"Who knew Fairbanks was so fabulous! " Michelle
The lady to my right turned to face my back; she placed her hands on my shoulders and whispered into my ear, “I bestow upon you the power of unending light.”
I did the same for the guy standing next to me except that I had bestowed upon him the power of a large, rocky mountain; one that would give him both physical strength and also the ability to see everything that’s happening around him.
The ten of us, gathered together in a tight circle around a square of green velvet festooned with various amulets, candles and crystals, had just returned from a meditative journey into nature to find a source of power. This could be anything from a river to a blade of grass. We were to ask this source for permission to take a bit of its power back to gift to the person standing to our left.
We were nearing the end of the First Full Moon Ceremony of 2012 at The Four Winds Foundation, “a small non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of shamanic and traditional wisdom.” The ceremony began almost two hours earlier with a welcoming of the spirits of the four directions, our guardians, and the Great Bear of Fairbanks (represented by a stuffed teddy bear sitting on a Moroccan pouf next to our hostess Debra).
Over the past year we’d taken the long and scenic ride across Goldstream Road for various New and Full Moon ceremonies. (This past Sunday’s included a 22° Halo). Each involved some version of welcoming, followed by shaking and rattling away the bad juju, meditation and readings. On Halloween we were greeted by a bonfire out back and Debra sporting a Guy Fawkes mask. That night we helped to guide any wayward souls on their journey home.
The Four Winds Foundation is just one of the many things that makes the Goldstream area of Fairbanks an interesting and unique place in which to spend some time. Here’s the AKvsAK “What’s Really Hood” guide to the rest:
Blueberry Preserves (on Ballaine, this may technically be “Dogpatch”): A marshy expanse with a great back-story. No one seems to remember this but me but I am pretty sure there was some sort of makeshift outdoorsy competition held here last spring/summer. If anyone has info, please hit me up.
Vallata: Good food, great atmosphere, nice woodsy but extremely accessible location. Perfect for a date night or maybe even a place to pop the question!
Ivory Jack’s: Nice place to watch football, grab brunch (the bartender says they’re famous for their Bloody Mary’s), play pull-tabs (we won $400 the other night!). They also have live music on the weekends but we haven’t made it out to a show yet.
Goldstream General Store/liquor store/laundromat: Has just the supplies you’re looking for along with local/native art and music for sale. Gas and laundry on-site, an outdoor flea market in the summer (with the best, sparkly sign ever) and an active community bulletin board. The store also served as a rallying point for info and volunteers when wildfires struck last summer.
The Ken Kunkel Community Center: Home to the Goldstream Valley Lions Club and touted as “Goldstream Valley’s Gathering Place.” I’m pretty sure we saw some folks playing kickball out on their fields last summer. Fun stuff!
Murphy Dome and Ester Dome: Great places for hiking, biking, snowmachining, aurora chasing, etc. Also, nice for a cool car ride. There are swallows living in the eaves of the building on top of Murphy Dome. It’s pretty neat to watch them work.
Goldstream Sports: I’ve never made it past the parking lot!! But I have communicated with these guys via email a bit. They really know everything about sporty stuff in the area, what you need, where to do what, how high Murphy Dome is, etc. Great customer service.