The earliest I remember were Hills Brothers, the ones that looked like this one. My mother was a coffee junkie, so there were plenty to be had. The ones that weren’t used for berry picking were used for Christmas cookies.
When berry season was upon us, my mother would wait for a nice sunny day in the forecast, then call us both in sick, and off we’d go, with a hamper of fried chicken and potato salad. She could spot blueberry bushes from the car as we drove by and would holler at my father to “STOP!” There was, and is, nothing like sitting on the side of a mountain in a berry patch, with that stunning scenery all around you. Our favorite place back then was Hatcher Pass, just north of Anchorage. In recent years, my wife and I preferred areas along the Denali Highway.
Atomic Mama: You may be too early for berries in Sitka, but it’s been way too many years since I was a kid in Southeast Alaska. In South Central, berry season is generally late August or even early September. Also, you might find cloudberries, but they are more common to the tundra/arctic regions.