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Five hot spots in and around Glenwood to view cool autumn colors

Fall colors in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys attract tourists from across the globe to the Glenwood Springs area during the shoulder season.

“Fall is such a lovely time to visit Glenwood Springs and see all of the beautiful fall colors,” said Lisa Langer, director of tourism promotion with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.

Although no shortage of scenery exists when it comes to viewing the changing of the seasons, a few places remain favorites among residents and visitors alike.

HANGING LAKE

The Natural National Landmark located in the heart of Glenwood Canyon remains a premiere destination year round. However, during the fall the 1,000-foot climb up 1.2 miles of trail — accessed via shuttle under a new permit system until Nov. 1 — has less crowds, the same picturesque waterfalls and plenty of autumn leaves.

“The colors change through the canyon a little earlier than they do here in town, and a hike to Hanging Lake this time of year is absolutely gorgeous,” said Langer.

Parking: Use Hanging Lake Welcome Center, located 110 Wulfsohn Road, during peak season. During off season (Nov. 1 through April 30), visitors may self-park at the trailhead.

GRIZZLY CREEK

This 6.8-mile, out-and-back trail features numerous picnic spots, river views and an abundance of fall colors. A tributary that flows into the Colorado river, Grizzly Creek’s clear and cold water forms from snowmelt off the Flat Tops. 

Rated as a “moderate” ability hike, the Grizzly Creek Trail during the fall offers peaceful sounds and pictorial sights along the creek.

Parking: Take Exit 121 off of Interstate 70 for Grizzly Creek Rest Area. Visitors may park in the upper lot where the trail begins.

BOY SCOUT TRAIL

Known to mountain bikers as one of the city’s best spots for a ride, the combined Boy Scout and Forest Hollow trail’s 17-mile loop includes beautiful views high up along the south rim of Glenwood Canyon.

Because portions of the trail venture along Forest Hollow trail, riders and hikers alike can take in the lush forest’s illustrious fall colors.

Parking: Lookout Mountain Road from the south, or Ninth and Cooper parking garage for the Eighth Street trailhead.

LINWOOD CEMETERY

“The Linwood Cemetery — the Doc Holliday Trail — that’s a great one because you get a different perspective,” Langer said. “You can see a different part of town. You can see south toward Carbondale and the whole valley.”

It’s less than a mile hike up to Linwood Cemetery, which includes a spectacle of fall colors across the city where Holliday died of tuberculosis in 1887.

To this day, no one knows exactly where the famous gambler and gunslinger rests in Linwood Cemetery. However, during the fall, locals know Holliday’s resting place as a great spot to take in autumn.

Parking: Park on the street near 12th Street and Bennett Avenue.

RED MOUNTAIN

With views of Storm King Mountain, Mt. Sopris, the Elk Range and the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers, the Red Mountain and Wulfsohn trail system treats hikers, mountain bikers and runners to panoramic views of beautiful fall scenery across Glenwood Springs.

Parking: Park at West Ninth Street at the base of Red Mountain, or at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, 100 Wulfsohn Road.

mabennett@postindependent.com

PREP ROUNDUPS: Glenwood football falls to Conifer in tough matchup; Roaring Fork and CRMS soccer battle to thrilling 2OT tie

Making the tough trip to Conifer Friday night for a non-league matchup with the Lobos, the Glenwood Springs Demons football team was dealt a tough blow from injuries and dropped a tough game to the Lobos by the score of 49-11.

In the loss, Tucker Porter scored on the ground for Glenwood, while sophomore kicker Tyler Thomas kicked a 42-yard field goal late in the game, giving the Demons a positive to build on coming out of a tough loss.

“I’m proud of the way our kids fought tonight,” Pat Engle, Glenwood’s head coach, said following the loss. “I’m really proud of the way the kids that had to start due to injury stepped in and battled. I have to give a lot of credit to Conifer. That’s a well-coached football team.”

The loss drops Glenwood to 0-3 on the season. The Demons host the rival Rifle Bears (3-0) next Friday at Stubler Memorial Field.

“We need to heal up a little bit,” Engle said. “In some ways it’s been a one-sided rivalry the last 8 or 9 years, but it’s still a rivalry. The kids will show up, play hard, and we’ll see where things go from there.”

FOOTBALL

Paonia 17, Coal Ridge 14

On the road Friday for a matchup with the Paonia Eagles, the Coal Ridge Titans football team came up heartbreakingly short in a 17-14 loss.

Against the Eagles, senior Damian Spell and junior Karsen Dubois scored rushing touchdowns for the Titans.

Coal Ridge (1-3) returns to action Oct. 4 in a road game at Rifle.

