Could it be Here?…Part II

JULY 2014
by germanguy


Hello Treasure Hunters. I have an update on my current search:

Well as you all know by now, the search based on my solution, which was undertaken by my then partner Michael D., wasn’t successful. However, because I felt and still feel very strongly about the area, I partnered with someone new who lives only 15 minutes from the area. She goes by the nick ‘dallasholmes’, which in reality is her real name. She became a new member to Dal’s blog in the beginning of July. When I discovered she was from the area, I contacted her and she agreed to partner with me in finding Fenn’s chest.

Dallas is a tremendously dedicated person. She’s a librarian at the Naturita Library in Naturita, Colorado, where she offers free story telling to small children. In addition, she is Director Of Development at West End Economic Development Corporation, owner of Cup Cake Designs and actively involved in a number of community organizations. One of her most important goals, is to see her area get the historical recognition that it deserves. Finding the treasure here, will do exactly that.

We started out returning to the spot in which Michael D. was unsucessful. She and I agreed that a more thorough search was warranted. The results were disappointing and we finally put that spot behind us. In the meantime, I continued looking at other promising spots that would work as well. My new spot turns out to be better fit than the original one. It required just a different understanding in Fenn’s use of certain words. I will tell you this though, he did choose his words carefully.

Because of certain conditions, Dallas was unable to get into the area of our new spot. Being as busy as she is, it is taking longer than we had hoped. Hopefully, she will be able to get there before bad weather hits. For now it is a waiting game. Soon though, we hope to be able to say the chest has been found. Wish us luck. I am posting some of the pictures Dallas has sent me.

click on a photo to see it larger









flume run 085flume run 088



A Miracle in the Desert…

BY germanguy


The search I’m about to share (a search from September of last year), was one I had previously posted elsewhere for a brief period (about less than a week, due to an issue with the server) of time. I am releasing it now, because many people have not had a chance to read it and since I am removing myself from further searches, I felt it may give others some useful ideas. In addition, I will also reveal the actual ‘solution’ which I did not reveal in the original posting.

On September 1st, 2013 my wife and I started out from Jensen, Utah, where we had stayed the night before, to the location of where we felt the treasure trove was.

We had traveled over a thousand miles to get here and our hopes were high and the adrenaline was flowing when we made the first turn down a road that would lead us to where we would be taking the rest of the trek on foot.

The drive over the road we took was slow. The center was laden with low growing sagebrush about 6 to 8 inches high. Just high enough to hear the constant brushing up against the under carriage of the car. I remember telling my wife that we should rent a Jeep for this venture the night before, but she was certain we wouldn’t need it. Besides, she suggested that if need be, we could go back to town and get one if it was rough going. Needless to say, we traveled on. It was a short drive down this road, with the occasional prairie dog darting back and forth in front of us. The road would take us to where we would park the car.


Upon arrival, we were greeted by a small herd of mule deer (approx. 10 to 15) that were taking off to our east. I read somewhere that there was a large herd of about 500 that roamed this area. Also, that there were a number of other predatory animals that we would have to keep an eye out for, such as badgers, snakes, coyotes and others. I figured that as long as we were careful where we stepped and made enough noise while traveling to our final destination, we would be okay.

We got out and packing a back pack of bottled water, took one more look at the GPS and knew that we were about a mile away from the location.

We started walking east from our car along an old road, similar to the one we came in on, but with much taller sagebrush plants (this road hadn’t been used for quite a while).


It was a very hot day and we knew that we couldn’t spend much time in this sun, so we moved with determination down this road , looking for the side trail that would lead us to our final destination.

We traveled for some time and realized that we were not finding the side trail we were looking for, and decided that it would be a smarter move to bring the laptop with GPS to locate the trail. Mind you, this was either more or less than a half mile we had already traveled out into this desert.

We got back to the car and plugging the GPS dongle into the laptop, reloaded the map to lead us to the trail that we were missing. We were off again down the trail, but with some difficulty. The sun was so bright that it threw a glare on the screen that made it very difficult to see the GPS tracking line. My wife held the bag that we carried the computer in behind my head in hopes of creating some shade over the screen. This wasn’t perfect, but allowed me to faintly see the course. So we continued forward, repeating the procedure as we went.

