Talkeetna’s a go! Y’all come.

The bachelors of Talkeetna (http://bachelorsoftalkeetna.org/)

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.

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  1. If I did not already have tickts to go somewheree else that weekend, I think I would join you. Sounds like a blast and just crazy eoungh to be good honest fun.

    • Donna Freedman

      Keep the first weekend in December 2013 open, then. Linda B. and I go every year and we always have a good time.

  2. I like the idea of going somewhere where guys outnumber women. But, is there not lots of pressure from guys who expect more than a dance? Do any of these events ever lead to long term relationships where women move to Alaska? I need the sun too much to do anything but visit, but would love to visit. Maybe someday when I can walk enough to browse a store….and dance.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Practical Parsimony: The rule is that the bachelor you buy owes you a drink and a dance. Anything else is optional. A few relationships have developed and, I believe, at least one marriage. For most women, I think, it’s a once-a-year (or -a-lifetime) lark.

  3. This is awesome, and sounds like so much fun! I would go, but I think my husband might have a problem with that …

  4. I went a few years ago and had an AWESOME time! You will love watching the guys strut their stuff on the runway. They are HOT (and some not…maybe call them “lukewarm” 🙂 but it’s all fun and for a good cause. Go and cheer on the guys!

    • Donna Freedman

      @Sherry: Attending was a tradition when I lived here (and a few times since) because my birthday is in early December. And yeah, some of them clean up real well and others, um, don’t.

  5. Donna, great idea! I hope you get lots of takers!

  6. Ro in San Diego

    OMG – I would really like to do this but alas I am overscheduled. My husband recently recovered from a serious illness and I don’t feel comfortable leaving him alone to carouse with wild women as wonderful as it wounds. Let’s see what my calendar looks like next year.

  7. Ro in San Diego

    That was supposed to read “as wonderful as it sounds”

  8. Nancy Trump

    Donna, Linda and all … look forward to seeing you once again this year, you ladies are a “Bachelor Ball Tradition”. Looking forward to another fun weekend in Talkeetna!

    • Donna Freedman

      @Nancy: Can’t wait to see you. Thus far there will be at least six in our party. Hope it’s more.

  9. WWII Kid

    Sorry I can’t make it this year. Hope it will become an annual Donna Freedman event in the future. (I’d rather do this than any old charity walk for a tee shirt)

    Can I choose which guy I want to dance with now? (I like that young one in the green sweatshirt to the right)

    I’m sooo lonely…..

  10. I can’t wait to read about all the torrid details!!!

    • Donna Freedman

      @SonyaAnn: Wish you could come along…Talkeetna would never know what hit it.

  11. Oh, that sounds like fun. Talkeetna is one of my favorite places (in fact, I have my Talkeetna craft-fair earrings in right now).

    I was particularly impressed by the fact that the mayor is a cat (though he was unavailable to grant me an audience at the time).

    What a fun place! Wish I could join you.

  12. WWII Kid

    One other question – Are there any really great hotels up there? I mean, if I’m going to be entertaining gentlemen callers…….

  13. Cindy Bakerf

    I’m old now but can imagine my three best friends and I doing something like this in the 70s. Bless your hearts. I hope it is all you dream of.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Cindy: You’re never too old to raise a little hell. One of the women attending is 68. You’re cordially invited to share the top floor of the Latitude with us.

  14. I’m reading this in Feb, so way too late for last year. Just had to let you know I really laughed out loud reading this story and the comments! Especially the one about shaving legs. 🙂


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