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Old 04-09-2013, 02:17 PM
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Default It Can Be Done!

I'll add my 'Good Luck' to the other posts and tell you a little about how I dealt with the past 30 years or so. There are many details I won't touch on but you'll get the basics from it.

When I had a company job I began applying for an unpaid leave of absence every January from 1981 - 1986. The company granted me 6 weeks twice and 4 weeks 3 times. My office scheduler allowed me to take the leaves in conjunction with my paid time off that accumulated for years of service.

That strategy made it possible to piece together 6 and 9 week periods of time during which I did what you are talking about. I traveled to Newfoundland and many other places that would have been impossible otherwise with a 2 week vacation. I traveled via motorcycle and through those years racked up over 70,000 miles of trout & salmon biking and camping. I quit my job in 1988 and left for Alaska in May of 1989 where I took a job as a commercial fisherman and then fished my way home to Pennsylvania when the season ended in the fall of 89'.

By 1993 I started my own little business and kept my schedule in line so that I could travel and fish many days and weeks each year. I lived in an area where you could fish every day after finishing your work responsibilities so things were good.

By 2004 I had managed to have lived for 50 years and decided to pick one of the places I had enjoyed while fishing there and to move to that location. Colorado was that place but not long after getting settled in I was contacted by a friend in Alaska and offered a 90 day position in that state again. I left within a week but the 90 days turned into 9 years. The job allowed me to earn enough to grubstake myself here after 2 years and so.............. I resigned and started my own little business again. During my first 14 months here in Alaska, even though I was earning enough money to rent a place I took one room as a boarder for 300 dollars a month. I lived in a home that had a husband - wife - and three kids for 14 months. It was hectic, but it allowed me to save almost everything I earned. I had brought my old Ford truck up here and so was able to wander around at will. In January of 06 I bought a Kawasaki KLR 650 that gets 52 mpg and then really got wandering.

At the age of 52 I got married and continued working my thing until last year. Of course I fished as many days as possible over the years because my work had no real schedule and I set the hours. Last year we made a capital investment in another business venture (small business) and it will take a couple years to develop the business but if all is well I will be able to fish and run the rivers from ice out until freeze up every season until I am too old to do it.

Why say all of that? I guess it's to show that you can do it. You may experience hard times and you better be able to rough it when you have to. When I was just starting my business in Pennsylvania back in 1993 - 94, I rented a 'Hay Loft' for $50.00 a month and I lived in that hay loft with my dog for a year until I had enough money to rent a house with a shop and pay all the expenses of my business as well.

It was tough, I did have furniture in the barn but there was no heat or water. The $50 rent was actually for use of a shower stall in the garage of the property owner that I was able to use. The good news was that the barn was right beside Lycoming Creek and I could fish whenever I wasn't working.

It can be done. I'll be 59 in a few months and have been all over the Continent fishing, 45 states and 9 provinces of Canada. You just have to want it,


Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors
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