In the mountains of North Georgia lurks something mysterious, just waiting to be discovered. If you’re a fan of roadside attractions, then you may already be aware of Expedition: Bigfoot! I, however, had not heard about the museum despite only living just over an hour away until my family had the fortune of being invited to our friends’ family cabin in Blue Ridge, GA. Blue Ridge is mostly a sleepy mountain town with a somewhat touristy downtown district, especially during the fall, and I knew we would have fun, but as I started investigating things to do in the area and learned the “World’s Largest Bigfoot Museum” was mere minutes away, I had a new mission in life.
How anyone could drive by Expedition: Bigfoot!, located just outside Blue Ridge in Cherry Log, GA, and NOT immediately pull the car over to stop is beyond me. With the destination firmly on our weekend agenda, we pulled into the parking lot shortly after opening on a Saturday morning. I can honestly say I was shocked to see as many cars as I did already in the parking lot, which was more than half full. I would have been happy paying full price admission for some weird old dude to just pull back a curtain revealing a closet full of tufts of fur and posters of Harry and the Hendersons, but the building was actually moderately sized and filled, as I would soon learn, with interesting exhibits, exceeding any expectations.
Upon entering, what really drew me into the whole experience was how open and inviting everything was. From the free homemade cookies and hot coffee waiting for us to an employee I later learned was the owner who ushered my obviously unsure children into the exhibit, preparing them for what untold wonders awaited. With this being a roadside exhibit, I was curious whether Expedition: Bigfoot! would be a huckster’s quick cash grab from tourists (I would be absolutely fine being swindled by a thin-mustached carnie, by the way), or if the whole operation was presented without irony. I received the answer when the proprietor told my family to take note of the photos of all the top Bigfoot researchers as we entered the exhibit. Yep, these folks were serious, and it was glorious!
The actual exhibits were impressive not just from a volume standpoint (tons of artifacts, artwork, and more), but from a presentation standpoint. No, this museum wasn’t some janky display of random pieces of trash on a table (well, yeah, there was that too, duh), but rather clean, orderly, and professional-grade museum installations complete with lighting effects, audio listening stations, and comprehensive information. You can easily spend a couple of hours here if you chose to read every single artifact label. I didn’t have that kind of time, but we certainly got our money’s worth in the hour or so we roamed the facility.
Highlights of Expedition: Bigfoot! included several life-sized Sasquatch/Bigfoot/Yeti replicas, a decaying severed hand encased in a temperature-controlled glass case, something involving an artifact smuggled by the actor Jimmy Stewart, and a Bigfoot exploration vehicle. When I asked my children what their favorite part of the museum was, they both told me they loved listening to the different audio recordings of supposed sounds of Bigfoot calls. For me, my personal favorite experience is almost one that has to be seen in person to truly behold, so if you want to be surprised, you can end your reading here. Otherwise, join me below for what I can only compare to a spiritual awakening.
When you first enter the museum exhibits, you’re forced to go either to the main exhibits to the left or to some holdover exhibits and meeting room on the right. I’m glad we chose the majority of the exhibits on the left first so that we could save the meeting room for the end. Upon entering the final room, I found myself questioning whether I was actually hearing instrumental church hymns playing or not (confirmed. I was). Like the other main gallery, there were some interesting objects in glass cases (wreckage from a helicopter crash and a stick that was OBVIOUSLY twisted by Bigfoot), but as I turned the corner and as the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy” crescendoed overhead, I turned and saw it: a gigantic, disturbingly segmented, petrified Bigfoot turd. If the case hadn’t already been well-lit, I’m sure the heavens would have opened up and shone down untold rays of sunlight upon the specimen, but I had already been drawn in like a moth to a flame, captivated. If you had asked me before I came to the museum what I needed in my life to make this visit magical, never in a thousand years would I have guessed the answer would be a questionable piece of feces longer than my leg. But there it was:
Welp! There’s really nowhere else to go in writing this article, but since you’re still here I will say that while it is probably obvious that I’m not a believer in Bigfoot, Expedition: Bigfoot! was made for believers and non-believers alike. The owners’ goal was creating a space where not only those sincerely curious about the mystery of Bigfoot could answer questions and confirm their suspicions, but also open a place where families could simply have fun and make new memories together. My family and I certainly did, and I have no doubt I’ll be back. In the meantime, if you don’t see me, just assume I’ve “Gone Squatchin’.”
This post was last modified on January 3, 2018 3:44 am