We had a mountain cabin on the edge of the Mill Creek Watershed, just above the trail for almost 20 years. Many of those years I rode my horses along the trail and cross country. I had 3 sightings and was followed once, all of these instances occurred while on horseback.
Photo: Sheryl Jenkins riding the forested Mill Creek Watershed in the Blue Mountain Range of Washington State...
To better help the reader understand the sequence of events, I will list them first; I was followed by a Sasquatch on September 19, 1987; actual visual was September 20, 1987, a Sunday and the second sighting occurred May 27, 1990. The third and final sighting was
June 7, 1992. We no longer have that cabin; so it has been a long time since these sightings took place.
My story is written up in the late Vance Orchard's Book, “Bigfoot of the Blues,” all three sightings are thoroughly documented; I was also interviewed by anthropologist Dr. Grover S. Krantz and his graduate students the day after the 1st sighting. Dr. Krantz told my husband, when asked, that yes he believed I had seen one. I also ran across footprints 3 other times, 15", 17" and small young Sasquatch.
Briefly, before I start on the horses reactions we spent a lot of time at our cabin on weekends ½ the year, elk seasons and vacations, May through mid-November, otherwise it was snowed in. We both hunt and have relatives in the area who hunt so we are used to identifying animals. My horses were experienced mountain horses. I will also state that the horses I will mention had no fear of bears, cougar and very used to elk/deer.
Since I am horse oriented I will mention the individual horses and their individual reactions. “Star” was the most expressive. Star is the mare that had the most mountain experienced and packed dead elk with no problems, she was within 60 feet of a cougar more than once with no negative reaction. She could see/smell the cougar, she was near bears many times, she'd point them or other wildlife out but she did not spook nor react negatively to the usual animals in the area. The cougars she encountered were close, as we were walking into the cabin and they were in the salt lick when we rounded the bend walking, later in the day she was ridden into a meadow and the same 2 cougars were there at close proximity, they both just stared, no snort.
“Tiger,” is my other horse, she was also along on the day we were followed by a Sasquatch and she was along the following day when Sas was sighted. Tiger had mountain experience but not as much as Star. She did not spook at other animals but did not want to pack out a dead elk. She had no problem leading Star when packing elk but she didn't want a dead animal on her. She would walk up to one but she strongly objected to packing.
The day we were followed by a Sasquatch, Sept 19, 1987 I was riding Star; my shoer (in equestrian lingo a shoer is also known as a horse-shoer, a blacksmith or a farrier) was on a horse of his own and a friend of his was on my horse, Tiger. We were going along the main Mill Creek Watershed Trail checking for elk hunting possibilities. We were riding easily along at a walk pausing here and there to scan for elk in the canyon. I should mention my shoer had more mountain experience than me as he spent several years herding cattle in the mountains. We rode past the electric gate; the only place in the trail that meets the road for a few feet from the cabin, - all the way to the Table Rock Road. We rode past the electric gate (to keep cattle in place).
We rode up the hill along a curving trail, out into an open meadow, down the other side going thru brush & trees in many places but on the Watershed Trail. No problems riding out. When we decided to turn around and come back my shoer noticed some hair on a low tiny tree or bush. We had just ridden past here and there was no hair there when we went by less than an hour before. My shoer friend stopped to inspect it, we both dismounted.
Suddenly the three of us heard something move, a noise below us in the trees/brush. The three of us, along with our horses jumped at the noise; this behavior is unusual for my horses.
We decided it best to remount and ride out of there, this just wasn't normal and the horses were uncharacteristically nervous. I remounted as did my shoer. I was worried about mounting as Star was nervous and starting to act up, moving instead of standing still for mounting, wanting to leave.
The horses were not happy with whatever was behind us, following as we walked the horses out which was roughly a mile. I have to mention that all 3 of us were nervous turning to scared; the fear increased as we walked. We were definitely being followed; zero doubt! We could tell that whatever followed us was getting closer due to the branches/brush noises becoming closer and the horses became increasingly agitated, uneasy in their behavior.
By now I was on Star who was used to bear/cougar/deer/elk and other forest animals and she had no problems with them. Whatever was following us that afternoon, this horse had problems with as did the other 2 horses - by now Star wanted no part of this animal - all 3 horses were increasingly stressed wanting to break into a run; in fact we even felt the need to start running!!
