My Imaginary Interview with Forrest Fenn Part Two…

blionk

Introduction: This is part 2 of my imaginary interview with Forrest Fenn. The words are all his, but I have selected and organized them in a manner that I feel best conveys the essence of his message. You can find my first imaginary interview on this page: https://dalneitzel.com/2019/06/08/imaginary_interview
– David Thalheimer
My Imaginary Interview with Forrest Fenn, Part Two

I hid the treasure in a place that is not especially difficult to reach. There isn’t a human trail in very close proximity to where I hid the treasure. I made two trips from my car to the hiding place and it was done in one afternoon. I will say that I walked less than a few miles if that will help. People will be surprised when they find out where it is. Stop arm chairing that thing to death and get out in the trees where the box is, but before you go, look at the poem as if it were a map, because it is, and like any other map, it will show you where to go if you follow it’s directions. The clues will lead you to the treasure and, whether it’s buried or not, you can find it if you find the blaze as a result of starting with the first clue. That’s what you have to do.

I don’t know that anybody has told me the clues in the right order. I think part of the problem is, they don’t focus on the first clue. If you don’t know where the first clue is, you might as well stay at home because you’re not going to find the treasure chest. You can’t go out looking for the blaze and expect to find the treasure chest. There’s 10 billion blazes out there. Although many have tried, I doubt that anyone will find the blaze before they have figured out the first clue. So you have to start with the first clue and let it take you to the blaze. Google Earth cannot help with the last clue.

Searchers have routinely revealed where they think the treasure was hidden and walked me through the process that took them on that course. That’s how I know a few have identified the first two clues. Although others were at the starting point, I think their arrival was an aberration and they were oblivious to its connection with the poem. Playing a hunch is not worth much in the search and those who start out by looking for the blaze, are wasting their time. Playing a hunch is nearly always fraught with disappointment, especially if the stakes are high. A searcher who guesses through life is destined to carry a thin wallet. And to many searchers I should also suggest that you take another look at your mistakes. The answers may not be nearly as complicated as you are making them.

I cannot tell you how many searchers have identified the first clue correctly, but certainly more than several. I cannot imagine anyone finding the treasure without first identifying the starting point, although many seem to be preoccupied with later clues. To me that’s just expensive folly. Searchers have come within about 200 feet. They figure the first two clues but they don’t get the third and the fourth and they go right past the treasure chest. I don’t know that anyone has been closer than 200 feet and I don’t think they have. No one is looking AT the right spot. You can’t have a ‘correct solve’ unless you can knowingly go to within several steps of the treasure chest. Otherwise you have a ‘general solve.’ A good solve is frequently lost in a poor execution.

What surprises me a little is that nobody to my uncertain knowledge has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve. A hypothetical example of a “what if” might be, what if I was looking so far ahead that I neglected to notice what was beside me. It seems logical to me that a deep thinking treasure searcher could use logic to determine an important clue to the location of the treasure. Fresh eyes and new thinking might provoke a winning idea.

I think kids may have an advantage. Don’t expect me to explain that, but sure. Their eyes are better. They’re more agile, they have more energy. Children have the greatest imagination because their thoughts run free. Why should a kid take a back seat in the treasure hunt? Bloggers have quoted me as saying that a child could walk up to the treasure. I don’t think that’s an accurate quote because a three year old girl would have a problem without some help. Remember, I was about 80 when I hid the chest, and had to make two trips.

Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. That poem was really written by an architect. Every word is placed in there strategically, and you can’t ignore any of the nouns in that poem. In each one of my books, I’ve made up words and I corrupt words. If everybody knows exactly what you’re saying, or what you mean, then who cares what the word is? And so that thought permeates, manifests itself in the poem. Well what does that word really mean? Does he mean what it says it means and so that adds, that puts a little dessert on top of the cake. But the poem is straightforward. There’s no tomfoolery in that poem. Try to simplify it if you can. That’s good advice. There is no substitute for thinking and planning and observing and looking at maps, unless it’s the desire to keep it simple.

All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem. If a person reads the poem over and over and are able to decipher the first few clues in the poem, they can find the treasure chest. It may not be easy, but it certainly isn’t impossible. I could go right straight to it. All that will be needed are the clues, some resolve, a little imagination. You just have to think the right things. Imagination isn’t a technique, it’s a key. Emblazoned upon some of the bronze bells I’ve buried are the words, “Imagination is more important than knowlege.” If I had spelled that last word correctly it would not have had the profundity of meaning I wanted. To misspell the word emphasized my point that having knowledge is, in fact, not as important as being resourceful.

I said in my book that the solution will be difficult but not impossible. If it was easy anyone could do it. I feel fortunate that my poem said exactly what I wanted it to say. Hiding that treasure chest full of gold and jewels was fundamental to how I feel about living life to its stretched best, and it emphasizes my aversion to seeing anyone be a spectator to today’s opportunities. It was a special time of fulfillment for me and I can still sense now, the elation I felt then. It’s the only time I recall laughing out loud at myself. I have done only a few things in my life that were truly planned. Hiding the treasure chest is one of them. Whoever finds the treasure will mostly earn it with their imagination. And at the end, the one who finds the gold will not feel lucky, but instead, will ask himself, “what took me so long?”

 

 

 

A Glorious Map…

 

October 2019
by dal

 

Framed Map 768x840

This is Copper Dan’s hand crafted walnut map frame. The Frame is 39″ by 42″. The collectible map is the long out of print, poster sized, Benchmark map and it’s signed by Forrest. It also has  nine copper arrowheads inlaid into the frame and three medallions inset at the base. This is a beautiful piece and there will never be another like it.

