My sister has a term for those unexpected moments when something seemingly random or unplanned becomes a lifelong special time: “a memory burn.”
It is such a fitting name. One extremely hot summer day, I sipped a cold brew with my husband outside of Jack Sprat restaurant in Girdwood. We had just completed a successful day of downhill mountain biking atop Alyeska’s steep peaks – crashes and all, covered in dust, and a little bruised. But we were exhilarated. I can practically taste the grit mixed with cold beer as I write these words. Another time, my friend Liz and I gingerly made our way down the slopes at Alyeska, this time during winter, on snowboards, while completing our first-ever snowboarding lessons. It was a new experience, and we grinned from ear to ear as we mastered a curve, or laughed at ourselves as we crashed on our rear-ends.
Or there’s the time I walked through the cool spruce-treed forest of the Girdwood Forest Fair, my son just an infant, tucked into a snuggle pack on my front. The sounds of live music and the smell of the rich loamy earth amazed me as I looked at the handiwork and crafts of local artisans. Another memory burn, easily recalled at a moment’s notice.
For that reason, I’ve always had a special fondness for Girdwood – it seems to be a memory-burn magnet and never fails to fail on that end. This month, we asked our Apres columnist Katie Pesznecker to create her own memories in Girdwood – to experience the food and fun to be had in this getaway so very close to home.
And that she did. Katie knows how to have a good time, and she shares her Girdwood experience with us in Apres’ pages 9-10 as well as shares her first-ever downhill mountain biking experience there as a newbie (Hint: She survived, and so can you! See pages 15-16).
Whatever the place that creates those memory burns for you, we do hope you find some inspiration in the pages of Coast this month. We’ve got plenty to offer – from Laura Emerson’s observations of life off the grid to the excitement of Seward’s annual Silver Salmon Derby, a highlight of every August for eager anglers. The annual Alaska State Fair is heating up too, and is a highly anticipated event for fair-goers each year. Read more about that in both our Trail Mix section (Page 6) and in All About Anchorage, on Page 14.
As summer winds to a close and we begin to anticipate the return of cooler – and shorter – days, may you etch a memory burn of your own to revisit over and over the year round.