Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Bigfoot Runes

A mysterious cave contains a strange book that leads to a quest with an unusual and scary companion. The stakes? An entire species.

It suddenly struck me what an incongruous team we were—a giant hairy Bigfoot, a somewhat broken-down scraggly human, and a small scruffy dog. I was pretty sure the Canadian Border Patrol had never seen the likes of us—and I hoped they never would.” 

Well, it's finally here! My new book is out and available at in both Kindle and print format.

I'll post more on it later, but feel free to ask any questions here or email me at rustybigfoot at

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wow! I'm interviewed on a very cool blog!

Alisha Paige has a very cool blog and invited me over for an interview. The coffee was great and the fresh cookies were sublime, and don't forget to pick up a few of her books while you're there, definitely page-turners! Thanks, Alisha!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Book Out, Here's a Story from it...

I haven't been posting much lately because I'm working on a new book that should be out in just a few days on I'll post the link when it's up.
It's called "Rusty Wilson's 12 Pack of Bigfoot Campfire Stories" and will be an ebook. I'm also working on a shorter 6 pack ebook. When they're both up as ebooks, I'll combine them in an 18 pack for the print version. 

In addition, I won't be updating this blog much in the next month, as I'm going Squatchin! I just bought a little camp trailer and I'm going to stay in it in the backwoods and work on another book while wood knocking and whooping at night, hoping to get some Bigfoot to join me and tell some stories. I might even grill a few steaks to add to the interest. I'll keep you posted!

UPDATE: Here's the link to the 12 pack book, and the link to the Six Pack book. If you want them combined into one print book, here it is.

Here's the cover of the 12 pack, I think the Bigfoot are kinda cute:

And here's a story:

