Odds n Ends About Fenn’s Treasure Hunt…

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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…

The Madison River…

POSTED APRIL 2018
BY CYNTHIA

 

I could no longer endure this winter’s wait… I needed adventure and I needed it now. 

On page 120 of TTOTC, there’s a picture of Forrest as a youngster standing at the end of a wooden table, displaying 11 large trout. The caption below the photo says “A good day on the river, I was twelve. What fish we couldn’t use we traded for potatoes and other goods. It’s what kept us going during the war when my father was making $4,000 a year teaching school in Texas.”  I wondered if that could be the reference to the line in the poem “and hint of riches new and old”. Those fish were a commodity the Fenn’s traded for food… could they be the “riches old”? And if so, then what? Where do we go from there? 

At the top right on the same page are the words MADISON RIVER. The Madison begins at the confluence of the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers at Madison Junction. Everyone who searches Yellowstone already knows this… it is probably the most popular WWWH in the eight years of Fenn treasure hunting.

And if you’re still not convinced, look at the sentence at the end of the opposite page where Forrest wrote, “But as I got older, I realized there were many moments to remember, like the time I sat under a tree on the Madison River and watched the osprey dive for fish as I wrote a note for my wife…”  The chapter concludes with the sentence “And when my tackle box is closed at last and the cadis hatch is gone, I will rest through all of time and space, pillowed down and scented in, with a smile that comes from remembering the special things that brought me to that final place, one of which was knowing Peggy was there, somewhere, waiting for me.”

It seems to me that last sentence in the chapter titled Flywater just described his “special place”, his final resting place… a place that is private and dear to him… and where he ultimately hid the treasure chest. He mentions Peggy… is it where he sat under a tree along the Madison and wrote her that note? Is the underlying message of his poem his final love letter to Peggy?

On that same page are words or phrases similar to the words in the poem… personal secrets, space was mine alone, I know, watching the waters deepen, and words “special”, most “dear”.

Even if this idea is on the right track, the Madison River flows 183 miles from Madison Junction to Three Forks, Montana. (You could glean even more hints for the Madison River in the chapter Looking for Lewis and Clark, where Forrest wrote about Osbourne Russell and Jim Bridger.) 

But where to start… I don’t like Madison Junction as where warm waters halt. I want to find a warm water spring nestled off the beaten path but not too far from the banks of the Madison River. There are a few to be found on a detailed map but the actual search will have to wait until late May or early June, when the weather settles down and the search becomes less COLD. Forrest did write, “You’re effort will be worth the cold”… if he means this literally, how much cold do I have to withstand to find his loot? 

I have a dismal feeling that I’m a good 7 years behind Dal, and Diggin Gypsy, and many folks who have already made various trips to search the YNP area, including the banks of the Madison River. I need a plan to catch up… so I thought I’d start now, using the process of elimination to help narrow the field.

I had been watching the extended weather forecasts for Pocatello, Idaho, Henry’s Lake, Ennis, and Three Forks, Montana for a couple weeks. I needed a 5-day window of drivable roadways to get from New Mexico to Three Forks, where the Madison ends (I also included a couple days in Gardiner/ Mammoth Hot Springs), and back home. My plan was to actually drive along as much of the Madison as I could so I could eliminate areas… I had already seen much of the river inside Yellowstone last fall so could skip it. This trip was intended to see the river from Hebgen Lake downstream all the way to the end.

I was out the door before 5am Saturday morning… it’s an easy drive from Rio Rancho up Hwy 550 to Rt64 to head west and north to Cortez, Colorado, Moab, Utah, etc.  I stopped for a moment along the road just north of Nageezi, NM, to get a shot of this sunrise. This alone was a wonderful reason to get an early start.

Then I continued north through Canyonlands where the road skirted Wilson Arch… I pulled into the parking area to take a picture but decided I had to climb up beneath the arch where I could see others milling around. It was worth the effort, on hands and knees here and there… wow, the view was incredible. Descending was worse… on hands and feet and butt… moving like a hermit crab down the precipitous side back to the parking area… well, that was exhilarating, and I was grinning… Yep, this was already an adventure!

