A few summers ago, my wife, Charlyn, myself and our dog, Kobie decided to go on a camping outing through northern California and ultimately find our way to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park a short drive north of Crescent City. I had never seen redwood trees, so, I was excited about that, however, I was more excited that we’d be traveling through the heart of Bigfoot Country. Though I am not a believer in Bigfoot’s existence, I have been fascinated by the stories and sightings since I was a little kid. Anytime I saw that a program about Bigfoot was going to be on television, I was tuning in to watch.
As we got closer to our destination that first day, we came to a bridge crossing the Trinity River. As we were crossing, I heard a motorboat down below. I quickly parked the car and grabbed my camera and headed to the bridge railing. I made it just in time to make this image of the motorboat and occupants exiting the overpass heading upriver. Were they looking for the elusive Bigfoot?
We made it to Fish Lake campground and spent the next two nights there, waking up early on our last morning to pack and head up to Crescent City and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. We were not bothered by any Bigfoots at all while camping, however, there were some campers who were visited by black bears during the night…hhmmmm, black bears are big and hairy, though they are not considered bipedal, still, it makes you wonder…
The Redwoods are huge, I learned two things up there; one…no Bigfoot sightings and two…I cannot push over a Redwood tree. Kobie wasn’t much help.
It was time to head back home. On down the highway we went, plenty refreshed over the past three days of camping, exploring and just having fun. However, a little bummed out that we didn’t even come across a footprint of Bigfoot around the lake we camped. But, as so often the case is, fate then intervenes and our journey back home brought us through the town of Willow Creek. We needed to gas up the car and let Kobie do his business so we pulled into this service station. One thing I didn’t realize is that this service station was one of those ‘self-serve’ stations, I mean it didn’t have any attendant whatsoever. I had never seen anything like this.
And then it happened. As I was walking back to the car from what I had thought was the attendant station but was actually the bathrooms, there across the street, standing right in front of us was…yes…Bigfoot! We struck gold.
No, he wasn’t real, he was just a huge wood carving, but we did stumble across the home of Bigfoot, the Willow Creek Bigfoot Museum. I had to go in and visit. Charlyn waited in the car with Kobie under the shade of a tree and I went in to discover more about the legend of Bigfoot. An elderly lady greeted me as I entered. I immediately went up to her at the counter and asked her point blank, “have you seen a Bigfoot?” No, was the reply, but there was more. Her friend’s son had seen a ‘baby Bigfoot,’ not just once but twice! I couldn’t contain my laughter and told her it sounded just like a black bear. But, she was very emphatic in her support of her friend and I let it go while still chuckling under my breath. I looked around a bit and walked out with a couple of postcards and a small poster of Bigfoot sightings over the years throughout California and surrounding areas. On the back of the poster were ‘eyewitness accounts’ of encounters over the years. Reading the back of that poster today still provides me with an outburst of hysterical laughing. The writing is precious.