Bone Games
Jerry was a small wiry guy I met at a flyfishing class I was teaching in my home town. We got to talking afterwards, and when I learned he was camping in his little trailer, I invited him to come home with me for one of my wife Sarah’s good homemade spaghetti dinners.
As we sat around after dinner, the talk inevitably turned to camping, and Jerry shared the following strange story. I’ve never heard anything like it, and I wondered if it were some kind of coming of age ritual. 
I did get to meet his two cats, M&M, who he claims are way smarter than him, and this story makes you wonder. Nothing new there, animals seem to always beat us out when it comes to instinct, at least that’s been my experience. Now if we could just learn to listen to them...  —Rusty
My name is Jerry and I live in my RV full time. After I was laid off from my last job as a computer programmer, I sold my house and bought a little Casita travel trailer and a new Dodge pickup. I put a shell on the pickup and use the back for storing lots of water and supplies, and I can go sometimes up to a month before I have to go to town for anything. I like to do what’s called boondocking, which means you camp out with no hookups. I hate RV parks.
I have two cats, and I was trying to figure out how to make it so they could come along, as they’re my buddies. I call them M&M for Max and Missy. They’re both black and from the same litter when a friend’s cat had kittens. I’ve had them since they were babies.
So, as things transpired, I taught them to walk on a leash, and I also built a wire cage off my trailer where they can go sit in the sun. They can go through a storage door and out into the cage, where they can sit and watch things happen. They love that little sunroom, and I just fold it up into the trailer when I travel.
Anyway, I usually spend two or three weeks in the same spot, going down to Arizona and New Mexico in the winter and then up further north in the summer. It’s a really nice lifestyle, and I get computer internet jobs here and there. I don’t need much money. I have a satellite dish that allows me to get the internet from pretty much anywhere. This all has some bearing on my story, so stick with me here.
OK, I was down in northern New Mexico, not too far from Taos, working my way north, as it was starting to get hot. I had driven up towards the ski area in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains until I found a dirt road, then I just drove up it as far as I could go. I ended up in a small meadow in the trees, very quiet and peaceful and private, just my cup of tea.
Ah, the good life! I was stocked up and had everything I needed to stay awhile. People always ask me how I keep from getting bored out there in the same spot all the time, and I always say it’s easy. I hike, listen to my satellite radio system, read lots of books on my Kindle, and do silversmithing. The silversmithing is starting to pay more than my programming, and I have several small galleries around the country who buy my stuff. So, I keep busy. And I also take M&M around for walks all the time on their leashes. I never get bored, and I never get lonely.
And I never get afraid—well, I didn’t used to, anyway.
So, I pulled the trailer into this nice spot and unhooked the truck, got some things like my camp chair out, then set up the cat house. That’s what I call the little wire room, the cat house.
I was busy messing around and finally went back inside to make some lunch, when I noticed M&M weren’t in the cat house. That’s usually the first thing they do, is run out into the cat house and sit there and survey their surroundings, like “Where we at now, Pops?” 
They were both sitting by an open window, looking out, not wanting to go outside, just sitting there. That in itself should’ve told me something was up, as they’d never done this before, sit by a window when they could be in their cat house. I figured they were tired or something.
I made PBJ sandwiches and sat in my camp chair and ate, then made some tea. After a bit, I decided to take M&M for a little walk and see the country around camp. I went back inside and put their halters and leashes on them, then opened the door. Usually they’ll bolt outside, as they love walks, but neither did, they just sat there. I tried to kind of drag them a little, but they started pulling back. Neither wanted to go out of the trailer, which was another first.
This kind of made me stop and wonder if they weren’t getting sick or something. This was worrisome, but they’d both eaten a good breakfast and acted fine otherwise, so I decided not to push it. Animals are just like us, they have their off days sometimes.
So, I grabbed my jacket and decided to go explore around camp a bit without them. They could sleep in the trailer. I set out a little pan of milk for them, then headed out, leaving the little meadow and following a small animal trail, walking into the aspen and fir forest. 
It was a beautiful day, and I was pretty happy to be in such a nice spot. It felt private and sheltered, and the forest was pristine, unlike some of the areas I’ve been where people left trash and did ATV damage. I was soon in another small meadow, and as I crossed it, I noticed something white in a tree over on the north end. I decided to go see what it could be, as it was up there kind of high. I figured it was some trash that had blown in.
Well, when I got there, I could see there were about ten bones hung in this big pine tree, like ornaments on a Christmas tree. They were large bones, like from cattle. It was kind of weird seeing bones high in the tree as if someone had hung them up there, yet that someone would’ve had to be a lot taller than I was.
I stood there for awhile, trying to figure it out, when I started to feel uncomfortable. This was a first for me, as I usually feel much safer out in the woods than in town. I carry a knife in a case on my belt, but I’ve never had to use it for anything, and I’ve never felt the need to be armed. The only thing out in the woods is an occasional bear and an even less occasional mountain lion, and I’d only seen one bear in all my camping times, so I didn’t worry too much about wild animals. 
