The First Stanza…

The first stanza of the poem is:

As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.

Is Forrest writing about the place he hid the chest?
Or perhaps the place where warm waters halt?
Or does this stanza hint of something else?

This page is for discussions about the first stanza of the poem and its meaning.

521 thoughts on “The First Stanza…

  1. Some believe this stanza is describing the place where the chest is hidden.
    I have a different thought.
    Perhaps it is telling us where to begin…

    This makes sense if we believe the clues in the poem are in consecutive order in the poem…

    If so, it makes sense that the first stanza is helping us with the first clue and probably not with the eighth or ninth clue.
    “There are nine clues in the poem, and the clues are in consecutive order… “
(May 2011 – Lorene Mills Interview)

    and we know the first clue is “Begin it where warm waters halt”, because Forrest told us that in the New Zealand radio interview:
    “The first clue is Begin it where warm waters halt.”

    As I have gone alone in there
    This refers to a place in the book where Forrest has told us that he went alone

    And with my treasures bold,
    This line tells us that he was there naked, which is a big hint to why he went there and which place it is.

    I can keep my secret where,
    He’s not going to give us any more help in figuring out where the first clue is located

    And hint of riches new and old.
    But he will be giving us more hints to find his chest once we figure out where to begin.

    So where did Forrest go naked? His favorite bathing place…
    He told us that in one of his original stories…one that appeared on his blog…and is still there.

    River Bathing is Best…also appeared in Too Far To Walk and before it appeared in either of those places it appeared in the West Yellowstone paper when he was writing stories for them. It’s an original Forrest Fenn story that remains so important that he has kept it on his blog for all to read at no cost….

    In my simple mind WWWH could very well be the place he writes about in “River Bathing is Best”. That is… on the Firehole River at Ojo Caliente in YNP.

    A place where hot water from the Ojo Caliente spring meets the warm water of the Firehole River….where Forrest rode his bike so he could take a warm bath alone, because in the beginning his parent’s cabins had no indoor plumbing and no hot water. Because he was embarrassed when he had to undress in the kitchen where his mom heated up bath water on the big wood stove to fill the tub and take a bath in front of everyone….

    It’s a theory…with some grounding in what Forrest has told us…and using my imagination when reading the poem…

    • This is a really good thought process and I am on board with this.

      If it doesn’t begin at Madison Junction or Ojo Caliente Spring I give up. It’s the only two places I can make work.

    • I like the idea of creating a thread dedicated to the first stanza, dal. And I can see the sense in your interpretation related to your favorite search area.

      Your post just made me think about what the adjective “bold” is meant to be describing. I have always assumed it was describing the treasures as being bold in some way (with respect to their monetary or historical value maybe?), but I just realized that “bold” could also be a description of his action of having “gone alone in there”.

      To put it another way, he could have boldly gone alone in there with his treasures, rather than having gone alone in there with his bold treasures. I’m not sure if that’s at all important, but you’ve given me something new to mull over. Gotta do something to pass the time!

      • Blex,

        And with my treasures bold,

        I have likened “treasures bold” to be the blaze. And is the treasure not supposed to be located “with” the blaze. So with and even using the blaze he can keep his secret where, and because he went alone no one else knows where he went, so he can confidently hint of both the treasure and its location without giving it away.

        “It was vital that nobody share my knowledge about the location of the treasure. Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.”

        Thus why he went alone “in there”.

        Also Forrest has said: blaze is anything that stands out, and something that stands out is conspicuous, easily noticeable, or bold, much like the bold red type “DO NOT TOUCH” signs that were placed anywhere there was an open spot, so as to be easily noticed in the Kachina Gallery on Canyon Road. So again I interpret Forrest’s treasures bold to possibly be the blaze that the treasure is located “with”.


    • soooo many ways to see the first stanza- here are some more, along with yours, dal….

      1. As = A-Z
      2. As I = “a” is “I”
      3. As I have gone= a. Zia ave go NE
      4. …gone alone in there and with=
      a. there and with= therewith= the ruth= the ruth
      museum of paleontology
      b. where, and hint= wherehint= ??? warrant??
      c. new and old= nuold= nulled
      5. the prepositions= IN, WITH, OF= ?? where to
      begin- in with of
      a. of riches?
      b. of Brown?
      6. with my, keep my= mimi = Eric’s wife
      7. my secret= ycc
      8. hint of = oV

      theres so many more i’ve thought of in the past 7 years… this is off the top of my head…

      • Replying to the “this = that “ post….. In recent interviews he said to keep things simple, to me what you’re doing there is not simple at all. Listen to what he is saying.

        • to each his own, eric… these are just ideas on approaches… and i’m not standing ahead of or behind them… as opposed to your “it is my belief…”

          remember, “it is difficult, but not impossible.” I’ve been at this for 7 years, with only 2 trips… I just look at the poem, read the poem- and see what i see… and am sharing… this is a discussion of the first stanza… since no one knows where the chest is, or how to figure it out exactly- these are some ideas. where in the poem are you seeing “he went somewhere he was not supposed to go?” how did you get there from the poem?

        • you could actually use your own argument here to “listen to what he is saying”
          he says:
          ‘So hear me ‘all and'”…
          – giving light to there and with
          where, and hint
          new and old
          halt and take
          loads and water
          wise and found
          chest and go
          go and leave
          tired, and now
          all and listen
          brave and in

          my point is, it’s not what you think, or what i think… both our points are- it’s what forrest is saying… and i’m just re-introducing old things I and others have brought up… many ways to look at things…

          • Forrest made a comment: “It seems logical to me that a deep thinking treasure searcher could use logic to determine an important clue to the location of the treasure. Is someone doing that now and I don’t know it? It’s not what they say on the blogs that may be significant, it’s what they whisper. f” {Scrapbook #61}
            Listening and hearing… it has helped with the solve I have… was first covered by a searcher back in 2014 on this blog. I also suspect there are – many – things to listen too when one is near the treasure as well… likely why he picked the spot he picked. MOO {My opinion only}

    • Dal,

      Your theory makes sense when you compare it to his books, but when you look at it from just reading the poem it fails the “all the information you need to find the TC is the poem” comment. Also, if the 1st stanza is describing WWWH and all you need is the poem then can the Firehole River at Ojo Caliente in YNP be determined from just the poem? I don’t think so in my way of thinking. But, using the info in his books, then yes, it fits very well.

      In my theory the first stanza is describing the area of the blaze. A place that you need to be bold to go in there alone. A place that might be a little scary for some reason or another, but not dangerous. He has a secret regarding this place and he has kept this secret to himself until now. Now, the secret will be revealed to the person(s) who solves the poem and finds the TC… Hints of riches new and old relates to his secret, not to the place. So, in describing this place and his secret, in this manner, in the 1st stanza, he is giving us a preface to his poem. This stanza is not a clue but it is an overview describing the end of the quest, and then he goes on to say in stanza 2, start here: BIWWWH (the first clue), (a place), (a geographical location), and each clue is a geo. location.

      This is my theory on the 1st stanza and I guess I can say that it’s not so much about the 1st or 9th clue but it’s more about his secret and why he keeps it there. His secret seems to be what it’s all about, his secret is the key, maybe “secret” is the word that is key. Find his secret and you’ll find the TC….. IMO.

      • ManO-
        Forrest also made the below written statement on Jenny’s site about the value of the poem by itself leading someone to the chest and leading me to believe that the world may not be either round or flat…

        Q. If in 500 years all a person has is the poem, and no back story: they don’t know “in the rocky mountains north of santa fe” or that there are 9 clues etc. Could a person reasonably just use the words in the poem and find your treasure chest?
        Thank you ~Nope

        A. Thank you Nope. Nope. f

        • Hey Dal,
          How does that quote square with this quote from this website:

          Q: Dear Mr. Fenn, We are a group of avid elderly bridge players in San Diego who after reading your book hope to find your treasure. We are not into poetry as much as the memoir. We realize the clues are in the poem, but were wondering if there isn’t at least one clue in each chapter. Thank you for a great book. Sincerely, Emily.

          FF: Emily, All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem. The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker. Good luck in the search. F

          Since we are looking for the treasure now and not 500 years from now I’d personally lean towards the message in the quote I posted above. Maybe Forrest thought that without any context of the book you might not even know to go looking for a treasure in 500 years with just the poem. Regardless, there could be something about 500 years that Forrest thought would require you needing the book.

          Actually, I believe this first stanza puts you right smack in the general area of the treasure, no book needed IMO. And once you’re in the general area it’s just a matter of solving each consecutive clue from there. Which is why the first clue is most crucial and in my case can be solved using only the poem.


          • Surf-
            It doesn’t square any more than ManO’s quote above. There are more than a few challenging quotes from Forrest over the past nine years. I guess one can puzzle over them for years and then give up or one can selectively reason their way to favor one or another and move forward…

            Not only do we have the puzzle of the poem but we also have the riddle of Forrest’s own words…

          • One final thought from me about the first stanza referring to the place where we should begin…

            If the poem is to stand on it’s own, there must be somewhere where the place to begin is described…
            Forrest said as much on Jenny’s site:

            Q. You tell us that we should find “where warm waters halt” before trying to solve any of the other clues. Imagining that we haven’t seen the rest of the poem, and all we have to go on is:
            a. “begin it where warm waters halt” and
            b. “somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe”
            Do you think that we can confidently determine the starting place for your treasure trail? ~ Steve

            A. No, if all you have to go on are those two clues you cannot proceed with confidence. Look at it this way. If you were making a cake and you left out a few ingredients, would you achieve your goal?


            So we know there is more info about WWWH somewhere and since all we need is the poem it must be in the poem…

            We also know there are hints in the book that will help us with the clues…

            I don’t know that my theory is correct but it does seem logical…
            At least to me…lol…

          • It just occurred to me that the reason Forrest may have said you would near more than just the poem in 500 years is because the hint in the poem that puts you in the general area may have another name in 500 years. The book might help but really what would really be needed is a map from 2020 otherwise the hint would never be discovered and that hint leads you to the general area where you can figure out WWWH.

          • Surfthesky,
            This is in total contradiction to what I’ve found in my solve: “The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker. Good luck in the search. F”

            I know for a fact according to my solve that there are solid hints and clues in the books that are not subtle at all. And that they were deliberately placed there. So that leaves only two possibilities if my solve is correct.

            He considers the hints subtle, which is an opinion and they were deliberately placed there, but not to aid the seeker. If that were the case the statement is still true.

            So that leaves two possibilities:

            1) The hints were placed to confuse the seeker or offer some kind of false lead to the seeker.

            2) Or the hints do not aid the seeker in solving a clue from the poem, but rather act to confirm to the seeker the meaning of a clue once that clue has already been solved by the seeker. If you are aided in solving a clue due to the hints, then that is fine, but the purpose of the hint being included in the poem still was not for that, it was only to confirm for you that you were right, after you have already solved the clue. The statement remains true that way.

            The reason I am so adamant about this is that my solve demonstrates that the hints in the books are so obvious and in your face that they were definitely placed there on purpose for the seeker to notice. So they are either red herrings, or they are meant to confirm what the seeker already knows.

            On the other hand, maybe Fenn means that they were put there to aid the finder rather than the seeker. The seeker is everyone. He puts the hints out to aid the finder not the seekers. If you are seeking and don’t find what difference did it make that you figured out a hint? None. He doesn’t put them in the books to help someone who isn’t going to find it. The hints are only there to help someone find it. Therefore, they are only put in the books to help the finder.

            Just some thoughts.

          • dal – Regarding your final thought (not your final final thought, but the first final thought), to me Forrest’s answer on that Q&A just means that the more clues you can figure out with regards to an area on a map, the more confidence you will have that each individual clue may have been solved correctly.

            You may have a WWWH that you like, but if your WWWH is by a canyon, you’ll like it even more. And if those clues are both by a good hoB, then you’ll like it even more. And so on.

            Using Forrest’s cake analogy, if I just told you I had a recipe with flour, how the heck can you tell what I’m making? I might be baking bread, tortillas, pretzels, or fried chicken for all you know. But now I lay out sugar with the flour. Okay, so now you know I’m making something sweet. Now I tell you I’ve got eggs, and butter, and milk going into it so maybe you can guess it’s a cake at this point, but you still won’t know what type until I tell you I’m adding cocoa or vanilla or coconut or whatever. Eventually, you’ll have a pretty good idea of this cake I’m thinking about in my head.

            In conclusion, I just realized that I’m hungry and am going to find some cake to eat.

          • Hi Jojo,
            I have to agree with you about hints in the books. I have not read them in full but have started TTOC (just a few chapters) and there are things that just jump out at me that seem like more then coincidence. Even so I am always skeptical and will remain until I can find more of this circumstantial evidence. And I am still very new to the chase.

            I have to disagree about red herrings. I don’t thing Forrest has to give any red herrings. The amount of speculation is enough to create “organic red herrings” on the blogs. I believe he is trying to gently nudge finders in the correct direction in the books but only after you have a solve in place.

            All IMO. Stay safe!


          • Forrest thinks like a lawyer when answering these questions, IMO. (no offense Forrest). The first question asks whether someone could “reasonably” find the treasure with only the poem, not knowing the search area. The answer is no.

            The second question primarily relates to the book being essential, and Forrest reiterates that all you need is the poem.

            Taking the two together, it seems like if your search area is the entire planet, the poem will not be enough. The inference I take from that is that the poem itself will lead to a specific starting point in the Rockies. This is an obvious statement, but it is something I overlooked when I did my solve.

            Leadville was my WWWH (I posted in A Straight-Forward Colorado Solve). My evidence from the poem was that WWWH was headwaters of several rivers and that Leadville was a site for gold (riches old) and is currently mined for other minerals (riches new). I backed this up with a number of other Forrest comments- 10,200 feet, girl in India with a map, followed the clues when he hid the treasure.

            In looking back on it, I relied too much on things not in the poem. If I ever try again, my thinking should be- do the clues from the poem- standing alone without any other knowledge- point to a UNIQUE place in the Rockies. My idea of river headwaters and old and new mining does not pass that test.

            Forrest may have had a slip or two when answering questions in interviews, but I don’t think that he did when responding to written questions.

            Finally, I agree that the first stanza must be important to determining the correct starting point. I just can’t figure it out. “I can keep my secret where” is an odd phrase. I don’t think rhyming was too important to Forrest.

        • Yeah, but “no back story” would mean that the person 500 years from now doesn’t even know that there is a treasure or that the poem has any clues in it.

          I don’t like how the question was worded. They should have asked Forrest if someone 500 years from now had only the poem and only knew that somehow the poem could lead them to a treasure in the Rockies, then would they still be able to find it. I bet the answer to that would be yes.

          • I want to add regarding my other comment that if someone says that Forrest said there are no red herrings in the poem, then I want to respond to that argument simply by saying that when Forrest said that in my opinion he was referring to actual fish. And he’s right, there are no actual fish the poem, red herrings or otherwise.

            Forrest engages in what conspiracy theorists call “masterful speaking”. This is where your statement is true, but you take advantage of the fact that you know people will make assumptions about what you mean. That way you can not be accused of lying. You told them exactly what was true. Now in my view, Forrest does this as part of the puzzle, so I’m not criticizing him for this. It’s part of the game.

          • JoJo, your first concern is easily made non-concernable if and when one person can figure out that the poem is providing clues or possible directions to a treasure. It just takes one person.

            Your second point about how they should have asked a better worded question. I believe the question and f answer reveals more important information the way it was asked than how you would have liked to have seen it asked.

            The answer to your question doesn’t reveal as much important info, imo.

        • one more final thought…
          Forrest once famously told us to ask a child if we wanted to know where warm waters halt…
          (maybe someone here can find the precise quote)

          A child’s possible/likely answer might be “the bathtub”…
          Which is another suggestion that WWWH is a bathtub…
          In River Bathing is Best, Forrest’s bathtub is Ojo Caliente in YNP.

          • Dal,

            Perhaps the child would reply “the sink.” 🙂

            In which case we wouldn’t even need the River Bathing is Best story. FF does talk about the Popo Agie in one of the stories. Sorry, I forget which since I don’t have the book. And the Popo Agie has a Sink(s)! Then you have to ask yourself, “Could it really be that simple?” Maybe!?! 🙂

            All IMO.


          • Ann-
            A hundred possibilities…some would depend on the child’s age…”a diaper” might be another response…
            But I was looking at it in this way…
            A child generally gets a “warm” bath…(warm = comfortable) because mom or dad or the child adjusts the water…
            But generally mom or dad do not adjust the hand washing water temp…
            In our house we have to let the hot water run for awhile before it gets hot…
            I don’t…neither kids nor I have the patience nor the desire to waste water long enough to wait for it to warm before beginning to wash…consequently we don’t relate to warm = sink as easily as warm = bath…

            But this points out another advantage with group think about meanings of Forrest’s stanza…”personal experience”.
            We all bring our own personal beliefs and life experiences into our equations and opinions about the poem thereby widening our horizons…which can be either enlightening or confusing…

          • Dal (again),

            Follow Up-

            If we stick with the “So easy a child could do it.” (self-quoting here) theme, do you suppose it would be easier for a child to find a Sink(s) or Ojo Caliente after reading the poem and the book? In other words, is a child more likely to make the bathtub/Ojo Caliente connection over a sink/Sinks connection in terms of WWWH? And this same question can be asked without the book having been read. All IMO.


          • Dal,

            I wonder what FF would say about this exchange of ours. I imagine he grew up in a time before dish washers. It is likely he grew up in a time when kids could relate to warm water being used in the sink for dishes. It could also be that those rough enough took their first baths in a sink, thus associating warm waters with bathing in a sink. Something to think about anyway. All IMO.


          • Dal, totally understand your logic and have to agree in part with your answer, though not with Ojo Caliente. In fact, the entire stanza aligns with this idea, go alone, treasures bold etc. That’s the rub though, if you use the book it’s a Perfect Answer but if you are stuck only using the poem then it is ruled out because as far as I know there is no way to derive FF’s bathing spot from the poem alone.

            So which is the correct approach?

            Forrest seems to want us to move with confidence to the treasure but we cannot if we don’t know the correct approach.

            Unless there is something in the poem that “keys” you into the correct approach to solving the clues and confirms to a certain extent that you’re on the right path.

            Whether it is right or wrong, I am trying to solve with the poem and a good map, and the books are waiting for me to read at some point to confirm my conclusions before my BOTG.

            In my opinion.


        • Dal,
          The Nope question and answer tells us only that a backstory is needed to find the treasure chest. In fact, even today you cannot find the TC without the back story. Example; you find a copy of the poem somewhere and you never heard of FF or his TC or anything related to the chase would you even know that the poem was a map to a TC. Of course the answer would be no, or nope. The backstory is crucial to the whole chase, without the backstory it would just be a poem. How could F answer that question with anything other than No or Nope.

          If the question were: If in 500 years a person has the poem and the whole backstory of the chase could a person reason ably just use the words in the poem and find your treasure chest? His answer has to be yes because he has said so. (Barring that nature hasn’t moved or destroyed the TC, or someone already finding it.)

          FF: Emily, All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem. The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker. Good luck in the search. F

          • IMO, Man, the back story is not needed. It is the entire poem. The question asks if with just the words of the poem. Back story has nothing to do with it because f said all we need is the poem. That means the entire poem, and not just the words. If solving the poem with just the words prompted his answer to be “nope”.

          • Man said- Example; you find a copy of the poem somewhere and you never heard of FF or his TC or anything related to the chase would you even know that the poem was a map to a TC. Of course the answer would be no, or nope.
            I do not agree with this at all. Of course, there’s one searcher out there of the hundreds of thousands that are out there that could figure out the poem is about a treasure hunt. It’s not that hard to think that way from some of the key words. It only takes one person that thinks like that which would make f need to respond as such.

          • FD, Not likely that a person would know or act on this poem and go look for a treasure. They wouldn’t know how much it’s worth, or that it’s in the RM’s somewhere, or that it contains 9 clues, or above 5k f.t and below 10k ft. Where would they even begin? And all the other hints and tidbits that we know. Heck, we have all that information and still can’t find the treasure. The question was could they find the TC.
            Therefore, no they couldn’t find it for sure without the backstory. I agree someone may determine that it’s a poem about a treasure, but find it, heck no.

          • ManOwar, but that’s not the example I quoted you on. You didn’t mention any of that in the example. You can change your example but the example you gave doesn’t provide the outcome that you later concluded.

        • Dal, with that quote, the take away would be the “words” in the poem. The question should have stayed with “just the poem”, but the question changed when asked if only the “words” in the poem.
          This, and a couple ATF’s is the reason I asked before, could a past searcher, 500 years ago, with just the poem find the chest?
          That question would come from the ATF about, all we need is the poem. (this would be a hypothetical, but could answer some questions). Let’s say we took Bill and Ted’s phonebooth back in time and dropped off the poem to someone, then left. Could that someone get the spot of the chest?
          What I see most doing is to use the words in the poem. And while that is one option that must be used, it’s not the end to all. That is where your ATF you posted comes in. We are not to just use the words in the poem. And that is why he said, nope. If all we need is the poem, and the words will not find the chesty, then it’s the whole poem that is needed. And that is where the question comes in, can a searcher 500 years ago find the spot the chest is at?
          If it is more difficult for searchers 500 years from now, because things change, move, whatever, those future searchers would still have historical documents that they could use to get the info exact like we have now. So, when thinking of the clues, they are meant for us, the present day searcher. With that, we should be able to see that clues are not going to be names, or things that can change. How could they be? Wouldn’t names and places be part of “special knowledge”? So we are back to the poem and the past. If all we need is the poem, then a past searcher can find that spot the chest is at. It’s just that the past searcher wouldn’t know what a clue is. or anything for that matter. Wouldn’t even know the names of the states that are in play. Just have the poem, and can arrive at the spot the chest is at. So it leads to the question, without the clues, can a searcher find the spot the chest is at?
          If we are to take the ATF of, all we need is the poem as gospel, then the answer seems obvious.
          So, for the first stanza, using just the words, being within the poem, it would seem like it would not be used to find or solve a clue. In fact, it would seem that the poem isn’t used to just solve clues. Also, we must also see that knowing that there are 9 clues is info that is outside the poem.

          Now I know there are no past searchers, but to imagine one, it’s best to see the chase through their eyes. They would have the most restrictions. So if we are to believe that, at the core of the chase, all we need is the poem, we would need to see that we don’t need any info outside that poem. Also, we should see that the words in the poem, along with it’s structure, is not used to solve clues. The clues just make it easier, but again, they are outside info.
          To wonder if the first stanza is used to possibly solve a clue is ridiculous, sorry to say. The poem is meant to find a spot. The first stanza would then fall into place as a stanza that helps find a spot. Like all the stanzas are for. Because no matter what, past, present, or future searcher, they all in the end will have the same solve, (if correct). And one of those searchers will not know what a clue is.
          IMO, solving clues is like solving ATF’s, or using maps, or using hints, they are meant for us to reference, and for confidence levels. They are all outside the poem, and f has said to go back to the poem so many times, that it seems we are talking in circles. But not many searchers heed his advice, they go to things outside the poem, IMO, is why the poem is being read incorrectly. IMO, through the eyes of the past could history repeat itself.

          • There HAS TO BE a back story. Without the back story, there would be no mention of the Rockies, the primary 4 states, 8 1/4 mile north of Santa Fe NM.
            I have to agree that to find the chest, we don’t need to know his past as a fighter pilot, lumberjack, fishing guide, gallery host to the stars. We don’t need to know but me for one am very glad that I have read and reread those amazing stories. They aren’t real back story, just a very good read about a very great and varied man and his HOBBIES.
            Rick Lasttolook

          • Rick, the back story is fine, but not needed. F said, all we need is the poem. That’s it. Don’t get me wrong, the back stories, ATF’s, blog comments by f, maps, all are used to make it easier on US. But, when you look at a solve, at it’s core, all we need is the poem only. That comment is a tell of how we should approach solving the poem.
            He has also said there is no special knowledge needed. Most everything outside the poem is considered special knowledge. His back story, special knowledge given by him to make it easier for us. Names of places, special knowledge. Someone that lives in the Rockies would know names of places better then we here in California. That doesn’t matter in having to solve the poem.
            The question is, what does “all we need is the poem” imply? What does that statement mean when a searcher approaches a solve of the poem? How does that statement reflect on whether clues are as important or not? How is outside info used to help solve the poem?
            If you look at the implications of that statement, you could understand what outside info is and it’s place in the chase.
            The problem is that thinking that way does not fit many solves. So it’s overlooked, or ignored. The solves that depend on solving clues, the point to point needed solves, to name a few. They need outside info to solve. And, as they may be fine, and I’m not saying that it won’t work, at the core of the chase, it presents scenarios that will cause problems. Most common, how to find WWWH.
            If searchers don’t want to see the implications of things said by f, or choose to ignore, that’s fine, but to say that outside info is totally needed to find the chest, when f has said that all we need is the poem, is a ridiculous thought. Only because of what f has said.
            Don’t get it twisted, we need to use as much info as we can, but the one correct solve that we all look for, when revealed, will show that all we need is that poem. And that’s it. That searcher will only need to use the poem to explain how they arrived at that one spot. And seeing that one group of searchers, who don’t know of clues or anything, would come to that same solve to find a spot, speaks volumes on how to approach a solve.
            If you need back stories and outside info for a solve, then fine. But think about the statement, all we need is the poem.

          • Poisonivy, according to F, we need the poem for the solve and we need to read and reread TTOTC, then go back to the poem and then back again slowly. There are countless blogs and lots of opinions. I agree, most of that stuff doesn’t get you very far but nobodies found it in 10 years with just the poem, and all the other stuff. The person carrying out the tc will be able to tell us weather the back story helped or not. I for one, if I’m the fortunate finder, plan on sharing with those persons I’ve been helped by. Starting with Dal and ending with you. Lol
            Thanks for all your help.
            Rick Lasttolook
            The books are the back story.

        • Dal

          Sorry to.impose . I am curious on what is the backstory?.
          In your response , you used the question by nope to forest.

          They don’t know in the Rocky mountains north of sante fe , or the 9 clues. , etc.In this context does the backstory referring to the rules on the cheat sheet and not the stories in his books?.
          What makes me question what is backstory referring to is after he said 9 clues , he also said etc..which leads me to believe this is referencing the cheat sheet.
          IMO of course.

          • Kick-
            I only know there must be some info to go along with the poem for anyone to have any chance of solving it…
            We have all the backstory available and cannot come up with the right solution…
            email, books, scrapbooks, interviews. web pages, photos, video, ramblings….and still zip…
            It’s hard for me to believe the cheat sheet plays any role in the backstory…
            I agree it’s probably useful information…but I cannot imagine it sets the scene needed to know where to begin…

          • I think the important part that many are missing is the possibility that f might consider there to be backstory that resides in the poem.

            If there is according to f, It’s a different level of backstory than information outside of the poem.

            Things like in the mountains north of Santa Fe, above 5,000 ft and below 10,200 ft are handy but not critical in deciphering the poem.

            That’s what it is all about and this thread focuses on one part of that…the first stanza.

          • I think what is missing here is the fact that the poem was not scribbled on a piece of paper and stuck on a refrigerator someplace. It was published in a book… THE BOOK.

            How many times over the years has FF told us how to search for the treasure?

            There are nine clues in the poem, and the clues are in consecutive order. If you want to find the treasure chest – you have my book there – I’ll tell you how to do it. Read the book just normally… the poem and the rest of the book, and then go back and read the poem 6, 8, 10 times – study every line, every word. Then after you do that, read the book again, slowly, with the idea of looking for clues, or hints, that are in the book that will help you follow the clues. You can find the chest with just the clues, but there are hints in the book that will help you with the clues. (27:06) (May 2011 – Lorene Mills Interview)

            If he has said it a dozen times, maybe we should pay attention and follow his advice?

