Charlie Glatfelder, an Early Hippy
Trip Start Jun 01, 2009
35Trip End Jun 31, 2009
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We walked along the Chena River in Fairbanks and then drove to the North Pole. North Pole, Alaska is a theme town with a store where you can buy everything imaginable that is related to Christmas. Cards, tree ornaments, stuffed Santas, glass reindeer, wrapping paper, all in a store teaming with overweight people. Mangy Caribou were in cages outside. Jesus would cringe.
Quartz Lake Campground was next on the map and we decided to stay there for the night. We had time to walk a trail that went past a cabin built by Charlie Glatfelder. Charlie was a tool and die maker who was in the army and living in California. As the story goes, he drew a circle on a map around a blue dot in the middle of Alaska. The blue dot was Quartz Lake. In 1946, he loaded his stuff into a war surplus jeep and aimed for the blue dot. He then claimed a five acre homestead and built a dugout on a hill overlooking the lake. Later, in 1956, he built a cabin and converted his dugout to a root cellar. Apparently he didn't like money and worked in exchange for goods in the area. He had a garden but it wasn't very successful so in the later years he survived on fishing for pike, much of which he smoked. In 1959, he was found delirious and claimed that people were chasing him, (probably due to the unbalanced diet), and was hospitalized in an asylum in California. He recovered from his ailments, but never returned to his homestead. His cabin has been restored and can be rented.