I Think The Chest is Here…



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… 🙂


Searching Reese Canyon…

SUBMITTED September 2017
by BobZ


First things first, I got the book TTOTC.  Read the entire book including poem.  There are three places in the poem that puzzle me (more than others).  The first was “I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old.”  So what does that mean?  He’s not keeping his secret where, he’s telling us where with the poem.  The second, “If you were wise and found the blaze.”  Why in the past tense?  All other lines in stanzas two through four are present tense, and why did you need to be wise to find the blaze?  Finally, “If you are brave and in the wood” Why brave? Was this a further clue to the location of maybe just a hint.

From there I tackled the poem from the many Fenn writings, interviews, scrapbooks (thanks for that). As Fenn said you need to know where warm waters halt, without that you have nothing.  So I looked up the definition of warm water which was defined as either sea or ocean not in the artic.  I googled sea or ocean in the Rocky Mountains and came up with the Western Interior Seaway.  I googled that and came up with Bryce Canyon:

The exposed geology of the Bryce Canyon area in Utah shows a record of deposition that covers the last part of the Cretaceous Period and the first half of the Cenozoic era in that part of North America. The ancient depositional environment of the region around what is now Bryce Canyon National Park varied from the warm shallow sea (called the Cretaceous Seaway) in which the Dakota Sandstone and the Tropic Shale were deposited to the cool streams and lakes that contributed sediment to the colorful Claron Formation that dominates the park’s amphitheaters.

Other formations were also formed but were mostly eroded following uplift from the Laramide orogeny which started around 70 million years ago(mya). This event created the Rocky Mountains far to the east and helped to close the sea that covered the area

Only problem, Bryce Canyon was in Utah outside of the search zone.  That took me back to my first bother…I can keep my secret where.  So maybe he means the letter I and not the pronoun I is keeping the secret, and replacing Y with I it becomes Brice Canyon which is right below Durango, CO (even later in the poem the line is “so why is it that I must go”).  I put Brice Canyon on the Google map and pulled back.  Admittedly I began to work a bit backwards from there.  As I pulled back I saw the Navajo Dam, per Wikipedia: Navajo is a rolled earthfill embankment dam, composed of three “zones” of alternating cobbles, gravel, sand and clay. The dam is 402 feet (123 m) high…heavy loads and water high.  I now have two points.

At first I went off the Navajo Dam looking for a blaze.  After spending time looking around past the Dam, I decided to search the map back up towards Brice Canyon and the CO/NM border.  Following the waterway, three things immediately jumped out, Cemetery Canyon at the border (no place for the meek?), Los Pinos River was the waterway (the wood?), and where is the blaze?

So here’s the solve IMO:

As I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bold. (Informational)

Clue #1 – I can keep my secret where and hint of riches new and old. (“I” keep secret “where”)

Clue #2 – Begin it where warm waters halt (Begin the search in Bryce…no Brice Canyon) And take it in the canyon down (Take the search in the canyon down)

Clue #3 – Not far, but too far to walk (the canyon down is not far away, NM border sixteen miles from Brice Canyon)

Clue #4 – Put in (body of water in the canyon) below the home of Brown (Ute Reservation at border, or CO home of Molly Brown)

Clue #5 – From there it’s no place for the meek (Cemetery Canyon, TTOTC – you have to have guts to go in a cemetery) The end is ever drawing nigh (The river is drawing you to TC which is close)

Clue #6 – There’ll be no paddle up your creek, Just heavy loads and water high (you don’t have to go far down the waterway but if you did you’d come to the Navajo Dam)

Clue #7 – If you were wise and found the blaze (The Pinos River looks like this about a mile downstream from the NM/CO border:

Aerial view from Google Maps as seen from northern view,

but If turned to western view – If U were Ys and found the blaze.  The name Reese is defined as ardent or fiery – a blaze, but looking back at the aerial view from the north:

An “F” blaze can be found in the pine river.)

Clue #8 – Look quickly down your quest to cease. (boots on the ground to check the Reese Canyon wall at the bottom of the U)

The bank of the Pine River at the bottom of the U.

Made it to the spot.  Hidden behind tall grasses, a nook about two feet wide by two feet deep by 8 inches tall…could this be it?

Alas, empty.

Spent some time searching around the little island in the Pines River where the Y’s become a U in Reese Canyon, then went up top to look around there.  Did not take a metal detector, maybe it is there but I missed it? Maybe was there but already found?  Maybe I’m missing something in the clues. Maybe it’s hidden hundreds of miles away!

