Although I love to hunt and fish, camping and canoeing seemed a natural
extension of those activities. The biggest problem is finding the time to get
away, but, when I do, few thing in life are more enjoyable. I grew up in
Oklahoma, a state rich in outdoor opportunity and a place where my roots still
lie. I have lived in New Mexico, California, Oregon, Arkansas, Colorado, back to
Oklahoma, and now Kentucky. Some thirty odd years ago, I began canoeing, but it
took a few years before I graduated to owning my first canoe, a venerable old
Coleman. I put a lot miles on that rig, so many where it finally just wore out.
It was then I purchased my Old Town Camper...and it is a beauty.
Some of my fondest days afield were spent on the Buffalo River, in Northwest Arkansas. I still travel there from time to time, and find it as wonderful as the first time. Over twenty five years ago, my long time friend Rocky, my brother Ken, and old friends Ralph and Neuman, along with another friend Curtis, somewhat by accident created a fraternity of sorts. We shared many days afield whether fishing, camping, hunting, or canoeing. Canoeing seemed the one activity we all connected with, and just about every spring we would put together an outing on the Buffalo River in Northwest Arkansas, or down to the mountains of Southeastern Oklahoma. Through rain and wind, heat and cold, those were some great times. Ralph and Newman have passed on now, but the rest of us still get together for our annual right of passage, "I wanna be a man" float trip some place.
Writing is something I started doing on a regular basis about ten years ago, and of course I couldn't resist the urge to write about what I enjoy the most. Back in 1997, I created my website, "Oklahoma Backcountry" which is not just a forum for 'where to go' or 'how to' do one thing or another, it explores the why and touches on the emotion and feelings one may receive or experience when involved with the outdoors. Most of the articles I post on "The Canoe Camper" are from that website, but a few are new.
Come and join me as experiences from the past come to life within these stories, and new ones are yet to be discovered. I think you will like what you find.
The Canoe Camper is pleased to feature these stories by Keith Bridgman:
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