In 12 hours after leaving home, I was pulling into my hotel parking lot in Pocatello, Idaho.  I almost wished I hadn’t made reservations so I could keep on driving… the adrenlin was pumping and I couldn’t wait to cross Raynold’s Pass and drop down to the river. But I knew Sunday was going to be a long day so tried to sleep.

At daybreak I bolted from bed, skipped the free breakfast and headed north to Idaho Falls, then northeast to Henry’s Lake where I turned northwest and crossed the Continental Divide at Raynold’s Pass. It was magnificent with the snow and the sunlight making it’s way through the cracks in the whispy clouds above. 

It wasn’t long until I reached the Madison at the Raynold’s Pass Fishing Access area. I pulled into the parking area, grabbed my gear, and walked along the river downstream a bit. It was beautiful, but not where Forrest hid the treasure chest, IMO… there were barely any trees. 

On MW Forrest said: ” Stop arm chairing that thing to death and get out there in the trees where the box is, but before you go, look at the poem as if it were a map, because it is, and like any other map, it will show you where to go if you follow its directions.” Yep, I feel like I’m not following the directions… at least not yet. I needed to drive upstream towards Hebgen…

The scenery did not disappoint… it was absolutely magnificent. I decided to use my cell phone to make a few videos. I held it in my left hand which I steadied on my side mirror as I drove. There was little traffic… I think it was 26º. My hand got cold but I didn’t care. I was on a mission… then I accidently dropped my cell phone as I was driving. Oops… thank goodness it bounced away from my truck, and landed face up. 

I stopped many times to get out and take pictures… I will spare Dal the inconvenience of posting so many in this story; instead, I will post a link to them at the end. (I included captions to describe the places.) 

By the time I got to Grayling Creek, the sky above West Yellowstone looked ominous… like Forrest had a direct line to God and they were warning me to turn back. So I did… 

From there I made my way back along the Madison and continued my journey downstream on Hwy287 to Three Forks, Montana, stopping at each of the fishing access areas to peruse the liklihood of Fenn’s loot hiding in the vicinity. 

The next photo is from the Lyon Bridge… yep, I count that as a possibility to “marry the clues on a map and see where the lines cross.” There are trees.. a forest of pine trees along one bank, and easily accessible, all year long.

Eventually the terrain became a wide valley… the photo below shows a herd of elk lying in the field… the river is behind them, and I don’t see trees… 

I continued on to the Lewis and Clark Hotel in Three Forks… it was a small town, but charming… probably… on any day except Easter Sunday. Nearly every eating establishment was closed… and I was starving! But I didn’t care… I was ecstatic… I had accomplished my mission. Here is the link to my SmugMug pictures for that part of my trip.

CLICK HERE

But wait, my journey and  reconnaisance trip doesn’t stop here. I planned an extra two days to stay in Gardiner and drive into Yellowstone National Park  to visit Mammoth Hot Springs and see wildlife… the 4-legged variety. (There was also some wild life of the 2-legged variety in the Two Bit Saloon in Gardiner, but that came later.) 

I had never visited this part of the park before. There are pros and cons for visiting in the winter… it is COLD…. 16º Tuesday morning as I made my way through Mammoth Hot Springs and on towards Tower-Roosevelt and the Lamar Valley.  Even though the road is open to traffic, that doesn’t mean the road is bare… driving through the hilly, windy forested area where the sun seldom shines was gut-wrenching, at least for someone living in NM who seldom has to drive in snow or icy conditions. I went slow… there was little traffic so I had the entire road to maneuver.  

I saw billions of bison and elk… not literally that many but A LOT. I stopped stopping to take pictures of them and continued on to Slough Creek where there were supposedly wolves seen that morning. By the time I got there, they were gone… how do I know this, you might wonder? Because the career wolf-pack-watchers were gone… the SUVs and pickup trucks with the big anntennas and surly people with the gigantic lenses, so I was told. 

