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       Knowing when it is time to quit
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Date/Time: 12/15/2018 04:30AM
Knowing when it is time to quit

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Author Message Text
andym 06/21/2018 09:40PM
I had two colleagues (married to each other) who decided to retire early and start on their bucket list of mountains to climb and rivers to run in reverse order of difficulty, leaving the easiest for later when they would be slowing down.


Got to credit them for both finding us our first canoe (a $50 aluminum monster that had been wrapped around a rock in white water and then straightened out and welded) and introducing us to Zaveral paddles. When he retired, a Zaveral was our group present to him (based on his wife saying, "get him this."). When we started thinking about the BW, we ordered a couple for ourselves.
Pinetree 06/21/2018 07:06PM
yellowcanoe: "Well PT it was.
We're still doing a ten day canoe trip but two hours from home. In deference to age...
portageless.
Retirement gives you a lot of time but maybe not so much energy as you used to have.



I get a lot of pleasure from paddling some 0.3 miles from our dock to a creek to check on Mama Loon on her nest these days."



yellowcanoe your statement is right on "Retirement gives you a lot of time but maybe not so much energy as you used to have".


Too many people in life that by neccesity(sp) could retire but don't at a certain age. They wait to they get tired at work and already start slowing down. If you want to be very active retire when you still feel good and can still do everything you dreamed of.
yellowcanoe 06/21/2018 06:58PM
Well PT it was.
We're still doing a ten day canoe trip but two hours from home. In deference to age...
portageless.
Retirement gives you a lot of time but maybe not so much energy as you used to have.


I get a lot of pleasure from paddling some 0.3 miles from our dock to a creek to check on Mama Loon on her nest these days.
Pinetree 06/21/2018 06:23PM
yellowcanoe: "mooseplums: "I have thought of this a lot lately....for me it isn't a age or health thing, but a desire to experience other things."



I can understand this.. Everyone has a bucket. Everyone's buckets is full of different experience they want to enjoy.



At some point you realize that Someday is Now and you have to start emptying the bucket.



For us it was visiting Iceland for a month and foregoing a long canoe trip."
That should be fun.
yellowcanoe 06/21/2018 05:47PM
mooseplums: "I have thought of this a lot lately....for me it isn't a age or health thing, but a desire to experience other things."


I can understand this.. Everyone has a bucket. Everyone's buckets is full of different experience they want to enjoy.


At some point you realize that Someday is Now and you have to start emptying the bucket.


For us it was visiting Iceland for a month and foregoing a long canoe trip.
nctry 06/21/2018 03:00PM
mooseplums: "I have thought of this a lot lately....for me it isn't a age or health thing, but a desire to experience other things."




There are other things? Haha. I've made feeble attempts at paddling and it ain't working out to good. Might have to try some of these other things....
Thwarted 06/21/2018 01:53PM
Very nice article to honor a friend. My buddy and I have only made six or seven trips but we now have that kind of bond wild experiences create. As we get older the intrinsic delights of canoe country transcend the desire for solitude or great fishing. A beautiful view in the shade and quiet conversation are enough. Even when that view includes another canoe or two. Less can be more.
mooseplums 06/21/2018 12:20PM
I have thought of this a lot lately....for me it isn't a age or health thing, but a desire to experience other things.
GraniteCliffs 06/21/2018 11:23AM
Yep, it will end someday as I posted just above.
BUT, in the meantime, I started a little pre-packing for my next trip up in two weeks. What do you know? No worries about when it will end but rather pure excitement once again! At 67 I am still like a little kid.
missmolly 06/20/2018 05:49AM
sunnybear09: "Dirty Harry said, " a man's gotta know his limitations".
Dylan Thomas wrote, "do not go gentle into that good night".



They were both right--but the balance, oh the balance!"



Yes!
GraniteCliffs 06/19/2018 11:29PM
It will end someday.
The thousands of miles of shoreline. The hundreds of miles of portages. The campsites shared with family you love and friends you love. Those talks sitting by the lake at night. Hundreds of campsites shared so many years. So many nights staring into a campfire. Hundreds of trips into the places I love the most.
Yes, It will end someday and I will miss it terribly.
But my life has been blessed with the opportunity to paddle and portage the border waters and woods all these years. When I do have to let it slip away I will let it go but will forever be grateful to have had such a passion in my life.
andym 06/19/2018 07:59PM
Thank you for sharing that article. While few people face the question of when they can run rapids in an open canoe, many face similar questions in their daily lives such as giving up driving or living independently. Sometimes we need to focus on living well inside of our current capabilities and can find ways to do that. Sometimes its just hard but I've also seen it done brilliantly.
schweady 06/19/2018 06:50PM
"... lucky is the paddler who makes his last trip with friends..." --- Cliff Jacobson

Amen.
sunnybear09 06/19/2018 05:50PM
Dirty Harry said, " a man's gotta know his limitations".
Dylan Thomas wrote, "do not go gentle into that good night".


