Side Tracked…

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January 2020

by dal


One of the reasons I am such a poor search partner is that I am easily distracted. I call it curiosity. Esmerelda calls it a break and my fellow travelers call it a torment.

First of all, I’ve never had a complete solution…not once. The best I can do from home is to come up with five or six clues. Once I had a blaze before I left home…but only once. It came from one of Forrest’s photos published on this very blog in an area that already interested me. It was a good mile walk from the place I could park my vehicle. But it took me five hours to get there because I am curious.

First, I found a colossal beaver lodge on the river and I could hear critters inside (young beavers?) whining and humming. I sat around and waited to see if I could spot a beaver come out. I didn’t.

Then, a few hundred feet later, I ran across a magnificent acre patch of Sulphur Indian Paintbrush. I spent the next hour crawling around on my hands and knees like a ponderous, giant bee, taking pictures…wide shots, tight shots, extreme close-ups. That was a lot of fun!

Around the next bend I ran into an elk cow and her baby out wading in the Madison. Really…they weren’t crossing it. They were just cooling their heels. Walking a bit up stream and then a bit downstream. I christened them Shirley and Christine. I watched them play in the water for half an hour or so and then I had to make a detour around them and head out toward my blaze.

But it gets worse. I found one of those big anthills with gazillions of (nonbiting) ants that I had to investigate. I watched them carry grains of sand from down at the base of their mountain up to the top and into the entrance. Meanwhile other ants were coming out of that egress carrying other grains and piling them up on the hill. Maybe they were redecorating?. So I named each ant and watched them toil away for a half hour before moving on.

I ran into a shallow pebbly area on the stream and I HAD to stop and look for cool rocks. I look for unique colors and shapes. I pick them up and investigate the sand under them for sparkly grains. I tried skipping the flat ones. I marvel at the nearly perfect round ones.

Any meadow I run into lures me like a sailor to a bar. I love those things and I can spend days photographing a single small meadow of wildflowers. I might never come this way again and the camera is my memory.

A few years ago I was exploring the The Dominguez and Escalante Expedition as a potential key to the riddle of the poem. I was driving near Dinosaur National Monument in CO heading to a place where the 1776 expedition camped close to a spring. When I got within reach an oil outfit had been trenching and laying pipe across miles of open Sage Steppe resulting in a mound of diggings along the now buried trench. Since I am wildly entertained by geology I considered this a huge bonus. I started examining that unearthed Colorado rock like it was gold….How often can you examine what’s under your feet so easily? I was looking for fossils. I ended up spending three days out there just turning over rocks.

After three glorious days I ended up with three beautiful keepers…

Eat your heart out!!!



I split up so much limestone I think I should be an honorary quarryman. The fish happened when I spent the first day splitting up flat limestone slabs. It didn’t look that good when I found her. That represents a few hours of clean-up at home. I call her Dory. Miles later the boulders were gone and I was cracking smaller rocks…the leaf…finally, there was nothing along the trench except broken crumbly pieces…the shell.

After all that I got back to looking into The Dominguez and Escalante Expedition solution.

So, to get back to my beginning thought… a side-track in nature is a hoot for me, I can stay entertained in one spot much after others have, guzzled all the beer, gone mad and left screaming at me. Those with a more focused view of life and the treasure hunt find me downright annoying to search with.

There’s more to the treasure hunt than the 42lb box.

Just sayin!








111 thoughts on “Side Tracked…

  1. I think that your perspective is spot on. Nature is fascinating and beautiful. It restores the soul. After moving back to the old farm in Oklahoma from working in dc I have a healthier respect for those things. I now take the time to watch the turkey, deer and other critters. I was so excited to see an eagle the other day. The textures, colors and configurations of nature are not reproducible. They are surely wondrous.

  2. One of my favorite pastimes!

    The heck with the treasure (sorry Forrest)… have rocks, will travel.

  3. Getting side tracked is the best.

    I once spent an hour laying on the hood of my rental car watching the milky way pass overhead on the shoulder of US80 at 2AM.

  4. Dal, liked the stories, especially about the elk cow and her baby in the Madison. Really… just cooling their heels. Walking a bit upstream and then a bit downstream. I christened them Shirley and Christine. So cool to see that, once while I was prospecting near Lagunitas Lake in Northern NM I came upon a newborn elk calf, it was hiding while its mom was out foraging for aspen shoots, I could see her about a quarter of a mile away, I took pick from about 20′ and that little calf did not move, it was dark orange with a bunch of light-colored spots, baby just looked at me, and did not move, I slowly moved away and then I noticed several more calves in the rocks were hiding from predators. The life in the forest is renewing and spring and summer are sure to make a comeback.


  5. You got that right, dal! 🙂

    Nice write-up. I’m really interested to hear where your Dominguez & Escalante Expedition solution leads you! I had learned about that bit of history only because of the Chase! But I couldn’t come up with anything out of it myself.

