Scrapbook Two Hundred Four…

scrapbook

August, 2019

 

West Yellowstone, as I remember…

berriesSometimes our family would go out into the country-side north of town to pick wild berries. We usually had to drive off the road and around the trees and underbrush for a few minutes to find a ripe huckleberry bush. Dad knew where they were, and we could usually fill a pail. Berries were great for breakfast with Wheaties. We ate a lot of Wheaties, and mom made really great jam that was good on top of hot biscuits. Yes, I still remember.

The kids competed with each other to see who could gather the most berries. I always lost because I munched too much as I picked.

There were strawberry bushes too, but they were isolated, the fruit was small, and it hung close to the ground. We didn’t mess with those guys.

It was not unusual for black bears to be eating berries on bushes within short walking distance from us. When that happened, mom would start singing. Dad said to leave them alone and if they moved toward us, just give them space. There were plenty of berries to go around. That was in the 1930s, and early 40s. I never heard of anyone being hurt by a black bear up there. Meeting a grizzly was different, but it was not something we worried about. If one ever wandered in to command the berry bushes, we surely would have retreated at a nervous pace. We never had to. Those were fun family times. f

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook Two Hundred Three…

scrapbook

August, 2019

Eli’s book was published in 2007 and I wrote my review soon after. It was printed in the local paper. The last time I saw Eli he had a small house up in the mountains, maybe Penasco, or some other small town in Northern New Mexico. I don’t remember which one for sure. He told me that he still had his home in Santa Fe, and that he moved from one place to the other every two weeks. Yeah, it’s just like Eli to do something like that. f 

 

Santa Fe Bohemia
The Art Colony 1964 – 1980
By Eli Levin

A book review by Forrest Fenn

The book signing took place near the top of Lower Canyon Road at Argos Etchings and Paintings, there on the left, next to Ed Larson’s gallery, whose large sign reads “Jesus Says Buy Folk Art.” All of this fits Eli exactly, I thought as I splashed up the steps and into a small but pleasant gallery space. It was crowded with people I didn’t know.

argos

Argos Etchings and Paintings in Santa Fe

larson

Ed Larson’s Gallery in Santa Fe

Well, there was Eli, standing beside the exit signing books. His brown, Humphrey Bogart hat fit like it was sewn on, and the heavy sweater he wore in the warm room suggested he was ready for a quick exit down the steep steps, through the mud and away, should one of the characters in his book arrive in person to disagree with his take on him or her. And there are many of both genders that felt the swath of his laser sharp pen.

Most chapters contain interesting geographical descriptions of the person whose name appears in the chapter head. Some of what he calls “little jibes” about his friends are:

“…a puffy old alcoholic,”

“It was hard, looking at her, to imagine her with a man.”

“…her worst feature was her brown teeth.”

“…was tall, with a sunken face, dark crooked teeth, bugging eyes and a balding pate fringed with scraggly grey hair.”

For him to say that the wonderfully petite and sensitive Carol Mothner was “quick at repartee,” and high strung and aggressive and had a sharp voice, shows me that he spent too much time holding down bar stools at Claude’s – which he readily admits to on nearly every page.

His books were selling well when I arrived at his signing, as buyers and well-wishers, three or four at a time, slowly moved up the line to get his signature. When my time came, I said, “Eli, I hear you gave me hell in the book.” So we both laughed as he wrote, “I gave you hell,” and signed his name. Anything less would have disappointed me.

Book cover – “Santa Fe Bohemia” by Eli Levin

Now, I’ve always had a warm place in my heart for Eli, though the reasons are not at all clear. Perhaps it’s because he seems to personify the underdog. The sincere smile that always curls his face seems perfectly at home, his down-beat eyes and gentle manner, the intensity with which he engages his craft, his “lookout” for fellow artists, are all traits we’re quick to admire in anyone. We didn’t socialize over the years because we never happened to be in the same place at the same time. He’s a New York Jewish Bohemian and I’m a recovering Texas Baptist. There was little reason for us to mix even though art made our paths cross on several occasions.  Chapters in his book describe several such events.

In 1968, when I was fighting the unfortunate war in Vietnam, Eli was in Santa Fe expounding on how tough life was for him. His feelings were honest; he was having a hard time. That’s the definition of an underdog. In 1972, when I moved to Santa Fe and built a gallery, Eli was well established in the barrios and Canyon Road art places. He had become the Chief Cultist, the professional underdog, or the head of the art world underground as “Pasatiempo” recently insinuated. He had a large following of admirers, most of whom were painters and drinkers, as he describes them. And nearly all are barb recipients in this book.

Somehow I envy what he had, and has. While I was working forever in my gallery office he was holding court in smoke-filled kitchens and bedrooms that were clouded with jabbering, coffee and wine drinking soulmates – all artists, whose studios housed easels and sincere canvases hoping for a magical brush-stroke that would make their masters famous. It didn’t happen, and the mourning continues. I’m not talking out of school, saying those things, because that’s what Eli’s book is about over and over. Santa Fe Bohemia – The Art Colony 1964-1980.

Along with renderings by other artists, Eli’s paintings and etchings decorated the walls of Argos gallery. I told myself that all of the artists showing their art there must be friends because there seemed to be a cohesive warmth in their combined display, maybe a “togetherness” of sorts. That seemed to fit. Many works by the artists, all unknown to me, were pleasant and soothing.

Although I had seen pictures of Eli’s work before, this was the first occasion I remember taking a close-up look and having an opportunity to examine them with my magnifying eye. His folk art, mostly bar room scenes, is graphic and funny and it’s easy to see that he doesn’t sketch anything on the canvas before his brushes arrive. And what he lacks in technique he makes up for with warm visual dialogue. His work makes me wonder whether he paints because he likes it or likes it because he does it. In any event, his rewards must mostly be the satisfaction he gets from the participation and its associated camaraderie. The shameful thought came to me that perhaps he should be showing next door where Jesus might buy one.

It had been a long time since I had seen Eli but I swear he has not changed a hair since we first met thirty-seven years ago. And as he remembers and reminisces in this book about the old days in Santa Fe I must also admit to remembering a few things about the people he describes – about Don Fabricant quitting his job as critic for the New Mexican because of me, and about his newspaper review of Susan Rowland’s show at St. John’s College, saying that her work “isn’t too bad if you get back far enough, like clear across the street,” and knowing that she cried for days because of it. And I remember consigning a Macaione painting to Margaret Jamison that was so cluttered with thick paint clusters that, for three years, we didn’t know it had seven bullet holes through the canvas, and might not have known even today if we had not taken it outside so the sun could shine through the holes. Everyone, it seems, was a critic.  Someone said the bullet holes made the painting more valuable so we went up on the price. Those were the good old days.

The Santa Fe art history about which Eli writes was so vibrant with energy you could feel it tingling in your bones. Today we have more galleries and more artists, but the energy is gone. Hopefully this review will start it anew. Your turn Eli. f

back

Back cover – “Santa Fe Bohemia” by Eli Levin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gauging Value…

val

August 2019

By MA

 

What’s the true value of the Forrest Fenn treasure hunt? Ask this to a handful of people and you’re likely to get a handful of different answers. The truth is that there are several different motivations for pursuing the chase, the chase not limited to just the promise of sudden wealth and fame. 

