Oct 242013
 

Mt St Helensy

By Christy Karras

Of the many Bigfoot sightings compiled on the Internet, the number in Washington is striking. If you look into what kind of territory the reports suggest the creature prefers, maybe that’s no surprise.

Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, seems to appear where wilderness and civilization meet, usually areas with plenty of water and heavy woods. Another thing many sighting sites have in common: brushy, sloping foothills where huckleberries flourish. Who can blame Sasquatch for loving huckleberries?

Interest in Bigfoot is as high as ever. An enterprise called the Sasquatch Genome Project recently made a splash by claiming it had DNA analysis proving Bigfoot’s existence. The Animal Planet show “Finding Bigfoot” has its season premiere in November.

Washington Bigfoot tales go back decades, maybe even centuries: furry bipedal figures striding across roads or meadows, unexplained vaguely human- or ape-like screams echoing through forests, giant footprints left in mud or snow.

For a number of people here, the search is more of a lifelong hobby than a passing fancy. A handful of groups based here go on regular expeditions looking for evidence.

Decades after a sighting in his youth, retired military man Kevin Jones joined up with the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, or BFRO. The avid outdoorsman has since led BFRO camping trips with the “squatch-curious,” hoping to “let them enjoy what I’ve enjoyed.”

He says the rules for seeing Sasquatch are the same as for finding any wildlife: Be patient and keep your eyes on the forest, especially at night.

If nothing else, searching for Sasquatch is an excuse to spend time outdoors — spots big on sightings also tend to be great for recreation. I’m with comedian-turned-director Bobcat Goldthwait, who’s touring the festival circuit with “Willow Creek,” a Bigfoot-themed horror film: “If you go looking for Bigfoot and you don’t find him, the byproduct is you went camping.”

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Enlarge this photoSusan Jouflas / The Seattle Times

Dark woods  in Mount Rainier's foothills are considered highly "squatchy" -- likely to be home to a Sasquatch or two.

Enlarge this photoChristy Karras

Dark woods  in Mount Rainier’s foothills are considered highly “squatchy” — likely to be home to a Sasquatch or two.

Related

If you go

Resources

Local Sasquatch investigation groups include Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (bfro.net) and The Olympic Project (olympicproject.com).

Hikes

To find hikes, try Washington Trails Association’s interactive trail map: wta.org/go-hiking/map

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Of the many Bigfoot sightings compiled on the Internet, the number in Washington is striking. If you look into what kind of territory the reports suggest the creature prefers, maybe that’s no surprise.

Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, seems to appear where wilderness and civilization meet, usually areas with plenty of water and heavy woods. Another thing many sighting sites have in common: brushy, sloping foothills where huckleberries flourish. Who can blame Sasquatch for loving huckleberries?

Interest in Bigfoot is as high as ever. An enterprise called the Sasquatch Genome Project recently made a splash by claiming it had DNA analysis proving Bigfoot’s existence. The Animal Planet show “Finding Bigfoot” has its season premiere in November.

Washington Bigfoot tales go back decades, maybe even centuries: furry bipedal figures striding across roads or meadows, unexplained vaguely human- or ape-like screams echoing through forests, giant footprints left in mud or snow.

For a number of people here, the search is more of a lifelong hobby than a passing fancy. A handful of groups based here go on regular expeditions looking for evidence.

Decades after a sighting in his youth, retired military man Kevin Jones joined up with the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, or BFRO. The avid outdoorsman has since led BFRO.

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