Those who know me personally know that I’m a huge Bigfoot fan. Whether this creature exists or not doesn’t really matter to me, I’m just completely enamored with the folklore! The idea of something that large and imposing possibly running around the countryside really, really intrigues me. That’s why when I had the opportunity to visit the “Bigfoot Capitol of the World” on a scheduled trip to Oregon, I jumped at the chance!
It was a couple of years ago that I made the trip to Willow Creek. To some, a tiny dot on the map in northern California, with a population of 1,513 souls as of 2019. This little town sits right in the heart of Bigfoot country, a mere 30 miles or so from where the famous Patterson-Gimlin sighting was filmed in 1967.
Surrounded by the ruggedness of the Six Rivers National Forest, this picturesque mountain community offers simple outdoor pleasures. Fishing, river rafting and kayaking, hiking and bird watching, as well as a few quaint shops, are available to those passing through along the Trinity River National Scenic Highway 299. My sights though, were set upon visiting the local Bigfoot Museum!
The modest museum contained an assortment of plaster print casts, pictures, newspaper clippings and various other research documents associated with Humboldt and Trinity Counties. Additionally, there were artifacts originating from various indigenous peoples in the area displayed as well.
As I had hoped, the museum had a gift shop with various nick-knacks and Bigfoot related souvenirs, some of which made their way back home with me. After touring the exhibit, I had a great time chatting with the curator, but was blown away when he asked if I wanted the GPS coordinates to the actual location of the Patterson sighting. He said, “You can even go camping there!” What?! Needless to say I was ecstatic!
For a moment, my thoughts flashed back to 1979… It was 8th grade (man I’m old), and the school year was coming to a close. My two best buds and I, having been together since first grade, were getting ready to go our separate ways and were reminiscing about our past adventures. We all had an affinity for Bigfoot and so vowed that when we graduated high school we would meet up again, make the trip to California and hunt the elusive creature! Unfortunately that trip never took place, but now that I was closer than ever to that mecca for Bigfoot enthusiasts, I felt the same excitement and sense of adventure from my youth! I guess it’s true when they say, “some men never really grow up.” LOL! Funny thing is, I’ve never really forgotten about that moment. Anytime I watch a documentary, or read something Bigfoot related, I always recall that moment. It’s incredible what the mind will latch onto. Sometimes I can’t remember what happened five minutes ago, but this moment in time, this romantic memory from over forty years ago has relentlessly followed me through life. Maybe some things are just supposed to happen, meant to be…
As I mentioned, that was two years ago. I still haven’t taken that trip and I’m not sure why I thought about this today. I do know that I have to start making plans to see this dream camping trip from my adolescence come true. Not because I have to, but because I never stopped believing I could.
Wonder if I can still find my two buds again?…
Thanks for allowing me to indulge in a trip down memory lane. Let me also encourage you to never stop believing! If you have any lifelong dreams you’ve been putting off, don’t! Seize the day and go make it hap’n Cap’n!
I sincerely appreciate you taking time to read the blog today!
Remember, “Life’s an adventure… so don’t just survive it, live it!” – Joey Rivers
Watch for more info on Willow Creek, California!