Early morn mountain hike

This morning I woke up at 6:30, exhausted from working long days on my feet at the bakery.  I rolled around for a while, and then got up at 7:00.  Rounded up the girls, Tala and Yana (AKA Nanners and Fuzz) our beloved doggies, and took them out.  As the cold chill of the morning stung, I quickly went back inside. Stumbling to the Gaggia espresso machine, which my husband and I praise every morning,  I make a ‘shot in the dark’ which quickly opens my eyes to the beautiful crisp early morning that is awaiting me.  The sun is lighting up the mountains like a spot light on a stage and I realize that I can’t wait any longer——the woods are calling.

Throwing a farm fresh egg in the pan with some local sausage and copious amounts of butter (only for non-sticking purposes of course…mmmm), toasting some fresh-baked bread, from yours truly ( and the help of Lionel Vatinet’s French recipe), I scarfed down breakfast, packed my pack, threw the girls in the car, and headed to the trail.  Tala could hardly wait; with paw on the top of the seat, head out the window, and tongue a flappin’ in the breeze!  15 minutes later and we are all running out of the car.  Aaahhhhh…..the quite mountains.  Nothing but bubbling creeks and birdies…..that’s what I needed.

It is nice that trails are everywhere around here.  You can go 5 minutes away or an hour away and find an amazing outdoor world here.  My husband, who felt the call of the wild earlier in the morning than I, was off fly fishing for the day.  I like to fly fish as well, but have seldom gone this spring due to not having waders—I need some warm sunshine if I’m going to stand in that 50 degree water all day!!

On my hike this morning, I had a goal:  to pick Branch Lettuce.  In the early spring, Branch Lettuce and Ramps are local fare here.  It is very exciting to the locals when these delectable little items are ready for the pickin’!  I hit one spot that I knew the lettuce grew at and picked a small amount.  Coming upon another small creek, I decided to follow it for a while, and BINGO…..mother load!  There were plants crawling all over a tiny, sandy beach in the middle of the creek ripe for the pickin’, so that’s what I did.  After picking a brimming gallon of tender leaves, we headed back to the car.  Wet doggies in the back and windows open, we were on our way back to the house with visions of recipes dancing in my head!

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