[The adventure continues! I’ll post links to the first two parts (in case you missed them) at the end of this section. Without further ado, off we go to the magic lands of the Pacific Northwest!!! —RFY]
The mid 1960s.
About 1966, no volcanoes, no computers, no throw-away plastic. The time of the sexual revolution. No cell phones and the beginning of color television, very bad T.V. reception. If you were lucky, you might get 5 or 6 channels, and that’s with an antenna. Oh yes, a much simpler time. Gasoline was about 20 cents a gallon, and no one was in a hurry to go anywhere. There was no such thing as road rage.
In 1966, I was an 8 year old kid, and that was my first impression of Kid Valley, but over the next few summers, I grew to love my adventures in and around the valley.
I remember, a person’s word was just that back then. If you said something, there didn’t have to be no formal contract. You just gave your word. I don’t think it was something special about Kid Valley, but it’s where I learned a lot of my morals. You didn’t have to say cuss words to be cool. In fact, it wasn’t cool to cuss. People believed in family and ate at the same table. Played games as a family and on Sunday’s went to church, and Sunday evenings, gathered around the T.V. and watched Disney.
Now we have modern technology, and things have speeded up too fast for family life.
But back to the story. The forest around Kid Valley was dense. The nearest town was Toutle, which was 25 miles away. The next closest was Castle Rock, 40 miles from Kid Valley, and Longview/Kelso, about 50 miles away. Longview is where I actually lived, and I stayed summers at Kid Valley. Getting back to Kid Valley, like I said, the forests were dense, and there were trails all around and going all over in the woods.
Some trails would take you down along the river. Others, deep into the forest, some along streams, and others would open up into fields and orchards where the deer and elk would graze and bed down. There was never a lack of animals in the woods. And when I was young, the animals were never afraid of human interaction.
Spirit Lake, about 10 miles away at the base of Mt. St. Helens, was a big, mysterious lake. As a kid, I was told that the lake was so deep in spots they couldn’t find the bottom. And that Boy Scouts had drowned there, and they never recovered the bodies. I always tried to keep my distance from Spirit Lake, even though it was a very beautiful lake. But that was probably just me.
Back to the trails along Kid Valley. You could go for miles. Deep in the woods, the streams were fresh and clean, and animal tracks were all over. I looked, always by myself, in the deep woods behind Kid Valley. I guess I knew something was in the woods, something strange but not to be feared, because, of all the times I was in the woods, nothing ever hurt me. But at times things, or something…the forest would get quiet. No bird sounds, no nothing. Sometimes an odd smell, and feeling as if something or someone was watching me, just out of sight. Then “déjà vu,” you know, that feeling in the woods, you’ve been there, done that.
Years later, I returned to Kid Valley.
I was deep in the woods and down a long, old trail when it came to me, that feeling from years ago. I remembered this trail. Before going any further, I marked where I was at, and hurried back to Kid Valley. I called my wife and a friend, and told them both to come to Kid Valley. I also told them both to have backpacks and sleeping bags, food, and water for three days.
My wife showed up first, and I told her of the trail and what I found all those years ago. I said that no one believed me, but that I’d found the trail again. Of course, my wife, Linda, wanted to believe, but come on. I was asking a lot. And I told her, wait until my friend, Ed, shows up and we’ll go see.
Well, finally, Ed showed up, and I told him the story, and I could tell neither one believed me. I said, “Bear with me. If there’s nothing out there, we’ll have a nice little hike, but we’ll see.” As we walked down the trail, I got more nervous, and they both thought I was crazy. So I was thinking, I better get the right trail this time! And there was my mark! At the beginning of the old trail, there was my mark!
Things had changed in the 30 plus years from the first time I went down the trail. It was a lot more overgrown, and I was wondering if I could find the door. Well, we were getting pretty close, I was pretty sure, and the trail was getting real narrow. I kept wondering if I could find the spot. Both my wife and friend were in disbelief. I was getting nervous.
Right when I was about to give up, I spotted something, but the brush was so thick… I was sure I was at the spot—but no door. There was a hole, kind of, in the brush. I pushed the brush back, and found what looked to be the entrance to a cave, but no door like there had been before.
We were here, and my wife, Linda, was trying to believe me, but I wasn’t sure even I believed me.
About then, Ed said, “Well we’re here. We might as well check out the cave.”
We all three started down the cave, and I noticed there was no animals and no birds chirping or anything. I was about to mention that fact when my wife looked to me and said, “That’s eerie. There’s no animal sounds.” And I said I noticed that, too. About then, we all noticed light ahead in the tunnel, and the closer we got to the light the brighter it got. It was almost blinding. Right when the light was the strongest, it felt like we were going through a barrier, like a door…
But where did the door go that used to be in the woods? It wasn’t there, but was replaced by this light! We all three went through the barrier, and just like all those years ago, I looked up, and there were two suns in the sky.
“So I’m crazy, huh?”
My friend and my wife both looked around in awe. Two suns, but not too hot—surprisingly, about 78 degrees and about mid-day. We decided to mark our way, so we’d know how to get back, and go exploring. We were in a forest that seemed very old. There were birds and rabbits and squirrels and other animals I’d never seen.
There was what I called a jackalope, a rabbit with antlers, and its feet were hoofed. There were many animals that we never seen before, but I got this sense that there was no fear of us. More curiosity than anything else. This was truly a land of enchantment.
We walked down this one trail, marking our way. There was green grass and shades of blue. We were walking down a path next to a creek, but the water in the creek was running, somehow, backwards!
All of a sudden, we heard something coming down the path, and it sounded big. We all hid, ‘cause we didn’t know what to expect. Sure enough, a pair of bigfoot creatures! They didn’t seem to see us, but I got the feeling they knew we were there. They didn’t talk, but I think they were talking to each other, and I knew what they were saying. It was in my head, like voices in my head. I thought they must be speaking telepathically, and I wasn’t afraid. I should have been, but I wasn’t.
When they passed, we all came out of hiding, and the first thing Ed said was, “Did you hear them speaking? It was in my head!” We all three looked at each other and said yeah.
That’s the way it was.
“Let’s keep going, okay?” I said. So down the path and around the corner, we see through the trees, and in this open area is a village. There was round shaped…I guess you’d call them huts, about 10 to 14 feet tall, varying in size from about 40 to 80 feet across. They appeared to be huts for the bigfoot people.
I figured we better go looking around some more. The whole time, I felt we were being watched, but left alone because we weren’t hurting anything. I started to think we should look for somewhere to rest for the night. It seemed the days there were longer. We arrived there about 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon, and it had been about 12 hours now, and it was just starting to get dark. Our time said it was 1:00 in the morning.
We found a spot back off the trail and inside a bunch of brush. We all three stayed in a 6-man cabin tent, figured it was better to stay close. We didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t make a fire, but ate dinner and settled down to go to sleep for the night. It was about 3:00 A.M., and finally completely dark.
[Stay tuned for the next part of the adventure, coming real soon!!!]
P.S. – For those who missed the first two parts of the story, here’s were you can find those sections: