APRIL 2020
by dal


I have used several BIWWWH locations in my prime search area. I’ve shared a couple of them. They seemed pretty good to me on first light but two of my often used WWWH locations have pretty big holes in them…

Namely Ojo Caliente and Madison Junction…

Let’s start with OC. Ojo Caliente is a thermal event near Fountain Flats in Yellowstone. It rises out of the ground about 30ft from the the north side of the Firehole River at the Freight Road bridge and forms a small, very hot pond that empties through a series of small channels into the river. 

In his story, River Bathing is Best, Forrest tells of riding his bike from West Yellowstone out to this spot to take a warm bath before they had plumbing and hot water in his parents cabins. He wrote about how, by moving his body a bit in one direction or another in the river, either toward the hot spring water or away from it, he could find the perfect temperature for bathing. 

I tried this myself and things haven’t changed much in the 80 or so years since Forrest rode his bike out there..
I wrote about the experience HERE.

Forrest’s story about river bathing appeared in the West Yellowstone newspaper and on Forrest’s website before he announced the treasure hunt. It was not a story that was included in The Thrill of the Chase but it was included in his second memoir, Too Far to Walk. So the story has been around since before the chase began and is still around on his website. You don’t have to buy a book to read River Bathing is Best. Does that say something about its importance in the hunt for Forrest’s chest?

Maybe…But here’s the thing..If Ojo Caliente is the starting point, then why is it not mentioned…or even alluded to in TTOTC? After all, Forrest has insisted that the way to figure out the clues in the poem is to read the poem, then read the book, then read the poem again..then think…then read the book again…etc…

So it stands to reason that the clues are in the poem and the book is where we go to find hints about what those places the clues represent actually are…He never mentioned anything about there being any hints to the clues on his website or in the West Yellowstone paper…

So how in the heck is there any kind of hint in TTOTC that would point us toward Ojo Caliente???

It’s not mentioned in the book. It’s not hinted at in the book…How would we know to begin at Ojo Caliente by reading the book and the poem?
I don’t think we would. I don’t think anyone would.

This appears to be a fatal flaw against Ojo Caliente being the starting point.
And there’s more….

Listen to the idea that the clues are “contiguous”
From the Moby Dickens video at 47:35 in-
“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, that’s what I did.”
Moby Dickens video is HERE.

What does that word “contiguous” tell us about the clues?
Simply that they touch one another. Where one ends the next begins. There is no space between them. As in the 48 contiguous States. They touch…where one state ends the next begins. Neither Alaska nor Hawaii are one of the contiguous States because they don’t touch any of the others. There is space between Hawaii and the other States. They are not contiguous with any of the other States.

So…for instance, “the canyon down” must begin at the place “where warm waters halt” ends. They must touch one another. The canyon must be pretty long because we take it “not far but too far to walk” and right at the end of that canon must be the place where we put in…and logic tells me that the Home of Brown is inside the Canyon since we are putting in below it and the “put in” has to be touching the end of the canyon. There is wiggle room here though…as long as everything is touching.

How does this negate Ojo Caliente as the place to begin?
Because there is no canyon touching Ojo Caliente is there?

Ojo Caliente is 30 feet from the Firehole River and the nearest canyon down from that place on the Firehole is 7 miles downstream at Firehole Canyon. Firehole Canyon and Ojo Caliente are not contiguous…

The only canyons contiguous to Ojo Caliente are the little canyons that the hot water has carved through the 30feet of travertine on the way to the Firehole River…but a 30foot canyon is hardly too far to walk…isn’t it? Even an ant can walk 30ft effortlessly.

Ojo Caliente seems to be a “no go” right from the start because the very next clue is not contiguous…there is no canyon that is “too far to walk” contiguous to Ojo Caliente…

If there is a simple litmus test for the place that we should begin, our WWWH…it should be these two questions:
1. Is this place somehow referred to in TTOTC or the poem…even remotely…even off-handidly…even microscopically?
2. Is there a canyon contiguously adjacent to this place?

Let me apply that same litmus test against Madison Junction.

Madison Junction is the place where two warm rivers end and a new river begins.
1. Does Forrest ever mention Madison Junction in TTOTC or the poem?
Is it mentioned off-handidly or remotely or candidly or microscopically?

The answer, I am afraid, as far as I can tell, is no. Forrest does not write about that place in particular nor symbolically by mentioning a mixing of waters or a meeting of rivers or the headwaters of the Madison. The place seems to hold no memories worth writing about for him.

2. Is there a canyon “contiguous” to Madison Junction?

Yes. The Upper Madison Canyon begins at Madison Junction and the newly formed Madison River travels through it for some 14 miles…although, exactly where in geographic terms the Madison Canyon ends seems open to geographic interpretation.

So that failure tells me that I should not use MJ as my BIWWWH.
Additionally, there is well-founded speculation that the upper Madison Canyon is really a valley and not a canyon. It is marked as a canyon on only one map that I could find and is more often referred to by fishers and rangers as the Madison Valley.

What Madison Junction has going for it is that it is a place where two warm rivers (warm waters), HALT. They both end at exactly that spot.

I still feel that the upper Madison River is generally the right place to look…It has all the other elements that I need…I just have to find the key…and a new starting place…

Of course, this is not a fact…it is merely my opinion, and my opinions tend to change over time. Failure to find what one is looking for leads most to change perspective on where to look.
You may have better opinions if you think about it.








541 thoughts on “Contiguous…

  1. I had believed that various holes along the Madison fit the clues in the poem.
    But as a New Mexico searcher my searches remain close to home. Mainly in the area of Pot Creek.
    When I look at the image in scrapbook 106 (126?) I see a precise location.

    • Dal,
      About “contiguous”, I think you misunderstood the question, and as a result, got the meaning of the answer completely wrong! The questioner gave Forrest two choices: [1] “Forrest, did you have 9 clues before you wrote the poem, [2] …OR did 9 clues appear after you wrote the poem?” Forrest did not pick either choice, but invented his own: “They’re contiguous…..”, which would mean that those two choices are touching, or together in sequence. In other words the two choices happened about the same time, or one touched upon the other. Forrest had 9 clues and wrote the poem, AND he wrote the poem and developed the 9 clues. They happened together or contiguously!


      The above assumption about Forrest’s answer in 2013 at the Moby Dickens book shop has lead a bunch of people down the wrong path.

  2. Dal,
    Your thinking is good!!! However, Forrest plays a game with us we know as Simon Says. You don’t move until he says to in the Poem then you may need to go back in the Poem for the next move ……. all this in order to put one foot in front of the other!!! IMO

    Best Regards To Every One!

      • lately ive been looking at this in a different light and its led me to a canyon with a man on a rock i haven’t a clue as how the artist put him there to watch over his canyon valley nor do i even know if i could get below him but its a place i want to see buy the lottery may be the only way to get there i’m looking into it when we are free to travel again be safe all

    • The Lone Aspen – please send me an email via AOL.

      I’d love to talk about toes.

  3. Yes, just like a good hand of cards.

    Dot to dot.

    Not a short circuit, surface to surface strike. For example.

      • I think it’s probably one of the rocks in the distance. Skippy’s rock does not appear to be on an island…
        Nine Mile Hole is not a single little hole…in fact none of the Madison Holes can be described that way. They are areas….stretches of the river…sometimes fifty yards long…sometimes a few hundred yards long. The start and end of Barn’s Hole, Bakers Hole, Nine Mile Hole are all unspecific…There is no clear mark on the terrain or the river where one starts and ends but you know when you are away from them…

      • Lisa,

        By “Skippy’s rock,” are you referring to the photo of “Skippy holding a rock,” as it is captioned on page 56 of TTotC?

          • Roger,

            I concur with ‘nanatteedwards’ above. The rock he’s leaning against in the picture is at the man-made viewing platform near the brink of the upper falls of the Yellowstone River. The camera is looking upstream.

        • Yes…that’s the one I use most of the time as well…case considered rested…

          Just let me say, in my own defense, that for every map you’ve pointed out WITH Madison Canyon…I can find three that don’t say that…or say Madison Valley instead..

          • well, when you say that… does it matter that there is only one Canyon or should I say the canyon has only one name as a canyon? In Mr. Fenn’s time was it considered only as a canyon?

          • Dal- What do you think of Forrest’s quote that the clues are “chronological”? It’s about 48 seconds into #3:


            Most people – I’m not saying you specifically – either don’t seem to know or ignore that the clues are also chronological. They focus in tight on consecutive and contiguous. Maybe they’re cherry picking quotes and scrapbooks that help them force fit their solutions. But the poem switches tense at least 4 times among past and present and future and we know the clues ARE chronological so I was wondering if you take this into account in your solve. Thanks for reading and feel free to not reply!

          • War-
            I think he meant what he said. I have recently been exploring a concept where time is a factor in the clues of the poem…
            When I have fully recovered from the “critique” of my most recent post I may be brave enough to toss my “time” based solution out there for searcher review.. 🙂

  4. Whether we think FF has ever talked about the actual WWWH, either in the book, or by other means is a worthwhile discussion. I personally don’t believe he would have. We know how cautious he is about giving too much away. If I had to bet I would bet on WWWH being a place he has never mentioned in an interview, SB, book, or anything else that has to do with the chase.

    As far as contiguous goes, this is easy IMO. I believe that the clues are all connected by IT, which makes them contiguous.

    • Aaron – Good point! That works for ‘IT’ being ‘Madison River’ in my solve. Because:

      “A River Runs Through It”

      Oh, I’ll never leave Montana, Dal…


    • Ha!
      Hawaii is connected to California by the Pacific Ocean…yet no one considers it “contiguous” to California..just sayin..
      Contiguous is different than connected to…

      • Dal – Not true in the Pacific Ocean, unless we are dealing with Sea Turtles traveling via the Gulf Stream:

        “The water you touch in a river is the last of that which has passed, and the first of that which is coming. Thus it is with time present.
        Life, if well spent, is long.” – Leonardo da Vinci, Leonardo’s Notebooks

        Pretend you are a Big Brown trout in late Fall, travelling up from Hebgen Lake to Nine Mile Hole or Big Bend on the Madison River to spawn. And then you swim all the way back. Stopping to play at the end of my fly fishing librarian’s line, first, of course!

        Still contiguous…

      • Dal this is contentious I feel. Not to be argumentative, but to be careful not to rule out possibilities needlessly.
        Compare and contrast the following:
        – Contiguous
        – Continuous
        – Connected
        There’s a fine line. In spirit I think Forrest could have meant loosely contiguous. He may never clarify though.

    • Aaron,

      What if he mentioned it by name somewhere but we didn’t know it was WWWH?


  5. Begin it WWWH and take it – “IN” – the canyon down,
    The poem infers that “WWWH” is not in a canyon.
    You must be out of the canyon to take it -in- as the poem states.

    As far as I’m concerned, -tftw- is an extension of -TTOTC-
    Both memoires have the poem and additional info about the treasure.
    Fenn reserves the rite to be right when he writes.

    Thanks for your Beta side.

  6. The most interesting part about “contiguous” is that the people who told forrest correctly about the first and second clue, could not figure out the 3rd or fourth.. yet they must be “touching” (per say) to the first and 2nd.

    that must mean (imo) that the clues do not get progressively easier, but far far harder (at least up to the fourth clue anyway.

    so it can not be anything easy like a named place, not even something associated with brown trout for example (nor browns canyon type of things), as obviously the people bright enough to figure out the first couple clues would have spotted those types easily…

    so to “crush” another searcher illusion… it ain’t a named/identified location. (imo) and it ain’t no where near “easy” although probably reaching out and “touching” us in the face… in a slap sort of way.

    • Good point Writis. If Brown had to do with a name of something then how can first two clue solvers not figure it out. Or they got the put in below spot wrong.

      • I’ll take the opposite.

        Maybe they didn’t look at a map that names the geographical feature by this said name.

        This theory suggests that wwwh goes by two names. If so, f used the more vague name and shortened the name to Brown. Then added more vagueish, but just right, detail by using home of Brown.

    • Writis ~ *that must mean (imo) that the clues do not get progressively easier, but far far harder (at least up to the fourth clue anyway.*

      Just misunderstood to what is being said /relayed?
      Using the idea that clues 1 and 2 are the first two lines in stanza 2… IF all searchers proceeded with “take it in” as a movement {in one definition} rather than to *observe* {in another definition of the phrase} … Is it becoming harder to solve clues-?- or just misuse of the correct possible meanings of those words?
      So, as to the topic at hand, IF contiguous only means physically touch or bordering and no one as correctly solved the next 7 clues in order [ Yet seemingly gone by them, and the chest, in some cases ] are we using the correct idea {definition} of contiguous?
      I’ll never understand why some folks are so dead-head against the idea words having more than one meaning by calling those meanings *alternative* *Bizarre* etc.
      Example: Place;
      If asked what *place* means, many would say a physical point. However, *place* can relate to time or a period of time… even a period of time {example; morning or afternoon}; that could relate to the searchers actions while on site.
      Does the idea of contiguous have anything to do with following the clues consecutively during a certain time of day?
      Subtle hints?
      Can’t be done on Spring Break or a Sunday picnic… lol how about on Thanksgiving or Xmas? Why repeat the same two time lines?
      Looking down the road hundreds even thousands of years.
      Hid the chest in Summer.
      Wait for the mud to dry.
      Pack it in for the winter.
      And, if you *know* exactly where the chest is you probable can retrieve it in any weather. Does this mean the clues can be followed in any weather as well? Or only involving the actual *removal* of the chest from its hidey spot?

      ~ think, analyze, plan and observe, and use of imagination, imo, is lacking by the idea of *easy and simple* meanings of definitions for the idea of straight forwards.
      The words mean what they say, right? In plain english, right?

      Contiguous; by Dal’s usage could be correct. Yet if wrong, the entire interpretation of the poem changes from the common approach many, if not all, are utilizing.

      LOL just about everyone here calls fenn a wordsmith, a genius, applauds his word play… yet seemingly only relying on “straight forwards” to mean simplistic.
      ~If it was easy anyone could do it

  7. Dal,

    Congratulations on a well reasoned start to a worthwhile thread! Your post here has been very informative. As those who know me here on your blog well know, I have been in opposition to Madison Junction (and to a lesser degree Ojo Caliente) on the basis that they don’t fit my interpretation of halt.

    While I was aware of the River Bathing story as a means for justifying OC as a WWWH, I was not aware it was not in TTOTC. (A disadvantage of mine in not having the book!) That is certainly a red flag for drawing such a connection.

    I was equally unaware that there is no mention fo Madison Junction in the book, explicitly or implicitly. This information is most perplexing given the number of searchers focused on the area, some of whom I respect and admire greatly.

    I am confounded then, by the interest in such areas that seem to have no connection to the book (TTOTC) and therefore also the Chase. I really need to get the book!

    In light of these discussions, however, I am encouraged that long time searchers such as yourself are aware of the pitfalls of some hard to give up ideas. I was always open to the appeal of OC and MJ in terms of special places to FF, and even to go so far as concede HOB if Brown does indeed refer to trout, a belief I have yet to adopt.

    That being said, I am curious as to what sort of focus you believe should be placed now on determining WWWH. Contiguous is certainly a good idea. But there are still many places WWWH that are also connected to, or even within a canyon. For instance, a place like the Sinks, which fits my interpretation of halt nicely (though may be slightly stretched for warm), is already in a canyon and therefore would be contiguous to b sure.

    I additionally like the idea that there should only be one way to go. In the case of the sinks I realize there are two possibilities but only one of them should make sense. In the case of MJ there are so many that it hardly seems like the clues get easier as you go as I think FF has previously suggested. Correct me if I am wrong on that.

    It is the contiguous aspect that also has me give pause to a place like the Periodic, which is another great example of the sort of halt I am seeking (and again warm is debatable), where the Estella Brown grave marker would make for a wonderful HOB, though the two do not seem contiguous. It is a rather far stretch from one to the other, not far but too far to walk? I don’t know.

    I would only like to add one more thing for now. In general, I have been opposed to YNP or West Yellowstone for the Chase for the most part because I had not found a reliable WWWH in terms of the sort of halt I feel is likely, and because the only Brown anyone has offered up there has been trout which for me is still an unlikely Brown. Note I have ruled nothing out just expressing opinions.

    However, I have come across one place in YNP that is of interest but for none of the reasons MJ or OC have been thrown around. Contiguous is certainly part of the criteria here and trout have nothing to do with Brown in this instance.

    I have never been one to deter others from their solves, and I certainly do not do so here. I thank you Dal for opening up this dialogue and offering the opportunity for others so interested in the same areas to expand horizons during these uncertain times and open up the possibilities for interpretations or considerations not previously taken.

    All is IMO and I look forward to the contiguous action!


    • So you are not a fan of warm waters halting in geyser basins? (of which there are plenty to get you to Madison Canyon).
      I surprised at your fascination for The Sinks since nothing actually halts there, it just goes under ground. Does traffic (or a highway) halt when it enters a tunnel? And, it doesn’t fit the “many places” ATF (neither does Periodic).


      • mBG

        Valid points. I do not like geysers as WWWH. Basins are a different story. The Sinks strikes me as a unique sort of halt in that if we didn’t know that the water came out again at the Rise, a fact only known due to dye testing, then it indeed halts as in goes no further. And this take on the word halt coincides more with FFs military experience. As a scientist myself, I find the notion of cooling water(s) to mean halt a very relative notion. I have mentioned elsewhere that what is comfortable for one bathing may not be suitable to another. And in summers in the dead of heat swimming in a relatively cool pool (relative to say a geyser) is comfortable. So what does warm mean in terms of the chase? I am not so sure. But halt seems like it should be something more than the merging of two or more rivers.

        Does the water at a place like the Sinks actually halt? Hard to say since we cannot follow it. A notion I have described as going alone in there. But true enough, dye testing has confirmed that it indeed goes somewhere. So are basins a more likely WWWH? Possibly. The question then becomes which one and why? If that can be answered satisfactorily then all the more reason such a location should be explored. Otherwise throw a dart at a map and see which potential WWWH is closest.

        I do not wish to promote the Sinks. I tend to use it as an example because of how different it fits in the poem than most areas that have been suggested or searched. Clearly ten years of thinking have not produced the results everyone is seeking. I simply try to encourage alternate ways of thinking about the very same words. BOTG are the only sure test to any theory.

        I have voiced opposition to the Sinks because the only likely HOB there is none other than the Rise, a pool for trout! I have been opposed to the notion of Brown referring to trout from the very beginning. But I do not rule out any possibility in case something like the Sinks or MJ is correct and HOB does refer to trout.

        That said, what is the harm in considering something different.

        All IMO of course.


        • “ If that can be answered satisfactorily then all the more reason such a location should be explored. Otherwise throw a dart at a map and see which potential WWWH is closest.”
          Imo, throwing a dart at a map and see which potential wwwh is closest is not the only other option.

          • FD,

            I would be interested to hearing your alternative to knowing where & why/dart throw. I take it you believe there is some middle ground. Even assuming something like deductive reasoning it would eventually boil down to knowing where and why. I say this in light of the fact that the finder of the chest will have picked the destination to be searched for a reason and, being the finder of the chest, will have chosen the correct location.

            I will even grant you there are those who try. But that does not widen the two possibilities. Either you find the chest or are just another searcher looking. Perhaps that is the analogy I should have used.

            Again, I said before if we could answer where and why then we ought to take a look. In my simplified analogy, we either find the chest or don’t. If we don’t then we have not satisfactorily answered where and why. We simply thought we did.

            Still, I am interested to hear any alternatives.

            Btw, this also covers any notions of scouring each potential WWWH one by one (randomly or orderly, makes no difference) or any such method that would suggest not knowing where and why. Can we be absolutely sure? To the one who finds the chest, I am sure certainly will be evident. In the meantime, permit us to continue looking.

            All IMO of course.


    • AnnO”

      You say: “That being said, I am curious as to what sort of focus you believe should be placed now on determining WWWH. Contiguous is certainly a good idea. But there are still many places WWWH that are also connected to, or even within a canyon.”

      Later you say: “It is the contiguous aspect that also has me give pause to a place like the Periodic, which is another great example of the sort of halt I am seeking (and again warm is debatable), ”

      For me, these two quotes from you, I find interesting. Two possible interpretations:

      What IF:
      1) “Halt” relates to the merger of two bodies of water, and not “Halting” like a geyser? If a smaller stream merges with a river, it is no longer “Named” the same thing, and thus it “Halts” If “Little Stream” meets “Big river” it is not called “Big river/Little stream” – It is just called “Big river” – Thus the “Little stream” has halted.

      What IF
      2) At the head of “Little stream” there is a glacier or a snow pack field? The “Warm” weather causes the snow pack or glacier to melt. The frozen H2O is now “Warmer” than it was. It flows down the canyon until it meets “Big river” as discussed above.

      There are many places where snow pack or glaciers melt, and most of them are north of Santa Fe, and most flow down a canyon, and most merge with a bigger body of water. The “Little stream” is contiguous to the canyon, the canyon is contiguous to the “Big river” etc.

      Just a different way of looking at the contiguous idea – JDA

      • JDA,

        Great deas here. This is the sort of alternative thinking I think should be thrown around. I definitely understand the version of halt you describe. I have not ruled out such a possibility. And the notion of warm you suggest is also interesting.

        In trying to ascertain what FFS intended use of the words in the poem are, I am open to considering any possibility. But, at some point I (and everyone really) has to decide what the most likely meaning of each word is.

        So for example, in the case of halt: yes it could mean
        1. waters merging,
        2. where water literally turns from warm to cool
        3. a geyser
        4. a basin
        5 a Sinks/Periodic
        6. a glacial melt (or even where an ice age glacier stopped)
        7. where cold waters begin
        8. in the old flat world view: a waterfall
        9. (insert idea here)

        After scouring through all the various possibilities we are left with picking and choosing which one(s) are most likely what FFs words mean.

        I find the ATF about there being many places WWWH and most are north of Santa Fe interesting for two reasons.
        1. Is he saying there are many places where halting occurs? or
        2. is he saying there are many warm waters? or
        3. both?

        That was the first reason. The other reason is this:
        Assuming a child could potentially figure out the poem what do you suppose a child would say about WWWH?
        1. Is it as obvious as Old Faithful, the likely top answer kids would give to warm waters in the Rockies in terms of a geyser? or
        2. Is it a reference to bathing as some suggest and related to the older notion of a wash basin or a sink (as opposed to the modern tub)? or
        3. Would a child simply say when it’s cold? Suggesting perhaps a place like the Periodic while carrying the name of a geyser (which tend to be associated with warm water) is known to be a cold water geyser? or
        4. (something else)

        We are absolutely looking for a what, but equally important in choosing the what is why. Ultimately we have an aged man who has spent a great deal of his life in the Rockies, familiar with several places throughout, and having just survived cancer, hides a chest full of gold and then describes it in a way that makes sense to him. So as an outsider to that sort of life FF lived, I must try to see the description as FF sees the description and not flounder about the various possibilities of meanings of words.

        We know the Chase was meant for everyone. We know it was not intended for those holding specialized knowledge. We know that children are just as likely to solve it as Einstein. We know that words have meanings and the words in the poem are important. We also know that the poem, a good map and geographic knowledge are the best tools. We all have the poem. We all have GE or can access any number of maps. It’s that geographic knowledge of the Rockies that is so familiar to FF, because he basically grew up there, that we must try and relate to.

        We should ask ourselves what sort of features FF likely sees when looking at the places he has described in the poem. Is he looking at MJ when talking about WWWH? Is he at Old Faithful or some other geyser? Is he bathing in a nearby body of water fed by some hot spring? IS he passing by an anomaly like the Sinks on his way to a waterfall further down the canyon?

        I think the imagination part of all of this is trying to imagine what FF saw when he decided the words in the poem would make a great description of the place.

        It’s this sort of imagining that leans me away from Brown referring to trout. The home of Brown is a real place and I imagine if we ever find ourselves standing in that area we will know why he said “home of Brown.” As a non angler I would not be inclined to look at river flowing through a canyon and say, “There’s goes the home of brown trout.” I wouldn’t have the slightest clue whether trout were in that particular river or not! So I am guessing it is something I can actually see.

        Does that mean it’s a structure? Certainly not. Could it be a grave marker? Maybe, but doesn’t have to be. Home suggests the place refers to something living, whether a person, animal or some other thing. Brown is capitalized so I get why trout is a favorite, though that is debatable. Proper names are certainly considerable. But what did FF see that made him say “here is the home of Brown”?

        So yeah, lots to think about and consider. Hopefully we are not pinned down to just one way of thinking. Tunnel vision is only good if we find ourselves in the right tunnel!

        All IMO of course.


        • Hi AnnO’

          I missed this long and well written response – sorry.

          You lay out the options far better than I. Thanks for the lovely response – Sorry I missed it. 🙁 JDA

  8. @everyone – FF stated that the CLUES (in the poem) are contiguous. I do NOT remember him ever saying that the actual physical locations to which the clues refer are also. So doesn’t that mean that with botg, “wwwh” might or might not be attached to “canyon down” etc?

    I hope I made sense with that question.

    • You do make sense Becky. But that’s not my interpretation…You could also read it several other ways…but what I stated is what I believe Forrest meant…

      If what you state were true then all the clues would be after “Begin it…” and the first stanza would contain no clues…
      Many would agree with you..
      Many would not…

      • Yes, Dal. That is correct. I do believe that the clues start with “Begin it …” , run contiguously until the word “cease”, … & that’s it for the clues. Actually, I think what FF refers to as “clues” are simply directions telling us where to go & what to do next. It’s up to us to determine each exact physical place to do what the poem dictates.

        Before you ask me HOW to determine each location, I’ll tell you … TTOTC.

        When I began reading FF’s memoir, Dal, way back in 2013, for the very first time, I quickly realized there was something extremely odd about it. The stories were NOT the ilk of any memoir I’d ever read before, & some of the phraseology & word usage was definitely askew. Quite a bit of the material seemed to have been written by a child.

        FF stated in a bookstore interview that the way to locate the “hints” to help with discovering the “poem clues” is to look for the aberrations. Now for me, that was easy-peasy. I have since realized that TTOTC is merely a vehicle designed by FF to aid us with the poem. His various stories are NOT necessarily true … or even accurate. Enjoyable? Well, maybe a little.

        Anyway I could go on & on, but I’m probably alone in my theories. Oh, no. Wrong word. NOT theories … certainty. Yes, that’s it … my certainty.

        But the blaze is my nemesis. I do NOT have the EXACT spot yet. But IF, big IF, there is a way to ascertain it’s existence … well, Dal, 7 years later I’m still working on that.

        • The following is all just my opinion.

          I would like to respectfully disagree with you on something. In my opinion the word cease is not the end of the last clue. Once you have found the blaze, then you must take the chest and go in peace. If you don’t do that then you will not be able to find the treasure. But that’s just my opinion.

          You can find an image of something that represents the blaze in the book ‘The Thrill of the Chase’ in my opinion. I saw the image and I shouted “What in blazes is this?” Then I realized it’s the chest but not necessarily the gold. You can’t take that and go in peace, I thought to myself. But perhaps Fenn took something without taking anything. I believe he did. Ponder that if you like, but be quick, for spring has sprung and the virus is dying. Once the way is clear there will be many people in the Rockies poking about looking or it.

          Remember this: in my opinion after you are at wwwh, he tells you you can take it. Where is it, this thing that I can take? In the canyon down. He’s not telling you to go down in the canyon, although to take it you have to do that. But at that point he is simply informing you that there is something for you to take in the canyon. And you can’t walk there from WWWH. Well you could, but you won’t. You walk part of the way from there, but first you have to use your transportation up to a point. Then you can do some walking.

          Now, from the looks of your post, I’d say that you really need to find WWWH. Forget everything else until you have that. I’ll give you some opinions of mine on this and if you disagree that’s fine. Someone else may read this and get something out of it.

          Fenn said that there are many places in the Rockies WWWH. And most of them are North of Santa Fe. Now, focus on that for a minute. There are many places in the rockies where warm waters halt. This is a secret of the solve. I’ve held this secret for a while and I’m not giving any more. All of you are correct. There are many places in the rockies where warm waters halt. He’s telling you a big secret when he said that. I will repeat it again for those who still don’t get it. The reason you are all confused is that you don’t believe this. He is hinting at riches new and old. His hints are about more than one kind of treasure. And there are many places in the rockies where warm waters halt. Literally. Can I get an AMEN? You are all very welcome. Now get to work!

      • And I do think there’s a clue on the cover of that darn book I didn’t read till after the search season. I think 99 percent adds up clues and hints except how it’s important!!! Like how ,specifically, ugh. I done been there and still can’t unscrew it, gotta wait to hear it from the man. Left in the rabbit hole of speculation until then. Arg back in the contiguous boat, before it hits me like a train.

    • Becky – I agree with Seanm’s interpretation of the ‘contiguous’ quote:

      “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.

      • I’ve never understood this idea. So what’s contiguous in F’s reply. Obviously something is…

    • Becky,

      I’m not sure Fenn stated one way or the other. You can find the quote and check it yourself, but I thought ( and could be wrong ) he simply said the clues are contiguous… Not mentioning the poem or botg.

      However, the clues in the poem were describe as continues.

