Six Questions with Cynthia Meachum: Author of Chasing Fenn’s Treasure

searching for Forrest fenn's treasure


Cynthia Meachum has been searching earnestly for Forrest Fenn’s treasure since 2013 and has recently published an incredible account of her adventures in ‘Chasing Fenn’s Treasure’.  Cynthia’s book offers compelling details, thoughts, ideas, and facts about Forrest Fenn’s treasure hunt.  It’s a must read for anyone actively hunting for Forrest’s hidden treasure chest.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to ask Cynthia the following Six Questions.  While reading her book it was clear she has whole heartily taken Forrest up on his dare to find his treasure.  Chasing Fenn’s Treasure provides persuasive interpretations and unique insights on the poem, and so I’m excited to hear what more she might have to say!  Enjoy!

(PLUS, MW is hosting a GiveAway for a free copy of Chasing Fenn’s Treasure by Cynthia Meachum.  See details below)

Six Questions with Cynthia

  • 1Q) Forrest Fenn’s treasure hunt is such an extraordinary challenge.  When you first became aware of it, what went through your mind? How would you say your thoughts about the treasure and your search have changed since first learning about it? And what was your inspiration for writing Chasing Fenn’s Treasure?

At first I thought, “How hard can this be?” I mean solving the poem and finding Fenn’s treasure chest. (I’m smiling at myself as I write this.) Now I understand the difficulty and complexity of solving the poem, which is paramount in finding the treasure. Searching became more about the adventure than finding the trove. I wrote the book so others who cannot search boots-on-the-ground for whatever reason can still go vicariously through my stories. My parents live in an elderly community… the book was originally designed for them. Then I decided to add additional Fenn information for anyone newish to the Chase or for those who don’t have time to keep up reading the various blogs.


  • forrest fenn treasure hunt book2Q) Chasing Fenn’s Treasure shares compelling solves, ideas and details for the finding of Forrest’s secreted bronze treasure chest. Not to mention it includes countless awe-inspiring snapshots of the places you’ve searched in New Mexico.  Can you share why you feel so strongly it is in New Mexico? Do you ever consider one of the other states (Colorado, Montana, or Wyoming) for Forrest’s treasure to be hidden in? 

For awhile I thought Forrest hid the treasure chest near Santa Fe to give back to the community … to the place he chose to move to after retiring from the military… to the place where he “wanted the world to stop and let him out.” (quote from The Everlasting Forrest Fenn in California Sunday Magazine.)

About 6 months ago, I decided to broaden my search area and go where the poem takes me… and that is Montana, or maybe Wyoming, or possibly Colorado.


  • 3Q) Thousands have searched for Forrest Fenn’s treasure, and yet it remains undiscovered.  It’s been said the first clue is vital and one of most difficult clues to determine. Why do you feel that is?  Do you feel ‘Where Warm Waters Halt’ is only to be confirmed once the treasure is found? Or do you feel the poem might hold a confirmation or hint for the first clue in some way?

These are great questions… unfortunately I don’t have any answers. IMO, I think Forrest had to make the first clue/ the starting place extremely cryptic, so the treasure chest would remain hidden for many years, even centuries. I think the poem does indeed hold a hint to where warm waters halt but the only way we will know it’s the right solution is to find the treasure chest.


  • 4Q) Many times in your book you mention discovering treasures of a different kind while out exploring the mountains north of Santa Fe. What would you say are some of the best treasures you have experienced or discovered while searching for Forrest’s treasure? Do you feel you would have found these treasures if not for the hunt?

So far, I’ve never found any tangible objects that are really cool like other searchers have shared with us. But I have discovered new hiking trails and the vistas along the way including my favorites Hamilton Mesa in the Pecos Wilderness and Bull Spring Meadow near Taos Canyon. A few life-time friendships have been forged as well. None of these would have happened without Forrest and the Chase.


  • 5Q) Like others, you’ve been so fortunate to chat face to face with Forrest numerous times over the last few years, and have gotten to know him and his expressions more. Do you ever get the sense he wants the treasure to be found and the hunt be over?  Or do you feel he would rather pass feeling his treasure will remain hidden for years to come for people to Chase?

I don’t know the answer to this question. At the Q&A after The Lure screening, I thought he gave out hints I’d never heard before, thereby wanting the treasure to be found in his lifetime. However, maybe that was just me optimistically hoping that was the case. Forrest has such a poker face most times I seldom sense I can read his mind. Unless he rolls his eyes…


  • 6Q) Your passion for the search is apparent.  It seems the quote you included in your book, “The mountains are calling and I “must go”…(by John Muir), relates not only to Forrest, but to you.  I wonder, what do you enjoy when the mountains aren’t calling or not hunting for the treasure, and what did you do before?  How do you think you will feel if it ever is found (either by you or someone else)?

