Forgive my extended absence. Life, as always, is keeping me busy and my thoughts turn more toward living than writing about living. Know what I mean? Why just the other day I said to myself, “Self! What in tarnation is wrong with you?!” I don’t really ever use the word “tarnation” and am completely unaware what Self was referring too, but that should give you some indication as to where my mind is. In a world far, far, away….
Hey! That reminds me, I was up north of Santa Fe just last week on a family camping trip. You know what’s north of Santa Fe besides bears, trees and mountains? Forrest Fenn’s hidden treasure, that’s what! I know, you thought I’d given it up, left the treasure hunting to all you “sure as heck I know where it is” folks. Well, you’re kinda wrong.
Wrong, in that I still consider the treasure, as it lies there somewhere under a hillside, left out in the cold and shivering with loneliness and longing. (I don’t believe it’s buried in case you’re wondering and I have good cause not too.) You’re right in that I didn’t go a huntin. Just a campin and a fishin.
But I thought about that poem as the sun rose over the hills in Sugarite Canyon, spraying a pink hue over the lake and landscape.
Sunrise over Lake Maloya
I thought about it as rain hammered down on my tent and the wind shook the walls. I even went so far as to trick my wife to going for a hike around Lake Alice to enjoy “nature”, when really I just wanted see if I could stumble upon a metal box full of expensive stuff.
Family in front of Lake Alice.
I didn’t, but I think Little Leonardo may have seen it as he dashed toward the tree line that led to the cliff face above the lake…
Hiking around Lake Alice
No worries, I’m still quicker than a two year old.
Anyway, I ponder the poem now and again. When I don’t have two boys screaming in my ear or chasing em around the house. When I’m not so concerned about money and life and just makin it day by day, I think about it. It may be years before I get a chance to go again. To sit down and figure out my best options of warm water halting and houses of Brown.
Remember a year or two ago when The Today Show did that week long series with Forrest? He’d give a clue everyday. Eventually they kind of worked him out of the show. I think they expected someone to find the treasure on live TV. Silly entertainment type folk.
I don’t really know if I ever expect that treasure to be found. At least not in my lifetime.
So I tell my boys that they’re treasure is in the mountains. I did actually bury some little knick knack things out there but my hope is that they will get it in their heads that maybe the mountains are the treasure and while they’re out there they can find a little metal box with some shiny things in it too.
In the meantime, I’ll just burn some weinies with em when I can, think of the time spent when I can’t and consider a poem now and again.
Burning Weinies on the campfire.
Like this one:
Say! You’ve struck a heap of trouble — Bust in business, lost your wife; No one cares a cent about you, You don’t care a cent for life; Hard luck has of hope bereft you, Health is failing, wish you’d die — Why, you’ve still the sunshine left you And the big, blue sky.
Sky so blue it makes you wonder If it’s heaven shining through; Earth so smiling ‘way out yonder, Sun so bright it dazzles you; Birds a-singing, flowers a-flinging All their fragrance on the breeze; Dancing shadows, green, still meadows — Don’t you mope, you’ve still got these.
These, and none can take them from you; These, and none can weigh their worth. What! you’re tired and broke and beaten? — Why, you’re rich — you’ve got the earth! Yes, if you’re a tramp in tatters, While the blue sky bends above You’ve got nearly all that matters — You’ve got God, and God is love.
You may or may not be wondering what happened to me. Likely not. My new job is keeping me busy. The family is keeping me busy but my mind is rather still lately. I reckon that has a lot to do with the other two. Each morning though,I head to work, (Thank the Lord) I look northward, imagining a caravan of folk up in the mountains there, scrounging around in the dirt, getting mud and gunk all over them and I feel that envy bug nibble my bones a bit.
Its not that I’m not content… was that a double negative? Anyway, it’s not that I’m not content. I am. I thank the Lord each day that he lets me get up early and go work each day, I thank Him morning, noon and night for giving me my family. Only He knows where I’d be right now without em. But.. there is still that.. desire.. I guess.. to head up in the mountains, and get covered in mud and gunk and maybe find a treasure or just a faint trail that leads nowhere. You know what I mean.
It’ll be awhile before I’m back in that game though.
