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Blurry Forest by Anna Brunk

From Gold To Bigfoot - Don and Peggy Avery

In 1989 Don and Peggy Avery moved to eastern Washington to pursue their deep interest in the history of the Gold Rush and to mine for gold themselves.

Deciding to use the dousing method, Don bought a Metsker's map of the region and used a quartz crystal he had owned for a number of years. He used this "map dousing" to try to locate gold deposits, and triangulated on a sand bar some 55 miles to the northeast in the Snake River below the lower Granite Dam.

It was a few days before Don and Peggy drove to the area. As they wandered the beach, they were dismayed to see what they thought was streaks of oil contaminating the sands. Upon closer examination, Don realized that the discoloration was actually "black sand", signifying gold deposits in the area. After a search, he found a ledge a dozen yards inland, took some samples. After panning, he found gold in the pan.

Don hit upon a good spot on a beach above the creek (Che Elum area) through dousing and sampling. He filed his mining claim in 1995.  He loved the area, stating it was "always peaceful, inviting, mysterious, and provides a strange sense of solitude". Don was soon to find out he was not the only one enjoying the solitude and peace.

In 1996, it snowed three or four inches on the Veteran's day three day weekend. Don arrived at his claim, parked on the highway, loaded his pack and began the 3/4  mile walk in. Peggy decided to stay in the car and read her book. Don was halfway to his claim when he heard a "guttural snarling sound" coming from a short, steep embankment above the road and off to his right side. The sound was repeated every 10 to 12 seconds. It reminded him of the sound a man might make just before vomiting.

He could see something large and furry or hairy standing at the edge of the tree line about 70 to 75 feet away. Don was afraid and stayed where he was, watching and listening for maybe 10 to 12 minutes. It was then that he realized that whatever this was could have attacked him if it had wanted to. Deciding that the intent was to intimidate, not injure him, he left his gun holstered and began to walk by the figure toward his claim. He was very frightened but was not going to let it scare him away; he figured that the creature must have known him from his prior trips into the area.

Don described the figure as about 6'5" to 6'7". It had no snout or conical ears, appeared "stout", "substantial" weight but no guess as to how much. Having never seen a bear or signs of bear in the area, Don felt pretty sure he could eliminate that explanation.

Don worked his claim for about 20 minutes then decided to return downhill to see if the creature was still around. In addition, he was getting the wet snow from the trees falling on him and his wife might be getting tired of waiting for him. As he approached the hillside, he could again see the creature. It had moved about 25 yards along the bank and closer to the road. Once again it started to make the guttural sounds. Don figures he must have watched the creature for at least 20 minutes that day.

After he returned to the car, Don mentioned to Peggy that he thought he had seen a sick bear, only that it didn't really look like a bear or sound like a bear.  With nothing else to go on, he dismissed the experience from his mind. At least until late March of the following winter (1998).

Don stopped by his claim and again walked the road to his claim. The snow had melted down to where the road was passable on foot. He was amazed at what he found. He saw tracks in the snow where no man would have any logical reason to go. Some of the tracks were fairly old, but all of them were very large. The tracks appeared to follow a regular route, seeming to stay off the road. The creature seemed at times to come part way down the embankment and watch the cars on the highway from behind a bush. Don guessed that maybe the lights attracted it.

He began to leave celery and carrots in the area but had no takers. He set up a camcorder to film the area around him while he worked the claim. He got nothing. At some point, he switched to leaving apples, discovering that the creature liked apples, especially the red ones. Don began to lose interest in working the claim, but he would continue to come by and leave apples in 5 selected places.

In July 1999, Don was on his claim doing some clean up work when he heard the car door slam from down below. When he returned to the car, he asked Peggy what had caused her to leave the car. She told Don that she had heard him call her by name. Don felt a chill, for he rarely called her by her given name. They discussed it for quite awhile. The event still numbs him when he thinks about it.

In late March 2000, Don stopped on his way to Tacoma. The snow was so deep, he had to use snowshoes to get to his claim. Although the snow was very deep, the sun was out. Several yards below his claim near the basalt dike and a steep hill, he noticed some very fresh tracks going from the stream across the road and up the steep hillside. Don could clearly see the toe imprints in the fresh snow and was amazed that this creature could run in deep snow unaided. He tried to run up after it, but fell down and rolled into the ditch below. Feeling like he was drowning in the snow, he was finally able to get his feet under him. Even though he felt the creature was only minutes ahead of him, he gave up the pursuit.

Don and Peggy stopped by on their back from Leavenworth one evening in August 2000. It was around 7 pm. They parked below the claim and exited the car. This time Don carried his camcorder. He could hear a holler or a high-pitched yell coming from down below them near the stream. It was repeated roughly every 10 seconds. They listened for awhile, not knowing what to do.

Don finally yelled a hello in its direction. The creature fell silent. He began to climb the hill to his claim. After a few minutes, he heard something stomp through the brush down below on the other side of the road. Although the sound was coming towards him, whatever was making it managed to avoid Don. He never thought to turn the camcorder on to record the sounds.

Through the years, the creature has left Don a sandstone block at one of the apple placement sites and several handfuls of woodchips at another. The chunk of sandstone would get moved around. When Don would move it back, it would get moved again.

The two moved from the area for a few years, Don let his claim lapse although he would sometimes go back and left apples at least twice a year. They moved back to Washington in 2007.

Don made visual contact again with the creature in October of 2008.  He attempted to sneak up on it while it was slapping a tree with a rock on the far side of the stream below his claim.  

In November of 2008, Don visited his old claim area and again left apples for it. Downhill a few hundred yards from where Peggy had parked the car, they began to hear a very strange noise. It was nothing like anything Don had ever heard. The sound moved on the bank across and above the stream. He knew it wasn't an elk, bear, deer, cat, rodent, or bird. They listened and watched the area for 15 to 20 minutes. The could not be certain what it was, but it was fast and curious and almost brazen.

After over 20 years of interaction, Don and Peggy had these observations and opinions:

1. Peggy thought it knew Don and communicated because he fed it. Don said he had left enough apples to claim it as a dependent.
2. They cannot walk quietly through the brush. It sounded more like an elephant.
3. It was territorial and worked a regular route. The developments west of Cle Elum terrified Don because of the loss of habitat and more people wandering the woods did not bode well for the creature.
4. It picked Don up at a considerable distance. Approaching the creature while concentrating on only positive thoughts was important.
5. Pay attention but don't think too much about finding it.
6. It was very quick and basically nocturnal. It knew when there was a camera mounted close by, day or night.
7. They also thought it knew his car.
8. Sometimes he got the impression that he was maybe dealing with a phantom.
9. It had cognitive abilities that men only dream about. If it could call his wife, having not heard her called by name, then men are moved one step lower on the intelligence ladder.



Nancy

"I'll spark the thought; what you do with it is up to you."
 "Those that know, need no further proof. Those that don't, should not demand it from others, but seek it for themselves."
 

This Post By TCC Team Member Nancy Marietta. Nancy has had a lifelong interest in the paranormal and cryptids. Nancy is also a published author and her book, The Price of war, has been met with great reviews.


[Please Note: Sadly Nancy passed away at the first of January, 2022. We will continue to honor her and her research by sharing her work. RIP Nancy. -Thomas]



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