100 Years Ago


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.



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.


Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Chest



Catching Up is Hard to Do (hum to the tune by Neil Sedaka)

Kayak and lily pads Time on the water, priceless.  Home again?  Also priceless, but busy.  I was north.  I was east.  Was I west, “in the mountains somewhere north of Santa Fe?”  No, darn it.  Not yet.  But this bronze reminded me of the drawing in the Thrill of the Chase book.kids sculpture columns Another great thing about the road trip?  Listening to the audio version of The Black Count, a true story about Alexandre Dumas’ pere by Tom Reiss.  Fascinating.  The Count of Monte Cristo was one of my first favorites.  I read an old copy found in the attic.  Next best was the 1998 French miniseries of it starring Gerard Depardieu.  I didn’t mind the subtitles, it was so engrossing.  And now to learn how so much of it was based on his own father’s experiences (including hidden treasure), enlightening.  Also, it explained a lot of the history of the French revolution/devolution/rise of Napoleon, areas my education was thin on.



So, my treasures when I arrived home?  A lawn turned to meadow, wild blackberries to forage, and a garden exploding with cukes, beans, and tomatos, etc.  Now that the pickles and jams are in the cupboard and the beans and tomatos in the freezer, except for the awesome salads Caprese and salsa verdes and, well, you get the idea.

Jungle garden

Jungle garden

Intrepid came to visit and fortunately she loves to pick berries, dig potatos, etc., just happy to be outdoors.  She’s begun her fourth (and purportedly toughest) year of residency.  Six twelve hours days on for a month, then six twelve hour nights for a month, then same at a different hospital, rinse, wash, repeat….  I’d help her if I could.  The least I can do is give her organic veggies. pickle pot

Tribute and Tributary

Champagne Glow

Champagne Glow (Photo credit: pepemczolz)

A toast to Dal Neitzel —   his blog, Thrill of the Chase, recently passed the 2 millionth mark!  Beginner and seasoned searchers go there for the latest and the most useful information on the hunt for Forrest Fenn’s hidden treasure chest.  Thank you.

Dal just added a great story, The Shaft, about one of his excursions last fall that involved a real life character named Harley.  Kind of a LOL, edge of your seat story.  I also think much could be made of the findings, but maybe that’s just my imagination on the run again.

This puts my stats in perspective.  I was so tickled to have passed 250 followers and twenty thousand-some views a couple months ago.  It pales in comparison, but I’m not in competition.  This site is just a feeder stream to the rivers of info on Forrest’s and Dal’s websites.


IMG_0285Okay.  Maybe it’s just a trickle, but it leads readers to more information about the man who wrote the poem with 9 clues


Mr. Fenn signing my TTOTC.

Forrest Fenn signing my copy of The Thrill of the Chase


and his books with hints, the man who hid a treasure trove of gold nuggets, coins and jewels, and the story of his life.

Snow is melting.  Fevers are rising.  Time to get the camping gear ready.

Chugwater Sheep Wagon

Chugwater Shepherd Wagon

Now just where does that warm water halt???

Polar Vortex III?

Embracing this winter.  Who knew I’d have use for Minnesota things down here.Snow shoes

There’s been so much fluffy stuff, I snow-shoed tracks for the skinny skis.

Forrest Fenn's Treasure Chest

Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Chest

In training —not for the biathalon, but the Chase.

Searchers are getting cabin fever waiting for the big melt out in the Rockies.

Polar Vortex I —  made raspberry jam

(Snow shoed)

Polar Vortex II —  made marmalade

(Skied)  (Pruned fruit trees)

Polar Vortex III —  don’t know yet

I won’t  ski or snow shoe — the fluff was turned into a bone-shattering layer of ice on stone-hard ground.  Sometimes it’s good to stay inside and smell the lemon blossoms.Lemon blossoms

On an unrelated note, I came across this very moving song last week.  Interesting site.


(Back to the Chase next week with some more Fenn ideas.)


Vortex (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Inquiring Minds

Arches in Shadow

Another Q & A with Forrest Fenn

I’d been considering lately what other questions I could ask Mr. Fenn.   I know clue/hint type questions are out, as well as topics he’d like to keep private.  What to ask, what to ask?

One item that piqued my insatiable curiosity came from a recent comment on another blog —-  Douglas Preston was originally going to write the ‘Thrill of the Chase’ story.

Wow.  Was that true?  Was it going to be 85% fiction or 85% memoir, I wondered.Underground

I’ve read four of Preston’s books now, and I’ve got to say …. Well, I think I won’t.  Just be prepared for a little horror with your mystery/thriller reading experience.

Click on the Q & A Heading/Round Two to learn more.

Forrest Fenn's Treasure Chest

Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Chest

TorchDon’t you wonder if THE POEM would have been easier to solve if someone else had been the one trying to keep the secret?

Stairway for horse and rider

Wind, Sand and Stars

Wind, Sand, and Stars, front

Yes, it’s the title of a book by the author of The Little Prince.  Antoine de Saint-Exupery was a pilot not unfamiliar with the Sahara.Dive Bombers Daily Drover

I’d only learned of the book back in high school because of a friend in the next town reading it in french class.  (My little school only offered 2 years of spanish.)

