So what is Talkeetna?
Well, perhaps Talkeetna is the old sourdough artist creating and selling on the street.
Or it is a well visited small town completely devoid of the tourist trap jewelry stores that are seen on the streets of cruise port cities.
It is the gateway to Denali, where bush pilots ferry climbers to base camps on the glaciered peak.
Where you can walk down to the river and look out at the mountain itself. or not.
Where locals have other uses for the river than watching the mountain.
And homemade ice cream
is done with a John Deere.
And if you hear a band playing
"When the Saints Go Marching In",
and see a parade on Labor day
that looks more like
and you are in Talkeetna...
...then know that it is not a Labor Day parade at all, but the funeral procession celebrating the life of a beloved local killed in a tragic accident a few days before.
That is what Talkeetna is.
It's what Alaska is.