Trip Date: October 17, 2010
Off road vehicles, 2 of them customized 4Runners, with chopped beds, external cages, and large tires, in a line as a local explains to them that the gate has just been closed. Disappointment and anger on the young men's faces. I wonder, "where will they go now?"
We are not headed for points further up the valley -- we are just going to the boat ramp, though the image does give me a twinge of chagrin. All this land owned by a forest company and the public barred from using it much or most of the time. An old deal which has rubbed people wrong year after year. A give away to big business in exchange for a railway that is only lightly used these days.
The boat ramp has a number of vehicles parked around it. Guys out on the water fishing. We put in with the sound of retreating 4x4s and paddle out and away, heading down to look at the outflow.
The autumn colors warm the landscape but we can see our breath in the shade.
As we approach the bridge we see the smooth surface tilting into rapids so we turn around.
We head back towards the main lake.
The sun is warm and provides a sense of comfort. Two ultralight planes fly low overhead, heading up the broad valley slowly. The day has the feel of a Sunday, lazy and relaxed.
In the distance we see another canoe. People are out enjoying the air, water, and sunshine.
The bushes along the shore are various shades of burgundy and amethyst. The Ninebark is yellow and orange.
We paddle slowly and take it all in. Further up the lake we coast beside a large wall of stone with large and small trees growing out of cracks. It is too dark in the shade of the hillside to take pictures. I have to just soak it in. I keep looking and looking and can't get enough. At one point a bright yellow clump of Ninebark protrudes out from between a vertical fissure in the rock face. Paul and I both comment repeatedly on the beauty. We talk about people we know that have a hard time seeing it or valuing it. I think about learning to appreciate abstract art in my first year at University. Removing preconceptions and expectations and just looking at what is before you. Letting the art evoke a feeling.
We round the corner and eat our lunch on a log strewn shore with the sound of water or wind, we never can decide which, coming from the dense forest behind us. Two fly fishermen go by in a skiff. We chat with them and they tell us that the Elk were not on the gravel bar today.
In order to make sure we are out before the gate is closed, we cut our trip short and head back. On another day we will explore the sand bar and maybe see those Elk. Two blue herons fly over us low and close enough to see the feathers moving in their wings.
We stop on the way home and wander into the woods looking for Mushrooms.
There are Chanterelles -- slightly waterlogged and perhaps indicating the peak of the season, and a small patch of Hedgehogs, firm and smelling sweet. These are Hydnum umbilicatum. I have not gathered them before.
The teeth or spines are clearly visible under the magnifying glass when I get home.
There is also a Western Amethyst Laccaria, which I am not as sure about both in the field and when I get home. But when I look in the books I gain confidence. I will do a spore print tonight. Edibility of this mushroom seem in question but it has a lovely fresh smell.
I also saw but did not gather what I think was a either a Zellers or Admirable Bolete. Being not on wood, but on the side of the road, I lean towards the Zellers.
I have a satisfied sense of gratitude as I put my mushrooms in the fridge at the end of the night. It has been a good day.