Email: Where I’ve Been

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 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…


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


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 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.


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…

Categorized as email


  1. For my friends and chasers lucky enough to be in Wy , I wish you all great Fun, safety, and Good Luck. Cheers


  2. …. I was just thinking about this some more while washing up some dishes and it occurred to me that that first line of Forrest’s e-mail almost sounds like a really oblique reference to “The Bridges of Madison County”, which happens to be about the same kind of bridge as Forrest mentions wanting to build in the summary of “Seventeen Dollars a Square Inch” over on the Old Santa Fe Trading Co. website ( Hm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dal,

      Regarding SB 177, the picture frame dimensions seem very peculiar! 32″ outside and 31 1/2″ inside leave only 1/4″ width for each vertical side in this picture frame illustration. I wonder what this could mean? 32″ x 29″ = 928 square inches. Does this number mean anything to you? If you divide this by 9 to convert it to square yards, it equals close to 103.

      103 is mentioned as a hot temperature for branding cattle in Texas heat in FGM 17? But people don’t brand cattle in Texas during this time of year?! Does this mean Forrest wanted us to use 103 for something other than a temperature measurement in degrees?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dal, did you or anyone you ever know of explore the river left area of the Madison River? Did you cross the Madison at the eleven mile mark (from West Gate)? Did you know there was a nook on the river left area obscured by rocks?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bryan – I have had several folks tell me they looked in that area. I walked the mountain side of the Madison from MJ down about a quarter mile.
      I hope to explore more next week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Be safe Dal, and maybe you will have time to explore the gentle stream near the nook. Like a false summit, maybe there is another nook closer to the apparent stream not far away? It would be great if you can go to Poacher’s Cabin and look at the land in between the “11 mile mark” (from west entrance) and this Poacher’s Cabin! I have no idea what Madison streamflow is in that area right now,

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bryan Poe – The Madison River has gone down below 400 CFS now. My fly fishing librarian friend and I will arrive in West Yellowstone this Friday night. There is another ‘deep spring hole’ on the opposite bank from the road, per Craig Matthews, upstream from Nine Mile Hole. I will post the excerpt from his Madison River description, which I posted on another thread.


      3. Bryan Poe – This:

        “The river swings back to the road about two miles from Madison Junction at the western (downstream) end of what is known to fishermen as Big Bend. The river is squeezed between high banks and the current accelerates around a couple of right-left, curves and shoots down a three-quarter-mile-long riflfle that holds few trout worth the anglers time. There is a deep spring hole across the river where it rejoins the road and a nine-pound brown was taken here once upon a time, and there is still a lunker or two in this spot.

        Beyond the riffle is a short bench meadow section where the river divides around islands. Weeds, deep undercut banks and potholes in the bottom provide excellent holding for large trout.

        A short, deep run is followed by another small meadow stretch, then a half-mile-long riffle, mostly unfishworthy, leads into a curving run that ends at upper Nine Mile Hole. This curving run holds only panfish most of the summer and fall. But when the browns are running-now usually October because of the warming of the water-one can get into many trout and large trout in this run.”


  4. How big is a yard? Maybe a house yard is the standard 80 ft across x 120 ft long. (sort of standard back in the 40’s/50’s. So 100 yards x100 ft = 10,000 feet. I know that sounds crazy, but Forrest loved fishing and playing with the fish. Lol. It would have been a great lead if true and Dal could remember the routes. (2 miles from a road along a river seems believable)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bryan Poe – I think it was captured just below where I camp, in spots 19-20, at Campfire Lodge. I can see the grouping of boulders, where Cabin Creek meets the Madison River, in the distance. That’s just below where my Owl Rock is. The one Forrest later told Diggin’ Gypsy doesn’t look like an owl at all. 🦉


      1. Bryan Poe – Riverside Site #20 at Campfire Lodge (with water and an electrical outlet only) has gone up to $75.00 per night! It was only $30.00 per night, when I first stayed in it, back in August of 2013.

