Trying To Read Between The Lines…

bbyt
October 2019

By James Collier

 

Trying To Read Between The Lines

For this solve, I tried to keep things relatively simple. One day, about a month or so ago I was reading some replies on Dal’s blog. The discussion was in reference to some of the things Forrest Fenn has said in the past, as well as the 200ft and 500ft quote. I began to wonder why people were able to get within 200ft and 500ft of the TC, but not realize they were so close. How!? In almost 10 years, and the countless amount of searching, on top of the amount of people who have had very intellectual ideas, why has it not been found? So, I began to think. I sat around for an entire afternoon and asked myself the following questions:

 

1.How did people get so close and not realize it?
2.Why did FF tell people if you didn’t read anything else in the book, read “My War For Me.”
3.Why did ff tell a kid when asked if he thought a kid could solve it, “Yes, quite possibly one of the “smart” ones.”
4.Why did he say that “telling people when he found the location” would be too revealing of a clue?
5.Why did ff say there were clues “sprinkled” throughout the book but they weren’t deliberately placed to aid the seeker?
To answer these questions, I wanted to approach my next solve by simply sticking to the notion that all you needed was the book, the poem, a map, and an extensive knowledge of Geography. That’s it. Nothing else. I began this solve by taking Fenn’s advice and re-reading “My War For Me.” I went back to this chapter and tried to focus on what he was saying. I tried to find something that would punch me in the face. I tried to put myself in his shoes, and when I did, something stood out to me. After all of the narrow misses, the war, getting shot down, finding the soldiers grave site, what would I look forward to most? If it was me? I would look forward to nothing more than coming home to my family. Being done with it all and in the arms of the people I love the most. That day was December 22nd for him, and when he walked into his home it was Christmas Eve. This is what hit me in the face…the punch so to speak. “So what?” you might be asking. Well, let me explain as to why this was important to me.

 

This goes deep into question #3 & #4 above. Why would it have to be one of the “smart” ones? Why would the time he found the location be too revealing? I was wondering if there was place in the book he specifically mentions an age. I knew of one for sure, but I wanted to go back to the chapter it was in and read what was being said. This chapter in TTOTC is “Looking for Lewis & Clark.” Fenn states “I was thrilled and wished I could have been part of those great adventures. Sixteen-year-old kids are like that I guess.” Could this be the age he was when he found the spot? A specific age that would be too revealing? It was also in this chapter where question #3 came right back around to slap me in the face. On page 63, ff states “ A few days later with the luxury of hot chocolate, I made some notes that might be helpful to any future “SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD GENIUSES” who think looking for Lewis and Clark might be fun. “One of the smart ones,” “Sixteen-year-old geniuses.” There is no way this was a coincidence in my mind. It is because of this chapter I believe the “map” you need to have is very specific. The map you need is a map of the Gallatin National Forest. A map that will “come in handy later on.”

 

From here I went on a google search for a Gallatin National Forest map from the late 1800s-1940s. A map he might have used. It was then I found this map:
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When I found this map, my jaw dropped. Could he really have laid everything out for us? Is this the idea he said to his recollection no one has come up with for the possible solution? With this solve, the clues in the book tell you about the location, tell you about a specific time period, but they are separate from the poem. The poem is to guide you from a directional standpoint. The sprinkled clues are literally there to tell you about where you need to be once you follow the poem…IMO. He stated you could find the location by the clues in the book if you could “recognize them.” I also believe this is why he wanted the cover of TFTW to be very specific. I think the cover of OUAW tells something very specific as well.

 

Let me start with the Poem and bring everything full circle so it makes sense to everyone. Now for the explanation:
Begin It Where Warm Waters Halt: Madison Junction

 

Take it in the canyon down: Madison Canyon

 

NFBTFTW: The 10 river miles where he put the rubber dinghy into the Madison River and fished “downstream” towards Baker’s Hole.

 

PIBTHOB: I believe the home of Brown is Bakers Hole. But, we don’t put in there. We put in BELOW the home of Brown. This would be Barns Hole.

 

From there it’s no place for the meek: The meek will inherit the earth, so we are talking about water.

