While my weekdays have left me tired at best and anguished at worst, I’ve nevertheless been trying to make our weekends enjoyable.

Last weekend was mushroom hunting through Wildcraft Studio School in Portland. This was actually a Christmas present for my husband and I bought tickets way in advance. We met our mushroom-hunting guide and a bunch of other foragers (mostly couples; I guess this is a couples’ activity in the PNW) near White Salmon, WA, then ventured to two super-secret mushroom picking spots to search for morels. Apparently everyone has his or her own morel spot and it’s a closely guarded secret, particularly now that the season started so late this year. One of our spots was a recently clear-cut forest, an environment where morels apparently like to grow. I found a large grouping of them and was excited out of my mind. Alas, we got skunked for the next two hours–which featured morel hunting in a forest–and I was in a bad mood for the rest of the day. That said, when cooked, the morels were delectable. Nice and meaty.

This weekend we did a hike in the Gorge: Dog Mountain. Dog Mountain is known as a wildflower hike and the wildflowers were just starting to come out, but not in full bloom yet. I forced my poor husband to wake up at 5 am so we could get to the parking lot before it filled up (and it did fill up. So there). Up at the top of the mountain the wind was blowing strongly, the temperature had to be in the 30s without wind chill, and fog obscured our view of the Gorge, but dissipated every couple of minutes or so, offering us a glimpse at good views. I did not pack enough layers and was convinced I was going to die, but we made it out. It was quite a grueling hike and a great workout.

We also managed to take a break this week to check out the rhododendron garden near our house. The place is HUGE, much larger than I expected, and only costs $5 to enter. The rhododendrons are flourishing, as they do in PDX, and there is also water and plenty of birds, including ducklings and goslings. I’ll be back there for sure.

It’s hard to believe it’s already May. I don’t know where the time has gone. I wish all these months of effort had resulted in employment.

Seed picking morels.
View of the Gorge through the fog.