Mushroom Hunting

I spent this Saturday hunting mushrooms on a College Outdoors trip.  Fourteen of us loaded up in their vans to drive a little over an hour to Tillamook State Forest.  The goal of the trip was to help everyone learn some mycology as well as be able to identify a certain species of edible mushroom, the chanterelle.  Chanterelles are easy to identify and hard to mix up with poisonous species so they’re the perfect mushroom to teach beginners.  The vans pulled into a gravel patch on the side of the road and from there we hiked through dense brush to an ATV track.  After following the track for a bit, we split off into groups to travel through the woods.  Pretty soon you could hear people exclaiming “I got one!” or “chanterelles!” to let their groupmates know to come closer and hunt that area for more.  The species of chanterelle that we were hunting is orange so they stand out well when you can see them, but they have a habit of growing inside brush and under logs so it’s a lot like an Easter egg hunt.  

The weather was fantastic, especially for a mushroom trip.  Normally mushroom hunts are poured on just because the rainy season is the best time for mushrooms and we have bad luck.  It was sunny out, a bit cool, but we were in the mountains so that much should be expected.  We were quite successful and managed to bring out two buckets of edible mushrooms, plus a few inedible
 specimens we wanted to
identify.  After arriving back on campus we had a cooking party. We sautéed mushrooms, roasted them, grilled them, cooked them with rice, sugared them, and made cream of mushroom soup.  It was a great way to end a day in the woods.

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