I started my adventure by visiting friends on their property outside of Sequim, WA. Over the years, they have seen elk, cougar, and other wildlife on their property, mostly near the seasonal creek. Being a bigfooter, I asked if anything weird had ever happened on the property, and got an interesting story from Neil, one of the property's owners. Apparently, one night his dogs were acting strangely, so Neil went outside on the porch to listen. He heard the sound of something moving through the woods. Being fond of his woods and the animals that inhabit them, he moved to the middle of his yard and sat down to listen to the wildlife. Whatever was there was approximately 70 yards away. To his surprise, the animal he was listening to turned out to be a group of animals. They started creeping towards him and split up, surrounding him from all sides. Neil thinks there could have been as many as five individual animals. He heard very little noise as the creatures made their way through the woods towards him, approaching him to a distance of perhaps less than 100 feet. What he thought was peculiar was that the animals seemed to be signaling each other with a clicking noise. The noise Neil made to imitate this was similar to the "tsk tsk" noise made when shaking one's head and disapproving of something. The creatures would make two clicks, then another on the other side of the yard would answer with four, then another would do three, or some other number. He reported that the answering creature never made the same number of clicks as the preceding creature. Neil sat and listened to the clicking creatures for well over an hour until his girlfriend drove up the driveway, coming home from work. Neil never saw the animals, which he thought was very strange due to the moonlight, and also that the clicking was loud, possibly indicating a large creature.
The next morning, I was directed to a great chainsaw carving of a bigfoot with friends. It had a "for sale" sign on it, but my wallet was in the car... So instead, I posed for a picture. If anyone wants to buy this, email me through http://www.northamericanbigfoot.com/ and I'll send you directions to the sculpture.
On Tuesday, I met another friend who lives nearby, BH. She is a local bigfoot researcher and is very enthusiastic about the subject. She and I spent the day driving back roads and chatting. I was looking for a place to camp for the night, but was routinely turned around by unpleasant weather at high altitudes, private land at the lower altitudes, and closed gates to the secluded valleys on public land that I thought looked right for sasquatch habitat. (Having chosen these valleys for their sighting history, strategic terrain, and food/water access, I am now even more convinced that they hold sasquatches. It looks like my next trip might be a backpacking trip to one or more of these spots...) I eventually found a place to camp near the coast overlooking a clear cut. My camp was located less than a mile from where BH had an early evening sighting of a seven-foot bipedal creature crossing a logging road during the fall of last year. I spent some time putting out apple piles on the muddy road and setting up camera traps, but no animals cooperated with my plans that night.
After being awakened by nearby logging activity the next morning, I spent some time west of Lake Crescent where there is a cluster of sighting reports. Most of these sightings were from motorists on Hwy 101, possibly indicating a spot where the bigfoots like crossing the road. I spent several hours driving the back roads and walking the river looking for footprints. I found sign of bear, elk, fox, and beaver, but no giant apes. Many of the roads were blocked with snow limiting my access to the higher elevations, but I made use of my time.
I found that night's camping spot near where Devil's Creek flows into the Calawah River. Almost immediately upon arrival (I was still sitting in my truck studying the map), an animal made a huff/growl noise from the treeline. This put me on alert, but no animal was seen. Deer and bear both make such noises, so I do not know to what to attribute the noise. No other animal activity was noted by game cameras nor by my ears. The area was thick with devil's club, and the river bottoms were covered with elk sign. There was plenty of elk sign wherever I looked.
The next morning I broke camp at 5 am in order to meet up with a group of bigfooting friends. The plan was to check some game cameras located near Forks, WA. Forks seems to be taking advantage of the recent attention brought upon it by the book and movie, Twilight. There's an entire store devoted to the Twilight series. I looked for bigfoot stores, but I guess they were on the next block over...
We hiked a few miles off-trail and uphill to reach out camping site. We camped in an excellent spot overlooking two separate valleys with a muddy water source nearby. We received no callbacks nor knocks, but "talked 'squatch" until we wearily hit the hay.
Unfortunately, I have no bigfoot data to share from that night.. At one point, we thought we had excellent knocks coming from our northwest, but it was more likely gunshots. The next morning when the light was still grey, the three other people I was with heard a possible whoop from higher along the ridge. My recorder did not record it because the card was full. Grey light is an excellent time for bigfoot encounters, and once again I missed the party. When will I learn to wake up at 5 am and reset the recorder? Hopefully before the next missed opportunity!
The next morning, we broke camp, hiked out and went our separate ways. They headed to another area to put out more IR trail cameras, and I headed south to the Hoh Rainforest. Before the National Park, there is a small community with several bigfoot items of interest.
I stopped at the Hard Rain Cafe and Mercantile, remembering my last visit a decade ago. Then, a man owned the store who had found convincing footprints on the ridge above while hunting. He said that until that point, he didn't believe that bigfoots were real. After sitting and studying the tracks for over twenty minutes, he decided that bigfoots must be real.
That man has now sold the property to Anna and Christian Matsche. They have a large (but not life-sized for a bigfoot...) "Harry" doll in an kayaking action pose on the front porch. They also feature a "Bigfoot Burger" on their menu with an awesome sign for a menu.When I asked about any recent bigfoot stories, she had not heard of any, but offered to let me read a page written by an eyewitness. She pulled out a green ledger book with the letters BFRO on the cover. Looking inside the cover, Mel Skahan had apparently given it to the owners. Mel has not been in the BFRO for many years, so the book must have been quite old. Not many stories were written up in the pages, and no stories were recent. Still, I left my card with the owner and she put it in the bigfoot book. She was very kind and friendly, so I would encourage everyone to drop by and eat a burger.
Just a few hundred feet away is another reason to drop by this small community. If you cannot find it, just follow the signs...
When I got to the store and was greeted by the giant bigfoot statue that stands guard outside, I was disappointed to find that Oliver's was closed. I peeked in the window and saw a couple other bigfoot-related items, which I snapped photos of.
This statue was also on display inside Oliver's. Take a moment and look at the photo above. I think (but can't tell for sure) that there is a surveillance camera lens looking at me from the right side of the bigfoot's torso. I hope it is a camera! How's that for a change? A bigfoot was taking a photograph of me without my knowing about it. Such irony!
My campsite for that night was in an area of high activity near Lake Quinault. That's kind of a silly thing to say because the entire area has a lot of activity. Most of the folks you run into have either seen a bigfoot, or they know somebody who says they have.
I ran across a sign adjacent to the Quinault Indian Reservation. I had been seeing two of these signs for years, but had never looked closely at them. Once I walked up to the sign for a closer look, I could see the bigfoot that someone had painted on the sign, though it was in bad shape due to vandals and the weather. Now I have an even better idea who "Swampie" is, though I had my hunches before...
No bigfoot activity was had by me that night, but I got a pretty decent video of a large owl through the thermal imager.
So, no bigfoot evidence was gathered on this trip, but it sure was great to get out and see some 'squatchy areas. I met with good friends, spoke to several excellent witnesses (which I didn't go into here), and gave it my best shot for a week. Now that its warming up a little, I hope the bigfoots become a little more active, or at least that I get out more often. After all, I won't get a picture of a bigfoot from my living room! Neither will you, so feel free to get out there and give it a shot. The air and exercise is good for your body, and the terrain and greenery is good for your soul. Besides, you might see something really cool. Maybe even a bigfoot.