I stopped at 2 libraries yesterday to find a copy of The Little Prince.   The 2 copies at the first one were nowhere to be found.  The second library, rather new and planted absolutely Too Far for anyone To Walk to, had none.  When I said I thought it was a classic, he said they didn’t really carry the classics.  Something to do with only putting brand new books in there, ones with tracking chips.  New World.

I stopped at my friend’s.  She looked for her french and german copies but thinks her sons may have them.  Not that my french and german are that adequate anymore, but there are on-line translators, right? (See Forrest Fenn’s Scrapbook # 47.

Okay.  I do have a copy or two myself—-in a box, in a barn, inaccessible at the moment, and I wanted to read it now.

I’d tried my Kindle, but it wasn’t available for download.  Last stop last night on my way home, Barnes and Noble.  Yay.


It’s a new translation.  New cover.

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

Choice:  Paperback.  Hardcover.  Set with recording by Viggo Mortenson.  Very tempting that, but I went with the cheapest version.

Okay.  Why go to all this trouble for a book I read ages ago?

Let me try to explain how mind mind works:

Mind Map …..   Free Association …..  Word Play

Case in point —-

Since Forrest used the word “fling” in his talk at Moby Dickens,

and reading the story of the sunken storage jar in Too Far To Walk,

and my earlier reading of Thunderhead, with its kivas,

and remembering the snakes writhing in the Indiana Jones movie,

Plant in White Sands National Monument, New Me...

Plant in White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, USA. The plant’s roots hold a pillar of sand in place, while the surrounding sands are shifted by wind erosion.

and someone I know opening the door to an old underground bunker at White Sands, intending to descend until he saw the floor moving; again, a mass of writhing snakes,

and finding a place called Snakeden Hollow,

and buying snake boots after stirring up a snake while morel hunting, actually, I should use a hiking staff instead of my bare hands to rake through leaves next to fallen trees next time.

Oops.  Getting off point there …. but, okay.  You get the idea.

So, I couldn’t remember the details of the story but I knew there was a snake and a star and a desert involved in the sad conclusion of The Little Prince.

the little prince

“What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well….”

So, back to “fling”.

I know there’s been a recent notice to disregard what Mr. Fenn might say in interviews, just rely on the Poem.  I think Dal believes, maybe Forrest said somewhere, that the treasure is hidden in the original spot he had chosen to rest his bones.  I know he’s said it’s a place “dear” to him.  And somewhere he mentioned desert.

Forrest Fenn's Treasure Chest

Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Chest

Can I reconcile all these ideas?

Not easily.  I think it would take me more than four Xanax, a staff, and snake boots to fling myself into anyplace that might have a ‘moving floor’, even if there was a certain treasure chest in the middle of it.

“It is such a mysterious place, the land of tears.”

English: Saint Exupery monument in Tarfaya Рус...

English: Saint Exupery monument in Tarfaya Рус…

River’s Edge

Ooooh, ick.

(From Yahoo)  Man finds stash of cash in river.   Story here.

Dog walking might pay, but I’d really rather find Forrest Fenn‘s hidden treasure chest —-

—-  Gold nuggets and emeralds don’t get soggy.

Forrest Fenn's Treasure Chest

Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Chest

Dating Oldest Known Petroglyphs in North America

English: Caveman stick figure.

English: Caveman stick figure. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

14,800 years ago ….

Click this  —-   Dating Oldest Known Petroglyphs in North America.

—–    Maybe Mr. Fenn has underestimated how long it will take for his treasure chest to be found.        Ü

Forrest Fenn's Treasure Chest

Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Chest

Link to Toby Younis’ Taping of Fenn Book Signing

moby dickens bookshop

In case you missed this on Dal or Stephanie’s blog, here is the link to see the Forrest Fenn book signing last Saturday at the Moby Dickens in Taos—-

Event video on YouTube: http://youtu.be/JXupxL4ovmY


Thanks to Toby for his excellent work!

Too Far to Walk

Marooned Without a Compass Day: Learning Directions, Maps and How to Use a Compass

English: Compass rose, 8 points (text labels i...

English: Compass rose, 8 points (text labels in English) Italiano: Rosa dei venti a 8 punte (etichette di testo in inglese) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What I didn’t learn in school—

Marooned Without a Compass Day: Learning Directions, Maps and How to Use a Compass.


Glad for the explanations on GPS coordinates, etc. over on Stephanie’s Chase Chat.  Thank you all.



And just for fun, treasure seekers, click on the link below  …..



Pyle's 20th century illustration of a marooned...

Pyle’s 20th century illustration of a marooned pirate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



borrowed from Kelly @flateleven—Thank you.

Me to Mr Waterhigh:  please, please, please, ….

I think once he’s done with his day job we could hit the road. If it’s not too cold.  And I’ve got this puzzle solved, with confidence.

Forrest Fenn's Treasure Chest

Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Chest