Featured Question with Forrest: Life’s Ending Peace

forrest fennMr. Fenn,

Yogi Berra was asked by his wife, “Yogi, if you die before me where do you want to be buried? Montclair, New York or St. Louis?” He is known to have answered, “surprise me”.   So if Peggy comes up to you and asks, “Forrest, if you die before me where do you want to be buried?”  What would your answer be?”   ~Joe


Joe, thanks for the question. I have no desire to be buried in a box. It’s too dark and cold for me, and too lasting. I would rather go into the silent mountains on a warm sunny day, sit under a tree where the air is fresh and the smell of nature is all around, and let my body slowly decay into the soil. What can be better than that? f



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53 Responses

  1. Jenny Kile says:

    Picking out an image for this Q/A makes me think….yes, that would be a beautiful way to say goodbye…..gosh….I’m emotional today..brings tears to my eyes..lol… enough!

    Thanks for sharing the Question and Answer, Joe and Forrest. Always wonderful and appreciated.

    • David Nelson says:

      Jenny I was hoping that you might pass along a question to Forrest Fenn for me. He stated that the box could be scorched by fire. That got me thinking … What about the Blaze? Could the Blaze be made unrecognizable by fire?

      Thank you Jenny

      • Kathryn says:

        Good question, David. I think anything out in the ‘wild’ can be affected by water, fire, and such. However, about the blaze and whether it could be unrecognizable . . . well, my blaze was clearly visible last year 2014 and this year due to the weather conditions it is not visible. If I did not know it was there and had pictures of it last year, I would have missed it this year 2015. It is still there but just not as visible. I wonder how many other clues can be affected in the same way. Your thoughts might help explain why it is taking years to solve. Look forward to hearing ff’s response since he knows the real blaze.

    • David says:

      I also wanted to share this. I posted it over at Dal’s site in the discussion about the Blaze.

      Has anyone seen the blaze that Forrest Fenn put on the inside cover of “To Far To Walk”? There is one there if you can find it.

  2. Gordon Swain says:

    FF is such a Romantic! I love his views on life and the way he’s lived his life! IMO I think nothing would be more fitting to go out of this world on your own terms and where you feel the most alive…somewhere in the mountains with the peace and solitude all around you.

  3. Muset says:

    If Mr. Fenn is describing the treasure location, there is a lot of information there.

    But I don’t think it’s wise to make that assumption.

    Another conundrum…

    • Jenny Kile says:

      You’re right Muset……we shouldn’t……But…..:) It makes me question the ‘cave’ theory…….wouldn’t that be ‘like a box; cold and dark’?

      Oh…..the fun of it all!! lol..

      • E* says:

        Jenny – It seems unlike Forrest to not realize that if his body is out in the open,…in the silent mountains,…it will be considered to be just another carcass by resident predators and scavengers. And it will not “slowly decay into the soil”. But that is the non-romantic side of me talking. 🙂

        p.s. Speaking of that ‘cave’ theory,…did you know that Grizzes (aka “Brown” bears) start digging their bear dens for hibernation right about now,…in the mountain high country? And that they NEVER use the same den twice? So old bear dens,…that were abandoned the previous Spring,…could still be viable locations for Forrest’s hidey space (the rangers in YNP used to give tours of some of them,…but don’t anymore). Here was my entry for the “Bad Advice” contest at Dal’s:



        We looked around the area of “Forest Creek” near a blaze there on Cabin Creek but found nothing. We also looked in a small cave further downstream where the pinnacles of the cliff look like a blaze of fire and up the side of the opposite wall about 40 feet. We took bear spray as well as our 9mm’s(some elk hunters laughed at us and said it would only make the bears madder!) Nonetheless, we had a great time as brothers on an adventure and probably will not make it back up there anytime soon. Maybe we can visit again if we get back to Santa Fe.

