About dal

dal is an occasional filmmaker, writer and photographer who lives on an island in Washington State's Salish Sea.

The Rendezvous …

february 2018

by dal



Why is it That I Must Go?
Most searchers know about Forrest’s interest in the fur trade era and the mountain men who hoped to cash-in on one of the country’s very first “Get Rich Quick” schemes by spending a winter or two in the Rocky Mountains collecting beaver skins to sell for “big money” in the spring. But it was an extremely difficult, risky and treacherous way to get rich. Few were able to pull it off. Forrest has great respect for the mountain men and their way of life. Some feel he incorporated a thing or two about them into the poem.

Many who read this blog have investigated folks like John Colter, Joseph Meek, Hugh Glass, Kit Carson, William Sublette, Liver Eating Johnson, Joe Walker, Jedediah Smith and others looking for mountain man keys that could help them interpret the poem.

The mountain man’s task was to survive, often by himself, through the winter trapping in the mountains to collect as many beaver pelts as possible. In the spring these rugged explorers would bring their bounty of furs to a rendezvous where company men would pay cash for the pelts and the trappers could resupply with food, ammo and traps…before heading back into beaver country.

The rendezvous was the social occasion of the year for the trappers and also attracted local Indians, merchants and fur buyers who found themselves all celebrating together with  whiskey, music and mountain tales.

Modern day rendezvous celebrations still occur throughout the west. Forrest attended many and brought along friends and relatives to share in his joy of this Americana historic pageant. I think what Forrest enjoyed most about the rendezvous was the trading. Buying and selling is purely business…but trading…the give and take…the charade, the gab, the offer, the rebuttal….this is pure art…social interaction at it’s clearest…and besides, you never know what your going to uncover at a rendezvous.

You can participate in the rendezvous too. There are many to choose from spring and summer…in fact they even occur this time of year…February…

They generally have interesting names for the rendezvous celebrations…my favorite name for one in February is the Frozen Butt Rendezvous held this weekend in Frankfort Kansas…not exactly the middle of the mountains but right next door, out on the frozen prairie.

The weekend after the Frozen Butt is the Rain Dee Voo, February 16-18 in Rochester, WA. Again…not the mountains…Rochester is on Puget Sound…They probably had beaver there at one time.

Closer to the mountains is the Horse Ridge Rendezvous near Bend OR. That event happens February 21-25 at Cowgirl Hideout Ranch.

Followed quickly by the Frozen Toes Rendezvous in Fort Lupton, CO on Feb 21-25. Now were getting closer to the home of the mountain man.

If you haven’t tried winter camping…I recommend you give it a shot at least once…the hardest part is convincing yourself that you’re not going to die when you wake up in the morning and have to climb out of your warm snuggly bedroll. But a hot cup-a-joe never tasted better than when it’s about 20degrees outside.

The best rendezvous of all is the one called Smoking Waters Mountain Man Rendezvous in West Yellowstone. This year it’s August 3-12.

The Two Rivers Rendezvous in Libby, MT is also a good time. This year it’s on July 20-22.

If you’d like to get in touch with your inner mountain man…or trade for hand made goods or get some help with HOB or meek or maybe catch up on some nearly lost arts like blacksmithing, knife making, knapping, dutch oven cooking, tanning, home butchering, wax candle making, ax throwing, musketering or whatever…a rendezvous is the place to be…

You can find a list of many of this years rendezvous celebrations, held all over the west at the Crazy Crow Trading Post site…HERE.


PS: A properly stretched beaver pelt is actually round or oval…who knew?

The Chief of All Animals …

february 2018

by race with buffalo


Black-billed Magpie. Photo: Bob Kothenbeutel


A Story of the Cheyenne of the Great Plains
There was a time when all the animals lived in peace, when no one ate anyone else. All the animals were the same color, because they had not yet painted their faces.

Buffalo was the largest and strongest of the animals, and he was getting hungry, He wanted to be the chief of all the animals. He wanted to draw strength from all the other animals by eating their flesh. Buffalo wanted to become the eater of all the animals.

