Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Art and Damaris (Dee) Mortvedt, Interview 2, Part 2
Art and Dee Mortvedt

This is a continuation of an interview with Art and Damaris (Dee) Mortvedt on April 3, 2015 by Leslie McCartney and Karen Brewster at Elmer E. Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In this second part of a two part interview, Art continues to discuss his Arctic and Antarctic flying adventures. Dee chimes in with her own experiences flying with Art as well as her role at home. They also talk about their wilderness lodge (Peace of Selby Wilderness Lodge) at Selby Lake in the Brooks Range.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2015-06_PT.2

Project: Pioneer Aviators Project Jukebox
Date of Interview: Apr 3, 2015
Narrator(s): Art Mortvedt, Damaris "Dee" Mortvedt
Interviewer(s): Leslie McCartney, Karen Brewster
Videographer: Karen Brewster
Transcriber: Joan O'Leary
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
Alaska State Library, Institute of Museum and Library Services
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
Slideshow
There is no slideshow for this person.

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Sections

Future with the Polar Pumpkin airplane

Working with Michael Farikh

Failed attempts to the North Pole

Wanting to become a pilot and learning to fly

Acquiring his first airplane

Love of flying and the freedom it provides

Type of clothing worn on Arctic and Antarctic flights

Living in a sod house on the Kobuk River

Retrieving airplane caught in overflow

Other airplanes he owns

Operating Peace of Selby Wilderness Lodge

Praise for freedom to use public land

Advice to anyone interested in a career in flying

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Transcript

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So we're back with Art and Damaris. Thank you very much. So what’s next for the Polar Pumpkin?

ART MORTVEDT: I have it in the Midwest at the moment and it needs an annual inspection. And so in a few days I'm going to go down to work with a certified mechanic to do the annual inspection on the plane.

And then I may be giving a talk in a town in Illinois. Fly the airplane up there for that. And there are some other events in the Lower 48 states that I would like to take the Polar Pumpkin.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: To you like air shows? ART MORTVEDT: Uh-huh. Air shows. Uh-huh. Fly-ins.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Uh-huh. Yeah. Any other expeditions that you're thinking about doing or -- ?

ART MORTVEDT: I'm working on a project, but I normally don’t talk about projects until I see some fruition to them.

KAREN BREWSTER: Well, they definitely are big projects you plan. I'm sure it is a lot of not only the logistics, but the fundraising and getting collaborators and things like that.

ART MORTVEDT: Yeah. Well, it depends on the project, but yeah. Uh-huh.

KAREN BREWSTER: Based on they are not easy things little things to do?

ART MORTVEDT: Yep. The project in Siberia and on through Mongolia to a great extent is to the credit of a particular individual that I happened to meet at the North Pole whose name is Michael Farikh. And I'll have a photograph of Michael and myself tonight . And he got to the North Pole by flying a small private helicopter from Moscow and then since then --

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: I want to interview him, too.

ART MORTVEDT: Yeah. You should. He's the first guy that ever did that. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: I can imagine.

ART MORTVEDT: Yeah. And since that he flew that Robinson 66 around the world through Fairbanks. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Really.

ART MORTVEDT: And I was able to help him a little bit here in Fairbanks as he came through. And then when I explained my interest to Michael relative to traditional people in Siberia, he said, "Ah, I know what we can do for you." So he put me in touch with some most amazing people. And that expedition was successful greatly to the credit of Michael Farikh.

And a very interesting side note relative to Michael’s connection with Alaska. Carl Ben Eielson crashed I think it was North Cape in 1929 as I remember. When he went to rescue some people and some furs and a ship that got stuck over there. And he was killed.

And Fabio Farikh is the grandfather of Michael who was one of the pilots that flew the body of Carl Ben Eielson from North Cape, Siberia back to Fairbanks.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Wow. ART MORTVEDT: Incredible how it's -- LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Small world. ART MORTVEDT: Yeah.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Unbelievable. So what year did he come through Fairbanks then with the helicopter? ART MORTVEDT: Oh, that was just about a year ago -- no, a little over a year ago. DAMARIS MORTVEDT: Yeah, probably.

ART MORTVEDT: A year and a half ago about. Uh-huh. Yep.

