Revised OUAW…

Cynthia published a new article about Forrest’s latest book signing and a “soon to be released”, updated version of “Once Upon a Wish”…

Here’s a snippet:

Photo by Cynthia

I met Forrest at Collected Works Book Store late this morning where he was busy signing books. Over the course of 30 minutes, he signed 45 copies of The Thrill of the Chase and 27 copies of too far to walk. He even personalized half a dozen or more books to specific buyers. I’d witnessed this before over the years, and it’s quite an orchestrated process. The cartons of books are brought from the back of the store to chairs beside the table. The older guy removed the protective wrapping and handed the book to Will, a pleasant young chatty fellow, who opened the book to the correct page, and slid it to Forrest, who then signed his name… over and over and over it went….

You can read the whole story and see all Cynthia’s wonderful photos on her blog HERE





Once Upon A While Book-Signing Events…


November 2017



Thanks to Toby and Shelley for live-streaming the book-signing event and for posting their great photos. Forrest asked me to write a few words and post a few pictures. Here is a written account of what I remember with a few of my photos (and some texted to me) capturing most of the events from my view with a few words to explain.

The Pre-party was organized by Whiskeyes (from the Chicago area) and held at The Thunderbird Bar and Restaurant above the plaza. They planned for 16 people and gave us our own private room… we filled it over the course of the 2 1⁄2 hours we gathered there. Most of the regulars were there, plus some new faces. It was a joy for me to hang out with new and old Fenners. I remembered all the names for about an hour… here it is two days later and I’ve forgotten a few. I apologize for the names I’ve forgotten but will mention some of the ones I remember. If people could post comments with their name and identifying photo, that would be nice for those who could not attend.

BoomerGirl brought her grandson all the way from Portland, Katya from Taos, Amy from way out in the boondocks near Nederland Colorado, and Desertphile from way out in the boondocks across the Chama River across from the monks who all live near Ghost Ranch (Abiquiu), New Mexico. Whew!

BoomerGirl and her grandson

Me and a really nice guy whose name might be John, Doug, or Greg, or none of those. I knew I should have taken notes. My fault, and I apologize!

Shelley (looking so eloquent) hanging out while Toby mingled taking pictures.

Katya, Amy, Desertphile, and Doug Melching (from Michigan) posing for me. These folks hung out with me all day, all evening, and the next morning. You’d think we’d be sick of each other by now… but no, we love gathering for Forrest’s events, and we always pick up where we left off

Darcy Howat

Darcy Howat came all the way from British Columbia, Canada, to attend the events. He was smart and brought paper and colored markers for us all to sign our names and where we came from (and I don’t mean our mothers… he wanted to know where we reside.) I would have thought he might have won the no-prize for traveling the farthest but I met people from Florida and someone from Hawaii. Sorry, Darcy.

Andrea and Slurbs

Everyone knows Slurbs and his beautiful wife Andrea. They both live near me in Rio Rancho (near Albuquerque). I hope I’m allowed to announce that Slurbs plans to retrieve Fenn’s treasure chest next weekend. It’s funny how many people told me they would have the loot before June 1st, 2018… and they all are looking in different states! Ha Ha… Gosh, I just love this game!

Toby Younis and …maybe John or Johnathon

Toby Younis and a guy named John or Jonathon, or not. Why do I think he’s from the mid-west and searches in Yellowstone National Park? I might be wrong about one of those…

The blond woman is from Canada… I’m almost certain.

Around 4:00 people started leaving The Thunderbird and walked the block to Collected Works Bookstore. Amy and Desertphile danced their way there.

Or they were driven by their chauffeur. Jamie is the driver and Whiskeyes Michelle is standing outside the car laughing.

Some of us were not as savvy and waited until almost 4:15. Once inside the front door, we encountered a long line (mob) of attendees who were receiving their book and ticket from the desk. Dorothy the owner did not allow anyone to take a seat prior to the scheduled starting time of 4:30 sharp. Kudos to Dorothy and all her staff for putting on this event. (I asked Dorothy for permission to take her picture for this story and she adamantly said NO. Hmmm… she probably heard about what happened in 2015 at the Gaspard Book-Signing when I took a picture of Charmay and posted a story about her on this blog. AND… I want you all to know Charmay attended this event and was sitting in the second row from the stage. I did take a picture of her but did not speak to her, but I waved. I bet she had nightmares later!)

While folks waited to pick up their book and ticket, Forrest so graciously meandered through the mob and chatted with the attendees.

Promptly at 4:30, Dorothy ushered us to the seating areas. Different colored tickets meant different sections. Toby was already prepared and set up for the live-stream. ABC Nightline also had a crew recording the event and interviewing searchers one- on-one afterwards. Hopefully Dal will post the air date several days in advance. This screening should have concluded the footage they needed.

Susan Caldwell and Lou Bruno are the team behind the book. Here Susan is signing my book and telling me which star on the front cover I should fish for… OMG, I’m kidding!!! Please don’t call her and ask her what she wrote in my book. Forrest and Susan might actually kill me… I will be banned from future events if anyone calls her.