    • It wasn’t much Blex. I cobbled it together because I was reading their journals and it was at a time when I was just over the Santa Fe Trail as “it”…which also didn’t pan out…
      I was convinced at the time that one of the old west trails was “it”…That didn’t last long…I couldn’t make anything work…

      • Well dal, a cobbled together solve is better than what I could come up with, so I’ll still look forward to hearing more!

        I’ve looked a lot of those same expedition & frontier travel routes too in the past. Lewis & Clark, Fremont, Pike, Santa Fe Trail, Oregon Trail, etc. I have found that the common factor between most of them is that those people tried their hardest to minimize the time they had to actually spend within the actual Rocky Mountains. They liked to stick to open land as much as possible and shoot for the easiest pass through they could find.

        On the one hand, it’s pretty easy to zero in on the areas of the Rockies that their travels took them through, but on the other hand, there’s not a huge amount to go on. For example, the Santa Fe Trail really just passes through the Raton Pass area and then that last little hop over the mountains from central NM into Santa Fe, but that’s about it in terms of being within the Rocky Mountains. There are some decent exceptions to this, like Clark’s alternate route back through the Yellowstone area, but for the most part I found that to be a challenging angle to pursue to give me anything I felt good about.

        • Blex-
          I think most folks look at the Cimarron Cut-Off of the Santa Fe Trail as the part of that trail that most fits the clues in the poem. I’ll bet five thousand searchers a year looked up in that area starting at Agua Fria Mountain and then down around the Cimarron River. Before Forrest ruled out dams Eagles Nest Lake was also a popular starting place in that neighborhood.

          Here’s a story about Katya who had a pretty good fright just below the dam there:

          And here’s a story I wrote about looking in that area:

          • Hi Dal, is there anyway you can site the quote we’re Forest rules out dams, I don’t believe one exists. I know that he has one that says warm waters halt isn’t a dam but I’ve never heard anything from him anywhere that suggests the solve has nothing at all at any point to do with dams, or that if you’re area has a dam it should be ruled out. I know you’re a stickler for substantiated quotes from Forrest on your site but I think that a lot of secondary misinformation is passed around on here by taking something we think we heard him say, quote from it as gospel but manage to avoid having it taken down by you or you moderator because they don’t actually use the quote. I think this does a far greater disservice to this community than someone who uses the correct quote but doesn’t site it.

            I believe this to be the quote that you took that specific liberty with….

            consolidated quotes

            Many searchers have thought that warm waters halt at a dam because water being released through flues near the bottom of the dam is much colder than water on the surface of the lake. I have discussed around that subject with several people in the last few days and am concerned that not all searchers are aware of what has been said. So to level the playing field to give everyone an equal chance I will say now that WWWH is not related to any dam.

          • Here’s a hypothetical involving eagle nest lake and how that comment could potentially destroy a searchers solve before they were able to investigate the area and find the correct meaning of WWWH.

            I will stress that this is hypothetical and components of this may not be accurate to this area but could very well be applicable in a real life scenario someplace else.

            Searcher identifies things about the eagle nest lake region that clue them into this area as to be sounding like what Forrest is describing in the poem. Let’s say they identify cimmaron river as a body of water that New Mexico identifies as warm waters. They follow out their solve to eagle nest and really start to like the area, enough to do some research. During that research they come across your comment right above this one here or any of the others on this site that imply Forrest has completely ruled out dams causing them to throw in the towel and move on to one of the many other potential Wwwh north of Santa Fe.
            However what the searcher didn’t realize was that six mile creek coming in from the south west was a body of water that Santa Fe classified as trout waters and that Forrest truly meant for the confluence of the two to be his warm waters halt.

            Perhaps Forrest initially released the comment about wwwh not being a dam because of the number of people who were close but kept focusing on the dam and therefore missing his true meaning. But now through blogger conjecture, the area is completely overruled rather than being looked at more closely. Now let’s pretend the real solve was to one day be revealed and it was indeed revolving around part of the eagle nest lake area, don’t you think that there would be a lot of dissatisfied people due to unsubstantiated information being held up high as truth.

          • Double A,

            Here is what I have:
            “Many searchers have thought that warm waters halt at a dam because water being released through flues near the bottom of the dam is much colder than water on the surface of the lake. I have discussed around that subject with several people in the last few days and am concerned that not all searchers are aware of what has been said. So to level the playing field to give everyone an equal chance I will say now that WWWH is not related to any dam. ff”

            **Forrest: But I’ll tell you what, I think I made a mistake on, on, I think it was on Dal’s blog. I told somebody that, that, the… the clue… part… a dam was not part of the clues.
            Host: Okay.
            Forrest: Where warm waters halt is one of the clues and they… a lot of people figured that’s where water is letting out of a dam.
            Host: What about a beaver dam?
            Forrest: That’s a dam.
            Host: Okay.
            Forrest: That’s no clue.
            Host: There’s no dam.
            Forrest: But, I told this one person it’s not related to a dam and so I felt like that’s the only person that knows so I had to announce that as one of the clues; I didn’t want to give that as a clue, but…
            Host: But you did it here on Dal’s blog?
            Forrest: I did it on Dal’s blog so that everybody would play on the same field.
            Host: Exactly, so you needed to be fair.
            Forrest: I didn’t want to give that as a clue, but I had to. (36:49) (9/14/15)

            For me, personally, I would consider a dam as a “structure” and so would rule it out too. But that is just me.