You can find out more about the piece from Copper Dan and more about how you can enter to win this one-of-a-kind art piece by going to Jenny’s website

It’s all for a very worthy cause…so please enter…

The drawing for this art piece will be held on October 7th…Have fun!

NOTE:

The drawing has occurred as scheduled and the winner announced…

Thanks everyone for participating!

 

 

 

 

 

Vagabond…

banner 1

August 2019
by dal

 

On the first of July I retired from my job running a community TV station. No more decisions to make about television programming. No more fretting over hosts, sets, time sheets, editing time, graphics, program schedules, financials, technical reports, meetings, equipment repairs, planning, purchases or returning phone calls. By the second of July I had run amuck. I was in a melt down. Nothing to do…

Just 24hrs into my retirement and I was driving Kathy mad. She told me to “get out of the house”. “Go visit Forrest and take in Fennboree. Then go search for the treasure. Enjoy yourself”, she said. “Take all the time you need. No hurry”, she added.

So I did.

Tuesday July 2nd
At 3pm on July 2nd Ezy and I were on the ferry headed to the mainland. 1,600 miles to Forrest’s place from the island. Three days of driving.

I was still jumpity as my brain tried desperately to think of something to worry about, some reason to call a meeting …but there wasn’t anything to do except point Ezy east and south toward Santa Fe.

I had an errand to run first. So instead of heading south and east I headed north and east on the North Cascades Scenic Highway. Last winter Jenny Kile had sent me one of her Forrest Fenn Gold Medallions to hide for folks in the northwest to look for.

FF Gold Medallions image 1024x562

Jenny’s Gold Medallion

Well…actually, I would hide a stone with a code written on it somewhere in the Cascade Mountains. Whoever found that stone could claim the gold medallion that would be safely tucked away in my cabin and not exposed to the elements..

I had marked my stone and I knew where I wanted to hide it, at the entrance to the North Cascades National Park between Marblemount and Newhalem.

0T1A9147

The welcome sign is pretty dramatic and I thought it would be a good place to write a poem with clues to the stone’s where-abouts. I left the stone there, documented its location and pointed Ezy east.

By 11pm Ezy and I were camped on the Columbia River near Peshastin, WA.

0T1A9848

Ezy’s insides decked out for a good night’s rest.

Wednesday, July 3rd
Not a good night. My mind was working me over about retirement. Hard time sleeping. Restless all night.

At first light I was down the road. Heading toward Pendleton, OR and further south.
What struck me about this particular July was the satisfying lack of forest fires…so far.

For the past five summers it seems like the West has been terrifyingly ablaze by July. The forest’s I’m driving by show the scars. Miles of black leafless columns crowd the landscape in every direction. What were once lovely, leafy forests are now nothing but burned out remnants reminding me of the smoke choked air that was so difficult to breathe. But this year is different. The air is remarkably clear. There are no wildfire detours, fire trucks speeding down the highway or helitack choppers heading to smoke enveloped hills.

I pass by green orchards with a bajillion pears, apples and apricots ripening up. Further south the orchards turn to vineyards and then hop fields interspersed with ranches and grazing black cattle by the tens of thousands. Later in the day Ezy and I climb up into Oregon’s Blue Mountains and our first opportunity to stretch dal’s legs and look for wildflowers.

In the lowlands, by July, spring wildflower season is past but at about 5,000 ft elevation, this far north, it’s still spring and wildflowers are in abundance. I pull off onto a side road near the highway, park, and walk through the orange trunks of fragrant Ponderosa trees scanning for patches of open meadow.

It doesn’t take long before I find my first gold…

0T1A9172

This is a delicate Orange Honeysuckle. They are a forest understory vine that crawls upward on taller plants to try and reach the sun. As kids we all knew to pull the filaments out of the flower and suck the sweet nectar drop off the bottom…hence the name Honeysuckle.

Walked around for a half hour admiring the pines and the meadow then jumped back in Ezy and headed further south and east toward Wells, NV.

I’ll spend the night in the brush south of Wells, where I can’t hear the trucks exploding past at unlimited speed. I still can’t sleep. My mind is trying to understand retirement. Will I starve to death? That’s ridiculous…I’ll get a retirement check and a social security check monthly. I’m fine. So much to worry about, so little time.

Thursday, July 4th
Before first light I am down the road. There isn’t much for me to appreciate in the stretch of Nevada between Wells and Ely on the Great Basin Highway. I guess because I don’t know enough about gray rocks and lizards. The landscape is dry, monotone and tedious. If Ezy was a 4 wheeler I guess I could explore more out in that area but I’ve been stuck twice too many times so now I stay on the hard top through there. I’ll make good time because there is nothing to stop for and the speed limit is faster than I care to drive.

There is this:pes

The Pony Express memorial at the Shellbourne Rest Area. It’s part of the Pony Express National Historic Trail. I complain too much. Those guys had it a lot tougher than Ezy and me.

pesine

double click to see this large enough to read

I always stop at the Great Basin National Park. They do a magnificent job of trying to impress me with the 300 miles of monotony I just drove through and the 150 miles of uniform tedium I am about to drive through.

gbnpsignJohn McPhee is the best science writer in my known universe of science writers. I love the guy. He makes the impossible, conceivable. He interprets science the way Cormac McCarthy interprets the west. Science is an adventure with John at your side.

mcpheeOne of McPhee’s enlightening books is titled “Basin and Range” and it examines the geologic underpinnings in this part of the universe. McPhee does such a good job of science storytelling that when I finished Basin and Range I couldn’t wait to be out here in the Nevada wasteland again.

nvboringHowever, my fervor quickly dissolved once I was again face to face with 7 hours of leaden landscape, 105 degree heat and pitiless unbending road. If I had my way I would sleep the whole way between Jackpot, NV and Delta, UT. I pity the jackrabbits and snakes that somehow survive in this butt-sore topography. Sign me up for an autonomous vehicle lease through Nevada…Maybe Uber next time…

But then Utah comes roaring into view like a John Ford movie in spectacular Vistavision. It’s dramatic, huge, colorful and entertaining. The road is twisty the towns are quaint and the drive becomes spectacular. I head with renewed energy toward Loa and Capital Reef National Park.

loa

Hwy72 gains about 9,000ft of elevation and from my perch I can look down into the washed and tortured canyon lands below. Once again, at 9,000ft, even though I am quite far south, it’s still lush and springlike up here.

