An Argument for New Mexico…


October, 2018

By Clearly Clueless

 

 

I just got back from a trip to the Rocky Mountains with my sister. We had a blast. Last year it was my parents who I dragged out there. We had a blast then, too. We enjoyed several different areas and lots of touristy things. In between stomping through woods and looking for “you know what”, we managed to see lots of balloons in Albuquerque and grab some culture and coffee in Santa Fe. I was one day away from that last book signing….Argggghhh. And, Will in the bookstore did not even mention it, the day before when I popped in…..hmmm.
Things I love about New Mexico….
1. It holds Indulgence …In My Opinion… and I would like to make a case for this below.
2. My hair was not frizzy while there. LOVE this!
3. No allergy problems while there.
4. The weather is so ever changing, the climate is so diverse. I saw a rainbow after getting     pelted by sleet. Strangely, it was very cold in the mornings, but we weren’t miserable. Pleasant.
5. New Mexico has a funny sense of humor. What are you people mowing?

Ok, here is what lead me to search in New Mexico.
In my opinion we read through the poem more than once….several times.
I think the first time through, Mr. Fenn gets us to the correct state.
So, I am going to go through the poem ONLY ONE time THIS TIME and I am going to use Mr. Fenn’s poem/map.

Question: “Are there clues in the TFTW book?”
“Yes, because the map is in the book.”- Forrest Fenn

Question: “Are there clues in the TTOTC book?”
“Yes, because the poem is in the book.” -Forrest Fenn

In my opinion, you have to use his map and his poem.
Ok, go get your copy of Mr. Fenn’s map and let’s look/listen and go through the poem.
“Begin it where warm waters halt….”
Start in Colorado.
Colorado means “colored red”.
Red is a warm color.
So I began “where warm waters halt” at the bottom of the Colorado boarder.
“And take it in the canyon down.” ….the bottom border of Colorado.
Now that we are looking at Mr. Fenn’s map, you will see some Brown shading at that Colorado and New Mexico boarder….go on…look ….why don’t we “put in below the home of Brown.”
*Remember, I believe I am going through this poem several times to get information.
*In my opinion, Brown will be something else another time through.
Now that brown shading takes us down to the wrong end of “NEW”.
If, following along this way, we will have to read backwards.
No problem.
“WEN”
In Britain, “wen” can refer to a large, crowded urban area.
Which I take to mean “no place for the meek.”
After this, we get the idea to go the end of the next word “Mexico”.
So lets goooooo……..
Now, I do realize I skipped a whole lot of words and thoughts, that is ok.
To me some of the other words are important in other ways, other times through.
I can go through with his poem on other maps and in other areas and “see other things.”
This time through I see “New Mexico”.
Does anybody else see “New Mexico”?
Has anybody else found other pictures?
One time through, if you have the right map…..you will grin and smile and want to go running to a particular area in New Mexico.
I live too far off to keep running, I would love a partner who thinks like this.
“Chasing” in metal work is beautiful.
I think Mr. Fenn has brilliantly chased a beautiful picture using his poem.
I do hope the treasure is found soon.
Any comments on going through the poem this way?

Clearly Clueless
P.S. Not Clueless on the clues, I think I have found all 9. I am clueless on how the clues “lead” us to the treasure. I do have some ideas.
I do have one spot, I would love someone to go over.

-Clearly Clueless

 

 

 

Again and Again…

By  Diggin Gypsy

I went back to my spot twice in one month. How many of us do that? You drive 1900 miles there and 1900 back, then get home and realize I should of looked under that dang rock lol 😂 

Probably only me. I’m crazy like that.  

So I was walking in a field and and the grass was really tall and tripped across some old metal. It was cool. I grabbed a piece and was gonna take it back to Georgia then my shoe became full of these sand spur like things I turned around to put my foot on a rock and wow there was wire on it like a x and a little piece of wood.

Lol, brave and in the wood.

I really didn’t give it much thought I was only thinking how the spurs hurt And how badly I was gonna feel while dragging that metal back to the truck.

Lol, I think the altitude messes with your thinking process out there.

So we drive back home to Georgia and I start thinking, “could that of been the blaze”? 

Mildew the hat had a covering over a hole with wire and it was like an anchor of some sort, like on Peggy’s swim suit. Well, we drove all the way back and nope it wasn’t under that rock. So we camped at beaver creek campground. It is so peaceful out there. No sounds at all.  Just a moose and baby that roam the woods. I love walking the trails behind the campground. You can find all kinds of cool stuff from the earthquake while looking around Earthquake Lake. We were there August 17 and it was kind of scary staying there on the same date as the earthquake in 1959.   

Walking around I found this old bed stuck in sagebrush. All I could think of was someone sleeping in it that fearful night.

I guess when this guy found it, it was in better shape.

I know many of us have searched Hebgan Lake all the way down to Earthquake Lake many many times. Donna M is one. After you go there a few times you sorta have a connection with that place and all its scattered little treasures.

We camped in front of that cool “F” that hovers over Rock Creek. The “ole coot” said it took him all week to make it, lol. So I searched Rock Creek once again knowing that wasn’t really the blaze but a cool area. 

The creek looks like a waterfall .

I bounce around when I’m out there. To learn the area I take my time and explore and try to see what Forrest would have seen.   

To get cell signal I had to drive to the Earthquake Visitor Center and I would sit by this guy who slept a lot.  I think he is  “Head of the Mountain”, lol.  

