Morel Mushroom Hunting, Snow and a Rattler

Friday May 3, 2024

Dear Diary, 

I woke up at 7 am and wrote my blog. I got up, made my bed and went downstairs. I did the dishes, made tea and switched laundry. I sat on the couch and wrote my blog some more. I had 2 days to catch up on writing my blog and I was determined to get it done today. 

Angel woke up and laid on the couch next to me. After a while, Trish and my nephew Christopher L. got up. Angel got dressed and started on her schoolwork. I made breakfast and a smoothie. Then I drove to Missy’s to let out the chickens. Trish did school with Angel while I was gone. 

I let out the chickens and arrived at Trish’s right before my friend Brett came over. Trish asked him to look at her 4 wheeler because it wasn’t starting. He looked at it and put Trish’s battery charger on it to see if the battery was the problem. He said he’d let it charge up while we were out mushroom hunting. 

We headed out to go morel mushroom hunting. Angel didn’t want to go and my nephew was still helping her do her schoolwork. She was dragging it out extra long now that she was getting a break every 3 pages. I planned on being gone an hour or so. We took my truck and I headed up Mill Creek road right outside of Council. After driving up the mountain a ways, Brett spotted some flowers called trillium that usually grow in the same areas as morel mushrooms. I pulled over and we hiked around. We didn’t see any mushrooms but I took pictures of a bunch of plants to get them identified on iNaturalist. 

We got in the truck and drove to another spot but we still didn’t see any mushrooms. Brett said it might be too early in the season and maybe we needed to go look at a lower elevation. I turned on a side road thinking it might loop around and go back down the mountain. We ran into a bunch of mud and snow on the north side of the mountain. I wasn’t going to risk getting stuck up there, so I turned around and we went down the way we came up. 

Brett said he knew of another place to hunt mushrooms called Mann Creek that was at a lower elevation. He told me to head south on highway 95. I headed south and we talked and told stories on the drive. After about 30 miles and I asked Brett how much farther it was. He said it was up the road right past Midvale. I thought, “Midvale!”. Then I remembered that I always need to ask Brett how far away things are before agreeing to go there. In the past, he’s taken me on crazy adventures that took hours to get to. I hadn’t hung out with Brett for quite a few years. Last year at Yellow Pine was the first time I’d seen him in 4 years. I used to stay overnight at his dad’s cabin in Riggins, we slept in separate rooms of course. It is a really neat cabin and was fun to stay at. When my husband Christopher and I got together, Christopher wasn’t comfortable with me staying overnight with another man anymore, even if we were just friends and stayed in separate rooms, and I’ve respected that. 

Brett’s an interesting guy. He’s lived in the mountains most of his life and keeps to himself a lot. We’ve been friends for close to 20 years and he’s a good person to go hiking and exploring in the mountains with. He knows the land really well and is very respectful. I suspected that he had a crush on me many years ago but at that time I made it clear that we would only ever be friends and he’s honored that. He has never been inappropriate in anyway and I enjoy going exploring with him. It’s good to have a man along for safety. We’ve always gotten along well and he tells the funniest stories about all of his crazy mountain adventures. 

When I got an idea of how far we were going to find morel mushrooms, I thought about turning around and calling it off. Then I decided that I was on an adventure and it would be fun to explore a new area of the mountains that I hadn’t explored before. We drove through Midvale and almost got clear to Weiser before we turned off onto Mann Creek road. (If you’re reading this and wondering where these places are, look them up on a map and follow where we went). We drove up Mann Creek road until we entered the Payette National forest. We hadn’t gone far into the forest when Brett said we were at a good mushroom hunting spot. I pulled over and he went off one way and I went the other. I saw some mushrooms but none were morel mushrooms. Then I walked down to the creek and took pictures of plants. After a while Brett came back and said he didn’t find any morels. He had an old aluminum can in his hand and said he found an aluminum mushroom. I told him I saw a glass bottle mushroom down by the creek and I went and fetched it and also found another aluminum can while I was down there. My friends and I like to pick up garbage when we see it, especially when it’s out in nature. I like to leave places cleaner than I found them. I showed Brett some stinging nettle I found and he showed me how to eat it raw without getting stung by it. It tasted good, very mild like spinach.

Brett came to the conclusion that it was too early for morels, even at lower elevations, and we headed towards Trisha’s. I saw a side road and asked Brett where it went. He said it went by Brownlee reservoir and up over a pass, then dropped down near Council. That sounded like a fun way to get to Council and I turned on the road. The road started out really rocky and rough but Brett said it got better. It did get better but then once again we ran into mud and snow. It’s just too early in the year to go over back road mountain passes. I turned around and drove down to the road we came in on. When we got out of the trees we saw a wild turkey. Then farther down the dirt road we saw a snake on the road. I stopped and we got out to look at it. I left Bits in the truck and I’m glad I did because the snake was a rattler. It coiled up and rattled at us but we stayed way out of its reach. Brett wanted to get it off the road so it wouldn’t get ran over and he found a stick to move it with. The stick didn’t seem quite long enough and I looked for a longer one but since we were out of the trees and in brush country, there was a shortage of sticks. Brett tossed his stick on the side of the road and I retrieved it. I tested out what the snake would do if I touched him with the stick and he didn’t strike it. I slowly used the stick to pushed the snake to the side of the road and once there, he headed off the other way. Satisfied that the snake was safely off the road we got back in the truck and started off. Shortly after going, 2 pickups passed us going the other way and I was glad the snake was off the road or they would likely have ran over it. 

When we got to Midvale we stopped at a thrift store where I found some winter boots for Angel. I called Trisha to see how her and Angel were doing and she said everything was great. Then we went to a little restaurant to eat. I didn’t think they would have anything I would want to eat but to my surprise, the restaurant had a really nice salad bar. While we were eating we got to talking about hot springs. There’s a privately owned one close to my sister Missy’s that you have to make a reservation to go to. I called to see if they had anything available for tomorrow and they did. I booked us for 12pm to 2pm. Yay! I’d wanted to make it to a hot spring while I was here. 

When we arrived Trish’s, Christopher L. had left and another one of my nephews was there with his girlfriend. Brett worked on Trish’s 4 wheeler and determined it was something electrical that needed fixed. Trish told him to not worry about fixing it and thanked him for his help. He said, “sure thing” and headed home. I called Christopher and told him of my adventures. Then I went for a bicycle ride with Angel. When I got back, I drove to Missy’s to put away the chickens. Angel took a bath while I was gone and I took a bath when I arrived back. At bedtime, Trish wanted to spend time with her son, so Angel and I went to bed upstairs. I read her 2 chapters from The National Park Mystery Series. We went to bed and I played Township on my phone until midnight. Uggghhh. That game is so addictive! Either I have to maintain some self control with it or delete it. I turned off my phone and went to sleep. 

Thank you for reading my blog and being a part of my life. I dearly appreciate you.



P. S. This blog post was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

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