In your opinion, how does this landmark fit in to the hunt for Fenn’s treasure? You can hear our opinion in our next vlog, released on Wednesday, March 1, 2017.
We are a little more than halfway through this month’s survey of Fenn treasure hunters. We have a total of 87 responses, which is not a bad sample. As you can see in the image above, the majority of respondents are from the United States. Other data indicates that, of those in the United States, 69% of the respondents live in States other than the “search States” of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.
If you haven’t taken the survey yet, please take a minute to do so. It’s relatively painless, and I plan to share all the data soon after the survey is completed on February 15, 2014. Click on the Survey link in the menu bar near the top of the page to get to the easy-to-take survey.
If you have a suggestion for next month’s poll or survey, please leave it in a comment box below.
I was born in 1930, and have lived during times of great difficulty and great promise.
I am a man of the real world, and not an imaginary one.
I am a man of unshakeable commitment; to my life, to my work, to my service; but most especially, to my family.
I am a man of the outdoors, as was my father before me. From him, I learned to love and respect nature.
I am a man of the past and the future. The present is only a river-washed stepping-stone between them.
I am a man of words and letters. And, if I have to make up my own, I do.
I am a man of contrasts. Sometimes intentional, sometimes not.
I am a man of eclectic tastes and interests. Enough to fill more than a single lifetime.
I am a man of action and adventure, big and small, but, always with an objective.
I am a man of direction. I know where I am, where I’m going and how I will get there.
So…where would I hide a treasure if I had a treasure that wanted to be hidden?
I would hide it where the ancients and mountain men could appreciate and understand.
I would hide it in place that is magical in its simplicity.
I would hide it near my home, if my home were the mountains and along the river bottoms where dreams and fantasies alike go to play.
I would hide it in the past, and in the future. The present is only a river-washed stepping-stone between them.
I would hide it in The Place of Peace.
I am Forrest Fenn.
This morning, I received the following email via the form on the Contact Page on this blog.
is there treasure out there to get and where they at write me back please
write me soon please Thank you?
It is transcribed verbatim. The name indicated it was written by a woman, and she will remain anonymous.
The first time I read the email, I quietly laughed to myself, thinking, “It ain’t that easy, lady.”
Upon further reading, though, I inferred a sense of desperation – “write me back please write me soon please.”
I wondered what could be running through her mind.
The need for the certainty of the treasure’s existence, for one. Easy enough. But, it’s location? Seriously? I decided to write her back. The following is my response.
Thank you for your email. I’m going to answer your questions as best I can, and make recommendations about what you should do.
I, and many others, believe the treasure does, indeed, exist. It was hidden by a gentleman whose name is Forrest Fenn. He describes the treasure in one of the last chapters of his book, “The Thrill of the Chase.” In the book, he also says that he hid the treasure “…in the mountains someplace North of Santa Fe.” He also provides the treasure hunters with a map, of sorts, in the form of the poem. It’s printed in the book, but you can easily find it online, including on “The Poem” page on my website.
Fenn receives hundreds of emails every day. Some of them ask where the treasure is hidden, and others write that they have found it. As of today, Fenn says that the treasure has not been found.
In order to find the treasure, you must interpret the nine clues Fenn wrote into the poem. I, and many others, believe the first clue in the poem is “Begin it where warm waters halt…”
There are likely tens of thousands of people from all around the globe looking for the treasure in the mountains North of Santa Fe. Some of them for more than three years. I began my search about a year ago, and I don’t think I’m any closer to finding the treasure today than when I started.
But, to show you how difficult Fenn has made it to find the treasure, it turns out that when he wrote “in the mountains someplace North of Santa Fe,” he meant the Rocky Mountains running from Northern New Mexico through Colorado and Wyoming to Montana.
In a recent interview, Fenn said, “Well, you know…let me put this in perspective. So many people have decided they’re going to take a picnic lunch out on Sunday and look for the treasure…or something to do over spring break. I’m lookin’ at a hundred years down the road…a thousand years, maybe ten thousand years down the road.”
So, to answer your questions: yes, there is a hidden treasure and – I don’t know where it is. Because, if I knew where it was, I’d go get it.
So, here’s what I recommend.
If you can afford it, buy Fenn’s book, “The Thrill of the Chase.” If you can’t afford it, start reading the various blogs and forums dedicated to the search. There’s a list of links to them on my blog in the navigation bar on the right side of the page. You should also view some of Fenn’s interviews on YouTube. They’re easy enough to find by searching for “Forrest Fenn.” Read the poem. Not once, but once a day…at least. Then you need to start doing your own research to determine “where warm waters halt” or what “the home of Brown” looks like.
