Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Les Hilde - Harry Osborns State Forest - Day Three~

It rained off & on again for most of the night, but had stopped completely by morning.  We had a yummy breakfast;  bacon, eggs, toast!  Farah was nice & dry under her blanket, as was Count.  
Ready to ride!
Our friends had called & were busy with a fencing project that they wanted to finish.  We were disappointed - but ready with a Plan B!
Brightly on our way~
It was foggy & seemed chilly, but really wasn't cold at all.  After the beautiful days we'd enjoyed, we were subdued too.  Our plan was to go back, find & collect that Cauliflower mushroom!  I'd checked it out on-line & found out that they do indeed grow back each season, usually in the same spot.
Vine Maples along the trail~
This morning, Linda took a different trail out from camp, she knew how to connect to where we were heading - which is now a Big Secret!  :-)
Vine Maple branches covered with moss~
We rode through an area where the Vine Maple branches were covered with moss!  The entire area was it's own mini ecosystem.  Maybe due to the protection provided from the deep gully that ran along side.
Another "Shroom"
Riding along - this mushroom above stood out from all the surrounding green!  Growing straight up off of a branch!  The only one anywhere that we could see.
In the woods, the yellows of the maples were almost neon bright in the misty fog. 
Linda & Count on the trail~
It was eerie, it was very quiet, not even a bird chirped. 
It was kind of a cheap thrill for me to see this sign.  Following this trail must be tough - since the trail itself disappeared in more than one place that we saw.  Linda & Count are amazing at finding trail where none seems to be.  Linda took one - that went a way - then dropped us down a steep bank into a dry creek basin.  Once there - we both realized that if we'd followed anything - it was another Elk trail.  Getting back out - hum...  up a four-foot high steep dirt bank, the same one we'd just slid down.  I grabbed Farah's mane & almost before I could worry about it - she jumped!  That jump & our landing was So Smooth that I didn't even move in the saddle!  We were up & in the next instant I heard Count make the leap!  I wish I could have seen it!  Linda said;  "Amazing animals aren't they?"  Oh yes they are!
Cantharellus "cibarius"
Finding the correct section of trail, we found the Cauliflower mushroom right where we left it!  I'd brought a doubled plastic grocery sack.  I used my knife to cut it off at soil level & was amazed at the weight!  Maybe five pounds?   I tied it to the back D on the saddle & we took a short break.  Count moved off trail & uncovered a Chanterelle!  We started looking & found several right around us :-)
At the creek!
From there, we decided to take the easiest & shorted route back.  The sack was bouncing in the rear, so we stopped again.  I moved it to the front of the saddle, where I could support it a little more.  We sure didn't want mushroom mush!  The fog didn't relent the entire ride, I was feeling a little claustrophobic - which happens sometimes when I'm in the fog, heavy forest & can't see out.
Rascal waits :-)
Returning to camp - we were greeted by the sight above :-)  Rascal sitting on my camp chair - waiting!  He knows full well he's Not supposed to get on the chairs - but...  :-)  Butch had us packed up & ready to go!  His plan?  To the Brewery for a late lunch/ early dinner & beer!  We got there in time to see the Seahawks lose another game :-(
I gave Linda a portion of the mushroom, the rest I cleaned!  Contrary to what I'd read - there wasn't one bug in it!  Just a few pine needles & it was spotless!  It is as described, almost like a noodle in consistency.  I browned it in bacon fat & added it to our soup last night with organic baby potatoes, carrots, onion etc.  All I can say is "yummy" - Very!

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