    • Colorado is never mentioned in the books Amy,, Give up on it. Take some time to go farther north. Explore some new country. See some geysers, and go a littler more north and see the glaciers before they all melt, they are going fast.
      I know I can’t talk you out of iCO, but I keep trying . Good luck anyway, any where.

        • exactly, ff said the book will help with the clues, but the hints were subtle, not placed specifically or obviously, is how I read that, (do search for “hints” in tarry scant link below for quotes related to this)

          imo, that means ff did not mention anything at all that would be an “obvious” place in the book nor did he intend to make it that easy.

          I certainly do not fault anyone for looking in CO because of that.

  9. Dal, might I also suggest the following definition given in Google Dictionary:

    “next or together in sequence”

    It appears that according to alternate definitions of contiguous, it does not necessarily possess a definition of touching. In being also defined as “nearby”, the question I’d have is how close is nearby.

    • Suzy-
      Of course you can. Be my guest. But I left a link to the entire quote so you can listen to it…
      In context that does not appear to be what Forrest is talking about.

      He said:
      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, that’s what I did.

      Moby Dickens Interview 11/2/2013. 47:35

      • At 14:44 he said it was 15 years from when he got cancer to when he hid the chest. That would have been 2003. He had also said he was79-80 when he hid it. That would be 2009-2010, when he hid the chest. At about 13 minutes he talks about J D Salinger dying and reading Catcher in the Rye and is seems that it was what inspired him to write TTOTC book. JD dies in Jan 2010. From that timing he wrote the book in early 2010 and published it in Oct 2010 if I am correct.
        Which is correct 15 years and 2003 or was it 2010ish? Did he hide the chest in 2010ish or did he hide it 7 years before he wrote the book.
        So is contiguous the actual correct word or maybe he may have meant consecutive? I still believe his bathing spot is the WWH, IMO of course.

        • Not Obsessed and Dal, I’m beginning to see your points. Could Forrest have made a simple mistake, or does consecutive coincide with contiguous in some way?

        • The 15 year quote has to refer to when he got (over) cancer. Then it fits. After all, he was adamant in that he repeats the words “15 years”. He also said the little popo agie went through Lander, when it’s the middle. So, he was definitely “mis-speaking” that day.
          As for contiguous, is there any other time he has used that word? He uses consecutive a few times.

          But I agree with Dal that contiguous means connected, but I think connected can be loosely interpreted. The phrase NFBTFTW provides a connection, for example, between Madison Canyon and Lisa’s Hole, oops, I mean Bakers Hole. Just because you took it into the contiguous Canyon doesn’t mean you can’t leave the Canyon for a significant distance as you execute NFBTFTW on the way to below HoB.


          • MeBigGuy – If I find the bronze chest, this early Summer, at Baker’S Hole, at my ‘Castle Keep’ or ‘Ef-fort’, I will purchase shares of the land it is on, documentnted via the Montana Cadastral, and use that to study what I think are Star-nosed Moles, who have kept the surrounding earth nice and soft.

            And I will build that covered bridge, using Old Wood Co. And I will live there, in a Blackfeet or Nez Perce Teepee, on loan from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. And I will name my home, Nonesuch Castle, after the monstrosity built by King Henry VIII. Because my namesake is Queen Elizabeth I.


          • MeBigGuy – Uh, Me thinks Forrest quoted this poem:

            Second Fig
            Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
            Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!
            She won the Pulitzer for her poetry.

            I think Forrest was making a tacit reference to the REAL ‘home of Brown’: Loch Leven Castle in Scotland. The Loch Leven trout species is identified as those life-sized Brown trout, cast in bas relief, on that mysterious interpretive sign on the Baker’S Hole shoreline. That species was introduced on the Upper Firehole River in 1889.

      • Dal, I definitively see your point, But in a creative way I look at each step as possibly “skipping” or “jumping” from one location to the next. I’m not sure if Forrest ever used these words, but I wouldn’t want to throw them out in my search.

  10. Didn’t FF call Manhattan, NY, a canyon?

    Clues might be contiguous if
    Bakers Hole (Brown)
    Get in boat
    Paddle past a “point” on Hebgen = “end”
    Stop at a creek like Cherry creek = cherry=Washing-ton
    Go up to small waterfall or lookout (or old cache from 1800’s)
    Look for carved wood standing up or marked wood. Weathered white
    Then look inside it
    Kinda like cholla knots to me but I could be mistaken

    Other oddities in poem:
    Echo or song title might be important…like Blue danube lake (hear,listen)

    Could HOB be a “pi” sign for picnic table=home of brown bag lunch?

    Does “your creek” mean National park or public lands?

    Does “worth the cold” mean under an undercut bank?

    He mentions HOLE sometimes…. like hole shot in coffee pot, maybe Ace in the hole (alone in there) and skylight, window, portal etc.

    Just musing while in containment….

      • I believe his hoodoo reference with Mexican brass staue, Marvin’s hat, and other hat type references might mean cap as in soda bottle names on caps like Frosty, etc. He mentions soda pop a lot. ..especially Dr. Pepper. But that brings in the possibility of the archaeologist Barnum Brown and “Dr.” Pepper who both worked at Chaco Canyon.

        Chacos are also rubber tire type footwear.
        But I do not believe the treasure is there.
        I believe he gets in a boat of some kind. Chaco is the place where some evil spirit “dries you out.”

        Also, probably feasible that treasure could easily be in a 1830’s cache covered by rock. Or in something disguised to look like a rock.

    • copperhead – imo when he mentions a hole – he is given us a clue on what is stanza one- there are some pic of a pit with a hole on the bank there are other pic of fire places and him sitting on a bench- pic with him warming his feet- there are a lot of pic with the same idea with a hole in the ground with a hole on the wall or bank of these pits this is just an opinion by frank

        • thanks copperhead for your reply – right now im going through scrapbooks to find the pic im talking about and ill put the numbers out when I find them all- for right now check out the old canteen that’s just one of many

          • I don’t remember but I think the old canteen was for gun power but ill find it —- pdenver helped me with some pic years back , but I lost them when my phone broke and I lost a lot of pic. hope she can and will help me again ill ask her

          • the pic, of the old car he had redone shows the double omega- it shows the round circle with the dot in the middle the symbol of gold in the pic of the wheels. that to me is what I see , the back wheel is imo to me, is the 1st omega , the front wheel is the 1st omega at the end .that’s all in my opinion.—-frank

        • on scrapbook 50 check out the rooster,imo it tells you that the crown is the blaze – then the eye is ,a circle with a dot in the middle is the symbol of gold- the eye is where the pit is – in my opinion only I see , the blaze, and where the pit is. the ford pickup is showing the double omega with the wheels- its my opinion and something to think about —- frank

          • According to my solve that is not what those images mean in SB 50. You are pretty close though. Should I tell? …..
            Hmmm…… The Rooster’s “crown” is the hat. The beak is the bullet. The eye is the cup. The eye and the spot next to the eye are the omegas. If you don’t know what I refer to I suggest you get the book “Onne upon a while” from Forrest Fenn and check it out.

            As for the pickup truck. Notice what’s behind the blue pickup truck. Its a red ford. Oh oh. Wrong spot. Blue is cold and red is hot.

          • alian boy – thanks for your reply . you drive a good point . thanks for sharing, but I still think my solve , is better then yours . lol just kidding—frank

          • I agree Frank.
            Great sleuthing!
            And “dot” is a word that always gets my attention. I’ve researched the 2-Dot ranch in Montana. Great land stewardship going on there. And also another 2-dot in Wyoming…
            ….Which is more interesting to read if one enjoys history.

            Two horseshoes ( double omega) is another oddity which is interesting. Lots of New Mexico and Colorado oddities fit that shape. I saw something similar at ranch across road from the entry to Philmont. Top of pikes peak, etc. But, double omega could also just be a “brand” of Forests he designed in childhood. Or the sign of a bucking horse with two feet on the ground. But I’m not really sold on the double omega as any type of clue. The end, repeat the end….just means the end. So….. but it could easily be clue. I don’t discount anything. Lol. Wink

            Again, great thinking you are doing, Frank.

  11. Dal – Your bring up a lot of questions that I’ve asked myself in the past about what defines a canyon versus a valley. When I Google right now “what is the difference between a canyon and a valley” the internet spits back at me that a canyon is “A valley, especially a long, narrow, steep valley, cut in rock by a river.” So does that “especially” mean that a canyon does not necessarily have to be long, narrow, steep, or cut in rock? Does it need to have a constantly flowing river in it to be a canyon? If a canyon is a type of valley, does a valley become an extension of a canyon? You could trace the Firehole River from Ojo Caliente all the way to Firehole Canyon across a very apparent lowland that may be a valley, or could it be considered a shallow extension of Firehole Canyon? If I turn on the terrain layer of Google Maps, it looks to me like the spring sits just at the head of the canyon before narrowing into the named Firehole Canyon. For that matter, could the Firehole River be traced all the way back to its source by Madison Lake along what could be considered a canyon?

    Another question I’ve asked before is “Does the canyon in the poem need to be an officially named canyon on a map?” If I see a geographic feature that obviously looks like a canyon (as opposed to a valley, a ravine, a gully, a draw, an arroyo, a gulch, etc.) but it does not have a name slapped on it on a map with the word “canyon” after it, does that automatically rule it out as a canyon as far as the poem is concerned? Yet another consideration is that Forrest seems to enjoy shrugging off conventional definitions and rigid ways of thinking, and that throws in an entirely different dimension to solving the problem. Should we even be paying attention to the rigid definitions of what a canyon is and is not and just going to a place to see if it looks like a canyon in person?

    This is why I tend to now favor the technique looking for the home of Brown at the same time as WWWH and the canyon. If you can find yourself a good hoB continguous to a good WWWH by way of a canyon that is separated by a distance that’s NFBTFTW, then you might be on to something. So have you found yourself a good home of Brown connected to either of these WWWH’s?

    • Blex – How many times has Forrest read, “Journal of a Trapper”, by Osborne Russell? I just did a ‘find in page’ for ‘canyon’, and got only 1 result. That’s because he consistently spelled it ‘kanyon’. And he always seemed to know the difference, when describing a valley vs. a ‘kanyon’, complete with geologic descriptions.

      Here is an excerpt that contains a ‘narrow passage’; what I think is the mouth of my former Cabin Creek search area:

      “To day we passed an Indian lodge standing in the prarie near the river which contained 9 dead bodies 3d Continued up the stream on their trail until 10 oclk a.m. when Mr. Bridger having Charge of the Camp tried to avoid them by taking into the mountain but the Majority of the men remonstrated so hard against trying to avoid a Village of Blackfeet which did not contain more than 3 times our numbers that he altered his course and turned back towards the Madison and encamped about two Ms from the river on a small spring branch This branch runs thro a ridge in a narrow passage in the rocks a hundred feet perpendicular on both sides about a quarter of a Ml. from the Madison. The next morning as we were passing over the ridge around this place we discovered the Village about 3 Mls above us on the river We immediately drove into this Kanyon with the Camp and prepared for battle Our leader was no military commander therefore no orders were given after the company property was secured about 15 men mounted horses and started for the Village in order to commence a skirmish. The Village was situated on the West bank of the river about 30 rods behind it arose a bench of land 100 ft high running parralell with the river and gradually ascending to the westward until it terminated in a high range of mountains about 2 Mls distant.”

      Social distancing from the Blackfeet with Smallpox…it was a good plan, Mr. Bridger.

      • Blex – The best pic I could find of the massive cathedral-like rock formations, which are about 100 ft. tall, on either side of the entrance to Cabin Creek:

        Always thought that was Forrest’s ‘church in the mountains’. Besides, it’s directly across the highway from Jim Slattery’s Campfire Lodge, where I usually stayed. Love that place!

        • Lisa Cesari – That picture’s a great example of what I would call an obvious canyon that isn’t labeled with a proper name designating it as a canyon (not to mention just a beautiful picture in general).

          IMO, I think both Osborne Russell and Forrest Fenn know what a canyon is when they see it, and I think that being able to do the same would be useful for all us Chasers.

          • Blex – I agree. And I think that battle is the one mentioned in Forrest’s story about he and Donnie Joe, in “Looking for Lewis and Clark”, which he originally published in the West Yellowstone News as, “God Saves Foolish Kids”.

            I think that location is where the Longhorn Restaurant was located. That was owned and run by Forrest’s cousin, Chipper Smith and his wife.

            Forrest said it happened where Hebgen Lake is today, right?

          • Lisa – I think you’re absolutely right about that. Have you tried to trace the route that Forrest and Donnie may have taken on their journey in search of Lewis & Clark? Where do you suppose the dirt road that they ended up reaching 50 miles away (exaggeration of distance) may have been?

            And where is Stinking Creek?

          • Blex – I think they ended up travelling up Trail #200, which follows Lightning Creek, and came down Taylor Canyon. Or, they went all the way up the Cabin Creek drainage, up and over the ridge to Upper Teepee Creek Basin, and then down along FS #986 (Snowmobile Traiil #88 in Winter) to Highway 191 along the Gallatin River.

            But, that’s just me…

            You can find the location of Stinking Creek in Aubrey Haines’s version of “Journal of a Trapper”. There are great maps and footnotes in that edition. Did you know that Aubrey Haines was the Park Historian for a while in YNP?

          • Lisa Cesari –

            This is a little weird, but I follow you on only the LATTER half of your idea and it seems plausible. I see the Cabin Creek Drainage, and I see the Teepee Creek Basin, but I don’t see a Lightning Creek or a trail #200 in the area. Didn’t Forrest say that they started by going up Red Canyon? If they got up to the Cabin Creek Drainage from there, I could see the high point of Kirkwood Ridge as being the big mountain right in their way to the south. But in that case, Forrest must have been wildly exaggerating about how far off course they went (not 50 miles). And how could they have gotten so much turned around and lost if they had just followed a clear depression uphill the whole way? I guess I can see how they could have easily made the mistake of trying to descend via Tepee Creek rather than Red Canyon just south of that unnamed ~8700′ peak. But I feel like on horses that could have all been done in the course of a single day-trip rather than a multi-day ordeal. Maybe they only spent one night on trail and got back the next day?

            Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of the Haines edition of “Journal of a Trapper”. If I had to guess though, would Trapper Creek be that which was formerly known as Stinking Creek? It seems to be about in the right spot.

          • Blex – Here is that excerpt from my online copy of the book:

            “13th We left the Madison Fork with Mr Bridger’s Camp and ascended a small branch in a West direction through the mountains about 20 Mls. and encamped on the divide After we had encamped a Frenchman started down the mountain to set his traps for beaver contrary to the advice and persuasion of his companions he had gone but a few miles when he was fired upon by a party of Blackfeet killed and scalped. 14th Travelled down the mountain about 16 Mls NW. and encamped on a stream called “Stinking Creek” which runs into the Jefferson fork of the Missouri.”

            I don’t have the Aubrey Haines version for reference. Because our library is still on lockdown.

          • Blex – And Trail #200 runs right along the Lightning Creek and is next to the Lightning-like ridge, shown on my topo map:


            That was one of my blazes, visible from Forrest’s plane, on a ‘good map’ or via Google Earth:


            You can use this free map to explore the location of Stinking Creek, near the Jefferson River. I need to go read Forrest’s new scrapbook right now!

          • Lisa – Yep! I see trail 200 and Lightning Creek now. Those are a good ways west of Red Canyon though and isn’t that the spot that Forrest says they started going up? I’m now wondering if they may have kept going north from Red Canyon and ended up by Red Mountain and maybe Redstreak Peak or Sage Peak was that big mountain blocking their return trip. Then maybe they came back down to highway 191 via the Snowslide or Bacon Rind Creek drainages? Ah well, just interesting stuff to wonder about.

            And yep, I found the Stinking Creek reference too. I guess someone on the Reddit page was asking the same question a while ago.

          • Lisa – Wow! That’s an absolutely beautiful view! Now I want to hike around there myself. Another place to add to my hiking bucket list, which seems to grow longer and longer no matter how many I manage to check off!

    • Dal, I too go back to that location. Home of Brown is a problem for me. I also go to Gallatin National Forest because we need a good map and he talked about the map in the book. However, my book is packed up right now but in a month or so, we should be all moved and I will get back to the Chase again. Keep thinking, you’re doing good.

    • I believe that someone not from the Rockies would have a hard time deciding the difference between a valley and a canyon,

      however if someone is from the Rockies:
      I will use the definition brought about by a court justice in so many words. “you’ll know it when you see it”. imo

      to your second point, it does not have to be named to be considered a canyon, again, if someone were not from the Rockies, they would ask why something was not named… but if one is from the Rockies, they immediately know why a canyon or creek or mountain was not named. (if they were all named, it would add more names than there are ALL named features on any map in the US by a dozen times, we just don’t have that many famous people… or deer).

      speaking of which, if I see another valley or creek or mountain named deer valley or elk mountain or buffalo creek, I’m going to vomit on our forefathers.

    • Furry footprints in the mud are where the tee pee poles sit Lisa. In my imagination anyway!

      • BigOnus – My vivid Brown bear-focused imagination was inspired by this comment on Dal’s Baker’s Hole Campground recommendation, on his “Places to Stay and Eat” thread:

        Forrest Fire
        on June 22, 2014 at 7:19 pm said:
        When I was a kid in West Yellowstone the closest place we could walk to and swim was Baker’s Hole. It was named for the old mountain man Jim Baker, who used to camp there. The city dump was just a mile from Baker’s Hole, across the highway and over there on the side of the hill. At night the towns folks would drive to the dump and watch 25 grizzly bears feed on the garbage, which was always smoking and smelling terrible. The bears crossed the Madison River at Bakers Hole because it had tributaries that made crossing easy.

        Later, the city covered the dump ground and built a runway over it. But the bears were accustomed to going there for food and were mad to find the smorgasbord was no longer available. Several tent campers were killed at Baker’s Hole as an aftermath to the food debacle. But that was years ago and now the camp ground has cement tables and restroom facilities. I recommend it. Besides, it’s a great place to swim if you don’t mind cold water.

        Note: those tributaries make crossing easier…

    • Blex- I think that the canyon to wwwh , has a name, and it has canyon at the end of the name—- frank

  12. Forrest did say if you don’t have WWWH you might as well stay home and play canasta. Canasta is the Spanish word for basket. Basket. Is that a reference to B?


    • Forrest also blinked in an interview and I’m pretty sure it was a clue or he was checking his eyelids for holes.

      • Another approach, with some hops and skips…

        The word “rushed” (p94) is used in context with a French soldier’s epitaph which happened to be written in English somehow, striking some of us as a lark since the lingua franca at that time and in that location was French and Vietnamese. This lark can be further exposed when comparing several Vietnamese loan words that came from French (readily available on wikipedia):

        Vietnamese –> French –> English
        – bê tông –> béton –> concrete
        – cà phê –> café –> coffee
        – (chỉ) len –> laine –> wool
        – (khăn) mùi xoa –> mouchoir –> handkerchief
        – xà lách –> salade –> lettuce

        Anyway, I digress. The word “rushed” is related to “tarry scant”, but also to “basket”, and thus “canasta”. It also can be heard like “rust” if speaking in a specific way, or if “homely” on the French-but-English epitaph means “rustic”. Or if we are to see the attribution of the word “cocktail”, perhaps we might glance that H.L. Mencken is the originator (“wink at a homely girl”), and perhaps he did the things he was attributed to.

        But more so, “rushed” (SB100) also means “wattle”, like that red thing hanging from a rooster’s face (SB50, SB175, SB193). And so if “rushed”/”wattle” is the intended result of “tarry scant”, or “get the hell out of there”, and a “wattle” is also a fence of branches, kinda like a “palisade”, should we indulge ourselves in a fling to Palisades Lake in WY?

      • And finally, I promise (at least for this topic), a “basket” is also associated with a shopping cart, like a hand cart, or a shopping basket. So how does this apply?

        How would Forrest know a porcupine tastes like turpentine? Did he ask a “fisher”?

        And then… are there any places named “Martin” in Wyoming? Oh, I guess there is. Is “Willie’s” middle name “Martin”? And does he sit in the flip-up seat in the basket when Forrest takes him to Walmart (1/12/2017 MW, SB107, or SB46 shopping cart at “Cons”)?

        And if this “Martin” place has a creek with a name that means “sway”, “waver”, “rock” (what Skippy holds), where up it is no paddle (“spade”) because it’s the wrong place to gambol (like Skippy being skippy, and life is a game of poker)…

        … and if that destination up that creek seems like a good map, a place where that “homely”/”plain Jane” Cannary lady worked, and with a place-name similar to those caveman “atlatl” thingies (5/29/2014 on MW), or maybe a “hulk” (p47), then are we on the right path to heavy loads and water high? Is this what Canasta is implying?

      • If you clicked on this link and zoomed in, you might have seen close by (if looking down) something similar to “No Place for Biddies”, where he’s not allowed to cross the streets. The street name is Vjestic Rd (not Vještica Place).

        A good “treasure” of these socratic/platonic/shakespearean (SB217) words can be found here,, including my favorite, “nudnik” (SB199).

  13. Contiguous can be in time rather than in space. Simply, each clue should be solved one after the other but their boundaries may not be touching.

    Or maybe some people are thinking the clues in the poem are all one after the other, which would basically pin down the nine clues as being from wwwh to finding the blaze. But then why have the other two verses and “worth the cold” and/or “in the wood” ?

    I don’t know what is correct or not, but maybe we can create some categories of belief. Some who believe the clues are time-wise rather than space-wise contiguous, and/or those believe the poem clues are one after the other.

    • Great idea, Muset! One step on to the next in time, not space.

      Makes sense. Maybe Forrest has outwitted us again!

  14. Contiguous; next or near in time or sequence.

    Many words and phrase relate to time in the poem. Heck the poem bounces from past tense to present tense.
    Halt: a suspension of movement or activity, typically a temporary one.
    Something that stopped during a certain time {time period}?Something that happens only during certain periods of time?

    My point to the idea of contiguous as only relating to the physical conditions today… doesn’t say anything about the idea of 100 or 1000 plus years down the road, nor in the past.
    My question is; why only perceive the idea that all the clues must be now {in time}?
    Simple examples;
    ~A glacier now gone left a canyon behind, right?
    ~Can “begin it where…” be about something that has stopped being?
    ~New and Old?

    In the book tftw, fenn explains its too far to walk “now.” Does this *now in time* only relate to when fenn was younger? or a subtle idea of; the past is not now in “time.”
    So, why can’t clues be contiguous “… in time or sequence.”
    Is this where fenn is talking about how imagination plays a role in solving the clues?

    Try to imagine the same maps you look at today and what they may have looked like 1000 plus years ago… lol… how about 1000 years from now?
    How can anything be truly contiguous, with the idea of thousands of years down the road, not have “time” involved with it.

      • FD,
        I’ve used the word journey myself …but I wonder if *study of time* works better, geographically.

        • Seeker, well, I know at least one of them is part of a book title that I think is referenced in ttotc.

    • seeker – my question to you is why waste time with time, I don’t think the poem has any thing to do with anything other then to tell you how to find the treasure chest, if that’s what you think you want to do ,that’s fine. but there is only 9 clues and not enough room for any thing else

  15. We should be able to make our own ending!

    Mine would be about ff turning into a giant! He would march from his house and grab a giant serpent to use as a staff from his garden stream, look into its eye and in the reflection he would see a vision. Then he would stomp his way through the mountains creating lake ponds as his feet smashed the ground. The mountains are vibrating with harmonic sound with every slam. As he passed his throne he see’s the crumbs left by searchers sandwiches. He then rips up some landscape, strings a wire to it to switch its magnetic pull and uses it as a vacuum! The noise is deafening,,,,,,and then……BOOM…thunder…..he forgot he hid the treasure under his throne… its jammed……everything falls silent and he cries giant rainy tears! Blows his nose and causes a ultra winters wind…… all freezes over and he is stuck in the mud and ice! He pulls out a big drink and slurps down some Dr Pepper.

    Its all OK now Forrest….it was all a crazy dream!

    Only joking guys. It is contiguous though, by time and event.

  16. What are these ‘holes’ people speak of and in any of these prospective areas of search are there ancient Indian artifacts or remains of dwellings near any of them?

    • FTF-
      Holes…as in “the old fishing hole”.

      In many rivers of the west the streams widen and narrow and slow and speed up in various places as they follow their course. They also shallow and deepen along that course. Trout prefer cooler, deeper, darker water to hang out in. Fishers call these deeper places “holes” and generally name them so they can talk about them in a common language…
      ie…rather than say you know that deeper place in the river that’s near the old horse barns….they might just commonly agree to call it the “Barns Hole”.

      However, many of these holes are not what we might think of as a “hole”…rather, they are simply places that are relatively a bit deeper and more attractive to trout…
      For instance: Around the Barns Hole on the Madison the water is perhaps 3-ft deep…but outside that hole the Madison is just two feet deep…and the hole stretches for many hundred yards…
      In other places a “fishing hole” might be just that…a sudden deep hole…but in most of the rivers in the park. they are less like ‘holes” and more like slightly deeper areas where the fish hang out…

      Certainly if fish hang out there than natives who ate fish would have hung out there too…But we are talking about places inside YNP and removing prehistoric artifacts would be a crime.
      They are also well traveled areas so they are already gleaned of artifacts…

      By the way…there are also places the trappers called “holes”. As in the “Jackson Hole” which have nothing to do with fish. These places had to with Beaver. They were generally wide places surrounded by mountains…Today we would call them valleys but the fur traders commonly referred to them as “holes” and named them…

      Once again it was about a common language to refer to a place to trap. Beaver are found in valleys where slow moving streams are easily dammed and there are plenty of young softwood trees for food and dam building.

      Good fishing places and good trapping places were often referred to as “holes” and many of those early names have stuck.

      • Dal – Awesome post!!!

        Coincidentally, just posted this map to Jenny’s treasure Facebook page, to identify the ‘Burnt Hole’, which Osborne Russell wrote was “a prairie valley 80 miles in circumference…”:

        That’s a high-res Raynolds expedition map. You can really see the “Madison Fork” that Russell refers to in his text; what was there before the Hebgen Lake Dam was built to create the lake in 1910.

        Certainly could be considered to be an hoB now, but maybe not then, in 1860. Because Brown trout and Loch Leven trout were not introduced to Nez Perce Creek and the Upper Firehole, until 1890 and 1889, respectively.

        Do you think it was all native Westslope Cutthroat trout on that Madison Fork in the Burnt Hole, back then, Dal?

        • Dal – Oooooh,…unless Beaver that Osborne Russell and his party were trapping were the hoB part! Some have said ‘Beaver’ means ‘Brown’ in German, right?

        • I don’t know Lisa but Chittenden wrote a book about his time in Yellowstone. He or Mather or Albright must have written something about fish in Hebgen before the great interference began…

          • Dal – Found this excellent podcast done with Craig Matthews, prior to 2009, last night:


            Lots of great info., including that the native species were Westslope Cutthroat trout and Whitefish. Craig has been intertwined into my Cabin Creek and Baker’S Hole solves from Day One. He wrote that great book about fly fishing on the Madison River and published the new edition of Howard Back’s 1938 classic fly fishing book.

            Craig was an active member of the Madison River Foundation, when I first found the info. on their website for the plan to build the Cabin Creek fish barrier, back in April of 2013. We tried to meet him at his West Yellowstone fly shop, in August of 2019, but he had sold it to new owners recently. My fly fishing librarian friend did buy Craig’s Yellowstone fly fishing book there, and some great flies, that day.

            Enjoy the podcast!

  17. Well, Dal, in my opinion, the problem originates in your very first sentence >>> “my prime search area”, which of course is the Yellowstone area. Let me quote Forrest. He said:

    “The poem will take you to the chest but the book BY ITSELF won’t”. (CAPS mine for emphasis.). Quote from Chicago Radio WGN interview, March 2013.

    I see the same apparent mistake being made by billions and billions of searchers. They use the locations mentioned in TTOTC to determine their “prime search area”. No wonder the chest hasn’t been found.

    There are HINTS in TTOTC; and good luck in trying to find them. Those hints do not refer to location. CLUES to the chest’s LOCATION are in the poem.

    As for “contiguous”, Forrest is quite clear:

    “Well, there are nine clues in the poem. And if you can follow the clues [in the poem], ONE RIGHT AFTER THE OTHER, it will take you to the treasure chest.” (CAPS mine for emphasis). Quote from Richard Eeds show, 5/2716.

    Yet, searchers continue to twist straightforward definitions, like this one, to fit their preconceived solution.

    In my opinion, most searchers either don’t take Forrest’s verbal comments seriously, or they twist his comments around to justify some hard won locational theory, a far easier approach than starting all over from scratch.

    Easy (or obvious) locational solutions are a dime-a-dozen. Given Forrest’s hundred or thousand year timeline, any solution based on locations mentioned in TTOTC would seem to be far removed from the reality of the chest’s true location.

    Ken (in Texas)

    • Ken in (Texas) wrote-

      There are HINTS in TTOTC; and good luck in trying to find them. Those hints do not refer to location. CLUES to the chest’s LOCATION are in the poem.

      I’d say good luck in trying to find the clues. Same, massive problem except one leads to the other. In other words, one of them are involved with the very important first step…the hints.

