Larkspur B-17 A Trip with Len Wallace to Hill 8487 (Sat. Oct. 27, 2001)
Len Wallace is the expert on WWII crashes in Colorado. He has visited many, many of them before I came along and has offered information and background on lots of them. Len had heard of my searches for this plane with wry amusement and finally decided that he'd take pity on me and show me where it is.
But just in case he got confused, the condition was that he only take me. No group hike.
OK. I can handle that.
We met at Sedalia at 0830 and Len climbed in with me for the awful drive down RRR to FR 327 and trailhead.
We looked at the topo map and I showed him where we'd been looking (side of Hill 8487). He thought it was on the side of 8487 also. But Len had visited the wreck via private land about 7 years ago. This time we were trying to get to it by public land. Previous approach was from below, this try was from above.
Len's knees aren't in real good condition so he travelled light. I carried my usual stuff. We set off along the ridgecrest headed north. Then we headed for the summit of Hill 8487. Len got concerned at the distance because he'd not had to hike that long to any wreck he'd visited.
When we reached the summit of 8487 and looked out over the flats, we picked a direction and descended maybe 300'. Then we decided that maybe Len shouldn't go any further down since his climbing speed is pretty slow and it was already a long way back to the car.
So I marked his position in my GPS and plunged down the hill for 20 minutes to see what I could see. I didn't even get to the creek bottom in that time. It took me 50 minutes to climb back to him. Then we returned to the car.
No find this time either.
It might take the ordeal of descending all the way to the mouth of the canyon and climbing back up. THAT would be an ordeal and something for a long summer day.
I did have a very interesting day with a very interesting man. I'm hoping to have his information about the L-1049 Constellation on Mt. Blanca. Len has the REAL cause of the crash figured out (as opposed to the official cause).
Last Modified: 1/1/2008