|My cabin in the woods|
The biggest annual event of MSSF (Mycological Society of San Francisco) is the 3-day Mendocino Camp in November. I am attending the camp for the first time since I joined MSSF five years ago. It's a 4-hour drive from El Cerrito to Mendocino. Since I have never attended an event like this before, I packed everything according to the "list of the things to bring" that Lou, MSSF President, emailed to all attendees.
As I enter Mendocino Woodlands Camp, it is as if I am entering a parallel universe. I am surrounded by tall trees, green moss and other vegetation. I can see mushrooms on both sides of the road as I drive further into the woods.
I arrive the camp around 2:30 PM. There are only a few early birds at the parking area. I check in shortly after and head over to my cabin, #35. The cabin in the woods looks like something out of a fairy tale. The cabin has a fire place, 4 beds, and a balcony. There is a shared bathroom with showers about 30 feet away. After I unload my stuff, I hike back to the dinning hall for the Early Bird Foray lead by Norm.
|The kitchen inside of Dinning Hall|
About 20 of us head over to Camp 2 with Norm in a 15-passenger van. Some people come as far as Salt Lake City and some come with their little kids. The attendees range from age 6 to 70 something (my guess). We all become fast friends as we roam in the woods. It gets dark around 4:30, so we have our mushroom ID session in the dark with flashlights. Each of us carries a flashlight as soon as the sun goes down. The forest is pitch black at night, and there is no lighting in our cabins.
|Norm (wearing brown hat) IDs wild mushrooms for us|
For dinner, we have wild mushroom lasagna loaded with porcini and chanterelle. After dinner, I see that Master Ken has gathered a full basket of beautiful golden chanterelle already! He is setting up his dehydrator to dry his chanterelle. I am going to follow Master Ken anywhere he goes tomorrow!