Last weekend I was at a trade show sitting in Trailhead Supply’s booth. Between waves of visitors I was trying to finish a cup of coffee while it was still warm. I looked up and standing there was Smoke Elser. He was looking at all our tack being displayed for sale. We chatted for a while and then Smoke said you really do have some great tack. He looked at me and said you know you have come a long, long way from your first trade show I saw you at. You could hardly fill a 6 foot folding table. We laughed and I said I wished you could have been here a little earlier and got to see our new decker pack saddle we are building, but just sold the last one we brought with us. As Smoke felt the leather and stared at the wall tent you could tell he wasn’t thinking about the quality of the products, he was thinking about all his trips in and out of the Danaher deep in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. All the nights he slept on the ground, all the stories he told around the campfire, and all the cups of coffee he drank on cold snowy mornings. As Smoke made his way to the door he said I really don’t need any more pack gear…but what I do need is 20 more years….I’d happily buy 20 more years, if you could get me that. I said your almost bionic; you have 2 new knees. He grinned and said yes, I do, but I still need 20 more years to use them…work on that for me. I said I would.
I often write just get out and do it, go climb that mountain take that trip, buy that mule…. Here is a man that has done it all and he still wants 20 more years to do it all again. He was an example when I met him 20 years ago, and he is still an example now. So get out there and make the most of it!!
Life is short…See you on the trail.