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Yuba and Feather River, 1988
.Between Laporte and Quincy, Plumas County, California

I had an very up close encounter in June 1988 on the North-Fork of California's great Feather River between Laporte and Quincy in a very isolated area. It takes 3 days to hike in and 4 days to hike out there is next to no footI traffic in this area. On this occasion it was me and my 2 dogs by ourselves and it was a very unnerving experience. I had hiked to this spot in the North Fork of the Yuba and Feather Rivers a place called Middle Fork. I found a spot near a tree line so I could tie my food up in a tree to keep the wildlife out of it.

I made camp cooked a few trout I caught earlier the camp fire was still burning lightly and I was getting a little tired so I decided to turn in it was about P pm the fire was now just about out just smoldering a little so I didn't put any water on it I just climbed into my tent and laid down on top of my bedroll I let my dogs run around because they always stay close to camp if not in the tent with me I started to dose off to the crickets chirping when suddenly I woke up it was as if I had one of those dreams where you are falling and I could tell there was something very wrong it was dead quiet no crickets nothing and my dogs came running inside the tent shaking. My dogs were very aggressive usually not mean dogs but would bark at anything that came around one of them was a 95 lbs pitbull. I was scared shitless so I grabbed my rifle and pistol along with a flashlight and stepped outside the tent I couldn't see any thing but I had that sensation of being watched. I grabbed some more firewood and threw it on the embers left from the dinner fire. Then I heard some very heavy footsteps right behind me in the trees there was also a very strange odor almost like a cross between a skunk and something dead. This thing circled my camp site all night long well at first light I packed up and started out and this thing followed me almost the entire day I could hear it smell it and even saw it through the woods about 75 yards away from me taking an almost parallel trail to me as if to make sure I leave its territory. I never shot at it with my rifle as I don't believe in killing things for sport. I have never gone back to that place but I would love to go on an expedition back there with some other people.

-Sean Fries, Weaverville, California