Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Fish Envy

That second word there is one that I really don't associate with. I just don't have that envy / jealous gene in me, I'm quite comfortable in my own skin, just who I am is all.....BUT... people like us have that wow factor respect deal going with some of those fish that come along only so often in a lifetime, so right now I got about as close as a case of fish envy I've ever had.  37 years of  guiding people onto their own fish of a life time has put fish envy in perspective for me so without further ado I'll tell ya the story....Ol Daniel there hit the fish equivalent of PowerBall. After sunset he was fishing like any good Team Xer would and he felt a large that his popper way out at the end of his cast. These Robalo will take topwater but generally not and usually they are in close to the beach and are usually 3 to 10 pounds, for us a 15 pounder is huge.  He was right in front of his house so he yelled at his wife Becky to get the camera and she snapped two pictures. So, not only does he have the perfect fish he also has the perfect picture and thats all he has because he RELEASED it to live on. Wow, impressive job Daniel, you have earned a one ballot vote into the Team X hall of fame. Everyone who see's this pic agree's that it is all on 25 pounds, maybe more. Absolutely gorgeous .
The water is still unseasonably warn so we have Roosterfish  everywhere. Jesus caught 5 the other morning and  I caught about a 20 pounder this morning with nobody around to snap a pic for me. There are a lot of small ones that are about as cute as the fish you had in the aquarium as a kid. Here's a pic of one Mario caught the other morning, they fight like their parents, they take the same bait as their parent, they jump but hey are just about as big as your hand.
We were out at Oceanica the other day and the birds were everywhere. The Egrets and the Oyster Catchers have a lot of faith in Team X, you can't hardly chase them off as they seem to hang out waiting for you to catch a fish they might steal. This group of Catchers just walked along with me for the longest time....it's why we go fishing I'd say, every morning is fresh and new and every morning I see something I've never seen before...
Speaking of things you've never seen, hows about the happiest wife in Mazatlan, at least she oughta be. This is the kind of husband that really makes Christmas difficult for normal guys like me...can't do a car for ya MPeasy but I can love the you 100% and of course you'll be receiving your customary bottle of Heinz 57 Steak Sauce, I promise, And oh, not just a car but a BMW .
So me and Mpeasy hope everybody is warming up to Christmas like we are. Here it's so different that it can turn even a calloused heart....It's still commercial like we know but not the same, commercial in a fun way and of course so family orientated. The sales are different, give you more instead of charging less, that kind of thing....and....my mom would be proud. I really enjoy the religious part of Christmas here. Tomorrow is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe so we're going downtown like we did last year to see the blessing of the children and eat some wonderful street food. Not to many gringos around and just wonderful family feelings....Love.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Personal bests...

Sometimes they take forever, sometimes they just plain and simple won't happen...kinda like that list of goals I post in my gear shed every season. It took me 15 years in Mexico to get that 15 pound Snook I wanted and now  guess what, another record Snapper. I caught the biggest of my surf career a couple weeks back and the other day I upgraded that to an 8 kilo monster...You that know me or have fished with me know that I'm a true believer in momentum. When things are going well they tend to keep going well and when things are screwed up they....well, lets forget about that part. Dick Hahn says it simple physics, ' things in motion tend to stay in motion', it's on of the maxim's of my life.
I got him on that same Mirrolure. I bull dogged him away from the rocks and then let him tire in the surf....all the time trying to get Ernie's attention so he could be ready with the gaff just in case. Well, ol Ern is kinda focused and it took forever so just as I was getting ready to ride him in when  Ern came running and grabbed the hook and got ready....well ol slimey did what slimey will do, he got almost high and dry and then muscled himself down the beach right into Ern with the hooks that weren't in him going into Ernie's pant leg....it was actually pretty comical and just the usual schamoozle for Team X the most misunderstood fish team in Mazatlan. But it was well hooked and as hard as we tried we didn't lose it. I knew that there were a lot Pargo around, we've caught many, in fact the most ever and then I ran into this guy, nice work amigo.
And Ern got on the board with this guy, There's a fish here called a pala--- something or other and it looks like a snook but is smaller and more numerous. I guess I ain't learned it all yet because this guy is either a really large one of those or an extremely small snook....sorry Ern. I know, I know....a feeder snook for all you Homer Alaska fish assassins.
As I came home from fishing the other day I spotted this and knew exactly what it meant. Big boat-small garage-unique solution. I've been looking at boats as now that I'm not tripping I'll be in the market for a boat with a top, seats for me and MPeasy, an electric anchor puller and one of those folding trailer tongues so I don't do what this guy did....it's a little over the top...
Believe it or not but I give up fishing once a year to be on the malecon for the Marathon of the Pacific, It starts at sun up so we have to ready and usually walk against it so we see them coming north and then they u turn and we see them again. Here's a pic of ole guide #003 in my Sunday go to meetings, about as cleaned up as I get.
This is the first pac of the women...there were only a few men ahead of them and they were all pro's I'd guess. I was feeling bad for them as the air quality in our part of Mazatlan is horrible. There is so much development going on that they are continually burning slash and whats worse, burning garbage, just the way it's done here I guess. But the runners were moving along smartly as they say. A great event.
This guy was my favorite....he was sweeping the trail as say in snowmachine riding. He must have had 30 stuffed animals on his running suit and all he could say was ' hola amigo's'....he got as bigger applause than anybody.
I saw this the other day at the Marina. I've seen many a 57 Chevy 2 door but this one was exceptional. I had just snapped this pic and couldn't resist so I was standing real close looking at the interior when a large Mexican man came through the door with his eyes locked on me and walking at flank speed right up to me......ooooo......he got right in my space and said....." ya wanna see the engine" ? ..... I love this place.

