[Late-day light on the Dawn Wall, on Tommy’s final effort. Photo: Kelly Cordes]
I’ve long thought that the most wasted resource on earth is talent. Talent abounds, yet optimizing its potential requires devoted effort. Of course we also have to consider opportunity, and the whole talent-and-effort issue makes regular news. There’s the “10,000-Hour Rule” of practice, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his celebrated and best-selling book Outliers – underscoring the importance of effort. Recently I read an article about intellectual giftedness – underscoring the importance of talent.
As far as natural ability goes, exceptional athletes are everywhere. Those who fully maximize that talent through hard work and effort, however, seem rare; I suspect they have to love it, truly love it, deep-down love it. Not just love success, or even the idea of success. Not just talk about it, and not find excuses when things get grim.
Milagro Silver: A solid tequila, especially for the price (and we found it on sale, an added bonus). It’s 100% agave, of course – never forget, no matter how cheap you go, 100% agave is the baseline.
Triple Sec: Go cheap, you’re on a road trip. Use about one-third triple sec for each part of tequila.
Limes: Get ‘em fresh. Invest the $4.99 in a manual juice squeezer, and if you start by rolling the limes to soften ‘em, and maybe even microwaving for about 15 seconds per lime (which wasn’t possible in the campground), the juices come plentiful. Work hard and you should be able to get about 2 oz. of juice per lime. Though I brought my lime squeezer to Yosemite, here’s a dirtbag tip: after softening the limes, if you don’t have a squeezer, cut ‘em in half and then use a fork to mush and mash the juice out. Works well.
Lemon & orange: Squeeze some of each. Or, if you’re lazy, just get ‘em from the store. Lately I’ve been enjoying a strong bit of orange – like half a fresh orange for every full lime. Try it, it’s good.
Agave nectar: Sweetener made from the same plant tequila comes from – perfect. Just a couple of squirts per squeezed lime tends to do it. Adjust to taste.
Marg: About half alcohol (i.e. mostly tequila), and half the other stuff. The other stuff is mostly lime juice, with some orange and a splash of lemon, plus a squirt or two of agave nectar. Adjust to taste, and remember that taste testing is fun. You have to love the process, not just the result.
Put it in a shaker (water bottle) with some ice, and shake the sweet bejesus out of it. Pour it into a salted glass if you have it; just swig from the bottle by the campfire if you don’t. Don’t drink too much or it’ll be hard to climb the next day.