Two hours driving. Five hours searching. Found these puppies within 15 minutes of looking at our first stop. Paul and me, thinking: "Wow, must be a lot out there!!"
I realize that I should have put something in this photo for scale. Okay. There isn't much that small. These were beautiful and fresh and the largest was an inch tall. Ah, well. There's still time, isn't there? Checking internet sites, it looked like a month ago was hopping. Probably because of climate change everything pops up earlier. Hopefully, there will be another flush. These are often what would be considered different species, however, I don't CARE! I've never met a morel that I didn't like, just some I like better than others.
Anyway. We will give it another try when it seems right. It doesn't really matter since it is fun to wander around in the Metolius anyway. Just, sadly, my puppy Preston is truly slowing down. Breaks my heart. He ran around for many stops, but then the heat and the age caught up with him and he actually layed down at the last two sites. All heart, dogs are, all heart. I give him a couple baby aspirin and hope that will relieve whatever he is feeling a bit.
I spent a lot of time at the end trying to find a campsite that I used to know - Abbott Creek. There was absolutely no amenities except a pit toilet, but that's what kept everyone away. I camped there a number of times in a van and it was so great. I drove all over, driving Paul to think that we were going to run out of gas (we weren't) and that I was a reckless human being. Nope. I know the place, I just don't know the place.
We were nearly in the clear when we ran across a Forest Service Blockade. They had a "controlled burn" that had caused a large tree near the road to be on the verge of falling. They would not let us through. The kind (and young!) Forest Service person showed me how to get back to the highway. I thought it would be a maze, but it turned out to be quite simple. We made it back to the highway and to Sisters, OR. We went to Bronco Billy's and got our "Cabarello" burgers...mine with a veggie pattie and his with a "real" pattie. Somehow, it seems like mine was better (aka, less greasy).
Anyway, unlike our trip up there two years ago (we didn't get a chance last year), we calculated that each morel cost $40. Two years ago I only found one, and that cost us about $100 (gas being slightly cheaper).
Would not miss it for the world!!!!