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The sticky heat, the intensity of the high-altitude sun as morning waned toward noon, the circling shadows, and the smell of pine and snow melt on the earth were the sensations that affirmed our endeavor was very real now. It was as if there was some gradient I'd passed through, culminating in just this moment when my foot came in contact with this piece of wild earth. Only two nights before, our whole proposal still seemed unreal. But after loading the truck in the morning, driving deep into the mountains, farther from the familiar, the actuality of it churned closer by the degree. To think that it had all come about on a whim. JT and I had been over at our buddy Walter's house, channel surfing after a football game, when we came across a program about Bigfoot, whether the footage shot by Roger Patterson was real or a hoax, when I announced I was going to look for the creature myself. I didn't realize it immediately, but the larger question I was asking myself was if there was any mystery left in the world, any wonder, any unknowns. There seemed to be no room for such things anymore.