Saturday, June 29, 2013


The weather didn't cooperate and we waited until the very end of our June 2013 stay in Harrison Hot Springs, BC, for the grey clouds and rain to clear off the lake and mountains to do my first Sasquatch safari. My husband checked the weather forecasts hourly and I scurried in and out to see if the clouds were lifting. Phone calls to and from Bill Miller the operator of Sasquatch Country Adventures punctuated our wait.

Tom (L) and Bill with casts of
Sasquatch foot prints they've found

The Harrison region has the highest number of Sasquatch sightings on the planet and I was determined to talk to experts. A year before this visit I had interviewed two of them—Bill and his colleague, Tom Steenburg. Truthfully I had been expecting crackpots and was delighted to find that they were serious, conscientous researchers who investigate every reported sighting. Yes, they are certainly obsessed, but very careful, and have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject back to the 1970s.

Finally I got my chance to go out into the back country with Bill and experience what it is like to try and find evidence of the elusive animal. It was an adventure worth the wait.

The June morning was cool and the mist hung between the mountain ridges as we piled in Bill's small Polaris 4-wheel drive vehicle. Cameras at the ready we roared off, climbing steadily on the eastern side of Harrison Lake. The bush was dense beside the narrow trail—so dense it was impenetrable. How were we to see a Sasquatch? Bill reminded me, " You won't unless it steps out to cross the trail."

I tried to focus about fifty yards into the bush as we bounced along. Bill kept his eye on the trail for scat and other indications of wildlife. Black bear, deer, and cougars are common here where there is no habitation for hundreds of miles north. I had noticed the bear spray on the dashboard. But we saw nothing except a mother Ruffed Grouse protecting her young. She was not about to move as we edged forward through the greenery. Then in a great flurry of beating wings she flew onto a branch and watched us pass.

Soon the trail narrowed and we pushed through wet new growth from the night's rain that soaked us. Still climbing we popped out into open country and the view of the lake and mountains opened up for us. Wild flowers grew in profusion at 3000 feet and we stood transfixed by the view of Mt. Breakenridge and Long Island as Bill told us stories of the sightings that had taken place all around us.

It is an awe-inspiring tale starting with the First Nations' oral histories from thousands of years ago, to the fur traders' journals of the 1800s, and ending with the sightings reported in the last year.

Bill's Polaris vehicle that makes the expedition
possible for all ages.

I never saw anything resembling a Sasquatch or even a foot print, but the safari was an experience of a lifetime and one I want to do again.

Bill ended the adventure by giving me a cast of one of the foot prints he had taken in the bush in the Harrison area. Meanwhile, until I go again in September, I'm reading all I can on the subject and want to believe. However, Bill warns me, "It's better to be sceptical and not carried away by emotion, or you may think you've seen one when you haven't."

IMAGES:  © Photos by Pharos 2013. All rights reserved.
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