            Just my opinion.


          • Lori: “It was published in a book… THE BOOK.”

            I think it was published in 2 books. Therefore, both books – The Thrill of the Chase – and – too far to walk – are treasure related with hints.
            I don’t own his latest book and wonder if the poem is in – ONCE UPON A WHILE?
            If there’s no poem then there probably are no hints IMO.

            I love the idea of Fenn giving hints away to help with the 1st clue in the 1st stanza and his books and have liked his bathing spot as the 1st clue since 2016 and I don’t think that i’ll change that.

            Fenn: “No, many people have found the first clue but they didn’t know it. Until someone finds the treasure they will not know for sure that they have discovered the first clue.”

            Look up definition of “many”.

            Fenn: “Searchers have routinely revealed where they think the treasure was hidden and walked me through the process that took them on that course. That’s how I know a few have identified the first two clues. Although others were at the starting point I think their arrival was an aberration and they were oblivious to its connection with the poem.”
            Sounds like tourists were there as well.

            I’m glad you broke the 1st stanza down dal and are now considering this to be the starting point. I would like to see you find the treasure considering all the trips you have invested.

            I’ve said it once and say it again, I will eat my hat if his bathing spot is not where to begin the quest.
            1st clue nailed down or bust!

          • Hi Jake, that warm “bathing spot” seems more than a subtle hint to me? also the ff quote in general that went something like the hints in the book were not deliberately placed. The warm bathing spot sure seems like it would have rung alarm bells about obviousness, if he wasn’t trying to deliberately place hints.

      • ManOwar makes a good point about how Dal’s theory rubs up against f’s early statement that all the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem.

        Dal provides a counter point with the Nope, Nope q &a where f has since said essentially nope, the poem isn’t enough without all of the backstory.

        The way I square this is to analyze what the difference is. F said you got to minus all of the backstory in the Nope question. To me, that includes the first stanza as it reads like an introduction. So it has to be eliminated as part of Nope’s hypothetical question.

        That is why the poem, in this hypothetical instance, doesn’t provide all the information that one needs to find the treasure.

        • That’s what is being confused. Searchers are taking that statement as the whole poem, but the question asked is the “words” in the poem. So that question does not deal with the poem, but just the words.
          The whole poem does give a searcher the opportunity to find the spot. The words, and words only does not. The outside info is not needed, hence all we need is the poem. So we have the poem, now the words alone will not find the spot, it’s the entire poem.
          If this concept is not understood, then a review on how the poem is being read is needed.
          So much outside info seems to be what searchers use to solve the spot, do you think that you could solve the spot without the poem? So many write ups where the poem isn’t even mentioned, but maps, ATF’s, everything else is, how can a solve be formulated this way? Without all the outside info, and with just the poem, can we find the spot? F seems to think so.
          All this outside info, clues, ATF’s, maps, are all a great help, but shouldn’t be the end-all for a solve, IMO.

      • Forrest does contradict his own quotes seemingly.

        I think about it with this
        Analogy: all you Might need to go camping is a knife and wool blanket. But you certainly might find other things useful such as a tent or matches.

        Does he ever say that using resources aside from the poem and map will in fact be detrimental to finding it?

      • ManOwar

        You wrote, “Your theory makes sense when you compare it to his books, but when you look at it from just reading the poem it fails the “all the information you need to find the TC is the poem” comment.”

        Can anyone answer where FF went alone without some information from his books or scrapbooks?

        Without the books we wouldn’t even know FF lived in Temple, TX.

        We wouldn’t have a map with a highlighted area where FF says the treasure is hidden.

        We wouldn’t know he spent his summers in West Yellowstone and fished the Madison and Firehole and other rivers outside and inside of Yellowstone.

        We wouldn’t know he bathed at Ojo Caliente or swam at Hebgen Lake.

        Without the back stories, we wouldn’t have the slightest idea where to even begin looking for his treasure.

        If the poem alone points to the correct WWWH I for one am up a creek without a paddle. IMHO

        • BroStevo;

          Do we need to know he lived in Temple, TX?
          Even without the map, he said it is in the Rocky Mountains 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe, so, do we need the map?
          Do we have to know that he spent his summers in Yellowstone?
          Is the Madison and Firehole important?
          Do we need to know that he bather at Ojo Caliente?

          For me, the answer to all of the above in “NO” – but that is just me. I didn’t need to know ANY of the above – JMO – JDA

          • JDA

            You said, “Even without the map, he said it is in the Rocky Mountains 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe, so, do we need the map?”

            OK I’ll give you Temple TX is not related to the treasure but…

            Your quote from FF is a back story. Without that quote or any back stories would you know where to start looking without the map?

            If all you need is the poem, you wouldn’t know in the Rocky Mountains at least 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe.

            Without more back stories we wouldn’t know it was not in Canada, Idaho or Utah.

            We would not know it is between 5000″ and 10,200′.

            If none of your solve is based on any information outside of the poem, where he lived, traveled, life experiences and very fond memories, I tip my hat to you! IMHO

          • Hi BroStevo, you said that you agree about Temple tx, but why do think eliminating Canada or idaho makes it a full story? or that including Ojo is some how relevant?

            what people seem to do is think ff gave obvious hints in the book, he did not, by his own mentioning that he did not. people seem to think eliminating Canada has somehow made the task easier, it has not by ff’s own words: “it’s not going to help you much” (for these two quotes do search on Tarry scant link below for those words and then also for: “deliberately placed”)

            if someone started, lets say from some wwwh in Colorado, and ended up finding the chest, they wouldn’t care that Canada was eliminated, they wouldn’t care that Ojo was mentioned, it did not help them at all, which would be the point one would be missing… they found it because they were thinking about their wwwh… not about how not to look, nor being influenced by unrelated stories. and they also could start in Toledo too and not find the chest.

            writing a chapter that directly relates a story of how a clue came about, ya… that just did not happen to be deliberate???, there just are no two ways about it, imo and it would seem ff’s too, (see above quotes)

            apparently one can find a chest at some terminus point using that poem while starting at some point of their imagination, while coincidentally and no other reason, not thinking about Canada nor Ojo, nor anything else but their starting point gotten while they closed their eyes and thought about the poem.

            Maybe they use Ojo, they did not need a story to let them find out that Ojo is warm, just like thousands of other wwwh interpretations…

        • People are looking in the book for places he went alone… he went alone in the poem…. in the book look for places he went with others.

          • He definitely went alone in the poem, and alone to secret the treasure, and whether he went alone in the book or with others, at least with the information in the books we have an idea of where he’s been. Isn’t that what we’re trying to find out? IMHO

          • OS2 totally. the “more” is a fast forward straight to “Gold and More”. I have an opinion about this chapters location.

          • JDA it’s a beautiful area. A little More arid and less mosquitos than YNP makes for a great place.

          • Hi Matt;

            Sounds nice – Good luck when the snow melts, and when we can again travel 🙂 JDA

        • I used to not think so, but now I think any specific place he talked about in the book is off limits. That would make it too easy. I do find it curious that the chapter In Love with Yellowstone, doesn’t really even talk about Yellowstone.

          • Aaron, The ages and date in the stories are often confusing, and the pictures often belie the age in the text. In that story the Chevy is 1936…when ff was 5, until his birthday on Aug.22, but he mentions Miss Ford, who was his teacher when he was 13.

          • Aaron
            I couldn’t agree more. That chapter has nothing to do with YNP or West Yellowstone and everything to do with a special place in Wyoming along the way.

          • If there are hints in the book, which FF states there are, how can they hint to any of the clues, which are geographic locations according to FF (paraphrased), and not be from a geographic place he mentions in the book? IMHO

          • OS2 it’s interesting you mention that about Miss Ford. He probably had over 30 teachers in school but only mentions 1 repeatedly. Her name is a huge clue in my opinion and is somewhat fictionalized- the reason for the inconsistency with dates.

          • Matt;

            I very much agree – NOT YNP ar surrounding areas, but on the way from Temple, TX to YNP – in Wyoming. JMO – JDA

    • I believe you are correct Dal except in your definition of naked. Maybe naked is more of a feeling than of being in your birthday suit.

      • Is the word/feeling you are trying to describe “exposed”, Richard McKeever? If so, IMO that is what FF means by “with my treasures bold” . I believe that In order to hide his treasures, he had to carry them somewhere where he could have been seen doing so, though whoever saw him wouldn’t know what he was doing since the TTOTC book was not published and the treasure hunt and poem were not famous yet.

    • Dal, I think it’s about so much more than that. Lol.
      But we all have our thoughts.

    • Dal – I have always joked that this line was Forrest referring to the ‘family jewels’ as ‘treasures bold’ in the Poem, specifically when he rode his bike out to bathe alone at Ojo Caliente:

      “As I have gone alone in there,
      And with my treasures bold.”

      The word etymology for ‘the family jewels’ dates back to the 1920s.

      Still giggling…like a 13 year old Forrest would.

    • You go in “there”, perhaps, because that way you can leave your car at another location. Hence one can keep their “secret where” a secret.

      There’s a very basic logistical problem at the heart of all of this, and it goes as follows. Forrest takes his car to location A. We know from past responses that he rented a sedan when he went to hide the treasure. Well, if he did that and then planned on dying in the spot… How does he keep his spot a secret after he dies? Wouldn’t an abandoned rental car be a big tip-off?

      Food for thought…

      • I also operate on the assumption that Forrest has never named any of the locations in the poem directly, although IMO they are hinted at w.r.t. several of the solves that I’m working.

      • Also, let me actually complete my thought that I left dangling regarding the logistics problem. That paragraph should read:

        “Forrest takes his car to location A (either the college/university in Arizona or the Denver Museum of Nature and Science). From there he goes somewhere else, location B, and rents a car. When he went to actually leave the treasure, he rented a sedan. He has said in the past that he followed the poem to leave the treasure, or something to that effect. So… Assuming he did so, and assuming that his original plan also included renting a car, how does he keep his spot a secret after he dies? Wouldn’t an abandoned rental car be a big tip-off?”

        • IMO,
          Forrest was a younger adult when “thumbing a ride” was commonplace. He could throw out a thumb, get close enough to walk.
          Rick Lasttolook

          • Lori, thank you so much for educating me on a list of quotes I had missed. Ignorance is bliss but doesn’t get you to the tc. Lol. This qualifies what I have been saying all along about waters high as being deeper water. I’m not the only one that missed that site. Good luck on your search. Hope to bump into you in the trail someday. I just hope I’m coming out hands full and you can help me carry it.
            Rick Lasttolook

        • I think the take away from the whole “the final clue would be where he parked his car” is just that, the where he parked his car, because if you knew where he parked his car, then you might know “the where” as in region that the treasure resides within, not necessarily that place he parked his was in fact at the DMNS or NAU.

          So yes, the final clue would have been where he parked his car.


    • I think the first stanza is past tense like Forrest went there alone to die and is there in that spot as we read his poem. Im not sure if im wording that in a way that makes sense i usually do poorly when trying to convey what goes on in this brain of mine. I guess what im trying to say is i read it the way he intended to do all of this in the first place which would mean he did stanza 1 before the poem was even read/solved so as i have gone alone to die and with my treasures bold…I dunno that just IMO

      • Bizarro, many searchers have brought up similar interpretations like yours about the first stanza.

        As in the first stanza is an introduction to what f did in hiding the treasure.

        What makes it interesting for me is that f has mentioned his advice for searchers often… interview-

        Lovato: And if Santa Fe’ans who, who may want to get a leg up on starting somewhere would they start with your memoir? Is that, that’s a place –

        (2:22) Fenn: I’ve been asked that question a number of times. What I recommend is that you read my book normally. Then you read the poem over and over and over again and, and just think about, think about every line. Read it four or five, ten times. And then go back and read the book again slowly looking for hints in the book that will help you with clues in the poem.
        So, f advises we read his book first and read it a couple of times at least.

        Then, why would any searcher that follows f’s advise above not already know all of the actions taken in the first stanza that f describes before reading the poem since f describes them in the book (outside the poem)?

        In other words, why waste the opening stanza of the poem on just an introduction summarizing his actions when he’s already summarized them in the book?

        Maybe because there’s something hidden in the first stanza that is vital to figure out.

      • Bizarro,

        Your touching on something I have discussed at length, the structure of the poem as it relates to the tense nature of some of the clues. And if, as Forrest said, in the Lure Documentary interview, that he didn’t know that anybody had given him all nine clues in the right order (paraphrased), then it is possible that there is an order to the clues that isn’t the same, or as obvious, as the consecutive order that we view and or read them in the poem, but rather an order, that once correctly deciphered, we then follow in the physical world, and this may be why he tells us the first clue is BIWWWH yet there still is information in the poem that proceeds that line.


    • FF has mentioned countless times that TWO treasure hunters have correctly solved the first two clues, but that they went right by the next 7 never knowing how close they were.

      THOUSANDS of people have mentioned to him that they believe WWWH is the confluence or the firehole swimming area. Doesn’t that mean that WWWH can’t be there?

      • GH-
        I don’t think so.
        First-Forrest told us that he knew that searchers were close because they wrote him in emails explaining where they had been.
        So we are talking about searchers who had been out looking…and wrote him where they went after they began at WWWH. We are not talking about armchair searchers who got the first clue correct.

        Second-After WWWH a person can go in many different directions depending upon how they interpret the clues. Some may have passed by the chest, others may have never been close.

        Third-That remark was made early in the search. Since then, there could have been thousands more who did the same thing.

        Fourth-Forrest said two but there would still be two, even if there were thousands who did the same thing…
        In other words if there were thousands of folks who drove by the Dairy Queen today I could say that thousands drove by and be correct…I could also say that three drove by and also be correct…

        Forrest gives us the exact info he wants to give us…and no more…
        The interpretation of that info is left to the listener…

      • To Both Sides:

        I am seeing both sides of this particular discussion. Dal raises some great points. But it does beg the question: What if only two searchers have ever correctly solved the first two clues? What would that mean for the search community? And more importantly, I imagine most could agree that the clues presumed to be correctly solved would likely be WWWH and CD.

        Certainly searchers looking in areas known to be searched by others would be disappointed if only two searchers have ever gotten the first two clues correct. On the other hand, if only two searchers have ever gotten the first two clues correct (up to the present I mean) then that would certainly be telling as well.

        Which is more likely? I cannot say. I do imagine FF gets a kick out of us trying to figure it out though! Imagine the creator of a labyrinth sitting high atop a mountain overlooking their creation watching all those who enter try and find their way out.

        All IMO.


  2. The first stanza does tell us everything we need to know about the rest of the poem (imo it’s really that simple. For instance; if Forrest had not told us where the first clue was then how would you know? The word Old. It literally means ‘Before the Beginning’ and the next word in the poem is ‘Begin’. The one thing that Forrest needed to clarify for searchers was that there are 9 clues or the riddle would most likely never be solved.

    • Here’s a curve ball for ya: In German “nine” means “no”. There are no clues in the poem.

      • I don’t believe Forrest wrote the poem in German. lol So I wouldn’t worry about another language. If he wrote it in German the their would be neun clues.

        • I wouldn’t be so quick to rule out Forrest using an alternate language for a word in the solve. Many of us believe according to your solves that he uses archaic definitions. Another language isn’t that far off of that.

          In addition, one has to consider what Forrest considers the definition of a “hint” vs a “clue” vs “directions” or “instructions”. According to my solve, the case could be made that there are no clues in the poem. There are hints, directions, and instructions. For sure. And that is a big hint for you if you choose to ponder it.

          • Sorry I made a typo. I meant “according to our solves” rather than “according to your solves”.

          • JoJo,
            In German the word nein is used as an answer or declaration. If you want to indicate the lack of something, as in the phrase “there are no …”, you would use the word kein or keine. You would never use the word nein in that phrase. I don’t think Forrest would use another language if he spoke it so poorly.

  3. I haven’t dug too deep into the first stanza however it is my belief that he went somewhere where he was not supposed to go. Or at least he was allowed to be there but not leave anything behind.

    • Eric, I’m not sure I understand you. Do you think FF was adhering to all
      the applicable laws/rules/obligations/agreements as long as he was going to the hidey place? If so, do you think that by leaving the trove he
      was in violation of some applicable law/rule/obligation/agreement?

  4. To All,

    Okay folks! This page has been created! Thanks Dal. I have a somewhat lengthy preliminary post to share here. So without further adieu, I will just post it!…..

    The following are some thoughts about what the first stanza in the Chase may mean. They originated in an exchange between myself and Oz10. They are based on an examination of stanza one in the poem and what it could possibly mean. Nothing here is claimed to be true and/or accurate in regards to locating the chest. An interpretation of stanza one follows and is applied to an example to illustrate the interpretation given. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    There seems to be a lot of overlooking when it comes to stanza one. I am not yet sure how it ought to be used, but it seems to me there should be something useful about it otherwise it is superfluous and extraneous. So, what can I say about it so far? Well…..

    The unusual structure is perplexing. I think what strikes me most about the stanza is the going in part. If the first stanza simply referred to the Chase in general, that is an odd way of saying went to hide, or the like.

    FF says “in there” as if there is some body or something to be entered. Naturally I initially thought of a cave. What else in the Rockies could one enter? A cave seemed like a good idea. Is it part of the Chase? I do not know. I have been reminded of FF having said the chest is not in a cave or mine. But what if it’s something not so dangerous such as the Sinks? I also liked the idea of a cave or cavern safe enough to pass through since heavy loads and water high could be the mineral deposits that hang from caves caused by water dripping down through the ceilings. That to me was a better heavy loads and water high description than train tracks and old logging creeks. Maps don’t tend to have those marked on them. and I also liked the idea of an opening through the cave coming to a canyon perhaps where one would marvel gaze. see a blaze and where the location of the chest could certainly be in a pocket just below the opening. But the FF quote about caves has hindered those thoughts. Still, what is it that FF had gone in alone?

    I have considered a broader meaning such as the wood he references later. This could be a forest such as Gallatin. We tend to go into the woods. It could also mean a park since we often speak of going into a National Park. I have not figured out a way to choose one of these over another.

    The next line; “And with my treasures bold,” I’m sticking with “Bold and with my treasures,” (self-quoting here) as the likely meaning of this. I think bold refers to “I” and not “treasures.” And since he has said he was surprised not to have been seen and that he laughed at himself and asked if he had just done what he did, I imagine he felt bold in accomplishing the task.

    Of all the lines in the poem, I think line three is the most perplexing. It is the most grammatically unappealing and perhaps the most cryptic. We have been told the nouns in the poem are pretty important. Line three’s structure makes it hard to identify exactly what the nouns are. “Where I can keep my secret” (self-quoting here) makes more sense in reading but is it what FF intended to mean? I don’t know. “I keep my secret where” (quoting Oz10 in an exchange we had) changes up the entire stanza, mostly based on tenses and possession, which brings us to a valid question.

    Who or what is “I”?

    If “I” is not FF as some believe, I would suggest that it is a “something” and not a someone else. What kind of something could it be? I would not call it the Chase. I could see it referring to something like a river or road. Without trying to convey confirmation bias I will apply it to an example.

    What if “I” refers to the Popo Agie and the first line refers to the fact that it enters the Sinks alone, meaning no one or nothing else can follow it? It certainly is bold to carve your own path (an idea I think FF would like very much considering his quotes about blazing his own trail and exploring off the unbeaten path) and go where nothing else can. The rest of the world is certainly kept in the dark when it comes to knowing where the water goes once it enters the Sinks, so maybe it can keep its secret where nothing else can go. The hinting of riches new and old may be a larger stretch but where the water enters at Sinks (old) that certainly could suggest it likely is to come out somewhere else (new at the Rise). We even discover at the Rise that there is more water than goes in at the Sinks. So certainly, the old water from the Sinks is present but also some new water which has been added to it while it was gone.

    I will liken this description akin to when we first learn about hidden objects. And I know there are technical psychology terms for all of this though they escape me at the moment. But the gist is this: when you show a toddler an object, say a ball, and proceed to place it behind a screen what is their natural inclination? To see where the ball has gone right? So, when it comes to a place like the Sinks we are naturally inclined to ask where does the water go? We would like to take a peek behind the proverbial curtain to find out right? That I think is where stanza two takes us in the case of the Sinks.

    Okay, so now that we have this as an example of the potential application of stanza one, what if the Sinks is not WWWH? Well maybe there is another body of water, or a road, or another thing that enters something all by itself, boldly in the same sense above, and keeping something hidden from us or the rest of the world hints at opposing riches, and riches in this sense meaning something akin to rewards as opposed to literal treasure. In the case of the Sinks it’s not gold but the curious case of the water itself that is rewarding. X amount of old water goes in and X+Y amount of new water emerges. The Sinks hints toward the Rise just as watching a ball disappear behind a screen hints to us to look at the other side to see where the ball has gone. Again, the Sinks is just an example but I find it intriguing.

    But what if the “I” simply refers to FF going into the whole Chase alone? That is certainly a possibility. Perhaps it IS about him going into a national park or a wood all alone, unafraid of being caught (bold) with his chest (treasures), and keeping the location a secret is able to hint of riches new and old (whatever those may be). It could be that some of the clues refer to new found riches or places thought of as treasures to the world since he first happened upon the place (maybe in his youth) and others refer to old riches already known to the world when he happened upon the place. He has mentioned how some of the clues did not exist when he was a kid but that the places always did. That makes this rendering a viable one as well.

    Other than these two interpretations, I am left to the ponderings of others. That the first stanza is just a preamble or introduction. I don’t like these ideas as I really have nothing to help pinpoint WWWH other than stanza one, and as it has been pointed out, there is something in reading it that just doesn’t sit well with the reader. Is it the key word that will help us more than the others? I don’t know. But it does make you wonder!

    All IMO.


    • Hi Ann;

      A great write-up. Thanks for posting. I very much like your “Popo Agee” example of water entering some-place – (As I {the water]} have gone alone into a particular spot and then disappearing) >>> “As I have gone alone in there”. Like you say, the natural inclination is to try to figure out WHERE it has gone. Could this place – The secret place WHERE {secret where} the water disappears be the place where Forrest;s treasures {“And with my treasures bold”} are to be found? “And hint of riches new and old” – a line with a double meaning – 1) the chest with both NEW {His autobiography and two hairs} and OLD {The coins and jewels} are hidden. and 2) This place “As I went alone in there” which is new to you, since you have just now discovered it may have a history that goes back centuries and centuries – maybe even eons and eons. Doesn’t geography include the land and the peoples that lived in or on it, and their impact on that land? Makes sense to me. Just how I see it Ann. JMO JDA

      • Another thought: “I can keep my secret WHERE …” I have always thought that this line, and the “WHERE warm waters halt” are somehow connected. IF WWWsH is a unique place (Many like it, but this one is unique in some way) Maybe this place (the place WWWsH) IS the “secret WHERE”???

        I have always been drawn to the alliteration of the three “W’s” in Where Warm Waters halt. Why did Forrest use this alliteration? I feel he wanted to bring attention to it – which takes us back to the original WHERE. I know, it doesn’t make much sense the way I explain it, but it makes sense to me – JDA

        • JDA,

          That is an interesting take on the use of “where.” As described above, the unusual and grammatically unappealing structure of line three makes it difficult to digest. If the two wheres are indeed connected, that would help give us some direction in how to comprehend line three.

          The more I think about it, the more such a connection seems to put the first “where” in the position of being a noun. Unlike others who may conclude the first “where” to be a noun for the simple reason that “where” indicates a place, and places are nouns, a connection to line five would suggest a particular “where” and not just the general idea of the location of the chest.

          Let me see if I can explain this next thought clearly…..

          I think the easiest way to explain the thought is this: If the connection is true, it would be like saying “I can keep my secret [where]” (warm waters halt begins it all). Yeah I am not sure that quite captures the idea. I was trying to combine the two in such a way that they point toward one another, if that makes sense. And by no means am I messing with the poem here. Just trying to illustrate a potential connection between the wheres.

          Interesting stuff to say the least. All IMO.


      • I wouldn’t discount that the “I” could refer to somebody else (as well as f).

        He seems to enjoy writing stories about other people and reading about history.

        • Might it be helpful to consider that the word “go” can mean “die”?

          Might it be helpful to consider that the word “gone” (past tense) may mean “died”? If Forrest’s intention was to die there — at the hidey place (using sleeping pills), then it appears to me that he expected this to happen before the poem was solved. I hope it doesn’t disappoint him if the trove is found while he is still alive. The news and publicity may please him; I hope it does, to the *point*
          that his eyes fill with tears. As always, IMO.

  5. He swam in Hegben too!
    He was alone, carrying his treasure. He said the parking lot was empty. And he carried the chest in his hands on first trip.
    Keeping his secret “where” while hinting of riches new and old…in his brain\memories.

    I feel this is just an introductory phrase explaining the Chase and opening the door.
    Just like the last one closes the door in the poem.


    • Donna M. – Great insights!

      Hearing Kenny Rogers sing, “The Gambler” in my head…know when to hold ’em…know when to walk away…know when to run..

      Kenny was awesome.

  6. I agree.
    He says he is hinting of RICHES new and old.
    Which riches?

    His books?
    His Collection of Artifacts?
    His bottle caps?
    USA currency?
    Treasures from star-types he met?
    Strings?= knots-weaving?
    Comic books?
    Plane parts?

    Discover the meaning of RICHES and it likely will be hints of places with that particular name and those maybe lead to the x-spot?

    • Cards?
      Alone-Ace in the Hole
      Too = two= deuce
      Spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs,Joker
      Or what about:
      Fishing terms like tippet, etc?

      I’m sort of interested in the word BOLD meaning a font like the Goudy font = Kurt Gowdy maybe? Wasn’t the Goudy-font maker the young Eric Sloan’s mentor in printing?
      Just theorizing here.

      • Copperhead, yes, Goudy was Sloanes mentor. I also believe the bold font plays into the final solve; as well as
        BOLD being a steep wall.

        • Thanks Copperhead and 42… I did not know about Goudy and Sloane. As for hint of riches new and old… I always though it might refer to something growing… like once we are at the right spot we should be looking for the tallest hero… The big bold one?

    • @Copperhead, look inside TTOTC on the front flap describing ff.
      I don’t have the book so I can’t quote from it. I believe ff mentions he’s collected many things but photographs most of all (paraphrased). Given his love for Native American antiquities and interest in their vanishing way of life, I believe he may own original Edward Curtis photographs. EC Originals are rare and very expensive. ff could’ve also been alluding to is better than average visual memory. Perhaps he has a photographic memory.

      • He has donated a lot of very valuable photos to various museums, so yes…you, I agree….photos is another. And names of famous people and especially Native Americans like “Looking Glass” from Custer’s time is another option in my humble opinion.

      • That would be soo cool to see his original Edward Curtis photograph!!!! 🙂 Forrest do you really own some original Edward Curtis photos? Maybe you could share with us while we are all stuck at home?

  7. I think the first stanza has dual meanings.
    One would be describing his secret hiding place.
    The other would be describing his book.
    I do believe you can not find the treasure without the book, that’s why he made it part of the poem.

    • I totally agree……. two meanings…. if you can sift out the one, you may have less mental interference finding the other. So far, not so lucky me. But, dont forget a precursor in TTOTC. Ill post just below this post…. it may make sense to some.


        Me, I review, my memoirs.


        Me, from awareness to legacy.


        WHERE indeed… the metaphysical question?


        Me, I am, I am a story. Engage.

        The first stanza is a Preface,
        TTOTC has a Preface.
        Did it help?

          • That may be a snarky ‘wow’, but nevertheless, I think the poem was originally for Peggy. I think she might recognize the ‘preface’ as a place where they (together) took it in the canyon down and saw the blaze.

