Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Blues Part 4

I found this guy crawling around in the morning.

I remember dreaming about something to do with an emcee or game show host, a bigfoot, and maybe a zip line.  It's a bit fuzzy, as dreams usually are, but at some point I remember a number of bears galloping in circles around the emcee and me.  I noticed the ground shaking under the bears' galloping as I had experienced the night before.  Very soon, I noticed that I wasn't totally asleep anymore, yet the ground was still shaking.  That woke me up even more, and I found that there was still a thunder of footfalls and the ground was still shaking.

Quickly unzipping my sleeping bag and tent, I stood up in the doorway of my tent and saw almost a dozen elk darting through the trees in the morning light.  They had run within twenty-five feet of my tent.  No wonder the ground was shaking so!  I'm just glad it wasn't a herd of bear, as my dream first indicated.  I'm not sure what I would have done if faced with such an absurd reality...

Since I had once again placed my tent in the direct morning sun, I figured it was time to get up.  I gathered my gear, made some coffee and hit the road.

My plan for the day was to drive back towards Portland and stay in the Cascades for a night.  I had things I needed to take care of on Sunday, so I wanted to put myself in position to arrive home early the next day by making my drive as short as possible.

I called my frequent field partner and friend of the 'squatch, Craig Flipy, from the road to see if he had gone out bigfooting as he planned.  His voice mail was the indication that he had indeed made it to the woods.  To my surprise, he soon called me back from the woods.  He had cell service.  We live in strange times.

Craig Flipy and his shadow

Craig indicated that he was at the spot near the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness area where Will Robinson had recently recorded excellent knocks.  He invited me to join him, and I agreed.

When going to the woods, I try to always start with a full tank of gas, so I stopped in The Dalles to fill up.  I gave the gas station attendant a bigfoot card, and he was kind enough to share a couple stories of him finding footprints in the snow, and of his friends seeing giant man-shaped shadows lurking around the outskirts of the west side of town before it was developed.  Nearly everybody has a story...

I headed up towards Mt. Hood from the city of Hood River along highway 35, took a turn on highway 26, and headed off on smaller logging roads until I found Craig and his two ridiculous dogs hanging around a meadow.  We greeted each other and spent the rest of the day walking the outskirts of the marsh looking for prints.

At dusk, we heard one clear knock coming from north of the marsh.  We were some distance from camp at that point, so we headed back to start our recording gear (which we should have already had running).

I made an ostentatious work of natural art to serve as a pedestal for a food offering.  Tonight's menu would feature a bright yellow spaghetti squash on a stick structure.

Andy Goldsworthy goes bigfooting. 

Later in the night, shortly after midnight, we heard a series of five knocks coming from the very distant southeast.  Were they gunshots?  They were too far away to tell.  

Soon, a much louder, much closer sound erupted from this same direction.  I was moving around when it happened, but to me it sounded like one long sound of a tree falling.  Craig suggested a rifle shot, but was not by any means positive on his identification.  

After reviewing the recording upon returning home, it was most likely the sound of two gunshots.  My only issue with this is that there are no roads in the direction we heard the sounds from.  Oh well, another "maybe."

Nothing else of significance happened that night.  Craig woke up early and left as I was just getting myself up. I slowly wrapped up my four-night exploratory trip to the Blue Mountains by driving Highway 26 back to my home.  

Here are some other pictures from the trip.  Enjoy!

A toad in the Cascades.

That deer from Indian Camp

Self portrait at Indian Springs

The Moon and Venus setting over Walla Walla, WA.

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