But now, as I stood there, I felt uncomfortable, then I started to feel fear, which is another first for me. Like I said, I feel safer out there than in town.
I figured someone had been here before and found a cow skeleton and thrown it up in the tree for fun, but it seemed like the bones had been hung there. They just were too neat and all oriented the same way, and like I said, it would have to be someone real tall who could do that, like maybe eight or even nine feet tall. They just didn’t look like they’d been thrown up there. Maybe someone had used a stick to somehow put the bones up there, I thought.
Well, the longer I stood there, the weirder I felt, so I just turned and hightailed it out of there, kind of looking back and all around me like maybe something was following me. It was that kind of feeling, like I wasn’t alone, and I didn’t like it one bit.
I got back to my little trailer and went inside, where the cats seemed awfully glad to see me, more so than usual. Now, keep in mind that while these things were happening, I wasn’t paying attention to all these signs and putting them together, that came later when it was all over and I was thinking back. If I’d had the presence of mind to put this all together as it was happening, I would’ve been out of there immediately.
I sat there in my little trailer for a bit, kind of looking back the way I just came, wondering if there was a bear or something in there. That country only has black bears, so I wasn’t too worried. I finally started feeling better and turned on the radio and started reading an old Western I’d picked up at the last laundromat. It was pretty good, and I got all involved in it and forgot about the weird feeling.
That evening was nice and cool, and there were no mosquitoes, something I really like about those dry New Mexico mountains. I sat out on my chair and drank tea, trying to coax the cats to come out into their cat house, but no go. They wanted nothing to do with being outside, and they actually acted like they wanted to hide. They kept trying to get into the cupboards and under the covers on my bed. In retrospect, animals have much better senses than we humans, and they pay attention to them.
Finally, the sun set and I decided to go to bed. I woke sometime in the middle of the night, which I sometimes do, and had to go take a leak. I stepped out of the trailer for a minute and did my thing in the bushes, and as I was standing there, I could hear a strange clanking kind of noise coming from the distance, the direction I’d found the bones. I went back to the trailer and stood in the door, listening. 
It’s hard to describe, but it sounded like a xylophone a little bit, like something hollow being hit with a hard stick. It was truly the strangest sound I’ve ever heard, and being out alone like that in the middle of nowhere made it even more unsettling. I listened until I started getting really freaked out, then I went back inside and locked the door. I decided that I would leave the next day. This place was just too strange.
I finally fell asleep and woke to the sun in my face. I’d slept way later than usual, but I still had a hard time waking up. After two cups of strong coffee and some oatmeal, I felt a little better and decided to try to get M&M to go out for a little walk with me. I was feeling different now that it was daylight and the strangeness of the night was gone. 
But the cats wouldn’t budge. In fact, neither of them had touched the canned food I’d given them as a treat, which was unheard of. I was now beginning to really worry they might be getting sick.
I decided to go ahead and hitch the trailer up, then I started putting things away. I would leave, but I wasn’t in any real hurry, just sometime after lunch would do. I actually liked this spot a lot, and if it weren’t for the strangeness, I would stay longer. 
I got everything ready to go, then went inside and made some coffee and booted up my little laptop to check out nearby state parks, looking for the next spot.
Well, one of my main clients was a guy back east who owned a furniture supply company. He supplied stuff for schools, you know, desks and chairs and all that. I had built his online catalog and was the only one who really knew what the coding was all about. 
There on my email was a message from him, and he was frantic. The entire thing had crashed, and he had several schools wanting to purchase stuff before their fiscal year ended. This crash was going to cost him big bucks if we didn’t get it fixed immediately.
I sat down and got into it and finally solved the problem, but it wasn’t until late afternoon. I really didn’t want to take off in the evening with no idea where I was going. So, as you can probably guess, I was there for another night. I just hoped it wouldn’t be like the previous night, though nothing had really happened, just the strange noises. 
That evening, the cats seemed to be hungry, though they didn’t eat much. But at least they were eating, so my worry about them being sick lessened. But there was still no way they wanted to go outside. I had taken their screen room down and closed up the trailer hole, which was really a door leading into the cargo area. I figured if things got too weird, we would just leave during the night, since everything was all packed and pretty much ready to go.
I sat out by the trailer after dinner, just looking at what I could see of the sunset through the trees and thinking about nothing much in general. 
You know how there’s usually a little breeze as the sun sets, as the sudden change in warmth changes the barometric pressure? Well, the evening breeze hit, but only for a moment, as it usually does, but this time it carried a strange odor on it. I tried to figure it out, but it wasn’t quite the smell of a skunk, but close. It was more musky and foul smelling, and it also kind of smelled like something dead, all of that combined. The breeze died down and the smell went away.
I was again feeling some consternation. Maybe I should just get out now, while it was dusk and I could see a bit. But I hadn’t really figured out where to go, and I didn’t want to be going down the road in the dark, as it was rough. When you’re pulling a trailer, even a small one, you kind of need a plan of where you’re going to stop.
