SUBMITTED MAY 2018
If you believe you have a good solve, and a plan. Please stop reading, and just go about your business. If you would like to skip to the end, please read on, if you so dare. I’ve left out much of the details and how many of the stories and scrapbooks pertain to the correct path, but you will probably figure out a bunch of them with a little digging and imagination… just take a look, and try not to get excited. I will provide my journals (emails) to Fenn over the course of the last year, on my website (noone37.com …coming soon), on a gradual basis. Mr. Fenn has taught us mountains, and I like to use some things from his playbook: immaculate grammar and spelling does not allow for imagination or poetic license, it’s like looking at the exact same painting style from every artist. Please forgive me, I rarely go back and edit, so there will probably be some happy little mistakes…
I have yet to see the chest or touch it, though I have a good idea of where it may be. I leave these truths to be self evident, I have studied this Gordian Knot, and about to pull out the pole pin.
I hope for the best for all involved, please allow me to cut to the chase:
Just about a year ago, I was roped into something very special, and consuming. It all started with the last half of an Expedition Unknown segment, then my curiosity and the challenge. I mulled over that poem for a couple of weeks, thought like many I had a good idea and then a plan was set. We’d drive for a couple of days out to Yellowstone, take in the sights, and find that darn chest. Not only was my first inclination totally wrong, someone had already been there! My partner urged me that evening to not give up, we had come so far, see what else you can come up with in the area, she said. So I went back to my “warm waters halt” ideas, and found one I couldn’t shake. You see, below Yellowstone lake there’s warm water that is stifled, there’s a heck of a canyon down river, and there’s an Artist’s point, where an architectural painter by the name of Grafton Tyler Brown did a painting of the lower falls. But what really got my attention, as I looked over the satellite map, a small horseshoe shaped pond in the woods just south west of the point. This was just going off some logic… worth a shot.
The next morning, we took some pictures with the falls, peeled away from the crowd and made our way clockwise up the hills to check out this little unique pond. Huffing and puffing like a couple of low land easterners, we finally arrived at the hidden clear water gem. As I inspected the end of the peninsula jutting into the reservoir, I found a piece of cloth. Appeared to be an old white halter top, full of holes. It had definitely been there more than a few years. Just then, my ever beautiful and ever observant wife proclaimed she spotted something behind me, a bottle! Not just any bottle, it turned out to be a L-G 1934 milk bottle, in great condition. People shouldn’t litter!…Now how do you suppose that got there? …I had a pretty good idea.
You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. -Maya Angelou
Everything about this bottle was a clue.
After searching all around the surrounding area, and even flying back on a return trip, with some new ideas. I thought I had reached the end of my treasure hunt, that was far from the truth. I had yet to use much of my imagination, or that bottle. On that return trip I stayed in Gardiner Montana, because of the cheaper rates and close proximity. I learned that Gardiner has an unexpected “I” in its name, and it was the end stop on one of the steam locomotive lines. But a few things caught my eye on the drive down to the falls area. The swimming hole just south of the park entrance. And who would say halt, but a Gard. The town of Mammoth, which just happened to be the seed of coming national parks, and all those Brown signs within them… What animal was Bigger and Brown, than a mammoth (no see hair? nose hair! my favorite clue/ interview haha!). There was also the Liberated felt cap in Mammoth, and further down the canyon something really got my goat. There was a pull-off parking spot for the Sheepeater cliff area just down from where a coyote camp used to be. Sounded like no place for meek sheep or bananas to me (who says baaa? …and na, na,…no, no…, think like this, and you will see through the vale).
A bell, a cowboy, and his dog…
When I returned home, I dug further into all this mounting evidence and started to build my case. Now I’m no detective, but I was refusing to give up this chase case, much to my wife’s dismay. As I started to notice such things on the map, as the Obsidian lake, which fed a little creek that eventually emptied into the Gardner right where I started looking. Of which, with a little imagination, just happened to look like the profile of a big head with a load on his mind. Then on the other side of the river, just to the north east, trees in the shape of a huge hat! I would come to learn, the Obsidian from just south of there, has been found all across the US. Even hundreds of pounds over a thousand miles away before Indians had horses, some found in the Ohio mounds. Seems like something Forrest would have to mention… unless he didn’t want to draw attention. I also read somewhere, after the fire in ’88 there were scientists from the Denver museum out there making observations above the obsidian cliff. How convenient, If you needed to hitch a ride…
Just enough to stay hidden, what a beautiful work of art! Hat’s off to mother nature! lol
After several more trips, my attention was to take a monumental turn. I began to notice a very big picture, and figures appeared in the new trees from above. The floating hat guy was just the beginning, there was a huge chess piece to be seen, the head of a horse, Pegasus? Secretariat? Ralph Lauren? Polo?. Off of his nose, a crescent moon, a dove made from the wide shallow falls. A little cowboy, a dog at his side, and just above his head, the shape of a bell! A beautiful ode to Mr Sloan, there was no more doubt in my mind anyway, I was in the correct area. My attention then turned to the natural spring along the crescent, water flowed from high above. Then looking on down river, the possible appearance of a little man with an ax on his shoulder, a possible stump below him, and a large frog to his west. Mother natures wonders never cease! Below these figures, back to the south towards the big hat, along the river’s edge, sails topped with a skull.
More than impressed with the scope of things, a large buffalo to the west, a small chicken under him, a bear face or two to the north, a possible cat up there too. And there very well may be more, but this is where I will stop. I have tried the obvious and not so much. Hopefully this will take the chase a giant leap forward, level the field, perhaps. More like presenting you where the field is. It very well may be found this summer, time will always tell. I am content, for it is not in my nature to seek out fame and fortune. Believe I have gotten y’all most of the way there, and as odd as it may seem, I shall let the glory go to the one who can finish it. I love a challenge, I love the infinite possibilities, and I love the great outdoors, and that is plenty for me. Please be careful if you explore, nature is not forgiving, though personally I see no better place to go, this I know. Yes, for me it was the hunt I sought, and not the quarry. From a disaster, they found opportunity in those twisted pines. My guess is, they don’t ask you many questions, when you volunteer to replant a forest..
May you all find inspiration and peace within your travels.
Please obey The law, don’t do any digging, it’s not allowed or needed, I believe. Stay away from steep grades, high water, and anything else that might kill you. Show respect for the natural environment, and each other. If you get the place shut down or cause forrest to call it off, well that’s on you… and take a kid fishing. Tip your waiters and waitresses at least 20%, and the same for that dude that gave you 90% of the solve, that would be fair in my eyes. And if you don’t get it done within the next 2 months to 2 years, I will come back and quite possibly walk off with it, in short order (I’d like to invite Cynthia and Cowlazars to join me…). 10% would go to my veteran buddy next door, 10% to my old uncle who kept me straight, that old guy has some great stories too… sometimes the story, is worth more than the object… and may wonders never cease! Butterflies and life are fleeting, but maybe a family’s story is worth more than what’s in a box?
P.S. -My original plan, if I found it, was to go to one of those Carvana vending machines, pick out a nice ride, and “OH! Look what came with my car!” but then I remembered, some people have put a lot more time an effort into all this, and I kinda hope one of those veterans in this chase, will see this solve for what it is and finish it.
Man has responsibility, not power.-TUSCAR