Redwood National Forest (subtitle: I’m in California!)
My first semester freshman year, the professor in my introductory Biology class pulled up a picture of the Redwood National Forest, gave some speech about nature or something and then offered us extra credit if we went there before the end of the semester. My friend Laura and I planned our trip over lunch, but it was foolish to think that we could have traveled to the other side of the country in the middle of our first semester of college with no money. Several years later, I want my extra credit. The forest was so dense with these giants everyone drove with their headlights on in the middle of the afternoon. I got a map and walked slowly among them, admiring huge root wads of the fallen trees, and the immense height of those still growing. Unfortunately my camera, long showing signs of wear, refused to believe that it contained an empty memory card. We argued for a while, but settled on the allotment of six pictures of the lowest possible quality. I would fix this issue in the city tomorrow, but for now I was happy being miles away from any of those sights and sounds.
Paul had mentioned in the field that it would be cool if I took a picture in front of the same tree that Roosevelt stands beside on the cover of my book. I read through the descriptor of the picture, well hidden in the middle of the pages, and decided that it must be in Redwood National Forest. I walked up to several park rangers, showing them the cover and asking where it was, only to get blank stares. I read later that the tree was a redwood, but located somewhere north of Santa Clara…oh well, I tried.