A Rio de Los Pinos Solve…

February, 2019

By Richard Cron

 

The Thrill of The Chase Poem – Clue Analysis with Notes and Timeline

Rio de Los Pinos

Rio de Los Pinos

As I have gone alone in there (Just as I have been alone to that place before)

And with my treasures bold (and I have gone there with my treasures unafraid)

I can keep my secret where (I won’t tell anyone the location)

And hint of riches new and old. (I will give clues of the existence and location of treasure (new) and the place (old))

Clue 1
Begin it where warm waters halt (the train station at Osier, Colorado) Passenger train stations are sometimes referred to as a Halt. Warm water is the steam train.

Clue 2
And take it in the canyon down, (traverse to and enter Toltec Canyon via the forest road, ford the Rio de Los Pinos, leave the forest road and take the vehicle path downstream along the river until it ends, just over a mile. Travel on downstream by foot through trees, brush and grass until you reach the canyon, approximately ¾ mile.) A scythe would come in handy for the hike along the river through an area of trees, brush and tall grass.

Clue 3
not far, but too far to walk

(refers to the short section entering into the canyon and traversing to the horse shoe bend that requires wading as opposed to walking).

Clue 4
Put in below the home of Brown. (The home of Brown is the Rio de Los Pinos. At the horse shoe bend in the river, “put in” or in other words, leave the river and “go ashore” where the canyon wall is a gradual slope allowing a not-too-difficult climb.)

Clue 5
From there it’s no place for the meek (meak).

(A scythe or meak will not be needed). There’s just rocky terrain ahead as you climb the canyon wall slope. 

Clue 6
The end is ever drawing nigh (as you reach the top of the slope, bear to the left toward the cliff formation (hoof) that forms the horse shoe bend in the river).

Directions to the Blaze:

Clues 7,8
There’ll be no paddle up your creek (don’t look in or around the stream for the Blaze)

Just heavy loads and water high (the steam locomotive train track)

The Blaze is the chalky area of road bank just above and below the C&TSRR track, uphill from the canyon and to the left of the stream (as facing downstream).

Directions to the chest:

Clue 9
If you’ve been wise and found the Blaze, look quickly down, your quest to cease.

(at the top of the slope of the canyon wall, find a vantage point where the Blaze can be seen over the hoof formation. This is the alignment between the searcher and the Blaze and reveals the area on the hoof of the chest location. The niche will be some distance back from the edge of the cliff “in the quick” likely at the high point of the formation and offering a view of the surrounding area, which is Fenn’s special place.)

After you’ve located the chest:

But tarry scant with marvel gaze

(Pause for a brief time and take in the view of Forrest Fenn’s special place.)

Just take the chest and go in peace or piece

(Don’t try to carry the chest full – too heavy.) Just take the chest (empty) and carry the contents separately – in piece.

So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek? (Why did I go there and leave my treasure to be found?)

The answer I already know, I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak. (Because I’ve lived a full life and now I’m nearing the end.)

Transfer of ownership:

So hear me all and listen good, (Pay attention, this is important,)

Your efforts will be worth the cold. (The difficulty, hardships and frustration of the search will be worthwhile.)

If you are brave and in the wood (If you’ve “hit the bulls-eye” – found the chest  – due to your courage and resolve) “Put one In the wood” is an old saying from the game of darts meaning you’ve scored a bulls-eye.

I give you title to the gold. (I transfer legal ownership of the treasure to you, the finder.)

Timeline:
I believe that one morning during August of 2009, Forrest Fenn departed his home in Santa Fe and together with his treasure, headed north on US highway 285 and traveled in his sedan to the junction of Colorado highway 17, just south of Antonito, CO (112 miles, about 2 hours). He then traveled west on highway 17 to mile post 29 (10 miles) where he then turned south on forest road FR103. On FR103, he traveled to Osier, CO (17 miles). 

At the Osier train station is a cafeteria where he may have stopped for lunch. He then would have continued on FR103, fording the Rio de Los Pinos. Branching off from FR103 is a vehicle path that continues on downstream along the river, which he followed to the end of the path (about 1 mile from the train station). Total travel time from Santa Fe was about 3 hours (plus lunch break). 

Forrest then made the first of two hikes, wearing waders, to his special place, carrying the chest contents and leaving the empty chest hidden in his car. He would return to his car to carry the chest to the site and complete the placement of the treasure. Returning to his car, he then drove back to Santa Fe, arriving home by about 7pm. 

The hike distance from where he parked to the site is about 0,8 mile. Considering the terrain along the river, it may have taken him about an hour each way, allowing for rest stops. Two trips from his car to the site with time to arrange the placement of the treasure probably could have been completed in approximately 4 hours or less, which could be accomplished in an afternoon. 

Supporting Evidence:
I believe the treasure was hidden in 2009, probably sometime during August, rather than in 2010 because access to the site can only safely be accomplished after spring/summer runoff. Fenn’s sedan probably wouldn’t have had sufficient clearance to ford the river during significant runoff. He would have already announced the quest in 2010 before that safe period of the year. Fenn would have been 79 years old.

A key word in the poem is “halt” because it is crucial to correctly identifying WWWH. Passenger train stations are sometimes referred to as a Halt. Forrest has said to begin with clue one. And he has said that without it, you have nothing. Fenn also said that if you don’t have the first clue nailed down, you might as well play Canasta. RR track rails are nailed down.

Fenn has told us that temperature is relative (warm brass feels cold to the touch). Warm water can become steam at high elevation.

Hints from TTOTC, etc: steam trains, Mrs. Ford, fly fishing, chalk, rainbow, oxbow or the double Omega symbols.

The 500 footers are the train passengers that pass above the canyon approximately 500 feet above the chest location.

Even though the river offers good fishing, the area is very remote other than the narrow-gauge tourist train (and its lunch stop at Osier), one might feel confident in going alone and boldly while carrying a fortune.

The only trails along the river are from wildlife as well as some cattle that are grazed in the national forest.

Forrest said the treasure chest is wet. I believe that he placed an alcoholic beverage (small bottle of wine) in or on the chest which would make it “wet” as opposed to “dry”. That allows the chest to be placed “high and dry” while still being wet.

Forrest commented that there was something he had said that he wished he hadn’t (after making the statement regarding what he could see and smell while standing next to the chest) – I believe that word was likely “pinon” because of the similarity to “pinos” in Rio de Los Pinos.

There are two adjacent horse shoe bends in the river canyon, corresponding with the double Omega symbols (or oxbow) in the back of TTOTC.

“So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and treasure” The horse shoe formation that contains Fenn’s special place may be seen as forming the shape of a rainbow at the base of which is his special place and his treasure location.

Forrest signs his name with a “dot” in the lower loop of the “F” in Fenn. Although this phenomenon predates 2009, it may be his way of signifying his special place. 

So, is he comparing the similarities of his signature to the horse shoe bends in the river with the “dot” roughly marking the spot of the treasure in the upstream horse shoe formation?

 The signature in the copy of TTOTC he provided for 2019 World Series of Fenn had an “X” instead of a dot. “X” marks the spot…

-Richard

To The Gold…

February, 2019

By John (Crazy Fox)

 

First of all, let me state that the following is all just my opinion on where to find the treasure.  Also, I want to say that my solve was only made possible by all the brave people out there who are willing to share ideas.  So thank you all.  Thanks to Dal for hosting this site and a very special thank you to the man himself, who got me hooked on his fishing line, Forrest Fenn.