0T1A9217

The meadows are dotted with wildflowers from Beggerticks to Sunflowers to Paintbrush to Lupine, Daisies and Larkspur.

0T1A9192

From here it’s all downhill to Loa and Fruita.

crnp

The problem is that I am always fighting the clock in my head. This time I am trying to get to Santa Fe before Fennboree begins. So I drive right by the park, without stopping…again!!

I have never had enough time to get out and explore Capital Reef. I’ve driven by it a few times on the Bicentennial Highway but never stopped. This September I plan to spend a few walking days at the park on my way to Santa Fe. I’m looking forward to it. If anyone has suggestions for good day hikes in/around the park…I’m all ears.

It’s getting late in the afternoon, 4th of July and I can see town picnics and food fairs in the squares of small burgs as I drive through. Kids are waving sparklers and I pass cars with the stars and stripes flapping from their antennas. Celebrations are everywhere.

I am keenly aware of the existence of leaping deer and elk as I drive between Cortez, Durango and Pagosa Springs at dusk. My eyes are peeled for anything attempting to run out in front of me. I make it all the way to Pagosa Springs before I smack a deer at 45mph. Ezy is crunched. The deer is totaled.

I get out and drag the deer carcass to the side and clean off the broken plastic and glass from Ezy’s front. I briefly consider dressing the deer…but pass since I really don’t want to stick around. Thankfully the radiator is smooshed but not punctured. I pull the right fender away from the wheel. The grill and parking lights are a loss.The hood is a little catywonkers. My right headlight is working but pointed low and inside. I decide to push on to Tesuque.

deerdamage

At Tesugue I spend the night in a cheap casino hotel room so I can shower and shave and smell presentable at Forrest’s. You’re welcome!

Friday, July 5th
The next day I head over To Forrest’s place. We gab a bit about deer tragedies and retirement possibilities. Then we meet up with Geoffrey Gray who has come to interview Forrest for a story he is writing for Alta Journal, a magazine out of California. After the interview Forrest and I hop in Ezy and drive up the hill to see if we can find Cynthia at Hyde Memorial State Park where she is holding an evening get-together the night before Fennboree. We find her campsite but she isn’t around so we raid her pantry and help ourselves to a few crackers and refreshments while we wait…In a short while she drives in and others start arriving for an afternoon gathering of friendship, marshmallows and beer.

FnC

Forrest hangs out for awhile admiring Cynthia’s camp and gabbing with searchers that stroll in. He hands out a few clues and talks about the place he hid the chest…(just checking to see if you are reading). He did not hand out any clues…

After a couple hours or so we roll downhill back to Santa Fe where I leave Forrest and head back to the park to see if I can find a place to sleep for the night. As I’m driving around the campground loop Jason Dent signals me in to the site where he and Sacha are camped.

iwsjig

They have a fire going. SeanNM and family are there, as are Illinois Gho$t and a few other souls. I discover that Iron Will has held a place for me at his campsite next door. Thanks Will!

That evening we all walk over to Cynthia’s campsite for her campfire and gathering where the camaraderie is as comforting as home made chicken noodle soup.

rocks

I spend all of Saturday at Fennboree. I am given these great rocks by JDiggins…Everybody got a couple…probably priceless gems…We all feel rich!!!…Very Cool!!
Unfortunately now that I posted this photo Kathy will want the rocks…bye, bye rocks…

Sunday morning I get up, say goodbye and point Ezy’s broken front end north for a thousand mile drive to Gallatin County, MT and my search area.

For my pics and story about Fennboree 2019 look HERE

I love this part of the drive. From Santa Fe north on 191 along the great rivers of the west, gold country, dinosaur land, Indian territory and up into rendezvous country is always an adventure. With plenty of fascinating places to stop for history, geology, botany, archeology, paleontology, souvenirs…you name it this region has it, from extraordinary landscapes to fantastic learning opportunities…so much to see and touch and experience…it’s always fun, fun, fun!!!

petrowy

the hogan trading post pano

dinwy

jhwy

westwy

I arrive at Baker’s Hole on the Madison River a couple days later.

Wednesday July 10th
I wake up pretty early and decide to canvass the area around the full campground. I run into the campground host and we start talking about the hot weather. His accent is familiar but clearly not local. I am stunned to discover he is from Temple,TX. He says that he took classes from Marvin in Junior High and he knows all about Forrest and the chest and he too figures it’s probably stashed up here somewhere. But that’s about all he’ll say about any solution he might be harboring. What a great summer gig for a searcher.

bakersholesign

This is the interpretive sign at Baker’s Hole. It explains the relationship between the Madison, Hebgen Lake and trout. Double click on it to read it.