I’ve had the John Muir quote taped to my desk for 40 years, so the mountains have been calling me most of my adult life. Before Forrest hid the treasure, I was actively backpacking, hiking, camping, and skiing/ snowboarding. Then I got old… now I settle for hiking and camping. But when I’m not in the mountains, I love to ride bikes, either on the Albuquerque bike trail along the river, or on my mountain bike in the Sandia foothills. Whether I find the treasure or I hear someone else finds it, my heart will palpitate wildly, followed by streams of tears running down my face, either from relief I solved the poem, or from the devastation that will consume me knowing this awesome adventure-of-a-lifetime is over! Fini…

Thank you, Jenny, for allowing me to be a part of your wonderful blog. I truly appreciate all your kindness and all you’ve done to promote Forrest and the searchers.

the blaze fenn's treasure

Peek inside book


Thanks Cynthia!  Such genuine and heartfelt answers.  Perfect!  

I’m sure many will be in turmoil if or when Forrest’s treasure is found.  You describe the possible scenario and emotions well.   And I had to smile at your answer to Q2.  I too have kept an open mind to ‘where’ the poem leads a searcher and haven’t been fixated on any one state.  I see potential in them all.  But isn’t that the beauty of Forrest’s challenge to explore wide and far.  We must trust the answers will come.

Again, I want to say thank you for sharing not only here, but in your book as well.  Your delightful travels and experiences while searching for Forrest’s treasure are inspiring.  It’s obvious treasures of numerous kinds are found when daring enough to seek.


(Entries received until December 14th.  Winner will be announced on the 15th!  Best of luck to all!)

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54 Responses

  1. Kevin Jones says:

    All great questions! And honest answers. Looks like a must have book to me!

  2. Tad says:

    Cynthia, Just ordered your book. Would it be possible for you to autograph it?

    • cynthia says:

      How? I live in Rio Rancho, NM. I sold a few books and wrote an inscription in the buyers’ books last month after the Book-signing Brunch at Tesuque Market. I don’t mind signing any books but I think logistics could be an issue. Thanks for inquiring.

    • cynthia says:

      Tad, thanks for ordering my book. You might think the book is coming directly from me and that is how I could autograph it but it comes directly from BookBaby. Sorry if I misunderstood you in my previous comment.

  3. Buckeye Bob says:

    Nice write up, Cynthia.
    I’m not sure at all that this chase will ever end in our lifetimes.

  4. Don Adams says:

    I loved the questions and the answers. Thank you Cynthia and Jenny for a fun and informational read.

  5. Eric Schmidt says:

    Thank you! Happy holidays to all searchers

  6. Iron Will says:

    LOL great interview Cynthia and congrats on your book 😛

  7. BW says:

    Cynthia, I did not know you had written a book. Congratulations!

    To write a book seems complicated. I’m curious about the thought process of writing a book. How did you make the commitment to say, yes, I can do this?

    • cynthia says:

      The hardest part for me was trying to find a publisher/printer. I looked at several websites and settled on BookBaby to print and sell it. It also costs a bunch of money when a person self-publishes. Forrest encouraged me to write it a couple years ago. Then my parents really pushed for me to do it. My dad is 91… I decided if I was ever going to write this book, it had to be now. It’s also a lot like searching for Fenn’s treasure chest… do it for the joy of doing it, not because you think you will gain anything financially.

  8. Ramona says:

    Thank you Jenny. Hi Cynthia! Good Q’s and A’s. Congratulations on your book.

  9. John Davis says:

    Best wishes for all who enter! I doubt this will be found.

  10. Wendy says:

    Good interview, Cynthia and Jenny! Congratulations on the book!

  11. DWRock says:

    You are one of the most generous searchers, Cynthia! I love to read searchers stories…especially when they are shared without hesitation or censure.

  12. trish cosey says:

    Great article. Thank you for sharing all the information and taking time to conduct the interview and write the post.

  13. Angelina Horn says:

    I always love watching interviews of Forrest Fenn and learning more about him! <3 Thank you for the opportunity to win Cynthia! Merry Christmas!!!

  14. Tracey says:

    Our family has always camped and fished, but it has been even more fun now talking about the treasure and where we want to search next.

  15. Thomas D says:

    Very nice interview Cindy and I just love your book!
    You know that I have been a very big fan of your writing ever since you
    started sharing your adventures on HOD!
    Once again, Congratulation on your new book!

  16. Strawshadow says:

    Thanks Jenny and Cynthia,
    Special words from a very special person. Congratulations on your new book and thank you for sharing the perfect adventure.

  17. Gary Rusk says:

    Excellent short interview on the attractions of searching for the treasure.

  18. Jeanne Mackenzie says:

    Thank you Cindy for writing this wonderful book. The words you use to describe what you personally are experiencing made me feel like I was right there with you. You have a real talent in the way words are painted on a written page. The photography is incredible. If I were younger, I would certainly get engrossed in “the Mystery of the Missing Treasure Chest.” (That sounds like a good title for a Nancy Drew book.).

