After visiting what is considered Southeast Alaska (Hyder, Haines and Juneau are in southeast Alaska), we reachedÃ‚Â the interior of Alaska. Our first stop was the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge. Â Their brochure says it best, Tetlin is a dynamic landscape of forests, wetlands, tundra, lakes, mountains, and glacial rivers bounded by the snowy peaks of the Alaska RangeÂ. Our first evening there we walked to Deadman’s Lake and watched for moose and enjoyed the sunset as it reflected off the water.
On our second day, Â we discovered that we were surrounded by wild berries and went on a berry picking quest. Unlike national parks, wildlife refuges encourage visitors to enjoy the bounty of the forest; therefore, berry picking is not only allowed, but encouraged. We searched for but couldn’t find enough of the ever elusive strawberries. They are tiny, but have very potent flavor to compensate for their small size. The second most difficult to find is the salmonberry, which is a berry previously unknown to me. There are also crowberries , cranberries, and most abundant, wild blueberries there.
I have purchased wild blueberries and complained about their price in comparison to cultivated blueberries. After picking them, I now know why they are so costly. All the wild berries are so much smaller than the cultivated berries and as the adage goes you pay with your time or your money and in this case, we paid with our time. Â The two of us spent two hours harvesting berries and this was the total sum of our effort:
Nevertheless, we enjoyed our wild harvest in multiple culinary delights.
We decided it would be best not to eat this hallucinogenic mushroom so we left it undisturbed.