Monthly Archives: June 2015

New Mexico expedition to find Forrest Fenn’s gold

My dad, two brothers, and I head cross country in search of treasure.

We didn’t find it, but that’s OK. No one finds treasure their first time out. Does it exist? You bet.

Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges – Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!

— Kipling

Everything Forrest Fenn said was true. If you throw a couple of bedrolls in the back and leave out of Kentucky, heading west with nothing more than a book, a poem, and a poetic solve to guide your way, past Louisville and through Indiana, through Illinois, past the Great Arch in St. Louis, through Missouri and Kansas and windmills and buffalo, the plains of Colorado, and you see specks of white way off in the distance, just above the horizon, and you are unsure of whether they are clouds, and as you get closer you realize they are actually snow capped peaks and that the darker blue beneath isn’t rain, it’s a massive mound of earth formed over millenia, and you suddenly feel very small, and you realize the futility of finding a small ten inch box in all of THAT. When you see that, and you decide to press on a little further, and you make it to the base of your mountain, and you start to climb, and you look out at the blue and green valley you suddenly realize you’ve made it to your spot. Your spot! It’s not a pixel on a screen, it’s dirt and earth, and you are standing there. When that happens! When that happens you kind of feel you know a little about what Forrest felt when he came out of his hiding place and said to himself, “Forrest Fenn. Did you really do that?”

When you’re standing there and you look out over the canyon you’ve made it, and you realize the other guy is still back in his cubicle wondering how he’s going to get his family to Wally World this summer.

It’s fleeting. It doesn’t last long, but you can take a small part of it with you.

So you come down out of the mountain, and you’re talking to your brothers and you say, “I felt like I could have been within five feet of the treasure at any given moment and still have missed it. It could have been us. I mean, someone has to win American Idol.”

And one of them looks you right in the face and says in all seriousness, “You know they’re cancelling that show, right?”

That! That, right there. That is the Forrest Fenn Experience, my friends. That’s America. Someday someone might find that treasure, but until then Fenn’s promise of a worthwhile experience sits there waiting for anyone. Anyone at all. You just have to go. Your adventure awaits, and the game is afoot.

I only wish he had hidden it in the Appalachians so that I could go this weekend.

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The Thrill of the Chase

Photos cc by Jeremy Parnell.