A 100 years ago I would have had a horse to get around on,
maybe even a team of horses to do some work, but I am sure I would have had a
favorite hay burner among them.
He would have been special dependable beast with a personality
simpatico with my worldview, like a human pal with really big teeth. An old nag
named Red that would have hauled myself and my gear to the river: a fly fishing
horse. Imagine casting huge caddis flies from the saddle at dusk, now that
This, though, is 2006 and my 1989 Isuzu
trooper was about as close to a loyal horse as Iím going to get.
This fall I
had to replace my fishing truck, after sixteen seasons in the sun ;Old Whitey
was retired to pasture. I sold it to a guy from England who seemed pretty happy
about the whole deal, he wasnít much of a negotiator but I walked him through
the counter offer process. As he drove off in Whitey I had a feeling the two of
them had made a good match.
of the Trooper was a big deal for me because when it comes to vehicles Iím
miserably cheap. The whole idea of throwing money into an asset that is in
fiscal freefall from the moment you buy it makes me queasy.
Iíve heard it said that you are what you drive. Until this fall,
that would have made me a dusty, over the hill Troutbum with a slight oil leak.
These are same people that say that, over time you begin to look like your pet
or is your spouse. Hereís the truth, you are NOT what you drive and itís the
pet that begins to look like its owner. Woof
The beautiful thing about Whitey
was it was perfectly suited to my image of understated poverty; this is a good
thing in the guiding business. No one wants to hire a guide that has more money
than they do, clients like to feel the fee they pay is making the poor buggerís
trailer payment: ďand hereís few extra dollars for some corn liquorĒ. Whitey
was wonderful prop she had great stage presence when meeting clients for the
first time. Thereís no business like fishing show business.
Whitey only had 237,000 miles, in
horse years thatís practically nothing. One of the the things I will miss is
the occasional visit to see Old Whiteyís vet, I mean mechanic, Mark Malin owner
of Boslers Automotive. If you donít know Mark he is a savant of car repair but
more than that a renaissance man giving lectures on ancient Mayan astrophysics
one minute and tearing off the top end of an Audi the next. Iíll continue to
stop by the shop and soak up a little local color and philosophy from time to
time. A great car caregiver is like a gifted MD; you want to stay in touch
because sooner or later youíll need them.
I was going to end this installment with some sentimental trip down
memory lane; all the places that truck had taken me fishing etc. but I think
not. Let just say that truck gave me the best years of itís life.
I replaced Old Whitey with a new
Nissan Xterra; I guess weíll see how she does and yes, it is white.