      Also, I’ll take the opposite and go with the hints do refer to a location. I’m not looking for the hints to describe the actual, final resting area of the treasure, just a reasonably tied location to wwwh for which we can begin our botg search with confidence.

      • Hi FD … You think that the “hints” in TTOTC will take you to a plausible WWWH? You said:

        ” … the hints [in TTOTC] do refer to a location. I’m not looking for the hints to describe the actual, final resting area of the treasure, just a reasonably tied location to wwwh …”

        You seem to be taking the same approach as most searchers, especially those who are focused on the Yellowstone area.

        But I will remind you (and others) of Forrest’s well known and very often quoted statement that everything a searcher needs to find the chest is in the poem.

        Using any location mentioned in TTOTC, in my opinion, is an acknowledgement that a searcher has given up on the poem.

        • Ken, my statement that you quoted doesn’t necessitate the outcome that you added to it by referring to f’s “ very often quoted statement that everything a searcher needs to find the chest is in the poem.”

          Looking for hints in the book doesn’t necessitate that any searcher can’t look for a hint in the poem.

          And I didn’t say that the book hints would mention a location in the book. I’ve posted the opposite of that opinion.

        • Ken (in TX) “But I will remind you (and others) of Forrest’s well known and very often quoted statement that everything a searcher needs to find the chest is in the poem.”

          But forrest also stated many times “Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map.” Clearly he is implying that the poem holds the clues to find the chest, but in order to figure out the clues, you probably will need to do a little research. So IMO, why make it any harder then it already is by not heading Forrest’s advice?

          • Geysergirl … If you and others “need” TTOTC because you can’t otherwise solve the poem, by all means plow through that book looking for “hints”.

            But not everyone “needs” that book or its supposed “hints”. And I get tired of searchers all but saying that the TTOTC is required to find the chest. It is not.

            The poem takes you to the chest. The TTOTC, sans poem, does not.

            The longer I am in this treasure hunt, the more boring and repetitious the forum discussions become about TTOTC’s content.

            Kindly accept the fact that, relative to finding the chest, not all searchers are so DESPARATE for “hints” or so DEPENDENT on that book.

            Ken (in Texas)

          • Ken

            I didn’t think the book was needed. And you might be right. I will say this though – I can read without my glasses, but boy am I glad I have them, because I can see much more clearer now.

            I wish I had the others.


          • Ken – I don’t consider anyone using TTOTC to be desperate or dependent on the book….I just believe as Forrest stated, that it will help with the poem. Kudos to you sir if you have been blessed with a mind to figure this all out with just the poem. I admire your tenacity, but please don’t put down others who have chosen another path.

          • Everyone say’s that Forrest is so clever in all of his answers or statements that you need to read between the lines, or count on there being craftiness in his words.

            Then is it not possible that his statement that everything a searcher needs to find the chest is in the poem is cleverly incomplete.

            LIke maybe, if you know where to start, is a caveat.

            Possibly his suggestion that TTOTC and good maps or google earth are indeed necessary to complete that statement. IMHO.

            Until someone has the chest in their hands no one in this chase is an authority on what is fact or fiction concerning the chase. Period. IMHO.


    • Hi Ken,

      I agree with some of what you are saying. I don’t believe WWWH must be listed in TTOTC. Why does it need to be? It is not his special place where he hid the chest, it is only a starting point. If it is not outright named in the book, then we rely on hints in the book to figure out where to start.

      As far as the hints being contiguous in the poem or on the ground, I think they are both. As Becky said, the clues are contiguous from “Begin it…” to “cease”. In the location that I will be searching, each location is contiguous as well. WWWH is touching the beginning of a canyon and is an HoB (all at the same location).

      It doesn’t mean the “unused” stanzas are worthless. I have given my thoughts on those elsewhere.

      So, as you quoted, one “can follow the clues, one right after the other, it will take you to the treasure chest.” AND do so by putting one foot down and stepping to the next.

      None of the places need to be named, but they do need to be recognized. The searchers who came closest may have been in the right area and even solved the first two clues, but beyond that, they did not recognize the rest and walked right past the chest.

      I think the clues are literal, he says exactly what he means, but that does not mean that what the clue refers to is obvious to everyone. There is no sign pointing saying “This is the Home of Brown.”

      Just my opinion.

      • I’m with you on this straight forward line of thinking Lori. Hints in TTOTC (if you can recognize them) lead to helping with clues in the poem ( including a “general” area to search) and then you will need to use some imagination to help with specific locations. JMO.

        But even that “ain’t so easy”…..just as Forrest intended.

        And let’s face it, if there was something that simple in the hints and poem to tell us EXACTLY WWWHs, then there would be no need to be having this discussion in the first place. LOL!

        • I’m right there with you Geysergirl!

          There has to be hints to the general area in TTOTC concerning WWWH. Since Fenn himself has stated that there are many places in the Rocky Mountains where WWH. . If the poem hints to a specific WWWH, with no influence from outside information, I better give up!

          “Ain’t so easy” is IMHO the premise of the chase, for who knows how long.

          • Yosemite Sam – I know of several searchers who are determined to figure out the resting place of Indulgence with just the poem. I personally think they are at a disadvantage. Not because of any hints that may be found in TTOTC (saying something is or isn’t a hint is too ambiguous), but because the stories help define the man who wrote the poem. IMO, understanding how Forrest thinks and who he is as a person is just as important as GE or any map.

      • Ken (in Texas), so you’ve found the chest already? No? Didn’t think so. You’re pretty confident in your absolute assumptions about TTOTC.

    • What is a *straight forward definition*?
      It seems to me all meanings and usages are usable. Even Fenn indicated many don’t understand the words we use everyday. Claims he looked up words for the poem and changed them to get it the way he wanted.
      Even the words “follow” has
      a meanings for understanding what needs to be known of (a process to consider) vs. being lead on a leash.

      Saying something is “straight forward” doesn’t say the easiest , common, version is the only option… It also means; in all honesty. Or in this case… The word, words, phrasing of words are true to their meanings.. all meanings.

      • Seeker, I don’t know, you haven’t mentioned what definition you want to go with when using words like…


        Keeping in mind the context of each use in the poem.

        • FD,
          I have with some. Example; alone can mean, the first. Example; first in “time,” or first in line, first to cross the finish line.
          However, words like ‘the and hint’ need something to relate too, such as “hint of riches new and old.’
          New and old can relate to time, such as past and present. Add riches as one definition meaning knowledge, rather than of value and one could consider knowledge of the past and how it represent the present.

          Not every word has a type of time about one of their definitions, but many do.. halt can mean a temporary stop- temporarily in time or period of time..
          Contiguous means a sequence in time.
          Even consecutive order can be a sequence in time… Although Fenn made it clear that the “clues in the poem” are in consecutive order, only later to add; they are contiguous as well.
          LOL why change consecutive to contiguous?
          Might it be a hint about something time related?

          Can IT be time related?
          Sure, IF the reader can see IT as something that needs doing. Such as, “take it in” as an observation. Then prior IT might translate to *begin observing WWsH and look in the canyon down…

          Should this be correct… We also have stanza three using words as to time and situation a searcher might have to think about doing.

          Too many words and phrases relate to time… IF you analyze the meaning of words and phrasing of words.

          I’ll even add; if you’ve been wise and found the blaze.
          Why isn’t it stated as if you been wise and FIND the blaze?

          The question is; what exactly does the blaze do?
          Does it simply mark where the chest sits, or shows you where the chest is at?

          The difference might be the word “found” as to *have* (been wise) and discover the blaze is a prior clue, rather than something later in a journey.

          If so, you have to ask what stanza three us all about if a searcher had discovered the blaze in stanza two?
          Time now becomes relevant to think about
          How is the blaze utilize to “show” a searcher where the TC hides in wait.??

          Or maybe, most here are correct… This is nothing more than a point to point method… Which basically say; no one can follow directions.

          10 years, 300,000 looking, clues deciphered yet not truly known they were, folks going by all the clues and walked past the chest… By 500′ and less?

          Something ain’t workin with the idea we should use simplistic meanings and skip what many call alternative.

          I asked before… What exactly does literal or alternative definitions mean?

          • Seeker, finally we get an actual definition from someone about one of the words on my list.

            It’s just me but I’ll prbly go with the definition in a dictionary for the word “alone” and not for that word to mean first cause I don’t see that and because then I would need to insert the word “first” into the first stanza of the poem and remove the word “alone” and I don’t want to mess with the poem. It changes things that prbly aren’t the intent of f.

            Here’s what I found:

            by oneself
            on one’s own
            all alone
            without an escort
            on one’s tod
            on one’s lonesome
            on one’s jack
            on one’s Jack Jones
            on one’s pat
            on one’s Pat Malone
            in company
            on one’s own.
            “he lives alone”
            indicating that something is confined to the specified subject or recipient.
            “we agreed to set up such a test for him alone”

          • FD,

            I see the definition you’re applying… Ok fine.
            But you said you would need to add *first* to the poem for my idea of alone to work.
            I disagree…
            Example; the saying, up sheet creek without a paddle, simply means you have no options, there’s nothing you can do.
            With that in mind… Do you need to add that, you have no option?
            No, it is imply by the phrasing of the words.

            We don’t need to add or change wording to understand what is being relayed.

            As for alone to represent someone being first… An example for thought would be; the first humans to travel to the now known USA. Or the idea they alone came from China to the new world. They were the first to do so, line of thinking.
            Alone* doesn’t need changing or replacement because it means; in the first, by one definition of the word.

            The word IT is of the same premise. IT needs a subject. Yet many feel the subject matter must come first or before. This is not true… A subject to represent what IT might be can follow the word.
            Hence, “take IT in” to mean observing something tell us what the “being IT…” May be about… Being observing at this point (WWsH)
            Note; many words in the poem mean to look at or observe.

            We still need to know what to look for and where to look. “Down” in this case gives a direction (possibly south on a map) along said canyon… And we look for the representing factor for what hoB could refer to.
            Personal note; it is possible hoB could have been solved or indicated, yet NF, BTFTW screw up searchers. That means this clue was not solved properly and still hoB could have.

            LOL… For the life of me I don’t know how alone might work with this interpretation… But even using alone as, going by ones self… I reminded about leaving your search partner in the car, comment.
            Might “alone” be telling us that where the chest lays in wait is small in size?
            Could the first line in stanza one simply be hinting of a place only a single body can fit?

            If possible.. can ” look quickly down” reference the need to bend, duck, crawl-?- to get into that hidey space?

            My point is, the words and wording throughout the poem are “contiguous” meaning clue 456 must work in conjunction with clues 123 & 789, line of thinking.

            Imo. There is no reason that 9 different clues can’t represent a single small location in the manner explain ( in part ) above.
            And it seems that meanings of words connect as (for lack of a better term) a theme throughout the poem.

            If one piece fails… Everything falls apart. However in a point to point stomping… A later correct clues can put a searcher back on the right track even if a prior clues is incorrect.
            Meaning a clue can be skipped or incorrect.

            Example; if I have the correct WwsH mapped and I also have HL n WH correctly mapped, yet screwed up hoB… What’s to stop me from going to HL n WH and continue on?
            Its on my map and correct, right? Even if I got there by a wrong or misinterpret clue.

            I still say the method is flawed because we are told we need all the ingredients in a specific order.
            This is why I can see “contiguous” relating to time… Because many words in the poem relate to time as well.
            Call it the main ingredient if ya like, for planning and observing that we are told we should do.

          • Seeker, i think you are still missing pieces of the premise I put out there.

            I said to keep in context of the poem the words on my exercise list. It matters.

            Not like your example here…

            “ As for alone to represent someone being first… An example for thought would be; the first humans to travel to the now known USA. Or the idea they alone came from China to the new world. They were the first to do so, line of thinking.
            Alone* doesn’t need changing or replacement because it means; in the first, by one definition of the word.”

          • Seeker, to add, if you think gone alone in f’s poem means gone first then that would be different than what f has told us. I believe he had told us outside the poem that he went alone. Not that he went first.

  18. Caller: “Hello, Mr Obvious? First time caller, long time listener. This treasure hunt has really got me stumped. I found the end of the rainbow, but it wasn’t in the Rocky Mountains.”

    Mr Obvious: “Do tell caller. Where did you find the end of the rainbow.”

    Caller: “Well I was on vacation in Key West. Visited the home of Earnest Hemingway. On my way out I saw it. It was a sign that said ‘The End of the Rainbow. Was I close to the treasure?”

    Mr Obvious: “Yes caller you were. The Atocha.”

    Caller: “So not the Fenn treasure then?”

    Mr Obvious: “ Nope. But it seems like you have a built in radar for treasure. Don’t give up caller. IMO, you just might be closer to the treasure than the rest of us. But for now stay home until the quarantine is over.”

    Caller: “Got it. Stayin’ home for now. But I won’t quit. Thanks Mr Obvious. You’re the best.”

    Caller: “Wait. There’s a quarantine?”

    • LOL, funny. Cant believe the caller got there before me. First time for everything I suppose.

      I think I better stay at home too now.

      Thanks for the laugh. See you next time around!

    • Sorry Dal for going off topic just a tad. I thought the subject was “contagious”, not “contiguous”. It won’t hsppen again. Honest. 🙂

  19. DAL

    Look at the picture of the dove in the moon in TTOTC and then look at satellite image of Ojo…. Now tell me again that there is nothing hinting towards Ojo? You said not even microscopically….. But can you really deny what I see?

  20. Thanks dal,
    Very touching for sure. With this wild Corona thing facing us and everybody feeling a little crabby from running around like a masked singer, it’s easy to loose our perspective. Without losing sight of our liberities we should all remember that America will eventually team up and outrun this wellbug. Contigious is not the same as contagious although they may be close.

  21. With regards to Ojo and MJ. Just because it does not directly mention those places in TTOTC, does not necessarily mean it wasn’t indirectly mentioned or hints tossed towards it…correct? Fenn stated there were hints in TTOTC but they weren’t supposed to directly help us with figuring out the end game.

    So, using the firehole ending at MJ would most definitely work because at MJ it halts. It not longer is the firehole River. Correct? Or No?

  22. Some interesting thought Dal. And I may be off topic’ sorry if so.
    I believe there is no doubt that contiguous plays an important part in the clues and that it will expose itself. But I wouldn’t overlook corollary. I think this year is the one needed for the needed recovery. Sometimes things just have to be that way.
    Something caught me by surprise the other day and this little phrase came to me.
    Who Am I I had to laugh. A little chill came over me and I realized that despite the social distancing, we are closer then you think.
    Just some IMO for thought.

    • If I believed in signs from above. I would try to understand them to the best of my knowledge. “Mad Hatter”.

  23. Dal – Nice train of thought….I just hope one of my solves is not suddenly derailed! (I couldn’t resist)

    I 100% agree with your thinking about contiguous and I never believed that Ojo Caliente was WWWHs……..but Madison Junction is a whole other story for me. In addition to the Madison Canyon, there is the other obvious Firehole Canyon, which to me, can be a possibility if you take the line “Canyon down” to mean South. I know you and many other searchers early on and now, have explored this area only to come up empty handed. But I honestly believe this is where so many started and were “close” but missed the other clues.

    There are many reasons why I believe this to be true. Many have already been expressed on the blog, and some not so much, if ever. I won’t go into one in particular as that would give too much away that I am still working on. But I will say it is where logic ends and imagination begins. IMO

    Now that said, I am still exploring other possibilities because I have not found ANY solve that I can say I feel has all the “ah ha” moments. We’ll see how BOTG go this year. I may be right behind you in leaving the Madison Junction behind finally for good!

    Good luck in finding that key for your new area!

  24. Dal, those are excellent, practical descriptions of “Hole” but what I most enjoyed is that you weren’t afraid to say how deep the hole was;-)

    • Goldilocks – Bingo! That’s what I think Forrest was referring to in that Q/A comment about which came first; the nine clues or the Poem. I believe he was saying those two events were connected in time.

      • Hi Lisa Link! He’s also uses consecutive interchangeably, which of course can also be chronological.

    • Seems like Forrest mention something I saw in a cartoon. Funny how I studied one thing only to find something else. One might need to be well-versed in order to solve this. I also think it’s going to take a lot of heart for U 2 solve this. Perhaps we are to think “supercalifragilisticXbialidocious and inev8ability”.

    • pdenver, congratulations, we are still on the same page here… right?

      We can both agree the poem is not just telling us something, it is screaming a message to all who will listen good, what I hear above and so far is “location, location, and location,” but what is the “Message” here, it is of grand import, for if you do not understand the metaphorical message, you cannot imagine nor see the beginning at WWWH, or the next 8 clues which IMHO are related but perhaps diminished…Forrest once answered this question from Jon Lackman interview in SC Book 167– Can you give me one quote that will inspire my readers that it is possible to find your treasure? Something to motivate them? Something to tease them.

      FF: Those who solve the first clue are more than half way to the treasure, metaphorically speaking.

      I think little or not enough attention is given to the possibility that not only is each clue contiguous it may well be that each one could get smaller? Why else would you figure out the first 2 clues, assuming WWWH and Canyon are the first two, then have searchers walk right past the other 7?

      SO lets jump ahead and if we have found (past tense) the blaze, and looking down is where we cease it, assume it as the chase/hunt/ and our quest what have we overlooked as in the missing d in knowlege? Not just a Marvel Gaze but that funny little word “quest” that long or arduous search for something, see “The man from La Mancha” that something is the secret/riddle and the rainbow, THE MESSAGE is a double rainbow of blessing or two omegas, and what is an OMEGA, you ask? It is the twenty-fourth, and last, letter of the Greek alphabet (Ω, ω) Now why would that be important to solving the poem?

      Our 24 letter in the Alphabet is X, the only letter that is not in the poem. HINT big time…Find the message, find the place…I rest my case.

      TG in Greek TT

      • Just a thought… Alpha (Beginning) – Omega (End)… The “begin it where” (… the alpha beginning). “Your quest to cease” (end and omega ending… but also a double omega). The Alpha, which also reminds me of Aleph, the symbol originally being a bulls head – and where the letter A originated. The Aleph (Alpha) suggests in the Hebrew, a “oneness” with God. One’s cathedral in the mountains?

        Does one see an Omega as the blaze when they have reached the end of their quest?

        Just random thoughts…

  25. Okay, in my opinion both the clues and the locations they are talking about are next to each other. The little girl in India can’t get closer than the first two clues. But they are all next to each other. They are next to each other on the page and on the land. The little girl can’t get past the first two because the first two are on the page, but not on the land and she is in India and therefore can’t get to any of the locations or else she wouldn’t be in India anymore.

    • … and of course then- at that moment, once she gets to the search area- she ceases to be a little girl in India and becomes a little girl in the rockies. In case you didn’t get my dift.

  26. Correct Dal: they (Madison Junction and Ojo Caliente) are both wrong, IMO, for all the logical reasons you mentioned, and more. Which is why I have been so adamant about the issues with each of them for years. I’ve especially rejected Ojo Caliente (both NM and YNP) because there is no way in H-E-double hockey sticks you could come up with that from either the poem or TTOTC. Forrest’s website? Sure. But that’s not a self-contained poem factoid.

    Madison Junction is more supportable due to the multiple warm water convergence argument, and because it provides a *specific* starting point, which few searcher solutions seem to abide by. But it is still arbitrary in the sense that the poem doesn’t uniquely direct you there. It’s a geographic-knowledge-inspired dart throw — a place you can’t possibly “nail down” with confidence.

    Any solution that is critically dependent upon information that first appeared in sources that postdate TTOTC would seem to be wrong, based on the plurality of Forrest’s statements over the years. This is why I reject all the searchers’ solutions that invoke the “10 miles” mention in the beginning of TFTW. Without that book, no one would come up with that.

    • Zap –
      (referring to the Madison Junction) “But it is still arbitrary in the sense that the poem doesn’t uniquely direct you there. It’s a geographic-knowledge-inspired dart throw — a place you can’t possibly “nail down” with confidence.”

      You are one of the searchers here that I totally respect and agree with most of the time. But I have to disagree with your statement above. Forrest does indeed mention in the TTOTC that he sat alone by a tree on the Madison when he wrote that note to Peggy. He doesn’t specify exactly where, but considering we are to start at WWWHs, who’s to say it wasn’t at the junction?

      I have a couple solves that use Madison junction as WWWHs, but I’m not married to them and I continue to look at other possibilities as well. But I don’t think the junction is a complete “geographic-knowledge-inspired dart throw.” And correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t many early on searchers start at the Madison Junction….before there were so many ATFs? Something in the poem/book had to lead them there. As a matter of fact, I started the search by only using the poem and the book….no blogs or any other source and MJ is where I landed right from the get go. Maybe that’s why I’m not ready to give it up just quite yet as I have done only one BOTG there.

      Now that said, I have to agree that there may not be a high degree of confidence at this WWWH….but then again…is there ever! LOL! 🙂

      • I’m with Zap on this one. If someone can point out anything in the poem that points out MJ specifically as WWWH then I’d be open to listening to it. Aside from that it is a dart throw. Sitting by a tree by the river in the book isn’t good enough. It needs to come from the poem. Also, like I have said before, if he mentions specific locations then that gives me more reason to stay away from them.

        • Aaron – I don’t believe anything in the book or poem will be pointed out specifically and handed to you on a silver platter, but SOMETHING (hints/clues) obviously has to, at best, guide you towards a smaller target then the Rocky Mountains. Otherwise you are doing just that, throwing darts.

          I see several hints in TTOTC that point me in a certain direction. They are not spelled out as a specific location, but it certainly can help narrow things down.

          May I ask how you go about tackling the task of narrowing things down if you believe that specific locations are to be ignored?

          • GG, yes something has to guide you towards a smaller target than the RM’s. That something has got to be all in the poem. Searchers have flocked to area’s FF has mentioned, and he probably knew they would. If it where there it would have been found IMO. We know he is careful about giving away too much information.

            As far as how I narrow things down, I use the first stanza of the poem to help with WWWH. I believe it is descriptive enough about geographical features to let us know exactly where to look. From there it is just a matter of finding WWWH as it relates to this.

          • Fair enough. I agree flocking to an area just because it was mentioned is not the way to go….there has to be a tie in through the poem and/or TTOTC. And I’m with you on the first stanza.

          • GG, I agree on the tie to the area in the poem is key, I’m okay with “and the book”. Not so much on “or the book”.

          • I’ve described it as possibly the poem’s first stanza narrows it down from the Rockies to a narrower geographical area through the use of a hint.

            TTOTC book would then utilize a few more hints that are even easier to figure out in comparison to the poem hint. This is why f has often repeated his best advice is to look for the book hints to help with the clues.

            Not saying the book hints are easy.

  27. “What does that word “contiguous” tell us about the clues?
    Simply that they touch one another. Where one ends the next begins. There is no space between them. As in the 48 contiguous States. ”

    This ATF, along with his “The clues should be followed in order. There is no other way to my knowlege” have perplexed me.

    At the Moby Dickens book signing, the question to which he responds “They’re contiguous” was with regards to when he conceived of the nine clues in his mind, so the answer seems to dodge that. But WHAT is ‘contiguous’ — the written clues as they appear in the poem, or the physical places to which each clue refers? And in what order?

    I had initially considered ‘end is ever drawing neigh’ to be a poet’s filler, not a bona fide clue — to wit: ‘you’re getting closer’ (ok, chief, thanks for the encouragement). But if all clues as they appear in the poem are contiguous, when placed between ‘no place for the meek’ and ‘no paddle up your creek’, it must be a relevant clue.

    Also, Dal references ‘the contiguous United States’. As others have pointed out — NY and CA are both within the ‘contiguous United States’, but they are not themselves contiguous states. So, are the clues in the poem similarly all contiguous, but not necessarily in the order in which they should be followed? Is it possible that the proper order of the clues to be followed are not necessarily consistent with the order in which they are presented in the poem, yet all nine are adjacent?

  28. Aardvarkbark;

    I see the nine clues being in consecutive order / contiguous as:
    Calif touches Nev touches Utah touches Colorado touches Kansas touches Missouri touches Kentucky touches West Virginia touches Maryland. 9 states tough each other.

    Clue #1 touches Clue #2 touches clue #3 etc until you reach clue #9.

    All of the states are contiguous to each other – the 9 clues are contiguous to each other.

    California certainly does not touch Maryland – Clue #1 certainly does not touch clue #9.

    I am sure that most people look at it this way – as you probably do also

    re your last question – NO, I do not think that Is it possible that the proper order of the clues to be followed are not necessarily consistent with the order in which they are presented in the poem, yet all nine are adjacent?

    The states connect in a solid line – as do the clues.

    Forrest has said: “So I wrote a poem containing the nine clues that if followed precisely will lead to the end of my rainbow.” – TTOTC Page 131 and 132.

    “There are nine clues in the poem, and the clues are in consecutive order….”

    “All you have to do is think about the nine clues and follow them in order.” b 932299.html

    “Q. Forrest, did you have 9 clues before you wrote the poem or did 9 clues appear after you wrote the poem?
    A. They’re contiguous…”

    Forrest says it all clearer than I could. JDA

    • It looks to me like you misquoted Forrest (the line that includes “rainbow”).
      But this isn’t a biggie. No hard feelings intended to be caused. As always, IMO.

      • You are correct – I accidentally inserted a “the” between containing and nine – Sorry, it was not intentional – GOOD EYE – JDA

        • I also left off “and the treasure” – Sorry. I guess I also left out a comma after precisely. Maybe I should have stayed in bed 🙂 JDA

    • JDA ~ *California certainly does not touch Maryland – Clue #1 certainly does not touch clue #9.*

      Why? I mean if all the clues are close, could it not be the idea of the big picture… just on a small scale?
      For example, and others have thought the same; a waterfall can be contiguous in one spot. WWWH over the edge and drops not far but too far to walk. PUBTHOB could represent the center of the falls [for a feature there] to mean NPFTM the end is drawing near… just HLnWH… Look Quickly down from hoB?
      A contiguous action of a waterfall with clues describing the actin of the water and elevation.
      So why can’t clues 1 be touching clue 9 and all that are in-between?

    • @JDA — Thank you for the ‘clues are in consecutive order’ comment, of which I was unaware. Your link takes me to a 2011 video not available, but I’ll take your word. I had only heard f mention ‘contiguous’ and guidance to follow them in the correct order, but not a clear indication that their order in the poem is the order they must be followed.

  29. Dal,

    Great thought provoking post. I guess maybe we ought to be asking: Is it just the clues that we see and read in the poem that are contiguous, or is it their deciphered locations, in the physical world, that are contiguous. Or is it possibly both?

    It comes down to the difference in the tangible and the mental concept of that which is tangible, but both can be contiguous, theoretically speaking.


  30. Think macroscopically, not micro. Study the book and discover the code woven throughout the book. In my opinion, the place where warm waters halt can be identified to a mathematical certainty when you follow the code. The clues are contiguous in the same way that unconnected stars become a picture — when you make them contiguous by drawing the constellation. Connect the clues by using the code to draw your picture on a map and reveal the location.

    Every day we get one foot closer to the treasure chest.

    • Macroscopically. Big picture.

      Woven. Embroidery.

      Stars. Book cover.

      All of that is confirmation bias from my side, bet it got some of you all excited.

      However I doubt this is the right approach. I can not of course tell you you’re wrong, but FF said there was no need for ciphers and codes and that it was straightforward.

      My irreleverent advice: If the solve is dry, give another try.

      • “Code” is only a word I’ve given it to give it a name but not give it away. The real word would be the key word which, to my uncertain knowledge, has been expressly overlooked on this particular website.

    • Darvcus – I think you are onto something! This is a contiguous representation of the Poem clues married to a map in my solve, where C = Baker’S Hole:

      The vertex angle of the Golden Triangle = Phi = f (at C) marks my hidey spot.

      A = My WWWH at Madison Junction.

      B = The Fennhaven Cabins

      Side AB = The West Entrance Road, at 14+ miles distance.

      Side AC = Fastest, most direct route for a Trumpeter Swan to fly from Madison Junction to Baker’S Hole.

      Side BC = The Boundary Trail or Highway 191.

      Where the Golden Triangle and the Golden Gnomon share a side, that represents the route from Cable Car Run to Baker’S Hole that Forrest could possibly have followed on the Madison River, with his dinghy attached to his belt (10 river miles)

      What do you think? Did I crack the code from TTOTC?

      Forrest’s father was, in fact, a math teacher.

      • I believe you’re at the wrong starting point. Also, I don’t think you’ve found the code. But your concept is headed in the right direction. The code will reveal a number of triangles, in a way if thinking. Do you understand?

        BTW, I’m responding mainly to let Forrest know I’m pretty sure I’ve solved his incredible puzzle, but also to let you know that your perseverance and thought process is on the right track. Study the book! What do you see throughout?

        • I am certainly uncertain of any certainty. Though it would seem certain that there are certain hints within the book which could certainly help ascertain the certainty of a certain solve. …certainly… 😉

          • I should have said: But are you sure?
            Missed that opportunity! Surely, if you were as sure as Shirley, who is as sure as sure can be, then Shirley surely would be surely sure you are surely as sure as she.

          • Ann O’Nymous
            on April 28, 2020 at 6:27 pm said:


            I don’t think they know what that word means…

          • poisonivy,

            That’s preposterous hippopotamus, we shall get to the bottom of this.


