Now finds me taking a break from village day-life, relaxing in the “chillage” with a sweet old yellow lab.

As far as recaps go…
Skipping back to the Hoh rainforest, receiving 140 inches of rain each winter making it the largest rain forest on the continent, I’ll say a bit about my birthday, specifically the dinner. It was amazing biking into the Hoh, an 18 mile ride full of wonder along the Hoh River and at the foot of the Olympics. Moss and lichen hang from trees and the tall trees part for the road letting in spotting sunshine here and there. I was so surprised by the amazing wind along my way, a warm, sun-baked breeze. Hints of it reminded me of Indiana on a fall day, so I dipped into some nostalgia as I rode along, excited to reach the visitor center. Upon arrival, I leafed through some native plant books and discovered that one of my favorite mushroom edibles, the chicken of the woods, a sulfur shelf, grows in the woods, and received confirmation from the staff that indeed it is out now. I had seen something that I thought may be it earlier in the day, but the confirmation was all I needed. I headed out on the trail of mosses and as I turned a corner late in the trail, I caught a whiff of the mushroom and sighted it a bit off the trail. Delicious! A host of it was coloring a fallen log. Bright, orange, fresh. I harvested the juicy tips and continued on the trail.

Later that night, after I had washed in and sat by the river, I cooked the mushroom and had some extras. I asked my neighbors if they’d like any. It seemed I alarmed the first group, a young couple from Oregon (if unfamiliar with mushrooms yourself, imagine an excited woman asking if you’d like to try some mushroom she’d found earlier in the day in the woods). However, the next couple, native Bellinghamians, responded with glee, said they already had some (plus some chanterelles) and asked if I’d like to join them for some chili dogs. Join them I did and that evening rested under the stars, thankful for such a treat from the universe on my special day.