Forrest Gets Mail – 24

wi

Hello Mr Fenn,
My oldest son and I who had a rocky relationship due to his choice of wives and her inability  to let me just be a grandparent which cut off communication, began communicating with me because of your poem .

All excited with a “mom I’m obsessed by this”  we have begun communicating regularly about your poem and clues.

In a nutshell Mr Fenn, you have reunited a mother and son.  And hopefully I’ll see my grandkids soon.
I don’t anticipate a relationship with my daughter in law which is fine. Civility for the kids is my wish and we can on that.

I really need to know if the treasure has been located.
We can find other adventures now that we both know we truly love this sort of thing.  He never had any patience as a child or young man so his intentions on this I thought would be short lived. They are not.  He is really ready to go!

Being of little means and less $$, my husband and I took in three grand daughters from our middle son who was an addict. I’m not ready to burn gas from Green Bay WI,  home of the frozen tundra to follow 9 clues to anything.

Thus looking for you to be  honest and it will go no further if the chase must continue even if found for all your fans.   I’d prefer to bark up other trees is all if it has.

You already have me my treasure with getting my son back. But he still wants to find yours. I’ll follow and lead to ends of the earth for him. Just not if the end of the road on this one is a wasted trip.

Thank you for giving of yourself in a very stressful and sad point in your life. I took care of both of my parents as they took their last breaths from lung cancer. I understand the scary part and the can’t take it with you . All we leave here with is who we love and hopefully a piece of ourselves they hold onto.
God bless,
Joanie

——————————

Joanie,
As of this posting the treasure chest is still where I hid it. Good luck to you and your son. f

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook Two Hundred Five…

scrapbook

September, 2019

 

Nineteen-hundred and seventy was an interesting year for me. I retired from the Air Force after 20 years on active duty, and I met Greg Perino. 

greg perino

Greg Perino

I was an avid arrowhead collector and Mr. Perino was the American expert on lithics and associated artifacts. He wrote the best books on North American stone projectile typology.

When he said I could come to Tulsa and get his opinion on several of my Cody Complex points, I was thrilled. Greg had been Special Assistant to Thomas Gilcrease of the Gilcrease Museum, and when he died, in 1962, Greg stayed on as a curator. 

My parking spot behind the museum was tight and as I backed, the car bumper tipped over a large tin garbage can. It made a moderate racket, and its contents spilled all around the local periphery. My embarrassment was hiding behind sunglasses when Greg and I got out to clean up the mess. 

In addition to the usual paper cups, coffee grounds, and candy wrappers, were a few interesting items that had belonged to William R. Leigh (1866 – 1955), the great Western artist. There were pencils with his name stamped on the side, some of his calling cards, letterheads, and other items.

But best of all was a 3” white goat made of rubber. Greg recognized it immediately as being from the hand of Mr. Leigh. He was positive. 

He just stood there staring at the little goat. Then Greg spat a few maledictions, the definitions of which were not familiar to me. “What %$#@& tossed this model in the garbage?” His words contained a serious bite as the sound slowly tapered off and was dissipated in the wind.  

To belay his irritation I quickly muttered, “Greg, let me take this goat home and cast it in bronze. I’ll make a copy for each of your board members, one for you, and one for myself. What do you think?”

He nodded okay, and his annoyance was suddenly gone.

Back in Lubbock I quickly made a mould and prepared 10 wax copies of the goat to be cast in bronze. 

Then I ran a hose from our fireplace in the living room, through the kitchen and pantry to the garage where my melting furnace was waiting. I’d made it from a vacuum cleaner motor. That gave me ¼ psi of natural gas, which was enough pressure to melt the metal. It was so much fun that I also cast the nameplate in bronze.

The little Billy Goat needed a base so I blow-torched a piece of wood and then wire-brushed the black ashes away to get the antique finish I wanted. 

In a weak moment we sold my copy of the goat, but over time the memory of it periodically floated back into my mind.

Then this morning a lady named Lou, called me from Albuquerque. She said that her husband had died and she wanted me to help her sell his art collection. 

A couple of hours later we were unloading bronze sculptures in my driveway, about 20 in all. 

0T1A3014

Suddenly, there was my little Billy Goat. “Wow,” and my eyes thought about tearing up. Lou remembered when I sold it to her husband and how happy he was to get it. That was 49 years ago.

In the trunk of her car were 6 other bronzes I had cast and sold to her husband, including some George Dabich buffalos. After about 10 minutes of discussion we agreed on a price and I wrote her a check for the lot, including the goat. It was a lucky morning, and afterward, I thought maybe I should go play the lotto. 

Another thing Lou brought me was a pony express belt buckle. I wasn’t the artist but I remember centrifugally casting it in sterling silver.0T1A3017My logo is on the back and the date ’73. It is fun seeing some of my old memories come back home again. f

 

 

 

 

A Straight Forward Colorado Solve……

leadville train

September 2019

By Aaron R.

