Saturday, April 26, 2014

The House that Bigfoot built

Like I said in my last post I had taken cute grand daughter up to Mt St Helens recently. When we hit the road for this adventure she asked where we were going. "To see a Volcano!" was my reply.  That was very cool with her.
I promised her that on this trip we would find Bigfoot. This got her telling me all she knew about Bigfoot.
She was very surprised when I pulled into this place. This is a concrete statue of the big guy at a place called Bigfoot Country near a town called Kid Valley Wa.
 For those who may have not heard of such a thing, Bigfoot is supposedly a creature that is hidden in many of the forest of the US. This thing is supposedly 7 to 8 feet tall or maybe bigger. More on that later.

Cute grand daughter and I had taken a hike out this trail that ran through a typical part of western Washington State forest. It had been cut down and replanted in the past and now the trees were all covered with hanging moss. Rather cool sight on a beautiful sunny day. As we walked into this small piece of forest and hiked over a couple of streams that crossed the trail I started seeing a lot of trees broken down and laying at odd angles. Must have been some crazy wind storm.
I stopped and took a picture of the cute grand daughter with her twice as tall as she is walking stick near a double tree arch.
 Tree arches are caused by heavy wet snow pulling a tree over and bending it's top to the ground. Those trees are actually pinned under logs to keep them arched.

I took the cute grand daughter back down the mountain and went to dinner at Micky D's with her grand mother, my cute girlfriend. We took the cute grand daughter home and returned to our own home.
That night I asked the cute girlfriend if she wanted to go on a small adventure, and that it required a little bit of hiking. She wasn't sure but she seemed interested. One of her feet has been misbehaving and causing her pain so it was a touch and go situation.
She agreed the next morning, and I took her to breakfast and we started up the Highway to that Hiking trail.
She found some flowers to take a picture of right off the bat. It looked like this but was purple.
There was also some skunk cabbage blooming thank goodness no smell.
I had brought her up here for a second set of eyes on what I had seen here on this trail. She has a good head on her shoulders and is very smart. I think I knew what all this crazy tree activity was. I told her what I saw and she looked at it with a critical eye.

She was very interested in what I was showing her. There are multiple trees laying at odd angles all along this trail.

 Trees die and fall down all the time. Some fall and land up against other trees.
This can happen occasionally, but in a whole bunch of places in one area seems to be a little weird. What is even weirder is the fact that these two trees haven't fallen on to this tree like this because they are dead and uprooted. These two trees are bent at there bases to cross like that. Above on the picture with the cute grand daughter with those two arched trees, that is how you start a tree to bend like these above.
This video shows the trees whole length. Push play then stop the video instantly, the trees bases are seen there. They are bowed and bent so that they cross this upright tree.

The path goes right under these two trees. If you peer into the woods you can see more trees leaning like this. I didn't hike into the woods to inspect the other "leaners", the litter on the ground was hard to navigate on. Looking at these was interesting enough.
 These trees have been manipulated, to say the least. I know mother nature can do some magical things, but I'm lost on how this was done by heavy snow. This trail sits at about the 1000ft level and in this temperate rainforest area it more likely rains here more than it snows. Most of the time snow bent trees straighten back up and reach for the light again.

Broken branches have been "placed" in certain place, this does not happen by accident.
This one is at the southern part of the trail, and the next one is at the northern part of the trail.
Crossed sticks mean anything to anybody. Stop maybe?
This isn't Forest Service land, and I have never heard of them doing this type of barricading. It is weird.
Those trees that were arching over the cute grand daughter had been set to bend down by putting them under a log.

Here you can see that those bent over saplings are crossed and wedged under stuff. Is this some sort of trail sign or something I don't know. Could a man do this, yes but not by himself. The wind and snow can not do this.
Here you can see over the top of one of the bent trees and look down the hill to a small gully, with more trees leaning on other trees and also some broken trees.

Something is different about this place.
When I was out there with the cute grand daughter we found a nest where something had been sleeping under a log. When I took this pick I looked over my phone and saw an interesting structure behind this nest.

You can barely see a little hollow dug out where something had rested. I'm not sure what this is though.

