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.
Forest Road 151
Well.. hellooo there handsome.
Hawk Looking for a Meal
Sunset driving south toward Santa Fe – Pretty