IN THE FIELD
Katrina Blair and Mesquite.
Walking from Durango to Telluride with just the clothes on her back | Katrina Blair
ave a great time at church.” These are my mom’s parting words as she drops me at the trailhead. It is early August in Durango and the berries are ripe. She knows. The woods for me are about communing with the nature of the universe. I take a walkabout a few times each year during which I rely entirely on the wild abundance along the way for my sustenance. This solo time allows me to recharge and return to center. For the last five years, my August trek has led me to Telluride to teach at the Mushroom Festival. I take a different route each year. This year, my journey covers 90 miles and takes seven days. I walk at a harvester’s pace, taking a few steps, nibbling along the way, and often wandering off trail for the choice berries. I make up
8 edible SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS WINTER 2013/2014
time by moving fast when the land is sparse of edibles. Luckily my pack is light, containing only the basics such as a sleeping bag, tarp, raingear and warm clothes. I leave at home the food, stove, filter and cutlery. My first day I feast on handfuls of serviceberries, chokecherries, Oregon grape berries, violet greens and pine needles. I unexpectedly find an apricot tree laden with fruit and a wild apple tree across the trail. I gather a few for later. My feast continues with thimbleberries, raspberries, wild parsley, watermelon berries, wild tarragon, rosehips, harebells and dandelion greens. I carry a water bottle and refill at creeks I pass. I started drinking unfiltered water after many years of eating wild food. At one point
Edible San Juan Mountains. Traversing all of Southwest Colorado to bring you the story of local food.