillway type, as is Buffalo Bill Reservoir. Could he be referring to either body of water as WWWH?

  20. Another scrapbook with a lot of rabbit holes.

    *The last asterisk definitely sinks the theory that scrapbooks provide no hints.

    But of course, it is the last line that is the real meat and potatoes…or is it?

  21. Nice SB. Once again FF highlights JH Sharp. He now reveals that his interests and philosophies parallel Sharp’s. I find that interesting. On a personal level… Fenn’s comment about the *daffodil* brought back a childhood memory of my introduction to Sharp as an artist. He is primarily noted for his depictions of Native Americans, but created many fabulous florals as well.

  22. Mr.forrest, liked your story would love to have all your books. Gaspard delighted me.san lazrenzo brought me to love the Indian ways.and ttotc and tftw.and ouaw.loved all the stories and history of you.the traditions of ling ago are pretty much gone.what a shame.that was the best history to build things and live off the land. It was hard work.i always love it when you sketch many pictures in my mind. Seeing a place,but hearing about that place is a magic story book of history.

  23. Sometimes history has a way of fascinating my mind. I loved reading this story as it captured my attention. I found myself imagining I was there too. My parents brought me to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center when I was young and I need to take my family one day. What an amazing thing to be able to do to preserve a piece of history for many others to enjoy. Thank you Forrest for that and for sharing!

    I couldn’t help, but be drawn to your footnote which mentions your treasure chest hasn’t moved since you hid it. You talk about a hammer in your story. Those two things made me think a moment of Mjölnir. I bet that could move it. Perhaps we all wait on one worthy enough to wield it.

    • Dampened Myth – I also thought of Thor putting the hammer down with Captain America in the Avengers series. And of Thor crossing the Burning Rainbow Bridge. And of Diggin Gypsy ‘putting the hammer down’ to reach Montana.

      If I had a hammer…if I had a bell. What say you, Eric Sloane??

      Meanwhile, I was shopping for antique claw hammers:

      I know shovels are prohibited in YNP. Are you suggesting I bring a claw hammer to dig in my inverted ‘A’-shaped mole hole at my under-the-Rainbow-bend hidey spot out Baker’S Hole, Forrest?

      Diggin Gypsy has a metal detector with her…but she doesn’t have great studded wading boots, like I did. So her feet will get cold.


        • I believe he did.

          There are so many directions one can go but only one is the right way.

          He recently said it might take someone 100 years and even with the clues it’s difficult. That makes me feel like he felt it might be impossible to do in one lifetime.

          It was thought impossible to overthrow Babylon until the day it wasn’t.

          I can’t help but feel with all the posts like someone is real close to the end.

          • That’s what I’m thinking as well. All the recent posts, and his random appearance in the blogs last night has me feeling someone is REALLY close

          • Was it last year or the year before he released a load of SBs in autumn? It’s actually not unprecedented… maybe he’s just giving searchers things to chew on for the winter.

          • “There is some reason to believe…” kind of stands out to me. Most would just say, there is reason to believe…interesting.

  24. Thanks Amber
    The good old days when words would hold a child’s attention and imagination
    would project him to a place unknown. Pretty cool stuff.

        • The old cabin pic came from Forrest. The book cover came from Amazon. Early Winter on the Crow Reservation came from the web.
          I provided the remaining photos:
          The present cabin exterior, the present cabin interior and the front of the Historical Center.

  25. Then again he says he’s not sure where the hammer is now. If there is a LS why can’t they go back and get the chest?! LOL what can stop Thor’s hammer?

    With winter at the doorstep I couldn’t help but have a little fun. It does appear like we may all get another winter to try to catch up.

    • Dampened Myth – Forrest did say that Cher “can do anything”, in that 2011 interview with Loreen Mills about her autograph in his guest house book:

      Go Diggin Gypsy! That’s spelled W•O•M•A•N! I think she can do anything, also. Be INTREPID!

      So unfortunate about the Absarokee Hut book with such important historical signatures being lost n the Santa Barbara fire. Nowadays, a library would have digitized the content for all to see. I would have loved to see those signatures.

  26. Like a rose THorn. Digraph TH is called a thorn. WorTH THe cold= brrr=burr (f misspells brrr as burr in SB 206) and burr is also a knot IN WOOD.