 

The end is ever drawing nigh: FF has stated if you follow the clues and can’t find it, go back to the beginning. I believe this is the meaning of Nigh (One definition states: Draw the covers nigh towards you). Pulling them up towards you before you go to sleep, so we are going back towards the beginning. Back towards Madison Junction.

 

No paddle up your creek: There will be no paddle because we are walking, and you are not allowed to have a boat/rubber dinghy in this section of river.

 

Just Heavy Loads and Water High: FF stated he liked to fish in the bends of the Madison where the water turned green and deep. He also stated he could throw a bike into water high. This is where we start to bring the clues from the book into the solve. Heading up stream from Barns Hole you meet an area considered “Riverside.” This is one area where stagecoaches use to bring people down to the water. Due to this, and the deep water in the bends of the Madison, this was my “heavy loads and waters high.”

 

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze: I believe what we are supposed to be looking for is some kind of “Star.” On a rock, on a tree, something. My reason for thinking this is because of the 3 Wise Men (More on that in a little). Also, because of the cover of OUAW. I thought he was telling us what we are fishing for is a STAR.

 

Now that we are here at this location, let me explain as to why I believe the clues in the book tell us about a specific time, a STAR, and the location.

 

Clue 1: Green Olives
Clue 2: All the references to the color Green
Clue 3: All the references to the color Red
Clue 4: In the chapter Gypsy Magic he stated the Gypsies came through town several times a year
Clue 5: All the references to food and baking
Clue 6: All the references to fire
Clue 7: The references to dancing (gypsies and fairies)
Clue 8: The darkness behind the gypsies dancing
Clue 9: The darkness of him in the cemetery looking up
Clue 10: Page 146 in TTOTC shows a man with an ax, standing with his foot on a stump around cut down trees. Darkness around him. Looking up towards a bird that looks like a dove, and behind it the head of a turtle (More on this in a minute).

 

I think these clues are telling us about a specific time. I then believe he created the cover of TFTW for the same reason, as well as the cover of OUAW. This brings in some of his scrapbooks as well. The Cloves (Scrapbook 49) His Peppermint and Spearmint plants in his yard (Scrapbook 146).  Imagination is more important than knowledge quote.

 

“Come on already!” you’re probably saying. There are some people speculating throughout the blogs that we need to be at a specific place, at a specific time, to see a shadow cast across something. I believe a specific time is correct, but not for that reason.
I believe, he is referring to the Winter Solstice and Christmas Time. The time he left the war was on December 22nd. He walked into his house on Christmas Eve and for the next month “the flourish of activities related to homecoming and reuniting with family and friends put my jungle thoughts on hold.

 

1.Green Olives and Green Olive Wreaths are associated with Christmas
2.Imagination is more important than knowledge (Kids have the most imagination around Christmas time).
3.Green and Red are the colors of Christmas
4.Gypsies celebrate the summer solstice and the winter solstice. They celebrate with fire and dancing just like in the book when they came to down several times a year.
5.The winter solstice is known for: celebrations of festivals, spending time with loved ones, feasting, singing, dancing and fires. It more often than not falls on the 21st or the 22nd of December
6.The bird with the turtle head behind it I considered to be a reference to “Turtle Dove.”
7.The dark night sky in the pictures: The winter solstice is the time when the day is the shortest and when your shadow is the longest (Back to the cover of TFTW (Cast a lonesome shadow across the Madison)
8.In TTOTC he talked about being in the middle: The winter solstice is also referred to as “Midwinter.”
9.The moon during the winter solstice is called the “Cold Moon.” Effort will be worth the cold.
10. Cloves are considered the Christmas Spice
11. Peppermint and Spearmint are candy cane flavors
12. I believe the Blaze is a star due to the three wise men following the north star to baby Jesus when he was born on Christmas. Also, why the stick figure is hooked on a star on the cover of OUAW.

 

This brings back the map above and “Christmas Tree Park.” Christmas Tree Park is entered right across the street from the Dude Motel. Referred to now as “Riverside Trail.” It takes you down to a gated off area that, if you go beyond the gate, leads you down to the area considered “Riverside.” You can also get there from Barns Hole, but the walk is a lot longer walking upstream.

