I should be trying to get some sleep. In a couple days I am going to pay for staying up. This weekend I have been trying to enjoy every minute I can with my family and friends before I head out on another adventure…
I don’t want to leave my family. I don’t want to put myself at risk. I have to. Gravitational pull is something we all experience. Leaving my wife and kids to go tromp around in wild places is not something that everyone needs to do, but I do. The need has a pull on me like heroin on a junkie. I dream of days in the backcountry and wild encounters with the critters that inhabit it.
Like a junkie, I feel extreme guilt when going to do these adventures. This post is not one I planned. This weekend we spent a night in a hotel, took the kids swimming and went to an anniversary party. We had an amazing time. All I could think about was that I was leaving in a few days. Guilt. I felt terrible every time I thought about it.
The trip I am going on this week is especially dangerous compared to my standard elk hunt or deer hunts. A friend and I are backpacking into National Forest and Wilderness Areas in Montana for 4 days trying to fill a couple black bear tags. It really could be a relaxing trip except we are also hunting in one of the highest concentrated areas for grizzly bears. This is something that is new for both of us. I have some backpacking experience but I still am learning as I go.
The thought of something going wrong is eating away at me. I know we are taking every precaution, but it’s a wild place with wild animals. I’ve learned from other backpacking trips that the fun can change in a heartbeat. I am nervous but excited. Part of the reason I want to do this trip is so I can get over my fear of grizzlies (by that I mean, I will feel more comfortable hiking in areas they inhabit).
My family has a greater pull on me than my need for adventure. I know when I get a few hours into the drive I will be thinking about them. At 6am, when I will be about half way to the trailhead, I know I will be wondering if the boys are up yet and what they are doing. Every night around 6pm I will be thinking, “What book are they reading tonight?” I am going to miss them.
These trips seem to recharge me, I come back with a better attitude. Plain and simple, I am better because of these trips. I think Amy understands that. The kids don’t yet but they will when they get older.
This was kind of a short rant but I needed to share it. I will be sure to get couple posts up when I get back in town.