F*ck You National Geographic

Ok. I’m going to try to write this as coherently as possible, without it sounding like a rambling mess. But no promises.. my body is lathered in Tecnu, which makes it really hard to type.

I woke up early this morning, fresh from being inspired the night before by watching about 4 hours of National Geographic, mostly about redwood trees. I’ve been working on a little piece for a magazine about “cathedral rings” in redwood trees (sounds like a sexual term, right?) and have been pretty obsessed with it for the past couple weeks. I have most of the writing I need but didn’t have the photographs to go with it, so, at 7am, off for a hike I went.

There’s a gorgeous place to hike surrounded by redwoods only ten minutes away from my house, and I like to go there first thing in the morning to capture morning light and fool around with my camera. This morning I didn’t find the rings I was looking for, but as I was walking closer and closer to the creek, I found a few species of fabulous little mushrooms. At about this time I found myself a little lost, since the main trail was far behind me and the trail I thought I was on was really just a deer trail that lead to nowhere. I was very “zen” about it for about an hour, reminding myself I am one with nature (or something) and the worst that could happen was I could happen upon a bear cub nest and curl up with them for the rest of the morning eating honey and napping in their luxurious fur. Then we’d all wake up and they’d lead me back to the main trail, waving at me while I trotted off home.

This however, did not happen.

Another 20 minutes into me going deeper into the forest and walking right along the edge of the creek; I was over walking, over taking pictures, and coming to the realization cashmere scarves and Uggs in fact DO NOT make good hiking companions. But still, I walked. And walked. And walked. Until I was faced with a (seemingly but who knows) 40 foot cliff which lead to the main trail head – or the decision to hike back the way I came, going like, 6 miles out of the way, in the creek. My decision was to climb. (I’ve watched thousands – nay – hundreds of Nat. Geo’s where they climb and it really doesn’t look that hard) As I ascended the cliff (I use the term “ascended” loosely as it was really me just flailing around, digging my nails in to the mud and redwood needle debris, and shouting out things like, “National Geographic sucks balls! This is lame and I have no camera crew!”) I looked up to only see groves of redwood trees and fern fronds all up in my grill. It was beautiful (or what ever) but at this point I was so over nature and just wanted to go home, eat breakfast, and curl up to a season of Sex and the City like any other normal girl (or guy).

And then I heard it: “IT’S NOT THAT BAD!”. I looked up and replied (while still clinging to the fucking cliff, might I add) “JESUS!? Is that you??”

It turns out a bicyclist saw my whole fiasco, since he was about 100 feet above me the whole time cycling, and while coming the loop down, he heard me badmouthing Nat Geo. He helped toss me up the hill, all the while defending Nat. Geo and asking why I decided to go through the poison oak patch – rather than start climbing only ten feet away where there clearly was no poison oak.

“My methods are none of your concern”, I told him, and quickly jumped to my feet while dusting off the redwood needles in my hair and clothes, and trying to maintain some dignity. “I do this ALL the time”, I said.

“Sure”, he replied.

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