There we were walking along in the Northern California wilderness when suddenly a placard appeared in a tree (ok, maybe the signage didn't 'appear' out of nowhere). But it had a mysterious message. A Forest Service sign had piqued my attention. It just said "The Octopus."
What was the octopus? A mysterious octopedal forest creature? Side show freak? A machine left in the woods? Probably none of these is correct.
I think the Octopus is a tree, but not just any tree. The Octopus would be the tree of trees (assuming that's what the signage was for). As we hiked past we noted it would take all four to wrap around its base. We turned a corner and hiked into a clearing. Looking back we could see the towering behemoth stand high above the other pines surrounding it. My best guess, a gigantic tree, became a legend, the Octopus lording over the forest.
Then that was that. I turned and hiked on, leaving the Octopus where it stood. We hiked into Mt. Shasta City and there was beer to be drunk.
Note: Ok, if you're reading, I need help. I haven't been able to confirm that The Octopus is, in fact, a giant tree in Northern California. Any information would be helpful. I scoured what tiny corner of the web I could on the limited internet access I have, but I found nothing about this sign. I'll get back to you with more info on the location of the sign later.