Friday, June 12, 2009

I caught a bit of an Alaskan tan (read: sunburn) last Sunday on the Kenai River while fishing for king salmon. It was so warm you could have fished in a t shirt, which is a rare treat when fishing on a glacier fed river in Alaska. That was very pleasant, but catching zero salmon was not. We did see almost uncountable numbers of mature and immature bald eagles. Summer is here.

I’ve been told by other married men that the gleaming hope in the stress of the wedding process is planning and focusing on the upcoming honeymoon (the “golden parachute” is the exact term I heard). You must thread the eye of the needle and steer towards that trip. In our case the reservations on Mackinac are confirmed, the shipwreck tours on Lake Superior are paid for, and my dad’s Silverado is all but gassed up for our leisurely drive through the northwoods of Wisconsin and Michigan.

I’ve made no secret of my fascination and interest in the northwoods of Wisconsin and Minnesota, though I do not completely understand it. Maybe it was simply the largest, reachable wilderness I knew of from my bungalow on the south side? Perhaps that led to a deeper resonance in Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories as well as the Hemingway biographies I devoured? I suspect all of that, coupled with a desire to scoot away from Chicago, led me to Alaska, though I still have an unending soft spot for ‘up north’. Pondering this golden parachute always has me digging out my Bob Dylan “Nashville Skyline” LP and endless playing ‘Girl from North Country.’ I understand it is probably about England, but I like to think of it being about Minnesota or Wisconsin, considering Bob grew up in Duluth. Regardless, Johnny Cash sings on the track and it’s terrific.

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