        Thanks for the great Campfire Lodge video, Bill Devane!:

        And Jim Slattery still makes the best breakfast in Montana! Sorry, Dal. Parade Rest Ranch probably runs a close second. 😚


  5. Dal,
    When Forrest said you’d been within 100 yards, how close had you been to Firehole Falls. I’m hearing some things about Firehole Falls from some very reliable sources.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s pretty interesting. Where can I send you a conversation I had on Reddit with a very reliable source. I really can’t post it public.


      2. The blog is the best way to reach me. I understand your concern. But I am not very interested in a lot of other folks solutions. I have my own to follow-up on.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Gadi Schwartz certainly favored Firehole Canyon: walked across some logs as I recall and checked out a bear cave entrance littered with bones. Sounds like no place for the meek!

      Certainly hundreds of searchers have driven Firehole Canyon Drive — Dal and myself included, though I never remotely considered it part of a solution to the poem’s clues.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Zap and Doug – Who needs Reddit? Jack gave us his email. He confirmed that the Old Poacher’s Cabin fireplace ruin was a ‘structure’ to him, after hearing about our recent trip. Here is my response from yesterday:

        Ok, NEXT! 😁


        Steep climb down, but even steeper going back up that trail carrying the 42lb. treasure chest in your backpack, right? It’s a secret fishing hole, below Firehole Falls, that stays cold enough to fish, even in late July. You would have had to cross the Firehole River, to the opposite side, to get ‘wet’, though.

        Hey! Do you know where the Eagle Family of the Eagle Store in West Yellowstone used to fish with their kids on the Firehole River? It’s called Hoot Owl Hole. And it’s on the way downstream to that secret fishing spot in the pic above (from Ojo Caliente as WWWH). I got confirmation from Bob Jacklin, their good family friend, on our trip. Could that be the ‘if you’ve been wise’ in the Poem?

        I never give up…

        Lisa Cesari 🦉


      2. Zap and Doug – The Hoot Owl Rock at Hoot Owl Hole is under the word ‘Firehole’ in the river on this Google Earth map (confirmed this past weekend by Bob Jacklin, Eagle Family friend):,-110.83258152,2177.29656674a,583.02509506d,35y,136.7970687h,44.99567827t,0r%2fdata%3dCigiJgokCYoHfgGMgUVAEV0m3sZOgEVAGWKEfF6jOR7AIfbuWPGuUh7A

        That is ‘below the home of Brown’; Nez Perce Creek is right above there. Where Brown trout were first stocked in the late 1800s. Put in there with the next generation of the Eagle Family. 🎣


      3. Zap and Doug – Here is that article, written by the Eagle Family. Bob Jacklin (who caught that trophy 10lb Brown at the Day Use Area next to Campfire Lodge) is in the pics:

        WWWH – Firehole River, below Ojo Caliente.
        Canyon Down – Follow the Firehole River, downstream, to Firehole Canyon on your Google Earth map.
        NFBTFTW – Don’t ‘wade = walk’ the Firehole River from Forrest’s favorite bathing spot below Ojo Caliente to Hoot Owl Hole.
        Home of Brown – Nez Perce Creek. Put in below there, at Hoot Owl Hole.
        NPFTM = Steep climb down Firehole Canyon Rim. It goes ‘nigh = left’ after you park at a turnout.
        NPUYC = Nez Perce Creek
        HLAWH = Firehole Falls, just upstream.
        Wise Blaze = A now broken-by-Nature blaze created by Forrest around that huge rock next to the Firehole River in that Secret Fishing Hole pic?

        The End. 🎣


      4. Zap and Doug – Wouldn’t it be something if Forrest created his rainbow-shaped epitaph on a bronze plaque, imitating the French soldier’s grave marker he tripped over? When he returned to that waterfall, during the Vietnam War? Heavy, though. Maybe 42lbs, Jack? But, then, it wouldn’t have been damaged by Nature, when that Lodgepole pine tree fell on it…right, Jack? You said you climbed up or down a steep incline. You ran out of water, so your car was not easily accessible where you parked. You got ‘wet’, probably crossing a river.

