No sighting, just
an odd occurance
Nearest town, Chester Hwy 36 at Lost Creek Road
Campground in the Mt.
Lassen National Forest
(Directions: Take Hwy. 36 out of Red Bluff. Then Wilson Lake Road
to first right. The Road number is 29N18, it leads right into Willow Springs
Campground. Lassen National Forest at 530-595-4444.)
My Grandpa, my uncle
and I had been working in the area picking up sugar pine and digger pine
cones for about 3 days or so and had planned on being there for around
a week. We were camped in a lower campsite in this campground, just off
the main cinder road coming by the camping area. I remember the camp was
right next to a creek and each night we would hear the deer coming to
the creek to water and would occasionally shine our flashlights and see
One particular night, we were sitting around relaxing and I commented
that it was strange that we didn't hear any deer in the creek. In fact,
I don't recall even hearing any crickets or any of the usual night-time
noises. There was a group of people camped above us about 100 yards or
so up the hill and they hadn't been there camping as long as we had. The
three of us could hear the people in the camp talking and such, then it
was quiet. Suddenly someone in the upper camp shouted, "Hey!",
then some loud talking, and then this growl/scream noise. It was very
loud and sounded as if it came from a fairly large animal.
My Uncle and I looked at each other, asking each other what the heck that
noise was, and we looked at my Grandpa, who was smiling and chuckling,
which I found to be very odd, unless it was to cover up being frightened
himself! My Grandpa was a retired logger from Oregon, my Uncle had also
spent considerable time in the woods working as well as hunting most of
his life. I had spent alot of time in the woods, also hunting and working
for my Uncle, but had never heard a sound like that, nor had the rest
of us. My Grandpa said he thought it was probably a bobcat or cougar,
but my Uncle and I had never heard any animal make that kind of sound,
not to mention the fact that those animals will most likely stay away
from a loud camp and may venture closer when it is dark and quiet.
Anyway, while we were wondering what that first noise was, there began
alot of hollering and another loud growl/scream from the upper camp, vehicle
doors slamming and then the vehicle took off down the road, tires throwing
cinders. They were out of there but fast! We (my Uncle and I) were shaken
up, but too proud to admit to to my Grandpa.
We didn't hear anything else
from the upper camp. Nothing.
I don't know if they left anything up there, how they were camped or anything,
but I do know that they didn't come back. We went to bed as it was getting
quite late, and I was so afraid to make any sound, fearful that "it" would hear me breathing and come into camp to investigate.
We left a couple of days later, but I don't recall hearing the deer in
the creek in the evenings after that night. All of the information given
here is to the best of my recollection. As for the terrain, it was heavily
wooded pine forest, quite a bit of brush around the creek area.
was warm during the day and cool at night. No unusual smells noted.
Thursday, October 24, 2002 10:03 AM
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