On the Road Again

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.

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  • Sounds like a great drive for a fair to middling hunt. Why don’t you just go north 300 miles and join us for the upland classic hunt, grouse and woodcock, natural covers, local guides our dogs or yours, limit ten hunters spread over two counties. Put on by the Petoskey-Harbor Springs chapter of RGS. Oct 10/11. $800.00. This is the best kept secret in the uplands. Reply for more details.

    • Thanks for the note Charles. We’ll just be getting back from the second leg of this trip then, but sounds like you guys plan on having some fun. Keep us posted on how your hunt goes ad what the grouse numbers look like this year.

    • Rita, we haven’t settled on late season plans yet, but hear quail numbers may be making a comeback after some moisture down there. We’re in wait and see mode, will let you know the plan when we know.

  • Don’t forget about the Starr Lodge and Laundry service. We would love to have you again and this time Mom Starr gets to make it a full time hunt!!!! We are just as excited to start the season and “pipe bomb” is in prime shape from hunting butterflies. Travel safe friend. Bear Nachos are waiting!!

  • A local lady of a certain age asked me once, ” My God, what is it like traveling with two dogs.” I replied, “Madam, they are always ready to go when I am, they never complain about my driving, the food, or the accommodations, and when we get there, they are totally disinterested in shopping.”
    I put about 5,000 miles on my Suburban between North Carolina and South Dakota. When I pull out of my driveway and head west, my pups and I are happier and more excited than we are the rest of the year.

    • Have done that drive more times than I can count. Have a great trip to SD this year, numbers should be better than the last couple since most of the state made it out of the draught conditions.

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