First Field Trip : Berry Picking

For the boys' first-ever field trip, we tagged along with Josh's class for some berry picking.  This is a traditional Yupik activity.

We rode, along with fourteen of Josh's students, in the van up the road to Mt. Pilcher to pick.

The ride was bumpy, which our three little boys loved!

 The view when we arrived was gorgeous which this mama loved!

 There are still a ton of berries.  Blueberries, cranberries, and a berry they call "blackberry" (shown above), but which looks like a dark black blueberry, not like the blackberries I grew up with in Washington.

 The twins jumped right in, picking berries to fill their baggies.

Mt. Pilcher
 We took the road to Mt. Pilcher, stopping at a few different locations along the way to pick.

 Josh & his class

 Wyatt sat for a bit on the tundra reading.

From our spot near Pilcher, we could see the airport road and, in the distance, the airport.

The tundra is very uneven and difficult to traverse, even for grownups, so all of our boys fell numerous times.

 Logan picked (and even ate!!!) all three types of berries.

 Jack picked the most berries, but didn't try any.

 Josh had to bring his gun on our field trip (see his left hip?) because there have been so many bear sightings.  Logan was hoping we'd see one.  I was grateful we didn't!

 The weather was sunny & mid forties, but a bit windy, so we were all bundled up.

 I was so proud of these little boys working so hard!

All morning before we left they kept telling me,
"I'm so excited to go berry hunting mom!"

 Wyatt had woken up Tuesday morning at 4:30am and never went back to sleep. 

So he zonked out for the last hour of our field trip.

 The students were so sweet & quiet letting him sleep.

They even helped me sing him lullabies as he slept.

Our last stop was near the top of Pilcher.

 This road can take you all the way up.

 We opted to stop & let the kids climb around a bit instead.

 It felt so good to be out of the house for so many hours.

 The sky is so blue here.
It takes my breath away!

So does the fact that we live here. 
It still seems unreal.

I ended the day feeling really grateful for the opportunity to share some Yupik culture with our boys, and to have the chance to get to know Josh's students better.  It was a really great field trip!


Kari Durrant said...

What does it smell like there? Is it fresh? Does the rain smell like it does at home?

Amanda said...

What a fun adventure! I loved seeing it all! So crazy that it's cold there already. It's high 90's still herein mckinney Tx;)

Shelly Cunningham said...

Kari, most of the time it smells COLD. Crisp & a bit like a cold morning camping. Sometimes people have wood stoves going (we don't have a wood stove) and that makes it really smell like camping.

Occasionally it smells like the dump burning, which, as you can imagine, is AWFUL, but generally it doesn't actually smell like anything. Like the air is just really clean.

And no, the rain doesn't smell like home. It's weird to say, but the rain here is dry. Seriously. It can pour for days, and still my skin feels dry and we run the humidifier. It's totally different.

Marilynn Raatz said...

As I was looking at the pictures, I was wondering where the berry bushes were! Of course they are low to the ground, but it still surprised me!
I am so glad you and the boys got to go! And so glad the bears didn't!
And I have never berry picked wearing so many clothes! What an experience!
What are the favorites things to do with the berries besides just eating them? Jam or pie?

Hannah Jean said...

Great post! Stumbled upon your blog not long ago and I have really been enjoying it! I live in Alaska too and berry picking is so much fun. Your pictures are amazing! Thanks for sharing :)

Rox said...

You look so pretty!