Scrapbook Sixty Seven…


MAY 2014


Good evening Mr. Fenn,
I hope all is well for you and would like to share that my fiancé and I will be spending our honeymoon camping in our favorite spot this summer for a couple weeks then we intend to explore and possibly hunt for the remainder though we intend to get sidetracked and lost whenever possible. So glad to have the sunny days returning and thank you for your response. While I do not come to you for help in seeking your treasure–that part you have left to each seeker’s own talents and time. After having read so many people’s comments and while there are many who are in it for the “thrill of the chase” and the fun, there are still many of the others from the crazies who claim that you want to steal souls to those who accuse you of lying and still others who try to use your good-intentions to take advantage of others and I was reminded of a Shel Silverstein poem:

by Shel Silverstein

What’s in the sack? What’s in the sack?
Is it some mushrooms or is it the moon?
Is it love letters or downy goosefeathers?
Or maybe the world’s most enormous balloon?

What’s in the sack? That’s all they ask me.
Could it be popcorn or marbles or books?
Is it two years’ worth of your dirt laundry,
Or the biggest ol’ meatball that’s ever been cooked?

Does anyone ask me, “Hey, when is your birthday?”
“Can you play Monopoly?” “Do you like beans?”
“What is the capital of Yugoslavia?”
Or “Who embroidered that rose on your jeans?”

No, what’s in the sack? That’s all they care about.
Is it a rock or a rolled-up giraffe?
Is it pickles or nickels or busted bicycles?
And if we guess it, will you give us half?

Do they ask where I’ve been, or how long I’ll be stayin’,
Where I’ll be goin’, or when I’ll be back,
Or “How do?” or “What’s new?” or “Hey, why are you blue?”
No, all they keep asking is, “What’s in the sack?”
“What’s in the sack?” I’m blowin’ my stack
At the next one who asks me, “What’s in the sack?”
Oh no. Not you, too!

I do believe that you wanted to add some mystery and sense of adventure in the actual World that is ever growing too focused on electronics and immediate gratification. So I would like to ask that should you respond to my email, it be with a memory or joke or riddle or anything that you would like to share other than answering a question about the trove. 
My fiancé and I live in Colorado and though I work in the technology field, I love nothing more than to ramble the mountains with him and explore . The treasure has sometimes added a little new color to these trips, but wandering and seeing new sites and places has always brought our most memorable times. For us, you have added another part to the many treasures we already find out in the mountains, but for those who did not already have that appreciation, you have awakened it!

One Tin Soldier
by Original Caste

Listen, children, to a story
That was written long ago,
‘Bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley-folk below.

On the mountain was a treasure
Buried deep beneath the stone,
And the valley-people swore
They’d have it for their very own.

So the people of the valley
Sent a message up the hill,
Asking for the buried treasure,
Tons of gold for which they’d kill.

Came an answer from the kingdom,
“With our brothers we will share
All the secrets of our mountain,
All the riches buried there.”

Now the valley cried with anger,
“Mount your horses! Draw your sword!
And they killed the mountain-people,
So they won their just reward.

Now they stood beside the treasure,
On the mountain, dark and red.
Turned the stone and looked beneath it…
“Peace on Earth” was all it said.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.

There won’t be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after….
One tin soldier rides away.

It is mostly the thought of treasure and the mountains and the “Go in peace” that makes this song pop into my head every time and again, in the case that you are unfamiliar with the song, I thought I would share.

Finally, I will share the zygote of the thought that I am on with your treasure poem but not to seek confirmation or hints–just to share. If you do respond, I really do not want you to think that I am clue-seeking and I am having fun even if I am possibly way off in left field 🙂  so while I am sharing, if I am completely wrong then you can have a good chuckle, but do not steer me please…I would like to make the trips and if I do not know I am wrong, then there will still be the fun of possibility!

My family is from the far southern part of this State (Colorado) and while I never have been to my tiny family town of Antonito, I have always intended to see my Gammu’s (grandma) origins and have read much about the whole South/Southwest portion of the State. I am familiar with the history of the Ute Indians and Chief Ouray including his lone entombment in a secret cave. While not born of the tribe that he later led, he did become one of the Uncompahgre Utes–loosely translated to “warm waters”. “Not far but too far to walk” could be a train which led through the whole area. There are many canyons, rivers and streams in area, that I would like to visit a few times first to see which leads where. “Put in below the house of Brown” has meant several things to me at different times, everything from the giant bat cave at Valley View to a Bear cave or trout pond or Beaver dam, but I would like to look a little more at the area and especially the small brown adobe home built up the canyon by Ouray. The last large event that to the Utes being forced off their Colorado lands and onto the reservations in Utah, was the Meeker “Massacre” a little ways further up from Ouray, CO. And now some of the rivers have been damned “no paddle” though I thought perhaps a play on words too (i.e. paddle = oar = ore?) Along the top of the reservoir is an old mining area including bridge that is collapsing.

As the boom fizzled down, these “tired” (as in weary) tracks then had train cars build from cars! “tired” (as in wheels)–even if wrong, I liked the possible double-entendre.  There are several references in the area to wise, but I thought this too might be a play on the Weisbaden Hot Springs spa that were built over the small hut built by Ouray. This blaze, I thought could be another double, both blaze as in marker/trail and as fire/light in a point right up the road that is called “Look Out Point” marked by a huge sign (featuring both a bear and a trout by the way) and looks out on Red Mountain so-called because it looks like it is on fire with the sun at certain angles. The “..tarry scant with marvel gaze” could both refer to hurrying up (if the sun is setting) and also the large tar pit in the area. I thought that this might all be leading to the secret cave where Ouray’s body lay hidden for 45 years until he was ceremoniously buried next to his wife in Ignacio, CO and he was then and now known as the peacemaker.

There were a few items that I also wanted to state I am pretty sure that people are perhaps being too presumptuous with (but I am still awaiting a copy of your book and so I could be wrong):
* That you carried all 42 lbs. at once
* That it must be buried –even though you say not
* That the box and not perhaps the spot/place is hidden

I was introduced to your poem last year by my fiancé and while we did a little wandering and research (Wise Mountain, Mount Meeker, looking for forest fens, etc.) and it was not until I was floating dozing at a hot spring that the thought of the brown bats caves occurred to me and I began to wonder again. I need to further develop my idea but I feel like I could be on a very strong goose-chase!
So, again I would like to thank you for allowing others to be a kid again and say that we will remember you.