I’m still in training at work, with some other folk. Today I was talking with one of them and she looks at me, my burgening beard, my large calloused hands then looks around and says, ” You know Ricky, if anyone of these other guys got dropped off in the middle of the woods, I don’t think they’d make it. You, on the other hand, well, I don’t have any doubts you’d be fine. Men today are weak and soft. They talk big but only while playing their xbox or complaining about something or another. You got something they don’t really make in men anymore. Grit.”
I don’t know why she said that. I had no idea how to respond. Thanks? She’s a bit off in the head herself, so I don’t take it too seriously, but it was a nice thing to say. And she’s right. Men, for the most part, these days, are weak. Being dropped in the woods to fend for yourself aside, just men in general have lost the mindset of what it means to be a man.
• Hard Work
• Staying with it when it gets tough
• Keeping promises
Sorry, didn’t mean to go off on a tangent there, sometimes I start a post with one idea and it takes on a life of its own. Winding down a curved path without any direction.
Anywho, to those of you stopping by here looking for clues or insight into the Fenn Treasure, well, all I can say is, Be safe, Be Honest, and Good Luck. I mean that. I hope you find it. If not, then some day I’ll be back on the trail. Someday. Maybe with my two boys in tow…
I love poetry. I have since I was a kid. I used to take books with me when I’d go walking out in the woods behind our house and sit beneath a tall oak tree and read. Elliot, Wordsworth, Thoreau, Service. I especially enjoyed the writings of Robert Service. He wasn’t very subtle in his poetry, unlike other poets who I think tried too hard to seem intelligent. What he wrote about, mostly, was wild men of the west, particularly the North West.
I was working in Alaska a few years ago, Cordova to be exact. One of the few days I had off, I strolled into Orca Book and Sound book store there and found The Illustrated Robert Service. It was costly as most things in Alaska are, but I bought it anyway. I figured I was making some good money and could spare a bit of change for something to read in my bunk between shifts.
It’s a nice book. I’m glad I bought it. It kept me from getting too homesick many a night as I lay there, the sound of floors creaking, seagulls squawking, men snoring and the ocean pounding the shore just outside.
If you never read Robert Service, might I suggest you go to a local bookstore and pick up a used copy of one his volumes? Google just isn’t the same as holding a book in your hands and letting the words seep into your skin. Simple, his poetry might be, but I think it strikes a cord with every man whose ever had fanciful dreams of striking out into the wild to see what he’s made of. That, and finding gold.
“I panned and I panned in the shiny sand, and I sniped on the river bar; But I know, I know, that it’s down below that the golden treasures are;
– Clancy of Mounted Police
‘Tis pale and grim by the Polar rim, but seek and ye shall not fail.’
“And lo! that night I too did dream of my mother’s sister’s son,
And he said to me: “By the Arctic Sea there’s a treasure to be won.
Follow and follow a lone moose trail, till you come to a valley grim,
On the slope of the lonely watershed that borders the Polar brim.”
Then I woke my pals, and soft we swore by the mystic Silver Flail,
‘Twas the hand of Fate, and to-morrow straight we would seek the lone moose trail.
– The Ballad of Northern Lights
Just a couple of snippets for your pleasure. I find it interesting that the first time I walked into to Collected Works bookstore and got a copy of The Thrill of the Chase, the first thing that came to mind was my copy of The Illustrated Robert Service.
I’d bet a dollar to a quarter that somewhere on Mister Fenn’s bookshelf lies some Robert Service poetry…
No Reason I think that… just saying.
Anyway, just some random thoughts for you. In other news, I finally landed a job and start training next week. My wife will be giving birth to my son somewhere around the 30th. Its likely I will miss it. We’ll see if I can convince my boss, to give me a day off, even though I’ve just started, but if not, well, as a wise woman has said to me more times than I can count, in my life, “Ya Gotta do, what you Gotta do.”
So there’s that. Treasure Hunting is on hold for the moment, but I wish the best to those of you out and about. Be careful. Watch out for Bears, snakes, and Reality Shows.
This weekend, the wife, the youngun and I set off on a great adventure into the wilds of the Jemez. Ok. Not really a “great adventure” so much as chance to get out of the house and breath some fine mountain air. While we were out, I kept an eye out for the Fenn Treasure as perhaps it may be laying by the side of one of the roads of which we were driving. Yeah, not really.