Today was a good day to do some walking around and stretch some tissue that only had the gas pedal and less frequently, the brake pedal to exercise with for the past few days. So I went into the park around my favorite spot on Fountain Flats and checked the location out for wildflowers and wildlife.
To my personal satisfaction…little had changed.

blueye

Blue-Eyed Grass

elephant

Elephanthead

cinquefoil

Cinquefoil

onion2

Onion

dfly

Blue Damselfly

lupine

Lupine

goldenweed

Goldenweed

moth

I don’t know what kind of moth this is but she’s cool

flax 1

Flax

creekside

mattie 1

There are a few folks buried in Yellowstone. Mattie is one. She has a headstone, usually decorated with flowers, over on Nez Perce Creek.
You can read about Mattie’s sad death, HERE.

MB

I met up with Mark and Brenda on the Nez Perce. Really nice folks. They were searching further north and east. We talked Forrest and solutions and headed over to the Happy Hour Bar on Hebgen lake for a crab dinner…that was DELICIOUS!

Thursday July 11th
As you know, the solution I’ve been working on for a few years has me begin at Madison Junction, about 17 miles upstream on the river from Bakers Hole.

MJ

Madison Junction. Gibbon comes in from the right. Firehole comes in from the left. The Madison heads straight away for the canyon below

From there I take it down through the Madison Canyon which is directly below the junction. From there I’ve been going to Baker’s Hole, which is my HOB…There are numerous other elements that fit the clues in the poem but the one element I cannot identify is the Blaze. It’s probably because I am in the entirely wrong place but if nothing else, I am persistent. So I’ve been examining this area, with slight modifications for a few years trying to locate Forrest’s blaze…with no luck, I might add.

This year I decided to see what would happen if I changed my HOB upstream a couple miles to the Beaver Meadows. I think 13-14 miles is still further than I want to walk, so it still works as TFTW from Madison Junction.

Beaver is an Anglicized word from the old High German “bibar”, which means brown.

These days locating the Beaver Meadows is not difficult. Albeit I did not see any signs of beaver.

beavermeadow

Just head upstream from Baker’s Hole and when you get into a couple mile long willow brush area that’s hard to travel through…you’re there.

beavermeadow2

In spite of it’s romantic name…I saw no beaver and it is hardly a meadow. Tromping through the Beaver Meadows is not a pleasant experience. The only trails are game trails. In addition to the 7ft willow brush, it’s a maze of shallow ponds and swampy pools, most of which have leeches. Mosquitos and other bothersome flying insects are a constant nuisance. Additionally the tall willow is a hiding place for elk, moose and bison…which you do not want to annoy or stumble upon. On the day I spent plumbing around in that underbrush it was also hot and muggy.

ants

I decided to stand still for a moment in a dry patch I bumbled into. It wasn’t long before I could feel something biting my legs. I looked at the stump next to me where I had set my camera and all I could see were ants…biting ants!!! I dislike those things and by now I could feel the buggers all through my pants so I moved away from the stump and stripped…shook out all my clothes, redressed and went on my bit and itchy way…You may have noticed that I can’t think of much to recommend Beaver Meadows as a pleasant hike. Needless to say I found very little in that maze of water traps that seemed clue-like or rewarding in any way…but please, be my guest. Just don’t trample me on your way out!

I also explored a bit upstream from The Barns on the Madison. I could see a small building a mile or so upstream and was curious about it.

gaugestnwide

You can see the building I am talking about in the top third, center of the pic. That’s the Madison River upstream from the Barns.

gaugingstn

Turned out to be a river gauging station. But the walk was beautiful and the lodgepole and sage smelled great in the thin mountain air…and I saw this:

blaze

A nice bright orange blaze up in that tree…
Didn’t strike me as a Forrest type blaze and after I saw another I figured out that I was on a winter ski trail and those blazes help the first cross-country skiers, after a fresh snowfall, find the trail.

That marked my last day of searching…I had to head home the next morning…take what was left of Ezy’s front end apart and replace everything…

I can drive the 700 miles from Yellowstone to my place on the island in a day if I push. But I didn’t feel like pushing…
I wanted to stay off the freeway. Drive the two lane.

The Clark Fork is a favorite river of mine…
I stopped along the way at a few places to tease the fish…imagine what it was like when Lewis and Clark came this way…

I was walking a gravel bench above the Clark Fork one day and when I kicked a rock I saw something shine blue beneath the rock…

bead

You can see what I saw in front of the toe of my boot. It’s round and blue…

Turns out it was a glass bead…and there were two more under the rocks…

beadstight

They might be old trading beads. They are a beautiful color. I have an arrow point I found awhile back. I think I’ll have the three beads and the arrowhead turned into a necklace for Kathy. She would like that.

So to review…
I am unemployed and trying to wrap my head around it…I smashed up Ezy but walked away unscathed… I missed out on some good venison…I have swollen ankles from ant bites…I scored two cool rocks at Fennboree… I didn’t find a suitable blaze or any sign of a chest…I found three nice beads that stand a pretty good chance of being old trade beads and I can use them to have a nice necklace made for Kathy…successful trip!!!

-dal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy 89th Forrest……

050
Forrest Fenn will be celebrating his 89th birthday Today, Thursday, August 22…

Thanks for being here Forrest. I am in awe of your accomplishments as well as your fishing skills, and sincerely appreciate your treasure hunt…it has provided opportunities and joy for hundreds of thousands of searchers…including me!!

By the way…Wouldn’t it be a nice tradition to hand out a new clue on your birthday??…
just sayin!