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This is what it looks like today

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The Entrance to the trail

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I hiked around here for a good 4 hours. I did a total of around 9.4 miles and took some amazing pictures. I kept and eye out for grizzly bears while trying to find anything that resembled a STAR and came up empty. The only thing I fo und I considered “Interesting” was this:
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I didn’t want to mess with it because I didn’t feel comfortable doing so. There were rocks all around it, and my gut instinct was to leave it intact. It wasn’t a STAR so I left it alone. I came up empty handed, but the scenery and the sounds of the Madison River are something I will never forget. I still believe my theory make sense, but if it wasn’t for this theory, I would not have been able to see this amazing place. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did:
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Heading towards Earthquake Lake once my searching was complete

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Horses near Red Canyon Rd. I wanted to check that road out due to FF stating they made their way up Red Canyon. Maybe on my next trip I’ll make the hike at the end of the road.

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This was around one of the deep bends of the Madison River, the guy was fishing into water that looked to be at least 15 feet deep.

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Another area between Barns Hole and Bakers Hole

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The Madison River before sunrise

-James Collier

 

 

 

 

Cabin Creek…

cabibcrOctober 2019

By A&M

 

Cabin Creek Solve

As I have gone over many of the reasons for this solve in the related “Beaver Creek Solve”.  Please click HERE and read that one first.

We got up early on that Wednesday morning in order to solve this thing, find the gold and still be able to make it to Canyon Village in Yellowstone to see the waterfalls before heading home Thursday morning.  We started with breakfast at the Campfire Lodge Resort.  It is a campground located at the confluence of Cabin Creek and the Madison River.  The breakfast was only bested by the view while eating.and they have a fly shop if you want to go catch something else to eat.  Our waitress told us that there were two momma bears on Beaver Creek and Cabin Creek one with a cub and one with twins.  We figured one down one to go.  On the way out, this old stove caught my eye and I knew it would be a good day.

BlazeKing

The day before, after the Beaver Creek solve, we had gone to the earthquake visitor’s center and learned about the devastation and the science of that dreadful night almost exactly 50 years prior.  One of the things that visually interested me was the scarp.  I had never heard the word but a scarp is the actual place where the plates of the earth slip and is raised or depressed depending on your perspective I suppose.  The ranger at the center told us that the scarp at Cabin creek was so vertical that it took one of the benches from a picnic table up while leaving the table and other bench in place at the bottom of the scarp.  The picnic table was no longer there but the photos told the stories of this place and many others in the Hebgen area.  We went to check it out.  That is me on the top of the scarp.

Scarp

From there, we walked into a small glade just north of the scarp area and down to Cabin Creek.  We saw this friendly otter having her own breakfast.

Otter

Getting back in the car, we drove to the other side of the creek and began our hike up the creek.  About a quarter mile up the trail, you see a manmade dam.  It was built to keep fish habitats from intermingling or some such thing.  Anyhow, it is made of concrete and I can only imagine the amount of work that went into getting those materials up to that point in the creek.  Maybe I think about these things too much but I’m always amazed at the amount of work we humans do for the “good” just to be lazy and let the “bad” happen the same.

The hike up Cabin Creek Trail is beautiful  at least the first 45 minutes is.  Sheer cliffs of rocks mixed with trees and sloped meadows abound.  After the 45 minutes, there is a turn into the woods that is seemingly uphill both ways with lots of roots to trip on.  This is bear country so if you are hiking alone, find a pet rock and keep conversation with it…Loud conversaion.  This is no place for the meek. 

Our solve was to follow this trail until we got to the crossing at Cub Creek at which time we would follow the trailless Cub Creek upstream to Indulgence.  When we got to Cub, we began crossing the creek back and forth on the rocks available.  We came across one bend and saw a large embankment of red.  This was the closest thing we had seen to a blaze so we checked it out thoroughly.

RedBank

We even checked holes where it seemed like someone had set up some rocks but it was only mother nature smiling.

RedHole

upstream a little bit further, we came across a small pool area that had paw markings and some fur caught on logs and branches.  

