Morel Hikers

Idaho is the hiking capital. I have never been on a mushroom hike, but it sounds like quite the adventure. Morel Mushrooms are found among the ashy soil and lavender Trillium flowers. Read more below from, The Hunt for Morels in Idaho.

“So I knew what morels looked and tasted like but why couldn’t I find any? About three quarters of the way through our hike, Nancy hit pay dirt. She literally found $40 in the dirt. She thought it was trash and being a conscientious Idaho native, she picked it up. It was two wadded up $20’s. We kidded her, saying she should just buy 40 bucks worth of morels and give up the hunt!

Selling at about $14 per pound in stores, she’d get several dozen. Later, Nancy and I were talking about taking our kids to a concert. We were patting ourselves on the back for being cool moms while sharing a priceless experience with our kids and then Nancy’s search bore real fruit. She yelled, “I found one!” and pinched it up quicker than a four year old can play leapfrog.

A small part of me wanted to tackle her for her mushroom. When she showed me where she had found it, I couldn’t believe the Darwinian magic of how it blended in with its environment. How does anyone find these things? According to Idaho’s leading newspaper The Idaho Statesman, this year 1000 full-time mushroom pickers, mostly from Cambodia, Laos and Mexico have pitched tents in the Payette and Boise National Forests. Two million acres of this land had burned in 2007 producing prime picking spots for commercial mushroom hunters.

By the end of our hike, our group of about 16 had harvested a little over a half dozen. Like me, the men had struck out. I explained that relying on caveman theory, that is as it should be. After all, women are gatherers, men hunters. (But what did that say about me?) Chef Kucy said he occasionally cooks bounty caught and/or gathered by Tamarak guests. “

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