The Human People also said that they should become the chief of all the animals. People wanted to draw strength from all the other animals by eating their flesh. People wanted to become the eaters of all the other animals.

Buffalo challenged the Human People to a race, the winner of the race would become the chief of all the animals. The People said that they would accept such a challenge, but since buffaloes have four legs and People have only two, the People claimed the right to have another animal run the race in the People’s place. The buffaloes consented.

The People chose the Bird People to represent them in the race. They chose Hummingbird, Meadowlark, Hawk, and Magpie. All the other animals and birds wanted to join the race, too, each of them thinking that just maybe they too had a chance to become chief of all the animals. All the animals took paint and painted the faces for the race, each according to his or her spiritual vision.

Skunk painted a white strip on himself and his symbol for the race. Antelope painted himself the color of the earth for the race. Raccoon painted black circles around his eyes and around his tail. Robin painted herself brown with a red breastplate.

The race was to be held at the edge of the Black Hills at the place known as Buffalo Gap. The competitors would race from the starting line sticks to the turn around stick and then back to the starting line. All the animals, painted according to their vision, lined up between the sticks. Among the animals were the Bird People, who would run the race with their wings for the Human People, and Runs Slender Buffalo, the fastest runner of all the buffaloes.

The cry was given to begin and all the animals and birds set out on the race. Hummingbird took the lead, ahead of Runs Slender Buffalo, but his wings were so small that he soon fell behind. As the animals neared the turn around stick, Runs Slender Buffalo took the lead. Then Meadowlark came up beside Runs Slender Buffalo, and the two went along side by side right into the turn. Runs Slender Buffalo wheeled around the stick, her hooves thundering, and she pulled away form Meadowlark, who went wide to make the turn.

The animals in the lead passed the late runners who were still headed for the stick. Meadowlark fell behind and cheered on Hawk as he passed her. Hawk gained on Run Slender Buffalo, and it looked like he might pass her. Her heart was pounding and her legs were tiring. But Hawk’s wings were tiring also, and he soon fell behind.

Runs Slender Buffalo was nearing the finish line as the winner. It looked like the Buffalo People would become the eaters of all the animals!

Then, behind the buffalo woman, wings beating steadily, came Magpie. She was not a quick starter, but her wingbeats were hard and true. Her heart was strong. Her eyes did not wander form the finish line. She never looked back. Her wings were wide and she drove herself forward with beat after beat after beat. All the other animals had fallen behind. Runs Slender Buffalo looked over at the magpie, but the magpie never looked away from the starting sticks.

With each beat of her wings she moved past Runs Slender Buffalo by no more than the length of her bill. At the starting sticks, many animals began to line up to watch the finish. Raccoon, who had fallen out of the race early, had returned to the starting sticks. Now he stood up between the sticks and put out his little hands for the runners to touch as they passed. He would feel the touch of whoever was in the lead, and turn toward the winner.

Closer and closer came Runs Slender Buffalo, and some of the animals feared Raccoon would be trampled. Magpie gradually flew nearer to the ground so she could brush Raccoon’s little hands as she flew past. Raccoon did not move, but stared straight at the onrushing pair. Magpie seemed to be pulling ahead. Runs Slender Buffalo leaned forward as she ran to touch Raccoon’s hand with her great nose.

Magpie’s wingtip touched Raccoon’s little hand and he turned toward her and instant before Runs Slender Buffalo thundered past and he was surrounded by a great cloud of dust. All the animals waited breathlessly for the dust to settle. At last, there stood Raccoon with his little hand raised toward the path of Magpie.

The Human People had won the race!

The Buffalo wandered the great plains and ate grass and the people became the great hunters, the chief of all animals.

-Race With Buffalo

Odds n Ends About Fenn’s Treasure Hunt…Part Forty Six


This page is now closed to new comments. To continue the discussion please go to the newest Odds n Ends page.

Please click on the comment balloon below to contribute to the discussion of  Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Hunt. Please note that many topics have their own pages. Please scroll through the blog to see all the discussion pages. There are also stories, scrapbooks, searcher’s reports general information, tips from Forrest, a rumors blog and even email responses from Forrest. So please look around and if you want to make a comment please use the most appropriate page.




