And you thought you had to go to Fredericksburg to get good peaches!
Robbie gets the wanderlust occasionally, which is fun because it means he'll swoop down and carry me off on a spur-of-the-moment road trip. Over lunch at Hickory Street, I suggested jumping around in the water jets at the park again, and I think that's what we were on the way to do, but we ended up taking the long way. And by the time we got to Ben White, Robbie idly wondered how far we'd have to drive to get Fredericksburg peaches.
Of course, there's only one way to find out.
We also realized en route that we had only the vaguest idea what a bushel is. I mean, I know it's an amount, and measured in container volume, I think, and it has to be a round basket, about, you know, yea big. Apples come in bushels, and peaches of course, and probably vegetables, I don't know. We decided we were on a sacred quest to find out what a bushel is.
So we headed out 290 in a general westerly direction, and passed through Dripping Springs with nary a bushel, peach, or any other such mythological creature in sight. We did see some very nice flex base, though, where they're preparing to widen the roadbed. We hit 281 and headed north (after a brief insistence on my part that Fredericksburg is actually south, in the direction of San Antonio, which Robbie fortunately overruled*), and in Johnson City, where you turn left to stay on 281, I spotted a peach stand at 3 o'clock.** So Robbie made a hard right into the parking lot straight from the left-turn lane and there we were!
The man running the stand was elderly and kind, but apparently mildly deranged, and Robbie had a little difficulty actually leaving with his purchase after it was bagged; but adversities were overcome, misunderstandings were cleared up, peaches were procured, and the peach-seller helpfully answered all my bushel-related questions.
A bushel is really big, you guys. You think it's about this big, and it's not. It's like four times that.
So we turned around and headed back to Austin. As we were passing by William Cannon we noticed a peach stand by the side of the road. "D'oh!" we said.
We sat under a tree in Stacy Park to eat peaches. I have to admit I was a little disappointed, because you always hear about Fredericksburg peaches, and these really were not all that great. They were crunchy, which peaches should never be if they can help it. It seems like I've read somewhere that you should put them in a brown paper bag in a dark, cool place, but I can't remember if that's how you ripen peaches or if it's a step in some arcane love spell.
Maybe you're supposed to put them through a couple of cycles in the dryer. Soften 'em right up.
*Early in our career at the agency, Robbie and I were once stopped in the hall by an older guy in our division, who inexplicably wanted us to tell him the exact date a particular volcano had last erupted. Aside from our general disorientation at being thus accosted by someone we didn't know, we had no idea, which seemed to annoy him a great deal. "And you call yourselves geographers?!" he demanded, and marched off.
Which was somewhat surreal in that no, we never had; but to this day, that question pops into my head whenever anyone displays ignorance in any form.
**It was actually about 12:30