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Bogen

Moses, on the Alaska highway

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In late summer of 1992, we met a man dressed like Moses, except with glasses. He had long white robes, long white hair and beard, sandals, just a small leather satchel, and a long staff with a cross on top. He was walking up the Alaska highway - we saw him for several days before we stopped to ask WTF. His name was George something or other, and he answered our questions very rationally.

 

He told us that he was originally from Monterey, CA. In 1972, he went to Spain to do the pilgrim trek they do there. While on this trek (which is a popular walking tour of all the old cathedrals, with historic significance) god spoke to him and told him to carry on to Jeruselam. In Jerusalem, god again spoke to him, and it was revealed that he was to spend the rest of his life just walking. I asked where he was going, he told us that he was walking to Jerusalem again. "Ummmm...," I said. He replied that he was going through Alaska, then Russia, then India, and on to the middle east. I said, "You know there's an ocean in the way, don't you?" and he answered that the original people on this continent came across that way, so surely he could go back. I began to dispute this point of view, but he was sure that god would provide. I didn't mention the Himalaya. I asked him what, in all his considerable travels, was the most beautiful area he had seen. He responded without hesitation that the country around Monterey was the most beautiful he had seen. We left him there, with a gift of sunflower seeds (the only food we had on us.)

 

I have often wondered what became of this strange fellow. If he did try to cross the ice into Siberia that winter, I'm sure he's dead. But I can't help but think that he wasn't stupid, just deluded and poorly informed, and that he may have made the appropriate decisions as they presented themselves. Perhaps he wintered with some sypathetic christians in Anchorage, and found passage in the spring. He was tough, and road-wise enough to be sleeping in nothing but robes in the Yukon in late August, staying healthy enough to serenely walk 30-40 miles a day.

 

Has anyone else, in their travels, run across this fellow?

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This reminds me of the guy a friend of mine ran into while floating the Yukon. This guy was on a quest to canoe around the world, in response to his drinking problem. He had already canoed across Canada, and at one point literally had to chop his canoe out of a glacier. My friend gave him a bunch of supplies, and the guy was learning from other people on how to cross the open ocean. I think my friend heard from the guy a couple of times(reports as to his progress, right up to when he was going to make the open ocean crossing), and then that was it. He figures the guy is either dead or back on the bottle. bigdrink.gif

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Before I moved to Portland I lived in Sweden near a small town called Laxa. One day late in the fall when I was out riding my bike I meet the man you descrice just outside town. Looked like Moses, his sandals was made out off old car tires and rope. I stoped and talked to him for maybee 5min and gave him some off my cookies. he mostly lived from food given to him from friendly people and when I meet him he was on his way south towards Jerusalem. I am guessing this was around 92-94 or so. He looked to be in great health although a tad delusional. Next day it was a small story about him in the local news papper. He left a pretty deep impression on me, don't find many people that do what they belive in anymore.

Edited by barjor

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I might throw out Erden for one. Some people say he's crazy while others say he's living his dream. People say he'll never succeed. I say he has already succeeded.

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For some reason I can't help but picture Tom Hanks in "Forrest Gump"...that part where he is driven to just run all over the place. Did he look anything like Tom Hanks?

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I ran into this Quebec French guy in Whistler who had walked from Chile to Whistler and was on his way north to Alaska. He had bongo drums and dreadlocks hahaha.gif

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I heard of a guy from a local source who would walk around on the glaciers on Mount Baker and preach to climbers. He was dressed in slacks and suit jacket and no gear at all. I was told they watched him standing on part of the glacier when an ice wall callapsed almost all around him and he stood there unharmed. hehe

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About 10 years ago I ran across an east german biking around america on a climbing trip. We climbed with him all day at smith. He had a full rack of russion gear that looked pretty sketchy, when asked about the reliability of the gear he replied that "it holds my falls". He also probably only weighed 125 pounds (pretty short and really skinny). He also was biking around with 2 full racks, as his partner I believe decided to go for a long distance hike on the PCT. Anyway, after a day of climbing, we convinced the dude to come with us to the free grass lands camping spot. We could not convince him to throw his bike in the back of the truck, he insisted on biking out there from the park after a full day of cragging. We did convince him to throw his paniers in the truck though. We got to the grass lands in no time. Latter we were all pitching in grub items to make some burritos. This dude didn't have an buritto fixins, but after dinner he says "I have something for desert" he walks over to a panier and pulls out a full size watermellon!

