Tag Archives: Legend

In search of Bigfoot? He’s everywhere in the Pacific Northwest

big foot forest

Can you see a yeti through that forest?

One has to jog only a few lonely roads in the Pacific Northwest to believe it’s a good area of the country for serial killers.

The roads are so remote and forested, the bodies may never be found. (This is not a joke; California, Washington and Oregon are Nos. 4, 5 and 6 in the per capita serial murder rate. Single joggers beware.)

This may also explain why it the land of Bigfoot. He can dodge the prying eyes of the paparazzi pretty effectively in the fairly unpopulated forests of California, Oregon and western Montana.

But evidence of his presence exists everywhere.

big foot plaster cast

That’s a big foot.

The California Redwoods state park in Humboldt has on display a cast of his foot print. It’s on display like scientific evidence, not simply evidence of a legend. Want to buy a facsimile? You can at the Trees of Mystery attraction in Klamath, Calif.

Bigfoot, a very rare or possibly fictional North American primate, goes by many names. He’s also known as Sasquatch. Or he may be a yeti. In deep winter, he may be an Abominable Snowman (though the snowy version is rumored to live in Nepal or possibly Tibet; could be a relative). Whatever you call him, he is a large, hairy, bipedal humanoid who has been dissected by every mystery television show known to man. I remember being introduced to him in the early ’80s by the voice of Leonard Nimoy on repeats of “In Search Of … .”

“This series presents information based in part on theory and conjecture. The producer’s purpose is to suggest some possible explanations, but not necessarily the only ones, to the mysteries we will examine. Today we are In Search Of … Bigfoot.”

Maybe the producers could have used a map.

big foot map

Pick up a detailed diagram at the Burl n’ Drift Novelty Shop at the Ancient Redwoods RV Park near Redcrest, California.

And he’s apparently been sighted at the Klamath Camper Corral, as evidenced by this sign:


Try sleeping peacefully 20 yards from that!

Artists across the Pacific Northwest have been inspired by his visage. Notice his hair is the same color as a redwood tree.

Is Bigfoot real? Of course, he is. He’s as real as Coca-Cola and low, low prices at Walmart. Bigfoot is big business. So he must exist.


Paul Bunyan put down roots in Cali, too

Where do you think Paul Bunyan is from?

I grew up in Minnesota, and I thought Paul was a member of my tribe. There’s a statue of him in Bemidji, only 60 miles north of where I learned the legends of the state in grade school.

But a drive through California will quickly dissuade you from believing Paul Bunyan belongs only to Minnesota.

Wait, who’s Paul Bunyan again?

If you’re not sure, you didn’t grow up near a forest harvested by loggers.

Paul Bunyan is a legendary lumberjack who eats miles-high piles of flapjacks and hangs with his trusty friend, Babe the Big Blue Ox. He wears suspenders over his red plaid shirt and carries an ax over his shoulder. He’s jolly about hard work, as any good Minnesotan ought to be.

But California has hardwood forests populated with hard-working loggers, too, and Californians also lays claim to the legend of Paul Bunyan.

Paul Bunyan Three Rivers

The sign below Paul says: Carved 1941-42 Single log, 2,000-year-old giant sequoia, 40 tons heavy before carved, 16’6″ high – 9’wide, Carroll Barnes, Sculptor

A statue of Paul carrying Babe, appropriately carved in wood, stands near the entrance to Sequoia National Park in Three Rivers, California. It’s no wonder Paul has forearms as thick as tree trunks if he’s logging giant sequoia.

Paul Bunyan Fort Bragg

This notation appears on a beach sign in Fort Bragg.

Paul Bunyan is celebrated annually in Fort Bragg, California, where the forest meets the Pacific Ocean. Hundreds of thousands of trees once covered the coast there.

paul-bunyan-salt-and-pepper.jpgAnd he and Babe are memorialized in wooden beams, wire and cement stucco in Klamath, California, near the Oregon border. Here Paul weighs 30,000 pounds and he’s 49-feet-2-inches tall; that’s some chest hair, huh? I chose a discreet angle on Babe, who is portrayed with all a bull’s parts intact. If you’d prefer your Bunyan & Babe in a more manageable size, you can buy salt and peppers shakers at the gift shop for only $12.95. Ain’t that cuter than a puppy licking a baby?

A little research reveals Paul was born in Maine, where I can only assume the forests are as evident as they are in northern Minnesota and the Pacific Northwest (he was such a big baby, it took five storks to deliver him).

So I guess he was only visiting when he was in Minnesota.