          • Dal – I don’t recall reading either of these before. Did you write the post about Katya? It kind of reads like a newspaper or magazine article in 3rd person. Just curious.

            I guess I had looked over this Eagle’s Nest/Cimarron area too to see if I could find a decent BOTG search to do while I was down there a couple of years ago to hike up Wheeler Peak, but I couldn’t figure out anything I liked. I really should check out Cimarron Canyon State Park though, just for the sake of seeing the area; it sounds really beautiful.

            Thanks for sharing those links. Good reads both!

          • Blex-
            The one I wrote about Peg Leg Jake and Thunder Eggs is under “Dal’s Adventures”. The story about Katya’s Mountain Lion run-in was compiled from info Katya sent in. I can’t remember why I wrote that and not her. Maybe she didn’t want to write it up and I thought someone should…
            It is under “Other’s Adventures”.

          • Lori,
            Reading what you said again made me wonder if you read the entirety of my point to dal and the following hypothetical situation . You provide two quotes, the first is the one I based my thoughts around and the second is a quote referencing that very quote that I based my thoughts around.

          • Double A,

            I admit I was responding to:
            ” is there anyway you can site the quote we’re Forest rules out dams, I don’t believe one exists.” and not the rest of your post. My reply was not to dispute what you were saying, but to lend credence that I (too) was only aware of two quotes involving dams. I then added my opinion that dams are “structures”.

            Sorry if I caused confusion.


          • Double and Lori-
            Early searchers were using the dam on Eagles Nest Lake as their WWWH and then taking the outflow of the dam (Cimarron River) down the Cimarron Canyon. When Forrest ruled out dams as a WWWH place that ended most folks use of the lake…
            Next… many folks who felt the canyon in the poem was Cimarron Canyon moved their WWWH to Agua Fria Mountain…..

            Using Agua Fria Mountain took them either down to Cimarron Canyon or over to the Veteran’s Memorial in Angel Fire…or…in some cases right back to the lake but not as a place for WWWH.

            Marron is one of the words that refers to brown in Spanish…but there are several brown links in the area.

            But that’s only the start and there are a great number of solutions involving various places in and around the Enchanted Circle, Red River, Arroyo Seco, Arroyo Hondo, Questa, Shady Brook, Taos, Taos Ski Area, The side of Wheeler Peak…and on and on…

            In short, that whole area of NM was the focus of tens of thousands of searches for several years with many combinations of places for clues.

            Losing the dam on Eagles Nest Lake as WWWH did not end the searches in that area…folks just moved their WWWH to another place and searched on…

            All of this can be easily researched on this very blog. In my opinion you would be better off spending more time reading and less time stiring the pot …

        • Lori that’s not the issue and not what I’ve said.

          People are ruling out dams being anywhere around the solve. As dal just said, they’ve ruled out eagle nest lake because of the dam.

          None of those quotes that you provided state one thing different than I said. Implying Forrest has ruled out areas with a dam is conjecture and nothing more. He’s said that it’s not the first clue and went as far as to say that no structures are involved with the solve. He’s never once said that a dam was t an important feature in the winning area.

          • Double A,

            While you say; the dam comment, might be conjecture by other searchers, and that other clues can be of a dam or related to a dam…
            I personally think *Associated With,* clears it up.
            *association ‘with’* the treasure directly relates to clue’s. There is absolutely no other reason for the *clue’s references* in this challenge, other-than, being “associated with the TC.”
            ~ (of a person or thing) connected with something else.

            The list we have is; from different comments over the years;
            A structure
            A dam [mentioned for fairness]
            Even a beaver dam is “not a clue”.. [in Lori’s link above] Possibly because it fall within the logical guidelines of a [ for lack of a better term ] purposely built “structure”?
            Yet is not man-made… right?

            Structure; the arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex.
            A fallen tree can dam the flow of a creek, but is it an arrangement of parts?

            Hanging your hat on one ATF as being conjecture by a searcher{s}… without allowing the other ATFs related to be considered… is easy to say, until we add the other information that has been provided as well.

            ~The above comment is just a argument presented for the conversation at hand~

          • Seeker I would never dispute your personal opinion about how the poem is solved and I’m not trying to do that. The rules are clear as set out by dal himself. When speaking of things Forrest has said specifically there is no room for conjecture, the quote must be accurate and it’s source sited. So like I said we are all entitled to our opinions about what Forrest is implying but when it comes to things we claim he says directly, it must be substantiated. The challenge is for dal or anyone else to find the quote that substantiates dals comment, which was, “ Before Forrest ruled out dams Eagles Nest Lake was also a popular starting place in that neighborhood.“

            Forrest has never said something that rules out areas with dams, he said a dam or a structure is not a clue.

