Forrest Fenn, 82, believes too many Americans spend their free time watching TV or playing video games. He hopes the bounty he hid — a chest filled with millions of dollars in gold coins, diamonds and emeralds, among other gems — will prompt some to explore the outdoors. “Get your kids out in the countryside, take them fishing and get them away from their little hand-held machines,” he told TODAY.
Fenn hid the chest in a secret spot three years ago with two goals in mind: Getting people to fall in love with America’s scenic trails and passing on what he calls the “thrill of the chase,” something he has experienced over more than seven decades of hunting for rare objects.
“The Thrill of the Chase” is also the title of Fenn’s self-published autobiography, which contains an unusual map to the treasure, a poem with 9 clues in it. “Begin it where warm waters halt, and take it in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk,”
The chest, weighing in at over 40 pounds, constructed in the 13th Century, contains items Fenn has accumulated over more than seven decades.