People who pass Pippen Lake and keep driving the Richardson Highway toward Valdez miss something spectacular. As you turn on the Edgerton Highway and start to drive down the hill, you can see a remarkable view of the Wrangell Mountains.
As my family and I were coming home from Anchorage with my sister, who was in Australia the past seven months, she couldn’t get over how beautiful the Wrangells were. She continuously exclaimed, “The mountains! Look at the mountains! I love Alaska!”
The mountains are only one thing that makes Kenny Lake scenery incredible.
Summer sunsets can illuminate the night sky, outlining the clouds with a vibrant shade of pink. On certain autumn nights the astonishing northern lights can be seen. Winter night skies are marvelous as you look up and see nothing but a sheet of stars.
Kenny Lake, once believed to be completely covered with water, is also home to multiple bluffs, the Tonsina River running to the south, the Copper River flowing to the north, Willow Creek, and many homesteaders’ fields.
The beauty of Kenny Lake isn’t just its physical appearance, but also the warm heart of the community.
Words cannot describe the willingness and generosity of the people. When August rolls around everyone knows what happens: the Kenny Lake Fair. Gathering volunteers to help set up, serve dinner, take down decor, make food, and clean the fairgrounds is never a problem. So many people give up their time to help, even if it’s just a little bit.
The community also comes together in times of loss. When my sister recently passed away, the love and support of the community was overwhelming. For the first two weeks we constantly had visitors stop by to comfort us. In addition during the first two weeks we had a hot dinner prepared for us by a different member of the community each night. Most people also said if there was anything that we needed, just give them a call.
From my experience and what other people have said, Kenny Lake is a special place.
I’m Kristi Knutson: 17, a senior, a third generation homesteader, and even though Kenny Lake is a place that most people don’t know exists, I call it home.