That structure between those trees, it had a hollow area inside it. It had the look of being stacked or laid there as like a shelter. Both times I was there I didn't have the shoes to go meandering out into this area. Checkered Vans never work as expeditionary time I go out there I'm going to where my hiking boots and bring a flash light.
Cute girlfriend said she though something had been digging around in this dead bug eaten stump so we inspected it a little and I took a picture of this near it's base.

I'm sorry there is nothing there for scale, but this indentation was pretty big, a lot bigger than my heal.

I have been tap dancing around what my theory is on what made all this tree bending mysterious stuff. I hesitate to say it out loud. If it gets out that you think this stuff is real most people think you may have stepped off the deep end. People think you sit in your mothers basement with an aluminum foil hat perusing the seedy side of the internet sniffling a lot and eating ding dongs with greasy fingers...sigh

I will stand tall now and say that I think this might be....might be...Sasquatch/Bigfoot related. I have one more piece of evidence to show later that may better support this. I will only say this is a theory at this point.

How weird is this guy that writes this Larsen Adventure Chronicles?  I'm your average Joe Six Pack that drives a truck for a living. I have been to college, but as you can see by my writing I have failed my mother tongue in grammar. I'm now in my Fifties and try to lead an interesting life and try to take in life as it comes at me and see it for what it is and shy away from those things that seem just too fantastic to be real.

That being said I have always been interested in this little bit of folklore called Bigfoot. I look at it as a theory.
I don't like it when someone asks if you believe in something. Belief is for something like god, a wispy entity that you have to have faith in. A faith that lets you believe god is in your life.

People go about this stuff all wrong in my eyes. They do treat this as a belief and not as a more scientific theory. I went out to this place to debunk what I saw. I'm ok with the possibility that some humans have been playing in the woods and bending trees.

This Bigfoot thing goes way back to the 70's when I was a kid. It was a real big thing back then all the news reports of people seeing a large upright creatures in the woods. The cheesy monster movies made during that time. That type of pulp was good enough to interest a 10 year old boy. I would read stories about things like this from those old things called books!...I know kids now a days don't know what they are...grin

The name Bigfoot actually goes back to the late 50's. During this time people heard about the Yeti/Abominable Snowman from the explorers of the Himalayas and creatures of this nature entered into the popular press. Don't get me started on the press. They are part of the problem with things of this nature. They are notorious for printing sensational stuff to sell newspapers. This is also part of my theory against Bigfoot. Fabrications by the News to the point of making things up.

How funny as I write this a large not all that tall hairy man in dark cloths just walked by the front of the

In 1958 the term "Bigfoot" entered the lexicon when a bulldozer operator in Del Norte County California noticed very large foot prints around his equipment. This bulldozer road crew had been making roads into the hills near Bluff Creek area of California and the locals had heard about these mysterious "Big Foot" prints and a reporter from the Humbolt Times shortened it to Bigfoot and the name is now part of history. Follow the link above fore the Wikipedia article.

The press may have been trying to sell newspapers on this story but the funny thing is that stories like this go way back into the early 1800's.  Back then they called them "Wild Man". They are still finding old time newspaper articles that all describe the same creature. Very interesting to read these old article even just for history sake. They just don't write like that now today. Link is above click on Wild Man.

Like I said this is all pulp for the geeky ADD mind, but as my dad always says "you have to beat the wheat from the chaff" on things you see and read, with the internet this is doubly so.

What took a wild turn in all this Bigfoot stuff was when these two guys came out of the woods near Bluff Creek California with what they said was film of one of the creatures. This is the now world famous Patterson-Gimlin Film. If these two guys hoaxed everyone on this it is a beauty. The person in the hairy suit has breasts and you can see the muscles move under the suit. Which of course points away from it being a hoax. Here it is on Youtube.

This is not the whole film, there is more to it, but it show something walking in the woods.
This film has been analyzed to death over the years, but it does pique the interest.

While I was searching for this clip on Youtube I found this link to the show Survivorman. I guess he went out with this guy to a place that is supposedly hot with Sasquatch activity. I don't know how long this link will be up but I will put it here because the first thing they talk about is the wood structures, some like I photographed.
This link may go dead after a while, but there are other links on Youtube that show more about this wood structure phenomenon.