        • Hi Darvcus
          Why else would Forrest keep referencing the
          Rosetta Stone.yes there is a key word but you
          have to use all to get you to the end.I new
          about the code or codes for 2 plus years
          finished the poem late last September.I
          had flight booked and had to cancel because
          of snow storm.Now just watching the weather.

        • Darvcus -.OK, are you talking about a Pentagram (Star) or a Logarithmic Spiral (see also: Fibonacci sequence)? They both incorporate Golden Triangles:

          I do not have Forrest’s books, but have read TTOTC, TFTW and Teepee Smoke. And I am an expert at searching for previously mentioned topics and quotes, using Google Search, especially here on Dal’s amazingly comprehensive blog.

          I really enjoy finding patterns…

          • Lisa,

            Might I suggest in jest a trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics! They have quite a bit of patterns there! 🙂


          • Lisa,

            Now we are getting somewhere! I wonder if you haven’t seen the other Buffalo Bill Centr video ca 2006…..

            I’d like to see if you and I aren’t on the same plane (insert crypticity). Given your most important ‘pattern,’ are you focused on a creek, a ford or the side of the house? And just so we don’t muddy the waters here, would you say such focus doesn’t take you down the usual rabbit hole?

            Looking forward to your response! All IMO.


          • Ann – Yes. I watched this 2006 video within the last several months:


            And it was a ‘Miss Ford’ minus getting my flip-flops stuck in the heavy mud of the marsh (that was August of 2019) across the Madison River to my hidey spot. I didn’t go looking around that muddy, marshy Y-shaped creek, where the Boundary Trail meets the base of my backwardS bike ‘S’ blaZe/blaSe. Because Forrest wrote that ‘no paddle up’ thing.

            I have always been pretty good at following specific directions and marrying those to a map. Just not usually in the form of a Poem.

            And it was a mole hole, not a rabbit hole.


          • Lisa,

            So your mole hole was not the distraction I was hoping it was for the pattern I was hoping you would see. Therefore I will remain cryptic.

            WOW! I’m not sure I even want to be cryptic! Watch the videos again and let me know if you don’t find a different pattern. Try not to focus on your mole hole. Instead, see if you can’t find a more subtle solution.

            All IMO.


            PS-Yes I ended up being cryptic.

          • Ann – Ok. Watched the 2006 video again. My take is Yellowstone, Yellowstone, Yellowstone. Forrest loved returning there. Anytime he could. From wherever he was. And when Forrest loves someplace or someone, he uses the word ‘umbilical’. He did that in the video. And one of his earliest memories was of a stuffed buffalo, pointed out by Mr. Frost, at the original Cody Museum. Where he always stopped on the way to Yellowstone.

            And folks think Forrest’s treasure is in New Mexico or Colorado, why?

            Ok, now what was your take on that video? Maybe something about Forrest’s love of books and Indian artifacts or tying flies at the shop in West Yellowstone?

            And are you thinking about Teepee Rings in the Upper Teepee Basin on Teepee Creek? Or, maybe, about the Blackfeet Indians?

          • Ann – Oh, and don’t teepee entrances in a village usually face East for the Sunrise? I remembered Forrest said he always stayed in bed, thinking, and getting his best ideas, from 7:00-8:00am.

            Now I am imagining my Nez Perce Buffalo Hide teepee facing East at my hidey spot. That’s a really beautiful view of the mountains surrounding Madison Canyon in the distance. You can see that perspective on the Baker’S Hole interpretive sign depiction. Which matches what Forrest said he sees, and smells, at his special spot.

            And that sign faces upward, to the viewer, Seeker. Not in any direction. And that spot could be the hoB put in, also.

          • Lisa,

            I admire your tenacity! I can only imagine how your brain has races over the years pondering the Chase and the location fo the chest! I imagine it is running a million miles a minute! I wonder how many times it has come across bits and pieces to the correct solve! It would certainly be interesting to find out.

            Yellowstone tends to be the biggest takeaway from that 2006 video. Some even see it as confirmation for their solves. I am fully aware of FFs affinity for the place. And for the greater part of time in the Chase, I have been against the area in terms of a solve.

            As you and others well know I am not a fan of MJ as WWWH. I have leaned toward a more literal take on that word. I have also been antagonistic to Brown referring to trout. I still am, even though that is the likeliest HOB for a place such as the Sinks.

            But then I was introduced to the 2006 video and a new Brown dawned on me. And a more likely place to begin the Chase than MJ. I encourage you to watch the video one more time, but this time keep track of how much time FF spends his misspent youth in various places.

            Also pay attention to the last three sentences in the first paragraph to the first of your two posts I am replying to here. Try and see if you can’t hear him good.

            I am intrigued by FFs affinity for Native Americans. I had considered at one point whether Brown did not refer to a particular tribe such as Wind River. The video you shared with me really reaffirmed the ideas I gained from the earlier video. So I was a bit perplexed when you shared it with me and then responded as you did to my initial cryptic question. I am wondering what it has to do with your Hole solve?

            I actually thought you were going in one of two alternate directions with that video. Both are extremely intriguing. One more suitable to your liking and the other right up my newest creek!

            I asked about your focus once for a reason. I have all three in mind. You have inadvertently identified some of the subtle metaphorical allusions being discussed.

            You are correct about the teepee entrances. Natives always had the openings to their dwellings face East to greet the sun and Wakan Tanka at the start of each day.

            Okay, I have lost the remaining train of thought here. I’d love to tell you more but then what would we have to talk about later!?! All IMO.


          • Ann – For the Fall Run on the Madison River, I would bet both Bob Jacklin and Forrest Fenn would agree that the fly tying ‘pattern’ of choice would be a Woolly Bugger.

            Didn’t Dal make a great video of Forrest expertly tying one of those?

          • Ann – Is your ‘new creek’ Nez Perce Creek? Is your blaze the historical interpretive sign, at the pullout along the road? Is the creek your hoB, because of the 1890 Brown trout stocked there? Is your WWWH Ojo Caliente or Excelsior Geyser?

            I have imagined either a Shoshone, Nez Perce or Blackfeet teepee having been at my hidey spot out Baker’S Hole. Pretty defensible space with plenty of food sources. Saw Bison patties and Elk/Moose droppings, and we know Cutthroat trout and Whitefish were there as the native species. And after 1889-90, Brown and Loch Leven trout spawned there. And Rainbow trout were stocked later and spawn there in Spring.

            I have imagined the Indians using a dugout canoe, made from a Cottonwood tree, to get across the Madison River. I can see their campfire in my mind, roasting fresh game and telling stories…

          • Lisa,

            So you have managed to hit on one of the two directions I thought you might be going with the videos, the one more suitable to your liking. However, you have passed up my ‘new creek’ and are still using trout for Brown. Brown is not trout in the other direction.

            I am liking your visuals of how things might have been. If you ever figure out the other direction you may be inclined to imagine even greater imagery still! My WWWH was not apparent at first. In fact I only just identified it yesterday or the day before. It is much more subtle than I imagined but the HOB is such a doozy, I imagine there isn’t another one like it!

            To others who may be wondering about the order of discovery, I first came upon the place that I am calling WWWH though I didn’t know yet that it was WWWH. I found a remarkable HOB thereafter and had stronger inclinations for it’s accuracy than I had any inkling for WWWH. But a simple search revealed the nature of this WWWH and so I did indeed begin it where….

            All IMO.


          • PS Lisa,

            I am inclined to believe the blaze may be a petroglyph. I think that would be the best indicator to stand the test of time. And I think the blaze is a BOTG sort of clue. You’ll know it when you see it sort of thing. Just as the HOB is a real place, I imagine the blaze is a real object (likely a mark of some sort in something that will stand the test of time such as stone as opposed to wood).

            If not a marking then certainly an identifiable geographic feature. This seems less likely as a feature is commonly thought of as rather large compared to a petroglyph. And since the blaze is not visible from a GE stand point, I don’t imagine it’s composition is something that would naturally be visible via GE. Geographic features tend to be of the latter category.

            I might also suggest the use of petroglyph lightly. A particular shaped stone (such as an arrow) or a seemingly out of place similar object (likely stone) could also be the blaze. Anything that would likely give way to natural hazards such as decay, fire, etc., etc. are likely not the blaze. This includes tree carvings, man made markers out of materials other than stone and the like.

            All is IMO fo course.


          • Ann – OK. So, is there a Water Ghost petroglyph on your rock blaze? And is Osborne Russell’s book your blaze? So, Beaver Creek is your new creek? Also, see the Sir Thomas Browne quote on the cover page of “Journal of a Trapper”:


            Are your Brown Indians the Blackfeet? Did you find teepee rings or artifacts, out the Cabin Creek drainage, where Forrest and Donnie got lost? Forrest said if he could do anything again, he would do that trip. But that, now, it is TFTW. He said, on a Q/A at Jenny’s, that trip was “the best”.

          • Lisa,

            So much to respond to! You are quite the poster!

            The petroglyph question is a good one. I do not yet know what sort of mark the petroglyph may be. I was not previously familiar with the Water Ghosts so I thank you for that tidbit of info. I am aware of samples FF made in his back yard. It is possible those may be the sort of mark in the form of a petroglyph we are looking for. I haven’t really seen or read anything regarding his backyard markings so I don’t know the context of them.

            Love the Thomas Browne quote! Would like to read the Journal sometime.

            So, I have been drawn to Gallatin previously. Mostly because of the map reference when FF got lost. That dirt trail would be fun to find again. But my current area of interest which you are trying to figure out is not Beaver Creek. As a matter of first impression, the area looks interesting. I could take a closer look for you if you wish.

            I am aware of the TFTW quote you mention. The primary quandary I have with Gallatin is that he really only spent one summer there, presumably as a lumberjack. Though in the interview where he discusses this (the 2006 video) he doesn’t mention the story of getting lost with Donnie. So, while the place I am interested in at the moment is one where he and the family spent much more time, I suppose you could say Gallatin is a place he was known to have gone twice. Once as a lumberjack and once to get lost with Donnie. That is true only if we assume they were not part of the same visit.

            That said, my Brown is not a group of Native Americans though my Brown certainly has ties to them. I would love to find some Native American artifacts! That would mean I am out west looking! But like those teepee entrances my home is eastward.

            The Water Ghost image is interesting as well. I would have to do more research into the sorts of petroglyphs present in the area. Since I don’t know, Water Ghosts are certainly an option at this point! Looking forward to your next post!

            All IMO.


          • Ann – On the Gallatins:

            – Forrest loved to fish Watkins Creek with his Dad.

            – Forrest hiked to Avalanche Lake with Donnie to fish for Golden trout, from the Beaver Creek Trailhead.

            – Forrest and Donnie walked 91 miles along the Gallatin River from West Yellowstone to Bozeman.

            Forrest loved to fish the Gallatin River with his friend, Joe.

            Forrest and his family drove up Highway 191, from the Fennhaven Cabins, to go berry picking. Forrest’s Dad pulled off the road, into the forest. That would be in the Gallatin National Forest.

          • Lisa,

            On the subject of “Gallatin” I’m reminded of; the more detailed a map the better.. and, the right map.

            What map did *Forest fire* burn?

            Now for fun… Lets add how contiguous and time might relate to Gallatin.

            The area is covered in forest, the location is under thread of burns by many different reason… One idea beging of historical time is YS volcano.

            A contiguous even happing over millions of years. One such even created a place within GNF that still stands today.. the petrified forest.

            If you are brave and in the wood?
            Burning of a map while exploring history, a place that has stood the test of time…yada, yada yada..l

            I get it, Fenn is an angler. But imo, chasing fish is the same as tossing a dart at a map to find WWsH.

            The point to this is… There are other connection to “Gallatin” that could relate to the challenge.. that can also relate to “contiguous” (a sequence of something in time) which could “join” the past to the present and still connect in future time.
            Hint of riches new and old?

            Just more rambling and rumbling.

          • EC,

            Fenn used Forest Fire in postings long before this story /SB of the ranch in NM.

            I guess I’m failing to see the reason for your post, to mine, about the L&C story and the burning of the GNF (map) Fenn used to start a campfire, or how contiguous in a sequence of two different event can connect to a location of interest…
            The high heat of ash (burning) and time creating a petrified forest, and an adventure of two boys backtracking history, all could connect to the poem… With some lines in the poem that I presented.

          • Seeker – if we can agree that you and I have rarely been able to find a common ground, it would not be surprising that anything I propose would not connect for you and seem out of context. I understand it is difficult to connect with someone else’s thought model unless one is open and ready to make that leap, and abandon the thoughts one has formed to date, especially in this setting.

            And while I have been very transparent with my thoughts regarding solutions and connections in the past, I have recently adopted a new thought model that makes me extremely nervous that I might actually be on the right path, one which so far seems to connect a lot of the randomness I had previously experienced. I can now say things are flowing much easier for me as it seems an important guideline exists from which Forrest has pulled and then formulated his poem words. I would normally share it because I am believer of shared connectedness to solve problems (hence my past behaviors of posting openly), but to share it now would be to cast a thirl through my own thrill. So for that, I apologize.

            With this said, my original aside of the Forrest Fire avatar is still probable to closely align with SB182, and the phrase “in the wood”.

          • Lisa,

            I love that you always have plenty of interesting info in your posts! I was aware of some of those connections to FF but not all. I am wondering which pull off you are referring to with FF’s father. This wouldn’t be the single room school house. I thought that was somewhere in WY. Is that 91 mile walk with Donnie the time they got lost? If so I wasn’t aware of the exact path they took but always wanted to know.

            I must say, I was not taken to the Gallatin by way of fishing. Seeker raises some interesting connections as well. I too was intrigued by the map from the story, which you and I have discussed before. The TFTW quote regarding Gallatin is of interest.

            I had even considered the idea of petrified wood for “in the wood” but I have come to believe “In the wood” and “worth the cold” are descriptive references to the chest itself. The cold bronze and wooden liner.

            There are fur trapper connections and definitely geothermal activities. I even looked at Devil’s Den once. Certainly Camp Brown is of interest. So lots of possible connections to FF and the poem.

            Here the quandary I have with most places nowadays, Gallatin included. I believe that “home of Brown” is a real place. I would also concede the notion that it has nothing to do with a man made structure. But I do take issue with notions of trout or camps or put-ins.

            I would never have known of Camp Brown without the use of that old map you shared. This would only change if there were signs or markers in that area today that also made this information available. But I am inclined not to rely even on signs since there permanence is none existent and they are susceptible to change as in Camp Brown is now called…..

            I have stated my issue with trout before but I will emphasize it again here. Nothing about a particular river or stream in the Rockies (or elsewhere) identifies itself as housing trout. I would have to know 1) something about the habitat of trout and 2) whether or not a particular river or stream meets such criteria.

            If I were to simply go out to the Firehole, or Gallatin, or whatever body of water someone calls HOB because there are trout in it, I would not be able to stand there, look at the body of water and say to myself, “There is the home of Brown.”

            In other words, I imagine HOB is identifiable visually. Anyone who is standing before or around or near HOB will be able to identify it as such because they will be able to see it is such. So for me, trout are out.

            Put-ins are perhaps less scrutinizable since they tend to be designated areas. However, there are a few issues I have with put-ins. 1) The nautical definition is not commonly known. 2) Put-ins could arguably be deemed man made, 3) Without being used, put-ins would not stand the test of time. And 4) if put-in is meant to be nautical then the only obvious such put in connected to Brown would be Joe Brown’s Put-In. But who is Joe Brown and why would FF care enough to honor him in the Chase?

            Which brings me to one thought in the opposite direction. Whoever, or whatever Brown refers to, it/they mean enough to FF for him to honor this Brown in the Chase and more importantly in his own one time burial cite. Yes FF was a fisherman, but it’s not like he only fished for trout! I’ve read more about FF fishing for bass than I have trout. So why would trout be worthy of such an hour versus any of the other fish FF ever fished for? If brown bass were a species of fish we would all be searching bass filled waters.

            To All,

            In my short time here in the Chase I have heard much discussion about whether the clues in the poem are locational, directional or instructive. What I have not heard about much is their likely visually descriptive quality.

            For those focused on the architectural framework, do not look for codes or ciphers. Instead try visualizing the picture FF is painting with the words he uses. Yes, I believe the poem is instructive. It tells us how to get to the chest. But the method most likely employed is of a visual quality. FF is most likely using visual descriptions to guide us through the particular geography of a specific area somewhere in the Rockies.

            You want a why? Look toward recreating the picture FF has drawn out for us in words. And I am not trying to imply some sort of deeper meaning or profound hidden message. I’m simply saying FF likely wrote about the Chase in terms of visual and geographic cues, as if to say Picture This.

            All the other more extraneous approaches seem a bit underwhelming and misaligned with the intent of the poem and the goal it’s words are driving us toward. We should stop asking 20 Questions and start asking what is it that FF Spys.

            All is IMO of course.


          • Seeker – Great minds think alike! I just posted about your petrified forest idea on the ‘in the wood’ thread, before I saw your post here. Let me know what you think!

            I would love to go to the museum in Bozeman to see that 1946 Gallatin National Forest map! I have only been up Hwy 191, along the Gallatin River, as far as Big Sky, MT.

            Has anyone gone to see that map??? It is not available online.

          • Ann – Picture this!


            Talk about a visual, identifiable and geographic clue from the Poem for ‘home of Brown’, right?! Doesn’t matter if Barns Hole #1 us one of Forrest’s favorite Brown trout fishing holes, during the Fall Run on the Madison River, or not. You can’t miss that Big Brown trout in the landscape.

            Forrest and Donnie went for a really, really long walk to Bozeman. They threw some bear cubs up on a creek bank, along the way. Not anything to do with their horse trip into the GNF.

            Forrest didn’t identify where his Dad pulled off Highway 191 into the Forrest to go berry picking with the family. I don’t think there was a turnout there.

          • Ann – And people standing before the Baker’s Hole interpretive sign, with two cast Loch Leven trout, in bas relief, with this title:

            “A Great Place to Raise Small Fry”

            Screams ‘home of Brown’ to me. Not much left to interpretation that sign. It’s all about spawning.

          • Lisa,

            Thank you once again for sharing your trout image! I saw that the last time you posted it. It tells me something about how you are approaching the poem though.

            You see, I feel FF is describing the path of the Chase as it looks while on it. Your image is aerial in nature and would not be noticeable at the ground level.

            The sign is a bit more compelling but again, as a non angler and without having to look it up, even it is a quick search, I would be none the wiser. The other part of it being the lack of permanency of the sign itself. Unless the mark is in something that could stand the test of time (be it a petroglyph or even a sign) I don’t think FF would have used it for part of the Chase.

            If I am writing out directions to a puzzle I wish to be solvable 1,000 years from now, I’d have to pick things that will likely be the same 1,000 years from now. I realize nothing will truly be the same after so many years. But some things will certainly be more similar than others. Man made signs are not among those that are likely to be similar. Headstones may be an exception but I do not consider hose to be signs even though they indicate and mark something.

            You get a great deal of credit for your imagination. It is the practicality of the resultant thoughts that I question. How practical are our thoughts in relation to the potential longevity of the Chase? We cannot find a thousand year old fire by looking for it’s flame. We must instead find the remnants of it’s pit. While chasing flames can be fun and interesting and even captivating, such a search will ultimately come up fruitless in terms of discovering where a fire once existed a thousand years ago.

            And I still don’t see why FF would honor trout in the Chase? Do you not feel that the clues hold more significance to FF than mere landmarks on the way to the chest? Does Brown refer to trout simply because FF was an avid fisherman and trout happen to be called brown? Why not bass instead?

            If the only connection between FF and brown trout is the color in their name and their link to a favorite hobby of his, then the clues do not necessarily hold as special a meaning to FF as some would suggest. This sort of arbitrariness to the clues selected would seem to undermine the uniqueness and special nature of the location chosen.

            It is no wonder then, that if such uniqueness is lost to the whims of arbitrariness, so many areas in the Rockies seem to fit many of the clues in the poem.

            If, however, the clues chosen by FF are unique to the area chosen, and not arbitrarily chosen, then only place location will suffice, namely that of the chest.

            Let us hope for the latter.

            All IMO.


          • Ann – I guess we have to agree to disagree. I am following Forrest’s instuctions in the Poem and in his ATF comments explicitly:

            Here is one of those:

            “Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map.”f

            If I have a ‘good map’ or Google Earth, and the stories in TTOTC to guide me, I will find that Brown trout in the landscape. And then I can “go with confidence”, when I put BOTG. Not a big fan of wandering all day, to and fro, looking for clue solutions to appear before me.

            Didn’t Forrest say that if we knew where home of Brown was, if he told us that, we could go right to the treasure?

            I can drive from Sun Valley right to the Baker’S Hole shoreline. I am not looking for confirming details. I have no need to go anywhere else except the final treasure location. Forrest said ‘in theory’ that was possible. But that I need to be BOTG to solve the last clue; to retrieve the bronze chest.

            In my Baker’S Hole solve, this is certainly the case. That is why we set up camp there, then crossed the Madison River shortly thereafter. All the homework was done in advance.

          • Ann – Here’s that quote from Forrest’s interview with Jennifer London:

            4/2/2013 HDNET World Report

            LONDON: In the poem, which you say has these nine clues, there are references to water, there is a reference to Brown’s house. Who’s Brown?

            FENN: There’s references to wood.

            LONDON: But you didn’t answer my question, who is Brown?

            FENN: Well, that’s for you to find. If I told you that, you’d go right to the chest.

            Just following instructions…


          • Lisa,

            I completely agree with you about the FF quote about Brown and going with confidence. I just have no inclination to connect the term “Brown” to trout for any apparent reason. There a re several deeper digging reasons to draw such a conclusion, but on the surface “Brown” just doesn’t refer to trout for me.

            As I have stated before, I would not be able to stand in the midst of a body of water and know right off that it was home to trout. That would require more than just the poem and book IMO. But there is another Brown much evident to the eye whose home is not far from yours. That is all I was alluding to in terms of all my visual chatter.

            Again, I love the creativity of your solve and thinking in general. While your landscape fish could certainly be a trout it could equally be any other similarly shaped fish. Like asking what a cloud looks like. That does not resonate enough confidence for me in terms of a solve.

            Either way, I look forward to hearing about your future adventures after you have had a chance to check out your solve. And there better be pictures!

            All IMO.


          • Zap,

            I checked out the cross post. Interesting remarks about HOB. I would concur with the crucial nature of HOB in the context of confirming the correct WWWH.

            There are several places WWWH, most north of Santa FE, as FF has reminded us. So what will prompt choosing one over another? Connecting one to FF would certainly be a great start. But that still leaves a hefty amount of WWWH. There must be some additional confirmation that we are on the correct path.

            Assuming we start with the correct WWWH, as per FF’s instructions, the HOB and certainly finding the chest will be confirmations of having done so. Coming short of these would suggest we began with an incorrect WWWH.

            What about going with confidence and if we don’t know WWWH don’t bother leaving home? Well we certainly cannot have chest in hand before leaving the house. But, we just might be able to identify the home portion of HOB if we know the correct Brown.

            If this scenerio is correct, then certainly HOB is crucial for the reasons already stated. Yet another reason I stray away from trout. The Brown I have posited as of lately, I believe holds more significance to FF than trout ever did or will. Some might even say a sacred or spiritual connection to FF, though I have never been a proponent of “church in the mountains” mentality.

            I will say FF seems to have enough reverence for this place to consider it for his final resting place. And obviously to make it central to his life’s work. Beyond that, my remarks are more allusive than direct.

            All IMO.


          • Ann – Fair enough. Do you think Cody the Bison posed for this awesome Michael Coleman sculpture?:


            We have his Grizzly with Beaver hiding underneath, out at our River Run ski mountain. Two more Browns, who happen to have a home in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

            And we have Michael Coleman’s Moose, next to our Silver Creek Outfitters store on Main Street.

            Did you know he went with a friend, out into the wilderness, at age 12, and ate a porcupine, just like Forrest did?

          • Ann – After all, Forrest said the buffalo was his favorite animal in that 2006 video at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. And YNP was the first reintroduced ‘home of Brown’ for them.

          • Lisa,

            WOW! Is that sculpture bronze!?! That is a really nice sculpture. Once again you are full of surprises. And you may finally be on the right track. How’s that song go….something about home on the range I think. I also think that concludes this long scrolling thread!

            I hope your persistence pays off. It certainly hasn’t evaded you from my allusions! If you wish to know more of my thoughts n the matter you will have to get my email from Dal. Hope this exchange has gotten you thinking! Looking forward to your shared thoughts as always.

            All IMO.


          • Hi Ann O’Nymous: I think if a searcher was told the identity of “home of Brown” but had not solved WWWH, they would be clueless as to how to proceed. Eventually they could probably reverse-engineer what WWWH was from it, but not immediately.

            I do agree with your opinion that the poem’s Brown has nothing to do with brown trout. It’s capitalized for a reason, while brown trout are not.

          • Zap – Colloquialisms are often capitalized for emphasis. That would be ‘Brown’ with a capital ‘B’, there, to a local fly fishing guide of 12 years old, in YNP.

            It’s HUGE, easily noticeable on a ‘good map’ or Google Earth, and being my Clue #4, is metaphorically (and geometrically and geographically) half way there to the treasure, at my hidey spot at Baker’S Hole. And my WWWH is at least 10 river miles upstream, at Madison Junction. And Baker’S Hole is 10 river miles downstream from my ‘home of Brown’ put in at Cable Car Run.

            And that Barns Holes stretch is one of the best Blue Ribbon fly fishing locations, in the World. Call it ‘Brown trout’ or ‘brown trout’. Doesn’t matter. Still ‘Brown’ with a capital ‘B’ to an avid fly fisherman.

            All IMO.

            p.s. Yes, that Michael Coleman Bison is a bronze, Ann. And I don’t do back channel emails here, on The Chase. I share everything I know.

          • Zap,

            I am not sure whether a searcher would know what to do or not given HOB. FF seems to have suggested that if we knew who/what (however one wishes to argue it) Brown is, we would go straight to the chest. While I do not take this to mean the chest is HOB as some suggest, I would imagine it has something to do with being in the right area. If WWWH is literally half way there (and I am not saying it is) then I imagine HOB would be even closer.

            Can I bypass WWWH? That is not what I am suggesting. I actually started with WWWH in my latest area of interest though I didn’t know it was where WWWH until later. In the meantime, I came across an extremely compelling HOB even without knowing WWWH. Does that mean I am wrong? Certainly not. After all, where I began in this particular area is indeed a WWWH.

            Is it THE WWWH? Well FF led me there so perhaps it is. And I have several FF related reasons to believe it to be viable in terms of the Chase, none of which I wish to go into here as I am currently discussing the area with someone already. But to get back to your first point…..

            I imagine figuring out the creek would be the next reasonable step if we are at the correct HOB. Is this possible without knowing WWWH? I don’t know. Could WWWH be reverse engineered from HOB? I suppose it is possible though I would never have come across this HOB without having started at WWWH. I suppose that makes it a paradox in my case. Like stopping and asking someone where the Sears Tower is in Chicago only to be told it is the very building you are standing in front of!

            It is interesting that we share a similar view on Brown though for very different reasons. I am opposed to Brown referring to trout not because of the chaptalization factor, though that is certainly a stance I have supported in the past, but because in terms of being out in the Rockies trying to follow the descriptions and instructions set forth by FF in the poem, I have no reason to know which body(ies) of water are home to trout and which are not. Nothing about looking at a river screams to me brown trout live here.

            And for the same reasons I do not believe the blaze is on a tree or some other wood, I do not believe a sign indicating brown trout live in a particular body of water has anything to do with the Chase. Signs, like blazes in trees or the like, would not stand the test of time.

            I think that is all I have for now. Thanks for sharing! All IMO.


          • Ann – That song’s author:

            In 1871, Higley moved from Indiana to Smith County, Kansas, under the Homestead Act. He lived in a small cabin near West Beaver Creek. He was inspired by his surroundings and wrote “My Western Home”, published in the Smith County Pioneer in 1872.[5] That home is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Home on the Range Cabin.

            We’re not in Kansas anymore, Ann. We’re in YNP now. Which the Union Pacific called, “Wonderland”, featuring a character, named ‘Alice’ in their brochures.

            Did I mention that the marshy ‘forest fen’ area around my hidey spot was littered with dried Bison pies? We could have used those to make a fire and to rustle up some grub. Like the Comanche Indians did, out on the plains.

          • Lisa,

            Wow! That’s a lot of bronze! Interesting that it is bronze.

            I respect your communication wishes, I also respect communication wishes of others with whom I do talk to in private. For those reasons I cannot continue discussing this rather enjoyable exchange of ours further, at least not for the time being.

            I am still looking forward to hearing about your adventures at Bakers Hole. And for anyone who goes out searching I am really mostly looking forward to some great pictures I hope!

            Thanks again for the entertaining thoughts and for entertaining my thoughts! All is IMO.


          • Lisa,

            I hope that doesn’t mean YNP is a huge rabbit hole! That could be tragic! And btw, my previous post about communication was only in reference to my latest area of interest, not to chatting in general!