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I heard of a guy from a local source who would walk around on the glaciers on Mount Baker and preach to climbers. He was dressed in slacks and suit jacket and no gear at all. I was told they watched him standing on part of the glacier when an ice wall callapsed almost all around him and he stood there unharmed. hehe

Ha! I heard of that guy too and I didn't believe until I ran into him...he had two screwdrivers in place of ice axes and he gave us a bunch of Billy Graham photocopies cantfocus.gif

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You know it's people like all of those described above that help make life interesting. I think in a lot of ways, we envy them. Cheers, to fearless wanderers. bigdrink.gif

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My take on this line of thought is of a guy I met in one of those highway 101 bike campgrounds back in the early 80'. I rode into camp in the evening, looking for a spot, then noticed an ageless (maybe 40's?) man with a full beard, logger's pants and shirt with suspenders, hunkered over a small fire near a Army A frame. But what I really noticed was the home made recumbant bike with a mainsail stiched together from discarded black umbrellas. Our conversation went like this:

"Nice bike."

"A-yup."

"Do you use the sail much?"

"A-yup."

Long silence, followed by stiring of the fire.

"So where you headed?"

"South."

"So... I'm Jim. What's your name?"

"Some call me..Sinbad."

 

Sinbad, the bicycle pirate.

 

I followed him for a few days. He ate pretty much what he could find near the highway. Seemed to have a fair knowledge of mushrooms, and other flora I would have never guessed one could eat. But his real joy was chip trucks. He'd whoop like a fiend whenever he heard one coming, get his sail tacked just right, and go from about 5 to 50 in about three seconds when one whooshed by. He was a master at ekking out the last puff from the slipstream, getting maybe a 1/3 mile of free propulsion from each pass. I was impressed.

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A couple of summers ago I hiked a two-week long section of the PCT down in California starting at the south end of Lake Tahoe and ending about 200 miles north near a town called Quincy, CA. Before heading home, my partner and I hung out in Quincy for a couple of days because it was such a cool town.

 

We spent the night in a public park on the north side of town and in the morning were washing up in the restrooms when we spotted this guy who looked like a "fellow traveller". He had one of those BMW motorcycles that are made for road/dirt, a bunch of panier bags and stuff, and looked like he hadn't shaved in quite a while. I started chatting with him and he said that he was from Germany and had flown over to Toronto with his bike and started riding around North America. He had gone south to Florida, then northwest to Alaska, and was then on his way south to South America. His plan was to go all the way to Tierra del Fuego! thumbs_up.gif

 

I noticed he was hobbling a bit and that he had a bandage on his foot, so I asked him what happened.

 

"Well, last night I was sleeping in my sleeping bag up on that hill (he pointed behind us to a small hill above the public park) when I woke up to find a bear biting down on my heel. I screamed and the bear ran off" hellno3d.gif

 

I wasn't so sure about his story, but he pulled off the bandage to reveal a couple of puncture wounds on his foot and the next day we saw a little article about the incident in the local paper. Crazy.

 

 

You meet a lot of "interesting" people on the PCT.

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You meet a lot of "interesting" people on the PCT.

 

Agreed, except I'd say you'd meet just about only interesting people on the PCT. hellno3d.gif

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Sorry Chestbeater, but your facts are wrong. Erden did ride back from Denali and he also brought along all of his personal climbing gear for the trip. Does it compare with Kropp's feat? Who cares? Erdan seems to be enjoying it. By the way, have you heard about the rest of his plan? In my opinion circumnavigating the globe with bikes and rowboats (not to mention climbing the highest peak on every contininent along the way) is pretty impressive. Even if he does have to make a few compromises as to what he brings along. I suppose you think he should hunt all of his own food too?

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I heard he flew from Kahiltna to Talkeetna. What a wuss. evils3d.gif

 

He took his gear with him to AK? You sure about that? Ice axe, rope, tent, food, boots, sleeping bag.... all that shit? Really? If so, props to the mother fucker, but I don't think he did.

 

The way he did it - it's still an above average feat, but it ain't the miraculous victory of human will over nature that his press club would have us believe.

 

And he ain't planning to climb Vinson Massif. wazzup.gif

 

 

My point is not to say that Erden sucks. I think he's a cool guy and has done some cool shit, and I've congratulated him in person, but I don't like his self-salesmanship. I'm just trying to bring some balance to the discussion where people like catturd see Erden as some sort of hero because he has the disposable income to embark on a fun trip around the world.

 

What is the point of claiming a "self-supported, human-powered" traverse of the ocean if you have a million-dollar row boat built for you?

 

The whole thing seems kind of arbitrary and pointless to me. I mean, what is the point of not using a sail on the boat?

 

the_finger.gif

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Most things climbers do are arbitrary.

