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Everything But The Blaze -- Madison (Nine Mile Hole)

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  • Here's a Q&A from Jack about the 200' searcher. The Firehole/Madison area is one of the main search areas that were repeatedly brute-force searched by chasers.

    Question: Jack, is it your belief that many people have been to the correct location without understanding why it was the correct location? If they didn’t understand what Forrest was saying in the poem, did they simply fail to see what was right in front of them? Thanks!

    Answer: I think there were enough attractive features about the place to bring in people that were trying to brute-force it in some way, but they didn't put together all of the clues. I got that from Forrest's comment that people who were within 200 ft ‘were searching for the treasure but didn't know that they were there’.

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    • Originally posted by Must Listengood View Post
      Vertigo; thehomeofBrown.com
      For this "relative" warm to be valid, it would have to mean that when Forrest wrote WWWH, he meant for you to touch the water and decide if it is warm TO HIM. That seems most implausible. I think we can all tell the difference between warm and cold to the touch. He is not trying to complicate things. He is not trying to make this symbolic. We have evidence that you must physically touch the water and it should feel warm TO YOU. It is straightforward. Warm = comfortable. Warm = NOT COLD.

      The water at Madison junction is apparently not warm. At all. I have never touched it and didn't really know that, but by all reports I have seen recently, it is flat cold. Also, there is no change of temperature there to my knowledge, so even if it was warm (let's say to Forrest), it doesn't change so it doesn't halt in any way. I know you guys may WANT it to be Madison junction, but there simply is no warm water there. Again, I don't have a vested interest in this, but if you see what Forrest told at least three and maybe more searchers, and a reporter, and now we have Jack, we are looking for water that will feel warm - comfortable - and certainly not cold. And there has to be an element of change to satisfy the warm water halting.

      In the first quote above from Redneck Girl, Jack just answers "YES". Then when asked whether it was HOT or WARM, he said it is relative, but it was warm to Forrest AS OPPOSED TO HOT.

      I just read teacher's with ropes. I don't see it as a lesson that warm is relative. It was a case more that things are cold when the things touching them are warm. The feeling that the brass was cold was universal to everyone - no disagreement.

      Cynthia also describes a case where the water was TOO HOT, scalding hot. Forrest asked "well can you get in it?" in an effort to dissuade her that it wasn't warm.

      Here is Kpro/Cows video where they talk about it. I suggest starting around 18:00 minutes.

      I think we've discussed the two interpretations of warm; one is relative and one is absolute. I judge the relative interpretation to be better. You judge the absolute interpretation to be better. The good news is we each carefully considered the other's viewpoint. For that reason, I consider this to have been a productive discussion and time well spent.

      On the topic of the waters halting, your comment suggests you are looking either for the waters to stop moving, or for an abrupt temperature change. That's one interpretation. My interpretation is based on warm waters being the Firehole and Gibbon rivers. Where do they end? At Madison Junction. The water doesn't stop, or abruptly change temperature. It never does at a river ending.

      We could debate which interpretation is stronger, but I think it will be similar to the "warm" debate. We'll probably make different judgements, but it's all good.
      Last edited by Vertigo; 05-03-2021, 08:07 PM.

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      • Originally posted by thehomeofBrown.com View Post
        Here's a Q&A from Jack about the 200' searcher. The Firehole/Madison area is one of the main search areas that were repeatedly brute-force searched by chasers.
        Yup and many searchers went from West Yellowstone into YNP. Along the way there were many pullouts that put you right next to the Madison River. Searchers could have easily pulled into one to take some pictures of the Madison and not know that the pullout they were at was the "put in below HOB"

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Vertigo View Post

          I think we've discussed the two interpretations of warm; one is relative and one is absolute. I judge the relative interpretation to be better. You judge the absolute interpretation to be better.

          The good news is we each carefully considered the other's viewpoint. For that reason, I consider this to have been a productive discussion and time well spent.

          On the topic of the waters halting, your comment suggests you are looking either for the waters to stop moving, or for an abrupt temperature change. That's one interpretation.

          My interpretation is based on warm waters being the Firehole and Gibbon rivers. Where do they end? At Madison Junction. The water doesn't stop, or abruptly change temperature.

          We could debate which interpretation is stronger, but I think it will be similar to the "warm" debate. We'll probably make different judgements, but it's all good.
          It actually does change temperature because the Gibbon isn't as warm as the Firehole. And in a conceptual way it is where WWWH because the Madison isn't a thermally heated river(no part of it is in the Caldera) but BOTH the GIbbon and the Firehole are thermally heated so those would be the warm waters.

