Visiting CWB…

October 2019

By Chris Wilson


October 22nd, 2019 2pm, Collected Works Bookstore

Today was an amazing day. Without going too much into background, one of my two young daughters has autism and cannot yet communicate properly. It is also very difficult to go out in public with her because of the frequent outbursts and other quirks. Yesterday I brought my family to Santa Fe from Kansas with my Dad for the first time.

When we arrived I emailed Forrest to see if we could meet and see if he would sign my book. He replied and suggested we meet at 2pm at Collectied Works Bookstore.


We arrived a few minutes early to scope the place out, but by this time we were having a really hard time with our daughter. We took her outside on the back patio area of the bookstore to calm her down but weren’t having any luck at all. I could see my wife really stressed out, and the situation just felt helpless in that moment because we knew Forrest was coming soon. Then only a moment later Forrest pulled up in his Jeep, walked straight over to us after confirming who I was, and took my daughter by the hand.

He could see that we were having a hard time, I briefly explained her condition and he said “she’s a beautiful girl I’ll hold her hand!” and continued to walk into the bookstore with her.

From there I was able to introduce Forrest to my wife, two children and Father. He grabbed a table just for us and asked everyone to sit down. We talked for nearly 30 minutes! He discussed all sorts of things with us! It was absolutely surreal I couldn’t stop smiling!


Before leaving he very kindly signed a few copies of our TTOTC books, and my copy of “Journal of a Trapper” which was signed “I love Osborne Russel”.
As we said our goodbyes he came back up to my daughter and gave her a high-five. I was so thankful his presence brought her the comfort we had been trying to achieve since earlier that morning.

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It made my whole trip to see Forrest Fenn in person telling stories, and playing with my daughters. Meeting him only confirmed what I already felt in my heart, which is that Forrest is as genuine as a man could possibly be. I’m richer just from the experience of meeting him face to face.

Forrest, thank you for making time for us and for being so kind to my family, we won’t forget it. 🙂


Chris’s videos can be found on YouTube under “Octopus Skcid”.







48 thoughts on “Visiting CWB…

  1. Forrest is a very kind person!
    Glad you got such a positive experience.
    I take care of my special needs sister full time.
    Now. I’m taking her to yellowstone again to hunt for the treasure. The chase for Forrest Fenns treasure has given me adventure and some fun in a hectic challenging life!

  2. Forrest is a Class Act! This story demonstrates his character and love for people, especially kids. The drawings are interesting too! Is that a football player? I’m sure you will treasure this experience, thanks for sharing!

  3. Stick figures of F making a running leap over a gap. Please tell us that an 80 year old man didn’t do that with a treasure trove.

    • Not far, but too far to walk. Because you leap like this or wade a stream or some other verb besides “walk”. Anyone who says it means you have to get in a car a drive is WAY off in my opinion.

  4. That is awesome Chris. I have 7 children (2 months – 16 years of age), my 16 year old and 7 year old are both autistic. It is frustrating on a daily basis to see two children that will never experience the world like the rest of us. However it is humbling to see them enjoy the world in their own special way. They warm your heart and remind you life is precious and special. Currently I am unemployed and last year my family and I lived in a Buick LeSabre for 6 months. It was rough but always seeing the smiles on their faces inspire and motivate me every day to try my best. I hope your family does the same for you. Your family is in our prayers. Now, go find that chest and show your children that good things come to those who try their best and never give up.

  5. Chris,
    I’m not sure where in Kansas you live, but that was probably a 1000 mile round trip just to say hello. Searchers realize how special he really is. We’re all a bit envious of you. Take care.


  6. What a beautiful story, Chris. So happy for you and your family to have been able to have such a special visit with Forrest. Thank you for sharing it with us. ❤️

  7. CHRIS,
    As STEPDAD to two, now adult,
    DDI/Autistic,,, ask your family Dr.
    about ABILIFY or it’s generic.
    IMO only.

  8. Thank you for sharing about such a special moment with Forrest! I’ve been preoccupied, but your story really touched my heart so I had to share.

  9. Forrest is such a treasure! Love him dearly! So happy for you and your lovely family Chris! Dreams do come true.

  10. What a kind man. If only more people in this world were like you ff. The world would be a better place.

  11. “It is not what you gather but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived”. Helen Walton
    I’m sure we can all agree that this quote fits Forrest to a tee.

  12. What a great story! I am sure your family had a moment to remember. Have to admit that I am childishly jealous since he wont give me the time of day. Glad it was a great day for the kids and I am sure they will remember it fondly.

  13. Glad y’all had a great visit Forrest is one of a kind. ❤️
    He is such an artist.

  14. Who doesn’t love Journal of a Trapper?
    In fact, it has some X-tremely interesting passages,
    and is an X-cellent place to start your journey. The
    spirit of adventure is what drives us to search. The
    search is the real prize. Anything else is icing on the cake.

  15. Thank you for sharing Chris. These are wonderful doodles! Keep working with your daughter on socialization. I worked with many autistic kids over the years, and the more involved the parents, it seemed, the more the kids were able to “come out of their shell.” Professional special educators can also help tremendously. Don’t forget to read frequently to your kids, too! Stories will open a whole new world of fact and fantasy.

