Larkspur B-17 Yet another Trip to vicinity Hill 8487 (Saturday Aug 4, 2001)
From email I sent the morning after:
Well friends, I've decided that the Larkspur B-17 is one of those kinds of things that causes lakes to be named "Lost" and that until now I've never really understood how that could happen.
But after making yet another try at the wreck site and failing, I'm more convinced that ever that GPS is the way to go.
My co-worker Matt and I drove down to the Rampart Range again yesterday (3 hr drive) and met up with Shannon Kelly and his friend Mike. Shannon is a WWII buff and lives in Larkspur. He'd contacted me by email asking if I knew where the B-17 was. I told him I didn't but that I was going to make another try at finding it on Saturday and he was welcome to join us.
At 0930 we met at Forest Rd 327 and 4wheeled in to the parking area from last time.
Shannon and Mike are healthy youngsters though a bit older than Matt. I seem to be the old man in the party. (Is there a pattern developing here?)
We started off into the woods and found the motorcycle trail and travelled quickly to the head of Starr Creek. For this trip I'd worked out GPS waypoints that would put us on the ridgeSE of Hill 8487 with the idea that we'd travel the ridegetop to a point then descend to the bottom of Starr Creek and work the creek a bit downhill then back uphill. The previous trip we'd worked the hillside above Starr Creek to the E and NE of Hill 8487. That was a mistake in directions at the time when the wreck was supposed to be SE to SSE of the hill. SE to SSE would be the portion of Starr creek upstream we planned to search.
Transit went quickly then we descended to the creek. It was brush-choked and with big rocks just like I'd remembered. We worked the hillside and creekbed downstream to familiar territory then had a rest and worked upstream to the head of the creek and up to the ridge.
Didn't find the airplane or any sign of it.
During a break Shannon and I talked about a hand-drawn map on the back of a bar ticket that he had been given and realized that Michael Minovich was the source for both MY info and his!
We kept trying to put more clues together - horse riders had seen it(source- Warren Gretz), was missing for 4 months... etc. And we started thinking that maybe it was in the next drainage to the SE so we returned to the motorcycle trail which had been my calculated waypoints and then descended the hill on the trail a bit to take a look at the next drainage.
We decided the next drainage was way too far down the hill for us to go there and return up the creek today. 1400 is no the time to begin a big ordeal of bushwhacking.
So - Shannon agreed to contact Michael and see if we misunderstood something and whether Michael would be willing to take us to the site himself.
If I lived closer I might be willing to be out there every weekend until I found it but with a 250 mile round trip involved, we need better info.
Bear in mind that Michael has provided the best info he can. It's just that the terrain is complicated in that area and searching is difficult. This is wreckchasing - not shopping!
For me it was still a pretty good day in the woods. Nobody got hurt, we had some great exercise and I wasn't the last man up the hill (this time) because Mike was just visiting from low altitude.
Will keep you posted as things develop.
Last Modified: 1/1/2008