Day 28 Many More Mushrooms

To Eat or not to Eat.  That is the question


 Our first day out of Whitehorse was blissfully free of surprises.  We had our usual pit stops so the poodles could stretch their legs, but we had a lot of road to cover so no time for any dilly dallying.  After a long day of driving I found a convenient spot to stay the night.

Our camp was at the end of this dirt road

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It seemed like a pretty nondescript spot until we wandered into the woods and found a land filled with mushrooms.  I counted at least 15 different types of all shapes, sizes and colors.   I don’t know if they were from different species, families or simply varying life stages but the variety was astounding.  I tried to look them up but, as usual, my ability to identify them fell short.  It seems that there can be very minute details that separate one type of mushroom from another.  You must look at the ribs under the cap, the cap, the color, the bulb, the way the stem attaches to the top, the way it opens, the way it decays, what color appears when you cut it, and much more.









I thought this was a giant puffball until I saw that it had an enormous stem.The one below was rotted but you can see the size of its stem.









Jelly Mushrooms… that’s really what they’re called.


Coral Mushroom Edible


Unknown Opalescent mushroom. It reminded me of a jelly fish see the coloring along the edges of the cap? Make sure you enlarge this picture. It’s worth it to seeing the coloring.






Parasol Mushroom


FOOLED YOU (shame on me). It’s not a mushroom or a chicken foot, it’s a stick.











Puffballs: Also know as Lycoperdon or the Devil’s Snuff-Box

I collected these for dinner.  Puffballs have to be harvested before their insides explode.  I was excited to see such large ones that were still young enough to eat.


More puffballs Lycoperdon perlatum

 From Wikipedia

“The distinguishing feature of all puffballs is that they do not have an open cap with spore-bearing gills. Instead, spores are produced internally, in a spheroidal fruiting body called agasterothecium (gasteroid (‘stomach-like’) basidiocarp). As the spores mature, they form a mass called a gleba in the centre of the fruiting body that is often of a distinctive color and texture. The basidiocarp remains closed until after the spores have been released from the basidia. Eventually, it develops an aperture, or dries, becomes brittle, and splits, and the spores escape. The spores of puffballs are statismospores rather than ballistospores, meaning they are not actively shot off the basidium. The fungi are called ‘puffballs’ because clouds of brown dust-like spores are emitted when the mature fruiting body bursts, or in response to impacts such as those of falling raindrops.”

At the end of this video you can see the spores on my finger tips


A spent Puffball



I call this the perfectly-cooked-pancake-mushroom but I don’t know what it really is.


Easy-Over-Egg-Mushroom…. ???





and then I found a petrified crushed dinosaur egg!


Just Kidding


 If you want to see some excellent pictures of some truly beautiful fungus click



 IMG_3735-1 (dragged)

Toad Stools

Day 26 and 27 Laying low in Whitehorse

Not an exciting two days

Worked on the blog, collected wild mushrooms

and slept



The nicest private campground I stayed in Canada. It had all the amenities, was rustic but tidy and the sites weren’t too crowed together and surrounded by trees. It even had a book exchange.

 Shaggy Mane

Remember the Shaggy Mane mushrooms I found earlier?  Well, I found a whole crop coming up along a path near the campground.  This is the best time to pick them, before they open up. Even at this stage if they sit for two long they turn to a puddle of black goo.



Since I can’t use them all at once I parboiled them and will store them in the freezer.



But i’m making an omelet out of some of them


It’s not a puffer fish

Final product… I never said I was a culinary genius…..



