Trailhacker and I got a chance to visit the mushroom tree today. I had tried to go there on my birthday last Tuesday but failed. He has four-wheel drive and could drive on the icy road.
There was a lot of snow on the mountains.
The trail had quite a lot of snow on it. It was easy to walk on.
It was really beautiful on the trail. We spent some time sitting in the sun enjoying nature, dreaming of long distance hikes. Trailhacker plans to take 3 weeks off from work and return to the PCT where he left off near Apache Peak and hike to Hikertown. I'm very jealous. I think he wants to do it alone. Maybe I'll do another solo hike sometime this spring or summer, too.
Our mushroom tree had a few mushrooms. There were none in the places where we had found them before. They had popped up in new spots. There were not many.
I went up to the other spot where I found some and found only one, but it was all rotten. I found some interesting white mushrooms, too, so I picked those to take home and see if I could identify them with my new book, Mushrooms Demystified.
On our way back up the trail we found a few more mushrooms and picked them. Most of the snow had already melted, too.
When I got home I spent some time identifying the white mushrooms. Here is a picture of them still in the soil.
The book has a key so I followed the key and identified them as Russula cascadensis. I guess it's technically not poisonous but it was described as tasting "acrid." I guess tasting it is part of identifying it, but I really didn't want to taste something that wouldn't taste good. It was also described as being reviled by mushroom experts. Apparently they like to kick them and crush them. They are very brittle and during one of the identification tests I broke the stem and it exploded in my face. I can see why it might be fun to kick and crush them. But I can't say I revile any mushrooms enough to abuse them.
Too bad they weren't good mushrooms because they looked really good and tasty growing there. They were very fresh looking. Most of the other mushrooms we found, if they weren't frozen solid, were rotted.
I wore my new hiking kilt and my homemade hiking shoes. I imagine I look ridiculous in my crazy hiking stuff. Oh well. I kind of like my hiking shoes. They work quite well. The kilt is fun to hike in. I enjoy hiking in a skirt. I feel like it puts it all into perspective. It's not "Man vs. Wild" out there. It's just walking. I wore silk leggings to protect my legs from poison oak. I had tried capilene previously but capilene sticks to the kilt bunching it up. Silk worked a bit better, bunching up the kilt a bit less. My plan would be to use the kilt for So Cal on the PCT in the future.
When I got home, after identifying the mushrooms, I spent the rest of the afternoon making patterns for another pair of shoes. I am determined to follow the instructions I got on a CD for making fancy moccasins. I sort of feel tired of making shoes, but I really want to try to make these because if I succeed they will have been made from a pattern made from my actual feet, with a pattern specially made for each foot. They ought to fit well and look good. If they work, perhaps I can backpack in them.
The man who sold me the instructions has been helping me and suggested I make them from upholstery fabric the first time around. Well, if upholstery fabric would work, what about some kind of fabric appropriate for hiking shoes? That could turn out really well, be lighter for warm weather than leather.
I've only gotten as far as making the pattern. I haven't even begun to make the actual shoes.