9,400 miles. 17 states.
It was a Long Haul
I’m home now after traveling extensively throughout the U.S. promoting our Alaska fishing camps at various trade shows, fly fishing clubs and fly fishing shops. The long journey spanned mid January to early March (with a few days home mixed in). Heck, I had to even change my oil while in Tennessee. And it’s already time to change it again now that I’m back in my home state.
I crashed with friends along the way, camped in the back of my truck at times, and stayed in hotels only when necessary (which was, unfortunately, more often than not; friends and fresh air are so much better).
I drove through numerous snow covered states from the mid West to the mid Atlantic, cautiously squeezed through plenty of sketchy road conditions, passed countless ice waterfalls on the many cliff faces along the Interstates, departed in the wee hours of the morning to just barely dodge that crippling mid-February ice storm in the Southeast, bottomed out the thermometer in the mountains of western Maryland at 1 degree F, camped in Great Smoky Mountain National Park in sub-freezing temperatures, and hiked along snowy and icy trails in Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee. And oh boy, did I hear a lot about this being the longest, coldest winter anyone can remember in a VERY long time.
And when my wife joined me for the West coast portion of the marketing road trip, we watched the front end of winter storm Titan pummel the California coast, converged with family near L.A. then Pismo Beach, saw the last few remaining Monarch butterflies high in eucalyptus trees before migrating back north, whale watched in Ventura, camped amongst saguaro cactus in Arizona, added new species of birds to our list, helped a friend engineer the installation of his 20 foot tall owl box, and was nearly trapped in highway closures in New Mexico while local and federal agents searched for a fugitive.
Some might say it was an epic road trip. Well, it was. And although the weather was much nicer overall on the West coast compared to the Central and Eastern portion of the country, perspective definitely changes when you’re wearing that much rubber off your tires in 2 months… “Only a hundred miles to go” never felt so good!
TX, OK, AR, MO, IL, IN, KY, WV, NC, VA, MD, PA, OH, TN, NM, AZ, CA
The Upside of Being on the Road
Although we spend our summers in an incredible place on the Alaska Peninsula, this trip was a good reminder that there’s a lot of interesting places to visit in the lower 48. And most importantly, it was good reminder that there’s a lot of really good people in the fly fishing community… I definitely enjoyed seeing old friends and making some new ones. And my thanks, again, goes out to everyone who helped along the way.
Now I must put my road warrior hat away, catch up on paperwork and put away trade show materials, because preparations for the 2014 Alaska fishing season begins very soon. And maybe, just maybe, mid-summer when we are grinding away in Alaska, I just might reflect on the quiet simplicity of being on the road and sleeping in the back of my truck.
Posted in Off the Wall