Over the last month or so, professional and personal obligations have firmly anchored me in the cityscape of the Portland metropolis. No matter how much I love this town, I had to get out regardless of what the local meteorologists said.
I set my sites on the beloved Coast Range in Clatsop County and broke out my maps. Having recently spoken to a biologist who stumbled upon a couple bigfoots knocking back and forth to each other on the Nehalem River, I thought I’d give that area a shot. I had never been to this particular part of the river before, having only taken a drive up the river from the coast (and stopped by the washout of the Foss Road Bridge), and certainly the whole area is mind-bogglingly squatchy. However, when faced with a vast region where literally everywhere seems to be the perfect habitat for sasquatches, how does one narrow down the search?
I’ve always been a fan of lakes and marshes, so using Google Earth, I started scanning the area. I stumbled across a well-used fishing spot south of Highway 26 called Lost Lake. It seemed just about perfect. The water would ensure that lots of animals and plants (and therefore bigfoot food) would be present. It was located high up on a hilltop, thus giving the area lots of panoramic views and strategic escape routes. There were practically no sightings from that stretch of river, even though I’m pretty certain there are bigfoots in the area. This, to me, indicated that I’d be working with “virgins,” or bigfoots that hadn’t been bigfooted before and therefore would be more apt to fall for my little tricks.
While preparing to leave on Saturday morning, I received a phone call from another investigator in Portland who picked up a report of some fresh footprints in the Coast Range. The investigator was going to meet with the witness in Beaverton, and then drive to the location, so I tagged along. On the way to the witness’ house, I picked up friend of the ‘squatch, Guy Edwards, the lead artist for the Bigfoot Lunch Club blog.
As it turns out, the location was only a short drive from my final destination, being located way back in the maze of roads along Wolf Creek. After navigating the logging roads, hiking off trail a few hundred yards and crossing a shallow creek, it turned out that the prints were likely a misidentification. The witness felt bad to have dragged us out to the wilds to show us bear tracks, but I didn’t feel like it was a waste of time. At least he reported it to somebody. Too many people never tell anyone what they have seen, and potentially valuable data has repeatedly been lost as a result.
I’ve gone out on dozens and dozens of such excursions to look at possible sasquatch prints, and I have yet to see a really clear track in the ground. After all, all the research points to the fact that clear tracks are by far more rare than actually seeing a sasquatch. Still, if I don’t go out on every lead I get, I may never see a clear track in the ground. I’ll happily go on hundreds of wild goose chases to see one set of prints in mud! Who wouldn’t?
After saying goodbye to the investigator and witness, I managed to meet up with Craig and Brianna Flipy (yes, he was recently married!), and Barney Rubbish. We caravaned together to Lost Lake and found a suitable campsite before the rains hit.
With the downpour just starting, we managed to construct some shanty-like shelters which kept us moderately dry. It was raining hard enough that our auditory senses would be useless for the evening. It looked like our bigfoot trip degraded into a camping trip with good friends, which is fine too. Though it was wet enough that we never managed to get a decent fire going, we kept ourselves warm with friendly conversation and yummy birthday home brew (yes, I brew, and it’s my birthday month). A few hours later, we all made our way to bed for the evening.
I awoke, as I nearly always do, a few minutes before my alarm would be going off (even though it was the weekend, which is a really annoying habit I’ve fallen into this past year). The rain had temporarily stopped, and a silence had descended upon the forest. I don’t know what time it was, but it was very early greylight (that time after dark, but before dawn). I was looking at the ceiling of my tent, listening, when I heard a loud knock from the northeast. Perhaps thirty seconds later, I heard a more distant knock from the southeast. Of course, no recorder was running because the cacophony of raindrops would have drowned out any calls the previous evening, and I pretty much wrote off squatching for the night. I guess Lost Lake was a pretty good location after all…
As I later found out, the knock was loud enough to have awakened Craig from his sleep. Was it a bigfoot? I don’t know, of course. Still, it was pretty loud and clear. I’m still waiting for a better explanation for these knocks I keep hearing… In the meantime, I’ll be looking forward to returning to Lost Lake for a less rainy look around.