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Berthoud Pass catches friend

Blog by: Matt Snider 1/8/2007
I haven't yet talked with him, but I understand he's OK. See, several years ago, Dave Boon and a friend and I went on a bushwhacking trip to the upper Big Thompson River to catch and photograph some of the truest native greenback cutthroats. If you've never been to this section, it is a tiny stream, up in the Rocky Mountain National Park. There is no trail after a certain point and we resorted to bumps, bruises, and scratches through the ultra dense forest.

After over an hour of hiking, we finally took off our packs, got the equipment out and started to fish. It wasn't 15 minutes later that I heard a crack. Dave's friend came upriver to tell me that Dave had an accident and possibly broke his ankle. Turns out he stepped on a seemingly sturdy fallen log and it gave way, sending him down a fairly steep embankment.

So here we were, 45 minutes into the jungle on good feet, with an injured soldier. This was before everyone had cell phones so even if we could find a signal, none of us had a phone. Dave's friend was a doctor so he stayed with Dave as I carried as much of the equipment out to the trailhead as possible, knowing all along that he was in a good deal of pain.

I got to the trail, started hiking back to the car so I could drive to a ranger to get help, when I bumped into a couple from New York that just happened to have a cell phone. If that wasn't odd enough (believe me it was at that time), we actually got a signal right where i bumped into them. I was able to call the rangers, and request their help.

We were so far off the beaten path that not even they knew exactly where we were. Three hours later I met the rangers and took them to Dave who had made it to the trailhead with the help of his friend and an improvised crutch. They took him out on horseback, we got in the car, and made our way back to Fort Collins. Seven hours later I sat with him in the emergency room as he faded, the endorphins losing their effect.

Dave is never one without a story. Go fishing with him and he'll fill the hours of typical silence with fact and fiction. Well it turns out, thankfully, that he has another story to add to his repertoire.

Dave, his wife June, and another friend were one of the few unfortunate (albeit ultimately fortunate) cars to be caught in the Berthoud Pass avalanche. Tumbling several times down the hill, they came to rest in a crumpled car against a tree. They all got out with scrapes, bumps, and bruises and are apparently doing OK.

Who would ever think that you would be in a spontaneous accident like that? Who would ever think that someone they know would be? Well for the Boons, I'm glad it is another story that they are able to tell.

The Coloradoan did a story on the Boons, found here
Blog content © Matt Snider
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