That’s what the tens of thousands of other searchers are doing, probably as I write this response to you. You won’t have any trouble finding information on the treasure and the search, it’s out there on the Internet. Eventually, you’ll find yourself a member of the search community and communicating with hundreds of others.
I’m sorry I can’t give you exactly the answers you sought, but I hope I have been helpful.
Good luck in your search. Come by to visit us here at A Gypsy’s Kiss, and let us know of your progress.
I thought I’d switch gears this month for our “Latest Poll.” This month’s poll is a not a poll at all, but a survey of the the community that is searching for Fenn’s hidden treasure. There are ten questions, all multiple choice. It should take no more than a minute or two to complete, unless some of you deep thinkers starting reading something into each of the questions.
The information you provide is saved as raw data, so we don’t collect any data that makes a subject uniquely identifiable. Your privacy is assured. And, you won’t get any unsolicited emails from me.
The survey will be active until midnight, of February 15, at which time the results will be published in their entirety. If you’re a searcher, please take a few minutes to complete the survey.
To get there, click the Latest Survey button on the menu bar above.
Because as of this morning, there are only 35 of the 100 numbered prints remaining.
As I used to say to my kids, you have two options.
Option #1, useful if you don’t live near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Those interested must email Bridger DeVille at Benchmark Maps only as the time/date stamp determines their place in line. He will call you directly. You can contact him by visiting the Benchmark Webpage dedicated to the map by clicking here. Bridger said that they had about 15 maps remaining, and provided this screen-captured map indicated from whence the already processed orders have come.
They’re $100 including processing, packaging and shipping along with the certificate of authenticity.
Option #2 is to walk in to Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeeshop in Santa Fe. You can buy them over the counter. If purchased in this manner, the certificates of authenticity are available from Bridger if requested by email. I spoke with Joel, one of the CW staffers this morning, and he said they had about 20 remaining.
My recommendation? Act now!
And, as always, good luck with your search.
It’s been busy for us the last couple of weeks due to the effort we put in to documenting Fenn’s raffle of a bronze jar on behalf of Renelle Jacobs, a searcher suffering from a rare form of cancer who is fortunate to have a man like Fenn take an interest.
But, we’re done with it now. And, it’s time to get back to the winterized version of the chase.
Where did we leave off?
Aha! Where DO warm waters halt?
Warm waters halt at any boundary where they are literally, metaphorically or metaphysically transformed to any temperature other than warm.
For example, let’s say the boundary is what’s inside Yellowstone Park, where through geothermal activity, hundreds of geysers send rockets of hot (not warm) water into the sky. They fall back to earth, where they seek the lowest level (as water is wont to do) and, having cooled some, contribute to nearby streams and rivers. The rivers then cross outside the boundaries of the park.
That’s just a bit too Rube Goldberg for me. Since “Begin it where warm waters halt…” is the starting point, I think it needs more clarity than what’s provided above.
(I believe that the boundary between Fenn’s “warm waters” and NOT warm waters is very distinct.)
All of the above assumes Fenn was referring to the waters’ physical temperature.
Fenn is also an admirer of art. An artist may have a completely different perspective of “warm” waters when defined by the color spectrum. The warm and cool of the color spectrum have no physical temperature. But, for the most part, the closest a river gets to warm is brown, like the Rio Grande South of Española. I’ve never seen rivers that were consistently orange, red or yellow in color.
I suppose you could make an argument that the “Red” River in New Mexico, by name, is on the warm end of the spectrum. And, it ends at its conjunction with the Rio Grande, which is probably more precise than Fenn would want. No mystery there.
There is the mushy boundary between the water flowing from hot springs and eventually into cool creeks or rivers. A couple of months ago when I was on the Colorado River below Hoover Dam, I relaxed in pools that were about the right temperature as they transitioned from hot springs to cool rivers. But, it was very localized.
That leaves me with just a couple more options. I’ll write them in reverse order of Holy Righteousness! (I took a little dramatic license there.)
In New Mexico, the State Game and Fish Department publishes regulations that define boundaries between warm waters and trout waters (not cool waters). My research indicates there are no comparable definitions of the difference in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, making New Mexico unique in this respect. So, for example, trout waters on the Cimarron River begin on the East side of the first campground, where apparently, State regulations dictate warm waters halt.