BearBathtub

further yet, there was a small waterfall that went into a deep pool.  I took a stick and jabbed it down into the hole.  Right in the center, it made a hollow sounding thud whereas all around the sound or the stick hitting rock was solid.  I’m not one to think that Indulgence is at, near, or under a waterfall so I wrote it off as whatever.  But then I started thinking about it and I knew that I had to make sure so that I could sleep at night.  So I removed my clothing and went into the frigid water.  I was not mistaken that there was a reason for the hollow sound.  Somehow a flat piece of shale or fieldstone was resting on top of other stones making the four walls and a roof.  While climbing out of the small pool in the buff, I realized that a thin layer of clothing makes one a lot more confident in the wild than perhaps it should.  I hastily put on my coat of armour and with the dignity it provided, we decided to head back.  It was at this moment (again) that I found the remains of another creature.  I do not venture to guess what beast this once belonged but I will leave the picture for you to judge for yourself.

Bone

So listen all and listen well we did not find what Forrest hid.  However, by going on this adventure with the love of my life, I have treasure abundant.  If either of these stories helps you find the treasure, good for you.  I don’t know that we will go out searching again for this particular thing as there is so much adventure in this world, it seems a shame to dwell in one place too long but then again as we are all different, so are our goals and ambitions.  

Good Luck to All,

A&M

If you have any questions or comments, please ask away but know that a speedy response isn’t a guarantee.

 

 

 

 

Odds n Ends About Fenn’s Treasure Hunt…

pinkPlease click on the comment balloon below to contribute to the discussion of  Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Hunt. Please note that many topics have their own pages. Please scroll through the blog to see all the discussion pages. There are also stories, scrapbooks, searcher’s reports general information, tips from Forrest, a rumors blog and even email responses from Forrest. So please look around and if you want to make a comment please use the most appropriate page.

Thanks…

 

dal…

Beaver Creek…

bc1
October 2019

By A&M

 

I learned of  Forrest’s treasure hunt earlier this year and became hooked on it not so much for the money (although that’s what draws people and makes it competitive) but for the challenge of solving the puzzle and being the person to find the dang thing.

I’ll just quickly go over how my wife and I chose our Beaver Creek solve but know that the Cabin Creek / Cub Creek solve was using very similar logic.

Of course this thing could be anywhere that Mr. Fenn has suggested.  However, it would be difficult to convince me that there is a better WWWH than Madison Junction.  The preponderance of thermal hydrogeological water features of the world flow down the Firehole and Gibbon rivers.  When the two come together to form the Madison they move further from the geysers and hot springs.  Add to that the fact that Madison Junction was the origin point or birthplace of Yellowstone and you could see how it would be a good spot to “Begin It….” From there I am not as sure of my solve but here goes.  We took the Madison Canyon down by car as it was too far to walk.  

Put in below the home of Brown:

Ok so I am not in love with the idea that Hebgen Lake is the home of Brown.  Sure there are Brown trout there but they are up and down the Madison from there as well.  Because the lake tilted from the earthquake in 1969, one of the banks was brown from exposed soil without vegetation but that didn’t last forever.  What drew me to this answer may make some laugh but I think it also ties to a story in TTOTC.  When Mr. Fenn talks about sliding down that rusty fire escape slide from Spanish class, he adds that it left the bottom side of his pants brown but it was worth it.  You can’t get to close to it anymore as I imagine you could bet back in Fenn’s day but where Hebgen spills over to reform the Madison, the overspill is a slide of sorts.  You can see the end of the “slide” from Hwy. 287 near Big Wig Loop but to get a better idea of what I’m talking about, look at it from Google Earth.  Anyway, for our purposes this is the home of Brown Damnit so lets put in.

From there it’s no place for the meek:

So I’m not one of those people who is counting every vowel in every line and thinks that this means something astrological or that Fenn was thinkig on so many levels that you need to know 5 different Native American languages to solve this thing.  That said, I don’t see why the word “meek” keeps being misconstrued to mean “less than brave” or “afraid”.  The word means quiet.  It can mean weak as in “easy to convince to change mindset or opinion”.  But I think lets just go with simple.  No place for the meek is no place to be quiet.  You don’t want to be quiet in bear country unless you want to meet a bear.  In Grizzly Bear country, you don’t want to meet a bear period.  Add to that it rhymes with creek and there’s your meek.

