From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
Every time he's at Big Sur, Jack mentions the mule he names "Alf the Sacred Burro." Alf is a reminder of the spirituality and primitiveness of Big Sur. This wilderness is like a Californian version of the "Garden of Eden," and Jack mentions Adam and Eve twice while at Big Sur. Remember that Jack vows not to kill any animals – even rats – while staying at Monsanto's cabin. He makes a point to feed and care for them all, including Alf, in his attempt to isolate himself from people by taking refuge in the natural world.