In case I haven’t mentioned it, which I’m pretty sure I have a million and two times, the wife is with child. She’s been feeling a bit of the cabin fever, especially with her recent battle against Kidney Stones and problems breathing, so I threw her in the car, strapped the kid to the top and headed north for a day trip of some New Mexico National Monuments.
• You may notice my wife’s face is blurred out. I assure you that is not a normal look for her. She just doesn’t go walking around blurried faced. She did warn me however that should I post a picture on the internets of her without makeup, I would one day wake up to find a horse head on my pillow… (She didn’t say horse head because she’s never seen the Godfather but you get what I’m saying…)
• My jeans are dirty like they are, because, these are my famous “treasure hunting” jeans. You may have seen them in previous posts. Autographs available upon request.
• My son is giving the dirty eye to the camera because the nice folks who offered to take our picture were people he doesn’t know and people my son doesn’t know and come within five feet of him, get the dirty eye. I dunno… he’s like that.
• Finally, that is not a subdivision behind us, it is in fact an ancient Pueblo village, where ancient folk used to walk around doing ancient things and trying NOT to draw pictographs of their wives without makeup… just saying.
In the entire time I’ve lived in New Mexico, I’ve never visited the Coronado State Monument. Considering it is only 15 minutes or so from where I live. If you stop by, make sure to say hey to Alex, the park ranger and ask him to give you a tour of the paintings they have hanging up there, made about the year 1300. Be sure to ask about the one of the “Egyptian” who visited the pueblo…. 900 years ago.
A better picture of my son at Coronado State Monument minus the Dirty Eye.
We didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked because the boy was getting hungry and cranky and apparently feeding kids is more important than ancient history… that’s what my wife said anyway..
So we got some grub at the local Blake’s Lotaburger, which was horribly overcrowded, then headed up 550 to San Ysidro, the turn off to the famous Jemez Ruins, which used to be the home of the ancestors of the folks living at the current Jemez Pueblo, which most folks like myself are not invited into…with good reason I suppose. It’s also the turn off to the famous hippy hangout, Jemez Springs.
Fun Fact: Jemez is a spanish version of the word hay mish. When asked by the spanish coming into the pueblo to dine with the folk at Jemez for the first time, they asked em, “Hey fellas, What do you call yourself?”, to which one fella of the Pueblo, presumably the Tourism Director, replied, “People”… Which is what hay mish means. Unfortunately, the Spanish and most of those coming after never really caught on that they were people rather than slaves and subjects… <—insert editorial.
Stopping on the road to Jemez Ruins
My wife slept on and off during the short trip up there and was only awakened by my many “Hey! Look at that! Did you know in (insert guesstimated time period) that (insert partly factual statement about said place)”. My son on the other hand, didn’t even pay attention to my many intellectual and historic oral spews. He slept the whole way.
She did get out to stretch her overly stressed legs and back when I stopped for a bit of a pee at the “Welcome Sign to Jemez”.
So when we got to the the Ruins, I left them to their own sleepiness and walked around oohhing and awing by my own self.
Old Spanish Church Ruins
Didn’t take too many pictures as I left my camera in the truck and only had my foggy phone with me. Just between you and me (or is it you and I?) I dig (not literally) old historic things like these. I tend to let my imagination fly in these places. The history of people who occupied the same space I am in at that moment, and what they did and how they lived is fascinating to me. Not even just the ancient people but folks from the 1960s back to 150000 years ago is an amazing journey of thought. 2000 years from now, I doubt there will be any mystery about us. We have labeled and stowed away so much information about who we are and what we’ve done that I can’t imagine any kind of serious interest by our descendants. Interest comes from the mystery not the facts. When our lives are so detailed in blog posts, and videos and pictures and books and tweets, who’s gonna really care? Archeologist will have to find a new profession in the future, because there won’t be any new thing to discover.
Sad if you ask me…as I write in my blog and post pictures of my life….
The Valle Caldera is an old Volcano. It’s gorgeous. Amazingly beautiful. Unfortunately, the meal from Blakes Lotoburger caught up to me about then so we had to run down the road until I found a proper place in the woods to pay homage to the pulled pork sandwich. Was that too much information. Sorry.
We were gonna stop by Bandolier but by the time we got to the gate it was already 5 and we were all tired and cranky. Plus, if you have allergies, going into the mountains to get some fresh mountain air is not all its cracked up to be, so we just headed on home.