Keri’s Great Shirts …




While working on some shirt designs I had the idea of doing some for searchers. If you’ve been involved in the chase long enough you more than likely have a state you prefer to search in… or two states… ok maybe all of them. Lol Either way I thought it would be fun to make a shirt for each state with lines from The Poem and Forrest’s doodles (I have permission from Forrest).

There are different shirt options and colors available for each state. You can use the link above or below to check out all the options. Purchasing, professional printing, and shipping are all done by the company. Hope you enjoy!



Odds n Ends About Fenn’s Treasure Hunt…Part Forty Five


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Please click on the comment balloon below to contribute to the discussion of  Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Hunt. Please note that many topics have their own pages. Please scroll through the blog to see all the discussion pages. There are also stories, scrapbooks, searcher’s reports general information, tips from Forrest, a rumors blog and even email responses from Forrest. So please look around and if you want to make a comment please use the most appropriate page.




My Solution…




Forrest has stated everything in the poem is deliberate and placed there for a reason.  Along with the words of the poem, the commas, semi colon, and the apostrophes’ all play their part to unlock the poem.

Forrest also said all you need is the book, poem, Google Earth, and a good map, a good map is an understatement, it must be the right map.  Forrest served in the military, the military uses topographical (topo) maps, because they show greater detail and information about a given area.  However, it is not just the type, but what edition to use as well. Forrest tells us he got cancer in 1988, and during this time, he began his plans for the chase.  The right map to use for the chase is the USGS topographical map edition of 1988.  The reason for this edition is it contains information that later editions change or do not show.

What is so important about using topo maps is elevation.  Forrest has told us the treasure is between 5000ft and 10,00ft, the places on the map we are looking for to correspond with the poem’s clues are altitude markers.  My War For Me, notice how Forrest mentions his altitude frequently during the story, what makes the 1988 edition so important over the other editions, is how the altitude markers are hand written, and marked with an X, verses no X and block printed in later editions.

“Begin it where warm waters halt”, is the starting point to identify the first altitude X marker.  Forrest has made statements that have confused people to which stanza has the first clues.  This is because the first stanza contains the first two clues given by the poem, but the second stanza is the starting point for the first X on the map and the poems path that gives the answers to the two clues in the first stanza. The drawing associated with the story, Teachers with ropes, is the hint instructing what to do, connect the dots. The drawing shows the teacher with her hand up to halt the car and she and the six students connected by the rope.  Forrest said, looking for the blaze first is a waste of time, because solving the clues shows the blaze, and when you recognize the blaze, you will know how to find the chest’s location.

The little girl from India hint, Forrest said she could not get any closer than the first two clues, and if you do not know the first clue, to just stay home and play Canasta.  The first stanza contains the first two clues, and it is not until you identify the other seven clues will you know what the first two clues are.  The first two clues are the blaze, and the chest location. That is why, the little girl from India, cannot get any closer than the first two clues, because if she has solved the first two, it is because she has also solved the other seven.

“Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down,” three locations: Gallatin National Forest, Lee Metcalf Wilderness, multiple lakes that flow down Beaver Creek, and end in Earthquake Lake.  Down from where the waters converge, is a waterfall, and near that is the first altitude X marker, or number 1, altitude X marker 6901AT.  It is important to note, the altitude markers have an X drawn on the map with them, and the only letter not used in the poem is X.  We are looking for “treasures bold”, and treasures are the X’s printed on a map.

“Not far, but too far to walk.” From the first X, look for the next X following the water down, the comma tells us it is not far, and associated with walk.  Also following the canyon down from the waterfall, is a walking trail, “too far to walk.” follow it to our next altitude marker 6907T, NFBTFTW, is seven words, and where the trail and road meet is the X.