            You certainly have an encyclopedic mentality! I always enjoy the tidbits of info you share about whatever the subject matter may be.

            I’m not sure I would want to mess with those pies unless I absolutely needed to. But it never ceases to amaze me just how much the Native Americans relied on buffalo for resources. It is sad that such utilization of resources has been floundered with the demise of Native people. Even now in the midst of a global pandemic, Native Americans are suffering from lack of fresh water and yet another foreign disease. Thank goodness the Irish are stepping in! (I am partial to being part Irish myself!)

            All IMO.


          • Hi Lisa: for the purposes of the Chase, I don’t I’d follow the example of a Montana fly fishing guide company, nor would I pay too much attention to what Webster has to say about it. What matters is what the maverick Fenn thinks, and he (correctly) never capitalizes brown trout.

            However, you have plenty of company who consider hoB to be some body of water inhabited by brown trout, and until Tarzan/Indulgence is recovered we won’t know who chose correctly.

          • Hi Ann: “FF seems to have suggested that if we knew who/what (however one wishes to argue it) Brown is, we would go straight to the chest.”

            I think he was kidding, just like he was when Eeds asked about his footwear. (Knowing what Forrest’s footwear was at the time he hid the chest wouldn’t even tell you what state he was in, and yet he answered pretty much the same way he did to the “Who is Brown?” question. At least in the latter case, you might learn the general area of the clues, so in that sense you could put yourself “right there.” But the treasure could be miles from there for all anyone knows.

            “I imagine figuring out the creek would be the next reasonable step if we are at the correct HOB.”

            I think figuring out the correct location to “put in below” is the next step, and I don’t believe “home of Brown” by itself necessarily tells you that. I would think you would need to have solved all the preceding clues, otherwise it would seem to go against the “no short cuts” ATF.

            “I am opposed to Brown referring to trout … because in terms of being out in the Rockies trying to follow the descriptions and instructions set forth by FF in the poem, I have no reason to know which body(ies) of water are home to trout and which are not. Nothing about looking at a river screams to me brown trout live here.”

            There is that, but it just opens up the whole debate about what constitutes “specialized knowledge.” A searcher in favor of the (B)rown trout angle could argue that 60 seconds of Googling would tell you which fish species you could expect to find in any particular lake or stream. But will they always be there in the decades or centuries to come?

          • Ann – I enjoy our chats, also.

            Thinking about the blaze on that Sioux buffalo robe on Forrest’s wall. In that Smithsonian link I found, it said it was probably made and worn by a woman. And that the geometric symbol depicted concentric circles of feathers, linking the warbonnet to the energy of the sun.

            So, I give you the greatest Comanche Chief, Quanah Parker, wearing HIS warbonnet:


            Also, thinking about that attempt Forrest made to sculpt a small buffalo in bronze, which he said had hooves submerged in the mire, because Forrest was bad a sculpting feet. Or, that Buffalo was in my search area, out Baker’S Hole, where I also got stuck in the mire in my flip-flops.

          • Zap – No Brown trout on the Madison River were harmed in Forrest’s answer to this Email question:

            Email: Mr. Fenn, according to recent research about the Yellowstone Supervolcano and if I do the maths right, there is a 1 in 700 chance the treasure will get blown to bits in the next 1000 years. Are you okay with those odds or does it make you feel like you should move the treasure?

            Reply: I doubt that a volcanic eruption under Yellowstone Lake would blow the treasure chest to bits, no matter the odds, but it might spread a lot of beautiful cutthroat and and lake trout around the countryside. F

            Maybe because Forrest knows the Yellowstone Caldera Boundary, at my WWWH at Madison Junction, is a factor?

          • Zap,

            I am not going to entertain whatever debate you may be looking for here. You have met me from my start and should know by now my stance on the things you discuss. If not, you certainly know where to find them. We differ greatly on line 8 and I don’t recall Google being a part of the good search materials FF mentions. If you have a specific question you would like to hear my opinion on, I will entertain that. All IMO.


          • Lisa,

            Very cool photograph of the Chief. I love historical preservation records of a time and people lost to so called progress.

            I hadn’t considered the marking on the buffalo hide you mention, though I recall much discussion has been made about it. Is that picture in the book or from an ATF? It would not surprise me if such were the petroglyph we might be looking for. There was great reverence for the Sun as you well know. And no need to point out the obviousness of the sun being a “blaze” all on its own. Great thoughts! All IMO.


        • Darvcus – Forgot to mention that the X on that Contiguous triangle diagram marks the HUGE Brown trout in the landscape, across from the comma-shaped pull-out, marked ‘Overlook’ at Cable Car Run:

          That would be my everlasting ‘home of Brown’, where I believe Forrest ‘put in’ with his dinghy attached to his belt.

          Didn’t Forrest use triangulation to navigate in the Airforce? I know those giant Trumpeter Swans can see that Brown trout!


          • Darvcus – Thinking about how that dinghy being attached to Forrest’s belt, right around his belly button, might be kinda ‘umbilical’:

            From Forrest’s Scrapbook #149:

            A Memory Runs Through My Family

            Lightning struck me today in the form of an email from someone I never met and do not know. But the history of our respective families is so entwined as to be almost umbilical.

            Read the Eagle family’s link. It is awesome. And revolves around my general search area.

      • The Lone Aspen, does Ovaltine start with a “Zero” or the letter “O”? It makes me wonder if Forrest placed the number “0” as a number in the poem, rather than a letter.

        If so, I think it might have significance in my paint-by-number theory. The only problem is, there are no Zeroes in paint-by-number with the exception of 10, 20, 30, etc… But numbers ARE contiguous, so this might be the connection to what Forrest stated.

        • Suzy….Suzy….Suzy….. what color hair do you have, I hope it is not Red because you might get mad…. JK!!!
          My suggestion would be to Google Ovaltine….specifically to see where it is an ANAGRAM for Vital One ……. and the Secret Decoder Ring ……. for kids and easier codes (show it to children) ….. or you could dive into the many ways codes are used …… These IMO are helpful hints for you to consider …….. What do you think Forrest was trying to tell us when he put that into TTOTC???

          My Best to You

          • Lonesome, Lonesome, Lonesome, my hair is blond… and no, I don’t need any jokes about that… thank you.

            For me, the paint-by-number colors would match the rainbow Forrest has spoken of and since there are seven colors of the rainbow and nine clues, plus including black and white into these colors, then we have 9 colors.

            TADA! Decoding done! No more looking for that secret decoder ring prize in the bottom of the Cracker Jack box.

            And yes, all is in fun, My Best Back To You!

            P.S. Sorry about the misspelling of your name, auto-correct took over and I didn’t feel like going back and correcting each one.

          • Well Suzy I will agree ….. that sounds like a kids interpretation to me! I have heard that Blonds have more fun! and you seem fun to me!
            Seriously though….. if you will dig deeper along the Ovaltine line of thinking…… you will be find a line SAID to Jerry Seinfeld “That’s gold Jerry, gold!” …. a Hint?
            Do you think codes will help you?
            How about: “The answer(s) I already know” …….. codes in the Poem? How about the questions in TTOTC?
            Ask the right question, find the right answer!!!

            Yoda Language: I think therefore I am!!!….. Oh Wait…

            Stay Safe, Best of Luck to you Suzy

          • Mr Aspen, your Secret Decoder Ring has given out its final clue and, having a secret message not to be further disclosed, is just about to self-destructed. For any further information regarding this mission, please contact 007. He and his fellow constituents, 3+4=7 and 5+2=7, will be glad to assist you. Please discard and run fast… NOW…!!

            (What the heck! I can’t get this darn thing off my hand!! It’s stu…)

            CRACKLE, BANG, POOF…!!

  31. If you like finding patterns then you are in luck, but I believe that you need The Thrill of the Chase book to solve the puzzle. The entire book.

    • Books that write themselves “this one did”.
      “I knew where to hide it so it was easy to put one foot (after the) next”

      I want to understand about your code without you giving it away:
      1. Does it go from general to specific or is it more homogeneous?
      2. Does it help you find the clues or do the cluesclarify this code?
      3. Is it sonething that is hidden in plainview (a child could do it) or is grueling detective work necessary (whoever finds it is gonna earn it)?
      4. Why would you be reticent to give away the word that is key if without the code it would be useless anyways?

      You dont have to answer any but it would be exciting if you can.

      Best of luck on your quest.

      • Hi Trash Panda
        The one key word starts you on the right path to everything but you half to have all the words to get to the end and they are contiguous.Read the poem
        and think it’s right there in front of you.

      • 1. It’s woven throughout the book in plain sight.
        2. It’s a method of using the answers to the clues to create a map. You place the map at the correct location. Hence the need to get the first clue perfectly right.
        3. Hidden in very plain view and overlooked by everyone. Dal expressly dismissed this years ago. A few have kinda sorta noticed it, but you need to think long and hard to figure it out.
        4. That’s a really good question. As I said, my main point is to let Forrest know that I know how the puzzle is solved. I definitely know where to park. The line between where warm waters halt and the home of Brown runs right through a prominent building. No, it’s not hidden in or around the building. I really have solved it.

    • Darvcus,
      I thought all you needed was the poem? What if someone could not afford the book? Are they out of luck? Do you really think f would do the chase that way?
      It’s an easy way out to say all you need is the book, because the poem is in the book, but it seems you are saying that there is more info that we need besides the poem. Or better yet, that there is no way to have a correct solve unless you have some certain outside info. That’s what needing the whole book would be saying.
      If you can’t condense a solve to just be using the poem, and the poem only, most likely an incorrect solve.
      When you come out with a line like this: “I’m responding mainly to let Forrest know I’m pretty sure I’ve solved his incredible puzzle”, we wouldn’t also be expecting a line like this: “I believe that you need The Thrill of the Chase book to solve the puzzle. The entire book.”
      Because it’s hard to take you serious when f says all you need is the poem, and you say, you need the entire book. One of you has no idea what they are saying. So, unless f has mistaken and meant to say all you need is the entire book, then I can’t believe what you’re shoveling.

      • “What if someone could not afford the book?”

        Then they most likely can’t afford to travel throughout the Rockies searching for the treasure.

        • I went searching without the book my first summer. I just photocopy the poem off inner net and used my Rand McNally map. It was great.!

      • If you don’t use the whole book, you’re simply not going to solve the puzzle.

        • Are you sure about that? The book helps a lot, but it seems to me the poem has everything needed to finish it. Just add imagination.

  32. I had to go check, and the Park Service considers the Gardner River between Gardiner and Mammoth to be a canyon, with the Gardner flowing into the Yellerstone which is _definitely_ a canyon down at least to the turn north. So my Boiling>Gardner>Yellowstone>Joe Brown boatramp still works. Yay !

  33. Let’s get something straight …

    Contiguous implies you must solve the previous clue to solve the next clue.

    In other words, solve the clues in order.
    Furthermore ….

    You probably can’t solve past the second clue without BOTG.

    … so, trying to solve clues 3-9 without BOTG, is probably a waste of time and effort. I say probably cause there may be some wiggle room here and there. All IMO of course.

    • “Contiguous implies you must solve the previous clue to solve the next clue.”

      Not necessarily. ‘Contiguous’ means adjacent. The nine clues may be adjacent, but not necessarily in the order in which they must be followed.

      ‘Consecutive’ implies one must solve the previous clue to solve the next one. Contiguous and consecutive are not the same thing.

      Regardless, JDA indicates above that f has indeed said that the clues are consecutive, so I suppose they must indeed be followed in the order in which they appear in the poem.

      • One might even say the clues overlap each other in a very clever way. When dealing with one you become engaged in another and the chain continues.

        Places on the ground might be a different pan of fish.


    • I agree, Mr Obvious.

      That’s why I think Dal’s latest thread ideas about ‘not far’ isn’t as compelling as some of his other recent thread discussions. Really no point in isolating a middle of the road poem line like not far, but too far to walk without first talking about what got you to that point of the poem.

      • Waw! No shortage of impatient critics out here. Wish there was a forum of people who contributed civil debate and ideas rather than carping.

    • There’s a difference between solving the poem vs. deciphering a clue.

      Clues have been deciphered, and possibly later clues reference may have been mentioned correctly to their deciphered *references* but what seems to be the major problem between deciphering and solving is how to actually understand what to do with the chosen clues.

      Some may have the first four clues correct? But yet, Fenn is uncertain?
      Either the “clues” are deciphered for their references or not… It is what a searcher does with them is what might be in questioned…

      Mr. Obvious,
      Contiguous doesn’t imply a must to solve something first to get the next… It implies the clues are join / connected in a manner that if one is not done/ ciphered correctly the solve falls apart.

      The basic premise is to solve clues and use them in consecutive order as the poem shows.
      An example; if the book can help with the clues, and that information was not deliberately placed in order… That implies… It’s the poem’s job to show the order to be followed.

      Fenn didn’t say a later clue could not be deciphered.. he said we can’t go “looking” for later clues, that would be a folly… Like driving down the road “looking” for the blaze.

      • I think once you work out the first few clues and how they contiguolate, the rest just fall into place and you find yourself rapidly at the end.

        I think ff is right though, you need to solve them in order for it all to make sense. Identifying them in random positions might not work too well.


        • BigOnus,

          I think bloggers in general are using the word solve wrong when referring to a single clue.
          A solve is a complete thing / task. A deciphering of part of that task (a clue) doesn’t mean something is solved… It only means you have a piece of what is needed.

          Example; WWsH deciphered as to what it is and where… A canyon correctly deciphered for its reference (what it is and where) as well… The question is what do you do with these clues references.

          Are we to consider our actions as clues? Do we consider a direction a clue or an instruction or just physical references?

          Does the idea of “time” in some manner involved with the poem a clue or just information on a process of using the clues?

          Imo. Deciphering a single clue is in no way to mean that clue is solved entirely. It is only a piece of the puzzle. Maybe that is why Fenn used contiguous, to tell all the clues are joined / married / coupled together as a whole?

          • I agree with Seeker. Moving from clue to clue doesn’t seem to work without solving the poem. To me solving it is determines what ties the clues together. The first 2 clue solvers probably got lucky with the first two clues, didn’t understand how to tie the rest two them and walked past them.

          • Yes, I think the list of clues need solving in order and then a little imagination, along with some obvious factors, hints and cross referencing gives us places on a map. Again, these are done in sequential order and lead to the location of the treasure. Once WWWH is identified, it should become pretty clear how to identify and link the other places to the clues. Some of these places might need an action integrated to make them work.

            I think the contiguolation factor changes as the clues reveal answers and without solving the first clues it will be almost impossible to solve the rest.

            I think ff is right with the Imagination remarks. Without it you have nothing.


          • I don’t agree with Seeker. I don’t understand his point that he is trying to make.

          • If they’re touching, then they are not far from each other, right?

            All this other talk is what doesn’t belong. But I’m no judge.

          • I agree with Seeker. There appears to me to be a very specific thought model that connects all of the answers together. Without the thought model, the poem in pieces appears as randomness, when in fact the answers to the riddles are quite sequential, contiguous, chronological, and a gestalt. There is a word in the poem that transforms to this concept (“key to unlocking the thought model”). The book provides ample opportunities to recognize it, as well as ample opportunities to find the answers without ever knowing of the thought model. But without this thought model, it is only luck driving this recognition. Understanding the thought model makes it much much easier (in my opinion).

            Seeker is right.

          • Yes, it is confusing if you haven’t yet figured out the model and started to understand what he is using as his guideline to formulate his words. Once you discover and understand his guideline, the timbre becomes very clear, and the chase becomes much easier for where to look, how to look, and what steps to take.

      • You must solve where warm waters halt and the home of Brown perfectly right. Some have guessed these two clues correctly, but now I understand why Forrest thinks it has been an accident. The remaining clues sort of fall into place once you have those two clues correct. The answers to the clues are all tightly connected by the code in the book.

        • I assume what you keep referring to is hot chocolate with a deviation chaser? I think you may have walked a bit too far on that rabbit trail.

          • Contiguous S miguous, ambiguous…Sigma, Samekh and Stinky Hare. What’s a person to do with this info? I’m no Einstein. Perhaps an absinthe chaser will help…but I’m still chasing IT. Maybe, I haven’t walked far enough down this rabbit trail.

        • So, it’s always better if a person posting can incorporate humility into their post. To use definitive tones without giving concrete information is off-putting to most people here. All of us are working on theories.

          With that said, I agree with some of this, but I’m not resolved about the point Forrest made regarding people correctly solving the first two clues, nor the actual meaning of being within 200′ of the treasure. I should probably take some time to try to figure that out, and maybe I will later. But locations in my current solution worked out to be contiguous for a specific purpose that is part of the overall puzzle. I do agree with Forrest’s point about people being at the first clue area without knowing exactly why. That part seems pretty obvious to me.
          It’s my opinion that if they solved the first two clues correctly (hoB is not one of the first two in my solution), then there wouldn’t have been any reason for them to walk by the rest as they would have known what they were doing and correctly solved the whole thing prior to leaving their armchair. Once I understood what I was doing from information given to us in the poem, it only took me a few days to derive a complete solution as and when I had the time to focus on it. That’s not counting the 7 years prior that I stumbled around not paying enough attention to the poem.

          I’m driving up from Houston starting on Sunday for my 23rd botg. I promised myself a couple of years ago that I wouldn’t spend another penny on this unless I was certain enough that I had a verifiably correct solution that can take me to a small area where I’m not having to look around a 100 square yards for a blaze. That’s where I am with my theory.

          • Ok, I can now see a theoretical loophole for how people / searchers could have been within 200′ and not know they were that close to the treasure. But I think the “always tell the truth but not always all of truth” part is that maybe these people / searchers who were this close weren’t Fenn treasure searchers.

          • Hi E.C.: if they weren’t Fenn treasure searchers, how would Forrest know anything about them?

          • I’m not prepared to say why without giving away my solution. Sorry, zap, I kinda wish we were clanned up. 😉

          • Doug Preston was certainly one of them. He stood next to it in Forrests house.

          • Hi E.C.: I understand. As far as our not being clanned up, that’s okay — it wouldn’t work anyway since we’re in different areas, or at least have quite different poem interpretations.

          • E.C. Waters – Yes. Like, if ‘people/searchers’ were standing in front of the interpretive sign on the Baker’S Hole shoreline, doing the ‘look quickly down’ thing.

          • Hi E.C.,

            Can you tell us the state without giving away too much? Safe travels.

          • Thanks, Blex. I haven’t been more confident about the solution than I am right now. This eve to celebrate my maybe over-confidence, I braved the covid and went to an open bar in Houston. It was sooooooooo very nice to see friends again, be able to talk to people, be able to interact again. Even if I’m completely preoccupied about my trip this weekend. There’s light at the end of this sh*thole mine. I’m done with the Kaczyinski no matter what’s in the box. I’m just not cut out for going alone in there, and the last few months have helped me figure that out.

          • Have a nice vacation E.C.
            I’m headed to your amusement park while it’s closed with no security.

          • Jake – Seven Falls is awesome. Worth the effort. Say hey to the folks at the Broadmoor for me. The wine at 1858 isn’t bad. You’ll need to stop in at the Golden Bee for a Guinness and your bee patch. But if you’re like me, you’ll want to try the caviar at the Summit. All of these folks will remember me since I spent at least a full futile summer up there checking out Strawberry Fields as well as HHJ’s area up at the top, and Old Stagecoach Road just to the south. Not to mention the Will Rogers Shrine. Oh man, the shrine next to the zoo. Talk to them, too. They all know me. They were all in on it. They were searching, and laughing, and drinking port with me after hours. It was such a blast. Plus my son said to tell you about the zip lines. He still highly recommends it.

            Oh wait. You said it’s closed. Oh well. Good luck.

          • ken – thank you, but where I’m going isn’t a dangerous area, no climbing, no rafting, no long hiking…

            The risk, as far as I can see, is just avoiding bad drivers and roadway animals on the way up and back.

          • Did I miss a post-BOTG trip report from E.C. Waters? Don’t think we’ve heard from him since he was heading out to Wyoming a week ago.

          • Zap – still here. Driving back now. Thanks for checking on me. I choked at the last step. Sure you don’t want to clan up? My sense is that with your help, this could be done in short order.

          • Never mind. I found my error in Gypsy Magic. I’ll save it for my next outing in a month or so.

          • You found your error in Gypsy Magic?
            We can find errors in all the chapters.
            Must have been a nice vacation!
            I can use a nice write up and explanation right about now.

          • Yes, I realized the error that I made in my final step. I found the solution to it in Gypsy Magic. I’m still driving back to my home city. I might write something up this coming week.

          • Jeeeze! Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road! You just cut off another searcher heading home.

            I won’t argue with magic but I would skip the gypsy.
            In Love With Yellowstone and Looking For Lewis And Clark works for me.

            Make sure you quarantine for a couple of weeks back home….
            We don’t want anyone else to catch your Fenndemic.

          • E.C Waters good luck on your next attempt. you find any railroad spikes while you were in there?

    • Starting with the first clue… learning, deciphering, figuring out where/what it is, and how it relates to the second clue definitively will most likely be the only way to proceed further towards the treasure chest. Folks have gotten there but failed to decipher the third clue, with the exception of a one time maybe from Fenn.
      I think many folks have gotten the start point correct… but everything seems to disconnect after the second clue. There seem to be many theories as to why this is. Too much movement ? Not enough movement ? Stand still ? Move on ? Wait for something to happen? Show up on the correct day ? Correct time of day ?
      If the poem is described as a map( by Fenn) with directions to show you *where to go* if you follow the directions… it seems that the issue may be purely a directional miscue by searchers. Not seeing the poem the way the writer does/did. Down may not be what most folks think….

      • Ken,
        When you add; proceed further to the chest, you add in what consecutive order of following means.

        My point is, not unlike my theory, if information can be understood (a deciphered later clues), such as what “take it in” means… You don’t need to know where or what WWsH refers to… But you may know what to do when there.
        The same can be said, for example, hoB. You may realize it might be the blaze by what is stated later in the poem…all can be done before WWsH is know for what and where.

        Then it’s the job of the poem form (consecutive order of the clues) for the searcher to connect (hopefully) those “right thoughts” and apply a full solve to a location.

        I mean what’s the point of reading the poem until memorize and read the book to help with *the clues*? not just WWsH.

        • Seeker said-

          I mean what’s the point of reading the poem until memorize and read the book to help with *the clues*? not just WWsH.
          It could be actually.

          • Ha! *It could be* geography has all to do with the first clue that is contiguous in time… to meet the remaining clues…But geography doesn’t help deciphering any other clues.

            But, my whole point to all this is about; can later clues be deciphered to help understand what the first clue is, does, and where to find it?
            Rather than the idea we can’t even bother with clues in the poem until the first is deciphered.

            Like I said; Fenn expressed the idea of “looking” for clues, like driving down the road hoping to find the blaze, without WWsH, is more about botg than studying the poem.

          • Seeker, I’m under the idea essentially that f doesn’t believe one will figure out later clues.

            That doesn’t mean that a later clue can’t relate to the same geographical feature as an earlier clue.

            Don’t know why we need to keep hashing out this concern of yours.

            I think it’s one of those focusing on the ants things when an elephant goes by.

          • @Seeker,

            You said:

            But, my whole point to all this is about; can later clues be deciphered to help understand what the first clue is, does, and where to find it?
            Rather than the idea we can’t even bother with clues in the poem until the first is deciphered.


            This is how I think as well. For I don’t believe one can know and or proceed with confidence to the correct starting point without the knowledge contained in a later clue. This may be in part why Forrest told Phil Bayman that he was oversimplifying the clue, and need to look at the bigger picture in regards to answering Phil’s question about whether he would need more information to know where to start.

            So yes, we shouldn’t leave home, in search of the treasure, until we know where to go, but the information in the first clue is not enough for us to confidently know where to arrive. Yet all the information we need to find the treasure is in the poem.


          • Seanm: “This may be in part why Forrest told Phil Bayman that he was oversimplifying the clue, and need to look at the bigger picture”

            I believe that you are correct, but I also think that while you need the whole poem, it will not give you absolute certainty of the correct WWWH, judging from other statements by ff.

          • statements about how one would not know for certain, until the person retrieves said chest.

            take the poem as a whole, but don’t expect a ‘heaven’s gate’ to open for WWWH.

            and of course that makes the clues more difficult… on purpose I might add… imo.

          • Seannm,

            Right, the big picture idea.

            For example we know BIWWWH is clue one.
            The next line has “take it in” the canyon down.

            Is that all one clue? Or can “take it in” relate to information we need to fully understand clue 1?

            Observation vs. stomping, line of thinking.

            LOL Fenn calls every thing a clue… Even the “useless clues” from the Today Show.

            So my point is, why can’t information from stanza 3 help with stanza 2 or even the first clue? Regardless if it’s an actual clue or not and/ or deciphered before WWsH.

            We may never know exactly what fenn calls a clue until we figure out what the poem is relaying as a whole.
            Fenn didn’t count clues until he finished the poem… How the heck can we truly know what a clue or its solve is, if we don’t understand the rest of the poem… Including those possible deciphered clues… Even IF clue 1 is still a mystery to us.

            For example, I say hoB is the blaze… However, I can’t conclude this idea without knowing of “if you’ve been wise and found the blaze” possibly meaning a prior clue could be the blaze.

            That line of thinking can’t work if all we do is the linear approach…

          • In my opinion, wwwh is not at all what I expected but extremely relevant. And I was gobsmacked at the origin of the words that brought me to this.

          • IMO all of the clues, stanza’s and lines work together to form this big picture all centered around IT.

    • I’m going to disagree with this assertion based on a theory I am currently following. I do not believe BOTG is necessary, at least not at the point where I am in my interpretations.

      The reference to the little girl from India unable to make it past the 2nd clue does not appear to confirm BOTG are required. The interpretations suggested so far are then false interpretations. Another interpretation (assuming I have correctly solved the 2nd clue) is that the definition of the 2nd clue’s answer from the perspective of the hypothetical little girl from India is changed to mean “wiped clean”. Her map has been turned to a “clean slate at clue 2”, so to speak. Therefore Forrest’s answer is a Reynard-the-Fox type of answer, leaving us to formulate our own thoughts by what he has said.

      • Hi All
        This is how I think this possibly could have come off
        The searcher or searchers was some where between
        WWWSH in the right canyon down and then this
        person or persons left the poem.The poem does
        answer this , think ,you must have the right WWWSH
        and how do you find this go back to the beginning.

  34. Thanks for sharing, Dal. Just an observation, but I do not see very much consideration being given to the poetic aspect of TTOTC by a lot of searchers. By this I mean that it’s a fact that we have been given a poem, but we then take every word from the poem as being quite literal. Your MJ commentary above is a good example of this—is it Upper Madison Canyon or is it Upper Madison Valley? If you allow for some poetic license, it doesn’t matter and doesn’t eliminate your solve process for the area simply because it’s a valley and not a canyon—the poetic image of the area being described is not affected by the technical geographic naming of same and perhaps all FF needs us to do is imagine a canyon-like area. Gorge, draw, ravine, gully, flume, arroyo, pass, etc. are all examples of canyon-like geographical features that are possibilities for the poetic word “canyon”.

    Put another way, FF can describe/label things poetically because he has chosen a poem as his medium.

    IMHO, and I have posted this somewhere on your site already, the entire last stanza is poetic, but many searchers still need words like “cold” and “wood” to be related to the geography of the chase rather than what they are poetically—your goosebumps upon finding the chest as a result of your TTOTC efforts (YEWBWTC) and the wooden lining of the chest itself (IYABAITW) respectively. Giving some consideration to poetry in your solve process seems like part of the winning formula to me.

    • I agree giving some poetic license is a good idea. But, I think that f could have found ways to do that while keeping most words literal.

    • Bowmarc … You wrote: “Your MJ commentary above…”

      Maybe this particular example is trivial, but at first glance I didn’t know what you meant by “MJ”. It then occurred to me that it probably meant “Madison Junction”.

      To everyone who posts messages, please spell out what you mean. As a reader, I find it annoying to have to pause even for a couple of seconds to figure out what some abbreviation refers to.

      But it’s not just Bowmarc. It’s many posters in this forum.

      Quite aside from the thousands of misspelled words and grammatical mistakes posters make, having to translate abbreviations is just one more reason to skip past a message.

      Too many of these errors over time, and I make a mental note not to read that poster’s future messages.

      Ken (in Texas)

      • Gee, Ken (TX)

        Give us a break… It’s not easy slamming a coffee down, devouring a Big Mac, putting on makeup, yelling at the kids, dodging construction cones, driving a car, fighting our face mask, and typing on the two inch key pad on our idiot phones.

        • Ken (tx) also it ain’t going to happen, (ain’t) as in “is not”.

          which no one would ask to spell out, simply because it has become common, in other words, no one knows what is common or not… until we know it when you see it… the english language is one of the only (developed) languages with no rules…


          if you see a “rule” ask the person where they got the rule from… There is no governing body establishing the rules of English like there are for Spanish and French etc.. (no matter how many publishing companies wish we thought they were official.)

          the “rules” are just like english, fully made up as we go …. and can, and are changed on a whim by anyone, as no one has authority over the matter.

          When ff said, who’s to say he can’t do that… ( I don’t know if he knew it or not, most likely he did); but he was and is absolutely correct… no one can say what he can and can’t do in english.

