John had it right. If you haven't had the profound pleasure of visiting Alaska, come on up already! And when you make it up here, give us a holler, we'll show you around.
Blueberry picking is my favorite thing ever. Period. I cannot put into words how deeply I yearn to go on our adventures to pluck those juicy, sweet little orbs. It's on par with Christmas. For real. That magical feeling swells and swirls in my heartstrings in anticipation of mid-August when the blueberries are ripe and perfect. I think about it all year long.
We like to pick our berries up at Sheep Mountain, in solitude. It's a vast place that's dominated mostly by four-wheeling hunters (Boo! #sorrynotsorry), but never really see anyone. People aren't generally backpacking where we go. Reason number one, the water situation is less than ideal. I mean, we got water, but we had to bushwhack the same amount of time we actually spent hiking up to our campsite. Reason number two, stupid four-wheeler noises in the distance day and night. Reason number three, it's out of the way. Way out of the way.
On the plus side, there's lots of berries. The night before, we dehydrated a noodle recipe that I unfortunately wasn't able to document and do a post on. Maybe next week? But, I can give you some insight into what foods vegans bring backpacking. Or, at least the kinds of things that Todd and myself bring. Here's what we brought on this trip. Maybe it will give you some ideas!
- 2 servings of homemade, dehydrated Teriyaki Pasta
- 1 bag of falafel chips
- 1 tub of hummus
- 4 Prime Meatless Jerky strips
- 2 Nutz over Chocolate Luna Bars
- 2 Fruit Leathers
- 1/2 Endangered Species dark chocolate bar
- 1 box of Hot Tamale candies
- 2 servings of homemade oatmeal packets
- fresh blueberries picked for our oatmeal
- 2 Starbucks Via coffee packets
- 1 single serving Silk Very Vanilla soy milk
- 1 single serving almond milk caramel latte
- small concentrated Crystal Light bottle (in case you filter some funky tasting water, it happens)
- snacks for the road trip up included Annie's Chocolate Bunny Grahams, Original Sun Chips, Gatorade, Monster Energy Drinks (don't judge), and Justin's dark peanut butter cups.
Our backpacking adventures may or may not also kind of be a junk food adventure as well. We don't eat a lot of processed foods at home and so when backpacking, we tend to go a bit crazy.
It can be heavy and cumbersome to bring fresh fruits and veggies, ensuring that they are properly prepared and packaged so they don't get damaged. I did try to bring some fresh foods. Okay, so I bought some apples...that we left at home....
In case you're wondering, yep, Bob has his own pack. It's the best thing ever. Also, please don't judge me based on this photo. I am just now realizing how absurd I look.
I know you're not supposed to cook next to your tent (I did work at REI afterall), but it was super windy we we got to the top and at that very spot on the right of the tent, was the only place of calmness.
Regrettably, we were a bit early on the bluebs. Next week they'll be perfect. I only picked a small amount, until I finally felt bad and quit. Some bushes had ripe berries, a few were totally green, but most were somewhere in between and I felt pretty guilty picking them.
Last year we went super late (not really thinking of picking berries) and hit the motherload up at this spot. However, a lot of the berries were seriously past their prime and tasted fermented almost! See last years trip in this post.
Bob did a little doggy meditating in the sun the next morning, when the wind was gone. I almost brought my yoga mat, but I only had my heavy one at home. It would have been a most epic yoga practice though!
Todd snapped some early morning pics while I was still sleeping in the tent with Bob. There's a few more fun photos on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that you won't want to miss. Like the time we had to eat with twigs...#mybad.
Yep, I think it's settled that we'll be heading up there again very soon. I can hear those little blueberries calling my name! Bob can too.