3PJs4Gold: Searching for Gold in New Mexico – Closing Thoughts for First Trip

Day 4 of a long search.

After a great nights sleep, (I did not set the alarm) and an exciting night of Poker (I actually won), I woke up with a nagging feeling that I forgot to check something. I quickly calculated in my head, if I had enough time to make a mad dash back to Jemez. The campsite that I saw on FR 144 greatly intrigued me, because I remembered that Forrest’s family had stashed their camping gear in the woods near Yellowstone.  I determined that I had enough time

The Vales Caldera

A view of Vales Caldera on my way to FR 144 and the camp site.

before my flight to try a frantic trip back to the Jemez mountains that would be more fruitful than hanging around Santa Fe or searching one other location. I hastily packed but thoroughly verified my luggage, tossed it in the car, and fed my empty belly.

The drive through Bandelier was still exciting because mountain roads always command your attention. Back to FR 144 and the slippery slope. I drove right to the camp site and initiated the search. The first place to look? Yes, there was a home made porta-potty, I’m not proud of myself, but I had to search it. I was prepared, perhaps too much, but I had rubber gloves and it was the shape and size of the chest. It was only 12 X 12 and 6 inches high, so I tipped it over. Don’t worry, it was solidly built and was not damaged. I did leave gifts at the campsite as an apology for disturbing the solitude. I searched under the tarp of the Blaze (a campfire). I searched very thoroughly almost too thoroughly to admit. I had to through away the rubber gloves and my hiking stick, it was bent and unusable anyway. I had searched the wood near the camp site, but I had

Rock Formation near the Camp

These were rock formation near the campsite. Very Intriguing

not searched the hill side. There were crags, crevasses, and cracks. The hill was littered with tree stumps. I am not quite sure why I did not scan this hill in the first place. I am only wearing my tennis shoes and twigs and debris is gathering in my sneakers, but I search on. I could spend a few hours here, I only have 1 hour before I must leave. There are etches on the aspens and they have dates. From what I can surmise, the black pitch that forms when carving off the bark of the Aspen, takes several years to accumulate. So that being said, I believe that if Forrest carved his initials in a tree, It would not have turned black yet, but still have a beige wooden color. This is a very cool place, I would like to come back here sometime, but I did not find any golden treasure. I found personal treasured memories and inner-strength. I hastened back to Albuquerque, because I wanted to wash the road/snow grime off the rental car so that they would not know I had been off-road. The drive through Jemez mountains is peaceful and easygoing. Part of this trip was to play poker and since I did so well last night, I feel that I can take on the world. Maybe I need to take up a new hobby. I clean the SUV that served me so well, I played poker but lost this time, and I boarded the plane with a great story and adventure to tell. I just hope that the gold nuggets I find in the airport store are

PJ Gold Nuggets

Gold Nuggets: Just not real gold.

not the only gold nuggets I find in the future.

When I got home, I retraced my steps on Mapquest and I discovered that the rock formation that I saw was not the blaze which I had originally sought. Therefore, even if the coyote had not crossed my path, I could neither confirm nor deny that the treasure is hidden in Vales Caldera National Preserve up the San Antonio Creek.

There are some important lessons learned that I should share from this trip:

  1. Make sure you are prepared to hike (with or without 42 extra pounds of treasure)
  2. Don’t step on slimy rocks and if you do, make sure that your important electronic equipment is watertight.
  3. Have a detailed map with expected mile markers or turnouts.
  4. Rent or take an SUV or vehicle that can handle rocky gravel roads or snow.

If you are going on the hunt, good luck, and enjoy the thrill of the chase. I know I sure did. I can’t wait to get out there and go on new Pachyderm Junkets.

Good Luck, PJ

3PJs4Gold: Searching for Gold in San Antonio Creek 3

So yes, I was brave, but maybe not wise.  It has been a long hike and I was extremely tired.  The hillside is gorgeous and is scattered with huge rocks like a giant’s popcorn fallen on the ground and forgotten.  Tree stomps and strewn around everywhere.  I could search here for hours, but I need to find the blaze.  I quickly work my way back down the hill to the creek and scan in the distance

PJ's View of the Blaze

PJ’s Blaze or was it?

for the blaze.  Through the canyon I spy what I perceive as the rock formation that I saw from Google.  The picture is shown.  Since I drank my last drop of water during my impromptu dinner of food bars (lite and easy to carry), I need to fill my bottles from the mountain stream.  There is a bit of settlement in the water, but dirt never killed any one.  Since I have viewed the blaze, I debate about trudging through the shallow 6 ft wide river over to the lone pine on the other side of the bank, but I analyze the needle bed of the tree and I decide against until I search the blaze, because walking 4 hours in wet hiking boots would be a death march.  So off I go to observe the objective of the mission.  The river is fenced off for no reason that seems apparent.  I am drawn to cross the road, when I get there, the hill is steep and I would be on the wrong bank of the river to search the blaze.  I make my way back and start toward the blaze.  The path is well worn and is easy to follow.  I expect fellow trove seekers have been here before me.  As a I crest the next mound, I see a coyote in path.  I proceed cautiously because wild animals are not to be trifled with and it is on the other side of the fence.  Besides, I only have a metal stick and mini shovel to defend myself with.  I turn to head back home, but I debate if I should just wait the coyote out.  I turn around and the coyote is gone, so I restart my trek back to the blaze.  As I hike along the chain link fence, I notice that there are gaps between soil and the metal barrier.  That means that the coyote can come and go as he pleases.  After seeing 2 coyotes in one day, I resolve that discretion is the better part of valor and decide to abandon my search for the day.  I would not likely survive against a hungry coyote.  So, it’s 4:00 and I have a 3 hour journey ahead me to make it before nightfall and a potential fine or even a light snack for a bear (Not likely, I make too much noise and would more likely scare anything away).  It will be a long walk and I already feel a blister on my left heal. There are a few stops I want to check on the way, so I jog when the path is level or declined to allow extra time.  I backtrack my exact steps and approach the boulders that look like a gate to the park.

Blaze for Forrest Fenn's Treasure

Is this the flame before the Blaze

They look so much like flames, that I take the time to search around them after looking quickly down.  I find nothing, but at least I searched somewhere.  As I am mustering as much energy as possible, I try to keep my pass by matching my footsteps from my trip inward.  From looking down, I see fresh tennis shoe tracks in the dust that were not there when I came out.  “Liars”, the couple I passed had ventured further than the San Antonio Springs.  They were searchers too!  Well, that’s OK, I didn’t tell them why I was there either.

San Antonio Springs

San Antonio Springs

I hastened my pace when I could, but it was becoming exceedingly difficult.  I debated about lightening my load in the backpack, but that would violate, the rules of hiking; not to mention half of the scout oath that I pledged when I was a youth.  I will just have to bare it and do my best.  There are several fallen trees and potential blazes scattered around that I just can’t do without searching even in my fatigued state.

PJ's Burnt Tree

I just have to check this out

The one shown here just sent my adrenalin through the roof.  A burnt out stump large enough for the chest.  Pinch me to make sure that I am not dreaming.  The sun is low in the sky and behind the mountains that the road is on.  The shade it is casting on the other side of the valley is slowing climbing to the crest.  I figure I have about an hour left of day light, my cell phone is losing it’s power (my only source of time), and I am worn out with at least an hour of climb left.  I spy the massive fallen tree which has taken out it’s neighbors.  This is too much to just leave behind, so I actually turn around and plunge into the woods, not knowing, if I will have the energy to pull myself back to the road.  Upon find nothing, I heave myself to the path.  I am spent, the road is rising and it take all my efforts just to keep my legs churning.  I cry out, “Come on you can make it”.

Just then, I hear foot steps behind me.  I glance back and see 2 other hikers.  I am shocked and embarrassed.  Where in the world did they come from, they had to have heard me, I’m the only other thing out here for miles.  I dare an extended look back as they double my pass.  They are two bikini clad college aged women.  Now I am really dismayed so asked if they had been at the San Antonio Springs.  They told me that there was another spring half the distance away.  Still baffled by the fact that I’m wearing 3 layers and a jacket, and they are in a string bikini, may I am delusional from the altitude or from drinking the spring water, but I’m not doing anything strange like throwing my jacket off and diving into the river, (well, I am randomly darting into the woods and jumping back on the trail), so I decide to keep the pace.  It actually, gives me something to think about other then my collapsing on the rocks.  Besides, the view has improved over the dusty pebbles and the deciduous trees.  The told me that we have about 45 minutes left of trudging in the woods.  My pace has quicken a bit, but I am losing ground fast.  As I round the corner, I see the valley in the distance and our quest is coming to a close.  The time seems to drag on and on, but we are making progress.  Eventually, they crest a hill and I lose site of the bikini backpackers.  Why only one of them was carry a satchel, I still don’t know, maybe the other one carried it in.  After loosing sight of the hiking companions, I wonder if they were real or imaginary again.  I had lost my reading glasses when I removed my long sleeve shirt on the out and as I passed the boulder, I see them undisturbed lying in the dust.  I guess it’s not a dream and I see highway 4 down in the valley.  A very welcomed sight.  It looks like I will actually make it; back my night fall and not mauled by any local wildlife.  When I arrive at my SUV, I grab an apple and slam a water.  Yes, the bikini girls were there, I wasn’t crazy yet.