  19. Christy C. says:

    Great insights! Thank you both. I would love to read this book!

  20. John says:

    Cynthia, I look forward to reading your book

  21. Pen Ghost says:

    I checked what was available about the book and author. It is amazing the difference among writers in the way they write and design their memoirs full of experiences. I imagine it is difficult to select the best adventures to write about when there are so many wonderful places within the Rocky Mountains. I guess the biggest difference between this book and mine (in press) is the point of view. I wrote third person. The mountains and streams took first place for me. Overall, very colorful and eventful book.

  22. Ken Joyce says:

    Cynthia, We met at the last Fennboree. I just ordered your book. Can’t wait to read it. Will ask you to sign at next Fennboree.

    • cynthia says:

      I know who you are… if you are ever in this area, get ahold of me through Dal. Don’t wait until Fennboree. We could have lunch together and I would be delighted to sign the book. Thanks for ordering.

  23. Jody says:

    I would love to read your book, I never had the opportunity to make peace with the mountains, but I always longed to. Imagination is maybe more necessary than knowledge.

  24. Mike Woodd says:

    Thank you Cynthia and Jenny – Cynthia I can’t wait to read the book. Hope you are well.

  25. Crimsonblaze says:

    Everyone should tell their own story.

  26. JC1117 says:

    “The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir

    What a beautiful statement. I like to retreat to the mountains when I can as a well. I don’t seem to get there near enough.

    I’m looking forward to reading your book, Cynthia. Forrest seems to be quite a Good Coach and Motivator. Quite a few folks have accomplished Great Things with his encouragement…I’ve noticed.

    Thank You, Jenny and Cynthia.

    • pdenver says:

      Hello JC1117. Thank you for posting the beautiful link. John Muir’s quote is perfect. This calling comes from deep within and one can’t help but respond. Wishing you a quick return to the mountains.

      • BW says:


        When Moses’s came down from the mountain, he was a changed man. My hair is graying and my soul is calmer, but I have a long long way yet to go.

  27. pdenver says:

    Wishing you great success with your new book, Cynthia. Congratulations.

  28. Valerie says:

    Cynthia, sending warmest congratulations to a new author and veteran searcher. Thanks for your dedication and kindness to all involved in ttotc.

    • Valerie says:

      Cynthia, Now that you’ve expanded your search territory… this Muir quote may be apropos: “The world’s big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” John Muir

  29. Spallies says:

    Nice Job Cynthia!!! I like that picture of you and Molly… I’m going to order one to add to my Chase books… If I write a book it will be about all the crazy armchair solves I have attemped… 🙂 My favorite so far was I took some “Resolve” and sprayed the pages while sitting on a “Mettle” sheet… lol fyi… nothing happened!!!!

  30. Iceman says:

    You don’t need to know where warm waters halt to find the treasure site. You don’t even need the poem.

  31. Raymond James says:

    Hi Cynthia! Your insight and knowledge can very well be the key to helping others find the treasure. It might even get them out he door. Love your questions and answers, and would love to read your book. I am looking forward to much more from you! Thank you

  32. cynthia says:

    To those of you who ordered my book, thank you so much. And to everyone who posted comments here, thank you for all you kind words. One of these days, one of us is going to find Fenn’s treasure chest. It may not be me, but I sure have had many happy adventures these past 5 years. Good luck and happy holidays to all.

  33. aardvarkbark says:

    I enjoy your search posts more than all others on HOD site. I’m in Dallas and head over to hike in Pecos twice a year with my two dogs. Your posts have become a travelogue for me to plan hikes in other areas in north NM. Did one of your Weimaraners pass? Sorry for the loss, if so.

  34. Seannm says:


    You are a New Mexico Chase Treasure, and I look forward to meeting you someday, maybe to buy you lunch.


  35. MartinS says:

    I don’t think you should stop looking in NM. 🙂

    • aardvarkbark says:

      You fool. Of COURSE she should stop searching in NM. She’s one of the searchers FF sez was within 200′ of TC. She should now spend time in MT and WY while I retrace her steps.

  36. Mark says:

    I agree. Keep looking in NM.

  37. D.Hortin says:

    I am pretty sure I won’t be able to spend a 3-day weekend in New Mexico. Any chance of hiding a treasure closer to Salt Lake City, Utah? There are plenty of mountains 500 miles long and 50 miles wide, and hundreds of canyons, maybe thousands. Much love.

  38. Steve says:

    Hi, looking forward to reading the book.

  39. Jdiggins says:

    Great job Cynthia! 🙂

  40. T Gavis says:

    Great Q and A and congrats on the book.

  41. into says:

    Cynthia – Congratulations on your new book….Love the cover.

  42. Kandi Harding says:

    Hoping the treasure is found in our lifetime.

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