Looking Back at my First Cain

The Cain Foray is coming up, and I am so excited! I first attended the Cain last year as a new member, and I had an absolute blast. If you are thinking of going to the Cain this year, I cannot recommend this weekend enough for fellow mushroom enthusiasts and naturists (no, wait, nature lovers – yes, that’s it).

The Lumina Resort is a lovely site, with a large main lodge, and little cabins and cottages to sleep in. Since I travelled solo, I got to meet two incredibly sweet and interesting ladies who would be my cabin mates: D- and J-. D- speaks softly, but the joy in her eyes betrays her loving and compassionate spirit. J- is vivacious and usually never without a jaunty scarf, the most fitting one is the scarf that she printed herself with large mushroom caps. These two ladies were veteran mushroom hunters and foray attendees, and they extremely welcoming and supportive for my first big foray. The wisdom and camaraderie of D- and J- were just one of the many reasons why my first Cain Foray was memorable.

Everyone that I met had a very gregarious attitude. There was a large cross-section of demographics represented, so anyone can feel right at home. Older folks, young adults, families with children – no matter who you are, if you love mushrooms, you belong at the Cain.

The forays during the weekend were loads of fun, and suitable for a variety of activity levels. Amid the stunning scenery, we saw a variety of inedible and edible species. Many of the forays took place at Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve, which I recognized as the namesake of a special edition farmhouse ale from Sawdust City Brewery. I am an amateur photographer, and I captured many great photos over the weekend.

The food at the Cain Foray was fantastic and all meals were included. I am a bit of a foodie, though I do appreciate rustic fare, and this delightfully fell somewhere in between. Even a year later, I still recall the cute little meringue shaped like mushrooms that we had for dessert one night. They were truly a labour of love, and the chef got the colour just right.

The weather was hot for September, which made the cool lake back at the resort a welcome treat after a few hours of hiking. The clean, clear water made for excellent swimming; others indulged in renting canoes and kayaks to explore the rugged shorelines of Haystack Bay. At night, we had an glorious view of the thousands of stars that are normally obscured by the city lights. The beds were super comfortable to collapse in after a long day of being outside. Every day seemed to generate great memories as the hours flew by. There was an air of relaxation despite the amount of activity buzzing through the trails and back at the resort. It was, for me, a perfect weekend.

Registration is open for this year's Cain.