Have you ever wanted to be one to complete a certain series of goals that make up one total achievement? You know, like the greatest mountain climbers all want to tackle all mountains over 10,000 feet, or be one to trek along each segment of the Appalachian Trail?
I have my own personal goals, such as paddling each of North Carolina’s river systems and exploring each national park.
Yes, they are lofty goals. But, they make for great bucket list items. Some friends of the family just set out to what they are touting as an annual chance to explore the country. Last year, they visited Washington state. This year, they just left for the other corner of the country, visiting Maine and Acadia National Park.
These are life-changing moments. Yes, most will think of how awesome of an experience something like that would be, but they quickly write it off as too far, too expensive, too time consuming, too anything but not too important enough to actually do.
Another that I know — he goes by the name Kayak Kevin — is on his own adventure as well. He has been known to basically live off his kayak, fishing for food and camping anywhere there is a clean shoreline. This year, a little over a month ago, he set out on a different journey though. He started out at the bottom of the country. His launch point was somewhere on one of those most far reaching islands called ‘keys’, and he plotted a course along them up to the Florida mainland.
Each day that he has some sort of cell phone signal, he posts where he is located and an update on how the trip is going. He has struggled with bad weather, such as rain and gales. He has struggled with the cold, believe it or not, as he was caught in one storm that mixed with the high tide pushing the ocean waters over the small island he was calling home that night. His tent was flooded, his kayak nearly washed away, and he was left miserable in the lower 60s, wet, and getting blown by the fierce winds. His latest update has him enjoying life in the Everglades. He continues to paddle through the mangroves, fighting the bugs and catching food when needed. Anyone with some sort of adventurous spirit has longed to do things such as this. What does it take to finally go through with it though? Just enough willpower to realize your dreams are more important than your excuses.
Bill Howard is an avid bowhunter and outdoorsman. He teaches hunter education (IHEA) and bowhunter education (IBEP) in North Carolina. He is a member of North Carolina Bowhunters Association and Pope & Young, and is an official measurer for both.