An invitation was extended for me to accompany some bigfooting friends on a scouting trip for a longer foray here in Mt. Hood National Forest. I met up with three investigators on Saturday, March 15th near Ogre Creek on the Collawash River. I had been wanting to see Ogre Creek for some time simply because of the name. (It seems pretty obvious to me why a name like that was bestowed on the creek.)
Even though all the right things were done that night, and we certainly had the right people there, no calls or knocks were heard. The area is very ‘squatchy and obviously holds great potential. I sincerely enjoyed the company of all those in attendance, too. Many times, that’s what bigfooting is all about since it’s so rare that sasquatches make an appearance.
The view from a nearby mountainside.
The next day, we did our best to visit the nearby Glen Thomas site on Burnt Granite Ridge. We tried to ascend to the ridge top using three different routes, but each time were turned back by formidable snowdrifts left over from earlier this winter. We had our hearts set on seeing this bigfoot tourist spot, but our plans had to be postponed. I will do my best to get there in the coming months.
After our third failed attempt to get to the top of the ridge, we parted ways. The two investigators from Washington had a long drive home, and the other had a wife and kid waiting. Since I had nothing in particular to do (and actually was hoping to procrastinate on grading some papers), I decided to head to nearby Lake Harriet to see if I could locate a mine that had produced a sasquatch sighting back in the 1990’s.
A man from Estacada told me how to get to the mining area below Lake Harriet. I followed his directions and easily found the mine, though I am not certain that this is the same mine opening. The report says that the horizontal mine shaft was a “framed access hole,” and the opening I found showed no indication of framing at all. As reported by the Estacadian, there was a culvert which quietly leaked a steady cold stream of air from the darkness of the mine below. He told me that one can access this mine through the culvert, but it is flooded. Luckily for me, I left my flashlight in the car and was not very tempted to explore a dark mineshaft alone where nobody even knew I was. Even I am not that foolhardy. Almost, though.
The two mine openings.
I soon discovered that the horizontal shaft had been sealed off for more than a decade. The date was clearly welded on the bars blocking my entry. The sighting reportedly occurred in 1996, so this could jive with the time frame. Still, I have my doubts that this is the same mine. The report also puts the mine on Shellrock Creek, which is upstream from Lake Harriet. Hmmm, inconsistencies…
Not being sure this was the mine I was looking for, I spent the next 45 minutes hiking around off-trail looking for other openings in the steep walls of the narrow canyon. I could not locate any other mines before the sun started sinking a little lower than I was comfortable with considering I did not have my light (I’ve been caught far from camp without lights before).
Walking back from the mine to my truck, I saw several rough-skinned newts (Taricha granulosa) wriggling across the muddy path. I was wondering why they were so plentiful, but later found out that they were toxic to eat. Good thing I wasn’t hungry, though they sure looked good.
So my day of bigfoot tourism was a bust, though I did get to spend the night with good friends doing what I love best. I’m headed to the woods again tomorrow night as I take some of my teaching staff members bigfooting for the second time. I’ll let you know how it goes.