Candy along the Silk Road – A Journey to Chico…


The last two days in Chico were momentous and shareable. Silk Road Soda won a first place Globie Award at Innovate North State for most innovative new product in the Food and Ag category.


I am grateful for the award received, but I am not an award guy. I love life’s details: a fresh mint leaf dessert garnish, or the last tulip waiting to bloom. I like the little things, and the gentle discipline it takes to recognize them.


I drove to Chico for a meet and greet before the big conference. While parked and looking for a cheap (but not gross) hotel on my phone I forgot to turn my lights off which killed my battery. A man walked by and I kindly asked him for assistance, and he winced me off with a “no can’t help you.”


So I then called a tow truck. While waiting for the tow truck, the man I had asked for help returned and said, “I ran home and grabbed some cables!” How cool is that? That’s what I’m talking about: the details that I love. The candy.


Then it was on to the meet and greet without a hotel room, and it was getting dark. I was planning an orange car slumber party. I mentioned to the group I was speaking with that I was looking on AirBnb, when young professional women said; “we have a room” come stay with us.


Weird, yes! However, it felt right and she insisted, so I followed Dharma and said yes. I did my part by treating to Sushi and we had a great conversation over dinner. Then her and her husband escorted me to their home, and by my standards it was a mansion. Gorgeous landscaping, and Egyptian sheets that I had always heard about but never slept on – very cool… Once again, small details, I found the candy.


The next morning I woke up at 5:20 sharp so I could feed my Yoga addiction. I found a great little studio with a generous and sweet teacher. The asana was great, and even offered some new moves I had never tried.


She concluded with a poem that sent (and is still sending) me buzzing. I took a copy to share with a few. This poem seemed like the purpose for coming to Chico, it hit me that softly. One side note, the studio did not have a shower, so I had to take a birdbath in the sink and dry myself off with a hand towel.


I generally take three-plus showers a day, so this was a real wacky one for me. I picked Yoga over smelling fresh. It was a great trade and no one mentioned or was harmed by the aroma. Once again, small details, I found the candy. . .


Then it was off to the Sierra Nevada Conference. I barely made it on time; in fact they had to call me to the stage to present.


I sucked down my Green Monster Naked Juice and calmly walked onto the stage to give my presentation.  Right then, literally on my way to the stage, I received a text from a sweet friend that said, “You got this.”


Random? I don’t believe in random,


I then took the microphone, killed the presentation, and won a prestigious award. That part is all kind of a blur, and I don’t remember, or really need to remember.


The day was then over but my Silk Road associates and I needed to grab a bite before the long ride home. Haley and I were all in the mood for Thai, but wanted to find a local haunt.


We flagged down a skate-boarding coed to ask where we should eat. He said, “I’m going to Thai.”


What a funny coincidence…but then again, if I don’t believe in random, you can pretty much believe I don’t put much stock in coincidence. So we asked if we could follow. He was happy for the company, and when entering I said, “If you’re eating alone you should join us!” I think it sucks to eat alone.


We had a great conversation. He was a young man, undecided, and looking for answers. We heard his plight and offered no advice, but plenty of friendly chat that was welcomed.


On the way back to the car Haley and I conversed about intuition, Dharma, being connected, and how, in many small and large ways we were examples for one another.


She is an amazing example of kindness and beauty, which is truly fun to be around. At her age, I was driven, and that’s about it. The gaping wake I left is probably still healing. What a waste.  I used to miss the candy, but I truly try not to miss it anymore. It is simply too sweet, it should not be avoided, hidden, or saved for a rainy day.


Candy is meant to be eaten, enjoyed, and shared both on our road and yours…

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