I, for one, fall into this other group of searchers, the chase being less about fortune and fame and more about the mystery and the adventures associated with the chase. While many others are chasing the gold I want to know what’s inside the olive jar? I want to know how he did it and I want to know why he felt the need to include a biography in the chest when there is already so much known about him? This is where my personal curiosity resides, the gold and precious stones, etc., just being a pleasing sidebar. But then again, my personal involvement with the chase was originally motivated by different factors.

February, 13th, 2015, a Friday no less, and in just a few minutes I suddenly had one foot squarely planted on the other side of life. They call them “widow-makers” because they generally happen without any advanced symptoms or warnings and they are usually fatal. I was one of those lucky survivors because my widow-maker took place at a residence where there was experienced medical help, forty-four minutes later a waiting surgical team was cutting my cloths off of me on a stainless steel table at a hospital seventy miles away. They saved my life but not before permanent heart damage had set in. 

I only have three walls of my heart functioning now, at the time of my release from the hospital my injection fraction rate was only 30%, the normal being roughly 60-70%. What this meant was that I had a significantly reduced blood flow, any type of activity wearing me down quickly and causing me to struggle for breaths. This condition wasn’t expected to change and the prognosis for my future wasn’t good. Suddenly my entire life had changed, my typical active lifestyle no longer a possibility, or so they said. 

Now there were a couple of things that came into play that helped inspire my road to recovery, the first being the gift of a DSLR camera from my best friend because he knew that I desperately needed that distraction in my life. He reasoned that if I could no longer run and climb around in the wilds then at least I could photography those wilds, this then offering me something to help me refocus my future. I cannot explain to you just how big of a roll this simple gift ended up playing in my recovery other then to say that it was absolutely HUGE. 

A glass of water, I’ll never forget that first glass of water after my surgery. It was the absolute best glass of water I ever tasted. That first flower I saw after that surgery, it was absolutely the most beautiful flower I had ever seen in my life, and so on and so on. All of these things that I had previously taken for granted I was no longer taking for granted, that camera helping me to see what I had been missing all of those prior years. Suddenly the little things meant so much and I was finding great appreciation in all manner of new things, even in the simplest of things. Trust me when I say that near death can certainly show you what’s truly important in life. I know first hand. 

So first came the gift of the camera, the required distraction that allowed me to slowly let go of all the Post Traumatic Stress Disorders and those related fears. Through the lens of that camera I was slowly strolling further and further away from the house, then further and further away from the truck, then further and further away from the phone, then further and further away from all of them. My injection fraction rate was suddenly up to 50% so the next year it was bicycles, trekking poles, backpacks, kayaks, etc., and slow but sure my injection fraction rate was nearing 60% with only three walls of my heart working. But what inspired the trekking poles, backpacks, bicycles, kayaks, etc.? 

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In mid-2016 I came across the Forrest Fenn treasure chase, still weak at that point from the widow-maker but making slow progress. How awesome it would be if I could recover enough to finish something I had previously started with younger brother who had suddenly passed away in the fall of 2014 of the same illness, just a few months prior to my widow-maker. How awesome that would be! And so this is where the trekking poles and backpacks and bicycles and kayaks, etc., started coming into play. I had promised my brother that I would spread his ashes at one of his favorite locations in the Rocky Mountains and Fenn’s treasure hunt was that one grand adventure that I never got to take with my younger brother when he was alive. It was one of those 1+1 moments, something that’s hard to explain, but the moment I arrived at 2 it was, “game on!” 

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My first Forrest Fenn BOTG adventure took place in the fall of 2018, my brother’s ashes finally reaching their promised destination on that trip. It was a real triumph and success even without a chest full of gold or an olive jar full of information. It took me three years to make the trip, four years to conclude my promise to my younger brother which I was in route to do when I had my widow-maker. This summer, 2019, I stood at the top of the Continental Divide, my “M A 19” now carved in a tree. Do you believe it, I was running around up there without a single issue or care in the world. I was finally standing at the top of the world at over 13’000 feet in the sky. 

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People ask me if I’m ever concerned about being off the beaten track, no cell phone signal or help should I experience heart problems? I smile, chuckle, and reply, “Are you kidding me!” Hell, I’m fearless again, fear being the one thing that would have prevented my having ever gotten as far as I have. Now the Grand Tetons are on my radar, as are other places of natural beauty in the Rocky Mountains. I know that I’ll never see it all but I’m going to do all I can to see and to photograph as much of it as possible.  

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Gold, the contents of an olive jar, these are now sidebars in the chase, my winter theories just serving to create new paths of discovery for my summer adventures. Treasure? Heck, it’s everywhere in the Rocky Mountains if one only takes the time to look for it. It is a national treasure, for sure. I think this is Fenn’s point, my avenue of pursuit just being one of many different avenues. Heck, if were to ever be so fortunate to find Fenn’s treasure chest I’d be tempted to give it back to him just so he could hide it again. This is a chase that should truly never end. 

I’ve been a treasure hunter most of my adult life but this chase isn’t about monetary gain, it’s about life and the simple things. If this article helps to inspire others to take up the chase then I feel that I’ve already found and shared Fenn’s treasure. Gold and the promise of sudden wealth, it can’t buy life, but it can sure inspire you to live it! I think this is Fenn’s message…

-MA 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of a Biscuit Basin Solve…

biscuit

August, 2019

By James Collier

 

This is going to be a pretty in-depth post. Like a lot of other searchers, I believed I knew the exact location and took off to Dinosaur National Monument area but came up empty handed. Upon return to my home in Rock Hill, SC, I decided to read TTOTC 5 more times and dissect every word. My approach this time was to read it slowly, to listen carefully, and make sure I had an imagination along with an open mind. To basically read it like a 10-15-year-old might. I went through every chapter and wrote down what I thought were clues. Although Fenn says the clues are “subtle,” I believe they ARE deliberate and direct you to within a 1.5 mile radius of the treasure. Come along on this journey through the book and try to see it like a child would. Open your eyes. Open your mind. Like John Lennon said…”Imagine.”  

Clues to why I think it is where I say it is:

Important Literature Chapter

  1. Multiple references to “little girl.”
  2. Reference to “mud” when referencing the bell tolls book
  3. “I didn’t spend much time in the children’s section or cooking or travel. Finally, I found the area I was looking for.” 
  4. When talking about the Kismet book, he makes sure to specify “the Pick-Pocket guy that is.” This comment should be obvious, so why put it? (I think he Is bringing notice to Pocket Basin (biggest mud pots in Yellowstone).

First Grade Chapter

  1. “My father always said she wouldn’t bite a hard biscuit if she was starving to death.” (First reference of many to biscuits)

No Place For Biddies Chapter

  1. References to “young.”
  2. Meek may mean crossing the street at the location…although I found a different reference which at this time I cannot share as it puts me in a very specific location. 