That, is pretty much the sum of our trip. A day in my life if you will. You’re welcome. I’m sure your awe inspired to take the trip yourself…
Just in case you get a chance while out here on vacation or treasure hunting or research, I highly recommend visiting some of the state’s monuments. The monuments are interesting, but the road trip itself is worth the time.
So there you have my addition to the State Tourism Machine. I’m sure they’re grateful I wrote it…
Be careful out there and I’ll see ya in the woods,
They decided to go with the “It’s dangerous and against the law” tilt on the story. (I’m assuming they read my previous post and wanted to one-up me) Even bringing in a Forest Fella to say it on camera.
My question to the government and the forest service is; If I’m hiking out on Government land, and I drop my wallet on the ground, does my wallet and everything in there now belong to the taxpayers? Should I leave it there and notify the “authorities” that I found an artifact? Please come take it.?
Seriously Government People, relax, take a breath and stop being such dillwads.
Yes, I said Dillwads in reference to the government.
In other news, I think I just saw two men in dark green business suits with dark green sunglasses get out of a car in front of my house…weird, must be the Forest (Secret) Service here to question my use of the word “Dillwad”.
If you don’t hear from me again, just assume I’m locked in a wooden cellar somewhere in the middle of Yellowstone until further questioning….
I have this tendency to read several books at once. Not at the same time mind you, I am not that awesome, but I’ll read a bit of one, then read a bit of another. Get’s rather confusing sometimes, especially when you mix what you read in one with what your reading in another and suddenly you wonder how the simple story of a ranch hand in Texas turned into an alien war on the planet Karupkus….
I know. I need some ADD meds… not really… kinda though.
My point with that was, I am reading the Old Ones by David Roberts while at the same time reading Reigning in the Rio Grande by Fred Phillips AND Anasazi America by David Stuart.
I have an abnormal interest in Southwest history. Both the ancient and modern. Having said that, I dislike archeologists as a general rule. I like to say, “The Governments own the history of mankind. Archeologists dictate what that history is and Museums sell the history to the googley eyed public through glass windows and Do-Not-Touch Signs.”
Okay. I don’t really go around saying that out loud. Mostly in my head when reading something that brings it to mind. Saying it out loud would be weird in everyday conversation.
In regards to In Search of the Old Ones by David Roberts, so far my conclusionis that David Roberts is a snob. He says so in this book. At least he mentions how his friend says he is, when after tracing the routes of Ancient Anasazi in Utah and they come to Lake Powell, he becomes disgusted with the raunchy college kids out playing on a lake that covers what used to be ancient Anasazi homesteads.
I haven’t actually gotten past that part yet but that’s the part that irks me. David is a writer. Not an archeologist but for some reason he still echoes the mentality of Harvard bred researchers everywhere, even whilst complimenting one of the most controversial figures in Ancient Southwest Archeology, Richard Wetherill. Who, I, as just a dumb redneck fella from Texas, happen to admire quite a bit. (And most Archeologists and Rangers around Mesa Verde dislike)
I haven’t finished the book yet, I know. blah blah blah
Ya know, I’ve walked the mountains and deserts of New Mexico for years now. I try not to stay on trail, not just because the Forest Service advises me too, but because I like to be able to touch my own history. Put my own footprint down in a place that not too many footprints have fallen. I will go a day out of my way, through brushy tumbleweeds, fields of cactus and sandpits from hell to stay away from the hard packed trails of the US Forest Service.
I can’t say why these rules and regulations irk me, but I’ve carefully walked across areas covered in ancient potsherds, just laying in the sand where they were left and hadn’t been seen since and I’ve held in my hand a copper knife found under a rock that hadn’t been touched in hundreds of years. There’s a connection you get from feeling an object, or standing in a place that hasn’t been utilized in a hundred or a thousand years that I just can’t explain to you. It’s a secret archeologists keep from the public. Oh they will give you a lecture on the meaning of a thing. They might let you hold a potsherd, then watch you intently to make sure you put it back. They might even give you a tour through “sacred” ground that only they are wise enough and “educated” enough to be allowed to interpret and to touch. The thrill though, of finding something, or of being able to hold onto one end of a rope in time that stretches back to some other fella from an ancient civilization is there’s alone to know.