But tarry scant with marvel gaze (on BLM land so take it and go)

Just take the chest and go in peace (straightforward)

Hint – So why is it that I must go (“Y” is it that “I” must go)

And leave my trove for all to seek?

The answer I already know,

I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak.

So hear me all and listen good,

Your effort will be worth the cold. (TTOTC in Teachers with Ropes bronze is cold to the touch)

Clue 9 – If you are brave and in the wood.  (To get to the ledge of Reese Canyon you have to step into the Pine River)

My daughter being brave and in the wood (Pine River).

I give you title to the gold. (His legal release of the property?)

I sent the solution to Forrest Fenn to see if he would respond with anything like…”Good try, but never there” or “Sorry, not even close”, but instead nothing, only an announcement three days later that the third book is almost complete and going in to print hopefully the following week.

Speaking of scrapbook entries, go back and take a look at Scrapbook 4, wonder if this scrapbook entry will make the cut in the new book?

Good luck in your searches.


My Last Search in YNP…

SUBMITTED August 2017
by CAROLYN Powers



I searched today for the last time in Yellowstone. My beginning was Madison Junction, where warm waters halt. Canyon down was Firehole river canyon because it is down when looking on a map. Home of Brown was the Brown Spouter in the Black Sand Basin.

The location I thought it might be, you can see it from the road and I know Forrest didn’t hide it where people could see him from the road. You would also have to cross the Iron Spring Creek, which similar to the iron fire escape slide Forrest would slide down at school, that would make his pant seat brown.  The end of the poem wouldn’t really fit in as well as I think Forrest says it should so I am now writing off Yellowstone. However, I still think it is very close to Yellowstone, either near Jackson Wyoming or in Montana. Those two locations are where I will now concentrate.

Biscuit Basin Fishing

Mountain Goat Family

Mysterious Hanging Box

Cave at Red Canyon

Also on this trip we went up to Hebgen Lake by the dam where we fished and saw the Mountain Goat families and the mysterious hanging box, up the Red Canyon and found a cave, and no it wasn’t in there.

Nothing in the Cave

Creek in Red Canyon

Grebe Lake

We went up to Quake Lake and Grebe Lake.  I found out that when you are at Grebe Lake there is an Observation Building at the top of the Mountain (Observation Peak) which overlooks the lake.  We went down the road to 9 Quarter Circle Ranch, which I mistook as a different ranch which is where we saw the honey badger.  The owner of Pine Shadows Motel, Chad, told us about an area close to West Yellowstone where you can see moose, where we saw a momma moose and her baby.


Moose Mom and Baby

Mountain Man Rendezvous in West Yellowstone

The last day there we were fortunate that the Mountain Man Rendezvous was taking place.  Also, for those that like to visit the places where Forrest has been, the Bud Lilly fly shop is no more. Bud Lilly died this winter and the name has been changed. Sorry. There are still a couple of things in the shop that are for sale that say Bud Lilly on it so hurry if u want to buy some. I believe that this might have been posted about already, but just in case it hasn’t here it is.

Momma and Baby Deer

Old Tree Cut Down in Red Canyon

Big Dandelions at Red Canyon

Best of luck to all the searchers out there and stay safe and use the good sense that God gave you.

Carolyn Powers-

I Think The Chest is Here…Part Three



This page is now closed to new comments. To continue the conversation please go to the latest “I Think The Chest Is Here” page.

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… 🙂


A Case for Gardiner…

SUBMITTED july 2016
by jasond


I found the “Chase” around the last week of April looking for summer adventure for the family, including the “Beale Cipher” and local rumored missing or lost treasures. Forrest’s adventurous chase caught the attention of the family (a blended family of eight) and we’ve been hooked.

I started digging around for information on the blogs, and watched the videos, and by the first week of May we had a destination and went looking all within a week. Crazy, but exciting.

We agreed that the first place to look was “Begin it where warm waters halt” and one of the most common solves for this is the Boiling River in North Yellowstone.

I found the quote Forrest made regarding how several have solved the first few clues but had walk right on past the chest “too far to walk”, and looked closer to the boiling river for clues.

I wandered around on google earth and found the various “put-ins” along the Yellowstone itself and came across one five miles away(almost exactly) below a set of ponds I found to be the Gardiner water treatment facility next to the Gardiner Airport.

I believed then, that the “Home of Brown” was that “Brown” gravy water with an awful smell, or the resting home of every well cooked Brown trout. At least my 13yo mind told me that, and my 15 &14yo boys giggled.

