Tour Diary – Talkeetna, AK (Sept 7, 2013)
We left Anchorage early this morning on two buses, the Alaska adventure has begun. Many of our patrons/guests/fellow adventures also took part in the Over The Rhine trip so it was a quiet three hour drive to Talkeetna. I've been looking forward to this day of the trip for many weeks. It's the one day on the itinerary, where I have a few free hours and where we are within easy striking distance of some renown fishing spots. I figured I'd make the best use of my time and hire some local knowledge to put me on top of some rainbow trout. Skip Merkley was my man and he came through in spades, providing me with fishing gear and outfitting me head to foot in rain gear to keep me warm and dry. I was hoping to get to on one of the rivers that flow through the area, but there has been so much rain that all the rivers are blown out. Skip put Plan B in to action and pulled up at the hotel with canoe in tow and we headed off to a local lake. It was a slow day on the water but completely enjoyable. I had a half-dozen half-hearted strikes throughout the afternoon and finally, when we were heading in so that I could get back for soundcheck, I landed a rainbow…not big by Alaska standards but it made my day.
This is a very cool little town out in the middle of nowhere. Populated with those looking for a different way of life or simply a new beginning. I can see how it could get under one's skin. Come for a visit and stay for a lifetime. All those quirky personalities and personal histories have pulled together to form a true community. It's a rarity in these times to find a town which has been so fully formed by the attitudes and perspectives of the people who inhabit it. I talked to more people today that lived off-the-grid than on it. They wear their badge of non-conformity on their sleeves here and the result is a unique and vibrant little town.
True to form, the venue tonight was as funky as the town: located in an old aircraft hangar (rechristened an Arts Center) at the edge of the still active air-strip that runs right through the center of town. We had an amazing show. Inspired by the beauty of the surroundings, the friendliness of our hosts and the enthusiasm of the audience: it was loose and free-flowing, just like the town.
Tomorrow we head out on a mammoth travel day into the heart of Denali Park. We pray for this weather to break so that we can enjoy the spectacular views that everyone has been promising us since we got here.