Sasquatch Files: Clallam County, AUG 2009

TIME: Late August 2009, approx 2pm (1400)

LOCATION: Clallam County, WA; just east of Port Angeles; DNR logging road off of Blue Mountain Rd


 “K” was out walking her two dogs on a DNR logging road when she heard loud scream coming from the woods just south of her. She described the sound as deep, and two toned. “K” said she wasn’t exactly frightened by the scream, but simply recognized it was a warning to get out of there. Her two dogs did not seem to register or react to the sound and followed her as she immediately turned around and headed back to her vehicle which was parked about 900ft away on Blue Mountain Rd.


13APR2021: I visited the site of the encounter with “K”, it was the first time she’d been back to the site in 13 years. Despite the time gone by, she said that the scream she heard was so unforgettable, it felt like yesterday. We walked about two miles around dirt roads through 2nd and 3rd growth forest and overgrown clearcuts looking and listening for signs as we discussed the encounter and hiked along. However, no anomalous sign or sound was experienced during the brief site visit. An array of bootprints, hoof prints and ATV tracks suggest that the area is somewhat frequented by people.

Candy Point Trail

This short but steep hike in Coulee Dam, WA leads to some of the best views to be had of the most powerful hydroelectric generating station in North America.


  • 2mi +- (3.2km)
  • 700′ elevation gain (213m)
  • Steep trail, often hot sun, little shade
  • Great views of Grand Coulee Dam
  • Can be hiked the whole year round


Work began on the Grand Coulee Dam in 1933 as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal”.

In 1937 the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, constructed the trail to the Candy Point Top to provide views of the massive dam, which was completed in 1942.

In 1991, the trail was rebuilt through the efforts of the Grand Coulee Dam Rotary Club.

Some 26 years later, in 2017, Washington Trail Association volunteers repaired sections of the trail, and cleared overgrowth from the 80 year old grade.


I can’t think of many other trails that offer as much as the Candy Point Trail in such a short distance; Nature, history and some great views of a legitimate world wonder.

Access is via two odd trailheads; neither of which really seem like trailheads at all…

One of them is along North Columbia Ave, and appears as a sign in someone’s yard. From there you walk across their lawn (I know it sounds weird, but they’re cool with it) to gain access to the trail.

The other is behind city hall at the top of Douglas Ave. Initially I thought this boot path was going to lead me to a hobo encampment or a teenage pot smoking spot, but no, this is the trail…

…or the real one is a short distance away in the same parking lot, I dunno.

This is the way I hiked it.


From behind City Hall: Follow a bootpath dipping into a brushy draw behind the parking lot. A makeshift bridge of rock and debris sometimes span diminutive Fiddle Creek which lies at the bottom of the draw.

The path then begins to head up, passing by a fenced off railroad tunnel, which a plaque describes was abandoned before it was ever even used.

The trail continues up the Fiddle Creek draw, in many places up well constructed rock steps placed by the CCC so many years ago.

Looking back as you gain, the mammoth concrete impoundment creates a surreal backdrop over the picturesque Grand Coulee old town.

From here one can fully appreciate the town’s placement as more than just a show of trust, perhaps rather trust defined.

At what seems like the top, the trail begins snaking up the grassy backside of the 1765′ point. Oh, that reminds me…

This is rattlesnake country!

Keep an eye and ear out for snakes!

Around the Candy Point top is the remains of some sort of radio equipment, and an eyeful of views of the damn big dam.

A spur trail in this area also leads over to the parking area at the Crown Point overlook to the north.

The route then begins to travel down a draw sloping to the north east, steeply traveling downward upon the CCC’s well built grade.

At the bottom you’ll find yourself in someone’s yard; “I dunno man, you sure it’s cool to cross here? I ain’t trying to get shot after avoiding all the cliffs and snakes, I worked too hard for this!”

Prepare your best “but teh internetz sed it wuz k” face, then cross the grass to the road. You might even see the sign over there. (No really, they’re cool with it!”)

You’re now on North Columbia Ave, follow it south, past the bank and into Cole Park. There, a much better bridge spans Fiddle Creek and will put you on a long, diagonal sidewalk back up to City Hall where you parked.

…or turn around and do it the other way, the world is your oyster!


