TODAY: Manteca, CA – Dunsmuir, CA
River – Upper Sacramento (5-weight – black birds nest, rubber legs, black AP)
Food – Dunsmuir Brewery Works
Since I told my boss I’d be leaving my job a month in advance, reality took a while. There were weeks left so I could shrug it off. Then there were days left and I moved more stuff into the moving room. Still, there was time. Then it all happened Friday. I said goodbye dozens of times to students who, if given the chance would probably try to get away with text messaging rather than working on their feature articles but took a break Friday to confront me with what I’d miss.
I shook hands with colleagues and put my sunglasses on when I shook the hands of my friends, just incase emotion grabbed my throat and started a chain reaction.
I know it sounds stupid to willingly join the ranks of the unemployed, but here I am, in a hotel in Dunsmuir, California, with all my stuff in a tarp double-swaddle in the back of my truck.
I’m headed North to Alaska for a new chapter. No, that’s cliche. It’s not a new chapter. It’s a completely new installment.
I fished the Upper Sacramento for the last time, maybe ever, today because why would I leave the rivers of Alaska just for a trip to a stretch of water hours from the nearest airport? It was raining, which made sense, because either California is upset because we’re breaking up, or Alaska is giving me a taste of the relationship we will have starting once the boat docks in Hollis next Sunday.
In the meantime, I’ve got to generate material so I can be un-unemployed as soon as possible, because my column was discontinued thanks to my leaving the state.
Woe is not really me, though. This next week is going to be pretty great. As long as Colder Weather by Zac Brown Band stays off the country station.
That song hauls a heavy load of context now.
TOMORROW: Dunsmuir – Roseburg, Oregon – 192 miles.