Mid-August always brings the call of the Bluff Creek basin and perfect weather and conditions for the exploration of Bigfooting history. The famous Onion Mountain and Blue Creek Mountain footprint trackway finds, investigated by Rene Dahinden and John Green, occurred at this time of year in 1967. This is the season that made Bluff Creek famous, leading up to the October 20th date when the Patterson-Gimlin Film was shot, and when the weather typically sours enough to bring snow and mudslides to the upper watershed roads.
Images: All shots (excluding maps) taken by Steven Streufert, 2009 (top three) and 2010 (the rest). CLICK TO ENLARGE, especially the MAPS.
FROM HIGHWAY 96 TO THE PGF SITE,
Bluff Creek Trip, Part One
So it was that for three days our associate, "C.I." and ourselves ventured up Highway 96 from Willow Creek and up past Weitchpec to explore our favorite historical issues and locales, and maybe have an encounter with the Big Hairy Dudes ourselves. Here is Part One of our annotated pictorial presentation, complete with topo maps that may help you fine readers find some of these spots. Note--some aspects of this trip have been kept secret to protect current on-going investigations by other researchers of Bigfoot activity in the area. We will not disclose details at this time. Read on...
Just past Weitchpec, where one crosses the bridge over the Klamath River at its confluence with the Trinity River, one takes a right heading northward on Highway 96, the official scenic "Bigfoot Byway." One passes the historic Bluff Creek Company store, now known as Bluff Creek Resort, just south a few dozen yards from the southern end of Bluff Creek Road. Just ahead, staying on the 96, is the bridge over Bluff Creek where it meets with the Klamath (and a sweet river access spot). On this particular trip we proceeded just a touch less than a mile farther north to a left on Slate Creek Road, officially identified as Forest Road 11N05.
[At this point the traveler will dearly be wishing they had asked for and purchased the Six Rivers National Forest Atlas at the Lower Trinity Ranger Station just outside of Willow Creek. This book is worth every over-priced penny. Ask for it at the desk, where he keeps them hidden for some reason. Do note, the roads on the topo maps in this presentation are not quite as they appear in the Atlas and on the ground today.]
Was it a Bigfoot???
It was creeping around mysteriously, its visible parts appearing and then being obscured, much like one often sees in thermal night shots claimed to be of Sasquatch. Just as the suspense had risen to quite a high degree the creature's head rose up---and we saw its puffy, round ears. It was a black bear, apparently not smelling nor hearing us, ambling along right toward the edge of our camp. After a few moments we decided we'd better spotlight it, especially as our traveling partner did not have his second night vision scope unpacked at that time and could not see it in the darkness. The thing bolted rather quickly at the sudden change in lumens. This was to be one of three bear sightings on this three-day trip.
During the night we heard something that kind of sounded like a wood knock and then a smashing wood break, as if a limb had broken off a tree (at totally normal, non-Bigfoot-related occurrence). Later, way off in the distance, we heard some kind of vocalization, a barking sound that, however incongruous way out here in the middle of nowhere (we only saw three other vehicles up there the whole weekend), we'd have to ascribe to a dog rather than a Bigfoot. But who knows, eh? Twin Lakes are, after all, just a couple of miles directly east of Big Foot Creek, which flows into Bluff Creek at that point.
Here we were interested in esoteric dimensions like trees, stumps, and sand types. We walked up the creek past the film site to investigate another sand bar up there at the top of the "bowling alley." When we headed back we crossed up onto the now quite elevated and forested sand/gravel bar, and walked across both prospective film site locations. BOTH are plausible, especially as they were obviously both part of one single sandbar, now greatly eroded with the creek down in a much deeper gulch than it was after the 1964 flood's deposits were washed away over the years.
We would like to thank TopoQuest for making their nice, scalable maps of the area available. One may even click to center on a spot and get the GPS co-ordinates for it. Great! Check it out here:
Lonesome Ridge, California Topographic Map on TopoQuest
Here are the approximate co-ordinate we got in using the site. Your results may vary. The MK Davis site, as told to us by Weaverville researcher, Sean Fries, is 500 yards downstream from the "bat boxes."
Upper sand bar (Barackman location)
Map Center: N41.44069° W123.70039°
Daniel Perez' "X" (after Dahinden, as in Bigfoot at Bluff Creek)
Map Center: N41.44047° W123.70082°
Lower bar and gulch (as Christopher Murphy places it, and where Perez was seen walking around in 2003 and 2006)
Map Center: N41.43942° W123.70186°
Ferris Camp (historical) Locale [NEWS TO US!]
Northern top of "Bowling Alley"
Map Center: N41.44347° W123.69975°
Bat Boxes (approximate) car/log landing
Map Center: N41.43854° W123.70453°
USGS Map Name: Lonesome Ridge, CA Map MRC: 41123D6
Image: a broad view of the Bluff Creek basin, centered near Louse Camp. CLICK TO ENLARGE. Get the USFS Forest Atlas if you need better, more reliable road markings. Other one: from the Cibachrome of Patty. Enjoy!
The ARCATA THEATER LOUNGE SCIENCE FICTION PINT AND PIZZA NIGHT, featuring SASQUATCH
This event was a pretty big hit, with a long line out the door at 6:00, constituting a nearly full house for viewings of THE SNOW CREATURE and then THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK. Interspersed were give-aways of cryptic novelties like a Bigfoot Pez dispenser, hosted by Matt Jackson of MISSING LINK RECORDS and some Bigfooty film clips and songs assembled from our samples by event coordinator Mike Sargent. This was pop-culture Bigfoot with a twist: there was more than just the usual monster focus.
We of BIGFOOT BOOKS had a book table in the back along with Patterson-Gimlin film subject casts brought along by James "Bobo" Fay. Bobo heroically appeared despite having had surgery just a day or two earlier. Attendee/customer questions proved to be generally sincere concerning the possibility of Bigfoot's existence, with only the slightest traces of mocking humor (though good-natured) from a few. There was, unfortunately, no time for the planned discussion panel.
We sold a good bunch of Bigfoot books and maps, so we could tell interest was high, and pretty darn serious despite all the pints of strong beer consumed by the viewers (and the hosts). We are hoping that there will be a repeat of this event next year, perhaps with more non-fictional and serious content.
"Bigfoot's Nifty Fifty" Anniversary of the celebration, was really great and quite unusually Bigfooty this year. Watch for our next blog post for a complete pictorial coverage of the parade, and the decidedly less Squatchy celebration in the park afterwards. It was fun, for sure; but someday we are hoping that the organizing committee will actually go along with our suggestion that they add some Bigfoot speakers to the event. We suppose that most folks think that would be boring compared to reggae music, fireman's water competitions, axe-throwing, and sno-cones.
Wait until next week, Bigfoot!
Wha', Hu-man? What you talk?
We have pictures of where you live, Sasquatch!
Me not name Sa'quatch. That me trailer park trash brother. He like reach arm through trailer window, scare hu-man sitting on poop throne. You listen Bigfoot, hu-man. Me SMASH camera! Me STOMP compute machine! You go out to truck think drive to Bluff Creek? You find engine down hillside.