|On the road again...beautiful sky in California|
April 22, 2014
I'm driving north on Interstate 5 heading for Bend, Oregon. Nice day for driving. Beautiful white clouds
punctuate a bright, blue sky in the Sacramento Valley in California.
My landmark in the north, Mt. Shasta, is covered in clouds this day so I don't get to see that majestic peak.
The rest of the drive to Oregon is smooth - at times driving through snow flurries and drizzling rain.
I stop in Weed, CA to photograph the bigfoot statue at the I (Heart) Weed Gift Shop on Hwy 97 right in town as you exit Interstate 5. Great folks - beautiful photos of the mountain - fantastic honey!
|Bigfoot statue at|
I (Heart) Weed Gift Shop
Last stop of the day is at the Bigfoot Tavern in Crescent, Oregon on Hwy 97 about 50 miles south of Bend.
Nice folks there, too. They have a statue outside as well (that's why I stopped). But bigfoot here is just to take advantage of the cultural popularity of the subject. They're really not "into" it -and that's fine. I'm late so I don't stay very long.
|Bigfoot Tavern statue|
Yakama Nation, Washington
April 23, 2014
Destination Yakima by 12:00 noon. Hey, a little wet, Spring weather accompanies me into Washington and it's great to make it to Bob Gimlin's house! We have a few errands to run in Yakima before heading over the Cascades to Seattle. We visit the Yakima Valley Museum to have a quick look at the "Sasquatch Revealed" exhibit created by Christopher Murphy and wonderfully displayed here until the end of the year. Bob is a welcome guest and it's a great visit. We hit the road for 150 miles of driving and arrive in Seattle where we meet up with John Kirk of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club (BCSCC). We are all heading to the Ohio Bigfoot Conference 2014 the next morning.
|Great bigfoot evidence & artifact exhibit|
in Yakima, Washington for the year
|Part of the P-G film dispay|
at the "Sasquatch Revealed" exhibit
|The trip begins - John, Bob and I in the|
Seattle-Tacoma Int'l Airport
April 24, 2014
Well, I will not detail our airline travel woes - not as bad as some folks have to endure. Let's just say we arrived in Cleveland, Ohio on time but stressed, weary of flying and hungry. :-) Our host and organizer extraordinaire of the conference, Marc DeWerth, picks us up along with our great friend Cliff Barackman of Finding Bigfoot fame and ex-patriot crytpo-artist from the UK, Thomas Finley. Our two car caravan speeds through the dark Ohio night 120 miles south to Salt Fork State Park and Lodge - site of the bigfoot conference.
"It's great to be here!" was overheard a few times that night as we met up with friends at the lodge after our 11:00 p.m. arrival. Monica Rawlins, Lyle Blackburn and Jessica James joined us and we had a night cap before retiring.
|Jeff Crisman jamming in our room.|
This man loaned me his awesome guitar for the weekend!
|with Bob Gimlin and Lyle Blackburn|
at Ohio Bigfoot Conf. 2014 Meet & Greet
|Breakfast with friends Winona, Tina and Kenny.|
Facebook friends meet face-to-face finally.
April 25, 2014
Big first day of the bigfoot conference starts with breakfast in the lodge restaurant. Now, I apologize in advance for the few names I am going to forget. Friday was a very social day and we saw old friends and made new ones as we went about running a few errands and then hosting people in our hospitality suite. It's a real treat for folks to get to spend some social time with Bob and we enjoyed having a fun visit with a bunch of people. Jeff Crisman and his wife, Jodi, brought me a guitar to play during the weekend - so cool of them to do that! We became fast friends. Winona Alexis was there with Tina Harter and Kenny J., their good friend. Tina chauffeured us the 20 miles into Cambridge, Ohio for "supplies". ;-) Dave McCullough came from Massachusetts - or should I say "Squatch-achusetts" with friends and colleagues Jonathan Wilk and Dax Rushlow. Just so many people come to this conference - it's amazing. We enjoyed the day and then had a speakers dinner on the schedule for that evening. There we met even more people including my friends and sponsors, Suzanne and Bernie Ferencak. We hit it off from the start and the night ended with a fun sing-a-long in the grand lobby of the Salt Fork Lodge. Sitting around a giant living room setting in front of a fireplace singing songs campfire-style until the wee hours. There's nothing more enjoyable than that.