And then, you know, as I mentioned, Michael flew around the world and so then qualified to be a member of a group called Earthrounders. This club of people that have flown small airplanes and helicopters around the world, the chairman of which is in Perth, Australia.

Even though I didn’t go all the way around the world somebody thought that I was kind of qualified to go to this meeting because I'd been to both poles of the world with the Polar Pumpkin.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. ART MORTVEDT: So I was invited to the meeting in Russia. And we had all sorts of fabulous activities in Moscow and then we took the train up to St. Petersburg and had more fabulous festivities. And then Michael has his private helicopter and then we flew from St. Petersburg low level back to Moscow.

Had a great look at the backyards of a lot of Russians on the way. So, yeah, he's been a great friend. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Amazing.

KAREN BREWSTER: I had a question about your previous attempts to the North Pole. Maybe you said this, but, you know, you said you got up to Resolute , but then you didn’t actually get to the pole. What were the reasons for you weren’t able to complete them the first two times?

ART MORTVEDT: In all three attempts I got up as far north as Eureka Weather Station at 80 degrees north. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay.

ART MORTVEDT: And the weather in 2011 and 2012 was the issue. And I forget which year it was ’11 or ’12, I felt that I could have got up there, but I could not have gotten back. And so the choice was clear. I couldn’t take off until I could be assured of getting back.

And then one year I could have gotten up there, but the Russians were -- would have been gone. And so without anybody on the ice flow where Ice Station Barneo was located to actually give me a weather report and an ice condition report I couldn’t take off.

Because if I got up to Barneo and that ice flow had crumbled and I couldn’t land where my fuel was, I was in real trouble.

KAREN BREWSTER: Cause you didn’t have enough fuel to go up and back? ART MORTVEDT: That’s right.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: How many hours north then is it from where you were at the Eureka Weather Station -- how -- ART MORTVEDT: It's about six.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Six, okay. ART MORTVEDT: Normally, but it took me like seven. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: With the wind. ART MORTVEDT: Because of the headwind. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah. ART MORTVEDT: 2013.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: It's not like it's just an hour away and you can pop back. ART MORTVEDT: Uh-huh. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right.

ART MORTVEDT: Yeah. And then it would've been a pretty lonely feeling to be out at the North Pole when the Russians are gone and just no place to land and no fuel and it would have been the end of the ball game.

KAREN BREWSTER: So I also would like to take us back to the beginning which is, you know, in your introduction you kind of glossed over the, oh, well, I started flying.

So how is it that you learned to fly and why did you decide you wanted to fly?

ART MORTVEDT: Initially, a circumstance occurred that sometimes fairly classic because just north of my hometown there was a horse pasture and I was a kid of like 12, maybe, when a small airplane flew over town and landed in the horse pasture and I pedaled my little bicycle out there to see who landed in the horse pasture.

And it was a guy called John Morton. Because he said, "Yeah, it's Morton. Just like the salt, huh kid." And I remember the name.

So he took me for a ride. I thought man, this is cool. We landed back in the horse pasture and off he went. He was a pinball repair -- a pinball machine repair guy. And so I had the bug then.

And then our family was acquainted with a local family called the Scow family and Geneva Scow’s husband was a crop sprayer. And he got killed in a crop spraying accident and she provided a scholarship for young people that wanted to learn to fly.

And I was in college at the time and got that scholarship to start my private flight training, but it wasn’t a lot of money. In fact, I didn’t have enough money to even pay for a solo flight. So, but I got a few hours.

And then many years transpired and living out in the wilderness of the Alaska’s Brooks Range chartering airplanes to move our dog team and stuff, I thought man I need to get a license and a plane.

So I talked to a lot of pilots and they said that I should get a Champ 7EC with a 90 horse engine with no electric. They said that would do you well being alone, especially on skis and pretty light, simple, no battery or starter or anything to go wrong.

So I put an ad in Trade-A-Plane. "Wanted Champ 7EC. 90 horse, no electric." And a guy in Atchison, Kansas at Amelia Earhart Field had one and called me, and I said I'll be down to look at it. So I went down there. This beautiful pristine, beautiful plane in a hangar there at Atchison, but I didn’t have a license and he agreed to keep the plane for a month.

