A while ago my husband heard about this interesting story of how a 80-year-old Santa Fe art dealer/collector named Forrest Fenn has hidden an actual no-shit treasure chest for the public to try and find. Now, in order to understand what happened next, you have to realize that JB is really, REALLY into searching out difficult-to-find objects—for instance, a few years ago it was his obsessive investigation that helped locate a WWII-era war plane that crashed in Lake Washington in 1942.

It’s kind of ironic because this is the same guy who can stare directly at a jar of Jif while simultaneously bellowing, “HONEY DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE PEANUT BUTTER IS,” but JB is a hell of a researcher, and has the confidence to test out his theories first-hand—so really, it wasn’t much of a surprise when he told me he was thinking of traveling to New Mexico.

So that’s where he went last weekend, to a spot he’d been zeroing in on for a couple weeks. After countless evenings of watching him pore over maps and publications, while helping him brainstorm the meaning behind Fenn’s poem (in particular, the reference to “Brown” has become a lively topic of debate in our household), I was thrilled he had the chance to follow this through. I know it all sounds a little mid-life-crisisy, but really, how many shots do we have at an adventure like that? In the midst of our daily grind of work and mortgage payments, well, what the hell—why not take a break to fly across the country on a solo hunt for buried treasure?

I’m sort of sorry to report he didn’t find it, but in a sense I’m also not sorry, because the trip itself sounds like it was amazing. He got to see a beautiful area he’d never been to before, he had the satisfaction of exploring in person the research he’d done from afar, and now he can think about where he might want to look next time.

For as much as he is a dependable, responsible man, JB also has a wildly optimistic streak that I deeply envy. He has an adventurer’s soul, and a balls-out passion for the things he’s interested in. I love that he’s willing to get up and chase after a dream.

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Comments

68 Responses to “Treasure everywhere”

  1. Anonymous on May 28th, 2013 7:37 pm

    whoever finds it should take a bit for expenses and hide it again. Start the whole adventure over again.

  2. Babylon Slim on August 31st, 2013 10:32 pm

    No one has been over here for a while so I thought I’d drop in and say – “Hay”. No but seriously folks, y’all han’t put nutin up for a while – yet the link on ff’s site remains pointing here. I wonder about that. Do you?

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  6. Thomas Miller on April 15th, 2014 5:06 pm

    my wife and me are traveling from Savannah Ga this month to attempt this chase. Most likely 6 days on this part and 2-3 on the lost 1907 dimes in Black canyon Colorado. There maybe even some spots to metal detect in the mountains, old ruins.

  7. Scott Waldrop on April 29th, 2014 7:27 pm

    I too am in search of the treasure. I have been researching for two years and have about a half a dozen spots that seem to fit the poem.

    I would be interested in what JB’s solve was to see if it matches one of mine. I guess I am asking because I would like his views on the “Home of Brown”, and also so I check this spot out last since he didn’t find it.

    I’m taking my whole family to Santa Fe and then we are heading up to the west slopes in Colorado. They are all into Geocachng and think this is the ultimate geocache.

    Worst case is we still have a great time looking for it because we all love the outdoors.

    We are trading in the annual beach trip for something different.

    Best regards,
    Scott

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  10. David Olson on May 14th, 2015 9:28 am

    I have pictures of the same places you do. I went to NM last week. Funny that we would have went to all the same places.

  11. Doug Hill on June 27th, 2015 10:24 am

    I lived and worked in NM for 7 years and when I read about this treasure 3 weeks ago it was like someone gave me directions to go to an exact spot. I’m retired now and when I clear-up a few things around home I’ll be heading out west to (hopefully) claim the treasure. Good hunting all!

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