Friends in Far Places

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Regardless of whether Al Gore invented the internet or not, there is always something new to discover online!

West Coast force of nature Jacquie Phelan was kind enough to write up Farnum Hill Ciders — and Steve Wood’s annual foray on the bike (100 miles!), a local benefit ride called the Prouty.

Here’s an excerpt from Jacquie’s blog — you can check out the full post — and her other interests here: http://jacquiephelan.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/prouty-ride-tomorrow/

My cider-fomenting pen-pal, Stephen Wood came to mind this afternoon, as I read the great M.F.K. Fisher.

She writes so beautifully, and food is usually the topic. My eye fell upon “How To Cook A Wolf”…her WWII-era treatise on coping with rationing and the million insults of living in wartime (geddit? The wolf at the door?).

To read her words on how to stretch cake, eggs, and do without butter bring a pang to the soul.And she reminds the reader that when peace returns, not to stop cooking consciously…

But wait, I was mentioning cider…I threw Miss Fisher aside and jotted a casual hello to Stephen Wood, the perpetrator of Farnum Hill Cider.  I ‘met’ him on the television–the show called “Botany of Desire”…he was the guy who spoke with cheeks full of heirloom apple.  How could I NOT write a fan letter; his speaking style–go ahead and get the show on er…Net flix? Verizon? sorry, I’m clueless about grabbing past emissions out of the air.  He found my note a half year later, and emailed back, with some cider samples following.

He wrote back:
Funny you should write today.  I’m doing a 100 mile cancer research benefit ride tomorrow (with a team of friends called “Eyes on the Prize”), in what looks like a whole day of thunderstorm.  I’ve done this ride for years, but don’t fit in very well.  I ride my only bike, which is a heavy old Hardrock mountain bike with bolted-on baskets (for sandwiches, beer, tools, etc).  I don’t have any bike clothes, so I wear shorts and a shirt and my reading glasses and my work boots. I’ve been on a bike six times since the last Prouty ride (July ‘09) and have trained as usual: put air in the tires, check the derailleurs, oil the chain, and stop bumming cigarettes the week before.

Usually works pretty well.

It takes me about 9-10 hours, which may be a problem this time, because the Prouty organizers are planning to turn people around if they don’t reach the checkpoints by certain times.  So this year, I plan to carry a copy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and a printout of the page that shows I raised $2000 for their cause, and maybe a small stick.

And therein renewed a fine blab session with “cider boy”.

IF the stars align correctly and I’m conscientious in my self-marketing practices, I will ride NEXT year’s Prouty cancer-research ride, with a few teaching opportunities at Poverty Gulch orchardgrounds thrown in.

We welcome Prouty-ers, M.F.K. Fisher fans, and the cider curious.  Just call in advance; you never know what might be happening here at PovCo!

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