Late August means berry season in Alaska. We decided to try our hand at blueberry picking, at Alyeska Resort's annual Blueberry Festival.
The festival was set to have entertainment, food stalls and a beer garden, but first things first, the blueberries. We hiked up this hill (which is a ski run in the wintertime) and crossed the field into the forest.
You know what I'm thinking. Bears.
Bears really like blueberries. I think we actually brought the bear spray though, first time ever!
I wasn't exactly sure what we were looking for initially, as I'd never seen a blueberry bush in the wild.
But then we spotted some. Ahhh, blueberries.
So, we started picking. It is a very painstaking process. No wonder berries are so expensive. We literally picked them one at a time.
As I picked, I wondered why a bear would even bother. Such slow going.
But, wow(!), the scenery was amazingly lush, green and tranquil.
I think Ella had equal numbers make it to her mouth as her bucket!
We even found a few raspberries for good measure.
I loved the velvety feel of the forest moss, and we even saw mushrooms growing right out of the trees!
After picking our fill, we decided to join in the festivities.
(One thing you will never escape in Alaska is mud. I'd like to say I've resolved myself to this fact, but I'm not there yet!)
All that hard work made us hungry, so we made a quick stop at the Tater Pig.
The what? The Tater Pig, a baked potato loaded with sausage and every other fixin' you could imagine.
It really hit the spot!
The view was pretty spectacular, as well. You don't get too many days like this in a rain forest!
We didn't try the blueberry beer (I'll give a report next time),
but we did watch these kids go head-to-head in the blueberry pie-eating contest. Ella has added this to her bucket list for next year.
All in all, a beautiful day. And after all of that outdoor-ing, I almost feel like we are turning into a real hunter-gatherer family, living off the land. I hardly recognize myself!