Sunday, September 16, 2012

Adventure 37: Foraging

First of the year
I have to admit this past month it has been really hard for me to keep moving forward on these adventures. After a summer of so many big trips and momentous occasions, trying to fit in something on a Sunday that feels adventurous feels a little faked. It could be that my plate feels really full and some chill time is necessary on Sunday. We committed to this challenge and it will be seen to the end, we are only 15 adventures away from the end after all. Crazy, it is kind of nuts that between the two of us we were able to keep up momentum to continue on. My motivation to write is lacking as well, so it could be the two combined making this really tough. We persevere and keep on trucking.
Mucky swamp Marshall swam in
This week it was decided that a walk out by the Comox Lake impoundment dam was in order, only on the opposite side of the river from the Bevan trail. Know as Bear Bait, one of the first mountain bike trails in the Comox Valley, first well know one anyways. Rolling through the B.C. Hydro lands along the Puntledge River, this is a very nice spot for a walk or a bike ride if you are of the ability. Unfortunately the River Trail is not for cyclists, which is too bad, because we have very few beginner friendly trails in the Comox Valley that go anywhere nice.
Much cleaner water
Marshall, Natalie and I set off for a quick walk to some of my favorite spots out in this second growth Douglas fir forest, ideal habitat for chantrelle mushrooms, as well as other species. We trucked along, Marshall going like a mad dog. He was bounding out on the trails, then back to us at Mach 1, then through the forest, leaping trees, branches and stumps. He had not been out much lately for lack of water around for him to drink. I could tell that he was missing it. We found several mushrooms at one of my best spots, but that was about it. This area needs rain in the worst way, from a mushroom hunters perspective anyhow. The chantrelles we found were dense and bone dry. The flavour is still wonderful, but they look pretty pitiful in the basket.
Get in there
Marshall found himself a nice muddy swamp to take a swim in getting himself filthy with muck. Of course, he could find water in the desert so he could swim. We came back to the river below the dam and let Marshall have a good long swim. He will stay in the water indefinitley, at least until he gets cold. It is so fun to watch him joyously paddle along, around in circles, not one care in the world. Natalie decided that she wanted to swim, so she doffed her gear and got in up to her knees and changed her mind. The water was quite cool compared to the air temperature, which was in the mid twenties in this last dash of summer. It was time to get moving, Natalie had a request for a play visit at a friends house for the afternoon and we had one more stop to make.
Cool ladder
I had talked to my uncle Don the previous day, and he was filling me in on how many blackberries were on his property. He had been picking steady for weeks and was running out of space and buckets, so I asked to come by and fill a few containers. We arrived and began wandering around. He was not home so we helped ourselves to the patch, quickly filling our buckets. Well I was, Natalie was filling her cheeks. But that is not unusual. Eating is more fun than picking anyways, that is understandable. The last pail was just full when Uncle Don arrived back at the property. We walked around and talked, he showed me his plans for the newly filled land, what he was going to sculpt it as. An impressive amount of fill has been brought in to level out a steep property. We happened upon a tree with a blackberry cane climbing it, with many berries. Natalie and I were picking them, but many were out of reach. Uncle Don fired up his Kubota tractor and encouraged Natalie into the bucket. He then lifted her in the bucket up to the higher berries. She was loving it. She actually picked some fruit. Once the area was cleaned off she directed where the next place was she wanted to be taken to. She had a chauffeured ride around the tree and once the berries were picked, a ride in the bucket back to the car. How much fun. Thanks Uncle Don!
The life
It was a close to home adventure, which most of them will be from this point on in the year. I have a few good ones coming, so stay tuned. Find Adventure.

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