            Please note that I put commas, not colons, after the word ‘Me’ so to attribute my interpretations to FF, not to me. Dying alone on a box of jewels & leaving a cryptic poem is kind of a romantic notion don’t you think? I think the poem was composed for a mixed audience.

          • What if by …. “two can keep a secret if one of them is dead” he meant himself as the dead one? Suppose the original poem was meant to alert Peggy to his having left, and to remind her to keep the secret. I would think if she exposed the deed as he planned (and confided to her), there would be no end to recriminations and pestering by family, the law & insurance investigators . Just my wild conjecture…. Suicide can be a romatic notion as well.

  8. Like Dal I believe the first stanza tells you where to begin. I believe it tells you which “hi-wa” or high way to drive and the correct state,

    1. Justify poem the left (as ff did in TFTW)
    2. Remove spaces between words in a grid
    3. The words “have” from line 1 and “with from line two stack on top of one another
    4. H Ave. could = AVenue
    Essentially he’s giving you hi-wa & Avenue in the first two lines.
    5. You must decide what words or which letters to utilize alpha numerical for a numbered high way.
    6. you “drive” to the first clue

    • 42,

      Imho. You are on the right track to a point.
      Some food for thought:
      As= an ancient roman coin worth .2 1/4 cents in today’s money.
      In other words. 225.
      I= Interstate, the 9th letter of the alphabet.

      I wish I could provide more, unfortunately, the latest weather’s effects on me have left me scatterbrained.
      Now here is a question for some serious thought.
      What if each stanza of the poem has links to the first stanza?
      Example: We read from left to right. What if hidden in the meanings of the words that follow are the remainders of the directions to where to start?
      State, highway, etc? And they are read from top to bottom??

      Imho, the meanings of words and words associated with similar meanings are key to solving the poem. Forrest recently hinted at this in one of the recent sb’s.
      I can not help but wonder how many looked up the song ” Me and Bobby Mcgee “?? ( Hear me all and listen well ) I hope this link posts.
      Rip Janice

  9. To me the first stanza isn’t a clue, but includes a hint, that helps to narrow down the search area. “And hint of riches new and old.” line. I believe the “riches new” means the chest and “old” one that it’s located in some area where people have already found historical artifacts nearby. Oh yeah, hey everyone. I think this is my first comment even I’ve been reading this site for years.

    • Cosmo, what kind of historical artifacts are you imagining for this (nearby) area?

      I imagine arrowheads or spear heads might be in the vicinity. I also
      imagine that if early people ran bison off of a cliff in this vicinity, that
      some bison skulls (or other bones) might be found there.

      I found a variety of animal bones on my search hikes, but tend to think that these bones were not from bison. I tink that the antlers I found weren’t from bison — that is, if animals knew what they were and weren’t like modern (shall we say) “confused individuals”. All IMO.

  10. This is not my opinion, however I followed the instructions of a fellow searcher. The poem itself leads you to the place he went in, a place not everyone is willing to go. What makes you pause and question your next step? Heights, Animals, Posted Restrictions, water, dark? We all have fears that make us pause, if you take that next step after contemplation are you then Brazin or Brave or Foolish? Are you willing to park where no parking signs are posted? What if its only for 5 minutes ? Does time make a difference? What about distance 5 steps in OK, but No way to 300 steps. What if a solve took you 2000 miles and there at your feet you found a box nearly the exact dimensions of the chest and written on the box was “High Voltage” or “Contents Contagious” would you open it or turn and vacate?

  11. Interesting. I have arrived at Ojo Caliente from this stanza and ended up in a completely different state, for a completely different reason. Ojo – I – eye – iris – IRS – April 15th (also the date in The Codex that the 3 sons were to meet and hear of their father’s plan of burying himself and treasure). Not sure what April 15th has to do with anything but I’m working on it!

    • death and taxes

      do not clearly see where you are coming from but your comment brings to mind ben franklins thoughts on the only certainties in life

      • Thank you eveningdawn8…My string of thoughts may lead to Ben Franklin, not April 15th.
        “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”.

        Forrest said the he pinned a $100 bill on a tree and someone shot Hamilton right in the head of the bill, but it’s Ben Franklin on bill, not Hamilton.

        BF discovered electricity while flying a kite in a thunderstorm. The horse Forrest rode with Donnie was Lightning.

        BF from Philadelphia

        Silence Dogood was the pen name used by Benjamin Franklin
        “So hear me all and listen good…”

        Ojo may lead to Ben Franklin…but why is the question?? The ‘ojo’ on the animal hide over F’s couch is undeniable. Lisa Cesari, where are you I need you to put this all together!

        • Ben Franklin’s was also a “five and dime store.”
          Don’t underestimate the value of a quarter.

        • Goldilocks – One more:

          “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” – Benjamin Franklin

          I consider this target-like image to be a map of concentric circles, leading from my outermost blaze, progressively inward, to my hidey spot. Ojo Caliente is included.

          Looking forward to “National Treasure 3”! Hope Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer still make that movie! Charlotte was a ship, made into a key…

          • Lisa – BF also addressed the effects of ripples….

            “His interest was further piqued in 1757, when at sea with a fleet of ninety-six ships sailing past Nova Scotia to England. While most of the ships exhibited ripples in their wake, two of the ship’s wakes were remarkably calm and smooth. Franklin was perplexed by this peculiarity, and questioned the captain about it. The captain answered that the cooks most likely have just emptied their used cooking oil into the ocean, and thus the water around the ship was greased. This deeply interested Franklin, who decided to create an experiment to determine how exactly oil affects water and waves.”

  12. Riches new and old for me alludes to him revisiting that special place. I don’t think it’s coincidental at all that -he says- he hid the treasure on or around his birthday. In TTOTC the timeline in the first half is so important I feel.

    When he was 12/13 years old where would he have spent his birthdays? Where would he have been when he was a kid on Aug 22 every year of his childhood? In the car with family potentially. Probably on that road trip with Skippy also driving through Wyoming.

    Two of the chapters describe purposefully vague locations that always strike me as mysterious: When Skippy drives off without him, and when his family drives off the highway to the schoolhouse. I think these both allude to the same meaningful location. IMO.

    • Me too Matt. What day did school start back in Texas? Guess the principal had to be there a couple days early. FF has said the place was “dear” to him … think of the 3rd line of the birthday song.

      • OS2. Yea that is a good reference. He also said it was umbilical, a birth reference.
        Many of the hints in the first half of the book revolve around going to and from “school”. The site of a
        School”house” makes a nice “home”.

        • You lost me with that one . . . the site of a School”house”
          makes a nice “home”. Please explain, if you’re willing.
          Thanks in advance.

          • TA,

            The single room schoolhouse in WY from the Fenn family trips. I believe that is the reference being made here. All IMO.


          • There aren’t many direct references to the “Home” in Home of Brown. The one room schoolhouse however is a curious place his dad takes
            him to. The “house” in schoolhouse I feel could also be a “home”.

          • Thank you, Matt. I have recently thought of a
            different (confirming) way at looking at this . . . the
            important syllable being “school”. As always, IMO.

  13. Dal said in his OP- 
I can keep my secret where,
    He’s not going to give us any more help in figuring out where the first clue is located

And hint of riches new and old.
    But he will be giving us more hints to find his chest once we figure out where to begin.
    Dal’s explanation for the bottom line is very confusing to me. It goes against Dal’s s platoon in the top line. That’s because F’s definition of hints in the Chase are something that “helps” with the clues. So, that would be more help.

    Also, another confusing part for me is I don’t think f can give us searchers more hints to find his chest once we figure out where to begin.

    Only poem clues can point us closer to the treasure after we figure out where to begin (assuming Dal means the first clue). Hints essentially can’t do that or they would be called clues.

  14. It fits in with my Bear Wallow Canyon solve. It is a place where he would likely go alone in there because it is mostly isolated. It is not far but too far to walk from WWWH and below what I believe is HOB.
    So,…he is describing the final stretch, in my opinion.

  15. IMO, I believe the first line in stanza 1 tells us exactly where to start. There’s no guessing in the Chase, just a starting point and a lot of hint along the way, literally. Mr. Fenn is a brilliant man who can tell a story of one place and make it seem like another. I have found that timing is everything! And the Brave will always be watching over Indulgence and people will always ignore the piece of art standing in plan sight.
    Much luck, B

    • I am glad the Brave will be watching over her…
      To draw, you must close your eyes and sing. —Pablo Picasso

    • 100% correct!!! I’ve got my one good eye on you. You aren’t alone in this thinking. Curious if we have same start. 7 words from line 1 can’t take one to too many places lol.

  16. I wonder if Forrest had input on the placement of the lines of the poem in relation to areas on the map?

  17. OK, I seem to be the only one wondering this: Dal, why do you equate “…and with my treasures bold..” with being naked? Call me naive, but is it a guy thing?

    • mel-
      I think it might be an “old guy thing”. When I was younger there were common slang terms that referred to men’s private parts in a “veiled” manner that were sometimes more acceptable…As long as the company was not your parents..
      Many referenced jewels or treasures:
      Family Jewels
      Scepter and Jewels
      Family Treasures

      Probably more but you get my drift. So if Forrest has gone in there with his treasures bold he may have gone in their without clothes…

      • Dal, most of your reasoning also fits Ojo Caliente mineral springs in NM…can I persuade you to keep an open mind and jump over to NM lol?

        • GL-
          I searched there years ago…I won’t say never again…
          But I feel much stronger about the Gallatin County area than any of the places I searched in NM…
          I use all the expected reasons for not searching any longer in NM…
          I have no insights that others have not already pointed out..

          • I appreciate your thoughts on Stanza 1. Glad you will never say never. You have to admit, the logo for the spa strongly resembles the bullseye on the animal hide over Forrest’s couch we have seen in oh so many photos!

      • Scepter & jewels… what type of person has such things?

        I believe all of these places FF has been to are connected by coincidence. As well as everyone in his life. ie word association, landscape & also by numbers.

        Another thing I strongly believe, any place he’s ever mentioned, ever…
        in speech, books, scrapbooks, etc etc…. should be crossed off the list as TC locations.

        Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.

      • Dal,
        I doubt that it would have ever occurred to me that treasures bold means naked, but you probably know Forrest better than most people around here so maybe you’re right. Could naked be a reference to birthday suit? That might explain umbilically attached. Also, as far as gone alone in there, isn’t there an old saying about how you come into this world alone?

        • Could the first stanza pertain in direction? as I =”havE gonE alonE in therE”.
          If you know where a person is coming from, that often makes it easier to know where they are going. At least it gives us a bearing.

      • Dal – yep, I knew all those. But, it still seems a stretch for me, hence my head scratchin’. If you’re right, it could give the word “bold” new meaning(s). I’ll leave it there……
        Be well!

  18. I do agree, the family jewels are indeed treasure bold, and might be found where warm waters halt. I use a water source that has more than one name on maps for mine too.

  19. As they are written, I think the first stanza says nothing important. The four anagrams of the first stanza are very important for finding the blaze, IMO.

    I believe the hints in the book were deliberately placed for the anagrammer, but they are not in order.

    Have fun.

    • Why would you think that?

      Some searchers overrate the complexity of the search. Knowing about head pressures, foot pounds, acre feet, bible verses, Latin, cubic inches, icons, fonts, charts, graphs, formulas, curved lines, magnetic variation, codes, depth meters, riddles, drones or ciphers, will not assist anyone to the treasure location, although those things have been offered as positive solutions. Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map. f

      I still don’t understand why people still think the answer is in anagrams, codes or ciphers.

      “I’ve said many times that everything about my poem and my book is straightforward.” (7/5/15)

      “It is straight forward so there is no need to over-think it or look for commas and misspellings as clues. It was not written with the idea of fooling anyone. f”
      (6/25/16 – email to Mindy from Forrest: original email date unknown)

      “The poem is straight forward with no subterfuge in sight.” (8/6/14)

      So if the poem is straightforward, without tomfoolery or subterfuge, MAYBE it is what it appears to be. We know that the first stanza does not include the first clue.

      “The first clue in the poem is ‘Begin it where warm waters halt,’ that’s the first clue.” (9:16) (4/3/13)

      If it does not provide a clue, why is it there? Very often, books have a “chapter” before the beginning of the book. A preface or prologue to get things started. Even the U.S. Constitution has a preamble. So what is the purpose? It explains to the reader what the purpose of the writing is, and perhaps why the reader might want to continue reading. It may say something about the text to follow, or provide some insight into the author.

      That said, I see the first stanza as an introduction.

      “As I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bold”
      Nobody was with him when he went into the hiding spot and hid the treasure. He did it openly (bold) and it was a bold move to leave a fortune unprotected.

      “I can keep my secret where and hint of riches new and old”
      He can tell us about the treasure without revealing its location. New and old could refer to antiquities that will bestow new wealth upon the finder.

      Keep It Simple Stupid

      Just my opinion,
      – Lori

      • It’s like talking to a wall about 50 feet tall, huh?

        Do you know of any walls that are 151 feet tall? I don’t.

        Are you planning to physically search for the trove? I am.

      • @ Lori = I feel the same way about about your first ATF—it is a counterexample in FF’s own words to solve processes that use anagrams, etc. so why would someone still go out of their way to create such a solve process?

        IMHO, the first stanza is critical to solving TTOTC. The concepts it yields when read correctly using the simple definitions of the words derived from an ordinary free online English dictionary permeate the entirety of the poem and help us to sort out the real ingredients for the cake we are trying to bake.

      • Lori… your statement: I still don’t understand why people still think the answer is in anagrams, codes or ciphers.

        The FF quote eliminates codes and ciphers.. but not anagrams. And there is that troubling little anagram in TTOTC on pg 147… “flutterby” ….. so, some of us think that leaves the door open on anagrams.

        • @OS2 = I’d call “flutterby” a spoonerism and not so much an anagram because the letter “b” and the letters “fl” are the only things switched. Sure, it could be subtle hint that the whole poem is one giant anagram and I commend those who spend countless hours rearranging every stanza anagrammatically.

          However, IMHO, those very same people gloss over the first thought in the FF ATF posted by Lori above (emphasis mine): “Some searchers OVERRATE THE COMPEXITY of the search.” Simply defined, that means that some persons considered searchers perceive a higher degree of intricacy to the search than there really is. To compound matters, and despite a decent list by FF in the first ATF posted by Lori above, those same persons argue that their intricate/complex technique isn’t specifically on that list so technically hasn’t been disqualified by the FF ATF.

          IMHO, anagrams are just one such technique, so let’s examine what an anagram is. According to, the noun version of anagram is defined as “a word, phrase, or sentence formed from another by rearranging its letters” and the verb definitions of anagram are “1: to form (the letters of a text) into a secret message by rearranging them” and “2: to rearrange (the letters of a text) so as to discover a secret message.” Since rearranging is a necessity for creating/performing/solving anagrams, and anagrams are intended to convey/contain a secret message, are there any words in the list given by FF that categorize an anagram? How about code(s)? According to, code as a noun means “a system of words, letters, figures, or other symbols substituted for other words, letters, etc., especially for the purposes of secrecy” and as a verb means “convert (the words of a message) into a particular code in order to convey a secret meaning.” It seems pretty clear to me that codes categorizes anagrams and therefore, according to FF himself in the first ATF posted by Lori above, “…will not assist anyone to the treasure location, although those things have been offered as positive solutions.”

          Carrying on for a bit, IMO, SB#114 is another of FF’s attempts to let searchers know not to overcomplicate things. In it he discusses how he spent so much time making beautiful cork bobbers/poppers. At the end of the story he makes these statements: “The fact is I never fished with any of my hand-painted poppers, and that is the truth. There was no way a slippery sided smallmouth black bass was going to scratch the paint on my special, sculptural artforms. That’d be tantamount to messing with my poem. f” What can we conclude about those statements? Well, he mentions the poem so perhaps we should try to understand that line first. Tantamount is defined by as “equivalent, as in value, force, effect, or signification” and synonyms for messing are disturb, complicate, discombobulate, befuddle, confuse, and muddle. To me, then, FF is saying that when searchers complicate his poem by using any of the items/techniques he has categorized in the first ATF Lori posted above, that is the same thing as him tossing one of his precious poppers to a bass and allowing it to deface same, which he truthfully never did so we should not complicate the poem in such categorical manner.

          • Bowmarc, my opinion is like the Spanish saying, “Mi casa es su casa.” Definition, mi casa es su casa: a common Spanish expression used in English, meaning “welcome” or “make yourself at home” Mi casa es su casa literally means “my house is your house”.

            You see this how I see it; codes and ciphers IMO never were imbedded in his poem, so let’s not confuse ourselves, but it can be fun to try, see Muset on Fox and Hounds, face it we enjoy attempts a humor through wit, a lot of poetic licenses are expressed with this, like the pun and other joker enhancements, so I also admire wit and encourage it, but agree that this poem is straight forward. One must learn the meaning of and therfore the location of these hints and clues, like the map it must become in your imagination.

            That affectionate saying above “Mi Casa” was once expressed to me by a famous, now deceased politician, whose name rhymes with Wujan but sounds more like an L in it, he was in the lower house in New Mexico of the US Congress, and I know why it is called the lower house, after he told me this joke, it must be told in Spanish to be fully understood, that is how I first heard it, but I will translate for those from Rio Linda:

            He, MR M L said “What did one homeless Hispanic person say to another homeless Hispanic person?
            Mi caja es su caja.”

            To be politically correct it is not, but take it from the wisdom of the LOWER HOUSE.

      • Lori…if you search you will quickly find an interesting response from Forrest regarding anagramming that Loco posed.

      • I have to absolutely disagree with no clues in stanza 1? The wwwh is actually found at the location that line 1 gives you. The words “wwwh” are in line 5 but the actual location is a place. Wwwh is clue 1 and is found in stanzas 1 location. Nothing about this goes against anything he has ever said. This is what hamstrings people. I’ve tried to explain this but maybe to no avail. Oh well.

        • I’m listening if you want to try to explain it again here. I’d like to hear how you get around these two ATF’s:

          “Well, there are nine clues in my poem and one is in my book. And I’m not going to give any more clues. I’m…There are hints in my book that will help you with the clues, but…A clue will point you toward the treasure chest, and a hint will just help you with the clues, if you can understand that.” (Richard Eeds Show 5/29/2015)

          “No. The first clue in the poem is begin it where warm waters halt. That’s the first clue. If you don’t, if you can’t figure that clue out you don’t have anything.” (New Zealand Radio 4/3/2013).

          When collectively considering these two ATF’s, I’d be comfortable saying that there is a hint in the first stanza that helps with the clues (per the first ATF above), but won’t call anything in the first stanza a clue because FF has told us we can’t (per the second ATF above).


      • Thanks for those links Lori. I think we only disagree about the thresholds of simple and stupid.

        Enjoy your adventure.

  20. from Jenny Kile’s ” Mysterious Writings”
    “Featured Question with Forrest Fenn” May 4, 2017

    “Stop arm chairing that thing to death and get out in the trees
    where the “box” is, but before you go, look at the poem as if it
    were a map, because it is, and like any other map, it will show
    you where to go if you follow its directions. f”

    “In there” equals IN THE TREES as I read it, staying inside ” the box.”

    “Wood” equals a thicket of trees (in my simple “box”) as in pine trees.
    “…the wonderful smells of pine needles…sagebrush…” ID # 2698 5/8/2015

    my opinions…to each their own Family jewels???? sheeesh! c’mon! lol

  21. Regarding this first stanza, I believe that:

    – This stanza tells the reader how to solve the puzzle.

    – Each clue in the poem has two answers. Treasures new and old = time. The answers are used within the structure of the puzzle that is set forth throughout the book.

    – The puzzle allows you to create a map that leads to the treasure. When you build the map, the location becomes clear. FF has dropped a lot of subtle hints in his scrapbooks over the years that confirm things when you have solved the puzzle.

    – Ever wonder why the inside cover of the book is a scrapbook?… What do you see there?

    • Darvcus, I previously posted an idea about – ”I” = time – that may be appropriate to bring up again.

      “Hear me all” may refer to homonyms. “Now I’m weak” could mean “Now I‘m week“ or “Now I am week”. Week = time.

      Just an idea…

      • Bowmarc, the two Atfs you cited way up above here doesn’t discount what I explained. IT is defined in stanza 1/precolon. You have to know what IT is to continue to Where wwsh correctly. Yes the answer to clue 1 is wwwh, but only the words BIWWWH is found in line 5. Where it takes you in the poem and the hint in book to map, isn’t found in line 5. Don’t over think this.

        • Deepthnkr,

          You said; *you have to know what IT is*… Then you said…*to continue to where WWsH correctly.*

          Ok.. this sounds like IT ( whatever IT is ) is separate from WWWsH. Almost sounding like a clues / hint that takes a searcher to the first clue (WWWsH).

          Or are you saying something different?

  22. Thanks for creating a post on the first stanza. I believe it is vital to finding WWWH, and the area of the clues. I’ve stated my theory on here about how the first stanza works to help you, but will do it again here for those that may not have read it. The following is my opinion:

    Geography is important. The poem was made to be more difficult than the simple words used. I in the first stanza is a use of personification, which, along with the other words in each line, help with us with some geographic feature, or area. It in the third stanza is a pronoun and pronouns refer to something previously mentioned. Therefor the IT is what I was referring to. Now we need to locate where on or in this feature or area WWWH. We follow the clues from there.

    I believe that the clues end in stanza 4. The I in the 5th and 6th stanza is the very same I in the first stanza, and the IT in the 2nd and 3rd stanza.

    • Aaron,

      Did you get to read over my post at the beginning of this page? I was wondering what your thoughts were there. Let me know!


      • Hi Ann, I did see your post above. I like it a lot. I won’t comment in regards to a location, but I do like your Popo Agie example. It is a similar process to what I have in mind, but a little different. I like the way you think.

  23. Dal, & all,

    My personal belief is that the first stanza is not pointing us to a geographic location that narrows down the starting location. I could be wrong, but here are my thoughts on this:

    (All of this is copied and pasted from a thread on Harry’s)

    Let’s first refer to a Featured Q & A on MW: … e-is-wwwh/

    Mr. Fenn,

    Does the first stanza in your poem reveal where searchers are supposed to begin when looking for “where warm waters halt” and one day say’ “why didn’t I think of that” when the true solve is revealed?
    Thanks ~ Indiana Jonie

    The first clue in my poem is WWWH. I have said that several times over the years. If you can’t find that location you cannot find the treasure. Good luck, and please stay safe in the mountains. f

    I think it was Mdavis, a thread, at Harry’s, that had pointed out that Forrest had not answered the question about the importance of the first stanza in Jonie’s question, which is interesting, but maybe he did.

    (see that thread here: viewtopic.php?p=30832#p30832)

    Let’s take a look at this:

    Jonie asked: Does the first stanza in your poem reveal where searchers are supposed to begin when looking for “where warm waters halt” or are we only supposed to pay attention to ” where warm waters halt”

    To which Forrest responded: The first clue in my poem is WWWH. I have said that several times over the years. If you can’t find that location you cannot find the treasure.

    So here is my “Flip Side” thoughts on this:

    The first line of the poem reads: As I have gone alone in there

    I then question: where is “in there” that Forrest has gone alone in? Is it:

    the book?

    the Rocky Mountains?

    one of the four search states: Montana, Wyoming, Colorado or New Mexico?

    the canyon?

    the wood?

    below the home of Brown?

    his special spot?

    or many the many others I cannot think of at this moment.

    Or maybe we instead ought to refer to what Forrest has told us in the above Q & A:

    The first clue in my poem is WWWH. I have said that several times over the years. If you can’t find that location you cannot find the treasure.

    So per “my” interpretation of Forrest’s response, is it not possible that we must first figure out where warm waters halt so that we then know where he went alone in. And once we know where “in there” is then maybe we will then understand what the first stanza may be trying to tell us.

    And again I have theorized that while Forrest has said that the first clue is begin it where warm waters halt, it may not be the first clue, as in a numerical order when reading the poem, it’s just the first clue we must figure out before ever doing anything else to include looking at maps.


    • Seannm and Blex-

      This is why I read more often then I comment…lol…
      You guys have great ideas…
      Next thing you know I’ll have a solution 300 miles west of Toledo..

    • Seannm,

      I go along the same line of thinking.
      The “location” seems to imply where all the clues are at. {warning searchers, the path would not be direct for those who had no certainty of the location beforehand …}
      ~ location of what?~
      IMO the difference between “all the information…” vs. “The first clue…” vs. “path.. and.. location beforehand” those say to me, as I think, you’re saying as well; First and foremost find “in there” Then start at the first clue~ WWsH and follow the remaining clues correctly as intended by fenn.

      My problem with the idea of river bathing as clue # 1 is; I can’t find anything other than ATFs that mention river bathing.
      Nothing from the TOTC book nor the poem seems to imply this.
      My second problem is about those ATFs. It seems some like to see things as answers for deciphering clues. Such as; the river bathing story or the 10 miles from tftw, and others… that appear to be directly related to answer for a clue.
      I have to ask if so, why? Why would the fenn give out answers? He doesn’t seem to be an impatient person, doesn’t seem to really care if its found today or 1000 years from now.. etc. I mean, from first thought to acting out the plan, it took two decades plus, right?

      So I agree there’s a difference to what the first stanza might be talking about, besides the first clue or any particular clue. It seems we need to learn where the clues are located to properly start at the correct WWsH… and not just toss a dart at any given WWsH. { However, there is the question of why WWsH seems to be the critical must have clue nailed down }.
      Is this info in the poem? IDK… but when it comes to thinking about the poem… why can’t stanza 5 or 6 hold the idea of where we need to start? Is there a rule that says we can’t look for ideas in later stanzas for the idea of; *get in your car and drive to the first clue*?
      LOL I mean, just looking for WWsH still has thousands traveling to four different states, right?

      Just for thought; a map is only good IF we know where we are to start. So the question is; Do we start looking for WWsH, or start looking for where the right one is located and why?… as well as why folks deciphered the first two clues but apparently didn’t understand they did so?
      What are those “WhatIFs” we seem to be missing…?

      • Seeker,

        I appreciate your response and thoughts to the idea.

        Now in response to your mention that: “a map is only good IF we know where we are to start” I couldn’t agree more, and over on MW Jenny had mentioned an excerpt from the 2013 six questions:

        “What I didn’t expect was the number of people who immediately started searching maps and using Google Earth to locate their special spots. Many have read my book multiple times looking for additional clues, or even hints that might assist them in the hunt.”

        She then commented:

        “He didn’t expect many of us to start searching maps? AND YET, that is how we have been told to solve the poem? What were we supposed to do? Was he surprised we were searching maps or just the number of people doing it?”

        to which I responded:

        If you don’t know where you are going, then any map will do.

        And my thoughts are that maybe Forrest didn’t expect us to go out looking at maps before we knew where to start as you too have stated above.

        Which seems to fall in step with this mention from Forrest:

        “A hypothetical example of a “what if” might be, what if I was looking so far ahead that I neglected to notice what was beside me. f”


        • Seannm: I have an alternate interpretation for “What I didn’t expect was the number of people who immediately started searching maps and using Google Earth to locate their special spots.” He wasn’t surprised that people would start searching maps — that’s totally what he should have expected. No, what he didn’t expect was the NUMBER of people. We can derive this interpretation from the preceding sentences that aren’t quoted nearly as often, but are important for context:

          “It was fortunate that two writers, Irene Rawlings and Margie Goldsmith, liked my book enough to review it in national publications. Those stories gave it ignition. The hidden treasure story in the book provided enough propulsion to keep it in the public view long enough for word of mouth traffic to broaden its desire across America and beyond.”

          His words are all about how two writers greatly increased public awareness of the existence of his book and the treasure hunt. Exposure.

