Q: Will we find any edible mushrooms and can we collect?
A: Yes! We always find edible mushrooms and we often do collect but given the unpredictable nature of fungi, much like fishing, collecting should be viewed as a bonus to the experience. It's completely circumstantial and dependent on what species it is and how many there are in relation to how many people they need to be shared between and it's different every year. Thankfully I'm pretty good at what I do so collecting often happens but please understand if it doesn't. I do my best to bring us to the most fruitful area at the time by scouting out day's in advance to find a good trail/route that offers a good variety and that's where we will go.
Q: Will we learn about anything else besides mushrooms on the tour?
A: Absolutely. I certainly don't stop at mushrooms. You will also learn to identify various trees and shrubs which is an important component to mushroom foraging and identification. You'll learn about the various edible, medicinal, and useful plants that are native to the PNW. How to cook, use, and store your harvest. Responsible harvesting practices. Plant or wildlife indicators/clues. And many other fun facts about the forest.
Q: When is the best time of year for mushroom foraging?
A: Here in the PNW you can forage for mushrooms just about all year round. Every season has something to offer. The mild temperatures and ample rain with a lot of biodiversity make the PNW pretty special. Generally speaking though you could say that Spring and Fall are the best times of year with lots of variety and mushrooms everywhere but Summer is good too! There are some really excellent summer species that thrive in high temperatures that I look forward to every year. Basically you got your cold weather species that pop up in the Fall/Winter months and then you got your warm weather species that pop up in the Spring/Summer months with some crossover occasionally with a colder spring or a warmer fall. Winter can offer some interesting and edible fungi but generally speaking it's not the greatest time for mushroom foraging. It can be good though! I found hedgehog mushrooms just yesterday! In February! Always good to reach out and check with me first before booking a winter tour.
Q: Do you go out rain or shine?
A: Yes! We mush-on rain or shine! Washington weather can be hard to dress for. Do your best to watch the weather and dress accordingly but the weather predictions can be wrong. They often are actually. So wearing layers is a good idea and if you have rain gear or an umbrella that's certainly a good idea too. I have umbrellas you can borrow if needed. If it is a torrential down pour of rain and I feel the experience is going to be miserable I will reach out to offer a refund or reschedule.
Q: What if there are high winds?
A: High winds in the forest is not something to take lightly. It's pretty scary to be in the forest when the wind is ripping through the forest knocking over trees and large branches are falling everywhere. I will cancel the tour with no exceptions if this is the case and the option of rescheduling or a refund will be offered.
Q: Why are dogs allowed on Private Tours but not Public Tours?
A: I love dogs but not everyone does and some people are uncomfortable around other peoples dogs and so it is for this reason dogs are not allowed on Public Tours. If it is your own Private Tour with your own friends or family that are comfortable with the dog then yeah! Bring the dog! Just keep the dog from trampling any mushrooms is all I ask.
Q: Why are kids half price for Private Tours but not Public Tours?
A: Kids may be small but they can be mighty in their own ways. Often loud and without a filter and can be a real distraction to the rest of the group and myself. I love kids but I have limited seating on public tours so in fairness to myself and others, kids are full price on public tours but half price on private tours if under the age of 12. If you have a baby there's no charge but please do your best to keep the baby from disrupting the class.
Q: What ferry should I catch to be on time?
A: I recommend shooting for 1 ferry earlier than you otherwise would to be on time. In case you miss the intended ferry you can hopefully catch the next one and still arrive on time. So in other words if you want to be on time for a 9am tour I recommend shooting for the 8 o'clock ferry. That way if you miss the 8 o'clock you hopefully can catch the 8:30 ferry and still arrive on time. If you want to be on time for a 1pm tour I recommend shooting for the 12 o'clock ferry. That way if you miss the 12 o'clock you hopefully can catch the 12:30 ferry and still arrive on time.
Q: Should we bring a basket and a knife?
A: No need to bring a basket or a knife. You can bring a basket and knife if you like but personally I never use either. I always have lots paper bags for people to use and were not carving wood here. I often use my debit card lol. Occasionally I find a knife to be handy. That's totally a personal preference though. It's up to you.
Q: Are the trails easy to hike?
A: That's a difficult question to answer. For an athletic person these trails are very easy. To somebody that is not very athletic maybe not so much. We will be walking leisurely for 2 hours on well maintained trails that are mostly pretty flat with some mild ups and downs but occasionally we may have to walk up a steep portion of the trail. That is the best way I can describe the difficulty level of the trails we walk. I hope that helps.
Q: What is the cancellation/rescheduling policy?
A: I'm happy to reschedule you or give you a refund if I am given at least 5 days notice to fill the space. If I am not given at least 5 day's notice than no reschedule or refund will be issued. 5% online handling fees apply with refunds.