newsy news from Talkeetna:
School is back in session, the college students have returned to
school, and Talkeetna has taken on its Winter face. You may think
that everything comes to a standstill in the winter in Alaska, but
this is not so in Talkeetna. The local residents live for the winter
and plan lots of activities and visiting.
Talkeetna celebrates Winterfest all December long. This year was
a big success, with specials at the local restaurants, music every
weekend, and lots of fun. Downtown was decorated with lights and
Santas; and the Wilderness Woman Contest and Bachelor Auction and
Ball were a hoot as usual.
Temperatures have been around freezing and mostly clear. We have
about 12" of snow on the ground so the ski and dogsled trails
are in better shape. The lakes are frozen but many of the rivers
and streams are still flowing and haven't frozen up yet. Mt. McKinley
has been clear most of the month, and sunset is just awesome! There
have been some fabulous Northern Lights recently, and with the fairly
warm temperatures, it is nice enough to stand outside and watch
Most of the businesses in Talkeetna are open year round. The local
air taxis think that winter flightseeing is just as terrific as
summer flights. Winter lighting in the Alaska Range, with the contrast
of black and white, provide some outstanding photo opportunities.
Paul Roderick from Talkeetna Air Taxi just got back from Nepal where
he had been trekking. He is going to give a slide show sometime
in February; wish you could be here.
Doug Geeting flew in three climbers from Australia who attempted
a winter ascent of Mt. McKinley by the West Buttress route. They
reached about the 11,000 foot level before turning back.
The Talkeetna Aero Services hangar is up and almost finished. It
is the biggest thing on the airport. Everyone is anticipating a
huge Summer Solstice Party this next summer.
of the local shops and restaurants are open year round, although
some of the shops and museums are on a limited schedule most of
the winter. Ski and snowshoe rentals are available through the Talkeetna
Talkeetna is expecting some winter tourists, especially during Fur
Rendezvous, the Special Olympics Winter Games, and Iditarod. The
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge will be closed until the end of February.
Their new addition of 100 rooms is pretty much on schedule - the
work site sure lights up the hill outside town. The Swiss Alaska
Inn has completed the remodeling of all of its lodge rooms, and
they will be open all winter. Other lodging options are private
cabins, B&B's and the Latitude 62 Lodge and Talkeetna Motel.