Collecting and Hiking My Life Away

The first week back from Chicago has been jam packed. We’ve completed 3 collections this week, which have given us the opportunity to surpass the recommended 10,000 steps per day. The first collection left our hands sweet smelling after the once vibrant purple flowers had dried into a light pink. Purple Sage (Salvia dorrii) scent now fills the office shelves while the seeds dry, as we continued to fill the shelves with Thurber’s Needle Grass and another seed, so white and fluffy, Taper’s Hawksbeard (Crepis acuminata).






After hiking and collecting all week, we decided to head out to hike some more at Lassen Volcanic National Park. We set up camp and went out to Bumpass’ Hell, and checked out the sulfur filled streams and watched the vapors pour out of the rock. We made s’mores, hobo dinners, and waited for the stars to come out before heading to bed, setting our sites on hiking Mt. Lassen in the morning.

Much needed selfie










At the summit, 10,000 something feet, with freezing hands, we had to enjoy the perfect moment for yet again using the selfie stick. I feel like these two pictures easily encompass the honest joy and comfort that we all find in nature, and that I find when finally having that feeling of accomplishment when you complete what you have set out to do.

The views were astounding, and there was even the little educational signs along the way, letting us know about the volcanic history of the mountain, 100 years after the last eruption. The signs also let us know how much longer we had to the summit, I don’t know which part was better. DSC_0581Until next time.

Andrea Stuemky, Eagle Lake Field Office, BLM

Susanville, CA