Lynn D Sails For New Mexico…

SUBMITTED december 2014


Ahoy there Stephan the Pantless (and anyone else who cares to read)

Lynn D, the Departed or Deephearted of the Fancipants side here. It works either way you fix your gaze upon it. I have indeed departed from the Southwest for this season and I most whole heartedly agree with you Stephan about the movie Braveheart. Being of the Deephearted side of the “Pants” pirate family I must say that I fall in love with Mel Gibson every time I cast my attention upon that man and movie. The ending nearly sends me directly to Davey Jones Locker” each time I watch it. Arrrrr, where are me tissues?

Anyway, as I wet me pipe with this warm grog by the fire on the shores of Boston I find meself with ship under bare poles and crewless, still a far better fate than being pantless, IMHO. It’s a dreary damp bone chillin winter mornin here. The sun has barely just risen over the vermilion horizon. I wrap my blanket tighter as I think; yes, on such a mornin sailors do take warnin and pirates do too.  I will batten down me hatches after I finish me tale here. I just barely availed meself of this fire. Luckily, being raised by the Girl Scout band (though thrice removed as I have been told) I had my trusty flint and tinder box with me. So, here I sit and ponder whilst I drain me cup o grog and warm me bones.

Just about now you must be scratching your scurvy skull and a wonderin why I have thus addressed you. Avast Ye! I fancy there is still booty to be found in those Rockies and a blaze marks the spot. I am also a wonderin iffin ye ave recovered sufficient from your landlocked doldrums since your last hunt??

Ye see now, I am a girl pirate, from me boots up to me at. Since me last hikin around the canyons and dried up river beds I’ve been thinking that I do indeed need a priate in crime, I mean a partner in crime. I must apologize for that Fennian slip thar. It does seem to be happenin more and more whilst I compose the memoirs of my search. It’s a wonder I can organize my thoughts by this fire as my beloved brown hounds Homer the Cross Eyed and Crooked Nosed Smile and Abigail the Beautiful wrestle over the ham bones I just tossed over me shoulders whilst Kipper the Black strolls across this lap top purring… I bemoan the fact that my 80 pound brown beasts are too large to place into a carry on to place beneath the seat a front of me on that grey bird that flies me in to Santa Fe. Arrrrgh, what protection they could lend as they jumped, kissed and licked every scurvy dog that happened along me trail.


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My last voyage to the Rockies on a beautiful, sunny warm hiking day for my now land locked pegs was in November. It found me with the turquoise sky over me head and the terra cotta land under me feet. It was a foine day to hoist me sails with the fair wind blowing at 15-20 mph on that mountain. I found meself at the bottom of that deep gulch on a dried up river bed looking for the ole “X” that marks the spot. Tis a wonder I landed upon me spot with the likes o Sir Doug Scott directing me such! Me thinks he should give up the writing of treasure maps!

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Whilst I searched according to that fated poem by f squared ( yes, the small f as I am too lazy to also raise my finger to hit the cap button ) I smelled the strong stench of cigarette smoke upon that wind. It did shiver me timbers right then and thar as I thought dead men or a woman as is my case tell no tails. There I go again with that Fennian slip thing, a thousand pardons ladies, “tales”. I truly feared that no quarter would be given in my search of treasure on that day there in that riverbed. Whilst goose bumps aplenty arouse upon my flesh I thought of Bess, my flintlock that I had left behind home in Boston. It was hunting season there in the Rockies and I had worn my bright pink frock (until just now I had wondered why I saw no birds) and thought surely a game hunter would not chance alarming his prey with that putrid whiff. I did ponder how far this odor could travel on such a blustery day. I sat there quiet amidst the rocks listening and sniffing until I lost track of all time. As I attempted to make my hourly call in early, I discovered I had no service. My eyes searched the cerulean blanketed boulders above me as I quietly sat. Finally I braved out in to the open, well as open as one can be whilst being deep in a ravine with boulders surrounding over head.

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I do believe this stench and fright skewed my search on this day. I hiked in circles through mud and a light snow covering for the remainder of the afternoon as the sun watched from above. The only boot prints I ever came across were my own, one, two then 3 times to the same spot!!  I looked both high and low but found not the booty for which I was searchin. I never came across that smoker either as far as I could tell but this woman did follow me around all day. Every time I looked behind me she was there. In some cases depending on whether I was facing East or West she was in front of me. She was so quick! I found her to be relentless in her stalk of me as she wondered what secret I beheld. Whilst this could be disturbing to some, I found a growing admiration for her determined spirit that was not unlike my own. I have included a picture of her that I did capture whilst she looked off in to the distance. Although I did not find “THE” treasure I have many small ones of my own found along the way. I have included pictures of some of them.

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One treasure is of a stone held up high sitting amidst the most unlikely arms. Another treasure is my fossilized scraper or such where my thumb fit perfect on the reverse. How I wanted to show this to ff.