Well, back to the hotel and a long night of Poker.  When I am back in the ranged of the cell tower, I have 4 messages from Ali that increase in fanic concern for my wellbeing.  I assure her that I am fine.  Physically, yes, mentally, well I have my doubts.  I will not set my alarm in the morning, but my adventure, is not over until I step on the plane.  No Gold today.

3PJs4Gold: Searching for Gold in San Antonio Creek

Once I am about 30 minutes into the hike, I realize that I have too many layers on so I stop to take off my long sleeve shirt and running pants, I also realize that I likely did not bring along enough water for an all day hike away from the car.  Well, If I run out of water, I’ll be able to drink from the spring fed river.  Not the greatest idea, but when you’re thirsty and can’t afford a 1 hour turnaround, it’s a good option.  I maintain a aggressive pass because I realize I need time to search the area around the blaze.  I wiz past the reason for the road closure, a bolder the size of a desk chair, in the middle of the road.  The path is littered with fallen trees and aspens with inscriptions of eternal love.  PJ + Ali forever.  There are countless blazes, but not the blaze I am hunting.  The path is vacant except for the occasional breeze.  After an hour of speed walking, I finally see in the distance, the couple (and their dog) who owned the only other vehicle parked at the gate.  When I finally catch them, I asked them if the know how far we have come.  They estimated 3 miles and said that they are just headed to San Antonio Spring.  It appears they live in the area, since they have their well behaved companion with them.  How cool to be able to bring a pet along.  My dog Roscoe, would have stopped at every tree and would have wrapped his leash around 5 trunks by now.  I don’t think he could have made it this far without getting lost.  I tell the fellow hikers to let the rangers know I headed to Valles CalderaNational Preserve, if I don’t make it back by nightfall.  I am sure their truck will be gone by the time I return.

San Antonio Creek

Heavy Loads in San Antonio Creek

I careen paste San Antonio Spring, at a blistering pace, (literally, I’m going to get blisters), the valley created by the river cascading through it is serene and peaceful.  I wish I had more time to spend dangling my feet in the water or relaxing in the Hot Springs, but time is ever passing by.  The path and valley are not cluttered with the discarded debris like Red River was.  The light colored spring blades of grass ripple with the breeze, what a gorgeous expanse.

The road is permanently closed to through traffic because of landslides of the white chalk like rocks.  Hmm, Heavy loads, now we’re getting somewhere.  I see hiking boot imprints, remnants of a muddier expedition before my quest.  I can only assume that other searches have investigated here before me.  I estimate that I have the same distance to travel before I approach my

PJs Hunt For Gold

Waters High? Worth the Cold?

objective.  I cruise by the white markings that I had observed on Mapquest.  They look like waves frozen on a hill side.  Hmm, Waters high?, worth the cold.  I summon more strength to maintain the pass, because the path is rocky and undulating up and down like a sine-wave.  I scan the San Antonio mountain and assume that I have to clear the finger extension before I can glimpse the Valle river valley.

Blaze for Forrest Fenn's Treasure

Is this the flame before the Blaze?

I pass between two rock formations that look like they were dominos placed by giants.  They have an appears of a candle flame.  If my Valle blaze does not pan out, I will have to examine these in greater detail.  In the distance, I see a trail leading down from the precipice of the Mountain face, I am hiking on.  It’s the trail that would have connected FR 144.  I’m 2 hours and 15 minutes into my hike, it would have saved a boat load of time, except for one thing.  The crossover trail is not large enough for a car.  Only a 4-Wheeler, would have made it down the sheer gradient.  As I near the intersection, I see the San Antonio Creek Valley widen before me.  My journey is achievable and my holy grail is within reach.  I want to run, but I know, I still have about a mile to tread and the long trek back.  I will eventually need to be down by the river, but there are fences crisscrossing the creek and I know there is a cattle guard on the old road I’m following.  No car will ever pass me on this route, because boulders are planted in a line impeding access even for a 4-wheeler.  This is the only way in unless you want to trudge through the preserve.  The cattle guard has a gate and it’s easy to limbo the bar, but the granite guard (a rock the size of an elephant) posted in front is impossible for even a grill plated pickup to move.  The forest service, really does not want vehicles in or out of here.  However, it is public land and there are no no trespassing signs, in fact there are no signs telling you anything.  Just 8 foot high fences around the river and running up and down the slope.  There is a hill where I did not envision one, so I hastily decide to bravely check-out the top of the hill before I verify the blaze.  This may be a mistake, but it’s a hunch, I want to follow.  It’s based on the alternative ‘brave and in the wood’ (as discussed in the Red River blog), Forrest being tricky with the poem phrase ‘brave and in the wood’  meaning north of the blaze the same distance from when you see the blaze.

Well it’s getting late while I’m typing,  I will update the rest on this same blog next time.  I will return, Same Fenn time, Same Fenn channel.
____________________

3PJs4Gold: Hiking for Gold Up San Antonio Creek

3PJs4Gold: Searching for Gold in San Antonio Creek

I started off by getting a map a from Valles Caldera National Preserve.  This is a very nice ranger’s center with very friendly help.  The drive was about an hour and 45 minutes from Santa Fe through the winding twisting mountain roads of Bandelier National Monument.  Now Bandelier is famous for the lost hiker and I am very glad that Dal at lummifilm tells us that maybe we don’t need to search Bandelier, because Fenn told us, he hid the treasure in a northerly direction of Santa Fe.  Bandelier is honey combed with holes looking like gigantic pieces of Swiss cheese.  If I had to search all those holes, it would take forever.  Now, someone could argue the same northerly direction rule for Valles Caldera, but if you take the northerly measurement from the Sante Fe airport, the northwestern edge of Valles Calera seems to be fine.  Besides, the stone blaze appearance is so enticing, I just have to find it.

So on the road to the Ranger station of Valles Caldera, the Prairie Dogs are double dog daring each other to play chicken with my car.  Why did the Prairie Dog cross the road?  Ahh, I don’t think they have a clue.  I brought this up because it reminded me of when my folks took us on summer vacations and drove all over the west.  On one of our trips to four corners, the Prairie Dogs out numbers the trees and so many scampered over the road it looked like a river or rodents.  Now I know why my dad didn’t swerve or screech the tires even though we yelled, ‘Dad, don’t hit the dogs’.  We would have not gotten anywhere had we waited for a clear road.

So I get my maps and I am ready to roll, when my wife calls me and asks, “Where are you, the iPod shows, you’re in the middle of nowhere”.  To ease her concern for my wellbeing, she has been tracking me on the Find iPhone app.  I tell her where I am and explain that I am about to go off grid for the rest of the day.  The last cell tower is on Rabbit Mountain.

I head back to Hwy 4 to find where Warm Waters Halt and as I am crossing the East Fork Jemez River, I spy a Coyote in the river meadow.  Our eyes lock, but no concern, I’m in my SUV, I’m good.  20 minutes later I find Battleship

PJ on the Hunt

Battleship Rock. I can definitely recognize a Bow.

rock and pull into the entrance road of the YMCA.  Battleship Rock is an over powering site which commands attention.  This an area, I would love to come back to.  I journey down to the rippling river to experience no place for the meek.  It’s time for another break and to dress in the proper gear for a long day of searching.

So I am off to drive as far as I can, hopefully 16 miles up the creek without a paddle.  I plan to use FR 144 and drive down a route I saw on Google maps. San Antonio Creek is on my right and meanders it’s way through a nice quaint town after shifting under the road to the left and passing back again as I start grinding the motor up a steep incline.  I find FR 144 and head up the gravel road confident, that the SUV can handle anything thrown at it.  I find out quickly that the Jemez Mountains can throw a whole lot of curves at you.  I find snow, carved rock pathways, and confusing labyrinths, maybe this is no place for the meek, there sure are heavy loads everywhere.  My mind wonders, but I find a extended patch a snow with a tricky turn, but I figure it’s worth the risk so I push on past.  The miles are rising and there seems no end to the gravel.  There are pullouts and trails everywhere.

Pachyderm Path

Path? We don’t need no stinking path. Ok, maybe we do.

As the miles rise, I approach a melting drift that extends out of sight.  I get out of the car and try to gaze around the corner, but it might as well be the artic tundra, the slope is downward and after the war with the white cold yesterday, I am certain that I would not win this battle.  I turn around on the narrow route and head back the way I came.

It’s been a while since I searched so I take a break and spy a rock formation.  Is this the home of the Brown?  Is the tree at the top, the blaze?

Forrest Fenn's Home of the Brown?

