I do not believe in Bigfoot.
I have never seen a giant, hairy, ape-like creature that walks upright on two legs in the woods near my house, nor have I seen a beast that answers to this description in any woods, at any time, anywhere.
I’ve yet to spot the Abominable Snowman sledding down the hill on my winter runs up to the fish hatchery. I’ve yet to come across a set of footprints in the snow left by the mammoth Yeti as he once again escapes all human viewing.
Like you, I have seen the furry and blurry pictures that could be just about anything from the local zoo escapee to your neighbor dressed up in his gorilla suit after a little too much fun at Friday afternoon club.
Never having seen a Bigfoot, or any trace of him, I decided it was high time that I became one.
Since I knew a person who owns an authentic Bigfoot suit, I decided to borrow it and have a little St. Patrick’s Day fun.
Each year, on the Monday following the Sequoia Glen 5K Run, Glenwood Springs High School track coach Blake Risner brings his distance runners to West Glenwood for a go at the hilly Sequoia Glen course. Risner is the official starter for the citizens’ race on Saturday, so I asked him if I could “greet” some of his runners as they reached the turnaround point above the Glenwood Fish Hatchery on Monday.
He smiled, and we plotted some strategy.
Before sending his distance runners up the long hill on Monday, March 17, Risner, as planned, told his troops that some of the runners from Saturday’s race had thought they saw a furry creature lurking in the woods above the hatchery, but were not exactly sure what they had seen due to low visibility caused by the snowstorm and general fatigue.
Excited about my role as Bigfoot, I drove up the road early to make sure I was in optimal position to meet my unsuspecting victims.
I decided not to jump out from behind any bushes or trees. My goal was for the kids to have as much fun as I was having, so I ditched the scare factor.
The Demons were amused when they spied Bigfoot lurking on the road near Mitchell Creek. Those who had enough oxygen to do so, just laughed as they passed by. Some gave me a high five. When junior Madi Spence approached, I beat my chest and let out a big “Arrrggghhh!” She smiled and deadpanned, “Real Scary,” and continued on her way.
After arriving back down the hill and catching her breath, Spence told Coach Risner, “I think I saw a monkey thing up there.”
Risner asked others if they had seen anything unusual at the top.
Junior Daysi Anchondo exclaimed, “I saw a Sasquatch!”
Kathya Gonzalez, who must have been experiencing a bit of oxygen-debt, declared, “I saw something up there. It was like a bunny.”
Senior Warren Knutson saw the humor in it all when he said, “It was a very difficult run, but a nice surprise at the top.”
Thanks again to Coach Risner for letting me be Bigfoot for a day. It’s always fun to see distance runners, especially the young ones. I admire their dedication to a very tough sport.
I worked up quite a sweat in that hairy costume, but now I know what it’s like to be an elusive creature of the woods. If you ever see Bigfoot while meandering in the mountains on a run or hike, just tell him he’s not so scary and give him a high five.
Mike Vidakovich is a freelance writer from Glenwood Springs. His column appears monthly in the Post Independent.