Frozen Wilderness Therapy
It was a pleasant change from the news of the failing economy and stories of corrupt politicians.The Alaskan wilderness is my therapy. It gives me a break from all of the bad news that the Media shoves in our faces every minute of every day. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't get away from it all.
Bad news, struggling to keep your head above water, and stress, are the silent killers.
It's the kind of a thing that builds up inside and torments everyone of us.
It's the kind of a thing that causes normal folks to die long before their time.
It's the kind of thing that caused a man in L.A. to destroy his family and himself.
We have lived in a different kind of world since 911.
Lin and I were in the Caribou Hills in moose camp when the jets hit the Fair Trades Buildings.I watched the end of the American way of life.I told Lin that nothing would ever be the same in our Country again.
The life we lead of the "old America", was changed forever.I knew that the easy way of life was over. I can't explain the feeling of horror of that day, but I knew it was changed forever. I knew I was never going to go to sleep at night knowing all was well.
For me it would be a life without much peace and not a lot of hope for the old days.
I grew up in the mountains. We were insulated from a lot of the hassles that most folks had to live with.My life had always been very slow paced and kicked back. I was never in much of a hurry to go anywhere or keep any kind of a schedule. Life was simple.I guess I was lucky. I was able to live the back-country life style.
The only problem with that is I still can remember what it was like to live that way. Maybe that's the reason it hurts to miss something like that more than someone who never experienced it.
Today my old fishing partner, Sid, and I drove his Argo track rig several miles back into the bush to a frozen lake to do some serious ice fishing.Both of us couldn't wait to get out there. I guess we are like a couple of kids going to the Saturday Movies.
Both of us are over the 65 year mark but you probably wouldn't know it by being around us.We get around like a couple of 20 year olds. Not much slows us down.
As for all of the 30 year old couch potatoes sitting around on their over-stuffed butts eating corn chips, drinking soda pop and watching the tube...you are already dead..you just haven't fallen over yet!
No, we haven't lived without some defects. Sid had a cancerous kidney removed last year and a knee replaced.A few weeks later we were pulling salmon nets at fish camp on the Cook Inlet.I killed the biggest moose of my life 3 weeks after cancer surgery, with 39 staples in my guts.I also have three nice stents in my old ticker. Has it stopped me from enjoying the outdoors?I don't think so!
My little wife is recovering from 4 more fused vertebra's in her back. For a total of 7 fused. Will it stop her from shooting her moose this fall?I very much doubt it.
I often hammer on the younger generation in hopes they will get out there and live a life of adventure, instead of wasting their young years doing nothing. Too soon we get old and these old bodies began to fail. Then we can do nothing.
Today, however, it was about drilling the holes in the ice with my power auger. The ice was 30 inches thick. I don't drill those holes by hand anymore.
We had our propane heater set up in front of us, so getting cold wasn't much of a problem. Fishing this time of the year is slow because the fish are not active in the winter.
It wasn't for the fish that we came, it was just a bonus, or rather a good excuse for being out there.
I only wanted one big silver salmon. Sid wanted two, and the rest would be released.We only take enough for one meal. It gives us an excuse to come back and we don't really like to eat fish that has been frozen in the freezer. Why eat frozen fish when you can eat fresh fish. Good idea, isn't it!
The only thing out there was an eagle, who steals one of our fish if we leave it on the ice.
There were moose, wolf and rabbit tracks everywhere. Other than that, there was no sound except for the wind blowing the snow crystals across the frozen lake.
Neither of us talk much when we are out there. I guess we both are caught up in the solitude of the wilderness, and words seem out of place.
I'll be going out there again in a couple of days. My Grand Nephew, Tyler, and his little son,Bradley, will be going with me.
It will be Bradley's first fishing trip with me in the back woods. It is time for him to experience the solitude of the frozen wilderness.
Until then I'll keep the fire burning in the fireplace, and watch the snow falling down around my mountain.
George"Bubba"Hunt walking "The Wilderness Trail".