I enjoy watching nature documentaries and recently watched a documentary about the four seasons of Yellowstone.  Spring, summer, fall and winter.  Winter is especially tough in Yellowstone and the great bison struggle to survive the cold, harsh environment.  But then spring comes and life is renewed and the cycle continues.  I think this transition from winter to spring is important in understanding the poem.

Begin it where warm waters halt.  From the documentary, I learned that everything freezes in Yellowstone except the Firehole River.  The Firehole River runs north where it meets the Madison River.  The warm waters of the Firehole River run into the Madison River where the waters freeze (or halt).  Waters is plural because the Firehole splits right before it meets the Madison.  We don’t need to know a specific pin-point location, but more of a general area of where to start this search.  So, where the Firehole River meets the Madison River is my warm waters halt.

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Since the waters freeze, this indicates that we are in wintertime at the beginning of the poem.  Wintertime is symbolic of death and spring is symbolic of new life.  Death and new life are reoccurring themes in my search for the treasure.  Think of a forest fire…the pine trees burn and are destroyed but the pine cones are heated up enough to reseed the forest and start life anew.

Note: I’m not very articulate, so for clarity I’m trying to keep this story short and as simple as possible. 

And take it in the canyon down.  To me, it simply means follow the downstream flow of the Madison River, west through the canyon.  I think Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down is probably the first clue, but I never really tried to count clues and I’m not doing so in this story.  If anything, I think all the lines are clues.

Not far, but too far to walk.  In my opinion, this just means we’re driving now because it’s simply too far to walk.  But how far do we go? Not very far, but we have to continue west on the highway until we know where to “put in” (or park).  There has to be something that let’s us know how far to go.

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Put in below the home of Brown.  If we’re heading west on the highway, the Madison River will be on your left hand side (or south of the higway). 

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All of the examples in The Thrill of the Chase (TTOTC) refer to brown as a color.  I’ve heard people suggest that Brown Trout is what the brown is referencing.  I think this makes a whole lot of sense, since Forrest is an avid fly-fisherman and was a fishing guide in his younger days and the Madison is world-famous for its Brown Trout.  We are in our car traveling west and we are north (or above) the home of Brown (the Madison River).  So, we keep going until we are below (or south) of the river.

Remember the story about Forrest flying above Philadelphia and he stuck his thumb in front of his eye covering the whole area?  As we come through the canyon, there will be a valley on your left that kind of looks like a thumb.  At the northwest corner of the valley there is an overpass where the highway crosses over the river and there is a horseshoe-shaped parking area right after the overpass.  If we park there, we are now at the home of Brown because we are now south (or below) the river.  If people figured out the first two clues but not the home of Brown, then I could see how they would easily go right past this quietly forgotten area. 

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Okay, before we proceed let’s take a look at the double omegas, because we passed those along the way.  Omega means the end and…death.  Two omegas equal two deaths.  In the chapter My War For Me in TTOTC, Forrest writes about Operation Arc Light when he was shot down and the bombs dropped in rapid succession after he had parachuted down.  He says “I experienced what was perhaps the most terrifying event of my life”.  And “the noise blasted me to my core”.  “The roar was so traumatic I felt that if it happened again I might not survive”.  And “I am convinced that thousands of animals, human and otherwise, were killed in Vietnam by sound alone”.  When Forrest got cancer he was given only a 20% chance to live.  Thank God Forrest didn’t actually die either time, but I’m sure he felt like he was going to die these two times in his life.  So for me, the two omegas represent these two events in his life when he thought it was the end for him.  Symbolic deaths if you will.  We have two omegas so we have two ends.  What is the end of the end…a new beginning?

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Okay, let’s go back to the home of Brown and figure out no place for the meek.

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In TTOTC, the chapter No Place For Biddies, the biddies say “he’d run away from home but he’s not allowed to cross the street”.  Forrest didn’t say anything out loud to the biddies because he was meek.  But instead said to himself, “I could cross the dumb street anytime I wanted to”.  So, from the home of Brown we cross the highway on foot, into the wooded area.  But how can it be in a place like this valley?  The place is so exposed and people and park rangers would see you in there and you’d get in trouble if caught.  Is that why we need a flashlight?  Are we supposed to sneak in there at night or something?

The end is ever drawing nigh;  The end of winter is drawing near in our poem and I think Forrest used the semicolon to signify the transition from winter to spring.  Also, nigh meaning to the left, gives us the direction that we will head toward the river and creek on our left.

There’ll be no paddle up your creek.  To me, it means we are not going up the creek.  This next part is where imagination is really more important than knowledge.  In the strange Scrapbook 116, Forrest posts about images that he can see in his shower tiles.  This effect is known as pareidolia.  An example would be the famous face on Mars that people think they see.  I have found pareidolia images as well in this valley.  I see a bird, a duck, a mountain lion’s face, but the ones I want to focus on are the phone, the alligator and the leaping frog (front view) with paddle feet.  The frog reminds me of the frog Forrest placed in the chest with the large “paddle” feet.  I’ve drawn these pareidolia images so they’re easier to see.  The first one is the easiest to see…the phone.

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Now, see if you can spot these in the landscape of the valley.

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Pic15The alligator has one of the frog’s paddle feet clenched in his jaw.  Hence, no paddle up your creek.  Hope that made sense.

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So, no paddle up your creek, JUST across the river.  If we’re standing on the bank, looking across the river, we see the phone on the other side.  Does Forrest really want us to cross the river?  When I actually thought the chest was hidden in here, I read the lines So hear me all and listen good, Your effort will be worth the cold.  HEAR ME ALL?!!!…on this giant phone!!!  So that gives us the crossing point…where the river is narrowest by the phone’s receiver.  Your effort will be worth the cold…meaning the cold water.  I think there’s more than one meaning to lines in the poem and I’m not going to go into all of them.  Just heavy loads and water high.  If it’s springtime now in our poem, the heavy loads are the snow-pack and the water high is the spring runoff.

Forrest talked about the time when he was in Laos and had to decide whether to try to walk out or call for help.  He decided that it wouldn’t be fair to Peggy if he took months to walk out, so he made the call for help.  To me, the giant phone symbolizes this call for help and he was then saved.  I’m not very articulate but hopefully you’re picking up on the meaning I’m trying to convey.  It’s springtime in the poem now, a chance for renewal of life.

So we’ve been wise and crossed over the river at the right spot and now we’re looking for the blaze, or the correct path.  If we are wise like an owl and see things from above then we can see the blaze.  It’s right next to the phone.  It’s the white, fallen dead tree (symbol of the first “death”).  Now we just need to find the second symbol of death and the two signs of life.  I know you’re probably thinking, how could this possibly be the blaze?  It’s not permanent.  It won’t be there in 100 or 1000 years.  I feel that Forrest wants this treasure found sooner rather than later.

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Look quickly down.  Follow the blaze down and it points toward a triangular sandy area.  That triangle is an arrowhead (just like the first arrowhead Forrest found as a small child).  This is the arrowhead that has struck the alligator, saving the frog, giving him new life.

But tarry scant with marvel gaze, just take the chest and go in peace.  If we sneaked into this area then tarry scant would mean don’t dawdle, just take the chest and get the heck out of there before your caught.  But I’ve already stated that I don’t believe the chest is there.  So there must be a deeper or alternate meaning to tarry scant.  Tarry as in tar or something resembling black.  In Tea With Olga (TTOTC) when Olga told Forrest she had cancer, they drank black tea.  I believe the black tea symbolized cancer (or death) and the green tea was symbolic of her new life (after death).  Forrest came back from death after beating cancer, so the double omegas represented the two “deaths” in Forrest’s life, now we’re looking for the green symbols of life.  On the arrowhead, it appears there are two green trees, I  truly believe this is the area where Forrest wanted to rest his bones.  His “bones” are represented by the second fallen tree (on the arrowhead by the trees) and is symbolic of his second “death” by cancer.