Monday, November 26, 2018

It was a GREAT week, but....

 Shortly after I had a nice man behind us snap this pic of Mp and MPeasy at the Beisbol game at the brand new and impressive Venado Stadium I began to feel sick,  It was a replay of the time a few years back when I came home from fishing and MP had bought me a street tamale and when she asked the guy what kind it was he said " bif "... So I made rule, don't eat beef tamales and now I'm adding taco's El Pastor to that code, at least until I get a bit more acclimated to Mazatlan. It was horrible, by the 3rd inning I could feel and almost hear it grumbling, then my acid reflux kicked in and I new I was only an hour and 1/ 2 from launch time. Luckily Gill and Grace decided to go after the 7th inning stretch and I got home just in time to sell my first Buick...Now MP ate 1 of my 3 tacos so it was maybe more me than the food I guess, but then again she's the same girl that used to enjoy pre chewed gum she pried off the sidewalk.  So, a night of no sleep and fever followed by day of sleeping and aching then rehydrate and apologize for being such a baby....duck soup, it's over.
 I'll bet you can buy shorts like this in the states  but it would just be too weird in Alaska . You know, if you're in a hurry to get that used up - I could care less part of your life.

Now the pic below is amazing. Here we also have a Black Friday kind of deal that they did a week before ours, as if things aren't cheap enough already.  It's called  Buen Fin and at the local grocery we had people filling up carts with liquor, on Buen Fin all liquor in the store was 3 for the price of  2. We were impressed to see one woman buy thousands of dollars of high end imported goods....and then we ran into this guy at Sams Club. Everyone knows this town is fueled by Pacifico Beer and I guess to a lesser extent Compadre Tequila, It's the low price brand that usually goes into Margaritas etc. It's not bad but Don Julio it ain't...an individual 1.75 lter bottle sells for 90 peso, about 5 bucks Americano....
Well if you made it this far you're probably ready for some fish eh....You guys that read this know that one of my goals has been to get a huge Pargo ( snapper). Well , I got the biggest of my life the other day and let me tell you this guy could pull. I was all alone, which I like and my first bite of the morning was really really strong. The Pargo are in the rocks and when one this size comes up to get the bait he just goes right back to where he was and he's impossible to land once under the rocks again....I've lost many that were to big to catch. BUT, this one, as soon as I new it was a fish and not the rocks I tightened and pulled hard and had him  right in front of me quickly, then loosen up and wait for the right wave to ride him up high and dry. It took 10 minutes. I almost just went home figuring how do you top that but I made a few more cast and hooked another, LARGE,,,,well this one I got out of the rocks but the riding the wave thing needs some practice. As one of my customers once said " sometimes it's good when the fish wins".
So maybe it's my year to get that 20 pound snapper. They get BIG and I'm wondering of we can handle one twice as big as this guy, hope to find out. I did get on the Robalo board, what he lacks in size he makes up in taste.
On Friday me and the newly reconstituted Team X'ers headed to our old stomping grounds at Puntas Negres .... it was to wet and the clay at the third point looked like you could get stuck real easy so we retreated to Oceanica....gorgeous as look north you see nothing and as you look south you see town. Some say it's on the edge of town, I say its on the edge paradise. Me and Daniel caught a few Toro and ran into some old friends so it was a great morning...In the world of fish bums Dan Stewart there has elite status, he builds his own lures, he's a boat guy, he's up EVERY morning....see ya in Alaska next summer Dan, them salmon ain't got a chance. Here's few pics from the morning.
I spotted this on the back of my friend Mario's Van... he's right , who needs one ?