Part way through the Lamar Valley, I decided to turn around and head back to the Terraces in the Mammoth Hot Springs area.  It was still a pretty day, albeit a bit windy and still bitter cold, but I definitely wanted to see them.  It was one of the best decisions I’d made the entire trip… I fell in love with the upper and lower terraces. It is a photographers paradise.  (One of the pros of a winter visit, less people…)

Once again, I will spare Dal the hassle of including them in this story… here’s the link to the Yellowstone photos, with captions on most of them.

CLICK HERE

I want to make sure everyone who reads this story understands I did nothing dangerous to put myself at risk. I even used my better judgment and postponed a drive through Yellowstone Monday the day I arrived, when it was snowing, blowing, and visibilty was horrible. I hated the thought of another YNP Fenn treasure searcher having to be rescued… or worse.

I also went extremely prepared… I had snow shoes, snow boots, 2 pairs of hiking boots in case one pair got wet, a winter ski jacket, hat, gloves, enough food and water inside the truck I could have lived in there for a week, as well as a shovel, chain, and flares.  

I did not actually search for Fenn’s gold at any particular spots… because I haven’t found the place to begin.  But now I have a better understanding of the terrain.

I also drove home by way of Rt191 from Bozeman to West Yellowstone before dropping south into Idaho… holy moly! This is a must-see drive for anyone in the area who has never seen this canyon and the Gallatin River. 

Now I’m so confused… this canyon and river is as beautiful as the Madison… and Fenn was a fishing guide here so would know the area well.

I have 6 weeks to solve the poem… then I return.  

As a word of caution, I hope anyone who plans to search in any of these areas looks at my pictures to understand how much snow is still there, especially in the trees. Don’t be stupid!  Go prepared and always tell at least two parties where you will be, and check in with them every day. 

I saw these words on a plaque in the lobby at the Lewis and Clark Hotel…

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,

but by the number of moments that take our breath away.”

I am fortunate… I just had many!

Cynthia

April 2018

Yellowstone Opens Early to Bikes…

APRIL 2018

by dal

 

This is a cautionary tale-

A few years ago I visited Yellowstone when it was too early for exploration. I should have known better. I wrote about the experience here:

But if you MUST visit YNP the below news article announces that the park has opened to bikes…But don’t expect to search beyond the road because the park will still have meters of snow on the ground where it hasn’t been scraped away.


From the Bozeman Daily Chronicle March 28th Edition

Some roads inside Yellowstone National Park opened to bicycles on Wednesday, but some remain closed because of weather and construction.

The park said in a press release that cyclists can ride from Mammoth Hot Springs to Willow Park and from the West Entrance to Roaring Mountain.

There will be no bike access to Old Faithful or Canyon until the roads open to cars on April 20.

The park reminds people that the weather is variable during the spring and that cyclists should plan accordingly. The park also said cyclists might encounter snowplows and wildlife.

Riders are urged to carry bear spray and plan for self-rescue or repair.

More information about biking in Yellowstone is available at
https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/spring-fall-bicycling.htm.

 

Odds n Ends About Fenn’s Treasure Hunt…Part Forty Nine

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This page is now closed to new comments. To continue the discussion please go to the newest Odds n Ends page.

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…

How To Have An Adventure For A Few Hundred Bucks…

MARCH 2018

by Jeremy

 

First things first, buy the hat. You need an adventure hat. It’s non-negotiable. As soon as you put it on, you’re basically Indiana Jones already. Adventure hats vary greatly depending on how cheap you are, but let’s call this $50. I spent $20. I’m cheap.

Next, buy the book. The Thrill of the Chase. It’s $35. It’s worth it. Don’t just buy the book. Actually read it. Someone out there’s going to disagree with this, saying that all you need is the poem, and that the poem is free. Ignore those people. Every adventure is wrapped in a mythology. This book is yours. Read it like Indiana Jones studying the grail diary.

Now, let’s get in character…

Principle: Thou shalt tilt at windmills. You’re going to want to pick up some other books, for free, at your local library. I recommend Huckleberry Finn. There’s a few chapters in Huck Finn where he describes how Tom Sawyer never saw things as they actually were, but instead as how he imagined them to be. That needs to be you. It’s not a Sunday-school picnic over there, it’s a caravan of Arabs and Spaniards!

