Hood River County, Oregon

Wahtum Lake, 1980

Hood River County, Oregon
Wahtum Lake is located 25 miles SW of Hood River, Rd. 13 > Rd. 1310
The terrain is brushy, damp Pacific Northwest rainforest next to a lake.
Cascades, near Mt Hood, elevation 3,732 ft.
July or Aug 1980 - '81 around 2-3 am

My girlfriend and I arrived at Wahtum Lake early one evening. After parking, we hiked down a forested trail to the lake, which sits in a valley three or four hundred feet below the road. On the trail down we had passed several campsites with young, noisy campers, drinking and playing boom boxes. The lake is surrounded by forest and thick brush.

A trail circled the lake; through the thick brush with clearings every couple hundred feet, each with a fire ring for camping. We followed that trail to the opposite side of the lake where there were no campers, found a clearing and set up camp.

We were dismayed when; sometime after dark another group of young campers arrived at the next clearing, about 100 yards down the trail, and set up camp. They began to drink and carry on, playing music until close to midnight.

When they finally quieted down, we were able to crawl into our dome tent and go to sleep. Sometime later, I was awakened by very heavy footfalls coming down the trail towards our camp.

As I lay there on a thin mat, I could actually feel ground tremors, as this thing got closer. Wide awake and quite alarmed, I lay there, unmoving and listening as the footfalls suddenly became much lighter as if it was walking on tip toes, yet it was just outside the tent.

We had some dishes soaking in the lake, maybe 20 feet away, and I heard them clinking as if something was messing with them.

I then heard "it" as it headed off down the trail in the opposite direction from which it had come, this time heading towards the campsite occupied by the noisy teenagers.

Once again, the footfalls seemed to get heavier as they receded in the distance. Five or ten minutes later, we heard a young girl scream followed by men yelling, all coming from the campsite where the teenagers were.

It soon quieted down and we went to sleep. I awoke at dawn, made coffee and headed down the trail to the teenager's campsite to ask them about our nighttime visitor, only to find their campsite empty. They must have left real early.

While sleeping in the open on the Shore of Green Lake in the Three Sisters Wilderness, I once had a herd of elk approach to within a few feet to drink from the lake. I sat up and they scattered in every direction.

What we heard at Wahtum Lake was different, definitely walking on two legs. It was either a VERY heavy person or???

Paul Holbrook 541-726 xxxx

Tuesday, September 25, 2001 8:57 PM

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