You may call me crazy, but one of my favorite places is Alaska. Not Italy or Costa Rica or Hawaii, although nice for certain, but Alaska.
Only quite recently did I realize my fondness for the “The Last Frontier”, a land twice the size of Texas and where you better carry a shotgun or bring a bear dog with you when you go for a jog, even in the hoppin’ and happenin’ city of Anchorage. Population 291,826,41.
Straight off the plane from Los Angeles, I saw a moose in my brother’s backyard, which led to a discussion of whether they turn into meeses if there is more than one in a flock. Ok, so it’s probably not a flock either, and my two-year old niece knows more about Alaska wildlife than myself, but I’m not completely clueless.
I take note of the important stuff. Stuff like the fact that there is a plethora of bearded, rugged, outdoorsy, lumberjack men, filling the mostly unpopulated state, and that these “Granolas”, significantly outnumber the eligible female population. But, I have also heard that, when it comes to finding an Alaskan soul mate, the saying deems true: “The odds are good, but the goods may be odd.
Four months ago, I visited the adorable town of Talkeetna, a climbers hub. Hippy, with a downtown that spans the stretch of 3 blocks, and the main street being a combination of a pavement, dirt, and gravel road. Chatting with a couple of climbers, I inquired if they ice climbed. Responding with a “yep”, and after a pause, returned the question. With eyebrows raised, and a smile, I retorted “Does it look like I ice climb?” The climbers just chuckled. Definitely not. Silly climbers. It was summer, and I was wearing boots and a heavy sweater and arm-warmers, with fingerless mittens, that my little fingers peeped out of just enough to say that this was a foo-foo accessory. Pretty much worthless for adding any sort of warmth, but the turquoise improved my entire ensemble.
I hate cold. I hate being cold. I wear puffy snow jackets and mittens for the bitter Los Angeles winters, so, for this next adventure to even cross into my consciousness is no small act.
Talkeetna hosts an annual Bachelor Auction & Ball, as well as a Wilderness Woman Contest. This contest and soiree usually takes place the first weekend in December, and helps to raise money for charity. Please take a minute to check out the exciting activities in detail at the Talkeetna Bachelor Society Website.
I heard about the event while dancing to live music played by local Talkeetna mountain men, decked out with beards and banjos. I made a note, and determined to return, in the middle of winter, for the festivities. The problem is, being in LA, then Europe, then Kauai, and here and there, one forgets it’s winter, and apparently, the bachelor bidding is only two weeks away. In a town of a population of about 750, and that may be only a summer number, this amounts to about 2.5 Inns and a handful of B&B’s, all of which are mostly full. Sleeping under the stars is not an option.
I’ve resigned myself to the conclusion that I won’t be making the trek for a bachelor this year. I was contemplating how unfortunate it is to miss the Talkeetna Bachelor Auction & Ball, but then realized that this is probably a blessing. This week, I began reading the Pioneer Woman’s Love Story. Ree went from a 7 year stint in Los Angeles, moved back to Oklahoma temporarily, (that’s temporarily mind you) before a planned relocation to Chicago. During the short Oklahoma intermission, she met a cowboy. She’s still in Oklahoma.
So, God forbid, I would actually win an Alaskan bachelor and fall in a heap of head-over-heels admiration. Those Alaskan’s don’t relocate very easily, and can you blame them? Imagine moving from a land of beauty, 3 million lakes, glaciers, bears, and moose, to the 405? Yeah…
I wouldn’t stand much of a chance, which would mean finding more than a couple of pairs of mittens that actually had fingers. I’d have to toughen up to spend winters in Alaska, probably need to toughen up for the summers too. I’m pretty sure, that as it stands right now, I would get my pansy-ass handed to me in any Wilderness Woman Contest against the Homegrowns.
If you have any interest in Talkeetna, this event, or other upcoming happenings, please contact:
The Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 334
Talkeetna, AK 99676