Questions Posed to Trekkers in Mission Tejas Program
By Teresa Holloway
Messenger Reporter
MISSION TEJAS – November is Sasquatch Survival Hike month at Mission Tejas State park, so put on your boots and get ready to match your skills with the survival skills of the big hairy guy.
Ranger Josh Crawford guides the Survival Hike each November. “The hike is focused on things all living beings, such as humans and other mammals, need to survive,” he explained.
“This is not a hunt for Sasquatch in any capacity,” he assured the media. But the excitement is there.
Crawford educates the hikers in a number of different, critical areas should the need to sustain survival become necessary. The program is formatted to hold the attention of all ages of attendees, but the younger crowd particularly enjoys the adventure.
By using Bigfoot as a ‘blackboard’ of sorts, Crawford poses questions that demand thought before answering and which allow younger participants to take themselves and any fear of being ‘lost’ out of the picture by using everyone’s favorite hairy cousin, Bigfoot, as the main character.
Some children may become tense when imagining themselves lost, but directing the actions of Sasquatch (or any third party) is far less fearful and far more entertaining. The lessons are more easily learned and retained longer.
Does Sasquatch inhabit the woods around Houston County? Debatable, though many have claimed sightings.
“If he did, could he survive? What would help ensure his survival?” are a few of the questions the ranger uses to engage the more feral thinking processes – without the nerves – in the hike participants.
From “Do you think this forest has the items a sasquatch would need to survive?” to an actual hike through the woods to locate the survival necessities, Crawford and his crew have created a perfect learning environment for outdoors enthusiasts of all ages.
“The program consists of a hike through the forest with stops to identify sources of water and food. We also look for shelter or things we can use to build a shelter,” Crawford said.
“During the hike, we play a game of chance that determines who ‘survives’ the hike, which has proven to be fun in the past.
While the rangers won’t confirm or deny the presence of Sasquatch in the Mission Tejas woods, Crawford will tell you that “Scientists are continually discovering new species of plants and animals.”
Crawford also confessed to a certain intrigue with the mystery and mystique surrounding the cryptids. “Some of the stories people tell of their sightings, the sounds they hear in the forest, and the signs they believe are left by a Sasquatch or Bigfoot are very interesting.”
Coming from an expert on the outdoors, that’s good enough endorsement for most.
In the interest of scientific exploration, rangers permit Sasquatch Hunters to search for the beast as long as they obey the rules of the park. (Some hunters get a little rowdy.)
Park rules are available online or by calling the park and are basic common sense.
The first Sasquatch Survivor Hike is set for Nov. 26 at 10 a.m. Who knows what might be located? If nothing else, hikers will be better prepared to care for themselves during an emergency – no matter what their age.
terholloway@hotmail.com