On County Road 92, known locally as Eleven Mile Road , off Hwy. 24, there is a bend in the road just before the foothills that lead to 11 Mile State Park and Reservoir. If you see a man hitching a ride West, back toward the highway, you might not want to stop. If you look twice you’ll notice he doesn’t have a head.
Late Fall, 2002, Lauren Adams was driving back after sunset from her parents cabin at 11 Mile. With a friend to keep her company, chatting about the difference between the lake shore and the ocean. In the headlights of her teal minivan she saw the figure of a larger framed man on the left margin of the long dirty road.
Clearly wearing dusty jeans, work boots, a beige bomber jacket, plaid flannel shirt tied around his hips, and hoisting a backpack over one shoulder, the other hand held out a thumb. The American gesture that he needed a lift.
Lauren knew the dangers of picking some unknown guy far out from any help and quickly decided to keep driving. Then, her face went white as did the face of her passenger and she nearly veered off the road. “Did you see that!?” she asked.
“Yeah, ” said her companion, “No head.”
They stopped the van and looked in the rear view mirrors. The hitcher had disappeared. They rode the rest of the way into Colorado Springs silent, jittery, and cautious. Both wondering later over a cup of Joe if they had paused long enough to give the man a ride, what might have happened.
There is no recorded evidence of a death along that road but, a person traveling alone in the night could easily disappear without a trace out there in the wild Colorado hills. Food for mountain lions, bear, and coyotes.