So we drove up USFS Rd. 985 that runs adjacent to Beaver Creek.

The end is never drawing nigh;

There’ll be no paddle up your creek,

Just heavy loads and water high.:

I’ve heard the “nigh” equals left idea but I think he’s looking for a word that rhymes with high.  There will be no paddle up your creek means walk up a creek that is very small and obviously unnavigable.

So, with that, our idea was to walk up the West Fork of Beaver Creek which, yes is a fork that enters from the left hand side when one is charting a path up Beaver Creek proper.  We parked at the West Fork trailhead and began hiking.  I am very aware that Mr. Fenn has said that Indulgence is not near a human trail but when you are out there, in order to get away from the road, the only logical solution to enter nature is to take a trail or to start walking in the creek.  The second option is very slow moving and there are fishermen and women that frequent these creeks but if you think it is hidden where there is a moderate amount of human foot traffic, I have no reason to dissuade you from just walking around in the creeks and look for the blaze.  We chose to take the trails and to look for places to diverge from the trail on our quests.

We started down the trailhead and made it about 3 minutes in before I decided that I would like to change out of my shorts and into jeans.  This trail isn’t well trodden and the growth would have been uncomfortable at the least.  Plus, I figured this to be another layer for the bear to chew through so I would at least get to see the annoyance that the bear would face having to chew through the denim of my trousers to get to my leg flesh.  I imagined that, if I was lucky enough to remain conscious long enough I could see the humorous mouth calisthenics of trying to spit the jeans without fumbling my fibula into the canyon below.  Anyhow, I put on jeans.

We walked approximately 1:45 in stopping at several small mountain streams that resembled washouts.  We walked up and explored a few that would have been great hides including this small waterfall next to a log that looked like it had been burnt. 

BeaverCreekPhoto1

We went through a few switchbacks until we came to one, at which point we decided that Mr. Fenn would not have come this far in.  We knew we had at least an hour and fifteen minutes to walk back.  We figured that for an 80 year old this is at least a 3:30 round trip even if you know exactly where you are going and I am not convinced that a man of this age would do it twice in a day.  The unmarked switchback upon which we turned around was the fork at which the hiker would decide to go to the right to go to Avalanche Lake or to the left to go to the triple small lakes.  This junction, and actually the trail in general, was unmarked which is a shame because if we had known that we were that far in, we would have carried on and went up to Avalance to see it.  Oh Well.

On the walk down between scaring off bears with our singing voices, we decided to walk off the trail to see where the west fork met the main Beaver Creek.  When we got off the trail, we began seeing a lot more evidence of animals from trodden grass, moved rocks, and, of course, poop.  We began to get an erie feeling that we were on someone elses land and ignoring the no trespassing signs.  When we saw fresh bear tree markings we felt like we should turn around now lest we make some markings of our own in the aformentioned jeans.  At that thought, I saw a jawbone that turns out is the bottom jaw of an elk.  We decided to take the jawbone home and leave the rest of this elk for some other treasure hunter to find.  

BeaverCreekPhoto2

Good Luck To All,

A&M

 

 

 

 

A Glacier National Park Solution…

gnpbbSeptember 2019

By Kurt

 

This is a Glacier National Park solve my wife and I did in early September 2019.

Here is my interpretation of the poem:

As I have gone alone in there
: He was literally alone.

And with my treasures bold,
: He had the treasure in a backpack and people could possibly see him as he started his trek to the hidden location.

I can keep my secret where,
: He is not going to tell anyone and no one else knows. “Two can keep a secret if one is dead.” ff

And hint of riches new and old.
: Riches new = Treasure State, Montana.  Riches old = The Treasure (Indulgence)

Begin it where warm waters halt
: At the east end of Going to the sun Road where the road begins. Evaporating waters are warm and halt going to the sun in the form of clouds. Fenn also mentioned that kids would have an easier time solving the poem.  Maybe that’s because they learn about the water cycle in school.

And take it in the canyon down,
: Head into the canyon westward.

Not far, but too far to walk.
: Go about 20 miles (see “Too Far to Walk” 20-mile bike ride.) Fenn also commented once when a reporter asked if the treasure really existed, he said what would keep him from riding his bike in there and throwing it in the water high. People do ride their bikes on the Going to the Sun road.