 

 

 

 

 

Can Solving Rubik’s Cube Help Us?

http com ft imagepublish prod s3 amazonaws com b78cf914 a76e 11e6 8b69 02899e8bd9d1

AUGUST 2019
by dal

 

image1

That’s Emma in front.Emma is Josh’s daughter. In the back, that’s Josh on the left. Josh is Lory and Steve’s son. Lory is next to Josh. Then me, and Steve on the far right.

This is Steve and Lory Barnes’ family. I met up with them the other day in Fairhaven. You might remember Steve. I posted a link to his youtube video on Odds n Ends several months ago. In the video Steve explains the similarities between solving the poem and solving Rubik’s Cube. I thought it was worth its own page on the blog so here it is…

In the video below, Steve shows us how to go about solving the cube while telling us how he believes the poem can be solved. He can obviously do two things at once.

Forrest liked this video. Steve is a good presenter. Lory is a good searcher.

By the way, if you fly Horizon Air look for Steve…and bring your cube along…!!

-dal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Are We Looking For?…

binocs

AUGUST 2019
by Seeker

 

What are we looking for?
Craig, there is no substitute for thinking and planning and observing and looking at maps, unless it’s the desire to keep it simple.f

Many want to believe we are only looking for a 10” sq. piece of realty, I can’t disagree more.

We have been told; Forrest knew where he wanted to hide the chest… in a place he feels, is special to him. We have been told that without the first clue we have nothing… might as well stay home. I believe the first clue is this place Forrest is referring to. For this idea to be true, one needs to consider the possibility that; not only do the remaining clues revolve around the first and are within the location of the first clue… but also the possibility the trove is within the same location.

For clarification; “Location” is meant as an area vs. “Place” being a position within a location. However, “place” has other meanings and usages that I feel are being used in the poem.

With these thoughts in mind… a particular reading of the poem appears. We know the first clue is represented by the line “Begin it where warm waters halt” Then we have “And take it in the canyon down” For the idea that WWsH is Forrest “special place” the wording or phrasing of “take it in” [ by definition of; ‘take something in’ ] means to see something, to view, to gaze at… But now we have to consider the line “Not far, but too far to walk” Lets break this line down… “Not far” is seemingly self-explained… Something that is not far [distance away] and more than likely, seen from where the viewer/searcher is.

“but too far to walk” – “But” seems to imply [ one definition] excluding, ‘used to indicate the impossibility of anything other than what is being stated’ In this case, the use of “but” is telling the reader to exclude the movement of walk or walking as something that should be done… There is no movement of a searcher thus far in the poem, or don’t walk away from this clue.

“Put in below the home of Brown” – This is the last line in this stanza, and a stand-alone sentence. I believe this was deliberately set this way. The perceiving lines implant the notion that a searcher is at the first clue’s reference, is to view something, in or down in a manner involving said canyon… with no movement of a searcher being described by the poem. “Put in” acts the same as “take it in” – to look… put in, set your eyes upon… and I think is the beginning of the observational part of the solve.  {You may not like the usages of these words and phrases in this manner… yet, those are the definitions and meanings, in plain English}

Should a searcher discover the reference of hoB… the idea is; to look below this reference, while being consistent with the method of what the poem might be relaying to this point.

~ Summary of stanza 2; Be at WWsH location, view and/or observe the place of CD [a direction] and locate the hoB reference… [which might only be seen ‘correctly’ from ground level].

While a searcher has not left the location of the first clue at this point… found hoB… most likely by use of imagination of the land feature… we come to stanza 3 and what this stanza might imply the planning part of the solve.

Most readers / searcher automatically refer this stanza as more movement through the landscape [stomping point to point of hopeful clue references by the possible misinterpretation of “take it in”]. I believe this is where most, if not all, left the poem, line of thinking. The word “Place” in the line “From there it’s no *place* for the meek” might not be referring to a place / location, but rather, “a situation” [Place definition; put in, cause to be in a particular position or situation] a searcher is now presented to be in, to finalize the task. This *place* “situation” is needed to be understood as; what is expected of a searcher to do. I believe this is indicated by a later line in the poem; “Your Effort will be worth the cold…” [possibly in the form of a hint].

In the simplest of ideas / terms… cold is of a change in temperature and/or of emotion. Both of which I think is meant for the line “FTINPFTM”. The cold of the night [compared to; day / sunshine] and a situation a person who is meek, timid, unfamiliar with, being alone in the mountains at night. This same line of thinking can also be reference by “If you are brave and in the wood”

The line “The end is ever drawing nigh” would reference the end of the night and the new day on the rise. This might be in reference to the idea of “hint of riches new and old”… out with the old and in with the new [day], idea. As well as the thought and Elliot’s quote, * …to know the place for the first time* This brings us to the line “There’ll be no paddle up your creek” In this line I believe the intent is to explain a specific time of year when the correct solution can be “complete ( completed?). {Yep, I know, that’s won’t go over well with most. But you have to ask, why fenn followed his own created clues?}

We have thus far, the notion of a situation is; an overnight stay in the RM’s, a morning sunrise, however, we may need to know when to view this… on what day… to make the poem/clues lead precisely to the hidey spot. The Summer month of June is known for the Summer Solstice… in the book [TTOTC] June never got paddles because she was always right- a subtle hint? Not intended, but will help?] June is the correct month to “complete” the poem. I think the poem relays that we have now discovered why hoB, if known of, would lead right to the chest… hoB is the blaze. An object, that it utilized with the morning sunrise on the first day of Summer. “IF you’ve been wise and found the blaze, Look quickly down, your quest to cease, But tarry scant with marvel gaze…”

The above section of stanza 4 seems to imply we do just that… Look in quickly [as time related action] down [ below the hoB/the blaze] for our quest to be “completed?” – But tarry [linger] scant [a small amount of time] with marvel gaze [ gaze meaning; look steadily, observe, to “study”] … just take the chest and go in peace.

