Heading out to your local park to hunt for Pokemon? Well, it's not the first time we've been encouraged to get up and go explore our national parks and landmarks while looking for treasure.
In 2010, author Forrest Fenn published “The Thrill of the Chase.” The book includes a poem that, according to Fenn, contains nine clues to a hidden treasure worth up to three million dollars. Huh? Now that sounds a lot more exciting than swiping a cartoon monster on your phone!
Forrest Fenn is quite the character - plain and simple. Those who have met him say that he is clever, likes to speak in riddles, and it is difficult to tell when he is telling the truth and when he is pulling your leg. So is the treasure real? Plenty of people think it is real – and I think he sounds like just the sort of goofball who really would hide a treasure!
So who is Forrest Fenn? Now 86 years old, Fenn is a retired antiques dealer and art gallery owner. He and his wife (who claims she doesn’t know where the treasure is) sold everything from fine art to historical artifacts – and made a lot of money. A cancer scare in 1988 caused him to reevaluate his life, and while he survived the bout with cancer, it made him think about his legacy. So he bought an antique bronze chest and filled it with a pirate’s booty of treasure – gold nuggets, rare coins, jewelry and gems. The value has been estimated at between one and three million dollars. He then hid the treasure chest, published the book with the poem and the clues, and then sat back to watch.
Forrest Fenn's treasure chest *
The map and poem from Fenn's book
"The Thrill of the Chase" **
He initially said the treasure was “hidden somewhere north of Santa Fe” but has since narrowed it more specifically to somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. There is a steady stream of visitors to the Rocky Mountains searching for the Fenn Treasure, and quite a few blogs and websites devoted to fellow treasure hunters. So far no one has been able to find it!
But, why? Why would a person invest so much money in a treasure chest (he paid $20,000 for the chest alone) just for a complete stranger to find? Fenn says he just wants folks to go outside and enjoy nature - and this is his way to get people to do just that. In an interview on the TODAY Show Fenn says “Get your kids out in the countryside, take them fishing and get them away from their little hand-held machines.”
And people are getting out. Treasure hunter Dal Neitzel has made over 60 treks looking for the treasure and says “I have absolutely wonderful treks that are crammed with little adventures. I have walked marvelous American landscapes. I have slept on the high desert mesa and in river canyons under juniper and pinyon. I have hiked incredible stretches of crystal clear trout streams guarded by tall pine and spruce. I have ambled across alpine parks delicious with spring wildflowers and soaked in natural hot springs to sooth my tired feet . . . It’s been a wonderful experience and I am grateful that Forrest tempted me ... dared me ... to go out and find his treasure.”
Whether you are looking for Pokemon at your local park, or searching for the Fenn Treasure in the Rocky Mountain National Park, bring along your hand-knit socks and remember to #ParkYourSocks!
Happy Knitting . . . . Scout
* Fenn's treasure chest is a 12th-century Roman lockbox made of sculpted bronze. The box itself was so heavy that he hid the treasure in two trips - first walking to the location with the empty box and then returning with the treasure to put inside.
** There are many websites and fans devoted to the search for Fenn's treasure, but Dal Neitzel's site is the authority on all things Forest Fenn. You can download this map on the site, and also purchase Fenn's books.
Wander the rain forest in the “Fern and Forest Socks”
Featuring Rowan's Hand-Dyed Fine Art Yarn
|Women's Size||S (L)|
|Foot Circumference||7–8″ (8–9″)|
Rowan Fine Art
Shown in Lapwing
2× 24″ or longer Size US 1½ [2.50mm] circular needles or size needed to obtain gauge
|Gauge||32 sts = 4″ in Stockinette stitch|
Size US C-2 [2.75mm] crochet hook
|Fiber Content||45% Wool, 20% Mohair, 25% Polyamide, 10% Silk|
|Yardage / Weight||131 yds in 100 g|
|Gauge||14 sts over 4″ on US 10 [6.00 mm]|
|Care Instructions||Hand Wash Cold, Dry Flat|