Through the lens, backward.
I don't know how this happened.
Me and my buddies were chilling out following an early dinner this one afternoon.
We were at a campsite beside the Peaceable Crest Trail near Lumpy Lake in the Awshucks National Forest.
For those of you not familiar with the area, it's only a few miles outside of Starboard, Oregon but really isolated despite that.
So we were just talking and stuff, and then there was this rustling in the bushes partway around the lake and we started joking about bears and stuff.
Sure there's bears around, but they're pretty scarce in this section of the Trail, and there were three of us anyway, so it was no big deal. But then the rustling went on. And then there was some more of it from the other side of the lake.
Kind of all around us.
Pretty soon Ed just had to get up and go for a look. Then I came too. Bob stayed put for a while.
Ed and me circled around to the first spot, kind of sneaking up on the sound. Every now and then the bushes over there would shake and rustle and then it would go all quiet again. We couldn't figure out what the hell it was.
Pretty soon there was Bob too. He got curious like the rest of us and came and joined in.
Well, then we saw some shapes moving around back in the trees. Thought we did. Something was out there but we couldn't tell what.
It was still light out - not that late really, so it wasn't scary, just weird.
Bob was going to go back to the tent for his camcorder but when he turned around there was this big guy standing back there. The big guy already had Bob's camcorder and he was filming us.
Well, when I say it was a big guy I mean that, sort of. I don't think it was a guy at all, but he was big.
He was about eight feet tall and hairy all over, no pants or anything, but he looked like he knew how to use a camcorder.
It definitely was Bob's camcorder, and Bob's tent was open too, so we were pretty sure.
But when you're looking at the business end of an eight-foot-tall hairy guy with arms like telephone poles and no pants you stop to think before you jump around and do anything sudden.
And then there was this other stuff going on too. The bushes moving around. The shapes back in the trees. All that. We didn't know what to do this time, for sure.
Then this big hairy guy starts circling around us and making some kind of noises with his mouth.
It was like he was narrating into the camcorder, getting himself on the soundtrack. He was walking around pretty slow and first he climbed up on a rock and pointed the camera down at us, and then he walked behind some trees like he was a lion stalking some prey, and then he took the camera down to the ground for some low angle shots of us.
All kinds of stuff.
We just stood there.
This went on for fifteen, twenty minutes before the guy finally quit. Guy, or whatever he was.
Then he took the memory card out of the camera and there was kind of all this hooting all around us from in the forest, and all the shapes out there were still moving around, but they started to melt back into the deep forest, and so did the big guy.
After a while the hooting died down too.
We were going to get some pictures of his big footprints but he took our only memory card with him. We didn't really feel like chasing him down, not a guy of that size, with all his friends around.
So, since it was still kind of light out we packed up and moved a few miles farther on before we made camp for the night.
Then six weeks later about the time we were ending our trip we were in this little town. We had a motel room with a TV in it and Ed liked to watch Oprah for some reason. We always ragged on him for that, but I guess we got lucky because we were on that night.
Not in person, but in a video.
It was the same guy as far as we could tell, the big hairy guy, but he had his face combed and he was wearing pants and a shirt. Even a necktie. He was Oprah's guest.
Still eight feet tall too. They had to make a special chair for him and everything.
He was showing video footage of a strange and mysterious group of humans of the same kind who were invading his home turf every summer.
That would be us I guess.
He couldn't talk too good - more grunts than anything, but there were subtitles on the screen, so we understood it all.
"First Ever Confirmed Footage Shot By Bigfoot", it said, right there on the TV. "Tranquil homeland once again invaded by stinky humans", it said. "Stinky dirty humans tramping across our land, treating it like a playground. Disrupting our peaceful way of life."
Well we didn't get to share our side of the story. Getting surrounded, being spooked, having our property stolen. All that.
We tried to get Oprah to book us to hear our side, but her people told us she was too busy setting up a show on men who ride side-saddle and the women who love them.
I guess. Something like that.
Anyway, most people never did care about us.
Mr. Bigfoot and some of his friends are the ones on TV these days, not us backpackers. I hear they got a movie deal, and not from some guy with a camcorder. A big money deal. Professional stuff. And a reality show.
"Big Hairy Brother," or something.
Nobody cares about us at all. Same old same old.
We're just like some odd specimens somebody found one day out in the woods, but not really worth getting to know.
That about sums it up as far as I can tell.
Live Giant Squid Filmed in the Pacific for the First Time