> Randy Nelson
> So how many have you seen? Where were they? Might be useful information to pass on.
In the San Jacinto mountains (CA) a friend and I were going off the official trail, the location was published in a later drug bust. it was north + north+west of the peak, following an old map that had potential for a shortcut trail, that is currently not published on new maps. We figured it could be overgrown with bushes, but on the upside we would have zero crowds, new vista points, and well, an adventure.
We go to a spot that had a few mj plants. not perfect rows of corn. then some rusty cans. We figured that the forest service had zoned off the trail to allow the vegetation to regrow. So we're not botanical scientists, we debated if they were leaves-of-three leave-it-be, a fig or maple leaves, we were trying to explain to ourself why they weren't pot plants. yup, we were naives at the time. Didn't see a farmer at the spot, but it is funny that on another week, a random Wednesday that I faked a sick day, I saw 4 guys stereotypical of the California gardener look, with some shovels and pick axes on the main trail. Again, naive me, thought they were probably the prisoners-doing-community-service trail maintenance guys, didn't want to strike up conversation. An after thought was the lack of the forest service green uniform, and if they were prisoners on the job, they had no prison guard.
anyways, a year or so later, read that the forest service located the farm, not because of the choppers and aerial views, but the water company below the mountain had a spike in e.coli in the water supply, traced it back to pot farmers having a camp at that location up the mountain. They were "dropping off the kids at the pool" and the fecal output was polluting the drinking water for Palm Springs.
I doubt that the PF would return to the same unlucky location in the future, now that it is monitored by multiple agencies.
In retrospect, the encounter could have been different if we had surpised the guys at the farm site doing actual farming, surrounded by mj plants. I suppose they would object to us snapping photos of the vistas and their nature backdrop.