|Don't need no huntin' buddy - got this here tripod on ebay!|
As I tried to make other outdoor plans (fishing, hiking, scouting, even target shooting), they got pushed aside by other realities of our trip, namely, family obligations and total disinterest from other folks with beaucoups free time. In fact, I literally spent more time discussing the merits and faults of the Bear Grylls line of knife products, while sitting on a couch in the air conditioning, than I did actually breathing air in the outdoors. One fishing opportunity ended with a failed bribe - my proposed fishing partner (a 33 year old man) demanded that I purchase his fishing license for him. No, I didn't buy it.
|Bro, do you think that Black Tip saw my sweet slash?!|
So, I recently came across a post at the Green Talk post, "Feeling Green and Lonely?" and after the Trip-O-Fail I described above, it is making me think a lot about what it means to be an outdoorsman. I am not an extreme outdoorsman by any measure - less than 50 rec outings (not even days) per year on the water or in the woods....maybe 120 if you count outdoors work days. I don't feel like that's really "a lot." So why am I made to feel like I am some kind of Rambo or Tarzan clone?
|The buddy system is for wusses, brah!|
And seriously, when I am with Hank at the playground, why do the other dads only talk about Wii and Michael Bay movies, and I'd rather talk about weather, boats, rivers, pollution lawsuits....and so on? Alternately, we could talk about triathlons (which I know nothing about), turfgrass management (which I care nothing about), or even skydiving (which I neither know or care anything about). Anything real and outdoors. Anything real and tangible, even an outdoor space surrounded by pavement. Your fundraising effort for a new city skatepark? Sure, I would actually take time off of work to go see the place. If the activity absolutely requires you to check the weather before you even choose your gear, then I'm game.
|I'd argue that this is outdoors...from www.snakeboarder.com|
The big question is why can't I seem to surround myself with men and women my age who love the outdoors? The two obvious reasons are Hank and my workload (which will become three different jobs in August). I have no idea what the solution to this problem is, but for now I have to theorize that patience and a good game plan will work.
13 jobs like the Jamaicans on In Living Color, I hope to get dialed back into the groups I used to hang with, like Ducks Unlimited. Sure, you don't want or need all of the local guys to be hunting partners, but it's nice to get together with people who you know have something important in common with you. Another group I look forward to seeing is the Annapolis Surf Club - a group I helped to form 10 years ago, and whom I stopped hanging out with after other members bailed on surf trips (the 3am variety) several times in a row, without calling ahead to let me know. Major bummer.
So what about any of you? Some of you, I know, are lucky to have fairly simple and daily lives afield with your family, or you have a small group of buddies who (for years) have joined you at a put-in point, boat ramp, or the same park or refuge to spend time outdoors. What's your advice for me and my special conundrum? Anyone else suffering from this affliction?