Off to dance in the cold waters of a marsh, myself and eight friends piled into a big van and set out on our quest for wapato. Also known as Indian swamp potato or arrowhead, for its arrow-shaped leaves, wapato is a bulb-shaped root vegetable that grows underwater in wet mud.
Conditions seemed almost preternaturally accommodating. Though it is duck-hunting season, Culture Change publisher Jan Lundberg easily secured a permit for our harvest at the last minute. We just happened to pick a day closed to hunters.
I was feeling energetic and well-rested, despite a dearth of sleep the night before. And though Portland is generally overcast from mid-October through April, the sky was a bright summer blue, the air temperature a mild 56 degrees Fahrenheit.