Another example: The trout waters of the North Rio Grande begin at the Colorado State line, where, according to the State Game and Fish Department, warm waters halt. They continue South to the Taos Junction Bridge near Pilar. But, about a hundred yards above the bridge, the Rio Pueblo, NOT a trout water, converges with the Rio Grande. Warm water halts there, too.
But, that tactic leaves me with solutions in only one State.
So, here’s my top “warm waters halt” assumption.
As the surface water of a reservoir begins to cool due to the effects of evaporation, it sinks, and it gets denser, so it continues to sink. And, as it sinks it gets cooler. So, generally speaking, for every dam from which the water is released at the bottom, its water will be much cooler than the warm water in the reservoir behind and above it.
That particular perspective of “where warm waters halt…” has three important characteristics when it comes to the treasure hunt: it doesn’t limit me to a single State solution, the boundary is very precise, and the boundary stays in the same place making it easy to find and identify. All good things when the instructions read, “Begin it where warm waters halt…”
I’ve already been to the areas below El Vado Lake Dam, Eagle Nest Lake Dam, and a couple of nameless dams further North. If you Google “List of Dams in New Mexico,” (or any other state, for that matter) Mr. Google will actually return a list.
Of dozens. Dammit.
I have my favorites, and eventually, frustrated with the less precise, less discernible options of “where warm waters halt,” you will, too. Good luck in your search.
I’m not quite sure what to do with this, but I thought I’d share it anyway.
My friend, Sherri, tells me that in TTOTC:
- The phrase “New Mexico” appears 6 times, 4 of which are references to the publishing process, e.g, “Starline Printing in Albuquerque, New Mexico.”
- The word, “Colorado” does not appear.
- The word, “Wyoming” appears twice.
- And, the word “Montana” appears 3 times, although one is a reference to “The Montana Gazette” rather than the State.
I spent the morning at the Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe meeting with Forrest and book store owner, Dorthy Massey. We spent some time planning for the “TTOTC Do Good Raffle” taking place at 2pm MST on Tuesday, January 7. After Fenn had chosen the backdrop (in front of the fireplace with the Elk antlers above), we made some adjustments to the lighting and worked out an agenda. The entire event should take less than 30 minutes. Fenn seemed to be in very good spirits, and was happy, and a bit proud, of the results of the effort. You can track the results here.
He said that as of this morning, “over” 760 raffle tickets had been sold, including those to one individual who had purchased $1,000.00 worth! On the day of the drawing, whomever pulls the winning raffle ticket will be able to read the winner’s name to the audience, as Fenn has handwritten the ticket buyer’s name on each one.
I write “whomever” because, unfortunately, while she will be in attendance, Suzanne Sommers will not take part in the drawing due to a contractual conflict of interest. We discussed alternatives, but, as of this writing, I don’t have a name certain to share with you.
I took the opportunity to test the book store’s wireless internet to determine its live video streaming capability, and it passed with semi-flying colors. There was enough bandwidth to broadcast, but with a 17 second delay. My technical team was viewing from their workstations in Albuquerque, and simultaneously communicating with me via cell phone. They told me the moving image and audio were perfectly clear, which surprised me. I was shooting with my Android tablet with the LiveStream Android app for the test, rather than the high-end equipment I’ll be using on the day of the event.
The event is posted at LiveStream.com
The event URL is: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/6520967/events/2625624 Use this URL to login to the event on the day of the raffle.
To save yourself some time and frustration on the day of the event, I’m going to highly recommend that you pre-register as a viewer at LiveStream.com. Registration is free, and required in order to view the event stream. You can share the above link with anyone you’d like, again, recommending that they register before the day of the event.
If you’re unable to view the live event, don’t fret. I’ll be posting the event video on my YouTube channel soon after I return to my facility in Albuquerque.
While at the bookstore, I purchased two books: former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s novel entitled, “Blowback,” written with Sarah Lovette and a handy, highly-detailed, and waterproof field guide entitled “The Rio Grande – A River Guide to the Geology and Landscapes of Northern New Mexico.” Hoping for some treasure hunting feedback, I showed the book to Fenn. He looked at it, then without any feedback, changed the subject.
The one item of additional intel (sort of) I collected at the meeting: Fenn told me he flew his own aircraft the last time in 2008, at age 78, meaning he was still able to pass his medical. He said that the events of 9/11 had put a lot of pressure on the general aviation community, including requiring him (with over 7400 hours in a variety of types) to attend an annual two-week-long refresher course in Vero Beach, Florida. He sold the aircraft shortly after his decision to quit flying. (He taught his grandson, Shiloh to fly before he could drive, although he (Shiloh) does not own an aircraft.)