Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Alaska Adventure Part Seven - Home Sweet Homer

After leaving our base camp at Kenny Lake, we headed to the Kenai Peninsula. The trip would require a night's stop in Glacier View, west of Anchorage, at Sheep Mountain Lodge. There at the lodge were six RV sites with water and power hookups and an awesome view of the mountains. No sheep though. The lodge also had a restaurant so we decided to have dinner there. Oh, yummmmm. At least Mom and my dinner of fresh Alaskan Salmon. George had Chicken Satay and it was just meh according to him. (Geo: Portion size for price. three half-inch x 4” pieces of chicken breast -- McNuggets would be a better deal) At least dessert was delicious. Warm homemade blueberry pie with fresh blueberries topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. There was a significant amount of traffic on the highway heading back towards Anchorage after the holiday weekend. Lots of ATV-toting rigs done playing for the weekend zipping down the road.

Sheep Mountain Lodge

We decided once again to change plans and skip our trip to Seward. We would stop in Anchorage at Costco to look for replacement chairs and if they didn't have any, then go to Cabela's on the south end of the city. Cabela's offers FREE overnight parking, too.

In the little burg of Chickaloon, a cow moose ran right in front of us. George had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting her. Off she went across the road to the woods on the other side.

We did not find chairs at Costco but we did pay for our stay at Cabela's. Found three new chairs, two new rain jackets, and a few other little items. Next to Cabela's was a Target store where we could procure a few other sundry items. It was another night of eating out at Xalo's (pronounced more like "hollows"). Had delicious burritos for supper.

Our "campsite" @ Cabela's in Anchorage

Our next day's journey would finally land us in Homer out on the Kenai. This was our first day of driving in really rainy conditions. We arrived at our beachfront campsite at Heritage RV Park out on Homer's famed spit. The site was not cheap, but the view was worth it. The only odd thing is the beachfront sites are set up for motorhomes to pull in to so all of the hookups were on the opposite side of the site. With our fifth wheel, we had to back in and run our water hose and electric cord under the trailer. Our friends, King and Bernie, came down later that evening so we could coordinate our next few days together.

Turnagain Arm (south of Anchorage leading to the Kenai Peninsula)

The next morning, King and Bernie picked us up and we started off with our sightseeing of Homer. We drove out to Land's End which is the end of the spit. We learned more about Jean, the Eagle Lady, who became famous for caring for the eagles. She has since passed away and it is now illegal to feed the birds. From there we visited the Mariners Memorial and then made a stop at the Salty Dawg Saloon. We signed a dollar bill and pinned it to the wall along with thousands of others.

Gray Sunrise

Us @ Land's End - Homer Spit


 The sea tells a story.
It tells of the life it brings,
And the lives it claims.
Its deep dark waters are home to some,
A final resting place for others.

The sea tells a story.
It tells of the cycle of life
Running through its waters.
Fish, spawning, dying, sinking to the ocean floor,
Returning to the circle that engulfs all life.

The sea tells a story.
It tells of prosperity,
Yet how that prosperity can be unforgiving.
Nearly everyone will experience its vastness.
But some will remain there forever.

~Ryan Bundy, 1996 

Our Dollar Bill @ Salty Dawg's

Lunch was at Captain Patty's where we all enjoyed a delicious meal. At lunch, we asked Bernie if she knew of a place in town to get haircuts. Unbeknownst to us, she was a beautician before she retired and she offered to cut my mom's and my hair. King was having the prop on his boat re-pitched and he needed to take the boat out for a quick spin including a trip to Gull Island which is a bird sanctuary. Unfortunately, Mom was not able to navigate the ramp out of to the docks because of the steep pitch so she went back to the camper while the rest of us took a ride. That is how we wrapped up our day.

Gull Island

Sea Otters

Sea Otter

Sunset Across the Spit and Bay

Friday saw us doing more sightseeing of Homer. We started with breakfast at Duncan's Cafe and then walked across the street to Nomar's which manufactures fleece clothing along with boat upholstery and tops. We were able to get a personalized tour from the store owner. From there we went to my new favorite hardware store. Why is it my new favorite? Because it also has a quilt shop section! Next on the list was a tour of Bay Weld Boats where King and Bernie's boat was built. It was fascinating seeing the aluminum boats being built in various stages of completion. One of the Alaska State Troopers boats, the 42' Churchill, was in to be re-powered from three to four new 300 hp outboard engines. Four!

Panoramic View of the Homer Spit

Bernie, King, Susan, Sally & George

All of the tours made us thirsty so we went to the Bear Creek Winery just a short distance from Bay Weld. All of their wines were blended with other fruits like blueberries, peaches, apples or black raspberries. Very interesting flavors! Then we went to Grace Ridge Brewing and got six tasters of beers. Nothing was a favorite of ours. We ended up at Homer Brewing that we liked much better.

Chinese Pagoda Primrose @ the Winery

Sunbathing Turtle @ the Winery

Saturday was halibut fishing day! The conditions were not as great as Friday but we went any way. All I know is that we were in Kachemak (CATCH-a-mack) Bay. Waaaay out there! Shortly after we anchored in four-five foot seas, Bernie had the first (and what turned out to be the largest) halibut on the hook. It was approximately 20 pounds. Small, they said, compared to years ago when fish that size were released. Today they were keepers. There is a limit of two fish per person and in less than two hours it was reached. After fishing was done, we headed for the port of Seldovia. What a cute little place it turned out to be. Reachable via boat or airplane, it has about 280 residents. The tide was out so the slough was empty when we walked along their boardwalk. Several cute houses on piers front the slough. We watched several eagles and seagulls before heading to the boat for our ride back to Homer. We took the scenic route behind the islands so King could clean our fish in calmer conditions. Along the way we saw several kayakers and sea otters. Mom had dinner of chicken and noodles waiting for us when we got back to shore. We finished our tiring day off with a bowl of ice cream.

Fish on!

Some of our catch with King

Sign in Seldovia

Seldovia Cottages

More Cottages Along the Empty Slough (tide's out)

Eagles at Seldovia

Heading back - such beautiful scenery

Hello from a Sea Otter!

Our friends, Bernie & King

We said our goodbyes to King and Bernie on Sunday morning and pulled out of Homer, heading for Portage and Whittier. It was a great few days there. My favorite place so far.


  1. Its a bit disappointing that there were no pictures of the beer and breweries. I mean...come on man!
    Glad you found chairs!

  2. We loved Homer; we stayed in the same park, we ate at Patty's. Bill caught halibut ; (I did like your mom and it was kind of nice having the whole RV to myself -- all 10 feet of it). The next day we took a tour boat to Seldovia and I wanted to move there. I took a million pictures just in that little village alone.

  3. It seems like you had a great time there. I bet you were happy to get some more chairs.


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