Berry Picking!

Anchorage Travel Blog

 › entry 12 of 13 › view all entries
Before we entered the berry farm, we were asked to leave behind our bags.. (cameras included!.. much to my dismay).. and put on gloves and all. And then our guide took us through the farm.. showing us the various types of berries... teaching us how to identify the poisonous ones. He begged us not to pop in any berry into our mouths before first checking with him!!! :D

The berry picking done, he next asked us if any of us were interested in panning for gold!!!!! I was!!!! So we went down to a little creek.. outside of town.. And there we were taken to a restaurant which was once a gold mine.. It was owned by a guy who was once a miner.. and he entertained us all with nice little stories of his times mining for gold. He took us out to the creek and gave us a sort of shallow pan with slits in it.
.. and showed us how to pan...
Obviously, none of us found anything.. and I was begining to think that this was just some tourist trap. Especially since Dusty Sourdough, the miner, kept pointing in the water and exclaiming - there's a speck!! Maybe he sensed this feeling in us.. he said "you guys dont believe me, do ya?!" I voiced my thoughts and said "No!" .. but with a smile :)

So he took my hand and took me right into the water.. and asked me to look at the gravel that was at the edge of the water.. just where the creek bed became visible. And true to his word, I actually saw some TINY...sparkling golden colored flecks! I still dont know if that really is gold.. because it was just sooo tiny. And when we tried to pick it up, we wouldnt be able to see it. Dusty said that since the creek bed is a dark brown/grey color, the flecks show up easily on it. But on our hands, they merge with the skin's color and are hard to see because they are just miniscule flecks. Anyway, gold or no gold, we had fun after that :) .. fooling around in the water.. claiming to have struck rich now and then!

After the panning, Dusty invited us all to his restaurant - The Sourdough Mining Co. What a fabulous place that was! He called it the only remaining Alaskan restauarant in Anchorage ;) .. but it truly was a unique place. Both menu and decor wise. I was so full from my earlier meal at the Snow City Cafe, that I could hardly have anything. But it was nice to see all the yummy looking dishes make their way to the rest of the tables!

This done, everyone in the tour group departed.. I had to wait a while because I was to get onto a shuttle bus going back to the downtown area. And so, I was just strolling around the place.. I walked back to the berry farm and was chit chatting with the guide there. And out of the blue, he said - hey, have you been to see our reindeers??
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photo by: anupa_rk