My solution for this stanza appears to be totally coincidental, so I'll share what I thought it was.
323 577 is an area code and exchange for Mt. Washington, CA. I realized that George Washington fits this stanza because when he chopped down the cherry tree (clearing wood), he thought he would get punished but instead he was praised by his father for his honesty. So if you think of fortune more as good fortune than money, his fortune did come as a surprise.
This was confirmed by the 11 miles north hint because if you go 11 miles north of the Sinclair gas station from Mini Hunt #2, it almost exactly puts you on Georgetown Rd.
So...I downloaded an ebook of The Complete Works of George Washington and searched for anything related to black flame. When I looked for 'black' I found a reference to Blackburn's Corner. Aha, I thought. Black Flame, Black Burn; that must be it.
There are a few Blackburn towns in the U.S. One is pretty close to El Dorado, AR. Since there are only three towns named El Dorado in the U.S., this seemed pretty coincidental to me. El Dorado must be the place.
So I tried everything for Key 2 I could think of related to these areas. Nothing.
I re-evaluated. If travel through Blackflame means to go further into the book, there's a reference to GoldSmith's of Edinburgh later on. Aha again, I thought. The place where alchemy's best (gold) is found is Edinburgh.
So I looked at Edinburgh, Indiana. Nothing. I looked at the highway that goes between Blackburn, England and Edinburgh, Scotland. Nothing. I looked at the museum in Blackburn, England, that has gold on exhibit. Nothing.
Then came all the posts about ciphertext. It sounds like findingthetruth found something online on Lukas' site to me. I might still have the right book, but I'm getting nowhere with my interpretation of the next stanza.
What do you al think about where to find the cipher text? The cipher text must be the key...
Maybe 'the place where alchemy's best is found' is a metaphoric reference to digitalburiedtreasure.com, so somehow traveling through blackflame tells us how to access the hidden page on his site. What do you think?
Last Edit: Feb 23, 2020 15:49:12 GMT -5 by susb8383
Oh! I wondered where San Francisco came from. Interesting. James Marshall fits the description too. I actually had never heard of him, but wiki says that he owned a sawmill and discovered gold at it which sparked the Gold Rush. So running the sawmill could loosely fit 'clearing wood upon the land.'
It looks like he wrote a book: The Life and Adventures of James W. Marshall: The Discoverer of Gold in California
I wonder if that has anything about black flame in it.
Well, this is a new direction. If I find anything with that book, I'll let you know.
Thank you. I'm aware of the need for the second key. I was expecting you to provide me with a clue to the chest as I have provided you with useful information. Please send me a private message if it makes you more comfortable, but I continue to hunt for the treasure chest.
Last Edit: Feb 24, 2020 12:20:58 GMT -5 by texttext