        Forrest responds-

        Glad you got in the chase but bummer about not finding the treasure. Don’t give up, maybe next summer. Did you see any other caves near where you were looking? f

  4. Ed says:

    Very interesting stuff indeed I think he MIGHT be giving some hints out here. Granted of course trees are everywhere…

    This from an Italian story:

    He envisioned dying in the desert with a chest full of treasures wrapped in his arms. In that sea of sand, rocks and bushes his body would wither and disappear and one day, an intrepid explorer would find his bones. Perfect plan, except for one thing: his cancer went away.

    • Newbie says:

      Another thing he may be subtly hinting that this option is still on the table.

      Is the chest hidden in the (exact) same spot that you would like your bones to be found, or is it a short distance away for reasons beyond your control? ~ Phil

      The spot is the same, but in less than two months I’ll be 84 and that means many of the things to which I once aspired are no longer available to me. I still anticipate, but I may be unable to grasp such a transient pleasure before my trail shows signs of growing too weary for the journey. To make that success would be the boldest move I ever made and to that end I just want it all the more.f

  5. Wendy Jo says:

    This great answer, forrest. It reminded me of a song I’ve performed on several occasions – Bristlecomb pine by Hugh Prestwood. Here’s a great version of it by J. Salestrom. Hope you enjoy it! Maybe I can sing it for you sometime! https://youtu.be/_gTu18pgDwY

  6. Jdiggins says:

    Jenny, that photo is GORGEOUS!
    Forrest, I know death is something we all have to face, but I don’t even want to think of the world losing you…or is it just me? I adore you forrest, well, I guess I adore who I think you are. 🙂 I don’t know you, but I wish I could’ve at least chatted with you awhile.
    I wish nothing but the best for you and your wonderful family. Truly, a blessing to us all. I hope that when you are ready, and not before…that you indeed, go in peace. 🙂

  7. sumbuddy says:

    Let’s liven things up here.

    • astree says:


      Hello. First thing, I really appreciated Forrest’s response at face value, and for the imagery and sort offeeling it invokes. There is a quiet acceptance and being at peace with life’s earthly course.

      There may or may not be any intentional wordplay. The last sentence (the question) begins and ends with ‘hat’ words.

      He has the ” I have no desire to be buried in a box”, which look interesting to me for several reasons, but otherwise I can tell you that a thread called “The Fenn Faliure Box” was just started yesterday at chasechat.com.

      The commas code “DYE” (letters before the commas), and the most recent post at chasechat.com, as of this writing, is “Ugh dying too old” thread.

      Did you find anything ?


      • spallies says:

        Wow, Jenny that is a beautiful picture… Astree, I thought the term “Silent Mountains” was odd… Would you not hear the sounds of nature? Maybe he is planning to turn his hearing aid off 🙂 Also, silent anagrams to listen?

        • astree says:

          The “silent mountains” caught my attention, too, Spallies, for several reasons ( the LISTEN is one of them). However, it might also be interesting to use it as a rail fence cipher – put “silent mountains” on “a warm summer day” (leave out spaces) – words like ART pop out immediately.

          • Kathryn says:

            Warm SUNNY day. I do not think I would want to rest in ending peace out in the mountains in the summer – there were too many bugs! This past summer I got chased away by annoying bugs. However, right now the days are sunny and warm, there are no bugs, and the mountains seem silent (until the wind blows).

      • Eliza says:


        If you extend your line of thinking to include the first comma (between Joe and thanks) as well as the letters that follow the commas, you can generate the following pairs:



        Reading the top four and bottom four letters counterclockwise we can get A-TEE DAYS. 80 days from the day of the posting (October 6) just happens to be Christmas Day!

        The individual letter pairs may also have some significance. For example, YS sounds like “wise” and these are also the two lead-off letters in the last stanza. “Wise” has also garnered some notice as the 83rd word in the 166 word poem.

        Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately, but real-world issues have been occupying my time. Hope to have them resolved well before Christmas!


      • sumbuddy says:

        I found it interesting the reply was 5 sentences, an opener, begin cap J, three body, all cap I, and close, cap W.
        I was wondering what you might make of it is all. I enjoy how you approach puzzles and such.Thank you for sharing.

