The Oosik Classic Ski Race, say what?! Talkeetna, Alaska is one of a kind

Earlier in the year, I wrote about visiting Talkeetna in the winter for Buckets, Balls, and a Bachelor’s Auction. 

This past weekend, I went for my third Talkeetna winter weekend trip and I can’t get enough of that place! This weekend’s combination was yet another perfect combination:

  • The largest classic ski race in Alaska, options for 25k or 50k, going around and through the nearby river system
  • Denali popping all day long in the glorious sunshine
  • Feed stations along the race that include whiskey, beer, bacon, and oreo cookies
  • FREE, that’s right, FREE IPA at the hangar after-party for all skiers, which included a killer dance band with horns! What other town would serve IPA over some cheap lager-swill?
  • Honky Tonk craziness with us carrying in our shotski to the local watering hole known as the Fairview Inn
  • The best Northern Lights show in the sky that I’ve seen all year. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of that, but they were dancing and showing off all of their colors.
  • Friends in costumes or not, ready to embrace skiing!
Hello Denali!
Hello Denali!

Talkeetna offers a quick getaway for anyone in the interior or southcentral Alaska who is craving a smaller town with a high-energized buzz of people from all over Alaska. With that comes humor, entertainment, and usually some costumes, not to mention skiing. If you are traveling to Alaska in the winter, it shouldn’t be missed. For more information regarding Talkeetna, check out the calendar of events.

While I didn’t partake in the whiskey or the beer stations, and my real friends know how difficult that was for me to resist, I did ski in sequin attire, and considering the cold temps, that thing was awesome for my buns! I think I should gain some pints for that alone, but then I found out that I did. They were passing out free IPA at the after-party. Had I known that during the race, I don’t think it would have been as hard to pass all of those libation stations.

Say What?!

What the heck does an oosik have to do with skiing anyway? Who out there knows what Oosik in beat up English etymology means? If you check out Wikipedia, this is what you’ll find:

Oosik Classic Ski Race
Me at the Oosik Classic Ski Race

Oosik (via wikipedia)

The baculum (also penis bone, penile bone or os penis) is a bone found in the penis of most placental mammals. The bone aids sexual intercourse by maintaining sufficient stiffness during sexual penetration. The female equivalent is the os clitoridis – a bone in the clitoris.

but wait, there’s more:

Oosik is a term used in Native Alaska cultures to describe the baculum of walruses, seals, sea lions, and polar bears. Sometimes as long as 60 cm (2 ft), fossilized bacula are often polished and used as a handle for knives and other tools. The oosik is a polished and sometimes carved baculum of these large northern carnivores.

Oosiks are also frequently sold as souvenirs to tourists by Alaska Natives. In 2007 a 4.5-foot (1.4 m) long fossilized penis bone from an extinct species of walrus, believed by the seller to be the largest in existence, was sold for $8,000.

Walrus baculum, approximately 22 inches (56 centimetres) long.
25k, almost done!

….so really, the oosik has absolutely nothing to do with the ski race-it is just pure Talkeetna humor. Having said that, if I may speak for the ladies, we would probably not be sad about the human male anatomy gaining this attribute that other primates have :-).

By gaining that addition though, we’d probably lose some intelligence and that might not be worth it. Maybe that depends on the kind of day we are having, maybe not. We can continue to use our love for intelligence and continuous improvement to gain in this particular area. I’m sure that as the “dominant” species, we can at least recognize the advantage of lots of practice!

On another humorous note, here’s the famous anonymous poem about the Oosik tale in Alaska:


Strange things have been done in the Midnight Sun,
and the story books are full.
But the strangest tale concerns the male,
magnificent walrus bull!

I know it’s rude, quite common and crude,
perhaps it is grossly unkind.
But with first glance at least, this bewhiskered beast,
is as ugly in front as behind.

Look once again, take a second look,
then you’ll see he’s not ugly or vile.
There’s a hint of a grin, in that blubbery chin,
and the eyes have a shy secret smile.

How can this be, this clandestine glee,
that exudes from the walrus like music?
He knows, there inside, beneath blubber and hide,
lies a splendid contrivance — the Oosik!

“Oosik” you say — and quite well you may,
I’ll explain if you keep it between us.
In the simplest truth, though rather uncouth,
“Oosik” is, in fact, his penis!

Now the size alone of this walrus bone,
would indeed arouse envious thinking.
It is also a fact, documented and backed,
there is never a softening or shrinking!

This, then, is why the smile is so sly,
the walrus is rightfully proud.
Though the climate is frigid, the walrus is rigid,
pray, why, is not man so endowed?

Added to this, is a smile you might miss,
though the bull is entitled to bow.
The one to out-smile our bull by a mile,
is the satisfied walrus cow!

Denali was out all day!

Thanks for stopping by and happy spring!

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