On our way home after a thunderstorm soaked the region, we traveled along country roads darkened terrain, through clouds that looked like giant balls of cotton candy hanging over the road—a true adventure with a group of guys that until that afternoon had only talked on the phone. As we arrived back at the cabin, we made our way up the hill in the dark making it to the door just in time as the heavens opened up and the sound of rain pounded on the roof. If only the beds had sheets….. it would have been just perfect, but close was good enough!
In the morning we rose to a quiet cabin, no more rain just a thick band of clouds hanging over the valley below the cabin. I took an early walk and noticed that the Bad Axe river was now running as dark as a coffee milkshake. When our guide Kip arrived, he quickly directed us to clear water in an area north of Viroqua on Timber Coulee – it helps to have local knowledge after the rain.
Knowing that our window of dry air might soon change to rain, Kip suggested that we make a streamside brunch. Good thing Eric had packed a perfect kit of locally harvested pheasant mushrooms and morels, along with some spring garlic, Marsala wine and heavy cream.
Shortly after getting our campfire going, he had the cast iron skillet to temperature, added a few tablespoons of butter and then the garlic. While toasting slices of baguette, Eric mixed in the sliced mushrooms to the garlic, then the wine and cream and within minutes the crew was enjoying a perfect mushroom ragout garnished with watercress from the river.