Success at last. We found the last trail and moved along it. It was an even older trail than the one we had just traveled. I felt like this is what Fenn meant when he said “it wasn’t impossible, but not easy”. I’m sure he was smarter than us in using a much smaller GPS device to go this route. Later I will come to understand the meaning behind his “Your effort will be worth the cold.”

We knew that we now had another half mile to go in this blistering heat. We stop for a bit to pour a bottle of water over our heads and body. Oh, how good it felt. We then moved on. Upon arriving at our final destination, we discovered the remains of the cabin we hoped to find.


We search for about 10 to 20 minutes, looking for a nice hideaway where Fenn would stash the chest. We moved up over another knoll, where there is some old mining equipment, left over from some earlier time. This isn’t on any government land or otherwise. It is private and in the middle of nowhere. When doing a property ownership search, I found that it is surrounded by property owned by many entities. It was perfect in every sense of the word. I firmly believe that due to its remoteness and worthlessness, Fenn could have easily purchased it for a song and a dance (if need be).

Now things start to change. I begin to feel weak, as does my wife. We had already walked over 2 miles at this point in the hot sun (when considering the return trip to the car earlier). We climbed up on a rock outcrop nearby and to rest for a bit, drinking a lot of water. In addition, we pour some over our heads again. It was blistering hot and barely a breeze was blowing.

We finally get back up and after moving about for a short while, begin to feel completely exhausted. My wife is back at the outcrop and I struggle to return there as well. We realize by now that we can’t go on with the search. We decide that we would have to hurry and get back to the car and try again tomorrow. But, it’s too late. Our legs are like over stretched rubber bands. We can’t stand up. We have been in the sun too long. It has sapped all the strength from our bodies. What do we do now? Only a mile from the car and air conditioning, and we can’t even stand up. Fear creeps in upon us.

I tell my wife to lie down, at which point I join her. The outcropping is barely enough for one of us to lie on, but somehow we manage to get close enough and fit on this small island in the middle of nowhere. The heat is unbearable, but there is nowhere else for us to seek shelter. I finally reach into the backpack and get another bottle of water and pour it over our bodies.
Time had no meaning. It seemed like forever that we laid there. Weaker and weaker, each word spoken with less and less emphasis. Our bodies slowly being drained of whatever life still remained. In a last ditch effort, I pulled the case with the laptop in it and the backpack up over our heads to block the sun. What good would it do, I thought to myself. At this point, we were saying good-bye to each other, sharing our last words.

At that moment, something strange happened. Clouds blocked out the sun that was beating down on us and a stronger breeze came across the desert. I dragged the back pack off our heads and reaching inside, pulled 2 of the last 3 bottles of water out and poured them over our bodies, returning the back pack to cover our heads. Then I told my wife to lie completely dormant, not expending any energy and pray that the breeze will cool us down.

We laid there for about 20 minutes; it seemed endless before I could feel some strength returning to my body. I asked my wife if she was feeling any better and she replied she was. I told her that we should continue laying there for a little while longer, as long as the breeze was blowing and the sun was blocked before we attempt at getting up and heading back.

We finally felt strong enough to sit up. We drank half of the last bottle of water and decided that it was now or never. So we began our trek back to the car, a mile away. It was a struggle walking, constantly stopping and bending over and putting our hands on our knees for support. We avoided sitting down because it would probably bring on dizziness when climbing back on our feet, so we avoided that.

Along the trail back, I saw evidence of animals that had recently passed over the trail we arrive on. There were 2 freshly scratched holes with droppings in them that most probably were possibly from a couple of badgers or coyotes. We continued forward.

As we moved along the trail, I would look back to see how far we had gone from the location. As the distance got greater, so did our determination to get out of there. It seemed like forever, but eventually we could see the top of the car on the horizon. That meant that we were only half a mile away. Half a mile that seemed like an eternity. With the thought of air conditioning waiting for us and additional water, we were not going to give up nor die, in this place, at this time.

We finally got back to the car. Opening the doors and dragging ourselves into the front and back seats, we collapsed and after turning the air conditioning on, counted the blessings that were bestowed upon us that day.
The lesson learned is simple. When it comes to gold, Life has the greater value, especially when you risk it for a dream.
My wife and I have definitely decided that we will not be returning to this place. Is the chest here? I honestly can’t say. We never spent enough time searching.

The Solution

“As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,î
Tells me Fenn has selected a very remote spot to hide his chest, where he wouldn’t be observed.