 

A little preface before I get into my solution.  I based my solve primarily on the poem, giving it as straight-forward a reading as I possibly could—no hidden meanings or code-type solutions.  I don’t know whether this is the correct approach, its just the only one I was smart enough to attempt.  I ended up with no Indulgence, but perhaps some of my thoughts will aid my fellow searchers.  In any event, I was able to take my first ever trip to the Rocky Mountains which was a beautiful and spiritual experience beyond my ability to put into words.  Also, I didn’t take as many pictures of the clues as I would have liked, sorry.  In any event, here it what I came up with:

“Begin it where warm waters halt”— I chose Leadville Colorado. Just above Leadville is a point where three major watersheds halt (waters). All of these watersheds eventually end up in the Gulf of Mexico (warm). There is also a major molybdenum mine at this point (riches new) and this was a popular area for gold mining during the Colorado gold rush (riches old). Also, as other searchers have noted, Leadville is the highest incorporated town in the US– 10,200 feet. There is an airstrip and a hertz rental so Forrest could have hidden the treasure in a single day if he flew himself up. Finally, Forrest said he followed the clues when he hid the treasure. Any way you drive from Leadville you will, by necessity, have followed the clues.

“And take it in the canyon down, Not far, but too far to walk.”–  For the longest time I was thinking that the canyon started right at WWWH and that you took it in the canyon not far, but too far to walk.  After reading for the 1,000th or so time, I saw a different possibility.  “Not far, but too far to walk” refers to “down”, as in the canyon itself is located some distance away from WWWH.  I choose the canyon just below Red Cliff, Colorado.  

20190830 115412

Its about 21 miles from Leadville, too far to walk, but a fairly short drive.  One feature I liked about this canyon is that a road runs along its rim—about 500 feet up from the bottom.  Plus, its easily accessible via abandoned railroad tracks.  Another bonus that I didn’t realize until I was walking the tracks is that red raspberries grow along the entire canyon, and they were ripe as I made the hike.  Perfect Snacking!

20190830 114300

“Put in below the home of Brown.”—This is one I’m really upset that I didn’t take a picture of, but I’ll show the satellite photo that attracted me to the feature:

20190903 170458

I noticed that the cliff side had a very particular shade of brown coming down from the top.  In person it is even more dramatic.  To me it appeared to be as close to a “true” brown as you can get.  I did some research and the color is emanating from an abandoned mine called the Champion mine.  The primary mineral mined from Champion was siderite.  Siderite’s primary use is as pigment for brown paint.  To me, this sounded like the mine is the “home” of “Brown”—literally the color brown.  As for the capitalization, I’m not sure.  Maybe its because he was personifying Brown by giving it a home, maybe it’s a poet’s way of saying “brown” itself—the color.  In any event, it’s the best “home of Brown” I had come across that wasn’t related to a person.

“From there it’s no place for the meek,

The end is ever drawing nigh;”–  I’m not sure if there are two clues here, or just one.  I had identified Petersen creek from satellite photos as the place I wanted to go.  I had no idea if I could get up there safely from the canyon.  Luckily, it turns out that I could.  I believe that “no place for the meek” means that its time to leave the comfortable path—in this case the railroad tracks.  Just below the Champion mine, the side of the canyon gave way and I was able to head up into the trees.  It was off to the left, but I’m not sure if nigh is a clue for turning left or not, but a left turn into the brush is what I made.

“There’ll be no paddle up your creek”–  Petersen creek drops steeply down the canyon wall.  No paddling or even wading up this creek.

“Just heavy loads and water high.”—As I made my way up towards the creek, I could hear rushing water before I even arrived.  There were several smaller waterfalls and huge boulders on either side of the creek.  

20190830 122155

The picture doesn’t do it justice.  You can barely see it, but the waterfall continues above, through the branches.  This is about 200 feet up from the railroad tracks.

At this point I was pretty jacked.  I can honestly see how people get hurt looking for the treasure given how I was acting at this spot.  All though of personal safety was out the window.  Although it wasn’t life threatening, I could have easily broken a leg scrambling over rocks and criss-crossing the stream looking for a blaze.  Full. On. Treasure Mode.

Then I saw it.  I looked up and saw this large rock looked EXACTLY like a face.  I jumped because it was so startling.  Of course, I took a picture of it, and of course the picture was nowhere on my phone when I had left the area.  Sorry.  I climbed up– not too difficult—and looked all around.  Over, under, sideways, standing on top looking down, sitting on top looking down, sitting underneath . . . and on and on.  Nothing.  

I only spent about an hour looking over the area, but it wasn’t too large of a spot.  No other signs of a blaze (maybe I’m not wise enough) and no chest.  There were remains of mining structures in the area and signs of recent rock falls.  If the chest had been hidden at this spot, there’s no way one could be comfortable that it would remain intact for 10 years, let alone 100.  Plus I couldn’t see any mountains given how narrow the canyon was.  Still, it was pretty exciting.  I felt like I found things that could have represented 8 clues, but close doesn’t count in the chase.

Maybe someone will read something here that helps them find the treasure.  As for me, I might be done.  My only goal in this was to find a spot where the treasure could be located and go on an adventure to try and find it.  Mission accomplished!  

Aaron R.

 

 

 

 

 

Below the Trout Line…

bbfmca

August 2019

By FMC

 

Title reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcMx7o2_L7I

Disclaimer: If you’ve read my previous two solves, “Going to See the Elephant” and “Crouching Flyer, Hidden Canyon”, you should know by now that this is going to be long. Get comfy.

2nd Disclaimer:  The majority of this was written in between my 2nd and 3rd BOTG in this area.  Where I have updated based on additional research during this interim, I will note so as to try and keep the evolution of the solve understandable/consistent.

“Eddie Dean blew breath into the key-hole of his memory. And this time the tumblers turned.”

