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:
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.