“I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.”
This was an interesting 2 lines. Further down towards the end I will explain this in detail.

“Begin it where warm waters halt”
The journey begins along the Continental Divide, in the White River National Forest along route 8, headed west.
We decided that given Forrest’s many years of flying; he would possibly use a pilot’s perspective in the creation of his poem.

“And take it in the canyon down”.
Route 8 is in the canyon going west towards Meeker. Following Route 8, we connect to Route 18, still headed west.
Shortly after connecting with 18, we next take Route 64 west. We surmised that since there were 6 stanzas with 4 lines, that very well was a clue for taking 64.

“Not far, but too far to walk”.
Since we are looking at this from a pilotís point of view and remembering Forrest’s story of covering up Philadelphia with his thumb, he could be speaking in relative terms with this line. From over 10,000 feet, he could very well see across the state of Colorado, into Utah.

“Put in below the home of Brown”.
Following Route 64, we enter Rangely, Colorado. At this point 64 turns going northwest, which is below Browns Park (aka Browns Hole), which is to the north. Remember, it is a distance to Browns Park, but we’re still using his pilots’ perspective.

“From there it’s no place for the meek”.
We are over high barren (with the exception of scattered oil wells and sagebrush) desert land.

“The end is ever drawing nigh”.
He’s telling us that it is both near and on the left. We are getting close to the Utah border soon, so it can’t be much further now.

“There’ll be no paddle up your creek”.
While following 64, we come across Dripping Rock Creek. Turning left onto Road 21 headed southwest. This is a seasonal creek, drys up.
We are getting close to the Utah border, so we turn onto County Road 99 going northwest before we’re out of Colorado State.

“Just heavy loads and water high”.
This area is part of the Rangely Oil Fields. The heavy loads could mean the oil that is under groud, or it could apply to the high voltage lines that feed the electrical well pumps. The “water high” would refer to the “High pressure water injector” used in the oil field.

“If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, look quickly down your quest to cease”.
Refering back to the first stanza, I note Fenn’s use of the pronouns “I” and “my”. Realizing the blaze has got to be found in the above stanzas, I uncover “me” in the word “meek”, which tells me that Fenn is the blaze (as in trail blazer). Looking down from “me”, I uncover “ni”, “cr” and “hi”. Combined with “me” and unscrambled, I have “rich mine”, which fulfills the “Look quickly…” line.

“But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.”
The “tarry scant” led me to a coal mine located in this area. It is located on the perimeter of the oil field. Its actual name is “Rich Mine”. In researching through Google, you will find all kinds of “rich mines”, but none in Colorado that is actually named the “Rich Mine”. I discovered that the USGS Mapper was a “good map” as Fenn suggested we use. Coal is “tarry” in appearance, as well as having a “glaze” to it.

“So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answer I already know,
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.”
In this stanza, he says that in the final stage of hiding the chest, he drove (tired) and that in 1 mile (I’m) done (weak). It turned out that County Road 99 is 1 mile by foot to the mine.

“So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.”
“If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.”
Doing exactly that, Listening as I read it out loud, I pick up the word “Raven”. On the border line for Colorado and Utah where I was standing, is the Raven Ridge.
Regarding “cold”, after my experience in this desert, I would recommend cooler time of year. The “wood” referenced here was more than likely the sagebrush. The Native American Indians (which Forrest is very knowledgeable about) used sagebrush in camp fires (which burned very well), ceremonies and medicinal purposes to name a few.

Now, to wrap this all up I want to refer back to the “riches new and old” from the first stanza.
In Texas, Forrest would remember the days when Coal was called “Black Gold”. Later the term “Black Gold” was used for oil. So, we have our “riches”.
Also, from the air, it reminded me of the waterfall and the French soldierís grave. That, plus Fenn had originally stated that he would go off into the desert with his chest. Iíve often wondered, being a man of his word, if he wouldnít still have done that.

rich mine-omegasHOBelevationhigh_pressure_water_pump_634595067899713422_1


Could it be Here?…

June 2014
by germanguy

Forrest Fenn said “It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible” to solve this poem. Well, I found that it was not easy to write up this solution, so that it could be understood by everyone. But I’ve always lived by “Nothing is impossible, but the word itself”, so here goes:

A note here: What I learned about Fenn’s rules regarding creation of the poem, is that there are very few or none. He tends to mix techniques. When you expect him to do one thing he changes to something else. As I go through this, you will see what I mean. I have always showed a level of confidence that to some seemed excessive, but after you are done reading this, you will finally understand why.

