The Circumnavigator

Part 2:
The Ola'a Forest

I pulled up to a seemingly impenetrable wall of green.

"Nobody goes into the Ola'a, if you fell down and got back up, you'd never find your way out!"
--The General Store's clerk after asking for directions

With that dire warning, I found myself standing outside a barely contained, impenetrable wall of greenery. It wasn't hard to see what she had meant, the light that managed to filter down through the forest's thick canopy cast the deep rainforest into twilight shadows. After marking where I stood at the forest's edge on my GPS, I plunged in.

The forest was surprsingly quiet, despite the apparent abundance of life here, the dense vegetation muffled sounds. As I stumbled across the soft mattress of decaying plant matter that served as ground here, thick drops of water rolled off leaves and splattered on my plastic rain shell. In the silence each drop sounded like a shot. In just a few steps I had lost all sight of the road. The woman I had asked directions from wasn't wrong. One mistake in here, and an unwary explorer might never leave.

At some point I crossed paths with a tree larger than any other I had seen yet. Inspired by the classic adventure trope of scouting the path by climbing a tree and looking ahead, I shed my pack and made my way towards the dim light above.

When I breached the canopy my eyes took a second to adjust. Around me, in all directions was a luxurious, neverending blanket of green.

Fungus growing from a dead wasp.


See the world, they
told me...

bayou goula towhead

the sea test

the circumnavigator pt5
the circumnavigator pt4
the circumnavigator pt3
the circumnavigator pt2
the circumnavigator pt1
falling dream
the darkness
one hell of a mile 3&4
he will return
the believers
the horror pt2
the horror pt1
death valley

paradise of outlaws
the mountain climbers 1&2
brought to surface
one hell of a mile 3
the lost world
inner gorge
a ghost story
the riddle
slaying the minotaur
heart of darkness
public lands
organ music
two sought adventure
the virgin river
the road north

steal the world
the end of the world
el dorado
the valley of the kings 2
the valley of the kings 1
one hell of a mile 2
one hell of a mile 1
the mountain climbers rr4
heroes rr3
rainy roadtrip 2
rainy roadtrip 1
the transgression
sinister 2
sinister 1
new chapter

like sedona?
torn in two
bridge to nowhere
the door
hitting the wall
elusive 2
elusive 1
pick up lines

revisited 2
revisited 1
which way?
lost mines
in their footsteps
a dance with death

casting the bones
mountain thief
the deer hunter
strange temple
burial pt. 3
burial pt. 2
burial pt. 1
the apparition
return to hell
the lower depths
underground lake
stretch sewer
the hidden lab
shadow movements
meager rations
sw8: the conclusion
sw7: lost gold mines
sw6: the big tubes
sw5: gold!
sw4: el calderon
sw3: redondo
sw2: ghosts
sw1: westward bound
formaldehyde dreams
the underdark
in the beginning