Sunday, August 25, 2013

Homer, where the land ends and the sea begins. Love Homer Alaska! We were camped on the spit, right on the beach overlooking gorgeous Kachemak Bay.

The Spit is perfect for beach combing. Shells, pretty rocks, agates, and other bits of litter sprinkle the beach. On one walk there was a wreath and flowers washed up (there had been a seaside funeral the day before for a fallen fisherman.)  At lands end there are magnificent views of mountains, glaciers and Kachemak Bay. Maggie loved walking on the beach. Lots of delicious smells, other dogs to meet, napping in the sun and sand fleas to snap at. Perfect.


The four-mile-long strip of land known as the Homer Spit stretches into the middle of Kachemak Bay. The Spit is the exposed part of an underwater moraine from an ancient tidewater glacier. In 1964 the Good Friday Earthquake rocked Alaska with a magnitude of 9.2. The quake caused the Spit to drop seven feet. Before the quake the Spit was covered in tall trees and grasslands where cattle and horses grazed. Now nothing except clumps of salt grass grows on the Spit because of saltwater intrusion.
Further up the Spit is the Salty Dawg Saloon. Built in 1897 as one of Homer’s first cabins, the present-day saloon was once the town’s first post office and later, the railroad station, a grocery store and coal mining office.  The small dark interior is papered with money on the walls and ceiling. Even if you don’t drink, you must visit the Salty Dawg. It’s a friendly place to meet locals and other travelers. These guys are from upper New York. They’re on a fishing trip. Jim spent the entire time talking to them.

I  chatted up a local named Dave. Originally from Minnesota, he now calls Homer home. He  told me that the week before a guy went walking in the woods with his assault rifle (for bear protection) when he actually encountered a bear. He shot the bear 13 times before killing it. Now here’s the rub. The moron was walking with ear buds jammed in his ears listening to music! In Alaska you CANNOT walk around in the woods without watching and listening for wildlife. His stupidity got the bear killed. LOOK, LISTEN, make some NOISE  and wildlife will split like Moses and the Red Sea. My personal bear deterrent is 99 Bottles of Bear on the Wall sung loudly. It must work, I have yet to be attacked by a bear! Dave and I are in agreement that many people are stupid and wildlife suffers because of it.
Homer calls itself a “Quaint Drinking Village with a Small Fishing Problem.”  I am not sure about the drinking thing, but the small fishing problem is not true. Fishing is big business here.
 Homer’s fishing fleet is composed of sport fishing and commercial fishing boats. You see many happy people walking away from the pier with bags of filleted Halibut and other yummy fish they caught.  Jim likes to walk down to the pier when the boats come in because there’s always lots of excitement as the fish are hung up for photos.
Homer is a great place to unwind and relax. Next stop – Palmer.


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