January 15, 1999
Clackamas River Road 1-15-99
Went up alone. Overcast and cold. No rain or snow falling.
Went up Indian Henry road. Set-up baits: Spam on a string with an aluminum pan for a rain cover, lures (fishing spinners for clacking together sound and flash) and night sticks. The night sticks only last seven hours, but I put a little barrel spinner on them so they would twirl. Also had some fish oil scent that I liberally spread on the baits and on tree trunks. Hands stunk even in the cold. I had some handy wipes in the truck and they took off some of the oil.
Took a bunch of pictures with a disposable camera.
Set one bait station up in the "old growth" up high in the little valley. Set second lower down the valley near the road washout. That one is in about 100' reprod forest that has been cleared of underbrush at one time and now some is coming back, specially along the seasonal creeks and out on the shadow boundaries of the trees.
Both bait stations well out of sight of the road.
On the lower one, racked up a big patch under the hanging Spam.
When walking around in the old growth up higher, found a strange crosshatch of trees that were down. All in teepee like from different directions. Very wind sheltered area.
Had a hard time throwing fishing line over limbs to hoist up the lures. What should have been easy, wasn't. Didn't think of all the little limbs and the line hung up on the bark too. Must do something different. Put all the lures at about 7' off the ground.
Went down to Roaring River pull off. Tried to walk up the river. The old trail was washed out and only rocks and overhangs. Went couple hundred yards. River is filling up. Went across bridge and through the campground. Nice places when they are closed. Big trees and old wood benches and big fire pits, all cleaned up.
Went for a long walk up the hill. The Clackamas River trails are steep. I was also wearing my Sorrels, so their weight and bulk slowed me. Up, steep, walk, step. Cold, so not sweating. Even opened my parka. Had walking stick. Traversed the power line road and then it went steep again. High enough to look across to the rock crags. Went at least one mile and gained a lot of altitude. Sat and took a break at the green, steep cliffs down the river canyon. Watched the power line clearing for a deer. Didn't see one. Slippery on way back down. Worse than going up. Boot lugs filled with mud.
On way home, I thought about some impressions I had come across walking up Indian Henry in the snow. They were about ½ mile below the lower bait site. They were somewhat indistinct, but strongly made and clear impressions. One part of the impressions were large, about 16" x 7-8" and one set were smaller, about 10" x 5-6". They clearly came out of the trees and stopped just short of the road. Then the impressions sort of mooned around, like the walkers were looking for traffic. The prints were also clear on the other side of the road going into some larger reprod trees. Lost them under the bigger trees, cause no snow and the duff was pretty springy. The impressions clearly showed roughly the walkers had paralleled each other. Some showed as bare feet.
This bothers me. This is for fun isn't it? These trips we are planning are for fun and winter exercise. We don't want no serious stuff here. Don't need no trouble.
Some brief notes on the baits
I made rigged the Spam a couple of days earlier out in the garage. It proved to be quite a project to get the aluminum pans to hang square over the Spam. Attached a barrel swivel on the top. Light duty. Wanted baits that would appeal to eating, sight and sound. The Spam made me laugh: "Official meat bait of the Bigfooting crowd." The other things I knew weren't the best I could come up with, but they were something to start with. Decided couldn't afford the remote cameras at $500 a copy. Just try to get some tracks for now.
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