By now some might be asking about the line; “Just heavy loads and water high” This line I believe revolves around the entire concept of WWsH and hoB. HoB references heavy loads and water high references WWsH. Whatever these physical land features are… the poem is seemingly built / designed around “just” them… Forrest’s special place.

In summary: Learn/discover this location of all the clues is first and foremost [The question is; how do we learn this?]. WWsH is the critical clue in the “action” of “finding” the blaze and resting place of the chest… “all the information to *find* the treasure is in the poem”.

HOWEVER… we have been warned that this process of *finding* the chest is not going to be direct without “certainty of the location beforehand”
(TFTW – Statement made on map insert)

These two comments are not one in the same. While we need WWsH to get us closer to the chest… but we need to know where to find the clues first. The two comments, while separate, work hand in hand to find the correct search location and the correct WWsH out of the many.

~ Locate/learn where the location of all the clues are at, find WWsH by learning of this location, view in the direction of the canyon-down, spot below the hoB, observe the morning sunrise of first day of summer, watch the shadow of the blaze being cast to the hide….

Note; “begin IT” is the catch 22… in this theory, IT refers to what is expected of the searcher. IT refers to “observing and planning” for. *** begin observing where warm waters halt ***

Conclusion; No one, not little Indy, a boy from dad’s hometown or someone from anywhere Earth… “cannot get closer than the first two clues” using a map or GE [the book, GE and/or a good map get us to this point].

A searcher must be on site to *complete the poem*[ Marry the CLUES to A PLACE on a map] and this might have been the same for Forrest… he completed his blueprint [from memory] by following his own created instructions / clues / blueprint.

He completed all the ingredients to now, hide the trove, where his clues took him… to a 10” spot within his special place.

-Seeker

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chase-opoly…

banner

 

“Chase-opoly: The Thrill of the Chase” board game

Do you love the Chase and want something to do in the off season?

 

KPro and Cowlazars have developed a custom edition of Chaseopoly!  The game board, properties, hint and clue cards, pieces are all customized for the Thrill of the Chase!

BoxTop Final

Pre-orders are being taken now!

Here is a short video explaining the concept and the game:

$75 per game shipped to your door (within 48 US States)

$49.99 game, $15 shipping, $10 handling
We can accept payment by PayPal or by personal check.

Make a PayPal payment here

OR

Make checks payable to KPROCOW LLC and mail to:

Cowlazars
3870 East Flamingo Rd
Ste A2 pmb 212
Las Vegas, Nevada 89121

questions? email:
chaseopoly@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “Give Me a Break” Solution…

hl

August 2019
by dal

 

This is an old solution that I’m tired of hearing about. I’ve had numerous folks (maybe a dozen) tell me this is THE solution but when they arrived at the hidey spot the chest wasn’t there so someone must have already removed it. I hate that…

Forrest has said the chest is still where he left it many times since the first searchers arrived at this hidey spot so we know they are wrong but what surprises me is that folks didn’t understand that this was not a good hidey place even before they arrived there.

What I’ve submitted below is a compilation of many different solutions that have started out in the same place and ended in the same place. There have been slight variations in the clues between the beginning and the end but by and large this same solution comes to me more often than you’d believe.

I call it the “Simple Solution”. Because that’s what it is, very simple and straight forward, even logical…up to its end.

Step one of any solution is in identifying the place to begin.

You certainly won’t get to the chest by following the directions in the poem if you start out at a place different than the place Forrest intended the directions to start from.

I think this is self evident but let me explain…

map2

If someone gives you directions on how to find the Dairy Queen on Elm and Second Streets based on the fact that you are starting from the 7/11 on Box Street…you won’t end up in the correct place if you start from the 7/11 on Third Street instead. You’d need a different set of directions to get to the Dairy Queen on Elm Street from the Third Street 7/11.

So..the correct starting place is essential…Therein lies the rub that leads wise men to the dump instead of the palace.

Lets Begin:

Begin it where warm waters halt

Tens of thousands (I’m guessing at the number) of folks over the past 8 years have used Madison Junction in Yellowstone National Park as the place to begin. This is simply because two very warm Yellowstone rivers, the Gibbon and the Firehole end in this place and it is the beginning of the Madison River. 

There is a whole litany of reasons why folks might choose to start in this place:

1. This is a geographical place where two warm rivers end (warm waters halt) and one river starts, “it”

2. This place is known to millions of people as the end of the Gibbon and Firehole Rivers

3. This place is known to millions more people as the start of the Madison River

4. This place is known to tens of millions of people as the place where Yellowstone N.P. was born

5. This is a place Forrest is unquestionably familiar with

6. Forrest mentions fishing on all three of these rivers

7. Forrest wrote about walking in the Madison with his raft in TFTW

8. Yellowstone National Park is talked about extensively in all three of Forrest’ s memoirs

9. To me it is a logical and practical place for Forrest’s WWWH

10. This location is one of the early places that many searchers used for their WWWH and Forrest told us in a comment in September of 2012:

“Several months ago some folks correctly mentioned the first two clues to me in an email and then they went right past the other seven, not knowing that they had been so close. Alas, and dame fortune, so often a fickle and seductive wench, never spun her wheel to lure them back.”

And at least one practical reason why it does not work:

1. Forrest said “There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe.”

This suggests to me that such a unique place, where two rivers end and a new one starts, is very unlikely to be one of many in the Rocky Mountains. I cannot think of another place where two warm rivers end and a new river begins…

But, what the heck…I’m playing the odds. Ten reasons for and only one against in my opinion…Let’s go with it.