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There are 2 people treasures I will keep close too. One was my pony tailed, shorts wearing waiter who was also the cook, the dishwasher, the food server, the owner and the money taker in that breakfast nook of 4 tables. When he got behind in his duties people at the tables took over the coffee serving and the dish washin for him. Everyone seemed to hold this place with pride with in their hearts. When I answered that I only needed salt and peppah with me breakfast that arrived after four cups of Joe he exclaimed you’re not from California. I stuck out like a sore thumb as the stranger amidst them. Apparently he had already scoped out me rental cars’ plates. On his log I wrote me name Lynn D, from Massachusetts and under comments I wrote it was worth the drive,” just to see that sense of community. The next person to remember is the proprietor of the establishment where I roosted in Eagles Nest. It overlooked Eagle Nest Lake. As I had arrived late on that day he invited me to a leftover turkey dinner with all the fixings. He knew there was no other place open in town. That was indeed a warm welcome shared with his wife and young boy.

Before I commenced my trek the following day, he told me a tale of a gent and his nephew who had stayed at the very same logde and searched the very same trail as I was about to embark upon just a few months back. Then, this man and his nephew apparently had a bitter disagreement and took off to another state. Hmmm is all I can say. I worry that this has piqued the proprietor’s interest enough that 2 strangers finding themselves on the same trail would send him on his own quest from nearby.

I had another thought unrelated that I quite forgot to query the proprietor about. This was a lodge where it seemed that only treasure or game hunters took refuge. It was a place for big burley mountain men. I could not help but wonder why this place (and none of the other higher priced establishments) had that magnifying mirror over the sink. Becoming quite far sighted in my advanced years I was thrilled to be able to find that one hair on my chin lest it grow and I become mistaken for a mountain man. Yo ho ho!!!!

And, I will lend a dishonorable mention to that one man dressed in blue. I will only refer to him as the bilge rat from here on in as he bestowed upon me a $177 greeting card from New Mexico. The smile and the bill just did not go together in my way of thinking. I had just set me sails and was on course. How I’d like to have him walk the plank. Better yet, to keel haul him to clean the barnacles off of me ship!! I am happy to say that my ship was not searched as others have alluded to be happening on the high seas as a sting from the local law enforcement to acquire the treasure from the unsuspecting finder.

Doe ye ken my gist here Stephan the Pantless??? Unless you have another pirate lass to go a searchin with I have new ideas apart from yours and would love to share them with a fellow Matey of the same low standards. Of course we will split the bootie J

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I do pIan on finding this treasure afore ff feeds the fishes and I have need of another sword arm to prevent the skullduggary that often accompanies a treasure hunting/ finding.

So, both my tale and fire dwindle at this moment and the cold New England wind blows and yet another purring beast prances upon this key board as Pickles the Plaid demands my attention. Until next spring…. when I cast my Jolly Roger!


For more info about Stephan the Pantsless Pirate’s exploits you will find them near the bottom of the “Other’s Adventures” menu.


Homer of the Cross Eyed and Crooked Nosed Smile, a true pirate dog

Homer of the Cross Eyed and Crooked Nosed Smile, a true pirate dog

Christmas Ornament Girls’ Day Out…



Dear Forrest,

Just when I thought my treasure searching days were coming to an end this year, you blessed us with Scrapbook 105 “My Art for Me”…sharing some of your collection of very original pieces,  like Loonie Bird and Miss Ford, thus inspiring, I assume,  Dal’s Holiday Ornament Contest.

I was so enthused with this easier, simpler search for materials to make an ornament that I couldn’t wait to tell my friends about this new “treasure hunt” just announced on Dal’s blog…to get outside and find natural materials for an ornament…something we all can do now despite winter’s snowfall.

Now understand, I’m the only one of us four girls who is a die-hard, boots-on-the-ground, Fenn-aholic obsessed treasure hunter…even these ladies probably secretly think I’m crazy with my obsession of your poem and subsequent treasure hunting trips I make every couple weeks…so I knew my timing and approach to announcing this contest was of utmost importance.  As we four were gathered together watching the Broncos Sunday afternoon, I debated whether I should mention it at all…the moods were dark as we watched our team take a beating, but by the 4th quarter, I decided to risk their wrath …so I tentatively delivered the details of this Christmas Ornament contest, and, much to my delight, their unexpected enthusiasm was overwhelming. The game was practically forgotten as we made plans to gather together the next day…and go out into the far reaches of cold, snowy Santa Fe…or at least up the road toward the Ski Basin.

The next morning, we eagerly braved the 25 degree temperature in Santa Fe, and headed out into the woods to gather our materials…here are a few pictures from our day.