 

You decide what the game is

you make up the rules

then you do it.

 

I believe erden did cary his gear, but I don't think he caried all his food.

 

I'm not really down with the self salesmanship, but if you want to do something big chances are you need sponsors and so you sell your self/idea.

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The whole thing seems kind of arbitrary and pointless to me. I mean, what is the point of not using a sail on the boat?

 

i have a buddy who uses this same question on me all the time, although it goes something more along the lines of. "what is the point of not using a sled to get in the backcountry? we have the technology and fuel so use it"

to which my usual response is "i like to skin in...it's fun"

it's all arbitrary and pointless

Lionel Terray summed it up with "Conquistadors of the Useless "

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there is this crazy guy up in alaska that walks his bike from anchorage to the canadian border (about 400 miles) then turns around and goes back. the thing is he carries all his stuff in his pockets of his 10+ layers of jackets and pants. the first time i saw him we were amazed at what the fuck this 400 pound dude was doing in the middle of nowhere at 10 below zero with a bike. then a few months later driving back we saw him again.

 

turns out the local paper did a writeup on him and he is pretty smart guy just a few beers short of a six pack.

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Chestbeater,

 

He admits it is arbitrary. He has a goal and is doing it as well as he can. First of all, the boat is not that expensive but is is true he didn't built it himself. Where should he draw the line? She he make his on climbing gear? If so, should he mine the metal and smelt it himself. Should he have not only built the boat, but cut down the trees and milled the wood himself? Your right, he isn't doing it in the purist style possible (in my opinion truly pure style is almost impossible). He is just doing it the best way he can in memory of a freind who died whilke he was belaying him. Is it perfect no, but I doubt you made the podoium your preeching from.

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I heard he flew from Kahiltna to Talkeetna. What a wuss. evils3d.gif

I had a wedding to get to. I have my priorities. This is old news, written up all over Around-n-Over web site, no need to bring up stale stuff to be cute. Instead try to keep up with what I am up to now...

 

He took his gear with him to AK? You sure about that? Ice axe, rope, tent, food, boots, sleeping bag.... all that shit? Really? If so, props to the mother fucker, but I don't think he did.

Since I say that I did, and you say that you do not think that I did, you are essentially calling me a LIAR. I did not take a rope, or an expedition tent which are team gear. The rest I did.

 

The way he did it - it's still an above average feat, but it ain't the miraculous victory of human will over nature that his press club would have us believe.

You are missing the whole point in your drivel. My position has always been that what I do is not extraordinary, but out of the ordinary. Anyone can do what I do if they make the necessary choices, hence the attraction. If you cannot wrap your mind around this, I cannot help you.

 

And he ain't planning to climb Vinson Massif. wazzup.gif

Seven Summits was somebody else's dream and it has been done times over. You are welcome to try them when you choose to get off your couch and show some initiative at some point.

 

My point is not to say that Erden sucks. I think he's a cool guy and has done some cool shit, and I've congratulated him in person, but I don't like his self-salesmanship. I'm just trying to bring some balance to the discussion where people like catturd see Erden as some sort of hero because he has the disposable income to embark on a fun trip around the world.

I go away for 3,500 miles and cc.com is taken over by commies. WTF??? This is the first time that I have been dissed for my disposable income. I will wear that insult as a badge of honor!!!

 

As for the self salesmanship, this is the fricken USA and some of us better get used to it. Every word that comes out of our mouths is selling our ideas, our dreams and our visions. You are not fairing so well Chestbeater.

 

You pay your way to success sometimes. My way was to cash out my 401k, liquidate my life savings, sell our condo with my wife to downsize our mortgage commitments by moving into a cheaper townhome, and taking out a home equity loan. That is the disposable income that you are talking about Chestbeater. While beancounters at the so-called-potential-sponsors are deciding their ROI on funding they may commit to my journey, I have chosen to bet on myself when no one else would. How much are you betting Chestbeater?

 

Catbirseat is my friend, he believes in me, and he stands up for me when necessary. He does not see me as a hero, instead as someone with a kindred spirit, and one of like minds. I measure a friend by whether he stands up in the crowd to say a good word or two when I am not there, maybe 3,500 miles away. How many friends do you have, Chestbeater?

 

What is the point of claiming a "self-supported, human-powered" traverse of the ocean if you have a million-dollar row boat built for you?

The words are "self-propelled" meaning I will be the one rowing it, and not another person. Also "human-powered" meaning that the boat will not have engines or sails. I have never used the words "unassisted." Where TF does building the boat enter this equation? Can you with a straight face stand in front of Lance Armstrong and say: "sir your five TDF wins are invalid because you did not build your own bike?" Why would you diss one of our own, and not show an effort to support and build one another up? Why is cc.com full of cynics? You say that you shook my hand and congratulated me, and then you turn around and push these falsehoods behind my back, while I am 3,500 miles away? I am embarrassed for you, how about you?

