Walking Through History…Blackstone River Park/Ashton Mill.

If you’ve been following along with me these past few years, then you know my love of the American industrial Revolution, King Phillips War and scenery of the Blackstone River Valley. So now imagine my excitement when I visit a place where they all come together so beautifully within this modern marvel of a park that you know just became on of my favorite places.

The centerpiece of the park, The Ashton Mill was built in 1810 in Cumberland Rhode Island for the Smithfield Cotton Company. The mill was built in this location to harness the power of the Blackstone River, one of America’s few Heritage Rivers that was named after William Blackstone who was an original founder and settler of Boston Massachusetts.

The company struggled and eventually sold the mill to the Lonsdale Company in approx. 1840. Lonsdale was a manufacturer of textiles and had tremendous success throughout the remainder of the 19th century.

Eventually it became a mill village as family housing was constructed. The mill employed men, women and children so family housing was a great need.

In 1848 the Providence and Worcester railroad was built to pass directly at front door of the mill. This provided a secondary mode of transportation to get goods to customers on time.

In the 1950s the industry really started to decline and by the 1970s it was simply cheaper for the companies to move to the south and then eventually overseas.

This park was such a great adventure. The mills once worked this river so hard no fish or river life, save leeches, where left living it . Now it’s thriving again and this park holds within it a snapshot of its history. While I was strolling along or I saw Someone fly fishing, I stared at the beautiful architecture of the 116 bridge, the amazing view of the river, a museum and all with the mills looming over everything. I will definitely be here often to make sure I’ve seen everything it has to offer. Here’s a little blurb about the history from the RI parks official website.

“While the feel and look of the Blackstone River State Park stitching together the river banks and the abutting boundaries of Cumberland and Lincoln, is definitely rural and naturalistic, the history of the land and waters making up the park is thoroughly industrial. At various points in the twelve-mile trek, one can see the remains of the area’s industrial past peek out from beneath the foliage and reflect in the waters. Mill dams, which once held back the river in order to power machinery, still mark the river’s drop at four locations. Sluices and power trenches, canal mile-stones, ground level, protruding shapes of cellar holes of former worker tenements, along with recycled mills now used as apartments and small businesses dot the path. The observant visitor is challenged to discover the legacy layers of this landscape of industry.”

I recommend if you’re ever in the area, to make a stop and spend the day. There is something here for everyone….

Night in the Forest…

“In the forest how do you say goodnight

Pull down the branches to cover the light

The moonshine over the pond looks so bright

The moss twinkles with dew

And there is not a sound save crickets or a whoo whoo

The nocturnal animals go for their hunt

I’ll stay right here and not interrupt

The circle of life must go on

Long after you and I and everyone are gone

So lay there and listen to the sounds of the forest

The night has a beautiful chorus

Calm and relaxing to lull us to sleep

My eyes are heavy now, I’m going to fall deep

Another dawn will come soon

And end the beautiful shine of the moon

I will rise to roam some more

Because I feel safe sleeping anywhere with a soft forest floor…”

Inspired by John Denver’s Annie’s Song

Man VS. Bigfoot…

I’m always looking forward to a new bigfoot movie, but I’ve been looking forward to seeing this one in particular because I had seen his first bigfoot film.

David Ford, the writer, director , producer and star of this picture is not new to Bigfoot. This is his follow up to his previous bigfoot movie, Something in the Woods.

If you haven’t had a chance to see this one yet, I highly recommend it. The movie is centered around a logging foreman and his family who live out near the woods. The family begins to get habitually visited on their property by a bigfoot who has less than friendly intentions…

In his sophomore film, Man vs. Bigfoot (a battle in real life I’m not sure we’d win) starts out with a man heading out for some solo camping. Going solo as some, like myself know, can be scary enough with or without bigfoot lurking about, but he was lurking about and this camper was figuring that out…

After the man doesn’t return home as scheduled the wife calls his brother, Jack Rollins, played by David Ford, who then packs up and heads out to the forest In search of him…

While camping that first night, he started to hear noises in the woods around him, and then a trapper, played by Antonio Tec, came out from the woods to greet him. The trapper is Native American, and he shares some of the history from his tribe about bigfoot. He describes him as being more of a protector of the woods type creature to them.

