Saskatoons and Blueberries

Jacqui (queen of this blog, if you’ve been following) gathered Saskatoon berries along the river valley as a kid in Canada even though most other non-native folks like her didn’t even know about them; her mom is a botanist, which has perks. She pointed them out to us near Edmonton, and now we see them everywhere, especially at our campsite here at Meadow Lake Provincial Park—and in bear scat.

Fun fact: the density of bears here is higher than anywhere in Canada, which is significant. So far all we’ve seen is black bears, but you betcha we keep a look out.

So, yeah, we are surrounded by berries, and although I won’t put up with the mosquitos and briars long enough to collect them, both Tracy and Banjo will. Each evening Tracy walks among the brambles, gathering enough to put in his muesli the next morning. Banjo is more of an in-the-moment berry eater.

Lac des Îles

Tracy chose this campground in Nowhere, Saskatchewan, because the lake is a local favorite for boating, and he was able to grab a campsite right on the water. It wasn’t until after we drove down miles of one-way dirt road under construction, then through this thick, sandy, non-sensical campground, and parked the trailer, and set up our stuff, did we see that there’s a steep cliff between the campsite and the lake.

I would’t be deterred though, so Tracy (see how I did that) tied a knotted rope to a tree at the top of the cliff. I took a backpack-style chair down first, then climbed back up for my knitting or beer or whatnot, climbed back down precariously, and spent as long as possible looking out at the water, listening to the loons, watching people waterski, until the mosquitoes eventually drove me back up the cliff to the tent. Scratch insect bites; repeat.

Thanks to Jess, I bought this handy mosquito net in Jasper—wish I’d had this sucker years ago.

The view of the lake from inside the trailer is amazing. And there are few enough people in this isolated campground that we can sleep with the lake-side blinds open and enjoy the sunrise from bed each morning.

And, that’s about all we’ve done here. We could drive down to the boat dock and take the kayaks off the truck and get them in the lake there, but we can’t tie them up at my teeny beach by the campsite because it’s all rocks. So, no kayaking. The hiking is basically walking through mosquito-infested woods, dodging bear scat and deer, so we do that only occasionally for Banjo’s entertainment.

Peace and quiet have been enough for me; berries for Tracy and Banjo. This is rural Canada. Here is a family of loons for you.

4 thoughts to “Saskatoons and Blueberries”

  1. I can’t tell you how chuffed I am to have introduced you to Saskatoons and very much wish I could try the wild blueberries, which I’m not familiar with at all. Mum says she went picking only once, North of Fort Saskatchewan so she’s jealous too! I was thinking our berry hound wouldn’t be able to reach the saskatoons but I bet he’d be into the blueberries – he certainly is keen on Mat’s bushes in the garden 😁

    1. Wild blueberries are all over the upper mid-west US (and easy pickings for short dogs), plus huckleberries in Montana (that Banjo also loves to eat off the bush). We’re grateful to have added to our berry encounters!