A good percentage of my time in the field is spent with the intent to gather food, yet it would be remiss to think that this is the only purpose of a day in the duck marsh or high country. It’s spring time now and although big game season is shut down there is plenty to do. Turkey season starts in two weeks and the river is full of steelhead and the salmon are in the lower river already. I also have my eye open for morel mushrooms that start to poke their delicious way out of the ground this time of year. Ok, so food gathering and hunting are never that far from the top of my head. What I was getting at here is that time spent in the field is valuable and restorative regardless of the purpose.
It’s that time of year when epic hikes and mountain bike trips are in the planning stages, some of them are already underway. Around the end of May the high country is finally shedding its winter blanket and the wild flowers along several trails and mountain meadows in the area will be astounding.
Hiking allows for time to soak it all in: the rugged craggy beauty and the delicate flowers. Long miles melt away into long days and amazing destinations that may or may not have people present on any given day. Compared to the urban life of my youth, this could be shocking, a life changer. My present life is much more outdoor orientated and the wonders of nature are an everyday presence.
It’s that time of year to find something new. I’m planning on visiting the Dog Creek Indian Caves again if I can ever find them in the myriad of backcountry roads. My eye is also on a group of lakes, currently blue spots on the map that I’ve never been to in person. They are in that section of wilderness high country that defends their sacred honor with fierce mosquitoes in the early season after snow melt.
Food gathering aside, it’s the season for planning and going, for a walk in the woods.