“This could be the last time maybe the last time could be the last time but I don’t know. Oh no!”

I hesitate to tell this story because crossing rivers are dangerous. If you choose to go where my partner went, proceed at your own risk. I have to admit that I have not ruled this area out because my team did not search the area as well as we could have because I couldn’t safely cross the Madison River. Kendrick, a Boise think tank founder, looked for clues as I watched for Grizzly bears from the opposite bank. Today I feel the treasure is not in that space. However, this is the most straightforward solve I have come up with since Sphinx Creek almost eight years ago. Maybe mom was right about the first instinct.

Forrest says he is tied like an umbilical cord to this place. Forrest’s rainbow ends where he was when he was young. What better place than the Madison river for catching his fly-line. The Firehole river meets the Madison river where, in this solve, warm water halts.

In the book “The Thrill of the Chase” Forrest describes bathing in the Firehole and sitting just far enough from the hot water source to be comfortable. Forrest, when asked what he means by warm water, responded warm water is comfortable. Forrest also said the book had, unintentionally, described some clues from the poem was used to tell us where the treasure may be found. The Madison river goes down a canyon and Forrest’s writing he tells us how far down the canyon to go. He said from the Barns hole to Baker’s hole is not too far but too far to walk. That distance from Firehole down the canyon takes us to the Barns fishing holes on the Madison River. No paddle up your creek must be no more than a mile. We know this because Mr. Fenn tells us how far he walked from the car to hide his gold. Not for the meek is crossing the river which I couldn’t due to recent spine surgery. That is why I became the look out for my friend Kendrick. The cold in this solution is a cold water spring about three-quarters of the way down the river. The cold spring is the first tributary going into the Madison after Firehole. Forrest has said many times people get the first two clues then pass by the other seven . Here he may be referring to Hebgen or Quake lake. Kendrick did not find the treasure but he found lots of hiding places. The spot we were on was a fishing hole where a little girl caught a record Brown; it seems cold water entering the warmer river gives trout an excellent place to hang out. Locals say this hole washed out several years ago.

I asked Forrest Fenn about this cold water entering the Madison River but he said he didn’t know of any inside Yellowstone park. Hum. His brother and he owned the Dude motel in West Yellowstone. The motel is on Boundary Street. The street is the Yellowstone Park boundary. Across the street from Forrest’s motel is a trail. The trail goes into the park and there is no one watching. That trail goes to the Madison River just below this great fishing hole where cold water enters the warmer Madison but Forrest Fenn, a fishing guide, on this very river doesn’t know about that hole where he and his dad went often. Did I mention Captain Brown led the cavalry stationed at River Side; a town on the Madison River above Barns holes? All the clues fit.

Today I feel the Firehole is not a clue because I believe he did not mention any of the clues in the book. He never said he put clues in the book; he said there were descriptions of what the clues were in the book. Let me give an example of what I believe he means. In his book, he describes his trip to the Firehole. Here he has to get to just the right spot to bathe. That spot was the comfortable one; any farther downriver would be too cold as warm waters halt. If this is correct it rules out the Madison river unless there is a hot water feature below Quake lake.

With this new perspective, I feel looking in Gardiner Montana was a better choice than looking in West Yellowstone. Here we use the starting point at Boiling River near Mammoth Springs. This is an excellent place to bathe and it is on the way to Livingston from West Yellowstone. Livingston is home to his Forrest mother.

After four years of looking in the Gardiner area, it seems I’m back. But finding a new search area doesn’t seem possible so this song comes to mind. This could be the last time. This might be the last time, maybe the last time , could be the last time but I don’t know. Oh no!

Forrest Fenn, Capt Kidd, Gardiner Inland, Capt Pappy, Edwards Inland and two Dead Boats

Hebgen lake early in the morning , hey wait for me!

Begin it near Madison Junction and take it (the Madison River) down the canyon about 15 miles past the old West Yellowstone Dump, Brown’s Camp, and Baker’s hole over the bridge and turn left on Rainbow Road below the home of Brown. Stay left onto Horse Butte Road and go down to last stop at Edwards Peninsula. Note that the old bitty from the book is my blaze. She can be seen on Google Earth on Edwards Island as an exact mirror image. The image also looks like a white blaze on the face of a cow. Bessie from the book? The South Fork of the Madison comes into the lake here as cold water.

We found two old fishing boats here buried halfway in the ground. the words “don’t dig” came quickly to mind so we did not dig but I wanted to dig believe me.

