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DATE: toward the end
COUNTY: Custer County
LOCATION DETAILS: I don't recall the number of the forest service road, but if you drive west on S.H. 165 and go past Lake San Isabel, it goes to the left off the highway and then heads west and south back toward Greenhorn Mtn to the Blue Lakes. This sighting took place shortly after the private Ophir Creek Campground which was also on the left side of the forest service road.
NEAREST TOWN: San Isabel, Colorado
NEAREST ROAD: State Highway 165
OBSERVED: In late July of 1998 my youngest son (who was 18 then)and I lived in Western Arkansas and took a week-long camping trip to the Wet Mountains in Colorado west of Pueblo. I had done most of the driving to get there and we arrived there well after midnight searching for a place to camp and fish. My son does not enjoy crowds when camping so we looked for some place "out of the way" yet not too remote. We drove up a forest service road near Ophir Creek looking for a campground we had seen a sign for. As I recall it was probably three or four in the morning. I know it was still dark outside. We located the campground, but unfortunately it appeared to be operated not by the Forest Service but by a private individual who had very opposing views to the government and authority in general, as evidenced by a very descriptive sign at the entrance to the "campground". My son and I continued on up the forest service road toward a place we later found to be Blue Lakes near Greenhorn Mountain. As we were driving up this road which wound in an out of pine trees and open meadows we came to a long straight stretch of road. As I approached this straight part of the road I notice a small "pocket" of trees illuminated by my headlights on the left side of the road. The trees bordered the road there, but it was open meadow leading up to the pocket of trees. In the center of the stand of trees I saw an orange light that I at first took to be a reflector on a pole or stick marking the road. As I got within twenty or thirty yards of the trees I seemed to notice movement and thought someone was walking in the trees and smoking a cigarette and I was seeing the "cherry" at the tip of the cigarette. I still felt no cause for concern and remember thinking facetiously that it was one of the "Ophir Creek Campground Wackos" out for a four in the morning recon. I continued to drive up the road and watched the orange light fade as the lights no longer shined directly into the trees. As we rolled by my son said "Dad?" in a questioning tone. He had seen the orange light/reflection also and was pointing into the trees to the left. I noticed a large rock in the periphery of my headlights and something standing behind the rock turning it's head to follow the movement of my truck as we drove past the trees at the edge of the road. It was probably ten to fifteen feet off the road. I started to brake but something inside said don't stop so I didn't. What I saw in those few moments was definitely humanoid or bipedal, whatever you want to call it. It was standing perfectly erect, not slumped and was definitely watching my pickup and turning it's head and upper body to keep my truck in sight. The large rock hid the lower half of the body but I could see a vague outline of it's torso (from about where the navel would be on a human being), shoulders, and head as I passed. I do not recall seeing any distinct outline of arms in the very brief time this happened. I would say the whole incident took 15 to thirty seconds to transpire. I drove on up the road watching my mirror but saw nothing in the red glow of my taillights. I looked over at my son whose only comment was, "did we just see what I think we saw?" I told him "yes, I think we did." We drove on up to Blue Lakes and talked about what we had seen and then took a short nap (with the doors locked) waiting for daylight so we could set up camp. Later that morning after daylight had come and we set up camp, we drove back down the road to the stand of trees and got out to look around. The ground was covered in pine needles (except the road area and a creek bed about twenty of thirty yards away.) We both stood by the large rock and realized the "creature" had to have been 7 to 7-1/2 feet tall because the top of the rock was at the level of our chests (he and I are 5'10" tall). We found one spot in the edge of the road where it appeared something had come down off the hillside on the right side of the road. There were no distinct tracks in the packed gravel of the road, but there were two spots where small rocks (maybe thumbnail size) had been disturbed and pushed from the roadside toward the hillside (90 degrees from the direction of normal vehicle travel). I took several photos of the stand of trees, the large rock, the marks on the roadside and an indistinct depression in the moist edge of the creek. There was nothing that specifically proved it was a Bigfoot standing in those trees watching us drive by, but my son and I have no doubt that it was.
ALSO NOTICED: We heard no unusual sounds since we were inside the pickup. I found it odd that the eyes glowed an orange color. I have since done some research and found few sightings that referenced glowing eyes or eyes that reflected light much as a dog or cat or deer does when a light is shone on them. I already mentioned the freshly disturbed gravel at the edge of the road and the depression in the mud at the edge of the creek.
OTHER WITNESSES: 1 other witness beside myself. It was my 18-year old son. I was driving. He had been sleeping, but we had just left the "perimeter" of the Ophir Creek Campground and were talking about the anti-government theme of the sign that marked the entrance to the campground.
OTHER STORIES: None that I am aware of, although later on that same trip in Colorado my son and I drove to the top of Pikes Peak and were "amused" to see a "Bigfoot Crossing" sign on the road leading up to the summit. But, again, this was after our sighting on the Ophir Creek Road
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Around 3:00 or 4:00 A.M. The next night I awoke at approximately the same time to "relieve" myself and could easily see across the lake by the moonlight.
ENVIRONMENT: It was on a short straight stretch of an otherwise winding mountain road. There were steep hills on both sides of the road. The road followed the winding creek bottom which I assume was Ophir Creek. The hill on the left side was more heavily forested than the hill on the right, but both sides were pine forest. The creek bottom area as described earlier was scattered stands of pines interspersed in meadows and was approximately 100 yards across.
Follow-up investigation report:
The following few notes are based on an almost hour-long discussion with the father and several e-mails exchanged thereafter.
The location of this sighting is approximately thirty miles southwest of Pueblo, Colorado in the Wet Mountains of the San Isabel National Forest and along Forest Road 400. Over the years, there have been several reports of sightings in this general area.
Their attention was first caught by what would seem to be eyeshine refection but of only one eye. It was moving as they approached but remained in place half-behind the large boulder as they got near to it. The figure gradually turned to face them as they passed and it was just turning to walk back away from the road as they lost sight of it. In their estimation, it clearly was not human yet was walking on two feet and like a person, was entirely dark-colored, and was of a very large apparent height and size. After a brief stunned silence, they both immediately agreed that they had just seen a bigfoot.
The following morning, just several hours later, they returned to the location but found nothing significant to report, although that is when they were certain of the size of the creature they had seen because of the size of the rock that it was standing behind. That night they saw a bear scrambling up a slope above timberline above the Blue Lakes and near Greenhorn Mountain. They remained in the area for three or four days but did notice anything else that was unusual. "By the way, the reason I mentioned seeing the bear the next day was to assure you I know the difference between a bear and what I saw the previous morning and the bear was much farther away than the Bigfoot."
The father concluded with the following comment: "I wish I could have given you more definitve info in both my report and on the phone last night because I know the details I gave are sketchy at best. Still, I am absolutely convinced of what I saw." The son remains reluctant to discuss the matter, although he did contribute their agreed-upon conclusion: "Occam's Razor says that the most logical solution to a problem, or answer to a question, is the one that makes the most sense, no matter how ridiculous or absurd sounding it is. I have always had doubts, but of all the possibilities, seeing a Bigfoot makes the most sense based on what little we have to go on."