Forrest Fenn’s treasure, and the greed that consumes many.

Through Unrelentless Greed comes a War

Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead – A line used by Forrest Fenn. 

Woooooo…. There has been much negativity towards each other as the searchers for Forrest Fenn’s treasure are losing grips with the simplicity of the hunt.  When I visit forums, blogs and videos, I am 100% certain that I am not going to get any useful information from their opinions. I only look at the perception, the thought process and reasoning behind the potential solve and as of yet, there is not one person that I have read that keeps on track. They are all over the place with multiple partial solves.

Through Unrelentless Greed – War ensues.

Through Unrelentless Greed comes a War
Through Unrelentless Greed comes a War.

Some get so frustrated that they do post some of their solve to another when they are either fed up with being poked and prodded trying to defend their partially disclosed solve that at the moment of truth, they reveal a small piece of their solve to feed the rabid bludgeoner. Then, both will sit back and lay off the offensive strike – for the moment. Blood boils and the need to counter once again ensues.  Others will simply antagonize someone with little quips of useless and often irrelevant information. Why don’t you help each other? Two words sum it up. Untrusted and Greed.

And one wonders why the treasure hunters are unwilling to provide each other with any sort of tangible information, or to set a searcher back on track when their mind has wandered amuck.

Your solution is not the best,                                                          Unless you stand there with the chest.

Some say, with an evil tongue, this is the year when Forrest Fenn’s treasure chest will finally be found. Some claim that the summer of June 2019, the chest will be recovered. It’s another axiom throwing event which only allows the person who speaks with that vile tongue, a fictitious deadline in order to have an advantage in a short fused conversation. If I had the puzzle solved to this cryptic poem, I wouldn’t wait – and I surely would not offer anyone the privilege of immediately knowing that it was found or how I exactly solved the poem……..Why? It’s due to the actions of many that taint the true intent of Forrest Fenn’s treasure. It’s meant to get people outside and enjoy life. Many do simply the opposite and become frustrated and unable to see the poem for what it is worth. They sit in their abode, frustrated and eager to vent out some of their exasperation to someone who is willing to fire back comments until the frustration level continues to make them think illogically.

Then they become unglued, frustrated to the point of flushing any sort of partnership or camaraderie. The person who antagonizes and the person who is willing to go to extreme lengths are both guilty. There is no battle of wits there, though I am yet to find a decent reference for the use of “Battle of the Nitwits”. It’s extremely easy for some one to hide behind a screen name, eventually confide in some one and offer a little bit of information on a subject.

Think about Forrest Fenn’s Treasure, then look in the mirror while you can and ask yourself…….

People have varied end moves, or motives. Some will stick with it to the end, some will stick to it until the resource is depleted and some will run to the point of the quest first and claim anything as their own.

I for one am not greedy – I have come to the point in my life that I understand what it takes to live comfortably over many years. I don’t need to change my lifestyle when I find that box – That box didn’t make me successful throughout my life – I selected most of the directions when it came to forks in the road, and I will continue to do so.

If you’re so obsessed about finding Forrest Fenn’s treasure one can paint a vision of you and see your true colors. I have a gift; I can read people for what they truly are worth in seconds, in any situation. It is something that people like to hide in the tall recesses where a smattering of calcified materials lay along with some subjective information and deep dark thoughts, emotions and entrapped motives lay.

Forrest Fenn had to know that this would happen. There are rare breeds out there that are searching for this treasure. Those are the ones that could honestly care less about the treasure and want to spend some quality time together. They want to think together, laugh together, brainstorm together. travel together and be right, wrong and help each other. That less than one percent of the human race can either ignore this quest for Forrest Fenn’s treasure as they are too enlightened to know the potential pitfalls of what this encounter may do to their nearly perfect world.

Many will never work together as long as greed has a say in the matter.

Greed can make a person selfish, pompous, mysterious and worse. It’s going to change the average person into an obsessive psychological monster. It’s going to eat at a persons’ moral framework, and potentially change the roots of what they normally are into something that could be highly undesired and unexpected.

So, in the end of this thread, I’d like to drive home the need to incorporate the 5 second rule.  I for one am NOT going to offer any help to the masses that are currently in the search since they aren’t willing to work with each other. I am not willing to post any comments on YouTube spammers who is using the efforts of many to produce lackluster videos of which many, end at a sixteen second mark, or looking for ego-testical hits and a potential TADA moment that should never happen. They spew out gibber and irrational thinking to anyone that is willing to listen to it. Those people should be one and done, Thumbs down.

So for those of you that need a sanity check, have a look at the only truly related meaning when it comes to trying to find Forrest Fenn’s treasure.

Waffle House waitresses work for hard earned tips !~

Waffle House offers good food, fast. But it comes with a price - it's a stressful environment at times.

Waffle House Waitresses and Waiter jobs are stressful and fast paced.

On a typical weekend, I arrive at a local Waffle House about 10am in the morning. It is always hit or miss on how busy the location is. I quickly scan the parking lot to see how many cars are there as I pull in. I park, get inside and look for my favorite waitress. I spot her, as she drops off a load of dishes near the dishwasher, tells the staff that those are her dishes. She then washes her hands, she goes around to the silverware area and grabs napkins, silverware and prepares a booth for another party. She smiles, introduces herself, and takes their drink order.  She takes a deep breath, and is off to the races again.

Take a moment to see what a Waffle House Waitress and Waiter does to make you happy.

If you have been to a Waffle House, one day make it a point to see at what length the waitresses and waiters have to go through during your short stay. Most arrive close to 7am and their scheduled departure is near 2pm, but they are typically out the door closer to or past 3pm. Near the end of the scheduled shift they have to clean the place up and tally up their ticket books which is a tedious project in itself. But that is not all they do…..

Typically they clean off the tables for the next guest, they each are responsible for their own dishes. They have to wait in line and call their orders in to the cooks. They bring you your drinks and take your order. They have to refill the orange juice containers when needed, refill ice, scrub pre-wash and then run the dishes through a dishwasher.  They have to wash any plates that the cooks use, including the egg pans. The trash cans don’t empty themselves out, so that is one more task that is done. They have to take orders over the phone and have time to check people out and offer a smile and ask how their visit was. As the day grinds on at the Waffle House, hopefully the tips they earn are sufficient for the day.

As additional people enter and leave, the chaotic cycle happens over and over again. In some of the Waffle Houses I have eaten at, they have this down to a fine science. Other locations, it seems they have less enthusiasm as the tips aren’t the greatest and the potential thought process is that why hurry when the reward for stellar performance is not going to be there in the end.

The waitresses and waiters won’t mention a thing about how much they get paid per hour. Its against the Waffle House policy. But if you are like me, you can find out anything by typing about it in your favorite search engine.

What DO Waffle House Waitresses and Waiters make per hour? Thinking about an entry level job, and have plenty of energy, with a flexible schedule?  How pleasing is this job ? Remember, this depends on the area in which they are employed. Some locations are more generous and managed differently than others in my opinion.

My Point is….. Tip the hard working Waitresses and Waiters at Waffle House !

In MY opinion, the ladies that I know that work at different Waffle Houses as Waitresses are underpaid, over worked and not tipped well. Like I said above, take that moment to pay attention how much activity these waitresses and waiters do in order to get a few extra dollars in tips. Tips are the livelihood of their job. Show the Waffle House waitresses and waiters some love and offer them a decent tip once in a while.

