The mysterious Hourglass Cave man and a spooky cave to color in: Kids Corner for the week of 10/19/20 |

The mysterious Hourglass Cave man and a spooky cave to color in: Kids Corner for the week of 10/19/20

Editor’s note: The Vail Daily’s weekly kids section is chock full of activities and fun to keep the young and the young at heart entertained during the pandemic. If you have an idea for the section or would like to get involved, email Entertainment Editor Casey Russell at

Time travel

Learn about Eagle County history each week.

Alin Meceanu | Unsplash

Approximately 8000 years ago, a man in his early 40s entered a limestone cave in Eagle County. He died deep inside the cave. His remains were found in 1988 by several cave explorers and are among the oldest found in North America. Hourglass Cave is high above the valley floor at about 11,000 feet and is snow-covered for seven months.

The ancient bones were studied by professionals. He was 5’4” tall. He had sturdy shin bones from climbing mountains, and he showed arthritis in his neck from carrying heavy loads on his back. Most likely, he ate meat rather than grains.

Inside the cave, it is cold and passages are narrow.  From charcoal markings on the walls, the man used torches and built fires. The ancient traveler was found 1,000 feet inside the cave. He crawled on his side and stood upright to reach such a depth.

This ancient caver must have been strong and curious to go so far into the cave. He appeared to be a solitary traveler. His bones were given to the Southern Ute Indian tribe for burial.

Why the Hourglass Man visited a cave in Eagle County remains a mystery.

This Time Travel column is submitted by Shirley Welch, longtime local historian and author of “Vail: The First 50 Years” and “The Eagle River Valley,” an Images of America paperback. Contact her at

Word of the Week

Learn new words in English and Spanish each week.

caveman / el cavernícola

Special to the Daily

Riddle me this

Test your wits and smarts with these riddles.

Click or hover over the black boxes to reveal the answer.


Riddle: What does a caveman give his girlfriend when he wants to get married?

A big rock.

Riddle: Which newspaper did cavemen read?

The Prehistoric Times.


Riddle: Why do cavemen never get angry?

Because they’re no-mads.

Riddle: What do you call a caveman that wanders around aimlessly?

A meanderthal.

Outside scoop

Piñon Nuts

Happy National Nut Day, which is this Thursday, Oct. 22.

Piñon nuts, also called pine nuts, are delicious seeds that come from the piñon pine tree. This tree produces a very expensive and coveted (greatly appreciated and highly valued) seed that is gathered in fall. The piñon tree is a compact, drought tolerant and slow growing. Typically, a piñon pine will reach 10 to 20 feet tall with needles and cones, and from the cones come the pine seeds. 

The Colorado piñon tree is a distinct species of tree that lives in many parts of the Rocky Mountains. Its ideal growing conditions can be found between a mile above sea level to about 8,000 feet in altitude. In Colorado, more than 1/5 of the state’s forest are made up of the Colorado piñon. 

There is important cultural meaning associated with the piñon tree. Native Americans and indigenous communities were the first to forage and collect the seeds and safely store them over winter. The harvest process of removing the seeds from the cones is labor intensive and that is what makes them so expensive. 

There are three types of Piñon nuts that are found in the Western United States

  • Softshell
  • One needle
  • Two needle

Pinyon nuts are loaded with vitamins including magnesium, iron, antioxidants, zinc, and protein and phosphorus.

Outside Scoop is submitted by freelance journalist Julie Bielenberg. Contact her at

Coloring page

This week’s coloring page is by Vail Daily Entertainment Editor Casey Russell. Follow her art on Instagram @caseymrussellart.
Casey Russell |

Print the page here.

Learn how to make your own coloring pages here.

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