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RiverCat Journal: Mushrooms

Posted by on March 5, 2012

Camp:  Redding, Ca     Sacramento River RV Park

I’ve been pretty busy at the local cardrooms the last few days.  I’ve started The Journey on a 7-session win streak and am making a decent wage at the moment.  Unfortunately I’ve allowed it to interfere with “me-time” quite a bit.  Not 14-hour work days, mind you (in fact, I’ve only worked 15 hours total), but rather two short sessions each day — one right around lunch and the other around six.  After you factor in drive-times and waiting on a seat to open up, this eats into a good chunk of my day.  Therefore, yesterday I vowed I’d only play in the evening and enjoy an entire day at base camp.

And I did.  I began the morning socializing with an couple caddy-corner from my lot.  It was a fascinating conversation.  They told me that years ago they stumbled onto a business opportunity that allowed them to travel and make good money.  Buying mushrooms.  This is how I understand it:

1.  Different mushrooms are seasonal and thrive in different regions.  Pickers and you, the “buyer” follow the circuit.
2.  The buyer (you) develops a relationship with a broker, who sells the mushrooms overseas where it’s a huge delicacy (sometimes hundreds of dollars for one mushroom during a scarce season).  The broker fronts you the money (and pays travel expenses) to buy the mushrooms from pickers.
3.  So, as you can imagine, the pickers go into the woods and pick mushrooms.  You inspect them, buy them, ship them, and sometimes make up to $1500 per day for a few hours work.  Not bad.  Of course ya gotta know somebody and then train for a year before you get started, but still…

Enough business.  Time for the important things…

It’s amazing that I haven’t had the scooter out of the van before now.  I was itching to do it, though.  While I was doing that, I let Jeepers out for the first time.  He’d been outside in his kennel, so he should be acclimated enough with his surroundings.  Jeepers went bonkers — talking, sprinting, rolling, sniffing.  He had a grand time.  Of course later he disappeared when I wasn’t looking.  When he does this, I’m well aware of the routine and I’m almost positive he does this on purpose…

First, I start calling and whistling for him.  He doesn’t come.  Fact is, he’s always nearby curled up under someone’s RV.  He hears me, but this is his game, of course.  Eventually I’ll search the entire park “just in case.”  Is it any coincidence that 9 times out of 10 Jeepers will be waiting for me when I get back?  I don’t think so.  He just enjoys seeing me squirm.  Of course he was waiting for me.  He always looks at me as if to say, “Where ya been?”

I went for a ride.  The RV park is on a frontage highway south of Redding.  The stretch is two miles long to the interstate.  I crossed the I-5 overpass and stopped at the truck stop to pick up some motor oil.  Then I did a little exploring…

It never would have occurred to me there was such a thing as a bad scooter region.  I’ve enjoyed my adventures anywhere I’ve ever taken it.  And, while there’s certainly a few neat ranch houses out this way, the problem is all the streets seem to be very short dead-ends!  I’m not for certain if this area is completely isolated from Redding (aside from getting on the interstate which I can’t do on a 5o cc), but it appears that way at the moment.  I might ask around and see if I’m missing something.  Perhaps there’s still hope I can cruise into town…

Regardless, I can still have a nice time zipping around the park — if only for the mere whiff of someone grilling steaks. I can also ride to the convenience store about a mile down the road.  But first, an oil change — which it desperately needed.

It’s in the 7o’s!  And I haven’t forgot about my scheme to go down to “The Cove” and do a bit of reading.  I didn’t bother digging my folding chair out, instead just grabbing my camera and my two reads.  Before you know it, I found myself on the pier with my shoes and socks off.  The water was pretty cold, but very pleasant.  It also seemed to magnify my very long toenails.  Who knew I needed to clip them?  I need a manager for this sort of thing.

The wildlife is abundant here, even in early March.  Herons, hawks, vultures, frogs, schools of fish jumping out of water, damselflies, and a large variety of birds.  These sounds are quite inviting when you’ve spent the last few years in the stillness of the desert!  I soaked it all in for a long while.  I’d read a bit, observe nature, then repeat.  Very relaxing.  Even the drone of the nearby interstate can’t bother you here.

For dinner I had grilled cod and spinach.  I was preparing to take off to “work.”  I had no idea I’d be this busy earning a wage.  I haven’t devoted much time to my projects and seriously need to consider getting my head back into my trade show production coming up in just 3 weeks.  I’m promoting an on-site seminar I haven’t even rehearsed yet!

There’s no doubt I can’t turn away decent money while it’s available to me — I do need to continue to play poker for now.  But it’s getting time I rearrange my schedule a bit so I can focus more on business.  I think this week I’ll set aside 3 hours per day, every other day.  Then next week I’ll up the ante…


Next Story: Brandy Creek Falls



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