Reminiscent wrangler returns to Red Rock
As workers began building the trail link between the Section 16 Intemann Trail and Red Rock Canyon Open Space Aug. 14, a
70-year-old Westside man got to visit the property for the first time since he'd been a young horse wrangler there in the late
William Eddy Sr. admittedly could not walk into the canyon now. He's on oxygen these days - the result of having smoked like a “fool,” as he put it, for 60 years.
So he said it was “awful nice” when Colorado Springs Parks let him board a city shuttle van that was taking workers up to the work area the morning of the 14th. The route followed old gravel roads through the north-south length of the 788.1-acre property, allowing views of Red Rock's unique canyons and rock formations.
“I enjoyed myself immensely,” he said afterward.
Eddy was especially pleased to find an old cave intact. That cave, high up in the property, had been the destination for moonlight rides, back in his wrangling days when the elder John Bock (John G. Bock) had his stables near where Safeway is now. Eddy, then in junior high school worked at the stables in the summer, leading tours on horseback through the then Bock-owned Red Rock Canyon.
“Somebody would go up early and get a campfire going, and then we'd ride up to the cave with the tourists about dusk and cook up hamburgers, hotdogs and baked beans,” he recalled. The cave was blackened with campfire smoke in those days, and people would enjoy the food, the outdoors and guitar-playing for a couple of hours while the skies turned to night. Riding back to the stables in the dark, “the horses would find their own way,” Eddy said.
“I really enjoyed that,” he added. “It's the prettiest part of the state up there.”
Another vivid memory for Eddy is sitting in a second-floor classroom at West Junior High, looking out the window toward Red Rock and wishing for summer when Bock would bring the horses back to his stables from their winter pasturing grounds. “It's probably why I flunked math,” Eddy said.
His recollection of the elder Bock was that he seemed “pretty old” at the time (he would have been in his late 50s). “He would just sit on the bench and play with his dog all day,” Eddy said. “He had this broken-down cowboy hat. He was all cowboy.”
Eddy's appreciation for his Aug. 14 visit was reciprocated by City Parks Development Manager Chris Lieber. He said afterward that Eddy had provided him with useful historical information. It was formerly believed that John G. Bock had cut the dirt roads through the upper part of the property, but according to Eddy those were just horse trails in the late '40s, when he was wrangling there. So the thinking now is that Bock's sons, John S. and Richard Bock, put in those roads.
In the '60s and '70s, the younger Bocks had hopes of developing the property. Eddy is glad that never happened. “I was sure glad the city bought it,” he said. “I was afraid it would go to a contractor who would tear the place up. It's too beautiful a place to build houses.”
Westside Pioneer article