Wild Side: Anticipation is half the funIt seems we all look forward to something. For me, looking forward to outdoor experiences is both a joy and a motivation. Poring over maps, imagining what the lakes, rivers and terrain look like and what lives there offers plenty of winter enjoyment.
By: Dan Wilcox, columnist, River Falls Journal
It seems we all look forward to something. For me, looking forward to outdoor experiences is both a joy and a motivation. Poring over maps, imagining what the lakes, rivers and terrain look like and what lives there offers plenty of winter enjoyment.
Deciding on when and where to go for an outdoor experience leads to more considerations; who to go with, how to get there, what to bring, what to do, what the weather will be like — all fun to contemplate.
Anticipation of future activities motivates us to prepare. Cleaning out the tackle box, target shooting, charging up the camera battery, rigging the boat, training the dog, waterproofing boots are all done with days in the field, or on the water, in mind. Enjoyable preparation makes for good safe times outdoors with fewer mishaps and aggravation.
Some of us salivate like Pavlov’s dog in anticipation of a good meal as we watch the barbecue. I’m like Pavlov’s dog in anticipation of a trout or smallmouth bass biting a fly, often to the point that a missed strike isn’t a letdown.
My anticipation peaks when hunting as Badger’s tail wags in a circle as he zig-zags in on a pheasant. The flush, shot and retrieve are part of the hunt, but the anticipation may be the most satisfying. Great anticipation focuses our attention on the moment to the exclusion of other thought.
Some of our most enjoyable outdoor experiences involve exploring places that are new to us. Anticipating what’s around the bend on a river while canoeing keeps us keenly observant.
Anticipating the force and beauty of waterfalls is a favorite of mine. Even waterfalls that we have seen before always look different, depending on the season and river flow. I look forward to a long trip to visit Wisconsin waterfalls, combining hiking, photography, camping and fishing. Patrick Lisi’s book, “Wisconsin Waterfalls, a Touring Guide,” contains beautiful photographs and would be a fun book to follow on a waterfall trip.
Anticipation and preparation for good times outdoors keeps us active and healthy in many ways. I’m convinced that it’s better than living vicariously watching others on television.
Please send any comments and suggestions for this column to me at email@example.com.