Blueberries. madness. must pick. OMG. Look at that patch of blues! Race you to it. Not really. Too many mossy stumps, devil’s club, and slick slippery fallen trees to get a good run going. How about we carefully step, climb, slip and slide our way to the Blue Nirvana?
Yesterday my niece and I made our sometimes annual pilgrimage to the Land of the Blues, the place south of here in a little hamlet snuggled in right at the base of Mount Alyeska, the Land of Ski’ing and Snowboarding Delight. Now there are multiple sites all around the hereabouts that qualify, highly qualify, to be called the Land of the Blues. Some Blue Nirvana locales are high above the tree line on moss covered mountain sides. Here one finds the low bush blueberries among the mountain moss, alongside bright red low bush cranberries, shiny black crow berries, orangy-red bunch berries, and garnet colored dew berries. I have spent many a sunny and not so sunny day, hunched over, sprawled out, vertically climbing but always picking those alpine blues.
But the sometimes annual blue’s pilgrimage of yesterday, is located in a rain forest behind a world class ski resort at the foot of a very tall and awe inspiring snow capped mountain. I cannot be more specific than that with the locator information. Well I could. But as the saying goes, then I’d have to kill you. Not really. The location is not really a secret. Well sort of it is. Suffice it to say, that my niece and I picked blues till our berry picking hearts’ content, in Alaska.
On the drive south, around the Turnagain Arm we sped by the Cook Inlet’s high tide and the rains and the wind started to pick up. I think nature’s elements were welcoming us to our day of Blues chasing with a thunderous ovation. It is, indeed, the rains that keep the rainforest in this little area south of our fair to middling-sized town, verdently and deeply green. Deep inside the forest, where we were immediately miniaturized by the trees towering above us, we were protected from the big fat rain drops falling, quite loudly, all around. Plop. PLOP. Thunk. THUNK. and then there was the occasional heavy wind gusts that would blow through after a period of silence.
We were probably fifty-percent soaking wet by the first hour and thoroughly sloshing wet by the second from our efforts of slipping, sliding, climbing, hoisting, reaching and plucking among the decidedly wet vegetation of the forest. But neither my niece nor myself minded. We did not care that we were wet. We did care about the Blues.
Rain forests are so alive. Little water ways, rivulets of water splash along, making their way to tiny tiny ponds and we try and reproduce the water’s soothing musical notes and tones in manmade fountains. It’s not the same, not even close. In a rain forest, green mosses of varying hues grow everywhere. On the fallen trees, on the still growing upright trees, and on the ground. The ferns, are still green and it is the devil’s club, this thorny multi-leafed plant that lends autumn-colored shades of yellow to the bright colored scene.
Soon the little skiing hamlet will be filled with the shouts and whoops and hollers of downhill ski’ers and snowboarders. The open meadows will be the cross-country ski’ers and snowmachiner’s paradise. After all, this is the Land of the Mostly Frozen North Land. But for now, at least as of yesterday, this land was the Land of the Blues.