Maybe someone heard my plea.

For the last two weekends, the rain, for the most part, has stayed away, giving us at least one nice day without a drop to enjoy some time outdoors. And after having my first attempt to go birding cancelled because of the weather, I was looking forward Saturday to finding out why others enjoyed the hobby so much.

It is said that humans are fickle creatures, and if that is true, then the weather must be at least part human. For as of late, it never seems to cooperate.

Ever since I first watched Brad Pitt fly fishing in the film “The River Runs Through It,” I knew I wanted to be on any river that he was on. Unfortunately, I am not sure how much fly fishing he gets in between trips to Africa or Asia to adopt children, so I had to go it alone.

out caitlinFire is a life source. Without fire or some other form of heat, it’s nearly, if not impossible, to survive in the wilderness — making it arguably the most important outdoor skill.

out caitlinAhhhh.

That is what was my first thought when the rock slipped from under my foot.

out caitlinThe directions said turn left, so naturally I turned right.

I was still an hour drive from Sugarland Visitors Center in Tennessee — where I planned to take an introductory orienteering class — when I remembered that on occasion, I still have to hold my hands in front of my face in order to tell left from right. Undoubtedly, this predicament would make the course more challenging. In my defense, I’d woken up at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday, a day I typically revel in the glory of sleeping in.

out caitlinwoodcraftThe last time I went camping I was 10 or 11. I was in my grandparents’ backyard, snug in my sleeping bag between my older sister and cousin Jake. I laid awake nervous about a ravenous bear attacking the tent, or maybe a ghoul from one of the scary stories my dad had just finished telling.

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