Lane County county, OR
Nearest town: Mckenzie Bridge
Nearest road: Highway
Conditions: clear and cold
Time: early morning
Location: Right at the edge of santiam lake in the Mt. Jefferson wilderness. take pacific crest trail at the top of Santiam Pass and hike down the trail 7 miles to Santiam Lake.
Description of event: It was deer hunting season and my friend had gone into santiam lake with his pack mule the day before I went in on my horse to hunt deer for the weekend. It was misty raining on my ride in (7 miles)I found his camp and set up my tent on the other side of the camp fire from his tent. We looked around a little bit before dark and found somebody else's abandoned camp and picked up the trash they had left.they had also left a giant can of ravioli that was unopened so we decided to eat it to spare the mule having to pack the extra weight but we didn't eat it all so we left it a few feet away from the campfire in the pot and went to bed. It quit raining and got clear and really cold. I could not sleep because my feet were freezing and I was so cold in my crappy sleeping bag. Sometime in the middle of the night I could hear the vibration of something with a heavy two-beat walk coming into camp.I didn't move a muscle because I was scared to death. It stopped right next to my tent and I could hear it breathing and soft growling sounds and sniffing and smell it not 3 feet from me! With just this wimpy thin tent fabric between us. I was FREAKED. I could tell from the sound it was taller than my tent and it got closer like it had bent over for a closer look. I had my rifle right next to me and gripped it just in case it tried to eat me. My friend was sound asleep the whole time. It stood there for what seemed like forever but was only maybe a few minutes then walked away and it broke branches as it left. The next morning I could still smell it really strong. I told my friend about it and he said it was probably just a bear but I know it wasn't a bear. They don't walk any distance on two legs and a bear would have eaten the ravioli. I have never smelled anything like that creature before or since and my Mom was a taxidermist for 30 years so I know what the various animals smell like.
record updated:2011-06-27 00:15:11