I said, well, I'll be on my way to Arizona and I'll be back in a month with a license. So I found a good location where I could fly twice a day, morning and evening, in Falcon Field at Mesa, Arizona and studied during the meantime. And I had an apartment right on the field more or less.

And 28 days I had the private license and went back to Atchison and got in my new airplane. Actually slept on the couch of the terminal there that night so I could get an early start so if I was going to wreck my new airplane which I hadn’t flown before nobody'd see me wreck it.

So -- so I got in and I took off and headed for Alaska. And no radio, so I noticed the cars were going pretty fast down there and I looked up after awhile and the gas gauge said zero. I thought ooh -- first flight.

And so I found a farmer’s field just outside of Belleville, Kansas, put her in that field and then I could see why I used up so much gas. It was blowing like crazy.

So I taxied along the fence line and taxied into this farmer’s yard. Tied her down, and I said hi and spent two days there building calf pens and hunting coon and going to the church social and all kinds of fun things and just kept working my way towards Alaska with my new Champ 7EC.

And I've used that airplane for quite a while. Actually, that plane's still in Fairbanks. Or was cause it's just been sold again, I guess. I think it's in Fairbanks. 7481Bravo.

And used it on skis and wheels, landing on gravel bars a lot, you know. It had these beautiful wheel pants on it and I remembering landing at the mouth of the Pa River on a sandbar with these beautiful dinky little tires and wheel pants. Got stuck like crazy. Wheels went right in the gravel so --

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: What are wheel pants -- are the little -- ART MORTVEDT: These little streamline plastic or fiberglass things. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Okay. DAMARIS MORTVEDT: Supposed to make them go faster.

ART MORTVEDT: So I went to Fairbanks and took them off. Put big Alaskan tires on it. And then I was good for gravel bars.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Do you fly, too, Damaris?

DAMARIS MORTVEDT: No. No, just in the backseat or the right seat.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Well -- who knows maybe you inspired some other little kid who saw your plane coming down in a field, right? ART MORTVEDT: Maybe, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Well, I was going to say you clearly love flying. I mean this is obviously -- ART MORTVEDT: Um, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: -- a passion of you, so can you put into words what it is about flying that appeals to you so much?

ART MORTVEDT: It's all about freedom. Uh-huh. And Alaska's like that, too. It's all about freedom. And there are so many people in the world that first of all don’t have the freedom that we have in America, so for that I am thankful. And the freedom in the Alaskan bush.

I mean you have all kinds of freedom to make big mistakes and learn, and hopefully learn. And, yeah, and the freedom to have a look at things from the air.

KAREN BREWSTER: That was my other question was all that time flying over, you know, Canada and the Arctic or, you know, in the Antarctic just what it's like to be looking down on all that country?

ART MORTVEDT: Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Yeah, just lots and lots of elbow room. Wide open space. It's fabulous. You know, so few people live in the Canadian Archipelago, for example. You know, in these small villages there -- and in between it's just vast distances.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: They're very, very isolated communities. ART MORTVEDT: Uh-huh. Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Does it -- Has it given you a different perspective on our planet than you might otherwise have?

ART MORTVEDT: I'm sure it has. If I was an urbanite, my perspective would be so different than I have being able to see wilderness from the air.

You know, I was just in New York not too long ago and I could not wait to get out of that place. With all due respect to the nice people in New York, it's not my cup of tea at all.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: I had two questions. One was going back when you’re flying in the Arctic and Antarctica, how warm is your plane and what kind of gear do you have to be wearing?

ART MORTVEDT: Going to the North Pole, I flew in my bunny boots and a specially made down flight suit that a company in Seattle custom made for me. And so if I cracked up and got hurt, at least I had some protection from the elements.

But most of the time with the Polar Pumpkin it has such good heaters that I'd be flying with my -- my flight suit open. And so it was actually quite warm in there and so I could be working on the computer.

We did have some temperature issues relative to the camera and the computer. Things didn’t work according to plan. We think because of temperatures at times. And for a while Dr, Casas thought the temperature issue was in the camera.

