I have been hiking many times in the Appalachian and Blue Ridge mountains of the Mid-Atlantic United States. My favorite part is in Pennsylvania due to it being miles upon miles of nothing but mountains. A few years ago, I went hiking with 2 guys from my school wrestling team, Patrick LaBuz and Jon Nahay. We all agreed that we would go during winter, since the mountains are even more enticing when all white and gray. I had never hiked during winter before, but figured it would be fun. In one word: NO.
We got a late start on our first day of camping and were on edge because we didn’t find a spot until about 6 PM. It wasn’t snowing, so we built a campfire and talked about the school years (we had all graduated in 2010, it was now 2013.) I asked them if they had any scary things happen to them. Patrick said “Well, I have heard about this area, but never took much stock in it.” Jon and I pestered him to tell us what he had heard. He said that a friend of his had seen Bigfoot in the area we were at. The description is what you would expect. 7-7 1/2 feet tall, about 600 pounds, dark red or brown fur, and disproportional body attributes, like extremely long arms and a heavy stomach. Jon and I both figured that a sighting that accurate didn’t sound like a lie. I’ve always believed in Sasquatch and his counterparts, but Jon didn’t. I figured of he was interested, it was credible. Patrick finished by telling us “The footprints they found were measured and wound up being 21 inches long!” Jon started to snicker and said “I guess Shaquille O’Neal lent him his shoes.” I didn’t make a joke, because a foot that long sounded feasible if it was a monster. I told Patrick that the Bigfoot was probably long gone by now. I had no idea that he/she was much closer than I anticipated.
The first few days were uneventful. On the 4th day, a snow squall came out of nowhere just past noon. we decided to find some trees for cover and found a nice thicket that was heavily wooded, but didn’t have any brambles or thorn bushes with enough space to move around. We all hunkered down inside our tent and passed around REMs (Ready to Eat Meals, like the military use). We were able to sleep without any problem as the snow continued to fall. The next morning, I woke up and decided to look outside. about 8 inches of snow had fallen, so it wasn’t too hard to navigate. I was about to turn around when I noticed something in the snow pile. I got closer and saw a weird shape. Something like a very large footprint that had 4 toes. I thought about mentioning it to my 2 friends, but then I saw something that scared me to death. Before I go on, I was wide awake and not sleepy at all, so I know what I saw. I saw someone or something standing near a group of trees that was only about 50 feet away. I estimated it to be about 7 feet, extremely strong, very large all around, and was cinnamon-colored. I fought the urge to yell out in alarm, and instead backed up slowly, never taking my eyes off the creature. I was about to enter a hidden area, when the figure turned and looked right at my spot where I was! I froze and didn’t even blink. I wasn’t sure f it saw me or not. After a tense 20 seconds, the creature turned away and lumbered through the woods away from me. I didn’t take a single step until it was out of sight. Afraid, and with fear trumping common sense, I ran as fast as I could to tell Patrick and Jon what I had seen. When I arrived at our campsite, I saw everything was packed up, and Patrick was in the car, with Jon climbing into the trunk. I asked him what was going on, and Patrick told me to just get in so we could go. I got in without argument and made him swear to tell me what had happened while I was gone.