Tongue Mountain Sasquatch

3 Apr

Bumbles bounce

A friend and I decided late one afternoon to take a little hike.  We had been talking the talk all day, discussing our love for the outdoors and how badly we craved the smell of rotting leaves and the other processes of nature.  Eventually our discussion drove us to action and we were in a car, driving North towards Whitehall, NY.  We had looked up the trail on the internet before leaving, it was 1.5 miles (one way) to a small pond.  The ascent was gradual and by all accounts it should have been an uneventful if not boring evening.

Having spent much of the day talking about hiking, we didn’t actually arrive to the trailhead until around 5:30 pm, but it being the dead of summer, we had at least 3 hours before it would begin to get dark.  I rolled a couple joints in the car in case we got lost for an extended period of time and needed something to calm us down.  I also just enjoy getting high, but you can’t prove that.  Anyhoo, we began the trek feeling pretty fucking great.

A couple hours into this 1.5 mile hike, we realized that maybe we had zigged somewhere we should have zagged as we should have been well on our way back to the car by this time.  Instead we had not passed a single discernible land mark or body of water, we also couldn’t remember any fork in the trail that could have lead to our present situation.  We were lost, but the trail was large and well maintained, if we needed to walk through the night, it would not be impossible.

My partner was becoming more and more agitated by the situation as we inched forward, debating whether or not to turn back at every twist in the trail.  Eventually we came to a stone, sheer cliff face probably 50 feet high.  The trail wound up the precipice along a series of narrow ledges and water-worn caves and enclaves.  It was decided we would climb to the top of the rock and if we weren’t face to face with the pond, we would turn around and never tell a soul how awful we were at hiking.  At the foot of the cliff, my partner became more nervous than usual, darting his eyes all around and maintaining an air of general terror.  He was not saying anything and didnt respond to my questions.  I asked him if he wanted to turn around no, and with a glimmer of pride, he declined.  I should also say that this guy is about 6′ 3″ and 260 lbs of muscle and hate.  He’s a monster in his own right.

Once we got to the top, he was quick to point out the lack of any pond in the vicinity and quickly asked if we could turn around now.  I wanted to go on a little further because I was feeling tough, when there was a snap over my left shoulder and a log about 5″ in diameter flew diagonally from behind me and landed on the path in front of me.  Effectively ‘blocking’ the path.  My first thought was that it had been my friend, but that thought was dashed when I noticed that my arm was in his vice like grip and that he was pulling me in front of him–like a tiny human shield.  He said he had seen “something brown” throw the log, then jump back down the cliff face from which we had just come.  I never saw it.  My friend was squeezing my arm so tight I was worried he was going to bruise a muscle so I said we’d turn around and that it was nothing.  We booked it down the mountain in about 45 minutes, looking over our shoulders and laughing nervously the entire time.

I can say that this was not a tree that fell over (because the whole piece was in motion, not just the top) and the trajectory of the branch did not make sense with the theory of it being a widow-maker branch that coincidentally came free as I walked beneath it.  I watched the thing as it came into my peripheral vision, then followed it with my eyes as it flew over my head, landing a few feet in front of me.  It was not a branch that just fell straight down.  There were no other cars in the trailhead parking lot and the particular trail we were on did not have any campsites.  There was no reason to think anyone else would be in the woods with us.

What I think could have happened (besides a close encounter with the Squatch) is possibly we startled a bear in a tree, and when it leaped from its perch, it broke the branch and sent it towards us?  Do Bears ever just hang out in trees?

The Truth is out there–X-Files

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