This is a series by researcher Karl Sup researching Sasquatch evidence in the outskirts of Chicago, Illinois. (Link to #1 installment)
Chicago Sasquatch #2
Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois (Cities Withheld)
The last Ice Age in this area came to an end about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, and the landscape features of northeastern Illinois and the Salt Creek Valley emerged from the melt waters. Early Native American dwellers used the creek as a transportation route. I have no doubt, based on BFRO reports, that it is still being used as a transportation route today! The creek was later discovered by fur traders and voyagers when the area was still a wilderness. Originally known as The Little DesPlaines, the name change occurred in 1834 when John Reid was hauling supplies between Galena and Chicago. His wagon got stuck mid-way in the creek while crossing. As his barrels of salt capsized into the water, the salt dissolved into briny foam. Ever after, the stream became known as Salt Creek.
I focused on the lakes and trails to the south. The area was well developed and had a tremendous amount of human activity. There were many grassy, open areas and picnic ramadas. Hiking through the trails revealed no unusual structures or evidence that would indicate a presence of Sasquatch. I was disheartened, but after an hour of hiking I decided to refocus my efforts to the north side of Higgins Road. I first stopped in to visit the elk in their fenced 17 acres. The elk were not out in the meadows, but had settled down to relax for the afternoon in the plentiful shade of the mighty deciduous oaks and maples.
I walked about 100 feet off the main trail before I came across an unusual feature.
Two tree breaks were pointing in the same direction. As with previous tree breaks I’ve encountered, I follow the direction they are pointing. Typically this will lead to another unusual, anomalous feature in the woods, and today I was not disappointed.
Seventy-five feet to the east, was a stick structure. One tree had been bent and broken across a branch split of a small maple tree. The other small tree trunk had been placed across the bent tree, and I could not find the location or stump from where the second trunk had been collected.
Could humans have made this? Quite possibly, however in combination with the other two tree breaks and the effort and strength required to break a green, twenty-foot sapling it would seem unlikely. Why would a Sasquatch make this kind of structure? That is a good question that one day I hope to ask them.
The game trail ahead required far more bushwhacking then I wanted to tackle, so I headed back out to the main, paved trail. After another quarter mile, the woods made way to an open prairie grassland and meadow. An access road and parking lot occupied the center of the area and on the far side were covered picnic ramadas. I made my way to the ramada and found a fairly clean picnic table to stretch out on and rest. There was a light breeze and the temperature was perfect. I closed my eyes and let the cool air flow over me. My respite didn’t last long as I could hear a bicyclist pedaling up to the area. He had seen me hiking earlier and passed me on the paved trails, and must have decided that I had a good idea!
I sat up and introduced myself. His name was Ray, and he was in his early 70’s. He was surprised to find out that I was visiting from Arizona, but had originally grown up in nearby Elmhurst. Ray said that he had been biking in the Busse Woods since the late 70’s. So I asked him about any changes over the past years. He indicated that 10 years ago, you couldn’t bike ride through there without seeing a couple dozen deer at least. Sometimes he would have to swerve to miss hitting them! He said over the past 10 years that number has dwindled until now, he might only see two or three per week. I asked him if he had any idea what caused it, and he didn’t have a clue. He said that other areas with more human population are over-populated with deer. I suspect I know why the deer population here is dwindling or hiding.
From the pump, there was an undeveloped nature trail that took a sweep toward the upper lake and headwaters of Salt Creek. The trail was no more than the width of a game trail, and was overgrown in areas. I came to a split that turned north toward the lake area. I didn’t get very far before the ground became pretty soggy with the surrounding area hosting a marshy swamp-like environment. I kept to the grass and vegetation on the edges of the trail until I estimated I could go no further without adequate muck-ware. A short distance ahead I noticed what looked like a few prints so I pressed on.
Now that I had muddy shoes, I doubled back to the split in the trail which headed west then turned south. In between swatting mosquitoes and biting flies, I tried to scrape the caked and sticky mud from my shoes. I spotted another snake sunning itself on the trail, as well as a toad that was lying perfectly still to avoid detection. Based on the overgrowth on this trail, it is a relatively unused asset in the Busse Woods.
I hiked about another 300 feet to discover that a small tree had been broken and set across the trail, blocking it. The twist was a much older break, and pointed toward the upper lake area. Close examination showed no mechanical or tool use to cause the break.
There was no other tree breaks in the vicinity, and no large dead falls in the area. I have seen these often across trails to discourage use, including a 4-foot diameter old growth Ponderosa in Arizona that fell uphill on a 20% grade to block a road. It’s a pretty effective deterrent. The mosquitoes alone were enough to discourage me, but I pressed on.
The trail was really overgrown through this area (as you can see the photographs, the trail crosses under the tree break). Passing clouds provided intermittent sunlight and this desert dweller was appreciative of those rays breaking through.
Another 500 feet and an ounce of blood less in my circulatory system, I found two more tree breaks that crossed the trail. The first was directly across the trail, and pointed in the same direction as the last break toward the northern pond. One hundred feet later, the second set of breaks was a ‘three-fer’. A triplet of trees had been broken across the trail, and you had to duck under them or forge your own trail through the undergrowth to traverse it. Oddly enough, they all pointed to the north-northwest toward the northern pond again. These could have been wind damage, but there were numerous other trees of similar diameter in the vicinity that did not exhibit any damage. Only the trees near the trail were broken.
Even in my hurry, I still spotted a snake relaxing on a makeshift hammock in plant leaves, and some chicory and blue bell wildflowers.
The woods finally started to thin until I reached the meadow, sunshine and relief from mosquitoes. I drove to the west side of the upper lake to the fishing wall at that location. There were no trails leading into the wildlife preserve around the northern ponds.
To get to the fishing wall, I had to navigate a thick gaggle of Canadian geese that had taken up temporary residence in the grassy area.
Once I was on the fishing wall, I observed quite a large number of leopard frogs hiding in the duckweed. The north lake was far different from the southern chain of lakes. Cattails, reeds and other dense vegetation formed the lake’s boundary, making the shoreline inaccessible. Based on the tree breaks, food sources and over 1000 acres of isolation, I believe that Sasquatch are inhabiting, or take some level of transient residence in the northern area of the preserve. On to the next research area!