Sixty Years and Counting

By Susan Sommer This spring, my parents, Red and Bunny Beeman, celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. They each landed in Alaska on their own trajectories before statehood, met through Mom’s cousin (who knew Dad from the trapline), and married in 1959, the same year Alaska joined the nation....

I Got the Blues

Every year, I swear that I’ll spend the entire month of August picking blueberries, but every year, of course, life intervenes. I make time for a short drive or hike to a favorite spot and pick with both hands—my friends are impressed with my speed. Still, as soon as I find a good rhythm, I...

Kesugi Dreaming

Kesugi Ridge, in Denali State Park, is a trail system that delivers—but probably not what you expect. Everyone hopes for the quintessential Denali views, but more often fog shrouds the ridge, leaving only rock cairns guiding the way, or a raging storm spits cold, wet hikers back out at a...

Job Interview, Alaska-style

Many years back, when I was suddenly laid off from a job, I realized with delight that I was free to visit our family fish camp on an island in Cook Inlet. I’d spent all of my summers growing up there, but hadn’t, as an adult, visited very often. I missed its serenity, its tides, its beach-side...