Monday, September 18, 2006

Homer, a drinking town with a fishing problem...doh

I've never really considered myself much of a seaman.

In my brief sailing career (3 months) I managed to work my way up to "First Mate" simply by being one of the few onboard not drinking on the job. This of course gave me the glorious opportunity to bark orders at my best friend Kevin (Second Mate) and see him promptly laugh instead of hoisting the main sail. With our recent trip to Homer Alaska, the world's halibut capitol and home of The Salty Dawg Saloon (the most famous bar in the Pacific), I feel it's appropriate to explore the deep connection between sailors and their beloved spirits.

This fermentation fascination began with the Phoenecians, reached its culmination when Eric the Red realized that water kept longer if you dumped a bunch of grain in it, and was brought to hundreds of thousands of children with the jug-swigging Pirate of the Caribbean. I am of course referring to the one with the really hairy leg that has been sitting on the burning bridge in Anaheim for the last 60 years. With our trip to The Salty Dawg we found one of the last bastions for the sloppy sailor and their singing, swearing, and savagery. Arrrr matey.

With a squall on the rise we found shelter inside The Dawg. It was a strange day to visit as the place was filled with a Travel Channel(TM) film crew complete with floodlights, location scouts, sound guys, and an überslick producer who kept telling the interviewee to stand up straight to fix a "background issue". That's the LA way of asking someone to cover up the unsightly bar patron behind them. It felt like a smooth little piece of LA crashed an eternal blue collar house party and started pretending to appreciate an escape from fishing boats and oil rigs. After digging in for a while the memory gets a little hazy but I do know this: a tv episode entitled "A Thousand Places to See Before You Die" will air on Travel Chanel(TM), Rachel and I can be seen drinking with modern-day pirates on cable television, and the überslick producer guy slipped out the back door before buying the round that he kept yapping about. In a weird way seeing the whole thing and talking to the regulars made me feel a deep sense of embarassment about my own LA qualities. Although, I do see some of them fading in front of me with each day I am away.

We are in Anchorage now getting Günther tuned up (a.k.a. running) before we make our way back down the Alcan to the good ole USA. We are thinking about taking a 40-hour ferry from Haines to Prince Rupert and pretending that we are on a luxurious cruise. We may be out of touch for a little while in Canada but after that we should have some rad stuff from Jasper, Banff, Glacier National Park & Montana. We did finally have some good fishing in Soldotna. We caught about 20 salmon, which unfortunately were of the variety that Alaskans affectionately refer to as "Dog Salmon." Hopefully I will get Rachel to take her waders off soon. I keep telling her there's a proper time for fishing clothes but she keep saying "you never know when they'll bite". She has wild, mountain woman eyes when she says these things.

- JJ


Blogger Eric said...

You guys are killing me with this stuff. It's making me feel so geographically-challenged. Stuck, even. Brill's got a scooter now, so our weekends are spent making little 2-wheeled expeditions around town. But it feels so small. I don't think she's quite ready to scooter across the continent (though it's been done). Sherman Oaks is lovely this time of year.

9/18/06, 9:02 PM  
Blogger Jaime said...

I would have to agree with Erics sentiment. I am a bit jealous of your adventures.. I guess Drew and I will have our chance when our last child goes to college in 13 years. And on the other hand you will be just tapping into your parenting and family life..okay I will be patient.. Rachel is cracking me up in her pictures.. love it.

9/20/06, 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be careful heading back into Canada. I hear that country is overrun with bike stealing crackheads.

Keep on truckin'

9/21/06, 3:04 PM  
Anonymous nene said...

is that a picture of a store where they sell money?
i want some money.

9/21/06, 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Hi Joe and Rachel,

Myron and I met you at the Tanana campground in Fairbanks. Anyways, I wanted to check out your blog before I forgot about it. It's cool and really informative. If you send me an email address I can send you a link to some of our photos.

If you're still on the road continue to have a great time! By the way, it's so nice to come home to a soft bed.


9/21/06, 8:02 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...


9/21/06, 8:03 PM  
Anonymous Joey's Maui Mama said...

HIIII---larious!! Here's one to you and the Salty Dawg! AAAAArrrrrrggggghhhh!

Love you guys! Keep your chins up while you camp out in the auto garage waiting for the golden ticket of travel--a working engine!

Looooovvvveeee you!

9/23/06, 5:06 PM  

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