Today is my birthday. I spent my birthday mostly alone, which if you know me at all, is not a bad thing at all.
First I went out to coffee with an old work friend. I hadn't seen her in about a year or so. I can't seem to go anywhere in town without seeing people I know, so within a half hour some boorish hiking friends of mine barged in and my old friend decided to leave. So I decided to leave, too.
I decided to go see if I could find some more mushrooms. I drove up to the top of the mountains but there was a big road closed sign in the middle of the street way up in the mountains. I thought about just going by and continuing on, but didn't want to cause trouble. So I decided I would try to get to my mushroom place from below.
So I drove down to the road below but it, too, was closed. I bought an adventure pass so I could park my car at the gate and just walk in. The road was closed because the river was pretty high.
I took off my shoes to walk across the river. It freaked me out for some reason. The river was very wide and I was walking on the concrete road. The water was knee deep and not moving very fast. But it freaked me out and I had to tell myself not to hyperventillate. On the other side I put my shoes on. As I was putting my shoes on, a young couple walked by swinging empty Easter baskets. Seemed odd to me. I overheard the woman complaining about how they want to ban plastic bags and how stupid that was. "What would we do without bags?" she said. Duh, look at what you are holding, I thought. But I didn't say anything.
I set off down the road to the bottom of my mushroom trail. I walked up to the river but it really looked way too scary to walk across here. It wasn't quite as wide and appeared to be flowing a lot faster. I decided to go try a different trail and see if I could find a new mushroom tree.
I followed this other trail, stopping at every promising oak tree looking for mushrooms. I really didn't see mushrooms anywhere of any kind. I did see a few under one tree, but they were the wrong kind and they looked old and yucky. Maybe even after all the rain this weekend, mushroom season is over for Santa Barbara.
I thought about collecting greens but decided just to head back home. I decided to stop at the grocery store and buy some seeds to make some trail food. I recently made some "crackers" from sprouted sesame and flax seeds. They came out pretty good. I thought maybe I could add chocolate nibs and some kind of sweetener and make a sweet version of these crackers. Maybe add chia, too. So I went looking for these ingredients.
While I was there, I saw an old friend from high school. I stopped to talk to her for a while. I guess she makes documentary movies now. I swear I can't go anywhere without meeting people I know. I'm too famous here.
So now I am home researching how to use whole chocolate beans. I tasted one and it does taste sort of like chocolate, but bitter. We'll see how this turns out.
I hiked in my new hiking shirt (thumb loops, cool!) and my new hiking kilt. I kind of like the kilt, but I had to wear leggings because it was cold and there was a lot of poison oak under the oak trees.