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I wanted to drive farther to Hyde Park State Park but with the snowy road and imposed timeline, I decided this looked like a good spot…

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a group of very happy and enthusiastic ladies… and we haven’t been drinking yet… Kathy, Michelle, & Lana

looking for tree sap…

looking for tree sap…

cutting pine sprigs…

cutting pine sprigs…

enjoying the scenery and camaraderie…

enjoying the scenery and camaraderie…

a6 dal Santa Fe sky (593x800)

One aspect of ”the glory of Santa Fe”…just look at that sky. And, yes, it was only 25 degrees here at 11 am, but with the sunshine, lack of wind, and that dry desert air, it was heavenly…

What made this day so special, you may wonder…One of the girls just accepted a job in Texas, so will be moving soon…and my partner just accepted a job where she will work on my days off, thus eliminating any day-trips together until the holiday season is over. We all are on the north side of fifty and sixty years old…so we understand that life sometimes hands out lemons and jobs are scarce…a person needs to do what they need to do for their family…even when that means leaving or working a schedule that seems inconvenient…

…and what seemed like the right thing to do before departing Santa Fe and heading  home…LUNCH! Have you ever been to Harry’s Roadhouse? It’s near your house… We all loved it and highly recommend it … the parking lot was packed…so beware. I guess that may be partly due to the fact it was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives…or something like that…

Until next time,


…the margaritas were good !

a7 dal Harrys Roadhouse 1 (800x600)


San Antonio Hot Springs…



My best friend of almost 40 years, who just got interested in Fenn’s treasure hunt earlier this year, has been vacationing in Albuquerque for a couple months…he knew I’ve been an avid Fenn-fan and boots-on-the-ground treasure hunter for the past couple years, and suggested we put our heads together, figure this thing out, and go on a treasure hunt before his return home to Pennsylvania in a couple weeks…this is our story.

Even though Tom is fairly new to the search, like myself when I started, he read everything on Dal’s blog…I imagine it took weeks this late in the game. We both agreed there are tremendous solutions by many tenacious searchers on Dal’s blog, and we used some of those solutions and ideas with a few unusual twists to create our search area that we hoped would put us at a unique location…thus allowing us to find the treasure.

Forrest’s favorite activities when he was a boy were fly-fishing, collecting arrow heads, and swimming in the warm river waters of Yellowstone National Park…making his “special places” mostly in and around YNP.

…so we pondered…what area in New Mexico compares to it?

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The most likely is the Valles Caldera… a 15-mile wide volcanic caldera in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico, where hot springs, streams, bogs, and volcanic domes dot the caldera floor, with some of the best fly-fishing in the state…

Hunting for Forrest Fenn's Treasure

Forrest may have spent quiet days here fly-fishing back in the day when this area was privately owned by the Dunigans and searching for arrowheads or soaking  in the various hot springs…a “special place” for those seeking solitude and serenity while enjoying the peacefulness and extraordinary beauty of this fisherman’s paradise…this was our start… “as I have gone alone in there”.

Unfortunately, this sprawling ranch was later sold to the government, and in the year 2000 became the Valles Caldera National Preserve. In mid-July I tried to search Alamo Bog and Canyon there, only to find out there are many restrictions and that most of the preserve is off-limits to the public…so we had to think outside-the-box. Our WWWH was the Caldera Ring Fracture inside the preserve, but just outside this ring is the preserve boundary, and just down the canyon from it, lies San Antonio Hot Springs…

Hunting for Forrest Fenn's Treasure

Despite the 5-mile drive back a horribly rutted dirt road that only a 4-wd vehicle could tolerate, these hot springs seem to be quite popular…they are easily accessible after a short half mile hike from the parking area and a short climb up the hillside…we did take pictures of the hot springs and the perfectly contented people soaking there, but there was so much nudity there aren’t any pictures we can use on this blog…No matter, though, as this is not the special place we think Forrest hid his treasure as it is too public and there is a trail to it…we needed to find a hot spring nearby but not on a map…maybe a smaller one about 500 ft from this place, with no human trail in close proximity…our search had begun.

San Antonio Creek flows from inside the Valles Caldera (our WWWH), down the canyon (And take it in the canyon down) and is accessible by driving there (Not far, but too far to walk).

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There is an old cabin (built by the CCC in the 1930s) at the bottom of the hillside, about 500 ft from the trailhead that leads to the Hot Springs…could this be ff’s home of Brown? Forrest previously stated that “the hidden treasure is not associated with any structure”. Did he also mean that none of the clues are associated with a structure as well..hmmm. Despite being vandalized over the years, it still stands proud and sturdy among the tall pine trees surrounding it…”Put in below the home of Brown” resonated in my head…what if Forrest “put in” a clue “below” it, something like a “drawing”. After all, the poem states: “From there it’s no place for the meek, The end is ever drawing nigh;” Even though this seemed unlikely, I had to satisfy my curiosity and peek  into the dark, dank crawl space beneath the cabin…

Hunting for Forrest Fenn's Treasure

As I brushed away the spider webs and rodent feces to gain access to this little window of a spot, I held my breath and realized this was definitely “no place for the meek”…

Not surprisingly, I couldn’t find anything helpful in our quest…so we moved on with our search.  We made the easy climb up the hillside to the hot springs and chatted briefly with the folks soaking in the hot water, oblivious of our cameras and non-caring of our story of Fenn’s hidden treasure.