I’ve felt this way for years and have never quite been able to put into words exactly how I felt. Recently, while doing research on Forrest Fenn to help me better understand the man and how he thinks, I came across the Mother of Indiana Jones. Which, in fact, I believe, was Mister Fenn’s attempt at reading my mind and then sending it off in the form of a Letter to the Editor.
Okay. I just wanted to get that off my chest. In the meantime, with winter breaking into spring and everyone heading out into the wilds of the west, remember there are rules, there are fines and there is even jail time. I don’t like the rules, but I like fines and jail-time even less. With that said;
Recently I called up the Public Lands Department in Santa Fe, to see what there take was on the Forrest Fenn thing. The very peppy fella on the other end was more than happy to tell me that while the government hasn’t made any official statement on the matter, Archeological relics on government land, whether placed there recently or in ancient times, whether native to the area or in a box, are, “I’m fairly sure”, he said, the property of the US Government and all fines and punishments apply to anyone taking them. Then he smirked, at least it sounded like he smirked, and said, you do know Mister Fenn has been under investigation for years for possible violations of the blah blah blah….
Yeah I know. The government is a very large bulbous zit on the face of freedom. I just made that up. Feel free to use it.
So in closing.
I read a lot of books.
I dislike walking on trails
David Roberts is NOT an archeologist.
Archeologists are snobs.
Forrest Fenn reads minds
the Government wants your treasure
I tend to ramble when writing
Going to jail would not be a fun way to end a treasure hunt excursion.
Public Land information phone guys are very peppy while at the same time smirky.
I think that’s all I have. I hope this has been informative and I wish you all the best of luck. Be careful and I’ll see ya in the woods.
I finished reading In Search of the Old Ones by David Roberts and I find him less a snob than previously conjectured. The books a good read, more or less. Though the part about Forrest Fenn wasn’t exactly running over with admiration…
Life amazes me. The creation of it. The beginning of it. The living of it.
When my year and a half year old was born, I cried as they lifted him up and he peed on the nurse. I looked at my wife, who was dazed a bit from the ordeal, then looked at my son again as they set him down on the scale, his lungs filling with this fresh new air then letting that air back out again in the form of a wailing scream, and I prayed, “Thank you Lord”
Thank you Lord for these lives and for putting them in mine.
Leonardo there, to the left, is set to see daylight in just a short few months. He’s pushing and pulling at his mother, eager to get out I think. Already, before he even takes his first breath, I’m imagining him in twenty, thirty or forty years. What kind of man will he be? Will he be strong and brave? Kind and caring? Will he stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves? Will he know God on a personal level and not just as some abstract idea? In those years after I’m not there, what will his memories be of the time I’ve spent with him? What can I do to help these next few years I have with him, bring light into his eyes?
These are the things I think about.
I’ve been looking for work now since the summer of last year. It’s been a struggle to get through, wondering how the bills will get paid. Feeling disconnected from my own self-worth. Scratching at the buzzing in the back of my head that asks, if I’ll ever find work again and most importantly, when?
When I see this picture though, and I lay my hand over the smooth skin of my wife’s belly, inches from him, I don’t think of what is waiting in the future. All I think of is that life is amazing. In every single way. Every single day. That my primary job on this earth, at this moment, is to be a father. Whether I find work now or never. Whether we are able to move out of the 2 bedroom rust bucket. to a place that will actually fit more than 5 people soon. Whether or not this or that. My job is being a dad. That, my friends, is amazing.
If you came here looking for the Forrest Fenn posts, they’re on you’re right. I’ll have more later when I get a chance. Now I have to go pick up my 16 year old from driving school.
I was looking at my old New Mexico Roads map that I’ve had for years and suddenly got an idea about the location of the treasure. It’s okay. You can laugh if you want too.
Anywhoo, I decided get permission from the wife and head the 3 hours up northeast of Taos to check it out. No heavy loads or lifting. Just checking. Well, Albuquerque traffic isn’t always fun. Read that as Never fun. This time I-40 east and I-25 North were both closed due to failure of people driving cars to.. well, drive cars.
I got out of town about 9. Drove through beautiful Espanola, New Mexico. (If you’ve been to Espanola, then I’m sure you can see the sarcasm dripping from that sentence. ITs not bad. Onate seemed to like it. Don’t think the Tewa’s cared for Onate though… just a guess.
Once you get past Espanola, if you are able to get past Espanola, its a beautiful drive up to Taos though winding river canyons and a history that runs over you like a mudslide. You can see the rift to the left as you enter this ancient Pueblo.