Put in below the home of Brown.
: Park just after Haystack Creek at the base of Haystack Butte. Haystack is in the brown color family. The parking area is about 500 ft from where the treasure may be.

From there it’s no place for the meek,
: Scary to drive with steep cliffs in that area. Walking on the road is dangerous too with cars going by.  There are no sidewalks.

The end is ever drawing nigh;
: The creek is on the left (nigh) as you leave your car. Also, nigh could mean close.

There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
: Head up the side of the creek.  You cannot use a canoe in this creek.

Just heavy loads and water high.
: Big boulders, cascading water.  It’s a very steep creek and very high.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
: At about 200 ft from the road you will walk in a clockwise manner and head towards the road and end up on a small ledge. Is that light-colored rock the Blaze? It looks out of place amongst the dark rocks.

Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
: Maybe treasure is under the ledge that you are standing on. Jump down and look.

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Haystack Creek is very visible to oncoming cars and to sightseers at the pullouts. I did not want to climb up in broad daylight, so we returned the next day just before sunrise with a flashlight.

The first ledge to get up from the road seemed like it may be too difficult for an 80-year-old man with 22lbs in a backpack.  It also didn’t seem like Forrest would want to climb up, twice, in broad daylight with many people possibly watching. This road is very busy, even before sunrise.

When I reached the Blaze, that lightly colored boulder that looked like it didn’t belong, I searched all around the boulder, near the creek, to the left, to the right, up, down, and under every ledge in the area.

Haystack Creek is known for avalanches/landslides so it’s possible that the boulder I saw wasn’t there when Forrest hid the chest or that it might end up getting knocked down in a future avalanche or rockslide.

My wife and I didn’t find the treasure, but we experienced some beautiful hikes while in Glacier National Park.  I highly recommend the Hidden Lake Overlook hike.

Keep searching, stay safe, and have fun!

-Kurt

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Bighorn Ram, Logan Pass

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Clements Mountain

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Going to the Sun Road

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Hidden Lake Overlook

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Hidden Lake Trail

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Lunch Creek

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Red Rock

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Haystack Creek

 

 

 

A Colorado Theory…

Screen Shot 2019 09 27 at 6 05 33 PM

September 2019

By Richard McKeever

 

First let me introduce myself. I am a searcher of 7 years. I am also 62 years old with a lung condition, who has searched in all 4 states. I have found all kinds of treasures from antiques, to silver dollars, to a 4 pound silver surveyor’s ingot.

100 0583

Back in July of 2019 while rereading TTOTC I was surprised by a passage I had taken as superficial before. In the chapter “Gold And More” on page 130, I found it curious that Forrest went into great detail about Siler Bracelet. He skimmed most the other items, yet he went so far as to describe not only that he won it playing pool, but who he won it from.

He talks about winning it from Byron Harvey, who was also a collector of native American artifacts, Byron had a collection of over 900 Kachina Dolls, and was a well known scholar and gentleman. As such I can only believe the pool he played Forrest was Snooker a gentleman’s game.

Fenn Bracelet in Treasure Chest

When Forrest described the bracelet as having 22 beads, it struck me that there were 22 balls used to play Snooker. 15 Red balls, 6 numbered balls, and the Que ball. When setting up the table for the initial break there is a place on the table for the brown number 4 ball called ” The Point of Brown.” So I correlated the Home of Brown as the pool table with the Point of Brown on it.

assup

I took these measurements and transferred them to a map of each state and nothing popped. I got to thinking and decided to see if I used only the treasure portion of the maps. Colorado was the only state that would fit as a pool table set up.

So I drew a straight line from Raton Pass north to a point on the Wyoming boarder almost where I-25 crossed. From there    I went to the SW corner of the Colorado, New Mexico boarder, from there I went east to about the halfway mark, and the north about a quarter way up where the Point of brown was located on a pool table. It popped! That point turned out to be Pool Table Mountain.

