Fools in Paradise
Chapter 6

Copyright© 2019 by UtIdArWa

Once Suzy and I had checked the camp and made the changes we thought were needed immediately, I introduced Suzy and Myself. Then we started getting to know the others in our party.

The older grey-haired gentleman was Professor Walt Burroughs, PhD from Idaho State University. He was a cryptozoologist and claimed to be the foremost expert in Sasquatch Research. He had written a dozen books and twice as many articles on the subject. He had also consulted on several TV documentaries about Sasquatch.

After he ran down his Curriculum Vitae, I asked him, “Doc, have you ever actually seen Bigfoot?”

I hadn’t meant to embarrass him, but I needed to know if his belief system was based on other people’s experiences. Or if he had actually seen something and based his belief on actual experience. “Well, not personally. I’ve been close several times, But No I haven’t PERSONALLY seen Sasquatch.”

“And how many times have you been out in the field, PERSONALLY?”

“Let’s see, there was the 2 times in the Gifford Pinchot area of Washington, Near Mt. Rainier. There a lot of eye witness accounts up there. I have also made 2 trips to the Hoh river rain forest in Washington. And then the 1 time I went to Vancouver Island in Canada. I want to go back there. But the Canadian government is being difficult in giving permission. Something about infringing on aboriginal rights and territories. I also made a trip to Florida for their Skunk Ape. But that was much ado about nothing. The guide was less than reputable.”

Suzy spoke up, “Professor, you mentioned that you had been to Florida, looking for the Skunk Ape. Have you looked into the reports that have come from Kentucky and the other southern states?”

“I’ve read some witness reports, But I haven’t had the chance, Yet, to do any in depth investigations there.”

“Well, I can tell you from personal experience, don’t bother. All of the reports that come from that area are bogus. They are warnings from moonshiners to keep kids out of the area when they are making a shine run.”

“I don’t understand Ms. Williams? Wouldn’t such reports bring in people like myself?”

“Sort of, generally folks like you show up out of the blue. No real warning. This doesn’t bother the shiners very much. They’ll probably feed you tales about certain areas. Places that they don’t really care about. They may even offer to guide you, for a fee of course. Then they’ll take you into places where nobody has, or is planning on working a still.”

“I know of one old-timer that will start up a rumor, just to bring folks like you in. Then he charges them to poke around on his property. He usually makes enough to keep himself and his wife in beans and bacon for the winter.”

“The other times will be scary stories told around late-night dinner tables, or around the potbellied stove at the hardware store. Stories of boys and girls wandering into areas that they shouldn’t be in, and either disappearing, or dying horrible bloody deaths. Usually the older the kids, the bloodier and more horrifying. These are to keep prying eyes from seeing what they shouldn’t”

“These stories start being told when somebody is starting a moonshine run. For the kids, it’s to scare them off. For the adults, it’s code for them to stay out of the way.”

“If somebody does starts poking their nose into something that doesn’t concern them, Well, that’s when the log knocking starts up. If that doesn’t work, then the hooting and hollering will start up. They might even throw some rocks. Given half a chance, and with a bit of over enthusiasm, you might get lucky and experience a real chivaree. The main purpose is to lure folks like you off in the wrong direction, away from the still.”

“And don’t think you can sneak into those hills without being noticed. Folks up in the hollers’ have been dodging revenuers and tax people since before the civil war. They keep a close watch on what is theirs and their neighbors. There are areas up there where blood feuds still rule family obligations, and the civil war didn’t end at Appomattox. If you poke your nose into the wrong place, most likely you will be gently taken by the hand and led out, with a warning not to return. OR, and this has happened, there will be an unmarked grave in the family plot. If pushed, it’ll belong to cousin Cletus, Now get off my land.”

“Sounds dangerous, Ms. Williams. Basically, you’re saying that there are NO Sasquatch in the Blue mountains?”

“That’s right Professor. That area has been fully populated by Daniel Boone types since before the Revolution. If there was anything up there, they moved on long before the civil war.”

I’d also be really careful in California, and to a certain extent up here in Idaho. Pot growers and prospectors are unforgiving when it comes to what they consider to be trespassers. They’ve been known to set man killer booby traps. You don’t need to worry about where we will be. Matt keeps a close eye on who comes up here. He knows most of the mountain folk, or at least they know him, and trust him.”

I turned towards the camera guy. “How about you sport? You have anything I should know about. Aside from the dope you were told NOT to bring? and that bottle of ol’ Bunkum you’ve got in that duffle bag?” Before he could answer, I turned to John, “Wadsworth, we discussed this before. This pea-brain is now officially YOUR problem. I want the dope and booze gone tonight.”

Both John and the camera guy started babbling at once. “Tonight gentleman, no excuses.” John stood up and pulled the camera guy, loudly protesting into the darkness. There was a heated, but muted conversation that followed.

I turned to the football jock. “How about you, why are you here?”

“Well sir, my coach told me that I needed to volunteer for this field trip. That if I volunteered and did a good job, that Professor Burroughs would give me a good grade and I could keep my GPA up.”

“Football star huh?” The kid nodded his head, “Yes sir, starting cornerback.”

I nodded my head “You like playing football?”

The kid looked down at his feet and kind of squirmed, “It’s alright...”

“Alright? You either like it or you don’t which is it?”

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