DAY 149

August 10, 1999

I went to the front desk and asked for refund for tonight’s stay. After I explained that I couldn’t sleep last night etc.… The girl had an attitude and said I needed to give 24-hour advance notice. But geez I just checked in last night and paid in advance for 2 days, how could I know yesterday morning (24 hours ago) that it was going to be like this. She was a hmmmm..... not a nice person, and would not give me a refund and said it was policy to give 24-hour notice. I asked to speak to the manager or someone in charge because this was crazy. She said, "OK but it won’t do any good. He’ll just tell you the same thing", as she walked away smugly. The manager came out, and after I explained my situation, he refunded the money that I had paid in advance for tonight, and I was on my way.

I stopped at the downtown deli for breakfast, and looked in the classified ads in the "dogs" section.  Nothing there really, so I thought I'd check animal control or the humane society.  I really wanted to find a dog to rescue from being put to sleep.  And definitely stay away from "puppy mills".

Leaving the café, I got into a conversation with an artist that was across the street. After about 30 minutes of conversation, the artist invited me to stay at his place. Cool, I thought. He said that he’d be home at 6:30pm and I could call to get directions then.

I rode around town on my bike and went to REI, bike shops, and had a late afternoon lunch at some organic vegetarian place, forgot the name but the food was excellent.

Met a girl there that attempted a climb up Mt. McKinley with a group of females, the Denali Divas. They attempted a very difficult base to peak assault on the mountain, something very few do. Most fly in to base camp at about 10,000 feet (I think?). Anyway, the base adds something like 8,000 or so feet to the climb and is VERY difficult, very few attempt this. And there is a very difficult river crossing to get to the base. The McKinley River is a total of about 1 mile wide and at times, over waist deep.

They have a website of their climbing experience. (This was the same assault that Terje’ and Guro had attempted)


I went to the the artists’ place in the evening and met a young artist, Lucas and his girlfriend Alison, that were there discussing commercial art with "the artist". Apparently, "The artist" is a mentor for Lucas.

Later, "the artist" and I talked about my ride. He told me about all of his hikes through the Brooks Range, which is an area I will pass through if I decide to go to Prudhoe Bay. He showed me the fragments of a mastodon tusk that was found up in the arctic where I would be riding. "These are over 10,000 years old. They are older than man or any religion…… Religions pale to this", he said boldly and brashly in his semi-drunken state. While I held the pieces I thought about 10,000 years ago, and realized I am holding something that was on a living creature that was so long ago that I couldn’t comprehend that amount of time, or a world without humans living on it. After telling him about my course in Human Skeletal Analysis and how I studied bone fragments from a dig site dated at 650 BC, he decided to give me a small fragment of the mastodon tusk. He stepped outside with a hammer in one hand and the tusk fragment in the other. Holding the tusk in his left hand he slammed the hammer down one the end of it, creating about 4 small fragments. He held up the pieces and looked at the shapes and studied them for a minute. Deciding to give me a larger piece, he repeats the ritual of slamming the hammer down against it on the concrete. Then he went ahead and gave me all of it. This was one of 2 pieces he had and he gave me one of them, which is now in several smaller fragments. WOW, what a gift! This is something that is far more valuable than money to me.

Come to find out that the artist is currently separated from his wife and is in the middle of a divorce right now. Most of the conversations this evening seemed intense, as the artist can be very intense. He takes any conversation and turns it into a very deep intense conversation and gets very philosophical. Everything I said, he challenged and delved into each little aspect of a statement and analyzed it so critically and in soooo much detail. Man I thought I was a deep thinker and a philosopher at times, but this guy takes it waaaaaaaaaay to the extreme. And the language he chooses to use, it’s constantly "f" you or "f" that.

After mentioning my need to go back and rewrite most of my journal entries, he looked at me and said F@&K YOU! Wow that caught me off guard when he said it so loudly and in my face. He then said "F@&k you for wanting to rewrite it, F@&k you…. Who are you to go back and sanatize it? To write it once and not touch it, you are somebody, to go back and sanatize it you are a nobody". I went on to explain that I really just needed to fix typos and add the stuff in my original notes that never made it on the net. "Well that’s cool….that’s cool" he said in a calmer voice.

no pics today

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