Forrest’s Surprise Words: Alone in There

forrest fenn treasure huntSurprise

Mr Fenn,

A blog is making a big deal about you liking to be alone. Your poem says, “As I have gone alone in there.” The final chapters in several books say something like “…alone with only my thoughts…”

I recently read that you frequently sit in the shade alone for hours and water your trees. Is being alone some kind of weird thing with you Mr fenn, or what? Sally McIntosh


That practice does not suffer a sinister side Sally, It’s just that I enjoy the solitude and the company. f


Best of luck with the Thrill of the Chase and all that you seek!  Treasure the Adventure!


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107 Responses

  1. JL says:

    Wise Words,
    Until you can learn to enjoy and be comfortable alone how can you ever expect to enjoy the company of others or for others to enjoy your company.

  2. Seeker says:

    Solitude and the company. Alone never means you’re really alone, if the thoughts you keep are yours alone.

  3. Jeremy P. says:

    That’s a lot of S’s. Just sayin’.

  4. Onuat says:

    Silence is golden. 🙂

  5. Jenny Kile says:

    Thanks for another surprise, Forrest!
    Makes me think of how both such wonder and wisdom can be found in thoughts…… I love searching there…

  6. Crow says:

    Alone is not a negative – actually IMO it is a positive. Buddha or the Dali Lama (not sure) said something to the effect that when we talk we speak about things we already know – it is like shallow water in a babbling creek. IMO to be alone is to grant ourselves time to think deeply and thoroughly. The Dali Lama thinks alone, Jesus went to the mountain alone – and many forget that the Socratic method requires ‘alone thought’ before sharing. To be silent and to listen to nature and to attend to one’s thoughts is critical for creativity and problem solving. Alone does not have to mean sitting in a stupor – it can be done while performing a task like raking leaves or walking the beach. There can be others around – not interacting but just also in deep thought. IMO it is in still waters that thoughts run deep. Perhaps being ‘alone’ is necessary to think deeply to grasp a problem or ‘poem’ before babbling and repeating what was already said. To be alone is to be confident and brave. IMO 🙂

    • Ellen says:

      Hello Crow…being comfortable with being alone speaks to the person within. I personally see it as a positive time to recharge the soul when needed. Thanks.

    • Chesney says:

      I like the way you think, Crow. Often, when I am in nature, or doing something like mowing lawn… my mind drifts into a shelted state. I cansteal away in nature, and be like the “Great Thinker” statue, while I am still doing something. Kenny

  7. Jamie Jones says:

    F’s Tree Time reminds me of Johnson’s Living Root…(and a bit of Sloane’s ‘Reverence for Wood’)…I wonder if such words ever dance in his head…here’s so

    I stepped back quietly, entranced,
    Through the darkness of the alley way,
    As naked Indians gravely danced
    Inside his garden where the moonlight lay.

    When they had passed, I waited there
    And listened to the drum and shout
    Die slowly into shaken air;
    And then I sighed and turned about

    To find between me and the wood
    That held my alleys deepest shade
    An Indian standing, still and tall,
    So near me that I felt afraid.

    He was part of the silent night,
    As darkly still; I could not see
    His eyes flash any glint of light.
    …I passed him as I would a tree.

    Rock on f….and thank you

  8. Wendy Jo says:

    It’s probably where Forrest gets his artistic ideas. I can relate, as it’s the place that I receive my best music compositions.

  9. Chesney says:

    I am currently designining signs for a certain place, near where I believe Indulgence is located. It gives me an opportunity to leave her for awhile longer, and focus on my artistic abilities. If I could only sleep at night, I would be golden!!!!!

  10. Chesney says:

    Ms. Kile, Was this photo yours???

  11. astree says:

    Alone in thoght, sounds great. (astree would like to try that more often).
    Great surprise words, many of the great people in history have spent time, sometimes extended period, alone in thought.
    Every great accomplishment begins with thought (and great poems uncountable thoughts). None is an accident. Thanks Forrest and Jenny.

    (Yes, great picture, whoever’s choose it)

  12. Carolyn says:

    Chesney, do you sing?

