Forrest Fenn Turns 88 Today

To the man who hid a treasure chest in the Rockies:

Happy Birthday, Forrest!

purple and red balloons

ΩΩ

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 5 years since a birthday wish for Forrest turned into an invitation to visit his place in Santa Fe. Fascinating man. Astounding collections. I treasure the memory.

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Article on Forrest Fenn in Business Insider

Thanks to Ms Cain @ Business Insider for linking my blog to her article on Forrest Fenn and his hidden treasure! [Stats were booming, Forrest.]

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Mr. Fenn signing my TTOTC.

Snowed in? In need of a distraction?

winter camp

Intrepid’s Accommodations in the Boundary Waters near Canadian Border (NOT where warm waters halt)

Try armchair treasure hunting.

TTOTC book jacket

Treasure in the Rockies

 

Latest Interview with Forrest Fenn

Here’s a link to the latest interview with Forrest Fenn.

It’s great to see Forrest and Dal and Cynthia again.

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In Case You Couldn’t Be There . . .

Thanks to Toby for this video of the Fenn and Preston chat before the book signing:

 

 

The following are my opinions. I have, on more than one occasion, said and written that the event on May 18, 2017 caused a change in Fenn. He was already tired of the “activity” around the effort to find the treasure he hid. May 18, to me, was the straw that broke the burro’s back. […]

via The End Has Drawn Nigh. — A Gypsy’s Kiss

 

Sharing some interesting graphics on Yellowstone volcano

SCIENCE A new study of ancient ash suggests the “sleeping giant” could develop the conditions needed to blow in a span of mere decades. (Nat Geo News) What is the Yellowstone supervolcano? Use our super resource (including downloadable maps, videos, and photos) to learn more. Discussion Ideas The geologic feature beneath Yellowstone National Park is […]

via Yellowstone Supervolcano May Wake Up Sooner Than We Thought — Nat Geo Education Blog

Safety First… — Thrill Of The Chase

From the man himself (via Dal’s site):

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SUBMITTED JUNE, 2017 by Forrest When I said the treasure was not hidden in Utah or Idaho it has been my plan to not narrow the search area further. But in the light of a recent accident, and in the interest of safety, I feel it necessary to alter that plan. The treasure chest is…

via Safety First… — Thrill Of The Chase

100 Years Ago

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On Summer Seas (1916)

The National Park Service was created one hundred years ago.  Yellowstone preceded that, being designated in 1872.  And once upon a time, I dreamed of being a forest ranger.  My imagination had me up in a tower in a sea of green trees–a rather narrow view of the current job description.

morning in mountains

Glacier National Park

 

One of the more unique rangers we’ve met was dressed to the hilt as a French voyageur  and remained in character, impressing our youngest.  I think there was even bread baking involved.

 

voyageur_canoe

1868 Quetico Superior Route, Passing a Waterfall by Frances Anne Hopkins (Scene showing a large Hudson’s Bay Company freight canoe passing a waterfall, presumably on the French River. The passengers in the canoe may be the artist and her husband, Edward Hopkins, secretary to the Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company.) (public domain)

That national park was the site of the Rainy Lake gold rush in the mid-1890’s.  Northern Minnesota is not the first place I’d think of when searching for gold.  Better odds, maybe, of finding Forrest Fenn’s treasure chest.

chest

Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Chest

 

 

Bears, Oh My!

Summer’s winding down and bears will be getting hungrier.  Rethinking my entire Yellowstone area hiking plans.  Hmmm.  How far south do the grizzlies range?

Bears, oh my!

Bears, oh my!

Cute story by Ryan Gebhart for Middle Grade readers about a boy and his grandpa.  FICTION, fortunately!

A Master of Education

The Ties That Bind --- Iowa City

The Ties That Bind —
Iowa City

Cover of "Journal of a Trapper: A Hunter'...

Cover via Amazon

It’s ironic, isn’t it, that Forrest Fenn has probably taught more children, and adults, than his father, whose life’s work was education?

In spite of any disadvantages to being the son of the school principal, a key bonus was the three month summer recess that the Fenns spent in Yellowstone.

The annual 1,600 mile journey included a 50-mile side trip to a one-room school house on a dirt road in Wyoming to see an inscription:

He Who Teaches a Child Labors with God in His Workshop.

 

Forrest began his self-education as a youth.  After reading  Journal of a Trapper by Osborne Russell at age 16,  he set out on horseback to retrace/reenact part of the experience.    (See “Looking for Lewis and Clark”,  p. 59 of The Thrill of the Chase {TTOTC}.)

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake

He began his teaching career even younger, guiding grown fishermen around the rivers and lakes in Yellowstone country when he was “a young teen.”

College vs experience —

 “Who would you rather have working on your car, a man who just graduated from four years of mechanics school or a guy who has been working on broken cars for four years?”

Marvin Fenn, p.7 of The Thrill of the Chase.

Does Forrest still, at almost 84 years of age, regret not having a college degree?

“I still think about education sometimes, especially now that it’s too late to get any.”  p. 9 of TTOTC

(Not entirely true.  Every June, another septa-, or octa-, or nonagenarian is in the news in cap and gown receiving their long-desired diploma.  But I suspect Forrest would {still} be utterly bored sitting in a classroom where he’s smarter than anyone else in there, including the instructor.  If you doubt his scholarship, check out his expert knowledge on pottery, pueblos, geology, history . . . .you get the idea.)

After his time as a fighter pilot —

Instead of all of those medals, I wish I could have been given a college degree in survival or at least an honorable mention for just having lasted it out.”  

“My War For Me”  begins on p. 73 in TTOTC

            —  he served by teaching others to fly.  When he left the Air Force and began an art gallery in Santa Fe, his  knowledge sharing continued.

