Little Treasures…

drizzle01

JUNE 2016
by dal…

 

 

It’s a magical, mystical, damp world outside my cabin today.

Perhaps the Pacific Northwest has as many words for rain as the Inuit are said to have for snow. Drizzle for a day in June is a welcome and hopeful event. A drizzle is not so bad that you can’t work or play outdoors, yet the effect is to enrich the emerald landscape, replenish island wells and uplift the dried out spirits of parched, mossy-backed Lummi Islanders. A 24 hour drizzle is a very good thing indeed.

So while outside we have what the Scots might call a hagger, inside my cabin we have an alder fire to stave off the chill and I am content to think near it, review the photos from my last search and conjur up the “little treasures” I discovered in Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico as I traveled first Southeast to Fennboree and after, North to my Home of Brown in Montana, and then West to Lummi Island. Another 3,458 miles under Esmerelda’s belt. All her wheels stayed on this entire trip.

meetngreet01

The highlight of the trip, of course, was seeing Forrest at Fennboree. He was in good spirits and appeared to be having a fine time meeting searchers, signing T-shirts and telling stories.

clement

My first wildflower sighting at Fennboree was in my campsite at Black Canyon Campground. These wild, native Rock Clematis were spiraling up the pine trees forming a lovely, pale orchid backdrop for my hot dog dinner.

The Monday after Fennboree I met with Forrest and recorded a couple of new stories on video to post on this blog. I have not edited them yet but let me just say that I think Forrest’s character really shines in the latest stories about roughing it all summer up on Hebgen Lake as a teenager. You’ll love his recipe for mud-baked trout over a campfire. He also talks about starting out in the art business when he emerged from the Air Force in 1970….and a bonus piece, based on a question suggested at Fennboree about the origin of Forrest’s belt buckle. He’s been wearing the same beautiful, multi-colored turquoise buckle for decades and he took the time to tell us about it…

buckle

For me the best two times of the year to walk around in the Rocky Mountains are Spring and Fall. Both seasons come and go quite quickly at higher elevations. Basically, spring for me is the week just before kids are let out of school and immediately prior to the long lines starting up at all the National Parks. It’s a special time of green meadows fragrant with the new growth of herbs and wildflowers, and the forest edges delicious with the aroma of new pine and the rush of ice cold creeks heading somewhere in a big hurry. Fall happens the week the kids head back to school. The meadows in Fall are filled with gooseberries and huckleberries. The bears like this time of year too. The autumn colors are a splendid visual miracle and the cold nights return to make sleeping in the outdoors a pleasure again. Two times of year…two sensory overloads.

As I headed north from Santa Fe spring was noisy all around…beckoning, luring, inviting me to stop and smell the fresh scented air and feel the clean mountain breeze against my face. I am in a hurry to test out my new theories but I can’t resist stopping for a few hours each day to wander in the open meadows and photograph wildflowers. It’s one of my small joys. I can’t explain the pull…I just love it.

larkspur

Purple Larkspur on the rim of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

sage

A sage steppe vista like this never tires my eyes. There are wildflowers and critters gallumping all through this place.

sunlower2

This little Sunflower seems to dominate its immediate neighborhood and yell “Here I Am!”.

My destination was a new HOB in Montana to see if I could  “put-in” there and discover the next clue. As many of you know, my starting point is inside Yellowstone National Park but as I follow the clues I am led outside the park into the Gallatin National Forest. This is my destination. My newly discovered home of Brown….the next step in solving the poem for me. A long way from a final solution but it’s taken me five years to get to this point. I’ve tried several other hoB places before this one. So far they have not panned out. I am hoping this one does.

paintbrush

Below my hoB and looking for the optimum “put-in” in the Gallatin National Forrest. The wildflower in front is a clump of Orange Indian Paintbrush. There are several varieties of Paintbrush that occur in various colors from deep red to pale yellow throughout the Gallatin region right up to 11,000 feet in elevation.

A close-up of the Paintbrush.

cu_paint

slick

This is my first travel up a little creek I can’t paddle. The creek ends here. It’s certainly interesting with thousands of minnows bashing around when they see my shadow in their home, but not the place I would expect Forrest to want to spend eternity.