Home of Brown? or the Blaze? Interesting to say the least

I see a man made tree curtain and investigate.  This a very impressive area with lots of nooks and crannies for an elephant to explore.  I pock through the man made home and I am careful to replace everything.  There is a fire pit and all the clues come together except waters high, but this is cool. I find nothing in the man cave, so I search the mountainous motif.  There is a promising cave that has branches, sticks, and leaves.  After I climb a rock ledge and balance precariously on the growing twig, I start poking into the wood mass.  I notice that the top leafs are still greenish brown and layered on top of older crumbling brown debris.  This gives me an eerie feeling and a memory leaps into my skull that bears pad their dens with branches and leaves.  I know enough to let sleeping dogs lye, so I am certainly not stupid enough to poke a sleeping bear and hurriedly shimmy down the crag.  It’s time to search else where.  I climb into the SUV and move on down the path off of 144 just to see what I can see.  My heart leaps, when I view, an abandoned campsite with full assembled gear, this reminds me of Forrest in Yellowstone, when his dad would leave the Gear in the woods.  What a great find.  I search the wood pile and I search the campsite as politely as possible, to not rudely disturb the stash.  I mill around the area and figure that it is time to go accomplish what I came to do.  I work my way back, truly thankful that I rented a 4 wheel drive,

PJ's Snowy Road

Thank goodness for an SUV.

because this climb through the curved snow is going to be treacherous.  Shifting down to the lowest gear, the Ford Escape, doesn’t hesitate as if saying, “Is that all you got?”.

Well, since 144 is blocked and I do not have measurement to know exactly where I am I head back to FS 367.  To my dismay, the road is closed.  It looks like I am going to have to hoof it.  It’s 12:15 and I think I have a 5 mile walk in and a 5 mile walk out. That might have been true if I was in the San Antonio Creek, but I am a mile farther than that.  Well, this is what I came to do.  So I grab extra food, water, and clothes.  I lighten my load by leaving the axe and I am off on the hick of a life time.  I have until dark, 7 hours to reach my target search and get back.

Find out how far the hike actually was and the other anomalies in the next blog.

3PJs4Gold: Searching for Gold in San Antonio Creek Clues

So began the next search area.  Let’s start with the description of the clues and what brings us to this section of New Mexico.

Clue 1:  Cypher of old riches, lets’ 16 miles to start with and see where that takes us.

Clue 2:  The San Antonio Creek, has hot springs flowing into it.  Besides, the aptly named San Antonio Hot Springs, there are many other hot springs, merging with San Antonio Creek, making it a warm river.  Halting bring us to the Jemez River.  There is a Canyon by the confluence and we will then follow the cypher of 16 miles up steam. Too far too walk, so saddle up, and start the cypher mileage.

PJ on the Hunt

Battleship Rock. I can definitely recognize a Bow.

Clue 3:  This brings us to Battleship Rock, which is brown and recognizable.  The cool thing is that there is a YMCA camp, Camp Shaver, right below it.  How elephantastic is that?  Forrest Fenn (FF) wanted to get kids into the fresh air, what better way to experience the wilderness than to play games and challenge your friends in an outdoor environment.  Plus there is lots of muddy fun.

Clue 4:  This is absolutely no place for the meek.  The river is jammed full of boulders and Battleship Rock looks like it is headed out to sea

PJ at San Antonio Creek

Looking Up Steam of Battleship rockf

churning up heavy bow waves deploying depth charges as it peppers the waters for unsuspecting submarines.  The river winds it’s way down the canyon ever drawing nigh.  You can definitely not paddle up this creek, way too many traps.  There are heavy loads from Battleship rock and numerous ponds and dammed waters along the way, especially at the bath houses.

Clue 5:  This blaze for this quest was a little different than elephant rock.  From MapQuest and Google Maps, what I am searching for is a rock formation that looks like a campfire.  It’s about 16 miles up river from Battleship Rock.  I hope to find the treasure and leave in peace.

The Blaze on San Antonio Creek?

Does this make a good blaze?

Clue 6:  I will search 16 miles up this river to what MapQuest shows a campfire looking image.

Clue 7:  I believe FF is familiar with the San Antonio Creek since it’s named after a major city in Texas, his birth state.

Clue 8:  Forrest has our attention.  The San Antonio River has pools that could sustain brown trout over the winter and it would be worth fishing in the cold of winter.

Clue 9:  I will search in, around, and under trees near the blaze.

So now that we have our clues, it is time for the quest of the San Antonio Creek for a campfire blaze.  Tune into the next blog to find out how the search goes.

Cheers,
PJ

Sentence Clue Discussion of Meaning Discussion of Meaning
As I have gone alone in there
 and with my treasures bold,
 I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old. 1. A cypher of old riches, (Nine Mile Hole in Yellowstone) hinting toward new riches: The treasure. 1. From the map, I chose 16 miles as an approximate distance.  This brings us close to a good looking blaze.
Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyons down, 
not far, but too far to walk. 2. Start your search at the bottom of a canyon of a hot spring fed river flowing into a river and travel  ~14 miles. 2. The San Antonio Creek: Because of the Hot Springs flowing into it.  It flows into the Jemez river, and there is a canyon down
Put in below the home of Brown. 3.  Launch your quest below the home of Brown. 3.  Battleship Rock.  And the YMCA has huge amounts of brown mud.
From there it’s no place for the meek, The end is ever drawing nigh; there’ll be no paddle up your creek, 
just heavy loads and water high. 4. Rough and rugged rocks at a bend in the river, while traveling up steam passing large rocks with water above you. 4a. There is a nice Canyon where the San Antonio Creek meets the Jemez River.4b. The creek ebbs and flows, winding it’s way to the Jemez river.

4.c.  We will be working our way up stream,

4d. We pass loads dropped by the shear walls and bath houses and hot pools along the way.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, 
look quickly down, your quest to cease, but tarry scant with marvel gaze, 
just take the chest and go in peace. 5. Wisely find the marker, the treasure will be below this blaze, don’t wait, grab and go.  Tell folks once you and the chest are secure. 5a. Looking for a rock formation that looks like a campfire.5.b. I will look quickly down and tarry scant.
So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek? 6. Transition clue which indicates the end of the clues for the cypher and the rest of the clues only relate to the new treasure. 6. I used 16 miles because is what it appears on MapQuest.
The answer I already know, 
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak. 7.  Forrest is familiar with and enjoyed times at the hiding location; he was tired when he hid the chest. 7.  I believe Forrest is familiar with the San Antonio Creek and it’s named after a major city in Texas.
So hear me all and listen good, 
your effort will be worth the cold. 8.  It may hint at hiding it up north, but don’t ignore the other clues.  Look for something that might appear frozen or hint of cold. 8.  Forrest has our attention.  The San Antonio River has pools that could sustain brown trout over the winter it would be worth fishing in the cold of winter.
If you are brave and in the wood
 I give you title to the gold. 9.  It may be in the in around or behind wood, but Forrest has given us the Title 9.  I will search in, around, and under trees near the blaze.

 

3PJs4Gold: Searching Around Elephant Rock part 2 of 2

On the second day of searching, I went back and tried to follow the poem as precisely as possible.  I went back to the outcrop of rock where I first saw the image of the stretching elephant and searched around the river.  It was similar to the day before, lots of trees and rocks, but no treasure.   I searched up stream and down until the river pinched off to much soil to walk.

I moved my search pattern across the road and

In the wood

A ‘W’ for in the wood

found this recognizable ‘W’ where 3 trees had grown together, could this be the ‘Wood’?  I searched the ground and looked up in the wood, but to no avail.  The treasure was not here and there was as much evidence of previous searching and careless discarding of items in this neck of the woods.  To make sure that I check everywhere possible headed back up stream under the elephant rock to remove the void of yesterday before wet search and the after wet search, only to find out that I had basically search the whole river area.  I saw a fallen tree that extended the width of the river and was large enough to cross and considered balancing my way over.  However, this bridge did not connect to the bigger wooded area on the other side.  I finally decided against it and if the chest is there, someone else will have to find it.  To complete the search of this area, I moved to the Elephant rock campground.  It became quickly apparent that there was were not as many hiding spots and it seemed very trampled by numerous hiking boots.  This was not a good place to leave treasure chest obscured.

Then I acted on a twist of the 9th clue.   ‘If you are brave and in the Wood’.

  1. Is it brave to step back and look behind you?  Kinda, but not really strenuous
  2. Is it brave to search a grove of Tree in front of you?  A bit more brave than just looking down, but not really a stretch of nerves.
  3. I propose, that it is brave to completely move from where you are and proceed north of the Blaze.

The reasoning of this bravery, is that if would take faith to move from where you are in the search and Santa Fe means ‘Holy Faith’.  Since Forest said search North of Santa Fe and you put your faith in finding the blaze.  Maybe Forrest also means we should at this point faithfully search a similar distance north of the Blaze.  It’s a bit of a stretch and does double the search area, but we are already in here and it should only take another hour.  OK, so lets be brave.

