Been there, done that

Talkeetna Blueberry Refuge, about 10 miles south of Talkeetna, Alaska
Weeks ago, still in Ohio, I checked out a sketchy web-description on the Intentional Community site about Talkeetna Blueberry Sanctuary, an IC in Alaska. The Blueberry Sanctuary started as a group of nine families, sick of Anchorage, meeting once a month to get together and buy land somewhere. They looked in several parts of the state until Serendipity sent them to 200 snow-covered acres of land near Talkeetna, Alaska. The property included a large pond, lots of mature forest, and acres of berry bushes, much of it on a bluff overlooking Danali and the Alaskan Range. When time came to actually cough up money for the land, only three families remained, and they formed a LLC and became the Talkeetna Blueberry Sanctuary.

They spent the first year putting in roads. Now, during their second year, they have a cabin and two houses built (almost). Two families live on the site. They have a wood-fired hot-tub, miles of cross-country skiing trails, and an extensive frisbee golf course.

When we visit them we are exhausted from lack of sleep in Anchorage, driving too much for way too long. The guy I emailed originally is out of town, but the one family there shows us around, answers our questions, prints up copies of their bylaws/mission statement, explains their finances, work log, etc. Wonderful folks. They let us camp on the property overnight. There is so much land that our dogs run free with their dogs. They love the Blueberry Sanctuary. We pick late blueberries, cranberries, and salmon berries, eating them as we explore the trails throughout the Sanctuary. We camp far away from the houses (the joy of 200+ acres) and it is absolute bliss to sleep with all the curtains of the van open, open, open to the night and then the light. No one to roust us, sleep in as late as we want, let the dogs out to run with no leashes and no worries and then go back to bed.

We loll. We leisure. We relax. It's noon by the time we leave, and then we check out the town of Talkeetna, an adorable tourist trap where we window shop and people watch. Then, north to Danali, the alleged ultimate goal of the trip.

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