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I'm not really sure I know who I am

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I'm not really sure I know who I am

I've lead an interesting life in the 7 decades that
I've been alive. How much more time will I have? Who knows. Time to get busy

In my early 20s a wealthy uncle promised me an employment
opportunity in Europe. So I packed my bags and off I went. 5 years later I
returned a changed man. In the course of that employment I would go on to travel
to 3 more continents and visit over 40 different countries. Short of my 40th
birthday I had enough and longed to settle down. We amicably parted ways. I was
promised a small monthly stipend as thanks for my loyal years of

But those early years left me with an incurable case of chronic
wanderlust. This time I would not have the benevolent deep pockets of someone
else to fund my travels. Trips became less frequent but not any less cherished.
I had to do the planning instead of just heading a call to go somewhere and have
all the arrangements made for me.

But work, family, obligations and life
get in the way. The days fly by. The pages of the calendar fall. More rings are
added to the trees. Hairs get thin and gray. Waistlines expand. Life becomes
this routine. Sleep, get up, eat, go to work, wash, rinse &

You sit too comfortable at a desk for too long a time. You gaze
out the window at the changing leaves. Your mind begins to wander about all the
possibilities. Then it hits you that nobody is promised tomorrow. You realize
that not 1 person knows how much sand is left in their personal hourglass. I had
this impression that there was more sand in the bottom than in the top of my

I took bold action. If you are still reading this far, I have
to warn you. What I did works for me. It might not work for you. If you do opt
to take this course realize that it won't be easy. I quit work. Not actually
quit but I asked for and was granted a 6 month leave of absence. I was just
giving up my financial security for some self indulgent journey that would take
me across America and half of Canada. I set my sights on an Alaskan road

I jam packed the RV. Loaded up as much camping, fishing and boating
gear that I could stow. I put the engine in gear and hit the open road. I knew
where I was going, but wasn't sure of my actual route. And I fished. Then I
fished some more. I started with 3 days at Deep Creek lake in Maryland. Next
fishing stop was Clinton lake in Illinois. Then over to Lake Fort Peck in
Montana. And I caught fish. All sorts of fish. In a lot of different ways. Big
fish, medium fish and small fish. Rock bass, pickerel, walleye, channel cats,
drum, panfish, bass, you name it.

I spent the next 4 weeks gazing out
across the US and western Canada. I soaked in natural hot spring rivers in the
Canadian rockies. I gazed out across vast and varied landscapes in the west and
Midwest. I met intrepid travelers along the way. I camped along the shores of
lakes with turquoise blue water. I saw a few trees and mountains along the way.

There is a whole world out there waiting to be experienced. I was far
removed from my desk and my little cube in the cube farm. The longer I was away
the less I wanted to return. And I saw the simple beauty in everyday sights.
Sight like the bridal veil falls or the woodland bison along the roadway.
Majestic mountain peaks still snow covered in May. A tree growing out the top of
a courthouse roof. A town with thousands of signs from different traveler's home

If you drive any vehicle long enough, you will finally arrive at
your destination. At some point I made it as far as Fairbanks, Alaska. Just in
time to wet a line for some artic grayling and northern pike. Neither species
disappointed. I was so close to my final destination. Up to that point the trip
had been everything and more.

The next two and a half months are a blur.
Halibut, flounder, Pollock, irish lords, king salmon, red salmon, pink salmon,
silver salmon, northern pike, rainbow trout, dolly varden but no ling cod. I had
a single hook of a treble to in and out of my thumb. 3 minutes with the needle
nose pliers and I was back casting again.

I would spend the following 2
summers in Alaska.

*** to be continued ***







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