Posted by: tlnemethy | May 8, 2012

Why are there Texans in Alaska?

I’ve come to realize that Alaska as an entity seems to draw people, playing on their adventurous spirit, their quest for a deeper connection to nature, or their complete lack of direction in life. For me, it is my last hurrah I suppose, a walk on the wild side while still being perfectly tame. I’ve never been one to have that thirst for adventure. My brother must have gotten that gene.

Anyways, the first moment I stepped foot into the lodge I was greeted heartily by a wise cracking duo of cowboys. One casually told me his name was Nick, a fact that I actually filed away in my horrible memory. The other looked at me, a perfect stranger, and said, “Hey. I’m Jason. Jason Aldean.” To which I replied “hey Jason.” Now, he started cracking up at the fact that he’d pulled the wool over my eyes after only knowing me for about 15 seconds. Jason Aldean is in fact a country singer who I can say is on my iPod. I decided the only way to play that one off was to continue calling him Jason Aldean, earning him an unlikely nickname.

Anyway, these two cowboys are two peas in a pod. Inseparable and charming, they banter back and forth singing songs and playing off of each other like they’ve been practicing their entire lives. I was instantly smitten. Jason Aldean made me the biggest bowl of Passole I’d ever seen, which is still impressive even though I’d never even heard of Passole before. Let’s just say that it seems to be a Mexican soup of some sort, topped with shredded cabbage, tortilla shells, a squeeze of lime, and an extremely large portion of pulled meat. I personally think he is trying to fatten me up to bring me back to Texas, but the jury is still hung on that one.

I’m not entirely sure what brought the two musketeers out to a remote Alaskan community, but they sure as hell bring a certain Texas swag to a work environment. Today they bought a truck, although I use the term truck very loosely. It’s a beater with no inner door handle, a cracked windshield, a loose wire that acts as the window control, and a very shady four-wheel drive shifter. Every time they enter or exit the vehicle, they both wind back and lash out at the dented frame with their cowboy boots, taking immense pleasure in “giving it more character.” It has been dubbed “The Punisher.”

Tonight, as an initiation, or perhaps a redneck christening, we took The Punisher out mudding. Five cans of redbull were downed before we’d even left the parking lot of the local market, one even having been properly shotgunned through the aid of a big ol’ buck knife. We set out in search of an old logging road somewhere in a vague radius of where we were. My seat belt was not working.  I was sandwiched between two gung-ho Texans who had no qualms about driving outside our lane, or even fishtailing wildly enough to jump those yellow cement parking stops. The redbull was giving me heart palpitations.

We found the logging road after doing donuts on some patches of gravel. I had my palms flat on the ceiling in an effort to keep myself righted.ImageOnce I ended up bouncing hard enough to hit the ceiling and end up on the floor of the passenger side. Exactly a time a seat belt would have been useful.  I also kept thinking about my missing seat belt. Unfortunately, the road was gated, and the Texans efforts’ although valiant, were futile in attempting to remove the gate. We decided instead to try to ramp up a giant log. Instead we got caught directly under our center, hung up and dug in to the soggy wood. The constant drizzle of Sitka had turned to a steady rain and we were stuck. A kind Samaritan towed us out after the guys spent almost an hour digging up the forest to place under the tires for traction. The air was thick with the stench of smoked tires and wet dog. I think I was the wet dog.

ImageOf course, the adventure was not over. We decided to drive up past the dump to a gravel mountain overlooking the world. This gravel mountain is home to a mud pit that gave us great pleasure in tearing through. The guys offered to let me drive. I refused, not wanting to kill their vehicle in the first day of its possession. We moved on. The Texans decided to man up and push a boulder down the mountain. This is, of course, the same road we’d driven up. I worried the boulder would crush an oblivious driver. They did not. Manliness at its best.

We then proceeded to get mired in the much another time. ImageThis time the hitch of the truck was sunk in brown goo and hung up on a glacial boulder. We had to dig it out. I retrieved a few logs to pry with while the guys chivalrously got dirty. Eventually, with the help of Nick’s buck knife, they dug enough to pry the boulder from the ground. Still upset their truck was not dirty enough, Nick hoisted the boulder and threw it into a mud puddle. There is still mud imbedded under my contact lens. I felt like a badass covered in mud. The gentleman that he is, he apologized and offered me his bandana to clean my face with. I couldn’t have cared less about being grimy. I was having a blast.There’s nothing like getting down and dirty in Sitka.


  1. “man up and push a boulder down the hill”
    Thank you for your insight into the dark-age mentality that still stagnates the mental environment.

    now Antarctica is the last frontier.

  2. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep
    it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later. Many thanks

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