          The thing I don't like is that FF said "did you tip your toe in it" and that makes me want to believe WWWH was more like Norris Basin or Mammoth where you are on the boardwalks and the water there is quite warm so if you wanted to check the temperature and if you were wearing sandals or something you could tip your toe into it from the boardwalk and I've seen youtube videos of people doing this at those locations.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Cary_Galloway View Post
            ...the Madison isn't a thermally heated river(no part of it is in the Caldera) but BOTH the GIbbon and the Firehole are thermally heated so those would be the warm waters.
            Exactly. If you look at the original post, the Firehole and Gibbon rivers are my warm waters. Madison Junction is just the commonly used name for the location where those two rivers end.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by thehomeofBrown.com View Post
              Here's a Q&A from Jack about the 200' searcher. The Firehole/Madison area is one of the main search areas that were repeatedly brute-force searched by chasers.
              Again, another piece of evidence that 9 mile fits very well.

              It's the "slip up" that gets me to 9 mile hole. I know Vertigo hates that, but I'm sorry, that's how Jack got there too, and what gave him confidence. I think all the clues fit, but WWWH being Madison Junction is troubling. I think Ojo Caliente is more consistent with the evidence. There could be other answers. I am waiting for a convincing argument that it could be Madison junction. Now that I know there is no warm water there, I think it must be severely questioned.

              The idea that Madison junction is warm to the touch to Forrest, but it is cold to everybody else, or certainly to the majority of people, simply seems almost impossible. I'm sorry, I can't go with that. Warm may be relative, but we have to be able to solve this with reasonable assumptions. For Forrest to tell us to touch the water to see if its warm and then leave out (oh by the way, water that seems cold to most others seems warm to me), and we are somehow supposed to figure that out - it just isn't reasonable.

              I think the best answer is WWWH (on the Firehole River). Forrest basically said in that video clip I posted earlier of Cynthia's that the location of WHICH warm water halting is "the puzzle". You may find warm water halting, but the puzzle is which one is the right one.''

              Well, being consistent with the theme of where he wanted to die, what he cherished most, I believe that tips things in favor of Ojo Caliente on the Firehole River. I also believe that Forrest was trying to give us a couple of hints in TTOTC of WWWH. The Stout Hearted Men chapter, as well as the Totem Pole chapter tell me that a metaphor for WWWH is "The Eyes". I could write a long chapter on the evidence. Part of it has to do with comparison of stories to find deliberately placed hints, as Jack said we should do. I won't go into the long explanation for this, but I believe Forrest is relating WWWH to crying/tears and gushers/geysers. WHERE warm waters halt is metaphorically the eyes. Ojo Caliente fits.

              So a plus 1 for Ojo Caliente for me.
              A minus one for Madison Junction

              Now I am willing to listen to other options, like Gibbon Falls or Irons Springs if there is good evidence.

              I would like to re-write the poem, less cryptically for Forrest. It might go like this:

              Begin your trip where warm waters halt on the Firehole River
              And then take your journey downstream in the Madison Canyon
              Don't go to far, but its too far to walk, about ten miles
              Find the river crossing just downstream from 9 Mile Hole on the Madison

              From there, you'll need courage to cross the river
              The end of the trip is a continuous running spring to the left when you reach the other side
              The spring is too small to paddle up
              And there are too many downed trees, but there is deep water where it runs into the river.

              <Missing steps per Jack. Wasn't able to ask Forrest if he deliberately took them out>

              If you've found the right marker I have left in the forest
              Look quickly down and the chest will be there, your trip is complete.





              Last edited by Must Listengood; 05-03-2021, 08:43 PM.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Cary_Galloway View Post

                It actually does change temperature because the Gibbon isn't as warm as the Firehole. And in a conceptual way it is where WWWH because the Madison isn't a thermally heated river(no part of it is in the Caldera) but BOTH the GIbbon and the Firehole are thermally heated so those would be the warm waters.

                The thing I don't like is that FF said "did you tip your toe in it" and that makes me want to believe WWWH was more like Norris Basin or Mammoth where you are on the boardwalks and the water there is quite warm so if you wanted to check the temperature and if you were wearing sandals or something you could tip your toe into it from the boardwalk and I've seen youtube videos of people doing this at those locations.
                Well it's interesting that there is some change there.

                Yes, I get the concept of both rivers being where warm waters from the geysers halt because its the end of the rivers. I knew about the "dip your toe in it" problem, but I assumed that the rivers still felt a little warm at Madison junction, but I don't think they do. Maybe I need to go test it myself, ha,ha.

                Madison Junction could make sense without the "dip your toe in it" problem. I believe in that issue because I have heard Forrest's words, which are consistent with Jacks words. I don't think you can get around the problem by simply saying, "well warm is all relative". Maybe Forrest finds it warm there even though most do not. I'll just have to agree to disagree with that. I'm trying to be objective but that makes no sense to me.