  27. Interesting scrapbook. It seems a lot of people are familiar with the cabin already, but it’s new to me. I also had not heard about the under the floorboards tradition so that’s a fun bit of knowledge as well.


    • Seems to me that Forrest is indicating to the future finder, that they leave something as a “Thank You.” – Like the hammer. Also, is Forrest hinting that Indulgence is under something – like a floorboard – but NOT man made – Like a rock or something more natural? HUMMM??? JDA

  28. And here I was sweatin’ Hugh Jackman & John Wayne Bobbitt as my stiffest competition this whole time, when from the back of the pack, MC Hammer charges forth; this is simply too much!! #ItsHammerTime

  29. Obviously, FF has recently seen the spot and verified that the TC has not been moved. If he did not go to the spot, then he must be able to see it from a distance. Either on a trail, road, viewpoint, etc.

    If this is not the case….then somebody please give a logical, coherent rebuttal.

    As always, IMO.

    • I agree with you Tarheel. I feel like the last few SB’s and FGM’s May be Forrest hinting at this but the “Lead searcher” may not have responded like Forrest though they would. So Forrest is prodding the lead searcher saying “It’s there, go get it”

      Just my opinion

    • Tarheel,
      I believe we will see that the jar in the chest also contains a “promise” that the finder will find too interesting/beneficial to ignore. IMO that will facilitate a contact with Forrest and that will ultimately provide the verification of success. Nothing tricky or high tech. Simply 100% efficient and effective.

    • Tarheel,

      I haven’t heard anyone mention this very possible answer to your good question. The LS is obviously BOTG. What do we do when BOTG? We take pictures. When we strike out, we lick our wounds and then review all of our footage. They may be sending ff emails with these photos. FF probably doesn’t answer them, but he has visual evidence that THE SPOT is undisturbed.

      The other possibility is that he has a bonus prize to be recovered if they contact ff (and he’s still with us). Just my two cents 😉

  30. Be careful about October hunting. Many areas are closed off for actual game hunting. Wear your bright orange and leave your antler hat at home.
    Early on in the search I visited the cabin with my father. I tried to open a drawer that was locked near a bed. I kept thinking there was a clue in that cabin. I looked high and low and came up empty handed…as usual.

    • voxpops – Are you referring to the elongated diamond shape inside the sharp music symbol, when flattened? Or, are you talking about a visual of a searcher climbing over barbed wire, onto private land? Looks like barbed wire to me:

      F Sharp > A Sharp Minor

      And then there is G Flat. If you flatten that a little, you get the key of F, right?

      See also: Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #1, which he composed at age 18. I think Forrest began composing his treasured Opus for the Poem in his early teens, in the wilds surrounding West Yellowstone. I would call Mason Bates to compose the sound track for “The Thrill of the Chase”, movie, Forrest. Listen to his “Liquid Interface” concerto, about the sounds of the changing states of water. Sort of a WWWH thing. He could also be the awesome DJ for the Chase Victory Party.

      • Correction:

        F Sharp Minor > A Major

        An associated sharp symbol that resembles the number sign “#”, ♯, occurs in key signatures or as an accidental. For instance, the music below has a key signature with three sharps (indicating either A major or F♯ minor, the relative minor) and the note, A♯, has a sharp accidental.

        Bravo, Major Forrest Fenn! Encore!

  31. Another thing to consider-Mr. Sharp was able to build and live in a house on a reservation. Then Forrest was able to purchase the home on the reservation and rent it to a tribal member (although she didn’t have to pay.) I wish I had rented from Forrest when I was a broke college student.
    So then the home was moved off the reservation and into a museum. Perhaps we are all to quick to rule out tribal land? Just a thought. I don’t think this scrapbook is just about the structure.

    Thanks for the post Dal and Forrest (aka the greatest landlord of all time)!

    • Copper;

      You probably did not mean to do it – But if you take the first letter of “greatest landlord of all time – you get G.L.O.A.T. – and I have never known Forrest to “gloat” about anything — although he has much reason to.