          And when people wrote in to “correct” his english he would also be correct to say: “I think that’s so funny”.

      • @ Ken (in Texas) I was just following Dal’s lead, as he used the same abbreviation in his blog. 🙂

        • Hi Bowmarc … In his original post at top of this page, Dal spells out “Madison Junction” at least 6 times before using the abbreviation “MJ”. So it’s fairly obvious that Dal’s use of “MJ” refers to Madison Junction.

          Not a big deal in your case. But ongoing sloppy thinking and sloppy communications from other posters really detract from their credibility.

          Ken (in Texas) 🙂

  35. FD,

    We all have read on blogs the idea of; KiSS, no alternative definitions, and other wording as you stated, *… keeping most words literal.*

    Can any one else explain what; literal or alternative, or common etc definitions actually are?
    The idea of “try and simplify the clues” doesn’t say use only simplistic meanings.
    “Difficult but not impossible” doesn’t say easy to match definitions.
    He has stated many times he looked up words himself… Changed words… Until he got it just the way he wanted.

    Yet, the big kicker for me is the poem itself, or the avenue Fenn chose to present the clues and in poem form. I mean, there are many ways to present information, such as; codes, or in the book alone, or directions (without being in poem form)… Yet he *chose* to do so… LOL… That’s the very first question I asked myself when I heard about the challenge. Why in poem form?
    My only (personal) conclusion is a poem gives the author great freedom of meanings, and most poems, wording is less likely to use; common, literal, etc. wording.

    Might it be that, all are stumped at clues 3 and/or 4 because of those *literal* ideas of word usages?
    But again, can anyone explain how any definition, meaning, usage of any word is considered more or most “literal”???

    In all straightforwardness (honesty) I think the main failure of searchers not getting past the first two clues is we’re just not thinking the right thoughts.

    A definition is just that… A use of a word / phrasing of words.

    It’s perplexing when I hear *common or literal* etc to say the least… when challenge is presented in poem form.
    Just saying.

    • Seeker, In my solve some words Fenn uses are old or “archaic” definitions of that word. The most common example is ‘nigh’ which has an archaic meaning which is ‘left’. We never use it to mean that in 100 years or so, but it’s in the dictionary so it’s fair game. He may also use words that mean something else in another language but are spelled or sound the same in English.

      As far as ‘Keep it simple stupid’ is concerned. People in my solve are misunderstanding what Fenn meant in my view when he said to simplify and when he said to get back in the box to out of the box thinkers. Those phrases have been misunderstood in my view by searchers who don’t realize how those phrases relate to the solve.

      If people are stumped at clues 3 and 4 it’s because they have the wrong locations associated with those clues in my opinion. Once you have the keyword figured out you get *** ***** * *****, but that doesn’t mean that you know what they mean. The first *** *** *** ********* so that doesn’t matter. You say that WWWH is the first clue and it is, but there are nine clues that ************* and some other information and in addition to that the poem is also a list of instructions that walk you through.

      In my opinion Forrest knows every place in the rockies that seems to fit the clues. He is well aware of your solve whatever your solve is. ‘People are going to think it’s here because of this’, he must have said to himself. ‘How can I use that fact?’

      Take the word rainbow for example. There are lots of places in the rockies that have the word rainbow it their name. There is a rainbow spring along the firehole river for example. And that fits right into the firehole river solve. End of my rainbow right? Or did Forrest know that you are going to think that when he wrote the poem?

      “So if there are so many places in the rockies that fit all the clues, then how are we supposed to know which one is correct?”, one might ask. In my opinion, if the nine clues are solved correctly and interpreted correctly, then you will know. Also, there are some other ways to know. One way is through hints in the books and scrapbooks. Fenn has referenced the correct location, and by that I mean the correct general area, in the books. Not by name but in the hints, most of which are in the form of illustrations or photos.

      As far as literal meanings: I agree people throw these terms around alot. To me it just means that somethings do not have a metaphorical meaning and some do.

      • Allen,
        A few things you state are the same for me…
        Like, try and simplify, doesn’t say to me it is simplistic from the get go.
        My example is the two different usages of “take it in” one meaning is of a movement, or to actually *go in somewhere* which most are utilizing. the other is; to take in a view.

        The problem I see (pun intended) is the precondition notion of the reader to have the process be only of movement, or moving point to point.

        That line of thinking almost forces the words IT as in “begin IT” to be unimportant. The little two letter word imo could make or break a good solve… Meaning, many clues deciphered… But the possibility of the wrong process of following the instructions.

        Even the words “directions” and “instructions” are slightly different in their meanings.
        Direction seems to imply a physical movement, while instructions imply an understanding of what is needed to be done.

        The reason for bring this up is the same idea for “contiguous” which can relate to bordering, or can be of a period of time. But almost all pick bordering because of the precondition notion the challenge has to be a point to point stomping of 9 different spots.

        I simply see it differently, mainly because I have given the word “IT” a use relating to the phrase “take it in”
        The one thing I keep in mind is Fenn dedication he put into writing the poem. I don’t believe “IT” is something we already knew about, such as this being a treasure hunt, or a guest, or a journey…
        Fenn has said no one has thought of an important possibly ( at one time ) and we need to think the right thoughts. So when I heard folks solving the first two clues (and not knowing they did) and folks going by the seven remaining clues and close to the TC… I have to surmise they all were doing the same process… Moving from point to point, and that process is taking horribly…
        The smartest, brightest, folks could be on site with everything around them..
        But if the process is wrong (direction vs. instructions) or “take it in” as a movement vs. observing… Could be the key in how to finish the task.
        – it’s not a matter of trying, it’s a matter of thinking.
        If Fenn had to follow his own created clues when he hid the chest, might this process be something he needed to do himself to “complete” the task?

        So I’ll ask again, what does a searcher need to “plan and observe” for in the process?

        • Seeker, I agree with you 100%. In my solve you can never assume he uses it one way or the other. He jumps back and forth between “literal” and metaphorical and alternate/other than might be assumed definitions for words as it fits the solve at that point in the solve.

          As far as “it” is concerned: In my solve it depends on where in the solve you are at the time. In one sense “it” can be looked at as a pathway between two points. At other times it is just a word referring to whatever is obvious about the what the poem is saying at that point. But these two interpretations do not happen at the same time for the same line of the poem. That a massive hint about something I just gave you. But its just my opinion.

          I believe that I have figured out the things that Fenn said people are not considering about the poem. He didn’t say there is more than one thing like this but there is. I’ve been hinting about some of them to you guys in my posts here and on the latest odds and ends page as well as SB 253.

          As for the process: They didn’t have to move point to point according to my solve for them to get the first two clues. The first two clues are not locations in my solve. You can solve them on paper. Or another way to see it if you are looking at what I call the “walkthrough” which is what most searchers are doing, then you would start at one location (WWWH’s), and then you can go down in the canyon, or simply realize that what you need to take is down in the canyon. It doesn’t matter. Either way works. If they figured out these first two clues without knowing it, then they were at the location and noted some interesting things about those two locations without realizing how close they were. I can totally see that, in fact I know of someone n the blogs who was there and didn’t get it. According to my solve that is.

          Sometimes he gives you directions and sometimes instructions. It all depends on where in the solve he is telling you to do something. For example ‘Begin it WWWHs’ is an instruction. While ‘from there it’s no place for the meek/ the end is ever drawing nigh’ is a direction because he’s cutting off one path and pointing you in a specific direction. He’s telling you to go in a particular direction relative to your surroundings.

    • Seeker, well, I guess you can keep ignoring the list of words I have presented to you from the poem while asking for whatever alternative meanings you would assign to them. If you can’t even do that, then I take your theory of ‘uncommon’ usages of words less likely.

      Talk the the talk…walk the walk.

      • FD,

        What I attempted to explain was, you just can’t take a word like “the” or some of the other words you listed, without understand which definition of other words connect it the same manner or idea.
        That is also a definition of contiguous; a sequence… of things either bordering or in “time.”

        My best example is IT in the first line of stanza two. To give this word proper attention for its usages… We need to ask why Fenn used it.
        When we look further and examine the term “take it in” this phrasing can have two different processes.

        Taking the observational process ( meaning ) the first line in stanza two now gives a meaning, usage or process to be considered for what “IT” refers to… Which I have avocation to possibly mean; viewing… and following the instructions relayed while a searcher is physically at WWsH.

        So, in keeping with other words in the poem which relate to “time” the idea of “contiguous” (the topic of the thread) to be this words meaning that involves time as well vs. bordering or touching.

        However… This is a poem which allows not only any definition usable, but also allows multiple meanings of all words and phrases.

        Just for an example;
        Cold can relate to an illness. A temperature, an emotion, death, etc… And the list goes on. The question is; how can all the different usages connect to create a solve?

        Difficult but not impossible?

        So I’m back to the same old same old; are we reading the poem correctly? Or just jumping into a precondition notion that this must be done in a manner of a point to point process…

        My other point to all this is:
        What is the “important possibly” the Fenn feels nobody had mentioned?
        Might it be how we proceed in the task?

        Ok… You created your list.
        Why don’t you provide your thoughts on the words you have, and we (all) can jump in on what you have to say about them.

        • Seeker, no, I gave you the opportunity to provide for alternative definitions for the words I listed.

          You brought up “the” above and didn’t, or couldn’t provide any other definition for that word.

          Instead, you talked about other words needing to be understood to grasp the context for the word “the” in one of f’s poem lines. I say no you don’t.

          Then, you talked at length about the word “it” which wasn’t on my list.

          This is why I continue to say your theory about uncommon definitions versus a common or singular definition has many holes in it.

          • Let’s not forget, Seeker, that f has given us specific guidance on how the word “the” should be used and how it differs from how the word “a” is used. It’s that simple and he did it in reference to a word that is key versus the word that is key, if I recall correctly.

          • Hmm Fenn gave exact usages for “the” and “a”?

            I seem to have missed this…might you supply where this came from?

            As to the words in your list… I explained that by using the easiest example I can. But it seem you want me to cover your entire list… Only to do this I would have to supply how all the meanings of every word is the connect in a given manner or thought process. And that is exactly my point. I think a reader of the poem needs to understand how the poem is intended to be read by how Fenn might have designed it to be… Rather Than… Hoping… it’s they way we think it should be.

            Personally, I don’t know why you even ask for any explanation, you don’t believe that “take in in” is to be of an observational solve because you only want that phrase to be of a movement. At the same time you keep harping that any definition that doesn’t seem (for lack of a better term) common is too far fetched.

            I’m not going to explain “your” list the way I see until you show your work. Because there can’t be a debate without both sides explaining a thought process.

            And again, where and when did Fenn say anything about the words “the and A” because I would really like to review that.

          • Seeker, that work about “a” and “the” came from Cynthia and her discussion with f soon after his statement about a word that is key. I believe it’s in her book or her blog in a post, or both.

            You said- “ Only to do this I would have to supply how all the meanings of every word is the connect in a given manner or thought process.“
            Funny how I can determine what you mean when you used the word “the” above in the quote but have us believe that we can’t figure that out when f used the word “the” in the poem.

            I don’t think I’m the one hoping.

            I don’t know why you are limping my list of words with “take it in”. I have never said that “take it in” can only be taken as an aspect of movement in a solve and not an observational one.
            You’re just making up stuff.

            And no, I’m not harping the following which you attribute to me…” At the same time you keep harping that any definition that doesn’t seem (for lack of a better term) common is too far fetched.”

            Then, we have this “ I’m not going to explain “your” list the way I see until you show your work. Because there can’t be a debate without both sides explaining a thought process.”
            Show my work? That’s easy, I have already showed my work if you think about it. I can really only think of one way to use the words in my list which is why that’s what I’ve been saying. How many times do I have to show it?…


            With that list, obviously I’m not talking about every word in the poem. So that assertion of yours isn’t correct either.

            I’m sure you can find the info about Cynthia talking about “the” and “a” with f. Some searchers need to branch out more for Chase related info.

          • I’ll have a peek at her blog… I don’t puddle hop from blog to blog, but she is normally very good at keeping fenn’s comments accurate…or has audio for them.

          • Seeker, it’s a long time ago that she wrote about it. I might even have an email about it. I’ll look for info tonight.

          • You guys are funny!!


            Post by Jenny on Jan 19, 2020 at 5:17am:

            For those unfamiliar with what seanm is referring to with the ‘the’ and ‘a’ difference.
            In Cynthia’s book is written:
            “He (Forrest) sternly told me then I had to learn to read the poem. I (Cynthia) had read ever word. Then he asked me what is the difference between the word ‘the’ and the word ‘a’? …… he explained, ‘The word ‘a’ is plural and the word ‘the’ is singular.

          • Thanks loco,
            I did buy her book and apparently never saw it on MWs.

            Although the idea is the basic idea to; every word was deliberate, and we shouldn’t discount any words.
            Al well as other than things stated, such as how folks don’t understand the words they use everyday… Several for example.

            This is why I can’t simplify the word it to be as simplistic as *the quest, or journey it just a treasure hunt.

            It may boil down to “the important possibly” no one had mentioned (as of that date).

            LOL it (IT) might be the word that a few were in “tight focus” of… That’ll be a kick if true.

            Anyways thanks for the info…

        • Oh! By the way, FD,

          “The” also relates to time. Ya might want to look it up yourself.

          THE end is ever drawing nigh, for example.
          Translate or deciphered as one possibility;
          The (time) of whatever (end) is always coming near. ( Ever meaning always of something that is constant)
          In this case, and my rendition… The place that is not for the meek-ish is night time in the mountains. THE end is of the time period.. of dark / night during. 24 hour time.
          The other factor to this involves “place” meaning; put into a *situation.* By one of “place* meanings.

          I explained halt in relationship to time.. and few other words. I can keep going, but why bother…
          apparently you haven’t looked these words up, or you would already know certain meanings of them… Even if they don’t apply to your method.

          Just saying.

          • Seeker, really?

            You’re acting like what you say below invalidates what I’ve said before. It doesn’t…


            “The” also relates to time. Ya might want to look it up yourself.”
            I’ve never said it doesn’t mean that.

            What I’ve asked for is more than one meaning for the word. It’s not that hard of a concept to figure out.

            You can keep going on with other words like “halt” but “halt” wasn’t on my list, so what’s the point?

      • Hint . . .

        Possible interpretations:

        Literal word meaning: A nudge in the right direction.

        Simple letter values:

        H = 8
        I = 9
        N = 14 or 5
        T = 20 or 2

        Reverse read:

        T Ni(gh) H


        T H I N

        Word grid letter pairs:

        H & I using values 8 & 9 respectively . . .

        Row 8, letter 9 = “O” in “belOw”
        Row 9, letter 8 = “R” in “theRe”

        N & T using values 14 & 20 respectively . . .

        Row 14, letter 20 = “Q” in “Quickly”
        Row 20, letter 14 = “D” in “tireD”

        Sounds like:

        If . . . Silent H . . . IN T
        If . . . I = E . . . HENT
        If . . . Etc.

        If code where numerical and/or letter values change:

        H, I, N, T have myriad possible answers each

        HINT focus on next word . . .

        Next word = OF

        Sounds like: OV

        Letter values:

        O = 15 or 6
        F = 6

        Yadda, yadda.

        Methinks you might be discounting a universe of possibilities, FD. Suggest that you expand your field of vision a tad, sir.


        • I don’t think it’s a problem of me needing to expand my field of vision.

          I’d rather stick with the definition of the word hint. Seems reasonable.

    • “Well I will give you a clue. Try to simplify if you can. That’s good advice.”f

      It is possible that this is related to us getting back in the box. It may mean to get back to the basics and focus on just the poem, and not all the rest of the noise out there, not to just use the simple meaning of words, for as Seeker said above, Forrest looked up the meaning of words and he changed the poem over the years to get the wording right. And he didn’t need a map or anything else to write the poem, it was in his mind.

      So to simplify may just mean to just use the evidence that has been provided to us, the poem. And then try and marry those clues in the poem to a place on a map. Its seems the longer one thinks about this the more they complicate it.


      • All,

        And from six question 2014:

        It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching. Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.

        Why did Forrest think that the treasure may be discovered sooner than he anticipated, becasue searchers where giving serious thought to the clues in his poem, and were in tight focus with a word that is key.

        So again us getting back in the box is getting back to the basics and the focusing on just the poem, not all the rest of the noise out there.

        Poem purist for the win. 😉


        • Seannm,

          “When the treasure is found, it will be found by somebody who read my book, then read the poem over and over and over again and then read my book again looking at every word and every sentence for a hint that will help them with the clues that are in the poem that they’ve memorized.” From Fernanda interview.


          “I have some advice. Read the book, then read the poem, over and over, maybe even memorize it. And then go back and read the book again looking for hints that are in the book that are going to help you with the clues that are in the poem. That’s the best advice that I can give. You have to find out, to learn where the first clue is. They get progressively easier after you discover where the first clue is.” (

          Is the best advice that Forrest can give you “the best advice”?

          I think so. IMHO

          • @Yosemite Sam,

            He has also said, along with his advice, that one can find the treasure with just the clues. So that is the path that I follow, as it helps to mitigate confirmation bias, in my opinion.


            “You can find the find the chest with just the clues, but there are hints in the book that will help you with the clues.”f

            So the conondrum is: what if one doesn’t need help with the clues? Is it not possible that one could find the treasure with just the poem and the right map to marry those clues to? Absolutely! And just because one has not yet found the treasure isn’t proof positive that they in fact need the help, for there are many who believe that they have definitively found those subtle clues in the book, and they too have not yet recovered the treasure.


        • Ummm, you may want to rethink that.

          I’m sure we’ve seen evidence about one of the few original searchers focused on a word that is key and that searcher wasn’t, or isn’t, a poem purist.

          Point deduction given to poem purist and applied to non poem purist. 🙂

          • Again from six question 2014:

            It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching. Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.

            So while there were a great number of people searching, in 2014, of that number, many were giving serious thought to the “clues in the poem”, but of those many, only a few were in tight focus with a word that is key. And we now know that that word that is key is in fact in the poem. So no outside information was needed or helpful in locating that one word that is more important than some of the others, it was, and is still, right there for all to see.

            So this poem purist already knew that that key word was in fact in the poem. I didn’t need some super secret “Sea Hawks” email to tell me that, lol.

            So i’m pretty content. 🙂


          • You’re content with saying you knew the poem reveals info? That’s not saying much. Way to not muddy the waters. 🙂

          • FD,

            Floating around the YouTube interviews is one ( I believe was Cynthia or another young lady that asked about the “word that is key” if it’s in the poem… As I recall the answer was, in the poem
            I’m sure someone else remembes the correct video but I can recall it at the moment… I think it was with cowlazer? Maybe…

      • So “try to simplify” means in part “not to just use the simple meaning of words“?


        • Huh??

          The keyword is “try”
          As in; attempt to make something difficult, simpler.

          “It’s difficult but not impossible”
          “It’s not a matter of trying, it a matter of thinking”
          “…There’s no substitute to thinking and analyzing unless your desire is to keep it simple”

          • So the word “try” also has only one definition that we can figure out if we try?

        • Well, one may interpret “try to simplify if you can” to mean that the word in the poem and thus the poem itself is simple to understand, while another will interpret that to mean to just focus on the basics. Who is right?

          Well now just consider the following:

          In the Moby Dickens interview Forrest says, and I paraphrase from memory: “When you first read that poem it looks like simple words there, but trust me I worked on that poem for 15 years, I felt like an architect drawing that poem”

          as well as:

          In the 2013 EIS Radio podcast: “But the clues are there. they’re not easy to follow, but certainly not impossible.”

          So are we to believe that the clues are not easy for us to follow in the physical world, those same ones an 80 year old man physically followed carrying upwards of 22 lbs up to three miles in one afternoon, or are we to assume follow may actually mean understood and or comprehended? I infer the latter, that the clues are not easy to understand, so just using the simple definitions of every single word in the poem may not be the case. e.g. the word hint can be a verb or noun, with several different definitions or synonyms.

          So yes I believe “try to simplify if you can” does not simply mean use the simple definitions of all the words in the poem.

          And I’m pretty content with that. 🙂


          • Seannm,

            You and I are working on the same ideas… It’s more about understanding.
            Imo. Fenn didn’t create a treasure hunt… he created a challenge of wits. Something that can be just as difficult today and 1000 years later, yet still doable.

            Sure, sure… Landscape changes over time, and that’s one reason why a small search area works. Especially if the location has less physical point to work with and more about how to get through the task.

            But… If readers feel that clues (9 clues) must be of different locations to start with… What happens is we start to force pieces of the poem to be physical places rather than instructions on how to locate a hidden object.

            The biggest kicker for me was when Fenn (finally) stated he personally followed his own created clues.

            You have to ask why someone who knows the location so we’ll never used a map, etc to create it all from memory would need to do anything but go straight to a 10″ spot.

            I believe he had to do the same as we are told… The question is; why?
            My answer involves the need for what we are told we should do…
            Plan and Observe.

            Now we just need to figure out how to do just that.

            On a personal note / idea… I think Fenn knew where he wanted the chest to be at, yet he created clues to be followed that even took him to a *spot* to now hide the chest… My point is; it doesn’t matter how the chest is hidden, it matters how the poem *shows* you where it is at.

            The distance from the blaze to the chest should be obvious… Is the blaze a marker, or a tool needed to show where at 10″ spot is?

          • Seannm, you said- “ so just using the simple definitions of every single word in the poem may not be the case. ”.
            I agree. I agree because no one is saying that. Seeker and yourself are acting like I’m saying that or have said that. That is not the case.

            I have clearly described just some of the words in the poem as what I have focused my viewpoint about this discussion.

            You can join the challenge and let us know what other definition(s) of the word “hint” you feel f is meaning when he used the word hint in the poem and elsewhere.

            Whatever you come up with, if it’s different than what f describes a hint will do for searchers in the Chase, I’m gonna stick with f’s description… and I’m content with that.

          • FD,

            Yet you are saying / implying that by saying “literal” meanings.

            What exactly is a literal meaning of a word if any meaning of any word is usablr.?

          • Seeker, ask yourself.

            If you, or anyone else, can give us multiple meanings for each of the words on my list I’d love to hear them and maybe see your point.

            Literal…ask f why he says he takes searchers literally when they ask him a question and he answers accordingly even though what the questionnaire was really attempting to get an answer about got messed up somehow by the question they asked.

            This has happened not too long ago when, again, Cynthia asked f a question on video. She started the question by saying something like ‘Can I ask one question?’ and then she proceeded to ask a second question after he answered the first one. F cut her off when she asked her second question. He said that’s a second question but he took her “LITERALLY” originally when she said she wanted to ask one question.

            So, f can find a way to take others literally but we can’t him? Gotcha

          • Seeker, for example, I don’t know what magical meaning of the word “hint” that Seannm feels might be better suited than what dictionaries use as the top entry or how f uses the word. That’s on Seannm or you for any other word on my list.

          • FD, you are assuming that everyone is solving the poem the same way. By word definitions. From your list, I only see the words “the” and “my” as being what they are. All the other words on your list, to me, have or are instructions. The word “gone” for example, has nothing to do with what f did. Has nothing to do with going anywhere. It is just an instruction of what to do with the letter “g”. You want multiple meanings, then you need to see the multiple possible solutions.
            The word “with”, may just be the word with, but it could also be an instruction for the word previous. Then you would use the common definition of the word “with”,
            And with my= And my, or Mandy, or whatever you feel is appropriate.
            The poem is not that tough, f wrote it for every redneck with…etc…etc…etc. So in using multiple definitions, in some form of archaic way, does not seem to fit the bill, or f. Maybe that’s why the words alone in the poem will not get you to the chest. If we needed to look up words, the poem would tell us some way, like the word “chest”. that may be the poem telling us to see “hest”. Maybe at that point is the reason he has repeated so often, “two can keep a secret if one of them is dead”. Has nothing to do with the word “chest” or what the definition of that word is.
            You can say that is a wrong approach all you want, but it has not been proven that it is and doesn’t break any rules, so it cannot be discounted.
            So, it’s all with the individual searcher and how they go about their solve. You want multiple meanings, there you go, but you have to see the multiple ways to get to a solve.
            It’s going to go to the searcher that can best, “adjust”. This is why a solve isn’t about reading the poem at face value, because face value answers nothing. Once someone is on the path, they will understand the face value of the poem. The solve isn’t about the words alone, that would be to easy.
            F taking people “literally” is because that is how he is approached since the chase started. But, knowing f in some sorts, do you really think we can take him literally? We would have to in a sense, but it’s how we interpret him is where we get confused. If he says “duck”, do we squat down or do we look around for a “duck”? Or do we get a dictionary and look for multiple meanings? With us, we would just squat down, knowing that is what is meant. But with f saying it, it would be best to squat down, (to not get hit by something), to look around for a “duck”, and to have a pocket dictionary handy.
            The word “hint”, just another instruction of what to do with the letter “h”. To get the answers you are looking for, you need to ask yourself, because we don’t see a solve the way you do. You are both right in the sense of your own solves, so going round and round won’t help anyone, unless you can give into the multiple ways of a solve. Seeker’s example of “take in” is creditable and can very well be. There may be letter values where words are actually numbers, then what? Would have no bearing on their definitions. This isn’t about “gotcha”, it’s more to the point, are you reading and interpreting the poem “correctly”.

          • poisonivey, you said Seeker’s theory for take it in is credible. I agree. I’ve never did it wasn’t. So why are you guys thinking that’s my position?

            And no I’m not assuming everyone is solving the poem the same way. I gave a simple challenge for anyone to tell us less common meanings for the words from the poem I listed and I haven’t seen one yet be mentioned.

            Duck is not on my list nor in the poem.

          • Sorry Fun, I misread your post. I assumed, my bad. But, if I can ask, why do you want less common meanings for the words from the poem? Do abbreviations count? Like “my”, being million years? Or just looking for less common to whom? Like the word “gone”? missing or lost, or advanced, as in illness or deterioration, or absorbed?
            You know there are slang dictionaries and a host of others on-line, right?
            If you are just checking if the words in the poem need to be examined to the fullest, I don’t think f put that type of time into the puzzle. So, like you posted, gone=gone, the=the, my=my, etc…But, on a personal note, “the” before the word blaze = 7. 7 b lazy makes something that looks like a 97, which is referenced by marvel gaze. This is why I used examples of different ways of solving. To just use a definition for “the” at that point does nothing, means nothing.
            So, I would disagree with Seannm when he says, “I believe “try to simplify if you can” does not simply mean use the simple definitions of all the words in the poem.”
            I would say yes it does. Trying to fit in complicated definitions, IMO, would not be an f thing to do. “with”=with, etc… The word “as” doesn’t mean Roman coinage, it means “as”.
            But if you want to say “take in” to be to take something into somewhere as common, compared to meaning observed, or to look, common thru who’s eyes? as Seeker exampled. I guess I still don’t quite get the exercise and how it could help. It would be too difficult to try to understand with so many interpretations out there. I’m with you if you are just saying “it is what it is”. No need to research 1100 A.D. texts for possible meanings.

          • poisonivey, yes, I am simply saying “it is what it is” when it pertains to certain words from the poem on my exercise list.

            Me looking for alternative, or less common, definitions for those words is about giving an opportunity to any other searcher to show us their opposite viewpoint that “it isn’t what it is”.

            In an exercise or discusssion, we want to see the work of both sides of the coin.

            In this way, the exercise has much value, imo. It goes to the heart of the matter in so much as do you think f is using certain words in the poem literally or not.

            I obviously didn’t put every word in the poem on my list cause I have from the get go posted that I’m not talking about every word only has one meaning, or as you put it, is what it is.

            I saw one definition from Seeker that he posted for the word “alone”, which was on my list. He said it could mean “first”. I replied back to him above the dictionary definition that I found and nothing mentioned “first”. What I found was this…

            by oneself
            on one’s own
            all alone
            without an escort
            on one’s tod
            on one’s lonesome
            on one’s jack
            on one’s Jack Jones
            on one’s pat
            on one’s Pat Malone
            in company
            on one’s own.
            “he lives alone”
            indicating that something is confined to the specified subject or recipient.
            “we agreed to set up such a test for him alone”

            I told him, for me, I’ll stick with the definition I found. The benefit I get with sticking with the defitikn I found is that I don’t have to change the word “alone” in the poem to the word “first” which would be messing with the poem.