– Stephen King, Wizard and Glass

How I Came to This Solve

For those that have been around the Chase for awhile, you may or may not remember my attempt to catalog and share potential specific WWWH. I had a website to submit them, but it didn’t get much traction and consisted mainly of those I culled from solves posted here on Dal’s and from my own ideas. Shortly before I gave up on it, the map looked like this:

1 Warm Waters Found Map

I also had a picture where I overlaid the TFTW map and it looked pretty sweet, IMO, but I couldn’t find that image so… sorry.

One of the last ideas I added to the list was all of the ski areas in the search area, thinking that melting snow/spring runoff halting the skiing season allowed for some poetic interpretation to WWWH, but wasn’t too far out there (like tears, blood, etc.) At the time (late 2017), I couldn’t find any ways to make the rest of the clues fit and I wrote off the idea. After my 2018 solve, which relied on “canyons” formed by the boundaries of wilderness areas, national parks, etc., I came back to the ski area idea to see if there were any fits with this new “canyon” interpretation.  One of the ski areas I looked at… was Red River Ski and Summer Area in Red River, NM.

The Red River area and in particular, the Red River Fish Hatchery as home of Brown, have been considered as potential clue solutions since the early days of the Chase. Cynthia referenced her first BOTG trip to the hatchery 4 years prior to this post from 2017: https://dalneitzel.com/2017/02/11/method_madness/

Dal looked in this area as well: https://dalneitzel.com/2013/03/23/looking-in-new-mexico/#comment-27093

The Wolf covered this area along with Taos in his book/posts and who could forget the infamous Goose Lake “photo of the Treasure Chest”: https://www.abqjournal.com/499766/man-says-he-found-then-lost-fenn-treasure.html

But my canyon down and home of Brown interpretation are different from anything online… could one of these early searchers in the area be the one “within 200 feet”?

A Few More Things on Red River, NM

Before we get into the rest of the poem, a few items (warning: possible confirmation bias) that point to Red River as a possible location. Some/most of these are not “new” revelations, but I’m not hunting down who/where they were first discussed to give credit… claim it as you see fit.

  1. 1)Red River and environs are in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. Sangre de Cristo is Spanish for “Blood of Christ” which has ties to the “My church is in the mountains and along the river bottoms…” quote.
  1. 2)Also, using the map in TFTW and the latitude lines, Red River is more directly “North” than a lot of the rest of the search area.

1a Map Lines

  1. 3)Where it’s located in the mountains, Red River is one of the two closest getaways for Texans to escape the summer heat (this was born out by my BOTG trips and confirmed by multiple people I talked to). This ties to the target audience for TTOTC per FF: “Every redneck in Texas who has lost his job, has a wife and 12 kids, a pickup truck and a sense for adventure.”
  1. 4)There’s the obvious tie of Red River to “so we laughed and drank red tea” from Tea with Olga, but just south of Red River is Black Mountain – “so we sipped black tea and nibbled on Oreos”. Two of the three colors referenced in the story tie clearly to features in this area (we’ll come to “green” shortly).

2 Black Mountain

  1. 5)Ties to “treasures bold” and “hint of riches new and old” in the names of the Chairlifts at Red River Ski Area. As you can see, we’ve also got our third tea color.

3 Chairlifts

I would argue that gold, silver, and copper would be “riches old” while platinum, which, while discovered long ago, only recently became a popular option for jewelry (source: https://eragem.com/news/the-history-of-platinum-jewelry/) would be “riches new”.

  1. 6)The Ski Area in general as WWWH and the “nearly all are north of Santa Fe” comment from FF.  Obviously, most ski areas are north of Santa Fe, but there are a few that are south of Santa Fe (Sandia Peak and Ski Apache, for example).
  1. 7)This one’s admittedly a bit more tenuous, but in my last solve, I discussed the potential image hidden in the picture on page 28 of TTOTC in the story, Bessie and Me.

4 Shadowsv

And in the following, Flag Mountain (Flag) and Red River (Car/Truck) seem to match up pretty well, including the gap under the car/truck and the gap in the road just south/east of Red River. The man fishing is a less clear, but could be the end of the designated special trout waters (at the border of the Carson National Forest as per: http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/download/publications/rib/2019/fishing/2019_20-New-Mexico-Fishing-Rules-and-Info.pdf) or, though the distances don’t match up well, the popular fishing area around Eagle Nest Lake.

5 Shadows Interpreted

Post-BOTG #2/Pre-BOTG #3 Interim Update #1

In looking more closely at the New Mexico Fishing Rules linked above, and the “Warm Waters” section more specifically, I noticed the Red River City Ponds listed, with one of the ponds “open only to anglers 12 years of age and younger and anglers/individuals with disabilities” which has some ties to the FF quote “I think kids have an advantage”.  Looking at the map, the city ponds are located right next to the Ski Area and the start of the Pioneer Creek Trail.

5a RR City Ponds

It’s possible that these city ponds are WWWH (people stop to fish in the warm water ponds) and the rest of the solve proceeds from here instead of the Ski Area.  Assuming the same general warm water definition (ponds, lakes, etc.) it would still hold true for the “nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe” comment.

