In 2003, my companion Alan Bunting and I were on a long 6 month camping trip in Northern California and Southern Oregon. I had been through some terrible life changing events, not to mention middle age, and decided to get away from it all for a season with an inheritance that I had just received.
We had made our way camping along the northern coast of California, and had decided to travel from Orick on Bald Hills Road through the majestic Lady Bird Johnson Redwood Groves there across to the Klamath River highway. This scenic byway is incredible, with sweeping vistas of dense fog shrouded Redwood forests and vast high grasslands. We had stopped along the way on an offshoot road we had taken because as we were driving we suddenly heard something that sounded like trees knocking together. The area off to our right was so thickly forested that we literally could not see the forest for the trees. There was no way in from the road but about one hundred feet from us we could hear distinct, hollow knocking sounds like bamboo being banged together. A few minutes later we could here the same sounds coming from below us on the left side of the road as well.
We stood and listened to these strange noises for around a half an hour and decided that they were tall thin trees off in the distance that were bumping together in the wind. ( We watched in the direction of those trees but never saw them actually moving. It just made the most logical sense at the time.)
The coastal forests of Northern California can be described as mystical by those who see them. Thick groves of Madrone, Alder, Tan Oak, And mixed conifers draped in Spanish Moss lend a magical, fairy tale like quality to the surroundings. There are dark, deep, mossy gulleys that lead off into the distance that remind me of pictures I have seen of places like the jungles in Cambodia.
That atmosphere made those sounds just a little bit spooky to me and I was not about to go off the road to investigate them even if I could. The sounds were almost water pipe like, for a lack of ability to describe them better. We stood and speculated on them in the middle of the dirt road and then got in the truck and continued on to the river highway. I stayed in as middle of the road as I could get. I commented on how eerie those knockings were a few times. I had never heard anything like it before, nor have I since.
Just recently I have been doing a lot of Bigfoot research for this book I am writing. I came across a few accounts of people doing their own looking in this area of California, and some of them mention the same “Knocking” sounds. In one account these sounds were attributed not to trees knocking together, but of some strange animal calling. That animal possibly being Bigfoot. It was strange to be reading an account of someone elses Bigfoot experience that included those same exact noises.
Where those strange and ethereal sounds the big guys talking over us across the road? Who knows. I would like to think maybe. This world is still full of mystery and wonder to those of us who seek it. Did I find Bigfoot without realizing it at the time? I’ll never know that for sure, but the next time I’m in the woods and I hear the trees talking…
posted by: Tara