  13. E.C. Waters says:

    Geez. Another big dele? And “Sally” again? “Company”? Why are we sallied with military terms? And why the repetition of “sinister”?

  14. JD says:

    I discovered that an archaic definition of Sinister includes = On the left side.
    How interesting. What is evil or sinister on the left side? Left side of what?
    Solitude and company. Two sides of the same coin? What is in the middle?

    Just meaningless thoughts of an old fool

    • Jeremy P. says:

      Fenn says he’s a “trying to recover salt and pepper conservative”. So… evil and sinister on the -left-?

      Sorry, couldn’t resist. I generally try to stay out of politics, especially in an election year.

  15. Thomas says:

    Sorry but is anyone trying to find Forests chest? Hi Jenny, I look at his poem as just a map, Fenn is smart but he’s no scholar. Don’t let the word alone make your mind wonder away from the task at hand. Alone in there, some words from the first sentence ! Very important, the Rocky Mountains has millions of acres,that very first sentence when solved will neural that down to thousands or hundreds. The rest of the poem will lead you in there, towards the end it will pen point the spot, that is all. If you fine the area that the first sentence is talking about you will start locating places that is mentioned in the poem that makes more cent’s. I know, what do I know! You can take it for what it is, but think about why you are searching an area, is it because there is some warm waters halt or because there is something Brown in.there or because Forest wrote the word’s,begin it .I really believe the first sentence is the key, “As I have gone alone in there”. This must make sense to you in the area you are looking 100% For example, alone, Forest made sure to say he did all this on his own, his wife noir his kid played apart. If he had any one help him then the word he needs you to say would not work. A man alone in there is a ( Hermit ) northeast of Santa Fe is Hermits Peak with thousands of acres around it, note it’s not on the peak but maybe in the forest reserve around it, just saying. Oh that was just an example.,,,Thank you for your time and happy hunting

  16. 23kachinas says:

    The silence outside helps to calm the noise created inside.

  17. Well you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else…

  18. Twingem says:

    Although I enjoy being social, I much prefer to be alone.

    Recently, I went on a hike alone. I used every safety precaution possible, but I just felt the need to be alone in nature. It was so glorious. I know it was a risk, but a carefully planned and calculated risk. Too risk is often the precusor to fully live and know oneself in my opinion. Love requires it too.

  19. It’s where imagination takes hold.

  20. Mike Forni says:

    I like these nifty notes from Fenn. His messages are always in disguise.. The “name” of the sender can be just as important as the message. McIntosh, sounds like Macintosh to me. Spending hours on the computer. That’s what Fenn LOVES. Who is more engaging than Fenn on the computer? No one. LOL. Is this just another way to say www = where warm waters halt? Just a fleeting thought. Happy Monday.

  21. For those of you that have gotten a glasses or contact lens prescription it has OD and OS.
    OD is Ocular Dexter – or Right
    OS is Ocular Sinister – or Left
    Forrest has said he only has to be 85% right, does that mean he is only 15% left and if he looks in a mirror does right= left and left= right? If so, how do you reconcile Clock WISE vrs Counter Clock WISE?
    Are the 4 cards right and the Joker left? If so that makes Forrest 80% right and 20% tricky!!!
    At the End of his rainbow does the Joker make the left – right – I think so!!!
    It is a true art the way Forrest makes us think!!!

    • JL says:

      Ya he’s a pill, but if you pull hard enuff to the right you end up left and vice-versa, either way he goes he could make it work 80 percent is close enuff to being right your not wrong.

  22. WiseOne says:

    Thanks f & J.
    This also takes me back to Scrapbook #148 //// f writes, “Soon I’ll plant 200 pine saplings…”
    What type of pines did you plant, forrest? Piñon? Or a taller species to provide more shade?
    Newly planted trees need to be kept moist so the roots don’t dry out. I would imagine there in a dry desert climate like SF, they’d need to be kept watered fairly frequently.
    Oh well, a good excuse to escape for a while… Just to think.. and reminisce.