If you follow along with me you know I love the idea of him being a protector out there, but unfortunately that’s not likely to be the case. And it’s definitely not in this one. (Hey, a girl can dream right?). What ensues after the trapper leaves is a battle between Rollins and the elusive beast himself. Now besides that theory of a protector, there were many things I liked about this movie, the biggest being that most of this epic battle is taking place during the daylight hours. Which means that the suit had to hold up and after a few hiccups and changes it does.

The other things I appreciated was , the scenery. The location of a bigfoot movie is one of the first things I’m noticing. I also liked the fact that the traits and behaviors most cryptozoologist attribute to a bigfoot are being used here such as, using environment to camouflage, using rock for tools, and giving the creature signs of intelligence, which to avoid the human race it must have.

I really enjoyed this film, and in my opinion if you are a bigfoot enthusiast you will definitely appreciate this movie. I reached out to David to ask him a few questions, and here is what he shared with me…

I got interested in filmmaking in college when I started writing screenplays. It took me about 18 years before I made my first one though. My favorite part of the process is principle photography and actually shooting the film. I enjoy it all but I particularly like watching it all come together on camera. I did know many of the actors but also held auditions. Covid only interrupted the post production aspect of it. We had already filmed the movie when Covid hit. I chose Bigfoot because of personal experiences and because I needed a big star and couldn’t afford a known actor. Everybody knows who Bigfoot is. I am a believer because of experience in the field as well as other personal experiences that pertained to a rock being thrown at me in a remote area with fellow researchers. I even caught some audio of the creature back in 2013. We had many issues with the suit. The suit that I ordered was not what I got. I would like to keep that part out of it, but I will say Keith Lack stepped in and saved the day with the creation of the mask and baby bigfoot (spoiler). I worked with Jeff Stewart closely on the project as he was my AD primarily and practical effects supervisor, amongst also playing a role in the film. He advised me in the film. We will be showing the film at the Texas Bigfoot Conference in Jefferson in October from my understanding. I don’t plan to make another bigfoot film as I am moving on to other types of films such as faith based and thrillers. Finding private investors is not easy though so if anyone wants to invest in one of my future films they are free to reach out. If anyone decides to watch the film on VOD please leave us a rating as each rating and review helps the film tremendously. Thank you…”

David with his Mother at Man Vs. Bigfoot premiere taken by Bridget Ortigo

Follow along with David’s upcoming film The Preacher Man here:

https://www.facebook.com/preachermanmovie

Link to watch Man VS. Bigfoot on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Man-vs-Bigfoot-David-Ford/dp/B09BR32MYW

Link to watch Something in the Woods:

https://tubitv.com/movies/551867/something-in-the-woods

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2347853/

Follow the film on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/manvsbigfoot2021

If you’d like to help in the funding for David’s upcoming inspirational and faith based film, you can reach him at:

davidford75@gmail.com

Follow along with Preacher Man here:

https://www.facebook.com/preachermanmovie

The Mother’s Tears…

“And so the fires kept burning

Earth’s mother cried her tears

For even she couldn’t put the fires out

He who walks the forest could not save all of nature’s creatures

He ran and ran carrying all the he could save

But as strong as he is he could not save all

Those of us for whom the fires didn’t touch

cannot relate to their pain

And the mother? She wept again

It will change the whole planet she thought before it’s all done

The smoke will come

The temperatures will rise

We will soon feel this fire

Like its right before our eyes

And the giant of all the forest

Had to also find a way to survive

Had to leave his home

Try to go unseen by man

And untouched by the flame

He knows, he knows the earth will never be the same…”

Poem by me copyright 8/21

Working Together…A Documentary

I recently sat down to watch a new documentary titled Working Together. The documentary features a few different bigfoot researchers Matt from Central Florida Bigfoo, Mike from Tactical Bigfoot Research, Tim T. from Florida and Bigfoot Dave coming together to investigate an area in the Florida swamps. I had seen some sneak peeks of it on Instagram so I was looking forward to catching it and I’m happy to say I was not disappointed.

