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The Mystery of the Slide Rock Bolter
Wherever there are campfires, there are stories of the strange and mysterious. We are fascinated by ghost stories, ax wielding maniacs, creatures that could be forgotten by time, and a category very special to me – the “unexplained mythical beasts.”
We’ve all heard the stories about the Loch Ness Monster. We’ve examined the grainy photos. There is even a version that lives in the Chesapeake Bay off the coast of Maryland – called Chessie. They are shy, seldom seen creatures and in the minds of many, if discovered, perhaps a link to a prehistoric creature that somehow time forgot. After all, the coelacanth was the stuff of fishermen’s tall tales until it was netted off the coast of South Africa in the 30s.
The forests of North America hold stories of Sasquatch or his stage name: Bigfoot. A tall, hairy beast with long arms and a fearsome footprint lurks on the fringes of society. Seemingly harmless, he has been coyly photographed for years. While the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization has tried to track him for years, so far no luck. Is it fraud or fact? Who’s to know?
The desert Southwest is home to a more malevolent legend, the Chupacabra. This beast, who’s name literally means “to suck” and “goat” is said to roam throughout the Southwest, into Mexico and beyond attacking livestock and draining their blood dry. This legend was apparently debunked in 2010 when ranchers killed a strange looking beast that was later determined to be a coyote that had been afflicted with scabies and other parasites. Other coyotes with similar mutations have been found. Gruesome, but seemingly a mythical creature debunked.
So what of the Slide Rock Bolter? Of course Colorado is not immune to its own regional legend. It’s said that the Slide Rock Bolter will lie in wait for its prey – it’s preferred meal being tourists – by hooking itself to the tops of mountains with its forked tail. It survives by lying patiently in wait for explorers to wander about and then, when the tourist least expects it, the Slide Rock Bolter will hurl itself from its lair, slide down the mountain on a self propelling trail of its own drool and snap up the tourist in its gaping jaws.
Many locals have tried to catch them – by creating tourist scarecrows complete with guidebooks and bright clothing. But, in what appears to be a remarkable evolutionary skill, it has learned to see through the disguise and to this day has not been caught.
So as you sit at your campfire, give a thought to your local mythical beast and the Colorado Slide Rock Bolter. He’s not been fed for many years so he may be keenly watching for his chance.
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