The pickup trucks rumbled up the washboard dirt road known as Doe Trail, or the road to the Frozen Dead Guy. In the bed of each truck was a large purple cooler containing about 800 pounds of dry ice. Jane Curtis Gazit and Michael Wooten, the new team hired to keep Bredo Morstol in dry ice temperatures, drove the trucks. It was their first full load of the smoking frozen form of CO2.
Last month, Norwegian resident Trygve Bauge and Colorado resident Bo Shaffer had some disagreements about the monthly reports and payments involving keeping Morstol on ice. Bo, known as the Ice Man, was responsible for delivering dry ice to the Tuff Shed in Big Springs where Bredo, Trygve’s grandfather is reportedly cryogenically frozen, waiting for the day when he will be cloned.
He’s been in the Tuff Shed since 1995 when Bredo’s daughter Aud and grandson Trygve moved the deceased and frozen octogenarian from a cryonics lab in California to a shed in Nederland. When it was discovered that the recently deported Trygve Bauge had left his mother and his grandfather high and dry in Nederland, the town came up with some ordinances that would allow Bredo’s remains to stay as long as he was kept properly frozen.
The Ice Man has been delivering ice since then, hosting birthday parties and holiday celebrations with champagne and Old Grandad, but bad feelings erupted between Bo and Trygve and, in his usual outgoing, bombastic style, Trygve put out the word that he was looking for a new ice person, or persons, to take over Bo’s job.
He had a bunch of takers, but Jane and Mike were the ones who went into action. Jane is the owner of Keep Magnolia Clean, a composting, recycling and trash pickup business. She said she is organized and always does what she says she will do. She made an emergency dry ice run about two weeks ago and realized that Bredo needed a full 1,600 pound load.
She and Michael contacted each other and made the full load on Monday. Michael is a retired truck driver, Leftover Salmon musician, writer and rock bus driver who answered the advertisement thinking it was all about the work. When he discovered the details he was fascinated saying he had heard about the Frozen Dead Guy for years. He said he was in it for the adventure.
So the two new ice people arrived, met by a couple of reporters, and began the first day of their new job.
First they opened the lid, a few layers of styrofoam. When the interior of the box was revealed, the dry ice barely covered the chain enwrapped sarcophagus in which Bredo lay captive. They had to work fast. Jane removed what was left of the last delivery of dry ice to make room for the fresh stuff.
Michael unloaded the slabs of smoking ice and Jane picked them up and organized them around and then over the wrapped remains. “If I am anything, I am organized,” said Jane as she leaned into the box, her arms disappearing in the eery mist that rolled out into the air. She said that so far, Trygve, though eccentric, had proved to be a fair and generous boss.
Michael called the whole thing a 20-year long science project, but said, “You’ve got to admire Trygve. He’s a fighter.”
The team worked swiftly and efficiently, with Jane chattering good naturally as the ice box filled to the brim. The stringent odor of carbon dioxide was filling the Tuff Shed. Pictures of the ice were taken to send to Trygve.
“He will be really happy,” said Jane. “Woohoo. We did it.”
Mike wiped the sweat off his brow and said, “I think we’re going to get along just fine.”
Now that the dry ice logistics are completed, Jane and Michael can prepare for the onslaught of pre Frozen Dead Guys Festival publicity. With the online word about their being hired, they have already received phone calls from press all over the world, including Time Magazine.
And the legend continues.