“Put in below the home of Brown.” Near the second marker 6907T, there is an old Ranger cabin. A cabin is a home brown in color, and we are looking to put in below for the capital B.  Below the cabin, and put in below Boat Mountain, we have altitude marker 6818T.  If you look closely at the map, you will see that the hand written number 8 next to the T looks like a capital B.  Tea with Olga here our black X’s have merged with red crosses or t’s, and the red crosses are called Found Corners, they now mark the altitude.  Also from Teachers with ropes the phrase “do not touch” is in red, connect the dots with red lines.

“From there it’s no place for the meek,” the apostrophe in “it’s” means two are tied together, from there to here, follow the red line to Ghost village, “no place for the meek,”, and to next red cross altitude marker, 6404T or 640for t-he meek.

“The end is ever drawing nigh;” Going left from here, following the red line, we arrive at our next altitude marker, this marker has an arrow “drawing” or pointing to it, marker 6398T.   The semi colon means this point and the next point perform same action nigh.

“There’ll be no paddle up your creek,” From the current point, there will be a red cross, and with “no” number, but the apostrophe tells us to go two red crosses up your creek.  Continuing nigh, take a diagonal line from 6398T through one unnumbered red cross and stopping at the second red cross.  “Just heavy loads and water high” is Boat Mountain, and “Just” means to adjust to center altitude X marker, 9019AT near the red cross.

“If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, “ If you were “Wise”, then you are now X, and with Found Corners found the blaze.  X’s and found corners tied together. “Look quickly down, your quest to cease,” follow the red line down to the last of our 7 points, 6547T.  Now, connect all the points to see the blaze.

In addition, notice next to this point, is a gauging station for the Madison River, but on the map, it is misspelled gage.  The definition of gage: a valued object deposited as a guarantee of good faith. Sounds like an I.O.U.

The blaze is a cursive capital f!  But we are not finished yet, back to the first stanza, and to find the chest.

“As I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bold, I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old.” “As I” is f, and you find his blaze by finding the treasures and connecting the X’s.

“I can keep my secret where and hint of riches new and old.”  I keeps his secret where and hints of where to look. The I is the eye from Forrest autograph.

“But tarry scant with marvel gaze, just take the chest and go in peace.”

 The area we are now in, is Refuge Point, here is the sign at the entrance to the trailhead, see the picture of the man parachuting in, seem familiar?

Forrest says the chest is 10” by 10”, and this, along with the eye in his signature, tells us altitude X marker 6610T is the spot.  However, we must adjust, “Just take the chest, altitude X marker 6610T, and go in peace.” Below X marker 6610T, there is a grove (leave my trove) of trees in the form of a cross (peace), which can be seen in Google earth.

Center tree of the cross, a good place to sit and think in the wood.

All of this is simply my opinion.

By NearIndianaJones-


Annual Report 2017…


This blog was started in August of 2011 and on the first day we had 47 unique viewers.
Yesterday (Jan 6, 2018) we had 8,700 unique viewers.

Blog Totals Since The Beginning
14,821,929 unique viewers
2,205 Subscribers

The highest number of unique visitors on a single day was 2/27/2013 at 63,932
Compared to December 31st, 2017 when we had 13,066 unique viewers

2017 Totals
In 2017 we had 3,881,612 views
That is about 90,000 more views than we had in 2016
On average that is 6.5 views per visitor

In 2017 we had 593,018 unique visitors leaving 50,522 comments
We also published 192 posts in 2017

Most new folks still find us through the major search engines..
About ten percent find us from an Android app
The rest come from clicking on links from other websites and blogs

The most common search terms folks use to find the blog are “Forrest Fenn”, “Thrill of the Chase” and “Synonyms and Antonyms Poem”.

The most common links folks click on to leave this blog are the video interviews with Forrest followed by Jenny’s blog followed by Forrest’s website.

The posts with the highest number of views are:
1. Home Page
2. Odds n Ends
3. Tarry Scant
4. Cheat Sheet
5. Forrest’s Scrapbooks
6. Has it Been Found?
7. Forrest Speaks

As I write this report at 2pm on January 7th we have had about 5,000 unique visitors so far today. The breakdown by country is as follows…this is so far today only..