        The Firehole River was also running very warm, low and slow, Zap. We had a nice picnic at the Firehole Picnic Area. But, as Forrest said, you are not going to find the treasure on a Sunday afternoon picnic. There, along the Freight Road, or at Nez Perce Picnic Area, above the Hoot Owl Hole. Keep going downstream on the Firehole River into Firehole Canyon. To that Secret Fishing Hole, with cooler waters (even when the ‘secret spot’ blog article’s author fished it in late July!). The Rainbows and Browns, coming up to spawn from Hebgen Lake, in Spring and Fall respectively, can only go as far as Firehole Falls and Gibbon Falls. There are some lunkers in that secret hole.

        Giggles. 😁


      5. Zap – And Gadi Schwartz filmed a Grizz heading the other direction, thankfully, in that video. Didn’t Jack say something about being glad not to have encountered any Grizzes, when he retrieved the treasure chest?


      6. So Lisa: I couldn’t deter you from 9-Mile Hole with my claim that the Poacher Cabin fireplace — even as a ruin — was still a structure, but Jack could with his one reply to you? 😉 (Just teasing ya) I’ve never emailed Jack (or at least whoever the person is behind that numerical email address), mostly because he made it clear from the beginning that he wasn’t going to give solutions to the poem’s clues, nor reveal the final location. So even if you guess the right spot, Jack isn’t going to confirm it.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Lisa — I see a problem right away:
        “NPFTM = Steep climb down Firehole Canyon Rim.”

        From Dal’s original blog under Safety First (6/29/2017): “When I said the treasure was not hidden in Utah or Idaho it was my plan not to 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 not under water, nor is it near the Rio Grande River. It is not necessary to move large rocks or climb up or down a steep precipice, and it is not under a man-made object.”

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Zap – Yeah, I like to get my solve obliterated by Jack the Finder, who actually knows where the treasure chest was. Go figure! 😜

        And that is just a diagonal trail along a pretty steep slope – look at the Google Earth map I posted. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a ‘precipice’. Fly fishermen in the know hike up and down it all the time. Nice try, Zap. Let’s see if Jack can tear my Secret Firehole Canyon Fishing Spot solve apart. 🎣

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Fair enough that “steep” doesn’t equal “precipice,” but keep in mind that Jack didn’t split the 42-lb. load into two trips. Flyfishermen/women don’t typically have to deal with 45-lb. loads (treasure + backpack) when getting to/from their fishing spots. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Zap – Did I mention I stayed several times at the Grand Teton Climbers Ranch, near Jenny Lake, watching the Exum Guides pack and weigh their 30-35lb backpacks to do guided climbs of the Grand Teton the next day? I carried a 20-25lb Osprey Day Pack to/from Goat Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains here. Steep and gnarly. I could have easily carried the 42lb treasure chest and contents in that pack. Up that very short Firehole Canyon slope trail, below the Firehole Falls. No problem. 🎒👣🎣

        I recommend the waterproof Fishpond fly fishing backpack. Especially if you are guiding, or need to retrieve a 42lb lost treasure that a forgetful but very savvy old fly fisherman left at his favorite fishing hole:

