by Shawn on July 22, 2013 · 31 comments

“Are you bringing Bigfoot?” my mom asked.
I shook my head regrettably. “No,” I said, “he’s broken.”
“But you have to bring Bigfoot on your trip,” she insisted.
I sighed, remembering the furry one on my nightstand. “Well, we do have the other Bigfoot that Stacey made us.”
Carmel laughed. “Oh yeah, bring him out.”

So, I went into our bedroom and brought out our one-of-a-kind knitted doll from my nightstand, its wide glossy eyes begging for attention…and an adventure.


Sasquatch 1.0 in the woods of upstate New York

During our road trip down the California coast in 2008, we decided to kill the day and take an out-of-the-way jaunt to Willow Creek, the reputed “Bigfoot Capital of the World.” Like our friend and fellow travel blogger Brian from Wandering Sasquatch I too am fascinated with all things cryptozoological, including the elusive, mystical Bigfoot (and its counterparts across the globe). The opportunity to spend some brief but quality time in Bigfoot Country was too good to pass up.

Our visit to the small town (pop. 1,700…plenty of geeky tourists!) went quickly but was really cool and worth the hour-and-a-half drive. We spent most of the time inside the Willow Creek-China Flat museum, seemingly placed smack dab in the middle of town. The museum had several television monitors replaying several old documentaries and looping the ubiquitous 1967 Patterson-Gimlin footage of the sauntering sideways glancing creature, caught mid-stride. Several plaster cast molds of enormous footprints were displayed in large, coffin-like glass cases, as well as hefty books incorporating records from eyewitness testimonies and police reports. A man working at the counter informed Carmel and I the museum was visited daily from people all over the world and if on cue, the telephone rang and he cheerfully began speaking French.


We bought several colorful, cartoonish postcards and a magnet to add to our scattered collection on the refrigerator. However, on the way back to the register, a particular display case caught my eye and I stopped suddenly in my tracks. Several plaster figures, painted to look like wood, stood on a shelf beside a less impressive and wobbly stack of shot glasses and a rack of corny license plates. All the figures were designed the same – a stoically upright and tranquil Sasquatch, varying only in size and prices. Just these simple figures. Nothing fancy. At the base of the figure read “BIGFOOT,” as if one could get it confused with some other mythical creature. We settled on one of the smaller figures, mainly because it could fit easily into my pocket and wasn’t priced too ridiculous.

But somewhere during the ninety-mile drive back to our campsite at Humboldt State Park, Carmel and I readily agreed that little Bigfoot would be our new traveling companion, and take him along on our subsequent vacations and adventures, documenting his travails and “sightings” with many random and blurry photographs. We didn’t have any problem suddenly pulling out Bigfoot from our pockets and posing him for a quick picture, whether it be in the middle of a crowded New York City sidewalk, on the beaches of Central California or in my parents’ backyard. Jokingly, I once referred to the figure as our talisman, but really, he provided us with many curiously awesome pictures and amusing conversational starters (“Yes, yes, that is indeed a Bigfoot in front of the Empire State Building…”).


Bigfoot visits NYC. Can you find him with Andy Warhol?

However, like a well-traveled and battered athlete or carnival performer, our little Bigfoot broke. Unpacking my clothes when we got home from New York, I horrifyingly discovered the two pieces laying grotesquely on a pair of socks. “Oh no!” Carmel gasped as I held two pieces of his body in my hand. I later glued the figure back together at the knees, but it was clear his traveling days were over, if we wanted him around some more. I tried, in vain, to find other figures or statues like him, but, despite the ludicrous merchandising surrounding Bigfoot, these particular small, plaster figures were as elusive as the creature itself. So finally, we conceded and retired our little travel companion on the shelf in our hallway, amongst family pictures and random knickknacks, safe from the destructive forces of a misunderstanding and cruel world.