 

Still waiting on the Books……..

An update on the Collected Works Bookstore purchase of Forrest Fenn Books, The Thrill of the Chase and too far to walk.

Friday Morning, January 25th 2019, I wrote Dorothy, the owner at the Collected Works Bookstore and Coffee shop and inquired about my order of books. I emailed her and asked for an update to my order and I explained that I soon would be on travel. I also inquired about the change of policy after I had purchased the books and requested all of them be autographed. The policy has been changed to no more than two autographed copies of any book. Since the autographed editions are free, why not have an autographed version, as Mr. Fenn himself was kind enough to handle the book and add a signature.

Gift now when you can afford it. One day the ability to do so will not be there.

When I placed the book order, there was not any restrictions on the amount of autographed books that could be purchased. So, I requested that all be autographed. I wanted one copy each ( one of The Thrill of the Chase and too far to walk)  for my son, his girlfriend and myself. I planned on tucking away one autographed copy of The Thrill of the Chase for future use. Heck, I am the type of person that might just gift it away to a person that shows a strong honest passion about the adventure and simply cannot afford the book, but would be willing to help us with a solve. I have given many trinkets away in the past in the form of licensed MLB/NFL products to charities, such as We Promise Foundation, Edmarc Hospice for Children & Local Make a Wish office. In the case of the charities I am talking thousands of dollars. I don’t ask for much back in return, just that 100% of the proceeds from the item go to support the mission at hand. I also gift Steam purchased games for PC users.

Collected Works Bookstore and Coffee House IS a small business…

I have to remind myself that this bookstore is a small business and their tempo may not be as high strung as other places. The bookstore is something that has a limited number of employees and even more, a limited number of resources. But they have to realize that the bulk of the interest in these books have passed by. Add in the fact that The Thrill of the Chase copies were in stock, but the bookstore had to wait on the too tired to walk books to come in. Then, the bookstore has to set up an appointment with Mr. Fenn to come in and autograph these books. Mr. Fenn is no longer a spring chicken, and the ability to maneuver may be difficult at times. Finding an opportunity to either have him go to the bookstore to sign or, offer the bookstore to arrive at his house where he can sign books at his leisure would make more sense. Simply place a sticky on the appropriate page to make the opening of the book easier and an employee can either assist, or Mr. Fenn can complete this at his own pace, solo. Stack a handful in an acceptable area and make the books easy to take out of the boxes. leave the rest up to Forrest, with no deadlines.

His Autograph is worth something – kick it in to the Cancer Fund !

I honestly think that his autograph “means” something to the book owners. I think a nominal fee should be charged in the future for these autographs since the autograph sessions will become scarce as the calendar pages turn. Having collected autographs in my past, an average “Joe” can command between $20.00 to 40.00 on a book, and in my opinion, I think that is a pretty fair appraisal of Mr. Fenn’s autograph; heck it could even be more. In any event, the extra funds could quickly increase the Cancer Fund they have going. It will also deter the nefarious that want to take advantage of an autograph and gouge people even more, over pricing the books that they do on several third party websites. That’s just my two cents and I am sticking with it.

Hopefully I will get my seven books, all autographed as I desired. I will update this post when I get an update about the Forrest Fenn autographed books called The Thrill of the Chase and too far to walk. See my other posts for the official website to order the Forrest Fenn books directly from the Collected Works Bookstore and Coffee House.

so YOU say you found Forrest Fenn’s treasure…..

Is this Forrest Fenn's Bracelet? If so send it back to so we can plan a different vacation

I don”t know what is worse, a really long and boring solve on YouTube or a comment from some one that claims to have found Forrest Fenn’s treasure.

Soon the Search for Forrest Fenn’s treasure will commence ! Maybe. 

I placed an order for autographed versions of The Thrill of the Chase and too far to walk on January 3rd 2019. As of January 19th they have not been shipped. So, in the mean time, I simply visit a few resources to see if any of them have any useful information, and honestly, they do not. Ok, OK, maybe there is one. He ( a hint) supplies a few PDF’s (another hint) about Forrest Fenn’s ramblings. Are they worthy of a read? I don’t know, yet. Will they help me? Heck, I don’t know probably not. Most of what I deem semi-important I already had in text form. Its smaller in size and easier to read.

This is the way I look at things. If you have any questions about your own solve whatsoever, it becomes an inaccurate solve. More than likely it is not going to get you close enough to the blaze, let alone the correct area to look for Forrest Fenn’s epic treasure.

Partly potential and highly improbable (and long winded) Forrest Fenn treasure solves, hints and clues.

There are more than a handful of people that have come up with a potential solution on YouTube and want to post a video on it. Or, ven yet, they have solved a potential clue(less) tidbit and offer it over a 20+ minute video. I can tell in the first two minutes that it’s probably far fetched. Why do they need 20-plus minutes to convince the world that its a far fetched, overly twisted and improbable conclusion? They are long and extremely boring. Viewers if they choose to listen to the twisted thoughts of one or more attendees, will see that they will talk about anything. I look at these creators simply wanting YouTube hits, some self satisfaction that they might be a self inflicted star.  If they have a video length over 20 minutes, they are probably trying to hedge YouTube into coughing up some funds for the voluntary squatters believing that some where on the video a very important clue will be revealed.  You listen to one potential solve or a potential clue is solved and it makes no sense what so ever. The people in front of the camera seem to be nodding, but they too have no clue where this treasure is. IF they did, they wouldn’t be “hype-pathetically” guessing and smiling on camera waiting for the 26th minute to come so they can close out and post another nonsense production.

Forrest Fenn has giving out a pretty decent amount of hints over the years and people are just unable to comprehend what he is saying. One has to realize that not everything he says is a clue or a hint.  Personally I think he is pretty bold when he mentions a hint in a post or an email.

Forrest Fenn took his time and hid the treasure in an area where the stereotypical searcher is going to write off that potential area because it doesn’t fit their potential solve.  It simply can’t be there because…….. Because YOU think its not in your solve location. He wouldn’t dare to have hid it there…. Is probably one of the most illogical thoughts that can be produced. I think that Forrest probably has a huge smile on his face as he ponders how long its going to take some one to find this elusive treasure, that potentially is located beneath everyone’s nose.

Don’t be naive and believe that anyone out there is going to give you their best thoughts when it comes to figuring out Forrest Fenn’s poem, locations or even hints. Some may offer a little bit of information that may make sense, but what most may be after is someone ( a viewer like you or random poster) offering them a different view on an area that they may be stuck at. If you post an idea to them, they might see it in a different way, and either have more info than you do, or gives them ANOTHER reason to fire up the pathetic video machine once more.  That random comment may place them on the trail once again ( or not) and one step closer ( or not) to the winning solve. I have not found one decent resource that offers the identification of any of the clues, let alone all nine, nor a majority of head nodders agreeing that a particular phrase is definitely a hint that points to the poem and the clues.