They were both right--but the balance, oh the balance!
missmolly 06/19/2018 03:33PM
Thank you, Mr. Tree, for the link. A poignant, emotive essay. I like how they camped in the canyon and then all went home together.
MikeinMpls 06/19/2018 03:02PM
I think of this often. I did a solo 10 days ago, and contemplated this issue at sundown. I thought to myself that this sunset could be the last... probably not, but possible. Things in life can end so abruptly and every day could be our last. I know that sounds cliché, but we all know this. For that reason, I just enjoyed the sunset and bathed in the appreciation that I was offered such a lovely way in which to spend the evening.


I've decided that I will remain as close to the BWCA as my body will allow. I don't mean geographically "close." What I mean is that If I can't portage, I'll base camp. If I can't paddle, I'll camp in a rustic campground close to the BWCA, like Baker or Kawishiwi Lake. I'll carve out what I can the best way I can and do my best relative to any physical or mental limitations I may have.


Mike
DrBobDg 06/19/2018 12:59PM
Hey... thanks so much for sharing cliff's story. Cliff had a heart attack a couple years back as well...but he is still "Cliff"
He was a speaker again at 'copia last march... tough guy. A few years ago he was at copia talking about a death march somewhere in Europe dragging those canoes across rocks for miles trying to find water.. That would have killed me off.
I never thought it would happen but a year ago last spring I bought a 1990 24' RV to take my wife and me to Alaska via Idaho.....a promise I had made 5 years earlier... 9400 miles but it made it....just.
Anyway I was able to rig a system on the roof for the SR canoe so we could take it along as well... some awesome spots to paddle along the way..
The nice thing is it just takes a few minutes to set up at a NF campground etc compared to setting up tent, screen house etc... and then shoehorning it all in the car the next morning..sometimes in the rain....
It has already been on two trip this year...
another option to keep going....
I paid around 6K for it and put about 3K in getting it roadworthy... A camera mounted on the back to see who or what is behind you really helps if you have never driven a box this big.
we are both 68 this year and don't have anything to prove anymore


dr bob
Twins87 06/19/2018 11:11AM
Spartan2: "Hawbakers: "Spartan2:
We decided to hang it up in 2014, at the age of 69. But we didn't quit going to the canoe country. We still make an annual trek from Michigan, we stay in a cabin on the edge of the BWCA, and we do get our canoe out in the water. Fortunately we are blessed with a teenage granddaughter who loves to go along with us, and has been doing it since she was four years old. And somehow, I suspect that even if Anna loses interest in these yearly trips, we will still try to keep going up there for a few more years yet. It does get in your blood, doesn't it?





But knowing when it is time to quit. . .that is just a part of life. And it hurts."





Are you still planning a vacation in Minnesota this summer, Linda? "




Yes, we will be at Clearwater Lodge at a cabin in mid-August. We are looking forward to it."



Let us know if you're swinging through the Twin Cities on the way ... it would be fun to have coffee or breakfast or lunch again if it works out.
Spartan2 06/19/2018 10:17AM
Hawbakers: "Spartan2:
We decided to hang it up in 2014, at the age of 69. But we didn't quit going to the canoe country. We still make an annual trek from Michigan, we stay in a cabin on the edge of the BWCA, and we do get our canoe out in the water. Fortunately we are blessed with a teenage granddaughter who loves to go along with us, and has been doing it since she was four years old. And somehow, I suspect that even if Anna loses interest in these yearly trips, we will still try to keep going up there for a few more years yet. It does get in your blood, doesn't it?




But knowing when it is time to quit. . .that is just a part of life. And it hurts."




Are you still planning a vacation in Minnesota this summer, Linda? "



Yes, we will be at Clearwater Lodge at a cabin in mid-August. We are looking forward to it.
yellowcanoe 06/19/2018 08:23AM
The change may happen so gradually you don't notice. It may not be a traumatic event
I went paddling , however , with a friend about two months ago. No deficits, she pounded out the miles. Shortly after that she became unwell. She died yesterday of a brain stem hemorrhage. So that was a different and abrupt journey for her ( She had been paralyzed and mute for a week but awake..what a horror that must be)


But for us its been a shift in venue. While we used to love portaging we don't any more. We are returning to some rivers and big lakes we love that do not require portaging. Lake Superior, the Allagash and Penobscot Rivers in Maine, The Maine Island Trail, and the Yukon and Green Rivers all require more checking out ( though they have been checked more than once already!)


