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October 2013, vol 8, no 3

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Edward Zuk

Bigfoot and the Imagination

If you were to ever drive east along Highway 9 and turn south before reaching the Rockies, you will wind down a series of country roads and, if you choose the right ones, you will arrive at the small town of Harrison. Harrison is a town for tourists. It boasts a sulphurous hot spring, a five-star hotel, and a lake dressed up with tons of imported brown sand. However, it is only when you tear yourself away from these trappings to hike along the lakeshore that you will come face to face with the genius of the place.

Harrison stands on the edge of legends. An old story links the town to a lost gold mine in the mountians, but a much greater myth lurks here. This is Bigfoot country. Somewhere in the surrounding wilderness, some believe, lives a lost tribe of North American apes that shuns human contact and leaves enigmatic footprints.

Like most people, I grew up believing that these stories were silly at best and delusional at worst. Then I spent an afternoon beside Harrison's evergreen mountains. There, while walking beside those giant turtle shells that roll away into forever, I understood. To work, the imagination needs only something unknown, and around Harrison there is enough undiscovered country for an entire nation of Bigfoots to thrive in peace.

Fading twilight—
I wait for the darkness
between the stars