Wild Mushroom Series: #3 Black Trumpet  LbNA # 25608 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateSep 16 2006
LocationNew Franklin, MO
Found By touchtrek
Last Found Nov 26 2006
Hike Distance?

Wild Mushroom Series: #3 Black Trumpets

(UPDATE 6/1/2007!!! Replanted. It's pretty muddy from the flood so if you go hunting this one, you may want to wait for a dry week or take a pair of boots.)

[Edited wiht the help of Grace to You on 11-19-2006]

This is part of a series of letterboxes dedicated to hunting wild edible mushrooms in Missouri and the Midwest.

The third box in the series highlights the black trumpets (Craterellus cornucopioides), an edible mushroom that is commonly found across Missouri in the late summer and early fall. It is small delicate mushroom but packs incredible flavor and is a favorite in French cuisine. They can be used in a variety of dishes. Dried black trumpets provide wonderful flavor in stews and soups, but dried or fresh my favorite way to eat them is with SCRAMBLED EGGS.

This edible mushroom is easily recognized, but much harder to spot. I have stared at patches of moss where Black Trumpets frequent for up to five minutes before actually seeing them. They are small and black, and their shape and fruiting pattern makes them extremely difficult to see, but they are well worth the effort. Black Trumpets are fairly safe edibles for beginners, since they are not likely to be confused with any other mushrooms growing at the same time.

This letterbox was placed in honoring the old letterbox tradition of hiking. This is easily a 5 to 6 mile hike round trip. The way is easy and flat but long. So plan accordingly and pack a lot of water on hot days.

Bring your own ink: Black and grey recommended. I am around 6 foot tall and 1 pace = 2 of my steps so figure accordingly.

On to the hunt:
From Columbia drive west on I-70 to the 40 highway exit. Head west on 40 toward Fayette. Stay on 40 highway crossing into Howard County. Continue down 40 highway down into the river bottoms and almost to Booneville. Turn left at the sign for INFARLNK LINSAD NSVETONRCAI EARA. Drive down the gravel road as it winds through fields until you pass a parking area with kiosk on the right. [You can stop at the kiosk and pick up a map to the area, if they are available.] Take the immediate left after this parking area and head down the gravel levee road. Follow this a ways until it turns sharply to the left. Park on the right next to rusty gate that says “HOAZTIDURE CSIVHELE NLYO” and “OD OTN OBKLC VDIRE”. Please obey these signs.

After parking, cross the gate and head south down the long levee. Continue around when the levee turns to the right. Another grassy trail will emerge on your left. Continue past it until a larger grassy levee trails joins on the left. Follow this trail for quite a ways. Pay attention to the forest on the right. You will notice some old roads cut into the woods left over from a sturgeon restoration project completed in 2005. The first old road will have some large logs fallen across it. Continue past this. You will hike for a good minute or two before coming to the next road. Continue down the levee trail to the third old overgrown road. Count carefully, after the first one there is a false road that quickly dead ends [which you can see from the trail]. Do not count this one. Instead continue on and pass one more old road to what would be the third road on the right.
Go down this overgrown road. After a ways you will come to a large mud hole which you must skirt. Continue down the overgrown road to where a large snag has fallen and blocked the way ahead. Go around or under this snag. Standing on the other side of the snag, head 15 paces to where the road comes to a T and you find an old mound of dirt on the edge of a small woods bordering the river. Stand on the mound and go 13 paces at (I originally had 40°, but others have told me it should be 220° which is more likely the correct bearing) This will bring you to a group of three maples. The closest maple has a split on the north side of its trunk hiding from the river. Lean against this tree with your back against the split.
A maple the size of the one you are leaning against stands a pace uphill at 20°. Look amongst the wooden rubble below this maple. The lid is wrapped in roots and the black trumpet hides inside. This is one of my favorite spots to get away from the bustle in the spring and fall. Sit, stamp, and enjoy the riverfront view. Rest well for the long hike back to your car.

Please rehide well and be discreet in your LBing. If the box is missing or damaged please contact me at ahistory (at) centurytel (dot) net or through the LbNA.