    • JL says:

      I remember that one and unless he has a bigger piece of property than I’m thinking I just can’t figure out how he’s gonna get that many pine trees in his back yard. It seems I read somewhere his house was on about 2 acres in Sante Fe. I have about 2 acres and plant 1or 2 pines a year but I would be hard pressed to fit 200 of them on my property.

      • WiseOne says:

        Yes JL… And he has that large pond/waterfall area… Plus, I believe there’s also a small guest house on the property, and a driveway winding through. So I think he very well may have embellished a bit on that 200 number. Is that a hint or confirmation of some sort? 😉 Probably.
        But as far as this surprise word post goes… I really think forrest just wanted to tell us how much he appreciates and enjoys being out in nature. I get it.

  23. Jacob says:

    The X is destroyed. A tree is cut down to block the way. Someone or a group is clearly making it hard for anyone else to narrow the search and find indulgence. Forrest, if you are reading this I believe a selfish few have been covering the trail. I visited my search area for the 4th time this weekend. Not only was the X completely destroyed (which was hard to do), but there was a single tree dropped right at the spot where the path gets tight and only 1 person can walk through at a time. I realize I may not have the right spot, but I know there is more than a coincidence or a hunch pointing me there. I am seriously considering posting my entire solve online to open the gates and level the playing field for anyone willing to find it and share it. I have many BOTG pictures to support my theory. Trust that.

    • Strawshadow says:

      Sorry to hear about your woes Jacob. Think through your solve, even if the “X” is gone that shouldn’t have a bearing. My “X” is shaded and only appears during darker times which I am glad for.

    • JL says:

      Be careful and don’t get frustrated, once the cats outta the bag you will never be able to get it back in there again. Special places are special because the masses aren’t there to disfigure and disgrace. I don’t think as many know of the special area as you think and if it’s the same tree I found well I just crawled over it.

  24. Jacob says:

    Thanks for the words JL and Strawshadow. I suppose you are right. I am from WI and find it difficult to get many friends willing to travel that far to search with me. I would love to get together with some other deep thinking treasure hunters in the fall and go on a final expedition to recover indulgence but who knows what the future will hold. It is sad that I have nobody to discuss my solve with except myself… but maybe FF would appreciate that. 🙂

    • JL says:

      “It is sad that I have nobody to discuss my solve with except myself… but maybe FF would appreciate that.” 🙂

      The Major tricked us into attending the FF school for Thinkers………… but some attended willingly and others were already there.

    • C.M.R. says:

      I don’t think I would even tell where I don’t think it is. Even if that were Canada.

  25. 5-leaf blaze says:

    The one who is closest may be a leftist(?) and Forrest felt alone until this person came along recently

    • JL says:

      5-leaf blaze,
      That is an interesting theory, I bet the leftist would like to think so. I don’t think politics will lead you to F’s special location only the Poem. It could be a person of no political affiliation that just tries to vote for what they think would be the right choice from the candidates that are left.

    • Salt Lick says:

      OH! You must have read my mind!

  26. Coronado 1521 says:

    Does anyone see the pick axe? Must be somewhere to dig, if you believe Fenn is giving hints? The flogging will continue until the moral improves!

    The foundation of life is trust, without trust there is no foundation.

      • Snider says:

        Coronado I can’t pull up your picture.
        Can you say what picture you are talking about?
        Or give another link to it.
        I like how you define trust.

    • JL says:

      He has always said he is not going to say anything to help you find the chest, but then he turns around and gives Weekly Words and interviews. He enjoys saying things that may be a hint but you have no way of knowing for sure. The only thing a person knows for sure is the poem will lead you to the treasure if you know where to start and that you need to think a certain way.

      If the interviewers where searchers I wonder if they could come up with more creative questions where F could not be so evasive. Sometimes it seems like a game of psychological warfare if it wasn’t for they feeling I get that he does not mean any harm on anyone and I let my imagination get the best of me.

      • Chesney says:

        He wants it over, after Randy. If someone were not so close, he might consider ending it prematurely. All IMHO!

