30 years later, firefighter finds hunter’s lost knife | AspenTimes.com

30 years later, firefighter finds hunter’s lost knife

Nate Peterson
Vail Daily
Ryan Halvorson, a task force leader working on the Grizzly Creek Fire, just northwest of Eagle, holds up the knife he found in the woods while scouting for hot spots.
Facebook screenshot

Jim Skornosky, a longtime Eagle resident, is getting his lost hunting knife back — after 30 years.

Skornosky, 66, who lived in Eagle for 35 years before moving to Arizona eight years ago, had all but forgotten about the knife with his name stamped on the side until he got a Facebook message from Ryan Halvorson, a task force leader working on the Grizzly Creek Fire.

A Facebook video on the Grizzly Creek Fire’s page tells the story of how Halvorson came upon the knife near Coffee Pot Spring north of Interstate 70 near the dividing line for Garfield and Eagle counties.

Halvorson, of Tenstrike, Minnesota, said he was out scouting line on the fire looking for hot spots when he came across the knife “in an island of green.”

Halvorson figured the knife, given its condition, had been in the woods for maybe three to five years. But after Googling Skornosky and tracking him down on Facebook, leading to text messages and eventually a phone call, he got his answer.

“The only thing I asked was I wanted to know how and when he lost the knife,” Halvorson said on the video. “Kind of a funny story. He said it was a match set that his dad had custom made for him. And I kept trying to dig it out of him and I was really curious when he lost it. I was thinking three or five years ago because it’s still in good shape. It’s a good-quality knife. I was just blown away when he said 30 years ago.”

Skornosky, on the video, said the phone call took place when Halvorson was camping at Coffee Pot Spring.

“It was just a surreal moment,” Skornosky said. “It was unbelievable. He sent me three pictures right from Coffee Pot Springs (sic) and I couldn’t believe, after that many years laying there, and everything that goes on in Colorado, it was probably covered in 10 feet of snow for 30 years and it’s still in pretty good shape.”

Halvorson then made plans to return the knife to Skornosky’s daughter who still lives in the area. Soon enough, the knife that Skornosky lost all those years ago will be back in his possession — almost as good as new.