Poodles get their own treat.  I picked up some raw meaty bones and they’re digg’n it


Crashed at the end of the day … chewing bones is hard work




Day 12 Wolves and the Arctic Circle

Wildlife Groupnot including domestics Number of species in Yukon
known as of September 2007
Amphibians (i.e. frogs and toads) 4
Fishes (not including salt water species) 36
Mammals (not including humans 66
Birds 227
Butterflies 92
Large Moths 286
Dragonflies 40
Spiders 300+
Insects total species 6,000+
Mosses 400+
Vascular Plants (i.e. not including mosses, liverworts, hornworts or algae) 1,242


Day 12 From Engineer Creek CG to Rock River CG


The first part of the day took us through twisted hilly areas of old burned Boreal forest

(In Alaska we called it Taiga forest)


miles muddy of road


and into a world unto itself




Our goal for the day:

From the beginning of the Arctic Circle to As Far As One Can Drive in Canada




Not quite Tundra yet


Even here you’ll find evidence of men marking their territory




As Nickel discovers Caribou remains (again)IMG_2860


Note where TinTin is looking …..


Wolves discover us 



Heading North we hit more rain which meant more mud.  This mud was a slick and oily substance that stuck to the car and made the traveling treacherous.  IMG_2880 IMG_2883

For about 30 miles it was like driving on black ice and slush that forced us to slow down to 10-20 miles an hour.




The driving was wearisome but once past it we had traveled over another pass and to drier terrain.   It was time for another break.

This hike took us out to the Tundra.  I am in love with hiking here.  It is abundant with plant life and if you take the time, bend down, and study you are welcomed into a miniature world of color and texture.

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By late afternoon we reached our goal of Rocky River Campground.  Apparently a routine has been established; we headed out to the river to have a look around.


Like Engineer Creek, this one was bathed in iron deposits making the rocks red.

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IMG_2993Our campsite was a lovely grassy spot nestled in a grove of poplar and birch.  Of course there were a few mushrooms to be found


Shaggy Manes… we’ll see more of these later!



The only other people in here was a mother and son.  He was about 8 yrs old and told me that his goal was to find a caribou antler.  I told him is was one of mine too….

Day 10 First day Tombstone Territorial Park

Tombstone Campground

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We woke up to the promise of a nice day. It rained all night so this is a very pleasant surprise. There are several small nature walks around the campground and we walked one of them last night. I’m a little worried about bears and the poodles so walking through the dense brush, even on a trail, is a little disconcerting. I make noise by talking and clapping but the dogs have to be leashed so they don’t run ahead and stir something (someone) up.

Some of you know my opinion of the little jingle bells that are sold as bear bells… I call them Dinner Bells.   They give off such a tiny delicate sound it’s not really of much use. A bear will hear your stomping through the woods before it hears those fairy bells. Well, you do want to make noise because even a bear is going to want to avoid any altercation if it can help it. A normal comfort range for a bear is about 12 feet. If you run across a mom with cubs, she isn’t going to tolerate you crossing that boundary. If you can startle her Before you’re too close, then even a bear with babies will run before it wants to fight. Moose can be more dangerous than bears and there is plenty of evidence that they’re here in the campground.

Ever since I picked up the pile of cans at Memorial Lake, I’ve been stashing them under the truck.  I want to see how many I can collect before the end of the trip.  (I’m starting to develop some odd goals now that I’ve spent too much time alone on the road). I like to claim that it’s a way to ‘give back’ a little … you know…  Cleaning up the environment as I go….)

All those cans hanging around gave me an idea…..


I came up with what I’m calling The Yukon Bear Bell.


A Canadian Budweiser can filled with rocks. A hole drilled through the top allows for a velcro strap for holding the ‘bell’ to the poo’s collar.



In any case, after hiking the closed-in trails I decided we needed a better destination. One of the longer trials ended at the edge of the River so I thought that might be a great place to go so we headed down the trail with the girls on leashes with Eureka doning her new necklace.


TinTin’s been left in the Camper for this excursion since she’s injured her toe again.

IMG_2532 About a year ago she pulled a tendon in one of her toes and since then, it’s a bit ‘owwie’ if she walks for too long on uneven ground.  At least that’s the excuse she gives me.  I think she’s prefers the comfort of a warm bed in her old age.  I feel bad leaving her but she really is happier.

