Getting hairy in Bigfoot country
What: Bigfoot Festival
When: 10 am Sun., Aug. 4
Where: Maple Falls Park
Activities include a Bigfoot costume contest, live music, arts and crafts, food trucks and more.
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.
A treasure hunt in Cle Elum
Summer activities during the age of social distancing have been a tough nut to crack. It started with long days cooped up frantically prospecting for toilet paper and watching the same depressing news cycle, until home started to feel less like a haven and more like a prison.
Veins, vugs and vertical vivification
Words were scarce and conversation was minimal as our socially distanced party of rockhounds crawled up an overgrown boot trail that seemed to twist and turn forever through dense brush and heavy timber.
Somewhere way above us was a remote alpine basin full of jade lakes, scalable slopes…
Back on the bay
The former naval aviator who recently participated in Vets on the Water, the Community Boating Center’s new pilot program, began the daylong sail in Bellingham Bay full of anxiety, saying being so close to saltwater felt like an unnatural act.
It was only when the diesel engine was turned…