So I found it quite amusing in a way that Damaris made a special beaver skin muff to go around this high tech NASA camera to protect it. To keep the temperature up a little bit. I’m not so sure that was what solved our problem or not , but I have the beaver skin muff as a souvenir.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: That's very, very funny.

KAREN BREWSTER: What about the Antarctic, what were you wearing when you were flying around the Antarctic?

ART MORTVEDT: It was summertime down there and from Patriot Hills, which has a camp elevation of about I think 1,500 feet or so -- actually I was going to land in the Thiel Mountains on the way to the South Pole and refuel because I had some fuel stashed there but it was just -- I could see just really big rough drifts and I would have had big problems trying to -- And I had a good tail wind. Or no wind, I forget. So I just kept on going to the South Pole.

And but, you know, a hot day at the South Pole is like 10 below zero so -- And it's not that windy at the South Pole but a breeze and so the chill factor's down there so I had -- Oh yeah, I had my long johns on and I had a blue flight suit. Just a one layer blue flight suit on that trip. Probably with my parka handy so I could --

KAREN BREWSTER: And bunny boots? ART MORTVEDT: Um -- KAREN BREWSTER: No? ART MORTVEDT: No, I had some Canadian made felt Sorels. These white Sorels with a -- DAMARIS MORTVEDT: Inserts.

ART MORTVEDT: -- inserts is what I wore to the South Pole. And I had those on board with me to the North Pole too, but going to the North Pole I realized that if I had to make an emergency landing let’s say in a refrozen lead where there might have been a little water seepage on top of the ice I wanted to have the bunny boots.

And they were quite adequate.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: My second question is -- relates to -- am I wrong did you used to live in a sod house?

DAMARIS MORTVEDT: We did at times up when we were up on the trapline on the Upper Kobuk. Yeah, down on the Kobuk River in the fall time when we were fishing for our dogs and, yeah, we did. ART MORTVEDT: The --

DAMARIS MORTVEDT: With a crawl space to get in and out. And it was a trick to get the water in and the honey bucket out . Slop bucket out and --

ART MORTVEDT: It was the old style Inupiat sod hut. DAMARIS MORTVEDT: Uh-huh.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: I thought I remembered you mentioning that.

ART MORTVEDT: The square footage was about half of this room, I suppose.

KAREN BREWSTER: Like 10 x 10 or something? DAMARIS MORTVEDT: Yeah. ART MORTVEDT: It would have been about right. Uh-huh.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And did you have your plane then? ART MORTVEDT: We had the Champ 70C. Uh-huh. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right.

DAMARIS MORTVEDT: On this gravel bar in the fall time and yeah.

ART MORTVEDT: And then we had a Ham radio with us then, too.

And one day I was tuning around the Ham radio band and I was talking with a guy in Brisbane, Australia. His name was Allen Anderson -- VK4AND was the call sign. And he said, "You have your plane parked on the ice out in front of a sod hut? Are you guys real or -- ?"

KAREN BREWSTER: He probably thought he'd called back in time. .

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Well, I just find it in -- you know -- yeah, the time factor. You’re living in a traditional type building, but you have a plane parked outside. I just -- it's really juxtaposition. DAMARIS MORTVEDT: It is interesting.

ART MORTVEDT: And one morning I walked out from the sod hut onto the riverbank as I often did in the morning just kind of peruse up and down the river, and the airplane was sitting in overflow. Deep overflow.

And so I tried to walk down to the plane in my regular boots. Way too short. I had to go back up in the cache and get hip boots to kind of wade through this deep slush to get out to the plane realizing that if I didn’t get that plane out of that slush and it froze, I was going to have big problems.

Well, ultimately I had to build a tripod. And drag the poles out there in that slush, build the tripod and then had to build a ladder to get to the top of the tripod and then I put a come-along with a rope attached to the base of the motor mounts so I could lift that airplane out of the slush and hang it under the tripod.

Except on the first go the rope was too small and the rope snapped and dropped the whole airplane back into the slush. Back to the cache, bigger rope. So I hung the plane there for three days, I think, and then, you know, it froze underneath there and I could put the airplane back down on the frozen surface, but yuck it was a mess.

KAREN BREWSTER: What did you build the tripod out of? ART MORTVEDT: Poles. Spruce poles.