This is how you have a proper adventure in modern times where the real world lingers in your periphery, and where your day job is only a phone call away. Set all that aside. You’re not Bob the Accountant. You’re Bob the Adventurer! You have to be ready to go out in the mountains where you can fight your imaginary foes without distraction. Oh, and you have to have imaginary foes. This is a must. You need a Belloq.

Don’t skimp on this research. A proper adventurer has watched all the movies and read all the books to the point where every rock carving and every blaze on a tree is a quiet reminder that the Hovitos are near. The adventurer knows that there are treasures around every corner, and everything that glitters is, in fact, gold. Imagination is always free.

You’ll need a treasure map. You should draw it on the back of parchment paper, in blood, but not in real blood, just use red ink and “let on” that it’s blood.

Adopt the vocabulary. Get in the habit of asking people, “Do we have an accord?” Tell people at the store that you’re on an “expedition to find the milk”. Refer to yourself as a knight upon a holy quest, because you are. Identify amongst your friends the cleric, the wizard and the rogue. You’ll need those guys. Refer to them as “party members”. Speaking of which…

“It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.” Zelda fans just nodded in approval, but it’s true. Bring your friends. Bring friends because they may chip in for gas and beer. If you don’t have any friends, bring your family. If your family doesn’t want to go, bring your dog. If you don’t have a dog… steal one from the shelter! You’re a bloody pirate!

Let’s hit the open road! You can fly just about anywhere in the United States and be there in a few hours. That’s fine if you’re on vacation. But you’re not. You’re on an adventure! It is worth your time to see the country as Kerouac intended, through a bug splattered windshield. Even if you live in the Rocky Mountains, you should fly out to the East Coast just so that you can drive back. There’s so much raw America out there, and at least once, you should see it by car. For the adventurer on the cheap, most of your savings is in skipping planes and trains in favor of the automobile. You can pile all of your party members in, and take your gear, saving a ton of money.

You also want to go camping, and not like “camping” where you sleep in an RV or a cabin, but more like how the Boy Scouts and homeless people do it. You want a proper tent, or sleep in your car. An adventure is not a pampered night in a warm bed. It’s a starry night in the middle of nowhere. Ever hear of Paxico, Kansas? Me neither, until we pitched a tent there at a little farm by the tracks. A train blew by around two in the morning. Nothing else like it. It’s pretty much in the center of the United States, too, and now I can say I did that. The next night we camped at the Orilla Verde in the Rio Grande Gorge. Back east, it’s instant adventurer-cred to say you slept by the Rio Grande. It’s an amazing experience.

Depending on where you are, camping costs can range from $0 (ie. a Walmart parking lot) to maybe $20 a night, if you go primitive, and at that price you might even find a shower. Get used to sleeping on the ground. You’re an adventurer! Avoid those KOA sites, they’re just a bunch of RV’ers watching movies and keeping you up all night.

Now that you’ve got a rough outline of what your adventure might be, let’s fill it up!

A thousand MacGuffins. “Something hidden, go and find it.” This is the clarion call for every explorer. It is the thing that drives us forward. Somewhere out there is a treasure chest of gold and jewels, just waiting to be found. It’s the ultimate prize. But, wait, there’s more! The true adventurer accepts all quests offered, and in absence of any, makes one up. A MacGuffin can be anything, and you should always have one at the ready.

Want to see the smallest town in America?

Want to get lost in the House of Eternal Return?

Want to see the world’s largest sticker ball?

Want to count One Thousand Buddhas?

The adventurer says, “Heck yeah!”

There are thousands of offbeat attractions and strange discoveries waiting for you all across America. Many are free. Visit RoadsideAmerica.com and plan ahead.

While your treasure awaits in the Rocky Mountains, somewhere north of Santa Fe, your adventure starts the second you walk out the door.

