I'm a novice when it comes to mushroom hunting of any sort.
I'm about as much of a novice as you can get when it comes to that (or most things). I am aware that The Pacific Northwest has a plethora of mushrooms and mushroom hunters. You'd think there would be vast resources online to refer to. I mean, everything is online, right?
Mushroom locations are are a closely guarded secret it turns out. Your options pretty much limited to two options: find someone who knows and go with them, explore on your own.
I chose the latter.
I've made a couple weak attempts these past couple of years in vain trying to do a mushroom hunt. I was armed with nothing but a book and some bad advice and ventured off into the woods. My companions were my awesome girlfriend and my lovely dog, Kaya:
On an overcast day in late October, we loaded up the car and made our way towards Mt. Hood National Forest.
We had a very sophisticated plan of attack. We were drive along turn at whatever random road that might look like it will have something. Initially, we weren't making any progress. A windy foreset road that might look good on paper (or satellite), might end up being being a road with steep drop offs, overexposure to the sun, or just not the right environment you're looking for. The process is the same, you ask your passenger, "do you see anything?"
"Uh.. keep driving." is how they usually respond.
Every now and again you get out, put your backpack on, walk around for a few minutes without seeing much, walk back to the car, and repeat.
Eventually, we found a good road and we struck moldy gold.
We were finding shrimp mushrooms left and right. We even came across a lobster mushroom as well and it was glorious. I failed to take a photo before our dog, Kaya, took a big whack at it with her paw and broke it.
Honestly, while we found a good deal of mushrooms, it doesn't add up to much monetarily. But, the adventure of going down random roads, hearing owls, and seeing deer are experiences that can't be measured in dollars or cents.
I love the outdoors. I love my dog. And, most importantly, I love my girlfriend. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I forget about what The Pacific Northwest has to offer us. I see it everyday, but not every day do I see it.
In closing of this short and brief post. I just want to leave a couple of my most favorite sites I saw on that day.