Category Archives: Alaska

The Boss of Last Resort – Storytelling at Two Truths and a Lie

I suspect we all have a story about some crazy boss who we feared might destroy our lives. I recently shared such a story on Daniel David Shapiro’s podcast, Two Truths and a Lie. There is so much unbelievable drama in real life, but also so much surprising truth in fiction, that I can’t help but love Dan’s description of his show: “a podcast about truth, fiction, and the hazy line in between.” Whether he asks me to tell the truth or a fabulation, it’s always a thrill to share a story with Dan’s live audience. Here’s a link to the story I told for his recent episode, “Bosses.” I’m the first storyteller in the podcast, but I hope you’ll listen to all three so you can join the fun and try to guess who’s lying. Of course, you can always cheat and jump to the Reveal episode for the answer…but what fun would that be?


Just Me and My Cross – Cara Wins The Moth StorySlam in L.A.

After more than a year striving to find my voice in the world of oral storytelling, I won The Moth StorySlam in L.A. on January 23, 2018. The night’s topic was Achilles’ Heel. It was humbling to win with a story about my weaknesses. I now qualify to compete in a Moth Grand Slam with nine other StorySlam winners. There are no prizes, just the joy of celebrating the human experience with fellow storytellers and an enthusiastic audience. I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, if you’re unfamiliar with live storytelling, I recommend checking out The Moth Radio Hour or The Moth Podcast. You’re in for an unforgettable experience in the power of story.

The Kayak Affair – Cara Tells a Story, Live, at the Two Truths and a Lie Podcast

I’m having a blast in the world of oral storytelling, and you can hear me tell my latest story in the podcast Two Truths & a Lie. Or you can watch the video below. In this live storytelling show, three performers share personal stories. The catch? One of us is lying. For this episode, the topic is: Cheats. Can you guess who the liar is?



HURLED INTO THE KENAI FJORDS: An Alaskan Adventure You Won’t Find in Travel Brochures – by Guest Trekker Laura JK Chamberlain

“-est”… That’s how I’d describe Alaska. It’s the United States’ furthest northwest state, with the Aleutian Islands reaching further west than Hawaii. It has North America’s highest mountain – Mount McKinley – the largest national park, the largest national forest, the globe’s third longest river system, and the world’s largest sub-polar ice field. The state is larger than most nations: divided in half, each half would still make the largest state in the Union. Lake Hood, four miles outside Anchorage, is the largest float-plane base in the world. Alaska boasts the northernmost railroad, in Fairbanks, the continent’s northernmost town, Barrow, and the southernmost tidewater glacier, Le Conte. It’s the lightest, darkest and perhaps boldest, harshest, prettiest place on the planet.

I heard the groans and felt the snap of calving glaciers.

My first trip to Alaska revealed characteristics of the Divine I’d never before imagined. Laden with supplies, I hiked across spongy tundra trying to imagine empty-handed Alaska Natives dwelling for more than 3,000 years in what appeared to be useless, barren land. I witnessed a bold land of non-stop daylight, heliotrope flowers, soaring eagles, black bears, blond grizzlies, moose, foxes, Dall sheep, caribou, snow hare, jumping salmon, humpback whales, puffins, and more. I heard the groans and felt the snap of calving glaciers. I watched forty-foot tides sweep over the deadly mud flats surrounding Cook Inlet and viewed lingering evidence of the 1964 earthquake – the most powerful quake in North American history.

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AN ALASKAN SECRET: Part Two – by Guest Trekker Ron Shale

“You hear that?” I asked. “Stop and listen.” Diane and I stood quiet, catching our breath, heart rates slowing.

“No, all I hear is Esther coming, crunching the snow.” We were walking single file on one of our frozen tire tracks. Esther was about half a minute back. We turned and watched her catch up with her ghostly moon shadow hooked to her feet, spreading across the narrow, snow-covered road.

“Esther, stop and listen. I think I hear something.”

A slow steady thud of a diesel generator greeted our ears, but where? (photo ©Stephan Pietzko|

She stopped her march and stood. I looked at her and wondered what had brought her here to Alaska. She must have a curious life story to weave her fate with ours, near-strangers. How did a one-hundred-pound, sixty-year-old city-woman end up here with us trying to walk out of an Alaskan winter night? Whatever her story, she was game and her survival instinct strong.

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AN ALASKAN SECRET: Part One – by Guest Trekker Ron Shale

John, our new neighbor, was lost, and we had lost him in an Alaskan winter. The kind of far north winter that had grainy snow that crunched when you walked on it. Snow so white, so bright, shadows disappeared, and you’d walk out into thin air not knowing, falling so soft, not caring, just a whoop, then laughter. The air so clear, so calm, so cold. Water vapor turned into tiny ice crystals that hung in the air. It was our beautiful Alaska, but now John was lost and it could become his deadly Alaska.

It was our beautiful Alaska, but now John was lost and it could become his deadly Alaska. (photo ©Michele Cornelius|

Two weeks earlier, his wife Esther, my wife Diane, and I had driven John up the Steese Highway so he could look for gold in the frozen creeks while they were low. John was a dreamer, but then so were we. It was 1971, an era of back-to-the-land movements, when I was 23 and Diane was 24. We’d only known John for ten days, but we drove him up that highway so he could have his dream.

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BOOK LAUNCHING & MOUNTAIN CLIMBING… & winning a free copy of “They Only Eat Their Husbands”


When I lived in Alaska, I interviewed the youngest girl to summit America’s highest peak, Denali. I interviewed then-12-year-old Merrick Johnston before her 1995 climb. She said she used to be afraid of crevasses, but after plenty of training she liked to stick her head in them just for fun. My news director interviewed her after the climb. He asked, “How did it feel when you reached the top?” Her answer: “I had to pee. Then I threw up.”

When I lived in Alaska, I interviewed the youngest girl to summit America’s highest peak, Denali. (Photo © Brian Longmore/

Today is the official release date for my book, They Only Eat Their Husbands: A Memoir of Alaskan Love, World Travel, and the Power of Running Away, and while I’ve spent recent weeks in a flurry of excitement, now I feel kind of like Merrick did on the summit of Denali. I’ve been drinking chai today and I need to pee, and if I think about the book too much I might throw up.

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