      Just thought I would bring it to your attention – JDA

  32. Forrest, the way you tell your stories of interesting events throughout your life, always amaze me. I see sometimes the hints you overlay, as you discribe in detail, the path you are trying to help us with in the understanding of your journey to achieving personal goals and of history gone by. I for one see this and always enjoy what you incorporate in these scrapbooks. I had researched Sharp, the man, and his works the moment you first time you mentioned his name and enjoyed all the findings I came across. Thanks for sharing your involvement in keeping his passion alive.

    Zaphod74391 said –
    “So when do NM searchers toss in the towel and admit they’ve been wrong? Within the last 48 hours Forrest was quick to post this year’s winter safety warning and effectively shut down search operations in the Northern Rockies. Now yet another recent Montana story.”

    And Ken said-
    “Zap… Your reasoning may be valid, or it could be totally misguided. As the poem has not been deciphered and the treasure retrieved… I remain open to the idea that the poem’s solution will eventually reveal it’s secrets and lead someone to the hidey place… wherever that may be.”

    And JDA mentioned-
    “Seems to me that Forrest is indicating to the future finder, that they leave something as a “Thank You.” – Like the hammer. Also, is Forrest hinting that Indulgence is under something – like a floorboard – but NOT man made – Like a rock or something more natural? HUMMM??? JDA”

    Zap, if this is how you interrupt this scrapbook the you are missing the hidden meanings. Forrest is giving everyone some thoughts to consider. If one can see them it might help put the “hammer under the foundation”.

    Ken, I believe your statement is a good one and hopefully those who have read this scrapbook will resinate all that was said here over the winter months.

    JDA, I like how you think. I have a small bronze box that if I happen to find indulgence I could leave in it’s place, maybe with something from inside the chest. I do believe the chest is hidden under something but not buried.

    Those in the northern Rockies grab some warm substance to drink and review hoD. I sure there is some useful info scattered about. Those in the southern Rockies there is just a little time left so say alert and use your time wisely.
    *My treasure chest is not associated with any structure, and it has not been retrieved or moved since I first hid it. f


    • Bur;

      That is a nice idea, to take one thing from the chest and add it to your little bronze box. There just might be a run on “Little Bronze Boxes” today at Walmart, or where-ever one can buy them 🙂 . I have a child’s lunch pail. In it, I have a little log book where future finders can “log” the date they found it, and add a comment or two – – – Just in case I am so lucky as to find it. I was going to leave a Dr. Pepper and a Grapette soda, but figured it might spoil, someone might get sick and sue me, So I will leave them out – JDA

      • Bur & JDA, It’s a sentimental and nice idea to take one thing from the chest and leave it for the next guy… However, don’t you think your friends and family would hound you to death asking where it is???

        Mine would. Furthermore the next guy would go and take the whole thing and I’d be upset I didn’t Get the chance to do something great with it.

        • My family members are my search team, and they are the ones that will benefit from me finding the treasure. They each will get a LOT more than the tidbit I leave behind for the next finder. What the next finder does, is out of my control – JDA

  33. Living in Maine, I’ve only been able to look at
    search possibilities online, but I’m amazed at all the beautiful places people have posted about. Hopefully I can get out there to see them in person within the next few years…search or no search. I was wondering about your comment, though, Copper. As a new searcher, I guess I’ve missed something (in all the posts I haven’t read yet), but why rule out tribal lands?

    • Hi Amanda;

      I am not Copper, but I will venture a possible response.

      Tribal land is very often posted – “No Trespassing.” In most cases, one has to get permission to even walk on Tribal Lands, and certainly, one is NOT allowed to remove ANYTHING from Tribal Lands without permission. They have VERY strict rules about such things. I doubt that Forrest would hide Indulgence in such a place, with so many restrictions. Just how I see it. I certainly have removed Tribal Lands from my “Possibilities List” – JMO – JDA

      • It shouldn’t so much be about restrictions as respect for others’ lands. I think it is more than unwise, but outright disrespectful and irresponsible, to be advocating for searching on tribal lands.

      • If you are off road searching in Blackfoot, or Crow territory, Be prepared to be shot at. Tribal lands have their own set of laws, And some tribal lands are still the wild west.

          • Of course, being respectful of others land and property is most important. I was thinking more about tribal lands open to the public… I definitely have no desire to be shot at, lol!