Forrest continued to mingle within the crowd for awhile…

Then he got tired and sat down on the edge of the stage. He was so kind and entertained us with photo ops. (Eric, Desertrat, Sacha, Forrest, Katya)

I think this is a selfie taken by Sacha of herself, ff, and me. Covert One is in the seat in white shirt behind me.

Shiloh, Forrest’s grandson (the young hunk as I heard numerous women refer to him) introduced Forrest and Doug Preston promptly at 6 pm. The event was officially underway. Forrest spoke a bit and then turned the talk over to Doug Preston. There was a Q and A afterwards but very few questions were answered regarding the treasure hunt or poem. Shiloh reminded everyone this event was about the new book. However, there were some very comical moments during the course of the Q&A and the room exploded with laughter multiple times.

About 50 minutes later, Forrest shook Shiloh’s hand and thanked him. The three guys on stage applauded and the room followed in one great big loud applause, thanking all three men for a very enjoyable and entertaining evening.

We all stayed seated while Forrest and Doug made their way to the back room to the table that was set up for the actual book-signing portion of the evening. Then one very long line formed to take your turn. You would have thought they were selling an iPhone X. Except none of us had tents and sleeping bags. We waited patiently to get our turn.

Sacha, Eric, Desertphile, Amy, and I were some of the last few to get our books signed. It was now approaching the witching hour at La Fonda and we were parched!

It was almost 8:30 by now and all the tables were taken but we found a few empty spots at the bar. New faces in this photo are Brooke from Texas behind Katya and Bill Gorman behind her.

There was drinking….

There was dancing… (Amy, Desertphile, and Katya doing the TWIST, for Pete’s sake. You’d think we were at an AARP meeting.)

And there were dogs… This is Jack (Bill G’s dog.)

I don’t know what time the lights came on and they had last call, but we were there until almost midnight. Doug was a real gentleman and walked me the four blocks to my Inn.

I tried to sleep but my mind was racing… thank goodness I scheduled the Friday morning brunch for 10:30. I set the chirping crickets alarm on my phone just in case. Then I realized how hungry I was, and realized, like an idiot, I did not bring any food or snacks with me. I’m much more prepared when I treasure hunt. I remembered walking by a little alcove just past the lobby (in the Hilton just behind the bookstore… awesome room and an affordable rate on a week night in the off season, for future information) that was filled with drinks and snacks. I was too lazy to get up, get dressed, and get there… it involved a long walk down dark hallways and using either a tiny elevator or steps in a window-less stairwell. I disliked both choices so drank more water.

I may have dozed off but I didn’t think so. All of a sudden I realized I had not put my parking permit on my dashboard. What if they had towed my truck and I got up later and had no transportation to get to Brunch? I looked at the clock and it was 5:30 am. The adrenlin rush caused my brain to awake fully. I had to get dressed and verify if my truck was beside the back door of the Inn where I had parked it. It was easy to get to… a few steps down the hall to the door. I pushed on the door to exit. It was locked.

OMG, I retreated back the dark hallway towards the lobby. I chose using the elevator. I stopped in the alcove and grabbed a bag of white cheese nips, about the only kind of junk food I could stand to eat. The hallways and lobby were empty and I startled the woman behind the desk to pay for my snack. I told her I’d forgotten to place the bright magenta parking permit on my dash and I was worried my truck might have been towed. She smiled and said it was ok…

Making my way from the lobby back down the hall, into the elevator, down a longer darker hall and finally to my room, I opened the bag of junk food and ate as much as I could stand. It helped erase the hunger, and I slept.

Friday’s Brunch was scheduled for 10:30 at the Tesuque Village Market. I arrived shortly after 10 am to let them know a crowd of possibly a dozen or so people were about to descend on the place. As I stepped inside, I noticed a long row of tables with familiar faces. You guys are so awesome!! There were already a dozen Fenners seated with more people to arrive. The woman owner/manager said they’d turn on the heaters out in the enclosed porch area and set up the entire area for our group.

Forrest had emailed me that morning that he planned to attend but would be late. None of us cared what time he’d arrive… we just hoped he could attend, eventually.

Our group grew to 30, and Forrest did indeed arrive around 11:15. He ordered coffee, sat at various places around the table to talk to most folks, and eventually stood around and posed with us for even more pictures.

Focused, Desertphile, Amber, Forrest, me

Jeff Burch and Titan

It must have been well after twelve by the time we all started to leave. A small group continued to hang out near the entrance where I had parked. I think we didn’t want the event to end… it was hard to say goodbye, not knowing when the 5 of us would see each other again. It was 1:09 pm when someone said “here comes Forrest.” He approached us grinning from ear to ear. He said he was hungry and came back for a frito pie. He hadn’t eaten breakfast like the rest of us. He motioned for us to follow. We were seated at the original table where the large group had assembled briefly 3 hours earlier. Sometimes it pays to linger awhile… Forrest ate his Frito pie, a few of us ordered and ate again, and then we listened to Forrest tell stories about his business days selling art. It was the end to a perfect 24 hours for Amy, Desertphile, StrawShadow, Amber, and me… and hopefully Forrest.

