Monday, September 10, 2012


Some nice little towns up here in Alaska have some pretty ordinary names. One of these is Homer, at the bottom of the Kenai Peninsula, on the charming-sounding Kachemak Bay.

On my day trip, I made my way from Ninilchik, stopping at Anchor Point for another stamp in my Kenai Penisula Passport, and then came around my favorite bend in all of Alaska's roads: the road into Homer. It's breathtaking.

As you round the bend you come out of the trees and suddenly there appears a stunning view of Kachemak Bay.

I like to stop at the scenic view pull-out with the Welcome to Homer sign.

In August the fireweed is blooming and the hillside is sprayed with pink. I always gaze with envy at the blessed people who have a home on this hillside. Their backyard is my favorite view in all Alaska.

One of my first stops on this day trip to Homer was a little yurt "village" of shops. At one time it housed a more quaint shopping experience than it currently does. Most of the shops have folded up or moved on, being replaced by more practical businesses not enticing to shopping.

The best thing there was this shop:

And in case you missed it, here's a close-up:

Yeah, yarn.


I looked.


I bought...

this luscious skein of silk yarn from India:

I don't know what I'll do with it, since there was only one and not enough to make a scarf out of.
But it was so beautiful I simply had to have it!

Next up, I went to the Homer Visitors Center.

where above the door hung this sign:

Homer is famous for several things.

As you saw in the Welcome sign, it's known as the halibut capitol of the world. Many locals make their living as charter captains or deck hands on the fishing excursions that go out of the marina every day into Kachemak Bay.

Also, singer songwriter, Jewel, spent some time in Homer,singing in some of the bars when she was young.

And, of course, now there's the Time Bandit of the TV show "Deadlist Catch" fame. The brothers Hillstrand grew up in Homer and still live there. We actually got to see their crab fishing vessel moored in the deep water marina a few years ago.

Another thing Homer is famous for is The Spit. No, it's not a bar-b-que restaurant.  And no, it's not the "Split" as many folks want to call it. It's the unglamorous, almost crude sounding, "Homer Spit."
It's the second largest natural land jetty in the world. It's 4.5 miles long and is home to the marinas, RV campgrounds, great beach, charter businesses, restraurants, and lots of cute little tourist shops.

You can see it in the far left of the photo below.

And here's a zoomed in view taken from the same spot. The hillside is covering up much of The Spit as it connects to the mainland.

Another thing along the Homer Spit...Tsunami Evacuation Route signs. Yikes! Yeh, with Alaska being the most seismically active state in the union, they have to concern themselves with things like earthquake caused tsunamis. The tsunamis that followed the great quake of 1964 leveled the whole town of Valdez and nearly leveled Seward, both of which are also situated in Alaska bays.

In Seward, the Tsunami Evacuation Route signs lead you uphill to the highest road leading out of town. It is forced to lead you back down to the main road which becomes the only highway out of town, but at least you're higher for a little of your panicked journey, right? But if you're on the Homer Spit with a tsunami coming, you'd better hurry. It wouldonly  take a 3 foot wave to cover this giant sandbar!

I spent my day in Homer visiting some of my favorite art galleries:

Definitely worth a click.

There are several more galleries but these are my favorites.
And how convenient that they're right next door to each other.

As my day drew to a close and I climbed in the van to head back up the western edge of the Kenai Peninsula, I was happy with a fun day of creative inspiration and exploring one of my favorite places. (Earlier I took the road out of town up the bay for about 14 miles. I never knew it went back that far, but I discovered farms with grassy fields and breathtaking views of Kachemak Bay. I think I could live there!)

On my way up the hill approaching the backside of the Welcome to Homer sign, I glanced in my side view mirror. My breath caught as with a clear view of the stunning Bay.

Mount Redoubt from Soldotna always brings a smile to my face, but Kachemak Bay takes
the very air from my lungs!

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