Hunting For Treasure In The Rockies
At least one of my flaws (gifts) is a burning passion and focus when I lock into a topic. It’s easy for me to dive head first into almost anything when my interest spikes. For instance, taking a few long trips led to us traveling all over the USA. It didn’t take long before I knew it’s what I wanted to do and executed. With that in mind, it is not surprising that when I got a sniff that there might be real treasure somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, it might spark my interest.
How It Began
I read the news constantly. I keep up with politics and dive into technology and science publications. This is a daily habit for me. On one of the days in our travels I came across a headline about someone who had died in the Rocky Mountains hunting treasure. I skimmed over the article and was mostly dismissive of the idea of treasure. The people who hunt for treasure must be bored or have nothing better to do. In the article the wife of the deceased lamented about her missing husband and how the treasure was fake.
Who was this awful human who gave someone false hope and lead them to their death?
…and there it began
Diving Into Details
I started reading about Forrest Fenn. Then I started reading about this silly treasure he supposedly left in the Rocky Mountains. I was late to the party because he apparently had left this treasure years before I had ever heard about it.
The story goes that he went off and left a Treasure somewhere in the Rocky Mountains and then gave people clues on how to find it in a Poem. He has since given countless clues to people who have reached out to him. He has clarified things and narrowed the search location. You can find all sorts of details on reddit, on Forrest’s Blog, and on a blog hosted by some guy named Dal.
Forrest ends up being an interesting fella. Reading about him kept my attention. The more I read about the treasure the more interested I became. I’m fortunate enough that I don’t need a box worth millions but the hunt was enticing. I looked through countless other people’s journeys and ideas and then started to form my own.
Dragging Alex Into It
We had just wrapped up our visit to Alaska. It was time for our journey home. Right before you drive for days without any form of phone service you reach a town called White Horse in the Yukon territory in Canada. We found a spot we liked in this town and it was my first time to sit down and relax a bit. I started to read all the details of the treasure more intently. I had grazed information the past couple of days but now I had time to focus. The more I dug the more passionate I became. -IF- this treasure existed I could find it?
We had considered heading west on our way home. Alex has family out west and we thought we might take our time taking a different route and enjoying the trees in Oregon. It’s getting late and I’m staring at maps. I’ve dived deep into other peoples Solves (a name given to people’s ideas of where the treasure is). I’m cross referencing things I’ve read about Fenn, diving into other people’s perceptions of his poems and books, and staring at maps trying to tie it all together.
…Suddenly - I’ve found it.
At this point, I’ve gently described what I’ve been reading to Alex and I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m as crazy as everyone else. I’ve quite literally memorized his poem and I’m constantly reciting it in my mind. I explain to her who this guy is and explain what I think I’ve found. It’s 1AM and I’m wanting to change directions and head to Yellowstone. NOW.
Alex follows along and we immediately start driving. It’s now the middle of the summer and there are hundreds of other people hunting for the treasure. Some of them post their failures on Reddit or other blogs. I’m monitoring reddit and I come across a post that hints the treasure hunter might be on the same path as me. This lights a fire in me. After all, this treasure has been sitting there for years, supposedly dropped off by an 80 year old man in a place reachable by anyone, and no one has found it after all this time. I’m certain I know where it is but now someone is talking on Reddit poking around the same place. I’m a two day drive away…
36 Hour Drive Non-Stop
We drive the next two days non-stop straight to Yellowstone. Taking turns sleeping on the bed in the back while the other drives. We get to the border of the USA quickly. As usual, the USA Border agents are absolute ass holes. This time was no different. They are intentionally confrontational and hostile. I’m sure this is part of their training and taking their job seriously. On the other hand, being an ass hole doesn’t really make our border safer. It just makes them ass holes.
The drive is exhausting. We are only stopping for gas and hauling butt. Sleeping while the other person is driving is restless sleep and as the days progress we are getting pretty tired. The anxiety of someone getting to this box before me is keeping me awake.
Our First Hunt
I’ll continue the story in a later post and link to it here.
The poem is simple. Fenn has claimed countless times that all you need is the poem to find his buried treasure. The Poem goes like this:
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.
Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.
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.
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 why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.
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.