Oh, God. How do you talk about this country, this Far North, this Paradise? All trees and lakes and mountains yesterday on the Alaska Highway from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, across the border into the US, and now in Tok, a tiny town in Alaska. It gets very cold here in the winter. My Couchsurfing host, Chip, says it’s one of the coldest places in Alaska and it gets down to -60 F or -70 F in the winter. Yeah. I’ll make the Far North (in both Canada and the US) another of my home bases, but only in the summer.
My home bases: New Orleans (my favorite city anywhere: culture, music, food); the Far North–Alaska and the Yukon Territory– (because it’s Paradise); Ojai, California (because of Myles, Seth and Noelle and the chaparral); Boulder, Colorado (because of Sam and Archer).
Road warrior: “broke and homeless.” (I read this.)
How much of what we believe and live by is simply mythology… and not true at all?
How defensive and defiant am I because of not knowing I had Asperger Syndrome for so many years? Get over it! Ha ha.
Chip Ireys, my wonderful CS host and ride from Whitehorse to Tok, told me the Athabascans have no words for “thank you” or “good-bye.” (“They just leave,” he said.) I said I couldn’t stop saying “thank you,” though I’d like to. He said it’s OK and that saying it is just fine.
I walked into Tok from Chip’s house this morning. 1.03 miles an old codger, Stan, told me. I went to The Three Bears Food Store. Most of Tok is, I think, along the highway. Chip did say lots of businesses are along side streets, but the town is just mostly trees. I love this. The song birds were singing at 2 am this morning.
I had a dream that I lost my little day pack (with my wallet, IDs, etc.) in it on the bus. A huge loss, and I was crying. Then, someone found it, and they gave it back to me. I was so happy.
I am having very strong recollections of John Blanton, my lover when we were both living at Scott Creek. He was fifteen, and I was thirty. His mom and brother also lived there, and Seth lived there with me. “Mayor Bill,” a congenial old man, was John’s mentor of sorts.
John died hitchhiking when he was eighteen years old. I had one of the best times of my life when John was driving my truck (with camper built on the back by one of our fellow squatters at Scott Creek (which is a beach outside Davenport, California). A bunch of us from the Creek, including our kids, were in the back camper of the truck. John was so happy, and he was driving through a field. One of his friends, maybe one of the Burns boys, was sitting up front with him.
I remember savoring the moment and thinking, “This is one of the happiest days of my life.” Obviously, it still is one of my best memories.
Some other Scott Creek memories: a truck (not one of ours) sinking into the wet sand where the Creek entered the ocean = it disappeared under the sand despite all attempts to save it (like a tow truck pulling at the car from the bridge up on the highway); the men from our camp going out into the ocean to gather abalone; our big night-time bonfires on the beach; occupying the Santa Cruz Courthouse to protest our eviction from Scott Creek in December of 1977 (’78?); just living with Seth in our little hut on the beach is a great memory; the cars and trucks leaving the area above the beach (this involved lots of work, as I recall, as vehicles could get stuck in the sand); our trips into Santa Cruz; sitting in the court room with Johnny and the Dick Burns’ girls (Holly, Ivy, and Della). And lots of other memories.
Perhaps Johnny is my One Eternal Love. I never realized that he might have actually loved me. I started going out with Richard Ray Stalker in Santa Cruz, and I left Johnny. Before this, I had a miscarriage. Johnny may have been the father, but I had sex once with another guy from our camp after Johnny went off with his old flame, Ivy. I was jealous and sought revenge (never a good idea).
I am calling Johnny “The Unseen,” since he is not at this time someone I know and recognize as John Blanton. I see him (if it is him) in my dreams, and I will be reunited with him (again, if he is The One) after my death. I forgot that I once loved John.
I remember going back to Davenport and being in the bar and asking Mayor Bill about Johnny. That’s when he told me Johnny was dead. Mayor Bill had already lost his own son to an early death; John was like a second son to Bill, and he took his death very hard, I think.
It takes these very reclusive Alaskans a long time to wake up for Spring/Summer. Spring is like five days. They’ve been asleep for eight months. The temp here gets down to -76 F. (that’s -60 C.). I keep hearing the word “reclusive” out of women’s mouths. “I’m very reclusive.” Do the men say this, too? Is everyone here just coming out of hibernation? I think so.
It’s chilly and rainy today. I walked 1.03 miles into Tok and bought a bracelet (by Linda Duke of Chicken, Alaska; $12), a coffee, a chocolate bar, 6 postcards, an onion and an ear of corn, and -what else?- just had a good time talking to people, observing people, and walking around listening to music on my iPod. I also mailed a package to Ferlin Begaye on the Navajo Nation: 5 posters of trout and a calendar from Fish and Wildlife in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.
When I am sitting in the outhouse with the door open, I can see little bush planes taking off and landing on the runway at the edge of Chip’s property. Chip has two planes; he can roll right out onto the runway from his yard. It’s really fun and beautiful here. I am staying in Chip’s big trailer. He’s gone to Anchorage for a few days, so I’m using his house (which is nicer and warmer than the “fifth wheel” on a chilly, rainy day like today).
I have all these great ideas to write here, and then I get online and get to this page, and I forget them all. Why? Am I not writing naturally? Am I forcing it?
I woke up in the light, after going to bed at close to midnight in the light, and I love it. The Midnight Sun is an unmatched phenomenon in my life. No “night”; only sleep. No one creeping around in the dark (do people CREEP around at night if it’s light out all the time?). No longer any fear of darkness with the Midnight Sun.
I am half-way to being reunited with my Soulmate.