The scenery was beautiful enough to make this a vacation destination in itself.
|The mountain peak in the distance is the Rio Grande Pyramid. The mountain is nearly 14,000 feet high, and its north side forms the headwaters of the Rio Grande River.|
|A short drive down a side road led to North Clear Creek Falls.|
|North Clear Creek Falls|
|This handsome fellow was sunning himself on a rock near the waterfall.|
|Before we left the area of the falls, a sleet storm blew through.|
|This mountain bluebird was perched on a shrub as we were leaving the falls area.|
|The San Juan Mountains in the distance|
|Lake San Cristobal |
"In February, 1874, Alferd Packer became lost in a severe snow storm while guiding five men from Salt Lake City to the Los Piños Indian Agency (south of Gunnison). In mid-April, Packer arrived at the Los Piños Agency - alone.
"Upon interrogation, he claimed that as each person died the other men ate the flesh of the dead. Packer said he killed only one person but only in self-defense.
"That summer, five bodies were discovered at this site. Each person's head had been crushed. Alferd Packer was arrested and accused of murder and cannibalism. Before his trial, however, he fled Colorado.
"Nine years later, Packer was captured in Wyoming and was returned to Colorado. He was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to prison for forty years. After 15 years, he was paroled in 1901.
"Until his death in 1907, Packer maintained his innocence in one of the most notorious events in Colorado's history."
A plaque on a boulder within the memorial area bears this message:
This Tablet Erected in Memory of
Who were murdered on this spot early in the year 1874 while pioneering the mineral resources of the San Juan Country