I had to go search under his chin  wasn’t there either but that would of been a great blaze I asked the “ole coot”  if that was his lunk headed blaze. He didn’t respond. I guess he didn’t think it was funny.

I explored more with my huge imagination.  I looked over on another mountain and saw a grizz staring at me.   All I could think of was the “ole coot” telling me I was whom the Grizz fears.   

So I went and looked under that grizzly of a mountain. Wasn’t there either. Another good blaze  I left it for others to find.

Here was my search team this year. Me and my sister and nephew sam and my husband John standing with Dal  whom we ran into in town.  We had a great evening with Dal, Kathy and Spalies, all great people to hang around with not just because they will buy your dinner and a good Montana beer, lol. Just “good down home people” as the south would say.

So have at it y’all it’s still out there!

Team Diggin Gypsy

 

 

 

Deadwood Gulch…

SUBMITTED MAY 2018
by DAVE FROM KC

 

I thought I would share the details of my 2nd search for Forrest Fenn’s treasure.  I did not find the treasure but maybe some of my logic can help someone else find it.  Below is my failed solve #2.  My search location was Deadwood Gulch just south of Silverton CO and I will get into the details about the location a bit further below.  Everything below is just my opinion even if I forget to state it sometimes.  Thanks for understanding.

First I looked at the ‘big picture’ because I felt that was missing from my first solve which initially led me to the wrong location for WWWH.  After giving it some thought, I felt the big picture might be related to Forrest facing his mortality, looking back at his life, and making a final statement to the world about his life…or at least a final statement to his father.  Forrest mentioned on multiple occasions that his father instructed him to ‘grab all of the bananas’, specifically while riding on a ‘train’.  I figured the ‘train’ was a metaphor for life and that the ‘bananas’ were a metaphor for seizing every opportunity that life presents.  Since Forrest mentioned this train/bananas metaphor multiple times I felt like he was saying that this was very important and sage advice from his father and that he tried to adhere to it during his life.  From Fenn’s writings, I do feel as though it is important to Forrest that he impress his father.  I then went on to conclude that the treasure chest and its contents represented some of the many ‘bananas’ that Forrest had grabbed during his life.  I felt like this train/banana metaphor from his father might have been what Forrest was referring to when he stated “What surprises me a little is that nobody to my uncertain knowledge has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve”.  I personally have not read on any of the blogs where searchers believe a train should be involved because of the banana metaphor (I have seen searchers that like train involvement for the halts but not for the banana metaphor).  Am I the first to analyze this important metaphor from his father and is this what Forrest was referring to with his quote above?  Who knows.

 Forrest’s original idea about the poem and the location was that he would go to the location, die with the chest, and leave the poem for people to come find him and the chest.  For my solution I looked for a location that would include a steam train, a canyon, a river with ‘put ins’ for rafts/kayaks, a potential home of Brown, and other aspects of metaphorical significance for someone dying.  Forrest did say “those who solve the first clue are more than half way there, metaphorically speaking”.  I took this as a hint that metaphors were important to the solution.  I think you can still keep it simple and interpret metaphors in the solve…metaphors are not like some of the crazy complex stuff I see some searchers writing about (anagrams, codes, ciphers, etc.).

Stanza #1
As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.

For the first stanza, I took this to mean Forrest went alone to hide the treasure and that he did not tell anyone…so it was his secret.  I interpreted “Hint of riches new and old” as a hint that the location had old riches and Silverton, CO fits this because of all of the mining that took place there (there are old mines strewn about everywhere).  For new riches, it could be a hint of the treasure itself, or possibly all of the great fun to be had in Silverton (rafting on the Animas river, riding the steam train between Silverton and Durango, hiking, fishing, ATVing, etc.)  I thought ‘Bold’ could be a hint to the treasure location, which is just a 200-foot hike up a cascading creek just north of US Highway 550 in Deadwood Gulch (we’ll discuss this further down).

Stanza #2
Begin it where warm waters halt – Clue #1
and take it in the canyon down, – Clue #2
Not far, but too far to walk.  Clue #3A
Put in below the home of Brown.  – Clue #3B

For WWWH (clue #1), I went to the ‘big picture’ mentioned above and the train metaphor.  I felt the big picture and the metaphor were the reasons this location was so important and special to Forrest…and NOT that the location was one that was special because Forrest visited it during his childhood…but instead special for the purpose Forrest was seeking for his final statement to the world (or his father).  Silverton has a steam train that still runs today between Silverton and Durango.  Train stops were sometimes referred to as ‘halts’ in the old days.  These were usually water stops where the locomotive would receive more water for steam powered fuel.  The warm waters are those heated waters stored in the locomotive.  I chose the Silverton station as my WWWH.

When the Silverton train departs, it heads south and down the canyon and follows the Animas river downstream (clue #2 – take it in the canyon down).

For the HOB (clue #3) there are several possibilities (Brown Mountain is 10 Miles due north which is TFTW and Brown’s Gulch is 5-6 miles NW of Silverton which is also TFTW).  There was a previous Silverton solution from another searcher that was using Cement Creek (which feeds the Animas river in Silverton) as the HOB because the locals call the water at the confluence ‘Brown Gravy’ (I doubted this one).  Regardless of which HOB you choose, there is only a single feasible marked ‘put in’ in this area and it is ‘below’ all of these (south and lower elevation).  Just south of Silverton (and north/upstream of Deadwood Gulch), there is a ‘put in’ on the Animas River that is used by the rafting companies and kayakers.  This is an ‘official’ put in with its own sign (see photo).  This ‘put in’ is south / downstream from the Silverton Rail Road station so this also has you moving down the river / canyon.

