Wednesday, June 28, 2006


One of the things I always missed when I lived in Phoenix was a meaningful connection to nature.

The grass there grows on lawns and manicured golf courses, which shouldn't even exist in the Sonoran Desert. The birds are mostly skanky pigeons. Wildlife? You might see a rattlesnake or a coyote, but probably only if you live on the edge of a suburb. If you want to get out and stomp the terra, you'll be driving at least an hour just to get out of town. And unless you really work to find a remote spot, you'll be stepping in the tire tracks and footprints of thousands of other people.

I'm spoiled. I can pedal out of my driveway and, in a few minutes, be riding singletrack through quiet woods where I encounter bears, moose, eagles and all sorts of other critters. I don't think I could survive going back to living in an environment of asphalt and concrete.

That's why this image struck me as I pedaled along the bank of a canal running through the heart of urban Phoenix a couple of weeks ago.

A young guy was sitting in the early morning sun and trying to catch a fish. Out of a featureless, artificial stream. Beside the freeway that towered over him. No grass under his feet. No gentle waves lapping at the shore. No breeze blowing through trees.

He had his folding chair, his cooler, a tackle box. He even had a modicum of solitude as speeding motorists rumbled past behind their concrete wall, unable to see him. I sort of had to admire his quiet determination to enjoy tossing a line into water.

But mostly, I just felt bad for him.


Sam Douglas said...

Ouch thats a pitiful sight. Though not that far removed from 30 overweight beer swilling men in lumberjack shirts flailing wildly at the water in ship creek! :)

Spare a thought for your old pal stuck here in Ireland surrounded by nothing but bloody green stuff, "wot oi wouldn't give for a few miles of concrete" hehe - ok not really!

By the way I am emigrating to New Zealand (Wellington)in a week so be prepared for some photos in your email!

/fish on.


Tim said...

Sammy! Good to hear from ya. I heard about NZ. Big Hair is in town. In fact, she was at my house last night stealing a fresh salmon before heading to the airport to go back to Wyoming.

I'll be looking forward to the photos. And I'll spare a thought for New Zealand. They have no idea what they're in for.

Anonymous said...

New Zealand?! @#$@#$% Sam! Wellington, no less! You bastard!

Find a magazine down there that needs a woefully incompetent managing editor, will ya? We're trying to remedy that situation here and could maybe ship our problem to someone else.

On second thought: Find a magazine that needs an amazingly capable senior editor, willya? I'll meet ya there.

Go All Blacks!

Sam said...

As they say in geekland....

cry more noob! :)

muhaha i will send u a postcard!

I am guessing from the spelling mistakes, swearing and support of half naked men wearing tight shorts and grabbing each others crotch - that last comment was from cool hand Luke? :)

Tim said...

But of course, dear Sam. Who else would be so vulgar as to introduce profanity and insulting comments to the intellectual haven that is my blog?

That boy suffers from poor breeding and a backwoods education. We're working to put a little polish on him.

Sam Douglas said...

intellectual haven?

People in tight-fitting spandex pants, panting and heavy breathing, helmets bobbing around as they wave their arses in the air and finish off spraying themselves in the face when they finish - sounds more like a german hardcore pornstar blog! :)
(which is probably how Luke stumbled across it in the first place!! hehe)

gwadzilla said...

maybe he caught some microwaveable fishsticks?