Forrest must chuckle to himself a lot about this. He knew greed would take over and people aren’t willing to share anything, let alone their potential solve and even a heck NO to sharing a portion of a 42 pound treasure.  No clue about non-disclosure agreements, potential agreements about sharing of wealth contracts, brain (?) storming, planning, logical thinking in groups, or spreading the wealth of any type per se. OK, MAYBE a couple of photogarphs, as long as they don’t give anything away ! I simply shake my head. The hunt for Forrest Fenn’s treasure is going on at least its 9th year and zippo results.

Don’t get me wrong ( I maybe right, TBD). I have a logical plan. And should I decide to quit mid-stride and not go on an adventurous journey in search of epic loot, I might ( don’t hold your breath) share how I would approach this mind bending ordeal. No promises, because I DO need another vacation, and I want to visit some where in the USA vice an overseas location. Heck, If I can find the box of treasure, I can afford to go on vacation almost any time I want, and share the journey of travels on here as well as – you guessed it – on You Tube.

so YOU say you found Forrest Fenn’s treasure…..

Speaking of YouTube……To those that visit the YouTube channels and the forums claiming to have found the treasure chest, there is a simple solution. All you would have to do is mail Forrest Fenn his bracelet back to him anonymously. Being that potential problem solver, getting his current address should be a breeze. If not, you can always send it to a location he has visited (bookstore, museum or otherwise) and he or a surviving relative can then tell the world it’s officially time to put the books on the shelf and store the search gear. 

Wear some gloves to reduce the chance of leaving a precious finger print or fragment of DNA. Paranoid they are going to find you out by your hand writing or postmark? Simply print the information off the web, and slap that on a padded envelope.  I assume that you are NOT putting a return address on the package…….Buy some common stamps (US postage stamps that is ), place too much postage on the package. Use tap water to moisten the stamps, don’t lick them. After the package is sealed, making sure none of your DNA is included within the package, or under tape, get in a vehicle (with the package) and drive a pretty good distance away (maybe 1+ hours, more if you live in the boonies) from your location. Find a post office and drop the package holding Forrest Fenns bracelet in an outside mail box and then go home. Being that potential problem solver, getting his current address should be a breeze. If not, you can always send it to a location he has visited (bookstore, museum or otherwise) and he or a surviving relative can then tell the world it’s officially time to put the books on the shelf and store the search gear.

Then you can sit and bask in your glee that you indeed have produced to the world that some anonymous person has indeed found the elusive Forrest Fenn treasure and the world’s experts will shred every potential probable, improbable and other possibility of who had found the treasure and gawk at any question where the loot was hid and then found.  Ok, it’s time to come on back to reality.

Until then, I will read the books (when they get here) with an open mind (do I need a can opener for that? ) and plan a visit to the (currently unknown, but popular) location should I solve the first two clues within Forrest Fenn’s poem.

OK Forrest, add me to that chuckle line as well.

Where to Buy Forrest Fenn Books – The Thrill of the Chase

Where to buy Forrest Fenn’s book The Thrill of the Chase and his other books

This is THE place to buy Forrest Fenn publications. To me its far cheaper and I was told over the phone, even though it says they are not in stock, they always have them in stock.

$35.00
ISBN: 9780967091785

https://www.collectedworksbookstore.com/forrest-fenn

 

Too Far To Walk (Hardcover)

$55.00
ISBN: 9780967091792

https://www.collectedworksbookstore.com/forrest-fenn

To get order updates, call the Collected Works Bookstore and Coffee shop Monday through Friday and ask for the shipping team. They open after 10am  Mountain Time. The number is (505) – 988 – 4226.

Forrest Fenn’s Treasure real or fake?

In my first post about this Forrest Fenn treasure hunt, I tell everyone that it will be an exciting time to read a book or two and possibly have the time to take a trip west to the Rocky Mountains and have a look around.

I’ve only researched this about a week as I wait for the books to arrive. In the meantime, I have compiled some notes. There is rumor of Forrest Fenn saying in a round about way that the clues have been solved, but he doesn’t mention if it is by many people, a handful of people or just one.

Forrest Fenn also mentions that a few people have been within 200 feet of the chest, and more have been within 500 feet of the chest.

People are hesitant to believe him since he has a past of shady operations, even after leaving the military. I am sure the investigation set him on the right track once more. He wrote a lot of books, no? Others have written a lot of books as well, and some have made it to the NY Times best seller list. How could Forrest Fenn match that feat? With Forrest Fenn being a collector, and then having a glancing blow with a potentially deadly demise, it can make people “see the light” and want to do something right.

In my first post about Forrest Fenn’s treasure, I mentioned the Treasure hunt of the Golden Horse. It was managed by a third party which in the end, the third party never revealed its location. In my opinion, this is the way Forrest Fenn should have handled this event as well. There are too many “friends” that are close or have become friends to Forrest Fenn to make this a search without an accidental leak. I am not saying he can’t have friends, but why would a true friend  go on a hunt and try to find this treasure? It’s human nature. Remember, Forrest Fenn is a writer, he likes to express himself, and I honestly think that some one close to him may know more than is revealed. It would not be hard to liquidate the coins and gold within the chest, and swap/trade items to a collector who can verify the authenticity of the objects, but wishes to remain undiscovered.

On most videos, Forrest Fenn gets a higher pulse and somewhat excited when approached with a question that was asked for the first time, or if he didn’t remember it at the moment. He’s older, peoples’ minds can slip up when they are older so I can’t blame him for avoiding some of the questions.

I think the Forrest Fenn treasure is legit. I think he wants to be remembered for a legacy, rather than a conspiracy. That means once he is gone, people will remember him for the treasure hunt, and then for the books associated with the treasure hunt. He likes the publicity, he eats it up.  I have also noted that is is very difficult for him to hold back adding in more clues or even a mild pile of hints. Some hints have been revealed, but not as many as there should be. In my opinion, there should have been one mild clue released close to the anniversary when the treasure hunt started.

I think people are right on about Yellowstone being the place where Forrest Fenn potentially hid the treasure, Where else within the Rocky Mountains did FF have such wonderful memories ?

The poem is indeed cryptic. Supposedly there is a tight circle that have solved the first two clues. That is as far as it has gone approaching the 9th year. I don’t want to offer my two cents where it could be until I have read the books, read the poem over and over and over.  Sure it will be a challenge, but I think it worth the challenge.

My only concern about all of this is the way Forrest Fenn said in an interview that what would happen if his treasure was discovered thousands of years for now. If he had a choice he’d like to have his story told in full, and the entire chest placed within a museum. Let’s hope that the clues to the treasure are not that complex.

Forrest Fenn is a man who has seems to like to ride the edge. He’s not a man of constant conformity and will change course on a whim or if challenged to do so. That is a trait that far few people have in their lives. In this current day and age we seem more in tune with electronics and its distractions rather than the earth on which we live. In my opinion we are taking thing for granted and eventually it will be the human races’ demise. I think Forrest Fenn’s last hope was he could hit the NY Times best seller list, and make people get outside, in solitude, away from the electronic buzz, to become one with nature, even for a short while.

I don’t know what Forrest Fenn total worth is, but throwing a bunch of trinkets in a treasure box and then announcing it seemed like a good deal. He probably does not have a lot invested in what he placed in the box, short of the items that are closer to his heart – the non-monetary things that he threw in the box.

