This is the story of Miner Bill, born William Clyde Currence, who ventured to Estes Park from Nebraska in 1883 in search of his fortune. According to town locals, Miner Bill was crazy, and not long after his arrival, he was committed to the Colorado State Insane Asylum. After a year in detention, he was released and immediately returned to the Horseshoe Park area of Estes Park to continue his search of silver and gold.
He filed two claims on the west side of Mount Chapin where he built a well-constructed trail to the entrance of his mine, which still exists to this day high above Fall River Road.
Living like a hermit up in the hills, Miner Bill earned a reputation amongst the townspeople for his crazy ways and the even more disturbing stories he would tell. He spoke of “divine things” and a “Blue Mist” which, according to Bill, was a being that appeared on cloudy nights, manifesting itself as a glowing blue mist in the trees around his cabin. The being, he claimed, left three-toed claw marks in the snow and on nearby tree trunks, as well as small piles of animal bones. He went so far as to suggest that this being had long been trapped in the Rhyolite crystals he’d uncovered while digging for gold. And that by unearthing them, he had released the being into the world.
Months after telling these stories to everyone he encountered, Bill went missing, not seen in town for over a week. After much speculation and concern for the old hermit, one of the townspeople set out to check on him. When he arrived at Bill’s cabin, all he found was a pile of human bones, and the tracks of a three-toed animal still visible in the snow.
Miner Bill was never seen or heard from again.