PHOTO FEATURE: Fun in the (late) summer sun
Area residents flocked to lakes and mountains as a relatively rainy summer got a rare sunny break the weekend of Aug. 4-6. While summertime temperatures in the low 70s might not seem like anything special, the nice weather was considered so noteworthy this year the National Weather Service issued a special bulletin alerting people in advance of the blue-sky break.
In Chugiak-Eagle River, folks took advantage of the warning by gathering in huge crowds at Mirror Lake, where lines of cars stretched up and down the road to accommodate all of the overflow parking. Volleyball games featuring teams of 10 or more per side broke out beneath the hot summer sun, and kayaks, inner tubes and other inflatable toys filled the water. The Mount Baldy and Eagle River Nature Center trail heads were similarly busy over the weekend, as locals took the opportunity to get a few more rays as summer begins to wind down.
Wasilla’s Heidi Goozen — who grew up in Eagle River but now now lives in the Mat-Su — visited Lower Fire Lake with her parents, Paul and Holly. With her mom paddling a stand-up paddle board and dad aboard a canoe, Goozen perched herself atop a giant pink flamingo she bought for “about 40 bucks.”
Although the big bird looked good on the water, Goozen admitted it’s a little tough to steer. During a recent trip to a lake in Wasilla, she said she got pushed in the wrong direction.
“The wind was gusting really hard and I got pushed to the other side,” she explained.
That wasn’t a problem Saturday in Eagle River, where there was no breeze to speak of. Goozen said the craft isn’t an easy bird to steer, but was still worth tying atop her car and bringing to the lake.
“It’s just for fun,” she said.