I have said it before; I will never run out of topics as long as there are human beings on earth.
Just when I thought the world was about to get back to whatever passes for normal in the 21st century (oil prices have dropped $25 a barrel, the temperature of the earth is said to be dropping and the Communists are rigging the Olympics) some crazies come out of the woodwork and start attracting all manner of attention.
In case you missed it, Bigfoot has apparently moved to the North Georgia mountains and brought his entire family with him.
I ain't making this up y'all. That is the claim being made by a guy named Matt Whitten, a police officer, and another guy named Rick Dyer, who calls himself a big game hunter. Well, I reckon Bigfoot, who also goes by his given name, Sasquatch, would qualify as big game. According to what I've heard, he is about 7 feet tall and weighs between 500 and 1,000 pounds.
Nobody knows exactly what kind of creature Bigfoot is, but he is supposed to be a relative of Yeti - the legendary Abominable Snowman that supposedly hangs out in the Himalayas somewhere. Sasquatch, of course, calls the Pacific Northwest home, but Whitten and Dyer insist that they found his skeletal remains somewhere up around Rabun Gap.
Not only do they make the claim but are/were - depending on when you are reading this - supposed to produce the skeletal remains of a 7-foot, 7-inch, 500 pound half-man, half-ape creature Friday morning, with DNA samples and everything.
Where, you ask, will this revelation be made?
California. Where else?
Now how this creature and his kin got from the Olympic Peninsula to the Blue Ridge without being detected is anybody's guess, but maybe the two Bigfoot-seekers will let us in on their theory about the migratory habits of mythical creatures when they convene their press conference. And that's what they are, too. Bigfoot seekers. They make money by taking people on expeditions to find the beast.
Yeah. I know. Every minute. P.T. Barnum said so.
Quite frankly, I am amazed to learn that the remains of such creatures have been found in North Georgia, because in my younger days, I spent a lot of time roaming those hills. I have hiked and camped and canoed and fished throughout the entire region, and there aren't many stones I've left unturned up that way.
I almost died of exposure and hypothermia during one ill-conceived January hiking trip along the Appalachian Trail and got snowed in with an entire troop of Boy Scouts at Dick's Creek one March. We holed up in a cave to stay warm and found a lot of bugs and a few bats, but no giant man-ape creatures.
Jimmy Hutchins and I camped overnight in a foul-smelling cabin on top of Blood Mountain and encountered two girls from New Jersey who were large enough and hairy enough to have been mistaken for an Abominable Snowman, but I am pretty sure they wouldn't have let them in Dartmouth if they weren't real live homo sapiens - and their sweatshirts definitely said "Dartmouth" on the front.
No. I don't care what two California dudes say. I don't think Bigfoot could survive amongst the good old boys - and gals - who inhabit those hills, and they had better be careful if they start trying to play folks up there for a bunch of fools. Zell Miller has nothing but time on his hands these days and he is very defensive when it comes to people poking fun at his mountain neighbors. He got Snuffy Smith taken out of the funny papers, for goodness sakes. No telling what Zell would do if two old boys from the Left Coast try to lead an expedition of curiosity seekers into those red clay hills.
And wouldn't you know it? I am headed that way this weekend. I won't be staying in the area where the remains of Sasquatch were supposedly found, but I will be passing through. In reality, I will be up around Bryson City, which is maybe 45 miles to the north. But shoot fire! If those creatures can make it all the way from Washington State, what's a 45-mile gallop up to the Nantahala River.
Plus, we are going on a raft trip down the river and I am already a little nervous about that. I watched "Deliverance" to get in the mood for the trip, you see. Not only do I have to worry about hearing banjo music, but now there might be some angry beast on the loose.
Oh, well. At least it will be an adventure and give me something else to talk about. And I am pretty sure that the sighting is real, because one of the two guys making the claim is a Clayton County police officer, and we all know that nobody from Clayton County would ever think about telling a fib.
I'll keep you posted on what I find.
Darrell Huckaby is a local author and educator. He can be reached at dHuck08@bellsouth.net.