The View From 50

We just wrapped up the fall, 2020 Wilderness Bushcraft Semester. 50 is the number of the day, as it was our 50th long-term program, and this week I celebrated my 50th birthday.

I always get nostalgic at the end of fall semesters. As I was walking through the woods from Moose Vegas to the Guide Shack today, I thought about all the characters who have come to call these woods home for a few months at a spell. I could see them in my mind’s eye as I passed where their camps had once been. So many good friends, so many laughs, so many memories. I think back to our very first semester program and it doesn’t seem that long ago. But now we’re getting course participants who weren’t born yet when we ran that first course.

This afternoon the field school is quiet and I have the luxury of not planning for tomorrow or next week, not monitoring water levels, not watching the weather, not thinking about how to keep people motivated, not thinking about much at all.

It takes a few days to decompress at the end of a semester, to let the stress work its way out and breathe deeply and let all those things that have been put on the back burner until the end of the course slowly creep back into your mind. Soon it will be time to get caught up with everything I’ve put off. But not quite yet. Not today. Maybe tomorrow.

We’ve got one more program, a week long Autumn Woodsman course, starting in a week to finish our 2020 season. Tonight, rest. Tomorrow, studying for an upcoming test for a tidewater fishing guide license. Maybe planning for an upcoming paddling trip on the southern border. Maybe a self-indulgent hike along the river to look for grouse. Maybe something altogether different.

Thanks for reading.


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