  24. Aaron,

    Good job. You’re the first person I’ve run across on a blog that interprets stanza 1 the same as me (as a personified voice). What you attribute the voice to is another question, but I would be willing to bet you are on the right track, IMO.

    Good luck to you.

    • ATT,

      For an example of applying this interpretation, scroll to the top of this page and start from the beginning. You will quickly come across the post I am referring to. Enjoy!


      • PS-

        I just went up to the tp of the page myself to relocate that post. There have been a mass of replies, so the post I am referring to is now closer to the middle of the page. But be quick! It may not stay there for long! Replies will continue to shift the scene. Again, enjoy!


    • Thanks ATT, it makes for a good riddle. It really is all about what you attribute the voice to, and I have only found one thing that I can so far.

      Maybe we are both on the right track.

      Good luck to you too.

    • As I have “I the speaker”. Gone alone and or al/one. It could be a turning point but it’s just the beginning. If you build on it will come to you.

  25. Ok I’m not going to give each line away of what I think, Treasures bold I think he has two things that are bold that you will see.
    One is at the Beginning and one is at the End. ❤️

  26. Dal – I happen to be with you on your thoughts about the first stanza and always have. Only I see your WWWHs as the BEGINNING of the warm waters and that it (the Firehole river now warmed by the Ojo Caliente) halts at Madison junction. Just my interpretation.

    In regards to the thoughts about Forrest saying, “all of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem”, well technically, IMO, it is. Even if you use other sources.

    Think of it this way. You read the poem. You read the first stanza thinking it may help with the solve. The INFORMATION is there, BUT you need to decipher it. So you think – where has he gone alone in there? Now you re-read TTTOC or look into other possibilities looking for that answer. In this case, the “information” in the first stanza simply lead you to these other sources. In other words, all the information we need is indeed in the poem, but, that doesn’t mean it can’t point us in other directions. IMO, It’s no different then finding, and using a map.

  27. Hi All
    From what I have read here tonight youall are still missing the boat here,
    maybe this will help Memories That Never Die OUAW IMO

  28. Great idea to create a place for discussing the first stanza Dal!

    IMO, I do think that the first stanza is a hint, both for the named geographic area where we will find WWWH and the other locations described in the poem, and for the “secret where”–the place that is very dear to him, where he actually hid the treasure (also in the same geographic area). And since the poem itself and the original first announcement of the treasure hunt were in the book before they could be found anywhere else, I think it makes sense that “as I have gone alone in there” could be referring to someplace he went before that is mentioned/described in the TTOTC book.
    But IMO the story in the book that is referred to is not the Firehole River bathing spot story, but another story in TTOTC. IMO the word “alone” might be included in the first line because FF is saying that on his trip to hide the treasure, he went to a named area on a map. That area is one where he had once gone with someone else, but this time he went alone. I believe this because the story I am thinking of includes a place and and occasion that were both special memories to FF. There are hints in the wording of the story (which is different than it was in the original version of the story written in 2008, two years before the chapter appeared in the TTTOTC book) which point to this geographic area. There also hints in the photos of this chapter of TTOTC that actually hint at the location of the “blaze”, though a seeker would only realize it if you already figured out what the “blaze” is (IMO of course). In TFTW there are more hints that point back to the same story that was in TTOTC.
    To me this seems significant, and I think FF is hinting that the “secret where”, the place that is so dear to him that he hid treasure there, is a place that reminds him of a place and a moment in time from that story.
    I have already mentioned in my reply to Richard McKeever above, that IMO “and with my treasures bold” refers to FF having to boldly carry his treasures across a place where he felt exposed and in the open and might been worried he would be seen. I’m not implying near a human trail or road, since he has said there is none “in immediate proximaty” with the treasure.
    “I can keep my secret where”–unlike the trip in the other story, he went alone on this trip, so he can keep the secret of where his special place or”secret where” is located.
    “And hint of riches new and old”– IMO this has multiple meanings–the treasure chest is itself hold and full of a number of items that are very old, but to the finder of the treasure they will be new. But IMO to Forrest the “secret where” is far more special even than physical treasures because there are many things about this place that remind him of special memories, of people and places and things in his past. So I agree with those of you who said ‘treasures old’ may refer to time or memories.
    So the first stanza, in my opinion, gives a broad hint as to the geographic area where we should concentrate our search–and if you know which area, it’s a lot easier to find WWWH and figure out the other clues. Which, once you find them, do form a map to the treasure IMO. So in that sense, all you need is the poem.
    But also IMO, it is the backstory told in all 3 books, and the hints in the books, that give confirmation that you’ve figured out the clues correctly, and more importantly, tell you why he hid the treasure in the first place. IMO, the place where the “blaze” is, and where the treasure is hidden, is just as FF said:
    “The area where the treasure is hidden is huge, though it’s location is small” (sorry couldn’t find the source, I’ll post it later)
    And IMO although you could probably find the treasure once you’ve found the “blaze”, it would take some luck and timing without knowing the meaning of the last two stanzas, and that, IMO is harder to figure out than most people think–and it has to do with the part of the backstory that I believe is the most important of all to Forrest. I hope to be able to ask him someday if I was right about that!

    • librarylady – I am seeing Peggy in her swimming costume, coming out of the willows at Baker’S Hole…

      Thank you for your great post!

    • So, what is this secret? What is this “secret” plan of his? I see you are centering around the words of the poem, is that the “secret”?
      Point being, we all know what f’s “secret plan” is, and just the words of the poem will not find the spot, so I ask, what do you really believe is the “secret”?
      (Are you taking into account that f has answered that?)
      By the way, I like your post, I just see possible flaws, but still a good post.

      • If not the words, what part of the poem directs a clever, wise
        searcher to the spot? Should we be looking at the “shape” of
        the poem, while pretending the meaning of each word is not
        important? Thank you in advance for your helpful reply. Ha ha.

        • I’m saying the whole poem is needed. I can see line 11 as an example. And, if the poem gives numbers, that would also come to play. And I’m not saying the words don’t come into play, that is ridiculous. All I’m saying is what f is saying, the words in the poem won’t do it, the poem in a whole is the only way.

        • Great questions Tall Andrew & poison ivy.

          W is E
          Effort, fort/tress

          Secret – more than one secret in ff’s poem IMO.

          “Secret where”
          see cret
          Secret W. here

          • I have always liked the W is E, because of the mirror, but seems to lose flow. That opens up potential duel purpose.

            To venture this route, does one start thinking of adding foreign language words, like “mar(sea) vale”?

          • W is E and FO u(you) nd (need) the b laze.

            Sec r et w(here)

            efo is short for effort.

            His secret plan is on page 137.

  29. There is no doubt in my mind that WWWH is in the Fire Hole River bathing area considering it is not in a canyon but has the FireHole Canyon going down in elevation to Madison Junction where I think HOB was to Fenn.

    I like the idea of the treasure spot in Gallatin territory.

    NM is for beginners IMO….

  30. Forever is a longer time than the expected (by me) lifespan of the entire human race as a species. But I’m not primarily posting to argue that point with you. I want to ask about the “Point” you mentioned in your message. If you spent another ten or hundred minutes thinking about that word “Point”, would you seriously consider changing it to something different than “Point”? As always, all of this message is part of my opinion, and probably did take me longer than 3.1415926536 minutes
    to *key* in. By the way, I never believed that the poem is a map.

  31. as i have gone alone in there , with my treasures bold , after you have found all the clues, at the end, you will find the first stanza, or the last clue where you will find the treasure chest. and you begin at wwwh .what we are looking for is a treasure chest and not where it sits, and imo its the first stanza.

  32. a lot of searchers are going by what ff did , went , done , or doing , and not by what the poem says, all I can say is good luck .

  33. It has recently dawned on me to see the beginning of the poem as a tell of a tale that’s purposely laid out open-ended, and wont be definitive until you have a solid footing from which to claim your stake.

    Bang! -ImO

    • So, there is a comparative nature to the definition of the first word of the poem “As”.

  34. I saw the following comment from one who believes the nine clues are the nine sentences. I bring it up here because my response utilizes specific info from the first stanza…


    Most know that I have been a tenacious, if not stubborn, believer that the nine sentences may simply be the nine clues found within the poem. But I would like to hear everyone’s opinions, thoughts, beliefs and even evidence to the contrary.
    I’d say I don’t believe that the nine clues are the nine sentences. The main reasons being that 1) f has mentioned that the first clue is BIWWWH.

    Though, the searcher above theorizes that f didn’t utilize the word “first” to indicate the first in the string of nine clues.

    2) F used the word “hint” in the first stanza. The definition of hint in a dictionary is a slight or indirect indication or suggestion. Very universal in the dictionary as to what the word hint means. On top of that, the word hint utilized in a mysterious treasure hunt is universally understood to indicate that definition and is regulated to being utilized to help one with a tougher problem to solve like a clue.

    F has described many times what a “hint” does for us searchers in his Chase. He has said a hint will help with the clues. So, hints can’t be clues since he has also described what a clue does for us. F has essentially kept the hints and clues regulated as providing different levels of help to us searchers.

    Which words in the poem has f provided us the definition of? Off the top of my head, I’d say the word “hint” has been defined the most times and consistently by f.

    But we also have words like-

    tarry scant

    I’d add to that list the word “begin” as f has told us the line with that word in it is the first clue so an indirect link.

    If you are gonna analyze the definition(s) of a word then you should be consistent when a word comes up with essentially only one definition like the word hint.

    To wrap up, being that the word hint is in the first stanza it means there’s a hint in the first stanza. That means the first stanza can’t be a clue since it is one sentence and you are being consistent by not allowing your confirmation bias be a factor.

    • He’s keeping his where secret while hinting about riches new and old. So the hints are not about the secret where. That doesn’t make them worthless though.

    • Maybe it was the word warm that f described what it meant to him instead of the word home.

  35. Fundamental Design, your words have wisdom and show how something as simple as hint, or the word “As” can only be understood in the text reference, both time and space come into play IMO when “Important Literature” is considered, the point of understanding the first hint and how it shines a light on the first clue is both simple and sublime, yet is important to the frame of reference so when I see the word “As” it tells me there is history or historical significance in his going “alone” to the special place, as would also apply to the “Blaze” IMO because # one, you must have found these places or objects to build a foundation, as an architect, that dreams or imagines his structure taking form, for this is in a poetic sense a structure of thought, a complicated riddle with several time lines and many story lines too.

    To see the picture or illustration one must follow what the designer’s intended, I think it is a spiritual pathway, SCbook 209 the book in Chaos’s hand shows our path, it involves our need for locating the greater purpose, a cause which Forrest feels/needs/must express.

    We all suspect that one does not just give a fortune away, unless they answer or live in his spiritual realm, see stanza 5, “So why is it that I must go”…that strongly suggests that his effort and sacrifice offers us something precious, worth the challenge to each of us, that is WHY he did it, in order to find it you must see the spiritual aspect of this IMO, if we do it is worth what?

    It seems my belief is at odds with the relationship of the Censor, but I think there is a geographical and metaphorical place in the wilderness that we need to see and halt at, in reverence, for it shows clearly in the Spanish Cruces in SC Book 241…

    It is called Olden Wood, why? Because of the Battle of Shiloh? Because US Grant is the center coin and some other president served under him? Because of his grandkids? Perhaps (Las) Cruces…that broken Wash “Basin” SCbook 237 a Wild place that could be a hint, and is metaphorically half of the Halt where we should stop, reflect as in SC Book 211, we need to have a requiem for the past presidents and their sacrifice. Memorials are peaceful places don’t you think, there is a spirit here in the Rockies, it steaches from the North to the South and Abe Lincoln said it so well “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”.


      • 100% correct!!! I’ve got my one good eye on you. You aren’t alone in this thinking. Curious if we have same start. 7 words from line 1 can’t take one to too many places lol.

  36. I’m not sure why but when I read stanza 1 I always hear Judy Garland singing:

    “Somewhere over the Rainbow”

    I know—-weird right?

  37. Hi Everyone. I’ve always thought that Forrest is going back intyo his memories. We can’t know what he was thinking about but we might get a little closer once the clues are unwrapped. But first we need to find the initial idea. Originally I thought the “new” referred to the Shoshone people, who refer to themselves as the “Newe” people. Shoshone comes from Sosoni, a word for high growing grass. The initial idea I had about this being a hint started the process.

    My guess would be that someone will grab on to the correct initial idea from the first passage, and it’s up to their imagination on where it should lead. Its a needle in a haystack theory with most usually going in the wrong direction (as was my case).

    Subsequent scrapbooks are to tweak our thinking so we can adjust. Just my opinion.

    Someone above said that many people fail to divert from failed solves. I think that’s probably true. Leaving my area almost feels like I’m cheating on it? I don’t want to get a divorce, I want to stay married. So I’m sticking around in the wrong location totally committed, trying to put a ring on it.

    Stay safe everyone. The world had gone bananas.

    • Apologies for all the silly typos. I’m teaching geometry to a fourth grader, subtraction to two first graders, working full time from home, and typing at the same time.

  38. Hi Copper
    I would say you got the first part right because Forrest
    talked about going to these places in reverie and I think
    this is how he traveled to each clue.Forrest talks about
    the hidey place this way.He would daydream (reverence)
    about his special place and would want to be there
    all the more but now he can’t do it physically.I have
    been going steady with my same place for 3&half years
    now I think I am about ready to pull the Ring out of the
    box.IMO If we will be able to travel this summer.Clint

  39. “as I was going up the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there…” and “two people can keep a secret if one is dead…” Go alone in there to your memories, the riches old. I believe this is one side to the double meanings in the first stanza. Just one piece of the puzzle.

  40. I wish you luck Clint. I’m not going anywhere this summer but I can’t wait to read the interesting trip reports. Especially after all of this social distancing. Fresh air will do the body wonders. The great part about using “Forrest’s memory” as a diving board is that nobody knows it better than he. So we have to guess what he was feeling or thinking depending on what he shares. You don’t have to be a genius, you just have to try to empathize, or understand, or use your imagination. It’s a very fair game, in my opinion.

    Clint, I hope your place says “yes” this summer and we are all invited to the nuptials. 🙂
    Good luck.

    • Hi Copper
      And thank you.I was about to leave last September 25th
      and they got a big snow storm had to cancel my
      flight.Its been 7months sitting on this and I got 3 more
      to go maybe.Clint

  41. Enjoyed your thoughts on this topic, Dal. When I first read, “Alone in there,” I immediately thought of his favorite spot for bathing. I’m not sure if “treasures bold” refers to being naked, although he was there, and with the mind of a thirteen year old, I could see this. There was a time I took the first paragraph to mean being alone (deserted/desert), with his treasures at a secret place (hidden) waiting to be discovered with hints of riches new and old (such as an archaeological place). Another, it reminded me of birth; nova…”Dancing with the Stars.” Other times, I thought the paragraph was an introduction to what he did with hints to follow.

  42. Hi Dal: originally my main objection to Ojo Caliente as WWWH was that it does not appear in TTOTC. And while it does turn up in TFTW (2013), that would at first blush appear to make the starting point unsolvable prior to 2013 (and TFTW has never been named as a critical resource for solving the poem).

    But as you point out, “River Bathing is Best” was available (for free) on Forrest’s blog before TFTW was published, so that book wasn’t a requirement to know about his bathing in the Firehole. Still, I see a few ATFs that seem to question the discoverability of Ojo Caliente as being Forrest’s WWWH:

    1. Nine Clues (4/4/2013): “Dear Mr. Fenn, We are a group of avid elderly bridge players in San Diego who after reading your book hope to find your treasure. We are not into poetry as much as the memoir. We realize the clues are in the poem, but were wondering if there isn’t at least one clue in each chapter. Thank you for a great book. Sincerely, Emily”

    FF: “Emily, All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem. The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker. Good luck in the search. f”

    2. WLVQ FM 96 Torg & Elliott Show (1/7/2016): Jerry: “Hey, I want to begin with this for those not familiar, we kind of set up your entire story before we, uh, got you on the telephone here, but does somebody need to read your books to find the treasure, or do all of the clues exist within the poem?”

    FF: “They don’t need to read my book, but they need to read the poem.”

    3. Scrapbook 62 (4/26/2014): “Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map. f”

    4. From: (March 2013) – Chicago radio WGN interview. At minute 10:35, interviewer says, “Well, on top of that you put the poem online, and it’s there for anybody … they don’t have to buy the book to get the clues out of the poem, right?”

    FF: “Well, you don’t have to buy the book to get the clues … the clues are all over the … the poem is all over the internet.”

    Interviewer: “Uh, does the book give me any MORE information than I would get from the poem?”

    FF: “There are … there are some subtle hints in the text of the book that will help you with the clues. The … the… the poem will take you to the treasure chest, and the book by itself won’t.”

    5. Jon Lackman interview (May 2015): Jon: “I’ve also read that you wrote the treasure hunt for an unemployed redneck with 12 kids. Does this mean that all of those people who are delving into Native American history, Greek mythology etc. are looking too deeply? Can hunters really get to the treasure location with just a good map, the poem, and a decent knowledge of words?”

    FF: “I wrote the book for everyone who feels a sense of wanderlust. In your last question if you change the last word to geography, my answer would be yes.”

    6. MW Six Questions (2/4/2016) Q5: “… Can a little girl in India, who speaks good English, but only has your poem and a map of the US Rocky Mountains, work out where the treasure is? And would she be confident as she solves each clue, or only confident when she has solved them all?”

    FF: “I wish I had another treasure to hide in the Appalachians. The little girl in India cannot get closer than the first two clues. …”

    Now while this last one doesn’t explicitly say that Little Indy can *solve* the first two clues, it does sort of imply it. She doesn’t have the books, and the internet was not listed as one of her resources, in which case she would have no way of knowing about his river bathing in the Firehole.

    The Lackman interview seems more explicit in enumerating that the only things one needs to find the treasure location are a good map, the poem and a decent knowledge of geography.

    • Plus there may be a much better “big picture” answer, the general location of which can be found in the first stanza, IMO.

      • Surfthesky: I actually switch it around. My WWWH big picture is determined from line 5 all by itself; the first stanza, IMO, gives the missing extra information to specify the necessary, precise starting location.

    • zap-
      I agree with you the poem will lead you to the TC, and knowing the other clues he gave us is a big help to get started.

    • I’ve always wondered about that “decent knowledge of geography” comment. Does that fall under “specialized knowledge”?

      Question posted 6/27/2014:

      Is any specialized knowledge required to find the treasure? For instance, something learned during your time in the military, or from a lifetime of fly fishing? Or do you really expect any ordinary average person without your background to be able to correctly interpret the clues in the poem? ~mdavis19

      No specialized knowledge is required mdavis19, and I have no expectations. My Thrill of the Chase book is enough to lead an average person to the treasure.f

      Or do we take the comment out of context? The question more or less centers at “special knowledge” of f’s past. In other words, his back story if-you-will.

      Special knowledge can be almost anything. For us, Zap, being in So.Cal., we could consider names of places in the Rockies a form of special knowledge. Just like someone from the Rockies might need some special instructions on how to get to Staples Center, while we could just drive there from simple memory.

      The only thing, IMO, that one needs is the poem, but a good map, and some special knowledge couldn’t hurt. And understanding his ATF’s, and finding the hints, and a weather report, and etc…etc…etc…

  43. How quickly things have developed on this page! Almost as quickly as a virus! (Too soon?)

    To Aaron and OS2,

    I have not read the book in its entirety but I am familiar with the story you two discuss and the location along the Fenn family trip. There are a few such locations of interest to me. I don’t have anything pointing to a WWWH, although my recent introduction to the NOAA geothermal map may change that. There are a few potential HOBs. I am wondering what your thoughts may be on stanza one’s role in those locations. Also, …..this last thought will have to wait. 🙂

    All IMO.


    • Ann, if you are asking how stanza one relates to WWWH and HOB, it is my opinion that it defines a geographic location that at least most of the other clues are tied connected to. I don’t know about the blaze yet however..

    • Ann, a couple of big picture perspectives: 1. the map shows no warm waters east of Denver….halting at the Front. 2. Warm moist air from the Gulf halts at the Front, turns east bringing rain and tornedos across the plains.
      But I think ff is referring to a smaller place…. maybe even an anagram.

    • Ann
      I’m sure someone here or multiple people would happily offer to screen shot some of the chapters and send them to an email for you. The books are pricey but they are a quick read.

      I find this site really helpful to fill in the blanks and gain clarity on the basics, however It’s really helpful tho to read the books as most folks here are have done that and much more.

      • Matt,

        Thanks. There are some who have indeed been helpful in that department. It’s interesting trying to put it all together without the book. Keeps me from interjecting preconceived thoughts or ideas. This site has also been helpful. Looking forward to hearing about the winning solve!

        All IMO.


        • Ann
          You may have that backwards. This blog is the place for a lot of preconceived thoughts and ideas from a lot people who have all read the books countless times. TTOTC is the primary source for the poem.

          • Matt,

            I think we were saying the same thing just in two different ways. I am by no means using this blog as a primary source of info. I find it fascinating seeing how people from all over the world are thinking about the Chase. And since I have not read the book yet, I feel confident about not having preconceived thoughts or ideas. Hard to have those without a source for them! All IMO.


    • Aaron & OS2,

      Thanks for the additional comments. I guess I was looking at what your thoughts may be in terms of the connection. For instance, my example way up above gives a descriptive application of the actual spot. A big picture view is certainly another, although that doesn’t seem to indicate much in the way of a connection to WWWH. Is there a direct connect or do you suppose it is more ambiguous? But most importantly, why?

      All IMO.


  44. Might as well present my vanilla interpretation of Stanza 1. I disagree with Dal on this one, just like tarry scant. I think Forrest is more “straightforward”. Of course, straightforward doesn’t mean literal nor simple (it certainly doesn’t eliminate metaphor or simple word play)

    1. As I have gone alone in there
    I think he is referring to the final area of the treasure there, not some point earlier in the poem like WWWH.
    I think it is significant that he uses “in there”. That makes the final area seem enclosed, like a narrow valley, box canyon or forested area. “In there” is an important concept and gives a hit of the nature of the final area. This could easily be an unintentional clue. Forrest could be so attached to the spot (he said umbilically) that he just naturally referred to it as going “in there”.

    2. And with my treasures bold,
    He is boldly carrying the treasure. You can do the “Ann reversal thing” on this and the next line
    -and boldly with my treasures-
    I think he is bold in the sense that he is in “no place for the meek” country

    3. I can keep my secret where
    -I can keep where my secret-
    This “Ann reversal thing” appears in several places in the poem (like canyon down).
    I don’t have any deeper interpretation for this line.

    4. And hint of riches new and old.
    Wow, all interpretations of this line leave me unsatisfied!
    I initially felt new and old == the new things and old things in the chest.
    But it could be the riches of the final place — its past and what he feels as he places the chest (old and new memories or riches as experiences).
    Or, there could be things new and old to be experienced about the place itself, like petroglyphs, or clovis points, and the new treasure he put there.
    I just don’t know, here, but I find it hard to believe it somehow identifies or codifies the search state or some secret methodology to interpret the poem in “new and old” ways. I feel those approaches are not “Forresty” or artistic enough.

    So, nothing radical here. Maybe not even worth saying. As I’ve said before, I’m in the simple interpretation school (where simple can include metaphorical or word play).

    I’m of the firm belief that warm waters do not halt at Ojo, or Madison junction. It’s hard for me to believe that Forrest would so misuse the word halt! Warm waters could, however, be thought to halt in a basin, or pool, tub, or sink (simple word play). There are plenty of warm water basins in that area that could get you into madison canyon so it probably doesn’t matter. But, I digress from stanza 1.


    • meBigGuy,

      Thanks for sharing and especially for making me smile/laugh. “Ann reversal thing”!!!!! Funny to see it put that way! 🙂

      I struggled to make sense of any of the first stanza especially the second half. That sort of changed when I was asked about what I thought it could mean and I came up with that example of the Sinks. I would be interested to know if others are able to make a similar application such as in a box canyon sole or an enclosed area as you mention.

      And I am with you on the use of halt. Given his military background and the unmistakable common notions the word carries, it’s hard for me to imagine it refers to a junction of moving water. I like your other suggestions much better.

      So I have a few areas of interest, each of which can be arrived at by differing means. While some clues are capable of sending searchers to very different areas, it has just occurred to me that certain words lead me to one respective spot for that particular word. For example, the word canyon only really leads me to one spot. Another is basin. And while these solo locations are attributable to the words that lead me there, they don’t all necessarily lead to the same area. Just thought that was interesting.

      All IMO.


      PS- If you pull a “double Ann reverse thing” you’ll be back where you started! 🙂

    • mBG- I agree Ojo, or Madison junction is not WWWH. Imo, it’s not in Montana or Wyoming. It’s much closer to his home. I don’t believe he would ever mention this place and then hide his TC there. Why would he give it away so easy? Any place he has mention is off the table for any of the clues, IMO.

      • ManOwar –

        “I don’t believe he would ever mention this place and then hide his TC there. Why would he give it away so easy?”

        Maybe because he knew most people would probably think exactly what you just stated. What’s that saying….hidden in plain sight. But the bottom line is Ojo, or Madison junction believer or not, NO ONE has the treasure in hand just quite yet. 😉

        Here’s to happy hunting to all of us come spring/summer!

      • Saying Montana is off the table because he mentioned Yellowstone (which is mostly in Wyoming) is like saying NM is off the table because he mentioned Taos Mountain. There are lots of viable places in all 4 states which are not referred to in the book (Look at the area near the Big Hole – Wise River junctions). But, we are veering off topic from Stanza 1.

        • MBG-
          It’s off the table for me, I did say IMO…………..go ahead and look anywhere you want……I’m not looking in M. or W. Good luck.

          Geysergirl- IMO, F is smarter than that, any place he mentions he know many searchers will flock to it. Look at Dal, and many others that flock to the places he has mentioned. I don’t mean the States, but areas within those states that he talks about.

          IMO…. IMO…. It may be in plain sight in any of the 4 states, but not in any specific place he has mentioned. Good luck.

    • Here’s a simple concept…maybe we shouldn’t just break down the 4 lines of the first stanza separately. Maybe we should also follow their straightforward, or literal, meaning as a whole and that’s what makes it Fenny.

      I always only see a breakdown of those four lines separately.

    • Seannm, sure if you want to think of it like that. But, you still got a problem as that would make the “whole” first stanza a hint and not a clue. So, the nine clues are the nine sentences theory is out.

      But, I’m focusing on the concept that it’s ingredients. Ingredients combined to make the recipe that you are trying to make.

      • So it is a cake. A finished product of many ingredients, some of big volumes and some just pinches.

      • Fundy,

        Your interpretation that the first stanza is not a clue but just a hint isn’t confirmation that it is in fact the case. And seeing as Forrest has not definitively stated that the first stanza isn’t a clue then it is still plausible that it is. There is also upwards of four nouns in that stanza, therefore I wouldn’t ignore it or down grade it to a hint simply because it has the word hint in it, or because that some believe the word first only has a single definitive definition. That may be an expensive foley.


        • Seannm, well I guess I’ll change my opinion when you show us when f has ever used the word “hint” to do the job in the Chase of what a “clue” does for us searchers. I’m not talking about the early “subtle clue” talk by f. Saying it’s plausible that when f uses the word “hint” that he means a “clue” isn’t saying much, imo. I don’t need f to hold my hand and explicitly tell me every step of the Chase to solve. But to each their own.

          You can’t have it both ways regarding the definition of a word, so which is it? Then your focus on the sentences gets in trouble because of work with the definitions…again you can’t have it both ways.

          Then you created another problem in now suggesting that a hint can’t have upwards of 4 nouns in it. Since f hasn’t said that, that may be expensive foley. See how that works?

          I don’t know why you said you wouldn’t ignore the first stanza as neither of us is saying that.