North of Elephant Rock is another canyon.  I have the road names and I ready to go.  I travel through the backstreets of Questa and reach the forest road.  As I enter the canyon, my cell phone loses it’s signal.  I expected this so I switch to my printed MapQuest map.  The signs tell me that Midnight road is 14 miles away, after Midnight road, there is a trail that correlates well to directly north of Elephant Rock. I drive a very long way and pass Machette Rd followed quickly by a road to Red River and Park, the sign tells me that Midnight road is still 7 miles away, so I keep trudging ahead on the dirt gravel, rock infested road.  I drive through patches of snow, nothing the SUV can’t handle and eventually reach an extended patch of snow.  Thinking that

PJ's Snow Patch

Snow Patch in PJ’s way of the Treasure

it wasn’t too deep and I had just passed an open gate that would have closed the road.  I figured that I was safe to proceed.  Well, after spinning out a couple times, the SUV slid to a halt.  I grew up in Missouri so I know how to get unstuck from the snow, I was on a 12 ft wide cliff overhang, that did not leave much room to shimmy or shack.  I was quit concerned, but since there was no one coming.  I used the shovel in away that I had not expected.  I removed the snow from behind the front wheels and added traction the best way I knew how.  I sacrificed my beloved ski tested handkerchief.  Tearing it in 2 I placed it under each wheel so that the tires would grab it for traction.  It worked fantastically, and I thought I was brilliant.  Until as I was serpentining away from the edge, the SUV got stuck in deeper snow.  I ran back to get the cloth pieces that had served so well before and aligned them with the tires, as the engine reved, with no motion, I worried that I was really stuck this time, the rental car company was really not going to be happy with me now.  I rechecked all my tires, and in the process noticed that this SUV had eco 4 wheel drive.  No wonder it had been throwing snow from the rear as well.  Whoo Hoo, I dug out the back wheels as well repositioned the purple ripped scarfs and began rocking the car, back and forwards.  Still stuck.  I even put the car in neutral and tried to push it backwards (Yeah, I know crazy, but I was desperate now).  Ok, one more try, dig out, reposition, and rock. Finally this time we broke free.  Just to slide back into another hole.  Well at least I knew what to do.  Dig out, retrieve and reposition scarfs, and slowly back up.  This time it took and I backed all the way free of the snow.  Swooo, lessened learned, don’t drive in snow even on a warm day.

So I felt dejected and headed back to Santa Fe.

Blazes on an Aspen

Can you find, PJ’s blaze on this pic?

On the way, I saw the 2 turns and realized that Midnight was not the road I wanted after all.  It was Machette, that was named wrong on google earth and Mapquest.  So I exuberantly turned around and search the park for ‘FF’ or any other blaze, what I found were many good hiding places and many, many blazes, that were not the blaze that I wanted.  These pics show the Aspens, like a tattooed fore arm and the tree stump would have made an awesome treasure bunker.  The search was riveting, but alas, I did not find that trove. Maybe I was lured here by my own curious elephant safari.

Well off to take some pics and then back to the Hotel for a night of poker and sleep.  Tomorrow will be another Pachyderm Junket of searching.

In the Wood

A Good in the Wood

The next blog will discuss the clue rational for the next search.

Happy Hunting,
PJ

3PJs4Gold: Searching Around Elephant Rock part 1 of 2

The search began with a quick scan below elephant rock, just to get my feet wet.  I started scanning every tree and any patch of woods.  I stabbed  my metal walking stick around the fallen trees hoping to hear a metal clank of echoing thump.  In the first grouping of trees, while stabbing defenseless trees, I heard a thud, so I started scraping off the pine needles.  I scrapped the ground furiously only to find that it was frozen tree roots.  The excitement is over whelming.  Over the next ravine, I noticed that there was a broken metal detector cast aside as trash.  Treasure hunters have been here before me, but maybe there was something they missed.  I continue my scouring for several hours, but I have a continuing nagging feeling that the chest is hidden just over the river in the small stretch of woods below the cliff.

Steep Wall of Red River

The cliff walls on the other side of Red river are steep and menacing.

Most of the other side of the river in way to steep to climb, but how can I get across the river to search.  There was a fallen tree a mile back that reached ¾ of the way across, so I could jump the rest of the way, but how could I get back.  Up river, I see some large rocks that could be used as stepping stones, so I perch my self on the first two rocks and realize that the distance to the next rock is too far to leap safely.  I scan down the river and another staging of rocks that just might work, so I give it another try.  The spacing is correct so I set my foot on the middle rock.  It settled fine, but as I pushed off with my other foot, my heel slipped on the slime, I couldn’t catch my balance and I slide into the stream.

Red River Rocks

The river that tried to swallow me is also chewing away at the banks.

The good thing was, it was not freezing, because of the hot springs, but I had to cut my search short for the day.  Walking in soaked jeans and soggy boots, is not a wise idea, so off to the hotel I go.  My iPhone (which is my navigation device) was drench not responding.  I found out later that my camera was also ruined.  It is a bummer to have fallen, but these things are replaceable, but I have to get my iPhone running again and dry my submerged hiking boots.  The boots are waterproof, but they are not immune to water pouring over the edge.  The hotel attendant is a Jack of all trades and after several minutes, uses a hair dryer, to bring the iPhone back to life.  I thank goodness, I would have been lost without it.  The boots and wet clothes are another story, but they can be taken care of later.  Much to my wife’s concern, I head back out, to search the rest of the area below the elephant rock until nightfall.  This day’s search is done and I have not found anything yet.  Tomorrow is another day and I must dry my boots. I hope that you can learn a lesson from my mistake and don’t try to cross a river on slimy rocks.  Some one else in wader boots will have to search the other side of the river instead of me.  All though from the evidence that I saw along this section of Red River, I do not believe that the treasure chest is here below elephant rock, maybe I was just guided by my own interest in elephants.  Then again, if I follow the poem precisely, there is the exact location of when I first glimpsed the elephant blaze, and one more twist on the interpretations of clues, that I must try for tomorrows quest.

Next blog will discuss the twist, the search pattern, and yet another lesson learned.

Happy Hunting,
PJ

3PJs4Gold: At Red River

Continuing with the explanation of my choices:

The enchanted circle has volcanic activity similar to Forrest’s beloved Yellowstone (well hot springs anyway).  Even the road system appears circular like Yellowstone.  In fact, some folks in New Mexico, call it ‘The Yellowstone of New Mexico’.   I begin working my way up stream (on the road of course, since it’s too far to walk), and I pass a mine and ponds that have been created for local swimming holes.  You can’t miss the ever present rock faces.  Waters high and heavy loads abound, since the river starts as run off from the melting snow, high in the mountains.

Now why an Elephant?  A common belief in native American culture is the belief of spirit animals.  Cueing off of Forrest’s description about the poem in ‘The Thrill of the Chase’  He uses ‘ancient’ and we are to be wise in finding the blaze.  So the Spirit animal with Ancient Wisdom is none other then the Elephant.  Hence, Elephant Rock.

Forrest told us to follow the clues precisely so that’s exactly what I did.  I drove back to the location when I first glimpsed the pachyderm natural wonder.  And looked straight down.  Well, that was the steering wheel, so I got out of the car and searched the river, and the other side of the road.  Just to cover all the bases, I also searched the area directly below elephant.  In all, I searched at least 4 miles of river, but lets get back to the reasons on why I searched here.

Clue six is the same for all hunts, I used and estimated 14 miles up Red River.  I’m sure it was actually shorter than that.

I would think Forrest would know this area since it has been touted as being like Yellowstone and it also has great trout fishing.  He could easily have done this being tired and weak, most areas have easy access from the road.

Forrest definitely has our attention, but as far as the cold.  The Red River is claimed to be a secret winter fishing river, because of the hot springs since the water is warm.  This also ties well to the first clue, “… keep my secret where…”.  Since the water is slightly warmer and you can fish Red River in the winter, it would be worth the cold.

I bravely searched in, around, and sometimes under the trees (Dead or Alive), in hopes of

PJ's Hunt at the Red River

Red Trees, Green Trees, Old Trees, New Trees, Swept away trees; can get searched.

catching any glimpse of the bronze chest.

These are the reasons why I was here and they conform with the interpretations of the clues.

The rest of the search, and the outcome will be told in the next blog,  Did I find the chest?  There are certainly lessons that could be used in your own search.

