ABC: Adventures with Blueberries & Caribou
August 25-31, 2019
Blueberries grow thick in the foothills of the Alaska Range. Hike up our maintained trail to wild blueberry barrens, and fill your buckets and your bellies. Sink into the soft tundra as you rake berries from the bushes with your fingers. Some will be lucky to make it into your bucket, as it is hard to avoid putting them straight in your mouth! Perch on the top of massive glacial erratics and raise binoculars to your eyes to take in the wildlife. Here, Caribou run through the hills in small bands and bears sit and gorge on the bounty of the season. Take it all in, and bring home your own home-made berry souvenirs, a keepsake from your adventure.
August 25: Fly into the homestead. Settle into your cozy wall tent, your accommodations during your stay. Meet the animals, take a welcome tour of the facilities, garden, and hoop house. Enjoy a welcome dinner around the campfire.
August 26: After waking up refreshed from sleeping in the silence of the wilderness, enjoy breakfast around the campfire. Prepare your day packs, and head up into the foothills with buckets and binoculars in hand. Pick berries to your hearts content under the gaze of massive unnamed peaks.
Dine on a creative picnic up on one of our massive boulders while watching for wildlife. In the past, we have been blessed to see bull caribou fighting for bands of females, bears eating blueberries in the distance, and bands of 30-40 caribou roaming through our nearby glacial erratics. These are wild animals and sightings are never guaranteed, but this is a fantastic opportunity to observe and watch for charismatic and graceful creatures.
As the sun begins to set, hike back to the homestead. Buckets of berries are put in the cooler for later projects. Enjoy dinner around the campfire.
August 27: Enjoy the fruits of your harvest with blueberry sourdough pancakes for breakfast. Pack up for another hike up into the hills for caribou watching and blueberry picking. Explore new hills with fresh views. Keep your eyes peeled for animals.
August 28: Today is your day to rest at homestead as we work on preserving the homestead bounty, your berries from harvest. After a leisurely brunch, learn ways to preserve your harvest with unique recipes. Learn the basics of canning and jam making. Make blueberry jam. Also create blueberry liqueur or blueberry infused vinegar to bring home and share with friends.
August 29: Today we take a break from the ABC’s of your trip. Today you experience the Alaskan wilderness on horseback. After a quick lesson in horse tack, behavior, and safety, head out on Icelandic horses for a day ride. Get high up in the mountains powered by the sturdy legs of our cohesive herd. Identify birds and learn about wild plants. Lunch and dinner are eaten out in the hills, weather dependent. Ride back to the homestead ready to fall asleep from a day drinking in the wilderness.
August 30: Your last day in the wilderness! Guests can choose to stay at the homestead and relax, or pick from a number of hikes and other activities. Harvest wild plants, get your hands dirty in the garden, take a walk along our creek and toss a line in for a trout. Tonight, we celebrate your adventure with a wild berry rich dinner .
August 31: Farewell Breakfast. Fly back to Anchorage. Continue your Alaskan vacation, or head home with new knowledge and friends.
Package Includes: Transportation to and from the Homestead, all meals and snacks, expert guiding, rustic lodging, instruction, materials for projects.
Cost: $3200/person, $500 deposit*,
*subject to cancellation if inadequate sign up
This trip is for you if:
You are looking for a vacation off the beaten path in Alaska
You want a mix of learning and relaxation
You want to experience the Alaskan wilderness, off the road system
You would like to combine learning some homestead skills with an adventure in the Alaskan bush
You enjoy food and love blueberries!