“Begin it where warm waters halt” is the first confirmed clue in the Forrest Fenn poem that will lead you to glorious treasures. This has been interpreted as hot springs or warm springs, geysers, the areas where warm water fishing waters turn into cold water fishing waters, reservoirs where water of some warm source is dammed up, confluences of a warmer and colder river, the list goes on. It’s important to remember that the poem should be able to stand on its own. Nobody knows what kind of prerequisite knowledge is required for solving this problem, it’s one of those times when maybe knowing too much about history or geography can get in the way of simple reasoning. Forrest has said that you need to be confident in your location and nothing is more important than figuring out a good starting spot. Every word in the line should make sense and fit.
Maybe “warm” doesn’t mean temperature? A quick googling of
warm says it can mean a few things as an adjective:
1. characterized by or having a moderate degree of heat; moderately hot
2. maintaining or imparting heat a warm coat
3. having or showing ready affection, kindliness, etc. a warm personality
4. lively, vigorous, or passionate a warm debate
5. cordial or enthusiastic; ardent warm support
6. quickly or easily aroused a warm temper
7. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Colours) (of colours) predominantly red or yellow in tone
8. (Individual Sports & Recreations / Hunting) (of a scent, trail, etc.) recently made; strong
9. (Group Games / Games, other than specified) near to finding a hidden object or discovering or guessing facts, as in children’s games
10. Informal uncomfortable or disagreeable, esp because of the proximity of danger
Check out numbers 6,7 and 8, both interesting interpretations. Respectively:
This website says Cimmaron means “rowdy place”: “Cimarron has a history of outlaws, bandits, gratuitous violence and just plain rudeness, and that legacy has shaped Cimarron into a scrappy, scruffy little place.” There are two Cimarron Rivers in New Mexico, one stays entirely within the state, beginning at Eagle’s Nest Dam and the other, the Dry Cimarron River takes off into Kansas. The one that leaves us was
at one point called “the Red Fork of the Arkansas because of water’s red color”. It’s also called the Dry River because it actually goes underground in some areas. The Cimarron rivers meet two of the alternate meanings of warm and one certainly fits in with the “halt” clue.
Red River is pretty self explanatory for fitting in with definition number 7 but it isn’t dammed up anywhere because it just flows into the Rio Grande and seems too touristy “let’s rent a well appointed cabin in northern New Mexico” place for Forrest.
The Chama River is the money shot according to meanings 1,6,8 and 9. Especially according to meaning numero ocho, according to this totally reputable and scholarly looking website: “”chama” is a term used to refer to a young woman.” But ALSO ALSO:: “The name “Chama” is a shortened version of the Tewa term [tsąmą’ ǫŋwįkeyi], meaning “wrestling pueblo-ruin” (That sounds pretty rowdy and wild to me!) PLUS the spanish word “chamuscar” means to burn, singe. That satisfies a lot of these possible warm water meanings. The Chama River halts at the recently made (1971) Heron Dam, (1935) El Vado Dam and (1963) Abiquiu Dam… Although none of these places actually halt there river, it ends up flowing into the Rio Grande. Damn.
Forrest seems to have a thing for hot springs. New Mexico has a lot of them, although the majority are located in the south. The big own I know if is Ojo Caliente which is just north of Santa Fe. But I’ve never felt like hot springs were the right answer. Hot springs have hot water, not warm waters, plural…
Fishing waters in New Mexico are plural but there are so many potential areas to start I wouldn’t know which one to pick! You can find a fishing map here but if you can figure out a good spot, please let me know.
If you’re thinking along the lines of dams, and I am too, here’s a good list to start investigating. I like El Vado and Eagle’s Nest best.
Good luck finding your warm waters, treasure hunters! Let me know if you find anything interesting!