Friends like that take pictures of your “big moment.” They don’t compete with you. When you’re doing something you learned from one of them, their voices are plain as day, even after they’re gone. You can trust one of your outdoor friends with the spare keys to your truck, the combination to your safe and the formula for the secret rocket fuel.
Whether it’s sitting on a hillside watching the sun come up or fiddling with equipment or the building of anticipation that goes with planning a trip –– all of us can name things we like best about the time we spend where the street lights don’t shine.
A recent issue of Outdoor Life magazine includes a list of the things we love about the outdoors. Some of them, such as fly fishing for carp or African safaris, are a little out of my range or interest, but they still made for interesting reading. And it started me thinking about my list.
I have a favorite shotgun, fishing pole, bike path, pair of boots, ragged old coveralls, knife, deer trail and my favorite place to watch the sun go down. Still, all of my favorites circle back to one thing: people.
The friends and acquaintances, living and dead, who were there with me have made the greatest impact on my outdoor experiences and adventures. Without some of them, I might never have made the outdoor connection at all.
Hunting, fishing, hiking and shooting with partners make the adventure worthwhile. If that weren’t the case, there would be no need for deer cabins, fishing camps or spinning yarns around the campfire.
Those people are a special breed of friend. They don’t emote or ooze drama. They don’t send smiley-face text messages or funny cards. They pay their share of the expenses and do their share of the chores. When they ask how you’re doing, they wait for the answer. Chances are they can’t quote Dr. Phil. Dear Abby isn’t high on their reading list. They share their bag of trail mix and put something extra in the cooler for you.
You can pass from one hunting season to the next without seeing one of them, but that same person will be there when you need help, and you’ll be there for him.
Those people will listen to the 100th rendition a story, without reminding you that the telling has outgrown the facts.
They will have a sharp pocketknife and a flashlight that works. You can depend on them to feed your dog when you’re not home, and they stick around to help you put stuff away at the end of the day.
Friends like that take pictures of your “big moment.” They don’t compete with you. When you’re doing something you learned from one of them, their voices are plain as day, even after they’re gone.
You can trust one of your outdoor friends with the spare keys to your truck, the combination to your safe and the formula for the secret rocket fuel.
Making up my list drove home something I already knew: I can get more equipment and hunt and fish new places, but friends as good as the ones that I have are hard to come by.
Those people are what I like best about the outdoors.
Contact George Little at CCMGlobal@aol.com.