Hiker Hears Strange Noises Coming From Abandoned Mine And Uncovers The Most Crushing Sight

Hiking alone can be a relaxing and enlightening experience, but it can also be downright terrifying. After all, animals both small and large—and friendly and fierce—often lurk near even the most highly trafficked trails. And since no one wants to bump into wildlife, you’d think that you’d instinctively move away from any strange noises coming from off the trail… right?

Colorado resident and avid hiker Preston Gladd sure thought so. While hiking through a national park, he noticed an odd sound emanating from an old mine shaft. Wisely, he ignored it. But something about the situation didn’t sit right with him, so he pushed aside his instincts—and made a distressing discovery…

In October 2017, Preston Gladd of Park County, Colorado, set off on a hike through the lush green hills of the nearby Pike National Forest. This adventurer wasn’t satisfied keeping two feet on the trails, however.

Preston Gladd / Facebook

Instead, Preston explored some of the many mines that dotted the forest’s landscape. Out of all the mines he checked out that day, however, one proved to be more dangerous than the others…

CBS 4 Denver

The mine didn’t boast a particularly deep shaft or any sulfurous gases. Rather, the danger took another form entirely—one that made the avid hiker and explorer just a little bit uneasy.

Preston Gladd / Facebook; CBS News

“I just heard growling and animal sounds,” Preston later told CBS News Denver. “So I thought it was something living in the mine.” He didn’t want to come face to face with a growling mine resident, so Preston didn’t investigate at first…

CBS News Denver

But for the next few days, Preston couldn’t shake the growling noise from his head. “I’ve been wanting to go in and explore the cave,” he said, “and I like animals a lot so I couldn’t stop thinking about the animal.” Was it trapped? Hurt? In danger?

Preston Gladd / Facebook

So on Wednesday, October 18, Preston loaded his pet dogs, Meeko and Lola, into the car and returned to the site where he’d heard the noise. This time, though, he didn’t hear any growling. Instead, he heard something far more telling…

Loud barking was echoing out of the mine shaft now. Preston said, “So I crawled down into the mine and looked down the shaft and saw there was somebody’s dog with a collar stuck down at the bottom running around.” What could he do?

Portia Scovern / Facebook

He needed to save it, of course! First Preston called his friend, Gannon Ingels (pictured). “Gannon,” he said over the phone, “that mine I was exploring the other day? There’s a dog down here. Get the gear. We’ve got to save it.”

CBS News Denver

“I was stoked,” Gannon told CBS News. “I was like, ‘What? Puppy to save? For sure, way better than the nap I was going to take.’” So he and Preston’s then-girlfriend, Portia Scovern, grabbed climbing equipment and headlamps and returned to the mine.

Portia Scovern / Facebook

The trio soon arrived at the mine, but it would take a little complex maneuvering to reach the bottom, they realized. The mine opened into a 60-foot tunnel that then dropped 25 feet. There, at the bottom, was where the dog was trapped.

CBS News Denver

Of course, this illuminated a disheartening fact: the dog had been trapped in the dark without food for over a week. If Gannon, Portia, and Preston couldn’t rescue her right then and there, she likely wasn’t going to last much longer.

Portia Scovern / Facebook

The trio devised a rescue plan: Gannon would lower Preston down the mine shaft. Once at the bottom, he’d wrap a rope around the dog so she could be pulled back up. With their ropes, pulleys, and headgear prepared, Preston began his decent.

Portia Scovern / Facebook

With only a headlamp for light, Portia’s camera could hardly capture Preston working. Twenty-five feet beneath the earth’s surface, he tossed an old ladder aside so he could wrap his rope around the scared dog.

Portia Scovern / Facebook

Just a few harrowing minutes later, they’d done it! Gannon pulled the frightened pooch back to the surface where she saw sunlight for the first time in over a week. Luckily for her, the trio came prepared with something to make her feel a bit better…

Portia Scovern / Facebook

Portia dumped a few bottles of water into a bowl, which the pooch lapped up as quickly as possible. Then, beside the water dish, Portia put down a bowl of food for the hungry dog. Unsurprisingly, after so long in the mine, the dog had become skinny, weak, and dehydrated.

Portia Scovern / Facebook

As the crew drove home, the dog clearly still carried the weight of her ordeal with her. Even in the car, she was terrified and practically begged for Gannon to hold her, pet her, and cuddle her. Of course, the dog lover obliged!

Portia Scovern / Facebook

When they brought the dog into the comfort of the indoors, Preston washed her off in the shower. Believe it or not, she cleaned up pretty well! Still, they had to take her to the vet—chances were, she’d suffered some serious injuries after a 25-foot fall.

Portia Scovern / Facebook

Amazingly, the vet sent the dog packing with a clean bill of health! Preston was stunned. “She was not as bad as I expected,” he said. A little psychological damage was all she had to pay for her ordeal.

Portia posted the rescue video on social media, hoping to find the dog’s owner. After more than 750 people shared the post, the dog’s owner—who’d been in Denver—contacted her the very next day. He wanted his beautiful dog, whose name was Cheyenne, home right away!

Because one young dog lover trusted his gut, Cheyenne the pooch was able to return home to the family that loved her. And after all she’d been through, she must’ve been beyond relieved!

Thankfully Preston followed his instincts and returned to the mine where he first heard the odd noises. Cheyenne can now grow old surrounded by the people who love her.

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