Ten years ago I moved to Talkeetna, Alaska, and just a few days after I moved into my cabin, a huge fire that was larger than the city of Louisville, Kentucky started to the west of Talkeetna. I took this photo at the top of the hill that overlooks the area.
It’s hard to believe it’s been this long, but ten years ago today I hopped in the car, aimed in the general direction of Alaska, and a little less than a month later I ended up in Talkeetna. Hopefully in another ten years The Squirrel and I will be sitting on the front porch again, eating popcorn, Cheerios, cherries, and PB&J sandwiches, and catching up on the last twenty years of adventures.
Although I had already moved around quite a bit by then, living in Talkeetna, Alaska ten years ago had a big impact on my current vagabond lifestyle. I used to walk into town and sit on a bench and watch 10-20 tour buses roll in every day with people 70+ years old, and many of them would have canes, walkers, and wheelchairs.
While I felt great that those people were able to see a part of the town, I also knew that they couldn’t see all of the town. For instance, they couldn’t go down by the rivers because it was a bit of a walk, and there was no access for disabled people. Walking by the rivers is one of the great things about being in Talkeetna.
As I sat there I realized that when you get to that age that’s going to be the only way you can travel, and soon after that you won’t be able to travel at all. More recently, when I was pretty sick the last couple of years I became even more aware that the clock was ticking. So I plan to keep wandering around as long as I can.
When I first moved to Talkeetna, I sat down to sign the lease with my new landlord. The conversation went like this:
Her: So, why are you moving to Alaska ... hunter?
Right-wing nut job?
You’re not here to write stories about the town for tv shows, like those Northern Exposure people, are you?
*she starts taking off her shirt, which I eventually realize is so that she can breast-feed her baby*
Um ... no.
Why are you here?
A note October 22, 2010: “I’m listening to the Armed Forces Radio Network while getting some work done at the Talkeetna Roadhouse.”
A friend was in Talkeetna recently, and sent me a picture of what this cabin looks like these days. Skipping over that, this is what it looked like in mid-September when I lived there.
If you ever wondered where the end is, I can tell you that it’s in Talkeetna, Alaska.
It doesn’t look like much, but The Fairview Inn in Talkeetna, Alaska had cold beer and the best live music in town. I don’t know if he still finds the bands, but when I lived there, my landlord, Mike Lindgren, seemed to find the best bands in Alaska, and got them to play at the Fairview. My one regret from living there was that I didn’t spend more time here listening to the music (though I could hear it from my cabin fairly easily).
When I first moved to Alaska I took a really nice camera with me, and I took some fun photos I would have never thought to take with a regular camera. In this photo I was more or less laying down in a field of wildflowers (some weeds) at the Talkeetna Airport, bees and everything.
Back in the day, when I first moved to Alaska, I didn’t know it at first, but the Talkeetna Cemetery was a very close neighbor. Once I found out I thought it was pretty cool, as it’s an interesting little place.