West Virginia Expedition – Part 3

Bob, Steve, and the host had departed and I was there in the campsite all by myself. I was there with nothing, and no one. There was a vehicle there, but it wouldn’t start and I assumed it was locked. I didn’t really care too much about this situation because I was armed, and I had been all over the world in some of the most inhospitable places. I proceeded with my original plan for the day.

Everything seemed fine and I decided that I was going to straighten up, round up any garbage, and get the firewood moved closer to the fire pit. As I was working I noticed that the cicadas were making their noise and they were being extremely loud. They don’t come but every so many years, and I learned that it was that year. They were so loud that it was almost affecting my ability to hear. I tried to put the very annoying sound out of my mind, and continued to clean up the campsite. I had been working for a short time when a pickup truck came down the side of the mountain. I figured it was someone checking out the campground and didn’t pay too much attention to them until I saw them park. They parked in an area where I couldn’t see the vehicle, and I heard them get out of the truck. Next thing; I see them walking through the brush along the creek that flowed into the river, and they disappeared out of sight. They went the same direction that the Bigfoot had retreated to the night before. They weren’t gone long before I saw them walking back along the same path they had taken. I didn’t know what to make of this, but assumed they might have been checking a a trot line, or something like that. I did make a mental note of it because I had been warned before the expedition that the host had a history of possibly hoaxing evidence. I stuck that in the back of my mind and never mentioned it to anyone. They got into their truck and left. I continued rearranging and cleaning up the campsite.

About 20 minutes went by and I heard another vehicle coming down the side of the mountain. This vehicle was a small station wagon with what looked like a husband, wife, and two smaller kids in the back seat. The kids were up on the windows looking out like they were waiting to see something in an excited fashion. They drove down the right hand fork of the road, crossed over the bridge and drove down a short distance before they turned around. They came back over the bridge, and went back up the mountain and never stopped as they left. I didn’t think anything of it, and continued what I was doing.

A considerable amount of time passed, and I would say it was about an hour. I was just about to finish up getting the camp in order when I happened to look across a grown up field that was on the west side of the campground. I noticed a tree moving, and at first glance I didn’t think too much about it. I looked again and realized that none of the other trees were moving. It was just one tree that was swaying back and forth. I looked in the direction of the tree, and tried to see what was making this tree sway like it was. A thought entered my mind. Bear! A bear was scratching his back on the tree, making it move like that. There was one problem though, and that was that I could not see anything around that tree that would cause it to move. Then another thought entered my mind. Could it be a Bigfoot making that tree move like that? I looked, and could see nothing but the tree swaying back and forth in a steady intentional way.

The cicadas were singing loudly as the tree continued to sway back and forth with a slow and steady motion. I decided that I was going to act as if I didn’t see it. Every now and then I would glance over to see the tree still moving back and forth. I began to ponder what was going on. Was something trying to get me to go over there and investigate? If that was the case I was surely not going to do that while I was there by myself. Then another thought entered my mind; a diversion, a way to keep me focused on one area while something passed behind me. Then the thought of possible ambush entered my mind. Knowing that I couldn’t hear due to the loudness of the cicadas it would be easy for something to sneak up on me without me hearing it. I got extremely paranoid and began scanning visually 360 degrees around me. There was nothing that I could readily see, but the tree kept swaying. Was this all in my head? I can assure you that the fear was just as real as the lone tree swaying back and forth. After 30 minutes of scanning the area like a paranoid person I heard a sound above the cicadas. It was a vehicle, and I soon saw it coming down the mountain. I was never so relieved to see a vehicle, and my hope was that it was Bob and the host returning to the camp. It turned out that it wasn’t. It was a middle aged couple in a pickup truck. They entered the campground road and drove along the lower road and stopped right next to the camp. The man rolled his window down and asked me if it was safe to swim down at the boat launch. I related that I was unaware if it was safe, but my friend that lived in the area would be back soon and he would surely know. He thanked me and they continued to drive down to the boat launch.

I lost track and momentarily forgot about the swaying tree. I was just glad that I wasn’t alone in the campground, if but for a short time. The couple drove down to the boat ramp, stayed for a few minutes and then came back out and headed back up the mountain. As the ascended the road I glanced in the direction of the tree and noticed that it had stopped swaying back and forth. I felt a bit more at ease and sat down in a camp chair for a break. I sat there for maybe ten, or fifteen minutes when I heard a sound coming from the tall grass just across from the campground. I looked in the direction of the sound to see a mama groundhog, and her baby emerge from the tall grass. She came out onto the road; baby in tow, and grumbled with every step as they headed right down the center of the camp road. I thought this was kind of funny because she actually sounded like she was pissed about something. The thought then entered my mind that maybe they were flushed out of their hiding place in the tall grass by what ever had been moving that tree back and forth. The groundhogs left the area and I never saw them again after that. Shortly after the groundhogs left a truck pulling a fifth wheel camper pulled into the campground. The driver headed toward the campsites that were closer to the boat launch. After a short time I could hear the sounds of them setting up their campsite.

I continued my wait and after about 30 more minutes Bob and the host showed back up at camp. As soon as they got out of the truck I went up to the host and told him that I didn’t care what was going on, or who was going where and when, they were not leaving me alone in the camp by myself again. He immediately started taking jabs at me and telling me that there was no reason to act the way I was, and he wanted to know why I was acting that way. He decided that we should go for a walk and talk. We walked down the road and I explained what had happened. When we approached the area where the fifth wheel camper was set up, they had set their camp up in a nice fashion and even had rubberized padding set down in front of the camper that would provide a clear, non-dusty place for them to walk. I noticed three kids running and playing around the camper. We waved at the campers as we walked by and continued around the loop. Not far from the fifth wheel camper we could see an extension cord crossing the road. We looked, and could see that a generator had been set up a good distance away from the camper on the other side of the road and up the side of the mountain. The walk continued. We got to the place on the road that was closest to the swaying tree. I took the host over and showed him the tree and we both examined it. Putting my hand out to push on the tree I quickly learned that it was very stout and that it took quite a bit of force to make that tree sway like it was earlier that day. We then walked back to the campsite and proceeded to talk about the plans for the rest of the day.

Looking back; I know that my paranoia was pretty much self induced, but I believe that my spidey radar going off like it was played a part in it too. I had not had a bad feeling about that place until that day. The fact remains that something was making that tree sway, and I couldn’t see what was doing it. I’m not saying it was a Bigfoot, or any other cryptid for that matter. I knew at that point only that there were Bigfoot in the area because I had seen one the night before.