        • sumbuddy says:

          The sign above this rabbit hole reads, “in here you will find understanding of the “cornerstones” of the poem”.

        • astree says:


          I had been looking at the before,after pairs but hadn’t caught the Christmas connection – very neat. The letters also anagram to EASY DATE.

          Continue to be fairly swamped for time, presently on a business trip to San Francisco.


          Thanks for that. I had been looking at the JIIIW caps, didn’t get far with it. There may be a “three eyes / third eye”, not clear to me. The corners of the poem are letters IDEA, and these are the letters before/after the commas of the first verse (to give another comma-code example).

          Will think about it some more.


          • Eliza says:

            Thanks astree.

            One (very) long shot approach to tying these two lines of thinking together.

            Once again replacing letters of the alphabet with their numerical position, along with a little homophony, we could get:

            YS DATE EA >>> Wise date 51.

            Now the fifth anniversary of TTOTC is 10/26/15, and 10 + 26 + 15 = 51.


            J III W >>> 10 3 23 >>> 10)/ 3+23 >>> 10/26.

            Also, Earhart, Amelia >>> EA.

            I’ve also been thinking about 80 days. It brings to mind Around the World in 80 Days and the image of the rotating earth that appeared on the wherewarmwatershalt.com site on August 15. Unfortunately, 80 days after August 15 is November 3, which is a long eight days after 10/26.

            Notwithstanding all of this enjoyable speculation, it’s not clear at all to me why Forrest or anyone else would be flagging particular dates.

            • spallies says:

              Wow!!! Eliza and Astree you both are amazing… The only thing I found was the word “banana” in the sentence “What can be better than that”. Nothing else makes sense though… I think I better go back to the poem… 🙂

              • Eliza says:

                I was wrong about the release date of the book. It was actually a day earlier, on October 25, 2010. So the fifth anniversary would then be 10/25/15.

                10 + 25 + 15 = 50

                When you go to WWWH.com it now opens up to 50 enormous stars!

              • astree says:


                I had the same question about warm sunny days. I didn’t pursue it to much, thinking maybe in the mountains it is warm not hot.


                If you go to wherewarmwatershalt.com , you may need to zoom out on your internet browser (not sure if it is intentional or not in the site design). It think it is an American flag on blue background.

                I have an ongoing open question about all of these finds – I don’t see many of them as relevant to the puzzle solution, but perhaps more an indication the workings of Forrest’s mind. This is one reason I think Doc will continue to be blown away as he digs deeper.


  8. Brad says:

    Hey Jenny! Love all these. Quick question did you pick the title for this Q&A or did Forrest?

  9. Jack says:

    Pin drop


    Is someone gonna introduce us to indulgence

    Are we close?

    What up with the strange F posts or it is me…

    • Kathryn says:

      Maybe Indulgence is not ready to meet people . . . shy? Maybe the search is over? IMO

      • Scratch says:

        From all I can tell, f is doing a good job and is well on his way to taking that secret to the afterlife. I’ve seen multiple statements that go either way, and then even when he appears to give a little out he comes right back and muddies the water with seeming contradictory info. I think most of us are just perplexed.

  10. Homer says:

    Here I’ll take a stab at it… He uses the word lasting LA sting so what has a sting? Sting ray? Which makes me think about Janice and Ray from L.A all about bury….kinda far out I know..

  11. 23kachinas says:

    ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
    ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

    • anna says:

      23 Kachinas, Tennesons quote seems a bit out of place here. Is it a favorite of Forrests?
      If I were exchanging quotes, A. Crowley said, “there’s no greater pain than to love in vain.”
      IMO… It’s good to be the reason for someone’s smile, if only for a little while.

  12. William says:

    I don’t know how this would make me sound but here it is, this is a sad post to me. I don’t like to think of anyone passing! I have buried to many people in my short life that I don’t wish on anybody. I might be blinded to death anymore cause I just don’t want to think about it. in my world I like to think we make our impact in the world and than we just leave. Forrest is stronger than I am to think that far ahead and how he would want things like how his father planned.
    I guess this is the cold hard reality of life is the passing.