Bigfoot spends his retirement years holding down the fort with the Eisenhowers

Meanwhile, our friend Stacey had knitted a Bigfoot doll that she made for work, then generously gave it to us as a Christmas present (after our onslaught of gushing compliments and not-so-subtle hints of wanting it…for literally months). I stationed the doll on my nightstand, next to my teddy bear, Hurricane (named after the Bob Dylan song and given to me by Stacey’s boyfriend, strangely enough, at a Dylan show several years ago). We never considered taking the doll with us on this upcoming adventure – of all the things to pack in my 65 liter pack, I didn’t consider packing the furry Bigfoot. But after my mom’s spirited insistence, I began to consider its usefulness for this trip. Brian and Kim, back from their first year abroad, gave us some advice recently – pack only things that have multiple uses. Did the doll have a pertinent use for this trip? Could it seriously have a useful purpose alongside obvious staples like clothing and my notebook?

The cogs of reason and rationale ground themselves into a somewhat pragmatic idea – furry Bigfoot can be used as our (un)official mascot and photographic model, but could also be utilized for more handy purposes. “You can use it as a neck rest or small pillow, if you had to,” Carmel suggested. Furry Bigfoot actually COULD have a dual use! Easy to pack, too! I had a quick vision of taking furry Bigfoot out in an airplane, snuggling underneath its soft, wispy-haired awesomeness. During long jeep and bus rides, I can use it as a neck rest or do an impromptu puppet show (an instant frustration breaker). Am I breaking new territory here, or completely mad? There’s a fine line, I know, but like some of you, I just have to know.


Introducing our newest traveling companion, Sasquatch 2.0


Furry Sasquatch with his party hat on


He’s very hopeful for what the future holds

And so, friends, as Carmel and I continue madly chopping away at our seemingly never ending prep to-do lists and cramping our fingers from tying up so many loose ends, rest assured that Bigfoot 2.0 will make his debut soon. Consider yourselves warned…and lucky.

Now all we need is a name for our furry Sasquatch friend. Suggestions are welcome and encouraged either in the comments below or on the Facebook wall. 

Watch our Facebook page for more adventures with Sasquatch and the big reveal of our furry friend’s new name.


{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim July 22, 2013 at 8:47 am

A) You should probably name your sasquatch Kim
B) That sasquatch photo shoot is HILARIOUS

Love you guys. I can’t believe your departure date is getting so close!
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Shawn July 22, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Thanks, Kim. Nothing against furry Sasquatch 2.0 but Kim is too pretty of a name to associate with such a beast. Sorry. However, the critter was such a diva on the photoshoot! Demanding this, demanding that! Having to sort specific candies into little dishes, wanting only three ice-cubes in his lemonade glass at one time, all the time. Don’t know if I’ll do another shoot with a mythical creature again.


Karen July 22, 2013 at 11:12 am

Thank you for taking S with you, yes, he looks so much happier now knowing he is going. Thank you Stacey for making him. Names???? Must ponder on that one. mom


Shawn July 22, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Well, thank you for the inspiration, mom! You’ve started a revolution!


Stacey July 22, 2013 at 12:22 pm

I’m so happy that Sasquatch is joining you on you trip! I showed my coworkers, who remember when I made him, and they made me promise to keep them updated on his (your) travels.


Shawn July 22, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Well, Stacey, thank you for creating our little mascot! We will take care of him and show him things he only dreamed about on the nightstand in Sasquatch-Land.


Maddie July 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Love it!! Will look forward to seeing sasquatch 2.0 in a variety of comedy travel poses. We’ve been saying recently that we wish we’d done something similar, we’ve got a fascination with bears and I really wish I’d adopted a cute miniature grizzly to take with us. Bon voyage brave sasquatch!
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Shawn July 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Yeah, we’re looking forward to posing him all over the world! Bears are cute too.


Brian July 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I love SQ2.0!! He looks to be the perfect travel companion.

As for the name, I suggest either Rob Gimlerson (for Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin) or Stephen. He looks like a Stephen to me.
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Shawn July 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I have a secret, Brian….late last night, I caught furry Sasquatch leaning over on the nightstand, trying to whisper, “My name is….” I thought he said Stephen, but he could have been saying Stevon. Or, I could have just made that up too. It’s a mystery, man, it’s a mystery.


