I went Squatching last week with the inestimable ZennmasterZ, with whom I have been friends for nigh on two decades now. While I have only a passing familiarity with Bigfoot and its accompanying lore, courtesy of In Search Of and its sister shows, Michael is a fount of knowledge which enabled many a great conversation about the Myth and/or possible reality of Squatches. I gave up any attempt at absurdist humor in regards to Bigfoot theories rather quickly since everything I have ever come up with has not only already been posited, but vigorously argued for. It also meant that instead of picking a campsite and plopping down for a few days in the forest, we had an actual destination steeped in Squatchiness to explore and photograph: the Glen Thomas Site.
Thomas was a bulldozer spotter working in the Mt. Hood National Forest. One day in early Winter of 1967, when the bulldozer was not yet ready for road cutting, Thomas walked ahead of it and the rest of the crew. He soon came across a pile of granite stones and boulders strewn across a ridge smack dab in the middle of nowhere.
And a family of Sasquatches.
It was the proverbial Nuclear family of Mom, Dad, and child. Dad was lifting the rocks and sniffing the bottom, neatly piling them as he went. Then he seemed to find what he was looking for and began clearing a hole in the pile. He pulled hibernating ground-squirrels from the bottom of the rock hole and the Squatch family feast began. At least for the Parents. According to Thomas, while Dad and Mom ate the most, Junior struggled to get what little he did, mostly leftovers. Soon enough the Squatch Family realized they were being watched and quickly disappeared from view. Thomas gave his account in an interview to John Green, and remained anonymous for many years after. He finally allowed his name to be used almost a decade later, well after his account had been published in Green’s book, On the Track of Sasquatch.
While I cannot verify Mr. Thomas’ account, I can attest to a) there being a large pile of granite rocks and slabs out in the middle of nowhere, b) there being stacks of stones in and around the pile, and c) there is a largish hole that has been cleared out of the pile. I am 6′ tall, and only my head was visible when I stood in the hole. I could also spread my arms across the top of the hole without my fingers touching the edges.
It is, regardless of its place in Bigfoot Lore, a bizarre thing to have out in the middle the woods. It is over an hour drive to the site from the nearest campground along roads that require 4×4 drive, and even then it still requires a hike in from where the road definitively ends. Whatever story you can come up with to explain the hole and stacks of rocks near it, there is no denying that there is a story, even if only involving the glacial placement of anentropic rocks.
Since Oregon decided to its best Arizona impersonation last week with temperatures hovering near triple digits, we did less hiking and more 4×4’ing in Michael’s XTerra than originally planned. We explored various spurs, logging roads, and Powerline Access double tracks crisscrossing the vast forest. This also allowed us to witness a black bear run across our path, which was recorded on Michael’s dashboard cam! As mentioned earlier, we committed a good deal of photography, the results of which can by found on my flickr site, as well as his. The inescapable truths it documents, of course, is that not only is Oregon a beautiful state, but that we are fortunate to have so many miles of National Forests and Parks so close.
It is also when I stand atop a ridge line and look out to miles and miles of dense, sparsely populated forest that my skepticism wavers to allowing a definitive, “Maybe.” Or, in Michael’s words, “Hopeful.”