It’s true: There are few things that could motivate a Seattleite to leave her cozy apartment in the U District at 5 p.m. on a Friday evening, hop onto the glorified parking lot that is I-5 at that hour and head for Puyallup.
Last weekend, however, I did just that—and I did it for Bigfoot.
The first of Team Squatchin USA’s (now monthly) Grub, Gulp and Gab Gatherings was held in a small banquet room tucked in the back of the Hangar Inn—a lone, unassuming diner on the outskirts of the Pierce County Airport. Under the looming shadow of Mount Rainier, a colorful combination of die-hard Squatchers (i.e. those devoted to the search for Sasquatches), open-minded observers and skeptical (but curious!) citizens comprised a crowd of about two dozen. The main attraction: Dr. Matthew Johnson, or Dr. J for short. A psychologist and author of parenting books, Dr. J claims to have encountered Bigfoot face-to-face over a decade ago, deep in the Oregon Caves National Park.
Clocking in at 6 feet 9 inches tall, Dr. J stood in the center of the room, towering over a table laden with heavy oblong rock piles—I mean, Bigfoot tracks—which he had collected himself. As we all chewed on prime rib and mashed potatoes (I couldn’t pass up the buffet), Dr. J got the meeting started by outlining the central concerns of Team Squatchin.
During the “Bigfoot Gossip” segment, a man with a grizzly white beard shared his story: “I ran into one in Vietnam, and he hit me in the back with a rock. He was the size of a chimpanzee with an arm like Sandy Koufax.”
I won’t spoil all the fun, especially for those of you planning to attend the next meeting. Instead, I will simply share six of the many things that I learned:
1.) Sasquatches are omnivores. They eat everything black bears eat.
2.) Sasquatches inhabit 49 of the 50 states, the exception being Hawaii.
3.) Sasquatches can fully appreciate a good PB&J, especially with raspberry jam, which is the only kind Dr. J will use.
4.) Sasquatches leave gifts as clues for their well-intentioned pursuers. Some examples include rock piles and displaced branches.
5.) Sasquatches often engage in “tree-knocking.” This is one of the ways they communicate.
6.) Sasquatches sing lullabies. Dr. J has an audio recording of a father Sasquatch singing to his baby Sasquatch in a clear, deep vibrato.
To those who remain skeptical, and are looking for bones or other concrete evidence, Bigfoot investigator Mike Beers poses the question, “What if they bury their dead?”