**This post was first published in February 2016 and republished in April 2020.

On November 12, 1975, a Viking ship mysteriously sailed into the north desert of Grand Junction, Colo. onto the shores of Mt. Garfield. Who were these Viking sailors?

At the time, no one knew how the Viking ship landed on the shores of Mt. Garfield. After a story -- and a photo similar to the one above by Bob Grant -- appeared in a local newspaper, a man named Rollie Rogers "walked the plank" as the man who captained the ship to its port.

Rollie Rogers was a resident of Loma, Colo., in his mid-20s and dreamed of creating this piece of art in the desert for a few years. Capt. Rogers taught carpentry at the District 51 Occupational Training Center. For two years he collected materials to bring his dream to life.

On November 9, 1975, Capt. Rogers, his wife, and first mates, Bill Silva and Mike "Lizard" Adams set sail to the desert with loads of material to hoist the mighty Viking ship's sail. By the end of the day, the Viking ship stood proudly beneath Mt. Garfield.

Grand Junction's Viking Ship Stats

  • Nearly 40-feet long.
  • Constructed from fencing and gate planks.
  • The Mast - an old utility pole, complete with a sail (bed sheet) and rope.
  • A majestic unicorn adorned the bow of the ship.
  • Small wooden discs with ancient symbols decorated the top of each side.

Capt. Rogers and his crew no longer reside in the valley, but we hope they sail back into port soon.

The ship slowly sank into the Grand Junction desert never to be seen again.

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