With summer vacation drawing to a close, I wanted to do a short solo trip to a place I’d never been. Being a cast geek, I decided to travel to eastern Oregon to see the Blue Mountains where Paul Freeman obtained numerous sasquatch footprint casts throughout the 1980’s and 90’s.
Paul Freeman’s casts have a checkered reputation. Some bigfooters believe that all of Mr. Freeman’s casts were hoaxed, while others believe that none of them were. While I do admit that some of the casts don’t look quite right to me, many of them show interesting anatomical features that are consistent with great ape anatomy. Certainly Mr. Freeman was not an expert in biolocomotion and ape anatomy. (A friend of Freeman’s recently told me that Paul “wasn’t an expert in anything.”) Academic authorities, such as Dr. Jeff Meldrum, have weighed Freeman’s evidence and found many of the casts to be quite compelling. Until I obtain a PhD from an academic institution, I’ll defer to the experts.
The Blues are about a four and a half hour drive from Portland. Getting an unhurried start, I found myself passing through Walla Walla, WA in the late afternoon. I turned onto Mill Creek Road and headed to the hills.
In general, the Blue Mountains are a fairly dry place. The roads were quite dusty in most spots (adding to their ability to take and hold footprints), and the plant life was similar to the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, or perhaps the Siskiyous of Southern Oregon. The ridge lines were often brown and bare with the thicker forests appearing nearer the bottom of the river valleys. Often the mountains’ cooler northern slopes would be thickly wooded while their southern slopes would be treeless. With so much open area between the patches of trees, I couldn’t help but think about ways to possibly capture footage of sasquatches if they could be lured out into the open…
After poking around Deduct Springs for a while, I hit the road again. There is a large number of springs popping up here and there all throughout the Blues, so I made it a point to stop at every one that was near the road in order to search for footprints. I didn’t have to drive far to find springs, but footprints eluded me wherever I looked.
Driving northward on a very dusty road, I found an isolated campsite called Indian Camp, also the site of Indian Springs. The campsite was at a trail head above the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness Area. There were plenty of deer around, as judged by both the sheer number of footprints, and also that two of them kept coming to within forty feet of me, then running off if I made any sudden moves. My night was spent in this valley making calls and knocking, but receiving no responses.
More on my trip to the Blues, coming soon…