The point of being out
By JEFF LUND
October 23, 2016
(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - For some reason, I get in a hurry.
In a hurry to get to the river to fish. In a hurry to get back from fishing.
In a hurry to get up the mountain. In a hurry to get off the mountain.
It’s not that I want the experience to end, but sometimes I don’t drag my feet like I should. It’s like once the goal becomes going home, I try to do so efficiently. Maybe it’s the need to be prepared for some disaster on the way home.
I remember a trapping expedition a few years into my family’s Alaskan adventure that turned into an unnecessary adventure and we ended up trekking through the snowy woods in the dark to find our rig. Then there was the time the keys were left inside and a window had to be broken.
There was the time, after college, a buddy and I had to follow a creek to a river that intersected with the highway at which point we were able to hike back in on the logging road to my truck. Added four hours to the hike.
So if it’s Sunday, and I wake up on a mountain and don’t have a deer to pack, I like to be back by mid afternoon at the least to account for any ridiculousness that I might encounter en route.
Sounds smart, right?
But there is something to be said for inefficiency. You know, sucking everything from the experience. Taking the time to sit down and relax just as your pack gets heavy and you bead with sweat. If the main goal was to get a deer, but I didn’t, I still got out. That’s not exactly failing.
My buddy Jesse and I complain that sometimes we get so caught up in fishing that we don’t take the time to get out the camera and take photos or video. Seems ridiculous to buy an expensive camera and either not bring it, or leave it in the bag, right?
Because let’s face it, social media exists as an online archive. It’s the modern version of showing friends pictures. Sure it enables us to have a more egotistical, materialistic existence, and to foolishly equate self-worth to the number of likes our most recent post gets, but it doesn’t have to.
Pictures are pictures. They are a more accurate representation of what happened. They encourage a move detailed memory of a life spent afield. Weather, work or whatever gets in the way. Sometimes scrolling back through good photos is enough to take the edge off.
It doesn’t just have to be those beautiful warm summer days. Even though alder leaves don’t die with any semblance or brilliance or beauty, there are still colors, and you’re still outside.
I’m getting better at appreciating the sound of rain on Gore-Tex because the point of being out is being out – not rushing back.
Jeff Lund is a Teacher, Freelance Writer, living in Ketchikan, Alaska
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