I was tired. I hadn’t got enough sleep last night, and the intense work of the afternoon on the computer had helped wear me out. At least that’s how I explain to myself later what I did, because there’s no other explanation. It was a really stupid thing to do.
As I was taking my chair in, the noise from the previous night started up again. It was more distinct, and I think this was because the breeze was coming from that direction. It really didn’t sound very far away at all. For the life of me, it sounded like bones whacking on bones.
Like I said, I was tired, and I just instinctively reacted. I decided to go see what it was. I closed the trailer door, made sure everything was ready to go, and checked that my keys were in my pocket, then slowly headed for the little meadow towards the direction of the sound. Something said to be extra cautious and to stay hidden, so I carefully kind of slinked from tree to tree. By now it was almost dark.
As I got closer, the smell started back up again, that skunky yucky smell. It was pretty gaggy at this point, but I kept going. The little meadow really wasn’t that far from my camp, so it wasn’t long until I was there, looking out from the edge of the trees. And sure enough, this was where the sound was coming from, and it was now pretty loud. Clank, clank, clank, it sounded just like bone on bone.
It took my eyes a minute to get used to the shadows, but I then stood there in a mixture of shock and fear. What I saw is hard to describe, but I’ll try. It’s partly hard to describe for two reasons: one, as soon as I realized what I was looking at, I ran, and two, my brain had trouble processing an image so foreign to it.
There, on the far side of the meadow where the bones had hung from the tree, were a dozen or so black masses—huge, thick, muscular, and terrifying black masses that stood upright, and several looked to be well over seven feet tall. It was now almost dark, so it was difficult to tell exactly what they looked like, but I could see well enough to make out general shapes. 
They all had shaggy hair and walked on two legs with large muscular arms that were exceptionally long. They seemed to be a bit stooped at the shoulders with round heads that kind of came to a peak at the top. They looked like their heads kind of met their collar bones directly, without much of a neck.
As I stood there, a sense of terror washed over me that I’ve never felt before or since. I was downwind of them, and the smell was about to gag me, but what I saw puzzled me enough that I stood there for a few moments longer than I might have otherwise—they were doing something, and that something involved the bones that had been hanging in the tree, some kind of game or ritual or something. 
One of them held a big bone, maybe a cow’s leg bone, and one-by-one the others would come alongside him and try to knock the big bone from his hands with their own bones, which ranged from leg bones to collar bones, all the bones that had been hanging in the tree. It was maybe some kind of test of strength or something.
It was then I noticed a bunch of similar shadows, but smaller, sitting at the edge of the meadow across from me. This looked like a group of females and children, as they seemed to generally be a bit smaller, and the children ranged from small ones to what were probably teenagers. They sat there, watching this game or ritual or whatever it was.
I was only there for a moment, but as I stood there, one of the big guys managed to knock the leg bone from the other guy’s hand. This was followed by a huge chattering from everyone, contestants and audience alike, and they sounded a lot like monkeys. Some of the females and children stood and started jumping up and down, and I swear to God they looked just like gorillas, at least their motions, anyway, though they were more like humans in their upright carriage. They were all very excited.
Now the guy who knocked the leg bone out of the big guy’s hand, he and the big guy started wrestling while everyone stood around watching. It was something to behold, the strength and power of these animals, whatever they were. It was very scary, yet I couldn’t take my eyes off them. I felt sick when I realized they could snap my neck in a heartbeat if one of them had wanted to.
I quickly came to my senses and snuck away, and when I was sure I was out of sight, I ran as hard as I could back to my trailer. I never let the cats ride free in the trailer, I always put them in the truck with me in their cat carriers, but that late evening, I simply jumped in my truck and headed out in the dark, cats still in the trailer. I didn’t want to even turn on my headlights for fear the monsters would see me, but I had no choice, as it was now too dark to see without lights.
I drove out of there as fast as I could, and I think I put a few years on my rig, hitting ruts and bumps a bit faster than was prudent. It wasn’t until I got back to the main highway that I stopped by the road, went and got the cats, and brought them into the cab with me. They were pretty shook up, to say the least, but not nearly as much as I was.
I drove on into Taos, gassed up, then headed north on the highway. I drove far into the night until I came to the Walmart in Durango, Colorado, then pulled into their parking lot. It was early in the morning, and I’d been on the road for hours. I was exhausted.
I took M&M into the trailer with me and fed them. They seemed really happy and ate like pigs. We all then crawled into my bed and I didn’t wake up until mid-morning the next day when a big rig pulled in nearby. 
I normally would never stay in a Walmart parking lot, but it felt so good to be there that I just stayed that day and into the next, resting and sleeping and trying to figure out what had happened. I finally called my son, who I knew would talk to me, as we’re pretty close. After hearing my story, he told me I’d seen Bigfoot.
I would never have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself. And now I tend to camp more around people and not so much back in the woods alone. I just feel safer that way.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Story from My New Book!

