Wednesday, August 19, 2009


...can save you from heat stroke. On a lengthy, up and down heavily forested stretch of 101, lots of on-off back-up traffic rough road construction zones, and afternoon temperatures sizzling in the mid 90s (likely hotter on the black top). With water, and blood sugar running low, I worked my way to the front of a 135-car single file highway parking lot, until I met the flagger controlling flow. She said, "you might as well find some shade cause I'm not lett'em go for another ten minutes. The boys are taking their time laying that fiber." Couldn't have asked for better timing. Parked the bike, sat on the dirt, and leaned my back up against her minivan's front tire (while she 'relieved' herself on the opposite), and after cursing myself for not hauling more water, I look across the side road, and there it is - black gold!...surely heat exhaustion mirage mentality, but after refocusing my eyes, sure enough, there were dangling blackberries, sagging with weight from their thorny thicket brambles. So sweet and perfect, I pulled out a zip-lock and proceeded to gather. I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again, there are few things that I enjoy more than picking fruit - especially wild fruit. Something about plucking wild fruit directly from source that excites an instinctive, primitive success pleasure. They were better than kool-aid and helped me reach the next town less weary. Blackberries in the shade...

1 comment:

  1. Ryan...I am so proud of this effort of yours. So many of us just sit back and talk and you are one who 'walks the walk' (or the bike). Your mom just came over but I couldn't find your blog until after she left. I'll get her back soon so she can 'blog' with you. My sister, Pat Jistel, in Austin,TX, is looking forward to meeting you and giving you a place to put your head and some serious Tex Mex to fill your stomach. Please take care. My prayers surround you. Love, Chris