Keep an Eye Out For This When Hiking the Bookcliffs
Have you hiked Western Colorado's Bookcliffs lately? When you do, please keep your eyes open for a sign like this.
My Memorial Day Weekend included a hike up the Bookcliffs. To date, I've never been to the east end of the Bookcliffs. When hiking in that area, you eventually encounter a corral fence along the south edge.
Deep inside that fenced area is a sign. Typically, when hiking, I like to "unplug." Basically, I leave my radio, electronics, and other odds and ends, including my glasses, behind. My cell phone does accompany me, but only for emergencies. Without my glasses it was impossible to make out the writing on the sign. This warranted closer investigation.
This is a typical "Waylon Moment." I made my way through the corral fence. Roughly 100 feet past the fence I was close enough to the sign to make out the writing. The sign very clearly stated:
Danger: Abandoned Mine. Hazards. Collapsing Ground.
Accompanying the warning is a picture of a human being falling to their death. It's hard to tell if it's just a person in the graphic, or if it's a cheerleader. The character seems to have pom-poms on its hands.
I hate to be a jerk, especially since I'm the idiot who went up there without his glasses, but... couldn't the sign have been placed a little closer to the fence? For the most part this is my fault. I should have been wearing my glasses. I guess it's a good thing it didn't say "Rattlesnake Area," "Shooting Range," or "Toxic Radiation."
Fortunately, my exit from the area was uneventful. Along the way, I did spot this hole in the ground; something or somethings made a home out of it. While it was difficult to tell without my glasses, the hole seems to go at least six feet straight down, if not more. As you can see, there is very little dirt around the opening, far less than it would take to fill the void. I can't help but think this was an instance where the ground caved in, and something decided to take up residency.
Don't be like me. Don't hike without your glasses, and don't buy rental properties. Both are big mistakes. Do be careful when hiking on the Bookcliffs. It's a fun, fairly easy hike, but there are dangers. Keep you eyes open for this one, and avoid the area.