I suppose that a lot of town folks don’t venture far out of town because
they are afraid of what’s out there. I can’t even imagine living
like that. Most folks live out their lives in what I call a “quiet desperation”.
Every day is much the same as any other day. I believe that a “rut” is
a grave with both ends kicked out. Why some people choose to live a life of boredom,
is because they don’t know any better way to live. I have always felt that
when my life is coming to an end, I didn’t want to wish that I could
have done something differently.
I remember as a kid, I heard the old folks say that they wished that they could have done things differently, but now they were too old to do it. I made up my mind that I was going to get out there and “live” an adventure every day. I wasn’t going to get old and wish I had moved to Alaska and lived my dream. I wasn’t going to wait until I was too old to walk the mountains and follow my dreams up into the clouds. I have been lucky.
I have followed the dall rams into the clouds. I have hunted the grizzly with a bow and arrow. I have hung the big moose horns on my wall. I have built my dream log lodge overlooking the Kenai River. I was lucky and found a wife who shares these same dreams. I have found that a mountain kid can live in peace in this unsettled world. I have come to know that “happiness” is a result of pursuing your dreams.
It has been said that a person can live without much food or water. They can live without warm clothes or the basic comforts of a home, but they can’t live long without hope.
I look back on my life and see a little kid with a head full of dreams, and a heart full of hope. My dreams have been as big as I could imagine them, and the anticipation of adventures, have been beyond description. I have made mistakes as everyone has. I have struggled, and gone through lean times. I have battled long months with the pain of cancer and won, and I have suffered personal loss that cut my heart out.
I have seen the mountains beyond the mountains, and I know what’s there. I have the seen the wild creatures living in their pristine valleys. I have felt the warm rain drops on my face and had snow storms surround me with a soft, blanket of white. I have stood in the Alpenglow of an Arctic sunset, and I have bathed in the warm glow of the midnight sun.
I have seen the caribou herds that were scattered for miles across the arctic tundra, and watched a big bull moose through the fog, in an early morning lake. I have walked in the footsteps of the ancient Trappers and the Mountain Men, and I have hiked the unnamed trails of the Alaskan wilderness. I have reached up to touch the Northern Lights and in doing so, I touched the face of God.
Somehow, I managed to hang on to the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a kid. I have been lucky enough to live the adventure that most people can only dream about. The only thing I would have done differently is “bought a better pair of boots”.
I suppose that the average person would be satisfied sitting in their recliner and watching the outdoor channels on the television. They seem satisfied just looking out of the window at the rest of the world and wondering what is really going on out there. Then there are a few of us that would rather be “in” the adventure than just watching it go by. I like watching it snow, but I would much rather be out playing in it. I enjoy watching a good hunting movie, but I would much rather be out there doing it for myself. I never have been much of a “spectator”, when I could be in the game.
Just because I turned 61 this year, doesn’t mean that I have to slow down on my activities. I will slow down when they scatter my ashes in the Alaskan outback. Some of us will never be satisfied unless we are in the thick of it. I guess I’m a bit different than most folks. My priorities have been born in the mountains, my Soul belongs to my God, my Heart belongs to my Family, and my Spirit belongs to the Wind and the Wilderness.
George “Bubba” Hunt, walking the Wilderness Trail.