Or not. But I wanted to. I really, really did. It's that nostalgia thing again, people.
I have lived in Northern CA for the majority of my life. Okay, all of it except for one tragic year when I found myself far, far away from family and friends right after I got married in some other country called Texas. But we won't talk about that.
When I was growing up my family used to camp. We camped a lot. But never in a nice campground area with something resembling a toilet or a faucet emerging from the middle of the ground so as to have water to cook/clean with. Oh, no. Not us. My father would always choose the MOST remote location, put our truck in to 4-wheel drive (this was back in the day when you had to get out of the truck...it was not just a simple push of a button or mechanism located inside the vehicle) and climb in to wherever he wanted to seclude us for a week.
And there we would be. Away from everything and everyone that resembled civilization.
And I loved every minute of it! My dad had purpose when he did that. We didn't have camping "neighbors" and we got to be as loud as we wanted. And I was loud as a kid. Trust me.
One of my dad's favorite areas to camp was near Weaverville, California in the Trinity mountains. It was the very area where the infamous film footage of Bigfoot was taken...and from it this frozen image that forever became ingrained in my young brain:
I remember specifically one camping trip where we were all sitting by the campfire. It was dark. Dude, SO DARK. When you camp in the middle of nowhere it is DARK. And let me say this: I'm petrified of the dark.
So there we are, in the dark (have I mentioned I'm scared of the dark?) with just a small campfire lighting our faces. My dad proceeds to scare the crap out of me telling me we are in the very area that they spotted big foot.
I was about 7. And I was never the same. Whenever we camped from that day forward I would never venture far away from camp and would always be very nervous when I had to go "find" a toilet. Or an appropriate location that a toilet might exist had we not been in the middle of nowhere. I was scared of the forest. I'm sure it had NOTHING to do with my Wizard of Oz fascination. Just get that out of your head. I'm sure it was all my dad's doing with his Bigfoot story.
And I always wondered about that hairy creature.
Then 35 years later this:
Let me tell you that I really, really looked at this picture when it was released. I analyzed every bit of it. I thought, "No! It can't be!"
And it wasn't. Stupid Bigfoot hoaxers. Supposedly a "joke that got out of hand." You think? The dude lost his job over it, for crying out loud! And what did those guys think would happen when the world discovered it was a costume filled with animal guts? (Which, by the way, is just gross in itself, don't you think? Ew.)
I went searching around the internet for Bigfoot stuff after the hoax was revealed for what it was: a hoax. I found numerous websites dedicated to Bigfoot and his existence. (Or her existence. It could be female. Right?)
There are some die hard Bigfoot believers out there. Whole websites dedicated to sightings and facts and planned expeditions and stuff. Research, reports, maps.
Not amazing that the info is all out there.
Not amazing at the amount of work that goes in to the whole Bigfoot phenomenon.
It's amazing that there are people who actually believe it. And you know what? They aren't 7. But I'm no killjoy. To each their own. Everyone needs a passion, right?
Mine just happens to be the Wizard of Oz.