The 2005 UW Herbarium Foray was an exceptional outing on many levels. 2005 marked the 10th Anniversary of the Foray program, which Dick Olmstead started when he arrived at UW in 1996. There were 25 participants this year, tying the record for the largest group size in the history of the program. Robert Goff earned the impressive and unique distinction of being the only person to attend all 10 Herbarium Forays held to date. Finally, by traveling to the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho, we broke with the tradition of alternating Foray destinations between Washington and Oregon.
Our center of operations was the Hidden Creek Campground, located in the North Fork of the Clearwater River drainage. Access to this area is over Hoodoo Pass, located southwest of Superior, Montana. The 9-hour drive from Seattle seemed well worth the trouble as we passed through the subalpine meadows that bordered both sides of the Pass.
The North Fork drainage of the Clearwater River is renowned for possessing disjunct populations of many vascular plant species typically found in western Washington. Though we had made nearly a half-day’s drive from Seattle, we found ourselves camped under a grove of old-growth western red cedars. The understory vegetation looked like home as well, though with the occasional notable exception such as Osmorhiza occidentalis(western sweetroot).
We experienced a range of weather during our stay, with everything from warm summer days to steady rain. The rainstorm marked the first time that a portion of a collecting day had to be postponed due to inclement weather. Being true Seattleites, people gathered up their tools once the rain slackened to showers and they headed out into the field.
When all was said and done, it was a very productive trip. As a group we made nearly 550 collections, and many of these were in triplicate. The Bitterroots area is near the eastern edge of the region circumscribed by Hitchcock et al., so it is valuable for WTU to have contemporary collections from an area that Hitchcock himself collected in so extensively. As in years past, we will gather in the Herbarium monthly between October and March to identify all of the plants that we collected.
The annual Dessert Contest was renamed in honor of Ken Davis, a long-time Herbarium volunteer who died earlier this year. Ken was a perennial participant in the contest and took great pleasure in offering what often was the most complex and tasty entry. This year’s version of the contest was another crowd pleaser, though no clear winner had been determined by the end of the fourth night.
We are especially grateful to Jim Mital and Steve Shelley of the U.S. Forest Service, Clearwater Forest District. Jim and Steve provided invaluable assistance in securing the necessary collecting permits and offering excellent suggestions regarding areas worth collecting in.
2005 UW Foray participants:
Kara Ardern, Suzanne Bagshaw, Dale Blum, Linda Brooking, Cole Brooking, Maria Gerace, David Giblin, Robert Goff, Judy Harpel, Wayne Harpel, Joe Johanson, Jessie Johanson, Mary Johanson, Don Knoke, Ben Legler, Wendy McClure, Nomi Odano, Steve Odano, Julia Odano, Dick Olmstead, Sheila Olmstead, Richard Robohm, Barb Smith, Dave Tank, Doug Williams.