Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Clifford in Gifford

Last week was pretty bigfoot-intensive for me. Between the Yakima event, various friends passing through town, getting into the woods, and blogging daily, I was a little worn out. I needed a break, so... I went bigfooting.

This trip was a less-intensive, holiday weekend trip into Gifford Pinchot National Forest with friends. That's one of the cool things about bigfooting: I can do it with folks who aren't as into it as I am, and even skeptics. I always try to keep in mind that bigfooting is really just camping with a purpose...

I packed a gear bag full of electronic goodies, another with a handful of trail cameras, and a cooler containing refreshing beverages, and headed eastward on the 84. Crossing the Columbia River into Washington State via the Bridge of the Gods, I travelled further east and then north into Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

The Bridge of the Gods

We didn't really have a specific destination, which is the way I love to roll. I thought we'd see how far back the snow had melted, and hopefully find a place to camp with nobody too close. It was Memorial Day weekend, after all.

We tried to get to a couple spots where I had had some possible bigfoot action a few years back, but found each of them blocked with snow. The main road was impassible at Lone Butte Snow Park, so we headed down FSR 3211 towards Skookum Meadows. I suspected the road would still be snowed in and I was correct. Turning around, we continued our search for a campsite.

We eventually found an unoccupied corner of the forest at a place we know as "Hunter's Camp". Hunter's Camp is not far from where I recorded vocalizations this past summer, and there is an extensive marsh less than a quarter mile away. It was great for camping, as well as bigfooting.

Deer sign was everywhere.

We did some excellent hiking, tracking through the swamps, and perching on high precipices to fill our days. I couldn't ask for better weather with the warm days and clear blue skies. The views of Mount Saint Helens were epic, and the forest was a sylvan paradise.

Mount Saint Helens

Night time activities included tree-knocking, various calls, and night walks. I even started venturing into the swamp at 1 am, but a combination of treacherous terrain, exhaustion, and refreshing beverages made me abandon that bright idea. The moment was not lost on me though. I did sit quietly for twenty minutes or so, checking out the area through the thermal imager. A rodent was filmed, but no other mammalian life was seen.

The swamp.

Bigfoots totally blow my mind. How they can get around in that inky darkness is just phenomenal. I know bears and other animals do it too, but just thinking of another biped navigating the same terrain effortlessly is pretty awe-inspiring. My respect for the 'squatch grows all the time.

The trail cameras captured images of my friends and I walking the roads, and one deer. No bigfoots. Still, it's always an adventure putting out trail cameras. It's like Christmas morning...

This deer crossed the road at just the right spot
to allow us to get a photograph.

While nothing bigfooty happened on this trip, it was a great time with great friends. The conversations, BB gun target practice, campfires, walks, laughter, and good times were enough to make this trip something I wouldn't have wanted to miss... and I was bigfooting too. It can't get much better than that!

Even our bigfoot bait, Boof, had a good time.

[Warning! Shameless plug ahead.]

I'm doing an internet radio show tomorrow night.

Click the above link for information!

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