Colorado’s Slide-Rock Bolter
Colorado is a beautiful state known for its winter activities, snow-covered trails, and pine-scented evergreen trees. The state is known for the majestic Rocky Mountains, and when you think of potential cryptid monsters? The forest is dark and scary because the sun’s light can’t penetrate the thick canopy of tall pines. Strange and fearful creatures lurk within those leafy fortresses. Mountain Lions, Bears, and Big Foot haunt the forest. You tend to lean towards a Big Foot type creature.
Except Big Foot isn’t the cryptid haunting the Rocky Mountains. Nope! It is a giant whale. Well, a giant whale-like creature called the Slide-Rock Bolter. Colorado is known as the Rocky Mountain state, and it is inland. Aquatic whale-like animals don’t live in the mountains, but this one does.
The first sighting was by lumberjacks in the 19th century. They described the creature as larger than a Blue Whale with hooks on the end of his tail. Hooks that it uses to hang upside down from the mountains. Then it waits and waits some more for an unsuspecting hiker or lumberjack.
Then, the monster lets go of its grip and slides down the mountain with a wide-open mouth. Swallowing everything in its path, using its spittle to grease its way down the sharp incline.
Imagine a huge whale-like creature existing in those magnificent forests. It is unusual for an amphibious type creature to live on land. Yet, it seems to be not only living in the woods but thriving too.
Sightings of the Slide-Rock Bolter date back to 19th-century folk-lore. Lumberjacks and miners came down the mountains with crazy stories about a ‘Land Whale.’ Since then, the records are passed down generation to generation. No one knows how the story got started, but the locals believe the monster exists.
Witnesses describe the whale-like creature as more massive than a Blue Whale. It has a huge head and small eyes with scraggy, brush-like growths. The creature’s grey-brown colored body appears as a fat, smooth rock. Once hidden, it isn’t easy to spot.
The fluke-tailed monster only lives on slopes with a 45-degree angle. That angle allows it to cling to a pinnacle with its tail while waiting for its next meal. Once the unwary victim shows up, the camouflaged monster bolts out of hiding.
The force of gravity sends it torpedoing down the rocky path to its unsuspecting prey. How such a giant creature like the Slide-Rock Bolter can blend in with the surrounding scenery is a mystery.
Melding in with nearby rocky crevices. Disappearing into the cliffs without anyone knowing it was there. Reports mention that it skis down the slope like a pro. What isn’t said is how a large cryptid becomes invisible. How does it get back up to the top of the mountain?
I mean, this is a massive creature, and it has to get back up to the top somehow. The Slide-Rock Bolter is larger than a Blue Whale, so how is it getting back up the mountains? How is it hiding?
It uses gravity to aquaplane down the bank eating its victims along the way. Tales of the speeding monster states the beast uses momentum to get back up the hill. That is one fast cryptid then.
An ingenious forest ranger set a trap for the behemoth Bolter one day. The ranger’s district is a rough patch of mountains lying between Ophir peaks and the Lizard head. He came up with the idea of getting the Bolter to slide to its death.
The smart ranger dressed a dummy to look like a hapless tourist. Complete with plaid Norfolk jacket, knee breeches, along with a Colorado guide book. The ranger then filled the figure with gun powder and fulminate caps.
He placed the bomb smack into the Slide-Rock Bolter’s path. Sure enough, the next morning, the Bolter swooped down the mountain and swallowed the bomb. The explosion was loud, with the resulting shock wave leveling half of Rico.
Rico, Colorado, is a small town situated in the San Juan Mountains. The detonation killed the beastie or did it? The exact number of Slide-Rock Bolters is unknown.
The problem is the San Juan Mountains rock slides. They travel down the hilly slopes at velocities greater than most cars. Those rock slides would wipe out everything and everyone in its path. This natural event match tales reported about the Slide-Rock Bolter.
There is no direct evidence to support the existence of such a creature. No droppings, no real tracks of that such a monster exists. Tall tales passed down since the 19th century.
The first story was in 1910, reported by William Thomas Cox. He published Fearsome Critters of the Lumberwoods, with a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts. A novel about Lumberjack myths and legends.
Cox was a State Forester in Minnesota who wrote a collection of lumberjack tales from all over the world. He included the tall story about the Slide-Rock Bolter.
Lumberjacks spend long hours in the mountains cutting trees. Once finished, the loggers sit around the fire, telling stories. Telling tall tales, in a one-upmanship, is how the Slide-Rock Bolter was born. So, many researchers believe.
They don’t believe the Bolter is real. They believed the frightening cryptid was born out of the imagination of a logger’s mind. That when they take account of rock slides, there is no monster. Nature is responsible, not a cryptid.
Whether you believe the Slide-Rock Bolter or not? Hikers have disappeared in the San Juan Mountains, including missing people reports of hikers and tourists vanishing. No missing bodies or remains found, only reports filed. Yes, hiking can be dangerous, but another reason exists. If you go hiking in the mountains, keep an eye on the highest pinnacle. You don’t know what could be hanging around waiting.