Jump Starting The Learning Curve Chapter

  1. Reference to “Cross the River.”
  2. Reference to Fire
  3. Looked corroded (Could be reference to Rusty Geyser across the street)
  4. Second reference to Biscuits when talking about his dad
  5. Iron, slide-down fire escape (Could be reference to Iron Springs Creek down from Fire Hole River). He also references in another chapter the Spring Creek. 
  6. He was proud to think of that idea and was the only one who knew about that trick. Old Iron thing marked the tail of his britches with a heavy brown color. (Another mention of Iron and brown as color).
  7. Everyone who was walking behind me knew what I done. People were beginning to notice me. (I think he is referencing he was on his way back from hiding the chest when people started to notice him as he walked back to his car; either the first time or second time).

Bessie And Me Chapter

  1. References to Milk multiple times which I think refers back to ingredients needed to make biscuits

My Spanish Toy Factory Chapter

  1. Unnecessary reference to being hungry and brown bag (Once again, referencing food and the color brown to food).
  2. Pie factory reference
  3. Pineapple pies

Me In The Middle Chapter

  1. Being in the middle again (I think this is a reference to being in the middle where those rivers meet.

Surviving Myself Chapter

  1. Kitchen reference with more baking
  2. Making own butter
  3. Another reference to biscuits
  4. When he is discussing what they wanted for dessert he states “I always said I wanted strawberry shortcake. His brother would want pineapple-upside-down cake. June, she “Liked something else.” He never referenced what exactly it is that she wanted. He then goes on to say she would trim the edges off of several slices of homemade bread and then cut the pieces into fourths. When they came BROWN out of the oven, she’d put butter and different homemade jams on each piece and serve them hot. They always made a big deal out of taking a bite and saying “umm, mom, great strawberry shortcake,” and “ummm, mom, great pineapple upside down cake.” I can still remember how much my dessert tasted JUST LIKE WHAT I ASKED FOR, AND IN MY FANTASY WAY IT WAS.” 

This whole paragraph informs me that the food his sister June wanted was biscuits. When referencing biscuits in clue #2&3 in this chapter they talked about butter and putting homemade jams on them. He then references it here again once they came out of the oven BROWN and they put the jams on each piece. He then states he can still remember how much dessert tasted just like what he asked for and in his fantasy was it was…because it wasn’t what him and his brother wanted, it was biscuits. 

Gypsy Magic Chapter

  1. Here he talks about how five or six girls of all ages built a large fire and danced around it. Keep this in mind for the later chapter talking about the painting he purchased
  2. Uses the word “firelight.”
  3. Use of the word “flames.”

In Love With Yellowstone Chapter

  1. Agate rocks along the rivers
  2. Rationed usage could be a reference to food again

Totem Café Caper Chapter

  1. Water and hiding behind a tree
  2. Brown gravy 
  3. Another food reference to pies
  4. Hid behind a pine tree 

My Brother Being Skippy Chapter

  1. Chinese Fire drill (I think this is the only clue in the chapter and just wants to drive home the fire reference).

The Long Ride Home Chapter

  1. “Greatest blossom” to me is a reference to a tree or flower blossoming as when he referenced the yellow and purple flowers. 

Looking For Lewis And Clark Chapter & Buffalo Cowboy chapters

  1. The only thing I took from these chapters was the nod to Yellowstone, as well as multiple references to food again. 

Stout Hearted Men Chapter

  1. Here I am taking the subtle hint to where my final spot is. Under a tree in the middle of a field has been my go-to final solve. “I slept under a tree with cows grazing all around. It was a threshold moment in my life, but I didn’t know it at the time.”

My War For Me Chapter

  1. A lot of talk about fire here which to me goes along with the gypsies

Blue Jeans And Hush Puppies Again

  1. Here I am taking the clue of him buying the French watercolor painting of the fairies dancing around a rock “if you believe I’d come to that.” I believe this is in reference to two clues. 
  1. Butterfly is a Flutterby (kids toy “flutterbye fairy”)
  2. Fairy creek/Little Firehole river 
  3. Believes a kid will find it as kids are the only ones who believe in fairies

There are other references in the final chapters but they are very small and would be a stretch. 

So now let me put it all together and add the information to the poem. 

Forest Fenn Poem & Clues

Begin It Where Warm Waters Halt 

Ojo Caliente Spring

Take It In the Canton Down,

Not far, but too far to walk

Put in below the home of Brown

 Biscuit Basin due to the multiple references of biscuits and them coming out of the oven “brown,” as biscuit basin from Ojo Caliente Springs is almost exactly 10 miles driving

a

From there it’s no place for the meek

The end is ever drawing nigh;

There’ll be no paddle up your creek, 

Just heavy loads and water high 

  • Park the car at the entrance to the unmarked trail on the right-hand side of the road. Enter there and walk/wade across the Iron Springs Creek towards where Fairy Falls Creek/Little Firehole River, Mystic Falls and Summit Lake all meet. Heavy loads (falls), Water High (Summit Lake would literally translate to high water). The double Omega symbol in the back of the book can translate to Summit

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,

Look quickly down, your quest to cease,

But tarry scant with marvel gaze,

Just take the chest and go in peace.

  • Will not know for sure until you are walking with boots on the ground. But recently I found a really good match to Meek and tarry scant. At this time I am not willing to share this as I am trying to get to Yellowstone first week of September. 

So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek?

The answers I already know, I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.

  • He is now resting under a tree as he did when he was tired in the story

So hear me all and listen good, your effort will be worth the cold.

  • You have to wade through water to get to the final spot

If you are brave and in the wood, I give you title to the gold.

  • Once across the water you will be walking through the woods to the final spot. I believe the chest is inside a piece of wood at the base of a tree with the blaze marking either on the tree or next to it. 

Let me know what y’all think. If someone thinks this is a great solve and heads out there before I can get there, and you just so happen to find it…just remember who directed you there. LOL! Good luck everyone!

– James Collier

 

 

 

 

Lost Creek Solve…

bbn 

August 2019

By Desert Cloak

 

 

CLUE #1 
Begin it where warm waters halt 
When considering where in the Rocky Mountains warm water would most likely occur statistically, Yellowstone National Park is the first choice simply because it has the highest concentration of geothermal activity.
ImageExtract 001
Forrest Fenn has said to “look at the big picture” when considering the clues.
If by “big picture” he means to look
 at a single map (a literal big picture)
of the entire search area (the Rocky Mountains), the first clue, at least, must be large enough to be seen on that map. Could this be why the “little girl in India” can’t get closer than the first two clues if all she has is the poem and a single map of the entire Rockies?
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In school, every child learns about the water cycle, in which water flows downhill into ponds, lakes, and oceans where it collects until evaporated. Is this why Fenn said “kids may have an advantage in the search.”?

 

Fenn said “There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe.” This indicates that WWWH may be a fairly common geographical feature, like a lake, and nearly all lakes in the Rockies are north of Santa Fe.

 

Yellowstone Lake
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With many incoming tributaries, the most obvious place that water flows into in that region is Yellowstone Lake… a place where warm waters ‘halt’, in a general sense.

