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Edition of 417 of which 100 are signed 1-100, 26 are signed A-Z as artist's proofs, and 3 sets are signed as progressives.

May 31, 1974 Six colors 18" x 24"

Client: Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Restaurant, 1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley CA 94709. Telephone (510) 548-5525 3 artist's own use A-Z, artist's own use

(Print September/October 1974: Print's Poster USA 74) (facsimile)

Influence: Art Deco motifs

The price of gold (and gasoline and everything else) had tripled, and showed no sign of slowing down. In the summer of 1974, Chez Panisse's headwaiter, and my brother-also a Chez Panisse waiter-and a mutual friend and his dog, and I, all took off to the Yukon on a whim that had without warning turned into reality, as whims have a way of doing.

When we got to Dawson, just shy of the Arctic circle, it was near to midsummer. Though the sun did not set, the ground remained permanently frozen. We split up into two parties, one to travel overland and the other by water. We planned to meet on the Scroggie Creek in three days, but it took five. The two of us, and the dog, walked through trackless birch forest, bare save for countless wild roses, which tore at our clothes.

By the end of the fifth day we were out of food. When we got to the rendezvous on the Stewart, instead of a ford we were confounded by a quarter mile of swift river. We hailed across, flat water rifling our voices, but could not go further. On the far shore, my brother built a raft out of oil drums and discarded lumber, and rowed across using a shovel for an oar. Tossing a line, I slipped and fell into the water. The sheer sub-aqueous bluff gave no handhold, but I grasped a fortunate overhanging branch and pulled myself out by main strength. At that moment I realized Nature does not care about me one way or the other. I am not special.

An hour later my brother hurried up the shore, having run all the way, fearful of bears. He'd managed to land two miles downstream. He carried food, tobacco, dogfood and whisky, promiscuously tossed together into a big pot. The food was oatmeal and cornmeal, cooked up with honey, salt and butter. Some of the dogfood had spilled into it, but no matter. It was the best meal I have ever had in my life. Now we were split up differently, with three on one side of the river and one on the other. Took us two days to get back together. We never did find any gold.