Seizing the Opportunity
What do you say when your phone rings at 2:30pm on a Tuesday, the caller happens to be a new friend and leading (understatement) Bigfoot Investigator and asks you to join in on an adventure at Salt Fork State Park? Yes, you say YES! You drop everything your doing- cancel your plans, make arrangements to take care of home business, get in the car and leave. You hope you have boots, long pants, a strong cup of coffee and go! NOW!
This scenario is true and that’s exactly what happened. I’d been wanting this call and was way beyond prepared for such an adventure. Yes, I had to be up for work at 4am the next morning, no I wasn’t calling off, and yes- the park was an hour and a half away. Ask me if I cared?! You only go around in this life once, so make it great!
On the drive out, random thoughts flew through my head… What am I doing? Why am I doing this? I have insurance, but what if something happens? Will there be a ton of poison ivy? I can only stay a few hours to be able to get home and sleep before work. On and on the questions raced. As I closed in to my destination, my pseudo anxiety abated and was replaced with overwhelming excitement! The day was beautiful, the drive was easy, the coffee was hot, the gas tank full, my headache was gone and I was going back. I was back in the park where only a few weeks earlier, I had ran from it with a bittersweet wound in my pride! An opportunity had come for personal redemption (as TOSH as that sounds!) and I was ready -bring it on Salt Fork, I will conquer you yet!
Of course I’m late (in my last will and testament, I’ve already insisted that I be late to my own funeral) but I had arrived, and redemption was at hand.
My friend didn’t seem to mind too much, and we set off immediately in search of a lost cemetery, the purpose of the trip. Oh, it was beautiful! Parking on a grassy side drive, we set off. Hiking through prairies and grasslands, bushwhacking through spring vines, sticker-bushes and saplings, we looked everywhere for this hallow ground on a knoll, to no avail. But, it didn’t really matter, the landscape was surreal, like something out of a movie. The honeysuckle smelled so sweet, the breeze was perfect and the sunshine was most welcome since the past several days had been cold and Ohio winter grey. I was in heaven being out there! Had the adventure stopped right there, I would’ve considered it a success.
Haha! I’m Bea Mills and we never just “stop there.”
After stomping around the wilderness, we returned to the vehicle and plucked ticks off- oh so gross! We then settled in for dinner at a “diamond in the rough”, a surprisingly large diner tucked behind a small gas station. The Salt Fork area must be pretty proud of their prehistoric deer fossil find (that I hear is on display at Deerassic Park), because deer heads adorned the walls. Great conversation was had at that table for what must have been over an hour. Upon leaving, dusk had settled in- Oh my!
We traveled around the park some more while I was given the grand tour with a history lesson included! Beautiful landscapes, rolling hills, deep valleys, docks and lake scenes, I was liking Salt Fork all the more. As night took over the day a new adventure began. The Bigfooter came out – and the big-boy toys right along with it!
Now, I’ve watched a few episodes of those scifi shows where they have all the cool equipment; the night-vision, the IR, the thermal imager, but had I ever held one of those in my hands? -no. My mind was blown! And this wellspring of “oh-my-god-this-is-the-coolest-thing-ever” gripped my very soul. I tried so hard to not act like a kid in a candy store but my geekdom was obvious, of this, I’m sure. As we’re bouncing down the back roads I get the, “Now we’re going to where you had your experience” and a tingle ran down my spine. I guess my failed camping adventure left more of a mark on me than I had given credit, but push on! Have no fear- we’ve got gear! I think my friend caught my hesitance as we u-turned and headed down the lane. Thankfully we were in a trusty 4WD vehicle and went cruising down a hill to a boat dock by part of the lake. It’s pitch black out, it’s 10pm, and the stars are shining like thousands of lights dotting the sky. I admit, the sky at this park is amazing. Looking at the stars though a night vision scope makes it 10x’s better!
We both got out of the vehicle and wandered to the dock. I was looking through the thermal and learning about heat signatures and amazed that the larger rocks were still glowing in this darkness. Scanning the shores across the finger lake, I notice a brighter object. Is it a rock? I have no clue. I hand the imager to my friend who tells me about deer and gives me tricks on how to look through the device more clearly. He hands it back to me. I’m looking in the direction of the deer and see both of them. Duh, I thought, closing one eye like a pirate, those look exactly like bright silhouettes of deer. I notice a little further to the left a new bright spot, right along the water, almost in the water- not the same shape though. I’m looking as hard as my left eye can look, it makes no sense. I had the thermal back and ask, “So, what is that third one?,” “Where?” “To the left, closer to the water.” silence. Silence can mean a lot of things. It can mean one is thinking, one is insulted, one is speculating, who knows? This silence in particular – was unnerving. I mean, honestly, my friend talks – a lot.
The silence was broken with the sound of air being sucked in, and I got excited! “It just stood up and took two steps behind that tree, here look!” I peered through the thermal like my life depended on it, I had to know! And there it was, a tall bright light emanating from who knows what just a few feet from where I had first noticed it. And as fast as I saw this light, it faded into the night. I handed it back to my friend for verification and yes, indeed, it was gone. We both stared at each other for a moment. I couldn’t stop smiling. I wanted to yell I was so excited!!
Then came the most oddly natural thing ever, the UFO investigator met the Bigfoot investigator and we began investigating this event! It was a unanimous decision that what was witnessed was a ‘Biological Anomaly” pending any further evidence, but in my heart… I think it was Squatch!
Moral of the story- Seize Opportunity when it calls!!
(And a huge thank you to Mark Maisel, BFRO, Ohio/W.Va./SE Pa.)