When I describe geocaching to friends and strangers, I remind them of childhood when we drew mysterious maps with dark dash lines lighting the path and an X marking the treasure. Sometimes we’d actually bury treasure for friends to find. Sometimes we just wanted to see where the X might be because the journey was the real treasure.
I happened across an article published in February of 2013 describing an actual treasure. It’s not logged on Groundspeak but the goals are the same: to get Americans off their butts and out to appreciate nature.
I’ve copied the story in its entirety. I hope I’m not violating copyright too badly.
Will millions in buried treasure inspire you to get off your butt?
Multimillionaire Forrest Fenn, 82, of New Mexico, has come up with a novel way to get Americans outside and enjoying the natural splendor of the mountains north of Santa Fe. He has buried a real, bronze treasure chest brimming with gold, diamonds and emeralds and has provided clues as to its whereabouts in a cryptic poem (see below). Diagnosed with cancer, he knew he couldn’t take his millions with him and he hoped the bounty would inspire folks to get their kids “away from their little handheld machines.” Fenn buried the chest three years ago but as far as he’s aware, no one has found it yet. He’s now cancer-free but, rather wonderfully, has not reneged on the deal. You’re still reading?! Get out there! [Source]
According to Forrest Fenn, this poem provides the nine clues you need to unearth millions in treasure. It’s from his self-published memoir, “The Thrill of the Chase.”
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 drawing ever 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.