"I was camping with some friends and family...the sun was setting...it was getting chilly and everyone was going into their tents to go to bed. I stayed up (alone) waiting for the campfire to die out," Rinehart recalled.
It was while he was tending the fire that Rinehart claims he heard a loud grunt and smelled what he describes as a "strong, musky 'wet-dog' like smell"...a distinct odor that he says he will never forget and can still recall to this day.
Rinehart said that at first he thought maybe it was a bear or some deer mating in the forest; however, once he got a closer look it was apparent that this was not deer or a bear...
"From about 15 feet away I could see a figure crouching down...it grabbed a tree trunk and pulled it towards itself," Rinehart said. "I never saw its face directly but I could see that it had long, bushy reddish-brown hair like a grizzly bear."
Rinehart said the big, burly figure then stood up—revealing a broad frame of well over 7 feet tall—and walked away in the opposite direction covering about 8 feet with just two steps.
Rinehart said he went to bed that night with his heart pounding, unsure of what it was he had witnessed, but not saying a word to anyone until the next day.
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