I have picked wild blue berry before in North Carolina and Washington State.
During a backpacking trip in Shining Rock Wilderness Area (Pisgah National Forest) in western North Carolina, I picked wild blue berry for the first time. It was about 10 years ago! I remember blue berry picking was the best part of the trip. Even though the berries were still a little sour, I enjoyed finding them and eating them along the way.
On the last day of my trip of visiting North Cascades National Park and Mt Baker in Washington State about 6-7 years ago, I found a large field filled with blue berry bushes. Those blue berries were large, ripe and sweet! However, it was close to 5 or 6 o’clock and the day was about to get dark (in mid September). “Should I keep going and seeing as much scenery as possible or should I stop here to pick blue berries?” I remember it was such a “tough” decision. I love doing both and didn’t want to give up either one of them. In the end, though, I did keep on going and left the blue berries patches behind. Seeing more beautiful sights won the day, and probably will always win, if the scenery is worthwhile.
Two days ago, as I was driving along Portage Glacier Highway, I saw several people picking up things by the side of the road. Out of curiosity, I stopped and asked what they were picking. “Raspberries” a man answered and showed me his bucket. “They are very good.” He picked up a handful berries and gave them to me. They are very flavorful, yet still a little sour. “Join us” seeing my interest, a woman invited me. So I did – joined them to pick Raspberries.
It turned out, as I learned, that they are Native Alaskans. “We pick berries every year. This is really good. We are blessed.” Yes, I felt blessed as well – accidentally finding one of my favorite things to do in the wild.
And “luckily”, this time, I didn’t have to choose whether to pick the berry or to see the scenery. It was cloudy and drizzled at the time. Even though I knew the incredibly beautiful scenery was all around me, I couldn’t see much. They were blocked by the thick clouds. The weather has been like this for days now. Hopefully, it will clear up soon so that, besides picking up berries, I can also do the other things I love to do and I am here for – hiking and taking pictures. 🙂
PS. my photo website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/qing-yang.html