COBWEB CORNERS: Gold Camp Road’s ghost rider

By Mel McFarland

       I should tell this one in October! I have heard of ghost trains; in fact there are several good songs about them, but this is a railroad ghost of a different sort. I have learned of some half dozen people who have seen this one. The first sighting happened three years ago up on the old Gold Camp Road. A good friend of mine likes to ride his bicycle on many of the county's trails. He took a Sunday afternoon trip up the section of the Gold Camp Road that is now used only as a trail. As he rode through either Tunnel #7 or #8 he noticed he had company. He could hear another bike just behind him. He looked around as he exited the tunnel. He noticed an older bearded man, on a similar bike to his, in modern dress with a safety helmet, just approaching his left side. Looking to his right he noticed the view of Colorado Springs, and he pulled to a stop to take a picture. When he reached for his camera he noticed he was completely alone. There was no other biker to be seen, and looking back into the tunnel, there was only one set of tire tracks!
       He mentioned the event to one of his co-workers, who regularly hikes the trail, at work the next week. "Oh, that guy!" the man returned. "I have seen that guy up there hiking a couple times." He said he had seen him in the area of the tunnel, always walking alone, and just as soon as he looked away, the apparition was gone. My friend has been on the trail several times since, each time waiting to see the man again. One time he rode through that tunnel four or five times, hoping this would bring him out, but without luck.
       He passed the story along to me, but I just made a note and thought it might make a good future story... but then it was forgotten. That is, until another friend of mine, who does not know the first one, told me about a little guy he had heard about. It seems this guy's little brother was with a group riding on the road, when up near the top tunnel they stopped for lunch. As they sat there enjoying the view, a rider came down the trail. He looked pretty ordinary, other than appearing to be a "senior citizen." He passed along a greeting just before entering the tunnel. Only, no one saw him come out the other side. On the way down they asked another rider coming up if he had seen the old man. The only reply was a laugh and a "No" as if he knew the story!