Book on Picture Clues in TTOTC…

SUBMITTED January 2015
BY Dal about Peter Porowski’s book


I wanted to let you know about another very interesting book I just ran across. You may have seen it around…maybe not. This is different than all the other books that have been written about the chase because it concerns itself with the photos in “The Thrill of the Chase”.

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 4.18.41 PM

James Porowski is a psychologist who specializes in personality development, creativity, and intelligence. Because of these interests, it’s no surprise that when a friend introduced him to The Thrill of the Chase, Porowski was hooked. He carefully read and reread Forrest Fenn’s book, and found it to be a work of art: creative, profoundly sincere, and funny.

The more Porowski studied The Thrill of the Chase, which included six cross-country trips to Montana, he found that the pictures throughout Fenn’s book and their intricate arrangement were not random. In fact, he realized that the pictures pointed to specific places on a map, and actually led to the general location where Fenn’s treasure should be found.

Porowski’s book, Picture Clues of Forrest Fenn in The Thrill of the Chase, carefully takes the reader through all nine clues of Forrest Fenn’s poem. He then uses the pictures and stories in Fenn’s book to add detail to each of the nine clues, and ultimately places the treasure in an area where the Madison river flows through Bear Trap Canyon in Montana.

Forrest Fenn is an artist: highly intelligent and detail oriented. The pictures in Fenn’s book keep to that style.

“Picture Clues of Forrest Fenn in The Thrill of the Chase” is available from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions and if you use the link below you can peruse some of what is inside the book…

Fascinating read!!

Picture Clues of Forrest Fenn in The Thrill of the Chase


The Chroma…

SUBMITTED January 2015
BY Dal about Ansley’s “The Chroma”


You might remember Ansley Ray…but probably by a different name. She’s worn more than one  moniker while commenting on this blog. Last year she started her own personal blog about the treasure hunt called, “Up A Cold Creek Without a Paddle”. It has delightful  tales about her dusty adventures looking for Forrest’s treasure and wonderful pictures of important wild places that will make your eyes water with eagerness. But her blog is not what I am writing to tell you about. Ansley has just authored her own novel based on the chase. It’s called “The Chroma”.

THE CHROMA book cover

THE CHROMA book cover


This is the perfect time to delve into literature about the treasure hunt as we patiently pause for spring to catch up with our wanderlust.

Note the blurb from Forrest on the cover. Looks like he read it and liked it. Since it’s my job to learn about Forrest I already ordered my copy and plan on enjoying it as I coast off to sleep for a few nights…my favorite place to read novels and escape the hazards of the workplace. How can I possibly find his treasure if I don’t know the literary likes and dislikes of the guy who hid it???

Here’s an ad that might just turn your mind toward the book…


I just want say that I have been in communication with Ansley for about three years now as she’s been chasing Forrest’s treasure. She’s no slouch. To raise gas and lunch money to search her spots Ansley held garage sales and often slept in her car when out searching. She’s tough, she’s savvy and she’s got a lot of Chutzpah. She’ll put the money from the book sales to good use…so if you can afford this novel I hope you’ll buy and read it while waiting for the snow to melt. That’s what I’m going to do.

You can find the book at Amazon:

and you can visit Ashley’s…I mean Elihsun’s…blog at:


Victor’s Honeycomb Pattern…

SUBMITTED january 2015


Here’s my printout of Fenn’s poem as discussed earlier.
A honeycomb pattern expressing 6 characters per cell is obtained.
The idea leading to this attempt to find more information, arouse from the search for a 3D visualization.


Click on image to open larger version

Though it remains 2D, the honeycomb conveys a three-dimmensional structure.
What we obtain from it is 112 possible 6-bit entries OR 112 ‘wheels’ containing 6 characters each.
If spun upon their axis, a gear-like structure can be visualized.
A world of alternatives to read into the poem.

Note: The arrangement of the repeating numerical sequence 1-7 seen in the center of each ‘wheel’ follows a pattern used in a specific hebrew study.
Not relevant for most. The numbers can be disregarded.


A Short Laugh…

SUBMITTED August 2014
BY Old Shadows


Surfing possibilities for Homes of Brown,  the name Capability Brown popped up.  But ‘England/1700’s’ made it dismissible … except for that curious name… a positive-thinking mother?  So I read more.  Turns out that mom issued a Lancelot.  Then Lancelot-the-gardener became ‘Capability’ the  Landscape Architect.  And what else I found is applicable to The Chase.

