This week’s blog is riding in on the shirt tales, or I guess I should say the fish tales, of last week’s blog. It’s the story of how I ended up meeting with Senator Murkowski in Washington D.C.
As some of you may know, I’ve spent my winter sailing down the east coast through the Intracoastal Water Ways (ICW), around the Florida Keys and the Dry Tortugas, a set of small keys approximately 70 miles west of Key West. My fishing season is approaching so I wasn’t able to sail the boat back north with Vince where it will be stored in Maryland until next fall. I needed a faster than 7 knots mode of transportation to get to Ohio, visit family then continue on to Alaska. So we rented a car.
Vince, who did the road trip with me then went back to his boat, needed to stop off in North Carolina and southern Maryland. I was looking at a map of America, figuring our route from Florida to Ohio via those states and lo and behold, Washington D.C. is right on the way. I figured, what the hay? I’ll see if I can swing in and meet with my Senators about Pebble Mine. I went to each of their websites, Begich and Murkowski and saw that each had a “Coffee with the Senator”. I RSVP’ed on line, it was that easy.
Now, being that I’ve been on a sailboat all winter, I didn’t really have the kind of clothes needed to meet with a Senator. Even my best flip-flops were a bit ragged. So we stopped at a few outlet malls along the way. I gathered up what I thought was a conservative outfit. Turns out, I missed the mark completely, but so did most the other Alaskans there. Anyway, we pull into D.C. the afternoon before my morning meeting. We were going to settle into the hotel, then enjoy the warm evening by walking into historic Georgetown for dinner. Opening up the trunk of the car to grab my outfit, complete with new shoes, I picked up the box with my new shoes in them and what do I see? Mouse pooh! The tissue paper was all gone and there was mouse poop in the box. Luckily, the shoes were not damaged. But, oh no! My new sweater! I tear into that bag and find my sweater, which was also wrapped in tissue paper. Again, the paper was gone. I feared the worse. What if a mouse ate a whole in my new sweater that I got at the J. Crew outlet for 35% off? I’m in the middle of D.C. There are no outlet malls here. Where am I going to get a new outfit on this short notice? Everyone knows you can never find what you are looking for when there is a time crunch. Especially not on sale! How much will that cost. Panic was setting in as I yanked the sweater out of the bag and inspected it. Schew. Only the paper was gone, the sweater was fine.
Long story short, instead of our nice romantic evening in Georgetown we had what looked like a yard sale in the parking lot of the hotel as we pulled everything out of the trunk, pulled every piece of clothing out its bags. And at that point in time, I couldn’t help but wonder why I can’t have a normal life.
We never did find the mouse, only his nest and his trail of mouse pooh in bags on the back seat. I called the rental car company to switch out the car. They said they would bring me something similar to the gas sipping Nissan I was driving. They showed up with a Ford F150 4x4 four-door that got 14 miles to the gallon, but that’s another story.
Anywho, that next morning I took the subway all by myself with my new outfit that didn’t have mouse holes in it to the Senate building and didn’t even get lost, much. I walk into Senator Murkowski’s office and, of course, there is Jim, a guy I know from Anchorage. He was an old hat at this and showed me the ropes. I started chatting with Stefanie, the fisheries gal and found out we know some of the same folks from Petersburg. Then I met with the Senator and we chit-chatted about how much snow Cordova got over the winter, our mutual love of Copper River Fleece (www.copperriverfleece.com) and that both of us own too many jackets. She told me how her sons work on tenders in the summer. Then I slipped in my concerns about Pebble. She listened. And that is, as they say, the rest of the story.