Star had the best reaction, but we kept all of them under control, forcing them to keep a walking pace despite their jitters. My 2 were used to walking this trail on a lose rein at a walk with zero problems. That said, we still had trouble problems keeping them at the walk, they fought us all the way.
Ever alert, the horses ears swiveled backwards towards the rear part of the trail listening. They were wild eyed, nostrils flared, just straining to take off in a dead run and this terrified behavior they displayed definitely increased as the Sasquatch gained on us!
Just before we reached the electric gate the horses were at the peak of agitation wanting to bolt into a run but we fought hard holding them to a walk; tensions ran high. At this point we could SMELL whatever was behind us, no doubt the horses caught the scent on wind much sooner than we did; it was obvious by their behavior. We could hear noise in the underbrush ever so often, but the smell by now was an overpowering a sickly sweet stench, intolerable and nauseating.
Never before had I seen such a display of wild eyed fear from my horses. The fact Star was so bothered scared me all the more; the all consuming stench didn't help my nervousness. The creature was definitely gaining on us; we decided to go thru the electric gate at this point, then ride the road around to the cabin. Shoer had trouble getting off his agitated horse and also in remounting her.
In our minds, we did not want this creature with the foul stench following us back to the cabin noting at this point it had been either close by or behind us for nearly a mile or more. There are no words to adequately express how scared we all were.
When we entered the road and started away I turned Star back and told her to go back the way we came, to see what would happen - I was shocked - Star started rearing, moving around anything to not go back, shaking her head, snorting and bucking etc. I could not force her to go closer; she fought hard wanting to break loose into a run. Whatever was following us was, at this point, just out of our view in the bushes/trees. We knew it was close and just out of sight; the horse's reaction confirmed it. The whole event was quite an experience.
That night none of us slept well, the least noise in the dark caused us fear. My shoer had his dog along on this trip and every creek that night we looked at the dog to see if it reacted, we listened for the horses, any strange movement set us upright; fear consumed us.
The next day the 2 men left, the one man so scared that he just simply would not stay another minute nor did he want to ride anymore up here in the Blue Mountain Range. After they left I saddled Tiger up (other horse), rode her out and did what I'd been doing all summer I let Star go lose, she did have a halter on. She stayed close all summer this way.
I headed back to where we had been with NO gun. When we got to the electric gate neither horse wanted to go forward. And from just inside the trees just a tiny distance from the fence there were CLEAR Sasquatch tracks in the dust, the footprints had not been disturbed. Those tracks were not there when we left that trail the day before.
Star at this point refused to go up the trail. She did something she never did at any other time in the 12 years I owned her - she literally broke through the electric fence to get away from the trail and took off away from the trail and up the road, she wanted nothing to do with the scent, the stink still permeating the air. She was wild eyed and frantic. I finally caught her, put her on a lead and lead her along side Tiger but it wasn't easy she did not want to go up that trail had to drag her more or less with the lead. In fact neither horse wanted to go forward but Tiger I could control with force and Star would have to come along whether she wanted to or not.
I was able to follow the tracks finding where it had climbed out of the watershed and entered the trail past where we were followed. I also found some hairs which were chest high to me as I sat on Tiger; believe me, I was so nervous I dropped most of them.
After the place where the Sasquatch had entered the trail the horses sped up and wanted to hurry forward, especially when we turned toward Table Rock. Normally if you turned toward Table Rock the horses slowed down (long hard ride) this time they picked up a trot and headed out; I couldn't help for feel sorry for them but I had to stop them and turn around. There was no other way back. Again the horses did NOT want to go back, Star protested in earnest, pulling on her lead, rearing, bucking or totally balking. This trail was a familiar trail for these two horses, one they had negotiated often but this time was different; this time they were noticeably unhappy.
As we had topped the hill above the electric gate, this is where I saw the Sasquatch it was next to a tree I could see clearly and was used to across the way. On the way back I told myself I couldn't of seen what I saw. It was a few yards into the water shed and I normally NEVER go inside the trail but I just had to know, to reassure myself. What I saw frightened me more. I expected to find nothing. There beside the tree, on the side I saw it, was the full imprint of a Sasquatch who had laid down full length in the grass, a fresh imprint longer than the QH (quarter horse) I sat upon. Massive arms, legs, torso, head imprinted in the grass. On the other side of the tree were (I never remembered) either 2 or 1 sort of square imprints where a big one sat or 2 big ones and a small Sasquatch next to that.
