|A cool, wet time at Marble Mountain
The Sportsmanís Report
I'm just back from the Marble Mountain Wilderness in the Trinity Alps, which is very cool, very much on the edge of civilization for still being in California at least.
I was with the Humboldt Mycology Association on a weekend campout and mushroom hunt. We were at 4,800 feet, and it was cold Friday night. We set off into the bush at nine the next morning, and it was sunny and clear. I found White Chanterelle Heaven. While I was bent over collecting mushrooms, a low ceiling of clouds moved in and within an hour it started to rain.
My rain gear was nice and dry in the truck. I was soaked when I stumbled into camp and changed into dry clothes. I stayed in the cab of my truck, as heavy rains and hail pelted us. The rain tapered off and I was back in the bush by three, with my dry rain gear.
I picked No. 28 of prime edibles and never wandered more than a shout from our camp. Several folks followed the foray leaders into the wilderness area in the morning and came back hours later, soaked, with very few mushrooms.
It stayed overcast the rest of the day. The clouds moved on after dark and the stars came out. It got very, very cold. Sunday morning my stuff was frozen, but not the mushrooms…they were safe.
My wet jeans from Saturday were leaned against my truck, like half-cowboys waiting for their horse. I put on my last pair of dry jeans and slogged out into frozen bush for more mushrooms.
The next two days will be canning, dehydrating and pickling mushrooms. Gotta love it, or go to the store, like any sane person would, to buy mushrooms. Sonoma County is usually three to four weeks behind the north end of the state, so get your gear together for Salt Point.
It's time to harvest olives to cure. I usually have them soaking in the crock around Halloween, which makes them ready to eat around Christmas. I may be canning fresh Albacore tuna next week, so my pressure canner spiders better watch out.
This Thursday is the mushroom club meeting. Go to www.somamushrooms.org for accurate days, time and place. Friday will be the monthly meeting of the Rock Hound Society, and next week is the native plant society outing. Work! Work! Work! I call it research for the Sportsman’s Report.
Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.