Don’t be surprised if you’re out on a hike someday, deep in the woods, far from everything and everybody, when you chance upon a cheerful woman with a smudge of dirt on her cheek and a glint of happiness in her eye. And don’t be surprised if she confidently introduces herself, offers you a home-baked energy bar, and starts helping you pitch your tent. And don’t be surprised if she tells you about her childhood (Colorado and outdoors) or education (Cal Poly and Wildlife Biology) or hobbies (photography and skiing). And don’t be surprised if she starts gushing about Mexican Spotted Owls (or Peregrine Falcons, or wolves, we’re not really sure yet). And don’t be surprised if she whips out a feather or some scat and starts explaining tiny, fascinating details to you. And then, don’t be surprised if she says goodbye in a flash and heads back into the wilderness like an apparition.
And don’t be worried if you forget her name.