My name is Cody Ericksen, I live in Utah and my family has always been pretty outdoorsy, when I was younger my older brother and I would often go on hunting trips with my father, uncle, and our cousin who was my age. This was years ago and back then my mother would often stay home on these trips while she took care of my baby brother.
This story however is about a certain situation we experienced on a camping trip near Flaming Gorge and Three Corners. We would often stay at a campground called the Beaver Dam Campground, which sat near the historic John Jarvie Ranch, right next to the Green River. This camping trip was going to serve as a scouting opportunity for my dad and uncles upcoming elk hunt.
During these scouting trips it wasn’t uncommon for us to be riding ATV’s for eight, to even twelve hours a day. At the time my brother, cousin and I were all small enough that we could ride on our dads ATV’s with them, my brother would sit on the back seat, while I would sit up front somewhat on my dads lap.
Back to the topic at hand, these ATV rides would take us to the middle of nowhere on a regular basis, we ended up getting quite high into the mountains on a specific ride, we had been riding for hours and were nearing the end of the day. My dad and uncle just wanted to go a little further on the trail we were on, then planned on heading back to camp. The trail got quite narrow, and appeared very unused, as if we were the only ones who had been on it in a year or more. The trail bent around the curve of the mountain and weaved into a thick portion of the tall pine trees that surrounded us. The area just ahead was not visible due to some large brush, continued forward the brush opened into a small clearing surrounded by tall trees, that is where we discovered something horrifying.
In the center of the clearing were the remains of a small smoldering camp fire, and about eight to ten feet away from the fire were two makeshift shelters, these shelters were constructed of branches and old debris such as ruined tent nylon, a tarp, and some rusted sheet metal. Although that was creepy enough to see, the absolute worst part of this situation was what was surrounding us. In literally every direction, high up in nearly every tree were the remains of dozens of dead animals, mostly skin, some dry, some rotting and smelling, some fresh. Along with skin there were quartered out pieces of animal strung from trees as well, such as legs, and even heads. Most of the dead animals consisted of deer, however there were also a couple elk, and even a cougar. The stench of all of this was enough to nearly cause all five of us to vomit. Each of us were completely terrified, and the forest around us was dead quiet. We probably spent a total of ten to fifteen seconds there, but it felt like an hour. Without saying a word my dad and uncle got us the hell out of there. I don’t remember ever seeing my dad or uncle so creeped out, as they are both known for being quite tough and fearless, but we hauled ass back to camp without speaking a single word for the entirety of the ride back which took roughly two hours as we went directly there. Once we were in camp my dad and uncle had myself, my brother, and cousin go sit inside of the truck, as they sat outside talking for some time, we couldn’t hear what they were saying, but needless to say we did not go back to that area, and we left the next morning.