I always keep my "bug-out" bag at the ready just in case a mission comes over the fax. It has the usual essentials: couple T-shirts, protein bars, canteen, toothbrush, various leathers suitable for casual or formal biking, camera, Geiger counter, and silver bullets. The word had just come in from Baggers headquarters--a small herd off Bigfoots was sighted in the Minnesota woods by a Girl Scout troop. This is just what I had been waiting for.
A Victory Kingpin Tour was waiting for me at the airport curb, courtesy of the local chapter of the National Cryptozoology Society, a group focused on the search for monsters and maybe-not-so-mythical creatures. The Kingpin Tour was a nice choice of equipment; it could carry all my gear and have more than enough power and range to handle the Minnesota backwoods and outrun even the fastest of Sasquatch.
It doesn't take long to get into the Minnesota outback. Only five million people occupy the state's 83,574 square miles, and most of those live in town. The thick woodlands leave plenty of room for a sneaky creature to hide. The Girl Scouts were camping near the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, so that's where I began my search for the shaggy missing link. The St. Croix forms part of the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin, flowing 123 miles south along dense forest. The wild riparian environment offers cover, fresh water, and purportedly the Bigfoot's favorite food--walleye. The plump and delicious fish is fit for man and beast, gracing many a Minnesota menu. I stuffed some into my backpack.
There are a lot of hidey holes along these many scenic and obscure miles of river and woodlands where big, hairy biped brutes could hang out; just take a peek in any of the many biker bars on either side of the Wisconsin/Minnesota border. But that is not the kind of wildlife I was looking for, at least not on this trip. My search began off Minnesota Route 95 near Taylor's Falls at Interstate State Park, one of five state parks that flank the St. Croix. An unusually big footprint was reported here--a Bigfoot kind of foot not of any known species. The St. Croix is reportedly one of our healthiest river systems, mostly because it flows through some of the most undeveloped areas of the U.S., an ideal habitat for large, reclusive types.
The falls are beautiful and wouldn't doubt Bigfoot or anyone else would pick this as a nice holiday spot. Thousands of birds migrate up and down the river every year using the backwaters for shelter and feeding, so why not me, I mean him, or it? Beavers, otters, white-tailed deer, and even bald eagles can sometimes be seen on a leisurely canoe ride down the undefiled St. Croix. I scoured the area on bike and boot and could find no big barefoot ape-like prints, other than my own when I wanted to take a break and squish my toes in the nice, warm riverbank mud.
So I jumped back on the Kingpin and followed more leads, heading south along 95 through the "S" series of river towns--Shafer, Scandia, Somerset, and Stillwater. Rumors had poured out of Stillwater that a likely disoriented, unidentified furry beastie was prowling about docks and back alleys late at night in an apparent attempt to find food and drink, its way home, or an agreeable mate. I knew the feeling well. As I vagabonded my way around this nation, rolling down one endless road after another, I had almost forgotten what it was like to be wrapped in the secure warmth of home and the loving bosom of family. I began to feel empathy for this lost and lonely creature, and realized I would have to think more like him if I were to ever make contact.
With each uneventful turn and false trace, a patch of burley hair here, an unexplained colossal pile of poop most foul there, my search broadened and clues narrowed. I knew I had to get into Bigfoot's head, think like Bigfoot, be Bigfoot, what would Bigfoot do? All this thinking made me hungry so right now I think he'd get something to eat.