Saturday morning we hit the highway for some mushroom hunting and a camping trip. While driving down the interstate (fortunately a short drive), I saw a billboard for a Dodge Ram that said, “It swallowed a luxury car.” Really? Actually, it looks like it swallowed five luxury cars, a strip mall, and a football team. And it has the gas mileage to prove it.
We enjoyed shrooming and camping in unseasonably cool weather. We looked up at the sky on Saturday night and were wowed by all of the stars. Breathtaking. It is amazing what you can see without the light pollution from a city.
Nature is not all fun and games and beautiful sights. At one point, I glanced down at my [brand new] hiking boot to see what looked like a patch of dirt, except it seemed like a strange place for a patch of dirt, and it was moving. In addition to regular ticks, I encountered seed ticks for the first time in my life. Seed ticks are very tiny, and if you have one on you, it probably has lots of friends, just look closer. Fortunately, my husband was carrying a roll of tape. I removed the offending boot, and after about 15 minutes of standing on one foot, applying tape to the boot, my leg, and my pants, most of them were gone. Except for the ones that I continued to find into Sunday. Ah, nature.
Unless you get really lucky, mushroom hunting requires the hunter to leave the nice, clear hiking paths and venture into the unknown. The unknown contains scary things, like ticks, and poison ivy. At several points, I was very sure that we were tromping through large patches of poison ivy, and I pointed it out to the group, only to be told that the plant in question was not poison ivy. Fifty feet later, I would alert the group again. My mom would have been proud. My husband was annoyed. Somehow, we escaped yet again without poison ivy.