Step one is to get yourself to Coulee Dam, WA, which you’ll find in the north central part of the state.

Step two is to pick your trailhead. There’s some parking up at City Hall at the top of Douglas Ave, or street parking on North Columbia Ave.

If you’ve crossed the bridge to the north side of town, you’re on the wrong side of the river.

••••••••¡click here for more pics!•••••••

Klahhane Crash Landing

While perusing the Internet one day, I happened to read about a small plane crash that had occurred somewhere along Klahhane Ridge on 03MAY2018. So of course, I had to go have a look…


Eleven days later I made the drive out to Port Angeles and headed for the ridgetops.

There was still some snow to contend with along the “Switchback Trail” up to the top of the ridge, but a solidly stomped path led the way until I began to ascend untrammled snow more directly uphill.

On the way up I was preoccupied with speculation on where the wreck might be. This is steep, rugged terrain! It probably wasn’t going to be easy to find this thing!

However, as luck would have it, just as I was leaning into the last few steps up to the ridgeline I heard the unmistakable phump, phump, phump of a helicopter.

Atop the ridge, I stood on the lip of a brilliant, ivory bowl overlooking the Strait of Joey De Fuca. The iconic orange paint of a Coast Guard helicopter immediately caught my eye against the glaring bright of the snow.

The chopper was just lifting off from the alpine slopes as I set down my bag for a brief respite. I quickly noticed the crumpled Cessna not far away from where the chopper left the ground.

The helicopter initially left in the direction of the water, but gained altitude as it turned around and flew over top of me. I waved and watched as they circled westward around the rocky summit of Mt.Angeles before heading north toward the guard station at Ediz Hook.

A boot path across the snowy field passed near the downed aircraft. Just off the trail, an FAA sign warned against approaching within 50yds of the “active investigation site”.

Immediately I was struck by the name “Rite Bros” emblazoned on the rudder. Ironic enough.

According to the article, the pilot, who was flying alone, survived the early morning crash landing and climbed to the ridge top, where he was airlifted out.

I, on the other hand will be walking back, since I seem to have missed the last helicopter!

At this point, who knows how long the wreck of the “Rite Flyer” will sit atop Klahhane Ridge. I guess until someone gets it down from there, ’cause it certainly ain’t flying out on it’s own!

Maybe they should just leave it up there, after all it makes for an interesting hiking destination!

Happy Trails!


The Smyrna Ice Cave

“Ice Cave? In the desert? wtf?”

That’s what I thought when I saw a small adit symbol marked with the aforementioned moniker on my USGS map.

“What kind of ice cave are we talking about here!? Obviously not like the Big 4 Ice Caves. Eastern Washington is like the freakin’ desert!

I’ve heard of lava tubes around some of the local volcanos that form ice inside… some were even used for cold storage.”

Oh! I wonder if that’s what it is; a cold storage cave, like where they stored perishables in the days before refrigeration…

Maybe it’s a portal to Hell, which indeed has frozen over as a result of… Eh, these days, take your pick!


The Ice Cave is along the base of the lengthy north face of the Saddle Mountains. Whether it’s the semi paved road or the total lack of standing structures, you might say the area feels a bit remote.

I hoped to spy a peculiar adit or other odd portal as I slowly rubbernecked by the site, but nothing immediately caught the eye, so I parked and started on foot.

Skirting the muddy margins of an ephemeral pond, which seperates the Ice Cave from the road, I headed to the heaps of fractured basalt at the base of a prominent buttress of the long mountain.

In little time I saw some old shoring poking up out of the rocks…


Not many relics are around, except for a few wooden shoring posts and a selection of bullet ridden debris. Wheel furrows in the alkali mud tell of the area’s popularity with motor sports over-enthusiasts.

The portal is pretty well collapsed, most likely forever. However, a cool breeze can still be felt coming from the area of the shoring.

Perhaps there is still a chamber of some kind sealed away behind the many tons of rubble.

Then again, maybe this was a cut and cover sort of deal. Might be a ways back to solid rock. I dunno, it was collapsed when I got there, I SWEAR!


Well, that would be that. There’s no indication at the site to the nature of the ice cave nor to it’s origins. Ain’t no historical marker, ain’t no nuthin!