If anything, I will sit, read and ponder over the books and the potential path to the treasure. People seem to be greedy and there are only a few online sites that offer any sort of information. But, even the best sites appear to be STUMPED. Some one may be closer to a solution, but greed and not being able to trust another keeps this from being solved. Forrest Fenn is a smart man, he knew this would happen.

I can see him smiling as he contemplates how long the human race will tickle his book pages in search for his treasure after he is gone. I’ll eventually take that scheduled trip west as planned, and if the location an be solidified, even better.

Indulgence – The hunt for Forrest Fenn’s Treasure

Forrest Fenn book The Thrill of the chase

 

The Thrill of the Chase, treasure, travel, tools & ideas

I like the Thrill of the Chase, but the books by Forrest Fenn  and its adventure is not my first Indulgence, although the very first one I did not throw all in to the adventure. I am older, wiser and know whether the conclusion will be obtainable in a one time journey.  Like many have said, if you want to win the war, know what you are fighting for. It applies to many, many facets in life.

This initial post is a timeline of how I got started in all this mess. All the other posts will concentrate on The Thrill of the Chase.

Not my first Rodeo – Treasure the search for the Golden Horse

I learned of a movie and a book written about the Treasure, a golden horse. It was back in the 1980’s when I actually acquired the small paperback book and the movie.

Back in the day, I was in the military. I was stationed in Virginia and my orders had me traveling to San Diego California. To make a long story shorter, I managed to find several of the locations within the movie and the book.

I didn’t have an extraordinary amount of time to flirt with finding the treasure, but it gave me plenty of time to read the book, tickle my notes and see the great outdoors as I drove from Virginia south, to New Orleans, across Texas, and places west.

Life has many distractions and over time I totally forgot about the golden horse.  Fast forward to 2011 when I was in between jobs, but only had two weeks off. I needed to build a picket fence all the way around the house.  During this laborous  task, one day my son said, it almost seems like we’re digging for buried treasure. The Golden Horse simply popped into my head. Later on that night after recovering from the labor, I decided to see if the blasted golden horse had been found.  I found that answer to be no, the people who buried it did not offer a solution, supposedly dug it up and offered the prize to some charity.  But two dedicated people solved it after the “expiration date”. The place was eventually revealed. That’s all I needed to know for closure.  I was not vested in the quest to find the treasure, so I dropped the idea.

Tens of thousands of dedicated searchers during a six year search could not find the golden horse. That little horse was buried  in Tennessee Pass, 10,424 feet above sea level, along the Continental Divide in Colorado. It contained a key in the belly to a safety deposit box where a monetary fund  was placed.

Any other treasure out there?

Then a thought popped into my head, Hmmmm I wonder if there is any other quests to find treasure out there? I did a quick search on a popular search engine, and found a story of an old man being interviewed about some treasure box that he had placed somewhere.  Gold coins, jewels,  gold nuggets and other stuff. Neat.  At that point, I took note but I was not jumping up and down, yelling, giving high fives to everyone I saw, nor was I totally overboard with excitement.  That’s expending too much energy even for the most “egotestical” person on the planet. I am far from that. Plus, I was drained of excitement from the fence building excursion that was taking place.

Fast forward to March 2018, I decided to go on a trip from Virginia to Valencia, Spain in hopes to see this small wonderful city and maybe see some one special. The travel was one to test my ability to travel, my endurance level and will power.  As time ticks, the travel each way pushed past the 24 hour mark. Yeah I am a light sleeper. I didn’t sleep a wink on the plane, or during the layovers, but managed to close my eyes from time to time and drift a bit and relax. Those days marked as travel days were long days. I carried a backpack that contained a 17 inch laptop, cables and some lenses to a Canon camera along with many other items. add in a rolling backpack with clothes and an additional laptop that was meant for another task.  Yeah I ached once I was in the Flat within Valencia, Spain, but it was worth the effort.

The visit was to see the city of Valencia, Spain and  absorb all the cultures and landmarks that the adventure could offer. I stayed in a Flat close to city center. That was one of the smartest things I could have done. The range of attractions and distractions were all within reach. It was a fun trip and most days from 0700 to 1700 I was out and about, walking up to 5 miles each way with a backpack, cellphone with google maps in hand and a battery pack for additional power. Google Translate assisted mucho times. Technology, when used properly can make that experience even more amazing.

Although I did not get to see that special person,  it did not sour my journey for adventure and excitement. I spent nine days or so in Valencia, Spain  and came back with a trove of photographs and memories that will last me a lifetime. Most of the photos from the days of Valencia, Spain  are here on this site within this blog.

I like traveling, and in 2019, I have a goal to go west. I told myself after recovering from the Valencia, Spain trip I would take another to the western side of the United States. My middle child has been to Colorado many times as her husband has family in that area. So, I typed in adventures in the Rocky Mountains and AGAIN, I come across an old man with a treasure box hidden somewhere. OK, who IS this guy and why does he want to hide a box of treasure for me to find? And why am I crossing paths with him once again ?

Revisiting Forrest Fenn and his hidden treasure box

It must be a calling, and not by some one rattling my phone or getting hit by lightning.  On New Years Day, 2019 I decided to start researching Forrest Fenn and the placement of his semi-epic loot.

I watch a few videos mainly involving Forrest Fenn and a few of his closer acquaintances. It’s sort of intriguing. But I tell myself, this all started back in 2010 time frame – no one has come out and claimed this treasure.

A memory pops in the head. I was on a coin web site. A woman offers a prize to some one who can figure out how many miles were on the european car she just bought. Details were scant at first, but she did offer a clue or two. People were clueless, throwing numbers all around. No one was working together. The lady mentions that some people are closer than others, and I immediately think Really thats a clue?? I look at what numbers were near a majority. I tell the people on the forum to concentrate on the 50,000-60,000 range. The lady says she was floored that I figured that out so easily and I shared it with others. Communication starts to flow between people. All it took was a slight kick in the pants and the first to offer help. I told the lady who held the prize  its the presentation of the clues not as YOU want to see it, but in the eyes of the beholder/seeker. It makes a BIG difference.

Back to Forrest Fenn. I search some on the favorite web search engine. I quickly learn that this treasure hunt has a poem. All you should have to do is read the poem, read the book in which the poem is in and have a map handy. Other people tend to say that all the tools you need are the poem, a map and take it from there. I quickly chuckled and thought, those are NOT the initial intended tools.

January 2nd 2019, I decided to start digging, (no pun intended – supposedly no digging required) for good resources of general information. After several hours, I  realize that MOST of these people and places aren’t going to give you their best solve to the riddle where the treasure box is hidden. As expected, even the BEST websites and theories out there can be described in one word – Stumped. Many talk or write in circles, most at length. If a personal solution involves ANY trace of question marks what so ever, your off the trail. Don’t expect ME to get lost in your failing theory or offer advice on what your doing wrong. if I had the answers to them, I’d have the treasure box secured. Facts people. Stop guessing.

On January 3rd 2019, I decided to surf the web and try to find the book these people are pouring over, reading and trying to decipher.  GEESH – after a quick search on a popular search engine, most sites where you could find these books are expensive, well over $60.00 each. Though I read that some of the funds are going to be given to a cancer victim, it hits home, as I lost my only wife to cervical cancer in the 1990’s and raised three kids all by myself. Want a true adventure – give that a shot. Add in one has a severe bleeding disorder and your coffers are never full.  Add in I retired from the military and I was blessed to have done so. I’ve always tried to pay less than retail for anything to make ends meet. This will be one of them.