BOYS SOCCER

Roaring Fork 4, CRMS 4, 2OT

Hosting the Colorado Rocky Mountain School Oysters Friday in Carbondale, the Roaring Fork Rams boys soccer team battled to a tough 4-4 tie in double-overtime.

Coming into Friday’s showdown, CRMS was ranked No. 1 in 2A in the RPI rankings, while Roaring Fork was No. 6 in 3A.

Against the Oysters, freshman Emilio Magana gave the Rams a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the game, but CRMS answered with a goal from Luke Broccolo just over a minute later.

The Rams then took a 3-1 lead thanks to back-to-back goals from Magana and Dylan Webster, but the Oysters responded with two consecutive goals of their own from Broccolo for the hat trick.

Roaring Fork took a 4-3 lead into the half on a penalty kick from Ross Barlow.

In the second half, the Rams held the Oysters at bay until late, as CRMS tied it a 4-4 on a penalty kick, sending the two teams into overtime, and then double overtime before the game ended in a tie.

Roaring Fork (4-1-1) hosts Aspen Saturday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m., while CRMS (2-1-1) travels to Caprock Academy Saturday.

VOLLEYBALL

Coal Ridge 3, Paonia 0

Traveling to Paonia Friday night for a game against the Eagles, the Coal Ridge Titans girls volleyball team took care of business quickly, cruising to a sweep.

In the win over the Eagles, Coal Ridge won by scores of 25-19, 25-19, and 25-22.

Against the Eagles, junior Brecken Guccini led the way with 10 kills and 5 digs, while junior Taylor Wiescamp added 7 kills, 3 aces, and 4 blocks.

Senior Lyanna Nevarez added 8 digs and 3 kills, while junior Ari Cornejo chipped in with 9 assists and 6 digs.

Junior Phoebe Young had a strong game with 17 assists and 5 kills, while senior Taylor Roberts added 13 digs.

Maya Mercado rounded out a good night for the Titans with 3 blocks and 3 kills.

Coal Ridge (6-2, 2-0 in 3A WSL) hosts Vail Mountain Thursday night in New Castle.

jcarney@postindependent.com

Rifle out-muscles Pueblo County in 48-22 win

Facing a first and goal from Rifle’s 5-yard line midway through the second quarter Friday night at Bears Stadium, the visiting Pueblo County Hornets looked to pull to within at least 2 points before the half near the end of a long drive. Rifle’s defense had other plans, though, as the Bears stood tall, forcing the Hornets to settle for a 22-yard field goal from sophomore Aaron Krinsky.

The defensive stop ultimately took the wind out of the Hornets’ sails on the night, sending Rifle to a 48-22 win in non-league action at home.

Following the goal line stand that was ultimately a 4-point swing, Rifle scored quickly to take a 20-9 lead into the half, before then coming out of the break and wearing down the visiting Hornets in Rifle fashion.

“We’re really proud of our kids,” Damon Wells, Rifle’s head coach said. “This was a very physical football game. We weren’t surprised at all by it in any way, shape or form with what Pueblo County brought. Coach Pinkerton has a long, rich history of success; their kids are tough. That’s why I was especially proud of our boys representing themselves in the way that they did.”

Early on, Pueblo County got off to a rough start as a bad snap on the first punt of the game set up Rifle at Pueblo County’s 16-yard line. Six plays later, following three Rifle penalties, the Bears got into the end zone as senior Levi Warfel scored from 6 yards out – his first of four touchdowns on the night, staking Rifle to an early 7-0 lead.

Credit to the Hornets though, as Pueblo County shook off the rough start to respond quickly with a touchdown drive of their own.

Senior quarterback Chase Hartman hooked up with senior tight end Roger Valdilles for a 24-yard gain down the left sideline before senior running back Jose Handford capped off the drive with a 38-yard sprint off left tackle, making it a 7-6 game with 4:51 left in the first quarter following a missed extra point.

Rifle roared right back with a response as Warfel rushed for 20 yards on one carry, and senior Kenny Tlaxcala added 13 yards on the ground before capping off the scoring drive with a 7-yard sprint around left end on a toss sweep, diving inside the front-left pylon for the score, making it a 14-6 game.

That’s when Rifle’s defense came up large.

The Hornets put together a lengthy drive after starting at their own 37-yard line, marching to Rifle’s 5-yard line in 14 plays before stalling out.

On 1st and Goal, junior running back Ethan Mauger picked up a yard, but on 2nd and 3rd down, Hartman and Handford were dropped for losses, forcing Krinsky to chip in a 22-yard field goal, making it a 14-9 game with 3:59 left in the first half.