 

Consider these quotes by Forrest Fenn:
•“So many searchers are stomping on the ants while the elephants run by.” 
Does this mean WWWH is a large feature, but most searchers are mistakenly looking for something smaller like a hot spring?
•“People tend to over-complicate. Try to simplify if you can. That’s good advice.”
•“Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts.”
•“Although others were at the starting point I think their arrival was an aberration and they were oblivious to its connection with the poem.” 
Think of how many searchers have driven right past Yellowstone Lake on the way to their solves.
•“The solve is difficult for many searchers because their minds think the clues are tougher to decrypt than they really are. Some say they are trying to think outside the box, as if the solution lies somewhere out there. Until now I have resisted telling them to get back in the box where their thoughts are comfortable and flow more easily.”

 

Sound Phenomenon: 
Yellowstone Lake is the source of a long documented natural audio phenomenon called “lake music” or “lake whispers.” It is documented
via recordings and interviews on the National Park Service website. It is described as a widespread low sound that grows louder and more intense until it seemed to be coming from right overhead, then rapidly fade away.
It seems likely that Forrest Fenn may have heard this sound phenomenon given the amount of time he spent in this region.
Fenn has said “It seems logical to me that a deep thinking treasure searcher could use logic to determine an important clue to the location of the treasure. Is someone doing that now and I don’t know it? It’s not what they say on the blogs that may be significant, it’s what they whisper.”
Is the line in the poem “So hear me all and listen good” a hint about the Yellowstone Lake whispers?
Hear me all = A widespread sound covering a large area

Listen good = A low sound you need to listen closely to, like a whisper

 

Elephant Back Mountain 
Screen Shot 2019 07 28 at 12 48 54 PM
Other considerations:
•Forrest Fenn spent every summer in Yellowstone as a child.
•He visited Yellowstone nearly every year of his life.
•He has stated that his heart is in Yellowstone.
•A chapter in his book is titled “In Love with Yellowstone”.
•He said he has an almost “umbilical” attachment to the hiding place. 
Does this mean he discovered the special place in his youth?
•“So many searchers are stomping on the ants while the elephants run by.” 
Elephant Back Mountain overlooks Yellowstone Lake.
•Yellowstone Lake is also the only lake in the Rockies with a “thumb.” 
Does this have relevance to the Philadelphia story in the book The Thrill of the Chase where he has a profound experience covering all of Philadelphia with his left thumb while flying? The thumb of Yellowstone Lake is known as “West Thumb.”

 

CLUE #2 
And take it in the canyon down, Not far, but too far to walk. 

 

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone 
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An obvious and massive natural feature of the landscape. Probably the most recognizable landmark in Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone lake drains directly into this canyon.
Again, Forrest Fenn has said to “look at the big picture” when considering the clues. If this is the correct canyon, it may be why the Little Girl in India is able to see it on her map of the Rockies.
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Walking along the bottom of the canyon is not possible or practical, but there is a road that travels down the north side of the canyon and continues the length of the canyon, approximately 20 miles.
Does “I’ve done it tired” in the poem refer to driving a wheeled vehicle with tires?

 

Considerations:
•20-30 miles is too far to walk in a day’s hike, so you must drive.
•Going down the canyon, you pass Calcite Springs. He mentions “chalk” in TTOTC. Chalk is composed of calcite.
•“Marvel gaze” might be a reference to “Grand View” near the Yellowstone Falls in the canyon. Is this a hint from the poem indicating that you’re on the right track?

 

CLUE #3 
Put in below the home of Brown 

 

Roosevelt Lodge
Screen Shot 2019 07 28 at 12 56 54 PM ImageExtract 010
Emerging from the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, one of the first landmarks reached is Roosevelt Lodge at Tower Junction.
•An official name of a shade of brown is “Beaver”
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•The home of a beaver is a “lodge”


•The word origin of the word beaver means brown, both words share the same etymology
ImageExtract 015•A beaver lodge is entered from below. The poem says to “put in below the home of Brown”
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•Forrest has mentioned castor oil several times. The North American Beaver’s scientific name is Castor canadensis 
The B in Brown may be capitalized in the poem because this is the “word that is key” that needs to be focused on. It requires some abstract thinking and may be why some searchers figured out the first two clues but went right past the third.

 

Considerations: 
•From the blogs: In reference to Roosevelt Lodge, Diggin gypsy said: “…Forrest did tell my sister once make sure you check out the lodge” (hearsay)
•The man that had the first lodge there, before Roosevelt Lodge was built over it, Yancey, was rumored to have buried treasure around the Roosevelt lodge area just before his death. From the poem… “And hint of riches new and old.” Is the “old” treasure Yancey’s and the “new” treasure Forrest’s? Forrest Fenn often says “Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.”
•In TTOTC, right after the poem he mentions “Gardiner’s Island.” Gardiner, MT is the closest town to the search area.

 

Regarding “structures”:

“The treasure is not associated with any structure” – Forrest Fenn

“Mr. Fenn, when you said not associated with any structure did that mean all 9 clues or just where the chest sits? Thanks, d”

“Yes d, it means the treasure is not hidden in or about a structure. Google “structure” for more information.” – FF
This seems to indicate that the clues themselves can be associated with structures, but the physical treasure chest itself is not hidden in or about a structure.

 

CLUE #4 
From there it’s no place for the meek 
Lost Creek 
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Lost creek flows down the mountain behind Roosevelt Lodge.
Being “lost” is definitely no place for a meek person. Strength and decisiveness are necessary when you’re lost.

 

Considerations:
•Forrest writes about getting LOST with Donnie in The Thrill of the Chase
•The famous MEEK Cutoff wagon train got LOST and many pioneers died
•Teddy Roosevelt was certainly not known for being a meek person.

 

CLUE #5 
The end is drawing ever nigh 

 

Lost Creek draw Considerations:
• Another definition of “nigh” means “on the left side.” Lost creek is on the left as you travel down the canyon.
“Mr. Fenn, Is there any level of knowledge of US history that is required to properly interpret the clues in your poem. ~Steve R”
“No Steve R, The only requirement is that
you figure out what the clues mean. But a comprehensive knowledge of geography might help.” – FF
ImageExtract 019
A draw is a terrain feature formed by two parallel ridges or spurs with low ground in between them. The area of low ground itself is the draw, and it
is defined by the spurs surrounding it. Draws are similar to valleys on a smaller scale; however,
while valleys are by nature parallel to a ridgeline,
a draw is perpendicular to the ridge, and rises with the surrounding ground, disappearing up-slope. A draw is usually etched in a hillside by water flow, is usually dry, but many contain an ephemeral stream or loose rocks from eroded rockfall.
ImageExtract 020
Lost Creek draw Considerations: 
•This entire ridgeline was once part of a large petrified tree forest that extends along the south side of Lamar Valley all the way to Specimen Ridge. Petrified wood can still be found on this ridge line and around Lost Lake.
ImageExtract 021
•Is “If you are brave and in the wood” in the poem a play on words referring to entering the petrified forest area?
ImageExtract 022
•Did Fenn park his car at the Petrified Tree parking lot and walk the short distance to the spot (easy hike approx. 1 mile)?