Begin It Where Warm Waters Halt

With our general WWWH identified, there are various interpretations for “Begin it” and “take it in the canyon down”. These are as follows:

6 Begin It WWWH

  1. 1)“It” as the Pioneer Creek Trail down (South) from Red River Ski and Summer Area (primary focus).
  2. 2)“It” as the beginning of NM-578 (splits off from NM-38 which runs through town) and runs down (South) through the “canyon” formed by the borders of the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness (left) and the Carson National Forest (right). I will touch briefly on this route later.
  3. 3)“It” as the chase starting from Red River in a more general sense and down as lower in elevation to the West along NM-38 (I will come back to this in more detail later as an interesting backup solve).

Note: I’m sure everyone is familiar with FF’s “gut feeling” comment (link: http://mysteriouswritings.com/six-questions-with-forrest-fenn-and-the-thrill-of-the-chase-treasure-hunt-double-charmed/) from the 2018 edition of “Six Questions” and the update from June 28, 2018 where his “gut feeling is wavering” (link: http://mysteriouswritings.com/featured-question-with-forrest-fenn-and-the-thrill-of-the-chase-treasure-hunt-gut-feeling/). Potentially related to this is a partial forest closure for Carson National Forest, including the Questa district, of which this entire search area is part of. The closure was announced on June 25, 2018 and became effective on June 27, 2018 (link: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/carson/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD584852). The closures were lifted in early July and lesser restrictions (no fires of any kind) were put in place.

Post-BOTG #2/Pre-BOTG #3 Interim Update #2

After returning from BOTG#2 and after deciding I needed to make one more trip for BOTG#3, I ordered Cynthia Meachum’s book, Chasing Fenn’s Treasure, which you can read more about and order here: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Chasing-Fenns-Treasure.  I have long respected Cynthia’s efforts in the Chase and have said more than once that of all the other searchers, she’s the one I think most likely to find the chest. Her blog is well worth reading as well: http://www.chasingfennstreasure.com/.  

I referenced before her visit to the Red River Fish Hatchery in early 2017 and in Chapter 9 of her book, she details her Boston Acres/Middle Fork Lake Solve from later in the Spring of 2017 (similar to a solve area I looked at as part of my 2nd interpretation of “it”).  Towards the end of the Chapter, however, she outlines a series of connections she makes from FF Scrapbooks, Vignettes, etc. to this general area and also along Highway 38 west of Red River, all of which were made from early March 2017 to the end of April 2017, while she was looking in this area.  I’m not listing them here – buy her book if you want to see the details. She even provides a picture of her thumb tacks/tags on her map in the book.

6a Cynthia Map

Included with the permission of Cynthia Meachum.

Prior to reading her book, I couldn’t connect her Red River Hatchery post to FF’s “gut feeling” comment as the post was from early 2017 and his “gut feeling” comment was made in February of 2018.  After reading her book and the connections I touched on above, I looked at the book as the link between the two and realized it became available in December of 2017, after the 2017 search season, and just before FF made his “gut feeling” comment.  It’s entirely possible he thought someone buying the book would continue on the path that Cynthia began.

“It” as the Pioneer Creek Trail

I liked the Pioneer Creek Trail the most as it starts directly at Red River Ski and Summer Area. Even more, it starts behind Arrowhead Lodge and we all are aware of FF’s story of finding his first arrowhead and of references to arrowheads in general. Also:

7 Pioneer

If you consider the definition, it’s easy to see a hint to this Trail in “As I have gone alone in there” (unlike some other hints, I don’t think I’ve seen this interpretation anywhere). Additional hints to “Pioneer” include the story in TFTW, the world lost its darling, on Amelia Earhart, who he calls a “pioneer aviator.” If you squint a bit, the story of blotting out Philadelphia with his thumb could be a callback to Jim Lovell, who did a similar thing in blotting out the Earth with his thumb on the first (Pioneer) trip around the moon (source: https://www.newsweek.com/earth-behind-mans-thumb-96783).

Not far, but too far to walk.

Here you can see another view (looking South) of the Canyon and the distance (just under 3 miles) to the parking area at the top of the trail.

8 Canyon and TFTW

Three miles is far shorter than the typical estimate of ~10 miles for NFBTFTW, but there is an elevation gain from 8,670 feet to 10,020 feet.

Disclaimer: This is a 4WD off-road trail, though not an overly technical one. I did it with no off-roading experience twice in a Jeep and once in a large 4WD Dodge Ram (though all were stock rentals) and wouldn’t attempt it in anything smaller/less suited to this type of trail. I’m not going to get into the definition of “sedan” and whether or not this trail is excluded based on that comment. I will note that, based on Youtube videos of people going on this trail from years back and compared with my experience, the trail has deteriorated a fair amount since 2010.

Note: While it’s a hiking/off-road trail in the summer, it is also a snow-mobile trail in the winter which potentially speaks to the “probably retrieve it in any weather” quote from FF.

Put in below the home of Brown

I touched on the Fish Hatchery as a popular early HOB. For reference, in the following image, the Fish Hatchery is on the far left side, Red River is on the far right side, and Pioneer Creek Trail is marked in red:

9 Hatchery Latitude

How do we get below the Fish Hatchery along the Pioneer Creek Trail? Well, we’ve already started the process above, by looking at the big picture. 