  

And take it in the canyon down,

Screen Shot 2019 08 09 at 9 20 09 PM

USGS Topo Map showing Madison Junction with the Madison Canyon labeled just downstream of the junction.

I believe “it” refers to the Madison River.  “Canyon” refers to the Upper Madison Canyon which starts immediately below Madison Junction and “down” refers to downstream. So I take the Madison River, downstream into the Upper Madison Canyon…and all the way through that canyon…and keep going about 17 miles to Hebgen Lake.

Not far, but too far to walk.

I don’t want to walk 17 miles. So I’ll drive.

Put in below the home of Brown.

In this solution the home of Brown is Hebgen Lake for a couple of reasons:

1. Hebgen Lake is considered a Brown trout angler’s nirvana

2. Brown’s grow to be the largest and most desirable in the secret depths of the lake

The reason for this is:

The Mayflies.

Mayfly9

There are many species of Mayflies, more than 2,500 but they all seem to look fairly similar. Frankly, you’d have to care more about bugs than most normal people do to tell them all apart. Chances are that if you live somewhere on earth…particularly if you live near a lake…you have seen Mayflies…perhaps swarms of them around your porch light in the evening, in late spring and summer. 

Depending on where you hail from, the buggers are also known as Fishflies, Shadflies, Lakeflies and around Hebgen Lake by their Genus name, Callibaetis or Spinners. I can remember the air being thick with Mayflies flapping about over the shoreline of Indian Lake in Manistique in the summers when I was a kid. Swarms so thick I could smell them. They brought an odor like the lake from which they had just emerged. It seemed like millions of them appeared from nowhere. 

In truth they had just completed a journey started a year or two earlier when Mayfly eggs sank from the choppy surface of the lake and ended up in the sediment below, where they would spend the next few weeks or sometimes 24 months (depending on the species) in various states of development and then miraculously emerge again on the weedy surface as adult Mayflies. On the surface they can take off immediately…or float around for awhile contemplating their new abdomen or even climb atop a tall weed for a view of their newly acquired world before taking flight. Their shared timing is impeccable as tens of thousands, perhaps millions, do this over a course of days in the same lake….creating swarms of Mayflies, magnificent to some…alarming to others….and then, suddenly stop. They all die, falling to the ground where they clog drains, cover windshields and stink up the neighborhood.

emerge

Mayflies emerge from the bottom of the lake. This is a bug eating trout’s ultimate buffet.

Typically, adult Mayflies only live a day or two and in that time they have a natural inclination to do a lot of breeding and deposit eggs on the surface of the lake…where the eggs sink to the bottom…etc, etc.

Mayflies, of course, are not the only bug to emerge like this from Montana lakes. Hebgen is a virtual bug making machine and during the times of emergence it becomes a feeding bazaar for bug eating trout. In Hebgen Lake the trout are called “Gulpers” for the sound they make as they rise to the surface and greedily grab their victims before the insects can fly off to my front porch light and dazzle me with their numbers.

The “hatch” as it’s called when the bugs take flight is a magical and frenetic time of year for trout and also for anglers. In Hebgen there is more than one hatch per year and generally they last a very short time. Between hatches Hebgen Lake fishers tend to drink beer, eat chicken, read Orvis catalogues, carve whirligigs for their front yard and wax unpoetically about large fish they cannot prove they caught.

ffg

The fly angler’s goal is to fool the trout by using a lure, called a “fly” that resembles (sometimes pathetically) a Mayfly, Stonefly, Midge, Dun, Trico or some other bug in one of its various stages and throwing it into the lake at the appropriate time of year. This is called “fishing”. Sometimes you have to wonder what kind of nitwits fish must be to mistake what the fishers toss into the water for a real insect…

boobee

But understand, the fish are in a frenzy…caution to the wind…eat up boys while the eating is good. Hopefully one of those frenzied big Gulpers will spot your fly and go for it, you will land it and take a selfie to prove to your undeserving peers that you are among the greatest of fishers.

gulper

and then release it back into the lake and try again for a bigger one, or, if you are a fish connoisseur and brought your salt and pepper along… motor quickly to shore, start a fire and have a lunch of freshly grilled trout in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe.

fishy

Unlike stream fishing, you need a boat to get out on the lake to catch trout this way. Some fly fishers would never actually step into a boat. That’s for bait fishers…a lower class of so-called fishers…but the bragging rights are significant if you land a big Gulper, so the temptation can be overwhelming.

To get back to the home of Brown
Because of the magnitude of the “hatches” on Hebgen Lake, the trout grow large and it’s a great place to fish during the heat of summer when the fish above the lake flee the warmed up streams for something deeper and cooler and bug infested…Fishers surge to Hebgen when the “hatch is on” for the thrill of catching a BIG Brown, and many will. Hebgen Lake Browns average 19 inches vs Rainbows a couple inches smaller…so…Hebgen is considered the home of big Browns…Ask any trout catcher who lives nearby where the Home of Brown is and they will yammer on for hours about the great gulpers they caught on Hebgen Lake.

Putting in Below

The Madison River enters Hebgen Lake at its southern end and exits at the north. Prior to the dam the lake was simply a wide spot in the Madison River. Montana Power added a dam at the southern end in 1914 to make a reservoir that is used to regulate the flow for reservoirs and hydro projects further downstream. They named the reservoir after Max Hebgen…who, unfortunately didn’t live long enough to see the project completed.

Putting in below the home of Brown means putting in below the dam.

How far below the dam do we put in???

The poem tells us exactly…

From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.

Okay…stay with me here.

