Ginger and I camp at the lake after a day of Bigfoot hunting. Along the way we stop to check-out a likely granite outcrop in a meadow. As we leave the truck to cross the meadow, I hear an unmistakable whoop from the tree-line, and an answering whoop from the rocks. We change our mind about crossing the meadow.
It’s late season, so we are alone at the campsite. I’m playing a CD while filming, which isn’t appropriate, but the publisher notified me they were okay taking the advertising revenue. I don’t think they will get rich from it.
The next day we head home. This is the last trip for the year. I stop to look at one last tree structure and leave the truck in drive, nearly getting run-over as it rolls backwards while I’m at the tailgate.
Ginger and I continue exploring a hilltop we climbed following tree-leans. On the reverse side of the hilltop, we find teepees of broken trees and a wallow with large tree structures. The trees are woven together in a fashion that defies wind, or snow-load. X’s surround the area.
I keep getting whiffs of bad odor, until Ginger alarms and I get the distinct smell of shit. It wasn’t either of us. I didn’t step in anything. We were at least a mile from the roads and trails. The scent was strong, like someone took a crap right next to us.
Ginger and I follow a path of tree-leans that lead to a mountain top with granite outcrops. I hear whoops as I leave the designated trail to follow the tree-leans up the hill, but in the wind, they are indistinct, so I am uncertain.
The tree-leans give way to tee-pee structures and X’s surrounding the hilltop. We don’t venture into the granite outcrop, but skirt around it looking for definitive structures to film. The outcrop seemed spooky. It’s where I thought the whoops came from.
Ginger and I continue exploring this hilltop in Episode 3, where we find more evidence and get a bit nervous.
In this initial episode of Gila Bigfoot, my brother and I drive through remote campsites in known Bigfoot country in eastern Arizona. Along the way we see trail markers. One trail is close to our campsite, so we follow it.
People unfamiliar with Bigfoot trails will say we followed leaning, wind-blown trees that just coincidentally form a distinct corridor through the forest. It’s coincidence the corridor of fallen trees is surrounded by forest without leaning trees.
Skeptics will say it’s coincidence the trees generally lean the same direction at a consistent angle, unnaturally stripped of bark and branches, not connected to root balls, or broken stumps.
And it’s coincidence the ground is scuffled, like something large moved through that corridor of leaning trees. Something that followed the tree-leans straight up the hillside instead of meandering on switchback paths like game trails typically do.
It must be coincidence they lead to a ridge where there is a ‘fence line’ of downed trees blocking an aspen grove that hides another trail I surveyed previously. A ‘fence line’ that has no apparent reason for being there; where there is no stream bank, or natural feature to explain how they formed a barrier, piled on top of each other in the same direction.
It’s just another coincidence the ridge trail leads to water at the points where the stream enters and exits the lake, where the land is swampy and shallow, where it’s easy to find crawdads and fish.
And of course, it’s coincidence we hear wood knocks from this trail in the middle of the night.