Copyright 2017 by Mario Vaden
The redwood below was one of the New Discoveries back in 2014. Chris Atkins is on the left side for scale. Star Trek happened to be part of that week's conversation and some redwood names followed that theme. The trunk is close to 19 ft. diameter, and reminds me of Howland Hill Giant. The vegetation around was incredibly thick. I like the red sweatshirt he picked. Sometimes Chris wore tie-die shirts which I don't enjoy for photos, but apparently he likes them. Other than the shirts, there's no hint of hippie about him unless you think swimming naked is a qualifier. In previous years I could tell Chris had an excellent memory for numbers and measurements. But in 2014 it became evident that his math skill was above average after watching him calculate volumes.
When Richard Preston wrote The Wild Trees, more should have been shared about Chris. He's good bushwhacking company and great for conversation on a wide variety of subjects. Often, our base of operations was Prairie Creek campground even if we branched out into other parks. Chris's lodging choice was usually a small tent, and trying to twist his arm to get a motel room seemed like pulling teeth. My preference is motel, but I camped there too in my converted trailer, or more recently a big Ford van. Chris preferred sites down in the evergreen canopy but I liked the open grassy areas, sometimes watching several hummingbirds share the big twin-berry bush.