            I dare anyone on here to come up with him saying otherwise.

            I’ll wait…….

          • Double A,
            C’mon… seems you’re over reacting a bit.
            The comment from Dal is apparent; “Before Forrest ruled out dams Eagles Nest Lake was also a popular starting place in that neighborhood.“

            He talked about other locations is the same ‘neighborhood’ … Eagles Nest Lake ** was also** a popular **starting point**
            LOL I don’t see anything suggestion conjecture to the comment WWsH is not a dam “IN the **area** he was talking about; searcher found popular to search.

          • I’m not overreacting, I’m not even mad. It’s just the truth of the issue. I appreciate that dal took the time to come out and further explain his thoughts and I respect him for what he does here on this site, don’t get me wrong. but the truth is his quote is really misleading and it’s not a stretch to say that I hear him say that Forrest ruled out areas with dams. The truth is that Forrest himself tells us to be wary of the blogs, due to their misinformation and recently suggested we avoid them when trying to solve the poem. I personally think that the two most misinterpreted quotes from Forrest are this quote in question now about how a damn works and his quote about head pressures. Now that dal has taken the time to elaborate, it makes sense what he was alluding to but the wording is still less than ideal . I mean look at how this played out. I heard it the way it sounds to me and what did you do seeker? Did you come and say “that dal didnt say that,” or did you in fact skip right to trying to defend how your entire search area shouldn’t be associated with a dam? This is a common phenomena when people reference this specific quote and not at all limited to this here thread. If there was ever a quote that we should do our due diligence when siting, in my opinion, this is exhibit A.

          • Double A,

            I don’t have a search area to defend.
            That is what I have been looking for since day one. I have different readings of the poem in the attempt to do just that, Nor have I gone on a search because don’t have a search area.
            While learning what and where the first clues is… the only way I see in finding it is to have a certainty of the “Location” beforehand.
            I’ll clarify “location” for me; It is where all the clues are at and within.

            With that said; we have gone off track to Dal’s post and story… If ya like to continue, we can pick another thread to chat.

      • Perhaps you were right and wrong at the same time ? Right mind wrong place , right time wrong line .

      • Hi dal
        Was trying to get my email to Ann anonymous
        In there’s be no paddle up your creek discussion
        Can you do this or is there another way which as she has asked for my contact info
        Ty in advance

        • Btw if you can look at my avatar it’s actually interesting
          What are the odds of finding the same symbol on that rock face as the one he put on the aspen in his back yard!!!

  6. Wow very nice, but I’m interested in 42 pounds ❤️ And I would love to solve the poem. It’s become a dream of mine and a goal.

  7. Dal,
    That is so awesome. Thank you for that. Those are some great fossils!
    I am a prospector myself and love geology. Yes, I am a real-life gold digger. I spend my summers running my sluice box in local creeks. In winter, I am poring over old maps and geology reports.

    I think my greatest fear of my BOTG for this hunt this summer will be that I will keep getting distracted by rock formations.
    I think the solution is to just plan ahead for it. If the hike will take 2 hours to get to the chest, plan on two days… then two more to get it out of there. But carrying a 42 lb chest full of gold will probably distract me from picking up any pretty rocks.


    • Lori-
      I pan once in awhile. Over a thousand years of panning I have managed to extract so little that I have to label the jar I keep it in so I don’t accidentally toss it thinking it’s sand…
      Everything I know about real prospecting I learned from Tom Waits in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs…
      No competition will come your way from me…

  8. Dal,

    It sounds like you took to heart the words of a wise scarecrow,

    I could while away the hours, conferrin’ with the flowers
    Consultin’ with the rain.
    And my head I’d be scratchin’ while
    my thoughts were busy hatchin
    If I only had a brain.

    What a way to travel, I’ll admit to being a bit brainless in the way I go.

    But in hearing about your traveling style it makes me glad that I turned down a ride in Esmerelda that one time. I really needed to get somewhere on time that day. 🙂

  9. Dal, great evaluation of the Chase and thank you for sharing your amazing finds… Fresh trenches are a rock hounders delight! I had the thrill this winter to go explore some freshly dug trenches / ditches for some Ellensburg blue stones. It’s amazing what one can find when you are inside a big hole in the ground. Thanks again for sharing!

  10. Good laughs Dal. Short treks turn into epic journeys with endless wonders all around. My trips have all turned into great adventures and more miles hiked than planned from the armchair. Perhaps there is some sense in keeping the solve a small picture… viewing it all from one small area type? Nah… go big or go home… and flip some rocks and logs over while your at it !

  11. Dal- some lovely samples you found there. Shame I live in the UK or we’d be a perfect search partnership, as I’m the same. I Wanna see everything i can. I could never just rush to my end location. id have to enjoy the journey that brings me there. I’m trying to come across the pond this spring/summer and worried Ill end up spending most of my limited time there doing what you did. Exploring. If I find the treasure that will just be a bonus. The journeys the real prize.

