SUBMITTED September 2017
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?
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.