KAREN BREWSTER: Spruce poles. And it was strong enough to hold the plane? ART MORTVEDT: Uh-huh. KAREN BREWSTER: Wow.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Was this in January or something when you get your real bad overflows, or what? ART MORTVEDT: I don’t know what month it was, but, no. I got a picture of it -- of the plane hanging there on the tripod.

KAREN BREWSTER: I’m amazed the tripod would be able to hold that, but I suppose it's a small lightweight plane? ART MORTVEDT: Yeah, yeah and -- KAREN BREWSTER: And it was empty. DAMARIS MORTVEDT: Yeah, it was empty.

ART MORTVEDT: The empty weight on that 70C is like 845 pounds, so -- And these 2,000 pound hand winches work fine when you have big enough rope. .

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Now, Art, do you have any planes other than the Polar Pumpkin or is that your -- ART MORTVEDT: Yeah.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Do you, what else do you have?

ART MORTVEDT: The plane that I flew in from Bettles a couple days ago is a Citabria. And then the plane we normally use for our lodge operation is a Cessna 180 on floats.

And we have a piece of property leased on the International Float Pond where we normally -- KAREN BREWSTER: Here in Fairbanks.

ART MORTVEDT: In Fairbanks. Where I -- we have left the Cessna 180 parked there on floats. Didn’t take the floats off because the Citabria is on skis parked over there in that same spot right now.

KAREN BREWSTER: And remind me again the name of your lodge? ART MORTVEDT: It's called the Peace of Selby Wilderness. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. ART MORTVEDT: Uh-huh.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And you run -- you, do you -- sorry, do guiding, too? ART MORTVEDT: Uh-huh. Yep. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Or just take people? Okay.

ART MORTVEDT: Yep. I worked at Iniakuk Lake Lodge for Burton Gaedeke as an assistant hunting guide for three years. Three hunting seasons. And then I took my registered guide exam. The oral and the written and all that stuff,

And a registered guide now for I don’t know what -- 20 years or something. And so occasionally I'll take hunters. On a big year probably four hunters, but most of our business is what is now called ecotourism.

People just want a quiet place to go to get away from things and relax.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: And, Damaris, what's your role at the lodge then?

DAMARIS MORTVEDT: Oh, a lot of different things. Helping to book clients, especially when he's gone a lot. And then do all of the meal planning and ordering. And then if they come to the lodge where we have full services then do all the cooking and taking care of people at the lodge.

And it's a small operation. We aren’t interesting in doing any kind of a mass thing at all and we have cabins in three other locations, so -- and that's a do-it-yourself situation.

So we, you know, there's always maintenance. Always, always maintenance. ART MORTVEDT: Uh-huh.

DAMARIS MORTVEDT: We’re never bored.

KAREN BREWSTER: So you, Art, you fly the clients out to the lodge from here in Fairbanks?

ART MORTVEDT: Sometimes. Depends. If there's an individual or a couple then I might from here, because with the fuel I have to take in the Cessna 180 from here maximum load are two people and their baggage.

If we have more people than that, then we'll send them up to Bettles and then there are a couple of companies in Bettles that can bring them in.

KAREN BREWSTER: Commercial. Oh, so then they'll charter from Bettles. You don’t go pick them up them in Bettles?

ART MORTVEDT: I prefer not to because of the size of the float pond in Bettles. Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. And then you mentioned these remote camps. Are those ones you fly your -- the clients to or they can hike there or get there on their own somehow?

ART MORTVEDT: They would be flown there. Yeah.

DAMARIS MORTVEDT: To the cabin initially and then they do hiking out of the cabin and -- ART MORTVEDT: Yeah.

DAMARIS MORTVEDT: Canoeing and different things.

KAREN BREWSTER: But the cabins are places where you can land with your floatplane? ART MORTVEDT: Uh-huh.

DAMARIS MORTVEDT: They're all on lakes. ART MORTVEDT: We have one on the river, yeah. DAMARIS MORTVEDT: Got one on the river, yeah.

ART MORTVEDT: I had some French clients that wanted to walk from the lodge at Selby Lake to our cabin at Minakokosa Lake. And so I said great. Let’s do it. So I loaded up my pack that I couldn’t really lift. I had to kind of back into it and it took us four days to walk that route. And on the first evening, I heard behind me Messieur, Messieur, I don’t think we can do this anymore.