Forrest Fenn mentioned a book shop to purchase The Thrill of the Chase and I had to revisit the video to learn of its name. Prior to this, I did not see a clear path to purchase the books from the distributor, but eventually stumbled upon the “official” bookstore itself.

Where to buy Forrest Fenn’s book The Thrill of the Chase and his other books

This is THE place to buy Forrest Fenn publications. To me its far cheaper and I was told over the phone, even though it says they are not in stock, they always have them in stock.

https://www.collectedworksbookstore.com/forrest-fenn

I purchased four copies of Thrill of the Chase, and three copies of Too Tired to Walk. There will be three individuals involved in our brainstorming adventure. Best for each one to have their own tool, vice splitting up research and study time. I’d rather have a book available and dormant than a motivated searcher waiting their time to use a tool.

Do yourself a HUGE favor. If you decide to purchase the book(s), keep them in as pristine shape as possible. Then next owner or next visit within the pages will be just as delightful without a lot of marred distractions. I suggest do not write in them, highlight in them or physically or utterly destroy them. Visit a local office supply store, buy some tools you can write with and write in.  When your writing your notes, I suggest using pencils as thoughts can change instantly and an eraser can remove most doubts where ink will leave a mess.

If you have a thought, simply write it down, fully and as intended. But have a plan. I suggest having some sort of dividers to segregate your pools of information. Some may break up the clues in many areas such as general, about the clues, observations, references and such. It will keep it neat and organized, and semi-precise like the journey should be.

Sure, you can keep notes on a tablet, PC, phone or other electronic contraption, but make sure when the notes are needed the most they are available. Writings can add weight to the carry, but they can also be used to make notations. They are far more forgiving when dropped on a rocky surface.  Don’t feel like writing til your hands fall off?  Take the typed notes, print the important notes and attach them securely within your notebook.  Save the hand(s) from writers’ cramp  with keystrokes and a printer. Expecting foul weather ? Place pages within the book/binder in document protectors to keep them from altering their shape and effectiveness. Place the openings of the document protectors upside down as inclement weather travels down. This way the inclement invasion won’t be able to immediately penetrate the paperwork to create a soaked paper plastic reservoir.

I am going to create separate category for this trendy distraction so all of my Forrest Fenn treasure box notes will be in one location and not scattered across many other blog posts.

Stand by for more posts as time permits.

Flash Flood 2012: Landscaping prevents potential disasters

Right after several minutes of hail, the rain is coming down so hard that its difficult to see the truck in the driveay, let alone across the street.

Flash Flood preparation – why its vital and how to prepare for it.

Hey Dad !!! Wake up we have water in the house !

It was 2012, it was early, about 6:30 am on a weekend.  I step on the bedroom tile and there isn’t any water. I quickly put jeans on, shoes with no socks and a shirt. I step into the office and there is 2-3 inches of water heading towards the sump pump. My Daughter frantically starts picking up everything that has the potential to get wet.

This all happens within minutes. I stop, pause and realize we are without power. Its nearly dead quiet in the house.  I stand at the bottom of the stairs and realize the rug in the office area is completely underwater. I help pick up what I could, and dash up the stairs and out the door and into cough drop size hail. OUCH !!! I open the truck, hit the garage door opener and….wait. no power.

Right after several minutes of hail, the rain is coming down so hard that its difficult to see the truck in the driveay, let alone across the street.
Right after several minutes of hail, the rain is coming down so hard that its difficult to see the truck in the driveway, let alone across the street. Notice the water level at the back tires. I am on a sloped driveway.

I go to the back door of the garage and get it open, I grab the manual door cable and yank the Garage door open.  I look down the street and think I can see fire, police and other vehicles. I don’t waste much time. I roll out the generator near the opening of the back door , enable the fuel line and start running electrical cables into the house, mindful to keep them out of the water in the finished basement.

I beat on my son’s door and yell, GET UP ! If you don’t move your car NOW, you won’t have one. We’re having a flash flood soon ! This isn’t over ! He throws on some pants, then opts for shoes. I tell him unless he wants the shoes soaked, he best go barefoot. He comes outside and is speechless. as water is half way up his tires and rising quickly.   He backs the car on to the grass to the far side of my truck. It continues to pour harder than I have ever seen. Even in squalls out to sea, this storm must have dumped five or more inches of rain in 30 minutes or less.

My son is now up, groggy but walks out to the garage and after a dozen pulls the generator is online. I run down the stairs, and unplug the sump pump from the wall, and plug it into the live line coming from the generator. The sump pump starts draining the water, but its a slow painful process. I think the sump pump drain that sits on the floor in the corner of the room is clogged.

I go back out to the garage and grab the Shopvac vacuum cleaner and put that at the bottom of the stairs, after some quick thinking, the Shopvac ends up at the top of the landing and we are moving water outside the house quicker.

The view of the basement, with two inches of water from the flash flood. At least I know what it takes to flood the basement !
The view of the basement, with less than two inches of water from the flash flood. At least I know what it takes to flood the basement !

With 90% of the water gone, about 45 minutes to an hour after it all started, I am spent. I look at whats left on the wet rug and tell the kids to pick up everything of value and bring it to the garage.

A few other family members show up and ask if they can assist. I ask them to turn the fans on high throughout the house under generator power and find the sharpest knives in the house. Since the rug in the office is completely saturated, I decide to rip it all up in small manageable sizes. Under the rug is 1970 style tiled floor. That was a relief. I quickly told myself that tile would be the way to go in this finished basement for now on. The finished basement is about 1000 sq feet, and one half is already tiled.  We managed to get all the rug up and to the street. Its pouring so hard, that if you stood still for 15 seconds,  you were totally soaked. I run inside and grab my camera and quickly shoot photos of the front of the house area and the back. The streets are now a swift moving current with no course set other than the way of least resistance.

An old man comes out of his house to the left of mine.  He peers down the street, puts his cane to the air and shouts, “In my 35 years here, I have never seen so much rain !”. A Firetruck approaches and is within sight. Its forced to back up since the water in the street is easily half the way or more up most wheels of the vehicles on the street. The photo below, with the picket fence, the bottom horizontal 2×4 is 14 inches off the ground. So that means the water in the street is easily 15+ inches deep.

The water is steadily climbing. The house across the street, the water is at their front door and at the bottom of the windows in the basement. That house just got renovated.

Here is the view of the flash flood on the street from the front of the house.
Here is the view of the flash flood on the street from the front of the house.

At the back center of the property is a water run off drain. There must be a lot of debris on the drain grate, because that drain is not draining at all. Its starting to creep towards the house. I go to the garage and grab a wooden 2×4 8 feet long and head to that drain, in an effort to clean a hole out big enough to cause a suction to clean out the debris. It takes a while, probably 30 minutes but,  I finally hear the wooooshing of water down the storm drain. A  police car comes by and asks if everything is OK. I politely tell him I am out clearing the storm drain since it is clogged. Everything is as best as it can be, but some of the houses around here have basements, and elderly people, lets hope they are fine.