Below are some additional thoughts on this location and why it might be special for a reason important to Forrest.  I believe Forrest does not want his life or his name to be lost to history like the graves of the French soldiers he stumbled on in the high grass field near the waterfall he found in Vietnam.  I’m thinking he has a strong desire to be remembered long after his death (thus the books, memoirs, etc.).  He was also a very smart promoter and marketer in his life after the military.  Choosing a tourist location like Silverton would be brilliant in terms of ‘marketing’ for his immortality.  If his treasure was found in that tourist town it would be discussed on every train ride and every rafting trip…there would be businesses setup in town around the Forrest Fenn name, and they would probably create a Forrest Fenn museum in the town for the tourists to visit after they get off the train (they have a couple of hours to spend in Silverton before the return trip to Durango).  It would be brilliant!  And Forrest IS brilliant when it comes to promotions and marketing.  I understand that this thought will offend some searcher’s idealization of Forrest and also that Forrest himself might not agree and might be slightly offended by this…so this is just my opinion…but I personally would not put something like this past Forrest and would not blame him for such a brilliant plan!  I just cannot ignore the fact that this man was a self-admitted non-lover of art…yet we know he made a small fortune as a great art dealer.  Why?  Because he knew how to market and promote.  Would Forrest get the same level of immortality if he hid himself and the treasure way out in the middle of nowhere?  I do not think so.  With that said, I do think Forrest has already achieved some level of immortality with this amazing treasure hunt he created, for being a war hero, and with his other books so I do not intend to diminish that with the above opinions…I just think hiding his treasure in a tourist town would take his immortality to the next level…and I do think immortality is important to him and I might not even believe him even if he directly told me otherwise.

Many, many other train hints:
The train hints from Forrest are voluminous and at this point I do not think I could have a solve that does not involve a train.  Forrest has talked and written about trains several times and has made several comments that associate trains to death (I suggest going to the Tarry Scant website and search by ‘train’ to get the exact FULL quotes on the below bulleted items).
·       When talking about his dog Tesuque’s expression when hungry he described it as “Feed me now or there will be a train wreck with no survivors” – Death by train comment #1.
·       When answering one searchers questions Forrest gave a long response that included “Besides, I will probably get hit by a train” – Death by train comment #2.
·       In a separate video interview Forrest mentions “Yet, tomorrow I will probably get run over by a train, but I believe in karma and some of those things.” – Death by train comment #3.
·       In yet another separate interview Forrest states “I dare you to go get it.  If you find it, you can have it.  And nobody knows where it is but me. If a train runs over me this afternoon, it will go to my grave with me” – Death by train comment #4.
·       Forrest provides a very warm written response to a searcher named Diane that wrote to him about hobos and trains and referred to her as “kindred”
·       Forrest quotes his friend Eric that the far away sound of a bell “can be both forlorn and soul-stirring”.   Later in that same topic, he wrote that he acquired from Eric a cast iron bell possibly retrieved from an old steam locomotive that he keeps at his San Lazaro Pueblo.  Forrest has a thing for bells.  The old trains have bells.
·       Forrest mentions in his TTOTC book that as a child he could hear the steam train going out of Katy “The Katy Rail Road tracks were about half-mile from our house and late at night I could hear the steam engines puff and the engineers blow their air horns. It was a soothing sound and sometimes I think I can still hear when the wind is out of the east.” – The Silverton train tracks are east of the potential hiding spot in Deadwood Gulch.  If Forrest was going someplace to die, would he not want something soothing like the air horns from the train?  The Silverton train uses these steam whistles and he could definitely hear them from Deadwood Gulch.
·       The last sentence leading up to the poem in TTOTC says:  “So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure:” The Silverton Rail Road Station was at the end of the “Rainbow Route” which was a steam train dating back to 1888 that ran from Albany to Silverton, CO. (long since defunct)

Stanza #3
From there it’s no place for the meek,  – Clue #4A
The end is ever drawing nigh; clue #4B
There’ll be no paddle up your creek, Clue #5
Just heavy loads and water high.  Clue #6

For Clue #4 (From there it’s no place for the meek, The end is ever drawing nigh), I have multiple possible interpretations.

My first thought for clue #4 was that Forrest might be referencing the Animas River which is on your left (nigh) while moving south/downstream from the Silverton Station to the ‘put in’ location.  This is the river that runs along the Silverton train tracks.  It is also known as “The River of Lost Souls”.  ‘Lost souls’ are considered to be ‘damned’ souls…since the ‘meek will inherit the Earth’ the meek are not ‘damned’ souls and therefore this would be no place for the meek.  This information about being ‘damned’ or a ‘lost soul’ would be pertinent for any person who is dying (end is drawing nigh/near) and Forrest thought he was going to do this whole poem and treasure hunt to go to the place he was going to die.  Hint – Forrest calls the chest his ‘indulgence’.  If you look up indulgence you find a pertinent definition of “a grant by the Pope of remission of the temporal punishment in purgatory still due for sins after absolution. The unrestricted sale of indulgences by pardoners was a widespread abuse during the later Middle Age” (could Forrest be offering back some of his ‘bananas’ (i.e. treasure) as an indulgence to be pardoned for his sins?).  Forrest’s scrapbook #26 shows an old ‘anima sola’ which depicts a lost soul in purgatory.  Forrest pretended to not know what it was…yeah right.  Could he have been hinting at the Animas river?  I thought yes.  Anima is defined as “soul”.  Forrest has stated he is not really religious and that he is more spiritual…but I think most people have religious type thoughts when facing death and maybe the fact that Forrest was not religious during his life gave him some concerns that he might end up in some sort of purgatory if he turned out to be wrong about religion?

