Bonner County, Idaho 1970's

My Brother Jeff and I grew up in the wilds of Northern Idaho, shot grouse, saw elk, moose, bear, rode our horses for miles and miles in the early seventy’s. We used to ride our horses up to Cindy and Wendy’s place, up the creek that flowed into Rapid Lightning Creek, just about 11 miles up. One day our horse (riding double) spooked and threw us off and ran back the way we had come from. We chased after the horse for a little bit, then turned around to hike back home. We came around a bend in the creek and a big upright, black animal was scooping up water in the creek having a drink. We were about 30 yards from it and we were so astonished we held our breath. It was black, graceful, 2 legged and huge! We grew up in the wilds and to this day I still see this animal; it was not a bear and not anything I had seen before. We never saw its eyes, just the upright form and profile. Not was not a bear; this creature waas at home on two legs. The place we saw it was so rugged, there were boulders, slippery rocks and was where he was dipping a drink of water. When it caught a whiff of our scent and heard me gasp, it strolled off. I really mean strode off. It didn’t drop down on all fours and run, it glanced at us and walked across the stream into the woods.

I have had many animal encounters, but only two stayed with me. This Creature was the newest and about 4 years ago when a maroon, black cat the height of my bumper of my Expedition ran in front of me (10 feet in front) and the light hit it and some kinda rosettes lit up, not really spotted but splashed, with a pattern,deep red, shading to black, blocky head ,heavy set, long tail, called TXPW. They said I saw a house cat, Yeh, A house cat 3 ½ feet tall. They thought I was drinking but about 11 am coming back from babysitting, I think not.

You asked where I had seen it, Bonner County, ID, up a tributary of Rapid Lightening Creek. I attempted to attach an aerial map, but since our sighting was in the 70’s, the new maps are worthless, but here is my best guess: from Naples Elementary School go about 4 miles to the Pack River Store and then ride along the gravel road maybe 4-5 miles passed a big farm on the left until you cross a new bridge. The old one was washed out. Then look to your right about a ¼ of a mile and park. There should be a road or remnants of a road leading up your right,(the creek should still be in view while starting on the road). I haven’t been there in years, and since my horse threw us off and we were coming back down the road, my best recollection, is a drainage slope, leading into a bend in the little creek (to the left) with a wide gravel boulder shore (on the left). We couldn’t see the bridge, or hear what traffic there was, but it was only a little ways away. We had wandered through the woods for years and until this day the sight of it stays with me.

Austin Young

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