There comes a time each year where you just have to shut down and get away from it all - a renewal for better things to come. Right?... Of course I am right! For me, puttting a 9 wt. fly rod in my hand and dropping me in the middle of nowhere for a few days allows my body and mind to meld with nature - enables a cleansing of whatever residual trash exists from the previous few months and opens the doors for a fresh, positive attitude the rest of the year. Everyone can prosper from a break from their busy summer pursuits - and for me, teaching schools, judging, highland games and far too much travel! It is always uplifting to get past the World's in August - marvel at the Gold Medal results for Oban and Inverness - congratulate all my friends for their summer successes and then just disappear! This year, I have talked my piper brother (photo inset) into flying to Anchorage, Alaska with me. There, we will be joined by two other pipers from Juneau and a retired music teacher from Washington State. The last you will see of us for 8 days will be the Continental lounge at the airport. We are heading west - a small plane to Illiamna and then a Beaver the rest of the way to Talarik Creek - imagine west of Anchorage and all you see on the map is wilderness and Russia! So, for a week there will be nothing except bears, moose, trophy sized rainbow trout and us. Does it get any better ?... so long piping! See you in October.