If I am counting correctly, we are crowding the 20th week of articles this season. Oh, how many times have I reminded you how quickly the time passes? It’s like yesterday that I was thinking about my first one of the year, and though we have several weeks until the insects and weeds begin to emerge, I assure you it will be here before you know it.
Christmas has come and gone, and 2022 is only days away. You are probably thinking, here’s another one about New Year’s resolutions, but before you discard the paper in dismay, I promise not to do that to you. Instead, maybe we’ll talk about how this year has been regarding your hobbies and if what you are doing leaves you “full” and “satisfied” with the good stuff. I’ll explain.
For several years, I have thought about trips to the Northeast, the Northwest, Alaska, and more. It may surprise you, but these trips are not the kind that I backpack camping equipment in with a bow or rifle. It really boils down to the desire to see and be a part of places I have never seen. Furthermore, my desire is domestic, and not foreign. I know Europe, Spain, Bora Bora, and others, have an appeal to many, including myself to some degree. However, there are so many other areas in the U.S. and Canada that spark my interest. So, what do you plan to do about this, Jeffrey?
If you keep kicking the can down the road, you do realize that you never get anywhere. Provoking thoughts about scenic places and roads less traveled remain just that, unless you take action. Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result defines, and I know you have all heard it, insanity. I’m in my early sixties and before I blink my eyes, these will be the late sixties, good Lord willing. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been cheated, and the last several years I have visited a few pristine oceans and experienced some beautiful fall color, but what’s next? Where is my soul yearning to go and what do I want to experience? No better time than now to think and create a bucket list. Do you agree?
When I first began taking excursions out west, I was treated to some spectacular sights. One that remains so vivid was the first time I experienced the Northern Lights, or better known as the Aurora Borealis. These dynamic patterns of brilliant lights sometimes appear as curtains, spirals, rays, and waves of the most vivid colors in the spectrum. Unless you have experienced this phenomenon firsthand, one can’t describe the intensity of the turquoise, the deep blues, and the flaming red colors that are exhibited in the height of its fury when you first see it. YouTube and the camera can’t even come close to representing the full effect of this show. Montana was the theater where I was admitted to the show, and through more research, there are other places that offer an even better show. Whether it’s in Greenland, Iceland, or Norway and Scotland, I am going again. But what other places will my path take me?
Alaska is the last wilderness and frontier with tracts still not tainted by mankind. My early desires to venture into this country were consumed by the allure of giant Yukon moose and Dall sheep. Alas, I never fulfilled these dreams, at least up to this point. I’m not certain I could climb the cliffs anymore that hold the dreams of full curl rams and mountain goats. I could probably still cut the mustard for moose, but this endeavor remains to be seen. The peaks of the snow-capped mountains and the serpentine river bottoms captivate me more now from the aspect of experiencing just pure vastness rather than collecting a species.
Alaskan cruises and tours are offered for those that have this same desire. The window of opportunity is brief, and I don’t know how the timing would fit into a bug man’s schedule, but maybe the day will come when I make the time and bite the bullet and do it. Timing is everything and so it passes.
Stacey and I experienced the Northeast this fall. Fall foliage and the country sides of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont hold beauty in October far beyond description. I am tempted to spend my time, and money, for another trip here. Maine lobster rolls and chilled oysters only add to the experience, but due to years passing, maybe this coming fall will be spent in the Northwest. Giant sequoias and redwoods are there for the waiting. I have heard this forest resembles that of a tropical rainforest. Moss covers the forest floor placing you in perhaps prehistoric times. Leaving Oregon and Washington, you wouldn’t need to travel much farther north to experience British Columbia. I’ve never been, but now is the time to research and plan.
Most of what I have described has been about experiencing places without a hunting or fishing license. For many years, this is quite unlike me. Maybe, as time is passing, my “pursuit” of other ventures is taking me down a different path. There is a wonderful world out there, and sometimes it takes thinking outside the box to find places you’ve never thought about before. Does this mindset mean I’m hanging up my bow and rifle? Emphatically, I say, absolutely not.
Extra work on weekends and a few more acres here and there will help fund plans to see the world. I know by the time I reach my mid-seventies, assuming I make it that long, I will probably stay closer to home and play in the garden more. It can be a struggle to stay inspired and you must stay focused to keep from being a home body and go to the rocking chair. Diligent exercise helps keep you out of the retirement mode. Plan trips and research places where you haven’t been or seen. I suppose I am inviting you to venture out of your comfort zones and live life to the fullest. By the way, I haven’t punched a tag on a Mississippi buck this year.
As I close this article out, JH is calling asking what time we’re going. My deadline is met, and I’m off to the woods. We’ll talk about other places to see in the future. Happy New Year! Until next time enjoy our woods and waters and remember, let’s leave it better than we found it.