        Giggles. 😁


      11. Hi Lisa: I’m a mountaineer who has climbed all the 14,000 foot peaks in California, sometimes with 55-lb. backpacks and 8,000-foot elevation gains. But Jack isn’t me. He’s a flatlander who may have limited experience above 6,000 feet — particularly carrying a load. Just my opinion, but his build, and geographical distance from high altitude terrain, does not seem compatible with carrying 45 pounds — at altitude — up a steep incline. That he chose to carry the entire load in one trip tells me that his path from the hiding spot to his car was fairly flat. Otherwise, he would have done like Forrest: made two trips.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sure the actual Solve is something like that. I’ve only been told of Jack’s posts but have not seen them for myself. And they were only a general area not a complete Solve by any means. But it showed that Forrest was being honest with Dal about the 100 yard comment and Jack was lying about the flying car comment. Jack is just deathly afraid YS officials are going to try and take the TC. I’d be worried too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doug – I personally don’t think Jack is lying about his comment that Dal would have to be in a flying car to have been within 300′ of the treasure while driving. Meaning, he was within 300′ as the ‘Crow flies’? Or, Dal had to be within 300′ above the treasure, like from a drone photo perspective, because there really is no way to drive within 300′ of the treasure chest location?

      When we drove the Firehole Canyon Road, looking down at that Secret Fishing Hole, I could see the area across the Firehole River I wanted to search. I was eaten alive in the back seat of my fly fishing librarian friend’s truck cab, all the previous night, at the Canyon Campground. As Forrest warned about mosquitoes. I was hungry, it was hot by then, and I was in no mood to do that intrepid hike down ‘in there’. Even if my friend probably would have landed a Brown or Rainbow lunker. 🎣


    2. Doug – Here is the matching Google Earth map of that Secret Fishing Hole, showing the area I wanted to search across the Firehole River:,-110.8639029,2082.69040446a,215.93832276d,35y,-153.17934853h,44.95816799t,360r%2fdata%3dCnkaTxJJCiUweDUzNTFjM2MyNmE0Mzk0ZDc6MHhkOGFkYTUyMzM3YmQyMDJmGfj4hOy8UEZAIY624PtRt1vAKg5GaXJlaG9sZSBmYWxscxgBIAEiJgokCcaVcGysSUZAEZs5IhBmRUZAGe7GRzMoslvAISMYlwYVtVvA

      There is a ‘human trail’ to get down to the river. But I think there may be only animal trails after you cross it. Maybe a Grizz trail, Jack? Looking for an Elk carcass? 😮


    3. Doug – Here’s that blog article, dated July 28th:

      “There is even exceptional fishing in the lower part of the river’s reach. Dancing water, placid pools, glides and streams that are ignored by most fishers this time of the year.
      .. There are berries, (just starting to ripen,) shady runs, green grass, downed snags, deep pools, and everything that quickens the heart of a fly fisher.
      .. It is vacant and the trout are busily eating and enjoying their Yellowstone vacation. Should you desire to interrupt their contented existence it takes just a little scramble down a steep bank. Where is it? Just below the lower cascade of the Firehole Falls Complex. Don’t tell anyone you heard it here.”

      Some fly fishermen do share, pdenver. 🎣


      1. i mean there’s no question that spot you’re referencing is right in the wheelhouse of the info i have. I’m trying to get even more info if possible. I’ll send to you if you want but i can’t post it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Doug – Just share! I do! Everything I know! I always have! The treasure chest has already been found by Jack! Why be covert? About anything???

        Let’s just have fun and SPILL everything we know, right? 😁


      3. Zap – Here is why we got a late start, this past Sunday morning. We were hiking down to the Rim of the Lower Falls by 8:15am (me in my Olukai flip-flops, drinking coffee out of my HCC Hydro flask):

        That is actually a pic captured from the North Rim Trail, near Inspiration Point, on the way out. Sounds like you could get back up that slope from the Yellowstone River. 😁


  7. Zap – I respectfully disagree. Jack is a former med student. Jack is probably around 30 years old. He might even have been an Eagle Scout. The Firehole Canyon Road is at 7,080 elevation, and that diagonal trail across that short slope looks to be about 80 ft. of that. Remember that slip-up when Forrest said 7,000 ft., then corrected himself to say, ‘between 5,000-10,200 ft.’ for the treasure location? Didn’t Jack say Forrest’s slip-ups helped him determine the treasure location?

