Thursday, May 9, 2019

Linda Lou Leads Me Back To Skagit Valley Black and Blue Berry Picking

A day or two ago I blogged about Linda Lou's Skagit Valley Land Of Plenty Enticements Working, in which I made mention of the recent spate of enticements attempting to lure me out of the paradise known as Texas.

Linda Lou's recent enticements included a cookbook which used the variety of fresh ingredients one can easily find to harvest in the Skagit Valley.

Including blueberries.

The mention of blueberries got me remembering some blueberry picking I did shortly before moving to Texas.

Wild blueberries.

Picked at an extremely scenic location known as Schrieber's Meadow, which is the location of a trailhead to an extremely popular hike to the south side of the Mount Baker volcano.

Since living in the Skagit Valley was my reality for decades, I never really appreciated, til moving to Texas, how unique it was to be living in a location where driving a few miles to the east I could be up in the mountains picking wild blueberries, or drive a few miles to the west and I could be catching dungeness crab or digging clams.

The photo above was taken with my now long gone first digital camera. That Casio camera cost way more than any camera I have bought since. And took the worst photos. Though, ironically, it also took some of my all time favorite photos. Such as the one you see above of that sprite on my left shoulder picking blueberries in Schrieber's Meadow..

That Casio camera also took the above photo on the occasion of that same blueberry picking expedition. That would be the aforementioned Mount Baker volcano you see looming above the trees. If I remember right it was with Spencer Jack's Uncle Joey I last hiked from Schrieber's Meadow to the glacier moraine known as the Railroad Grade, to part way up Mount Baker.

Just a second, I shall see if I can find the webpage I made of that hike with Joey. Yes, found it, called it Joey in Danger on Mount Baker. Apparently part of my popular Nephews in Danger series from late in the last century.

Yesterday, when I remembered the picking of blueberries at Schrieber's Meadow, I looked for the photos on this computer. I thought I had transferred all my photos to this new computer. I thought wrong.

So, I fired up the old computer and found the folder with thousands of photos I had not realized I had not transferred, including the one above.

That would be me resting on a rock slab at what is known as the location of the Hidden Lakes Loukout. That being an old fire lookout, now maintained by a Skagit Valley mountaineering group as a sort of cabin refuge to be used whilst doing some extreme hiking.

The Hidden Lakes trail and the lookout are located on the western edge of North Cascades National Park, located in the eastern edge of Skagit County.

See what I mean about not appreciating living so close to such scenic wonders all my life, til moving to a part of America which is a bit less scenic?

Another thing regarding Linda Lou reminding me of the plethora of fruity abundance available in the Skagit Valley.


Yesterday at ALDI I was appalled to see blackberries being touted as one of this week's bargains. $1.99 for a little container of what looked like maybe 20 blackberries. I saw one person put two of the blackberry containers in her cart.

Blackberries grow wild all over Western Washington. Easily found, easily picked. For free. I can't imagine what store bought blackberries would be like, edibility wise. Probably about as close to tasting like an actual blackberry as those awful cardboard texture Driscoll strawberries from California taste compared to a fresh picked Skagit Valley strawberry.

The last time I went blackberry picking was in August of 2017, with David, Theo and Ruby. I blogged about this in Swan Creek Blackberry Mountain Biking With David, Theo & Ruby.

Those were some mighty fine tasting blackberries. At the time there was some talk of turning those blackberries into some sort of cobbler. But, that cobbler never materialized during my visit. We were extremely busy.

Blackberries grow near my current Texas location. I have not seen any growing. But I know blackberries grow here because last June I went to Blackberry Day at the Wichita Falls Farmers Market where I had myself some mighty fine blackberry cobbler. I blogged about this in Wichita Falls Farmers Market Blackberry Day Cobbler Bliss.

I saw yesterday, via the animated billboard by ALDI, that this coming June 1 is once again Blackberry Day at the Wichta Falls Farmers Market. I suspect I shall be there, that day, having myself some tasty blackberry cobbler, likely not followed by any scenic mountain hiking...

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