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COUNTY: Huerfano County
LOCATION DETAILS: (I'd like to note that I'm not sure it's Huerfano county....Alamosa is on the other side of the mtn.)
To get to Lilly Lake, you drive through Gardner, CO on Hwy 69 (west?). Stay straight until you get to a fork on a dirt road. Go left to Huerfano creek. stay on the road for a good ways. It turns into a 4x4 road after awhile and ends at the Lilly Lake trail head. The trail then leads right to the lake (a good steep hike). The sighting was very roughly about 1/3 of a mile down hill from the lake and 1/3 of a mile to the west off the trail in the trees.
NEAREST TOWN: Gardner
NEAREST ROAD: Upper Huerfano
OBSERVED: This event took place a couple years ago. I have a biology degree and work as a wildlife biologist. I usually don't tell people about it, but after reading some other stories on your web page -why not.
I was with a group of friends hiking up to a mountain lake called Lilly Lake on Mt. Blanca. After hanging out at the lake we had all started to turn back. After a while we decided to race down the hill off the trail back to camp. (last one there was cooking). I hung back with another friend to just walk back and carry people's gear. Shortly after everyone took off like a bat out of hell, we saw something jump between two trees. The figure was stretched out like someone doing a jumping-jack while jumping in a lunge. It must have been at least 6 feet tall. At first we thought it was my brother messing with us, he was the only one in our group tall enough. Both me and my friend have a lot of outdoor experience. It was positively not a deer, sheep, elk or a bear. Although it's color was very similiar to the light-grey of a mule deer during that time of year. The arms were clearly visible as were the legs, but it moved very fast between the trees. At first we joked about how it looked like a bigfoot creature, but blew it off as my brother. When we got back to camp everyone else was there and we noticed that my brother had a red shirt on, and was the second one back at camp. It rained that night and was a steep hike so we never went back to look for tracks.
ALSO NOTICED: It was very unusual that we never heard a sound come from the animal. It was only about 30-60 yards away and we didn't hear a thing! We are both very experienced with wildlife and the sounds of the different animals.
OTHER WITNESSES: One other witness. Just prior to the sighting the whole group of 6 were hiking back to camp. 4 of the others had just ran though the timber before us.
OTHER STORIES: Just that there have been a lot of strange events in the area. A few tales of people spotting unknown animals that seemed odd.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was a weekday, overcast, evening. The light conditions were good, not bright or dark -but it was overcast...
ENVIRONMENT: It was on a good south facing slope. It was in either ponderosa pines or spruce trees...most likely a mix.
A & G References: T28s R73w, sec 24, SE 1/4, N1/2. 6th principle meridian
Follow-up investigation report:
The witness, who is a wildlife biologist and a capable observer of wildlife, added a few details during our conversation:
* He spends a good deal of time in the Blanca Peak area. He reports that "it rains all the time up there"...he's never been up there without it raining. This is potentially significant in this semiarid region.
* While he recalls there were a few people in the area during the few days his party was there, he's confident that he was not hoaxed. There was nobody around at the time of the sighting.
* The 2nd witness, a good friend of his, he reports to be a capable observer as well. They often go hunting and fishing together. The 1st witness provided the 2nd witness with my contact information and I am hoping she chooses to contact me with her perspective of the encounter.
* The sighting occurred between approximately 4 - 6 pm. This is a very rough approximation of the time derived by considering the season (spring) and the lighting. It was early evening but not dark and shadowy.
* He was surprised at the lack of sound from the movement of the animal. Neither padded footfall like bear, nor hooved footfall like deer, elk, or sheep. No sound at all.
* The witness doesn't know whether or not their camp was visited by the animal. Camp was located approximately a mile from the sighting in the bottom of the valley.
The encounter occurred within a mile of the common intersection of Huerfano, Alamosa, and Costilla counties. It is also about 2 miles from a summer 2000 sighting near Como Lake (see Alamosa county). The Blanca Peak area is rich with historical references to a sasquatch-type creature.