The storm had whipped the forest into a howling grabbing tunnel of madness. Large branches reached for me while a frenzy of little ones were launched like projectiles towards me. Each step was perilous. The earth was heaving with every move and the forest groaned with devious pleasure and foamed at the mouth with the thought of being able to take me under whole.
Today however-I had other plans. For today was not going to be my last glimpse of this light, a darkened green-gray that spewed its anger towards me, no, today was going to be the day where he can no longer hide from me. Today is the day I find Bigfoot.
At that moment my mind floated at the thought of perhaps this being my last few moments and everything slowed down. As the raging earth around me moved into slow motion I noticed an odd noise coming from the darkest part of the forest. As the whipping of its crusted branch arms would come towards me it would beep, a grinding beep that burrowed deeper with every whip. The last one seemed to leap from the dark forest to reach for my face, and recoiling in fear, I jerked and found myself sweat soaked and wrapped tightly in my blanket in my bed, at home, with the only fear being that it was 6am and I had to get up for work.
It had happened. I had a dream about seeking Bigfoot. I sometimes passively wondered if it ever would, but here it was, its last vestiges, on my sweat soaked pillow with a blanket that twisted while I slept as if it were trying to squeeze the fear out of me.
I get it. The chase for seeing Bigfoot can gnaw at your brain and claw at your heart and soul. I have been there, hell I am there, I just want to believe it has not engulfed me whole, leaving only a soul scarred shell of who I once was standing there speechless and waiting for the next stiff breeze to knock me over.
I can go back to one moment that drives me crazy with Sasquatch fever. On our adventure in upstate New York, on our first purposeful effort to investigate this phenomenon, I believe we might have had our best evidence without an actual sighting- and we did nothing. We heard the tree snapping and twisting from maybe a quarter mile away. There was no rain, no wind, in fact other than the high humidity and 90 degree day; it was a picture perfect day.
As we moved up the mountain the smell was the first thing we noticed. Filling the air was a sweet pungent earthy scent, that of a fresh green tree. Finally reaching the tree, we saw that a ten foot tall plus tree about 4-6 inches across had been twisted and broken down – directly over the trail. I would like to say at this point we stopped, broke out our cameras (video and still) and recorded this event, providing as much information as possible to share with others. That however did not happen. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. We did not pass go, but we did just keep on walking, right past it and around it, on up that mountain, hardly pausing to look back in amazement, and never thinking that this could be a great moment for Alan and I. On our way back down the mountain, we passed it again, only to look on in wonder if this had been the Bigfoot.
Ever since that day I have been haunted by that decision, or lack thereof. Over the years however, I have learned to live with, and allow it to push me back into the woods, but not control me and my dreams. I still search for Bigfoot, but I don’t chase him anymore.
The white Whale is from Moby Dick and Capt. Ahab in his hunt let it (nearly?) consume him. As in Bigfoot investigation, this is but one side of a many sided mystery that so many of us want to solve. Will it consume you?