Telluride Mushroom Festival

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Oct 14, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Sunday, August 29, 2010

I got to the Telluride Mushroom Festival Thursday evening.  I arrived just in time to see a lecture by Paul Stamets, which was followed by a showing of the movie Know Your Mushrooms.  Telluride is a quaint, upscale, little town in a box canyon.  The hillsides are mostly covered in aspens and must be gorgeous in the fall when they change color.

Friday morning I went to a lecture by Gary Lincoff titled Mushroom Identification for Lumpers and another lecture by Paul Stamets titled Medicinal Mushrooms for People and Planet.  Then I went on a foray to Lizard Pass,  Telluride is around 9,000 feet, which is high enough to get your attention when you first get to town.  The parking lot at Lizard Pass was around 10,000 feet and we hiked up another 500 feet or so.  I got quite a few Boletus edulis, lots of Sarcodon imbricatus, which in Colorado is known as Hawk Wings, a few yellow chanterelles, some honey mushrooms and a club fungus with a sweet taste that I can't remember the name of. 

After the foray I took my mushrooms over to an area they have set up to cook what you find.  I cooked some of the Hawk Wings.  I've never tried them before.  I had found some in Lake Clark and took them back to Anchorage but didn't get a chance to cook them.  I'm sorry I didn't because they're very good.  I also cooked the honey mushrooms, which were OK, and the sweet club fungus, which was very good.  Unfortunately, we don't get either the Hawk Wing or the sweet club fungus in the D.C. area.

There were more lectures Friday evening.  I caught the tail end of a lecture by Elinoar Shavit called Lebanese Viagra: When Folk Medicine Scores but not enough of it to understand what the lecture was about although it was clear she had safety concerns about the plant.  Next was Tibet - Mushroom Paradise by Daniel Winkler, who has I've seen speak at the Mycological Association of Washington.  There was a break for dinner and then another lecture by Gary Lincoff titled A Mushwomb with a View: How the Marginalized Became the Matrix.  Gary's a great speaker and it was an interesting talk but I don't think I could explain the title.

On Saturday I went to Britt Bunyard's talk titled Beyond SOMA: How to Identify the Species of Amanita, from Muscaria to Wellsii and Everything in Between.  Next was a talk by Gary Lincoff titled Magic Mushrooms: Mushrooms That Heal Body and Soul.  Then I went to Kris Holstrom's Growing Oysters On Straw demonstration at her farm about a half hour outside of town.  I made it back in time for the Mushroom Parade where many of the festival participants dress up in mushroom-related costumes and walk through town to a local park.  I took a break for dinner and then went to the evening panel discussion on entheogenic drugs where it was clear some of the panel participants had tried some of the magic mushrooms.  This was followed by a presentation by Larry Evans where he showed some videos and pictures from his forays in Bolivia, Ecuador and Canada.

Sunday morning I checked out of my hotel and went over to the main festival venue to say goodbye to a few people I know and then started driving to Burning Man.  The festival was fun and educational and different from the large mushroom forays I've been to.  I stopped in Wendover, UT for the night.  I should make it to Burning Man tomorrow evening.
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