Monday, November 19, 2018

"what did you do now " ?

I've heard that a lot in my life along with " what the heck were you thinking' ?....so we'll just jump right to Pro Guide Tip # 5 ....watch where in the hell you're going.
Trust me, that baby is a bit more purple than it looks and she was aching pretty good for a day or so,,,ahh...what we do for adventure.  And boy howdy, do we have warm water which means Roosterfish. I guess I'm about as close to gringo expert on these guys as anybody around here so it's no stretch when I say it's the most of them I've ever seen....but the vast majority of them are small kinda like the 'feeder kings' that we're removing from the world daily in Homer Alaska. People tell me that these size Guyo's are very good eating but I've been chasing them so long now and they are so rare and hard to catch in the surf that they all go back. So far I've caught 4 about this size and please ignore the story that starts with ' this is no kiddin',,,,,but...this is no kiddin I've hooked maybe 7 or 8 more and lost them all, one was an easy 30 pounds when he spit right in front of me.
 And of course the release, this is what you do when you want fish for the future, like salmon. A quick pic with the single hook removed and ol slimeys swims right of onto the future.
 That morning I caught and released three just about all identical. I had my 20 lb. set up and it was a great fight....maybe even the reason my $ 200.00 Plueger Patriarch broke the next day. But while it was still early I pulled off and walked to the rocks I like in hopes of a snapper for date night with MPeasy. I cast my mirrolure for a full hour and then sat down and had a breakfast bar and an mandarin orange. I gave it just two more casts then and walla....another snapper.
 I know you've seen this pic before but you still have to admit that is a gorgeous thing, MP had her favorite Coconut shrimp as well. Walt Larson used to tell me that eating well is living well.

 So we're off to a record start here at Mile 5014 for the 2018.19 season. Just last night at sunset I was anxious to try an 11' ft, Loomis salmon rod that all the guys like on the world famous. I cut the trigger off and put spinning eyes on it and man that thing makes a 2 ounce metal go global. I was just enjoying watching it fly when I saw panicked bait fish jumping in front of me so I took off the metal and put my home made little ' pluma' on and walla, the fight was on. As it hit right next to shore I thought Robalo but I'm no fish snob , I'll take a nice Jack any day.

We've enjoyed the shopping, everything is so different and even with all we know about Mazatlan we find new things. On our search for a basil plant we had to do pointsetta's ....and this was the small tent.
If we weren't dieting we would have bought this baby. Looks a little like Daryl Hannah eh ?
From our sunset to yours....Happy Thanksgiving from us here in Mexico. I'm still having a little trouble getting Mile 14 to press so please be patient and come back, I'll get this story line polished up real soon....



Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Mechanical advantage

Let's get right to the fishin stuff eh ?  My regular readers know that I spent a year in mourning when I broke my Cablea's Fish Eagle 11 footer doing something Jethronian stupid. That rod was perfect for throwing long hours for up to 1  1/2 ounce as it was rated 1 - 3  ounce....which is hard to find with any length. It seems that all the rods rated for lighter lures are 10' or even just 9' , for distance length of the rod is everything, it's the mechanical advantage that comes with ' loading' the rod. Now that I'm not as strong as I used to be I really need more distance with less effort and 'Walla, thank you Trusty Hardware in Soldotna Alaska. They had this Rockaway Okuma 12 footer rated 1-4 ounce on season end sale and it's PERFECT. It's really a rod made for casting and not for the Halibut bait fishing that they do in Alaska chucking out a 8 ounce sinker to hold bottom in the tidal current of Cook Inlet. So you know me following the ' whats worth doing is worth overdoing' model I figured if I had to bring another bazooka rod case don't bring it with just one so if any of you Mazatlan guides need rods just holler...I got plenty.
My first morning to fish here in Mazatlan I did something I never do, I over slept. Yikes, that never happens but I did get my new rod rigged and ready so at sunset I made a tall orange and walked over to the jetty and on my third cast landed my first snapper of the 2018 season. Last year it took me 2 weeks to get an edible and this year it's ' duck soup ' as we say at Mile 14.
One of the business weirdisms here is that with some exceptions restaurants seem to come and go an awful lot. So MPeasy and I were impressed when we found this place that is all Mariscos for sure and a culinary report will be coming soon. They have absolutely every fish known to this part of the world and even a full sized alligator. I'd put more pics up but once again the technical staff is experiencing hyper slow internet and the pictures load soooooo slow that I'd miss out on all the pressing matters I need to attend to today.
Oh, oh,oh.....I got it !,,,Go into the settings on my cell phone camera and change the pixel settings so it can load faster with less data. I should have remembered why I use my first digital camera that is only 3 mega pixels when I take fishing photo's from my boat for Mile 14 on the world famous....I'll make a better blog entry real soon....so with just time for a couple pics, mmmm,mmmmm, I guess the weirdest thing I've seen so far is this.....
Even a boat guy like me has never seen a chromed anchor. I mean you gotta have some lettuce to want a gorgeous anchor. Gilberto said the guys at the marina were wondering what it cost to chrome an anchor and if anybody kinda snickered at the idea....well the beautiful people said 10,000 dollars and no. The Wine Down is home ported in Las Vegas, this guy is quite a mariner....you just breeze down Lake Mead and then a short portage or trip through the locks at Hoover Damn and then over night in Lake Havasu because you weren't making very good time when you had to take down all the antenna's to go under the bridge at Bullhead City.....then  pretty uneventful passage to the  Sea of Cortez and Walla, Mazatlan here we come. Welcome you guys , we'll see ya around town.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The southern desk

Yup, the friendly staff here at Mile 14 is jumping the jet and will be in our Southern Bureau for the next 5 months or so. One of the unfair things in life is that you can get used to just about anything and as wonderful as fall is at Mile 14 of the Kenai River I don't have much to report, all quiet on the western front....except for the election that is. BUT, that will all change directly. I talked to Mazatlan yesterday and my semi reliable source Kenny says that the Roosterfish are really crashing the beach so you know me, hot pursuit to follow. I'll bet you an unguided fishing trip that I get one to post a pic of just like this guy from a few years back real soon.
Now you notice I have a knee brace on , that brings me to Pro Guide Tip # 4 : Accessorize with anything you have to do to get / stay / be healthy and active.... It's a hard job and hobbling around and complaining about your knee / back / shoulder / hip pain doesn't fit the image of a tough seasoned Alaska fishing guide. Never ever show weakness...SO, through the years here at Mile 14 we've created an inventory of just about everything you need when things get dicey. Here's pic of one drawers worth , and not only do I believe in compression braces I also have a huge variety of topical balms and depending on the ache or pain I use Thermacare heat pads, Caspacin, lidocane, aspercreme, arnica, naproxen, lagelty and marijuana or peyote cream...mmmmm....I might be a little hypochondriac, but I don't think so. And with all things in guiding you need redundancy, you have two knees so you need 5 knee braces, simple math.
Election day today so I'm just going to add this pic without statement, everybody knows where I stand. I took this on one of our walks , it was in front of a house in town that used to have an old boat with flowers growing in it for landscaping, that was cool but this is better.
I don't usually do this sort of thing but in retirement I'm feeling free as a bird...So for all my Alaska readers, PLEASE , get out and vote and Stand with Salmon and Vote YES on proposition #1. Without yet another long winded editorial I'll just say this...don't forget that When Frank the Bank came back to Alaska and decided to be Goverrnor ( wasn't it great the way he announced right after the election that he had no idea things were so bad so all his campaign promises were off the table ) one of the first things he did do was shut down the Habitat Division at the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game. So that's from the right side of my brain, the left side tells me that all the $$$$$ that went into opposing Prop #1 tells you a lot....millions spent.....mmmmmm....so what are you guys planning that you can't just fill out a few forms and act like you care about one of the foundations of our State, Salmon...and oh by the way, they could use a little help right now.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Rat Job

That's all they are...big ol rats. And boy do they get big . I even think that the bigger they get the more destructive they are. We're not indiscriminate killers here at Mile 14, but you all know that  these things really do need to be controlled, as much as we love the wildlife....as our ever beloved Wally Hickel said as Governor of Alaska " you can't let nature run wild ". Here's few pics of Bucky, one that I executed a few years back and had mounted for Chris, he anchors the welcoming committee at Fejes and Associates.

