- Sarah Reijonen
Clock's tickin', start livin'
Livin' life with a view: Portage Glacier, Whittier, Alaska
Our truck rental in Alaska was the perfect metaphor for the world today.
If it had a slogan, it would have been “Will brake for puddles” or maybe “4x4 SNOWFLAKE.”
It was one of those obnoxious “smart” cars that thinks it can drive itself, but instead it’s driving skills result in whiplash for the passengers. Caution lights flickered as we approached brush or a creek, or like I said—a puddle. “Don’t go there. Don’t do that,” it seemed to preach as “BRAKE” flashed on the dash. Even worse, it was a four-wheel drive pickup truck! What self-respecting outdoorsman or woman would want such a sheepish truck full of warnings? Not this one.
But that’s the world we live in today. “Caution! Scary things ahead! Do not attempt.” And the general populace complies, satisfied with watching someone do it on TV or YouTube or a Bear Grylls show instead from the safety of a loveseat.
These days I’m really into preachy shirts (I’m also really preachy in general, as you can tell. I’m sorry in advance.) Spank and I have started to voice our beliefs via cotton—however subtle or not they might be. My favorite shirt as of late is the “Go Fast, Don’t Die” shirt I bought for Spank.
The brand alone says it all, but then you look at the back and there’s an hourglass with sand running through it, and it says “Clock’s tickin', start livin'.”
With that said, we did some major living this summer and did not waste one minute. (I’m actually glad to be back in California and back to work so I can finally get some rest!) Spank and I have been to seven states so far this year—half as many as last year, but still pretty good. While Washington was our “home base,” we made our rounds with two fishing trips to Alaska: One in June and the other in late August, when we met up with Spank’s dad for his “bucket list retirement trip” (more on that below). We also road tripped through Montana, Idaho and Wyoming and recently road tripped our way back to Cali with a couple of stowaways—our friends from Wisconsin, who flew to Spokane and hitched a ride all the way back to Placerville with us just a few days ago. We hit two concerts along the way: Jason Aldean in Spokane and a last-minute, random Toby Keith show in Reno.
Aside from finally getting back to the concert scene and road tripping, one of the summer highlights was meeting up with Spank’s dad in Alaska for his retirement trip. Not only did Spanky’s dad have the Canadian border and all their hoops to contend with—as he drove from Washington to Alaska—but he had carpal tunnel surgery just before making his long trek. But, that didn’t stop him. Nope. This was his dream trip, and he wasn’t about to cancel it for a pandemic or a bad wrist (instead, he polished his ambidexter fishing skills).
There’s a lot of obstacles in life, lots of hoops to jump through and then some downright rough patches, but you can’t let them stop you from living. Sometimes you have to get creative. Other times, you just have to suck it up, embrace the suck and press on. Most of all, you have to remember…