Forrest said we would have to use a magnifying glass to read what was inside the bottle.

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I found this sign by the double omegas and it’s hard to read and I had to zoom in all the way.  I believe it says…Naturally reseeded by wildfire in 1988.  1988…the same year Forrest was diagnosed with cancer.  I believe this is at least part of the reason why Forrest has said something to the effect of being umbilically tied to this spot.  The wildfire and reseeding is just one more example of death and new life.

Now let’s take a closer look at the comments Forrest made about searchers being within 500 feet and 200 feet of the treasure.

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If we take a look at the double omegas (the viewing areas), we see that one of the pullouts is 500 feet wide and the other one is 200 feet wide.  I think this is where the searchers have been.  The treasure is all right in front of us.  There’s no hidden chest filled with gold to find in this area.  The beauty of this special area is our treasure.

Don’t go where a 79/80 year old man wouldn’t go.

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One more thing…actually two.  There has to be an “X” marks the spot, right?

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If we measure out 200 feet from the “bones” (see first picture above), the red area is the banana.  Can you see it?  Grab every banana you can!

I’ve found our golden frog safe and alive, peeking his head out of the woods and hiding out from the black, shadowy figure holding a large flashlight (more pareidolia images).  If you want to find him in Google Earth, start at the “bones” and measure out 500 feet in the direction of the arrowhead point.

So if we draw lines from the banana and the golden frog the lines intersect at the “bones”.  X marks the spot!

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed.  Like I said, this is just my opinion.  If you think the chest is still out there, then good luck in your searches.  I’ve been typing this up while having the flu and fever so I’m going to go rest now as I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak.  If I get any comments or questions I’ll try to respond eventually.

-John (CrazyFox)

 

 

 

 

 

Through the Looking-Glass…

January, 2019

By Jonas

 

 

I’ve been fighting with this puzzle for more than a week now. I know that isn’t a long time for some of you in the chase community but I’m a very impatient man and must get rid of the itching an unsolved problem cause. I chose to make this public on HOD since I’m a Swedish resident and do not intend to go and get the treasure and I’m not sure I’ve legally could claim it if I wanted to. Before I present my solution I would like to express my gratitude to Mr Forrest Fenn – thank you sir, it’s been a thrill. Given my solution is right you are surely a genial architect. So here we go (I will try to keep it short).
The equivocal mirror solution.

Since I’ve first saw the poem I was sure the first paragraph is about losing yourself in the world of literature and art. I know Forrest Fenn said the purpose of the chase was to get out in the wild but I think that’s only half of it the other half is about educate yourself. A sort of body and life harmony in life and thereby the mirrored solutions.

I will reference the ”Wildlife reflection” as ”a)” and the ”Mind reflection” as ”b)”.
”Begin it where warm waters halt”

Using basic physics. Water, when heated rises and halt on the surface. First I was interpreting this as ”at the top” but I now know that it is the ”surface”.

a) Surface Creek by the Yellowstone River
b) Two Mile Reservoir outside Santa Fe (from now on this is what gives me the distance)
”And take it in the canyon down,”

a) Follow the Canyon (2 miles straight line)
b) Follow Canyon Rd (2 miles straight line)
”Not far, but to far to walk.”

a) I havet o get to the other side of the river
b) ” If Paris wasn’t so far away” (The Golden Road, L M Montgomery 1913). Paris, Texas is the birthplace of the Brown I am heading to.
”Put in below the home of Brown.”

”And then ‘mome raths’?” said Alice. “If I’m not giving you too much trouble.”
“Well a ‘rath’ is a sort of green pig, but ‘mome’ I’m not certain about. I think it’s sort for ‘from home’–meaning that they’d lost their way, you know.”

(Through The Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll 1871)
a) Lookout Point were Grafton Tyler Brown painted ”View of the Lower Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone” 1890
b) The Irby Brown Gallery in Santa Fe
Jumping past a couple of lines in the poem since they don’t take me any further.

”There’ll be no paddle up your creek,”

a) Alum Creek (3 miles straight line)
””I wonder if it’s where we buried it yet,” Speculated Felix.
”I put a stone over it, just as we did over Pat,” said Cecily”
(The Golden Road, L M Montgomery 1913)

This is where you go if ”you’ve been wise” (Bring a sandwich a flashlight)

b) Santa Fe Public Library, La Fargo Branch (3 miles straight line)
””I read it in a book”, said Alice.”
(Through The Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll 1871)

This is were you go to get wise (Bring a sandwich and a flash lamp –  to burn the midnight oil)
Again, thank’s for the thrill!

-Jonas

 

 

 

 

 

Gardner River…

December, 2018

By David Brinkley

 

Ok…here it is..90% solved. Where warm waters halt is Gardner Mont. (Treasure Island hint in TTOTC) Take it in the canyon down is to drive (to far to walk) south (down on a map) till you cross the big bridge over the Gardner river just past Mammoth Springs. Park immediately first parking area on the right. In Yellowstone they call them “pull outs” but we are parking, so “put in” BTW..the Gardner river is home of Brown ( trout, and they can’t swim upstream past Osprey falls) Make your way on left side of river, (nigh), upstream, toward Sheepeater Canyon (no place for meek) and Osprey falls. The “no paddle up your creek” is meaningless and not a clue. “Heavy loads and water high” are Osprey Falls. Heavy loads part refers to the Air Force V22 Osprey designed for heavy load lifting AND water high is the falls. Mr. Fenns nod to the USAF. Grassy area near a waterfall was significant to Forrest in ‘Nam and the tombstone of the forgotten soldier. The Blaze is a stone shaped either by chance or purpose, like a tombstone. I think then you either look quickly south to the spot where the chest is. It will be obvious once your there. ( “down” meant south earlier in the poem) that’s why he said a compass would be handy. Maybe you look actually down to the ground but I don’t think so. Forrest doesn’t want to be like that Soldier that passed on with no fanfare or glory. I won’t get out West to get the chest myself…I know this…but I also know this solve is correct…every single clue fits

 

 

 

Pike’s Stockade…

November, 2018

By Amanda

 

This solve is mostly on private property so you will have to get permission from the owners to go in there. And that doesn’t mean they will let you. To do that you will have to either knock on some doors to figure out who the owner is or go to the assessor’s office.  I have only driven by and stopped on the county road stayed in my car to get my bearings but I do not suggest doing that. It is a good solve to look at in Google earth.

 

As I have (sieve) gone alone (lone, one) in there (hare-rabbit)
And (end) with my treasures (miter) bold (bowled),
I can keep (keap) my secret (seek ret) where (hare, weir),
And hint (indent) of riches new and (wand) old.

Begin it (ginnett ) where (weir or hare) warm waters halt (military term for rest)
And take (tack it like a sail boat) it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too (24) far to walk.
Put in below (be low) the home (ohm) of Brown (round).

From there it’s (rets) no place for the meek (meeke), (lacet?)
The end is ever (sever) drawing (a draw) nigh (nye); 
There’ll be (reel) no paddle (pattle) up your creek (the act of walking in shallow water),

Just heavy (juiste) (V) loads and (sand) water high.