I wonder what this place looked like a thousand years ago. Was it a protected area where traveling Indians might have set up camp? Before I leave, I spend a few hours on my hands and knees looking for “little treasures”. I don’t find any arrowheads but I find plenty of wildflowers.

star

This Star Flowered Solomon Seal was growing in the moist soil near the edge of the pond.

onion01

There may be a dozen or more onions that grow in the west. This one is called Shortstyle Onion and is common throughout the area. Yes, it is edible; ask any Jellystone bear. They are quite adept at digging them up.

grape

This is Oregon Grape or sometimes called Barberry growing under the darker canopy of Lodgepole Pine that dominates the Gallatin National Forrest. In a few weeks the yellow flowers will become clusters of juicy purple berries that look like grapes. They make a handsome jam…if you add enough sugar. In the fall the leaves often turn bright crimson and add splashes of Jack Frost color to the forest floor.

grape02

As I prepare to leave I walk into a patch of a few hundred Wild Strawberry plants. In a month there will be tiny red fruit all over this patch. The wild berries might be small but they are usually wallopingly tasty.

straw

Back at the river I admire the view. Maybe next time I should bring my kayak…or my fly rod. Does that look inviting or what????

river01

I’ll be back to continue my search down the river….

Maybe after I publish this Forrest will announce that someone has been within 13feet of the treasure…I know he’ll be talking about me….

dal-

 

 

Wisconsin Mike’s Survey

 

By Wisconsin Mike

First off, let me begin by thanking everyone involved with Fennboree for making this a memorable event. It was a true joy and lifetime event for me and my daughter, who was absolutely thrilled to meet and speak with Forrest.

Forrest and Christine

Nuclear Accelerator

Although we searchers participate in Blogs – Dal’s or Jenny’s or others, to share and gather useful information, human nature to socialize oft leaks in and we find the discussion trailing off the path to enlightenment, so to speak. It occurred to me that this event presented a unique opportunity for us searchers to coordinate our information and further the pursuit of Indulgence by means of a tightly focused survey. Forrest has said “I cannot imagine anyone finding the treasure without first identifying the starting point…” To wit, my focus; What are the first two clues in the poem? What follows are the results of that survey. I do hope it will help searchers and represents my ‘giving back to the community’.

Tangential Conversations - Particle Collision

Proposition:
The participants in Fennboree represent the greatest concentration of
dedicated searchers available.

Opportunity:
Fennboree presents a unique opportunity to gather statistically
significant, qualified data on deciphering the poem and locating Fenn’s Treasure –“Indulgence”.

Forrest sitting on wall Fennboree III

Twenty-Six “Fenn-atics” were interviewed:

BoomerGirl Sacha Timberwolf the First
MS Elaine WiseOne Amy Bill
ccJulie The Chase  (documentary Team from TN)
Slurs JDiggins Desertphile IronWill
Dal Wildcat DaiseyMae GoldenRetrievers
Cynthia Robert Steve MarvinCandle
Renee Julie SmartBlonde FrankA

Of the twenty-six, ALL agreed with the following facts:

  1. There are nine clues in the poem and lead to Fenn’s Treasure
  2. The clues are in consecutive order, to be followed precisely.
  3. The first two clues, consecutively, have been solved.

Each was then asked the question:
Where do you believe are the first two clues in the Poem?
Here are the results:

Survey Graph

—————————————–Clue #1———–Clue #2

As I have gone alone in there——- 54%-

And with my treasures bold,

I can keep my secret where,

And hint of riches new and old.——-3% —————-3%

{Entire first stanza} ——-=————-12%

Begin it where warm waters halt——31%—————55%

And take it in the canyon down,—————————-12%

Not far, but too far to walk.————————————3%

Put in below the home of Brown.—————————-27%

Note that it IS significant that ALL participants responded that the first
two clues were located within the first two stanzas.

Take Away: Dedicated Searchers believe…
1.  Strongly that “As I have gone alone in there” is clue #1.
2. Strongly that “Begin it where warm waters halt” is either clue #1 or clue #2.
3. A significant portion of respondents believe “Put in below the home of Brown” is also a clue. (#3?)

Using the results of the survey may help you to be “in tight focus”.

~ Wisconsin Mike

Fennboree 2016 Wrap-up

Fennboree 2016 was a giant success by any measure. Kudo’s to it’s tireless organizers, Cynthia and Sacha as well as Tom and Coreda for coming all the way from Pennsylvania to help get things set-up and tirelessly cleaning up when things were done. Tom and Iron Will for their great grilling and cooking efforts….

