Driving endless hours. It’s the not-so-glamourous part of this upland hunting pursuit. Thankfully the days afield tend to erase the days of pavement.
The two longest drives of the year are always the first and last of the season. The anticipation of getting underway and the dread of completion make the toughest slogs.
The 4,200 mile trek at the opening of this season seems irrational, even self loathing. Six 14-hour days behind the wheel. But the call of Alaska, the massive open country, the species never before retrieved to hand, thoughts of tired legs and even more tired bird dogs all promise to overwrite the memory of brutal travel.
At least the new Mobile Command Unit should make things a bit easier. If you happen to see this rig pass you on the highway, give a wide berth. Chances are it is on autopilot as thoughts of upcoming mountain hikes help deaden the endless frost heaves.
And this trip we have cohorts, like minded Ultimate Uplanders seeking perfect moments. Somehow we’ve managed to convince a few locals that we’re better company than bear bait. So I’ll be on my best behavior though I’m not sure the dogs have received that memo.
There are big plans in the works, feats to tackle, stories and photos to come.
Just gotta get this pesky last 700 miles out of the way first.