Capability revolutionized  the GREAT HOMES of Europe , the Downton Abbeys,  replacing their fussy, labor intense formal gardens of geometric hedges, quirky fountains,  gazebos, etc. (think Versailles) with sweeping vistas of open space, natural shaped ponds, and aesthetically placed copses of trees.  Bet you thought it was always that way considering all the oil paintings of Country Estates we’ve all seen.

Now, Capability employed a particularly useful earth structure that allowed for unobstructed views from the tea terraces, yet kept the deer & cattle out of the gardens, and cow pies off the croquet courts.  He employed a special kind of a WALL that likewise had earned a unique name, the ‘HA HA WALL’.   Yes, look it up.    I thought Ha Ha walls might serve American cattle barons as well as European gentry, and, Mr. Fenn did laugh after he placed that treasure box.

Researching was not easy.  I expected to find Ha Ha’s protecting grand old ranch homes, or perhaps institutions, or small settlements from roaming cattle. Ha Ha’s had been used in Europe to keep the insane from wandering off the asylums.  But I couldn’t find any in America, until I came across a proposal by a modern-day Colorado landscape architect for a large public park with a deer park, a Ha Ha wall, and an educational boardwalk that served as a pedestrian overlook to the “Western Front”.  It’s quite a wonderful plan.

Visitors would stroll down the boardwalk, look across the Ha Ha, safe from antlers, and view without obstruction the eastern face of the Rockies some 10+ miles away.  AND, while strolling down the boardwalk, also travel down a geologic time-canyon.  The boardwalk would have a series of grooves, one every 8”, marking the years of evolutionary time in the Rockies.  Fossils and words would be molded into the walk at their appropriate era.  So, one could take a “canyon down, not far, but too far to walk”.  I liked it. I’d bring the kids.

I imagined some particular fossil or year, or seasonal light ray might be the blaze, where, if you’re wise, you’d step off the boardwalk, go over to the Ha Ha and look down for the treasure.

I don’t know if the park, the boardwalk, the Ha Ha, the deer park, ever materialized.  I can’t get there and my Google Earth is not clear about it.  It would be easy to assign other proposed park features to other Chase clues.  But I won’t because there is a fatal flaw.  The Cache de Poudre River (suggestively meaning ‘hide the gunpowder’) and the Fort Collins Welcome Center at I-25 and Prospect Rd, just don’t measure up.   The Where has about a 150’ alt-halt problem.

view my source
See pages 28-37

So, I’m on to solve #3, with confidence.  Again.

