Freebird and I passed through Lassen National Forest for a couple of days before heading into Lassen Volcanic National Park. Here's a few pictures and stories of our adventures those two days.
As we walked along, we began seeing these massive sugar pine cones everywhere. At one point we passed several pallets full of some kind of product. We figured they contained these pine cones. Soon after, we stopped at a spring to take a break and came across a Mexican man chatting away on his cell phone. After he hung up, he introduced himself to us and told us that he and his men were in the forest, collecting pine cones for his business. Sure enough, those pallets belonged to them, and they were to be picked up by a truck the next day. A semi arrives every week, paid for by a company out east. We believe the man said that they get paid about 50 cents wholesale per pine cone. He told us that he quit his job in the hardware store and took up this lucrative business to get "bigger toys" for his growing children. Freebird said to him, "You know, money does grow on trees!" I think that would be a fun job to have, to run around a beautiful forest collecting pine cones!
We stopped to cool down for a few hours in the river, while all the hikers rushed by. While sunning on the rocks, a bald eagle flew over us! What a beautiful experience!
|Our first watercress sighting since Moab! Not to be seen again for a long time after this.|
We eagerly harvested a bunch to add to our lunches and dinners.
|Carrying spring water to our campsite.|
After a couple of days in the national forest, we crossed the border into a park filled with hot springs, fumeroles, and boiling lakes. Next entry will feature the beautiful Lassen Volcanic National Park!