The Zacchaeus Project…

SUBMITTED February 2015
by James

 

He says, “It’s in the Rocky Mountains!”
North of Santa Fe…
Is it a quest too large to take on?
A simple quote from Forrest that keeps me on my heals… “Think about that!”

Thanks Forrest for the jumpstarting of my new journey.  It is as follows;

The Zacchaeus Project – Part One
by James

He says, “It’s in the Rocky Mountains!”
North of Santa Fe…
Is it a quest too large to take on?
A simple quote from Forrest that keeps me on my heals… “Think about that!”

Thanks Forrest for the jumpstarting of my new journey.  It is as follows;

Music to my ears!
I first heard about Forrest Fenn and his hidden treasure when my wife called from work and asked me if I saw the story on The Today Show?, it was early in the spring of 2013. What?!?! She knows I love this kind of stuff. So I got on the internet and searched out that day’s episode. Sure enough, there’s Forrest giving out his clue after a brief tangent of words in general about who he is and what he has done.

It happened to be my day off, so I started doing some internet searches on the subject to see what I could find out and if this was what I hoped it would be. The more I searched the more I found. The poem was everywhere, simple to find. Just type in “Forrest Fenn treasure poem” and bingo. I started reading some of the articles and blogs. Most were just generic in general and a repetitive story just by different people, but not Dal Neitzel’s. His is unique and is the most informative blog I can still find. (I just had a thought, Dal’s blog could be detrimental to the treasure location and Forrest might have to give him a good running through, But Nah!!! Forrest is deeper than that and knows that a man is better than his misdeeds.)
I figured I needed to hear from the horse’s mouth first,www.OldSantaFeTradingCo.com.  There I started reading about Forrest and got onto his blog link, reading post after post. Then, I would get an idea and move to searching for that idea and where it might lead.

Back and forth from here to there. Sometimes it went on the plus side, but most were on the negative side of nowhere.  I knew then that this was going to be tougher than I expected for sure. I was starting to feel like a one of the lost ants. The searches however led to places and images that brought good smiles and feelings.

Laughter and tears, but still all good
I was starting to remember my youth… when dad would take us on our infamously long two week vacation to New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming and Colorado. We made our round to Colorado because that’s where my grandparents lived. Images of Pikes Peak, White Sands, Mesa Verde and Old Faithful, camping in State Parks and National Parks, stops along the mountain regions, steams and canyons to take a picture. The adventures of the travels of numerous years brought back smiles, laughter and tears. We would all cram into that green 4 door Pontiac and later that old 1970’s red Ford pickup, stick on the column I remember… and with the camper top. White, like a sore thumb, sitting on top of the bed.

All the boys in the back of the truck and my sister up front with mom and dad. I don’t know how he (dad) did it, I mean us guys (just boys being boys and mostly messing around) in the back and dad stuck with the women. Maybe that’s why he got so irritated every time we would write some etching on the little chalk board and tap on the window (so someone would have to turn and read it). That was how we mostly communicated while on the road. No air in the back except the tilted camper windows and the camper cover door opened all the way to catch the breeze. It was the late 60’s and early 70’s. We could get away with things like that.

Even though I am the youngest, I remember my favorites, like; being all together in one room at the Old Faithful Inn (That’s where I busted my brothers mouth because I was a “toss and turn” guy. Man did he get mad.), climbing the ladders at Mesa Verde and peering over the wall of a room and scouting around (Mom’s voice telling me not to go too far back), and being at the top of Pikes Peak to get my first moccasins.

Heck, we even ended up with some nick-names for each other. I’m the youngest of the bunch and I always, I mean always had to pee. So they called me “On the hour every hour”. My brother right above me was “professor” because he is so smart and always knew things we didn’t because he read more than we did I presume. My uncle (who was more like a brother because of the age difference between him and mom… He is my sister’s age) well, we called him “garbage disposal”. Yep, he ate everything no one wanted or could finish.

Both Mom and Dad are gone now as well as all my Grandparents. Their work on earth is finished. I miss them. I cry sometimes. But those are not bad things, for their sufferings are over and they are perfect again.

In-Depth research begins
For days, I read all of Forrest’s blog stories, and now have most of them printed out. The majority I guess. Most of them (I figured) at some point in time, well, something in them was going to help give either a deeper understanding to Forrest himself or to his poem, which will lead me to his treasure.  As a lot of people have said already, I was hooked. I continue to read blog comments, listen to interviews and do research almost every day… So like most people I think I can solve this thing. What are my chances? That’s a very good question to keep open.

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Note to self: Even though most people stare at you with a look of uncertainty of your reality, when they ask what you’re working on and you tell them… Keep moving forward!
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I remember one night I was reading the poem over and over, a certain phrase just kept jumping out at me. (I was listening to Bing Crosby, my Great-Grandmother Leona also loved him for some reason). So I switched apps and started searching. I asked my wife what she thought. She agreed. Sounded plausible. My Internet search was on the (key) word that I thought the phrase was talking about. What I was looking for… Could I find such a thing?  There it was. It led me to Wyoming. Night after night for a couple of weeks I kept searching… And all of a sudden, I saw what I was looking for, the second part of my thought. It scratched my brain just a little and gave me some goose bumps. I had found what was to be my starting point. Notice that I said, “my starting point”… I did not say Forrest’s starting point. Or in reality maybe it was if I am correct in this venture.

I felt confident, but could this really be the place? There is such a vast amount of the Rocky Mountains. I kept reading.  I kept my research going. A lot of what I read told me that there were basically two things to really consider,,, “the home of Brown” and “where warm waters halt”. Should I really believe in most things that are printed?  I started with “Brown” anyway. I started thinking about Forrest. Where he lives and what he likes to do, even what he does currently. More research… I mean a lot more research was coming my way fast.
So for months I spent most of my spare time, and I should use the term “spare” lightly because I really neglected a few things, doing nothing but research. Days off, nights sitting on the couch under the lamp, at the island in the kitchen before I had to go to work. Every small chance I got, I used it. Heck, even have gotten up in the middle of the night when I had a particular brain-storm. It’s still that way today. That was all before I received “The Thrill of the Chase” for my 50th birthday.

Oh boy, I have come to my own conclusion that my starting point for solving the poem can come from anywhere in the poem… if the starting point to finding the treasure starts with WWWH. Maybe ?!?! What I mean is that I believe that there are certain physical steps that you have to take to get to the treasure location. The poem and TTOTC both themselves I believe, have many other hints about how to find the location. But hey, it’s all just a theory at the moment.

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You may read this and say, “so what, this isn’t about his treasure hunting!” I would say to you, “Read it again. If you’ve missed my hints, then I’m almost getting as good as Mr. Fenn in writing.” LOL, IMHO
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Born and raised in Austin, Texas 1963, we live in South Carolina now.  Our trip was this past summer, the boys were able to work their scheduled life to mine and we had father/sons time for a week or so.  They saw some of the things I saw when I was a kid and we had new exciting experiences together. We climbed to the top of a mountain… To the wilderness… 3 days of tent camping… along the way to The Thrill of the Chase.  We are happy with what we found.

Thanks Mr. Fenn! If it wasn’t for TTOTC I probable wouldn’t have fulfilled a 45 year old promise.

James