 

Petrified Wood from Lost Lake area
ImageExtract 024

 

Petrified Tree at parking lot
ImageExtract 025

 

CLUE #6 
There’ll be no paddle up your creek 

 

Lost Creek Falls 
ImageExtract 026
Lost Creek Falls is a physical barrier that you can’t travel past going upstream. The walls of the draw are high and not easily climbable. The only way to get past the falls is to take an alternate route around them.

 

CLUE #7 
just heavy loads and water high 

 

Portage around Lost Creek Falls
Screen Shot 2019 07 28 at 1 24 14 PM
A portage is a term for carrying all of your gear (heavy loads) to get to the upper river (water high) beyond the obstacle, typically when paddling a canoe or raft. Forrest mentions Lewis & Clark in TTOTC. The Great Falls Portage is the route taken by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805 to portage around the Great Falls of the Missouri River.
To portage around this waterfall, there is a trail that goes around by the Petrified Tree landmark and past Lost Lake.
There is a parking lot at the Petrified Tree where Forrest could have parked.

 

PORTAGE APPROX 1 MI.
ImageExtract 030
Also There is a huge out-of-place and prominent glacial boulder (heavy load) resting on the top edge of Lost Creek Falls. A definition of “load” is “the material carried along by a stream, glacier, ocean current, etc.”
Is the boulder an “aberration that lives out on the edge”?
There is also a small lake, Lost Lake, above the falls. Could this also be “water high”?

 

CLUE #8 
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze 

 

Unknown until at location

 

Considerations:
•Is the chest 200 feet upstream of the Lost Creek Falls, or 200 feet from the upper hiking trail?
•In a story in TTOTC, Forrest had a profound personal experience in a clearing above a waterfall in Vietnam
•Blaze is probably a permanent natural marker.
•Blaze possibly a discoloration or vein in a stone wall. This small canyon/draw is mostly comprised of basalt columns.
•Possibly a petrified log or wood (“If you are brave and in the wood”)?
•“While it’s not impossible to remove the blaze it isn’t feasible to try” – FF. Indicative of a large immobile feature. Geological?
•Does the blaze have a unique shape like a Y or an owl? (“If you’ve been wise and found the blaze”)
•Another word for ‘wise’ is sage. Along the tops of the draw along the creek are large sage fields.
•Forrest said you’d be able to smell sage and pine from the secret spot.
•He said if you’re standing where the chest is you’ll see animals. The ridge at the top of Lost Creek Falls overlooks Lamar Valley, known as the “Serengeti of Yellowstone” for it’s abundance of wildlife.

 

CLUE #9 
Look quickly down, your quest to cease 

 

Unknown until at location

 

Considerations:
• Chest is possibly located directly under the blaze
• Chest is possibly covered or slightly buried
• Is it in a wooden crate, or under some petrified wood? From the poem, “if you are brave and in the wood”?
• “I think the gold will again become alert to the tromp and vibrations of hiking boots.” – FF
• “Perhaps the artifacts are enjoying each other’s company as they patiently listen for the clomp of a boot.” – FF
• Possibly listen for a hollow sound underfoot

• “Physics tells me the treasure is wet.” – FF

• “I know the treasure chest is wet.” – FF

• Wetness could be due to condensation on the cool bronze chest
• Wetness could be due to proximity to year-long water source. Lost creek flows year-long.

 

BLOG COINCIDENCES:

Splitting the pot & gas money:
Bill on April 29, 2014 said:
Who can I trust? I learned of Mr. Fenn’s treasure late last night, and as crazy as I know it sounds, feel very strongly that I know exactly where it is. I believe fresh eyes can make the biggest difference sometimes. I would go out there myself to claim it if I could. Unfortunately, I don’t have the money or the time off work. I live in St. Louis. With a partner, I am willing to split the pot into thirds. One third for me, one third for my partner, and one third to hide in a new location, after making a new riddle, of course. So who can I trust that could go to Yellowstone after the snow melts (I’m assuming it’s still snow covered)? I need someone in good physical shape as there is a pretty good hike involved and also someone brave and not afraid of the dark.

 

Bill on June 6, 2014 said:
Still no one wants to partner with me? The northern part of yellowstone is where you would be travelling. And if the treasure was not there, I’d even split the cost of gas with you. You can walk there but you have to be in good shape and brave as you do go off trail a bit. The walk is probably three miles round trip.

 

Question posted July 2, 2014 to Forrest Fenn:

“Do you think that someone who is sure about the location of the home of Brown could reverse-engineer where warm waters halt?” ~Ben Raylor
“Thanks for the question Ben. If you are sure about the location of home of Brown why are you concerned about where warm waters halt? But to answer your question, sure you could and a few searchers might throw in some gas money for a percentage of the take. Good luck. f”

 

200 feet vs. 500 feet:
On June 21, 2014 Bill posted a full solve related to Lost Creek Falls. His solve used different solutions to the clues than this solve does, but they led him to Lost Creek Falls. He thought the chest was somewhere near the base of the waterfall. He didn’t search above the falls.
In his search he went all the way up to the actual base of the waterfall. Most people stop approximately 300 feet back where the official trail ends. In Bill’s solve he said “when you walk the trail and get to Lost Creek Falls you are 500 feet or less from the falls as Forrest said people have been.”
Then, two months later, Forrest makes what appears to be the first public mention of someone getting within 200 feet.
• “Searchers have been within 200 feet”. – FF Aug 2014

 

Most people stop hereImageExtract 033
Lost Creek Falls is aprox 300ft from end of trail

 

“How do you know searchers have been within 200 feet of the treasure?”
“Well because people have told me exactly where they were. And that’s the only reason I know. That 200 feet is pretty accurate. But there weren’t
too many people within two hundred… lots of people within 500 feet of the treasure.” – FF

 

CONCLUSION:
Screen Shot 2019 07 28 at 1 40 30 PM
Searchers have been within 200 feet of the treasure at the base of the waterfall.
• The chest is wet
• Special place above waterfall?

 

I believe Forrest Fenn’s treasure chest lies within 
a 200-500 foot radius upstream of Lost Creek Falls.
ImageExtract 036
“I knew exactly where to hide the chest so it would be difficult to find but not impossible. It’s in the mountains somewhere north of Santa Fe. So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure.”

