Alaska- peaceful (23)

Ohh…it felt so good to lie still with my eyes closed. I slept, and Chris ‘rested’ for a good hour and half. We roused a little before 9.

Nine! The hour when the hotel was staffed. We turned around and went back to the hotel.

It had stopped raining–mostly–and the road had become very familar by now. Three trips in less that many hours.

The hotel was locked. But another guest let me in.

The first room I passed had a young woman cleaning it. The office was down the hall. No one was in it.

So I walked down the hall back to the cleaning girl. “Oh, yes, just a minute” she said.

She was the only worker there. I looked pitiful and begged to get into the hotel early. She said that  they were totally booked.

‘But I guess I can get a room ready for you by noon.”

“Thank you so much!”

There was a promise of a bed. We just had to get through the next three hours.

“Where to now?” Chris asked, back in the car.

“Let’s go check out Palmer.”

information loop

So some guys from work are going to see Steely Dan in concert tonight. This is fine, a cool thing to do and I’m happy for them. They are happy for them.

But the mention of Steely Dan inevitably brings up the origin of the name. Is there always the one guy that has to bring up thing that everyone knows, a fact that was vaguely interesting the first time it was learned and immediately tedious after absorbing?

I would like to reference the esteemed BOFH at this point, who puts it so well:

I’m really bored. You know how bored you get when work’s going on and on and on, and nothing interesting is happening, and you’re listening to a radio that picks up ONE station on FM, and it’s always the station with the least records in the city, about 5, and one of them is “You’re so Vain” which wasn’t too bad a song until you hear it about 3 times a day for a year, and *EVERY* time it plays, the announcer tells you it’s about Warren Beaty and who he’s currently poking, someone you’ll never sniff the toe-jam of, let alone meet, let alone get amourous with. And EVERY time someone mentions Warren Beaty, someone says that he used to go out with Madonna too, and have you seen “In Bed With..”

AND THEN, someone ELSE will say “It wasn’t really about Warren Beaty, it was James Taylor” and the first person will say “What, `In bed with Madonna?'”, and they laugh and everyone else laughs, and I slip out the Magnum from under the desk where I keep it in case someone laughs at a joke that’s so dry it’s got a built in water-fountain, and blow the lot of them away as a community Service. I figure that I’ll get time off my sentence if I ever kill someone by accident who’s got a life.

Just in case you are confused, I’m talking about the seemingly required discussion surrounding the “You’re so vain” song’s intended referent.

It’s a trigger for inane conversation. A tired joke/titillation that was maybe funny once. Maybe half funny once.

I reference the Heinlein “Funny Once” theory of Humor. In the excellent book “Moon is a Harsh Mistress” a large computer comes to life, and the hero of the story has to explain that some jokes are “funny once”, but should not be repeated.

That was one smart computer.

I wish that sort of smart could spread.

And NO, i’m not going to tell you what Steely Dan is named after. Look it up, if you really don’t know. Or don’t because it’s barely Worth knowing.

Alaska – Hatcher’s Pass on a Sunday Morning (22)

Hatcher’s Pass is a place I best remember for our sledding trips. Every once in a while, in the winter, someone would get a sledding trip together and we’d get up there and sled down the incredibly steep slopes.

It wasn’t that far away though. This is the view from the intersection with the corner store near my house:

That mountain is one side of Hatcher’s Pass. My mom had some kind of obsession (as it seemed to my teenage assessment) with going hiking there. She’d go with Dad a lot, and be all rapturous when she got back. She always wanted the whole family to go.

I could think of nothing I’d rather do less than go hiking with my family. I put up a fight. If I’d been born 25 years earlier, they would have called it anti-social. But I wasn’t anti-social, I was just anti-PARENT at that point.

Sledding, though, that was fun. If mom had suggested THAT, I might have gone along with it.

Anyway, this was summer and no sledding was going to happen.  In a weird twist, we’d be doing exactly what I’d always fought against my mother to not be doing. Just looking at nature.

Amazing how close it was. I had always remembered it as further. Here’s what we saw:

And I can’t leave out the river:


This is not a desert. It’s a damp, cold land.

It was raining (not evident in the pictures). So we drove on. We saw the Independence mine buildings, something I’d never paid much attention to while living there. Hatcher’s pass is an abandoned mine, a fact wholly obscured for me by it’s sledding promise.

Chris and I saw it, and we saw the river and the not-all-the way melted snow. I just wanted to sleep.

“Stop. Let’s just sleep.”

“No, they will charge money. See?”

Oh yeah. I forgot this was a state park. Yep, it was 5 bucks. I was tired and weak, and I wanted to kill Chris at this point, but I was too weak. He turned around, a familiar maneuver, something that promised YET AGAIN no sleep.

I thought about venting my murderous thoughts at my husband, but I remembered he was pretty tired too. And really, would it improve the situation? We were stuck as we were.

And then! and THEN! we had stopped. Chris found a pull-out just outside the park. One that DIDN”T CHARGE FIVE DOLLARS.

“Do you want to stop here and sleep?” Chris asked.

It wasn’t even 7 am. “Yes, yes” I said. The car was warm. Since we were in one place, I could shut my eyes and finally rest.

I sipped the last bit of my warm coffee and pulled my shawl up to my chin.

sweet oblivion.