Richard’s spring well is around here and that could be the cold we are looking for along with white aspen trees and wise owls. I really was excited to look there but all I found was that the fishing is great due to the addition of cold South Fork of the Madison water. The view alone was worth the trip.

Mountain in all directions.

I won’t bore you with the rest of my solve as I have moved on to a much better solve. Next time the best solve yet and the greatest people I have had the pleasure to party with at the Fennborrie in West Yellowstone. Oh and to my friend in West Virginia I sent Larry to look on your creek as I could not get there these last two trips. It has been a wonderful and hectic journey which gave me no time to go there but it has been covered and I will try to go myself in the next two weeks. I will not forget.

the boats were old 1950’s fishing boats. There seems to have been an old road and maybe some corrals out on the tip of the island. We saw plenty of wildlife but no bears. The best encounter was with four bison three of which had calves and the fourth was calving as we watched.

In my mind I could imagine how Forrest might pretend he was Capt. Kidd on Gardiner Inland swash buckling his way through the trees swimming in the lake and catching some amazing stringers of rainbow and brown. If Mr Fenn didn’t look for arrow heads and semiprecious stones here then he miss out as it is just across the way from the above picture of Hebgen Lake and across from his mom’s RV park.

Dig? Don’t dig. Ugh! Don’t need tools soooo don’t dig.

My best find in all the years I have been looking was the time I shared at the meetup in West Yellowstone. Everyone showed respect for each other and almost everyone shared their ideas. The searcher were some of the most interesting people I have ever met. They came form Germany, Canada, Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, Indiana and Idaho. These people where active, bright, movers and shakers. Food was good company amazing and the hole thing was up beat. Thank you guys so much! Forrest Fenn bought all that attended a drink and we all toasted Forrest and a searcher from Florida bought my table dinner. Wow, what a treasure the meetup was.

Now I have to wait for rivers to settle so I have a couple of weeks, but instead of waiting here in Boise I plan to attend the meetup in Santa Fe. They have their work cut out for them if they hope to compete with the warm welcoming experience I had in West Yellowstone and I hope for the best.

Well as always I hope you find something helpful to your search; be safe, take bear spray, and don’t pet the bison.

Where’s the Captain where’s he been: Treasure Island with Capt. Kidd

Where is Capt. Pappy ?
Look Capt. Kidd

If you have been following me here is a poem for you. Can you find the stories in this Ode to the Rainbow? Is it over is the he end is neigh, just one more adventure then I will decide.

First, I could not setup the trips as it would have been unethical to miss lead my readers. I knew of one place that I felt was the site where Forrest hide his treasure so how could I take people where I felt there was no hope of finding the chest. I have been to West Yellowstone three times for ten days in total, all the time thinking I have the solve. I’ll be there once again coming the week end of June 14 -16. I’ll be glad to meet searchers on my way. After that going to tell all I know at the Fennboree in June . I may not know much but after all these years I hope I can contribute to the search. Hope to be in my home state New Mexico in July for that gathering and then in Colorado and Wolf Creek Pass looking for a gold ring. I have no idea how this Ode will be accepted just wrote it down for reminiscing in my old age.

