Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Becoming a Mountain Man

Last winter, I read a quote listing three requirements to become a Mountain Man. First, you have to kill a bear. Secondly, you have to love a native woman. And thirdly, you have to pee in the Yukon River. Now for as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a Mountain Man. As a child the idea of wondering the hills with a Hawkin rifle, leggins and a fur hat captivated my imagination. I felt I would truely be wild and free, answering to no one. Unfortunately, I grew up and turned into an adult. I also bought into the fascade of the American Dream, a mortgage, car payments, credit card debt, big screen tv and all the other bullshit that our sociaty tells us is part of our dream.
Last summer I was trying to find that particular quote. To no avail I could not find it, but it got me thinking how I accomplished all three.
 First of all, I killed a Pope & Young record sized black bear using a self bow, which is a stick bow my friend Brad carved out of an Osage Orange tree branch, and wooden arrows.Secondly, I am married to the most beautiful woman I have ever set eyes on, and she just happens to be Northern Cheyenne. Her Great, Great grandfather was Chief Dull Knife also known as Morning Star.
Thirdly, I pissed in the Yukon River. Sorry to say I didn't reach number three with quite the same pinach! I was in Whitehorse, the biggest town in the Yukon, with Stan, Daniel and Peter, on our way to climb Mt. Logan. On the long drive from Montana, I was telling them about the three requirements and at that moment we were in the middle of town gasing up Stan's Toyota. I look across the busy street and there flows the mighty Yukon River. Daniel notices me looking and says, "Here is your chance." Without a second thought I sprint across the busy street, and I turn to see Peter close on my heels, with a huge grin, and his camera. I find a spot on the bank in the bushes, drop trow and piss in the river. Peter follows suit and we laugh like little school kids.
When I returned from Canada, I reflected on where I am at in my life, and I also thought a lot about those three crazy requirements. I have come to realize I don't hunt anymore because I honestly don't like killing animals. Secondly, I love my wife because of the amazing person she is and not because of her lineage.  Lastly, anybody could piss in the Yukon if it were right in front of them. However, I am a Mountain Man not because of or inspite of those three requirements, but because of what is in my heart. Only differences are that I roam the mountains with ice tools instead of a Hawkin rifle, and I wear gortex and a helmet rather than buckskins and a coonskin cap. But it would be a lie if I didn't say I have thought of attaching a coon tail to the back of my helmet.

1 comment:

  1. Great Post man. I'd like to see some stuff about your upcoming climb and training....