  12. Super story Dal. My wife and I picked up a copy of
    Rockhounding Montana some years back, and it’s
    been a blast. Every spot yielded treasures. Quartz crystals
    from Lolo Pass, trilobites from Libby, Agates and jasper
    galore from the Blackfoot and the Yellowstone, and
    calcite crystals as big as your thumb from the
    Red Cliffs on the Gallatin. I have a big ole box of rocks
    in the garage, but whenever I mention Fenn’s gold,
    she raises her eyebrows and compares my intelligence
    to that box. I laugh and remind her that treasures are
    where you find them and I’ll keep looking. Probably
    need a bigger box, (and smarter rocks).

  13. Me too. Me too.
    It seems I am so easy to please, too pleased to enthrall, that my zest for life sometimes spurts in the sour puss eye.
    I giggle.

  14. Dal, I enjoyed the read, thank you. Dory is perfect and she looks way better than most I have seen elsewhere.

  15. Out of a wild curiosity, Dal, did you have / plan to have the fossil dated and to their species?

    • Seeker…
      Sometimes I do..I have been told the fish is a Knightia (sp). Very common in the Green River formation and is the State fossil of WY. You can read about them on the web. The other two I don’t know. But the leaf looks much like a present day Alder leaf to me. I have no idea if that’s what it really is.
      The shell is very common. I have no idea what it is but I saw hundreds of them when I got to the crumbly stuff piled up along the trench.

      • Thanks, Dal.
        Being different rock material [ or at least it seems different for the shell ]… I was curious to how old each may have been to just play with a timeline of events that caused them to be fossilized.
        It’s obvious the fish was more than likely from a fresh water area; that could have simply drying up… where the shells may have been during an event when the last time YS pop its cork. or all three happen near the same time… Just fun musing.

        • Seeker-
          I believe you are correct. The trench ran along an incline and I explored a couple miles of it. The limestone itself was more weathered in some areas than others, harder and yellower in some areas. I have no idea what that could mean.

          The fish came out of hard, platter sized slabs that split open very easily. I just know that underneath where I was standing there must have been thousands of those things but my exploration was confined to the material the excavator had broken and dumped on the surface.

          There were many fish in that area but few were whole…and almost all were smaller than Dory. At the other end…the crumbly material was mostly broken up by the excavator into saucer sized, flat bits but there were thousands of small shells like the one I kept.

  16. I think that was acting a really good story about treasure hunting and how its supposed to be. I found a field of flowers and it turned out to be flutterbys on the flowers, took me forever to leave, it was awesome. Gotta be careful about rocks though, some places you have to leave them; not to mention rock collections can get you yelled at by the spouse. There’s like a trillion kind of treasures besides the “specific treasure” I’m out for when I go so it’s always a win.
    Thank for the writing del.

  17. Fun Read!! I’m a little the same way. I loose focus of the FF purpose and get lost in what ever my journey wishes to show me. My husband get so angry with me because sometimes I back track a few times because I think about things I saw and want to go back to investigate what I think it was. His anger only ruins the trip for me so I search alone.

    • Lee-
      I could probably mark the spot on a map where she was found. I can find the name of the spring in the journal and that spring is actually right along the highway and there is a rest area nearby…I believe the rest area is named for the spring and I think there was an interpretive sign there that mentioned the expedition and the spring…

  18. Such a cool way to be distracted! I would spend hours as a kid doing what you did, only my finds were no where near your finds. I would have been elated to find such a cache of treasures!

    But on your opening statement: “One of the reasons I am such a poor search partner is that I am easily distracted.”

    I don’t know Dal; maybe that’s what would make you a great search partner. Anyone can plot an exact mythical course on paper to where they think the chest may be. Then go right to their spot with horse blinders on and go right past it.

    I believe someone like you is exactly the kind of person who will eventually find the chest. Someone who has a good possible search area and then pays attention to all the details and “distractions” along the way.

    Great story as always. 🙂

  19. Dal,

    I have the same lack of focus at times. I was blessed with a nice home in the Mojave desert.
    Some 60 miles from death valley. I never cease to marvel at the wonderous sunrises and sunsets as they tend to paint the surrounding mountains in a variety of colors and hues one might not imagine. Without a background in art.

    When time permits I head out rock hunting and prospecting for precious metals deposits.
    Searles Valley has a lot to offer for the intrepid explorer.
    As I dream of holding Indulgence in my hands the realization hits me that I have the best treasure of all. My home in the desert.


    • HDD: over the last couple decades I’ve been a frequent visitor to the Mojave, having driven there over a hundred times searching for meteorites (and occasionally trilobites). Have found many wondrous things on those journeys aside from my intended quarry: ancient Native American artifacts, ice-rafting rocks leaving long twisting furrows, old radiosondes, model rockets, oolites, nice specimens of jasper and magnetite, an Artesian well, and all manner of critters including coyotes, hares, tortoises, burrowing owls, horned lizards, rattlesnakes and tarantulas. Sunrise and sunset in the disarmingly quiet desert, with only the Joshua trees for company is reason enough to make the journey.

