There’s one frustrating fact that is reinforced in my mind every time I visit my family here in Northern California: trying to live a country lifestyle in the middle of the city isn’t an easy thing. By definition, the place I live isn’t designed for the way I live… and it can often be incredibly frustrating. Up here, I can walk into the backyard to shoot my bow or rifle. I can drive thirty seconds down the hill to the creek to do some off-roading. The jukeboxes in the bars all have a huge collection of country music. There’s a Tractor Supply Co. about five minutes up the road, and the Walmart here carries a good selection of both ammo and camo.
But, in the middle of Los Angeles, my options, to say the least, are significantly more limited, more spread apart and a lot more expensive. Want to do some serious camping, 4-wheelin’ or fishing? More often than not, I’ll need to be prepared to pack up the car and drive for several hours. Want to take some time out of the day for target practice? Something tells me my neighbors might not appreciate turning the alley behind my apartment into an archery range. Heck! I can’t even transport a locked rifle case from my front door to my car without getting awkward, uncomfortable glances from certain neighbors.
But, if you’re someone who lives for that moment when the pavement and street signs give way to bare earth and overgrown brush, then every hurdle you have to jump is completely worth it. So, I’ve realized that I can’t just give up and throw my hands up in frustration. Because when I’m running into those roadblocks, there’s always at least a little bit of consolation in knowing that when I’ve worked twice as hard to achieve something, I appreciate it twice as much.