Forrest Fenn Deserves an Award

I always meant to visit Yellowstone National Park. I never went until I read about Forrest Fenn and his treasure. I know I’m not the only one that was inspired by FF to get off the sofa and onto the chase. I am sure many people have visited YS while on the hunt for FF’s treasure.

YS officials should be thankful and acknowledge the contribution FF has made to their park.

I spent a lot of money on the chase. I spent a lot on gas, car rental, a book, restaurants and motels during my hunt. It was good for the economy.

Hooray!

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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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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More on Brown

This is not the highly anticipated Part 3 of the Home of Brown series that you are eagerly awaiting. Somehow I forgot to type a couple of vital points that were supposed to go in part 2. Think of this as 2a or 2.1 or something

If “the home of Brown” does indeed refer to Joe Brown the gold miner, a couple of things come into focus:

First, since we know that Forrest Fenn takes liberties in his writing, the “heavy loads” in the poem might be a deliberate misspelling of ‘lodes.’ Lodes is a word often associated with ore and mining – such as gold mining.

Second, the “treasures new and old” could refer to the treasure of gold that Joe Brown mined back in the 19th century. Sadly, the information online about Brown and his gold haul is wildly inconsistent. It appears that he found something like 400 ounces of gold in the mouth of Bear Gulch in or near Yellowstone. At today’s gold price, that is over $500,000.

Please disregard the numbers – what really matters here is that you could easily say that Joe Brown found a fortune in the area.

Ok, that was a nice ending – for now!

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