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November 12, 2010

The Bigfoot Tavern

In a little town called Eatonville near Mt. Rainier, Washington is the Bigfoot tavern.


It is a small place with a friendly bunch inside. The bartender is quite attentive and ready to serve up your choice of brew. The most popular choice is called redeye for obvious reasons.

The entertainment is quite simple but very, well, entertaining.

The band is named The Howling Wood Knockers and they describe their music as headbang music.

Dancing is welcomed but the dance floor is rather small. Dancing on the bar is not allowed.

Have you ever been to a dance instruction class where the dance steps are shown on the floor in the form of outlined shoes? Well, you guessed it. The dance floor has various sasquatch dances with large footprints that are numbered.

The Bluff Creek two step – this dance is fashioned after the famous PGF film. The steps are simply numbered 1 for the right foot and 2 for the left foot and oddly enough start at the ordering station at the bar since in the original account the dancer was seen possibly getting a drink. The steps proceed directly toward the dance floor then straight across it and on to the back of the establishment to retreat to the woman’s room. This makes perfect sense as this is the route taken by many a dancer who is surprised by the advances of a wandering cowboy in order to avoid capture.

The Chopaka – another simple dance step with a 1 and a 2 rhythm but much faster than the bluff creek step. In this dance instead of the dancer cutting across the dance floor headed away from the front entrance he or she cuts across the dance floor from side to side making their exit out the side door.

A major part of this dance is for the dancers to have long hair or a wig tied up on top of their head and just before exiting they let their hair down.

Dances With Dogs – is a dance that is done anywhere on the dance floor in a rather stationary position. There are about 50 steps that are repeated until the end of the song that are all close together and occur within a small circle. The dancer flails their arms and legs around as if they are swatting at flies in mid air occasionally holding both hands together as if they are holding something by the throat and then throwing it across the room.

Like any dance floor lights are also a part of the ambiance. The Bigfoot Tavern has gone all out and installed the front grill of a jeep on one wall that borders the dance floor. The headlights in the grill are fully functional but are only used for one dance. At the end of every set the Howling Wood knockers sing their signature song – “Dancing in the Headlights” and the jeep headlights begin to flash. The Bigfoot line dance begins and everyone lines up to take their turn crossing the road that has been brought out to the dance floor and rolled out like a hallway carpet in front of the headlights.

One by one the dancers cross the road doing their own version of the headlight dance. This dance has no set steps, each dancer crosses the road at their own pace taking as many or as few step as they so desire. Some turn to look in the direction of the lights, some ignore them. Some stand in the middle of the road and face directly towards the lights. Everyone adds their own particular flair to the headlight dance and all enjoy their 15 seconds (or so) in the headlights.

If you are ever in Eatonville stop on in at the Bigfoot Tavern, it is indeed a quaint place but you will find that I have embellished my description a little bit.


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