THE SLIDE-ROCK BOLTER FEARSOME FOREST CREATURES: BY LAUREN SHULTS Nestled in the Coloradan mountains, just a stone’s throw southwest from Telluride, is Lizard Head mountain, home to the only native cetacean of Colorado: the Slide-Rock Bolter. The land-locked leviathan bolts down the mountainside and takes what is harming its home without a second thought. This deadly mountain-whale has been devouring tourists, lumberjacks and miners alike while sweeping through trees and all other natural life in its path for over 100 years — that we know of. Waiting dormant atop Lizard Head the whale watches the land near the San Juan Mountains with his careful beady eyes for anything to wander through the forested area. He hangs from the peak with his split, clawed tail facing his body downward. If the monster notices something encroaching on his territory, he easily lifts his malign fluke and bolts down the mountainside, sparing no passers-by. It is simply foolish to meander even remotely near the Lizard Head area, according to the tale. In no way is it in one’s best interest to meet the gargantuan creature with its jaw full of razorsharp teeth and staunch dedication to keeping humans clear of the area. The origin of the legend is rumored to come from lumberjacks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Gathering at the end of their work days they’d share horror stories late into the night, with one person trying to out-scare the next. Each of their tales held a grain of truth to what was happening in their daily lives. From the mining in the mountainous area the environment deteriorated and many men lost their lives through their work. In conjunction with the terrors of mining, lumberjacks played their own part in the destruction of the region by deforesting the expansive forest. Though the dawning and meaning of the Bolter differ from one story to the next, the monster’s mission remains the same: to make humans extinct from the forest. More than a century ago ago everyone in the Colorado mountain regions were aware of the chilling tale because of the booming mining and milling taking place in the forests. Many of No. 82

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