Ode to the Rainbow

Old Faithful down Grand Canyon Yellowstone

below Artist Point Brown’s painting site

Turkey Creek Up Bear Gulch to Brown’s home

Riches new and old Joe Brown’s gold strike

Jardine ghost town spirits Lava Creek Falls

Joe Brown’s put-in up from Sphinx Creek

Box cars Yankee Jim poacher bear malls

News Man dreams to sail longest creek

President Gardner’s Gate Union Pacific Watkin’s Ranch

Miner Creek campground graffiti in aspen trees

Three seasons twenty-three searches still no chance

Not nary one blaze and no quest to cease

Silver Gate to Soda Butte Lamar Valley Pebble Creek

Ice Box Canyon Bear Trap up Cache Immaculate Impression

below Lamar Ranger Station Rose Creek Slough Creek

Two seasons ten days and fourteen sessions

South Fork Shoshone to Cabin Creek cave by Cody

Deer Creek rock lightening thunder volts dangerous trail

Dead horse dead deer nest in my boot my dog Billy

Museum pow wow Cathedral water falls Viking tail

Back to Gardiner elk burger Yellowstone River teepee rings

Arrow head fire rings Devil’s Slide old dump Bridge’s cabin

Labyrinth thundering grouse foot soak at Corwin Springs

Two seasons six trips bear proof Yukon to go camping in

Out West Gate down from the canyon past Baker’s Hole

Old dump bear view Camp Brown new airport Madison

South Fork South Arm observation point where aspens grow

White rock Rumbaugh Ridge duck blind deer on the run

Horse Butte lookout web cam Edwards Peninsula bison calves

Rainbow road white aspen two pirate boats owl and osprey

Mouse deer elk near the road baby elk hiding and acting brave

Romsett Beach Island big brown’s dancing rainbows birds of prey

Continental divide Watkins Creek Firehole Ranch old airport

Union Railroad VOR blaze by the creek a cat’s lair

Old back roads rainbow point Richard`s Spring big toe fort

Nine looks two seasons total 53 expeditions and eighth year

Fire works fallen trees camping out alone sometimes side kick

Study all winter book signing in Spring Fennboree get out again 

Moose sticks on my head bear get real big camera by a salt lick

Ice machine Wolf Creek French treasure Wise Owl fly- in

Just one more place one more adventure fills life worth living

Some have died or quit some go farther than an old man

Take my chances didn’t back off just jumped in

Got lost in the “Chase” found an adventure need a new plan

Billybobs sniffing out treasure South Fork Madison

Looking east up the Madison
Looking west into Hebgen Lake
Two hundred years from now at the end of the “Rainbow”

Next time I’ll give it my best guess and tell exactly where I’ve been.

Who wants to look for Forrest Fenn’s Treasure


The Boise Think Tank has identified five great areas to look for the blaze.  Capt. Pappy will be looking in these same areas but that doesn’t mean he wont miss the secrete.  Anyone interested will be given an analysis of the chosen areas as stated in the blogs along with inside info.   They will be able to team up as we don’t recommend going on your own and keep the treasure if they find it.

very deep water

We will provide transport to and from search areas of our  picking or your own choice.  We will provide accommodations and meals through trusted and tried inns, cabins and approved restaurants.   We have been know to go 50 miles out of our way to eat the best Elk Burger ever and  we have experience with this area going back to Fenn’s childhood.

Get fishing in some of the best fisheries in the world when you get a break from the “Chase”.  Go on your own if you wish but if you would like to have some inside help and not worry about anything but the hunt and natural beauty we have a plan for you.

immunity idle ?

We will get deals for your stay and add 20% to the overall expense.  The hole thing could end up at a cost no more than if you had come on your own but we will be there guiding  and helping as you Chase the dream.

Did I say I saw a lot of Browns

Be as safe as possible and use our experience to help.  Find a hiking partner including Capt. Pappy,  his side kick Kendrick and Billybobs if you want us there to give you confidence.

You get to West Yellowstone or a town near by and we will do the rest.  Including what to take and brief instructions on how to stay safe.

Death trap for bears and possibly others if gas should suddenly release in the area just up stream on Cashe Creek Yellowstone.  Notice the trees that have been burned by acidic fumes over time.

Let us keep you from going where a 79 or 80 year old man would not go.  Believe me that is an easy limit to break but it has resulted in some bad experiences.

We will be accommodating up to five searchers for our first trip then we will consider a second trip later in the search season.  Plan for five days up to six search areas and time to take in other recreational activities.  This is your trip you pick where to look and with whom and we will get you there.  When you come back everything will be ready from a great meal to a beautiful place to stay.

If you want to know more send a comment or email at capt.pappy@hotmail.com.  We are in the planning stages so send suggestions and requests so we can make it the best Chase you’ll ever have.  Thanks.  Oh read all my post to get an idea of what we can do to help you in your search.

What’s the Connection with Gardiner Montana


The gate to Yellowstone at Gardiner, Montana has the inscription For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People. 

Gardiner Montana was hinted at in the Forrest Fenn book too far to walk.  Fenn speaks of a dream he had walking around Gardiner Inland (notice the spelling).  Early back in 2011 I spent time looking in this area. I kept looking here for almost four years.  Made at least thirty different explorations of the area and I feel it is not in Gardiner nor on the Yellowstone river nor any of the creeks in that area.  Yes, Gardiner is a hint but not because it is there.  Forrest would not give the area away so easily.  From his dream to Devil’s slide or from Brown’s put in to Yankee Jim’s canyon or Joe Meek to the newsman who floated down through the his canyon, they all have merit but no secreted place.  So is there a hint in all this yes I believe there is and I am going to share the reason with you.

