one of my favorite videos…from anchorage, alaska
What do I want to write about…some thing fun. I enjoyed writing the eagle story so maybe I should tell you about some of the adventures I had up in the Rocky Mtns…Like the time I made sushi. I brought it over to Shawn’s house. This was when he and Liza had just met, before they were married. Shawn and his room mate were throwing one of those Saturday night parties so Liza and I conferred and we brought some saki and a plate of home made sushi. When I wandered back into the kitchen a bit later, it was gone. There was the empty plate with a few crumbs of rice next to the sink. I congratulated myself on how successful the sushi contribution was. Then Shawn came in the kitchen and grabbed a mitt and took the sushi out of the oven. He proudly placed it on the table, carefully using tongs to display it on a fresh plate. Cooked. He said he wasn’t sure what temperature it was supposed to be baked at but that it looked ‘done’ after 10 minutes. Was it alright? It actually tasted pretty good.
Or the time I was driving my truck back from Panorama ski resort with my sister. I’d just finished a gig. Back then I was the only DJ in the Valley so I wasn’t allowed to turn down anything. I just couldn’t. If someone was having a wedding, an anniversary, an 85th birthday party for Grandma Bertie Sue and she wanted to listen to Benny Goodman, then you dug up some pre war Benny Goodman and you did it. Refuse? Hah…no chance. You did every gig offered because you simply had to. So, even though I didn’t want to be, I was up at the ski resort, in February, doing a dance for teens.
It was late by the time we were done and packed. Panorama is WAY up in the mountains, on a twisting, turning road. A road that requires concentration and nerves of steel. Especially at night. I was, of course, being extremely careful. I’d learned long ago that any trouble you’re going to get into would happen because you were going too fast or you weren’t watching the road. The WHOLE road, not just what’s directly in front of you, but what was happening on the side of the roads. Where the animals were.
That’s why, when I saw a huge moose coming up the side of the mountain, I wasn’t going fast. I said to my sister, in my calmest voice, ‘There’s a moose. I’m going to stop…’
‘A Moose?! OMG…WHERE!’
She was going to freak out. I knew she was. Moose are big and if you hit one you’re FUBAR. Seriously. So I start my careful, non panicking, braking. I pump the brake, I keep my hands at 10 and 2. I don’t scream. I don’t let my caveman brain allow in pictures of us cartwheeling down the mountain. I know I can’t afford a slide. It’s winter and there’s no where to go but down.
There’s a drop off on the right, where the moose was coming from, and an almost vertical, tree choked climb on the left. It was going to be close. I didn’t want to slam on the brakes but….ahhhhh…I could see it powering up the slope…it was going to be really, really close. I’m concentrating on the road now. Slowing down. Almost there. Don’t look. Theres nothing you can do now but hope to miss it. You’re doing good. Whew! We’re stopped.
But I don’t see the moose. Either we passed it or…no. There it was.
Staring into the passenger side window at Liza. I stopped RIGHT next to it. It’s peering in the window with its big ol’ moose nose almost pressed against the window. 3″ away. (two inches?) And there’s Liza, still scanning the road ahead for the moose.
‘Where is it?! Where? Are you sure it was a moose?’ She’s leaning out almost over the dash board now. The moose looked puzzled. But interested. Like we were fish in a bowl. Scanning the interior of the truck. Calm but curious.
‘Uh…I’m pretty sure that’s a moose, Liza.’ (I was just being mean at this point. But it WAS funny.)
‘Where? I don’t see it.’
‘Well, its right next to you.’
You should have heard her scream. She smacked the window and the moose walked slowly around the front of the truck. It was a big bull moose, probably 6 feet at the shoulder. It didn’t have antlers because they shed them in the winter but the cow moose don’t usually get that big. It stopped in front of the truck to take another look and then it strolled over to the vertical climb and casually leaped up it and vanished into the trees. Leaped. It must have weighed close to 1000 lbs. I laughed all the way home but Liza was not amused.