Tag Archives: bigfoot

Camping in the Midst of Dwarf Palmettos . . . with BIGFOOT!

20161001_180258_film3-02I’ve heard about the unique beauty at Palmetto State Park in Texas for years so it was exciting to finally fit in a short stay as we journey to our winter destination in Arizona. Since we were pressed for time, I hit the hiking trails as soon as camp was set up and Terry was opening a cold beer.

The San Marcos River Trail seemed easy and offered access right behind our campsite. I decided to take Jake with me which probably wasn’t a good idea. I like a brisk pace but the poor guy can’t go the distance like he used to. I slowed down and he enjoyed some good sniffs before letting me know it was time to return to camp.

The day was overcast, adding a gloominess to the thickly treed path. I kept an eye out for timber rattlers, thankful they used the same diligence to avoid an encounter.  The abundance of dead trees and hollow trunks are a perfect haven for things that slither and crawl. Even if I hadn’t read the “No Firewood Gathering” signs, I still wouldn’t have picked up one of those rotting, splintered logs.

20161114_105447_film3-1After taking Jake back to camp, I rewarded him with a few cookies, fresh water and a pat on the head before taking off on another spur . . . actually two. I started at the Palmetto Interpretive Trail then branched off on the Ottine Swamp Trail. Having just spent a few days in the Florida swamps observing alligators, I was a bit on edge about what might be lurking behind the huge fan-shaped Palmetto leaves. The fact I kept hearing rustling in the underbrush didn’t ease a growing apprehension. I must have peered over my shoulder a dozen times in an effort to glimpse the elusive stalker dogging my steps.

Even though I didn’t “see” anyone, I still felt as though something wasn’t right. I know many of you are reading this and rolling your eyes. That’s okay. I get it. However, I’ve always had keen senses so when the hair stands up on the back of my neck, I take heed. At that particular moment, the hair on the back of my neck was at full attention.

20161113_161229_hdr_film3I returned to our camp and shared my experience with the hubmeister. Terry used to be one of “those guys” mentioned in the previous paragraph who rolled his eyes and snickered but he’s learned over the years to trust my inner voice. After a little research, conversation and several glasses of wine, this is what I learned.

Bigfoot sightings abound along the San Marcos River between Luling and Gonzales. The park headquarters even has a photo taken by a camper that many believe is the Ottine Swamp Monster – as they call the cryptid in this area. A couple was hiking in 2014 and had a disturbing encounter with the elusive creature that included rocks being thrown, visual sightings and inhuman “howling”.

So there you have it. Was I being followed by Bigfoot or a Wood Ape on my hike? Probably not . . . but rest assured by the time I embellish the tale with grandiose gestures and voice inflections, my grandchildren will be comparing me to Indiana Jones.

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Spring Break Must Reads – Day 3

7 books in 7 days….Spring Break Must Reads!

 Day 1 – Her Highland Champion by Alexa Bourne

Day 2 – Moonlight on the Nantahala by Micheal Rivers

 Day 3 – Legends of Tsalagee – Mystery and Romance in a Small Town by Phil Truman

Okay, I admit it. Phil Truman went fishing using Legends of Tsalagee as bait – and I bit. Does that make me a wide mouth Bass? Nope. It makes me a fan of the elements woven into this sparkling gem buried deep in the Amazon rankings.

First of all, I love small towns and the history/local lore/superstitions that go along with them. Secondly, I’m fascinated by Native American culture. Thirdly, I was raised in Oklahoma and experienced firsthand the quirky, frustrating but delightfully eccentric traits found in many of the small town residents.

Legends of Tsalagee pulls all these things together into a character driven romp that is pure delight from start to finish.  How could a book that blends “Outlaw Queen” Belle Starr’s treasure, Bigfoot, motorcycle riding ex-cons, Native American legends, and a Wiccan with her own version of home brew not appeal to avid readers?

I’m not a purist when it comes to reading. I don’t line edit as I read and keep a tally of how many extra spaces there are between sentences. Writers tend to do that. As a reader, I want a story vividly written and so mesmerizing I’m transported to another place and time. This novel does that. It made a reader out of a writer, and that’s hard to do.

I confess part of the charm to the story lies with the childhood memories it invoked. A few reviewers quarreled about the “unique” character names. Most of Oklahoma is “unique” including rural names and nicknames that become attached to people and places. It’s rich in American Indian culture. Why wouldn’t it be with a name like Oklahoma which means “Land of the Red Man”? It’s a state ripe with outlaw legend from the infamous Jesse James and Younger gangs to Belle Starr. And Bigfoot? That story has been around longer than me, and I’m older than dirt.

So, yeah, I liked the novel. But even without a connection to many of the places and lore that infuses Legends of Tsalagee, I would still have enjoyed it for the fun, adventurous tale it is.

Legends of Tsalagee by Phil Truman