The legend of Bigfoot is alive and well in the Santa Cruz Mountains | KALW

The legend of Bigfoot is alive and well in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Mar 25, 2019

Have you ever gone camping and thought you saw something mysterious in the woods?

Unlike its namesake, the Bigfoot Discovery Museum is easy to find.

It’s a two-room building of faded artifacts and disputed claims. There’s no pretense, no spectacle, no irony.

The short, round proprietor stands behind a glass counter wearing a long white beard and a cap that casts a shadow over his bespectacled eyes. He’s wary of skeptics, though always ready to preach the gospel of the Sasquatch.

Mike Rugg
Credit Laura Elliott for santacruzmountains.com

He had his first encounter with what he calls a “mystery primate” at age four, but it wasn’t until after the dot com bubble when he lost his job in Silicon Valley that he decided to convert his former art studio into a museum.

For the last 13 years, Mike Rugg has been the keeper of all things bigfoot in Santa Cruz County, and his shack on Highway 9 has become a repository for alleged sightings and perceived encounters.