Where Bigfoot walks : crossing the dark divide

by Robert Michael Pyle

Hardcover, 1995




Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1995.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Crowyhead
When naturalist Robert Pyle received a grant to study Bigfoot, he didn't mount an expedition to go hunting for the creature. Instead, he traveled to the places in the Pacific Northwest rumored to be Bigfoot's haunts, and splitting his time between talking to the locals and wandering the woods to try to get a feel for who or what Bigfoot might be, if he (it?) truly exists. The result is a lovingly detailed description of the forests around Mt. St. Helens, and a knowledgable discussion not of whether Bigfoot really exists, but whether the habitat could support a larger predatory omnivore like Bigfoot is reputed to be.

My favorite parts of this book were Pyle's profiles of the various big names in the Bigfoot field. He talks to serious scientists and crackpot amateurs alike, and the result is both evenhanded and entertaining. One gets the sense that Pyle would be delighted if Bigfoot does exist, but he remains ambivalent. He is not invested in Bigfoot the way the hardcore searchers he interviews are; what Pyle is invested in is the wilderness and the thrilling idea that there could be new species right in our own backyard.
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LibraryThing member SeriousGrace
Where Bigfoot Walks is much more than a search for Bigfoot. It's more than a need to discover the existence of a legend. Robert Michael Pyle was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship to investigate the mesmerizing myths that bring Sasquatch to life in the minds of millions. The grant basically allowed Pyle to take a leave of absence from ordinary bill-paying work (other writing) to pursue Bigfoot's legacy across the Dark Divide and beyond. In that time Pyle met a variety of individuals most of whom fervently believe. If you are looking for a recount of all the Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Yeti sightings in glorious detail, Where Bigfoot Walks is not the book for you. Pyle traverses the landscapes that hold the myths but his attention is more on what he can see rather than what he cannot. His lovingly vivid descriptions of birds, plants, flowers, rivers, mountains, animals, trees and grasses are tantalizing as is his equally scornful descriptions of bike tracks, logging scars, and other man-made abuses against nature. Only a couple of times were his attention to detail distracting - I didn't need to know how many times he remarried nor did I care about his bodily functions along the trek(s).… (more)



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