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Getting rid of gas

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POSTED April 6, 2011 1:44 a.m.
In high school, my buddy Lawrence and I put 85 miles on his truck driving around the biggest town on the island.

It’s impressive when you consider the town is the size of Raymus Village and is only seven miles from our hometown of 750.

When the driving license is new and you are a teenager you do things like that. When you have to pay for insurance and the gas yourself, it’s not so cool.

I spent $78.20 on gas Friday afternoon, and since the sunny season is nearing, I put that figure into real terms — terms that make sense, terms that mean something.

Seventy-eight dollars is nine10-packs of Senko’s for bass or 22 Blue Fox spinners for salmon.

It’s 220 yards of material to make polar shrimp and franks flies for rainbow and cutthroat trout. If I order 20 packages of chenille, I can get four boxes of Mustad hooks (25 per box) red-neck hackle, white calf tail, gold tinsel and still have enough money left over to get a new fishing hat to replace the one that some claim has seen a few too many seasons.

I think it’s just rounding into shape.

The reality is the more I drive my truck, the lighter my tackle box and leaner my supply of fly-tying material.

To make it worse, my mom pays the same amount to fill her tank, and she lives on an island in Alaska . She’s closer to the oil, but it has to be shipped down to be refined then back up.

It was this that provoked me to throw off the burden of refined oil dependency. To grant myself a reprieve from pump punishment and shaking my angry fist at the unleaded logo, I declared April a “One Tank” month.

I refuse to fuel up again until I’ve flipped the month on the Southeast Alaska nature calendar mom gets me every Christmas to May.

Okay, so it’s not a complete escape from gasoline, but there will be 78 more dollars in my checking account for things that make life fun like fishing tackle, or things that make life possible, like food and water.

I already saved 30 or so miles by biking to and from work last week, so that won’t be a problem, and cutting out other non-essential drives is quite illuminating. I biked to Raley’s Saturday, then down to Target because Cherrios are cheaper there.

It jump-started an incredibly productive day in which I mowed the lawn, did laundry and found a matchbox car belonging to the previous renter behind my oven while cleaning.

I won’t tell you how long I’ve lived where I do but will say that the cleanup did not require gloves and was done in the same amount of time it takes a country singer to sing his song.

Sunday’s walk to church was very insightful. The denizens of Manteca are diverse when it comes to alcohol consumption but many seem to agree that glass bottles are biodegradable if shattered along roadsides or on concrete sidewalks.

The slow pace allowed me also to talk to cows and dodge digestive missiles from birds on power lines.



To contact Jeff Lund, email aklund21@gmail.com.
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