Here are the clues and a summary of why I searched here:

Sentence Clue Discussion of Meaning Discussion of Meaning
As I have gone alone in there
 and with my treasures bold,
 I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old. 1. A cypher of old riches, (Nine Mile Hole in Yellowstone) hinting toward new riches: The treasure. 1. From the map, I chose 14 miles as an approximate distance.  This just happens to co-inside with Elephant Rock.
Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyons down, 
not far, but too far to walk. 2. Start your search at the bottom of a canyon of a hot spring fed river flowing into a river and travel  ~14 miles. 2. The Red River: Because of the Hot Spring ‘Jacuzzis’.  The Red River Canyon is huge and deep.
Put in below the home of Brown. 3.  Launch your quest below the home of Brown. 3.  Fish Hatchery (Home of Brown Trout) in Questa or just Brown Trout in the river.
From there it’s no place for the meek, The end is ever drawing nigh; there’ll be no paddle up your creek, 
just heavy loads and water high. 4. Rough and rugged rocks at a bend in the river, while traveling up steam passing large rocks with water above you. 4a. The Huge Canyon where Red River meets the Rio Grande.4b. The Enchanted Circle Region.4.c.  We are working our way up stream,

4d. We pass a mine, and pools where the city gathers water and of course, the ever present rock faces.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, 
look quickly down, your quest to cease, but tarry scant with marvel gaze, 
just take the chest and go in peace. 5. Wisely find the marker, the treasure will be below this blaze, don’t wait, grab and go.  Tell folks once you and the chest are secure. 5a. The spirit animal with Ancient Wisdom is the Elephant.  Hence, Elephant Rock5.b. I looked quickly down.
So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek? 6. Transition clue which indicates the end of the clues for the cypher and the rest of the clues only relate to the new treasure. 6. I used 14 miles because I am sure I will see Elephant Rock before that.
The answer I already know, 
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak. 7.  Forrest is familiar with and enjoyed times at the hiding location; he was tired when he hid the chest. 7.  I believe Forrest is familiar with Red River and the river has relatively easy access to the road
So hear me all and listen good, 
your effort will be worth the cold. 8.  It may hint at hiding it up north, but don’t ignore the other clues.  Look for something that might appear frozen or or hint at cold. 8.  Forrest has our attention.  The Red River is worth fishing in the cold of winter.
If you are brave and in the wood
 I give you title to the gold. 9.  It may be in the in around or behind wood, but Forrest has given us the Title 9.  I searched in, around, and under trees

Enjoy,
PJ

3PJs4Gold: In Santa Fe

The views just keep getting better and better as you approach Santa Fe.

PJ's headed toward Santa Fe

Santa Fe here I come.

Downtown is easy to find and take quarters if you go, they still have parking meters.  And it’s still a reasonable price.

First stop; Collected Works Bookstore.  Autographed copy of “The Thrill of the Chase”  – Check.

And a plus, Old Route 66 rolls right through downtown.  Extra Bonus, there are even elephants to be found downtown.  PJ’s Happy!

On the way to Taos and eventually the first search area.  Lunch at Purple Sage Café.  If you can’t find an elephant, purple is the next best thing.

And then surprise of surprises, there is a sculptured Pachyderm on the side of the road.  Jackpot.  I was shocked.  So far we’re batting a thousand.

Once you make it past the dust brown road and look off into the distance, the scenery is amazing.

I am on schedule to get to my target early.  After all, I have been up since 4:14 Central time.

For warm waters halting, I chose the Red River since it has hot spring known as Jacuzzis (Thanks to Dal’s Blog.)

The Home of Brown was selected to be the Fish Hatchery (Home of Brown Trout) in Questa or just Brown Trout in general since the Treasure is not associated with a Structure.

No place for the Meek

No place for the Meek

As you can see by this picture, this is a no place for the meek.  With the end ever drawing nigh; This whole area is called the Enchanted Circle.  (a geographic object with no end.  There are other supporting reasons to search here that I will have to describe later.  It’s getting late and I need to rest for tomorrow’s search.

And of course, for those of you know who may know the Red River area, or know this blog you probably already know that Elephant Rock was the blaze I was looking for.  The day was going great, what a cool site.

PJ thinks the Blaze is Elephant Rock

PJ’s Blaze, Elephant Rock. Too Big? I hope not.

The story will continue when I have internet again.

Google: The Thrill of the Chase
Google: Dal Neither

 

3PJs4Gold: The Best Laid Plans Often Go Awry: I’m Gonna Freeze

So it takes some good planning to go on a quest for Treasure.  I have been researching maps, reading blogs, and buying supplies, but Ole man winter just may have other plans then a spring like journey:  I’m going to Freeze.  To find Forrest Fenn’s Treasure we need to be prepared for just about any conditions.  Forrest may have said the he just needed a sandwich and a flash light, but I found out this morning that there was a snow storm at my thoroughly thoughtout search site.  So as per, Robert Burns poem To a Mouse and my mother’s favorite sayings:

“The best laid schemes of mice and men
 Go often awry,”

Well, the good news is that the snow melted away this afternoon, but I am still going to be cold as San Antonio weather reminded me today.

So aside from a Sandwich and a flashlight, I will also be taking:

  • A Winter Coat (even though my wife is making fun of me)
  • Stocking cap, gloves, scarf (I can’t find my ski mask)
  • Waterproof hiking boots, with 2 pair of thermal socks
  • Water proof pants (at least I hope they are:  I spayed jeans with water proofing), thermal underpants, turtle neck
  • Multiple other layers of clothing to apply or remove as needed
  • Rain gear (just encase it warms up.)  (I don’t think the warm waters will help)

Now for the treasure hunting supplies:

  • A second flashlight (It’s light; it’s good to be prepared)
  • Axe (that I need to buy at Wal-mart)  {I don’t think they would like that on the plane}
  • Map and compass
  • Forrest’s Poem  (Maybe more than one copy)
  • Walking Stick
  • Any other hiking gear you may need.

Don’t forget about the home front:

Make sure that the family is safe and sound
We have an alarm system, a gated community, caring neighbors, and most importantly a insanely protective dog that even barks at the girls when they come home from school.  He growls at me when I come home.

Ok,

  • Weather gear – Check,
  • Treasure Hunting gear – Check
  • Family – Check

Wish me luck, It’s time to go find some loot.  Great plan or not.  Ready or not, Here we go.

PJ on an Elephant Adventure

PJ on the Ultimate Pachyderm Junket: A Search for Forrest Fenn’s Treasure

Google: The Thrill of the Chase

3PJs4Gold: Additional Clues for Forrest Fenn’s Treasure. (PJ’s PJ 4 PJs & Gold)

Besides the 9 clues in the Poem, Forrest Fenn has provided additional clues on TV and statements about the location of the Treasure.  Some of these are helpful to narrow down the options, but others can be defined as ‘No Clues’, which provide no real additional information.

Dal, also includes a section in his blog that contains clarifications given from Forrest and their explanations, I hope that this helps refine your searches.  And good luck.

Dal’s Blog is :  http://lummifilm.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/tips-from-forrest/

Clue #10

The treasure is hidden higher than 5,000 feet above sea level.

Clue #11

No need to dig up the old outhouses, the treasure is not associated with any structure.

_________________________

All these clues make my head spin.  I hope that I can figure it out.

PJ Going Crazy with all these Clues

My Head is spinning with all these treasure clues running around. I hope they help us figure it out.

Google: The Thrill of the Chase
Google: Dal Neitzel

3PJs4Gold #9: Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Clue #9: Brave and in the wood. (PJ’s PJ 4 PJs & Gold)

The ninth clues of the poem, but not the last one that Forrest gave seems pretty simple, but what reality is may be in question.  Let talk get a better understanding

“If you are brave and in the wood”:  This phrase does call us to go search.  It almost appears that this was a ‘By the Way’ type statement.  As in, you have made it this far, but there is one more thing.  Most searchers believe this is synonymous for ‘in the woods’.  So is Forrest just telling us to look in the woods, a tree, stacked lumber, or perhaps is it just in a wooden box?  If we go back to English 101, we see that this prepositional phrase should actually have a coma after it, but it does not.  Since Forrest generously uses copious comas in the rest of the poem, is this phrase hinting at something more?  Well, if we read it the way it is written, it needs to be related to the next phrase of ‘I give you title to the gold’

“
I give you title to the gold.”: This phrase is commonly excepted that Forrest is giving us title to the gold when we find it.  It has been warned that if the treasure is found on National Forrest’s or National Park’s property you cannot remove abandoned items from the property.  It has also been said it is a law in New Mexico that the owner of the property receives ½ of any found valuables.  These concerns have serious liabilities, but if Forrest is giving you the title, maybe you are just retrieving lost property.  However, you will still need to pay taxes.  (Of course, you always pay taxes).  There have been some schemes on how to remove the treasure, but the best policy may be to tell the truth.

So going back to the ‘in the wood’ and no coma, Forrest may just be telling us that just because we started on the journey, we have title to the gold.  It may also indicate that we have to find it hidden in, around, or behind something wooden (i.e. a grove of trees).  Either way we must be ever diligent.  We will see the treasure exposed or wood may be blocking our view, but Forrest has given us the title.

