Friday, June 5, 2015

Say "sure"

Our friend, James, posted a photo of himself on Instagram this week sailing high above a deep blue ocean on an ever expanding and almost equally deep blue sky. His caption was:

Bucket List: Parasailing ✔️

It got me to thinking about bucket lists. I don't recall hearing that term before watching the 2007 movie by the same name, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. But since then, I hear it a lot. People talking about what they want to do before they die. I don't have an actual bucket list, and to my knowledge, Ed doesn't either. Hmmm...maybe I should ask him....

But when it comes to travel, we seem to have an understanding that we go along with whatever the other one of us suggests. And, so far, it has worked out remarkably well.

Take this last adventure of ours. As we were driving home from our 2012 trip out to Glacier National Park, we made our way through Montana's Big Hole Country. This part of the world – basically in the middle of nowhere – is known for its spectacular fly fishing and right then and there, Ed decided that he wanted us to return someday and fish the waters of the Beaverhead and Big Hole rivers.

That was the impetus for our trip. Ed found us a rental cabin along the Big Hole River and engaged a guide to get us started with our fly fishing efforts. We built the rest of the itinerary around getting to and from Dillion, Montana.

This undoubtedly wasn't the first place on my non-existent Bucket List, but can you tell by this photo that I was having a big time?

The day we fished the Beaverhead River, we had great success and great fun catching (and then releasing) brown and rainbow trout. I've gone fly fishing maybe a dozen times in the past and never had much luck. But this was relatively easy:  roll cast from the drifting boat, mend the line, watch the indicator bobber, set the hook and strip the line back in, keeping tension on the line so the fish didn't get away. It helped that we had Dan, our guide, to row the boat, figure out which flies to use, tie them on for us, and hold the net while we worked our fish toward the boat. Our end-of-the-day count was upward toward 30 good size fish. Not bad!

On our second day there, we fished the Big Hole River, just outside our cabin's front door. It was much more challenging with faster running water and no guide to guide us. Nevertheless, Ed successfully caught us our lunch. Doesn't get any fresher than 10 minutes from river to oven.

Next time someone suggests that you go somewhere that is not on your bucket list, don't say "no"; say "sure." It may turn out to be one of the best times ever. Trust me on this.

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