26 October, 2015

Gear Lust

Been having a bit of a run-in with gear lust just lately. You know the feeling, "Do I need a gravel bike with disc brakes? What about a skinnier ski for those hardpack situations when it hasn't snowed in 10 days and the temps have been in the single digits? Dang, having a second Muskie fly rod that I could put an intermediate line on would be cool. Maybe I need that cool new superlight road bike?" Damn near bought a Kona Jake the Snake 'cross bike on Saturday.

Then I went for a bike ride yesterday.

That simple act reminded me of why I love all this stuff so much. It's time spent outdoors. It's the sights, sounds, and smells. The feeling of the sun warming you on a cool Fall day. The strain of muscles that sit at a desk too much.

And its freedom. Freedom from the tedium of a job, a house, and a life. Where you can just escape for some pure "me time". Last Monday as part of a whirlwind trip that included Michigan's Upper Peninsula, I got to float the storied Big Two Hearted River. Yup, the one of Hemingway lore. I've waded it a couple of times, and even kayaked it years back. But seeing a river from a raft or a drift boat is just another experience. We didn't catch much - or even turn much - but it didn't matter. I got to spend a day with my Dad, and a good friend. On one of the most remote rivers in Michigan. In a place where cell phones don't work and GPS' can't be trusted. Truly off-the-grid.

This phase of gear lust will pass. And until it does, I need to remember - use the shit you already own. That will give you far more joy. When you wear it out; you can get something new!