What makes this so special?
With a variety of light-weight, compact, delicious, camping foods available, why would a person choose to paddle around eating weeds?
At times I ask myself the same. Wilderness time is so precious in our busy lives. Wouldn’t I rather go for a hike than sit under a tarp cleaning mounds of beach greens?
These kinds of trips aren’t lightweight. We don’t have to pack all that food, but the space is more than occupied by fishing gear, shrimp pots, collecting bag etc. It isn’t less expensive, compared to the cost of kayaks, and paddling jackets, food is cheap and the things we do bring, spices, and oil, and condiments, add up quickly.
While I relish the sweet illusion that by gathering your own food, this kind of life could go on indefinitely, we are still linked to the money economy more than I would like to admit. Summer will end all to soon. The colors will change. The bounty will disappear.
I do feel healthier out here. Is it outdoor exercise, or a diet, low in carbohydrates and sugars, closer to what our ancestors ate, that makes me feel more alive?
Mostly I enjoy that looking for food makes me notice things in greater detail. Is that a mushroom with true gills or little flat topped diverging ridges? Gulls are sitting on the water in a perfect line, maybe marking an upwelling current and good fishing.
Catching a gorgeous silver salmon or finding a blueberry patch dripping with grape size berries, I am in awe the earths abundance. Being surrounded by baby animals, catching a glimpse of a sea otter pup peaking out from it’s mothers arms, or a duo of humpback whales passing in unison, I feel a sense of optimism for the earth. Their is an abundance here. We are intimately linked to the world around us is in a most basic way. And as Fredrik says, “There is something deep inside of us that longs to gather food.”
Text by Nancy Pfeiffer – more stories and recipes to come.