I then went to the next clue. “From there it’s no place for the meek” which I took as a reference to Jo Meek who crossed the Yellowstone near here escaping from the Nez Perce and was lost  and alone in the Yellowstone park till he was found by two of his companions. So, I assumed “cross here”.

The next clue, “The end is ever drawing nigh,” I took to say the creek “draw” is near, as just across the river is where Landslide Creek empties into the Yellowstone.

“No paddle up your creek” I felt that I was on the right path then because the creek is only about 2′ across at most points, and it’s name also seemed to allude to there being no paddling up it.
Here are the kiddos hiking along Landslide creek.20160508_121249_2“Just heavy loads and water high” I took to talk about the old dam, up stream, being the heavy loads creating the water high.

Here is a shot of the dam with Cinnabar Mountain behind it.


But, after following the creek up further, I found that there is also a lake upstream from the dam at a higher elevation, named, “Rainbow Lake” on the “Sepulcher Mtn.” ( I had to look up sepulcher and it means Crypt or Tomb)

image 2

I thought I had it in the bag,… but, I didn’t have a “blaze” I looked and at the end of Rainbow Lake was a circular shaped pond that seemed to stand out and looked like a gold coin!

So, we set out and looked in the “coin” pond.

image 3And what we found was mud. It was a muddy messy pond frequented by bison, deer, pronghorn, and elk. If it was once there, it would have sunk into the mud.

We searched around Rainbow lake a little more and found a hole in the ground we assumed to be an old geyser,(did you know that Iceland has a geyser named the Blaze?) but, after research and a second trip up, found it to only be a sink hole surrounded by white clay and no other signs of “blaze” in the area. (Unless random Elk antlers 8′ up in the tree is a blaze.)

While researching the area, we found some supporting history, such as:

-It’s called Paradise Valley.(ironically it’s like a desert and we had to watch out for cactus. It reminded me of Texas or New Mexico)
-The Gardiner newspaper was called the “Wonderland”
-The town of Cinnabar has interesting history
*Apparently Buffalo Bill Cody held tryouts there for his European tour
*It was the first train stop for Yellowstone (a land dispute kept the railroad from going to Gardiner till 1903.)
*Oddly, as a main hub to the park, not a lot of pictures of it because people wanted to save their film for the park from what I understand.(was it to homely?)
*most of the buildings were moved to Gardiner after the railroad moved there.(like maybe log cabins being moved together)
-Gardiner Clovis Point (found while excavating for the Post Office)
-Stephens Ranch Fire (Stephens ranch, close to the Stephens Creek Bison Capture Facility, was set on fire by the Nez Perce during the Nez Perce war)
-Brown streak on Cinnabar Mtn. next to Devil’s Slide. (apparently a couple of miners originally thought the rusty ocher to be cinnabar or mercury ore.)
-Rainbow Lake used to be stocked with fish in the 30’s and 40’s and was also known as “Middle Rainbow Lake”(Close to the 45th parallel.. middle middle)
-A branch of the Bannock trail went threw here.
-Also an old bison migration route (and current)
-Parks’ Fly Shop is in one of the original Cinnabar buildings.
-There are many other, but I’ll leave it at that.

Lessons learned,

1-Bring food from home if you have a big family(It cost $100 to feed 8 at the burger joint in Gardiner.)
2-The chest isn’t in a muddy area.(or on a shore line frequented by large animals, they would step on it to get a drink.)
3-The chest wouldn’t be in a sink hole because they collapse and I’m not digging unless I have solid proof(it still may be in a hole, a native to Yellowstone is the Burrowing Owl that finds holes to raise its family and lines it with bison dung.)
4-Bison like to walk down the middle of the road at night, and are difficult to see until you are about 12′ away.
5-Bear spray costs $50 or more. (supply and demand right?)
6-There is little to no service in the area.(stay safe and prepared)
7-Water is a heavy load, (but necessary to pack if you wish to get back.)
8-Two miles in, is a long hike for 6 kids and two out of shape parents.
9-Research all of the clues before heading out, or expect to return after taking lots of pictures of the area for reference later.(Even if all signs point to the area, there are still billions of places you can hide a 10″x10″x5” box)

10-Adventure was found. (even if we didn’t find the chest, we had a fun family adventure and I believe that making memories with my children is the best treasure I can give them.)

Well, that is what I have for solve #1. I still think we are in the right area, just off target. We will still hunt in the area and if you are in the hills by Gardiner and see a clan of 8, stop by and say hi. Maybe we can share adventures over a granola bar.



