We need at least another liter of blue berries to get through the winter. This late in the season they are becoming hard to find. But two days ago, I received a hot tip from someone with fingers stained blue by berry picking.
To act on the tip, Aki’s other human and I load our bicycles, picking buckets, and the little dog into the car and drive almost to the north end of the Juneau road system. The weather man promised us a dry afternoon. After assembling the bikes, we headed up the trail that cut through salmon berry brush and devil’s club already starting to yellow, just as rain began to fall.
The tipster told us to ride past 1930’s car rusting alongside the trail and the two spots were the trail almost touches the river bank. After that we should cross through a long, long stretch of devil’s club to where a fiddler’s green for berry pickers spreads out from both sides of the trail.
At the start of the berry patch we looked without success for berries. All we saw was wet berry bushes, empty of berries. In a few minutes of riding past barren bushes I spied little blue spheres hanging on a bush six meters off the trail. My cotton pants were soaked through with rain water by the times I reached the patch. Aki’s other human thought to wear her rain pants. Aki and I had to ignore water soaking through to our skin. The little dog was a good sport as long as we feed her berries. But after her two humans had gathered their liter of berries, she was ready to return to the car.