Schedule and Location

Welcome to the Sarasota Writers Group Blog. Meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of the month at the Nokomis Fire Station, located just a few blocks south of Albee Road (where Matthews-Currie Ford is located) at Pavonia Road. We are on the west, or bay side, of U.S. 41, by the Fire Station's flashing yellow caution traffic light. If you are coming from the south on US 41, we are just north of Dona Bay. Turn on Pavonia and pull to the far end, or west side, of the firehall. Please do not block the fire doors! We meet in the training room on the far side of the complex. Gathering time: 6:00 pm Meeting called to order: 6:30 pm Ten minute break: 7:50 pm Meeting Finishes at 9:00 pm

Monday, July 05, 2010

Top of the World -- and Higher!

The magic words for today are Chicken and Talkeetna. No, you don't have to use both of them in a sentence for the next FWA reading meeting. These two words are the names of some of the towns Susan Haley has been experiencing during her Alaskan sojourn.

Chicken is the home of the well-known Chicken Creek Cafe where it is said you can get a "fantastic lunch." Chicken is also the home of the Chicken Creek Gold Camp RV Park. And, yes, gold actually WAS mined at the Chicken Creek Gold Camp from 1938 to 1967. Chicken also has its own Post Master and U.S. Post Office where mail, we are told, can be picked up "twice a week." Sorry, no UPS Overnight Delivery.

If you're thinking about moving to Chicken, Susan assures us that "they do have a new school, a volunteer fire department, and a 911 system with a medical facility." Free helicoptor service to Anchorage is also provided for those with medical emergencies. What more could one ask, right?

Talkeetna, Susan tells us, is a "Different world. Different values. Different culture." ... The residents, she insists, want no part of "progress" and don't care much for a certain politician who describes herself as a gun totin' "rogue." "Everyone [in Talkeetna] pretty much has electricity," Susan says, "but many come to town for free water and hot showers and laundry. The most popular vehicle is an ATV in the summer and a snowmobile or dog team in the winter. No traffic, no redlights, no sales tax, and neighbors are family." Susan was so enthralled by this particular town that she'd "love to spend a whole summer right here in Talkeetna."

One of the recent highlights of Susan's rambles with her son, Billy, daughter-in-law Karen, and granddog, B.B. McPup, was their recent bush pilot flight through the Alaska Range that includes Denali. In fact, the pilot flew all the way around the massive mountain. Since Denali is 20,263 feet above sea level, the passengers and pilot all had to wear oxygen masks anytime the plane climbed above 18,000 feet.

Of the people who climb Denali the old fashioned way, with ropes and crampons, Susan says, "only 50% make it to the top where [the temperature often] drops to 40 below 0 in the SUMMER! ... Personally," Susan adds, "I'd rather not even try [to climb Denali] even if I could. I can't imagine surviving 40 below and god only knows what the wind chill factor would be."

The next update from Susan could come at anytime now, depending on the availability of internet service. In the meantime, additional background and beautiful photos of the Haley's Alaskan Adventure are available at Check it out.

Posted by
Russ Heitz