Old outdoor writers still realize dreams

Every trip outside is an adventure. I was firmly reminded of the truth of that statement on New Year’s Eve.

My 5-year-old grandson, Ronnie, and I spent several hours together running a few errands and tossing a little adventure of our own into the mix.

Bill Cooper has been writing bout his outdoor adventures for almost five decades, but realized a childhood dream recently when he was invited to pen articles for Outdoor Life magazine.

Getting haircuts and grocery shopping together proved a little taxing for a 5-year-old. To balance the grid a bit, we ventured to the Meramec River to skip a few rocks.

We gasped in unison as a Bald Eagle lifted from the far shore with heavy wingbeats just as we stepped out onto the gravel bar.

“Look pawpaw,” an eager Ronnie said, with obvious wonder in his voice. Our adventure had begun perfectly.

Ronnie had hoped that there would be ice on the edge of the river. Breaking ice with rocks would have been a first for him. However, temperatures held a little above freezing and we had to settle for skipping rocks the usual, but still fun way.

The arrival of New Year’s causes most of us to stop and reflect on the past and more importantly on the future. Ronnie’s spark for adventure had spurred me to do just that. I reminisced about the past year’s outdoor adventures I experienced and imagined what might transpire in the new year, 2017.

Recording my adventures in both print and video consumes much of my time and has for decades. It is hard to believe that the time has passed so quickly, but is is true that time flies when you are having fun. I’ve been able to pursue my passion my entire life.

Spurred by the adventures of writers of old such as Teddy Roosevelt, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway and Jack O’Connor, my interest in writing flamed early in my life. I read relentlessly and picked up on the passion of these great men, which inspired me more so than the adventures about which they wrote.

Fortunately, I grew up in a rural environment and could walk out the back door of the farmhouse to fish the bayou, which ran out of the Mississippi River, and hunt rabbits, squirrels and raccoons.

I loved every adventure, but steadily wondered what it would be like to be a soldier of fortune like Hemingway, or to hunt Bighorn sheep in the Sonora of Mexico like O’Connor, or to chase mountain lions out west as Roosevelt did.

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