The Thrill Of The Chase And Forrest Fenn's Hidden Treasure. Have You Found It Yet?
In The Beginning….. as Forrest has pointed out, the thrill is in the chase (not in the capture). But first a little background for those who are not yet familiar with Forrest’s hidden treasure.
Who is Forrest Fenn? In a nutshell, Forrest Fenn lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he started an art gallery, raised a family, collects artifacts, writes books and made a fortune. He has hidden aproximately a million dollars of his fortune in gold and gems in an old world, bronze chest pictured to the left (he paid $25K for the chest alone). The whole shebang is said to weigh about 42lbs and much of the gold is collector’s gold, meaning that its worth much more than the face value of gold alone because of its historical importance. For instance, an ancient Aztec golden amulet is worth much more than the current value of its weight in gold because it is unique, unusual, sought after, special, etc.
That’s crazy! Maybe…Forrest is not a traditional thinker tied to conventional ways of getting things done. If he were, his life would be dull, commonplace, mundane, boring. Instead, his life has been anything but humdrum. He has made his fortune and his reputation by thinking, creating and trading well beyond the bell curve. The hidden treasure is another way for Forrest to enjoy life. In my humble opinion he looks forward to capable individuals out there trying to out-think him and locate his treasure. Its a contest for him. Forrest versus the rest of the world and the winner gets to keep a million dollars. To meet Forrest is to stand in the presence of a very smart, competent and competitive fellow. Someone will most certainly find his treasure chest…why not you?…or preferably me?
Who can go after his treasure? Anyone and everyone is invited to go out and look for Forrest’s treasure chest. Even his family, because no one knows where it’s hidden except Forrest. When you find it, Forrest says that “its yours to keep”. How’s that for a “shovel ready” program that will put folks back to work?
Where do I start looking? There are three or possibly four essential items that will help you find where the treasure chest is hidden. Forrest wrote a poem which contains nine clues and is supposed to lead us directly to the treasure. He has published the poem on his website and it has appeared in a number of news stories about the hidden treasure. You can find his poem at the bottom of this page. Forrest also wrote a memoir, The Thrill of the Chase, which is a beautiful hard cover book with plenty of pictures and lots of possible additional hints to where the treasure chest is hidden. It’s available for $35 through Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There are also additional hints and clues Forrest has handed out since the hunt began back in 2010. Finally, we have been able to get additional information via email exchanges between Forrest and many who have been searching and taken the time to write him. I hope this blog will become a source of information about the treasure and where you can begin your search.
Caution! There are plenty of speculators, naysayers and misinformed individuals out there including reporters and journalists who have added inaccuracy and conjecture to the trove of hints and clues floating around out in the ether. This is inevitable. As the story is passed from person to person it begins to grow and be embellished and before you know it the facts are hard to find. In truth, what Forrest has said over and over is that only the poem and what he has written in the book contain honest hints and clues that will lead to the treasure…ignore the words that others have put in his mouth. I learned this the hard way.
More caution! Forrest himself is a master of the double entendre. He chooses his words very deliberately. More than once I have run off suffering from the belief that I had brilliant new information about where the gold is hidden… In fact, I did not pay close enough attention to the precision of his words. He specializes in letting you believe something he never said. (I told you he is clever).
Another place to look for clues. One other source of reliable information is Forrest’s blog which is on his Old Sante Fe Trading Company website. He occasionally writes about the hidden treasure and in his writings you might just find the puzzle piece you were looking for that will lead you to the treasure. Anyone interested in the treasure should read his website from front to back. Not only will it give you a pretty good picture of just who Forrest is and why he is legend but his real-life stories are entertaining and witty.
IF YOU KNOW SO MUCH MR. SMARTYPANTS… “Dal, why don’t you go out and find that treasure chest yourself?”. Believe me, I’ve tried. I have made over sixty trips (as of August 2015) from my home in Washington State to the Rocky Mountains to look for Forrest’s hidden treasure. I am planning more (until I find it or until you find it). Sometimes I start out confident that I know exactly where it is hidden…excited that I will soon be nervously opening a bronze chest chock full of gold coins, gold nuggets, gold figurines, gold bracelets and jewels, so spectacularly heavy that I can barely carry it back to my truck. Other times I feel less confident but excited because I am going somewhere new surrounded by mountains with the possibility that I might be right. On the other hand, each time I have come back empty handed, but not empty spirited. I have absolutely wonderful treks that are crammed with little adventures. I have walked marvelous American landscapes. I have slept on the high desert mesa and in river canyons under juniper and pinyon. I have hiked incredible stretches of crystal clear trout streams guarded by tall pine and spruce. I have ambled across alpine parks delicious with spring wildflowers and soaked in natural hot springs to sooth my tired feet. I have been within a few dozen yards of antelope, big horn sheep, elk, mule deer and bear. I have visited pueblos, plazas, canyons, hilltops and forests. I have driven thousands of dusty miles through ochre stained, haltingly beautiful, volcanic topography. I have smelled the desert sage and tasted frito pie. I have been in some of the loveliest country a person can picture. Its been a wonderful experience and I am grateful that Forrest tempted me…dared me… to go out and find his treasure…The Thrill of the Chase.
Now you need to get looking too….
Here is Forrest’s poem with nine clues to a million dollar treasure
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.