A Valle Vidal Solution…

BY Old Shadows


I’m going to disclose a solve I’ve had for some time but only got to this year, briefly. It’s a beautiful place, the clues fit like a glove… all but one. Maybe you’ll be luckier; I think it is very promising.
Valle Vidal is a pristine wilderness in the Sangre de Christos that is bisected by a single dirt road, FR 1950, which slides down through it like a stain on britches. Both entrances are inauspicious. Arriving from the West on SR 196 via Costilla and Amalia, the pavement just ends, and a dirt road begins. There is no kiosk, no gate, no arch, just a small bulletin board … a quiet go-alone feeling. Three days later, when we exited East, we found the same modesty.
There are two campgrounds w/ pit toilets and water… the water part is wrong. There are WATER SPIGOTS, NOT WATER. We made reservations on-line & paid for a week’s stay based on FS brochures and a live advisor, but left on day 3 due to NO WATER.
NM acquired Valle Vidal in 1988 when the mineral/oil resources were found to be commercially insufficient for its private owner. A local debate about preserving this “Yellowstone of New Mexico” had been going for some years, and I supposed that its acquisition, plus the protective ‘Park” designation, along with its name, Valley of Life, might have had an uplifting appeal for an environmentalist with a cancer diagnosis.
Scanning Valle Vidal on Google Earth I found two WWWH whose logic satisfied me. Each had a canyon. And they converged! Neat.
First was the NM fishing designation ‘Warm Waters’ which halts at the state border. So I picked the biggest canyon I could find on Google Earth that crossed the CO/NM border and entered into Valle Vidal. It ends right at FR 1950. If one were flying down the canyon, they’d see Little Costilla Peak on the west and two Ash Mountains on the east. South Ash Mt. brilliantly displays a big white arrowhead blaze that points right down into the little basket valley between the peaks. The headwaters of Middle Ponil Creek and Mc Crystal Creeks are here. Hope rising.
My other WWWH is somewhat symbolic. Where the paved road halts in Amalia, so does all modernity. There is no ‘warm water’ for modern man in the Valle … no gas, food, lodging, security, phone, electricity, wi-fi, or potable water. Visitors must be prepared, or, will be up a creek without a paddle. We weren’t prepared.
Starting down FR 1950 late in the day, we were Caliph-to-the-dirt. Obedient dirt took us with confidence down into a tight little canyon where Mother Nature unsheathed her beauty weapon and showed us that Caliphs are but beggars in her temple. Rolling at 15mph through fifty shades of mist, windows wide open, Costilla creek on our right rushing to somewhere behind us, wet grasses shoved their fragrant fingers into our brains. All six of us, towing 4 dirt-bikes stacked atop a raggedy-ass pop-up discovered a prehensile reverence for Mom’s most elementary weapon.
Leaving the canyon, the road forks at Comanche Point. Look at your map, this area of VV is squared like a window… imagine grandma’s girlish nose pressed against it to see the Comanche in the yard.
Take the right fork. Clayton Corrals is not far, it’s the intersection point of my two canyons.
Just beyond the corrals, we pulled into the near-empty Cimarron campground to ‘pop-up’ our camper, cook a meal and hit the sack. Well, 3 corners popped up. The 4th did not. Now fully raining and visioned only by the glow of a cloud covered half-moon, a women, a girl, and a semi-crippled grandma needed to search an unknown woods for a 8-9’ log to prop up that 4th corner… to be able slide out the beds, to get to the flashlights, to search for a log … well, you get the circularity. All 4 corners had popped-up at Meteor Crater the night before, but a cable must have snapped somewhere on Caliph’s Wild Ride. Yes, I said women; the men panicked at NO WATER!… they left, drove back up 30 slow wet dirt miles hoping to find a working tap in a village that has one gas/convenience store which probably closed at 7pm. And they did! They filled lots of nice jugs, and cursed the defunding of Forest Service all the way back to camp. Log found, roof up, beds pulled, dinner et, the six went to sleep with the owls (to awake next day with the woodpeckers).
The morning was sparkling glorious. 7 young mule deer ran single file right past me. Didn’t see any of the famous elk. Heard the bears had been removed because the elk herds were aging & not producing enough calves. That was good news… but was it like “Yup, there’s water”?.
Now here’s a little stuff about Little Costilla Peak… first look-up Costilla in Merriam-Webster. Its Spanish, it means rib, or chop… a better cut of meat. But a colloquial meaning is WIFE, ‘my better cut of meat’, like ‘my better half’, Adams rib. And WIFE sits on top the Taos/Colfax county line.
Reading ‘Hush Puppies’– they ‘plastered walls while watching the Cowboys’. WALLS? Four walls are just North and East of Little Costilla, specifically, N. Wall, S. Wall, Little Wall, and Rock Wall. Eyeballs south –the cowboy’s corral! I was on a roll. Kelly and Zoe’s braced arms no longer implied Gilbert Gaul’s bridge, nor covered-bridge trusses designed by Engineer Brown. The girls were Taos and Colfax! No, wait, they were the two Ash peaks! Because, where better to be buried than in a perfect little basket between Wife and Daughters and forever be ‘In The Middle Again’. Well, if this wasn’t the place, it should be.
A little more confirmation, see that little graphic on Tea With Olga — mountains — with a WALL! And my Google Earth tool measures the distance between Santa Fe and Little Costilla Peak at 90 miles. I think this is where Olga’s ashes were scattered. So that makes a 3rd logical reference point for WWWH, a metaphor for a warm memory of a halted friendship and teas. It’s a melancholy thought which I think might come to a man composing his final auto-bio.
From the corral there are two trails … one up to Little Costilla Peak and another to S. Ash Peak. But none into the little canasta between them. It’s an easy bushwack, about 3-4 miles, but if you find the horse trail which is not visible from the road, you’ll have an easy way out and for re-entrance. The kids got in OK, didn’t find the treasure, but really didn’t put up much of a search. They wanted to go biking. What’s wrong with kids today? They did get to the tip of Ash Mountain’s arrowhead blaze. You can walk on its white boulders, maybe break an ankle. But if you are quiet and ‘listen good’ you can hear a gurgling creek that runs under them which you cannot see or touch.
As for, IN THE WOOD… wiki: pinus aristata. They offer a unique hiding capability with millennial longevity. There’s supposed to be a couple Champions here. And the GE photo on the Middle Ponil by C.Woods…See Woods? Bring a sandwich and a flashlight.
I couldn’t find a satisfactory HOB… unless you count the prairie dog village in the corral parking area. I didn’t. However, dirt road’s number, 1950, is also the year the Hemingway book ACROSS THE RIVER AND INTO THE WOODS was published.
So, there you go. Good luck .
Grandma would like to find a lump of gold in her stocking next Christmas.

Old Shadows