I came out of the woods after Columbus Day weekend on Monday to a flying fertilizer storm of swirling political reports. They were flush with Clinton email dumps and The Donald’s running potty mouth. I’d been out of the loop for four days and the stench of it all made me want to go straight back into the woods and stay there until Christmas.
Sadly, I couldn’t do that.
But on the five-hour ride home aboard my sidecar motorcycle, I had time to recollect the weekend. After a while, it started smelling better in my mind.
You see, the guys I go camping with are a combustable mix of arch conservatives, libertarians and left wingers. You’d think, given the inflamed media rash burning all over America right now, that we’d blow up on each other like matches in a gas tank. But we don’t.
The nasty nature of the news can’t penetrate our mutual bond of motorcycles, dirt-road adventure and campfire flames. When faced with each other, in the flesh, across burning logs, we don’t talk in Facebook memes. We speak as if we respect one another because we do. We’re aware of our differences but we focus on what we have in common. It helps that we usually camp in places where cell phones crap out, too.
Moosehead Lake’s rolling beauty and the glowing fall leaves were all we could talk about on this trip. Hillary and Trump and LePage were way back in the distance. As a bonus, Darren’s drone camera gave us a new view we hadn’t seen before. We were also graced by decent weather, no breakdowns and a pair of heavenly sunsets.
That sage philosopher, Groucho Marx, said, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Me and my motorcycle buddies don’t go looking for trouble but we know the right remedy when we do run into it: motorcycles, tents and trees.
I don’t want to be the guy in the media blaming the media. But if you feel like you can’t take it anymore, like your heart is going to explode, don’t give up. Just turn off your phone and walk into the woods. Look at the trees. Let the colors soak into your eyes.
It’ll do you a world of good.
If you like my song in the video, “Leaf Peeping Time in Maine,” you can hear me and the Half Moon Jug Band play it live this Saturday night at the Poland Spring Resortin Poland, Maine. We’re doing a dinner package show with The Squid Jiggers and Dave Rowe. Just sayin’.