The links between the latitude at the Fish Hatchery (36 degrees, 41 minutes, 0 seconds North) and FF’s father selling his ‘36 Chevy for a ‘41 Plymouth have been noted many times, but I like the clarity of Del Shannon in his piece (link: http://mysteriouswritings.com/where-warm-waters-halt-in-the-thrill-of-the-chase-treasure-hunt-by-del-shannon/):

“One evening, while re-reading the In Love With Yellowstone chapter I stopped after Forrest described his dismay after his father sold the families 36 Chevy for a 41 Plymouth. Why on earth was this such an important part of his life? And why didnt he use the numbers 19in front of these dates. Every other reference to a year in The Thrill of the Chase uses all four digits 1926 for example, the year his parents were married.

Forrests attempt at alarm over this car sale seemed insincere. After chewing on 36 and 41, which were details that seemed misplaced, and while using Google Earth to snoop around the Questa area, I noticed the latitude in the lower right hand corner. If I hovered the little electronic hand directly over the center of the village and it read 36 degrees, 42 minutes north. HmmmThen I moved it to the fish hatchery and it read exactly 36 degrees, 41 minutes, 0 seconds north. Holy crap!

10 Hatchery Latitude

Using a new interpretation of “below” (the word that is key?) with the Fish Hatchery’s latitude, you get this:

11 36 Degrees 41 Mins

And zoomed into the Pioneer Creek Trail, it crosses just above the “put in” – the parking lot/turnaround point near the end of the trail (circled).

12 Pioneer Creek Lat Line

Around where the latitude line crosses is also a section of the trail where the creek follows the trail and you basically drive into (alternative possible “put in”) and along the creek.

13 Jeep in Creek

It’s probably confirmation bias, but I see similarities to the cover of TFTW in the rocks/creek (it’s probably just how thousands of creeks in the search area look).

From there it’s no place for the meek

I maintain my simple interpretation of this clue – this is where we exit our vehicle and go into the wild (specifically at the parking area referenced above).

The end is ever drawing nigh

There are two possible interpretations for this line:

14 Drawing Nigh

  1. 1)Search the draw (geographical feature) on the left as you head further along the trail.
  1. 2)Continuing up the trail, you are getting closer (drawing nigh) to the end of the trail, which is gated off.

There’ll be no paddle up your creek

Obviously, there’s continuing along Pioneer Creek from the search area (both upstream and downstream as “no paddle up” could refer to the shallowness of the creek or which direction to take), but looking at a topo map of the area, there’s also a creek coming down from the draw.

15 Creeks

Just heavy loads and water high

For the Pioneer Creek route, this is easy – Pioneer Creek goes past a field of rocks dug out from when this area was mined extensively and goes up to Pioneer Lake.

16 Pioneer HLAWH

It’s less clear interpreting HLAWH up the draw’s creek.  There is the Bunker Hill Mine shown on the topo map, but “waters high” is a mystery… perhaps there’s a waterfall somewhere up the creek.  

17 Draw Creek HL

It’s also possible to interpret NPUYC and HLAWH as still being related to Pioneer Creek and the “no” being not to go that way and to go towards the “end” that’s “drawing nigh”.

200 Foot/500 Foot Searcher Test

For the “along Pioneer Creek” interpretation, I considered the 500 foot test to be anywhere along the actual trail, though most likely originating at the Parking area.  The closer 200 foot test would be if someone decided to go look at the creek or went further up the road to where the gate is.

18 PC 500 and 200

For the “searching up the draw” interpretation, the 500 foot line starts higher up the road closer to the gate. There’s a hiking trail on the other side of the ridge and the 200 foot line intersects would be for someone that went up that trail (possibly not searching).

19 Draw 500 and 200

BOTG for this Solve (Trips 1-3)

In and around the Red River area, I took 3 BOTG this past summer, and searched this area each time, approximately as follows:

20 PC BOTG

There were not too many “blazes” – this is probably the best one (from BOTG #1):

20a PC Blaze

I hoped to be done with this area after my second trip, but I was concerned on trip #1 that we (my wife and I) were above the draw and not in the draw and that we could potentially have missed something. I also considered the possibility that the gate could be the “end” that’s “drawing nigh” and that “no paddle up your creek” could be to not go further up Pioneer Creek and that a pile of rocks  on the east end of the parking area could be the blaze.  I would then apply my “look quickly down” interpretation of “quickly” = one second (of latitude), which is approximately 100 feet (for this location). “Down” could either be south or lower in elevation.

Once I got to the parking area on BOTG#3, I knew my memory of the rock pile had fooled me and that it was not the Blaze.  I searched up the draw again as outlined above, but did not look perpendicular to the rock pile.

End poem interpretation where “It” is the Pioneer Creek Trail

“It” as the beginning of NM-578 (#2)

6 Begin It WWWH

NM-578 starts towards the Southeast end of town and winds down through the Valley of the Pines.  There were three main areas I was interested in using this “it” – Goose Creek Trail (note: the hiking trail, not the off-road trail), the Middle Fork Lake Trail/Bull of the Woods Creek, and Sawmill Creek off of the East Fork Red River Trail.

These were less developed solves with more tenuous interpretations so I’m going to go over them a bit more briefly…

Goose Creek Hiking Trail

This used the same HOB methodology, with the latitude of the Fish Hatchery.  The Goose Creek Trailhead and parking area are the first “put in” below that latitude.

21 Goose Creek Overview

The trail crosses the creek in multiple places without any bridges (“worth the cold”) and the creek is shallow (“no paddle”).  It leads to Goose Lake (“waters high”) and is in the general direction of Gold Hill (“heavy loads”?)  On BOTG #1, I searched up the closest (“nigh”) draw and planned to search up the first draw with a mapped creek on the left side of the Goose Creek (“drawing nigh”) on BOTG #3, but I ran out of time (and also no longer thought it a likely hiding place for the chest).