The title of the documentary, (Working Together) says it all. And it was just that, it was four teams coming together to search for evidence of the skunk ape led by Matt Larson of Central Florida Bigfoot. They hit the woods and swamps of Florida searching for bigfoot, or the skunk ape as he’s referred to in those parts.

Matt out in the field ready to work…

They picked an amazing area to explore, and if it wasn’t so tropical in Florida at that time, I may have smuggled myself into one of their bags, but the area had me picturing many many mosquito bites. And a loss of 20 pounds water weight.

I love the whole concept of Working Together. Everyone has something unique and interesting to bring to the table, you should take advantage of that whenever you can, and you will probably learn a few new tricks of the trade along the way. Different fresh perspectives can really make a difference out there in the field looking at evidence. I have noticed lately that there have been more collaborations than before, lets keep it up, after all, we do have a common goal here, find evidence that bigfoot exists and is possibly roaming in our neck of the woods.

Breaking out the measuring tape to document the print…Tim T documenting on film

Although the group headed out with all the equipment you’d ever want to bring out researching, which is great, I really enjoyed their personal attention to the evidence and interactions the most. They were focused on the evidence around them, they found some interesting things too, but I’m not going to give away the good stuff, you have to watch it for yourself. I loved that they took a very forensic crime scene approach to what they were seeing , it is how we all should be documenting our evidence.

Mike from Tacticle Bigfoot Research working with 3D photo app

While they were examining everything before them they were also offering good suggestions on the latest equipment and apps out there that could help assist you in your search. I personally have already taken advantage of two of the apps mentioned. The Cornell Library Bird call identifier and a 3D photo app that actually saved me in the field last summer when I came up on an interesting print and nothing to cast it with me.

I appreciated that Matt didn’t over produce this documentary with all the dramatic bells and whistles. There was no soundtrack playing which allowed us to hear nature’s chorus instead. The only thing I would have wanted differently was that I wasn’t able to hear some of the conversations happening and it left me wondering if maybe I missed some good tips etc. but he may have done that intentionally for privacy.

I’m recommending this documentary highly. It’s what bigfoot research should be, you can click the link to watch, it’s streaming free on YouTube…

https://youtu.be/Z0MkZtZfDJw

You can also catch them on their YouTube channels:

Tim T

https://youtu.be/LBVRj3s4jNc

Tactical Bigfoot Research

https://youtu.be/FDXwKeDfs5g

Central Florida Bigfoot

https://youtu.be/6LlUXm2eSkQ

And Bigfoot Dave at

Isrtusa.com

Bigfoot in the News #12 Bigfoot and Wildlife Fish and Game…

What if, while hiking through the’ Oregon woods, you stumbled across the legendary Bigfoot monster, – roped the beast and took it home. Next, you reported your catch to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Would the agency know what to do? Yes, says the agency, and to prove its readiness has written a lengthy news release describing just what it would do about your call.

if You Catch a Bigfoot By SAM HARTZ WASHINGTON (AP)

What if, while hiking through the’ Oregon woods, you stumbled across the legendary Bigfoot monster, – roped the beast and took it home. Next, you reported your catch to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Would the agency know what to do? Yes, says the agency, and to prove its readiness has written a lengthy news release describing just what it would do about your call.

But why. you might ask, has the U.S. government gone to such lengths over the possible capture of what, at least so far, is just a legend of long standing. Well. Fish and Wildlife reminds us, the gorilla was only a legend until the late 19th century. The komodo dragon, a 10-foot lizard, once a legend also.

To be sure’, added the agency, many sightings of today’s legendary “monsters’,’, are misinterpreted reports or even downright hoaxes. But there’s more to be said for the existence of a genuine Bigfoot. Not only have there been “sightings” of the purported 8- foot, 900-pound Pacific Northwest humanoid, but Skaminia County, Washington, is prepared to impose a fine of $10,000 and a 5-year jail term on anyone who kills a Bigfoot,. Last year the Florida and Oregon legislatures took up bills protecting Bigfoot-type creatures, and a Bureau of Indian Affairs policeman has a plaster cast of an 18-inch foot left after he claimed seeing Bigfoot in South Dakota.