I enjoy a good rift as much as the next guy but I had things to do.
From Taos, I took a hard right toward Angel Fire. Now, if you happen to be using a GPS type device, and that device tells you to take a hard right at Apache Canyon. First, slow down or stop and look to the right to see the snow packed and covered dirt road where your devil of a GPS is taking ya. Luckily I knew where I was going so I chunked the GPS out the window and told her I’d pick her up on the way back.
I’ll finish this post quickly as I got to get running here. I can already hear my wife calling my name. And not in the good way. What? The good way is when she tells me dinners ready. Ya dirty minded folk. Shame on the lot of ya!
My idea included the Vietnam Veteran Memorial State Park there in Angel Fire. Holy ground if you ask me. And you didn’t. I suggest everyone, Treasure seekers or not, go to see this monument at least once in your life. Especially if you’re an American. You owe them that much.
Anyway, the story of the memorial can be found here. Go. Now.
Ok. Here are some photos I took. After I had locked my keys in my truck and had to wait for a locksmith to show up and help me… thanks Chuck. If you’re ever in a need of someone to jimmy your door open. Chucks the guy in Angel Fire.
The people there are fantastically sweet.
Anyway. I checked what I came to check. Said a thankful prayer for everyone lost in war and the loved ones they’ve left behind, then headed out.
Hiking in the freezing sleet and snow is what God made us for. Well, I’m assuming that’s part of the reason…
I did take a moment to admire Taos on the way out though.
No time left to check out the Scout Ranch or Agua Fria Trail. Some other time.
The rest of my weekend was spent with this guy and his mama.
The other day a visitor stopped by my page and left a comment concerning the location of the treasure. He was pretty detailed in his descriptions and quite honestly, it sounded perfect. Of course, that’s coming from me, the worlds worst puzzle solver ever.
I was a bit concerned really, because it was so detailed, and most people when talking of their thoughts and ideas don’t usually give out exact locations. It’s one thing to talk of general area’s and possibilities but to give Longitude and Latitude of exactly where you believe the treasure is hidden, well, it’s a bit unusual. Most of the Fenn Treasure Seekers that I’ve had contact with are kind with their ideas, but highly protective of their particular spots, as they should be.
So I emailed him, thinking maybe he didn’t realize that I get a lot of people stopping by this page looking for clues to where the treasure is and that by leaving those comments someone is likely to get out there before he has a chance to find it himself. I’m very generous like that, and also I never want it to be said that I found the treasure by mooching someone else’s spot…
He emailed me back and gave his unwavering consent to leave the comments as they were and also for me to go look myself. He had his reasons and I won’t go into those here as they are his reasons though I might touch on them in a later post.
Anyway, it came about that I had some time this weekend, Saturday to be specific; so with permission from the wife, I hopped in the truck and drove the 3 hours up to Forest Road 151, just past Abiquiu, NM and Ghost Ranch.
I’ve been up this road a few times in my life, in fact one of the first times my wife and I drove to Durango for a weekend was by this route, as you can see from these very steamy pictures of her and I in 2007.
Irma and I – Ghost Ranch – 2007
I know, we’re like one of those hot couples from a Mexican Soap Opera…
Irma and I Ghost Ranch – 2007
Okay, enough of my excuses to put random pictures of me kissing and groping my wife in here…where was I?
Oh, yeah, driving up there. Forest Road 151 is just past Ghost Ranch on the left hand side. The particular spot specified was about 10 miles or so. I guess. I didn’t really pay much attention. The road itself would be a bit spooky for folks not used to driving down mountain roads, as it winds up down and around deep drop-offs. During winter, such as now, there is snow and ice cradled in the shadows. Caution is always advised and especially here. The Grey Ford that sped around me like his butt was on fire is proof enough to be wary of not just the road, but the other idiots on it.
Arriving at the parking area you can see the river rushing below. This is pretty well maintained area and is right on the route for the Continental Divide Trail, which winds all the way from Mexico up to Canada. It’s on my bucket list of things to do when I have the time, money and spirit to do so and I highly recommend reading some the trail journals, written by hikers who hike it. (The Appalachian Trail is also on my list..)
Continental Divide Trail
The previous mentioned commenter, Bill, suggested that the treasure would be on the Island just here. The google map of the location does not do justice to the sheer size of the tear drop shaped island.
