TREASURE IN THE ROCKIES
- THE CLUES -
As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.
Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.
From there it's no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There'll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.
If you've been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.
So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I've done it tired, and now I'm weak.
So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.
Somewhere North of Santa Fe, New Mexico, above 5,000 ft, there lies a bronze chest filled with rare gold coins, large nuggets and other gems. It is there for the taking, free to any person wily enough to figure out the riddle of Forrest Fenn.
A TURQUOISE TREASURE,
Fenn and the seekers of his treasure believe in 'the thrill of the chase.'
If we divorce a treasure from its hiding place, take it into the light of day, we would be stripping it of that mystery and excitement, that veil of wonder that surrounds it. The very fact that one is searching for a hidden treasure can make the search itself an incredible adventure.
Seekers of the treasure will go to great lengths, hiking through crystal clear waters, searching for the dwellings of bears or the scenes of a forest fire, walking through tall pines, ochre stained countrysides, and sleeping under the night sky. They venture further, look more closely, and put themselves into each scene they encounter, in order that they won't miss something - a clue perhaps. They are encountering the journey on a much more intimate level.
If we were to take on the role of a treasure seeker, how might we see the world differently? Take, for example, an expedition to find a turquoise treasure in the Colorado mountains, poetically called Hanging Lake.
The lake was remote, almost inaccessible this time of year. The path was covered by a thick layer of snow that created a kind of endless ice ramp, twisting and turning through the mountains to the ledge of the lake.
And yet, we were a determined group. Armed with nothing but willpower, yes, and undoubtably wearing the wrong footwear, but determined nonetheless.
I remember the journey quite vividly, each memory like a marker on a map of the trail:
Follow the avenue of twisted trees no taller than you or I,
You will cross seven bridges.
Pass the milky blue still waters,
And enter a cathedral
Where sap is the incense that permeates all things.
From there it is a climb
Doubling back through fields of stone,
And ever will you hear the waters,
Till you reach a hut and cave.
The way is marked by waterfall,
Up up up a stair until,
You find the cleft, the meeting points,
Now turn your gaze around and look
The other way from setting sun
And you shall find the turquoise pools,
Deepest when the day is done.