and family recently spent two days hunting mushrooms in the alpine areas of La Veta Pass and the Sangre de Cristo Ranches.
Having read an article about rare Morel
mushrooms (see photos below) that tend to grow in burn areas and considering that the Spring Fire had torn through Forbes
Park, La Veta Pass and other nearby areas last year, they decided to drive the length of Old La Veta Pass Road in search of
blackened trees. Despite thunderstorms looming, daughters Karen and Susan wandered north above the road, pausing every
few feet to look closely at the landscape. After they found one or two Morels, it was only a matter of time before they
discovered larger groupings. Half an hour later, they emerged from the burned stand of trees with a bulging bag full
of mushrooms which were cleaned and cooked that evening into a delicious chicken stroganoff.
Two days later, the group drove up Forbes Road in the Sangre de Cristo Ranches to an area
where they'd had luck finding mushrooms in the past. Parking at the base of a side road at 11,400 feet elevation, Mike
spotted two aging King Boletes (or Porcinis) below a Bristle Cone Pine near the road. Mike, Karen, and Susan fanned
out into the woods for a couple hours, and when all said and done, they'd harvested over 20 pounds of the beautiful, brown-topped
mushrooms -which were also cleaned and cooked in butter and garlic later; some to be frozen and others to become another
stroganoff dish that evening.
Wild mushrooms -- another reason to love the high country in southern Colorado!