I knew just to the west of there was Wagon Wheel Gap Hot Springs, and jest east of the spring was the 4 UR Ranch where the WWWH’s at the resort’s spa. From there you can go down the canyon to the base of Pool Table Mountain, following in this vein, I continued going down the canyon to a put in that was not on the Rio Grand River. I found that spot as where you put in on US Hwy 160 at South Fork CO. If you turn right you will be heading up Wolf Creek Pass, and towards the Continental Divide, NPFTM. At the divide you are 10865 feet, to high so you keep traveling west to Wolf Creek Road at 10180 feet. Your at the top of Wolf Creek here, NPUYC because you are already at the top, and a waterfall’s. I was unable to search here as my lung condition warranted me to lower elevation. As you turn onto the FS road there is also an overlook, TSWMG.  As I was unable to search for the blaze, I am certain in my honest opinion that this place warrants an investigation. I am also struck by Forrest’s words,” you end up where you began.” translate to read Hint of Rich’s New and Old. This because you are near the top of Treasure Mountain.

-Richard McKeever

 

 

 

Undine Falls……

bt01

September 2019

By AFGNCAAP

 

BEFORE THE SEARCH

Has anyone here played Zork?  How about the  much less-known sequel, Zork: Grand Inquisitor?  In the game, the main character is guided by a lantern who selects the moniker AFGNCAAP – which stands for “Ageless, Faceless, Culturally Ambiguous Adventure Person.”  During my last three years on the search (from my armchair and trolling HoD), I thought this name aptly appropriate to hide my true identity.

Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, and stationed all around the country in the U.S. Coast Guard, I finally landed in Michigan, which has limited my ability to make regular BOTG trips to RM.  However, I am in this more for the fun than for indulgence, so decided to marry a work trip out here with a reunion of sorts with my father.  As of writing this, we will be heading to Wyoming this weekend to do some hiking and fishing, but also look in my primary search area.  I have some other areas as backup in case we find nothing the first day, but I’m hoping they will not be necessary.

Here is my breakdown of how I interpreted the clues in the poem to reach my solve location.

First stanza:  Since we all know that “Begin it where warm waters halt…” is the first clue of the poem, what can be said about the first stanza.  I believe there is only a subtle hint; Forrest’s “secret where.”  I thought to myself; if I was looking for a place to rest my bones, it wouldn’t be out in the open, but could be guarded from view by passers-by.  Do you know where would be a good place to hide?  Behind a waterfall.   I also believe this “secret where” is actually a secret weir, which are used to regulate river flow for management purposes, and result in changes in height of a river.  These occur naturally, however, and are called waterfalls.  It will be discussed further below, but I believe one of the functions of Forrest’s secret weir is that it prevents many fish species from heading further upstream.  

Second Stanza:  This is where I believe the “word that is key” is “trout” and is used in each clue of the second stanza.  With this key word, clues in the second stanza are not only unlocked for where to go; but when to go as well.  There are several rivers that get too warm in the summer for trout to pass through, but at other times of the year are very rich with trout.  Gardiner River north of Boiling River is one of these locations.  People may have inadvertently started at Boiling River for other reasons, but the true clue is that warm waters halt in the late summer as the trout migrate up the river and must stop in two places; Osprey Falls down Gardiner Canyon or down Lava Creek Canyon towards Undine Falls.  

undine

NFBTFTW: my interpretation of this is that you could walk it from Boiling River if you wanted to, but why would you when there is a parking lot much closer to where you should “put in.”  HoB again refers to trout (specifically Brown) that have a late spawning run late September through November; this is where I believe you not only put in to one of these rivers “below” where Brown trout stop spawning, but also late enough in the year where most of the snow melt is finished and low flows make it easier to traverse.  Another assumption that I struggled with at first was words like “down” and “below.”  For a long time, I thought of them as “downstream” and “below” HoB would also be downstream.  But I was thinking like a nautical person, not someone following a map.

Third Stanza: This is another place I struggle with my interpretation of some of the clues, because as of this point following the clues has led me to two potential places; however, only one of them is a creek that breaks off “nigh” and has a relatively high climb to “heavy loads and water high.”  Is this confirming I took the right path?  If not, then I have inadvertently jumped around on the clues to know where (and when) to put in.

