During Kim and my (Kim and mine? Kim and I’s?) visit to Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park during the summer of 2012, one thought kept running through my mind: ‘we are in the heart of Sasquatch country!’ This had me both excited and terrified. Like seeing a lion on the savanna, it would be an amazing experience to see such a majestic creature, but you also need to keep your distance from them.
Legend has it…ok, ok, late night internet searches tell me, that Bigfoots are friendly and that they tend to avoid interaction with people, so odds are you will never be the gazelle to the Bigfoot’s lion. Most of the people who see Bigfoot are people who are deep in forests and are typically alone. Who is going to believe a hiker, who hasn’t had any human interaction for days or weeks on end, when they claim that they saw a giant, hairy humanoid creature when no one else is around? Or a hunter sitting in a tree stand for three days, hopped up on deer scent? It’s the perfect explanation as to why their existence hasn’t been proven: the people who makes the claims are easily disregarded as wackos. But I digress…
During our hiking, I was keenly aware of what might be around us: bears, mountain lions, the occasional irritable squirrel, and Sasquatches. Who knew how many. Hundreds of Sasquatches? Thousands of them? Would we stumble upon Sasquatchistan, the rumored Kingdom of the Sasquatchi and the legendary spot where Harry met the Henderson’s? Ok, maybe I just made up Sasquatchistan but really, who knew how many Sasquatches we could be out there waiting to meet us?
One trail we hiked in particular, outside of the park and in a wilderness area, seemed like where a Sasquatch would live. The trailhead was remote, a few miles down a logging road that our car barely made it down. There were no other cars at the trailhead. So we had two things in our favor: we were alone and in a remote area. At this point all we needed was some deer spray and we would safely be in the ‘backwoods loonies’ category.
As we set off down the trail, the forest seemed quiet. So we made sure to talk a little louder than usual to let all the irritable squirrels know we were there. After a good hike in the southern California heat, we finally reached our destination: a Giant Sequoia tree, which was the only one in the area (all of the others had been cut down by loggers.)
As we gaped at the tree and took pictures of each other standing next to it, I got the sensation that we weren’t alone. I started getting a little anxious, and decided we should leave soon. I started looking around to see if I could see anything. All of a sudden a rock came out of nowhere, flying through the air, and landed in a shrub near us. It landed with a huge thud and shook the shrub. At that point I knew it was time to go.
I told Kim what I saw, that I thought there was a Bigfoot around, and that it was time to go. She didn’t believe me. To her credit, I didn’t actually see the rock as it hurled through the air, with the Sasquatch’s obvious intention to let us they were there. And I couldn’t find the rock that was thrown at us, which is the Sasquatch equivalent of a “Beware of Dog” sign, except instead of “Dog”, substitute “8′ tall, 500 pound North American woodland ape.”
I asked Kim what she thought it was and she replied “a pine cone.” I said it couldn’t be and proceeded to find a few pine cones and threw them up in the air. When they hit the ground, they sounded nothing like what we had heard before. They sounded like pine cones, not rocks. And the shrubs barely moved when the pine cones hit them. With Kim still skeptical, we headed back to the trailhead.
On our hike back to our car, I kept looking over my shoulder, but there were no Bigfoot to be seen. We came across one group as we hiked out, and I tried to warn them, but Kim hushed me before I could yell, with a mixture of excitement and fear, “THERE’S A SASQUATCH BACK THERE!” We will never know what became of them.
As we made the long and bumpy ride out of the wilderness, we discussed it further. Despite my best efforts, Kim remained unconvinced of our close encounter of the Sasquatch kind. But I knew better. I knew it was a rock thrown at us and what threw it. And I know that Sasquatchistan is out there, just waiting for the right deer scent covered hiker to find it.