First stanza is a preface to the poem. It contains 1 and possibly 2 clues. The fact that he uses the words “I” and “My” later provides me with my ‘Blaze’. Secondly, “I” was used as the Roman numeral for the number 1, as in ‘One has gone alone in there’.

Second stanza was the most difficult for me to solve (as it has been for everyone), however when carefully studied, it gives an exact location. This made it easier to decipher. The “Begin it…” tells what road to travel. The ‘I’ (in the word “it”) again is switched in it’s meaning. Fenn now switches to the numeric position of the letter in the alphabet, so that gives us the 9th letter of the alphabet. Add to that ’t’ and you have ‘9t’ or simply 90. The line now reads “Begin 90” in the canyon down (south), so you know that you are driving south on 90.

The third line of this stanza, the words “Not far, but too far” is known as a paradox in the English language. In south western Colorado is a valley called Paradox Valley. The valley is surrounded by sandstone cliffs, which prevent ground water that accumulates there from escaping (Where warm waters halt). It is known as an evaporate area. The sub basin (or subsurface if you will) is composed of a deep salt bed (anticline that has collapsed). Additionally, due to the high concentration of salt in the ground water that is added to the Dolores River, a desalination plant was constructed there to remove 205,000 tons of salt a year from the river, which then flows into the Colorado River and further on enters other western states and Mexico. I recently commented about not studying the poem as single lines, but rather as complete sentences. I’m sure you can see that without the complete sentence, I would never have found WWWH. Much talk about a focus word, has been discussed on the blog. If I were to pick one, it would be “Paradox”, simply because most people would miss it. What do you think?

Following route 90 south (out of Paradox Valley), you intersect with Colorado Rte. 141 (see picture included). North on this road (approx. 45 miles) is John Brown Canyon. Thus we have our “Home of Brown”, which is located in the Gateway, Colorado area. So we’ll be turning left (put in) going north.

Third stanza has a lot of clues. “From there it’s no place for the meek” alludes to the high sandstone cliffs that make you feel insignificant or meek. Again, the numeric reference in “It’s” = 90’s. So we have “From there 90’s no place for the meek”.

“The end is ever drawing nigh” tells us that the next spot we’re looking for is on the left and close (using both definitions of ‘nigh’ doesn’t change anything).

“They’ll be no paddle up your creek”. We are traveling north at this point and so is the San Miguel River (which is on our right). In order to “paddle up your creek”, you would have to turn around, going south away from our destination. Also, the use of the word ‘creek’ is quite accurate. The river we follow, at certain times of the year is nothing more than a creek. This river is one of the last ‘free flowing’ rivers in the United States. There currently are no dams along it. However, as time would have it, I read in an article recently that there is a proposal to put in diversion dams (this news came, after Fenn hid the chest). As a nature lover and someone who doesn’t like government interference in how our natural resources are controlled, I know that this will probably come as a disappointment to him. I wondered if he might have changed his mind on this area, if he knew this.

“Just heavy loads and water high”. Even though Fenn would have picked Winter to even consider going to this spot to hide his chest (which to be honest would have been the smartest move) and for the sake of it staying put for a long, long time, he could have very well known the difficulty of Summer attempts. So, this line makes perfect sense. Winter equates to no water, no bugs and no people. Perfect. This may also have accounted for his having to make 2 trips, as he could have gone too early (due to the level of the water on the first attempt).

In this stanza, there were 2 words that when their alternate meanings were used (which I believe was intentional), gave another important and supporting clue. The words…paddle and drawing. When replaced, became row and glyph. Using ‘high’ from this stanza along with the other 2 new meanings became ‘hieroglyph’. In the location I had uncovered, there is a canyon called Hieroglyphics Canyon. Two more clues were uncovered using the ending words in each line of this stanza…Meek, nigh, creek and high. I will reveal them in the next stanza.

In the fourth stanza “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, look quickly down, your quest to cease”. I remembered that I was curious about his use of the singular pronouns “I” and “my” in the first stanza. Why use them at all, unless they were key to some other purpose further on down. After all, if anything, I saw the whole first stanza as a preface to the rest of the poem. However, after reading the aforemention 2 lines, I now understood.

