Down by the Riverside

The four days in Talkeetna was a special experience for everybody involved. Talkeetna is from the native Athabasca language; Na means river, and Talkeetna means river of plenty. A reference to large game in the area and especially it’s thriving salmon run that fed native peoples for thousands of years. Literally, artifacts have been found in that region dating back over 6,000 years. But now, with its mountain and river access, plus panoramic views, it has become largely a tourist destination. They flock in for the day, and vanish at night. The locals hold it down day and night, all year round. If you stay for enough winters, they might consider you a one. Many say Winter’s the most beautiful time, with clear cloudless skies, white moonlight landscapes, frozen sparkling trees and of course, the Aurora Borealis dancing over it all.


I’d say that funky little town rocked our world just as much as we theirs. The generosity of the people was immense. They gifted us free rides on riverboats, tours on tiny planes over Denali and the Alaska Range, and even a rafting trip for the whole group. It was so wonderful for us to get those opportunities to really dive into the Alaska wilderness and see some of the splendor up close. Thank you.

And the shows, the shows! For two nights in a row we delivered solid three-hour performances to a sold out crowd, receiving standing ovations both times. Both nights were truly great, but the first show was particularly inspiring to me. Here is what I wrote in my journal the next day.

“Last nights show was exceptionally special. The bond between performers and audience was strong, the boundary thin. The energy was really flowing, us to them, them to us, back again and on and on until we all became just one big group of celebration and joy. To me, that is what performance is all about, it’s creating an experience that is completely outside “normal” reality, and I believe even one of those experiences can create a huge positive shift. It can break down barriers and let in new possibilities. When it’s really on, it’s on, and everyone can feel it, like electricity in the air.”

The whole experience in Talkeetna was one of generous giving, we gave all we could, and so did they. At the days end, we would find ourselves gathering by the riverside, in a perpetual dusk, Chautauquans and locals alike. With a fire crackling, mountains glowing and rivers flowing, we shared songs and laughter as well as culture. We juggled fire in front of Denali. We watched the mountains turn from textured peaks, to jagged silhouettes and back again.  They talked about the seasons, and we talked about the bus trips. It was a truly delightful cultural crossover. And so back on the bus we go, to the next town, for the next adventure…

Sincerely, Blog Monkey Extraordinaire,

Eli “Dr. Bonkers” March

This entry was posted in Midnight Sun Tour, New Old Time Chautauqua. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Down by the Riverside

  1. Randy "Rude Rudy" Carey says:

    “let your inspiration flow in token rhymes, suggesting rhythm, that will not forsake you, till your tale is told and done!” keep up the great work gang, sounds like you are all having a blast. fun!

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