Yakima county, WA
Nearest town: Rimrock
Nearest road: US 12
Location: Leech Lake off US 12 @ White Pass - heading E, just past the ski resort, there's an equestrian sign marking access to a parking area/trailhead/campground on east to north shore (cmpgrnd)of lake.
Description of event: Appx. Sept '93:
Camping with girlfriend. We were the only ones there. After dark, I went to far west end of campground to use outhouse. It was pitch-black. Couldn't make last appx. 30' to outhouse due to overwhelming foul odor (wasn't a problem earlier!). Commenced relieving myself right there. Couldn't see outhouse, or 15' in front of me for that matter. Mid-way to 'relief', was startled by two resounding heavy foot-stomps, in-place, by something huge and unseen, that I could feel through the ground, and my heart was pounding like crazy! It was no more than 20' away and I couldn't see it! I reported back to girlfriend, still freaked but trying to hide it, and rationalized a big bull elk may have been standing right there at the turn in the campground loop road by the outhouse. In retrospect, those stomps weren't hooves - huge thuds, not resounding clomps. Huge...
Anyways, we both swallowed "elk" whole, and were in the tent not long after.
Well, I dozed off in a heart-beat. I awoke about 6:30, turned my head thinking I'd be catching a peaceful girlfriend asleep, because it was dead quiet. Instead, I found two visibly freaked, fully alert saucer-eyes. She proceeded to tell me how she couldn't get to sleep right away, and that right after I dozed off, something started circling our tent, going away, coming back... She swore it was not an elk - "two feet", she kept saying, "two feet", and big, walking. It stopped an hour before I woke up.
I didn't want to buy-in all the way in '93, although I believed my girlfriend had been sincere. I didn't even want to draw a link to my resounding-stomps encounter (self-preserving denial, my natural reaction to signs and encounters for years). So I was gladly back in '95 to sample some more fall-spawn colored brookies. Again, the campground was empty beside this shallow, spring-fed alpine lake, and I was by myself.
I got a fire going the first night (would turn out to be the only), and had alot of wood. There were alot of pine cones all over, and occasionally one would drop to the ground from the big pine towering over my camp. I'd gone through quite a bit of dry wood by about 11, so let the fire dwindle nearly to embers to save for the next night. When a pine cone came sailing into my camp at a trajectory and with velocity as if obviously THROWN from across the little campground road, and up the slope a little. I was unnerved and shaken because I couldn't deny what my eyes had just seen, and I knew I was the only person there. You know the crunch you make in dry, tinder duff as your foot enables you to reach down and pick something up? Well, I heard a normal crunch step, followed by THAT crunch step, maybe 50' away, where it seemed the pine cone had been thrown from. I put more wood on the fire, and don't normally do this, but retreated to my tent later with the rest of my wood in the fire pit, blazing. (You can omit this, because it sounds a little absurd, but do you think maybe he/she just wanted me to make the fire go some more??? It was quiet after that...)
Arrived late at night to find campers at primitive, east-shore site, near entrance. Beyond them, road was still snowed-in, and we got stuck. The three of us hauled our gear via several trips each to partially exposed gravel parking area, across maybe 100 yds of snow. Up late, up about 9. Driver went over and got stuck worse, came to get me and other guy (they're hard-core skeptics, by the way). On way to truck, I saw, amidst all of our many footsteps, one bigger, deeper one, but it was weird - it was as if someone/thing stepped out of the lake, through the willows, onto the snow with one foot, and pulled back! (I showed the guys but hey were determined not to acknowledge it, even though they couldn't deny its size and depth either - you should have seen the looks on their faces. I understood the denial, though, so just let it be.)
Anyways, we spent until 1pm getting drivers pick-up unstuck from snow, at which point I went back to get ready. The party near the entrance had been getting ready to leave, but had helped us finish. Everybody was down there, out of sight of OUR camp, comparing fishing notes, the whole time I got ready. Two even came over to chat me up as I was finishing (they'd found out we all worked at a flyshop), then went back, by which time I had to relieve myself, so walked down to the outhouse (out of sight from our camp too, in case I had more visitors).
Well, as I was almost to the outhouse, I caught sight through the trees their "lolly-gagging" buddy on the lake still, with his back to me, and I was 'in the trees' a ways, so I began to drop my waders. In the middle of my doing so, with my head down, just across the little road, and the bordering thick willows, I heard two quick, careful, but heavy steps. When I looked up, branches from a tree at about 8 feet (the lowest on that tree) were still wavering a second after the last footstep, and those footsteps had gone to behind an enormous, old, rotted, old-growth tree stump (a nurse-stump, it had a little hemlock growing off of it). Those branches kept wavering for a few seconds, which seemed an eternity, as my mind was keenly aware that I'd inadvertantly snuck up on something tall enough to affect them, and it took two heavy quick steps to hide from me, and had apparently been checking out the "lolly-gagger" in his bright yellow float-tube.
Needless to say, I retreated, but not before wanting it to know that its secret was safe with me. I even softly said "it's alright" before I turned and left. As I was getting in with my friends, "lolly-gagger" was coming off. I have to admit to hoping it was watching us, too.
record updated:0000-00-00 00:00:00