Because I live in a place where there have been many sightings, I am fortunate to be able to meet a lot of the Bigfoot researchers who come into town. During the next couple of weeks I’ll be writing about some of the Bigfoot research people I’ve met here over the last three years since I started this blog in 2005.
In the meantime I’ll tell you more about my small town, what I’m doing here, and how I decided to start a blog about Bigfoot.
Happy Camp is a very small town in the center of the Klamath National Forest. There were 1211 people living here during the year 2000 census. Even though I’ve lived in Happy Camp over eight years, I still don’t know everyone in town. Plus there are always new people moving in. I can’t keep up with them all.
During the summer we get lots of tourists. Mainly we get several hundred gold prospectors and their families. These are people who join the New 49ers gold prospecting club, of which I am a member. Though I love gold prospecting the membership is mainly used by my boyfriend, Bob.
Most of the other tourists are rafting groups stopping off in Happy Camp for food and supplies.
We also have hundreds of firefighters here during the summer. Almost every summer there’s a fire nearby, and firefighters are stationed at the base camp at our local elementary school. Thanks to firefighters and rafting groups, the restaurant I work in can get very busy!
Bigfoot researchers visiting our area are few in number, but I still have been able to meet quite a few… mostly by way of pure luck since these meetings are usually unplanned. If you’re going to be in town, it wouldn’t hurt to send an email first.
I moved here in January 2000 because I wanted to raise my two youngest children in a rural area. When I pulled into town and saw the wooden Bigfoot statue in front of the post office, I was pleased. I’ve always wanted to see a Bigfoot, and I knew I was moving to the right place.
Around town many of the businesses are named after Bigfoot. There’s Scotty’s Bigfoot Towing, the Bigfoot Apartments (what’s left of them after the big fire), the Bigfoot Car Wash, the Bigfoot RV Park, and of course there was JavaBob’s Bigfoot Deli but that’s been closed now for about two years.
About a year after I moved here a local artist started a Bigfoot sculpture project. She invited every Happy Camp citizen to donate metal to be used in creating a large metal Bigfoot sculpture. It is placed prominently at the corner of Davis Road and Highway 96. That’s also the eastern edge of the Bigfoot Scenic Byway. The other end of the Byway is in Willow Creek, where the Bigfoot Museum is.
There’s another wooden Bigfoot statue in front of Evan’s Mercantile now too.
While we’re talking about artwork, I need to tell you that a local friend of mine, Dennis Day, created what we believe is the largest dreamcatcher in the world. It is on the other end of Davis Road, not far from the metal Bigfoot sculpture.
In 2001 I founded Happy Camp News – which I’ve now sold. The first story I did for the news was on the celebration we had for the grand opening of the Bigfoot Scenic Byway. That took place on April 1, 2001. I wonder if the Forest Service chose April Fool’s Day intentionally for that event. At the same time we celebrated and cut the ribbon over the highway, there was a similar celebration down the road in Willow Creek.
Willow Creek and Happy Camp also have twin Bigfoot celebrations. Willow Creek has Bigfoot Days and Happy Camp has the Bigfoot Jamboree. Each year we have princess and queen contests, raffles, music, vendors, and a parade. It is a lot of fun. There are contests for the kids, and often a Forest Service demonstration of rappelling from a helicopter. The Karuk Tribe sometimes does a salmon bake dinner.
With all this hoopla about Bigfoot in this little village of Happy Camp, I was curious about whether there was any true substance to the idea that there were Bigfoot in the forest near our town. During the Bigfoot Scenic Byway grand opening celebration a local Karuk (Native American) man gave a short speech about Bigfoot sightings here. Unfortunately he didn’t have much information to share. He said it started with a group of Chinese miners who had a sighting over 100 years ago near Thompson Creek. Soon enough I discovered that most of the people in town were totally clueless about sightings near here – so I wondered why people were naming their businesses after Bigfoot and making such a big deal over it.
The next specific information I got about a local sighting was in 2003. A member of the Chamber of Commerce came to a board meeting (I was a member of the board of directors at the time). She said a local teenager had a sighting near Little Grider Creek but that he didn’t want to talk about it or be identified. It was another couple of years before I finally figured out who that teenager was, but I knew Little Grider Creek. It is less than a mile from my home, and on many occasions I’ve walked down there. Once I got in the creek and walked upstream for about a mile. I also had a habit of sitting on the rocks under the highway overpass, reading a book on a hot summer day or finding protection from a winter rainstorm. So to hear that a sighting took place there shook me up. That’s so close to home!
For details of this and other Bigfoot sightings near my home, see my Squidoo lens: Happy Camp Bigfoot Sightings.
In 2005 the Chamber of Commerce had a meeting with two women who were marketing specialists working on regional travel magazines. One suggestion one of the women shared was to choose a theme and direct most of our marketing efforts to that group. For an example, she suggested marketing Happy Camp to rafting companies and giving them reasons to want to stop here rather than float on by.
That got me to thinking. Happy Camp already had a theme. Bigfoot. Yes, Bigfoot businesses, Bigfoot statues, a Bigfoot Jamboree… and even Bigfoot footprints painted on the sidewalk in front of our hardware store. Yet nobody here wanted to talk about Bigfoot. Nobody knew about local sightings. Suddenly I knew I had to change that. I decided to do a Bigfoot research project to find out if this little town in the center of the Klamath National Forest had any reason to be claiming that Bigfoot lives in the area. That’s when I bought my domain name, BigfootSightings.Org. I also bought the domain, BigfootHunt.Com, but later discarded it because I don’t believe in hunting them… it brings up connotations of killing and I definitely don’t believe in killing Sasquatch.
My first blog posting here at Bigfoot Sightings happened in the spring of 2005. I think it was the very first Bigfoot themed blog, and I’d like to know if anyone knows of one that started before mine did. At the time I didn’t know much about Bigfoot but I was already into blogging. I’d been doing it since 2000. I unfortunately lost all my early Bigfoot Sightings postings in a site crash in 2006 or 7… but maybe that’s a good thing. I started over and am happy it happened.
In the last three years I’ve discovered that there have been many recent Bigfoot sightings around Happy Camp – so our theme of Bigfoot-mania is definitely valid. I’d love to get more reports of Bigfoot sightings around here but I’ve also discovered that most people who have sightings don’t like to talk about them.
For those that do want to share, I’m willing to maintain anonymity while sharing the details with others. The sooner we find out about Happy Camp Bigfoot sightings, the sooner my partner and I can follow up. If we get a report within a few days of the sighting we can go look for footprints and other physical evidence.
Suggestion: If you come here during the summer, be prepared to jump into one of our many local swimming holes. There’s a lot of clean, cool streams here with areas worth swimming in. With all that available water, you can understand why the region is ideal for Bigfoot too.
Happy Camp is only fifty miles from Bluff Creek where the famous Patterson-Gimlin film was taken. We’re also about thirty miles south of Oregon Caves where Dr. Matthew Johnson had his sighting in 2000. He came over the mountain to tell us about it once, and was a featured speaker at our Bigfoot Jamboree.
Any questions or comments about Happy Camp and local Bigfoot sightings will be welcome here.