I don’t know where I’m going with this. In a cold pre-dawn morning I need some kind of lift, a shot of warmth perhaps, another cup of coffee, another word to type on this computer. Do you ever feel that the world’s gone bat-shit crazy and is ready to suck you in if you don’t escape immediately? Yeah, me too. I could use some open water for a drifting line. I could use a dream that has some substance and reality.
I don’t know where I’m going, but I need an anchor of experience to hold me in my thoughts. Whereas I’ll always try to bring my best streamside ramblings to this blog, I need to burst out of this dark and slushy climate for a spell, but I want to break out carefully.
This is Rivertop Rambles post 500 (yes, there’s been a bundle of hefty photo-laced narratives for my six-plus years!) and I want it to reflect more than a lazy shuffle going sideways. I want to continue offering reflections of the outdoor world as noticed through the eyes of a pilgrim with a fly rod or a walking stick, and I hope to continue with fresh ideas and a minimum of repetition. I repeat myself (when under stress!)– I don’t know where I’m going here, but I want to move and not take myself too seriously. I want to arrive with a sense of having left myself behind.
A winter dream will help. Where will I go this year and what will I do? My book, Streamwalker’s Journey, is scheduled for release in March, and I’m excited by the prospect of doing some readings and book signings, and offering the book’s summation of experience from the best of RR to my readers.
My daughter is moving to Rhode Island and I’m sure that she’ll enjoy her work there in the aura of colonial history. I hope the little state has room enough for one more visitor (yours truly) who will also try to figure out the wonders of RI striper fishing with a fly.
If all goes well by summertime, I hope to camp out near the South Platte River in Colorado (a busy place but still a lovely stream) where family has moved to from New Mexico. I’ll hope to fish and hike along a group of Rocky Mountain rivers culminating in a “dream stream” that I have in mind, a beauty flowing through a corner of Wyoming but not included in a national park. Montana will beckon, but I have a new horizon that I’d like to poke around in while returning eastward to these rivertops…
I know it’s fashionable these days to speak of fly-fishing in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin and Minnesota, to cast in the limey currents of those trout streams where no glaciers ever left their mark. But I want to fish the likes of Timber Coulee because I had a chance to do so once, and never took it. I graduated from high school in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I hunted grouse and pheasants in the nearby Driftless hills but never fished for trout (I’m surprised that I remember those initial chapters of my errant ways!).
The stream of dreams flows onward through the icy boulders of the present time. I try to keep my balance here and there, and know that the stream has some depths that only time will unveil. But real or not, it’s a nice place to go fishing in. The winter and its “shack nasties” may contain me; my tackle closet can gather dust, but the stream gathers force and does its best to keep me from the rubber room.
[P.S. As photos indicate, I found my “anchor of experience” the weekend of 1/20 and 1/21. Caught several brookies at a PA mountain stream, then five large browns on the Allegheny River. All released, of course. A new season has begun.]