 

-Desert Cloak

 

 

 

REFERENCES TO QUOTES

“Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts.”
http://mysteriouswritings.com/featured-questions-with-forrest-warm-waters-and-geography/

Little girl from India
http://mysteriouswritings.com/six-questions-with-forrest-fenn-over-five-years-of-the-thrill-of-the-chase/

“kids may have an advantage in the search.”
Moby Dickens interview 12/2/13

“There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe.”
http://mysteriouswritings.com/featured-questions-with-forrest-warm-waters-and-geography/

“So many searchers are stomping on the ants while the elephants run by.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2o1vXgBNso4

“People tend to over-complicate. Try to simplify if you can. That’s good advice.”
https://abcnews.go.com/US/people-continue-seek-reported-hidden-treasure-rocky-mountains/story?id=51766060

“Although others were at the starting point I think their arrival was an aberration and they were oblivious to its connection with the poem.”
http://mysteriouswritings.com/questions-with-forrest-fenn-and-the-thrill-of-the-chase/

“The solve is difficult for many searchers because their minds think the clues are tougher to decrypt than they really are. Some say they are trying to think outside the box, as if the solution lies somewhere out there. Until now I have resisted telling them to get back in the box where their thoughts are comfortable and flow more easily.”
http://mysteriouswritings.com/featured-question-and-weekly-words-from-forrest-fenn-get-back-in-the-box/

“It seems logical to me that a deep thinking treasure searcher could use logic to determine an important clue to the location of the treasure. Is someone doing that now and I don’t know it? It’s not what they say on the blogs that may be significant, it’s what they whisper.”
https://dalneitzel.com/2014/04/23/scrapbook-sixty_one-2/

“I am almost umbilically attached to the spot…”
https://mysteriouswritings.com/six-questions-with-forrest-fenn-and-the-thrill-of-the-chase-seven-is-a-perfect-number/

“The treasure is not associated with any structure”
https://dalneitzel.com/cheat-sheet/

“Yes d, it means the treasure is not hidden in or about a structure. Google “structure” for more information.”
http://mysteriouswritings.com/questions-with-forrest-fenn-and-the-thrill-of-the-chase/

“No Steve R, The only requirement is that you figure out what the clues mean. But a comprehensive knowledge of geography might help.”
http://mysteriouswritings.com/featured-questions-with-forrest-warm-waters-and-geography/

While it’s not impossible to remove the blaze it isn’t feasible to try”
Dal’s Blog – The Nine Clues…Part Thirtyone / September 26, 2014

Seeing animals and smelling sage
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJBakBqwQVs&t=8s

“I think the gold will again become alert to the tromp and vibrations of hiking boots.”
https://mysteriouswritings.com/featured-question-with-forrest-fenn-and-the-thrill-of-the-chase-treasure-hunt-lost-treasure-thoughts/

“Perhaps the artifacts are enjoying each other’s company as they patiently listen for the clomp of a boot.”
http://mysteriouswritings.com/six-questions-with-forrest-fenn-and-the-thrill-of-the-chase-seven-is-a-perfect-number/

“Physics tells me the treasure is wet.”
http://mysteriouswritings.com/featured-question-with-forrest-and-weekly-words-wet-physics/

“I know the treasure chest is wet.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJBakBqwQVs&t=8s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Forrest

August 2019

By Casey

 

Background

I hope that this post finds all you seekers well. I am sending this into the group with humility and hope. I hope to show a different way of riding a bicycle, even if the end result for me has been the same for all of you. I hope that this will lead to someone finding the chest by looking at a different, but not too outside-of-the-box, way of thinking about the solve. 

I come to you as a geography and travel enthusiast. I have been lucky enough to have been able to drive through all of the lower 48 states and have been able to witness the majestic views of our National Parks and true beauty of the United States. Up until spring of 2018 (yes, I know I am a newbie, but stick with me here), I had never heard of Mr. Fenn. Then, I came across an article published on CNBC on April 18, 2018. Little did I know that this little article would lead to a head scratching door of discovery and wonder. 

“Read the clues in my poem over and over and study maps of the Rocky Mountains,” Fenn recently told Business Insider. “Try to marry the two. The treasure is out there waiting for the person who can make all the lines cross in the right spot.”

With this little article I was off. As many people do, I immediately came up with different solves by looking at the poem systematically based on different geologic features and names of places. I looked at Yellowstone and the Hebgen Lake area, I looked around Lander, WY and Sinks Canyon. Many similar methods that have been worked over the last 8 years and I was afraid many similar results by going down that rabbit hole. 

So, I took a small step back. Forrest has stated (paraphrasing), that only a few people had a tight focus on a word that was key. So, to me, this is where the rubber meets the road. What key word would unlock the clues so that you could marry a map to specific locations to make the lines cross at the right spot? Forrest states that you need a good map and a comprehensive knowledge of geography. No specialized knowledge is needed. Google defines geography as “the study of the physical features of the earth and its atmosphere, and of human activity as it affects and is affected by these, including the distribution of populations and resources, land use, and industries.”

So how do we unlock the keyword? The answer, I believe, is in the first stanza. Before I get there, let me give you a little background on myself. Like Forrest, I grew up in a small town in the rural US. Temple, Texas is actually quite a bit bigger than the town I grew up in a podunk town in Minnesota.  We had a K-12 school, with about 20 kids in each class. In analyzing the poem, I was reminded of a geography contest in 5th grade that I won. Honestly, it isn’t difficult to win contests in a small school when you only have about 20 competitors. The competition was cryptic lines in which you had to decipher and match to different geography features. If my mind serves me, it was rivers; but that is unimportant. What sparked my interest was that they were different clues about one type of feature. In a way, this is how ciphers worked with regards to Thomas Jefferson communicating with Lewis and Clark. However, no ciphers needed here. 

So again, what single geographic term, place, location, etc. could reference all nine clues in which you were able to put 9 x’s on a map and make them cross to find a spot to search? The answer has to be specific, you aren’t able to put an ‘x’ on a map by using locations that can’t be to a single set of coordinates. For example, lakes, rivers, canyons, won’t work. Mountain peaks would, which was my first guess. So looking at lists of mountain peaks in the four states, and spending a few days analyzing the poem I came up with…. Nothing. Ghost towns? Nothing. Bridges. Nothing. Now, realize when I say nothing. I don’t mean that there aren’t any clues that match up. Some do. By coincidence, it is likely that some will. But to get nine in a relatively small area to match up. Nothing. 

“As I have gone alone in there

And with my treasures bold,

I can keep my secret where,

And hint of riches new and old.”

Then I came across something: Sante Fe mountain in Colorado. Back to mountain peaks. So I started diving into topographical maps of the Clear Creek and Gilpin county areas in Colorado. What I found wasn’t mountain peaks that sparked my interest, it was the names of a couple of mines in the area. Before I go further, yes, I know the chest is not in a mine. Please, just stick with me.  A few of the names were solid matches to mines in the area. But still, I know I needed to find the first clue. Mines fit the description of the first stanza and the heavy loads clue, so it could be it. 

Clue 1: Begin it where warm waters halt

At first, I started with the mine at Indian Hot Springs in the town of Idaho Springs. Not a great match, but supposedly the hot springs stopped for a time because of the mining next to it. I didn’t like it as a solid match, but I will come back to that. 

Clue 2: And take it in the canyon down

Downie Mine. Up by Central City. 

Clue 3: Not far, but too far to walk

Four mile gulch mine. Four miles isn’t far, but it is a decent amount to walk. 

Clue 4: From there, it’s no place for the meek

Meeker Mine. Did I really just skip over home of Brown? Yes. However, home of brown in this case could mean the general area (Central City) is the home of Aunt Clara Brown in which a hill is named after her. It formerly had a different name that needed to change. See historical maps. Home of brown could also refer to a second layer that I don’t have unlocked.

Clue 5: There’ll be no paddle up your creek

Reider Mine. Who’s creek. Yours. The reader of the poem. Out of all the clues, I feel that this is the one that is the most sketchy. But it’s a kind of riddle within the riddle. 

