Solitude – Per Merriam-Webster

  • “1 : the quality or state of being alone or remote from society “
  • “2 : a lonely place (such as a desert)”

So as I’ve been preparing for next weeks departure I’ve been thinking this whole time I would at least have one person joining me on this adventure. Checking in last night with my friend I came to find out he has a wedding to attend and therefore won’t be able to join. This has provided me with conflicting feelings.

First and foremost, a feeling of relief.

  • Relief from the fact that I won’t feel pressured to have the best performing dog (Hint: I won’t she’s average at best and this trip will be used to help her progress).
  • Relief from having to had put in all the time and preparation into having the best spots (Hint: I won’t as it’s my first time doing this).
  • Relief from making sure I have enough gear for all of us.
  • Relief from feeling the need to entertain and ensure someone else is comfortable and not frustrated with how things are going.

These are unfounded fears I get, I don’t like entertaining or hosting, and it puts me into a very uncomfortable feeling of anxiety. Mind you, this is my best friend I’m afraid of all this with. The least intimidating person in my life outside my wife.

A feeling of freedom

I will feel less hindered by trying to entertain/perform whilst going it alone on this trip. Me and my big girl Lainey. I’ll be able to go it at my pace, or hers, whomever needs the most time to stay cool and perform. I’ll feel free to explore more places (I’ve already decided I’m going to go 2 days in Montana as well to try and bag/experience sage grouse country).

  • Side note – Eastern Montana’s hotel choices (slim pickins at this point)

I’ll feel free to take a day to visit/explore Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Knocking another one off the list. Probably during a day I got to hunt just miles from it as well.

A feeling of Solitude

Experiencing all these new places, environments, sites, smells, and sounds by myself with my dog. Yes I have company. Yes I’ll share the memories with my bird dog @LaineyTheLargeMunsterlander. But as we all know, those memories are often sweetened by the company of a good friend, partner, or companion. Despite all the good things that will come of this trip, the relief of pressure, and the freedom I can confidently say I wish I was going to be doing it with someone else. Have someone else to decide where we go the next day, what we will be eating, when to turn back and try a new place. Someone else to be able to take a photograph of, to talk to, share the experience with.

It will be bittersweet in many ways I’m sure, and I won’t trade the experience for anything. My wife thinks I am crazy for going alone.

  • “Wait he can’t go?”
    • “No, not for September, maybe October, but that hasn’t been confirmed”
  • “Well invite your dad”
    • ” I did”
  • “He can’t go either”
    • “No, he’s busy with work, needed more heads up”
  • “So you’re going alone?”
    • “Yeah”
  • “Wait, you’re gone for how long?”
    • “Little over a week”
  • “I thought it was a long weekend”
    • “Nope”
  • “Oh, I’m going to miss Lainey… and you”

So here I am, preparing for an exciting time in my life. I can barely wait. It consumes most my thoughts throughout the day. I have most of what I need ready to roll.

My Vet was telling me I should get the snakebite vaccine – but sources out West (@birddogdoc) have stated that it’s a good idea theoretically, however efficacy is not there. So I called and let them know we would not be going forward with that one (pretty sure it’s expensive as well).

The last thing I’d like to get is a zoom lens for my camera (Fuji XT3). I doubt this will happen beforehand, but it sure would be nice as we sold our 90mm lens and the 35mm won’t always be great for trying to catch action shots that might be further away.

Always something….

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