Outside in a tent in the middle of Bigfoot territory has Kalista and Leandra more than a little frightened. Determined to demonstrate bravery, the best friends rely on Caleb and Owen, self-renowned adventurers, to protect them.
Hiking the secluded ridges, the girls meet fellow expedition partners that hire the Critter Getters, Caleb and Owen, during guided Bigfoot excursions. Exploring day and night, they eventually come face to face with one of their deepest fears.
This tightknit group tentatively treads the scary world of the mythical, all the while learning more about each other, forging deepened friendships. Caleb and Kalista feel the twinges of first love, while Owen shares a surprising, devastating loss with everyone. Leandra remains the comic relief with unexpected quips in times of stress. During their journeys and talks, the quartet becomes closer and realizes their realities may actually be scarier than any Sasquatch could ever be.
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Quiet once again encompassed his secluded world. Several minutes went by, convincing Bigfoot the juvenile, nor the hassling female Bigfoot, would come searching for him. At least not yet.
Curling onto the leaves, he cuddled unfamiliarity—what he did not know was a glove. He fell asleep under the hazy autumn sun—his human’s face floating in and out of his consciousness.
* * * *
The girls arrived on a Friday afternoon, a day earlier than the scheduled group of all men campers for the Saturday night excursion. Pulling into their customary parking spot next to Caleb and Owen’s day to day vehicles, Kalista hesitated before turning off the car engine. She turned up the heater, pointed the vent toward her face and explained to Leandra, “Just trying to get one last burst of heat before I step out into this outdoor refrigerator.” The deceptively sunny day held a strong chill in the air.
“It’s going to be downright frosty in the camp tent tonight, that’s for sure. But, I’m not going to cuddle too closely to you that would be too weird.” Leandra raised an eyebrow in Kalista’s direction.
“You’re so mean, so-called best friend. You wouldn’t keep me warm?” Kalista turned off the ignition, pleasant sarcasm dripping from her words.
“Sorry, Kal, we are tough Okies now. Better learn to suck it up.” Leandra opened her car door and almost bounced from the car.
Standing next to the car, Leandra called toward the guys, zipping her coat shut and adjusting her fleece hat. “Brr, who ordered this air conditioning in November?”
“It was not me, although this is perfect deer hunting weather,” Owen called from behind the hay trailer.
“I think I’ll leave the shotguns to you guys.”
“I’ve got my thermals, two pair in fact. Don’t ya’ll Okies call these long johns?” Kalista held up two packages containing light, thin base clothing to wear under her jeans and turtleneck shirt.
“I suppose we do, but then, it makes me think of donuts and I get hungry.” Caleb sheepishly grinned, laughing at his own joke.
“Long Johns are donuts, Kal. Now, I want one.” Leandra finished getting her bag out of the backseat of the car, licking her lips in the process. “Mmm, good stuff.”
“I’ll make you some cowboy donuts when we get up to the campsite. Those are almost as good. Sprinkle on some powdered sugar and they are good eatin’.” Owen chivalrously took Leandra’s bag and loaded into the back of the truck.
“I’ll take your word for it, Owen. After all this time, you haven’t steered us wrong yet.” Kalista handed her bag to his outstretched hand before giving him a tight hug. “It’s good to be here again.”
“It’s great to see you too.” Caleb stepped forward for his own hug from Kalista, although they lingered slightly longer than her embrace with Owen.
Reluctantly pulling away from Caleb, Kalista wrinkled her forehead and briefly pursed her lips. “Hey, by the way, I lost one of my ski gloves the last time we came up here. I guess it fell out of my pack. Did either of you find one?”
“No, can’t say we did, but we can take the same trails, maybe we will locate it. Haven’t had much rain or wind storms since your last trip, so unless some animal took off with it, we might have some luck.” Owen rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
“Maybe it was Bigfoot? He just took off with my glove as a human souvenir.” Kalista laughed, shaking her head.
“Would you blame him? He probably needed it. It’s been getting mighty cold at night.” Caleb impulsively reached out to take Kalista’s hand. “Besides, who wouldn’t want a token souvenir from a pretty girl?”
“Young love…isn’t that the sweetest thing, Owen?” Leandra fluttered her eyelashes toward the hesitant couple.
Owen tilted his head looking at Caleb and Kalista still holding hands. “Yes, as a matter of fact, it is. But, that’s enough of this mushy stuff. It’s time to get to the campsite.”