Hard Driving

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

By Jason Tucker

“A little humor folks”

It’s Friday at last.

You have worked hard, saved up, finagled the time off from job and family obligations for this trip and now it’s here. The bite is on, the vehicle is loaded and you are making the long trek to trout country.

When you start out everything is ok. Spirits are high, the radio blares and the adrenaline flows. But after a few hours reality sets in. This is going to be a long drive. You are tired out from a long week of work, packing, and March Madness. Three hours into the drive is when your eyelids first start to drift south. You are barely halfway there. You turn up the radio and hope for the best, but in the monotonous white noise of the road you can see it all clearly in your minds eye- you slumped over the wheel, your SUV slowly arcing in a barrel roll, followed slowly by your drift boat, your eyes opening as a Slim Jim hits you in the face, followed by a ton of wreckage.

Such tragedy, and it doesn’t have to be this way. Here’s some tips for staying awake on those long drives to hot fishing, late at night.

Music: Radio, CD’s (as if), your iDevice, or satellite radio, all can be a good source of good road energy, but when the rubber really hits the late night road and the eyelids are drooping it can fall short.

Suggestion: Comedy channels on satellite radio- the ever changing comedy keeps you engaged, and it’s hard to nod off during a belly laugh.

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 6.33.57 PMDrinks: not alcohol, we’re talking cold energy. You could go old school- Coke, Mountain Dew, or my favorite, Dr. Pepper. New school is the vast array of energy drinks. Red Bull is the Cadillac of these judging by the price. Monster is more authentic for the majority of us fly guys- less expensive, lots of choices, and a good zip for the dollar. Are you really pushing the night driving envelope? Top off with a 5-Hour Energy or Fish On.

Snacks: crunchy snacks can keep you engaged and your mind alert, at least for a while. I’ve heard of everything from mint gum to sour candy to Doritos. The ultimate however are sunflower seeds, which are appearing in a growing variety of flavors. The combination of flavor, the work it takes to hull a seed in your mouth, spit the hull, and the ultimate but tiny reward work together to engage the taste buds and mind, keeping you awake.

Talk Radio: That’s right. It takes two forms. Don’t go for your comfort zone, unless sleep at 70 mph is your thing. I’ll break this down into two forms.

ZB9q1z10Jesus Radio: There is no shortage of religious programming in America. It encompasses everything from prosperity gospel types like Joel Osteen, to your basic bible pounding, to the most vehement hellfire-breathing screed- pick your poison, examine your soul, and stay awake. Whether you totally agree, or are a philosophy student who likes to argue, Jesus radio can keep you awake for at least a hundred miles. More if you’re in the South. Caution: do not confuse Jesus Radio with Christian Rock. Christian Rock is the chloroform of the airwaves. Two minutes of this and you’ll be hanging upside down from your seatbelt.

donaldConservative Talk Radio: Conservative talk radio is the Holy Grail of night driving- no matter where you are you will find it; no matter your political bent it will engage you. Are you a conservative? In just a few short minutes you will be so angry at Hillary Clinton again that you won’t be able to sleep. Are you a card carrying, bed-wetting liberal? You’ll be so angry you won’t sleep for days. How dare they blame the swap of Bowe Bergdahl for terrorists on Obama! Conservative talk radio is designed to piss off any listener no matter what. Just be ready for the rage, no matter what its form.

Putting it all together: Start with your favorite music radio and some snacks. Down a Monster and if you have satellite radio tune into the comedy. As the night progresses go for the Doritos and Jesus radio. As the early hours, night blindness, and imminent rollover approach, down a 5-Hour Energy, break out the sunflower seeds, and turn on the conservative talk. This is the ultimate combo, so be ready. I highly recommend you turn it to smooth jazz 30 minutes before you arrive so that you can sleep a couple hours before you hit the river. Christian Rock will do too, if your stomach lining will take it.

Redux: Get that shit dialed in, because the drive home Sunday will try to make Friday its bitch.

Jason writes the fine blog Fontinalis Rising

Jason Tucker

Gink & Gasoline
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7 thoughts on “Hard Driving

  1. If you’re really starting to feel the eyelids droop, just pull over. I usually pull over and do jumping jacks to get the blood running. Works like a charm for at least 45 minutes.

  2. I usually do not chew tobacco at all, but I keep a pouch of Beechnut in the glove box for just such emergencies. Down a bottle of Dew first, so you have something to spit in!

  3. Second the comedy channels on sat. Pandora has them too if you don’t have a subscription. Podcasts are great too, its a double win if you can find a fly fishing one that has to do with the fishery you’re driving to.

  4. Fly fishing Podcasts. Learn while you drive. I have loved the podcasts from the FLYGAL. She interviews historical figures in our sport. These aren’t just scripted interviews she’s reading. I think the reason she is so good is she has a real interest and respect in the sports rich history.

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