The water run off storm drain sits close to the maple just off the property line. When it is clogged water builds up fast.
The water run off storm drain sits close to the maple just off the property line. When it is clogged water builds up fast. The property line is 50 feet from the house. THAT’s a lot of water.

The rain is starting to let up some. It goes from buckets a second to a mild rain. In about an hour and 15 minutes after it all began, its partly sunny. That was one heck of a wake-up call for weekend.

I go into the house and assess the damage. The family have most of the windows open and there is definitely a draft throughout. While everyone was here, I explained to them, this could have been a LOT worse. I quickly tell them how to prepare for this and what you can and cannot do. I was lucky in the fact the lawn has a slight slope upwards the closer to the house you get. All the other properties are almost flat and they are probably bad off, with feet of water in basements.

The wee hours of Sunday morning power is restored and sleep is disturbed as electronic items come back on line. I wander through the house and turn the AC on. I want to remove as much moisture as possible. I then remember in the garage, in the back some where is an ancient dehumidifier. I go get that, plug it in and turn it on max.

I have security cameras outside and I had to see what the heck was going on at 6 am in the morning.  In the back of the house, are townhouses. They are set off to an angle . On the video, I see this…whirling dervish come down that path and its probably twenty to thirty feet wide. It travels down the corridor, hits my maple tree and its gone. About fifteen seconds later, the power goes out. My son had driven down the street after the water subsided and seen where the whirling dervish landed. Smack dab on a tree at the corner, knocking the tree down and the main power line for 3 large neighborhoods.

Overall I was lucky, I had enough “tools” and acted quickly enough to keep the damage down to a minimum. The saving grace was the rather loud awakening I got when the daughter noticed water getting into the basement – via the power outlet boxes within the concrete walls…….

This could easily have happened to anyone, anywhere. Preparing for something like this is a must. I am within a 100 year no flood zone, and we have now had TWO flash floods in the past six years. The flash flood in 2012, was by far the worse – so far. Worse than any hurricane I have been through, hands down.

2014 – Severe weather can come in many forms ! 

Take a look at this mid summer thunderstorm that quickly developed. Winds were easily in excess of 60 mph, probably higher. The video lasts only 3 minutes. THIS is why its important to make sure all loose objects are secured if thunderstorms or bad weather is incoming. This storm comes from many different wind angles. Have a look !

Potential Flash Flood scenario – again. 

So, Ironically this weekend – June 2nd and 3rd, 2018 we are under a Flash Flood watch. We can potentially expect three to eight inches of rain, with the majority of it coming Saturday night into Sunday Morning.

Update: June 2nd, 2018, at 17:54 (5:54pm) in less than an hour we have 1.96 inches on the ground. Its now 22:37 (10:37pm) and so far in the past six hours we have had a total of 2.64 inches of rain. We will see what tomorrow holds.

This storm is spinning like a backwards pinwheel, so we will be getting a LOT of rain. Its 1830 on June 2nd, and Thunderstorms are dumping rain as I type.

Thunderstorms are coming from a low pressure west. it is spinning counterclock wise and the majority of rain causes NOAA to enact flash flood watches and warnings.
Thunderstorms are coming from a low pressure west. it is spinning counter clock wise and the majority of rain causes NOAA to enact flash flood watches and warnings.

Things you want to have ready in case bad weather comes your way:

  • Plastic gas cans filled with fresh gas.  Personally, I own 6 to 8 five gallon plastic gas cans. I have four 5 gallon cans filled. I use those throughout the year for the landscaping equipment, and refill when 3 are empty or unstable weather is inbound. Remember, gas pumps require power, so its best to fill these days before pumps run out of gas, or lose power.
  • Gas Stabilizer. Use this in gas powered equipment when storing them away for the fall and winter months. It will save the gas lines from clogging and gas going bad. Mix it up appropriately to label specs and fill the tanks.
  • A generator. I have a 5000 watt Generac Centurion. I bought it from Lowes I think 5 years ago. I start this thing at least three times a year. If I need power away from the house I will occasionally pull the generator out and use it in the back yard, allowing to run for thirty minutes to hours at a time. It allows the generator to get some good run time in and it ensures there are no issues with the fuel lines or the electrical system.
During flash floods or bad weather, enure you have an alternate power source. This will aid in many ways. Make sure you test the tool on a regular basis and use fuel stabilizer.
During flash floods or bad weather, enure you have an alternate power source. This will aid in many ways. Make sure you test the tool on a regular basis and use fuel stabilizer.
  • A sump pump of sorts. A portable pump will do you wonders in a vast amount of situations. It can assist in the draining of flooded locations or can drain a pool or take lake water and help put out field fires if power is available. The model shown can fill a standard garden hose full and shoot it out a good 20 to 30 feet. So make sure the hose is secured before the hose is charged. Specs can be seen on the box.
An Ironton Sump pump that will move a LOT of water quickly. make sure you have an alternate power source if needed, and keep plus out of water if at all possible.
An Ironton Sump pump that will move a LOT of water quickly. make sure you have an alternate power source if needed, and keep plus out of water if at all possible. Keep all parts in box, small items in ziplock bags.
  • Clear any storm drains and water run off areas. If you don’t do this, the water won’t be able to clear the streets or get off the property fast enough. Once water backs up, it is a pain to get it to drain. It can be dangerous to try to clear a clogged drain later, so do it before the storm hits. It can usually be done with an iron rake or a flat shovel.
  • For flash floods make sure the streets are kept clear so water will run off faster and unobstructed.
    For flash floods make sure the streets are kept clear so water will run off faster and unobstructed.

     

    ENSURE the street drains are clear. Otherwise water will backup and water will rise quickly. Use a flat shovel or iron rake. It should take only a few minutes.
    ENSURE the street drains are clear. Otherwise water will backup and water will rise quickly. Use a flat shovel or iron rake. It should take only a few minutes. Shove debris IN, The water pressure will eventually carry it all out.
    should be cleared as ofen as necessary. if you cannot do it, call the city and report a clogged street drain. They will assign a storm water team to fix the issue.
    For Flash Floods, the wider the drain type, the more critical it is. These should be cleared as often as necessary. if you cannot do it, call the city and report a clogged street drain. They will assign a storm water team to fix the issue.

     

  • Improvise where you need to. This water run off ALWAYS gets debris such as limbs and leaves on it which clogs the drain. My son and I rig up a few HEAVY cinder blocks and a metal grate to thwart /catch some of the debris before it gets to the drain grate. This has helped many times and it only takes a few minutes to do.
this water run off drain/ grate fills quickly with water. moving debris will cover it, so make sure these are clean. improvise - come up with a plan to keep it clear.
this water run off drain/ grate fills quickly with water. moving debris will cover it, so make sure these are clean. Improvise – come up with a plan to keep it clear.
  •  You should know your land and the slope. Water tends to travel a path of least resistance. It should flow away from your house and not be allowed to pond up.  Use plastic tubing from your gutter drains so water is pushed out and away from the house.
ENSURE water coming out of the gutters is released as far from the house as possible. Make sure gutters are clear of debris and water flows freely. Use a garden house to clear debris and check flow.
ENSURE water coming out of the gutters is released as far from the house as possible. Make sure gutters are clear of debris and water flows freely. Use a garden house to clear debris and check flow. During flash floods, this is vital.
A house across the street seems to have improper slope and drainage issues. If this happens when a rain shower passes, BIG problems can occur should heavy rains come.
A house across the street seems to have improper slope and drainage issues. If this happens when a rain shower passes, BIG problems can occur should heavy rains come.
  • You can take small steps to prepare for some bad weather. Do yourself a favor and make a list of how to do it. Should something really bad happen, especially at night, you have written instructions that you can read, or some one else can. This will allow others to understand what is important and who may be in the house with you, and safety things others may not be aware of. It also give you a checklist of things to look over and fine tune as lessons are learned. It is far better to be over prepare for something than to be hopelessly unprepared for the worse.
  • Know your NOAA weather channels and how to surf to their web sites. Simply go to google and type in NOAA weather and add your zip code. for example, NOAA weather 23602.
  • Keep abreast of changing weather and you should come out ahead of most situations.