          • That was weird, some posts just disappeared. Maybe moderated? Anyway, @DUMFOUNDED I guess I’m confused. Sorry

    • Hi Armanda. It all depends on the tribe. In my search area hiking and fishing are allowed with a permit. There are a few guiding outfits that offer guided trips as well. It’s perfectly legal and a beautiful place. You just have to follow the rules. Read the signs and don’t break any laws and you should be perfectly fine.

    • Good recollection, Lady V! I’m surprised that no one has also yet mentioned the similarities to the chapter “Charmay and Me” in TFTW, so I guess I will! 😉

      • Fishing for arctic char in may?
        Mirriam says it may be a possibility or probability.
        It’s like JDA a said many treads ago.
        Don’t forget about “Charmay and Me”.

  34. Thank you for the reply. I was curious because ‘tribal’ is one of the land areas written on Forrest’s map. I agree with you that as long as public access is allowed, it would be fine…maybe that was part of going in with treasures bold, and why one would want to leave in peace? My great grandmother was Abenaki, and I would never think about trespassing on tribal land. I doubt Forrest would hide the treasure anywhere that would put someone in danger or cause them to disrespect any tribe.

    • I’d say it would be best to obtain permission from tribal leaders before attempting to remove anything from their land. Some folks have gotten a bad reputation for being accused of doing such.

      If you’ve never visited the Rockies, you are surely in for a treat. But do keep in mind that it’s a much younger range than the Appalachians with which you may be familiar, so it hasn’t been worn down as much. Katahdin is 5,300′ at its peak. Washington over in the Whites is 6,300′. Many trail heads in the Rockies are above 7,000′ and go up from there, with trails offering easy non-technical access to peaks at 12,000-14,000′. So be prepared for altitude. Drink lots of water. Avoid alcohol. Spend a day at a lower elevation to acclimate before taking on higher ones, and budget for that time in your trip(s).

      • I appreciate the advice, aardvarkbark – thank you for looking out for a new searcher. 🙂
        I’m not totally unfamiliar with the Rockies, as I lived in Colorado Springs about 4 years before moving back ‘home’ to New England (but that was also 30 years ago.) Colorado is definitely beautiful!
        I wish I had more chances to hike when I lived out there, but I did get to the Rocky Mountain National Park. What a great experience it was being above the treeline. I’ve always wanted to go back to Colorado to visit, and to bring my son so he can see the beauty out there. He’s hiked Katahdin and thought that was high…imagine how he’d feel being on top of some of the mountain peaks in Colorado! Maine and New Hampshire have lots of beautiful hiking trails, but I know it’s nothing quite like the experience of hiking in the Rockies.

  35. Using a little imagination a Doodlebug swirl is a miniature caldera. Safety first when in the Rockies. We know there are those looking in the upper Rockies and this time of year searching there can be hazardous. to say the least. Early winter….not with the Crow……but with the SNOW.

    My personal feelings do not erase New Mexico from the map because some feel ff
    may be warning about searching in the upper portions of the map.this time of year.

    ff wants us all to be safe, even those of us that may be barking up the wrong trees. I myself like barking up Pinyons.

    NOW if I had a hammer….I’d hammer out warning, I’d hammer out danger…..I’d hammer out the love between my sister’s and brothers all over this land!

  36. Forrest, terrific story here, and I enjoyed reading Teepee Smoke immensely.

    Ha! Please forward Crow feathers…so all who did not find your treasure chest may floss our teeth.

  37. Forrest, thank you for saving that little cabin. I enjoyed the story of the claw hammer. Once in a while, I gaze at the cabin and think of you.

  38. Thank you, Forrest; I enjoyed reading this scrapbook entry. The mention of the hammer made me go back through my photos of the Sharpe Cabin from when I visited last year to see if it was visible inside the cabin, but I did not see it. The displays of Remmington’s and Proctor’s recreated studios have quite a few artifacts scattered about in them and I would not be surprised if the hammer was tucked away in one of those displays. There were plenty of old tool artifacts in glass cases I remember being over in the Buffalo Bill Museum section. It would be interesting for anyone who is planning to visit the Center soon to see if they can find any suspicious claw hammers on display!

    I wandered around just a bit on the internet to find more information on the tradition of burying charms/talismans (talismen?) under a house’s foundation and found a few points of interest:

    This article talks about such a tradition in Ireland, so maybe Irish immigrants to Montana brought this over with them?