        • JL says:

          The Randy tragedy just doesn’t add up for me, seems by now some evidence would have turned up. If someone was that close they would know it. Maybe they just need to clear their mind, go for a walk in the mountains. Stop and smell the roses, but sometimes there are no roses around or it’s the wrong season. I know I have traveled to a lot of spots. I’ve spent a lot of thought on how F could be so certain it’s not found and that there will be no question of ownership. Forrest is the only one that holds All the pieces, so if he thinks he needs to end it he’s the only one that can make that call. There are casualties in every game of life, heck u go to the grocery store and don’t make it home, person just needs to realize that and make sure they are prepared.

          • Chesney says:

            I know it weighs on his mind. I saw an article written back in April in a NM paper, “If someone drowns in a pool, do we drain it or teach people to swim”…. very close not verbatim…perhaps. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

  27. C.M.R says:

    Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get the key. It may take me until the cows come home, but I will always try again. For now I wait.

  28. Spade says:

    Why all the S’s. Didn’t Forrest say it was more than 8.25 miles north of SF, I’m confused.

    • JL says:

      If it was only three s’s I would say shoot, shovel, shut up…………… but I guess we need to get creative with the fourth one.

      • Going Dark says:

        I think Sometime, Somewhere, Somehow, Somebody, will be standing there and discover an interpretation of a word that is key to the key. It will be a Eureka moment and they will know for sure.

        • Mike Forni says:

          I have read the Swensen aka SidnCharley solve. A brilliant solve. Some = Sum. It took me 4 hours to read and process. Fascinating. So many brilliant solves out there… If Fenn would just tip his hand a little….


        • Thomas says:

          I had that moment, I just can’t get out their or get any one to really hear what I’m.saying. The funny thing is I could write down the nine clues and the way to the chest, but noboby cares!

          • C.M.R says:

            The exact 9 clues is the hard part. No shortcuts. Please write down the 9 clues for me. I care. LOL.

            • Thomas says:

              OK, If you have Google Earth it’s a must so you can follow along. On the left in Google Earth turn on your roads and hwy. and pictures and terrain, also place’s. Clue #1 As I have gone ALONE , Forest is a man, a man alone is a hermit. Just northeast of Santa Fe in the search area is Hermits Peak. To get ( in there ) Clue#2 I can keep my SECRET where, ( Las Vegas ) what happens in Vegas stay’s in Vegas. Not Las Vegas NV. But Las Vegas N.M. Forest Say’s in the next sentence, and hint of riches new and old, click on Las Vegas N.M. the Galliunas River runs threw the center, one side is the old town the other is new town. Las Vegas N.M. only has a hint of riches compared to Las Vegas NV. in the new town and the old. Clue#3 Begin it where WARM WATERS HALT, leaving Las Vegas N.M. on Hot springs blv. towards Hermits Peak you come to the ( Beginning ) of the Galliunas canyon at Montazoma, next to the road are some hot spring, very old. They halt in some rocked up tubs, click the pic. icon one is named ( cooler then a hot spring ) Warm I would say! Clue#4 Canyon Down, if you look it up canyon down means , in the canyon all the way.At this point you are on Forest road, yes Forest, stay on that road all the way threw the canyon not far, but to far to walk, you will reach the point when Forest road will go straight and another Forest road turns left. Now stop at that intersection, we.know we must go all the way to the end of the canyon. At the intersection starting at the gate is Hermits Peak Forest Reserve. Clue #4 PUT IN means to enter, BELOW THE HOME OF BROWN, on up the road you will see a place with a lot of ponds around it, I looked they place up and found out that in the 50’s and 60’s Charles and Nena Middleton ran a camp and Brown Trout hatchery there, they would release them in the Galliunas River, look them up! OK, we are still at the intersection go ahead and enter straight on, Clue #5 From their its no place for the MEEK, Clue #6 just HEAVY LOADS and Clue #7 WATER HIGH, after entering the Reserve the road is bad ( meek ) there are huge granite rock over head along the road ( heavy loads ) you also have to cross the river a few times with no bridges ( water high ) Forest is telling you to keep going the end is ever drawing high, their will be no paddles up your creek, just heavy loads and water high. When you pass the Middleton place the road stop’s it’s right before that point, Clue # 8 he says if you been wise and FOUND the BLAZE witch means you don’t have to leave your car to try to find the blaze, the used the word found, on Google Earth look to the right on the hill behind the Middleton place is a very large granite rock all by it’s self you could see from the road, if you’ve been wise and made it this far you will see the blaze sticking out like a source thumb. You are going to park and go up on top of the granite rock and walk to the edge and quickly look down , straight down you will spot the chest and your quest will cease. But before you retrieve it Forest wood like for you to look around at the beauty from the top of the rock, it’s special. I believe there is a spring coming out below and the cheat is in it, don’t worry it will be worth the cold. Clue#9 YOU HAVE IT ! if you look at the chest on the inside lid there is a peace of wood, if your brave take it apart the title to the gold is behind there, signed by Forest and his Lawyer to the finder of the chest. Thank you, any question’s ??