  20. I corrected an error that was called to my attention in the post. I could not have been in WY when I found the fossils because the Dominguez and Escalante Expedition didn’t go that far north. So my limestone cracking event must have been on 191 in CO, not WY.

    • I was wondering about that myself, dal. I had just assumed that you were taking the scenic route and hitting a few other spots in WY on the drive out from Washington.

      • Blex-
        Thanks for the pass…but I remember that I was right along the trail, near the spring from their journal so I could not have been in WY. I could have been in UT but why would I bother looking for the chest there?…It must have been CO. I need to take better notes…

  21. I think you have enough material to write a book about wandering around the Yellowstone ecosystem and I hope you are doing that. I like your writing style and skill. Thanks for your generous contributions.

  22. Cool write up Dal. Feel free to send me one of your cool rocks with color from a previous trip. There is a great fossil hunting town in Colorado called Fruita.

  23. Dal,
    Your detours are enjoyable for us too. Wish that I could more often be sidetracked…on a dirt road to a view…or lost in the beauty of wildflowers.

    Time spent appreciating nature’s bounty is a necessity for capturing memorable moments on film & your great story telling. Thanks for sharing with us, and thanks to Kathy for allowing you the time.

  24. Thanks for the story Dal, it’s so refreshing to see someone get excited over the beauty of nature and be happy in their journey.

  25. Dal I love this article! It’s no wonder you are such a fun and interesting guy to hang with. There is certainly nothing wrong with stopping to smell the roses!

  26. So I read somethin worth doing, so now I’m doing something worth writing like you Dal thanks to Forrest.
    Its not the chest im after its the story of Why. The one main way to answer that question is by the People I meet along this journey amd I’m so lucky to have a Parrot named Kiwi as my partner in crime. He is one of the best finds of my Life and I cant wait for anyone to meet him, maybe teach him something about the Thrill of the Chase along Kiwi’s Road.
    As my wife would say, stay Safe and Loved in the Now!

  27. Why Dal…..So close and yet no treasure! Why???if you only hadn’t let the ants take your attention away from your quest

  28. Oh how I much I enjoy the Rocky Mountains. My hubby & I are searching for a pull behind camper so we can spend as much time as possible with what little time I have left.
    I remember spending much time in the mountains and searching for rose quartz.

  29. Reading the most recent discussions, imho. I think that some are stuck on WWWH as being water. Personally I try to think along the lines of ” what flows besides water? ”
    Looking back to the early days of the search, I recall many of Forrests statements and those of searchers. Now some may not believe me when I say back then I sent Forrest an email describing my search area. Yes, it had to do with a dam and a brown trout hatchery.
    I never came forward with this information because I did not wish people to think I have a hotline to Forrest. Forrest in reply to my email dropped the clue ” The treasure is not associated with a dam” in his reply. Shortly afterward Forrest made that public.

    This is why I have always taken the stand that Forrest is an honest man. And that this treasure hunt is for real. Before anyone jumps to conclusions, I have never had the pleasure of meeting Forrest nor have I emailed him in the past 8 years or so. A review of Forrest’s early statements will show a short string of direct statements. ” The treasure is not associated with a dam, The treasure is not associated with a structure. etc. ( Back then people were messing around outhouses in their searches.) Sitting here thinking: It might be worth the time to review early blog posts. Let’s just say I get this gut feeling that we all are missing something important buried in the older blogs


    • Hi HDD: just a point of clarity. You said Forrest emailed you in response to your sharing your solution, writing “the treasure is not associated with a dam.” But that’s not the wording that he shared with the searcher community — he restricted his remarks to WWWH: “I will say now that WWWH is not related to any dam.” (SB 68).

      So did Forrest really write treasure in his email to you back then, or was it actually WWWH? If indeed it was the former, then that’s a rather important difference, and would provide significant insight into what Forrest means when he uses the words “associated with” in other instances (such as home of Brown).

      • Zaphod – There’s also the Richard Eeds interview on 9/14/2015 where Forrest seems to indicate something along the lines of what HDD said:

        “Fenn: But I’ll tell you I think I made a mistake. I think it was on Dal’s blog. I told somebody that the clue – part – a dam was not part of the clues.

        Eeds: Okay

        Fenn: ‘Where warm waters halt’ is one of the clues and they – a lot of people figured that’s where water is letting out of a dam.

        Eeds: What about a beaver dam?

        Fenn: That’s a dam.

        Eeds: Okay

        Fenn: That’s no clue.

        Eeds: There’s no dam.

        Fenn: But I told this one person that it’s not a dam, and so I felt like that’s the only person that knows so I had to announce that as one of the clues. … ”

        Forrest talks about WWWH specifically, but his opening statement seems to indicate – to me at least – that a dam doesn’t figure into the poem anywhere.