You know me and MPeasy love to walk along the river at the Soldotna Creek for our exercise and you remember me reporting on the Beavers that moved into one of Alaska Dept. of Transportation's road run off settling ponds. These guys had a great life, a Beaver gated community if you will but boy howdy were they screwing up the function of the pond.  I wondered how long it would take for the officials to notice that Bucky's relatives had dammed up the outfall and had stored away tons of nice birch and willow trees into their feed bed for the winter. With the outfall blocked the pond rises and kills the trees he hasn't eaten yet and all the pollutants from the road just build up and build up and....well, it was an ugly scene when they finally hired a guy like me to come in and trap them out so they could fix the pond.  Here's series of pics that show just how industrious these guys are. You can see how much the water level fell, you can see the huge hut and of course all the dead trees that they lay near the hut so come winter they can feed under water on the portions submerged.


So Chris gets so many compliments on Bucky from an associate who is an Oregon Beaver alumnus that he's arranged to get a rat from a buddy of his who is a bona fide rat wrangler and have it mounted for his friend.....nothing says love like a full body Beaver mount.  Having a bit of success myself I was duly impressed with the pics I've seen of this guy's  success. The one to be mounted weighed a whopping 63 pounds....thats a lotta rat . Here's pic of the boat after a day at work.
And of course talking about Beavers here's Boris and Natasha with their rat hats...that kinda sings doesn't it.
I know what you're thinking...cut it with the rat attack...man that kinda sings too....and get on to the guide tips, right ? So here goes.
Pro Guide Tip # 3
This week it's a bit of a continuation on last weeks tutorial on scent and smell....this weeks tip is always wear the same clothes, let me repeat that, always wear the same clothes. Here's the deal, not only do you need to attract ol slimey you don't want to have him smell a foreign object . So, you don't want to smell like a human or even just smell human for that matter. Now this step in your guide development takes a strong marriage but trust me, when she sees that good ol american green lettuce rolling in she'll find you the perfect place to keep your fishing clothes right outside the house. Here's me wearing my 2000's pants and holding my 1985 - 2000 vintage Carharts.
Now I know this tip ain't easy for some you guys who like to look good, I call it the ' name on the shirt  syndrome ' but it's a big one and in the long run there are tons of benefits like ...1. you save your other clothes. 2. nobody will ever ask if you're a fishing guide. 3. you don't run out of bait. 4.  dogs like you....see....it's that simple. Now one last bonus tip on this subject - when it starts raining get your Helly Hansens on quick, quick quick,,,,the last thing you need is your pants milking out all over the boat.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Pro Guide tip #2

Before we get to that next secrets of that profession deal that I promised I gotta let you all know that these tips are only for the use of my readers and not to be passed on or reprinted. After all I still have a lot of fishing to do and would like to keep an edge on the other fishermen here on the World Famous at Mile 14. But feel free to use these tips and when you see your success sky rocket just give me a knowing wink when we pass on the river. You know the old adage, 90 % of the fish are caught by 10 % of the fishermen so I hope this helps you join our fraternity.