The reason I started this two part blog out with the town I live in is because back in 1924 This was Bigfoot central. Some miners had a claim up near Mt St Helens and had come back to town to tell this wild tail of how they shot an Apeman and his whole family came down upon these miners and there cabin and they barely made it out of the mountains alive. They were rounding up a bunch of men with rifles to get the Apemen when one of the local Indian Elders came forward and said not to shoot them because they were one of the hidden tribes of Indians that lived in that area. After that Kelso was kind of a hot bed and there are still siting in this area up to this day. Click on 1924 to see the link to this story.

I had read that story in my youth and was reminded of it when I was researching my new town here and that story popped up in the search.

Now we have Reality TV Shows like Finding Bigfoot, and now it looks like Survivorman all hunting Bigfoot and every state seems to have a Bigfoot research group of some sort. If you want to see how many reports there are of Bigfoot you should go to the BFRO site They have reports for almost every state except Hawaii. Some of them are rather scary tail of what people have seen.
This is one of my favorite reports from that website. Don't read it late at night! Report 2782
This is one from a river just south of here. I have actually been to this river. Report 7382

I'm so leery of writing this because some may think I have finally slipped into la la land. Here is a perfect example why. When the cute girlfriend and I went to look at these structures and were about to leave from the site, a couple drove up in a Toyota. They asked us how far out the viewing site was. I told them it was a one mile hike. The didn't want to go that far, and were about to get back in their car when I told them there was a viewing platform a 100 yards in. I made the mistake of telling them if they went any farther they would start seeing some interesting stuff. That was when the cute girlfriend said that I "believe" in Bigfoot. There is that stupid word. I wish she hadn't have done  This guy and his wife start talking about Chemtrails and the local monster they had back east where they were from. I felt they were now skeptic and I showed them what I had just found. Here is a video I posted on Youtube of what I had found. You will hear my voice but it trails off at the end.

 I was looking at this uprooted tree because it looked out of place. The tree didn't fall there. There is no hole in the ground to show that the tree fell in that spot and the root ball is sitting on top of some mossy branches.
This tree was moved to this location.
This is right next to the path. I walked over to it and was looking it over. It is moss covered. I was wondering if I could lift it and where I would lift it from. It was too big to lift but I looked in the area that I would have lifted it from and I saw a hair wedged into the moss. I told the cute girl friend to come and see what I found. It wasn't a very big specimen and I didn't have a good hold on it and I dropped it. There was no way to find it in all that forest litter on the ground. I was about to walk away when I looked again and saw the hint of a strand of hair sticking out of the moss. When I first pulled on it I was thinking tree or moss fiber. I pulled out an 8 inch long strand of brownish red thick coarse hair. It has a fine wave to it and is thick like horse mane hair.

Big whoop
It is interesting at least to me. Do I have a specimen of Sasquatch hair...maybe...maybe not. The hair was embedded in the moss like a hair would be that was trapped in it while it was being carried...arm hair?

What do I do with it? Well I keep it for now and put it up as possible Sasquatch hair...and I might show it to someone who asked to see it. I think I have contaminated it too much to have it tested. I'm not going to delude myself that this is real Bigfoot hair, but finding it where a being would lift that log is a little strange.

I leave it up to you. This article is here for you to read and inform, but as my father always says you have to beat the wheat from the chaff....and that hair and my silly theory of this being caused by Bigfoot maybe chaff.

I'm ok with people not believing me. Skepticism is what is needed here but not to the detriment that we don't look at this scientifically. Skeptics need to keep a watchful eye on things to see if something is not right or if someone is hoaxing. Have I been hoaxed...maybe...if I have I have something new to blog about. The hair is a problem though.

