The Blaze – Part 1

So what is a blaze? It was easy enough to look up on dictionary.com. The most sensible definition is as follows:

“A spot or mark made on a tree, as by painting or notching or by chipping away a piece of the bark, to indicate a trail or boundary.”

If you’re out in the wilderness, this one makes perfect sense. You could take it another step and look for marks on a rock as well. I say this after noting the huge number of fallen trees in the Yellowstone area. If Forrest Fenn placed a blaze on a tree, there is a good chance it may have fallen in a storm or due to another reason.

If you’re in a national or state park with trails, you will see lots of signs marking the trail. Those signs are also known as blazes. If you’re in a forest, you might start looking at trees for some kind of engraving or paint.

As of now, something like this make the most sense to me. Of course, that may be a bad sign.

I suppose it could be something like an orange, red, or yellow object – possibly shaped like a flame. The mountains often have such colors on them. I haven’t researched, but I assume it has something to do with the minerals and metals in them.

It could have something to do with the sun, but I doubt it since the sun moves and may only create a phenomena at certain points in a day or at certain times of year

It turns out that FF has sent some photos of trees with blazes such as the letter F or a person, so maybe that is the meaning of blaze.

Again, only FF knows…

We’ll talk more about it in part 2 or part II or part two

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No place for the Meek – the Meek?

Many people are familiar with the old west explorer and fur trapper Joe Meek. Meek went into and wrote about Yellowstone Park.

So could his name actually be the “meek” in the poem? Forest Fenn didn’t capitalize meek in the poem, but we know that FF likes to bend the rules. Could it be that meek is a proper name and Brown was not?

As far as I can tell, the area of the park that Meek visited was near the Norris Geyser basin area.

From what I have read so far, Meek sort of entered the park “accidentally.” He was separated from his crew of travelers when the were attacked by native Americans. He eventually found the group and survived the ordeal.

It doesn’t seem like Meek really spent a lot of time in YS or made a big impact there.

It looks like Meek is really mostly associated with the Oregon area, and of course OR is not in the official map area.

So as of now I doubt that this theory holds up, but who the heck knows? Only FF knows…

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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 Blaze – Part 2

Now that we know what a blaze may or not be, let’s talk about what this specific blaze might be – if Forrest Fenn placed it himself. You might think he’d use a symbol that has some relevance to himself and the chase.

Here are a few reasonable guesses:

FF states in the book that he enjoys drawing frogs and dragonflies
At the end of the book there are two Omega signs, or upside-down horseshoes
He may have used his initials, FF or one F
The poem says “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze” so maybe it is an owl
The book has a picture of a sign for FF’s art gallery. It’s not impossible that he could have hung a sign like that on a tree

The above are reasonable guesses. The below are unreasonable guesses.

There are a lot of adages in the book, especially in the chapter Dancing with the Millenium. He may have posted one on sign on a tree

Maybe it is simply a trail marker

The book talks about a grave marker that he found during his days flying in the Vietnam War. The marker contained a poem. Maybe the blaze is a similar marker containing a poem or other words of wisdom.

As we always say, only FF knows…

If you missed part 1 or part I or part one click here.

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