Thanks to everyone who made these events so successful! Here’s a link to all the pictures:

November 4th 2017


A Subtle Hint?……

A Subtle Hint?

By Sacha J

As some of you know, Forrest held a book signing on Saturday, November 14th, at the site of his former residence, the Nedra Matteucci Galleries.  I am a New Mexico local, and have always wanted to see the galleries, so I took the excuse to go.  Something happened during my trip, which I have decided to share with all of you.


The building is quite prominent, and takes up an entire corner in Santa Fe.  The sculpture gardens are absolutely breathtaking.  According to Forrest, it is 2.5 acres, and that is a lot of space in the busiest part of Santa Fe.  There was art on every wall, including in the restrooms.  One restroom had enough old tools and horse bridles hanging from the ceiling and walls to fill a blacksmith’s shop.  Forrest told us that he collected each and every one of those items on his own, with the help of a metal detector.  He seemed very proud of that.

01 copy

While I was taking in all the art, I ran into a few other searchers.  I ran into Cynthia, Barb, and Crowfeast,  and a few others whose names I can’t remember.  Some of us got there early enough, and we were lucky to get a personal tour of some of the property from Forrest.

02 copy

He showed us trees that he had planted, which started out as small around as a marker, which now had trunks so large that Forrest could have hidden behind one and not been seen.

03 copy

He showed us what vigas are, and a beam with 17th century Spanish carvings still on it.  He showed us his old foundry, where he used to pour his bronzes.  It has been converted to fireplace, but you can still see the vent that Forrest used.

Forrest continued the tour indoors, where he showed us where the original building ended.  It is now very much an indoor space, but the original wooden doors that led outside are still there.  Forrest wanted to show us all his work on the doors.  He led us into the building, and then slammed the large wooden doors closed, making people on the other side a bit nervous.  Then, he lifts a large piece of wood and slams it into the iron holders, almost knocking a painting off the wall in the process.  Everyone stood in awe at Forrest, as he told us how he added the little iron details so that no one could saw through the wooden beam.  He then lifted the beam away, and accidentally knocked a pad lock onto the floor.  “I am gonna bring the place down if I am not careful,” he says.  Forrest replaced the giant wooden slat where he found it, and opened the large doors.  The look of relief from the gallery employees and the people on the other side of the door was priceless.

It was quite an entertaining time, but I have saved the most important part for last.  It is what I think may be one of Forrest’s subtle hints.  While Forrest was showing us the old foundry, I noticed a John Moyers painting in the corner.


However, it is different than the one in Forrest’s recent scrapbook post.  The one in the foundry is of a Native American standing, holding a blanket.  However, the person in this painting is facing a different direction and is wearing a different blanket than the one in the image Forrest used.  Cynthia, Barb, and I are standing there, when suddenly, Forrest points to that very Moyers painting and says “There it is.  That is the one from my scrapbook.”  Cynthia, Barb, and I immediately recognize that it is not the same painting, and have a brief discussion about it. I laugh and tell them that Forrest is pulling their legs, and he is enjoying seeing us all in a tissy over it.  But, as I came home and thought about it more, I think it was Forrest dropping a subtle hint.  And, in the spirit of the impending holidays, I decided to share it all with you.

You can see the Moyers painting for yourself in person, at the Nedra Mattucci Gallery in Santa Fe.  You can also visit the following website to see many of Moyers’ works:

Someone suggested that Forrest may have forgotten which painting he used in the scrapbook, but I don’t believe that for a minute.  Forrest has not proven to be forgetful.  But, I can’t say I know what the subtle hint is, if one does indeed exist.  I suppose that is up to each of you to decide.

Sasha J

You Are Invited….


Charmay Allred Invites you to an Autograph Party

Please join us and bring a friend

Leon Gaspard – The Call of Distant Places
A new book by Forrest Fenn and Carleen Milburn


Monday September 14, 2015
La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe
Santa Fe Room
5-7 pm
Light refreshments will be served



The authors Carleen and Forrest at the book by Lou Bruno

ThomasD sent in two sets of great pics from the book signing. We need some way to caption the pics and ID the folks. I’ll work on that when I get back, but for now here are the pics on his smug mug site.

THIS LINK is the book signing itself
THIS LINK is the searchers get-together after the book signing.


PHOTO 1   click on photo to enlarge it

2. Wiseone
3. Cynthia
4. dal
5. Slurbs
6. Katya
7. JDiggins
8. ItsAllMine
9. (wishes to remain anonymous)
10. Randy Bilyeu


click on photo to enlarge it

PHOTO 2    click on photo to enlarge it

  1. 1. Syd5000
    2. Deb
    3. BoomerGirl
    4. Art?
    5.Randy Bilyeu
    6. BajaGold
    7. (wishes to remain anonymous)
    8. Doug (what is his blog name)
    9. dal
    10. Cynthia
    11. Amy (not Amy on the blog)