It was 16 July 1994, and I was nearly finished climbing my third fourteener, Mount Bierstadt. I was hiking solo and had made great time on the way up, but my descent had been very slow because I was having knee problems. (I had foolishly decided to move an entire house-full of furniture into my basement the weekend before, to save a little money on moving costs before the carpet installers came in to do their thing. It only hurt going downhill, so I didn't realize my problem until I was starting down from the summit. Not fun. This knee still occasionally troubles me years later.)
I had cleared the infamous willows at the base and crossed the stream, when I realized that I'd lost my camera. I was having some trouble in the willows and had strapped (firmly, I had thought) my camera case to the back of my pack to have one less thing to snag. It must have caught on a branch. It was a cheap camera, but I really wanted those pictures. You can see the willows in this photo.
There was a crowd at the base (a bus load of 2 dozen or so hikers from somewhere), and I sat down dejectedly to ponder my options. I was hurting and truly did not want to have to go back for that camera. I was watching other hikers return, when one group approached me, out of all the others present, and asked if I'd lost a black case. You see, they'd found it hanging on a branch back up the trail. My camera! I was delighted.
I never thought to ask why they chose to ask me out of all those people. Paranormal activity, alien influence, or mere coincidence? (You're not taking this paranormal stuff seriously, are you?)