I have come to believe the hints are far more than Fenn would give if it were there.  He said the hints in the book are general just to help identify a clue.  Not his exact words but if you have studied you will know everything you need to know is in the poem.  Devils slide, Gardiner is not in the poem, Brown and meek are and maybe Sphinx Creek.  Every place in the Rockies is a possibility  so of course it could be around Gardiner I thought so for over three years but now I have found what I feel is the connection.

Posted on April 4, 2017 by Train Lover
The Northern Pacific was proud to call Gardiner the “original entrance to Yellowstone National Park” and, from 1903 until Union Pacific built to West Yellowstone in 1908, the only one reached by a railroad. These postcards show views in and around Gardiner. 

NP’s train station at Gardiner was built on a loop that allowed the train to turn and head back to the main line at Livingston. This card was not issued by the railroad but does present an overview of the town.

This card probably dates from before 1915, the first year automobiles were allowed into Yellowstone. The NP logo on the back shows that it was issued by the railroad.

Here’s another view of the Yellowstone stagecoach. The fact that the card calls it the “old stagecoach” suggests it may have been issued after 1915 as the transition from stagecoaches to open touring cars wasn’t completed until 1917. No NP logo, but the front says it is based on a photo taken for the NP.

The automobile in this photo dates it to around 1930 plus or minus a couple of years.  Again, no NP logo but an NP photo.

The Northern Pacific printed a very interesting pamphlet about the Walkins Dude Ranch   later to be rescued as a national site and renamed Firehole Ranch.  Early on after the Gate was built in Gardiner this pamphlet advertised the Ranch as a place of  “riches new and old.”  Yeap!  The Firehole was new and Walkins was the old, the riches were the land, hunting and fishing that the elite of the day enjoyed after arriving at Gardiner via train and then a ride through Yellowstone to end at the Walkins ranch.
The hint is not Gardiner nor the park but it is West Yellowstone and Firehole Ranch but before you get too excited it is not at that Ranch but it is tied into the solve in my opinion.
The train was the way into the Yellowstone and it went to Gardiner, just before that the tracks ended at Cinnabar where the Devil’s slide can be seen.  Devil”s Slide is reddish as it contains mercury  which they used to mine gold some of which was Joe Brown’s gold.
Gardiner has the most references to things in the book but there is another place it hints at.

I believe in a collective conscience and mine tells me the Dogs are all packing up and they will be close enough to each other this next search season to hear each other’s HOWLS.
Two things left to say for now, as I have a lot of likes on Facebook which I don’t use often it would be nice to get feedback here at Captpappy.com.  I have zero likes.  If you don’t like this blog please give me some feedback if you do like please like me, thanks.  Finally just to poke at “A Gypsy’s Kiss” I find there site to be very professional and useful but they are not very open as they refused to gather with me or others at the signings et cetera.   Oh don’t go to Gardiner  until you read my earlier blogs as I wrote a lot on this area including my favorite Elk Burger at the Wild Horse overlooking  the Yellowstone.  Tell the bar keeper Capt. Pappy sent you.

How Many Clues are in this Solve

Hebgen Lake just north west of West Yellowstone.   On the dock are some of my fishing buddies.  We arrive  as soon as the ice breaks and the fish are hungry.  Not long after this picture was taken we witnessed real drama.  A large 20 inch  rainbow jumping three feet out of the water fighting for freedom and  inadvertently signaling diner to a nearby osprey.  Kendrick released the fish but freedom was brief as the osprey splashed the water grasping the trout and flying back to its roost. Suddenly a bald eagle appears screeching while slamming the osprey with talons ripping the rainbow from the unfortunate raptor.  Fish flying to the freedom of the lake, eagle and osprey struggle to remain afloat on the brilliant blue sky while a second eagle swoops down catching the prize before it hits the water.  What a show as we watched the two eagles fight in the sky over that fish then disappear back to the beautiful forest.

Here is an exercise I go through every now and again to gain insight.   How many clues do you think I have solved in this reveal.  Maybe none will be your answer and that may be helpful as you can eliminate my ideas or add new ones.

“Begin it where warm waters halt.”  Warm waters are the huge numbers of hot water features found in the Yellowstone National Park.  Most of these warm waters run down the Firehole and the Gibbon rivers or the Yellowstone and the Gardner  rivers.  Of these I pick Madison Junction the place were Firehole and Gibbon meet to form the Madison.  Why because the Yellowstone is the only place my inner child says geothermal and Gardiner Montana is no longer on my list.  I grew up in New Mexico where we are lucky to have any water at all.  If asked, a child in New Mexico knows about the Yellowstone but does a child in West Yellowstone know what warm waters are in New Mexico?  Forrest said to ask a child to solve the poem my child knows where warm waters starts is in the Yellowstone National  Park.  Ask your own inner child and hear the answer then decide for yourself.  

