Monster Hike: A 100-Mile Inquiry Into the Sasquatch Mystery (英語) ペーパーバック – 2017/11/8
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This is the true story of two journeys -- one of the mind, one of the body.
The journey of the mind was from curiosity to belief to knowledge of one of the enduring mysteries of our time: the existence of sasquatches. Avrel Seale had read about them for years, but he wanted to see for himself. So he undertook a second journey, a 100-mile solo expedition across one of America's hottest bigfoot sighting areas, Sam Houston National Forest in East Texas.
This personal memoir -- at turns frightening, funny, and philosophical -- explores the fundamental questions about this persistent mystery: What are these creatures? Why, after thousands of encounters with humans, do they still go unacknowledged by science, government, and mainstream society? And what does all of this tell us about the dangers and the rewards of believing in something mysterious?
Want to go see for yourself too? Read this eye-opening book before getting to the trailhead.
AVREL SEALE grew up in McAllen, Texas, and now lives in Austin with his wife and three sons. He has been a newspaper reporter and columnist, magazine editor, speechwriter, and messaging architect. His eclectic blog, The Trailhead, is at avrelseale.wordpress.com.
It’s a lot more than chasing Bigfoot.
I tend to want to call it a coming of age book.
But that’s not correct.
It’s an accepting of age book. A wry contemplation of the trick that time plays on all of us.
It’s amusing that it’s a hiking story, because it could also be about climbing the hill, standing at the top of the hill, and recognizing that there’s a lot of downward hill ahead. Yes, over the hill, and far ahead. I amuse myself with my amusement.
I’ve lately become more and more weary of civilization. The noise, the obnoxiousness, the clutter, the stink, the fake, the distance from where I’d rather be.
I’m not a hiker. But the appeal is strong. And this book allowed me to live vicariously away from the sounds and scents that a city mandates.
And back to Bigfoot. I, like many my age, was fascinated by Bigfoot, The Bermuda Triangle, The Loch Ness Monster, and UFO’s in the 70's. Society said I had to dismiss that as childish and impossible. This book allows me window to instead consider “ What if ? “. What if, where there’s smoke there’s fire? What if we don’t know everything, and there are still fabulous mysteries waiting to be solved?
The author had the courage to live out part of his bucket list. I had the great pleasure to travel along with him through the pages.
But during the day as he hikes along, he notices such things as trees bent over to form arches, possible constructs he feels may be Bigfoot nests, and triangles which he interprets as possible footprints. And who knows, they might be. Or not. If you look for something, you tend to find it. If you believe something, you tend to look for those things that substantiate your beliefs. The picture on the cover of the book may indeed be a very large footprint. Or it may simply be pareidolia. The reader must decide.
The author also seems to be a disciple of Bob Garrett, who has made a number of very extraordinary claims regarding Bigfoot. Among these claims are savage Bigfoot attacks and Federal Government conspiracies. To me, this weakens the book, and through association, makes one look at the author's evidenced through a more jaundiced eye.
The book includes a section at the end entitled "Elaborations and References" which is broken down by chapter. The author includes a number of very helpful links to Bigfoot related websites, YouTube videos, and purported evidence (much from Bob Garrett). This is especially helpful if you purchase the Kindle version of the book, and can simply click on the links.
Overall, an okay book that will be interesting to those who enjoy reading about Bigfoot (primarily) and enjoy a nice walk in the woods (secondarily).
However, one of the sources in the book (the source of the 'violent attack' story in one of the parks mentioned) was possibly not trust-worthy and was allegedly involved in some shady business dealings related to guide services offered in a National Park.
This, of course, isn't the author's fault at all. He was merely providing information, not endorsing this person in any way, shape or form.
Just a couple minor notes of criticism:
1. I have to admit I was disappointed that the author wimped out after just one (the first) scary night in the park, then finished the adventure by staying each remaining night, in warm, cozy, rented lodging.
2. Many people make this mistake of the author's: They mention the "Great Apes" in a context that implies we humans are not included in that group when, in fact, we are (super-order: Homidinae).
But even more people misuse the word "primate" (I didn't see this mistake in the book); they use it when they really mean non-human primate. This shows their ignorance to the fact that humans also belong in this group.
I saw a Wikipedia article called, "Keeping Primates As Pets." And, I had to laugh, thinking, "which ones?"
Again, an excellent story by Mr. Seale. Highly entertaining and very informative.