After the Ohio Bigfoot Conference, Walter Tippie missed everyone so badly that he wanted us all to get together for a group camp out at Salt Fork State Park.
Twenty six people in all descended upon Lore City from states as far away as Massachusetts and North Carolina!
On Friday, June 27th, I loaded up the Squatchmobile and drove 2 hours south to Pittsburgh International Airport to pick up Dax Rushlow from Massachusetts. We then headed west to SFSP. When we arrived at our destination, we discovered that we were the first ones there. It was incredibly hot and humid and we were drenched with sweat putting up my tent. I kept unloading the car and Dax wandered the perimeter of the camp. I noticed him squat down staring at the ground, so I yelled out to ask him if he found something. He indicated that he did so I ran over to check it out. Lo and behold was one of the most perfect tracks I had ever seen! I haven’t seen a track this good since the two I found at Hogback Ridge in 2007.
The track measured 16 inches long, 5 inches wide at the heel and 6 inches wide at the ball. We looked around some more and found many more tracks. There was a baby footprint alongside the big ones, 6 inches long by 3 inches wide.
We had just been through a week of heavy rain, so we deduced that the prints had to have been made on Wednesday after the rain had stopped and the ground was still soft and wet. OMG! The Bigfoot were there! We also observed the two trails that the creatures had made coming through the brush and lining up exactly where the prints were. The more we looked around the more we found. It was as though the Bigfoot were going from fire ring to fire ring looking for something. I immediately sent a text message to Alan and told him to get his butt here quick!
Within twenty minutes, Walter showed up and we excitedly showed him footprint after footprint. Walter and Dax began casting the prints while I was trying to get a hold of the others.
By 7:30 p.m. almost everyone had their tents set up and were ready to roll! We devised a plan for me to troll the shoreline in my kayak while the group through the woods in an attempt to flush anything to the shore. I left 20 minutes before the rest so I would have time to unload the kayak and paddle to the area we had agreed upon. I had a 2-way radio and only my cell phone for a light. I stayed close to the shoreline because there were other boaters on the lake and I didn’t want to get crashed into since I didn’t have a light (shhhhh) I estimate that I was about 10 feet from the shore, slowly gliding through the darkness, barely making any sound. Suddenly I heard a loud splash about 10 feet behind me and then something huge began RUNNING through the 4 foot deep water! I turned to see what it was but could see nothing in the darkness! Whatever it was did not run back to land so I believe it went under water! Think what you will but if it were a bear or a deer i am sure it would have clamored back to the shore and into the woods. All I know is that it was loud! When I heard the first splash, I assumed it was a fish jumping, but then I realized it was more than that. Have you ever tried running in water? The sound your legs make against the water is something we all are familiar with. It was so dark I couldn’t see anything, but I was very curious! I kept paddling forward and had been out there for about 45 minutes. I kept trying to radio the others to no avail. My arms were getting worn out and since I couldn’t communicate with anyone, I turned around and headed back to the boat ramp. I was finally able to get a hold of them on the phone to tell them I was loading up and heading back.
I guess the trail they were taking was longer than we imagined and if I would have held out 15 more minutes they would have met me on the shore.
We all reconvened at the campsite where Robert had kept our fire blazing! We all shared out experiences of the evening. Slowly the groups began to disperse to their tents leaving only Dax, Adrianne and I around the fire. Robert had gone out to do some night hiking. We began hearing something moving around in the brush behind Amy’s tent and she sent me a text message asking if we were walking around her tent. We told her we were still at the fire but could hear something back there. Dax went to the treeline with his FLIR but couldn’t see anything. Adrianne went to bed around 3 a.m. and Dax and I fell asleep around the campfire at about 4 a.m.
To Be Continued……