Outdoors

Nature Freak

Getting hairy in Bigfoot country

Attend

What: Bigfoot Festival

When: 10 am Sun., Aug. 4

Where: Maple Falls Park

More:

Activities include a Bigfoot costume contest, live music, arts and crafts, food trucks and more.

Cost: Free

Info: http://www.maplefallspark.com

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Some trail workers I know and respect adamantly report they’ve spent decades traveling and working in the great outdoors without ever once encountering a Bigfoot. 

Although I don’t hold this against them, it does cause me to question their inability to perceive and accept the established fact that at least just as many others in the profession—including yours truly—seem to bump into them on the regular.

Sometimes you catch a flash of them moving naturally through the landscape. Other times, though, communication happens and prolonged bouts of meaningful interaction ensue.

Admittedly, when you are down to your last box of dehydrated mashed potatoes, and they start coming at you for food, things do have a way of getting physical.

But experience has taught me aggression in their species is mostly the exception, not the rule. Their true nature is deeply harmonious and freakishly inquisitive.  

It’s common knowledge among crew leaders that the ability to get a good Bigfoot on your side—especially during heavy-labor projects like building new tread across a few choice miles of steep mountainside—can boost crew morale and incentivize productivity levels across the board. 

The main thing to understand about Bigfoot encounters in the wild is that humans will generally only encounter a live Sasquatch if that particular biped wants us to. 

Whether such a meeting turns out good or bad, deeply meaningful or dangerous, depends in large part on a capacity to acknowledge the atmosphere attendant to said creature’s demeanor.       
 
Take, for instance, the perplexing chain of deep-forest sensations that came within a whisker’s-width of driving me bonkers during a fraught GPS mapping expedition on Grouse Butte.

All I had to do that day was grab my GPS device, self-arrest down a sketchy embankment off Forest Service Road 36 and start following a conspicuous trail-survey line of weathered orange flagging tape that I’d blazed through the greenery several months before. 

Almost immediately, I could sense a powerful Bigfoot presence begin to manifest in fairly menacing fashion somewhere in the dappled shadows ahead of me—like a toll I had to pay for “trespassing” through a stand of mature timber I sought to claim for outdoor recreation purposes.

Reaching up to retie a loose piece of flagging on a tree branch the columnar outcrop in front of me began to vibrate and a robust, hairy head—oblong and ghastly—materialized through a crack and sent me tripping backward over a mossy log. I smashed my GPS unit to splinters as I rag-dolled downhill.

A little later, when I emerged from a concussive blackout, the high-pitched hum, almost a dog whistle, closed in on me with pulverizing force and wouldn’t stop emoting a sonic crack in the time-space continuum until I plunged both fingers deep into my ear canals.

I survived that one. Barely.

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