Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan


Salads at locally owned Turkey Red in Palmer are just one healthy, delicious menu item. Other dishes include grilled polenta, chicken with figs, moussaka, cioppino, soups, hot and cold sandwiches, pizza, and an array of desserts. Photo by Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan. Alex Papasavas did not set out to become a chef much less the owner of one of the most popular restaurants in Palmer, Alaska. In the early 1990s, she worked for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) as a horse packer at the Three Peaks Ranch in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. When the ranch cook had to leave for a family emergency, Alex agreed to fill in. “I thought, my gosh, I don’t know anything about cooking,” Alex said. Her saving grace was a 1984 book, Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. “It just opened the door for me.” Since then,…

Alaska fruit growers are a generous bunch. Ira Edwards is known around Alaska as an avid outdoorsman who fishes, hunts, cycles, and skis—these days from a wheelchair or other adaptive gear. What people may not know is that he’s also an avid gardener and fruit grower. Edwards believes in community and among his many passions, he teaches kids with disabilities to ski and is establishing apple orchards at local schools. Through an Alaska Community Forestry Program grant, he grafted 100 baby trees two years ago and then partnered with the Trailside Elementary PTA in Anchorage to plant the trees on school grounds last year. “The end goal is apples for kids and then apples for everyone,” Edwards said. The apple harvest, still 10 years down the road, will be donated to local food banks.

Stillpoint Lodge opens to adventure

As the helicopter pilot angles the chopper for a closer look at a glacial crevasse, I think how much Stillpoint Lodge has changed since it opened in 2003. Once a contemplative-retreat center, Stillpoint recently transitioned to a high-end adventure resort.

Photos by Andrea D’Agosto I sat at the Talkeetna Roadhouse with three other women climbers after an attempted ascent of Denali. After two weeks of freeze-dried meals, our mouths watered in anticipation of home-cooked fare, and the aroma of freshly baked bread warmed the room. We replayed our failed summit bid of North America’s highest peak, the storm that hemmed us in and the staggering grandeur of the mountain itself. We needed a place to collect ourselves. We needed comfort food. And we were not alone. Conversations about trail conditions, hazards of wilderness travel and the weather have been taking place around tables at the Talkeetna Road- house for nearly 100 years. The Roadhouse sits on Main Street in Talkeetna, a community with an official year-round population of 876, located halfway between Anchorage and Denali National Park and accessible by road, rail and local air taxi. Founded in 1917, the…