Clue 6: If you’ve been wise

Druid Mine. A druid is a type of wise Celtic priest by definition. 

Clue 7: and found the blaze

Blazing Star Mine or Fireman and Conductors Mine. These two mines are in the same general vicinity, so I will use an X on each of them for my map for two different possibilities.

Clue 8: Look quickly down

Scandia Mine. Pretty straight forward, looking quickly means to scan. 

Clue 9: Go in Peace

Pease Mine. Also pretty straightforward. 

Some of the other lines in the poem also can be interpreted into mines in the area. This is what I believe Forrest made more difficult in his revisions. He added different words to add in more choices or options in the map. 

Before I map this out and show you what it looks like, let me fast-forward you to two searches and 6 months later. I hadn’t gotten my final WWWH yet, and I decided to go up and check the area out. Laugh now. Take the chest and go in peace. It must be around, but not in, the Pease mine, right? After days of searching at 9000+ feet, which for a flatlander who now lives in Texas, I was tired and disappointed. These two searches definitely helped me get a lay of the land and scope things out. It also made me realize I needed to be more precise. 

So I took a respite of a couple months to let the disappointment wear off. What did I do wrong? So back to clue #1. WWWH. You will never get the chest without knowing WWWH. In reviewing a list of all the historical mines in the counties, I finally found it. Something that I overlooked the first few months.

Clue 1: Begin it where warm waters halt

Thirty second mine. Water freezes at 32 degrees, could this really be it? 

So this is where the magic happens. I did this without looking at every scrapbook. I hadn’t seen a lot of the confirmation bias areas that I mention below. I left Idaho Springs in as a potential second option, but when you map this out, you get this pattern:

  Zooming in on the search area: 

The red line signifies the main outline of drawing a line from Clue #1 through to Clue #9. When I first drew this, I had never seen Scrapbook 126 or Forrest’s hat, ‘mildew’. When I did see that, I saw some major confirmation bias. Speaking of confirmation bias: here are the references in which Forrest mentions names of mines that are in the Central City, Colorado area. 

Confirmation Bias:

Mildew

image5

Denver Museum of Nature and Science – Has a Colorado Mining history permanent exhibit. Also launches tours from the museum of the area. 

Mines – 

Nevada

Toledo

Philadelphia

Boss

Grizzly

Tomahawk (SB126)

Mammoth

Santa Fe (it’s the name of a mine too)

Glory (is where you find it) Hole

Tucker

Sketchy confirmation bias:

3 jars of Cloves – clovis. If you look at a historical topographical map of this area, you will see that the hill is called Quartz Hill. I believe that this is a reference to the 3 quartz clovis points of Fenn’s collection.

Prize Mine- He mentions prize so many times, could he be referring to Prize mine or is it just a coincidence? Probably a coincidence.

Dimensions – He mentions dimensions alot. Many dimensions that he mentions are also dimensions of boring equipment for mines. Coincidence? Maybe. 

Forrest never mentions this area in the book. But is definitely a potential pass by spot on the way to Yellowstone from Central Texas. The hole in the hat is about where the richest square mile on earth is. It would have been a good area to explore as a Principal of a school with kids

The two main search areas in focus are the two on the red line on the left. This is the line that runs from the Thirty Second Mine to the Downie Mine and intersects with Blazing Star/Firemans mines and Scandia Mine. These two areas are close to the top of Quartz Hill, but not at the top and about 200 feet or so off the main road, which if dry, you can drive.

Getting there. To get there, you start below the home of brown and drive through the old ghost  town of Nevadaville.  Not  only do you see the old run down buildings (see Google Earth), but you also see the Nevadaville gulch which has signs that the one below: “Impassable during high water”. 

image11

Quartz Hill is made up of a mix of private land mine claims, BLM Lands, and USFS lands. Some areas are posted and you could be convicted for trespassing, and some areas are open and you can travel across. I took a lot of time researching who owned what parcels so that I could be very cautious about where I traveled and what property I was on and when. At the end of Nevadaville road is the junction of Roy Smith Rd. This road goes over Quartz Hill and Alps Hill, splitting the two. I parked here and walked the short distance to both spots. There is a small elevation change of a couple hundred feet, and you could easily drive up if you wanted to. There is a horse stable that does tours on this road once or twice a day, but really that is the only traffic that I have seen in my multiple trips to the area. 

Spot 1: Blazing Star to Scandia/Thirty Second to Downie

This area is on BLM land, as you are walking up Roy Smith you are in a mix of Aspen and Pine trees. A little way up the road, I came across this: 

image9

When I got to the spot where I needed to enter the woods, I saw a series of markers on the ground, approximately 25-50’ apart leading into the woods towards my spot. 

image8

 My spot just happened to be located about 200’ off of the main road, and looked like this. 

image2

I looked around the area with a metal detector and searched in the nooks and crannies, however nothing was found. I wasn’t too keen on this area as this was an old mining area and I felt that it went against Forrest’s “not in a mine” quote, even if technically it wouldn’t have been in a mine. Too close. 

Spot #2:

Fireman’s Mine to Scandia/ Thirty Second to Downie

This area has a mix of BLM/USFS/Private Land, so you need to be very careful and intentional where you go. When I got to the GPS location of the spot, I started by searching in a 25 foot radius of the GPS location. I then found this:

image10s

Looks like an arrow pointing in a direction, right? Pretty neat, if you ask me, even if not by Forrest.  This ‘arrow’ pointed to a tree, and on the other side of the tree was this:

image7

 It is a marker of a cow (or similar) pelvis. It isn’t wildlife that is native to the area, so it’s definitely something that someone brought to the area and planted. I can also tell you that there is a great deal of decay of the bones so its been there for many years. It is next to a marker that looks like a gravestone. Obviously, it’s been marked with trail marking tape. This area, I extensively searched. I had my shovel with me along with my metal detector. As this is the forest floor, there are years of pine needles covering the ground.  Hold the pelvic bone up and you find that it looks like a particular symbol:

 Maybe it was here and someone found it? Maybe. Could it be a plant of someone who had the same idea? Possibly. Could it be just a coincidence. Of course. 

Spots #3 & #4:

Blazing Star to Scandia/Idaho Falls to Downie
Firemans to Scandia/Idaho Falls to Downie

These two spots weren’t fruitful, except for the views, which were remarkable. They are both relatively close to one another, a little more difficult of a walk to get to, but still accessible for someone in shape in their 70s. No signs of anything, but here are a couple pictures of the remarkable views; they don’t really do it justice.

image4

image6

In conclusion:

I am not a statistician, but I do know that it isn’t very likely (not impossible) that all of these spots line up as well as they do. While a couple of the mines may be a stretch to fit the clues, many fit well. I was able to access a mining database with all the historical mines in the Rockies. Through this, I can safely say that there is not another area within the Rockies that this methodology works. At least, none that I found. Does it mean its on the right path? Of course not, there is no way to know that unless I had the chest. And while I didn’t find a chest full of riches, I did find a way to exercise my brain and my legs. My heart is full of love for this area and my mind is full of imagination and wonder of the possibilities of things to come.

