‘The most frustrating experience of my life,’ says finder of Forrest Fenn’s hidden treasure

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DENVER (KDVR) — It has been a little over three months since Forrest Fenn’s fabled hidden treasure was discovered in Wyoming, and the person who discovered it is now speaking out about finding the treasure and meeting Fenn.

Fenn, a famed author and art collector, died earlier this month, but not before “the finder,” who remains unidentified, had a chance to meet him and reunite him with his treasure chest.

“The finder,” as they called themselves on a blog posted to Medium, said it took them years of searching, saying they searched 25 times at the treasure’s location before finally finding it.

“The moment it happened was not the triumphant Hollywood ending some surely envisioned; it just felt like I had just survived something and was fortunate to come out the other end,” the post said.

“I figured out the location where he wished to die (and thus, where his treasure was) back in 2018, but it took me many months to figure out the exact spot. This treasure hunt was the most frustrating experience of my life. There were a few times when I, exhausted, covered in scratches and bites and sweat and pine pitch, and nearing the end of my day’s water supply, sat down on a downed tree and just cried alone in the woods in sheer frustration.”

Throughout the blog post, the finder writes about their adoration for Fenn and how the challenge of finding the treasure helped them find their way through life.

“In the few years before I had heard of Forrest Fenn, my confidence in myself had been totally destroyed. I like to think it aided me in finding the treasure — without any self-confidence in my abilities, I had to stick to the evidence and not stray into hunches and speculation,” the post said.

But the finder says that sense of purpose was shared by so many more people, even those who were ultimately unsuccessful in the search.

“Sure, (the treasure) could only be given to one person, the one who found it, but it inspired hope the world over and the joy of discovery for all those who got to go out and appreciate the wonders of the Rockies,” the blog post said.

Throughout the blog, the finder is careful not to identify themselves other than saying, “I’m a millennial and have student loans to pay off.”

And several lines are dedicated to Fenn’s willingness to help keep their privacy — even at the potential of hurting his own legacy.

“It’s incredibly generous to leave a chest full of gold out in the wilderness for someone to find. It’s a whole other thing to set aside one’s driving desire for a legacy in order to protect that stranger,” the post said.

Click here to read the full post from “the finder” and see photos of Fenn being reunited with his legendary treasure.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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