I just published my newest book, a collection of wild stories I've heard around the campfire. I think my favorite is "The Dino Boneyard," but they're all equally weird—at least so I've been told. I would like to give you a free story from the book, but Amazon won't let me, since it's enrolled in their Kindle Select program, which pushes exclusivity, only through Amazon, that kind of thing.

Oh what the heck, here's one anyway, just don't tell, OK?

The Bush Pilot
This story was told over a picnic table high in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. I was the only one present, as the guy who told it didn’t think anyone else would believe him, so he waited until we were alone. I guess I believe him, but it’s sure a strange tale. —Rusty
Scotty and I were friends, and somehow I think we still are, even though he’s passed over to the other side, wherever that is. I dunno, but he’ll always have a place in my heart. Especially after he saved my life, and I know it was him.
I met Scott McDonald when we were both pretty much just kids. I was hanging around the airport in Fairbanks, Alaska, watching the planes come in. At that time, the airport was pretty small, and it was a pretty happening place, as the oil business was booming and the Fairbanks airport was a hub for it all. I used to go down there after school was out and just hang around, soaking it all in. 
I wanted nothing more than to be a bush pilot. It was a life of adventure, and I craved adventure. This was back in high school, and I’m still that way. Nothing like a good day in the air, though I don’t fly as much as I used to.
Scotty was a few years older than me, and he’d been flying since before he was old enough to be legal. He started just like I did, hanging around the airport, just being a general gofor guy for everyone, and that bought him some time on the planes when they were taking tourists out and had an extra seat. 
So he started getting to see some country, and that translated into him getting to go along and help on some of the freight flights, when they were hauling stuff in to the oil guys. He eventually got his license and was doing the freight runs himself, then, after he got the experience and hours in the air, he became a full-on pilot, hauling people into the bush. He learned the business from the ground up, so to say.
My parents had moved the family to Alaska when I was about 15, my mom getting a job in school administration and my dad working in the hospital. We’d moved from sunny California, and  it took us all awhile to get used to the long cold dark winters, but the summers in Alaska made up for it. 
We all loved Alaska, and for me, it was the gateway to adventure. I wanted nothing more than to be a bush pilot. I think that made my parents a bit nervous, as it has a reputation for being a dangerous job, but they didn’t stand in my way.
So, meeting Scotty was my ticket to the air. When I met him, he was able to haul freight but not people, so I couldn’t fly with him. He was still working on getting air hours. But we hit it off, and he had the contacts to get me going, and I started out pretty much the same way he had, except my dad would pitch in once in awhile for a lesson, so I was able to progress a bit faster.
By the time I was about 22, I was able to haul freight, and by 24, I was a full-on bush pilot. I ended up mostly flying floatplanes to remote areas, taking in fishermen and climbers and even ferrying locals around for doctor appointments, that kind of thing. I usually flew a Beaver or Otter on floats, but then I was finally able, with my dad’s help, to buy my own plane.
I’ll never forget the time I took a pilot from a big airline into the bush, along with his friend. He looked me up and down before getting into my little Cessna 207, then asked me how old I was and how many hours I had. He acted like he wasn’t gonna get into the plane with me. When I told him around 1200, he was incredulous. What he didn’t know was that I spent all my free time in a plane, and I’d been flying since I was 17. By then, it was second nature to me. After we landed on a lake way out in the bush, he told me he was jealous. This from a guy in his 40s who had been flying a big Boeing all over the world.
Anyway, Scotty was one of the most generous guys I’ve ever met. Whatever you needed, if he could help, it was yours. Everyone liked Scotty, and he was the first guy to be called by returning tourists, they all wanted to fly with Scotty. He had a great sense of humor and would go out of his way for you, whatever you needed. 
I heard stories about him long after he was gone, things like how he would stop at some remote village and drop off fresh supplies even though the natives couldn’t pay for them, all out of his own pocket. Or how one little native girl needed surgery and he arranged for it all, including raising the money for it and flying her back and forth to the doctor.
Being a bush pilot isn’t a high-paying job, regardless of what people generally think. You do OK, but you can only fly in the summer months. And it’s expensive to live in Alaska. But Scotty did pretty well, as he’d go down to the Lower 48 and spend his winters flying tourists around down there, so his income was better than most of us. 
He worked out of Tucson, Arizona, and as we both got older and wiser, he always told me he was going to give up flying the bush and go down there year-round, but he never did. Bush flying gets in your blood and it’s hard to give up. There’s nothing like it—flying over a big herd of musk oxen or a pack of wolves out in the middle of nowhere, or a beautiful glacier far from the hand of humans. It’s always an adventure. 
