August 28th & 29th, 1999
The 8th Annual Carson Bigfoot Daze
The 8th Annual Carson Bigfoot Daze, sponsored by the Western Bigfoot Society, Ray Crowe, Director. Harry Schumacher, host.
At first, I wasn't going to put the Bigfoot Daze into these notes, but when I went over those two days, I remembered where Todd Neiss and I spent a long four hours up in the hills on Sunday morning. That certainly counts as field time, so here is a little summary of the Daze from my remembrance.
For once, I arrived on time and got to hear all the speakers. Chris Kraska gave a fine presentation on mystery animals and possible unknown hominoids in South America. He was from Florida and Lori Facisina from Ohio had come out with him. A fine young Bigfooter, Matt Dunlap, told of Sasquatch in caves. He and others had found a 9' nest with many ferns in it southwest of Grants Pass, Oregon. There were other good speakers, but one especially caught my attention. In fact, I was as startled to see him as he was to see me.
His name was Terry Reams. Terry is an electrical supervisor at a large forest products plant and has many years of service with his company, one of the largest and most respected in the world. I have done business with his department. This was certainly one of those "small world" sort of things for sure. He described a Bigfoot sighting in 1975 on I-84 east of Portland and roughly across the Columbia River from where we were at during the Daze. Members of his family were in the car and also witnessed the beast. In addition, many people called it in to the local sheriff. Apparently the Bigfoot had gotten out on the freeway in the early evening, had become disoriented by the traffic and had a hell of a time getting safely off of it.
While his story was both terrifying from the beast's point of view and thrilling from ours, the main thing I thought was: "Why is he telling it in public?" Obviously he knew what the discovery of such an animal would mean to the forest products industry and to the economy of the region in general. The man was an extremely intelligent, practical and good employee with evident leadership skills. What was there about an almost 25 year old sighting that would make him want to drive all the way to Carson and tell his story to a group of strangers? You tell me.
Trapper Steve's bucket call was quite a success. I demonstrated it and then some kids got hold of it and played with it until I and most of the camp out were about ready to hurl. Fortunately, the hole got elongated and the bucket became quiet about 7:30. We should have announced that the call was going to be demonstrated. One woman who had heard a call from a supposed Bigfoot heard the bucket call and started crying. It was very close to what she had experienced.
Anyway, the wasps were bad. Someone had knocked down their nest the day before. I got stung once, Larry Lund got one right down the throat! Bigfoot Bob from Idaho got a sting on the lip and did it swell up!
The Goat Babes, Dar and Kate from eastern Washington were there. They had each brought a pack goat from their farms. Kate brought Bruiser, a tan and white beast. Dar had Phantom, a big black and white short-haired male that liked beer. When it got dark, we three sat in the shadow of Kate's trailer and drank beer and watched the goings on and the dancing. Off the bottom of our bottles, we would give Phantom the last. One fellow came over and gave him the top of his. Well, ole' Phantom has terrible backwash and slobber and when the fellow, laughing and talking went to take a swig, out he just spurt! Yess Siree, never give a goat the top half, that's what I always say.
I was bunking with Todd Neiss in his tent trailer and we finally got to bed about 1:30. We had lots to talk about but one thing he kept bringing up. Dar had come over to borrow one of my folding chairs earlier. It was an accordion type of closure and when she took it from me, the accordion closed on my finger. Well, I didn't want to cry out and Dar wanted the chair and was pulling it tighter and tighter and Todd said I started jumping around like I was in a Three Stooges movie. Finally, I got the chair loose and went for some ice. Dar never did figure out what I was doing. She just kind of looked at me funny.
Anyway, about 6 the people in the trailer who live in the park got up and he went to work. His truck sounded like a tank. Then his woman turned on the country music real loud and we were up. I made coffee. The stuff almost made me want to toss chunks. We decided to go up the hill in Todd's new Sasquatchmobile, a primed and ready mid-1970's Chev Blazer with a 350 and big tires. It was ready. Off we went with some more coffee and the map at the ready.
We went up the Wind River highway and turned off and headed east toward Dismal Lakes. There have been sightings and incidences up that way. We knew we didn't have a lot of time, so while we made many stops to look over the lay of the land, we didn't do many hikes. We found lots of blueberries. Our altitude gain was about or more than 3,000'. When we got up to the lakes, we found the area full of cars, trucks and campers. Mosquitoes were plentiful.
The area to the north of Carson was much rougher territory than what I had been experiencing between Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson down in Oregon. Seemed to have more cover and denser brush in general. Up high had too many people for us. We had passed a swampy area below that was large enough and seemed remote enough to warrant a camp sometime. On the way back, the Blazer got to swerving good and I almost got car sick. Needed something to eat.
The highlights of this year's Daze were two Bigfoot weddings. The first went off fairly ok. The second wasn't taken too seriously and Phantom the Pack Goat was brought up on stage as "Best Animal." Well, ole' Phantom was a bit hung over from all appearances. When the preacher quit a' talking Phantom would go "bleet, bleeettt," just like he'd been primed. Then he would butt someone. This went on for a while and Phantom never missed. Preacher would pause, Phantom would "bleett, bleett" and then take a head swing at the nearest warm body. Might have been a fit of revenge. Finally it was over. I drove home.
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