After that drive stalled, it was mostly all Rifle as Warfel scored from 3 yards out following two runs of 11 yards each, and a 21-yard hookup from senior quarterback Dalton Stutsman to Tlaxcala, giving the Bears a 20-9 lead.

Pueblo County tried to mount a drive late in the first half, but the Bears defense stood tall, sending the two teams into the half with Rifle in front by 11.

Coming out of the half, Rifle executed at a high level on both sides of the ball, pulling away for the 26-point win.

That execution got off to a semi-slow start though as on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, junior Talon Cordova fumbled the ball away, giving Pueblo County some life.

Rifle’s defense answered the bell though, forcing a 3-and-out that led to a Pueblo County punt. Warfel came up big on the punt return, sprinting into Pueblo County territory on a 30-yard punt return to give the Bears possession at Pueblo County’s 39-yard line. That’s when Warfel really took over.

The senior gained 15 yards on the first carry of the drive, 22 yards on the second, and then punched in his third touchdown of the game from 2 yards out, giving the Bears a 27-9 lead with 8:46 left in the third quarter.

Pueblo quickly responded, going 67 yards in five plays as Handford picked up chunks of yards on the ground, gaining 11, 32 and then 11 on the ground with the final 11 yards going for a touchdown, pulling the Hornets to within 12 at 27-15 with 6:45 left in the third quarter.

The Hornets tried to catch the Bears off guard with an onside kick try, but Rifle recovered near midfield, and two plays later Warfel sprinted off left tackle for a 35-yard touchdown, pushing Rifle in front, 34-15 with 5:58 left in the third quarter.

“I just waited for a second and let things open up in front of me,” Warfel said. “The offensive line did a great job, and they made it easy for me, honestly.”

Once again, the Hornets responded as Handford threw a halfback pass to sophomore wide receiver Corbin Spear from 19 yards out, making it 34-22. That would be all for the Hornets on the night though as Tlaxcala scored from 10 yards out midway through the fourth quarter before Stustman found Tlaxcala from 3 yards out, capping off the win in impressive fashion. On Rifle’s second-to-last offensive drive of the game, the Bears picked up first downs on five of eight rushing attempts, picking up yards in bunches.

“The guys up front worked hard all week; they knew it was going to be a physical game,” Warfel said. “I can’t say enough about the job they did all night long for us in the backfield. I’m just really proud of the offensive line and the way they fought tonight.”

In the win, Warfel rushed for 200 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carriers.

Rifle (3-0) travels to rival Glenwood Springs next Friday with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. at Stubler Memorial Field.

“Part of the beautiful thing with us playing in so many big games over the last decade is that I’m certain it’s going to be just another game for us,” Wells said. “I’m certain it’s going to be a special environment. It will be a good high school football game and I’m blessed to be able to be there and be part of it.”

jcarney@postindependent.com

Big second inning leads Rifle softball to win over Meeker

Finding itself down a run entering the second inning Thursday at Taughenbaugh Field in Rifle, the Rifle Bears girls softball team erupted for an astounding 17 runs against the Meeker Cowboys, turning a 3-2 deficit into a pain-free 19-3 win in three innings.

Rifle jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning as senior leadoff hitter Delaney Phillips dropped down a bunt single and then stole second and third base, scoring on an RBI double by junior Abigail Bonuales. The junior shortstop then stole third and scored on an RBI single by senior Zoey Loya.

Meeker responded in the top of the second inning against senior pitcher Hannah Bodrogi as Cowboys shortstop Matilda Brown led off with a loud double off the fence in left-center, sparking the Cowboys. Two batters later, Ruby Holliday dropped down a bunt single that slipped between Rifle’s third and first basemen, putting runners on first and third. Then, Mykala Wille dropped down another bunt for the Cowboys, which put Brown in a rundown after a great play by Rifle third baseman Emma Poole caught Brown off the base. However, Brown outran the rundown and scored the first run of the game for the Cowboys, setting off a celebration in the away dugout.

The Cowboys then scored two more runs on a passed ball and a fielder’s choice to take a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the frame.

“Not too much went wrong for us in that inning,” Troy Phillips, Rifle’s longtime head coach said following the win. “They started off with a double, and then a couple of bunts. We just didn’t finish the rundown the way we wanted to. It’s something we’ve been working on, but didn’t just finish it up the way we wanted to. Emma made a great play, but we didn’t finish the execution we’ve worked on.”

Trailing at home one game after clinching a fourth straight 4A Western Slope League championship, Rifle’s bats caught fire, erupting for 17 runs in the bottom of the second inning.

“It’s been pretty cool, because every time a team scores, we’re not worried because we know we’re going to score a bunch of runs,” Phillips said. “There’s no panic, because we’re just expecting to score a bunch of runs and answer back, because we’ve had nine hitters through the lineup hitting and contributing.”