Bronze Moose

Bronze Moose Why is it cold?

 Read about school visits in  the chapter “Teachers with Ropes”, p. 109 of TTOTC, and smile.

Imagine signs that say “Please Touch.”

 

After the Gallery was sold, and he began serious investigation of his San Lazaro pueblo, he continued to share, to teach, giving underprivileged (I’ve forgotten his term) teens archaeological experiences at the site.

A Fechin

A Fechin

On Dal’s blog, Thrill of the Chase,  if you click on  Forrest Speaks, you can watch a video, How to Be an Artist, his recipe for success for a watercolorist in need of money.  Sound knowledge, freely shared.

Another fun video there is Woolly Worm, where he patiently teaches how to tie a fishing fly.  (He makes it look easy.)

I doubt that we’ll ever know the full extent of his generosity of time and talents.  You know, don’t let your right hand know what your left is doing.

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But, Forrest Fenn has gotten more kids and grownups off the couch and out in the woods, searching and researching any and every little bit that could, just maybe, somehow, with imagination, might possibly help solve one of his nine clues.

Cody Rainbow

Cody Rainbow

And not just for the gold in the chest at the end of his rainbow….

 

 

Worth the Cold?

Glad to hear of the successful rescue of a searcher who got stuck in the snow out west!  (See Dal’s site, Thrill of the Chase, for details.)

But hey, people.   Could we not be doing things that might keep Forrest up at night!  And his nephew Chip.  And the other heroes.  Just saying.

I’m only hunting morels and asparagas until the snow is melted in Yellowstone.   (Can’t eat ’em, but, you know, it’s the thrill of the chase.)

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Holy Pompeii Pillars, Batman!

Batman with his sidekick Robin. Painting by Al...

So what does it mean if the night after I drove through Yellowstone National Park I had a nightmare and woke up in a one-horse town frantically searching for the dust mask I had packed (somewhere) because the volcano had blown and the ash-laden air was getting thicker and thicker?!?

Can you say “Terremoto“?

{I’m still searching for Forrest Fenn’s hidden treasure chest BTW.}

Signature of William Clark, on 1806-07-25 at t...

Signature of William Clark, on 1806-07-25 at todays Pompeys Pillar National Monument, Montana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where It’s Not — Part Three

IMG_0172In the morning, I drove through the tunnel, past Mummy Cave, and the BB Dam again.  About the time I stopped to pay my entrance fee to Yellowstone Park, I was struck by a blaze —  the blinding kind you get before a migraine, if you’re subject to auras.IMG_0231

At home my remedy would have been to boil water, brew green tea with half a capsule of feverfew, and hit a dark room with an eye mask.  On a 2-lane winding highway, I popped a cola for caffeine and downed Excedrin, and took a time out at a pull-out.  IMG_0258Then I spent more time at the ranger station/stuffed animal museum.  In the shade.

IMG_0240The ranger called the lone bison I’d seen a “fed-up bull” —  fed up of fighting the young bulls in the herd, and at an age where he prefers to go it alone.

IMG_0242There were 5 fires burning in Yellowstone Park at the time,  a few pull-outs were closed, but no roads closed that day.   I remembered the summer of 1988 and the massive fires in Yellowstone.  We could smell the smoke all the way over in Minnesota.

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Fishing Bridge

So far, going solo hadn’t been a problem (except for getting creeped out by a guy in a van who asked me where I was from.  He had just been staring at my license plate, so I thought it was not a real question.  This happened back at the Oregon Trail ruts and Register Cliff where we seemed to be the only tourists out in the 105 degree weather.  Not a good sign.  Maybe it was nothing, but  I didn’t like being followed.)

West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake

West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake

Another reason I’m going to bring Mr. W next time came about at Isa Lake.

Lily Pads at the Continental Divide?  Is there a frog?

Lily Pads at the Continental Divide? Is there a frog?

I really wanted to wade into the lily pads to see what was at the end of an under-water marker, but a couple (searchers??)  from Salt Lake City was kinda killin’ time, like they were waiting for me to leave.

I won, but then realized, typical female, I didn’t have the right shoes.  IMG_0277

Also, I saw strange underwater bugs, a possible fluke-wiry worm, and a very fast little pond-hugging, mole-nosed rodent running towards me.  The picture that was supposed to of him is a blur of me jumping out of his way.

Yikes!

Yikes!

I don’t think I screamed.

From there, not far but too far to walk, I arrived at Old Faithful at the perfect time.  People were streaming towards it so I parked and joined them.  Another geyser was putting on a show at the same time.  Serendipity strikes again.

And then, something else.  Remember I left home without a GPS?  The only place I might have needed it this trip was in the parking lot at Old Faithful Lodge and Visitor Center.  It’s changed in the last 15 years apparently.  IMG_0292  The other thing about migraines is the mental shadow they leave you with.  It took me an extra 15 minutes (or so) to find my car, and then I scared a poor family picnicking next to it when the alarm went off.

IMG_0294I passed another lone bison as I continued west.  My heart goes out to the old and lonely.

On to the much discussed Firehole River and Canyon.  Is it “Where Warm Waters Halt”?  I couldn’t say.

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And then, of course, the much touted Madison River, which had lots of giant boulders lying around.IMG_0327

I tarried as much as I wanted that day.  I had a reservation for that night in West Yellowstone, so no need to hurry.  Just tried to absorb the beauty and if a potential solution to one of the TTOTC  9 clues presented itself, all the better.  IMG_0321

No treasure yet, but so far, so good.  Any day that doesn’t involve a trip to the hospital is a big plus.