USA    4,577
CANADA    216
UK    80
TURKEY    50
SWEDEN    14
INDIA    14

If we look at the entire year we see Germany and Mexico replacing some on the list of top nine countries where folks hail from on this blog.

Thanks to all of you
from Goofy and dal-


Where Warm Waters Halt…


This is for a discussion about Where Warm Waters Halt. We’ve all got ideas that didn’t work out or we are willing to share…I think we can give folks just starting out some ideas for the kinds of places that might just be the place Where Warm Waters Halt…or not!

Let the discussion begin…


Odds n Ends About Fenn’s Treasure Hunt…Part Forty Four


This page is now closed to new comments. To continue the conversation please go to the newest Odds n Ends page.

Please click on the comment balloon below to contribute to the discussion of  Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Hunt. Please note that many topics have their own pages. Please scroll through the blog to see all the discussion pages. There are also stories, scrapbooks, searcher’s reports general information, tips from Forrest, a rumors blog and even email responses from Forrest. So please look around and if you want to make a comment please use the most appropriate page.




Tarry Scant…


March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life’s path. 

Khalil Gibran


So I thought I’d try and look at one of the phrases Forrest wrote in his poem which seems to be a source of confusion for some searchers…”tarry scant”.
This is found in the fourth stanza of the six stanza poem.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

The entire stanza appears to be a set of directions based upon the searcher having found the blaze…

“Tarry” could be either a noun, adjective or verb, depending on it’s use in the sentence.
As an adjective, tarry is spelled the same but pronounced differently and has a completely different meaning. We’ll explore that meaning a little further on. I believe Forrest is using the word as either a noun or a verb and it wouldn’t matter much which it is because the meaning of the line would not change.

To me, in non-poetic English, the stanza reads one of two ways:

Once you’ve found the blaze,
Look directly down and you’ll see what you’ve been searching for,
Don’t be tempted to linger there and stare at the marvelous chest,
Just take it and go with my blessings.


Once you’ve found the blaze,
Look directly down and you’ll see what you’ve been searching for,
Don’t be tempted to linger there and stare at the marvelous view,
Just take it and go with my blessings.

In either case the basic message is the same:
Don’t be mesmerized by what you see. Just grab the chest and go.

So for me, “tarry scant” simply means to “move on quickly”.

But to others it has meant different things. This is particularly true when Tarry is used as an adjective. In this case it is pronounced differently and comes from the root, “tar”…that thick, black sticky stuff. If you google “tarry” you will find a number of interesting and occasionally disgusting uses for the word. “Tarry”, is a physicians term for blood in your stool. As in. “You have a tarry stool.” In this case “tarry” comes from the root “tar” and means “black colored”, as a stool might be if it had dark blood in it. Which, of course brings to mind “tarry scat”…looking a great deal like “tarry scant”…But enough of the word’s use as an adjective.

For me, the words “tarry scant” were not unusual principally because of my parent’s influence…or more precisely, my mother’s. I was born of parents only a very few years younger than Forrest’s. My mother, being my main influence through childhood, was a native midwesterner and had a vocabulary of words that included “tarry” and “scant”. She would often tell me things like “don’t tarry after school today”, or “you can stay there til four o’clock but don’t tarry on your way home. I never had to look that word up. I knew what it meant and I knew I better go home directly after school or I’d be punished. My mother was not a great collaborator. Her parents were German and Pennsylvania Dutch and mediation was a word probably not in her vocabulary.

Scant was also a word she used often enough and that I felt immediately comfortable with when I read it in Forrest’s poem. My mother would say things to me like, “There will be scant dessert for you  young man until you eat all those beets.” There was little room for negotiation in a warning like that. Scant meant small…as in “next to none”. With dessert it meant exactly “none”.

A few years later I would learn about “scanties”. They being the scandalous, brief underwear a brave catholic schoolgirl would occasionally “show off” to a small admiring society of altar boys after Sister Mary Linus’s 7th grade class.

But I tarry…

“Move on quickly”, it’s just my interpretation..or taking after my mother I might say..”the only correct interpretation” 🙂

Would anyone care to comment with a counter-argument?