          I also don’t understand why you are suggesting that a hint is a downgrade from a clue. I think the clues hinge on figuring out the hint(s) first so the hints are a vital component of the correct solve, not a downgrade at all…imo. Just a situation of which comes first. The first is more important. If I you understand what I mean by first.

          • Fundy,

            I know you keep trying to force fit your belief that the first stanza alludes to the book and the hints that are supposed to lead us to the correct general area that the single correct interpretation of WWH resides within, I have read your book.

            But as Forrest has said:

            “No one has any secret information that will take them to the hiding place. It’s in the poem for all to see”.f

            Therefore, the poem is the only place that contains the information we need to locate the hiding place. Not the book or other outside the box historical information. The poem is your magical cake recipe. So stop adding outside ingredients, it makes for an awful sounding desert, IMO. 🙂


          • Seannm, you are digging yourself into a deeper whole.

            I haven’t mentioned anything on this thread about TTOTC book. I have focused on “the first stanza of the poem” as this thread is titled.

            So, I’d appreciate it if you don’t speak for me and act like you know what I’m doing, or as you call it, force fitting my belief that the first stanza alludes to the book and the hints that are supposed to lead us to the correct general area that the single correct interpretation of WWH resides within, I have read your book.

            Show us where I have written or said that’s what I believe….
            I’ll wait….

          • Fundy,

            Come on provide us all with the link to the following:

            More specifically, I’ve read where he said that these hints will help you figure out the correct starting place

            Its from your book where you provide several links to other legitimate quotes, so provide us this one.

            Very simple.


          • It’s simply not about that. I don’t know what part of that you don’t understand. I haven’t used that as a basis for what I have posted here so why are you so concerned about that?


          • Fundy,

            So you can’t or you won’t answer the question?

            I mean I took the time to look up your book, spend some of my hard earned money to get it and then read it. So the least you could do as the author of said book is provide me with the source of the quote.


          • Seannm, some things aren’t meant to be. Kinda of hard to find a source of a quote like six years later when one has gone through 3 phones since then and not everything gets saved electronically. You would understand if you saw my phone.

            Beyond that, I have tried to re-find it in the past but the link I was looking for no longer worked.

            Again, it has no bearing on our current discussion.

          • Fundy,

            Man I would have thought that something that important you would have kept at the ready. I mean you hang your entire theories based upon hints in the book leading you to your geographic location all circled around those specific words from Forrest. And now you can’t find them?

            I don’t know if that is convenient or just plain irresponsible.


          • Sean, as I have reminded you often, that is not the basis of my theory. Your quote here is incorrect “ I mean you hang your entire theories based upon hints in the book leading you to your geographic location all circled around those specific words from Forrest.”

            I do not base my entire theories on hints in the book. We’ve had this discussion many times where I have corrected that incorrect assumption of yours.

            I can only take that to mean you are intentionally trying to smear my ideas with a false narrative after repeated attempts to correct you. I have told you that you are making a wrong assumption about when I say the word hint, that I’m only talking about hints in TTOTC.

            Obviously, that is not true as I have only spoken on this thread about a hint in the first stanza of the poem. A poem purist should understand that.

          • Ah look who’s deflecting now, lol. This is why no one should take you seriously.


          • What does that even mean, Sean? I’m deflecting when I respond to your mistaken allegations. Prove your allegations then…

            I answered your question even though it didn’t pertain to this thread discussion. lol

          • All,

            Fundy knows exactly what I’m talking about he is just playing dumb.

            One cannot prove that the nine sentences in the poem are not the nine clues nor can I prove that they are, we just have different interpretations. So one saying that another’s theory is out or wrong is simply arrogant and ignorant.

            Bye Felicia!


          • Great, another unsubstantiated allegation.

            That’s not even what we were talking about just now.

            I think your theory invalidates your theory all by itself.
            So, one can say one feels that theory is highly unlikely.

        • Still no progress. You are both wasting a lot of people’s time. I can tell you don’t mind, because you’re still talking about THAT on HERE.

          • Wasting
            other people’s time?

            Chat, don’t chat… Read, don’t read… YOU’RE choice.
            It’s the sole purpose of a blog.

            On a side note; I’ll give the solution to the poem for a box of Puff plus w/ lotion…. My allergies are going haywire and my nose is all bend out of shape.

          • a rock,

            Some thoughts on stanza 1 line 3 from me can be found way up above toward the beginning of this thread.


          • Stanza 1 line 3:

            I can keep my secret where…

            Is that line an ingredient or a recipe that helps us locate the correct wwwh?

            Just my take…one would want to focus on the most important aspect of that line.

            What could that be? I don’t think it’s the “where” part. That’s subjective. Got to find what’s possibly objective. I, presumably f, maybe someone else also. Says they (whoever) can keep their secret. Ok. But you can’t unravel each line in the first stanza in a vacuum if there are more ingredients. That’s not how a recipe works.

            The very next line says they are hinting…if followed precisely then most likely hinting at their secret from above. That goes against what they just said above…that they can keep their secret. That’s where you start to unravel the mystery, imo.

  45. I believe that in looking at what a line might mean that searchers put what they think f is trying to say. Or what he means. Like when he says, “as I have gone alone in there”, and someone says that what he means is that he went alone in there. This is taking the poem at face value and putting your own interpretation on what f is thinking and saying.
    IMO, the face value of the poem will come into play in the end, when you already have a solve and find yourself BoTG. If anything, the poem should tell us how to solve it. If this was the way to solve, the poem would tell us. It would tell us to use our own interpretations and such, it would direct us on how to approach and how to thing in order to solve.
    If the first stanza holds anything, then f would give us the tools, somehow, to extract that info.

    Question posted 5/27/2014:

    When creating the hunt, was there any serendipity involved? Did you find that things just clicked together somehow? ~ Shaun

    Serendipity: An aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

    The word carries several connotations Shaun, and I don’t think it works for me in the context you mentioned. Playing a hunch is nearly always fraught with disappointment, especially if the stakes are high. A searcher who guesses through life is destined to carry a thin wallet.f

    The last 2 sentences pretty much says it all. Every time a searcher comes up with a guess on what f might have meant, I’m reminded of this ATF.

  46. I would say but what do I know. An introduction to what changed. My guess is Santa Fe
    and the chest location. And IMO he will never explain any thing in the poem. Hint at it with
    double meanings maybe or not. Or get tired of questions and think if you can get that far
    just go get the chest and get out of there. Ok back to the first Stanza. IMO an early rewrite
    things changed. his special place his secrets kept and end of rainbow is Santa Fe. IMO.
    TTOTC for you. Begin it stanza two. I might try that but will be a few years.
    I could give it my best guess but….. You Know.. Willie needs to try a little harder to get Forrest trained. I know two whom are there own bosses. But really nice dogs too.

  47. All,

    How many of you have listened to the 2016 Columbia podcast interview with Forrest (found under the media coverage portion of this blog), in which they ask Forrest to read some of his poem? Well Forrest then says “I’ll read the first few lines” and the goes on to read the first two stanzas, then says that that was the first few clues. I find that very interesting that he calls the first two stanzas both the first few lines and first few clues. So could this be some potential evidence that the first stanza is one of those first few clues/lines?


    • YES I have listened to that podcast many times.
      Seeing Fenn has told us the 1st clue.

      Keep wiggling to suit your thinking instead of the obvious.

      • Jake,

        No wiggling needed, as Forrest has told us many times that we need to first figure out where warm waters halt if we don’t have that we don’t have anything. Therefore, it is “obvious” that that is the first clue we must first figure out before we ever look at maps or head out the door, but because most searchers interpret the word first in the numerical sense they then infer that the first stanza then cannot be a clue. But in the end it will not matter what we searchers think the nine clues are if we can simply follow the poem in its entirety (big picture), and circumstance ourselves to the treasure. But then my question is why then did he tell us there are nine clues in the poem? Is it possible that that it is a subtle clue and or hint to help us with the clues, like identifying the sentences as those nine items in the poem?

        The obvious simple straightforward answer, in my interpretation, is the nine sentences could simply be the nine clues.

        “Its not just a sentence its a craft”. f


        • Sean;

          IF the nine sentences are the nine clues, and we are told that they are consecutive, how – without going in a circle – can the first sentence be a clue? I once thought as you do, but had to give up on that idea once Forrest said that “Begin it WWWsH was the first clue.

          Am sure you have an explanation, I just could not figure my way out of that box – JMO – JDA

          • JDA,

            Again the word first has more than one meaning. Most interpret it as in the numerical sense, but it can also mean foremost in position, rank or importance (look up the word first). And as Forrest has told us many times we must first figure out where warm waters halt, if we don’t have that we don’t have anything. Therefore, it is possible that while BIWWWH is not the first line, sentence nor stanza in the poem, it is still the first thing we must figure out, and then the first stanza and or sentence in the poem is still the first part and or clue we read when reading the poem.

            And until Forrest definitively states that the first sentence/stanza is not a clue I will continue to hold firm on the theory that it may still be one, just not the first one we need to figure out.


          • Good Luck. Stanza #1 is a complete sentence. Leaving 8 sentences. There are nine clues, and they must be solved consecutively. Seems simple to me, but we each read the poem and Forrest’s words differently. We can convolute anything that Forrest says to meet our Point Of View – As I said – Good Luck – JMO – JDA

          • Continuous and contiguous.

            And don’t forget, many searchers can understand the definition of the poem word begin-

            start; perform or undergo the first part of (an action or activity).

          • All,

            Forrest has never used continuous when referring to the clues in the poem, only consecutive and chronological. And those that are believing that Forrest said the clues were contiguous ought to go back and listen carefully to the question that was posed to then understand the context in which Forrest then used contiguous.


          • The correct solution might look like a trap to another who wasn’t wise. Especially someone who can’t even get a quote right. Lol.

          • You might want to analyze it better, I didn’t quote anything like you are suggesting.

            I don’t think focusing on that is gonna help you dig your way out.

          • Why don’t you ever show your work anymore Sean? It’s hard to imagine your slur here. I remember it all clear as crystal, but the newcomers might mistake you for a well respected searcher. Wouldn’t want that, now.

          • Keep posting seannm. It’s good to have different points of view. I’m more in your camp than the other on the first stanza. Maybe there are three sides to every coin, but what do I know?

          • Fundy,

            You said the following in your book about the subtle clues/hints in TTOTC:

            “More specifically, I’ve read where he said that these hints will help you figure out the correct starting place”

            Can you provide a link to where Forrest has said this?

            Because I have never seen nor heard this ever from Forrest. So it appears that you are force fitting your first stanza interpretation based upon an assumption that he indeed said what you said in your book.

            But if you indeed have that specific quote from Forrest I’m sure we all would love to see it and discuss it.



          • So it appears that you are force fitting your first stanza interpretation based upon an assumption that he indeed said what you said in your book.
            I guess you haven’t understood the points that I have made in discussion with you the last few days or you wouldn’t say that I’m using something else to force fit my first stanza understanding.

    • Seannm, Forrest has never said anywhere that I can find that he either confirms or denies that there may be “HINTS” in the poem the Book fur sure, for certain clues, begin at WWWHalt, but somehow it just makes sense that there are hints since he even uses that word in the first STANZA? Does anyone or has anyone heard him say “hints” exist in the poem or deny any hints are there?

      I have always used this analogy for ff hints, of any kind: “It’s not what they say on the blogs that may be significant, it’s what they whisper. f.” Did you ever think how often giving your kids a “hint” is like that, a whisper, sometimes it speaks louder than telling them the answer they need to choose?


      • TT,

        I for one think “and *hint* of riches new and old” is telling the reader there are hints in the poem. You could say that “hear me all and listen good” back up the idea… Having stanza 6 (at least) holding hints.
        We know from the intro to the poem that the poem contains 9 clues and we utilize that to look for clues… What’s the difference ?

        I mean, if you think about it… Stanza 5 ask n answers a question… Are the answers hints?
        Secondly, why bother to understand what “in there” means if it’s not a hint of sorts.
        Imo he tells us there are hint in the poem. It’s not rocket science.

          • Right, right… I get it. It’s also stated in the book that there are clues sprinkled.. yada yada…
            Yet *within* the poem it say; “and hint of riches new and old”
            So, again, if the poem is all you need, then we have two choices;
            1. You would have to believe the poem is telling a searcher there are hints in the book.
            2. The poem also contains hints.

            We’re also told the clues start at WWsH and by most account might end at “take the chest and go in peace”
            We’ll, that basically leaves three stanza with something to consider, since we’re told not to discount any words in the poem, and ever word was deliberate.

            Personally I gave up trying to know what the difference is and try to put the poem to a place… The clues and hints will resolve themselves.

          • “ The clues are in the poem, but there are hints in the book.”

            Both of these are true but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others things not mentioned that are true also. 🙂

          • Fundy,

            What like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy? Sorry to burst your bubble, but those are just fables, IMO. 😉


      • TT,

        It only makes “sense” to some that there maybe “hints” in the poem. But that isn’t common sense, it is just a belief held by some. Doesn’t mean it is wrong, but nor is it know to be fact.

        How much more likely are hunters to work out where warm waters halt with the aid of TTOTC, compared to without it?

        FF: You sure ask confounding, but insightful questions. The clues are in the poem, but there are hints in the book.

        Clues are int he poem. Hints are in the book.


        • Which book are there “hints” in? He says “the book”, but he never tells us which book. Does he?

          I wonder if the periods are where we stop.

          Good Luck (:

          • A rock,

            Seeing as the questions was referencing TTOTC, then I would infer he is talking about the subtle clues/hints in that book.


          • No, he doesn’t tell us “what book.”
            We would assume he is referencing his book – but that may well be a very wrong assumption.

          • It may help to visit the *Cheat Sheet* at the top of the page to review the facts and the known common things Fenn has said for years in relation to some of the topics being discussed? Or not….

        • seannm, think about the “Little Indy” comment, Can a little girl in India, who speaks good English, but only has your poem and a map of the US Rocky Mountains, work out where the treasure is? And would she be confident as she solves each clue, or only confident when she has solved them all? “The little girl in India cannot get closer than the first two clues. There are many disabled people who are deeply into maps and geography, and they are having a lot of fun.f”

          To me this comment by ff insinuates that she, little Indy gets her 2 solvable clues from maps, but he uses the words “cannot get closer”, to me possibly (IMO) meaning either “physically closer” or the idea of seeing, solving, finding the key, an explanation, or unraveling and understanding the names of geographical locals on a map of the Rockies. I personally opine the latter is his intent.
          seannm, I’m using this Q and A from your reference of SC 166:
          – I’ve also read that you wrote the treasure hunt for an unemployed redneck with 12 kids. Does this mean that all of those people who are delving into Native American history, Greek mythology etc are looking too deeply? Can hunters really get to the treasure location with just a good map, the poem, and a decent knowledge of words?

          FF: “I wrote the book for everyone who feels a sense of wanderlust. In your last question if you change the last word to geography, my answer would be yes.”

          The focus seems to be “Geography”, but I take a little different approach to the overlooked word here which is “Wanderlust”, a strong desire to travel, so after “the little girl Indy” Q & A was hypothetically proposed, the answer the theme of Geography without a doubt took over the airwaves, as it should, to be sure, it is a focal point but what about shining the limelight toward wanderlust, although Forrest only mentions it once to my knowledge, it is sorta like Colorado, it does seem to be neglected, perhaps we need some thought on what is not far but too far to walk? Could this be thought of as mode of travel?

          IMO the first stanza is a hint, only a hint and probably hint toward the expression “Begin it WWWH”


          • Seannm’s stance so far has essentially been-

            Outside of the poem, if f has given his definition for a poem word or two, when you see that word or two in the poem it, or they, don’t mean what f has previously defined them to mean. Even when he says what else could it mean.

            Example- tarry scant.

          • Q. Hi Forrest, we are now aware that the poem is a map. If the poem is a map and will tell us exactly where to go, why couldn’t the little girl from India get past the first two clues? I think it’s because after solving all nine clues from home, THE OCEAN PREVENTS HER from journeying to the precise location to retrieve the treasure chest. ~ Lagerta the Bold

            A. Dear Whoever Asked This Question, Thanks for answering it for me. f (5/22/17)

            CAPS added by me.
            – Lori

    • Bowmarc,

      I would go back and listen again, maybe even use tarryscant so you can see the transcription. You might infer that he is talking about the nine clues in the poem, but I believe that may be inaccurate.

      “Forrest, did you have the nine clues before you wrote the poem? Or, did the nine clues appear after the poem?

      They’re contiguous. I knew where I wanted to hide the treasure chest, so it was easy for me to put one foot down and then step on it to get to the next foot. So that’s what I did. But I changed it over – I don’t know how many times. I looked up the meaning of words. You know we really don’t know what some of our words mean. For instance what does the word several mean?

      So I don’t believe he was saying that the clues in the poem are contiguous, he was just answering the question about whether the nine clues existed before he wrote the poem or after.

      And then we have the featured Q & A from Halo:

      Forrest, Did you intend for there to be 9 clues, or did it work out to be just right with 9? ~ halo

      Nice thinking halo, I didn’t count the clues until the poem had been finalized. Although I changed it a few times over the months I think the number stayed about the same.f


      • Some searchers may want to review the early words Fenn has shared about *contiguous* and consecutive*. The Lorene Mills 1st appearance 5/13/2011 interview contains a reference to the clues in the poem being in consecutive order. Reading(transcript) it may shed some light on Fenn’s advice in regards to reading the poem and TTOTC book… and potentially solving the clues. Or not….

        • Some may like to review Halo’s Q&A as well in comparison to Saunnm’s posted Q&A.

          Imo, the clues became as the the poem develop… although they stayed about the same.

          So, Saun, it would seem the contiguous is talking about the clues * in the poem * seeing the clues only ; stayed about the same drawing up many drafts…

  48. There are 9 clues in the poem that if followed precisely will lead to Indulgence, but forrest knows. When to tell the truth but not all of the truth. I firmly believe there are clues in the poem that are not directions to the treasure, but provide vital information needed to fully comprehend the solve. I am convinced stanza one holds some of that information

    • It seems to me that another way to put your thought is exactly what FF has already said: “A clue will point you toward the treasure chest, and a hint will just help you with the clues, if you can understand that.” (Richard Eeds Show 5/29/2015)

      IMHO, this ATF comes into play when trying to understand the one above:
      “There are few words in the poem that are not useful in finding the treasure, Phil, but it is risky to discount any of them” (

      With those two ATF’s collectively in mind, let me think aloud for a moment about what I consider to be general knowlege about TTOTC:

      There are 9 clues in the poem.

      FF has told us that the 9 clues are consecutive.

      FF has told us that the first clue is BIWWWH.

      BIWWWH is wording in the second stanza of the poem.

      The entire first stanza precedes the established first clue in a consecutive series of 9 clues.

      Very few words are not useful in finding the treasure and it is risky to discount any of them (see sourced ATF above)

      Stanza #1 contains 25 words.

      It is risky to discount any of those 25 words.

      Those 25 words cannot be considered a clue because they precede the established first clue in a consecutive series of 9 clues.

      Question: How do we not discount those 25 words?

      Possible Answer: By utilizing those 25 words as a hint to help with the clues per the two ATF’s listed above as such makes those 25 words useful to TTOTC.

      Thought: With the exception of a few words, any words that a searcher does not attribute to the 9 clues, to be useful to TTOTC, should be considered hints to help with the clues.

      End of thinking aloud.


      • Bowmarc, you have summed it up pretty well, and my original point has now been made by several very astute searchers, this to me is like hearing that my test is confirmed negative for what is important in Stanza 1, and Positive about it being in the HINT realm, not the clue category…

        OK Dal, time to move the train to another track…er Stanza, I kinda like 5, but 7 is a perfect number…


  49. As I have gone alone in thERe
    IMO, ”there“ is not the Hiding place. I believe it’s ff telling his story about why he left a trove. IMO the poem tells of a loved one’s tragic death in the ER…emergency room, due to a rattle snake “adder” bite; perhaps someone named Elizabeth or Beth.

    TreasuREs bold
    From thERe it’s no place for the meek.
    The end is evER drawing nigh.
    ThERe’ll be no paddle
    Just heavy loads and watER high
    quest to cease.

    All conjecture. Only ff can answer why a sad thread of death is woven into the fabric of his poem. My theory won’t help solve where he his the box of gold, but “why” is helpful to ask.

    “So WHY is it that I MUST go and leave my trove for all to seek?”

    • If FF wanted us to know about the death of a loved one in the ER, would
      he not have clearly told us? In all the writing he has done, surely he has
      had this opportunity. Good luck in your solving and searching. All IMO.

      • I think it more representative of being the end. When things end they die.

        Odd that I find myself on this subject. I lost my mother in law at the weekend after her long battle with cancer. I had been caring for her for a long time, so hit pretty hard. A soldier marches on though.

      • Tall Andrew, logically what you say is reasonable.

        However, ff’s poem IMO does explain “his” reason for hiding the treasure. It answers “why” he did it and tells you “who” the dead person is…

        “There’s an old saying…Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead.” forrest Fenn

        He has repeated this statement in numerous interviews.

        one linked here:

        If you justify poem left, as ff did in TFTW, Removing spaces… a Word search will show the following words:
        ER “siren” (2times)
        ER (numerous times)
        adder; viper (at center of justified poem)
        rattler bite
        Mob of rattlers
        Dies on gurne(y)
        Our Urn

        FYI for anybody searching northern New Mexico. It has the highest population of rattlers anywhere in the US. (7types).
        Most of the time they will leave you alone. It’s the
        one-time exception no one plans for.

    • I agree with this channel of thought. I have a few versions of solve and all seem connected and leading to the same ending. The core of this plays an interlinking part to everything.

      I have been confused as to which parts to use, because I have so much of the same different things and all meaning the same, but when I read a post here yesterday that his Grace ff had said;

      Question posted MW 5/27/2014:

      When creating the hunt, was there any serendipity involved? Did you find that things just clicked together somehow? ~ Shaun

      Serendipity: An aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

      The word carries several connotations Shaun, and I don’t think it works for me in the context you mentioned. Playing a hunch is nearly always fraught with disappointment, especially if the stakes are high. A searcher who guesses through life is destined to carry a thin wallet.f

      I realised that everything is part of that end product. ALL should be accounted for. Except the hospital….I think!

      All IMO

    • 42, It doesn’t seem likely to me… how would the other 3 lines of the stanza fit the scenario you posit?

      I think maybe the first line is FF expressing how he attacks every challenge he meets … Somewhat lamenting a formal education, he plunges ahead with his will & intellect & values. He learns, then shares. He is a learner, and a teacher.

      As a preface to the poem, It may be a comment on the power of open-mindedness in a free culture, & maybe the duty of all of us…. to work in God’s workshop.

  50. There sure seems to be a lot of talk about whether the poem contains hints.
    Also about whether the first stanza does.
    My approach is simply to treat the ENTIRE POEM as if ANY PART of the poem may
    contain hints or clues. I agree that this isn’t rocket science (and I don’t believe that
    there’s any math or numbers involved either). I even believe that if not Galvani, that
    Ben Franklin would agree with me. Many people think of him as quite wise. As always, IMO.

    • I think any math or numbers are set for confirmatory fun by ff. I believe there is a single pathway to the location and then that opens up a whole lot of different things. I agree and do not believe that
      numbers play a roll in leading to the chest. Having said that I do notice something about the construction of the poem and that something was deliberately left out in order for something to work.

      Yes Ben Franklin was a great leader and still is. Both he and Galvani were very bright.

    • TA – Thank you. I was just about to ask someone to explain to me why it’s so important to determine what is a hint and what is a clue when all that really matters is deciphering the information presented to us in the poem.

  51. I agree Geysergirl- to me it doesn’t matter – I think that whats in the poem are clues, and whats in the scrapbook are hints- I don’t have the books but I assume whats in there, are also hints

  52. In my opinion , we have to use our imagination to imagine what FF was thinking to himself as he constructed the first stanza , AS I HAVE GONE ALONE IN THERE and WITH MY TREASURES BOLD , I CAN KEEP MY SECRET WHERE , and HINT OF RICHES NEW AND OLD . so just imagine this is FF talking to himself { ok , so i am going by myself to my special place , now what ? oh yeah , and i am taking my treasure with me , i really am , and i will be bold about it too . ok what’s next , ok ok where in the world am i going to hide that chest in my special place so people will have a chance of finding it . oh i know , and if they know a little bit about geography they might pick up on my HINT of riches new and old . remember JMO

    • I like your version of the 1st stanza as well as dal’s.
      Could go either way in my mind.

      “The greater part of knowledge is knowing those things not worthy of knowing.”

  53. So…. his HINT of riches
    or …. his HINT of new and old
    or…. his Hint of riches new & old
    … will help in interpreting a clue … & clues are only in the poem. Right?

    I think the hundreds of paragraphs arguing the hint/clue definitions are a Distinction without a Difference. Interesting though, that Google has lots of definitions.

    • OS2, I think the distinctions between the words hint and clue are important. It’s the same thing as maintaining that the definitions of words are important to help find the treasure. If you believe that the word definitions are important then you have to be consistent with that believe.

      How it could it not be important that f has on multiple occasions told us the distinction between the word hint and clue? From how f has described them, they both can’t do the same job for us searchers. No one yet has put forth a plausible explanation to the contrary that I’ve seen…

      Above you said…will help in interpreting a clue.
      I’m assuming you mean a hint will help in interpreting a clue. I haven’t seen f use the word “interpreting” in defining how a hint helps a clue, so that may not be the correct interpretation.

      To me, the nine clues are the nine sentences theory that has been brought up here makes the poem unsolvable. I just think the theory hasn’t been analyzed enough by the one who brought it up. For he believes that the definition(s) of a word is (are) important, as is grammar and sentence structure (the basis of the theory).

      Well, one doesn’t get to cherry pick what word you don’t include in the importance of word definition(s).

      I brought up the word “hint” from the first stanza and it’s definition in a dictionary. F has brought up many times his definition of the word hint. He has been consistent in that definition and his definition is what ultimately counts. I don’t understand why Seannm would say that there’s no confirmation that f meant the same definition of the poem word “hint” as when he defines that word outside of the poem. It’s not very reasonable.

      As such, if Seannm or anyone else believes that f is using a different definition of the poem word “hint” than how he defines it outside of the poem, then you have to be consistent with that believe for all the other 165 words (not adjusting for repeated words).

      This makes the poem unsolvable as we now have none of the poem words meaning what they actually mean.

  54. OS2, I don’t understand how one can think it’s not important to understand the distinction between the words hint and clue as f has defined them to us searchers.

    That’s what this all boils down to. Can you follow the clues precisely? That understandably takes understanding the definition(s) of words in the poem. Some words have different connotations to them and some don’t.

    The nine clues are the nine sentences theory that has been brought up here relies on the definition(s) of words, grammar and sentence structure (nine sentences hence nine clues).

    If one believes that theory, then one doesn’t get to cherry pick which word or words don’t apply to the hallmarks of that theory…meaning, one doesn’t get to ignore if a word only has one definition.

    I brought up the poem word “hint” and it’s universally known definition that applies whenever the word is used. F has consistently defined the word “hint” and often. The only argument that Seannm has put forth after I posted that was “that my interpretation that the first stanza is not a clue but just a hint isn’t confirmation that it is fact the case”. To me that reasoning ignores f’s distinct and consistent definition of the word hint and clue. You can’t have it both ways. Therefore, his nine clues are the nine sentences theory, isn’t sound to the point of it makes the poem unsolvable.

    That’s because if one can cherry pick which poem word doesn’t follow one’s own believe that word definition(s) is (are) important, then none of the poem words essentially mean what they mean.

    Since the word hint means what f has repeatedly stated it means, that means there’s a hint in the first stanza. Since the first stanza is one sentence it means the whole stanza can’t be a clue as a clue and hint are two distinctly different things acoording to f.

