Moments stuck to that feel good part of my brain. Imprinted by nature. Energized by the experience. Visions that reappear and make my spine tingle while I stood at the dock to launch the boat for the first bass fishing trips of the season. It’s months later and I still can’t help but smile.
The half-moon hung in the clouds like a photographer’s frame. A soft glow. Enough to see the truck on-shore. The small snowy footprints belong to my beautiful fishing partner. My wife with a sled filled with panfish.
A spontaneous trip. To a lake I’ve known my entire life but only fished a few times. We chased flags and piled up sunfish and crappie as the sun set. That walk back to the truck etched in my brain.
Weeks later I was staring at the innocent Canadian sky. Stars so close I could grab one. Not that I would have been able to feel it. My hands were numb. One quad died over an hour ago on the 5-mile trip to shore. B’s quad hauled it back but overheated every half a mile. These 20 minute “engine cooling” breaks let us marinate in the moment. Wind whipped my face. My teeth cold to the back of my lips. A warm house. A glass of bourbon. These amenities still miles away. Yet, I was happy.
I waited to stand on Lake Simcoe for years. Huge perch in huge numbers haunted my mind. Day one was tough. We splashed one quad through the pressure cracks. Then got it back. Caught some keepers. Then killed the other quad in the darkness. It took hours to get home with that starry sky burned in my memory.
Memories like these take me back. Despite the June sun on my shoulders, I can still feel that cold wind on the lake. Floating by the beach in the boat and it seems like hours ago that Erika was hauling that pike through the ice. These thoughts will wash over my consciousness for years. Along with new moments stuck to the feel good part of my brain that only happens in the outdoors.