We’ve spent a couple of Septembers in Silverton, Colorado – mostly for the peace (most tourists have left and you won’t find a Starbucks in town) and for the Fall colors that appear the second thru fourth week of the month along the Million Dollar Highway. They are definitely something to see. Silverton has such a colorful past, more so than foliage, that it’s difficult not to get wound up in all the rich history of the area. We even purchased a Jeep after our first visit to Silverton, specifically to return and explore a lot of the old mine ruins scattered in the area that we weren’t able to get to on the first go (not for lack of trying).
We’d walk around town, which is basically two streets of shops and restaurants, checking out the buildings and reading the information on the walking tour to figure out what they ‘use’ to be’ back in the day (note – most on Blair Street were brothels or bars or both). Since I spent most days working, I’d make it a point at lunch to take a walk up to the Hillside Cemetery and wander around for a bit. Peaceful place and very slim chance of running into an angry moose.
The historical society has taken donations and replaced some of the old grave markers with permanent headstones. What I found interesting, is that the newer stones have the person’s method of demise etched into the stone. A lot of people perished from a flu bug in 1918, and there’s a mass grave for those souls, and a lot of others died in mine accidents or snow slides. This ties into the books on the Hillside Cemetery that were written by Freda Carley Peterson which I ran out and bought. You can find a lot of information on the Colorado Historical Newspaper Site as well. The stories are well worth a read and it will make you appreciate your modern life so much more. Seriously, they had a hard time just surviving daily.
So what does all this babble have to do about Treasure Hunting?
Gold rushes have created the boom – and subsequent – bust towns like Silverton, Animas Forks, Red Mountain Town, and so many others that we visit. People tend to lose all sanity when there’s a treasure to be had. So when we stumbled upon a story about a modern day treasure that’s up for grabs, it caught our attention.
The person who supposedly hid the treasure is Forrest Fenn of Santa Fe, NM. Won’t get into the thick of it, as these two kids in the video below did a good job of explaining how the treasure came about, the poem, the books and the tens of thousands of people who are now out there conducting the search (soon to be tens of thousands plus two and a chocolate Lab).
Have only done limited research – read Forrest’s book “The Thrill of the Chase,” studied his cryptic poem and came up with my own theory, which has been thrown out there before in one of the many forums dedicated to finding this treasure. But of course, our theory has to be the right theory since we’re so much smarter than most of those looking for the bronze box filled with loot (right). Here’s the poem with nine clues embedded in its contents somewhere (that’s what you have to figure out).
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 answer 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.
There isn’t a shortage of information and speculation on the poem and location of the treasure, or even whether or not it even exists. The most entertaining, by far, is this guy’s article on why/how it’s just a hoax.
Forrest Fenn, from videos watched, seems like a genuine guy, so I don’t doubt his box of fortune is out there, somewhere. It’s a lot of ground to cover for a box that’s basically the size of my Macbook Air, but we must remain optimistic. Honestly, when we find the treasure, I am marching it back to Forrest in Santa Fe, NM to see where he wants to put it next, as this whole Indiana Jones thing is rather fun. We have narrowed it down to an area that we will scope out (with bear spray) sometime in May when the RV parks open again our designated area of interest. But I could be off the mark quite a bit, as a lady by the name of Pamela Shetron claims she has solved the mystery of the treasure. She states that it’s not an tangible treasure, but more of a spiritual quest that lands the seeker to, drum roll please… the Christ of the Mines in Silverton, Colorado.
One more reason to go back, since apparently I missed it “by that much.”