    Getting back to what you said above, you said- “will help in interpreting a clue.”

    I’m assuming you meant a hint will help in interpreting a clue. F has stated it like that with the word interpreting. That might not be the correct way to state what a hint does for us.

  55. OS2, I think it is important to recognize the distinction between the words hint and clue as f has distinctly defined both as separate tools to be possibly successfully used by us.

    Just like it’s important to understand the defition(s) of a word.

    The poem word hint means a hint and not a clue. F has told us this.

    That makes the nine clues are the nine sentences theory not possible since, according to Seannm, sentence structure and grammar are also important.

    If one just ignores the definition of the word hint, then one can ignore all the other word meanings in the poem. That makes the poem unsolvable.

  56. I truly think that we have beat this horse to death, without seeing just how simple it is, I have to agree that Fundamental Design and Bowmarc and others have clearly reinforced several points about Stanza 1 being contiguous, only hints, but more importantly we may have a possible “frame of reference” or the box, 4 lines, 4 sides, a frame if you imagine a map, because it is a map to the treasure. Every Architect begins his dream with a “FRAME”, our design, is with words, metaphorically, so this is how TT imagines it:

    SIde 1, line 1, topside or border of the frame.
    “As I have gone alone in there”… this IMO says he was there in his history, a time before… WHEN? With WHOM? WHY? Not any clear disclosure of “in there” this alone does not insinuate the WHERE. The only way to truly understand or “even suspect anything”, as in how he answered Miss Ford and got in trouble, is to read the Thrill Book, TFTW…etc. WE need a HINT to see, “It or in there”, IMHO is either in Important Literature. Or Jump Starting the Learning Curve, these were, or are pre “Begin it” chapters, events, Imp. Lit. is not even a chapter, so one might feel these contain the way to see first stanza perhaps first clue, WWWH so “in there” as it is a locale, geographically and metaphorically. IMO “Borders” as in Borders Books.

    Side 2, the right side of the frame
    “And with my treasures bold,” … a pause as if we need to define treasures and bold…again WHAT, WHY? yes we know WHEN, appx 2010 summer, we know he is alone now from former line so WHO is answered as well. The bold and treasures may have as many definitions as searchers will assign a blazing number too these so too many to know, but do we really need to know what bold is to see it is to know it. Trove is hinted in stanza 5 for Treasure? Hints may hint another hint…right? Don’t get confused and lose your train of thought, you might be on the right track.

    Side 3, the bottom line of the frame

    I can keep my secret where,…a pause as if he, the Architect, needs to make a pledge, a spirit is now “envolked” WHEN he makes a pledge, a promise, WHO, to us from ff, bottom line. In Winter Thoughts II the Mystery of the Scrapbook Reveal will be told, but for now we wait at home for the next insight…to follow.

    Side 4, the final border of our frame:
    And hint of riches new and old. Period,
    I will not answer the WHO WHAT WHEN AND WHY, that is your job, says the Architect, the design or puzzle is now framed, let the riddle begin, WWWH is not just the next line and the first clue, it is IMO like a quest for the holy grail, and the Final Crusade to locate WWWH is clear, it is a comfortable place where we can rest and sort out something from our past, the present and future. It can all be seen in SC Book 241, this place WWWH. JUST MY OPINION.


  57. So, f be like:

    hint= clue

    begin it where warm waters halt= any clue step but the first one

    the= a

    tarry scant= Seannm should scamper to the (a) hardware store and buy a (the) can of foam insulation to plug the gaps in his theory

  58. Placing a call to the Fenn library…

    I’m looking for an ATF regarding (paraphrasing)
    *If anyone was to read the book they should read: My war for me.
    I’m not sure if its an audio or not (I think that’s why I’m having a hard to tracking it down).

    Any kids kick in the right direction would be helpful… Thanks.

  59. He’s gone alone in there; There is his place that he treasures. He can keep his secret about where, this is another spot, there. Where and There, two different places, IMO

  60. When I was young I didn’t know WHERE I wanted to go, but it seemed to be important at the time that I get THERE. That’s at the beginning of his book,. The blaze is THERE and he can keep his secret about WHERE his trove is THERE. This confirmation will send you WHERE the real WHERE warm waters halt and you will see it for the first time. IMO

  61. First Stanza Notes & Oddities (that stand out to me – with help of books):

    AS – first word of poem – “to an extent or degree”
    AS – arsenic- 33 – Mason – Mace?
    Gone – song by U2, from Pop album, interesting lyrics and cover…
    And (this word shows up a lot in poem) – DNA backwards….
    Treasure Bold – we have since learned (been told) that FF made 2 trips from his car to hide. Why point that out? Why does he want us to know he took an empty tc and then took the riches to fill it up?? I think it has to do with “the secret.”
    Secret where – (Where = Underwear) this will sound crazy, but hear me out….Victoria’s Secret reference? Y’all are always taking about FF being naked – maybe we can talk undies too…reference to “the Pink” and possibly a bridge (you research why a bridge is connected).
    Riches – Richard / King Richard (lion heart – cat) Richard Nixon / Tricky Dick / scandal /water gate / jail time /
    Hint – SE Hinton – Outsiders Book. She wrote and became famous as age 15. Stay golden PB / OKC
    RIches new and … (RNA)…virus?

    Just my 2 bits on 1st Stanza – anyone else Share these ramblings? All IMO…of course. TLC to all y’all!

  62. In part, based on a solve that really has stood out to me above other solves I had considered, to me he is starting the poem at the end where the treasure is. At least from that perspective in his minds eye.
    “As I have gone alone in there”
    One can go into a favorite fishing hole “in there” (example only) alone, while many people are around… yet having no one you know come with you, you are alone – in there. I do not think it would matter if others were around or not, but I believe f had gone to this location a number of times before he considered hiding the chest and he went alone, even if others may have been in the vicinity.
    “And with my treasures bold,”
    Does this simply mean he – f – went boldly “in there” {being already familiar with the spot} or is the treasure bold and obvious if one is “in there” as well… i.e. not buried, not disguised etc.
    “I can keep my secret where,”
    I think this speaks for itself… and may be an indication that the “blaze” may not be what people might otherwise expect. Instead it is something that stands out to him and made him want to be “in there”.
    “And hint of riches new and old.”
    This would then be setting the stage so to speak for the “clues” that follow in the poem. Though I do think he is hinting at the ‘nature’ of the hiding place of the chest. This verse, like a Prologue or Introduction to the remainder of the poem would have to be an introduction of what the poem is about.
    As many searchers have mentioned in prior posts, they have discovered that they too were enjoying the “Thrill of the Chase”… finding their own “treasures” both literally, visually etc. as they went BOTG on their own special and unique adventures.
    This introduction/prologue would then have to be from the point of being at the location of the treasures – I say treasures because it is both where he left the chest and where the location was significant enough to f to be where he also wanted to leave his bones. A place where one would have a ‘marvel gaze’ that wasn’t limited to the chest?
    MOOO – My own opinion only… Forrest sets the scene of the place one’s chase will ultimately lead to. Once there, one will find the chest and why the place was special to Forrest. – Keeping it simple –

    • HotL,

      HORNAO… Might be a bit more specific.
      So why is it I must go and leave my trove for all to seek… “The answer”….
      What’s are the answers representing?
      Think about the word “riches”… It seem redundant to mention, treasure (s), chest (which holds the goodies) and trove, all as value… So why use “riches” to mean of monitory value?

      Might it reference “knowledge”?
      And given stanza 5 having some sort of answers, do those two stanzas relate to each other?

      • Hopefully I am understanding correctly what you are meaning above, which seems to assume that riches only refers to the TC. However, as I was stating, f was referring MOO to the treasure, and all of the experiences etc. the searchers are having and the joy it has brought them even without finding the TC. Of course MOO, this would be on parallel to the “riches” he found throughout his life as well. It would include – to a small degree – physical wealth that provides one with security etc. while raising a family.
        As you stated it would also include things like knowledge, experience, lessons learned or however one might describe it.
        Just getting out and getting away from it all can bring peace, self reflection, and distraction from the rat race of life…
        MOO, Forrest packed a lot more than just clues as to how to find the TC into the poem. Though the clues would work as a map, I also believe that they are things he wants everyone to experience as he believes that they will have value to the one experiencing them.
        Again, I think the first stanza is an introduction to the location of the TC… which is his – special place – (my words) that was more significant to him than the TC.
        MOO – the TC is the incentive he gives for others to discover things, beauty, etc. that he has already discovered. There are many who would never have had the experiences that they have had without that incentive, just as many others would have experiences like this regardless – just as Forrest did.
        Thus – MOO – he left the trove to get others to get out and have that “Thrill of the Chase” and realize how much they have been missing (riches) of the world around them by simply sitting at home, or being a work-a-holic and thus missing out on life. MOO, but he realized with his cancer how much life he was able to experience and enjoy that others likely had no idea they were missing. I believe that is one reason he made the poem the way he did, with the hopes that though the treasure would likely be found one day… that it wouldn’t be so easy to find that the incentive he gave everyone to get out into the world would be gone too soon either.
        The way he hid his bells was much different and would seem unlikely as an incentive to get out and explore the world – but rather a message to someone far far into the future – much like the arrowheads that have laid hidden until someone just happened upon it.
        As always… these are only my thoughts… I cannot pretend to know Forrest’s true thoughts, feelings or intents… it is only what makes sense to me

    • I’ll try this again: what if the hint to clue 1/wwwh took you to book? And that place in book gave you confirmation of clue 1/2? Would you look in the book? People travel all over the Rocky’s with their incorrect solves. Yes most would look in book and the hint in book is worthless without the first line of poem and precolon. He uses waterS for more than one reason, and I don’t mean 32+32, etc. Once you have the first hints in stanza 1 + wwwh hint in book= clue 1. BUT and in addition to wwwh words being in line 5, the actual WHERE for clue 1 is found at a place on Earth and the book clue, yes clue, actually MOVES you CLOSER to the spot. Yes, you must have the right answer to where warm waters halt to even begin to put the hints together but understand that Precolon/Line 1 is of the utmost importance to solve clue 1. All of this info is the recipe for stanza 2 and takes you right to line 8. In order of how I figured it out: line 1/area- suspected where wwh, added Precolon idea to what I had for wwwh and went to where it directed me and the confirmation nailed it. It’s a built-in confirmation to the puzzle. I didn’t need what I found in book. As- while I do this, I’m doing that. AS Is used in a different manner also but the above is the thought stew that must be stirred. Once you have line 8, the rest is easier remember listen good. Why? You have to listen because something is quiet, the T in listen. So hear me all+cold=Which chapter? Teachers w/ropes-bronze, Surviving myself-Top ten, bottom up. Blue jeans- our world started at the bottom again. No place for biddies- effort worth one mile walk in cold. There is a perfect answer. Cool colors? Lapis Lazuli/cobalt…Why does “I” already know the answers? Do not avoid stanza1/pre: in solving wwwh, nor book. It is why lgfi couldn’t get any closer than 1st 2 clues, well there is another reason also but read his answer again. Did he say in the mtns north of SF was a clue? Sure sounded like it huh?

      • Deeepthnkr That a good write up although some of it went over my head. Can you clarify what the 32+32 was from?

        • Some have used plural of waters to give 32+32=64 or 100+100=200 as Rd #’s etc. It isn’t how he did it though. ty for compliment.

  63. HotL,

    HORNAO… Might be a bit more specific.
    So why is it I must go and leave my trove for all to seek… “The answer”….
    What’s are the answers representing?
    Think about the word “riches”… It seem redundant to mention, treasure (s), chest (which holds the goodies) and trove, all as value… So why use “riches” to mean of monitory value?

    Might it reference “knowledge”?
    And given stanza 5 having some sort of answers, do those two stanzas relate to each other?

  64. go pass north of the plaze- in the wood- and that’s where he left his trove for all to seek, to me that’s a location .

  65. To All,

    I see there are many who believe stanza 1 to be a preamble or intro to the Chase. For those who do not believe stanza 1 has anything to do with WWWH, the area the Chase leads us to, or the final location of the chest, what other information, aside from line 5 do you suppose ought to be used in pinning down or locating WWWH? And I ask for responders to include reasoning behind the use of the info. In other words, if someone says “Use the book.” I would like to know why we should use the book over say something like stanza 1. All IMO.


    • IMO, the lines in the poem are titles and the chapters in book are detailed paintings of which those titles belong.

  66. Hold up, I believe I just found the lynchpin to the overall solve or last clue. It has continued to confirm the area, about an acre, and now has given ID to the points within the acre. These are very specific points mentioned in book, via abberations, but you wouldn’t know that they all exist in one small area. There are 7, including an actual blaze. I assumed that there was a way to connect the poem to each point, via book but I couldn’t figure out 3 of them. The last line in solve is line 4 with last sentence using the book to tie the square knot. It’s very clever what he did. Very. Wish me luck cause it looks like I need to tie a lil from certain chapters to one another to complete the thought. Ex: dad gave a few seconds=inches via “. Lean-to is lean dash to – not far but too far to walk= to dash/run. There is another chapter hint that completes the clue at site.

  67. What if … “in there” …. was a place where another had gone alone long ago, perhaps on a spirit quest or vision quest, or just to hide from an enemy, or to cache some important goods … and that person left a mark, a hint? Maybe a petroglyph, a message of hope & prayer, maybe something akin to “ring my bell” or “smile at a homely girl”.

    FF may have kept his discovery on a back burner for years. But when he came across the French Soldiers marker in Vietnam, or when he was putting stories together for his memoir, it registered again in his consciousness. Not because of a waterfall, or warrior graves, but because of the sentiment of the marker, the hint. A long gone person left a bridge across time.

    Hidden Pirate booty is often labeled with threats to scare or haunt any finders, but I doubt that kind of message would have sealed FF’s lips. I think he kept that place dear to himself …. AS … a shared connection with an unknown person who had been there, under duress, long ago.

    • OS2, I am with you in Spirit, this stanza evokes that clearly, the whole first stanza does not just HINT of this as a possible scenario, it Screams it IMO, we must put attention to things that have motivated him to do this, ideals much more about WHERE and not the Why are all over the Rockies, why it seems is least understood, and he acknowledges those motives in Stanza 1 and 5 even the final lines, Worth the cold, brave and in the wood, now what is the title? IMO it is the message of finding the Spiritual Riddle hidden at WWWH.

      I think his pledge, of “I can keep my secret where” is the bottom line, third line or the Architects frame for our reference, is much to do about nothing? I think this statement shows resolve and can could even have been replaced with WILL, as in a final testament to us, that the riddle’s secret will only be known by him and the one who finds the TC and decides whether or not to reveal what you have described as a message of hope & prayer…Perhaps you are so correct calling it a prayer is directly spoken from his Church, in the Mountains, which delivers the location of WWWH, what else could he have repurposed it to say?


      • Why must we try and MARRY this to a place on the map of the Rockies?

        WHere else would one desire to make a life long promise? At a Church, right, only this one is a metaphorical place, like SC 241, Now what is in the back of a Spanish Catholic Church you ask? A Basin like SC 237 just may tell the tale, and the journey begins…Lets keep on this, the right track.


    • OS2 – Nicely said. I have been approaching the poem with the same line of thinking. IMO, I honestly believe in the end we will see a very distinct path of spirituality in addition to, and in conjunction with, the path to the chest. “Riches new and old.”

      I keep feeling as though whether or not one agrees with other searchers thoughts, that collectively, we are dancing on the edge of being closer on “how” to solve the poem. Meaning closer to the process and not necessarily closer to the chest. It’s like having that right word for your current thought right on the tip of your tongue, but it just won’t quite present itself to you. Then 5 hours later you shout it out! LOL!

        • HotL, Geysergirl, what’s with all the
          “shushing”? You would think with all that whispering we were in church er something?

          Have you been reading my notes or did you just come up with this church stuff on your own?

          Ok no one can or will keep a secret if we write it in here, you guys are way too sharp for anybody to put one over on ya, so what about the next SCBook after 209 Chaos, that one ff shot out of a Cannon er un Cañón just before he wrecked into a Box Elder Tree while fiddling with the dial looking for “Me and Bobby McGee”? PS it was not Meryl, it was Janis as in JJ, or should we not wait up? Maybe somethin they was waitin on?

          SO Many SCrapbooks to mislead and cause Chaos…or perhaps we need to just Embroidery a tapestry for this Riddle of WWWH because IMHO that is what he did on his bucket list.


          • TT – I like it… but all of my research has led to a compound word that was whispered once upon a time… and when I follow that thread it leads me to a place where I need to look quickly down – at which point I have three potential options for what that means. Don’t know if BOTG is in my future or not… but I dare not whisper what I heard because it has become a ‘key’ to the last 500′

          • TT – I, like others who have been at this for a while, seem to believe there are “many” layers to ffs poem, so the answer to your question “Have you been reading my notes or did you just come up with this church stuff on your own?” would be yes and yes. I have to admit though, that I can not always follow your cryptic posts as they seem to soar waaaaay over my head. 🙂 But by the way your posts are written, you seem to suggest you may have this all figured out. Am I correct in my assumption? And if so, do you plan on BOTG?

          • Geysergirl, well, I feel at a loss for words of just how I can say this, after your thoughts here: “I can not always follow your cryptic posts as they seem to soar waaaaay over my head.” Geyserg, I just except others to see that my intent is not to soar above, but rather to illuminate what is worthy of being shown, it has been up and down the canyons of thought for these past 9 plus years, I have been in and out of the hunt and just cannot stay away. Recently even Seeker expressed what sounded like an obsession with this and decided to cool off, I can say that ideas are forever fanned by the winds and flames expressed in these SCrapbooks, the poem and especially since March 12, 2017 in #169 where he won a Bingo at a church alon with 2 others, it published just 5 days after Winter Thoughts, by TT, so like most searchers here I think there may be hints in several SC BOOKs especially through #247. ff is not directing these at any one person, he is showing all of us the place, IMO, both metaphorically and geographically.

            Does anyone believe that Forrest is teasing or shinnin us on here? I for one do not, he does not work that way, so think positive and Embroidery the answers in this Chaos, link all these together and see if there is a common denominator, which all points to not only WWWH as a spiritual place but is his Church in the Mountains, and for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for us.


      • Thanks Geysergirl, and I agree… AS … a long gone real person left a thread that touched FF, he (FF) left a thread to an unknown finder in some distant future.

        I think “riches new and old” is about the TC only in the most minor sense… its about the geography of time, of humans connecting, and misconnecting, like an indian with his ear to the telegraph pole.

  68. The solve prepares you for your journey by using a technique that is used in a certain “past time” and also hints to the right spot if you’ve been wise, like burning a candle from both ends, and have learned something that gives you path through poem and an actual botg blaze. Im either done or it’s going to send me elsewhere but I doubt it. Open mind though. Never had this part of solve before and is really clever of Fenn, the way he wove these seemingly innocent statements into book that no one has ever mentioned to my knowledge. It’s tough but there is a set way to know your on path. Just knot wear on path lol. I’m either done, I believe so, 95%, or have one left. I’m gonna loosen my grip on the reins and see if it takes me 50 miles to a dirt road or just trust the work horse that has been my work ethic and fs genuis to walk there with a smile on my face. I’m gonna get back to it. Might have some more matches before I unwisely wad my map and spend 3 days freezing. 🙂 Ty Fenn, this is a real hoot. Albeit rough as rawhide. I can keep my secret place, my secret as I, etc.

    • Deeepthnkr
      I wonder what the NAME of the horse you would ride might be? Perhaps a shade of brown.. i.e: ?

    • I think you ‘get it’ Deep Thinker. And if you do find the TC… carry on in the way you ‘got It’. Keep your secret and share your secret.

      • PS Deep Thinker…. i suggest you compare the Lewis & Clark story in the book to the article FF wrote for the Bozeman Chronicle, and focus on Lightening because horse has a meaning in geology.

        • Not to be confused with an intrusion – ‘dike’ ‘sill’ or the likes. Must be a ‘pale’ horse though. 😉 I personally don’t plan on riding any ridges though – I hope to be close enough when I park that I can eat a sandwich on my walk ‘in there’ or on my way back – wouldn’t want the TC crushing my sandwich now, would I…

  69. lady V… What are your thoughts about the first stanza? The whole of it.

    It would have been simpler for meto simply add the word ‘too’ after the word ‘old’ to convey the idea of ‘two can keep a secret if one of them is dead”, but it wouldn’t have conveyed why the secret place was ‘dear’ to FF. I may be wrong, but I find the first stanza to be a preface… about deeper thoughts of the author. The other 5 stanzas are clearly (to me) about the TC search.

    I’ve considered several scenarios so far, they don’t aid in the hunt for the TC, but they may help in interpreting the clues.

    • # 1 clue WWWH – 1st stanza is not a clue, but rather an introduction to the “Chase” (Clues that follow) – MOO {My opinion only}

  70. I think Seeker made a good point about the first stanza. Interesting that f used the word “riches” in the phrase “hint of riches”.

    While at other times, including the first stanza, f used treasures and trove.

  71. Why does everyone relate “hint of riches” to be actual riches? The poem says “hint” of riches, not “riches.” There must be something that hints of riches. There are two things in my solve that “hints” of riches, but are not riches. One is an image of a large $ sign (a relatively new symbol of riches.) The other is an image of a large cent sign (a relatively old symbol of riches.) These aren’t riches themselves, but are just “hints” of riches.

    I think the first stanza is describing the final search area and giving hints that will confirm the area once you solve most of the clues. Every line in the poem is essential to the solution.

    • That is a very interesting take on the ‘hint of riches’. Though in my solve there are things (riches) that are both comparatively new and old that relate to the clues in the poem… none of them being the TC, but what one would encounter on their way to the location of the TC.
      This is not part of my solve, but example only – The Madison river itself would be a “riches old”, yet a section getting blocked off and turning into a lake (in modern times) would become a “riches new”. Or another example could be that if the HOB was an historic cabin for instance… it would still be a “riches new” when compared to the back drop of the mountains in which it resides.
      MOO (my opinion only).

      • And just throwing this out for the heck of it, not because I subscribe to it, but… a native trout population could be considered “riches old” and a newer ‘introduced’ trout population {brown trout} could be “riches new”…

      • I met my brother, well half brother (different fathers), for lunch and was talking to him about your analysis. He had astoundingly similar thoughts and opinions to you HotL. Knowing his particular field of expertise, I say “yea!, top analysis” to you my friend.


        • Thank you… and thank you to your brother.
          Not sure that I am right thinking or not, but am beginning (in my mind) where it all ends as I believe the poem does as well… and seeing all kinds of things new and old in the solve that could be considered riches on many different levels.
          ***Stay healthy and happy BigOnus! {Everyone else here as well!}

    • Good question, Landhigh.

      Many relate hint of riches to hint of riches, literally. Cause that would be a precise way to relate it.

      Maybe some riches new and old like you guys are saying. Like you believe every line in the poem is essential to the correct solution, it may be that every line in the first stanza is essential to unlocking the hint that is mentioned if followed precisely.

  72. To All,

    I noticed there is discussion on “hint of riches new and old” and what those riches could possibly be. I like the creativity in some of the suggestions. I take issue though, with the relative relation of “new” and “old.” I say relative for the following reason: what is “new” and “old” to us today, will all be “old” to someone 1,000 years from now. So my concern would be with attributing the words “new” and “old” as identifying things we can age or date.

    How then might this be reconciled? I’m not sure. I am just pointing out the difficulty in labeling things as “new and “old” in general. I will give one possible suggestion, well two really, but they are two examples of the same idea.

    1. In terms of an area like Madison Junction, the “riches new and old” could be referring to the “new” flowing waters from whatever geyser or hot spring is their source and the “old” could be a pool or lake they ultimately collect in where even some of the old waters are considered to remain. This could also be someone’s WWWH.

    2, Or it could be similar to a location like the Sinks as I have discussed before where the “old” waters at the Sinks hint toward the “new” waters at the Rise, which include the old waters and then some, making them distinguishable from the old.

    In either case, the idea is that instead of datable objects or locations or things, we are attributing here the terms “new and old” to refer to a constant shift from one to the other which even 1,000 years from now will remain true.

    The above are just two examples and I am sure others may be able to come up with more. All IMO of course.


    • As far as providing a time stamp (so to speak) to certain items… some are very ancient – mountains being millions of years old and a cabin (or a lake formed by an earthquake) being only say a couple hundred years old at best…
      These would still be very distinguishable as old and new in 1,000 years or 2,000 years.
      That being said – your ideas presented above definitely ‘hold water’ as well! 😉
      Are we not all just speculating really, unless we find the TC and Forrest verifies that our interpretations of the clues – and or hints – were correct? MOO.

      • I still MOO {my opinion only} believe that Forrest was referring to the special location in the first stanza. It isn’t special to him because the TC is there, it is special because of memories (riches) new and old associated with it.
        Every time someone has an experience that teaches them something, or that they gain something from (even the hard lessons) are riches new. Those memories from the past being the riches old of course… i.e. a special spot in his youth, and because of the memories there, he decided to leave his body with the chest there – and in leaving the TC and everything since then… it has definitely – MOO – given him many, many more riches new. In the 1st stanza he is introducing (I believe) the fact that he will be sharing ‘clues’ to help one find some of the riches (memories of our own) as we attempt to understand what he really is trying to share with us – thus the TC being incentive only to take up the Thrill of the Chase… a thrill he has experienced throughout his life as he has chased his dreams. Again – MOO

      • HotL,

        While it is true there is a difference between ancient and merely old, I personally don’t think of things from the year 1020 AD to be new, even in comparison to say the time of the dinosaurs. As a scientist, I am well aware of marge larger numbers of comparison. The notion of new seems to always convey a degree of recent or current, not old and certainly not ancient. Those would just be old and older. That would be akin to calling relics from 1020 AD new, which I very much doubt is the case for anyone today.

        It’s not so much the numbers that may be important as the concepts of new and old themselves. Just consider what you personally think of as old and new and see if that same thinking applies to how you are interpreting the poem.

        I also have a reply to FD that I will place here.

        I vaguely recall the reference of difficulty to which you refer. I believe that was said in the context of geography which will certainly be different in 1,000 years as it is constantly changing.

        For instance, the Niagara Falls will not be in their current location 1,000 from now just as they aren’t where they were 1,000 years ago. They weren’t even called Niagara Falls then! And they may not be called that 1,000 years from now. Would such a feature make the Chase more difficult in 1,000 years? Absolutely! Because it will have moved a noticeable distance.

        This example is important because the suggestions some have made identify less permanent and “newer” things than Niagara Falls! That to me is more troubling than Niagara Falls would be.

        So does hint of riches new and old refer to the stock market and California gold rush? Probably not. Even though the stock market riches are relatively new compared to the older California gold rush.

        Could this line be referring to sa a mountain and a grave atop the mountain? Certainly the mountain is much older than the grave would be. But again, in the distant future that difference will diminish with time.

        Then there is the case of say finding a Lucy which can be just as old as the mountains themselves! I don’t think FF was tying the words old and new to datable objects for these very reasons. At some point, such labels would lose their luster and no longer hold such meaning, thus rendering the Chase time dependent or time sensitive.

        In that case we need to be looking at places where waterfalls may stop running because of climate change or the next ice age. In 1,000 years might not people consider such one time falls places WWWH if the temperatures they experience are much cooler than the ones we experience today? Is that not the same logic used by searchers who look to glacial records?

        Did FF intend for searchers of the future to have to know current conditions about temperature or where brown trout are fished today in order to find the chest then? I don’t think so. Aside from the most extreme of natural disasters which might change the geography rather drastically and in a sudden manner, I don’t think FF intended for anyone, now nor 1,000 years from now to have to know much more about anything else than that in order to find his chest.