Hunting for Forrest Fenn's Treasure

Hunting for Forrest Fenn's Treasure

We moved further up the hillside and searched the base of the towering rock face above us, looking for shallow caves hidden by the pine trees, and peering inside those that we found, only to be find emptiness…

Hunting for Forrest Fenn's Treasure

I used binoculars to scour the cliffs on both sides of this little valley,  looking for the blaze to point us to the right spot…but could find none. In my earlier searches, I thought the blaze might be a trail, but not since Forrest answered “in a word-yes’, after being asked “Is the blaze one single object?” We needed to find a white streak in the cliffs, or a giant petroglyph pointing us to the trove…

Hunting for Forrest Fenn's Treasure

Hunting for Forrest Fenn's Treasure

Continuing on, we hiked through the tall grass up along San Antonio Creek to where the power lines that began at the CCC cabin took a 90 degree turn to cross the ridge, looking for a hidden hot spring up the hillside, a spot special to Forrest, one that he would always consider to be his alone. This was our “There’ll be no paddle up your creek, Just heavy loads and water high.” As we moved along the creek, we knelt down and felt the water in each of the little streams that trickled down from above, until we found one with warm water…

Hunting for Forrest Fenn's Treasure

Excited, we bushwacked our way up the hillside, through the trees to its source, only to find the warm water seeping out of the ground beneath a pile of boulders, with its opening hidden by tall ferns and reeds of grass…

Hunting for Forrest Fenn's Treasure

…once again, I swept the spider webs from the entrance and peered in…large enough for the treasure chest but not big enough for Forrest to lie down beside it…besides, we were looking for a pleasant hot pool of water for soaking, not a foul-smelling hole in the rocks…disappointed, we continued on.

After searching for several hours in this area, we called it a day…a bit disappointed but not discouraged…

Hunting for Forrest Fenn's Treasure

as I am already planning the next search! (Our double omegas…signifying the end of this search…the Gilman tunnels along the road before it joins SR 4.)

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Tom, my friend and photographer for this search…who took most of these magnificent photos.

As I have gone alone in thereValles Caldera 

And with my treasures bold, … Forrest and his trove

I can keep my secret where, … a secluded spot only he knows of

And hint of riches new and old. … old riches were the arrow heads he found, new riches are inside his treasure trove

Begin it where warm waters halt … the Caldera Ring Fracture just inside the Valles Caldera boundary where the warm water seeps up through the ground and halts, forming several bogs.

And take it in the canyon down, … San Diego Canyon down to San Antonio Hot Springs

Not far, but too far to walk.from hwy 120 drive north using FR376, which gets you within half a mile of our San Antonio Hot Springs search area. (our entire search area is around 8400 ft in elevation)

Put in below the home of Brown.the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) cabin built in the 1930s which is just down the hillside from San Antonio Hot Springs

From there it’s no place for the meek,look below (beneath) the home of Brown cabin, like in a crawl space or basement…this will be creepy and not for the meek.

The end is ever drawing nigh;maybe there is a “drawing” or clue to follow to find the blaze

There’ll be no paddle up your creek,follow San Antonio Creek upstream, but look for the blaze in or along the cliff behind the hot springs area.

Just heavy loads and water high.could be referencing the hot springs themselves, or a waterfall area if one can be found. Followed the power lines (heavy loads)along the creek until the lines took a 90 degree turn and crossed the ridge…located a stream with warm water that trickled into the creek. Bush-wacked our way up the hillside to the source (water high), hoping to find a secluded pool of warm water, making it a “special place” for Forrest.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,look for petroglyphs or any formation or white mark/streak  that looks like Y’s, or an owl (wise), pointing us to where our quest ceases, where we will look quickly down.

Look quickly down, your quest to cease,look down from the blaze which still could be up (higher up the hillside) from where you are standing. Specifically look for a shallow cave, overhang, old Indian ruin, etc.

But tarry scant with marvel gaze, … no marvel gazing occurred,  as we could not locate the blaze…this time!



Post-script for those who are still reading this: Since this trip produced no treasure chest, I since have been to Holman Maps in Albuquerque and purchased a “Good” map of my next search location…somewhere off The Enchanted Circle,  which brings to mind Forrest’s quote by TS Elliot:

“We shall not cease from our exploration
And at the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”