            I’ll add another two words to my list for the exercise: tarry scant

          • Okay Fun, I believe I see where you are going with this whole thing. I think it is a problem with new searchers when they use word definitions to look for some alternate meanings to fit a possible solve. I think we are all guilty of doing some form of that. Makes everything a lot easier, just not correct IMO.
            All the words are in basic “meaning” form and used as such. Like in the word “as”. it’s just the word “as” and not suppose to be thought of as some Roman coin .
            But, again, I would say, what is the “common” interpretation? From who’s perspective?
            Seeker makes some good points with his “take it in” example. The “observe” approach would not be the “common” way of interpreting that comment. And I know you didn’t example that, but it is a good example on how a searcher needs to be able to adjust, IMO.
            Being on thread, with contiguous and consecutively being so close in definition. the only difference being “time”, I can see how “contiguous” can be misinterpreted.
            So, I’m with you as far as your words you asked about and the simplicity they are defined, it would be hard to accept multiple meanings of words within the poem, but I’m also seeing what Seeks is spewing, and I agree to his points. Which brings up the aged ol’ question, is the poem being interpreted correctly by the masses?
            Do we take f so literally, or do we give him space? Like canyon meaning canyon, or canyon meaning valley, gulch, ditch, saddle, etc…etc…etc…(that would take my “gulch” out of the running):)

          • Looking up “Canyon” here is what I found:

            ” Synonyms of canyon

            a narrow opening between hillsides or mountains that can be used for passage

            Synonyms for canyon

            col, couloir, defile, flume, gap, gill [British], gorge, gulch, gulf, kloof [South African], linn [chiefly Scottish], notch, pass, ravine, saddle

            Words Related to canyon

            abyss, chasm, cirque, cleft, crevasse, crevice, cwm [chiefly British], fissure

            combe (also coombe or coomb) [British], dale, dell, glen, hollow, shut-in, vale, valley

            basin, floodplain, kettle

            arroyo, barranca (also barranco), coulee, draw, gully (also gulley), gutter, nullah, trench, trough, wadi, wash [West]

            Many of these terms relate to a canyon, and do not have steep walls – May or may not apply – JDA

          • JDA,

            Just rambling here, but one word use of canyon you listed was “saddle” another was “pass” or passage.

            It’s interesting to note that loco reminded me some time ago…”in the wood” was a term used for *being in the saddle” a cowboy term for riding.

            Could “in the wood” be referring to an area the would be considered a mountain pass-?- or what it is also know as a saddle of a mountain?
            Which fits one of your description very well.

          • Seeker;

            Your Saddle or Pass sure seems to make sense in my search area.

            Regarding “In the wood”, there is the following:

            Saddle trees can be composed of several materials, including BEECH WOOD, fiberglass, plastic, LAMINATED WOOD, steel, aluminum, and iron.

            Food for thought – JDA

          • In the wood = Saddle Tree = a grove of trees in the saddle of a mountain??? Just Musin’ – JDA

    • Yes, explain all the meanings that you could come up with in ” if you’ve
      been wise” ; from owls to college degrees….

      • Musstag,

        I’m not sure who you’re asking but I’ll have a go at it…
        First off I think you need to include “and found”
        The reason is “been wise and found” implies something “discovered” and to have discovered something implies knowledge of what it is vs, just *finding* something yet not truly understanding what it is or for.
        (LOL, that seems to be happening a lot with the first clue).
        Secondly, being in past tense, it is also implied the finding ( found ) something has been done prior vs. at this section / line in the poem. The question is; is the searcher wise enough to understand what it was they found as to be the blaze they search for?

        Most would say that a prior discovery (deciphered clues) can’t be the blaze because they still need to physically travel to more place (hopeful clues). Mainly because they read stanza 3 as physical places. WhatIf.. stanza 3 are instructions rather than directions?

        The concept is not that hard to imagine, IF… A period of time could be involved to complete the solution / task.

        “Plan and Observe”

        Why do we need to plan out a solution?
        What / why is it we need to observe something or for something?

        Observe doesn’t simply mean to look at… It means to study, watch, examine for a period of time.
        Can you find other words in the poem ( including the commonly suggested clues section ) that words and phrases relate to time?
        Some simple, easy examples are; quickly, Gaze, take it in…
        Others not so easily seen or understood; begin… can be of time, as; when to begin. The word “place” can relate to time as well.. it can also relate to a situation one is ‘placed’ in.

        So a question that one might ask is; what kind of situation might not be to comfortable to someone who is considered “meek”?

        The point to all this is; I can not see how anyone can read the poem one line, or word, or phrase… And come to a single conclusion to what is being relayed without understanding the intent of the poem as a whole.

        My last comment is what the self proclaim *poem purist* attempt. The entire poem might be described as individuals sections (or locations) but the poem still needs to act as a whole. Otherwise the “architectural design” falls apart..imo. The cake becomes a waffle, metaphorically.

        – the whole is greater than its individual parts-
        All the ingredients are needed to complete the intended outcome.

        This is why the idea of a point to point or even contiguous bordering / touch ideas might be failing… The process is lacking “planning and observing” as an actual part of solving what might be needed to be done when on site.

        I know that was a bit winded for your inquiry about “if you’ve been wise”..
        But I don’t see how anyone can answer what those four words mean on their own… Other than, it is in past tense.

        “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze” equates to “knowing” what you have already discovered…

        • Seeker – I totally agree. And what I was ‘wise to have discovered’ in my Baker’S Hole solve was the results of the following Google Search:

          Hebgen Lake trout spawn

          Under images, the Baker’S Hole interpretive sign appeared (Dal’s fairly recently posted image just showed up now). And many, many links appeared about the sustained drop in water temperature on the Madison River is the trigger for the Brown trout spawn in Fall. Here is one of those links:

          We met Bob Jacklin in his fly shop on our Memorial Day Weekend of 2019 BOTG trip. That 10+lb. Brown trout he caught in that deep hole, just upstream from Cabin Creek, near Campfire Lodge, was stuffed and mounted on a back wall. I saw him do that on video. He gave us some good advice for opening day on the Firehole River.

          I think this is what ‘wise discovery’ means in Forrest’s Poem.

          Never knew why Rainbow trout follow the Brown trout during that Fall spawn, since their spawn is Spring (per that sign). Coolness!

          • Seeker – Did Forrest ‘found the blaze’s, namely, the two life-sized Loch Leven trout, in bas relief, on that Baker’S Hole interpretive sign? In his bronze foundry?

            Food for thought…

      • The part of the poem that mentions “wise” deserves much more analysis
        than people are apparently giving to this, in my opinion. Good luck, all.

        • Not sure that it requires nearly as much analysis as the clues that chronologically precede it. But to each there own. 🙂


          • Tall Andrew………. I agree with you………
            Wise is not what it seems!!!

            Dig Deep… Think Different… Knowle(d)ge

            It could change your solve

            Best Regards

    • @Seeker – You make some interesting points.

      I have always liked the idea of an overall small search area, but hadn’t really heard it put like you state: “Landscape changes over time, and that’s one reason why a small search area works.” Good point.

      You also stated “You have to ask why someone who knows the location so well never used a map, etc to create it all from memory would need to do anything but go straight to a 10” spot.” On the “Nine Clues” thread I have a long series of posts regarding consecutive and contiguous and the right order of the clues (Starts on or about 2-26-2020). In that series I posited that FF had to make the clues themselves hard to figure out/understand to allow him to use the one and only place he ever considered to hide the chest work for TTOTC, which is a relatively safe and simple place to go to otherwise. That is different than saying that the place/area where FF hid the chest is difficult in and of itself and all FF had to do was come up with clues to guide us there because the terrain itself is what is difficult to decipher. That seemingly answers your question to some extent.

      That also places more emphasis on what you have been saying—we need to think, plan, and observe more, and stomp out clues a lot less. “When somebody finds that treasure chest, everybody’s going to say ‘My God! Why didn’t I think of that?’ ” (FF – )
      I think that quote hints of simplicity and a smaller scale.

      As to your blaze comment, IMO the blaze is the culmination of the contiguous clues. IYHBWAFTB = You have already deciphered the contiguous clues to create the blaze (trail) to follow to the chest, at which time you will have to LQDYQTC. IF our goal as a searcher is to retrieve the chest, does anyone disagree that this whole stanza seemingly tells us we are done at this point, hence the past tense when talking about the blaze and the need to get the heck out of there fast once you have the chest in hand (BTSWMG / JTTCAGIP)?


      • Bowmarc;

        I, for one, disagree with your last statement. I think that the last two stanzas describe in detail what you will need to look for once you have been “Pointed to” or “Directed to” the general hidey location by the blaze. Indulgence is not at the base of the blaze, IMO, but some distance away from it. This is where the planning and observation comes in.

        “Go – tired” and “leave weak” – to me – is important, as well as “Go seek”

        “Listen good” – to me – also has meaning, as does “worth the cold.”
        And, don’t forget “in the wood” – a Beery important clue JMO – JDA

        • @JDA – Good to hear from you. Some time ago (Odds n Ends Part 84 / July 3, 2019 / “C & The Big Picture” / It is actually close to being the very last comment on that page before it was closed) I posted about how I thought the 5th stanza could be about FF’s cancer and not surprisingly only you and Seeker commented at that time. As I said back then, I think cancer is one of those subtle hints from the book that isn’t deliberately placed, but is an unavoidable and necessary part of TTOTC none-the-less.

          Since that time, some of the elements I saw in the architecture of the poem have been proven, at least to this searcher’s satisfaction anyway. If you have not yet done so, take a look at FF’s German Playboy interview for one such example.

          I’m aware of your thought processes on tired (meaning to lay down, hence the possibility that one needs to be low to the ground at some point in the solve process) and weak (as in a watered down alcoholic drink—-isn’t that why you use “Beery” later on in your response?). 🙂

          As to your comment that Indulgence is not at the base of the blaze but is some distance away from it, I say as long as that distance is both obvious and logical (like FF states in his response to Casey when he asked about said distance) then who am I to do anything other than wish you luck in your search endeavors, which I always do. 🙂

          I’ve also previously fully described my interpretation of the last stanza, which firmly places all of the information therein into the hint category. A hint helps with the actual clues by eliminating itself from contention as a clue, if you can understand that line of thinking. Our inability as searchers to listen good to FF has negative consequences on our search efforts and we reap those ourselves, meaning FF is not directly to blame for all of the rabbit holes we find ourselves in, myself included as my ideas always seem to be out on the fringe and against the grain. 🙂


      • Bowmarc,

        I read a lot of your post you are talking about.
        But a couple things you mention here; the blaze being a trail to follow, idea, doesn’t seem to me as an “object”.. or.. something that can be removed…

        The other thing is; when Fenn finally started he followed the clues in the poem, your comment doesn’t give a reason why he seemingly did so. Regardless of how harder he made to the to be…he has all the answers.
        The only conclusion I can come up with is he had to use some or all of the clues to locate a spot within his “special place”

        Others may feel his special place is the hidey spot,. But I tend to think it’s the entire location the clues represent (as a whole)
        If this idea is correct, he would have to do as he tells all to do in order to find a spot to place / secret the TC… Within his special place.
        One reason I look at it this way is fenn’s wording of respect for this location that he knew he wanted to hide and die at. I just don’t see a 10″ spot to hold such a feeling of high regards and respect.

        In a nutshell… He created clues within this special place and used them as we should to “complete” the poem / task of finding a place to hide the chest.

        • @Seeker – We are both word definitions guys.

          As a noun, TRAIL can be defined as “a marked or established path or route especially through a forest or mountainous region.”

          As a noun, OBJECT can be defined as “something mental or physical toward which thought, feeling, or action is directed.”

          FF put a lot of thought into giving us TTOTC (IMHO, and based somewhat loosely on a secret tidbit of information I deciphered about him working on the poem for something like 15 years). 🙂

          He gave us 9 clues to find and retrieve his treasure chest.

          He has told us to “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.” (Mysterious Writings 5/4/2017 – “Featured Questions with Forrest Fenn”)
          ( )

          Poetically thinking, then, and especially since the medium used to give us the information is a poem, FF has blazed us a trail to find and retrieve his treasure chest.

          Trail is a single word (like YES in this ATF = Q: Is the blaze a single object? A: In a word – Yes.) ( ), yet is the sum of its components.

          Those components are the 9 clues towards which our mental and physical efforts are directed.

          The blaze, as a single word, can be objectified by thinking of it as a trail. Objectified, whose root word is object, is defined as “to express (something abstract) in a concrete form.” The concrete form in this instance is the 9 clues we are told we need to solve for to retrieve the treasure chest, and the poem by itself throws abstract thinking into the whole mix on top of FF telling us that the poem is a map.

          Did I tie it all in there enough to make this concept plausible for anyone else but me?

          As to removing the blaze, it is a trail that is the sum of its parts. These parts are layered/redundant in my solve process. It is this redundancy that simultaneously provides certainty of ones course while preserving the architecture that ties it all together. If the creek dries up, for instance, we have the information on the other side of the semi-colon to rely upon for that leg of the blaze.

          IMO, the entire TTOTC takes place in a single dead-end canyon, making the entire area the special FF place. You said you have read a lot of my lengthy post on “The Nine Clues” thread already so I shouldn’t have to go into any more detail here to further express my opinion.


          • I’m not trying to be argumentative… Just friendly debating because I can see how you are looking at it…
            Yet, the Earth can be a single object, related to the universe, but the things on it are not parts that make it a whole. Mars as little to nothing and it still an object as well, in the same manner, right?

            A trail for me just can’t be a single object… That’s like saying the RMs as a whole are a single object also.
            Their a region of mountains but not an object.

            In your usage, the CD trail could be considered a single object… But I just can wrap my head around that concept.

            I look at it like this; a glass filled with water is a single object… But an ocean is not.

            LOL.. the question is (for fun) what’s a pool?

          • @Seeker – friendly debate away—that’s how I view this as well, with an argument (as an object meaning “a reason given for or against a matter under discussion” as opposed to “an angry quarrel or disagreement”) thrown in to try and make a point here and there. 

            For me, FF’s answer to this ATF requires the application of some thought:

            “Q: Is the blaze a single object?

            A: In a word – Yes.”

            ( )

            For me, he could have simply replied “Yes”, but he added the “in a word” language.

            For me, IN A WORD, namely TRAIL, the blaze is summarized as a single object.

            Another way of looking at it is that the 9 clues make up the blaze which in and of itself is a single word.

            As to your Earth/Mars statements, both, in a word, are PLANETS. Planet Earth is very different from Planet Mars.

            FF’s trail is very different from my trail when I am out on a Sunday hike.

            Planet Earth has a unique combination of factors that all combine to support life.

            FF’s poem has a unique set of factors (the clues) that all combine to support finding the hidden treasure chest.

            Poetically, FF has created a trail for us to follow to find his treasure chest, and may be referring to such as “the blaze” in his poem. The difficulty lies in separating the normal “understanding” of what a blaze is (a mark on a horse, etc.) from what else it abstractly and poetically could be, especially in light of the reward for figuring TTOTC out, a journey we both know he made difficult but not impossible to accomplish.

            As to your question about what’s a pool, methinks it requires context to answer. The debate about the blaze at least has the poem, FF, etc. to draw upon for arguments sake. LOL.

            In closing, and I am not sure where this information came from—I think an audio or video file—but I seem to remember someone talking to FF about the meaning of tarry scant and the answer was something akin to get the heck out of there fast (presumably with the treasure chest)(*DISCLAIMER: Do not rely on any of that last statement as fact since I am unable to provide the source at this time) That right there is an example of words from the poem that many searchers need to be clues of some sort (tarry scant as a dark colored flat stone set over top of a recess in which Indulgence sits in hiding, for example) as opposed to how FF has poetically made TTOTC difficult but not impossible to figure out. For me, blaze is another such example.


          • Bowmarc,

            Dal posted the audio here of the “tarry scant…* Comment.

            Not that I have too much of a problem with what was said… We only got the tail end of the conversation. We don’t know the question or inquiring thought of (I think cowlazer)

            So while I see your thought process, I’m carefull not to jump to any conclusion on that audio.

            Not unlike the many times we all read a question presented in the attempt to understand the answer, because if we only see the answer we can surmise just about anything.

            LOL one of my favorite examples is; …why be concerned about WWsH?
            (Reverse Engineering Q&A)

            Is Fenn saying we don’t need the first clue if we know hoB (clue 4?)
            Or is he implying WHY we should be concerned about clue 1?
            You know… The clue that; if we don’t have we haven’t anything, might as well stay home.

            Just saying

          • @Seeker – LOL. Yes, the reverse engineering Q & A is a good one to argue…er debate about. You already know how I interpret such—that they are the same place, the beginning and the end of TTOTC simultaneously, forever contiguous and inseparable—well, in theory anyways, since once someone takes Indulgence away, HOB kinda becomes the former home of the chest.

  36. begin it wwwh and take it in the canyon down
    begin it wwwh and its, at the bottom of the canyon. (canyon down)

  37. Hi Dal,

    The Moby Dickens link doesn’t seem to work for me… is there anyway to repair it?

    Also, is there a link to view/read older blog posts?

    Mark Knopfler

    • knop-
      I repaired the link. If that happens again you can google “Moby Dickens Fenn” and it will come up.

    • Knop-
      All that orange text on the right side of all the pages at the top…those are links to menus. If you click on discussions it will take you to a list of current and archived pages of discussions…and then if you click on “Key Word” it will take you to the discussion page about the Key word….Further down is “Keyword Archive”. That takes you to the older pages on that topic that were filled up and had to be closed when a new one opened…

      There are also many posts under “Most Important Information” and of course “Forrest’s Scrapbooks” and “Vignettes” and on and on…
      Browse and enjoy…

  38. Looks and sounds like the lattice framework of the keyword structure. Something I have been working on for a while, in stages, under the stars, with new and old, my wife and I, them and us. And just when you think you are done, you pitch it with a crisscross.

    Poetic, I know! Its good!

  39. @Seeker,

    You said (in a comment up thread):


    Sure, sure… Landscape changes over time, and that’s one reason why a small search area works. Especially if the location has less physical point to work with and more about how to get through the task.


    That is very interesting thought, because it is something that Forrest may have thought of if he really did think that this could go on for hundred’s if not thousands of years. Geological changes, due to both foreseeable and unforeseeable events, could make the path, of a nine separate location clue path, more difficult if not impossible to physically follow in say a thousand years from now. But a short direct path, say from a defined starting to end point, less likely to be impacted by long term natural geological and or man made changes.

    I have never been a believer of nine separate locations or points comprising the clue path based upon my interpretation of the poem. But what you said really makes sense in how Forrest may have thought this out over the long term. This same thought process is how I have envisioned the treasures resting spot, it has to be a location that can stand the test of time, geologically speaking.

    Good stuff Seeker!


    • DAL, and everyone else.
      True the not spring you mentioned is not named in the book ttotc, but the Saving Grace for me is that the Firehole River is named in ttotc.

    • I agree. With Forrest’s knowledge of archeology he would have a good idea of what things survive a thousand years. Whatever it is that we need to find will be around for a long time.

      • @JW,

        Agreed. And whatever Forrest’s blaze is, it should be something that will stand the test of time. I sometimes think back to the movie National Treasure when they realize that the Declaration of Independence holds valuable information and “Ian” says: “That’s clever really a document of that importance would ensure the maps survival”

        So if the blaze is the marker of the location that the treasure rests in, at or around, it needs to be something that Forrest was sure would stand the test of time.


  40. @musstag – Do you believe there is some meaning to “wise” other that being smart or having common sense?

    I have NOT discovered any that fit the poem’s obvious meaning. But Seeker is very knowledgeable, & the statement that “the poem still needs to act as a whole. Otherwise the “architectural design” falls apart.” is, without a doubt, one of the wisest I’ve heard yet.

    I believe FF’s poem is actually simple. Vague of course, but simple. The clues in it are as being described by a child or someone with the beginnings of dementia. NOT FF though by any means. For instance, instead of being cognizant enough to know or remember who lives in a certain house, that person may only be able to describe the brown dog that’s always on the front porch. So that child will say “home of Brown”.

    This is difficult for me to explain well. But I believe the clues are so vague & fit so many different places, it’s like having to put ALL wwwh locations into a hat & drawing one out. It’s the same with the other clues. Unless, … UNLESS,… there is FF provided a way for us to differentiate one from another & know for certain.

    Does TTOTC contain that info? Yes, for me, the book’s hints do that very thing. However, the blaze remains in obscurity as to EXACTLY where to find it. Probably because I know NOT for what I look. Evidently the blaze is way too obscure for me at this time.

    • Yes, something else other than being smart or having common sense. I am thinking of what else I could say and not give away my ah ha moment.
      I guess I can say that getting wise is somewhat like the obovious, it goes unnoticed. I have searched my blaze, it was disappointing at that time but I did not get wise or wiser until years later at home.

      • I guess I should say , I did not get MY version of getting wise until years later at home.

        • Seeker, just saw your post. Will take some time to digest it. But yes WISE has several levels I think, somewhat like dumb and dumber, that was how I felt a after getting home.

  41. With all the deep thought here about observing, meanings and timing for the poem it seem like there are two words, one a possible key word but both have been noted by Forrest as having many in the Rocky Mountain range north of Santa Fe: First and perhaps foremost because it seems so large as in 50 percent or half way there metaphorically is the word HALT, ff admitted that there are many and most of them are north of SF, the other oddity to me is that there are many, perhaps millions of Blazes, also by necessity north of SF. So what our problem is, IMHO , seems to be HOW DO WE DISTINGUISH the correct ones, Halt and Blaze from the Myriads of others?

    We are all basically saying that the metaphorical image has to be narrow down using the poem, perhaps the book with hints, or even the other sources from the Oracle himself.

    I will try to focus on something that is touched in this analysis occasionally but getting it exact takes IMO all the rest of the poem to understand what WWWH is and the wisdom to apply to the Blaze, I want to start at the end, or the blaze since I perceive it to be easier to figure out even though I am convinced it may well be much much smaller in size, “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze” seems intriguing to have use on of ff’s mysterious answers to define something clearly, but it will only be seen by navigation in one’s mind. Here is the quote; Can the blaze be pre-determined by the poem or can it only be determined at the search area?- Becky

    “Becky, you are a rascal to ask that question and I have been sitting here for about fifteen minutes trying to decide what to say. Well, it has been thirty minutes now and I think I’ll pass on the question. Sorry.f’

    THIS non answer says something so important I can hardly contain my watch until it is time to go, States are slowly opening up and the Snow way up North is preceding up to the level of the tree lines in many states, so if YOU HAVE BEEN WISE and seen the confluence of the stars, look up on the mountain, it is almost time, and time is what the blaze facing…

    I consider WWWH to be the biggest clue, yet an element of time exists there too, perhaps a lifetime ago, but this IDEA is about his Father IMHO. Just some Winter, no Quarantine Thoughts to ponder.


  42. All,

    As it relates to this thread, here is something I said in December 2016 on MW:


    Dec 11, 2016 at 9:13am seannm said:

    Here is one way to consider the 9 sentence = 9 clues theory. While the sentences in the poem are consecutive and contiguous their deciphered answers may not be, i.e. the answer to “in the wood” may be the answer to where, or “worth the cold” answer may be in regards to time of year etc etc. So again while the 9 sentences in the poem are in order their answers once correctly deciphered, a wise person will then understand their true meaning and order. Forrest then when is discussing the number of clues solved may in fact not be talking about the number clue as in its sequence found in the poem, but the sequence of the clues properly solved.

    I feel like I’m talking in circles.



    Hmm this was well before Forrest ever said, in the 2017 Lure documentary interview, that nobody had given him the clues in the right order.

    I’m very content with that. 😉


    • Seannm,

      I can’t drag the link by these idiot phones, but I suggest you look on MWs for a Q&A. With Joseph.

      Try typing – *that’s right Joseph, the clues are to be followed in consecutive order… Per FF. * In your search bar… It should produce a link to it.

      If I read the question and answer correctly.. it say consecutive in the poem is the same as in the order on site to follow the clues.
      If I get to my lap top later I’ll find the link and post it… But you should be able to find it.

      • @Seeker,

        I well aware of that Q & A:

        ear Mr. Fenn,
        You say the clues in the poem are to be followed in consecutive order. You have also said the book holds sublte hints. Are these ‘subtle hints’ in consecutive order (in relation to how they help with clues in the poem) too? ~ Thank you, joseph

        That’s right joseph, you should start with the first clue and follow the others consecutively to the treasure. Hints in the book are not that organized.f


        Again, I believe that there is an order as we view/read the clues in the poem versus an order we that we precede once we have correctly understood them.

        it comes down to the definition of consecutive (consecutively?).


        • I get the idea about consecutively… Or in sequence…
          Example; 1234 or 2468 are both consecutive.

          The magic words for me are, “to the treasure”
          We have been told looking for later clues is a folly because folks are driving down the road looking for the blaze, idea.

          He has also said a physical present is needed after the first few clues.

          With comments like these, I don’t believe we can find the treasure *in* the poem prior. So for one to actually find it, it seems we need to follow the clues on site as the poem has them laid out.

          Anyways, that’s my take on the answer having “to the treasure”

          Just sayin…

          • @Seeker,

            I agree with a lot of what you said. Especially as it applies to looking for and or trying to solve “later clues”. For I believe that the first few clues are the most important to figure out. And has Forrest not said that if one was able to decipher the first few clues they could find the treasure. Now combine that with Forrest stating, in the 2018 six questions: “Rocking chair ideas can lead one to the first few clues, but a physical presence is need to complete the solve” (paraphrased).

            Now I would believe that most searchers would agree that the blaze does not fall within those first few clues, regardless of their opinion on the clues being the sentences, individual verse’s or phrases in the poem. So yes running around looking for Forrest’s blaze simply because it is a line in the poem, is folly for there are a bazillion blazes out there, and if one doesn’t know where the blaze is it really doesn’t matter.

            And I also agree that one cannot find the treasure in the poem prior to, because while the words in the poem lead one to the correct starting point, it may only be from there that one can fully understand the remaining clues if they are certain in that location beforehand. Even so some have arrived there but then walked right past the the remaining clues and the treasure chest, why? Maybe because they didn’t fully understand or precisely follow the clues in the poem.

            So is it possible one could solve all nine clues and arrive within several steps of the treasure, sure, but that is not likely in practice, nor has it yet happened in the past 10 years.


    • Imo, if it seems to be too obvious, there is a reason for it. I think we have to narrow things down, and not get lured in. Reminds me of the glimmering scene in a movie. Where a Thinking Child sets himself free from the rest of the pack.

  43. Seannm, and Seeker, in your opinions which is a better description of the instruction/directions for one to locate the TC in the Rockies, term contiguous, or term consecutively?

    THis should be good


    • Tom, nice question.
      But ya might not like my idea / answer.
      Just above this post seannm and I are rattling a Q&A about how we see consecutive.
      But now we have Fenn adding later, the clues are contiguous.
      The two words are very similar, however I think he add contiguous for a reason… My idea is about a period of time that a searcher needs to consider to actually locate the hidey spot.

      I’m not a big believer the chest is under or at the blaze… I think the blaze is used to point to the hide.
      But I should add; the blaze doesn’t point by itself… I think it cast a shadow on a given day or three… That shows the searcher where the TC is at.

      This is also why I think the blaze is a prior clue… We just need to know what is expected from us to “complete” the poem… And why I think stanza 3 are deciphered as instructions, and not directions.

      • @Seeker,

        Forrest has only ever once use the word contiguous publicly, in my research. Could I be wrong, possibly.

        The questions came from the 2013 Moby Dickens video:

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

        There contiguous. I knew where I wanted to hid 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.

        So is he saying that the nine clues in the poem are contiguous or that the idea that the clues existed before he wrote the poem or after he wrote the poem?

        I’m not arguing that contiguous, consecutive, and chronological are not somewhat synonymous with one another, I’m just saying that he might not have directly been saying that the clues in the poem are contiguous.

        I like the idea of contiguous, because then it would possibly negate individual non connecting phrases to then be the clues. but then what of parts of the poem that are not “touching” simply because of separation due to the poetic format, e.g. stanza’s.

        I could go on and on.


        • May I interject. I like the 2013 video. And I think contiguous is irrelevant. It’s a big world, with a lot of moving parts… So many questions… So little time… With many actors, it’s hard to find your part. I believe the more I read the script,the clearer it becomes.

      • Seeker – Yeah, those ‘heavy loads and water high’ sucked my flip-flops right off my feet, on my August of 2019 BOTG trip to Baker’S Hole! I reached down in the mud, up to my elbow, to retrieve them. Glad I didn’t go up that Y-shaped creek!

        Probably more like a warning vs. your interpretation of ‘instructions’. As in, KEEP OUT!

        Well, for my Baker’S Hole solve, anyway.

        And what if that mysterious interpretive sign on the Baker’S Hole shoreline is the blaze you were describing? Then, it actually depicts an exact image of my search area and hidey spot across the Madison River from it. In any weather. At any time (except you need a flashlight in the pitch dark, which you need to go to the facilities at night, anyway.

        Wouldn’t that be better than an inconsistent shadow?

        • Lisa,
          Signs come and go or even moved for many reasons. It’s also man made and I stay away from man made anything.

          But if one had a date and time of day for things to play out… What is inconsistent with this.?
          Why would a date be needed? Simple answer is the angle of the sun.. the sun is lower in the sky during winter and higher and more northern in the summer. What is the first day of summer?
          It’s in June on or about the 20 the to the 23rd respectfully.
          Now you need a time of day…. I’m using the morning sun rise.
          This point in time will always show a shadow in the same spot… But when it happens , quick movement is needed to get to the end spot. If you wait to long the shadow will move relatively quickly.

          Hence linger a scant amount of time (a minute or two) and then get to where you need to be at.
          My reading of the poem tells me June 21 is a good time of year to plan for and observe. .. the morning sunrise.

          So I’m looking at the first day of “summer” when the mud is dry. The same time of year Fenn hid the chest.

