Oakley – means from the oak-tree meadow.
We pulled into the overlook and climbed out of the truck. My friend pointed down into the valley below.
“What the hell is that?” he said.
“That’s just a tree,” I replied.
“Hell, no. That ain’t no tree. It’s a g.d. BigFoot!” he said, without taking his eyes off the subject in question.
We stared, hard.
“No. No way! You’ve watched too many of those reality shows,” I said, trying not to blink in case I might miss something.
We both stood frozen as “the tree” walked across the stream, climbed up some boulders, and disappeared behind an oak. Our jaws dropped like cartoon characters, our eyes wide. And we kept staring, long past it was gone.
Finally, we looked at each other, got out our phones, and stared recording videos. We didn’t get any clear footage. But we religiously watched every episode of that show together.
Twenty years have since passed, but I remember it better than yesterday. 2016 was a year we’ll never forget. We drove straight from that overlook to Vegas without saying a word and got married two days later at the first Elvis chapel we saw. Nine months later, our Oakley was born.
Long live that Oak Creek Canyon sasquatch.