22 Goose Creek BOTG

Note: There is a bridge that crosses Red River from the Goose Creek parking area to the actual trail that is Private Property. Historically, the land owner had granted hikers use of the bridge, but the property was sold in 2018, and while the new owners initially did the same, something changed in early 2019 that made them stop granting that access (Ranger theory was that there was some kind of altercation with a hiker).  Accordingly, the owners put up a sign that the bridge was Private Property and to contact the Questa Ranger District, effectively making the trail legally inaccessible (barring a sketchy water crossing of the Red River).  The Ranger District plans to get a legal right of way for the bridge based on historical use or build a new bridge further upstream, but the timing of either of those events is unknown.

Post BOTG#3 Note: The sign has since been removed.

Goose Creek Jeep Trail

Though it didn’t work for my HOB interpretation as the entrance is north of the fish hatchery’s latitude, I did consider this trail briefly, primarily because of the Goose Lake “photo” and, per the reporter who wrote the story, FF’s insistence that there wasn’t anything to it (which seemed out of character for him).  While  I never searched up this trail, this spot seemed the most likely, though it was approximately 1.6 miles up the trail (and with 1,000 feet of elevation gain) and I questioned whether it was further than FF would have gone.

22a Goose Creek Jeep

While this is technically a Jeep trail, I wouldn’t recommend going up it for safety reasons (see Travel Tips for Red River #3 at the end of this write-up).

Middle Fork Lake Trail

I tried to search this trail on BOTG #1, but it was still snowed in so I went on BOTG #2. HOB for this interpretation was Beaver Ponds (where marked below) on a map (that I can’t seem to find again). “Waters high” would be Middle Fork Lake.  I considered Bull of the Woods Creek as a potential “blaze” and wanted to get over to the base of it, but I couldn’t find an acceptable way across the river (and didn’t worry too much about it – if Doug Scott couldn’t get there, it probably can’t be done: http://www.dougscottart.com/hobbies/waterfalls/bullwoods.htm).

23 MFL Overview

I also went along the Elizabethtown Ditch for awhile.  Found a blaze or two and some tarry scant and even some marvel gazes, but no treasure.

24 MFL Collage

East Fork Red River/Sawmill Creek

This trail starts east of the Middle Fork Lake Trail with a lot of the same interpretations…  Creek in a draw going to the left, waterfall as “HLAWH” (source: http://www.dougscottart.com/hobbies/waterfalls/sawmill.htm), plus sawmill links to “in the wood.”  For my BOTG trip here, I misread where the actual falls were so I actually went past them without seeing them. I trust that since Dal was here, it’s been well-searched.

25 Sawmill Creek

End poem interpretation where “It” is the Beginning of NM-578

“It” as the Chase and “down” being in elevation along NM-38 to the West (#3)

26 NM38 West Overview

This interpretation started with the Columbine Creek Trail as an emergency backup for BOTG #2 using primarily the Fish Hatchery latitude idea for “below the home of Brown” and not much else in the way of solved clues once heading down the trail (this was born out by my hiking along it for awhile and not finding much else of note…)  I also wanted to re-check The Wolf’s foray up into Bear Canyon as he posted some interesting pictures and I just wanted to poke around/confirm he didn’t miss anything (details of his trips can be found on Chase Chat or by using the WayBack Machine or you can buy his book). As I understand it from his writing, he crossed via a fallen tree approximately across from Bear Canyon and then searched up into the canyon. 

27 The Wolf BC

I forget exactly how he came to this point, but I think I re-interpreted it as Bear Canyon being “home of Brown” with the canyon (on the left coming from Red River) as “drawing nigh”, the power lines as “heavy loads”, and the creek/waterfalls he found as “waters high”.  It wouldn’t matter, however, as I couldn’t find an acceptable way across the Red River.  This was the best option and even in the Dodge Ram, I wasn’t the least bit interested:

28 Hard Pass

Put in below the home of Brown

While I distinctly remember having this thought about FF’s potential playfulness while looking at Columbine Creek ahead of BOTG #2, I didn’t consider it a real possibility until after re-looking at the map ahead of BOTG #3…

Could the Chevron Moly Mine be “home of Brown”?

FF did say in an interview once that “you’re gonna have to solve the riddle that’s in my poem.” (Source: www.tarryscant.com; https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/isaac-cole/on-the-road-with-charlie/e/50089487)

Could this be a play on another popular “home of Brown” choice – the Molly Brown house in Denver (or associated Molly Brown-related places)?  I wouldn’t put it past FF to have it be just that.

It’s been pointed out before, but there are also possible hints to the Moly mine in the image of the Man with the Axe and Cutdown Trees on page 146 of TTOTC as there are no trees on the mine.

28a Moly Mine

With the connection (the Moly Mine as HOB) better established in my mind, I looked again at the area, and the road crossing the Red River from the image above (the closest “official” crossing) is just past (and below/lower in elevation) the entrance to the Moly Mine and is 8.8 miles from Red River (closer to the generally accepted TFTW distance of ~10 miles).

29 River Crossing Overview

30 8 8 Miles

Crossing the river, there are a number of possible clue interpretations, primarily with Bear Canyon as “no place for the meek” both in the not being afraid sense (bears) and also not being quiet (making noise to alert bears to your presence).  There is a small creek that goes up Bear Canyon (“no paddle up your creek”) as well as fallen boulders and waterfalls (“heavy loads and water high”) as identified by The Wolf.

