Where Warm Waters Halt

Many people think Where Warm Waters Halt is the first clue in the poem. Here’s one guess about what it might mean.

The area in the official Chase map contains a lot of areas that might relate to warm waters. There are countless hot springs. Since I think Yellowstone is involved, we can start there. We’ll find that the park has one “thermal area” after another – including geysers, hot springs, paint pots, and more.

So let’s take another approach. Forrest Fenn said that each word was deliberately chosen. So why use ‘halt’ instead of stop or end or something similar? Halt doesn’t exactly rhyme with walk as far as I am concerned.

In my mind, I think of “Halt – who goes there?” and I turn to the military. So it turns out that at one time the military guarded YS and there is still an army base there.

Would you believe the base is near the north entrance of the park – adjacent to a popular attraction known as Mammoth Hot Springs? As well as the Boiling River? True story.

So while this may or not be the starting point, it is as good of a guess as anything for now.

We’ll do another post about the “warm” part of the clue later on.

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The Yellowstone Connection

When I first heard abut the treasure, I assumed it was in New Mexico, or NM. After all, Forrest Fenn, or FF, stated that it was located “in the mountains north of Santa Fe,” NM.

After reading his book, The Thrill of the Chase, I changed my mind. FF said that the poem stands alone – it gives all of the clues needed to solve the puzzle and find the treasure. The book also contains “subtle clues” that will help.

Here’s why I now think Yellowstone and the surrounding area are key

First, much of the book describes FF’s cherished days of youth spent in and around Yellowstone. The book includes photos – especially photos related to fishing in the park

There is a story where FF refers to holding his thumb over a population – emphasizing his thumb. There is an area in the park called West Thumb

There is a story about a bison or buffalo named Cody. There is an area in Yellowstone called West Cody. Now, in Wyoming a man named “Buffalo” Bill Cody is something of a local legend. You’ve probably heard of him. There is even a town named Cody, WY – but that town is outside of the area on the official chase map. Maybe the Cody of the book is simply named after Buffalo Bill.

The book centers on Texas, Asia, and the Yellowstone area. Only the Yellowstone region lies within the designated area on the official map. Also mentioned are West Yellowstone, WY, Gallatin national Forest, and Lake Hebgen. All of these are close to, or adjacent to YS Park.

There is relatively little mention of NM, and most of it relates to the home of FF’s art gallery – Santa Fe. We already know the treasure is not there – it is at least 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe.

As we will say again and again, only FF knows

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