So if Bigfoot were found, what then? The agency set up a scenario: “Word of its discovery would be flashed around the world within hours. Hysteria, fear or panic might accompany the news in the area where the creature was located. The throngs of curiosity seekers, would-be countless and others wanting to find Bigfoot would not only create a serious threat to the animal itself, but to public safety as well … .” And, asks Fish and Wildlife: “Would such a creature be subjected to the same kind of exploitation as the giant movie ape, King Kong?” Hardly, if the Interior could help it. : After receiving priority protection under Endangered.’ Species Bigfoot would undergo humdrum processing for term safeguarding. The following would be, How big is the Bigfoot population? Do Bigfeet occur anywhere else? Is the Bigfoot population in danger? Is Bigfoot’s habitat secure? Are the Bigfoot species being exploited? And what is Bigfoot’s reproductive cycles? “But for the record,” Keith Schreiner, associate director, “I doubt we’ll have to do anything, because I’m not sure I believe there any around here in the first place.” :

The Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune

Chillicothe, Missouri

30 Jan 1978,

#

CLIPPED FROM

The Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune

Chillicothe, Missouri

30 Jan 1978, Mon  •  Page 6

Thoughts Under a Tree…

“As I’m sitting here below a canopy of trees
Listening to the bird’s song playing above me
I think, how can anyone not love this?
How can they not be here?
But they are out there,
consuming and consuming without care
Look down at your babies and say
I don’t care if the planet is here for you one day
That if you grow up and it’s gone
That you didn’t do anything at all to save it along the way
You cut down every tree, paved every patch of land
I don’t know why humanity doesn’t understand
Every person needs the oxygen of nine trees to live
Look at the few trees around you,
The stumps only you left in your yard
Then maybe you’ll have two shits to give
When you have no animals to eat because you mowed down all the grass
How long do you think we can last?
I try to drive home this message with all that I do
Because if all out messages don’t work,
we are done as a species, there is no other planet, we are through
Maybe one day some form of life will look through our fossil record
And put the pieces together, that yes, it was us that wrecked it”
Poem and photos by me, written in the forest today…

Woman of the Woods…The Miracle

I want to tell you a story today, it’s not about a Bigfoot, it’s about this dog and his master, I’m not going to use their names to give them some privacy. The first thing I want to say is what a magnificent looking dog he is. Isn’t he?
This wonderful dog is a support dog for his very sweet mommy whom I met today. She is an older woman who has been diagnosed with MS. It’s one of the scariest diseases out there. And how you deal with it is a matter of mental life or death I would imagine. Staying positive is probably not always easy but this wonderful woman did.
We chatted for quite awhile, more than hour, she surprised me telling me how she was a hunter, hiker and all around outdoors girl. She hunted with arrows, rifles etc. fished, hiked, nature photographer, just amazing. She told me all about the flora and fauna in this park as well as some of its history. You can hear her talking a bit in my video from yesterday.
Many, many years ago the doctors told her she had 3 to 5 years tops to live . She did eventually end up wheelchair bound. But with a lot of therapy, strength and determination here she is out here with me. She made it all the way to the river on her own steam, walking with just a cane and her handsome dog. A miracle. But wait there is more…
Now to her adorable doggo. This amazing pup, she trained on her own to be her support dog because everyone said this terrier, that she rescued, could never be a support dog.
Well he is, and now it was his turn to rescue her.
Walking at this beautiful location awhile back one of her legs just gave out and she fell and couldn’t get up, so this amazing animal took off and found a couple walking that he led to his master, who saved her because she couldn’t get back up without help.
They are both an amazing pair. They rescued each other. Love and loyalty. Everyone counted this little dog out and now he’s a hero. They counted her out and here she is.
I was glad her legs and mine were both walking on that river yesterday so I had this wonderful opportunity to meet her.
She said she lives for this, getting outdoors keeps her going. She forgets all about her pain etc. I know the feeling some days.
If ever you think a dog is trying to lead you somewhere please follow, someone may need your assistance. And never count out the little ones they can rise high for the occasion when needed.
And never count this lady out either she is one tough cookie, a true woman of the woods…