A redwood cannot change its nature. Can a dope dealer?
The authorities have sprung Hobart Hawkins, pure-blooded Yurok, big-wave surfer, and pot farmer extraordinaire, after a five year sentence in Corcoran State Prison. To help reenter the straight world, Hawkins enrolls in an extension botany course, where a young professor, Faith Bartlett, introduces him to the thrill of climbing giants--the coastal redwoods of Humboldt county.
Hobart, succumbing to the charms of his teacher, finds himself embroiled in an ambitious scheme to save an 800-acre grove of old-growth forest, a scheme that requires a tremendous sum of money, money he can only raise through clandestine agriculture. Meanwhile, a series of rivals tests the rocky relationship between the ex-con and his attractive professor.
Through the course of a growing season, Hobart must contend with his rebelling teen-age son, the savage murder of his pot-farming mentor, and the thousand natural shocks illegal cultivation is heir to. Rip-off artists, torrential rain, rodents, mysterious uprootings, forest rangers, corrupt cops, and drug-war storm troopers all threaten to ruin his hard work, destroy his love life, and slam his ass back in stir--forever.
Whether surfing together, tree-sitting to protect a huge redwood from loggers, or having a quiet feast in an Airstream trailer parked deep in the forest, Hobart and Faith struggle to reach an understanding with themselves and the natural world. Buzzing choppers, blaring music, and a speed-freak named Fart King, though, put their love to the test.
Moral problems beset Hobart, problems that challenge the code his long-dead father instilled in him. Should he honor a million-dollar debt to a dead man’s widow? Should he take the life of an evil thief? Should he sully the pure Faith Bartlett by dragging her into the heart of his illegal enterprise?
The answers can only be found high in the branches of the world’s tallest trees.