For me when I live in a place the history seeks me out or I seek it out. Either way, I first heard the legend of Spirit Lake many years ago. For those that are not familiar with Colorado, there is a village that is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park named Grand Lake. Grand Lake the village got its name from the largest natural body of water in Colorado that it happens to sit next to. Before, any white man ever set foot in the Rocky Mountains the Ute Indians ruled the Never Summer Mountains and the waters of what is now Grand Lake. The Ute Indian’s name for this high mountain lake was and is Spirit Lake. The name Spirit Lake was born out of tragedy.
Legend of Spirit Lake
In the Rocky Mountain frontier Spirit Lake sits at the base of Mount Baldy’s peak,
Deep within the Never Summer Mountains the Ute Indians ghost’s forever speak.
Legend tell us it was a fine and cloudless day when the Utes were camped along the shore,
Little did they know this summer day would bring tears, suffering, blood, and war!
Death was lurking just out of eyesight and just beyond the line of the evergreen trees,
The sound of men moving toward the Ute camp was brought along on a mountain breeze.
To keep their loved one’s safe, they set them adrift on a raft they built to the best of their ability,
Children and women now safe, the battle-hardened warriors would fight their foes with hostility.
A storm brewed above with flashes of lightning and a frightening thunders roar,
From the trees came their ancient enemy—more Arapahoe’s than they had ever seen before.
The battle raged with knives and arrows as the clouds blackened when the thunderstorm rolled in,
Storm and pounding rain raged as did the battle – the Ute warriors knew this combat they had to win.
Fighting for the lives and the lives of those on the raft—blood and pounding rain ruled the day,
From the heavens a maddening wind showed its fury and capsized the raft into the choppy water sway.
Soaked, bloodied, and wounded the Ute fighters fought off the Arapahoe enemy and won on this day,
Looking to the raft, and it was empty as their loved became the lake and the thunderstorms prey.
Grief flooded the surviving warriors who survived the battle, but their love ones they could not save,
As fate, destiny and the mountain winds sent the women and children to a watery grave.
The years pass and people say eerie things can be seen and heard around this haunted Spirit Lake,
Seen are the ghostly figures of women and children rising in the morning mist from the watery wake.
Others have heard the desperate screams of the Ute children coming from the early morning mist,
Sunrise on Spirit Lake to this day you can see the Ute Indians ghosts and know they truly do exist.
Kurt James © 2018
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