Cleaning Up the Mess (with Bigfoot)

If you’d have told me five years ago that I’d be writing a blog about attending the Ohio Bigfoot Conference, I would have laughed sarcastically, tossed my hands in the air, and cried, “It figures.” My life had crumbled into a nonsensical mess, why not add Bigfoot to the mix?

Have you experienced a time when it feels like you’ve been sucked into an alternate reality and nothing, yet everything, makes sense? It’s what happens when you begin to realize bad things can ultimately serve a good purpose. That’s the state of mind I’ve been living in since June of 2014. 

While major life changes can be intimidating and scary, they can also be enlightening, even freeing when there is opportunity to explore new facets of life. At least, that’s how it was for me. With a little courage and a lot of faith, I waded through life’s broken pieces to a new reality that allowed me to embrace fledgling dreams. 

I just had no idea Bigfoot was going to be a part of those dreams <grin>. Yet, when the writing door of opportunity opened, there he stood. Look at him. Isn’t he gorgeous?

Tammy and Mel BF close up

A couple weeks ago, Mel and I set out across Ohio, headed East to Salt Fork State Park to attend our first-ever Bigfoot conference. We went to check out this world of Bigfoot fans and spend a weekend outdoors–as in outside the doors of our house and office. We’d just spent the last few months writing and illustrating and needed a break. At over 17,000 acres, Salt Fork is Ohio’s largest state park–the perfect place to take in some fresh air.


bigfoot banner

The conference was held inside a gorgeous lodge made of logs and stone and was filled to capacity with researchers, investigators, entertainers, vendors, and fans. According to the Ohio Bigfoot Conference Facebook page, over five thousand people attended!

Throughout the day, presenters detailed the latest in Bigfoot research while vendors sold everything from Bigfoot crafts and books to clothing and trinket items. Fans met with various authors and stars from Animal Planet’s, “Finding Bigfoot.”

The event reminded me of a time when I was a five and attended a car show with my step-dad. He went for the cars, my brother and I went to see the Bat mobile and Batman. At this conference, kids lined up to see Bigfoot hunters and reality TV stars, Cliff Barackman and James, “Bobo” Fay.

I enjoyed browsing vintage books and magazines where fragments of Bigfoot history have been emblazoned in time. The people behind the Bigfoot stories–their personalities and motivations–are fascinating.

We didn’t stay for the more intimate Bigfoot Trivia or hiking adventure. Crowds really aren’t our thing, and it rained. But it was fun to get out and see people with a common interest come together in such a lively and happy atmosphere.

countryside around Salt Fork
Countryside around Salt Fork State Park

I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy writing about Bigfoot (and other cryptids and creatures). But I think this diversion was just what my psyche needed to help make me sense out of a nonsensical time in my life. It was a task that brought  me back to a simpler place where I could have fun and not take life too seriously. After all, that’s what faith is about. Turing the chaos in our lives over to someone greater, so He can handle the messy stuff while we focus on our dreams and what we were put here on earth to do.

What kind of conferences or “shows” have you attended? Have you met any TV or movie stars?

Do you have a favorite park or place to hike?


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