        • This conversation above between Fenn and Eeds seems to say that Fenn would not give hints to individuals. If he gave a new hint then everyone would be given the hint.
          I bring this up because some searchers believe that when Fenn had asked them where their WWWH is he then asked if they stuck their toe in to feel if the water was actually warm. These searchers believe that this is a hint.
          There are many other interpretaions of WWWH that don’t pertain to actually dipping your toe into the solve. (e.g. glaciers, sky)
          So, has Fenn said anywhere that WWWH does refer to water that is warm and that you could stick your toe in it to test the temperature?

          • Kurt;

            Zap seems to have a database that can search anything, so, I hope that he replies. My reply is that in 4+ years, I have not read nor heard of any such statement. JMO – JDA

          • Kurt: to my knowledge, the WWWH toe-dipping comment was never made publicly, only privately to a searcher or searchers. Therefore, it is not a clue or a hint: at least not any more so than the poem at face value.

            Do I *think* WWWH involves water? Absolutely. Do I think it involves warm water? Again, yes. But as you point out, other poetic or allegorical interpretations are possible and certainly not ruled out.

        • Blex,

          Good catch. I was thinking of posting it this morning…ya beat me to it!!

          “a dam was not part of the clues” – I thought, at the time, that he was relaying that a dam was not related to any of the clues…I still do.

          With his additional remarks about a ‘beaver dam’; it should leave no doubt that anything impeding the natural flow of water is to be considered a ‘dam’…..and is to be considered no clue.

          • My bad!! Lori had already posted the Eeds interview several days before Blex….and I missed it.

            Great catch Lori!! (or should I say ‘G.D. ?? 🙂 )

          • If something was not built by an intelligent biological entity
            (i.e., person, persons, beavers), I don’t consider that thing
            a dam. A hillside or even a large boulder can “impede the natural flow of water”. As always, IMO.

          • Well hello: Old Pilot, Tall Andrew & Andrew Jeff

            Definition of impede
            transitive verb
            : to interfere with or slow the progress of

            Well, I grew weary of debating this long ago. I really don’t care what you consider a dam to be. Although you are correct that a hillside or boulder could impede water, you are wrong about it not being a ‘dam’.

            What is paramount here is what Fenn could consider to be a dam; regardless whether it is built by an ‘intelligent biological entity’ or not.

            (or mebbe you consider Mother Nature to be an ‘intelligent biological entity’ ?? 🙂 )


            “The tide came in every day and moved enough sand to dam up the outlet that allowed spill-water to flow from the lake into the gulf. So the lake just kept filling and kept filling.

            Something had to give, and eventually the lake over filled and breached the sandy dam.”

            Good Luck to Ya: AJ. OP TA

        • Blex, yep, there is that more general statement about dams (ALL dams!) in the Eeds show that tied to “clues,” and not just WWWH. It would still be nice to get some confirmation from HDD that Forrest’s email to him addressed the *treasure* when excluding dams, not specifically his WWWH. If so, that would seal it for me on two counts: (1) none of the clues are associated with dams of any kind (and that would include reservoirs), and more controversially with many searchers (2) none of the clues are associated with structures (by extension with Forrest’s use of the word “associated”). I was already a firm believer of (2) based on Cynthia’s shared information, but it seems to me this added source of confirmation and consistency, coupled with the Richard Eeds show utterance ought to put a final nail in the coffin.

      • Morning Zaphhod,

        Honestly, I do not recall the exact wording. I may have saved the email.
        Let me do a quick check….

        So much for a quick check. 3k emails later I came to the conclusion that the emails were lost when SBCglobal went under.
        I did find some emails that I had sent to Forrest but there is still about 5 more that are MIA. Sorry I can not provide the exact wording.


    • thanks Zaps – if you hadn’t pointed out the precise dissimilarity betwixted those two points of similar similarities, i never would’ve noticed the glaringly obvious difference between the two.. which coincidentally reminds me of a great poem..

      “one one was a race horse, two two was one too,
      one one won one race, and two two won one too”

      so.. are you saying that two heads are better than one, or is two simply one too many? …i’m confused

      • Hello Curious… H.O.B IT

        I ate eight pies late today
        Just past eight ate them all
        went back at four for more
        at the table by the door for four…

        I’m going to make some pies 🙂

        • Now my mouth is watering Spallies …thanks…lol I be gotta go find some pie…. see ya my friend.. 🙂

      • Did you hear about the Curious Hobbit who backed into a machine and got a little behind in his work?

      • Welcome back, Curious Hobbit! So, the earthquakes weren’t enough for you — you had to add a volcano to the mix? Never a dull moment on the Ring of Fire!

  30. Dal,
    Good share! We all fight that (or relish it) at some level.
    I get side tracked in a more macro sense. Going through Butte without going to Crystal Park (haven’t been there yet) pains me. My search area doesn’t compare to Lamar Valley. Wonder what’s up this road? WOW, let’s check out Lewis and Clark Caverns. And so on.


  31. You sound like a perfect search partner to me. I suppose that’s why you can spend hours in a meadow and I could spend hours in a rain forest–“the field is always greener …” That’s also how my folks took us out west — we saw all the free stuff at a wandering pace. Beats Disney World all the way. I imagine the kids will get over us not taking them there, but to mountains and caves and an ocean instead.