Not convinced then think about this.  Why did Forrest say the last clue I’ll leave is my car parked at the Denver Natural  History Museum?  Well, For awhile there where few ways to get to the Madison River which runs nearby West Yellowstone Airport.  The first airfield in West Yellowstone was built, as was the newer one, in the middle of a large forest.  The first real effort to get people to fly into West Yellowstone was a venture between the government and Trans World Airlines (TWA).  TWA started a series of flights into the National Parks called (are you ready for this) Wise Owl Airline.  Yea if you been wise you may have flown to the West Yellowstone Airport on a Wise Owl Flight.  That would land you on top of “the home of Brown”.  What does this have to do with Denver you may ask well for a time there where only two places to fly to West Yellowstone from Salt Lake City and you guessed it Denver.  For a time Salt Lake was off that short list.  So how do you leave your car without giving anything away, park and fly.  And yes, I have added some others clues to support where warm waters halt but that info is saved for a trip I hope to have for fellows Dogs.

“And take it down not far but too far to walk” about ten miles down the Madison River from Madison Junction by crows flight is Baker’s Hole also known as Browns hole the place Fenn loved to fish.  But if one Brown is not enough down from warm waters halt how about three.  The airport is there and it was built on a dump famous for drawing lots and lots of bears.  Tourist came often to watch the bears. That’s two and here is the third in the same immediate area Camp Brown built in 1905.  That’s as brownish as anyone will ever get.  Three Browns in that one place.

“Water high and heavy loads”  refer to one fishing and one flying  term.  Water high on you waders is a way of saying deep.  He threw a bike into water high he said.  All fly fishers know if water fills your waders it could result in drowning.  Water high on your waiters should give you some cause for caution “not for the meek.” Loads refer to fluid and gas dynamics it would mean a heavy current which is why you can’t paddle up it.  The wings of an aircraft experience heavy loads also but that is not a hint.  “The end is ever drawing neigh” is the end of your creek and that creek is coming in on the left.

Ok how many clues do you think I have gotten.   I do this to help both those in the chase and my followers find the treasure.  No not all I think is here I do have more as from here I am still a long ways from solving his Poem.  I am also setting up a few trips were I would take a small number of searchers to places they think would be the best of five good possibilities.  Remember if it was easy it would be gone by now.

Last word I have just started making some money to pay for this site.  Eight years ago I gave two books away for auctions a long with notes and a map and the money was for a non-profit but now I need to make a little as every penny counts so pardon the few adds you may see.  Also likes help as do your much appreciated comments.  So please like me or tell me what you don’t like.  Also lets share knowledge so this site stays relevant.

P.S.  Can the blaze be man made?  The treasure is not in a place related to any man made thing but how about the Blaze.  What do you think.  I got lots more but it is the readers turn.   Comment!  

Chapter Two: Slowly I go Back Where He Came From

There are maps out there claiming to show where Forrest Fenn’s Treasure hides.  Be careful, ask why anyone would show others where a million and a half dollars are waiting. No one but Forrest could do such a thing and he choose a poem not a map.  Well yes there is a map it is on the cover insert of his book released after The Thrill of The Chase, however good luck with that one.

I am developing a map that will be backed up and follows the treasure poem.  This map will be used to setup some searches by whom ever wants to be a “Dog of the Chase” with the backing of the Boise Think Tank and Capt. Pappy’s notes from all 9 years.

If the chest is found out of the range covered by this new map you get your money back!  This map is in one state and only a small area large enough to contain all the hints in the poem.

logic and imagination both play in these solves.  Here is an example of this thinking.  Give a child the poem and let them decipher it.  OK, where does warm waters halt.  First lets ask where are warm waters.  Could children come up with some obscure  place?  Where would Forrest guess when he was a child.  Where does the child in me think warm waters halt?  Come on you knew your inner child knows.

Screenshot (2).png

There you go warm waters halt here and go to where the Pacific Railroad says it is Riches New and Old.  Also it is suggesting Montana.

Screenshot (3).png

How about the last Mahican emblazoned with the famous Turtle, Fenn thought a lot about that book.  Is this the blaze at the Home of Brown. There is one new place to look where I have not been but plan to take others who wish to join the Chase.