I had a lot of fun in California in 1994, but I met so many Italians that my English didn't improve much! The challenge was then to find a place where I couldn't meet not even a single Italian within a radius of 200 km!

Well, I rolled up my sleeves and found such a place! So, in 1995 I packed and left for America again, but this time I headed for a remote village in the forests of Northern Michigan...

That year I spent the summer in the Great Lakes region working as a volunteer in the Huron-Manistee National Forest, located not far from the Canadian border.

I joined in a program of the US Forest Service for researchers and foreign visitors (I went as a visitor!) aimed at developing people exchange amongst different countries.

I worked at the Ranger Station of Oscoda, a little coastal village on Lake Huron. I joined a team of wildlife biologists and spent the days in the forest, I was involved in many different activities, such as surveys of endangered species, trail maintenance, fire prevention and many others, we also tracked the movements of Boot, a black bear with a radio collar, named Boot because of the footprints he left on the ground! It was a fantastic experience!

The wildlife in that area is quite diverse: white-tailed deers, elks, black bears, owls, coyotes, but Northern Michigan is also the land of the Bald Eagle, it's not rare to sight one of them soaring above your head. If you pay attention, you can also spot eagles' nests build atop huge red pines, nests are easily the size of a car!

That summer during work hours I wore the uniform of the Forest Service, I still keep it in a drawer. Every time I open it a lot of memories come to my mind...