    This article from the Chicago Tribune briefly mentions this practice among many others in early America:

    And here’s a Wikipedia entry that specifically talks about the concealment of shoes in home construction in England, which I found interesting:

  39. I am sure there is a interesting and untold story here. I am curious why the guest registry got separated from the cabin? Why and who ended up with it? That is a bit of an untold story that I would love to hear! It should of went to the museum too, with cabin IMO
    I enjoyed this story Forrest! I have been to the Battle museum but not to the Cody one, I am planning on visiting it soon! As soon as Indian Summer.
    Maybe Forrest you could share this little curious tid bit about the log book? Or it may remain a mystery.
    Thank you Forrest!
    Lou Lee, chased by bears in jellystone park and lived to tell the tale.

  40. What an interesting read – I was mesmerized when I visited the Cody museum. I stood for a long time gazing at the exhibit featuring the inside of Sharp’s cabin. I could almost feel his presence and I could visualize him standing at his easel.

    The words “put in below the home of Brown” haunt me after reading this scrapbook. But also think of the story in TTOTC where Forrest reads the Catcher in the Rye and says it’s HIS story only the people, the place and the time are different.

    SHARP is an important word. Think about the SB’s and the uncapped felt pens that Forrest uses. Did anyone notice what Forrest was holding thru out the last interview that was done in his house? He was twirling a “Sharpie” marker during the entire interview.

    Just a few things in my opinion to think about……

  41. Thanks Forrest, as always, love your stories! Please keep them coming!
    And just because you brought up the treasure chest as a footnote…I’m curious…
    “The curator and I were joking as we walked back to his office. ”
    What did you joke about?
    Was it like when you hid the treasure, you laughed on the way out? Was it atrocious?
    What size shovel did the curator bring that was small enough but didnt take much effort to dig a small tunnel below the footing and slide the hammer in under the floor? Who shimmied in?
    Again…just curious!
    Thanks to you too dal for feeding the fishies! (Us )

  42. I’m sorry Forrest. I had to go fishing after I read this. Made me think of someone I lost recently. Losing a friend or loved one is not easy.

  43. Forrest updated this post with additional information and a new hint…
    The update is at the bottom of the original post in yellowish/orangish text.
    Don’t miss it…

    The takeaway here is don’t bother the folks at the museum…the chest is not hidden there..
    I don’t know why folks even consider it..
    It’s clear that the cabin is a structure…and Forrest eliminated every structure as a potential hiding place for the chest…

    It’s really annoying that some searchers choose to sully the reputation of all searchers by ignoring a very clear hint from Forrest about where the chest is NOT located.

    • Hi Dal: so I wonder if it was WyMustIGo or Bob Greene/dodo bird, or both of them that were pestering the museum folks? As you say: annoying.

      You can probably guess that a number of people (myself included) are concerned that you are on your way back to Santa Fe so soon after just making that many-thousand-mile round trip with Ezzy a few weeks ago. Some fear that the sudden trip (in conjunction with the flood of new SBs) signals the Chase’s end is nigh. Personally, I’m hoping you’re just delivering a new passenger’s side mirror housing to Forrest. 😉

      • I’m with you Zaphod. It seems as though it might be coming to an end. The question is, does the LS know they are the LS?

      • Hi James: one factor that argues against that is that Forrest has been consistent in saying he would immediately announce when the chest is found — here on Dal’s, and three major media outlets. Since that hasn’t happened (at least yet), the chest is still where he left it. But that doesn’t mean some searcher hasn’t contacted Forrest with the right solution.

        • Yeah that makes sense. He needs to create a top 10. 9 random names, 1 LS. Make people wonder! Lol

          • James;

            Forrest would never disclose a list of “The top ten”. He has said that he will not assist any searcher in any way. The information that he puts out there is open to All searchers. Listing a “top 10” would help those ten to know that they were “close” and Forrest would never do that. JMO – JDA

          • P.S. I am not sure where this idea of a “Lead Searcher” originated. I doubt that Forrest has indicated any such thing, but I could be wrong. It seems to me that some blogger came up with the idea that “someone” may be close, and thus the idea of a “Lead Searcher.” JMO – JDA

          • Agreed, JDA: LS is a blogger/vlogger label/fabrication to delineate the unknown (and unknowable to anyone other than Forrest) searcher who happens to be furthest along in solving the clues. Forrest has written/spoken of 500-footers and 200-footers, but without indication of how many clues those folks have solved. And he has also mentioned two-clue solvers and “some” who “may” have solved four clues, but in neither case has he tied them to the 500- and 200-foot remakrs.

