Chickenstock, the uniquely Alaskan music festival, is being held this weekend in Chicken, Alaska.
Chicken, which is just a leisurely drive up the Taylor Highway, was founded in 1902 by a group of miners. Legend has it that the miners wanted to call the new community Ptarmigan, after the local bird population, but couldn’t agree on a spelling, so they settled on Chicken.
As of 2020, the population of Chicken was 12, which is up from the 2010 census of 7. That’s close to a 42% increase! The Forty Mile District is booming!
2022 is the 16th Chickenstock, with a break in 2020 due to the pandemic.
I saw my ptarmigan again today. It was the third day in a row that we met on the trail, at about the same place. It no longer flushes from me now, it just sort of waddles off on its feathered feet looking up at me the entire time. It was only two feet away from me when we passed each other today.
I didn’t even threaten it with a camera. Mainly because I didn’t feel like taking my gloves off, or digging the camera out of the coat. I just told the bird, “Good afternoon. See you tomorrow”, then we both went our separate ways.