I always figured that Fenn was making himself the “blaze”, as in “Trail blazer”. Well, after reading the first and second line in stanza four, it was here that I uncovered what I believed to be the purpose behind the use of “I” and “my” from the first stanza.

I think we can all agree that Forrest is quite literate, given the number of books he’s written in his lifetime. Also, I believe we all can agree that as a result of all those books, he understands the rules of the English language very well (look how he put that ‘paradox’ right under our noses). He is very clever and insightful man. What I will show you now is his cleverness.

In the English language, the singular first person pronouns are I (subject), me (object), my (possessive delimiter). Subject “I” (Fenn), Possessive “my” (chest/treasure) and finally Object “me” (Fenn). Now if “me” is an “object”, wouldn’t it fit the bill as being both Fenn and the “blaze” (as a blaze can be an object)? So what do we really have here? Well, everything but the “me”.

Now in order to find the “blaze”, we need to move on to the next line, “Look quickly down, your quest to cease”. Remember his words “You only need the poem”. He never hinted or said that we need to go out into the wilderness and look for a blaze. So, if this is true, the blaze is and always was in the poem.

Recall in the early days of the search, that one of the pictures Fenn posted, was of a tree with (as I recall) 2 “F’s” carved in it. It was then that he gave us the biggest clue. He was the blaze, as in ‘trail blazer’.

Back to the “me” issue. Every time I read these first two lines of this, the third stanza, I always asked myself “If I’m to be wise” and “look quickly down”, “I have to have already uncovered the blaze”. So here is where the “me” came in. In the previous stanza, the last word in the first line is “meek”. There in front of me (no pun intended) is “me”ek. I now have the blaze.

Now comes the beauty of this. The “look quickly down” uncovers another valuable clue. Looking down at the first 2 letters (remember ‘me’ is only 2 letters) in each of the words “meek, nigh, creek and high”, I find ‘me’, ‘ni’, ‘cr’ and ‘hi’. Unscrambled, they produce “rich mine”. Keep this in mind for its handy, further down in the poem.

Note: Forrest Fenn has stated “If the poem is followed precisely, it will lead you to the chest and the end of his rainbow”. So, even though it would be impossible to follow the poem step by step to the chest, after the poem is completely solved, it does precisely that.

The third line, “But tarry scant with marvel gaze”, is a reference to a special kind of marble that I’m sure some ‘old timers’ are familiar with. Their composition was unique and I’ll share that with you further on. You’ll understand the significance of it then.

“Just take the chest and go in peace”. Not much here, but possible use to keep rhyme scheme.

In the fifth stanza “So why is it that I must go”. This was definitely very creative on Fenn’s part. “Why” phonetically is really the letter “Y” and the “i” in the next 2 words are Roman numerals “1”. There is a road named Y11 in the area I’m going to take you to.

“And leave my trove for all to seek?” Again, just filler for purposes of the poem.

“The answer I already know,” Same use as the previous line.

“I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak. Again, another nicely done clue. We finally get confirmation of the road that we turned north on from route 90. This time we have a combination of Roman and Arabic numbers (from each of the words “I’ve done it”). “I” = Roman “1”, “d” =4th letter of alphabet and “i” = roman “1” again. Combined equals 141. We are on route 141 heading north from route 90 to road Y11.

Forrest gives this line a dual purpose as he’s done previously in this poem. The line says “I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak”. Replace ‘tired’ with ‘driving’ and ‘weak’ with ‘south’. Cars have tires and when you’re weak you fall down and down is south.

Now comes the most important stanza of all. This brings everything previously mentioned into focus.

“So hear me all and listen good”. You have to do exactly that. Not just read the lines, but read them out loud, or you’ll never hear the final clues.
“Your effort will be worth the cold”. Phonetically, the strongest sounds you should hear are “f” and “e”.
Next sentence “If you are brave and in the wood I give you title to the gold. Phonetically, you should be able to uncover 2 clues. First is “U”,”R”,”AV”,”AN” which equals Uravan. Second requires repeating the first and continue through to the last line. It will result in “U”,”R”,”A”,”N”,”I”,”U” which equals Uraniu. We are missing a key letter here to complete the word “uranium”. Typing the first 3 letters of the wordd “title to the” in all caps, gives us the familiar letter “TTT”. Three vertical lines with a horizontal line across the top (m).

