Thursday, September 11, 2014

My “Big Foot” story


[written 8-28-14]

I was on a hike with my wife and at last two of my kids about 36 or 37 years ago in the Cleveland National Forest. I have a very poor sense of direction but thanks to having been trained by the USMC in maps and compass, I was (almost) always confident about where we were going. We got to one spot where the map said there was a trail, but we couldn't see one. I squatted down and could see the old hard-packed trail underneath the brush. It had grown over the trail. Then up ahead I saw someone coming toward us; so I said, "come one, I see someone coming toward us; so the trail must be open up ahead, let's crawl underneath. So we got down on our hands and knees and crawled along this over grown trail until we got to an open spot. It seemed further along than the spot where I'd seen the guy coming toward us, but when I looked I could see that the trail was overgrown further on as well.

As we stood there the others interrogated me. "Are you sure you saw some one?" "Yes!"

"What did he look like?" "I don't know I just saw his outline. . . but he could have been further away than I thought.  Let's keep going."

I got complaints from my kids who wanted to turn back, but my wife was game so on we went. We did finally come out on an (uncovered) trail but never encountered the man I saw and thought must be coming toward us; so what had I seen?  I occasionally looked for tracks on the trail as we crawled along but never saw any. Neither my kids nor my wife had seen what I saw; so my kids (regularly teased by their father) accused me of making it up. I insisted I had seen someone. Then (always ready to tease my kids) after a bit I said I had figured it out: Big Foot. He probably wasn't on the trail but crossing it. I looked up and saw him. He saw me and stopped for a moment, and we lost sight of him when we went back down onto our hands and knees. My kids scoffed, but when I insisted that I wasn't kidding about seeing someone, they did look round about more than they would on a typical hike.

So what did I see? I don't know. If it was a man, what was he doing out there? There was no trail crossing the one we were on, and the chaparral was dense. Someone could bull their way through it, but it wouldn't have been pleasant, and if a man would try it (I would have thought), he would have made a lot of noise doing it. Of course something larger would have made noise as well, or would he?
My son likes those Big-foot-hunting "reality" shows. I'm not really saying I saw a big foot. All I insist on is that I saw something or someone.

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