Pro Guide tip 2
Yup, licorice...some of my hot tips that will be coming will be of the motivational and kinda cerebral side of chasing fish but this one is totally mechanical. Licorice is the fishiest food in the world, if you don't like it, you ain't fishing. I guess it all started with Bert and Keith Holtan about 33 years ago. Along with other good fish food like Hershey miniature Cookies and Cream bars they would always bring licorice and walla, we started noticing that we had success. The word spread through F Troop and before you knew it all the best were bring licorice and we were making the rods bend along with our belts. The legendary Geno would bring Licorice, Nate Morton would bring licorice and Tobias raised the bar with Australian licorice....Now this is important for any of you with a weak stomach that think they can get by with Red Vines or the other flavored candies that are NOT licorice, suck it up because that stuff won't work. Why you ask ?....Well it's simple. We all know that salmon are driven by their olfactory sense and Anise which is the taste of licorice is accepted world wide as a fish bite stimulant, I spend hundreds, well some, dollars every year on a wide  array of anise scent products and you know the deal....I'm a legend.... Now you might ask what eating licorice has to do with putting it's smell on your bait. Well that's a dumb question. You'll see on Pro Guide tip # 542 that you also need to be a 100 % guy, what's worth doing is worth over doing, right ? So, you gotta eat a LOT of it, it's gotta be on your breath, stuck between your teeth, your fingers need to be sticky with it and never mind that we all know it contributes to high blood pressure, you gotta oooze licorice from your pores. Remember the time we ate the 2 pound bag Nate ?....damn , this is making me hungry....
It's been killing me to get a good video of my new Electric guitar for you but I just haven't had the right production until now. As I worked this song up I had to remember how Jet Dog would go to the bed room as soon as I opened a guitar case...One night at Angels Paradise in Mazatlan I was amped up and crooning away for my friends and from the other side of the building, the side Ernie says is the hard drinking side I hear someone yell " shut the #&*@ up and get a haircut "..... I hollered back " don't think you're the first one to tell me that "....
And hey, no comments about that 18 inches of forehead I've developed...OK ? 


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

πŸ˜ŽπŸ’šπŸŽΈπŸŽ΅πŸŽ€♬🐟 @ Mile 14

There's no doubt that time goes faster as you get older...but I got it figured, it just SEEMS faster because of your lifetime of routines. So, the only way to slow down the years to come is by changing your routines. And that's what I'm going full steam at, 100 %....The future of my writing here at Mile 14 is that I really am going to put a book together about what I've learned in 37 years of guiding, the ' Guides Guide' if you will. So in each edition of Mile 14 I'm going to have short delivery of things I've learned and things that have helped me get through so many high stress bedlam inducing seasons on the world famous. So here's my first big tip for guiding success....

1. Nascar... Yup, Nascar. I found this sport in the early 90's when I was launching at full blast everyday. Up at 4:00, in the boat at 5:00 , lines in the water at 6:00, clean fish at 11:30, on the river with new crew at 12:30, clean fish and the boat at 6:00, eat supper at 8:00, asleep at 9:00 ( sometimes) then repeat and repeat and re..... It was no wonder I was stressed out and needed rest on my Sunday off the river. So that's the miracle of Nascar, if you can't sleep through one of those darn things you are a basket case insomniac. And the beautiful thing about Nascar is that you can sleep for an hour and wake up and nothing's changed, it's impossible to miss something important, they just keep circling and circling and... Now my Dad was a great Sunday sleeper and his venue of choice was Golf but I gotta tell ya , Nascar is the pro guides choice , the king of white noise.
How's that for a gorgeous object to celebrate your retirement with ? I posted this pic on Facebook and had over 100 people wish me well, I'm stunned and sooooo flattered that all my years were important years. My friend John Adams and Bill Church along with so many more others left me wonderful wishes by e-mail as well...And if you're reading this Robin thank you so much for the wonderful bottle of limited edition Crown Royal, turns out I'm not allergic to it like I used to think I was... and it makes me sing like a songbird. To ALL of you that read this thank you so much, I feel fulfilled because of you.
someone even left me a message on the sidewalk

The 2018 season wasn't without it's share of weirdnesses but the retirement bonus was this fall. We had the most gorgeous fall weather anybody can remember. We even still have leaves on the trees and some are still even a bit green just like the real world in October in the lower 48. This pic is two days old...
2018 at Mile 14 was good enough that we 'made our season' as us Alaskan says but it wasn't exceptional either. But it looks like some of our neighbors and especially the moose have thrived on the summer and fall of 18...
Every October we wait in line for our ' drive through' flu shots that Central Peninsula Hospital generously and creatively dispense. So this year because of the summer of road construction model we were routed differently and ended up in a 2 lane line up. Well the guy next to us in the jun...er...vintage truck kept starting and stopping the engine and sure enough ran out of gas while waiting. Bummer. But this is Alaska and you're never without help around here. They pushed him off and then he drove through with his flu shot neighbors. AND, the security guys got a little bonus cardio workout. I felt bad for the guy. Really. 
I hope you come back.  I'll have a guide tip every week until I run out of secrets. There will be a story every where we go just like the stickers on this Eurovan that was at the Brewery yesterday, I'm headed the same direction as you buddy. And I'll play you a song on that beautiful flamed Maple semi hollowbody electric guitar....JK