When I got home I did a quick interweb search and found a great write up of the cave: Legends of the Ice Cave

(Don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to try that before I drove all the way out there!)

According to that information, the cave was likely dug by railroad workers around 1906 after they’d found some ice on the ground at the site…

Wait, why was there ice just chillin’ at the base of some ol’ hill in the desert? That sounds like a Bible story!

The answer was another new one for me; Apparently talus, in concert with underlying rock structure can sometimes form cold traps; locking winter’s cold within, and slowly releasing it during warmer months.

While rare, there are other known talus cold traps in the region, some also having been converted into early walk-in freezers.

I dunno though, I’m still thinking Hell might have froze over and this is the way to it… hmmm, but that means Hell would have had to freeze over BEFORE 1906. Back to the interwebz!


Gleaning from the wealth of information available on “Legends of the Ice Cave” I “dug” up a bit more on the Cave’s history…

The cave was said to be cut into the hill about ten feet back and may have been about twenty feet wide. This excavation was then topped with wooden beams and covered.

A heavy wooden door once kept the cold air in, and occasionally kept people out. By the 1930s a local farmer by the name of Chambers had began to use the cave to store perishables for the community.

During those trying economic times, the cave was kept locked and sometimes even posted with armed guards to keep any pre-refrigerator bandits at bay.

Speaking of refrigerators, it was the steady hum of the first Freeze-O-Matic’s in kitchens across America that sounded the end of the ice cave’s immediate importance.

Undoubtedly though, the odd passerby would stop along their journey and peer inside. Catching the cool breeze and some respite from the beating Eastern Washington sun.

That is until until the Ice Cave’s untimely collapse sometime in the late 1990s.



The Smyrna Ice Cave can be found along Lower Crab Creek Road across from an ephemeral alkali pond.

From Vantage, WA take the I90 east to the eastern shore of the Columbia River. Head south at the interchange, you’ll soon come to a fork.

From the fork you can either continue south, watching for an eastern turn into Lower Crab Creek Rd in the settlement of Beverly. Or head east to Royal City, then south to Smyrna.

Either way the remains of the Ice Cave are along lonely, ol’Lower Crab Creek Rd. not far from a span of high tension wires.

Happy Trails!

Kurt Cobain Memorial Park

If you’re a Nirvana fan within driving distance of Aberdeen, WA sooner or later you’ll probably wanna hop in the car and wander over to see the city where it all began. 

There are certainly some Nirvana sights to see in Aberdeen. Diehard fans will probably seek Kurt’s childhood home, or “Kurt Cobain McDonalds”, which has a print of a famous Cobain portrait on the wall.  

For awhile the sign on the edge of town greeted visitors with “Come as you are”, but either ‘Kurt-mania’ has ebbed or Aberdeen reclaimed the logging championship belt because these days it’s back to “Logging Capitol of the World”, but luckily for fans that picture is still up at the McDonalds. 


Kurt Cobain Memorial Park is located in the colorfully named “Felony Flats” neighborhood of Aberdeen, WA at the end of a short dead end street. 

It’s a pleasant grassy park, with a few trees and estuarine waterfront. A handful of monuments and benches are loosely arranged throughout and the pillars of the Young Street Bridge and a collection of decaying creosote pilings lend the backdrop. 

A Jagstang guitar statue stands near the riverbank at the entrance to the park. Cobain, a frequent player and sometimes destroyer of Fender Jaguar and Mustang guitars, designed a sort of hybrid of the two in 1994 with the Fender company and thusly the Jagstang was born. 

“Kurt’s Air Guitar” is also on display, and free for the public to use. Belt out a few jams! 

The bridge itself may be the ultimate memorial; immortalized in Nirvana folklore as a refuge for the young artist during his tumultuous teenage years and as the inspiration for the song “Something in the Way”, it is for some perhaps a sort of muddy Graceland. 


I imagine a lot of people might take pause before going under the bridge. I won’t lie, it looks a bit rough. 

Like the name of the 1996 post -Nirvana release “From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah” implies, the banks of the Wishkah River really are muddy, and pretty slick. Watch your step! In addition to the mud, there are occasionally strange leavings beneath the bridge. Last time there seemed to be a lot of funny looking orange caps and what was said to be historical “Kurt’s Mattress”.