I don't see the need to give up canoe tripping.. We are in our mid seventies. Last year we did the Bowron Lakes Circuit in British Columbia. We did it in short order even with ten portages three of which were lengthy. Hint: canoe cartable.


This year we will do day trips on Moosehead Lake in Maine which we have NOT explored yet we have lived here in Maine for 20 years. And then off to float the West Branch of the Penobscot and Chesuncook Lake. That is about fifty miles but no ports. Wonderful moose country. I think the flowers and the animals attract us more now than pounding out the miles.
Hawbakers 06/19/2018 08:03AM
Spartan2:
We decided to hang it up in 2014, at the age of 69. But we didn't quit going to the canoe country. We still make an annual trek from Michigan, we stay in a cabin on the edge of the BWCA, and we do get our canoe out in the water. Fortunately we are blessed with a teenage granddaughter who loves to go along with us, and has been doing it since she was four years old. And somehow, I suspect that even if Anna loses interest in these yearly trips, we will still try to keep going up there for a few more years yet. It does get in your blood, doesn't it?



But knowing when it is time to quit. . .that is just a part of life. And it hurts."



Are you still planning a vacation in Minnesota this summer, Linda?
Hawbakers 06/19/2018 07:42AM
This very subject has been on my mind as well. Both husband and I turned 60 recently and on our two week trip this May we both felt wiped out just portaging from Seagull to Ogishkemuncie. I've been diagnosed with osteoarthritis so it's getting harder on the knees and hips.
We've already discussed just going out on Seagull Lake or Saganaga where we could just stay for a long weekend. Bring the chairs and cooler! Eat steaks and drink beers! Like others have said, I'm not going down without a fight!


In 1984 we left on a trip from Fall Lake. There was an old man named, "Checkers" hanging out at the landing talking to the young people who were heading out. We enjoyed his stories and have always remembered him. He is long gone now, of course but perhaps it will be one of us one day, hanging out at the EP, telling our stories of trips gone by all the while wishing we could hop in that canoe and go with them on the journey!
mastertangler 06/19/2018 07:17AM
Age and mortality are foreign concepts to most of us. Maybe a few more aches and pains but we think we can do what we have always done. And that's fine, I have no plans to go gently into that dark night.
scat 06/19/2018 01:36AM
Damn - that is heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. Good writing. Good story. Bittersweet? Kinda scary too.
carmike 06/19/2018 12:05AM
Thank you for sharing. Much to contemplate.
boonie 06/18/2018 09:50PM
Thanks, Pinetree - lots to think about. I think about this more and more as I age and the time gets closer and closer. I know it's coming, but I don't know when. It seems to be coming faster and faster - faster than expected. It could be tomorrow.
Spartan2 06/18/2018 09:04PM
Having already made this decision (and no, it is not easy, and hearing so many of you say how if a person just keeps a positive attitude anything can be accomplished really doesn't make it easier either), I can totally understand this article. For us, it isn't Alzheimer's, thank God. But other issues, things of a physical nature that can't be changed, can make canoe-tripping too uncomfortable or too challenging to be possible anymore. Like most of you, we hoped to be going out on our wilderness trips well into our late 70's or early 80's. It didn't happen that way.


We decided to hang it up in 2014, at the age of 69. But we didn't quit going to the canoe country. We still make an annual trek from Michigan, we stay in a cabin on the edge of the BWCA, and we do get our canoe out in the water. Fortunately we are blessed with a teenage granddaughter who loves to go along with us, and has been doing it since she was four years old. And somehow, I suspect that even if Anna loses interest in these yearly trips, we will still try to keep going up there for a few more years yet. It does get in your blood, doesn't it?


But knowing when it is time to quit. . .that is just a part of life. And it hurts.
thlipsis29 06/18/2018 08:55PM
Hopefully this decision is still at least two decades away for me, but I have every reason to believe it will NOT be an easy one to make when that time comes. Thanks for posting the article Pinetree. Most definitely worth the read.
Pinetree 06/18/2018 08:28PM
For your info:
I thought this article from Cliff whom many of us know is pertaining to many of us including me. There is a lot of soul searching and thought here. I thought a few of you might like reading this.

Soul searching


I do hope when my time comes I still am able just to adjust and still go in maybe a trip just inside the BWCA where I can reflect and enjoy the silence,scenery and companionship of fellow paddlers.