Joyce Blackberry Festival

Heading west on Highway 101 from Port Angeles, where my mom lives and where I was born, is a small town called Joyce. Once a logging town, Joyce is now home to a variety of people, most of who are looking to live off the land. With it’s beautiful, rugged landscape and a bounty of wildlife, it seems like a wonderful place to live a peaceful, simplistic life.

The local paper advertised the upcoming Joyce Blackberry Festival, and being a berry girl, it took little persuasion to get me in the car. Attending last year later in the day, my mom missed out on buying one of the prized blackberry pies for sale. Making sure not to be left pie-less this year, we piled into the car early so as to get there as soon as the festivities started.

The drive out was wonderful. These moments are the reason I so look forward to leaving Los Angeles. Nowhere else can you find scenery like that on the Olympic Peninsula. The forests go on for miles and miles, with no sign of development, with the beautiful Olympic mountains off in the distance.

We arrive to the festival and head straight to the line forming for pie. Word has it that the ladies baked 500 pies yesterday in the community kitchen. There was some concern that the berries were late this year, as spring had started late. A local woman in line set our minds at ease. The town offered the locals cash for each bucket of blackberries collected, and they had gathered plenty enough for 500 pies.

As we neared the front of the line we noticed a posted sign, “Whole pies sales start at 3 pm.” We had rushed here for nothing! Well a slice would do just fine.

The pie was wonderful. Warm, with ice cream. The crust was flaky and perfectly rich. The filling was obviously fresh and wonderfully sweet and tart at the same time. Perfect! We savored every bite, scraping the bottom of the dish once the pie was all gone to get every last bit. Ahh, summertime!

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Categories: travel

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