The Nine Clues in Forrest Fenn’s Poem

In The Thrill of the Chase written by Forrest Fenn is the following sentence; “So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure.”  This treasure is known to be hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, North of Santa Fe, and is a bronze chest filled with gold and other jewels worth over 1 million dollars.

Any one searching for the treasure has most likely wondered about the above sentence which immediately precedes the poem and has asked, ‘what exactly are the nine clues Forrest is referring to?’  Since the poem consists of what could be considered nine sentences (8 periods and one semi-colon), it is tempting to think Forrest is referencing the entire poem.  It is a safe assumption.  Since ultimately, it will lead a person to the treasure.

However, when listening to different interviews Forrest has given, it seems the complete poem might not be what he has in mind when mentioning the nine clues.  For instance, he has said to ‘begin where warm waters halt’ and that the clues are to be followed consecutively.  This seems to suggest the first clue for him is ‘where warm waters halt’ and would proceed from there.  If this is the case, then this does not involve the first sentence in the first stanza.

Although I feel the poem in its entirety is important to finding the treasure, pursuing the line of thought that there are nine specific clues within the poem could help give one focus.

To me, the phrase ‘If you’ve been wise and found the blaze’ suggests the possibility that the nine clues to the location of the treasure are given before this particular line.  The blaze could be simply the trail you have taken to arrive at this point’s location.  This would mean the clues are all found within the second and third stanzas.  The nine clues would be:

1) where warm waters halt
2) canyon down
3) Not far (but too far to walk)
4) home of Brown
5) no place for the meek
6) end is ever drawing nigh
7) no paddle up your creek
8- heavy loads
9) water high

The use of ‘have been’ hints towards this possibility.  If you ‘have been’ wise, (have followed the nine clues) and have found the trail/blaze, now follow the remaining instructions to retrieve the treasure.

If a person understood the meanings, and followed the nine clues precisely, I feel this could be what Forrest might be referring to when he thinks of the nine clues.   This doesn’t mean I feel the rest of the poem is worthless.  I feel the rest offers support and provides confirmation for the location given by the nine clues, or provides help with understanding the clues themselves.  I believe the whole poem will flow and be elegantly used to give the final solution and end the chase.

For the above line of thought, I see the first stanza as an introduction to the thrill of the chase.  The second and third stanzas hold the nine clues.  The fourth stanza gives instructions on where and how to retrieve the chest once the nine clues are followed precisely to the spot.  The last two stanzas act as a closing and encouragement to chase your dreams.

Of course, those are only my thoughts for the moment.  They may change tomorrow.  Lol.

Best of luck with whatever you seek!

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7 Responses

  1. Djjmciv says:

    Try looking in bandelier national monument. Where else has a exact range of elevation of 5,000 to 10,200.

  2. Devinver says:

    I know this is an older blog entry but I was just curious,

    Wasn’t FF quoted as saying “Start at the beginning”?

    Wouldn’t that be the first line in the first stanza?

    I’ve been considering that line as a possible beginning point. Anything with the words “solo, lone, independence, etc.” I try to make a mental note.

    Just my 2 cents 🙂

  3. Mike Smith says:

    1) where warm waters halt – Animas River, bald eagles are known to go there to find ice free waters in winter.
    2) canyon down – Outside of Durango in La Plata County, San Juan Mountain Canyon
    3) Not far (but too far to walk) – Colorado Trail is a long an extensive route, but the Durango – Silverton railway is easier and you could go by train
    4) home of Brown – Animas River and San Juan River are both highly populated with brown trout. Could also mean Colorado itself, since the spanish translation of colorado is red or discolored. When talking about water, torbidity is measuring the silt content and discoloration of the water.
    5) no place for the meek – not easy country to hike, elevations range from 5,000 to 10,000ft
    6) end is ever drawing nigh – Durango is considered to be the end of the high peaks. To the south lies plains of the Navajo Nation
    7) no paddle up your creek – Animas River is well known for white water rafting. Can’t paddle up a moving stream like that. This is also on the Continental Divide to might be refering to that.
    8- heavy loads – Referring to the lodes of silver held in the mountains in southern Colorado
    9) water high – I think this refers to water that comes from a high place. If that is so, the Animas starts high and ends low.

  4. Tamie says:

    Hi everyone, I’m brand new to the hunt and was wondering if the beginning of the poem really isn’t till stanza 5. If you take the chest and go in peace, isn’t that the end? In my opinion, stanza 5 looks more like an introductory stanza as well. Just a thought.

    • Strawshadow says:

      Tamie, All thoughts are good. Good luck and be wise.

    • locolobo says:

      Tamie, welcome to the chase. It would appear that you may be destined to become one of the front-runners. Good Luck to you, and as Straw said “be Wise”>

      • Seeker says:

        You have to start at the beginning… you need to know where to start.
        That’s “begin it where…”, Right?
        How can a question be a start of anything, right?
        It’s not like we’re looking for any answers, are we?

        loco, Tami might be one to watch.

        @ Tami… If it is ‘just’ an introduction, why is it a question?

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