My second thought on this clue #4 ties back to the bananas/train metaphor.  The meek would not be the ones ‘grabbing all of the bananas’ in life’s short (end ever drawing nigh) ‘train’ ride.  Thus, unlike Forrest (and the searcher trying to find his bananas), this would be no place for the meek.  I felt this is less likely to be correct than my first thought on this above but I would not put it past Forrest to have multiple meanings to the clues and I believe the message of the bananas/train metaphor from his father is that “life is short and do not be meek…seize all of the opportunities”.  So, I do somewhat like this second interpretation…just not as much as the first one above.

My third thought on this clue #4 is that this was the land of the Ute Native American tribe.  There was an “Indian Agent” named Nathan Meeker who was slaughtered (along with 10 others) by the Utes in the White River settlement on the western side of the Continental Divide.  The Utes near Silverton were led by the peaceful Chief Ouray and there was no Nathan Meeker around trying to force the Utes into an agricultural lifestyle.  Even still, the end was drawing nigh for the Utes as they were driven from the land near Silverton despite Chief Ouray’s peaceful and diplomatic approach.  I felt this interpretation was less likely than the first or second interpretations above.

For clue #5 (there will be no paddle up your creek), I note the semi colon after clue 4.  Semi colon’s can be used for a change in direction, and I thought that Forrest might be referring to a change in direction because as you continue south/downstream from the Silverton Station and then past the ‘put in’ along the Animas River, after approx. ¾ mile (from the put in) you will come to a creek called ‘Deadwood Gulch’ that feeds into the Animas river.  This Deadwood Gulch creek runs perpendicular (change of direction) to the Animas and it has a pretty steep climb up the mountain from its mouth at the Animas.  I believe Forrest indicates in the poem that it is ‘your’ creek because ‘his’ river is the Animas (river of lost souls) but the creek you want (your creek – the one with the treasure) is Deadwood Gulch.  Hint – ‘Deadwood’ is a term used in the card game Canasta!  If you do not have the first clue you might as well stay home and play Canasta!  You need to head ‘up’ this Deadwood Gulch creek (in elevation – not North).  There is no way you would ever put any sort of kayak or raft into this steep creek and thus there is no need for a paddle.

Clue #6 (just heavy loads and water high).  The creek in Deadwood Gulch flows down from high on the mountain (water high) and features a very nice waterfall (also water high) just below highway 550 (yes, THAT highway 550 – the one also known as the ‘Million Dollar Highway’ between Silverton and Ouray).  Between highway 550 and the mouth at the Animas, the creek also contains lots of old timbers, wood, and cast iron parts from an old mining operation that, I believe, ran some sort of rail cars / trolley down alongside the gulch to carry loads down from the mines further up the mountainside (heavy loads).  When I inspected this part of the creek I did see some sort of iron wheel and some old pieces of metal that looked like they might have been used as tracks.  You have to be careful walking around this area due to all of the mining debris that included wood pieces with old rusted nails sticking out of them.  I walked around this part of the gulch below highway 550 looking for a blaze (besides the obvious waterfall).  I did not find a blaze on that section of the Deadwood Gulch below highway 550 and ultimately decided that I did not like that part of the creek for Forrest’s hiding spot because it did not have a blaze (other than the waterfall), and I could not identify any location down there that would have a spot 200 feet away where some searchers would have been that also coincided with a separate 500-foot spot where lots of people would have been.  In addition, I also did not like the fact that all of that mining debris cluttered the area…if Forrest hid the treasure in this area I could see it being accidentally discovered at some point in the future if they ever decide to clean up all of that mining debris.  If you are down in that lower part of Deadwood’s Gulch searching, I think you need to be wise and think about the part of the Gulch above highway 550 (see explanation below for clue #7).

Other misc.  hints pointing to Deadwood Gulch near Silverton:
·       In OUAW, Doug Preston writes that Forrest originally intended to leave the final clue by leaving his car in the parking lot of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  This museum is located just outside of the ‘Golden Triangle’ of museums in Denver.  The San Juan Triangle is created by connecting the towns of Silverton, Telluride, and Ouray.  Deadwood Gulch is just outside of the San Juan Triangle since it lies just south of Silverton.
·       In TTOTC, there is an illustration of “My Spanish Toy Factory” which shows three children looking down at a triangle formation (marbles) and two of the children is pointing down at the triangle (or maybe just outside the triangle).  Deadwood Gulch is in the San Juan Mountains (San Juan is obviously a Spanish name and could be linked to “My Spanish Toy Factory” for that reason…and isn’t this whole treasure hunt like a big toy for Forrest?)

Stanza #4
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, Clue #7A
Look quickly down, your quest to cease, Clue #7B
But tarry scant with marvel gaze, Clue #7C
Just take the chest and go in peace. Clue #7D

I am counting the whole 4th stanza as clue #7.  After searching the area of Deadwood Gulch below highway 550 I think you need to be ‘wise’ that it is not the hiding spot and also ‘wise’ to the fact that the Gulch extends above highway 550 and that area above highway 550 should be considered for a search.  You also need to be ‘wise’ to get in your car and drive up to the top part of the Gulch above Highway 550 because hiking it is impossible unless you are some sort of mountain climber (it is a little over a 2-mile drive from Silverton to where the Gulch meets highway 550).  Thankfully, as you drive up on highway 550 at Deadwood Gulch you come to a ‘turnout’ in the road that is gravel and a place to park your car (see photo).

