Rolling foothills eventually rose up and greeted the horizon in lines of thick forest of oak and pine. In the lead, my uncle turned off the highway and within minutes the car began to vibrate violently as he continued along washboard dirt roads. And as the forest thickened, it occurred to me that there were no sign of humans, and there were no cars, or houses, or planes.
Meandering, we weaved the pothole-scarred path until we finally arrived at a dispersed camping site. I exited the car first and stretched, taking in a deep breath of the fresh air. The smell was wondering, something like pine with subtle wildflower, which seemed to intertwine with a distinct musty scent of decomposing leaves and rotting wood. I stared up at the trees soaring up from the earth. They brushed the blue sky with their rustling leaves, now bright green and vibrant with the coming of spring. The songbirds were singing and the squirrels were chasing each other over moss covered tree trunks. The ground was covered in a bed of orange pine needle, with fallen pinecones and the faint scattering of animal tracks.