Poole led off with a booming double into the left-center gap and scored one batter later on an RBI single by junior Raelynn Hampton, tying the game at 3-3.

Freshman Myia Valencia then singled to put runners on first and second before Delaney Phillips dropped down another bunt single, driving in Hampton from second to make it 4-3 Rifle. Bodrogi then walked before Bonuales doubled again, making it 7-3 Rifle.

Freshman Hailey Worton then slapped a triple down the right field line to make it 9-3, leading to another double from Poole that all but put the game out of reach for the Cowboys. Hampton and Worton later singled and doubled as the Bears batted around in the inning before Poole roped her third double of the game down the left field line.

“It’s been, really all season, that she’s [Pool] been hitting a lot of line drives into the gaps,” Phillips said. “You saw that tonight with three straight doubles, two in the gap and one down the line. She did the same thing against Palisade. She’s seeing the ball really well, hitting the center of the ball and just making consistent contact; it’s been fun to watch.”

Holding a 19-3 lead, Rifle turned to freshman pitcher Alexa O’Donnell to close out the win. The freshman struck out the first batter before getting a pop-out to second and a comebacker to the mound to finish off the 16-run win.

Rifle improves to 11-2 on the season and sits just six wins away from tying the school record for wins in a single season, which was set last year. The Bears have 11 games remaining on the schedule, including Tuesday’s 4A Western Slope League matchup against Eagle Valley at home.

jcarney@postindependent.com

PREP ROUNDUP: Glenwood soccer tops Eagle Valley on German Alvarado’s stoppage-time goal

Glenwood’s boys soccer team sure does seem to have a flair for the dramatics so far this season.

On the road Thursday night at Eagle Valley for a 4A Western Slope League battle, the Demons won on a stoppage-time goal by senior German Alvarado, picking up a 2-1 win to remain unbeaten on the season.

Reid Swanson assisted on Alvarado’s game winner in the final two minutes of the game.

Prior to Alvarado’s heroics, Justin Garces scored in the first half on an assist by Angel Bernal to give the Demons a 1-0 lead. But the Devils came back in the second half, scoring a late equalizer to set up Alvarado’s heroics.

Glenwood improves to 4-0-1 on the season. The Demons travel to Grand Junction Central Saturday for a 9 a.m. matchup with the Warriors, before then traveling to Rifle Tuesday, Sept. 24 for a rivalry matchup with the Bears at 6 p.m.

BOYS SOCCER

Salida 3, Coal Ridge 0

Making the long bus trip to Salida Thursday night for a non-league showdown with the Salida Spartans, the Coal Ridge Titans boys soccer team came up short in a 3-0 loss.

Salida came into the matchup ranked in the top 10 in 3A, so it was a big test for the Titans on the road.

The loss drops Coal Ridge to 2-3 on the season. Coal Ridge has another big test coming up at home on Saturday as the Titans host the 5A Mullen Mustangs at ‘The Pasture’ in New Castle at 11 a.m.

The Mustangs came into the year as a preseason top 10 in 5A.

BOYS GOLF

Traveling to Summit County Thursday morning for the Keystone Ranch Invite, the Coal Ridge Titans boys golf team placed 10th overall with a team score of +40, tying with Steamboat Springs. Basalt placed second with a +17, finishing seven strokes behind Mullen in first.

Basalt’s Tyler Sims placed fourth overall with a round of +3, while teammate Blake Exelbert placed tied for 10th with a round of +5.

Coal Ridge senior Austin Gerber tied for 15th with a round of +9, while teammate Myles Galbraith tied for 32nd with a round of +15. Senior Ryan Kotz tied for 39th with a round of +16.

jcarney@postindependent.com

Green Bay Packers not sleeping on Denver’s sackless Miller-Chubb duo

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Von Miller expects more from the Broncos’ defense.

Following a last-second Week 2 loss to the Bears, the three-time All-Pro edge rusher said it was time to “get back in the lab and keep practicing.”

Through two games, Denver (0-2) hasn’t forced a turnover or recorded a sack, both uncharacteristic of a Miller-led defense. But first-year coach Vic Fangio isn’t worried.

“Not at this point, OK,” he said. “The only thing I will say is I was disappointed in our rush in the last drive (on Sunday), but prior to that in these first two games they’ve been unusual games as it related to pass rush.”

Miller, fellow pass-rusher Bradley Chubb and the rest of the Broncos will look to get a victory this Sunday against the Packers at Lambeau Field, a place where Denver has never won (0-5-1).

Aaron Rodgers, who for the third straight week will be staring down yet another prolific tandem of pass rushers, knows it’s only a matter of time before the Broncos’ defense starts piling up the sacks, especially with Fangio at the helm.