Sentence Clue Discussion of Meaning
As I have gone alone in there
 and with my treasures bold,
 I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old. 1. The clues are hinting to both old and new secret riches.  A cypher of old riches, (Nine Mile Hole in Yellowstone) hinting toward new riches: The treasure.
Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyons down, 
not far, but too far to walk. 2. Start your search at the bottom of a canyon of a hot spring fed river (or any river) flowing into a river (or dam) and travel some distance in the river [likely defined by clue #1].
Put in below the home of Brown. 3.  Launch your quest below the home of Brown. (also start any cypher [Clue #1] measurements here)
From there it’s no place for the meek, The end is ever drawing nigh; there’ll be no paddle up your creek, 
just heavy loads and water high. 4. You will find rough and rugged rocks at a bend in the river, while traveling up steam passing large rocks with water above you.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, 
look quickly down, your quest to cease, but tarry scant with marvel gaze, 
just take the chest and go in peace. 5. Wisely find the marker/path, the treasure will be below this blaze, don’t wait, grab and go.  Tell folks once you and the chest are secure.
So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek? 6. Transition clue which indicates the end of the clues for the cypher and the rest of the clues only relate to the new treasure.
The answer I already know, 
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak. 7.  Forrest is familiar with and enjoyed times at the hiding location; he was tired when he hid the chest.
So hear me all and listen good, 
your effort will be worth the cold. 8.  It may hint at hiding it up north, but don’t ignore the other clues.  It may just be a warning to be prepared.  Look for something that might appear frozen or or hint at cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
 I give you title to the gold. 9.  It may be in the in around or behind wood, but Forrest has given us the Title

With these clues, I wish you luck in finding the Treasure.  I am going on a trip this weekend to test these theories.  I will tell you the exact locations of where I search and why I think they meet these clues, when I’m finished scouring the area.  You may use the information as you like, once I am complete or share them with friends; Enjoy.  If this has been helpful, please let me know.

Google: The Thrill of the Chase

PJ Found the Treasure

News Flash:   PJ Found Forrest Fenn’s Treasure in Yellowstone.  More Detail to follow:

PJ Found Forrest Fenn's Treasure

PJ the Purple Elephant Found Forrest Fenn’s Treasure in Yellowstone

Right below 7 Mile Bridge:

Oh Sorry, This just in:   April Fools !!!

These are my real Treasures.  Although, Christina’s braces cost us a fortune, her smile looks like a million bucks.

PJ's Real Treasures

These are my real treasures. They are rooting me on to find Forrest Fenn’s Treasure and actually asked several questions this weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3PJs4Gold #8: Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Clue #8: It’s worth the Cold. (PJ’s PJ 4 PJs & Gold)

The eighth clue calls our attention and tells us to go out in the cold. We know why we want to go, but let’s see what this clue might mean.

“So hear me all and listen good,”: This phrase of the clue calls us to attention.  Forrest is commanding us all to listen.  And listen good.  He definitely has our attention.  We all want the treasure.  Most people believe this phrase is just providing a word to rhyme with wood.  It does that and it also puts the action of the poem back in our hands.  We have to do something.  Our job now is to listen.  So lets hear the next part of the clue.

“
your effort will be worth the cold.”:This phrase 
is all about our willingness to go hunt

PJ's Cold

PJ is ready for the cold. Are you?

for the treasure.  Is it worth getting a little cold?  Well as long as you’re prepared, then you should be fine, but make sure that you are hunting safely.  Everyone is responsible for themselves.

Let’s take a closer look at this clue.  Some folks say that this clue hints that the treasure may be up in the northern Rockies because it is colder up north, but let’s not forget, that melting snow is cold no matter what part of the world you are in.  This could hint at the northern Rockies, but that seems to go against our previous clue #7 ‘I’ve done it tired’.  It may hint up north, but maybe we need to watch for other things that hint at cold as well.  Maybe a formation that looks frozen or appears cold.  I would keep my eyes open, because it is always colder in the mountains, especially for us Texans.  Hunt in the cold, the warmth, or the rain, just be carful, and have fun.

Sentence Clue Discussion of Meaning
As I have gone alone in there
 and with my treasures bold,
 I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old. 1. The clues are hinting to both old and new secret riches.  A cypher of old riches, (Nine Mile Hole in Yellowstone) hinting toward new riches: The treasure.
Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyons down, 
not far, but too far to walk. 2. Start your search at the bottom of a canyon of a hot spring fed river (or any river) flowing into a river (or dam) and travel some distance in the river [likely defined by clue #1].
Put in below the home of Brown. 3.  Launch your quest below the home of Brown. (also start any cypher [Clue #1] measurements here)
From there it’s no place for the meek, The end is ever drawing nigh; there’ll be no paddle up your creek, 
just heavy loads and water high. 4. You will find rough and rugged rocks at a bend in the river, while traveling up steam passing large rocks with water above you.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, 
look quickly down, your quest to cease, but tarry scant with marvel gaze, 
just take the chest and go in peace. 5. Wisely find the marker/path, the treasure will be below this blaze, don’t wait, grab and go.  Tell folks once you and the chest are secure.
So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek? 6. Transition clue which indicates the end of the clues for the cypher and the rest of the clues only relate to the new treasure.
The answer I already know, 
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak. 7.  Forrest is familiar with and enjoyed times at the hiding location; he was tired when he hid the chest.
So hear me all and listen good, 
your effort will be worth the cold. 8.  It may hint at hiding it up north, but don’t ignore the other clues.  It may just be a warning to be prepared.  Look for something that might appear frozen or or hint at cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
 I give you title to the gold. 9  Next Blog

Don’t get frostbite and do good planning before you leave.  Good Luck!!

Google: The Thrill of the Chase

3PJs4Gold #7: Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Clue #7: I’ve done it tired and weak. (PJ’s PJ 4 PJs & Gold)

The seventh clue explains Forrest’s state of mind and condition when he hid the treasure.  So let’s discuss this clue.

“The answer I already know,”: This phrase of the clue states that Forrest already knows where the answer is.  This seems obvious, so why state that in the poem.  The most common hypothesis is that Forrest new this hiding location well.  In fact, Forrest has been rumored as saying that he was very familiar with the place and enjoyed visiting the area.  This interpretation has led most hunters to study the history and interests of Forrest Fenn’s Life.  It’s a smart idea to understand Forrest’s Fenn.  He even says that there is some insightful information in his book:  The Thrill of the Chase  He a very eloquent writer and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading his stories.

“
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.”: These phrases of the clue is referring to Forrest’s condition when he hid the treasure.  He was 79 and had just recovered from cancer.  Cancer can be a very debilitating disease.  Forrest is a fighter and the cancer is in remission, but by this phrase we might be able to infer that the disease he defeated may have had some impact on him. He is strong, so I would think that I would even have trouble keeping up with him.  That being said, Forrest inserted this into the poem, so many folks have interpreted this to mean that the Treasure is not far from a road.  Folks also belief that he drove most of the way to hide the Treasure and only hiked the last stretch.  It has been reported that Forrest took 2 trips to place the items in the chest.  It is a common belief which I share with others, that this clue indicates you don’t need to do anything heroic to search for the chest.  No repelling, rock climbing, or herculean efforts needed.  Just 42 pounds of treasure on a one way journey.  For total disclosure, some folks also believe that this clue means he did not hide it far from Santa Fe.  Maybe this hints at New Mexico, but you can get to most of the Rockies driving a car on a 3 day road trip.  The quest has been enjoyable for researchers and some have even taken their families along on the journey as reported by: http://mysteriouswritings.com/six-questions-with-stephanie-owner-of-whats-a-blaze-blog/

There is also additional valuable information on this sight.  I hope you enjoy.

Sentence Clue Discussion of Meaning
As I have gone alone in there
 and with my treasures bold,
 I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old. 1. The clues are hinting to both old and new secret riches.  A cypher of old riches, (Nine Mile Hole in Yellowstone) hinting toward new riches: The treasure.
Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyons down, 
not far, but too far to walk. 2. Start your search at the bottom of a canyon of a hot spring fed river (or any river) flowing into a river (or dam) and travel some distance in the river [likely defined by clue #1].
Put in below the home of Brown. 3.  Launch your quest below the home of Brown. (also start any cypher [Clue #1] measurements here)
From there it’s no place for the meek, The end is ever drawing nigh; there’ll be no paddle up your creek, 
just heavy loads and water high. 4. You will find rough and rugged rocks at a bend in the river, while traveling up steam passing large rocks with water above you.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, 
look quickly down, your quest to cease, but tarry scant with marvel gaze, 
just take the chest and go in peace. 5. Wisely find the marker/path, the treasure will be below this blaze, don’t wait, grab and go.  Tell folks once you and the chest are secure.
So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek? 6. Transition clue which indicates the end of the clues for the cypher and the rest of the clues only relate to the new treasure.
The answer I already know, 
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak. 7.  Forrest is familiar with and enjoyed times at the hiding location; he was tired when he hid the chest.
So hear me all and listen good, 
your effort will be worth the cold. 8 Next Blog
PJ's Tired and so was Forrest

PJ’s tired and so was Forrest when he hid the chest.

I hope you are not tired like PJ in the Pic, I plan to not rest until I find the treasure.  PJ questions where the treasure is, but Forrest knows.  Forrest was tired when he hid the chest, but you may have to hoist 42 lbs of wealth.  Good Luck!!

