Sasquatch and the Wilderness Trail
When my brother proposed a camping trip, I jumped at the opportunity. We missed a previously planned trip on the boat, and we hadn’t done anything together since our journey to Alaska. With as much time as I’ve spent in the woods, I’ve never done a multi-day backpacking trip; certainly not in the Pacific Rainforest in the middle of February.
The week before the trip was stressful. I knew that if I was not adequately prepared, the trip would be miserable. The two things I knew I could count on is the weather being both cold and wet. I meticulously collected my gear throughout the week. Every night after work I laid out my gear, removed what I wouldn’t absolutely need, and made a list of what I still needed.
Since I had never done a trip of this caliber before, I put out a APB on facebook to see if I could borrow a better tent, pack, and sleeping bag. Several friends offered gear and several inquired about tagging along. In the end, my other brother and two friends joined the trip and I got all the gear I needed.
After meeting up in La Push the five of us made a temporary camp for the night at the trail head. In the middle of the night a couple Native boys, covered head to toe in mud, stumbled into camp looking for assistance. It turned out they had driven off the road and were stuck in the mud. Not wanting to wake the others, I quickly told them to hop in and we headed back to their truck.
I had seen several books on Sasquatch at the local store, so while we were driving I asked the about the Native view of the Big Foot phenomenon. With strait faces they told me they had been taught to not look them in the eyes, just keep doing what they’re doing, and don’t provoke them. Just as if you were dealing with a passing moose instead of a mythological creature.
Taken aback by this sober advice I prodded a little further about their experiences. One told of an Aunt who had been temporarily besieged by one. Apparently it killed her cats and proceeded to repeatedly throw the dead bodies against her house while she cowered inside. The other told of an Uncle who had one throw large rocks at him while he was fishing a local river. Nearly all of their relatives had seen one at one time.
Unable to pull their truck out with mine, I gave them a length of chain and dropped them off in town. I still don’t know what to make of their testimony. How could so many people have such visceral experiences and yet no concrete photographic evidence exist?
That morning we had a beautiful hike in to Third Beach. The good karma I accrued paid off with mild winds and sunny weather, a rare miracle in this place, at this time of year. I definitely over packed, but thankfully we under hiked. 3.4 miles brought us to Scott Creek and some very nice camp sites. The trail was short, but intense; scaling wood-rope ladders and frequent mud slides with only a well-worn rope to stop your unintentional descent.
Hiking through the dense old growth, it was easy to imagine how a whole species of hominid might squirrel itself away here. The giant grand firs certainly appeared to have survived from some prehistoric era. The overland passages reminded me of the Ewok planet of Endor in Star Wars. I imagine I made a good simulation of an ant in the grass.
The rest of the trip passed quickly and pleasantly. Good friends, good family, good whiskey, and good times were had by all as we huddled around the fire attempting to keep warm and dry.