 

BTW - the cost of the boat will be about $50k when all is said and done. Million dollars would pay for my educational budget over the next six years, and 1/2 million gets me around the world and on top of the summits. How about putting your money where your mouth is Mr. Chestbeater?

 

The whole thing seems kind of arbitrary and pointless to me. I mean, what is the point of not using a sail on the boat?

the_finger.gif

Arbitrary? Nothing arbitrary about it. The primary goal is to circumnavigate the globe by human power. This will be Miami to Miami westbound. The summits are added as a tribute to Göran, each to be reached sea-to-summit Göran style upon landfall on each of the six continents along the way. Vinson is out of the way, Antarctica is not on the circumnavigation route. Paths on the oceans are based on ocean currents and trade winds. This is what I drew on the map and I am executing it in order. Why is this so hard to grasp? Isn't this my journey after all?

 

I tell students that opinions of others are to be acknowledged but not to control their destiny. Opinions of naysayers, detractors and doubters will not stop me from progressing. I say watch and learn, Chestbeater, you might grow in the process...

 

Erden.

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Dear Erden,

 

Not everyone here is a cynic. Don't let the bastards grind you down. Just smile and give them the one-finger salute.

 

Good luck on your impressive, epic quest, and please keep us posted from time to time!

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The way he did it - it's still an above average feat, but it ain't the miraculous victory of human will over nature that his press club would have us believe.

You are missing the whole point in your drivel. My position has always been that what I do is not extraordinary, but out of the ordinary. Anyone can do what I do if they make the necessary choices, hence the attraction.

 

And had the necessary money. I don't blame you for being rich, but you wouldn't be able to do what you are doing if you weren't. I wish I could.

 

 

He took his gear with him to AK? You sure about that? Ice axe, rope, tent, food, boots, sleeping bag.... all that shit? Really? If so, props to the mother fucker, but I don't think he did.

Since I say that I did, and you say that you do not think that I did, you are essentially calling me a LIAR. I did not take a rope, or an expedition tent which are team gear. The rest I did.

 

I didn't call you a liar. I just doubted the second-hand reports (I don't follow your day-to-day activities on your website. Sorry) I had heard that you took all your shit to AK with you on your bike and you have confirmed my suspicion that you did NOT carry all your shit. No big deal, normally, but you are the one trumpeting your holy style and supposed self-sufficency, so I choose to take issue with your claims. Anybody can be a hero when they make their own rules. Look at <name deleted>; he is the undisputed king of speed climbing according to his own fucked-up arbitrary rules of speed climbing.

 

I take you on your word. So you are saying you hauled 25+ days worth of food for yourself as well as all of your climbing gear (minus group gear) to AK with you on your bike... I say, good job. That's a hell of a feat.

 

 

I say watch and learn, Chestbeater, you might grow in the process...

 

I doubt it.

Edited by Off_White

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I didn't call you a liar.

You are acting like a politician.

 

but you are the one trumpeting your holy style and supposed self-sufficency, so I choose to take issue with your claims.

In your haste to argue, you are creating new standards. You are the one using the expression "self-sufficiency." There is not a place on the web site that this expression is used. I never used that terminology. Again, the words are "self propelled," and "human powered" - as long as my body moves across the globe under my own power, my conscience is clear.

 

I take you on your word. So you are saying you hauled 25+ days worth of food for yourself as well as all of your climbing gear (minus group gear) to AK with you on your bike... I say, good job. That's a hell of a feat.

I did not bring any food for the mountain on my bike between Seattle and Talkeetna. I bought the food and fuel that I needed along the way. I towed in from Talkeetna what I thought was 18 days of food for me from the food that the team brought, or else I would have bought, which turned out to be less due to miscommunication. We went through all of the food inluding my reserves by the time we arrived at the base camp 67 miles away on foot.

 

We received additional food and fuel at the base camp when two other teammates joined in to make the team a total of five. Later on the mountain at the 11k camp, we scored a cache of food and fuel from returning Bothel Fire Dept climbers when it turned out that somehow the team food cache was less than anticipated.

 

We ended up giving away three cans of fuel and bunch of food on the way down after we completed the climb.

 

Satisfied?

 

Erden.

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There are always going to be player haters Erden. Just keep on keeping on. There are plenty of others who appreciate and admire your efforts, even if just vicariously. bigdrink.gif

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