Are you close to your 40th birthday? Celebrating a divorce? Feeling the need to break out of a rut? Or just in the mood for an unforgettable road trip?
Come to Alaska, in December, on purpose, and drink in the nuttiness that is the Talkeetna Bachelors Auction and Wilderness Woman Competition.
The competition, auction and dance take place on Saturday, Dec. 1. My friend Linda B. has rented the entire top floor of the Latitude 62 so that a bunch of wild wimmen can spend the weekend eating, drinking and being merry.
There’s room at the inn. Why not come up and join us?
As I’ve noted in the past: You will never again feel this desirable. Some lovely women live in Talkeetna and others will likely come in from Anchorage and Fairbanks. But there are always more guys than gals, and most of them want to dance with you.
It’s a long, lonely winter – and what happens in Talkeetna stays in Talkeetna, unless somebody puts it up on YouTube. (See “Live from Alaska: Frozen pipes, bachelors on credit and suggestive pizza” and “Tweets from Talkeetna” for eyewitness accounts of a typical auction weekend.
Last Frontier travel primer
You don’t have to enter the competition. (My group just watches and cheers.) But why not give it a try? They’ll teach you how to run a snowmachine, cast for salmon, etc. You could dine out on these stories for years.
My friends and I always go up on Friday afternoon. Those who would fly in from somewhere else would be on the hook for at least one night at a hotel. Here’s how I’d do it:
- Fly in on Friday, using Expedia or Hotwire (accessed via Mr. Rebates, of course) to search for the best fare.
- If you’re on a budget, take the People Mover bus system’s Route 7 Inbound (look for “South Terminal”). This bus runs only about once an hour but you’ll be downtown in 20 minutes for just $1.75.
- Speaking of downtown: Use Expedia or Hotwire (or your own favorite travel tool) to find the cheapest downtown hotel you can get. If possible, specify within walking distance of 411 W. First Ave. (the Alaska Railroad Terminal).
- Poke around downtown shops if you have time before bed. I recommend the fur slippers. (Hint: No sales tax!)
- Get up early on Saturday and take the Alaska Railroad to Talkeetna (departs 8:30 a.m.; $59 one way).
Take the train rather than rent a car because (a) it’s cheaper and (b) the men of Talkeetna greet the train with loving, hopeful expressions. Maybe flowers, too.
Possible frugal hack: You’ll likely meet some Anchorage folks during the event. Ask if you can ride back to town with them on Sunday; offer $20 for gas. If you’re too shy to do that, then book the railroad ticket round-trip.
Truth is stranger than fiction
Another possible frugal hack: Stay with us at the Latitude 62.
The top floor can sleep eight or nine people. I’ll ask my niece to bring sleeping bags and pads because if there aren’t enough beds, I’m perfectly willing to bunk on the floor. After a long day of cheering for the competitors, sampling the chili at the Fairview Inn, attending the annual holiday bazaar, wandering around town, eating cookies from the Talkeetna Roadhouse, hootin’ and hollerin’ at the bachelor auction, and dancing the night away at the after-party…Well, let’s just say I could sleep trussed up on a furniture dolly like Hannibal Lecter.
You’d need to bring layers, including long underwear, wool socks and a good hat. It could be 20 above or it could be 20 below. Last year it snowed like mad and then rained. (Weird weather for Talkeetna.)
If you want to know more, e-mail me at SurvivingAndThriving (at) live (dot) com and I’ll do my best to answer your questions. You know you want to join us. All the cool kids are doing it!
No, it’s not a cheap weekend. But think of the lies you can tell when you get back to civilization. No matter what you say about the goings-on, people will believe it.
And honestly? The truth is probably weirder than anything you can make up.