Summer Travel Quest #13

Try to Spot Bigfoot

Will you be the first person to prove the existence of Sasquatches? Or do you just want to bask in kitsch? Either way, get yourself to Washington.
by Dave Seminara
Dave is a journalist and former diplomat based in Chicago. He has lived beneath Bigfoots in Windy City apartment buildings who stomp around on hardwood floors at all hours.

But your chances of locating one, or at least a kitschy business named after one, are better in Washington than in any other U.S. state. According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BRFO), Washington leads the nation in documented Sasquatch sightings, with 579, including several in 2014.

Dr. Wolf Henner Fahrenbach, a retired cell biologist who worked at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center and has done research on Sasquatches, insists that they exist, but cautions that you aren’t going to spot one from the comfort of your vehicle.

INSIDER TIP

If your Sasquatch quest is just about finding the perfect Bigfoot photo op, try the Bigfoot statue at the North Fork Survivors Gift Shop on Highway 504 in Kid Valley, Washington, or the statue at Espresso Chalet on Rt. 2 in Index, Washington

“The reason so many people don’t believe in them is because they are sitting on their asses in their office,” he said in a recent interview. “How many people are willing to hike two or three days from the nearest campsite? How many people can stay awake in the middle of the night to listen for them? That’s what you need to do to find them.”

BRFO data indicates that Pierce County, Washington, leads the nation in sightings, with the Puyallup Valley, east of Tacoma, a particular hotspot. If you’re feeling adventurous, set off on your own in the woods, but a better bet might be to sign up for one of the BRFO expeditions. An organization called the Olympic Project will also host a Bigfoot Expedition in the Olympic National Forest in June featuring Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum, a professor at Idaho State University who is a renowned Bigfoot researcher.

If you’d prefer simply to learn more about the Bigfoot legend, consider checking out the Yakima Valley Museum’s Sasquatch Revealed exhibit in Yakima.

If you want Sasquatch cred, don’t show up in a Chewbacca costume.

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Dave is a journalist and former diplomat based in Chicago. He believes in Sasquatches but insists that you don't have to leave big cities to find them. In fact, he has lived beneath Bigfoots in Chicago apartment buildings who stomp around on hardwood floors at all hours.

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MORE SUMMER TRAVEL QUESTS

11) Sit in the Bleachers at Wrigley Field

12) Shop for the Holidays in July

13) Try to Spot Bigfoot

14) See Philip Johnson’s Glass House on a Self-Guided Tour

15) Sleep in a (Former) Brewery

>> All 99 Summer Travel Quests

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Use the hashtag #99SummerQuests to share your own summer travels, and follow along with us at @MapQuest and Instagram.

Shock! Bigfoot tracker confesses fakery.
Shock! Bigfoot tracker confesses fakery.
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