At Home in Homer

We had three full days in Homer and we spent most of it just enjoying life on the spit, watching the tides go in and out, observing the wildlife and scenery, and hanging around the fire on the beach.

The first day our luck held out weather-wise and we all set out to walk the entire spit, about 8 miles round trip to the end and back. It was a nice relaxing walk. Outbound, we took advantage of low tide to walk most of the way on the beach, exploring the exposed shore hunting for interesting rocks and exposed clams.

We made it to the “town” part of the spit just in time for lunch. Reen and I opted for lunch at a small bakery. I had a breakfast burrito and Reen had a panini. We shared some cookies for dessert. Brian and Will had brought along their lunch but couldn’t resist sampling some of the baked goods for dessert. Brian and Will enjoyed the lunch they had packed and brought along. But Brian, who never met a baked good he didn’t like, couldn’t resist sampling a cookie of his own for dessert.

We wandered among the local shops and watched some of the local halibut and cod catch get processed. Maureen tortured a local shopkeeper for 20 minutes threatening to buy an alpaca sweater but never found just the right one. Meanwhile, Brian made friends with a comatose German Shepard outside a nearby shop.

For the trip back we stayed on the bike path running down the other side of the spit. We passed by the harbor and through some old ship boneyards. One particularly large old ship turned out to have been converted into someone’s house; you don’t see that every day.

Typical shop on the spit.

20120723-200228.jpg

Displaying the catch before the slaughter.

20120723-200323.jpg

Boats in the harbor.

20120723-200414.jpg

The clouds returned the next morning so we lolled around until after lunch. The we headed out into the main town to visit the Alaska Islands and Oceans Visitor Center. This was a small museum that focused on the Kachemak Bay area and the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. This includes the largest wildlife bird sanctuary in the world. Many of the bird species in the islands of alaska were nearly wiped out by foxes that were introduced by the russians in the 19th century so fur trapping could continue after the indigenous furs (like sea otters) were wiped out. Not to mention the rats that made there way over as stowaways on the traders ship traffic. Oops! They are now attempting to remove the foxes and rats so the birds can rebuild their populations. Not an easy job, I imagine. I picture lots of scientists wandering around whistling and calling out, “Here little foxie, I have a snack for you!”

The museum was near the shore so we took the trail to the beach and Reen managed to capture some nice pictures of a a family of Sandhills cranes on the way.

20120723-202126.jpg

20120723-202137.jpg

We lost track of Brian and Will, but it turned out they had “accidentally” wandered into a local cafe-bakery called Two Sisters. The placed smelled very good so we joined then for a snack. I let Reen decide and she made a wise choice with the Chocolate Bread. This looks kinda like a ciabatta roll from the outside but is really a rich dense pastry filled with something resembling chocolate icing. We split it and I still got the sugar shakes after finishing just my half.

On the last day, the weather returned to its typical rain and we spent another day mostly camper bound. Maureen got back to her quilting projects, and I divided my time between reading, catching up on paying our bills, performing some minor camper repairs, and cooking up some Reindeer meat stew. I did get a little distracted from the stew only to be reminded by the smoke detector that it was burning. Luckily, we did manage to salvage enough for dinner.

We had a few wildlife encounters during our time in homer. The first day, there was an old injured sea otter stuck on the beach at low tide. He dragged himself all around the beach but just could’t seem to find the water. Maureen called it into the rescue center (which we had visited in Seward), and soon afterward someone came by to rope off the area. We weren’t around to see what eventually happened, either someone came to pick up the little guy or he washed back out to sea at high tide.

Here’s some other sea otters in better shape we watched feeding and frolicking off the beach.

20120723-203548.jpg

Homer, as well as most of Alaska it seems, is home to its fair share of bald eagles. We followed the comings and goings of at least a pair or two while on the spit. These two liked to hang out on the beach just in front of our campsite.

20120723-204706.jpg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s