Then again I’m not sure that guy was a real tour guide…

The underside of the bridge has become a cacophonous shrine, blasted with spraypaint and the disembodied messages of pilgrims who have come to pay their respects to the troubled song writer.

For fans, this is it. Take a minute to watch the eternal waters flow by and try and channel your inner angsty teenager.

If you’re feeling it, don’t be ashamed to cut loose on some air guitar while you’re down there. Most people will give you a lot of space to jam, they might even head right back to the car when they see you.  

Historical “Kurt’s Mattress”  


From wherever you are coming from, you’ll have to get to Aberdeen,WA. I’ll leave that to you.

Traveling westbound to Aberdeen on the WA-12: As you enter Aberdeen, you’ll pass a large shopping complex  on your left just before a drawbridge crosses the river. Take a right after the drawbridge at the earliest convenient intersection. The next intersection should be with East Market Street, turn right (east).

Follow it east for a little bit, the road will begin to bend northward becoming Young Street, take a left into the neighborhood on Chicago or Stanton Street. If you cross the bridge, you’ve gone too far. 


Westport Cat Colony

Not a rowdy tavern. Ugh, that was awful…

The coastal hamlet of Westport is a well known destination for clammers, fishermen, kite flyers and… cat colony fanciers?! Well this one at least! 

For me, no trip to Westport is complete without a visit to the abandoned cat colony on the northern most tip of town to try and spy one of the few dozen felines dwelling within the vast seawall.

Crazy Cat Person monument 


Stretching from Lost Sailor’s Memorial at the east end of Neddie Rose Drive to the Observation Tower in the west, the north seawall is home to “The Jetty Cats”. 

The majority of the Jetty Cats seem to reside near the east end, closer to Lost Sailor’s memorial and the public fishing docks. There is ample parking here as well. Oh, and while you’re visitin’ the sea kittens…

The sea wall can also be a productive place to do some fishing when the tide is nice and high. Rock crabs can be abundant as well, but it can be real easy to lose your gear in the rocks…

PROTIP: The Jetty Cats can be pretty secretive, so a sighting isn’t always a guarantee, especially if you’re flailing around and yammering on. Be silent and be gentle and your chances to see one will improve.

Cat’s Café


Spaced along portions of the wall are feeding stations built and maintained by volunteer efforts. 

Basically they’re little cat cafés on poles, each with a metallic anti-raccoon cone keeping unwanted guests from the kitty vittles.

Sadly, all of the colony inhabitants are abandoned pets, some of them will still even approach trusted people. A volunteer capture and spay/neuter program prevents unchecked breeding at the colony. 

If you are interested in learning more or about making donations, contact the Harbor Association of Volunteers for Animals at (360) 942-4716 or write:

H.A.V.A, P.O.Box 243, Raymond, WA 98577

Looking down the cat wall

From the I-5: At Olympia head west on the US101. Bear left onto state Route 8, which becomes the HWY 12 as you continue towards Aberdeen. Once at Aberdeen, head south on the state route 105 which will take you all the way to Westport, follow it north through town to the Sea Kitten’s Lair.



Arthur E. Williams Memorial

I don’t know who this guy was, and being that he died in the mid 1930s, I doubt many alive do. 

This bronze plaque is located on a small lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness (in which memorials are illegal) but perhaps it’s grandfathered in because of it’s age, or maybe very few know that it’s there. 

I was camping within eyeshot of it and probably didn’t see it for an hour. 


Honestly the thing kind of startled me, the sharp contrast of the man made in what feels like the middle of nowhere. 

The plaque was clean and the grout affixing it to the granite in fine condition.

I knelt by the lake and recited the magic words written upon the mysterious plaque three times:

“Because he loved all nature best, he asked that here his ashes rest”

Growing up playing a lot of Nintendo games, I was hoping a secret entrance would appear, or maybe a treasure chest, or a boss enemy.

 But yeah, nothing happened. 

“Well, might as well flog some water…”

After just a couple of casts into the tranquil mountain pond,  I caught myself one beauty of a Golden Trout. 