We leave the campground via a short trail through low brushIMG_2580IMG_2579


Nickel carries the map

We discover some cairns marking a path… not that you could get lost on this river!  LOL





This was the perfect river to hike. It had a half-dozen braids to follow and the level was low enough we could meander.

Eureka is really digging her new role as the Explorer

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The river’s edge was a combination of rocky shoreline and deep squishy moss. The moss was wonderful to walk on, although soaking wet.



I saw my first set of caribou tracks.


Caribou tracks


Caribou prints are circular. They look a little like a horse shoe with a gap at the top as well as the bottom. Seems like a great design for walking through spongy moss.


The girls were able to be off leash since the wide expanse of braiding gave me at least a half mile of visual on either side.


I busied myself with rock hunting while the girls pursued more lively game. IMG_2611They chased some sort of small rodent without much success.  I watched it scurry away as their noses kept them interested in the original rock it was under. It was very fat and squat with a short tail. I think it was a lemming.


In any case, it was quicker and more savvy than the poodles and I watched it dart between some rocks and scurry away while the poodles were still head in the rocks wagging their tails. Nickel did manage to find a small piece of caribou hide.


Eureka wanted in on the action

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She carried it around for a while but must have decided it was too much work to eat.


Of course she found other dead creatures to eat

IMG_2599 IMG_2597Nickel is truly a great scavenger and I thing if she could live strictly off carrion, she might even make it out in the wild.  On most outings she’s managed to find some nasty dead thing.  However, if she had to actually hunt and kill something,  she’d be short-lived.  She’s pretty hopeless in that department.


We walked for several hours before deciding it was time to head home.


It was hard to end our excursion.



As we walked down the road toward the campground, I saw a fresh set of moose prints. Amazing how stealth they can be.



We had a great camping spot along the river’s edge and once back to the camper, settled down to a ”water view’ for the evening. TinTin was very interested in the scents that were traveling upstream. She decided to play her  “I’m afraid but brave” game and made several trips to the water’s edge only to run back to the camper and then, repeat the process over and over again.




She decided it was safer to watch from the campsite….


finally she satisfied herself as a sentry from INside the camper.



The day was winding down and the rain… of course… was beginning its patter on the roof so we called it a night.  I settled down with a book and the poodles began reliving their day with bouts of lip twitching and leg paddling.


Arctic cranberries and a mushroom. Which one do you think is edible?

Day 8 Continued… onto Moose Creek Territorial Park for the night

Believe it or not… we finally arrive at our campground destination!

but NO!  We’re not even close to being done for the day… remember?  the sun sets at around 10:30 now!


They don’t call it Moose Creek for Nothing….IMG_2378


There’s still some exploring to do and what better way to start than discovering more mushrooms…. yes! more mushrooms.

If anyone knows the names of any of these, I’d love to know.  The one below was called a Hawk Wing in a book at the Tombstone Ranger station.   I saw it called something else since then.  d


Hawks Wing I discovered later that these are edible… dang


oops, what’s that doing here?


Lichen and moss


another lichen and… yet another moss….


let’s see… pine cone, lichen, moss, mushroom and… puffball

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Strawberries and Cream. Yes, That’s really what they call it…

Yet another dung picture..  It was interesting because it’s the size of a cat poop but obviously most of it’s diet was full of chlorophyl.  Any ideas?



So out of the woods we hiked and into the river channel.






Through out this blog you might notice my predilection for walking through all types of terrain in my sox and sandals.  Although it is rather odd (ok, don’t say it), socks and sandals are the perfect way to travel when one has limited storage space and limited ability to dry articles of clothing.  Wool socks stay warm in the most frigid of water and they dry much more quickly that in insides of a boot.  My favorite socks for doing this are my merlon Icelandics from New Zealand.  Oh so comfy and durable!



I guess you can’t really tell that my socks are on….


The poodles had fun getting their feet wet and I had a chance to find some interesting animal prints.  I saw raccoon, beaver


and wolf



Well, all good things must come to an end


But sometimes that end is just the beginning for something even better!!

We finally settle down for a good bone chewing