Screen Shot 2019 08 09 at 9 51 45 PM

Hebgen Lake Dam…see that big white thing in the center of the photo? That’s where the water from the dam is returned to the Madison…That’s the outflow. That’s directly below the dam…NOT Forrest’s special place. Don’t look there.

I’m going to say that the poem is telling me to put in DIRECTLY below the home of Brown…Immediately below the dam…where the meek won’t go…where you certainly can’t paddle upstream and where the water comes from high and the stream bed is filled with rocks and heavy loads. it’s a scary place below a dam where the tail water rushes out creating a lot of noise and where the potential for dam failure seems imminent and death feels just an earthquake away.

And is there a blaze…

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,

You bet. Lots of them. If you’re brave enough to walk around down there you’ll find blazes of all sorts, sizes, shapes and denominations depending on your particular belief about what a blaze could be…

But you should have realized before you started even looking for a blaze that this could never be the spot where Forrest expected to take his last breath…expected to be his last sight of this world. Who in hell wants to die below a noisy dam?

There is a trail made by fishers everywhere you walk down there and a road about 60ft away. No animals down there either. They have better sense…and you can’t smell anything but lake water.

and this is where the set of directions fails quickly and makes no sense.

I agree that up to this point a case could be made….but this is not the hidey spot…

So why is it that I get several folks each year who want me to believe that they went down to this place because it absolutely fits ALL the clues in the poem…yet the chest was not there …

So they claim that clearly, someone got here ahead of them and removed it…

Why does it not occur to these folks that this is not Forrest’s “special” place? He never hid his chest here. He never intended to die here.

Come on folks. Get over yourselves…

This might be a simple solution but it’s simply wrong

-dal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marvel Gaze…the song

guitar

AUGUST 2019
by Forrest Black

 

Forrest Black sent me this song he recorded with his wife in Germany. It is their musical interpretation of the poem. I don’t know if they live near the Black Forrest. He did mention that he has not been able to search for the chest yet. The song is titled “Marvel Gaze”.

Turn your sound on and click HERE to listen to their song.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tarry Scant With Marvel Gaze…

tty

JULY 2019
by dal

I’ve been listening to folks anatomize this phrase in Forrest’s poem for about eight years now. We searchers, it seems, struggle endlessly with the possibilities of attaching some kind of elaborate meaning to uncommon expressions, and there appears to be no shortage of either uncommon expressions or eccentric opinions in The Thrill of the Chase.

I too have had my Byzantine moments with those five simple words. I have struggled with what they could add up to and how they might help me find Indulgence. But when all is said and done, after thrashing my tired old brain with endless dead end theories, I generally return to my familiarity with Forrest and his habits, for a “true north” answer.

There are two characteristics and one position of Forrests that I relentlessly draw upon when attempting to analyze anything Forrest has spoken or written:

1. Forrest likes words
2. Forrest likes simple
3. Forrest likes to say, “Who said I couldn’t?”

Tarry scant with marvel gaze…

I believe Forrest is saying “Take your time and enjoy the lovely view”
How did I arrive at that???

Tarry scant…

Tarry in this case matches the word “linger” or “dawdle” or even “rest”.

Scant is most commonly heard in recipes…as in “a scant cup of milk”, or “use a scant teaspoon of lemon juice”. It means “nearly”. In other words use almost a cup of milk or use just short of a teaspoon of lemon.

So tarry scant means to “dawdle some” or “linger a bit” or another way of saying it might be, take your time but don’t take all the time…don’t take all day…

The question now becomes…why linger here? Why is Forrest suggesting that we should rest in this spot? In fact he is telling us something important about the hidey spot.

Moving on to “marvel gaze”…

This is the reason we will want to not be in a rush to leave the hidey place…

“Marvel” is short for marvelous..something amazing…a spectacle…

“Gaze” refers to staring…looking…gawking…

So marvel gaze means to “look at the marvelous view”…

In its entirety, “tarry scant with marvel gaze”, simply means to “linger a bit and look at the beautiful view”.

The hidey spot is…as Forrest has described it in the New Mexico Tourism video…to paraphrase his description…a lovely place to behold.

This is the antithesis of what many folks have interpreted that phrase to mean for many years…most have put forward that we should not linger at the lovely view…and we should grab the chest and move quickly away…

Others have tried to attach wholly unrealistic (in my opinion) meanings to the phrase that have to do with descriptions of the blaze or just odd nonsense describing anything from black tar to white slabs…but these have nothing to do with what Forrest intended that phrase to mean, in my opinion.

As mentioned a moment ago, most searchers seem to believe that those five words meant we should grab the chest and get out of the area quickly. The unanswered question was always, “why”. Why do we need to hurry out of this place where we found the chest? Is there danger at the hidey spot? 

I believe the answer is that he is not telling us to take the chest and move quickly on. He is instead saying, take your time. You’ve worked hard to find the chest and now is the moment to relax and enjoy the view.

How is this useful in helping us search for the chest?…well I believe the chest is in a beautiful place with a wondrous view, just as Forrest said in the New Mexico Tourism video. So I should eliminate any final resting place for Indulgence that does not meet those expectations. If the clues lead me to a pile of trash or an urban street, or anywhere not bucolic and marvelous, I need to start over with my solution.

We have suspected this all along. We always believed that Forrest would choose a place for his final resting place that was lovely and peaceful and “marvelous”…and I believe he has even told us that much in a single five word phrase in the poem…

So in my mind we should all stop puzzling over the meaning of those five words and get on with finding the correct place to start…

Tarry scant with marvel gaze…
Take your time and enjoy the view…

The New Mexico Tourism video can be found HERE