            Interestingly, he has never mentioned a three-clue solver, nor anyone beyond four, though there seems to be a lot of innuendo in his SBs that could suggest someone could be further along.

  44. Are people really trying to get to the hammer at the Buffalo Bill Center? Are people thinking Forrest hid the treasure next to the hammer or he left a hint with it? Come on really?! Solve the poem. That’s the only way anyone reaches the end.

    I have a message for the LS. The pick up is definitely over due. If it’s still reachable you best find a way and go get it already. For the sake of all of our sanity please find a way.

    • This season’s over. Everyone stay inside and stay warm and safe. I’m sure the LS will retrieve it as soon as possible.

        • True true. There are some areas where the season is still open. If something is holding up the LS, I imagine eventually they will break through and go back when feasible. If it’s this season and the treasure is covered in snow there is always the chance for an Indian Summer. Personally I find it absolutely insane they didn’t already go back, but to each their own.

          • D Myth.
            There are definitely two sides or opinions about the issue at the sharp cabin. And as usual no one ever gets the entire story. But Dal said it all well and I think that’s the big lesson here. I am curious about why folks think there is an LS out there I guess that’s a lone searcher. And why do you hint it’s absolutely insane they didn’t already go back. Maybe they are insane and just can’t get the words right. There’s a movie called the Professor and the Mad Man. I think all searchers should watch it. I wonder if Mr. Fenn has.
            Of topic. Why do you think the LS has already been to wherever they will go back to.
            I like many others would sure like to know if there really is that LS out there stumbling around blindfolded.

          • Since you used the term LS, I will as well for sake of argument. It sounds like you assume the poem is all the way solved by a LS. It would be funny if this LS is only on clue 3 where most everyone else like me is still stuck on WWWH. Being blind-folded, I still think this LS has better vision than many of us lol.

          • Dampened Myth even with an Indian Summer you have to deal with runoff, mud, and potential water crossings among other things that delay retrieval. I imagine eventually they will return to retrieve it when it’s safe to do so and will be able to move with confidence. For whatever reason they just weren’t able to make the journey this year.

          • I saw that movie not too long ago and I enjoyed watching it. It was interesting seeing how that dictionary came about.

            Why do I believe there is a LS? I suppose for me it fits the narrative. Think about what’s occurred with Forrest and the 4 clues comment, then the gut feeling, then him stepping away, then recently becoming more engaging at Fennboree, and now a flurry of SBs.

            I think Forrest went quiet because someone was really, really close , but couldn’t finish.

            What does the recent activity tell us?

            I think it tells us either the LS quit or something else is going on. I’m in the LS wouldn’t quit camp.

        • While weather conditions may still be favorable for searches in the southern states, and or at elevations closer to the lower 5,000-foot limit, there may be other safety considerations. For instance, hunting season is probably already in full swing in some popular search areas.

          • Fair caution, zap. But hunters go well back deep into wilderness, much further than I gather f went twice in one afternoon from his car.

            Regardless, enjoyment of our nation’s wilderness shouldn’t cease simply because it is hunting season. A red bandanna head band may be good as a precaution, nonetheless.

          • also….re your ‘lower 5k ft limit’ — many folks atop Pecos and Santa Fe Baldies (both above 12k) this very week in ideal conditions.

          • Hi Aardvarkbark: my altitude comment was more directed at Montana and Wyoming: that searches at any altitude in New Mexico are still possible for the moment, but that as you work your way north, many higher elevations are already snowbound. While snow doesn’t seem to deter some searchers, if the “correct” solution involves seeing something that becomes obscured if the snow depth is too great, then that would explain Forrest’s frequent advise not to search in winter when snow covers the ground.

