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My turn: Yep, I'm a tree hugger

Don’t take trees for granted. They could save your life.

I used to go four-wheeling with my uncle, Terry Smith, in the woods by his house. The trail he made went down a hill and through a small stream.

It follows the stream for a couple of feet and then up a ramp built from trees to get up a steep bank.

So there we were, speeding down the stream. Terry hit the small ramp and rolled up without any problems.

As I made my approach, my four-wheeler started to stall as it hit the ramp. It bounced up and onto the bank, but it reared up like a bucking horse, throwing me off.

I grabbed for a tall, thin tree that was next to me only to have it break. The four-wheeler rolled back on top of me and we both went sliding down the bank.

I landed in the stream with the four-wheeler on top of me. The only thing that kept me from being crushed and drowning was the broken tree.

It wedged itself between me and the vehicle’s frame, taking on the four-wheeler’s weight. The tree was caught in the front wheel long enough for me to slide out from under it before the four-wheeler tipped over.

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