 If you’ve been (bean) wise (wisen) and found the blaze (Z) (belays, Belize),
Look (loke) quickly down, your quest (stow, west?) to cease (cees),
But tarry (ute ) scant (secant) with marvel gaze (gaize) (V),

Just take (stake or tack) the chest and (stand) go in peace

So (sow soe) why (Y) is it that I (tie) must go (geo)
And leave (levee) my trove (rove) for all to seek (secant?)
The answers I (eye) already (reedy or red) know,
I’ve done it tired (tiered, tied or red)(McIntyre springs), and now I’m weak ( weck) and barely visible).

So (sow, soe) hear me (heme or army arm, mall) all and (land) listen (list) good (goode),
Your effort (reef)(fort)will be worth (bow or earth) the cold (cole or col).
If you (hue) are brave and (ravine) in the (dent)(hue) wood (woad)
I give you (ute) title (tittle) to the gold (geo, heg or toggle).

 Look on a map and you will see the following NEAR the fort (Pikes Stockade)( army) at 24 and Y (24 too far to walk) roads 24 south as it veers left and ends (a loke OR THE END). The Conejos river (meaning rabbit) meandering river and all the agriculture associated with the valley such as growing the grain for Coors beer (wizen).  Growing beans cabbage (cole) with cows and steak.  Cutting hay. Also a lot of tarry scant (grease wood).  In winter you want to be n the other side so you don’t have to cross the freezing river. Follow road V out of Sandford CO go left on W it is a paved one lane road.  You will see saddleback mt and once you cross the Conjeos River look to the left.  The Sierro del Ojioto just a small hill is not impressive as it is no more than a sand pit (geo, white gaize) that is the blaze as it gazes up with it’s eyes about the size of small swimming pool with another weird looking eye.  You can see it from the road.  There are no trespassing signs everywhere so you have to ask the owner.(Google map view not in satellite mode) you will see 2 large Cs looks a lot like the omegas but only in map mode. One is in the circle of irrigation crops. I drove by several times and thought what a yucky place but to each his own.

WWWH is the warm spring at McIntire Springs where it goes into the cold Conjeos river an archeology dig at near sierra del ojito (small hill) yielded several things including writing (tarry scant)(see link at bottom of page)  so the hill is the home of the Brown the Ute many arrowheads also were found hence all the references to arrows in the poem. Pikes Stockade contained a pvt. john brown and sgt meek was one of his pikes men (don’t know if meek made it over there though. Near Sanford (sand) near sierra del ojito (eyes and dents sand) near saddleback mt (col – the lowest point of a ridge or saddle) near Lassuas meaning reedy N of V road.

  1. Solve 1. Sierro del Ojito This is private property so I assume either the first house or the one further back are the owners I do not know.  So again ask first. Should be in the irrigation ditch (you have to go in there put yourself in)directly below the white eye aka the blaze behind the trailer house and before the river to the north (just a round pile of sand) oyos you can see it in map quest it is in the shape of a V.  A newer ditch than the others. I am thinking it is at the corner where it changes direction in a mitre 90 degrees the corner but anywhere along that ditch might have to follow it back toward the spring or the other way.  It looks like other ditches are around too so it may be in one of the other ones too. If its in one of the older ditches I would think it would be closer to the sand pit. It should be barely visible however it has been several years so if one has a metal detector you could go faster. I assume there is a little water in the big v shaped ditch but maybe not during the winter. I don’t know if it involves a rope and spike but fyi in case I may be off on that . If you go in summer many rattlesnakes beware no place for the meek. Also means you can’t plow there. 
  1. Solve 2. Start at the end of 24 road by pikes stockade. Will have to cross the river (walk barefoot through shallow water) unless you start on the other side if its winter North of Saddleback Mt in There is a small dam (weir or levee) in the shape of a V.  Cross the river. There is a large irrigation reel tiered (water high and heavy loads with a generator )(ret-watering). Irrigation makes a loud sound (hear me).could be described as a Secant with a wand, there should be a small ravine a draw, a geo with red hew tint probably oxidized metal ore–the (heme iron stained reef or metallic looking if not red) blaze near some trees perhaps a dry stream where the treasure will be barely visible. Might be some muddy water near might be in a dent. Possibly a generator or electric near supplying the irrigation or near where the water source.  Might mean belays or stakes tied to something. Might find the treasure right in there.
  1. Solve 3. Might be in the warm spring (soe a warm bucket also means warm, rope) or a bucket like thing like a well or a trough or a bucket under a windmill. Very near one of the arms..Look for tin, lid, projecting part of something, toggle a stake, a tine, stand or rope. A soe might be in McIntyre spring There is one tree near the spring and a dam. Lots of white rock around

I initially thought that the whole san luis valley was wwwh as it is a closed basin and mt Blanca was the blaze as you can see it from the whole valley.

Tittle-small part of something or the dot above a j or i. or teat as in bird or nib-small pointed projecting part

Rove-meander or a sliver of cotton fiber drawn out (rope?) and slightly twisted for preparing to spin or a small metal place or ring or Rove-archery term

Marble gaize-white rock

Geo-small fiord or gulley

Bellow-roar

Nye-flock of birds

Wizen-grain for making beer

Miter bisecting 90 degrees or like mitre tapering to a point in front or back a v

Belays-spike of rock used for tying off a rope or the rope

Keap-concerning agriculture

Weck-weck grain for bread

Ginnet- mule

Billow-spiral

Weir-low dam across river

Juiste-right extended piece

Pattle-small spade to get dirt off plough

Onan-type of generator

Reef- a metalliferous mineral deposit especially one that contains gold

Stow-deposit

Friche-fallow land

Loke-dead end lane

Velga-meadow

Heg-a barrier that serves to enclose an area,

Lacet- knot on a rope

Mall-a sheltered walk or promenade.

Woad=yellow flower scrub ragwort

 

http://legacy.historycolorado.org/sites/default/files/files/OAHP/Programs/PAAC_PikeStockade_Survey_Report_nomap.pdf

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pikes+Stockade+(replica)/@37.2809337,-105.8349851,14.25z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xec515ac32dfdcdc!8m2!3d37.2940897!4d-105.8103501

see the two horseshoe shaped water areas or oxbows

 

 

 

 

 

The Greater Yellowstone Medicine Wheel……

SUBMITTED JUNE 2018
by John edo

 

You know I can’t leave well enough alone. After doing the “Holy Blazes” post here on the home of Dal and receiving some feed-back; I was just about ready to throw away this search area. The face at the Firehole, the mark in the tree at the bottom of Tom’s trail, and the owl of Minerva tetradrachm just seemed to be too coincidental. I went back to my first clue and it didn’t seem right. Cynthia had posted about the sign at Reynolds Pass on the border of Idaho and Montana and got response post form Forrest that he had never seen the sign in winter. It happens to fall on the continental divide splitting 2 watersheds to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Begin where warm waters halt. Halt means lame, limp, foolish. And there has to be some connection from this clue to the next and to the end as they are contiguous. Following from Reynolds pass to “the canyon” down. The canyon seems to imply an obvious choice as due East of Reynolds pass is the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It happens to also pass over an arrowhead pointing that direction and reminded me of Young Forrest’s arrowhead. Take it means to grasp, and hints at riches new and old treasures.

At the bottom of tom’s trail was this mark in the tree.

Not far, but too far implies that the clues are opposites and spaced apart from one another. The opposites and balance made me think of the medicine wheel and using the Lakota star map I tried to connect the rest of the clues.

