Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Map Quest

My maps arrived. Now, as my friend Caryn would say, I can get orientated.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources, not my most favorite state agency, for its history of over-zealous resource extraction and the mindless yoking of one resource (public schools) to another (timber), nevertheless offers a screaming deal on maps to several state forests. The maps are $6 each, or $20 for a set of six (including tax).

Though mostly cut over during the timber go-go years, the state forests are regenerating (visit Tiger Mountain just outside Seattle for an example of what a logged forest can do if left alone for a few decades) and they have ample trail systems. More to the point, they're mostly low elevation (compared to wilderness areas) and offer excellent foraging for wild fungi, greens, and berries. They can also be confusing places to visit because of the crazy-quilt patterns of old roads, railways, and trails, so a good map is indispensable if you plan to explore off the beaten path. More immediately, I'm hoping these maps will give me some ideas about where to look for truffles once this cold spell moves through.

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