    And, being a med student (which I aspired to be, until my Mom pulled the funds for me to attend UCLA, 40 years ago), I am sure Jack got up at 5:30am with the sunrise on that morning of June 5, 2020, with a large cup of coffee:

    I am pretty sure he could have run up that short slope, even without the diagonal trail, after that. ☕


    1. Hi Lisa: it’s not particularly relevant but just wanted to correct your date and time. Jack didn’t retrieve the chest until Saturday, June 6th, and he certainly didn’t get up at 5:30 am that morning. He admitted he slept in late.

      I can’t speak to how fit Jack was other than to say (from his images at the law office) that he’s no triathlete or body-builder. I think he would struggle at 7,000-feet elevation carrying over 40 lbs. — just like most searchers would (including myself). That’s why I doubt there is much elevation gain/loss getting to/from the treasure location from where you park.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Zap – Yeah, no. I don’t think Jack would have struggled carrying 42 lbs. that very short distance. And, neither would I.

        Just to prove I’ve still got it, I hiked the Pioneer Cabin Trail #122, out and back, between 10:00am and 2:00pm today. The trailhead is at just under 7,000 ft. in elevation (pics to follow):

        I had just two scrambled eggs for breakfast, and took a break at the top for only 15 minutes. Had to practically run down the lower switchbacks, due to the appearance of really annoying horse flies. And I am 58 years old, Zap. 😜


      2. Jack – According to the New York Times article I read (I think), Forrest called the Santa Fe New Mexican on Sunday, June 7, 2020 to say the treasure had been found ‘a few days ago’ and that the Finder had sent Forrest a pic of the chest to prove it. That’s why June 5, 2020 stuck in my head. Didn’t it take Jack two days from the find date to get from the treasure location in Wyoming to that place where Jack met with Forrest in Santa Fe? Jack said he stayed in a hotel overnight and even visited a National Park on the way, right?


      3. Zap – How Jack described the treasure retrieval, when asked for the details in that first email Q/A Jack published on his page:

        “Thanks Emily. Hiking pack, lots of water, a bit of packaged food, GPS (after 2018), gloves and backup gloves, bear spray for any animals looking to pick off a lone Easterner, bug spray (when I remembered, which is when they didn’t bite), a Tigers cap, watch, utility knife that I never used, sunglasses, rain jacket, and a softshell when it was colder. And my phone of course, which I used to listen to podcasts and audiobooks out loud while I was searching. Probably some things I’m forgetting too. I also brought one of those blue IKEA bags on my trips with the idea of putting the treasure in it to reinforce my pack when I carried it out. I don’t know if it helped with that, but it did help protect the interior of my pack from getting filthy from the treasure.”

        Jack sounded prepared to me! I read that he called carrying the 42 lb. treasure chest in one trip vs. two trips “good exercise”. You go, Jack! 👏


      4. Zap – Forgot the last sentence of Jack’s answer:

        “No training required, but I do enjoy hiking occasionally, especially when I’m in a new country.”


      5. Hi again: you assume it was a short distance. I do not, and I don’t think the treasure was anywhere near Firehole Canyon. I also don’t think anything resembling a steep trail — even a short one — was involved. So we can just agree to disagree. Eventually you will probably dismiss Firehole Canyon and you did 9 Mile Hole — but it won’t be due to anything I write, so there’s no point in my trying.

