SUBMITTED june 2018
Armchair thoughts from the UK
I first came across Forrest Fenn in the news following an unfortunate tragedy for one treasure seeker. A google search later and I was hooked on the mystery and challenge, the map and poem both being readily available. I love a good mystery and love the great outdoors. Being in the UK I can’t get my boots on the ground so to speak due to health issues. Thank heavens for the internet! Like anyone, I may be way off the mark with my theories and interpretations. However near or far I am from the real location I hope that whoever eventually finds the treasure lets us all know the location, anonymously or not.
In my search I’ve read a lot of different theories and snippets in addition to the poem and map, but those things have just reaffirmed my chosen location, correct or not, to me. I’m sure others may have already thought of it.
Having read through the poem several times I finally settled on the nine clues being between ‘begin’ and ‘cease’, which might seem obvious in some ways. I think most of the rest of the poem is a very personal narrative from FF.
‘Begin it where warm waters halt’
Within about an hour I decided to centre my search on Colorado, based on a combination of maps and feeling. I then came upon the town of Poncha Springs. The town was founded in 1880 because of the hot springs. The springs were capped in 1935. The town calls itself the ‘gateway to the Rockies’. It is also on Highway 285 north of Santa Fe, NM (possible take on 8.25?).
‘And take it in the canyon down’
You never go up into a canyon, so I didn’t think this so much as a navigational pointer, more of an instruction to head to a canyon.
‘Not far, but too far to walk’
My guess is this refers to the fact that Browns Creek is too far to walk from Poncha Springs, but head up Highway 285 and then on county road 271 and you can get to parking for Browns Creek Trailhead. (You could also start in the Gunnison direction and follow the trail from higher elevations where there is also parking, but that didn’t work for the clues for me).
‘Put in below the home of Brown’
Browns Creek trail/waterfall (not Little Browns Creek)
‘From there it’s no place for the meek’
You have to head off the trail to Browns Creek waterfall and then I believe you have to head off track to the treasure site.
‘The end is ever drawing nigh’
The waterfall is on the left if you approach following my route and a waterfall is a termination of sorts.
‘There’ll be no paddle up your creek’
If you see the creek and trail this is not cryptic at all.
‘Just heavy loads and water high’
I’ve taken this literally as the waterfall and impending treasure.
‘If you’ve been wise and found the blaze’
I believe that this is the waterfall; a beautiful cascading waterfall which creates quite a large blaze.
‘Look quickly down your quest to cease’
There are several possible rock shelters on the falls where the water has eroded behind the waterfall. They are generally easy to explore areas and can be quite large in waterfalls of this type and size. There are also a few possibilities alongside the waterfall, but my belief is behind.
I then cross checked my chosen solve with other comments and potential clues;
It’s a natural formation that’s existed for thousands of years and will for thousands more, although not in the same form.
It fits the elevation.
It’s not dangerous if your wear the right gear.
It’s behind, not under water.
It’s reasonable to get to for young and old.
There is car parking not too far.
Plus others that have just sought to affirm my choice.
The main web sources, aside from Google Maps and Wikipeadia were;
Like with any possible seeker I would love to know how near or far my possible solve is. Hopefully if and when the treasure is found the finder will let us all know.