But it can be hazardous if you don’t know what you’re doing or neglect to find out about the local conditions, or if you don’t set personal limits. It’s a thrilling job with lots of adrenaline sometimes, and it can be tempting to push it, to overestimate your own abilities. Common sense is what keeps you alive, and sometimes you think you’re invincible when you’ve flown through so much extreme weather and in such extreme country, sometimes landing on small strips of water or on sandbars and in places planes aren’t really made to go. One old-time pilot told me that you’re not a bush pilot until you’ve had a few crashes, so I guess I never was a true bush pilot, even though Scotty ended up there. But I bet he would have preferred not to have that designation in the end, he would’ve been happier to not crash.
So, Scotty and I flew a lot in the same circles, though rarely together. But we were close friends, and when we were both in town, we’d get together and have a beer or two whenever we could. I would also often stop at the hanger where he kept his little Piper Super Cub.
Well, one day I stopped by to see if Scotty was around, and he was just sitting there on the big beat-up bean bag he had in the hanger, drinking coffee. I greeted him, and he seemed happy enough to see me, but I knew right away something was wrong. I could sense it in how he held his shoulders, he wan’t his usual happy-go-lucky self.
“What’s up, Scotty?” I asked.
“Oh not much, just found out an old friend just crashed his plane. Down in Arizona.”
“Bummer,” I replied. “What happened? Is he OK?”
“Yeah, he’s fine, he lost power coming in and couldn’t quite make the runway. Engine malfunction.”
“Trash the plane?”
“Somewhat, but it’s fixable. Undercarriage. He’ll be out for a bit.”
“So why so bummed? He’s OK, that’s good.”
“Yeah, I know, but it just makes me think. Not good to think sometimes, you know.”
“I know, Scot, I know. Too many things to think about if you let yourself get started in this biz. Got anything planned soon?”
“Yeah, I got a couple I’m taking out to the Brooks Range. They have a cabin they built way out in the middle of nowhere and I fly them in when they go, about twice a year.”
Scotty didn’t use floats, preferring land, saying it was more stable. He paused, and I helped myself to a cup of coffee. He then continued.
“You know, I keep having this weird dream, Lynn, it’s starting to freak me out a bit.”
Now, some people can be a bit superstitious, which makes sense, as superstitions are a way to try to get a little control over the unknown, like crossing yourself before you take off. But bush pilots are a different breed, and I’ve never known one who was even a bit superstitious. They’re as pragmatic as it gets. I guess they figure if their skill and luck don’t hold, well, that’s life. So, for Scotty to be upset by a dream wasn’t like him at all.
“What’s the dream?” I asked, not sure I wanted to know. I was having a sense of foreboding, and I didn’t like it.
“Aw, it’s just a dream, but it keeps coming back. No big deal, really, but I keep dreaming I’m flying over a big lake, kind of a bowl in these big mountains, where I see a plane crashed, kind of tipped in the water, one wing down. So I circle, and I see three people walking out, but they’re going the wrong way, like they’re disoriented.”
He continued. “So, I circle back around and head the right way for them to go out, and sort of waggle my wings. I do this a couple of times, and it’s pretty tight in there, but they finally get the message and start walking out the right direction. I then call in and report it, trying to get them some help.”
“Well,” I answered, kind of relieved, “Why is that so bad?”
“It’s what comes after,” he replied. “I’m on the radio, and all of a sudden, everything just goes black and I can hear a terrible crashing noise. It’s like I crashed the plane into something.”
Oh man, I didn’t want to hear that one bit. It gave me goosebumps.
“Look, it’s just a dream, right? You don’t believe in premonitions, do you?” I asked.
“No, actually I don’t. Maybe it’s just my subconscious trying to get my attention. I’ve been a bit lax lately with a few things.”
“Yeah, that’s it,” I replied. “Always slow down and remember to be safe. You’re the one who taught me that rule, and it’s a good one to live by, if you get my meaning.”
Scotty smiled and stood up. “Hey, thanks, bud, I need to just slow down. In fact, I need to do some maintenance, that’s part of it, I’ve been putting it off a bit and that’s bad. But Lynn, I’ve been meaning to tell you, I think I’m going to leave Alaska, for good. Move to Tucson.”
“No kidding?”
“Yeah, this bush flying is starting to get to me. I mean, I never thought I’d give it up, but I keep having these feelings like it’s time. Hard to explain.”
“Well, Scotty, if you do, I may be right behind you.”
“You starting to feel that way, too?”
“I’m not getting any younger. I’m pretty burned out on the long winters up here. Forty below zero is getting old. My wife’s about had it.”
We talked a bit more about little things, then I started out the door, as I had to do a transport to a small village. I was kind of excited about Scotty leaving, don’t tell me why, as I knew I’d miss him. But it kind of tempered him telling me about the recurring dream a bit. Maybe it would be good if he moved to a safer place for flying.
But as I turned to go out the door, he stopped me.
“Lynn, I’m not sure I should tell you this or not, I mean, it’s just a dream, but maybe you should know that you were one of the ones walking along looking for a route out. You’d crashed your plane. Be careful out there, buddy.” 
He put his hand on my shoulder, and for the first and what would also be the last time, though I didn’t know it then, we kind of hugged each other.
I felt kind of unsettled about what he’d told me, and I vowed to be safer myself. But I gradually forgot about his dream, and I didn’t think much about it, until a couple of weeks later, when I got a call from one of the guys I sometimes flew with.
Scotty had crashed his plane. 