  13. Nate Beck says:

    Nice! My new bride may not like the idea, but I would have to agree with Forrest. I like that.

  14. Ramona says:

    Well, my two cents is that Forrest is going to have his ashes spread where the chest lies. That’s the only way these days that you could let your body slowly decay into the soil. In the silent mountains, under a tree where the air is fresh and the smell of nature is all around. (Hint…Olga’s ashes)

    It actually sounds like a very peaceful and a wonderful place to be. I wouldn’t be surprised if Peggy followed. She went with him where ever he was stationed. She’s camped, fished, and been by his side all these years.

    So to think he wouldn’t do that because he wouldn’t leave Peggy is nonsense. They’ve probably plotted that last adventure together.

    Thank you Jenny and Forrest. <3

  15. Liviu says:

    It wasn’t Yogi Berra… it was BOB HOPE!
    Bob, please, a little due diligence.
    I know you said it just to see Forrest’s reaction to Berra’s name (given his predisposition of using Yogi’s words), but… come on 😉

  16. MartinS says:

    Happy National Poetry Day!!! (in the UK anyway). Do we have one of those in the US?

    Anyway, thanks to Forrest for contributing to humanity’s cache of poetry…in a big way!

  17. 23kachinas says:

    One of the things I treasure most about the chase is the exposure to another generations inspirations through reading Scrapbooks on Dal’s site and posts here on MW.

    A Yogi quote I learned today: “90% of the game is half mental.”

  18. Belle says:

    What a peaceful thought.

  19. anna says:

    There may be as many interpretations of Forrest’s poem and his subsequent statements as people reading them. I’m a bit surprised that we limit interpretations narrowly to the physical. One of f’s more revealing comments is that he is very spiritual.

    The poem’s directions are an enigma. This post alternately seems more of a spiritual directive – like Forrest is seeking internal peace for his soul in the solitude of nature. IMO, his transparency here holds a message…forget every care and anxious thought stemming from the external world or the voices in your head. Get out of yourself and away from your passions in order to hear the voice of God living within your soul. When the mind is emptied of clutter and worldly noise, the voice of contentment and strength allow one’s spirit to mount up with wings of eagles and soar. We are more than flesh and bones. It’s our spirit that enjoys a sunrise and feels joy.

    If warm waters halt at T or cross, many walk quickly past the ‘rest’ or contentment which can be found in surrendering our external passions to find spiritual peace.

  20. E* says:

    Hi Jenny – On this other page on your blog,…you wrote:


    “The sentence includes not just ‘brave’, but ‘in the wood’ as well. What could ‘in the wood’ suggest? The center section of wood is called the heart. The heart is ‘in the wood’. Could then ‘If you are brave and in the wood’ imply ‘the heart of America’?”

    And this Q/A page with Forrest mentions him choosing a tree to sit under,…in the “silent mountains”. In my mind,…due to the typical growing elevations in Montana I found for Whitebark Pine trees at 5,300-9,300ft,…and due the longevity and importance of this “keystone species”,…this tree would be my choice (and they remain standing,…even if struck by lightning,…which transforms the heart wood inside,…or if they suffer infestation):



    That fits Forrest’s view that the Poem would work for 1,000 years,…right?

  21. LoneStarboy says:

    Hopefully, when the: ‘cache’ is found, the ‘wise ones’ will make a collaboration with Forrest to: keep the dream alive! a new site, a new dream, would be interesting to see a movie of the first quest built and the search conclusion.

    • JC1117 says:

      That sounds like a great idea, LoneStarboy. Hopefully Forrest (and the finder) will have another 15 years to come up with something good and another decade or two for the loot to be discovered. That way Forrest will be about 110 or 120 years old…which sounds awesome!…as long as he’s still got Peggy by his side…and he’s still having a blast. He deserves it.

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