Last Sunday, August 16, I drove to Willow Creek, the town on the other end of the Bigfoot Scenic Byway, 75 miles from where I live, in Happy Camp, California. The occasion? I’d been invited to meet The Believe It Tour team as they started their journey through Bigfoot country. We planned to meet at the Bigfoot Motel, visit Bigfoot Books, tour the Bigfoot Museum, then have dinner at a restaurant. I was fairly thrilled about this opportunity because so often researchers travel through the valley but never contact me.
This event has opened a lot of doors for me… it has been utterly amazing, really. I met Michael Esordi and Diane Smith in the lobby of the Bigfoot Motel, and then told them I’d meet them at the bookstore which is a few miles east of town. I met the third tour member, Brad Pennock, team skeptic, outside the Bigfoot Motel where he was photographing everything!
I got to the bookstore but found out it was closed – it didn’t open until 2pm on Sundays. With time on my hands I went to the Bigfoot Museum in hopes that Craig Woolheater might be there already. Now you’re probably wondering how Craig got into this story. Michael Esordi arranged for Craig and his traveling companion, Sharonlee, to meet us in Willow Creek.
A quick check of the museum showed nobody was there to see the Bigfoot Museum, and I traveled back and forth a few times, bought gasoline, and explored a place that was calling me, Friday Ridge Road. I drove up high enough to take this picture of the Trinity River and the highway next to it.
Finally I went back to Bigfoot Books and saw cars there, and entered to find the Believe It Tour people now talking to Steven Streufert, bookseller. He’s a Bigfoot researcher as well. I loved his used (and new) book store and bought some old cassette tapes to play in my vintage van on the way home, and a few books. Diana bought a big stack of Bigfoot books – new and used.
Next we headed back to the Bigfoot Museum on the west side of town. The curator, Al Hodgson, wasn’t able to make it but we enjoyed looking at all the exhibits and taking pictures there. I will definitely try to visit again on a day when Al is available!
I’d been to the museum before but it seemed that this time there was more to look at. There are lots of footprint casts, photographs of footprints and the researchers who discovered them, and Bigfoot displays on science, history, and memorabilia.
Craig Woolheater and Sharonlee were delayed during their travel from the SF Bay Area to Humboldt County, so we went back to visit Steve Streufert at Bigfoot Books, then eventually decided to go ahead and get a table at Cinnabar Sam’s so it wouldn’t close before we were ready. Craig and Sharonlee finally reached Willow Creek and joined us there, and we had a wonderful dinner together. This was my first time to meet Craig Woolheater – after reading about him online for years – so I was excited about that and asked Brad Pennock to take this photo with my camera.
After dinner everyone else went to Friday Ridge Road for a few hours of squatching since there have been recent Bigfoot sighting reports in that area according to Steve Streufert of Bigfoot Books. I’d already been there earlier in the day, but I didn’t say a word about it to anyone, until now. I had to get back to Happy Camp – and it is a two hour drive along a winding river road, with cliffs, high bridges, and other things I don’t like – such as rocks that fall on the highway and the occasional deer that gets mesmerized by headlights.
About the only thing I haven’t seen on the Klamath River Highway (Hwy. 96) is a Bigfoot. I’ve seen a large cougar in the middle of the road. I’ve seen a huge bear cross the highway while I was out hiking near my home. But Bigfoot? No………. not yet. I still have my hopes set on seeing one, and even communicating with one. At least I live in the right neighborhood!
It was a real treat for me to meet the Believe It Team, Sharonlee, Steven, and Craig – especially as I’ve been somewhat of a hermit the last few years. I don’t get out much… but if anyone is coming to the area for squatching, or sight seeing, please give me a call (I’m in the phone book and on Skype: ‘lindajomartin’) or email me first. I’m now enthusiastic about meeting Bigfoot researchers!
A few more photos of the Believe It Team:
I am the last to blog about this… you can read Sharonlee’s account on her blog: Bigfoot Field Reporter, and the Believe It Tour version of events on their blog: Believe It Tour Blog, and Steven Streufert’s version on his blog: Bigfoot’s Blog.
The story doesn’t end here. After spending the night at the Bluff Creek site of the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film, the Believe It Tour came back through Happy Camp and we connected to take pictures at Happy Camp’s Bigfoot statue. The next day Sharonlee and Craig came through Happy Camp and phoned me… and I went downtown with my partner, Bob, where we met them and went to a local sighting location. I will write about that soon… it requires its own posting because there’s a new footprint casting involved!