The dog and I went out to the end of Bells Bend today, because the park was way too muddy to walk around in. So, we parked at the parking lot by the boat ramp and basically walked up the road until we’d walked far enough and then turned around. That’s not the weird part.
The weird part is that, when we pulled in, there was a truck in the parking lot. But, when we looked down the boat ramp, I didn’t see anyone. Now, granted, I didn’t look hugely far, because it’s still slick with mud down there, and I didn’t think anything of it. So, the dog and I go for our walk and we’re coming back and here comes the truck over the small crest and, at first, I thought it might be towing a boat because it was kind of swerving like it was a little too heavy got get moving easily. But then it comes over the crest and I see there’s no boat attached.
And then, it gets way in the other lane to pass the dog and I (who are on foot) and the guy is kind of weirdly looking at me, so I wave, because I’m still thinking, “Well, maybe it’s someone local who wants to know who the hell I am.”
So, the dog and I get to the top of the boat ramp and I’m kind of looking to the left, where I know there’s an archaeological site, but it doesn’t look like anything. And I look to the right and I see that the ground at the side of the boat ramp has been shorn pretty clean off by the flood. And I’m thinking to myself, “Ugh, I really hope I don’t see any leg bones.”
And then I’m thinking more seriously about the prospects of water up that high uncovering stuff.
Now, here’s the thing, if you’re not familiar with that area. The boat ramp, obviously, goes into the water. And then, downstream, just maybe twenty feet, is usually a beach-y area that is white from shells. The story is that the locals buried their dead in the bluff and then marked the spot with shells and, whenever they came by, they placed more shells there. For hundreds, if not thousands of years.
I know descendants of those locals have worked with the owners of the land to keep the site cleaned up.
Anyway, you could, if you were ballsier than me, also get to this little area from the parking lot, but it would mean going down a very steep, probably thirty foot descent.
Plus, we’re talking a very tiny area. It’s not like you’d look over and say “Oh, hey, let’s go sun ourselves on that white beach.”
But here’s what makes me suspicious of the guy in the truck.
Like I said, I didn’t see him when we started our walk. And it was probably a good twenty or thirty minutes before he came by us (so he’d been somewhere at least that long). If you’re not down by the river, there’s really no place for you to hide–it’s otherwise flat sodfarms. And the boat ramp is still kind of a mess from the flood–not good fishing. AND, when I was walking Mrs. Wigglebottom around the parking lot to see if she had to pee one more time, I found fresh footprints at the far end of the parking lot coming from the part of the bluff where the brush has been kept down to give folks access to the site, but none leading to there.
So, someone came up that bluff and into the parking lot.
I don’t know. Maybe there’s some completely innocuous reason why someone would be coming up the bluff on a rainy Sunday morning right after a flood.
But I still was mad that I waved at him when he passed me. I feel like I should have given him the stink-eye.
I think he was poking around down there to see if there was anything uncovered worth stealing.
I could be wrong.
But why else would you risk the still swollen river to get over to there?