There’s Magic Afoot

Een inspirerende tekst  over een wel heel toevallige ontmoeting in Talkeetna.

For years, I’ve claimed that the House of Seven Trees hostel was the Center of the Universe but maybe it’s Talkeetna itself. How else to explain these increasingly synchronistic moments?

For example, this past weekend was an annual event which has been rebranded from its original name of the Hudson Fly In to merely the Talkeetna Fly In. The town was teeming with visitors many of which had flown in and the sound of plane engines filled the skies overhead. With increasingly frequent flights to transport climbers to and fro from Denali Base Camp, the air was full of the sounds of motorized flight.
This has always been one of Sweet Pea Pat’s favorite local events and several of us lobbied to have her with us for the weekend. Having obtained her pilot’s license over 70 years ago, she is a huge fan of all things aeronautical. After months of promises to have her visit Talkeetna, her family finally came through and she arrived shortly before noon on Saturday.
In the Museum and on the streets of Talkeetna, I continue to reconnect with climbers that had stayed in the past with Pat and myself at the House of Seven Trees. I have shared the experience of those encounters with Pat and each one lifted her heart. However, there is nothing like the real one on one experience and she had that taste shortly after her arrival.
A group of climbers fresh off the Mountain with raccoon like tans upon their faces from their goggles worn on high, strode into the Museum and up to the counter. I laughingly took note of their appearance and we started speaking with the young woman of the group serving as interpreter for these folks from Belgium. Within minutes, we found our connection as the oldest member of the team had stayed at the House of Seven Trees in 2006 and wondered about its fate and that of its proprietress, Pat McGee. I assured him that she was very much alive and he recounted how a member of his team had fixed her chimney. I laughed with glee as I had heard this particular tale frequently over our years together as that young man had slowly revealed his roofing skills day after day as his team waited out poor weather at the hostel.
Quickly, I shooed them out the door and pointed them to the Pub where I knew that Pat was having lunch with family and friends, encouraging them to share that particular memory with her. How I knew that it would make her heart sing. Upon their return they recounted that magical moment shared with Pat and the older gentleman’s eyes filled with tears as his face glowed with joy. It turned out that his interpreter was also his daughter who had made this season’s summit attempt with him some 13 years after his successful one in 2006.
Moments like these just….
Couldn’t be Better Barb
Barbara Ludwig

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