Images of Gene Theil, expert mushroom forager

An opportunity came up to visit Gene Thiel out in Joseph Oregon with Chef and food savant Robert Reynolds. We planned to go foraging for Porcini mushrooms in the Wallowa mountains. Gene’s crops of root vegetables were far too young to harvest, so instead this time of year Gene & Patrick had been foraging in order to have products to sell at farmers’ markets.

Gene Thiel is an incredible man and an unbelievable farmer . His level of understanding about plants, the Earth & environment is one that is unmatched by most mortals. Whenever I get a chance to spend time with Gene and his son Patrick I come away with a greater understanding of the symbiosis of the natural world that most of us take for granted.  Plus, he’s a passionate  story teller which makes him all the more interesting to spend time with.

I love trips like this because I get to take my motorbike. The best part of riding is carving up little known roads and the feeling of exploration that comes with it.  That, and having 1200cc of thundering power beneath you. So with the help of Google Maps (which most biker riders are obsessed with) I looked for the most curvy, scenic roads that weren’t gravel or covered by snow.  Want to see my route?

Read Robert’s beautifully written piece about the trip here on his blog