Here Are the Nine Clues in Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Poem


  1. Begin it where warm waters halt.
  2. Take it in the canyon down.
  3. Not far, but too far to walk.
  4. Put in below the home of Brown.
  5. (From there) it’s no place for the meek.
  6. The end is ever drawing nigh.
  7. There’ll be no paddle up your creek.
  8. Just heavy loads and water high.
  9. If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, look quickly down, (your quest to cease).


Where, Exactly, Are the Clues in Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Poem?

Forrest Fenn's Treasure Poem in "The Thrill of the Chase."

Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Poem in “The Thrill of the Chase.”

Three things.

First: I have, and perhaps not for the last time, come to a conclusion that the nine clues in the poem are exactly in the following order, and that each complete sentence represents a single clue, i.e., “Begin it where ware waters halt and take it in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk.” is one clue, not three. To wit:

  1. 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.
  2. Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk.
  3. Put in below the home of Brown.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek?
  7. The answers I already know, I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.
  8. So hear me all and listen good, your effort will be worth the cold.
  9. If you are brave and in the wood I give you title to the gold.

 


Second: The first clue in the poem indicates that Fenn hid the treasure in New Mexico.

Third: The poem is not a map.

Shelley and I will explain it further in our next vlog, due on April 26, 2017. I’ll add the link to the video on this page, once the vlog is published.

t.


Follow our hunt for the Fenn Treasure:

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The Forrest Fenn Cryptex: Only 95 Variations To Go…

The Fenn Cryptex. Back in the olden days, I had access to computers that would calculate the solutions for me. I’m using the keyword “treasu,” from the longest word in the poem and subtracting the repeated letters m”r, e, and s.” Coincidentally, it’s nine letters long. Fenn seems to use the numbers 3, 6, and 9 more often than is coincidental.

 

Where DO warm waters halt? (Continued)

GoogleEarthDam-001It’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.


New Topic.

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.

Sorry, Colorado.

Where DO warm waters halt?

AGK20131226-01As you can see in the attached photo, I’m constantly reverse engineering all, or parts of Fenn’s poem.

For me the poem is closer to literal than metaphorical, and closer to metaphorical than metaphysical. Although, I have sense it contains all three.  When Fenn writes, “Begin it where warm waters halt…” my instinct, and my brain configuration draws me to the literal before even attempting the more difficult (for me) metaphorical or almost impossible (for me) metaphysical.

So, where, exactly, do warm waters halt?

Upon asking the question, I realized I wasn’t quite sure what was the temperature of warm water. A little research indicates there are several ways to define “warm,” ergo there are as many ways to define “warm waters.”

As usual in life, “warm water” means different things to different people. To the chemist for example, “warm” water is 112° F, which is measurably specific. To a game and fish manager it’s temperature that ranges from “about” 55° F (the temperature under which cool water species, like trout, thrive) to “about” 75° F (the temperature above which warm water species, like bass, don’t). When I tested warm water from my kitchen faucet against the inside of my wrist, then measured it, it ws 99° F. Interesting considering normal body temperature is 98.6° F.

The dictionary lists several, but defines the adjective warm as, “Somewhat hotter than temperate; having or producing a comfortable and agreeable degree of heat; moderately hot.” Not very exact.

The National Spa and Pool Institute considers 104° F to be the maximum safe water temperature for adults.  Therefore, spa controls have a limit that prevents heating past 104° F.

But, wait…there’s more. Again, it’s about Fenn.

On one hand, he spent 20 years in the Air Force, most of it as a fighter pilot. My experience with fighter pilots is that they all have a Dr. Jeykyll and Mr. Hyde personality component.

Outside the cockpit, he mimics Mr, Hyde’s flamboyance of inexactitude, a very relaxed look at the physics of life. Close counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Very much like the current public iteration of Forrest Fenn, and his responses to treasure hunt related questions.

Inside the cockpit, though, there’s a Dr. Jeykyll concentration on perfection. Turbine pressures, speeds, g-forces, coordinates, directions, distances, radio frequencies, fuel load, weapons count, etc. Want a good example? Count the number of numbers in the TTOTC Chapter entitled “My War for Me.”

Imagine how “…someplace in the mountains North of Santa Fe…,” “…not on top of a mountain…,” or “…it’s 300 miles West of Toledo…” would work for a fighter pilot.