-Casey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Trips To Pebble Creek…

Pebble Creek Trail Yellowstone IMG 9217

July 2019

By llll

 

 

I first heard about the Chase in the news August 2017, read a couple of articles about the treasure hunt in New Mexico and didn’t think more about it. A few weeks later it bounced back via a childhood friend that also had heard about the treasure hunt. This time I learned that it might be hidden in the Yellowstone area and now it caught my attention. I started looking in to it and all of a sudden I got struck by gold fever!

The recap below is just a very condensed version of the events, maybe I’ll write something longer later on. Many fellow searchers can probably recognize themselves in the struggle; great confidence and high hopes, disappointment and frustration, giving up and going at it again -it has been a roller coaster!

four trips to pebble creekI first went to Pebble Creek in Yellowstone in September 2017. I did not have much time and didn’t find the treasure, I e-mailed Forrest my solution and put it aside. A couple of weeks later when I looked through my photos from the trip I realized that I had made a simple mistake.

I went back in mid June 2018. I found a very good hiding place that matched the last clue but found nothing. I sent an e-mail that described where I had been and that I was flying home on the 24th. Then I went to see the Black Hills, the Great Plains and other places.

four trips to pebble creek copy

Scrapbook 188 arrived on the 21st and made me go straight back to Pebble Creek. The scrapbook led me to a tall pine that was easy to climb. When I first visited I felt that this was the place but couldn’t connect it to the poem until I read the story in SB 188.
I found nothing and gave up once again.

Odd questions and answers started to appear on Featured Questions the following weeks. At the end of the summer I was convinced they were ”blinks” aimed for me (confirmation bias!). I arrived at Pebble Creek late on the 24th of August, searched everywhere for four days and went back home on the 29th.

four trips to pebble creek copy 3Even though I didn’t find the treasure I still believed the treasure to be at Pebble Creek. Scrapbooks and questions kept coming and in late September I believed the treasure to be high up in the pine, covered in pitch. I had seen the football-shaped pitch all the time but didn’t climb up to it because it was a bit difficult to reach and it looked all natural.

four trips to pebble creek copy 2On June 13th this year I was back, climbed the pine and the football turned out to be just a normal burl. I sent off an e-mail and then went on a ten day trip to the Bighorns, Great Plains and the Beartooths.
Before I flew home to Sweden I went back to Pebble Creek one last time to check and say goodbye.four trips to pebble creek copy 4It has really been a great adventure, Pebble Creek will be with me forever and I have visited places I have dreamt of since I was a kid.
Thank you Forrest and the Thrill of the Chase!

-llll

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dream Solve…

July, 2019

By Yellowdog

First off, if you are thinking that by Dream Solve, I mean the ultimate solve, like Dream Machine or Dream Team, sorry, you will have to read elsewhere.  This is definitely not that type of Dream Solve
What you are about to read is a true and accurate accounting—at least as much as one can hope for when jotting down as many recollections as possible after waking from a second grade rendition of the The Wizard of Oz induced treasure chase dream.  What the heck am I talking about, you wonder?  Imagine about 40 “proud” parents, grandparents, siblings and sadistic people in small 96 degree room, all watching their 1st-ish through 4th-ish grader perform an hour long version of the classic movie.  I really felt sorry for the Cowardly Lion.  She was probably melting just as much as the Wicked Witch of the West.  But I have ventured down a rabbit hole—not the first to do that in the chase, hey?
So after the excruciatingly painful low-budget production, the gal I am seeing [let’s just call her “Kim”] was putting the mighty and powerful Wizard to bed.  Me, I was relaxing on the couch.  Well, somewhere between 9:30 and 10:00 as I was lying there recovering from the performance, I ended up dozing off. And this is what happened…
Within the next 90 minute or so window, I had a very vivid dream that the treasure had been found. In the dream, “Kim” was crying.  When I asked what was up, she said someone had just beat her to it. This is odd in and of itself, because she is not even a searcher and kind of makes fun of me for being involved in the chase. Anyway, as it turned out, a team of searchers had just retrieved the treasure.
In my dream, Indulgence was located in Montana.
I was curious as to the final solve and started talking with the team that retrieved it. Interestingly enough, they were a team of six working together but each had their own individual solve. So when I had asked 2 or 3 people how they found it. They didn’t even know. They were just under direction of the leader du jour.
So here is how it all played out… Indulgence was found on the grounds of a state university campus in Montana, but even in the dream it was still unclear witch (see what I did there): Billings, Bozeman, Missoula or Helena. So I started asking about the clues to the one who directed/lead the find. And the answers were horrible.
It was something along the lines of:
warm waters halt = the flagpole or the fountain at the front of Memorial Union (ISU had a Memorial Union) [Memorial, tears, parents dropping off kids, whatever]

Canyon down = take Canyon Drive down the hill

Home of brown = Brown House…  (when I was in school at ISU, buildings were halls, and floors were houses)

So the chase started, begin at Memorial Union courtyard, and take Canyon Drive down the hill, until you see Brown House…  This was the $#ittie$t solve I had ever heard…
That is pretty much about all I remember, oh other than the final resting place.  Indulgence was located beneath a bench sitting under a statuesque Cherry tree.
In my groggy state, my mind started going down rabbit holes and grasping at straws and piecing together bits of information in ways that it shouldn’t.
The woodsman illustration—George Washington—Cherry Tree (CLICK)
Education—too late to get any—sign over school house—wasn’t going to college because father and he didn’t think he could make it (CLICK)
And there was one other thing (CLICK), a Spanish word (CLICK)
Spanish class—teacher talking in Spanish—etc (CLICK)
In my dream the word was Fortunada? or Fortunas? In my dream, I thought that (whatever the word was), it meant to be fortunate, but it actually meant Treasure—the Treasure—Indulgence—The Treasure State. (CLICK)
Ahh…  All the tumblers had rotated into place and the puzzle pieces were starting to fit!
And then the fog began to lift.  As it did, I began to feel both elated and saddened at the same time.  Elated because it was just a bad dream and the treasure hadn’t really been found. Saddened, because even in my dreams I couldn’t piece the clues together, and was watching as someone else found Indulgence.
Happy Searching, All…  And Best of Luck…

Yellowdog in WA

By the way, just to rebate you 3 minutes of your life back:
Fortunada = nothing
Furtunadamente = Fortunately
Fortunas = Fortunes
Tesoro = Treasure

 

 

 

 

The Blaze…

yellow

This is the place to discuss the the blaze. What do you think it is? Is it temporary or permanent? Will it be around for a thousand years or doesn’t it matter? Is it easy to spot or difficult? Does the poem tell us what the blaze looks like or what it is?

Nick Lazaredes of SBS-TV’s Dateline in Australia interviewed Forrest in the spring of 2014. Here is Forrest explaining the BLAZE.
https://dalneitzel.com/video/audio/blaze.mp3

Where Warm Waters Halt…

green

This is for a discussion about Where Warm Waters Halt. We’ve all got ideas that didn’t work out or we are willing to share…I think we can give folks just starting out some ideas for the kinds of places that might just be the place Where Warm Waters Halt…or not!

Let the discussion continue…

dal…