“He’s a fantastic coach,” Rodgers said. “I’m happy for him to get the opportunity after so many years being a great assistant in the league. I haven’t spent a lot of time with him, but I have a ton of respect for the way he’s gone about his business over his career.”

Fangio faced Rodgers-led offenses seven times as Bears defensive coordinator from 2015-18. Fangio went 2-5 in those matchups, including a 1-4 mark in games played in Green Bay.

Fangio was in charge when the Bears forced Rodgers out of the game and into the locker room in the second quarter of the season opener last season, only to watch the two-time MVP throw three touchdowns and help the Packers overcame a 20-point deficit.

Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari primarily will be dealt the task of slowing down Chubb, who had 12 sacks last year as a rookie. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga will be on Von Miller watch. Miller is two sacks away from 100 for his career. He would be the 34th player in NFL history to reach the century mark.

“They’re very, very good players,” Bulaga said. “So regardless of what their numbers say, that’s not what bothers me. It’s watching tape of those guys win consistently, especially for Von, being able to do it for, what, nine years now? I mean, he’s been doing it for a long time. He didn’t forget how to rush the passer. I can promise you that.”

DIFFERENT DEFENSE

The Broncos held Rodgers to 77 yards passing the previous time the teams met. But that was way back in 2015 when Denver’s defense was leading the franchise to its third Super Bowl title and sending Peyton Manning into retirement as a champion. Only three defenders who started against the Packers that game are still starting: OLB Von Miller, DE Derek Wolfe and CB Chris Harris Jr. (the only returning offensive starter is WR Emmanuel Sanders).

ANOTHER AARON

RB Aaron Jones had 116 yards and a touchdown on career-high 23 carries in the Packers’ win last week against the Vikings. Jones figures to be a large part of coach Matt LaFleur’s offensive plans going forward as he continues to seek a balanced offense.

“When I first saw him when he came up with them, I looked out and said, ‘Where’d they get this guy?’ Fangio said of Jones. “And I think he was a sixth-round pick, and I’m saying, ‘Jeez.’ He’s powerful. He’s got really good balance. He runs tough. He’s a capable pass receiver out of the backfield. They do everything with him. They got a steal there.”

REINFORCEMENTS ARRIVE

The Broncos haven’t had their full defense together so far with ILB Todd Davis (calf) and CB Bryce Callahan (foot) missing the first two games. Callahan was limited in practice and odds are he won’t be back for the Packers. But Davis, the team’s leading tackler last season, finally looks ready to return to the lineup. He’s been out since tearing his left calf on the first day of training camp in July.

ALL EYES ON JIMMY

TE Jimmy Graham has been unable to practice this week for Green Bay because of a groin injury, which could affect his status for Sunday. Meanwhile, the Packers signed TE Evan Baylis to the 53-man roster.

HOLDING HABIT

The Broncos are bedeviled over left tackle Garett Bolles’ holding habit, which has somehow gotten worse under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Mike Munchak.

After getting flagged four times against Chicago in Week 2 — the most by any NFL player in the past five seasons — Bolles disputed some of the penalties and suggested he was the victim of an undeserved reputation. That promoted backlash from coaches, teammates and even GM John Elway, who asked, “Does he know what holding is?”

Air Force coming off big win, confident facing Boise State

BOISE, Idaho — In the aftermath of arguably its biggest victory in at least five years, Air Force quarterback Donald Hammond III was immediately ready for the next challenge.

Beating Power Five team Colorado on the road last week was a major accomplishment for the Falcons. Beating No. 20 Boise State on Friday night in the Mountain West Conference opener for both teams would make a bigger statement.

“This is huge. Right now we know we can beat anybody. Even when it’s not a good day,” Hammond said following the upset victory in Colorado. “We had three turnovers and still came out with a win. This is a huge confidence booster.”

Even though it’s a short week and Air Force has a second straight road game against a quality opponent, the Falcons (2-0) will also arrive in Boise with the knowledge that they’ve created all sorts of headaches for the Broncos in the past.

Air Force won three straight in the series between 2014 and 2016, although the Broncos have rebounded to win the past two matchups. The 2016 game started with the Broncos ranked in the top 20 and ended with the Falcons celebrating a win that made them one of three programs — along with Idaho and Nevada — to beat Boise State in three straight seasons.

Yes, the Falcons have been very good at making it difficult for the Broncos (3-0).

“It’s not just triple option,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “They are very creative in their formations, they’re creative in how they attack each team. They try to find a weakness like every offense does and try to attack it and see what they can do. They make adjustments along the way in the game. They know what they do and how to answer the questions the defense provides and then their quarterback is playing really well.”