Google: The Thrill of the Chase
Google:  mysteriouswritings.com

3PJs4Gold #5: Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Clue #5: Find the Blaze, Tarry Scant, and Go in Peace (PJ’s PJ 4 PJs & Gold)

The fifth clue also contains many actions.  This clue includes some of the most important steps for finding the treasure, and finally achieving our goal of taking the chest.  So lets check them out.

“If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,”:I believe that this may be the most import

PJ the Purple Elephant

PJ’s Blaze

piece of the puzzle, because in some cultures, wisdom is more revered than wealth.  At least, that is what I remember hearing.  In the USA we don’t get this lesson quite often enough.

Another reason why this is import is because of the phrase that follows.  “look quickly down, your quest cease.” (explained next).  If you find the blaze you have found the treasure (well, basically).  No matter how you got here; whether you walked for miles, drove a car, rode a horse, or even accidentally tripped over it.  Though Forrest says it is unlikely to accidentally find it.  It’s more likely that you have pondered, planned, and plotted to find it.  I believe this blaze is so import that it would even trump the distance calculated from the cypher of the first clue (remember it’s just a hint).  Wisely see the blaze and you have found what you seek.

Fireworks for PJ

Are Fireworks a blaze. We’ll just keep these for celebration when we find the treasure.

So what is the blaze?  The most commonly held beliefs are that it is a marker, the actual trail, some kind of petroglyph, or a previous fire.  Will PJ’s blaze (logo) indicate where the treasure is?  No, more likely “FF” than “PJ”.  How about fireworks as a blaze?  Well maybe in celebration of finding the treasure, but not marking the spot.  Some hunters think that a city name meaning ‘Fire’ or ‘Flame’, might be a blaze too.  A blaze might have multiple meanings even in the same search, like a marker found after Fire City (I just made up the name).

Stephanie has a blog that will likely shed more light on a blaze and the other clues:  whatsablaze.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/whats-a-blaze/  She has been searching and sharing great knowledge almost as long as Dal and both are fantastic resources.

“look quickly down, your quest to cease,”: So now that we have found the blaze these phrases complete the action.  Look down and your done.  Well, it may not be quite that easy, but you’re certainly close to holding the gold.

The other hint this phrase provides is the end point of the cypher from the first clue.  The distance from Nine Mile Hole (Old Blaze) in Yellowstone should be a similar distance to the new blaze ‘up your creek’.  This distance should be the miles from where you put in during Clue #3 below the home of Brown to the new blaze.  No, it’s not 9 miles.  That name is based on the distance from the entrance of Yellowstone.  So what is it?  Forrest was a fisherman.  The measurement is based on the length of the river.  So, by printing out the map and taking a string.  I have estimated the length to be 16 miles.  If you followed every bend and not just the main flow, you could get as high as 18 miles or more.  Some could also argue that ‘cease’ is the end of the 14th line of the poem.  Maybe the distance is hidden in the poem.  Anyway you slice it, a 4 mile range is much better than 382,894 sq miles of the rocky mountains.

“but tarry scant with marvel gaze,”:  You don’t want to stand around and gawk.  But

PJ the Purple Elephant

Let’s skedaddle PJ

why? Some believe that there may be flash floods in the river, or there may be a crumbly wall.  Folks have even said that there may be wild animals or even other seekers that may try to take your prize.  There may be many reason to not hang around, but keep a watchful eye.  My wife just wants to make sure that I don’t get bit by a snake, mauled by a bear, or questioned by the feds.  All good reasons not to tarry.

”just take the chest and go in peace.”: Oh!.  This seems pretty simple.  Grab and Go quietly.  Probably similar reasons to why we are not tarrying.  Some folks say this tells us not to tell anyone until we have the treasure in a safe and secure place.

Sentence Clue Discussion of Meaning
As I have gone alone in there
 and with my treasures bold,
 I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old. 1. The clues are hinting to both old and new secret riches.  A cypher of old riches, (Nine Mile Hole in Yellowstone) hinting toward new riches: The treasure.
Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyons down, 
not far, but too far to walk. 2. Start your search at the bottom of a canyon of a hot spring fed river (or any river) flowing into a river (or dam) and travel some distance in the river [likely defined by clue #1].
Put in below the home of Brown. 3.  Launch your quest below the home of Brown. (also start any cypher [Clue #1] measurements here)
From there it’s no place for the meek, The end is ever drawing nigh; there’ll be no paddle up your creek, 
just heavy loads and water high. 4. You will find rough and rugged rocks at a bend in the river, while traveling up steam passing large rocks with water above you.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, 
look quickly down, your quest to cease, but tarry scant with marvel gaze, 
just take the chest and go in peace. 5. Wisely find the marker/path, the treasure will be below this blaze, don’t wait, grab and go.  Tell folks once you and the chest are secure.
So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek? 6

Good luck in finding the blaze, Dal has some examples that Forrest sent him (they are not the real treasure blazes). lummifilm.wordpress.com/scrapbook-twenty-three/  If you have any other ideas of blazes, please leave a comment.

Google: Dal Neitzel
Google:  The Thrill of the Chase
Google:  WhatsaBlaze wordpress

3PJs4Gold #4: Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Clue #4: No Place for the Meek, Heavy Loads and Waters High (PJ’s PJ 4 PJs & Gold)

The fourth clue contains a whole lot of info.  Some folks have even taken this sentence as four separate clues.  That would put a major emphasis on four lines of this poem.  Yes, they are important and there’s a whole bunch going on, but these all seem to refer to what happens as you progress on your journey.  So let’s talk about these lines:

“From there it’s no place for the meek”:  It has been suggested that rocky terrain or arid desert is no place for the meek, this basically describes the Rockies and most of New Mexico.  It has also been suggest that Mt Meek in Colorado is an option.  I prefer the rough and rugged rocks belief.

“The end is ever drawing nigh;”:  This has been suggested to be a cliff or a bend in the river.  It has even been suggested to be a road like Midnight Dr.  The only geographic shapes that have no end are circles or spheres. In a picture with Forrest Fenn at Nine Mile Hole, he is standing by a round boulder.  I like the river bend concept.  A cliff over a bend in the river and I would be ecstatic.

“there’ll be no paddle up your creek,”:  This line seems to be pretty self explanatory.  It might be a river that you cannot canoe, maybe it’s too rocky or it is a dry river bed which are common in New Mexico.  This could even be a mountain stream or just a rift.  In all these cases it still seems that you will need to make your way up stream, come hell or high water.  Oh, water high is up next.

”just heavy loads and water high.”:  Is this what might represent heavy loads?

PJ's Hunt for Treasure

PJ lifting Heavy Loads. Forrest Fenn’s Treasure will have heavy loads too.

No, it’s PJ again clowning around.  The common perception is that heavy loads are the rocks and boulder that would be in the river.  There is also talk of mountain gold mines being heavy loads.  There will be rocks everywhere, so this seems like a gimmie, but don’t be fooled by not factoring this into your equation.  Water high has been offered up as waterfalls, dams, pools, anything where water can collect.  Likely flood zones have also been considered.  Some folks have said water towers, but we now know from Forrest’s 11th clue on the Today show, that outhouses and any other structures are not associated with the treasure.

These lines will definitely factor into your path when seeking the treasure and Dal, of course, has some insight on these clues as well at:

lummifilm.wordpress.com/part-two-interpreting-the-clues/

Sentence Clue Discussion of Meaning
As I have gone alone in there
 and with my treasures bold,
 I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old. 1. The clues are hinting to both old and new secret riches.  A cypher of old riches, (Nine Mile Hole in Yellowstone) hinting toward new riches: The treasure.
Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyons down, 
not far, but too far to walk. 2. Start your search at the bottom of a canyon of a hot spring fed river (or any river) flowing into a river (or dam) and travel some distance in the river [likely defined by clue #1].
Put in below the home of Brown. 3.  Launch your quest below the home of Brown. (also start any cypher [Clue #1] measurements here)
From there it’s no place for the meek, The end is ever drawing nigh; there’ll be no paddle up your creek, 
just heavy loads and water high. 4. You will find rough and rugged rocks at a bend in the river, while traveling up steam passing large rocks with water above you.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, 
look quickly down, your quest to cease, but tarry scant with marvel gaze, 
just take the chest and go in peace. 5

When figuring out your path, make sure that you are wise in your selection, especially when being wise is in our next blog.

Google: Dal Neitzel
Google:  The Thrill of the Chase
Google: Today show

PJ’s PJ 4 PJs & Gold: Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Clue #3: Below the home of Brown (3PJs4Gold #3)

The third clue deals with the “home of the Brown”, this has been touted as the main clue.  If you find the home of the Brown, you will find the location of where to start your search (which particular canyon or river) and possibly complete your search.  The full clue is “Put in below the home of Brown.”  So the thought is that your search begins below this thing that is Brown.  I say ‘thing’, because people have conjectured that it is the home of a famous person, explorer, or celebrity (i.e., The unsinkable Moly Brown), a color of a mountain, or the name of an animal.  Since Brown is capitalized (Forrest meant it that way) it is assumed to be a proper name or an animal’s name like Brown trout or Brown bear.  Capitalization also denotes importance.  Dal, one of the most avid searches, believed it was related to Brown trout

http://lummifilm.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/part-two-interpreting-the-clues/

This was a few years ago, he may have other thoughts as well and he shares them on his blog.  Dal’s blog has been very insightful.  Thanks for sharing Dal.

