Below is a message from Forrest. He is responding to an email I sent to him. The original email is under his short response…
Let me provide some background. This email exchange took place in the summer of 2012. A few days earlier I had been visiting Forrest. We were filming interviews for the blog. When I first arrived at Forrest’s house he greeted me and asked me where I had been. So we sat down in his big den and I began naming the places I had been searching and the routes I had taken. This included all the places I’d looked since I started searching which included New Mexico and Yellowstone and a few places in between.
That evening we went to dinner and the next day we filmed several interviews and met with some friends of Forrests and talked. The following day I left to head back home. As I was turning to walk out of his house he said, “By the way, you’ve been within 100 yards of the chest.”
I nearly fell over. I turned and looked at him. He shook his head up and down and said, “One hundred yards. But I didn’t say it was necessarily a place you were searching. You could have driven by it.”
I started thinking about what I had told Forrest. Which places did I mention? What exactly did I say to him when he asked me where I had been? The precision of the recall was suddenly very important…but I’ve never had a great memory…
Instead of going home I decided to drive back up to Yellowstone…I knew for certain I had mentioned places there…and I needed to start searching my memory. Driving has always been a good way for me to work through issues….so I drove north.
I stopped along the way in several places to consider what Forrest had told me. I made lists of what I thought I said…but in reality I knew I had probably left some places out…not on purpose but just because I am forgetful…but which places did I leave out?…that was the important question…
A couple days later I was back up in Yellowstone and the issue of my memory was tormenting me…so I wrote Forrest about it and he said that he didn’t remember the places I mentioned either…to send him a new list of all the places I’d been. I sent the list…
His response was odd..it starts with a sentence about his mother’s death. I am not certain why…misdirection perhaps. At the time we did not know that the chest was going to be found in Wyoming so the fact that he misdirects to a place in Montana where his mother died is interesting. It is also worth noting that he brings up the Madison River, which flows through both Wyoming and Montana. It is also important that he points out that I “drove” within 300ft of the chest.
Here is his response:
My mother died within 300 feet of the bridge across the Madison River at Westfork, which is the little stream that dumps into the Madison near where the trailer park is. You drove within 300 feet of the treasure chest and that’s for sure, but don’t look for any clues in this email. f
—– Original Message —–
From: Dal Neitzel
To: Forrest Fenn
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 10:44 PM
Subject: Exactly where I’ve been
Forrest…this is what I remember…if there were other places I’ve looked or traveled…I have forgotten them…
I don’t have my notes from last year nor my pics from last year with me to help me remember…
They are at home…
First my direct route to Santa Fe and then my side trips…
TO NEW MEXICO-SANTA FE
I’ll start my path in Idaho.
I enter Idaho on I-84 at Fruitland and stay on it all the way to Pocatello
At Pocatello I catch I-15 and head South through Salt Lake City to Provo.
At Provo I catch US6 and head SE to Green River UT.
At Green River I catch I-70 and head East to Crescent Jct.
At Crescent Junction I catch US191 and head South through Moab to Montecello.
At Montecello I catch US 491 and head SE into Colorado to Cortez.
At Cortez I catch US160 and head E to Pagosa Springs.
At Pagosa Springs I catch US84 and head South to New Mexico and Chama.
At Chama I continue S on US84 to Tierra Amarilla where I catch US64 into Taos.
At Taos I catch NM68 S to Espanola.
At Espanola I catch US285 down to Santa Fe
NEW MEXICO SIDE TRIPS
Into downtown Chama and about 3 miles past Chama on NM17 to look at the river.
At Tierra Amarilla I have taken NM112 to the dam and the campground at El Vado. I have driven across the dam and have walked a bit around the campground there.
From Tierra Amarilla I have taken US84 through Abiquiu down to Espanola.
At Abiquiu I have gotten onto an unmarked dirt road that follows the W side of the Chama River all the way N to the Abiquiu Lake Dam.
At the Abiquiu Dam I have taken NM96 to Coyote and drove out into the sagebrush south of Coyote a few miles.
At Espanola I have looked at the confluence of the Chama and the Rio Grande.
At Chili I have traveled US285 to Tres Piedras.
I have taken the John Dunn road from US64 across the John Dunn Bridge to Rio Hondo. took a soak in Manby’s Hot Spring.
Out of Santa Fe I took NM475 all the way up to the ski area.
Out of Espanola I have taken NM76 to Placitas and NM518 to Taos.
In Taos I have walked around in all directions within a quarter mile of the plaza.
In Taos I have taken US64 to Eagles Nest and Angel Fire where I looked at the Vietnam Memorial and Elizabethtown.
From Eagles Nest I have continued on 64 down to the town of Cimarron. I have walked much of the Cimarron River through the park.
From Eagles Nest I have taken NM38 to Red River and explored quite a bit of the Red River above the town of Red River…some with Gadi.
I have driven on NM578 to its end and I have walked the trail to the lakes below Wheeler Peak.
From Red River I have taken NM38 over to Questa and explored the box on foot from the confluence of the Red and the Rio north a few miles.
I have also explored the Red just below the Hatchery.
I have also walked the Red from its confluence with the Rio about two miles upstream.
From Taos I have driven up NM522 to Questa and Ceros and the Wild Rivers Park Office.
FROM NM TO YNP
From Chama US84 back up to Pagosa Springs.
From Pagosa Springs US160 E to Durango.
From Durango US550 N to Grand Junction.
From Grand Junction US50 W to Fruita.
From Fruita CO139 N to Rangely
From Rangely CO64 W to Dinosaur
From Dinosaur US40 W to Vernal, UT
From Vernal US191 N to junction with UT44
Follow UT44 NW to Manila WY
At Manila take WY530 N to Green River, WY
At Green River take WY372 NW to US189
At that junction follow US189 N till it becomes US 191.
Follow US191 N to Jackson, WY
At Jackson take WY22 across the pass to Victor, ID
At Victor take ID33 N to Teton, ID
At Teton take ID32 NW to Ashton, ID
At Ashton pick up US20 to West Yellowstone.
SIDE TRIPS FROM WEST YELLOWSTONE
To Madison Junction and walk around
To Firehole Canyon and walk the canyon rim along the road
Walk the area below the Firehole Falls
To Ojo Caliente and walking around Fountain Flats
To the Barns and walking around that area
To Baker’s Hole and walking around that area
Up the Red River Canyon to the end of the road and up the trail about a mile.
On the road down the E side of Hebgen Lake to the dam.
Continuing down to Quake Lake…explore the area including Ghost Ranch and Fishing Lodge and Visitor Center.
Cross the Madison at the bridge on MT84 and traveled to Raynold’s Pass and then turn around and come back the way I came…up the Madison…
Walk from the Dude to the Barns.
That’s about it…
I may have left something out but not on purpose…
That’s as much as I remember…