We had the good fortune of connecting with Cliff Barackman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cliff, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Owning a business has made it much more difficult for me to get away for any length of time, as previously I was in the woods doing field research much more often. Now, however, my woods-time may be restricted, but it is more focused with the reports and encounters that witnesses bring to us in the museum.
I see this as just part of the responsibility of being a business owner, and not necessarily a bad thing.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My career path is a strange one, but I’ve lived somewhat of a strange life, so that makes sense. After graduating from college with a degree in Music, I became an elementary school teacher. Fourteen years later, I was invited to co-host Animal Planet’s hit television show, Finding Bigfoot, which aired from 2011 to 2018. Since then, I’ve been an active public speaker, so opening a bigfoot museum seemed like a logical fit. I now consider myself to be continuing my education career, but instead of the public school curriculum, I am teaching the public about sasquatches.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Rural Clackamas County has many destinations that promise a good time. After visiting the North American Bigfoot Center, it’s a short car ride to Mount Hood National Forest, which is excellent bigfoot habitat. Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood was the shooting location for the exterior hotel shots in the Steven King move, The Shining. There are numerous restaurants and hiking trails on Highway 26 along the way.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without the support and kindness of the bigfoot community, whether that is the fans of the television show I hosted on Animal Planet all those years, or the researchers, scientists, and authors that have taken me under their wings to help in whatever way they could.
Red photo by Craig Flipy Wearing a brown shirt photo by Melissa Barackman