I went Squatchin'

Ok maybe my post description was a little bit dramatic.  I didn't BARELY live to tell the tale - but going Squatchin' in the California Redwoods was definitely one of the most fucking terrifying experiences of my life… and I have to tell you - the sheer fear for my LIFE that I felt was not fun and not what I expected. 

Ok maybe my post description was a little bit dramatic.  I didn't BARELY live to tell the tale - but going Squatchin' in the California Redwoods was definitely one of the most fucking terrifying experiences of my life… and I have to tell you - the sheer fear for my LIFE that I felt was not fun and not what I expected.  

First of all - what exactly IS squatchin' you ask?  It's for Bigfoot enthusiasts (yes there is such a thing…) or fucking morons (applicable in our case) who basically go on a hike/trek specifically to find a Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch).  Our motivation to go Squatchin started with the mass amount of Bigfoot/Sasquatch sculptures, murals, carvings etc. that we kept seeing on the side of the highway along the Oregon coast and into Northern California.  The drive we were making from our campsite in Eureka to the spot we spent our days hiking (like normal people) brought on a heavy load of side-of-the-highway Bigfoot porn… so upon a fateful pee stop at the Visitors Centre we finally asked the very odd park ranger (he definitely could have been a Sasquatch hybrid) if people ACTUALLY go squatchin' in the area.  "Oh yessssss" he said without blinking "it is a very serious thing around here.  If you really want to get the real experience you have to check out Skunk Creek Trail.  It's where all the Squatchers go".  Kris and I looked at each other and bust out laughing.  The Park Ranger kept a sturdy silent stare which sharply shut us up and we proceeded to back away slowly. Once we were back in our van we made the decision that we absolutely HAD to go.

In true Morel fashion - we knew we had to get well-prepared for the event.  We did some research and found out that there had indeed been hundreds…  HUNDREDS of sightings in the area - including one where MULTIPLE witnesses saw a disoriented Bigfoot stagger out of the Redwoods during a fire. The famous Roger Patterson Bigfoot Footage was even filmed nearby. 

Well.  Fuck. 

I was definitely starting to get that old familiar pit in my stomach.  One that you wouldn't understand unless you were married to Kris Morel.  The most steady, calm, unshakable human being in the entire world.  Unless of course you turn the cold water on while he is in a hot shower…. then he screams like a little bitch - but thats not the point.  The point is I tend to agree to wildly ridiculous adventures with Kris that I then HAVE to follow through on, usually right at the point when I start to think this is a really bad idea (kind of like the time he convinced me to quit my cozy job to live in a camper).   This whole Squatchin thing was starting to get a little too real.  

But… the morning of Squatchin' arrived. We went and got Subway sandwich combos, loaded our backpack with our lunch and hiking essentials (including our Bigfoot map) and set out for Skunk Creek Trail.  

Like any good start of a horror story… the parking lot to the trail head was completely dead.  There was one ominous car parked - but other than that… there was nothing.  There was a chill in the air and the actual trail had a very unkempt look that implied that only the bravest of souls and the most experienced of Squatchers attempted it.  With eyes like saucers… we set out on our way.    

I tried my best to play it cool.  I have a reputation with my friends and family for being a bit of a pussy - so I wanted to prove that not only could I Squatch - but I could do it without fear. We trekked like champions, and the initial silence of the trail made my anxiety increase with every step.  I was torn between wanting to keep as silent as possible to ensure that I would hear a Squatch comin….and wanting to start some conversation so that I could talk as loud as possible and scare em off.  Yep… I was on a trek to find a Sasquatch and I wanted to make sure I scared them away.  Genius.  

I opted for the latter and after a screaming conversation about probably nothing… it wasn't long before IT happened.  The moment that scarred me for life and certainly ensured that I would only ever go Squatchin again without a full security force.  In a forest full of Bigfoots and mysteries… we heard the loudest, wildest, yet-to-be-explained whooping noise.  Coming directly from the trees beside us.  Not a word of a lie.

I screamed bloody murder.  The dogs ears went back and his tail went so far up between his legs I thought it was up his asshole.   I grabbed our safety knife from its pocket in our backpack, whipped it out of its case and still screaming held it out towards the tree where the noise came from.  Then I turned and RAN FOR MY LIFE.  

My husband was clutching his sides in laughter jogging beside me making highly inappropriate commentary for our last moments alive.  Comments such as "what you gonna do with that knife babe - stab a Bigfoot?" and "It was wind blowing the trees together stupid!".  It was NOT fucking wind.  I have heard wind blowing trees together - MULTIPLE TIMES.  No fucking chance it was that.

So - back to the van we went.  My squatchin' experience was over in a matter of half an hour.  Kris decided there was no way he wasn't going to continue solo on our noble mission to capture a Bigfoot on camera.  I mean - after all - it would make for a pretty fucking epic Instagram post….would it not?!  I locked myself in the van with the dog for protection and Kris ventured out on round #2...knife noticeably a little more accessible and camera in the armed and ready position.  

I sat in the van, took a selfie to commemorate the moment (below), and put on a podcast to try to ease the tension.  It quickly got turned off - because my ears were straining for any audible evidence of a Bigfoot.  I started to contemplate my situation.  I mean… who the hell finds themselves alone in a cargo van in the parking lot of a deserted trail because they flat out refused to go for another round of Squatch-hunting. Me.  Thats who. 

Courtney looking for Bigfoot

In what seemed like a decade - but in reality was less than an hour - my husband came trudging back…and calmly explained that he had heard the mysterious noise again - and that it was not indeed trees rubbing together (told you so….) but that it was not a Sasquatch either.  His reasoning for this conclusion was that the noise was incredibly close to the trail… and so if it was a Bigfoot it was either invisible or very high up in a tree - and that both options were highly unlikely.  

While it is yet to be determined who's conclusion is correct (I say Bigfoot.  Definitely, DEFINITELY Bigfoot) - I can say with certainty that I will not be going Squatchin again anytime soon. 

Eureka, California
I interviewed my two-year-old niece

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