Entering the Saturday Fennboree area

Entering the Friday Fennboree Area

We had one area for Friday’s activities and a separate, larger area for Saturday’s activities. Folks attending came from as far away as Tasmania and as close as Santa Fe.

I wish it could have lasted longer but if that were the case we would have had to give Cynthia a one way ticket to the loony bin. Her efforts, both before the event and during, were relentless and greatly appreciated.

01

Friday night campfire

We figure there were about 80 folks there for the Friday night campfire and about 200 for the Saturday afternoon trivia game, schmoozing and evening campfire.

Friday event at Hyde Park

Friday event at Hyde Park

Forrest showed up at the Friday evening campfire and again on Saturday afternoon. He said the crowd was terrific and he told me afterword that he had a great time.

07

Forrest and Boomer Girl

08

Forrest greeting a couple of the kids who were in attendance

When Forrest arrived on Friday evening the crowd broke out in spontaneous applause and Forrest graciously removed his hat and waved it in the air in acknowledgement. As far as I know he didn’t hand out any clues but he greeted and talked with folks individually and in groups for hours. ( I did notice that Strawshadow took off early after chatting with Forrest and did not return on Saturday…did he learn something new??? )

010

Karen and Missouri Jim

There were a handful of children and plenty of us old geezers in attendance soaking up the New Mexico pine and oak landscape at about 9,000 feet. The altitude affected a couple folks and unfortunately spoiled their weekend but the grand majority operated fine in the mountains north of Santa Fe.

On Saturday Sacha had a Trivia game for the adults and a treasure hunt for the kids…

06

There were a few brand new faces like Don from Colorado and many regulars including WiseOne, Old Drum, Tim Nobody, Spallies, Strawshadow, Frank, Keri, Julie and Brandon, JDiggins, Timberwolf, Golden Retrievers, DaisyMae, SarahTulsa, Cynthia, Sacha, Bill, Canyon Down, Sandra, Carolyn, Hunch, Slurbs, Karen, Jeff, Wisconsin Mike and Christine, Amy, Renee, Katya, Melanie, Boomer Girl, Iron Will, Brooke, Seattle Sullivan, Ellen, Ming, William, Jeremy, Michael, Desertphile and many, many more. ( listing names is always dangerous because I have a horrible memory and I end up hurting people’s feelings whose names I left out )

Folks broke into small groups and couples to chat about all things Fenn as well as conversations about the best way to make smores; good hiking shoes, where to get the best maps and “family” stops while out searching.

02

03

The great Iron Will and Spallies  cook-off was a tummy filling success for me personally. I sampled plenty of Spallies Pineapple pies and more than my fair share of Iron Will’s Apple Butter pies. Who cares if there was a winner. It’s sort of like choosing which superhero is best. The important thing is that both pies were scrurmpdeleicious and if you didn’t get a chance to try both I feel very sorry for you.

Tom took 1,700 pictures while there and when he gets home he will edit that number down some and post the final selection for us. So plenty more photos are coming and I hope some personal accounts in the comments below….

Don’t forget the Essence of Fennboree Photo Contest. It is open now. You can find out more about it HERE. I have the prizes and as soon as I get home I will post them as well as a closing date for the contest.

Those who missed the Fennboree this year…Remember Fennboree 2017 is not that far away..

A good time was had by all…!!!!!!!

 

ADDENDUM:

Here are links to Tom’s photos-

The first is setting up and the small campfire at the site occupied by Coreda, Ming and I.
The second is the Friday night campfire.
The third is the Pot Luck Lunch on Saturday.
And the last one is the Pancake Breakfast on Sunday.

 

The Case for Hyde Park…

bannerhsp

MAY 2016
by dal…

 

I call it Hyde Park for short but its proper name is Hyde Memorial State Park

Many searchers feel that Forrest must have hidden Indulgence in New Mexico. There are more than a few logical reasons why this could be true. The number one argument for New Mexico appears to be that it is the State where Forrest lives, and if he were to head out from home to hide his box of goodies,  not having to travel far would make it easier for him to escape and return unnoticed. He would probably not raise a single eyebrow among those in his immediate family if he were only gone for a few hours, many advocates of the New Mexico dogma point out.