                The last thing I want to say about the issue here is that finding where warm waters halt on the Firehole would be consistent with the fly fishing theme and the most sacred places he loved. If you are gonna go fish the Firehole, I can just hear Forrest advising you, "well, you will want to start on the lower Firehole where warm water halts - that's where the good fishing starts."

                OK, I think I beat it to death. I'll wait for some other bit of evidence to present itself, but I do feel really good about 9 mile hole.


                Last edited by Must Listengood; 05-03-2021, 09:05 PM.

                Comment


                • I liked the idea that WWWH was the location where both the warm water Firehole and warm water Gibbon rivers end, but I was never sure if halt could be taken to mean “come to an end”. I asked Jack this question:
                  Me: Most people seem to think the word “halt” means that the warm waters physically stop moving. Is it possible that Forrest was using a different definition of halt such as “come to an end”?
                  Jack: He said he used a dictionary to make sure he was using the words correctly. They were all used correctly, I think. Any definition that strictly makes sense in context could be correct, and I don't want to narrow things down beyond that.

                  Jack’s answer doesn’t seem to rule out the possibility that halt could mean “come to an end”. I guess it depends on if you can take end to mean the same thing as halt in this context.

                  After looking through Jack’s comments about the warm water being physically warm, I’m inclined to agree with Must Listengood. Although the water at Madison Junction is warm compared to other rivers at that latitude and elevation, it wouldn’t feel warm if you dipped your toe in it.

                  Comment


                  • Forrest insisted that having the correct warm waters was important and without it you have nothing. If the correct answer for WWWH is on the Firehole River, the canyon down would be Firehole Canyon. If the poem was directing you to start on the Firehole and turn on to a different towards West Yellowstone, shouldn't it have mentioned that part of the directions? Nine Mile Hole seems to work with the mouth of Firehole River/Purple Mountain, but the canyon down changes if you shift the first clue back to Ojo Caliente area.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by thehomeofBrown.com View Post
                      Forrest insisted that having the correct warm waters was important and without it you have nothing. If the correct answer for WWWH is on the Firehole River, the canyon down would be Firehole Canyon. If the poem was directing you to start on the Firehole and turn on to a different towards West Yellowstone, shouldn't it have mentioned that part of the directions? Nine Mile Hole seems to work with the mouth of Firehole River/Purple Mountain, but the canyon down changes if you shift the first clue back to Ojo Caliente area.
                      We've gotten used to thinking about it that way, but no I don't think the canyon you start in has to be the canyon down(stream):

                      Begin your trip where warm waters halt on the Firehole River
                      And then take your journey downstream in the Madison Canyon
                      Don't go too far, but its too far to walk, about ten miles
                      Find the river crossing just downstream from 9 Mile Hole on the Madison


                      You take IT (your journey) in the Canyon downstream. The canyon is the SECOND clue, i.e. its the second place to go. It's contiguous with the first clue which is the Firehole River starting at Ojo Caliente. It is not required for the Canyon to be the Firehole canyon. You are already there in the first clue. You might say Take it in the canyon that starts downstream.

                      Two other things to consider, as I have said ad naseum, is that the Madison canyon is significantly greater in size and scope than the Firehole, and that even if canyon down meant the Firehole canyon, as long as you stay in the canyon, you will still end up at 9 mile hole if you go ten miles. It's all part of the same river system.

                      That's what I'm going with until there is some kind of other reasonable and convincing explanation. I cannot resolve Madison Junction being cold-to-the-touch water AND being WWWH
                      Last edited by Must Listengood; 05-04-2021, 07:42 AM.

                      Comment


                      • Based on what Jack has said, I think the water at WWWH should feel warm to the touch. The problem I have with WWWH being along the Firehole or Gibbon is that there are too many possible choices. If I had to pick one I’d probably go with Old Faithful because of the word old in the first stanza and because it’s the most well known feature in Yellowstone. As others have pointed out, in the Chapter “In Love with Yellowstone” Forrest uses the word “faithful” in talking about the family car. The reason I like Soda Butte is that there are no other possible choices for WWWH in the area.

                        I’m still not ruling out the Madison or the Firehole. I think there’s a lot that points to that area. However I really hope there aren’t any parents who think it’s safe for their 8-year old child to cross the Madison during late spring run-off.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Redneck Girl View Post
                          Based on what Jack has said, I think the water at WWWH should feel warm to the touch. The problem I have with WWWH being along the Firehole or Gibbon is that there are too many possible choices. If I had to pick one I’d probably go with Old Faithful because of the word old in the first stanza and because it’s the most well known feature in Yellowstone. As others have pointed out, in the Chapter “In Love with Yellowstone” Forrest uses the word “faithful” in talking about the family car. The reason I like Soda Butte is that there are no other possible choices for WWWH in the area.

