With the heavy rains we had a few weeks back and the warmer weather we received right after I have been itching to get out and see what type of yummy bounty the woods has produced. So with a three and and half hours on Saturday morning I ran out to the coast range. I only saw one other car with people collecting mushrooms. I made the rounds to my favorite spots and found loads of mushrooms at each one. It is so fun to get out there before all the other Portlanders get out there and pick all my chantrelles. I left over half the ones I found in hopes that they would be overlooked by other harvesters and make a larger yield next year or that they would grow for my next time out.
I got out during my kids naps on Sunday to do one last ditch run for channtrelles. The fog was dense as you hit the coast range and hiking through it with the sun beaming through mesmerized me so often I would end up staring up at the trees – it’s usually hard to find chantrelles growing up there. I got a nice haul and despite my dog having a bad leg he had a blast running around the woods freaking out all the chipmunks (are those chipmunks in the coast range?). With that haul my dehydrated chantrelle jar is full and I can get back to fishing on the weekends. I look forward to the many delicious batches of chantelle risotto on cold, rainy NW days.
The first good haul of chantrelles are in the dehydrator and I am exhausted from finding them. I got out of the house over the kids afternoon nap and bolted out west as quick as my car could take me. The whole drive I was running through possible spots in my head trying to decide which would have the best chances with the limited rain we got in September.
I couldn’t believe the amount of people that were out picking today, but most of them were right along the road (I don’t like brake dust chantelles) or in the completely wrong spot. With all the people out I decided to hike way in and ended up on top of one of the hills. I was finding white chantrelles here and there, but no the quantity I was looking for so I headed back down the hill to the moister valleys. I thought that most of these areas would be picked over by the large amount of people out, but I was wrong. I got my haul within two hours and headed home. My legs are burning from the hiking, but I couldn’t be happier. My daughter helped me clean them all off and after she went to bed my wife and I chopped all of them up while chatting away. Life is so good sometimes.
I also saw what I guess is a huge bee or wasp nest. It was about fourteen inches across and six inches tall. I flipped it on its side to see if there was any sign of life, but it was silent. And kind of freaky.