As a child, I remember staying at my uncle’s in the summertime. My uncle lived in the country, with a few acres of land and a medium sized house. The Folk Lore in the Pacific Northwest was of Bigfoot. His house, my uncle’s, was on the way to Mt. St. Helens, and he owned the last gas station on your way to the mountain in a little town called Kid Valley. His wife, my aunt, had a shack next to the gas station called The Burger Bar. Homemade burgers and any flavored milkshake you could think of, and french-fries, all homemade, and everybody going to the mountain would stop, fill up their tanks, get a burger, fries, and a delicious milkshake. All for about $20 or less.
Now I remember staying the summers there, and my older sister would work at the burger bar. I was too young to work the burger bar then, so I would go exploring. It was an enchanted place. In the morning, deer and elk would come right up in the yard next to my uncle’s house. I remember walking the trails and seeing deer no more than a few feet away. They weren’t afraid of me. I was mesmerized walking next to the deer trails. They wandered off behind my uncle’s property, and you could sit down on a log and watch forest animals all around you. Rabbits and racoons wandering through the brush. There was a small stream next to the trail where you could share the stream with a passing deer.
I remember this as clear as if it just happened. Here’s the part where things get a little strange. While out exploring one day, I was walking down a trail, and off the main trail there was an old trail that was pretty well grown over, and I decided to explore it. Down that old trail, it got narrower the further I went. Finally, it ended and the brush grew over, but looking down through the brush I seen something that looked out of place in the middle of the woods. It was a door, a full-size door made of wood and laying on the ground with a key in the keyhole, and I removed the key and put it in my pocket. I thought to myself, “What’s a door doing way out here?” And when I bent down to reach for the door, I noticed, all of a sudden, everything around me was silent. No bird sounds. No animals. Everything was quiet. I noticed, next to the key hole, there was light coming through, and the door was laying on the ground!
I thought to myself, “Should I open the door? Or…” As I turned the doorknob and lifted up on the door it sprung open, and there was a bright light coming out, but it didn’t appear to be down anymore. It seemed like it was up-right and glowing, and the sounds of the forest were back. Birds were singing, and I stepped in the doorway. My mind was racing, and I wasn’t in the forest anymore. In fact, I’m not sure where I was.
The sun was still shining, but then I noticed there were two suns. And I heard something coming. I hid behind some boulders, and two creatures came walking by. They were Bigfoot creatures. I realized why the Bigfoot are never found dead or their remains were never discovered. I had stepped through a doorway into another world.
Things were a lot different there, but it seemed that the dominant creatures there were the Bigfoot. There were other animals, but no signs of people. The Bigfoot seemed to be the people there. I went back to the door, and it was just like on the other side. As soon as I sprung open the door and was about to go through the doorway, it was up-right, and I went in through the doorway and out the other side.
The door was very old and had been forgotten. I went back down the trail and found the main trail again, marking the way back to my uncle’s house. When I told everyone about the door, they all said, “Boy, you got a heck of an imagination.”
Well, the next time I went back, I couldn’t find the doorway. Soon, summer was over, and I went back home to Longview. And each summer I went back, but couldn’t find the doorway, and I finally began to believe it was something that I had imagined in my youth.
Well, the years went by, and I grew up, and I forgot about the doorway, but I always wore the golden key around my neck. Maybe it was just a kid’s imagination. I got older and started to settle down, found the love of my life and got married. Those days when I spent summers at my uncle’s were just good old memories. Then, one day, I got a letter. My uncle had passed away. In the will, he left the house and property to me.
On the weekends, I’d go up to the property and try to relive my childhood. One day, when exploring in the forest, I came across an old trail, and my memories started flooding back. In my head was “Is that the same trail I discovered as a child, or wasn’t that just my imagination?” Well sure enough, I went down that trail and found a door in the middle of the woods!
(To be continued!)