He was flying alone, having taken some guys into the bush to fish. On his way back, he’d inexplicably veered off course and up into some pretty severe country. Once up there, he’d seen a little lake in a bowl and circled down. A private pilot had crashed his plane trying to land on a small lake, and he and his two passengers were walking out. Scotty had radioed in their location and shown them the correct way out when he suddenly crashed head-on into a big unnamed mountain. The people on the ground had seen it all, and they said he’d made no attempt to swerve away, just hit it full on. Nobody could figure that out, but maybe he was distracted. A rescue party would be going in, but it didn’t look good for a body recovery, as the plane wreckage was strewn all over a huge avalanche area, a really steep mountainside.
I was shocked. So, Scotty’s dream had been a precognition after all—or was it what had caused him to crash, more of a self-fulfilling prophecy? After all, he’d said I was one of those on the ground, and here I was, no plane crash that I was aware of. But it creeped me out anyway.
I decided not to fly for awhile. I was scared, to be honest, and I felt unsafe. I was beginning to think maybe I was a bit superstitious after all. And I was mourning Scotty. He’d been a close part of my life since we’d been kids, and I really felt his loss.
I shut everything down and took a break, went fishing, hung around the house and did some projects I’d been putting off, that kind of thing. My wife understood, and she had never been the type to tell me what to do, so I just went with it until I started getting bored.
And then, I got a call from a retired couple who wanted to go sightseeing. Everyone else was busy, and this was the only time they could go. They were visiting their daughter up here from Florida, getting out of the heat, and could I take them out? 
I decided it would be OK. I needed to get back to work, and this would be a nice relaxing trip. We’d go out for a few hours and see some mountains and wildlife. I headed down to the hanger and got everything ready, and we were soon in the air. It was an exhilarating feeling to be back up, and they were thrilled with every minute of it. I remembered that this was what made my job so rewarding, this very kind of thing.
When I would do a sightseeing tour like this, I’d follow a kind of standard route, but today I decided to veer off it a bit. I think it was a combination of their excitement and my missing flying that made me do this, as I normally would think twice. But the weather was perfect, and I decided to take them up to see some beautiful high-mountain scenery not normally on the route. 
I climbed a good deal and kind of flew along the flanks of the mountains, not wanting to get up too high. I wasn’t interested in fighting downdrafts, I just wanted to give them a glimpse of that beautiful Alaska scenery. 
But before I knew it, I started having problems. We’d hit a downdraft, and it grabbed on and started taking us down. Now, I’ve flown lots of downdrafts, but this one was different. It seemed like there was nothing I could do to get out of it. That’s when I realized I was running out of gas.
I couldn’t believe it! Running out of gas? That was a problem that was out of my realm of thinking. I always checked the gas levels and filled up before going anywhere. What I didn’t know was that I had a gas leak, and even though the gauge said full when we left, I’d lost most of my fuel.
I had to set down, and fast. But there was nowhere to set down, just a tiny lake in a bowl right below us. I circled down and managed to land on it, then got to shore before the engine died completely.
Wow, what a shock! From an enjoyable trip to near disaster! Now what? I tried to radio out, but there was no reception.
I bet you can guess what’s next, because this story has a familiar ring to it, and it did to me even while I was living it. I could’t believe it was happening.
We had no idea which way to go to get out. It would seem obvious, but we had to find a way to cross over a big ridge. And I wasn’t real sure this older couple could even hike out and make it. They certainly weren’t the hiking type.
We assessed our options, and they decided they wanted to try hiking out with me rather than staying with the plane. I grabbed my survival pack, and we headed out. By then, I had no idea what was the best course to take, and they were adults, so we operated on the democratic principle.
Now, if you’ve ever tried walking through the Alaska bush, it’s not easy going. You need a machete, mosquito repellent, and a grizzly gun, and we had none of these. And it didn’t take long until we were scratched up and totally lost.
This whole time, I was thinking about Scotty’s dream, but when I saw a bush plane overhead waggling its wings, showing us the way out, I felt like I was in that dream myself. We changed direction and the plane circled, waggling its wings again, so we again changed direction. When it came back around, I knew we were on the right course.
But then suddenly, instead of circling again, it headed straight for a huge mountain above us. Before we could even gasp, it had crashed into it! But there was no sound, no crashing noise, nothing, no debris. We stood there in shock. It was as if the plane had just gone into the mountain.
It wasn’t long before we topped out on the ridge and saw another plane, and I knew this one was a rescue. It managed to land on a small flat area and pick us up.
It was some time later, after I’d retrieved my plane, that one of the guys told me it was a good thing I’d had the presence of mind to put out a mayday call with our location.
I just looked at him strangely. There hadn’t been time for a mayday call. But someone had indeed made one.
That’s when I knew it was Scotty.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Little Bigfoot Expert—A New Generation of Bigfoot Researchers!