|My new friends Bernie and Suzanne|
- They sponsored me as a presenter
|Posing at the Meet & Greet|
with conference attendees
|Bob Gimlin caricature|
by Erie, Pennsylvania artist Eerie Eric
April 26, 2014
Conference Day begins! Salt Fork Lodge is a buzzing beehive of activity in the vast lobby area. It's now a Bigfoot Bazaar with over 30 vending tables with everything your sasquatch-centric heart could desire. Bob and I have a table in the center of all this where he can meet and greet the attendees and also sign autographs. Good friends "Joisey" Gene Romo and John Kirk provide essential aid to us as we also are selling souvenir photos, too. The people of Ohio - and those attending from a multitude of states and Canadian provinces - are just wonderful! Informed and intelligent, they are most appreciative of the opportunity to say "Hello" to and share a few words with Bob Gimlin. The day moves swiftly and soon the conference begins in a nearby hall. Lyle Blackburn, author of "The Beast of Boggy Creek" and Charlie Raymond of Kentucky Bigfoot Research give the first two presentations. We are unable to enjoy these but hear great things about them - we're still going fast and furious with the patient line of people waiting to meet Bob. Cliff Barackman presents next for over an hour about bigfoot evidence he has evaluated. It's an excellent talk and all are impressed with his enthusiasm and knowledge. We get seated for the dinner break at a large table with friends and after the meal, it is our turn to address the conference.
|Bob greeting a young bigfoot enthusiast|
|Playing two bigfoot songs with Todd Prescott|
- a unique aspect of my presentation
|Conference organizer, Marc DeWerth presents|
Bob Gimlin with a plaque
My talk is about the history of bigfoot evidence documented in the Bluff Creek area prior to the Patterson-Gimlin film event. It's a basic review of the people involved in that area starting with Jerry Crew and Bob Titmus. John Green's activities are also noted as he was down in Bluff Creek soon after seeing Jerry Crew's photograph with the bigfoot cast on the news wire. Al Hodgson and his role in the bigfoot history from Bluff Creek and the town of Willow Creek are explained and I conclude with the Blue Creek Mountain track discoveries in August 1967 just above Bluff Creek prior to Roger and Bob coming down to see those tracks four weeks later. I also give the audience a "virtual tour" of Bluff Creek and the surrounding region using maps and photographs I have taken over the last 10 years. The crowd appreciates seeing the photos from the Klamath River, the G-O Road, Louse Camp, the Bluff Creek drainage and the Patterson-Gimlin film site as it is today and over the last 10 years. Todd Prescott is in attendance and joins me on drums as we then perform two of the bigfoot songs pertinent to this presentation: "Jerry Crew (He Knew What To Do)" and "Roger and Bob (Rode Out That Day)". Despite losing my voice (to a bug, pollen or overuse? who knows?), the songs are well received and it's a nice musical interlude before Bob Gimlin is introduced to recount the events of that historic day, October 20, 1967.
|Bob Gimlin acknowledges the standing ovation -|
the BEST audience in the bigfoot world.
The conference always welcomes and appreciates Bob like no other. A standing ovation from the audience - just like they gave him in 2010 - greets Bob as he takes the microphone to tell their story of obtaining the famous bigfoot film.. The people are spellbound during his talk and there's not much more I can add here to describe it. The night ends with the perfunctory "speakers photo op" with organizer Marc DeWerth joining us at the front of the hall. A surprise presentation is made to Bob of a beautiful, unique plaque created by William Draginis and Helen Snyder Shaw. It is the "Golden Cast Award" and is in honor of his efforts to protect and preserve the footprint trackway at the film site. They have coated one of the two casts that Patterson made that day in actual gold and mounted it in a shadow box frame with lights behind the golden cast. It is incredible! Truly a fantastic way to end the event.
|Marc DeWerth with the Golden Cast Award|
that was presented to Bob Gimlin
The night never seems to end. But I will for now. We were there through the weekend with more activities on Sunday and then traveled Monday back to Cleveland. There we had an awesome visit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! That really capped off the trip. But we still have a long travel day on Tuesday getting back to Washington and then I had a long drive home to California. It was an epic journey!
|Our best friends - the Holasek Sisters (Molly and Emily),|
their Dad and son Ethan.
|Salt Fork State Park|
|with two great guys at Ohio Bigfoot Conference|