                          I’m still not ruling out the Madison or the Firehole. I think there’s a lot that points to that area. However I really hope there aren’t any parents who think it’s safe for their 8-year old child to cross the Madison during late spring run-off.
                          But the Soda Butte geyser is extinct. Where is the warm water at Soda Butte? Is there a definite place where it halts? Not doubting, I just want to know how this works exactly. The warm to the touch thing seems important. Do you have any of that worked out? I know "warm creek" is up there too.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Must Listengood View Post

                            I'm still looking for the quote from Jack that would help seal the deal on my opinion, but I can no longer find it. I will keep looking. In the mean time, here are some quotes from Jack that can help with finding the blaze:

                            -<On what is the blaze> I think that could imperil the location if it ever becomes known. Sorry, but there is a hint in the book.

                            -The poem directs you to a section of forest in which to search for the blaze, but that is something you had to search for. Something like a needle in a haystack is accurate, but maybe slightly easier than that, or at least that was the design.

                            -“Been wise”…is using the past tense “been” important?
                            To me, that past tense was jarring. I always wondered if there had been an extra stanza before that he cut out to make it harder, but I forgot to ask him. I think the past tense does help you realize that there is a gap there, the search you have to do for the blaze. And then it’s past tense because you’ve then done everything you need to do to find the treasure at that point.

                            -I haven’t measured the area I searched. It may have been bigger than a football field, but keep in mind that’s the total limits of what I thought was possible. What I considered to be probable was certainly smaller than a football field, and it was found within those probable bounds.

                            - I think that may narrow down things too much if I say yes or no, but I can say the whole time I was searching for the blaze and treasure in the forest, I did not step foot on a human trail. He is right that there are no man-made trails in the vicinity, but there are some game trails.


                            I will keep looking for the one that gave me some confidence in what the blaze is.
                            I'm thinking about the blaze and mulling over Jack's comments about it. That one about a hint in the book intrigues me most, being a poem/book purist.

                            What did you mean by your final sentence?

                            "I will keep looking for the one that gave me some confidence in what the blaze is."

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Must Listengood View Post

                              But the Soda Butte geyser is extinct. Where is the warm water at Soda Butte? Is there a definite place where it halts? Not doubting, I just want to know how this works exactly. The warm to the touch thing seems important. Do you have any of that worked out? I know "warm creek" is up there too.
                              Soda Butte is dormant. Which means halting or lame. There are warm waters that still come out of the soda butte geyser at a small flow level. Much less than it used too. It used to have a large flow, now a very small flow into soda butte creek there.

                              I am not trying to convince you on soda butte just stating the information at that site. Even though I like the soda butte solve I also like Lower geyser basin and norris geyser basin as well.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Must Listengood View Post

                                But the Soda Butte geyser is extinct. Where is the warm water at Soda Butte? Is there a definite place where it halts? Not doubting, I just want to know how this works exactly. The warm to the touch thing seems important. Do you have any of that worked out? I know "warm creek" is up there too.
                                Here are a couple references for Soda Butte.

                                https://www.yellowstone.co/sodabutte.htm
                                “Superintendent Norris used the term "Soda Butte Medicinal Springs" for the seepage of warm water on the creek side of Soda Butte in 1879, and he shortened that to "Soda Butte Springs" in 1880.2

                                https://www.flickr.com/photos/wyojones/44494700035
                                “There are several small, low volume springs along the creek at the base of the travertine platform that the 20’ high cone sits on that are currently active and account for the sulfurous smell common at the cone.”

                                I’m not entirely convinced that Soda Butte is WWWH. Even though there appears to be warm water coming out of it, there’s still the problem of explaining the word “halt”. Maybe the streams of warm water halt (stop moving temporarily) when they reach Soda Butte Creek. Or, like flyer said, maybe halt means lame. As I said previously, the reason I like Soda Butte is because it appears to be the only choice for WWWH in the area. I don't know if warm creek is still warm by the time it crosses the border into Wyoming.

                                I haven’t ruled out the Firehole for WWWH. Your posts and Jack’s statements have convinced me that warm water must feel warm to the touch. Since the Flywater story in TTOTC was originally written about the Firehole, that could be a hint. The problem I have with the Firehole is that there are too many choices for WWWH. In an effort to keep it simple and straightforward, I’d probably choose Old Faithful. Was it just a coincidence that Forrest mentioned the family’s old faithful car in the chapter “In Love with Yellowstone”?

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