Skepticism vs denial. I have seen too many people just jump up and yell hoax at every possible mention of this topic. I'm not sure what there reasoning is. I think it is fear of the unknown myself. They have no room in there life and what is around them that there could actually be a large biped other than humans on this earth. Yet history is full of giants, ogres, trolls that live under bridges. Most of the tribes of America have stories of such a beast and they all have different names for it. There have been sitings of such things in all continents except Antarctica. Many reliable people have seen something that they can't explain, hell even Teddy Roosevelt told a story of a beast just like Bigfoot.

This is what I'm really up against though as far as my theory goes.
This is just my experience and what I saw, and my presentation of my theory. I have now confirmed what all my good friends have thought for years...I'm nuts....grin

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Mysterious and active Mt St Helens

We live in the riverside community of Kelso Wa, and the Coweeman River runs past the back yard of our house. Kelso is at the confluence of three rivers The Cowlitz, The Coweeman, and the Columbia River. It is a nice little community mainly supported by the Lumber Industry. This town and the town of Longview Wa popped up because of the huge tracts of timber here in SW Washington. I should blog about Longview in the future it has and interesting story as does Kelso.
To the east of us is the still steaming Mt St Helens that erupted in May of 1980. Volcanoes pique my geeky interest so I have wanted to go up there and see it up close for some time. When I first got here to Washington State I took a trip around to the back side of the mountain to get a picture of the famous mountain. You can't really see it from town because of the hills that block the view. This is the picture I

You Can't see the caldera from this side, it is actually on the north side as I found out later. Silly me the map guy never looked at the map or satellite images to find out. This was a good adventure though got to see some cool potential camping areas. Cute girlfriend would like us to blow the dust off our unused new camping gear sometime before we are too old to camp...grin

This blog is really the set up for the unusual things I saw on my last trip up to the Mt St Helens area so this will be a two parter.

Just before I went up to Anacortes I took a trip up the Highway that takes you to the see the north side. The weather was iffy and it was trying to snow when I got to the first observation area (There are two). There is a Science and Learning Center at the newly formed Cold Water Lake and the Johnson Ridge Observatory. I like how the Science and Learning Center looks from the air.

I Think it looks like a Humming bird...or maybe a Thunderbird!
This is what the day looked like when I got to this place.

You couldn't even see the bottom of the caldera the clouds were so low. I headed back down and got some video of this cool waterfall on the way down.

On the way up I passed this sign that said "Bigfoot Country". I pulled into this place and it has this concrete monster to greet you.

  That Animal Planet show "Finding Bigfoot" should come here and save some time. There is a curios shop there and this poor A Frame house that got buried during the Mt St Helens eruption. This poor A Frame cabin is buried almost to the second floor of the place in volcanic ash and mud.
It is pretty interesting how mother nature is recovering after that eruption. It is happening at a faster rate than the experts ever thought it would.

I remember this eruption. The news was a buzz for a few weeks a head of the disaster. I was reviewing all that and ran across the story of Harry R. Truman. I remember this story. This cantankerous old man wouldn't leave the mountain no mater how much the authorities pleaded with him. He owned an Inn and a little store right below the north side of the mountain. He never thought the mountain would get him. Sadly the place where his Inn stood is now under 200 feet of water at the reshaped Spirit Lake. When you get up there it is unbelievable the amount of earth that was moved during this disaster new lakes formed because of the mountain coming down and blocking streams you are in awe when you see it. The before and after picture really show how much change there was. The logs that were dumped into spirit lake are still floating on it surface to this day.
Recently we had a clear day here in the Pacific Northwest and I wasn't working so I took another drive up there this time with cute grand daughter. It was a beautiful day with not a cloud in the sky.

This time I wanted to get right up to the Observatory and look into the mouth of the beast but they had the place close so you could even drive up to it. Cute grand daughter and I had to settle for the Science and Learning Center.

You can just about see the new lava dome in the caldera. Cute grand daughter had a great time looking at stuff. She looked through a spotters scope one of the park rangers had set up. We watched a movie about the eruption, and she played with this creepy interactive talking ranger thing set up much like the talking heads in the Haunted House at Disneyland.