Put in below the home of brown still makes me scratch my head, as put in can mean to launch a boat or also put in means solitary confinement. There is also a “t” and a “bel” in that line that make the word belt. The star map has the milky way in the back ground or the belt of Orion is the 3 stars in the wrist of the hand constellation. The stars are also known as “Las Tres Marias” or the 3 Marys. In Yellowstone there is a Mary mountain West, East, and middle, and they happen to form a straight line.

So home could be a flat, narrow area and that makes me think of the fire escape and making his pants brown when he skipped class. He could leave and be alone. The slide was also a gateway and I believe it to be Devils’s slide. The next line of the poem seems to confirm that as from there its no place for the meek. From there sounds like from mother it’s to place for them. At the end of the line the word mother can also be found backwards and jumbled: no place fOR THE Meek. So your mother’s mother is your grandmother and devils slide happens to be at the point of castor and pullox on the star chart. Castor and Pullox happen to be twins just like Forrest’s grandmother A line from devils slide to mammoth hot springs continues to no place for them. Opposite of mother is father, and opposite of fire is water. Water has an old definition of Adam’s ale, and line continues to Yellowstone Lake fishing bridge. But no place for them is the RV park just to the East.

The end is ever drawing nigh, sounds like the hand is severed drawing in eye. So the Lakota circle coming back to the eye in the Firehole and looking up to mirror plateau gives you another line that runs right thru the Grand canyon of Yellowstone. Mirror Plateau happens to be the Pleiades star on the Lakota star map. From the face you also have mire or stuck in the mud to admire yourself in the mirror; hence all the me, mine, and I comments by Forrest.

There’ll be no paddle up your creek took me a while to figure out. “LL” when sounding out, sounds like ells. Ells are 90 degree pipe bends and no paddle refers to water. Just above the Firehole at the Madison river and Firehole river junction, the river makes a perpendicular “T”; and so there are the ells. So not going up that creek we are heading down.

Just heavy loads and water high made perfect sense after figuring out the no paddle clue. Heading straight down from eye, the grand prismatic spring and old faithful fell into place. They also aligned to stars on the Lakota map. Procyon is the blossom, and the grand spring is just that. Beautiful all year around! Old faithful is water high, or Sirius.  Some of you might know about Sirius and being known as the dog star, and I would never insult Peggy in that way, but rather as the most faithful companion in Forrest’s life. That’s why the heavy loads is a halo he’s putting on Peggy. She is his saint and the ode to Peggy speaks volumes of his love and affection for her. The reference to backwards bicycle also fits to work clues backwards from water high, and ride bike to water high and throw it in.

Just in this line is also right, which back from the point of the arrow and looking from direction of eye, is right following the N,S,W,E of the compass.

If you have been wise and found the blaze. I still struggle with this one. Is the found the blaze an established beginning or a central marker? The lines don’t exactly line up to the center. It’s almost like they still need to be made right. In the upper right of the Lakota star map is Capella or buffalo gap which is the Lamar Valley. The star Rigel is also known as the silver star and is dot island in the “hand” of Yellowstone Lake. The silver star was also an award given to Forrest for his service in Vietnam.

Betelgeuse is known as “owl eyes flicking”, or watching the ceremonies, and is the only point not on this map. I believe it’s a reference to his father the wise owl looking down upon him burning candles at both ends.

Look quickly down at the lower falls at the right time of day and you will see a rainbow or should I say moonbow. Across from Uncle Tom’s Trail it also looks like a petroglyph of a horse’s head drinking from the falls. This is also a dead end and your quest will cease here.

The points fit in a circle as well. The center seems to be Grebe Lake, but the points line up to the lower falls. The points also almost line up to tarry point if you google search it. If mirror plateau moves to amethyst mountain they are right on.

So there you have the medicine wheel in Yellowstone. The symbol and lines still seem to be halted or lame clues, and nothing has been unlocked to the location of the chest. There is still much more in the poem to listen too.  But; tells you to join the tarry scant and marvel gaze. In the medicine wheel there is a bald center spot, and when overlaid that is a short distance south of the lower falls. The MA-RV-EL gaze is the direction to head. MA is mammoth, RV is by the fishing bridge, and EL is the line, or the track of the train you would get hit by.

Here comes the word Just again. And it’s to take the chest and go in peace. But I see it as the chi stand or balance, or like Forrest: ME in the middle. Peace is that balance, the harmony, the health and wellspring.

So why must you go? It’s the way of life to run the race and return to where you came. Mother Earth, Gaia. And the trove is left to each of us to find our own way, and we should be actively seeking to better the lives of those around us; Smile at a homely girl!

The a(NSWE)rs he already knows? Of course; they are the points of life, the map of where one has been; and you are tired and weak as you have exhausted your life in pursuit of those answers.

HEAR comes the big kicker. Listen to the words in the poem to the gold now.

Sow ear meal and list ten good, your fort twill be worthy cold.

If few are brave and dint hew wood dig ivey out it lead to the gold.

WHAT? Did you hear that? Or did you read between the lines. Use that same logic and read thru the poem again.

Let’s also a-JUST a couple of those clues to unlock the poem. The circle with a dot in the center is used by Native Americans as the symbol for mother. It’s also the symbol for gold. So with the circle and line we can adjust them to form the symbol for woman and standing it upright she becomes the guardian of the gold: “when she sees it”.

I’m starting to trail off and leaving information out, but this essay is getting longer than I thought. I am definitely not hoping for an “A”, but rather an “F”!

-John edo

 

Armchair Thoughts From the UK……

SUBMITTED june 2018
by NICOUK

 

Armchair thoughts from the UK

I first came across Forrest Fenn in the news following an unfortunate tragedy for one treasure seeker.  A google search later and I was hooked on the mystery and challenge, the map and poem both being readily available.  I love a good mystery and love the great outdoors.  Being in the UK I can’t get my boots on the ground so to speak due to health issues.  Thank heavens for the internet!   Like anyone, I may be way off the mark with my theories and interpretations.  However near or far I am from the real location I hope that whoever eventually finds the treasure lets us all know the location, anonymously or not.  

In my search I’ve read a lot of different theories and snippets in addition to the poem and map, but those things have just reaffirmed my chosen location, correct or not, to me. I’m sure others may have already thought of it.

Having read through the poem several times I finally settled on the nine clues being between ‘begin’ and ‘cease’, which might seem obvious in some ways. I think most of the rest of the poem is a very personal narrative from FF.

‘Begin it where warm waters halt’
Within about an hour I decided to centre my search on Colorado, based on a combination of maps and feeling. I then came upon the town of Poncha Springs. The town was founded in 1880 because of the hot springs. The springs were capped in 1935. The town calls itself the ‘gateway to the Rockies’. It is also on Highway 285 north of Santa Fe, NM (possible take on 8.25?).

‘And take it in the canyon down’
You never go up into a canyon, so I didn’t think this so much as a navigational pointer, more of an instruction to head to a canyon.

‘Not far, but too far to walk’
My guess is this refers to the fact that Browns Creek is too far to walk from Poncha Springs, but head up Highway 285 and then on county road 271 and you can get to parking for Browns Creek Trailhead. (You could also start in the Gunnison direction and follow the trail from higher elevations where there is also parking, but that didn’t work for the clues for me).

‘Put in below the home of Brown’
Browns Creek trail/waterfall (not Little Browns Creek)

‘From there it’s no place for the meek’
You have to head off the trail to Browns Creek waterfall and then I believe you have to head off track to the treasure site.

‘The end is ever drawing nigh’
The waterfall is on the left if you approach following my route and a waterfall is a termination of sorts.