Fourth Stanza:  “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze.”  I’ve always believed that the blaze was a waterfall; there are just too few creeks to follow that would lead to anything but.  But “Wise Falls” is not in the Rocky Mountains (its in Washington State, if you are interested).  However, Undine are wise, typically female elemental creatures; and there is an Undine Falls that feeds the lower part of Lava Creek.  I can’t tell you how anxious I got when Wikipedia had this definition for a very long time, and then someone edited it and removed the “wise” part from the definition.  I thought to myself, “someone must be on the same path as I am and is trying to prevent others from making the same association.”  Maybe I should have taken that survey on HoD to see if I was paranoid…

I’m still not sure about the rest, as I know I will likely have to be BOTG to interpret the rest of the clues.  What I will be looking for is a terry scant, or a leaning flat(ish) stone that may be concealing indulgence from sight.  

I don’t know why, but I always wondered why Forrest made two trips from his car to the hiding spot that afternoon.  Most assume that one was for the chest, and the other was for the treasure.  I actually think he brought the “terry scant” down first, and then returned with the TC and concealed it.  I’ll be looking around the bottom of the falls, and even behind it.

Oh, one last thing.  Did you know there is an Upper and Lower Undine Falls?  From the lookout on the road, you can clearly see Upper Undine Falls.  But just around the corner to the left (about 200 feet away) there is a Lower Undine falls that people can hike to and never be seen  from trails or pull outs on the road.  It would also be a great place to ride your bike out to and throw in the water high.

I’ll write more after my search…


AFTER THE SEARCH

So… I fully believe lower Undine falls is no place an 80 year old man could go; I went once and barely made it back to the car.  Cutting down from Lava Creek trail, my dad and I went back and forth over all the cuts of the creek, often backtracking and zig-zagging more than we should have.  

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We finally got to the lower falls, which I thought was “the wise blaze.”  There was a lot to see down there besides the beautiful view that I am sure very few people have had the opportunity to see…

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This includes some orange markings on the wall behind the falls, a large group of rocks on the far side of the falls with lots of moss on them, and a large boulder directly down from the falls.  I was so exhausted after the trek there I didn’t have much left in me to explore, especially knowing I had to return to my vehicle at the end of it.  It might have been there, but from some of the nooks and crannies I could access without chest waders, I didn’t see indulgence in sight; I still have a difficult time thinking an 80 year old person could make it there, but I might just be too out of shape.

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Next steps:

So, I promised my wife after a BOTG trip (which also included other trips to Lost Creek falls, Joe Brown trail head, and Bear Creek Canyon), that I would stop talking so much about TTOTC, in hopes that she can begin introducing me in social circles without explaining what I am interested in😊  I still believe that some of my interpretations of the poem are correct, and want to help whomever else is looking for future BOTG locations.  My suggestions include:

  • I still feel Lava Creek is a good place; I wish I would have started where Lava Creek connects with the Gardner river, and put in there.
  • The second stanza (I feel) is most certainly around Brown trout.  Whether WWWH is something ecological, or perhaps it is on the border outside of NM where there is a legal definition of “warm waters,” I think that spawning location of Brown trout is a critical part of the solve.
  • I felt strongly that “wise blaze” was “Undine Falls;” or more generally that a falls was the blaze.  I’m much less certain of this interpretation now.  I still feel like it could be a possibility; especially since we are looking for a place where someone can throw their bike into “water high” near the TC.
  • It will be a few years before I make another BOTG trip, but I’m not keeping my interpretations a secret anymore; if one of use solves this thing, it will be a win for all of us!

-AFGNCAAP

 

 

 

 

Forrest Gets Mail – 24

wi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

——————————

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Odds n Ends About Fenn’s Treasure Hunt Part Eighty Eight…

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Please click on the comment balloon below to contribute to the discussion of  Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Hunt. Please note that many topics have their own pages. Please scroll through the blog to see all the discussion pages. There are also stories, scrapbooks, searcher’s reports general information, tips from Forrest, a rumors blog and even email responses from Forrest. So please look around and if you want to make a comment please use the most appropriate page.

Thanks…

 

dal…

A Straight Forward Colorado Solve……

leadville train

September 2019

By Aaron R.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aaron R.