A couple more tips…

Take the small car. Ain’t no shame in it. I have a tiny black Nissan Versa SV, the cheapest car I could get brand new. It’s got a 1.6 L 4-cylinder engine. I know you’re jealous. On the open road people pass me by, but who’s the bad ass who can squeeze his car between two double-parked monster trucks at Walmart? This guy. A compact car is exactly what you need for adventuring. It forces you to travel light, and what you can’t cram into that 14 cubic feet of trunk space, you don’t need. The goal is to stretch each gallon as far as it’ll take you. Not much comfort, but when you’ve got 3,000 miles to go round trip, $300 in gas is a steal.

Rent the big truck. Once you get to where you’re going, ditch the car and rent a 4WD. Less than $100. There is nothing more fun than a 4WD truck in the Rocky Mountains. In fact, if you don’t have that truck tilted at more than thirty-degrees at some point, preferably sideways, you don’t get to call yourself an adventurer. Think ATV trails. Don’t worry. It’s not your truck. It’s insured. Once you get that truck, you go take that mountain. Find some sketchy road, and drive that thing up to the top! Don’t forget your camera.

Mingle with the natives. Find a local bar. Strike up a conversation with the locals. You’ll be glad you did. Every good adventure story begins at the Tavern. Don’t be shy. You tell those folks exactly what you’re there for. You’ve come red-eyed and weary across a whole continent to pluck Forrest Fenn’s gold right from under their noses. They’ll laugh and say they know exactly where it is too. When you ask why they haven’t gone and gotten it, they’ll mutter some excuse about being too busy. Muggles are funny that way.

Buy some trinkets. Make sure they’re authentic. $100-$200.

And finally…

Be prepared. That’s my motto.

Total cost: $500 on the low end. $1000 at most. Cost sharing will get it even lower, but don’t go so low that you aren’t having a good time. Treat yourself. We’re not savages.

Jeremy-

I Think The Chest is Here…

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Many searchers have decided the chest is in a general area…maybe even a specific area of the known universe of the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe. So this is the place where we can talk about where we, as individuals, think the chest is at…Don’t give away too much though… 🙂

dal…

Poetry Page XV…

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The chase certainly has inspired some great poetry…

Here is page xiv for poetry about the chase, Forrest or any other Thrill of the Chase related topic. I am hoping poets will create new poetry and place it on this page.

If you would like to peruse the  verse on the first page of poetry click HERE.

Second page is HERE

Third page is HERE

Fourth page is HERE

Fifth Page is HERE

Sixth Page is HERE

Seventh Page is HERE

Eighth Page is HERE

Ninth Page is HERE

Tenth Page is HERE

Eleventh Page is HERE

Twelfth Page is HERE

Thirteenth Page is HERE

Fourteenth Page is HERE

Thanks

dal…

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

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This page is now closed to new comments. To continue the discussion please use the latest Odds n Ends page.

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…

About Lat/Lon…

SUBMITTED February 2018
by Diggin Gypsy

 

 

So this was another one of my searches last year the poem and numbers. They matched up to this spot . Forrest said if we have the coordinates we could walk right to it lol so y’all know me. I see things. Maybe my imagination is over-cooked. Who knows? It’s a lot of fun. The first number-

So that took me to West Yellowstone  so I had to find another number to go with it   Hmmmmm I had found several over the years but I had to have the right amount for a coordinate. I didn’t pick numbers to match my spot they just automatically matched  in a place I have searched many times. Here is the second set.

This was the perfect spot for the treasure  so we got down on the ground and raked around. Bu nothing! I have to say this was the best thrill of all my searches. if I would have hidden that treasure it would have been there in that perfect location.

What are the odds that the numbers take me to a location many of us search?    Maybe the numbers are just a hint. Who knows?  I searched that whole area without luck. Maybe it’s someone else’s turn and they will get lucky.  Happy trails y’all.

 

Diggin Gypsy-

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Eighty Six…

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FEBRUARY 2018

 

More than an asterisk in my Book of Days

Mickey Goolsby, with whom I jumped the milk truck in high school, died last week. I talked about him in my TFTW book, page 40. He was my age plus a few months. After college he owned a construction company that built some of the schools in our town. His demeanor was one I might wish to emulate, would that I could start anew. A special breed of men narrows with Mickey’s passing, and soon it won’t exist at all. f