Where Warm Waters Halt…Part Four


This page is now closed to new comments You can still read the previous comments but to add to the discussion please go to the latest WWWH page.

This is for a discussion about Where Warm Waters Halt. We’ve all got ideas that didn’t work out or we are willing to share…I think we can give folks just starting out some ideas for the kinds of places that might just be the place Where Warm Waters Halt…or not!

Let the discussion begin…


I Think The Chest is Here…Part Two


This page is now closed to comments. To continue this discussion please go to the most recent “I Think The Chest is Here” page.

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… 🙂


Where Warm Waters Halt…Part Three


This page is now closed to new comments You can still read the previous comments but to add to the discussion please go to the latest WWWH page.

This is for a discussion about Where Warm Waters Halt. We’ve all got ideas that didn’t work out or we are willing to share…I think we can give folks just starting out some ideas for the kinds of places that might just be the place Where Warm Waters Halt…or not!

Let the discussion begin…


The Art Angle Part Two…



Following the art angle a bit further, a member of the team located what seemed to be significance in Moran’s watercolor “Great Springs of the Firehole River”.
Warm waters have also halted in time in this painting.  Closely looking at this watercolor, (which coincidentally is said to be housed at the Buffalo Bill Center in Cody where Fenn sat on the board and graciously donated all kinds of money and things, including a whole cabin of significance) …
… the capitalized word “Brown” is written by Moran at the top of the painting where he has made notes on the gradations of the Excelsior Geyser.
We were very excited to also learn that the promontory on the left side of the painting was previously named Bluff Point and is now named Midway Bluff.  It seemed to us to suggest the first page in f’s book, the “Life is a game of poker” poem, might now be a key to his clues poem, as in maybe canyon down could be bluff up.  It also conveniently fit the “Me in the Middle” chapter as a hint, Excellsior is a brand of playing cards, and f has used “Canasta” and “folly” in his sound bites.  We took the path less traveled up the bluff.
Marvel gaze was easy.
I didn’t want to put my West Thumb over this, because it was too pretty.
But we found this at the top of Midway Bluff…
… and THIS…
… a bronze blaze… and became super excited!  The chest wasn’t under or in the owl tree. We KNEW we were close.  But quickly down was over the cliff’s ledge. If this was the solution, it had to be at the bottom of the cliff, maybe where the steep slope meets the cliff wall.
I looked for ways down the cliff to its base.

Nothing looked easy.  We retreated back down the footpath to the bottom of the slope, back to the street. I then approached the cliff’s base and the spot below the blaze by climbing directly up the slope.  This was completely stupid.  The ground is very soft.  Not only did I have to worry about maintaining my balance all the way up, but I also had to worry about not rolling rocks onto the cars and people below.  That was super tricky.  PLEASE do not try this.
Once at the cliff’s base, I started to look around for hiding places. The base seemed to be dry and flaking lava rock, a terrible climbing material. Anywhere I touched, chunks came off in my hands and were splintering.
But then I saw this hole to the left, under the cliff and the bronze bench mark…
2E16A064-F6E1-4ECD-88D1-54D495DA16AD… and my heart jumped.  The crevice was unnaturally packed with sticks and stones and broken animal bones. Someone and something did this intentionally.  It wasn’t deep, but it was big enough to fit a small person and a 10×10 chest. And it faced the marvel gaze.  After climbing up onto the ledge (which was difficult and also super stupid) and looking into the hole, I guessed it was probably packed this way by a ranger to discourage wildlife from living there.  There certainly isn’t a chest under the wood or the rocks or the bones. Following the base of the cliff to the left revealed a much easier way back to the footpath.  I’d missed this approach during my retreat to the street.
We spent more time searching the rest of the cliff base and found nothing but nests, an old rusted Bic ballpoint pen, and lots of smelly animal dung.  I kept looking to see if I’d soiled my own pants from the stupid risks I was taking.
We then followed the joker / bluffing concept a bit more around the park. Harlequin Lake, behind the burnt hill of trees, had nothing but lily pads, not even a bronze frog bell that we could notice.
Angler’s Bluff on West Thumb seemed a curious fit.
Nope.  Nothing.
We didn’t make it to Bluff Point on West Thumb because it was raining buckets.  I was also reminded by Dal and other searchers that f said the poem is straight forward with no trickery, so no bluffing.  I now imagine f to be very annoyed with my sending him update pics and using the word “dude” like a kid.  Time to rethink.