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Short-term Photographic Memory

I went hiking with a friend in the Walnut Creek area. She had hiked at the park before but didn’t usually take the lead so was not certain about the trails. I had never been there before. Together, we were clueless.

It was a nice, sunny day. As we walked deeper into the park, she commented that there was no shade and that it wasn’t as pretty as she remembered. We kept going and finally found another entrance to the park with a feeder street, small parking lot, and a trail map. Unfortunately, the trail map didn’t have any spot saying “You are here!”

We asked one of the friendly hikers there if he knew where we were (well, he looked friendly and was the nearest person… I’m lazy that way). Surprisingly, he didn’t know where we were or even what the nearby street name was. So we spent 5 to 10 mins figuring out where we were; finally, the friendly but no longer clueless hiker said, “I got it!” Once we located ourselves on the map, we realized that my friend’s usual hiking path was along the creek. It made sense because we had crossed the creek earlier and there were shade from trees and wooden benches along the water.

After thanking the hiker, we plotted a path back. As we were well on our way back, my friend commented that she hoped we were on the right trail.

“Don’t worry”, I reassured her, “I have short-term photographic memory.”

“So, you have the trail map in your head, right?”, she asked.

“Not really”, I admitted, “It’s very short. Maybe ten seconds max.”

We did find the creek and managed to get safely back to our parking lot.

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