Spring project #2 – Adding river rock and clay pots

I learned long ago that river rock will out last mulch in color and overall appearance. I had four over sized bushes growing in the front of the house. Although they looked great when they bloomed, it wasn’t quite the look I wanted for the house. So, I decided to remove them in the fall of 2017.

The bushes quickly covered the front of the house. I wanted a better, clearer view from the windows.
The bushes quickly covered the front of the house, especially the lower windows.  I wanted a better, clearer view from all the windows.

I removed the bushes one section at a time. I did the smaller area in the front of the house to the right first so I could move alot of the river rock from the bigger side of the house when I was done.  On the right hand side of the house, I got the bushes out, took out the landscaping cover and replaced the landscaping cover. I then transferred all the river rock from the left hand side of house to the right hand side of the house with a shovel and some buckets. That was a pretty easy project to complete and I did it over the winter when days would allow me to be out and not freeze !

The project was about 70% complete before it got too cold. Lowes didnt have any river rock in the winter, so I decided to wait until spring 2018 to complete the job.

The river rock is now complete on the left hand side of the house.
The river rock is now complete on the left hand side of the house. Still a work in progress.

I will line the bottom of the mini picket fence with the long concrete bricks so I can keep the grass out, and keep the stones in. It will provide a good weed whacking surface to trim up the grass. The long bricks can be see in the photo stacked up, near the top center.

I did go to Lowes in the fall of 2017 to look for some nice larger clay pots. I was lucky, I managed to pull a 3 pot combination for more than 33% off.  Three pots for 60 bucks and they are frost resistant. That’s a plus. There are 3 sizes. large, medium and small. The plan is to fill the larger pots with bulb style flowers. The medium size pots will have seasonal flowers and the smaller pots will be filled with herbs and/or spices.

A fall 2017 buy when these three clay pots were 33 percent off. I bought four sets of these clay pots.
A fall 2017 buy when these three clay pots were 33 percent off. I bought six sets of these clay pots sets.
The small, medium and large clay pots. I have four sets of these clay pots
The small, medium and large clay pots. I have six sets of these clay pots sets.

The Large clay pot is pretty big, about 20 inches deep. I will see if I can get exact dimensions of all three clay pots and list them here.

Once these are placed out and full I will add a photo of how it looks from the front yard. This will be much easier to manage and the colors can make the house look amazing.

The river rock and clay pots are down in the smaller section. Now its time for some plants !

The river rock and clay pots are down in the smaller section. Time for some plants !

The river rock and clay pots are down in the larger section. Now its time for some plants !
The river rock and clay pots are down in the larger section. Now its time for some plants !

 

Clay pots sit on river rock on the smaller section that will have purple and white flowers
Clay pots sit on river rock on the smaller section that will have purple and white flowers.

 

Clay pots sit on river rock on the smaller section that will have red, yellow and white flowers
Clay pots sit on river rock on the smaller section that will have red, yellow and white flowers

 

2018 Spring Project #1 – Picket fence replacement

Picket fence in front of the house has been completed for a few weeks. Soon two-thirds of the project will be complete !

It appears all of a sudden once I had returned from Valencia, Spain trip I now have a lot of free time on my hands. In the Winter of 2017, my plan was to replace some picket fence line which is more than 6 years old. The property has fence line on the left and right side of the fence that measures over 120 feet long.

The back of the property line is about 75 feet wide. The front of the house has close to 50 feet of fence as well.

Mind you, I started this project March 26. 2018. I have completed about 75 feet of fencing in the front yard. The street side run of 125 feet will be completed when good weather returns. There is only 12 feet left to do. It’s now April 15th 2018. Its some pretty good progress considering time to purchase raw wood, paint it all with 2-3 coats of paint and then hang all this lumber. About 75% of the time, this was done solo. But two-thirds of the picket fence project is complete.

The back property line is completed. The only big job will be the remaining 120 foot run on the left hand side of the property.

Th front of the house showing five sections of new picket fence. The old picket fence to the right, is older and much lower.
Th front of the house showing five sections of new picket fence. The old picket fence to the right, is older and much lower.

I was sitting here contemplating if I should put up a 6 to 8 foot high privacy fence in the backyard area. I see alot of pro’s and cons to both. Most of the pro’s relate to privacy and security where as the cons are focused on sweat equity and replacing about 24 to 30 4×4 posts that are currently cut down to hold the current picket fence.

As I put up this picket fence, I am not cutting the boards down this time. The original board length will be used.

height comparison between the new fence and the old. The new picket fence will stand about 6 inches higher than the old picket fence.
height comparison between the new fence and the old. The new picket fence will stand about 6 inches higher than the old picket fence.

I will do the smart thing and start replacing the picket fence in the front of my house first. The original posts still look decent although they definately need a new coat of paint throughout. The posts have been whipped by the weed whackers and alot of the paint fom the grassline down is missing. No big deal, but it is one more small job associated with this project.

The gothic pickets come without any paint on them. So I decided to buy some Maximum paint/stain which will seal the picket. This paint/stain comes in 5 gallon buckets, it is heavy and it costs about $170 US dollars for 5 gallons, or about $34.00 a gallon. So far, I have painted (12) 2x4x96 horizontal boards, and rounghly 120 pickets. All that have been painted so far have 2 to 3 really thick coats of paint on them, and as far as I can tell, I have about 2.5 gallons of paint left. Eventually these will receive another coat of paint when a run of fence is completed. I don’t mind using as much paint as needed, especially if this fence will hold up well for another 10 years or so.

Olympic Maximum stain and paint good for 10 years
Olympic Maximum stain and paint good for 10 years

 

The first time I put up the picket fence, I aimed for a wide spread and shortened the pickets down. This time I am going to leave the pickets at their original length and lessen the gap between each picket. I have already started this project in the front of the house this week when the temperatures finally broke and we had two days over 60 degrees.

The idea is to figure that most 4×4 posts in the ground will be the same distance. I have a lot of the posts close to 8 feet apart, which is ideal. I then attach two douglas fir 2 inch by 4 inch lumber onto the posts so I can secure the pickets to them. From this 96 inch spacing, I subtract 3 inches from each end. I use this 90 inch area as my usable picket area. I try to adjust the spacing so the 90 inches of usable board length divided by the spacing comes out to a whole number, or close to it.

