Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our Ratso Rizzo Trail

video
We often think of this scene from Midnight Cowboy when we're walking on the summer trails here. The blackberry vines grab us everywhere, and while we disentangle ourselves, we have been known to shout, "Hey, I'm walkin' here. I'm walkin' here."
The berry vines are merciless. We have stopped wearing our comfy hiking sandals and always put on our socks and sneakers for every walk. I wear long pants because I can't stand all the burs and stickers that wind up in my socks and annoy me for the rest of the hike. Mountain hiking has its prickly hazards. We keep a backpack by the front door. It's there to remind us to pick it up and take it on the hikes with us. We put our garden clippers in it, so Roger can snip away all the stickery, thorny things that make the trail a mess. But, as I have mentioned in previous posts, our memory ain't what it used to be, so even the pack by the door doesn't always provide enough of a reminder to grab it. We zip right past it, camera in hand and a bounce in our steps. Funny thing, though, I always remember that we have forgotten the pack on the exact same spot on the trail. We have a good laugh about that, and then wend our way through the vines that stick and scratch us, cussin' like Ratso Rizzo.
The other day, though, we did remember to grab that pack. While we hiked, Roger clipped and clipped all along the way. It slows us way down, but we love the ease of hiking the next time we hit the trail.

Take that, you thorny vines, we're walkin' here!

17 comments:

  1. Yep those vines ain't divine---except when those sun ripened blackberries are ready. I'm able to walk again now, after nearly a year, and head out to the Sonoma County Trail once again----and what a joy, even though my old 6 miles a day is long gone. Just to be there at dawn and revel in the beauty of it! I agree with you about the blackberries----they are like something out of Sleeping Beauty or Little Shop Of Horrors----they would take over the world if we let them. I suspect at the end of the world it will be wild blackberries and cockroaches that survive. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm going to start yelling that out when I'm hiking through prickly stuff ....

    ReplyDelete
  3. How about "for the love of GAWD! I'm walkin' here!" I can so see and hear you doing this.

    You are good citizens to clear the trail. I'll appreciate it next time I join you on a hike.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know the vines can take over in a matter of days - maybe hours.

    I remember Ratso. Despite being dark, it was a good movie.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am always amused and annoyed by the plants that attach all their seeds to your socks and shoes as you walk through them, I guess in hopes that you'll drop them off someplace nice. Too bad most of them wind up in my garbage can!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like a good plan. Cows do a good job on that too but they have a few other drawbacks. Elk sometimes will clear a trail but they ignore the vines.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is my new battle cry as I push thru our
    thorny smilax vines! Too funny.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That was a classic quote from that movie that I have used on occasion also.
    Good of you to keep the trail clear, will kind of.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Per Raz's reference, I'm going to eat those blackberries when they become available, and those seeds are not going to be dispersed into the wild, I'm afraid.

    Around here, those blackberries would be like pines, primary succession, and then hardwoods would obliterate them. Where you are, with all the fires and such, you may be permanently stuck with them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a funny reference! And such a sweet feller to trim the vines...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ratzo Rizzo! I haven't thought about Midnight Cowboy in years. I've got to watch it again and see if it is as good as I remembered. Glad you have such a dedicated trailblazer, Robin.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Trimming trails brings back memories. Don used to carry a backpack with a compact folding saw and a couple of pairs of pruning shears that we used to do maintenance in some of the forests where we hiked.

    I used to be annoyed by the seeds and burrs that stuck to my socks in Ontario. However, I'm more dismissive after fiur winters of being exposed to the kinds of things that fasten themselves to you when hiking in southeast Arizona!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nothing so dramatic here. We know the paths that get overgrown and take different routes. In New England, even the walking paths are densely situated! I used to take a comb when I walked with my second Bernese mountain dog--there was a particularly plant on a favorite path that he always managed to brush up against, and it had the kind of burr that broke up into little burrs and burrowed into the skin something fierce. I couldn't get them out of his fur with my bare hands.
    Blackberries! Worth the suffering! Bluejeans were expressly made for bushwhacking through briars, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well, you've certainly described mtn hiking in berry country.... What you reminded me of is what a private place you live in......fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
  15. A machete would be much more manly.

    ReplyDelete
  16. When were you in Missouri? Blackberry seems to be the state gripe in Missouri.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I recall driving through northern Calif. to Washington -- somewhere along the way we found many roadside blackberry bushes -- wonderful picking and delightful eating. Reminded me of days in my youth picking a bucket of berries in the semi-wild -- kept to the edges so not too many scratches. Wrote about the down-side when hundreds of seed ticks found my body.

    ReplyDelete