Lore Report: “Opportunity” (Episode 178)

We have this uncanny knack of seeing opportunity and doing whatever we can to benefit from it. It’s a skill that mixes being in the right place at the right time with quick thinking and a lot of risk. If it’s pulled off right it can alter lives forever. But not every opportunity is golden. In fact, many of them represent trips into uncharted territory, where a myriad of dangers wait to shatter our dreams. So grab your warmest coat, pack your bags, and follow me on a journey into the folklore of one of the last great frontiers. We’re headed to Alaska.

Episode 178 of the Lore podcast basks in the (land of the) Midnight Sun. After dropping some familiar nuggets from geography and history class (the Bering Strait; Seward’s Folly), host Aaron Mahnke takes the narrative in more unexpected directions. Natural disaster combines with supernatural aura, as Mahnke relates tales of demonic attack, vanishing tombstones, haunted saloons, and a shipwreck averted by the intervention of a seemingly ghostly figure. The episode’s titular theme is well woven throughout, and Mahnke’s final thought concerning the opportunistic nature of folklore makes for a poignant conclusion. Lengthy but fast moving, and filled with a mother lode of northern lore, “Opportunity” is an episode that listeners should seize upon the very first chance they get.

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