Elk Meadows Ronnyvoo

22 June 2014 1140


The car was loaded… packed as closely as the first Mars Mission will have to be. Every nook and cranny was filled. There was no small space unoccupied when we

Ok.. Where to Kathi and Jackie Sit?

realized there were still two garbage bags that had to come with us. Normally we would not have such a large amount of waste, but it seems someone among us was not leaving waste food in the woods for the wee critters nor was all the paper waste being burned as it should have been. All that should have been in the garbage was metal and plastic but, unfortunately, this was not the case.

Nine days in this camp was ending… sadly ending. I did not wish it so, but my wishes are seldom those that command the day. I had no idea how we were going to get this last bit into the car. There was little enough room for the last two occupants, let alone this added burden. The result was the two passengers had to each carry a garbage sack until we could find a dumpsite to leave our offering. I seemed to recall that I had seen a disposal site just south of Orleans on the highway… a recollection that proved unreliable in the actuation! The

Confluence of the Klamath and the Trinity

result was, our garbage rode with us as far as Weitchepec and the small Convenience Store located there. It was with grateful hearts and sans garbage that we left that tiny store bound for the Bald Hills Road.

As I waited for my people to complete their duties at the store, I walked to the bluff and looked down on the absolutely stunning view of the confluence of the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. I watched as the two waters combined to make one strong flow to the sea. My mind retreated to all that I had watched happen in those days of interaction. There had been fourteen people who had visited our camp… some for but a night… some for the entire time… VIRTUALLY ALL had had an interaction with the large and hairy folk residing there! That in itself was remarkable but what was beyond amazing was that each had done so at their own level of comfort.

I have been interacting with these people for fifty-six years… Arla for about the same period. We have seen

Jackie in Camp

many over these years to the point that while it is ALWAYS exciting to be allowed to view them, we are confident in what we see. It is not a frightful thing nor is it upsetting to us to view them at close range. We have lived with them long enough to understand that they are not violent beings and are not dangerous to us or to anyone who treats them with the respect due them. Of course, any being is going to be dangerous if one is negligent enough to threaten its young or even its person. There isn’t a mother on earth worthy of the name mother who will not use whatever force is available to her to defend her children… why would these people be any different? There are other cases where one can put themselves into danger with these large beings, but none that I know of that does not involve disrespect towards them in some manner… usually in the form of threats of physical violence where the sasquatch person feels in danger for their safety.

Others do not have the long years of involvement on which to rely, so are, understandably more prone to fear being generated within themselves. I have been told often of the dangers of fear. These people strive to eliminate if from their encounters and we certainly witnessed that on this extended trip. They have told me innumerable times that, “Fear is the one human emotion we cannot work through. If fear is present, we cannot interact safely with humans.” Even with that understanding, it does still happen at times. In our time at the Ronnyvoo, it happened with several of our people.

One such instance was Kathi’s case of being frozen in place while the big guy made good his retreat. Kathi was not harmed, nor was she afraid of her guest. Her fear was of her condition. Being locked up like she was had never occurred with her before and she did not know quite how to react to it. Even in her state, she did not express her fear, but merely sought to resolve the situation she had created and to retreat from it gracefully. What I heard when I approached her was not fear of the being, but concern for her condition. Knowing what I did of what happened, I knew she was in no danger and was even able to be a bit flippant with her as she openly voiced her apologies for having created the situation as it then existed.

Deb’s Toy Car

Another case was Nancy’s sighting in her camp after Kathi had asked them to leave her so she could sleep and to visit Nancy and Russ in their camp… a request that did not go unfulfilled… As Nancy sat and watched the big fellow, she uttered, “Please don’t scare me… this is so different, I could not take being scared… please don’t scare me!” … so, the big guy just faded back to the tree line and did not pressure her further. In both cases, they acted to preclude fear.

Our visitors from the lower camp, Camp Kimchee, in Willow Creek all felt low levels of fear due to the uniqueness of their situations. Deb was probably the most obvious of these as she had no experience with our fellows as she had joined us here from her home in Australia. Bugs and D’Anne both felt levels of trepidation in their encounters but all were able to control it and work through it. It is important to understand that fear will rise in us from time to time. The key is to keep it at a low level such that it does not impede our reactions nor restrict our interactions. Remember, bravery is not the lack of fear. I have never met a brave man who was not afraid at one point or another. Bravery is acting through the fear and not letting it control the situation. It’s okay to be afraid… it is NOT okay to be out of control with that fear.

