Many, many of your constituents are still curious about the fate of the “lost hunter” who “broke into” the entrance trailer at Lake” Nighthorse last fall. Did that poor soul survive his privations? Did he re-emerge from that wilderness or does he yet wander the foothills or, worse, do his forgotten remains molder in some dank dell, gnawed-upon by fell beasts? Perhaps one of your top-secret contacts in the shadowy underworld of La Plata County Intelligence can shine a light upon this tragic incident. Your committed reader, Wryawry
The strangest things happen when spring has sprung.
Locals who are borderline hoarders suddenly feel the urge to tidy up – dragging all sorts of clutter to the curb for city pickup.
Likewise, people who are borderline neat-freaks suddenly feel the urge to scavenge for free streetside stuff – because that broken chair or dirty plastic tub might come in handy.
In Durango, “spring cleaning” is just a fancy phrase for “junk swap.”
The castoffs from your garage don’t go to the landfill – they merely end up in someone else’s garage.
And so it goes with Action Line, when a tossed out news item is picked up for possible repurposing.
As luck would have it, the castaway question did indeed come in handy.
What happened to the nimrod?
Remember, “nimrod” means either a hunter or an idiot. In the case of the Lake Nighthorse interloper, it’s pretty much both.
Here’s your backstory.
In mid-November last year, Durango Police released surveillance footage of a camo-garbed man with a rifle illegally entering the reservoir’s office trailer.
He didn’t break or steal anything, but he left a note saying he was “lost and cold.”
Police wanted to find the flummoxed gadabout – not to arrest him but just to see if he was OK.
Fast forward to now, five months later. Action Line tried to get some hot tips.
Alas, the trail went cold. Despite the published surveillance photo, the hunter was never ID’d, said Durango Police Cmdr. Ray Shupe.
“We never heard anything, so it’s still a mystery,” he said.
So it will be Durango’s missing-persons enigma, kind of like D.B. Cooper or Amelia Earhart – but a lot less interesting.
Come to think of it, the incident was embarrassingly pitiful.
The Nighthorse trailer is a mere 2 miles up a well-traveled, well-maintained county road from Bodo Park. The glow of Durango is unmistakable over Smelter Mountain.
And the emergency “break-in” was recorded at 6 p.m., just a half-hour after twilight.
And the guy was hunting in mid-November without warm gear, matches or a cellphone.
Um, see the blinking lights to the north? Those are cellphone towers. You get great reception. If you had your phone.
So curb your enthusiasm for spring cleaning. Action Line fell flat on this fall falderal. Hunting season is now closed.
HHHSpeaking of overnight interlopers, our good friend Wade Moore, the city’s parking operations manager, offered some fascinating insight on the nocturnal habits of Durango’s downtown wildlife.
After a recent column about large pickups being ticketed for “not wholly in space,” Wade looked at stats for that violation versus tickets for vehicles parked in the Central Business District between 2 and 5 a.m.
In 2018, the city issued 1,456 citations for “not wholly in space.”
Meanwhile, 1,535 tickets were slapped on vehicles parked downtown in the wee hours of the morning.
“The interesting thing is that the overnight tickets have a short window to be written, whereas parking over the line can be enforced all day during the work week,” he said. “So that would tell you it’s a bigger problem.”
Be sure to lock your car if you do choose to leave it downtown overnight.
Some guy in camo who’s lost and cold may climb in and leave you a note.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you wander but aren’t lost.