‘There’ll be no paddle up your creek’
If you see the creek and trail this is not cryptic at all.

‘Just heavy loads and water high’
I’ve taken this literally as the waterfall and impending treasure.

‘If you’ve been wise and found the blaze’
I believe that this is the waterfall; a beautiful cascading waterfall which creates quite a large blaze.

‘Look quickly down your quest to cease’
There are several possible rock shelters on the falls where the water has eroded behind the waterfall. They are generally easy to explore areas and can be quite large in waterfalls of this type and size. There are also a few possibilities alongside the waterfall, but my belief is behind.

I then cross checked my chosen solve with other comments and potential clues;

It’s a natural formation that’s existed for thousands of years and will for thousands more, although not in the same form.

It fits the elevation.
It’s not dangerous if your wear the right gear.
It’s behind, not under water.
It’s reasonable to get to for young and old.
There is car parking not too far.
Plus others that have just sought to affirm my choice.

The main web sources, aside from Google Maps and Wikipeadia were;

http://www.rainingfaith.com/10-days-on-the-colorado-trail-south-cottonwood-creek-to-browns-creek/

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7010626/browns-creek-trail-1429

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=n7dLm2NINlQ

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FhACkk4hGFs

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8U3huT6ZpTo

http://www.hikingwalking.com/index.php/destinations/co/co_cent/buena_vista/browns_lake/browns_lake_detail

https://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=20267&V=10

https://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=20267

https://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=20267&ZIP=587105

https://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=587099

https://mtprinceton.com/colorado/browns-creek-water-fall-trail/

https://www.benchmarkmaps.com/

http://fennclues.com/m.hints-and-clues-fenn-treasure.html

https://www.oldsantafetradingco.com/the-thrill-resource-page

https://dalneitzel.com/cheat-sheet/

https://www.npr.org/2016/03/13/469852983/seeking-adventure-and-gold-crack-this-poem-and-head-outdoors

Like with any possible seeker I would love to know how near or far my possible solve is. Hopefully if and when the treasure is found the finder will let us all know.

Happy hunting!

NicoUK

Homestead Meadows Solve……

SUBMITTED MAY 2018
by TIM O

 

I wanted to share my thoughts on a possible solve in the Homestead Meadows area of Colorado- there are a few things that jump out at me right away-

  • As I have gone alone in there= Hermit Park-See map below
  • Begin it where warm waters halt/Your effort will  be worth the cold= not an actual body of water- Possibly an old ice chest
  • From there it’s no place for the meek=Lion Gulch Trail/Lion Head peak- see map
  • Not far, but too far to walk= drove past Hermit park and down into Kruger Rock Trail-see map
  • Home of Brown= the old Brown Homestead
  • No Paddle up your creek=no actual body of water and/or dried up creek
  • If you have been wise and have found the blaze= actual fire in 2002 here
  • If you are brave and in the wood= possibly in/under one of the other homesteads or old ice chest..
  • Elevation fits within the parameters mentioned previously
  • Forrest could certainly walk 1 ½ miles to 2 miles x 2 in one day

I think some of the other solves I have seen are just far to complex- this may be some out of the box thinking but this is what it will take for somebody to find the chest..

Please keep me in mind if somebody does find the treasure and please feel free to email me at timothyponeil@gmail.com if you would like to discuss further..

-Tim O

Fishin’ Part 1……

SUBMITTED MAY 2018
by SPARROW

 

It’s been almost two years now and I still have no idea where Forrest Fenn hid his Treasure. I have decided that I will search no more, but I did want to share a few things that have intrigued me during my search, before I let go and return to reality (lol).  Often, when fishing, someone may ask you “Have you caught anything?” One answer that can be given to help assuage the feeling of being “skunked” is to say “No, but I have had a few nibbles” (or “bites”). 

So what I am sharing in the rest of this article are just “nibbles”, because the truth is I haven’t caught anything. I am not a very good writer, so I would ask that you bear with me as I share these little trinkets with you. I often visit the Blogs, so very early on in my search I began to see things in the writings of Forrest Fenn, especially in the “questions and answers” pieces that he has shared with us. Here are a few of the things I have seen that just might be “hints” from Forrest in regards to HOW we should be investigating his poem.  Hopefully one of these little discoveries might help another searcher along the way, and possibly lead them to the correct solution to this amazing treasure hunt.

Jesse, I am a fan of Georgia O’Keefe. But not her work, and my opinion was no mystery to her. She said I was a LOW BROW. I countered with a comment something like, “who says you have to be a SNOB to enjoy art?”—from “Featured Question with Forrest Fenn, Georgia O’Keefe,”(September 1, 2015), Mysterious Writings Blog.

When I first began the search at the end of July, 2016 I began to regularly visit the blogs. I began digging into some of the older articles on the Mysterious Writings blog (hosted by Jenny Kile), and the writings and Scrapbooks on blog hosted by Dal Neitzel.  When I read the above question/answer between a writer named Jesse and Forrest I immediately remembered something I had seen in the poem itself. Why was Forrest using the words “snob” and “lowbrow” in the discussion? Somehow I didn’t think the words themselves were hints, but possibly how they were arranged in the poem was a hint of importance.

When I recalled that the words were in the poem (see above) I wondered whether Forrest was hinting that part of the puzzle might be solved using acrostics, and not necessarily orthodox ones either. The word SNOB would be considered orthodox, as it is exactly (5) letters in from the right on all lines. But the word LOWBROW combined two types of acrostics: a diagonal one counting in 2-3-4-5 from the right, and then meeting with another acrostic, BROW, which is part of a word flowing from left to right. This acrostic was in an “L” shape which greatly intrigued me, as Forrest had mentioned “ells” in some of his stories. Was the “L” shape significant in some way? This put me on a path of looking for acrostics in the poem which I do believe is ONE aspect used to hide hints and clues in the poem. It did lead to seeing some interesting things. Unfortunately I can only consider these “nibbles” as the elusive fish (solution) remained aloof.

As I continued my search I found in the same sentences shown above another “L” shaped acrostic that also intrigued me due to what it ultimately spells. It involves aligning the 17th letter from the left on three lines meeting with three letters in a line flowing from left to right:

  17th letter from left

Andtakeitinthecanyondown

  Notfarbuttoofartowalk

 Putinbelowthehomeofbrown

What makes this intriguing is that the N-O-E letters are all exactly on the 17th letter from the left and then down. When combined with the C-A, from the sentence flowing left to right we have an “L” shaped “CANOE”. And it is interesting that the word “canoe” appears right where the poem says “take it in the canyon down”. Could “canoe” be something we take in the canyon down? What do you think? Is it purely coincidental, or is it a hint? It certainly left me wondering.

In another “Featured Question with Forrest”, called ‘Early Morning Ideas” (October23, 2014), someone named “Thrill” asks a question of Forrest to which he replies: “Especially burned into my memory Thrill, was the idea to arrange a cultural exchange program with the Russian Government. A few art scholars jazzed me pretty good and I was the butt of some funny jokes, because it was 1975 and the Cold War was in full blast.

Again, when I read this I immediately thought of the poem and something I had seen in it. Because not only had I looked for acrostics, I had experimented in other ways also, such as typing the poems sentences with no spaces between the words. One sentence in particular caused me to laugh, as crude as the humor was, because the words “butt” and “fart” were in the same sentence.