          But the kicker is; I have only three physical references and a hidey spot to worry about. I’m not chasing down 9 locations in 9 different places. With some folks having many miles to travel, and still no idea where or what the blaze might be…

          I don’t see inconsistent in any thing. It seem very precise in my book.

          • Seeker – Clearly stated. Makes sense. And you know when exactly Forrest his the treasure, how? All our discussion of when Doug Preston saw it last in Forrest’s vault and when Loreen Mills said it was hidden? Wasn’t that early July she said? So you surmised the Summer Solstice and/or Father’s Day is the best day? I know I read all your posts about that, so did I get it generally correct?

            As in Chaco Canyon, with that spiral blaze, do you have a stone ‘needle’ of sorts to cast your blaze?

            I take your point about the Baker’S Hole interpretive sign. Looks to me like some money and creative effort went into putting it there. Involving at least 4 organizations. And since the scene on it matches the view across the river exactly, from that vantage point (like Eric Sloane standing in front of his painting), then the sign cannot be moved.

          • Lol, Seeker, how long have I been spitting that to you. Finally, you’re seeing it. Very nice. But, for a date, I would use Aug. 22. And, I would find a place that at the sun’s angle, and the height of the thing that makes the shadow, the shadow would equal 80′. And morning I would stay with.
            For me, the last line gives the time. As a side note, the medicine wheel thing, produced a lot of answered hints.
            Lol, now just need to convince you of a “rainbow halo” at 22 degrees…
            The thing that makes the shadow, think legend.
            (wait, that’s my solve, never mind, but you are on the right “thinking” path, IMO).

          • I have time of hide in late June or early July, but I think everyone does. But I think shadow reference would be a different date altogether. Plus, I’ve found to many hints pointing to his birthdate as the shadow reference date.
            Sorry for the intrusion of post.

        • Seeker;

          Your description sure seems right to me. Not sure I can camp out the night before, and get up in time to see the “Magic Shadow” – but it sure would be a hoot if a shadow at “my” spot pointed the way to an exact location. At my age, not sure how “Quick” I could get from point a to the desired shadow end. May have to leave that to the younger folk 🙂 JDA

          • JDA,

            In my wild interpretation of the clues… NF.. means just that. BTFTW means, don’t (walk) go at that moment. The poem hasn’t said to move yet… put in” means to look below the hoB.
            You need to wait for the morning sunrise, now.

            In this theory if your suggested blaze (hoB in the theory) is too far away to get to it in a short time, it won’t work.
            My idea of a short time would not extend more than a 15 min. or less, brisk walk.
            A searchers next steps start in stanza 4 after you look quickly down to see where you need to go… “For your quest to cease.”

            In theory anyways

          • Hi Seeker. In my solve I call the “Thing” that creates the shadow, my Blaze. It appears that you are calling this “thing” your hoB. Are we talking about the same thing, just calling it by a different name? Thanks – JDA

          • JDA,

            I guess so because I don’t know what your blaze is.
            My theory is hoB is the blaze… And it is used to guide a searcher to a spot the TC is at.

          • Allow me to add…hoB (the blaze) doesn’t point in any direction… It acts more like a sundial.. if that helps.

          • Seeker;

            Thanks for your replies. I am pretty sure we are talking about the same “thing” – Yes, it works more like a sundial – Good analogy – JDA

          • JDA,

            IF the theory is correct. The idea of using the blaze as a type of sundial / pointer… The poem must explain when this can be accomplished precisely.
            If that information can not be pulled out from the clues, the theory fails.

            I just happened to think the poem does just that… Mainly by what I call instructions

            The other thing to the theory is wrapping your head around the possibility that there are less physical land features than most searchers attempt to find, and possibly is a small scale area…
            It would almost have to be for a searcher to be able to get from, what I call the observation point, to where the blaze indicates the hidey spot should be.

            Reasons being; the idea of look “quickly” down implies a fast period of time this occurs. The same can be said for: BTSWMG… Gaze indicating; steadily looking, studying what is seen. And the idea of leaving the observation station or *get the heck out of there* …not about being caught, idea… But to the idea of timing is essential.

            Fenn said that the challenge is for folks like a guy with a pickup and a bed roll (and his family)
            As innocent as it may sound… Searching with the kids is great, hut what of the “bed” roll?
            Other comments that caught my attention were; why can’t anyone find it on *spring break* why not during the idea if a *Sunday picnic time* or why, if the chest can *probably “retrieved” in any weather* we are told to pack it in for the winter.

            Many would say these are only helpful warnings or dismiss able chatter… But when looking at this method of process for this solve… those chatterings start to have a reasonable pattern to the poem / clues.

            Not unlike; an 80 year old is not going up and down and up a canyon.. well… neither am I.

            Theoretically, the idea of a need to plan and observe tells me we have something to do while on site vs. just looking for our mapped out points to stomp out.

            And lastly; this theory places a great need for the idea of “nailing” down WWsH or we don’t have anything, might as well stay home. Because without this location… This theory can’t work… It’s not just the start of the clues (like in the stomping mode method) it is the clue all other clues revolve around.

            Even IF you are certain of hoB (or otherlater clues, possibly) … I think we truly need to ask ourselves; “WHY be concerned about WWsH?”

          • Hi Seeker;

            I agree with you that the poem tells of when your theory will work, and that without the correct WWWsH – you have nothing, since the theory will not work in any other place, other than where the “Sundial” says you must look – JMO – JDA

          • P.S. – Not just any “sundial” will do. One must use the correct “sundial.” JMO – JDA

          • Did you know that a moondial clock one week to either side of the full moon will be 5 hours and 36 minutes before or after the proper time.

            I always set my clock 3 minutes late. Keeps me from missing my train to work everyday.

            Just some useless information.

          • JDA,

            Using the analogy of *sundial*
            You are looking at it the right way.
            Not only the obvious that the correct WWsH is needed but how canyon down might be important o having the searcher in the correct spot at WWsH.
            Example if the canyon is east of the first clue… Be on the north side of WWsH may not work.

            I think this is why clues 1 & 2 were solve together. The searcher(s)may have indicated what side they were at by using the canyon and down the canyon as they looked on a map.

            This eliminates 3/4 if the viewing area to fix in a south east direction to discover a hopeful hoB vs. something.. lets say.. in a NW direction.

            Simply saying the poem can be that accurate in its directions and instructions, line of thinking.

            With that said..hoB would need some height to it. Not huge but a good height. But in my theory this object is probably only recognized from the angle seen from WWsH… Its shape or reference may not be the same on a map or from GE..yet could appear on both tools.

            The reason for a “a physical presence is needed after the first few clues”

            I doubt hoB can be learned of its representation, as a clue, from a birdseye view.

          • Jake,

            Reporter: But you didn’t answer my question, Who is Brown? Forrest: Well, that is for you to find out; If I told you that, you’d go right to the chest.

            Thanks for the question Ben.
            If you are sure about the location of home of Brown why are you concerned about where warm waters halt? But to answer your question, sure you could and a few searchers might throw in some gas money for a percentage of the take.

            Hmmm hoB ~ you’d go right to the chest.
            Hmmm ~ Why be concerned about WWsH? …the clue that needs nailing down or you haven’t anything, might has well stay home?
            But seemingly if you know hoB the first clue becomes irrelevant??
            Others throw in gas money for a *percentage of the take*-?- at a clue that is in stanza 2, and suggested to be clue number 4 by many, with 5 more clues left? [by order in the poem].

            That hat of yours much shake and quiver every time you put it on…
            Just sayin……………

          • So… I super hesitant to get in the middle of you gentlemen given our thought models are so divergent from each other’s. But because I’m a bit of an opportunist, and for those elsewhere who might be interested in a different “take”, the word “gasoline” interestingly stems from “castle”, viz “fort”. We should look instead to “effort worth the cold”.

            In the chapter Me in the Middle, p35, “Simpson” stems from “hearken” (“Simeon”), or “So hear me all and listen good”. “Your effort will be worth the cold” has a high probability of being “Fort Fred Steele”, the fort having started with F of the three that were built around the same time in support of the Union Pacific railroad. Another one of those is “Mister District Attorney” Fort D. A. Russell (but not “Osborne Russell”).

            “Ft. Worth” is mentioned in this chapter twice, in proximity of “Indians” and “feeling surrounded”. We are told metal is cold to the touch, but Fort Fred Steele is also supported by this definition of “fred”:

      • Seeker,
        Forest never said that the CLLUES are contiguous. This is misinformation that was generated by an early wrong translation of what Forest really said in 2013 at the Moby Dickens Bookshop.

        About “contiguous”, I think Dal Neitzel misunderstood the question, and as a result, got the meaning of the answer completely wrong! The questioner gave Forrest two choices: [1] “Forrest, did you have 9 clues before you wrote the poem, [2] …OR did 9 clues appear after you wrote the poem?” Forrest did not pick either choice, but invented his own: “They’re contiguous…..”, which would mean that those two CHOICES are touching, or together in sequence. In other words the two choices happened about the same time, or one touched upon the other. Forrest had 9 clues and wrote the poem, AND he wrote the poem and developed the 9 clues. They happened together or contiguously!


        The above assumption about Forrest’s answer in 2013 at the Moby Dickens book shop has lead a bunch of people down the wrong path.

        • Clancy Littleboy – I’m not clear on what it is you’re implying regarding leading people down the wrong path. I respectfully disagree. People choose themselves how to interpret what he says. We each must keep in mind this is a word puzzle, so the words are important and should be scrutinized. In my opinion, he actually provided more information on what to expect from the solution by diverting and avoiding the question. In my opinion, it seems he knew what he wanted to create with the puzzle, and it seems he knew how to puzzle it together. There are points in the puzzle where you are absolutely confirmed to be on the correct path, unmistakably, and these points in the puzzle are very satisfying, especially to those of us who have invested 7+ years of every idle thought into this. And assuming I finally have a working and correct solution, the puzzle and the solution are amazing pieces of work that will have people annotating for decades everything he has said and written, very similar to James Joyce and Ulysses. Hell, even now while I’m waiting on time to pass so that I can get back up there I’m going back and re-reading, re-watching in awe in how he put this together.

          • Here is the one-picture solution using the poem-as-a-map, as instructed:
            Here are the Google Maps coordinates where you CAN see the actual blaze, the “nn” painted on top of that large flat boulder: 36.6355, -106.2105
            Open Google Maps, type in coordinates, then switch to Satellite mode, then zoom to the highest magnification.
            I know that everyone is really surprised to see the location! As known, not many (maybe 3 or 4 people) were searching here along the Vallecitos RIo. It now becomes obvious that in the REAL world (not the imaginary world of the poem) that the clue LOCATIONS on land are not consecutive, not contiguous, and not chronological. Also the clue locations are not even in close proximity to each other, being separated by 60 to 170 miles.
            . – – – – –

  44. Forrest correctly stated (IMO) the word contiguous relative to all the clues. The “Lower 48” states are all contiguous. That is to say they are “touching each other” (the whole). California is contiguous with New York, because they are both part of the whole, not relative to each separately. All the clues are contiguous even if clue 1 and clue 9 are not “touching”.

    • JC in NV, you are so-___oo correct! Now if we could just cornnect the dots er biddies we might navigate 15 min, 30 min and that satisfies the latitude, now where was that crash in Laos at, I mean minutes and seconds. By Gorge we have could Karst the present moon in there? What is the only symbol of Islam? Now why does the moon and star fit our search so well? It is simple, a sextant would locate it for you, now what has the newspaper told us about sawdust?


      • I for one do not discount the idea that some or one of the clues could be a Man Made Object, since all the objects in the TC are man made, man fashioned, so ask yourself this; how old are the oldest man-made objects? 80 thousand years or better, what did ff say about the Desert in Lybian, where he was stationed? “In the Saharan desert of Libya I discovered thousands of war relics left over from the tank battles of WW-II: burned out tanks and shell casings were everywhere. And in close proximity were stone projectiles and crudely made hand axes that could have been 30,000 years old. I was looking at conflicts piled on top of conflicts. Who can imagine how many. f”
        and this:Hi,
        Did the same 9 clues exist when you were a kid and to your estimation will they still exist in 100 years and 1000 years?
        Thanks ~Ron
        “Thanks Ron, thoughtful questions:
        The clues did not exist when I was a kid but most of the places the clues refer to did. I think they might still exist in 100 years but the geography probably will change before we reach the next millennia. The Rocky mountains are still moving and associated physical changes will surely have an impact. If you are in the year 3,009 it will be more difficult for you to find the treasure.f”

        How many here think that there is nothing man-made within 500′ of the place where Indulgence rests, I am not referring to a structure, but a road, man-made trail etc. It would foolish to exclude things so tangible as not being part and parcel of the 9 clues, it most assuredly could and probably is a combination of natural geographic, and even man-made things as well but what both will have in common is a metaphorical descriptor that overlays them, but what seems to be a much bigger picture is why would Forrest have had to walk less than a few miles to arrive at the blaze? Logic would say there is a force at work besides a stroll into the woods or a spring break mini vacation? ❤ΩΩ

        When I posted the comment about 15 min, 30 min no one seems to know what I was referring to, does any one see what contiguous really is, page 9 is stuffed with it y’all.

        The three-age system is the periodization of history into three time periods; the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age;
        Recently we coined “Information Age”. Can anyone here tell me something in this poem that would tell us THERE IS NOT one or more clues that could be man made? I rest my argument.

        • It’s like a fennic age sometimes too I think. Here a Fenn, there a Fenn, in the mountains on the inner net. Fennland. Hah.
          There’s places like your describing, where humans always seem to gravitate thru time.

          • Brian u – I definitely had to trudge through a marshy ‘forest fen’ to follow a fly fishing trail, on the Baker’S Hole shoreline in August of 2019. In 100-1000 years of time, it will become a nice meadow. And my interpretive sign blaze will still be there, seeker. The supporting structure looks to be made of bronze.


  45. @Seeker – I believe you’re way off the mark talking about times & shadows. You stated, “I stay away from man made anything.” Do we know for sure that the blaze is NOT man-made?

    If Cynthia was correct in one of Kpro’s podcasts, FF claimed to have been to his personal, special, private, & dear place only twice, … I mean EVER. Is that NOT odd?

    So was the blaze already there or did FF need to create one to serve his purpose?

    • Beck,

      As far as the blaze being created I’d say no. A natural feature utilize, I’d say yes. But just because it is used doesn’t make it man made.

      I have not seen or heard the video you mentioned… If true, it would be odd to say the least.
      Yet, however, but…. Fenn said he has high regards for this place, right?
      Might it be a place many would feel the same way about it once it is known?
      A type of “natural” national treasure of its own?

      Who knows!!
      But back to man made and the idea of not associated with a structure as well…
      Everything in the poem is associated with the chest… It their purpose to be just that. Also in one of Cynthia’s recalling, Fenn said something to the affect (about her hoB suggestion) *remember I said not associated with a structure* ( close enough for my reasoning)
      I doubt very much anything made by man is involved directly with Clue’s references. But that’s not to say there are none near by either.

  46. @Seeker – Yes. It’s a place for which FF has high regards. But, big BUT … he stated (according to Cynthia) that the place would NOT be special to anyone else. That the finder would NOT see the place as special … only FF. He had written in his bio contained in the chest, the reason for its importance to him. Then FF changed his mind & took out that part. He said NO one will ever know the importance of that place to him.

    That leads me to believe the location of the treasure & the surrounding area is as common & ordinary as everywhere else in the Rockies … nothing unusual or special about it at all. Therefore, FF’s reason for choosing that particular place is either something that happened there to him or it’s so completely obscure that it makes the treasure much more difficult to find than anywhere else.

    But to only have been there twice? If FF is counting the time he hid the treasure as one time, that means he had only been there once before. Can that be right? It must be one heck of a special place to FF.

    • dude… [citations needed]

      Fascinating context, tho. I’d love to read more.

    • Hi Becky from WV
      I disagree the place where the TC is,is far from ordinary and
      the clues that get you there.I think he was there three times
      physically,once before he hide the TC and two more to times
      to hide it,and who knows how many times by reveries or (daydreams) and this is how I think he follows the clues
      to get him to his special spot too.

    • Becky

      Going by what you say…
      Even being there twice before hiding the chest is interesting.
      He tellls us he didn’t need anything, like maps, and recalled the place by memory.

      Here the thing… Even being there twice, we still don’t know the longevity of those stays. They could have been an hour or a month. LOL, as strange as it sounds.. because I would have thunk he’d been there many times… You can learn a lot about a place, even if you visit only once for a period of time…

      But while I sit here thinking about it… The observational theory seems a more likely method… And I’ll add as I have thought before… He knew of this place and using his own clues found a spot to secret the chest using the clues.
      Again we have know idea of how the chest remains hidden, and for me it doesn’t matter as long as the clues put me precisely at it.

      But it is interesting that he was only there twice. But for how long?

      • Oh wow! Been gone a while, thought you were “done” with the chase Seeker. I am so glad that is not the case as I have always enjoyed your take. I feel like your interpretations of the clues have always been similar to mine, I.e., The poem is an allegory or alliteration of the place we are trying to fit the poem to, in real time. That being said…what if you have to be in one place at one time of the year on a specific day of the year? The funny thing is, does this surprise you, or is this exactly as expected? Why not come fishing with me? Admittedly I do not post as much as I could, but I would ask you how much time in hours you have dedicated to the pursuit of this singular prize? I have spent countless hours in the field pursuing this same goal, and yes a LOT of hard earned money along the way, but my time in the field is also my R and R time and is very rewarding both emotionally and spiritually. I do not have the slightest idea where Forrest hid his chest. I totally feel your pain Dal, however I am not willing to come in second if I can come in first, but the thrill of the chase is the reward of chasing. I am Indiana Jones fitting the stone into the scepter at the precise time of day above the model of the tomb which deciphers the location of the treasure precisely on the summer solstice, at least imho and in my imagination. Where and how does one execute this scenario on a yearly basis? I am available and willing to search or guide you to your “ garage sized space somewhere in the Rocky Mountains” whenever you are ready! Its almost time again, don’t you think? Two omegas.

        • Blazeone,

          Personally I think your searching is what Fenn was hoping for, use your time and money wisely and enjoy the outdoors.

          As far as being surprised or not about this theory… I’m not sure how to answer that. I have always thought this challenge is not your typical style treasure hunt… I think Fenn wanted it be unlike anything typical… So I guess I’m not surprised.

          Here’s the thing… After rolling through many definition I kept seeing one that had connect to many words and phrases in the poem.. that being of time.
          Not unlike “put in” and many others I never expected to relate to time.
          (That was part of my glacier theory).

          The other kicker was the definitions involving observation. And again many words and phrases never entered my mind they would relate to observing.

          Then we have the idea of not only thinking and analyzing, but planning and observing. That’s when things started to click.
          ( Hopefully thinking the right thoughts)

          When I really got into looking at the poem in this manner… Other words meanings took on a new life.
          Such as “place” to be in a situation. This made me think about no place for the meek to be of a situation and not so much a place that’s scary.

          Then came more of stanza 3 as instructions rather than locations. But one of the hurtles I needed to clear was the idea of 8 or 9 locations involved.

          Once I cleared my head of that precondition thought, things began to be seen in a new (newer?) light.

          Right or wrong… The poem took on a different look. Meaning; vertically every word, phrasing of words etc…has a connection to observing, planning, time…

          My new look at the poem starts like this; *begin observing where warm waters halt*

          But in all honesty, to even attempt this, I still need a location of where the clues are at. Only Fenn has kicked my butt on where this all takes place.

          • Seeker,
            thank you for taking the time, pun intended, to reply to my post. I find our discourse to be rewarding because of the dichotomies between our styles and the similarities in our interpretations of the poem. I consider myself a poem purist who uses all of the atf comments and scrapbooks and searcher stories as a grindstone to constantly hone the edges of my solve, singular, to a fine sharpness. I love chasing! I have brought my family to places I discovered in my search, places I didn’t know existed before all of this. I have found my own history and ancestry through this pursuit. I have learned that the Rocky Mountains are my church too. The truth is that no amount of effort I have put into the chase has been the source of regret. I have eaten so much goshdarn crow over the last few years I think I have acquired a taste for it. I feel like I am part of a secret society, “the chasers”.Whether or not my approach is the most sensible and economical approach to the chase is debatable.

    • Becky, I believe kpro and Cynthia both contradicted you on your “place would Not be special to anyone else”… kpro especially today contradicted that thought.

      for the “twice”, you may have that intertwined with that he took two trips from his car?

      • I think it’s gonna be a really awesome spot, and alot of people whould cherish the begeesers out of it.

  47. I see that the pictures of the old car and the pickup wheels that to me are the double omegas – as the wheels are straight in line so are the clues,the rear wheel tells me that’s hob. and from there the front wheel in my opinion is where the treasure is, to me , the only clues that are not in line with the other clues , are wwwh to hob—–imo —frank

  48. if you get a can of spray and spray ,what ever, on a board or a wall and stand it (board) on its edge and as it rolls down the board and it stops rolling down and it drys in a shape of flames (the blaze) with the help of sage brush. imo the same thing happens when the water of the creek over runs and it goes down hill or south to a lower elevation , from the north where the treasure is and it (the water) goes south in to waters high my opinion only

  49. @Seeker – I’m NOT saying for sure that FF was only at his favorite spot twice, Those were Cynthia’s words … NOT mine. I do NOT believe he told her ALL of the truth. Or maybe she made it up to mis-lead other searchers. In all sincerity, I have issues trusting what is said by anyone other than FF … & sometimes even him.

    I have more stuff to discuss about the poem so I’d better put it over there. Dal would yell at me if I put it here. It’s about PRECISELY following the clues.

  50. “As far as this business of solitary confinement goes, the most important thing for survival is communication with someone, even if it’s only a wave or a wink, a tap on the wall, or to have a guy put his thumb up. It makes all the difference.”

    John McCain

  51. if Cynthia says its a good day ,you don’t have to go out side and check cause it is a good day ,because Cynthia said it

  52. I think that riches new and old – means that where he dug the hole to hide the treasure is new. but the place, its self is old – so he done it – tired – and now he is weak

  53. What if the water its all connected to make it contiguous? Therefore the requirement is met that it all touches. Just one way to look at it.

    • Agree with Aaron. All of my clues are connected to the same body of water.

      • Zap – My ‘IT’ as the ‘Madison River’ in the Poem makes the clues contiguous. From where ‘IT’ begins, at my WWWH at Madison Junction, to where ‘IT’ forms a Double Omega ‘S’-curve, at Baker’S Hole.

        Elegant, no?

        • But you got to remember that river moves, even when from when i was a kid it has moved dramatically. I remember floating on tubes from barnes hole to bakers hole and the river has changed since then and that was only 20 years ago. So i would not assume the double omegas formed by the river are too much to look at. You have to follow the old paths of the river to find Forrest’s old fishing holes. Look by the old dump “Home of Brown”, right at the border of the park go north and you will see an old part of the river bed. Well thats at least my current search area. I do have the advantage though, its only a 2 minute drive from house. LOL…. sorry not sorry.

          • Jeff – Yes!

            But I thought the old garbage dump was across Highway 191, from Baker’S Hole Campground, where the original KWYS runway was?

            That’s what Forrest wrote, in his Baker’s Hole Campground recommendation.

            Was there another garbage dump, at the base of that ‘S’-curve, where the Boundary Trail meets it at the bottom??

            I appreciate your guideance! And, if you’re going today, wear snowshoes!

            Giggles. Snowing here in Sun Valley all morning…

          • Jeff – A topo map for your reference and convenience:


            You can change it to Satellite View, to see remnants of the old river beds. I am interested in the one that existed in the time period of September 18-22, 2009, when I believe Forrest did his river walk in the preface of TFTW. And when I now believe Forrest hid the bronze chest.

            You can use that topo map program to zoom in or out to created a link to describe any specifics you want to share…

            And, I can be right there, in 4.5 hours, if you need someone else to paddle your canoe, outside the park boundary.

          • I see where you are coming from Lisa. You must be hot in that oven after all those hours you put in there.

          • Jeff – I can’t get Instant Messenger on Facebook. No room on my phone for the app, and no computer access right now to check them. Feel free to post your answer here. Did you follow that snowshoe trail along the Madison River I posted a map of?

    • WhatIF there’s no water?

      Halt means stop. If warm waters stop being or don’t exist any longer… We could be looking at a past time when there was waters.
      As in warm being liquid form.

      Creek doesn’t necessarily need to be about water… But rather a narrow passage.

      WH in this case could relate to a seasonal time water(s) are / is present… And still being of a place where WWsH.

      Could this be a possibility that folks mentioned the first two clues correctly (telling Fenn where the were at) and thought WH was WWsH…only they didn’t know they had the first clue correct as well?

      Should contiguous relate to time… does time relate to what we see on site vs. the geography of the location and what happens seasonally?
      Can you *imagine* such a place….

      • Seeker, perhaps in your example the clues could be connected by the narrow passage. I think it is possible that some geographical feature connects all of the clues, regardless if it is water, or something else. I lean to water though.

      • Seeker – Yes. If hoB is from past times, then Fred M. Brown may have been enjoying his breakfast at Brown’s Camp, where Baker’S Hole Campground is now, back in 1912.

        Didn’t Forrest say, when asked ‘Who’ Brown was, by Jennifer London, that if he told her ‘that’, she could go right to ‘IT’? My ‘IT’ is the ‘Madison River’.

        • She also said house of brown…

          Personally I doubt Brown is referring to a direct name.
          Although as a title, or symbol… it could be.

          The real question is… Why is it call a “home”?

          • Hi Seeker;

            Looked up “home” for the umpteenth time. One definition is this one:

            Definition of home (Entry 3 of 6)
            1 : of, relating to, or being a place of residence, PLACE OF ORIGIN or base of operations: The company’s home office

            I highlighted the PLACE OF ORIGIN because this is the way that I interpret HOME of Brown – The origin or starting place of something brown. Why is it capitalized? I have an idea, but only time will tell if my idea works – JDA

          • What builds a home in the water of a creek?

            “A PUT IN” is all about water, goes right along with the idea of …Water, and where that flows now one knows, except the Oracle, so follow the money… er the water? How it worded, AND TAKE IT IN?

            It is a what and not a whom IMHO. Otherwise, it would have been solved after 10 years of kicking Dr. Pepper can down the creek, ever so meek.


        • Hi Lisa… I believe that Fenn did not say that to Jennifer… exactly. Keeping these comments in proper perspective can make or break a proposed idea/theory. Whether or not what Fenn says at any given time can help find the treasure beyond what is in the poem and TTOTC is probably a dubious approach according to his advice for good research. His ATF etc. are fun to rip apart and hypothesize about and pay attention to… but I can’t see the clues being solved with them. Fenn has been pretty slick with keeping mum on the important stuff… otherwise this shindig would have ended long ago. Heck… there’s so much out there now it makes my brain queasy. Thanks for all your brainstorming…

      • Seeker, I tend to think that if kids have an advantage and simplifying is possibly a key or at least a hint, how would kids look at what you said?

        I trust that Put in means water, WWWH means Water or vessel that may hold it like a BASIN, does warm water halt at a dam, discounted by ff long ago, so Seek where do we get out of the water, you have said stop, be still and observe, I said at “No paddle up your creek”, is where we leave all the water behind, and from there it is; “Just Heavy loads and water high.” If all these movements are touching geographically we might see why he answers the Blaze question with the answer of 15 min, 30 min…because it touches all the other clues.


    • Jeff – I think that’s a great way to think about it. Then it comes down to defining where one body of water begins and another stops. Assuming that one can freely travel upstream and downstream wherever they please, couldn’t most water in the world be considered a single body of water using a loose enough definition?

      • You are right, all water is contiguous is a loose sense. However i think his comment is referencing more a single river. IMO its either along the firehole or madison rivers.

  54. Hello Everyone,

    It’s been a while since I’ve been on here – been dealing with the pandemic and all but I would really like to take up some conversation with you all.

    Dal, we’ve communicated a few times but I wanted to start talking again with the searcher community. I know I’ve found something unique that is tied to the chase.

    I have a solve that leads from one state to another state. I’ll tell you that that the first state is Arizona. The clues are step-by-step and contiguous. At the last location in Arizona, in the middle of stark wilderness, I found some pictographs which included a Zia symbol and a named reference to a place north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. I haven’t yet been BOTG to the place in New Mexico but it fits with everything Forrest has said about what it should be. What I honestly believe, in the true Indiana Jones sense of the Chase, is that the poem is meant to take us from one location to another with the bigger picture being a large scale view of a map including areas of significance in Forrest’s life, meaning the continuity is retained in the story of his life. Each location touches the other in the context of the Chase, which is Forrest’s life journey shared with us in the Chase. I believe I’ve found his preferred final resting place too (the greater area but not the specific spot) and it’s not very far from where majority of BOTG searches have occurred. Let’s talk.

    • OK, MCM, I’ll bite. Why do you think it starts in AZ, and not TX, or OK, or ID, or UT?

  55. “Clearing the objects out of the Antechamber was like playing a gigantic game of spillikans.” -Howard Carter. Maybe that’s what we’re missing. f strewed his clues over the landscape like Jack straws, some above, some beneath, and all contiguous because they are touching and have to be removed in the right order. Oh, and by the way bird dog- who are you calling stinky?

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