After a challenging first two weeks of the season, which included wins at Florida State and a 14-7 slog against Marshall, the Broncos had a relatively easy time with Portland State last week. It was a much-needed break given the difficulty of preparing for Air Force.

“We get a chance to face one heck of an opponent this week. Probably the most complete Mountain West team in the last seven years,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said.

Other things to watch as the Broncos and Falcons meet for the eighth time:

THIRD DOWN MASTER

While Boise State freshman QB Hank Bachmeier has played well overall, he’s been especially good on third downs. Bachmeier is 21 of 29 for 356 yards, 17 first downs and three touchdowns when facing third-down situations thus far. He’s also added 33 yards rushing, three first downs and a TD on third downs as well.

“To me everybody has to be on point,” Harsin said. “It’s not just the quarterback. It’s protection, it’s tight ends, it’s wide receivers, it’s running backs. It’s everybody doing their part on third downs to execute.”

AIR IT OUT

Hammond was named the Mountain West offensive player of the week after doing damage with his arm against Colorado. Hammond completed 7 of 12 passes for 155 yards and two TDs. His 81-yard scoring strike to Ben Waters was tied for the fourth-longest in school history.

That big day — relatively — passing against the Buffaloes came after Air Force attempted one pass in the opening win over Colgate. And even though the Falcons had a big day passing, they still rushed for 284 yards against Colorado.

SACK ATTACK

If the Broncos’ Curtis Weaver is getting more sacks, Air Force is throwing more than expected and Boise State is likely to win.

Weaver was already the active national leader in sacks before going out and getting four more last week against Portland State. He has six total through three games and 26 ½ for his career.

“You’ve got to be aware of a very skilled and explosive pass rusher,” Calhoun said. “He’s fast, he’s athletic, he can turn an edge. He uses his hands well. He’s got a knack for knowing exactly where the quarterback is.”

BLOCK PARTY

Jordan Jackson blocked a crucial extra point late in the game against the Buffaloes. The Falcons have at least one blocked kick in each of Calhoun’s 13 seasons as head coach.

In all, Air Force has blocked 38 kicks under Calhoun. Want more? Since the program began tracking them in 1990, the Falcons have deflected 40 field goals, 36 extra points and 60 punts.

Hunters righted series of bad decisions by lost Pyramid Peak hiker

A Denver man lost for two days after climbing Pyramid Peak on Sunday made a series of wrong decisions, which were only reversed once he ran into two hunters who walked him out of the backcountry, sources said Wednesday.

“The help from the hunters has to be emphasized,” said Pitkin County Deputy Ryan Voss, who was incident commander during the search for Neil Brosseau, 66. “They ran into him in the backcountry and walked him out. They didn’t have to but they did.

“Rescue personnel really appreciate the efforts of these hunters.”

Efforts to reach Brosseau and the hunters Wednesday were not successful. However, the son of one of the hunters posted on Mountain Rescue Aspen’s Facebook page that his father and a friend walked Brosseau six miles out of the backcountry and gave up the last day of their hunting trip to help him.

Brosseau was with the hunters about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday when he ran into an MRA team heading out of the field on the East Maroon Trail. The team had been part of the two-day search effort for Brosseau.

Chris Brosseau told The Times on Tuesday that he was descending Pyramid Peak with his uncle and his wife Sunday afternoon when they became separated. He said his uncle was about 300 feet above him on the saddle at about 13,000 feet that leads to the mountain’s summit ridge and he was yelling at him to follow them.

However, Neil Brosseau inexplicably turned around and began heading back up the trail toward Pyramid’s summit, Chris Brosseau said.

Voss, who interviewed Neil Brosseau, said the man didn’t hear his nephew yelling and had to guess the way down, then picked the wrong route.

“He got disoriented,” Voss said. “He never saw Chris.”

Neil Brosseau chose to descend a steep gully on the backside of Pyramid and soon realized he’d made a mistake, Voss said. However, Brosseau could not climb back up at that point and decided to slowly descend the route he was already on. That required sliding down on his rear end, which tore up his pants and scratched his body, Voss said.

He was dressed in pants, a T-shirt and a red sweatshirt and had a backpack with a rain jacket along with some water and sports bars to eat, he said. He had no light and no way to make a fire.

Sunday night, Neil Brosseau slept on a mountain ledge and wrapped himself in the clothing he had.

“He said his main concern was hydration,” Voss said, adding that he drank out of creeks and streams. “He had plenty of food with the Powerbars.”

On Monday, he continued to slowly descend the mountain. He told Voss he saw helicopters that day and tried to wave, but he’d lost his red sweatshirt by then and was wearing dark clothes so he couldn’t be seen.

