It was a long day of travel. It was a hot day of travel. It was a long, hot, hard day of travel. Carrying canoes and packs across trails that do not really exist is not always easy…especially when that non-existent trail goes up a swiftly flowing creek. Finally we take a rest part way through a portage. A small bald spot on a small hill offers us the needed space to set down our canoes. One of our crew members (and my portage partner) stomps off the trail a little way to be by herself. The portage has been hard on her: canoes have fallen, and rocks have grabbed at her boots. The heat is not helping. As she takes some time alone to try to let the difficulty of the day be expelled from her body in the form of tears, the rest of us take water, and our leader goes to comfort our emotionally and physically drained comrade.
“Look! Blueberries! I didn’t think they would be ripe this early in the season.” This call brings us all out of our water-taking stupor. We all begin to scour the hillside for the little blue gems that have dotted themselves in the green brush. Michael begins picking with vigor, placing each berry into his hand until it can hold no more. Then, he stashes them and keeps looking. Almost everybody else takes a few, eats them, and begin to follow Michael’s example. I, on the other hand, pick one, eat it, pick another, and eat that one too. My pattern continues as my crew members’ piles of blue sphere’s begin to accumulate. I don’t mind because I am basing most of my actions on the adventure of a childhood friend: Sal. Blueberries for Sal. Blueberries for Dennis. Mmmm…fresh picked bluebs.