The Angelina National Forest is alive with activity, as men and women meet up for the first time in 20 years for the "Texas Regional Rainbow Gathering."
Fire Starter James has been a member of Rainbow for 20 years and it was in the Angelina National Forest where his love for nature was born.
"I came to my first gathering out here in almost this location. It was about ½ a mile over that way and just fell in love with it ever since. I enjoyed the whole thing. I like the approach to just living in harmony in the woods," said Fire Starter James.
Fire Starter says his name was given to him when he was at a gathering where it rained all night and although the ground was soaked and the rain never ceased he managed to keep the fire going all night. The next day, someone pointed at him and said you're a fire started, thus, Fire Starter James was born.
Fire Starter James says Rainbow is all about a group of people getting together, enjoying nature and sharing their adventures.
"It's a gathering of people that have like-minded ideas sort of in the same family is what it is. You don't have to believe any particular thing or anything like that," said Fire Starter James.
Many Rainbow gatherers have come from all over, East Texas and beyond, to participate in the "Texas Regional Rainbow Gathering" that hasn't been in East Texas in more than two decades.
They set up camp in the woods, build a kitchen and share all their meals, stories and music for about two weeks.
Fire Starter James says, "We just like to live out in nature and get used to the idea of just kind of a free, peaceful cooperation without necessarily any kind of law going on or anything. We just all work together voluntarily."
Fire Starter James says some Rainbow go from gathering to gathering, never leaving the woods.
"It kind of goes back to hobo,you remember hobo's, you know homeward bound. We're home," said Fire Starter James.
"Texas Regional Rainbow Gathering" leaders say they clean up the forest and recycle as much as they can to help protect the environment during their gatherings.
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