Rika | Cubicle Throwdown July 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Oh my. I absolutely can’t stop laughing. I love your knitted Sasquatch!! He is adorable. When I have to name things, I call them all Jim Bob…. it could work for your little guy too 🙂
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Shawn July 22, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Jim Bob the Sasquatch….I’m a lazy man…that’s too many syllables to write. Maybe we can use just one of those names, though. Thanks for the suggestion.


Gillian @GlobalBookshelf July 22, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Jimmy. Definitely Jimmy.
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Shawn July 22, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Mmmm…Jimmy the Bigfoot….Sasquatch Jimmy….sounds a bit like a professional wrestling name or a mob informer….Intriguing.


Scott (the older, wiser brother) July 23, 2013 at 5:48 am

Name him that…strong, popular in the late 1100’s…


Shawn July 24, 2013 at 5:44 pm

What, no Remus?


Scott (the older, wiser brother) July 26, 2013 at 10:20 am

That’s the broken one…the one being left behind on your journey…


Casey @ A Cruising Couple July 26, 2013 at 4:58 am

This is hilarious! Love the photoshoot. Unfortunately I’m rubbish at the name game, but I am excited to see more of your travelling companion around the world!


Shawn July 29, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Thanks, we’re looking forward to having him with us. Thanks for reading the post.


Sarah Somewhere July 29, 2013 at 9:03 pm

He actually DOES look hopeful in that last shot. I’d call him Harry. Hairy, hopeful Harry. And you are dead on with the pillow idea! I think you should consider getting into the production and marketing of these before the influx of orders from jealous travelers!!
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Shawn July 30, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Hey there! I think the guy could be an excellent political candidate with that pose-face! Mmmm…senator from Washington, perhaps? I like Harry but then I associate that with “Harry and the Hendersons” and then I get a picture of John Lithgow in my mind….and that’s no fun.


Carmel July 31, 2013 at 7:41 am

I didn’t even consider that connection. Thanks, Shawn. 😛


Shawn July 31, 2013 at 6:30 pm

You are welcome, Carmel!


Sarah Somewhere July 31, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Ha! I had dinner at a table next to John Lithgow one night in NYC. Couldnt for the life of us remember his name. Once I did, it stuck with me, and now it is haunting me. STOP WITH THE JOHN LITHGOW TAUNTS, AAAAAAH!!!! No. Definitely not Harry then, I’ll never be able to read one of your posts withoutthinking of JL.
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Shawn July 31, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Sorry about that…I hate when somebody gets caught up in that loop….whenever I think of John Lithgow I think of a pretty bad movie called Raising Cain that he did in 1992 which showcased his creepy attributes, utilized more effectively in Dexter, Season 4. Oh, and the airplane scene in Twilight Zone–The Movie. He was pretty sweaty in that movie, I recall…


Megan July 31, 2013 at 8:20 am

Hmmmm, what’s in a name? What about giving Sasquatch a good NW name like Lombard,Terwilliger or even Skookumchuck?

The minimal? looks forward to meeting Sasquatch one day and sharing travel stories.
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Shawn July 31, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Hey, thanks for reading the post and leaving a suggestion. I like the NW connection….maybe call him Chuck (as in Palahniuk) or Gus (as in Van Sant) or maybe Art (as in Alexakis)….Phew, I’m already exhausted playing this game. Either way, Sasquatch is looking forward to meeting everybody out there in world-land!


Ali August 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm

When I saw the first picture of your Sasquatch travel companion I thought he looked like a George, but when I saw him with his party hat, I thought he looked like a Paco. Now, I’m not sure


Carmel August 9, 2013 at 8:18 am

This comment cracked me up. Love you, tia.


Karen August 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm

So, since this mom wanted him to go, I have thoughtfully come up with my suggestion.
COSMOS. This name means divine order, an orderly, harmonious system. Greek it means world, Latin it means universe and Christian Theology it means “worldly life” And thank you for taking 2.0 with you,<3


Karen August 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Oh yes, plus if you are having a martini where ever………could go for that too.


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