I received a very special letter yesterday from a Third Grader named Everett that I'd like to share with you:

Dear Rusty Wilson,

I have been a Bigfoot believer since I was seven and I am now nine. My name is Everett. I've wanted to see a Bigfoot in real life, but I haven't yet. I live right in the middle of Iowa, but almost all of the sightings have been in the eastern part of Iowa.

I wanted to know if Joe ever went back and saw another Bigfoot? And if Baker and his sister ever told their story of Bigfoot to anybody else than you? I also wanted to hear any encounters you had if you ever had one. I do kind of want to know about your lifestyle. I can tell you about mine! 

So anyways I truly believe in Bigfoot. One I heard whistling in the woods. I'm really good at calling and communicating with them too. I watched this episode on Animal Planet called "Finding Bigfoot" and they heard this whistle, so I wonder if I had the encounter. I never saw it though. My friend Taylor heard this low deep growl in the woods when she was by a stream. I think it was Bigfoot, if it was Bigfoot it probably growled because she was too close to their water source, but I don't know. I'm almost like a little Bigfoot expert! Ha! Ha! I saw other Bigfoot books by you too. I really want to read them. Please write back and answer my questions.

Bigfoot believer, just like you,

Well, Everett, I'll be sending you a letter soon, but I just wanted to share this with my readers, as it's fun to know someone at your young age is studying the Bigfoot mystery. Everett's mom tells me he's also started a Bigfoot Believer Club at his school and has 13 members already! 

The book he's referring to is Six Short Bigfoot Campfire Stories. I don't think Joe ever went back, from the way he talked, but I did, as I live not far from where that incident happened (Buffalo Pass near Steamboat Springs). I did hear some strange sounds there, but never saw anything. And as for Baker and his sister, I know they told their parents about their encounter, but I don't know about telling others.

And Everett, my lifestyle is actually pretty quiet most of the time, though I love it—taking people out to nice fishing spots and helping them learn how to catch a few (we do catch and release), and then sometimes making a big dutch-oven dinner for everyone and afterwards sitting around the campfire talking about Bigfoot. There are worse ways to live.

Maybe Everett will come out West one of these days and do some Squatchin' with me. If he ever does, I know we'll have some good stories to tell! And thanks for the great letter, my young friend, some more books are on their way. Keep on squatchin'!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ghosts??? Dunno....

Well, people keep asking me if I ever hear anything besides Bigfoot stories around the campfire, and of course I do. There are always the inevitable spook and ghost type stories, but to me, these are kind of just weird and not necessarily true, just figments of the imagination. I believe Bigfoot exists, but ghosts—well, dunno, never seen one.

But...I will say I've heard some really strange stories. After talking to a friend (who does believe in the stranger side of life), I decided to put down a few of these for posterity or whatever. The first one is probably the strangest of the bunch, and it's called "The Ghost of the Canadian Mountie."

Now, it's not what you might think, like some weird Canadian Mountie ghost comes to haunt someone out in the backcountry where said Mountie died a horrible death or something. No, it's just plain strange and has more to do with destiny and precognition. 

Anyway, you can now buy it on Amazon for the princely sum of 99 cents. And better yet, it's going to be free tomorrow and the next day (Jan. 14 and 15, 2012). It also has a Bigfoot ghost story included, "The Green River Ghost,"  from my first book. Even if you're not into ghost stories, I think you'll enjoy this tale...or is it true???