Notre Dame of the Rockies
We have a connection between Saskatchewan and 300 miles west of Toledo - Notre Dame. So what about Nevada?
Forrest, early on in the chase changed the hint to “the ROCKY Mountains north of Santa Fe,” emphasizing “Rocky”. The French translation of Notre Dame is “Our Lady.” There is a 90 foot Madonna that sits on the continental Divide called Our Lady of the Rockies. Forrest could be describing and hinting his special place though symbolism that exists outside the physical search area; and that is why we need to think and do a lot of research to solve the poem.
Our Lady of the Rockies is actually a dollerd or resemblance of the Virgin Mary. This strongly supports the reason he spelled dollar as “doller” on one of his bronze bells. Forrest discussed in one of the scrapbooks the cavalry hat and several times he referenced the calvary but Calvary is actually a site of the death of Jesus which is symbolized by the Virgin Mary statue.
Initially I was skeptical of this because Forrest said, “I am not a religious person but I am probably the most spiritual person around.” However he is very symbolic and spiritual and his posts of the Reliquary, Moses and Indulgence (Roman Catholic term) has certainly hinted something religious. And then there is this statement, “I believe there is a higher hand someplace, I don’t know what it is but I think I have lived a charmed life…”
This statue has an interesting story behind it. In 1979 Bob O’Bill’s wife, Joyce, had cancer and he vowed to build a statue of Mary in her honour, if she survived. Our Lady of the Rockies was completed in 1985 as a result of Joyce’s recovery. It was built in Butte and airlifted in six pieces by the Nevada Air National Guard using a Tarhe Helicopter (explains more than 300 miles West of Toledo and not in Nevada). Ironically, the right hand of the statue was damaged when the helicopter lost lift, similar to the story of Tarhe and Mr. Fenn’s Moses scrapbook. Three years after this Madonna was built, Forrest similarly found out he had kidney cancer and the story of Our Lady of the Rockies is likely the inspiration behind his treasure hunt.
In his memoir’s, Totem Café Caper, Forrest wrote about a lady named Grandma. However, in his original story that he wrote many years ago Grandma was called, you guessed it, “Mary.” This is a very powerful hint as it highlights Forrest purposely changing a name which points to the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Rockies.
I know what many of you are thinking, too much religion and Bible verses, etc. However, Our Lady of the Rockies is a non-denominational tribute to all women of the world and is not so much a religious icon. Forrest said he hid the treasure in a very special place and when he misspelled “farther” in his Six Questions at Mysterious Writings, “move father away from the chase” that obviously left his mother. The only logical and humane reason Forrest would ever leave his wife and two daughters to run off and die on his own would be for them and them only. The women in his life, his mother, wife and two daughters are the ones special to him and this special place reflects that because it is a place to remember and a place in high regard that honours all women.
Beside this statue is a church or chapel that people can place plaques to honour and remember their mothers. Remember he said his church is in the mountains. Forrest claimed in scrapbook seventy-three that Einstein said, “Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.” Well the truth is, it was Sir Winston Churchill who spoke those words. Remember those cute Polar Bears Forrest posted on Dal’s blog, polar bears are synonymous with Churchill. This aberration suggest “Churchill” is the hint but literally the “church on the hill.”
The hill or mountain this church and statue stand, is called “Saddle Rock.” I explained this “in the wood” significance here: With imagination, which he says is more important that knowledge, the combination of a human torso (Our Lady) and body of a horse (Saddle Rock) is a Centaur, which is explained here.
Since Forrest says this is a very special place of which he knew immediately where it was when he found out he was going to die from cancer, it is likely the women in his life are so special and the story behind Our Lady of the Rockies is so close to his own that he chose this special place to rest his bones.