However, there are also draws to the left (south/southeast of the “put in”) and on the left side of the river as you go towards Bear Canyon and Red River itself could potentially be “your creek” and there exist then the same “no paddle up” possibilities for the river being too swift to paddle against or meaning to go downstream.  There are power lines and rock piles/rocky outcroppings (“heavy loads”) all along this side of the river and a creek back towards Red River as potential “waters high”.

31 Options

And the 500 Foot/200 Foot quotes are only marginal help as the road and/or Red River (people fishing) provides cover for people being within 500 feet, while The Wolf’s search up Bear Canyon and searchers potentially staying at Goat Hill Campground/fishing the Red River south of the campground provide explanations for potential 200 footers. (Personally, I thought something up Bear Canyon was more likely.)

32 BC 500 and 200

BOTG #3 to Bear Canyon

In late August, the Red River flowrate was approximately half of what it was for BOTG #2 and I was able to cross without any difficulty.

33 Lower Water

I found the creek and proceeded up Bear Canyon along a trail (I couldn’t tell for sure if it was a human trail or a game trail):

34 Trail

And soon found The Wolf’s spot (and the Iron Bar from his adventure):

35 Iron Bar

(If that’s actually a piece of an old Spanish sword or something, well, you know where to find it…)

I continued up past the waterfalls and soon noticed that, despite going up the only possible canyon, the sound of running water had diminished and eventually disappeared.  As I’d previously considered a natural spring/something with water tables to be the reason behind the FF quote “physics tells me the treasure is wet,” I made a mental note to investigate further on my way back down.

A little further on, I came to a large rock with an overhang/gap on one side. Inside, the gap was filled with sticks (“in the wood”) and dead grass, which, as the gap was well above the creek and on the downside of the rock, seemed unlikely. 

36 Sticks in Gap

I cleared out the sticks and debris, but found no chest.

Continuing up the canyon, I happened to look up and see this:

37 Rock W

I’ve too young to have seen It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, but I’m aware of the “Palm Tree W” from the movie.  Could this be a “Rock W” and be the Blaze?  Given the angle, it’s certainly something that you couldn’t see from Google Earth (FF: “Google Earth cannot help with the last clue”).  I also estimated that it was approximately 200 feet from the trail I was on to the base of the cliff below the “W” – could that be why someone was able to get within 200 feet?

I hiked over/up to the base of the cliff, though I did notice there was still a faint trail to follow.  At the base of the cliff was an overhang with a decent enough view, some blackened (“tarry”) rocks, and some fragrant pine trees.

38 Decent View

But I soon noticed something else… the presence of climbers…

39 Climbers

Okay, I thought to myself, maybe the Climbers were the ones who were within 200 feet.  So I continued along base of the cliff, looking around larger rocks and at the base of pine trees.  I noticed a weirdly colored rock uphill a bit and went to check it out.  It was just a rock, but a little bit beyond that rock was a mine entrance, and in that mine entrance was a plastic bin with rocks on top of it.

40 Bin

 I doubted the treasure chest was inside, but maybe some gold from the mine? Something else interesting (and valuable)?  Not really… it was just climbing equipment that the climbers didn’t want to carry back and forth every time they came to climb.

I looked further around and saw more climbing equipment (carabiners and rock bolts) in the cliff face of the only other way to go and decided to head back.

I went further up the main trail a little bit, before deciding that I’d gone further than FF could have done to hide the treasure twice in an afternoon.  I regret not going a bit further as I think my side trips could have impacted my tiredness estimate relative to FF who would have known right where he was going.  One way, I estimate I hiked a little less than a mile with approximately 500 feet of elevation gain so there’s some potential still for anyone that wants to check further up into Bear Canyon.

On my way back down, I did locate the expected spring, which was just above the 2nd, approximately 3-4 foot, waterfall.  

41 Spring

I considered finding the spring possibly being related to “if you’ve been wise” with that waterfall as the Blaze, but couldn’t find a way to get to the area just below the waterfall.  I did look all around and below the spring itself, but didn’t find anything.

I did also search the dry creek/area southeast of the “Put in” and found a few potential “blazes” but not much else. This area seems like it gets more campers/visitors/high school kids drinking.  Exhausting that area, I called it quits and headed back to town for a beer.

Travel Tips for Red River

Should you find yourself in the area (hunting for the chest or otherwise), a few tips.

  1. 1)The bar at the Red River Lodge has some excellent musicians playing live music most nights from 6-9 (at least during the summer). I also splurged on a steak here one night and it was excellent.
  1. 2)Explore around for dinner as you like, but until you get tired of eating there, I’ll recommend the Major Bean Sandwich and Coffee Co. for breakfast and lunch. 
  1. 3)Unless you’re a very experienced off-roader, don’t go anywhere near the Goose Lake Off-Road trail.  Trail repair in the last several years has faced some serious budget constraints and it is currently unsafe (based on my research).  If you look for them, there are articles outlining approximately 1 death/year on this trail (from vehicles sliding off the road down steep embankments). A lot of the Jeep/off-road rental places in town don’t let you take their equipment on this trail at all.