As you look up the Deadwood Gulch from the mountainside turnout you are treated to a beautiful cascading creek that runs relatively flat and shallow between the steep stone gulch walls up to a small and beautiful waterfall.  The stone gulch walls are covered with all sorts of ‘desert varnish’ in various colors but much of it is a tarry black color.  There is no mining debris in the Gulch above highway 550.  As you look at the small waterfall (which happens to be right at 10,200 feet of elevation and 200 feet from the gravel parking area) you see something that stands out…a blaze.  I had seen this blaze before in a picture of this Deadwood Gulch cascade on Pinterest…and I went there looking for this blaze.  Directly to the right of the waterfall (as you face it) you see this large square shaped red rock facing you with three fat dark black streaks of desert varnish.  The black desert varnish streaks on the otherwise red stone really stands out and is quite beautiful (see blaze photos).

Fire is a blaze and red in color…why not a red blaze?  Tarry scant could refer to the red aspects of the stone that were not covered by the tarry colored black lichen.

Go in peace’ (i.e. Rest in Peace) could be a reference to Forrest dying and resting in peace now that he has paid his indulgence to the searcher.  When I viewed the potential blaze from near the road it appears small and a bit hard to see and almost looks like it could be some sort of native American rock art…but up close you can see that it is quite large and is just lichen created desert varnish with an unusually bright contrast between the black and the red. The only way to get up to the blaze from the parking area is to go into the cascades and walk 200 feet up the creek…there are no side trails and the sides are steep and treacherous and thick with pine trees.  It could be the earlier searchers within 200 feet simply provided Forrest with some nice pictures of their time in Silverton and that the Gulch was not a part of their solutions.  Or, it could be that the searchers were there at a time when the Gulch was full of snow.  This year, the snow was melted by 12May, but normally this time of year that gulch would be full of deep snow making it inaccessible for a search until June.   I had been to this location earlier this year with my snow shoes and snow shovel and learned just how deep that snow was in April.  When I saw the heat wave from 5May to 12 May I guessed that it might be melted and I was right….it was running strong from the snow pack melt but I was able to easily walk up it with some hiking poles and rubber boots (and waterproof gortex pants) …. Fenn being a fly fisherman would not even blink at walking/wading up this cascade.  To get to the potential hiding spot you have to walk through the ‘pinch point’ where the walls of the Gulch are closest together.
Beyond the ‘pinch point’ it slightly opens up on the other side of the pinch point and has an area that has ground with bushes and accessible cavities at the base of the stone gulch for potential hiding spots (see photo).  One of these cavities was about 10-15 feet downstream from the blaze – quickly down.  This was at the base of the gulch and was an absolutely perfect hiding spot for the chest.  The cavity was outside of the creek, so not underwater but still wet…it was about 2-3 feet deep into the side of the Gulch, about 10 inches high top to bottom, and about 3 feet across / wide….and the cavity is in a spot that is hidden behind the pinch point of the gulch so anyone on the road would not be able to see what that crazy old man was doing up there in the Gulch when he was hiding it (see photo – it is the triangular shaped hole towards the right center of the photo with a small log in the water pointing towards it).

I got out my flashlight and shone it into the cavity…I was sure I was going to see some rocks covering the indulgence when I looked inside the cavity.  My heart was broken when all I saw was a bottle, a plastic cup, and underwear!  Yes, there was men’s underwear in the cavity…they looked relatively new and when I looked up the brand name I saw they were sold at Walmart.  I knew I really was up shit’s creek at this point when I found the underwear and I was able to have a small laugh despite my disappointment.  I assume this bottle, underwear, and cup had washed down from the top of the mountain.  There is no reason for people to go into that part of the Gulch beyond the pinch point because there is no fishing to be done in that creek and there are no hiking trails anywhere in the area.  It would be really hard to get beyond that small waterfall and it gets really steep beyond that waterfall so I do not see people hiking up that Gulch just for the fun of it.  It would not really appeal to mountain climbers either because they would get soaked and it would be an insanely cold hike.  There were some other cavities in the base of the gulch that were also empty…but none were as perfect as the one cavity described above…I REALLY thought I was going to find the treasure in that one and my heart was pounding when I saw it.

Other hints related to clue #7
·       Why did Forrest make the upper elevation limit an odd number like 10,200 feet instead of 10,000 feet?  It is not the tree line…the tree line is between 11,500 and 12,000 feet.  The lower limit is a nice even 5,000 feet so I have always wondered if it might be right at 10,200 feet and this solution gave me that 10,200-foot number, which I liked.
·       Within 500 feet of the blaze is a second parking ‘turnout’ on the opposite cliff side of highway 550 that would be more popular because that one would provide the view of the larger Deadwood Gulch creek waterfall that exists below highway 550.  These two turnouts would explain why lots of people have been within 500 feet and why Forrest might have known some searchers were within 200 feet if they took a photo of the cascades / small waterfall above highway 550.
·       People bike on highway 550 all the time and I saw several people on bikes…Forrest hinted that he might just ride his bike there and throw his bike in the ‘water high’ which he could do…just toss his bike into the Gulch below highway 550 and then hike up the cascading creek above highway 550.  At his age now, I think he would need to start somewhere high on the mountain and coast down on his bike and not try to start at a lower elevation and pedal up the mountain.
·       The creek and pinch point could explain why Forrest is confident no one would ‘stumble’ upon the treasure.  It is a great ‘gatekeeper’ for the treasure.  As noted above, there is no reason to go into that part of the Gulch above the pinch point unless you are searching for Fenn’s treasure.
·       Once you are up the cascade beyond the pinch point if you look back you see a wonderful view.  You are looking North and, in the distance, you have a great view of Brown Mountain (see snow covered mountain in photo below).  You also see Silverton and if you stayed there long enough you would eventually hear the train blowing its whistle and ringing its bell from the East.  It is a neat spot.

