Buddies, BBQs and bad dancing

There’s a lot you can do in Alaska that you can’t do out in The World. The opposite is also true.
So when I leave the state I look forward to the chaos of possibility. I was only home from my Christmas trip to Tucson for two weeks before I again went Outside, this time for the wedding of my fishing buddy Kurt.
He and I drove around central and northern California for a couple of years before I moved to Alaska. He visited in August, so we fished and hunted. One day, there was a mountain I wanted to scout between rivers, so I traded my 7-weight for my .270 and we walked around a muskeg in fishing waders. Can’t do that many places.
Anyway, I forgot the wedding gift at home. I realized this as I sank into the rental car. I’m not super tall, but at 6-foot 2, I felt like Shaq when I fell into the driver’s seat of the Hyundai Elantra. It was a sporty vehicle for sure, but if I sat up straight, I’d have to tilt my head and I could only see some of the road past the hood. I moved the seat down and back as far as possible which happened to be the point my arms reached full extension. It was a little awkward. Worse than driving with locked elbows was the lack of clearance. I drive a non-lifted mid-sized truck, but the height difference still made me feel like I was going to bump my own undercarriage if I drove over a rock. If there was one good thing about Sporty Elantra, it was that I drove for an hour and the gas gauge barely budged. Not that I would want an Elantra in Alaska because it wouldn’t do so well getting firewood or going up logging roads to hunt or fish. Plus, getting 30 highway miles per gallon, when you barely have 30 highway miles isn’t all that cool.
When I parked Sporty Elantra, I was hungry but had only one dinner’s worth of time before I headed to the wedding venue. Where to eat is always a problem when in the Lower 48, but when time is at a premium, where to eat is downright stressful. There’s a Mongolian BBQ joint in Manteca that was the first place I went the last time I was in town. I spoke no words as I filled my belly, then went back for seconds…then thirds. But how does one turn down Buffalo Wild Wings? Since I couldn’t do both I went with sports and wings.
See full column at:
http://www.capitalcityweekly.com/stories/012815/out_1236636713.shtml

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