        Otherwise, leaving the Chase to such susceptible changes may easily render the entire adventure moot should such simple changes be permitted to render the Chase impossible. We very much tend to live in the here and now, but I don’t think FF set up the Chase to live an equally short span of time.

        And I realize I have just rambled on much longer than I had intended but I hope these points are taken well. All IMO as always.


        • I think we have an advantage being in the here and now with regards to the Chase.

          Just because f might have geared that missing quote towards geography doesn’t mean he officially left out other reasons why it may be tougher to find the treasure centuries later.

          If one asked him if he ruled out ”hints of riches new and old” from his missing quote I think he would say ‘I didn’t say that’.

          For all we know, hints of riches could be geared to a comprehensive knowledge of geography.

        • How about old and new memories? If one fishes a lake, they make memories at that time. Later they come back with children and make new memories fishing the same lake. Then years later they come back to that same lake with grandchildren and make new memories. {That is one form of riches new and old} Then there are those places where we make those memories… some older than others. {Multiple layers and meanings in what he says – MOO}
          Again… this is only what I think Forrest – may – have meant in the 1st stanza and would not suggest in the slightest that it is fact. I am only basing my assumptions here off of other assumptions I have made about Forrest and how he thinks and feels, from what I have read in his stories. That added in with my own life experience etc. My thoughts on this are therefore just ‘hearsay’, but sharing those thoughts and enjoying hearing yours and those of all the other searchers… the diversity of which is amazing and has gotten me thinking in ways I hadn’t before, as well as at times confirming others were thinking along the same lines I was. In turn, it has helped me toss out solves I thought were good and re-analyse others in a different way. Right or wrong, in MOO, the 1st stanza is at the treasure location… but not talking about the TC, but rather the “riches” of a lifetime – which he added to each time he went “in there” creating new riches and memories while surrounded by physical locations on a map that also represent riches both new and old… and used those locations to map out a course, (experience) for any searcher who wants to, to follow to their own riches new and old. {Whether or not they ever find the TC… the TC just being the incentive to get off the couch so to speak and create those experiences and memories for one’s own self.} Disclaimer: again this is just MOO… {my opinion only}
          ***STAY HEALTHY AND HAPPY EVERYONE!!!!!*** and thanks for hearing me out. 😉

        • FD,

          Without direct clarification from FF we can postulate all day about why he felt the Chase will be more or less difficult in the distant future. Fortunately for us, we won’t be around to have to worry about that!

          I only try to ascertain what I can from the context in which things have been said by FF. Adding to or detracting from them beyond what we ae given is just that, adding to or detracting. Usually there just isn’t adequate context to ascertain a definitive perception of FF’s intent in what he has said. So we are left wondering.

          But I like something sean mentioned that I will get to after I direct some things toward HotL.


          Thanks again for the laughs! 🙂 That was a good pick up. I like your thoughts on memories. I am wondering if, in the context of the Chase, FF has gone ahead and made those new and newer sorts of memories you menton by going back with his children and grandchildren. I imagine he has done so with some places special to him from his own youth. But do you think he has done so with the location of the chest? Do you imagine he has taken anyone else to this location ever? I’m not so sure he has.

          If he hasn’t, I would guess riches new and old don’t refer to memories of the place. They could still refer to other memories but what would such memories have to do with the Chase? So again I am led to something sean has noted…..

          sean says somewhere down below that “And riches is defined as material wealth or valuable natural resources. ”

          I rather like the or portion of this definition and I will tell you why. If you read over my example of applying stanza one to the Sinks waaaaay up above on this page, you will note that I apply the hint of riches new and old line in the context of a valuable natural resource, namely the Popo Agie, or water. While the application is merely an example of what stanza one could mean, I like this take on lines such as hint of riches new and old.

          It provides for an indefinite and everlasting rejuvenation of both riches new and old in the context of the Chase and a possible chest location. But what’s more, it doesn’t lose it’s luster or meaning over time.

          An oil well would be another prime example. The oil itself is fairly old as it took a long time to form an extremely long time ago. But bringing it up to the surface we now only find it anew but give it new purpose. What took millenia to form is now valuable for use.

          So I would guess, like much if not most of the poem, riches new and old may likely have something to do with the geography we should be concerned with in the Chase. I’d be willing to bet the Chase is more geographical in nature than historical.

          One last remark before posting this, while memories are a wonderful idea HotL, I would pick ones that can be repeated over time. Fishing for trout in say a particular river is not guaranteed to be the case in 1,000 years. But taking in the view of the Grand Canyon, or the like, is something more likely to stand the test of time.

          I guess I have a problem with fishing and the Chase in general because of it’s lack of constancy. Nothing about fishing is guaranteed to stand the test of time. Just look at the history of brown trout in the US. They weren’t there when the country was founded or when we were saving the Union. If the Chase were possible 1,000 years ago (and I don’t know that it was but I am asking if there is a relevant quote or interview) then certainly trout could not have played a part in it.

          Does anyone know if FF has ever been asked whether the poem would have worked for the Chase 1,000 years ago? That seems like it would be fairly informative.

          Just some thoughts and all IMO.


          • Maybe “new and old” is an ann-o-gram. 🙂
            I don’t think anagrams play a role in finding the chest, but maybe a hint.
            And hint of riches land owned.
            Easy to see there that he’s talking about trees. Or a forest.
            Maybe the first stanza hints at the general, overall location, the big picture. F does find solace in the solitude of trees…

          • Charlie,

            Thank you for the laughs as well! I like the sound of ann-o-gram!!! 🙂 I agree with you on anagrams. I also like the thought of stanza one pointing toward the general area. The forest part could be a little tricky, but early on that was certainly a consideration. It wasn’t so much stanza one, although “in there” could certainly be a forest, as it was an answer I proposed to the possible riddle in the poem.

            If the riddle is “So why is it that I must go”……I posited he (FF) had to go because he could not stay. This would suggest a place like a National Park or the like. As time has progressed I have strayed away from National Parks due to their restrictive admittance, potential closures (such as the recent ones) and other limitations they place upon the Chase. But national forests don’t necessarily fall into the same boat. Could be!

            I wonder if you might be able to elaborate a little more on the riches new and old in terms of a forest. Were you meaning akin to the example I’ve given of the Sinks? Or were you thinking something different altogether? Trees could definitely be that sort of natural resource.

            I also know there has been chatter on box elders from some ATF source. Are there known locations of these trees in the searchable area? Anyone have a map?

            Just some thoughts and all IMO.


          • Sorry Ann, I used my name instead of my “handle”.
            I always thought of new and old as trees. At the time, around 2012 or so, a lot of discussions on trees. There was an ATF by f that referenced the usage of paper, (I’m not at the right computer right now, someone could help me out), anyway, I just saw a lot of info being exchanged regarding trees, and knowing f’s, I’ll say admiration for them, along with Eric Stoane reverence for wood, it just kind of stuck with me.
            I see the poem very differently then most, I see the numbers, so when I break down that one line, And “h” in “t” of riches new and old, I looked for a word, that is actually a word, that starts with “T”, that when adding an “h” next to the “t” would give me a word also. So, riches new and old became “tree”. Add the “h” for three.
            “H” in “t” of tree.
            For me, and I know you probably would want to stay clear of this, but for me, the first stanza offers me a start for the chase by f, when he was sick, and gives up the seconds of a coordinate.
            But when all is said and done with the poem, the first stanza is an intro to a general area.
            I also consider Eric Sloane and his “seek-no-further” tree as a possible end spot. That type of surrounding.
            As far as national forest and the like, I’m pretty much stayed away from there, but I believe f answers that question with a hint in the book, page 138. Since I also believe that a “bell” is in play.
            From another post of your’s about time, I’ve asked that question quite a few times. It’s a revealing question, “if someone 1000 years ago just had the poem, could they find the spot?”
            When thinking why it’s harder for a future searcher because things possibly change, and f has said as much, kind-of, in an ATF, he was also asked this,
            • Q2) Are you ever fearful your special spot has lost its charm? Could it? In The Thrill of the Chase (pg 125) you mention how some of your most memorable spots have seen strangers cast their own hooks into them. Could strangers do that to the place where the chest rests, or do you feel your special spot will always be secure in solitude?
            I am almost umbilically attached to the spot, and as I approach 89 years my desire to be there is still strong. The immediate landscape will probably remain about the same for as long as time has to go.
            So as far as landscape goes, not much change. So, where, at this time, is a place that we can fairly easily get to, that is not going to be overtaken by civilization?
            Forest, mountains, accessible, legal?
            The Bureau of Land Management.
            The map is getting smaller. Of course, searcher in the past would know nothing, but I think they could still find the spot.
            We have to remember that knowing there are 9 clues is “outside” information, something we truly do not need to know.

            End of rambling, sorry.:)

          • poisonivy,

            No worries! Still love the ann-o-gram remarks!

            I very much wonder if the Chase was possible 1,000 years ago. I take it there are no ATFs that may shine some light on that.

            The tree idea is not bad. I am not so sure about the numbers and braking the words down as you have.

            There is of course the obvious reference to some sort of wood later on in the poem. So it makes sense that “in there” may refer to a certain wood. Se what I did there avoiding referencing wood as a single tree or an entire forest?

            I have just this evening, stumbled upon a bit of previously unknown info (to me anyway) that has me considering a more interconnected take on the seemingly separate lines or clues in the poem. And it has taken me to an unlikely area in terms of where’d I’d prefer not to look. But the area Is compelling. Guess I have some new exploring to do!

            All IMO.


    • Ann, I understand your concern with dating things new and old in the future and how that will be harder to do.

      But, I believe f has said something like the treasure will be tougher to find in the future. I couldn’t find the quote yet. Maybe that is the reason why or part of the reason.

      • Fundament Design and Ann –
        Please forgive me for this, but I have a bit of a twisted mind and things just strike me a certain way at times…

        “I understand your concern with dating things new and old…”

        I am glad that I am married and have gotten past the whole dating thing… new or old… 😉 Again I apologize… just struck me funny in the moment and my OCD forced me to comment.
        Hang in there!!!

        • HotL,

          Hahahahaha! Most hilarious and well taken! A beautiful example of context and punnery! And a great example of intent vs. perception. Thanks for the laughs 🙂 All IMO. And no need to apologize for pointing out the amusing.


        • Lol, I think Bowmarc is getting a lot better at this then when he first started. Database up and running? Wait ’till you get really good at this, then all the confusion starts.

  73. All,

    Riches can only be a noun, therefore it is one of those nouns that we cannot ignore or one of those words that are less important than the one word that is more important than some of the others, as Forrest has said in regards to the key word in the poem. And riches is defined as material wealth or valuable natural resources. So riches new and old could be in reference to the items in the chest which represent material wealth and the valuable natural resource that is the area and or special place that the treasure resides at or within.

    Now take that thought and apply it to the following featured Q & A from March 22 2017:

    Dear Forrest,

    You often say imagination is more important than knowlege. Using your imagination, what do you think your hidden ‘Treasure Chest’ would be saying, if it could talk? Do you think it likes where it is at? Is it enjoying the weather? Does it feel lonely? Is it anxious to be found? or just what might it be thinking?

    ~thanks, Jenny


    Thanks for misspelling knowledge for me. I am sure the treasure chest relishes her guardianship of the rich objects that are concealed in her care, and over which she stands sentinel. They are still in hibernation, but will soon waken as the spring warmth gestures for the Long Tailed Ermine to start turning back into weasels, and the bears start peeking out. I think the gold will again become alert to the tromp and vibrations of hiking boots. Are they hopefully anticipating? I don’t know. f

    So as he says in the above response: rich objects that are concealed in her care, and over which she stands sentinel.

    Was this Forrest suggesting that riches new and from the first stanza is the items in the chest and the location?

    Just something to consider.


    • Seannm
      You present a rich/valuable line of thinking.
      My take on his comments here: f refers to “rich objects” – hmmm… not riches or treasures or trove etc. Most of what is in the chest is gold in one form or other… but each form is in the form of something of historical note. i.e. gold dust from the California ’49ers days, Mayan gold beads, nose rings, gold nuggets, gold coins, gold frogs etc… To me, they all have historical significance (different from each other). Each of the gold items in their current forms would lose value (mostly historical) should they be melted down or changed from their current form. That would seem to hold true for the other items in the TC.
      With that in mind… we are told that Forrest often uses multiple meanings for something he says – riches new and old would therefore logically fit what is in the chest… but he calls them “objects” and when modified with “rich” I take that again to be the form the object is in – therefore its historical context is what makes that object rich. Just like a person’s experiences/knowledge etc. in life makes and forms them into something more valuable – people coming in all forms like the coins, beads, nuggets, frogs etc… each person gains in value as their environment shapes them.
      Right, wrong or indifferent, that is how I like to imagine what f was saying… and I do imagine that he is talking about the location of the TC when he mentions “in there” and believe he is alluding to both the TC and life and the majesty of location around the hiding spot… He does reference the contents of the chest… but if the value of the contents was his focus, I believe he would have referred to them as something other than “objects” and though he later uses the word ‘gold’ IMO he is still thinking “objects” which would seem to put less emphasis on the contents of the chest as being the riches new and old.
      He gives 9 clues to find the treasure in the poem (beginning in the 2nd stanza IMO) so why would he need to “hint” about something he was giving clues too? I just like the idea that he is hinting at other riches we will discover along the way. Riches we will not have to “hide” from others to protect them… but rather riches that we too can go boldly in and out of “there” at any time with.
      (Sorry if I am rambling and not expressing my thought process on this very well.)

    • Sean said- Was this Forrest suggesting that riches new and from the first stanza is the items in the chest and the location?
      Not sure if you meant to leave out the word “old” after the word and. I’m assuming you are suggesting the riches in the tc are the new and the natural resource(s) in the area are old.

      Also, when you used the word “suggesting” as in, was this f suggesting that riches new and…you are essentially using the word “hint” like f did in the poem.


      a slight or indirect indication or suggestion.
      “he has given no hint of his views”


      suggest or indicate something indirectly or covertly.

      • Fundy,

        I did mistakenly omit “old”

        I believe we would all agree that anything outside of the poem may only be considered a hint that helps with the clues, so yes I am suggesting that that featured Q & A between Jenny and Forrest was a possible hint as to what riches new and old could possibly be: the treasure and the location it is at or within.

        I know that you and I disagree on the first stanza being either a hint or clue, but we do both agree that it is important. I personally interpret the first stanza as information we might not fully understand until we first understand where warm waters halt, and that may be why Forrest calls it the “first” clue, but the first stanza may in-part be telling us what the poem will be pointing us towards, the treasure and it’s location, therefore, I can understand why you may view the first stanza as a hint.

        So to be clear, I can understand why you and many others view the first stanza as something other than a clue, and precisely why I have not said that you are wrong, only that we disagree. I just believe that the nine sentences are the nine clues and that is just my personal bias based on my experiences and interpretations not factual proof.


        • Sean, I did quote you on a phrase from the poem. So, that’s the context of the point I meant.

          F suggesting that riches new and old.

    • Seannm,

      Sure riches means of value… It also means of knowledge.
      Note in the Q&A you posted, Fenn thanks Jenny for misspelling knowledge.
      The idea of riches can be considered; rich in knowledge- new and old. I mean, one major reason Fenn claims he invented the challenge was to influence future generations.

      For example; if Fenn is hinting of something that has been yet its end draws near… WWsH can relate to snow, ice, glaciers… While in a 1000 years they might be gone, there remains will be present.
      A lesson for today and tomorrow and future geologist types?
      As he stated in the book… All if us are environmentalist to some degree. What is more presious that water itself.

      I get that many adhere to the idea of keeping it simple, but I have to wonder if simplistic is overrated.
      We hear riches in a treasure hunt, and automatically think of value vs. wealth.
      I’m not sure if many know the difference.

      • Some over simply and some over complicate.

        It boils down to…can one follow one’s theory down to a few steps in the Rocky Mountains somewhere.

        • FD,

          With all Fenn has stated about how he looked up words… Every word was deliberate… Risky to discount any words, and a need to decipher the clues (the words and phrases) is more difficult than simple. And all is presented in poem form.
          Plain English doesn’t say use the popular definitions… Imo plain English means the same as; knowing Bible verses, riddles Latin will not assist…

          Over simplifying right from the get go is just as bad as over complicating.

          LOL… How many times does he say folks don’t understand the words they use everyday?

          It doesn’t matter how many step you take to get somewhere because if you don’t know where you’re going any path will lead you there, right?

          • Seeker,

            You make an interesting point in that plain English may not mean to use popular definitions. I sort of liken that to not understanding what those clues that follow the first clue mean until you have nailed down the correct starting point. And once one does then what “no place for the meek” or “heavy loads and water high” might make more sense. But I believe many make pre-conceived ideas as to what those things might be and go out look for those things on a map then try reverse engineer or force fit a HOB or WWWH around that, which is backwards IMO.


          • Seeker, you said- “ Plain English doesn’t say use the popular definitions…”

            I get that but that is just a generalization, or an example of over-simplification, imo.

            It’s when one gets into the specifics that you start to understand some of the poem. That’s because we have some of the definitions of poem words from f himself.

            “Tarry scant” comes to mind. F defined that and even said what else could it mean? And that word phrase, I would give you, would be one of the top contenders for me in having multiple meanings.

            We have f’s definition of the poem word “hint”.

            We have f telling us how to properly use the poem word “the”. Therefore, I don’t see how anyone can say that the poem words “hint” and “the” don’t mean how everyone uses them, if properly used. Give us an example of otherwise.

            Then, someone will say f might not have properly used those two words. Really??

            So, I’m not saying every word in the poem prbly uses a common meaning. To suggest that I have said that is just an over-simplification of what I said. It’s some of the words that f has defined or told us how to use the word properly.

            Btw, wherever the above talk about the big picture and some of you thinking it means needing the rest of the poem to figure out biwwwh.

            I don’t think f meant the rest of the whole poem. I think he meant what comes before biwwwh in the poem.

          • I think I understand the points each of you are making here and both are very valid.
            It is true though that not all words are necessarily used in a way that is “common” to us now that may have been common in the past.

            Even the words “Tarry (and) scant” were used only on a rare occasion when I was young… but hadn’t heard them for a long, long while until I came across Forrest’s poem. A good example (though there are plenty out there) would be the use of the word “Master”. The “common” use would bring to mind, someone who owned a slave, or maybe was at the top of their profession, such as a ‘master chef’.
            When I was young I often heard the term master as used below (copied from an internet search).

            “Master (form of address) – › wiki › Master_(form_of_address)
            Master is an English honorific for boys and young men. Contents. 1 Origin of the term; 2 Current usage in the United Kingdom; 3 Current usage in the United …”

            Though used in the U.S. in the past… it was far more common in Canada – where I lived for a while – and of course England.

            Many words used ‘commonly’ in the 40’s and 50’s (and not just slang terms) are no longer used, or rarely used, with the same ‘common’ definition. I believe that there are ways Forrest would use words that we don’t use that way typically anymore. I don’t think he would have looked up meanings of words because he didn’t know them… but maybe to see if some of the old definitions still held true enough to what he wanted to say, to be able to use them.

            Just recently a searcher made a comment (not directly related to the following, but prompted the thought process) that caused me to revisit the words ‘marvel gaze’ and wow… suddenly I was looking at those two words with a different perspective because of how those words had been used to describe something I would consider a very interesting “blaze”.

            I have heard comments about a marvel gaze because they see the treasure, or a fantastic panoramic view etc… and had subscribed to both of those myself up until I revisited those words tied into something I had been researching for a while. It still maybe completely wrong, but it makes me think one cannot just assume the definition of a word is obvious… or the only way it can be used to paint a picture with words (so to speak).

          • HotL, you said- It still maybe completely wrong, but it makes me think one cannot just assume the definition of a word is obvious… or the only way it can be used to paint a picture with words (so to speak).
            I would remind you I’m talking about just some of the words in the poem and not all of them in regards to being able to pinpoint what the word means.

            I used the two words “hint” and “the” for example. One of those words is used in the first stanza and the other word “the” you used 17 times in your write up. I think everyone that read your write up exactly understands the meaning each time you used the word “the”. That’s what I’m talking about.

            I didn’t use words like “marvel gaze” as an example because I can understand how that can be interpreted in some different ways.

            I wouldn’t have used “tarry scant” either until we saw f define what that meant to him and he said what else could it mean. So now, it’s on my list of words that we can know the meaning of.

            No one has been able yet to give a different (than the universally known definition/usage) definition/usage of either word- “hint, the” like I asked above.

            If one thinks they can cherry pick a situation where they can ignore the one definition of the word hint in the Chase and imagine that it has other meanings, then that isn’t precise and leads to the poem being unsolvable, imo.

          • HotL, I’ll remind you that I’m talking about just some of the words in the poem that we all can ascertain the meaning of.

            I used the two words “hint” and “the” as examples. One of those words is in the first stanza and f has defined what “hints” mean in the Chase.

            The other word “the” you used 17 times in your write up and I think everyone who read it understood exactly what you meant each time you used the word “the” as that word applied to the sentence you wrote.

            What I’m saying is if one can ignore a word definition from a word like “hint” than that puts one on a path of not being precise and ultimately makes the poem unsolvable.

          • ^ “if one can ignore a word definition …”

            This should read “if one can ignore “the” word definition…”

      • Seeker,

        Is what you are alluding to possible, of course it is, but that is not how I view this.

        Lets look again at the line just prior to the poem:

        So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure:

        Why does he write “end of my rainbow and the treasure:”

        Why not just say “will lead to the treasure”

        Is that line alluding or hinting at riches new and old, the location and the treasure?

        But, as I believe you may be suggestion, the location or end of his rainbow, might be a metaphorical suggestion that is his overarching message to the world that water or something else is important, thus an environmental message to us all.

        So it could be as you say, and as I am suggesting, that Forrest is hinting at in that featured Q & A, that riches new and old could be referring to those things we now treasure, monetary wealth, and those things we used to treasure, our valuable natural resources.

        If that makes sense to you.


    • All,
      I think you are on to something because if we simplify (and we all know Forrest is not simple) we can also think relatively speaking, the chest is old, the middle eastern gold coins are old (12th century) the amulets are even older. Forrest also put recently made (new, newer) gold eagles and double eagles.
      Couldn’t we just think he is simply telling us about the contents in the chest and the chest itself, as he was going to his favorite spot?
      Anyways, I’m a simple person and I like to think When Forrest tells us to simplify, he may mean it.
      Just in my opinion.
      I think most everyone’s thinking about the search are way over my head. Good luck out there and be safe and respectful.
      Rick Lasttolook

      • Rick,

        An astute observation Rick! And well put! The best rendering of that part of the poem I have seen to date! I had never taken inventory of the treasure itself so I was not aware of the ages of its contents. Keep up the simplicity approach. It tends to be a good one. What do you make of the term halt? And do you see any connection between WWWH and the first stanza? All IMO.


  74. I think the line just prior to the poem must be taken literally. You must find a rainbow before you will find the treasure. I’ve found a rainbow (half circle arches, one on top of another) and a ray in a bow image, both within 2 or 3 hundred feet of each other.

    The “hint of riches new and old” is not referring to just any riches that you can identify. It is referring to a “hint” or symbol of monetary riches. The hint of new monetary riches is the dollar symbol, $. The hint of old monetary riches is the cent symbol. Both of these symbols can be found after you have followed the clues in the final search area, IMO. All the speculation about what the riches new and old might be is fruitless, IMHO.

    • Yep…
      However I think there’s a more spiritual connection, possibly to the “rainbow people”

      • I don’t know who the “rainbow” people are. I’ve never seen a
        leprechaun; I hope I never see one. But I can tell you anyhow,
        I’d rather see than be one. All IMO.

    • Are these symbols you mentioned provided by nature, i.e., natural shapes, not man-made?

      • TA-
        The first rainbow was man made before the chase started. The second rainbow (ray-in-bow) must be drawn per poem directions by the searcher using either a darn good map or GE.

        The symbols, cent and dollar, already partially existed but must be completed by the searcher by drawing the vertical lines related to those symbols. Those two symbols overlap each other. Think of it this way: If you draw a dollar symbol, $, you already have a cent symbol within it. Does that make sense?

        FF uses variations of that last “sentence” as a hint many times. And “ants” is a key word in the solve, if you know the right answers, IMO.

        • It’s the end of Forrest’s rainbow, where he keeps his secret, and because he went there alone only his cryptic words can lead us to that location and the treasure.

          And the blaze may just be that which marks the end of his rainbow.


  75. I think hint is actually hent which is to take by force implying that for instances the land was taken by force from the native Americans and perhaps the Spanish or others….
    The land itself being a treasure as well as the natural resources such as mining and so forth. Of course it doesn’t help that much narrowing anything down knowing that most of the west was contested and blood spilled as conquerors through out the ages is not a new concept.. and like everything else the word hint may be just be inserted there because it flows well. Hint could also mean sparce….

    • Mosby
      you are so right that there are other ways to interpret hint – not just it referencing a clue of some sort.

      a hint of Vanilla… a hint of spring… many ways to bring up images, emotions etc. that even go beyond ‘sparse’, yet still relate to that definition as well.

      I still subscribe to the idea that f was simply introducing us to the search in the first stanza… and then the actual clues begin in the 2nd stanza.
      I don’t see the words; “hint”, “riches” or even the word “the” as being beneficial to the search. But that is just me.

      • A hint of vanilla means the same as a slight indication of vanilla.

        I still haven’t seen anyone mention a different way to interpret the word hint. If you can, then you get to find where f has utilized the word hint in some other fashion than meaning hint. And remember, he takes others literally.

        “ I still subscribe to the idea that f was simply introducing us to the search in the first stanza… and then the actual clues begin in the 2nd stanza.”

        Then how do you figure out the following?…

        Dear Forrest,

        You tell us that we should find “where warm waters halt” before trying to solve any of the other clues. Imagining that we haven’t seen the rest of the poem, and all we have to go on is:

        a. “begin it where warm waters halt” and

        b. “somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe”

        Do you think that we can confidently determine the starting place for your treasure trail? Steve

        No, if all you have to go on are those two clues you cannot proceed with confidence. Look at it this way. If you were making a cake and you left out a few ingredients, would you achieve your goal?

        • You look at what your WWWH is… is there an associated HOB that makes sense? Do the other clues naturally follow with landmarks in your search area?

          If so, one has a reasonable solve. IMO

          I actually found a HOB that led me to the WWWH of my solve and once I began taking my canyon down… other things just fit into place naturally without trying to force things to fit.

          That is what has led me to believe the 1st stanza is more introduction than anything… although… in contemplating some of f’s statements over the years, I do think it may ‘hint’ of the nature of the blaze – but as always MOO {my opinion only}

          • In my current solution HoB is so obscure that it would not be possible to find it before finding WWWH, which can only be found with help from the first stanza.

          • Yes, I also feel the first stanza hints at the blaze.

            But I think the finder will figure out the first clue before hoB from many of f’s statements…Chronological.

    • You mean pillage the village!
      Treasures bold (anagram) = adulterer boss.

      Just kidding. (-;

  76. Something to consider……I am an Okie and like our Texas neighbors we have a colorful way of speaking. It is not just the use of the words but a cadence if you may. So respectfully Mr FF has an interesting way of inserting words. I think particular attention to odd words in the poem is important. Some are there for rhyme but I would not discount any of them. Since moving back to the okla farm I have regressed again. Even within family units we have our own language. For example In my family We call kittens bitties and cats boebeys, it gets weirder after that…you just have to grow up in rural tx or ok to understand.FF having an educator as a parent may have surpressed some of his slang though..

    It is my opinion that he did not waste words on anything to include the 1st stanza. I think he relied heavily on a Thesaurus too.

    If I were to construct a poem of this detail I would have formulated a list of words that had double meanings i wanted to insert that would rhyme. Then worked on the flow.