        If my memory is correct, you live in Montana (?) in which case you live at altitude. You are acclimated to a higher elevation than Jack. Happy to hear you’re still out there hitting those mountain trails at 58 (I’m 58 as well)!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Seven Mile Bridge is an overlooked spot. It is the only crossing of the Madison River inside the park, and the pictures of his mom and sister holding fish were taken on the northern side of the Madison. I took this to mean it was the family fishing spot. At the picnic area are stairs leading into the river…a physical put in location. If Madison Junction is WWWH, which I believe is the start, the picnic area is the first spot below the Madison. Drive down the Madison Canyon until you are able to put in below the river. I used the origin of the surname as my definition: Brown is an English-language surname in origin chiefly descriptive of a person with brown hair, complexion or clothing. “It” is the Madison River…which is a key word. The water is high and strewn with boulders. On the other side of the river is the location. Trumpeter swans are known to nest here, with access limited during their mating season. Signs are posted to “keep out” during the restrictions, similar to the “do not touch” sign in the store. A lot of people in this area would not be good for the swans…a reason not to reveal it. You’re also exposed on the other side and you’re not supposed to leave the trail. You can drive and walk by (via the Gneiss Creek Trail) the northern bank. South of the Madison down stream is an eagle nest. I pondered their bald heads being a blaze. Head up the other side of the mountain to a point where you can see above the nest. I also observed a square, leveled, lichen covered rock on the north side of the Madison near the end of Riverside Drive. Nearby was lean-to. I never went back to this location as it was my first time crossing the Madison and I was gravitating towards Montana. Cynthia Meachum’s doodle from 24/7/20 reminds me of this spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dal – thanks for sharing these emails. I’m sure it would be maddening to have received this one. Looking at this email reminds me of the what-ifs… One way to read the email might be that you forgot to list a path travelled. But of course Mr. Fenn would readily recall your conversation knowing that you had been so close. So what-if there are literally ‘no clues in this email’? Could we infer that it is not within 300 feet of these locations?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My of my, this very revealing Dal & Forrest conversation is a beautiful and precious example of just how crafty Forrest could be when he “teased” even his closest “friends” involved in the Chase. If one reads the last sentence of Forrest’s response first, all is defined for you. Forrest said, “You drove within 300 feet of the treasure chest and that’s for sure, but don’t LOOK for any clues in this email”. What he said in Forrest “word craft” is, “Are you going to believe me or your own lying EYES?”. In other WORDS, don’t believe what you THINK you are reading but know that you are seeing (and interpreting) his written words in ways he does not literally mean. That is on YOU, my friend.

    Proof is in the pudding. Go to Google Earth and using the tools, reread Forrest’s words describing where his mother died at Westfork Camp Cabins. In his email to Dal, was Forrest referring to the nearby bridge over the smaller river of the West Fork of the Madison? Or was Forrest referring to the bridge that crosses the Madison River – that takes you to the Westfork Camp Cabins? And are you sure you have correctly determined which bridge he refers to??? Are you absolutely sure that you know exactly which bridge he is referring to? Or could you believe that, even in the use and abuse of everyday speaking and writing, these types of interpretations can be biased by one’s own personal word choice?

    Then again, you might say it doesn’t matter WHICH bridge he is referring to, right? Well if that is true, you are also saying you DON’T know and CAN’T determine exactly which bridge he is referring to! Just where are you NOW… when it comes to interpreting Forrest word craft?

    Good luck my friends. IMTantalus

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Is there any possibility that he meant it was someplace you “drove” by in a raft, kayak, canoe, or SUP between 2009 and 2012? Did you go on any bodies of water in the 4 search states at that time? Maybe you weren’t even aware of the treasure hunt yet. Not asking for specifics, a yes or no will suffice. Thanks in advance.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dal,
    I still ponder this chase, sometimes just out of the blue a fresh idea comes to me.
    The latest idea, is really just a collection of odds and ends. The gist is that Forrest used a vehicle to conceal or maybe just point to the chest.

    Based on the premise that he was very careful with his words. I have not figured out how
    to lay this out, so let me just layout the pieces some from the poem, some from the book,
    some from the scrapbooks, and some from his conversations with you and others.

    “Not associated with a structure …” – A vehicle is not a structure.