              • Stumped... says:

                How does the missing ball of twine and no place for biddies from TTOTC fit into your solve?

                • Thomas says:

                  There are lots of story’s Fenn could tell you about the time he was most likely up the Galliunas Canyon, When he said I never considered myself a writer and.he said he considered himself more as a pirate at writing. I found in a 1964 Cowboy Reunion book , a story called “Half Way To Heaven” It starts out with, ” If your ever in Las Vegas N.M. and you ask, “Which was is heaven from here”? Everyone would point up the Galliunas canyon , reads all most to the tee, Fenn’s poem and take you to the Middleton’s, it talks about passing the springs, the large castle like Hotel which was a Harvey House in Montazoma, and about going in the canyon and down, entering the road at the forest reserves it says ” Look Out ” the road gets rough from there strange there’s heavy loads of granite above your head and the water gets deep at the crossing. At that part of the story before it talks about the Middletons it says you pass a two story log cabin people called The Palace , it always seem to have a vehicle with Texas license plates parked in the drive. Look up the story you will not believe the senility it has with Fenn’s poem. Just saying!

                • thomas says:

                  I believe Forest made his poem from a story in a 1964 Cowboy Reunion book called ” Half Way To Heaven” , they have had these reunions cents Teddy Roosevelt’s ruff riders , and they would gather at the hot springs outside of town in a Harvey House in Montezuma N.M. ( there no place for biddies their LOL )

        • JL says:

          quick down= reflection in my part of the world……

  29. JohnR says:

    “I recently read that you frequently sit in the shade alone for hours and water your trees.”
    Anybody know where she read this? Thanks

  30. Mike Forni says:

    I am very, very grateful for the excitement, creativity, effort and generosity Fenn has put into “The Chase”. He carries heavy load my friends. I hope those close to him are keeping a watchful eye and keeping him protected. It reminds me of a quote from Vince Lombardi — “I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the battlefield – victorious.” If the treasure is found tomorrow or in the 1,000 years. You have won Fenn! You have won! Cheers!

  31. Jazz Trombone says:

    Here here to Mike F’s comment! Kind of hard to believe someone is close but not chomping at the bit to complete the task. It must be more challenging than we know, or maybe there’s some other obstacle that requires time or teamwork to overcome. High drama huh? Thanks everyone for all the great questions and answers. This is such a fun site!

    • Chesney says:

      I can and would like to be the first to say, enough drama! Mr. Fenn created a stage-like scenario… but the drama is seen by bystanders!

      • Jazz Trombone says:

        I’m not sure what the bystanders comment is meant to express Mr. Chesney. I happen to be as far from a bystander as it gets, struggling sinister side and all. As for drama, please excuse if the word bothers you. Look at today’s date. What a great drama unfolded on this day in 1969! A flag was planted that still flies at full mast (technically it does not but I believe its successors do) while this month hardly a day has passed with our flag at full mast down here. Some drama reminds us of our better selves. Best to you. J AZ

  32. Bailey says:

    I am loving these “Surprise Words”. Thanks. Looking forward to another treasure hunting trip next month. I usually get a healthy dose of solitude on my trips. I’m a good salesman and pitching the idea of a treasure hunt is easy, but I can never seem to get any of my buddies past the 2 or 3 days worth of driving it takes to get out to the Rockies and the 2 or 3 days it takes to get back to Georgia. I mean come on! What could be better than 3 days worth of “Punch-Buggy” and talk radio.

