I’ve spent the better part of my 44 years wondering what was around the next bend, just past that rock, over the next ridge, or a little farther down the river. I’ve spent hours pouring over maps, driving back roads, and hiking many miles. Much of this I have journaled in pictures, sent images to friends, or tried to archive for the world via Twitter. But none of this really suffices.
I believe anyone who loses themselves in wild places is a writer at heart. To stand on top of the Big Horn Mountains and watch the sun set over the Rockies on the other side of the basin, to lay on a Mountain in New Mexico under a million stars and the Milky Way, to gaze upon a tiny mountain brook trout in your net – to savor these moments – to understand them fully – to love them deeply – you must have a writers heart, because there is a passion and a need inside to share the depths of these experiences with the world.
I decided that 2019 was going to be the year of the brook trout. This didn’t pan-out. Too many life distractions kept me from the streams. So as 2019 winds down, I find myself looking down the river and will once again try to devote the upcoming year to the pursuit of Brookies. I live in Elkins, WV – right in the heart of the Appalachians and surrounded by trout water. While it is not the trout water of the Northeast, nor of the West, or even of the Smokies – it is my trout water – and so it will be the base of most of my writing.
I have found there are many other people who share this same love – this same passion for all things wild, unspoiled, and quiet. I appreciate that they often have or do take the time to share their experiences in pictures and writings. I will try to return the favor here.