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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Getting around and slowing down

You know as a society we are doing more and more to extend our lives and the quality of our lives, which leads me to consider the following. When we were young our bodies were flexible and strong and as you get older aches and pains just seem to stick around more. So we take an aspirin for the pain eat some fish oil tablets and keep on going. Then your knees or shoulders start to hurt so we go and get some surgery and keep on going all these things we do to just keep on going (and working) extend the natural life span of our bodies. Think about it if you lived a hundred years ago, a simple heel blister could kill you if it got infected as did one of Abe Lincolns sons.Two hundred years ago if you were a native American living by hunter /gathering and you lost your teeth from to much buffalo jerky you would check out and die. As hunters and fishermen I have meet guys who are still hitting it in their 80's slower of course but still wing shooting and deer hunting, then others who are slowing down (me). Our industry has introduced us to many things to keep us afield  with ATV's, Argos, any number of feeders to bring game to us, and gadgets to allow us to keep at it, but when do you call it quits and join the ranks of those who golf (with a cart of course). Personally for me I have had a knee fixed, both shoulders repaired, gout, and my feet ache, but I am a young 55 who still loves the smell of a damp woods in the morning and the quack of a fat duck, just getting to them is a little more effort than is wise. I am a walker and a hiker I love going to the Appalachian Trail and kicking around for a few days backpacking, or walking four or five miles with my rifle or shotgun on a frosty day, but I find it more and more difficult. My last trip to the C and D canal was not good, flat land walking I had to call for a dust off as my feet kicked my butt, not blisters but feet. I no longer look forward to the 100 yd drag of a deer from the forest preferring to shoot them in the lane so I can drive to em and pick em up. My kids are gone and my hunting partners have quite to play golf or something.Who knows but I still want to keep at it, maybe with my camera, but that makes really thin stew! I thought about some form of ATV, 4 wheelers don't do it for me can't really get them through the woods unless you cut a trail, then everyone and his brother hunts your spot cause it is easy to get to, and public lands are a no cut zone anyhow, Argos are nice and multipurpose I could hunt a lot of marsh with one, but not get in the woods. I was leaning toward a Polaris type of machine but the price tag is like buying a new car and they are big pieces of equipment.  A motorcycle is out of the question I have never owned one and they are real fast on the throttle a disaster if ever there was one, for me anyhow. I saw a tracked machine with a narrow profile and a short wheel base it looked strange like a short bobcat, but went everywhere, however when the operator came over a pile of logs it tipped them on their head, not for me.  I found a machine called a ROKON it is like a motorcycle except it has two wheel drive and a 31 inch wide footprint. It goes nowhere fast but everywhere slowly, it gets all of it's power from gearing. Cannot operate it on the road strictly off road and it comes it at about 210 lbs. Can float it across a river because it has tractor like tires that also double a fuel or water containers, and climbs a 60 degree grade, important here on the shore! Of course there are like 40 accessories you can get for it. A trailer, side car, generator and pump, saddle bags and a tool kit to carry with you. Super simple design and those made in the 70's are still in the field, heck one guy rode one from Alaska to the Amazon on rail right of ways and such. Special forces uses them, and Sheriffs dept's.  for search and rescue, hunters naturally. Of course once you buy something like that you quite walking, hunt deeper, and exercise less even if it takes longer you are still exercising, but not when you are riding. Who knows I might just keep on walking, less hassle all around, do a little more sitting and looking....or maybe I will quite and just paint!

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