As many of you know, I was first inspired to take a more serious look at cryptozoology when I visited the International Cryptozoology Museum in 2013. So when I was asked to return to Portland, Maine and speak at the International Cryptozoology Conference (which happened to be across from the museum!) it felt like I had come full circle after five years of hard work.
We spent two days driving, stopping early each night so we could check out some of the other cool stuff New England has to offer (which mostly consisted of trying lobster in various forms). Saturday I woke up at the crack of dawn because I wanted to get there and set up as soon as possible. The vendors' area opened up at 6 AM and I was there waiting. I quickly set up and then began to wander around and converse with my fellow peddlers. I got to meet some really fantastic people including Stephen Bissette, Joeseph Citro, Andy McGrath, Katy Elizabeth, Hayley Eldridge and more. I also was able to catch up with old friends such as Aleksandar Petakov and Loren Coleman. Over the course of Saturday, I spent way too much money and had a great time. After the day was done, Aleks, Katy, Andy, myself, and a few others went out for dinner, which was even better.
I spoke on Sunday. There were a pretty good amount of people in the audience and I enjoyed talking about my cryptid predation research. I spent even more money and even sold out of my books!
The biggest highlight was when the International Cryptozoology Society gave me the Mark A. Hall Young Cryptozoologist Scholarship Award. I was completely blown away. I had no idea that I was going to be given the award, but I was honored.
Honestly, I think the event was one of the best conferences I've ever been to. I learned lots, met some of the best people in the field, made new friends, and was able to teach others about my research. I had a wonderful time.