Big(foot) find? A Wildernest man finds and photographs mysterious footprints in the woods near Buffalo Mountain
WILDERNEST – Trevor Denny has never seen a Bigfoot. But the Wildernest man has seen and photographed what he thinks might be the closest thing: a big Bigfoot footprint.
Denny, an avid hiker, was hiking with his puppy on the Mesa Cortina trail between Red and Buffalo mountains in the Gore Range last June when he noticed several footprints on the trail.
“I was looking down at my dog and I just caught them out of the corner of my eye,” he said of the discovery. “My first thought was, “I wish I had a camera.'”
Bigfoot – the legendary half-man, half-ape species rumored to roam the forests – has been in the news lately since the death of Ray Wallace, whose family claims he made fake footprints, photos and video clips of the animal.
Neither U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Jamie Connell nor Summit County Sheriff Joe Morales has taken reports from people regarding possible sightings of the mythical beast. Both said it wouldn’t surprise them if someone asked them to some day.
But according to the Bigfoot Field Research Organization, at wee.brfo.net, there have been several sightings in Colorado throughout the decades. Most occurred in Park, Conejos and Eagle counties. One was reported in Summit County, in the woods off Highway 91 between Copper Mountain and Leadville.
Denny said the footprints he found – the largest of which measured 12 to 13 inches in length – were in the middle of the trail and intermingled with bear paw prints. Denny followed the footprints up the trail until they faded away.
Two days later, he returned with his camera – despite the teasing he’d received from his roommates.
“I told them and they laughed,” he said. “Some people are pretty astonished, and others laugh it off. Others say someone’s playing a joke.”
Denny, who hikes the popular Mesa Cortina trail about 10 times each summer, said the only wildlife he’s seen along the route is quail. As a Wildernest resident, he is familiar with the black bears that often root around in trash bins in the subdivision, and has taken numerous photos of their antics and paw prints.
The footprints appear human, Denny said, with five distinct toes and no claws. But they’re far larger than any footprints he’s ever seen.
“I have no idea what it could be,” he said. “But I like to keep an open mind.”
He didn’t report the incident.
“Probably because I didn’t see anything,” he said when asked why. “It’s kind of become this neat thing between me and my friends.”
Denny said he wasn’t afraid, primarily because he couldn’t see or hear any animals in the forest – and he kept berating himself for having left his camera in his condo. And he hasn’t seen anything since.
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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