So, another questions results.

Which of Fenn’s personalities wrote the poem, Dr. Jeykyll or Mr. Hyde?

I think Mr. Hyde. When Fenn walked away from his aircraft cockpit the last time, he walked away from it in the truest sense of the phrase. He left “exactitude” behind.

Why?

Because exactness is an impediment to freedom and independence.

And, if Fenn is anything, he is a high priest of freedom and independence.

So, 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.

Lukewarm, cool, cold, frozen, hot, or steamed all qualify – and temperature may not be measured in degrees.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

If you’ve been wise, and found the blaze…

ThreeWiseMenblueskyandstars

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

Matthew, Ch 2, Vs 7-10,
The New Testament
King James Version of the Bible

I had a dream.

I dreamed I was standing at the edge of a canyon, hydraulically routed down the geology of someplace in the mountains North of Santa Fe. I was on the Western side of the canyon, facing East, the river below flowing North to South. The sun was low, but not near setting in the sky, casting my shadow across the canyon so that it fell upon the far wall. As the sun set and my shadow rose my ephemeral head eventually I had a dream.pointed to a large star shape in the rock on the East wall of the canyon. It was large enough to be seen without aid, and difficult to discern whether it was natural or not.

Anchoring myself with a rope, and a pair of carabiner clipped to a safety belt, I walked to the edge of the canyon and leaned over. I looked quickly down, and could see the faint, cool outline of a trail switching back and forth from the canyon floor to the canyon rim North of my position. About three quarters up the side of the canyon wall one of the ledges on its side stood out from the others. In a depression on the ledge  laid a brown box. The ledge was high enough above the trail that the box could not be seen by anyone walking upon the trail as it continued North from that point.

By that time the sun had set, and dusk had fallen upon the location. I wondered, for just a moment, whether or not the treasure would tolerate one more night alone, cold, undiscovered and uncared for.

I stood back from the canyon edge, untangled myself from the safety belt and anchor rope, hoisted my pack upon my back, and headed for my campsite. I found a grassy spot near my tent, and using my backpack for a pillow, I laid down to admire the stars in the unpolluted sky overhead. The moon not having risen, the Constellations shown almost in neon. I called their names out to them. They did not call out my name to me.

Protected by Orion’s sword, I fell asleep outside my tent and sleeping bag.

And, I had a dream.

My Opinion (Revised): The Nine Clues in Fenn’s Treasure Poem

DSCN7514I have, as of about five minutes before starting to write this post, revised my opinion on what are, exactly, the clues in Fenn’s treasure poem. I have revised The Poem page to reflect my new thinking, and I’ve included it in this post as well.

The obvious question is, simply, “Why?”

I spend at least an hour every night reading The Poem, attempting to see it from new angles and discover other meanings. Tonight, for the first time, and for just a moment, I saw The Poem from the same angle an aviator might have seen it. It’s a spatial perspective, rather than temporal.

I saw a set, a group, and a pattern…all previously unseen (by me).

Here’s my new reading of the poem and it’s nine clues: (you can compare it to the older version included at the bottom of this post)


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. Begin it where warm waters halt
2. and take it in the canyon down,
3. not far, but too far to walk.

4. Put in below the home of Brown.
5. From there it’s no place for the meek,
6. the end is ever drawing nigh;

7. there’ll be no paddle up your creek,
8. just heavy loads
9. and water high.

(Note: I have converted the two stanzas containing the nine clues into normal sentences without the capitalization associated with the poetic structure. I’ve limited capitalization to the first word in each complete sentence and the proper noun “Brown.”)

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.

So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.

I came to the conclusion, as a result of my research that the first line of the fourth stanza, “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,” is not a clue. It’s the objective.

Thus, as of this evening, I further concluded that searching for the treasure chest is a complete waste of time.

I’ll bet that caught you off guard!

From now on, I’m searching for the blaze.


This is the previous version:

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. Begin it where warm waters halt
2. and take it in the canyon down,
3. not far, but too far to walk.
4. Put in below the home of Brown.

5. From there it’s no place for the meek,
6. the end is ever drawing nigh;
7. there’ll be no paddle up your creek,

8. just heavy loads and water high.
9.
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.

So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.