          • I advocate for enjoying wilderness regardless of whether engaged in searching. Yurt to yurt snow shoeing and cross country skiing across CO is thrilling. But I wouldn’t be engaged in a search in snow, for sure. I embrace what I believe to be f’s broader goal of getting folks out into the wilderness. Finding TC is superfluous and subordinate to the greater goal. IMO.

          • Forrest has previously stated he thought a searcher may have solved 4 clues. I think if there is a LS they know who they are and have definitely solved more than that.

    • Easier said than done my friend….The poem is one thing, the chest is another beast in itself.

    • Dampened Myth

      “For the sake of all of our sanity please find a way.”
      You remind me of “The Tell-Tale Heart” as does the story of the hammer.
      Perhaps we should have forensics have a look at that hammer.LOL

    • I’m stuck at what I believe to be the 8th clue, have not found the blaze yet and did not make it this year. Good luck to all!

  45. Forrest & Dal, you both do an excellent job managing the occasional chaos that comes with badly behaving searchers.

    it’s very unfortunate that you are having to do damage control with a museum. There is no excuse for lack of common sense and courtesy.

    Thanks again for all you do.

    • I’m sorry there are searchers out there willing to lie, bend the truth, and attempt to destroy things in order to find the treasure. I think people just need to have some morals and standards when it comes to this.

      In my last solve I posted the pic of the stacks of rocks I stumbled across. I left it alone. Could it have been under there, maybe. But if by chance that was a memorial for someone, or something, I wasn’t going to disturb it.

      It’s a shame Mr Fenn has to come out and say “It’s not here,” in order for parts of history to be preserved.

      “I forgot to check myself.” – The man who wrecked himself. USE COMMON SENSE

  46. Wow, that’s unbelievable! Definitely hurts the reputation of others who are respectful and considerate. It’s a shame Forrest had to step in and correct the behavior of someone doing that.

  47. Disappointed to read what the museum staff had to go through misrepresentation from a searcher. I’m glad to hear the hint for those in doubt. Nice to know the hammer is under the floorboard as per agreement.

  48. Another fenntastic SB. Well worth the re-read.

    Thank you Forrest and Dal for the update.

    Here’s an interesting quote that I stumbled across this morning. I thought Forrest might enjoy it and it seems appropriate here:

    “This self-love is the instrument of our preservation; it resembles the provision for the perpetuity of mankind: it is necessary, it is dear to us, it gives us pleasure, and we must conceal it.” Voltaire. (1694 – 1778).


  49. In reading the addendum that Forrest put at the bottom of this scrapbook, I am hard put to find that the searcher did anything wrong. There is nothing wrong with asking the staff at the Cody Museum questions. There is nothing wrong with asking if they can see the cabin. There is nothing wrong with asking if they can look under the cabin and view the hammer. The staff at the museum can say no. All very civilized, nobody did anything wrong. No mention that the searcher thought the treasure was there so I’m not going to assume that’s what they thought. No reputations were “sullied” and what the staff “went through” was nothing. As for misrepresentations on a you tube video, Karen from the museum did not give us enough information for me to form an opinion on it. I don’t know what was said. I’ve never been to Cody or contacted that museum, but if I find myself there I’m going to ask the staff about that hammer. If Forrest thought enough of that story to write about it and put it in a scrapbook, ‘m going to think enough of it to inquire about it.

  50. It would be good to do, SRW. I’m waiting for the next two prewritten in the waiting room to complete the cycle, then I’ll do the same. Since we don’t know the start of the prewritten cycle, the last one may give a totally totalled insight to and from the start and end.

    The fours, threes, deuces and finale one.

    IMO .

    • I agree Alsetenash.

      I don’t have any idea what’s stacked up in the que. Nice catch on the *fours, threes, deuces and finale one.*

      I figured with all of this info, the best I can do is to try to get back to the basics…..I’m back in the keep it simple camp. Yep, it’s the poem, the book and 227 SB’s. LOL!

      Happy hunting.


  51. SRW. Yes! One needs the poem married to a map and BOTG for any of this to compute! IMO . I am of the opinion this is FF’s curriculum. There’s rolling all three 7’s , if you have all the dice to deduce. IMO .

    Song pops in my head lol:

    ‘She’s like rolling a seven
    Every time I roll the dice’

    IMO .

  52. Random question — which Montana old-timer told you about the tradition of leaving something under the floorboards?

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