The location is Uravan Colorado. Mineral mined here was Uranium. The “Tarry scant with marvel gaze” is in reality a Tarry substance known as Pitchblende which is a byproduct of uranium, along with Yellow Cake (Yellowstone). The “scant” is the 2-3 percent used to make a marble glaze which causes the marble to radiate in the sun. These were available when Forrest was a kid (and remembered by old timer’s).

The “F” and “E” sounds when combined, give us Effie. It turns out that in Uravan there was a “rich mine” (we uncovered this earlier in stanza 3) that was called “Effie F”, following true to form, the “blaze”.

To finish the search, we need the final location. If you’ve carefully read this solution, you will recall it says “Y11” that I must go, starting point on route 141 driving south for 1 mile. At that point there will be water to cross (Your effort will be worth the cold) first and trees to enter (If you are brave and in the wood) second. This is the order in which these 2 instructions appear in the poem.

Aerial views of search location and potential treasure location:
(click on photo to see it full size)

Overall View

Overall View

Start and End Points

Start and End Points

Personal Thoughts:

1.  Do I honestly believe that the chest was there?  Yes.  It is too perfect a solution in my mind not to.  His reference to Yellowstone on page 45 of TTOTC, lends itself to that conclusion, along with so many of the other hints in the book.  His use of the word Yellowstone for example, in this area you’d find “Yellow Cake”.  He speaks of the war and the rationing going on.  This place was guaranteed not to suffer shortages, because Uncle Sam was mining Yellow cake for Atomic bombs (see page 74 caption in TTOTC)and had to keep the miners and there family well provided for.  He speaks of a little dirt road and a school house, both are here.  The fact that elsewhere in the book he speaks of grinding rocks to make marbles on a piece of sandstone, all these references point to this place.  The line with “no radio”, suggests a lack of signal because of the high cliffs and remoteness of the town.

2.  Could it be buried?  Possibly, but Fenn made numerous comments that make me think otherwise.  Like “it’s exposed to the elements”.  Based on the period the chest was created, it was a period in which tin and not iron was used to make Roman bronze, so it would truly stand the test of time, which after all, is what he wants.

3.  Did Fenn go here to hide his chest in the summer or winter?  Winter, because it wouldn’t involve dealing with high water, bugs or people.  The perfect place for a 79 year old to go.

4.  Are there elements of this place that would appeal to Fenn?  Yes, many.  Such as Butch Cassidy herding stolen cattle up this canyon, or using this as an escape route after robbing the Telluride bank.  The mining of Uranium for the first atom bomb. Uranium from here that was shipped to France for Madam Currie in her discovery of radium.  Uravan’s history includes a “Hanging Flume” that was reconstructed (at least 48 feet of it).  This Flume was used earlier, prior to the mining of Uranium, for gold placer mining (riches, new and old).  The project to build it cost about $100,000 and the owners got only $50,000 of that back, before they abandoned the enterprise.  Radiation treatments saved Fenn’s life, so it definitely holds a place in his heart.  Arrow heads, agates for making marbles (found in Paradox Valley), fishing, archeology, etc., all come together here.  One important fact I feel Fenn knew about this place, was that it was so remote, that it had been forgotten in history (left overs of history).

Hints from “The Thrill Of The Chase” book itself:

Page 7    I always listened carefully.

Page 15   Left overs of history

Page 24   crossed the river

Page 32   I’d spend class time grinding marbles against sandstone slab

Page 38   Hop A Long Cassidy

Page 45   In love with Yellowstone

Page 47   that was years ago before the streets were paved

Page 62   that little stream got narrower and narrower

Page 67   into a stream of fast moving water

Page 74   I sat alert with an atomic bomb under my wing

Page 109 kids crossing street holding rope

Page 136 come and see my shining palace built upon the sand

I could probably go on forever, with all the discoveries I found, but I won’t.   I will leave it to you to decide if this is a valid solution or not.  The only question that remains, is whether or not the chest is still there or has it already been secreted away.  Good luck to you all and happy hunting.



MichaelD will be writing about his adventure soon.

Chasing Leadville…

The following story was submitted by Germanguy.