Many folks believe that ‘Put in’ hints that Forrest put the chest in a cave or in the water.  Or I have seen others say that ‘Put in’ is a boating/fishing team meaning put the boat in the water or step into the river to start your journey, such as, ‘put in’ at the boat ramp.  I prefer the later interpretation of ‘put in’ meaning start the journey or launch your ship.

The launching version makes cense for where we are in the poem too,  we are only at the 8th line of 24 (1/3 of the way).  Also the next line begins, “From there”, it sure seems like Forrest is still giving step by step directions once we establish a starting point.  However, using either version, you will still need to define the home of Brown.  Whether you do an extensive search directly below the home or whether it is a launch point depends on your other clues, such as finding the blaze

But I would not be surprised if this clue actually has double meanings.  It is the shortest clue and the most succinct.  You may find the treasure under the home of Brown, but after starting from a different home of Brown.

The home of Brown

Do you think this is the home of Brown; I think Not

Do you think Forrest meant PJ’s Home of Brown.  I think not.  Let’s use Yellowstone as an example.  Begin where warm water halts.  Clue 2. The Madison River was one of Forrest Fenn’s Favorite rivers for many fishing holes.  The Madison River flows into the Hebgen Lake which is dammed.  The Geysers from Yellowstone feed into the water of the Madison via Fire Hole River.  Hence Warm waters halt at the dammed lake.  Clue 3.  Grizzly Bears are a subspecies of ‘Brown bears’ per wikipedia.org/wiki/Grizzly_bear  Grizzlies live in Yellowstone and therefore it is there home, so when the Madison River crosses into Yellowstone, we ‘Put in below the home of Brown’ (i.e., Launch) for our search.  (As an example of the double meaning, if we find the treasure under water, Brown trout live in the river, so it could be said that the gold was ‘put in below the home of Brown’.)

Sentence Clue Discussion of Meaning
As I have gone alone in there
 and with my treasures bold,
 I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old. 1. The clues are hinting to both old and new secret riches.  A cypher of old riches, (Nine Mile Hole in Yellowstone) hinting toward new riches: The treasure.
Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyons down, 
not far, but too far to walk. 2. Start your search at the bottom of a canyon of a hot spring fed river (or any river) flowing into a river (or dam) and travel some distance in the river [likely defined by clue #1].
Put in below the home of Brown. 3.  Launch your quest below the home of Brown. (also start any cypher [Clue #1] measurements here)
From there it’s no place for the meek, The end is ever drawing nigh; there’ll be no paddle up your creek, 
just heavy loads and water high. 4.

Therefore I believe the most import way to use this clue is to use the launch definition and determine what is the home of the Brown and start your quest below it; where warm waters halt.  This would also be the point where you would start measuring any distances if you buy into the cypher concept.  But keep an ever watchful eye out for a Blaze under ‘the home of Brown’.  I am currently inclined to believe that home of the Brown, means Brown Trout, but I would hate to deter great searching.

Any other thoughts on what the home of the Brown is?  Thoughts on clue 4 will be in the following blogs.

Google: Dal lummifilm
Google:  The Thrill of the Chase
Google:  The unsinkable Moly Brown  wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Brown

PJ’s PJ 4 PJs & Gold: Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Clue #2: Warm Waters Halt

Now for the second clue, but first I promised that there would be elephants on this Junket, so from the first clue, we surmised that the old treasure was in Yellowstone and the river could be used as a cypher to unlock the new treasure’s location.  Well, in Yellowstone there is a mountain called Elephant Back Mountain in the center of the park.  I love Yellowstone, I have great memories from visits as a kid too.

PJ's Hunt for Forrest Fenn's Treasure

Elephant Back Mountain in Yellowstone

The most memorable was when I accidently took an absorbent amount of sequential pictures of Old Faithful while my parents were entranced by the fabulous fountain and not watching their youngest child use his new camera for the first time.  We had enough pictures to make grandmas and the cousins photo albums too.

So back to the second clue, the commonly excepted explanation is that this is where to start the search, where warm waters halt.  Even Forrest Fen says hunters should start looking here, but what are warm waters and what is halting?

Sentence Clue Discussion of Meaning
As I have gone alone in there
 and with my treasures bold,
 I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old. 1. The clues are hinting to both old and new secret riches.  A cypher of old riches, (Nine Mile Hole in Yellowstone) hinting toward new riches: The treasure.
Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyons down, 
not far, but too far to walk. 2. Start your search at the bottom of a canyon of a hot spring fed river (or any river) flowing into a river (or dam) and travel some distance in the river [likely defined by clue #1].
Put in below the home of Brown. 3

Warm waters have been frequently suggested to be geysers or hot water springs flowing into the river.  Fenn was a fisherman and one of the seekers, has pointed out that the definition of Warm Waters per New Mexico wildlife website (http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/recreation/fishing/index.htm) , is any stream or lake not classified as a trout river.  I prefer the hot springs definition, but we need to keep our options open.

What does waters halt mean.  This is commonly excepted to be a dam or where a river flows into another river.  I hole heartedly agree.  The NM wildlife website has a very helpful map of all the fishing lakes and dams.

“And take it in the canyon down”.  This seems very innocuous, every river is basically a canyon.  It all depends on the depth and width.

“not far, but too far to walk.”  Ok! That seems reasonable, I don’t really want to walk all that far anyway.  I have read almost everywhere that this means Forrest drove to drop off the trove.  Although it could mean that there is a steep drop off or deep rocky canyon.  Either way, this is a starting point not the final hiding spot; just be careful, if there is a cliff.

So, the proposed clue is:  Start your search at the bottom of a canyon of a hot spring fed river (or any river) flowing into a river (or dam) and travel some distance in the river [likely defined by clue #1].

But where do we start?  The thoughts on that will be in the following blog

PJ’s PJ 4 PJs and Gold – Clues to Forrest Fenn’s Treasure: Clue 1

The Poem by Forrest Fenn, is the key to finding the treasure.  Mr. Fenn has said that there are nine clues in the poem.  Many folks have tried to narrow down 9 phrases or words that are the most important hints, but with 174 words, 24 lines, and 9 sentences, Forrest has stated that the words are important.  He did have several years to write it.  Hmmm, 9 sentences.  I believe that each sentence is a clue.  Yes, some of them may have multiple ideas, but it would be hard to imagine that the first 4 lines would be unimportant.

Sentence Clue Discussion of Meaning
As I have gone alone in there
 and with my treasures bold,
 I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old. 1. The clues are hinting to both old and new secret riches.  A cypher of old riches, (Nine Mile Hole in Yellowstone) hinting toward new riches: The treasure.
Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyons down, 
not far, but too far to walk. 2
Put in below the home of Brown. 3
From there it’s no place for the meek, The end is ever drawing nigh; there’ll be no paddle up your creek, 
just heavy loads and water high. 4
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, 
look quickly down, your quest to cease, but tarry scant with marvel gaze, 
just take the chest and go in peace. 5
So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek? 6
The answer I already know, 
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak. 7
So hear me all and listen good, 
your effort will be worth the cold. 8
If you are brave and in the wood
 I give you title to the gold. 9

Let’s discuss the first sentence.  Several folks believe that this is just a introduction or Forrest is choosing the treasures to add in the box.  This is over 1/8 of the poem, there has to be something about the location here.  The common belief is that Fenn is saying, he took the treasure to the secret hiding spot.  The next phrase is the key, “And hint of riches new and old”.  Some think that this means there were Treasures there before, like gold.  I believe that this means that the clues work for both old riches and new treasures.  Old riches would be like Forrest’s favorite sport; fishing.  It is well known and well documented in Forrest’s memoir that Fenn’s old favorite fishing spot were in Yellowstone.  The favorite fishing hole is 9 mile hole.  Now we need to find that new riches; the treasure.  The old riches  9 mile hole could be used as a cypher (key) to find the new riches.  Fisherman use mileage of the rivers to compare mileage in other rivers.  We need the other clues to tell us were to take this distance from.  But be careful, every river is different, it’s just a hint, not an exact measurement.  Plus, there are over a million people a year that visit Yellowstone, and professional treasure hunters have searched the area with metal detectors over the last 2 years. If there was gold here, It would have been found already.  This allows Forrest to pay homage to Yellowstone and still hide his treasure.

So, the first clue is a cypher of old riches, (Nine Mile Hole in Yellowstone) hinting to new riches: The treasure.

But where?  The thoughts on that will be in the following blogs.

PJs Pachyderm Junket Clues

I think Nine Mile Hole (old riches) is a cypher to the gold (new riches)