I’m sure you’ve all heard stories about Bigfoot. Also known as Sasquatch here in the Pacific Northwest.
Good friends of ours have an espresso stand called the Espresso Chalet, that stands on the site where the sweet movie about Bigfoot, Harry and the Henderson’s, was filmed. There are wonderful mountain views from their place and amazing Bigfoot totems.
There is a fascinating book called Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, by Jeff Meldrum, a professor of anatomy and anthropology at the University of Idaho who looks at the legends from a scientific analysis viewpoint to question whether such a creature could, or might have, existed.
There is a lot of stuff on the internet about supposed sightings, some even with video and recordings.
An elderly man who was a very pragmatic sort once told me a story that left me wondering.
But I’m about to confess something here.
I actually saw Bigfoot once.
Many years ago we were visiting a great-uncle at his farm in eastern Washington. And one day he and my dad decided to go for a drive along old logging roads out in the woods, which was a favorite pastime of our family. So off we went in our 1960s baby-blue Corvair station wagon. The great-uncle, dad, a couple siblings, and myself.
There we were, taking our time driving switchbacks through the forest, climbing into the mountains. The logging road was a narrow, rocky washboard and in this one particular spot, the trees crowded right up to the edge of the road. Can you picture it? No room to turn, to get out of the way if there had been another car on the road.
Or to get out of the way if something came charging through that shadowed forest.
And that’s exactly what happened.
We saw movement, brown fur, something big coming fast through the trees.
But before we could even think ‘bear!!!’ it was there, right in front of the car.
Dad slammed on the brakes throwing all of us forward. This was, after all, back in the 1960s when you were lucky if your car even had seatbelts.
And before we could even think ‘Bigfoot!!!’ it leaped onto the hood of the car.
And started spraying our front windshield with soapy water.
Out there in the middle of the woods and here was this crazy mythical beast with a squirt bottle. It sprayed the windshield so heavily that we couldn’t see. Windshield wipers didn’t help because all they did was smear the soap and make more bubbles.
My dad was furious. He leaped out and confronted Bigfoot. There was a lot of yelling, and then a lot of apologizing.
It turns out the same weekend we were there, a car rally was going on. The idea was you signed up and then drove a mapped route through logging roads in the mountains. Whoever made it to the final checkpoint with the best time, won something (never did hear what). But to make the rally more interesting, there were obstacles set up along the way to slow participants down.
Like Bigfoot with a squirt bottle.
So after poor Bigfoot realized we weren’t part of the rally, after all the yelling and apologizing, and after watching Bigfoot trying to clean off the windshield with his hairy arm, we headed on down the logging road.
My dad exacted his revenge on the whole rally by becoming an obstacle.
That story probably explains why I still like to drive old logging roads and why I peer out the windows so intently. Because I know, without a doubt, that somewhere out there is a real Bigfoot.
And one of these days I’m going to see him (or her) in the trees.
Hopefully this time without a squirt bottle.