Grey Owl – No Fenn Treasure There

OK, here’s my logic on one failed attempt involving the clues that Forrest Fenn gave us in The Thrill of the Chase poem.

– I started near the north entrance of Yellowstone. In another post we covered the connection of Mammoth Hot Springs and the nearby army base. I was guessing this may be Where Warm Waters Halt.
– I moved into the Black Canyon of Yellowstone north of the park, in Montana
– Moving along the Yellowstone River, you can ‘put in’ below the Joe Brown Trailhead (home of Brown?) and continue to move north with the river. Yes, the river runs northward.
– Along the river you may encounter high waters. You may also find heavy loads in a few places – such as Point of Rocks, a fishing spot. OR you may look to the town of Emigrant, MT – a former railroad town. Heavy loads may have been carried on the railroad.
– Then the blaze we are looking for would be found if you are wise. We’ve all heard of the “wise old owl.” This could mean the Grey Owl fishing area. Right inside the Grey Owl area, you’ll find a cement panel on the ground containing a poem dedicated to “Mark.” No last name. Was this actually a mark as in marking the spot? The poem was not unlike the one on the tomb of the French Soldier in “The Thrill of the Chase.” I should have taken a photo or written down the poem. All I can remember is part of the final line – something like ‘only god knows.’

Could this be the blaze? I say no. The area just didn’t seem right. It was pretty small and there was a lot of standing water – indicating it was prone to flooding. As I said before, I don’t think Forrest Fenn would want his body to be a washed away in a flood or be so close to hikers and fishermen. But to be sure, I scoured it anyway.

At one point I found a hollow tree, with a mark in the bark (a blaze) that resembled a hand with one finger pointing to the hole in the tree. I climbed up and looked inside the tree, but there was no treasure chest. And who would want to spend eternity in a hollow tree? At one point I thought “in the wood” meant inside a hollow tree, but now that doesn’t make sense.

In Grey Owl I found a box for an unrelated geocaching club, as well as a plastic yellow easter egg with a Three Musketeers bar inside. I left them as they were. I also found some kind of monument to Grumpy, which I perceived to be a hunting dog as the monument consisted of shotgun shells by a concrete tablet.

There is suggestion that you may need to cross a river or creek to get the treasure. Because the river was so high and fast in June 2014, I was only able to get part way across to a small island, using some fallen logs. You may want to go there and cross more of the river when the water calms, but I’ll be shocked if that leads to the treasure.

So in conclusion, I think this was the wrong solution and place.

But who the heck knows? Only FF…

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The Home of Brown – Part 2

After learning of Joe Brown in the Yellowstone (YS) area, I looked up the name for more information. I read that Joe Brown looked for gold in the mouth of a creek now known as Bear Creek. (And he found it!)

So off I went.

The creek was easy enough to find on the map. It appears to be north of the park, yet according to physical sign posts, it may actually be within the border of the park. Regardless, it connects to the Yellowstone River to the north. You can reach the mouth by foot if you travel along The Yellowstone Trail

Thanks to Google Earth, I was able to see the trail, but finding the start to it was another story. I decided to park in a lot to the west in Jardine. There was a sign for the Gallatin National Forest. I started walking east, hoping I could eventually find the right trail.

I soon ran into a sign marking private property, with a barbed wire fence. I didn’t feel like trespassing, especially since I hoped to walk back to the car carrying a huge treasure. So I walked south along the fence line. Eventually I found a sign post for the border of YS park. I was home free!

So I followed the trail for hours until finally I hit the bridge over Bear Creek, along the Yellowstone trail. The water was raging rapid white water, with huge boulders sticking out. No place for the meek to be sure. Even a name like Bear Creek might scare off the meek. What a thrill – I thought it looked perfect for the poem’s clues

The east side of the creek was a steep slope – not navigable on foot. The west side had a short trail, bordered by what appeared to be a man-made rock wall. So I dropped my backpack and walked up the trail – looking for a blaze of some kind.

I found what I thought look like the ideal spot – a bunch of rocks on the side of the bank that would make a perfect little shelter for the treasure and an eternal resting spot. There was a sign on a tree that was no longer legible. Maybe a wise person would recognize this as a blaze

But there was no treasure. Had someone beat me to it? This spot matched the poem clues and visually seemed perfect both in the water and on the shores. It was by far the best prospect I had found in person.

I scoured the area, but didn’t find any better spots. I walked as far as a person could walk. I know the water in June 2014 was really high and fast due to the vast winter snow melt, but it is hard to imagine crossing that creek safely any time.

Then I headed back west on the trail. At this point, I’m not sure that trail officially exists anymore. At one point I saw a sign showing the trail going another direction. I walked to the end of my trail – where I found another sign post marking the border of YS park. The trail literally starts and ends in the middle of the woods. That meant I had to improvise to get back to the car. I knew I had to go up, north, and west. At that point I didn’t really care about crossing through private property. It had been a heck of a day and somewhere I found the strength to push through and reach the car. Along the way I saw a shrub full of long brown fur, and walked above the river on a trail that probably wasn’t safe. Too bad I didn’t have a working camera

If you want to double-check this area, find a different starting point. Maybe to the east of the creek on the YS Trail. If the water looks dangerous, do not try to cross, other than using the bridge.

Upon returning home, I found some troubling and confusing info on our friend Joe Brown. I’m currently waiting for some research requests to be completed. If and when the new info is available, I’ll pass it along.

Until then, stay waiting on the edge of your seats!

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The Home of Brown – Part 1

FF has said that if he revealed the location of the Home of Brown, someone could walk right to the treasure. So this is obviously a key clue.

Many people have noted that Brown is capitalized in the poem, so it must be a person or place. Others say that FF ignores or intentionally manipulates rules of grammar as he sees fit, so capitalization is a non-issue.

Brown could refer to brown trout. Forest Fenn is known to be an avid fisherman, specifically enjoying fly fishing for trout. Brown could refer to the brown bear or grizzly. As far as I can tell, neither would be capitalized if proper grammar was enforced.

So what else could it be? At one point, I thought it might be a proper name for a specific trout – like a record sized fish.

Then I found a spot that I had driven past numerous times – the Joe Brown trailhead. I hiked the trail, all the while looking for some type of blaze. This trail just keeps going up, up up. If you “put in” you might be starting the trail. The trailhead is the start of the trail and it is certainly below this trail in terms of altitude.

I didn’t find the treasure there, but it was a heck of a hike. Who knows – maybe I just missed it. I looked pretty hard for trees with some kind of marking but didn’t see any. The only sign I saw on the trail was right near the start. I looked around it, but there was no treasure. It wouldn’t have made sense as a place for his eternal resting place anyway – too close to the road.

I saw some rocks with orange colors. I looked around many of them but found no treasure.

To be continued in part 2!

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