In Sasquatch We Trust
© Copyright 2023 by Mort Morford
Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash
And as you look at that map of the USA, notice that the upper left corner has a little notch in it. That is Puget Sound.
That little notch on the map is the home of the well-known black and white killer whales also known as orcas. I’ve only seen them fleetingly and from a distance.
Between Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean lies the Olympic National Forest.
That isolated area is where this story takes place….
A friend and I were on an early spring hike with a couple overnights planned.
The weather was good, but it was far too early for more practical and responsible hikers or campers. We saw no other humans that weekend.
After just a couple miles, the trail came upon a lake that was still mostly frozen over.
As we got closer, we noticed fresh footprints – bear footprints – leading in straight line across the lake.
Until the middle. There was a big hole in the ice out in the middle where the bear had apparently fallen through. And then the prints continued to the other side of the lake.
During the previous summer, this same friend of mine and I briskly walked past a stripped and bare tree that held a baby bear.
The mother bear, of course, was not far away. In fact she was on the ground – near us.
Mama bears are not graceful, but they are loud and forceful.
We heard crashing and thrashing in the underbrush. And it was getting closer and closer to us.
Bears are predominantly vegetarian and generally live on berries, roots, bugs and the occasional fish.
But a human between a mama bear and her baby is fair game.
We knew that our only chance for survival was get as far away as possible, and, with the baby bear in the tree, we hoped that she wouldn’t go far.
Running with a heavy backpack is not recommended. On the other hand, it’s astounding how much distance you can cover with just a little inspiration.
We ran until, pausing for breath, we looked back to see the mama bear looking back at her baby, and seeming satisfied at our retreat, she gave us a nasty growl and turned back to care for her little one.
As we continued on our hike, at a more leisurely pace, we reached a rocky pass overlooking trails which split in two directions. Both covered with a full winter’s covering of snow.
And then we looked closer.
Our destination was on the trail to the left. But the trail to the right held footprints. Giant footprints. Five toes were clearly visible on these footprints that were at least 24 inches long.
These were not recent. Since it had not snowed at that altitude for a few weeks, we could tell that they were at minimum a week or two old. And they were clearly visible for hundreds of yards as we looked down from the pass.
These were not bear prints. They were very distinctly human looking.
We never saw the creature that left those prints.
We considered following those tracks, but as I said, they were not fresh and would have only led us further into the wilderness.
And, even being young and foolish, we didn’t know if we wanted to see that creature.
The northern face of those mountains is about 100 miles across. And the mountain range stretches far longer than that.
There are vast places there where, if you got lost, you might never be found. Or some cougar, bear or something else with an appetite might find you long before a rescue team could.
There are miles without roads, even dirt roads. Even trails.
For many years I have heard stories of hermits and survivalists who have made their homes there. One researcher claims that the quietest place on earth can be found there.
I know people who have moved there to escape civilization’s collapse and urban chaos. Others move there to find, or create, their own communities or compounds.
Some of my friends have moved there and never came back.
There’s a highway that circles the entire park. It’s a more than 300-mile circle. Virtually all of those miles are dense forests which often lead to a numbing, near-hypnotic state even as a driver.
There’s a constant sense that anything could happen; that creatures, or spirits, or long-lost civilizations, or isolated tribes could emerge from the near-eternal misty darkness that never seems to lift.
Even now there are dense forests of thousand-year-old trees. It’s a temperate rain forest, so massive evergreen trees hang with moss, fungi and lichens - some that glow in the dark.
And branches, heavy with moss, shake and squawk, and sometimes break in the wind.
At night it gets darker than most of imagine could be possible.
If Sasquatch lives, it probably lives there.
The people that live there can be just as mystifying.
There are tiny communities around the park. One you may have heard of; Forks – the setting for the Twilight series.
The people of Forks have an annual Sasquatch festival in May (https://sasquatchthelegend.com/pages/2023-forks-sasquatch-days)
It makes sense. It’s the perfect setting for unexpected, mythical – and perhaps even semi-eternal beings.
Many years after the hike where we found the footprints, I accidently stumbled on a Sasquatch museum (https://tourismharrison.com/listing/visitor-centre-sasquatch-museum/) in southern British Columbia, Canada.
At the gift shop they sold plaster casts of Sasquatch/Bigfoot footprints. They looked exactly like the footprints I saw many years before, and almost 200 miles away.
The Native people have a long tradition of “shape-shifters” – those beings who could “shift” from form to form and even disappear as needed.
I must admit that, of all species of creatures, I like the ones that defy human categorization, taxonomy and definition – or even confirmation of their existence.
The thought that there are creatures out there beyond our grasp, even our imaginations, and certainly far beyond our zoos and textbooks, helps me sleep at night.
as most scriptures tell us that our Creator cannot be fully known by
us, the concept that Creation itself cannot be fully known appeals to