    “Title to the gold” – Vehicles have titles

    Many fond, and amusing references to cars, trucks, and planes

    How to find the chest advice; FIRST you get in your car

    F wondering how his Dad could get rid of the family car

    Road trip with Skippy

    Road trip with Peggy, which reminded me of Smokey and the Bandit, a famous car, a famous
    BANDIT, the movie is about the Rockies and Golden Ale.

    A horse named Bullet, another famous car CHASE movie.

    Side view mirror accident with tree at “HOME”

    and a major mention of the Motor Vehicle Department.

    Possibly a license plate ( very durable) as the blaze, emblazoned ID.
    The aluminum grave marker from the waterfall story in Vietnam,
    Maybe the license plate would mark F’s grave.

    Other reasons a License plate would fit:
    Jack said something about not taking the blaze though airport security
    Could be damage, old plate nailed to a tree, vandals, weathering etc
    “couldn’t read it”

    In “where I’ve been” the entire context is about driving, a road trip on the Chase.

    Rednecks in a truck, like when F when in the wood to lumber Jack

    Just some interesting things. what do you think

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 4rest4fend – Really great insights and observations I am going to think about!

      But Forrest also clarified that treasure chest was not hidden under a man-made object.


    2. 4rest – I have a hard enough time thinking inside the box…For me to think like you just plain hurts. 🙂

      I see no reason why it isn’t possible but I see many reasons why it doesn’t seem likely…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Unfortunately, I think the idea that a vehicle isn’t a “structure” in Forrest’s eyes can be ruled out by one key statement he made in the German Playboy audio in September 2018:

    “There’s a couple of people that have ‘hunches.’ The world’s worst thing is a hunch. This one gal got in her car and drove 1500 miles to look under a wagon in Montana. I said a hundred times that it’s not related to any kind of a structure.”

    (Pretty sure that “gal” was Diggin Gypsy)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lisa: yes, I personally rule out anywhere near Nine Mile Hole. Frankly, I don’t think his hiding place was anywhere along the Madison at all.

      That Forrest encouraged Diggin Gypsy in 2013 to move away from that exact area of the Madison, in conjunction with his Scrapbook 78 point #5 (“Fifth, I have never consciously misled any searcher or privately given a hint or clue I thought would help someone find the treasure”) does not look promising for that area. If the treasure was anywhere near NMH, there’s no way he could have truthfully claimed that he didn’t deliberately mislead her.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Zap – You missed all the actual emails Diggin’ Gypsy shared over the last month on the Cowlazars YouTube channel broadcasts. Saw the one from Forrest to Diggin’ Gypsy on August 19, 2021. He didn’t tell her to leave Nine Mile Hole and to go to Hebgen Lake. Forrest simply asked if she and her family were going to GO to Hebgen Lake.

        You may enjoy this broadcast, where Diggin’ Gypsy joined ‘live’ (voice only) to chat with the panel and all of us watching. She was participating in the chat discussion, also:


      2. Hi Lisa — I actually considered being part of that panel, but I decided that people who have latched onto 9MH are not going to be deterred by any evidence I could present to the contrary, so there’s no point. The 9MH-fans have already made up their minds (just as a similar group, some of whom are now 9MH-pumpers, were 100% convinced of the asinine GPS solution from last year). Some people just want closure, which I totally get. But I’m not checking my brain at the door to embrace the latest fad.

        I’ve been in touch with Marti over the years, and it is my opinion that in *her* mind, Forrest redirected her to Montana. Could she have read too much into what he sent her? Sure. One might argue that it was Forrest’s comments that redirected Cynthia from New Mexico to Wyoming, so people have certainly been influenced by Forrest’s comments. Even Dal would probably admit that Forrest’s 100-yard comment had an impact on the places he would consider searching.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Zap – Fair enough. But that Cowlazars YouTube channel broadcast has some great discussion, pro and con, about Nine Mile Hole. And some excellent comments by Diggin’ Gypsy that could contradict your current perceptions. To each his own, I guess.

        I do wish you joined that panel – I think your input would have made the debate even more interesting for all of us. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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