After that we set off back down the mountain. We made a stop so she could play in the snow next to the road in one place. The Army Corps of Engineers built dam to hold back the massive amount of sediment created by the eruption. There was enough sediment pushed down stream all the way to the Columbia River to raise the channel enough that ships could not pass through to get to Portland for a short time.
Well cute grand daughter and I stop by there and hiked to the dam. It is about a one mile hike out to the display out at the dam. Wouldn't you know, the Dam display had been vandalized so there wasn't much to see.
The Hike out was fun though. There was some sticks near the trail head so I picked one up for a walking stick. Cute grand daughter picked one up too. Hers of course was twice as tall as she was, and as we walked along she picked up a bunch of other sticks to compare and see if they would make a better walking stick.

This is where the hike got a little weird. Those two bent over trees.
We hiked out to the dam and goofed around there for a little while. When we parked our car there was what looked like a mother and her, maybe 10+ year old, son with her. She was sitting in her car when we got there and then followed us out but kept a little distance from us. She didn't go out on to the dam when she got there, but her son played around near the fenced edge while we went out to see the non existent display near the middle of the dam. As we left the dam structure I spotted this miniature trail. I thought it was something that water had run down but on closer inspection it was a trail made by these rather large red headed black ants. We poked at their ant mound with our sticks to see how they reacted and the woman son came over and talked to us about him discovering the ants. The mom and son started down the trail ahead of us and kept stopping to make sure we were behind them. She was spooked about something.
We made all made it back to our cars and cute grand daughter had to take her stick with her. She had to go to the restroom so we stopped at the Bigfoot Curios shop so she could use the facilities. While there I got her a little treasure chest and a quarts crystal amethyst to put in it. She loved that box all the way home, putting the rock in and taking it out. She told me how she was going to show it to her friends. She was surprised when I told her that Amethyst was her birth stone. Spoiling Grand Children like a proud Papa should.
It was a great day except for those bent over trees. I think I know what those are!

More to come!

Bald Eagles over Anacortes

I haven't had much in the way of Adventures of late. Work is kind of a feast and famine deal lately. The work isn't too bad and the moving to different plants, mill, or refineries to do work is a way to keep it fresh and not boring there just needs to be more of it. I really should be driving trucks and not doing this industrial cleaning crap but this job takes me to all parts of the state and I kind of enjoy that part. I have done a lot of work up in Port Angeles Wa. and really like that town. They put us up in a little modest hotel and we work a couple of days and head back home. The drive up the Hood Canal to get there is about as beautiful as it gets. The Hood Canal stretches along most of the Olympic Pennisula's eastern shores, follow the link it is an interesting read. On that drive I have seen Otters and Seals playing at the waters edge and one time I witnessed a Bald Eagle swoop down and grab a fish as I spun a corner in this tiny was awesome.
Washington State is like a Mecca for Bald Eagles, we have some that even fly over our house from time to time. We drive along the Columbia River almost once a week and see Eagles all the time. There is something rather captivating about them, no wonder they won out over Benjamin Franklin's recommendation of the Turkey as the National Bird. (this Franklin/Turkey thing maybe a myth) We also have tons of Seahawks here in Washington State but that is a Football thing here...grin
Bald Eagles only live at the waters edge so they can catch fish. We had some that would show up at some of our mountain lakes in Southern California, but some over zealous bird loving enviro-knuckleheads would close those areas down so no one could see them. They have some at the Portland Zoo and they haven't dropped dead from all the people viewing them...sigh 

I was going to start this blog a few weeks ago when I was sent to Anacortes Wa for what is called a "shutdown" at one of the refineries there, but work and forgetfulness has made this almost a month late.
Anyways I was sent up north for work. They put us up in a rather nice Hotel that had a nice view of that bridge that collapsed in Mount Vernon Wa. last year. Free Breakfast every morning and a fridge and microwave in the room made it so I could save my per diam and bring it home in hopes to spoil the cute girlfriend. The first day there we had to drive up north of Bellingham Wa for some training. That was when I found out that my trip up north would be the trip of the Eagle
We arrived at this training place and as I got out of the truck something flew over my head, less than 10 feet over my head, The Bald Eagle was strolling along and zoom. I sure hoped that is some sort of good luck to the Pacific Northwest Indian Tribes, because it happened again the very next morning at the refinery we were going to work at. I get out of the truck and swoop another Bald Eagle flies over me.
This Refinery like all refineries shuts down yearly to do minor maintenance and repairs so they can run at top efficiency. This is part of the reason you see the price of gas go up every once in a while, they have to shut down and work on the place and that causes fluctuation in the prices.
It was interesting work seeing the guts of the mechanisms that make all our fuels. The first training session of course had all these videos of refineries blowing up so I wasn't sure I wanted to work there after
My job is really just to run a large truck that is essentially a large vacuum, and our guys were working up in these tall towers sucking stuff out of them. I stood next to my truck looking up into the sky at the towers waiting for signals from the guys up on top if they needed me to do something. Me being slightly ADD I get sidetracked with all the birds flying over the refinery.