The most unique manifestation of the workings of the human mind in times of stress occurred with Jackie and our encounter with the two sasquatch people on the road to camp. Instantly her eyes saw the two and her brain said “BIGFOOT”… then, her logical side stepped in… “No.. those two beings standing in front of us were not sasquatch, as your brain, I have no recollection of anything like sasquatch, so we must catalog them in terms that I can recognize… They were two men with rucksacks on… they were not bigfoot with shoulders slouched and backs bowed… that was not feet you saw with the Ostman Pads shining but those men were wearing flip flops… Hairy bodies? No, of course not, I have never seen that much hair on a man… it had to be clothing of some type… since they were exactly the same color, it had to have been a uniform like coverall they were wearing. Oh, they were very fast. But they had to have taken many steps to reach the bank over which they disappeared… of course it wasn’t but the two steps you thought you saw…”

In fact, by the time we broke camp on this Sunday morning, that uniform had become a ghillie suit and they were five foot four inch Mexican drug mules carrying packs of illicit drugs to market. In JUNE… before the growing season even began here at this high altitude… an altitude where we had ICE form every night.
In addition, virtually every event caused her mind to retreat to its safe place with the data… Deb’s gift of the little car… “Some child was playing with that and left

Kathi’s Gift of Firewood

it there…” No children had been within MILES of our camp since we had been there…. people had walked on that log the day before.. and I have pictures of that log taken the day prior and there is NO CAR on it… but her mind needed to classify it in terms it understood. Kathi’s piece of driftwood firewood they left for her… “Oh, that had to have fallen from the trees above…” Uh… slabs of driftwood don’t form on living trees… they form in streams of water… if one TRIED, one could never land any piece of wood in the position of this one… again, retreat to what your mind understands.

I have seen this reaction in many other people in many other places and it is no negative reflection on the person exhibiting it. It is merely what IS! I had no problem accepting what I saw that day on the road because my mind has great and enduring experiences with this being. My mind could run back to that which it was familiar and keep the image of sasquatch clear and bright because I have seen them on so many occasions. I rather EXPECTED to see one on that road during our stay there… TWO, however, was a bit more than I expected to see!
I’m not sure if there have been psychological studies done on this phenomenon, I’m sure there must have been, but if there have not, there should be. It is a real and startling event.

Bumming Bear

Leaving Weitchepec, our next goal was the beauty and grandeur of Redwoods National Park. The drive across the Bald Hills Road to Redwood Creek was uneventful until we arrived into the park to find traffic stopped in the roadway, negating travel while a small bear plied his trade of panhandling for largess along the roadway. We were, of course, detained while he went about his chore of cadging comestibles from the people in the cars held up there by his presence.

After gaining our release from this pint-sized con artist, we proceeded north on Highway 101 until taking the by-way… old Highway 101, actually… through Prairie Creek State Park. I have never been through this particular area without seeing elk and today proved no exception. The first thing I spotted were the antlers of a few mature bulls protruding from the tall grasses adjacent to the roadway. It happened that there were several large bulls and a few cows at that place. Since the majority of the cows would now have very new calves, I assumed they would be attendant on them and separate from the bachelor herd we were now witnessing.

These elk are remnants of the once widespread Roosevelt Elk herds that once inhabited the pacific slope to the

Nice Bull Elk

Cascade mountains through the coastal range from just north of San Francisco all the way to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Today, many smaller bands of this species remain in far northern California while their numbers are high and the herd quite healthy as one moves northward into Oregon and Washington. This wet-land, coastal denizen is the largest of the surviving species of the North American elk with a mature bull commonly attaining body weights in the twelve hundred to fourteen hundred pound range as compared to the seven to seven hundred and fifty pounds of his Yellowstone cousins.

Dinner at Crescent City then back into the mountains along the south fork of Smith River out of the tiny town of Gasquet (pronounced Gas Kee). It had been a long and eventful day and we were exceedingly tired. As such, we were in our beds before eight pm and lights were our before the skies were dark!

Of course, morning began early, but it was a learning experience as well. Where we were camped, while not on the road, the road was nearby and the traffic noise, while not loud, was very distinct. We were able to demonstrate and Jackie able to understand that had those been two PEOPLE on that roadway that day who were not wanting to be seen by anyone, they would have heard us coming for at least a half mile and would have had ample time to vacate the highway before we got there. This chink in her mental armor began like the crack in the dam that

World’s Largest Pancakes!

led to it’s collapse. It was very evident that, even though we were well into the trees, we were further from the road than those two “drug mules” would have been and the cars were quite evident to us as we would have been to them.

Our morning began at a very nice cafe in Hiouchi that served great pancakes… the largest I’ve ever seen and they were as good as they were large!  As the day progressed and we neared Kathi’s home in Coos Bay, Oregon other such items came up and each provided another chink. On our final day we left Kathi’s home early in the morning and drove about two hours to meet Sue for breakfast in Eugene, Oregon. During that drive we, Jackie and I, talked about these things… Jackie is quite intelligent and has had a great deal of schooling in the field of psychology so understands exactly what was happening in her mind. By the time we parted at the airport in Portland, she was quite convinced that she had, indeed, had the sighting of a lifetime. It lacked only verification from an independent source. That verification came to her from her longtime friend when he told her of interviewing Yeti witnesses who initially thought they’d seen a man in a coat…

Finally, she realized that her mind did, indeed, play a trick on her and deny her the instant gratification of knowing she’d seen these elusive guys but she will now make up for lost time in her learning about our friends…


Thom Cantrall