When he reached the valley floor, he turned the wrong direction and began heading away from the route out of the backcountry, Voss said. He ended up sleeping under a tree that night wrapped in his rain jacket, while dealing with rain, sleet and cold.

“When the weather came, he would hunker down,” Voss said. “He tried to stay as warm as possible.”

The next day Brosseau woke up when the sun hit him and eventually ran into the hunters, who told him he was going the wrong way.

“He said, ‘Hey can I hike out with you guys?’” Voss said. “And they said, ‘OK.’”

When the MRA team ran into him, Brosseau was in good condition and later declined an ambulance ride to the hospital, Voss said.

“He was in good spirits,” he said. “He was kicking himself for the mistakes he made and was apologizing for the efforts we had put in looking for him.”

Voss and Alex Burchetta, director of operations for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, both thanked the hunters for walking Brosseau out of the backcountry. They also warned hikers against separating from members of their hiking party.

“It cannot be stressed enough … the importance of staying with your climbing and hiking party,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Wednesday. “One of the most frequent contributors to backcountry rescues is voluntary separation.”

jauslander@aspentimes.com

Carney: Hunting brings so much more to the area than ‘single-use tourism’

Paying attention to the Post Independent’s opinion page is often difficult for me because of how busy each day can be throughout the school year. However, Lindsay DeFrates’ column on Sept. 10, “Our visitors must become more than single-use tourists,” really struck a nerve.

Usually, I enjoy reading Lindsay’s columns because she’s a very thoughtful person with views that often align with my own. That wasn’t the case when reading her latest column, though, where she came off as elitist, complaining that tourists aren’t doing enough in the area, like getting to know the people and the stories within our town.

The part that bothered me the most was the outright attack on hunters, writing that they’re just here for the perfect shot and a nine-point buck to take home to display on their wall.

It’s not just Lindsay, it’s the general line of thinking surrounding hunting in this area that bothers me as a whole. There’s so much more to the hunting industry for this area outside of hunters walking into the woods with their guns, bagging big game, and leaving. Quite frankly, it’s flat-out false and irresponsible to claim such in a column.

Growing up, my dad, brother and I would head to the mountains in central Pennsylvania to our small camp that my grandfather owned. We went up there to get away from the world and to just hunt and fish during the spring, summer, and fall.

We didn’t have a lot growing up, but my dad spent quite a bit of money heading to the mountains every year, especially during hunting season. We went out to eat, bought groceries at the local family-owned farmer’s market and bought wood at the Amish farms, helping to support their business.

We didn’t necessarily go up to the mountains for “single-use tourism.” There’s so much more to heading to a remote location to hunt than just being a tourist and bagging game.

I can’t speak for other tourist groups, but hunting is one of the largest, if not the largest, single draw to Colorado, right up there with recreational marijuana and skiing. When hunters come, they come in waves, and usually bring plenty of cash with them.

In our area alone, mule deer and elk are open game to hunters with a valid license and tag in Game Management Unit No. 42 and No. 43, as well as No. 421 and No. 521 in the Flat Top wilderness area north of Glenwood Springs.

Unit 41 alone generates more than 20,000 big-game hunting licenses every year, according to a study commissioned by the Thompson Divide Coalition. That’s just in one unit.

That large number of licenses means people will pour into the area in search of a trophy buck or elk, which in turn generates revenue for the valley as a whole. If in search of big mule deer, Carbondale is the place to go, while the White River National Forest near Rifle is home to the largest elk population in the world.

According to the group Hunting Works for Colorado, roughly $465 million is spent annually on hunting within the state. An estimated 259,000 people hunt in Colorado each year, of whom 115,000 are out-of-state hunters.

Hunters spend $221 million on trip-related costs in Colorado and another $185 million on hunting equipment, according to research compiled by the group. That’s roughly $1,800 spent by each hunter per year in Colorado, which translates to $292 million in salary and wages, while supporting 8,400 jobs and paying $51 million in state and local taxes. That causes an overall ripple effect of $763 million for the entire state.

Colorado hunting season generated more revenue for the state than recreational marijuana sales, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

As Gary Miller, the owner of Miller’s Dry Goods in Rifle once told me, “Hunting season is Rifle’s tourism. It’s really what has historically brought people to town. Thirty-five years ago when I was researching buying this business, I wanted to know why October and November were big months, and it always turned out to be because of hunting season.”

You see, hunters don’t just come to the area to bag the big game and go home. Sure, what’s available to them in this area in terms of big game is a big reason they come, but they’re out in the community interacting, going out to eat after long days in the woods, grabbing a drink at the local watering hole, spending money on lodging, etc.