“NOTFARBUTTOFARTOWALK”

Again, as crude as this is it does appear to match the story’s words of “butt” and “full blast”. As I laughed under my breath I remembered another possible explanation which used another “L” shaped acrostic, this time appearing on exactly the 12th letter from the left combined with a word in a sentence flowing from left to right.  This time also the word read upwards and to the right.

  12th letter from left

NOTFARBUTTOOFARTOWALK

PUTINBELOWTHEHOMEOFBROWN

 FROMTHEREITSNOPLACEFORTHEMEEK

The S-H-O is exactly 12 letters from the left—again very intriguing.  But why “Shofar” you ask? Well, first, if you read the answer from Forrest above he says that the art scholars “jazzed” him. When I think of jazz I think of horns.  Incidentally, in the first stanza of the poem are two different acrostics which both spell HORN.  And here, with the word “shofar” is another HORN.

If you google the word Shofar you will see it defined as having a “blasting” sound. They use the word frequently when describing the shofar with long “blasts” or short “blasts”. In Forrest’s answer he states that the Cold War was in FULL BLAST, which is an interesting choice of words. Another interesting thing about the sentence itself is the fact that Forrest said that he was the “butt” of Art Scholars jokes.

NORFARBUTTOOF ARTOWALK  The sentence seems to confirm this.

Now, I realize some of you may be calling me “nuts” by now or deluded, and actually that’s fine with me. I realize that stating that “full blast” may refer to a shofar or a fart is a bit silly, but the placing of the words in the poem seems to be a bit more than coincidence in my opinion.  What do you think?  The shape of the acrostic as an “L” for both CANOE and SHOFAR on the exact letters that they fall on is quite interesting to say the least.  But then again, above in the sentences we can see the words FORT BROWN quite clearly too. I thought this might be a hint, but Forrest has since stated that HOB is not a man-made structure. Fort Washakie in Wyoming was called Fort Brown first. So it is obvious that coincidences can happen.

One other interesting acrostic found in the poem is the word GAIT (“Gone Alone In There”). This word has been hinted at many times by Forrest. Even in SB146, when he mentions the duck named ‘Tail End Charlie”, he states that it was born with a strange “gait”. Near the very end of the poem there is another acrostic, BAIT (Brave And In The wood). I had noticed these two acrostics right away as I read the poem, along with WAFT (Wise And Found The blaze) and the two examples of HORN in the first stanza also. However, I did also realize that these acrostics, being only (4) letters long per word, could easily have happened by chance also. But the more I read the more I felt that at least GAIT was a real hint.

One thing that confirmed this a bit for me was another exchange in a question/answer between Forrest and Carolyn. This is found in another “Featured Question with Forrest” titled “Inside Indulgence” dated 12-14-14.  Carolyn asks: “Are there any bronze animals in the chest, indulgence, or anything bronze?” To which Forrest answers: “Nothing bronze at all Carolyn, or even silver. I wanted more expensive metals in Indulgence. That’s why I chose gold. There is a gold frog that’s very old”.

I found the question and the answer both to be very odd. Forrest is asks whether there are any bronze animals in the chest?  Why bronze animals? Why? It just appeared to be a strange question.  And then Forrest answers with a couple of strange replies also.  He states there is nothing bronze in the chest, or silver also. But we all know that Forrest wants the SILVER BRACELET back if anyone finds the chest. So why does he say there is nothing silver in it?  Then he ends his answer with: “There is a gold frog that’s very old”. What I noticed is that the question and answer both begin and end with same acrostics that are in the poem—except they are reversed:

Are there any Bronze Animals In The chest  (BAIT)

There Is A Gold frog…” (TIAG = GAIT)

Again, this may be entirely coincidental. But the number of hints I have seen mentioned regarding the word “gait” leads me to believe otherwise. Because the poem begins and ends with these acrostics, is Forrest purposefully beginning and ending the question/answer with these two acrostics to hint to us that they are important?  I really have no idea. I am just fishing, and getting “nibbles”. I haven’t really caught any fish. By that I am basically saying that I see these things, but don’t really know how to apply them in order to get the big fish.

I might add though: In a recent post on Dal’s blog a gentleman mentioned a game he put together for his wife. He hid envelopes around the house for her to find. He actually went into quite some detail—and even added a bit more after Forrest responded to him

However, Forrest gave only this short reply: “That Is A Good story.f’  (TIAG = GAIT). He added nothing more.

Of course there are many coincidental things that we can find in the poem. Here are a couple of examples. In the past someone shared how they believed the sub-conscious mind might have something to do with the poem. They mentioned ID and EGO. Naturally I had to check it out, and here is what I found almost immediately (lol):

As I havegone alone in there

AnD with my treasures bold

And another person mentioned an esoteric meaning being part of the solution. They mentioned TAROT cards—especially the WANDS cards.  Surprisingly, if you arrange the poem in an up and down manner the following appears  and there are many other coincidental things that appear just like this. Or are they coincidental?

HBHDHDW

TSWNSNO

NETAROT

 IREWEYR

It’s kind of strange how WAND appears all on 4 letters in from the left. Just coincidence I guess.

END OF PART 1.

-Sparrow

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Spawning a Solution……

SUBMITTED NOVEMBER 2017
by The Geezer Team

 

We (the Geezer Team) believe that the best way to find the treasure is to take Forrest Fenn’s poem at face value and temper that with information provided by Fenn since the poem’s publication. Our approach will also include establishing segments such as A-B wherein A is WWWH and B is the HOB, the HOB and the blaze make up segment B-C, and the blaze and the treasure is segment C-D. We don’t know if our approach is any bettter than other approaches, we just like it.

The first stanza, we believe, is an introduction wherein Fenn is telling us the treasure is hidden in some kind of rock shelter at least as big as himself plus the treasure box, “As I have gone alone in there,”. We’re guessing to get in there, he may have walked in upright, stuped, crawled, or wiggled in. He is also telling us that knowledge of the hiding spot is his alone and safe. Fenn said when he decided to hide a treasure he knew exactly where to do it but how would he know about such a location? We believe it was discovered during approximately 12 summer trips to and from Yellowstone when he was a youth. If you study a highway map from the 1930s you’ll see a major route from Texas to Denver. That route passes right along three of the four major river systems for that part of the Rockies. The three river systems are the Rio Grande, the Arkansas, and the Platte. (Fenn has ruled out the Rio Grande, however). On those long trips away from and back to their Texas home, we believe the Fenn family stopped along the rivers to rest, to camp over night, and to fish for trout. And, there was probably enough leisure time for two exuberant boys to explore, discover, collect artifacts, etc.

In the second stanza, we got started right away on segment A-B. We believe that “Begin it where warm waters halt” is a tributary water way, which flows into a river, and that we have found that tributary. Finding A, of course, is the key to the whole enchilada. The tributary has numerous hot springs making it a warm water source. Then we have: “And take it in the canyon down,” which means the searcher is in a water craft of some kind (canoe, kayak, raft) going with the current and into a canyon. We believe the use of a water craft is confirmed by “put in” (2nd stanza, 4th line) which is a nautical term meaning to land, esp. put in to a port. Alternatively, a 4-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance might be able to be used when this river’s water is low, typically, early spring and late autum. But we don’t know if that’s legal. Now, what about “Not far, but too far to walk.”? How can a destination be both “not far” but also “too far” at the same time? Since the searcher has to go down through a canyon he/she might think why not just walk up on top the river bank. We believe Fenn is telling us (and we observed) that the canyon has sides that are riddled with deep gulches making that kind of endeavour a long hike – up and down, up and down, up and down, etc. thus adding many more miles, and tough ones at that.

