A Mushroom Trip

8:51 p.m. on July 2, 2013 (EDT)
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No not that kind of mushroom trip you hippie.

Rather just the right conditions for fungus to be among us. If you are a mycologist this is the report for you! 

Having one night to use and a job requirement that put me in Gatlinburg TN on a Friday afternoon, I couldn’t resist hitting the trail even though I had things I probably should have been doing. 

 

 

 

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Starting on the Little River trail from Elkmont I stopped to snap a pic of this old knurly tree in the middle of the river.

 

 

 

 

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Turning up Goshen Prong I paused to admire the sunlight beaming down on a slippery rock cascade.

 

 

 

 

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I got caught in the rain for most of the afternoon hike and wished I brought my umbrella because the rain jacket was too hot but no protection was risky even in the summer.

This was a very broad leafed plant huh? One of these days I will actually buy a field guide but in the meantime it’s more fun to let Gonzan and Big Red educate me.

 

 

 

 

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After my 6.7 mile hike (with about 1000 feet of gain), I rushed to put up my tent in the rain getting the inner quite wet in the process. Of course as soon as the tent was up the rain abated. Ten more minutes…..patience is a virtue.

 

 

 

 

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At first I thought this tent was abandoned because upon close inspection it had water pooling inside and many slugs on the outside. I wondered what went through the mind of the person(s) that abandoned it. Did they rationalize that maybe someone else would be happy to come upon a “ready to use” tent? Why, what good people were they indeed to have left this here. Maybe they were even saving someone’s life!

But then I realized this was probably a bear test tent left by the park service for monitoring. They will sometimes do this to see if a bear will mess with it.

 

 

 

 

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This cool Marmot Swallow was not abandoned but belonged to my new neighbors who arrived shortly after me. And by the way Josh, that tent is between 7 and 8 pounds.

 

 

 

 

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Here are Josh and Jana from Michigan. They had already been in the park for a week! Really nice folks….

 

 

 

 

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Nice root system at camp.

 

 

 

 

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The next morning I packed early to begin my 22 mile day (with over 4000 total feet of gain). And so begins the mushroom spotting.

 

 

 

 

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Nice tree on upper Goshen.

 

 

 

 

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A little blurry but still cool.

 

 

 

 

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Boreal type forest on the AT just up from Goshen where moments before I saw big white tail deer.

 

 

 

 

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Looking south from MT Buckley I took this picture with two backpackers whom I didn’t meet long enough to name, but asked to stand still for perspective in my shot.

 

 

 

 

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And here is a fellow I did meet long enough to name: Brad P. I really enjoyed our conversation as he is a retired educator and for the last 7 months I’ve been working as a technical trainer; he gave me some really good advice. He is also an avid hiker and had been on trail for the last month and a half.

 

 

 

 

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Nice perspective passing over Mt Love.

 

 

 

 

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And back to our theme….

 

 

 

 

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A brief departure to zoom in on a lonely rhodo blossom.

 

 

 

 

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Fungus!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

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Side note: this stump marks the “hidden” manway to the Chimney Tops from the Sugarland Mountain trail. Yep, you can hike down to the Chimneys. Not on the map, but will try it soon.

 

 

 

 

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My lovely lunch spot on Rough Creek where I sat with feet in water.

 

 

 

 

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More Fungus!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

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Me, gazing stoically at the little river while contemplating jumping in.

 

 

 

 

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Cool vine.

 

 

 

 

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And I’ll end with a rose that I’m pretty sure is non-native but cool to see on the trail.

  

 

Happy trails my friends!

 

Patrick

9:18 p.m. on July 2, 2013 (EDT)
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I thought for sure there would be a cameo by the most famous fungus...........Uncle Fungus! I kept waiting to see him pop up the next photo.

Still an okay TR, I guess. ;)

9:50 p.m. on July 2, 2013 (EDT)
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Lol, Jake I didn't think of that! I should have waited to post; I will probably meet up with him on the upcoming weekend.

11:13 p.m. on July 2, 2013 (EDT)
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Looks pretty wet!

22 mile day with 4000' elevation gain...as if it were nothing.  I'm going to have you carry some of my gear.

6:29 a.m. on July 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Patrick,

You sure make me miss my favorite little place in this big world. We do not see much fungus when we are up there, with the time of the year we are up there. Thanks for the great post.

