Monday, July 11, 2011

Homer, Alaska

There are a couple towns at the end of the road in Alaska.  Homer is one of them.  The other is Seward and it’s at the end of that other road.  Homer is where we are for today and probably about 7 more days.

Homer is a village of about 5000 residents (one of which is Tom Bodett of Motel 6 fame who promised to leave the light on for you) located on the ridge above the Gulf of Alaska and Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula.

The fishing is good here, halibut especially.  So much so that Homer claims to be the Halibut Fishing capital of the world.  Fishing supports the economy here, both commercial fishermen and sport fishing.  Everybody else supports the fishing.  That’s what it’s all about in summer.  I’m not sure what they do in winter--shovel snow I suppose.

Town is located high on the ridge overlooking the bay, but for the tourists and the fishermen, the Homer Spit is where the action is.  The Spit is really a long gravel bar which extends out into the bay 4.5 miles.  There’s a paved road down the center and campgrounds, restaurants, shops, and the small boat harbor line both sides of the road.

We are parked at one of the two city campgrounds along the spit.  We are at Fishing Hole Campground on the east side of the road with a better view of the mountains across the bay.  This truly is just a gravel parking lot; sorta like parking on the beach in Texas. The cost is $15 a day and for that you get a fantastic view, the smell of salt water, and all the gulls and eagles you can count.  The city has a dump station and potable water here.  There are Laundromats with pay showers in town and on the spit.

We’re considering our time in Homer our “vacation”.  We want to roam the spit ducking into the shops for items on the Christmas list, sampling the local flavors at the Salty Dawg Saloon, whiling away an afternoon or two at the bookstores, and visiting the Pratt Museum.  It’s our last chance to sit back and enjoy before starting the long trek home.

After moving to the Spit and getting settled, we went for a drive about town.  The view from Skyline Drive of the Bay and the Spit was awesome.  On the way back, we stopped across from the McDonalds to view the eagles.  There is a nest with at least one eaglet, perhaps two.  We got there just in time for a late morning snack. Mom was feeding the baby while Dad watched with an “eagle eye” from a nearby tree.  All that just about made my day.

Our campground has a fish cleaning station and the gulls and eagles wait for the easy food.  I turned my head from the eagles and gulls briefly and found a seal swimming in the bay in front of our rig.  Some say there’s not enough to do in Homer to warrant a long visit.  I think I’ll be content just to watch the wildlife show out my front window.

This is going to be a fantastic week.

That’s all for now.  Thanks for tagging along.

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