Summers at Goose Lake

by Michael R Dougherty

After a long, cold Alaska winter, summer was always a welcome time of the year for me.

No more heavy boots, gloves, or cold weather coats.

And after the ice melted and outside temperatures soared into the 70s, we could dig our bathing suits out of the deep recesses of our closet and head out for an afternoon of lakeside beach fun on the sandy shores of Goose Lake to work on our tans.

When I was growing up in and around Anchorage, the only swimming pool was the "Spa", an indoor pool where you could become a member and swim year round.

One year when I was in junior high school at Clark, we were taken by bus to the Spa each day for a week to learn how to swim, or for advanced swimming lessons. I learned how to swim there.

As a teenager, summer time in Anchorage meant hanging out with friends at Goose Lake, and admiring the girls on the beach.

One year when I was about 14, I decided to spend the early afternoon sun bathing at Goose Lake to get a really cool tan.

There I was laying face down on my beach blanket, listening to the music being played over the beaches loud speakers and hearing the announcer telling everyone at Goose Lake that it was time to "roll over" if you were working on your sun tan.

But I didn't roll over -

And when it was time to go home I had a horrible sun burn on my back.

That year I had a newspaper delivery route and I had to wear my newspaper bag over my shoulders and on my back. Ouch, ouch and triple ouch.

Some years later, when I was at KTVA channel 11, I was working on our local teen dance show, "The Varsity Show", and we talked about actually producing a special summer edition of The Varsity Show at Goose Lake.

But we never managed to put the special together. Too bad, because it would have been a lot of fun for everyone. Imagine dancing to the hits on the sandy shores of Goose Lake.

And speaking of music at Goose Lake, I remember one afternoon when Ron Moore came out to Goose Lake in one of his "Royal Coaches" and Ron had music playing out of speakers he had installed in the front grill of his car. Very cool.

Yes, for me, summer time memories in Anchorage will always include those special fun-in-the-sun days at Goose Lake.


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Swimming in the early 50’s was Spenard Lake
by: Anonymous

For those of us a little older, Spenard Lake was where we swam in the early 50’s.

Before we lost out to the float planes.

Goose Lake was out in the wilderness!

The Place for Summer
by: Vikki Vega

My friend's three children would call me and chant " Goose Lake, Goose Lake" on beautiful summer days.

We'd grab towels, a bucket of KFC, sodas and head for the Lake.

Spent many, many enjoyable days and hours there.

Goose Lake Worm Story
by: Anonymous

Goose lake was the first place I caught a worm when I was 5 (it was actually a leech).

It stuck to my arm and my mother started screaming and poured salt on it. I was so mad she killed the worm. Lol

I Remember Goose Lake
by: Norm Galliett

I remember the fun at Goose Lake.

We used to ride the trails through the woods from City View. The music, the concession stand, the people, the leeches.

Actually rode in an amphicar there (right place/right time).

Swam out to the float and was going to dive off head first but at the last minute went in feet first. What a wonderful decision. I sank up to my waist in fluffy muck. It tried to hold me down there but thankfully released me to swim another day.

On a sunny day there was no place better in the early 60's.

Fun at the Park
by: Linda A. Wingfield

I lived in Anchorage from 1972-1978. By the time we left there, I had four children. We spent a LOT of time at Goose Lake--not only in the summer, but also in the winter. Four little ones need winter fun, too. ;-)

The park was always one of our favorite places to go to play. ;-)

Goose Lake
by: Dawn Sutter (Bush)

I was born and raised in Anchorage. I'm not sure how old I was when first started spending time at Goose Lake, but in the summer, there wasn't much else to do

About the time I turned 12 or 13, the big 'thing' was the raft. I'll never forget the first time I was able to swim the whole way out to that 'raft.'

Thank you for the Summers at Goose Lake memories.

A Note from Anchorage Memories


Thank you for posting your comment about Goose Lake. We agree, swimming to the little dock out in Goose Lake seemed like the ultimate goal.

Thank you for posting and we look forward to reading more of your Anchorage memories.

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