    • Mosby
      I agree completely – and is why I think “marvel gaze” is not just talking about a scene one is viewing, or what one might do upon seeing the chest.

      The marvel gaze IMO is also a hint as to what the Blaze is… found an amazing connection with very similar words to something that I was wondering if it could be considered the Blaze… which actually tied in with some other interesting choices of words f used in the last two stanzas.

      MOO (my opinion only) – the last two stanzas help one identify the blaze… though as you have stated above… there will definitely be dual meanings.

      • Every word should be considered to have greater agency than it might normally have. Fenn cautions not to discount any of the nouns, but many nouns can be verbs and vice versa. Consider: “I can keep my secret where and (secret) hint of riches ….” , in which hint is clearly a noun along with where. Tricky. It adds to the layering of the poem.

  77. All,

    Report from Santa Fe with Lorene Mills 5-13-11 (same interview that Forrest gives his advice) Forrest says: “You can find the chest with with just the clues, but there are hints in the book that will help you with the clues”

    2013 New Zealand audio, (the same with the first mention that the first clue is BIWWWH) Forrest says: “in my book there are several hints that won’t take you to the treasure, but they will help you with the clues that are in the poem”

    CBC radio 3-4-13: Forrest says: “The clues are in the poem and my book has hints that will help a person with the clues. The book won’t take you to the treasure chest, but the book will help you with the clues that are in the poem.

    Forrest writes: The clues are in the poem, but there are hints in the book.

    Forrest writes in TTOTC: So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure: There are also other subtle clues sprinkled in the stories.

    So per Forrest’s own words the hints are in the book and the clues are in the poem.

    And as Forrest has said, per the Richard Eeds show in 2015: A clue will point you towards the treasure chest, and a hint will just help you with the clues.

    Therefore “everything” in the poem will point you towards the chest and those things outside it can only help you with the clues in the poem. But if you are one that believes that the word hint in the poem helps with the clues thus a hint, your right, the word hint does helps with the clue that is the entire first stanza that it is “part of”.

    Don’t be a Phil and oversimplify the clue.


    • I wonder if the hints are only recognizable if you have solved a clue. I would even go a bit further and suggest that anything outside the poem might interfere with your ability to find the clues within the poem. I’m not sure if the book is required, but I still can’t wait to read it. Hope you and yours are well, Sean.

      • Makes sense that a hint can only be recognizable once you have solved a clue. Then again you won’t know for sure that you have solved a clue until you find the chest. Quite the conundrum.

        • I believe recognizing the hint for what it is in relation to a clue is likely one of the things that helps one to know that they are on the right path…

          But others have maybe not left that path when they needed too and weren’t able to get closer than the 500′.

    • And using the info of 9 clues is outside the poem.
      Nowhere in the poem does it say it has 9 clues. Knowing hints help with clues is also outside the poem.
      A hint could be anywhere.
      The hints will help to recognize, learn, identify, etc… clues.
      If you are trying to find hints to help with clues, you are working “outside” of the poem.
      If you are finding answers to WWWH, and the blaze in a subtle way in the poem, this is also wrong, and cannot be according to f.
      This leads to solving the poem, and solving clues are two entirely different things.
      So which way do you want to go?
      Are you trying to solve for clues?
      If so, good luck, but remember the only thing you need is the poem, and that means no outside info is really needed. So that means also that the hints and clues are not really needed.
      Or are you trying to solve the poem, in which case, why are you worried about hints and clues?

      We all know that the first clue is line 5. If it is possible to be solved, and all we need is the poem, then show me the words or whatever in the poem that tell us WWWH. And remember, the answer cannot be found in any “subtle” way, since the poem is in the book.
      Featured Question with Forrest: Subtle Clues in The Thrill of the Chase
      November 12, 2015
      Mr. Fenn,
      You have said to read the poem and read TTOTC to help solve for the 9 clues. We all know there are many options to choose from regarding, Brown, hoB, wwh,and blaze hinted at in the book. My question is, “In the book, do you also, in a more subtle way, tell which is the correct answer to one or all of the above?” ~BW
      No I don’t madam, sorry. f

      Just a friendly reminder, because of the way you worded your post, knowing there are 9 clues is information that is outside the poem. Knowing that hints will help with some of the clues is info that is outside the poem. Knowing that following the clues to get to the chest is info that is outside the poem. Knowing that all we need is the poem is info outside the poem. The only info that is not outside the poem, and the only info needed is the poem.
      So now, are you going to waste time in trying to find hints and answer clues, or are you going to try to find your niche in solving the poem? Isn’t solving the poem all you need?
      Look at it this way, some searchers arrived at the first two clues but didn’t know anything. Some searcher or searchers may have the first four clues but f doesn’t know. If f doesn’t know, fair assumption that the searchers don’t know. So, of all this time, it is most likely that not one searcher, anywhere, has solved one clue. Not to the satisfaction that we as searchers need in order to say we have solved a clue. If searchers have showed up at a clue and have known nothing of it, to us, that is not solving a clue. Remember this:
      Featured Questions and Answers on The Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt with Forrest Fenn
      May 1, 2019
      • 19)How will I know if I have the clues right before my family and me drives out to get the treasure?
      You probably won’t

      But yet, we will leave with confidence.

      • poisonivey, you wrote: “Knowing that hints will help with some of the clues is info that is outside the poem. Knowing that following the clues to get to the chest is info that is outside the poem. Knowing that all we need is the poem is info outside the poem.”
        Sounds like you’re playing a game of … “gotcha …” 🙂

        And in so doing, you are putting searchers, including yourself, in a straightjacket, and unnecessarily so.

        To win your game of “gotcha”, you would have to concede that Forrest is a liar. He has confirmed, either in TTOTC or verbally, those comments about hints and clues, even though the comments are outside the poem.

        Do you not believe him?

        Forrest’s verbal comments and TTOTC can assist searcher, given that the poem is so hard. Sounds like you want to punish him for his effort to help searchers …

        I don’t think you, yourself, believe what you have written.

        You further wrote: “We all know that the first clue is line 5.”

        And how do we know that? Because Forrest said so, VERBALLY, after the poem was published.

        So why are you contradicting yourself?

        Ken (in Texas) 🙂

        • I see both of your points, and I appreciate what you’re saying. I would not have known there were nine clues in the poem, until I followed the poem and counted them along the way. So, technically, we would eventually learn that there are nine clues in the poem if we followed it precisely. He has also said that if you only had the poem and did not know to only look in the Rocky Mountains that you wouldn’t be able to follow it to the chest. Now you have me thinking the poem IS a map of the Rocky Mountains. If you are able to identify places and understand why they are correct, then maybe you could leave with enough confidence to go get your felt sole waders wet. Best of Luck

          • F didn’t exactly say that. The question asked of f was about all of the backstory.

          • The thing Rock is his comment of finding the answers to some of the clues in a “subtle” way. The poem doesn’t come out and say that, so another way of finding the answers is needed. If you have answered some of those clues from just the poem, you would have received that answer by “subtle” info you got from the poem. And that, in f’s words, cannot happen.
            F has not given us the answer to WWWH within the book, and if all we need is the poem, then this should show how the poem isn’t about solving clues. It can’t be because if you did have an answer to that clue, from the poem, the poem being in the book, then that would make f a liar.
            Now if you are good with your answer, and know that you violate this ATF, then I’m good with that. So be it. It’s just you do need to address your answer while addressing that ATF. If you are good with it, then I’m good with it. Believe me, I won’t argue, I would just approach with a raised eyebrow…

        • Ken, I’m not. The post was from someone new. To focus on clues or hints when you start out is a year long if not longer rabbit hole of research, you know this!!!
          I am not trying to say to not use any outside info, but more on how to approach the poem and what it may mean to try to solve it.
          Is f lying? I think you know my answer.
          Do I believe that solving the poem is totally different then solving clues, totally.
          And no, this is not a game of “gotcha”. If I intended it to be, I would say “gotcha”. lol.
          Let me try another example.
          Let’s say we both have the correct solve. It is the one solve that finds the chest. You, in this example, used any and all info to get this solve. Me, I just had the poem. Both of us wind up at the same spot.
          The take away, is the fact that I could get to the same place you did, and all I ever had was the poem.
          In seeing the outcome this way, it should allow a searcher to see that finding the spot does not need all this other outside info. In fact, it doesn’t need any of it. That should reveal some insight on how solving this thing involves.
          My solve this way would put me at a spot. I wouldn’t know of any clues until I would see you at the spot and you told me, “hey, there were 9 clues that you followed to get here. While my comment then would be, you didn’t need those 9 clues. With both of us getting the same results, the way you would have solved it all using all your research would all be just confidence builders or confirmation, but the solve would be from the poem when you looked at it.
          You know I don’t think searchers should only use the poem, that’s just ridiculous, but, the implications from just needing the poem says a lot. It puts into perspective of what hints and clues really mean, and what he means by the correct solve will give confidence.
          It’s not a “gotcha”, it’s more of a don’t be a “follower”.
          I know with all of the discussions of memories past that most really need to find and solve clues. I’m saying, that may not be the way to solve. I know you champion the point to point type of solve, following clues. I won’t argue that, nobody knows, right? And really, the clues will show a point to point path, how could it not? But knowing that f said all we need is the poem, tells us that it is f, and only f, that could be contradicting himself, but not really. It’s adding the 9 clues are in the poem comment. It’s what has made this so difficult.
          All he had to say is the he wrote a poem, there it is, now go find the chest. Why say there are clues in the first place? If that were the case, then when someone did solve the poem, they then could say, hey, there are 9 clues within this thing.
          If searchers spend there waking chase minutes by trying to solve clues and hints that they really don’t know if they are clues or hints, that cannot give a positive outcome if trying to find some spot. If searchers try to solve a poem, and do, then they will then be able to reveal what a clue and a hint are. So, IMO Ken, most of the searching community is reading the poem incorrectly if they are focused on solving clues. One reason being that knowing there are clues in the first place is information that you don’t need.
          Don’t get me twisted Ken, I think you need to use as much info as possible, I do, I have what I think are clues solved, I have hundreds of solved hints, if you ask me, all with some pretty good explanations, and if I was to do a write up and tell how to find the spot, it would be lengthy in also answering all the things I think I’ve come across as far as hints and clues, but could all be condensed down to only needing the poem to show how to solve. You want to know about rainbows, coins in the chest, alligators, jokers, bells, string, shadows, place that is dear, how far to walk, nailing down the first clue, what are the clues, hints, etc…etc…etc… no problem. You want to know about finding that one spot, okay, all I need is the poem to show you.
          That is why I post that ATF a lot. If all I need is the poem, obviously the solve would be found in a “subtle” way. And since you can’t get answers to certain clues in such a way, then that means it’s not about clues so much as it’s all about just the poem. If and when you ever write up your solve, and let’s say it is correct, with all the work that you’ve done, you still would only need the poem to use to explain your solve. And IMO, if you cannot do that, if you need some kind of other source of info to prove a solve, then it’s most likely wrong, because then that would make f a liar, and I don’t believe f is a liar in this case. And I know you don’t either.
          As long as you have been doing this, and what you believe is the way to approach this whole thing, this post should get you to at least wonder, or question if you are really considering the proper way to solve this puzzle. I’ve tried to solve clues and find hints to solve clues, and still do, but when I police my own solve, I have to take these ideas of not needing clues seriously. You’re smart Ken, most of this I don’t need to tell you, but maybe I can hint on the need to even think deeper to the point of what an easy solve will be. To everyone, however they approach, all will be the same at the end.

          Sorry about the length of this post, mind wonders when stuck at home…:)

      • Poisonivy,

        I think many have taken the comment “all the information to find the treasure chest is in the poem” to mean ALL of EVERYTHING is within the poem.

        I think this idea in wrong…

        The key words are; “to find” the TC.
        The book was the avenue to present the poem. Within the book it explains there are hint / clues.
        The poem was the avenue chosen to present the clues… Which there are 9.

        No where does Fenn say *all the information* is within the poem… He was very specific to say “find” the treasure.

        I mean, you could interpret the line; and hint of riches new and old, to convey that hints are from the book to help with the clues.

        As time past, it seem to me that “analyzing and thinking” has taken a back seat to this idea that Fenn did or did not *confirm* something to our satisfaction .. when it seems to me many just don’t understand comments, such as the one above.

        • Exactly Seeker. All the info to find the treasure is in the poem, and the poem is a vessel used to present 9 clues, and, f has not given the answer to some of the clues in a “subtle” way in the poem, So either WWWH is answered from info somewhere else besides the poem, or, it’s not info needed to find the treasure.
          We all know that WWWH is important to finding the treasure, so that means that actually solving WWWH from the poem cannot be gained. So, that also means that the poem isn’t used to solve individual clues. At least not all of them. It is exactly what f said it is. An instrument to use to find a spot where there is a treasure he hid. Knowing this “spot” means that you will know where to start to get to that spot. That’s why I also posted this:
          • 19)How will I know if I have the clues right before my family and me drives out to get the treasure?
          You probably won’t
          I don’t need to tell you that a clue or two may only be known if at site. That a solve going from point to point because that is what solving clues with the poem would do is most likely wrong. Or, what happens to those types of solves if there is just one clue that cannot be solved? What happens to solves if just one clue is unsolvable from the poem?
          You know I’ve found letter values, if just one letter is off, let’s say “x” because there is no “x” in the poem, if that letter is off, then the whole thing in my mind is off. I would scrub the whole idea. Just one letter. If I’m a clue solver, if I can’t solve just one clue, then the whole is mute, or I would need a different approach. That is the case with the poem. We all know, that at least one clue will be answered with BotG, not the poem.
          So yes, you are totally right, All of everything is not gained from the poem, just the ability to find the treasure. There may be times that f does not confirm an answer to our satisfaction and that is why we need to analyze and think of the possible alternatives. (or is this is just going to be a 2 horse race?)
          I don’t think so, the community is pretty smart, we can and will figure this all out soon.
          Me personally, I just look at the solve and see that all I need is the poem to explain where to go, and the poem only. Right or wrong, foolish or not, just the poem. And, in hoping it’s close to right, then I would think that if anyone really has a good solve, that all they would only need is the poem also. Because in the end, the solve will be the same no matter, just need the poem. That tells me that setting out to solve clues in order to find the chest is a wrong approach. That the poem will not give all the answers, but gives everyone the opportunity to find the treasure.

    • Seannm, you may want to better analyze the f quotes you used to support your post.

      You said- “ So per Forrest’s own words THE hints are in the book and the clues are in the poem.” (Emphasis mine)

      Nope, f never mentioned “THE” hints are in the book” in any of the f quotes you supplied. Confirmation bias I believe.

      As you have previously acknowledged that you understand the importance to f of the usage of the word “the” versus “a”, it’s the same when f uses other terms instead of “the”-

      “ there are hints in the book…”
      “ in my book there are several hints…”
      “ my book has hints…”
      “ There are also other subtle clues sprinkled in the stories.”

      Since f did not use the terms “THE” hints in any of those quotes, f has not eliminated in any of those quotes that there can be a hint in the poem.

      As I’ve said before…you can’t have it both ways.

      • Im sure they just need more time to think on it, everybody thinks they are right once in a yellow moon

      • LOL, this is way too easy.

        From the Fenn Diagrams:

        Q. Will the subtle clues in the book be explained somewhere, sometime? (Maybe you have a book to be published once the chest is found?)

        A. “The hints in The Thrill of the Chase text will not be made public because they would say more than I want to reveal. Discovering which hints to use is part of the mystery.”

        And of course the hints in the text of TTOTC, aka the book, would say too much as we would then know for certain which ones were in fact correct and not ones our biases believe are right.

        So again THE clues are in the poem, and THE hints are in The Thrill of the Chase book. End of story.

        And I have no need to have it both ways, I have it THE right way. 🙂


        • Seannm,

          If I were you, I wouldn’t pat myself on the back so soon, lol.

          First of all, you weren’t able to refute any of the earlier f quotes, that you posted about and I corrected, were stated by f as “THE” hints like you claimed. Which is what we were talking about.

          Instead, you try to double down by trotting out this other Q&A-

          Q. Will the subtle clues in the book be explained somewhere, sometime? (Maybe you have a book to be published once the chest is found?)

          A. “The hints in The Thrill of the Chase text will not be made public because they would say more than I want to reveal. Discovering which hints to use is part of the mystery.”
          Where you mess up your conclusion from this Q&A happens quickly. That’s because the question quickly focuses only on the hints in the book- “ Will THE subtle clues in THE book…”

          Of course, f has to answer by using the exact, same focused attention on THE hints in THE book as the question SPECIFICALLY asked.

          On the flip side of the coin with the earlier f quotes you brought up, you see f only say THE clues are in the poem because that’s the only place where we find them.

          So again THE clues are in the poem, and THE hints aren’t required to be in just The Thrill of the Chase book from the evidence shown. End of story, not less you got more….

  78. Maybe line 1 is true at the first clue. For example, an action performed or something significant from that point. Maybe many people go alone in there, but HE took his treasures with him. Others who enter may not have had as much to offer or something. Maybe it is a place where secrets are known to be kept: Church, Mountains, North of Santa Fe, etc. Maybe, with what we know he hid, he is hinting at other riches that can still be found in the area or that he found himself in the area.

    The first stanza does seem to express extreme turmoil more than the other stanzas. He is alone with his treasures and hinting(hoping and praying) of riches beyond what he already knows.

  79. In my recent solve which hopefully I will get to go this summer I followed the directions in the poem. When I got to the place I was going the other hints made sense. In fact one of them surprised me and caught me off guard. Now does that mean I am correct who knows till I get there if I can ever get there. In my solve the key was using a good map. I have a degree in cartography and only use Google earth preliminarily. I don’t claim I’m right at all I’m just saying it looks promising…….will let u know

    • Mosby,

      That’s how my solve worked for me… suddenly hints (words) took on meaning I hadn’t even considered. Didn’t have to force anything and found that the “hints” as people have been discussing weren’t as I would have expected… but rather something ‘new’.
      Hope you are right on your solve… as I likely will never have the chance to do BOTG

    “You have said to read the poem and read TTOTC to help solve for the 9 clues. We all know there are many options to choose from regarding, Brown, hoB, wwh,and blaze hinted at in the book. My question is, “In the book, do you also, in a more subtle way, tell which is the correct answer to one or all of the above?” ~BW
    No I don’t madam, sorry. f
    This statement above, posted by poisonivey, sorta reminds one of how we can see subtlety as clear as this “Mud Comment”.
    Dear Forrest,
    You have said in the cold months to wait for the snow to melt and the mud to dry. Considering much of the Rockies are subject to random and frequent bouts of precipitation, when is the mud ever dry? ~Thanks, I’m Inohury
    Ha, elementary question my dear Inohury.
    A friend’s six year-old daughter told me that mud can never dry because if it did it wouldn’t be mud anymore.
    Please don’t ask me to argue the point. f”
    Sherlock Holmes would undoubtedly approve of the distinction between a hint and a clue, however some here, muddy the waters, so if the sunshine’s on the muddy waters where Indulgence rests, could we say that there may be a quote that fits the occasion, like Ashes to Ashes, dust to dust, and your name is “Mudd”. I decided to dust that one off the shelf or the lege here, I hope you will forgive me for that Martin Humor.
    Please don’t ask me to argue the point of realizing the difference, unless you think playing in the mud is fun, in that case, Paddy Cakes… to ya.
    I think a few searchers are becoming converts to the Idea that this Poem is and always was about a spiritual message, I have said in the past I know where Forrest got the terms WWWH, but seeing how he repurposed and redefined each of the 9 clues requires seeing the big picture, which is IMHO the well being of our spirit, do we worship the creation or do we worship the Creator, this might be censored very quickly, and if it is I do not think Winter Thoughts II, Amazing Scrapbook Reveal will see daylight before Indulgence is found.

    Seeing the first stanza here, 4 lines to show us a foreshadowing of what is Big Picture, imagine the third line in our frame of reference, what I like to call the bottom line or the southern border, “it’ IMO as his pledge, “I can keep my secret where” thus the framing the “Architects Design” drawn as a hint of what is outlined, and what was and is to follow.

    Seems little attention is paid to the possible relationships between ff’s Scrapbooks and the first clue, I think three of the most important words, WHERE WARM WATERS is clearly stated here along with what WWWH is, he leans on his mothers sweet memory so this is from
    It is called affectionately “Pansies on the West Fork” listen with your heart:

    Out of the photo, there on the close right is where my mom had a pansy garden that she planted and tenderly tended each summer day. She died while sitting in their Airstream motor home just 10’ north of this photo. A tall pine tree guarded her pansies. The flowers are gone now, and so is my dad. It would be kind of like a toast-of-thanks if I could go there next summer and pour warm water on roots of that pine tree. But I don’t even know if it’s still there.f”

    DO I NEED TO CAPITALIZE where warm waters are?

    Plants and especially trees, perhaps close ones to his mom, may need more light shed, sorta like tears on them? Anyway, some of the most beautiful trees I have ever seen are in the White House Lawn, and some astounding trees with “roots, if you look here you might see some in the background, the battlefield is named after Shiloh Methodist Church, a small log church near Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee.


    • MOO – I see this post as Rabbit Hole Central. Tooooo many things that could be taken as “hints” to the poem and I don’t think Forrest was looking to “give away the farm” so to speak when posting this.

      “If the log building in the background were to disappear you might see the West Fork of the Madison River confluencing with the Madison River. That’s where it is.”
      That’s WWWH? – or – That’s where the TC is?

      “Mike and I were on our way to the 1st annual Charlie Russell Riders fest-out on the Sun River in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area. It was an annual event, and still is. The fishing was good, but I didn’t go back again because there were too many people, too much talking, too much drinking, too much eating, and too much of several other things I didn’t much care for. ”
      No place for the meek? He never went back here again… so not part of the chase IMO.

      “…Ennis Lake, not too many miles away. ”
      Not too far, but too far to walk?
      The example you gave of WW’s as well? Among other things in this post that might suggest ties to the poem, but to me look like just a bunch of dead end holes…

      “The flowers are gone now, and so is my dad. It would be kind of like a toast-of-thanks if I could go there next summer and pour warm water on roots of that pine tree. “But I don’t even know if it’s still there.”” Not some place he apparently went when he placed the TC it would seem.

      Maybe I misunderstood the point you were trying to make here, but I don’t see where this SB suggests it has verified the WWWH in the poem. (Capitalized or otherwise). It would also suggest that anywhere someone is watering the ‘roots’ of a tree would be WWWH, which doesn’t set any one location apart from any others.

      Sorry, but maybe I just don’t get the line of reasoning you are trying to present…

      • TT does come off that way sometimes, but I can see a little of where he is going. And you are right L, most any and everything can be construed to be a hint in one form or another. The post does have some points to consider.
        The third line in the poem is a “turning-point” of thought if you will. We are all looking for this chest, but what if this poem, and the clues within, put you at a spot where something else is. Well, 8 clues anyway, the last clue to solve would take you to the chest. But, as TT points out, there are things that match up with the poem and outside info that makes one think in a certain way. We can debate all day long, about what his “secret” is, but again, in the book, he tells us of his “secret” plan. So, in a sense, we know what he means by his secret. And, if that is the case, you could make an argument that the chase is really about finding a bell. That’s what TT is doing here with WWWH. And, it COULD be a possible. I don’t think so, but in using all the info we can to narrow things down, it’s not something that is out of the question. This is a somewhat form of the architecture of the chase. There has to be concluding evidence somewhere to give us that confidence. That is what I get from his post. I think it’s a pretty good post. It should get searchers thinking of other possibilities to confirm there line of solve thinking.
        Also, we all know there is probably some form of hints ion the SB’s, his post is just saying to not forget about using all info available. At least that is what I see.
        Lastly, to translate how f speaks when we are given these ATF’s. How he subtly describes things, and how a lot of what he presents could be taken with multiple points of view. Do you believe that he made two trips in the same day, both in the afternoon? I could argue that he didn’t, and both of us would go ’round in circles with our points.
        How about if we have a long walk or short walk? I could argue a good point for the long walk. And that’s the thing, when f says these things, he knows exactly what he’s doing and saying. If he wants us to think just one way, he will give the answer to what he is trying to say. Example, E. Sloane always marrying housekeepers. We could think all day long that he liked the ladies at the local hotels that clean the rooms. That in some way, E. Sloane like ladies that kept the house nice and clean. In fact, that is what everyone would think, but since f gave us the punch-line, we know that E. Sloane didn’t think that way and is just joking. That his ex-wives kept his house.
        It all holds true to what f conveys, he knows things can be taken different ways, and that is just part of the architecture of the chase. And that is a point that I think TT is trying to make.
        And lastly he referenced my name, and that always gets brownie points in my book. 🙂

  81. All,

    Good morning, here is a what if for you all.

    What if the first stanza is from the perspective of Forrest going alone into that place that a person would not normally go, that isolated location his “secret where”. And that precise point in space, from which he went “alone in there”, is the physical embodiment that “from there” represents. Go back and read the final paragraph in the chapter “Surviving Myself” and think about this idea, and the words he writes in that paragraph.

    a few paraphrased mentions that stand out to me:

    Sometimes when it wasn’t too cold

    just a block north of our house

    It took guts to go in there when it was dark and no moon

    I still remember the sense of accomplishment I felt

    I wasn’t even afraid

    And recall Forrest said, in the Lure interview: “I don’t know that anybody has told me the nine clues in the right order”

    It’s possible that while nine clues are in consecutive order as we view and or read them in the poem, the order may be different once we decipher and follow them in the physical world.

    Just “The Flip Side” view on this.


    • Hey Seanm…those phrases remind me a little of SB 89 and jumping off of the Leon River Bridge. And jumping off of the diving board in OUAW (I think…going from memory). And “I wish I Hadn’t” TFTW.

      • Sally,

        Awesome connection and good catch. I remembered the SB but had to go back and re-read. Yes I see a similarity to them both, especially that he went and did it b himself, thus alone and never told anyone about it. This reminds me of what he said in the Jennifer London interview/video:

        (go to the 7:56 mark and listen)

        So yea it was something he did by himself and he didnt want anyone to talk him out of it. And i see the connections with Forrest saying: “on a cold moonless night”


  82. I agree with your first idea Dal. I think it is the location. As Forrest said he was surprised
    he saw no one when he got back to his car. But it could be expected not to see anybody
    too. I assume where he parked his sedan. It seems to include a T.S. Elliot twist.
    Where the last hint is given first. Not one of the nine clues but a hint at the location.
    As far as I can tell that makes sense.
    I guess the fifth stanza is lease important. At 80 y/o exiting an exit for the last time.
    To never go back. Ending it at 80. Is there some Eric Sloane in there.
    All in my opinion. I am still studying on that one.
    But I think that is the first stanza. The location with a hint.
    Its that simple. And I do all my own mechanics usually get repair manuals.
    Geez Lady.. Are you blowing your own bugle and I thought that was Forrest exiting
    the Chase. Just trying to be funny.

    • Markt, you said:
      “As Forrest said he was surprised he saw no one when he got back to his car”

      Where did you get this quote?

      • Aaron. I am probably misinterpreting something. So take it as
        not a quote from Forrest. I am probably the last person to ask
        I was just trying to understand the first stanza.
        I still don’t know. Just my guess.

      • I had saw the recent Kpro interview. Forrest said he was lucky no one was around. One of the events leading up to him being able to do
        all this. I guess it is my own interpretation of that. He didn’t say
        surprised I just thought his expression was surprise.
        I am just guessing at the first stanza. I don’t know anyway.

  83. This goes back to the issue of clues vs hints. I believe the clues are the directions ( telling you what to do ) and the hints are spattered in the poem and book. The clues could contain hints and perhaps have two meanings…..

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