Maybe the magic words worked after all! 


USGS Snoqualmie Pass; backcountry travel req’d. No trail. 

King County, Washington,  USA

Mysteries of the Cascades: Lost over Mt.Si

DATELINE: North Bend, WA 03JAN2013

Kurt Ruppert Jr.

At approximately 13:56 experienced wing suit jumper Kurt Ruppert Jr. age 29 of Lake City, FL, jumped from a helicopter, intending to glide over Mt.Si and land at a location in North Bend, but was never seen again…

Ruppert was an accomplished jumper, logging over 1,000 jumps in less than a decade.

Neither the pilot nor observers on the ground actually saw Ruppert exit the helicopter nor his path thereafter.

An exhaustive search over four days was conducted by well over one hundred personnel, yet turned up no trace.



Continue reading “Mysteries of the Cascades: Lost over Mt.Si”

Greenwater’s Area 51 or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the Cold War


Did you ever happen to catch The Prisoner? If you are an American I’m guessing probably not.

I happened to have a grandma who was hooked on BBC shows. Consequently I was just as likely to be sat down in front of Monty Python as I was Sesame Street.

Bad rover! Bad!
Bad rover! Bad!

Anyway, on the show The Prisoner there was this strange white orb called The Rover. It kept the prisoners from escaping “The Village” by incapacitating them, I seem to recall that it could even kill people.

Get walkin'
Get walkin’

It made an impact on me as a kid, and the bizarre thing continues to dwell somewhere in my psyche.

Then one day driving down the Hwy 410, there it was. Looming white in contrast to the stately evergreen blanket beneath it. What was the Rover doing here in real life? and in Washington State?

I decided to do some internet research…and then the story got a little weirder.

Turns out that the mysterious white orb was a “gap-filler” radome built during the cold war to detect low flying Soviet Bombers. While that’s not incredibly remarkable, the fact that it is even there may be…

я покажу вам Кузька и мать!
я покажу вам Кузька и мать!

On paper the thing was planned, but never built. Yet there it is, boldly standing in defiance to it’s own non-existence along the Hwy 410.

According to the information I found, the site’s ID designation was to be P-1B

I was also able to get my hands on a current flight planning map, on which it is simply marked as ‘radome’.

Nothing unusual here...
Nothing unusual here…


  1. Bond villain hideout
  2. Aliens bro!
  3. Exclusive nightclub?

The site is hemmed in with barbed wire topped chain-link and to add a little bit to the mystery, the private property signs are completely devoid of any information as to identity of the operators.

It's not flying, so it's not a UFO
It’s not flying, so it’s not a UFO

An L-shaped building with blacked out windows is also within the fenced area.

Numerous security cameras watch your every move with silent vigilance. A tin foil hat might help keep them out of your thoughts.

Tin Foil Cat

Honestly if I were to guess I’d bet this is a Boeing site, but admittedly I base that on very little.

Firstly they are the largest aviation company in the area. (…and the second largest defense contractor on the earth.)

Two-stly, the private property signs look very much like the ones posted around Boeing property.

Shaky? Maybe, but I think it holds up to Occam’s Razor better than Bond Villain nightclub staffed by Aliens. (But I want it to be so badly!)



So far as I could tell there is no legal reason you cannot visit the area, so long as you do not attempt to enter the enclosure itself which is clearly marked as private property.

The Hancock gate at the bottom does not state that a Hancock Forest Pass is required for walk-in entry, but this could be out of date, or subject to change at any time.

Is it just me, or does this look...dirty?
Is it just me, or does this look…dirty?

Know before you go. Trespassing is trespassing, and usually moreso if you are being a general nuisance.


If you are driving SE on the SR 410 during the daylight hours, you will probably notice this thing hanging out on top of the hills north of the highway.

You’ll have to deduce which logging road you will have to take to get you up to the thing. The correct one has a rather large open area to park, and past the gate, starts climbing immediately.

If you get to Federation Forest, you’ve driven too far. (but Federation Forest is another great place to go roaming around!)

When walking up the logging road there are a couple of intersections, when in doubt, stay right.


Oh, and if you ever plan to have children, don’t hang around this thing too long.

Avon calling!
Avon calling!

Happy Trails!