8:58 a.m. on July 3, 2013 (EDT)
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lots of good shroom pics but 22 miles..no thanks..glad you enjoyed it

9:33 a.m. on July 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Hey Thanks guys….I do so enjoy it.

John,

I was talking to some folks about easterners going to the Sierra and they said to fully expect to be winded and puny for the first three days. They agreed that it takes about three days to adjust to the altitude, so I actually worry about slowing you down!

Eddie,

I have been a little obsessed with my upcoming Sierra trip and was testing some new trail shoes with this trip. I wanted to see how they did with rocks, big miles, and long down slopes. I don’t always “stick it to myself” (as my wife says when reviewing my routes) with those distances but sometimes I really like the physicality of it.

I do shorter more exploratory trips too....which is how I find some cool spots now and then.

10:27 a.m. on July 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Patrick,

I had forgotten about your trip to the Sierras. I just know you will be in awe while you are there. So much beauty out there and the best thing is no humidity :)

Which shoes are you trying out? 

11:21 a.m. on July 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Eddie,

Ahnu brand, model is Elkridge (lowtop). like a lowtop boot really

Unfortunately there was not quite enough room for my little toes to move forward on down hills and they were red and angry on both feet after the hike. I'm friendly with a local pedorthist and he is trying to heat and stretch the toebox for me right now. I hope I can use them because they fit well every other place and felt great in all other aspects (long rocky day and no under foot pain). But I can't abide angry little toes.

11:45 a.m. on July 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Nice report, Patman. A few weeks ago, I went mushrooming for fire morels. Arguably not as good as the others, but with a bit of onion and garlic and butter, they were quite good. Unfortunately, I only got a couple of pounds. the commercial pickers were out in force.

12:10 p.m. on July 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Erich, I can't believe how many commercial pickers there are this year!  Near where those fires burned last summer in Cle Elum the woods are crawling with them and there are tent cities set up for these people, its shocking. 

10:46 p.m. on July 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Nice TR. Is that campsite #23? Little River is great when you hike past where most everyone turns around.

8:17 a.m. on July 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Frank, yes it is. I camped near the water crossing at the south end of the camp. True enough you'll not pass many folks in the upper reaches of Goshen prong.

 

Three forks (camp 30) at the end of LR trail is really cool too.

8:53 a.m. on July 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Love the photos, Patman, especially the first two. 

1:11 p.m. on July 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Patrick - You forget that I live at lower elevation than you do.  Besides, we don't go high until the second day when we cross Black Rock Pass at 11,600'.  Plus, things came up yesterday that will prevent me from doing more than one more warmup hike before we go, so I won't be in the best of shape.  But it will be fun.

A couple years ago I went on a week long trip in Kings Canyon, and the friend who accompanied me had just returned from a scuba diving trip.  He was really feeling the thin air for the first five days and was really dragging.  That was very unusual, because normally I have a hard time keeping up with him.

I think you will enjoy the lower humidity, too.  I grew up in the east and the low humidity in the sierras makes it much more pleasant.  I don't like to sweat profusely when hiking.  And, while it is hot in the valley (temps here have been running at 105 for the last few days), it is downright pleasant at 10,000'.

One drawback to the drier conditions - mushrooms are rare.  So don't count on finding any.  

6:23 p.m. on July 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Patman...campsite 30 is a great site that gets little use.  I guess most decide to stop at #24.  I think the park typically puts up those yellow dome tents as bear bait.  I think someone might have seen a four legged friend and high tailed it out of there.  

10:37 p.m. on July 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Patman said:

Eddie,

Ahnu brand, model is Elkridge (lowtop). like a lowtop boot really

Unfortunately there was not quite enough room for my little toes to move forward on down hills and they were red and angry on both feet after the hike. I'm friendly with a local pedorthist and he is trying to heat and stretch the toebox for me right now. I hope I can use them because they fit well every other place and felt great in all other aspects (long rocky day and no under foot pain). But I can't abide angry little toes.

 I haven't heard of that brand before. I have found I have to go wider and and half size larger in my shoes now. I use the NB trail runners with  superfeet now.

12:26 p.m. on July 5, 2013 (EDT)
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Sage, the Taylor Bridge Fire produced a lot of morels and yes, the commercial pickers are everywhere. I found my bunch up near Liberty. I see commercial pickers on the Cassiar Highway in BC in late summer. I'm not sure what they are picking, morels possibly. 

July 29, 2014
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