Only a little more and we’re at the top. I know I said that a mile ago and two miles before that, but it’s true! After we clamber painfully over this massive boulder that the path goes over for some reason instead of around, and then through the picky bushes and into this clearing, yes, I see the sky opening up now, and, aha! We’ve made it! Six miles of agonizing climbing, but now comes the reward. Approach this outcrop and prepare to be amazed as you cast your eyes upon this panoramic vista—of trees!

Have you ever seen so many trees? It is a lot of trees. Nothing in front of us but miles and miles of trees. Over on that side. More trees! On this side, perhaps a breathtaking view of a rugged mountain range soaring up majestically in the distance? Nope, just trees.

I told you it would be worth it. When our feet were wet and blistered and we were stuck behind that very slow, very crying child and we were concerned for her wellbeing while alternately wanting to push her facedown in the mud, remember? I said, “I know our backs are aching from ducking under all these low-hanging trees but wait until we get to the top!” And see? Now we’re above the low-hanging trees! They were big and in front of us and now they’re small and far away! That’s called perspective, something I wish you all had when you start throwing around words like “abuse” and “divorce.”

Yup, look at all those trees. Tree after tree after tree. I see a tree there. And there. And there. There’s a tree. There’s another tree. Tree, tree, tree. Bush! No, that’s a tree, but a very bushy tree. Bushy, bushy tree tree! Tree there. Tree over there. Multiple trees in that direction. Ten thousand trees over here.

Let’s see if there’s an echo: “TREEEEEEEEEEEE!”


Drink it in. We spend so much time staring at our devices, it’s good to exercise our eyes with panoramic views like this, although initially it’s hard for our screen-addled brains to grasp all this information at once. So allow me to decode it for you: they are definitely trees.

Let’s stop swatting black flies for a minute and appreciate the nuance of the colors: green, more green, a dark green, a sort of mossy green that has a mossy mossiness to it. Look at that tree over there. No, over there. No, over there. Over there. Over there. Over there. Over there. Yes, that one. It’s such a rich green I call it “grEEEEn.” That one on the other hand—no, that one. That one. That one. Oh, that one? Sorry, you were right the first time, that one. It’s definitely green but almost not green, you know what I’m saying? Let’s call it “gren.” I bet our friends will be “gren” with envy that they missed this hike. Heh-heh!

Threatening to push me over the edge is not funny. Trees may look soft from far away but they are actually quite pointy.

Speaking of trees, there are hundreds of species of trees, some of which are represented here, though not all of them. Yes, it seems like they’re all here but, no, there are many trees unrepresented, I feel safe in saying. Generally, trees break down into two groups. You have your coniferous trees, which are your evergreens, but most of these trees we see here are disingenuous.

No, I’m pretty sure I’m right. I know a thing or two about trees, which are what we have before us in abundance.

Okay, so when I say “tree,” you say, “tree!” Ready? “Tree!…” You weren’t ready, try again: “Tree!…” Come on, guys… Okay, then, I’ll do both parts: “Tree! TREE! Tree! TREE!”

Did you know that if we come back here in the fall, the trees will be all different colors? Well, orange mainly. A sort of yellowy orange—ornge. The autumn is like the trees are on drugs!

It's also not funny to suggest drugs would make this hike more enjoyable.

Finished your snack of raisins and husks? Okay, let’s make like a tree and stay rooted to this spot indefinitely.

Fine, we can go, but I bet you’d be a lot more impressed if it wasn’t raining.