I've been looking for a solution to this puzzle since sometime in the middle of January 2018 when I heard a story about Fenn's treasure on line. I had heard about it some years back but it never really 'took' in my imagination.
I've done puzzles for a long time. I've submitted solutions to NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday from time to time. I've never been on the show. I also tried to figure out the "Treasure - Search for the Golden Horse" back in the 1980's. In my opinion it was impossible to solve that one, especially with no internet.
At first I looked for anagrams, hidden messages, cyphers and what not without success. One day I was listening to the radio and I 'solved' the first clue. It took approximately two weeks for me to come up with a solution to the nature of the blaze, but my location was off. Still I was able to convince my wife to accompany me to the Rocky Mountains for a whirlwind weekend of the Thrill of the Chase.
to quote Kurt Vonnegut... "and so it goes"...