By this time Star went berserk, she pulled herself free and took of on me, leaving us behind and Tiger of course, was rearing and dancing around nervously, snorting the air in a uneasy behavior. Star was totally freaked; that girl wanted out so bad she took off on me jerking the rope out of my hand and freeing herself; now Tiger and I were alone on the trail and I can't swear if it was the scent alone or the fact Star took off in a wild bucking run leaving us in a cloud of dust that made for full-blown chaos! She ran for quite a ways before Tiger and I could catch up to her.
When I got back to the cabin even though only early afternoon I loaded those horses, closed up and left. I would not go back for a month and that was not normal for me. I was to scared it took quite a while before I could get control of myself and finally decided the Sasquatch was there long before us and we had had the cabin several years it had never bothered us so I was probably safe and the horses definitely would let me know if one was close.
Other than this time the horses did fine on the very same mountain trail. No scent, normal horse reaction. The event did not have a lasting imprint on the horses or their use of the trail after that day. Of course it was a solid month before I rode that same part of the trail again and by then the scent was gone.
My 2nd sighting May 27, 1990; I was riding either Star or Pleasure, think Star, would have to go back to check which horse. Both had a lot of mountain trail experience. Either way I was riding in the light rain & mist near Lewis Peak on the Mill Creek Watershed Trail and had almost topped out. It was a muddy time. This time I saw a Sasquatch sitting on the slope. I couldn't get near enough to it to suit me, tried, but it was on a very steep slope. I left the trail and went out on the slope of Lewis Peak trying but it was so steep that my horse tried to go down but just slid all 4 feet… so had to give up because the ground was very muddy. The Sasquatch was gone when I came back about ½ hr later. A month or so after that trip, I rode up to the exact place I'd seen it and there was at least one track there and at one point a clear impression. As to horse's reaction, I do not believe the horse I rode that day caught any scent of the Sasquatch. With no scent there was no reaction.
Third Sighting June 7, 1992; I was riding the Mill Creek Watershed trail again but this time on Caesar, a different horse. I saw on the finger across from me what I thought might be 2 bears grubbing, decide to stop and watch I had been there maybe a minute when both stood up on 2 legs and walked at least 100 yards downhill on 2 legs with arms swinging. ..definitely Sasquatch. I always figured they saw me and decided to leave. One dropped over the side of the ridge, the other one stayed on top entered the dense trees below and I watched but never saw them come out again as I rode along the trail towards home. Caesar never had any scent from them that I know of and had no reaction, he did not see them; a horse with alert when head up, ears pricked forward.
My firm opinion is if the horse does not SMELL a Squatch, they seemingly do not react. I am of the firm opinion that Star recognized this was not something normal, her reactions were extreme, yet cougars/bears/elk never phased her. But this animal she wanted NO PART OF. She strongly feared it and this was strange behavior for a horse that packed dead elk with zero problem!!
I did go cross country one day, no trail through some brush/trees where no humans wander for fun (looking for shortcut) and found twisted trees before. I did not understand at the time were signs of Sasquatch (as per Dr. Krantz) and my horse had no reaction. We had a couple twisted trees next to the trail near the cabin with no horse reaction. I sighted old Sasquatch tracks while riding near Lewis Peak one day, got off to look but no reaction by horse, the scent was gone.
I had one Sasquatch person tell me (his idea - prefer not to name him) that horses react violently to seeing one or near one. My opinion, long as there is no scent in the air, they do not react. Scent they definitely do not like nor want anything to do with it.
My other fear was if one came after me on horseback was could the horse outrun one. I asked Dr. Krantz that question. He said probably not on speed but the horse was more maneuverable and could probably get away due to that.
I still remember Star's swiveled ears, the wild look in her eyes, flared nostrils, fear. This was a normal trail we rode all the time in 12 years she never acted like that except when she smelled it… I remember when we had crossed from trail to road her extreme reaction and fear, that just was not anything I experienced before or after with her. She also had no reaction from cabin until we reached the area we were followed the day after followed - she could smell it again then she reacted strongly. So no smell, no reaction is my opinion.
Sheryl Jenkins ©
St John WA
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