  33. XB says:

    I dug the treasure out of its hide two weeks ago and forgot to tell you all that the chase is over. I’m sorry I forgot it in the back of the jeep. A news story on the web reminded me of it again.! Why ask Forrest he doesn’t know what’s up, old guy not really in touch an has not been back. Disregard what he says!

    • Chesney says:

      I respectfully request, that you provide some evidence that you found “Indulgece”. Furthermore, send Mr. Fenn His row bracelet back, he has done so much. There are a ton of you jokers out here playing games, so show me “The Hole card”! 😀 No real people were harmed in the making of this post. 😀

  34. curious says:

    why hasent fenn updated anything this week?

  35. curious says:

    I do hope it is better than the last one. It seemed lame or I missing something.

  36. Marita says:

    Hello Jenny,

    Can you please ask Mr. Fenn these two questions:
    What kind of shoes were you wearing when you hid the treasure?
    Do you speak Spanish?
    Muchas Gracias,

  37. C.M.R says:

    Sometimes I’m glad I don’t have to be “alone in there”. My head can be a crazy place to live. My wife just reminded me. Sometimes a picture can be worth a thousand words. I just think about fishing.

  38. Thomas says:

    EVERYONE MUST READ MY REPLY TO. C.M.R. and give feed back, I have the answer to it all!!!

  39. Thomas says:

    By: Naoma G. Thomas , Half way to heaven, look this story up

  40. Thomas says:

    Do you think Forest and his Dad ever attended the Cowboy Reunion they have had in Las Vegas New Mexico for years? It makes dance that he did, and there is some terrific fishing up into the Gallinas canyon

  41. Lindsay D. says:

    New(ish) to the chase. Just wondering why everyone is saying that someone is so close? What did F say to imply this?

  42. Amy says:

    I need to get out of this house-so much negativity here. Better to be alone with “my own ” thoughts. Please dont abandon me. I want a partner and boy do i need a math teacher…and psychologist. I was hearing others again.

  43. Uken2it says:

    Time of solitude reminds of getting back in the box
    Dear Mz. Mary,
    The solve is difficult for many searchers because their minds think the clues are tougher to decrypt than they really are.
    Some say they are trying to think outside the box, as if the solution lies somewhere out there. Until now I have resisted telling them to get back in the box where their thoughts are comfortable and flow more easily. (Partial quote July 1, 2016 “Get Back in the Box”

  44. sumus omnes says:

    you’re never alone in the solitude of nature, nor will you ever be alone in your thoughts

    • Buckeye Bob says:

      That’s so true. The trouble with that for me is that while I like some of my other personalities, there’s this one guy in my head that’s a real jerk! 😉

      • JC1117 says:

        He must be a lot like my boss, Bob. He made me work until midnight last night! That was a 16 hour day. I swear…I need to buy some Jerk-b-gone spray. I asked for some at the store a while back…but all they had was mace.

  45. Brad Hartliep says:

    Solitude is Underrated .. The Most Valuable Land on Planet Earth is Undeveloped and Teeming with Life – in the Soil, in the Water, in the Rocks. In the Plants and in the Animals and in the Blue Clouds Above .. Nature Undefiled is the Greatest Story Ever Told – Yet it’s Never Won an Oscar ..


  46. Lisa Cesari says:

    Brad – Forrest wrote:

    “That practice does not suffer a sinister side Sally, It’s just that I enjoy the solitude and the company. f”

    I think he means he enjoys his OWN company. Who better to keep him company but himself?


  47. Smartblonde says:

    Everyone dies alone; not everyone can enjoy being alone, and that makes death so terrifying that people often refuse to even think of it. Forrest had considered it, Forrest planned for one of the final thrills, not “leaving a legacy” as some think, but the thrill of setting up the chase.

  1. July 18, 2016

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