5 Days Out in Del Norte County (California)
(View overlooking Patrick Creek off of the Smith River.)
I was able to spend five days out in the wilds of Del Norte County last week. There were two groups of people coming together to attempt to document or encounter bigfoot activity along the Smith River in Northern California. Both groups were equipped with all types of photographic and audio recording devices. They also had all the necessary equipment and materials for forensic documentation.
(great camp cooking along Shelly Creek near the Oregon-California border.)
We arrived on Saturday, July 17th and proceeded into the mountains late in the afternoon. We established basecamp and cooked dinner, then relaxed around the campfire with the group. Sunday was spent exploring the immediate vicinty. We had ample water and food sources along the creek near camp. The forest was a mix of conifer and deciduous trees and had a unique aspect to this region of ferns, moss and other rainforest fauna even though we were more than 25 miles from the coast.
We were just south of the Kalmiopsis wilderness in the Siskiyou Mountains.
(Patrick Creek Lodge on highway 199. This historic lodge is a must see. There is also fine dining and a lounge for a summer evening respite.)
(Natural camouflage - a little frog blends in with the rocks in the Smith River.
On Sunday night, small groups walked the dirt roads around camp and periodically called out or did wood knocks in order to elicit a response. We were in contact via family band radios. Food offerings were left in two locations 1 and 1/2 miles and 1/4 mile from basecamp. Apples were the offering on this trip.
Monday found us ready to leave the mountains and explore the region. We chose the redwoods of Jedediah Smith State Park near Crescent City. There has been a history of sightings and activity in these redwood forests and we visited the scenic Walker Road off of Highway 199 in the state park. The road is famous for the "Playboy bigfoot video" and is worth a visit just to see the amazing old growth redwood trees.
(Kathy and Bob Strain - enjoying a moment in town to relax, refresh and recharge ourselves.)
(Chris Buntenbah lends the scale to these amazing redwoods and ferns at Jedediah Smith State Park.)
(more of the amazing old growth redwoods...)
(the Smith River as seen from the end of Walker Road. One of the most beautiful "wild & scenic" rivers in Northern California.)
We made it back to camp by dusk which was perfect as the coast was 30 degrees cooler than our basecamp location, which had temps in the low 90s everyday. This made for very moderate overnight temperatures. By this evening, our numbers had dwindled to only the people hosted by Kathy and Bob Strain along with Rob Day. They would remain for the rest of the week at this location.
(View overlooking southern Oregon from near our camp.)
Day trips were made to other isolated areas of the Six Rivers National Forest and down the coast to Klamath, California. We traveled roads with names familiar to those involved in this research: Rowdy Creek Road, Low Divide Road (both outside of Smith River, CA); Howland Hill Road near Crescent City; Hunter Creek Road, Requa Road and Coastal Drive near Klamath, CA; and Drury Scenic Parkway and Bald Hills Road near Orick, CA.
(the mighty Klamath River.)
All in all it was a typical bigfoot research outing. You are miles from the nearest store and highway dealing with everything the mountains can throw at you. From mosquitoes to twisted ankles, heat exhaustion to dehydration, a trip out in the forest is nothing to take lightly. Thankfully, we had every angle covered and were fortunate that only a couple of flat tires and some under-carriage damage was all there was to report. We did not have any documented sasquatch activity during my five days there. I will return to these mountains some other time as it was a very good location.
(Cliff and I got some music time in one night. Someone didn't put their beer bottle in the recycling bag! maybe that's out next song. This night it was Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" and "Jerry Crew (He Knew What To Do)"! that was fun.)
I didn't mention the music, but Cliff and I did have a nice time learning some songs to play together. Matt Pruitt shared his amazing performing talents on a couple of numbers, too. This just wasn't the setting for a whole lot of music as much as it was a group that had much to discuss while altogether. A rare occasion to bring together researchers from Texas, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon and California.