Here is the long awaited results of my endeavors…
I have decided that I would not only reveal my search location, but also the discoveries made along the way that led me to believe the chest was there.
My adventure didn’t start with the search for the treasure, as much as it did with understanding Forrest Fenn.  Uncovering as much knowledge as I could into his fascination of Western history.
My first clue came, when I discovered that he was on the Board of the Buffalo Bill Cody museum.  This led me to look into any relationships of Cody to the first clue of the poem “Begin it where warm waters halt”.
Looking into Cody’s history, which was my next step.  I discovered, he met a John Baker Omohundro, also known as “Texas Jack”, a scout and buffalo hunter, at Fort McPherson near Cottonwood Springs, Nebraska.  Together, they participated in Indian skirmishes and buffalo hunts and acted as guides.  During this time, They became very close friends.
Texas Jack died in 1880, of pneumonia in Leadville, Colorado, and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery there.  This confirmed my first clue. Leadville Colorado is nicknamed “Cloud City”.
We Love Leadville
But how does this relate back to Cody?  After all, it had to fit a Fenn tie-in somewhere.  Then with further research, I discovered that Buffalo Bill paid tribute to his old friend in September of 1908, when he commissioned a new headstone be erected on Jack’s gravesite, in Leadville, Colorado.
“And take it in the canyon down”, I took to mean a southerly direction.  “Not far, but too far to walk.”, meant that it was ‘relatively close’ (a term Forrest has used).  Then, Fenn states to someone (when asked for an additional clue), “It’s over 300 miles west of Toledo.  I asked myself, why the “Toledo” statement?  Then I looked at my ‘canyon down’ and it was Toledo Ave.  What the heck?  Is this a clue or a slip?  Too coincidental to not be a clue.  I think to myself, that’s a keeper for sure.
Maybe Fenn's "Over 300 miles west"?
“Put in below the home of Brown” was somewhat of a puzzler, because my research pointed to Molly Brown and yet her home was in town and I was going away from town.  More research showed that when her husband J.J. Brown was working in the mines on Breece Hill, she moved from town to a town called Stumpftown (not a misspelling) on the northeast side of Iron Hill be closer to him, especially in the winter.  She moved into a 2 room cabin.  Now this was a better fit for the poem.
The next stanza with meek, drawing nigh, paddle up creek, heavy loads and water high all came together at this spot.  This place is no where for the meek.  It is high up in the mountains and the air is very thin (oxygen recommended).  The chest is close now (nigh).  There is a ditch (creek?) that drains the Yak tunnels (mine shafts).  Power lines overhead (loads) or mine “lodes”.  Finally, snow on the high peaks (frozen water).
Blaze was a challenge, but knowing how tricky Fenn is, I took a chance and decided it was a metaphor for gold.  Obviously, this area would be ideal for gold mines, since it produced so much over the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.  One problem with that theory, was there are 100’s of mines in this locale.  The next task was to determine if there were any gold mines remaining.
In comes the trusty USGS mapper.  In it I could determine the commodities that were produced by the mines.  Lo and behold, I was able to locate only one mine in this particular location through the mapper that said it was a gold mine and it was on the Hill to the left (or west) of Iron Hill, called Carbonate Hill.  The rest I learned were producing molybdenum.  A thorough search of all possible records I could find, uncovered that the mine in question was a producer of gold and the owner was “unknown”, in addition to which it was “abandoned”.  Golly, could this be somewhere Fenn felt safe in hiding his chest, because there is no record?  My adrenaline shot through the ceiling.
Gold Mine
Next came the “worth the cold” clue.  Believe me when I say it gets cold up there.  One day it is warm and you think you can go out and search and an hour later it’s snowing and windy as all heck.  This clue is dead on.
“Brave and in the wood”, fit the location to a “T”.  Trudging through the trees is a bit unnerving, as you don’t know exactly what lies ahead or is coming up behind you.  Since it was the only mine buried in some trees, the “in the wood” fit as well.  The rest of the mines were scattered in open areas and along the clearing below the power lines that go up the hill.
 Water High
In order to cover all bases, a two day search was conducted.  All mines on the south side of Carbonated Hill were checked.
The results of the search were negative.  Although, it was an adventure in itself, I have to say that due to the altitude, it will have to be a lost venture for me at this point.  Anyone who wishes to pursue this location further, be my guest.
Your Brother in Arms