·       I found a picture of the blaze on the internet after I had my solution for Deadwood Gulch by searching for Deadwood Gulch Silverton Colorado.  Fenn was once asked if the blaze could be pre-determined from the poem before being physically at the search location and he called the searcher a rascal for asking that question and decided after a long deliberation that he would not answer that question.  To me, that leaves open the possibility for finding the blaze prior to being BOTG.  You can find the exact quote if you wish…it is out there.
·       Fenn wrote about lichen in scrapbook 171:  “Because these strong colored rocks are a favorite of mine, once a friend told me that if I took one home, kept it in a sunny place, and sprayed it with beer once a week, it would continue to grown and keep its colors.  It didn’t work.”

Stanza #5
So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek? 
The answers I already know, 
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak. 

I believe the 5th stanza is simply Forrest explaining that Forrest is ‘going’ (dying) and that he has his reasons for taking some of his ‘bananas’ to this spot for people to try to find using his brilliant poem.  He has grabbed as many bananas in life that he could and maybe this whole treasure hunt thing was his ‘last banana’.  When you think about it, this poem and this treasure hunt really has been a major ‘banana’ for Forrest.  He has sold many books, achieved fame, and cemented his legacy and immortality.  This was a banana that he could still grab late in life even though he was old, weak, and tired.  Right up to the end, Forrest is grabbing every banana in life and I am sure his father is very, very, proud of him.  I am sure his friends and other family members are proud as well.  He has also enriched many lives with adventure and outdoor fun…and that enrichment of others’ lives has been his ‘stated’ answer…but I think that was only one of the answers (plural).  The other ‘answers’ are more personal IMO and I may, or may not, have guessed them correctly above.

Stanza #6
So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold. – Clue #8
If you are brave and in the wood – Clue #9
I give you title to the gold. 

For clue #8 (effort worth the cold), I think my solve was solid.  You have to walk/wade into a very cold creek.  Enough said.

For clue #9 (brave and in the wood), I think that the average person searching for the treasure might look at the Deadwood Gulch cascade with some trepidation…while it is shallow, it flows quite fast and it has a rock bottom.  Average people might think the cascade could knock them off their feet or that the rocks would be slippery…there is some bravery involved walking up that creek towards that waterfall and through the ‘passage’ at the pinch point (hint – Forrest recently said to have ‘safe passage’ and that pinch point in the gulch definitely qualifies as a passage).  The wood clue is obvious….it is DeadWOOD Gulch, and the cavities I found were literally inside the walls of the Gulch thus ‘In the wood’.

I think the rest of stanza 6 was for legal purposes…he wanted to make it clear that whoever finds the treasure gets to keep the treasure.

If you have gotten to the end of this, thanks for reading.  My hope is that maybe some aspects of this solution are correct and maybe can help someone with their solve.  Best of luck to all searchers and stay safe out there.

-Dave from KC

 

About Lat/Lon…

SUBMITTED February 2018
by Diggin Gypsy

 

 

So this was another one of my searches last year the poem and numbers. They matched up to this spot . Forrest said if we have the coordinates we could walk right to it lol so y’all know me. I see things. Maybe my imagination is over-cooked. Who knows? It’s a lot of fun. The first number-

So that took me to West Yellowstone  so I had to find another number to go with it   Hmmmmm I had found several over the years but I had to have the right amount for a coordinate. I didn’t pick numbers to match my spot they just automatically matched  in a place I have searched many times. Here is the second set.

This was the perfect spot for the treasure  so we got down on the ground and raked around. Bu nothing! I have to say this was the best thrill of all my searches. if I would have hidden that treasure it would have been there in that perfect location.

What are the odds that the numbers take me to a location many of us search?    Maybe the numbers are just a hint. Who knows?  I searched that whole area without luck. Maybe it’s someone else’s turn and they will get lucky.  Happy trails y’all.

