Monday, September 20, 2010

The journey comes to an end

Posted on Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 3:17 PM

DAY 6, HOUR UNKNOWN: For those of you who followed my trials and tribulations walking the perimeter of Spokane last week: I survived. In fact, I'm back in the office, looking out the window at gently mottled skies.

Where was this weather last week?

Saturday, my final day on the trail, consisted of an easy 16-mile "ride" from Bowl and Pitcher back to my starting point, the Costco on Division. I say "ride" because for two miles of it I pushed my road bike up a sandy back trail, gaining almost 600 feet in elevation.

But the top of Five Mile Prairie was glorious. Breaking the two-day cloud bank, my trip up top was sun-filled. I stopped by Don and Doris Farmer's berry stand, which sits near the intersection of Strong and Austin roads. For just $1.25, I got a carton of blackberries.

As we were chatting, a car pulled up and a couple perused the selection: blackberries, boysenberries and Italian prunes.

"How much longer for the blackberries?" the woman asked.

"Till the frost, honey," Doris replied.

"I enjoy 'em on my pancakes," the man told us. We smiled and waved.

The couple bought a couple cartons and left.

The Farmers have been married for 46 years and farming up here since 1973. They've seen the place change dramatically in that time.

"Too much traffic, but it helps," Don says, guessing that about 50 people stop by every day to buy some of their wares. He doesn't see an end to the development happening up there. "Problem is, it's such good agricultural land up here, I'd hate to see it go to houses."

With that, I take my leave, fly down Cedar Road and zigzag my way to Costco. I'm done.

I met farmers, movers, activists, a Riverkeeper, some pilots, deer, dogs, traffic, gunshots, rain, coffee and some good folks in Hillyard along my four-day trip. I was awfully tired for some, lost for a little bit more and not once was I arrested for vagrancy.

Read all about in the Sept. 30 of The Inlander for the full accounting. (And, yes, there will be maps!)

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