Chama River Island from the Bridge
Looking the other direction
I hiked around a bit, looking for the best place to cross. Not as easy as you might think, given that there was iced edges, freezing water and an out of shape smoker involved.
A few pictures of the area for your enjoyment.
These tracks didn’t lead to the treasure….
Another River Shot
Ice on the edge of the River
And still more…
And yet again, ice
My tracks in the snow
Looking across the river to the island
A short video of me singing “Islands in the Stream”. (With all due respect to Kenny Rogers)
I considered for a long time whether or not this was a good idea. In my youth, I have many a story of surviving things I shouldn’t have survived and many things done that I shouldn’t have. Husband, father and son am I all. Some of these relations may not appreciate me dying in a freezing river. I sat on a rock and considered this while throwing down some Big Red, chewing on some trail mix and huffin’ on a cigarette.
When I got up I half convinced myself that I’m too mature to be doing dangerous things, and while retracing my steps the way I had come I picked up a couple of good-sized walking sticks, punched my maturity in its large, red nose, said a little prayer to God for my own stupidity and stepped out on to a wet boulder. Not sure how long it took me to get across. I paid careful attention. (My maturity was hurt, but not dead)
There have been plenty of times I’ve limped out of the wilderness wondering how I made it off the cliff edge, away from that angry herd of buffalo or jumped into a snakes den and didn’t die. This may have been just a river, with minimal possibility of death and destruction, but if nothing else my experiences have taught me that carelessness and stupidity do not always go hand in hand. Point being, I took my time and didn’t just dive right in. Anywhoo, I made it to the other side.
From the island
Standing on the island looking toward the bridge
The first thing I did was do a perimeter check. I walked around the island admiring the view. Then I began a criss cross pattern, keeping a look-out for any type of something that might be considered a blaze. I mostly paid attention to the rocks. If there is gonna be a way to find this treasure in a thousand years, it won’t be carved into a tree. Though I did glance at the trees I passed by because you never know. The only sign of anything I found was a rusted coke can and an old fire pit.
The only evidence of a “Blaze” I found on the island.
Here’s a video of nothing but walking the width of the Island, just for the purpose of showing how wide it is.
More of the river
Standing Tall on the Island with my river crossing sticks
I didn’t find the treasure and to be honest with you, I had no expectation of finding it. I’m sure, for Bill, this is the ideal spot, I just don’t see Forest Fenn putting his treasure here and or going here to die. I was glad to get away and back into my element again. I grew up in the backwoods of Texas and being out in the lonesome is treasure enough. Which I reckon, is Mister Fenns plan anyway, that, and as someone eluded to me recently in a not so subtle way, to stick it to the Feds by getting every warm body that has the heart out searching for lost treasure and driving the Federales nuts. That said, don’t use metal detectors on Federal Property unless you’re sure what the law says.
I may write later about the idea of some that Mister Fenn didn’t actually hid anything. I will state here, I believe that there is a box, filled with treasure somewhere out in the American Lonesome. I’ve never met Mister Fenn but I like to think that people have integrity in what they say and do. That may be naive on my part. I try to do that so I expect others to also.
Just as I expect someone who shares his life in writing and work the way Mister Fenn has and not discounting the fact that he is a Texan, to know what honor is. Just between me and you, if I had the money and resources Forest Fenn has earned, I might do the same exact thing. Hide a treasure then tell the world to get off their asses.
I don’t know that I believe any one will ever find it on purpose. This country is too high and too wide with too many places just out of sight. I may be wrong, but I think back to the kind of directions I used to get sometimes while living in rural Texas.
“You’ll find what you’re looking for, a jump and hop yonder way, just past the yella dog, then take a right where Ole Man Jones used sell his honey. From there it’s a snakes track to the Wheelwrights barn and if you aint found it after that, just come on back and we’ll have a glass of sweet tea and think it over a bit.”
Mister Fenn knows where the treasure is and if you follow that Poem you’ll find it too, but if you don’t know who Ole Man Jones is, or how far a jump and hop is or if the yella dog died, you’re gonna be out a while.
I’d suggest, like I plan on doing, have a glass of sweet tea, think it over a bit more and whatever your plan, whether you know exactly where it is, or are just out looking, enjoy the scenery.