  16. So happy that you and your family got to meet Mr. Fenn. His kind, warm heart is clearly seen, including through the eyes of a child. Thank you for sharing your story and photos.

  17. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for sharing such a personal moment in your life. What a neat memory for you and your family. One to be treasured for sure.

    Forrest is one cool dude.

    Happy hunting!


  18. Thanks for sharing Chris and family!

    You want want peek in the Lamar Canyon based on those doodles 😉

  19. Chasers,
    Well that was a sure fun to read first thing on a Friday morning. From the first time I ever heard of the Chase, through every page of his books I have read, I have always felt that FF was the kind of man that every kid my age had read about, admired and looked up to. Men of heart, wisdom, courage and love of family and love of their fellow man. This post is just more verification of the kind of man FF is and how proud his family must be.
    You gotta know what type of man I mean… guys like Robin Hood, King Arthur, Sergeant York, Peter Pan, The Lone Ranger, Tonto and any hero you can possibly imagine.
    Yup, In my humble opinion FF is almost mythical and I shall never quit defending the Chase when I am told it is a farce… and that we are all just chasing a fantasy.

    Forrest, you are a damn good man and I think it is pretty fitting that you live in the land of enchantment.

    Chris, may God bless you & yours.

    David McGillis
    Fellow Kansan ;-^}.

  20. This is a great story that demonstrates Forrest’s good character! Thank you for sharing, Chris! Glad you had a good trip out to Santa Fe!

  21. Thank you Chris for sharing, big hugs to you and your young family, and to Forrest for making this a special moment. I 100% get the dynamics of the event, as I am the parent of a 31 year old autistic son with many challenging health and behavioral needs. I live your bookstore story every single day. Good job pulling that one off, I know how hard it is going anywhere, doing anything, even the smallest task or errand is overwhelmingly demanding. Our autistic son is our oldest, and he is living home with us, until I find the treasure 🙂 and can afford to buy him a house and full time staff. I can not foresee taking a trip to meet Forrest considering my circumstances. That is unfortunate considering that there is so much I would like to talk with him about. Our second eldest child, a daughter, passed away in infancy due to an unkbown heart condition. Our hearts are also forever broken, but we are determined folks, and tragic as it was starting a family, we had a third child, and he is now a Dr. in residency. Our final child is a Jr. in college and a fantastic soccer player. So Chris, life really is a box of chocolates, you just don’t know what you’re going to get, and it is all good. Life is a gift, thats why they call it the present. It isn’t always all pretty and tied with a bow, but it is a great gift none the less. TTOTC is extra difficult for you and I, we have extra challenges to overcome before we can daydream about finding some treasure, or go galianting over hill and dale, but we can do it, and it will be extra rewarding for us, and hopefully upon success we could afford more options of treatment, coping, comfort, support and care for our special needs families. As for those sketches, I am reminded of “Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small steps”. (David Lloyd George)… Or you can’t cross a chasm in two small steps, sometimes a leap of faith is needed.

  22. Thanks for sharing y’all great story to wake up to with my coffee this Am. Y’alls doodles look like hints to me .

    • I don’t know. To me the first doodle looks like Forrest making a connection with the little girl and giving her a long lasting morale boost. The second one seems to suggest that Osborne Russell wasn’t much for small talk either or that Forrest can’t connect with someone that’s no longer here.

  23. Saw this post on another blog, glad to see it was shared with you Dal. t truly shows that Forrest is a kind and gentle man. To get an autistic child to interact shows he has an air of kindness that the little girl could feel. Forrest is a man of good will, does truly like people. It is a shame that he cannot meet all of us that truly admire him. But hopefully he can warm himself on those cold day’s ad know he is one place our warm waters halt with. Thank you Forrest for what you mean to each and everyone of us who have been looking for a ray of hope in this world. If all men were like you then we would learn war no more.

  24. I wish we had more people like you Forrest. The world would be a much better place.


  25. I’m so happy your family was able to enjoy your visit Chris. Parents of autistic children rarely get a break. God bless you as you care for your family.

    The warmth of a hand and an Understanding heart are comforting to children.
    Forrest must have understood that.

  26. Sounds like an amazing visit and I am glad Forrest is still interacting so positively with the search community. I keep dreaming I will someday make it to Santa Fe to have a similar visit. Awesome doodles btw and lovely family!

  27. Forrest Fenn..You really are a credit to the human race..Your actions speak volumes above and beyond all your writings combined..Thank you Chris for sharing your experience..

  28. “I love it when people who have been through hell walk through the flames carrying buckets of water for those still consumed by fire.”
    –Stephanie Sparkles

  29. Forrest, you make me smile. And once again you’ve made me cry. Even at your age you’re still giving what you can, for us all. Hearing about this moment in time and the calmness that just the touch of your hand brought to this beautiful child doesn’t surprise me at all. Congratulations Chris and family…you just met one of God’s . Lucky you


    • My daughter teaches Special Education in Durango, CO. I showed her this posting tonight. We agree that is what happens for one person (and their family) when another person consistently operates from the soul level. Thanks, Forrest. for all you do and have done in this world. PS..Carolyn says hi and wishes you well. Sandy, aka sallycolorado

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