It was miserable. The rain and the bugs and the brush and fording the creeks and -- but it did get better.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: So it took you four days to get there and then what -- four days to get back again?

ART MORTVEDT: No, no, then I had a boat over there and we floated down the river in a boat. . That was luxury.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Yeah, I can imagine when the reality hits them what it's truly like to hike through the mosquito ridden bush. ART MORTVEDT: Uh-huh. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: It wasn’t quite the holiday they were hoping for.

DAMARIS MORTVEDT: And worrying about bears. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Right. ART MORTVEDT: Yeah. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Definitely.

KAREN BREWSTER: Well, I would say, Art, all these expeditions you're pretty tough. That stuff probably didn’t bother you at all.

ART MORTVEDT: Oh, I’m getting -- LESLIE MCCARTNEY: If Art says it's miserable, it must have been really bad.

ART MORTVEDT: With passing time I'm getting to be a better wimp every year.

KAREN BREWSTER: Well, and it's true in the plane you're flying over it all. It's perhaps easier. DAMARIS MORTVEDT: Yeah, that's true. That's true.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: I'm really conscious of your time, right. So Karen, did you have any other questions?

KAREN BREWSTER: No, I don’t think so. I mean, Art, were there other things you had in mind that you wanted to talk about?

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Or Damaris, if you had anything, too? ART MORTVEDT: Um --

DAMARIS MORTVEDT: I can’t think of anything offhand.

ART MORTVEDT: Maybe one thing, because I had talked a little bit about freedom and I’m --

We deal with the US National Park Service because we're inside Gates of the Arctic National Park. KAREN BREWSTER: Your lodge, yeah.

ART MORTVEDT: And we deal with the Department of Natural Resources and BLM and so I just want to make a comment that I'm very thankful at the freedom those bureaucrats give us relative to the utilization of public land. And I hope it will always stay that way.

We try to play by the Park Service rules and the state and BLM rules and so we don’t have people breathing down our neck usually.

And so I want to say kudos to those bureaucrats that can recognize that fact and, you know, we'll play by the rules just don’t bug us,. And I am thankful for that.

KAREN BREWSTER: Well, and I just want to ask a final thing, you know, you gained an interest in flying as a young boy and if there was some young person that came to you and said, you know, I'm interested in a career in flying, what would be your response to them?

ART MORTVEDT: I'd take him for a ride. Uh-huh. And really encourage them. Yeah.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: You go for a ride and you've got the bug. ART MORTVEDT: Uh-huh.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, I mean, it sounds -- yeah, you've been very successful being able to make a career out of flying. You know, helping with these projects and science and things. ART MORTVEDT: Uh-huh.

KAREN BREWSTER: And sounds like you've been very fortunate.

ART MORTVEDT: You know for all of us there are key moments. And a key moment was an afternoon at the Christchurch airport when we watched that Antarctica video. And I decided that it was a part of the world that I wanted to visit and to work in.

And because of that door opening just dozens of other doors have opened, and so the old story that life is a matter of choices is so true.

And I really feel sorry for those young people that have an inclination to go on expeditions and to be curious and to learn that may be stuck by family situations, economic situations, whatever. I really feel sorry for those people and I try to encourage young people to get out of that rut in whatever way they can.

In England, for example, the Royal Geographical Society that I happen to be a member of has the British Schools Exploring Society. They may have changed the name a little bit lately, but young people that want to explore the world have an opportunity through this group to make it happen. Going on expeditions in many corners of the world.

So whenever I can I like to take a student like that. And we had a young lad from England with us that grew up across the street from Harrods’s I think in downtown London.

And he spent some time with us and he said that experience changed my life. And so it's quite heartening to realize that.

LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Well, I really want to thank you so much for coming in and talking to us today. It's wonderful. You're a wonderful addition to our Project Jukebox.

And I can’t thank you enough and --

ART MORTVEDT: It was our pleasure indeed. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Fascinating life, just fascinating. DAMARIS MORTVEDT: Our pleasure. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Thanks. KAREN BREWSTER: Thank you. LESLIE MCCARTNEY: Thanks.