There’s not much more they need to do. Thinking that they need to learn the town and its people is silly. How often do people go on vacation to meet people and learn about the town they’re in? The whole point of a vacation is to get away from your everyday life and relax, not go out of your way to educate yourself on the area.

As residents of this area, we shouldn’t care if people learn our history or who the important townsfolk are. What we should care about is the revenue generated and the jobs that the tourism industry props up year-to-year, considering we’re a tourist town.

And, by the way, there’s really no better way to “appreciate how complex and beautiful the world” is, as DeFrates wrote in her column, than sitting in the woods waiting on that ideal big game to walk by. It’s just you and nature, which can make one feel pretty small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, allowing them peace and quiet from the hustle of the everyday world.

Really, all it comes down to people educating themselves on the complexities of hunting and what it does for our region, rather than complaining to the high heavens that hunters (and other forms of tourists) need to be more than single-use tourists.

Josh Carney is the sports editor of the Post Independent. Josh can be reached via email at jcarney@postindependent.com

Alonso hits 49th HR, helps Mets rally in 9th to beat Rockies

DENVER — Pete Alonso didn’t need a big swing in the ninth inning — just a good eye.

Alonso hit his major league-leading 49th homer, then drew a bases-loaded walk during a four-run rally in the ninth that sent the New York Mets over the Colorado Rockies 7-4 Wednesday.

New York began the day four games behind the Cubs and Brewers for the second NL wild card. After winning two of three at Coors Field, the Mets have 10 games left this season starting with a three-game series in Cincinnati that opens Friday.

“We would’ve liked to have a sweep at this point, but taking a series is huge for us. We’re going to grab as many games as we can and see where the dust settles,” Alonso said. “We still have an outside shot.”

Alonso hit a long solo home run to left field in the sixth. He moved within three homers for the most by a rookie, a mark set by Aaron Judge with 52 for the New York Yankees in 2017.

Jeff McNeil also went deep for the Mets, who set a franchise record with 225 home runs this season.

“We’ve still got some ball left so hopefully we can extend that a little bit,” Alonso said.

Trailing 4-3 going into the ninth, the Mets tied it on Brandon Nimmo’s third hit, an RBI single off Jairo Diaz (5-4). After a walk to McNeil loaded the bases, Joe Harvey relieved and walked Alonso on four pitches to put New York ahead.

“They don’t want to have to groove a fastball to him when they fall behind,” New York manager Mickey Callaway said. “He puts the fear in guys and he should because he’s a great hitter. That allows him to be a little more patient.”

Another run scored on a double-play grounder, and Seth Lugo (7-4) hit an RBI single in his first plate appearance of the season.

Lugo said he was waiting for an at-bat all year but his enthusiasm waned a bit when Harvey’s first pitch to Alonso was high and inside.

“I saw him miss around Pete’s face and with those shadows I wasn’t too comfortable out there the first couple of pitches,” Lugo said. “I just didn’t want to look dumb. I was staying short and see what happens.”

Rookie Sam Hilliard hit two home runs for the last-place Rockies, connecting both times off Noah Syndergaard. Hilliard’s first homer went an estimated 447 feet to right-center and his second drive gave the Rockies a 2-1 lead. Hilliard was recalled on Aug. 27 and homered in his debut that night.

“It was a pitch I could handle and those are the ones you’re not supposed to miss. I was fortunate enough to get a good swing on it,” Hilliard said of his first home run.

Syndergaard went 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on 10 hits and striking out six. Rene Rivera started at catcher — Syndergaard recently expressed his interest in pitching to someone other than regular starter Wilson Ramos.

Ramos pinch-hit for Rivera and drew a leadoff walk in the ninth to begin the Mets’ rally.

McNeil hit his 22nd homer, tagging Jeff Hoffman in the first inning. Hoffman allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: RHP Robert Gsellman (right triceps tightness) will throw off a mound again, Callaway said. Gsellman was scheduled to play catch Wednesday.

TOUGH ENDING

Diaz moved into the closer’s role after Wade Davis was ineffective and Scott Oberg went on the injured list, and he converted his previous four save opportunities before Wednesday’s blown chance.

“Unfortunately, we’ve been here before, so we know how to handle it,” third baseman Nolan Arenado said. “Jario has been really good for us but this is one of those hiccups. They had really good at-bats towards the end. You just have to give them credit.”

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (9-8, 2.61 ERA) pitches Friday night in Cincinnati. He is 2-1 with a 1.74 ERA in five career starts against the Reds.

Rockies: RHP Peter Lambert (3-6, 6.98) goes for his second consecutive win at the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night. Lambert had gone without a victory in 15 straight starts before beating San Diego on Saturday.