  32. I would say that in general the validity of any quote taken from someone’s personal email from Forrest will always be in question, unless verified. However in this case the truth of the statement doesn’t really matter here because all that HDD has done with this claim is echo the combined sentiments of two quotes that we can site from Forrest. They are listed below.

    3/28/13 consolidated quoted
    “No need to dig up the old outhouses, the treasure is not associated with any structure.” 8/28/2015
    consolidated quotes
    “Many searchers have thought that warm waters halt at a dam because water being released through flues near the bottom of the dam is much colder than water on the surface of the lake. I have discussed around that subject with several people in the last few days and am concerned that not all searchers are aware of what has been said. So to level the playing field to give everyone an equal chance I will say now that WWWH is not related to any dam.“

    When you really think about it, the wording of the response to HDD, and these quotes, while different , accomplish the same thing. WWWH has nothing to do with any dam and the treasure isn’t associated with any structure. That claim really sounds like a hybrid of these two quotes, right down to HDD’s reference to outhouses. But regardless, here we are at the age old question and the same area that forrest has left in the dark and probably by design; the treasure isn’t associated with a dam or other structures but what about the poem and even more vague, is our search area associated with a dam or any other structures?

    • Sorry, i thought I replied to the zap and hdd discussion above. Not sure why it ended up down here.

      • SIde Tracked, this subject deserves another roll on the main vein, thread, er line, however, taking a look at the idea of natural dam as a geologic collection point for waters, it is tantalizing to Mr T. to relate from the recent Scrapbook 237 Spanish Bowl; “Evidently the bowl continued to be useful for many years after it was repaired because all of the iron pins are heavily rusted, ostensibly from being in water.f”

        A natural “basin”, not a dam, halt’s and collects water, their existance is in many places in the Rocky Mountains, most of them are north of Santa Fe…However, not all basins bring the following, “comfort” ort, kids asked ff

        What does “warm” mean to you?
        It means being comfortable.

        What if there was a place, a basin that in Spanish brings warm tears to the eyes and comfort to one’s soul… a metaphor for WWWH. What if it drains into the Home of Brown? Just below no place for the meek? Read SC Book 246, “The Promise of a Dream” Educating Ardi, who builds his own home and paddles up your creek…The National Animal of Canada.


        There is a side track in it, and a wood river runs through, and you must Ford it to get across the border…


        • I guess one could just slide down the old iron rail to feedom, Ms. Ford…Spanish 101, 1943.


        • TT,
          Every now and then, the Squirrel gets lucky…HAY ROCKEY! Wanna see me pull a Rabbit outta that hole? AAARRRR MATEYYY!

          Oops wrong Rabbit!!!

          I see Kirk Douglas just died at 103. Now that’s OLD. He met his wife Anne while filming in Paris, France. Oui Wi.

          I enjoy reading your posts TT. A lot of good energy flowing on your end.

          Keep up the good work and good luck!


  33. I only heard about this hidden treasure today!….. This is something I’ve always wanted to do…… Always loved watching Divers find things but the chance to go looking cant be missed! Only problem is…….How would I get it back if I find it? I Live in Scotland!

    • I would say, enjoy the thrill of the chase and if you find it… well, I believe things will work out for you. Who knows… maybe you will want to continue exploring with your new found wealth! As already mentioned by so many here – there are all kinds of treasures and maybe more importantly, memories just waiting. 🙂

      • HotL,
        I like your option better. Most of us have only seen the tip of the iceberg on this journey. I have loved taking the grandkids to the Rockies over the years.

        From the Sky-Coaster at the Royal Gorge, to the Blue-Lipped Peak of Pike, to the Red Rocks that paint the Picturesque Amphitheater…which in turn serenades William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody atop Lookout Mountain, to the Mighty Granite Canyons that lead to the hidden Paradise of Estes Park…and BEYOND!

        Yeah, treasures and memories…everywhere!


    • You wouldn’t have to take it back. You could afford to stay in the U.S. A long-term Visa may be needed though.

      Besides, you could make new friends. I’m available. Just saying…

  34. John McShane,

    What a beautiful country! Some of the most moving scenery and ancient secrets to be found…CASTLES! Down here in Kansas, our Castles have Motes as well! REMOTES that is! My bad.

    Ronald Belford Scott…as far as I’m concerned, is a national treasure! Gone way too soon. We Salute You Bon!

    As for getting home, well, seeing as how you’re probably going to be floating on cloud nine, maybe you could jump on that magic carpet ride with Steppenwolf, and let Aladdin pilot you back to his Castle?

    But seriously, I honestly wish you nothing but the best of luck. Ring that Bell and play those Bagpipes brother! Let’s get those Angels aSINGIN and aDANCIN! Bring on the Tomatoes!

    Good luck to you…come spring!
    Getchur motorunnin…


    • I may not go back home to Scotland! If I found a decent place to live with the odd Horse, i’d be Happy.

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