Conclusion

After eight BOTG trips, zero injuries, and zero bears seen, I’m going to call my TTOTC a success, despite not finding the treasure.  Never say never, but I expect this to be my last solve attempt.  Frankly, I’m out of new ideas.  But in sharing my solves, maybe someone will use some of my ideas in their own solve (I have not applied my “latitude of Red River Fish Hatchery” and interpretation of “below” to the Lamar Ranger Station) or build upon my ideas with their own additions.

Good luck to everyone and please find it (closure would be nice) and thanks to Forrest for creating the Chase. I’ve had some good trips with family, some solid adventures, and a healthy dose of nature and I’m glad for the time I’ve spent in the Chase.

Cheers.

-FMC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Page XVII…

green

The chase certainly has inspired some great poetry…

Here is page xiv for poetry about the chase, Forrest or any other Thrill of the Chase related topic. I am hoping poets will create new poetry and place it on this page.

If you would like to peruse the  verse on the first page of poetry click HERE.

Second page is HERE

Third page is HERE

Fourth page is HERE

Fifth Page is HERE

Sixth Page is HERE

Seventh Page is HERE

Eighth Page is HERE

Ninth Page is HERE

Tenth Page is HERE

Eleventh Page is HERE

Twelfth Page is HERE

Thirteenth Page is HERE

Fourteenth Page is HERE

Fifteenth Page is HERE

Sixteenth Page is HERE

Thanks

dal…

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Six Square Feet…

August 2019

By Coach Doug

 

What if BIWWWH is the first 3 clues ?

This solve gives you a search area of about 6 square feet, 500 feet from the nearest human trail and just under 4000 feet from the nearest parking lot. 2 trips is 16,000 feet, just over 3 miles, not too far to walk in an afternoon.
Waters is plural in the poem, but if we use it singular twice, Waters becomes the word that is key and the solve comes together.

Begin It where Warm Water -> Water Halt

IT – Forrest is a bit of pirate(April 27, 2015 – KOAT ; Tarryscant ID #9117) FF: “Oh sure, Sure. I would have been a great pirate.” . This is a Treasure Hunt. Start putting an X on a map. You need a good ‘pirates treasure’ map.

Ok, Forrest, but Where? From Warm Water to Water Halt. (FF says in Scrapbook 179 – “Imagination isn’t a technique, it’s a key”, and Imagery has the same root) So using imagery, Warm here is warm colors Red, Orange & Yellow of the Grand Prismatic to Water Halt at the mouth of the Sentinel (a sentinel says “halt who goes there”) Creek into Firehole River. When you do that on Google Earth you get this (which I did on April 13th):

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Which looks a lot like:

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From Forrest around May 1st.
Let Confirmation Bias take hold.
And then what if Canyon has Valley as a synonym and Valley has Basin as a synonym and what if Lower is a synonym of Down. Suddenly, we simply take IT (our X on our map) in the Lower Basin.
But where?

Well, what if the HOB is as easy as the Nez Peirce Creek where Brown Trout were first introduced to Yellowstone in 1889 and the “Put In” means park your car and start walking at the parking lot for Fountain Flats just south of the mouth of the Nez Peirce. But walking where?

The Poem tells us THE END is ever drawing nigh, and Fairy Tales end with Happily ever after NOT The End . A child could have helped with this. It is literally THE END that is ever drawing nigh. So we are looking to the Fairy Creek Area in the Lower Basin. Fairy Creek is quite small and would not require a paddle.

But Forrest, we still need the second line of the X on our map.

Then, what if Heavy Loads were Freight Road and Water High is Fairy Falls (the highest water fall in the Lower Basin). Bikes can be ridden on Freight Rd, but not all the way to Fairy Falls, (FF said 10/2/2012 Forrest Gets Mail ) “…What is wrong with me just riding my bike out there and throwing it in the “water high” when I am through with it?” It should be pointed out that the trail head marker here says bikes and hikers ONLY. It also is not possible to ride your bike all the way to Fairy Falls. By omission horseback riding is not allow. So No Place for the Meek(tame horses) would apply as they are not allowed. There is also bike parking area on Freight Road past which you can only hike, you can’t ride your bike to “waters high”.

Connect those dots on the map and we suddenly have an X on our Google Earth map.

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ZOOM in and just to the North and West of the X on the map, just south of the bend in Fairy Creek, you will see the Blaze. 2 trees on the banks of fairy creek lined up nearly parallel to the lines on the map

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What’s that, you want a double Omega?

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Since X marks the spot, this would be the primary target you need to look quickly down….under.

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BOTG August 10, 2019.

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What a disappointed with the amount of decomposition of the blaze. The log is only roughly 6 inches in diameter and the cross sections 2-3 inches. The bigger log is broken in 2 pieces. Of course I hand dug in the center and under the roots (quickly down the tree), but to no avail. The trees are too small to contain the chest in a hollow section.

Tarryscant ID# 2698 5/8/2015 FF “ If I were standing where the treasure chest is, I’d see tress, I’d see mountains, I’d see animaIs, I’d smell the wonderful smells of pine needles or pinion nuts, sagebrush”

Mountains, there is sage everywhere, pine trees, ample bison dung as well.
Did I mention that power and phone lines cross Fairy Creek here as well. Tarryscant ID 5176 2/9/2017 FF “ The treasure is out there waiting for the person who can make all the lines cross in the right spot”

Coach Doug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can Solving Rubik’s Cube Help Us?

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AUGUST 2019
by dal

 

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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