60733267

Although I was once a follower of the “New Mexico creed”, I have since moved on. But ever since Cynthia announced that Fennboree 2016 would be held in Hyde Memorial State Park, Just about 8.2 miles northeast of Santa Fe I started thinking how clever it would be for Forrest to hide his treasure in a place called Hyde Park. So, I spent a little time looking into this place.

First of all, Hyde Park is in the Sangre de Cristo range of the southeastern most extension of the Rocky Mountains. I am not the only person who believes this. The United States Geological Survey states this on their Rocky Mountain geographical description website. As does just about every other reliable organization that talks about the southern Rocky Mountains. In fact, Hyde Memorial State Park is just about 25 miles north of the absolute southern limit of the Rockies.

hspmap

The park is situated on 340 acres between 8,400ft and 9,440ft elevation.

I believe that calling Hyde State Park NORTH of Santa Fe is a stretch. It’s more East than anything…but none-the-less, when I draw an east/west line on a map through Santa Fe…Hyde Park falls well north of that line.

Okay…so we’ve got a place on public land, not far from Forrest’s home, in the Rocky Mountains, potentially north of Santa Fe and in the possible elevation range with an interesting name that could be associated with a clever hiding place…What else ya got?

I got B. T B. Hyde…

B.T.Babbitt

The park is named after Benjamin Talbot Babbitt Hyde, known as “Uncle Bennie” or “B.T.” or B. T. Hyde”. It turns out that Bennie was passionate about making sure kids had an opportunity to learn about and explore the outdoors…sound familiar?

Bennie was an original thinker and amassed a fortune by taking an ordinary product and thinking differently about how to market it…sound familiar?

10_03_000655a

Bennie’s product was soap…bar soap. He was the first to manufacture and market soap in individual bars. Babbitt’s Best Soap was a colossal hit. He was the first manufacturer to give public tours of his factories so families could appreciate the cleanliness of his plant and the pureness of his product. He was also one of the first to give away free samples. He was willing to take chances with marketing his products and it almost always paid off. His soap became such a household staple that Babbitt was touted as a marketing genius…sound familiar?

soap

Babbitt often told this story at speaking engagements:
“I met a young shoeshine boy with the name B. T. Babbitt. When I told the boy my name was also B. T. Babbitt, the surprised boy said, ‘Lawd mister, did your momma get your name off a soap box too?'”

Benjamin Talbot Babbitt Hyde and his brother Frederick E. Hyde, Jr. were amateur anthropologists…sound familiar?

Pueblo_Bonito

They financed an expedition in the winter of 1893-1894 to excavate the cliff dwelling civilization in Pueblo Bonito. In addition to the cliff dwellers, evidence of an earlier “Basketmaking” civilization was discovered beneath the canyon floor. The finds were substantial, including thousands of cylindrical pottery vases unique to this site, turquoise, flutes, baskets, and human remains…sound familiar?

There is also an intriguing connection between the Hyde brothers and Richard Weatherill’s work at Mesa Verde.

Uncle Bennie was always interested in educating children about the outdoors and when he retired in 1927 he moved to Santa Fe and started The Children’s Nature Foundation on a large ranch near Tesuque. He often lectured on snakes, poisonous and non-poisonous which he usually brought with him in a suitcase. He argued that, in fact, snakes were man’s best friend, not dogs.

Since then, the foundation has purchased and set aside hundreds of mountainside acres for public use. The 350 acre Hyde Park property was donated to the State in 1934 for the sole purpose of creating New Mexico’s first State Park. Which finally happened in 1938.

waterfall

Well…okay, but is there a blaze?

Depends… One possible blaze is a waterfall in the park on the Little Tesuque Creek that runs thru the park. But the creek is intermittent at that point and derives its flow from snowmelt. The waterfall is often missing any water to fall. But that would not be the only blaze possibility.

What about Brown and meek and etc. etc…

Well…actually, I have found some curious places in and around the park…that are very interesting…and, of course the park itself is not far, but too far to walk from an exciting location where warm waters halt.

HSP01

I am not saying that this is the place…I’m only thinking out loud that it’s a REMOTE possibility…but I’ll be snooping around and you might just want to do a little research before you show up for Fennboree 2016….

Just my opinion…of course…
No one else would have this opinion but me…

dal-