 

Diggin Gypsy-

 

 

Season Five…

SUBMITTED DECEMBER 2017
by Diggin Gypsy

 

SEASON FIVE
13.300 miles,   2 pairs of boots,  new set of tires,  3 lost flash lights,  50 bottles of Advil.  Went thru 3 backpacks  and always lost the bear spray.  Someone on the ride always had a head cold. Don’t matter when we went someone always was sick  and shared it  with the rest of us. We’re gonna start wearing those mask the Chinese wear. Smart people them Chinese 😷🤧   Then we always had the one that was always hungry, we made them hike with a picnic in their back pack.    The one who always had to use the bathroom carried the toilet paper.  I won’t mention who that was 😂. What a team we made!   If one couldn’t hike up a hill to look in a pile of rocks the other one did.  That was mainly Charissa and Melani. I watched for grizz at the bottom of the hill.
We also learned throughout the years that no matter if your 5 feet away or 10 feet away you cannot hear each other holler;  bring walky-talkies, they come in handy. Otherwise you spend half your time looking for each other instead of looking for the treasure, and then we all hike back mad and fighting, “where the heck was you?”, hehe.
Five years of searching we have tread thru every darn huge bush. Y’all know which ones. The ones that turn fire red and leave marks all over ya and the bees and birds hide in them. From Hebgan Lake to clear beyond Earthquake Lake  them dang bushes have been searched. Hate them bushes every stump or log along the Madison and hebgan has been overturned more than twice hills have been walked and walked again, and again. and again.
So what was suppose to be an easy drive/hike right up to our spot on one of our trips  ended up in days of long hikes down that road to Horse Butte. We walked all the way to Edwards Peninsula. One minute sunshine, the next minute a darn blizzard. First day was fun. Second day it was a job. Third day I wanted to kill my sister. Fourth day the gate opened and I realized I was now crippled and could barely move my legs to get out of the truck to search within 5 feet.
So I sat in the truck eating Fritos while I told them where to look.
Here was one of our many blazes.
Yeah! A line of white marble rock all the way across the mountain.
Now where is down? lol
Well no treasure there so we decided to look for gold in a creek instead.
This year we hiked thru tall swamp grass and we searched thru all the Lilly ponds outside of West Yellowstone.
We have totally lost all fear from animals. The first year, ohh  my god, every sound we heard sent cold chills up our spines. Five years later we’re brave Viking women.
Searching is so much fun for us, I don’t care if all we walk away with is an old coke bottle and a piece of an arrowhead, and maybe a ole fish hook of the ole coots off the Madison. We have fun fighting and making memories.
We camp and we eat cheap.
 
And when it gets too cold in your tent, you go to the Madison Hotel and get the cheap room for $75 and share a full bed with your sister. Desperate times call for desperate measures!
Horrible nights sleep.  The things we do to find a treasure. We had to share a bathroom with 20 other people. That was rough!  I’d rather share with the animals in the woods. None-the-less, 2017 was a fun year of searching with my team of Diggin Gypsys. Can’t wait to see what adventures are ahead of us for season six!!!!
ps: Stay away from Bessie. She doesn’t like visitors. She is one mad cow!
Goodbye 2017
Diggin Gypsy-

 

Redemption….

SUBMITTED MARCH 2017
by DIGGIN GYPSY

 

On one of last year’s searches I brought along a small tribe of my family to help search.

My right hand little man was my grandson Dylan.

I thought I had found the “blaze of all blazes” on a previous trip which cast a great shadow over the Madison River and we all came to the blaze to check it out.

This was my “blaze” and this is it’s story.

On an earlier winter trip near here I was walking and fell on a 3 foot snow drift. As I lay there struggling to get out I looked over and I was like “Dang that rock has a face and looks  to be wearing a long smock.”    The Virgin Mary?

Later on, after I was home I kept thinking of that lady rock and it reminded me of something I saw in the book on page 99, the walking man carrying what looks like the Virgin Mary. If you flip the picture on it’s side, the man is an eagle.

So you have a man/eagle and Virgin Mary.  That mountain rock I saw looked exactly like that. Many items in the book started clicking for me with lady or Virgin Mary. The ole coot drew the L on all the little ladies shirts.  Miss Ford is a virgin who he talks about way too much 😜.

Skippy in the graduation smock. Peggy in her wedding gown.  The picture of the girl with a vail.  The crescent moon and dove, both symbols of the Virgin Mary. Forrest holding an ax (Jesus was a carpenter).

I know what some of you will say: “The ole coot ain’t religious.” Awww, but he is spiritual. I took these pictures in his garage and there it was Our Lady of Guadalupe hanging with all his favorite things.

He has several old religious relics. Some of them are on his scrapbooks. Some have to do with the Virgin Mary.  Indulgence, hmmmm something he is offering as a redemption for all his sins so he can sit at the great banquet table with all his friends.

So where better to put that sacrifice than at the feet of the “Virgin Mary Rock”? 💰
if you zoom in on the rock you will see Mary gazing down… “gaze and marvel”, two words that are used a lot referring to Our Lady of Guadalupe or the Virgin Mary, ohhh or Miss Ford.

In the map with the frog there is a ghost woman in the middle of it.  I figure that it has to mean Ghost Village on the Madison, which is right where the “Virgin Mary Rock” hovers with an eagle at her side. Which is right next to the high mountain that reminds me of church steeples.

Also on the gold coin in that photo is Jesus. He has a thorn crown on his head.

and there is a ghost woman with big eyes and her mouth open.

He seems to write often about women who know how to stand on their own two feet and who are inventive.  Heck, he just loves women.

Mary was the ultimate woman.   A lot of his scrapbooks are about women.

He mentions Sacajawea. She was referred to by others as Mary. Queen Elizabeth I of England was known as the Virgin Queen.

A lot of clasping of the hands in the book too.  His little sister and him a few times. He who teaches a child labors in Gods workshop. Joseph taught jesus to be a carpenter and there is a picture of a carpenter at Peggy’s feet. Beavers are carpenters. So he must have been alluding to Beaver Creek hahahe.

He likes to sit in a graveyard ghost village.

