Viagra Man: The Tour Hits One Year

By Jim Dickens

New year, new gear!

There is a past Viagra commercial where an old guy sails his boat alone and suddenly the main sail breaks loose.  He calmly MacGyver’s a repair and continues sailing happily along in the sunny evening.  Here’s a link to the commercial. https://youtu.be/y1ZqQ55T25c  So when the toilet starts to run/leak and I fix it quickly with one trip to the hardware store or less, I declare myself Viagra Man to any one in earshot, usually my wife.  No one gets it and they often think I am uncouth. But I get it and that’s enough.  I like the idea that old guys are special and I think there is some truth to it.

When you get to my age, 57, you have declined significantly although many fail to realize or acknowledge it.   You are slow and weak.  Your reflexes are bad, you’re less flexible, you stiffen up easily and you are covered with aches and pains.   Your mental agility has slowed and your memory suffers. You can’t learn like you used to.  And it’s going to get worse so what is so special about getting old.

Not a good track to see when alone on the stream ( Black Bear)

I like the confidence and economy of having broad experience and wisdom.  For example, the recent 8 day Ridgeline Tour travels to Pennsylvania went south quickly.  A friends urgent unplanned business trip and high Upper Delaware River flows eliminated my plans from Monday evening to Thursday evening right before departure.  I left Monday morning on my travels not knowing where I would be Monday night and without anywhere to be until Thursday 7PM.  Strangely, I was relatively undisturbed by any of this and headed out.

On the Monday drive, I had a think and made plans to stay at the posh Glen Dorn resort where I had never stayed before.  Having mental maps in my head from lots of travel and a remembrance of a positive reference from a Pittsburgh friend it just happened.  Siri and I were getting along so searching and communicating while driving was easy.  Tuesday was an awesome day on two private creeks. At 5 PM, I started driving east and made arrangements to stay near where I had fished almost exactly 40 years before, Kettle Creek.  I met and had a beer with a couple of youngsters sitting in the plastic chairs outside in front of the room doors of our bare bones motel.   They oriented me and the next morning I stopped at their recommended fly shop got advice and the correct flies.  The fishing was awesome and at 6:30 PM I started driving east again.

I noticed my old University, Bucknell was a couple of hours away on the road to my destination, Philadelphia.  I figured they would have a decent restaurant and a good place to stay.  Thursday, the weather turned sunny and warm so I switched from fishing to golf and played 18 just outside Philadelphia.  I had dreaded being alone but the people I met along the way made it better than I expected.  However doing things with friends and family is so much better.

Cleaning off the dirt in Lewisburg, PA rain

Monday in Cleveland, I stopped in to see my daughter Emily’s ex-college soccer coach.  I really liked her not just as a coach but as a human being as well.  She helped Emily, her teammates and the college immensely. It was well worth stopping in and telling her I noticed.  Giving positive feedback is way better than giving someone a piece of your mind.  Thursday night in Philadelphia, I had dinner and drinks with college buddies.  We forgot our age and stayed out way too late.  Actually not too late,  it was worth it.  Saw my two sons, wife, brothers family and  my parents in Philadelphia and attended the forty thousand strong, ten mile Broad Street Run. Lori, my wife, and I watched 5  family members run in the pouring rain.  I stopped in Pittsburgh on the way back and had dinner and breakfast with an old college friend turned Marine. All were cherished experiences.

Broad Street runners left to right, Jack, Chris, Matt ,Melanie, Tim

When you get old you start to know how things are gonna turn out.  You have the context of your experience to draw on when things change so you adapt quickly with less effort.  You have some real and helpful advice for others.  You know how to be happy.  It can truly be a golden age.   For some the glory days are their high school sports or their college GPA or their successful career.  For me, it could be the hugely enjoyable Ridgeline Tour unless I think of something better.  

Youth in Philadelphia

It’s one year since the blog started and the Ridgeline Tour kicked off.  There is no end in sight which brings to mind “it’s about the journey.”

One thought on “Viagra Man: The Tour Hits One Year”

  1. My fellow retiree, Good choice on the Yeti! Looks like a great trip!

    Viagra Man, I have a feeling there will be lots of discussion about this in Santa Rosa! 🙂

    Like

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