Magic Mushrooms (And Other Tales from the Mountains)

One of the best things about writing is knowing that everything will either end up being a good idea or a good story. As for how I found myself, at six AM, sitting on a rock in the middle of a frigid mountaintop stream in the Transylvanian wilderness with all four limbs generously coated in bovine feces and relatively clean shoes – well, it’s certainly a story to be told. Q&A time:

Q: Why were my shoes clean?

A: I lost my balance trying to hop from one river rock to the next.

Q: Why was I sitting on a rock in a river?

A: I was meditating and watching the pre-dawn fog.

Q: Why was I meditating?

A: I wanted to connect to the natural beauty surrounding me. And my legs were tired.

Q: Why were my legs tired?

A: I was running and hiking through little forest trails.

Q: Why was I running and hiking through little forest trails?

A: Because straying from the trails ends badly. And because I was cold.

Q: Why was I cold?

A: I was covered in wet cow dung.


A: I went off the trail.

Q: Why?

A: I heard running water and wanted to explore, so I went into a muddy field.

Q: …cow dung?

A: Yes. And my left foot got sucked in up to my knee.

Q: Why were all four limbs covered?

A: I had to dig my shoe out with my bare hands. Then my right foot went under just as I got the other free. Then I high-tailed it out of that death pit back up to the service road I’d been following.

Q: Why was I following a service road?

A: I nearly got eaten alive by a dog on the main road.

Q: Why was I trying to get onto the main road?

A: I wanted to see the sunrise.
So yes, I woke up before 6 AM to watch the sunrise over the Apuseni Mountains and instead ended up covered in cow you-know-what. But nonetheless, I had a fantastic morning (and an even more fantastic shower). Background info: I was staying in a cabin near the tiny mountaintop village of Dodo Pilii with a group of staff from the camp I was working at. We had a wonderful time picking mushrooms in the mossy forest, making a campfire, hiking, milking cows, and just generally enjoying each other’s company without the pressure of keeping a camp running.

 I met some absolutely amazing people and have made what I’m sure will be life-long friends, though we’ve now mostly gone our separate ways. My time at camp made me realize that’s it’s truly not about where you are, but who you’re with. To throw in a few Happy Faces quotes: “Magic doesn’t happen by accident. We create our own reality, so make it a good one.”

And, of course, go brush your teeth.

My next escapades will be mainly taking place at a permaculture house in Cluj-Napoca, the city I’m currently in. Stay tuned for more (hopefully dung-free) updates, and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter to stay in-the-know! 🙂



  1. Susan,

    This is a hilarious story hilariously told! It sounds like you’re having the time of your life and I’m loving hearing about it all!

    Eagerly awaiting the next installment,

    Aunt Lisa

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