As Sky Valley parks go, few are as little known, or as unique, as Bigfoot Park.
It’s not hard to find, though.
At mile marker 36, as you head up Highway 2 to hike at Lake Serene or climb at Index Town Wall, you’ll pass the same picturesque espresso stand travelers have seen for years.
The gingerbread Espresso Chalet, with its bright yellow sign of a steaming cup, is Highway 2’s
longest-running espresso stand.
But it’s more than the scene of a great place to stop for a hit of caffeine. It’s the scene of a quirky comedy about Bigfoot, a 1987 film called “Harry and the Hendersons,” starring John Lithgow. The quonset alongside the chalet is actually part of the set of that film, in which the Hendersons hit a Bigfoot on their way home from vacation and decide to take its body home with them to see if there’s any money in it. Only the creature isn’t dead, and hilarity, supposedly, ensues; the Monitor staff haven’t screened this masterpiece and can’t vouch for its hysterical qualities.
However, the park created to commemorate the film is worth a stop.
That is, after getting a coffee to carry along.
The Espresso Chalet has been on Highway 2 for 20 years, and was built out of an 8-foot Aloha trailer by Mark Klein and his wife Sandy.
The list of flavors for their coffees and shakes seems to have been growing ever since; there are 69 in all, 25 of them kinds of chocolate, and another 52 sugar-free options. The little stand is also a treasure trove of Bigfoot tchotchkes, such a Bigfoot guide that takes itself surprisingly seriously for a tongue-in-cheek publication. It even includes a fold-out ruler for measuring footprints, should you be so lucky as to find one.
But the crown jewels are three chainsaw carvings of Bigfoot that ornament the stand and the gem-like park beyond.
“They are Henry Sr., Henry Jr. and Baby Foot,” explained Sandy Klein. “They are the Stevens Pass-quatch family.”
The smallest one is right in front of the stand. The others are to the left of the stand; one presides over a graveled trail that leads into the park, and the other resides inside a fenced enclosure that hears his name “Henry Henderson.”
The park itself is a neatly manicured expanse of green lawn marked with islands of dense
blackberry stands that are available for U-Pick picking in the fall.
There are some derelict picnic tables here and there, and sometimes tent campers spend the night, if they are willing to brave the noisy passage of trains that occur periodically in the night.
The trail continues into the woods at the back of the park, along a dappled stream, before petering out in the dense growth.
So next time you head over the mountains, schedule a stop and stretch your legs. Grab a sample of “sasquatch hair,” a cappuccino, and stroll down to visit the Bigfoot statue.
Who knows? Perhaps you’ll encounter the real thing!