It was like planes in a busy airports holding pattern above me. It took me a few minutes to realize what was happening. All these soaring birds circling over the refinery. Most of them were Bald Eagles, I counted 6 of them. There was also a couple of Hawks circling and the occasional buzzard. The first day we were busy so I just watched them circle above the refinery spires and towers, rising higher and higher. It dawned on me what these birds were doing, and gave more evidence that from chaos comes order.
Heat is generated from a refinery, and heat rises especially in cool late winter air. These bird were riding the updraft from the refinery to climb and soar. I love geeky stuff like that.
I continued to watch every day. It was cool to see them soar. On the third day, late in the afternoon I noticed something funny. I had seen them every day about this time. They were like flying black terrorist. These two Ravens flying in a rather cool tight wing-man formation would get into the updraft and occasionally harass the other larger birds. The Eagles seemed to be rather non-confrontational about the deal and would stay out of the Ravens way. (sounds like I'm doing another Football This one Buzzard they would harass would have none of that and turned into the Ravens formation from time to time and force them out of formation. Funny to watch. The Ravens flew perfect next to each other. One would turn and the other follow. They flew around the refinery towers with ease like that very cool to watch, not that I'm a Raven fan.

One time someone came up and stood next to me and was looking up with me. It is very noisy at the refinery and we have to wear hearing protection. He taps me on the shoulder and asks what I was looking at. He was yelling of course and I had to yell back and pointed, "The Bald Eagles!". He nodded and walked off. It was later when we were setting up another job on this tall platform over part of the refinery where we didn't have to have heavy hearing protection on that this guy asked me how I could tell they were Bald Eagles. He thought I had telescopic eyes or something. They were pretty far off at times. It was a gray day with gray white clouds in the sky, I'm in the Pacific Northwest what do you expect, I had to point to the bird and tell him to watch it fly. The Black winged creature would turn and the head and tail could not be seen against the clouds, Bald Eagle! I don't think he got it. He spat some tobacco on the ground and shrugged his shoulders.
Life is not all about the work at all times. You need to stay safe and focused on your work so you and the people with you don't get hurt especially at a refinery. That isn't happening at all times and at those fleeting moments you can take in the world around you for a second. It is amazing how many people I run into that have blinders on or are so focused inward that they miss the amazing, or interesting, or even the beautiful things in life.
Even mentioning a great looking sunrise or sunset is kind of alien to them. I got chided in a truck full of workers about admiring a sunset out loud. A few of them made fun of me. I asked them if they were afraid to look at the beauty around them. One of them just said he saw orange and clouds big woop. Oh well.

Anacortes was an ok job, but it was cloudy and cold most of the time. We were there more than 2 weeks and never got to see the rather prominent Volcano nearby, Mt Baker. It snowed in the foothills while we where there that was pretty to see. I'm sorry I couldn't get any pictures to share the refinery has very strict rules about photography inside the refinery
I would love to park my future boat in Anacortes for a season. It is very nice there.
I have found out recently that there are people that work only at these shutdowns and go from place to place following this type of work. There are enough refineries, wood and paper mills up here in Washington to keep someone busy for short times during the year. I'd go back just to watch the Eagles...grin

Speaking of looking at the world around you, what I'm going to blog about next is kind of really out there.
I'm leery of writing about it because one could think one crazy for going into this stuff. Stay tuned