Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Mushroom Hunting on the Grand Mesa

Ever since Jackson and I were married we talk about how much we love camping and how we are going to do a lot of it as a family.  That hasn't ever happened.  Jackson has taken some of the older kids on 'Father and Son' camp-outs several times and we have gone cabin camping a couple of times, but that is it.  It seems I am always pregnant or have a very small baby and both of those things just make me want my own comfortable bed.  Jackson was pushing again for a camping trip and I agreed on the condition we stay in a cabin.  We rented a cabin less than an hour away from our house on the Grand Mesa.  Jackson was very busy with work and I didn't prepare as well as I should have, so we were rushing out the door right at lunch time with no lunch prepared.  I decided we would just pick up some Taco Bell on the way out of town to save some time and stress.  We did, and because the kids were so hungry they ate a LOT of tacos.  I think Thomas and Nicholas each had 4 or 5 tacos.  We made it there, settled in to the cabin and started exploring.  Not long after we got there, both Thomas and Nicholas started complaining of headaches.  They got worse and worse until Nicholas laid down and fell asleep right on the picnic table outside.  We took him in to bed and he fell right asleep without any dinner.  Thomas was feeling so miserable he couldn't eat any dinner and finally became nauseated.  He ended up asleep without dinner also.  About 11:00 Nicholas woke up sick to his stomach.  I helped him to the toilet (barely made it).  He was afraid to get too far from the bathroom and didn't want me to leave him, so he and I shared the couch for a lot of the night.  Because of the way I have seen both Thomas and Nicholas react to different foods, my theory is that they are sensitive to MSG that was in the taco meat and it gave them both a migraine.  I don't think either of them will be eating Taco Bell any time soon.

We brought tracing paper and had fun tracing birds out of our bird book.

That morning after breakfast we went out for a little walk to explore.  We were surprised to find a multitude of mushrooms right outside our cabin.  It was so magical.  Every few steps there was another one.  There seemed to be an endless variety and we spent a long time calling to each other, "Come take a look at this one!"  At first we just took pictures of them.  Then, after realizing that there were so many we decided it would be okay to pick some and take them home to try to identify.  After giving strict warning to the kids to not even put one close to their mouths, we started collecting some samples.  It was wonderfully exciting for all of us.  

These little guys were some of my favorites.  When you touched them they would blow millions of spores out a little mouth on top.  So fun!!!

Can you tell I didn't sleep well the night before this picture!  I was SO TIRED!!!
On the drive home, we saw this coyote in the road.  Jackson flipped around to look at it and requested I take a picture of it.  It was so recently dead that it was still warm and steaming.  I half-way expected it to jump up and run away.  Jackson said, "We should take it home to my dad!"  YEAH RIGHT!!!!  I had bags full of smelly mushrooms in the car...that was enough.  I was NOT going to put a huge, dead, bleeding animal in with us too.  I MIGHT have considered it if we had a garbage bag and an empty trunk, but we had neither, so Mr. Coyote stayed where he was.  Phew!
When we got home we called Bubba and he brought over his mushroom identifying books and we spent some time sorting and trying to see if we found anything valuable or edible.  It was fun.  We did decide that a few of them were edible, but there are enough that will kill you or give you hallucinations that we didn't feel the urge to be adventurous and eat any.  Even with the migraines, vomit, and sleepless night, it was a fun memorable trip that I am glad we took.


mary said...

Holy COW those are tons of mushrooms! And mysterious mushrooms kind of give me the ookies but what awesome photos! You guys are cool.

Julia said...

I can't believe how many awesome mushrooms you guys found! How tough for everyone to get sick on the same night while camping! It sounds like quite an adventure!

Unknown said...

you should throw them outside, instead of in the trash, so their spores can have a chance to spread.

Unknown said...

Which cabins were these?? And what time of year?