Forrest says there are three dimensional figures on the chest. I believe they could represent his three favorite women. He wrote “no saint could match her faith”, but actually the Virgin Mary did match her faith 😜. The Candy Ann team saved his life same as Mary did for mankind by obeying God and doing just.

So there is my solve. There are many more references to ladies and the Virgin Mary, I could go on and on.

As my family explored the area we crossed the river and left no stone or log unturned. Following the Madison we soon realized the water is so swift in there that we didn’t think he could possibly carry forty pounds across. It’s just to dangerous…not just for Forrest but also for anyone trying to follow in his footsteps. Clearly, my solve was a bust.

Before we left the Madison, Alvin came to tell us bye. He thought we were all quite the show.

Just as we are leaving the dam area we see a moose being born…what are the odds on that?

That was an incredibly memorable moment for Dylan. We’ve made many trips to this area and have always come back home without the cheat, but we never leave Montana depressed.  Every moment being in the mountains is better than any amount of money.

Now back with my nose to the grinding stone.

Diggin Gypsy-

 

Snakes Galore…

SUBMITTED JUNE 2015
DIGGIN GYPSY

 

I’ve searched around thirty times I’ve run into all sorts of animals in Montana. But this time was  where I became a little meek ok a lot meek . I start my day by eating at the campfire lodge with my sister.  We always sit at the table by the wall so we can see the osprey dive for the fish    Showing the fly fisherman how it’s done .

After breakfast we head to the mountains. My sister made a pole with rebar on the end to poke in the ground and the cracks in rocks.

We looked in every pokey juniper bush and around every sappy pine full of pollen and shuffled thru every sage bush scaring all the birds. One bird looked at me and raised his feathers at me like you can’t see me now haha.  By the third day we started searching the rocks.

This is why I think Forrest said it will take an Indiana Jones type. Snakes were everywhere. Not just one but everywhere we searched around rocks they were glaring at us like come on its no place for the meek. The more my sister poked around the more they slithered toward me. We were on a rock cliff over looking the water.  We are climbing in the hole mechetti and pokey pole in hand.
“Hand me a flashlight.” Melani says, “I found something.”
I said “What?”
She pulls out a white urn…

photo 1

Yep we found Doc. I think he beat Forrest to his special place. Then we tried to put doc back after we apologize to him and explain why we’re in his hidey hole. Right as we try to stash him back in there out slithers a snake then another snake and another snake. Holy mackerel we stirred up a snake nest. Mel says “Run Marti!”
I can’t, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place holding doc in my hand.

photo 3

photo 2

 

All of a sudden I felt all my strength leave me. Poor ole doc rolled down the hill as I layed him down because I had to grab onto sage brush to get back up on the hill. Melani grabbed Doc in one hand and the mâchétti in the other. She is definitely more flexible than me.

 

 

The snakes were glareing at us to give Doc back so when we got to the top of the hill we had to roll doc slowly down to a crevice close to where he used to rest. I like to think we saved him from snakes and now he is in a better place 🙂 . We felt like heroes. The rest of the day we encountered more snakes.

photo 4

I don’t think I like looking in June.  Snakes were sunbathing on every rock and under rotted tree stumps.

The moral of my story is animals rule the state of Montana. Searchers beware! Definitely no place for the meek or weak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagination Runs Wild…

Submitted May 2014

by DIGGIN GYPSY

Warm waters halt = Hebgan Lake
Take it in the canyon down = Canyon below the dam
Not far but too far to walk = Drive
Put in below home of brown = Hebgan lil side road to the ghost village u park
From there it’s no place for the meek because it’s a ghost village

photo 5

So we get out of the truck and start hiking  till our end is ever drawing nigh, looking for heavy loads and water high. I assume this means the log jams at beaver creek.

There will be no paddle up your creek telling us don’t go that way so we search for a blaze.

f

We found a blazing “F” on an Aspen tree.  We looked quickly down and saw nothing but our feet and the river.

photo 4

We move on to then find this cool horse shoe beer can 🙂
I was thinking, “Dang! my lucky day”. Next day we come back to the same spot and looked even harder. We left no rock unturned and no bush or goose undisturbed.

The Australian cameraman Nick was with us that day when two huge moose starting charging at us.
Now we had just had a group talk about bears. “(ok) if we see a bear no one run”.  Me and Libbi saw them moose and thought well hell it ain’t a bear, Runnnnn anyway. Poor Aussie Nick left standing there with camera and tripod lol. Thank god the moose ran up hill.

So then I take pics of everything I find on the ground. I found a glove a really nice one. Then Charissa found the other one after I thru mine back down.

001

We walked a lil further and found a ole red car fan or boat motor stuck in the ground by a log. I wanted to shove it in my back pack but we were being filmed :-).  So all the hiking and filming ended.

The day we were to go home I looked at the book. “Dang!!” I shouted to my sisters and Libbi Dibbi. “We found it haha.”

photo 2

I was looking at the pic of that page in the book that has the initials JF under it. I saw them propellers look just like the fan to me, and over JF was a three blade emblem. That’s the only pic in the book that I found that had initials. I figured it meant “just Forrest“.

photo 3

Seemed to me Forrest made it a scavenger hunt. After you find the blaze then imagination comes into play. Remember he said all you need is a flashlight and a sandwich I figured because the rest of the stuff is laying around out there. We’ll that was my thought anyway .

We’ll no treasure around the fan blade or the “F” lol.  But it sure was a heck of a good ending to my treasure hunt in Montana.

-Diggin Gypsy