I want to try to keep pickets from appearing in front of the posts, just in case I decide to use some sort of fancy post cap to dress up the fence. I want to make sure they are seen, but for the people – mainly kids – looking to tweak or mess with the caps, the spacing should be just enough to give a hint that the cap exists.

For those thinking about changing up a fence line, you can either pay someone a lot of money to do it for you, or you can do it yourself. The choice is up to you.
I will attempt to show you the steps that I use which work for my situation. I will show the steps of what I have done and write up some comments at the bottom of the photos.

The first thing I do is measure the distance between the two posts. I measure dead center on each posts. Typically this is 96 inches. Since this is a fence re-fresh and not a total fence replacement, I am going to use the same basic height for the 2 inch by 4 inch by 96 inch douglas fir lumber. I asked a wood professional about the type of wood that can be used off the ground that if a coat of paint/stain was applied would last a decent length of time. He highly recommended the Douglas Fir 2x4x96 inches so that is what I went with.

Once the two horizontal 2×4’s were in place, I had to decide on the spacing between the pickets. The old spacing was a little over 5 inches wide. This would allow enough room for some one to put their foot in between the pickets and hop over the fence. Mind you, the old pickets were cut down by 6 inches or more, and that would have aided in people being able to jump the fence. I decided on a 3.5 inch spacing between the pickets.

With a higher picket, this will close up the gap just a bit and offer a bit more privacy. I already noticed this when I looked at the photo on the top of this page. I’ll attempt to show you the views in both measurements so you can see the benefits of each. The smaller picket spacing will also allow more of a sun block to some of the grass when the sun is rising and setting. That will be something positive in the harsh summer months here in Virginia.

With the horizontal 2×4’s up, I wanted the pickets off the ground. I purposely did not mow the grass, and it is a little higher than normal. This gives me a gauge on how high I want the picket off the ground. I simply lifted the picket off the ground when it was leaning against the horizontal 2×4 and when I was happy with the gap at the bottom, I took a tape measure. From the highest 2×4, at the top I marked this test picket. It was almost 16 inches. I decided to use this measurement. I measured from the top of the picket to the top of the highest 2×4 and then, took several other pickets and measured 16 inches top the top of the picket down 16 inches, and drew a line. This aids in hanging the inital pickets if your doing this solo.

I measured 3 inches in from the end of the horizontal 2×4 and drew a line. I did this on both ends. In a 96 inch run, this gives me 90 inches of picket area. It gives me an idea how many pickets I will need between each set of posts. The gothic pickets are 3.5 inches wide. The space between pickets in another 3.5 inches wide. This means from the center of each picket will be spaced 7 inches apart. With 90 inches to work with, I divided this by 7 and I came out with 12.85 pickets within this 90 inch area. That is extremely close to 13 pickets bewteen posts and I am OK with that. It will allow for a bit of error here and there.

Now that I have a line scored on the back of the picket I simply find the 3 inch mark and place the right side edge of a picket on that 3 inch mark. I raise the picket up until I see the 16 inch measurement line in the back of the picket and have it equal to the top of the highest horizontal 2×4. Holding this in place with one hand, I take a wood screw and twist in enough into the board to make it stay. Then, with a power drill, I secure the picket to the horizontal 2×4.

Picket with the 16 in mark level to top horizontal 2x4
Picket with the 16 in mark level to top horizontal 2×4

Now, I find a small level and make sure this inital picket is level as it can be. I then drive a second screw into the picket adjacent to the first screw. Per picket, I will have two screws in the top horizontal 2×4 and two screws in the bottom horizontal 2×4. This pattern will help the pickets stay in place, resist bowing and provide more stability to the fence line.

I secure two more pickets in the same way.

I go to the garage and I find a piece of scrap picket. I want to create a “spacer”. I use my saw to cut a piece of picket 3.5 inches wide. This will be used as a spacer tool in between each picket so the spacing is just right. It also eliminates the need to use a measuring tape to do this step on each picket. The spacer is a time saver, and can be held up with one hand.

A handy dandy picket spacer to make sure all gap measurements are the same.
A handy dandy picket spacer to make sure all gap measurements are the same.

I learned these tricks when I was doing the pickets for the first time. Another trick is bungie cord the level on top of the pickets. This eliminates the need to measure each picket to the same height. With the level on top of the pickets, it offers a stop point to push up the picket to the right height. With the spacer in place, I have the correct with and height and this can be accomplished with one hand. Once the picket is in the right place, I drive a screw into the picket securing the picket to the horizontal 2×4. I then level the picket and drive in a second screw at the same height. Depending on the length of the level, I can get 5 to 7 pickets done before I have to move the level and bungie cord. I use the bungie because the level WILL fall off the top of the pickets. With the level secured, the process of hanging pickets is a breeze.

Using a level with a bungie cord frees up one hand. Level stays put better.
Using a level with a bungie cord frees up one hand. Level stays put better.

In a 8 foot run, I only do two screws to the highest horizontal 2×4. Later on I will find the center of the bottom horizonal 2×4 and draw a line across all the pickets. This will allow for a uniform, more professional look. I know these pickets I have already painted, but I will be adding at least 1 more coat of paint/stain to the pickets when a section is finally done. I do this to make sure the pickets are totally covered, just in case some areas were missed or have chipped in the assembly process.

I looked at these taller pickets and I wonder, since I have a 16 inches from the top of the picket to the top of the highest horizontal 2×4, will I need to add a 2×4 that will be attached to only pickets with no post support? This WOULD keep pickets from curling. I will have to research this a little more and make a decision and go with it.

Here is the look at the street side of the house with 75 to 80% of it complete.  It is looking sexy !  The extra grass WILL be removed from the sidewalk once it gets a little cooler. Its a bit hot this week (80+F) so I want to do the harder labor when its cooler, or just before dusk. I’ll update the photos when everything is complete.

Street side is nearly complete. the walk in gate is in need of replacement, and the last 10 feet of fence at the end of the run needs to be replaced.  One 120 foot run is left to do. That’s on the left side of the house. Most of that is in shade, so it will be a more comfortable job in the morning and afternoon.

The street side picket fence is 90% complete. A section of picket fence near the end of the 120 foot run needs replacing, and the walk in gate as well.
The street side picket fence is 90% complete. A section of picket fence near the end of the 120 foot run needs replacing, and the walk in gate as well.

 

The street side picket fence is 90% complete. A section of picket fence near the end of the 120 foot run needs replacing, and the walk in gate as well. Sidewalk view
The street side picket fence is 90% complete. A section of picket fence near the end of the 120 foot run needs replacing, and the walk in gate as well. Sidewalk view
Picket fence in front of the house has been completed for a few weeks. Soon two-thirds of the project will be complete !
Picket fence in front of the house has been completed for a few weeks. Soon two-thirds of the project will be complete !

A new gate was built basically the same way. The old gate was close to 11.5 feet wide. The new gate is about 16 feet wide. My son and I added hardware to the gate that I hung, and it is now complete. Here are 2 photos. One street side and one within the property.

 

16 foot wide picket gate complete with guy wires and locking posts.
16 foot wide picket gate complete with guy wires and locking posts.
16 foot wide picket gate complete with guy wires and locking posts. Property side.
16 foot wide picket gate complete with guy wires and locking posts. Property side.