In 1991 I graduated from Georgia Southern University, loaded my back pack, drove to Seattle, ditched the car, caught the ferry, slept on the deck up the Inside Passage, got off in Haines and hitch-hiked all summer with a very light budget and a fairly heavy back pack. Most of our rides came from local Alaskans that hauled us around the state sharing laughs, stories, fishing tips and on occasion their “secret fishing spots”. After hitch-hiking more than two thousand miles, eating pounds of wild berries, freeze dried food and fresh fish all I wanted to do was go back to Georgia eat some of my moms pork chops, pack up the rest of my hunting and fishing gear, and move to Alaska!
That fall I put on a nice sweater, printed off a resume and drove to Atlanta to a local fishing show to get myself hooked up on a job in Alaska! I met a lodge owner that hired me to do everything from launching boats to cleaning fish. The lodge was a very high end facility right on the beach of the Cook Inlet. I worked like a dog but for a few hours each day that summer, I would go fishing for salmon and halibut. The pay was crummy, the hours were long, but the fishing was fantastic, I was in heaven.