“Put in below the home of Brown.” tells us where to stop, where to “Put in”, thus determining segment A-B. It seems like there are two ways to interpret “… home of Brown.”, both require Brown to be capitalized, but for different reasons. The first is that Brown is a proper name wherein the searcher must find a person, place or thing named Brown along the river, in the river, or on top of a bank overlooking the river, etc. We call this the “proper name” scenario The second interpretation is that Brown refers to an animal species; e.g., Brown Bear, Brown Trout. I can hear many folks screaming right now; ” … but, but, but, but the rules of capitalzation …”! And, early on in our quest, we would have been screaming right along with you. However, the capitalization of common species names is now becoming a regular practice. But, this is also a special case allowing Brown to be capitalized to distinguish a common species name from a feature like color. For example, we are saying these are not just trout that are colored brown but are a species with many distiguishing features. We call this the “Brown Trout” scenario, which we will pursue if the “proper name” scenario does not produce the treasure. More discussion on this later.

In searching for point B of segement A-B, we actually found a location with an interesting proper name. The proper name we found is Brownsville! But don’t try to find it on a map because it hasn’t existed for a long time. The town of Brownsville was a ghost town when the Fenn’s visited the area and there is now a different name for that location! That Fenn sure is a sly old fox, but don’t try to baffle the old Geezer Team, buddy boy! Actually, we stumbled into that information, serendipitiously, and went to the old Brownsville cemetary but couldn’t find “any body” named Brown (ha, ha, ha). We discovered later that the Brown in question is in a different cemetary. The old Brownsville town wasn’t quite on the river, but the slope of the land from the town down to the river canyon was sufficient for us to believe that that part of the river is “below the home of Brown.” Further, if a searcher “puts in” on the opposite river bank there is a gulch that kind of fits the next part of the poem.

For segment B-C, Fenn cautions that the going will be tough (“From there it’s no place for the meek,”) and searchers will be in a non-navigable creek (“there’ll be no paddle up your creek,”). We are puzzled, however, by the words “your creek”, why not just say “the creek”. One reason we could think of was that maybe we should be looking for a creek with a name like “Treasure Creek” or “Gold Creek” or “Searchers Creek”, etc. But there are no creeks with names that fit that category in our search area. We are more puzzled by the next line, however: “Just heavy loads and water high.”! Some searchers say the heavy loads could be big boulders and rocks but I hope no one is trying to carry them around! Some searchers say the heavy loads are the treasure box contents, but it hasn’t been found yet since we’re following the poem sequently, as Fenn suggests. Does “water high” mean there’s water further up the gulch, does it mean the water found will be deep, or is it a water feature like a water fall? We know for a fact that this gulch has a wet lands seven miles up from the river and has some small springs along the way but for the most part the gulch is seasonal – intermittent wet and dry. Like a tree that’s been cut down, we’re stumped, so we will move on to the next stanza.

Discovering point C requires finding the blaze, a major element to finding the treasure. Fenn offers little help in the poem simply saying “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,” which tells us nothing because we already know that the Geezer Team is wise! He has told us, however, that the treasure is not in close proximity to a human trail and that searchers have been within 500 feet! So at .5 miles we got out of the gulch and went 500 feet left and right. Some searchers believe “nigh” means left, so why not just do the left side? Well, we’re having a hard time finding that definition. No matter, if you go one side and don’t find the treasure, you’ll be wise and go on the other side, or go home empty handed. But, when a searcher leaves the gulch what should he/she be looking for as a location? Look for a place that satisfies Fenn’s sensory experience as if he were standing near the treasure hiding spot. Fenn wants to able to see his beloved Rocky Mountains, a river valley, the river, pine trees, and indiginous animals (deer, elk, prong horn, big horn sheep). He wants to smell sage brush, pines, and most of all Pinon Pine, especially when the sap runs thick! To date, we have searched an area approximately .5 mile from the river and 1 mile up, on both sides of the gulch, with no results. Winter is coming on so we will wait until spring 2018 to do the next mile up.

Since the blaze must last 10,000 plus years it can’t be a tree notch, a carving, a cairn, or any thing like that. It can’t rot, rust, or be prone to erosion or being moved in any way. So we are left with something like a natural rock formation or discoloration. But we don’t buy that either. As mentined earlier, Fenn said he knew exactly where to hide the treasure. It is highly improbable, though, that a natural blaze would be in exactly the right place too. We’re guessing that the blaze is something he made, brought in and placed himself. Something meaningful to show the way. Something like, like … Well, figure it out yourself, we can’t have all the fun. The meaning of “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze.” is that since the blaze is man-made, you will know it when you see it, else you are not wise! So now we have a way ahead for segment B-C.

Segment C-D is from the blaze to the treasure and Fenn gives searchers instructions. He says “Look quickly down, your quest to cease.” We believe he means, when a searcher sees the blaze, stop! Moving forward toward the blaze (a natural tendency) will put the searcher out of position to see the chest! Looking down has several interpretations such as look down at your feet, or look south, or look down the trail, or if the blaze is high, just bring your gaze down. We believe it doesn’t matter at this point. When we find the blaze we’ll try anything and everything to find the treasure, even bring in bull dozers, back hoes, construction cranes, jack hammers, etc.!

In the final stanza first line, Fenn urges searchers to listen up with: “So hear me all and listen good,” then: “Your effort will be worth the cold.” and “If you are brave and in the wood”. We believe that the “cold” means that the hiding place is on the north side of some feature, a cliff, rock out-cropping, boulder pile, etc., where the sun never shines. And/or the river and creek waters are always cold! The last sentence of the poem is puzzling. Why does one have to be brave, unless its just a general trait expected of searchers? For “in the wood” we’re guessing Fenn means in the chest, which is lined with Lebanon cedar! For the rest of that sentence and the last line of the poem, “I give you title to the gold.” Fenn has gone weird on us. If we have the chest and its contents we don’t need title from him or anyone else. Unless, unless, … unless all the intended treasure is not in the chest and we have to collect the rest from him or his estate!

A bit about the “Broun Trout” scenario, which we believe is actually a “Brown Trout spawning” scenario. First we have to find a new WWWH for segment A-B, either on this river or another. Next we go down a canyon as before but this time we’re looking for a Brown Trout spawning tributary to begin segment B-C. Once we find the tributary, we are “… below the home of Brown.” and can head up that creek and then explore 500 feet on either side to find the blaze. The phrase “… no place for the meek.” now takes on a new meaning as it refers to the trout swimming up stream to spawn! Females carry approximately 10,000 – 20,000 eggs (Just heavy loads …) which are laid and fertilized in the autum but don’t hatch until the spring when the waters start warming up. The hatch becomes thosands of fry and those that survive become fingerlings which stay in the creek at least a year. Thus, although still non-navigable, the creek must have water all year and be deep enough for spawning (… water high.).

We imagined spawning to go something like this: After swimming up stream, a male trout approaches a female and she says “Wow, you look buff, what’s up big boy!” He says “Yeah, been working out for the spawn. I’m wondering if you’d be interested in a little romance?.” ”I am! I just laid a few thousand eggs over by those rocks in a nest I made. Go knock yourself out, then come back for a cigy-pooh! (Jack Kerouac beatnik slang for cigarette). After which I’ll cover the fertilized eggs with sand and gravel, then we’ll get back to the river. You won’t tell any body about this, will you? I mean, we just met and now we’re having all these kids! A girl has to worry about her reputation.” “Nah, what happens in this creek, stays in this creek.”

The Geezer Team-