This weekend my buddy Mac and I biked from Astoria to Fort Stevens State Park located along the Oregon Coast. It was dumping rain. Nearly two hours later, we checked into hiker biker camp, and begun another wild Survival Bros adventure.
Luckily, Mac’s wife Shauna was kind enough to drop our gear off at camp. Riding in with a 50 pound backpacking bag would have been brutal, and unsafe since we had to negotiate the narrow shoulder of the Astoria bridge. Semis were seeing how close they could get to clipping us. Setting up the massive 8 person tent was easy. The only break we got in the weather occurred when we made camp. After our gear was setup, lantern hanged, and sleeping bag unrolled, we tightened up our boots and peddled deeper into the state park.
Along the path we stopped to identify many mushrooms. The park was exploding with life. Fungi hunting season is far from over. There were huge patches of fresh Amanitas everywhere. One had a bite taken out of it, as we could see teeth marks. Must have been a deer, or a crazy person.
Over the last few weeks, my pals and I have scoured a good chunk of Fort Stevens. It’s incredible how many types of terrain there are. From Coffenbury Lake, to the dunes near the Pacific Ocean. I finally found King Boletes just south of the jetty, west of the road. I hunted down the biggest King growing under a tree branch, in pine needles. I got video of me cutting it, but the power is out in Astoria now, so I can’t edit the HD footage. Here’s a photo of the big boletes we found. The choice mushroom nuggets are going in an omelette immediately, and spaghetti tonight for dinner.
Due to my phone about to die, and the power being out, I’m uploading this blog now. I will complete the story, and add more pictures and video very soon. Stay safe out there. We are getting blasted with 98 MPH winds right now. Peace.
– Cameron McKirdy
This is a picture of Seaside, OR taken today!
Update: Back to the story. Mac and I spent one night in hiker biker camp. It’s $6 per evening. Fort Stevens actually moved the spot, because where they usually stash the gypsies floods this time of year. When we got into our tent we were soaked. I quickly changed my clothes, then we started making dinner. I busted out a Mountain House lasagna, and boiled the water for it in my Jetboil Zip. After sitting for a good ten minutes in the bag, it was ready to dish out. Mac prepared 8 beef hotdogs on his Coleman stove. The warm grub was much needed. We biked around 15 miles that day.
After mushroom hunting on day one, it poured back at the tent. Luckily the spot we pitched our tent didn’t flood. We didn’t realize how bad of a storm it was until we were in it. Thank God we had shelter. The stoves kept the tent warm for awhile, until we passed out. I was also glad I brought my small windup lantern. It was bright for maybe 25 minutes in between cranks. After that, it cast just enough light to not stumble over our gear and dirty dishes.
On day two in Fort Stevens we ate another Mountain House freeze dried meal for breakfast. I love their blueberry granola with milk. I added freeze dried apples too. We had two more hotdogs each, then set out on our bikes again. This time we went out toward the South Jetty. That’s where we found the King Boletes. I was so amped to find those monster mushrooms. We saw other mushroom pickers out there, and duck hunters too.
We smashed through the brush for a few hours, but the storm kept getting crazier. Mac and I were totally drenched. But the trip was well worth the suffering. We put food on the table, and learned a lot along the way. Foraging is so fun! Supermarkets are for suckers. Our ride swooped us, and we made a clean getaway, and broke camp. You know Survival Bros will be out there again soon. Cheers.
Cameron McKirdy Mushroom Hunting at Fort Stevens State Park
Video of our mushroom foray on the North Oregon Coast
Slideshow of photos taken during our fungi hunt