Vernon was born in the Pacific Northwest and still lives in the shadow of Mt. Hood, near the small town where he grew up. Vernon has spent decades wandering the hills, hunting mushrooms, camping and riding motorcycles into the remotest nooks and crannies to be found in the region.
Walter and I went for a short wander early Saturday morning. We found a couple of chanterellles and a bolete.
Cap’n Ron washed up and made breakfast.
Bacon and eggs with sliced boletes and a side of tater tots.
After breakfast we hung a kettle of spiced wine over the fire to heat,
Amy showed up just as we finished washing the dishes. She brought our old dog, Clementine, with her.The girls moved into my lodge.
Mike joined us shortly after Amy arrived.
Filtering from the camp in all directions, we fanned out to comb the woods for mushrooms.
We found a few chanterelles, some boletes and some lobster mushrooms, but the area had been pretty picked over.
Our favorite spot has been discovered. Walter Dawg kept busy all weekend, ferociously barking and running off intruders.
Having found enough mushrooms for our immediate needs, we returned to camp.
…if our cup got cold, there was always a flip iron handy to heat it back up.
It was Halloween night! We carved pumpkins to scare away the wandering spirits.
Annabella Amanita – there are old mushroom hunters, and there are bold mushroom hunters, but there are no old, bold mushroom hunters.
We had an unexpected visit from Gene Simmons.
With an impromptu Kiss concert.
The moon was full Halloween night.
Our camp looked more like a village, with everyone staying in separate lodges. We did our best to maintain our distance and avoid spreading The Contagion.
The moonlight drifted silver through the trees, casting an appropriately spooky illumination for Samhain.
Full moon shining through the smokehole.
Tipi in the moonlight.
First thing Sunday morning, we got the fire going and put the water on.
Wasting no time getting caffeinated.
Pressing counterwop dough into the pie iron for our breakfast Danish.
Breakfast is ready.
Cherry Danish in the pie iron.
Breakfast is served
After breakfast Mike, Amy and I hopped in the cars and headed North hoping to find an area which hadn’t been picked clean of mushrooms. We planned to stop by the bog and pick some cranberries while we were out.
Andy and Cap’n Ron decided to stay near camp Sunday
The Cap’n cut up some firewood.
I’m not sure what Andy did while we were gone, but Oreo kept an eye on him.
Amy brought buckets, rubber boots and rubber mats, so we were well equipped for the cranberry bog.
It was warm and sunny out on the bog. We spent a pleasant couple of hours crawling around on our hands and knees plucking tiny, red berries from the matted vines hidden below the grass.
When you first walk out there, you don’t see a thing. But once you get your eyes adjusted they pop out into view. Much like hunting mushrooms.
When we got back to camp, Amy packed up and went home. She had to work Monday. Cap’n Ron had to work Monday, too, but he had planned to stay for dinner. Daylight savings put sundown an hour early; it was dark before five. Dinner was around seven and the Cap’n just couldn’t wait that long. Too bad; we had a side of chanterelles with wild cranberries; the entree was chicken and dumplings..
…and of course, more hot spiced wine.
Mike went home soon after dinner, leaving Walter, Andy and I to enjoy another moonlit night in the tall trees.