For someone who enjoys spending as much time outside as possible, this past weekend was as close to sterling as it gets.
It began with a ‘heads-up’ that one of North America’s premier outdoor equipment suppliers is soon to locate in Abbotsford, followed by attendance at a gun and goodies show in Chilliwack on Saturday and the BC Sportsmen’s and Outdoor Show at Tradex with son and grandson on Sunday.
Admittedly, in such fine spring weather, it was a bit disconcerting to spend a number of afternoon hours inside but the lure of the latest in gear to make British Columbia’s four-season playground even more enjoyable trumped fence repairing and horse corral cleaning.
Not wanting to waste time Sunday morning awaiting the connection with my son to attend the Outdoor Show, I decided to clip a few sucker branches off a maple in the front yard.
Unbeknownst to me, my antics atop the extension ladder with large pruning shears in hand were not only captured on camera but posted to Facebook, with the caption “Old guy up ladder. OMG.”
It wasn’t until after the sports show that I saw on my phone, thanks to emails from Facebook, various comments such as “Scary,” “Yikes” and “Oh oh!” relating to my morning activity. Lord, is there no privacy anymore? If nothing else, I resolved never to climb a tall ladder again unless no one with access to a camera is nearby.
But I digress.
The lure of the outdoors, coupled with the remarkable weather, is rising faster than tree sap right now.
At the outdoor show, I spoke to a resort owner located near a lake I like to frequent.
Despite its 4,000-foot altitude, he told me there is no longer any snow on the ground at the resort, and the ice on the lake is already beginning to melt.
Time, I’m thinking, to get the tin boat readied, charge the battery in the fish finder and clean out the tackle box.
And while I’m on the lake I’ll be dreaming about ways to pad the bank account so I can buy a few of the remarkably innovative, and certainly handy if not at my age impractical, products that were on display.
Torn between towing your boat to a fishing spot or taking along the ATV? Not a problem: at the show was a piece of equipment that loads not only your boat, but its trailer too, onto the back of your pickup, leaving the hitch available to tow other toys or a travel trailer.
Got more bucks? There were fully-camperized “toy” trailers, complete with full kitchens, queen beds and enough room in the back for a couple of quads.
And if that wasn’t enough, some are even equipped with tents on the roof, obviously erected after you arrive at your favourite playground.
As for toys – like the Facebook post of me up the ladder – OMG! There were spectacular ATVs costing more than a new truck, and a side-by-side unit boasting 121 horsepower.
Enough power to get you wherever you wish, and at a speed that could take you where you don’t want to go.
As to that big destination outdoor gear retailer mentioned earlier, you will soon be reading all about it.
I, despite my thin wallet, eagerly await its arrival.